30 Minute FitnessALL POSTSButterfly LifeSPOTLIGHT 1


Butterfly Life is a women’s 30 minute fitness franchise chain that claims to be an improvement over Curves for Women. It was founded by Mark Golob, Tom Gergley, and, supposedly, Mark Mastrov. Golob & Gergley both have checkered pasts and a history of litigation in the health club industry.

Many franchisees were attracted by the highly respected Mastrov (of 24 Hour Fitness), whose involvement ceased after they joined. (Read Butterfly Life Franchisees Allege Bait & Switch… of Execs).

Complaints include: “Marketing was horrible” “…they couldn’t deliver what they promised. Nothing was ready on time.” “The name had no meaning to anyone” “…without brand building, it was very hard to get traffic into the clubs.” “There was no support” “They told me they “were not in the business of running clubs, just selling them”

In February, 2014 former Butterfly Life CEO filed a $35,000,000 lawsuit against UnhappyFranchisee.Com publisher Sean Kelly in an effort to force the deletion of negative posts and comments about his history of litigation and what Kelly called his “checkered past.”

With the help of franchise attorney Peter Lagarias, Kelly fired back with a Motion to Strike under California’s anti-SLAPP law.  A California judge ruled in Kelly’s favor, striking down Golob’s lawsuit and ordering him to pay the UnhappyFranchisee.Com publisher’s attorney fees and costs.


$35,000,000 Lawsuit Backfires on Health Club Franchisor May 27, 2014

Mark Golob v Sean Kelly (UnhappyFranchisee.Com) Lawsuit Documents

MARK GOLOB LAWSUIT: Why PA Needs Anti-SLAPP Senate Bill 1095  April 22, 2014


BUTTERFLY LIFE: Franchisees Lose Arbitration? March 15, 2009


Unhappy Butterfly Life Franchisee Interviews:

BUTTERFLY LIFE: Jeff Marks, Ex-Franchisee

BUTTERFLY LIFE: Carol King, Ex-Franchisee

BUTTERFLY LIFE: Linda McBride, Ex-Franchisee

BUTTERFLY LIFE: Julie Franco, Ex-Franchisee

BUTTERFLY LIFE: Lisle Head, Ex-Franchisee

BUTTERFLY LIFE: Michael Motes, Ex-Franchisee

BUTTERFLY LIFE: Interview With Franchisee Matt Wilson


Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com


  • These stories are sooooo sad and unfortunate, but I think this will start the ball rolling again with others who have the same sad stories about Butterfly Life. The government agencies know about these “legal” scammers but are unwilling to step up until they are publically challenged. As far as I’m concerned, these agencies are just as responsible for ruining so many lives as the franchisors! There should be a way to send these blogs to the CA Department of Corporations, the FTC in Washington, the Governor, Todd Spitzer our Assemblyman in Ca., the US Attorney General and anyone else who has anything to do with our laws that regulate business practices. We need to make it known that if they don’t respond to these cries of outrage, they’ll lose our votes……you say there’s only a few of us……..change starts with one! We have the internet at our disposal ……………let’s put it to good use!

  • No Money Made

    If someone from Butterfly life try to sell you a franchise you better run fast as you can If ou dont you will end up broke , faceing Bankrupcy and possible homeless when your landlord finish sueing you for all the rent that you owe after you signed that contract for that five year lease that you cannot make good . And not to mention bad health from hypertension at the stroke level. email me Do I have some stories to tell. Mark Golab and his crew made a lot of promises that they did not keep They stole my my life from me I had retired I had to go back to work to pay the landlord. .

  • Sunshine

    No Money Made- Know that you are not alone. We all understand that does not make one feel better-nor does it pay the bills. I believe so many of us went into this hoping to make a living and someday be able to retire without worries. Now we have all the burdens, worries, stress, bills, debt, no money, no job and no light at the end of the tunnel. If you have a story to share, we want to hear it. If you do not want to disclose your name, that is ok too. Send Sean your email info and one of the trustee’s for the Butterfly Life Chapter of the AAFD will get in contact with you. The more people that come forward and share their story-the more we hope it will turn up the heat! If you are down, beaten, lonely, depressed…whatever you are feeling…talk to someone. They have taken your money, but the only way they can take control of your life is if YOU let it happen. We are here to talk, share and learn from one another. NEVER GIVE UP.

  • Cynthia,
    Please know that your passing has only turned up our fire.
    We are going to fight the fignt in your honor girl!
    You will always remain within our hearts and in our daily prayers.

  • Confused??

    I would like to send my regards and sympathy to Cynthia Holt’s family. Death is never easy, but when one feels no other choice than to take her own life, it fills the hearts and souls of everyone with much sadness. To her friends, members and co-workers-never forget Cynthia. Always remember her with that “peachy” smile.
    Rest in peace Cynthia Holt. May God have mercy on your troubled soul.

  • I would like to see the story of an area rep. for Butterfly Life on this blog.
    You can remain anonymous – don’t be shy . . .

    Many of you also own or owned clubs – we want to hear your side too.
    You probably have lost more money than others. Maybe Sean can
    create a blog for area reps to tell their story anonymously?!

  • Dennis Cherry

    Anyone serious about a class action lawsuit??

    ANOTHER digruntled (and bankrupt) Franchisee

  • Dennis have you told Sean to give your email address to a trustee?
    That is your first step!

  • Vice Versa

    Dennis Cherry – the class action has already been filed. If you would like more information, please ask Sean to forward your email address to me and I would be happy to contact you. Where is your location?

  • Dennis Cherry – You’ve been silent. Are you still out there? We would all love to know your location and your story. Hope you’ve been able to put your life back together. Did you sign a release with BFL? Remember, that doesn’t stop your freedom of speech. We’re all out here supporting each other.


  • Denise Draime

    We had 4 locations in the Columbia, S.C. area in 2007. All will be closed as of Dec.1,2008. One was even owned by our area rep. I will be closing my doors on Nov. 15th. I opened in Sept. 2007 with the dreams that all of us shared. I now have lost my retirement and savings and health! I have the stress of the 5 year lease hanging over my head and $20,000.00 worth of equipment. Any suggestions??

  • Vice Versa

    Denise – left you a message by phone on Friday and this morning. Please call me. There are many of us who have joined together to put a stop to scammers like the G boys and their employees who are well aware of the situation.

  • perplexed

    How do we get information on the class action?

  • Skip Lowes

    I heard the class action arbitration was stopped because the franchisees didn’t pay their arbitration fees, and that the company has filed motions to dismiss the franchisees’ claims.

  • Skip – Where is your club located? The AAA only requires that payments are made in good faith until full payment is required. After our first payment, we were advised that BFL closed their offices and moved into their “PO BOX” and most likely didn’t have much money left in the corporation. We also heard that the few left at corporate were working out of Tom Gergley’s house. Why waste anymore money? Without going into details, it was actually the AAA that dismissed the arbitration based on their attorneys breach of AAA protocal. There are other avenues being pursued. If you would like more info regarding those avenues, please have Sean put you in contact with me. Stay tuned!

  • Wende

    Well Hello fellow “run over by Butterfly ers” Long story short. We listened, they lied, my mom sent them 30,000.00, then we spent another mandatory 60,000 for equipment, carpet, paint, steps, office..etc So now my moms house is on the block. We were guarenteed things would be wonderful.
    We have been open a little over a year. (Oct 15th 2007) Fortunately I have over 20 years of experience in the fitness industry and have owned 3 other successful gyms non-franchise. Our thought was franchise support would make us foolproof. right
    We have advertised on our own, tried Butterfly direct mail which not only did we pay for, but it was never delivered to the right areas or on the right dates. (all the post office fault of course..) We have live aerobic classes, yoga, pilates, we modified the circuit to fit the needs of our girls. We don’t REQUIRE contracts, or extra money for everything. We offer child care, we have Drs speak on nutrition regularly. We take the girls to the food store to help them learn how to shop.
    We are no longer Butterfly..We are now Ms. Fitt Aerobics and Fitness
    Giving up is not an option or my 64 year old mom is in the street. (or at my house)
    We should have done this on our own from the beginning. Butterfly talked a big game, if they did what they professed the gyms would have made it..they just talked a big game and went silent. I wrote and called Tom dozens of times with NEVER a call back. NEVER. Thier butts should be sued off, we just don’t have the money left pay to be a part of it.
    Our prayers are with all of you out there…
    Our first clue should have been that whole angle they paraded in our faces about Butterfly being women owned and operated..yet the G’s are men..aren’t they?
    We did not sign the release, we have not paid our fee since the mailers went to the wrong place on the wrong day. We have a registered letter sitting at the post office, I’m fairly positive it is from our self serving, manipulating, thieving,lieing area rep. Really, do they expect us to keep paying? I can better afford that darn fee with the Butterfly off my back, since the switch…non-stop traffic.
    No Business Is A Success Which Ruins Men To Make Money
    Karmas a B@TC!

  • I am so happy to hear that I am not the only BFL not paying their royalty fees, like everyone else, I have $175,000.00 invested in my club and am now in the process of filing bankrupcy.
    A few months ago I asked Denny what the royalty fees were for since there is not and has never been the national advertising, her response was for the gpt videos, the conference calls, labor and the support we get…..LOL at that one.
    In Sept. I informed Cathy Galli that the drafting has to stop because there is no money. 2 weeks ago I heard from her that they will start the drafting and that we need to make arrangements for the past 2 months. With that, I responded that I will be closing my doors, filing bankrupcy and (since I have defaulted on my agreement the equipment is theirs), so my landlord wants to know what they will be doing with the equipment. Shge wrote back and said, sorry I am closing, they do not want the equipment and that the franchaise agreement is still in effect…..I told her to stand on line with everyone else that I owe.
    The really sad thing is the dedicated members who love the club, but reality is I can not keep borrowing and charging just to pay the bills. This was a very expensive lesson for me and everyone else who got suckered into this company. I have lowered our rates to $25.00 monthly, no contracts and in due time we will change the name but for now nobody knows who Butterfly Life is so who cares what the name is,,,,my members are here because of me and my partners….wishing u all the best.

  • Wende

    Email me directly please. I think I can help you. I hope I can help you!
    Hope to hear from you soon!

  • Fool Me Once

    Despite what many of you have heard, the Butterfly Life Chapter of the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers is moving forward to pursue justice. If you are interested in joining the fight we would love your support. Don’t let your struggle be in vain. Please contact me directly through Sean on this site, or go to http://www.aafd.org and they will put you in touch with one of the trustees. Good luck to everyone……my heart goes out to you.

  • I used to work for the “management” of BFL.. One day the “so-called” Christian walks in with one of his Hench-women and hands me “my final check” (no severance) saying they were closing the club. A short time later I received propaganda asking if I wanted to take advantage of a new opportunity with them!! Seeing firsthand how they ran Linda Evans Fitness in to the ground was enough for me to RUN. They are horrible businessmen and horrible people. Nothing (except a few friends I’ve retained) about my time spent with LEFC was positive. I only wish I could have warned more people.

    I am sorry for your losses and I hope that you are finding strength and support…

  • Please provide the latest info on pending lawsuits, etc. Lost my franchise a few months ago and it was a nightmare. FYI – for those of you trying to sell your fitness equipment, I liquidated most of my crap on Craig’s List…..just be careful of scammers.

  • Scott Hammel

    Update on the franchisee class action arbitration: The franchisees’ claims are being terminated and dismissed because they failed to pay their allocated share of the arbitration fees. Several motions were pending against the franchisees when the arbitration proceedings were terminated.

    Scott Hammel
    Attorney for Butterfly Fitness, Inc.

  • Slim Buster

    Heard that BFL’s check bounced and the AAA dismissed the case. Also, heard that BFL was sold to the franchise equivalent of ambulance chasers!!!! Should we listen to the sirens?????

  • Is Scott Hammell saying that we failed to come up with our allocated share of the arbitration fees, cause DUH…Butterfly took everything we have, and we are responible for 4 years of the 5 year lease (Butterfly demanded) even though we we’re evicted 2 months ago for delinquent rent…If this kills my mom (ltterally) is there recourse for that?
    Please tell me I misunderstand something here….

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  • Debbie Hogan

    Looking to purchase used Butterfly Life Circuit

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