Here are some of the responses I've received to the information on this page. I've left them as is, except for a) removing the names to protect privacy, and b) reformatting them to fit the screen better.
This is a long file...I suggest downloading it to your computer and reading it off-line.
My thanks to everyone who took the time to contribute their opinions.
[NOTE: Some of these messages contain offensive language]
I was just checking your page for the first time in a couplle of months, and I had a few quick questions. I'm in the World Wide group over on the west coast, and have noticed several important differences from WWDB and what you describe. First of all, and most important, World Wide has a Tool Agreement form that is REQUIRED by all distributors to be read and signed before they are allowed to buy ANY tapes, books ar attend major functions. On this form it spends a lot of time talking about how one should watch how much they spend on tools, etc. But I thought you would be most interested in the paragraph that clearly and inarguably lays out that money is made from tapes, books and functions and that Directs and above profit, and even "develop an income" from the tools! This seems a far cry from the hiding it that you insist every group does. Perhaps this is unique to World Wide? Would you know? It seems a bit confusing as it so completely contradicts your statements on your home page, and I have found you to be very up on the facts. Also, it lays out a return policy where ANY tape(unopened or opened) will be bought back at full price within 6 months of purchase and that beyond there unopened material will be bought back at 90%, as long as the tape is still used in the system! This also seems to go against the image of distributors stuck with closets full of unopened and useless tapes. If you ask, I will type the entire Tool Agreement Form and send it to you, but I would ask that if I do you put it somewhere on your homepage where it would be easy to find by other people. Maybe that is a bit to much to ask, but I think it is fair. At least put it at the top of one of your comment pages. Anyhow, PLEASE write me back, as I am very interested in hearing your comments.
Interesting web page series you have here. I have spent many hours reading the information contained therein, and am now ready to respond to your general theme; but first, here is a brief summary of my background:
- I was born and raised in a third world country (moved to the US when I was almost 18), where AMWAY plans an expansion in the near future. Don't quote me, but this may mean that I have seen life from the view of a non-American, and have been able to form a comparative opinion.
- I spent 4 years in the US Navy, working on jet fighters (loved that adventure!). That, above all, taught me how to interact with people of varied interests, creed, backgrounds, etc... It also matured me to some degree.
- I have a college degree - BS Computer Science, UT-Dallas (although I have taken around 180 college credits, in a variety of subjects, just to round my education). I guess that makes me marginally intelligent.
- I have been in an Account Executive position (of one type or another) for about 8 years now, and have made a lot of money in these positions. This may qualify me in some respect, to assess a business opportunity, but I may be off base in that line of thought.
- I am a new AMWAY distributor (opened my sales kit on May 7, 1996). This, in the opinion of many respondents to your forum, classifies me as an "Ambot", or "Amdroid", or "Cultist", or, in so many words, a scammer, a flim-flam artist, a sleazy predator, or something like that.
So, just a few of my thoughts concerning the information service you are providing:
1. So, am I now to assume that I am involved in a cult? Please let me know if I am, and provide me with the name of an organization or individual whom I can contact, so that I may be de-programmed. How marvelously insidious the AMWAY plan is, to have programmed me, and left me completely unknowing, and, most of all, unchanged with respect to my beliefs, thoughts, feelings, etc... How incredibly evil this must be. Also, since I just signed up my daughter as a distributor, I now must have her de-programmed as well. Gee, I didn't even know that I had programmed her. Maybe it was some sort of subliminal message that I was giving her subconsciously. Also, refer to that entity all the people who have endorsed Amway, delivered speeches at their functions, etc ..... You know, people like past US presidents, professional athletes, coaches, etc...
2. I have, in this brief association with AMWAY, listened to about 20 tapes supplied to me by my sponsor. He did tell me that he owned a trunkful of tapes, and I was more than welcome to borrow as many of them as I want. One thing, though - he did mention "Standing Order" and that I should look into getting on it. How deceptively innocent that suggestion was. I had no earthly idea that secretly, my upline (all the way up to the Diamond) was, by my sponsor's action, COERCING me into doing this, under threat of discontinued support. By the way, can you tell me how they were secretly milking my money from me while I was borrowing the tapes? Is there a way you can tell me where this money is being siphoned from, since I only have 2 bank accounts, and none of the money seems to be missing? And, should I tell my sponsor that he was being coerced into buying those tapes? Maybe he should know that he really didn't do it using his own free will for the purpose of providing assistance to his downlines unable to afford them as well as for himself, but really to fatten his upline's pockets.
3. Regarding your reports on the "value" of the AMWAY products themselves. Have you informed the many consumer advocates that AMWAY still conforms to the results derived way back in ...what was that date - 1982? Surely the American public (no - make that the world population) shoud be made aware that AMWAY has been conforming to the very same company standards since the 80's, and not really developing or improving any of them. The world needs to know that the AMWAY technology is stagnant. btw, I must have been hypnotized along the way, because, since using the product, I actually believe the stuff works as advertized! I just wonder why my friends have not yet told me that my clothes were not actually cleaner than I have ever seen them (especially my son's white socks). He told me they are actually whiter now, but that was probably a hypnotizm transferrance, or something.
4. Can you provide me with the name of a really good attorney, so that I can, on behalf of about 2.5 million AMWAY distributors, sue all those companies associated with AMWAY? I mean if their legal departments looked into AMWAY before contracting with them (forgive me if I am naive, but I am under the impression that these Fortune 500 companies would have done that very thing, but hey - what do I know), and found out that AMWAY was and still is a scam, then they are participating in the same fraudulent scheme. Well, with that in mind, I have the right to level a class action suit against the whole structure, on behalf of all the distributors. Good grief - what were those top executives in Coca Cola, Ford, GM, Chrysler, MCI, VISA, Firestone, Goodyear, AVIS, Kinko's, Northwest Airlines, London Fog, L.A. Gear, Lipton, Memorex, Kenwood, Singer, Whirlpool, Nabisco, General Mills, Quaker, Zenith, ... ad mauseum .... thinking??? They also must have been blinded through the use of smoke and mirrors. Perhaps they were also brainwashed, or even part of the same insidious cult!!! And, include in that list the editors of publications such as Time, Newsweek, Fortune, Forbes, and on and on... Oh, did I mention the United Nations? Wait a minute - this is even scarier - how about the Orlando Magic, and, by extension and acceptance, the NBA? For that matter, professional sports in general, for allowing an evil-person led franchise? And, since the news media promotes professional sports, the entire news organization of this planet, as well as their audiences. (btw, I expect some sort of referral fee stemming from the business soon to be gained by the entity in item #1, for this deception seems to be on a world class scale)
Thank you for your time and effort in publishing your forum; it really has helped me quite a bit in deciding whether AMWAY is for me or not. And if you really want to know, ask me the same question in ..... what was that that they say in their plan ..... 2 to 5 years?
Great Website Sydney. Thanks for putting together this expose' of the Britt System, you have saved me a lot of money and heartache. I think that it is interesting to note that if anything in your website were untrue, then the Britt Diamonds and/or Amway Corporation would slap you with a libel lawsuit, but they don't, do they!!! Hmmm, maybe it's because they cannot refute the truth! Or maybe their lawyers are too busy being on the defensive (with both the class action and the music industry lawsuits) to go on the offensive. Instead, what you get are emotionally-charged diatribes from the mindless masses defending their business practices by using cliches and psychobabble that they regurgitate from listening to tape after tape, day after day... I know first hand, I was "in" for over three years and did the same thing. I spewed forth all the clever comebacks and cute one-liners to back up my warped sense of reality. Unfortunately, by plugging into "the System", I also sacrificed my morals and deceived my family, friends and a multitude of prospects into "seeing the plan" and eventually getting on Standing Order Tape. Furthermore, your information on the tools scam was like a cold shower. I realized that the flow of overpriced tools downline was nothing more than the same illegal pyramid from which the distributors try to distance themselves. My sponsor said over and over again that the tools were all passed down the organization at wholesale and no one ever made any money off of them. Now we know the truth, and now I'm outta there. Fortunately, I still have plenty of non-Amway friends since I never "burned my bridges" as the indoctrinators (upline) encourage you to do to those who are either "losers" or "don't have a dream." By the way folks, it's Britt's "dream" that you're financing, so WAKE UP AND SMELL THE 9-TO-5. Now I know that not every distributor "in the system" is bad, but I sincerely believe that most are just not yet privy to all the facts or they've rationalized their actions and accepted the preachings of Bill Britt et.al. as the Gospel (which, by the way, Britt has twisted for his own financial gain).
Anyway, now that I have come to my senses, I would appreciate some advice...I have over 500 Britt System audiotapes from 1979 to 1995 that I would love to sell to anyone interested. Do you know a good forum on which to advertise this?
Thanks. Keep up the good work.
I'll tell you a story:
One day, Peter came to John, and showed him a camel. Peter told John that this camel would sing. John asked Peter to make the camel show what he was capable to do, but Peter said that the camel only did that in the morning, and offered to sell it to John for $2,500.oo, but it would have to be immediately, or the price would be 10 times higher the next day. So, John bought the camel, and the next morning went running to find Peter and said: HEY, YOU LIED TO ME! THE CAMEL DOESN´T SING!!! And Peter replied: Be quiet!!! If the people hears you, you won't be able to sell the camel!
I just remembered this story when I was reading the positive comments about Amway on your page. I wonder if the upline also tells the downline to make positive comments here.
I beleive that if a distributor actually listens to what the upline tells them, not to do it their 'own way', they stand a very good chance of making a decent income, not to mention improving their attitudes. As a distributor for a couple of years I have made a few dollars. That is nothing in comparison to the increased positive attitude i have gained since becoming involved. I do hope you and your friend are satisfied with your web page and the funding it has taken to bash an institution that has produced some of the most respected men and women in my life. I do beleive your money could be better spent finding the truth about the people and the attitudes that have been changed. Again, I say the PEOPLE, because this isn't just about a few people. I'ts about two and a half million people world-wide. All of them trying to do what men and women have been praised for in other businesses, to be successful in thier own businesses. Please feel free to respond, and If you would like to meet some of the most respected and intelligent people in this business, I can put them in front of you.
Hey Sid, If you would have spent the time in your amway business that you did making this page you would be a DIAMOND! YOU idiot!!!!!!
I am currently an Amway Distributor, getting ready to quit. I have been in the business for about one month. I have sponsored one person and had nine people invited to a meeting tonight. I read this page last night and uninvited the nine people and didn't show-up for the meeting. I knew something was wrong when I first heard, "In order to succeed, you must listen to tapes, read every day, and ATTEND ALL FUNCTIONS!" My question was, "why functions?" I never could get an answer that satisfied me. I then began thinking, "will an attempt to brainwash me occur at these functions?" I decided not to attend the function, to which I received ridicule. I was told, "You won't be successful if you don't attend", and "it'll put you six months ahead in your business", to which I answered, "Yeah it'll put me six months ahead expense-wise.". I finally convinced my uplines that I absolutely was not going. I saw no reason to go. I could not see spending that kind of money to hear the same heretics that I'm hearing on tape, say "me you 4-6-2, 5 nights a week, go diamond!". I continued asking, "why won't I be successful if I don't go?" I finally got the answer and it became clear, "If you must duplicate what is taught to be successful, and part of what is taught is to attend all functions, then you won't set the proper example for your downlines if you don't attend, and therefore, you won't succeed.". And that's all there is to it. Yes, you must do this to buy TICKETS, BOOKS, and TAPES! No other reason. To profit the profit sharing directs and above. To be used and abused. To be brainwashed. To be lead around by a ring in your nose!
I am an educated person, an Accountant. I saw an excellent business plan and opportunity when I analyzed this business. But after reading this page and realizing where the real money was being made, I understood that this is an illegal pyramid within the framework of a "legal front pyramid". It's illegal because only those at the upper levels profit and it's at the expense of the frontline distributors who can't see the big picture. They just get the numbers sucked right off the front of their credit cards!
I understand that the organization does provide a crutch for those with mental and emotional problems as were described here. Those folks are hurting and longing for friends and attention. You can get that with Amway, but you'll have to buy your friends, much like you buy love from a prostitute.
The people I have met in Amway have no outside interests, hobbies, or even many non-Amway friends except maybe those close friends that they knew as chidren who have accepted their obscessions. They are just totaly focused on Amway and will sell their wives for it. Yes, it is a CULT!
All I can say is, if you're in it, I hope you tear it up! GO DIAMOND!
It's interesting that the nastiest comments and the nastiest people responding here are those that are currently Amway distributors who are supposedly being filled with positive tapes, books and seminars. After all, "No negative allowed".
If distributors are so secure and hopeful in what they are doing, then why do they seem so threatened by this web site?
Great page. I am the financial minister at my church. I teach people how to become financially free. Not through sales or scams, but through responsibility. MLMs have made their way into the congregation, perhaps because the lingo and ideals are similar (BUT DEFINITELY NOT THE SAME) to Christian values. However, exploitation of others is not acceptable in Christianity. You can call it down-line, helping people, or whatever, but when you charge people for their dreams to line your own pocket, that is exploitation. It has been my experience that the average person has little or no grasp of finances, and certainly not of business. This makes them a prime candidate for an MLM, in which they are fed "word-salad" (a jumble of dribble with no real meaning) and encouraged to become involved in a business deal which they do not usually understand. People must understand that this is a business venture. (My husband is a general contractor. Though on a small scale, he is still required to analyze local economics and trends to be successful.) An individual in the field of sales would not consider working (or buying into) an unprotected territory. That would be ridiculous. Nor would a salesman buy a set of scalpels just so he/she could continue selling medical equipment. (Scalpels are handy, but to require them would be ludicrous, yet this is the same idea with MLMs.) The groups that seem most targeted by MLMs are older, retired folks, and young families. Both groups feel broke, have a bleak financial forecast, and (again) do not have a grasp of business. To the logical thinker, MLMs simply cannot work. A successful MLM would have to be able to defy the laws of supply-and-demand. Mathematically, the "expanding matrix" is limited, (but they said it was unlimited potential!). Yeah right, ever checked out Amway's pyramid (done in multiples of ten) as compared to the population of the planet? Assuming of course that everyone on the planet would join Amway. By the looks of this page, I doubt it. No, MLMs look like pyramids, work like pyramids, and smell distinctly like pyramids. Just because they get away with it doesn't make it legal.
I will close for now, as I've found that I'm waffling. Nighty-night. And, when you've done your MLM circuit and found yourself feeling mentally and financially raped, I hope someone can show you how to achieve what you really want -- financial freedom. (you shouldn't have to go into debt for it!)
God Bless You All
Dear Mr. Schwarz;
From a past close encounter with Amway, I knew the topic would make a good Web site -- and yours is better than what I had in mind. I thank you for it.
I'd like to give you my favorite memory of my days as a hapless young distributor/robot. It was 1982; I was 25 and clueless. My parents moved four years previously from suburban NYC to retire in the less taxed Virginia; my job choice required me to stay and play bachelor (I'd still be living at home if they'd stayed). And one day as paste-up artist for a quaint suburban pennysaver, I was sponsored into Amway. Specifically, a spin-off of the Dexter Yeager-Bill Britt branch. The most cultlike of them all.
The psychological adjustment was mostly done at Thursday night "sessions." Since I was broke (even before I joined, which is why I joined) and between cars, some folks gave me a lift afterwards to the Yonkers station, where my Tarrytown apartment was a quick train ride home.
Yonkers is in some aspects the armpit of otherwise affluent Westchester County, and the train station was smack dab in the middle of the unquestioned armpit of Yonkers. Everyone worried (it was 11pm), but I told them I was fine. However, emerging from the train at Tarrytown, I encountered a seedy looking young man in the shadows, who began to follow me.
"Five dollars," he was offering, flashing me a joint of what he wanted me to think was marijuana. I broke out in a sweat (I had been mugged before), and began to investigate the circumstances. I was not hopping into a car, but walking the few blocks home. Not good. I was dressed in a blue three-piece suit (actually, to call it a suit was to dignify a collection of hand-me-downs roughly the same color, but widely divergent textures and material). Not good. And I was strutting, because I was pumped up from my meeting. Then it hit me. "I see you have an enterprising streak," I said, re-evaluating the situation. "How would you like to make some REAL money?"
Yes, I was attempting to sponsor my mugger.
After going on about the opportunity and the crossroads he and his career faces since his good fortune of having met me (he told me his job required him to commute up here from the Bronx -- think he was hinting?), he thought about it, and finally said, "Okay, three dollars. That's my final offer." He didn't seem to get the point. That's okay, I thought, smiling; few do, at first. My family and friends still don't.
I think I gave him my phone number; I don't remember. We stopped in front of my house, he promised to think about what I'd said, I made some more bragging about how connected to wealth I was, and we shook hands. Suddenly, in a jitterbug-like jerk, he spun me, held me in a chokehold from behind, jabbed a sharp implement into my back (it turned out to be a pencil), and told me to give him my money. I fumbled with my wallet. In it was a lone dollar. (What did you expect? I was in Amway.) He let me keep it, made an unnecessary threat about following him, and disappeared into the darkness.
The next Thursday night, I told my brother and sister distributors about this odd experience, laughing all the way, relating it as an example of true dedication and, in an odd way, invincibility since I'd seen the Amway light. I got finished with the story, and instead of sharing in my good cheer, they had the same look I'd seen on characters in many a science fiction TV show as they fight a valiant war of self-identity against some space parasite, its tendrils firmly implanted in their cerebral cortex, calling all the shots. Nobody could talk. They all regained their composure, and had the meeting. The incident was never discussed again.
I wish I could say that was the beginning of the end, but it was not.
When next you hear from me, I'll tell you what the whole experience means to me in my daily life. It's not all bad memories.
Ain't it great? (It ain't?)
This may not be a typical response to your page, but every golden word is true. AMWAY TALES happened in the summer of 1995:
A lovely representative of AMWAY came by my apartment last summer. Years ago a good friend of mine fell into their clutches and never come back. Once upon a time -- sophmore year 1982 -- my old buddy Mike was a really fun guy. Weıd joke about how everyone else were somehow not as cool as we were. We both had mutual sour grapes about not getting into the right cliques, I suppose. After graduation, we lost touch. Fast forward to 1988, when I see Mike as a janitor at a really small graphic design outfit. Eager to reconnect, we quickly exchanged phone numbers. When he came by, I was expecting a return of the good old days. Laughs, comedic/delusional superiority over the crowd and picking up/annoying women were all I cared about, and Madman Mike was the perfect partner in crime. Or so I thought. Instead, I was in for 30 minutes of sociopathic ranting, thinly disguied as friendly chatter.
Mike: Are you happy with your life right now? Is there something you would like to have, but is financially out of your reach?
Dave: Mike, this is ME your talking to, remember?
Mike: Yeah, but just bear with me. I have to tell you about this wonderful business opportunity that changed my life. This company I work for makes these great products, and it really changed my life around. Remember how lost I was in the past?
Dave: You mean when you were fun?
Needless to say, this did not go over very well. Formerly Madman Mike left and I never saw him again. What struck me hardest was Mikeıs apparent inability to break out of the schtick and tell me whatıs up? He and his organization wanted more than just my time. They wanted access to my very personal realm. Anyone who knows me realizes just how rare a commodity that is. I don't just put-out for ANYONE y'know!
I later found out that AMWAY is a waaay right-wing organization that uses its drones to raise money for a whole political agenda I want nothing to do with. If the foot soldiers were a bunch of morally-bankrupt con artists who wanted to push a lot of shitty products on the unsuspecting public to make a fast buck, I would understand. The organization, however, wants its soldiers to be completely brainwashed, obedient and absolutely unable to think on their own or stray from the company line. They ain't crooks; they be ROBOTS.
Which brings me to tonight. Kathy, a co-worker of my sister, managed to get my phone number. She called last night, wanting to share "a unique business opportunity" with me. Hmmm. Always needing a fast buck myself, I agreed to have her come over tonight. "If it doesnıt work out, she may be a babe" I thought. My darling sister Lisa was unavailable for confirmation on Kathyıs looks.
BING BONG! Kathy is no babe. In fact, I think I have discovered the Anti-Babe. "Strickly business, the"² the Don Juan of Graphics thinks to himself. Good thing, too. After sitting down and refusing to drink anything I offered -- which was nothing but fruit juice or water -- the conversation went as follows:
Kathy: Are you going to be an artist for the rest of your life? Is this something that you enjoy?
Kathy: Are you happy with your life right now? Is there something you would like to have, but is financially out of your reach?
Dave: Listen, you said this was a business proposal. I draw pictures for a living. Is there something specific that I can do for you?
Kathy: I am trying to tell you about the business, but I need to find out a few things about you first.
Dave (beginning to smell a rat with an AMWAY logo tatooed on its ass): You are asking personal questions that are, frankly, none of your business. I draw pictures for a living. Is there something specific that I can do for you?
Kathy (beginning to burst into tears): Iım sorry to get you all nervous.
Dave: No, you are not making me nervous. Youıre annoying me; there is a difference. Hey, if youıre looking for a professional artist, Iım your man. I will listen to you all night. Can you tell me about the organization you are representing?
Kathy (still crying. What a trooper): No, I canıt. Not until I find out a few things about you.
Dave: That ainıt gonna happen.
I tried to address her obviously hurt feelings without spending all night listening to them. She refused my feeble attempts at small talk and left. Total time: 10 minutes. Was I out of line? What would YOU have done in my place? For myself, I wonder if an AMWAY-specific restraining order is possible.]
As you probably guessed, this story itself drew a few reactions. Here they are:
[FROM LISA W:
Rob and I were preparing for a weekend trip to the beach last summer where we would be joined by Rob's college buddy and girlfriend, when Dave (said buddy) left a message saying that he had mailed Rob "a tape about a new business opportunity that Carla (said girlfriend) and I are involved in." Oh, god we thought. As you know, I am from the South where all clandestine right wing organizations THRIVE, so I was on red alert. We did consider that he might be involved in NuSkin (a similar pyramid scheme), but mostly Rob could not reconcile the fact that level-headed Dave had gotten himself mixed up with such an unsavory bunch. "Let's just wait for the tape," he said.
Well, I am sure you can imagine. Circular arguments, ecstatic testimony, "are you satisfied financially?" and nary a mention of the company. "Amway." I said. "I still just canıt believe it." Rob said.
We arrive at the beach Friday night and have a few beers and some laughs, and the Amway specter seemed as distant as last nights bad dream. I excused myself, retired for the evening and left Rob to find out just what the hell was going on.
It was Amway all right, but a new Amway, "not the Amway you always heard about." Apparently, it is a cyberAmway, where you sell products on the 'net. I maintain that you canıt have a kinder, gentler Nazi party, and you canıt have a good Amway. Whatever. Rob shot him down in the gentle manner a very old friend should. Dave then asked him if "Lisa might be interested." "Thereıs only one person I know who hates Amway more than I do," Rob said, "And it's her. I wouldnıt even bring it up." And that was that.
#2 "Jacob" Jacob was a friend of my former roommate when she was in the film industry. Jacob was apparently a kind of superman in that circle, and always had work, particularly from one production company who shall remain nameless (because I can't remember their name). One day a higher-up in the company asked him to come to "a meetin"² with him. A business opportunity, you see. Something better explained at the meeting. Yes, you guessed it -- Amway.
Jacob compared it to the Nuremberg rallies, the crowd of zombies, the charismatic leader, the allegiance to Amway. At the end, everyone rose and sprayed their mouths with breath spray. "We sold it to ourselves," a glassy-eyed member explained. Jacob politely told his "sponsor" thanks, but no thanks.
He suddenly and without explanation stopped getting work from that production company. Completely. Naturally, he called to find out what was up, and was told that Mr. Amway had told everyone what an unreliable person Jacob was. He explained the situation and all was well, but, still ...
Amway is evil and must be destroyed. Do not have any qualms about hurting an Amway representativeıs feelings. They have the group to comfort them. Do whatever you can to get them out of your face, your home and your life if necessary. Iım serious.
The only way to get rid of the AMWAY types is to find out where they live and somehow get them on the visit list for the Jehovahıs Witnesses.
FROM KATHY K:
Does Amway have an e-mail address we can Spam? Youıre real good at that Dave ... Or, possibly, you can offer to do a comic strip for their newsletter, start it off as Broom County (they sell cleaning products, donıt they?)
FROM STEVE DOG:
Sorry to hear about the attempted brainwashing. I guess you just werenıt the type of person they were looking for.
FROM PRINCESS TINY MEAT:
Amway balls would be sparkling clean.
A friend -- weıll call him Chip -- asked my husband and I if we wanted to get in on a great business opportunity. We werenıt too crazy about taking on any new business ventures -- we had our hands full with the farm and teaching. No need for more, but Chip convinced us to go with him to a meeting. At first he didnıt even want to say the word Amway. Seemed like he was almost forbidden or coached not to say this word in his sales talk. We were in the mood to go out and thought a drive to the southern part of the state would be a nice change of pace. We knew we were in for an Amway orientation (or initiation?) meeting at a Holiday Inn. We got a babysitter for the kids, a six pack and hit the road for an evening meeting an hour and a half away. Chip went with us to check it out for himself. We walked into this seminar at the Holiday Inn. We were surprised to see a bunch of middle aged men standing up against the walls with greased hair and polyester suits. Not many ties, but lots of shirts with the top buttons unbuttoned. Redneck country for sure. Dave looked around and said, ³Geez, this looks like some sort of cult² We decided within five minutes this wasnıt anything we wanted to know more about. We left the seminar right in the middle of testimonial speeches about wealth and miracles falling from the sky. Decided to have dinner at a great Indian restaurant. Picked up another six pack for the trip home. Back home by midnight with a pretty good buzz -- thanks to Amway, we had a fun night out.
Those Amway robots are scary. I was once (in high school) tricked into attending an Amway sales pitch by a "friend" who said it was a party. (She turned out to be an unusual girl, by the way.) I also know a woman here in San Antonio who was tricked into attending an Amway seminar, thinking it was an orientation prior to interviewing for a marketing job. When she got mad and confronted her contact, the woman said, "Well, I was afraid you wouldnıt come if you knew it was an Amway pitch." Damn right.
I have never been approached by Amway. At least, never anything that outrageously funny as your encounter. I must look unapproachable or something.
The best I can offer is an incident that happened when I was visiting my friend Sue, in Indiana. She, the resident town atheist, was hosting a weekly meeting with the local Mormons on mission. I got to watch her question one of the elders, and it went like this:
Sue: I hear that you have magic writings.
M: Yes. They are very important to us.
Sue: Is it true they are on your underwear.
M: Yes, some believers do that.
Sue: Really? May I see your underwear?
Luckily that particular gent had nerves of steel, and was not phased by her line of questioning. His little tribe of 20-year old missionaries were so offended they left.
That's all she wrote!
FROM LISA H:
I think an AMWAY-specific restraining order might be difficult to obtain. Christian groups have been using the same tactics as AMWAY for centuries and have faced little resistance. Given the recent political climate -- which has fostered a movement to allow prayer in public schools -- you may soon actually see school kids selling Amway products to raise money for prayer books. I think you might have better success seeking an ANTI-BABE restraining order. In a country which boasts television programs such as "The Bold and the Beautiful" and "Babewatch," youıll likely become an icon, adored and respected by your countrymen for being the leader of the Anti-Babe Movement.
What are the odds of one person being stuck with two, two AMWAYers? Iıve never even heard of the poor unfortunate con artists. Could they be the paranormal offspring spawned from the infamous hidden Cellar of Hell? Perhaps their DNA strain is the same as that of our account executives. That would explain a lot.
Offer her some tissues and get her out of your place.
FROM ALAN W:
Sure, but I have a built-in, self-preservation chip that somehow causes me to destroy friendships that appear headed in that direction. Itıs truly an amazing feature. For instance, I was approached by an Amway representative not too long ago. Mutual friends of that Amway guy and myself have asked if he ever tried to sell me anything, since we had been friends for over 10 years. "No, our friendship dissolved three weeks ago, right after he sold me this unique self-preservation chip." Well, apparently youıve gotten enough outside material to add to your adventure to at least write a Dave Barry type article.
Quite an amusing AMWAY story!! As a liberal arts grad myself, I've gone to quite a few of those "pyramid" type sleazy presentations myself. I think the last one I went to was for a company that sells "knock off" perfumes; itıs up in Pawtucket. They had advertised for managers in the paper and the salary range was about $30k ... so I gave it a shot. I met with the district manager for a screening interview. I was "chosen" to come back for a group interview. I should have known something was askew when he wouldnıt answer any of my questions about the company during the initial interview. I came back for the second interview with about 30 others. At the start of the presentation, I know it was a scam, but the presentation was supposed to be 2 hours long. I had a "real" interview scheduled for later that day. Well, the guy giving the presentation saw the expression on my face about 1/2 hour into it, and singled me out.. He said "what's the matter, are you afraid of hard work?" I just said "no, Iım sorry but I just don't think this is really for me". He told me to get up and leave, which I did.
FROM JULIE A:
I wonder why AMWAY people have such a thing for you. Actually, several times around MIT total strangers have approached me and invited me to their Bible study groups. I think if you look people in the eye and act friendly, youıre asking for trouble with people like that . Why the Hell do they read openness as vulnerability?? My fundamentalist grandparents used to be into AMWAY, so that right-wing connection makes sense.]
Your web page is full of interesting information. I was an Amway distributor in Melbourne, Australia for about 1 year. I didn't have much success as a distributor, and it wasn't through lack of enthusiasm. I ended up quitting because 1. I got sick of my 'upline' forcing the tape of the week, book of the month, seminars, functions etc. on me. 2. I wasn't making ANY money! I was spending WAY more money on the 'essentials' than there was money coming in. They pointed out that if I wanted to succeed in 'the business' that I needed to plug into successful minds, at a cost of course. They were very encouraging, however I didn't realize that they were profiting greatly from their little distribution business on the side. They seemed such great friends, but of course, when you become inactive, they don't want to know you at all. Good friends?
As far as the cult question goes, I have never seen anything quite like it before in my life. I was in awe, but you eventually get swept up in the excitement. I did attend a function featuring Dexter Yager, Bert Gulick etc... I couldn't believe the crowd. They (we) were going absolutely wild when these guys were introduced. To be quite honest, my initial thoughts were that it just like the Nazis saluting to Hitler! In hindsight, I'm sure they (the upline) make a tremendous amount of money from these functions and all the other 'dreaming' stuff. I guess I know why these guys were so excited to see our money, I mean us. I guess I learned some good people skills from this experience, but I lost a lot of good friends in the process.
I can definitely relate to a great deal of people who responded to you. Keep up the good work.
I just finished reading through a lot of your stuff on Amway. A little bit about myself, I'm a college student, who has his own apartment. Therefore, ordering from the Amway catalogs, makes things easy. With classes and everything, I don't have to take a lot of time to wonder from store to store looking for what I want.
I can identify with the other people who have felt 'pushed' by their upline. That is most unfortunate, and should not happen. I find that most people in my upline will talk to me when I talk to them. They are difficult people to get a hold of, but that's expected when building your own business. They don't push me. I go at my speed.
Also, about the tapes, books, and functions. They can be usefull in motivating ones self. The business isn't for everybody, but those who like it and are determined, can make it. My upline has invested a lot of money into me, meaning that if I quite, they've lost more money than I've spent all together. No, that's not the reason why I stay in this business, I stay in because I like it, and I'm determined.
As a note to anyone who has been approached, or is thinking about joining Amway. It is the start of your own business, and building a business is not easy. It does take time and money, but what business doesn't? That and what other business can one build for so little money. How many people will help you build that other business?
Amway may not be for eveybody, but take a look at the general idea. Depending on your distributor, don't be sucked in by the 'rich in 5 years' saying. Look at the overall concept, and decide whether it is for you and if you can do it. And if not, then I wish you luck on any other business ventures, or on your job/career.
Anyone can be successful if they're determined enough...
first, let me commend you on a well organized and - i believe - objective collection of information on the amway business and various distributor organizations. i haven't read all of the information you have, but have read enough to get a feel for the content and the overall tone of the varied responses you've received.
i am an inactive distributor. i started my business in 1992 in the 'britt' organization. i was fairly active in the beginning, attending most of the meetings and generally buying into the 'system'. while a lot of what i saw and heard hit the same nerves that i've read in a lot of other folks comments, i was optimistic and hopeful that i'd found something that would bring about some good financially and in other ways for myself, my family, and others.
i too felt the pressure to buy books and tapes, attend meetings, seminars and rallies, major 'functions', all of them costing money. for a while, i did just that. nobody forced me, but my desire to belong and be accepted often overrode my common sense that was too often being checked at the door. that and the ever present 'dream'. they (being the organization) were quite adept at making you feel pretty low if you weren't doing everything that they teach to be successful in the business.
someone wrote that after their retreat from amway, they found they were depressed and found it difficult to be motivated about just having a 'job'. i felt - and to some degree still feel - that same way, though this particular individual sounded pretty despondent. there is nothing wrong with having a job, and i am fortunate to have a 'good' one (a 'britt' oxy-moron).
another unfortunate byproduct for me was tension between my wife and i. my wife was more skeptical than i from the outset, but initially was reasonably supportive of my (not our) choice to get involved. she even attended meetings with me at first. but she was not enamored with all of the products, and some of the philosophical baggage accompanying the business was too much for her, as it should have been for me. the party line of the 'system' in situations like this is for the 'man' to stand up, assert himself as 'leader' (read dictator) of his family and drive on. men who do not or cannot 'keep their wives in line' are 'wimps' or 'mistakes with zippers' etc. etc.
did i come away with anything positive? i like to think so. i met some nice people whose intentions are good, despite questionable business practices and tactics. some of the tapes and most of the books that i consumed were inspirational, and many of the success principles are tried and true. i still have all of the books, and most of the two or three hundred tapes.
it is important, i believe, to distinguish between the amway corporation and various distributor organizations. the corporation is basically a manufacturer of many products exclusively marketed through its distributor force. the products themselves - my opinion - some are a good value, some are not. i like walmart too - but i would no more limit myself to purchase a product only at walmart than i would any other store. and some of their products aren't all that hot either.
is the amway business a viable and sound business vehicle? it can be, but shouldn't be at the expense of responsible and ethical behavior in distributor organizations. personally, i think amway needs to come down hard on a big 'pin' in their distributor force, and follow it up with some significant steps to enforce adherence to the rules they claim to require in the business literature. will it happen? i doubt it, but the lawsuits referred to in this web site bear watching. i rather suspect they will all be settled quietly with as little publicity as possible to avoid the harsh glare of media scrutiny.
my family and i have moved away from our upline organization due to a job transfer (i'm certain they have used me as an example of someone cruelly uprooted by corporate america - "if only he had his freedom") and in fact i have on several occasions entertained the idea of resuming my amway business - on my own terms.
the arguments against mlm - saturation, etc. etc. - can be applied to any business. any franchise is theoretically capable of saturation. if there was a mcdonalds on every street corner, their owners wouldn't make much money either. if there is any danger of saturation in the amway business, i believe it is in the area of having a large population of people who have come away with a bad experience that forever colors their view of the business.
one suggestion i'd like to make. in posting the commentary that you receive, please include the date received. for interested readers, i am writing this in 6/96.
oh, and one other thing. i'd like to add that those who would defend their choice to pursue the amway business by calling others 'losers' with 'broke mentality' etc. etc. are not doing themselves or any other distributor any service. similarly, i commend the comments i have read by dedicated distributors who chose to reply or offer an opposing view in a dignified manner.
i waste the time reading this page. Make other thing. adios...
HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THE FACT THAT I AM A DISTRIBUTOR FOR AMWAY AND USE ALL THEIR PRODUCTS WHICH ARE BETTER THAN OTHER PRODUCTS ON THE MARKET THAT I HAVE USED FOR YEARS THE PROOF IS IN THE PRODUCT WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ACTUALLY KNOW ABOUT AMWAY??MOST OF THE STUFF YOU READ IS BOGUS AND NULL IF YOU NEVER TRIED THERE PRODUCTS BIG MOUTH DON'T KNOCK THEM!I MAKE 2,000.00 DOLLARS A MONTH MOST OF WHAT I MAKE WHEN I AM SLEEPING DO YOU MAKE MONEY WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING???NOW WHO IS OUT OF THEIR LEAGUE LITTLE BOY.YOU ARE JUST A JEALOUS PERSON WHO IS TO LAZY TO GO OUT THEIR AND MEET NEW PEOPLE AND REALLY GET TO KNOW THEM.AND MAKE A BETTER STYLE OF LIFE FOR YOURSELF.QUIT STEALING OTHER PEOPLES DREAMS BY PUTTING YOUR SHIT ON THE NET KNUCKLEHEAD.
Thanks for maintaining this website. From 1984 to 1987 I was an Amway distributor downline from Ron Puryear and Bill Britt. It was a nightmare! I'm so sorry I wasted 3 years in that corrupt line of sponsorship. Everything I've read in your website and links about the negative side of Amway and the `Black Hats' is true. I know, because I lived it. I've often considered starting a business as an Amway De-programmer! I'm having trouble writing this letter because I have so many negative stories I'd like to share with you. I'll write again soon.
Some folks are very fearful of positive thinking and positive enterprises. Usually they're the ones who are unwilling to work, or who are looking for something for nothing. So they pass on the negative rather than the positive. The glass is half empty. The true cult is composed of those who are brainwashed from birth into thinking negatively and finding what's wrong.
Why would anyone spend so much time on something so unproductive as you have with this web-site? Why don't you start a web-site on the 97% of all small businesses that fail in their first year??!! Oh, yes, and why no one should go into business for themselves??!! I am shocked by the grotesque waste of time here... Sure both topics hot topics, but I know there are better things to be doing with my life than to spend countless hours immersing myself in the middle of the cesspool of controversy.
Good luck & goodbye!
I find your information very interesting.
I looked up negative facts on Amway about two months ago and I found a lot of "believable" things. A lot of things I saw got me worrying and thinking about whether I was doing the right thing or not.
So, I took a few months to think about what I was doing and where I was going and I looked into the business some more. When I did this, I realized several things:
Who cares? There are several lawsuits pending against Micrsoft and McDonald's too. Any disgruntled employee can file a lawsuit.
Now, this is the one that really makes me laugh when I read about it. There are a bunch of happy, optimistic people in one room who see a bright future ahead, they happen to be in business dress and hanging on the speaker's last word. They want to better their life, so they read motivational books and listen to motivational tapes. You call this a cult???? You walk into a church, there are a bunch of happy, optimistic people in one room who are dressed nice and hanging on the preacher's every word. They want to live a better life, so they pray and read. You call this a cult???? You enter an office building, everyone is wearing suits, hanging on the CEO's last word and doing everything he says! You call this a cult???? I think you may be stretching the meaning?
The orginization that I belong to, has a form that is read by all incoming distributors. It mentions that as you move on in the business you begin to receive a "break" on tapes. When you reach higher levels, you will most likely decide to stock more tapes, so they can be available quicker to your downline. Because of this, you will receive a "tape break". A break is a lot different then a "cut". With a break all you're doing is making up for your losses and having money early to begin stocking. What's an extra $300 a month to someone who is netting $10,000? I'm sure it's not something to worry about. I do know that there are other organizations that are plugged into Amway who do get bigger "cuts" on tools. But, you need to be careful about throwing all distributors into the same basket.
This is a business that can make you hundreds, thousands or millions. It just depends on how you build it. It is not a business that is designed for people to "get rich quick". You do have to "work". There are 17 million people who have gotten in and out of Amway. But, that does not make it a bad business. It just makes it a business that 17 million people couldn't handle, grasp or enjoy.
People may be getting into the wrong line of sponsorship and the wrong group that is plugged into Amway. Don't read everything you see on the Internet and take it for "gospel". Anyone can grab a computer and start typing, check it out!
I was moved to look on the net for stuff about Amway this morning. Reason: My 23 year old, sweet but naive (in ways of the world) daughter and her 26 year old boyfriend have apparently been caught up with Amway -- he's a recently new distributor (if that's the title) & she's thinking about it. Three things are striking to me in their discussions: (1) Big time enthusiasm, particularly about how great it is to be around so many "positive" people (and I can't fault that sentiment or viewpoint); (2) An inability to articulate just what Amway IS & how they might make some income from it; (3) A refusal to acknowledge that, at its bottom, they would be "selling" anything, as if it would be a bad think to admit (ie, what's wrong with "selling" something & why would it be considered inappropriate for a "seller" to admit to the fact?
So, since I care for my daughter, I decided I should check into it all a bit in case I learned anything useful to relate to her. I've saved to file many of the things I've found here -- which I will later read with the eyes from an old divorce lawyer (which I am), ie, I KNOW there are always at least 2 sides to every story. I want to hear them both.
But, what I've missed (from the perspective of a person who wouldn't know the difference between Amway & Spamway, is an overview of what Amway IS & how it works. I'm looking for the 'big picture.' Where would I get a synopsis about that -- not so much a pro/con discussion but rather an explanation without much argument one way or the other?
Thanks... I look forward to reading what I've saved ... at a glance, it looks like very worthwhile reading.
To whom it may concern,
I am not writing to you in order to put you down. I just wanted to let you know that you are ruining a lot of lives by telling people to stay away from Amway. And those of you who ran from Amway, you will be sorry... And according to the statistics about 1 out of 1000 people making it to the direct distributor level, it is only because the other 999 people are quitters!!!
If your not willing to work for a dream or something you believe in, I don't think you should be working just to live. It's not worth it. America has been dragged deep into the biggest lie. Our country is not free. Not by any chance. In order to be free, you cannot have shackles around your feet due to financial situations. If you owe money to anyone, you are not free.
If anyone controls you, such as your boss, you are not free.
Thanks for the time,
Work for freedom! Not for enslavement.....
You guys love to dump on free enterprise. Try looking into DOW or walmart or any of the big name companies out there. You guys ever see a real pyramid. It is made up of CEO'S and BOD and dept. heads, and divisions, and supervisors, and managers, and assnt. managers and finally workers like you and i. And who makes the money there it's not me. Thats right it is the big man on top and i work to please him and settle for my income as an employee. Think about it. Amway hasn't done anything wrong to no one. Maybe it is the distributors you know they don't work for amway. you ever walked into a dept. store and some rude teen gives you a hard time, are you gonna sue the company? Or even a fast food place and you find that dirt is on your bun, hell they should be shut down the whole company. Lets destroy every job that that company provided. True the distributors may make mistakes but it is there own fault not amways. And maybe a court case will reset them and that is good but don't destroy everyone eleses dream in the process. This country is based on free enterprise and hard work try not to work against it and work with it. Live in europe for a while and you understand when all the freedoms your use to don't exist. Amway gives to many charities every year and has conserving the enviroment since day one unlike all those other big industries that you support every day. And last, don't be a sheep take charge of your life it is the only one you have.
Feel free to post the e-mail minus the address. After I e-mailed you the sponsor called to see what time he could return tomorrow. When I told him we weren't interested - he said "I'm surprised because you seemed like a couple who wanted to go places, and had motivation." ect. etc. I then asked him if he used the Internet and he should take a look at your site as it had helped me form my decision. He did not have access but became very quiet when I told him of the information. He asked than I not share any of the information I had found with the trainee who was with him - "he did not want her blindsided by this information since she was just starting out". But I plan to give her the information anyway. Again thanks for saving us $150 and probably a lot of heartache. I listen to two of the tapes tonight and the "Oh Harry" tape is a real sicko!! The others really play to materialistic views. Of course the sponsor denied all this and told me what an up and up guy Dexter Yager was. I think they have successfully brainwashed him.
I plan to keep checking with your site and have told my daughter this would make an excellent marketing research paper. Keep up the good work.
Thank you for your page it saved me untold amounts of money and time. I was not sure at first but seeing your page convinced me not to do it. Thanks again for your valuable information and time. I hope other people read it so they won't get fleeced.
I have a feeling that you have never had the opportunity to have someone take the time to show you the "whole" plan of the Amway corporation? Am I right? I would love to go through all the in's and out's of this business with you. Don't you think that Coke, and Chrysler, and AIWA, and many other top-name-brand companies have put just a LITTLE research into this concept? Just a LITTLE!!! Way more than you and I together could ever dream of!!! I'm sorry but if the only thing you can use to knock AMWAY is it's unrestricted use of musicians...musicians? Who cares about them anyway? You hold a very week case to anyone my friend.
Thank you for putting this wonderful information on the Net!!!! This is just the kind of thing that I looked for before we signed on as "Scamway" distributers (I wanted to make sure that we weren't getting involved in something shadey!), but was unable to turn up anything at my local library. That was in November of '93 -- which I think qualifies as the "new" Amway!!
Unfortuneately, we already wasted a lot of time and money. We were in Yaeger's group, under a diamond named Ledbetter (heard anything about that one?) Anyway, we were always assured that it was the "other groups" that had done unethical things in the past. Everything on your page fits right in with everything we experienced. We were even told that the tools were expensive to manufacture and that the upline wasn't making any money on them.
The thing that finally convinced us that this was not the kind of business we wanted to be involved with was hearing the man, himself, Dexter Yeager. This little troll of a man walked on stage and proceded to tell the audience that he was not bigoted because he'd grown up with lots of "jews and blacks." He said that women had to make there men feel like "a winner" so that he could build the business and get them those diamonds and furs. He said that he didn't believe in education and that he kept his kids educated at home, because he could teach them everything that they needed to know. He also said that he had people in his organization who were secret service men at the White House and that they kept him informed about "Bill & Hillary." (What an arogant SOB to think that he is entitled to spy on our president - if it's true, I hope those people lose their jobs). This man is someone who should be telling me how to live my life??? I think not!!!! Anyway, that was enough for us.
Unfortuneately, we still have a few family members involved (my mother actually missed the birth of my baby to attend a seminar/rally.) I will show them all of this info, but of course they have been programed to rejct anything that's "negative." Very sad!!!
I think that you're great. Anyone who is willing to spend their own time to help people be informed has a "real" life!! People who only do things for others when there is something in it for themselves have nothing!!!
I have just spent the last couple of hours reading some of the numerous comments about Amway at your site.
My partner has just recently become involved in a network program here in Australia called Interactive Networking.
For the past 2 weeks he has been speaking to me about what my dreams are and how I can get out of the horrible financial mess that I am in at the moment. For these 2 weeks we spend countless hours discussing this issue and not until I finally told him that I was interested did he mention anything about Amway.
In fact, it was not until I mentioned that I would like to see exactly what we would be selling did he bring out anything to do with this company. He even made a point of hiding the label on the box so that I would't see the Amway symbol !!!
As I small child, my parents were convinced to become distributers and myself and my brother became Amway orphans ... My parents spend up to 5 nights a weeks selling this crap while we got to know our baby sitters very well. Perhaps this is why he was so relutant to tell me...
In the past week, I have seen his upline 5 times and have listened to countless tapes preching on how brillant this product and system is supposed to be.
To give you an example of what I've had to put up with so far, last week I spend 3 hours attending a seminar to listen to a diamond level Amway distributor. I was told taht it wouldn't take more than 1/2 an hour so I agreed. The time seemed like an eternity because 5 days earlier I had fallen off a horse and broken my tailbone. This bone may be small but, boy, does it hurt sitting down for any length of time !!!
This really brought things home and the seriosness of the Amway situation, beacuse my normally very caring partner told me (when I complained of the pain) to "shut up or I will knock you into next week". He was compleatly caught up in the hype.
They tell you to not listen to any one outside of Amway and now I know why ! Its services like you provide that really scare then. They know that the truth is out there !
anyway, i'm going to stick by my partner but I'm going to be a very good actress from now on...
Hi I came apone you WEB sight. I thought Amway was out of bussness. My experace the make crappy stuff why should I go to them when I have alot of fine stores in my area. About 10 years ago my company put out a letter tell us not to buy anything from Amway or companys like them.
Dear Sidney -
I didn't get a chance to read everything that you put out on the net regarding Amway, so I'm unclear and I'm curious about a couple of things. Are you a former distributor? Did you have a bad experience? What motivates you to spend the time creating this site? You obviously put alot of time and effort into it. It's very well done.
Have you solicited or received any positive comments from successful Amway distributors or is it only disgruntled ex-distributors who have something negative to say. Surely there are some ex-distributors who have something positive to say. You are talking about a 6.3 billion dollar company who is the first company outside of Coca-Cola Distributing allowed to distribute Coke. I heard Coke has a few lawyers. Regardless of the money to be made on tools/periperals - logically, would Coke get involved with a trashy company? I'm not convinced that they would.
Hope you'll consider responding to my note. I appreciate your honesty and hard work.
Firstly, let me and my wife thank you - you have probably saved us a lot of time, friends and money. We got into Amway a mere two weeks ago and then I started having second thoughts about who was actually going to provide the millions I was going to make. I found Jackies Amway page, which was really useful, and went from there to your pages.
Currently the guy who recruited me is going through our office recruiting all and sundry. Having had my eyes opened by the wealth of material available on the internet I would like to do something to stop him, and am therefore collecting as much material as possible. Do you know where I can get a copy of the Doctoral thesis you quote in your sources - Organizational Deviance in the Direct Selling Industry: A Case Study of the Amway Corporation by Carol Juth-Gavasso.
That and any other information on how to combat this pervasive force would be greatly appreciated.
I appreciate your sending of that article.
I have participated in several industrial training exercises called "kaizen" which is a Japanese technique for improving manufacturing efficiency. After a half dozen of the training sessions which take 5 days at 18 hours a day several of us concluded much the same thing.
1) With enough "peer" pressure, and very little sleep you lose your ability for rational decision. You will do anything to get "them" out of your face so you can get on with your life.
2) Amongst our friends who have participated in the Amway program, most have disconnected from us when we refused their offers for a better life.
However I have met with an honest Amway distributor, a diamond, who would admit that the Amway program was not for everybody and there were some bad apples in the bunch.
In defense of the kaizen training, it was avery effective program that I learned from and would participate in again. The background philosophy was explained at the last session I attended where the instructors allowed that the quickest way them to get us to accept their lessons was unremitting pressure, just like Amway.
Just a note to tell you my story.
Some background: I was a corporate executive earning well over a Diamonds salary, until Amway. They sucked me in and this is the rest;
I heard about what goes on at these so called "weekends" and I tell you it is FAR worse than anything on this page to date. I think most of the writers are still under the influence of "brainwashing" or the Amway physcosis. After finishing a week of grueling de-programming (thanks to my families love) I can now tell the REAL story.
Being introduced to a "business opportunity", that would give me the opportunity to help my fellow man, I went to several functions and they seemed quite harmless enough. Sure, there was the cheering and such but nothing worse than a rock concert. Until that fateful evening. We arrived at the "Weekend" as useual but this time something was different. The "Open" plan went as normally but then there was the "meeting after the meeting". Only ELC and above were invited and what I saw shocked me to the point of near insanity. It started with an "in your face" type motivational talk by one of the Emeralds then it went south after that. A frenzy took over the crowd and before I knew it women were taking off their clothes and someone had brought in a chicken. Yes a chicken. A knife came out of nowhere and all of a sudden blood was spewing over the entire crowd. What ensued after that was incredible. The chicken was "bleed" and we were all forced to drink its blood from the cup of "life". If we did not, well, lets just say a few fingers were lost that night. Later, I was told that actually, small babies were prefered over chickens but that was the best they could come up with that night. Ever wonder why Amway distributors like to have so many babies? Now the TRUTH is out.
You thought Jim Jones was bad. You thought Scientology was a cult. Nothing compares to Amway.
Actually, none of the above has ever happened but I did want to give you a perspective of some of the thoughts that cross peoples minds about Amway when they read some of the dissertations you print.
Get a grip folks. Quite blaming everybody and everything for your failures. Take control over your life and take responsibility for your actions and the consequences of them. Amway is not and I repeat NOT for everybody. If pursued in the proper spirit and with some notion of a business sense Amway can work. Conversley, if taken as a "buyers club" and a game it can take you for a ride.
As far as tapes, books, functions, and Emerald's and above getting a "kick back". So what. Has anyone asked what they do with that money. Contrary to popular belief not all of them use it to stash away in a Swiss bank account or buy Jets. Some of them actually set up Foundations, Scholarship Funds, and research chrities for specific deseases. As with any big or potentially big business though it is easiest to focus on the negative. That's what creates controversy, makes for news, and sells books isn't after all, Sid.?
By the way, will I get any royalties if you include any of this passage in your book?
HI FROM AUSTRALIA!
INTERESTING READING THIS CLASS ACTION.
WE WERE INVOLVED IN THE YAGER SYSTEM IN AUSTRALIA FOR A PERIOD OF 4 1/2 YEARS. WE REACHED DIRECT LEVEL IN 14THS AND QUALIFIED THROUGH UNTIL END OF FISCAL YEAR AUGUST 1995. AFTER 4 YEARS OF MAKING NO MONEY AFTER EXPENSES WE SOLD OFF OUR BUSINESS TO OUR UPLINE.
WE BROKE 3 SEPARATE SILVER LEGS AND ONE DIRECT LEG. HOWEVER WE DID NOT MAKE ANY MONEY AFTER 'NORMAL' EXPENSES OF ATTENDING FUNCTIONS DRAWING PLANS AND TRAVELLING THROUGHOUT AUSTRALIA TO 'BUILD THE BUSINESS'. IT TOOK ME FOUR YEARS TO WORK OUT THE INCOME PRODUCED BY DIAMONDS AND ABOVE FROM THE TAPES, BOOKS AND FUNCTIONS SOLD TO DISTRIBUTORS. WE WERE A PARTY TO THE'BREAK' ON TAPES AND WAS EXPLAINED THAT THIS WAS TO COVER OUR EXPENSES INCURRED IN DISTRIBUTING THE MATERIAL. THE SMALL BREAK NEVER COVERED OUR OWN EXPENSES. I FINALLY DID SOME MATHS AND WORKED OUT WHO WAS MAKING ALL THE MONEY.
INTERESTING OUR TAPE TURNOVER EACH FINANCIAL YEAR WAS ALMOST THE SAME AS OUR AMWAY PRODUCT TURNOVER. I FINALLY WORKED OUT SOMEONE WAS MAKING A FORTUNE OUT OF THE TAPES, FUNCTIONS AND IT WAS NEVER GOING TO BE US.
OBVIOUSLY I HAVE BUSINESS RECORDS TO BACK UP WHAT I SAY.
After reading these articles, It seems to me that this is a bitter person who wants to blame everyone else for thier failures. I honestly have been involved with this business for over four years (yes I am making money), and not once have I been pressured into Buying tapes or Attending a Rally. I have never seen any of these "unethical" behaviors that you quote! I'm sorry you feel this way, but you must have revenge or vengence in your soul.
Unfourtunatley your probably taking an opportunity away from somone that could change thier life in the most positive way.
I have had no trouble with anyone pushing me to purchase motivational material, products, etc. I can tell people "no" if asked to do something I don't want to do. Maybe my upline just isn't pushy like some of the ones you've written about. I can't understand why someone would bother paying money for a web page to tell others bad news about a company they aren't even involved with. People get caught up in greed, they see others making money and want the same. However, if you recognize that about yourself and others you can join a company and use the products for good. I'm not using Amway to build a fortune, I like the convenience of purchasing from catalogs and not having to go to a store. I think any company as large as Amway is going to have lawsuits and critics in the 90's.
What negative experience have you had that sours you on amway?
Having just spent some time reading your web pages, I felt it necessary to voice my view on all this. I have found that the best and worst things about it, is that you own your own business. Some people do misrepresent the truth and others are honest. It takes a few bad apples to spoil the bunch. Now, I'm not saying it's a perfect business, by any means. It does have its share of downfalls. However, as part of the Miller group, I have not seen the aspects of cultism or manipulation. Yes, the "system" taught me to be genuinely interested in all people, in or out of Amway. But, I do believe that this is absolutely the best business opportunity and self development course around. Our attitude is, do you want to participate? No? Great. Yes? Even better. Refund your money? OK. Do you have a problem? Come to me and let's discuss it like mature adults.
Yes, I have changed radically since getting in the business. I don't drink as much, I am happier, and am more successful at my job. When I retire, they will say to themselves, "Thanks for working here, we'll miss you."
Invariably, when a business such as Amway involves so many people, we humans tend to screw up from time to time and is it so bad to try to change that? To make it a better world? Let's get the courage to take responsibility for our own lives and live life to its fullest.
I have recently attended several meetings (recruitment) and haven't "started my own business" nor have I spent any money!
I could sense from the first meeting that they were not telling us everything we should know. After, the second and third meeting, thanks to their "educational system", that the "tools" and meetings were going to be costly.
Thanks to "Amway: The Untold Story" I have decided against joining their ranks.
THESE PEOPLE ARE STRANGE!! It is sort of a dominion with slaves and masters. I even witnessed the speaker of these meetings not doing ANYTHING for himself i.e. - someone else phoned his wife back at their hotel and then handed him the phone, same person took his suit coat from him and then bowed and mumbled something as if it was an honor, and finally, same person again, even pulled the cuff of the man's pants out of the back of his shoe!
Granted these things could have been done out of pure respect - I tend to disagree and felt real uncomfortable being around these bizarre activities.
Again, thanks for all of the info that your website has provided me. I will definitely share it with others!
Is the only way to lure people into buying the motivational materials or can it be done by legitimately growing your group and thereby your volume sales?
I have no interest in duping people into attending expensive seminars and buying expensive 'tools' yet I am interested in developing my own business. Have I missed the point of this opportunity or more accurately did I see the point when I came away from my seminar today believing that 'the system' was more important than the product and ensuring your down line was plugged into the system was the key to success. Something was awry at the IBS meeting I attended today and I think you may have confirmed by doubts. I am just disappointed as I thought this might be a way to help achieve the things I desire. I'm not afraid of hard work and have been working hard to survive to prove it. Please respond and tell me if hard work pays dividends in this business or is it truly a movitational products scam?
Its really a shame that you have nothing better to do than to bash an organization that has done a lot of good things for people. Just like any business; however, there are people that cross boundries of good taste, good morals and yes, even perform illegal acts. Possibly the greatest difference between Amway and "other businesses" is that the other businesses usually reward the less than proper individuals. I won't deny that Amway has had their share of problems in the past - but what successful businesses have not experienced difficulties?
I haven't researched your exposure to Amway, but have to wonder how much research you have done, or are you merely a gossip.
So that you know, I am not an active Amway distributor, but I have used many of their high quality products for more thn five years. Reply if you'd like...
To make it short and sweet.. My tax attorney asked me this past year as we were preparing the papers for our Income tax returns " when do you suppose you are going to make some money in Amway... We can not continue just showing a loss. We were even incorporated to use the corporate structure to pass along Sub-S losses in the business's to ourselves personally. We stood an IRS audit "with no change" 13 hrs @ $135/hr because the Revenue Officer admitted to my Tax Attorney, That she was sent to examine exclusively MLM distributors ie:(Amway, Shaklee, Nuskin, Avon, ect) We kept excellent records, a 7lb book of distributor orders, 7 lb book containing the downline bonus checks we actually paid out. Deatails of each Seminar, Function, tool expenses, trip expenses and mileage to meetings and pick/up's. All maintained on Quicken for arganiztional purposes. We may have made over and above our annual expenses about 500-800 total. When I was shown the * business, I flipped out because all of the things that were negative about Amway and most of the other businesses were eliminated.. I truly believe I learned the hard way and probably the most expensive way about building an in home business.
The other thing i have found is that most of the companies out there leave dead and wounded along the way to complain about the busness they were in.. If the in home business maintains a low public profile and supplies good products at a reasonable price and every one makes some money. Then the company will prosper, the customers will prosper, and there will be no Horror stories to tell.
Thanks for the reply to my e-mail.. I will keep checking in from time to time
get a life buddy