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]
My Name Is *, I Have Been In Amway For About One Year And The Experience Was Not As Good As I Expect .
I'm Not Saying That Amway Is Some Kind The Cult ,But I WIll Tell You If You Have Weak Mind They Will Brain Wash You .
I Did't Only Lost Lots Valuable Time & God Knows How Much Money, But I Lost My Girlfreind The Only Person I Trust,Some Time I Blame Myself Bring Her Into This Business(Which She Are Still In).She Has Been In Amway For About 1 1/2 Years Now ,But She Is Still Broke And Wasn't Doing Too Good ,But She Is Brain Wash Way Too Deep For Anyone To Talk To Her.
I Just Want People To Know The Reason They Need You Not Because They Want To Make Money,But They Need You Down There In The Circle Keep Buying Some Thing & Buying Tapes To Make Them Money.Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You are obviously a busy man. You have put a lot of work and research into your web site.
What defines an illegal pyramid scheme?
I've heard a few different explanations of what is an illegal scheme, and why AMWAY is/isn't one. I thought AMWAY was no one because the guys at the bottom always get their money, which is sometimes more than the guy(s) who sponsored them. In your site I read that pyramids sell products w/o and end consumer. That would make my whole line of sponsorship, and about 75% of the AMWAY business, illegal. I was under the impression that if a business was this big for this long, it would have received adequate scrutiny to prevent such illegal activity.
If AMWAY is a pyramid scheme, why haven't they been legally charged?
LOL- I love your site! I'm in Excel Telecommunications and we've been saying Amway was a cult for a long time.
I feel there are "real" MLM's out there that you can make money at like Excel because you don't have to constanly buy things every month "NO QUOTAS" I feel so bad for these people who can't afford to even spend the 200 or so dollars a month on all this crap they push It makes me mad really. Well great page and I'm glad you have it on the net.
Nice page. I attended an Amway meeting last night. I didn't even know it was an Amway meeting (they were using the name "Britt Associates") until the main speaker was finished speaking (1.5 hours long with the first 45 minutes vague generalities-I had trouble staying awake and kept looking at my watch). I can see that I'm not the only one who thinks it weird that there were people taking notes and that the whole group resembled a cult. Keep up the good work!
Thank you for taking the time to create your web page. I have linked you up to my site, I hope you get a chance to visit "Brother Dave's House of Love" at www.angelfire.com/ny/brotherdave - feel free to link up to my page!
Let's see, if you don't agree and join my downline I don't want to see you again. So what if you are my brother. You have no motivation. You dress funny. You only need to buy off yourself. You just don't want to better yourself.
Sorry folks God is not Amway, and Amway is not God. God is no respecter of persons. But to be in the buisness you must be. Isn't that trying to put us over God.
I'm not saying that everyone in Amway is this way. And if you want to put in enough time and money you can build a good,legit buisness. It can work. But we've delt with enough to know they have a messed up view of Christianity. You can't call yourself a true christian and put everyone down that doesn't want in the buisness. And I'm sorry to say they do. Think about this. Why do they get so hot when opposed. The buisness should be able to defend itself without confrontation. But that rarely happens. Their way or no way. Sounds like a cult to me. OhYea, we've been there.
There is one inconsistency with the Amway "cult" theory. I know people who have dropped out of distributing Amway and still maintain contact with people within the "cult". They were not disowned from the Amway "family" and buy their favorite products from an outlet run buy people they do not know. I've gone with them to this place and the people have never tried to get my parents back "in". Yes. I did say my parents. They quit Amway because it took too much time when they had five children to raise. They chose us and no one in Amway blamed them. Many people in Amway may lose sight of friends and family, but it may have to do with a personality type more than the company. These people are the ones who work way too much at any job and obsess with it. Many people prioritize work over anything else. Amway is conducive to this type of person because it can make them a fortune. However, to blame Amway rather than the capitalist mindset that exists in every business in America is quite off-base. Amway's largest fault is that it is capitalistic.
Also, it would be wise to list more products in your "consumer findings" page. Show the products that rate well and try not to have your own bias creep in. [Sigh. Once again, ALL the Consumer Reports reviews of Amway products that I know of are included...I didn't pick and choose them.] Your page is informational, but when it shows only the negative, it becomes one-sided and inaccurate. The discerning reader will tend to dismiss much of your valuable criticisms against Amway because you do not have a balanced argument. Acknowledge Amway's strengths and successes and you will find that more people will listen to you as an informed critic rather than a bitter person.
[I wonder if the people who make comments like this also email Amway and berate them for only presenting favorable information on their web site. I also wonder if pigs fly.]
I am currently a Amway distributor and have been since 1991. I was one in the 1980's as well, however - dropped out. I am not an active distributor, because I do not sell the products, or push others to my way of thinking. I like some of the products (not all). I find them extremely expense, and they work just a well as common everyday products you can buy from the store (and much cheaper than Amway). I can even get them the same day, don't have to wait a week, or to be told there out of stock. I have seen and been told about what to say to people, to get them to come to the meetings. There are some good distributors and then not so good, just like there is honest people and not so honest. People will be people, trying to get a head in life. It seem like everyone has been or is a Amway distributor. There is those that have to use and abuse to get ahead, then there is the smart ones that live and learn from those that have to use and abuse. The smart ones knows, nothing is free, and there is no quick money -- unless you happen to win the lottery, then the government gets part of that.
My main reason for writing is because of reading some of the E-Mail from those distributors that are going to retire. My upline, who I might add is heavy into Amway. They are constantly showing the plan, attending the rallies, and they were even calling me to attend the rallies, however gave up (I sure am glad). In the 80's I attended the rallies, came out feeling like a total jerk. Where does these people get there money -- books, and tapes. Constantly wanting distributors to buy books and tapes. Now I've asked myself, how can I retire from Amway if I'm constantly having to buy books and tapes. I am told the books and tapes is to keep me motivated. I am a motivated kind of guy, I don't need books and tapes. If I am constantly required to read these books, I can't be out showing the plan. Listening to speech after speech in my car about Amway, that is pretty boring.
I like this home page of yours, it does show too sides, and for those distributors that wish you didn't do this, well they got a real problem. Oh by the way getting back to my upline, they're still not retired. They both work 8 to 5 jobs -- something wrong with this picture. My wife and I both work also, and WE ARE DEBT FREE, and not because of Amway, but because of smart financial planning.
I have read your lawsuits on AMWAY . I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH AMAY. I have heard alot of good things about AMWAY. So I did a web search and found this page. I hate to say it, but for a buisnes that has been here a long time and as big as others. There is not a whole lot of leagle actions happening with AMWAY. COMPARED to the other big names. But the articals were interesting. I would like to see the outcome of some of these. Also the satanic stuff? People beleive in many things. people should be smart enough to make up there own minds. God gave us a mind they should use it. Please pardon my spelling I type this very fast. I have to keep movin.
Thanks for your time .
As a result of having spent a few days with someone who I'm very fond of who is involved in Amway, I came to the internet to look for some information (articles or books) about Amway. After looking at one or two of the other sites, which seemed as much anger and negative propaganda, I'm very happy to see your list of references collected over a period of time from reputable newspapers and journals, and I fully intend to look research some of them myself.
My friend seems not to have been completely absorbed at this point, although I know that he's been involved for a year at least as are some members of his family (brother, etc.) He has tried to recruit me, without success and has not let that change our relationship, and at this point, it seems that some of what he's gained has been positive, while there are certainly a few other things that I find disturbing.
I have no idea how I will continue to approach my interaction with him, but I want to thank you for some of the tools which will inevitably help me to do so in a more educated way.
I have taken some time to read through not only your comments, but many of the letters sent by others. Although many of them seem to be negative, and some of the "positive" ones quite rude, I was pleased to see that there were some reasonble people like myself that see this business as an outstanding opportunity.
I agree and aknowledge that there are "Amway nuts" out there who are doing unethical and unreasonable things that violate the business compedium, but you it should be remembered that those people are working independently of the Amway corporation. That does not excuse them for their actions, but that does not mean that every Amway distributor behaves the same way.
In New York City there was recently a horrific story about a man who was tortured by police after being arrested. There is a large investigation underway throughout the entire department searching for widespread brutality. Now, do the heinous actions of 4 rouge officers, and the unveiling of many other instances of police brutality mean that all 30,000 New York City Police Officers are animals? Of course not. Yes, there are people that fit into every stereotype ever mentioned, but that does not mean that the entire group is the same.
The Amway corporation, as a company, is quite incredible. The rapid growth they have achieved, not only in the US, but internationally, would be envied by many other corporations. The June, 1997, issue of Success Magazine front cover article spoke of how Zane publishing pursued Amway for 5 years to Market through their Network. There was also a recent article on the front page of the Wall Street Journal that talked about the large number of Physicians starting Amway distributorships. Even 60 minutes was willing to admit it had many preconceived misconceptions about the company before they took a good hard look at them.
Many people seem to complain about "the system" and that everyone looses their shirts buying tapes. Now, I cannot speak for every line of sponsorship, but if I were to purchase every tape reccomended by my upline I would spend less that $750 in a year for my own tapes. And, If I actually apply what is reccomended on those tapes, I will undoubtably start to build a network. My brother is a product of our "education system" and embarks on a four year college career next month at a cost of $32,000 per year for the next four years. At the end of those four years, he may be able to find a job making $28,000 a year or so. Now, I am a firm believer in education, but I just want to keep these "extravagant tool costs" in perspective.
I am also a memeber of the Navy Reserve. While recently helping a Senior Chief determine his retirement pay after 28 years in the program, we calculated his retirement to be $478 per month. Realize that he spent 1 weekend a month, 2 weeks a year (minimum), for 28 years and AT AGE 60, he will begin to receive that money until he dies. If he wants to make sure that his wife will see it after he dies, he must have a portion of it deducted to insure it for her. Now, if you help just one person become a direct distributor, you will receive a minimum monthly bonus of $702. That money will not only go to your spouse upon your death, but will also be paid to your children. Rest assured, the Navy makes it clear where your "priorities need to be", and it's not with your job or sometimes even family. I love my Navy, and my country, but I don't count on them for my financial future. In addition, promotion in the Navy is based on a vacancy driven system. Although I have 4 Navy acheivement medals, numerous other awards, serve in a billet that is 3 paygrades higher than I am currently, and was selected as the Sailor of the year in my occupational community, I cannot be promoted because there are not enough openings. The Navy, as much as I love her and am proud to serve,is unfortunately a pyramid. Amway will never tell me I can't be a Diamond because there aren't any openings.
Last but certainly not least: I saw the Amway opportunity 8 years ago when a close friend of mine got in the business. I also got in but left for the Navy six months later and quit. Over the following 8 years I knew that he and his wife were still in the business, but I never approached them about it and they never again approached me, so I did not take another look at it until a co-worker approached me at my job. Subsiquently my wife an I became distrubitors, have been following "the system" and have been achieving the results that we should be. The other part to this story is that my friend who has been building this business for 9 years now was diagnosed with Cancer 2 months after closing on his house. He was able to take a few weeks off from his job to have some surgery at first, but when a follow-up screening showed that it has spread to some of his lymph glands and he now needed to take a few months off. The "good job" he had fired him because he needed those extra months. If not for the secondary income that he and his wife were producing from their Amway business, he would have lost his home. Today he is healthy (thank god) and is able to stay at home as a full time dad because of the income from his Amway business.
Not everyone that joins Jack Lalane looks like Arnold, not everone that joins Weight Watchers looses weight, and not everyone that becomes an Amway distributor makes money, granted. But, if the effort that each of these endeavors asked you to make is actually applied, you will achieve the desired results. Why do so few people make alot of money in Amway? Because so few people do anything with it.
There are plenty of Nordic-Trac Ski Machines that are sitting in bedrooms across America being used clothes racks, but I don't think that Nordic-Trac should be
slandered for it. Only 1% of all people who join the Navy to fly planes will ever pilot an F-14, but I would never squash someone's dream to do it if that was what they wanted.
Thank you for your attention.
The main problem with Amway is not its concept, but its public perception it creates. Mainly because as you have said people have been ripped off, people have had experience with pushy distributors acting like door to door salesman trying to sell vacuum cleaners.The reason people won't join Amway is not because of its concept but mainly because the structur with Amway allows unscruplious distributers to rip people off, and most of the time uplines do not hear about this until it is too late. By then countless people have been told of their bad experiences. If Amway structured a system where this could be prevented by way of tighter cash flow control not reliant on distributers, maybe they could overcome their problems. In the past one of your top level diamonds who was earning a six figure income at Amway tried to suggest these changes but to no avail, which is another of Amway's problems-when push comes to shove the top brass in Amway really do not give a shit about people starting off in Amway and it shows!
By a very successful networker who has proved you wrong!
Good Evening Sidney! Cool web site, I narrowly avoided an "Am-encounter" with a guy that turned out to an interesting story to the residents of our fair city- Omaha, Nebraska.
One of my clients from work called with the usual Amway hocus-pocus about meeting to discus the potential of a new partnership with a large corporation, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Turns out his upline sponsor was attending the meeting and that I had a previous business identity with him. Needless to say, I turned down the Amway "opportunity", but then I read a piece in the paper about how the sponsors "real" business had closed. The kicker is that the "real" business was financed through local entrepeneur bond of some sort - the kind where the local government finances the operation to provide jobs.
The plant closed, taking about 45 jobs with it! The public funding of this project cost over $250,000 and then, literally overnight, the place was closed. The sponsor, it turns out, had absconded with the money and hasn't been seen since. Another Amway success story I guess!!
The plant was *, located in Millard, Nebraska - a suburb of Omaha. The guy who ran it (also the Amway distributor) burned the town for about $300,000. He'll never make Diamond at that rate - you've got to rip off at least half a million to make Diamond!!
I'm sure you don't remember me but I'm one of the many people you've "deprogrammed" over the years. I stumbled over your web site just a few weeks ago. I've spent enough time web surfing to recognize an exceptionaly well designed and organized web site. Yours is one of the best of I've ever seen.
With regard to the subpoena, I'm amazed it took the ambots so long to go after you in some way. They must *really* hate it when anyone performing even the most perfunctory URL search for amway finds your site along with all the *official* bs.
Best of luck, and keep up the great work !
I have emailed you before but I say again.....keep up the good work!
Hi! A friend of mine told me about your site. Very informative!
Yes... I am one of the many who tried Amway about 17 years ago. I lasted about 6 months and was lucky I only lost $70.00 I couldn't sell a company or products I didn't believe in.
One of my sisters was suckered in also a few years ago. She just dropped out because she couldn't afford the renual fee for her license. She's so badly into debt with everyone in the family after being suckered into going to conventions etc. Always being told, "Don't worry about the cost, It's Tax deductable as a business expence."
I know your message said you will not evaluate other MLM companies. But if you know anyone who knows anything about Melaleuca and can direct me their way, I'd appriciate it.
Thanks for providing legal info so that newly interested people can learn about Amway. I signed on about 3 weeks ago and am curious to read Amways' legal response to the lawsuits published on your website. I am not affiliated with amway corporate, it's just that I have learned with experience that nothing can be sliced so thin that it does not have two sides.
Dear Mr. Schwarts :
Thank GOD someone has the guts the tell the TRUTH about SCAMWAY !! , it is sad how this bunch of decievers are benefiting from so many people . I live in small EL SALVADOR , Central America ; where unfortunately we are being invaded by this SHIT . I am personally tired of receiving phone calls from "friends" 2 ,3 times a week to offer me " a new business" .
It is becoming so bad now, that every other jose is a distribuitor with their own "new business" ; a group of amigos and i are preparing a document to ban SCAMWAY from our country , we will be sending this document to our " Congress" within September 97 . I feel it is Outrageous to allow this SCAM in a country as poor as ours , where 50% plus of the population lives in infrahuman conditions , and on top they'll get ripped off by this SOB's. In regards to the DREAM - I have my own traditional business and it doesn't matter whether i succeed or if i fail , i will always have a clean conscience because i know i am an honest person and don't take advantage of other people . As far as i am concered , AMWAY : TAKE YOUR F..... DREAM AND SHOVE IT .
I really learned the hard way about AMWAY. Like others, I though that this would be the way to make me rich. I was stupid enough to change my w4 so I could have some additional money to "make it work". My fiancee and I got married quick because "we needed to do AMWAY as a team." Now, I got a huge tax bill because there was not enough money taken out of my check and our income lurched us out of our respective tax brackets!!! The only thing good that AMWAY did for me is encourage me to marry my college sweetheart--no divorce yet. . .
I was reading a FAQ about DBS satellite dishes at:
and it appears that Amway has/had some relationship witht the AlphaStar satellite system. It was interesting that the one comment made about AlphaStar is that it is the only DBS system with hard core pornography.
Love your site. Very comprehensive.
Something you might not have known: here in Louisiana, Woody Jenkins, a (Republican) politician who lost a Senate race last year by 5,000 votes, has forced the Senate to investigate the election, election fraud, etc. Mr. Jenkins is *very* high in the Amway pyram- ah, I mean, program.
I'm fairly new to the Internet and was horrified recently when I typed "Amway" into the Alta Vista Search engine and discovered more than 20,000 documents pertaining to Amway the first 20 results having links "www.amway.com" Luckily I was advised to refine my search and added the key word "FACTS" to my search, which thankfully directed me to your excellent site.
I'll try to be brief, I know you must recieve many emails on this subject.
About 4 years ago an uncle of mine was recruited into Amway here in South Wales, UK. Of course, like the majority of people, he's getting nowhere fast with it.
Subsequently, an attempt was made to involve me into this scam through the representative that recruited my Uncle. I had the full works... The smarmy, buiness suited 200+ pointer with his silver badge or what-ever it is they wear, The NOBO board, Wipe clean coloured pens, Motivational Video and an Amway book with pictures of "Bob and Charlene with they're new Rolls Royce"
To be honest, it made me sick to my stomach, but I wasn't strong enough then just to tell him to F*** off and stop wasting my time, so I listened to his propaganda and politely declined.
I am not particularly financially literate and was thus totally disinterested in the alleged "Facts and Figures" especially since the presenter totally evaded my basic question "What's the bottom line - WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO?". As it turned out I had to start from the bottom of a chain, selling sub-standard shite to my Family and Friends and eventally get them to sell it for me.etc etc etc........Believe me, in our close-nit communities in the South Wales Valleys, that sort of thing just does not happen.
Since, then other firends of mine have considered Amway. My question is...Considering my lack of understanding of the "system" (and indeed lack of "want" to understand the system) whats the best way in plain English to disuade someone considering joining Amway? Unfortuately, my usual response; "If you bring any of that crap into my house, you're out on your arse" is neither diplomatic or constructive.
The best angle I would consider is the "Cult" one. But I've read that due to "Friends in Congress" and "Generous Political Donations" Amway seems to be exempt from the type of Federal Investigation one would assume to be a foregone conclusion with other, less buisness-orientated cults.
Thank you for your time in reading my email, I understand that you may not be able to reply directly but I will continue reading your site for ideas and inspiration on this matter.
It was quite interesting to read your site. I like all other fools joined Amway only to please my friend. I paid for the Kit Canadian Dollar 320.00. I opened the KIT quite amazing and got FIRED UP. The ideal way to go broke, get frustrated, get depressed. It is better to be a loser than to cheat your own friends.
Here begins my story:
Opened the KIT got excited.
Read all the compendium and got the rules in mind about amway and how it works.
Started using the product. Products are more or less equal to other brands in the market.
Started checking the Catlog Products nothing is manufactured by Amway.
Started checking the Core Product - partly manufactured by Amway and Partly bought from other makers in France, Germany etc.
Checked the prices of product of Amway manufactured product like ARTISTRY, DETERGENT and Other CONCENTRATED Products. Prices are exhorbitant when compared to other American Manufacturers. The price difference is about 30 - 40% higer than what I can get from HYPER MARKETS.
I got shocked when AMway manufactured products are so costly, there is no point in looking in to the other catlog products that are not manufactured by AMWAY.
Calculated my monthly quota of detergent, toothpaste, cleaning products etc including ladies item like, lipstick, lip pencil, body lotion etc. Found average family of 2+2 require about CDN$ 200 per month. The same amount when shopped from outside is about CDN$ 120.00. Here by joining Amway I Pay CDN$80.00 more what I am getting back by way of performance bonus is CDN 6.00. Incredible. Now if I have to make money I have to approach a friend or a friend's friend and ask him to buy more of Amway prodcuts. This is the way I have to cheat people to pocket my income and they call me winner. I better be honest and decided not to cheat any of my friends by pocketing income from my friend. this is like poker game. Amway is making hell of lot of money and these distributors carried away by their false dream. I feel very sorry for those innocent people in Canada who get trapped in this Pyramid Business.
I quite amway and now my job is to attend many functions, like open meeting, rallies etc and slowly educate people to get out of this cult. As of today I could rescue about 400 people and they are very thankful to me.
I will continue to do so till every one realize about the system.
Your website is Amazing!! It meant a great deal to me to get some inside scoop on this giant scam because I feel I have lost my sister to it. I did not realize that 60 Minutes, Phil Donahue and American Journal had done segments on this. I am very keen on obtaining videos if possible, of this programming.
Any help you can give me on this issue would be greatly appreciated. You are doing a great service by providing the information on your site. Thankyou.
P.S. I have ordered the two recommended books on Mind Control and should have them in a couple of weeks. I am hoping that they will provide me with the necessary insight and approach that might help to bring my Sis back to reality. Thanks again.
Why is it all of the amway people say you are "a dream stealer" if you challenge them on amway? Is that a canned phrase? My daughter and son inlaw have gotten into scamway.......Dave and Carol (not real names) have distanced family and friends. They only hang out w/ other amway people. Any suggestions?
I really like your page, I started investigating Amway because I was invited to a business meeting about "a great opportunity" (I did not know it would be Amway) and was suspicious throughout the lecture. Anyway, I noticed a lot of the legal info on your page are about cases with Amway quite a while back ('83, etc). I was just on the www.amway.com page and they have some kind of problem with an article by Molly Ivins that stated Amway would make a huge tax break off of HR 2014. The page is http://www.amway.com/welcome/news.htm I was wondering what the real story behind this page entry is, I sure don't believe anything on amways page other than the existence of Ms. Ivins letter and claim.
I have been forced lately to look for information related to Amway because of my dear sister: she has been acting as if under complete mind-control: she eats, drinks, sleeps Amway, has no time for anything else, has no social life or any life outside of Amway. Her marriage is in serious trouble. As her well wishers, we have long moved past trying to convince her: logic, reasoning and even threats of dire consequences have had zero effect. Her husband has moved from indifference to despondence. And given the volatility of the situation, potential for tragedy including mortal danger to at least a few Amway folks in Chicago, is unfortunately very real. I would appreciate any pointers to local self-help groups in the Chicago area who can help this family come out of the morass they have landed themselves into.
And thaks for your page. The only way to prevent Amway generated tragedies, financial or more serious, is through better education: your page is a great help.
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