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]
Hi, I'm from Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Recently I have been introduced to Amway Network21. I have yet to attent the open plan & was quite excited about the opportunity to this business. The dream, monentary gain, free & easy thing. I come across your homepage after wanted to search more infos about Amway on the internet.
I must say I'm quite disturbed & after reading some articles posted in your hompage in regards to law suits & comments by some dd & emerald. Please advice me on this. I know every well known & established company might have problem with their employees, competitors. And some just want to bad-mouth or destroy the reputation of the company. Could this just be an individual experience & not everyone feeling this? I'm confused I must admit & I'm not sure I want to join this Amway company after knowing there were some hinder agendas.
Is it that terrible or what would you advice for me, to join or never? I would appreciate your honest opinion on this. Thanks!
I have been reading some of the information you have on your site. I don't know when I will finish all of it since there is so much to read. I recently went to a seminar and was sucked in. There were no tapes or books being sold, but I did have to pay to get in. After the seminar the DD ( I think that's his rank in the company) gave me a packet with two tapes, a book, some pamplets on some of the Amway products and a sheet to put names of all the people I can fit. I am very confused by all of this. I want to go along and continue, but after reading the tools scam and other articles in your site I'm not sure what I should do. I haven't purchased the kit yet (which costs over $150 now), but I want to. Is it all a scam or just certain groups. Do you have any questions I could ask the sponsor that would help me make my decision? I know this may seem odd, and you get a lot of mail, but I would appreciate some help. Thank you.
Thanks for the info I was approched by a friend and was considering going to a meeting but thanks to your page and the internet (I researched amway before I went to the meeting)you saved me alot of time thanks
Dear Sir I read thru all of the information that you provided and i laughed myself silly due to youre stupidity as i was reading i noticed alot of people were saying sorry to see youre web page go and i have to ask why, Also are you still getting paid from amway for all the people in youre group as iam sure not all of them quit or was asked to leave as i may have missed this while reading due to the tears in my eyes from laughing at you and furthermore due you really expect anyone to believe that you would give up making a hell of alot of money just based upon integrety and anyone that did is a damn fool in my eyes hell docters lawyers and even the president lie to people so there is more to the story its just that you have not reported it all and as with any argument the only right side is the one that the person believes so if you really have integrety and you really are a man then stand up and report the truth as to where and what you did wrong. I do wish you the best of luck and hopefully you can start another business
I was playing on the Internet and out of curiosity, I tried to find the AUS site, although I knew it had been shutdown for quite some time. To my surprise, I found that you have re-activated it for which I commend you, because I believed that prior to being shutdown it helped many people caught in the ScAmway trap. To my delight, I read your spoof on Bill Clinton's decision to join the faithful. I laughed out loud! Too funny! (And I say that as a registered democrat) You have a marvelous sense of humor. Neither Jay Leno nor David Letterman could have done better.
I wish my friends who became true Ambots about 3-4 years ago could appreciate it, but since I never hear from them anymore, I'll never know. After we purchased some overpriced Amway crap (what a rip-off) and listened to the spiel to get them off our backs, and asked what I surmise were too many questions, my husband and I no longer see or hear from them. I do wonder how they are doing. Last contact was close to 2 years ago, when they stopped by on their way to yet another ScAmway convention or whatever they are called. They were so excited since that event was hoped to spur them onto untold success. Meanwhile, their kids were getting into trouble with the law and drugs. (By the way, they left these same teenagers at home alone while they went to their convention.) For my part, I keep hoping that the Attorneys General of a few states will find the courage to take ScAmway on and expose them for what I truly believe they are.
In the meantime, congratulations on re-activating your site, and thank you for a great belly laugh!
WARNING!!! This is "The Untold
Story" POSITIVE e-mail! Greetings from an
Amway distributor from Slovakia! :-)(I'm writing in Outlook and hope you
won't have any problems reading this.)
Wanna thank you sooooooooo very much for your excellent research on this whole networking problem. I am one of those who failed to recognize the serious threat of the "system". Right now I'm stuck with 50 tapes worth $4 each (yeah, it's less than in the US, but here $200 means a lotta bread).
I browsed through your site and was astonished. What a great deal of effort and persistence it must have taken to build it! Thanks again. Great job.
Now, I'd like to ask you a couple of IMPORTANT questions. Since I'm in
the Setzer line of sponsorship, I would appreciate ANY comments
or research on this subject (I mean, Setzer himself, his line of sponsorship,...),
because I was unlucky to find anything about him on your site. :-(
* I'm interested in this, because of a statement Rick Setzer once made on a tape. He stated that "...do you believe that we have invested more in tools that we actually got back?" To demonstrate my stupidity I must say that I DID BELIEVE!!! Damn fuck, ain't I? But so is he. :-( So please advise any website, any e-mail address, just ANYTHING you're aware of. I tried the AltaVista search, but it didn't work very well.
* Now, I discovered a strange joy of sharing my "business experience" with others. Therefore I would be interested to know if there is any way of doing this on the Internet (I'm not quite familiar with IRC or that kind of stuff). Could you, please, leave my e-mail address visible, so that people can write to me?
* You say there's a brand new Setzer lawsuit on your site. But where is it? I really couldn't find any... Well, that's it for now. My eyes are sore, 'cause my screen works in 640x480 32bit at damn 60Hz!!! :-) Hope I didn't make any major mistakes in the text, 'cause I love English, but one never knows... :-) Wishing you only the BEST in life.
Take care,Tom <email@example.com>
I just happened to browse into your website. I realize that there are many marketing groups affiliated with Amway Corporation that make a bad name for those people that are sincere.
I have been a distributor for about 4 years. I'm happy to say that we've been successful. However, it has not been through the sales of tools (ie;tapes, books, etc.). It has been through honest hard effort, and the use of the products (consumables). I just wish that more people would have had the opportunity to work with a good upline that understands the way to make a real business grow.
Thanks for your diligence in fighting for the freedom of speech. I am an Amway Distributor who has been thoroughly "brainwashed" by the system and by my trust in my upline who also happen to be "friends". In the process I have racked up more debt than I ever imagined possible and was blaming myself. It was quite a relief to discover the negative web sites and begin to realize that I was involved in a "cult" and did not even realize it. I would like to see the information that Amway forced you to remove through their intimidation.
Thankyou very much for your courage and I want you to know you have helped me a lot.
This is probably a waste of time as you no doubt have your mind made up, but I'll give you a few facts (even though I doubt you're looking for facts) on the off chance that your are sincere albeit misguided in your vendetta.
Your vendetta makes one ask "maybe you ought to get a life". It's hard to believe that one of the "bad apples" (which any business has) could have damaged you so much as to make all this worthwhile. Maybe what started out as vengeance has now become very profitable for you.
I have been in Amway for 25 years, have reached a fairly high level of success, have seen MANY people benefit, and owe my freedom, home, travel, life-style, the college education of my kids, etc. to the business. I don't appreciate your attempt, however futile, to take food out of the mouths of the people who depend on me - especially when you don't even have your facts straight-
SOME examples: 1. distributors DON'T have to sign the support materials agreement- I didn't nor do I send any in to Amway; 2. Amway's rules of conducting the business are no more stringent and probably less than any franchise. Your attempt to make the web rules, store selling rules etc. seem like prohibiting freedom are transparent distortions to prove whatever point you're trying to prove. Even the FTC and courts have upheld these as being necessary to keep the business an equal opportunity for each person, regardless of their wealth or connections, etc. 3. I have definitely NOT made my money from"tools". We use them and realize how important they are for people's personal growth and know that it creates a paradoxical situation in that even though people are not likely to build a business without "tapes books and functions" they won't promote them effectively without some profit involved. 4. The Canadian "fraud" thing, if you had bothered to look at the whole story, was a farce. Rather than Amway cheating the Canadian government, it was an example of naivete on the part of their "Peter principal" lawyers who took an informal agreement with customs officials on the method of determining a value for the products for import as "official". The whole suit was politically motivated and you no doubt know that.
These are just a few examples of your disregard or misrepresentation of the facts, but I doubt you're really looking for the facts.
I have always found Amway to try to take the high road and give me a square deal. I too, as I'm convinced Amway does, get frustrated at the scoundrels that find their way into the business. They tend to weed themselves out, but I've always seen Amway try to do the right thing in dealing with them, even though the "name calling" and legal deliberations get rough. Regardless, as corporations go they are saints.
What is really sad is that you are stealing opportunity from many people who look at your "stuff" and believe it or even just doubt enough to not really give the effort it takes. That's sad.
One day when your life is through you'll be able to look back on your revenge and the money you made from P&G and whoever else is, has or will pay you and then what? Hopefully you'll see also the many souls who could have been helped by this business, but for your negative, one-sided, "half-vast " facts.
Hello, I am writing to you from Poland. I read a story about you in one of our papers and I really appreciate what you are doing. In Poland we have a case similar to yours. One of our film directors made a documentary about Amway in Poland. It has been made with Amway permission. As far as I know it shows Amway as a sociological phenomenon. It shows their meetings, distributors with enthusiasm tell about the firm and their work and so on (in fact I have not seen it). So, it doesn't intend to be any warning or to keep people away from MLM. The case of film is now being judged by the court. Amway demands all the copies to be destroyed. Till the end of the trial the film cannot be distributed and shown to the public. There is now a public discussion in media about the case. Many intellectuals have signed a letters in defence of freedom of speech, but as you know well it cannot help much. By the way, I am really interested to read your book. I heard there were some sites where I can find it, but I have not found any. Could you be any help please.
I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to your web-site! (SARCASTIC TONE) I guess since your a multi, multi-millionaire, you can go out and help a lot of every day working people create their own successful businesses. I'm sure there are some bad Amway distributors, just like there are bad employees in your company. What has never been pointed out is all the good that Amway corporation does. Far more than you do. Many of the diamonds have several missions and food programs for 3'rd world countries and starving children. These diamonds donate, collectively more to help others than the entire red cross of America does. I'm sure you donate a little here and there to make yourself look good. But what could I expect from a man that bashes his biggest competitors by creating a negative web-site. You had better get to working on an alternative distribution system for your products, and quit wasting your time bashing us. Or do you pay a man that you've brainwashed to tend to your dirty little sight. My organization is honest, hard working, and proud to be INDEPENDENT Distributors. The Amway corporation simply supplies us with products. If P&G were the supplier, you'd have no problem with an independent distributor force moving billions of dollars worth of products for P&G. Lets be honest, posting such a web-site about one of your competitors is as close to slander that you can get without speaking!!!!! You're hurting honest, hard working people, that do not do the things that your web-site says we do! Not that you care, your obviously a very vindictive person! This thing may go on forever, but when judgement day comes, the Lord God Almighty is who you'll answer to, and there will be no lying to Him!! Besides, if you want to give the facts, let give the facts.
Amway recorded global sales of $7 billion for the fiscal year ending Aug 31.'97. A 3% increase from the previous year!
Global sales have triples since 1990!! Not good for P&G!!!!!!!
Amway only has 14,000 employees around the world!! I'll bet you wish you could have that small # of employees and move the volume we do!!
Independent Distributors , not employed by Amway Corp, make up the Amway business. If you want to attack individuals or independent distributors for something that they, or their group has done wrong, then do it. I could say 'I know a guy that works for P&G, he's a real butt-head, I guess that means the entire P&G corporation is made up of butt-heads, including the leaders!' That sounds ridiculous! Well that's what your doing!! I'm glad we were able to shut you down! Congradulations Rich and Jay. Sometimes the good guys do win!!!!!
I should know by now that when there is money involved people get greedy; and the more there is the more that flows uphill. Everything but this commodity rolls downhill, and we have to pay to get out from under it!
I just wanted to thank you for getting out a possible explaination of where all this money comes from and taking the time to point me an accountant (I definetly should have known better!)in the right direction. It is unbelieveable when you begin to quantify a few bucks here and there how much the total comes to.
It makes me want to cry the premise of the closer relationship between the consumer and the manufacturer really could work too bad.
You saved me alot of time on that hamster's wheel as my like to be sponsor tried to tell me I would never get off chasing what he called temporary income not residual income and doing something once and getting paid forever. Nice fantasy world, we'll just see where we both are in a year or two when according to his plan he will be making enough at this to leave his present job. I'd like to see who has more quality time by the year 2000!
How can some of these people sleep at night knowing what a mess they are making of others lives. I could not go out and decieve people for a living however I also don't think I could make money selling water in the desert, I'd just give it away! Oh well, I will not compromise my values for any amount of money.
Thanks again to you and all related sites for lighting my way. Knowledge is power!
I was just wondering how much time and effort did you put into your site? It sure seems like a lot.
Dear Mr.Schwartz, I want to thank you for helping to make our decision to quit the business.You might be interested to know that it was one of our upline Diamonds that told us about you.We were at our Dream weekend in January(16-17-18),at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.Our upline Diamond * came on stage and asked how many people knew the name Sidney Schwartz? Only two or three people raised their hands.He then went on to say that you were a guy on the internet that was putting a lot of negative stuff about Amway.He then stated that because Amway was so dedicated to the belief of free speech,and had such integrity that they(the amway corp.)put a link on their own home page to your web page.Well, when i finally got time to check it out for myself i was amazed to find out that not only did they not put on a link to your site,they had actually shut you down.I did however find your info on other sites.We had an upline pearl who was a Deacon in a church and an upline Gold Direct that was a trustee in a church,so we believed that they would not lie to us.Boy were we naive,after six years and more than twenty thousand dollars we finally woke up to the fact that we only had a twenty five hundred pin(that we mostly bought).Our actual P.V. for the month of febuary was about nine P.V.Even with about thirty people in our group.Had enough,thanks for the info. burnt out in mich.
P.S. anybody need a set of Amway Queen Cookeware?still new in the box.HA.HA.Ha....
Was involved with amway in the early eighties, wish we had the net back then would've saved me thousands of dollars. Your site now mirrored, brought back a lot of memories I just as soon as forget, showed how gullible someone can be.
Everything you said happened to me. Now I am a negative, dream stealing loser who now has money and friends again.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
Armed with printouts of your Amway web-page info (and several others' pages also), I have slain the walking talking brainwashed amway robot that used to be my husband, and my sane logical husband is back! You helped save my marriage.
I greatly enjoyed reading your page. About the prayer thing. I am Irish Catholic. My family for business reasons always lived in Jewish sections of Chicago. I attended public high school. The High School I attended was 98% Jewish. There was a special division for goyum, and the prayers that were said always reflected the majority Jewish faith and culture in the school. I feel that this experience helped me a great deal.
I beleive the reason for the Christian prayers is that many Amway people are from small Protestant churches. These people are programmed to believe nonsense via the way their faith is sold to them. I think that it is easier to network through this kind of church than a major old line church. This said, I think Amway would be smart to include Jewish prayers if Jewish people are involved in a major way in the organization.
Because I grew up as a minority Christian in a majority Jewish area, I had been discriminated against when young. For instance, I had a very good friend whose parents did not want me in their house after they found out I was not Jewish. On the other hand the best and kindess teachers I had in both high school and college were Jewish. People are people.
Again, your site is well written. And a joy to read.
My brother is in Amway. Ok, I maybe 15 years old but I understand he spends every penny he gets for some cassettes or video tapes, or even books on how being "The person you always wanted to be" or how to "Achieve your ultimate goals". He is totally BRAINWASHED with it and when we joke like saying "Duh, you're so stupid" He acts like "Oh you shouldnt say that. Only one time you could hurt somebody's feelings." The heck with there feelings!!! It's a joke! He's bugging me a LOT. My father wants to kick him outta the house (since he's 21..) and I wish he would. He'd realize how real life is, and that he won't make zillions of $ by getting people in his corporation. Thanx for reading this, it had to come out. love ya
Hi -- I read your whole page, and I'm stunned. I'm a distributor of seven years or so (I don't doubt your info), and haven't done much with "the business" because of it didn't feel "quite right" for some reason.
Those reasons, I later admitted, were: 1. I'm gay, and I can't imagine ever being allowed to cross the stage with my significant other, whomever he may be one day; 2. I wanted to be in a BUSINESS, not a pseudo-religious-political movement.
Your information confirmed what I had been sensing all these years, but tried to push to the back of my mind because I wanted to believe that it wasn't true, that this was TRULY an honorable business that could provide me not necessarily wealth, but a permanent income that I could live comfortably on for the rest of my life.
Being the skeptical journalist that I am, I'm not too terribly crushed by this. What concerns me is my parents -- who are also my sponsors.
Picture this -- my dad is *, my mom *. Good Catholic, conservative folks (I'm not "out" to them yet, by the way). They see this as their "last chance" at their dreams, and are doing everthing their upline tells them. It kills me that one day they'll really have their dreams pulled out from under their feet when they realize what this business is all about. Especially since they've been ridiculed by the rest of our family -- they really wanted to show them by becoming successful.
My only hope now is to finally break away from this "Amway thinking" (that Amway is the ONLY way to become rich) and focus on my REAL talents that I've been ignoring these past several years. Only then will I ever become successful.
WE SAW TERRIBLE EXPERIENCES AROUND US.........BANKRUPTCIES, DIVORCES....PERSONALITY CHANGES......LIFE MEANINGLESS EXCEPT AMWAY........AND MORE...........AND THEY WERE PROGRAMMED WHEN THEY "FAILED" WHICH THEY WOULD THAT THEIR ONLY SAVIOUR WAS AMWAY.........AND ANYONE THAT TRIED TO HELP WAS OF THE DEVIL OR SATAN........ALL BASES WERE COVERED AND ONLY SOMEONE ON THE OUTSIDE WATCHING CLOSELY COULD FIGURE THE DARN THING OUT........SO THAT IS WHY THE VICTIMS COULD NEVER FIGURE OUT WHAT HAPPENED.......SO HYPNOTIZED THROUGH HEARING THE SAME TAPE OVER AND OVER AGAIN.......YEP, AND IT WORKS.........AND THEY WEAR THEMSELVES OUT, GO SLEEPLESS, AND GIVE UP THEIR GOOD JOBS...AND IT JUST GETS TO BE A NIGHTMARE AND THEN DEPRESSION SETS IN....I SAW IT ALL.........
THIS IS CRIMINAL AND YOUR RIGHT TO FREEDOM HAS BEEN TAKEN AWAY BUT MIND CONTROL...........BUT SO HAS YOUR RIGHT TO FREEDOM BEEN TAKEN AWAY IN OTHER FORMS OF MIND CONTROL....RELIGION FOR STARTERS..............
THE PROBLEM DID NOT BEGAN AT THE TOP.......IT WAS SOMEWHERE DOWN LINE...........AND I UNDERSTAND THERE WERE THOSE WHO DIDN'T KNOW WHY IT WORKED BUT THAT IT WORKED BY GETTING PEOPLE TO LISTEN OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND THEY WERE HOOKED AND YES THE PERSONALITY REALLY CHANGED AND WHAT WAS AMAZING WAS EVERYONE USED THE SAME TERMINOLOGY AND WAS LIKE A BUNCH OF PARROTS..........AND IT IS A HOPELESS SITUATION FOR THE VICTIM.....EXCEPT FOR THOSE I WAS ABLE TO HELP BECAUSE I UNDERSTOOD WHAT WAS GOING ON..... AND FINALLY ONE YOUNG MAN LIT UP ONE NIGHT AND SAID....."MARY, I THINK YOU JUST SAVED MY LIFE".....
I ASKED HIM TO THINK BACK ABOUT WHEN HIS PROBLEMS STARTED......AND HE JUST COULDN'T THINK AND I SAID WHAT ABOUT WHEN YOU GOT INTO AMWAY.....AND THAT WAS WHEN HE HAD THE MOST INCREDULOUS EXPRESSION ON HIS FACE.........
THAT'S THE KEY....GET THEM TO THINK ABOUT WHEN THEIR PROBLEMS STARTED......................
Is there anything we can tell these people to shut off their pitch? "No" certainly doesn't work. Been pitched 3 times by friends who want just"practice" on me. Is there soemething really "cool" or abrasive that will just shut them up once and for all? When they tell me how great they're doing, I want to say "You're a GD LIAR you SOB!" But I restain myself .Any suggestions?
Haveyou heard about a lawsuit Amway brought in Poland against a film maker (Henryk Dederko (?)) who was trying to release a documentary he made on the cult like characteristics of Amway organization? Apparently, Amway succeeded in obtaining injunction against broaadcasting. I'm not sure how the court decided on the issue of their request that all the copies of the film be destroyed. Anyway, I thought you might find this litlle "lead" interesting. Please e-mail me if you have any questions
I have good friend who has been chasing the dream for over 7 yrs. In the 8 months I have been with my company my last check was larger than hers. She works full time and I put in about 8-10 hrs per week. Yet she wont even look to see if what i'm doing might make some sense. Any suggestions?
I am currently an Amway Distributor and have read the information contained in your pages, as well as a few other's. For example, Jeff Probandt's page. The purpose of this message is to relay my support for your efforts. I'm saddened by the closing of your site. I truly believe the words Patrick Henry spoke when he said: "I may not agree with what it is you have to say, but I'll fight to the death for your right to say it."
I feel as though I'm a relatively intelligent person. I don't feel I've been "scammed". Everyone knows that SOMEONE is going to get rich from the purchase of books, tapes and attendance of seminars. Or at least they SHOULD know. It's the way that I found out about the "system bonuses" that disturbs me. That information should have have been presented to me when I asked about the "other ways of making money".
Amway has the opportunity to correct many of the mistakes familiar with your readers. However, it would be suicide, wouldn't it? How do you dis Dexter Yager? Who knows how far his real "power" can reach? I would feel a little trapped if I were the DeVoss family. What could be done that wouldn't destroy a large portion of a global network?
These are questions I consider when thinking on this subject. My hope is that you don't perceive me a defender of the status quo. I simply don't have answers or know how to fix it without bringing down the entire organization. Sounds extreme. Desperate.
My choices include making my business someone else's business, or making my business my business. I think I'll make it MY business. We all have the right to tell the truth (has it come to this?). I continue by alerting those with whom I speak to information on Mr. Probandt's page, all the while knowing not many will "want in" after learning the truth. After all, the successful distributors are the greatest source of how a business should be built.
Provided they employ truth as an ally.
Dear Mr./Mrs. Schwartz,
I've recently become an Amway distributor and want out . What should I do?
I just read about 4 hours of info online that blew me away .
Dear Mr. Schwartz,
Thank you for all the trouble you went to in uncovering the fraudulant aspects of Amway. As a Christian, prayer meetings and bible study groups used to be a joy. Now I fear going. I am constantly harassed by people in our church peddling Amway products and trying to get me to be a distributer. I have no desire to buy the products as they are much more expensive and some are of poor quality. People are selling these things in the name of Jesus. I am not a brilliant person, but anyone should be able to see that the only people who make money are the con artists at the rallys who sell the the books, tapes and other promotinal material. The only ones who will NEVER make money are the poor gullible distributors. They keep Amway in business by buying their products, so naturally the Amway folks are not going to put a stop to the rally people, even though they are often not even a part of the organization!
I am not writing to protect the distributers who go to my church, however. They have a head. If they choose not to use it, so be it. My concern is this. Jesus hates "ugly". Some of my good friends are getting divorces because wives (sometimes even husbands) are spending thousands of dollars a year on Amway rallys and promotional material. People are now following yachts, diamonds and other riches rather than Jesus. Nowhere in the bible is this type of thinking condoned; in fact Jesus said it was very difficult for rich people to enter the kingdom of heaven. He likes humble, other-centered, not greedy people who prey on friends (some even prey on family). They have become blind, and the devil has infiltrated our churches as we bought the notion that Amway would be the "god" that would provide for us and allow us to stay home and raise and home-school our children. Instead it is causing bankrupcy and divorces. How long is it going to take our pastors to see that is going on right under their noses??? I would advise every Christian to download the scoop on Amway, especially the law suit and price comparisons, and other Christians' stories - AND GIVE THEM TO THEIR PASTORS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Let's hear it for Jesus by stamping out Amway/satan. Many of us are leaving our churches unless this urgent matter is addressed. I for one don't want to be affiliated with a church where satan thrives. The only church I will attend is one that actively denounces the entire Amway organization.
Hello, I have just spent my entire afternoon reading all of the information
found on your page. It was very informative. My
husband and I were active ddistributors from 1993-1995. I don't even like to think about how much money and time we put into the business. My husband's boss introduced us to the business. We had just had our income tax figured that day and owed the IRS around $400. After showing us the plan they told us how we use use Amway as a tax write off, this naturally got my attention. We attended every meeting , function and rally that was offered to us that year. THe next year when it came time to file our income tax, they(our upline and emerald upline) offered to help us . We had always used a CPA in the past and had planned on doing do for this particular year. Our upline Emerald ask my husband whose money it was, so who would be the most interested in taking care of it, that our money meant nothing to our CPA. So, like a couple of idiots, we got all of our info together and went to our uplines house and used their computer to figure our taxes. We claimed things that at the time I thought seemed wrong, but they assured me that they claimed these things and it was perfectly legal. We got a big return that year , everything we had invested in the business was now coming back to us, we thought, finally breaking even. Same thing for the next year, they helped us figure our taxes. To sum it all up, we were audited for those two years of taxes, where is our upline now? We still don't know exactly what is going to happen. During the 3 years we were building our business, we maxed out 4 credit cards $20,000, wore out two vehcles, and gave up valuable and precious time with out daughter. We are in a big sea of debt and I feel like it was all brought on because we became Amway distributors. We never reached 1000 pin. I thank you for your page and I hope that a lot of young and eager families like ours will check it out thoroughly before they jump in like we did. I feel better just getting this off of my chest.
I was reading your web page and was shocked by your phrase 'cult- like tendencies' . As a mixed blood chickasaw / cherokee I find that phrase very similiar to the ones spoken to my great-grandparents about our culture and religion before they were forced to move from there ancestral home for no other reason other than they were not white. I dont know why Im shocked; just another white man spouting off on a subject of which he has limited facts is a hallmark of your culture as I seem to remember. I will think for myself if you dont mind.
I was one of those people who, two years ago, left the "Amway Phenomenon" after a six year tour of duty harder than any I EVER served in the military! While I have made considerable progress mentally, emotionally, and financially since leaving, a part of me still feels quite violated. I am working through it though. I just wanted you to know how much I appreciated you and the AUS site when I first left and was REALLY messed up. I also found great help in reading the book, "Combating Cult Mind Control" by Dr. Steven Hassan. It was comforting to know I was not alone in my cult-like experience with the Amway business. I think it's the trusting (and possibly naive) people who suffer the most in that organization. At least I know what NOT to do in the future! Best of wishes--& know for certain that you have helped a lot of people get better.
I came upon this site by chance. They say hindsight is 20/20 but mine has become 20/10 or better. After being a distributor, following the "System" for almost three years, draining my bank accounts, mutual funds and most of the extra money I made cutting grass, which, by the way, was almost at the $2000.00 a month extra they said was possible in the Amway business, I woke up last July 1997 and realized I was going broke, pouring money into something that had no return. My wife was initially for but soon against spending over $300.00+ a month on products that were overpriced and going to functions several hundred miles away when the extra money should have been spent on my family. Especially since no money was coming back in. I attended all the rallies and functions, contacted almost 1000 people, drove the miles and spent the time talking to hundreds of people, listened to two tapes a week, ordered the book of the month, cut off my cable TV, cancelled my newspaper, stopped listening to the radio and in my wife's own direct words, "Became very cynical towards everything and everyone who wasn't in Amway". I even went as far as cutting down the number of yards I mowed to make sure I had enough time to contact people and stopped being a volunteer fireman in my town because the weekly open meeting was on the same day as my fire department meetings. They said about distributors in your group, (Mine was about 10 strong after almost two years!) if you miss a seminar its like a cold, if you miss two its pretty serious, and if you miss three your dead. I felt very guilty cutting back on the tapes, missing the functions, cutting off the book of the month, because after the constant, what I call brainwashing, I felt my upline would not like me anymore due to me not being in the system. This became totally true because when I was active and totally involved in the system, I was getting several calls a week from my upline, encouraging me on. After I stopped being a active distributor, the phone calls stopped. This was in July and I did get a X-Mas card! No other word except when I call to say Hi because this business was supposed to be about friendships too!!! This is obviously not true. I remember being told " Love 'em where their at and keep moving!" when it came to distributors who would not totally get in the system. I now see that this was meant in a Nasty/Nice way. Most of my distributors downline are/were real nice people with real problems. Unfortunately I was taught to ignore the negative people and their comments and find others who would follow the system. I am not ashamed nor proud to say I spent, not invested as I was taught, over $10,000.00 during that period on products, tools, and seminars. My biggest bonus check was approx. $185.00 and this was due to pressure to get to the 1000 level. I ended up buying an extra 200-400 dollars worth of products because I was so close to the 1000 level, and I HAD to get there. Just that emotional pressure to walk across stage after sitting in the crowd for so long, after all I had been in longer than most of these other people and I should be walking across stage because I have been so faithful to the system!! Its amazing to believe I thought like that. I definitely was not brought up that way but I know now I became another person. When my wife threatened to leave, I tried to explain that I was doing what it takes to be a success. This worked for a while but during the last six months since I've been inactive, we've talked and she said I don't realize how close I came to losing my wife and son over a business! And I was too blind to see reality. My upline sponsor is still active, has been in Amway for over 5 years and is still spending all the required $$ on the system and getting a return, according to him, of about $180 dollars a month, a very bad return on his investment. I hope he'll see this web site. Fortunately in the last six months my accounts have grown back where they should be, I again volunteer as a fireman, I read the newspaper, listen to the radio, am starting back in the grass cutting business where I know I'll make extra $$ within the first month, and I feel more relaxed than ever. My wife is extremely happy and glad to, in her words, " get her husband back" I know I can still become financially independent through work and investing. This is quite a long story encompassing almost three years and of course alot of details can't be put in here without having to get a publishing company to write it all! Your web site has been very enlightening and has helped me realize that it is OK to NOT be in Amway!
I appreciate your concern for other people, which I assume is your true reason for creating the internet info on Amway. Do you see any benefits for anyone building the Amway business? I've read much of your information, and found it to be very different from the Amway that my wife and I have experienced - it has been a very good opportunity for us and many, many people we have met, both in and out of our business. Yes, it's even profitable on a net after expenses basis. Since it is obvious that many others are having very positive experiences (which seem to differ from your negative impression, but anyone spending time in the business must have been exposed to positive aspects), do you believe that your educational campaign has a responsibility to point out the positive as well?- iI indeed this is about truthfully educating via internet, I woould think so. It does seem odd that you only share negative on Amway - have you ever seen positive? If so, why not share that too? I think people would be more inclined to believe this approach.
Why exactly did amway make you shut the site down?? I"m just now starting this cult and I want to know what the deal is!!!
KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!