Amway: The Untold Story

Your Comments, Part 12

(7/96 - 8/96)

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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]

Sidney I must say you really have it out to steal the dreams of thousands of tax paying goal seeking people in the USA and abroad. I am also shocked to see a person attack a company that has set standards in business on a global basis, a compnay that has earned the respect of the greatest business minds in America and world wide. If you only knew what The Amway opportunity has done for thousands you would change you tune in a New York minute!

However as usual you are focusing on the negative brought on by individuals who for whatever reason are jelous of success, angry at the world and have a severe case of the poor me's. These people obviously did not have any success type mentors in their lives nor do they associate with possitive professional individuals. These people who are making these negative claims about the Amway opportunity need to look at themselves instead of blaming a system that has been modeled from success principles developed by this countrys' most successful and credentialed individuals and scholars.

You can not be all things to all people. We are a very diverse society that is growing at an enormous rate. If Amway is a cult or a bad deal then why are the biggest corporations in America participating in the system? Why would the Board of Directors and CEO's of these corporations want to be associated with a cult? How about the Stockholders and families? The fact is they know the truth and they Know what it takes to be successful. It's funny that these corporations and Many Olympic athletes, businessmen and women use the same success techniques and principles many prodfessional Amway distributors use. Are they a cult also? I think not. I could go on and on but I believe I have made my Point. Maybe you need to cut your losses and begin a cause. A cause that will lift someone up and make a difference.

If you have children, you are (hopefully) teaching them morals, principles, guidlines, a positive path ect. What would they think of you doing this if they were fully aware and mature enough to know? If that's the case how can you look at yourself in the mirror and have a concious?

Perhaps you need to take a break and look at yourself. See Ya!

****A successfull businessman and Amway Distributor, father.

What did you fail at it, is that why you are going to trash the rest of the people that did not fail. Boy your a cry baby. Bet it was your parents fault that you are a whinner.

Once I saw the "plan", I was very skeptical, so I cruised the web to find out more. To my surprise, about 90% of the info is negative. Why is that? My sponsor was making over 5,000 a month after two years. I must say that Im sorry to hear the negative feelings from those who chose not to work at this business. The products are good and I to my knowledge, Wal-Mart doesnt give out rebate checks. Im going on my third month and with the support of my upline, Im going to retire in at least three years. Thats my goal! And a note about tools. Its the tools that teach you. There is valuable information on many tapes that is worth more than the five bucks I spent on them. I take notes from them. I learn how to build my business from them. Another thing, You are NOT forced to buy ANYTHING. Nothing is mandatory, eveything is OPTIONAL. And to those who lost something like a house or a marriage, well, they were gonna lose it anyway. If the business couldnt help them, then not much else could have. My reasoning for saying that is because of the moral values I have learned, my life and my relationships have inproved! Also, Amway distributors are taught to reduce debt, not lose a house or anything else. I mean, how do you lose a HOUSE because of Amway?? If I had a choice between going to a function and paying my house note...well, Id pay the note...come on. Its too bad, but some people get in and they dont learn anything and they dont do anything. Its work just like anything else. But the rewards are much nicer.

Please remember me and will be checking up on this page....just to talk about my SUCCESS!!!!!!

What are you doing? If something is bothering you, why don't you push it out of you life instead of letting it consume you?

Hi. Thanks for maintaining this page. Although an educated professional, etc. with an independent career already, I became interested in Amway (not the soap products but the national brands distribution) by meeting a cool "Emerald" on an airplane. It was a vulnerable moment in my life as I was returning from my brother's funeral. Resources were an issue in his death. I liked the guy I met quite a bit and wished I could be as good a salesperson as he. A woman from his organization later came to visit me (3 hour drive each way for her from Seattle during a visit from Chicago to her teenage children who live in Seattle) to explain the system. I was this very day, today July 1, on the brink of spending some of my hard-earned cash to fly to KC to an 8K person meeting of the Childers et al organization. I happened to mention this to my herbal store provider & friend during an errand to stock up on shampoo for the trip. She shared some experience with a multi-level water-filter organization, sought the corroborative advice of another customer in the store who was experienced with such groups, and then suggested I browse Internet. I was to pay for my plane ticket by 11pm tonight, but I'm not going to go! Thanks for the many many tips and many quotes already reminiscent of my new experience. I am not interested in a quasi-christian cult, and am not the kind of person to listen to lots of motivational tapes; and the idea that it takes a lot of time which would take me away from intrinsically gratifying professional work is a total turn-off. I will still leave the door open for my contacts but it is unlikely at this point I would participate.

My husband and I were Amway distributors for almost 3 years and went to many of the "functions" you mentioned. We had made the comment once about the recording artist getting royalities or something from the use of these recordings and we were told that Amway had attorneys that oversaw any kind of problem that would arise and everything was ALWAYS done above board. I hope the recording studios and artist take back some of the millions of $'s that those "diamonds" got off of selling all those tapes with those songs on them. I still have lots of them left from our brainwashed days. Yoller if you need them, we've been looking for a way to get them out of our house.

I think that Amway has good and bad selling techniques. Not everyone is into selling stuff to there friends. I tried amway about 5 or 6 years ago, and it was a waste of money for me. Very few people make it to Direct, much less Diamond. Those who do, stick to there guns and keep getting more people involved.

I believe that if you just concentrate on having "your people" just buy personal use, you can be a success and not get into a"Cult-like" atmosphere. I've heard of Amway people preying on the likes of people who are new in substance abuse support groups, and churches, and this I feel is wrong. If those who are involved in Amway believe so much in what they do, they should give the start-up kit to these people, or just sell them products they can use for personal use WHEN THEY NEED THEM. ---most of these people can't afford the startup kit and aren't ready to start up a new business.

P.S. I don't have a problem with the products that Amway sells. I believe they are as good as any other retail cleaning products on the market and are worth buying.


Why do you bother to keep such an extensive web site on what is wrong with Amway? Have you ever looked at what is good about it? Do you have some kind of vengence against them? I've been involved in the business for two years and haven't ran across any of the stuff you describe here. If you keep a good positive attitude you over look negative. Have you looked into other businesses? What do you do for a living anyway?

P.S. This message is not written in a condescending way, just more of a curious nature to get your view.


Sorry, but I'm afraid that the last message I sent you was erased before I was able to send it. That's the joy of having little boys in the house. But just in case you did receive it I won't go into the long speech I wrote last time. The bottom line is that my husband and I lost alot because of Amway. We almost lost each other, we did lose all of our life savings, we had credit card debt out the rear, and we lost some very precious time with our growing boys. We are now considered "cows" because we decided not to chase the all mighty $. We are content in our mediocre life following the rest of the herd to slaughter. We just didn't want it bad enough. But I believe what we did want, we already have. We have 2 healthy sons, and we are in love with each other again.

In Amway we were taught that the man is to have the final say in all matters and the wife is to be obedient and simply do as she is told. This is supposed to give her husband credibility (just like all those thousands of $'s worth of tapes and tools were supposed to do). I was disciplined (by my upline) many times because I told S we could not afford to buy anymore of the tapes, books, easel and stand, Profiles of Success, briefcase, new black suits, white shirts, red ties, more tapes, rallies, major functions, gas, more tapes, more books (the standing order tape was no longer enough if you wanted to appear really successful to your prospects you had to buy more and more each month @ $5.50 a tape what a steal). Since I was the one who had to try to find the money for all this crap our upline was pushing down our throats I was the first to become disenchanted. That is when the trouble between S and I began, because I was no longer the butt sniffin' wife that only had dialogue that would edify my husband and our upline. I had never been a person that let others tell me what to do, but I was told if I wanted "MY HUSBAND" to be successful in this business I would have to encourage him and let him make the decisions that he (and our upline) felt were best for us, because afterall, they had been there before, as well, and were the best ones to direct us into a more effective and successful business and marriage, beacuse there was nothing that we were going through that they had not been through.

We were told stories of when they didn't have the money to go to one of the major functions they had to sell their youngest child in order to get the money. Not really, but almost as bad. We followed their example and sold a very prized guitar that I had saved for 2 years to buy my husband. "You have to sacrifice now if you want to be free later!" S loved that guitar (it cannot be replaced because it was a rare older model, so it is gone forever, along with the $700 [all we could get for it at the time, we were in a hurry because we had to get our money in by the early bird deadline] we got for it. But, hey, at least we got enough money to go to the function. We fought all the way there (Denver, Colo., we had to drive because it isn't "duplicatable" to fly and as an upline ourselves we lived under a microscope. If we flew then our downline would think it was okay for them and that would simply not do, because our upline wasn't flying and you never, never, never do anything better than your upline) the entire time we were there and then back home because by then S was experiencing buyers remorse at all the money we had spent.

I became so brainwashed myself that our upline counsled with us one Sunday afternoon and told me I would have to quit college because now that we had a fairly large downline I was not being duplicatable. So I quit college. [I am now back in school, but 2 years behind schedule.] I could make more $ by helping Sam with our business than I could ever make teaching school. I now believe that I was a threat to my upline that had barely finished high school.

I did, however, love these people and I really believed that they loved and cared about us. But, on that dark day when we were given 5 hot checks, for the products that our downline had ordered, and the other 3 people either didn't come get their products or came and were good enough to tell me that they simply didn't have the money to pick up their order, we were left to fend for ourselves. We were told, " I told you guys to sponsor at or above your income level. You have to stay clear of the blacks and mexicans, they will never do what it takes to make this business work." (We were told to show this plan to the people we loved and wanted to see be successful. S and I have many friends and not all of them are caucasian. Therefore, we had a wide array of the human race in our downline. All of which have forgiven us for leading them into this mess, and have remained our friends.)

That was the beginning of the end for us, because now S was beginning to see that our upline was only interested in the people that were making this business work. They didn't have time for losers that had their downline giving them hot checks (they were giving us hot checks because, like our upline, we encouraged them to buy everything that they could from "themselves". And not to not pay for Sam Walton's (Wal- Mart) kids to go to Hawaii for vacation again.). We were left flapping in the wind. For those that would say that we had a bad or out of the ordinary upline, please let me say that our immediate upline consisted of a ruby, then a pearl, an emerald, and a diamond (if I named names you would be very shocked because they are some of the biggest names amoung the emeralds and diamonds). We were so luck to have such a prestigious upline, we were sure to make it big. We realized that we were not the kind of people that leave our friends, when the going gets tough, so we were not the kind of people that make it big in this business.

We have been out of the "business' for almost 2 yrs. and it has taken us every second of that time to get to the point where I didn't have to do the bill payin' shuffle every month. In the appx. 3 yrs. were were in AMWAY we spent almost $20, 000.00 on rallies, functions, meetings, tapes (thousands of them), books, gas, coffee @ Denny's,...and so much more (we have our tax forms to prove all of this). We didn't spend all of this money because we had it to spare, we spent it because we were told "you have to spend a little money to make alot of money".

I would tell anyone that looks at this business to take a hard look at the person showing it to them. And ask them (they will never tell you the truth on this one) what have they had to give up in order to make this business successful for them. To hear and active distributor talk they are making a killing off of their business, but I would make them show me their last BV/PV check, minus what they have had to pay out to their downline. See it on paper, never, never, never take their word for it (we were coached on what to say when others asked us how we were doing in Amway...example: "Things are great!", "BOOMING!", when asked how much money we made a month we were told to say, "You wouldn't believe me if I told you.", and if the prospect said "yes, I would" then you say, "If I told you I made $5.00 a month would you believe me?" usually the answer was no, so then say, "If I told you I made $5000.00 a month would you believe me?" and again the answer was usually no, "See I told you, you wouldn't believe me."

Some would call this lying, but to the Amway distributor it is no one's business what you make so you can tell them anything. It is a bunch of half-truths and back stepping. And for those of you that have quit this business you are not a loser, a quitter, a "thumb-sucking pin head", a whiner, or a cow, you are the same person you were before these positive people got into your head. Self worth comes from knowing who and what you are, not from how much money you have in the bank. In the end God doesn't care about the size of your checking or savings account, He cares about what kind of life you led. Sorry again for the outpouring of my battered soul, but at times I feel like we were really duped and I hate that we spent all that money for absolutely nothing. Thank you for allowing me a forum to voice my opinion and share my Amway experience.

God bless the Amway quitters.

My husband and I were "sucked" into this business by a friend in our congregation. We are very spiritually atuned to God our savior and were immediately alarmed with the secretiveness of this business. No one ever says "I am an Amway distributor". They are encourage to give "their business a name and to tell people they recruit that they have their own business. When the "diamonds" come to town or to a meeting they act like presidentaly FBI security with walky talkies and everything. Everyone stands around adoring this couple who have made a bundle of money feeding off their adorers. We then went to a rally in Salt Lake (as if being in that city alone didn't give one the willies). We watched thousands of people sit for hours and hours listening to marketing BS and waiting for the "almigthy Yeger" to show up. We left the arena and did a little site seeing of the city which was less objectionable than the rally. We were so discusted witht it we requested our money back for the tickets. Our sponsor kept asking me if I thought it was great. The only thing I thought would be great is if these thousands of people had gathered to sing and praise the Lord.









Actually, Dexter is correct. Most people don't see what it possible because they get mired down 'facts', which are usually incomplete and largely made up of other people's opinions. If they knew what was possible given the proper motivation, they can generally accomplish much more. I've applied this and other advice they give and virtually every aspect of my life is better for it.

As far as for the former speechwriter's comment's, I don't spend a fortune on 'peripherals', and I still have all my shirts (which I can get through the business, by the way). He is correct, though, in that I begin to make money by getting enough people underneath to make money (sarcasm, as I know that's not what he meant). I will say this, that to anyone who has persisted in this business for more than a year or so, it is rather obvious that the former speechwriter doesn't understand the business at all.

In closing, I'll stand up for Dexter, Jay, and all the other AmWay people anyday, anytime. How many people can you say that about?

I would like to include my two cents into this long discussion that appears in your website.

I can understand all the information that you have posted here on your site. In fact, I really appreciate it. I may be as repetitive as those that have posted before me but I still feel that I need to enter in my own opinions as I feel that I can speak from experience as I was a distributor twice.

My first experience with the Amway Corporation was in 1989 in Los Angeles, CA. I was approached by a person while I was attending school at a local community college. I was 19 at the time and had already had several successful businesses (ed. success = positive experience and positive cash flow) one of which I started when I was 14 years old. I didn't really know what the Amway Corporation really was with the exception that when I was 8 or 9 a family friend joined it's ranks and all of a sudden I wasn't using Coast or Ivory any longer but some sort of Amway product. Brand loyalty in kids is VERY high.

I used to take the VISA applications and MCI applications and cross off the ADA # or toss them out completely. I felt that the team approach to business is a stupid way to get something accomplished (ed. Committees historically are not effective at getting something accomplished)

Anyway, I worked very hard at my own businesses, one of which at the time was a typing business. I learned at a very early age that I will on my own reach a ceiling that I will never be able to break. This made me think. When I type I make money. When I don't type I don't make money. So I had to rethink my positions. I decided that the problem was the amount of money that I was making.

I started a successful consulting practice. It flourished for a few years, but again I had the same problem. If I didn't work I didn't get paid. If I didn't get new business I didn't get new money. I decided that I needed to get a career in the business world.

So I moved to NYC and started work in a garment factory. I made a good name for myself very quickly, my computer expertise spread my name all of the garment center. At that time I was sponsored into the business. Being single and such I looked at Amway for a variety of reasons. First, if I sponsored someone, great! Maybe I'd make some money. But the System, well, I must say that it changed my life. Like all things one must make their *OWN* decisions on what is for them or not for them. Some tapes were good, some were bad. All the tapes that I listened to and functions that I went to didn't go to waste. I learned. I applied the knowledge that I learned to my career.

I applied the same techniques for sponsoring and building the business into building my career in the corporate world. Again, though I still wasn't making the money that I wanted to so I went from small corp., to multinational. My salary doubled in 6 months. I again applied the same principles and my salary went up another 20%. By constantly applying those principles to my career in the past two years, my salary has gone up by nearly 66%.

I was amazed when I looked back. Then something struck me. I was now part of the rat race, that I was now not able to control my time and my hours. I was no longer the master of my own ship, but one of the crew of a corporate frigate. Being in the computer field was the secret to your success you may say. I say no not really. I am not a CNE, I have no degree and have no certificates from COMPAQ, IBM or anyone for that matter. I still have to be just as competitive as anyone else is. If someone wants JAVA I have to learn JAVA, NT I learn NT, etc. etc. etc.

I didn't realize the power behind the system. It works. It works well. Had I applied it to the business, well, I probably would be retired today. But nonetheless, I still am working but I know firsthand that the system works. I now am back as an active Amway distributor. I applied the knowledge to sponsor my first person in the first month that I started. And it continues...

RESPONSIBILITY OF ONE'S OWN ACTIONS. If something did not work for you that does not mean that the whole institution should be abolished. If that was the case then MARRIAGE and BUSINESS PARTNERSHIPS should be banned because people have walked away with mental, emotional, and financial losses. But people still get married, and people still partner with others to form lucrative businesses.

Oh my children are like this because there is violence on TV. Oh my children will be like that because there is nudity on the net. My children will be like that because of language on records. Whatever it is, wherever they may be, people no longer are taking *RESPONSIBILITY* for their *OWN* actions. I wouldn't have done this if he didn't do that. REGARDLESS, the point remains that they *STILL* did it. ***PERIOD*** Excuses are like assholes, everyone's got one and they all stink. If it's wrong FIX IT, don't complain about it.

Let's look across the board for those people who say that Amway didn't work for them. Most of the people who gripe about it not working, ask them one simple question, "How many times did you show the plan?" What do you think the answer will be? Statistically speaking, the more people in the sample the easier it is to get the desired results. "Amway doesn't work," well my friend, how many times did you show the plan? Did you follow the recipe? If you don't follow the recipe exactly for chocolate chip cookies you will not get chocolate chip cookies. You may get tollhouse cookies, chocolate chip cookies or even white chocolate chip cookies.

Life is a gamble. One must try to hedge those gambles in order to succeed. A slot machine doesn't always pay out, but sometimes it does. And sometimes, it almost close enough for some people. There are no guarantees in life, only what one makes of it. But those who are content in their ways either being a "job mentality loser" or a fanatical "ambot" is what makes the world such a wonderful and diverse place. It just doesn't matter. What we do need to concentrate on is making the world a better place. Black people vs. White people, Christians vs. Protestant etc. It doesn't matter. Someone will ALWAYS have a differing opinion.

There are billions of people in the world and just as many lifestyles. As long as someone can sleep at night knowing that they did something positive to add to the mix of the world who is to say what is for someone?

If one cannot attend a function. Fine. If they can't attend a meeting. Fine. If they can't afford to purchase tools. Fine. No one in my upline has ever turned us away for not being able to attend a meeting, function, or purchase a tape. We support each other and help each other out. That is the key. Helping people be people. Not proletariats or plebeians, but people.

What it all boils down to is that we ALL have dreams and aspirations. We ALL have fears and resentments. They all may materialize in different manners, but when you really think about it they are all the same. People want to just be people, and people will see what they want to see. Because the tools are not from Amway, they can be abused. Focusing on a few bad apples doesn't mean that the whole tree needs to be chopped down.

Yes, you have a VERY informative site here. Your synopses of Consumer Reports is wonderful. But the very idea isn't about the products. It's not about how much something costs. It's not a savings club. It's not a coupon club. It's a business franchise. And when someone is in a franchise, they pay franchise prices. McDonald's owners probably can purchase products from down the street at a cheaper price. But they are locked into purchasing from the franchisee. Amway distributors are not required to purchase anything that they do not feel comfortable with. I have never been pressured into buying anything that I didn't want to, though I can see how come people feel that way sometimes. I personally feel those people are the same people who also can't take responsibility for their own actions. Excuses are excuses PERIOD. If you are uncomfortable with something than do something about it. TAKE ACTION!

I could go on and on about people. Parachutes and minds only work when they are open. Anyone who does not respect the viewpoints of another does not deserve respect themselves. One's rights and freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution are pushed to the limits every day. I may not subscribe to your ideas or your vocal opinions, but I will die defending your right to air out your opinions.

I'm glad to have read your site from end to end, and I will continue to read it in the future. While I find the fact area to be biased, I find that it has a well balanced comments area. People plan very little in their lives, especially when it is something that is intangible or far off in the future. I just hope that if anything, reading the posts or being or having been in Amway, one realizes that the future one has is based on today's decisions and tomorrow's actions. Take action and secure your future, with whatever method you chose, be it Amway, stock investments, or hard work.

New Distributor NYC

At the moment my soon to be husband is at an Amway Rally for the weekend--much to my dismay. For his sake I tried to get involed but had problems with the high prices, the lies told by his upline and the constant repetition of information poured into our heads about Amway. I have been doing some basic research and combined with what I have seen personally I am worried about him. What to do?

But I am writing to say thanks for your information. This combined with my other research, good and bad, will hopefully help me get through to him that Amway is not all that it is cracked up to be.


Well done, a nice site. The 'responses' segment makes for interesting reading... particularly if you enjoy distilling content from the letters. It seems rather amusing that all the well thought-out, quiet, and rational notes come from those who either got burned by a pyramid or understand economics/business... the others sound strangely like company dogma... but at least they are... uh... 'emotional'. ;-)

Dear Mr. Sidney,

I am A, writing from Italy.

I was impressed by your pages on 'Amway-The Untold Story',expecially by what you wrote on the lawsuit against Dexter Yager. I have been working with Amway for about 1 1/2 year, and up to a few months ago I was using system Yager, made of tapes, books, and seminars.

My sponsor always demanded me to listen to the tapes, to buy them every month (the well-known standing order), because without system Yager my business could have never worked, she told. This attitude has always left me puzzled, and than, surfing on the net, I found out your pages. They helped to explain me what there is behind the sale of tapes and the system Yager, ans so, I have quited working with my sponsor a while ago.

I agree that there are people that use Amway to carry on differnt interests, but I also think that the Amway business is too important to let it go.

The ones who honestly work can have success in this job with no problem.

Thank you anyway for your pages, they helped me a lot in the search for the truth.

It wasn't until I read Steve Butterfield's book that I could fully understand my "Amway experience".

How can a person help "put out the word" on these guys?

Wow are they persistant! I'm out 150.00. I keep trying to avoid them but they find me. Can't wait to show them the list of anti-amway sites. That'll throw them for a loop in this small town! I'm glad i found your site, I was beginning to think something was wrong with me.


As you know, Lord DeVos owns the Orlando Magic. He is attempting to sign Shaquille O'Neal to a contract worth about $115 million. Because of this, we call on you, our proud underlings, to peddle as much SA8 to your neighbors, family and co-workers as possible. With damaging lawsuits, useless products, and tool scandles looming over our heads, we cannot afford this expenditure unless each of you can continue this charade...oops I mean building your futures.

Remember, this isn't just about people helping people, it's about foolish saps helping millionaires!


As many of you may now know, Shaquille O'Neal has signed with the L.A. Lakers. Reports indicate that Shaq was dissatisfied with Lord DeVos' salary offer as well as that BLI and Modern Magic Meal crap that was forced down Shaq's throat. This may explain Shaq's recent convulsions and seizures that many have confused with rap singing. In addition, Lord DeVos has called on the services of Dexter Yeager to serve as Orlando's new center. "Dexter can't play worth shit, but he's quite able to convince an arena full of saps that he can do anything."

Thank you.

You'll find no offensive language here. My wife and I are Britt downlines, and are pleased that there now is a website (nowadays everyone seems to have one) that gives information that usually would have to be dug up from libraries and such. We have read all your pages, and pretty much everything on your links. So should everyone else. Although we have not been active long enough (3 months) to get even mildly frustrated about having spent too much time and money, I can say that this (expensive) hobby or (inexpensive) business, as one of your reader's comments read, is starting to pay off.

I am not talking monetarily. We never expected, i.e. we were never made to believe by our upline that we would run a profit in 3,6 or 9 months. Or even a year or beyond. We were told that with,at times, hard work, perseverance, persistance and tenacity this might work out. No promises were made. It was made extremely clear to us that this is a business, and even though there were relatively low startup costs we would have to come out of our own pocket until profits were made. We took that chance with our eyes open. No threats, no cultism. The pay-off even within these few months is in a better relationship with my wife, my respect for her in trying to make this business work so the entire family may benefit, gain friendships/relationships with our up-and downline that we would never have had otherwise. The whole thing is ENTIRELY voluntary. If you don't feel comfortable or you want out, PLEASE DO. No-one profits (if I may use that word) from guilt-trips. This business is not for everyone, so let those who do not want it stay out. No problem. But a lawsuit? Please! When do people get to be responsible for their own (in)actions?

Prices too high, you say? If it's priced too *#@! high: don't buy it. If the quality is not what you expect, don't get it. I can read price comparisons out the gazoo that show that prices are generally higher than if you go out shopping for a similar product, I and many others still feel that the products are in most cases worth it. The larger my downline, the higher the percentage of BV I'll be getting back in checks. PV is also worth something. Quality merchandise. Environmentally friendly. Guys, this is not a Price Club!

The bottom line: we know that there are many ways to conduct a business; many are ways that I would not. No-one should. But they still do! With Amway everyone is an independent contractor, doing business generally in any way that they see fit. Amway cannot be and should not be expected to be policeman to the world.

Just keep yourself honest, help your downline to be successful, give them all information and let them decide for themselves. Let then read all your negative information, be turned down and ridiculed by many potential distributors or customers, and you'll see them STILL stay committed, THAT is what the winning -Amway or any other- business spirit requires.

P (almost 300PV!)

p.s. I am personally turned off by the frenzy etc. at meetings, and so is my wife. The tapes give us motivation, and are worth the small investment. Do YOU buy any motivational books or tapes, or continue your education? Stay alive!

I'm sending this from Sao Paulo Brazil, where Amway has started preying on poor lower class people who are desparate to improve their lot. Please tell me how I can convince her that she's going to end up losing? Do you have any articles in Portuguese or any contacts here that I can refer her to - she really thinks she's found the way the truth and the light.

I am a fellow Amway Distributor, and I don't think you should be commenting on a business you obviously know nothing about. For example, do you know that the Federal Trade Commission goes to Amway to ask for advice about new Multilevel Marketing Companies. I think that before you start bashing something you know nothing about, you should know all the facts first.

I tried showing my wife your page on Amway but she says it is all false imformation. She says that it is like any other business you have some that make it and some that don't. Her farther is an Amway distributers so she deffends it very strongly. She says that you have to have a strong attitude to make it. I tried showing her how diamonds make most of their money by selling tapes. She replies that nothing is wrong with that and not all diamonds are like that they can make money many different ways thourgh Amway. I don't know what level her family is in Amway but they go to a lot of rallies and buy a lot of tapes and they seem not to make that much off Amway. She says that when her dad makes it in Amway I will beleive he is scaming because of your page. Is there anything else to tell her or show her that Amway is a waste of time and money? I peasonally feel that Amway is a waste because the figures just don't add up. I meet her dad's upline. He seemed rude and the conversasion was about nothing except Amway, the monster checks he receives that allowed him to retire. I hate to see her dad get taken advantage of. Is there anything to show them that this is a lose in their money and time. How can I show her that Amway distributers are living in a dream? How did you come to realize that you were being taken advantage of.

Mr. Schwartz,

Last week I greeted a customer in my store, a high end men's custom clothier, who then approached me about making more money than I new what to do with, of course I was skepticle. When I returned to work on Wednesday this customer popped in again, this time he was able to go a little further and explain to me how this system works. Immediately, I thought,wow, how much is this going to cost me in terms of my own personal funds, I guess amway is based on the old adage "to get money, you have to spend money." Anyways, Dennis left me with a ton of material, 6 tapes, a book, and pamphlets-among whose titles include; Products and Services, Take Charge of Your Future, The Amway Corporate Report, 1996, Getting Started In a Business of Your Own, and Network Marketing (AKA Lifestyle Showcase). My "sponser to be" was kind enough to show me the "numbers" about how much money I could make in this endeavor, his calcualtions, in a nutshell by the time I reached Diamond Level I, in addition to my own salary, I will be making thru Amway $180,000 to $250,000 per year. Here's the kicker he suggested I talk to some people and get their feed back on this. I took it a step further I went to Infoseek where I stumbled upon your web page. Thanks! You may have saved me from bankruptcy somewhere down the road, the paraphenalia get's returned tomorrow with a kind thanks, but Amway just isn't for me.

Why don't you post the responses of any of the defendents in any of these lawsuits? When I look around at, say, the Electonic Fontier Foundation web sit and see lawsuits against the US Government, they always post the responses filed by the government in court, even though they disagree with those responses. It seems to me a bit suspicious that you only show one side of the legal battle. Since most of this stuff seems to be 1994, you should have had plenty of time to get it on our web site.

It's great information you have here. The Amway payout system is designed so that a very tiny fraction of the people get 99% of the money. I know oodles of "Amwayites" who are totally and continuosly consumed with their company. They speak with religous fervor and proselytize continuosly. The reality that neither themselves, nor hardly anyone else is even breaking even after months and years of meetings and tapes doesn't faze them.

Now I'm not against MLM programs in any way. I'm involved with a newer company and like most Amwayites, I believe in the products I market. What I find amazing is that the average Amwayite is so "loyal" and blind to the realities of the fact that Amways commission structure stinks. I'm making far more money than any of the Amway people I know even though I've only being working a few hours per week for less than 6 months and they have pushed Amway hard for years and years. Even so, they are so brainwashed about Amway most of them will not take 2 minutes to try and consider why my cheques are so much higher than theirs. To do so would be to undermine and doubt the Great God of Detergent, Sri Mahatma Maitreya Amwayisbest.

What sickens me the most is their lack of truth and deception used to recruit new Virgin Amwayites they can sacrifice on the altar of overpriced soap. Tapes, seminars and books are the tithe required by the high priests of the Royal Order of the Diamond, and the convention displays itself as the place to repent of past slackness, and to fall once again prostrate and cleansed to not only tithe their money, but more of their time. 10% of their time, nay, give us 20%, and someday you too will eventually earn enough to pay for your tapes.

Isn't it ironic that those people who spend so much time talking about motherhood, God and apple diamonds...oops....I mean apple pie, can talk about how Amway has made them better people in one breath, and in the next breath, call you nasty names like "loser" because you were smart enough to discover that the odds were horribly stacked against you.

I know many people who have been very hurt by being invited to supper by someone they met in church or at work, who told them that they just wanted to get to know them better, and five minutes after they arrived at the house the host whipped around the corner in his business suit, briefcase and beady-eyed demeanor, and snorted "If you could have any house in the world, what would it look like?". When the poor startled dinner guest gains his composure and reluctantly describes a 20 room mansion overlooking the Pacific Ocean complete with a Championship Golf Course and his own hot springs, SuperAm slams his briefcase down, and with his most condescending glance says "too small.....your goals are waaaaay too small.......don't be a loser.............think big...........reach for the sky...........As the dinner guest says "pass the hot dogs please" SuperAm says "one day when I'm a Diamond we'll serve roast beef instead of hot dogs."

And as the opera comes to a close, not a classic but rather a soap opera, Mr. dinner guest relents having paid $100.00 for soap, but is comforted that at least he has a new friend, one who really cares for him, one who can give him life-saving tapes and books to encourage him on his path to financial salvation.

I just wanted to drop a note thanking you for all the information you have put here. I hope you don't mind that I have made copies of it and now am giving it my realatives who have fallen for the "scamway" pitch. Hopefully they won't lose too much before the light clicks on.

I would like to just make a quick comment. I believe that the Amway Corp. is by far the best oppurtunity for everyone. I didnt have alot of time to read alot of comments from others so this may be a shot in the dark. To start, some people were stating, "They wont even tell you its Amway." Well, two main reasons for that. (in my case). First, I work with Britt Worldwide. Our servicing corporation is Amway. Second, if you heard the word Amway before seeing "the plan"... I believe it be safe to say over 90% of the people would shut it out just cause of that word. And yes, it requires work. But Im a college student working a full-time job. I dont have time to go "door-to-door" selling and I dont. That is Amway. I teach others how to buy from themselves, and teach others to do it to. And yes we do teach to listen to your upline. I have met many successful people in my upline... one Diamond who was from my home town. And my upline at least doesnt "preach" not to listen to cross line. Ive met many cross liners who were willing to help... cause they were in the right frame set of mind about what the big picture is. Helping others reach financial independene.

The functions and seminars... their sole purpose is for a recharge. When YOUR business may be losing volume or you are frustrated... these functions help. To this day, I have become a stronger Christian than I ever have. This has brought my closer to my family. And to wrap up, of course your upline and the Amway family will tell you not to listen because alot of people that have the right frame set of mind when they get in this business. And what I mean by that is some people arent ready for the burdens, the rejections, and yes, your friends thinking you are crazy, but I know through God's grace I will succeed in this business, and by the time Im ready to start a family, I will be able to be around my wife and children 24/7 and be able to be a father that is always there... and not having to work all the time. Thanks

I hope this page is not being used as a personal grudge. I have been in this organization for a while and I am making money at it. It is too bad that unsuccessful people blame amway. They should look in the mirror and blame themselves. This is nothing against you, unless you are blaming amway for your problems.

Excellent! Keep up the good work. I could have saved myself a lot of money if I'd have known the facts at the beginning. Unfortunately I wasted about two years buying tapes and going to functions before the truth finally sank in.



You ought to get some kind of reward for creating this site!! I (along with a friend) was relentlessly pursued by overzealous Amway Persons when I was living in the Washington, DC, area. Now, here I am, traveling the world, trying to get a job in Southeast Asia, and I get a mysterious e-mail from someone in Columbus, OH, who (I guess) found my name in some sort of search on Compuserve. The initial e-mail was intriguing. BUt when I asked for exactly what kind of company this fellow had, the response was vague: "I can't very well tell you about my business sitting here in the USA" and something about helping "mulitnational corporations establish a strong secondary income."

BUt the tipoff was that he suggested I contact a couple of his "associates," whose telephone numbers started off with country code "20", which I've found it is Egypt. And that I should provide them with some critical information: "Direct: blah blah; Emerald: blah blah" THe "Emerald" thing rang a bell. And finally, there were "ADA" numbers that I was to pass on. On a hunch, I did a Yahoo search (from here in Hong Kong, where I'm traveling with my notebook PC) and found both the official Amway site, along with the "Amway Distributors Association" --AH! ADA--and, as a wonderful surprise--your site.

I now know where this mysterious "doing business together" offer is coming from: the bottom of the barrel.

More power to you, and thanks again!

Wonderful job!!! Thank you for your time and effort. Tom

Hello Sidney Schwartz,

I just ran across your page today and have mixed emotions of your claims. I can appreciate your point of view, we all have our own set of them, and am sorry to hear of your unfortunate experiences with Amway or Amway distributors. Not knowing your "story" I cannot comment on how you arrived at your conclusions, but am sorry for you just the same. No set of verbage from me or anyone else can change your point of view since you seem very adamant about your position and are spending a great effort to make your viewpoint known. I admire you for that, but am dismayed that you are expressing yourself so negatively about such a positive company and an evergrowing group of people that want nothing other than to better their lives and the lives of those they contact by offering them a genuine business opportunity. I'm sure you are a nice person and have nothing but good intentions for what you are doing, but in fact are doing nothing other than fueling the fire for us to prove you wrong. I sincerely wish you the best as I hope you do for me.

I would be intersted in hearing about your "story" if you would care to share it with me.

peace to you and yours,

Can anyone would expect to get a graduate degree w/less than 4yrs= 6000+hrs and between $10,000 and 200,000 in expenses. I feel that most people here are unhappy and with their results at the freshman level and quit,and they have not even gotten to their first exam. I'm 43 and have been self employed most of my life, save for the Navy. Amway as a companiy works, although each individual has 99% responsibility if they are going to work it. I have taken Carnegie training and can see how negative and pessimistic the majority is. It is sad to see how little people really know about anything. Especially what it really takes to succeed in Amway. I have found the two ingrediants necessary are the same as elsewhere and learned the key was more of perserverence and doing what is known as the 8 steps. AA has been around for over 50 years and their 12 step program has not been criticized or changed, it works. Eight steps offers a Joe/Joan Blo a chance, perhaps for the first time in their life a somewhat foolproof agenda to follow to produce a result after a period of 2-5 years. Not 2-3 months. YOU CANT GET A DEGREE THAT FAST so don't demand success that fast either. It requires a new concept for most -focus!!

Most corporations operate for many years spending millions till they might become profitable. Then they go public, take a shortcut and make faster money. Their primary goal.

I am sorry to say that there are not any shortcuts to making a successful Amway Distributorship, just your productive manhours multiplied or divided by your attitude. If I said Elvis was sucessful you'd wonder in which way. Or McCartney, Lennon, Jagger, etc. they are/were wealthy individuals and their industry is music so how could anyone make a judgement on the local music teacher who is making a living with the same industry. There is no standard; you must find or make your own, hopefully it will be your future to set one that can be respected and followed.

The day you become an Amway distributor you are it. All that follows will be a result of your efforts. Do not expect to blame others for its failure or accept all honors for its success. It is a living business made up of humans with both their strengths and weaknesses their pride and greed, their integrity and failure. Don't check out the business as much as checking out yourself. Can you make a commitment to trully help and support others. To show up when others have quit, I believe you have to have a little bit of saint in you because you will be tested. The strongest force you will ever meet will be doubt in yourself. Fortunately I know some fine people and in 10+ years they've managed to stay that way. If you feel that you can be corrupted don't watch TV or read Beavis/Bhead. Life is not that complex, don't be a weenie, enjoy yourself and take the free ride before you make any decisions but do see for yourself, not by what you read, but by others who are active.

I keep on coming back to your page to reassure myself that I am anout to do the right thing regarding my Amway distributorship. The facts that you have pointed out are becoming clearer and clearer to me as each day passes.

I figured it out, I have been spending about $109 per month just on the tools,and the tapes. I have spent an additional $150 in promotional material. You know the tapes that talk about the business but never once mention the "A" word. (Thats Amway in case somone was wondering)

In May I attended my one and only function, Diamond Weekend, in Cincinnati Ohio. Roughly 20,000 Amheads paid $70 apiece for tickets. That is only 1.4 million dollars just on tickets. I am sure it cost less than 100K to put this on for two days , so thats not a bad take at the door.

While standing in line to purchase a $6 book, I saw 15 individuals spend over $150 each on the other propoganda, I mean motivational material. Its hard to tell the difference. roughly again, 20,000 Amheads times $150 each on this crap, another 3 Million dollars. That is only a mear 4.1 million dollars generated in 2 days. There are 8 diamond weekends. Add that to the free enterprise days in the fall and you can see where they are making their money.

Amway is a good corporation that does give back alot to the public. The "Black Hats" as they are referred to are the ones that give the business such a bad name. What a farce and a tragedy for those like myself that got involved in what I though was a product business.

For those that are considering the Amway opportunity....Don't! Work hard and work on ways to constantly reinvent yourself. When your company does not need you they can lose you. Make yourself an asset to your comapny and the doomsday that so many people involved with Amway speak about, will never happen to you. If It does you should be more than strong enough to land on your feet elsewhere.

Keep up the great work!

You know, I can appreciate your position here.

What I don't understand is why you are so disgruntled with people making money in an ethical fashion.

Obviously, you question 'ethical'.

The diamonds who market and sell tapes, books and functions are selling a product. People don't HAVE to buy them. It just so happens that these items create an environment for the 5% who succeed in the business. I don't deny that 5% (or less) make it. That's true in anything.

Why is this a problem?

The way I see it, is if I'm going to be a surgeon, I'd better get some medical books, get around other surgeons and maybe even attend a medical school or seminar. The producers and authors of THESE tools make money too, just like Yager and company. No harm, just capitalism.

I agree that if the business or 'system' is not accurately portrayed and explained by a particular distributor then there is an ethics problem. No question, this is a big problem, most often caused by unprofessional, overzealous individuals who want don't really understand that character counts.

I got in the business 7 years ago, a little before your class action suit was filed. A friend approached me this way:

"Mark, you're a hard worker. (I worked inexcess of 15 hours per day) If you could work twice as hard for 3 or 4 years but retire with twice what you make now (he referred to a new diamond's income) and have an ongoing income would you look at it?" I said yes.

He went on to tell me that I could expect to invest between 2,000 and 4,000 dollars over the next 18 to 24 months to make it fly. He was straight up with me.

He never told me that the profits from tool sales was distributed between the bigger pins, but I was intelligent enough to know someone was making money. I don't expect that too many MED students are told that the medical book publishers, medical school (owners, operators, whatever) make money from them going to MED school either, I guess it's one of those things either taken for granted.

I guess what I'm confused about primarily is your 'beef' with making money on tools. If you build an orgainization to direct and above you can make the same money. You would be promoting, selling the functions, selling the idea. Why not be paid to do it? I see no harm. Why do you?

Just curious.........


I'm not an emerald or diamond.........

Hi Sidney,

I have just read all the articles on your page and, may I say that about 95% of the stuff I read, in my experience, is true. I just wish I could have come across that 2 years and CA$18,000 ago. When I think about it, I could have bought a car (one thing I've never had) with all that money, which instead, I spent on the business in the hopes of making enough money so I could afford one. D'oh!

I used to work for another consulting firm when I started the business. About 9 months ago, I took a job somewhere else and got a $5,000/year increase (something the Amway gurus would probably laugh at). I never saw a difference in my discretionary income (I should have). Then I found out where it was all going. You got it: books, tapes, functions, hotels, etc. The only difference was now I could pay for it cash instead of borrowing all the time. Now I've quit, and there's an extra $500-$600/month in my savings account. I'm not a salesman and as I've always said, I'm better at relationships with computers than with people (sad but true). It just cost me a lot of money before I realized that. Ain't it great to be free - from Amway :-)

Keep up the good work!

Pretty cool stuff. I know that your page is mainly devoted to Amway's unethical business practices, but some may find it interesting to know that Jay Van Andel's philanthropic foundation also gives money to some rather interesting causes.

Examine, for example,

This group, the Creation Research Society is a fundamentalist group that claims to have scientific evidence that the universe (that's right, the universe), is no more than 6,000 years old and was created exactly as written in the Book of Genesis. They don't like publicly acknowledging that they believe the universe is this young, but that is exactly the agenda they wish to introduce into the public school system nationwide. And, of course, the destruction of any teaching of evolution. Note the lovely building sporting the name "Van Andel Research Center."

Glen W. Wolfrom (, a member of the Creation Research Society, when asked about the Amway connection replied via email...

"Yes, I can confirm that 'The Jay and Betty Van Andel Foundation', not Jay Van Andel personally, made a major donation to the CRS. This money was earmarked for the construction and operation of the CRS's research center in North Central Arizona. There were no other restrictions on the use of these funds."

Hello. I was approached by 2 friends last night who are in the Amway "business." I was very skeptical, and it sounded very much like a pyramid scheme that was based more upon scamming new recruits and less on the products, so I decided to do a little research on the net. I was surprised that I wasn't already familiar with such a large and unusual company.

Thank you for providing an informative page that is well-researched and thorough. I have read other positive postings on your page, and I'm not saying anything new to you, but I figured that another "keep up the good work" couldn't hurt.

Great web page, you should make a book out of this other should know about this, and I am sure lots of them don't have access to this web page

good work

D - X-Amway distributor

This must be the best critque I have seen on Amway and it is fair too. I was once approached by an Amway "Distributor" and asked to join the business. After looking into it, The Internet was in its infancy then, I figured out the scam. The basic fact is, that the only way to get on in life is to be smart and work hard. Only a few years later now and my income is five times what it was then and I have a nice house a beautiful wife and plenty of freinds. I have travelled the world have plenty of income generating investments and look forward to a bright future. All this was achieved through hard work and had nothing to do with Amway or any other SCAM / GRQ / MLM company. Just goes to show.

I always wanted to write an article about my experiances and thoughts on Amway but thanks to your W3 page I don't need to, thank you...

mr.shwartz or whatever,

regarding your article i feel that you are just a jealous loser who needs help. and i mean LOSER!!!! the only reason why you would do something this LAME is because you are a jealous scumbag and can't do anything good for this world so you have to try and knock down everything good...heck, you probably do this to all the GOOD businesses...haha that would be ASSUMING FACTS NOT IN EVIDENCE but who the f-ck cares! if you can't find anything good to say about something, don't say it! you know, amway has been a well known company for YEARS!!!! it's been around long before I was born! and it was always totally what the heck is your trip!???!?!?!?!?! i am not in amway yet...because i am young..but i am participating in much of it because my family is in it...they truly believe in it! my mother became a christian through amway...a couple once said, "if amway has made your mother become a christian, it's good for her" i am not religious, yet if my mom expands her knowledge through amway, it's good for her...and you, who is slamming this business, should grow up and do something good for the world! like save the rainforests, or join the peacecorps! do something for this world to help than just sit here and find the bad things in life! then you may not be such a LOSER anymore...only people who are losers would want to waste their time doing something as lame as move on and stop this fu-ked up sh-t


a concerned citizen

You only have to read the Australian June 17 edition of Business Review Weekly, which headlined on the front page, "Amway fights agent exodus". Inside it started by saying that the number of Australians who sell Amway products has dropped by more than 30 percent since 1992-93.

That's huge. Yet the company itself is still making top dollar.

OK so they have now changed the bonus incentives, so you don't have to have as many points, but that's to late for thousands of Australians who have been built up with huge dreams and then let down with the reality.

I am a distributor. I just bought a ticket to a major function in to be held in Memphis, Tennessee soon. The entire weekend is set up with an impressive list of speakers. Cost for the whole event: $95. A day's wages for an entire weekend of high-powered speakers; hardly a 'peripheral' that one can lose his shirt on. The last time Zig Ziglar came to town, he wanted several hundred dollars for an afternoon session (-now that's a crime). In all my dealings with the Amway corporation or the independent distribution companies, I've never seen anything even slightly illegal (function speakers sell their own authorized merchandise/tapes). Please don't try to protect me from my own choices about how I spend my money. I've gotten more than my money's worth from any business tools I've purchased. Perhaps a survey of distributors attitudes are in order. I think you'd find we're generally pretty happy about the whole deal. Thought you'd like to know.

If Amway diamonds are getting so rich off $6.00 tapes, how come a Nirvana tape costs $12.00? Who's getting rich off that? (I think they sold a few more tapes than Dexter did last year) Apparantly the music industry moguls have been brainwashing us and lying to us about what that item actually costs.

Hello Sidney,

Wow, great stuff on Amway. What cracks me up are the Ambots who write back to you -- so self- contradictory (sometimes within the same sentence).

On the one hand, they'll say, "Oh, eveyone is SO supportive and helpful in Amway", yet the knee-jerk "if you can't make it you're a loser/quitter/negative person with a broke attitude" response is out of their mouths before they know it. That's supportive?

Or how about "it takes a special person to succeed", yet they'll jump at the first opportunity to "show the plan" to anyone who happens to be breathing (hitting up strangers in supermarkets? what kind of people are these? homeless?). Are we ALL that special and gifted? Oh no, wait, I'm a loser. Or was it a quitter. Whatever. ;)

And a funny thing, all of these horror stories going on, but it's always in someone else's downline ("well, there are good and bad people in Amway") -- "you should try again with a different sponsor" (yeah, I'll sign you up right now!! ;)).

Some more fodder for the cannon:

I'm 26. My wife and I were recently married. We spent around $10,000 on our wedding and did not go into debt to do it (in fact we had a fair amount left over). We're getting ready to buy a second vehicle, & pay for 80% up front. We'll be putting money down on a house within 2 years. How was all of this possible, you ask? ;) Simple. We actually SAVED the money. We didn't spend it on "business opportunities" or other such nonsense. Incredible what a little "perseverance" will do, eh? (we put away about $1000 every month, it ain't so hard, even here in the Bay Area, one of the most expensive places in the country).

The best thing about it? My wife and I see each other A LOT. We take lots of vacations, hikes, other excursions away from our (dare I say it?) jobs (OH GOD! I MUST BE SOME KIND OF LOSER! I HAVE A JOB! :) :)) Sometimes we just sit around the house (gasp!). We're not looking for everything -- just each other & some peaceful time together -- and we have it already! Without showing a plan to anyone! Imagine, achieving my dreams without the help of Amway! (BTW, we make less than $80,000 per year, combined).

"We'll see you on the beaches of the world"? HA! Take your stinking, polluted beaches. Money isn't everything (nor the only thing). "Financial freedom" for Ambots seems to come at the cost of mental imprisonment -- I'd rather be 'broke' & freethinking than walking in lockstep with a bunch of single- track-minded DITs (Diamonds-In-Training) . . . "must show the plan" . . . "must show the plan" . . . (repeat ad infinitum).

Well, thanks for the great laugh on Scamway . . . I always thought there was something fishy with these guys, just couldn't put my finger on it. Now I have "evidence" (some of it generated by Ambots themselves) to pass along to our pals, who are unfortunately mixed up in this mess (any advice?).

Write back if you can, I'd love to hear more of your thoughts (sounds like you're pretty busy with the Web site, though).


I came across your website, I think it's awesome! It's made me feel *very* justified for leaving Amway. Let me share with you some observations, but first... (fanfare!) My Amway Story!

Way back in September of 1995 (or maybe it was August), I was sitting in my roomates room playing on his computer. He was talking on the phone to a friend of his, P. Suddenly my room mate asked me "what are you doing on (a certain date that I don't remember)?" I said nothing so far as I knew, and then he told me that "P has a meeting that he needs to bring 6 people to, and I think that you should go." Well, I was a little hesitant, to which my roomate told me that P would buy me ice cream if I went. Well, I thought what the hay, I'm not doing anything anyways.

Well, the day arrives, and I follow P up to this place. I was a little bit warry that he was going to try to "get me into something". Just before we went in, he told me that it was Amway, and that I would find it very interesting.

Well we went into the meeting, and it was a whole bunch of people dressed up, and needless to say, I felt out of place in jeans. Somebody introduced the speaker, who was Bill Hawkins (at that time an Executive Diamond in the World Wide Dream Builders line). Well, I have to admit that Bill was a pretty good speaker. He went through the whole spiel, talking about all the stuff that he was doing (since he is 'retired'), then he went into the plan.

Well, to make a long story short, I got excited by this (they get you focused on your dream, who wouldn't get excited). After about 3 months, I joined up. I tried to get people over to my house so they could be showed the plan, but I couldn't get anyone. Had my upline Silver show the plan to my parents and sister. I couldn't get anyone interested. I was upfront, and I told everyone that it was Amway right away, I wasn't comfortable in doing it any other way.

I bought the products, bought the tapes, went to the meetings and rallies and ended up spending a lot of money (for me) on Amway. I quickly realized that this wasn't for me. I wasn't comfortable talking to people about Amway. Or, in otherwords, their negative opinions of Amway were stronger than my positive opinions of Amway.

So I ended up quitting in March. Now I had the fun task of trying to get my upline to buy back the books and tapes. I called my sponsor up and told him that I wanted to sell my tapes back. Well, he was a bit suprised (you know, you can write them off of your taxes - great, that doesn't cover their cost though), he told me that he'd have to talk to our upline Direct (who was a ruby) and then he'd get back to me. Well, it turned out that I needed to talk to the Ruby myself. So I told him that I wasn't interested in Amway anymore and that I wanted for him to buy my tapes back. Well, he said that he didn't have to. I told him that I had a copy of the "Purchase Agreement for Non Amway Business Building Tools" (or whatever it is called), and that it said that I could get 100% of my money back if it was within 180 days (six months, and it hadn't been that long yet) and that after six months, they had to be in a "resellabe" condition and it would then be 90% of the purchase price. He then proceeded to tell me that what that really meant was that they had to be unopened and then he would buy them back, but since they were opened, he wasn't going to buy them back. I said "that's not what the contract says", then he told me that "every Attorney General in every state has approved this contract...(blah, blah, blah)". Then he tried to compare it to buying books for college. I said, the college will buy back the books at the end of the semester. Then he started getting off on some tangent that I don't even remember now. But I do remember this, at one point he told me that "what you want is socialistic". I said "hey now, I think that you're getting a little carried away here, I don't want socialism".

Well, needless to say, I didn't get my money back (which I figured to be about $170), nor did I get any money back from my sponsor for the products that I returned to him (something about how the products have to go all the way upline to the corporation, and then the check has to come back down all the way through the downline), but I don't remember a dollar amount on the products.

What made me the most upset was all these people who were supposedly my friends, now were no longer interested in me since I wasn't "in the business". I got a real education on where their priorities lies with regards to getting me my money refunded. You'd think that they'd be more worried about building a positive image, but obviously they were only interested in the money.

One of my reasons for leaving Amway was that the products just weren't a good deal. I'll give you a couple of examples. Shampoo, Amway: 7.5oz for about $4.00, Salon Selectives (maybe not top of the line, but I've used it for five years) 15oz for about $2.00. Twice the product for half the cost. Whatever they're diet drink was (comprable to slimfast) 8 packets for $13.00, UltraSlimfast 16 servings for $6.00, again twice as much for half the cost. Ready made dinners $4.00, Hormel Top Shelf, $1.99. I just couldn't afford to spend all of this money on this stuff that I could get cheaper in a supermarket.

A couple of months later I stumbled across an Amway message board on AOL. I read all of the posts, and much to my suprise, I found that there were others just like myself, who had had less than ideal experiences with Amway and the lines of sponsorship (a.k.a. 'the system'). Only then did I find out the real motivation behind pushing books and tapes. I dived into the ongoing discussion, slamming on 'the system', and then one day I started figuring out the numbers associated with tapes and seminars. Example, we decided by common concensus that it doesn't take any more than $1.00 to buy, produce and copy a seminar tape. If they sell the tape for $6.00, that gives them $5.00 profit. Multiply that by 10,000 (and I know that there's more people than that in WWDB) and you come up with $50,000 profit. And that's just one week. Multiply that by six (two one tape sets, and two-two tape sets per month) and you get $300,000. Another example, seminars. I went to a "Second Look Meeting" where Jack Dougherty spoke. It was at the convention center and 2000 people were there. It was $6.00 a head. That makes $12,000. Now I don't know how much it costs to rent a hall/room at the convention center, but it can't be more than $1,000. And if you figure another $1,000 to cover travel exspenses for the speaker (which is generous to say the least) that gives you $10,000 profit. Not bad for one night. Multiply that by 3 (per month) and that gives you $30,000 per month.

Now my observations,

I've found it interesting looking at what some of the Amway apologetics say. I really don't have anything against the corporation, I think that what they've done is pretty cool. If they could lower their prices and clean up the lines of sponsorship, I think that they could really take off.

One of the things that I believe is that 'the system' is at odds with the corporation. 'The system' is more interested in you spending your money there, rather than purchasing Amway product. In fact, what I think would be interesting is if someone could figure out what a person would make in a "me - you - six - four - two" senario if everybody did $100 a month, and then compare it to what the person makes off of the system if they're all "plugged in". I figured that in the "me - you - six - four - two" senario you have 79 people (not including yourself). If they all buy six tapes a month (@ $6.00 each) and attend three seminars a month (@ $6.00 each) that you'd stand to make $4,266 a month off of the system (assuming you got 100% of the kickbacks - could be a little less figuring in the cost of the tapes). Now I have to admit that I don't remember what the 4% leadership bonus in based on after a person you sponsor goes direct. If it is based on 4% of the $2,000 a month, that'd make $80 (if it is based on something else, please let me know!). Obviously as you can see, it makes a whole lot more sense to make sure that your people are plugged in to the system and spending their money there, rather than buying a lot of product.

One of the things that suprises me is the notion that "if you plug into the system, and work hard, you'll be a success", as is somehow everyone who ever "plugged in" and worked hard became successful. I'd be real interested to know how many people plugged in, worked hard, and weren't successful! The Diamonds and such are paraded across as if they are the result of pluggin in and working hard, but in reality we don't know what percentage are acutally successful.

The other thing that I like is how you have to "plug in" to the system, or otherwise you won't be successful. It kind of reminds me of a children's story that my five year old likes; The Emperor's New Clothes. Just as a refresher, these two con artists come into town posing as seamsters capable of weaving the finest fabric known to man. The only problem is that stupid people can't see it. Now everyone, not wanting to be thought stupid, claims that they can see it, when in reality there is nothing there.

See to tie this in with Amway, everyone wants to be successful, so they "plug in" to the system and work hard. Because if you don't you won't be successful (and how many of us don't want to be successful - then again, how many of us want to be thought of as a stupid person). So everyone says, I want to be successful, so I will plug into the system. You see, the lines of sponsorship have been very clever by connecting success with the system. And who ends up with all the money?

Another thing that I find interesting is how they automatically discount everyone who is no longer in Amway as a "loser and a quitter". Again, smart thinking on the part of the lines of sponsorship, if you automatically dismiss anyone who has left the system as a quitter or loser, then what they say doesn't count, because "if they had worked at it, then they would have been successful". Kind of like not paying attention to a disgruntled employee who has been fired for some wrong doing. You don't listen to him/her because obviously they have an axe to grind. Since they do this, then the don't have to examine any criticism of the system.

Well, this has been kind of long winded, thank you for giving me the space (and time!!!) to vent. I hope that you find it interesting, if you have any comments (or know how much a distributor would make in that scenario), let me know.

My boyfriend and I have gone out for 2 and 1/2 years. He has been an Amway distributor for about 4 months. Since he's been in the business, he has attended 3 out of town funtions and I have attended one. (Boring! Snore, snore). Anyways, ever since his first function all I've heard about is how submissive women should be and how their should only be one head of the household. EXCUSE ME...I THOUGHT THIS WAS THE 90'S!!!! No wonder many people need to go to marraige counslers after being in this business! The business is all about brain-washing, not good business tactics. I just wish my boyfriend could get my boyfriend to hear my submissive voice. Wish me luck!

Dear Sir,

I am writing to express deep thanks for the carefully exectued search and compilation that you have performed on the Amway Corp. This evening, a gentleman came to visit for the purpose of informing me of a "great business oppotunity." The man was in fact my father's chiropractor, who had pushed the meeting and discussion with my father for several weeks. I am a 23 year old graduate from Carnegie Mellon Univ. with a degree in engineering, recently having started a successful computer business in Pittsburgh. Unfortunatly, I was forced to leave this business to my partner after a major car accident which left me with a broken neck, and several other serious injuries. Through conversation with my father at the chiropractor's office, it was arranged that a meeting to discuss this opportunity would occur. As I am actively searching a new livelihood, I welcomed to chance. Previously, although I had heard the name "Amway" in a negative light, I never really knew much about the organization.

Your site allowed a very thourough investigation into the group, considering many aspects that might have otherwise been overlooked. I am grateful for the clearly stated information and sound backing that your assertations have. In particular, I believe that the statements from actual distributors, in their attempts to defend, were the most damning of all. It was evident that there exists a dream state in these individuals, clarmoring to attain wealth with blind faith in a cause that does not exist. Additionally, not to belittle, but the education level evidenced by their statements further enforces my beliefs that this is a major misrepresentation. One can see the strong desire to hold onto beliefs that have been strongly implanted in their minds, the necessity to defend a losing battle, and the blatant ignorance of the mind control that has overpowered the spirit. I excerpt a few below:

> Some of us
> are doing it right, do have a dream, and believe we can make it. Please
> don't steal that which does not belong to you - my dream.

Yes, that's lovely, but will you make any money, will you not be ripped off, will they not drain all spirit and ambition from you? Use your dreams in a productive manner, they will be an asset in the long battle it is to create a successful _business_

> You sure seem to spend alot of time justifying your broke mentality. Have a
> good life and I will drop u a line when I retire!!!

Evidently, the conditioning has worked well... "broke mentality," "early" retirement. I find this highly unlikely from someone who makes his entire defense in two ill-formed sentences.

> 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.

The brainwashing and childishness that is catered to is incredible. Although there have been several well- spoken arguments for Amway, the majority are obviously regurgitating their propaganda, blind to the ignorance that they celebrate.

I also find it interesting that the defensive comments of the distributors routinely (from my limited readings) engage in the use of obscene language, and the use of insults. Although I did not read every letter, the retorts consistented primarily of unsubstantiated insults, rather than any facts. This further confirms that this is an organization to which I desire no association.

Materialism seems pervasive in the scheme, and was in fact exemplified by the doctor in his visit. From the documentation left for me to review, it was clear that they sold the potential for a lifestyle, not a product or company. They act upon the dreams of every man, and attempt to provide fulfillment through their pictures of cars, planes and boats. I was astounded at the manner by which the salesman viewed our home. My father is a successful oil executive here in Houston, and we live in what is described as a "mansion." At the end of his presentation he even asked for a tour of our home. It was clear that his thoughts were only of the materialistic success that he could attain, not on a clear understanding of the business in which he was involved and sold.

I thank you once again for the information, and I will be sure to channel my entrepreneurial spirit in a more effective direction. I intend to follow a future not based on dreams, nor naive hopes for the best. People must take a strong look at themselves and attempt to fully understand their motivations. They cannot be blinded by the indoctrination and the preying upon innocent dreams.


Thanks for the info concerning Amway. I am no genious, but I do consider myself to be intelligent. I have "seen the program" three times over the past ten years and it has changed very little. Buy overpriced items you don't need to meet your quota; sponsor others who will do the same; shove motivational tapes down your downline's throats; OH!, and don't worry about actually selling anything.

I've never understood the mentality of spending $200/mth to make $60/mth. The math I learned tells me that I am LOSING money if I do that. :)

I have owned an Amway distributorship for about four years. I have not reached the income level I had hoped, but not because of the guy under me or next to me or above me. Because of ME! If I don't put in the work at a job I get fired and don't make any money; if I don't put in the work with my own business I don't make any money. Were's the difference? If people I sponsor don't make money, I don't make money. If the employees of a company don't produce (income) the owner doesn't receive income. Were's the difference? I have questioned some of the characteristics of INDIVIDUAL associates, but Amway doesn't put a regulation as to the type of person that is allowed to start a distributorship. Everyone I have ever talked to that had something negative to say didn't make any money. Why? Because they chose not to have the drive to make it work. It is HARD work. So is starting ANY business! How can a company be around over 30 years and not get caught doing something illegal before now...because they haven't done anything wrong, but irritate a view narrow minded people.

Just saw your web site regarding Amway "tools", and alot of your comments struck a cord. My wife and I have been distributors for over a year, but pretty much on a personal use level, which we don't regret as alot of the products are good. There is an organization (motivational) that as near as I can tell does what you're talking about. There is a set of steps that are "necessary" for success. Two of these, showing the plan and personal accountability, seem important. The rest seem to revolve around tapes, functions, etc. which we have essentially not bought into. We've listened to quite a few borrowed tapes, but once you've heard one you've heard them all. Ditto for the books. I've wondered why this stuff is pushed so hard, as it seems like showing the plan is the only thing that will really get you anywhere, (assuming that what you're selling is soap). The Amway business itself seems perfectly legitimate - has the emphasis on tools actually come from Amway itself, or is this a case of a sideline getting out of hand? Are anyone's tools in particular sanctioned by Amway, or are people doing this on their own? You mention an outfit called Quorum that makes this kind of stuff - who are they?

Hi Sidney,

I've just been reading some of your pages about Amway, the information you have there is excellent and is borne out by some of the things a friend mine who is an Amway distributor says and does. I've noticed some adverse comments about your pages by people who are active distributors, and it's interesting how they always use the psychological approach in the way they attack anyone who has factual and rational grounds for criticising Amway and some of its members.

The main thing that really annoys me about this Amway lark is the way in which distributors are very coy about telling you up front what it is about when trying to recruit you. There is a large amount of cult like behaviour involved, witness the fact that they also use psychological methods to try to recruit you - the main one being to get you to talk about dreams and hopes which require money (and lots of it) to achieve. A couple of people I know were more or less conned into attending a meeting about Amway when they were approached about an opportunity in "networking" - and as these guys were computer programmers (as was the distributor who approached them) they thought that it was a computer networking application! Okay so this wasn't an overt case of false pretences, but it shows how vague and slippery Amwayers are when trying to recruit people into it.

As for Amway's products, I can go down to my local supermarket and buy similar things much cheaper, one body care product in the Amway catalogue is more than twice the price for only two thirds the amount of a similar product in my supermarket. Also, who would want to buy electrical goods through Amway when you can go down to a local store, buy it across the counter, and if there is any problem with it take it straight back - can you imagine doing this through Amway dealers as quickly and easily?!

I've noticed how my Amway friend drops things into conversations occasionally aimed at getting me interested in joining up - even though I always do my best to ignore and not get involved in anything remotely related to Amway. His mainstay method seems to be to talk about my dreams and goals in life (even though my only real goal is to be happy) and he knows that (like most people) I'd like to give up the day job, but I don't consider Amway to be the way for me to do this. I'm certainly not the type of person who would want to sell things to make money, and more importantly I can't stand those motivational books and tapes they are always encouraged to buy. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with having a positive outlook on life, but some of the stuff they read and listen to goes beyond that and is really just a mechanism designed to keep them going with the whole Amway thing. When my friend once gave me a lift in his car he had playing a motivational tape which was some woman in an almost tearful voice wittering on about Amway and goals etc, my only thoughts were that this sort of thing is both funny and nauseating at same time. And I don't mean to offend you, but this sort of motivational thing (and the rallies) is another American export (btw, I'm British) that we can do without.

Since you've had some experience of Amway directly I'm wondering if you know if they actually train or encourage distributors to spot anything about a person when in conversation with them that would open up a selling opportunity? An example of what I'm getting at is when my Amway friend had just popped round for a chat and he noticed that I hadn't shaved for a few days (a normal thing for me!), and then said that he could supply me with razors!! This also made me think how sad and sick an enterprise this Amway business is if they try to spot any little thing about friends or relatives that might be a chance for them to make a sale.

Gees it's great, what your doing..Especially now that millions of folks will no longer have welfare to depend on.Thank god you're getting people away from Amway.Now, you can tell them where they can get their money...I,m sure you as a fine upstanding individual American can give those millions of former welfare people the hope and cash they'll need to keep them from yours$$$$$$.You want muscle men,and spys ..try the IRS.


I would like to make some comments concerning this "business". I became involved in this business several months ago. I should have seen from the very beginning that it wasn't right. The guy that became my sponsor was a complete stranger to me. We met in a mini-mart store. I had locked my keys in my car and he offered me a ride home to get my other set of keys. On the way we spoke about my sports card collecting hobby/business. He told me he might be interested in some cards and asked for my phone number. So I gladly gave it to him. What a mistake. This was the beginning of the end. A couple weeks later he called me and after a few meetings with him and one of his "business partners" I was in.

Now I knew nothing about Amway. Nothing more that the fact that they sold soap. I seemed like a good deal. Now a few months and a few thousand dollars later my opinion has defineately changed. This business was the biggest mistake I have ever made in my entire 30 years.

I was told all sorts of stories about how rich I was going to become in 2 to 5 years. All I had to do is work 10 to 15 hours a week on this business. As I became involved in the business just doing the minimum, it was more like 30 or 40 hours a week. And I still wasn't getting anywhere.

I spent so much money on books, tapes, and functions. I was using money that was meant for much better things. Like taking care of my wife and children. I would go sometimes 3 of 4 days without hardly seeing my 2 little boys(ages 2 & 6). My wife and I were fighting constantly. I would accuse her of holding me back, trying to "steal my dream". My family was falling apart.

I would tell my sponsor and his reply would be that they would thank me someday when all the money was pouring in. He would then suggest that I buy a book or a tape from upline that would help me with this problem.

For every problem that came along they would always have a book or a tape that I could buy that would fix everything.

They told me that in order to be successful in this business I had to buy all the tapes and books that they suggested, go to all the functions that my upline held, no matter how much it cost or how far I had to travel, show the plan at least 15 to 20 times a month, more if possible and of course 100% self use of all the products. If I didnt do all these things I wouldn't make it.

The last weekend function I went to was an absolute joke. They hired a guy to come in to speak who had cerebal palsey. I give this gentleman all the credit in the world he was great.

The sad part about it was that the "leaders" of this weekend used this gentlemans handicap to there advantage. After the speach they told everyone that if this guy could come out on stage and do what he did with his handicap then none of us had any excuse for not building this business.

A group of us were told at one point by one of our upline directs that we should purchase more tickets than we need to the functions so we would be forced to go out and sell them to someone else. Little did I know at the time he was making money on every ticket sold.

For me the straw that broke the camels back was when my upline helped recruit my 80 year old grandfather. I was involved in this, I still believed in the business at the time but I was beginning to have my doubts by now. I set up the meeting with my grandfather and someone from my upline. He lives down in Florida and my upline just happened to be going down there.

I wasn't too sure that mhe would get involved. It seemed like he just wanted to know more about it. Next thing I knew I recieved a message on my Amvox(another large waste of my money) that my grandfather had bought thew startup kit. I couldnt believe it. I spoke with him several days later. It turns out that he had little to no idea what he had gotten himself into. He started going through all the information in the startup kit and realized that there was no way he could do something like this. Were still trying to get his money back for his kit.

It's been about a month now and these people are still calling me almost every day. Thank God for caller ID. I even catch them driving by the house once in a while.

I'll never get back the time I lost with my family. I'd like to get back some if not all of the money that I put into this scam! And the friends that I was told weren't my friends because they wouldn't get into the business with me are still my friends even after I blew them off. The people in this business told me that they were my only true friends only want to be bothered with me if I'm making them money. Soon they will give up and forget about me and move on to the next person. Some friends.

They told me that I needed to build this business I truely wanted to be FREE. I believe now that I have opened my eyes to what a crock this business is only now am I truely FREE.

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