Amway: The Untold Story

Your Comments, Part 44

(9/97)


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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 that I almost saddened AND elightened to find this website. It saddens me because my parents have been in Amway for almost 8 years, at the Emerald Level and spend all of their time, money and effort in Amway and after reading this web page I realize that all of the feelings I've had about Amway have been valid and I'm not crazy and Amway really is Scamway, BUT not really -- I think it's these stupid organizations like World Wide, ILD, etc that is the real scam. Amway products are like any other product in the market, some are good, some aren't so what -- I'll buy what I want when I want for the pure reason of need and not PV/BV. I could ramble on and on about all the paradoxes of Amway, but what really hurts me the most is the complete loss of my mother. (My mom and step-dad are in this together). After being completely brainwashed by the Jack Daughery & Ron Puryear people she is totally enthralled in the business 100%. She has a grand child (not mine) that is almost a year old that she hasn't even seen because she can't afford to pay for the travel, but you can darn well bet that she can afford any expense in the world to go to any leadership function. Because I want to show my parents that I do support them and truly want the best for them, I occassionally will attend one of their "Dream Nights" or someother brainwashing function. It absolutely sickens me to listen to their babble about how "rich" they are and how they pay cash for everything. Let me ask any Amway distributor out there that's totally sucked into this "business" do you think that your upline-Emerald or any Emerald in the business is so broke that they barely have their homes furnished, they both drive totally broken down cars, are so broke that they maybe see outside family members once or twice a year, are so broke they are living in barely minimal mid-income rented house, are so broke that they can't even afford any type of luxuries in life accept the "freebies" that they get when they go to these brainwashing functions. My mom is forever calling and telling me about how wonderfuld her trip to Cancun or Disney World was, but the bulk of the trip was motivational lectures telling them how to go conquer the devils in this world and she didn't even have time to visit or tour anything on her own. Or lets talk about these motivational tools they cram down everyone's throat. Suddenly, anyone who's made it Emerald or above is some sort of psychotherapist because of all the books they read! Please, I just ate lunch and I need to sign off before I lose it, but if anyone out there is in this business and doing well -- please write into Sidney's web site and tell him (and me) about the wonderful, nuturing, strong relationships you have with members of your family who are not in the "business." I would love for anyone to prove me wrong.


hi sidney,

reading through the text of the hart lawsuit, i understand that the harts are asking for a damage award of at least $550,000,000. this includes the estimated monetary figure of $50,000,000 addressed pursuant to the various violations outlined in hart's allegations. i guess i'm asking whether i'm reading the lawsuit correctly. i realize that you might not have legal expertise on this matter. however, any additional comments or info you can provide on your website about this lawsuit would be appreciated. please keep us updated. thank you.


Hi there!

I was reading your "anti-amway" site, and it really sucks!!. the most of people in these comments are uninformed :) while, here in Chile, to be an Amway distributor is very popular. There are a LOT of people making a lot of money in this business.

Inform these people, so they will not tell bullshit


i would like to here some true facts about all the successfull people in the bussiness because i have met some wonderful people . this cult thing is funny, i have seen or found nothing like this garbage you talk about. please give it a break. there is bad and good in all things in life it is the evil minded people like you and some of the failures you chose to listen to or write about . you speak what you get . some just chose to except failing. it is easer for there minds to handel.

thanks for nothing

letters of a winner

you haft to be aleader of a cult the devil him self .


Hmm, it's been interesting scanning the 'net for Amway information, but I have noticed a couple of things -

1. It's nearly all negative
2. It's nearly all *not* about Amway - it's about Dexter Yager and his organisation

I thought I'd give my brief comments and experiences from 3 months as a "retread" (I first joined 7 years ago simply for cheap cleaning products as a caretaker) Firstly I've been told that their are 49 different groups supporting the Amway sales and marketing plan. Assuming this is true, Yager's is just one of them, albeit a very large one. The website's continually talk negatively about Amway, but all the negativity seems to only talk about Yager's organisation. When I read entire documents (such as court documents) they often have *positive* statements about the Amway company itself. The only negative is that they've done nothing to stop the "bad" people, something I imagine would be hard to do for any large organisation. In any case, my experiences here in Australia with a group called Network 21 have been nothing but positive. Contrary to what all these pages say -

1) We were told that if we wanted to serious at trying to build the Amway business we'd be looking at at least A$300 in the first few months, ie including the cost of tapes books and meetings.

2) We were told it's *not* easy and that very few people do succeed. Even if you worked hard reasonable returns would take 2 to 6 years.

3) We were told to never lie to people about whether it was Amway or not. In general you should avoid telling people straight off it's Amway, because they associate it with the negative stories we've all heard, not with the positive people of integrity that have been my experience. If they ask, be completley upfront.

4) We were told never to harass people. For a start it makes business sense as people who have to be harrassed into joining are unlikely to do anything and won't be succesful anway.

5) Our upline has regularly lent tapes, free of charge to downline. They've even paid for tickets to seminars if they thought the prospects looked worthwhile. We've been encouraged to buy tapes, books, and meeting tickets, but if we or anyone downline has said no, then that's been fine.

6) I've never heard anyone call anyone who'd dropped out or was not a distributor a loser.

7) We've been helped to budget and told *not* to spend money we couldn't afford.

8) I've barely ever heard God or Jesus or anything else religious mentioned. Hell, I'm an atheist so that would put me right off!

9) heck, we're only 6% and we've been told quite openly that the guest speakers and successful people get paid a packet for their time and tapes

I suppose my point is that this and other websites all ostensibly about Amway, but in fact are not, they are about (in general) one particular "associated" organisation that has little to do with my and many other people's experiences. We don't like that fact that we often can't outright say "I've joined Amway and was wondering if you'd be interested in checking it out", because we know that to many people Amway would mean what your site says it means. We're running with a different dictionary here and I read your site and just shake my head. If I had to deal with thay sort of organisation I'd be suing their butts off too. Thankfully I'm not and I don't, because that's *not* Amway. The transcript of Rich DeVos' "Directly Speaking Tape you have at http://www.teleport.com/~schwartz/directly.htm gives the Amway story, the rest of the site gives the Dexter Yager story.


Wow!!! This is the most thoroughly researced and documented expose I've seen on Amway. I became interested in exploring the negative aspects of Amway after my business partner and his wife were lured into it and brainwashed in a matter of days (They already have an Amway VISA card!!!) He's already convinced that he is going to retire in two years. I've been approached on more than one occasion by friends that have been suckered into Amway and I've always declined to go to any meetings primarily because I am highly suspicious of an organization that emphasizes hiding its' true affiliations from prospective recruits (a business with a good reputation trades on that reputation).

I've printed most of what is on your site along with information available elsewhere on the net for inclusion in a file titled "Noway." It contains a myriad of solid, documentable, reliable and sustainable arguments as to why one should avoid Amway. I hope that you will grant me permission to distribute this information.

Maybe you should consider adding to your a site a section in which Amway distribs are invited to post copies of documentation showing how much money they have made versus how much they have invested/spent on Amway as well as the amount of time it took to succeed. If such a person exists, surely he/she would be willing to do this in order to effectively and honestly rebut all of the negative publicity surrounding Amway. I would also challenge them to prove that they have made most of their money on retail sales versus sales of "tools." After all, if Amway is a retail goods operation, shouldn't the bulk of a distributors profits come from repeat sales of retail goods which, theoretically, offer a higher value for the dollar than normal retail operations (i.e. K-Mart, Wal Mart, Target, etc). Challenge them to prove that these retail sales were actual customers as opposed to current distributors.. After all, if the bulk of Wal Mart's sales were to employees, would they be considered a successful retail operation as defined by those of us not indoctrinated into the Amway mindset?

Thanks tremendously for the wealth of information you've provided and for considering my suggestions...


I enjoyed your pages on the evils of Amway.

I know first hand the cultism involved with Multi-Level.

A number of years ago, i worked for a company that was a service bureau for a number of MLM companies.

It gave me an inside look into the mindset of MLMs. I view than as evil, pure and simple. I found that due to the nature of MLMs, they intersect and intertwine. People will be involved in three or four (or more) and use people in all of the downlines. The mindset of these people is frightening. It paralells the things I have seen in my involvement with religion. When they combine, it is even worse.

Keep up the good work!


DID YOU SHOW 15 (QUALIFIED) PLANS A MONTH FOR 6 MONTHS TO A YEAR? IF YOU DID NOT,THEN YOU WERE WASTING YOUR TIME. JUST BEING AN AMWAY DIST. WILL NOT MAKE YOU MONEY. IT'S A NUMBERS GAME, LIKE ANY SALES AND MARKETING BUSINESS. DO YOU THINK A CAR SALESMAN MAKES A SALE WITH EVERY POTENTIAL CUSTOMER THAT APPROACHES HIM. AS FAR AS THE BOOKS, TAPES, & FUNCTIONS- IF ALL YOU DO IS SPEND THE MONEY ON TOOLS BUT NEVER STP, THEN YES YOU ARE WASTING YOUR MONEYAND TIME, BUT THAT IS LIKE A STORE OWNER BUYING ALL HIS INVENTORY AND NEVER OPENING UP HIS STORE OR A COLLEGE STUDENT BUYING ALL HIS BOOKS AND NEVER GOING TO CLASS OR STUDYING AND EXPECTING AND "A" GRADE. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. IF ALL YOU DID WAS BECOME A BETTER PERSON FROM THE BOOKS,TAPES, & FUNCTIONS, THEN IT WAS WELL WORTH IT( HOW MUCH DOES A TONY ROBBINS SEMINAR COST??? -WHICH WOULD MOTIVATE YOU TO DO BETTER IN YOUR PERSONAL & BUSINESS LIFE). I THINK WE WOULD BOTH AGREE THAT APROXIMATELY TWO YEARS OF BOOKS, TAPES & FUNCTIONS ARE EQUAL TO ONE TONY ROBBINS SEMINAR. DON'T PUT DOWN THE "SYSTEM"-DID YOU READ THE BOOKS, LISTEN TO THE TAPES, & TAKE NOTES AT THE SEMINARS??? WERE YOU ABLE TO APPLY THOSE PRINCIPLES TO YOUR EVERDAY LIFE??? I HAVE, WHICH HAS MADE ME MORE SUCCESSFUL IN MY OTHER BUSINESS VENTURES AND PERSONAL LIFE. YES, I AM A DISTRIBUTOR. I INVEST X AMOUNT OF DOLLARS IN "TOOLS" WHEN I AM PUTTING X AMOUNT OF HOURS IN BUILDING THE BUSINESS. I AM HAPPY TO SAY I LOVE MOST OF THE PRODUCTS, WHAT I LOVE THE MOST ARE MY BONUS CHECKS EVERY MONTH.!!


Sydney:

Your site is excellent. It's well organized, complete and thorough. Of course I'm an ex-distributor. I wouldn't dare search for objective information if I was still involved! A few things I find interesting...

Isn't it hilarious how distributors cut a person down for quitting Amway? We're all just lumped into a big group and labeled "losers, quitters, non-dreamers." A prospect is asked to make a decision to join based on a week's worth of information. The business is never treated as a "real business" (don't get "detailitis") it's treated like a buying club, a way to earn "additional" income. But once you sign your name away (based on minimal information), you are then "committed." You are led to believe that the business is the only thing that will ever work for you. It becomes your only lifeline to happiness, God and the American Dream. And so help you, if you decide that the business is not for you...you are a quitter, a loser! You are made to feel that if you ever quit, your family will suffer eternal doom and you will never succeed in anything for the rest of your life!

And I'm sure you love how distributors use biased statistics & facts in the plan, but then turn around and say "if the dream is big enough, the facts don't count" when presented with truthful statistics & facts...like less than 1% succeed in the business, etc.

Deception & Guilt. They don't work on me anymore. And thanks to your web site, and the countless others that are popping up all over the Net, the deception & guilt tactics of Amway distributors won't work on them either.

While many ex-distributors may want you to believe that you are "stealing dreams" and just doing this web site because you are bitter, please know this: your site is helping genuinely good people with dreams, hopes and ambitions realize that there is more than one way to make money, have a happy marriage, be a good person, and achieve the American Dream!

I realize you're busy...no need to reply.


Very interesting stuff you have on Amway. I suspected a rat behind the so called amway training and motivation. If a product cannot sell itself, then there is either a problem with the product or the organisation. We have the same problem in Perth, Western Australia. People acting as self destructing lemmings, rather than using their intellegence and costing the business structure. It does not require much intellegence to realise that the major cost is the labour component. It takes four years to train an apprentice to become a tradesman, and three to five years to obtain a university degree. Then you start learning about your profession. If you listen to the negative motivational Amway hyp, then it is impossible for Bill Gates of Microsoft to exist. At least Microsoft, employs real people in real jobs. Amway is a pretend job selling a pretend idea. Wealth is not measured by money. It is the intangables in life that counts. Good health, good friends, quality time with your family, freedom of speech, the public library education. The Amway family will never be a genuine relationship. As I told one of the Amway uplines " If you put the amount of effort and time that you place in Away, into any vocation or business of your choice, then you will be successful. I for one am not interested in earning an income the Amway way. The people I have met in Amway are only users and negative motivators.


Well Mr. Schwartz, I must say you have done most of your homework very well. I would say you were a bit subjective about the whole issue though. Sorry you got involved in an opportunity that anyone can get into, and everyone does. As a result, you have met most of the "bad" distributors. My organization does participate in many of the things you mentioned but we believe we can have a better life one day, just as Bill Gates did. As you certainly must know, due to your superior knowledge, doctors are a dime a dozen, good ones are hard to find; lawyers are a dime a dozen, good ones are hard to find; and no disrespect but, Amway distributors are a dime a dozen, good ones are hard to find. As a result, I'm sure you have quit believing in Doctors, Lawyers, Politicians, etc. too! My point is this: you are too subjective to be taken serious. I'm very sorry people read this information without realizing the source.

I would even be surprised to find this comment in your web site!


Hey, what's with all the pinko links? Can't you provide a few for us hate-mongering, insensitive right-wingers? We don't all like Amway, either... :)


AMWAY IS THE BEST BUSINESS IN THE WHOLE WORLD. I AM PROUD TO BE UNDER THE BRITT ORGANIZATION, WHOEVER THINKS OTHERWISE CAN CONTINUE TO BE BROKEWHILE I AM IN THE BEACHES OF HAWAII, BEING FREE! GOSH I LOVE THIS..


I want to thank you for this site. About 6 mos.ago my wife and I went networking inactive. We have a very large retail account, so we are renewing to start getting back our investments. We have been actively building Amway for 4 years in the Britt system. Everything I saw and didn't question is becoming all to true. The motivational biz profits are a lot more lucrative then anyone has ever discussed. I've personally been to the night night night owls at 4 in the morning and heard it all. Just so we understand each other I was at the direct level with about 55 active distributors. E mail me if you ever want to talk. I've enjoyed this site. It has put things back in perspective......


Please, you have a few "letters" from some people who's friends found something that they enjoy more than them, so they immediately blame Amway. Hello! Some People Change! Just because they don't enjoy their company anymore doesn't mean that Amway is a cult. It's to bad you don't investigate the Amway business and find out what it is really about! Hint: It's about God, Country & Free Enterprise! (Gee, that's the same thing our founding fathers died for! Is America a cult?!)


Mr. Sidney Schwartz i am an Amway distributor from Greece. This is our second year. I have read many emails from other distributors and ex distributors and some of the articles published in your webpage. Most of the things i saw are true. The thing is that most of the people cannot see these things from another point of view. You see, every coin has two faces. You see just one. I have just one question to state. How can you explain the fact that here in Greece we started with just 6 tapes in Greek,books in English, no big seminars,no rallies,nothing except the 12 Amway products and we had almost immediately a serious number of new GREEK Direct distributors. One of them is my upline, one of my best friends I know him for years, he is helping me all the time. I am at 12% now and i am climbing in higher percentages. My expences are just some gas for the car, the few tapes we have and the books. Expences that are covered from the products that i sell and the bonuses. The Yager system works but in no way one should see it as a cult. If a distributor becomes one of these guys who jump up and down when they listen to a tape or run to get the signature of a diamond but never do any work then it is a cult. But if you get only the knowledge from a tape, the excitement from your group and faith from yourself you can succeed. I am terribly sorry for my big letter but i had a lot to say and i still have.

PS:I hope i have an asnwer as soon as possible.


Subject: "You have a friend in Amway"

-That's a quote from an Amway rally that I attended out of morbid curiosity last weekend. A friend of mine was on the fence as to whether or not to join and asked me my opinion. I had a bad feeling about the whole deal, but I wasn't really sure why (just a base reaction. I should trust those feelings...) so I agreed to attend to find out more about this Amway thing.

I now wish I had found your site before I had attended so that I could have saved myself $7, an hour and a half, and a major creep-out. My friend and I sat in the back of this auditorium and looked around at the folks that were in attendance. They looked relatively sane I guess. Then the meeting started and everyone stood up to welcome the hosts. My friend and I assumed that they were just giving the hosts a standing ovation and then everyone would sit down. No chance. After a "WIRE IT UP! FIRE IT UP!" chant (they did that 18 times. I counted.) they then led us in prayer. This was a serious turn-off for me but I figured I'd stay because I still didn't have enough info to make an educated arguement against joining (other that "you guys freak me out!"). Over the next 45 minutes or so, they had this couple come out (one of the "success stories") to show us, I assume, the human side to the business (by the way, I noticed that they very rarely referred to Amway. They just kept saying "the business". curious...). The woman spoke first and I was amazed at the fact that she seemed to be in total awe of her husband and the fact that he "saw that the business would work and I didn't. Now look at us!". Creepy creepy creepy.

By this time my friend had been shoved to the I-am-definately-not getting-involved side of the fence. Whew. We left and all the way home he had the shakes. I'm not just saying this to make it sound more dramatic. He literally had an anxiety attack of sorts because of what we heard at the Amway rally. I'm telling you man, I wish I hadn't investigated and just said "no thank you". Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Thanks for the site. Very informative.


Read your info, if that is what it could be considered.... my response: It is futile to argue with drunks, fools or fanatics and I believe that any of those could apply in this case. Perhaps you should read more and get a life or at least have a dream.

Peace


I writing this letter to share my experience. Ive been in Amway six years and have never missed a function, buying books or tapes. Ive lost my wife, family and friends because I choose to chase a dream. I worked my regular job and then pushed Amway in the evenings, sometimes comming home after midnight. I believed in Amway! I thought if that I was just not pushing hard enough. Sure I made some money but no more than getting a part time job at the local Burger King. Im trying to get my life back together and at least have some kind of relationship with my kids but its just going to take time, something I did not give my family when I started. If you read this and say that I just didnt do the biz right or I didnt try hard enough then just keep believing that. Ive been through it and Ive lost more than what I would of ever gained from some materilistic dream. Learn from my mistake. Becoming a diamond can happen to you but there are better ways of making your materlistic dreams come true if your that way, like I was.


Why I got out of Amway

1. While I believe in the freedom of speech, the same cannot be said about Amway.

Your Amway family (the uplines) encourage and program people not to express any thoughts that might be construed as "negative" comments or criticisms of the business. From the very beginning, you are indoctrinated to believing, without question, what your uplines teach you and what information they feed to you. When I was in the business, any seeds of doubt that I had about information relative to Amway was outweighed by my obsessive enthusiasm for the business.

Though many, well-intentioned Amway distributors proclaim that the Amway business is not a "cult", there are many cult like attributes promoted and fostered by the Amway motivational organizations, including but not limited to instructing down line distributors not to read newspapers, magazines, or watch TV, as these "outside" influences could taint an Amway true believer and introduce "negative" influences into the Amway family. It's as if the powerful Amway upline distributors are afraid that "outside influences" may act like viruses that will attack and perhaps kill the Amway body.

During the time that I was in Amway, I was concerned about these teachings, but was hopeful that enough enlightened people would join the organization in order to blunt and then eventually change such a close-minded philosophy and mentality.

2. The religious overtones and influx of religion into the business.

I was dismayed by the religious overtones in what I initially thought was a sophisticated business. Tapes were pushed on us like drugs pushed on an addict. It seemed to me that some of the tapes were religious testimonials or the teachings of an evangelist, rather than helpful hints on running and expanding an Amway business.

Even worse were the religious segments of rallies and major functions. At the very beginning of any rally, there would be a prayer, even though many of the distributors in my group were Jewish. I was concerned that a sophisticated business organization would condone religious services at the rallies. At the major functions, religion was an integral part of the function, whether opening or closing prayers, religious speakers, or continuous references to God by the major speakers.

I have no problem with religious freedom, but I take issue with religion being co-mingled with business.

3. The "real income" of Amway:

During my time in Amway, and based upon my reading of the Amway materials, the information that I received from my uplines, and tapes that I listened to, my business plan was to develop a down line organization of consumers of Amway products as well as develop the retail business of Amway products. The tapes were merely to be used as source materials, to encourage distributors, and to provide helpful information on building an Amway distributorship.

Like most distributors, I invested both my time and money in the business, especially investing a sizable sum of money in tools, such as ad packs, overnight kits, and educational and motivational tapes. When I left the business, I had boxes of tapes but believed that the tapes had been a business investment.

In reality, the tapes are a major source of income for some of your high level uplines. Please note the recent lawsuit filed by double Diamond distributors Brig and Lita Hart, in which they allege and reveal that:

"In addition to the profits distributors earn from sales of Amway's products, certain mid-level and high-level distributors obtain revenue (and profits) from the sale of Amway-related products -- books, cassette tapes, selling aids, videotapes, flip-charts, etc. -- called "business support materials". These materials are used by distributors to help train and motivate their down-line distributors. Although the great majority of these materials are not manufactured or distributed by Amway, Amway has recognized the existence of this aspect of the business and has promulgated various rules regulating the manufacture, sale and distribution of these business support materials. These rules require the sale of these materials to follow a distribution system that is parallel to the lines of sponsorship used to sell Amway products. For some distributors, including Plaintiffs, the sale of business support materials produces revenues far exceeding the revenues generated from the sale of Amway's consumer goods."

I encourage any Amway distributor or person interested in the Amway business to read the entire complaint filed by the Harts, which can be found in the excellent website maintained by Sydney Schwartz. His website is as follows: www.teleport.com/~schwartz/index.htm.

I encourage you to ask your upline direct, pearl, emerald, and Diamond how much "tools" profits they are making and the percentage of "tools" profits to "overall" profits. Also ask them for their comments on the Harts' lawsuit.

Lastly, I encourage you to engage in an open forum about the Amway business. Whether you agree with me is not important. What is important is that you investigate the Amway business with an open mind and make your own inquiry into the pros and cons of the Amway business.

Remember, knowledge is power, and ignorance is for the powerless.


Mr. Schwartz,

I don't need to tell you to ignore all the mean-spirited, angry comments that the glassy-eyed faithful send to you; after all, merely reading their poorly-written, defensive, condescending remarks does more to disparage the AMWAY organization than anything you or I could ever write. I hope you wear their ugly commentary as a badge of courage and never, EVER doubt the true value of your web site!

I guess the best response to those who (blindly) claim that your site presents a biased, one-sided view of AMWAY is to ask them if the AMWAY web site provides a forum for people to critique their "business opportunity", openly welcoming opposing views and makes them available for the world to see. I think not!

Unfortunately, I've got several friends who have fallen victim to the AMWAY "opportunity". God himself couldn't succeed at dragging me into this or any other MLM (assuming, of course, that I'd been condemned to hell and this was my sentence) but these friends never miss an opportunity to recruit. One of them first approached me by asking me to help her evaluate this business (as I am a professor of business & economics) but (surprise, surprise) even though I returned with a scathing opinion of her "can retire in five years" dream, she announced that she has thoroughly researched the "opportunity" and found it to be credible. Oh well. I have to wonder, though, exactly HOW she "researched" this business. Could it be...might it be...maybe... that she read the material THEY gave her to use in her research????? God, how I wished your web site was required reading for new recruits!

Anyway, I wanted to ask if you've been asked to appear as a guest on any of the talk shows that proliferate on both TV and radio. Can't say I have a great deal of respect for them, but they DO reach a lot of people. And I suspect that you could hold your own in a debate with any of the AMWAY-faithful. Have you been invited to appear on many of these shows and/or is there anything I could do to help promote such appearances?


Mr. Schwartz,

I was approached by a man in a local bookstore while looking through the computer magazines. He told me of a good way to get in a franchise that would allow me to leverage my time and make extra money. I was offered a chance to go to a business meeting that would explain it. At the time I was not told it was Amway and I assumed it was about home business in general, which I AM interested in.

I went along and discovered it was Amway and listened to the show. It had all the features you've discussed -- the flagrant flaunting of wealth (at least the appearance of wealth and the glorification of it), the denigration of 'normal' work which was considered 'making your boss wealthy and not yourself'. The main speaker was a Dr. from Johns Hopkins Medical School that explained he got in it to make more money since as a doctor he wasn't doing very well. Another feature of these lectures is that all the mathematics of the prices, PV and costs are very quickly done, I think to make it hard to actually follow the logic. At the end I was ready to leave but got pushed into staying for the second half of the show which was for the distributors-- in the end it was good that I did since I saw literally a new face of the speaker. In the first part he was folksy and relatively likeable but the second half he was much more cold as he started pushing the tapes and other tools, he also compared people that don't invest in sales aids to the 'students in med school that he tries to teach that don't buy the books needed, of which he said "I hate to say it but I don't want to waste my time with them".

At the end I declined to sign up for the $157 starting kit as well as the $65 (!) dollar convention meeting. Later at home after reading your site, I decided to try to inform more of Maryland about Amway and e-mailed a financial reporter with the Washington Post and suggested he do a story on Amway. He sounded interested in the idea and I'm waiting to hear what happens.

Oh yeah, a week or so after I ran into the same guy plus one of the others from the meeting at the same book store, I think they 'case' bookstores because they tend to be biased towards wealthier people or people with advanced degrees


Hi Jason,

Great web page! I was "sucked into the "A" cult for 7.5 years! The bottom line on this business is that there have been more than 25 million distributors and there are less than 1000 who have become truly financially free from the commissions paid by the company. I think I would rather attempt to scale Mt. Everest in the winter!!! This program is NOT duplicatable... Keep up the good work!


I have read several of the statements contained in your site. As you may know, if you look hard enough you can find somebody that has failed in anything. True, some do fail. You only have to look at the paper or watch the news on tv and failure dominates the headlines. My personal experience of Amway is a positive one. Regardless of the statements of the people who have had a bad experience and may have failed. I believe that in the long run there is nothing better if you have the desire and the drive to win. This is not a business for whiners or criers. If you don't have guts, or the desire to succeed, by all means don't get started because all the rest of the whiners and criers will pull you down. Amway's track record speaks for itself. It is growing in spite of all the publicity good and bad. I only can speak for myself. I choose to make it a good experience. After all life is a matter of choice. You can either make excuses or you can do something about it.


To Sidney, Ashley, Kelley, Charles, and Jason:

I discovered your pages over the course of the past year. I was an Amway distributor briefly in 1991, and did not care for it at all. But in July 1995, a "brother" at my former church hooked me at a time when I was vulnerable. You know the routine, all the friendliness, telling me I'm such a "winner", want to "help", etc. The organization was International Leadership Development (ILD), a group that broke away from World Wide Dream Builders in June 1995. Oh yes, such a "Christian" business.

I was disenchanted not only with the business but found that the "friendship" was good only if I kept in the "business", otherwise, it was surprising how there was never any time to build a "friendship"; after all, kids "business comes first" and "you understand - don't you"? My ass (excuse me, but I'm still angry, even after going inactive in October 1996 and ending my distributorship in February 1997). I could not, in good conscience, or more deeply, be true to my faith by using all the clever "techniques" on others that were used on me.

When I discovered your sites during the past year, all I could say over and over was - "I knew that something was wrong, but I could not put my finger on it". You all did. I found myself reading your information, and although my former uplines were less blatant on things, it was still the same smooth talk; what is called in the South "shucking and jiving". And they were very good at it. I am deeply grateful to all of you for your courage to tell the real truth to the public, if I had only found you all a year earlier....

I wasted my money, my time, and my heart on those guys, and I deeply regret it, even after being out for seven months. So many of them claim they are "Christian" - well, what is on their "reading lists" and in their "tapes" is a very subtle but deadly and perverted version, known in many circles as "aberrant Christianity" - and it is very dangerous! Hassan's mind control book and site do as good a job as any in exposing the AMO techniques and subtle games. To all who are considering this, be warned - it is a big con. Whether you are Christian or not, stay away from it, it will mess your mind and heart up. Just keep on walking and don't talk to any of them.

Some, and I'm sure my former upline "brothers", would say I will be a "dead broke loser". Hmmm, someone bigger than I might tend to disagree with your assesment. Perhaps I am a "loser" - but I have a clear conscience knowing I don't scam my friends and fellow Christians, and I can look at myself without being ashamed. No Diamond, Double Diamond, Peter Island, or 25,000 member organization can buy those things.

Keep up your outstanding work in warning people about this aberrant "Christian" cult and it's poisonous deceptions.


Mr. Schwartz,

My husband of 5 yrs, lover of 12 yrs and father of my 11 year old daughter has recently returned to the Amway business. He was involved with it for a short time in the early 80's, but left it for a period of at least 10 yrs. Two yrs ago he informed me that he wished to return to the business. At that time I told him to chose between me and the business and his response was that he was not going to let anyone "drag him down" or "kill his dreams".

Well, two yrs later we are about to enter marriage counselling as a last ditch effort to save our marriage. (Obviously I did not live up to my ultimatum). As we have our first appointment with the counselor in three days, I decided to surf the net to find articles to support my belief that Amway is a cult. What a joy to find your web site, and what serendipity to find a quote made by Bill Britt, (my husbands psychological mentor), that was basically the same line that my husband gave me with regard to business ~vs~ marriage.

Hopefully, we will be able to resolve our differences, save, and I hope in many ways, enrich our marriage. But I am grateful to you for providing the resources I need to know that if it doesn't work out, that I am not to blame, and that it will be "OK" to let go. I feel that the fact that he is willing to seek counselling on the matter is encouraging, but if he is brain washed beyond return, then there is nothing I can do to help him at this time.

Again many thanks,

BTW, we are not low income people, my husband is in the construction business, I am a registered nurse, and we gross over $100,000/yr and own our own home. What he was looking for in Amway was an "investment" and it seems he got hooked. I just thought that maybe you might have statistics on the income levels of people who get roped in and might find this information useful


Thank goodness I found your site tonight. I plan to print a few of the site's complaints (unless you object), and put them in a "Top Secret" envelop on two distributors' doors.

I consider each's approach very unethical. I specifically asked when "invited/invited...telephoned/telephoned/...e-mailed/e-mailed..,"Does the 'meeting' have anything to do with Amyway?"

Isn't this a "Yes" or "No" answer?

In both cases, I was told I was needed for a "survey." Come on Amyway folks. If you weren't so "secretive" about the first meeting, perhaps you'd receive less hostile "guests." Of course, once we are in "your home," and the chatter begins, we are still being led to believe that this is a "survey." Not yet, 1/2 hour into the "meeting," has the word "Amyway" been mentioned.

Since my husband and I were raised to be "gracious," we didn't feel we could get up and stomp out of your homes. We made it clear to you on the telephone that we had neither the time, nor the interest in marketing Amyway. We don't even buy Amyway! I shop generic. Try it. The ingredients are virtually, and in some cases, exactly the same. After all of this, you still insist that we "participate" in your "survey." I hope you wouldn't tolerate people in our profession (educating your children), to "play games" with their minds.

What a scam of our precious time. You cannot return that to us.


I wish to remain an unknown party. I recently have been confronted by some freinds affileated with the World Wide Dream Builders. They invited me to a siminar, so while i was there I tried to make as many anilitica observations as possiable.

Their good points :

1} The people seem very supportive { at least at a glance }

2} Most of them have very good family morals/ marrages, that is hard to find in most places.

3} Most of them seem very well to do . The were very freindly.

4} they seem to be very beautiful indviduals

Their questional points

1} the seem to focus more on the success of their hirer ups than their own success.

2} In listening to them speak iI kept hearing these repetive phrases:

A. you got to have a plan ...

B. I have a goal / Dream....

C. their dreams have been stolen / ... job menality...

D. you should join cuz it's a growing expierance....

*E. I'm fired up !

F.Their tring to steal your dream / don't steal my dream ...( marterdome)

G. Do you call Mcdonalds a CULT?

*H. ( now for the biggest one ) you have to see the plan a few times to understand it.

most of these phrases, seem to me like "Mass hipnosis" tactics, brainwashing teckniqs. I even remember walking away from the meeting talking like them. #H. is a simular mental trainig they use in cults to triger a mental cycle, or circular thinking process. ( oh boy some people hate hearing this one ! :-)

my Question is , if the plan was so simple, then why would you need to hear it again & again? in my experiance they spent more time talking about morals than even tring to show any sort of plan. & they were useing the guise of religous morals to keep your ateintion away from their plan.

3} For a christian basised organization, their business ethics leave much to be desired. One person i know, who was in their system told me that, they were told to invite people / freinds to their house thinking that they were going for dinner or something, then they go there they would tell them it was Amway. the person told me they left the organisation, because of moral confict. & at one point they lost all their freinds, because of the business ethics they were taught by the company.

4} has anyony checked out this company with the Better Business Buarrow?

5} has anyone checked their seminar tapes for sublimnal messages, post hipnotic suggestions, or for backwards messages ? When listening to the tapes, i even seem to enjoy listening to their success stories. & kept wanting to hear it at least one more time.

6} The first sign of a cult is if you find some thing wrong & try to keep it hidden. & perswade you not to invesegate ferther. Truth is open to investgation. " what untrue stands against it?"

7} they seem to flock around their higher ups, like they were sheep. Now I know that from phycology people flock to where there is hope, But what i saw was absolutely obsured !

8} The people seem to be sellers of Hope, more than sellers of Amway.

Anyways, eventhough what i say seems a little crittical even for my tastes, these are some my qestions about their Organization. I hope my letter hasen't offended anyone greatly. I am just tring to find what fruits heir actions are producing, " You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather Grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles ?" Matt. 7: 16

I would like to believe in what they have to offer, but I also believe in not practiceing Curdulity ( faith when the facts point other wise) After every thing I've said I still don't se any thing wrong in buying from their Organizatin, they seem to cary good products. Just as long as they are not arm twisting you to " submitt " to the employment.


Check out this great article by Molly Ivins. Keep up the good work (and let's see a comments section update!!)


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