Reader's comments -- May 98

thanks for the info Charles. After reviewing the facts and evaluating our experiences with Amway and both the yager and INA organizations we have decided to write a book about it all. One of the things I want to do is to have a myth vs fact section. For instance, the pyramid rumor is quashed when you bring up the FTC ruling but, when you look at the price of the products and their ratings in CR it really does resemble one of those illegal cash pyramids where you put up a 1000$ and talk a bunch of other people into doing the same until you get enough in to cash out. I will check out the links on your page to the new articles and hopefully get a couple of new chapters out of them.

One side note. Do you know if Amway will try to stop a book written about them?

My ex's last words to me as he left the home and a 33 year marriage was "sign over the business to me." This was fine as we never made any money. We spent over $26,000 for the dream of returning to Colombia South America as self-supporting missionaries. But divorce, lies, - paying for half of his credit card bills after he left (many Amway), perjury in court, suborning of perjery by his lawyer. Mr. Bray financed the divorce by receiving "sickness and accident" benefits of $370. per week for 6 months while working as a tool and die maker making $500-$600 a week. He only worked 30 hours a week so he could work Amway. He learned how to lie from Amway.

Hi Charles , My name is *, I have read some of your imformation on Amway and Dexters system and the abuse and I am impressed, your story is almost to the letter the same as mine , which you may have heard about, I also was an Emerald with my wife * and we with our upline Diamonds and organization left as well, we were involved through * Diamonds directly under Dexter, There is a hole lot I could tell you from here down under in Perth Australia about what we are doing and have done , I would very much like to talk to you more, If you wish to speak with me call me on * or email me on * Hope to speak to you soon cheers.

Hi Charles, I will put together a short profile of our story which I think you will find incredible, but I would really like to know what your plan is with your web site , is it to basically to make people aware of what is really happening , you see my wife and I we believe in the industry, we really see peoples lives being enhanced through this business , but on the other hand , I cannot explain to you the damage we have seen through the Amway business, alot with Yagers System , the abuse . Anyway I would like to know more about yourself and family, what do you do now, how have you come through all of this stuff, are you still in Amway, please reply soon, could you send me your phone number if possible , I was just saying to my wife I cannot believe someone going through the exact same road as us on the other side of the world.

My neighbors have explained the amway procedure to us -- knowing full well that we were not prepared to get ourselves into anything of the sort. The vagueness of their initial responses what was bugged me. Plus I've heard too many horror stories over the years about pyramid achemes and when they finally mentioned amway, well, that was it for me.

However, after reading almost all the information on the web, I'm still unclear how "business" expenses are deducted at the end of the year and whether this makes a difference on the profit margin you say is non-existent. Mind you, our neighbors didn't really put an emphasis on the deductions and I didn't really feel like digging any further.

Could you clarify this point? I'm giving them copies of everything I've found on the web but this area is still fuzzy. Maybe it would help convince them that they're wasting their time and money.


sorry about the e-mail problem....we've tried to work that out with our server and still have continuing problems.....

re: wilke's site.....i thought the letter was on his site...but when i was searching for any sign of him last night...i found the letter on another site (not wilke's), i'm mistaken about who it was sent to...but i gotta wonder if he didn't get one too....i also noticed i can no longer access the lowndes for congress site....or quite a few others....

are people dropping their sites these days in the face of amway pressure? sure seems awfully coincidental that all these things on the anti-amway sites are happening all at the same time....

while i prefer to remain anonymous on the web at this point....i am still (unfortunatly) a bona fide amway distributor (i still have a couple of people downline)...however, my upline are all part of the *, *, *, * mess....other upline of mine are named in the P&G lawsuit (namely *, *, *), needless to say i've seen the ugly face of this "business" up close and personal. My husband is still holding out some hope that Amway will fix the problems....but, after five years and thousands of dollars spent, i'm convinced Amway does not care...

we made it to silver before the roof caved in, so we were not in on the tools & tickets scam....but, we were beginning to suspect all was not as it appeared....we only got on the internet recently, and discovered the truth. i can back up the info. that's out there that Amway perceives as "negative"....sometimes, the truth is negative... Also, i've filed complaints with my upline and Amway, as have a number of other people i know....and still nothing has happened, except for the new "tools agreement" distributors are asked to sign that basically protects Amway's butt.

thanks for keeping your site up to date....i check it all the time for the latest info....i'm gonna check the sites for that lawyer's letter i told you about and will e-mail you the address when i find it....sorry for the misinformation on wilke's site, i really did think i had seen it there....

What's happened to wilke's home web page...i noticed he was mentioned in the Advocate's story on Amway....and, that he recently posted a threatening e-letter from some attorney (not from amway, but suppossedly representing some "high level" amway distributors).... any idea what's happening????

I went to a Amway meeting in 1993 and instantly detected something wrong in the air. Excited couples talking about how much money they were making..if things were so easy....rehearsed lines..I thought I knew better about network marketing until recently I let myself waste my precious time off work to go to a Nuskin/Big Planet meeting. The same as Amway...Blue Diamonds and stuff like that. No concern about showing the products...and their prices..Rent little obscure rooms with no signs in obscure little you can leave quickly one day...contract with fine print on back saying how much you have to spend a month (100 dollars in personal care products! Only Ivana Trump..) They're also from Utah, I think owned by mormons (at least they dress like mormons). Avon is network marketing, but at least it is not based on the pyramid and chain theory. Am I right about Nuskin? Now they're opening a Internet provider service + long distance service business called Big Planet. Thanks,

This site makes me wish I'd had a computer when my Amway sponsor approached me a couple of years ago. I've seen a lot of crappy anti-Amway sites...but yours is *not* one. Your balance and intellectual honesty are commendable. My story goes like this: I was 30 years old, ten years in the military...and as anyone who's been in the military can tell you, the pay isn't so great. Well, one day at work my sponsor said "do you want to make some extra money?" Of course, I said "does a bear crap in the woods?" He said, "Well, it's Amway" (at least he was up front about it). I remembered an uncle who was in Amway, he'd always said the products were really good, so I said, sure I'll look at the business plan. Unfortunately, I didn't have access to your website (did it even exist in July of 1996?) and after a couple meetings my wife and I decided to buy a kit. On the urging of our upline ruby, we also decided to attend the next major function, which was about three weeks after we joined. Hell, it was only an eight-hour drive, right? My upline ruby insisted it was the key to success, and anyone who was serious would be there. Anyway, the function hooked us; we decided Amway or no way. We even got a prospect on the drive home! He didn't get in. Oh, well, on to the next over the next eight months or so, I personally "cold-contacted" about 120 people (this doesn't include family or friends). All but about 20 of them knew exactly what I was doing, and I sponsored never bought anything but a kit. Now, of course my contacting technique was clumsy at first, but I got pretty good at it. I lived "the system"...I wasn't on tape-of-the-week, I was on tape of the HOUR. I read book after book...*How to Win Friends and Influence People*...*Think and Grow Rich*...*The Magic of Thinking Big*...that was the first week. (I must say here that reading the books did benefit my outlook on life, and has enabled me to excel in my...J.O.B.) We went to EVERYTHING. We had functions all over the place...twenty-hour bus rides were commonplace (we were too poor for plane tickets!). Opens, local and regional rallies, major functions...I noticed it was only the same thing over and over, but I didn't care...we were gonna be RICH!!! If my upline came to town I was didn't matter if he called at midnight. I gained 20 pounds at night owls, and allowed my physical condition to deteriorate so much I failed my military physical fitness test. (I passed the retest.) This went on and on...the spending on "the system"...maxing out the credit cards (which we had never before done)...we actually took out a second mortgage on the house to get our monthly obligations under control. Why am I relating all this? To let everyone know you can plug into "the system" and contact your butt off, show plans local and distant...and still fail. I did everything my upline advised me to do...all it got me was a debt load that makes me cringe. I am NOT a "loser" or a "wimp" or a "zipper on the side" guy. I have had a very distinguished military career...combat experience...member of a very elite unit...I even jump out of perfectly good airplanes. My competence is unquestionable.

Anyway, to shorten things up, we decided to back off the business a bit, save some, we were pretty sick of putting extreme effort into something and seeing no return (and negative cash flow). I stopped listening to the tapes...and my mind started to clear. I began to really THINK about what I was doing. I didn't like what I discovered very much, but sometimes one has to accept the hard truth. I had to accept that, contrary to what I'd been told, "the system" does NOT "work for everyone who works it." I'm living proof. I had to accept that MLM is not the be-all and end-all of business practices. I had to accept that I'd alienated good friends because of "the business." I had to accept that I'd lost thousands of dollars, just as surely as if I'd built a bonfire out of hundred-dollar bills. I had to accept that I had nobody to blame for all this but MYSELF...for not being a little wiser, a little more cautious...for not listening to my friends and family, and their words of advice (I didn't even listen to my dad, who is a very successful business owner, and knows how such things work...). I had to accept that Amway wasn't going to get me the Ferrari, or the 40-foot SeaRay yacht, or the trip to the Caribbean. Now my wife and I are moving on...much happier and much less stressed-out. I've received fantastic training in the telecommunications field, which I'm going to put to good use as a civilian, and I'll finish my electrical engineering degree. You know, I'm glad I'm doing it, too. I got a little sick of hearing how I was stupid for wanting to be an engineer. I'm thankful I've got my mind back now. Thanks again for your fantastic website. For the record, I hold no malice against anyone in my upline. They are really good people, and were always there when I needed them. (My upline ruby and emerald even told me the speakers at the functions were paid. I didn't know about the tools business, though.) I've just decided my life must follow a different course. Thanks again for your work here. I'll be passing your web address to anyone who asks me about the Amway business. Take care and be well.


Armed with printouts of your Amway web-page info (and several others' pages also), I have slain the walking talking brainwashed amway robot that used to be my husband, and my sane logical husband is back! You helped save my marriage.

I am trying to undersand your tables on How Long It Takes To Go Emerald / Diamond ??

The tables dont make any sense to me so can you please explan your point!. An Emerald income in Australia is worth at least $150,000 per year and the Diamond income is $250,000 + so if it takes 10 years to get there so what I only get about $60,000 now so I will be in front, and when I retire in 10 years the residual will keep me for ever. Great retirement scheme !!



Sorry this is so long, but I think it is worth sharing - esp the last part

This is an much about mind control as it is about the Amway business. I have no beef with the Amway corporation, but rather with World Wide Dream Builders, a Amway motivational organization.

My wife and I signed up with Amway in January of 1998. We signed up with some very dear friends of ours whom we respect and trust and care about very much. During the initial sign up process, we were told about "standing order," the 6+ tapers per month that are automatically sent to us for $6 each, plus shipping! It was at this time I asked our sponsor the following question: "Who get the royalty from the tapes?"

My background is in busisness analysis and consulting, and maybe that's why I simply assumed that there was money made from the tapes. Afterall, I could buy a music cassette for about $6, and I know there is a royalty paid, plus distribution, plus retail markup, plus marketing costs, etc.

However, the answer I recieved was, " the excess goes into a fund to cover functons that lose money, etc." I accepted that answer, until -

About two months later I went to a weekend function - that was obviously NOT losing money. There about 4,500 clapping and screaming born again Christians who each paid about $150 to be there. I spent most of the weekend bored out of my head - and passed the time calculating and estimating the profits that were being made from the tapes and functions.

When my wife I returned home from the weekend of hell, I called various venues, including the one we were at to see how much it cost to rent, and started surfing the interenet and found your sight and others that review the 'tools" business. Your site and others confirmed what I felt - the tools and function business makes a hell of a lot of money!!

There were 3 main themes of the function that we driven home over and over again were:

(1) If you want to succeed, you must accept Christ into you heart - and the most importatant thing you can do here is get saved (There was a Sunday service where you could do just that if you wanted to - My wife and I didn't attend)

(2) "No one is getting any money for being here. We are doing this because we care."

(3) Bring 3 more people to the next function.

Everytime I heard one of those too statements, I cringed. I couldn't wait to get out of this place!! What a bunch of bull shit. Reminds me of a friend of mine who says, "If they claim to be Christian, hang on to your wallet - and your zipper"

Now keep in mind, I am not against making money, but I have a big problem with lying about how the money is made, and then pushing a religious or political agenda in what was advertized as a business meeting.

Now here's the scary part. I brought my concerns up with our sponsors, including my suspisions, calculations, and information that I had gathered online. They went to their sponsers up the line, and then reported back to us. Here's what they said: ( I sure wasn't expecting this!)

"You should really stay away from the interent, it will steal your dream"

The "upline" would never tell you anything that is not in your best interests

" * (The diamond) lost about $50,000 on the function"

"These are Godly men who would never mislead us"

" * (our diamond) does these meeting for free out of the goodness of his heart to help others"

When does one "cash in" their morals and critical thinking mind, in exhange for complete "trust" in "Godly" men? Sooner than you may think. I so greatful that we have made the discovery early on. What a waste of energy to line the pockets of emeralds and diamonds.

Charles, you certainly have an interesting site. My husband and I have been distributors for almost a year. From the beginning I was uncomfortable with all the talk about money and big houses and how we had to have a dream. My dreams do not consist of material things, an idea alien to the heavy duty amway-ites. We've met some really nice people, one woman has become a very good friend , so that makes it hard to talk about my doubts because she is very serious about the business. We're in the Yager organization, and the psuedo-Christianity really bothers me. A lot of people talk like God is obligated to bless their business and that He wants everyone to be rich and not have to work anymore. I don't understand what's wrong with work. I believe that it is wrong to be so greedy for money and a bigger car, house, etc, all in the name of God. It's just offensive. I must admit that I didn't know about DDs and above sharing in the profits from the tools. My husband used to listen to the tapes all the time, but now he just listens occasionally. We're still on SOT, which I think is a waste of money, but oh well.

Please don't post my name.

Been reading your site, and many others over the last 2 days. Some brief history.

This is actually my second time in the business the first time was mid - early 80's and I was led in with the usual hype sort of "GET RICH" methods. (I was unemployed at the time and quite strapped for cash). The second time in has been a lot better.

My current upline is great I have *never* been pressured to attend any functions, *never* been told I *MUST* buy the tapes etc... real easy going, "hey its your business" type of people always there to help when I turn around.. So dont think that ALL Amway distributors are the same. Its like any thing else, there are good and bad in everyhting, and unfortunately the bad ones get the press...

What I HATE is being prospected by some high flying YAEGER disciple when Im doing my weekend hobby (driving a taxi) I ask them if its Amway and get a direct NO!! thats against the code of ethincs in Australia... I Think Dexter has a lot to answer for, its groups like the Yaeger organisation that make it difficult for those of us with a more sedate method to talk to or prosect people.


Heres my advice for disgruntled distributors

If you *like* the products but dont like the pressure placed on you to perform drop out and become a customer only.

If you like the idea of saving even more by being a distributor find yourself an easy going line, drop out for 6 months and rejoin under your new upline (I'm willing to sponsor people '*@*' (grin).

I just came from my friend's house and he's completely bought into Amway. He must've had EVERY product in his house. I suspect his inviting me to have dinner with him was part of his introducing me to the product line. We ate Amway food from Amway plates, etc. It was eerie. Anyway, please email me Soap and Hope. Many thanks,

I have visited your website on several occasions. I appreciate the way you have shown links to positive as well as negative views for Amway. I shows good objectivity. Anyway, I have been an Amway distributor for about 5 years now. I am not active, as I have done nothing to try to build an organization. I use the products I like, and not the ones I do not care for. Since day one, I have had questions about their system and pricing on non-Amway produced products. I read the entire Amway business manual in the first two days after I had received it and I think I understand the do's and don'ts. From reading the commentaries (and I have not read all of them by any means), it seems that much of the problems and contraversy are coming from the "tools" side of the business. Am I wrong in this assumption? I have been debating building an Amway business, but before I do, I need all questions answered from all angles, not just from my upline. I feel I have a pretty good upline, they are always supportive and not pushy, or I would have quit long ago. Since you have been there, so to speak, do you feel that Amway itself is a bad company, or has a bad base system? Or is it the way some Diamonds make their money and run their organizations? If I am going to build any type of business, I have to make sure I do it correctly, legally and ethically. (I unfortunately have been cursed or blessed, depending on your point of view, with a very strong conscience and I urk may of my co-workers because I refuse to bend or break the rules. {But believe me, I am in no way near perfect or better than anyone else.}) Do you feel it is possible to do this if one follows Amways rules to the letter!? And is it possible to build an organization following the rules to the letter? Well, thank you for taking time to read my letter. I hope you will have time to respond to it and any objective information you can share with me will be greatly appreciated. Take care.

My name is * and I've been in amway for only a few months.I can tell you it's alot harder than they made it out to be.The biggest reason my husband and I are getting out the business is, we just can't get on that phone and basically sell the business and we just can't afford it. I think it would be a great business if I already had money and I had babysitters at a moments notice.

I hope you can understand.


I recently have visited your site again and have been reading through your latest mail entries. I sent you some mail in March that when you replied back somehow got mixed up with someone elses e-mail account on campus. That person got in touch with me. I still do not know how it got mixed up?(Chalk it up to technology I guess.) Anyway I ended up becoming a distributor last month. So far so good. I have not signed up to be on standing order tape, though I was told no one becomes successful in the Amway business with out being on SOT by my upline. Do defines success, me or my upline. I say me. I don't think I need to make diamond, direct or even 100 pv/month to be successful. I was shown the Excel Communications plan also and Amway had so much more to offer(I am not talking financially). I think too many people view Amway as a quick rich scheme, and I am sure some people market it that way unfortunately. I have been using the products in my business kit and think they are great. I will keep you updated as to how my business does or does not progress. Thank you for providing a useful though slightly biased opinion of the other side of Amway. Sorry for mix up from my last e-mail. I still welcome your comments on that last letter as well as this one. I will give you my e-mail address, but please do not post it.

Thank you.

Hello Charles... WHEWW!!! We don't know were to begin.. We wish we had these information prior to being Vacumed or perhaps" Clear Tracked/Tricked" into the Amway bussiness.

Reading all these links have open up a brand new world to us. I always knew there was something not quite right with "THE SYSTEM " and the Amway Bussiness and reading your website and many others like it hits the nail on the head.

Can you please tell us what you or any of your email friends know about ILD/ Better known as Internationl Leadership Development (Inc). We are looking for some objective information about ILD or does all AMO have the same mode of operation within thier system similar to the Brits and Yagers?

I guess it is hard to believe all that we have read at first ( since denial is the first reactions.... no how could we have been suckerd?), considering that we have actually grown to like some of the people within our organization/ group. But we refuse to be part of an ethically and morally corupt and deceiving system. We are now getting ready to tell our upline ADIOS!! and perhaps we just want to give them some parting "gentle" blows.... ( As we were taught to always be postitive)

Thank you in advance for any insight you may have and looking forward to hear from you.


I read much of the information on your site and found it interesting. Especially about the divorce rate. My sponsor is in the middle of a divorce, and didn't have a marriage problem before amway. I am about to quit and I must admit that your site helped encourage me. I have been tricked in the fact that I wasn't told the whole story. They didn't even show me half the things they were required to. Thanks and keep up the work.

I write you from Italy to ask some suggestions; I have found your web site today, I have printed (NOT read) many pages and I have to ask you what you suggest me, since tonight me and my wife will buy the Amway kit (13 product for 200000 lira, about 115 USD). We were invited by a relative to a presentation of an opportunity of business in our free time; after that evening we also went to a large exibition in a cinema where we decide to join to Amway.

What we thought is: surely is not so easy, but it's not impossible; so, since there are no risk (kit's money back guarantee if we don't like the products).

What you suggest us ?? Many thanks

Your web site proves once again that people who aren't willing to work for something and would rather waste their time posting useless web pages on the internet will never get ahead in life. Amway is a wonderful opportunity and we are helping many people achieve wonderful incomes with this business.

Thanks for the reply Charles.. .. Hope you had a nice trip and had fun during the long weekend. Yeah it is Jack D, who heads ILD.

I guess it is still a young AMO that there has not been much stuff out there in e- mail land to read about them( ILD). In our searches we have only come accross I think about 2 or 3 mentions of ILD if any. Again mainly all we have read about are the diabolical Britt and Yeager Duo !! I guess it should be no surprise if ILD is just like the Britt and Yeagers AMO, since he ( JD) was a spawn of World Wide Dream Builders along with his chosen groups of "coals".

What we know of JD or ILD is what we have been taught by the ILD System. Thus we never heard of the SYSTEM PYRAMID until the internet. If you think anyone can benefit from our limited knowledge of ILD let us know and we will be more than happy to share what we know in a fair manner. And on the otherhand if you come accross any info on them pls send it our way.

FYI.... WeI got a call from our upline direct last night.... he was doing the usual crusade for the "Family Reunion" campagain that is due to take place July 19-21 at the Portland Colessieum. We told him that we no longer are going to do standing order tapes and no more functions. WHEW!!!! If anything last night was our night on stage or our FED away from the SYSTEM.

Needless to say there were numerous questions from the upline after he picked himself off the floor or caught his breath. We were told that it would take about 4 weeks to stop Standing order tape. We figured this is a small price ($6.00 @/40.00) consdering all the other times we spent going to a funtion major or mini rally.

In next months email, you will find another email from this couple. I urged them to contact Amway Distributor Rules & Regulations, which they did, and found out that there is absolutely no requirement to purchase 4 weeks of tapes they could not use

Thanks again Charles... We must admit we have met some really nice people on the net since when we found "The Other Side of The Plan"

I would like a copy of the 60 minutes transcript titled "Soap and Hope".I have been approached to be part of Amway and I am trying to make an informed descision on wether it is for me.The sponser assures me it is all milk and honey. I like the way you have put your view across and am a little concerned that things are not as they seem.I hope to hear from you regarding the transcript.

Many thanks Charles, with those site in italian I could print some sheet and distribute (at least) to my relative who introduce me to an amway sponsor. As I say you, we (expetially my wife) decided to buy the kit and so we are now amway products users. In the kit we found the catalogue of products sold in Italy; since in your link "" you don't have infos about Italy, if you're interested I can send you a copy.

I have red many bad things about amway in these days, but I haven't found anything about products quality. I have tried shampoo, LOC, ZOOM, toothpaste and PASTA and all seems to me good products, not cheap but good.

There's a site where these kind of infos are available ?

Many thanks and feel free to ask me, if you need, infos about amway Italy

I am a brand new Amway distributor. I was and am very skeptikal about the entire system. I am frustrated so far because it has caused a lot of arguing the past few months between my friend (my upline) and myself. I came on-line to see if I could find some answers to my questions and I stumbled upon your site. It backs up a lot of what I was thinking. I already wasted a lot of money on expensive items. I am not quitting, I am just going to be very careful. I appreciate your information. I hope that I can still find answers to end the arguments.