I have received many e-mails from readers asking for more information or just wanting to share their own stories. I have decided to post some of the most interesing e-mails. Please keep in mind that all of these e-mails are readers' opinions (and/or personal experiences) and do not necessarily reflect my views, the views of this server, or the views of their server. Also keep in mind that I have posted these e-mails "as-is" without asking for "hard evidence" to support the person's claims or correcting any grammar or spelling mistakes.
The following e-mails are in chronological oder, the oldest listed first.
January 1, 1999
What an experience!
I have had so many experiences mostly negative with the tapes, books and functions.
The products seem to be ok and they have managed to have a great return policy.
After [6 months] in the business, I worked really hard but I had to stop because I found out a lot of information regarding the profits made by "the upline directs".
We are not to talk to anyone in the group unless our upline is present. [And] we cannot "crossline" for any reason in case we compare notes, I guess!
I feel really bad for the people I sponsored. Most of them have dropped out and most won't return my calls.
I really thought the big homes, the cars, the boats, & the planes were a result of the hard work and dedicated efforts of the diamonds and emeralds. I was fooled! The huge incomes are a result of large volumes of people spending money in the hopes of getting rich. It seems to me it's like the Gold Rush of 1898 [where] many people lost their lives, money and dignity searching for gold. The people who became really rich were the people who sold the tools, the mules the food supplies, and the lodgings.
Your website offers us the truth, and sometimes the truth can hurt. Writing this letter helps me to express my feelings and vent my anger at these people who continue to hurt others and drain their pockets at the same time.
Signed [,] the "winner" who quit.
January 14, 1999
I literally drank up the very thorough information you present in your site. I have never been involved in Amway, nor have I ever wanted to. I saw the negative impact it seemed to have on those I knew who were in it and decided that wasn't for me. I have also talked to those who have come out (some at high levels) and what they have to say is discouraging, too. Not to mention that the "plan" just didn't ring true to me. If they're afraid to tell me who they are until the last minute, what do they have to be ashamed of? And it seems that there is an uncomfortable current of deceit underlying everything I've seen -- not just the plan.
I do, however, have a unique perspective to contribute to the topic, I believe. I have a [sister] in Amway, and I myself have been involved with [another cultic group], to boot! (Go figure!)
I have done a little studying on cults since leaving and I do see many, many similarities. Too many to ignore. The worst part is how alienated from [our] family my [sister] has become. [She's] very bright, though, so I am optimistic [she] will eventually see what's what -- I finally did! However, [she's] also very stubborn, and sometimes I get the impression [she] won't give up because it would be embarrassing to [her] to admit defeat. I know that when I left the cult I felt similarly embarrassed. How could I have been so stupid? I was very angry with myself and with God, not to mention the organization itself. It seems anger, guilt, and a sense of betrayal are common in those leaving such organizations. But it was the love and acceptance of my family that helped begin the healing.
I hope my [sister] sees soon what [her] addiction is doing to [our] family, her child especially. [She] has spent thousands, I'm sure, on trips to various "functions" around the continent. [She] has drawers of tapes and boxes of books that are also worth hundreds of dollars, but [her children] eat noodles for supper. [She] quit [her] good-paying job to dedicate [herself] to the "business", but is living in near poverty now. Yet [she] will listen to nothing "negative". [She] worships her "upline" and they are [her] "real family". Wish I knew how to open [her] eyes.
Thanks for letting me vent. I think your site provides a valuable service. Keep up the good work.
PS. I took the liberty of linking to your page from mine. I tell the story there of my experience in the cult and characteristics of cults. You can see it at: http://members.home.net/dawn.ann/cult.htm.
January 26, 1999
Thank you very much for the email. I copied so much anti-Amway stuff yesterday that the cartridge on my printer ran out. This has been a major thorn in my side. There is a man from [California] that has flown to our house twice. His upline is someone named Dougherty. The "key" they say is ME. Well, that lock will never open because I am NOT getting into Amway. When we went to [Texas,] it all clicked to me within an hour. 750.00 for the weekend.. one meal (stale chicken) in a round hotel room. Men telling my husband (a successful businessman) that his beard had to go, although Yagar had one bigger than life. Others telling you how to raise your children when their children were terrorizing the hotel. Baptizing people in the swimming pool. At one point, they told my husband that since I wouldn't submit and go to the meetings, he better get me in line. IT WAS A NIGHTMARE. I rented a car and went to the [mountains] with another friend of mine who is now divorced from her husband because of Amway. This was the Yager organization. I later learned that Dexter owned that hotel. There were people there that l felt so sorry for. One woman obviously could NOT afford that trip. It was cruel.
Now [my husband's relative] is in the ILD organization and they are really putting on the pressure for me to "get in line". I deal and collect [antiques] and I am just fine doing what I do. I don't want to sell soap or sell tapes to my friends, or worry about them spending money they don't have on trips they can't affford, [just] to hear people that talk and say nothing.
I believe that the things I printed yesterday helped a lot. [My husband's relative] doesn't seem to be quite as insistent on Amway. But it is very difficult as this is a very nice [relative] and [my husband] doesn't want to disappoint him. I am going to ask the [my husband's relative's] upline how much money he made on the guys going to Amarillo to the meeting. They did that [meeting] last weekend. I never go, I am very negative about Amway and my [young child] overheard one of them telling my husband that I just don't understand and won't calm down long enough to listen. THIS IS BIZARRE. I feel that my life is being circled by buzzards and there is no one to discuss this with. I do appreciate your e-mail.
January 31, 1999
Unfortunately, my hope that the business would change with the new E-biz around the corner has been lowered. As my reason for becoming inactive (although I have a medium size group) was due to my great distaste for the lack of ethics and religious undertones (falsehoods - read: evangelism) of the motivational organizations I came to realize that Amway would only be an attractive business if I could deal directly with the Corporation and not through upline. As I am also a traditional business owner, I also was not looking forward to a higher pin level which in the status quo translates to high maintenance and motivating others through half truths which I am not inclined to do.
I had a small glimmer of hope with the news that the new Amway in mid-summer will deal directly with all distributors and also with the prospect of a new untarnished name, a high tech venture and no need for evangelism tools and half-truths.... well, it seems that I am mistaken. The Britts and the Yeagers & Assoc. have seen a huge increase in sponsorship and tool sales - In fact, the halftruths are now more common as distributors can more legitimately claim it is not Amway but rather E-biz while luring in prospects using mainly figures regarding the success of Internet commerce in general and buzz words such as e-commerce, virtual mall, ISP, ground floor opportunity and so forth. Actually, high pins in the Britt system have gone as far as claim that Britt (who we have been taught by upline is "annointed") is spearheading the whole project for supernatural growth in this year of "Jubilee", and that he came up with this idea on the cutting edge of technology so that we can all "catch the wave". This statement is usually followed with the fact that distributors need to increase book and tape purchases and definitely attend the functions (Amway has made sure that the information only flows through the larger pins before regular dissemination via AMVOX - This naturally is helping function attendance and system revenue).
In general I think this new concept is valid and will be successful to a certain level, especially for already established pins and a definite initial wave of "core" distributors who tow the party line. The new Amway definitely has revenue to ensure a strong media campaign around September 1, 1999 as well as a good online infrastructure (as can be witnessed at the new test site http://www.countdown9199.com). However, it is my personal opinion that the AMO's will do a good job of creating a bad taste and a bad name for the business (before it even starts) and continue to point to others stupidityfor not joining their God chosen cause. Also, I think they overestimate their competitive edge in the market place. Most traditional small businesses online now have internet commerce sites and SSL technology for processing credit cards and no need for inflated costs to pay distributers and manufacturers their cut (PV/BV bonuses, NEW bonuses for website hits and so forth).
This new venture seems to be a saving grace regardless for the "old" Amway and the Britts and Yeager's of the world. Recently, Amway was faced with high level lawsuits, a decrease in revenue, a decrease in sponsoring levels and employee downsizing (who would have though that possible?). Even the rumor of this new business has increased sponsoring (and revenue) dramatically (it didn't effect the downsizing though), the Diamonds are smiling at the influx of tool orders from their new recruits, and who knows, a quick company name change and transfer of assets would render null and void any settlement of lawsuits against the "old" Amway. A typical USAIR to US AIRWAYS slight of hand.
Maybe we are stupid for not going "hog wild" with this thing and partaking in the fun?
February 1, 1999
Dear Mr. John Hoagland,
I was a Direct back in the 80's, but I haven't been in Amway for years. The night before last I attended an open that a friend invited me to, where a Diamond spoke and presented a pre-launch meeting of this "new internet company" that Amway is starting.
I am writing this note to you at 3:30 in the morning. I will make this short as I have been reading a lot of the information on your site and related links for the past 6 hours. I should have been in bed hours ago but when I came across all this information I felt like I was reading a big portion of my life's history. I got on the web to do a little some research on Amway when I ran across your site. I must say that in my time I discovered the exact same things that you have expressed but I had no idea there were others that felt the same way I did. I will be in touch again.
February 1, 1999
When I click to send you an e-mail, I was appalled by your "rules" for sending e-mails. You have expressed your strong opinions about the Amway business so why shouldn't distributors be able to express their strong opinions about the Amway business. Some people truly believe that the Amway business is the best opportunity (spelled correctly) in the world (for them). I have been an Amway distributor for 3 years and have enjoyed the journey. Yes, I have heard all of the rumors about Amway. I was approached 4 times before I joined. The couple who sponsored us were the type of people we wanted to be around. They were professionals (Engineer & Nurse) and easy going people. They were the first people to answer all the questions we had about the business. It wasn't until we got involved that we learned that most of the rumors floating out there are just rumors. I will concede that there are probably a lot of "illegal" (against Amway rules) practices by some distributors. This is probably true in all MLM businesses. That doesn't mean that the Amway business can't be a good opportunity for some people. The first time I heard that the upper level pins make money on tools I was kind of upset. I didn't go to my upline to ask if it was true. I thought about it and figure that it was true. After reading some of the Anti-Amway site, I decided that it really didn't matter if money was made on the tools. As some sites point out, the tools are not generated by the Amway Corp. They are generated through companies that some of the upper level pins have started (I'm with the Britt System). Why should I care if money is made from these tools? I believe that if you are in business for yourself you need to be motivated and keep on top of your field. This is true for any business owner. Walk into any store that sells motivational items and see all the people purchasing cassettes, books, etc. Watch late night TV and check out the infomercials. Lots of people purchase motivational items. I'm sure they are not complaining that the people who produced them are making money. If a distributor feels strongly about their upline making money on the tools then they shouldn't buy them. I usually purchase 1 tape a week (called standing order). If I want additional tapes I purchase them. If I don't, I don't purchase them. There is money to be made in this business outside of the money made in tools. Our sponsors went Direct last year. They held it for 12 months. They received a check for $2,500 from Amway when they went Direct. Since they held it for 12 months they received a $5,000 check from Amway for being Founders Directs and $10,000 from Amway for being Q-12 Directs. I saw the checks with my own eyes. They even got an all-expense paid trip from being Q-12 to Phoenix, AZ for a conference. So if we add up the checks I mentioned: $2,500+$5,000+$10,000 = $17,500. This DOES NOT include their PV bonuses every month. Lets go with what an Average Direct according to the SA-4400 makes, $2100. $2,100 * 12 = $25,000. Lets add the $17,500. That's a total income of $42,700 for 1998. Not bad for a Direct Distributor. There are a lot of Americans who don't come close to $42,000 a year.
You are entitled to your opinions, but please remember that other people have their opinions and are entitled to them. You mentioned that we should "prove" our point to you. Well, I think I just proved that Amway is a good opportunity for people who want it to be. The "facts" that you have on your web-site can be viewed either good or bad. For instance, when discussing the new company being formed for e-commerce (from Amvox), you interjected your comments about what you thought the speaker meant. For example when discussing that this would indeed be a new company, your opinion was that since Amway lost money last year (after experience several years of double digit growth) and are experiencing negative press coverage that they are change their name. Amway has been in business for 40 years and experience many years of bad press covers and didn't change it name. In the 70s, they were investigated by the FTC (and found to be a legal business) and they didn't change their name. So why would they change their name now? This is not a name change, Amway will still be called Amway. Before you start criticizing this new e-commerce business wait to until all the facts are out.
February 2, 1999
I visited your web site and found it interesting. Although you use a highly vituperative tone in your prose I found some interesting information and insight. However, I think that some of your interpretations may not be the only logical inferences that one could make from the information.
For example, where you discuss the chances of becoming a direct distributor you say, ".... Therefore, out of all the possible distributors in the entire Amway business, only 41% meet these criteria as being "active." This also means that 59% of all distributors are NOT active. If you use Amway's estimates (they won't reveal the actual number) that there are 3 million distributors in the entire world, then 1 million 2 hundred thirty thousand distributors are active. (Are the rest either lazy, lost their dream, or quitters, as so many distributors say?) Ask yourself if you want to be involved with a business where over half of all the people aren't doing anything to increase their business." I think that it is rather harsh to call inactive distributors quitters.
Let me suggest another inference that one can make from the fact that 59% of all distributors are not active. An Amway Distributor does not have to be active. An Avon Representative must put in an order each campaign (every 2 weeks); a Young Living Essential Oil Distributor must put in a $50 order once every three months, a Weekenders Casual Wear Coordinator must put in a $100 order once ever six months. I have to go to work every day (how about you?). If you are a financial advisor, insurance agent, or car salesman, you have a certain quota that you must meet or lose your job. One of the good things and also one of the bad things about Amway is that you do not have to do anything if you do not want to. One could interpret this datum as it would be a bad thing to be in Amway because most Amway Distributors are not building their business. One could also interpret that datum as although there are three million Amway distributors world wide and a quarter million in North America, my competition as an Amway Distributor is less than that because less than have of the other Distributors are doing anything.
I have worked places where over half of the people hired to work there would do nothing if they did not have to.
You go on to say, "That translates into 2% of 41% of ALL distributors which equals 2x41 divided by 100 or 0.82%. This means that out of ALL distributors, only 0.82% qualify as a Direct-level distributor. This also means that 99.18% of ALL distributors do not qualify as a Direct-level distributor. Why are all these people not Direct distributors? Are they lazy, lost their dream, or quitters, as well? Again, ask yourself, would you want to be involved in a company where 99.18% of all the people who start building the business are not successful at it?"
I'm glad that you phrased your point as "99% of all ... who start building the business are not successful at it." As you point out (and I agree with you here) Amway is reticent about giving out statistics. Unfortunately, we know how many people buy an Amway kit, but out of that number, we don't really know how many people actually start building a business. I've heard a statistic that only one in twenty distributors have actually sat down with at least one prospect and showed them the plan. If one percent of all distributors who buy a kit become Direct Distributors and only one in twenty (5%) (5 in 100) have ever shown the plan, then would it not be logical to conclude that your chance of becoming a Direct Distributor if you show the plan is about one in five (20%)?
Please note, that I object to calling Distributors who are not trying to build a business lazy or other derogatory names. Amway is built on the theory that it is a free country and those who choose to not show the plan have every right to decline. However, if you do not do the activities needed for success, then you should not complain that you have not achieved success. This is not to deny the testimony of ex-Distributors who say that they have done the work but have not achieved the success. I do not find credible the claim, made by many prospecting distributors that the success rate of their system is 100%. That is everybody who really follows their system succeeds. I also think that claiming that the success rate is less than 1% because only 1% of prospects who purchase a starter kit become Direct Distributors is an unfair interpretation of the facts. I think that the 20% success rate that I stated in the prior paragraph is optimistic, but closer to the truth than 1% is.
By the way. The statistic that 1% of all Distributors are direct is consistent with the statistic that the average distributor has monthly volume of 77 PV. As it takes 7,500 group PV to be on the Direct level, it will take 100 distributors doing 75 PV to achieve that. If half of your group is doing nothing, then it will take 50 distributors doing 150 PV each to achieve direct distributor. If actual figures were released I would expect that out of the 100 Distributors in a Direct Distributor's group, there are about 20 Distributors who between them are doing 6,000 PV in retail sales and personal use. I doubt that all of these 20 Distributors will achieve Direct Distributor level, but some of them will. Perhaps an honest answer to what are your chances of becoming a Direct is one in twenty if you put in the work.
I'd like to also make a comment about the 10 customer rule: (noun) "This rule states that a distributor must have at least 10 retail customers in order to receive a bonus check from Amway. This rule is ignored by many groups as the upline stresses the movement of tools over the movement of products. Note: in 1997, this rule was changed: to receive a bonus check, distributors must achieve 50PV each month. The number of customers is now irrelevant." I have no doubt but that is true. However, I think that it would be fair to admit that some other groups seriously promote building a balanced retail and sponsorship business. One argument is that you can become a direct by sponsoring a group of 75 Distributors who each did 100 PV of personal use, but it would only require that you sponsor 15 Distributors if they each had a business that totaled 500 PV of retail and personal use volume. It is also taught by some systems that you need a retail business to finance your purchases of books, tapes, and functions. If the average cleaning product sold by Amway is worth 5 PV then the sale of one product, per month, to each of 10 customers will satisfy the retail sales rule.
I'd like to make a few more comments about the retail sales rule and the 70% resale rule. These two rules are intended to discourage building inventories to achieve bonuses. I have read these rules carefully with a prejudice favoring Amway. Thus, my conclusions differ somewhat with yours. The 70% rule says that you must sell to retail customers or to your downline 70% of the volume you purchase. There is also a clause in that rule which allows you to consider items bought for personal and family consumption may be considered in that 70%. The 10 customer rule (or 50PV) discourages you from building a business without any retail activity. However, it only restricts performance bonus derived from your downline's activity. It seems to very clearly say that you are entitiled to a performance bonus (more accurately a rebate) on your personal use purchases if they exceed 100 PV even if you did not have any retail sales that month.
Given that and the fact that only a fraction of all distributors actually sponsor anyone, I submit to you that the majority of Performance Bonus checks are give to "wholesale customers". The allegation that I think you are making is that large businesses are built by sponsoring wholesale customers who sponsor other wholesale customers. Here again, Amway's reticence with their statistics forces both of us to speculate. I submit the suggestion that very few "wholesale customers" sponsor others. I further submit the hypothesis that the majority of Distributors who sponsor others also have a retail business.
At one time Amway published statistics about the average BV of Distributors. It showed that Distributors who did not participate in a retail business had a much lower average BV than Distributors who did. It also showed that Distributors who had sponsored downline Distributors had a higher average retail than those who did not. Although these statistics do not prove my hypothesis (stated above) I interpret them as supporting it. I suggest that the majority of Distributors who receive a significant performance bonus check each month are complying with the retail sales rule even if Amway is not putting in much effort enforcing it.
I fear that I've taken up a lot of time with this so I'll cut it off here and perhaps continue some other time. I don't think that I gave you any new data, rather I attempted to suggest another interpretation of the data already presented.
February 2, 1999
My only personal experiences with Amway include being a customer when I was in college back in the mid 70's.
My second brush with "the business" was in the early 90's when a close friend invited me to a meeting, in their home, regarding a business opportunity. Before attending the meeting I called my friend and asked "Exactly what is the meeting about?"
Since I was a good friend he eventually said "It's Amway", new program, opportunity, yada, yada, yada. At which time I told him, "Thank's for leveling with me, I won't be at the meeting".
My latest brush was a call from a business acquaintance, asking me if I would be interested in "additional income" Which I brushed off ASAP.
What is interesting is that for 16 years (79-95) I was in a cult (Worldwide Church of God) and since WCG implosion it is amazing the number of former WCG's have been recruited into Amway.
Anyway, keep up the great site, I look forward to reading the rest of your story.
February 3, 1999
This will be brief as I know you must be busy. I have truly enjoyed your site today. It really hit home for me. My Husband and I were in Amway for 4 years and in all that time we never made more than $20.00 in any one check. I never received a 1099-misc. I had the foresight though to retain copies of my "bonus" checks to file taxes with. I do believe you are doing a great service for all who may be blind to the facts, as we were when we started. I only wish I had seen this site before we signed on. I have an interesting story for you... We were pretty broke when we signed on and a major function was approaching. We were told by our "upline" we had to go to make our Business grow. We failed to make a mortgage payment on our home and nearly lost it, because we had a hard time coming up with a double payment. All for $20.00 a month. It is all pipe dreams and fantasy. Again, thank you.
February 4, 1999
You pointed out a statistic about the renewal rate. Yes it is absolutely true that between 30% and 50% of all current distributors will choose to not renew this year. Amway does confirm that number I remember when I was taking undergraduate computer courses (circa 1970) on the first day of class there would not be enough seats for all the students registered and by the third week only about 20% would be left. I do not think that we have any disagreement over that datum, however on the interpretation of it we may differ. I think that the low renewal rate is (at least in part) because it is so easy to "get in." If Amway checked your high school and college grades, gave you an aptitude test, asked for personal references, and only selected one out of 20 applicants then asked those that they selected to provide $50,000 for capitalization I suspect that the voluntary drop out rate would not be quite as high. If you have not built a business then you have nothing to lose by not renewing. I suspect that the renewal rate among Distributors who have built a downline organization and a retail business is significantly higher than 50%.
You asked to be put in touch with a group who teaches that you should do a retail business to finance you purchase of tapes, books, and functions. That group would be World Wide Dream Builders (Ron Puryear). I have no first hand information about other groups or about some earlier practices of WWDB, but it is very consistent in the taps and functions I've listened to or attended (by the way, I chose to go off standing order and only attend functions on occasion, and have not been called a quitter yet.) If you want to follow their system, you must service 10 customers each month and do 300PV in retail sales and 200 PV in personal use. They also sell video tapes that teach how to do retail using a retailing system called the In-Home-Shopping-Service and a similar retailing system specifically for Artistry. Amway has authorized WWDB to publish a WWDB IHSS catalog for prospecting and selling to retail customers. There may well be a lot of things that you could say against WWDB, but they do promote retailing as an essential part of building an Amway business.
You mentioned ...."The stories I've heard say that the "average" distributor only does 33PV (roughly). ...." The statistic I've heard was that the average PV was 77. I'm not sure which one is accurate. It may be that it is 33 PV for all distributors and 77 for all active ones. I suspect here again, we can agree on a piece of data, namely; the majority of Amway Distributors do not actively pursue the business. What that datum means to each of us differs. I understand that you interpret this datum to mean that the business itself is flawed, while I interpret it to mean that few people take advantage of the opportunities this system does have to offer.
If you really followed the system (I am one of the many who has not chosen to put the necessary work into it) then you would be sharing information about the business to 10 people each month. Out of those 10 (if you believe the statistics) you would sponsor two. The 8 people that you do not sponsor are potential customers. This system emphasizes that you should put in most of your effort in tying to sponsor others, but make customers out of everyone who says no. It also suggests that a significant number of your customers will become your downline distributors eventually. Very few Distributors who are in the WWDB line of sponsorship actually follow the system. I would suggest that if you owned a McDonalds franchise and did not follow the system they are taught then you would have very little chance of success.
It may be true that the majority of Amway Distributors do no promote retail I do not know. However, it is definitely not true that there are no significant groups within Amway that do not promote retail.
Thanks for responding my email. I hope that the accurate information on your site and similar sites will help Amway Distributors correct the real problems that do exist within Amway. I would like to see them actually become the "Best Business Opportunity in the world." I don't think that they are quite there yet.
February 4, 1999, message #2 from the same author
My further thoughts .......
There are several aspects of a message. One is the actual contents of the message. The other two are possibly even more important, namely the context and intent of the sender and the context and intent of the receiver. Most of the "plans" that I have seen spend a lot of time working on the "dream" or why one should build an Amway business and only a little bit of time spent on how to do it.
The intent of the speaker is to convince you to start an Amway business. It is an advertising pitch and as with all such messages it should be listened to carefully and with some skepticism. I suggest that no plan shower intentiaonally lies. However, they will (as will every body else on every other subject) filter what they say to make their arguments most convincing.
There are a couple of key elements in the Amway Sales and Marketing plan. If you do a 100 PV a month and build a group of 68 other disributors who each do 100 PV a month then you will have over $2,000 a month in income. This is the central point of the plan. A family can do over 200 PV a month in just personal use. This is another important point. If you put the two points together one can logically conclude that if you shift your current spending to Amway products and sponsor others to do the same, then you will make a significant income. The point the you need to also have 10 customers to keep your business legal is mentioned but not given a lot of emphasis.
I see a very valid complaint in your comments. I think that more emphasis should be placed on product sales.
Perhaps it is this lack of up-front education about product sales that reults in the large turnover rate. It may be that once one discovers that product sales are a part of the busines that people leave. Perhaps if a more accurate and appropriate emphasis was placed on product sales, then there would be fewer peole joining Amwy but more people staying.
February 6, 1999
I found the information to be very interesting and some of the comparisons are accurate. I currently own 2 computer businesses and an investment corp., and I am involved with the Amway corporation, as a representative/contractor. Many of the rumors and unethical business practices by other representatives/contractors of the Amway Corp. are certainly true. I have also seen alot of unfair practice between distributors, but companies have trials and disagreements everyday in any business. For example look at one of the largest auto companies in the world, GM, on any given week they have over 2000 standing law suits (US Dept of Labor/Library of Congress, Legal Doc's). Also, look up Nike, Coca-cola, P&G, DOW Chem and any fortune 500 company, the number of court cases will astound you. Amway has it's share of cases, but all businesses share the load.
The question of pricing is something of question as well. I will admit that Amway corp has some higher priced Brands of products, but Interestingly enough there is no mention of the cost efficient products, which by the way do exist. I suggest getting an up to date Wholesale Price List-1999 and a few catalogs and then create a few comparisons( a few thing to look up-Garbage bags, Clothing, Shoes, Cosmetics, and the discount sales published in the monthly Amagram. I would do this myself, but then again I'm not hosting the site. Most people do not understand where and how the bidding of products for a large business works. If you get a deal on one line of products one month the next month you may pay more for that line, but get a discount on another line. No Middle operator gets the best price on all lines. Compare toilet paper at Kroger, which would be higher than Super K or Meijer, but Kroger has Chicken and diapers on sale. We look at that as consumers and say we'll go to all three and get only the sales, and that's when we're hooked 94% of consumers that enter a grocerie store for a sale end up buying 2 items more or spending 2 times what they woul have saved. That is the game and retailers have known that for years it's all marketing. The bottom line is, if people think they're going to pay too much for a few items via Amway go else where, they are adults who make choices.
I understand the baggage that the Amway corporation has due to many ignorant representatives/contractors, but remember they are only contractors not employees. We can choose to go elsewhere any time. The professional organization of business leaders I am affiliated with reads like a who's who in politics, business and government. We promote alot of leadership base principles for all businesses, and if people build another successful business outside an Amway brokerage, that's great. In many cases they have learned a few principles, that ordinarily are not available, and has helped them to build their other business as well.
The site is very informative and has some valid points. It just seems that alot of effort went into downgrading 1 company, you can set up a site to diminish virtually any business, most of them do have loopholes, that is the competitive nature of them. I'm not blind, I realize that this is not traditional and many contractors with the Amway Corp. have been over-zealous salespeople, as well as army-like dictators, but many businesses are run the same only they hold the paycheck over their head. We need to learn to be more flexible and informative about both sides of an issue and as leaders respect another person's success and flops in business ethics. I wish you luck in your ventures and I appreciate the opportunity to respond.
PS: The internet will change market structure of network marketing and Amway as we know it will dissolve. The alliances with corporate leaders and several private family backers are much too powerful in this On-Line/Internet deal, this will be a new concept all the way around. None of the old concepts of "Amway" will apply-
February 9, 1999
I am a current 1000 pin and I found your site by accident. I have been a 1000 pin for 2 years. I haven't grown one bit. Why? Because I am not Seeing The People or Showing The Plan. And, I really haven't been Selling The Products. STP, STP, STP!!
I have no doubt that our upline receives a profit from Tools we purchased. I think that this is a great reward. Why? A lot of come into the Amway business as blue collar folks. Most of us are just high school educated. And, most of us wouldn't know how to handle a 100,000.00 income. We weren't raised around that kind of money. The books and tapes that are available for us to purchase (only if we want) help us change our ways of thinking. It's not that there has been any thing wrong with our current lives. I have always made about 30,000.00 a year. But, I really would love a big house, a boat, a camper, acreage for my children to play, horses, time with my children, both parents home to enjoy raising them..... as I have so many things that this money could buy. These books and tapes have taught me that I could be a successful business woman and I could make more than 30,000.00 a year. Not just as an Amway Distributor, but any business I decide to own. I believe that there are many out there who would like to be able to afford something special that there child is asking for without saying, "we just don't have the money for that..." or "you'll have to wait till I get paid and then after I pay our bills...." . My son is 8 and he is so excited about the Amway Business Opportunity. He will remember the lower income level we lived at, but, he will also remember how I overcame and moved us to an upper income level.
Finally, are you aware of where we are going this year? The founders of the Amway Corporation are beginning a new company. It will be a virtual mall with over 3,000 + stores we have been told. We will all be warehouse authorized and products from one can of peas to one pack of diapers can be delivered right to us. No more product pickup!! yeah!! No more bounced checks or people not paying for their orders!! yeah!!! There will be a place within the site as how to become a member and save money. As a member they'll receive great benefits as well as retail profit checks and wholesale bonus checks. There will also be a virtual office on the site. This will keep track of all our volume and retail monies generated on a monthly, and yearly form.
Now, more than ever am I building my business. When this site launches I would rather be 50 people directing people into the site to decide if they want to buy something or become a member than just me. There will be no convincing someone to do this. The site will "speak" for itself.
I am part of the Britt World Wide Organization. I have really enjoyed meeting the many folks that have come into my path. I can honestly say that my attitude towards life, God, my children and my current "Job" I owe all to the person who showed me Britt World Wide and the Amway Opportunity. Would I take a bullet for them, probably not, but, If I needed any help, as I have had to in recent months, my "friends" are there for support. When I cannot do 100 PV they do not turn their backs on me, nor do they anyone else in our organization. If something comes up and I cannot attend a function they do not throw me to the wolves. They understand.
I truly hope you'll post my message. For those who just want a little positive affirmation, a little comfort, a little cheering "you can do it" this is the best opportunity. For those who don't want to work for their money, who are looking for a get rich quick, who think they don't have to do anything to become successful then, this is not for them. To everyone who decides this is for them, best of luck to you. To those who don't or have had a negative experience, I am truly sorry for what you have had to go through. Best of luck to you too.
February 11, 1999
Just yesterday I was hit with an e-Commerce presentation.
Just a quick background; About a year ago, I was hit by a regular Amway Dexter/Yeager concubine . Thanks to the information in your web sites, I was able to send this jerk packing. They said and did everything your sites said they would say. Not a very bright bunch are they. Well, here is a recollection of this guys e-Commerce presentation. I was holding back from laughing during the whole thing.
I was given a call by someone looking for people with Technical skills to get involved with a new e-Commerce site. I guess a friend of mine gave out my number. (He will be dealt with later). Naturally I was curious to hear what he had to say. He told me that a brand new super e-Commerce site was about to be launched and wanted to know If I was interested in a meeting. I asked what company is heading off this venture and what part do you play in it? He stated that a name had not been established yet there will be one very soon. He also through in some names of companies that would be involve,. names like Amazon.com and Yahoo! as possible future vendors for the new eMall. My red flag went up. They guy did not answer my question. (I'm thought maybe he wants me to write some HTML code or maybe take me on as a potential local merchant.) He went on say that this would all be best discussed in person becasue there is allot of material to go over. The avoidence tactic was enough to trigger the word Amway into the back of my mind. But I was still very curious. I was already involved the Internet profesionly. So I agreed to meet the guy. He was insistent on meeting at my place. I figured, if this guy wants to talk e-Commerce. We should meet a place of commerce. The local Mall's Food Court at closing time I though would be a suitable time. I hoped all the noise and distractions would be enough to put reverse pressure on any sales pitch. I met him at 9pm and proceeded to find a table amongst the movie crowds and cleaning people. He was well dressed and wore allot of jewellery. He looked to be in his early to mid 40's. He pulled out Compaq laptop computer onto the table top and booted up to Windows NT. (The guy barley looked like he knew how to work the thing.) He then pulls out what first seemed to be small shiny card badge. "This is my new business card" he said. On the front of it was written "Architects of the Future". He said, It's the latest in storage technology. "Wow", I thought, "let me see that." He passed it over to me and noted It was a just CD ROM cut into the shape of a small square business card with the disc hub hole in the center. I flipped on the back side to see where the tracks would be written. I noted that the outer edge of the center hub had no track space on it. Only the outer edges fo the rectangle had track space on it. If it spins like a CD it won't read because of the break in the track's sequence. I shook my head. ( I got to see this). He then said,"This is going be so cool." He popped the card into the CD ROM player. Closed the tray and then types in his NT password to log into the machine. (This is Obviously just a prop. The presentaion starts from the Startup folder.) Suddenly, after logging in a screen presentation comes to life runing a PowerPoint like presentation. (I later asked hime for a copy of the card., He said it was the only copy he had currently, What a surprise) unsuspecting non people might fall for this prop. The Presetation went on starts out with "Are you tired of working, Do you want to be Independent, Blah, Blah, We're Rich your a just a stupid worker type hype. Then I saw name and picture Dexter's picture popped up with is wife. Full blown alert. I know for sure I was that this was an Amway presentation. The presentation went on quote the outrageous figures and Charts on the growth of e-Commerce Quoting Trillions of dollars.. Now And 100 Trillion by the end of 2001. But no were in the entire 20 minute presentation was Amway ever mentioned nor was the concept fully expalined for making money. Buy pure politeness and pure curiosity to see how far this would go before Amway was mentioned by this fellow. It was over 15 minutes before I heard the word Amway spoken from this guy. He said Amway was only associated assisting the organizing of this new e-Commerce site but was not directly involved with it. He mentioned the Y2K scare and buying food and House hold items from your home at manufacturer prices. (buying from your own store) He gave the same ridiculous Amway story line about recruiting other to leverage your time and mentioned going to Rallies and getting Motivational tapes to keep you on track. I was dying inside. I wanted to laugh in this guy's face. I told him I would need more time. I confronted about what I heard from a friend about the Motivational Tapes Scam and wanted to know how I heard about that. I told him from a friend. I told him though I may be interested in seeing more information. He gave me card with the web sites listed on it. Shook his hand and bid him good night. . I was both disgusted and laughing at the whole incident. I was given the following. .
[www.mtcart.com Password 00696rwh] and [www.countdown9199.com with IBO# 184006]
These Jerks have got to be stopped. 20/20, Dateline. or some other of these TV shows need warn people about these dangerous and predatory deception tactics. They are preying off the legitmate use of e-commerce on the internet.
February 12, 1999
I am crying as I write this letter to you. I have been through your site all the while thanking "The Lord God Almighty" that someone definitely knows what I have been through. Your section for those of us who have lost loved ones to this "organized scam" was what did it for me. I am surprised at how much this still hurts.
You see my so called [father] has had nothing to do with me since dropping out of this so called "opportunity". I have one son that [he] last saw when the child was [a year old] (you guessed it, the visit was Amway related), any previous visits involved me driving to see [him] when [his] business schedule allowed it (he lives 1/2 hour away). My beautiful son who has ambitions to [...] play in the World Cup one day will be 8 this July. How do I answer him the next time he asks "Mommie, I know who [grandpa] is (on his paternal side), but where is YOUR [father], why has [h]e never called me or sent me a Christmas or Birthday Card? Is he mad at me?"
We answer these questions the best we can, but it still hurts, terribly. I have recently heard that [my father] is financially broke, ([he] is losing [his] second home) brainwashed, and yet more determined than ever that [he] will succeed at this crap. [He] is now trying to establish contact with me for money.
Where my story is concerned this is only the tip of the "iceberg", but I don't want to take up anymore of your time. I am basically writing to say thank you and don't give up, we need you. Our family is here for you and ready to join the fight. I have already started locating correct e-mail addresses for the companies listed and will be forwarding their addresses to you. If there is anything else I can do don't hesitate to e-mail me anytime.
February 15, 1999
I just read your sight on the net on how AMWAY is a cult. I'm so glad to have found it. I never had any idea that Amway is a cult or cult like. I'm not a distributor but my Mom is. She signed up a few weeks ago. I went to one of their meetings and I felt throughout the meeting as if I was being forced to become a distributor. The speaker talked... it was horrible. At the end of the meeting the speaker asked me three times if I wanted a book and cassette to take home read and listen to. Then the fourth time I accepted but to tell you the truth I never listened to the cassette nor did I read the book. The book by the way is called WHO STOLE THE AMERICAN DREAM by Burke Hedges, and the cassette is called YOUR NEXT MOVE GETTING THE FACTS FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE THEM. I've always felt something evil about AMWAY just wasn't sure of what it was. I was to approached by my moms upline we sat down at the kitchen table and discussed how my future looks like now...and how my future will look like with AMWAY. They drew a small circle and said this is your income without AMWAY...then they said we will show you how to develop your income bigger and bigger and bigger with AMWAY and as she was saying this she began drawing a bigger and bigger circle sound familiar? anyways as I listened to what she had to say mostly about my goals and my future and how I can only achieve it with AMWAY. I asked her then how much of an income are you making now with AMWAY, she said that she wasn't allowed to say that info. As I was reading your page I realized you were right when you said that the distributors make nothing at all or very little. Anyways I've refused to join AMWAY...but my Mom joined it and I'm really worried that very soon she will become brain washed by these people. I don't know wat I should do to make her see the truth about AMWAY if you could please suggest something, some form of help. I would greatly appreciate it. I wrote down your webpage address and I will show my mom tomorrow your page I will ask her to read it maybe there is still hope because she is new to this. Anyways God Bless You for putting a page up like this to warn helpless victims.
Thanks for your time.
February 16, 1999
From: Zachary V
Subject: web site
I realize that the world that you live in is perfect and that you must have the best life of all the humans on the planet. I draw this conclusion by the fact that you have devoted a large chuck of your life to this web site so you must be able to lead all of these people to a better opportunity for their lives, right? Think now of all the hours you have spent putting together this site and look at your children or family and realize that it was time stolen from them. Sad, isn't it? Do you realize that all of the weak people that could not build Amway would have found that out soon enough without your web site? All you really need to do is give the weanies a list to choose from; they don't need long dissertations because any excuse will do. Lastly, do you find it pathetic that you now associate with people that could not even build an Amway business and have to explain themselves by putting together a long article of the challenges that they found and why they can not succeed?
You may feel free to respond, but I would love to know a few things. First, how far did you get in the Amway business? Second, what have you found to do with your life that is much better than building Amway? Lastly, are you a Christian? I ask that because without that foundation it is understandable how you view the value system that the people in Amway have as cult-like. The fact is that the people that do stick around enjoy the release of being able to be happy and excited about life.
Have a GREAT Day --I AM
February 17, 1999
Just wanted to send you a note to say that the quasi legal crap Amway is now pulling is ridiculous. I am currently a distributor, although I am very, very inactive. My experience with the Amway Corporation (especially the Britt Worldwide AMO) is that they say one thing and mean another. My wife and I are in the Britt line of sponsorship. To say they mixed religion and business is an understatement. I personally have been wrestling with spiritual issues ever since we left that evil, manipulating group. They play upon your spirituality in so many ways that it can almost destroy your religious faith when you find out the truth. Today I still wrestle with spiritual issues that would not be a consideration if I had not joined this wretched business. I would not be a distributor at all if my wife did not like one or two of their products.
I am an attorney here in South Carolina and it makes me sick to see the legal abuses of the Amway corporation. The abuse of subpoena power is a cheap and gutless way to put the squeeze on a rival. The real reason is probably that they are scared of the naked truth being exposed about their pyramid scheme (oops, I meant business!). Abusing discovery mechanisms is a classic way to attempt to destroy opposition. I must note that I am a government attorney and might be seen as being more conservative in my interpretation of the First Amendment. However, I think that our system of open discussion is vital to a free country. That being said, I agree that the flagrant abuses of organizations such as Amway and the many AMO's must be made public.
They tell the world that they are so ethical and yet they use the legal system to beat down those who speak the truth. In my practice I have seen this tactic used many times, but it always ends up hurting the purveyors of such treachery. The Amway opportunity has potential, but it is being abused by individuals (Bill Britt is a glaring example) to the point that it borders on the absurd. I will never forgive my sponsor and the others who caused me to lose tens of thousands following a system that is corrupt and totally unchristian. Not only will it separate you from your family, it will cause you to spend thousands on motivational materials and functions where you will not learn anything. After several functions you too can learn the "truth", that God wants you be rich and to do achieve this will require the next function!! When I told my upline about my decision to leave he basically told me I had no "dream" and was I giving in to the "masses". Does the fact that I want to continue my law career make me a loser?---I think not!
Their "teachings" will only weaken your faith in humanity (and Christianity) and ultimately leave you broke. Bill Britt (and Amway in general) is really no different from any other cultic leader/organization out there. The message may sound good at first, however, if you have rational thought capacity, the reality will eventually hit you. Bill Britt is truly one of the best con-artists out there. If you are a conservative (as I am) it is easy to fall for his spiel initially. Once you realize that he is an overrated blowhard, egomaniac, and total fraud, your faith in Amway will be seriously damaged! The God I know does not require you to force your wife into the role of mindless, subservient bondservant (i.e. Peggy Britt).
I am not afraid of Amway--they cannot stop a person from communicating their opinion. Oh no! I bought a P&G product at the store a while ago---do you think I am connected to them?!
February 24, 1999
Just came from Sydney Schwartz's website and was appalled at what Dexter Yeager wrote on his web! Why, Dex is so religious! Yet he called Sydney gay and an asshole!!! Dex said that Amway had changed him, how?! Was he worse than he is now or did he get worse? Still an Idiot to me!!! I'm glad we got out before we lost more than $150.00! Our sponsor was making my husband late for his job and was tearing down some people that my husband had grown up with!!! Of course he didn't know that we had known them for years!!! We are True Christians and don't hide behind the name to hurt others!!! Just a bunch of Hypocrates to me!!! Their products were used as directed, like their dishwashing liquid, and I found Dawn or Pamolive to work better! I'm proud of you men for telling people the truth about them and I will spread the truth around here too, by telling people about your websites!!! Our Hearts and Love are with you al!!!
February 25, 1999
You do not have to respond all the time, but I am coming across some intresesting stuff related to Amwy! Did you know that DeVos and the founder of LifeLine are pumping millions into religious right causes? DeVos and a member of the secretive Council for National Policy (CNP), along with a number of Amway Distributors, are heavily involved with Woody Jenkins!!! Head of the CNP! This is only the tip of the iceberg! [Dexter Yager] gives ay least $100,000 a month to Rev. Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. LifeLine has 1 mil. customers found through conservative Christian groups. LifeLine also supports 35,000 Christian groups and gives them $1.5 mil. each month!!! Founder Terry Freeny hopes to put $85 Mml. a year into the Kingdom, meaning Christian groups. To sign up new customers, LifeLine networks with these Chridtian groups promising to give the groups 10% of the billing that comes through the groups members. So, virtualy, every right group pushes LifeLine through literature sent to its suppoters. LifeLine's main sales pitch focuses on Abortion and intolerence for Gays and Lesbians, claiming that the major long-distance carriers pour money into Gay Rights Movements and Planned Parenthood. All these guys know each other! Now I know why Dex called Sydney a gay!!! Punch up A Rising Star, Amway and LifeLine,and Money for Vouchers if you have WebTV. There is an awful lot of stuff under Amway when punched up under Search!!! I wasn't sure if you were aware of any of this or not. God Bless
February 26, 1999
I came across your site while in search for something else. I read a bit of it, since I had somewhat of an interest in the subject. Some years ago, through work, my husband met a couple that sold Amway on the side. These two seemingly nice and upstanding people seemed to *really* like my husband and myself. We couldn't understand why the sudden close friendship... I mean we *are* witty, intelligent, attractive... Ha!... BUT... you get the idea. It was just as you described in "lovebombing".
We soon were 'pestered' on a regular, intermittant basis to join them in the wonderful world of Amway. My husband had a mild interest; I wanted no part of it. Though the wife, [Wendy], seemed to be a nice person, it became more and more obvious that the husband, [Brad], of this team was a real pervert. They were supposedly very religious, but I found [Brad's] leering and attempts at hugs and kisses increasingly creepy. Then I learned from my husband the reason this guy went jogging faithfully every evening after dark: to peek into windows at women.
Their avid recruitment efforts went on for several years. Each time [Brad] would call, my husband would become more vague and non-committal. One day my husband told him not to call anymore. Soon after, [Brad] arrived at our door demanding the product samples and catalogs he had "given" us. I was under the impression the samples were for us to use and "sample". My husband said he became very irate when it looked like we had used up some of them and couldn't give them back. Thought you might find this amusing, though you've probably heard it all before.
I also had an impressionable young friend who went with cousins (they paid her way!) to [California] for an Amway meeting/convention. She became swept away with their promises. After reading a bit of your site, I'm *so* glad we were able to talk her out of joining.
March 1, 1999
Dear Mr. Hoagland:
Yesterday my wife and I were visited by a man and his wife, and a high level Amway distributor. We had no idea it was Amway. The man, who met my wifewhile both were waiting for tires at Wal-Mart, told her about a business he was thinking about starting.
They came and gave us a presentation about how we needed to make more money. It was like a slide show, but on a laptop.
Finally, I asked if it were Amway, and the big guy admitted it. he said they are starting an internet operation in September with IBM and Microsoft, and the name will be QuikStar. He said there will be some 2,000 companies which they will be in partners with.
They wanted $160 to "register us". When I asked what we would do to make money, he said we would do presentations like the one he was doing. He has a big home in Breckenridge, Colorado, and showed us a picture of it. The man and wife had just come back from Holland, and were doing $2,000,000 a year in business with no effort on their part, or so he said.
March 2, 1999
(a recent press release)
I can't buy a way out of my death sentence; Mum's anger as billionaire pays pounds 60,000 for new heart
JAMIE MACASKILL EXCLUSIVE
Scottish Daily Record & Sunday Mail Ltd.
A MOTHER who has waited two years for a new heart was furious yesterday after it was revealed an American billionaire paid pounds 60,000 for a transplant in an NHS hospital.
Lynne Lewis, 29, who has a congenital heart disease, said: "It is disgusting. People are waiting and dying because there are so few organs available.
"Yet someone can walk in and pay pounds 60,000 for a heart - money talks."
Richard DeVos, 73, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is one of the world's richest men and got his transplant in this country after being turned down in the US because of his age.
He got his new heart from an NHS patient, in an NHS hospital at the hands of an NHS surgeon. In return, pounds 60,000 was deposited in a private medical account.
Lynne, of Broxburn, West Lothian, said: "I was told I would need a new heart within two years. Those two years will be up in April but I am still waiting.
"It would be terrible if money became a factor in transplants. People would end up bidding. Would you have to sell your house for a heart? What would happen if you had no home or no money?
"It sends a very poor message to hundreds of people waiting for a transplant.
"How many more millionaires are there out there who will think they can buy their way into the system?
"I just cannot believe they could do something like this."
Lynne, who was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy almost 10 years ago, can now only hope for the pager message which will tell her a new heart has become available.
DeVos, who had suffered two strokes and had already undergone a triple heart by- pass operation, got his transplant at the world- famous Harefield Hospital, Middlesex, in 1997.
It happened after a woman with lung disease underwent a domino transplant - surgeons removed her healthy heart, because they wanted to let her new lung and heart develop together.
Within five hours, her heart had been given to DeVos by Britain's leading transplant surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub who has carried out hundreds of NHS operations.
There are almost 700 people in Britain waiting for a new heart, but a Government agency insisted the organ given to DeVos wasn't suitable for any of them.
A spokeswoman for the UK Transplant Support Service said: "No organ would be given for transplant until it was certain that firstly a patient within the UK could not receive it and secondly it was not suitable for a patient in the EU.
"The decision rests with the clinicians who remove the organ. They are able to decide whether it is suitable for donation.
"In this case the organ was not suitable for donation to a patient within the NHS waiting list or in the EU with whom we share organs suitable for transplant."
And a health department source said: "If there are no suitable donors you cannot put a heart in a fridge and wait for someone with a match to join the list. Organs go off. You only have a window of four or five hours before it is useless.
"The donated heart was unsuitable for other people because of its size and blood group. If there is a patient from overseas who does match up then why deny them?"
But John Evans, chairman of the British Organ Donor Society, said: "I look at this with a degree of unrest.
"It appears as though an American billionaire has been able to receive a transplant via the back door.
"What troubles me is that we just do not know what is going on behind the scenes.
"We know that hospitals throughout the country receive payment for carrying out transplants for patients from Europe. We do not know to what extent."
He added: "We are deeply opposed to people buying organs for transplant. It would mean the impoverished would have no chance of receiving treatment against someone with money.
"In America, they are very, very worried about people buying their way into the system. And that is in a country where cash is usually the bottom line."
DeVos made his estimated pounds 2billion fortune after founding the pyramid selling group, Amway - named after the American Way.
He is a devout Christian who bankrolls a TV evangelism group and has immense influence in US business and political circles.
The mogul was a regular visitor to the White House when Gerald Ford was president.
Last night, DeVos reacted angrily to accusations that his money had helped him jump the queue for a heart transplant.
He said: "I believe in miracles and I praise the Lord for giving me this.
"It had nothing to do with money. That is just sniping and profoundly untrue. All I want to say is I am grateful and I am doing well."
[If this article outrages you, let Amway know your feelings. E-Mail them at: Amway Corporation]
March 3, 1999
From: SCOTT LAMBSON
To: John Hoagland
[Note: If anyone wants to help educate this person, please e-mail him. He is obviously believing all the lines he being told. Please forgive the errors- they don't teach spelling or grammar in the Amway business.]
It is very evident that you were a part of the Amway business at one time or another. YOU, need to quit miss informing [spelling] people on the net, and get better educated information about the Amway business opp.
Did you know that they did over 7.6 billion dollars in sales in just one year ??? [This is new to me, as I have kept up on Amway's revenues since I was a distributor in 1996. The highest Amway ever made was $6.8B.]
Did you know that next to microsoft, the Amway business has created over 2200 millioniars [spelling]??? [More than a number of people have told me that this statement is completely unfounded and CAN NOT be supported by any kind of factual information.]
Did you know that if Amway was a cult that they would have been shut down???? ['Amway' (the Corporation itself) is not a cult, which is why they have not been shut down. However, the AMO's are a cult-like group, but they are non-regulated. So, it is very hard to "shut them down."]
Did you know that with alot [spelling] of that money, they give big contributions and donate??? [So what? Mobsters give money to charities- does this make their activities any more legal?]
It took Coca Cola over 15 years to do that kind of money volume!!! [And, so? What is his point?]
I could go on and on about alot [spelling] of things, so get accurate information befor [spelling] you mislead people, on things you have no comon [spelling] knowledge of [grammar]!!!!
March 3, 1999
(another recent press release)
Billionaire thanks God for his NHS heart
Associated Newspapers Ltd.
DETROIT: An American billionaire thanked God last night for giving him a new heart - in a British hospital ahead of Health Service patients.
"I believe in miracles and I praise the Lord for giving me this," said Richard DeVos, 73. "It had nothing to do with money." DeVos (pictured), who founded the Amway cleaning products empire, was refused a transplant in the U.S. because of his age.
How he was able to jump the queue in Britain for a GBP 60,000 operation performed by Sir Magdi Yacoub at Harefield Hospital, West London, in June 1997, remained unclear yesterday.
Although the donor heart was said to be unsuitable for any of the 650 patients then on the UK waiting list, medical experts say it could have been exchanged in Europe for one that was suitable. They also thought it "unlikely" a Briton of similar age would receive a new heart.
"I am amazed an outsider was accepted for treatment in Britain," said Arthur Caplan, a biotechnics professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
"How many Britons in their seventies would get accepted on to the transplant waiting list?" DeVos, told by doctors he had only two or three years to live without a transplant, is said to be living a "full life" at his mansion in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
[If this article outrages you, let Amway know your feelings. E-Mail them at: Amway Corporation]
March 3, 1999
First off I was a memeber of the great deception from 1981 to 1990. In the process I went all the way to PSDD and yes, I was making some bucks...
I could tell you stories that could fill a book... Anyway, I started to see the big lies and became aware of the deceptive methods, WHILE I was doing quite well in the "business" and I quit (yes I QUIT...) and the earth did not open up to swallow me. Unfortunately, my son is in this thing now, he bought the entire party line hook, line and sinker... [for[ 6 years now!!!! In those years, he "sold" 2 kits, his biggest PV check was $14.00... you know the picture. Now cometh the 'e-commerce' and "they" think that this is it! Well, at least they don't have to "ralphcramden" anymore (humennihumennihum,) when asked; "Is this Amway"? or "well, what is it"? No, no more hedging, because here it is the name of the "NEW"? Amway....KICKSTAR (no joke!!!!!) Corp. I immediately changed it to "QUICKSAND" so I got an other label of "negative" from my son.
By the way in case you would not know, check out their website:
Good "talking" to ya'
March 3, 1999
I believe I got suckered into an Amway meeting. I was in a book-store with my wife and we were looking over the computer books, when all of sudden this guy started talking to us. He told us about his work with a new internet business that will be working with Microsoft and some big time investors. I told him that I am pretty knowledgeable in the internet and can could train people to use it, so he invited me to a meeting. I went to the meeting and was pretty excited about what they had to say. It was all about 30% savings, e-commerce, reaping the benefits of buying yourself and getting your friends to do the same and you get the benefits of their buying. Finally he got around to saying who the distributor was going to be, AMWAY, immediately a red flag went up in my head. Later that night, I went to do a little research on AMWAY on the net, and that's when I came across your site. I sat there for two hours and browsed around and you all couldn't be more right. The meeting went exactly the way you all described it, from the introduction, to the timing, the words used and the dollar amounts I could potentially make.
AMWAY is getting into e-commerce and they are going by the name of QUIXTAR.com. Please pass this on to others on the Webring, because Multi-level marketing is the same no matter what name it is called.
March 6, 1999
Thanks for the site. I found it to be most useful and entertaining. We were "Amwayed" last year. My partner was waiting for our down comforter to dry at the commercial cleaners when a matronly woman started up a chat with him and acquired our phone number. ([My spouse] is from rural Alaska and had not previously been exposed to this sort of thing.) She called us months later and wanted to bring her husband to meet with us about a business opportunity. I asked point-blank on the phone, "Is this Amway?" She said "no" but would not elucidate further. For entertainment's sake, I set up a time with her. She and her husband showed up, made small chat, and then broke out the binder. When I asked her why she had denied the Amway connection over the phone, she claimed I had never asked.
[My spouse] and I had a terrific time picking their math apart. We also took the opportunity to practice our special technique of ensuring that salesmen, zealots, etc., never return to our house: being terribly friendly and unwilling to let them get a word in edgewise because we are prattling on and on about particularly inane topics. ("Is that a new crack in the plaster, honey?" "Well, I don't know, it could be." "I think it is - that wasn't there last year when I repainted." "Oh, yes, it could have been that earthquake last week." "Or the one last month." and so on and so forth ad nauseam.) We can be tremendously boring when we want to, apparently!
We kept them for FOUR hours. We also allowed the cats and the dog in, so that the Amwayites could experience the joy of our three very friendly, long-haired, shedding animals. I found the most annoying music I could and played it at a just high enough level to make conversation strained. And I put garlic in the oven to roast, to really enhance the mood.
They almost _ran_ out the door and we have never been bothered since. They didn't even offer to leave product with us to sample. : )
I'm passing your URL on to everyone I know. Thanks again!!!
March 8, 1999
This is intended to be a follow-up to the earlier e-mail on sent on February 17, 1999. In that e-mail I said that I that the Amway Corp. and the Motivational Organizations were deceptive and used religion to push the business. Well, even though they may say that it is a new business on the Internet-- THEY ARE LYING!!! I just spoke with a distributor that I knew quite well back in my brainwashed days. He told me that I should not have left the "business" because it is now going on the Internet and was "going to explode." He said that he is no longer afraid to mention Amway because they were "no longer the primary corporation" they worked with. I cannot remember the exact name of the supposedly new corporation, but the main thing is he said they will still work with Amway. Then he told me that the Britt System is still intact and was his primary vehicle for "doing the business" on a day to day basis. He told me that God had given the leaders the vision that the Internet was the place to be and that they were following his lead!!
All I can say is that the whole scam appears not to have really changed at all. Whether you push your allegedly christian business through the old way or through the Internet you are still committing the same abuses. My only fear is that large numbers of unsuspecting people will fall for this new scam and end up like the rest of us who have gone before. (Broke and disillusioned). My "friend" told me that they will still be having functions and other meetings as they had always done before. This basically means that the exact same abuses and problems from before will still be present. Countless people will be encouraged to attend functions that are worthless and spend their money on tools they do not need. In fact, I am sure that the Internet connection will lend itself to more abuses, "You really need to purchase my software, computer, tapes, materials, etc.. to succeed!"
God help the masses if this fraudulent change provides a way for that despicable group of people to succeed in their quest to rip off the public!
March 10, 1999
I just visited your site and enjoyed reading it. It brought to memory a time about 12 years ago when an Amway rep tried to recruit me. I was eating lunch at a pizza place and a guy the next table over saw I had some papers out on the table. (I was working as a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman at the time, and the papers I had out were orders that had been filled out that morning.) The guy asked what I seemed to be studying so intently and started a seemingly innocent conversation with me. He told me he had also worked once as a door-to-door salesman for a competitor vacuum cleaner company. We each shared some of our stories, and we had a few good laughs together. I thought I had met a pretty decent person. At the end of our lunches, he gave me his business card, and it said something vague on it like his initials followed by the word "Enterprises." As we got up to leave he paused and looked at me. He told me that I seemed "like a real go-getter," and that he wanted to see me again next time he was in town. He told me that he had "something special" for me. Afterwards, I was curious about what he meant by "something special."
A few weeks later, he did call me and told me that he would be in town again and wanted to see me. We met at a local restaurant, and he seemed very, very friendly and excited to see me, unusually so for having only recently met. That made me very suspicious. During our dinner together, he showed me "the plan," and I'm sure you know how the rest of the story goes. I did not accept his invitation to join Amway, and to this day I am glad that I didn't. I didn't know much about Amway then, but the more I have learned about it over the years, the more glad I was that I didn't join.
Anyway, just thought I'd pass along my experience. I always that it was a clever recruiting line that the guy used...saying that he had "something special" for me. It did get me wondering what it was, and I thought that I would be given a legitimate job offer or something, but I found out different.
March 12, 1999
I just wanted to say that this site is very impressive. I have been in the Amway business (for about a week) and learned quite a few things very quickly about this organization. In any event, what I have read on your site appears to hit a lot of buttons as to my experiences with Amway. I, fortunately, left Amway before it had any serious impacts on my life. I cannot believe that something is not done about their approach to people on how they push their promotional material. They would have had us spend several hundred dollars on a waste of repititous tapes and books that are to say the least, far from best sellers. Anyway, you have a very well orchestrated website and I thank you for the information. It only confirms what I already knew.
March 12, 1999
Thank you John!
Neither my husband or I had ever been approached by Amway in the past, but I had heard all of the negative information. Last week my husband was in the drugstore and was approached by an employee(formerly a co-worker at another business)about a possible opportunity she and her husband were involved with. She wouldn't say more. Her husband called to set up an appointment at our house...I smelled a rat and asked to meet them at their house. Nobody wants to let you into a money making business for free out of the goodness of their heart. If we were to enter into a profitable business with them I wanted to see how they were living! Amway was never mentioned. We talked about computers and the internet. We thought they needed some computer help (my husbands business). Then Loren started to tell us about a great opportunity on the internet. No specific domain names or addresses. No talk about money. Just what a great "on-line mall" this set up was going to be. Brand names and the Fortune 500 references, ground floor opportunities, etc. I said "this sounds like some kind of Amway scam, a pyramid structure." Loren sat up straight in his chair and DECLAIMED "Amway is not a pyramid in the eyes of the FTC! He asked what I know about Amway. I told him I never bought any products but was familiar with its rep as a scheme. "Not like that at all...unique on-line mall!...as a groundfloor franchisee(sp) we could make money...spouted "facts and figures" about how this division of Amway represent 80% of Amways income. All I can say is once I heard the word Amway...I was out of there! Thank Goodness we didn't let them come to our house!! Sign us "Thank you for being skeptics"
March 12, 1999
Hey John! What is the deal here?!?!
It seems that you have really got a hard-on in an "bad" way for these Amway people and their business.
If these subpeonas you are getting is for real. I mean it sounds unreal to me.
Tell me do they think that a little web site such as yours will bring their company down?
Don't get me wrong I am a firm believer that DAVID slew Goliath, but come on... this can't really be happening.
Afterall what is the discrepancy about what they have made or not made for that matter.
$6 billion or $7 billion what the double 'HE (Hockey Sticks) does it make?
Aren't they a big huge company that has been in critical mass for years already?.
Amway is not going anywhere.
Even if what you say is true. Can't they just take their money and close up shop and buy NEW business interests in other markets, industries, and companies.
Besides don't they have their own mutual fund and managers?
Can't their capital be moved around?
Certainly they can ZERO out in TAXES.
I mean they wouldn't be the first fortune 500 company to do this you know.
And $25,000,000.00,... this ain't a 'pimple on their @$$ETS'. Especially if they took in $28 million. That's what they call a profit. A cost of doing business. Is it not?
As far as wealth goes don't you think that they have already redistributed their wealth in such a way that they could never be bothered by an attack on their company. Besides they have already been under attack for years. Even if someone won a lawsuit against them. They have insurance. And where they don't have insurance they have cash and assets that cover them like so many fur coats.
Especially once they got passed the giant called Federal Trade Commission. They are here to stay.
I mean once a company goes through that 'fine tooth comb' and survives, that means you are hear to stay for real.
Guess what, RJR Nabisco sold cigarettes and made billions. And killed people to in the process. And I don't condone this. (@#@@@#$ I don't even smoke). Which I am sure you are aware of they are still in business.
And of course they have had all kinds of attacks, conflict, and strife even from CONGRESS.
So what do they do. They start selling COOKIES here in the US of A, and continue to up the sale of those CANCER STICKS in Europe and the Far East, and China to mention a few.
And even with all of the 'Hype' about don't smoke this and don't smoke that.
RJR still survives. Just like any other HUGE billion dollar company has done.
They will get theirs in the end. By that time they will have already become something else that the public doesn't recognize and supports just the same.
Don't you think that MLM is not going anywhere?
A lot of people are making money from MLM and networking.
I mean these are facts.
Not to say that inexperienced people do not get misled or don't understand the full picture. It just means that everyone is not meant to be at the head of their own company, until they have been equipped with the knowledge through study or perseverence, and/or whatever.
A person does have to make themselves knowledgeable. When they do, they are equipped to follow their dream no matter what.
The fact of the matter, if a person is going to succeed they will no matter what they do. Provided they do what is needed or required at the time to succeed. By preparing themselves with KNOWLEDGE and the benefit of a Comprehensive PLAN OF ACTION,... then execute that plan.
And as far as dreams go... well everybody needs a dream.
Maybe yours is trying to help someone not be misled by misinformation and to make up their own mind, I don't know?
Maybe you just like blowing off steam and making controversy.
Whatever. So be it.
As far as the web goes... I look at everything with a fine tooth comb just like the FTC, yet even more closely.
BTW, this is an original quote, and not a taped one I assure you. And I am not attacking anyone you or any company.
But I will say this... there is more going on than even what you have researched... continue to seek and you SHALL surely find more facts that you will find quite interesting indeed.
Later & Peaceout,
IMHO, an observer on the web.
March 15, 1999
I grew up in a small town in South Carolina. Our next door neighbors were heavily into Amway. Those were the days when you used to have to carry an inventory at home. I remember going over to their house and seeing all the stuff in one room of their house that they used for the "Business". I also remember the picture of the Mercedes Benz on the refrigerator. As a small child I was spared the sales pitch but everyone in our neighborhood wasn't. Needless to say, we didn't go over to their house very much. Those people are strange....
15 years later....
I live in [...a] suburb of New Orleans. I get a call from a guy (who I only vaguely know from work) asking me if I want to make some additional money on the side. Sure I said (21 years old). I was then brought to the Lake Side convention center. I sat through a meeting were we where basically told we couldn't leave until it was over. I sat through the meeting getting a bad feeling the whole way. They didn't say what they were selling or who they were. The used the name Youngblood Enterprises and claimed that they were a marketing company. After the 2 hour meeting they finally said that they were Amway. Having had the childhood experience I basically rejected it with every fiber of my being.
1 year later....
Flying to St. Louis, MO to get married to my High School sweetie. I'm sitting beside a very attractive young lady. She notices that I'm reading some computer journals and asks me what do I do for a living. I tell her. I then ask her the same question. She tells me that she works for a marketing company. I look at her and say "Don't tell me, Amway?". Sure enough I was sitting beside one on the plane. Needless to say, my response shut her up and we didn't speak the rest of the way.
1 year later....
I was manager of a warehouse and one of my employees starts reading this book "Think and Grow Rich". Then he started asking me about my job and if I wanted to make extra money. I tell the guy that I'm not interested in Amway. He spends the next 6 months dropping me hints the whole time about how much better his life will be when he gets his business going.
As you can see, I seem to have the gift of drawing them. I must fit the demographic. But I want everyone to remember this. You can never make more money if you are only spending yours.
March 17, 1999
Tell me something....how are you living? What would you tell people who complain about their jobs? Or lost their jobs? Or who have went to college and spent considerable amount of money....only to end up broke? Have you at least tried to help others? Don't you have anything better to do than this?? I mean, there are other companies, Multi-level that is to talk about....why is Amway your main focus? I will confess, my business is not where I want it to be, but that doesn't make Amway bad...Maybe it's people who have been subconsciencly taught by society to be a good person, go to church, attend school, go on to college get good grades and work hard for someone who don't care about you and pays you the least amount of it cost to replace you? Man you need a life....no wonder why you have barely over 5,600 visitors to your site... And about me writing this long...it's because I want to do this... and you now know why I wrote this long....and if this ever get posted....make sure you post it all for I will keep and copy of this in my files....
Have a great and blessed day!!
Marco A. Hunt
March 17, 1999
I just discovered your web site, and I see that you've been fooled terribly. You talk about Amway's $7B revenue in 1997, and the drop to $5.7B in 1998. Those numbers aren't revenue, rather, they are "sales at estimated retail".
Imagine that Amway's stuff was actually sold to an actual customer at the hilariously high "retail" prices that Amway advertises. If everything that Amway sold was sold at that price, the total revenue generated would be $5.7B for last year. Given that 70-90% of the stuff (Amway's numbers) goes to Amway's distributors, the actual total revenue generated is far lower.
Using standard Amway mark-ups, my guess is that Amway Corp.'s actual corporate revenue is between 70% and 80% of the "estimated retail" number published. As you know, Amway is a privately held company, so these numbers are not made public. Amway hasn't published an honest revenue figure since 1963. (See http://www.amway.com/infocenter/pressrel/pressrel45.asp and search for "1964" in your browser window)
You also make some points about Amway's growth. Amway loves to talk about their phenomenal growth, which is laughable. For a 40 year old, international retailer, they're tiny. But back to my point. Amway's growth in the early 90's was large, and in fact, they love to point out that in the 1990's, the company has seen 300% sales growth. Let's talk about numbers.
After seeing the long-term growth mentioned so frequently, I assumed that they'd had short-term losses, which we both know was 18% last year. Note that "18%" and "300%" should not be confused! It looks like the 18% loss was minimal against the 300% growth. In fact, the sales growth was from $2.1B (these figures, again, are estimated retail, not actual revenue or anything resembling actual revenue) in 1990, all the way to $7B in 1997, for a growth of 3 1/3, or 333%. But that 18% drop comes from the 333%, which effectively means that their growth for the 1990's is down to 271%, a 60% drop from their high. If that's too confusing, look at it this way: They started the 90's at $2.1B and are now at $5.7B, so they can no longer claim 3x growth. I can't wait for this August :)
My educated guess is that domestic sales (and # of distributorships) has been on a decline since the very early 90's. According to their own stats: http://www.amway.com/infocenter/questions/question37.asp Amway has opened up 25 new markets in the 90's, which apparently fueled their growth. Now that those markets have flattened, particularly Japan, the sales growth has begun to disappear. This shouldn't be a surprise given that 1) almost half the distributors leave each year, 2) very few people are interested in Amway, and 3) we have a limited population to deal with. Amway's only chance at survival is to find another planet, preferably of people with bad math skills. Or, they could fundamentally change their business in an effort to rejuvenate the pyramid.
And that's probably what the new "e-business" is all about. The entire worldwide business is in decline, so they're opening up the new internet mall. But I've seen plenty about it, and it's clear that Amway cannot compete with online retailers such as buy.com, amazon,com, shopping.com, walmart.com, and the many others. They simply cannot offer competitive pricing, which drives online retailing, given their business structure. Also, given that they are taking almost a year to get this thing online, it's clear that they don't have the nimbleness necessary to compete in the cut-throat world of internet marketing.
Now, that's not to say that they won't succeed. They will make money. At least, the DeVos and Van Andel families will. But they'll make it off the same hapless rubes who are currently paying a premium to get the stuff delivered to their door and make a bonus check and retire in 2-5 years. Few regular internet buyers will bother to get a distributor's IPO # in order to view an online catalog. Most of those who go that far won't care to buy the overpriced products once they get in there. So it'll be like Amway stuff now, mostly sold to distributors who have those "diamond dreams."
One other quick point. Amway claims to have 3M distributors worldwide. At that, $5.7B estimated retail is about $2000/distributor/year, which realistically is probably $1500/distributor/year in actual revenue, or $125/month. Consider the phony earnings claims in the light of $125/month/person. Consider that most of that $125 goes to Amway, the remainder (what is it, 10%?) goes to the distributors. Clearly, very few people *can* make money at Amway, and not surprisingly, very few are.
Feel free to use my name and email address anywhere you'd like. As you've probably noticed, I get a lot of my anti-Amway information from Amway's website. If you aren't baffled by BS, you'll find that they have all the numbers there to see just how terribly bad their business is.
March 18, 1999
I have to congratulate you for your super expose on Amway. My [sister] has been in for [over 5] years, has sponsored some, but mostly has spent thousands of dollars on "functions and tools". [Her] marriage has fallen apart, and [she] is now having a "warm, close relationship" with her "Upline Emerald"...wow, not to mention how [she] is begging me to join [her] in the "Quixtar, not Amway" business. The brainwashing is complete, and I believe in MLM as I'm in one.. that I make money with... Anyway, at least I can understand at last the bizarre world [she] has entered...
Thanks again, and keep on trucking!
March 21, 1999
Date: Sun, 21 Mar 1999
To: John Hoagland
Subject: same as the rest
I want to tell you how strange I think it is that you have not posted any new messages since the year 1998. I have been involved with Amway for just a few months now and have seen both the good and the bad about this business. The good is that my husband and I have never spent so much time together. We are building our dream of what could come, and I guess we have to try and at least see what we can do. You don't have to invest all kinds of money, that's up to you. We have only invested around $300.00 for this business opportunity, our upline has helped is the whole way through. I find it interesting that people say that Amway scammed them out of money, who made these people buy anything that they didn't want to buy. The problem is that they have failed at something and instead of blaming themselves for their own failure, they blame the corporation instead. Just like when you are fired from a job, it's always the fault of another person, for it surely wouldn't have accrued through any fault of your own. I find it so interesting that I have all these same negative thoughts and questions about whether this can work or nor, but what if it can??? Is it so awful to think that there have been people who became very successful at this and maybe I could too? What;s wrong with that. Stop trying to crush others hopes. This isn't a perfect business, but what business is? Every business has it failures and it so happens to be that you are one of these failures in the Amway business. I wonder, have you ever failed at anything else, and if so did you start a website on that too?
Give it up, it's sad that you feel the need to continue to blame a business for your own inadequacies.
March 24, 1999
First of all I want to thank you for your site. My wife and I have recently been approached by the father of a good friend of ours about "getting in the business."
Today I spent more than 13 hours on the Internet looking at every site I could find ( both pro & con) about Amway. Based on all the information that we obtained today, we have just sent an e-mail to our contact telling him that we decline to partake in this venture.
I just wanted to make a comment about how they are promoting the new Quixtar scheme, in case you were unaware of it. It is being sold as a "joint venture" between Amway, IBM and Microsoft. IBM, they claim is putting up 2 million dollars for the server that will run and support this e-mall, and Microsoft is developing all of the needed software. Based upon some of the things I read today concerning Amway's claims to be involved in "joint ventures" with other companies, I wonder if IBM and Microsoft are aware of this partnership?
Again sir, we thank you (and all the other folks who have sites concerning Amway) for the information you have provided. Had it not been for the Internet allowing us instant access to information such as you and others provide, I feel we may have committed ourselves to something I am sure we would have regretted later.
March 25, 1999
I just attended an "EC Pre-Launch Seminar", (EC = Electronic Commerce) which turned out to be an online mega-mall (quixtar.com) to be launched 9/1/99, owned by Amway. Having read Steve Hassan's book, and having gottem my sister out of Scientology, I recognized it pretty quickly as a cult-indoctrination, and found out about Amway and your site as soon as I came home and logged on. (InterNIC reports that the domain Quixtar.com is owned by Amway.)
The sad thing is that my new next door neighbors are the people who brought us to this thing, and we really like them. I can't seem to find much on the net regarding this new branch of Amway -- can you give me any pointers?
March 25, 1999
First off, I have found your site to be done very well and professionally. I myself have not been a distributor but have been approached three times for recruiting. The first time my wife was the initial contact who set up a meeting at our home with the man. He came and gave a very long presentation, 2 hours, during which I was noticing a lot of inherent problems in the system. He stated you only have to get 6 people who recruit 6 people for three tiers. I have an engineering background and am somewhat comfortable with numbers and realized he was describing a logarithmic function. Bells are ringing because the numbers he was so calmly discussing were in the thousands. Finally he reached the part where he said the word, "Amway". I immediately thanked him for his time and told him I was not interested. He insisted upon giving me some tapes, which in my ignorance took, they provided him an opportunity for a follow-up. Well, when he called I told him I did not listen to the tapes and he immediately demanded them back. My response was help yourself. He had went from lovebombing to foul.
The next experience was interesting as it is one of my wife's friends. We were at their house when they began discussing it, I immediately said no thanks. My wife and her were friends (her husband was the one with the "dream") and she eventually confided in her that he was beating her. What a great example of an upstanding man, huh?
The third was the best yet. By now I was experienced and more than irritated, This couple kept up the pressure that eventually became very twisted when he offered to swap wives. Whew! I got away from them as fast as possible. (He later got in trouble for sexual harassment at work)
So I remain jaded by these sterling examples of Amway soldiers. I have chosen to work my JOB and invest and am very happy about the whole thing. Thanks you for your time.
March 25, 1999
I am the [e-mail author] from [South Carolina] who has written you [a few times] times in the past month or two. I just wanted to say that I admire you for having the courage to keep your web site up even after the vicious attacks by Amway. It really cracks me up to see the new messages on your site.
The negative ones always seem to tell an all too familiar story of their disillusionment with "the business" and the heartache or controversy that it caused. The pro-Amway people always remind me of the multitude of tapes that I heard while in the business. On those tapes you are constantly reminded that the person speaking has some power (usually God-given and usually flowing from the system) which helped them to reach their lofty level. To the Amway faithful the rest of the general public are nothing but mindless and dreamless drones with "J O B 's" who will never amount to anything without the wonderful help of the "God anointed" Amway business. When I read the pro-Amway responses, I see the usual quotes from the emeralds and diamonds showing through. The sad part of this whole scenario is that the very people who spout these platitudes will sooner or later be the very same people who go broke and then can't figure out how they screwed up!
I wish that people who think about joining Amway would really sit back and look at their financial situation. When you get right down to it these people probably are not that bad off. Sure, we all want to be "debt free" and have the finer things in life. However, imagine what a family could do if they took the money they needlessly poured into the system and invested it properly. Contrary to what the Amway folks will say, properly invested money will do much better for you than money spent on mindless tapes, worthless functions and other "tools for success". Prudent investing of the thousands spent on Amway has a better chance of producing a much better return. I think of the thousands that I spent on the Amway business and cringe when I think that I could be earning a return on that money instead of spending monthly income on debt payments!
Further, it disgusts me to think of the lives that are destroyed by Amway activity. They say that they are "pro-family" but the reality is much different. My wife an I had a great marriage until Amway came along. It did not happen immediately, but slowly the business worked to undermine our marriage. I was the "go getter" and "the leader of the household" for our time in the business. This worked for about 6 months. The problem was I started to see my wife as an underling after awhile. She is a highly intelligent and capable person. The role of "helpmeet" did not suit her well. (Contrary to what Bill Britt says, God never intended a women to be a mindless, subservient clone who cannot think for herself-- sorry Peggy!). Before the business we went through life as a team of equals. Once in the business, that attitude was not appropriate and we paid for this Amway forced conversion. Following the counseling of our "plugged in" direct (a dentist) and the other Amway doctrine nearly destroyed our marriage. Either she thought I was not good enough at building the business or I felt she was not supportive enough, etc.. I can say that, since leaving that "wonderful" business, we are now back to normal. She is a wonderful wife and I respect her intellect. (Believe it or not, I actually respect her opinion!). We are now pursuing our dreams the normal way and life is good. However, many scars still exist. I can say from experience that even the strongest of marriages is not immune from the undermining influence of the Amway Motivational Organization perspective. Anyone who joins Amway after finding out the truth from your web site, or the many others, is stupidly asking for trouble. Thank you for exposing the truth about that despicable business. If you save even one marriage or single person from the holocaust of Amway, your site has served its purpose.
March 27, 1999
I really like the scope of your web-site! It is very thorough, and I like all the cross-references and definitions (Glossary of People, Events, Terms, and Things Found in the Amway Business). It really helps me to understand some areas of the business that were vague, or non-defined up until now. I thank you for that.
I really appreciate the fact that you have presented everything from such a reasonable perspective.
I really like the people I'm working with, but your site brings many "sides" of the business up for a closer examination which, I believe, is healthy.
I didn't really have a reason, (or should I say agenda?!), for writing to you, other than the fact that the information on the site is welcomed and brings an overall balance to what can be, at times, a somewhat narrow perspective.
At any rate, thanks for your effort and the info, and in every venture, I wish you Peace and Prosperity.
Sincerely, [A distributor]
March 30, 1999
I guess I was razzle dazzled by a distributor & took 45 minutes to listen to a slick business plan and then went to a super hyped testimonial meeting. They talked about Quixtar and the new e-commerce business that will do 100 billion in 5 years. WOW. Yes I was taken in and impressed. Yes I did not check out all the facts and signed up in one day after the big motivational and informational meeting. I paid my $218.00 and set up for a one on one meeting to go through all the stuff and get my KIT! I was told that it was optional to receive tapes but I could be put on standing order and get all the up to date tapes for only $70.00 a month. I said nothing as I thought it was a little high. Later that evening during my sign up, I received the catalogue with the price list that I was waiting for. I started checking prices and found the wholesale prices to be quite high and the mark-ups quite low. This is when I decided that I could not sell this to friends without conviction. I felt that I would be conning them. Why does a person not get this information up front.Why don't they tell you its Amway up front. Do they have a bad rep? At sign up, I was charged for every form, every booklet, every tape, anything I ever received. I even was charged for one form for 28 cents! Later that night, I decided to check the web for information on Amway. Well thanks to your web site and my gnawing instincts John, I made a decision. Enough was enough and I packed everything up and dropped it off at the Distributor's office. I am waiting for my check but I am sure I will get my money back.
March 21, 1999
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1999
To: John Hoagland
It looks like you must have invested quite a bit of time and money in your web-site! I have to comment on the ease of navigation. Very nice. So, what does Wal-mart pay you for all this so-called research? Looks like Wal-mart has tried to, unsuccesfully, infiltrate Amway. I realize that WAl-mart is getting very nervous about Amway's growth, they even sent me a thank you letter for buying some products there.
I just want to comment , I truly enjoy my network of people who actually are very positve and pleasant people to be around! I enjoy listening to the uplifting tapes!
I find it refreshing compared to all the negativity found on tv and even on the web!
I also own another business besides my Amway business, I was well aware of the catologue pricing prior to signing up! Your figures are compelling but I find them trying to favor Wal-mart, once again. Walmart has never once sent me a check for 100$ for telling my friends to shop there, if Amway was really so bad, then tell me why it has been working for 40 years? I think it is horrendous that you try to bad mouth a fine company! I was fully aware of the costs of using any business support materials- it does cost some money to run any business properly! I am glad that the equipment that I purchase for my other business is available or else I wouldn't be able to hire out drivers to drive those 100,000$ semi's I purchased, oh, yes I have to pay taxes on that profit too! It really isn't that bad, seeing how much money those big expensive trucks bring in, I guess the cost of the "tools" for my trucking business makes sense!! Please, do those 'what you call', "poor suckers" a favor-don't mislead those who don't have a business mind- this Amway business may be the only thing they can use to actually achieve any dream-however small!
God Bless, from the breons, firstname.lastname@example.org
April 4, 1999
I recently decided to join Amway only to "roll over" to Quixtar. I found your web site to be very interesting and accurate in many cases. I too have a problem with the 30%, the income generated from the videos, tapes and so on. I have been in about five NWM companies and have decided that this business needs a pick up. I do feel like Quixtar is the "Wave 4" in this industry and I plan on making a supplemental income because of it. The one thing I still believe about NWM is the idea of doing business with people/friends instead of your television. There are many businesses in our society that manipulate us, but we seem to only bad mouth this one. It's ok to have corruption in our faces, drugs, guns, and violence in our schools, porno/sex in front of us daily, tv selling lies and passivism. This business is good, but the people make it right or wrong. Man, I'm kind of ticked that Bill Britt is charging $16 for a video. You're right, these tools should be there to help us - not cost us. But a $157 kit and the option to buy from yourself is no big risk. I didn't like some of the prices, but I also really liked some too. There are many things that blow the competition away, but there are also many that are even and there are others that are 40% more expensive - I would not try to build this business if it weren't for Quixtar. I have been looking for this concept ever since I found out what NWM was. You also need to let people know that this isn't a "front end loaded" concept. Those! should be eliminated. I have also found that I only want to build this type of business if it is a service. People need to have the ability to use it when, where and how they choose.
Our society is going to hell in a hand basket real fast. We feed our children TV, violence, status, power and the ability to have the American Dream. But that dream is money. We need to focus on the ability money can give us.... only if used positively. Your whole argument could be used to fight alcohol or tobacco or staying with a company and having them treat you with respect and not downsize you or take away your pension at the last minute! Please understand that I have seen what you are saying and agree with you in many cases. Some of these people in this business need their heads examined. We are only meant to offer a choice. Please note that this concept musn't suck too bad... AOL just tried it and failed! Networking is the future and it needs to be driven by integrity and truth. The tactics you decribe are true for those who are using them, but they don't just belong to MLM. How about the lies and deceit created by the credit card system. Thats just an advanced form of slavery! Money, Money, Money. What do you drive? What out fit are you wearing. How much in your stock portfolio! All built on lies and even more- built on debt! Our financial system is a lie meant to control.
John, I thank you for being out there. We need voices like yours, but we also need them for other reasons. You have so much information and creativity with your words to be able to do something positive.
The internet.... what is going to happen when those companies are able to offer their products for less than Quixtar. Do they close their doors at the mall or stop selling to Wal Mart? What's to happen to all the people who are living pay check to pay check. They can't go to the mall. They have to go to the net but the net can't create any income for them. Unless you join AOL select or this. How about the junk they sell on the home shopping network. Man, that is a miracle. I can't belive that has made it. Those dolls they sell sure are cute. You know, they should buy from their tv instead of the person who specializes in what they want.
Please keep up the site. And let me know what happens with the P&G scandal. Amway should have just stayed out of it and let them go. Lead by example. We need to get out of our courts and into our lives. I would like any comments you have about Quixtar to be forwarded. I would NEVER approach this business like Amway-ers did, do. $6 for a tape! C'mon!!! Help us - don't capitalize on us!
April 5, 1999
From: david brown
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999
To: John Hoagland
From what I get out of some of these web sites you may need to look for someone with horns on their head, a red cape, goat feet, a long pointed tail, and carrying a pitchfork.
Shouldn't you find something better to do than to waste time bashing a PROVEN money making system that works for anyone who will work with it? And that's all it is, a way to make money, period. If it is not the way you prefer to make money, no problem, make money your own way, but don't put down someone else's lifestyle or business just because you don't agree with it yourself.
Thanks for your time
April 6, 1999
From: Tim Herman
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 1999
To: John Hoagland
I came across your web site last night and I must say I was somewhat surprised. I say somewhat because I realize there are people who have bad feelings toward Amway, I just didn't realize how strongly those feelings are. You sure have put a lot of time and effort into discrediting Amway. From what I could understand, you're reason for this is because they're trying to abolish your right to speak badly of them. I could be missing something. It certainly won't be the first ! time.
My personal feelings are that everyone has the right to speak their mind, but must we be so nasty and hurtful in doing so? I also agree that people have the right to be told "the whole truth and nothing but the truth". I wonder though, how many companies actually tell us "the whole truth and nothing but the truth". Not very many I bet.
I'd like to ask you a few questions? How do you know that items shown in pictures of Diamonds lifestyles are fraudulent? What's wrong with hiring someone to help you run your business once you become a Diamond? What's wrong with distributors saying "Amway products are the best?" Doesn't everyone in sales say their products are the best? What's wrong with being upbeat and positive at meetings? What's wrong with being extra nice and friendly to someone new? When I was new to a job the people&! nbsp;were extra friendly to me. The world could certainly use a good dose of positive attitude. What's wrong with the language lingo distributors use? Every group, every organization, has their own language lingo that most people who didn't hang out with that group, or who didn't work for that particular organization would not understand. Is that to say they too are somehow cult related? I don't think so. So what if distributors say Amway deals with 2,000 Fortune 500 companies or 200? It's just a nu! mber. I believe all sales people fudge a little when they're trying to sell their product. I believe most everyone would understand what "debt-free" implies. The normal monthly expenses, such as power, phone, water, cable, food, etc., goes without saying. Why should they (distributors) mention an 18 percent decline in sales for the previous year? I seriously doubt anyone would be so inclined to mention to a prospect that one particular point.
I agree with you on a lot of points you made regarding what distributors do and what they say, and well, what they don't say. I was a distributor a few years ago, and I know, as you do, that some things that are done and said are not "the whole truth and nothing but the truth".
Here are some things that I had a problem with:
When we first became distributors it was I who went to the first open meeting. It was I who had the follow up. It was I who did the phone calls. It was I who went on the first QI (that's what it use to be called). In other words I started our Amway business. When my husband decided to get involved I was pushed aside. I was told that there are parts of the business that husbands handle and parts of the business that wives handle. I'm a very independent person and&nb! sp;I had real problems with this. However, I decided to let it slide. When I ask questions I was told not to worry about it, or that in time I would find out the answer. I can understand that you can't learn everything in a day. I also understand that being told everything at once is overwhelming and I would not be able to retain it all. I agree that learning as you go is by far the best way. Like on the job training. However, there were times when our upline ! ;was too evasive, or they just flat out refused to answer me. I let it slide! I didn't agree with being out to the wee morning hours working a business especially when you had a job to go to the next day. I totally disagreed with leaving your children all the time. I was told time and time again that it would only be that way for a while, that when we built our business to the Diamond level we'd have all the time we wanted to spend with our girls, who were then 10 and! 4. My response was "they're not going to stop growing while I'm building a business. They need me now, not just when I'm a Diamond. So when we went to the major functions, hundreds of miles away from home. I took my two girls with us. I remember hearing a Diamond Lady say at Free Enterprise that her daughter was upset with her because she wasn't going to be able to go to the first football game where she was a cheerleader. Her response to her daughter was "it's more im! portant for me to be at the function so I can help other people realize their dream of being a Diamond". I almost fell out of my chair. This lady was our upline Diamond. Needless to say, I didn't regard her opinions of child rearing to be one that I would adhere to. I never miss any of my children's first anything. They are much more important to me than any amount of money or time. Another big issue for me was the way they (our upline) treated people who didn't work the! business exactly the way they felt they should do so. They talked badly about them. They ignored them. They would tell us not to spend time with them. These people were my friends! And even if they weren't my friends, no one deserves to be treated that way. Our upline PSD once said about a distributor who committed suicide "oh well, she wasn't working the business anyway". I was never that fond of him anyway, but that comment said everything about what he was made of. He totall! y lost any respect I had ever had for him. Have you ever heard the saying "listen to your growing upline". I questioned my husband about that statement many times. Our upline wasn't growing so why should we be so willing to give up our time to listen to them. We wanted to grow. We wanted to be Diamonds but I felt like we were fighting a loosing battle. What started out as hope for a better future slowly turned to disgust and almost a divorce. My husband could ! ;not or would not see what I saw. Our upline (the men mainly) blamed me for our business not working, and eventually for quitting. I was told "you let the devil steal your dreams". I have never come so close to physically assaulting anyone before. I said "you're so wrong", "it wasn't the devil, it was my upline", "but then, the devil will use whatever means possible to destroy you." Needless to say we have lost touch with the people who so profoundly professed that we were their friends ! and who said we were so very important to them.
Through it all, I never once blamed the Amway Corporation or it's owners. They are but two people. How can they possibly be held responsible for the actions of others. They have set rules and guidelines to go by. If people don't adhere to those rules and guidelines, sure, they (the individual distributors) should be held accountable for breaking them, not the company or it's owners. I'm not saying that Rich Devos or Jay VanAndel are perfect and without fault. I'm sure they've made their share of m! istakes, just as our twice elected President has. You don't want me to get started on that mistake!
I still believe the Amway business could be a good opportunity. There just needs to be some changes made in the way the distributors present it. Someone, somewhere, could turn it all around and make it better.
Thank you for allowing me to express myself. I'm not perfect either. I'm sure I've made some grammatical errors and so forth. Hopefully you get the jest of what I was trying to say.
April 6, 1999
I found your Amway site to be interesting and intriguing. I must admit though, that what I'm really curious about is what might have happened to you to inspire such a gargantuan effort? I can only assume that you were "In the business." I was in twice myself.
Although I had two bad experiences, I am considering a return. The first failing was because I was not ready and my sponsor blew mw off. The second was more what you describe. My sponsor pushed for me to do things he knew that I couldn't afford. The last straw was when we went to an out of state function that left me unable to pay rent. What makes that so significant is that he was my landlord and he evicted me for late rent.
I'm looking at it now with a few more years of wisdom and understanding. Sure, neither sponsor had the "Love" for me that they said they did. But, I made my own stupid decisions. I never "had to." So they weren't really after my best interests. So what?
If I do return to the ranks of Amway, it will be because I'd like to take advantage of an opportunity that is there. I will no longer allow myself to be railroaded or intimidated by anyone else.
I don't believe that I will ever be a "Diamond." But, then, I don't really want to either. Sure, the money would be nice. But I no longer dream in green. I enjoy life now. I think I'm a happy and content enough man to not get overrun by "the system."
Whatever you do John, do dream and do go out and seize the day. Life can exist anywhere!
April 6, 1999
I was so relieved to find your website. My husband and I have been married for [about 30] years. [Over 5] years ago he joined Amway. I have to admit that I also signed the contract after receiving much pressure from my husband and against my better judgement. Once we were committed to the business, I tried very hard to understand it and accept what they told us, but the information and manner in which it was told went against every good instinct I had. I was never able to swallow the information that they put out at their meetings, seminar and rallys and major functions. Two days before a [seminar/ rally] I could feel my stomach tightening up and nausea starting in. I would become tearful and very depressed. The functions were even worse!
My life has completely changed. My husband is gone almost every night and when he is home he is on the phone making new contacts and following up with leads. He has become so absored with Amway that he has distanced himself from all his old friends, myself and our children--he just doesn't have time. When the rare occasion comes up that we go out to dinner, a movie or the theater, I feel that he is only partially there as he's always looking around to see if there is an opportunity for him to make a new contact. I am angry, disappointed in him and also have lost a lot of respect for him. He thinks that I will "come around" and see Amway for the wonderful opportunity it is once he is making the big money. I completely got out of this business a few months ago and am physically feeling much better--no more throwing up in the middle of the night but I am still saddened by the way our marriage has deteriorated over these past several years.
My husband was a wonderful man with many fine characteristics and strengths. He was a wonderful father, caring husband, good provider and lots of fun to be with. I can no longer say the same about him. I am seriously considering leaving him. The crazy thing is I know he loves me very much but he's also angry at me for not supporting him.
I am grateful for the fact that he did not get into this business when our children were young. At least they had the opportunity to know their real father.
My advice to anyone considering getting into this business is to consider very seriously the effect this business will have on your relationships with your family and friends. Money is little compensation when you lose all you value in the process of making it.
April 15, 1999
I am a cynical person by no means, but I will voice my opinion. I have been an Amway distributor since 1988. My father and mother have been involved in the business since Summer, 1982. This means I have been around the business (except the last 3 years) since I was 12. I am almost 30 now.
Active participation in the business is extremely taxing;emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I can talk about this. I have been there.
I grew up around distributors and have seen many come and go. My parents were and still are convinced that this is the only way to go. I worry all the time that they are not happy with where I'm at in life because I am not doing the business. I have seen them in financial turmoil for close to 20 years. They are Pearl Directs and are still struggling. One of their downline directs is an Emerald. They struggle too. It is harder for a direct to run the business because they have to spend money on the finest things, hoping to impress others into doing something with the business. My parents are directly sponsored by a Diamond Direct. He is a Psychologist who was already well-off (when he cold-contacted my mother at her work he was 1500PV) when he got in.
Dad lost his job directly because of Amway in 1983 and filed bankruptcy. He managed to work his way back up in another job and was making a very good income and managed to buy a very large home in 1990 (not from Amway money). Dad is a very good businessman. In 1994, he packed up and left his job and house and moved to a location that he felt he needed to be for the busines (with permission from his upline Diamond).
He is now struggling from month to month to continue his high standard of living. Amway Diamonds I've heard speak say to live below your means. Is this truely what they teach their Directs? They (these directs) are hurting and I feel for them.
I can't put my family through what I've been through. It has taken me years to get out of the Amway belief system. I am not a loser.
My marriage was in definite jeapordy when I decided to stop pursuing the business and go to college to get a firm financial ground to stand on. Amway upper-Directs would have you believe (though they would never admit it) that college is a waste of time because it only promises a dead-end job. Well, I am almost finished with school and already have a well-paying job. I spend time with my children and wife. I am happy in my marriage and working on my relationship with God. I am happy without Amway. There are important things in life that will be missed if you are out "showing the plan" 5 nights a week. Some things cannot be replaced.
I watched my Dad alienate his entire family and call them all losers because they did not want to get in. They wern't rejecting my Dad, they were rejecting the business. My Dad did not see it that way.
I love my Dad and Mom and I miss them. I can't talk to Dad at any time on a normal platform. Amway has always got to come into the conversation. I cannot fault him...I was the same way to my wife for many years. I blame Amway, Dexter Yeager, and all the Diamonds that use everyday people as their pawns.
I did not know the extent of the tool profits until I read your homepage. I was aware, however, that a Direct (especially an Emerald) makes a lot of money going on speaking circuits. This IS how Emeralds and Diamonds make most of their money.
I feel the reason my Dad is not included in a lot of these circuits is the fact that he questions his upline's decisions at times. My Dad's sponsor is a Diamond backed by a Diamond, backed by a Diamond, backed by Crown Directs. I know for a fact that Dad's uplines (the 2 directly above him) bought their way to Diamond in order to have more clout with the group. They did not buy it themselves, but gave money to certain downline (dad not included; he built his group honestly) to buy mass products to increase PV. Deception and dishonesty. Dad disagreed with this and this alienated him from his Diamonds. Now Dad is trying to build the business still with minimal upline help. I am angered at the way they use my father.
I hope I didn't bore you. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. I struggle with guilt and pain from this business daily.
April 21, 1999
I was just approached by one of my co-workers about a "Home Buyers Club" (I think he called it National Buyers Direct or something on that line) which delivered direct to your home at substantial savings.
Of course I expressed interest in hearing some more, seeing their catalogue, and finding out the costs. He said that he had a CD in the office which had a catalogue on it. (Hah. It didn't. At least not one that I could find!). The CD itself was quite cool. It's roughly business card sized, and has a very well-produced intro. But, it was definitely a motivational tool.
As soon as I started seeing the information on it, flags went off that this looked suspiciously like an Amway pitch. Then he started talking about an e-business he was going to be setting up, which would offer "15,000 different items." And then he said that "some of his friends were getting together this evening to discuss the business, and if I wanted to, I'd be welcome to join them."
Of course I told him immediately that I wasn't interested in setting up a business, and that legally I can't. (I'm a resident alien, and my work permit doesn't allow me to start a business in the US). And that I wouldn't be able to attend the meeting. But that I'd look at the CD and see what it had to say about the direct ordering.
Now, I've seen the plan before (I was tricked to a meeting once before), and this was setting off *lots* of flags. Especially as he wasn't willing to go into details about his "business", what it would sell, why people would go there rather than elsewhere... Another flag was that it was evident that the CD was professionally produced (by InterNet Services), and had nothing on it about who it was produced for. And the CD linked to a web site that had nothing other than motivational stuff on it.
I checked out amway.com to see if it had anything on it about an e-business opening on Sept 1 (the date that my co-worker had used...), and couldn't find anything. Then I checked this site out, and quickly found that it was in fact an Amway pitch.
Anyways, thanks again for having a site where I was able to verify that it was an Amway pitch without actually attending a meeting.
May 8, 1999
Dear Mr. Hoagland,
I have gone over some of your website, and while fascinating, wow is it extensive. Alot of work for you I'm sure. I basically hate "Scamway". In my lifetime so far, I've been approached a number of times to join this organization. The worst, was a few yrs. ago, when a friend of mine, whom I worked with in radio, basically tricked me into a meeting with his superior. Soon, I realized what was happening, and I couldn't believe it was this Amway crap again. Anyway, what was the most frightening and the worst of this one in particular, was they used God and religion as a hook, along with how they were looking to employ people like us(radio announcers), as we were good with the public, etc. obviously, and had numerous contacts as we usually acquire over years. The God thing blew me away. I couldn't believe they had stooped this low, as to include religion. Anyway, good luck to you Mr. Hoagland, and God bless you (if you don't mind me saying that), for the effort you've put into this worthwhile cause.
May 16, 1999
I thought I was going to a job interview. It sounded good to me, but it sounded bad to everyone else. I tried to tell the truth to people, I said, how would you like to get into the best network marketing company there is. Almost everyone asked me to see the catalogs and that's where it would end. I made an ass of myself trying to explain and defend the Plan to dozens of people. When you're honest, even fewer people will come to see the Plan than when you lie.
I couldn't make it to Family Reunion, but I really wanted to make them happy, and my came when FED came to my hometown. I stood and clapped for one right-wing hothead after another as they blamed all the world's problems on people like me. Then Ron Puryear spoke, and I just could not stand for a man like that, and you could tell they all hated me. They danced to the Goads, all those suits, three steps left then three steps right, etc., so that you are forced to participate because a suit is going to run into you otherwise, in those tight theater rows. I paid for all 3 days but did not attend on the 2nd or 3rd day.
I pitched everyone in the group with a different MLM and they pointed out this is not allowed. Then I quit, as did most of the self-styled bigshots who like me said they never would, I am so glad I had no downline to pass up-line when I quit. Maybe I will see that scum at the gas station some day with all his cash, but odds are 100-1 I'll run into one who quit. My sponsor was already rich when he joined, so they liked him, but he realized that he would hurt too many people, maybe even himself, so he quit and I am the only one he sponsored.
I recommend to anyone who has the opportunity to attend their meetings for their educational value, but know the facts behind their lines. Don't even think about it if you're liberal.
(NOTE: Due to other time commitments, I removed all the links to my e-mail address due to the fact that I no longer had the time to read, nor to respond to, the numerous "complaint" e-mails from Amway-supporters.)
(NOTE: Effective July 4, 1999, links to my e-mail address are now active.)
July 6, 1999
I came across your website today and found it very interesting. My wife and I have been Amway distributors since the early 1990's and currently are inactive. However, we do continue to receive bonus checks on a monthly basis from on-going purchases in our group.
I wanted to comment on the Automatic Replenishment Program/Home Shopping: Secrets Revealed link on your site.
We attended meetings in the Michaels organization while this program was shaping up. Apparently two separate courses of events were taking place about the same time. I will try to go through them separately and then join them as I recalled them happening.
M.J. Michaels is an extremely talented person with great marketing ideas. She has created a variety of programs over the years to assist their downline organizations in moving Amway products. Some of the programs that I am aware of include "Expressions in Colour" - a training program for applying the Amway cosmetics and teaching about "dress for success" principles. An index of all the products that Amway carried to make it easier for distributors to place orders. Both of the programs were later picked up by InterNet Services (Dexter Yager) and rolled in with their programs. M.J.'s creativity also shows outside of their Amway business. Recently she has applied for a patent on a new product that she developed.
M.J Michaels was looking for a way to increase the PV that each distributor was moving. She had heard Bill Britt recommend to "use 100, eat 100, and sell 100" to achieve 300 PV in a month. While reflecting on that thought, she also recalled when her husband, Scott, used to sell a line of food products on subscription to homes. As a salesperson, Scott had access to charts that outlined how much of particular food items an average family of varying sizes could expect to go through. In the spring of 1995, she passed out a questionnaire to directs and above at function and had them fill out info on family size and approximate usage. These were tallied to come up with a recommended plan for families of sizes 1 through 5 or 6. Larger families could simply multiply to get their usage. The usage charts were based on 6 months.
All of this information was used to produce what became the basis of the Home Shopping Delivered (HSD) program. Part of the intent was that some people showed no interest in starting the business, but would be interested in buying products. Previously many Amway distributors would have walked away because they were looking for distributors. This new program helped a distributor develop subscribing customers.
Backing up a little bit to the winter of 1994-1995. One of my upline was working with a group near Port Huron, Michigan. A couple who were working very hard on a goal had scheduled him to show several plans over a short period of time near New Years to qualify for a promotion. Out of those meetings a couple was sponsored and they shared the plan with the woman's parents. The parents are Joe and Doris Shaw.
Joe and Doris Shaw live about an hour away from Grand Rapids, Michigan in a small town. Doris is a CPA, stock broker, real estate agent, insurance salesperson, etc. She IS an extreme go-getter! She continues to run all of her existing business as well as their Amway business. Joe is now a retired teacher.
Doris analyzed the index and the catalogs - looking at cost per use, etc. She quickly figured out her own way of meeting people, signing them up, and getting them to commit to buying products. Although Doris has an extensive list of clients in her area, most of the first distributors she signed up were "cold contacts". Doris is a salesperson and an excellent teacher. Joe and Doris did go direct in less than a month. They did go Diamond in less than 365 days in the business. They focus on BOTH sponsoring and retailing. They were a real shock to the InterNet Services system of doing business to say the least.
When Doris analyzed the products separate to meeting M.J. Michaels, she had come to a similar conclusion that she could help families and build the group by showing people her analysis and getting their commitment. Her statistics on cost per use created a wave of people throughout the Michael's organizations doing local cost comparison's, etc. Some distributors in the Michaels organization were comparing the HSD to the PeaPod program that some grocery store chains offer.
Of course as other Diamond's heard what was happening, they all wanted to be a part of it. Sometime later the combined (Michaels/Shaw) program that became HSD was turned over to InterNet Services.
While these events were happening, the Amway Corporation was rolling out a direct-fulfillment program where products were directly shipped to customers and distributors. The HSD program helped distributors offset some of the losses they experiencing since downline distributors were no longer picking up their products directly and PV in some groups had tapored off due to the direct fulfillment program. The HSD program helped active distributors to increase their monthly PV from both downline distributors and customers.
I hope this info is of some help to you.
July 6, 1999
From: Stan Smith
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1999
To: John Hoagland
Subject: the dogs keep barking but the caravan moves on
Again, do you want to be involved with a business where virtually all the people who start to build the business do not reach the top levels?
What does this say? There are many variables to consider in answering this question. This is a leading question that says NOTHING.
Again, ask yourself, would you want to be involved in a company where 99.18% of all the people who start building the business are not successful at it?
90% of all business started in this country are no longer in business. Yet it is that 10% that succeed that is responsible for America have the highest standard of living in the world. Of the 100 largest US companines at the beginning of the 1900's only 16 are still in existence. Fortune magazines first list (published in 1956) of America's 500 biggest companies. Only 29 out of the 100 firms topping that first "Fortune 500" list could be found in the top 100 by 1992.
Exactly what have you proven on your page? What I see is a large amount of work and numbers that upon close examination prove nothing. What you do is throw out leading numbers and opinions and say see, it is how I say it is.
There is NOT sufficient information on the SA4400 to derive accurate data that states odds of reaching ANY pin level.
I have not read much of your page, nor do I intend to. You'll probably accuse of either being brainwashed or closed minded. So be it. I have been around this business long enough to see that those who actually do what is taught do succeed.
Let me clarify. I am part of World Wide Dream Builders (I can not speak for any other organization) Those who do ALL 8 STEPS SUCCEED.
The steps are as follows:
I was actively addicted to drugs for 14 years. As long as I blamed my parents, society, my piers, my job, etc., etc., etc., I remained actively addicted. Once finally became accountable for my actions, became willing to learn from those who were clean (teachable), and became willing to certain steps I got clean and have been clean for 12 years.
You know what the statistics say about addicts and alcoholics? 1 in 40 or roughly 3% will die clean.. That's means 97% don't make it. Let's take your approach and say that is Alcoholics Anonymous' and Narcotics Anonymous' fault. Let's blame it on Bill W.
Actually the reason for the 97% failure is that same as for the numbers that don't make it in Amway. They simply weren't willing to do what it took. But just talk to them, they'll give you as many excuses as to why they used as you gave as to why Amway doesn't work.
Success principles are universal and do not change, only the methods to which they are applied change.
All those who author anti-Amway (AA) pages a quick to say just how hard they worked. A common theme on anti-Amway pages is a total lack of accountability that they had ANY part what-so-ever in the fact they did not achieve success. It's always the AMOs fault or their uplines fault that they stayed home and watched the Simpsons rather than STP. After 52 un-missed episodes of the Simpsons they blame the AMO for the $1000 plus they spent to go to a function and the fact they haven't made any money.
Lack of accountability in America is rampant. We are so quick to blame others for our own shortcomings and so slow to admit they we are in life exactly where are thoughts have taken If I am not in life where I want to be I must first change my thoughts for my thoughts create my words; my words create my actions; my actions create my habits; my habits create my character; and my character creates my destiny.
It's much easier to blame others though. Some people will even spent large amounts of time and energy to convince themselves and others that it's not there fault. Heck, they will even author pages on the Internet to pacify themselves under they guise they are try to spread the "truth"
July 15, 1999
My name is Joan Gross from Eugene Ore...I went to a Quixstar meeting here last [night]...probably 300 people easily... the lady I went with did not even know this is related to Amway but signed anyway with very little info.[Then,] an Amway distributor from Portland said Bill Gates was on David Letterman and when Letterman asked him what is new said "Have you heard of Quixstar?" and left it at that.They were waving around wallstreet reports on this Quxstar but little info is being given on comp plans etc. I have had a few people tell me they were invited to these meetings an then find it was Amway and [became] very angry! From he day I was kidnapped and forced to hear an Amway presentation many years ago, I have stayed away. If they could be proud of their company it would help... but the sneak approach is bad for all MLM's
July 17, 1999
Good morning John,
I'm an ex Amway distributor living in [Europe]. I was in this so-called 'best business in the world' for about 5 years. You are so right when you say that the motivation-system takes over the control of your mind. After a while, you aren't able anymore to have an own opinion. The reason I could stop the business is the fact that due to a malfunction of my tape-recorder, I wasn't able to listen to tapes for about 1 month. During that month, I realised that they were not my 'real' friends. Thank god I stopped being an Amway distibutor in time. My wife couldn't stand it anymore me spending all our money to buy all these tapes, books and going to functions and most of all, the lies I told to other people. It took me about 2 years to kick-off.
If I could find a way, I would have them pay my moral and financial damage.
A happy man
July 19, 1999
I wish to congratulate you on your website you have spent endless hours to set up. It does seem that you have used as many facts as possible in your critique of this "opportunity." A few things you have omitted from your site however can be the difference between "making it" or not in the opportunity. If you are a true entrepreneur, you will see the true opportunity in this program. First, let me explain to you about how this great nation of ours was settled. The pilgrims did not come over here to work for somebody else (that is one of the main reasons they came over)!!! Unlike most of us have been brainwashed into believing, our nation is not built to work for somebody else. Why is this the only industrialized nation that does not teach their own economic system? Also, this nation was built on the belief of one God being the Almighty. That is another great thing about Amway. All the Amway opportunity does is what this country was originally settled with.
As for your comment on your website about not knowing anybody that makes money. You yourself even mentioned your sponsor was at the Ruby level (possibly Emerald by now). At this level in the business, this person will be making more in one month than you probably do all year, working part-time if he is doing it right!!!
Now for my final comment which proves this opportunity works! If you get a job working for somebody else, you are expected to come to work every day and do your job function. In return for this, your employer will pay you what he thinks you are worth, not what you are really worth. If you treat this business like a normal job, which a majority of the people do not, you will not only be making more money than you can imagine, but you will also be living a better, more enjoyable life.
(second letter from the same author)
It is people like you that look at everything with a negative attitude that has brought not only Amway, but the entire nation into trouble. Amway is doing the correct thing in involving you in their lawsuit with P&G. If I were in Amway's shoes, you would be in much worse trouble. By posting this information on the Internet, you have opened yourself up for legal action. It is not moral (something Amway promotes) to place your beliefs about a company or its affiliates on a website when they are false.
I have spent enough time on your website to come to the conclusion that you did not fully understand the opportunity. Everything on your website is basically condemning yourself, not Amway. You have stated several facts on your site about how Amway does not care about their distributors. Remember, this is your own business and you need to manage it properly. Amway cannot stand over every one of its distributors, nor is it their responsibility to, to make sure everybody does it correctly. Unlike a job, where you can go to work everyday and not do anything but still get paid, you need to work this business in a professional manner, like any business to make it work.
A word of advise to you is to remove the website and if you feel you need to publish something, publish it about something you know, not something you think you know!!!!!
July 17, 1999
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999
To: John Hoagland
Subject: This is long. Maybe pointless. But not negetive.
I am a distributor (IBO). No, I am not close to quitting (as your rules for e-mail would suggest). I am not writing to bash, condemn, or even debate points of inaccuracies (or whether there are any or not).
I actually enjoy going to sites like yours (although, I wish more of the "anti-Amway" sites authors would put a little more time in what and how they are trying to get their point across. Many of them, as I'm sure you've seen, are just poorly thought out; not only in design but content as well).
I was a distributor many years ago with a group that became very successful in the mid eighties (DBL Diamonds w/DBL Diamonds). However, like a fire works display, they soon fizzled out. Unfortunately I had just gone Silver at the time and needed a team that could walk the walk and not just talk the talk. I did alot of things wrong (I was a "black sheep" and didn't get any upline help) and probably some of the ex-distributors that have e-mailed sites like yours may have come from me (I was a control freak). So, I left this organization. During the next few years I researched sites like yours. I found them very enlightening, amusing much of the time. I began to notice patterns of why people quit their Amway business and were upset. I set out to try and interview as many disgruntled distributors as possible. It was enlightening.
Over two years I managed to find 127 ex-distributors. Here is what I found:
79 of them never showed anyone the biz-op. Of these 79, 13 did retail an average of about $20 per month during the time they were involved. 8 didn't even know they had an Amway distributorship - but they got checks for about $12 a month (one guy actually went silver - talk about driving depth!) The rest were so vague about what they thought they were supposed to do I couldn't categorize them but they felt harassed about going to seminars and getting tapes. My own brother (who was in a different group) actually put his Diamond in a headlock and removed him from his house.
7 had shown the plan for about 4 months w/ an average of 12 plans per month. Of these only 1 went back to follow-up.
2 had their sponsor go with them and show the plan and actually sponsored someone but never bought or sold any product either downline or at retail.
The other 39 were of such low mental faculties that its amazing that some one even prospected them!
So what does this all say?
1. Most of these people didn't do anything.
2. Most didn't have problems with Amway - they had personality problems with people in their upline.
3. The upline (mostly below direct) sent too much time trying to motivate people who didn't want to be motivated.
How has this benefited me?
I have since gotten back involved 3 months ago. 1st, I built a spread sheet to determine what I wanted from a sponsor, direct and organization. After finding two different groups that met my criteria, I told them where I stood on my priorities - 1) God; 2) Wife; 3) family; 4) job; 5) business. I told them both that nothing - not functions not tapes not anything would interfere with the order of those priorities. One group failed. So I began to check out the other group. Spent time with my DBL Diamond, asked him very pointed questions. They passed.
I read the e-mails sites like yours gets so I can learn what not to do with potential distributors. I make friends, I do my best, I do what's right and I treat others the way I would want to be treated. I don't waste time trying to talk people into tapes or functions. I explain why they're important (whether or not the speakers get a big payment or the directs keep what's left over). I maintain healthy friendships with people. I am careful about what family or friend say around my family. We have standard we set before getting into the business and if people want us to associate with them they need to rise to our standard - if they don't we lessen the amount of time we spend with them but they are always welcome. An example: If you buy a Ford Tempo and I say they're bad cars and their transmissions go out - what have I said about you? The same applies to what I do to make a living.
In three month I have built my business back to silver. I have had one person quit. We are friends first business associates second; but when it comes time for business - its ALL business.
So keep posting those e-mails, really! It helps me teach my people!
July 22, 1999
My fiance and I have been together for [a few] years. At first [he] was part of "the business". After two major functions, 100's of tapes, and 9 seminars, I told him I didn't want to deal with it anymore. It was not a lifestyle I wanted, I didn't want to raise children in the environment that the emeralds and diamonds spoke of (missing major life events ie.Proms, football games) to attend a function where everyone stated the same things and told the same stories over and over. I thought he began to see it too. (Only after he put down by his upline in front of other members of his group for missing a major function because we both had Strep throat) We still used the products ( I love Amway toothpaste), and he still bought the tapes. Finally he decided to stop getting the tapes, it took his upline almost 4 weeks to stop sending them. And when they sent them we paid for them. I thought things were great again, talks of engineering, starting a real business, and talks of marriage. Then one day he starts talking to his upline again, and again, and again. "Quixstar is the future", "Pay money for your IBO #" , "get in now because we are not sure what it will cost after 9.1.00", buy these new disks, listen to these new tapes, This whole vicious cycle is starting over again. I told him that I will not give up my Saturdays and vacations to go to seminars and functions, so of course I am the "negative dream stealer". Well I would like to say that Amway has stolen my dream. My dream of marrying the man I love, my dreams of children, and it must be said that this is a cult by all definitions of the word. He repeats phrases from tapes to answer my questions, he can't have a conversation with me without stating something that his "upline said in a tape". And I must say this one last thing, I use Amway products, the cleaning products are great, the toothpaste is my favorite, but the cult part of this business is not Amway, it is the "AMO's" or Global Support Materials as they are sometimes called. I only wish I knew how to break him away.
July 22, 1999
Your website is excellent. It answered so many questions and thoughts I already had that have now been substantiated!
[My sister] went to an Amway meeting only 6 weeks ago. It is scary to think how quickly she has become 'one of them'.
I am concerned for her I believe that she has been brain-washed by all those Amway 'motivational' tapes that she has been listening to. Soon, she is going 'Direct', she has got huge goals, and talks incessantly of Hawaii, $22000 cash, lap top computer etc.
I can't believe how hyped up she is, I asked her if she was taking drugs or something! She is now heading for planet Amway. There is no stopping her now.
It appears that Amway envelopes a persons soul and takes over them so that in their head they hear the thoughts and speak the words that have been inserted in their brain!
She is an intelligent person, and had an excellent, well paid job (which included a company car) working for an large company.
But, yesterday she was forced to resign due to her contacting many of the company's' clients that she worked for. She had received 2 warning from her boss.
Her reaction to the resignation? Really happy! Guess her came to kindly take her home (as she had no car)? The Amway guy who is above her!
She is already starting to ostracise myself and the rest of our family because we are negative, and she says "we don't want her to be happy!"
(It appears she only wants positive people around her).
My [mother] also started listening to the tapes, she attended 2 meetings and one "Family Reunion". She was getting hyped up and was considering joining. Luckily, she has not been able to listen to as many tapes as she would have liked to and has been able to 'step back' and face reality. I think we have saved her just in time.
July 23, 1999
Thanks for your informative site on Amway and it's related organizations. Glad to see it.
My story is not very sensational but it is very revealing to some of the things that Amway does to manipulate people.
First a background: my [spouse] and I our in our mid-20's, both college educated, and non-Christian. My [mother] and I have always had a strained relationship. When I was born [my mother] was attending a pentacostal-type cult church run by a man named William Brahnam. He is listed under the Cult Index. Although no abuse went on (child abuse, etc.) there was extreme peer pressure to conform to his wishes and a great fear of ever leaving because then you are "among the lost." When I was nine I went to live with my [father]. This Amway scheme caused some warning bells to ring, based on the similarities between it and my cult experience. My [mother] left the church a few years later (since they don't approve of divorce or remarriage), remarried, and had has two children.
Our brief but revealing Amway experience:
I had heard of Amway from a roomate of mine who got into it. Suddenly listening to motivational tapes became a part of [her] morning routine as [she] was getting ready for classes. They seemed to be encouraging [her] to give up [her] inhibitions on selling this product to others. [She] invited me to a meeting but I declined.
(A few years later) . . . When I was newly married and finishing my last year at [a college] my parents presented my husband and I with "the plan" when we were visiting for Christmas. At the time my husband and I were struggling financially, did not own a car, rented a cheap apartment, and were doing well to pay the grocery bills. My husband was working [at a fast food restaurant] (due to a lack of jobs in that small college town) and I was a full time college student in my last semester. My parents had not contributed more than about $200 towards my college education and expressed that this was their contribution. They would "teach us how to fish instead of giving us fish for a day." After strong encouragement from my parents, who said that it was our first start towards financial success, we forked out a precious $150 for the startup kit (almost a months' rent). They assured us that they would support us through our first months. I was skeptical, but my new husband, ever eager to please his in-laws, persuaded me to go in with him on it. We used up the "free" samples in the box and tried to sell a few of the gift booklets, but did little else. We could not afford the products, regardless of how good they were supposed to be, and there were no contacts in our area that we were aware of. I was not going to pay $50 for a bag of Amway dogfood when I could by a bag for $10 at the grocery store. My parents did not really support us too much except to give us some order forms for free that we would have otherwise had to pay for. We basically gave up on it and didn't have interest in renewing. I didn't hear back from my parents on the issue, probably because we were failures at it.
When we flew back again in March for Spring Break (ticket paid for by my parents), we were told that there was going to be an Open meeting at my parent's house. We spent the next day cleaning and rearranging the furniture. My mother had us replace the products in the guest bathroom with Amway products, so the Crest and SoftSoap were hidden in my parent's bedroom and replaced by the Amway equivalents. She did the same with the pantry (putting Kraft and Cherrios behind Amway noodle mixes, and Amway cereal, etc.). I thought this was pretty wierd. Then my mom set up a whiteboard and had us all dress up in church-type clothes. When the people arrived everyone was all smiles and it was not very genuine, either. It seemed very fake to me. A man came and gave the exact same speech that I had seen on "the plan" video that my stepfather had shown us in December. Everyone was nodding in agreement just like a good church sermon. It was not new material and seemed like an affirmation meeting more than anything. Afterwards we had Amway coffee with Amway creamer and sugar. After everyone left my mom collected the Amway props from the bathrooms and pantry and put them back in the garage.
Some other things that were really strange to me included:
--My parents showed me some photos of them on horseback with another couple. They were all wearing matching T-Shirts. It seems that these were my parents "uplines." As a reward for showing so many "plans" my parents got to spend the day at their upline's ranch. Their children did not go. What a reward--to get to spend time with someone! (note my sarcasm). The cult bells were ringing loudly on this one.
--My parents organized an open-house type demo, put up flyers, and had the neighbor ladies come over to see how great these products worked. My parents must have spent a fortune on free samples. I wonder how much they earned in return?
--In my parent's bedroom was a large posterboard with magazine cutouts of various luxury items--a large Victorian house, some expensive cars, vacation scenes, etc. It reminded me of a child's collage but this was full of greed. In big letters they had written in black marker: "We deserve all this and more--Go Diamond!!!" It was as if they were driven by material gain and not moral gain or personal improvement.
My husband and I flew back to college and thought that was the end of it. When I had 3 mos. of college to go, my huband took up my parent's offer to fly back to their state, live with them temporarily, and find a job. It seemed like a good arrrangement at the time, but we were fooled yet again. My mother seemed to have become more religious all of a sudden. She has always been Christian but after her cult experience, she did not go to church regularly. Now she was going every Sunday to a Baptist church. Not only that but she insisted that my husband go, too, even though he is not, and never has been, Christian. It was part of the deal for living there. He also was expected to travel with them to another state for an Amway convention, where he paid his own way. They started and ended the meetings with a prayer and had a mandatory prayer meeting on Sunday which he was expected to attend. During this time he was writing lots of desperate letters to me counting the days until he could afford an apartment for us. In the mean time, my parents started charging him rent and expected him to also pay for food. So much for their generous offer at helping us get a start in life! At the time my husband was doing an internship for no pay at his workplace and working part time at [a fast food restaurant]. He was sending his money to me to help me pay rent on our cheap apartment. At the time I was taking 21 hours of courses and could not work except to clean houses on the weekends.
Finally I graduated and my husband came to get me. At the time we had nothing to bring with us except a very used car with over 100,000 miles on it, our clothes, our books, and our dog. No furniture or anything else. Just three years later we are now homeowners and have good jobs. We are also nearly dept free except for the house. And we did it without Amway! My mother refuses to associate with us because we are not Christian, but that's okay. It's her choice.
Obviously there is more to this story than just Amway, but I feel that Amway had a big part in this story. I think that my parents are in a cult. It is a cult of selfishness and deception. When some friends of ours called us and wanted to know if they should get into Amway, we told them to RUN and don't look back!
July 24, 1999
I just had to respond to your web site.
I really think it's great that you're coming forward with this information. I mean I know everything about the business : I worked in the office of a Diamond Direct distributor. They were the fastest Diamonds in North America a couple of years ago but they were still broke as far as the AMWAY product portion of the business. They had literally bought 4 of their 6 diamond legs or had those downline PSD's buy there way to PSD. I took part in it and lost a ton of cash on Cookware promotions. In any case they qualified for the 6 consecutive months then dropped back down to 14,500 PV a month after and in the meantime they were making a ton of cash speaking all over the Continent. I know all of this first hand because I worked in their home office and had lived in the basement apartment. I wrote the bonus cheques myself (we had a joint account because they were on the road 7 days a week 20 hours a day). I did product pickup when the truck was delivering 50,000 PV a month (it was horrible). We stockpiled cookware and Cleartracks in my apartment :hundreds of each. I had friends and family buying stuff they could never use in their lifetime. It was unreal. I'm sitting here laughing at how absurd it really was.
I'm not one of those angry - I couldn't make it happen X-Amway dealers. I'm more like the guy who looks at everyone who's "All Fired Up" and knows that they probably will never get anywhere in the business and feels sorry for them and worse doesn't want to crush their "DREAM" by telling them the truth.
I mean I was SO involved in it : I was booking speaking engagements at COPPS Coliseum for their Rallies. I use to go to functions and dinner with the Diamonds because I was the Personal Assistant (not to mention the only 22 year old PSD in Canada) of Diamond Directs [name]. I use to visit Casey Combden on weekends and I've ridden in his Viper (big deal). Personally met Dexter and Birdie Yager. At this point you're probably thinking to yourself; Oh just get over yourself buddy : but it's just that I still sometimes can't really understand how it all happened. I mean one day I was working in the grocery store next I was speaking on a stage in front of 15,000 people telling them to go up to the TOOL room when they get a chance to get the last Tim Foley tape or Bill Kerr tape or whoever was preaching the gospel that weekend.
Talk about the money : I've seen it. I use to cash $35,000/month Amway cheques (only to write it all away in bonus cheques or worse yet to start paying off the Cookware and Cleaertrack debt.) but the best was the speaking engagement fees. After they went Diamond in 22 months everyone wanted to hear "their success story" :(easy find 6 people who have deep pockets and are very gullible and drain them of their life savings and retirement funds and sell them Cookware.) In any case [my Diamond] was charging them $7,500 - $10,000 US (we're in Canada so that was really good money) and he was booked 30 weekends out of the year. Not to mention the money on tapes, tickets to functions (the 20 bucks a butt bonus as we use to laugh and call it - we didn't show people that one in the plan), and books. It was crazy. Craig made WAY more money on TOOLS then in Soap.
Anyway thanks for giving the space to get that out. You don't know how much I appreciate it. If you need any help or info just let me know.
July 25, 1999
There are 11 reasons one should become a Distributor:
July 25, 1999
From: DREAM on
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 1999
To: John Hoagland
Subject: DREAM on
to my uniformed lost confused friend,
the type of attitude you have of the business is whats wrong about this world. Cant you comprehend theres a beter future, given only to those who have the faith to see it. Weather its your mission in life to try to discourage people from joining the business...or weather you have nothing better to do with your time there is something very important you must understand.
It is not my job to convince you "im right"....and..... "your wrong" but let me put it into perspective for you. If you are trying to stop people from joining "the best opportunity in the world" your not doing a very good job...and it would be alot easier for you to stand underneath the Niagra Falls with a cup and try throwing the water back up. because thats what your up against.So i would highly suggest you get out of the way.....YOU CANT STOP THE INEVITABLE
July 25, 1999
I recently received my Quixtar package (yes I'm [an] IBO, but not active). I got curious and started looking at it. I've been thinking of getting a new computer and I thought this would be a good excuse, so I did. My daughter showed me how to operate it and search for things. Obviously, it worked. I found your site quite easily and in short order a lot of other interesting anti-Amway sites. As shocking as the information was, it was accurate. I called my upline and was suprized to find that he had just found these sites a few days before. We both resigned and remain good friends. They say that [the] new Quixtar program and the [Internet] in general will massively change the Amway business and they would be right. However ,the effect will about as positive as having the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City which is headquarters of the often controversial Morman church. The web, in my opinion, will destroy Amway; because if a complete newbie like me could find your's and Probandt's mirror in 10 minutes anybody could and will [be able to find the sites as well]. Maybe they will want my harddrive too. I did contact Sidney and he wrote back.
July 27, 1999
OK, perhaps we're really talking about the power of the spoken word (in this case, the written word). If you say it, it is so. That's God's promise, although I apologize if the mention of that higher being offends. It's up to each of us to determine where we want to be . . . but it certainly helps to know that someone cares enough about the rest of us to relinquish his own right to self-actualization so that we can be reassured to know that it could be worse. Thanks! You're OK.
Your extensive time spent collecting information is admirable and almost humorous, and I only wish those who work for me in my J.O.B. had half your energy and passion. Better yet, I wish I could find six people willing to apply the same level of persistent/consistent effort in a HBB. I do wonder where this all leads. Does it become your epitaph--a tribute to a life spent wishing for things never achieved? The sad thing is, I suspect you're a real person with a real story (hidden behind the facade of extensive research and cross referencing and interpretation). I'm not claiming that I see hidden within your site the work of a genius, but it has potential to teach others how deep and dark the mind can get when faced with failure, and therefore touches on genius, perhaps even art. On the other hand, it so overwhelms the reader with fact that the "genius" of the site becomes authority by reference, and that's your calling. So I wonder, what is it that you do? You're certainly adept at typing and researching, so you could be an academic. You have a almost anti-societal, masochistic, self-defeating tone to your writing, so a hacker becomes a distinct possibility. Regardless, this has become your passionate hobby, and I applaud you for finding a purpose in life (like me, you probably found humor in the Far Side cartoon on the same subject--the purpose was that non-descript object found in the recesses of the couch).
I doubt you'd be surprised to find that I'm one of those disgusting, happy, positive, reassured IBOs you so detest. I don't shy from reality, and relish the challenge to put fact into action for the common good. God bless my friend and upline, who gave me a better option than 70 hours a week and a gross failure to communicate with my wife and kids. Just as the world's riches will ALWAYS naturally flow to the 20% who do the work and live creative lives, a similar percent of those who attempt this business will do it right and succeed. None of us were born to do Amway or Quixtar, yet many have, and succeeded. Every person has the right to wonder if they're next. If I had to choose between Bill Gates and my janitor for guidance on how to succeed in business, I'd certainly choose Bill. Not that everything he's done is right, not that everything his company has done is right, but he defines success. Who will seek council from the downtrodden? Others who are downtrodden, I suspect, and I assume you're found many.
I think if you go back and review your own writings, you'll find that it's not so much fact, but presentation of fact that would lead some of your readers to feel like you're attacking their dreams. I enjoy reading all sides of the story, and knowing that I'm able to sort fact from fiction, gross overstatement from reality, etc. In fact, I look forward to a little negative as a means of recharging my commitment from time to time. Another reason to thank you. Guess I'm trying to reassure you that someone has read your writing, done a fair and firm assessment of merit, and concluded that Charles Osgood says it best--"when all is said and done, there's more said than done." Regardless if one succeeds in this business or not, the life changes that take place and the business skills learned are sufficient to ensure success in any business and life, if applied. Just do it!
I offer one closing thought, more for myself than you. What if you had succeeded in this business you now so willingly scorn . . . Things that make you go hmmmmmmm.
In life where I choose to be,
BTW, I was looking for a specific article on Quixtar when I fell into your site for the second time in two months. Am I cursed?
July 27, 1999
Thanks for the excellent web site. I have been an Amway distributor since 1991 but I have been inactive since 1996. My family still likes most of the personal care and household products so we still "buy from our own business" about every three months. The reason I'm writing is to tell a little of my "story" and to corroborate some of the truths that you have stated so clearly.
My upline Emerald is, or perhaps was, Jeff Probandt. That's right I'm part of the "traitors" organization. Funny though, Jeff and Joannie were the only upline, besides my sponsor, who treated this like a business. Every one else was too busy edifying our Diamonds and Dexter to answer any questions. I remember asking Jeff about tool income, and he was straightforward and honest. Quite refreshing! Too bad his web site is gone. Although the "true believers" will brand Jeff a turncoat and claim he published a pack of distortions and half-truths, my personal experience with the Probandts lead me to believe they posted the web site for his stated reason: to improve the business.
Jeff was an accomplished MLM'er and teacher. Using his techniques I found it quite simple to sponsor (16 wide in seven months - deepest leg 8 deep). I was most at ease using the non curiosity approach. Tell 'em it's Amway, then let them tell you all they didn't know about the business. Easy to sponsor someone if you treat them like an adult. So why, you may ask, did I let such a promising group waste away - my DD refused to give us warehouse authorization. That seems rather petty until you know the rest of the story.
When I was active with the business I was also finishing up a 22 year career in the military. I saw the business as a great income to supplement my retirement pension. Sorry Amway faithful, there are lot's of other ways to build a substantial residual income besides "the business." I'll match my military retirement against most DD's PV check any day. Sorry to wander. Anyway the self consumption plan was logical and well presented (I still like that angle for MLM) so I started STP'ing.
I live in the Kansas City area. My sponsor lives in Ft. Worth. My DD in Tulsa. He ordered from the Arlington, TX RDC. It should become clear why I wanted to be warehouse authorized as soon as possible. I built a pretty good (1000PV) local group and then started to sponsor some of my service friends. They were anything but local. Connecticut, California, Virginia, Colorado. Product would ship from the RDC to Tulsa, back to Ft. Worth (eight miles from the RDC!) to me. I then kept UPS in business. This idiocy came to a head when I sponsored a couple in Austin, TX who sponsored a family back in Arlington, TX who lived within a mile of the RDC. It took over two weeks and 1700 miles of shipping to move a tube of Glister less than 4000 feet. When I finally challenged my DD he basically said that our group didn't believe in warehouse authorization. He denied that it had anything to do with the 4% shipping that we paid on products that he got to keep. I became very disgruntled. When I talked to Jeff Probandt he sympathized with me but said there was little he could do since he was not my DD. My Diamond said the same thing. Amway distributor relations said they were also helpless. I couldn't believe that a business, my DD's distributorship, would treat a major customer, my business, so foolishly. I asked one last time for some shipping relief and was told no. I wrote my group and told them I was going inactive, my sponsor went inactive since I was his major leg, and I let my DD take over shipping. Needless to say the group died. My DD let a 6000 pv leg go over product shipment, while the rest of the Amway business was letting everyone buy direct!
That was over two years ago. I enjoyed showing the plan and helping other people make those scary prospecting phone calls. I like the pricey products, but I refuse to edify a buffoon. I read the Amagram to see if anyone in that Diamond organization is growing. None, nada, zip. I know that one Emerald lost a DD leg and doesn't qualify any more. So much for the 2 to 5 year plan. I was also told that my DD and his wife divorced. I can't confirm that rumor, but I believe it. She was way too intelligent to suffer someone with that little business acumen.
Keep up the good work. I still enjoy and believe in MLM, but I want the money to come from the product, not the system.
Ain't it great?
July 28, 1999
Let me state a brief personal opinion from being a distributor for 6 years, now ex distributor, attaining Silver & Direct in 14 mo... on to PSD for [the] next four years. [Upon] nearing my last year as [distributor, my upline told me that he] would take care of my business because I would be taking time off. [I told them that] they would do no such thing. [I] then received a visit from an Emerald (I think) [who is] extremely close to [our] upline diamond [who then] informed me that if I didn't go along with what was suggested that my downline would be shut out of books, tapes, seminars & rallys. In other words, I would be hurting everybody downline. In the beginning, I was one who said that no-one made profit from [the] tools because I didn't know [about it until] after [I reached] PSD. [And] then I felt miserable for being duped and then recieving money later added to my guilt. Through this experience I also remember being told about the stars & moon or crescent moon on competitors products being santanic in origin. I recall an upline Ruby-Emerald mentioning they had made more money on tools than movement of product. I recall times when movement of tools was delayed to a later date (in my opinion) to create a larger [percentage] of profit to upline, severly decreasing return to myself. John, the half truths, deception, [and] outright manipulations that existed are still echos in [my] past... I just wanted to add a voice of affirmation to your efforts- you may have already helped 100's from a devastating experience.
July 29, 1999
From: Tomaz BERAVS
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999
To: John Hoagland
Subject: WEB ??!!
Just one word to you:
"YOU ARE FUCKING SUCKER, WHO IS CRACKED, BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE AND YOU'LL NEVER HAVE ANY DREAM IN YOUR IDIOT LIFE !!! YOU'RE HARE-BRAINED, STUPID, SILLY GUY !!! '"
AMWAY distributor !!!!
July 29, 1999, message #2 from the author of the July 27 message
As for integrity, it's something I not only aspire to, it's something I raise my right hand and affirm/swear to as a requirement of my current daytime profession. There's no repenting when you willing live by regulations, rules, standards of conduct. The repenting only comes in when you've violated your own principles and values, or worse, God's. I can't say I've ever felt like a criminal in this business, even back in 1991 when I first gave it a failed attempt in the Yeager organization. The difference now is that I recognize the existence of unique approaches, and that some are better than others.
You'll be pleased to know that in my Amway/Quixtar business we discuss the five letter word AMWAY early in our open and conclude with the cost of the kit. We discuss the tapes, books, functions and AMVOX at the kit opening, as I did at this evening's kit opening, and make it clear that these are tools that have worked for others, that are optionally available as the business grows. We discuss other details, like the need to maintain sideline volume and clients, during follow-up. Yes, I have clients, albeit not yet 10, but close. I've now twice attended meetings where upline discussed the cut made on tools, and it doesn't bother me. I like the tapes. I've never had a problem achieving 100-200 points on things that I would buy anyway, at comparable prices, and have never been compelled or convinced to purchase items for the sake of helping someone achieve their pin. Do I act like a cookie cutter version of my upline? Absolutely not. I'm very independent, and only duplicate those things I'm convinced are for my well being and the well being of my group. Is my wife and family 100% behind this venture? Absolutely. I can envision us throwing up edifications all over the stage one day, and loving every minute of it. A partner in this business makes a huge difference.
One common denominator in every discussion I've had with prospects and clients is the quality of products. Even those who look as if they've just received an injection of jalapeno juice under their eyelid when they say "is this AAAAMMMMWAAAYYYYY," always seem compelled to tell how much they like the products. What can I say . . . then don't do the darn business and buy the products . . . by the way, have you heard of Quixtar (I tell them). You and I know the power of the Internet to draw interest. Much like sex seems to sell cars, the Internet seems to be selling Amway/Quixtar. It's almost as if folks are willing to forgive and forget, making statements like Pontious Pilots, such as "I'm only doing this because it won't be Amway 1 Sep." Right! Fact is, millions want to believe Amway can work for them, much as everyone aspires to some day BE their boss or the CEO. People in my profession are no different, and the numbers of opportunities for advancement slim down at far greater rates the higher up the chain of command you go. Fact is, my J.O.B. has me chained to the largest pyramid in the world. Nonetheless, that hasn't stopped me for 12 years, despite never having received a bonus check, never having received a pay raise that keeps pace with inflation, and never having been rewarded for effort above and beyond my peers except with more work and more time away from the family. And you'd like me to believe that this is somehow better than Amway? I'm reaching . . . trying to understand . . . thinking about doom and gloom scenarios . . . NOPE, sorry. Just doesn't happen.
Deception and deceit are common practice, and you shouldn't believe everything you read. OK, nothing new here. Unfortunately we don't all have the time to read everything and explore every infinite detail or reason that it can't/won't work. That's what I spent 20 years pursuing degrees to learn, and I'm frankly fed up with reasons something can't be done. I deal with 22 young employees whose answer to every mess up is that they're victims of a care-less society, and don't have the training or experience to get it done right. They're not willing to take the risks, they're not willing to invest time in anything that doesn't immediately reward. In the midst of this, hope. I met a fellow the other day who built his restaurant from the ground up, with no carpentry, painting, plumbing, etc., skills. His reply when I asked how he developed these talents was that he didn't. He just does it. If it doesn't look/work right he scraps it and starts over. It all just comes down to a willingness to take risks and get on with LIFE, get up when you fall down, and resist those who would try to convince you that you'll never amount to anything. And so it goes . . .
OK, perhaps this bubble boy hasn't affected a change in viewpoint, or made a sincere attempt to, but I'm confident in knowing that things do change, especially people. Things for you will change, and the Web site will one day say "Thanks for visiting John's portal, your gateway to 5000 companies and 100,000 products." OK, I had a good laugh. Seriously, It's fair to say that what's happening with Quixtar will turn the world of Amway upside down. The Internet has already opened the world to a wealth of reputable sources of info on what they eat, breath, ride in, sleep on, jobs, hobbies... Check out the latest article in Business2.0 on Quixtar. Are the ways of old simply going to transfer to the Web? Don't count on it. Will some miss the boat on this opportunity? Sure.
Last words. With all the press on Quixtar and all the reputable sources of info on product quality/comparisons, you're going to have to rent billboards to get your message out over the loud and clear favorable commentary now creeping into the press. Glossy covers sell credibility, and web pages are a dime a dozen. What next? DBA for the Quixtar supercomputers? What an irony that would be, and you might even affect positive change. I'm counting on it.
Jul 31, 1999
First, let me start by saying that I found your web site informative and extremely helpful in better understanding Amway and its business practices.
The reason why I am writing to you is for more information about Amway and, in particular, Amway Korea. I ask this because my girlfriend, who lives in Korea, has been entangled in the "web of deceit" spun by an Amway distributor.
I'm not sure where to start...
It all started about a year ago, a mutual friend of ours had become involved in Amway and he started to push it on us. I remember the day he gave me the pitch... It was a textbook example of how they try to get you hooked. He first told me he was involved in a great business opportunity... Then he proceeded to tell me that "What financial wealth I make is up to me and that my destiny is for me to decide." At that moment, I knew exactly where this conversation was going and I had to contain myself from laughing in his face. However, he is a dear friend of many years and I just went along with it by nodding my head and desperately trying to seem as if I was intrigued by what he was saying.
I had a glimpse of Amway's operation in Korea and I must say that their tactics were more sophisticated then I had imagined.. They utilize PR in a manner that makes them look like a legitimate and ethical business entity. There are articles in the major newspapers (usually written by reporters who are Amway member or those who have no idea what Amway is...) that state "Amway contributes to the protection of the environment" and other such articles that create a great image. For most Koreans, they have only heard the positive points of Amway and this usually comes from Amway itself. They hear the stories of the founders of the company and how they built a financial empire out of sheer determination. I went to the open meetings and the smaller meetings they had at a distributors house. These meeting usually occurring at late evening hours. People present at these meeting looked exhausted and the only thing keeping them going was the dream of achieving financial independence. I figure there is nothing different about these meetings if compared to the U.S.; however, there was one meeting that actually made me feel uneasy. It was a weekly gathering of distributors and they met in an empty parking lot late at night. They formed a big circle and each individual told "what they accomplished that week" and "how they would do even better the following week." After the meeting broke, they each greeted each other by the title of "sajang," which translates to "president" of a company. Like I said, it made me feel uneasy. That gathering brought back my nightmare experiences of a church weekend retreat I was invited to when I was in high school. It was a weekend of little food, almost no sleep, and a lot of singing and praying...
But enough about what I saw and I'll get back to the point...
At that time, my girlfriend was also extremely skeptical and she did not give it a second thought. I had to come back to the states last fall and she stayed in Seoul. The Amway guy constantly called my girlfriend to come to meetings... He then had his other friends, who were also Amway, continually call her... For most of the year she avoided him and all the calls. But last week, she told me that she had went to a few meetings and read some books they gave her. She said that "it's starting to make sense." She has fallen into the trap... It seems persistence payed off and they finally wore her down... No matter what I say, she is under the belief that Amway is a good opportunity. It is her contention that they are a solid company with a 40 year track record. That their products are "excellent." And that she doesn't have to be involved in any kind of sales or become an active distributor if she does not want to participate. All she has to do is buy Amway products for her own use (which she will receive a 30 percent discount) and tell her friends and family about Amway. She believes that it will cost her nothing - which makes no sense to me... She thinks she has nothing to lose because it costs her nothing...
My concern is this... This particular distributor line has her convinced that it is a "risk free" opportunity. I know that there is no such thing as risk free... But, the information she has come to believe is extremely biased (all packaged and presented by a Amway distributor and AMO) and no matter what I say, she will have something to counter my argument. I must admit that I only have a cursory understanding of Amway and it is hard to refute an idea that is seemingly fool proof. My girlfriend is intelligent (right now to smart for her own good..); however, she also has a great deal of pride and ambition. She also has a bit of free time... All of which I think may prove to make her an ideal target...
I ask for your help by providing me a little "ammunition" in explaining to her why it won't work and how she will be sucked even further into Amway's grip. For her, she has "facts" and all I have is speculation and opinion.
But after reviewing the material you provided on your web site, I cannot figure out how Amway has stayed in business for so long. Furthermore, in regards to Amway Korea, the numbers make absolutely no sense... They reported that estimated sales was $9.7 million US Dollars in ‘98... They also report that they had 120,000 distributors and 220 employees in ‘98... Using your example (I know this is not accurate, but it paints a working picture) there are 49,200 active distributors. Then there are 984 direct level distributors. Finally, then there are only 17 diamond direct. Lets look at it this way, if you consider an optimistic 25% operating cost and deduct it from their reported sales, then it works out to approximately $7.3 million. With 49,200 active distributors, then it basically works out to $148.37 per person. So... Where is the fortune to be made??? Am I missing the point??? Or, is the income generated and calculated by world wide revenues???
My girlfriend tells me that a person has the potential of making $1,250 per month... And she says she saw the profit by seeing a bank book with regular monthly deposits in this amount. (I truly doubt this...) To further complicate this, she went to a meeting yesterday that lasted practically the whole day (12 pm - 10 pm). There were a series of presentations and testimonials given by members. What caught her attention, which in her mind gives Amway credibility, was the fact that doctors, professors, and lawyers gave these testimonials. So, she believes that Amway is a good thing or why would such professional people take it up. Like I said, they did a great job making Amway look good.
I must apologize for writing so much (and if there are too many grammatical/spelling errors)... And I would greatly appreciate any help you can offer. It is hard to believe that a simple scheme as Amway has grown to what it is today. Amway seems to have followed the major US tobacco companies example of concentrating on foreign markets because of declining sales in the states. And it is no longer a local "pyramid" operation... I can only imagine what De Vos and other people like him made of this "scam."
Again, please enlighten me so that I can save my girlfriend from making a serious mistake...
Jul 31, 1999
Sure let's see if I what I can remember; Here's a list of things I had to deal with as an employee/personal friend and distributor because of their stupidity and total lack of responsibility towards their kids, bill, finances, friends former employers and pissed off distributors.
- I once had to fight with the bailiff who showed up to repossess the jeep. Craig had flown out of town to go to a Yager men only function. His wife had had her drivers license suspended due about $300 worth of unpaid fines and parking tickets. (which they could not afford to pay- even when they were in Diamond qualification). I was in my apartment sleeping because I had been up the night before sorting product for the next days pickup ($75,000 worth of cases of soap and Queen Cookware- Amway had a Double PV promo on Cookware for 6 months consecutive). In any case I had gotten up earlier and driven one of their children to school because Mother never drove the oldest child to school (she didn't even know how to get to school- but that's another child neglect story). In any case I was awakened an hour later by her pounding on my door, she was screaming franticly that someone was trying to steel their piece of crap (87 Jeep Wagoneer). So I panicked and came running out of the basement apartment that was overloaded with product and mice. I realized rather quickly that the thief was none other then the bailiff who was there to repossess the Jeep that was 10 years old and had over 300,000 kilometers on it. They had not made a payment in three months for a grand total of $450 in back payments. I made a deal to make the payment out of my own pockets (cash that I really didn't have and never saw again) and I drove in my car downtown to the bank and made the payment.
Their really are too many stories and examples of unpaid payments and debts here's a list;
The city cut off the water to the house once for an unpaid water bill (the water bill was not more then $200).
The natural gas was cut off twice (cutting off the heat in the winter while their were kids in the house). The temperature was at least -20 degrees Celsius and it was off for 2 days at a time. In the meantime the kids who were 5, 2, and a new born of about 6 weeks old had to wear extra clothes and they had to put blankets up in the doorways between rooms and centralize the kitchen where they just left the kitchen oven on with the stove door open to heat that room. It was pathetic the middle son even ended up taking a trip to the hospital for a burn on his leg.
The mortgage payment was late every month. Even today they rent the home that they live in and it's not that incredible (remember they're diamonds).
Bonus cheques weren't paid many times. It was brutal- we would use other distributors product purchases cheque to pay another's bonus. Twice they borrowed $45,000 US from Craig's wife's step mother (she was wealthy and lived in Colorado- and felt brutal that the kids were living the way they were). Today they don't talk to her anymore because they're too ashamed for not having paid any of the money back. I remember answering the phone and taking her messages (I felt really bad knowing that they wouldn't call her back).
Craig's former employer a local Real Estate Broker was suing Craig for $5,000. Apparently he had left the office owing them a good chunk of change. In any case Craig had me drive down to the court house and tell them that he was out of town.
A former client of Craig's, someone he had assisted in a real estate purchase while he was a realtor was calling and threatening Craig over $3,500. Craig had sold him a income property and this poor guy lived out of town, about 400 km's away. Craig had made a deal to collect the rents and deposit the money to his account every month. I guess he did this for the first year then when his debts started to pile up he kept the money for himself. I knew the client really well we was the former manager for the grocery store I had worked at while in high school. He had been transferred out of town : it was difficult throwing him off Craig's property when he came over screaming and threatening to beat Craig up in front of Craig's children and wife.
A personal friend of mine lost big bucks to Craig to the tune of $50,000. Craig somehow talked him into lending him $40,000 for one year and Craig would pay him back a whopping $50,000. Well needless to say my friend Roland never got the money back and was unable to take any measurable legal recourse (I think he lost about all of $5,000 of it). Roland had gotten the money as a cash settlement for a really bad motor cycle accident in which he had lost one of his legs. (This was one of the lowest things I saw him do).
Another one of his scams included selling homes while he had let his realtor license run out and then collecting the commissions or fees without being legally able to sell the house.
My favorite policy in the Loupelle Amway organization was that you could not return product : because they were barely making the cut for Diamond. Many distributors were led to believe that they would purchase product they could not afford this month and next month Craig would build them an organization that would allow them to move it. In the meantime he would get them all hyped about crossing the stage as a new PIN level in the business.
One of Craig's legs he dubbed the phantom leg. Because they purchased the whole leg themselves for 6 months and put it under someone else's name. I don't think that Gerry Sprackman one of Toronto's leading business men even knows that he's an Amway profit sharing direct. But if you go down to Amway headquarters in Ada Michigan you can see his name on the PSD board.
They not only had problems with their downline but with the Corporation as well. They very often ordered product that they could not pay for this all while they were in Diamond qualification.
Craig drove that stupid Jeep even when they went Diamond. For the first 3 months they were not allowed to park with the rest of the Diamonds at the Functions because their vehicle didn't fit. I would drive them to the function in my car or a borrowed car in order for them not to be too embarrassed in front of their new peers.
Kara, Craig's wife sold her 2 ct. diamond out of her wedding ring- it was a gift from her father before he died. They replaced it with this stupid looking diamonoid thingy. So that nobody would know.
The house that they lived in until they were forced to move to escape creditors and embarrassment was dilapidated. It was over run with mice and it was filthy. I can't explain how terrible it was, like a shack from a third world country. They had to take their Amagram pictures out at the downline Doctor's house.
Carter their oldest son missed over 60 days of school because mother could not drive and I wasn't their to drive him to school. The kids had colds all the time and the downline Doctor would bring them sample medication because they could not afford to but medicine.
The children and mother lived on AMWAY Critics Choice cereal and bagels because they couldn't afford to buy groceries. In the meantime Dad was travelling southern Ontario eating in nice restaurants with prospects every night. Craig was about 5 feet 7 and weighed a whopping 270 lbs. (Because he ate so much and he ate very well).
The kids never got the attention they needed except from myself and their Amway disapproving grandmother. It was really sad because [the parents] couldn't afford to have as many children as they did but they kept having more and the [children] they did have weren't getting the love and attention that they needed. This I found really heart wrenching.
They screwed so many of my friends over with tickets and tapes. All my friends were fairly young (23- 25 years old) and desperately wanted to impress this Craig guy. Craig would convince them to buy 5 extra function tickets every month ($150- $200 US) saying that if they bought the tickets they would be motivated to go out and sponsor someone who would come to the function. He would also get them to purchase way more tapes then they ever needed. All of these guys were straight out of university and into their first jobs and were spending upwards of $1,000/month on tapes and tickets and of course the over priced product. Craig really knew how to manipulate these young men by talking about being real men and making enough money so that their future wife and kids could have descent lives and helping their own deserving parents retire early. His speaches were really profound and they were all Craig disciples for so long- hence my going PSD.
Product pick up was a nightmare during their Diamond Qualification; We had a big white transport truck from Manitoulin transport who would show up and drop off about 2- 3 pallets every week except during the last week of the month. That week was known as the stretch week- every leg had to go over the 7,500PV requirement for the month and each leg was probably only producing about 1,500 PV a month on their own. So they would order the other 6,000 PV needed to hit 7,500 for all 6 legs on that last week. So the truck would show up and drop off 7- 10 pallets worth of product that week and I would have to separate it all for pick up. It would take 2- 3 days to sort everyone's stuff and have them pick it up. And because they had screwed Amway up a couple of times with NSF cheques on the 4th, 5th and 6th month we had to order everything through the upline Pearls. (Claude and Lori were the upline Pearls who were making a run for Emerald and only had two somewhat solid legs so they were purchasing their 3rd PSD leg during this time) So needless to say there was whole lot of product being stocked and not flowing downline.
Finally let me tell you what happened to me. Craig recruited me while I was working part time and attending school. He recruited me as distributor and I thought he was a great guy ([he was] very charismatic and confident- at the time someone I really wanted to be like). He convinced me to forget about school for now and come work for him and in a year or two he would build me an Emeraldship that would allow me to retire and return to school on my own terms (no student loans or debt). He also agreed to pay me $25,000/yr. in the meantime and pay for my car expenses and rent. Well it sounded like a great deal for a starving student with two part time jobs and I eventually accepted. He then convinced me to move out my parent's place and into his basement apartment. He paid me my weekly pay cheque only about 5 times in the whole 2 years that I worked for him: in fact the only part of the deal he honored was the rent deal (after all I was living in a mouse infested basement that he owned). He also had gotten me a loan on a Jeep YJ through a used car dealer friend of his: I paid for this myself however. I started working in a strictly office manager function at first as per the deal and eventually it moved to office manager/ nanny/ babysitter/ chauffeur/ general contractor/ grocery go getter/ gate keeper for the collection agencies/ product manager/ personal slave. I did everything for them- I mean absolutely everything. The babies would cry and I would change their diapers. I made lunches and drove them wherever they needed to be. I watched them while Mom and Dad flew to functions or were out showing the plan. I really loved those kids they became a very important and routine part of my life. I was the first to get up in the morning and feed the youngest and drive the oldest to school after his pathetic breakfast. I can't really explain what it was like to have the responsibility of 3 kids and a household, as well as their business needs and all the other crap thrust on to me at the age of 21.
They went Diamond in less then 2 years and it takes a lot of work to find 6 people (poor suckers) who will purchase that much stuff and hide it in their basements, so Craig had no time for his children or anything else other then showing the plan. He traveled over 100,000 km/yr. and showed about 80 plans a month and spent the rest of his time conning people out of their $$$$$. I complained because I couldn't make personal loan payments and credit card payments because he stopped paying me and what little money I did make from product sales I was using to feed his children and pay his gas bills and tape bills and whatever. But my complaints fell on deaf ears and the only response I got from him was; "I love you buddy, and I appreciate everything you've done for me and my family, do you really think I would ever forget about you?" He promised me that one day I would never want for anything. He said that to me and I believed him, I thought that this was all temporary and worse the that I believed because I was so far in that going back was impossible. I stood to lose so much- my family had warned me about all of this, many of my friends had given up on me and worst of all I owed too much money for this not to work.
Well Craig went Diamond and his business volume the following month dropped back down to less then 3,000PV. But it didn't matter he was about to make a ton of money with the real "cash cow" of the business as Craig called it. But Craig's phone lines were jammed solid and Craig and Kara were in big demand all over North America for speaking engagements. This was going to be Craig's financial saving grace because they were paying him $7,500- 10,000 US / weekend. Needless to say that was BIG bucks and he needed it. He started making a ton of money from the tools. Every cassette that went through his organization was worth a few dollars along with every book and of course the $40 bucks/ butt per function. When I look back at it now from a business point of view it's not that bad of an investment. Spending a few hundred thousand to make a few hundred thousand year after year, and that amount only gets bigger every year. It's not a bad investment but it's the way he did it that is terrible.
Back to what happened to me : Things were getting better financially around the house- (I still never got paid)- but the bills were being paid and there was food in the house to feed the kids finally. Craig still refused to pay his debtors and his wife and him chose to blow the cash on clothes and jewelry calling it "investments." I started to feel somewhat used and frustrated- well they weren't helping me out with any of my outstanding bills and I wasn't even able to put gas in my car at times. Then I started to get really sick but the office was too busy for me to take time off. In the end I got pneumonia (which I didn't even know at the time) and I spent two days in bed. Kara got really upset with me and accused me of being lazy. I got into an argument with her and she kicked me out of the house while Craig was away on business. I had to move back into my father's place. That was so difficult because my father had warned me against trusting Craig in the first place and also because one of my loans was in his name and he had to pay it off for me while I pursued this Amway dream. They repossessed my Jeep because the ownership's was in Craig's name. It wasn't even worth that much and it was all I really had. I called Craig's sponsor (his accountant) an Amway Pearl who was worried that I would I would talk too much to everyone in the organization and tell them what was really going in the Diamond household. He promised me that he would have Craig take care of his financial obligations towards me and help me get a car. He wrote me a cheque for $3,000 and I bought a beat up 9 year old vehicle and went out to find a job to pay rent, gas and outstanding debts. The other day I received a letter for the accountants lawyer threatening a law suit unless I pay the $3,000 back. I still haven't seen dime one from Craig and still the hardest thing is that I don't get to see his kids anymore. I was totally left in the dust- I guess I should have seen it coming since I saw him screw everyone else over. I'm also being sued for $4,000 from the upline Pearl.
I'm excited how bout' you? All fired up!!!!
Well that's the short story. I'm sorry that I went on an on and I guess my ideas aren't really in any order but I'm not much of a writter. If you want to reorganize everything go ahead and I can give you the final once over. In any case I hope that people read the truth. Please keep me posted. And if you need anything else let me know. Can you post their names? If you can their names are Craig and Kara Loupelle. The upline Pearl is Fred Slade (the accountant and sponsor). They are part of the Great Lakes Network and their line of sponsorship is Casey Combden upline EDC and Bill Kerr upline Diamond.
If you want to know more about tool money or stories let me know I will try and remember some of them. Also I'm not sure if you know this, but in the Yager organization, many of the big organizations are not actually downline groups. For example, the Great Lakes organization (which is more then 100,000 strong) are not downline from Dexter but they call him that. They were actually moved under the Yager organization umbrella back in the 80's when business slumped because Dexter seemed to be the only guy capable of keeping his groups loyal. So they just kind of unoficially became his downline. Then the whole Canadian business through Ron Goldman was shoved underneath the Great Lakes Network because the upline Diamond was jailed for drug trafficing and the Goldmans didn't have any support.
Anyway let me know if you need any more info.
Aug 6, 1999
I thought I would share with you some interesting information. Yesterday I saw a diamond stand in a living room and talk about Bill Gates. Showing a picture of when the [Microsoft] group were all hippies... etc. He talked about the billions that he makes, then clearly stated... "It's gonna be nice to be partnered with them." Isn't that grounds for suspension?
Also, this same diamond showed some outlandish projections of dollar amounts. He then began to "STP". Except instead of saying Amway he said Quixtar... [his] reasoning for saying that the plan was the same was "This Amway plan is approved in Canada and The US so we are using it for Quixtar"", then of course his wife stood up and she began pushing tools (of course). Together they said that Quixtar will be on EVERY news channel come 9.1.99 and that people will be begging to get in.... In my opinion they may be begging to get in but will be going broke to get out! I felt sorry for a young couple that was there hearing this for the first time, as the diamond wife flashed her 250,000 ring in her face... I wanted to shake her and tell her to run....
Thanks for letting me state all of that.
Aug 6, 1999
Hi, My name is [...], I'm from Canada, and I had experience with QUIXTAR!!!
First I want to say, this site it's great site and I learn a lot about MLM, I think there is a lot of stuff in the site that everybody should Know.
I had a couple of friend who was in those kind of Busineess, and I've been approach several time to be part of Amway, And every time depending of the people who was talking at the begiining it seem to be the great deal in the World. But when you start to think more about it, it's look like to be TO GOOD TO BE TRUE, and personnaly I don't believe in EASY MONNEY, I think in this world nothing it's free you got got nothin for free, I more beleive in hard working, and patience.
Since last week I never been approach or hear anything about AMWAY. A couple day ago, my cousin and her husband contact me for big opportunity about e-commerce, and the know that I'm involve in computing and internet a lot, actually I'm a computer consultant. I said it will be great to know more about it, I know that e-commerce it's the future for the 10 next years. So I accept to go to a meeting close to my neighboordhood.
So I went there was a lot of people, it was packed. It was a nice conference place, they was a of of people well, dress it look like very professional, I used to those kind of meting. So at the first look, it seem like "this is not a joke but something really serious and professional". So I take place. And start to listen the conference man, At the begining it start to talk about internet and e-commerce who was and will be the future of the world and it's now or never to be part of it.
So far so good everything seem to be ok, and told us that there is a new Compagny Quixtar, who offer us to be part of this dream. He told Us that compagny it's reay serious and have a partnership with Big Name Like IBM, Microsoft, etc.. But this not really impress me because I'm involved a lot in the computing world, and I known, that Microsoft and IBM, get involved with everybody or business, who had a chance to make money, just for advertising so everybody see Microsoft or IBM and that way the company or people buy Microsoft or IBM product. Actually almost anyone on anybody can have a partership with Microsoft this is not really a big deal.
So he carry on to talk about internet, and told use that the compagny also offer a internet service connection, adresse email ,Web space and tools to be able to build personels Webs for about 50$/month. But for me it was not a big deal, actually there is a ot of compagny who offered more competive and better service.
So I was kind of deceived, I heard something that open my eyes, He said pretty fast and gently the word AMWAY, that Quixtar have some kind of relation with AMWAY, and that was it for me, I know that Quixtar is may not the BIG DEAL it look like.
So after a couple of minute, I quit, I know what they going to talk about, And I decided before to make a decision I should make couple of research about QUIXTAR. I call my cousin who was trill because I went to the meeting, and ask me what I think about, the compagny, If will like to get involved or to know more about it, I told her I don't kwon yet, I will like to make a couple of research before. She told me if i'm not interest to be a member i can be a customer and she have a lot of product she can offer me. I told her that surely seem to be interresting, and I ask her a web site to know more about Quixtar, she refer me to www.quixtar.com.
So, I start my searching in the internet, At the begining I alway find site who are greeting Quixtar, telling that Quixtar it's the bigest deal actually we can find on the market and we got nothing to lost and every body should be part of it. And I start to think, It is maybe the deal that everybody was waiting for.
So, I carry on my searching and I found finally a site who start to tell us the truth about AMWAY and its relation with Quixtar and all the doubt I had was confirm by them.
And now my problem, it's to see my cousin and her husband to be so involve in Quixtar, and don't know what to do, If I should let them by themself discover to truth about Quixtar, or give them the cruel and painfull information I found about Quixtar. I know they already invest a lot of monney and time, in Quixtar. And I also ask my myself, shoud I not give at the least a chance to Quixtar, maybe It can work.
I know the answer it's on my hand but will like to have a second or third opinion..
Thank you, for devotion to that cause
P.S. Sorry for my english this is not my first tongue...
August 11, 1999
From: Gloria Goodwin
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 1999
To: John Hoagland
I dont know how much different The Amway I am in is from your Amway, but in Canada the purchase of tools is always optional. Perhaps diamonds (and so on) are making money from selling motivational tools. Since purchase of these tools (books, tapes, ect) is optional, what stops a person from buying these tools elsewhere, or not at all? Nothing.
I could buy tools from upline, or buy tools from ... oh lets say Sears.(if they sold tools, but I dont think they do..)
Either way, someone else is making money off my purchase of these tools.
I don't know if the diamonds make money off of tool sales. it really doesnt matter, ( I really never cared, actually) beacuse... if I buy tools and use them to go diamond, and what you're saying is true, then I get a cut of money from tools sale. However, is Sears going to give me a cut of what it sells in tools? Highly unlikely.
Whether your right about them making money off of tools or wrong, it still doesnt matter, because no matter what, someone will make money off of selling you ANYTHING, be it an Amway/Quixtar Diamond or the CEO of Sears.
Perhaps you dont like the idea of Diamonds making money by selling tools? Go to your local fruit market and accuse the cherry seller of making money off your purchase. Whatever it is you dont want people making money from, DONT BUY! Thats why North America is so great. You always have options.
Please dont be offended by this letter, like I said I dont know how different your Amway is, Or your upline.(you seem to have gotten a wierd one, mine came right up to me and asked me what I wanted out of life, he did not mail me stuff, but that's not the point) This is my view on Tools, and I dont think you should be so upset.
Please Email me at email@example.com if you feel I have overlooked something important which may render my feelings moot. I hope we can maintain an orderly, mature corespondence. :)
Please dont bug me about spelling errors, I just graduated from highschool with Honors standing and have gotten straight A's in English. Im just in a hurry.
future diamond :)
August 12, 1999
From: Way-Kool Junior
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 1999
To: John Hoagland
Subject: The chip on your shoulder
I actually read most of your website. Do you have a beef with Amway or the distributors who mislead the people. Mind you, if you say both then you are a fool.
Be it as it may, you probably call yourself a Christian and then go masterbate while thinking of some girl(or maybe guy)you would like to hose. I guess you don't realize that most people need to be led. Thats why there are so many ignorent folks out there getting screwed,( by whomever,including you).
August 12, 1999
From: Richard W. Rogers
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 1999
To: John Hoagland
Subject: Sour Grapes
I guess that you are not aware that Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was paid an honorarium to speak to millions or Zig Ziglar. Sure you know that it's ok to profit from helping others you just don't understand how Amway's Diamonds, Emeralds and the like can make so much money and you can't seem to stop people from joining in. Here are the facts, tools help, as a matter of fact in order to build a profitable Amway or Quixtar business, you will use the system. Those who promote (sell) the tools best will profit from both tool volume and PV/BV (Amway dollars). Get over it, throughout history those who give the most service to fellow man make the most money! Don't tell me that you think that your doctor who is performing your bypass surgery,(after all the stress you are putting yourself through) will not profit from helping you. What about the pharmacist or the physical therapist or even the hospital. How about the guy that owns the McDonalds where you take your family to Sunday dinner. Get a life, get back in and look for the reasons to help someone as hard as you are looking to tear someone down.
Richard W. Rogers
RG Rogers & Associates
1460 N Leavitt Ave
Orange City, FL 32763
August 12, 1999
Today I received an e-mail from my [spouse's] cousin who lives in [another country]. We recently settled in [Australia] having emigrated from [another country] and I am presently waiting on approval of our permanent residency in order that I may seek and commence working as we have been unable to sell our home and consequently have a mortgage back in [another country] which cannot be serviced through my [spouse's] income alone. I had written to my [spouse's] cousin saying that we were getting a bit concerned about this as our permanent residency application had been held up due to a minor problem with our meeting the minimum standard of English and although we had taken steps to get the necessary proof that we were educated using English as the language of instruction, this was taking time to organise - time which we could ill afford with rising interest accumulating daily on this mortgage. His response was thus; "You know, I was thinking that you where looking for something to do in [Australia] to make some extra money, I have come across a business that I was thinking of showing you before you left as we could really use some representation over there, from what I understand it is quite well established there, so it would be easy to get into the swing of things, and you would do really well in this type of business. I have put together a presentation in PowerPoint that pretty much explains the concept, check it out and if you are interested let me know and I will give you some more details."
With my having owned a small business back in [another country] for 7 years and not knowing how I would fit back into a paid job situation, my interest was obviously perked. On opening the attached file (PowerPoint) though alarm bells immediately rang out - "cult / pyramid scheme". Having heard, read and seen too much in the media in recent years about these "enterprises" I was fortunately able to immediately discern what the situation really was even though the file (Network21plan.ppt) - which was referred to as a "presentation" - comprised of skant information and no explanations as to what Amway is or does. Page 1 is headed "Options for income" being the three listed as follows - "Job" - "Investments" - "Business". The next page is headed "The ideal business" - leading you to believe that the first two options are out of the picture (already) despite these not being debated! A few examples of the thirteen points given under this heading are; "Sells to the world", "Inelastic demand", "Unique products", "Regulation Free", "Low Investment", "Tax benefits" and "Cash billings". In tiny letters underneath this text are the words: "Taken from the Dow Theory Letters INC. La Jolla CA 92038-1759 USA. 1994/95 33rd Edition."
On page three you're invited to "Consider 100 teenagers" and that; "Aged 15, in 50 years, they will be 65, of those still living:
The following page is a simplistic chart depicting "The Marketing Plan" which comprises 1. Quality Products and 2. Training & Support, underneath which falls "Sponsor" and then "You".
Seven more pages follow with similar charts but with incomprehensible figures given in "PV", percentages and (S.A.) rands.
The last page is headed "Amway" with the following description; Founded by Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel in Ada Michigan 1959.
Grateful that I have an astute business mind I was nonetheless curious. I was thus led to do a "net" search and thank goodness I came across your web page.
In considering what I have just read - and this is really highraising stuff - my immediate concern goes out to my [spouse's] cousin who wrote in his e-mail that he's coming home at nights after work and falling into bed exhausted. While this is most probably, in the main, attributed to his demanding job, the frequent references in the letters you have posted which attest to having to keep to frequent late night "sessions" (in distinct brainwashing style) make me feel even more concerned about their wellbeing considering his reference to "we" (could really use some representation over there) which seems to confirm that they are already part of the Amway "circle". This is a young couple with three small children, trying, like the majority of the world's people, to squeeze a fair standard of living out of limited monthly income - the honorable way.
While the Amway "concept" quite obviously uses and relies heavily on manipulative psychological tactics to influence and then win over it's "victims", how low can one stoop in the greed driven need to achieve "success"? - by attacking men's manhood in stating that "93% of men at age 65 who have failed financially said it was because of lack of planning." Notwithstanding that the source of this declaration is not made public - thus leaving you having to question where they draw such ludicrous claims from - men across the world are being suffering tremendous humiliation by being retrenched, forced to take early retirement packages, etc. and are seen to be filling the role of women more and more frequently as their wives go out to work to earn the "daily bread" and they stay home to care for children and housekeep. Since the dawn of man, it has been man's - and not woman's - inbred obligation brought upon him by society and it's dictates to care for his wife and family. Knowing that in this environment of worldwide socio-economic crises wracked by high unemployment, Amway [distributors] lock onto this vulnerability and viciously use it to close in for the attack making every male who reads this feel that if they don't "get with the (Amway) program" they've failing their families. Truth be known though, if they do "get with the (Amway) program" they WILL positively be failing their families as the ONLY winners in ANY pyramid scheme are those who you never get to meet and never get to talk to.
Having worked extremely hard and kept up rigorous long hours for years during ownership of my business I can vouch that there is no easy pathway to millionairedom. Anyone who believes this, I'm afraid to have to say, is a fool. There are very few real millionaires in the world and although it is vital to have a dream and aim for this, Amway is clearly not the road to achieving success. If anything, it appears to be the direct route to hell when considering the experiences of others which has even, in some instances, cost them their marriages!
It is my firm belief, too, that small business is the only way to secure some sort of freedom and financial security. This is the way that the world is moving and the present attitude towards big business "downscaling" and "outsourcing" confirms this. What one needs to realise is that you cannot profit from the ideals of others. The only ones who profit are the "profiteers". Not unlike being employed, pyramid schemers are in the business of making money and lots of it. This is their only goal, they live and breathe by it. It becomes a fixation and they will do anything to achieve this. You are just a pawn in their need to reach ever larger and greeder levels of income so that they can service their debt (note!) and if you fall by the wayside, there will always be another sucker to fill your place. While parading as your friend and gaining your confidence, they will leech onto you in good times and and then dump you on the wayside when you've served their purpose. As the saying goes; "there is no honor amongst thieves". Consequently, my advice to those wanting to improve their "lot" in life is to start your own small business. The emphasis being on the word "small" - start small and keep it small. Don't fall into the greed trap for therein lies debt and the spiral downwards. You may not fulfill your ultimate dreams or goals but no matter how humble your business, at the end of the day you will find deep satisfaction and self gratification in knowing that it's yours entirely, you owe nothing to anyone and most importantly you are not beholden or reliant on anyone else for your successes or failures. Remember the higher you fly the harder you fall! To conclude on this point, I fully intend to start up my own small business here in [Australia] in the not too distant future. My attitude to working for employers is that I give of my best but not my all. I look upon myself and my skills as being a commodity which they need and which I sell them in return - for an agreed price. This is the sum total of my relationship with employers - nothing more, nothing less. In comparison, Amway appears to be all take and no give. Further, while Amway claims to be a debt free company this is entirely untrue as it's "victims" (note not "employees", "partners" ... call them what you will) are quite obviously, at the end of the day, more in debt than when they joined company. That many of these "victims" joined the company under the informed and relayed belief that this would solve their debt problems is frightening. What an abhorrent example of the misuse of the simple trust people place in others!
Having spent a fair deal of time reading your pages John I was simply devastated to learn how many large corporate - and many of these internationally represented - companies are connected with this Amway scam (for this is what it is). There are just too many everyday household names to make me feel comfortable and I was wondering whether or not there is any connection to these companies and the sinister preparations of countries across our globe in terms of Y2K and the New World Order? That numerous of these companies trade in staple and necessary commodities made me feel even more concerned. Have you investigated this angle particularly as there are some pretty "big" names involved too?
In appreciation for your transparency, honesty and for telling it "like it is" and not how Amway make it out to be. It takes courage to stand by your convictions. A rare and admirable quality in today's world. Stay with it!
August 13, 1999
From: Way-Kool Junior
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999
To: John Hoagland
Subject: re: The chip on your shoulder
Your trying to tame the beast John. I like your honesty and frankness. There is a better way to put Amway and the sheep in a better place. However, you have blinders on or your focus is not omni-directional. Don't misunderstand me John. Your site is very clear and truthful and most of all,FACT! You say you are trying to help other people from getting involved with Amway, when in reality, you want payback.
There is a better way.
August 30, 1999
From: (a very reliable source)
To: John Hoagland
EARTHQUAKE IN TURKEY
Amway Corporation has been following the reports from Turkey regarding the devastating August 17 earthquake with great sadness and concern.
We are saddened to learn that almost 40% of Amway Turkey's 19,000 distributors reside in the area affected by the earthquake. Our hearts go out to every distributor and their families in these trying times.
Fortunately, none of the 47 Amway Turkey staff and their families were harmed. We are closely following every report from Amway Turkey as the Amway Turkey Crisis Management team communicates with all DDs and above to determine whether there are any casualties among distributors and families, and monitors the earthquake impact on business operations.
It has been determined that telephone ordering lines in Istanbul, Anotolian, Ankara and other lines may be out of service sporadically. PSCs in Ankara and Istanbul are working with deliveries completed, except for the damaged areas. Amway Turkey Fall Rendevous, scheduled for September 10, has been postponed to January 14, 2000.
Amway has made a contribution of nearly $20,000 for humanitarian aid in the region. On behalf of thousands of Amway employees and millions of distributors worldwide, we wish all Amway Turkey distributors and employees strength and perseverance as their nation proceeds with the rescue efforts and copes with the humanitarian effects of this disaster. [So, a corporation that boasts about it's billion-dollar revenue can only give $20,000 "for humanitarian aid??" That's all the Corporation could give- approximately $1.00 for each distributor in the country??]
September 8, 1999
Many distributors of Amway and Quixtar are being told that they should consider changing their ISP (internet service provider) to a new ISP that supports their business and is family friendly. This company is called Quixnet, (if you visit this company site note how similar the logos are to both companies). A site that will filter out pornography and other sites deemed inappropriate to children and those offended by adult sites (and a TON of other subjects).
WARNING!!!! , read this info when you're considering this ISP move. If you know people that are brand new in MLM and are involved in the new internet e-commerce aspect of this business, tell them about this information. Many people that have never been on the Internet before are buying computers and going online to open their new e-commerce MLM business. They may have already signed up with an ISP. These people may have no idea what information is being filtered out from the Internet. If you're in the MLM business and you're considering canceling your current ISP to a new one for your MLM business, consider the following and make up your own mind. Remember, when you sign up with an ISP you are agreeing to a legal contract (RE: YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND ACCEPT THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, YOU MAY NOT BECOME A SUBSCRIBER AND ACCESS OR OTHERWISE USE THE SERVICES.)
Look up the terms of your contract. Read all of the fine print and ask these questions to yourself:
As a paying customer of this company, (and an e-commerce business owner dependant on internet access) if I have a legal problem with this ISP, can I enforce my rights as an American and sue them in a court of law, or am I being forced to agree to an arbitration-only clause to be a member of this ISP? (Sound familiar Amway distributors?)
If I am forced into arbitration due to a problem, who pays the cost of this arbitration and where will it take place?
What are the rules of the arbitration process? Can I use my rights as an American and be represented by an attorney?
Now, consider the following regarding the access you have to the Internet and the information that is out there. Remember, the Internet is a vast arena of information: some good, some bad, some indifferent. YOU as an American and YOU as an adult have the right to decide what information you choose to see. Our constitution is built on the principle of free speech. It's YOUR decision as to what you decide to seek out on the internet. Will you allow some corporation the right to decide for you? Read on.
Filters are software programs that identify and block access to material on the Internet that is deemed by someone to be objectionable to that particular person. You may already have control in your Internet browser as to what materials YOU deem are objectionable. You make a list of web sites or of specific words (keywords) and YOU tell your computer to deny access to those web sites or any web site that has these words.
The key to this is YOU decide what information is blocked. You may wish to block anything on the Internet that has to do with pornography, violence, nudity, etc. You may have children in your home that will be using the computer and the Internet, and you want to keep that material out of access to them, or you're personally offended by such material. That's YOUR choice and the ability to be able to filter or block that material is a wonderful feature of any Internet browser.
However, do you want your Internet Service Provider to have the total control over this filter? What if you as an adult wish to view material that others find objectionable?
If your ISP is in control of this filter and has [the filters] as a built-in feature as part of your contract, will you be able to shut this filter off?
Let's look at how the filter works for this Quixnet ISP company being promoted to MLM'ers.
* This filter is at the ISP server. It blocks access to "objectionable" web sites. It can not be turned off. This filter is updated continuously to block new web sites. This all happens behind the scenes- you have no say in this and no control.
This filter is controlled by what they say is a "large staff" that is trained to monitor the Internet and choose what sites THEY feel are objectionable and will block your access to them.
There are categories that are used to determine what types of material will be blocked. These are extremely broad in scope:
* Adults only, web sites that say 'adults only, must be 18 or over to view.' Is there a possibility that these sites are not pornographic or objectionable to you? They may be intended for adult viewing due to the nature of the content [but] that may have nothing to do with anything that you may personally object to.
* Hate/ Discrimination: who decides what is or is not a hate group? [What] if the word 'hate' is used in the title "I hate bugs?" Is this going to be blocked? The Constitution of The United States does not make it illegal to be a part of any hate or discrimination group nor is it illegal to publish personal or organizational views that may fall into this category. You and I may detest these groups and even these people, but the freedom of speech and our freedom of liberty is guaranteed for ALL opinions. Consider this: what if your teenager is doing a report for school on hate groups; a paper on why NOT to belong to one of these groups, and needs examples of the nonsense [the groups] profess on the web? YOU will be blocked from that web site with this ISP. THEY decide for YOU that you have NO reason for going to any of those kind of web sites regardless of YOUR REASONS for doing so.
* Illegal sites, Web sites that promote or teach others illegal activities. No problem with that one right? How about this, what if you wanted to see the site so that you can report these to the authorities? Guess what, they are blocked. Who decides what is and is not illegal? THEY do!! [The ISP,] not the police, not a court of law.
* Murder/suicide, see above.
* Pornography, sex, any site that is sexually arousing or erotic, any sexual fetishism, any site that has sexual merchandise. Again, you are not be allowed to access these sites because THEY are the ones that deemed them inappropriate for you. There are a hundred questions here regarding this category block. You, as an adult, have the freedom in this country to decide for YOURSELF to view or not to view these sites. There may be reasons to go to these web sites that have nothing to do with arousal and even if that was the reason do you want some company to make that moral decision for you?
* Violence, this is getting repetitive, is it not? What is and what is not violence? [How] about sports, football, boxing, karate, etc., are these violence? Let's say they are to the ISP; what if they are not to you? Oh yea, they also will block any computer game that you can play on the net that THEY deem violent, again you have no choice. However, at the main sales site for the e-commerce "opportunity" one of their partner store sells [video] games about: a famous war battle, [a] military game where you have to assault troops and destroy missile bases, a space game where you have to blast the space aliens, a game about a heartless voodoo priest who has been murdered and has to fight his way up from the underground, a role playing game where fighting is imminent and battles are fought on a tactical 3D screen, and the list goes on and on and on. So whose games are being blocked? Sure as heck not their own partner stores that's for sure.
* Alcohol, ok adults, you're going to love this one: any site that promotes the recreational use of alcohol. This one alone should raise your eyebrows to the roof. It does not say the "abuse" of alcohol, its says the "recreational" use of alcohol. (Do I hear the clicking of keyboards from all those folks writing to their favorite beverage or wine company?)
* Tobacco, same as alcohol. Any site that promotes the recreational sale of tobacco.
* Chat, yep, no chat rooms, no exchange of information allowed regardless of its content. Yea, it really does filter out chat, forget about the thousands upon thousands of chat rooms for investing, collecting, mental health, medical conditions, etc. I don't have 200 pages to list all the types of chat rooms that THEY decide you're not allowed in, use your imagination for this one folks.
* Drugs, any site promoting recreational usage of illegal substances. So much for research or reporting these sites, you cant see them.
* Free pages, read this part twice!!!, web sites where home web pages are offered for free. Get your tissues ready folks, the tears of laughter are going to roll. Here is how they describe free home pages - . "These sites historically have done nothing to prevent capricious abuse of their services by users who post offensive content under multiple pseudonyms, making them difficult to track. Individual pages that have been reviewed by N2H2 on such sites are removed from this category, but filed under other categories as necessary." When you're done laughing at their definition and their blasting of free home pages, think about it again. If you have ever researched the web on the subject of MLM, it becomes clear that most critical sites are on free home page sites. Note, it says "SITES" that offer free home pages. Well, I belong to Prodigy and they offer free home pages. How about AOL [and Netscape and MSN and Tripod] and the other hundred ISP's or web hosting sites that offer free home web pages? What about the hundreds of thousands of web sites that would normally be acceptable by this ISP but are blocked because they are hosted by a site that gave the space for free? The filtering of these sites opens a Pandora's box. Seriously consider this. They then go on to say some stuff about "reviewed" individual sites. UH HUH!!!, Let's see, you have a home page that is critical of MLM and your next door neighbor has a home page that is pro-MLM and they both go up for "review" by this ISP, hummmmmm???? Now consider this, if all sites where free pages are offered for free are blocked that means that only sites that charge for home pages are not blocked. Oh, you mean like this particular ISP that charges for home pages as part of the package for signing up? What about the web site hosting companies being opened by high level players in MLM that are now selling home pages to their downline? Sit back, have a glass of wine and a cigarette, folks, and give this some serious thought. While you're at it, ponder this: If you're being asked to get into this new e-commerce business, you're going to be asked to advertise your business with a web site. You will be encouraged to create your web page with a particular web hosting company. If you consider doing that, make sure you know who the principle owners or officers are of that web hosting company. You might find out it's your very own upline. It's another way of getting twenty bucks or [much] more per month from you. Also note: if you decide to create your own home page make sure it's not with a company that will be blocked by this ISP. Also, understand how search engins work. When you sign up with this ISP or any other upline's web company, what will be your ranking on any of the search engins- will anyone be abe to find you? Will you be able to advertise your site on your own to create traffic to build your business? No, your rules and [regulations] say you can't- it must be done the "traditional Amway way" of one to one contact. You are being called an "Independant Business Owner" yet you are not allowed to advertise your [own] business!!!! According to Amway in a live braodcast on their own station the night Quixtar opened, it was stated that 850 IBO's were already suspended from this business for their illegal web pages!!!
* Gambling, sites that promote gambling or information about gambling. See alcohol and tobacco.
* Tasteless/gross, Still got that box of tissues handy? They define these as sites with bodily functions (pardon me !!!) tasteless humor, graphic medical photos and body mutilation. Ok, so no farts, no jokes about farts, no medical pictures (sorry, no research allowed for all you doctors in MLM or those students) and no earrings, tattoos, etc. Do I really have to write more on this one folks? Who the hell do these people think they are?
* Lingerie, ok, while you're all writing those e-mails to the tobacco and alcohol folks, send some more to the companies that are SUPPLYING these MLM's with the underwear that they sell. You can buy it from their catalogs but you can't visit the web sites of the manufacturers. This ISP says "models in lingerie".
* Message/ Bulletin boards, nope, not allowed, see chat
* Personal information, sites that gather information such as names, addresses or credit card numbers. Like their COMPETITION!!! Oh man, I laughed so hard at this I hurt myself.
* Profanity, ok, I had a lot of ideas for my comments on this one but I will keep these to myself.
* School cheating info, sites with information on term papers etc. Who decides what is illegal at these sites? This ISP does.
* Weapons, any site on the use of weapons, collecting of weapons or making of weapons. Does this include police training sites, hunters sites, manufacturers sites, associations sites? For you collectors out there, sorry, you can not view any web sites on your hobby or your financial investment with this ISP. (I wonder if the NRA would be interetsed in your e-mail about this folks? Maybe a couple of dozen letters will open Mr. Hestons eyes and ears.)
* Search engine results on blocked words, so you were thinking to yourself, so what, I can just [submit a search] to any of the hundred or so search engines and find my information there. WRONG, they decide what words are to be blocked. Your search engine will NOT show the results of what THEY decide you should not have access to.
Here is the icing for the cake folks: as a subscriber to this ISP you can send them the addresses of web sites that you think should be reviewed for its content so that THEY can decide to block it or not. How many Amway/Quixtar people are going to be writing about this and any other site critical of their operations? Will these sites go up for review? What is the review process? Who are the decision makers? Do you have a say in the review process of sites submitted by other subscribers? How many subscribers does it take to get a site banned from this ISP? Oh yea, if you're blocked from the site and you disagree with it, you can ask for another review, and again, the review process takes place by THEM.
Know what you're signing away when you agree to subscribe to this ISP, it might very well be your rights Under the Constitution of the United States of America.
September 10, 1999
I thought I would post my two cents worth on all the hype surrounding the Quixtar business. As a former distributor (2yrs) that quit shortly before the Quixtar plans were announced, I still maintain my AMVOX account. I am rather stunned by the hype surrounding the new DeVos and VanAndel venture. Many of the daily messages from Diamonds and Ken McDonald make very wide claims of grandeur and innovation. Here are some of the claims I have heard recently:
- Quixtar is going to revolutionize the Internet
- Quixtar is currently 1.5 times larger than MSN.com
- Quixtar received 20 million hits on 9/1/99 and continues to receive "an unheard of" (?) 10 million hits a day.
- The site will soon be hosted by 83 Compaq servers.
- The downtime exerienced on 9/1/99 was caused, according to Ken McDonald by a "silly little switch" which has since been rectified.
I think part of the harm caused by Amway/Quixtar is that most of the distrbutors believe information which is conveniently distorted or interpreted FOR THEM. Recently, I have been "lectured" by several distributors on topics regarding the Internet and Quixtar. Many of these distributors have in some cases never been online, or even owned a computer and have developed overnight into as they claim "e-commerce and Internet marketing executives". I should add that I own a traditional web design and multimedia business and have conducting Internet development projects and marketing for [more than] five years. I also write various SQL, SAP and Perle scripts for use in e-commerce.
Here is my short analysis of Quixtar:
1- Positioning: Quixtar is one of close to a million online virtual malls and ecommerce sites that carry a range of products and services. Its presence has received very limited coverage (positive and negative) from Internet and traditional media.
2- Sales Volume:
The number of hits per day is not unusual compared to other large sites. It is important to note that many of the hits logged are from existing distributors with a probable average of 4-5 hits per distributor (more if they are accessing the site routinely to show it to prospects). It should be added that raw hits do not translate into profit unless SALES ARE GENERATED (Quixtar, to my knowledge, does not conduct banner advertising or other campaigns that profit from the traffic). Furthermore, sales generated from the present distributor force can only be counted if Quixtar and Amway are on the books as one financial entity. For the founding families, the venture is not profitable if the volume generated by Amway is simply transferred to Quixtar especially given the overhead for creating the new upstart.
In addition, Quixtar is heavily dependent on retail sales generated through the client category. I find this unlikely given the present pricing and limited market for the Amway products.
It is also important to know, as many of us current and former distributors know, [adding] new distributors in the business does not equal an increase in PV/BV (most distributors don't even maintain 100 PV per month). New distributors that are remote from their upline would most probably generate even less volume as they are less exposed to the pressure of the "system".
What does the above limited analysis predict for Quixtar? Most likely one of three outcomes:
1- Quixtar will have moderate success and will continue to exist in the place of the old Amway joining the ranks of other average visibility MLM's online such as the recent NuSkin subsidiary: BigPlanet.com
2- Quixtar, will as a result of high losses, shift its presence to that of a more traditional online price club with small rebates to distributors and members for purchases thus relying less on the MLM system. Distributors would shift back greater emphasis to the Amway side of the plan.
3- Quixtar presence would be contracted out as a to other vendors to directly see their goods without rebates for distributors. This model is the event of a total failure. This would allow DeVos, VanAndel & Co. to recover some costs without loss of face from a total liquidation.
September 27, 1999
Firstly, I want to thank you for helping to spread the truth about what Amway/Quixtar really is. I have never belonged to any MLM organization and never will. I sincerely hope that those who consider such an undertaking have the common sense to thoroughly search the internet first.
I have an interesting Amway anecdote that I thought I would share with you in the hopes that you post it on your site for people to see.
I have been employed as an exotic car salesman for the last eleven years ... We have a population of about 850,000 [here in a Canadian city] at present and it's growing rapidly.
Over the last eleven years I cannot remember the actual number of times that I have been "prospected" by people involved in MLM, but it must be well over 100 times. Now with the advent of Quixtar it seems that they have really been coming out of the woodwork lately.
In the event that any people in MLM, or considering MLM, read this I would like to point out that in eleven years I have NEVER sold a Porsche, Mercedes-Benz or BMW to ANYONE involved in MLM.
The question that I have to all those "24 month millionaires" is WHAT HAPPENED PEOPLE!!! You were so confident that when you attempted to recruit me you said you'd all be retired millionaires in two years or less!!! You never came back... How come????
Let me guess... reality set it. The hype wore off. The cheque is still in the mail!!!!!!!!
Surely in eleven years SOMEONE would have made it big enough to afford a measly $120,000 CDN "after tax" to afford a new Mercedes SL500 or a Porsche 911??? I mean, after all, aren't there almost one million people in this city... surely someone out there in Amway or another MLM can afford one of my cars???
If MLM was all it's purported to be I'd have retired a wealthy man because of all the sales I'd have made to all you MLM'ers.
There's a lesson in here somewhere...
Keep up the great work on the site John.
September 30, 1999
We were "in the biz" for 2 -3 years. Everything on your site is true, true, true.
We didn't get ANY of the tools for the LONGEST time...and each month we got more and more pressure, with the EXACT quotes you highlight:
"The tools are 100% optional, but 100% necessary." and "Don't you want your business to grow? It won't without the tools!"
We *saw* the tape prices and we thought right from the beginning that *someone* had to be making the money off them!
We couldn't figure out *how* a tape that costs, say $2.00 (let's err on the side of "Them") to make could cost $6 or $7 by the time it got to us.
And we also couldn't figure out WHY in the world certain tapes were cheaper and certain ones were more expensive.
Well, NOW we know (and we always did, actually. We just didn't want to admit it to ourselves). They charged more because they could. Because WE WOULD PAY IT. And they're not *stupid*. If they can make $1 profit from each one of their distributors, they're going to do so.
We were told to "sell our furniture", if we had to, in order to have the money for the next function. I was even "counselled" to take a week off from my job, UNPAID, to go to one of those things. I told them no way forget it...and would you know it, they stopped "helping" us "work the biz". Funny, that...
And geez did we fight. ALWAYS over the "business". The last straw came when we had planned to go on a nice extended weekend vacation with my parents -- and one that was very important to them. We'd told our upline about our plans, and that we wouldn't be available that weekend...and they *seemed* to go along with it. Until about a week before.
Then, suddenly..."What do you mean you're not going to 'Free Enterprise'? Don't you want to build your business?" And then they started quoting some tape or another about cutting all ties with friends AND FAMILY that didn't "support" the business. I was just sick about it. (We did NOT go to Free Enterprise...we went to our PLANNED vacation.) I could NOT believe that this business, which was supposed to be so FAMILY oriented, was telling us to cut all ties with our families! We quit that month. It was easy: we just didn't renew our membership!
Hey, look...an extra $20 from Amway! How nice.
The truly frightening thing about the AMOs is that we *knew* they were manipulating us! We commented on their techniques: Sleep Deprivation, Constant Indoctrination, etc...and even mentioned cults and brainwashing. And we were told, "Yep, we're brainwashing you! You *need* your brain 'washed' to get out all the "negative" stuff you get during the month!" And we laughed and said that was a good thing.
We *saw* it and fell in with their line about how "good" it was. Embarassing, really. We also saw, right up front, how poorly they treat women. I was furious: the first "function" I went to, their big thing was about how women (no, actually they called us "girls") could "support our husbands" as they build the business.
Amway 101: Women As Window-Dressing
We almost quit right then and there. Too bad we didn't...but some of us take longer than others to learn....
Incidentally, I can't help but think how aptly named their "functions" are. All they are is a large, costly, time-consuming pile of ....er....."natural function".)
ARP UPDATE: Our former group, which is in the Yager - Libby - Wilson line of sponsorship, "changed" the ARP a bit. The upline orders every month for you... and your products are *tada* delivered to THEM.
If you want them shipped right to you via UPS or USPS, then you have to tack on an EXTRA shipping charge on top of the one Amway already charges you!
I don't know how far up the line that goes...but I'll bet it goes to the top...
*oh, yeah*...and the TAPES are automatically shipped to you, too. Neat, huh?
Thanks for having the courage of your convictions and keeping your site!
December 1, 1999
Amway sales slide 2nd year in a row
The Grand Rapids Press
The company is banking on its Internet mall, Quixtar.com, to help it turn things around in the year ahead. ADA
Amway Corp. is reporting a double-digit sales decline for the second year in a row.
Company sales are down 12 percent from a year ago, to $5 billion.
With a drop of 18.6 percent in 1998, Amway 's sales have plunged a total $2 billion over the past two years from a high of $7 billion.
"Every company faces challenges -- and in the past two years, we have had more than our fair share of challenges," Amway President Dick DeVos said in a prepared statement.
The news was released Wednesday, one day after a meeting of Amway 's board of directors. Following tradition, the privately held business did not disclose other details about the company's financial performance. The company noted, however, that its worldwide distributor force remains at 3 million people, unchanged from last year.
Amway 's sales have suffered partly because of economic troubles overseas. The good news is that international business is looking up, giving Amway reason for optimism. Amway 's sales figures include operations in 53 markets worldwide.
"While results for the full year were disappointing, we have been encouraged by rising sales and recruiting levels in recent months," company chairman Steve Van Andel said in a prepared statement. "These improvements indicate that we have turned the corner and are again headed toward renewed business growth."
Sales in China and other parts of Amway 's Asia Pacific region are looking better, for example. For the quarter ended Aug. 31, sales were up 9.2 percent. Sales are still disappointing in Japan, however.
For the latest quarter, sales were down 23.1 percent.
These results in far-off nations are important to Amway , which gets 70 percent of its business from outside the United States.
Fiscal 2000, which started Sept. 1, promises to be another year of transition for Amway , largely because of two key changes:
-- Amway has launched Quixtar.com, an Internet "mall" that sells thousands of goods online. Van Andel said sales via the Internet will make "notable contributions" to sales in fiscal 2000.
-- Amway 's two sister companies in Asia -- Amway Japan Ltd. and Amway Asia Pacific Ltd. -- are being privatized. The Van Andel and DeVos families are buying out the public shareholders of those two ventures.
Amway should also be a leaner company in fiscal 2000. In Wednesday's announcement, Amway said the business has reduced worldwide operating expenses by $75 million.
Amway 's work force of 12,000 employees is also 14 percent smaller than it was a year ago.
While the latest sales figure looks grim, last year's announcement of an 18.6 percent decline was more jarring.
For one thing, 1998's decline was the company's first drop since 1984. Around the same time, Amway also told employees it would shed staffers through a combination of early retirements and job cuts.
In West Michigan alone, 465 positions were affected.