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Welcome to The Anti-MLM and Anti-Amway Webring Home Page

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Our mission is to help organize the informational material regarding the MLM industry and its leader, Amway. To achieve that mission, the webring will increase traffic and awareness of each members' sites as well as serve as a "research jump-on point" for anyone looking for more information.

Many sites on the webring present material that is "negative" towards the MLM industry, but it is all very educational. We believe people should get "the whole story" (as many distributors tell new prospects to do).

All anti-MLM and anti-Amway pages are welcome to join the ring. To submit your site for consideration in the webring, simply e-mail your site's URL, title, and a brief description, as well as your real name (if you wish) to the webring administrator.

Announcement! This site is under attack from Amway.

This morning (February 6, 1999), Amway once again has set out to attack website owners. At last count, I, and four website authors (and the number is probably rising), have received subpoenas "for the production and copying of documents... which is relevant to [Amway's] civil action." (see complete text below) It is my opinion that Amway is once again under the belief that us "negative" website owners are being paid by Proctor & Gamble to spread "vicious lies" about Amway. The truth is, I have NEVER been paid one cent from P&G. Now, I'm no legal expert, but what "probable cause" does Amway have that leads them to believe I am being paid by P&G? Is this enough evidence to allow Amway to search my ENTIRE hard drive, floppy/ zip disks, and "parts of files which may have been deleted by the user"? Wouldn't this be in violation of my 4th amendment right to unreasonable search " seizure?

On side note, I really wish Amway would stop whining about a so-called "P&G conspiracy to [wreck] Amway" and start concentrating on fixing their own business. During the time I was a distributor, I learned how the Corporation does nothing to enforce its "10-customer rule"- everyone received their bonus checks despite the fact that no-one had "sold" any products or had any customers. But, I suppose Amway doesn't care about its downward-sliding reputation. Already too many people have a poor image of Amway, and these subpoenas will only further harm their reputation. As a matter of fact, of all the e-mails I have received, a few people still support the Amway business, but not a single person has written to say they support Amway's use of subpoenas. In almost every e-mail, the sender believes the subpoenas are Amway's method of either abusing the legal system or intimidating critics into silence. (Realize, though, that none of the people who have written are "legal experts" and their statements are only their opinions.)

And on a final note, it seems rather "underhanded" for a large corporation to attack people who are critical of their own business practices. After all, none of us website owners are "creating" information- we are merely making it more available than before. Much of the information has been seen before in newspapers, magazines, or on television shows. But, with the Internet, the information does not "go away" the next month- it is there for the world to see. Also, most of us have been Amway distributors and have learned first-hand about the "negative" information. And yet, when we share the information (however "negative"), we find ourselves the targets of subpoenas.

My editorial comments to the subpoena are in green.

United States District Court
Middle District of Florida


Western District of Michigan
Case Number: 1:98CV726

YOU ARE COMMANDED to produce and permit inspection and copying of the following documents or objects at the place, date, and time specified below (list documents or objects):
-See attached Exhibit A-

PLACE: Litchford & Christopher
Barnett Bank Center, Ste. 2200, 390 North Orange Avenue
Orlando, FL 32802

2/22/99 @ 9:00 a.m. or at
such other time as agreed
by the parties

Norbert F. Kugele, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, 900 Old Kent Bldg., 111 Lyon St., N.W.,
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (616) 752-2000





Amway Corporation believes that you are in possession, custody, and control of documents and other tangible things, including recordings, disks, tapes, and other electronic data compilations from which evidence can be obtained, which is relevant to the civil action pursuant to which this subpoena has been issued. ALL DOCUMENT DESTRUCTION OR RETENTION POLICIES AND PRACTICES AND ELECTRONIC FILE DELETION OR DISK MANAGEMENT PRACTICES, POLICIES OR PROTOCOLS (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO REFORMATTING OR DEFRAGMENTING PRACTICES) WHICH COULD HAVE THE EFFECT OF ALTERING OR DESTROYING INFORMATION REQUESTED BY THE SUBPOENA WHICH IS ELECTRONICALLY STORED SHOULD BE SUSPENDED UNTIL YOU ARE EXCUSED FROM THIS SUBPOENA.

Failure without adequate excuse to obey this subpoena may be punished as a contempt of the United States District Court from which this subpoena is issued.


  1. "Documents" includes, but is not limited to, the following materials: any and all papers, documents, correspondence, letters, manuals, computer disks (including floppy diskettes, zip disks, CD-ROMs, and hard drives), backup tapes, data electronically stored (including archival and backup copies of files containing data, as well as files or parts of files which may have been deleted by the user but which are nevertheless recoverable by any means) [I know this is probably a "standard definition," but just how am I supposed to produce 'parts of files' or deleted files?], other data, photographs, videos, surveys, drawings, films, schematics, other computer generated information, handwritten or typewritten notes, charts, graphs, publications, diagrams, journals, calendars, diaries, logs, log books, messages, reports, or any other papers or writings or communications or summaries thereof.
  2. "Amway" refers to Amway Corporation and any of its affiliates.
  3. "P&G" refers to The Procter & Gamble company and The Procter & Gamble Distributing Company and any of their affiliates.
  4. "P&G Attorneys" refers to Robert Heuck; Fred Hamilton; any other partners, associates or employees of Dinsmore & Shohl; Stanley Chesley, Faye Stilz, and any other partners, associates or employees of Waite, Schneider, Bayless & Chesley, LPA; any attorney who is an employee of P&G; and any other person or firm retained by P&G to prosecute or assist in any litigation between P&G and Amway, including non-lawyer consultants or experts. [Obviously, none of these names are familiar to me, and Amway has yet to provide proof of a connection between myself and these attorneys which would allow such a wide searching of my hard drive. But, I'm sure the case will be made that Sidney Schwartz is some kind of "non-paid consultant" to P&G and that I have had communication with Sidney.]
  5. "The Anti-MLM and Anti-Amway Webring Home Page" refers to materials posted electronically on the "The Anti-MLM and Anti-Amway Webring Home Page" web page located at URL: and linked pages, including archival or backup copies thereof. [Is Amway saying that their definition of my site consists of the the information found on linked pages as well? This seems just a little too broad, in my opinion.]
  6. "BLC" refers to the listserve or listserves maintained under one or more names which include the formative "blc" (as, for example, used to facilitate the exchange of electronic mail messages among Sidney Schwartz and other persons regarding Amway.
  7. "STC" refers to the listserve or listserves maintained under one or more names which include the formative "stc" (as, for example, used to facilitate the exchange of electronic mail messages among Sidney Schwartz and other persons regarding Amway. [Both the BLC and STC are private message boards. Amway does not cite any kind of proof that my name is on either of these lists, and yet they ask for any messages I have sent to/ received from the listserve.]
  1. All documents, including electronically stored information and documents in whatever form, received by you from P&G or any P&G attorney regarding Amway or any Amway distributor;
  2. All documents, including electronically stored information and documents in whatever form sent by you to P&G or any P&G Attorneys regarding Amway or any Amway distributor. [I believe it's up to Amway to prove whether or not I have been in communication with P&G (I never have.)]
  3. All documents containing, referring or relating to any discussions or communications between you and P&G or any P&G Attorneys regarding Amway or any Amway distributor, including telephone records, for the past four years; [Again, Amway should prove 1. that I have actually been in contact with P&G and 2. that such documents even exist!]
  4. All documents pertaining to The Anti-MLM and Anti-Amway Webring Home Page; [And what do they mean by "all documents pertaining to?" That seems a little vague, in my opinion.]
  5. All documents reflecting your source of the materials posted on The Anti-MLM and Anti-Amway Webring Home Page; [If you take a look at this site, there are not much "materials posted." And, what do they mean by "all documents?" This also seems a little vague, in my opinion.]
  6. All documents referring or relating to discussions or communications between you and any person subscribing to BLC for the past four years;
  7. All documents referring or relating to discussions or communications between you and any person subscribing to STC for the past four years; [I know I'm no legal expert, but don't they have to prove I actually subscribed to these listserves before requesting documents? Or is Amway "fishing" for information?]
  8. All documents containing electronic-mail communications (or any excerpts thereof) authored or received by you during the last four years in which the word "Amway" is mentioned; [Four years ago?! Let's slow down a little bit here!! First of all, I was an ACTIVE distributor (with an ACTIVE e-mail account) from March 1996 to January 1998. I sent PLENTY of e-mails to people in that time trying to build my AMWAY business. Does Amway want those communications, as well? Of course, the point is moot since I deleted any remaining messages when I quit the business... over a year ago!]
  9. Checks, check copies, deposit slips and other records reflecting the receipt of money or other funds or credits from P&G or any P&G Attorneys; [I had originally stated that, once again, there is no connection between myself and P&G. But, in an e-mail from Litchford & Christopher (dated 2/19/99), they state "Amway has no interest in reviewing [my] Quicken files or other personal financial records." and "Norbert Kugele is endeavoring to determine... if [the] search [of my hard drive] can somehow be designed to avoid [my] Quicken files altogether." ((For people who don't know, Quicken is the financial software that I use to keep track of my bank and credit card accounts.)) Since this e-mail comes from Amway's local attorneys, are the documents is this item, then, no longer requested? And if Amway is not interested in financial records (which would be serious evidence of a "P&G connection"), what are they really looking for?]
  10. Records of meetings, telephone conferences and memoranda reflecting meetings or discussions with P&G or any P&G Attorneys; [Do I have to say it yet again- could Amway PLEASE produce proof that there is ANY connection between myself and P&G??]
  11. Records of meetings, telephone conferences and memoranda reflecting meetings or discussions with persons subscribing to BLC or STC; [Again, I believe Amway has to prove that I subscribed to these listserves before they request these documents.]
  12. All other documents authored or received by you during the last four years regarding Amway or any Amway distributor; [Four years ago?? Okay- but don't say I didn't warn them! I would like to enter into record, at this time, the following documents, I received, that 'regard' "Amway" when I was an ACTIVE distributor: the sales and marketing kit, the business manual, the product order forms, some audio tapes, etc. (I don't think I need to go on). And of course, there are the "famous" responses (from Amway themselves) to my request for product refunds when I quit the business. I would also like to enter into the record how Amway gave me the "runaround" instead of promptly refunding my money. As for documents that 'regard' distributors, I would like to enter into the record that I received "documents" from (Emerald) Steve Selznick, (Diamond) Charlie Krazit, and (Double Diamond) Hal Gooch. Hmmm, since they were in contact with me within the past four years, I wonder if they can provide documentation of their meetings with P&G?]
  13. All electronically stored files or parts of files containing any of the information requested in any of the preceding items which have been "deleted" by you but which may be nevertheless be recoverable by any means; [Amway wants me to produce "deleted" files? Sure thing, I always keep a record of the files I've deleted... especially over the past four years! C'mon! Is this item for real??]
  14. A complete "mirror" copy of each of your disks, tapes or other electronic storage media which contains any of the information requested in the preceding items. Amway will enter into a reasonable protective order to preserve the confidentiality of your information not relevant to this litigation. [First, they have requested a "mirror copy of each of [my] disks", something I don't even have. And, second, I'm supposed to believe that the plaintiff (Amway) will "[reasonably] protect... the confidentiality of [my] information?!" They have wrongfully accused me of working with P&G, and they expect me to believe that they will keep my hard-drive information secret? I find that hard to believe.]

New Developments

Sunday, February 7, 1999 (morning)

I notify all the members of this WebRing to make sure they are aware of Amway's subpoena and to alert them to the possibility that they too could be served a subpoena.

Monday, February 8, 1999 (morning)

I contact the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Miami, Florida. They are sending me "official" paperwork so I can file a complaint.

Monday, February 8, 1999 (evening)

I re-submit this website to the major Internet search engines to generate publicity for this situation.

Tuesday, February 9, 1999 (morning)

I meet with a private attorney in downtown Orlando: [Jim Lussier of Mateer & Harbert, P.A; Landmark Center Two - Suite 600; 225 E. Robinson Street; P O Box 2854; Orlando, FL 32802; 407-425-9044]. He explained what the subpoena meant in "layman's terms." He also pointed out that as long as Amway could prove a "thread" between myself and P&G, then the subpoena is acceptable. In this case, Amway probably considers Sidney Schwartz a "consultant" (of some sort), and since Amway can prove(?) I had e-mail communications with Sidney, Amway is within their rights to serve me a subpoena. Because of this, my attorney and I decided that the best course of action is to comply with the subpoena.

It is now official- I am spending my OWN money to defend myself against Amway, in a lawsuit that I am not even a "material party." As I start to spend money to keep Amway and their attorneys "at bay," when do I decide that I've spent enough? As it is, I don't really have the money available to put up the best defense possible for 2 reasons: 1) I am still paying back the credit card debts that I created while I was in the business, and 2) Amway has the resources to almost continually file new legal motions. Unfortunately, there is no "legal defense fund" to assist individuals in their defense against corporations' legal filings.

Tuesday, February 9, 1999 (evening)

I cash the $63.00 check that came attached to the subpoena. My attorney had explained that this was a $60.00 "deposition" fee and $3.00 for mileage. The check isn't a "payment" for any of my "services," but is legally required to accompany the subpoena.

Thursday, February 11, 1999

I learn that the P&G attorneys have filed a Motion to Dismiss this case. A court date to hear the motion has been set for some time in April. I also learn that they have filed a "Motion to Delay/ Disallow Discovery" (including any information that could be gathered from subpoenas) while the motion to dismiss is under effect.

Saturday, February 13, 1999

I send out e-mails to companies whose products are found in Amway's catalogs. I ask them to "reconsider [their] business relations with the Amway Corporation."

Thursday, February 18, 1999

I finish completing the ACLU complaint paperwork and mail it back to the Miami, Florida office.

Friday, February 19, 1999 (morning)

Jim Lussier (my attorney) offers a "compromise"- we will provide Amway with a ZIP disk with the "relevant" material (e-mail folder, website folder, and website "support" folders) and all the paperwork from the time when I was a distributor. Later in the day, my attorney tells me that Amway's local attorneys (Litchford & Christopher, PA; Barnett Bank Center, Suite 2200; 390 N. Orange Ave.; Orlando, FL 32801) have not agreed to the compromise. My attorney explains that the only way I will be complying with the subpoena would be for Amway's attorneys to take a copy of my hard drive. I am told that Amway's attorneys will have an electronic company come to my house, hook something up to my computer, and copy the entire hard drive. This company will then run a search program on the data on my hard drive (existing, deleted, and fragmented data) to find anything that they consider "relevant" to the case. After that, I would be able to review the data they collected and could "veto" anything I don't want entered into the court record. Of course, Amway's attorneys have the power to override my "veto."

Friday, February 19, 1999 (evening)

I receive the following e-mail from Amway's attorney in Michigan. (I am assuming it is real, as e-mail headers can be easily faked.) I guess they're getting impatient to get everyone's hard drives!

From: Norbert F. Kugele
To: John Hoagland
Subject: Amway Subpoena

Mr. Hoagland,

I am an attorney representing Amway Corporation. I apologize for resorting to email, but am not sure how else to get a hold of you or your attorney.

I note from your website that you intend to comply with the subpoena. The date your records are to be produced is Monday, February 22. I am arranging for our technical consultant, Electronic Evidence Discovery, Inc., to come to Orlando to take an image of the records on your computer. Would you like to have this done at the offices of our local counsel in Orlando, or at your home? Also, I need some basic information about your computer to assure that we can do this properly the first time.

Please have your attorney contact me at (616) 752-2186. Alternatively, your attorney can contact Amway's local counsel, Don Christopher, at 422-6600.

Norbert Kugele
Attorney for Amway Corporation

Friday, February 19, 1999 (evening)

I am forwarded the following e-mail sent from Amway's local attorney in Florida to my attorney. From the sound of the third paragraph, these attorneys are getting impatient as well. I suppose 2 weeks is too long for them to wait (from the time I was served on 2/6/99 to the date of this e-mail, 2/19/99). Or are they worried that P&G's "Motion to Dismiss/ Disallow Discovery" will be heard before any attorneys can copy any hard drives?

From: Jim Lussier
To: John Hoagland
Subject: FW: Amway Corporation / Amway v. Procter & Gamble, Internet Website Matter (04143)

--------Original Message-------

From: Donald E. Christopher
To: Jim Lussier
Subject: Amway Corporation / Amway v. Procter & Gamble, Internet Website Matter (04143)

Attached is a proposed form of protective order. We are agreeable to modifying this as necessary in order to satisfy your client's privacy concerns. Amway has no interest in reviewing his Quicken files or other personal financial records. My co-counsel, Norbert Kugele is endeavoring to determine from Electronic Evidence Discovery, Inc., the independent vendor who will copy an image of Hoagland's hard drive, if there is some work-around to the problem you identified and if their search can somehow be designed to avoid your client's Quicken files altogether. In the meantime, however, Amway is anxious to have EED get the image of your client's hard drive as soon as possible. We are presently determining if arrangements can be made to do it first thing on Tuesday morning, February 23, 1999. Once the image has been obtained, then we can proceed in a more leisurely fashion to work out the details of the search and address your client's privacy concerns. EED will hold the image and will not disclose its contents to Amway or anyone else until further joint direction from us. Your client will be free to change or delete anything on his computer after the image is taken. Before that time however we do not believe it would be appropriate for him to do anything which might cause the loss of relevant data.

As I told you, EED is prepared to come to his home or whatever other location he may have his computer. They will need to remove the case to access the hard drive, but the imaging process will not alter or destroy any information on the machine. They will also need a free electrical outlet to power their equipment. In order for EED to have the proper equipment on hand to quickly make the image, I ask that you provide me with the following information concerning Mr. Hoagland's system: the make of his computer, the processor type and speed, the operating software in use on the machine, the type and size of the hard drive(s), the type and size of any ZIP drives or other storage devices, and specifications for any back-up devices and back-up software.

We look forward to working with you cooperatively to complete this discovery. We insist that adequate arrangements be made by Monday morning for EED to secure an image of Mr. Hoagland's hard drive no later than Tuesday morning. If we are not able to do so, then I will be constrained to file a motion to compel with the court. Based on our conversation, I do not think that will become necessary, but I nevertheless want you to emphasize to your client the urgency with which Amway views this matter.
Sincerely yours,

Donald E. Christopher
Litchford & Christopher
Professional Association
Orlando, Florida
(407) 422-6600

Monday, February 22, 1999 (morning)

After talking to my attorney, we decide that the best (actually, the least expensive) course of action would be to allow Amway to copy my hard drive. However, their attorneys (and EED) would have to sign a very strict confidentiality agreement. The agreement states that Amway's attorneys, my attorney, and I would all have to agree on what the search terms will be, before the search is run. Then, EED will do its search and report their findings to both Amway and my attorney. I then have the right to disallow certain folders and files (such as my "Quicken" and "business" files).

I ask my attorney how much this situation would cost me if I had decided to completely fight the subpoena. He said the costs could range anywhere from $500 to $3,000. His advice was to "let someone with deeper pockets fight it out." I still believe this subpoena is both morally and ethically wrong, as well as legally questionable. But, as I am quickly learning, the legal party with the most money will get his way.

Thursday, February 25, 1999 (morning)

I receive a copy of the final, executed Stipulated Protective Order (via fax) from my attorney. Amway's attorney (Norbert Kugele) my attorney (Jim Lussier), and a representative from EED (Rae Collier) all sign this agreement.

  Western District of Michigan
Plaintiff, Case No. 1:98CV726



Amway Corporation ("Amway"), through its attorneys, and John Hoagland, through his attorney, hereby agree to the following restrictions with respect to Amway's Subpoena to John Hoagland:
  1. Amway has retained Electronic Evidence Discovery, Inc. ("EED") to perform services involving retrieval of electronic information from Mr. Hoagland's personal computer pursuant to subpoena. Amway is responsible for EED's compliance with the terms of this Stipulated Protective Order, and shall be liable to Mr. Hoagland for any breach by EED of the limitations on the use of the electronic information it acquires from Mr. Hoagland's personal files. An authorized officer or representative of EED will sign a copy of this Stipulated Protective Order prior to being allowed access to Mr. Hoagland's personal computer, acknowledging its terms and EED's promise to comply herewith.
  2. At 6:00 p.m. on the day after the execution of this Stipulated Protective Order by Counsel for Amway and Mr. Hoagland, or at 6:00 p.m on any weekday within five days thereafter, the minimum of EED personnel may visit Mr. Hoagland's home for the sole purpose, and for only the time necessary, to image Mr. Hoagland's current hard drive contents. (I will admit that the requirements of this item were met- only one technician came to my apartment and was there only long enough to image my hard drive.) No Amway attorneys or employees may attend. EED and Amway shall be responsible for any damage done to Mr. Hoagland's property that is caused by the imaging of his hard drive. After the imaging is complete, Mr. Hoagland will inspect his equipment and, if he determines that there is no damage, he will sign a written release. If he discovers any damage, he will provide a written description of the damage. If the mere performance of the imaging work violates any equipment warranties, Amway and EED shall be responsible for the cost of any subsequent warranty repair work Mr. Hoagland's equipment may require which is no longer covered by the existing warranties as a result of such warranty violations. In such case, Mr. Hoagland will provide a copy of the warranty that has been violated and a written estimate of the repair work prior to the performance of the work. At its option, Amway or EED may elect to replace a damaged component or computer with a comparable new unit. (After talking to the technician and watching what he did, this clause of the Protective Order was not even needed. I felt comfortable with the technician's actions and did not feel it was necessary to sign a release. I believe this item was added since the attorneys didn't know the specifics of the imaging process... and never bothered to ask EED.)
  3. EED will maintain the image of Mr. Hoagland's current hard drive on an "EED Eyes Only" basis until Amway and Mr. Hoagland reach agreement as to the appropriate terms that will be used for the searches that will be run on the image. If Amway and Mr. Hoagland fail to agree on the appropriate scope by March 8, 1999, Amway may petition the court to resolve the issue of the appropriate terms that will be used for the searches that will be run on the image. (And this is the section of the Protective Order is violating by issuing their updated list of search terms on March 30- more than 3 weeks after the original deadline!) Amway will make specific provision in the search parameters to avoid production by EED of Mr. Hoagland's personal finance files, in his "Quicken" and "COC" databases. If search terms are found in the "Quicken" and "COC" databases, EED may inspect the files on an "Eyes Only" basis to verify that the files are merely personal financial files. If EED determines that the "Quicken" and "COC" files contain only personal financial information these files will not be produced to Amway or its attorneys. (I wonder if Amway realizes that, by agreeing to this item, they are "voiding" "Documents Requested, Item #9," of the subpoena- the one that asks for financial documents.)
  4. While the scope of the searches are being determined, EED will not make any copies of the hard drive image (except as may be necessary for back-up purposes) and will not forward to anyone else any copy of the hard drive image or of any of its contents.
  5. Once the search terms have been determined, EED will perform a Boolean search of the image of the current hard drive contents.
  6. After EED has performed the Boolean search, EED will produce to Amway's attorneys only those specific documents or fragments containing the search terms as determined under Paragraph 3 above. A copy of all such produced items shall be given simultaneously to counsel for Mr. Hoagland on a disc in standard format. (As of April 5, I have still not received any items from Amway or EED. Nor do I know if the search has even been conducted.)
  7. If a Protective Order barring this discovery is entered by any court, EED will suspend all searches and will hold the image and search results until authorized to release it to Amway when and if further discovery is allowed in the case. If, by an order of the court that has become final, discovery of this material is disallowed permanently or the case is dismissed with prejudice, or if the case is otherwise finally resolved, then EED will destroy the copied image and report having done so to counsel for both parties.
  8. This Stipulated Protective Order may be filed with the Court for enforcement by any aggrieved party, and the Court is specifically requested by the parties to honor and enforce its terms.

    February 24, 1999

    Norbert F. Kugele (P47084)

    James R. Lussier


    Electronic Evidence Discovery, Inc., by and through its undersigned authorized officer or representative, hereby agrees to be bound by the terms of the above Stipulated Protective Order.

    Rae B. Collier
    Vice President, Litigation Services

Thursday, February 25, 1999 (evening)

A technician from EED arrives at my place to "image" my hard drive. Unlike what the attorneys have been saying (including: the process will take 12 to 16 hours, the "machine" will have to left on overnight, the technician will have to finish the job the next day at 6am, etc.) the technician was here for about an hour and a half. He connected a large-capacity SCSI drive and ZIP drive to my computer's SCSI port, rebooted, and made a "disk image" of my hard drive. The "image" contains all of the physical data on the drive- everything from the files in use to the "unallocated" blocks. He then checked the image to be sure it was accurate and then disconnected his equipment. I then check my computer to make sure everything works fine. (The technician said that, in a great majority of the time, no "damage" is done to the drive.) After he was sure the image was good and I was sure my computer was fine, he packed up his equipment and left.

Wednesday, March 3, 1999 (morning)

I receive the following fax from my attorney (which he received from Amway's attorneys):

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP

Mr. James Lussier
(address of his lawfirm)

Re: Subpoena of John Hoagland

Dear Mr. Lussier:

Per the Stipulated Protective Order of February 24, 1999, I am proposing the following search terms to be run on the image of Mr. Hoagland's hard drive:

Amway Waite
Scamway Schnieder
P&G Bayless
Procter BLC
Proctor STC
Gamble Schwartz
Gambel Sidney
Hueck Saggio
Hamilton Wilkes
Dinsmore Brunjes
Shohl Lowndes
Stephenson Hoagland
Farrell Midgett
Dykema Roberts
Gossett Tosp
Chesley Conrad
Stilz Carter
The Other Side of the Plan Amway: The Untold Story
The Nightmare Builders MLM Survivors Home Page
Lowndes for US Congress An Insider's Perspective
Ask an Emerald
aismidgett@ ECZQ78A@
smw358@ legend@
schwartz@ gsaxton@
Welcome to Amway, The Continuing Story  
Welcome To The Anti-MLM and Anti-Amway Webring Homepage
(I have removed the full e-mail address as people, including John S. Ureke, have sent e-mails to these addresses.)

These terms constitute either variations on the names of Amway and Procter & Gamble, the names of attorneys representing Procter & Gamble, the names and addresses of various individuals that Mr. Hoagland may have been in contact with regarding Amway, and the names of various web sites that relate to Amway. EED will use these search terms to identify files to be extracted from the image for production to Amway.

Please let me know by March 8, 1999, whether you have any objection to the use of these search terms so that I may file an appropriate motion with the court. Otherwise, I will schedule EED to run the searches. A copy of the extracted files will also be sent to you, per our Stipulated Protective Order. (By the time they updated their search list on March 30, I still did not know if EED had been "schedule[d] to run the searches" or not. Nor had I received a "copy of the extracted files!")

Very truly yours

Norbert F. Kugele

Via facsimile

c: Donald Christopher (via fax)
  Rae Collier (EED)
  Michael Mohr (This is the Amway's main attorney, who hasn't had a part in this subpoena process.)
  Catherine Lyne,

Wednesday, March 3, 1999 (afternoon)

My attorney contacts me to make sure I had received the fax he had sent. He also tells me that he is close to completing my bill. So far, he estimates that his services will cost me just over $1,900!! His original estimate was around $500. He said that, due to his many telephone conversations and e-mails with Amway's attorneys, he has spent more time on my case than he had originally thought he would. I ask him if there is any way we can ask a court to order Amway to re-coop my costs, but he says that there has to be "proof" of legal abuse on Amway's part. And, since proving any kind of abuse would cost me much more than $1,900, he recommends against seeking such a court order. He did not apologize for his fees and also reiterated that the costs are "part of the U.S. legal system."

Thursday, March 4, 1999 (afternoon)

My attorney and I decide Amway's search terms are "acceptable." Of course, if they decide to look for my own last name on my own hard drive, they'll find all kinds of irrelevant information (such as software licenses, etc.).

My attorney (Jim Lussier) agrees to reduce his fees- I will now be billed $1,068.50 for his services, which includes almost $45.00 in fax and copying charges (for a total bill of $1,318.50). This is in addition to the $250.00 I have already paid him as a retainer. He claims that this price is a "$500 - $600 savings [on his regular fee]," but, again, this is an expense that I should never have had to incur. It is one matter to spend money to defend yourself in a legal case, but it is an entirely different matter when you are a "side-line" in a corporation versus corporation lawsuit.

Friday, March 5, 1999

I discover that P&G's "Motion to Dismiss/ Disallow Discovery" has been rejected by the courts. This means that Amway is still legally entitled to file subpoenas and collect evidence to support their arguments.

I also discover that at least one other subpoenaed-person has "lost" his "fight" and has allowed Amway (or EED?) to take a copy of his hard drive.

Monday, March 15, 1999

I receive an e-mail from a local newspaper reporter (Susan Strother of the Orlando Sentinel) who is looking to do a story on this situation.

Wednesday, March 17, 1999

I have a lengthy phone interview with Susan Strother and give her my story.

Monday, March 22, 1999

I mail a letter to Amway attorney Norbert Kugele "request[ing a] reimbursement for my attorney fees involved in [this] case." My reasoning is: "Since a subpoena is a legal matter, I felt it necessary to have legal representation. Amway is the plaintiff in this case and should, therefore, reimburse me for my legal expenses associated with the collection of evidence for their case." Now, it is only a matter of time until I learn if Kugele will be a "decent guy" and reimburse me, or he won't.

Sunday, March 29, 1999

The Orlando Sentinel publishes Susan Strother's/ my story (and a full-color photograph of me ) on the front page of the Business section. Click here to see the online version of this story.

Tuesday, March 30, 1999

I receive an e-mail from Amway's attorneys, forwarded by my attorney, about my request for a reimbursement for my legal costs. Kugele's response is:

I have gotten a letter from Mr. Hoagland requesting reimbursement of his legal fees. I am forwarding this request to Amway for Amway's determination, but quite honestly I think Amway will deny his request. I will forward the response once I hear from Amway.

Attached to that e-mail is an updated list of search terms (in 'Word' format). Most of the terms have already been agreed upon, but the entire last section, "Parties in other litigation" is brand-new. It should be interesting to see how Amway can prove how the terms in "Parties in other litigation" can be relevant to this case. (They're not, but don't tell Amway or they may come up with more search terms to further violate the privacy of my hard drive.)

I have tried to identify as many terms as I could, but there are some names I have never heard before.
Variations on party names
(Amway Corporation's legal name)
(name variation found on many sites)
(name variation found on Sidney Schwartz's website, created after the subpoenas were issued)
(Procter & Gamble's legal abbreviation)
(Procter & Gamble's legal name)
(name variation)
(Procter & Gamble's legal name)
(name variation)
Names of P&G attorneys/law firms
(as I have had no contact with any of these people, I assume that they actually P&G attorneys)
Names of individuals/groups thought to be in contact with
(at least they removed my own name from this list!)
(a private listserv)
(a private listserv)
(last name of a critical-website owner)
(first name of a critical-website owner)
(last name of an Amway critic)
(last name of a critical-website owner)
(last name of an Amway critic)
(last name of a critical-website owner)
(last name of a critical-website owner)
(last name of an Amway critic)
(I don't recognize this name)
(last name of an Amway critic)
(last name of a critical-website owner)
Names of websites
(All of these sites are critical of the Amway business. Of course, Amway doesn't care if I've been "in contact" with any "positive" sites.)
The Other Side of The Plan
Amway: The Untold Story
The Nightmare Builders
MLM Survivors Home Page
Lowndes for US Congress
An Insider's Perspective
Welcome to Amway, The Continuing Story
(this is my own site)
Welcome To The Anti-MLM and Anti-Amway Webring Homepage
(This is my own site, also. So, they want to search my hard drive for my own website files? In my opinion, that's absurd!)
Ask an Emerald
(This site was created by active Emerald-level distributor, who, apparently, was too critical of the business.)
Email addresses
(All of these terms are the e-mail addresses of people critical of Amway. I have removed the full e-mail address.)
(as far as I know, this person has been "retired" from criticizing Amway... for at least a year- long before this lawsuit was filed.)
Parties in other litigation
(I believe that this term is "Arista Records," one of the plaintiffs in the "RIAA vs. Amway Corp." lawsuit. This case was settled in early 1998, long before Amway's lawsuit against P&G. How does this term have any relevance to this lawsuit?)
Parties in other litigation (cont.)
(An Amway Diamond-level distributor. How does this term have any relevance to this lawsuit?)
(Randy Haugen- an Amway Diamond-level distributor. He was a defendant in the recent P&G vs Amway case in Utah, which was recently dismissed.)
(This person is one of the plaintiffs in the "Hayden vs. Amway Corp." lawsuit. This case is still being heard in Connecticut. How does this term have any relevance to this lawsuit?)
(An Amway Diamond-level distributor. How does this term have any relevance to this lawsuit?)
(This person is one of the plaintiffs in the "Morrison vs. Amway Corp." lawsuit. This case is still being heard in Texas. How does this term have any relevance to this lawsuit?)
Parties in other litigation (cont.)
(I believe that this term is the abbreviation for "Recording Industry Association of America," one of the plaintiffs in the "RIAA vs. Amway Corp." lawsuit. This case was settled in early 1998, long before Amway's lawsuit against P&G. How does this term have any relevance to this lawsuit?)
(Kenny Stewart- an Amway Diamond-level distributor. How does this term have any relevance to this lawsuit?)
(An Amway Diamond-level distributor. How does this term have any relevance to this lawsuit?)
(This person is one of the plaintiffs in the "Touchton vs. Amway Corp." lawsuit. This case is still being heard in Utah (I believe). How does this term have any relevance to this lawsuit?)
(Doug Wead- a diamond in Yager's organization and erstwhile candidate for the US House of Representatives from Arizona (he lost on the last go round). He also was part of the Bush campaign in 1988. How does this term have any relevance to this lawsuit?)
(Sidney Weintraub- an EDC who built his business entirely on MCI signups. His brother, Seth, is also a Diamond. How does this term have any relevance to this lawsuit?)
(An Amway Diamond-level distributor. How does this term have any relevance to this lawsuit?)

Thursday, April 1, 1999

My attorney and I agree that Amway is in violation of the Stipulated Protection Order that everyone has signed, including: Amway's attorney (Norbert Kugele) my attorney (Jim Lussier), and a representative from EED (Rae Collier). In this Order, we agreed that Amway and I would come to a final decision about the search terms by March 8. In fact, Amway's attorneys threatened to get a court order if I did not agree to their search terms by this deadline! Now, March 30th, Amway wants to add to their list of terms.

My attorney's response is:

Amway's request to revise the search terms list is in violation of the Stipulated Protective Order. In the interest of completing this exercise, my client will agree to this one-time-only modification. If any more changes are sought, file a motion.

Sunday, April 3, 1999 (evening)

I add a section to my main website asking people to consider donating money to help create a legal defense fund. This fund would assist people who need help with their legal costs. Click here to go to read more about it.

Friday, April 9, 1999

I receive two items from my attorney: 1) a bill for another $68.32 for dealing with the updated list of terms (for a total bill of $1,386.82), and 2) a response from Norbert Kuegele (to my attorney), which reads as follows:

Dear Mr. Lussier:

I have received your e-mail approving the modification of the list of search terms. While I disagree that the request to revise the search terms was a violation of the Stipulated Protective Order, I nonetheless appreciate your agreement to the modification. (But if, around the 30th, I had asked to have some terms deleted from the list, would they have allowed it? I somehow doubt it very much.) I would also hope that if I propose any additional search terms in the future that we could work out an agreement without my first having to file a motion with the court. (Let me just say this, "for the record"- I believe that Amway's updated list terms is COMPLETELY in violation of the Stipulated Protective Order which stated that all parties must agree to finalize the search list by March 8. And now, Kugele thinks Amway may want to further update the terms again, even after they have ordered EED to run the search? And also, "for the record," if Amway wants to search my hard drive for more irrelevant terms, I will not be allowing it- they will have to convince a judge why they believe their new terms are, indeed, relevant to this case of Amway vs. P&G... and why they neglected to include these terms in their TWO previous lists.)

Now that we have determined the search terms that will be run on the hard drive image, I have directed EED to perform the search per the Stipulated Protective Order. EED will provide to you a copy of the search results, which should be readable in Word 97.

I have also had a chance to discuss with Amway Mr. Hoagland's request that Amway reimburse him for his attorney's fees. As I expected, Amway has decided that it will not reimburse Mr. Hoagland for these fees. (As I expected, neither Amway nor Kugele will be a "nice guy" and reimburse me for my costs to respond to this subpoena. But, then again, if they were "nice guys," they would not be issuing subpoenas grasping for evidence that supports their "'P&G is out to get us' conspiracy theory.")

Please call if you have any questions.

Saturday, May 1, 1999

I receive the list of search terms from EED. There is an index (in the form of an Excel spreadsheet) which lists which terms were found in which files. It is interesting to note that EED found 378 'documents' that contained the search terms- 377 of which are "deleted files." It is also interesting to note that the "people's last names" that EED found were in my comic book database... in other words, the names are not P&G employees, but comic book artists.

The bottom line is that EED found NOTHING that links me with P&G, their employees, or their attorneys. But, I suppose it's Amway's option to waste its own time and energy trying to prove their "conspiracy theory."

Monday, May 3, 1999

I learn that one of the subpoenaed people has had his court hearing on whether Amway should be able to search his hard drive. Ashley Wilkes brought a motion before the District Court to not let Amway search his hard drive. The judge ruled that Amway's search of Ashley's hard drive would be a "burden" as well as "irrelevant" to this case of Amway vs. P&G. So, even though I agreed to let Amway search my hard drive, it seems that I could have disallowed the search. Of course, I don't know what Ashley's legal bills are, but, in my opinion, he has "won."

Thursday, May 6, 1999

I receive another bill from my attorney for $84.25 (for a total bill of $1,471.07). This price is now going WAY beyond what I had ever expected to spend on this matter!

Tuesday, May 11, 1999

I receive the following letter from the ACLU of Florida, Miami office:

Dear Mr. Hoagland,

Thank you for your recent letter.

However, because your situation did not occur in the state of Florida, but in Michigan, we are sending your file to the ACLU of Michigan.

They should respond to your complaint within six weeks. Please direct any further inquiries to the ACLU of Michigan at:

ACLU of Michigan
1249 Washington Blvd Suite 2910
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 961-1662

Thank you,


Eduardo Trocha
Intake Coordinator

cc: ACLU of Michigan

Friday, June 4, 1999

I receive the following letter from the ACLU of Michigan:

Dear Mr. Hoagland,

This is in response to your recent request for ACLU assistance.

The American Civil Liberties Union is a private, non-profit membership organization which seeks to preserve and extend constitutional rights through participation in legislation, litigation and public education. Our involvement in most cases (either through direct representation or amicus curiae intervention) usually results in a change in law or policy. You may know that the ACLU is a volunteer organization with extremely limited resources. This means we must be selective about the cases in which we choose to become involved.

From our review of your correspondence, it does not appear that your case is one for which we can provide assistance. This is not to say that you do not have a legitimate complaint, but that it falls outside the scope of our activity.

Thank you for contacting the American Civil Liberties Union.

Very truly yours,

(The rest of the letter is handwritten)
S Burns

Your letter indicated that you are represented by counsel; if your attorney feels it is appropriate, please have him/her contact us directly.

Thursday, August 20, 1999

Ruth Carter (the author of The MLM Survivor's Homepage) releases the book "AMWAY Motivational Organizations: Behind the Smoke and Mirrors" (Backstreet Publishing). From the book's 'home page':

Ruth Carter spent 15 years as an Amway distributor. During most of that time she was completely imersed in her upline's Motivational Organization. She also spent nearly five years working for her upline Diamond in his office. Only then did she witness the trickery, deception, and unethical behavior that pervades the Amway Motivational Organizations, or AMOs. This book reveals the truth behind the smoke and mirrors of the Amway motivational business.

Click here to go to the book's home page where you can read a sample chapter or place an order.

Thursday, May 18, 2000

I mail a letter to Ms. Judy Childs (Amway Corporation Legal Department) requesting that I be compensated for the time lost from work due to their subpoena. I am claiming that I lost 12.5 hours due to meetings with my attorney (both in his office and on the telephone), taken directly from his billing. The total charge for my lost time totals over $350.00.

Friday, May 26, 2000

I receive a letter from Ms. Catherine C. Lynem (on official Amway Legal Division letterhead):

Dear Mr. Hoagland:

We received your letter requesting compensation for lost time related to the subpoena you received regarding the above-referenced matter.

In order to process your request, we need either your social security number or employer I.D. number. Once we receive this information, your request can be processed. If you prefer to e-mail or fax the information so as not to hold up the check issuing process, you can fax it to the attention of my secretary, Judy Childs, at (616) 787-7813 or e-mail her at

Very truly yours,

Catherine C. Lynem
Senior Corporate Counsel/Litigation
(616) 787-0247

I'm not really sure why they need my social security number to process my check, but I will send it to them so it won't "hold up the check issuing process." On the other hand, they were fairly speedy about answering my letter since I received a response approximately two weeks after I wrote to them.

Tuesday, May 30, 2000

I attempt to fax my social security number to Ms. Childs at (616) 787-7813. The phone rings once and then a voice message comes on the line: "You've reached Bob and Wendy's voice-mail. We can't come to phone right now, but if you'll leave your name and number and a brief message..."
When I get home from work, I send an e-mail to Ms. Childs (with my social security number) and tell her that the fax number is not working.

Friday, June 23, 2000

I receive a check, in the amount of $360.00 from the Amway Corporation for "compensation". Using their own logic, I suppose this means I am now a "paid consultant" for the Amway Corporation. After all, if Amway (and their attorneys) claim that Sidney Schwartz was a "consultant" for P&G since he was reimbursed for his troubles, I guess I could now be considered a "consultant" for Amway!

Wednesday, February 14, 2001... two years later...

I receive a call this afternoon from my attorney saying that Amway would like to take my deposition regarding the same case. This is the same case in which they issued me a subpoena, broke their own rules about reaching an agreement by a certain date, and took an image of my hard drive... and which they found NOTHING to support their claim that I was receiving information and/or funds from P&G. And yes, this is the same case that occurred two (2) years ago!

I will be talking with my attorney tomorrow and finding out what is going on (and posting the information here).

Thursday, February 15, 2001 and Friday, February 16, 2001

My attorney and I exchange voice messages with each other. Since he's out of the office when I call and I'm away from my desk when he calls, I have no new information about this deposition.

Wednesday, February 21, 2001

My attorney and I finally have a chance to talk about the latest developments, although at this point, he has about as much information as I do. We agree that he will continue to represent me in this case and he'll try to get as much information as he can (including contacting the P&G attorneys for possible representation from them).

Monday, February 26, 2001

My attorney and talk again. He has learned that this deposition is from the same case as before and that it will be going to trial in October. He also told me that a subpoena was issued, on Friday, February 23, 2001 for my deposition... and that I should expect the process server to arrive at any time.

He also tells me that, in most cases, depositions are very hard to fight- especially if the person is not a "material" witness. He also gives me a little more detail about what to expect at a deposition: he thinks that there will be a number of Amway's attorneys and some of P&G's attorneys who will (both) ask questions. He said that, legally, depositions can go as long as 7 hours in one sitting, but, depending on the questions asked, it could be significantly shorter. He also told me to think about having an attorney of my own at the deposition (but it not was "required"). Although a person can't "object" to a question (like in a trial), having an attorney there would be beneficial- both for his experience and for peace of mind. However, I would have to pay to have an attorney present.

What this really means is that I, once again, have to spend money for an attorney to advise me on these legal matters and I have to miss work to respond to this case. It makes me wonder if Amway's attorneys really want information from me or is this just a way to "wear me down"? Or is it a case of Amway's attorneys wanting more money from their client? After all, they could have taken my deposition two years ago (to go with the copy of my hard drive), when the information was fresh.

Tuesday, February 27, 2001

I send an e-mail to Susan Strother at The Orlando Sentinel to see if she would be interested in writing a "follow-up" to her previous article about my legal situation with Amway. If she does write another story, I will definitely link to the online version of the Sentinel so everyone can read the story.

Tuesday March 6, 2001

My attorney calls and tells me that I will no longer be needed for a deposition in this case. It seems that Amway's attorneys have too many (other) depositions and no enough time, so some people (including me) are released from the case. However, my attorney warned, there is a chance that a judge could extend the evidence-gathering time limit, so my deposition may be needed in the future.

Even though am I am "lucky" since I won't have to pay for the services of an attorney to go to a deposition, I will still have to pay my attorney for the work he has done so far... which just adds more money to the amount I have spent on this case!

From Amway's website (posted in the interest of "free speech")

Amway Statement About Subpoenas, Sidney Schwartz and P&G
(click to go to that page)

In connection with a lawsuit filed against Procter & Gamble for its active support of a false and misleading anti-Amway web site, Amway Corporation has served subpoenas on six individuals and groups.[It seems I do have to say it yet again- could Amway PLEASE produce proof that there is ANY connection between myself and P&G?? In fact, P&G's own attorneys have verified that there has been NO communication between P&G and myself. Also, isn't Amway's use of the phrase "false and misleading" a bit like "calling the kettle black?" After all, there have been NUMEROUS lawsuits filed around the country (and some still in litigation) that allege Amway distributors use "false and misleading" methods to build the business. More legal documents are starting to show that higher-level distributors' incomes are "false and misleading"- instead of earning their large incomes from the sales of Amway products, these distributors make their money from the sale of motivational tools... a fact that they fail to tell their downline.

As far as I know, the 6 subpoenas were served to the following: Sidney Schwartz, David Midgett, Ashley Wilkes, The University of Michigan (Ashley's Internet provider), myself, and MPINet (my Internet provider).]

Amway believes those served with subpoenas have participated in or have been party to a coordinated anti-Amway attack subsidized by P&G on the Internet and that they may possess valuable evidence about P&G's dissemination of inflammatory and false information about Amway. [I suppose they are allowed to believe whatever ludicrous ideas they want, but I think the truth will speak for itself.]

These subpoenas are not about freedom of speech; rather, they are about the collection of evidence.[And I suppose "files or parts of files which may have been deleted..." are considered "evidence?" If they are truly looking for evidence, why did Amway's attorney (Norbert Kugele) agree to NOT search my Quicken files... the best place to look for records of payments!] The subpoenas call for all documents -- paper and electronic -- pertaining to P&G's anti-Amway activities. These include communications with P&G and its attorneys, information about various web sites, and communications between individuals engaged in anti-Amway activities. [First, again, I have NONE of these documents. And, second, "engaged in anti-Amway activities??" C'mon- Amway is a corporation, not a government agency! It's like people engaging in "anti-Ford" activities by creating websites that point out Ford cars' problems.] If these individuals and groups do not have information relevant to the lawsuit, these subpoenas should be of no concern. [I have no information "relevant" to this case (in my opinion, that is- I have no idea what Amway will believe is "relevant"), but to say people should not be "concerned" with a legal subpoena is fairly irresponsible. A subpoena is a legal document which has the power of a United States District Court behind it. Failure to answer it could have SERIOUS consequences. So, yes, people need to be "concerned" about a subpoena... especially ones that ask for "A complete "mirror" copy of each of your disks, tapes or other electronic storage media..."]

In November 1998, Amway filed its lawsuit against P&G to protect Amway's successful, multi-national business. Amway filed the lawsuit after learning that P&G was providing misleading information to the author of an anti-Amway web site and was supporting the author of that web site with free legal services and consulting payments.

The Complaint, filed in Michigan federal court, challenges P&G's once-secret consulting relationship with Mr. Schwartz, who has used the World Wide Web to spread false or misleading information about Amway. In an ironic twist, [An "ironic twist?" Hardly. The fact is, Amway has served TWO subpoenas on Sidney Schwartz. The first subpoena was during a P&G vs. Amway lawsuit, which P&G defended him (and he did not surrender his hard drive). The second subpoena came a few months ago, which he complied to to without a fight or legal representation.] Amway found out about P&G's relationship with Mr. Schwartz during the defense of another case in which P&G falsely claimed Amway was behind an old, false rumor that P&G subsidizes the Church of Satan.

Amway prefers to meet its competitors in the open marketplace, not cloaked behind a mask of false and misleading attacks. By collecting evidence about P&G's subsidy of false and misleading attacks on the Internet, Amway hopes to return to a level playing field with P&G and other manufacturers of household and personal care products. [I wonder what Amway considers "a level playing field?" I wonder if this lawsuit is merely their way of recovering market share after years of "illegal pyramid business," "price-fixing," and "restraint of trade" allegations.]

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