Amway: The Untold Story

Your Comments, Part 11

(6/96 - 7/96)

Here are some of the responses I've received to the information on this page. I've left them as is, except for a) removing the names to protect privacy, and b) reformatting them to fit the screen better.

This is a long file…I suggest downloading it to your computer and reading it off-line.

My thanks to everyone who took the time to contribute their opinions.

[NOTE: Some of these messages contain offensive language]

Since you were kind enough to reply, I'll give you an update… My neighbor came over the next day, with his wife and a pile of Amway stuff. I was in the middle of printing all of the information I found on your home page. Before he had a chance to go into his spiel, I ripped off the first handful of paper coming off my printer, laid it before him, and said "I don't think we're interested". He barely glanced at it. I summarized aloud the info I had read, and he had the Amway answer for everything, even the lawsuits. It turns out he's been trying to get a distributorship going for 17 years. He acutally tried to compare the money he spends on the motivational tapes to the tuition I'm paying for my MBA. He's counting on the money he's going to make through Amway for his retirement. I thought I could reason with him, but they got him by the cahones. He even refused to READ the stuff I was printing, saying he had heard it all before, and I should just give it a try.

It was pretty scary… A a few days later I got an inflammatory letter, complete with quite a few grammatical and spelling errors, from his diamond. "Get the truth about Amway from OUR home page!" Yeah right. I was half tempted to reply, but I figured the guy would sue me for defamation of character and I'd go broke with legal fees. Fortunately, my neighbor and I have agreed to disagree on this subject, and we're getting on with our respective lives.

Thanks again for the lifesaving information!

The tape is this guy tellling his Amway story and how all he had to drive was this little yellow beat up honda, and how his 3 brothers -in- law who are all dumb and dumber, make fun of him, but he drives to Macon, Georgia every night and sells Amway, and before long, he has a used Cadillac, then in 3 months, a new Cadillac, and then again in 3 months a Mercedes, then a stretch limo, and then a Ferrari, and all that time he did not have to trade in this other cars - they are all in the garage. and each time he says or rather screams What do you think about that HHAAARRRYYYYY. His last one is to put up landing lights in Harry's backyard and bring in his lear jet with Amway money. It not only slanders family but really pushes the materialistic point of making it with AMway. I have not heard anything from either of the sponsors who have called me, but I sure love reading your response files. You sure take a lot of guff from people who must sell the stuff. Keep it up.

I've found your anti-amway page very interesting. I've got a question for you regarding a recent experience I had. Recently, my boss asked me to attend a meeting about a business venture that he was involved in. He said that he owned his own company, but was unable to describe what he did. He took he to someone's house where a presentation was prepared with a bunch of other middle-aged people who were strung out at their present jobs with little or no prospect of advancement. The guy had a regional speaker come in and give a two hour presentation on how the secret to life was following the formula "Time plus Money = happiness" and untimately the way to happiness is through Amway. The presentation was _very_ slick, and if I had been out of college, stuck in a go-nowhere job, and a lot dumber I might have bought it.

What _was_ that?? Is this how they hook new people? I'm disguested! Thanks for your comments.


I am a happy AMWAY Distributor. It pleases me that you spend so much time and effort to maintain this page, because we must be being noticed. Only something that threatens the status quo and your comfort zone would dirve you to such obbsession. When the future unfolds there will only be three types of people:

1) The dreamers that are part of it
2) Those that envy those who dreamed
3) Those that wonder what happened


A proud student of Yeager U.

Did you see the July issue of Good HouseKeeping? Great article on Amway. Average distributor makes a whopping $88 per year.

Hey, If I get started I'll never stop, but will tell you that I was sold a bill of goods about 5 years ago, and was "screwed" big time by a man named A. Nevertheless, I am now a vp of a national company that is a subsidiary of a bank. I am still a card carrying member because I have over 100 people in my down line, and want to piss off my up-line. They have made offers in the past to "buy" me out, but I refuse to sell. I haven't talked with anyone in 3 years. Have contacted Amway through my lawyers to get a printout of my downline, but they continually refuse the request. It is so ironic how I got into Amway. The #1 consultant and seminar speaker for the southern baptist convention on cultisam, W talked me to getting involved with him. Now W is a brain-dead, zombiee - not capable of thinking for himself or family. Believe it or not, I have probably 200+ distributors in my downline, and have not received one penny from Amway. The money in Amway is the speaking and "personal development" crap that the distributors sell and get everyone sucked into. I know, I worked for one of the best national speakers in the industry when he was head of Matol International - Dr. Clifford Baird.

I told you I would keep going. Get Good Housekeeping and write them a thank you for running the article.

Hi Sid:

Do you have a way that i could earn some extra money? Y/N
If yes, id love to hear from you about it. If no then your criticism about Amway is all smoke and mirrors.


Hello again. Following is a letter that I wrote to Amway Corporation concerning the Britt System's concealed practice of profiting from the sale of non-Amway tools.

-------------------------- [Original Message] ------------------------- Dear Sirs;

I have been in the Bill Britt line of sponsorship since August 1993 and recently I have discovered on the Internet some information concerning a "tools scam" in the Britt and Yager groups. There are testimonials and accusations that the higher pin-levels in these groups are receiving a substantial income from the sale of non-Amway tapes, books, and functions.

I am concerned because these higher pins portray a lifestyle that is not just created from selling Amway products, but apparently is the result, in part, of a lucrative side business that is not mentioned in "The Plan." The implication is that one can achieve the same high level of wealth solely by selling and consuming the products and by sponsoring others who do the same. Furthermore, when I signed up on Standing Order Tape (SOT), my sponsor stated that the tapes were sold at wholesale and no one made money off of them. I feel that this practice, if indeed it is true, is deceptive.

I understand the need for motivational materials in the sales industry. But, if my line of sponsorship is secretly making money off of the tools and functions that myself and my downline are purchasing or attending, then it's no wonder they encourage us to get on SOT and attend all functions. There is an obvious conflict of interest here.

My question to you is: Are these allegations true? I feel that my upline's answer to this question could be biased so I wanted to hear the truth from you. Thank you for you time.



Here is Amway's response to my letter. Ain't it typical.

-------------------------- [Original Message] ------------------------- S,

While Amway recognizes the importance and benefit of non-Amway support materials, we do not produce or endorse them. Since this is a separate business apart from the Amway business, I am not able to answer your questions as It is not part of the Amway business and I don't know the structure of the Business Support materials.

I would highly recommend that you take your concerns upline!

Lynne Knott
Dist. Relations

Go ahead retire broke and you will still be a miserable shallow individual with nothing better to do than to attempt to destroy other people's dreams.

I didn't see if you were a current of "Former" distributor. You probably don't have what it takes and as result you are bitter.

I can't think of any major corp who doesn't have some disgruntled empolyees and customers.

I know one thing. The AMWAY team I am on is made up of some of the finest, most supportive Christian people I know.

I don't know what you're talking about when you refer to Amway here. I am probably the most strong-willed person you'll ever know, and I would recognize if I was being manipulated in any way. Believe me, I know. For you to say these things about Amway is not only incorrect, it's downright wrong. Someone I went to high school with asked me to join the business. At first, I was skeptical. After listening to the plan, however, I was very anxious to join. I didn't join right away, though. I checked it out thoroughly, and eventually was pleased that I did. I have seen none of the aspects of a cult as you speak of. Nor have I been "brainwashed" as your page suggests. If anything, Amway is one of the best businesses around. It's about people helping each other. Funny how you fail to mention that on your page. I have met nothing but good people through this business. Successful people. People who have dreams, just like you and me. Amway is just a way to achieve those dreams. Members are allowed to leave at any time, for any reason. No one is called a "loser" or a "quitter". We do not sell our souls to anyone, nor do we worship false Gods. Yes, motivation is a large part of our meetings. When's the last time you met an unmotivated successful person? Was he happy? Everyone in the business is encouraged, not forced, to do his or her best. If they don't feel like working this month, hey, it's their business, their money. If some people think that Amway is a cult, that's their business. But some of the things I've seen on this page suggest that you don't have a clue how Amway has changed. We don't just sell soap. Nor do we sell door-to-door. We don't pester our friends and family with the business. If they want no part of it, fine. So be it. We can do well without them. We have all kinds of people in Amway. Teachers, doctors, lawyers, housewives, students, people who are religious, agnostic, or non-affiliated (like myself), successful people, hardworking people, people from all walks of life. The next time you compare us to a bunch of Kool-aid drinking, brainwashed cultists, you'd better get your facts straight.

give it a rest - and get a real job

Why not write the same web page about all the costs of a college education, the thousands and thousands of dollars spent, and you still are not offered and/or guaranteed a job. Please email me the web page when you are finished with it - and we'll cry together about my GSL loans I am paying for still. Remember - keep to the truth - people are buying products by choice - from people that are selling them by choice. It's called Non-Communism. Please Publish this.

People just don't go around kicking dead dogs, do they? Amway can be anything that you make of it. But I guess that any bad worker is going to blame his tools.

Let's just face it. You didn't and don't have what it takes to make it in this business. That's all that it is, is a business. Amway knows that there's enough to go around for everybody and with the quality of there products they could market them any way they wanted. They could open up stores and advertise. But instead of doing all this they give the opportunity to there loyal distributors. They are doing what most people can only dream of doing. Leading the way in MLM. Why aren't you picking on other MLM companies. Why is your page called "AMWAY The Untold Story" I have joined several MLM companies before even looking at Amway but guess where I am now? Amway is for people with a good ethnic background, for people that believe that we should be watering our own apple trees instead of somebody else's, for people that are willing to really work just like everybody else for a living and for life, for people that believe that you don't have to a Ross Perot as your father to make it big in life, and for people that prefer to simplify complicated things instead of complicating simple things.

You don't know the first thing about Amway!

The things that I read in you page do have a certain likeness to the National Inquiry. If there is one thing that I have learned in my life it's that there are bad people in every group and that is true even in Amway. I know that some people would rather not deal with it at all because of the fact that maybe their upline wasn't telling them the entire truth when they had there first contacts with Amway. But I just happen to know one such person who was tricked into coming to an Amway meeting and is now a Crown Ambassador Direct Distributor making well over 50,000 a month. What is that compared to you measly salary?!!!! I would much rather be tricked in to making 50,000 a month than to live your pathetic existence. You may stop some people from going into this business but even with all the facts presented it isn't going to hurt Amway. You are really wasting your time! Maybe you should get a real job. You would make a good garbage man or street sweeper.

It's like seeing their life slipping away, down the drain - these people who have responded to your page saying how much time and money you have saved them - so they can now QUIT the only opportunity they'll probably ever have to break away from the dismal future that's in store for people like you, Sidney.

All that money they'll save!? What money? So compared to opening a retail outlet, say, the money involved in starting an Amway business is even in the same ball park?

And the TIME?!!? Yeah, you're right, they ARE being more productive sitting in front of the TV set each night, doing absolutely NOTHING for their family's future - being a real HERO to their kids…

The fact is, Sidney, I do not believe you have ever seen the Amway Sales & Marketing Plan by a qualified distributor. Or have taken the time to find out the truth.

If Amway was like it is depicted in your WEB site, I'm SURE we'd have over 70 foreign territories and countries as part of our international effort. Foreign governments are always looking to get with the latest American scam, aren't they?!!?

The point is, whatever you decide you do not like, for whatever reason, you will focus on the negative. And the opposite is true, too. Lawyers are some of the most distasteful people on the face of this earth (by popular opinion? I don't know - it's something I just heard. I'll decide when I meet a LOT of attorneys I find distasteful, instead of stereotyping the whole bunch. - POINT!), right? Well do you think lawyers dwell on what some of the people who share the same profession are doing right or wrong? NO! They simply concentrate on doing the best they can and doing right by their family. (No, I am not an attorney)

No matter what field or company you pick, there are scandals, skeletons in the closet, and people associated with it that are less than upstanding. So pick on Amway, or P&G or Joe's Deli. It's all the same. It's all simply a focus on the negative, and an attempt to hurt people negatively. Do everyone a favor - find out what it is from a positive standpoint…or your family might never really respect you.

Put that on your WEB page, Schwartz. That last line's a killer, huh?

Mr. Schwartz,

I am a new distributor in the Amway corporation and a student in college. Your page is, honestly, the first negative information that I have heard about this company. What I am wondering is who you are helping by concentrating such negative information about Amway without including any positive interviews with happy distributors. If nothing else, I am gaining a tool to sharpen my people-skills by associating with men and women in the World Wide Dream Builder's Organization. I believe that it is important to have a dream. I am not being forced to do anything. The only brainwashing that is going on is the repeated emphasis on positive thinking. How is that wrong?? As far as cultism is concerned, attending the functions here in Florida has opened my eyes to a group of people collectively having common goals to be free from a forty hour work week. Is that wrong? These people are emphasizing a "plan". It is a plan that, from what I have seen, is helping people adjust to the way that the economy is changing. Ray Kroc changed people's lives through an entirely new marketing plan. With new technology, Amway is making people's lives easier with in-home-shopping and the like.

I have not come into contact with anyone that has tried to shove anything down my throat. I am reading the books of the months (which, by the way, I am borrowing) and I am finding enlightening words from very successful people. They are sharing their knowledge to better me as an individual. Heck, if I were not even buying from my business or selling retail to others, I would hope that I would continue to buy these "tools" to better my life.

Believe me, reading your page scared me. But then I stood back and really thought about what you were presenting. If I am not a millionare, I do not care. I do hold fast in saying that what I have learned in the last month has helped me to have a more positive outlook on people and how to relate to them. But, guess what! If this does make me a millionare, all the better!

I thank you for listening (reading) what I have written.

Oh, yeah, and GO MAGIC!!!!!!!!!!

Hiya Sidney, its me, N from A.B.M-L.... It's been quite a while since we chatted last.

I see you have a very extensive site on Amway :) I also see that the Pro-Amway group tends to call you names, insult you, berate you, etc - but yet those who are doubters and those like me who tried it and gave up - don't… Most interetsing.....


I just wanted to let you know that your site is fantastic.

I have downloaded all the comments but not read them, save for the parts at the top while the files were downloading, and have a very long article I'm writing detailing my contacts not just with Amway distributors but with MLM'ers from Excel, Primerica (almost got roped but managed to keep the starter kit) and Nu-Skin. I'll send the article when it's done and you can decide if it's worthy of inclusion.

A few comments about MLM recruitment in general:

1. If you don't get into this you're nuts and/or stupid, for you're passing up an incredible opportunity to make more money than you ever could working like the rest of the people.

2. Multi-level, or network, or interactive marketing is so new that only magazines like Success have written about it. (Bull. I did searches on the CDROM versions of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and it was mentioned there several times a year.)

3. You'll meet all kinds of people. (And lose your friends because they see you as someone out to hustle them.)

Don't let the flamers and Amway partisans get you down, though I don't think you need that advice. Keep it up.

Mr. Schwartz,

I pulled up your site out of curiosity a long time ago and have now decide to respond. Man, you are a very angry guy.

I have been a distributor for over five years, and never once have I felt jajoled, brainwashed, or used. I have a great deal of enthusiasm for what I do much like I have had for the Red Sox over the years. I use the products because they are good. I share the plan, because I beleive in it. I listen to tapes, attend functions, and read.

Am I different than I was five years ago? I hope so, you see that was the intent. I have found comraderie, without expectation. I have found honesty.

I realize there will always be the incident, or person that will make anything look bad; Marge Schott come quickly to mind. But because she is an ignorant person, and I am able to make my own decisions, I ignore her comments and actions. I still love baseball.

Of course you have every right to express your opinion, as I do . And folks will always gravitate to the ugly, but you are treating people like you say Amway does by supplying your version of what you percieve to be correct.

For some time now, I have used your pages in my plan when I get negative responses. You see, Mr. Schwartz, full disclosure of the good and bad will always insure that folks can make the best decision for themselves. If they say "no", that is ok, if they say "yes" then even better. But I can be confident from the outset that they know what is officialy promoted and what others opions are also. That makes for a trusting relationship.

Anyway, I hope that whatever initiated your anger, will disapate over time. maybe you were a distributor that had a hard time with upline. Whatever the case was, your talent in putting together these pages is wasted.

One more thing, have you ever looked at other ways to make money?

I've got one question for you…you have a great deal of responses from your web site. Why not tally all your mail so far and see how the percentages of pro-amway and anti-amway. We seem to be having an amway WAR here…it's too funny to even waste my internet time with.

Sidney, your other comments on your website don't have names or email addresses published. I hope you will extend the same courtesy to me.

Thank you for the Webpage. It was very interesting, and I pointed my brother to it in preparation for an appointment he had with an Amway representative. I have a sole proprietorship with a respected direct sales company, so I talked to him about how a business is built with the avenues of income made available in an opportunity like an Amway distributorship.

My brother took the product catalogs from the Amway representative and examined the company from a customer perspective. His opinion of the product offering was that the retail prices were inflated, and even the cost of product to the distributor for personal consumption were still too much. My brother said he would not be comfortable selling products at inflated prices with little added value. Since I love the products that I sell and couldn't imagine selling a product that I knew was a bad deal, I suggested that perhaps Amway is not business that he is looking for to fill his spare time and make extra spending money.

It is our opinion that the avenue of income with the Amway opportunity is recruiting. This marketing plan is too limited to fit into the time a professional has to spend on his own business; a customer base placing reorders and new orders are needed to round out the income of the business for the times when the professional can not devote the time to developing other salespeople.

The most negative thing I can say about the representatives who have contacted me about getting an appointment with us is his reluctance to deal with me, a professional woman and businesswoman. The representative who called last night would not answer my direct questions and stated that his business was with my husband. Fortunately, my husband is also a professional man who values our personal time. He gave a direct "We are familiar with the Amway marketing plan and are not interested in it for ourselves." That was a statement I could have easily made, except the man on the phone did not want to deal with me.

My brother's wife was also disgusted when the representative presented the Amway plan directly to her husband, not asking for feedback from her or asking her opinion during the meeting. The representative's wife told my sister-in-law that at another time she would be oriented to the woman's role in the company.

And for any distributors who might be reading the text of this message on Sidney's page, please find another prospecting approach to replace the "curiosity" approach. Busy and intelligent people do not appreciate being strung along. If you can not proudly state that you are an Amway distributor in the first sentence, then perhaps you should ask why you should behave as if you were ashamed of your company.


Seems as though you're pretty upset with Amway … lotta negative mental energy.

I was pretty down on 'em, too, until I spent a LOT of time getting the facts. It's a fantastic group of people! But - it IS people. Anytime you have people involved in anything, mistakes will be made. I haven't found a perfect organization yet - and won't til I get to heaven. There's negative in anything to be found if you look for it. Overall, the positives far outweigh the negatives and the people being helped number in the tens of thousands every day. I NOW think it's WAY Cool! I've owned 5 other traditional businesses and the negatives there are enormous.

Anyway, best of luck to you!

Dear Mr. Schwartz:

I have been "browsing" your page for quite some time now. I think you have done an excellent job researching your topic. Thank you for the inside information. I was contenplating joining the Amway family, now I am surely going to have a whole bunch of questions for that idiot who tried to sign me up!

It never ceases to amaze me that a vocal minority get to whine and that is what people want to hear. I will be the first to say that there are DUMB people in Amway just like there is DUMB people in any business or recreational activity. Let me give you an example…I am a deer hunter…I practice safe hunting skills, never drink while out, always unload my gun when transporting it and never shoot in the direction of anybody. I am not a NRA advocate. Yet because of a few DUMB people I get labeled as being this beer-drinking, unresponsible person because I hunt and there are some people that do this.

If I had my choice, I would slap these DUMB people in the Amway business up too because they make my job harder because of their stupidity. What you and others need to realize is this: Amway is just like any other business that is out there. There are people who are treating it as a business and having a servant attitude to the people they are trying to help succeed and there are people who are selfish and doing things inappropriately. I have NEVER treated anybody differently because they have said "No" to the opportunity that I have offered them…that's completely up to them. What I do is help people get the things that they want…which is different for everybody…some just want a few dollars and some want alot of dollars…it's completely up to them.

What I hope you would consider is this: For whatever reason people have a tendency to believe the printed word…even if what is printed is fiction or outright lies. I know that's not your fault that's just human nature. When people come to the internet looking for information it would be helpful if they could have and opportunity to see "both sides of the coin" and not just one side. Would you consider having all the people's comments from their experience with DUMB people in Amway tempered with comments from the hundreds of thousands of us out here trying to "do right" in the Amway business. It's unfortunate, otherwise that some people will be tainted and never see the opportunity that may be available to them. I am 34 now and have been working steadily at this business (6-8 hr per week) for the last 3 1/2 years and we are making a respectable income…mind you we're not wealthy yet but as I continue to build my business legitimately I can see that this is coming down the road.

Food for thought…Hope you're open minded enough to consider my request. If someone has done some DUMB things to you who was in this business, I apologize for it…I wish you would have had the opportunity to see how it's done legitimately and honestly like I am doing it. Take Care


I am currently a distributor. Your site helped me sort out some of the unease I was beginning to experience with my association with Amway. I've got my own thoughts about some of the common topics:

1. Lawsuits - I agree with some of the pro-Amway responders who said "so what?" In this day and age lawsuits are not much of an indicator by themselves.

2. Cultism - Well, "cult" is such a harsh word. How about " happily deluded"? I was so pumped up and motivated to make it big that I failed to examine the facts in front of me (shame on me, being a college educated professional and all). Your site forced me to look.

3. Lots of people wrote in that Amway's a $6.3B business so that must count for something. Yup. It means Rich and Jay are really rich, but since us distributors don't even work for Amway (we're independant businessmen) who cares? The fact that they're making a killing has little bearing on my business. And if "debt free" is such a competitive advantage, then why don't their prices compete?

4. Price. Ah, this was the killer for me. I had printed out a bunch of your stuff and taken it to my upline. She challenged every point, including your price comparisons, and it forced me to confirm on my own. I did a similar price comparison to yours, except I calculated costs for retail, a distributor (at 100PV) AND as a direct distributor, meaning 25% rebate of the BV. I compared a bunch of common items, but focused on items that could be compared "apple to apple" in the local supermarket. I included shipping costs as well as local taxes, etc. I live in Alaska so we pay a higher offshore price for products. Overall, if I was a direct distributor, I would pay 31% more for Amway products than for comparable local products. That's as a DD with a 25% return on the BV!! This research took me a few hours. If you're a skeptical reader I suggest you go out and do an honest comparison yourself. I've attached my spreadsheet files if you want to use them Sidney.

5. Quality. I'm not a chemist. I don't compare products side by side rigorously in a scientific environment. I am comfortable relying on Consumer Reports to do that for me. I did spend several months comparing their products in my household. In general, their cleaning products seemed pretty good, about as good as name-brand products, but not 31% better! Their food products compared with store generic brands, but were priced above name brand products.

6. Tools. I challenged my upline to explain where the tool profits go. I'm in World Wide Dream Builders. They claim that WWDB receives no profits. OK. Tapes cost $6. The Direct Distributor gets $1 per tape. The Diamond gets $0.25 per tape. That leaves $4.75 if my math is correct. Upline claims it costs that much to produce. Sidney's info suggests about $0.75 to produce. I know who I believe!

7. Relationships. I noticed that I was beginning to view friends and family more as "prospects" than as friends. Probably my own failing, but it did have a negative effect on some relationships. Considerable stress with my wife over "supporting my business". WWDB claims less than 1% divorce rate among their distributors. This business has the potential to put great stress on a marriage, and I challenge their statistics. I know someone will write in about how Amway saved their marriage. That's great for them.

8. Listen to success. One of the common challenges from distributors is to take financial advice from financially successful people. There are many financially successful sleazeballs! Financial success is only one measure. Be careful about which Pied Piper you follow.

9. Honesty. Now that I've studied the research in this web site, and done a considerable amount of my own research, I've (reluctantly) decided that this business is not for me. Knowing what a questionable deal Amway is, I would have a very difficult time encouraging my friends and family into this business. I think I would have to bend the truth to convince them, and that's not my way.

Summary. Amway itself is not an "evil" business. They've found customers who will pay high prices for their products. Chevy and Sony look for the same thing. Many of the distributors are so smitten with the potential of their business, that they focus on dreams and put blinders on when it comes to facts. They are deceiving themselves and their prospects. They may indeed make money, but it will be tainted.

Sidney, you are only one guy, but the work you've done on this site will save countless people countless hours and frustration. That's duplication! Thank you!

Dear Reader,

    --    AMWAY - to business or not to business?       --
    --    It's for those who are NEGATIVE about it,     --
    --    as well for those who are POSITIVE!           --
Be aware that this letter is very different from all I've read here - with intention for you to understand things better NOT to show hatred or love - black and white - like many letters here!

/ If you think this letter is too long than read just the end of it (the surprise part) and the excitement is guaranteed. /

I think that understanding both sides gives the real picture of this business - sure, it's a business, but what kind of and for what price?

/ Oh yes, I'm from Slovenia - so, sorry for any language mistakes… /

I know what is the first question I should answer - am I a distributor, if not, would I like to be? To get the right answer to this question you'd need to read this whole letter, because there are no answers like yes or no - there is much more than just being a part of it or not - it's about understanding the system. So, take this letter as a try for an objective judge to help understand better BOTH sides!

A kind of Introduction
As all of us, I got involved in it by my friend. I liked the system at once, but all the information the distributor told us, was just too exaggerating. It's simply no way to become rich in five years with information distributors gave, BUT yes, it's possible to become rich in five years with information you and only you need to find out… I hope this letter will make it easier for you.

I'd first like to say something about the system and then tell the things I find important for anyone wanting to start this business - what you need to find out is, if this business suits your moral interest and if it gives real possibilities to make it work for you!

The system
It's sure a beautiful system. It's also very complicated to control it completely. I could quite well believe that Amway is a company with positive interest for all, BUT it's NOT only the Amway…

The problem
Direct distributors and the most important one could quite well take things in their hands and as I read on Sidney site that's really happening - "black hats", which make money with selling non-Amway things. Sure it's possible, there is now way to control two and a half million of people if things are working as they should.

It's simple - give more money and employ people to control distributors more precisely - sure, if we assume that Amway is an honest company. But that's something none would like to do - to give money away, well they will be forced to, when their business will be in a dangerous situation.

Understanding the facts
(the important part!)
Many letters here show us that a great part of business is selling tools (tapes - promotional material, etc.) What conclusion do you get from this? Well, for those who don't believe tapes are a huge income read the letter further anyway, please. Another question before answering this one… Why do you think there are letters where people say, thanks Sidney, with your help I found real reasons to start this business. It's because real money-oriented "businessman" don't care for the Amway, don't care for the people, don't care for nothing except money they could earn for themselves. Yes, selling just Amway products is a very difficult way to become rich. The main business here is spreading the net, involving people at any "price" - even if they are not suitable what causes many disappointments and even bankrupts. Quite good incomes are also with earning on distributors NOT customers! As statistics say over 30% of products are bought by distributors. And all promotional material (tools) are very easily sold to distributors - a simple mathematical calculation shows:

There are 2,500,000 people in this business. Let's throw away half a million of people, supposing they don't buy tools or products. The tape costs $5. Two million people buy this tape each week (there are books and other material which I have not took in calculations!) and one monthly tape as well. So, 5 tapes per month - that's $50,000,000 per month - $600,000,000 per year! But as we can see in many letters the average costs per month for one distributor (maybe two) are about $500 - so, total costs for 2,5 million people are $15,000,000,000 per year - what this shows???

Another, even MORE "funny" numbers, if there are 2.5 million distributors and Amway get $6 billion per year, what is the amount of money per person - equally devided??? Just $2,400 per year! So, that is $200 per month per person. Do calculation by yourself if you think my computer does not know to calculate!

Getting real excitement? I'll give you some more! Imagine this: let's suppose that just 5% of distributors are successful - that means they earn $20,000 per month (they claim that!) That means 125,000 people earning $20,000 per month - look at this number -> their income is $30,000,000,000 per year, 5 times higher than Amway really gets!!!! There are two explanations: 1) Amway gets much more, 2) There are much less people working "for" Amway than 2.5 million. Nevertheless, number are "funny"!

OK, let's be a little softer… 1% of all Amway distributors are successful, earning $5,000 per month. So, 25,000 distributors earn in one year $1,500,000,000 Some more calculations??? What gets the rest (99% of all Amway distributors)? $4,500,000,000 divided to 2,475,000 distributors is: $1,818 per YEAR - WOW, what a salary, 152 per month!

And guess what, I haven't calculated any costs of production - ANY WHATSOEVER!

This is a statement from their page: "Amway and its affiliates recorded sales of $6.3 billion at estimated retail for the fiscal year ending August 31, 1995." …and another one "Amway has more than 2.5 million independent distributors world-wide." (from WWW address: - welcom page)

Doesn't word sales include costs of production and others as well??? So, let's say costs were half of $6.3 billion - that means that 99% of distributors get about $76 per month when equally devided, if giving $5,000 per month to 1% of successful distributors!

Get INVOLVED in it or NOT?
That question you will need to answer by yourself. It depends on many things… Are you a gambler? Yes, I think it depends on that as well - this job gives more possibilities to make a lot of money - this is what they tell you, BUT at the same time also MORE possibilities to loose a lot of money - this is what they don't tell you! - that's why they like to take just distributors already with job and money, to take less risks with loosing a distributor, loosing one means less money for the sponsor!) Would you like to use the system/people to earn money and just forget the honest attitude to others (not telling them all means that you are lying to them or you are blind and really believe everything is so perfect, isn't that so? - let people decide by themselves!)???

So, it all depends on your attitude to the business/people, as well you need to be good at it, of course! Meaning, being a really good liar or being fooled and believe in it completely, thinking you do only the good thing - well, you might quite well, but face it, many people get bankrupted and the point of this business is to use many common people and making rich the ones who don't care about the lives of others. As I said, there are certainly honest distributors.

Well, this business is certainly not so black - so bad, I just wanted to show you the worst of it! People hardly remember/memorise bad things, while remembering good things is so easy. This is the reason to show things in worst situations as well!

System is basically designed for good of all, BUT there are proofs that taking money from many people believing in fast- earning money, preparing to sell cars and even houses to become rich takes its place as well. When they find out what is happening to them is unfortunately too late. That shows you that doing this business is far from being easy, it's just like working for any other company, and it demands time, talent and much more to become rich in this business - just like in any other business! So, don't fool yourself, beware what you are stepping into.

Some advises
If you take this business without thinking you are going to be rich someday and you work well at it, without exaggerating and buying everything distributor advises you, you could quite well make an satisfying salary and live peaceful life. I believe it is quite good job if you like working with people, sell things etc., JUST do not fall in hypnotic atmosphere and stay realistic. I think Amway should be better oriented in this way and it wouldn't have so much enemy as it has now.

To make it clear, I'm not an enemy and not an friend of Amway, I'm just one of you - sharing my opinion…

The reason I write all this is simple, I've spent many hours on reading letters and text from Amway original site, Sidney hatred site and many others. I just felt sorry so much people are confused about it and so much people believe in it so blinded and so much people hate Amway. At the same time, I think there were so few realistic letters that I wanted to contribute and if this letter will help someone I will feel good about it, wouldn't you too???

Am I a distributor?
OK, to satisfy your curiosity I will answer the question. I'm not, but if the main point in my life would be to get as much money as possible in a short time not regarding attitude to people I think I would grab this chance and maybe someday I'd be, but until I think I have other opportunities and my identity doesn't change much I WON'T. This is a simple mass using system - majority of people never even get enough money to live. It's more risky than any other job and is also more possible to get rich than any other job, but you should be a little of hazard nature and most of all - a good liar or a blind fool, again, there is a place for honest people as well, but would you like to talk about exceptions or about real World???

To good liars and blinded ones
Yes, some people will find this writing very helpful to start their business, because people are sceptical about just selling products, so, here they can see it's more than just products, BUT beware, recognizing YOU will be easier and easier, meaning less and less chances to hide your lying or blinded work.

Oh sure, there are some who would say I'm a looser - without really knowing me - I'm sure I would do good at it - I've also made a plan to start it with co-operation with my friend, BUT after I saw the Sidney site I decided to wait a while. I know Internet quite well, I've just started to get some real money from designing Web pages - doing quite well for the start - much better if I would work just for Amway - they don't give $30 per hour. Well, after the presentation I thought it's not the kind of work for me, but the next day I've got an idea about combining what I already know well and Amway opportunity. Yes, building a web page, informing people and sending my friend to talk with them. That could really work, because our country just started with Amway business and there is no presentation on the Internet - I even don't need to mention Amway name on my web pages - just describing the system and telling them that we can stop by and make a presentation? What do you think, quite a good plan, ha? Well, it took me 12 hours to search for as many information as I could in the Internet and to read articles etc. etc. and my decision was - fooling people? No! I just need to find our more how it goes in our country, and there are chances I start this business as well - so, again, your attitude against people means all in this business!!!!

BUT because, I don't consider myself as a negative person…

Is there any solution?
As far as I could tell there is! I'd like people at Amway to hear this as well. First, this is not a fair business at all! It's funny to consider that all people have equal chances and that working harder than direct distributors, getting very poor money is fair. Is it for harder work fair to get $200 per month as $20,000 per month for just making some phone calls, so to say… My suggestion is simple. The curve of growing income should be quite different from the existing one. For example: I start the business. At the beginning I get a real poor salary. After three years I get salary similar to other kind of work (if I'm doing it well!) and after ten years (if I survive) I make a lot of money. My suggestion is simple, so simple it maybe sounds funny. I'd suggest that people who start the business get more money (higher percentage on product sold), so, people who are many years in it and 10,000 people under them get a little less, BUT they would still get plenty of money. That simply means that more people would be prepared to sell Amway products and business wouldn't be oriented (in some segments) in selling products and promotional material to distributors instead to customers!

To those who really believe in it
That's certainly OK and I completely agree with you. You are the one who will succeed and make money - maybe even completely honestly (no tools selling, no lying etc.), BUT the point is, that this business is just like others, it's hard to become rich but possible of course. And as statistics say, there are really just a few persons who make real money of it. What's wrong is misleading people, saying them it's easy, you'll become rich in five years etc. Let's face it, you, who believe in it (liar or no liar) or the ones who already succeeded are all capable of that because of your knowledge, talent, coincidence or whatsoever and I'm SURE you would succeed in any kind of work!!!! So, don't fool people around, tell them the truth, maybe they will be fewer people stepping in this business, BUT that's good for all of us, meaning better quality of work (I don't like to listen to someone who sounds stupid, sorry for language, even if products really deserve attention, they make of it like selling it just to sell it, you know what I mean), and even the one in business could get more - yes, so many people leaving means BAD business!

In my opinion, with Amway is nothing wrong! BUT the system is difficult to control and many people work on their own (not considering the rules of Amway). Anything here is just people's attitude - you could use the system and make people get the wrong business and bankrupt them or you could really help some friends - the problem is, that this kind of work is NOT suitable for anyone - so, it's just on you to take a decision. I hope it will be easier for you, now - I hope that I was able to show you some possible facts.... except this one…

A little surprise for the End
I think everyone know Sidney web pages (I'm not posting this letter just to Sidney site) It seems like everyone here thinks he hates Amway. Is that so? Well, it could be, but hear this version of story… Sidney, sorry if that's not so - well, you are the "only" one who will ever know the truth - these are just my thoughts to share with others - as always, let's other judge by themselves…

Already guessed what I'm pointing to??? What would you say if I tell you that there is quite a good chance he is paid from Amway??? Most of you would say that I'm stupid, wouldn't you? Anyway, read this to the end…

First, a few facts of Internet users. I hope everybody knows that, so I won't put here statistics of Internet users, in short, they are mainly (to this point of time) well educated and not poor people! Meaning? Before answering that, maybe you have different opinion, anyway, our World is mainly lead by people who aren't too honest and aren't too much helpful to other people (don't take this personally - look globally) - would there be so many wars, so many starving people, you think our economic system is really designed to serve all equally??? - just to count a few things… Got the idea??? I'm pointing that more people reading this Amway stuff on the Internet are selfish oriented, prepared to get money even if other could loose it (well, as I've told, if the system could be corrected, there would be much less risk and less people bankrupted!, but as it's not, read further please…)

So, what such writing on Internet could cause to such people. Nothing else then saying (as you can see there are such letters), thanks Sidney, these are the reasons which made me decide to start this business - as I pointed out, because of using/fooling others with promising them millions in a few years with easy work and hiding some facts that they (distributors) are the real customers (the secure one, anyway!) and products are far away of being the only income! So, such people would grab this chance with more enthusiasm…

So, I'm asking again, isn't it possible that Sidney is doing it because he is paid for it??? My answer would be rather no than yes, BUT nevertheless, the effect of his work is just that. Making people to start this work because of seeing a better opportunity if people are used. But certainly, Sidney, what you do, has more positive effect than negative (nonetheless if you are paid or not), because people can get information otherwise they could not - and each of us can make his/her own conclusion and make his/her decision. As I told at the beginning, I find this work strictly depending on an individual personality and I hope people will take time to take all things in consideration before getting in it - just as they need to do when starting any other business!

If my letter made more negative effect than positive I will certainly feel bad about it, well, I tried to show things as objective as it was in my strength.

Wish you all best business opportunities!

As a disclaimer I'd like it to be known that the Amway Corporation has no knowledge, as far as I know, of this letter. This is NOT an advertisement or a solicitation for people to ask me to become involved in the Amway business. This letter is STRICKLY for information and is only my opinion.
If you'd like to reply on my letter just post another one like I did - I'll check the page out from time to time…

Some links:

Amway original site:

Amway: the Untold story
(Sidney site - against this system)

Interactive distribution
(A positive site about Amway…)

I visited your web page on Netscape, here are my comments to your ridiculous use of a web page.

I have been involved with Amway for going on four years. I enjoy using the products and find the motivational tapes more helpful than any others I have heard in the past. As far as hearing music on the tapes, the music is the content of the speech. Hearing the sweet sound of success. A sound many have not been able to understand. As far as playing music at a major function, please, will you sue my kids for playing the Barney Song in the backyard with friends? Or, heaven forbid that it my be in the background of a video tape! Silence children the Barney police may be listening. OH PLEASE! Welcome to America, where you too can become a broke lawyer! Silly lawsuits cropping up daily!

Buying a quality product from yourself, for yourself with a 100% money back guarantee, we are all crooks! Hoping others will succeed with happy families, lock us up! Trying to make the world a better place by living debt free, where are the straight jackets! Most of Amways critics are those who have CHOSEN not to do anything with their business. IT IS A PERSONAL CHOICE TO SUCCEED OR FAIL.

As far as P & G, yes, the Satan information circulated, HOWEVER, it was from an unidentified source, NOT AMWAY! The information was proven to be incorrect by AMWAY! Thus, no one is boycotting the use of their products because of it, we chose to use our own. Maybe P & G is jealous that Amway produces a product that cannot compare to theirs??? Could be they generated the false claim to make AMWAY look bad. All is fair in corporate politics, right? When our corporation is DEBT FREE!!!! and so are most of it's distributors we don't need to eliminate any of the competition, THERE ISN'T ANY!!!!

Do not slam a business that you know little about. Amway teaches the value of success and family. Encouraging parents to be with their children! Oh yeah, all they want is your money. THEY DON'T NEED IT! I notice in all of your messages, you state what everyone owns, jealous? Next time you mention the ownership of the Orlando Magic, please state the team was purchased with CASH!!! You probably don't even purchase gas with cash, much more a professional NBA Basketball Team!!!! HELLO???????

The next time your laundry detergent doesn't get out that stain on your favorite shirt, call your local grocery store and see how much they care! Don't mind the giggles when the person tells you that it is not their problem!! Call you Amway distributor, get an individual who will help you remove the stain or give you your money back! WE BELIEVE IN AMWAY AND WE BELIEVE IN OUR PRODUCTS. No matter how much slander you put out, we are out proving you WRONG by our continued success!

Good luck in your pursuit of happiness. The one with the most time and money wins!


I think it would be most fair of you to also recognize the fact that there are some lines of sponsorship in the Amway Businees who are NOT connected with any of the so-called "systems" and who do not push nor use the books and tapes like so many other lines do. We consider ourselves part of the "True Amway Business" as Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel originally set it up to be and not a part of the perversion some lines have invented.

BTW, we're done just fine in our business and are profitable, too.

Anon. for publishing or posting purposes but you may E-Mail me for more information if you would like.


My parents joined Amway in the earlie 70's. We have always found the products to be high quality. I know CR is an unbiased reporting agency but it is the same as looking for cars. Regardless of what CR may say, if you like Ford over Chevy then you will buy Ford over Chevy.

Due to my skin sensitivity, I have found the cleaning products from Amway the best I can buy. I can spend less but not get as clean and still break out or I can spend more and get cleaner and still break out. I would recommend Amway to anyone with skin sensitivity. This includes all their personal and household cleaners as well as their make-up.

I have, on my own, looked into joining Amway just to save money on the cost of the cleaners. I went to one meeting and it was as motivational as any other national home based business that I have attended. At no time did I take heed that it was a religious cult. I believe those who are motivated to a large degree could probably retire with Amway. These would be the same people that would make good salesmen in any business. Although, I am not one of those kind of people, since I use the products anyway, joining is a good idea. I can also see selling to a few friends if the time arises. I personally dont plan on attending any more meetings.

I do have to say that Amway is a lot like Avon. It is not a pyramid. A pyramid would be shut down by the government so fast. Amway is not hiding in a back room, they are out in the open for the government and all else to see. I hope before anyone takes yours or my word for how Amway works, they will check it out for themselves. Always tread cautiously when joinging anything and make sure you join with your eyes open. That should be a general rule of life. Don't take anyone's word for it. Research it for yourself. Amway does have a complete moneyback guarantee for any products that you are unable to use for whatever reason. Keep that in mind.

I do agree with other writers when they talk about how much time you spend keeping this page updated. You might want to decide that you have done whatever you set out to do and get on with your life. I am also interested in knowing if you really post all the replies or if you just post the ones you want, keeping the negative ones far outnumbering the positive ones. Just a thought.

Sydney oh, sydney
How poor are you
I'm from Indonesia
Amway has been open for 4 years here, and still going very well. I just want to tell you that, you wasting your time to do this. Even if there are a million people just like you or maybe worst. Amway still open their affiliate more than three new countries every year, and the number of distributor will grow and grow.

You are wasting your time,why don't you give your time and money to the poor people or children instead to build your negative thingking attitude and try to kill a GIANT?? Why… Why you didn't sue Amway, and be popular. Ah.. you are affraid aren't you. I have to tell you that Amway and the success distributor didn't know about you, and they will succeed anyway.

We already have plenty of sin in this earth, add no more… God Bless You



Hey Sid,

Why don't you post any of the great things Amway has been and is doing for this country and around the world. Like any successful company or business there will always be critics. It's to bad you are narrow minded and only view negative in things, typical of media though. The professional people in this world reconize how great a company Amway is and that is all that counts.


Just a short note to comment to your exhaustive research on this subject. I don't know you and by the look of all your info on the Amway Corp. and some of its distributers I would be interested to know why you have such a hate on for these people and their products which I use and like very much.

I find it hard to understand why you do not tell the whole story about the Corp. like all the good things they are doing ie environment, this is a pretty large issue and the corp. leads the world and begain the move to cleaning up the products they manufacture. In fact they have received one of only two awards given out by the United Nations in the history of the world for environmental safe products. This award was given by a board of very educated people that represent the globe: this is only one example their are many.

450 companies and venders are associating themselves with this Corp. and with pride, if the Corp. ws as bad as you say why would Co. like G.M.,Ford, Toyoto, Sanyo, I could go on and on, associate and risk their good name and reputation by being connected and networking with them, I don't think so.

By the claims that you are making in your home page, you are basically making the same accusations ie. calling them a cult etc. that you are complaining about them making to other co.

I think you would be more effective by at least giving credit where it is due. When people like myself see all negative material it makes me suspect because although the Corp is not perfect or its distributers, on the whole

I see a lot of integrity and they have won their case with the Federal Trade Commission 100 to 0 that this is an opportunity for the common person to excell and many do and many quit. I think we should let the people decide if they like the products and services that this Corp. markets. I think they have and 7,5 Bil last yr. proves this.

I don't think distributers should bad mouth other competitors, but by comparing products and doing product demonstations is a common practise that has been around since merchandicing begain. This is even on TV. I say the people have spoken and Amway is the fastest growing bus in the world right now, mabey this is really the issue at hand and they are taking a big chunk out of the competitions market. I don't know and really don't care because free enterprize is the American dream and this is at the core of the Amway Corp.

This Company is in 70 Countries, don't you think these other Gov. Officials have checked their records and gave them the green light because of the product line and their integrity. The bottom line for me is you need to cover all the facts not just the thorns.

I know I cannot change your opinion, you really have a hate on them for some reason, I would really like to know what has caused you to go through all this. There must be starting point, an incident that started you on this vendeta towards Amway corp.

I in no way make a personal attack on you, you must have had a bad experience with them personally in some way to drive you to this. By the way I'm a distributer and very proud to be associated with a Corp of such moral and ethical standards that give recognition to both their people and the globe and allow the American dream to be alive. Yours respectively

I will wave at you all, critics, when I will be free and you will still be discussing this on the Internet, I LOVE IT!!!

Dear Sidney,

I was an Amway distributor for roughly 5 years before I finally extracted myself from its grasp. I shudder at the thought of even attempting to calculate the amount of money I spent on open meetings, tools, functions, not to mention products. To be fair, I did get a healthy dose of optimism from my experience, but I'm not quite sure it was worth the price paid. I finally figured out that I was far better at my current occupation (I really do own my own corporation now) than I ever would have been at being an Amway distributor. I met a number of important people who could have been great business or personal contacts, but instead I chose to solicit them to become Amway distributors. Kinda ruins the chemistry, huh? Anyway, I'm writing this not to bitch and complain, (although I realize that's what I've been doing to this point) but to solicit help from some sympathetic readers.

Here's the deal: My former upline silver producer used to tell my wife and me to order 2 tapes or tape sets each week, so that we would each have one to listen to. When we found out what the tapes actually cost, and that he was making money on our tool purchases, we were disappointed and upset enough that we canceled our standing order subscription. We were immediately placed on our upline's "stay away from" list. He then cancelled the small product pickup at our house and moved it to another distributor's house. (We had orders for ourselves and 2 other distributors shipped to our house because our upline silvers live several hundred miles away.)Then, we began receiving "motivational" postcards which implied that if we didn't get "with the program," then I wasn't a real man, that our little boy would not have a "real man" for a Dad, and that we would live the rest of our lives in abject poverty and unhappiness. These were more than implied. These postcards were from mediocre vacation spots that I have been to a number of times in most cases, but which they claimed in their postcards were absolutely fantastic. Moreover, I earn a very nice income, probably several times what my former upline earns, and yet he has continued to assume that my family lives in squalor. Not that I care what he thinks any more, but when he acts on this assumption by writing demeaning and dogmatic slogans on picture postcards from pseudo-exotic vacation spots, it's like the proverbial dripping faucet. It has to be fixed. I would like for anyone who reads this to drop a cheesey postcard to the following address:

[name and address deleted…but it was tempting to leave it in--Sidney]

Be sure to let him know he's a real man. And that you want him with you wherever you happen to be. And, oh yes, (ahem) GO DIAMOND! Your assistance is very much appreciated.

REGARDING A question?


After reading your page I have but one question. What is the purpose?

6.3 Billion in sales, not to mention the numerous joint ventures with Fortune 500 companies, clearly indicate that Amway is a viable business option for literally millions of people. What is your motivation for providing this forum? It appears that you may geniunely seek to enlighten, however only a small portion of your page is based on fact, disputed or otherwise.

As for myself, I own and operate an active Amway distributorship. It takes a lot of hard work and focus. I don't believe everything I see and hear. Results, however, speak for themselves. As for results, I ask again. What are you trying to accomplish here?

I look forward to reviewing this page and the web site as a whole.

My wife and I are thinking of doing Amway. I am trying to sort the whole thing out and see if it is worth the effort.

Frankly, I have my doubts. We have already spent 2 hours in introductory sessions and (while I personally like my contact, an MD [nephrologist]), he is not business savvy and is kinda loose with the facts and the trends in retailing as a whole. I know the courts will allow a good deal of latitude in selling, "sales puffery" it is called, so I wonder if his presentation is loose on purpose, or whether its just him. To clarify everything, he suggests I attend a "sales presentation" by a motivator. We said yes.

I know the Amway reps dislike this site and dismiss its as "not positive" and slanted against MLM in general, I think you are doing the American public a big service.

I feel so sad for you. I too, felt this was an economical scam to sucker individuals who were looking for a better way of living, a better way to spend quality time with their family, and a better sense of self worth. Yet, I just want to tell a story:

"As early as I can remember (age 4), I did not know of my father. My sister and I were raised by my mother, grandmother, and uncle. My uncle was the financial giver, yet he lived far off. My grandmother was the strong helper. And my mother, she was an incredible person. She would sacrifice work time to take the kids to camp out at the lake. My mother is the most wonderful person I know. She had to fill in for father and mother. We were broke and did not know it. As a child, I met my best friend, who was also fatherless. Yet, his mother married often. We were the father of each.

"When we asked of our biolocial father, I heard he died, ran away, left for another mommy, etc. I did not worry about it much. Until one day, a gentleman approached me while I was playing and asked if I liked playing football. I answered "Yes", while looking around for an adult. Then he asked where I lived. As I began to inform him, my mother came out and invited him into our house, and instructed me to continue playing. I was curious.

"The next couple of days, my mother had talks with my sister and myself about the gentlman. He was our biological father who was in prison for a crime that involved another woman. To this day, I do not understand the complexity of the crime. I do not CARE FOR THE FACTS!

"He took my mother to court for custody. The judge was kind enough to involve us, being the age we were, in the dicision of who we live with. I met with my sister and chose my mother. Yet, he vowed he would get his family back. He sounded very determined. And he did.

"My mother allowed him back into the house as "father", yet my sister did not accept him. Myself, I accepted him because, do to the impressionable age, he promised gifts. Later, I realized they were broken dreams of mine. The way I have looked at life is: A child is totally dependant on an adult, until the child attempt life.

"Well, after 2, or so, years my father took a trip up north. He sold fruit to the people on huge farms in the northern most part of the United States. A couple of days went by, then my mother received a phone call informing her that my biological father was in prison, AGAIN! We went to visit him. Upon my visit, I informed him that I would never see him again. And I have stuck to it!

"Though many people in my family know what he has done and how long he has in prison, I do not. I chose to separate myself from the negative. I have been raised by some wonderful people, not by him. He has had no involvement on my life accept negative.

"Well, my life went on. After finishing high school, I went to college and started baseball. I met a wonderful human in college. She cared for me when I did not deserve caring. She was there for me in all cases. I have often told her "I'm everything, because you loved me". Although, a couple of times in college I would go on beinge drinking and not understand why, until…

"I got intoxicated during football homecoming, and put my fist though many of the schools mirrored glasses in the bathroom. I then blacked out. Yet, the people who were there said I went NUTS! Or did I? I was releasing anger from OVER 14 YEARS WITHOUT A FATHER! He was not around. I never went to Disneyworld, Disneyland, Elvis house, etc. Heck, I never got picked up at school by a father, who was not my couch, to take me to my ballgame. I played hockey, and it hurt alot when other dads were there and mine was not.

"The point I am trying to make is that of:

"YESTERDAY is always gone, TODAY is always here, and TOMMORROW will never come"


Why must you knock people who are moving in a positive direction? Do you get paid to do this? I have been an "Amway" business associate for about 6 months. And I am finding that it's not the money, nor the tapes, nor the products. IT'S THE PEOPLE! Association with positive people can have a positive effect on OUR lives. I feel so sorry for the people you interviewed for your web page. Why must people constantly put other individuals down who succeed? Are we that insecure? Or, are we that jeolous? It is not our place to judge. If people get the association need (friends) from this business then let them. Who are we, that we have to judge another human for his or her actions.

If you get anything out of this message, please get the positive message: "Be there for people when they need you!"

"Written out of LOVE"

Proud business associate

Hi Sidney:

Some time ago I found a lot of info about the Amway bussiness and appears your name as some kind of "recopilator" of all that. I hope this email is still active, anyway here we go:

First of all I wanna ask you that if you post this info somewhere, please don't include my name. I'm still active on this bussiness and will NEVER quit it (I believe in my dream, and I think I can do it with this bussiness)…

I just want to comment you that this night, after an open meeting, i came home with my upline and they started asking me about all that info you recopiled and I where talking about a year ago… the interesting part about it was the system, and they started telling me lots of things about it:

The thing was that our Upline-Diamond knew, just two months ago about the big crap behind the Yaeger system and was shocked. She couldn't beleive that and decided to change the piramidal distribution of the system's money to a "legal" thing. Her decition was so big that some of the diamonds on her group decided to not follow her (they were receiving lots of money from the system), and her upline (double diamond) told "you will never talk again on my functions and rallies, neither the people who follow you"

Now, she is telling us to inform our group and our new sponsored people, that some of the system's money will go to your pocket. She asked to the MLM experts on the world to create a MLM scheme to move the system things (tapes, books and tickets). Probably, some of the money will be received by Yaeger's pocket but at least he created the system and i think he deserve his part.

I think that if you go to talk on a rallie or a function, you must be payed. You are sharing the info so they can do it also, but the thing is to pay the right price.

We realize that the bussiness is to move products.... after this the "system diamonds" told us "don't buy the kit, go to the function, buy the tape/book, etc) but know the message is "buy the kit and move products to get the money to tapes/books/tickets" and that is really easy.

All that stuff like "be possitive" and blah blah is ok… but it's better if you win money!!!

Well… there are a lot of info about this, but is enough for know. If you need more expansion on some topic please let me know and i will be pleased to help you.

Mr Schwartz,

When researching Amway, I found a web site that had several documents and posting from people like me. I decided not to join after reading those document. Do you know where it is? I want to post the following memo I just sent to someone asked me if I would like to listen to a new business opportunity.

Date:	07/02/96
To:	B
From:	C
RE:	Amway
B,  here is the information I promised you.  Enclosed you will find the following:
1.	Details of the Canadian Fraud case
2.	Amway statistics
3.	Class action suit filed against Bill Britt and Dexter Yager
4.	Various postings on the internet
5.	Cult tactics in Amway
6.	Consumer Reports 
Overwhelming I realize. I was first approached to join Amway in early December 1995. I drove two hours to sit through the "circle drawing" in Johnson City, TN. Over one hour into the presentation the speaker finally said the word Amway. Although I realize that Amway has the reputation as a soap salesman company amongst people who know nothing about the company, I felt deceived by the person who invited me to the meeting. This person who gave my name to the person who invited me is a great friend of mine who had recently signed on as a distributor. Since I had the utmost respect for him and after hearing of some of the people who were Amway reps (e.g. Charles Stanley), I decided to give it an unbiased look.

I totally agree with you when you say that the company is on the verge of bursting loose. The system created by DeVos and Van Andel is ingenious.

Without a doubt, any one who puts five to ten hours a week into the business can make great sums of money. However, after researching further I chose not to sign up for various reasons.

The hypocrisy of the founders was the primary reason I chose not to join. As you can read in the first document enclosed, Amway was convicted of the largest fraud case in the history of Canada. The fraud went all of the way to Van Andel’s desk. Amway adopted a policy to create fictitious invoices evidencing sales by Amway Corporation to United States Warehouse. This was to bypass custom charges/taxes. On November 10, 1983 Amway pleaded guilty to charges of criminal fraud and paid a C$25,000,000 fine for tax evasion. On top of all that, DeVos published a book titled, Believe! In which he gave the "enthusiastic endorsement of integrity in business and of the unavoidability of ethical claims". The book was originally published in 1975 which was the before the tax evasion fiasco, but he republished it in 1985 without any reference to the Canadian Customs conviction.

From a personal standpoint, I was completely turned off by the tapes. When "great Christian men" talk about physically abusing people who interfere with their "Dream", red flags go up in my head. Bill Britt was not the only person to make such violent statements. In another tape, a corporate lawyer out of Louisiana, whose name I can not recall, made very condescending statements to someone who stood him up for an appointment to discuss "a new business opportunity". To be quite honest, when I saw a video of Bill Britt conducting an altar call at one of the quarterly events, I became nauseated. I sincerely hope that Bill is truly a Christian. The whole preceding just appeared very cultic to me. This was after I heard a Bill Britt tape and before I read the article on Cult tactics in Amway. Finally, I disagreed with the program that your upline wants you to follow to become successful, in particular the tape program and self-help books. I personally believe that most self-help books are in direct contradiction to the Bible. Even the term self-help is a blasphemy. The basis of the Christian faith is recognizing that we are worthless without Christ and that even our good deeds are seen as filthy rags in his sight. Although we have responsibilities in the pursuit of holiness, our "help" does not come from ourselves but from the Holy Spirit. For example, in a book titled The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz, Ph.D, which I believe is a book on the recommended reading list, the opening paragraph is a definition of success. Included in his list of things which success means, he mentions a fine home, vacations, travel, winning admiration, being looked up to by people, …

There is nothing wrong with these things, but that is definitely not the Biblical World and Life view of success, and this is recommended reading from Bill Britt?

I am sorry to bore you with this material, but if this is information of which you were not aware, I wanted to bring it to your attention since no one brought it to mine. I know several strong Christian people who are very active in Amway. We have had several discussions on the topic, but at this point we still disagree. As I stated before, I sincerely hope that I do have a false impression of the organization. I wish you the best of luck. Feel free to call me if you wish to discuss this further.

i wonder if you could please try to help me get rid of the online chain-letter scams and not attack an american institution like amway there is no hidden agenda and it is easy to attack a corporation that has grown through hard work and perserverance i hope that you know that i am not a distributor but am associated with many and i would consider myself lucky to be half the man they are i just don't have the time and they are patient and polite in telling me that is okay.

I am so glad you have this comment page. My significant other and I could also write a book about Amway. We were in for about five months and in that time I realized that Amway has very cult-like aspects. They tell you that you will save a certain amount of money every month, but with all the materials we ended up spending a lot more than we ever did in any given month. There are a few key factors that I noticed right away.

1. You must do everything the way they want you to do it

2. Anyone not in Amway is thought of as a loser or failure

3. We were told not to hang out with anyone who was not in Amway because they were "going nowhere".

4. If you can't make it in Amway then you are thought of as a quitter and a failure

5. You must eat, breathe, think,and sh** Amway in order to make them happy

6. You are encouraged to attend major functions FOUR times a year costing at least $100.00 per person to attend, and you are supposed to talk people who are not even in "the business" to attend one ofthese meetings! On top of that if you say you cant afford to go they tell you to have a garage sale to raise the money! Also, if you don't go, you are told your business will suffer greatly and set your business back at least 5 months. If this is not intimidation, Idon't know what is.

7. They really separate the "man's" and the "woman's" duties in Amway. If this is done any differently…well, I don't know, it's never been done. I can't believe so many women are willing to let the man make all the business decisions. At functions, the woman talks about how great her man is for about 20 minutes, then the man talks about his woman like she is just the greatest secretary he's ever had. And..he talks for about two hours! This sexism really pisses me off.

8. Everyone not only must do what they say, but they must say what they say, like they are just programmable robots.

It came to me one night at a meeting when I looked around and realized that everone was saying the same things, and everyone there used the same cologne, toothpaste, deodorant, and God-forbid that damn breath spray! I can't believe no one else there found that slighlty eerie. You are discouraged from watching TV and from reading the newspaper and basically participating in anything that is not Amway. They isolate you and try to brainwash you with tapes, books, meetings, seminars and anything else to keep you busy with just Amway related functions or materials. I could go on and on, but I would like to end with the "straw that broke the camels back" for us.

During Halloween we were of course told to but our candy from "the business" and we did not see anything wrong with that…until, we did a little price comparison. 5 pounds of assorted candy from Amway which included a cheap little plastic pumkin to keep it in, came to a total cost of $32.00. We thought that was quite a bit for candy, so we went to the Priceclub and found the exact same thing, and I mean exact same thing (minus the cheap pumpkin which we saw elsewhere for .50 cents) for $4.59!! At this point we decided that we were being ripped off by our own business and found the only logical solution was to quit along with the numerous other reasons afore mentioned. If you want to e-mail me back please feel free to do so, as I have much more to say. Thanks for reading!

Hello All:

I have been an Amway distributor for 4 years, and basically I have been able to grow my business slowly but steadily. However, nobody wants to read my personal feelings about the business, because they may feel I'm biased since I am a distributor. So, let's look at what a multi-millionaire who is NOT an Amway distributor [but he is a distributor for another MLM company--Sidney] has to say about what he calls the "Alternative Franchise."(TM)

On page 113 of his book "You Can't Steal Second With Your Foot On First!" Burke Hedges writes:

"I call network marketing the Alternative Franchise because it has all the great advantages of a franchise without the incredibly high startup costs of most proven franchises. You can get started in an Alternative Franchise for less than $500 -- with the upside potential of leveraging your business into a multi-million-dollar-a-year enterprise!

"…If you have a willingness to work, a burning desire to succeed and you're coachable, you can literally start making a profit from day one…while you are still learning the ins and outs of the business!

"Furthermore, what I find most valuable about this industry is that it can offer you the equivalent of a Harvard-type education in personal growth while you build your business.

"In my opinion, the Alternative Franchise is the single best system available today, particularly for the first-time entrepreneur…or for the seasoned entrepreneur who wants a ready-made system to follow and work. You can start part-time…the up-front costs are ridiculously low compared to traditional businesses…and you have easy access to top-notch training and mentorship from the most successful people in the industry!"

He goes on to mention that the "Alternative Franchise" is over a $10-billion-a-year business according to the Direct Sales Association, and predicts that it will grow to a $100-billion-per-year industry within 10-15 years. Here's the clincher, in my opinion:

"That's $90 billion in new business, folks! And who do you think will get the lion's share of that new business? The stable, mature companies with proven track records and their distributors, that's who!"

Considering that Amway has $6.3 billion of the $10 billion market (63%), I would consider it to be a "stable, mature company with a proven track record."

The most important thing I would say to anyone looking to start their own business, be it Amway or not, is to check out all your options. Don't listen to the first nay-sayer to come along, who failed and thinks it's the fault of the corporation, not him/herself. Of course you are going to find people who failed…in any business, probably more in network marketing because of the low start-up costs involved. If you buy a $1-million-plus McDonald's franchise, you have a vested interest in the success of your business, but if you spend less than $500, you can afford to lose that money. You certainly won't like it, but it's no $1 million. The best way to get this point across is to quote Edmond Spencer: "There is one thing that will keep a person in everlasting ignorance and poverty, and that one thing is contempt prior to investigation."

I once heard Billy Joel say in a VH-1 interview, "You know you're successful when you get your first lawsuit. It's a sue-happy society." Don't get me wrong, it's not that I think people should never sue. Still, it's important to keep in mind what Joel said when you discover a corporation has been sued. Microsoft, Apple, McDonald's, etc. have all been sued. It doesn't mean they're bad companies.

So, go forth and check things out! I highly recommend Burke Hedges book "You Can't Steal Second With Your Foot On First!" for anyone, whether you are looking at Amway or just looking for a business idea. You may also want to read his book "Who Stole The American Dream?" which discusses network marketing in more detail. Amway is my choice for a successful business opportunity, but it doesn't have to be yours. Just make sure you know what you're saying "no" to.

Dear Syd,

Have you ever noticed how all the amway distributor responses have the same tone and style in their writing? Their upline taught(programmed) the duplication principle very well. Also, another observation. Amway distributors all seem to measure a human being's worth by their pin rank or how much money they've made. We should all be so lucky that when we enter the world of amway we get to regress a few hundred years and to be treated as Royalty or serfs. Keep up the good work.

From a person that lost a friend tonight because he conned me into attending an Amway meeting.

Hi Sidney,

Last October my wife & I became part of this plan. At about that time I got connected to the internet and have been checking out your site from time to time. From the time we joined till now we have only gone to one rally and haven't done any selling of the Amway products. What is great about it we still have enough detergent and cleaners from our start up kit to last for a while. I guess the plan can work if you realy want it to but to invest so much of precoius time that we have to helping the upline just isn't what I want to do.I just want to thank you for maintaining this site and it is always a good laugh to read some of the comments from diehard Amway people. Thanx.

Just wanted to let you know that as a new distributor of about 4 months I have been reading every bit of information on Amway that I can find on the internet. I didn't actually start to do this until after I signed up, though, primarily because I had just gotten into the internet and did not know the in's and out's of finding information. Be that as it may, I have not invested a great deal in this business. Yes, I have been buying some Amway products, which I do like, albeit they do cost a little more than what I can buy in the store. Here is an interesting story, though. I decided to just stay where I was to keep abreast of the ongoing politics and ways of Amway. 1. My direct sponsor has done virtually nothing to contact me, but for a few polite phone calls and words of encouragement. 2. When finding all this stuff about Amway on the internet I actually printed it up and gave it to my upline direct (not my sponsor), who finally had a meeting with me to discuss my concerns. They were both very nice and attempted to answer my concerns, and pointed out all the pros and cons of any business in the legitimate world. Made sense. I decided to just sit tight and watch. In the course of time, my family situation took some turns, surgery and financial difficulties, that did not allow me to spend the kind of money on Amway products that I probably would have spent, but have bought maybe $100 a month in products. Anyway, the wife of my upline has been so nice to me, without being overbearing, I figured I would just let her be nice and wait. Incidentally, I have not sold one single product to anyone at retail (did try some mailings, i.e. flyers that didn't cost me but less than $10.00 - hasn't yielded anything yet) Also, I have not sponsored a single person, but I have not really tried but for a few phone calls. Since, I am not a believer in traditional religions, the religious implications was the first thing to put me off to going to meetings etc. I also have been to our local weekly meetings four times, but I have not attended a single rally, seminar, nor have I purchased a single tool tape or book. Actually, my direct upline has been loaning me things to listen to and read. So, I said thanks I will read them and listem to them and return them, which I have. I really believe that this person truly feels she is doing me a great favor and is trying to help me, so I can't begrudge her for that, but on the other side, I also know that she is using some logical Amway type motivational methods to keep me in some what of the faith in hopes that someday I will see the light. Anyway, I will continue to wait it out and see how it goes, spending very little, doing nothing, and just reading and listening…this at least does not hurt me, and in time I may just decide to stop buying the products. I do want to try them out for a year on a hit and miss basis to really be able to say first hand what I thought, then I will give a good full and honest opinion. In the meantime, we will see how much pressure I get or don't get. I have a sneaky feeling that all the Amway people in my area are just hoping I go politely away never to be heard from again…i.e. I ask too many questions and I am too skeptical and opinionated…but folks this too is freedom of speech and freedome of the press, right? Please print this on your comment pages.

Hey, my names E, and I'm trying to get some very good friends out of this Amway stuff. As a courtesy to one of them, about two years ago, I bought the introductory kit and have renewed once. At that point, being a smart guy, I made sure that no other expenses would be incurred by me except those in which I got something useful. I purchased some product, that I either could not find locally or that was comparably priced and passed on some names of others who I thought would be interested. No one else has joined.

The problem: My buddies are in the hole BIG on this, one in particular, and depite heavy losses and a take over in his life style by AMWAY, he remains vigorous, mostly by what I have always perceived, as SMOKE and MIRRORS.

I need to expose the main guy here or ligitimize him, but he rents and leases his car and home, so I don't see how he can be ligitamate. I am considering just asking for his social security number or covertly getting it to get a credit report. Everyone points to a select few, who are represented as "successful", so if I can show down the big one, who looks vulnerable, my friends will atleast stop and take a "real" look at what is going on.


Thanks for your work putting all this information out for public consumption. I have a family member who has just signed on to be an AMWAY distributor. I have downloaded about 100 pages of text to send to them. They were always very intelligent in the past about matters. I still can't believe they are getting involved in something with a religious overtones. This is a bad sign since they are athiests and shouldn't have come within 100 miles of something like this. I hope they still have the open mind to see things clearly.

Some of the Pro-Amway people you have posted comments from seem to think that you need a "system" and only through a MLM like Amway can you succeed on your own. It seems like an awful lot of work for a tiny return. I own my own business, and can tell you that I would not work building a business up for 5 years to start to reap a reward. You could start a dog washing business and make more money than most of these Amway people are talking about making after such an investment. Also, I meet alot of people in my line of work and I have never met a retired Amway salesperson.

I think they should rename it Scam-way. I just pray to the powers to be that it is not to late to save my family member, they can not afford to be involved.

I'm glad I ran across your sight. I joined Amway over a year ago in spite of many warnings from other. However, I gave up on it several months ago. I asked many people if it was a good move to join. Nearly everyone said to stay away. The problem was that nobody gave me specific reasons. So I just went for it. Everything in this websight seems to be accurate from my experience with Amway. Everything from overwelming expenses to cultic mind control. I wish I'd have been told all this a year ago. I'd be embarrassed to say how much money and time I've lost.

Dear Sir,

I was unable to send the following through you web home page site so I'm using this method instead.

Your Web page may possibily be the silliest one I have read in a long time. I'm sure that's a exageration, But I just don't recall anything that attempts to stretch credulity quite as far as you do.

If you would do the research, you would find that the recording industry regularly goes after almost every large company, and many small ones as well, for what it views as an infringment of it's jurisdiction. I have never heard the music lifts that are referred in any Amway material, but I wouldn't doubt that some could exist. Illegal use of music lifts has become so common that the industry could sue almost anyone with a camcorder. I have seen radio stations use music without benefit of an ASCAP or BMI license.

I'm not attempting to belittle a Union effort to protect the work of its members, as an actor and a former Union President I think it is commendable. But for you to imply anything sinister from it on your Amway page is laughable. I don't know what your particular psychological problem is, but for you to spend the time and energy you obviously have at this effort would indicate a very disturbed individual. Unless however,you have developed this into a cottage industry and are making some money, then I would applaud your capitalistic spirit.

Oh, by the way I have been an independent Amyway Distributor for three years and I have not only made some money, but I have also made a number of very good friends.

I don't know what your policy is toward printing letters that disagree with your position, but if you would like to reprint this one, you have my permission. Sincerely,

I have been reading your site and I have found some points that I have raised with my upline. I am interested to read all the letters from people talking about throwing away stacks of tapes and tools. If there is anyone out there that is considering this I am willing to talk to them and pay shipping and possibly some compensation for their tapes and other tools. If anyone is interested please contact me at Any responses will be appreciated

I attended a meeting tonight for an MLM opportunity. I was never told up front that this was an AMWAY meeting. Only after an hour into the meeting they spoke the AMWAY word. Anyway, I think the local AMWAY folks are indeed mirrepresented the fact that this was an AMWAY meeting.. They have business cards that have XXXXX marketing in their name, but are AMWAY distributors..

I will file a complain with my local better business bureau and would like to know if there is a place to report this misleading type of marketing activity. These folks are indeed a cult.. Thanks for all the information. You saved me 150.00 and a great deal of my time …

Those who can, do; those who can not, waste time whining about it. That pretty much sums up my opinion of the Hanrahan lawsuit represented by your homepage. I disagree with your opinion as well as those whose cases you represent.I suggest you find something worthwhile to fight against such as pornography or homelessness If you spent your energies fighting against these, I'm sure that the world would benefit greatly. However, I still defend your right to expressyour opinion. Peace be with you and many blessing upon your home.