Amway: The Untold Story

Your Comments, Part 24


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]


Here's another true-life Amway story to add to your files.

I am an electronics tecnician in the Navy and in March 1994 I was a student in a Navy school when I overheard one of the instructors say something about owning his own business. I was rather surprised because he was the samw rank as me so I asked him about it. The only time he showed any integrity was right then when he told me he could not talk about it with me because it would violate the studen/instructor fraternization rules set up by the Navy. He said he would contact me after I graduated.

Sure enough, he called and invited me to a "get together." I asked if this was Amway. "What do you know about Amway?" was his response. I really didn't know a whole lot and said so. "What night would be good for you , Thursday or Friday?" I told him neither, I was busy. He called back about four or five more times until I finally relented and went to this "get together." I thought it was informal so I wore jeans and a t-shirt. Imagine my surprise when everyone else there was wearing suit and ties! I listened to the presentation and got excited about. I could see the benefits of MLM even though I had never heard of the concept before. I asked how much it costs. "Don't worry. It's minimal." How much is the overhead? My sponsor's wife held up a pen (U.S. Government issue, by the way) and said "This is my only overhead in this business!" I didn't know it at the time, but this was obviously an out and out bold faced LIE!

I signed up the very next day against the advice and wishes of my wife. Her woman's intuition was telling her there was something not quite right but having already been brainwashed, I told her I was going to make this thing happen whether she liked it or not and I would be expecting an apology from her in two to five years. (I have since apologized to her for what I put her through and for that statement. Fortunately, she is a good woman and is still with me!!)

I reluctantly did everything my sponsors told me to do. Sometime it took me a while to "get with the program" but I did. I was stationed on a ship that was deployed about ten months out of twelve so I had instructed my wife to attend all functions and seminars when I couldn't. She did except when one of our two boys were sick. (Ages three and one.) I even kept begging our directs not to give up on us. We were not going to quit; we were going to go diamond.

There soon came a point in time where I just did not have the money to pay for everything I wanted to pay for. The Navy only pays me so much and no matter what I did, I could not figure out a way to pay two people with the same dollar and make them both happy. Something had to give. The first thing to go was the tape of the week. I had just given myself a $44 a month payraise! You would have thought I had just commited the unpardonable sin! The next thing to go was Amvox.

You know these people who tell you they love you every time they talk to you? Well, our sponsor came over to the house while I was deployed and told my wife, "We can no longer continue to carry you. You have to learn to stand on your own two feet!" (This is a direct quote.) We have NEVER heard from these people who love us so much again. Hmmm.

We were active for about a year and half when I decided to see how much money I had spent on this experience. I figured we spent a little over $3000.00 trying to make it work. There is no way I could figure how much I spent in gasoline so this figure is conservative to low.

It is absolutely amazing to find I am not the only one with this experience with Amway or more accurately their distributers. Amway says they can't control what their distributers do. Hogwash!! What do they think would happen to a ship at sea if the commanding officer took the same attitude? A commanding officer is tasked with enforcing the laws of the country and the military and if someone breaks those laws, he punishes them. Amway needs to start enforcing the laws of the country and the laws of their own company! (The 10 customer rule comes to mind. I was told by my sponsor AND direct distributer not to worry about this rule.)

Most of the stories I read on your page and other "Anti-Amway" are so extremely similiar they cannot possibly mere coincidences. So, when a pro-Amway writer says we didn't make it because we are losers, I have this to say; Then this great United States of America was built by losers because we are Americans from every walk of life! There is absolutely NOTHING we as Americans cannot do! We have only been around a little over 200 years and we were the first nation to walk on the moon! Our military has never lost a war. (By the way, the politicians lost Viet Nam, not the military!) So if I am labeled a loser because I do not have the time or the money to try to recruit others to buy higher-priced items from a catalog, then I am proud to be called a loser because I know in my heart that as an American, I AM NOT A LOSER! And neither are the rest of the Americans who "failed" in Amway!

So, Sidney, keep up the good work and don't let the pro-Amway people steal your dream!!


I with great intersest have been reading about the concerns people have with building an "Amway" business. I to have been involved in this business for many years, and I have spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to build my business. It took me almost 5 years to reach the level of direct, and 2 years more to reach the level of Emerald, where now I do make a 6 figure income, coming from both products and tapes. This is my point I want to make to you however. In any business venture, be it Multi-level or conventional, you must invest money to make money. Before retiring and going "full-time" in the Amway business, I owned a publishing company. I got a loan for $220,000 thousand dollars just to open my doors. It took me over 3 years to turn a profit in that business. Now you compare that kind of money, to the small amount of money a person would need to invest in the "Amway Business" to make themselves successfull. There is no comparison, and by the way, 85% of all conventional business that start up will fail also. Had I lost my Publishing company, I would have lost more money than by far than did anyone throughout your reports. To be successfull in life, you must risk. I could take any of the people in your article, and with the help of Dexter Yeagers education system, all of them could become successful if they truly wanted to become so. I appreciate your time, and would love to hear back from you.

With the time you spent putting this lame site together, you could have made very good money in an extremely legitimate American business!

Hey Sidney,

Thanks so much for the research on "The Business". Believe it or not, I am an Emerald, but before you jump my case, I guess you would refer to our business as quite a bit different than what you 've experienced. I always say when I STP the one downside of this business is people.. anytime you get people involved, you'll have problems !!! I'm not one of the holier than thou buttheads or evangelistical jerks people associate with an Amway business, matter of fact I:

a. Drink beer with my directs......and laugh at "amdroids"
b. Have a career /over 20 yrs with a Fortune 500 co.
c. Have probably 100% profitable businesses in our group
d. Do use a support system/ but ONLY for those who want the material
e. Put every cent of business support profit back into the group as incentives/promotions etc(car leases,vacations etc)
d. Don't get caught up in the "Hype", have a very well balanced life
f. Enforce strongly the 10 customer rule w/ proof
g. Don't hide the name AMWAY
i. Treat and promote our enterprise as a BUSINESS and that will take effort and time.

I hope you understand there are some of us out here who are trying to run good businesses…It's funny to bring up Amway in a bar or someplace not known for distributors to hang out in..and see the looks on peoples faces. So many experts have tried to go toe to toe with me, but coming from such an un-Amway Amway business just blows them away !!! It's alot of fun.

The funny thing is, The company I work for is a customer driven firm and is dealing with hundreds of lawsuits at a time.....College is supposed to be the way to succeed…and look at the costs and quitting about a a racket…I wish this business was a cult..then every one would do what they should…Price comparing…look at 7-11 and do they stay in business We have been told that success may cost your family…to be available on a beeper 24 hours a day..when to report and what to wear…and that's at my JOB !!! Sidney…The bottom line is responsibility and the unfortunate thing is in our society today, people want it now with little effort…That will not happen in anything…But, as I always say, as long as there are people in this business.. we're going to have all the idiotic crap going on…

Thanks Sidney,for keeping us updated…love to hear back from you..and I hope you'll cut a little slack to,what looks like just a few, of us guys who are trying to do the right thing.....thanks ....BGR.

Hi ,

Here's another contribution to your collection. These email responses are definitely the most revealing aspect of the whole business. I am astounded and amazed by the neanderthal responses of a lot of distributors. They really don't like it when the like shines into their darkness. Their income is based on that darkness. Their hopes and dreams are built on the preservation of that darkness.

I have been a distributor for about 2 months, and have had a lot of uneasy feelings about many things. Waiting for things to fall in place, but they never did. As soon as I read stuff on your site, as well as others, everything clicked. The burdens were lifted, and there is now a smile on my face. I have seen a lot of unrighteous things around Amway folk. What crystalized everything for me was when I read that Dexter Yaeger admitted 2/3 of his income was derived from motivational materials. Now everything makes sense. Even the public's attitude. One can't hide the deceit that has to be there to build that kind of business. The public understands. Amway folk call it normal business; real folk call it manipulation.

How can a business be so worthy of acclaim if one's success is built upon the lives of so many people who are losing money? So what if someone and everyone around them becomes rich with Amway. That just means the source of their wealth is many, many people who are losing money - IT WILL ALWAYS BE THAT WAY! If Amway apologists feel good about that…

Do you know why people hate you so much for attacking their dream? Because it is built on sand, and they think it's built on rock.

Will I stay a distributor? Most likely. Now that I'm in, there are some benies to be had, and I can make some money thru catalogs. Not much, but I can at least get my investment back out of it. However, the Britt system is persona non grata.


I love this site! I plan to read every bit of it! I scanned most sections and the information is great!

Question: My sister and her dim-wit husband have been in The Business for six years. They are so deeply into debt that it's sad. Should I send my sister this info as a "wake-up call" or let her sink even further? She's a smart girl, just stupid when it comes to this Amway crap.

Did you know that Amway also instructs its distributors in ways of avoiding the bill collector? They instructed my sister to 'forget' to sign checks, to 'accidentally' send the electric bill to the phone company, etc. and how to weedle money from relatives to attend "meetings".

Are there really this many STUPID people in this country?!!

P.S.AT& T is initiating a crack down on distributors who work at AT& T. If more companies would do the same, maybe people would get the picture!!


we have been in amway for a little over 10 years. worked hard the 1st 2 then pretty much have worked it slowly, in a maintenance capacity. we make over 30k per year don't rip anybody of and don't promote any system. we just sponsor people, promise to help them, and then do. many of the people who have become our associates make a fair living as well. if you work, don't let people suck you into doing things that don't make sense, and deal honestly with the people you sponsor you'll do just fine.

some folks just seem to get in amway and leave their brain and good sense at the door. not an evil empire just adifferent way to solve the common problems.

Hi Sid,

I had a good read of some of your articles and found them interesting. It seems obvious to me that you have a very limited knowledge of business in general and probably will be one of the masses wondering what happened when you get an empty envelope from social security administration. You ought to get on with life and use your talents to help and encourage others to do the same.

My experience with Amway products and distributors has been totally positive. I should say that I have several years of conventional business ownership behind me and currently own a very profitable manufacturing business. Coming from this background I see the Amway business opportunity as the most straight forward way for anyone to build a financial empire. I have never had anyone give me a better offer.

By the way, what are you offering that has any potential at all. I didn't see anything about you having a better idea. Actually if you did have a better idea you probably wouldn't have this web site, you'ld be busy doing something about it.

Successful people are always the ones who have the 'You can do it too.' attitude. Unsuccessful people are ones who feel like if they don't have a good life then nobody should, or that they are entitled to the profits of the producers.

Thanks for the resolve to push forward to financial independence.

Somebody commented that he and his wife were involved in a cult-like organization, the International Churches of Christ, that was very similar to the way Amway runs its business. I have been involved in both as well and I whole-heartedly agree. Any organization that suggests that you try to be like your higher ups (or upline) and suggests that you try to emulate those who are successful in the business in every aspect is infringing on being a cult.

Dear Sidney,

I remember locating your site several months ago when I was fresh in the "Amway" scene and I was apalled at how ignorant all these "negative-Amway" people could be.

I responded with all the comments of how wrong they were and they just didn't KNOW how it worked and I'm positive and I WILL BE FREE and so on and so on. Unofortunately, I can't find my comment now because there are so many.

My husband and I were Amway distributors for almost one year and we decided to drop out. I have nothing against Amway because I think several of the problems people have are with the PEOPLE in Amway and not the company. I still think that Amway is a wonderful company with several nasty distributorships going on around them.

When we were in the business we had a good relationship with our sponsors and we still do. (We met them when the husband approached my husband at a gas station one day). I think that people get involved with the business and just get "sucked in".

I still listen to the Goads music, although the words mean nothing, the tunes ARE catchy. I think that while we were in it was more of a social thing for us rather than a business thing.

I'm amazed at how many people have been involved in the business. I meet more and more people who notice my Artistry make-up or something in my home and ask if we're distributors. Soon, I'm into a conversation about our individual experiences with being a distributor.

I think that being "in Amway" caused several problems with my husband and I. But, when people used to say this to me, I responded with (the programmed answer) "Amway doesn't create problems, it brings them in the open." Well, I disagree with this now. My husband and I have a wonderful relationship but, with all the things that Amway brought into our life we fought. (like spending hundreds of dollars a year on tools and spending WAY more than 8-10 hours a week with the business)

There is another wonderful link called "The Amway Page" that is on the internet somewhere. It reveals a lot of simple information from three people who were once in the business.

Too many people are in for 2,3,4,5,6 years and not moving up too quickly. But, I think that once you have invested that many years of your life and as much money as it takes to purchase 2-6 years worth of tools, you're hoping that it's gonna happen.

That's all I have to say about this situation. I'm glad I had the experience and I was in a great upline during it. I haven't left with bad memories or feeling of being brainwashed. But, it's not something I will ever do again or recommend to my friends.

Good Luck in spreading the word and helping people understand what this is all about. If they just ask the right questions to their upline, they'll be suprised by the answers or the brush-offs!

Thank you -- That little voice inside my head kept saying, "This is too good to be true. What are you doing? Say No. Find out more…" Thanks for giving that "little voice" credibility! I knew something was fishy from the first moment I walked into the gathering… but I couldn't express it, or defend myself against their cult-like reasoning. And to think that I had almost signed up anyway. Thank you!

THis is the only suitable response, and it does not come from my mouth.

Finally all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. FOr, " Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."


Dear Sidney Schwartz:

First of all I must say that the topics discussed in this page all make sence and are in some instances I can relate to them because I have verified them with former Amway representatives.

There is something I would like to know; several representatives claim that "Amway Corporation" is or has formed part of the Fortune 500 companies. However I have visited the Fortune web page and I have searched inside out and do not find any relevant information.

Have you heard such claim before? Do you know whether this is true?, how do you know that?

If you can answer these questions I would greatly appreciate it.

Sid, Great job!! oh-by the way I think the rest of these lunitics (ambots) are just burned about the truth-sometimes it can hurt. P.S.: Who says you need money to be successfull ?

Dear Mr. Scwartz,

First of all, I would like to commend you for putting forth such time and effort to inform the public about something so potentially dangerous.

Now for the reason behind my message. The context of this message is not to express my opinion about Amway, yet to get better informed. First, I'll give you a little history about my situation. I used to be very good freinds with a distributor who'll I'll call G. He was a good freind of mine all through highschool. We used to party together and do the usual highschool thing. 2 years ago I left the small town where I live to attend college in Dallas, Tx. I had come back to visit my family after a year and I called my freind to see what he was up to, and to see if he wanted to get together and do something. As I had expected, he seemed very happy to hear from me, and to hear that I was back in town. However not only to my surprise and disgust, instead of talking about the "old days" of high school, I found myself sitting through a five or six minute sales pitch, after which he then invited me to a "house party" in which he was throwing in order to "show the plan". I ended up telling him I would be there in order to get off of the subject. I then ended the conversation, and stayed at home. After not speaking to him in more than a year, all he was interested in was whether he could sponsor me or not. I presently own a computer business, have a good background in selling, and studied many cults as a hobby in highschool. Six months later, I allowed him to show me his business just to see what he was so excited about. I looked at the plan, and calculated the numbers based on their "$200 average" and found that just to go direct, I would have to run a minimum of $15,000 through my business for at least 6 months. I am currently not in the business, and do not intend to be. However, due to my strong moral and ethical beliefs, I do not intend to sit back and watch as others are decieved by this organization. I find it very ironic that the higher distributors in the organization are very quick to talk about how much money can be earned, and yet none of these people will disclose their earnings to anyone. All of this aside, the reason for which I am sending this message, is because of my interest in other people's experiences with Amway. What I would like to do, is collaborate with other current, or ex-distributors. If you could please help me get in contact with such people, Whether it be via phone or e-mail, I would be extremely grateful. Thank you for your help.

Thanks for putting this information out.

Just dropping you a quick note…just tonight, a close friend invited me to come down to the local Perkin's to listen to a presentation…I told him this better not be for some "Amway" pitch, but low a behold…thank you for this web page! For a brief moment there, I was actually considering, but not anymore. I've always known about Amway, and the pyramid crap, but almost got sucked in, or 'brainwashed' by the "distributor". Thank You!


How goes it these days? I've enjoyed reading the new material you've posted on your website. I'd love to see the tools business be revealed for what it is and people send a message to these guys by not buying them. Wouldn't that be funny? Can you imagine, a diamond having to live on product sales alone? They would probably have to work at a "loser job" to maintain their lifestyle.

Anyway, I just wanted to drop you a quick note and tell you that the diamond who used to be my "hero" left a message on my answering machine yesterday. You've read my messages and I've explained to you how this guy slammed me when we got out of the system, etc. Not to mention the fact I have $1500 worth of NEW tools in my garage that they will not take back.

This jerk tells me that it's been a while since we "chatted" (about a year since his motivational speech) and that he was thinking about us and how we were doing, blah - blah - blah. He made some sarcastic comments about "I was just wondering if your new job was still working out and if you were the president of the company yet, etc.." He also added "…or whatever.." Like he really gives a crap!

It just goes to show you that these people are so wrapped up in the hero worship thing that they must think they can treat anybody (that's at a lower pin) like crap and the people should just be honored that a diamond would be willing to spend some of their precious time with a "loser" who has a job! Give me a break!

The sad thing Sidney is that is exactly what the system promotes. People keep doing the system because they are told if you don't do it they will never have anything and they take mental and emotional abuse and spend their hard earned money from their "loser jobs" to support these "winners" who accept them. There is an incredible amount of power in acceptance, and since most people have a low self worth and do not feel accepted, they latch on to Amway because for the first time in their life they feel accepted.

What they don't realize is that they will eventually become more codependent than they ever thought about being on a job. So much in fact that they will basically forget about reality and keep spending money on a system that never produces meaningful financial results for the vast majority of people who participate in it.

These people are messing with people's lives and it seems to me they are not to concerned with what is really produced in the lives of people who put their hopes and dreams in a business that will never work (for the vast majority). It should be apparent fairly early (like the first plan one sees) that the focus of the business is not on the actual providing of good products and services, but on what one can get out of it! What other business are you directed to use the products whether you like them or not because if you don't you will never have "your dreams". As I've thought about it more, I believe this is one of the reasons people feel so unethical about the business. They don't really like all the products and they are trying to convince (maybe a better word is USE) people to buy them so they can get a cut.

Anyway Sidney, this is a little longer and more philosophical that I intended but this stuff still gets me a little fired up. Have a good one and I look forward to hearing from you.

[This email was directed at the creator of a pro-Amway site and cc’d to me.]

I just visited your web site refuting all the anti-Amway comments. You are in way too deep buddy! I think you need to read and listen to what you say. You are out there!

I was a distributor for AMWAY for 3.5 years. I was in the Britt line, and spent thousands of dollars on good products at outrageous prices, on trips to rallies in various states, open meetings, tools, etc. I did not make a go of the Amway business and it's not for lack of faith, perserverance, or trying. The truth is less than 1% of all distributors do make it big in the business. I'm talking Diamond or above (that's less of a chance then the 98% of people that don't make it in "real life"). Do you really think that the reason 99% of the distributors "fail" is because they don't have a big enough dream? Get off your cloud and come back to earth. Amway DOES operate in a CULT-Like atmosphere. I have been to the rallies, heard the EDC's, Diamonds and Crown's speak. They don't espouse certain religious beliefs? - HAH!!!!! You say that you are a married Jewish man and that Amway does not encourage any particular religion - Well Bill Britt sure as hell does. I personally have heard Bill Britt say that Jews need to be saved. That he himself saved a Jewish friend of his by teaching him the New Testament and showing him that the way to the glorious afterlife is by being born-again and getting fully dunked (baptized). Bill said he was there when his formerly- jewish friend took his dunking and he thanked God that he was able to save another soul.

No religion pushing there!! Bill is a fascist and a neo-Nazi, and a million Amway distributors would pray for my soul and defend him, but I, and others know what we hear. Hitler convinced millions of people his way was the right way, too!

Amway as a corporation is not the problem, it is the distributors who push the products and sponsorship in such a way that it is mind-controlling. You say that upline doesn't control, they "recommend". That's what control is. If your wife wanted to buy a blue car and you wanted a red car, she would "recommend" that you get a blue car, argue her side, and deep inside you might really want a red car, but because you want to please her, because you want her approval, you would probably give in and get the color she wanted. Because you would not want to cause a rift over something as trivial as a color. But, then again, your wife is probably a good little Stepford/Amway wife and wouldn't disagree with her all-knowing hubby anyway! This control is exactly how tools are sold, how rallies are promoted, how products are sold, how religion is sold, how souls are sold. They prey on the weak-spirited, those without strong convictions, without strong family ties, with a lower or average education, those that can be manipulated. Sure you'll say "but we have doctors and lawyers and NASA physicists in this business, they are highly educated", but what about their strength in the other areas? Almost all of them say "I really didn't have a belief in God until I got in this business, it opened my eyes and my mind". How many times have you heard them say "You gotta stand for something, or you'll fall for anything"? Do you realize that if that applied, you wouldn't have gotten involved with them? I hope you come to your senses and walk - no run, as fast and as far from the Amway business as you possibly can. You will be doing your family and hundreds of others a great service.

I know that most of what they do is smoke and mirrors. Products are substandard and way over priced. I know this, because 12 years in R& D. They were a christian company when Rich ran the company, now that he is out of the picture the company has no morals and are just interested in the bottom line. Also, they are planning a large downsizing of middle managment because sales are leveling off and they very top heavy. The company is only interested in perception not the heart. The heart is almost dead now, unless money can buy a knew one.

I find myself at your site, not as an "ex-distributor", not even as a "maybe I might try it once I find out more" kind of person. No, my singular purpose in visiting your EXCELLENT site is to arm myself with some FACTS to help me discourage the beast at my door, on my phone, in my letterbox and probably, under my bed for that matter. It's hard to see how Amwayians fail to perceive their own conundrum, but they do. Blindly, they continue singing the company song, like a chorus of toads they croak the same line to anyone near them. All I've asked is to be left alone and this simple task is unintelligible to the saved, the knowing few. I don't need your savior, I need some peace. Thank you for a thoughtfully compiled site. Of particular use to me, the "statistics" and "Consumer Report" articles. I really don't want to argue the cult/not a cult position because, as I have said, my purpose is to discourage/enlighten them. I suggest emphasizing the sort of information that harassed individuals (such as myself) can use in defense of this bunch.

I would like to say that this site is a complete waste of time. Let me just say this about the Amway business. Amway is just like any other business… some people fail and some people succeed. That's life! Amway gives people an OPPORTUNITY, and that's all. It's up to people to do with it what they will. Again just like any other business. If anyone has ever owned or operated there own business, then maybe they would understand the concept of investment vs expenses. And maybe they would understand that it takes GUTS and a lot of hard work to build any business, no matter what business it is! The training "system" is better than any other training system than I have seen in the corporate world. As a matter of fact the corporation that I worked for went bankrupt due to the simple fact that there "system" failed. The Amway business keeps growing while a tremendous amount of other companies are failing…hmm. That tells me that the system works period, end of story.

You know it's a shame that this site exists because it does nothing but waste time talking about a business that works. Amway's business volume increased 500 million dollars in the fiscal year 1996. So don't be upset if you can't build the business or if you lost money…that's the law of the averages. See, some people have what it takes and some people don't. Hard work, guts and good people skills are hard to come by. But even for the people who don't have those skills at first. Amway offers the OPPORTUNITY to build those skills in people through it's "system". So go ahead folks get involved with a "Real" business. go ahead and find out what it takes to build a "Real" business. Find out what the expenses and all the headaches are of running your own business. I challenge you to find anyhting better than this. And even if your business succeeds…you'll be working your rear end off for the rest of your life. I'll continue to build my Amway business, play lots of Golf, spend more and more time with my wife, and get to see my Kids grow up …hey it sure beats having a job. And it sure beats worrying about getting downsized. And it sure beats working for someone elses dreams and not mine!

This site is like the water cooler at work…everyone sitting around talking a bunch of crap instead of getting back to their desks and being productive!

Misery loves company. I prefer to keep company with winners !! And that's why I am proud to be an Amway distributor!




I have recorded messages from my upline 'Ruby' stating that the 10 customer rule and the 70% rule are Amway enforced rules and have nothing to do with the FTC. Is this true? He also told me in so many words that I didn't have to follow the rule.

I've been a distributor for about 6 months and I am having some serious questions about some of the things I've been told from my upline. It seems that the whole sponsoring process is so 'cloaked' in deceit that you really don't begin to see some things for several months.

Thanks for a great page - you're a _real_ winner, because to tell it like it is.

Thank you for your article. I am an MLM new comer and knew very little about the MLM market. Thank you for bring up the "other side" of the story.

[This guy’s entire message was in the subject field of the message header.]

To: <>
Subject: Amway Is the best thing going, If Your not bright enough to understand that, then you shoud just keep your silly job and let this Great Business be because you don't deserve to be an amway distributer!!!!!!
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 00:08:37 -0500


I was reading through your site, Interesting. Personally, I've seen "grpups" pf these Amway people, and it bothers me. I've been approached on numerous occasions, and led into a conversation that exited at an opportunity… Amway. It pisses me off.

One thought that you may want to share with others, concerning the supposedly neccesary sacrifices that Amway people make, as they progress upwards… financial sacrifces that all who engage in a personal business, supposedly face…

As per a recent lecture given by a national, well known lecturer/ business consultant:

"The number one, fundamental assumption that people make, when starting their own bussines, is that they need money, and lot's of it…" "That's why they fail. They need to identify their customers, and have commitments for their product, before they stock or make the product"

This is definitley not the way that Amway "helps" it's people start their own bussineses. It's just bad form.

Ja que o negocio da Amway na funciona, diga-me qual funciona, vc tem alguma alternativa ? Eh claro q todos os negocios tem seus pontos positivos e negativos....mas pq vc talvez nao teve sucesso c/a amway vc agora esta demonstrando a sua ira…nao eh o negocio q nao funciona amigo…eh vc.

Thanks for all the info! I was solicited only one hour ago by a distributor (I said "Maybe, but probably not") at a restaurant, and then went straight to my VT220 to gather a little info. Needless to say, I knew basically nothing about Amway until this morning, and your info was a real eye-opener - it should be given to every college student in America.

I think I just became a Communist. :-)


I've been browsing your page over the past several days. One thing I have noticed is that many of the disgruntled former distributors complain about having purchased numerous tools and attending functions. I have yet to read about a former distributor who has SHOWN THE PLAN 15-20 times per month for several years. From what I've observed in the business, this is what it takes to be successful. No amount of motivational material is a substitute for presenting the business on a constant basis.

I could easily be a disgruntled former distributor, since I have spent a great deal of money on motivational materials and functions. Yet, in my 3 years in the business, I have been "inactive" 90% of the time. Did I buy motivational tapes and attend functions regulary? Yes. Did I show the plan 15-20 times/month? No. More like 20-30 times in 3 years. Who's fault is that? Mine. Should I expect success with such a dismal performance on my part? No.

The great thing about Amway is that it does work. However, it does take time and effort as does any business. I would guess that the founders of any Fortune 500 company chose to dedicate a great deal of their time and effort, not to mention money, before their business became profitable. Unfortunately, many new Amway distributors think Amway is a get-rich-quick scheme. They see a bright future, but when friends and family turn them down, they become easily discouraged. Many have never been in business for themselves and fail to realize that their are sacrifices and inherent risks in starting any business. It is much easier to blame your upline, Amway, or God for your failures than to look in the mirror and point the finger at yourself. It is even harder to look in the mirror, accept your failures, and pursue your dream again.

Abraham Lincoln is a model for achievers anywhere. He failed in business, lost his true love, and lost several elections for public offices. I'm sure some of his friends may have said, "Abe, cool it. Why do you keep chasing these dreams? Why don't you just be like us? We like you the way you are. We have fun sitting around drinking beer and watching ESPN, don't we?" Fortunately, Abe didn't give up and eventually became President of the United States. If his friends were any friends at all, they would have supported him every step of the way. Unfortunately, I'm sure some still sat around drinking, watching ESPN, whining "That bastard Lincoln. I thought he was our friend. Now he's busy running the greatest nation in world and has no time to sit around with us."

While I have taken liberty with the above story, I think it relates to many of the messages from people who begin, "My friend, relative, co-worker, etc. just got in Amway and…" To those people, please, allow your friend, relative, or co-worker to fail or succeed. Please encourage them. Don't belittle them. Amway is an opportunity to achieve their dreams, but it is only an opportunity, not a guarantee.

Excuse me for being long-winded. I have seen Amway inside and out. It does has its problems as does any other business (believe me, I've been trying to get this Windows 95 thing working properly for the past 5 weeks--as has the staff at Microsoft technical support). If I put as much effort into showing the plan as I have spent thinking about it, I'd be successful at this point. However, I still have that opportunity.

Temporarily Inactive (due to own fault)

I will start by saying I am an Amway distributor. I only buy the products for personal use, although I have pushed the business and the products more in the past.

I understand what youyr site is trying to do: Discourage people by saying Amway is the worst thing around, pushing religon, politics, and abusing people's pocket.

It is true that the tapes, books and meetings are expensive and cause the distributor to make a loss. But what you don't say is that the purchase of 'non-amway' products is not compulsory. The company is against it and so are genuine distributors.

You would be better to expose the distributors who misrepresent the company goals. Why blame the company when distributors over estimate incomes. Large incomes can be achieved. I personally know people who earn large amounts. It did not happen by itself. A lot of hard work goes into a business like that.

Re: the quotations:

Please reply to me with your exact objection to the following quote. Some people do drive fancy cars etc, and has a *little* distributor, it annoys me when they rub it in my face. If they say, 'this is here for you if you work the business' - what's the problem with that.

"We will talk about the big picture--no problem--while making sure we do not diminish those who choose to do less or make them feel like losers. I hear that very often. 'There's winners and losers. Are you a winner? Are you a loser?' Almost insulting to people who don't sign up. You even got bad terminology. 'We're the winners. Over there are the losers in life.' They're not losers. They may have a richer, fuller life than those of you that got fancy cars and new clothes or big rings have got."

--Rich De Vos

I agree with you that the comments of some of the leading distributors are objectionable [Dexta Yager etc]. What you don't understand is that of the many distributors in the business, only a very small minority shoot their mouth off like this. Most are hard working and keep to themselves.

As for the average sales figures. 95% of distributors only buy 2 or 3 products for themselves, so the overall average sales number will be low. I have no problem with that and neither does my sponsor or any of my uplines. I buy products for myslef and my mum and that's it.

No-one in my group has ever called me a loser because I don't build my business. If they did, I would probably punch them out as they is plain rude.

I am not niave enough to believe that the company is perfect, but you show me one company that is perfect! I respect your right to your opinion, but you attributing quotes made by distributors to the company is WRONG. The distributors pushing religon and politics are operating clearly outside company guidelines.

PLease respond to my direct question about the above Rich De Vos quote. I will agree to disagree with you on other matters, in needs be.


I wonder if US courts will look at what is happening in Albania with their population riots over failed pyramid investment schemes and begin to correlate it with the flawed structure of MLMs (aren't they all investments in the future that redistribute profits made from the innocent investors at the bottom of the "matrix")? I firmly believe Amway can only expand so far before they run out of countries and the ability to expand their consumer base with people who have sufficient income to buy their products. Simple logic tells me this, although it may be another 20-30 years before we see a collective and organized crowd of angry "dreamstealers" willing to testify about the destructiveness of MLMs, with data from the world over as testimony to their truths. Time will tell. Until then, I'll read your website for updates.

You are obviously a loser, you have nothing better to do and i think you ought to get a live you idiot.we have been in the business for 3 months I think all of the information that you have included with this stupid internet page is all bull shit.

I've had three people try to get me into Amway. One when I was young and foolish: I didn't go for it, because it just seemed to be one of those "too good to be true" things. Of course, it was.

Later, people I knew and trusted tried to do the same. It was unbelievably deceptive and I REALLY wonder how people who I knew are decent can be so brainwashed.

But then it came to me: the people who are really big on Amway are the type that go in BIG TIME for all kinds of things. These people are very often into and out of a series of 'things' that are just great for them: all kinds of money making schemes, Scientology, big-time religion, etc. Thy buy into this kind of Norman Vincent Peale Power of Positive Thinking thing and go from one obsession to another. Amway attracts the same kind of people that go in for Hare Krishna, the Bhagwan, Scientology, and the rest of all that crap. I can't describe it, but you know what I mean.

Since you're on Teleport, I assume your from the Portland area somewhere. Did you see the article in the Oregonian several months ago about this? A new guy moves to Portland with his family from somewhere far away. Three times in just a few months he runs into people in the supermarket or somewhere who strike up a conversation with him and seem SOOO nice and friendly. He thinks nothing of it. But these people (who have obviously been well-trained in this) end up calling him out of the blue (they make it a point to get his full name or something so they can look up his #) and have to talk to him about this "exciting opportunity" and, well, you know the rest.

I finally just gave up on it and started to get REALLY rude to these types; it's the only thing that will turn them off. I did some work at the Forest Service in Portland a few years ago, as part of an audit of Forest Service practices. So they way the thing goes is that the Forest Service people are putting their best feet forward, trying to show that everything is honest and above board. I'm in position to make things pretty hard for them if I find anything wrong, right?; almost like an investigation. So this one woman takes me aside and tells me she has something REALLY important to discuss, but she doesn't feel comfortable talking about it at work. So, given the work I do, I'm thinking "Hey, this is probably a VERY serious allegation of MAJOR wrongdoing. Like a case of embezzlement or something." Because this kinds of thing has happened to me before in the kind of work I do, right?

So we agree to meet over breakfast the next day, away from the building. And I'm expecting to hear about how someone is misusing Forest Service funds to build themselves a cabin in the wilderness or something. And instead she makes some kind of business pitch. I had to tell her that, since I got up early to make this meeting, I was OFFICIALLY on the job and that what she did was stick the taxpayers with a bill for her business interests and that she was dangerously close to trouble with the law. I never told her boss about it, but boy, was it weird. This Amway is a real cult.

Sorry to write so long. I was just surprised to see a website about this subject. Keep up the good work.

Mr. Schwartz,

I have just finished scanning through your Amway page, and must say WOW. Having been a distributor for over 5 years, and not yet attaining what I (still) believe I will in my business I was shocked by your page!

I cannot believe how much time and energy you have put into this site (I build web pages, and know what it takes to organize and maintain a site like yours). Your "SLAMWAY" site, is a bit on the COMPULSIVE side...... If Amway wasn't for you, why spend so much time bashing it. Move on. We do!

Also, I feel that you are slamming Amway, when in fact it seems to me that the organization you were involoved with was not an organization suited for you. The unfortunate part about becoming a distributor, is sometimes you find out that the organization you became a part of might be a bit too much for your style (or in some cases too laid back).

I agree that everyone is entitled to their opinion. I also believe that Amway is not for everyone. However, I do wish that people (like yourself) would understand, that every corporation (including Amway) has people involved in it that do things their way. The Corporation itself is not what you have a problem with, it was the organization you were involved with.

If people could understand that, and know that when they see the opportunity, they also have a choice of meeting distributors from other organizations to decide which organization will work well with their temperment, there would be a higher renewal rate, and less dissatisfied ex-distributors like yourself.

It just seems to me that if you were to spend as much time working the business, as you do slamming it, your view of the Amway opportunity would be very different.

Hello !

While surfing this evening I found your page , interesting stuff. Your point about the REAL money in Amway being made in the tapes etc is I think correct. Many years ago I was approached with the oppoutunity but felt it was too hiped! However I did become involved with a Networking company, the problem I see with Amway is that a typical rep' is pressured to perform. This pressure from the "upline" leads the reps'to be deseptive with their friends as this is what gives Amway a bad name on the streets. I have a friend active in Amway at the Diamond level who has felt betrayed for some time about pushing the "tools". However there are many networking companies out there who are not cultish or deceptive. Since my involvment with Networking I have been approached with more Scams than I care to remember but the fact remains "Networking Works". My family are one of the few that made the commitment to ourselves to give the industry a chance and stick it out. We knew it would take time and we had no intetion of quiting our day jobs. The lure of quick money attracts many people to networking but when people realise it is NetWORK they quit-such is life.Our Networking Buisness hs allowed us to retire from our regular jobs and travel as much as we want, at the moment we are touring the country in a motorhome! Can anyone in Networking do this YES!! Will they NO!! This is after all the real world! A woprd of caution if you sense that a person is pressuring you to "Take A look " DON"T . If it's a good deal today it will be tommorrow, ask any successful networker what has built their buisness, it's alwasys the same HONESTY!If you believe a company is really pushing the Tools -Stay away, many great tools are available on the open market. Thanks for having the gumption to allow an open forum!


I don't know precisely of what you are talking there, what I know is that here in Canada a branch of the Britt organization, in which my girlfriend is actively involved, actually pursues the marketing to its distributors of a kind of "pay phone" or so it seems to me. It is some kind of "direct messaging" device that links together all the members of that pyramid (under Diamond Direct André Blanchard who has been with Britt for about a year but has been active in Amway here in Quebec province for about 35 years).

I may try to get some additional information on this if you are interested.

By the way and since I mentioned it, I am very much intrigued by the fact that Blanchard suddenly "switched" Amway branches about a year ago to join the Britt system. Of course in his organization all the Britt features are clearly present, including huge rallies, "Go Direct" competitions in which distributors are supposed to compete each other in recruiting new members (and pay 140$ each for the privilege of doing so), "seminars" led by millionaire superstars generally from the states, "dream gala" of 48 hours and more where participants are brainwashed by constant shouting and "motivational" speeches, pressure sale of tapes and books to distributors, and so on. I came dangerously close to breaking up relationship with my girlfriend over this Amway business - a saturday evening Amway "motivation seminar" not being my concept of a night out. My girlfriend - who is a low-level manager in the provincial power utility - almost lost her job after being denounced by her employees as harassing them to enter the Amway business. Of course in the Blanchard organization everything is directed towards recruiting new members; retail selling of products is clearly of secondary value and even discouraged by some hi-level gurus.

If you would happen to have some stuff on the past history of this Blanchard and his closest ally, another diamond named André Bélair, I would be greatly interested to receive it - or to be told where I can find it. Blanchard has been an Amway distributor since c.1961 and Bélair, since 1967. Both seem outwardly rather well-of financially, with huge houses and luxury cars to boot.

Right on Sidney!! I like your website…As Abe Lincoln once said, You can't fool all the people all the time!! It's amazing how many people still stay in the system even though a simple price comparison of the Amway products with outside retail shows that they are not competitive either price wise or quality wise for the most part…Even the ones that might be better are not significantly so…

Hell No I Won't Go! Should be on the lips of every person invited to one of the "secret" and "discreet" meetings which promote Amway. It's amazing to me that already existing strict rules and guidelines set by the IRS and other government agencys haven't brought an end to Amway. The same tactics are still being used by Amway distributors today as was 15 years ago. Although now a bit of honesty creeps into the hyped sales pitch for anyone familar with MLM, and that being "it's a numbers game". Going for the gold can sure take its toll on those looking for free money at someone else's expense. And Amway distributors will even cheat their own mothers! Once on the cultic bandwagon its a no holds barred arena of greed,lust and depravity for THE AMERICAN DREAM.

I know people who have quit their jobs to make a fortune in MLM. People who have given up a normal lifestyle to play on the stage of Pyramid Power. And now even the small churches are being invaded by these rackeeters. What can be done when the minister is at the helm? Sit back and watch as the membership is quickly destroyed. Watch as families remain hyped out of their minds while their children are being neglected. Watch as the donations are being spent on profit centers. Doesn't the scriptures teach that Christians are to be good stewards over God's money? Who is being helped anyway?

Back to case in point - Amway. As more than an average amount of control, directiveness etc., is placed on distributors, does that not constitute Amway as an employer and therefore obligated to pay wages and benefits to its sales force? I would think so as the IRS Rules and Guidelines are particularly strict on this. From what I have been told by every tax and business consultant I have contacted, Independent Contractors are considered employees if they must adhere to strict company policies that police their movements. If one must attend meetings on a scheduled basis, adhere to rules of set company policies such as what to say, how to say it, what to wear, etc. and be in consistant submission to companies guidelines. Or maybe the IRS ruling excludes Amway. What's wrong with this picture?

Thank you for a very informative and enlightning website. Hopefully would be victims of the net wave to riches will cue in and take notice.

Why don't the people that invite you to a"presentation" ever tell you that it is AMWAY? They now tell you that it is an opportunity to get into "Interactive Marketing" Went to a meeting last night. Was told that it would only last one hour--two hours later, I left!!!!!!

It took the presentor, some guy from Cincinnati, one hour and fifteen minutes to finally put the word, "AMWAY" on the board, and then he only claimed that it was the mode of distribution of the products. What deception!!!!!!!!! People can say what they want, but it is a pyramid system (only they shape it like a circle) that depends upon you sucking your friends and neighbors into it.

All I heard the guy say was that "he gets money and doesn't have to work for it". This sounds to good to be true, and probably is. It is a cult, it is deceptive, and it pushes one to be motivated by pure materialism. Sorry folks, I ain't into materialism. I feel sorry for those that are sucked into AMWAY, they shall reap what they sow, and will find themselves all alone. It is like becoming a parasite, having to live off of some unsupecting host (those that you sponsor).

Bottom line--I did not get suckered in, and will do whatever I can to prevent others from falling prey to their idea that "by and by, we'll all eat pie in the sky".