Amway: The Untold Story

Your Comments, Part 37

(6/97 - 7/97)

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]

The Web page has lot of useful information. I guess you can add this web site in all search Engines.

I read the complete law suit. I was involved in the business for a while and I realized that the mathematics is not straight forward. They seem to play with basic human feelings of hope, faith and belief. I appreciate your initiative and I wish all good luck in the class action suit.

Is there any other WEB Site with similar information


just wanted to say thanks for the site - you've just saved me an awful lot of potential problems. I was approached about joining "the business" here in the UK and was being shown how to "check it out" but all I was being given was the good side of how wonderful AMWAY was - this page has certainly shown the other side of the coin! At last I can see where the catch is even after being told that "there is no catch, that's the catch".

I briefly read the page on price comparisons and the most amazing one that I could find was an increase of nearly 240%(!) over the normal retail price. When I challenged the prospective "upline" he said that some items were more expensive through the catalogues but that an item could be returned if you could buy it cheaper locally.

Good luck with the continuance of the site. Do you need to warn South Africans that AMWAY is soon to start up there too?

You have some info regarding Amway products, but it was a little old. Are you aware of any new info regarding comparative pricing on Amway products. I am in "the business", but I am looking at all aspects. Generally I like the idea of buying for yourself and showing others how to do the same. Having products delivered directly to your home etc. etc. I am not into the rallies, monthly meetings and the other hype that goes along with it, so I am not loosing any money, but can a person do the business based on the products alone??

21% of the worlds millionaires are made through this network!

Why does this web site seem obsessive? What compells you to focus so much of your attention on the business procedures of Amway? An extensive web page for the sole purpose of informing the public? I suspect another motive. Is this a full time, income producing career or just something you do in your "spare time"?

Thank You for your efforts that could possibly keep many "vulnerable" people/couples from falling into the AM-SCAM. They make it sound soooo sweet that one almost feels compelled to "give it try because they don't have anything to lose". Actually they have everything to lose.

My wife was approached by a receptionist where she goes to school and being the friendly type and not wanting to hurt the young ladies feelings, was unfortunate enough to listen to the babble for a few minutes. The next thing that I knew, her husband/business partner was calling me trying to get me to let him come over to show me this "phenomenal" plan.

To make a long story short, my wife was just a little bit interested in it so we did let him come over to show his "plan". I have to admit, it did sound inviting at first, but then again if getting rich in 2 to 5 years doesn't sound inviting to you, then you should probably call your doctor and have a cat scan scheduled.

The way that they present this stuff is pretty slick. They simply bombard you with comparisons and figures that seem O.K. at first, but fortunately I had a chance to take a few minutes from my extremely busy schedule and do MY OWN COMPARISONS. What a rip off!!!!! These are some of the most over priced products that you'll find anywhere. Let's face it, if I can go to the store and get a bag of cereal for the kids for $2.21, why the hell would I want to pay $4.00 for the same product from these scammers??????? "Because you'll be getting PV & BV for it". That's their justification. Forget the PV & BV, just worry about the B.S., and I think that we all know how to interpet that one. My wife was actually going for the PV BV theory. The most basic example that I could give her(before she got too brain washed) if you spend $60.00 for a product that you can buy around the corner for $40.00, and you only get $6.00 back (now I'm not a bonafied economist) but it looks to me like you've just lost yourself a whopping $14.00. Not to mention the the shipping charges and "special handling" charges that are tacked on to it.

I'm gonna' go before I get the urge to go and strangle these amway con artists, but I just wanted to let you know that I'm going to be including a link to your great articles on my home page. Once again, Thanks for your time & effort.

I can't tell you how glad I was that a friend geve me the address to your site. My brother and his wife are so sucked into AMWAY they don't know which way is up. I heard through the grapevine that they are now Diamonds, so I am afraid that the cause may be lost to ever get them back. We never talk about "the business" with them, I usualy hear things through my Mom. My brother hardly talks to me anymore (we were in for almost a year then got out, thank heaven, so we are in the "don't talk to them anymore" category and the only reason we get talked to is because we're family). Their upline quit Amway, she was their barber/hairdresser. My brother now refuses to go there or even talk to them. How do people get this brainwashed????????? I find your site very useful for information on trying to deprogram them. eep up the good work!

You must only know very weak-minded people. To make the Amway business into a cult just because some numb-skull can not think for himself and can be talked into buying more tapes than he can afford, is not the fault of the Amway Co. I suggest that the same person would probably be talked into having their house aluminum sided for free. Or if this person lived in an igloo he would still be sold the recipe for ice. You should grow up. The products work, I buy only what I want, and I am making a nice little profit.

Hi, there,

Your articles are revealing in exposing Amway's cultism. However, lots of these "cult members" are still dreaming about achieving their dreams of becoming "dimond". The basic theme of their "preaching" is that "you can sit home in a few years without doing anything but has six-figure income" and "if you lose your husband, the pivot of family income, no other business can guarantee the long-term security that Amway could provide, you could still has a large income".

Besides the loopholes in their preaching, Amway's "smartest" strategy is to "employ" people doing sales for them but without paying them and instead, these free sales cult members are so willing to pay their own expenses or put in investment for Amway. Once this is mentioned, Amway will say, "you are doing it for yourself".

Well, in this country, freedom is the utmost principle, what can we say about this stupid Amway frenzy. However, the biggest problem for me is that I have an employee, my brother-in-law, who is paid on my money but doing a lot of Amway stuff and even though he is doing his daily work, I know his mind is not on my work, but heavily on becoming the DD and eventually the Diamond. You do not know how excited he and his wife were when they heard that they are "qualified" for visiting a Diamond's home.

I think to be more convincing, you should cite statistics. For example, how many people are recruited into Amway each year, and how many dropped in averagely how long? how many active members are becoming DD and Diamond each year, and what is the percentage? and averagely how long it takes what percentage of active members to become these DD and Diamond. these questions are only some hints to you for more convincing evidence .

My brother-in-law and his wife, my wife's sister, are really crazy about Amway. We are all Chinese and his wife went to China last month to develop Amway network (even though it was fruitless to me), but before leaving she waw trying to borrow some money from us. What I said to her was "Since this is an Amway business trip, why doesn't Amway pay for the trip. Amway does not have the guts and it is using you. Any company pays its employees for their business trip." She replies "Even though Amway does not pay for the trip, the expenses are tax deductible, that's the good thing about Amway, and our long distance calls to China are all tax-deductible". I couldn't help laughing. How can such muddy-headed people be successful in Amway or anything.

Amway appeals to human greediness and to me, only the weakest people or to be more accurate, losers will be fooled by Amway.

Please reply to me with any convincing comments or statistics and with this I can stop a lot of Amway members becoming cult members before they get strapped or addicted.

By the way, were you an Amway member before?

thanks for your time.

















Mr. Schwartz

My ex just went to the "Amway Convention" in Florida. He said that this just cost him $500.00+ . Well what I don't understand is that he's so brainwashed that instead of paying the $620.50 he's behind in child support he went to Florida. He doesn't understand that this company is going to put him in the poor house and possibly jail for nonpayment of Child Support. Just thought I would let you know just the lenghts that these "Amway" people will go. "I have a dream........"

I have to laugh at the e-mails you have received from that goon who did the use/cost analysis for Glister mouthwash or toothpaste (I forget which) and Deter soap. I mean, come on....letting soap soak in water and then weighing it at different stages as it dissolves???? Then comparing this to other soaps and writing a multi-page e-mail detailing your experiment? I'm sure the wizards in Ada are looking for Einstein's such as yourself to work in their R&D department. HA, HA! Get a life goofball. I use the Amway products because I like them…doing silly and useless tests such as that does not inspire me to use them. If I were not familiar with the products, your message would encourage me even less to use them. You are obviously someone who has too much time on their hands....obviously NOT showing the plan like a good little networker. But since you like performing experiments....I have one for you. How about telling me how many functions you can go to, hearing the same old crap, before you begin to throw up? Then, add up the total cost and I'll bet you the cost of all of those functions that I can buy you a case of beer, have you drink them all from 8pm until 2 o'clock in the morning (a typical function night) and get the same effect!

My wife and I became involved in Amway in 1990. Ending the business in 1991. We were involved with a sponsorship line that was connected with the Yeager Organization. We amassed a net loss approaching 3000.00 during this period. Most of which was spent on tapes, literature, and attending functions. It was a very time consuming period in our lives, as we chased business legs in 3 distant states.... My own position as "Operations Manager" for a independent hydroelectric power producer, was already demanding 70 + hours per week from me… Adding the Amway commitment was equal to 20 to 30 hrs per week. This time commitment took it's tole on the relationship between myself and my wife. We finally decided to call Amway "quits" after our upline sponsor's almost succeeded in driving a wedge between my wife and I....

It was amazing that we became that vulnerable to such distructive outside influence in our lives. We we out showing the business plan 3 nights per week, plus weekends. We had to hire several baby sitters, because the one we had could not work that many evenings. These were teen age girls.... One we hired, (she was 14, and her parents were in the AMWAY business) she asked us if she could use our computer to do her homework. After a week or two… I was working on my computer and found several very explicitly named and worded files there. They were some explicit writing by this girl, containing mostly fantasy ramblings of me having sexual contact with her… I was pretty alarmed, because I routinely drove her home after these "late nights" showing the business plan.... I showed the writings to my wife, and we agreed to print them up, and to bring them to this girls mother - to make her aware of this "problem" that she had… The mother proved to be only slightly surprised, and pretty much indiferent to her daughters writing.... Needless to say, we "terminated" this baby sitter. All about (1) day after finding the writings in my computer… About 4 days or so after we terminated this babysitter, we noticed that both children had developed a good case of "head lice"..... Uncertain of their exact point of exposure, and "to do the right thing" we called all our sitters, and any of the childrens "play mates" to be sure they were informed to check carefully for "lice".... When we called this baby sitter who we had just terminated, and spoke to her mother to let her know… she responded to indicate that "her daughter" had recently had "head lice" but that she had gotten over them....

Wow - How's that for you. The daughter had "head lice" but she was still allowed to go and baby sit - for another "business" associate in the AMWAY business. I guess they must have really needed that extra money… WE paid her well at $3.50 per hour…

We left the business, because of the effect it was having on our relationship. In addition, we were forced to "eat" several hundred dollars worth of "function" tickets, because we were unable to move all of them in our downline… In addition, our immediate sponser, chose to assess us for "partial broken case lot - shipping charges" for merchandise.... We found our later on that neither the broken lot charges, nor having to "eat" function tickets, were actually part of the emerald sponsor's policys. But were rather our immediate uplines elective policies - to tell us there were "no refund's" given, and to access us with "partial lot" shipping surcharges, when in fact none were being assessed to them…

IT WAS THIS KIND OF DOWNRIGHT DISHONESTY - That made us realize that were were being both manipulated, and being played as fools by our immediate upline. Not to mention the undue influence they were trying to work on my wife. Attempting to create dissatisfaction at the long hours my job was entailing (Operations Manager), leaving less for the business… Needless to say. We wanted out of the business. Our Upline Emeralds attempted to try and salvage "us" and our down legs, both as a group, and individually - to each leg. Telling us that we could all work "directly" with them, rather that having to go back to our immediate upline… Who were being dishonest to us…

How's that for being "self serving" to their own downline… Offering for us to come and work 'directly through them" instead of through the immediate upline… While I felt that their appeal was a genuine attempt to assist us… I was nothing but a business or a money grab. If they wanted to do good, they should have councelled these other people on ethical business practices.... But they choose to make us this simple "deal direct" offer with them…

As all things go.... We ceased all contact with any one from this Amway community. About a year or so after we left the business, I ran into our immediate upline sponser. He had taken a job. Formerly, he was full time AMWAY, and his wife was "part time" working at a convience store… He was a "car salesman" at a local FORD Dealership…From consumate "dishonest" amway representative - to full time car salesman.

I am a professor here in Nevada. I have friend who is into Amway. Your information helped me (help him) see the truth. Although, he is not agreeing with me, we now have a challenge. He must make "direct" or 2,000 a month by the end of the year. When he can't he must leave "the system".



At the bottom of page 34 someone said " Just wondering. How can people say it is a fraud when there are plenty of decent people making money doing it?

Fraud is defined as "deceit, trickery, sharp practice or breach of confidence by which is sought to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage".

So if you don't tell people it's Amway at the start it's fraud. If you STP and suggest that people in the business earn $2000 a month it's fraud, (this income being possible but so atypical it is deceptive). If you suggest you are earning more than you are from the system it's fraud. If you can't answer questions about the 'business' honestly it's fraud. If you evade the question its fraud.

I have no doubt there are 'decent' people in Amway but the system itself is not decent. There is plenty of evidence here and elsewhere that to make money in Amway literally dozens of other people have to be wasting their time and money in the illusory hope of some future gains. Sort of the modern day equivalent of slavery where you can only escape from the system by convincing others to take your place.

The basic tenent of all major religions is "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Amway contravenes this because the system creates far more losers than winners.

They tell you that the only people who fail are those who quit. They don't tell you how many succeed, or what percentage of those who join quit without making any money or being paid for their efforts marketing Amway.

What I really can't stand are those who say it's not Amway its the 'black hats" or some other group. That's like saying Adolf Hitler wasn't responsible for the holocaust because he didn't personally kill anyone. Amway designed the plan. The plan is flawed. It relys on fraud. AMWAY are responsible !!!!

Please do not post this message with my name. My wife is in Amway DEEP and it has been a source of great distress in our maraige for the last two years. After reading your articles and notes I could not believe how accurate they were to the stories my wife brings home after F.E.D. , Family reunion and all the monthly trips and expenses.

Keep up the good work. I will continue to read. You know I am fighting a loosing battle with my wife. I guess I just have to let her find out for herself in the end. In the meantime it is becoming a very expensive hobby.

Hi Sid,

I thought you'd appreciate my last post to Cserve (Work & Smallbiz forums).

(I'm posting this in Working from Home and the Entrepeneurs' Forum, as I can't remember which one this conversation started in. Sorry if anyone is offended by the duplication.)

Some who frequent this forum may recall my occasional mention of our own former upline diamond - a fast-rising "star" by the name of Casey Combden - who used to do this shtick around the end of big open meetings (probably still does) where he'd challenge "… ANYBODY, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME … to [show him a better way to make money than in Amway]…". They might also recall that not long ago, as part of a running exchange with a member of this forum who's an Amway supporter, I accepted that challenge. At first, this remark was mildly tongue-in-cheek, and was in reference to the "Weekend of the Diamonds" being held at the SkyDome here in Toronto, and I jokingly suggested I might crash the event (I know I could easily have done it) and challenge him there. As our exchange continued, I decided to publicly and formally accept Casey's challenge, and so I started to try to locate him, but neither he, nor his "business" are listed anywhere in the phone book (on-line or hard-copy) and I was getting nowhere trying to find him. Finally, I figured out a no-fail plan: I asked if ANY Amway distributor with an Amvox account would please pass the message upline to Dexter that I was trying to find Casey so I could accept his challenge, as every Amvox account can pass messages upline, and I'm certain Dex would know where to find Casey, and could ensure he knew that his challenge had been accepted, and as an (ostensibly) honourable person, would respond. The ensuing silence could be fairly described as deafening.

A couple of days ago, I got more aggressive about it, and I started calling everybody in our former upline, saying that I really had to speak to Casey, and that it was urgent. While I still haven't spoken to Casey, in person I did get a call from our former upline emerald, who's personally-sponsored by Casey. He wouldn't give me Casey's phone number, but after I told him why I was calling, he (sounding quite perplexed) said he'd pass my message along to Casey and that he'd get back to me. I also said I'd try to arrange media coverage for the "Big Event" (which I bet I could do). The next day (yesterday) Jack called, saying "[…Casey said that before he'd debate with me I'd have to be able to show that I was personally sucessful in whatever income alternative I had to offer.]" I rejected any possibility that Casey had ever mentioned that condition before, but I also pointed out that since I earn more than the average diamond distributorship receives from Amway, as per the SA4400, that ought to qualify, so let's do it, but then Jack said that I had to be making more than a million dollars per year before Casey would honour my acceptance of his challenge. Well, I guess he had me there. I do pretty good, for your basic ignorant university-dropout, dream-stealing Amway quitter/loser who has a J.O.B., but a million a year is beyond my present earning capacity, at least for the moment.

Since I was in the act of picking up a burger at the local Burger King drive-through while this conversation progressed (you should have seen the look on the face of the guy at the drive-thru window when I exclaimed into the phone just as he was passing me the food "… you mean that sleaze-ball expects me to earn a million bucks a year? How many Amway distributors earn that!?!") I can't be sure whether Jack hung up on me, or if the call just got lost. Anyway, Jack didn't call me back, and since I don't have his cell phone number, I couldn't call him.

Before the call was disrupted, I told Jack that on the many (say, 100, who knows?) times I heard Casey offer that challenge, during a period when I still believed he had factual ground upon which to stand, he never stated ANY of the conditions he demands now that someone has actually accepted his challenge. In reflection, I realized that if Casey had ever mentioned the million-per-year thing, Jack would surely have told me this when I first called. Wouldn't Jack have said "[… well, Jamie, I'll pass your message along to Casey, but don't you remember that Casey said he'd take on '…anyone MAKING A MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR, anywhere, anytime…'?"? I mean he's Casey's personally-sponsored emerald, for crying out loud, and he often spoke of how closely he studied Casey's techniques and approaches (in support of "duplication/edification") so he should surely have known how Casey phrased his chalenge, but he apparently did not know of this extra condition until Casey told him yesterday. Yeah, right! I can be a DD maybe making, maybe losing a few grand a year, net, with maybe 50 or 60 people in my downline, and Casey'd probably figure I'm qualified to show the plan for an open meeting with 1000 people attending, but if I want to challenge Casey, the standard is raised somewhat higher.

Lest anyone doubt my qualifications to speak to the topic of income, businesses, "free enterprise", whatever, some background: I grew up in a house attached to our family business, and worked in it, and various other family-effort, seasonal revenue-generating enterprises like lobster-fishing, cutting & selling pulpwood, buying and selling returnable bottles, shoveling driveways, delivering papers, etc., from the age of 5, until I left home for University (by which age I would run the store for the summer while my parents took a well-deserved break). I was also a professional musician (union card & everything) and played in bars for money since I was 14 - I was big enough to pass for 19, if you didn't look closely. At University, to raise money for beer, smokes, and other essentials, I served as residence monitor, held teaching and lab assistantships, and evenings and weekends I would go to the various sporting events, concerts, recitals, pubs, etc., and take pictures of athletes, spectators, performers, revelers, etc., and then would develop and sell prints, sometimes to the newspaper, mostly to the people in the pictures. I've been instrumental in starting and operating small-businesses, several of which are still profitably operated by family members; one venture very nearly bankrupted us, and took EVERYTHING we had, to keep afloat through the depression of 91-92 (folks in the USA might remember a slight recession - we got it a lot worse) but through a lot of hard work and occasional "dog and pony shows" for the bankers, it's OK now. In my employment, I service large and not-so-large clients as a consultant, and I am responsible for developing and marketing new products and services, so I know exactly how it feels to be "in the trenches", and I love to see something I've developed (or helped develop) from an idea and some napkin notes, grow into a real product, which real people are employed to build, and which provide real service and value to the market. I have run millions of dollars worth of projects in a year, and while a few have admittedly achieved less than average ROI, I don't think I've ever lost money on one. (Well, maybe one, but that's whole 'nother story…)

And as an Amway distributor, I submit I have established my qualifications there, as well: I was good at the white-board, but the one-on-one was my forte, wore a 2500 pin at functions, and we were just within reach of 4000 when I quit. Within a month or two, coulda picked up some extra kits, encouraged a few others to do so as well, and that probably would have done it.

True, I don't make a million dollars a year, but I expect to retire with assets of several million, barring some unforeseen catastrophe (which, BTW, if you analyze what you'll need by then, isn't fabulous wealth, but it will be quite comfortable). I mention all of the foregoing only to counter the possible suggestion that I haven't sufficient qualifications in being successful in a business, to accept the challenge Casey Combden has shouted from the stage on so many nights, at opens, at seminars, in his first "featured diamond speaker" speech (which we still have on video, here, somewhere), at go-getters' seminars, whenever he could.

Casey said it, I called him on it, and now he's adding new, and unreasonable, conditions in an attempt to weasel out. What a man!

So, there you have it, folks. Let's see, first it was Paul (Z.P.), and I just sent Casey running for cover ..... (These guys are a couple of Amway BIG GUNS, folks!) .....

How's that thing go, now? Oh, yeah......


Dear Shc.sdfj120024:

I just cant understand, a person investigating 8 years of his life on amway stuff, my GOd!! You really wasted your time dude!! I just wanted to answer on some negative thoughts of people that is or were on amway. Comment: I lost my friends??? Oh poor baby! Excuse me ignorants, if your a drug consumer, are your friends drug consumers too? If your gay, are your nearly friends are gays?? If your a Business succesful man, are your friends similar? If your a alcoholic morron, are your good friends alcoholic?? You got the point kid, if we are amway distributors, are your friends willing to be amway distributors?? (stupid question right).


The next time you are approached by an Amway disciple for a look at the plan, here is what you say. "Show me your 1099 from Amway last year, and show me your 1099 from the sale of so-called motivational material. Don't say another word to me until I see those two things. I was told that if I saw that, I would be unfairly enticed to enter the business. Bullshit, I'm sure if I saw their 1099, I would not even consider becoming an Amway dream pusher. These idiots make me laugh, you want me to enter into a business venture without providing me with any factual information concerning projected incomes! All you get is some bullshit, avoid the issue response, and they go on talking about acheiving your dreams. Tell them, for godsakes tell them not to utter another word until they can produce some documentation of their income. The only way to do that is with a 1099, if this is such a great opportunity, and Amway is such a great humanitarian company, Why can't you show me your 1099 from last year! And why couldn't you have been honest in the first place and tell me what business you were in before I agreed to meet with you.I think we all know the answer to that one! I had 3 hours of my time wasted from a pushy Pearl or whatever the hell they call themselves. I ask him how much money he made last year, he said he couldn't tell me! ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Why not!!! Let me make one thing perfectly clear, ALL MLM COMPANIES ARE RECRUITING BUSINESSES PLAIN AND SIMPLE, THESE COMPANIES SELL MARGINAL PRODUCTS AT BEST, WHAT THEY SELL IS HOPE. ALL THE DISCIPLES IN THESE COMPANIES TELL YOU "Sure, you can make money just selling the products, but the real money is in building an organization." I have heard this from every MLM disciple I have ever spoken with. IF AMWAY IS SO GREAT AND THEY CARE SO MUCH ABOUT YOUR SUCCESS, WHAT NOT MAKE ALL MOTIVATIONAL MATERIAL AND SEMINARS FREE!!! WITH 6.3 BILLION IN SALES, I WOULD'NT THINK THAT SPENDING EVEN 20 MILLION ON TRAINING WOULD PUT AMWAY OUT OF BUSINESS WOULD IT? REPUTABLE COMPANIES DO NOT CHARGE THEIR SALESPEOPLE FOR TRAINING. A WELL TRAINED SALESPERSON WILL SELL ENOUGH GOODS TO OFFSET TRAINING COSTS. Hmmm, makes you think doesn't it.


I just wanted you to know that without your site I would have almost got sucked into the Amway scheme as countless others have. I will tell you how it all started.

I am going to be starting my fifth year at * University in * and I was taking a few classes during the summer. Well one class was * which only had about 9 people in it.

So it is expected that in 6 weeks for close to two and half hours a day we got to know each other fairly well. About 3 weeks ago one of the guys in my class called me and asked me if I was interested in making some secondary income through some business opportunities. I was kind of hesitant to say anything but he seemed like a nice guy, so I said sure how do you do it. He said that they basically help people develop secondary income and they were looking to expand their business. So I was nice and said yeah I would come to a meeting. I went to this meeting expecting it to be a bunch of people but it wasn't. It was one guy, and two students here at *, one being the guy from my class.

They talked to me for about 30 minutes basically painting this beautiful picture about how I could be making a hell of a lot of money, just like Ray Kroc did with McDonalds. They didn't get into any specifics and wanted me to come to a second meeting with a presentation to explain everything. I said okay, but ended up not going to the meeting. Well they still kept calling me and set up another 3 on 1 meeting with me and went over what I missed in the meeting. He told me how I could be making 2-3000 dollars in 6 to 9 months in my own business. And of course he asked me all the questions such as what would I do with that money and so forth, drawing me in even deeper. Then near the end of our meeting I finnally found that Winters Marketing was actually an off-shoot of Amway. He asked me if I had heard of it and I said yes but for the life of me I couldn't remember what I had heard. Well he didn't tell me much about it but he did want to give me this huge packet to look at with some tapes and catalogs in it. Even though I was still skeptical about how I would be making 100,000 dollars in 2-5 years I was taking the bait. Then they really put the squeeze on me, luck would have it that they were going to be having their big "Family" function in * two day from my meeting, and how awesome it would be if I could attend. They told me about the cars that would be there and about millionaires who retired at age 29 and I really didn't have anything going on at the moment so I said yes I could go. The next thing I know I am handing this guy 75 dollars for a ticket for the 3 days and being told how much fun it will be and that if I didn't get anything out of it, I could get a full refund on my ticket.

That night I went home and was talking to my housemates and one of them had been approached before and said it sounded cool, but that it would be a lot of time, not the 5 hours that they tell you it will take per week. So I got on the web and started doing some researching. I found their site and went through it and found that no one tells you exactly what you do or what it going on. Then I found your site and spent about 45 minutes reading peoples comments, which is the main reason I am writing you now, so that someone like me can read this and hopefully be enlightened. So Thursday I called the guy and told him I had something going on this weekend and wouldn't be able to go and would "regretfully" have to get my money back. He told me their was another meeting on MOnday night, which was tonite, and that I could get my money back and we could talk some more. Well the weekend passed and the more I thought about it the more I hated this whole idea of giving lists of all your friends and people that you basically wanted to be underneath you so that you could make money. I am a very charismatic person and have done very well selling trips for Spring Break companies and have always worked with people, but this would be totally different, almost devious and deceptive in nature. And everyone knows that the genuine and good business man is honest, hardworking, and not deceptive in nature and sucessful if he or she desires it. So tonite I told him that I didn't have the time and that right now my education is the most important thing, not Amway. He still tried to sell me on the whole idea but this time I was not backing down. I can thank you and my friends for my decision and cannot believe that I almost got sucked into the scheme. I will graduate in May with a degree in Sociology, and 2 minors in Political Science and Criminology and I couldn't even see through this web of deception at first. He tried to make me think that my degree would do nothing for me and that Amway would. I have news for him, I am going into Higher Education/College Student Personnel when I graduate to get my masters degree and one day I am going to be one damn fine Dean of Students and will not regret it one bit, or wonder if I could have sold enough of my friends out and carried some catalog around and made millions. I think it is crazy that Amway is trying to sink their teeth into college students and basically make them feel like their education will be worthless. So, I thank you Sydney and implore you to post this to your page, in hopes that perhaps another college student like myself doesn't get led off the path into the Amway cult. Thanks to your page I did not and didn't lose a penny, just a little bit of time!

Thanks and keep up the good work.

My name is *, and I enjoy your page. Problem is, my once very normal sister is in "the business" and, well, I'm pissed.

It is too bad you have all this negitive information about Amway. I have been involved for two years and doing very well. There are many jerks in Amway ( as they are in any company) and they have given Amway a bad name.

I do find your Web Site very well put together.

Hi my name is chris and I find your words to be unfounded and not well put you only twisted the true words of others and if the chances of being rich in amway are so bad then I must be one lucky S.O.B so must all my frinds

I am curious to know what level you achieved in Amway or how long you were a distributor. Did YOU have a hard time getting out? I have read alot of your information and have not experienced the same disenchantment you describe. We were always told that at the direct level you get a % back on your tools. It was never a secret. In fact, our upline has been quite honest with us about the money and where it comes from. I also saw the CR article on Dish Drops and the information was misleading. They did not compare Dish Drops as a concentrate, just liter to liter. As you know, it, along with the other products is a concentrate. Someone forgot to tell CR. [As the products were rated on effectiveness, the size of the bottle would be irrelevant. In fact, if CR had tested the Dish Drops at full strength without diluting it, that should have worked to Amway's advantage as they would have been using it at many times the strength it's supposed to be used at. Instead, it performed poorly.]

I think that alot of the negative press has been paid for (I know of someone who is suspected to have been paid by P & G to spread negative press on the internet) by jealous competition or disgruntled distributors. [Gee, that sounds familiar…] You may or may not believe this, but just because it was on 20/20 or in the paper doesn't mean that it is accurate. They are just as guilty of sensationalism as The National Inquirer.

#1 what makes you a professional about amway ?

#2 I am aware that you have your own mlm company. What makes you so bitter about a company that has set record growth in this industry? ( or is this just a plot to try and build your company?) I am an active Amway dist and I guess I have an open mind and decided to read some of the falce information that has been printed in the www although I do have to admitt there are some distributors out there that do give amway a bad RAP there is really nothing you can do about it when you have 2.5 million Dist. world wide and I think that you would agree that when & if your company ever got to a hundredth of the size of amway you will have some bad apples I WAS NEVER PROMICED A DAMN THING EXCEPT THAT IF I WORKED HARD AND CONSISTANTLY I CAN SUCCEED which if you knew a darn thing about business you would realize this is true through out the business world . I own 2 conventional business and it holds true to all of them.

P.S call the bbb in grand rapids Amway has a pretty good record as far as lawsuits go hopefully you allready realize that if you are such a slander toward the which I belive you really have little info about other then rumor, hearsay, and oppinion

[When I asked this person which MLM company I supposedly own, he responded with another outpouring of Amdrivel…]

sorry i was mistaken but you still are clueless about what the amway business is all about it is not about slander and false intuitions nor is it about negative attitudes and the lawsuite (classaction) between Yeager, Britt, and Amway was a joke someone can buy l.o.c. zoom and a few other core line products at wholsale for the rest of there life wow what a joke kinda like the people (like yourself) who have nothing better to do then bitch about how the world has treated them so badly stop wineing and and just get a dream and go man i do belive people change listen to the les brown tape if you have it are you trying to bring a suite aginst the amway corp. yourself hope you have lots of $$$$$$$ they certinaly do the reason i ask is you were asking for tapes that have well known music artist's what a joke

Hello Sidney--

Well, it's been a while since I've written you, but I think I've made up for it. Below are my responses to several messages that I've printed out over the last few months. I used the same format (bracketed responses in the original messge text) that you use when responding to comments on your site. This seems to be the best way to address those both small points and overall themes simultaneously. This is a pretty large document and--since the original messages are included in their entirety--it represents some duplication of your current content. Nonetheless, I hope you will be able to include it somewhere on your site. The letters I selected were some of the more intelligible pro-Amway contributions; a few specifically mentioned that they would like to receive responses. I think I've made some good points that apply to many of the arguments on this site and touch on some very basic truths about "the business". Keep up the great work Sidney…

Responses #32; Page 6

I just finished reading the various negative articles about Amway. I wish I could say that I am shocked at what Amway has done. However, I am more shocked at the people who complain about the business. If the person reading my response will have an unbiased opinion the truth will be revealed [Like much of the vacuous Amway rhetoric, "unbiased opinion" is an oxymoron. Think about it.] First, let me tell you about myself. I am a young woman eager to succeed in life. I recieved high marks in high school and college. [I am a young man already succeeding in life. I also earned high marks throughout my academic career, AND I can correctly spell "received".] I am a certified teacher for Dade County Public Schools in Miami, Florida. The Amway business is one of the most positive things that has ever happened in my life. [I'm an economist with a masters degree. It is one of the most damaging things that has ever happened in mine.]

Ever since I have been involved in the business I have learned how to make more friends, how to relate better to people, and how to regain my childhood dreams that the work force tries to knock out of us. [This phrase is evidence of your being brainwashed. The "workforce" is an inanimate entity. It cannot form individual, coherent thoughts and goals like a person can. Thus, the workforce is incapable of "trying to knock your childhood dreams out of you." The "us vs. them" cult tactic may have engendered this belief in you.] The books that the business suggests we read are found in all libraries and bookstores. [Hey that's great! Try borrowing or purchasing them from anyone but your upline. Same thing for the tapes. Be sure to tell your upline each time you do this.] They are not written by amway distributers [I REALLY hope you don't teach spelling] or any one involved in the business. These books are recommended by successful people from other businesses. They help build people skills, self-esteem, and confidence in ourselves. Since when is that a crime? [People skills? No crime there. However, when your upline requires you to use him/her as your sole source for purchasing books and tapes, that's called an "unlawful trade practice". That's a crime.] Perhaps you should ask for a list of the suggested readings. [No thanks, I prefer to think for myself.] The second part are the tapes from the business. I personally need those tapes because the speakers tell me exactly how to build the business and motivate me by telling me their experience. [No, your upline has TOLD you that you need the tapes, and you believe him/her.] There is nothing wrong with the tapes. [The tapes are purposely repetitive and teach very little in terms of business strategies. They are motivational in nature and are used to aid your upline effort's to re-program your thought process. Seems to be working quite well.] Perhaps you might try listening to one. [I listened to well over a hundred. I'll sell them to you for half price :-)]

The next problem you mention are the functions. What is wrong with staying in first class hotels and learning about the business. [FIRST CLASS?!! That's priceless! Sharing a room with two other couples in a tiny Days Inn outside of Richmond is FIRST CLASS?!! Man, they've done a number on you!!!] The speakers are more than happy to meet you. [Heck, I'd buy your dinner and pay for your room if I were pocketing as much of your money as the speakers are.] They talk about the things we should focus on like ourselves, our families, our health, our future, our finances and our God. The reason they suggest we not watch tv or read the newspaper is because there is too much violence and negative things in the media. [Again, you're repeating what you've been told without thinking rationally about it. Does your TV come equipped with the capability of CHANGING THE CHANNEL?! There is plenty of

violence-free educational programming on stations such as PBS and CNBC. There are countless high-quality magazines, journals, and websites that cost much LESS than standing order and functions, while providing much MORE useful information. You need only think for yourself to "separate the wheat from the chaff." Especially in the area of finances, it quickly becomes apparent that the Diamonds are providing you with very poor information regarding wealth-building strategies. Read "The Millionaire Next Door" for starters.] What ever happened to our family values? [Do you mean values like, "Sorry son, Daddy's going out to show the Plan. See you tomorrow."?] Perhaps we should discuss why people don't talk about God and yet everyone is eager to know who used to be a boy and now is a girl. [Perhaps we should. Not "everyone" is eager to know about Dennis Rodman. Your sweeping generalizations demonstrate the effective re-programming of your thoughts by the system. My wife and I are very strong in our faith and are very active in our church, thank you.] I suggest you talk to some level headed people who are in the business like myself rather than people without a strong moral foundation. [One more time--a classic cult tactic. Either you are "a level-headed person in the business" or you are "without a strong moral foundation". Just black or white, no middle ground. It's tragic to see people deceived like this; I still remember what it felt like when it happened to me.]

Thank you for listening to my side. [Likewise.]

Responses #31; page 4

Well, I finally decided to sit down and read all the misleading negative critiques about Amway. [I see this one isn't even going to feign objectivity.] First of all, here are some of the reasons why I decided to build the business: Is anyone familiar with the financial planner/author John Sestina? [Yes, he was one of my favorite speakers when I was in the business. I'm an economist and I really related to him.] He was the #1 financial planner in America, and one of the most respected in the WORLD. He has won every imaginable award related to financial planning. [Can you cite one? How about ten? I'm sure there are numerous awards pertaining to financial planning, so this shouldn't be difficult if he's won "every imaginable" award.]

A client asked him to review the Amway business, to see if it was a good idea. Not only did Sestina say it was a good plan, but he was so impressed that after reviewing it

a couple of times, he actually saw more potential in the Amway business than he had in his $1000+ an hour consulting job. He's now a diamond. But he didn't simply say, "this is the best business I have ever seen" He (on a very popular tape, "Planning a Successful Future") went through and analyzed the business using the Dow Theory Letters, which basically describe ten key elements of the IDEAL business. What impressed me is that Amway fits incredibly well into each of the 10 qualities. [How?] Also, compare the start-up cost of Amway ($160) to that of a big franchise like McDonald's ($1.2 million). [This is very misleading. First, the start-up cost at McDonald's buys you the support of the parent company. In the Britt system (of which Sestina's organization is part), in order to "qualify" for much of your upline's time, you'll need to be doing 300 PV each month, be on Amvox and standing order tape, and be

regularly attending all functions. That will VERY conservatively cost $5,000 per year for a couple. Second, the frame of comparison here is poorly chosen. McDonald's is the Rolls Royce of franchises. There are MANY other franchises and businesses that can be started for much less, yet still become profitable. By saving that $5,000 each year that you WOULD HAVE spent on the system, in a few years, there are literally thousands of businesses you could start and still have money left over.]

All investments are 100% refundable, [This is a lie. Contrary to one of our conversations when I first learned the truth about tool profits, my upline direct did not buy back any tapes, although I quit within 6 months of their purchase. The above statement simply is not true.] and there's a 100% satisfaction guarantee on the products. [The Amway corporation is much more reliable with refunds on products, albeit slow.] And the products are damn good; I don't understand how people can criticize them. NBA basketball players and other athletes use Amway vitamins. [GREAT ONE!! NBA basketball players and other athletes use steroids and cocaine also-- what's your point?!!] Amway makes some of the finest cosmetics in the world. In fact, Meg Ryan is an Amway distributor, because she was so impressed by the quality of the make-up products (and this woman can get cosmetics from ANYWHERE she wants). [Dude! Can she score me some? You said she can get them from ANYWHERE! OK, OK, so there's one actress who gets her make-up from Amway; how many actresses DON'T get their make-up from Amway?] There's also the water treatment system, rated by the NSF to be the best carbon-based system available, and too many others to list. [You could buy about 25 Brita water pitchers for the cost of one Amway system. And don't forget that you need to replace the $50 filter at least once a year, making the whole thing completely useless if you (gasp) quit.]

Another factor that impressed me is that so many respectable professional people are doing this business [although a larger number of respectable people are NOT doing the business--so does the exception prove the rule?] (thousands besides John Sestina) to diversify their insecure income and improve the thin chance for comfortable retirement. [Your treatment of retirement--identical to what is taught by the Britt system--suggests a roulette wheel. There's a "thin chance" your "number will come up" and you'll get to retire in style. But-- the story goes--most people don't. Most people end up dead or broke by age 65. "Maybe you'll be one of the lucky ones, but I'm not putting MY family at risk; I'M doing AMWAY!!" The problem with this line of reasoning is that it IGNORES individual

discipline, planning, and effort. A comfortable retirement is eminently attainable for those who keep their skills current and plan their spending and investments in a disciplined fashion. There is a wealth of information (no pun intended!) available on retirement planning in books, magazines, and on the Internet; much of it suggests values and strategies (e.g., living below your means, reviewing your financial advisors' personal tax returns) that are quite opposite from what is espoused within the Britt system.]

Another person who motivated me was Steve Ridley. [Me too; Sestina and Ridley were my two favorites.] This guy was a corporate attorney, on the Chamber of Commerce board for Louisiana, and Reagan's financial chairman for Louisiana. He was making well over $300,000 a year and had incredible status. Ridley turned his back on ALL of that in order to build Amway, and he succeeded. His success, and the success of all who go Direct and beyond, is based on belief in the system, and belief in one's self. [Where does the ability to side-step reasonable questions and overcome objections figure in? Isn't success based on selling the system to a huge downline? Oh, sorry I forgot--you're not looking for a salesman, right?] Napolean Hill researched millionaires for 20 years, and wrote about success in a very famous book, Think and Grow Rich, which has concepts that you NEED to build Amway, mainly, belief and determination, and tuning out the word "impossible". [Stanley and Danko have researched millionaires for over 20 years. While Hill's book was written decades ago, Stanley and Danko just recently published "The Millionaire Next Door", a comprehensive study of the strategies, values and attitudes of America's wealth-builders.] Other than that, you need an "abundance mentality" (as opposed to a "scarcity mentality), and and entreprenuer mentality, as opposed to an employee mentality. [According to Stanley and Danko, one-third of America's financially independent amassed their wealth while they were "slaves to a J.O.B." (to borrow a phrase). "Employee mentality" was thus not mentioned as precluding one's ability to amass personal wealth. Business ownership is viewed as a plus, though not surprisingly, MLM is never mentioned.]

I'm not accusing all critics of this, but it seems that some people don't want anyone else to succeed, just because THEY have failed. And it's so stupid to say "Don't get in Amway" because "look at these people who failed miserably". [I failed by getting IN to Amway. I succeeded by QUITTING despite the "doom and gloom" warnings from upline. I'm not saying "don't get in". Rather, I am saying "Think for yourself at all times. Get ALL the facts before you make critical decisions." I did not get all the facts and I regret it. Therefore, I choose to help others avoid making the same mistakes I made. Distributors present a carefully crafted mirage, a picture of success and happiness honed by Bill Britt and others over many years. They know which phrases to use in order to "push people's buttons" and to gently nudge them in the direction of "getting in". The presentation combines subtle mind-control tactics with the calculated, progressiverevelation of EXACTLY HOW the system works, WHAT it will cost over time, and WHO makes all the money. This is dishonest and is the reason people like me and Sidney will not go away. Sorry :-)]

With that logic, we should never get into our cars, because people have DIED in cars. But why did they die? Because they didn't drive properly, something was wrong with their vehicle, or someone else screwed them up. That may sound cheesy, but it's a perfect analogy. [No it's not. We know driving comes with risks. When an Amway distributor shows the Plan, he is trained NOT to mention the downside and to discount factual information such as that which is displayed on Sidney's website. Your analogy is a very poor one.]

I am determined to build this business, not just because I want to, but because I have no CHOICE. [Your upline would be very happy to hear that you believe this. I believed it too. Now, however, I know it is an outright lie.] The other alternative is working long hours for dozens of years and having a ridiculously low fixed income as a possible retirement. [This is the "black-or-white" cult tactic. Your upline wants you to believe this is the only alternative. Let me assure you there are many others.


Enhance your skills to capitalize on the vibrant and expanding economy, particularly the service sector. Live below your means. Pay off your debt. Plan and stick to a budget. Save six months' worth of expenses in a money market account. Contribute the maximum to your employers' retirement plan, and also contribute to IRAs each year. If you so desire, start a real business once you have sufficient capital. Invest aggressively in stocks while you're young. Shun hyperconsumption on status cars, furs, jewelry, and the like. Watch your money grow through the "miracle of compounding". Use Social Security for gravy--it will still be around, but won't pay as much as it does today.]

Over 90% of Americans will be dead or broke by age 65. [Sounds familiar!] Amway gives people not only a hope to beat the traditional system, but through the Britt line of sponsorship for example, a systematic approach to achieving whatever financial "dream" one might have. And Amway has been successful for almost 40 years, in dozens of countries. [Primarily because their sales force works free-of-charge.] In the United States they have helped more people set up six figure incomes than the top 19 fortune 500 companies. [Please provide your source for this statistic.] And most importantly, Amway gives you an opportunity to set up RESIDUAL income for life, as opposed to linear income (hours for $) in a job. [Amway "income" is only "residual" for as long as your downline continues to purchase loads of products. If they stop buying, you stop earning. Why do you think that all those Diamonds in their 60s and 70s are REALLY still up on stage at functions several times a year? Hint: It's NOT because "they love you and want you to succeed". TRUE examples of "residual income" would be royalties on copyrighted material (unless it's pirated by Amway distributors) and compound interest.]

Finally, it's not a CULT for God's sake!! I mean, just go to a big sports event or rock concert, and you could say the same thing. But when you come out of a "good" Amway meeting (focusing on techniques as WELL as motivation), people are educated and have at least a hope to change their lives. There are no guarantees in life obviously, but I find the five year Amway plan to be far superior to the 45 year work plan. That's just my opinion…[Please let us know how you are doing when you hit the 5-year mark, if you haven't already. If you are "hog-nasty rich", it will indicate there is at least SOME merit to your positions, though it will also mean that you have become quite adept at deceiving people.]

Responses #33; page 11

I am a new Amway distributor and appreciate the incredible effort you and your web-pals have put into this site and some of the links I had a chance to see. I will try to get to all of them eventually.

What is missing, I belive, is your story. What brings you to the level of eyre [As in "Jane Eyre"? Or do you mean "ire"?] that encouraged you to be so anti Amway. I believe your motivations (and those of others) if presented forthrightly would help couch your opinions in an objective light. [Another attempt at objectivity. Let's see how this one fares.]

As I mentioned I did get a chance to look over much in the site. Although I found more fairness in the treatment of Amway products than I expected (ex. performance and value) I found much missing, skewed and incomplete. The times I disagreed with your opinions are so numerous to recount here that I should start a web-site of my own just to keep you up to date. [Be careful-- your upline may think that you don't have anything better to do than sit in front of a computer!] I won't, however, waste my time trying to argue with someone who's mind is so made up he won't listen to facts or opinons of others. I would be pleased to know that you are not as just described.

Stories of individual distributors (especially those who failed for whatever reasons ) were compelling and worthy of sympathy. I wish they hadn't given up on themselves. [Uh-oh, here's our first cult tactic. The implication is that if you quit, then you have, by definition, given up on yourself. Though your system and your upline drill this into your head, it's actually quite false. There are--in reality--many valid reasons why individuals change course in life, and thank God we live in an established nation at a time with many options open to us. Whether the issue is school, sports, Amway, or whatever, ONLY the individual can say with any certainty why he/she pursued a particular course of action at a particular time. Therefore, your generalization that those who quit Amway "gave up on themselves" is merely empty speculation. ]

As for for references to "mind control" I am afraid I can't say I have observed any attempt by my upline to exert undue influence over me. [If you could readily observe it, it wouldn't be mind control, now would it?] By the way the kit includes neither a lobottomy knife nor mind altering drugs. I was not asked to leave my good sense behind as a condition of entry. [And that's precisely why it works so well! The system is meticulously laid out so that your journey to acceptance gives you the illusion of free will. The "chance meeting" (i.e., the contact), the canned answers, the testimonials, the repetition on the tapes and at the functions, and the "us vs. them" themes all work in tandem to REDEFINE YOUR PERCEPTION OF REALITY, while making you believe that you formed these new insights on your own. This cult tactic is neither new nor is it the exclusive province of Amway Motivational Organizations (AMOs). But it's highly effective, especially when used on people already struggling with major life changes. Membership in the Heaven's Gate cult did not include a lobotomy knife or mind-altering drugs either. Mind control is much more subtle and devious, designed to prey on individuals' naivete and to elicit their blind loyalty.]

The piece on the statistics presents compelling reasons to get in the business, not out. If interpreted correctly it presents a pretty good idea when someone might consider getting out if it isn't doing what they wanted it to do for them. [And yet, the minions who want it to help them "Go Diamond" keep futilely going, and going, and going…]

I personally know Direct Distributors and above who still, after replacing a spouses salary brought the Mom home to raise the family while the Dad actually kept his job because they thought it would be stupid to quit before they built a strong business. (what a concept). [I know many Moms who left work to raise kids without being affiliated with Amway. My wife will be one if she so chooses. Interestingly, you have just admitted that at the DD level and even beyond, one does not necessarily have a "strong business" (you are correct in saying this). Perhaps you'd like to inform your downline and your potential recruits of this fact.]

My message is brief. I don't believe you are an unfair person at heart. If you didn't believe in your message, you would not have spent the amount of time and money required to research the issues (albeit incompletely) and present them at your own expense on a web-site. For this I applaude your intentions.

My questions are these; what is it that you don't understand about free enterprize? [Well, the spelling isn't as much of a problem for most of us as it seems to be for you, but go ahead…] Is it that it takes effort, effort and more effort and then you still might fail? Is it that sometimes you won't get a guarantee or a safety net; that you actually have to succede or fail on your own? Or is it that no matter where you go you might run into someone who is more successful than you and instead of working to achieve you give-up and place blame back on the achievers? We call that envy where I come from and this web-site is a over-blown testament to sour-grapes [Your arguments, like many offered by AMOs are of the "straw man" variety. That means you're 1) creating the arguments, 2) attributing them to the opposition, and then 3) shooting them down. This proves nothing. What I don't understand is why an organization that allegedly espouses free enterprise and sound ethics must rely on half-truths, partial disclosure of information, and blind loyalty in order to succeed. This is the antithesis of competition in the marketplace, one of the foundations of free enterprise. Can you answer this question instead of the ones you just made up?]

I challange you to present this letter or any well presented rejoinder intact and in an open and notorious location [Can a "location" be "notorious"?] on your site. My feeling is that you probably are so tied up in knots over Amway that you don't have the guts to do so. Supprise me. [Go ahead Sidney--do like he says and "supprise" him!]

Responses #34; page 2

One question I have for you and your viewers:

"If everyone takes the advice of failures, would anyone ever succeed in anything?" [I can see there won't be any sweeping generalizations in this letter…]

If all the young atheletes in this country took the advice of Football, Basketball, Baseball, or Hockey players that gave up and quit, would these sports continue to even exist? To take the recommendations of some completely unknown stranger about a business that is very large and complex, is like believing that you can find the "Meaning of Life" in a Cracker-Jack box. [So let me get this straight. We should NOT take advice about business from complete strangers, right? I happen to totally agree with you. I never should have taken advice from the person who contacted me in the local Mall. Unfortunately, I listened to him, believed him, and as a result became a "fired up" Amway distributor. Instead, I should have asked to see his personal tax returns to discern whether he has created wealth for himself (He has not, I eventually discovered). This is a sound, reasonable practice to follow when hiring a financial advisor. Lesson learned.]

I'm not sure what the true purpose of this website is. Is it to help keep the common man from doing something different? No one ever told me that I would succeed in everything I set out to do. Is this site meant to guarantee people who wish to try the Amway business and marketing plan that they WILL FAIL? Or is it simply a collection of comments compiled by people who have quit Amway (and probably hundereds of other things in their lives) and hope to succeed in something (like keeping others from failing)? [It's sad that you must lie to yourself like this, rationalizing that if someone quits Amway, they must have quit "hundreds of other things" as well. The internalizing of such generalizations is a side effect of AMO mind control. Anyway, to address your question, one main purpose of sites like this is to present facts that are intentionally hidden from prospects by the distributors hoping to sponsor them. Amway distributors compare their business opportunity to that of private

franchising (e.g., McDonald's). Well, whenever someone wishes to purchase a franchise that costs over $5,000, the franchisor MUST provide him with the names and numbers of other past and present franchisees in his area. With Amway, only the "success" stories of a select few "franchisees" (i.e., Emeralds and Diamonds) are presented. This is dishonest and only persists because a distributor's "franchise fees" (e.g., books, tapes, and functions) are collected on a "pay as you go" basis--to the tune of about $5,000 a year for a "CORE" couple--rather than paid up-front. Sidney's site and others like it present issues that distributors typically do not divulge in their sponsoring efforts, but that are pertinent information for prospects attempting to make a fully informed business decision.]

I understand most people like to help, but are you asking yourself

"Who am I actually helping by publishing these comments? Myself? Or am I making those who have failed feel better about being stupid enough in the first place to try Amway?" [It was indeed stupid, thanks for noticing.]

I've heard a statement that sums up the group of ex-Distributors who are sending comments to this site, which goes a little something like this: [OK, everyone--get ready for another sweeping generalization…]

"If you were stupid enough to get in Amway in the first place, quitting only makes what you've done look worse! The only people who fail in the Amway business are those that quit. This business works! The people that quit, do not." [So you're saying that although I already made a bad decision (getting in), I actually look WORSE by cutting my losses and doing my best to rectify the situation? Following the same logic, if you were to buy a defective automobile from a dishonest salesman, I assume that you would continue to drive it. After all, returning the car and demanding a refund and warning others of the salesman's tactics would only make your original decision look WORSE, right? Not me. I sent my Amway clunker back to the shop and am much better off because I did.]

You should actually rename your website: "Quitters Never Win!" or "Run with the masses, and Remain Mediocre" or "Either Lead the Pack, or the View is All the Same!" or "Failures Anonymous" [A few suggestions for yours: "Screw the Mortgage, I'm Going Diamond!"; "Egad, Don't Put Those Thousands of Dollars Into a Well-Yielding Investment--Buy Some More Tapes Instead!"; or "Ohhhh Haaarrryy…The Collection Agency's on the Phone Again!"]

It would be an interesting poll to see how many people that send comments to this site, that have quit other things in their life. Perhaps you can have a check-list of other financial vehicles in which your viewers have participated and quit. [The stock holdings that my wife and I fund handsomely with the money we used to flush on Amway are performing quite nicely and we have no intention of "quitting" the market, thanks for asking.] Or better yet, have a list of MLMs (and the like) which have ever existed, and how many viewers have been part of them. That would really reflect the insight among your viewing audience. [Yes it certainly would. The more MLMers on the Web, the better one's chances of electronically peddling a "new ground-floor opportunity", some Oceanfront Property in Nebraska, or the Brooklyn Bridge…]

I welcome any response to this e-mail. [Likewise.]

Responses #35; page 5

I am sorry that you have a negative opinion of the Amway business. I might also suspect that anyone whose messages I have just read here is probably not doing very well financially. [You not surprisingly assume wrong. Since quitting Amway, my wife and I have paid off all of our consumer debt, which ballooned while we were buying our way to PV levels, "investing" in tape after tape, and attending "gotta-be-there-even-though-it's-the-same- thing-every-time" functions. We have worked out a responsible (not restrictive) family budget and we save and invest well over 20 percent of our income in REAL financial instruments.] Therefore, I prefer listening to Bill Britt and the other diamonds because they are where I wish to be. [Really? You wish to live a lifestyle focused on the wasteful consumption of luxury items and funded through the constant deception of thousands of well-meaning-but- naive people? I sure won't envy you if you succeed in your quest.] Amway has thousands of products to sell. There is absolutely NO GOOD REASON why anyone should lose money in this business. If you can't afford a tape or a function or Amvox, GO SELL SOMETHING. [We sold plenty of "somethings". Actually, we were the envy of our group for the success of our "In- Home Shopping Service". Unfortunately, when you add in the system costs and the cost of doing 300 PV per month (we were "fast-track", baby!) we were buying more than we were selling. And there is just no way that I could, in good conscience, peddle a $600 vacuum cleaner or an $800 set of cookware. If you can do that, there are MANY more profitable things than Amway that you could be selling.]

No one should ever pressure you to buy tools or tapes you don't want. We have never been pressured or pressured any of our downline to buy tools, but we do make them aware that if they wish to build a big business, these tools are very helpful. The key is IF they wish to build a big business. [And you expect people to hear the mind-control hype, week-in, week-out, and NOT want a big business? For argument's sake, what if ALL your downline just wanted a "small retail business"? Would you still "love on them"? Spend time with them? That wouldn't be very profitable, would it?] We have yet to see anyone who has built a big balanced business that is not mostly retail that has done it without some sort of system, in our case the Britt System. That should speak for itself. [Yes it certainly does! It says that without the coerced sale of tapes and function tickets and the associated speaking fees, Amway is not a very lucrative opportunity at all.] There is nothing wrong with wanting a smaller business. We are here to help our distributors accomplish their goals, not our goals of a big business. We just don't listen to anyone whining that their business is not working if they aren't on standing order or are not going to functions on a regular basis, including the opens.[And you've just contradicted yourself. You don't force tools on anyone. It's OK to want a small business. But you don't listen to anyone "whining" who hasn't "sold out to the system". Very ethical. Reminds me of the heartwarming quote spoken onstage: "we'll love you unconditionally when you're a Diamond".] The key is consistency, and I'm sure you've heard it before. Those who want smaller business or just retail businesses don't need to be on standing order or going to functions.[So do you tell them that they're doomed to "stay broke"? That's what the system teaches about people in "J.O.B."s, right? What's the difference between a regular "J.O.B." and a "J.O.B." supplemented by $100 a month from Amway retail sales?]

I'm sorry that you have had a bad experience with the business, however, please don't steal anybody else's dream. When we experience negative, we go right to our Diamond Direct who takes care of the problem. [This is so mentally damaging, it makes me ill to think about it. I remember doing the EXACT SAME THING with my upline. By allowing others to tell you what to think and how to respond to situations, you are surrendering your free will to live your life. This is the dependency that cults build up in their members. Those twinges of doubt and remorse you feel from time-to-time are your soul, your conscience trying to tell you that something doesn't add up. By going to your Diamond in these situations, you allow him to act as your "surrogate conscience" and thereby suppress your real conscience. This is tragic. By continuing to suppress my conscience through "counseling upline", I became clinically depressed. It was brutal, and I wouldn't wish it on you or anyone else.] I'm not going to share the negative because it is not important. The people who can overcome the negative are the ones who build the business, and I can guarantee you, because I know your story, [You know Sidney's story? That's odd, because he hasn't shared it in this forum yet.] that our experiences with negative have been much greater than yours in this business, but we are still here because we know the Amway business works IF you work it properly........and never, never , never quit! [A direct quote from a tape! It appears as though your upline has done a wonderful job of ensuring your complete submission to their mind-control tactics. My condolences.] I guess one way to make money in the Amway business is to sue those with deep pockets, like Bill and Dexter and the corporation. [A much better way is to actually BE Bill and Dexter and line those deep pockets with the hard-earned money of people like yourself.]

Responses #35; page 6

[Some of Sidney's comments are in this message also. Mine are in italics.]


Really… must you try and promote your own schemes by slamming a company which grossed over $7 billion dollars last year (more than IBM, Microsoft, Intel and just about every other company on the stock exchange). [If you're going to take up space here, at least do some cursory research. To begin with, the Amway corporation is NOT on the stock exchange; it is privately held. Amway Japan IS a publicly traded company and its stock performs very poorly; its share price recently dropped over 12 percent in one day, good for the second- largest drop on the entire NYSE. Regarding earnings, the oft-trumpeted $7 billion figure you mention above refers to Amway's total sales reported at ESTIMATED RETAIL COST. In reality, the bulk of the products Amway sells are purchased by distributors at WHOLESALE COST for personal consumption (Just change your buying habits and help other people do the same thing…) Very ethical. Finally, regarding the other companies you mention, 1996 net sales were as follows: IBM, $75.9 billion; Intel, $20.8 billion, and Microsoft, $8.6 billion. And Amway sells more than all of them, huh? What color is the sky in your world?]

Cult behaviour? I guess singing God Bless America is uncommon these days… but you are really bordering on delusion. [Does the phrase "the pot calling the kettle black" mean anything to you?] I know Amway is the real deal… you see, I started off at the bottom and am working my way to the top… and I've never lied about a product or the process [No, just about what the FTC said about Amway]. [And Amway's status relative to other large companies.] I suggest, if you are serious about representing the truth about a company which the FTC praised as one of the truest forms of free enterprise in America [The FTC never did any such thing], that you research this with an objective mind and not misrepresent the exceptions to the rule [you mean the Diamonds?] rather than the vast majority. Then again, you seem to have your own agenda. God Bless.

Responses #35; page 7

[This message also contains a few of Sidney's comments.]

Mr. Schwartz,

First, let me apologize for those individuals who blatantly insult you and particularly those who use foul language in the process. From my last posting, you already know what I think of this "research." But, since you do not publish names (and some people surely appreciate this), I will state, again, for the record that I AM AN AMWAY DISTRIBUTOR AND PROUD OF IT!!! [Gimmee an "A", gimmee an "M"…]

But, for the many people who have based their decision solely on this page… I STRONGLY urge you to do further research. Particularly, there was a Phd student lauding the fact that he never makes a decision without proper research, and by the way thanks for making my mind up for me… well, I am no Phd. I am a graduate from the United States Naval Academy, however. I have what I consider to be an absolutely phenomenol academic and ethical education. Most people will agree, I think. [I'm not so sure, since you to seem to have problems spelling the word "phenomenal," but I'll let it go for the sake of argument.] But, much like Amway, my institution has come under heavy fire by individuals who could not possibly hope to live up the Naval Academy's high standards because less than 1% of 1% of the Brigade of Midshipmen failed in their duties to embrace those standards.[Hey, that's about the same percentage of Amway distributors that go Diamond! Coincidence?] Be that as it may… Amway has sour grapes, too. I haven't met any[I have.] … but they must be out there.[They are.] After all, you say so! But in all fairness, I would encourage all people reading the info on this site to do two things: 1) realize that this is one sided material made available by an individual who seems to have a personal agenda 2) do more research. In particular, I will point you to a book written by Richard Poe entitled "Wave 3, The New Era in Network Marketing."No, the book is not about Amway… but Amway is mentioned. The book explains MLM/Networking concept, gives a realistic assessment of what is necessary to build a networking business and is written by a man who does not Network. [And I'll point you to a book called "False Profits" written by Reynolds and Fitzpatrick. The book explains the psychological and spiritual excesses and abuses common to network marketing motivational schemes.] He happens to be an editor for Success magazine. He also explains why Networking does not equal Pyramid. ["Networking" does not equal "pyramid" because product sales to outside customers generate the bulk of earnings, in theory at least.] Also, note that in 1979, the FTC ruled that Amway was NOT a pyramid scheme (which is illegal) but a legitimate business. [This outdated ruling was directly tied to the enforcement of the 10-customer rule, which has been openly ignored by AMOs for years. The bulk of earnings at Emerald and above (where you need to be to "get free") come from the coerced sale of motivational tapes and function tickets. This equals "pyramid".] I'd say their sales would seem to support that ruling. [How? The majority of Amway's sales are to distributors for personal use.] Also, not that Amway has changed drastically in the past 40 years. No longer do we sale, door to door, soap. This is the picture that comes to mind for many people when they hear the name.[This picture is rapidly being replaced by the picture of a glassy-eyed guy accosting you at the gas station, saying "Excuse me, you look really familiar. Do I know you from somewhere…"] Amway distributeres market literally thousands of products through several catalogues. Many of these products are Amway products, (by the way, where did you come up with that research about these products being below standard and overpriced? I have a price comparison done by an independent company which shows a savings of 30% or more on over 70% of the products.[Please share this study in its entirety.] I also know from using the products that they are far superior than most other products on the market.. but that's another debate,)but most aren't. In fact, I can buy Reebok shoes, Goodyear tires, MCI calling cards, etc, etc… literally thousands of name brand products through my catalogues, have them delivered to my doorstep, and save on the vast majority of what I buy. [Tires delivered to your doorstep--how convenient! Do they sell John Deere tractors also?] How is this? These Fortune 500 companies (did I mention Amway was a Fortune 500 comapany?) [Amway is not a Fortune 500 company because it is privately held] will get their products to you however they can and at the least possible cost to themselves. [And what could be better than a sales force that works free of charge?] Home shopping is the wave of the future. You like quoting Forbes… what do they say about home shopping? Why not print that? (Hint Feb 93 issue).

If there is ANYBODY out there who wants another, factual, representation of Amway, please e-mail me… oops! Mr. Schwartz won't allow that. Too bad. If you've had a bad experience in the business, I apologize. But please, evaluate yourself and your actions (or lack therof) [Thought we might get through this letter without the familiar "you quit so you must be lazy" cult refrain. Oh well.] before you criticize the system or your upline… and if you can honestly say you did everything you were told you needed to do and still did not succeed, then I truly sympathize. Leave that group and find another upline. There are a lot of good ones out there.[Amway would be thrilled to hear you suggest this course of action. They have explicitly tried to eliminate the practice of switching groups. Are you aware that in order to switch sponsors, you must FIRST wait until January, NOT renew your distributorship, THEN wait six months before you can be re-sponsored?]

Responses #35; page 8

I honestly hope that you are completely dissapointed of your page.[I don't think Sidney would put forth this much effort if he were disappointed WITH (not "of") his page.] Amway has helped many people recover from large debts. [Amway helped me create large debts. After I quit, I paid them off easily and began saving and investing.] People that fail in Amway do so because of lack of willpower, determination, and hope. [You expose yourself as depending on others to do your thinking for you by making such generalizations. You don't know peoples' individual circumstances. This "black or white" perception is symptomatic of cult mind-control tactics.] If you think that Amway is a "cult" you are so very wrong. How can you judge? [Funny you should ask after you just judged people who quit.] Amway members are a family who help each other achieve their dreams. [The creation of a surrogate "family" is another classic cult tactic.] They are there for others. [As long as they are on standing order, Amvox, going to functions, and "fired up"!] Isn't it funny how corporations aren't there for their people? [Large corporations (I do NOT work for one) offer increasingly valuable benefits packages to their employees (e.g., health care, dental, vision, tax-free medical savings accounts, 401-k, tuition assistance). Amway distributors are an unpaid sales force. This isn't to say all corporations are ethical and that people don't get screwed. It makes tremendous sense to keep your skills current. But who's looking for a handout here? By portraying corporations as the villains because they don't provide lifetime employment guarantees, you expose yourself as seeking the "safety net" that so many distributors purport to despise.] But I find it quite disturbing. You insult Amway claiming it to be a "cult" or religion", but what about a normal job? You MUST go to work everyday, take lunch when they say, go to the bathroom when they say.....etc....... [I know you're only 14 and you have a lot of learning to do. But if you go through life believing lies this easily, you run the risk of getting burned badly, whether it is by Amway or something else altogether. Learn to think for yourself and ask questions. To address your faulty argument--I work out of my home for a small business. I enjoy my work. My schedule is flexible. My boss trusts me to get the work done without his micro-management. I enjoy outdoor activities at lunchtime. And yes, I can even GO TO THE BATHROOM when I want to!] In Amway you determine

your own success. If you decide to take a day off then that's your choice. [Try taking a couple days off during the next major function.] If you work overtime its to YOUR advantage, not theirs. [No, Amway is far and away the big winner by having an unpaid sales force working nights and weekends.] In any corporation your are solely a #, but in Amway you are a person with feelings, hope an beliefs. [So I guess the ADA number Amway uses to identify its distributors is just to make all the other corporations feel better, right?]

Thanks for hearing me out.

14 yr. old girl in Georgia! [A young mind is a terrible thing to waste. I sincerely hope you will learn to think for yourself. If it leads you to Amway, great. But the blind loyalty you demonstrate has caused you to accept several falsehoods as gospel truths. This is very dangerous to your future success and to your mental well-being.]


Hi There! I've been pretty busy with regular life, so I just got around to reading responses 32-35 (I don't know how you're able to process all of this stuff! Amazing!)

In #33, there are 2 messages of note for me. The email report from "Z" described perfectly how I also feel re: the deceit of the system (and the response from "L" was identical to what I got from my former upline "friend"). An excellent piece!

The second is by the former Ruby from INA (detailing the tools profit. etc.). Again, what happened with him is exactly what ultimately made me decide there was no point in continuing (though I was in the same time, '90-'95, I only reached 4000 PV level - see my story on Jason's site "What do you have after 5 years in INA…"). I would really like to "chat" with this person via e-mail. Would you please forward this to him and ask if he would send me his email address? I would appreciate it.

Thanks again for all of the time you've put in on this site,






The stars were out in all their glory,
DeVos was enjoying the night.
He sat their counting stacks of cash,
Brother Yeager to his left, Billy Britt was to his right.

They laughed and snickered and mocked
all the fools who would give up their coin
They could certainly buy a small country
if only one more drone would join.

J.O.B. stands for Just Over Broke
$5 Billion and growing is just fine
"There's just one problem," said Britt
"Sidney Schwartz is still on-line!"

So, Britt gulped from his whiskey
And Yeager combed his last remaining hairs
They invited over all the diamonds to brainstorm
And they split up into pairs.

Yeager mumbled, "Can't we buy the internet?"
A diamond shouted, "Kill him dead!"
They all agreed Jesus would get him
Because he wouldn't give Scamway his bread.

Sidney was telling the public the truth,
And this was something the Ambots couldn't stand.
Yeager said, "Who here wishes they were weatlthy?"
On instinct, the robots each raised their hand.

They agreed the promotions were just dandy
Ruby, Emerald, Diamond - They sure were fun to say!
But "fake it till you make it"
and $66 per month, the rent it would not pay.

Well the time was getting late,
And the Ambots' brains were starting to feel pain
This was more thinking than they'd done in years
And they vowed not to do it again.

DeVos thanked them for their time,
Britt shook their hands with glee.
Another wasted night with Amway, thought one guy
As Yeager collected the $4 attendance fee.


keep up the good work !

by the way do you know anyone who wants some (support materials) tapes ?

Dear Sidney,

I've seen your work on the Internet and I must say, I'm impressed. You seem like a really sharp individual. I'm working with some business professionals in this area we're looking for some good people like you to expand with.

The name of our company is WAMYA ! Now, we're looking primarily for Ex-Amway distributors. Why? Well, what if I told you that you could get rich without any products, motivational tools or cultish "business" functions and rallys. Sound good? Here's how it works:

You begin sending me 50 dollars month. I will, in turn, authorize you to recruit others to send you 50 dollars a month. All money gets forwarded to your immediate sponsor and then passed up to his sponsor etc.

You will then receive a monthly bonus based on how many people are in your personal group. The monthly bonus is based on a progressive percentage up to a maximum of 96% !

When the number of people in your group reaches 75, you will be awarded the title of " WAMYA Direct", receiving the maximum bonus of 96 %. At this point you'll be making at least 2 grand a month (75 X 50 = 3750. You get 96% ( $3600 minus bonuses paid to your "down line").

As your personal group hits the direct level, they will "break away" from you and you will continue to receive 4% of their business. Obviously, this offers you unlimited income potential. Is this the "real deal" or what !

The best part is: Nobody spends more than 600 bucks a year to stay in ! Heck, you won't even miss that 50 bucks. You'll save twice that when you resume shopping at the supermarket instead of buying that "other stuff".

What? illegal pyramid scheme? immoral ? unethical?

Well, okay, we'll package up some mediocre household products and generic, crappy tasting food items and declare them upscale, high quality stuff. We'll sell the junk amongst are own groups to give the impression that we're a legitimate retail operation.

Huh? What do you mean we have to offer bona fide goods or services to the public? Alright, we'll have this rule see, that says you have to sell stuff to at least ten customers, then we'll ignore the rule. That'll keep the Feds off our back eh?

Say What? What do you mean nobody will keep throwing good money after bad like that. Sure they will, if we convince them that they'll be rich like us in 2-5 years. Hmmm, maybe we'll need some motivational tools and functions after all.

Hows that? Ripping people off at the bottom levels? Well, I know God wants me to be rich. If the rest don't make it, well.. they didn't want it bad enough.

You what? Been there, done that? Well, the heck with you too ! I may be stupid but I have dream ! And I love helping people (make me rich). And I'll be walking on the beaches of the world ! (picking up aluminum cans) And you'll be serving me drinks some day ! (if you take a food-service job at the penitentiary) And I'll retire at age 35 (on public assistance) and I'll have lots of time for my family (If I find out where they moved to)

See Ya LOSER !

My husband and I are both professional business people and believe in the American Dream. We feel 100% qualified to voice our opinions to the world regarding the building of an Amway distributorship.

Amway is without doubt the most destructive cult America has ever seen! They wouldn't know a Christian if they fell over one and their lies and deceipt will one day be their downfall.

Please don't let the greed for money lead you into the trap of Amway. Once they have your mind.......they have your money. You will become another brainwashed pawn feeding the greed of the so called rich in your upline. Your life will become so alien you will no longer recognize yourself. Your friends and family will want to have you committed.

Amway will blinker you to the outside world. You will begin to live, breath, sleep, eat Amway. Nothing else will matter. You will constantly chant Amway sayings and look upon non-Amway people as 'losers'.

We became total cult members. I thank the Lord daily for showing us a way out with our minds and lives intact. We are still suffering the finacial loss. The thousands we spent on tapes, books and functions. But more importantly we are suffering from the immense embarrassment. How can two inteligent level headed individuals get hooked and reeled in to something like this? We are still apologising to friends and family for our behaviour.

This company has to be stopped! By the way, we became Direct Distributors. Our earnings were not $2,000 per month. We were going into debt every month by over $1,000.