“We formed the DeVos Family Council, which is made up of our children and their spouses and meets four times a year. The Family Council just approved a family constitution that essentially captures our family mission and values. … The Family Council also articulates how the family will work together in managing our shared financial interests and our philanthropy.
In the 1960s and ’70s, Ed and Elsa Prince advanced God’s Kingdom from the end of a cul-de-sac just a few miles from Lake Michigan. There, they taught their four children—Elisabeth (Betsy), Eileen, Emilie and Erik—a deeply religious, conservative, free-market view of the world, emphasizing the importance of self-reliance and sending them to private schools that would reinforce the values they celebrated at home, small-government conservatism chief among them.
The idea of Amway was started in 1949 by two friends, Jay Van Andel and Richard DeVos. Originally called the Ja-Ri Corporation, the pair began by selling Nutrilite and a few imported products. In ten years, they had over 5,000 distributors below them. By 1959, together with some of their top distributors, DeVos and Van Andel broke off to form Amway. They began selling their now famous Liquid Organic Cleaner (L.O.C.) and quickly expanded to more home products before launching into the health and beauty industry that defines their business today.
Amway is a direct-selling business that has been in business for more than 50 years, operates in more than 100 countries, and claims to have helped more than 3 million Independent Business Owners (IBOs) “forge their own path to success.” The company claims to accomplish this by offering a large, exclusive line of products, extensive training opportunities, complete customer support, and more.

Amway business owners span the globe, from the Americas to Europe, India and Africa to Greater China and the Asia-Pacific region. The company’s low-cost, low-risk business model sets IBOs up to reach their goals. It quickly and efficiently addresses the needs that may vary according to geography and culture. Details large and small, from navigating local selling regulations to product sizes and brand preferences, are coordinated in conjunction with local governments, business owners and consumers.


This is not the man who brought my dad in but a man somewhere above him. He was what The Business calls a ‘phony Emerald.’ To meet the criteria for the pin level, he’d force the people in his organization to order extra product in order to grow his volume and push him across the finish line each month – not that he turned much of a profit doing so, as he had to pass it all on to his own upline. ‘Well, the Emerald pin doesn’t mean anything unless your organization is solid,’ said my dad. ‘So you got a pin – you’re not making the money.’ Eventually, my dad says, Vincent was stripped of the Emerald pin because he couldn’t maintain the sales by force alone.
I went to a Amway meeting was one of the people in this situation they are creepy, the guy who tried to get me into Amway used my teammates death to incite conversation between us. He used my teammates death to try make profit off of me. I say try because i had this guy who did this spend money on me, who would buy me dinner and i would always tell them how cool the ideas are, every meeting was the same they made it seem like a family instead of a business. with a 200 dollar buy in they’d guarantee I’d make it back in a month or 2. Thankfully i chose a better financial option which was spent that 200 on weed and flipped that sack for money. made my money back in one day. Like to see them give results like hustling on a street, honestly they use aggressive terms just like the Presidential candidate they use aggression or use chances to take advantage of people who have experienced loss, they use comfort and happiness to overshadow the intentions they truly have next thing I know i’m being asked for a 200 dollar buy in then asked to go to trips to Iowa where i’d have to drop near a thousand to go. Now the guy who tried to get me to join alienates himself from everyone he has known who isn’t into the Amway business. These are facts guys and girls they aren;t so much like a cult just someone who will do everything to get your money in a trickle down economic policy that doesn’t work.
Ok, tell you what, if you have any actual questions, ask them right here. I’m a recent inductee into this “cult” of Amway. If you truly market yourself as someone who is knowledgeable and can provide something more than opinion, shoot. If you don’t I’ll take it as you got paid to bad mouth Amway just like the person who wrote this blog. She even stated in one of the comments above that she gets paid to market her own blog, and this is her business. Please show me something I haven’t already seen, and convince me that I shouldn’t join this; we can have a real conversation.
I’m a big promoter of the “side hustle” — extra work or a part-time job you take on to earn extra money in order to reach your financial goals. However, I don’t think any kind of multi-level marketing organization is the way to do it. Instead, there are plenty of amazing ways to bring in extra money without going broke and making all your friends and family hate you.
The Club Level at the Amway Center -- between the Terrace and the Promenade -- splits into several types of premium seating. There are suites, including the Founders Suite which can accommodate 16 and the larger Presidents Suite, each providing a plush and roomy space from which to enjoy the game. Loge seats are among the most popular though, combining great additions like all-inclusive food and drink with a close-to-the-action feel.
Before the meeting, I had worried that my hand-held tape recorder would stand out. As it happened, everyone was recording Scott: I kept track of time by the sounds of cassettes being flipped. I was on Side B of a ninety minute tape before Scott dropped the word “Amway,” and I was on another cassette entirely before I captured the heart of the “best business opportunity in the world”: the Amway Sales & Marketing Plan. This was not, however, a topic to be discussed without considerable preparatory spadework.
For Magic games, there are two main sections -- the Terrace (101-118) and the Promenade (201-232) -- which are divided by the Club Level: an area of suites as well as club seats and Loge seats. Some floor seats are also available, although this "Courtside" seating costs a bit extra. It's incredibly comfortable though, and one neat perk at the Amway Center is that you can have food and drinks delivered directly to your seat if you're courtside or an ultimate seat holder.
Multi-level market (MLM) or network marketing is an American institution. Companies like Amway, Tupperware, Herbalife, Avon, Mary Kay and The Pampered Chef support huge networks of distributors and recruits who sell every type of product from dietary supplements to kitchenware to beauty products. Salespeople are called independent business owners (IBO) and generally work from their homes.
Clockwise, from upper left: Amway cofounders Jay Van Andel (left) and Richard DeVos (center) meet in the Oval Office with President Gerald Ford, who is holding a copy of Richard’s book, “Believe!”; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Richard DeVos during a 2009 event at the Scripps Research Institute; an aerial shot of Dick & Betsy DeVos’s primary residence in Ada, Michigan; Dick & Betsy enjoy their courtside seats at an Orlando Magic game—an NBA team owned by the DeVos family. | National Archives; AP; Getty Images
When I got started with Amway Global back in 2006, like you, I too though at first it was a scam or pyramid scheme. But than I decided just to take the dive because it was working for others. I was told by my upline to build or make a list of all my friends, family members, etc and contact them to sell products and present to them the business opportunity. And if possible, schedule a home event or get them to a local hotel meeting, on a 3 way call, or attend a live webinar presentation.
Dick DeVos, on stage with his wife, echoed her sentiments with a lament of his own. “The church—which ought to be, in our view, far more central to the life of the community—has been displaced by the public school,” Dick DeVos said. “We just can think of no better way to rebuild our families and our communities than to have that circle of church and school and family much more tightly focused and built on a consistent worldview.”
In 2012, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), accused Amway of making unsubstantiated and illegal claims about Nutrilite Fruits & Vegetables 2GO Twist Tubes and threatened to launch a class action lawsuit against the company unless it took remedial action.[49][50] Amway responded that the claims made about the products were properly substantiated and that they did not plan to change the product's labeling but nevertheless would review the statements that CSPI has questioned.[51] CSPI later reported that Amway had agreed to changing product labels by the end of 2014.[52]
Whether there is more emphasis on referrals or sale of products is very debatable. It pretty much depends on the individual IBO involved. In the Amway gathering I went to, the IBO making the presentation stressed the prospect of saving through the “discounted” prices on the hub rather than trying to sell us the idea of making a lot of money. Some IBOs might try to sell you the idea of making a fortune right away. Some are pushy, some are nice people.
I absolutely agree with this post! I was recently approached by a friend to attend a “business meeting” regarding a “great business opportunity on the Internet” but he did not wanted to say anything until the meeting happened with him and his friend, who supposedly was the owner of this business venture. When I arrived to the “meeting” Suprise! I saw other friends there and about 300+ other unknown people. Immediately warning bells started ringing and I knew it was a pyramid scam anyhow, I stayed for the meeting and indeed by the end my suspicions were confirmed and it became quite obvious that the my friend’s friend was the recruiter. A few days later I heard back from a very close friend of mine who had also been approached and attended a separate meeting, she questioned me about it because the recruiter told her that I was “very excited at joining this venture” which of course was an absolute LIE and an obvious attempt to manipulate and pressure her to join! After two weeks, the recruiter contacted me ACCUSING ME of stealing a USED lip gloss from his wife the day of the so called meeting and then proceeded to ask me why hasn’t he heard back from me?!?! Could you imagine? The freaking nerve of these people!!!! Of course I put him in his place and hope that he never, ever dares to contact me again because if he does I will file a complaint for harassment!!
Building network marketing teams that last is incredibly difficult in North America (specifically USA). This may sound a bit harsh, but I have not seen Amway break a single Diamond in the USA in 2 decades (it was brought to my attention recently that there was 1, but I have not verified this). The reason teams are difficult to keep together, even with the promoting of events, is because building a business entirely offline is not attractive to most people in this country. And as much as leaders may complain that the internet has ruined this industry in some circles, it doesn’t change the fact that the marketplace is an entity all of its own; it’s not up to us to determine what’s best for the marketplace, it’s our duty to find out how they want to be marketed to and then meet that desire. Building solely offline gets tiring and the vast majority of people simply don’t want to burn the rubber off the tires any more.  Now don't get me wrong, building a local team can be extremely powerful (I do it in fact), but if you are not leveraging the power of the internet then your method of marketing may not be attractive to most prospects. Additionally there are a lot of companies that have embraced the internet, and since most people go to the web for information it is easy for Amway reps to get discouraged and explore other options when they find out a business can be built online. Again, don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the local offline approach, but it's best when combined with the internet.
Amway's health and beauty brands include Artistry, Satinique, Hymm, Body Series, Glister, Moiskin (South America),[40] Nutrilite, Nutriway (Scandinavia and Australia/New Zealand), Attitude (India), eSpring, Atmosphere and iCook as well as XL and XS Energy drinks. Other Amway brands that were discontinued or replaced include Tolsom, Eddie Funkhouser New York, or beautycycle (Eastern Europe).
I have not purchased anything from Amway in years, but I did like a number of their products. I particularly liked their cleaning supplies. I also think that Amway products were fairly high quality and had a good guarantee. I also think that Amway prices were fairly high. I would also prefer to order online than through a distributor, particularly a multi-level distributor who wants you to join their down-line marketing group. I had a fairly positive experience. The individual I ordered from was a personal friend, so we had a good relationship. She also gave me free samples of products so I could see if I liked them before I ordered them.

The compensation plan is called a “stairstep breakaway,” which requires the business rep to effectively rebuild a leg once it has reached what’s called Platinum status (7500 points). Basically, legs break off once they qualify and the commissions turn into 4% royalties instead of commissioned payouts of ~30%. I asked a former Amway emerald once what it was like having his first leg break-off and his reply was: “it’s awful, you really know how to ask painful questions don’t you.” He went on to explain his commissions dropped by at least 80% when they turned into “royalties.” It should be noted that the royalties technically disappear if the volume in the leg drops below 7500 points, so it’s not really a “permanent” royalty unless you maintain your volume. It is in essence a “punishing” compensation plan that forces you to rebuild a leg once it reaches this trigger volume, effectively causing you to “not” want others to pass you up.
At the time, it seemed like a dead end for a neophyte political candidate. In reality, it was the opening of a new avenue the DeVoses followed to far greater political influence, reshaping Michigan politics and the national Republican scene. “I think that loss really solidified the idea in the DeVoses’ minds that the real way to get what you want is to be behind the scenes,” says Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics.
To get the full Amway experience, I started buying my groceries through The Business. I found that, despite Amway’s growth, its “cutting-edge” distribution system preserved all the pitfalls of a small buying club run out of somebody’s apartment. My local supermarket, ironically, actually did start as a buying club run out of someone’s apartment in the 1930s; as it grew, however, it accreted all the efficiencies of the retail system. Now it’s open fourteen hours a day, seven days a week, with professional managers, stockers, and checkers; a visit there is quick and hassle-free. To make my “pick-up” at Josh and Jean’s apartment, on the other hand, required an hour-long el ride and arrangements with a friend to haul the stuff back home, all scheduled only during those brief windows of opportunity when Josh and Jean could be there to meet me.

You need life insurance if people depend on you financially - and for no other reason. The only real reason for this is because you have children. A lazy spouse isn't a good enough reason, an adult can be expected to find work. If you must pay someone money to bet that you'll die, it should be because your children are dependent on you, or because you care for someone at end-of-life. They make very cheap term-life policies to cover this, for like 1-5x annual salary - 20 years, depending on whether you smoke. Getting a similar policy for on a spouse that's taking care of the kids is also important to consider.
Amway is not a scam. The reason why people fail to be successful is because it is hard work just like any other business and not because it is a scam. Good people skills is a must for this kind of business and definitely, you need to be intelligent and clever in marketing your products just like in any other business. A lot of people fail in this business because they have little idea about money making skills or business skills. I have worked in corporate and I know the common thing among all the companies in the world is that they exaggerate about products, the lifestyle you will get and the money you will make. ALL companies do that. The only difference is that in Amway you are not sitting in a company building for your work. Rest depends on your selling skills. 

This is the worst company on earth DO NOT SIGNUP WITH THEM IT IS A COMPLETE SCAM. When I signed up They offered me supposed free sample value of $150 witch in the end I ended up paying double the price for. So if that’s not bad enough they also signed me up for some LTD crap without my approval or knowledge of doing so which charged me $50 a month after all said and done I tried to call them and they said if I were to cancel they would charge me $150 cancellation fee so to anybody that’s reading this avoid amway at all cost
Amway is an $8.6 billion direct selling business based in Ada, Michigan, USA. Top-selling brands for Amway are Nutrilite™ vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements, Artistry™ skincare and color cosmetics, eSpring™ water treatment systems and XS™ energy drinks – all sold exclusively by Amway Business Owners. Global sales in 2016 made Amway the No. 1 direct selling business in the world, according to the 2017 Direct Selling News Global 100. The company’s annual sales figure includes revenue from direct selling operations and other business holdings. 

2. Amway is notably owned by author and owner of Orlando Magic basketball team Rich Devos and Chairman of US Chamber of Commerce, Steve Van Andel. Pretty sure the government would not have the owner of an illegal pyramid scheme as their Chairman and could definitely find Mr Devos Courtside at a game to arrest him for his 11 billion dollar illegal business.

The Amway Coaches Poll is conducted weekly throughout the regular season using a panel of head coaches at FBS schools. The panel is chosen by random draw, conference by conference plus independents, from a pool of coaches who have indicated to the American Football Coaches Association their willingness to participate. Each coach submits a Top 25 with a first-place vote worth 25 points, second place 24, and so on down to one point for 25th.
Everyone was dressed to impress, I mean, I'm talking fancy suits. Besides a couple of old farts in there that I'm sure were running the show, everyone else was in their early 20s. I mean, makes sense, I was targeted, haha, get it? Because it was at "Target." Sorry, lame joke. Anyway, he introduced me to some of these guys and asked questions to them, like "what has been your biggest take away from this?" and "what do you think about it?" Stuff like that so I could see that hey, maybe this is a thing for me (it wasn't, in case you're wondering). They were all brain-washed, I mean, just from the speech I heard that night all that was said was a bunch of BS. And all I could see around the room was all these young kids just eating this up like free candy. The guy did no real math up there, just threw up some really good sounding money number and that we should build trust. Honestly, that was my takeaway from that whole one-hour speech he gave. I'll admit that the guy was an excellent speaker. He had the crowd. I just wasn't buying it.
[1]The FTC’s ruling that Amway is not a pyramid scheme is based partly on the “70-10 Rule”: To qualify for Performance Bonuses based on downlines’ sales, an Amway distributor is required to sell, according to Amway’s Business Reference Manual, “at wholesale and for retail at least 70 percent of the total amount of products he bought during a given month”—this is supposed to prevent “inventory loading,” the forced purchase of unsalable merchandise. Amwayers are also required, for the Performance Bonus, to sell to at least ten retail customers in a given month, which ensures that real business is being conducted.
The next five days saw large protests on the Capitol grounds, culminating with an estimated 12,500 demonstrators on December 11, the day the House voted on the legislation. Two-thousand demonstrators flooded into the Capitol, sitting in the hallways and laying down in the rotunda. They stomped their feet, chanted familiar slogans, sang “Solidarity Forever”—a cacophony that some in the House chamber one story up initially confused for thunder.
Moving on, we exchanged info. I gave him my business card, he gave me his number. I thought cool, I just made a new friend who has the same mindset as I do, you know, work hard for the good life. He called me a couple of days later and we met at a small time franchise restaurant (his choice - part of the presentation). He brought his wife with him. They were both 22 years old. Not that it's weird, but I don't know. They both sounded like such nice people, I mean really nice. It's hard to take them or think that they are even out to commit anything that is considered bad. They gave me a book called "Business of the 21st Century" and I was to read it in four days, probably because in five days there was a meeting I was not yet aware of, and after reading the book we met again.
This is not the man who brought my dad in but a man somewhere above him. He was what The Business calls a ‘phony Emerald.’ To meet the criteria for the pin level, he’d force the people in his organization to order extra product in order to grow his volume and push him across the finish line each month – not that he turned much of a profit doing so, as he had to pass it all on to his own upline. ‘Well, the Emerald pin doesn’t mean anything unless your organization is solid,’ said my dad. ‘So you got a pin – you’re not making the money.’ Eventually, my dad says, Vincent was stripped of the Emerald pin because he couldn’t maintain the sales by force alone.
“Across the United States, the spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and thriving, from coast to coast,” said Dr. David B. Audretsch, professor and director of the Institute for Development Strategies at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs. “This year’s AGER confirms Americans continue to view entrepreneurship in a positive light and are open to the idea of starting their own business. Compared to the global average, attitudes towards entrepreneurship in America are sustaining momentum from previous years and are on track to experience continued growth.”

Today, 16 years after the DeVoses’ failed constitutional amendment, this constant push has totally remade Michigan education. The cap on the number of charter schools eliminated and attempts to provide public oversight have been defeated, making Michigan’s charters among the most-plentiful and least-regulated in the nation. About 80 percent of Michigan’s 300 publicly funded charters are operated by for-profit companies, more than any other state. This means that taxpayer dollars that would otherwise go to traditional public schools are instead used to buy supplies such as textbooks and desks that become private property. It is, essentially, a giant experiment in what happens when you shift resources away from public schools.


For those talking about Amway (alias Quixtar) not being scam or fraud should actually gather some knowledge before talking about it, does not matter if from inside or outside of the "business" as you like to call it. If you wish, please just type in Amway lawsuit, Quixtar lawsuit just in Google if you do not want to bother searching too much. Oh, bot companies have been sewed several times for what exactly? Hmhm, how strange, fraud, pyramide scheme, violating laws, and we could go on. One of their biggest payouts was around 150 million dollars. So stop lying to people and yourselves. These are not beliefs, these are facts. Rather study business, read a book, improve your skills, make your own business or be a part of a business that actually is not just about a few overfed money preachers stuffing themselves with your time. Think, learn, read.
‘Shorts are fine here, jeans are fine. Casual attire, golf attire, tennis,’ says Dale. ‘What we train our staff on here, constantly, is the difference between a country club and a normal restaurant. We have a membership: they’re paying X amount of dollars just to walk in the door and come have a hamburger. So, we encourage the staff to make introductions if there are two members sitting here and they don’t know each other. To get them involved, help them meet each other, help them make friends – because that’s what’s going to make them participate more and stay members longer. It’s like a church. Like trying to get your congregation active and engaged and involved.’
The next evening (Sunday because that's URA's phone session night) I received a call from the girl. I missed the call but immediately called her back thinking she was wanting to make dinner plans or something along those lines. She began talking about this cool business opportunity she has and felt like we would be perfect for it! The way she explained it made it sound legit. She said it was a company who endorses major brand products online, etc., etc. I was intrigued at first. They had us in the palm of their hands. When I hung up the phone, my husband immediately said "They're using us. This is some MLM scam." I believed him, but I had liked the couple so much I didn't want to lose their friendship, so we decided to just try it out. See if it's for us.
The houses in Carlton Estates were a magnitude above those in our old neighborhood, where all of the concrete homes followed more or less the same design. These sat on larger lots and had deeper lawns, and each was entirely unique. There were second and third stories, and sloping, multilevel roofs. There were bamboo thickets obscuring homes from the street. Stone and wood exteriors. Stained glass windows. No sidewalks. No streetlights.
William Keep, dean of the College of New Jersey’s School of Business, and a pyramid scheme critic, told Bloomberg earlier this year that “in terms of sending clear signals to the industry, the F.T.C. has done worse than nothing since 1979. It sends confusing signals that have in no way helped us understand how to identify a multilevel marketing company that may be a pyramid scheme.” 

The company is said to have been violating the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act. More specifically, Pinckney and the two other directors were arrested in connection with a case filed by a certain Visalakshi of Kozhikode. She claimed to have incurred losses of Rs 3 lakh in trying to sell the products of Amway through its multi-level marketing network.
My husband and I tried Amway, and here's the story: My husband's BEST friend and his wife started asking us to hang out a lot, which was cool because we enjoyed their company. I thought she was my best friend at the time, stupidly enough. It didn't take long for them to tell us about this "amazing" opportunity. We thought we would give it a try since we sincerely trusted our friends. We would go to their house for a "meeting" in their basement with a bunch of strangers and two guys in suits. The guys would talk about how nice it is to work from home, make tons of money and generally just talk about nothing to do with the actual business. After every meeting I would think, okay but what is the business all about!?!?!? So eventually they set us up as "business owners" and we purchased a ton of crap from Amway totaling over $1,000 because, "that is what you do." Eventually, we decided that we would not continue with the business. There was nothing wrong with it, but we knew it wasn't for us. We didn't want to approach complete strangers in coffee shops and present them with an "opportunity"; we didn't want to stay home on the weekends to attend meetings instead of spending them at the lake; we didn't want to choose Amway partners over friends and family like you are taught (yes, there is a "tier"); we didn't want to spend thousands of dollars on products and guilt-trip our friends and family if they didn't want to buy our products (yes, this was also taught). All in all there was nothing very wrong with it, it's not a scam, but it's definitely NOT for everyone. I am writing this not to bash anyone but to give anyone an insight if they are wanting to be part of Amway. Oh, and as for the "friends"... they now completely ignore us. And I mean, I'll see them in public and they'll turn away from me when I wave; they will talk to anyone BUT us. And this was my husband's long-time highschool friend; they were even in eachother's WEDDINGS. So to be quite frank I will talk everyone out of doing Amway and it's their fault. If that is how they will treat others for simply not continuing with the business then I will tell NO ONE to join.
In 1999 the founders of the Amway corporation established a new holding company, named Alticor, and launched three new companies: a sister (and separate) Internet-focused company named Quixtar, Access Business Group, and Pyxis Innovations. Pyxis, later replaced by Fulton Innovation, pursued research and development and Access Business Group handled manufacturing and logistics for Amway, Quixtar, and third-party clients.[26]
Another reward of the Gomez family’s success was flexibility. Vicky credits their involvement with Amway for enabling the couple to be present in their kids’ lives, while instilling the importance of working hard and giving back. Their example has influenced the next generation, inspiring their eldest son, Adam Jr., to found a nonprofit organization called The Road to Help, which provides blankets to the homeless in the Los Angeles area.
Amway is a multibillion dollar company that uses “multilevel marketing techniques” to sell cosmetics and household products. They have really aggressive recruitment techniques and cult-like practices. They’re super shady and sued on a pretty regular basis, but still manage to trick new people into the fold! You can read more about the company here. If you want to hear more creepy personal stories about other people, like my friend’s roommate, who has been tricked into Amway, there are some good ones here and you can always Google “Amway is a cult”.
After four years of litigation Amway won a landmark case in 1979 concerning the legality of MLMs. Because distributors can make an income on direct selling in addition to their downline, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ruled that Amway was a legitimate business and could continue to operate. This decision has only led to other MLMs adopting similar loopholes and has done little to protect the millions of people scammed into giving their time and money to Amway and other MLMs. 

Nike and Apple have been partnered for 3 years. They don’t need to market and advertise that to create volume. That’s what we do. Also, amway is designed initially to be part time,no full time. I worked a full time job, while putting in time to build a business online. I don’t need to explain what we make now but it’s enough to make a living. Look up the BBB if you want to do “research”.
Such pandering to heartland values has (along with record-breaking donations from Rich DeVos) endeared Amway to the Republican Party. But the company has also had its share of critics. In the seventies a succession of defectors charged that The Business (as the faithful call it) was a pyramid scheme, a fraudulent enterprise that made money by recruiting new members and channeling their fees to higher-ups in the organization. A 1979 Federal Trade Commission investigation concluded that Amway was not in fact a pyramid scheme—only that some of its claims to prospective distributors were overly optimistic—because most of its revenue came from sales of actual products.[1] But that didn’t end the company’s troubles. During the Reagan years, Amway was the butt of jokes and the target of exposes. Senior distributors set up private “distributor groups,” organizations dealing in motivational materials and notorious mass rallies.[2] Dexter Yager, founder of the Yager Group, was known to leap around stages brandishing a giant gold crucifix.
This was a “First Look”—the initial meeting where Amwayers bring prospects to scare them about the future—and Scott delivered it with gusto and verve. Sherri had told me to expect an hour-long talk, but two and a half hours barely winded this speaker. He delivered 150 minutes of fast patter without notes, and touched upon such diverse topics as the high divorce rate, the quality of McDonald’s hamburgers, IBM’s strategy of diversification, and the number of cupholders in the minivan he had recently bought with cash. I would later realize that this was a typical Amway speech: somewhere between an infomercial and a sermon, a loosely organized string of riffs that bespoke either improvisational genius or, more likely, countless repetitions.
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