Beginning in 1992–93, USA Today and CNN took over publishing the coaches' basketball poll for UPI. Beginning in the 1993–94 basketball season, the Coaches Poll began publishing its final poll after the NCAA basketball tournament. From the 1993 to 1997 seasons, the poll was co-sponsored by USA Today, Cable News Network, and the NABC. Finally, in 1997-98, ESPN joined as a co-sponsor of the Coaches Poll along with USA Today and the NABC where selected NABC members serve as the voting block for the poll. ESPN retains its involvement in the basketball poll despite no longer being involved in the football poll.
Though they aren’t quite as large or wealthy as the DeVoses, the Prince family—even further west, in Holland, Michigan—shares one big trait in common with their in-laws: the idea that patriotism and politics are inseparable from Christianity. Elsa Prince Broekhuizen, Betsy’s mother, donated $75,000 to the successful 2004 ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage in Michigan; four years later, she gave $450,000 to an identical initiative in California. Betsy’s brother, Erik Prince, founded Blackwater, the military contractor that gained notoriety in 2007, when its employees fired into a crowd of Iraqi civilians, killing 17. (In 2009, two former Blackwater employees alleged in federal court that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader.”)
The 12-step shtick was a ready justification for the cult-like regimen of World Wide followers. Like alcoholics, wage junkies had to attend frequent meetings, supplemented with books and tapes, to keep on track; they had to dissociate themselves from bad influences, i.e. “broke” friends and relatives who would try to keep them down; they had to follow “Eight Core Steps” (four of which involved buying stuff from either Amway or World Wide Dreambuilders); and they had to let go of their ego and overcome their fear of change, to open themselves to the counseling of their upline “sponsors.” Sponsoring, as in Alcoholics Anonymous, was an act of love and healing. Your uplines would never mislead you, even if their wisdom might seem strange to your still job-addled mind.
By that point, Betsy DeVos was already a major Engler backer—she had served as the GOP chair in powerful Kent County, and in 1992, won one of the state’s seats on the RNC, ousting Ronna Romney (sister-in-law of Mitt Romney and mother of Ronna Romney McDaniel, whom Trump has chosen to helm the RNC). But education reform had long been a passion, and now she had an opportunity to help the governor who was enacting the changes she so badly wanted.
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”.
Even so, among the DeVoses’ skeptics, there are those who strike a hopeful, if cautious, tone. “I think Mrs. DeVos could potentially be a really good secretary of education if she allowed parents and school districts to make policy at the local level,” says Daniel Quinn, executive director of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice, a nonprofit that receives a portion of its funding from the National Education Association. “But at the same time, I’m concerned.” 

The DeVos family’s charitable giving and political activism sprawls across three generations. It’s not just Dick and Betsy, but Richard and Helen’s other children, too. There’s Daniel DeVos, who chairs the Orlando Magic, an NBA franchise the family owns, and his wife, Pamella. There’s Doug DeVos, Amway’s current president and the chair of the executive committee of the National Constitution Center, and his wife, Maria. There’s Cheri DeVos, who sits on the board at Alticor, Amway’s parent company. And there’s their children, a generation of young adults ready to carry the baton.
In September 2006, following a public complaint, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana state police (CID) initiated raids and seizures against Amway distributors in the state, and submitted a petition against them, claiming the company violated the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (banning) Act.[118] They shut down all corporate offices associated with the Amway organization including the offices of some Amway distributors. The enforcement said that the business model of the company is illegal.[11][119] The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had notified the police that Amway in India may be violating certain laws regarding a "money circulation scheme" and the IB Times article writes that "some say ... Amway is really more about making money from recruiting people to become distributors, as opposed to selling products".[11] In 2008, the state government of Andhra Pradesh enacted a ban on Amway media advertisements.[118]
[4]As soon as they mention Amway, First Look speakers always hurry to dispel “myths” about The Business: that it’s a rinky-dink soap company, that it requires door-to-door sales, that it’s a pyramid scheme (if you do an organizational chart of a typical corporation, guess what, that looks like a pyramid too!), that you have to be a Christian to join (there’s nobody The Business wouldn’t accept), that it’s a crazy cult (Amway provides an opportunity to everybody, meaning that it inevitably lets in some bad apples who damage its reputation).
The Coaches Poll has come under criticism for being inaccurate, with some of the charges being that coaches are biased towards their own teams and conferences, that coaches don't actually complete their own ballots, and that coaches are unfamiliar with even the basics, such as whether a team is undefeated or not, about teams they are voting on.[5][6] In 2012, USC Trojans coach Lane Kiffin resigned as a voter after just one vote amidst controversy over his preseason selection of his school as No. 1. Kiffin told reporters, "I would not vote USC No. 1, I can tell you that much." However, USA Today, citing the need to "protect the poll's integrity", revealed that Kiffin had voted his team for the top spot. Kiffin apologized and explained that his comments were from the perspective of an opposing coach voting for USC.[7]

Products have flaws sometimes, please let me rephrase; people have problems with products and you will never have the perfect product that will suit everyone’s needs. You will have to deal with product issues and returns, obviously, a happy customer will give you a happy business, and it does require some skill and stress control to keep people happy.


"We were warned never to use the name Amway on the phone; even while showing the business plan, the name would be one of the very last things mentioned. The explanation from our 'sponsors' was that people in the past have misused the name 'Amway,' and people should get a chance to know the 'new Amway' without being prejudiced from things they might have heard."

It’s one thing to be an advocate and quite another to be a policymaker in a realm where you have little professional training or personal experience—a charge that DeVos’ opponents are quick to lob. If confirmed by the Senate, DeVos would be the first secretary of education in at least 30 years without any experience as a government official, school administrator or teacher. “She’s not someone with an education background—she never went to a public school, never sent a child to a public school,” says Whitmer, who recently announced her candidacy for Michigan governor. “It’s just stunning that they’d want to export the ugliness [the DeVoses] have brought to the education debate in Michigan and send it to the rest of the nation.”
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
Than please do enlighten us, what the difference is between Amway, Avon, Oriflame, etc. and the few other 1000 MLM "businesses" out there? All you can see, read, hear if you attend a meeting or not is the same script. Everyone is selling the best products, everyone is making tons of money, everyone is the amazing 2% who are smarter than other people on earth. (Oh and most of the time it turns out they have the same owners, or the name just changed :O suprise) And do not even start with sales. Topshop is one of the biggest TV and online sellers of 90% crap and useless stuff. Is it a business? Yes. Do they make money? Yes. Do they annoy, scam and rip people off? Yes. They have horrible reviews, lawsuits, complaint masses. Something running and some making money out of it does not make it a proper business nor legit. And please do not use the word meeting or training word regarding any of these companies. Getting some random people talking about how their yacht looks like is not a business mindset. Ever tried to make a project? Ever had a project plan and completed it? How many business models can you tell us? And in how many of those have you achieved anything? Please feel free, we would love to see. And having a degree has nothing to do with any business model. A person who was milking cows for a living for 40 years can have a successful business without having finished primary school. And "so to finish up", a real business with real products does not need people to run around and harrass people with their products. And I am not talking about coca cola and friends here. Everyone can find a product they need which is good and for a proper price. Noone needs someone to hold hands while shopping.
Products have flaws sometimes, please let me rephrase; people have problems with products and you will never have the perfect product that will suit everyone’s needs. You will have to deal with product issues and returns, obviously, a happy customer will give you a happy business, and it does require some skill and stress control to keep people happy.
On December 18, 2012, the court ruled that film can be screened, but the makers have to remove "untrue information", as the screen near the end of the movie stated that 30% of company income is generated by sales of training materials and that the vast majority of its profits are shared only by the tiny fraction of top distributors.[158] This is not the only court case, so the film is still banned on other grounds.[159]
The lack of government prosecutions, along with sophisticated PR spin and misleading income data have given MLM schemes an aura of legitimacy, heightening their ability to fool consumers and the media as well. Gradually, though, the truth about how MLMs have escaped regulation is coming to light. The answer is plain and simple: MLMs bought influence in Washington and in some state legislatures with campaign contributions and high pressure lobbying.
And these inconveniences pale beside the emotional shock of entering Josh and Jean’s apartment. Not big to begin with, its thorough occupation by Amway Corporation made it positively claustrophobic. The living room was dominated by huge metal cabinets displaying Amway cleaning and food products; shelves along the wall were devoted to toiletries; boxes of cereal lined the top of the couch. Next to the window was an eraser board listing upcoming World Wide Dreambuilders meetings; free wall space and the outside of cabinets were decorated with motivational slogans (“I AM A WINNER!”) drawn in crayon.
Amway Center is one of the most technologically advanced venues in the world. Inside the building, a unique centerhung installation, manufactured by Daktronics of Brookings, South Dakota, is the tallest in any NBA venue.[19] It maximizes creative programming options by using high resolution, 6mm-pixel technology on each of the 18 displays, including two digital ring displays and four tapered corners. Additional displays include approximately 2,100 feet (640 m) of digital ribbon boards, the largest of which is a 360-degree 1,100 feet (340 m) display surrounding the entire seating bowl. These displays have the ability to display exciting motion graphics and real time content, such as in-game statistics, out-of-town scores, and closed captioning information.[20] Outside the building, a large display utilizes more than 5,000 Daktronics ProPixel LED sticks, each a meter long, which make up a 46 feet (14 m) by 53 feet (16 m) video display. This display will reach millions of motorists traveling by the Amway Center on Interstate 4.[20]

While noting that the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing or liability, Amway acknowledged that it had made changes to its business operations as a result of the lawsuit. The settlement is subject to approval by the court, which was expected in early 2011.[10] The economic value of the settlement, including the changes Amway made to its business model, totals $100 million.[131]


Occasionally, though, it can be useful to mention poverty in a certain context. Inspired by the personal and business philosophies of DeVos and Van Andel, Cross spent the ten years after writing Commitment to Excellence researching the two men, culminating in his 1995 self-help book Choices with Clout: How to Make Things Happen – by Making the Right Decisions Every Day of Your Life. Much of the book is compiled from interviews with the Amway founders and top-level distributors. In a passage about excellence, Van Andel outlines the proper way for an Amway distributor to rationalize the issue of poverty:

5. Amway has a 90day 100% money back guarantee for startup cost (which is less than $60) for anyone who tries the business and a 6 months, no questions asked refund policy on all products purchased, even if used. So you really have to be an idiot to lose money. There is no buying quota, you don’t have to front load products and you and your customers can order what you need directly from the site and get things shipped to their front door in 3-5 days. You get paid a cash percentage of all spending resulting from your personal orders as well as referrals.


In a column published in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper in August 1997,[77] reporter Molly Ivins wrote that Amway had "its own caucus in Congress...Five Republican House members are also Amway distributors: Reps. Sue Myrick of North Carolina, Jon Christensen of Nebraska, Dick Chrysler of Michigan, Richard Pombo of California, and John Ensign of Nevada. Their informal caucus meets several times a year with Amway bigwigs to discuss policy matters affecting the company, including China's trade status."[78]

‘We here, man,’ says a young black man in a blue T-shirt. ‘See all the IBOs. It’s good to be withpeople in your company, to feel the love. A lot of people back home be wondering how it is and how big of an organization it is. You see: just imagine the potential of having all these people in one group, man, even if you get ten dollars off a person’ – he points to a random person in the audience – ‘all these people. There’s a whole lot of money floating around in here somewhere.’ 

Scott confidently reprised decades’ worth of conservative alarmism, invoking inflation and national debt and other flat-earth bugbears in a doomsday routine as charmingly archaic as it was fatuous. An accurate narrative of the last few decades—growing productivity, GDP, and per-capita income, accompanied by a massive upward redistribution of wealth—would hardly have packed the millennial portent Scott was looking for. The Second Wave, like Communism, like all the works of man, was destined to decay and collapse, making way for the coming entrepreneurial kingdom—which, for those who lacked faith or zeal, would bring a day of reckoning. Were we ready? To prove he “wasn’t making this crazy stuff up,” he littered the floor with copies of Fortune, Money, and Forbes, citing the relevant disaster stories. I felt like I was back at ENTERPRISE 2020.
Brad spoke in parables: There was Brad’s father-in-law, who, upon being given a brand-new souped-up truck, sat down and wept. After a few years, the “newness wore off,” so Brad again bought him the latest model. And again his father-in-law sat down and wept. (Brad’s own fluid dynamics were more spectacular: When he first saw the jazzed-up truck, he admitted, “urine streamed down” his pant legs.)
In Dreambuilders’ version of The Plan one could glimpse an escape from the coming economic dead-end through empowered consumption. We’d have all the twenty-first-century cred of working (and shopping) from home, engaging in cutting-edge marketing, being part of a decentralized network, and nurturing our inner entrepreneur. And all the human capital we needed was the ability to shop and be effusive about it, which were practically American birthrights.

Amway is based out of Ada, MI, and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, with only 11 closed complaints over the past three years. It appears that Amway has a generally negative reputation among IBOs, and the most common complaints we encountered during our research cited difficulty making money, high prices, and dishonest recruiting tactics.
But there is one thing that we need to understand here. Like in an MLM scheme which is a Ponzi scheme, the business that an Amway distributor does, depends on finding new distributors and then hoping that these new distributors sell Amway products and at the same time are able to appoint newer distributors. If a distributor is successful at this he makes more and more money. The trouble is that we go along it becomes more difficult to appoint new distributors. Lets try and understand this through an example. Lets say the first distributor that a genuine MLM company appoints, in turn appoints five distributors.
The other way that you can quickly judge Amway is by the profile of their members. Many come from lower middle class religious backgrounds and have recently undergone personal issues (e.g. marital struggles) or boredom that cause them to look for some job that offers an easy way in and a holistic form of management. Many are unwilling to either put in the time that accompanies developing an actual profession (and will thus scoff at higher education) or put in the risk that accompanies creating one’s own business (and will thus scoff at how much the average person works per day.) They’ll often use trigger terms such as “early retirement,” “success,” and “freedom” without ever actually offering anything of substance of what Amway consists of. If anyone questions them – instead of taking time to explain how exactly Amway operates, they will point to a small group of people they know that got rich using Amway or point to all of the businesses that “partner” with Amway . Finally, some are often very protective and defensive of Amway online. You’ll see throughout the comments here (and countless others on blogs criticizing Amway) persons of such stature. You’ll also see that these persons, more often than not, use extremely poor grammar and punctuation, use profanity, and will almost never give an actual counter-argument of substance (but will rather point towards the businesses that partner with Amway, attack other businesses, or direct you to some site ran by Amway members.) Go ahead and see how many of the pro-Amway comments in this blog fit these traits – all of them.
There have been instances in the past where even auto-rickshaw drivers had sold their belongings (including their auto-rickshaw) and paid upto Rs 35,000 to become members of such scheme (GoldQuest). But as with any pyramid scheme, they had to bear the brunt of the binary tree’s exponential function and they became bankrupt. As expected, the organizers went absconding.
In looking at U.S. respondents’ abilities and attitudes regarding starting and running a business, the majority (88 percent) perceive themselves as socially supported (compared to 64 percent globally). When it comes to taking risks, 74 percent of U.S. respondents consider themselves to be risk-takers, compared to 47 percent of respondents globally.
ORLANDO, FL - MAY 25: An general exterior view of the Amway Center on May 25, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Fernandp Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
The recently published book, No One Would Listen, by whistle blower, Harry Markopolos, dramatically describes how SEC regulators ignored his alerts and allowed the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme to grow to enormous proportions. Their failure to act caused harm to thousands more people, despite his written and detailed warnings, which he brought to the agency five separate times over an eight-year period of investigating the scam. Additionally, the news media such as the Wall Street Journal and Forbes magazine also failed to respond to his evidence which he offered them. Madoff was apparetnly treated as “too big to expose.”
Robert Carroll, of the Skeptic's Dictionary, has described Amway as a "legal pyramid scheme", and has said that the quasi-religious devotion of its affiliates is used by the company to conceal poor performance rates by distributors.[107] Erik German's memoir My Father's Dream documents the real life failures of German's father as he is lured into "get-rich-quick" schemes such as Amway.[108]
Mr. DeVos and Mr. Van Andel left college to serve in the Army Air Corps during World War II. When they returned, they started Wolverine Air Service, their first joint venture. Several more businesses followed, including a failed charter schooner service, which almost led to their drowning, as well as a drive-in restaurant and a distributorship for a California-based marketer of vitamins and nutritional products.
First, as with most direct sales/MLM opportunities, your initial startup cost is typically just the beginning. You’ll also have a monthly sales quota to meet, on top of monthly meetings, regional meetings, as well as conferences that you’ll be required to attend. And unfortunately, nearly all of these costs will be your responsibility. On top of this, most IBOs will use any Amway products they’re attempting to sell, which may further increase your startup costs. Between the travel, training, and product purchases, the reality is that only a select few will ultimately realize financial freedom by selling Amway products, which, by almost any measure, are fairly expensive.
How do they sell those products? Not in retail stores – Amway distributors can only sell their products directly to the public, or to other Amway distributors. This may not seem so bad until one considers that the price point for many Amway products has been reported to be about twice that of similar products found in retail stores. Or that in blind tests, Amway products often score poorly.
‘We here, man,’ says a young black man in a blue T-shirt. ‘See all the IBOs. It’s good to be withpeople in your company, to feel the love. A lot of people back home be wondering how it is and how big of an organization it is. You see: just imagine the potential of having all these people in one group, man, even if you get ten dollars off a person’ – he points to a random person in the audience – ‘all these people. There’s a whole lot of money floating around in here somewhere.’ 

‘It was very marshy. They rearranged the golf course because part of Bardmoor was in here, so they restructured it,’ she says, referring to the adjacent gated community. ‘Bayou Club is divided into two cities: Pinellas Park and Seminole. When you first drive into the community, while you’re technically still in Pinellas Park, you wouldn’t know it. Pinellas Park is low-income – we call this section an oasis in the middle of Pinellas Park.’
I was an ibo for a few years and received instruction from Ron himself. Wye aye man, that shite is expensive! The wife and I spent loads on nuts and bolts and pep rallies. Not to mention we were also pressured to buy bsm and got a lot of encouragement from our upline. The products were great and xcess tastes amazing, but it was such a financial burden that the wife had to take a job while I did the fishing. I finally said sod it and quit, despite her highly adamantly vocal irritation. I think that’s one of the reasons she left, hahaha. No, it’s not a scam in the true sense of the word, because how the business model is structured, but your upline and the organization does make more than you in the end.
Early in our conversation, I had mentioned that it was unusual for the chief supply chain officer to also be in charge of R&D. Dr. Calvert addressed this near the end of our interview, “I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to have procurement, manufacturing, the trade group, and R&D in different silos when it comes to developing and sourcing goods. The group I work with dictates everything about the product, how it is built, sourced, and where it is built.”
Georgia put the game away by halftime with a 42-7 lead that included three touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm, another from freshman signal caller Justin Fields as well as his first career rushing touchdown, and a 100-yard rushing performance from junior tailback Elijah Holyfield, the first of his career as well. Sophomore wideout Jeremiah Holloman turned in a breakout performance with three grabs for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Then tragedy struck. Just as he was qualifying for Diamond, Ed had to undergo emergency surgery to remove a brain tumor. Then he had to undergo radiation therapy. Did Ed let this stop him? Of course he didn’t. He ‘showed his mettle’ and his ‘desire to get on with his life’ by prospecting three doctors and six nurses while he was in the hospital recovering from brain cancer treatment – enabling the Johnsons to go Diamond sixty-two months after joining Amway.
In 2011, Nutrilite brand of vitamins and dietary supplements led Amway's sales, totaling almost $4.7 billion.[41] According to Euromonitor International, in 2014, Nutrilite was the world's No. 1 selling vitamins and dietary supplements brand.[35] In 2015, it was reported that according to Euromonitor International, Amway was the largest vitamin and dietary supplement vendor in China, with 11% of a market that generated 100 billion yuan ($15.6 billion) in annual sales.[46] In 2015, it was reported that according to China Confidential consumer brands survey, Amway Nutrilite was the most popular vitamin and dietary supplement brand in China.[47]
While noting that the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing or liability, Amway acknowledged that it had made changes to its business operations as a result of the lawsuit. The settlement is subject to approval by the court, which was expected in early 2011.[10] The economic value of the settlement, including the changes Amway made to its business model, totals $100 million.[131]

The recently published book, No One Would Listen, by whistle blower, Harry Markopolos, dramatically describes how SEC regulators ignored his alerts and allowed the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme to grow to enormous proportions. Their failure to act caused harm to thousands more people, despite his written and detailed warnings, which he brought to the agency five separate times over an eight-year period of investigating the scam. Additionally, the news media such as the Wall Street Journal and Forbes magazine also failed to respond to his evidence which he offered them. Madoff was apparetnly treated as “too big to expose.”
Others Receiving Votes: Texas A&M (5-3) 167; Cincinnati (7-1) 116; South Florida (7-1) 87; Michigan State (5-3) 48; Wisconsin (5-3) 41; NC State (5-2) 40; Northwestern (5-3) 40; Miami (FL) (5-3) 38; Georgia Southern (7-1) 32; Oklahoma State (5-3) 31; UAB (7-1) 24; Stanford (5-3) 21; Auburn (5-3) 21; Oregon (5-3) 20; San Diego State (6-2) 16; Buffalo (8-1) 14; Army West Point (6-2) 13; South Carolina (4-3) 11; Iowa State (4-3) 6; FIU (6-2) 6; Virginia Tech (4-3) 5; Duke (5-3) 3; Pittsburgh (4-4) 3; Boise State (6-2) 2
We should also note that Kyritsis lives in Greece, a country just coming through the other side of an intense financial crisis (see: "targeting desperate people", above). Amway is based in Michigan, but they do about 90% of their business outside of the United States. It's not hard to see why: Amway is increasingly well known as a scam in the U.S., and American citizens have an easier time suing the company for unethical business practices. In 2010, Amway settled with disgruntled American customers for $155 million. 

Yager made a name for himself as the father of the ‘Yager System,’ one of the first and most profitable motivational ‘tools’ businesses run by Amway distributors (also called ‘tools scams’ by detractors). Distributors produce motivational tapes and videos, or ‘tools,’ and sell them directly to their downlines for immediate profit. Tools promote Amway’s free market philosophy but are not themselves Amway products – though the Yager Group is still today an Amway-approved training provider. The Charlotte Observer has said of Yager, ‘He sells not only soap but an ideology and a way of life. Admirers speak of him with reverence, as if his next plateau of Amway achievement were sainthood itself.’ The title of Yager’s first book, Don’t Let Anybody Steal Your Dream, was a Gerard household motto. We said it to one another with a near-religious zeal – like we were speaking in high-fives. I still feel nostalgic for my childhood when I hear it.
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