After a year in The Business, Josh and Jean were scarcely able to devote eight hours a week to distributing goods and showing The Plan—activities that required a good supply of prospects, customers, and downlines. They were desperate for new leads, also a scarce resource, and regularly alarmed me with proposals that we all go to some public place and mingle. Of course, that would have required overcoming shyness and other gag responses, impediments that Josh, Jean, and Sherri never really overcame (most of their leads seemed either to be family or, like me, coworkers.) They would, on the other hand, devote entire weekends to “recharging their batteries” at First and Second Looks, Seminars, Rallies, and Major Functions (Dream Night, Leadership Weekend, Family Reunion, Free Enterprise Day); meetings that required only insecurity and neediness, which all three had in spades.
When a friend first presented the Amway business to Gomez, she admittedly wasn’t excited. “I was newly married, working three jobs and going to school,” she said. “I don’t do anything halfway, and so didn’t believe I had the time to devote to something new.” But when her husband, Adam, weighed the start-up cost against the potential to make additional money each month, she decided to come on board.
Some Amway distributor groups have been accused of using "cult-like" tactics to attract new distributors and keep them involved and committed. Allegations include resemblance to a Big Brother organization with a paranoid attitude toward insiders critical of the organization, seminars and rallies resembling religious revival meetings, and enormous involvement of distributors despite minimal incomes. An examination of the 1979–1980 tax records in the state of Wisconsin showed that the Direct Distributors reported a net loss of $918 on average.
“We believe this is going to be the heart of this downtown sports and entertainment and arts district,” Martins said. “Anchored at one end by the Dr. Phillips Center and on the other end by Camping World Stadium with this development and the Amway Center being at the heart of it all. I do believe that type of development can attract a major event to any one of these facilities.”
My wife started to sell this stuff. After a few months, everything in our house was Amway crap, bought with my money at ridiculous prices. My family could not talk with her without her mentioning Amway in every breath. In an attempt to discover what was going on, I went with her to an Amway seminar. Around a thousand people all screaming and shouting “fired up” and cheering the pompus rich asses paraded on stage as Diamond distributos. After the show I went around back and see that these “Diamonds” drove old beat-up cars. I saw how easy it is to brainwash people at cult meetings.
‘You can see we’re getting the screens fixed,’ the Realtor says, pointing to the men working beyond the glass. She has piercing blue eyes. Processed blonde hair. She has French-tipped nails, diamond rings on all fingers, and a gold-and-diamond necklace. She wears a white semi sheer shirt, black-and-white-printed leisure pants, black eyeliner and heavy mascara. ‘We’re just putting some finishing touches on the place.’
Yes! MLM is not the same as “pyramid scheme” . In every business the people at the top make more. In an MLM anyone can work up to the top, unlike in a pyramid scheme. Some of what is described in the article is very cult-like if it’s true, but I would imagine it is like with any business: it depends on who your upline is. If your upline is a creep, the whole team is going to be creepy. If you have a good upline, the whole team will reflect that. Any business, MLM or otherwise, can isolate people from friends and family. It’s called being a workaholic.
Great article Christene! It's very difficult to build an Amway business in the United States, most of their growth nowadays is international. Even the business builders inside Amway are leaving the country to build abroad. The reason for this is twofold: 1-people like Ethan V. are out there on the web slamming Amway and discouraging IBOs all in an effort to market their own products and services to them (I call this leech marketing); and 2-Amway has not embraced internet marketing, and continues to teach belly to belly marketing tactics that require all of their new people to "burn the rubber off the tires." It's not up to us to dictate how the marketplace wants to be marketed to, it's up to us to figure out how to speak to them and then provide that message.
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. 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. 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". In 2008, the state government of Andhra Pradesh enacted a ban on Amway media advertisements.