I think of my family’s time in Amway as achievement tourism. We left reality for a moment and believed the impossible was possible. My dad still wonders if there’s more he could have done, if there’s a way for him to have succeeded in Amway – admitting in the next breath that there isn’t. My parents tried everything. At each turn, the people they thought were supposed to be helping them – their upline, yes, but really the overall structure of the Amway Corporation itself – actually stood in their way. They built dreams and worked to achieve them, but the only people who benefited from their work were the people already on top.
"The first part of the brainwashing," says Kyritsis, "was that 'there would be no success without the system.'" What's the system? The system is a series of seminars, recordings, and books that claim to be a guaranteed path to master salesmanship. Following Amway's guidelines successfully is seen as the only path to success, so if you aren't making money, it's because you're not "working the program" properly. Any success is due purely to their teachings, any failure is due to you not following them hard enough. Sound familiar?
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. 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. Dexter Yager, founder of the Yager Group, was known to leap around stages brandishing a giant gold crucifix.
Sometimes we brought along a camera and took pictures of one another walking around the houses. We saw two or three in a day and then took the film to be developed. Back in our three-bedroom, we looked at the photos together, then stored them in fresh albums. In the photos, we wore the same outfits while the houses around us changed. We were the proud owners of three beautiful homes, the photos said – or this was one big home. One monstrous behemoth of a home comprised of three mansions smashed together.
One of my best friends (whom I've known since the 3rd grade) has become a Amway IBO. He and I are very close, however we have different interests. He invited me over one night to participate in a meeting and I agreed. After the 2 hour long meeting, I knew that this was a scam to make money off of him. I tried to tell him and convince him that Amway will just make money off of his hopefulness by selling him hope (making him buy motivational tapes). No doubt I love the guy, but damn his pride. He's a very committed guy and great at whatever he chooses to do.
“We also have the Family Assembly …. When grandchildren turn 16, they are inducted … in a formal ceremony that everyone attends. An aunt or uncle makes a presentation of their achievements, reminds them of their responsibility as they go forward, and affirms them as a member of the Family Assembly. … They are able to vote in the meetings at age 25, after they have met additional qualifications for taking on this added responsibility.”
The reform efforts seem to have paid off. Today Amway is portrayed as a model business. A spate of articles in newspapers around the country have crowned “multilevel distribution” the Third Wave of marketing: If it looks like Amway, we’re now told, then it’s not a scam. Trade magazines laud Amway as a high-quality manufacturer; the United Nations has given it a rare Environmental Award; Jay VanAndel, the recipient of a score of business awards, served a term as president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Ted Koppel has cited Rich DeVos as one of America’s premier philanthropists; Larry King blurbed DeVos’ book, Compassionate Capitalism, as “a credo for all people everywhere.” Even the Wall Street Journal, which delights in mild ridicule of Amway spectacles, never completely laughs off The Business. The paper is always careful to mention Amway’s billions in annual sales, the new class of professionals flocking to it, the FTC decision ruling it legal, and its remarkable global expansion—especially in Eastern Europe.
During the registration process for a new IBO, Quixtar contracts clearly inform prospective IBOs that BSM are optional and that the producers and sellers of the BSM may make profit or loss from their sale (like any other business). This is also publicized on Quixtar websites. Quixtar's Business Support Materials Arbitration Agreement (SMAA) requires the immediate seller of BSMs to buy-back materials, which were purchased only for personal consumption within a 180-day time frame, on commercially reasonable terms, upon request of the purchaser. BSMs purchased for inventory or to be sold to others downline are not covered by the buy back policy.
"What I love about Amway the most is the natural ingredients used in their products. They keep my family healthier and make everything look fresher and cleaner. I appreciate the confidence I have with their customer service that was careful to my concerns and problems. They managed to make things right quickly. It is easy to make an order in a convenient way. They have products for all people of any ages, no matter what you are looking for. I would definitely recommend this company and their products to anyone."
how can u challenge a company having Rs. 70000 crore turnover ???????? Are u that much expert to comment on this ????? in this business , no investment is there, u are destroying hope of a common people, but remember ur comments can never ever change mindset of a strong & ambitious persons …. such persons are growing fast & answering u by their actions ….
Amway is probably the most widely used of the "sell our products out of the comfort of your own home and be your own boss!" services, the ones that appeal to the unemployed with promises they'll get rich quick (and also encourages them to relentlessly recruit new members). And on the surface it looks fairly plausible, especially when you look at how much money Amway rakes in every year: in 2014 Amway sold $10.8 billion worth of products, so why shouldn't you try to break off a piece of that action?
Amway Center has an assortment of mid-level luxury seats and club seating, located below the upper bowl. This contrasts Amway Arena's design as its luxury boxes are above all seats and suspended from the ceiling. The arena's design was unveiled at Amway Arena on December 10, 2007, with an official press release the next day. The floor of Amway Center is designed with arena football in mind, as it features more retractable sections that will permit squared end zone corners, a feature previously not possible for Orlando Predators games.
In 1982, Amway co-founders, Richard M. DeVos and Jay Van Andel, along with Amway's executive vice president for corporate services, William J. Mr. Discher Jr., were indicted in Canada on several criminal charges, including allegations that they underreported the value of goods brought into the country and had defrauded the Canadian government of more than $28 million from 1965 to 1980. The charges were dropped in 1983 after Amway and its Canadian subsidiary pleaded guilty to criminal customs fraud charges. The companies paid a fine of $25 million CAD, the largest fine ever imposed in Canada at the time. In 1989 the company settled the outstanding customs duties for $45 million CAD. In a 1994 article authored by DeVos, he stated that the guilty plea was entered for technical reasons, despite believing they were innocent of the charges, and that he believed that the case had been motivated by "political reasons".
I really hope he does break up with you if you can’t support his dreams. You are going to ruin someone who is going to be a great leaders for his family one day. He understands that if he doesnt own, he will be owned by his job. For you to believe more in your 4 year, no guarantee, probably have student loan debt education will really help separate you from the masses but question his partnership with an 11 billion dollar corporation that is #1 online and has given him something he can own is sad. If he were studying to be a doctor and hung out all day at the hospital with other doctors and went to medical seminars and studied audios or videos from physicians that came before him, you’d probably say he was focused or determined. But because his dream is different from the masses and you can’t understand it, you condemn him on a blog ran by faceless people who don’t give a damn about you or him. Macy’s is closing over 200 stores and capitalizing on online marketing and sales. Walmart also. Your boyfriend decided to put himself in the way of that online traffic. I believe he will be successful in 5 years if he keeps working hard and not let you steal his dream. Stop trying to get him to join you on the 40hours for 40years plan.
While the whirlwind of meetings and events were great for cultivating denial, they seemed to do little to help distributors develop “strong and profitable businesses.” Nor were they much good for attracting new blood into The Business. With the exception of First Looks, their extreme cultishness was distinctly off-putting to newcomers. Still, Josh, Jean, and Sherri continued to make the mistake of indiscriminately taking prospects to whatever meeting was going on. Even a Second Look (described ominously as more “motivational” and less informational than a First Look) was inadvisable for outsiders, as Sherri discovered when she took her friend Elizabeth to one.
"Amway differed in several ways from pyramid schemes that the Commission had challenged. It did not charge an up-front "head hunting" or large investment fee from new recruits, nor did it promote "inventory loading" by requiring distributors to buy large volumes of nonreturnable inventory," said Debra A Valentine, a general counsel for the FTC, in a seminar organised by the International Monetary Fund in May 1998.
We exit onto the back patio. It overlooks the pool on the lower level and the golf course, bordered by houses of the Bayou Club community. It’s begun to rain lightly, but the sun is still out. We pass through an outdoor dining area and reenter through the fitness center: a room the size of a small apartment with mirrored walls, two rows of exercise machines, and a flat-screen TV mounted in the corner. A man and a woman exercise separately.
With an ultimate capacity of more than 20,000 seats, the arena was designed to respond to its distinct urban setting while revealing the activities occurring within. Bounded by Church Street, Hughey Avenue, South Street and Division Avenue, the Amway Center’s primary entrance faces north to Church Street, creating a natural extension of the nearby downtown entertainment core. The Church Street entry features a large public entry plaza connecting to the Amway Center’s spacious entry lobby.
It’s a myth that’s hard to resist—insofar as the exchange floor and the casino offer dramatic visible spectacles of people getting rich while real wealth-creation is the arcane stuff of productivity figures and efficiency studies—but it has tragic consequences for people like Josh and Jean. Perfectly capable of leading enjoyable lives, they nonetheless surround themselves with Amway propaganda, subsist on Amway food, immerse themselves in Amway culture, think in Amway jargon, and siphon their income to Greg Duncan in the hopes of learning the “secret” of his wealth.
In the 1979 ruling In re. Amway Corp., the Federal Trade Commission determined that Quixtar predecessor Amway was not an illegal pyramid scheme because no payments were made for recruitment. In addition, Amway (and later Quixtar) rules required distributors to sell to at least 10 retail customers per month, or have $100 in product sales, or a total of 50 PV from customer purchases in order to qualify for bonuses on downline volume. Quixtar IBOs are required to report this customer volume on Quixtar.com or they do not receive bonuses on downline volume. Furthermore, an IBO must also personally sell or use at least 70% of the products personally purchased each month. The FTC established that these rules help prevent inventory loading and other potential abuses of the marketing model.
We follow her up the stairs. There are two large bedrooms separated by a bathroom and a linen closet – the children’s rooms. I step into the one on my left, which is smaller than I expected. It has wood floors and a closet with sliding mirror doors. Out the window, the neighboring house is less than ten feet away, and the space between is filled with broad-leafed palm trees. I hear the faint twang of the radio on the pool deck, playing ‘Sweet Home Alabama.’
That's because this form of marketing relies on what Ken McDonald, regional vice president at Amway North America, calls "high touch." This is what amounts to the need for agents or distributors to reach out and touch people they personally know, in order to make a sale. Almost all Amway sales start with face-to-face contact between people familiar with each other" (Inter@ctive Week).
In a column published in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper in August 1997, 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."
Rich and Jay go into business together selling Nutrilite vitamins, an early multilevel marketing scheme for which Jay’s second cousin and his parents are already distributors. When Nutrilite goes kaput in 1948 after an FDA crackdown on their ‘excessive claims’ regarding the products’ nutritional values (about which Rich only says, ‘Until then, there had been no official government position on what type of claims could be made about dietary supplements’), he and Jay strike out on their own – the American way. They can do it! We know they can!
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.”
There were some rational explanations for Josh’s behavior. To recruit others, he needed the propaganda talents of his upline World Widers, who made it clear that their underlings had to be “fanatical about personal use,” and even held this up as an index of a distributor’s positive attitude. Another rationale was provided by the well-worn anecdote, often retold in the first person, about the distributor who missed a new Performance Bracket by a few dollars when a little bit more personal use could have taken them over the edge. The story always ended, “Well, you better believe I never made that mistake again!”
And while a state constitutional amendment legalizing public funding for religious schools is unlikely to win public support anytime soon, charters have had much the same impact. While a charter school cannot be religiously affiliated, many walk a fine line, appointing, for instance, a preacher as head of the school board or renting school space from a church. “They have a couple ways of getting around it,” says Gary Miron, a professor of education at Western Michigan University who specializes in charter school evaluation and research. “I’ve been in charter schools where I’ve seen religious prayers to Jesus Christ—they mention Christ by name—and prayer circles with students, teachers and parents.”
Amway gives some idea of real chances for success in its “Amway Business Review” pamphlet, which the FTC requires it provide to all prospects. The “Business Review” is an ingenious mixture of mandated honesty and obfuscatory spin: The average monthly gross income for “active” distributors, for instance, is revealed to be a meager $65 a month; but the “Review” leaves out the median income and the net profit, both of which would probably be negative. Likewise, it states that “2 percent of all ‘active’ distributors who sponsor others and approximately 1 percent of all ‘active’ distributors met Direct Distributor qualification requirements during the survey period.” From this, it derives the optimistic conclusion that “once again, the survey demonstrates a substantial increase in achievement for those who share the business with others.” Increase implies that there are some non-sharing distributors who succeed; an alternate reading of the statistics would be that all distributors try to share, none succeed without sharing, but only half are able to share. It’s also a measure of Amway’s PR savvy that every article I’ve seen (even the critical ones) that mentions the number of Directs uses the 2 percent, rather than the more accurate 1 percent, figure.
We don't want to use the word "cult" lightly -- it's not like you'll get six meetings into Amway and find out it's all being done in service to the invisible space lizard Quixtar. But you've probably heard how groups like Scientology make their millions -- new members are roped in and told that the road to enlightenment runs through some very expensive course materials. Well, new Amway members ("distributors") are constantly promised there's a rocketship to success waiting just on the other side of the next $250 seminar. And then they're assured that those seminars are nothing without a $40 package of tapes and books to accompany them.
We drove our teal ’88 Oldsmobile Delta to the Bayou Club Estates for our requisite ‘dreambuilding’ and toured the brand-new houses: big mansions with tall, echoing ceilings and screened-in pools, shiny state-of-the-art kitchens, garages big enough for three Mercedes, a golf course in the back, vanity mirrors and crystal fixtures in every bathroom. We drove to the yacht dealer and toured the Princesses and the Prestiges, lying on cabin beds and ascending the wooden stairs to stand on pulpits, gazing toward imagined horizons.
Going door-to-door for a school fund-raiser, I walked the winding, Anglophile streets – Kent Drive, Kings Point Drive – that looped around to the Intracoastal Waterway and back again in a closed circuit. The farther I strayed from our street, the larger the houses became. One house looked like an old-time plantation. Another had a waterfall in the center of its circular driveway, and a bright blue roof. I stood in dark foyers and bright, airy kitchens, saw antique furniture and shiny out-of-the-box appliances and mysterious works of art.
Scott Coon (the millionaire from Seattle), on the other hand, was the genuine article: His breezy small talk projected an illusion of sincere interest, his well-fed face reflected self-assurance. Scott worked the small crowd with consummate slickness. After a mumbled intro from Josh (followed by whoops from the audience), Scott stood beaming at us, rubbing his hands in anticipation.
Directly across the state from my family, on Florida’s Atlantic coast, is the Windsor country club. Home architecture here is strictly regulated. Residents drive around on golf carts, on and off the eighteen-hole course. There’s an equestrian center, tennis courts, a concierge, and a gun club. Occasionally Prince Charles pays a visit. This is where you go when you bypass Palm Beach on your way to vacation – there’s no kitsch in Windsor, only the highly refined. Among its residents are retail billionaire W. Galen Weston, the Swarovski clan – and the DeVoses, who own three houses here and spend eight weeks a year or more on the waterfront.
If there’s one law of physics that defined how Michigan politics moved in the 1990s, it’s that Governor John Engler was a master of the state Legislature. His political acumen—honed over a 20-year run in the Legislature, during which the 22-year-old boy wonder grew into his sturdy tree-stump physique and Ben Franklin hairline—was legendary even before he won a stunning upset in the 1990 governor’s race.
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.”