I've changed my policy concerning email. I get a lot of email that either thanks me for having the web-site up or bashes me for having it up. I am now just displaying peoples stories.
The names have been changed to protect the innocent, etc.
My favourite Amway contradiction in terms - that spoken at the end of a so-called "Family Reunion" by a Diamond wife: "Remember, we will love you unconditionally when you are Diamond"!
I did my research, wrote it up and gave it to this fellow who was had been involved longer than me but was not totally enmeshed. I told him I was going to send it to the guru (read "Crown Direct") but wanted him to check out if I had mistaken what the guru='s position actually was. After all I did not want to be criticising a my own misinterpretation rather than what was going on.
The replies you have received from Amway diehards demonstrates that they have forgotten the maxim given in the Bible "What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world but lose his own soul".
As they say in Amway you do not make money out of the people below you for the facts are that if you are making money out of them then they must be rolling it in too, perhaps even more so. On the other hand the facts also are that most people make very little or even end up losing. Within Amway proper it is not a zero sum game. The money is siphoned away from "traditional businesses" and the taxpayer. I am not talking about the Amway Motivational Organisations (AMOs) here.
The techniques the AMOs use have their origin in those developed and applied to US POWs in the Korean war. A large amount of research was undertaken into how and why they worked. In time this knowledge was brought into academic and clinical research which was aimed at developing therapeutic psychological techniques to help people.
These techniques were intended for use by professional therapists who are accountable to their profession's ethical standards, the laws of the state in which they practice and their patients.
However there were no restrictions place on access to the information and it quickly became available to others not bound by any legal or ethical standards and accountable to no authority. Significant numbers of cults using these new psychological techniques began to emerge in the US in the late 50's and more so in early 60's and spread to other countries.
The various AMOs are one manifestation of these cults. They spread these techniques via the systems of tapes and functions.
The AMOs apply these powerful psychological techniques subject to no statutes and accountable to no one, let alone their prospects/recruits. Consider the contrast between the therapist and the Amway sponsor:
(1) In the therapeutic situation the patient who come to the therapist - in Amway it is the potential sponsor who goes out and entices prospects/recruits in;
(2) It is the patient's problems which are the raison d`etre for the encounter - in Amway it is the sponsor's "dream"; and
(3) The therapist must fully inform the patient of the process that is to be applied and obtain the consent of the patient to become a subject - in Amway people are manipulated into participating without informed consent.
Indeed a heap of Amway garbage is directed at taking away the prospect's awareness that he/she even has the ability to make an independent judgement. Much of their processing is designed to make you dependent on the judgement of your "upline". For instance after the first meeting we (my wife and I) went to (with my brother-in-law who has since dropped out damn him) the Diamond said "If you have any questions ask the person who brought you here". This was a subliminal message designed to turn the relationship between you and the sponsor-to-be into one of dependence as between child and parent. Equally astounding was that the meeting was called an "Open" Plan meeting when it was really a staged event with certainly no possibility of the speakers taking questions from the floor!
Similarly one of the tapes we regularly tapped into ended with these words spoken very reverently by an Emerald wife: "And a Diamond couple put me straight on this one at the Emerald and Diamond lunch at the Family Reunion when I asked "what is the relationship between an upline and a downline? Is it 'friends'? They said "No, it is the relationship between parents and children". She did not recognise that she contradicted the crap she had said at the start of the tape: "We promise them they can make a lot of money. We do not promise them that we are going to be their friend.. We don't promise them that we will be their emotional and marriage counsellor. We promise them that we are going to help them make some money."
That was almost a big a contradiction as that referred to at the opening.
The last difference I will refer to is that while the professional bodies are expected to have in place and be responsible for the negative consequences of their applications of these techniques (e.g. professional liability insurance) the AMO leaders are not the slightest bit interested in any negative consequences. The absolve themselves of any responsibility in this way by blaming the victim for what went wrong!
In this they are the same as other cults and totally dissimilar from licensed professionals. Even in a business sense AMOs resemble cults more than businesses. Our AMO liked to compare sponsoring to a traditional business opening more outlets or a franchise operation like McDonalds selling more franchises.
However when a traditional business opens another outlet it must bear the cost if it does not work out. This is a powerful incentive to exercise caution in opening new outlets in contrast to the scatter gun approach of the AMOs. Similarly McDonalds thoroughly vets potential sites and requires possible licensees to have a demonstrated track record of being successful in business on their own account. This is in stark contrast with the AMO approach of applying the process enough times to eventually come up with six directs and so go Diamond. They never bother to look into what to do with those who are not suitable apart from saying if you quit then you are a loser.
The last comment I would make is to do with the "dream". The book "Combatting Cult Mind Control" by Steve Hassan refers to the three steps to gaining mind control. On page 67 he refers to the first as described in a book titled Coercive Persuasion by Edgar Schein (who had studied the brain washing referred to above): "His frames of reference for understanding himself and his surroundings must be challenged and broken down. Upsetting his view of reality disarms his natural defences against concepts that challenge his reality." In other words pull the rug out from under their feet then offer them your way as a way back up.
I will give three examples of how AMOs do this and most people will recognise them or something similar.
(1) The so called open plans we went to all started off by presenting a very pessimistic view of the future - and then present a way of avoiding catastrophe, later revealed to be Amway
(2) Most husbands like to feel that they love their wives. That frame of reference was attacked at the aforementioned so called "Family Reunion" when, near the close of the meeting, a Diamond husband came to the front of the stage and said that he wanted to speak to the men and then said "Men, if you love your wife then you will do this". Another Diamond husband on a tape referred to saying to a man who was declining "What's the matter, don't you love your wife?". This below the belt guilt tactic relies on the man's misplaced feelings as to what it is necessary to do to make one's wife feel loved (John Gray's books elaborate e.g. "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" etc).
(3) Lastly again from the tape by the Emerald wife already referred to: Most people can spend their whole lives ignoring the facts and that is why they can say stupid things like "I am comfortable". They need to know the bad news. So how do you go about dealing with something like this. You say "Well tell me, Bill, if time and money were no object tell me where you would like to be tomorrow and all of next week". When he replies "the Riviera" or similar here is your chance to be honest. You say "Well John, since you are so comfortable lets get out the telephone book and ring the travel agent right now. --- What you can't. What does that tell you - it tells you that you are not as comfortable as you thought you were." She then says: And we need to be tough like that with our prospects and distributors for their own good.
In other words it is the AMOs that are the dream stealers - they operate from the very beginning by stealing a prospect's individual dream and then supplanting their version in its stead
Colossians 2:8 say "See to it that no one makes a captive of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human philosophy, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ". If Paul was not speaking about the human potential movement implicit in the AMO philosophy and our baser desires for material well being than what was he talking about?
As I said above the Bible also states "What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world but lose his own soul". For surely to become so blinded by one's own dream to feel that satisfying it justifies the application of mind control tactics is to lose your soul even if you do gain the whole world.
I recently loss my relationship to my father because of AMWAY. I do hope to regain it, but you can tell that the grip is tightening around his mind.
After our encounter with the "AMWAY BEAST" I decided to look on the internet for pages about AMWAY and found your's (and others). In all of my reading I have not seen reference to the argument that was presented to me by my father and thought that you might want to post it.
BUY FROM MY STORE ......................
After numerous attempts to get me to become an AMWAY dealer (with no success) it finally came to a frank discussion between the two of us. It was one night when he came into town and was spending the night with us.
Me- "Dad, I'm sorry but I just don't want to 'DO AMWAY'. This AMWAY thing has done nothing but divide our families since it started. Can't we just drop the subject."
Dad- "OK, I won't mention it again"
Small talk and a few minutes later.
Dad - "Now tell me again what your problem is with AMWAY."
Me - "I just don't want to partisipate. Can't we just be a normal family without AMWAY in the WAY?"
Dad - "Well now let me tell you how I feel. If you had a store, you would want, and expect, me to come to your store and buy the things you needed if I sold them, wouldn't you. I just don't understand why you wouldn't help me if you could."
And with that he started crying, got up and started for his room. He turned about half way down the hall and said, "And I won't be coming back here again, I'll find a hotel from now on!"
In a couple of minutes he came out of his room, clothes in hand, demanded for me to unlock the gate.
My last words were, "This is just GREAT, AMWAY can break up our family."
His last words, "AND you won't even buy a roll of toilet paper from me."
Since then I have found out alot more about his AMWAY dealings. He has lost ALL his long time friends because they wouldn't be recruited or WON'T BUY FROM HIS STORE. It seems that the idea that he has a store has been driven into him. If anyone he knows, family or friend, won't buy from his store they just don't care about him and are to be written off. End of relationship.
As I surf the internet to read about the evils of AMWAY "The Beast", I am amused see the cultish following of this group. I was equally amused at one particular writing where the writer ask what the facination was with DIAMONDS and RV's (Winnebago types). Shortly after my father surcumed to "The Business" he bought a 24 foot (or so) RV that he was going to use for trips to meetings and recruiting trips. You know that all the trips are "TAX DEDUCTABLE". Soon after he traded UP to a full size BUS. Recently he sold it for a total loss of approximalty $30,000!!!!!
Several months before this recent break up he convinced his wife to quite here job and do "The Business" and get into real estate. Now she wants her job back and now he is selling anything he can to get extra money to pay bills. He even sold a Christmas present I gave to him back to me for extra cash.
That's my story, I hope that someone somewhere will listen and learn what a destructive force AMWAY is.
NO, I WILL NOT BUY FROM YOUR STORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have a sibling who has been literally warped by this organization. I come from a large family, and he has always been one of the few "average" people in my family. I don't mean that negatively, just that my father expected a lot from us and most of us pushed ourselves too hard to achieve. This sibling escaped that, but i think is somewhat jealous of the advanced degrees and high salaries of his brothers and sisters. In other words, a prime target for being taken advantage of.
but I digress. Recently, one of my mother discovered a letter in her house that looked official and was written by a certain Illinois State Agency. My amway brother lives with her. Anways, the letter was addressed to the name of a non-profit corporation another sibling is the Ex Dir of. She brought it to me, thinking I had been reviewing it for the Ex Dir sibling, since it had some legal language in it and I am an attorney.
As it turns out, there were two copies of that letter in the house; one a xerox, and the other a fax copy. To make matters worse, it was a tax exempt letter identifying the non profit corporations tax exempt number and outlining how to use it to buy tax free.
The ex dir sibling was confused at first, since there were, to her knowledge, only four copies of this letter in existence, one of which she kept in her day runner. We have discussed it, and have begun considering the possibility that he is using this information to buy items for resale tax free (the letters were found folded with pages torn out of a service merchandise catalog).
Our investigation is under way. My question to you is whetherthere is some unwritten suggestion, etc., going around the amway system that finding a tax free umbrella organization is a great way to save money. My sibling is quite hurt by the fact that we cannot identify any other way which these copies of these letters ended up where they did.
Have you heard about any other similarly illegal activities?
I have read some of your comments on the web and have found them interesting. We have been distributors for four years and never made it above the 2500 level. We have been through a situation of group after group falling apart. I believe that your line of sponsoship has alot to do with your success. If you are in with the right group this would help build the depth required to overcome the turnover.
We have finally decided to throw in the towel, when we ,got in the business our finances weren't the best but our dept was managable. Our dept has tripled due to our "loyality" to the system. Spending our money on books, tapes and functions left us little to live on. We continued to pay our bills but couldnot pay for the emergencies that came up, thus credit cards.
I do not blame the business for this, but I do blame myself for being so blind to what I was doing.
We are going to do strictly small retail from now on, no more "system". Our upline may abandon us, but so what, we have nothing left to loose.