Amway: The Untold Story

Your Comments, Part 39


[Home] [ <--Previous bunch of responses ] [ Next bunch of responses--> ]

Here are some of the responses I've received to the information on this page. I've left them as is, except for a) removing the names to protect privacy, and b) reformatting them to fit the screen better.

This is a long file...I suggest downloading it to your computer and reading it off-line.

My thanks to everyone who took the time to contribute their opinions.

[NOTE: Some of these messages contain offensive language]

Interesting site I have been in Amway for 5 years and its changed my life through having a business that works. People love to knock it but be fair talk about the opportunities people have to succeed in anything most people won't have a chance because they were never taught to succeed or how to. Sure there are many roads to success! what ever that is, hope this is yours all the best

Did you do all the graphics on your page ?? It has really changed since the last time i cheked it out.

Anyway, keep up the good work. It takes balls

Frist of all I want to say that I think you post all of the negitive E-mails and leave all the positives out. Secound I want to say that all of the products that Amway sell are serperior to anything I have used in the market place, and 3rd who gives you the right to STEEL peoples dreames. Amyway backs all of there products thats a lot more than I can say for there competitors.

[I SWEAR I don't make this stuff up.]

Sydney, I wrote to you recently about my experiences as an Amway distributor ("Thank you for your efforts and courage in maintaining the "Amway: The Untold Story" website. As an ex-Amway distributor, with my marriage and family life intact, I consider myself to be a "winner", not a "loser").


I almost got DIVORCED because of Amway!

I was an "Amway Widow"- my husband was out chasing his dreams 3-5 nights a week, while I was home with our two childen.

My husband and I were so completely opposed on the issue of Amway that it amounted to being the worst fight we ever had, day in day out, for one-and-half years.

Luckily for me, a friend downloaded Anti-Amway information for me from this WEB site, and I believe it was instrumental in getting my husband out of Amway.

I cannot speak of statistics or economics, but I can speak from my heart. I can tell all of you how my husband's involvement with Amway almost destroyed our marriage and family.

Amway usually recruits couples, and I gather most couples work on the business together until they both get disillusioned. My case was different. I was not interested in being involved in Amway, but my husband wanted me to get involved- go to rallies, host plans, wear dresses, throw out "negative" products we already owned, and buy only Amway products whenever possible. The business had a term for people like me- "Negative". There were two plans at my home after my husband signed up. The first was before I really knew what my husband was getting into. The second was after going to a Rally and talking more with my husband's sponsors. Not only was I not home the evening of that second plan (I was at a friend's house with the kids, on a school night), my husband asked me not to come home until 10:00 p.m. so as to not disrupt the Plan.

If I was going to be part of the Plan that evening, I was to wear a dress, smile, play hostess, and get a baby sitter to contain the children upstairs. THAT WAS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! I had heard his sponsors and gone to a Rally, and I thought all these people were crazy. The Rally was what I thought a religious revival must be like. I was scared that my husband was enjoying it, and that he thought nothing strange of it. I think I wan the only one there out of thousands of people who did not continually stand up/ sit down/ stand up/ sit down and sign/hold hands/sway to "God Bless America" at the end of the Rally. I kept saying to myself "I'm the only sane person here."

My husband's sponsors fed him books, tapes, and lines like "If people say no, they aren't themselves", and "If you find your lose old friends after being involved in the business, it's just because they can't handle your success-They're jealous!"

I didn't know a lot about Amway, but I insisted I'd heard enough. I begged my husband to get out, but he said that I didn't understand, I didn't have enough information, I should thank and support him for working to provide for our family's financial future. Mind you, before Amway, my husband never mentioned he saw a $100,000 Mercedes and a motor home as symbols of our financial success, but now he had done some test-driving and had brochures laying around the house. We are on "Camping World's" mailing list.

Anyway, I haven't even gotten to the crux of why I decided to put my two cents here: I saw my husband evolved into a man I didn't know anymore, a man whose values changes, a man whose logic was thrown out of the window, a man who spent more time and effort chasing the Amway dreams that nurturing the family and comfortable lifestyle we already had.

I have nothing against trying to earn more money and better our lifestyle, but if "system causes one to completely dehumanize oneself and his family in search of the Almighty Dollar, the cost is just too great.

Our children were 2 years old and 5 years old when Amway first interrupted our lives My husband was a successful lawyer by day, and an Amway fanatic by night. He was out 3-5 nights during the week, plus the monthly Leadership, Seminar, and Rally, plus two long week-ends a year in Utah. If there was a meeting at my child's school at night, I had to get a baby sitter. I was sick (with strep throat) I had to get a baby sitter at night to help me. I fell down some stairs and threw out my back, and guess what? He had a plan that night, and out the door he went. He was in Utah on my birthday; he was out doing Plans the last two Valentine's Day nights.

Concerned friends and relatives hated to bring it up, but asked me if he might be having an affair or had a drug problem.

My oldest, a boy, continually begged me for a new daddy. When my son told my husband he didn't want him to go out so much, my husband told him "I have to work really hard now so that we have a lot of money later on; when you get bigger I will have lots of time to play with you". (Yes, I heard him say this to my son!.

My husband gave me dirty looks if I got home from the market with "negative" salad dressing or "negative" toothpaste. All of a sudden, he was concerned with knowing if we were running low on peanut butter or aluminium foil. He mixed us fresh batches of Dish Drops before the blue & white bottle ever got too low... lest the day come when I think we've run out of dish washing soap and but some at the market.

The few times that we actually went out together (non-Amway nights) he would chat with waitresses about their jobs, and ask salesmen if they were happy with what they were doing, etc. I felt like I couldn't even be with him without him prospecting.

He told me he went to malls to make contacts and set up Plans. It scared me to think he was willing to go into the homes of complete strangers.

The two distributors he sponsored directly in those one and a half years had him driving 1200 (yes, twelve hundred ) miles a month to follow up on leads and do Plans and Follow-ups. He was spending at least 80 hours a month on Amway that I knew of. He was spending a couple hundred dollars each month on gas, meals, books, tapes, a separate phone line for business, Amvox, and the Amagram. And for all this, he was grossing $20-$50 a month. A huge expense I didn't yet mention was the thousands of dollars spent on marital counseling, of course at my request. I was lucky he went but I finally decided we should quit therapy because his attitude about Amway remained the same: When asked "Do you realize that if things continued like this, there is a good chance we will wind up divorced?" His answer: "That's the chance I take."

Well, I finally got to the point where I realized that although life wouldn't be easy if I was divorced, it would be better than living like this. There was always so much tension and anger between us. I felt the worst for the children, even though they didn't see him very much anyway. In fact, I thought that with visitation rights, he'd be forced to spend more time with the kids after the divorce that he was willing to now.

I told him that I didn't think our marriage would survive Amway. I showed a wonderful book I had read, " Amway, The Cult of Free Enterprise" and asked him to read it. I think the possibility of an impending divorce got him to read the "negative" material. It just so happened that I had lots and lots of Internet files on Amway printed out and laying in plain sight the day after he read that book.

He spent that entire day reading through all the Anti-Amway Internet materials, and after the kids were asleep for the night, he told me that he was getting out of Amway immediately. Not only did he want his wife and kids back, he also felt that even if some of Internet testimonials were not true, the evidence was so overwhelming that he couldn't be part of system was so unethical. His eyes became watery, and he apologized for making my life so hard for so long.

From his perspective, I know I made his life very difficult. I was an obstacle to his success. He could go Direct with my support in 2 years, but because of my resistance, it would take 5 years.

I was always angry at him. I lost respect for him. I complained about him going out so much. I didn't want to socialize with his new Amway friends. I refused to use SA 8. If we weren't fighting, we were trying to ignore each other. I told him that if he were an alcoholic, I wouldn't pretend to ignore it and offer him a drink. And as far as Amway was concerned, I told him he was obsessed with it and I firmly believed it was a cult, indoctrinating him with ideas that were not in sync with the man I used to know. I couldn't pretend that Amway was okay. I couldn't pretend d that what he was doing was okay. He used to be so good to me; now he had no free time. His family and old friends used to think he was a great guy; now they think he had a cocaine addition or a mistress. He used to enjoy spending time with the children"; now he doesn't have the time. He used to be happy with life; now all he focuses on is how unhappy he'll be until is a multi-millionaire. And then, when the millions are rolling in, and the alimony and support are rolling out, then finally he will be happy.

Luckily for him, the children, and I there was a thread of the man I used to know left, just enough to realize that life with Amway couldn't better than life without his wife and children.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to showing my husband of 10 years what Amway is really all about. Our one-and-one half years in the Amway world was a living hell.

He's been out of Amway for 4 days now, and we're back in the therapist's office, and on the road to recovery.

Postscript (from the ex-Amway husband)--I've have been out of Amway since February, 1996 and have had no regrets about leaving the business. I have my wife and kids back, and my marriage is great. I am indeed a lucky person.


I don't expect a reply, unless you feel like it. It's been a while since I've visited your site, and I wanted to tell you that it looks great!

I'm also gratified to see that you're onto ICCA...what a bunch of schlockmeisters! I used to work's a wonder they can take a dump without an instruction sheet!

Keep up the great work!

Mr. Schwartz,

You're a saint for spreading the truth. I showed your site to my sister (who's been in this so called "business" for 5 years) and she is now strongly considering "taking a break" from Amway. Although she's a Ruby (and still makes almost no money), she's so tired of approaching strangers, listening to the same repetitive crap meeting after meeting, lying about her income, and throwing her money away on uninformative tapes. She's about to get her life back and be FREE FROM AMWAY!!! Nothing could be better.

I advise everyone out there to do whatever it takes to help your friends/relatives break free from this mind-controlling silliness. It may not feel comfortable and there will definitely be some initial confrontation, but it is so worth it! If you dislike Amway, then hit Amway where it hurts! Don't just sit back and do nothing.

By the way, for all of you Scamwayites who like to say Amway is a legitimate business because doctors and lawyers do're insane. Doctors and lawyers can be as weak minded and easily influenced as the rest of you. I'm an attorney and I'm telling you, Amway is a joke.

Dear Sidney:

(A copy of this letter appears on Charles's web site)

Thanks for your web site! It contains AWESOME (Amway adjective, sorry!) information.

I read your web site responses and wept! I wished I had learned of your site before joining Network 21.

We (my friend and I) joined what we thought was a great business opportunity last spring. Although we were initially told that Amway was the broker and Network 21 the business vehicle used in establishing our distributorship, it turned out to be Amway (surprise!). At the start, we were enthusiastic with the products and the potential to supplement our income. We religiously went to every meeting, attended every Business Building Seminar, family reunions and yes, even Free Enterprise Day in Long Beach California. The tapes we listened to helped keep our motivational levels high. We received positive reinforcement from our upline. However, I could sense that there was something wrong with what we were in and what we were doing.

Everything they (Amway) were saying was from their perspective. There was no room for compromise or comparisons. They used consternation (ie: to fill one with dismay, fear, anger and anxiety) to get their point across. It seemed Amway has the answer to the world's problems or at least a few. They had me convinced, at least for the moment, that this was the place to be and everyone else who wasn't involved either wasn't ready for it or didn't need it. The other paradox with Amway are its' rallies. Where Amway commericals abound, displaying abundant wealth, luxurious lifestyles and extravagant living at the same time professing Christian values. We were told, "if you feel uncomfortable with the sense of wealth, give it away to your favourite charity". To me, this was like the proverbial carrot being dangled in one's face.

We were successful in sponsoring some people in the early months of our business. Although we didn't have the "super-human" drive our sponsors had (spending every free moment of a seven day week showing the "plan" and sponsoring people), we needed time to ourselves. The way I saw it, there was more to living than spending every waking moment doing Amway.

Initially, we accepted and trusted what our upline and Emerald were saying to us without question. However, in the back of my mind I had nagging doubts, but, the Amway adage of "your upline is your life line" kept repeating like a skipping record. After several months, the mastercard we were using to pay for the Amway products we purchased became staggering! With all the books, tapes, functions, airline tickets and hotel reservations added on to the mastercard it compounded the debt. The stupid thing was our upline kept telling us it was all tax deductible. (Until Revenue Canada conducts an audit!) To make matters worse, we began to see our front line dissolve one by one. We were still actively trying to sponsor but to no avail. Still, we attended meetings and kept a positive out look; at least on the outside, but inside we were hurting. We had been told of these "ups and downs" by our sponsor and simply advised to keep faith.

My faith in Amway began to dwindle and I tried convincing my friend(partner) to bail out before it was too late. After numerous discussions regarding the futility of "buying from your own store syndrome" and the ludicrous idea of spending $280.00 CAN a month simply to maintain a 3% B.V. level ($6.23 return!), I still could not convince her to stop. Finally, I declared that I would no longer be a participant in this business venture and if she wanted to continue, to do so on her own. She tried to convince me otherwise but with no success.

My friend had become so involved in the business (a.k.a. brainwashing) she could see no other path. The tapes had taken control. Unfortunately, I discovered your web site too late. After being in Network 21 for over a year, the damage had already been done. After reading and printing the material (both pro and con) of other people's involvement and their horror stories, I realized I was not alone.

My friend, in the mean time, has shifted away from selling (sorry, promoting) the products in the catalogue and has concentrated on the cosmetics. She seems to be doing well but not well enough to break even. She still attends meetings and listens to tapes. She's tried convincing me into attending F.E.D. in Long Beach this fall. My response has been no. My friend is also spending a large amount of money on the Artistry products. Still she is in debt!

Recently, she went to attend an inspirational meeting by Skip Ross in Ada, Michigan. She went down with a few Artistry distributors from London, Ontario. She told me how wonderful the stories were and how Skip Ross spoke for 5 hours non stop! Later she told me some of these stories. Skip Ross merely quoted the stories from a book he wrote in 1975. How did I find this out? Why, she bought his book! I told her she could have saved gasoline expenses and wear and tear on her van by simply buying the book from W.H. Smith bookstores! However, it's all tax deductible! Right!.

Ironically, there are people in the business who appear to be doing well, at least that's what they say. No monetary figures are ever exchanged. I wonder why? Our upline informed us that the reason they don't give out that information is that it might be too intimidating. Go figure!

I've been approached by numerous other "network marketers", other than Amway and my skepticism only grows. The bottom line is that you have to recruit, recruit and recruit some more! The picture is similar to a sieve full of sand. Where the sand is representative of people. As the sand flows through the sieve, the volume of sand in the sieve diminishes. You have to be constantly replenishing the sand, in order to maintain an overflowing volume. It never stops. And Amway calls this freedom?

In Richard Poe's book, "The Third Wave", he describes and analyses different forms of network marketing. Surprisingly, he states that the drop out rate in any type of network marketing scheme is over 95%! The network marketing scenario only benefits the people on top. Sure there's nothing from stopping you from doing the same thing. But at what cost and for how long? Would proper financial investment suffice? A realistic budget (heaven forbid!). Or are we all like that donkey following that proverbial carrot? I'm sure many pro-Amway people will argue this and call me a donkey! However, very, very, few people in the Amway business make it to the top (Diamond).

I would never discourage anyone from joining Amway, but I would not encourage them to join either. Not until they've investigated it throughly. It is still a case of "Consumer Beware".

Regarding the tax deductible expenses in your own business. My accountant informs me that in Canada you are allowed to claim losses in your business for only three years. After filing my return, I received my Notice of Assessment, stating that I could be audited within the the next three years. My accountant upon learning that I was in Amway informed me that the Canadian government wants Amway out of Canada.

Sidney, you have my permission to use my letter on your site. Perhaps people who read your web site will be better informed as what to do when deciding to join a network marketing organization. Please don't print my e@mail address. I'd like to hear from you and particularly from anything more you've heard about Network 21.

Thank you, keep up the good work and God bless!

Dear Tracy,

I have been studying the Amway system for some time now as a good friend of mine got involved and for some reason our relationship has gone sour. Before you put it in your mind, I'm not a broke loser, I'm not writing this to put you down so I would appreciate it if you would read this letter in it's entirety. After studying both pro and anti amway sites, books and articles I have come to the conclusion that Amway and its system just does not work. Some pints to consider:

1. Unless each distributor has a base of retail customers, and doesn't just buy for herself then the system IS A PYRAMID. The FTC clearly eatblished this with the TEN-customer rule. There has to be an exchange of product for cash for a system to be considered ethical. My friend and his upline state that you don't really have to do this. ie. Buy everything for yourself and get people under you to do the same and your business will grow. Where's the "business" in this. Real business involves the sale of a product to a customer other than yourself.

2. Statements that Amway is a 6-7 BILLION dollar business fails to impress me. Of course, if any company has a base of over 1,000,000 people buying ALL there products from them there revenue would be enormous! Amway the COMPANY makes all this from their markup. How much of that, after paying the few at the top. trickles down to the lowly distributor.

3. According to Amway's own statistics, it would take just over 2,000 distributors in your downline to make Diamond. Now, since mathematics do not lie, does that not mean that the only way for all 1,000,000 distributors to make diamond, there would have to be a base of 2,000 X 1,000,000 = 2,000,000,000. That's almost half the population of the world! And what if this really happend? Well, the ones at the bottom would never make it no matter how hard they worked because THERE WOULD BE NO MORE PEOPLE to recruit. Why is it so difficult for many distributors to grasp this?

4. I've been to a couple of rallies where reference was made to people having regular JOBS as losers. What a despicable thing for an "ethical" company to say about fellow human beings! By the way, when you make it, who's going to build the cars and homes etc. that you so relish? It takes proud people with skills who may be quite content in working to raise a family. To call them losers is so foolish and immature it makes me sick!

5. Almost all psychologists will agree that the formative years of a persons life are those from birth to the teens. These children need their parents NOW. How can one SHOW THE PLAN 4 to 5 times a week and still form a loving relationship with their children, especially if they work at a full-time job during the day? Showing pictures of barts and cars on the refridgerator doesn't make the parent a "Hero" to their kids. I do not need to be able to buy a car for my son to be his hero. I am his hero because I was always there for him, and love him very much. It's as simple as that.

6. I asked my friend to simply make copies of the tapes and videos he HAS to buy. Is it not the the information that's important on these tapes? Why does he have to buy them! Because his upline makes major money from thes tapes! How ethical is that?

Anyway, I could go on and on, but I have a feeling you will not respond. Just to let you know, I lost a good friend simply because I disagreed with him. What kind of business would instill this type of behaviour in their people.

Good Luck!

Dear Mr. Schwartz, I find your site very enjoyable and informative. Keep up the good work and don't let Amway intimidate you!


I haven't read your entire site yet, but I have to wonder why you devote so much time, energy and money to "slam" Amway. Are you a disgruntled ex-Amway person?

Just wondering...I'll probably comment again once I read everything (obviously, I don't have much of a life either - lol).

See ya.


Being ignorant is one thing, but teaching people the same is terrible. You will stop thousnads of people who can benefit, but won't. I am sure there is a reason for you to say this but it is not worth the effort. Anyhow your business is your business, but I feel that you should not go in a direction that you are going.

Have a great day

I am an Amway Distributor and I know the kind of money the "Britt System" brings in. I would like to take the time to let you know that there are several of us(75 in my "Group" alone) who are staying informed and straight. one of the ways I do this is to stop the outrageous prices of "tools" by illegaly reproducing them myself at cost. My group brings in the blank tape and I tape it for them free. As for books, I suggest they purchase certain books from a book store instead of buying them from me. My group does make sure they use as many of the products as they can, but it is more to be able to tell others about how they work. I require all distributors I have sponsored to show sales reciepts to me for 70% (required by law) of the products and services ordered through me. There is a new generation of distributors in Amway now who are committed to an ethical and strictly legal business. We may not make a million a year, but we are honest with what we do make. I do ask my group to attend at least 3 functions per year. in the area that comes to about $45 per year spent on functions. This is only to inspire and motivate them to continue. I will be big someday, and my organization will be ethical.

I have been in Amway for only three months and have yet to attend any of the meetings, but I would like to tell you that I think it is a wonderful oppurtunity for me and my family. The first, and I feel most important, point I have to make is that ABSOLUTELY AND POSITIVELY NO ONE can loose money in Amway, except for the $158.?? it costs for a starter kit, which includes EVERYTHING needed to start a successful Amway business, because every and all products sold throught the Amway Distribution System carry a 100% SATISFACTION GARUANTEE!! That means if you ordered products to have on stock for your downline or for immediate use, and you decide to get out of the business, you can return them for a full refund and all you have to pay is postage.

The second thing I have to tell you will take a while, because you have to know the whole story of my parents in order to understand why I feel so strongly about this business. My parents have been married for 38 years now and have 10 children. My father worked for a sub-company of The Courier Journal, Louisville's newspaper, called * for approximately 30 years. He moved his way up the ladder of the company from the time he was 20 or so, and before all the downfalls happened, was a foreman. Then, in 1989, an explosion racked the building. This explosion was just on the other side of the room from my father. Since my father was a foreman, he had to be the last to evacuate the premises in order to ensure all the workers had left and were safe. (And just to let you know the character of my dad, he would have done this any way, even if he was only the paper boy.) After this crisis, which my father recovered from unscathed, they had severe layoffs at the company. My father wasn't laid off, but was demoted to pressman, the same place on the ladder he had been 20 to 25 years ago, he took a severe pay cut and put the family in danger of loosing the farm. This hurt my father severely because he would have rather given up his job than loose the farm, but no money can be made farming anymore. About a year later, (I don't remember exactly when) a man named * entered the factory with a semi-automatic gun and opened fire, killing, I think, 8 and injuring many more before turning the gun on himself.

My father was this man's foreman for a while and knew him pretty well. When the found the hit list the * had made of who he wanted to shoot or possibly kill, my father's name was on it, only because he was his foreman. My dad wouldn't hurt a fly and someone wanted him dead! After all this happened, they laid off my dad and took away all his pension, about $50,000. We moved to Memphis, TN in order to make enough money to keep the farm. While he was at work one night at *, my father tore his arm out of place. He couldn't work for a long time and had to live off Worker's Comp, a very small percentage of what he normally would have made. Our family was in jeopardy of loosing the farm, we owed FHA $200,000. My mother was forced to go to work after being at home with the kids for 35 years. We finally moved back and was able to get a job at *. They are making good money now, but not enought to buy back the farm, since FHA repossessed it and gave us a lease/option on it. The end of our lease is coming up in about a year and they still don't have the money to buy the farm. My parents have been depressed and downtrodden for almost 10 years now and have beat their heads trying to come up with a way to make extra money to save the farm. Then came Amway. My parents have only been in it for 5-6 months now and love it. I have never seen my parents so excited about one thing. They've tried other MLM, like NuSkin and Excel, but I have never seen them get this excited over them. One of the reasons is because they've never seen a company with such high moral standards and who give such support. Your upline is working for you!! If you need a meeting, name the date and time and someone will be there to STP for you. It's fabulous! And as for the "telling you how to run your lives" thing. I haven't experienced anything like that. My upline has been nothing but supportive and friendly to me with respect for the boundaries. But, if I ever needed private advice, I know that there is no one I'd rather get it from than my upline. They are the BEST!! Thank you for your time and I apologize for making such a lengthy commentary on the Amway business and my life in general. I totally respect your right to post such articles as the one you have, but you can understand, I sure, that I don't want ANYONE to wreck this opportunity for my parents. Thank you again and you have a nice day! (I'm also sorry for any typos.)


Man and you are not sucking away peoples Dreams your a losser, man you have to make a web page, that you can't fund.

I just got in, I owne to business outside of Amway, this is cake dude people like you make me sick , what to make $6.00 or $10.00 hour.

I have a travel agency, I pay fees month, Have to be part of a system call (worldspan) CRS $125.00. So five bucks for a tape is nothing,Travel seminars cost $500.00 to $1,000.00 to go.

My Lawn Care business, I need , gas, oil, trash bags string pay people who work for me, $100.00 for a seminar or $5.00 for tape is nothing.

I'm new so kiss my ass sucker people like you make sick.

P.S. Get a real job


P.S. Amway is not for average people, that means you!!!

Amway is not foreveryone!

Great to find your site! We were approached (again) a couple of days ago by friends trying to introduce us to a "brilliant savings scheme" that turned out to be Amway. I saw some info on Amway on the Familynet (an old Fidonet-technology BBS network) about three years ago so knew to take everything with not just a grain, but a few kilos of salt.

Anyway, I was interested to see your comments in the Schwartz Subpoena section that the prime Amway tactic was to try to discredit anyone who dares to criticise them. It reminded me of something they said which made me quite sick.

They were spouting the benefits of products like their vacuum cleaner. When I commented that it received a low rating in "Consumer" Magazine (the magazine of the New Zealand Consumers Institute, he said that he had heard that the head of the NZCI, a well known figure, had a bit of a drinking problem, family problems and a chip on his shoulder about Amway.

Interesting, eh?

Anyway, all the best with your page, and expect an email from me requesting permission to link to your page when I finally get a web site running!!

Having looked around your web site I was very surprised at your stance. I have been in Amway since 1991 and have been a Direct Distributor here in the UK for the last 4 years. I expect to be in Emerald Qualification with the next 12 months, this will result in me not having to work for a boss for the remaining 34 years of my working life.

I appreciate book's, tapes, video's are useful to gain success oh and so are seminars. But as a result of the "System" I have also increased my JOB income by 120% as a result of building the Amway business.

None of your items actually explain what is good about the business, I can hand on hart say that the system is the best people builder going, providing you stay objective, but also take on-board points raised by the upline.

Obviously you are now in a position where you want to work for someone else for the rest of your life. Well that's ok, but hey you out there, who are checking out this business!! The guy who has written all this stuff hasn't explained everything to you, cos he doesn't know everything.

As a direct and as a person who has respect for all.... You check it out for yourself.

If you get into Amway as an expert with people, knowing how to build the Amway business, dont invest in so many books and tapes.

But if like me you don't have a clue, they listen, read and attend areas taht apply and apply what you have learnt.....This is a business and as such you have to treat it like one. It's not a cult cos in a cult no-one has a choice, here you have the choice to succeed or quit. It's up to you to decide, stop allowing other's to make decisions for you, it's your life !!!


Typically individuals like yourself have not been able to achieve significant personal and financial gains in their life. They appear to need excuses for their personal and financial failures. My question to you is "What is your proffesion?" is your income supplemented by another MLM or Proctor and Gamble perhaps? Are you married? Do you have children? Are you a failure in their eyes? Do you profit from this web site? Some one of your apparent integrity and omnicient vision would answer these questions rather than post it the the group.


Let me first say that I am an ex-Amway distributor. You have some good information on your web site but I think you go a little overboard. I reviewed some of the price comparisons and you noted the cost per ounce on a number of products and did not note that they were concentrated. The product Dish Drops is one example. I do not agree with a lot of what Amway does but I believe that overall it is a very good company. It seems to me that you may have a personal vendetta against Amway, is that true?

I do believe that the tapes and book are grossly overpriced but a lot of the information that they have on them is very useful. Amway is cultish but it is a persons own choice to do what they want with that business. I escaped but know good people that are still in Amway. I also see that many of the web site links are negative against MLM and that is too bad. All MLM companies are not bad and many of them have very good products.

From a former cult head

What's in it for you?

We recently "signed up" with Amway through very dear friends. Almost immediately we attended a Florence "Family Reunion". Many of the statements I read on your web page were repeated at this meeting. My husband and I started discussing the things about Amway that disturbed us; ie: overpriced Amway product, STO orders, never discussing your income or downline, overpriced tapes/videos/books/etc., hero worship, dwelling on the material, etc, etc, etc.... We have decided this is not for us. However, we have not informed our friends and hope they will still be our friends (even though we will now be stupid and not worthy of their friendship). We plan to hand them about 70 pages printed from your web page and others about Amway.

However, what I am really writing you about is your request regarding Gospel Films. Yes, this was presented to us during the weekend. We truly believed this was a wonderful service to the world and contributed $25. We were told Rich Devoe and the others were on the board. I am not sure what information you need, but if you have other specific questions, I will try to answer.

Thank you for your page.


I have been following your page for roughly six months. It is extremely impressive. I respect any web site that continually updates its information.

My feelings on Amway are that it was a learning experience. Amway could be a great business opportunity but as I have learned and you have so eloquently stated on your web site, there are some fundamental problems with the Amway business. The two primary problems I see with Amway are: Prices of the products and the perils of the 'system'.

The products are over-priced. Plain and simple. The actual Amway products are over-priced and the products in the other catalog, Personal Shoppers, make buying a Big Mac at the airport for $4 seem cheap. I have done price comparisons in both catalogs. The Amway prices just don't measure up. But I must be honest. I found a couple of products that I did like and they were comprable but still a little higher than the products at my friendly Wal-Mart store and that's before I needed to add shipping and handling.

The system. Here is what I would do to motivate my distributors to 'show the plan' and to continue to create PV. First, I would listen to every motivational tape and selling tape from the likes of Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Denis Waitley, Anthony Robbins, etc. from the library. Then I would recommend those tapes I found most useful to my distributors and they could go to their local libraries and check them out. We're in the business of making money, not spending money. Wait, but that means I don't make a dime off of my distributors when they listen to those tapes. Good. I'm in the Amway business, not the tape business. The second thing I would do would be to simply distribute through either e-mail or fax a weekly newsletter updating the current issues in the business and taking excerpts from motivational books or business articles that might help my distributors. It would keep me in touch with my distributors and hopefully help to motivate them. But wait. This newsletter would be free to my distributors so I wouldn't make any money. But I'm in the Amway business and not the publishing business.


Tapes cost as little as $.65 to produce. And distributors pay $6 for one tape. Videos cost as little as $2 to produce. And distributors pay $16 to $20 for one video.

I am a true believer in the free-enterprise system but if I had people selling phones for me, I wouldn't sell them training manuals or motivational materials for a profit. My income comes from the sale of phones.

Thanks for the page, Sidney. It's a breath of fresh air.

Warmest regards, (I can say that since I feel like I already know you.)


I enjoy your site very much, please keep it up and running. I was thinking about the Amway phenomenon the other day and it occurred to me that Amway DOES serve a useful purpose. Think about this:

Amway is a form of Economic Darwinism.

The people who are gullible enough or stupid enough to believe that they will succeed in Amway and become fabulously wealthy and buy all of those things on their ‘dream boards’, you know, the wall hangings they make in the process of ‘dream building’, consisting mainly of pictures of outrageously expensive cars, boats, houses, planes, whatever, that they will be able to buy when they succeed in Amway.

Anyway, as we all know, in the wild pursuit of this goal, the hapless AmBot spends huge amounts of time and money on Amway functions and materials.

Instead of investing their time and money in an endeavor that will actually yield a return, the AmBot just keeps pouring money and time into Amway thinking that if they just spend enough time and money being a good little AmBot, there will be fabulous rewards once they make Diamond, or Chief Hustler, or whatever the title is.

The ‘Lost Opportunity Cost’ the AmBot suffers means that they and their families will not be have the opportunities that they otherwise would have if the AmBot spent all that time and money in a legitimate business endeavor.

Maybe the AmBot’s children will end up in a community college instead of that Ivy League School. Maybe the AmBots family will be forced to live a poor, crime ridden neighborhood with poor public schools, instead of a nice neighborhood with good public schools.

So, the decisions that the AmBot made has a negative impact on the future of success of their children. This is not to say that their children can’t or wont be successful, it simply means that statistically their children will be less likely to succeed.

Therefore, Amway is a form of Economic Darwinism.

Anyway, keep up the good work Sidney!

generally you can not spend your way to riches, if i buy something from Amway and i get a check at the end of the month i have to pay taxes on the check (1099). I enjoyed your web page.

I have just read some of the stuff that you have written about Amway, and personally I think that you and the other people who have tried to knock the business are not to be mean but your a bunch of brainless *****!!!, to say the least. I am curious to know what you do all day, sit at a computer and be negative all day? Do you have a job? and if you do, is this job going to make you financialy free for the rest of your life? Are you going to be making millions apon millions of dollars a year? and even if you where, would you have the time to enjoy life at it's very best? I really doubt it, I am appalled at what you are trying to tell people about the amway business, cult people losing money, have you ever stopped to think that every thing in life costs money. Your not going to get a degree in medicine for free are you. No and is being a doctor going to make you fincially free? Maybe but will you have free time to do the things you have always wanted? or spend 60 hours a week in a hospital and on 24 hour call? I think any idiot could figure this one out even you. In a way I guess it doesn't matter what you or other people like you think, because I know that I am a happy person and that's more than what I can say for you, if you where happy with yourself you wouldn't bother to make such a redicous page that really is pointless. Im 18 and will retire when Im 23, and live the rest of my life being completly and totally happy, will you? I hope so one day you will grow up and realize that there is more to life than putting people down and putting false statements into peoples heads. Life is not easy, Noone ever said that making it in Amway would be easy, anything in life wherth having does take alot of work. The difference between you and me is that I would rather work very hard for five years, and than enjoy the rest of my life instead of working really hard untill Im 65, and then try and enjoy the rest of my life with have the income that I would be so used to having. I trully feel sorry for you, and even though you are putting me down I wish you a lifetime full of happiness.

Mr. Schwartz,

Could you tell me what a "Ruby" level in Amway probably makes? My sister is a Ruby (after 6 years of annoying everyone around her) and claims to make $10,000/month. I cornered her and asked her what her check was AFTER she payed her downline. She stumbled a little and replied, "$8,000 a month." I'm pretty sure that she's full of it. She also said that "even the poorest diamonds make at least $300,000/year."

From reading your stats page, this also appears to be total garbage. What are your thoughts on these 2 things?

It's funny the way Amway people lie and lie about the money they make (Fake it 'til you make it! - what crap!), but they can never back it up with a check. And then if they DO show you a check, it's BEFORE they pay out their downline. So, this makes it hard to prove that they're barely scraping by. What's the best way to corner an Ambot when they start touting false figures?


I've been studying this cult for only a couple of months on the internet and find you're site one of the better ones. I'm fairly new to the net and have recently posted a humor page for practice and I want to let you know that I put your site on as a favorite link. if you would like to check it out, it's at *

You may have received cc's of notes I have sent to some distributors who are illegally pushing their business online. To date, I have not received one response to my valid questions.

I have never been a distributor, but have lost a good friend to the evil beast. It makes me sick what I've witnessed at the couple of rallies I've attended with him to make him happy.

Keep up the good work.

I know you can discard this note at any time and you have no obligation in ansering my questions. I would like you to answer a few questions for me as I am thinking of signing up for the Amway Business.

Have you ever owned your own business of any sort?

Do you know that it takes money to make money? You have to spend before you can make.

What is a cult?

What do you have to offer others (Besides your oppenion) that could provide an income like what the Amway corporation can provide.

I'm sure that GMC, Chrysler, Ford, Nabisco, AT&T (in canada) or MCI (in the states), Botiny 500, etc. About 450 of the fortune 500 companies move their products through the world wide independant distributers, why would they get involved in something that you call a cult?

Why not take your consern up with your local congras member and DO something about what you fell so negative about (why else would you make this webpage).

Why is USA Today publishing articles in their paper. On monday July 14th an article called: An Open Letter to Amway Distributers and Friends, An American Victory, Letter 2. Dr. Shad Helmstetter, a independant researcher and best selling auther of 9 books published in 64 countries throughout the world wrote the article. Allow me to give you a brief run down of his four points
1) Amway Works
2) Amway has won the respect of business leaders everywhere
3) Amway's success is NOT an accident
4) Being in the Amway business creats a winning way of life

This is his closing comments:

"If you are already an Independent Amway Distributor, you made a good choice. Stay with it! If you are not presently a member of the Amway team, I recommend that you talk to someone who is. This is the real thing."

I understand that there is more to amway that what I know of. I just learnd About the Yager Training System (books, tapes, seminars and rally's) and non Yager organizations (no books, no tapes, no seminars and rally's) Have you researched all of this or are you just posting the failers? People quit things all of the time like diets, school, jobs, stc. Does that mean that those things dont work or just that the people didn't work the system like they were supose to do in order to sucseed? I have no interest in changing anybodies oppenion on anything, I just have questions I would like answered.

Thank you.

By the way have you been to the Amway Home Page? I have and I like what I see.


I know you get a lot of mail, and frankly I do not expect to get any response. I just had to e-mail and say a few things.

I am a distributor, I haven't been in very long, but after being shownn this business 5 differnt times, and finally finding friends of mine that were in I decided to try it.

I am in a different group called INA, there is no one in our group that motivates usss to disown friends, family or spouses. If I happen to ask a friend about the business, and they aren't interested, or think we are a cult, I simply say " you know, it's not for everyone. I think it's worth a try. If other people in the organization can work their way up to six figure incomes, I can too. If you ever want to see any information, just ask." With this I have never lost a friend or severed a relationship.

I also just have to say, in INA (I don't know any of the other groups beleifs) we do not promise any pay, as it is in any business the harder you work the more you will recieve. And any person that thinks this happens over night, or that there is no work involved should not have gotten in the business.

On religion:
I believe in religion, and try to be a moral person. But I do not live my life to please anyone else. If we're out and I want a drink, I order one. In fact last night we had a fun ladies sleepover party at a local Hotel. I asked one of the ladies that is a diamond if she had been out to the horse track. And she didn't believe in gambling, I think it's fun. And for a minute I felt uncomfortable, I thought shes a lot more by the bible than me. Then she told me that someone in her family was addicted to gambling, and that's why she is so turned off by it. I told her that's just each person's personal decision, and that I didn't know any one addicted to gambling, but in the same respect don't you still eat in restaurants that serve alcohol? We laughed and she said "ya you got me, it's just a personal decision."

Basically what I'm trying to say is I don't believe my group is a cult, I believe in the products, system and structure. It works if you work it. We are not all idiots with no life and lacking education. Everyone within my personal line has a degree, if not a Masters or Phd. And no one makes you buy anything you don't want or need, on the contrary, if you studied the whole company you know the way the volume is produced is by purchasing the goods your family would be buying anyway from the manufacturer via Amway.

Thanks for letting me speak my mind



Dear Mr.Schwartz,

Congratulations for yr Site; you have been so brave!!

I have been in Amway for about 2 years (and without making money).

Since I started using Internet I have found out the other side of the story; note that Amway is in Brazil for 5 years and and there is no any brazilian anti-amway site.

I am ASTONISHED to learn all the stuff you mentioned on yr site since we trusted that this business was very fair and truly we believed that 'they made money when they would help us to make money'.

I am from Britt System which has DDs levels yet. The biggest group in Brazil is 'Pronet' (I do not know their upline in USA).

In Britt group they say that Britt group is 40% of Amway worldwide and we work at the correct way and the other groups work at the wrong way. What dou you think?

I liked to read 'Direct Speaking'from Rich de Vos, 1983. That means that Amway is aware of all dirty and uncorrrect things that happen in their business. But what hell Amway has made since then to correct Tapes business?

You see, Brazilian Legislation is not specific for MLM companies (it does do not requires Sales, etc), but it prohibites Pyramides schemes. Amway Brazil's manual is half of american manual, this means that by here Tapes business has found their paradise. All incorrect things you mentioned also happens in Brazil.

Britt group is still small (around 400 people), but Pronet has many people and they charge around Us$ 100,00 per person on their Seminary.

Most Distributors truly believe that Bill Britt is an angel who came from the sky to help us to find the best of the life; that he help us with his System without 'financial insterest' .

Do you know any people who got sucess in Amway without following any System??

Hope to receive yr comments soon.

your information is very accurate. we have felt this way for a long time. good luck!

Just out of curiosity what makes you think Amway is a cult? I know alot of great people who are or were in Amway, and I have never seen the pressures you were talking about. The tapes are only for the people who want to build a large network, for those who just want a great product and wholesale buying without having to go to the crowded stores ,it is great. I am curious did you get rejected one time to many while trying to what did you call it"RECRUITING" people. all you are doing is offering another way to shop from home. When is the last time you checked out the marketing plan ,10 years ago.? The lines of spponsorship differ I agree some are not all that hot but that is not" Amway" it is the people who call themselves distributors. As for losing friends that is your own choice of where to draw the line of eating sleeping and living amway, again that is the line of sponsorship you are in that deals with that problem. I just wanted to point another VIEW your way which I am sure you have heard many times before , there is always a good side to things and I think you should let people make their own choice instead of polluting the internet with garbage that is so outdated because you had a bad experience. I am not religious either and that has nothing to do with Amway it again the individual. A satisfied distributor for many years just purchasing wholesale and sponsoring a few to do the same........ I hope people will check it out for themselves before making a decision on what someone's opinion is. You wouldn't go to the eye doctor to check your teeth would you.. Cult you make me laugh... You are starting a hate group if you want to get technical. I guess Costco is a cult too. I am outta here...

Mate, repling from Australia where the business has never been better. I respect your rights to create your home page and make the comments you and others have and admire the fact you print both positive and negitative replies, however, I can't help but wonder what ever made you so bitter or maybe just passionate to go to the effort to create such a internet site. Somebody in the business must have worked you over real bad and I'd like to know what they did.

At this stage of the business the profits I have made have not covered the experiences incurred, which is my fault because I haven't put the work in. Having said that the amount I have learned about myself and dealing with others through experiences in this business and the amount I have picked up from the training system have helped me to achieve more success in my career then I believe I could have without joining Amway. This coupled with some great friends I have made, some never continued in the business, more than out ways any expense I have incurred.

Look forward to your reply as to what made you feel the way you do.

your website on the negative aspects of the amway corporation is totally wrong and biased. obviously you have never seen the amway marketing plan and have never been involved directly with the organization- or maybe you believe in communism and begrudge others the opportunity to make an honest living. spend a couple of hours with an amway diamond distributor. i can assure you you will not be able to find a smarter, more moral and outgoing individual. the income is unlimited in this business and the chance to change bad habits and grow as a person can not be found anywhere else in the world. Despite your negative claims amway will continue to be a 7 billion dollar producer and will probably double next year. If you can't make it in an honest organization like amway- don't knock others who can. thanks

I don't have a question, but I want to say that your web page hits the nail on the head, so to speak.

I have a close friend at work who always talked about her "business" and how excited she was about it. I have always wanted to start a business of my own, so naturally I was interested in how she and her husband got started. She would only give me tidbits of information at a time, making me more and more interested in what they were doing. One day she invited me to meet with her "associates". So, trusting her, I went to the meeting.

I have never seen a collection of such greedy people in my entire life. They were all interested in getting rich as fast and as easily as possible. It was truly sad. After the presentation, I only had one question. Where are all the filthy rich people? Are they exempt from coming to the meetings? So, that's really two questions, sue me.

Since then, I have started my own business, not with Amway, a real business. And, I will get rich one day. But, with hard work, faith, and perseverance. Based on what I've seen, those people are blinded by their own greed and laziness. As far as I'm concerned, if they spend their entire lives working for nothing, it'll be their own fault.

I truly love my friend, but I can't think for her. Too bad she seems to hate thinking for herself.

It sure is easy to criticize. Its easy to quit and complain. I've been at the Amway Business for more than 12 years and while I'm not where I'd like to be, it's not anybodys fault but my own. Amway is truly the best business available to the masses on the earth today. You just don't have enough guts to see the truth. There have been alot of true stories about people turning on their friends ect. But there are bad people in ALL businesses. We just get more than our fair share because they think they can get rich quick without alot of work.

We would not have our home and lifestyle we have today without Amway. So please go out and get the real facts or get a new line of work. (if you can really call what you do work.)


Many of your corespondents claim that Amway is not a cult because cult members are weak ineffectual types (or words to that effect). I was watching a documentary recently on cults which showed that most cult members are middle class independent thinkers. Exactly the sort of person who might be atttracted to Amway.

They do not become convinced by the leader of the cult but convince themselves of the soundness of the cults views by assessing their own achievements against their core values. They identify themselves as not as successful as they might. Then someone comes along and says I can show you how to be successful, according to your own core values, because I have been successful. The potential cult member than convinces themself that plan is the answer to their own lack of success and shuts themselves of from alternative views.

Thus you get the cult, and yes it does sound like Amway.

[Home] [ <--Previous bunch of responses ] [ Next bunch of responses--> ]