March 24, 2000
David S. Touretzky
Computer Science Department & Center for the
Neural Basis of Cognition
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3891
Re: Tortious Interference With Amay's Contractual Relationships by
We are litigation counsel for Amway Corporation, and we have been retained to help Amway stop false and misleading statements that are used to damage Amway and many operators of independent Amway businesses.
Let me emphasize from the beginning that Amway deeply believes in freedom, including free speech. Amway is excited about the Internet's current role and its future potential to foster greater international communication and understanding. Amway and its 3 million distributors worldwide are very active in protecting and promoting these freedoms. Indeed, Amway's founders list freedom as one of the four foundations of Amway's basic business philosophy. Amway has no wish to stifle honest disagreement. However, while Amway supports free speech, it does not condone speech that is false, misleading and cynically calculated to create severe damage. It is important for you to understand that publication of false material created by another is not protected. The publication of such statements is illegal and can subject the publisher to a claim,forrecovery, of-the damages that it creates.
It has come to our attention that your web site, http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Amway/index.htmI currently contains a mirror of the "Amway: The Untold Story" homepage (http://www.teleport.com/~schwartz/) operated by Sidney Schwartz, located at 11720 (SW) Clifford St., Beaverton, OR 97008.
Mr. Schwartz's homepage contains numerous false and misleading statements about Amway. These statements have damaged Amway by interfering with Amway's existing and prospective contractual relationships. Moreover, Amway discovered that Schwartz was a secret paid consultant of its competitor, the Procter & Gamble Company (P&G); and when Amway found out about the secret relationship, P&G hired lawyers to represent Schwartz and to keep the relationship secret. As a result, Amway filed suit against Schwartz and P&G in Michigan federal court (W.D. Mich. Case no. 1:98 CV 720) seeking an injunction and compensation for the damage to its business. Amway has directed me to put you on notice that your publication of Schwartz's site will subject you to suit following the successful resolution of the Schwartz/P&G lawsuit unless you immediately remove it.
A few of the false and misleading statements about Amway on Mr. Schwartz's homepage, which you have published, including the following:
Amway LawsuitsIt is important that you understand that Amway does not take issue with Mr. Schwartz's right to have a web site in which he provides his opinion, and solicits the opinions of others, regarding Amway's products and services. However, Amway does strongly object to false and misleading statements by Schwartz that are calculated to damage innocent people. Amway further strongly objects to your republication of these statements. Such statements are wrong and they must stop. Thus, we implore you to do the right thing and stop repeating, these false and damaging statements.
How do I screw thee over? Let me count the ways...'' Things Amway would really rather you didn't know about.
The Canadian Fraud Case
Rich & Jay's excellent adventure, in which they steal millions from the Canadian govt., plead guilty, and then lie about it.
Cultism in Amway
What does Amway have in common with cult groups? Quite a bit, it turns out.
Statistics On Success
An interesting analysis of what the chances are of making it big in Amway. Not surprisingly, the chances suck.
References to Amway Vice President Craig Meurlin as Craig ``Pinocchio'' Meurlin and having ``terminal foot in mouth disease'' to imply that he is a liar.
References to Amway Vice President Mike Mohr as a ``whore''.
Meurlin also claims that ``the company does not push religious or political philosophies on distributors.'' Perhaps he's thinking of a different ``Amway.'' One of the most common threads in all the research I've done is the extreme political and religious bias that permeates every level and aspect of Amway, to the extent that Amway has been likened to a combination of a Fundamentalist Christian church and a political fundraising organization.
For more information on the Hanrahan's Amway experience, Amway's lack of concern and later attempts to malign them, ....
``Help my friend/family member got sucked into this bizarre Amway cult and has become a tape-spouting zombie. What can I do??''
You would think Amway's owners would have been satisfied with their tried-and-true method of sucking money out of the bank accounts of distributors by selling them starter kits, sales aids and overpriced products. Apparently not, as this lawsuit would indicate.
One thing is clear: Amway Corp. has long known of the serious abuses being perpetuated on its distributors, and has failed in its moral and ethical responsibility to protect them, or to sufficiently inform them so they could protect themselves.
Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that Amway's own attorneys concluded years ago that the tools business is inherently illegal and unethical.
In the latest slap to the face of its distributors, Amway has moved to limit their choice of legal remedies and strip them of their First Amendment rights concerning any disputes they may have with Amway Corp. or their upline.
``The Amway Corporation stole a lot of money from my family, when it was most needed. My now eight year old son Jordan was born near the time of the theft.''
``We developed a direct-mail campaign involving MCI, authorized by the Amway corporation in Official literature, and then behind our backs - without any of the contractually required notices, Amway proceeded to lie to our clients, convincing them to send the MCI sign-ups in to Amway, by- passing our family, even though the Corporation had no legal standing whatsoever to do so, in contract law and/or in Criminal Law.''
``According to the marketing plan, how much money does Amway steal when they intentionally and wrongfully interfere with this plan and objective?''
``Can or will Amway survive running things honestly and fairly?''
``AMWAY HITS PANIC BUTTON, "THREATENS" LOWNDES FOR CONGRESS WITH LAWSUIT!! AMWAY WANTS TO BE "MANAGER" OF CAMPAIGN! BIG BLUFF FROM CONFESSED THIEVES (AMWAY FOUNDERS, THAT IS)!!''
This time Amway won't be able to bully, intimidate, buy off, out-spend or wear down the plaintiffs. I am not a psychologist or cult ``deprogrammer,'' so I cannot offer specific advice on how to deal with loved ones who have gotten involved in Amway or other groups who employ cult-like methods to recruit and retain members.
Timothy Q. Delaney