INTRODUCTION Welcome to THE Amway blog that represents the equivalent of the EIB made famous by someone I have a LOT of respect for, Rush Limbaugh. I trust he will allow some flexibility for me to borrow the initials EIB (Excellence In Broadcasting) and reuse the initials to stand for Excellence In Blogging. In fact, just like Rush, I can successfully debate other bloggers, as well as the “best and brightest” from Amway (which I have proven in court and on blogs), with half my brain tied behind my back, just to make it fair. Not with Rush’s Golden Microphone (although I can do with with any YouTube video, microphone, telephone, loud speaker, or no sound equipment at all), but with my Golden EIB Keyboard. As I have found most MLMs operate very similar to Amway, my “talent, on loan, from GGGAAAWWWDDDDD” also applies to the MLM industry in general.
OUR STORY Also, a little about us, and these are the highlights, I could write several books about this saga. It is important to note our experiences are typical of millions of others, although we stayed in the Amway business longer than most. My wife and I were sponsored in January of 1993. At the time, we had a son almost 3 years old and another one about 5 months “in the oven.” Our upline and their highest pins in ascending order were Steve and Mary Sawa (4000 pin), Jim and Jeanette LaRose (Founders Platinum), Charles and Pricilla Rudd (Sapphire), Dennis and Linda Turnbough (Platinum), Allen and Joie James (Emerald), Bruce and Wendy Anderson (Diamond), Randy and Valorie Haugen (Double Diamond), Don and Nancy Wilson (Double Diamond), and Dexter and Birdie Yager (Crown Ambassadors). Recall the internet didn’t exist in 1993, and the Amway business was absolutely THUNDERING from the late 1980s into the mid 1990s. We saw massive growth at local and national functions and in Amway produced promotional magazines. Our upline included, in the order of the upline above, someone I worked with in the high technology field, 2 medical doctors, two airline pilots, a helicopter pilot, car dealer parts manager, school teacher, and beer distributor. After seeing the marketing plan, my dominate thought was, “I can do that.” The very first person I showed the marketing plan to got in, a friend from work I also played basketball with. He quit within a week. Shortly after joining, I injured my back and had surgery in May of 1993. In 1997 I took a new job with the same company, and had to move about 100 miles. In 1998 I had pancreatitis, which took 2 major surgeries and about a year to recover. In 2001 I was laid off after the company mismanaged its business (I had received a $17,000 bonus the year before for restructuring some leases and saving the company $1 million/year for the next several years). I mention these life experiences not because I expect any sympathy, but because I was told like everyone else is told, you have to be consistent for a long period of time if you want real business growth. In 2004, the upline Emerald held the usual annual outing in Florida, a sort of casual/cabin major function. He invited Bruce Anderson, who showed up in his motorcoach. As was the usual case, he was treated like a god-like rock star/hero. By the time the event came around in 2005, Bruce had been booted by Amway (long story, google it), and I knew he made about 2/3s of his $350,000/year profit from the tools, as he stated this on his own blog. Instead of Bruce being at the retreat, Don Wilson shows up, and Bruce was not mentioned the entire weekend. It was as if he never existed. I made a business comment to my upline Founders Platinum toward the end of the meeting, and got back a blank stare. This is when I canceled our standing tool order, and went from “best buddies” to being totally ignored, which was okay with me. I drew the line of communications at the Platinum level, as these were the LCKs stealing ATS profit from their downline. My immediate sponsor was inactive, so that left nobody upline to communicate with at all. So, I had to decide what to do. I felt there was value in the Amway business minus the ATS, so I made a decision which is summarized in this letter, which was also sent to DeVos via certified mail, and I spoke with an underling about the letter after receiving both an email and voice mail from him, as I went on a short vacation soon after mailing the letter: http://www.ftc.gov/os/comments/businessopprule/522418-04681.pdf. After spending 2 years buying tapes/CDs on eBay for 20 cents each or less (includes shipping costs), books for $1 or less, and a variety of other brochures and other marketing materials, I decided to get into the implementation stage. The first step was to attend some Open meeting and a monthly Seminar. Wilson had broken away from Yager from a tools perspective a few years earlier, and Wilson’s business was doing so bad he turned to Orrin Woodward and TEAM for tools. After attending a couple of Opens (one local and one in Houston, I waved to my upline Sapphire from the audience, never said a word to him and walked out after the Open was over) and a Seminar, I wrote the following email to Quixtar’s rules department:
June 27, 2007
I have seen several Open meeting presentations in 2 different cities done by TEAM (Orrin Woodward) presenters.
Formerly associated with Legacy Business Group (Don Wilson), they are now a part of the TEAM LOA.
I have 3 issues that have been consistent in all of these meetings:
1. The word Quixtar is not mentioned a single time,
2. Retail is either not mentioned at all, or it is more as an “accident”, such as the neighbor seeing you drinking an XS energy drink and asking you for one, no mention of retail being required to earn downline bonus volume, and
3. There is a very clear description of Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady “inventing” much of what Quixtar actually does, including making the products available, cutting out the middlemen, etc.
I find all 3 of the above to be highly offensive and misleading to all IBO’s prospects.
I would like to know what you will do in regards to fixing how the plan will be shown in the future, and when these changes are expected to be implemented.
I also expect you NOT to reveal my name to any other IBO’s involved in this matter without my permission. Thanks,
As you can see, I couldn’t imagine bringing my prospects to these meetings as I described in the 2005 letter, as the meetings were filled with lies. I wrote emails to Amway’s complaint department starting in 2007 complaining about other IBOs cheating by advertising on Craigslist and eBay, and got ZERO meaningful response, which caused me to start thinking Amway was not interested in enforcing their rules when it meant less products being sold. I also tried tying into the Yager system in 2008, and after participating in a conference call where Yager didn’t care about someone breaking the Quixtar retailing rules by advertising the XS Energy drink in a restaurant, I complained to Quixtar and they shrugged their shoulders. I also complained to Quixtar about other IBOs breaking the rules by advertising their products on Craigslist and eBay. Another shrug. It was during this timeframe in late 2008/early 2009 I decided Amway was an active part of the problem. By the time I was terminated as an IBO in 2009, I realized Amway and the high level IBOs were engaged in a RICO fraud.
I was very active in blogs since 2005, and soon learned that many bloggers are not participating to find solutions, but merely complaining. Once somebody with some solution ideas shows up, you are threatening to take away their favorite activity, complaining. While Amway has other issues besides the ATS, I believe you could fix every other problem than the ATS, and it would result in very little to no improvement. In fact, it would make a very corrupt situation merely appear to be better. On the other hand, if all of the other problems were ignored except the ATS, the other problems would either disappear or become significantly less significant. A perfect business should not be the expectation, but an honest one should be a requirement. This got to the point where I was “banned” from various blogs, sometimes multiple times. I wasn’t concerned about this, as I am not interested in wasting my time.
In 2008-09, there were a couple of issues that caught Amway’s attention, and they sent me a letter telling me so. One was calling a female blogger the same name as a female dog, and the other one was calling a blogger a derogatory Jewish term that sounds a lot like the word “kite.” The female blogger was one of the defenders of the LCKs, and she stated I was “anti-business” on a blog I had been banned from, which resulted in the calling her the female dog name. The “kite” blogger was on a blog accusing another blogger of all kinds of things not related to the discussion, he claimed to have done some research on this person’s background, the fact that he received public education, etc. I knew a complainer when I saw one right away, so the “kite” remark was used quickly. He tried pushing back for a while, but the barrage of “kite” and other barbaric comments that he used turned on him made him whimper away fairly quickly. I wrote back to Amway that I would temporarily stopped this type of blogging, but I was very frustrated that after 4 years of blogging, including Amway blogs, I couldn’t get Amway’s attention to fix the ATS. I say temporarily because I gave Amway some examples of similar language being used on a pro-Amway blog, and gave Amway specific links to examples on that blog. After a couple of months and no response or changes, I restarted the “sailor talk” and got terminated.
It was then I started the campaign to STOP THE AMWAY TOOL SCAM by turning on not only the upline, but Amway as well. This led to Amway’s SLAPP lawsuit in mid-2010, and Texas didn’t have an anti-SLAPP law to protect me at that time. After a year and a half of delay and not producing a single example that would show their complaint was valid, I decided to settle the case out of court, for a variety of reasons:
1. The primary reasons is I attempted to counter sue Amway for RICO fraud, but unlike California (see Pokorny lawsuit elsewhere on this site), Texas is a very pro-arbitration state. The judge said I would have to settle my RICO fraud charge in Amway’s unconscionable and illusory arbitration process, which I have never had any interest in doing.
2. The judge was a former Amway IBO, and throughout the process made decisions that were wacky and showed significant distaste for me, to the point my attorney contemplated getting a new judge. However, we decided not to do this, because if we weren’t successful, it would be even worse. An example of this behavior was after a hearing my attorney stated the decision to allow me to continue my activities as long as I did not “harass” IBOs was too vague, and we would be back in court for a contempt charge unless the terms were more specific. When Amway said I violated the decision and my attorney opened the Texas law and read it to the judge, he ignored it and found me in contempt and fined me $500.
3. My attorney described there is no prohibition against double jeopardy in civil cases, as there is in criminal cases. In other words, I could have won the lawsuit and Amway could have walked right back in court with a new lawsuit, and I can’t compete with the time and money Amway was willing to spend. However, an out of court settlement draws a bright solid line that Amway can’t step over with another silly lawsuit, which is why I won this lawsuit. For example, I, and others working with me, can’t blame or associate Amway or IBOs with death, illness, or accidents. However, stories of beating somebody within an inch of death, intentional acts of violence, such as gang rapes, assault, etc., are not only permitted, but protected by the agreement, as are stories of fraud and scams. I can also help others with the specific techniques I used against Amway that resulted in the 2010 Amway lawsuit (in other words, effective) with other MLMs, and applying these techniques need not result in disclosing your identity, as I chose to do.
4. The lead Amway lawyer was a former Amway LCK by the name of Charles Bundren, was the downline of Kelly Rogers, one of the last English language Diamond LCKs in the U.S., an accused Ponzi schemer who will probably spend the rest of his life in jail (http://kellygrogers.blogspot.com
), and Bundren himself was found guilty in scamming a condominium (http://law.justia.com/cases/texas/fifth-court-of-appeals/2011/05-09-00788-cv-2.html
). I didn’t find out about Bundren being a LCK until a few months before we settled, but I wasn’t interested in allowing this LCK making any more money from Amway because of me. By the way, Bundren also lost a lawsuit against bHIP shortly after my settlement, couldn’t have happened to a worse person (http://themlmattorney.com/
5. I could no longer afford the time or money, and Amway could. Between my lawsuit and the Pokorny lawsuit, I am very disappointed in our legal system. The side with the money wins, hands down, regardless of the facts. The U.S. may have the best system in the world, but it is far from perfect, and I have no interest in participating in it as a member of a grand jury, trial jury, etc.
NOTE: Any references to anything physical on this blog is meant as an analogy and not in the physical sense, unless specifically stated otherwise. For example, the “bully beatdown” reference below is meant as an analogy in the legal sense that I beat down Amway in court, not that I physically beat up individual(s) in or out of court. It’s already a stretch to claim physically beating up a company, rather than a person(s) in the first place.
We now return to our regularly scheduled Amway Tool Scam review, and what you will find here is an accurate, fact-filled, engaging, intelligent, thought provoking discussion, as well as including, at no extra charge, an ample supply of humor and satire. I compare it to a traffic circle in Europe, with cars flying around in circles, entering, exiting, and seemingly at first glance a disorganized mess. In reality, it is organized chaos, the most efficient and effective form of organization. However, just like listening to Rush, if you stay and learn, your opinion will be forever changed. Unless you’re stuck on stupid, then you’ll stay stupid! LOL
Above all, this site is specifically designed to be an ongoing and advanced course in Amway Tool Scam studies, with the “101” course below. Also – don’t…doubt…me. So hang on tight, learn, ask questions, make comments, etc.