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Amway Motivational Organizations: Behind the Smoke and Mirrors

Comments from Readers

Ruth Carter's new book, Amway Motivational Organizations: Beyond the Smoke and Mirrors, is a must read for those who want to know what is wrong about Amway Motivational Organizations. Her first hand experience documents what is wrong with the system: false promises; exploitation of people and their hopes and dreams; wasted time and money; incredible amounts of pain and suffering for many involved.
Beware "business opportunities" that use mind control techniques and methods that undermine independent thinking! These groups use control of Behavior, Information, Thought and Emotions (BITE) to create a pseudo-identity based on the company identity which destroys free will. Mind control techniques such as thought-stopping and installation of phobias can short-circuit even the most intelligent person's ability to question those in authority. Most people think of religious cults, but mind control groups can be political,

psychotherapy, "educational" or even commercial in their public agenda. It is the practices of

deception and mind control that determines a group's destructiveness. Beyond the Smoke and Mirrors helps the public see the reality used by those involved with one of the largest commercial entities on Earth.

Steven Hassan, M.Ed, LMHC

author of Releasing the Bonds: Empowering

People to Think for Themselves

Ruth Carter reveals multi-level deception, delusion and guile in the Amway distributor business. She has penetrated a network of shame, fear and guilt that has shielded this bogus business from exposure.

Congratulations to her for the courage to put the truth in print.

Robert L. FitzPatrick

Co-author of False Profits: Seeking Financial and Spiritual Deliverance in

Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Schemes
I feel compelled to send this to you after having emerged from one of the Amway motivational cults. I did not try this out and leave as a disgruntled distributor... I built this to the Emerald level with business literally spanning the globe. What I discoverd at this level was widespread systematic deceit of the highest order. My wife and I gave up years of our life (and that of our children) for this ... the “freedom” I bought as an Emerald was a non stop 24-7 work week with little or no time for family and friends. In my opinion, the Diamonds and DeVos and Van Andel family members who operate/manage Amway/Quixtar, whom I once idolized, appear to be some of the most dishonest, wholly corrupt, morally bankrupt people I have ever been associated with. I hope and pray that your book spares many of the Amway/Quixtar cultish nightmare that we have endured.

Former Emerald Direct Distributor

I am an AMO boat person (survivor) and I can not thank you enough for your hard work and dedication on your new book. I personally could not put it down.

Mark Pruitt

Emerald Direct Distributor

I wanted to write you and tell you how right on your book was. It was outstanding! It is must reading for every Amway distributor. I know, I lived it.

At the same time, I wanted to tell you how sorry I feel for the many people who have written you complaining about your information against Amway. I know, I was saying the same things they are, until I found out the truth.

The simple truth is, the lifestyles they see and edify are simply not attainable by them through the Amway Sales & Marketing Plan. My proof? Your upline didn't do it that way either. It is clear from reading the distributor email that distributors are getting to know where the real money comes from and yet they turn around and recruit others under false pretenses. If they were honest, they would tell recruits we are in the training and motivational business and we use Amway as a recruitment mechanism for the system. They would tell the prospect, you will make very little money in Amway after taxes, even at the diamond level, but you can make lots of money on the training and motivation side of it. They would tell the prospect there is no written contract about the "System" and if your upline takes your money, you can't take it to court because of the BSMAA. And even if you take it to arbitration, your upline can make up any rules they want because nothing is in writing. They would also tell you that retailing in your Amway business is mandatory, and if you do not have 10 customers or 50 PV in sales each month and pay or receive bonuses, you are assuming a huge legal liability and taking the risk of federal prosecution for illegal pyramiding (see FTC case filed last month against Equinox among the many others filed at the State level against other MLM's). They would also tell you the IRS will prosecute you if you deduct tools, seminars, mileage, etc as business expenses from your income taxes if you cannot prove it actually increased your retail sales to non-distributor down-lines (see the several IRS vs Amway Distributor cases). They would also tell you that ommitting key pieces of information like these points, is just as bad as outright cheating and lying, under various fraud laws.

I could go on and on, but my point is this. People have a right to make a choice to do Amway. Unfortunately, many hard working honest distributors who are selling this concept have no clue what is going on, so how could they articulate it to a prospect? I also find it interesting the "all knowing" angered distributors who berate your motives in emails are the same people who deceive prospects by not mentioning the things I speak to in the last paragraph, and in short take away the prospects’ right to choose freely. They translate their good feelings and the hope they have been given from attending motivational sessions as "being in a good and thriving business". My experience and thousands of others tells me differently.
Thanks for the needed expose about what large portions of Amway is really all about. It is people like you, who have the courage and altruism for their fellow man who will be heard and standing in the end. An Amway Senior Rules Official once told me, "the truth always has a way of coming out in the end". Thanks to efforts such as your book, the many web sites, and the European Former Amway Distributors Organization (ASDAM - with 5,000 members and growing), I would say he was right.

Former Direct distributor

Your book was very exciting to read because it gives such an insightful look into the emotional and social dynamics of this exploitive cult masquerading as a business.

Former Distributor

Reading about some of the experiences and the “techniques” used by those in “the business” reaffirmed for me how wise I was to leave the thing over two and a half years ago (three years in Feb. 2000), and how I am so glad to be gone and have NEVER, NEVER regretted leaving it. I may have regretted my stupidity in being suckered in, but I have never felt any regret about leaving it. . . .Many thanks for the book and all you have done to bring information to light.

Former Distributor

Just finished your book. It should be required reading for deprogramming.


I've been reading the book and it's amazing how so much of it reminds me of my sister's story. The glossary is great. Now I know what she is talking about. I used to hear “Go Diamond” all the time. The book is very informative and interesting. It gives me a great deal to discuss with her.

Family Member of Distributor

This should be a “must read” by anyone getting into Amway or Quixtar. And, I would guess, Amway must be VERY unhappy with this book
Former Distributor

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