Fred Harteis Resigns?

In a statement dated January 3, 28, now posted on his blog, Double Diamond Fred Harteis had the following to say –

Statement From Fred Harteis: 1/3/28

As an IBO I have entered into many discussions concerning issues I have had with Quixtar i.e.: product pricing, the IBO compensation plan, negative on the web. I have been open about my opinions. When the DTI situation became public, I became very concerned about our future, in the USA based on the DTI complaint. I discussed these issues with several people including my attorneys, my leaders, Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady. However I never talked to D.J. Poyfair or anyone from his firm.

In July of 27 I along with many others were very concerned about our future in business with Quixtar as was consistent in August of 27.

Although I agree with the issues I would have hoped Orrin and Chris and the others were not terminated on August 9th of 27 and the lawsuit would have not been served.

I do not have any question of the character of Orrin Woodward or Chris Brady, or doubt their motive to help people. I see them as leaders with a vision and passion to do great things for America and people on their Team.

I have resigned from Quixtar and I am working with Team Leadership. I would like to see Quixtar and Team resolve their differences soon, so everyone can get on with their lives and focus on the future.

Sincerely,
Fred Harteis

While this may have come as a surprise to some I’ve been expecting this announcement for a while. Much of his downline, including close family members, had already aligned with TEAM. Others, such as in the IBS organization in the United Kingdom, had been forced out of Amway.

It’s interesting that Fred Harteis mentions "the negative on the internet" as one of the issues of concern he had discussed with Quixtar. For the past 6 years perhaps the worst of the "negative on the internet" has been the book Merchants of Deception and the ongoing campaign to discredit Amway and Quixtar by it’s author, former Emerald Eric Scheibler. While I find many of Scheibler’s claims disingenous, and he recently admitted to being misleading in his dealings with newspapers, there was also little doubt in my mind that many of Scheibler’s issues had the root in legitimately negative experiences with his upline. As TEAM founder Orrin Woodward once said "It’s not the negative lies online that are killing us, but the negative truths.” Ironically, Scheibler’s upline was none other than Fred Harteis.

(hat tip to UKIBO in the forums for picking up on this announcement)

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From Wal-Mart to Fifth Avenue – Orrin Woodward chooses

MonaVieFormer Quixtar Executive Diamond and TEAM founder Orrin Woodward has announced his next venture – he’s joining MonaVie. MonaVie is a multi-level marketing company that promotes a drink based on a blend of 19 different fruits, the primary one being the açaí berry. The berry, and the drink, reportedly have health benefits.

Interestingly, MonaVie’s top distributor is reportedly Brig Hart. Hart is a former Quixtar Double Diamond who was involved in various "tools" related lawsuits against Amway and other IBO organisations. The most important of these was dismissed by a Federal Judge last week.

It will be interesting to see how former Quixtar IBOs associated with TEAM react to this news. Woodward and other TEAM leaders were highly critical of Quixtar’s pricing structure, and reportedly cast a vision to their group of being "the Wal-Mart of the internet", based on generating high volumes at lower prices.

One week’s supply of MonaVie, a 75ml bottle, retails for $45. A 28 day supply is $18.

For comparison, Amway/Quixtar’s "elite" Nutrilite Double X nutritional supplement, a blend of 2 different plant concentrates, retails for $78.5 for a 31 day supply.

Marketing a $45 bottle of fruit juice, no matter what it’s quality, isn’t exactly a "Wal-Mart" type model.

One thing I do like about MonaVie, and have mentioned before, is their Income Disclosure Statement. Unlike Quixtar’s poorly defined "Average Incomes", MonaVie’s averages explicitly exclude folk who are primarily "distributors" to take advantage of better pricing. From the disclosure statement –

A “Distributor” is defined as any person who: (1) executed a MonaVie Distributor Application and Agreement; (2) has sponsored at least one person; (3) has received at least one non-retail commission check; and (4) has been active in any of the eight weeks preceding the commissions period (“active” is defined in the MonaVie Compensation Plan as having generated 1 PV (Personal Volume) in a four-week period). Note that this excludes retail customers, preferred customers, retailers (those who have received a retail bonus only), pre-enrollees, distributors who did not renew, and customers, retailers, or distributors whose relationships with MonaVie were revoked. An individual who has executed a MonaVie Independent Distributor Application and Agreement, but has not fulfilled the four criteria enumerated above is not a Distributor. That person is simply a customer. If, and only when, all four criteria are satisfied does that person become a distributor. Accordingly, the status of an individual can, and sometimes does, change throughout the course of a year.

Amway and Quixtar has suffered numerous public attacks over the years, , including by government authories such as BERR in the UK, with regard to the supposed  "average income" of distributors/IBOs and low "retail sales". It’s my view that Amway could address this by simply doing the obvious and sensible – don’t consider someone a business owner unless they’re actually building a business, and consider a "retail sale" to be exactly the same as laws around the world define it, a sale to an end user.

Introducing something similar to MonaVie’s sensible definitions would be a good place to start.

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MeThink

One of the things that has amazed me over the years is how folk tend to interpret everything as being somehow about them. Throughout the internet you’ll find folk who’ve had some experience with some part of the Amway or Quixtar world and they’ll say "Amway does this" or "Quixtar does that".

Here’s some news. Amway is bigger than you think. It’s WAAAYYYY bigger than you think. I thought I had a handle on that from the last few years of debating critics online, but I’ve truly only come to appreciate it the last 6 months developing AmwayWiki.

It doesn’t matter if you were sponsored by Founder’s Crown Ambassador 6 Max Schwarz or Founder’s Crown Ambassador 6 Dexter Yager, and went along to a seminar of their’s involving tens of thousands of people – you’ve still only seen one relatively small snapshot of the Amway world.

And believe it or not, that Amway world is as diverse as the world we live in. Different cultures, different attitudes, different methods. Yes there are many similiarities, as you’d expect, given they’re all in the same business, but they’re not homogenous, they are not all the same.

Any individuals experience in Amway, while likely not entirely unique, is also not necessarily a sound basis for evaluating anyone else’s experience. They may have been completely different, especially if they were not working with the same organization.

Yet many folk seem to believe their experience must somehow be the universal one.

A strange corollary to this is that if you tell of your experience, and it differs from theirs, I’ve noticed that many Amway critics later recall this as having been told their experiences were not true. Many times I’ve read the experiences of Amway critics, and when it’s been completely different to my experience, I’ve said so and given my experience. To them, I’ve apparently called them liars and tried to discredit them! This is far from the truth. All I’ve tried to do is point out to them that perhaps their experience is not universal. That perhaps they shouldn’t brand the entire Amway world with whatever it was that upset them in their experience.

I just read today for example a post by an Amway critic claiming that I’d been "vehemently arguing against our (his) experience". I’m sure he believes that, but it’s simply not true. He and I have different experiences in different organisations. I cannot and would not make claims about something I have no experience with. But for some reason, comments about my experience have been considered a direct challenge to the veracity of his experience.

I suspect this is perhaps related to the way people interpret and handle potential criticism. In another example, in a post I made yesterday (for registered users only) I referred to the fact that Amway critics had posted various information about me online. To be precise, I said –

some well known Amway/Quixtar critics have taken it upon themselves to not only identify me by name, but to also publish various photographs (including one with my son)

I thought the posting of the one including my son was a little tacky to say the least. This was done by the person who originally posted all of the information. Now, to their credit a number of the other critics, when they posted the same photo, cropped my son out of it. However, a number of them read the above quote and attacked me for being dishonest and offensive and accusing them of posting the photo of my son! Again, I did no such thing. I referred to the fact a photo including my son had been posted – which is completely true – but they all had to make it about them! An interesting mix of GroupThink and MeThink.

It seems to me the same dynamic is at play in both situations, people just tend to take things personally. Perhaps now we just get to be far more aware of this, as folks are for more open about posting their thoughts online? Is this a universal human trait, or is it something that perhaps is a distinguishing and contributing factor towards why some folk becoming former Amway distributors who just get on with their lives, whereas others feel the need to share their perspective with the world and go on the attack?

Something to ponder.

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Quixtar announces $1.072 billion in sales

Following on Alitcor’s announcement of global sales exceeding US$7.1 billion, Quixtar in North America has announced it’s share was US$1.72 billion, a 4% drop on the previous years $1.12 billion. Other highlights –

  • $7.1million in partner store sales
  • $363 million paid out in bonuses

Given the dispute with TEAM that overshadowed much of the second half of the year this is a better result than many expected. Certainly much better than was predicted on many of the TEAM websites.

Historical Quixtar sales data is available on Amway Wiki.

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Took them long enough …..

Right from when I first started battling the Amway Myths and Misconceptions on the internet I wanted the discussion to be about facts, not personalities. I’m a scientist by training, and while who says something may affect how closely you listen, it doesn’t mean they don’t need to build and support an argument.

I recall once in the early days of the internet being involved in an online discussion regarding a field of research I worked with. The debate went on for many weeks, primarly driven by two of the forum members. Both were at the time anonymous, yet they both provided incredibly well argued and well referenced evidence to back up their perspectives.

After many weeks, we were in for a surprise – one of these two combatants was revealed to be a highly credentialled professor from one of North America’s top Universities.

The other was a teenage schoolboy from New Zealand.

They had debated as equals, the playing field levelled by anonymity. In 1993, the New Yorker magazine published a cartoon that perhaps best summed up this amazing feature of the internet. It remains one of my all-time favourites.

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog

Not surprisingly however, numerous Amway critics have for quite some time been desperate to learn exactly what breed of dog I am, hoping, I assume, that it would somehow lead to me being discredited. I’ve at various times been accused of being an Alticor or Amway employee, a Network 21 employee, an employee of an N21 subsidiary, a paid consultant to one of the above, the paid son of a Diamond, multiple people(!!) all playing a role, and well, a few things less savoury in between.

None of these are true. I’ve always simply said the truth – "I’m an IBO" and tried (but admittedly not always succeeded) to keep any debates in the realm of publicly provable information. Nobody should have to take my word for it that some Amway myth is wrong – they should be able to see and evaluate the evidence for themselves. Of course, this was never good enough for the critics and there was much speculation about my identity and my "pin level". Finally I gave up one day and simply said "at least Founders 3%"! It says nothing but at least conveys I’m an IBO and have been for a while. Which is pretty much all I ever claimed. I left it at that.

When I decided to go on the offensive and started this website 18 months ago I continued to choose to remain anonymous. There were a number of reasons for this, but the primary one is I felt it allowed me to give honest commentary without fear of causing problems for "innocent" people. Apart from a couple of minor exceptions, nobody in my upline or downline or Network 21, the organization I affiliate with as an IBO, has known about my internet efforts nor my identity as IBOFightback/Insider. To give one example of why I had concerns, recently I heard through the grapevine that Amway, or perhaps Amway legal, felt that some of my commentary on the current BERR vs Amway case in the UK was "unhelpful" and they apparently asked Jim Dornan, head of Network 21, if they could "control me" better. Dornan and N21 could only of course say something like "no, not really – we’ve no idea who he is".

In my opinion, that’s the way it should be.

I’ve also at times been critical of the behaviours and actions of some IBOs and some groups. Quite obviously this has the potential to cause rifts between others, something I don’t wish to happen. Of even more concern from my perspective was the possibility that some IBO may take offence at something I post and decide to complain about this website to Amway Corporation. If I was an identifiable, known IBO, then the "high profile" of this site could be used to claim I was inappropriately using it for prospecting, a rules violation. This is nothing to say of the numerous probable copyright violations I’ve made! How would Amway react if there were significant complaints? My guess, or perhaps my fear, is that they’d have little choice but to ask me to shut the site down, or sanction me as an IBO, or both.

Obviously not a result I would want, but perhaps one the critics would.

Finally, for most of the last 5+ years I’ve not been an active IBO. There’s a long and very personal story behind the reasons for that, which I may or may not post over the next few days, but I have however acted in support of some active IBOs. I’ve been concerned that if my online activity was public that may cause problems for them or other IBOs in the region where I live.

Hopefully, all of these concerns will prove unfounded.

As you may be aware, some well known Amway/Quixtar critics have taken it upon themselves to not only identify me by name, but to also publish various photographs (including one with my son), information on various of my business dealings, as well as an address and telephone numbers and satellite photographs of where they believe I live.

As it happens, not all of what they have published is accurate, some of it is outdated, some just wrong. I just hope this doesn’t cause any problems for folk who have no association at all with this.

But back to the title of this post …. took them long enough ….

I’ve never made any secret of the fact I’m Australian, that I started with Amway Australia, and that I’ve been debating internet critics on and off since I joined a decade ago. With that knowledge it’s always been extraordinarily easy to work out my name to a fairly high degree of certainity. Once you have a name, the rest is easy.

Back before the web really took off, the most popular discussion forums on the internet were of a form called "usenet news". alt.business.multi-level was one of the groups on usenet news. A few years back, Google took it upon themselves to add all of these groups to their search engine. You can access it by going to Google.com and then clicking groups.

Type in some search term you think might be of interest, such as, ohhh … "amway australia" or "network21 australia". (how obvious is that?). Let me know what you find …. hidden in plain site all along.

took them long enough !!!!

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GroupThink

Critics of the Amway business often claim we are somehow "brainwashed" into all thinking the way our upline wants us to. We just blindly repeat "tapespeak" without actually thinking about what it is we say, and us just blind devotees of "the system".

Some folk need a mirror.

On Friday an appeals court announced it’s opinion in regard to Morrison et al. vs Amway et al. The Morrison case is a 1 year old dispute primarily regarding BSM ("tools") between a number of Emeralds and one Diamond distributor and their upline in the Yager Organization. Amway was included as a co-defendant and filed counter-claims.

The Texas Court hearing the case referred it to arbitration. The arbitrator found in favour of the distributors with regards to all of Amway’s claims, and in Amway’s favour with regard to all of the distributors claims. In both cases costs were awarded, leaving the distributors with a $7million judgement against them, counterbalanced by a $1million judgement against Amway. (Amway obviously hires more or more expensive lawyers!). Not surprisingly the, distributors appealed.

The result of that appeal was announced on Friday – the court agreed (correctly in my view) with the distributors claim that compulsory arbitration did not apply as the dispute arose before Amway included the arbitration clauses in the Amway distributor contract. Thus, the case has been remanded by to the lower court.

So what’s the point of this post? Well, within hours various anti-Amway websites were crowing that the court had essentially declared Amway’s arbitration agreement invalid. The Internet Echo Chamber effect had begun. What I wonder is how many of these various commentators actually read the court opinion? A cursory reading when it was first released indicated to me that the court’s opinion rested heavily on the fact that the arbitration provisions were not in place when this dispute first arose. Now that I’ve had the time to read it properly, that view has been confirmed. While undoubtedly a "loss" for Amway, this decision, contrary to the rantings of the anti-Amway zealots, has little if any effect on Amway/Quixtar’s current arbitration agreement.

Brainwashed, blind devotees simply repeating the thoughts of their "leaders" without little independent thought … indeed.

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LTD launches YouTube channel

Following on from the launch of IBO organization Network TwentyOne’s official N21Corp YouTube Channel, Leadership Team Development (LTD) lead by Double Diamonds Larry & Pam Winters and Joe & Marybeth Markiewicz has now done the same, with LTDTV.

There’s five videos up at the moment, including one I’ve highlighted below of Larry Winters giving a tour of LTD’s headquarters. Apart from the offices themselves you’ll also note numerous staff members and equipment. I have no experience or knowledge of how the LTD organization operates, but there’s one question I ask you to consider. When you see Amway/Quixtar critics on the internet making their various calculations of how much “tool profit” folk are supposedly making, how often do you see them include even part of the kind of expenses you can see in this video?

Answer: they don’t. Anyone with any traditional business experience at all knows that the cost of raw materials and basic production (for example CD duplication) is a usually a relatively minor part of the expenses involved in the production, manufacture, and distribution of a product. The various BSM companies are no different to other companies – they have numerous expenses. “Critics” analyses are naive to the extreme.

Here’s Larry Winters at the LTD offices –

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