Critiquing the Critics

Bloomberg Business Week has today published an article about the direct selling industry that appears to be little more than a propaganda piece straight from the pen of MLM critic Robert FitzPatrick. It astounds me that supposed journalists do so little research on these self-declared “experts” and even less on the claims they’re making. So I’m going to do their job for them and write a series of articles on some well known MLM (and Amway) critics, who they are, and how their claims stand up to the facts.  My current list –

General MLM Critics
Robert FitzPatrick (Pyramid Scheme Alert)
Jon M. Taylor (Consumer Awareness Institute)
Dr Stephen Barrett (MLMWatch)
Bob Carroll (The Skeptics Dictionary)
Rick Ross (The Ross Institute)
Tracy Coenen (Sequence Inc)
Steven Hassan (Freedom of Mind Institute)
Dean Van Druff (What’s wrong with multi-level marketing?)
Peter Bowditch (ratbags)

More Amway-specific Critics
Russell Glasser (The Perils of Amway)
Scott Larsen (Amquix)
Steve Nakamura (JoeCool, various blogs)
David Touretzky ( Amway/Alticor/Quixtar Sucks!)
David Brear (various blogs)
Shyam Sundar  (Corporate Frauds Watch, India)

If there’s others you’d like me to address, please drop me a note in the comments below!


New post on Steve Nakamura aka JoeCool –  Who is Amway critic Joecool? And does he owe me $50000?

28 thoughts on “Critiquing the Critics”

  1. One good question might be is why are there so many critics of Amway? Is all criticism unfounded? Or are there bad eggs out there damaging the reputation for many?

    1. In the last decade alone there were over 2.5 million people that gave Amway a try just in the US. Of course there have been some bad eggs. Some have even built large businesses and caused a lot of damage to Amway’s reputation along the way. Amway of course shares some culpability for not stopping it early (they mostly have now).

      So 2.5 million IBOs in just 10 years in just one market. How many critics do you think there are? What percentage of people with an experience of Amway become critics?

  2. I was merely raising the issue of labelling those who said no to Amway with negative tags as a concern. If Amway has clamped down on this practice, then great.

  3. I find it amazing that people, as previously described by the commentators, only focus on the bad. Now why is that? Because that’s their environment.
    Do people have garbage disposals in their house? sure. Now do you focus on the garbage disposal or the entire beauty, decor and value of your house?
    Do people have garbage dumps in cities? sure. Now do you focus on just how bad it smells or how to make it better?
    Do you have some physical complexion or imperfections?
    Do you focus on those imperfections or look at the overall picture to overcome them?
    We are human people, we will make mistakes! The important thing is to realize the bigger picture of things. Not here to bash any uplines but if they said something like that to you or someone you know and it didn’t seat well with you, do you focus on that or do you focus on the big picture and what you can accomplish?
    Thank you.

  4. Add the words “walking breathing corpses” and “dead disabled and broke” to the list of words directed at those who decide not to join Amway. These words were commonly used by those who are supposed to know better, the leaders. I heard these words mentioned frequently in CDs and tapes.

    I hope Amway has clamped down on the use of such words. We have to respect peoples’ wishes when they choose not to join our business. Some afterall, some of them are our family members whom we love dearly and customers who place repeat orders with us. Should we refer to them as losers simply because they said no to our business?

    1. ,
      Having seen the guidelines that “Approved Providers” (LOAs who provide training tools and meetings)must adhere to in order to keep their Acceditation, I’d say Amway is clamping down on the use of such words–and attitudes.
      Any IBO who believes that their Approved Provider is violating their accreditation, I’d urge them to contact Amway at their 800 number.

  5. That’s true, Joecool. Amway has taken some pretty big hits from the actions, culture, and words spoken by IBOs. Amway has taken responsibility for legal issues that were more about IBOs and the support companies, or “Amway Motivational Companies (AMOs)”. At the same time, IBOs with their AMOs have helped Amway become a very successful company. So, they do a lot of good stuff too.

    I hope my up-line didn’t use the term “broke loser”, but I have personally witnessed the problem you describe in my own group. If someone decides to quite Amway, I will never, ever treat them that way. Not doing Amway is a good decision for many people.

    1. AJ,
      Personally, I’d like to hear from current IBOs, rather than ones from 14 years ago.
      The information they’d provide–good, bad, ugly–would seem to be more relevant.

  6. “Do you honestly think that Joe Cool does it too?”

    One thing I will applaud Amway for is their customer service. Whenever I called the corp as an IBO to order or for other things, their staff was always courteous and friendly. But IBOs, on the other hand, do not seem to value potential customers that way. What I mean is when prospects are called stupid, or broke losers just because they do not wish to become an IBO. What you have done basically, is ensure that the prospect will never be a customer of yours, and possibly Amway. Some uplines teach that people not in Amway are broke or losers and/or if you quit the ranks of being an IBO, you become a broke loser.

    1. JoeCool,
      What are you quoting?
      What are you talking about?
      All you are doing (by providing a link, that I’m surprised ibofightback has allowed, and may remove it in the future) is using this site to drive traffic to one of your many anti-Amway blogs.
      With your continued writings of OLD and very LIMITED experience.
      You impersonate current IBOs, as you leave comments on your own blogs (as them) making them sound like complete idiots, and then you bash “them.”

      1. Bridgett,

        I did not post the comment to drive traffic to my website. Some of the comments here suggest that some “critics” are so negative that they never have anything positive to say about Amway. All I have done is link to a recent blog article I wrote that clearly praises Amway’s customer service.

        As for impersonating other bloggers, I might point out that you have done the exact same thing on QIAC’s blog and was caught.

        I didn’t come here to fight with anyone. Only to point out that I am not completely against Amway for anything and everything. My primary opposition is against WWDB. As you even witnessed on Shaun Guthrie’s blog, they are still teaching some of the same stuff now, as they did many years ago. You yourself told Shaun not to quote that 2% divorce rate that WWDB was teaching.

        1. What is QIAC? Oh, you mean that insane person who went by the handle “Quixtar Is A Cult?” That vile individual who linked my name to a photo of a piece of poo?
          The one who posted as “Bob” over at Amway’s corporate blog and made up stories about his poor step daughter and wife?
          The one who puked all over ibofightback’s TTAA forum (now AmwayTalk) with his offensive, tastless comments?
          I rarely set foot at QIAC’s blog, as it was a cesspool of nastiness. Maybe three times four or five years ago?
          And I have never commented. So whoever was “caught” wasn’t me.
          This is what I’m talking about. You make stuff up.
          I have no reason to not say who I am. I have nothing to hide. I go by my real name.
          Regarding Sean’s blog, I can’t remember the last time I was there. I don’t even think he takes comments anymore. And yeah, if I see/hear someone saying something that I know is inaccurate, I most certainly will correct them. And in the spirit of that, for you to say ALL Amway or ALL WWDB is a certain way, is *not* accurate.

    2. Joecool,

      I agree 100% with your comments about IBOs calling people “stupid”, “broke losers” etc etc and the consequences of it. You however are *well aware* that Rich DeVos himself has come out heavily against such attitudes, as have I, and that I’ve pointed out numerous times that such terminology is pretty much never heard in the organisation I affiliated with.

      Now, even that aside, do you have *recent* examples of IBOs doing this, or are you still living in the past?

  7. You state your case well, SP75. I guess I wanted to promote some caution about sounding as one-sided and fanatical as the critics usually are.

    To answer IBOFightBack’s request for additions to the critics list–maybe Tex? I only mention him because he used to comment on the sites that I followed about four years ago, until he got banned everywhere. As I think about it, I’m agreeing with SP75 more and more.

    1. AJ,
      I think you want to see the best in people. And especially those of us who’ve had lots of teaching to do this, it’s incredibly hard to actually think of another person in the terms SP75 describes.
      Well, I’ll just speak for me…While (in the past) I’ve engaged some of the aformentioned critics, trying very hard to be polite, treating them as humans, attempting to get along, see them as 3-dimensional, and trying to find common ground, it took me a looong time, and enduring harsh and hurtful personal attacks, before I finally accepted that some did embody the character traits assigned to psychopaths.
      I guess I don’t like to think that such folks actually exist in the world….*sigh*

    2. At this stage I’ve decided not to bother with critics that, for whatever reason, no longer have any potential influence. That would include Tex and example Ruth Carter (Susanna Perkins) who ran Hmmm …. though I see she is listed as a director of FitzPatricks Pyramid Scheme Alert, as well as owner of the domain name, so I might cover her yet. I’m reading her book now … good grief …..

  8. O.K. Take David Brear for example. Do you honestly think that he mentiones the positives as well? Do you honestly think that Joe Cool does it too? Take ANY of the names mentioned above – do you think they tell the WHOLE truth? Or do they manipulate the facts to ALWAYS sound negative? Judge for yourself.

    Let me tell you about my experience with one local – as you would call him – “critic”. He started a discussion about Amway on a public Internet forum. After I proved he was wrong, he started ordering cell phones and even houses over the Internet using my name. Luckily, in cooperation with the companies he sent his orders to, I was able to find his IP address and found out who he was. We then had a face to face discussion (I visited him at his job – still see the fear in his face when he saw me 🙂 ) and now I haven’t heard of him for more than 10 years. 🙂

    In my opinion “psychopats” is just an adequate word which perfectly describes these people.

    1. I looked up the word just so that I could understand the full nature of the word:
      A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse.

      1. Hi Bridgett, 🙂

        Thanks for the definition.

        And I would continue:

        From Wikipedia:

        “…a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood.”

        Which, IMHO, perfectly describes these people who do not respect the rights of IBOs and do not miss any opportunity to hurt them or their business by telling half-truths or even complete lies. They call it free speech, I call it psychopathy. There was a very interesting article in the beginning of this discussion about the practices used by some “critics”. It speaks for itself:

        BTW: If you study the behavior of “my” critic, you will find that he: (1) violated the rights of others, (2) was involved in amoral and criminal activities against me. The fact that he stopped his activities was not caused by empathy or remorse, he stopped because that Internet “hero” got scared. 🙂

        I am not telling that the Amway business is perfect, but I can guarantee that the reality is far from what these psychopaths are telling.

        I would close with these words by Rich DeVos:
        “Freedom is something you can only have for yourself when you are in turn willing to give it to another person… My father in law used to tell me that freedom is the right I have to wave my arms. To do what I want to do, I am free to wave them. And that freedom exists only up until a person stands at the end of my hand. And when I swing my arm and hit him in the face, then I have exceeded my freedom because I am denying him his.”

  9. I agree with ajgannon. Even wikipedia has become a mouthpiece for the critics. Nothing wrong in highlighting the flaws in Network Marketing. Even I have some reservations about how Amway has been run in the past by the leaders. But it is only fair to mention the positives as well.

  10. I know of much stronger words than “psychopaths” that would fit the behavior of some critics. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  11. I don’t think “psychopath” is the best description of these people. I think we would agree that the MLM industry has it’s flaws, primarily the distributors who make up the sales force. Sometimes there is truth in what the critics say. However, the critics often don’t recognize the things that the MLM industry does right. They take an unbalanced view and inflate problems. And they may have an ax to grind, and may enjoy certain benefits from their hobby as MLM critics. I could be wrong, but I think that “psychopath” is too strong of a word here.

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