The Internet War Against Amway Part II

Read part I first – The Internet War Against Amway

The Internet War Against Amway is not a traditional war with General’s directing units to attack our weaknesses (at least I don’t think so!). The war is more like the kind of “war” some religious or political fundamentalists wage. There is a relatively small number of people who believe they know “the truth” and they are obsessed with spreading this “truth” and “saving” people – and they don’t care about any innocent folk who might be hurt in the process, or the possibility that they themselves may be wrong.

Governments and their agencies such as the FTC, judges, sporting superstars, actors. and their managers, top companies and their leaders and lawyers, the UN, UNICEF, historians, business academics etc etc … thousands of these professionals have invested time and money investigating Amway – and decided to support the company. The anti-Amway obsessives however believe that these people have also somehow been duped. They believe that both Republican and Democrat adminstrations in the United States, as well as governments of a multitude of political hues around the world, have either been “bought” or duped for nearly 50 years. It’s ironic that these anti-Amway … dare I say it … “cultists” believe that they alone have “the truth” and they are “saving” people from “evil” by “spreading the word” – yet one of their charges is that Amway is a cult!


A good example of the activities of one of these anti-amway cultists has occurred in the last few days on probably the most visited web page about Amway after Amway.comWikipedia’s Amway article. Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, an open Wiki (a similar open Wiki dedicated to Amway is at Not ony is Wikipedia the second most visited site for Amway searches, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer 55% of young American’s consider it “very credible” or “extremely credible”. This is well over double the trust put in corporate advertising and nearly 20% higher than the trust put in  company websites. Only business magazines are trusted more.

The Amway wikipedia article is in my opinion quite heavily biased against the Amway business. At least 3/4 of the article refers to criticism of the business. There is no mention of the number of people it has helped around the world go into business for themselves. There is no mention of the Amway One by One program for children. No mention of sporting sponsorships. No mention of the UNESCO TransPolar model, or support for the Genoa World Expo. There’s no mention of the many awards it’s products have won and only one line referring to Amway’s well known environmental activism and UN award. There’s not even any mention of Alticor’s 2005 award for Corporate Citizenship.

Why so little positive? Well, one reason is Wikipedia’s “Conflict of Interest “, which recommends against anyone with any connection with a company from directly editing articles related to that company. Due to Amway’s business model, this means that not only should Amway employees avoid editing the article, but that by far the majority of people who support Amway, it’s affiliated business owners around the world, are not “allowed” to directly edit the article. Members of the anti-Amway cult are however free to edit as much as they please, and in my opinion they get much greater latitude when they do so. I experienced this last year when I spent several months trying to get some semblance of balance to the Quixtar article. Virtually every one of my edits was challenged, I was threatened with “banning” because I was an IBO, and thus had a financial interest in the company. Eventually I ended up in “mediation” with another editor, a Wikipedia admin no less, who continuously challenged my edits and yet let most criticisms through, usually without question. I argued, and continue to argue, that my “conflict of interest” edits on Wikipedia are covered under Wikipedia’s “Ignore All Rules ” rule, which states –

“If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it.”

The whole process was absolutely exhausting, both in the time it took and the emotional toll of having to battle against even the most innocuous and well supported edits. A number of well-known critics from QuixtarBlog jumped into the fray to attack me, making it even more difficult. The english language Wikipedia articles on Amway and Quixtar typically get well over a thousand visits a day each – why isn’t Amway in there addressing it? Why aren’t IBO leaders? Even without the “ignore all rules” rule, even Amway corporate staff and consultants may recommend changes and back them up on the “Talk” pages, and, if necessary, take issues into mediation and arbitration to get fixed – but it’s not happening! At least 30,000 people are month are getting their education about Amway from Wikipedia, and research indicates most of them may believe it.

But what of the members of the anti-amway cult? Well, for much of this week, the article was even more negative than usual. An editor going by the name of “Eric Arthur B” has been making wholesale additions to the article (they continue as I’m writing this), including personal attacks against me. The changes have violated numerous Wikipedia guidelines such as “No Original Research“, and to write in a manner of  “Neutral Point Of View ” – ie, no blatantly biased editing promoting one perspective. To give you and idea of what “Eric Arthur B” has been saying, here’s one example –

On examination of the published evidence recovered by the 197s FTC investigation, it is impossible to arrive at any other conclusion other than ‘Amway’ was an unviable, centrally-controlled system of economic exchange without a consistent source of external revenue where the overwhelming majority of contributing participants were not receiving an overall material benefit. However, the 1979 FTC ruling failed to identify this situation in accurate deconstructed terms. ‘Amway’s’ owners were, thus, caught running a mathematically impossible scheme designed to be beyond the understanding of both victims and regulators. The company was given a derisory financial penalty and allowed to remain registered in the USA when its owners promised to stop fixing prices and to enforce their own rule whereby each commission agent would have to sell at least 70% value of products on to genuine retail customers or retain at least 1 genuine retail customers.

Not only is this blatantly not NPOV editing, it’s also outright false. For a start, the author isn’t even remotely accurate about the FTC findings and the “70% rule”. I recommend you read MYTH: 70% Retail Sales Rule for an explanation of this piece of dishonesty, a common one spread by members of the anti-amway cult.

Eric Arthur B did make one error not in his favour during these edits – and that was at one stage to forget to “login” to Wikipedia to make his edits. When you do that, Wikipedia instead logs your edits under the IP address of the connection you are using. A quick check of that IP’s location (Paris), confirmed what I already suspected – Eric Arthur B is almost certainly a well known member of the anti-amway cult (wikipedia guidelines prevent me naming him) who has spent more than a decade attacking Amway on the Internet, as well as heavily lobbying organisations such as the DTI/BERR in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

Perhaps of more concern than the biased editing, and the several thousand readers who have read it and probably believed it, is the almost complete lack of anyone challenging them. One user, Knervma (a critic), did write a note on Eric Arthur B’s talk page recommending he read the “No Original Research” rule, but the edits remained. Indeed a few other editors did some clean up of the text, leaving them essentially intact. By contrast, back in April I added the following text to the article, in order to provide some “balance” to the cult claims of Rick Ross and Steven Hassan –

Author and behavioural scientist Shad Helmstetter spent five years in the 199s researching Amway. In his book ”American Victory: The Real Story of Today’s Amway”, Helmstetter stated ”Working in the field of human behavior, I’ve studied the cults for many years. The Amway business is the opposite of cult psychology.”” With regard to other allegations of Amway being a cult, he replied in an interview “The old myth that Amway is a cult is supported only by people who are either misinformed or uninformed. I would like to examine their research.”

This edit was challenged by numerous editors, including a wikipedia administrator. It was claimed Helmstetter is paid by Amway (he’s not). His PhD qualifications were challenged, with editors claiming the University he claimed to attend did not exist or was a degree mill (I researched it and confirmed he had a legitimate PhD). Finally, the edit was challenged because Helmstetter wasn’t an expert on “cults” but Hassan and Ross are considered to be. Pointing out that neither Ross nor Hassan has done any direct research into Amway, and as such were by no means experts on Amway was dismissed. The only way that text was going to be allowed was if I again went to mediation. Hassan and Ross’s claims Amway is a cult remain in Wikipedia, unchallenged. I haven’t had the energy to pursue it further.

Why is there this bias against Amway, even amongst wikipedia administrators? In my opinion it’s been a self-reinforcing cycle. Wikipedia admins are by their very nature very internet savvy. Where do they get their education? The internet. What does the Internet say about Amway? Well .. you already know the answer to that. This “cycle” has also been evidenced in other areas. DMOZ, a large internet directory owned by AOL and used by Google, Yahoo and others in helping evaluate the importance of websites, refuses, apart from a handful of corporate sites, to list any websites supportive of Amway, including Amway Wiki , Amway Watch , and this site, The Truth About Amway. In contrast, they have an entire section devoted to “opposing views”. Several months ago, major blog host WordPress deleted a blog started by a UK ABO to discuss the developments in BERR vs Amway UK. Their reason? They don’t allow blogs that are supportive of MLM. Of course blogs like “Quixtar is a cult”, complete with posts and images aligning Quixtar with the Nazi’s, are perfectly acceptable.

Where did the DMOZ editors and WordPress administrators get their education about Amway and MLM? The internet.

Wikipedia is a highly popular resource, considered a credible source of information by most people. In the 2 or 3 years I’ve been monitoring the Amway related articles (an easy thing to do), I’ve never seen a single thing challenged or a change recommended by a representative of either Amway or IBO leaders and organisations. Indeed I’ve seen almost no effort by rank-and-file IBOs either. I left Eric Arthur B.’s edits on Wikipedia for several days to see what would happen. No response from Amway or anyone else defending Amway. There is nothing in Wikipedia rules stopping this, though there may be some hoops to jump through (such as submitting all changes via “talk”) but surely the investment needed to fund someone to do this would be a fraction of the cost of even one part of the current “reputation” initiatives, with potentially greater return?

A few thousand people, every day, read wikipedia articles on Amway and Quixtar, and they believe them. In the last month perhaps millions of people have been exposed to the “Now You Know” campaign. Some of them were intrigued and would have done a perfectly sensible thing in the 21st century – hopped on the internet to research further. With a somewhat skeptical view of the corporate ad, they would have googled and visited the company website – again with skepticism. Then tens of thousands of them, perhaps hundreds of thousands, visited Wikipedia, a source they probably trust far more than the company website and company ads. Then amquix, and alticor/amway/quixtar sucks etc etc etc ….

For them, the millions spent on “Now You Know” didn’t improve Amway’s reputation – it damaged it further. The anti-amway cultists won another skirmish, and little effort was made to stop them. How many honest, professional, hardworking Amway Business Owner’s were hurt?

Comment below or Discuss this post on Amway Talk

139 thoughts on “The Internet War Against Amway Part II”

  1. BTW Visioneer,

    You may want to pick a different link off your name than the IBOAI blog.

    IBOFB, in spite of not agreeing with him at all about Amway, allows opposing views to be seen by everyone.

    Not by the IBOAI.

    Why do you suppose that is?

  2. Gee, who saw that coming?

    Another person in Amway twisting words around.

    You always hear about it but can never expect to see it coming when it happens to you…..

  3. No change of heart, I’m just not about to go searching for answers about you.

    You don’t want to answer to me, and I certainly don’t feel any obligation to answer to you.

    The fact that you won’t share with me what is already on the internet somewhere tells me that you really aren’t interested in open and frank discussion. That’s my perception of what you are saying. Sorry if it’s wrong.

    Obviously you aren’t comfortable doing that, so I’m not going to go back and forth in a useless endeavor.

    Take Care.

  4. rocket said:
    Aug 21st, 2008 at 5:13 pm
    Bridgett. I’d be happy to have a dialog with you.

    I would also be happy to answer any questions of yours about my Amway experience.

    What I would ask in return is frank and fulsome answers about your business (not money specific).

    I have done interviews on my blog with an ex-IBO before, and would never post or publish anything without your consent.

    I leave it wide open to you and anyone else here who wants to put it all out there.

    I’ll be the first to say that you most likely won’t change my mind about the inner workings of Amway or the opportunity, but it may help me better appreciate your perspective.

    Why the change of heart rocket?

  5. This is coming from a guy who infers that from 1991 to 2000 is a short period of time to support his claim that they were making dishonest income representations.

    Furthermore, whether it happened now or 20 years ago, I’ve been to a few functions within the past year. It’s still the same.

    Bridgett, not interested in conversing with you.

  6. Since Rocket seems to have a poor memory, I’ll help him out. On another thread he’s talking about things that happened when Don Wilson was EDC and the Crawfords Diamond. Wilson qualified EDC in 1993 and Double Diamond in 1998. The Crawford’s qualified Diamond in 1991 and EDC in 2000.

    In other words, everything he’s talking about is from 10 to 15 years ago (!!), in a group that doesn’t even exist any more (True North) and about folk that aren’t even part of Amway any more

  7. Well, I guess I have a bad memory because I honestly and genuinely don’t KNOW anything about your business. I have no idea what level you are at, how long you’ve been in, how often you travel to functions, etc…

  8. rocket,

    You know nothing about my business? Really? Hmmm.

    Seems like we’ve “dialogued” on Opportunity Zone on several occasions since June 2007, regarding my business.

    You know nothing about my business?

    And I do not seem to recall one peep out of you regarding your past Quixtar business.

    Come on rocket, for a third time:

    When did you register as an IBO?

    How long were you an IBO?

    When did you quit?

  9. rocket,

    I’m asking you three simple questions.

    No need for dialogue. We’ve had our fair share of dialogue over the last fourteen months since I’ve been online.

    You know about me and my business.

    I know zilch about you or your business.

    Everyone knows my identity, my husband’s identity, my kids identity. My life is an open book. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

    You however…well, all I’m asking is three simple questions.

    Don’t need to know your whole Amway/Quixtar story.


    When did you register as an IBO?

    How long were you an IBO?

    When did you quit?

  10. Bridgett. I’d be happy to have a dialog with you.

    I would also be happy to answer any questions of yours about my Amway experience.

    What I would ask in return is frank and fulsome answers about your business (not money specific).

    I have done interviews on my blog with an ex-IBO before, and would never post or publish anything without your consent.

    I leave it wide open to you and anyone else here who wants to put it all out there.

    I’ll be the first to say that you most likely won’t change my mind about the inner workings of Amway or the opportunity, but it may help me better appreciate your perspective.

  11. No, I’m not willing to try to convince people who clearly have something to gain by promoting the products as superior and competitive.

    I don’t know how you all have time to convince people about how great the products/prices are AND debate with me about why it is so.

    IBOFB, what is your pin level? visioneer, same question.

    b, I never even read past the second sentence. I have no desire to start another person on the defense mode who cannot even create sentences properly.

  12. Rocket said, “Sure some of the “core” products may be close under certain conditions, I’ll grant that, although I don’t believe it. I’m just not willing to hack away too prove my point.”

    The bottom line is, no matter what the facts are about pricing on the products, rocket won’t believe it anyway. Like I said earlier, a skeptical person just wants his questions answered. A negative person doesn’t care about the answer or the facts, all he wants is to do is discredit and cast doubt on Amway Global.

    He’s just another negative/destructive critic, trying to appear like he’s an “expert”.

  13. you say there products are cheap and over priced so your saying walmart has good none cheap products and more business should do the walmart motto which from a spokes men said for the company our production shops are better then the other sweat shops so more business should should have then kind of shops so you can have a better deal if i have to pay more to buy a product made in the usa i will cause at least i know that it didnt come from a child forced into labor like walmarts business plan might be good for business but its bad for humanity so since you are with walmart and think thats better way to go then this company( which i am not a part of well at least no yet and the more dirt i try and find about this company i finding more people like you who really i dont think you know what your talking about all i will say is i tried the water and its amazing it and so far nothing is on that lvl i think in the very near future business with the walmart motto are all gonna fade away and the internet will rule the sales world and you say oh it cost for shipping so does all shipping from most companys guess what to go to a store you have to spend gas so what ever walmart makes money by hurting people and it seems this company only wants to help
    but your like no its bad they cant help no no no walmart can help its better like i said i am not in this company but i will say the products look good and the water is amazing

  14. “Of course there’s many people who have that view of the prices. Nobody here ever denied that.”

    No, but you belittle people’s intellect who don’t agree with that particular outlook. That’s almost the same thing as denying it.

  15. And if people spent the amount of time required to “show” people the prices are good value, then the vast riches purported in “Profiles of Success” would simply not be achievable through the movement of products at retail through your business.

    If it’s your job to show people they are good value, good luck.

    It does, however, justify your lack of success.

    That and after about 5 minutes of listening to your know it all attitude, people would likely be more inclined to smack you across your arrogant face than buy overpriced vitamins from you.

  16. Of course there’s many people who have that view of the prices. Nobody here ever denied that. However – (a) you don’t need that much marketshare to make decent money and (b) it’s our job to show people that they’re good value. If it was obvious then they would indeed be better off stacked on a shelf at Walgreens.

  17. And if you are so incredibly arrogant to believe that your opinions are right simply because you stand to gain monetarily by trumpeting said opinion from whatever soapbox presents itself….

    Well that says more about YOU than anybody else.

    There are many more people who view your prices like me than any of you folks care to admit, that’s all.

  18. Fine. That’s your opinion Rocket, and there’s an easy solution for you – don’t buy them. Buy something else. Gee, that was easy wasn’t it?

    If you are so incredibly arrogant as to believe that everyone has the same tastes and opinions as you – well, that says a lot more about you than anyone else.

  19. I know the difference between value and cheap.

    Your products haven’t demonstrated the value which would justify their (much) higher price to me, and many others.

    Good way to move product, by the way. Call people who don’t see the value cheap, and imply ignorance.

    You guys should take this show on the road. It’s a lotta laughs!

  20. i think that guy would just rather buy a Hyundai and eat on the dollar menu cause its cheaper and cost lest then an apple.

  21. Maybe Rocket just can’t understand the difference between value product pricing and premium product pricing.

    Artistry competes in the prestige brand of cosmetics. This is like the Mercedes of the industry. You can’t go to a Mercedes dealer and tell them, “you’re products are over-priced because I can go to Toyota and get the same thing for $30,000 less.” They would tell you the reasons why a Mercedes costs more than Toyota.
    It’s a good thing with Artistry and especially Artistry Essentials, we have a Mercedes product that’s priced more like a Toyota.
    By the way, there are a several lines of skin care and cosmetics that are extremely high in pricing. Much higher than Artistry! Are you calling those products a ripoff too? Are you calling Rolls Royce, Maybach, Cadillac, Lexus, and Infinity, over-priced?

    Have you ever noticed that Verizon Wireless plans are higher than T-Mobile’s plans? Are you saying that Verizon is over-priced? Or maybe they believe they have certain benefits that T-Mobile doesn’t have so they can charge more?

  22. I think was Rocket is trying to say here is this: He believes people are buying their pins with stuff they don’t need.

    Typical critic bunk. As for the last question, I have no idea what he is saying there. I can’t even begin to comprehend the point of that line of gibberish.

  23. Plenty of ABO’s willing to pay because they think it will make them rich/free/successful.

    There’s a difference between buying it because you need it, or buying it because you need to in order to become successful….

    Doesn’t happen? It certainly does in North America.

    Just because you pick a competition that has an even higher price as competition, doesn’t make it so.

  24. #1 in nutritional products
    #2 in prestige cosmetics
    $7.1 billion in sales

    Apparently there’s plenty of people willing to pay. And AGAIN (how often do I have to point it out) – Artistry is clearly CHEAPER than the competition.

    ABOs that quit seem to complain about the price of things like the toilet paper and diapers. That may be to do with where their heads are stuck because Amway is not in the toilet paper and diaper business, and neither are Amway business owners.

  25. The prices are by and large, more than people are willing to pay.

    Sure some of the “core” products may be close under certain conditions, I’ll grant that, although I don’t believe it. I’m just not willing to hack away too prove my point. My approach has always been how a potential customer would view it. They’re higher. The farmed out products are even worse. Yes, over $75.00 is free shipping. To me, that’s just set up so people will buy a minimum.

    You guys have whine and moan about how people just don’t get it, that’s fine, I care not a fiddler’s fart.

    If that’s the case, why aren’t you guys showing the price lists at the opportunity showings?

    The simple fact is, as unfortunate as it may be, most people think bottom line. People don’t want to listen to a silly demonstration about why your window cleaner is superior, and why your laundry detergent is far more economical.

    That’s fantastic you folks think this is the ticket to freedom and a better life.

    I have just seen FAR more people lose money and become disenchanted with MLM BECAUSE of Amway than successes.

    It’s not the best way to make money, that’s all.

    The internet can quickly answer questions for prospects, and the growth in NA over the past 7 years clearly reflects that.

    Major ABO’s that quit are very quick to point out that the products are hopelessly overpriced.

    Those are the first truths I’ve heard from many of them.

  26. All of this back and forth banter about prices??? Sad really. People are obviously willing to pay the suggested retail price, or there wouldn’t even be 5% in retail sales. Its not my fault people are cheap. But since this is a marketing business, strategies are under way to cater to everyone.

    But the bigger issue than the price has been the self-consumption model that so many IBOs have followed for years. Focusing on minimal retail sales, and in some cases, none at all. An OK model, but one that needs changing. The transformation is going to bring things back to more of a balance.

    With all the new products geared towards retailing, the training (, the advertising, promotion events, ie SpotLight, that 5% is going to go up in a big way. The only problem is people will have to find something else to complain about. (But I’m sure they’ll find something)

  27. Why is it so hard for some people to understand that Amway is totally and completely 100% not interested in having the Wal-Mart business model?

    Why its it even more challenging for some to understand that there are other viable business models than the “stack it deep and sell it cheap” one?

    Why is it the most challenging for some to understand that there are people, like me and my FULL-RETAIL paying customers, who are grateful that there are alternative products to crappy $1 a bottle shampoos, synthetic supplements, laundry soaps with zeolite, and wax-filled cosmetics?


    Good thing there are a few HUNDRED MILLION other people I can talk to about my products and this business opportunity in North America alone.


  28. Rocket,

    Let’s take a look at where people from the first ten years might be. Supposing they were in their 20′ or 30’s when they started, that would put them in their 70’s or 80’s now.

    I think it would be safe to say they are retired or dead.

    Hope that answers your question. Now go play on your boat. Probably a dingy, to match the size of your brain, Mr Wizard!


  29. IBOFB,

    Roacket said “yap, yap, yap” I think that describes him exactly as he just goes on and on…. continuing to open his mouth and remove all doubt.

  30. Rocket, ummm … yeah, $4.5billion at estimated retail, which is $3.4billion in revenues – exactly as I reported. Did you have a point or just feel the need to open your mouth and remove all doubt?

  31. By the way:

    In 1993, Amway reported estimated retail sales of $4.5 billion, which according to your Amway Wiki is about 32% more than the volume.

    Wrong again.

    Too bad, an idiot may be impressed with you and your “facts”

    How much of those billions do you claim, incidentally?

    Thought so. yap yap yap.

  32. By the way, anything to do with Amway couldn’t really be called a bastion of stability.

    50+ years or not. How many are left from the first 10 years?

  33. The products are overpriced and of poor value, therefore:

    “……so you won’t find Amway publishing prices online”

    Nice way of saying that they wait until you’re hyped before presenting the truth.

  34. Ahem. Your site is now listed, after some internal discussion at DMOZ, along with the corporate sites. We’ll see whether it stays. If _you_ suggest the other sites you mentioned there, they’ll be given due consideration.

    Of course, there could always be a change of plan. DMOZ is a little more stable than Wikipedia, but I couldn’t really call it a bastion of stability.

  35. Hi Pasi,

    That depends where you are in the world! Recommended prices and products available differ from country to country. In most places if you’re wanting to purchase as a customer the final price is set by the Amway Business Owner you are purchasing the products off, so you won’t find Amway publishing prices online. In fact back in the 1970s Amway got in trouble in the US for trying to get Amway reps to sell at the same price.

    Your best bet is to talk to whoever introduced you to Amway products. They’ll have access to both business-owner pricing as well as the recommended retail prices for your country, plus, and *very* importantly, they or someone they know will be able to explain “the story” behind various products. The LOC and SA8 ranges for example look expensive at first glance, but once you understand the level of concentration you’ll usually find them A LOT cheaper per use. Throw in the health and environment benefits and they’re great value.

    Folk like Rocket above prefer to ignore stuff like that.

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