Tape Recording Income Claims
Note-taking by IBOs was a common occurrence at weekly Rhino sessions, monthly Opens, and Major Functions. Many, including myself, furiously wrote down every key point a speaker would say on stage. Other people used tape recorders to capture a Diamond’s Nuts and Bolts presentation or a Diamond couple’s life story. A handful of times during an Open or Function, I heard that the speaker was cutting a new tape that would soon be on Standing Order (SOT). Sure enough, a few months later, the tape would arrive in the mail for IBOs’ listening pleasure:
- What Do They Know?: Tim and Lisa Leets (U-T053)
- Dreams in the Attic: Craig Holiday (C-T3124)
- Quitting Is Not An Option: ??? Alexander (C-T3096)
- Are You Stepping Up?: Nick Carbonaro (C-T3142)
- Stretch Your Dream: Clarke Broome (C-T3141)
Note: If you opened the plastic wrapping, you could not return it to your upline Diamond for a refund.
Critics have pointed out that they heard a speaker say from stage some ridiculous lifestyle claim only to be challenged by a supporter to come up with the exact tape, CD or MP3 with that sound bite. Unfortunately, most critics toss out their tools the minute they decide to leave the business. They do this because they are so fed up with their experience that they want nothing from the business to be within their sight. Additionally, critics have little desire to pay even $1 for boatloads of tools that might have cost thousands of dollars new.
Memory can be a tricky thing. There are things that I remember like they were yesterday, and there are events that I can barely recall. With all of the sound editing done today to produce a tape, it’s very likely that the proof no longer exists; it was wiped out with the click of the mouse when producing next month’s SOT. Thus, it would be very interesting to be able to compare the audio from the actual Open with what was eventually recorded onto the SOT.
One of my favorite tapes when I was an IBO was Second Wind (C-T6002) by then-Emerald Jeff Applebaum. Near the end of his Emerald Life story, he described how he paid cash for his red Lexus SC400 (or SC300). Now, a luxury car is still nowhere in the price range of a jet or yacht, but it’s still a significant cash-only purchase! A Lexus SC400 brand-new in 1997 cost over $50,000.
I’m not singling out Applebaum as a bad guy here — he says on the tape that he was sick of driving around in a junky old car and wanted to buy the Lexus as a reward for hitting a new pin level. Personally, I would like to believe that he had the money to pay cash for the car. I am just pointing out that these types of purchasing claims were made at the Emerald level. Imagine what types of claims were (and still are) made at the Diamond and above level!
Between 1997 and 1999, IBOs were taught to say that an average Emerald made $75,000 a year and a Diamond would average $150,000 a year. Assume for a moment that Applebaum was not an average Emerald but an exceptional one making near Diamond income of $150,000. That’s still 1/3 of his annual Amway income for a car! Of course, Applebaum was still working at his engineering job in the San Francisco Bay Area and could easily have been making additional income through tools and speaking appearances — assuming INA Leader Jim Floor so ordained1.
All said, just because I feel Applebaum was able to pay cash for his car does not mean that every Diamond says and does the same. I have no doubt that some critics have heard some pretty ridiculous income claims from System leaders on stage.
People get into the Amway business for many reasons. One reason is money, and a great way to show how much money can be made in the business is to cart out out expensive objects: cars, boats, planes, jewelry and homes. These are tangible things that IBOs can relate to and wish for2.
Critics like to point out when Diamonds fall into foreclosure and lose their dream homes. They do it not because they are vindictive sore losers; they do it because they were hurt by the lies of these Diamonds and don’t want other people to experience the same thing that they went through.
I ask former IBOs and current ones the following questions:
- How realistic are the Diamond lifestyles being portrayed on stage?
- Time has shown that a number of them are not representative of reality. What happened to them and why?
- What else might be exaggerated on stage?
- Why do some Diamonds feel the need to embellish their lifestyles to IBOs?
Update August 25, 13:49: Joecool has posted his thoughts on the cash-only claims from Amway leaders.
1 The Christian, ultra right-wing ideologies of INA Leader Jim Floor will be a topic for a future post.
2 Those that aren’t motivated by material things might like to hear the stories of how a Diamond relationship is better than ever or that the couple has time to spend with their family. This post is not directed at those people.