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Closing Out The Year

December 31, 2009

It’s the end of year, end of the decade. Ten years ago, I made the decision to quietly walk away from the Amway business. I returned to the debate a few years ago when I discovered a friend was in Amway/Quixtar. I wanted to learn whether or not the tactics and practices used by INA — my Amway Motivational Organization (AMO) — were being used by his, BWW. I quickly learned that many of the abuses I saw firsthand were still going on today. Despite some lip service and action by the Amway Corporation to curb these problems, it’s evident that there’s still much to do with cleaning up the wreckage AMOs have wrought over the past several decades.

It was during this time that I discovered MonaVie and its cadre of motivational organizations, led by ex-Amway distributors, Orrin Woodward of TEAM and Brig Hart of R3Global. In many respects, I feel MonaVie is worse than Amway. With Amway, at least some of the products are useful, albeit high-priced. MonaVie’s juice products are of dubious value and are extremely expensive. There also appears to be little in the way of checks and balances within MonaVie motivational organizations with regards to religious, political, and social sensitivity. Amway has instituted an accreditation program for training organizations, though it’s debatable whether or not it has significantly curbed on-stage religious and political sermonizing.

One day, I’d like to put this experience in the good riddance pile and not look back. I recognize, however, that many people are still being hurt today by unscrupulous individuals looking to line their pockets with the dreams and dollars of their downline. And so, I’ll keep writing and pointing out how all that glitters is not always gold with these MLM motivational organizations and their leaders.

Thank you for reading my blog posts over the years. Drop me a note in the comments section and see you all in 2010 and beyond!

Note: I’ve changed the theme for this site. You can now see the top posts and recent comments in the right-hand sidebar.

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. Candace permalink
    December 31, 2009 7:52 am

    As a reader of your site for quite some time now, I want to thank you for your diligence in fighting the good fight.You cannot know how many people you have helped and how many families you have kept from being laid to waste by “the system”. There are 4 sites I refer to people who are “looking into” Amway or MonaVie, and this is one of them.

    Happy New Year!

  2. December 31, 2009 10:57 am

    Candace – Thanks for your comments here and on LM’s site. I hope we’re doing our part to show people the other side of the plan. If they ultimately decide to pursue the business, it’s with full knowledge of what often occurs within these MLM Systems. They can’t say we didn’t warn them. Happy New Year to you too!

  3. December 31, 2009 2:54 pm

    Amthrax,

    The world needs more people like you who are willing to pull the covers off the likes of Amway and Monavie. qiac

  4. Burned Out with Mona Vie permalink
    December 31, 2009 5:57 pm

    Just wanted to thank you for this site and the real world MLM truth it brings to all, I did Amway back in the early ’80’s and swore I would never do another network again, don’t get me wrong I just order some SA8 yesterday, they changed the packaging, from the Amway home page. As for Mona Vie, the product is grossly over priced, the real world health benefits are very arguable, the R3Global cult Brig created quite frankly scares the hell out of me due to the religious fanaticism, better not do any Peoples Temple or Heavens Gate quips for now. What really burns me is the top guns in Mona Vie (Less than 1%, ref the Mona Vie IDS) in it are making a killing at the expense of the gullible uninformed masses in their down lines who will buy anything they pitch, I don’t really think anyone else is making much over minimum wage if the will ever really admit it.

    At any rate, Happy New Year To All and Thanks Again for the site

  5. Major Dave Stoner permalink
    January 1, 2010 8:51 am

    I just want to thank you Amthrax for helping people see the light. I support what you are doing 100% and as long as Orrin and Dallin are still around someone has to expose these liars. I recently heard from a old TEAM that our group TEAM Results on the verge of a total collapse:) TEAM reminds me of Germany in the final days of WWII. Defections and propaganda seem to be the order of the day. Only the most fanatical will remain(ie Waffen SS & Hitler Youth). Maybe the remaining Kingpins will escape to South America and try to rebuild their shattered teams. One can only hope. Peace Out.

  6. January 1, 2010 10:20 am

    Thanks for the comments, MDS. Do you have any more information about your former group? What’s the primary reason for being on the verge of collapse? Is it just general attrition, the effects of the economy (vis-a-vis tool and product prices), or are people wising up to the disconnect between what the TEAM leaders say and do?

  7. January 1, 2010 10:21 am

    All the best to you Amthrax! May 2010 bring you peace and joy to you and yours.

  8. January 1, 2010 10:23 am

    Thanks! And congratulations on the birth of your mini-Rocket!

  9. January 1, 2010 10:25 am

    I hope to write more posts about R3Global in the future. From my initial observations, the group seems worse from a religious perspective than my former group ever was.

  10. January 1, 2010 10:30 am

    Yes! Thank! The Pocket Rocket is doing well and growing!

  11. John Morgan permalink
    January 1, 2010 8:14 pm

    I just received notice that Robert Dickie III has resigned as CEO of the TEAM.

  12. January 1, 2010 9:02 pm

    He did write a post back in October, 2009, where he said he was resigning from TEAM. What else was said in this notice, and why did you receive it just now? The timing seems odd, unless the resignation wasn’t communicated to the rest of TEAM earlier this year.

  13. Major Dave Stoner permalink
    January 2, 2010 10:14 am

    Amthrax, from what I can tell nobody is making money selling Monavie. I’ve been told of families breaking up because one spouse is “not on board”. What the hell is that all worth? I can tell you that John and Melanie were one of our uplines but they left. There are leaders from the Milwaukee area and Green Bay area that have left. I have seen people with huge teams that are destroyed overnight because they have felt betrayed or lied to. I know a person who has gone through three teams, all which collapsed, only to be told to keep building. This person was on the brink of losing everything because he would not give up TEAM. Again, what the hell is that all worth?
    I think anyone who quits TEAM is a winner, its all a big lie anyways.

  14. Burned Out with Mona Vie permalink
    January 3, 2010 1:07 pm

    I have heard many similar stories about MV and many other MLM’s, the only pearls of wisdom the higher ups in theses things seem to preach is to “keep on autoship”, “keep prospecting your warm market”, “keep building your business and buying your sales tools from me” and it will happen for you. I guess building real websites with real domain names and capture pages, other than the junk self replicating websites most MLM companies push compete too much with the top gun’s cold market leads. I just would like to find one MLM, other than the Trump one I’m in now, that put’s a lid on all religious hype and lame training methods that fail so badly in the real world. Yes it’s important to work the warm market for the first week or two, well maybe three if you know 100’s of people, after that most folks get frustrated if they do not have their cold market going and keep pushing the products and opportunity off on their friends and family, who are ready to run away screaming into the night. “No” and “not interested” should mean “leave me alone”, not keep bugging me until “I sign up just to shut you up”. I always thought that was the real tragedy in the MLM concept.

  15. Outside Looking in permalink
    January 3, 2010 2:25 pm

    I posted this on another comment today but this seems to be as good a place to post as well.

    According to a friend of mine who works at the TEAM home office, there are several “big leaders” who have filed for bankruptcy. By big, I’m talking about what OW and CB tagged as his Round Table members. Also, the members of the home office are being told that Bob Dickie did not resign but that he was let go. This is a complete and utter lie, but not surprising as the resignation makes OW look bad.

    But, the big news is that there is soon to be an other class action law suit coming down. This may put the proverbial nail in the coffin of TEAM

  16. January 4, 2010 9:47 am

    Amthrax,

    As you know, I stand on the other side of the fence defending the people in networking against the ever-almighty Anti-MonaVie/Amway kingpins, and I would like to say Thanks for maintaining your website.

    While it certainly contains information that would hurt my business, and even misinformation (mostly from the anonymous comments), its value lies in its very existence and of course, your humour posts.

    Having critics and opponents keep us leaders on our toes and remind us that serving our teams (our ccustomers) right is of utmost importance, as “negative” word of mouth can spread even faster than positive word of mouth.

    As for your “GI Joe” posts, do keep them coming! I enjoy them the most and you will surely agree that a community that can look at itself and laugh about it is a mature and solid civilisation indeed. By the way, that is truly what I believe TEAM is going to be – a mature and solid worldwide organisation, served by leaders with a genuine heart for the people, refined by years of pruning and fire.

    Although I am seldom religious, I do notice that the non-Christians/less religious readers of this blog seem to have a problem with leaders such as Brig Hart who shares his faith in Jesus Christ during a MonaVie event. Is this a symptom of the post-Christian Western/American generation?

    Christians are praying hard for revival around the world, and I am sure they would be thrilled to see the Holy Spirit touching lives everywhere – including during a MonaVie meeting. (I know this statement sounds damning to the irreligious and purists, but any moderate Christian should find it OK.)

    Thanks again for your years of posting!

    God Bless You,

    Rykel

  17. January 4, 2010 12:03 pm

    Preaching religion from stage at a business seminar has the undesired effect of completely turning off those non-religious individuals whom you are trying to teach. You can keep the optional Sunday service, but it’s good business practice to leave religion out of the rest. People originally signed up to make money in these businesses, not go to church more days out of the week.

  18. Joecool permalink
    January 4, 2010 3:23 pm

    The religion is also used as a front. The upline will say look at me. I am doing God’s work, I have high moral standards, Amway saves marriages, God like s Amway. They use it as a front to make the business look attractive. It is why some of the diamonds now look stupid when they get into bankruptcy, divorce, etc. Maybe God wanted a triple diamond to go bankrupt to expose the fraud?

  19. Burned Out with Mona Vie permalink
    January 4, 2010 4:18 pm

    Totally agree, nothing wrong with being a Christian and peacefully professing your faith, or a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Tao or any other main stream following that worships God in your own way that is right for you, if I remember correctly the US Constitution make provisions for this, however when it takes on a cult like aura where the leaders are using religion to sell something that they are making a fortune on, well friends that is where it is wrong, wrong, wrong. I was raised Catholic and my mother was so devout I seriously still think she ever forgave the church for Vatican 2 (Only Catholics over 65 and member of the clergy will probably understand this one) so the Evangelical gyrations I witnessed at these R3Global functions with people falling down and rolling around on the floor laughing hysterically quite frankly frightened me.

  20. January 4, 2010 8:25 pm

    I appreciate the notes by Amthrax, Joecool and BOWM and I ask for your forgiveness that I do not know about the AMOUNT of religiosity in a R3Global or other AmwayMO USA seminars (falling down and rolling around on the floor laughing hysterically??) although TEAM functions are NOT particularly so.

    In fact, in Asia, the meetings are anything BUT religious – the speakers are oftentimes of a NON-Christian faith. I believe that I am quite correct to say that a kind Christian would wish that God would somehow “use” the Amway/System meetings in Asia to influence people towards Christ (ie. allow a bit of preaching), if it is possible.

    But forget it, you will be kicked out of the country or locked up for interrogation if you even dare to as much as touch on the religion topic! Welcome to the 10/40 window, where Christians are hardly ever the majority. 🙂

    Speaking of the Holy Spirit using meetings to impress His message upon the hearts of the listeners, we had 5 Buddhists attending the TEAM Sunday Service and at least 2 of them are now investigating the faith. One of them is going through some Alpha Course to be followed by the RCIA (?) to convert to become a Catholic no less!

    Their rational is that the God that Orrin serves seems to be so much bigger (they saw the numbers) that they decided to be more open about it. They also respect Orrin enough to concede that he might have a great religion behind him – and hence worth checking it out.

    Again, like I mentioned before, these words would sound outrageous to the purists, irreligious and non-Christians, but to the moderate Christians, it sincerely sounds like God is touching hearts and changing lives in all the unexpected places! (finding God in a TEAM function?? Who would ever believe in THAT??)

    Gotta go, I am enjoying this chat… hope you guys are too! brb

    God Bless You,

    Rykel

  21. January 4, 2010 8:32 pm

    If that is such an integral part of TEAM, then maybe just admit it up front.

    Let people choose knowing everything, not just what Orrin thinks they should hear.

    Orrin isn’t a leader by the way.

    He really isn’t.

  22. January 4, 2010 10:48 pm

    Thanks for the info. We’re looking forward to hearing more about this.

  23. Burned Out with Mona Vie permalink
    January 5, 2010 2:40 pm

    Rykel,

    The “falling down and rolling around on the floor laughing hysterically” part was at the first R3G one I went to, they pushed religion part pretty hard for the first two day’s during the convention, then my upline talked me into staying for the service on Sunday that is where I witnessed the silly stuff. I hit a few other events after that but skipped the service part. I would have much rather seen the time better used in real world efffective MLM training than the nonsense and hype I witnessed. They did tone some of it down after that one thought never really left it out, I understand it is important to keep people motivated in MLM, just I have always felt using spiritualality is the wrong way to go about it.

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