Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Shot Heard 'Round The Upline

Disclaimer: The thoughts in this blog are my own opinions. Names (if any) have been changed in order to protect everyone's privacy. The thoughts in this blog do not address Amway directly, but rather the motivational organization known as URAssociation (URA).

I was fatigued.

I was being worn down bit by bit since getting back from Summer CONference. It started off with our upline platinum's comment about the first order of business being to get our fall tickets locked in, which of course was passed down from the higher ups (a.k.a. the speakers who make their money by taking ours). I was driving 30 minutes once a week for "weekly business briefings" which was a whole much ado about nothing. We'd listen to a speaker via facetime, or go through more of the same motions we got from CONferences: Make calls, build your business, 6% circles, yadayadayadayada.

I wasn't making much money from my job at the time and I couldn't keep dropping gas money and time to listen to the same old same old. Even our upline diamond, the upline leaders son-in-law who we'll refer to as "Mr. Prince" had lost his appeal with me. I called into a conference call right after work that he was holding, and I was bored in the first five minutes. I sat there thinking "WHAT am I doing here? This is doing NOTHING." We would have "accountability calls" and I'd have nothing to report, it just seemed like there was always something going on and NONE of it was focused on building the business.

Granted, had I had a better paying job, I would've been able to take more action, but after coming to the end result like some of my other blogging allies, I couldn't be happier I was poor. I know THEY lost way more than I did.

My sponsor Matthew wasn't helping matters. He kept trying to peg down times to meet with me and I had other things going on. This Amway business was meant to be PART TIME. A side gig to make a little extra money. There were other things I enjoyed doing besides the business. There were a couple speakers who downplayed doing activities outside the business. They made them out to be "losers" who were going nowhere in life.

That didn't sound very appealing to me. I LOVED doing other activities like playing softball, watching my sports teams, and coaching basketball.

Matthew's persistence finally came to the surface after we had shown the plan to a friend of mine. After he left, we met outside the coffee shop where we showed it and he sat on a bench with me telling me basically that if I didn't start putting "more of an effort" in that he was going to "spend time with people who were more serious about building their business."

Strike one.

Forget the fact that WE JUST SHOWED A PLAN. The next incident came after I'd blown my knee out in a softball game. It wasn't to serious, but I had hurt it badly. But after the game, did I go the hospital? Home to rehabilitate? NO! I WENT TO A WEEKLY BUSINESS BRIEFING 30 MILES AWAY!


Halfway through it however, the pain just became overbearing and I left early. He decided to mention that to me as well...even though he knew I was hurt.

Strike two.

Now in my previous blog "Come to My Seminar" I mentioned how a friend went with me but quit after what he experienced. He DID however say that he was going to support my business and be a customer with me but hadn't registered so far.

Finally one day I was doing a job for my grandmother when I get a text from Matthew.

Matthew: "Has (your friend) registered to be a customer with you yet?"

Me: "Not yet."

Matthew: "Well you've known him long enough. Call him out on it."

Holy Santa Claus Shit.

Call him OUT ON IT??? This guy can't be serious. CALL HIM OUT ON IT! Like he forgot to pay me back money he owes. Is that how the major retailers get customers? By calling them out on it? Every negative thing I had heard about MLM's was slowly unveiling.

Strike 3. I'm out.

I had begun ignoring Matthew and the others. I was depressed. This isn't what I signed up for. One night Matthew texted me saying "Don't lose your fire!" But it was extinguished. I finally texted him back with all my grievances that you have seen in this blog, or will see.

My phone rang. Guess who. 

Not being a coward, I answered it and an ugly argument followed. I basically called HIM out on the fact that when I was recruited to which he quickly responded "you were NEVER recruited, we presented you with an opportunity."

Yeah and Nick Saban gives high school football phenoms a chance to get an education. 

 He started backpedaling from things he had told me over time and what not. We eventually got to the question of where the money was going from our conferences and URA memberships.He tried to tell me that the money goes to the URA app, money to rent the facilities for CONferences, etc. When I told him that it doesn't take over a million dollars to fund those miniscule tasks, his retort was THIS: 

"You know what? I DON'T CARE where the money goes." 

He was got. He didn't realize it, but he was got. Like GOT DAMN he got got! He basically just exposed himself and the business for THE CULT it was. When you and several other suckers are funding a million dollar business without giving a tenth of a damn where it goes. You are GOT. He was GOT in the argument, he was GOT in the URA. The URA had him. He was beyond the point of no return. 

I basically replied "man, you have drunk the kool aid." 

Surprisingly the conversation ended on a good note. But I was gone. I wasn't done with selling Amway, but I was DEFINITELY out of the URA. I was going to try to sell the products on my own and see if I could. Eventually I realized it wasn't going to work (future blog about that).

See you on the next blog.

Oh wait...I forgot. 

The day after Matthew and I had our spat, I was on a road trip when I got another call from him. He then said that he had called my friend and confronted him about what he had said to me. 

Oh NO you didn't...

Of course, my friend was very non-confrontational and didn't want trouble so he basically told Matthew what he wanted to hear to shake him off his back. He said I'd probably be "getting a call" from my friend to discuss me throwing him under the bus. Luckily, he didn't call. I texted him and smoothed things over. Truth be told, I shouldn't have mentioned him. That was my bad.

Matthew then went on and in a roundabout way expressed his concerns that I was going to tell the other team members about how I felt. He was scared shitless, and he was scared because he knew I had a point. He used the rationale that I could bring their optimism down. He said I could "kill their dream." 

No...I could kill YOUR dream. 

The conversation eventually ended, this time on a less pleasant note. I wasn't going to give in and come back. Matthew and the upline thought really highly of me. I had a network larger than anyone in our group, including Matthew. I knew hundreds of people from high school, college, professional world, etc. There are four metropolitan areas within a couple hours of my town and I had contacts in every one of them. Honestly, I had more potential to build a successful Amway business than most. 

The level of my importance was even confirmed when our upline platinum sent me messages and several phone calls. I wasn't responding. I wasn't about to have yet another fight that went nowhere. But then it took an even crazier turn. 

Our upline EMERALD messaged me. 

Anybody who's been in an AMO knows that's some heavy shit. The Emerald (who I said earlier is a real nice guy), played it cool and asked me how things were going and if I needed any help. He offered to help me make phone calls and help build my business in any way he could. I was blown away. I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about it, but I eventually realized they were only trying to get me BACK IN. 

I had enough respect for Matthew NOT to tell the other members how I felt. I think in the end I chose not to because AMO's are a "hot stove" lesson. You've gotta get burned before you learn not to touch it. Slowly but surely, the others have now left the business. I haven't talked to them though I plan to in time. 

I always thought it was funny how Matthew said I could kill their dream. America is a country that's built on dreams and the pursuit of those dreams. But for THIS dream, I'm very grateful that my alarm clock went off when it did and my fellow bloggers are too. If you're dreaming the Amway dream, I implore you: 

Wake up.  


  1. What a sad sad story. But cathartic and told very well. You took me through Amway hell as I relived that with you in detail. I am just astonished that you didn't try to seek revenge on 'Mathew' for thinking he could pressure you like that and twist your arm for his financial gain. Also, resisting the urge to try to get all your group to defect with you is surprising. How were you able to resist doing that? Didn't you feel at all that you should at least try to warn them about 'touching the hot stove', so they would save their time and money and stop their losses earlier?

  2. Looking back, I probably should have. But at the time I did what I FELT was right. And what I FEEL is right may not be what THEY feel. I guess I still had an soft spot for them since they were so nice to me.

    As far as revenge on 'Matthew' he was suckered just like I was. He was just in deeper. I don't see him post much anymore about URA like he used to. I'm thinking he's on his way out too.

  3. Thank you for your answer. Ever get the urge to call Matthew and reopen the subject, to try to save him now?

  4. Nah. May have the reverse effect and send him back into it. It's like any other cult.

  5. I don't understand, how can trying to save him end up sending him back into it?

  6. You can upset someone so much that they run back to the problem for comfort, which the URA more than gladly would have done.

  7. I get it now. Thanks!

  8. My "aha!" Moment was when I got done with the second day of my FED, and my upline insisted upon me driving out bright and early for the sermon that started the last day of talks. He knew I'm not religious, and certainly not Christian, yet he still felt it was imperative to make me feel bad if I refused to come, and made it feel as though it was a part of my initiation.

    I actually went, and watched what could be described as truly awesome. (I'm sure you are thinking...why would he use that word?) A 65+ year old man was flying around the stage and inspiring thousands. He found a way to get everyone to run up to the stage and praise his words of wisdom. Finally, he got people to DONATE to him...the same people who were trying to save and make money because they don't have any...and he wasn't taking small amounts either (I believe it ranged from $10 to a couple hundred) and the people collecting were ruby's and platinum' embarrassing as they were the uplines and they were being told to beg for money essentially.

    I ignored many red flags, but that was the final straw. I had never been more frustrated with compromising my own values, and now I had to deal with a religious nut for a supposed business opportunity. NO THANKS!

    1. Ben, I wonder where the tithe collection went after the service? Into the pockets of the diamonds?

    2. I don't remember specifically because I was in a state of surreal realization. My guess is that it went to the preacher and a few of the hucksters assisting him during his service. They were absolutely raking it in, and if I were making money like he was, I think I would've been jumping around that stage as well.

  9. Guess you can just work that J.O.B. for the rest of your life, and buy your boss HIS dream home. Guess you're proof that not everyone has the drive or discipline to be a business owner. Guess you don't care enough about your friends to help change their lives.

    (Sorry.... I was just noticing that these kinds of comments haven't arrived yet. Guess that crowd is too busy working overtime to pay for the upcoming Summer Conference!!)

    1. Hahahaha! I was reading this like "wait a minute...I thought he was on OUR side! LOL

  10. Concerning Ben Dover's comment of June 1: I don't understand why it isn't more widely recognized that Amway, as a social and cultural reality, is basically a small-town Evangelical Protestant thing. As a Catholic, I was appalled when Amway bigshots pushed me to attend heretical Protestant services. They were simply dumbfounded when I refused.

  11. I believe Amway may have been more involved with the distributors in the past, and they probably fed off of the religious hunger of their peons. However, today Amway is well submerged behind these ridiculous AMO (Amway Motivational Organization, i.e. WWDB, URAssociation, BWW) groups that can take these zealous measures to brainwash and manipulate people. It is hard to attach this type of behavior directly to Amway, because the distributor has to go through this outrageous AMO to even order products.

  12. Forgive my ignorance, but do you mean it is no longer possible to become an Amway IBO without being part of one of these AMO systems?

    1. Pretty much anyone who registers with Amway will be in some AMO, and there are many of them.

  13. As far as I can tell, that is the case. I just tried signing up on the website, and they said I must have a sponsor first. I am not familiar with anyone being a direct Amway IBO, because there is too much risk for Amway. It is easier for them to hide behind these other companies and create layers (another reason for why they changed their name to quixtar, then back to Amway, then reincorporated under Alticor and gutted Amway)'s all stupid legal loophole defense tactic nonsense.

  14. OK, I see. But I know that when I was involved (around 1970-71), these AMOs didn't exist. You were simply in "somebody's line," as for example Charlie Marsh's line. I assume the AMOs developed a bit later, for the protective reason that you mention, but also as a way for generating cash for up-line via the tools and functions.

    The idea of Amway using the various AMOs to legally protect itself reminds me of the Mafia practice of farming out contract murders through several descending levels of mobsters, so that the actual trigger-man had no idea who was hiring him for the hit, or why.

    1. The AMOs were originally made as I understood it, as a way to motivate and train people, especially IBOs who may not have direct access to the upline leaders.

      But then the upline leaders discovered how profitable selling tools was and that's when the true Amway scam was born.

  15. After reading this im sorry you had a shitty experience. Im part of an organization and ive never been forced to do anything. I did everything my choice. I guess not everyone has the same experience

    1. Yes, conmen don't force people to do anything. They con you into doing it for yourself.

    2. Anonymous,

      I don't think anyone here has described AMO's as being "forceful". There were no uplines holding guns to people's heads to sell soap, kidnapping family members to recruit more members, or framing and blackmailing them at work to attend the next seminar.

      You clearly have missed the point of this post. It is to show the lunacy of upline, the business model, and the seminars. In fact, he is showing he wasn't forced to do anything, because he got out and has never been back.

      This is a very common IBO defense were forced or coerced into the situation and free will was taken away...but that isn't my experience (they are still being love bombed and are too diluted to understand they have the exact same crap going on around them). The blinders are on and everything is rainbows now, but give it as much time as he or Joecool has, and you will probably be changing your tune (Statistics suggest that between 50-90% of IBO's in their time frame quit).