While each of these Systems claims to be different from and superior to the others, they seem to me mostly indistinguishable from each other, sharing a number of common characteristics:
1. Recruits are lured in by exaggerated income claims and ostentatious displays of wealth.
2. Once they are in, it is repeatedly stressed that they will not have any chance of attaining said wealth unless they strictly adhere to the System, meaning they should buy at least one tape per week, attend all meetings and rallies, and spend most or all of their free time trying to recruit others. Amway's rules state that the purchase of motivational motivational tools is optional, but it seems clear that those who sell the tools have figured out how to pay lip service to these rules while continuing to exert pressure on their downlines to buy the tools. "The tools are optional, and so is success," goes the oft heard refrain.
3. Retailing is downplayed or ignored completely in favor of self-consumption of Amway products. It's not surprising that these Systems have been the subject of a series of lawsuits, as they are inherently deceptive and fraudulent. Distributors are routinely not informed that their upline may be making as much or more from the sale of motivational tools as they are from the sale of Amway products. Without this vital piece of information, distributors naturally assume that the incomes and lifestyles of their upline are attributable to their Amway businesses, and they buy the motivational tools in the hopes of achieving a similar success. It's an insidious and self-perpetuating cycle: the more motivational tools the masses of downline distributors buy, the more successful the upline distributors appear to be in their Amway businesses, which in turn inspires the downline distributors to buy more motivational tools, and round and round she goes. Lower level distributors are either bled dry and quit, or hang in long enough to make it to the level where they start to get a cut of the tools profits.