Based on my personal experience, and based on having read numerous acconts from other former IBOs, it's pretty clear that the higher uplines, absolve themselves of issues and problems by having others do their dirty work. While some leaders are bold enough to make dumb statements on stage, many uplines will have their "eagles" or platinums do their dirty work, which is to pass bad and often self serving advice to their downline. Advice that will help them (upline) to profit directly from the losses suffered by downline.
For example, a diamond may stand on stage and talk about the merits of getting out of debt. Now getting out of debt is a good thing and nobody should get caught up in credit card debt and other piles of debt. But so many times, I sat in meetings where the group was told they needed to be at the next funtion - no matter what. Do whatever it takes to get there, even if it meant selling personal belongings. Ironically, the solution to getting to the next major function did not involve selling Amway products. So many IBOs made sacrifices of time and money to get to the next function, but their business did not experience any growth in volume or downline. I saw many crossline IBOs attend meeting after meeting and function after function without any downline. They faithfully spent their time and money chasing a dream based on lies by the upline leaders. Our group was told that upline made zero profit on tools. While some groups now admit that profit is made on tools, there is still a lack of transparency about the tools profits and as far as I know, there are no formal written agreements with regards to the tool profits.
I also recall our platinums having platinum and above meetings while we were at major functions and it seemed that the platinums always had something to teach the group that was contrary to what we had just heard on stage and the platinum would tell us that he had the freshest information from the meeting. It's like the platinum was just a henchman for the diamonds and carried out their dirty deeds. Another example is how the diamonds taught vertical alignment where God is first, then your spouse, your kids, your job and in 5th place was your Amway business. But anytime an event such as a friend's wedding or an anniversary dinner or your kid's soccer game conflicted with an Amway event, the group was told "attend all meetings". All means all, is what our group was told. That is directly contrary to the concept of vertical alignment. In fact, the Amway IBOs became less useful to their communities and churches as they are constantly attending meetings and functions and unable to serve in other capacities. I also wondered whether the Amway business and tools consumption took away their abililty to tithe and give to the local charities. Our upline would tell us to go diamond and then send in $10,000checks as if that made it okay not to serve others and help the needy.
It is my informed opinion that this still goes on today, despite the claims of Amway appologists that my experience is twelve years old. There is ample evidence suggesting that very little has changed from 20 years ago. In fact, many of the leaders from my IBO days are still teaching unethical things to this day. Many Upline passes bad advice downline, but they do it in sneaky ways such as having their downline leaders pass the information on. This is also how Amway itself can skirt some of their issues, as IBOs are not Amway employees, they are "independent". But most people in North America now know the truth and hopefully this article shines some light on that truth.