Wednesday, June 15, 2016

An Amway & WWDB Wife's Testimony?

This comment was left on my blog a couple of years ago and I'm now posting it because it gives a really interesting insight on the thinking and teaching in Amway and WWDB. Keep in mind that this comment is pretty recent so it's not some outdated teaching.

Let me tell you a story about my "successful" Amway marriage.
Was in WWDB. Upline Diamond: Puryear (seriously)

Husband (now ex-) and I were core all the way. Drank the koolaid, ate the food bars, no TV, only listened to tapes and read books. Attended all the functions. Major functions were our "vacations" and "dates." In public, we were Mr. and Mrs. Amway. In private, he was physically abusive. I finally got a chance to leave.

Upline sponsors, Platinums and Emeralds called me, yelling at me, telling me that it was "unbiblical" to leave my husband. Guess it was okay for him to do what he was doing?

I left and never looked back. It was tough to deprogram after the WWDB brainwashing.

My husband wasn't abusive when we met and were first married. That started happening maybe six months after we were married.

He was already in Amway when we met, but he wasn't very active. After we got married, he started to get more active in "the business."

I didn't know much about Amway when I met him. I met his upline sponsors when we got engaged and I thought they were just good friends. After we were married, I went to a rally and was struck by how the wives seemed to be so supportive. Then I heard the Emerald wife speak, and all she did was edify her husband or go on to "us gals" that we needed to let go of any negativity. As I went to more functions, I heard the wives tell "us gals" to be submissive - that we were wrong for having any needs or requests. It's one of the kids' birthday or your birthday and there's a function? Guess which one takes priority. You can celebrate later when you're "Free," when you're a Diamond.

I thought there would be some sales training. I went to an Artistry clinic - they taught us how to put on makeup and showed us some of the latest colors. But there was nothing about how to find customers, generate sales, or even have a makeup party. At one time, there was a tape by Bettyjean Brooks (wife of Jim Brooks, WWDB) about how to build a retail business. I ordered it, but never received it. She and Jim divorced. Jim stayed in WWDB and the tape suddenly became "unavailable."

Husband really followed the "fake it 'til you make it" teaching. To everyone, he was Mr. Successful. After our child was born, I became a stay at home mother. He led everyone to believe that it was our Amway income that allowed me to stay home. We weren't even at 1500 PV. We never made any money. I kept my mouth shut and played the submissive/supportive wife role. Keeping the books, running call-in and pickup for our downline, and trying to peddle the products to "customers." He never tried to sell anything - that was the wife's job. WWDB taught that.

It all came to a head when the police got involved because of the abuse. He had to move out of our house. He lied to everyone, saying that it was all really nothing and that the courts (and I) were blowing everything out of proportion. After going through counseling and therapy, it was clear to me (and to the therapist) that he was not being honest with any of us. I filed for divorce.

It was then that the upline contacted me. Our sponsor (the wife), platinum and emerald each called me. It started out that they were "concerned" about me and wanted to counsel me. When I told them exactly what happened and why I was leaving, they told me that it was "unbiblical" for me to leave my husband. Yelling at me. Accusing me of negativity. They also said that there was no way he could have done those things, that they just couldn't believe it. I offered to let them see a copy of the police report. Nobody ever took me up on that offer.

Now, I can't say that Amway taught him to be abusive, but I wholeheartedly believe they taught him to be a good liar and how to hide the truth and dodge questions. They did everything short of preach that the "little lady" stay at home, pregnant and in the kitchen. Wives on stage used to brag about how the couple drove a hundred miles and left their kids sleeping in the car while they went inside someone's house to show a plan.

Freedom, indeed. More like servitude.


Jerry D. said...

Real stories are so powerful. Thank you to the writer, and I wish her well in her new life of true freedom.

Ben Dover said...

Hey Joe,

How recent was this article written? Also, this sounds a lot like the 1950's Leave it to Beaver golden age nonsense...

I understand that a lot of the Diamonds viewed this time as the best years America had to offer, but were they really!??!? Certainly not for people who weren't white...This stuff seriously drives me nuts, partially because I'm not from that time and can look at it from an unbiased view, but also because it wasn't really that "golden" of an age. Women didn't have the rights they have now, people who weren't white didn't have the rights we have now, people who weren't straight didn't have the rights we have now, and their ability to generate wealth followed suit. I find it odd that a "business of the 21st century" would hold onto such outdated and ill fitting practices, especially since many diamonds aren't playing for team whitey anymore. This seems to be very problematic, and I'm curious to see what will happen to Amway in the next 10 years, because this philosophy has virtually no legs to stand on anymore.

Joecool said...

It was a comment left on my WWDB blog.

Joecool said...


The comment is from 2013. That's not long ago. But I was in WWDB in the later 1990's and it's the same teaching I heard as an IBO. That's why I say not much has changed.

I was following the blog of a WWDB IBO, who has since quit, and he said all the same tapespeak I heard as an IBO. Diamonds pay cash for everything, Amway saves marriages, and women should be home in the kitchen and with the kids.