Monday, June 13, 2016

Edification In Amway?

Edification. During my time in the Amway business, we saw many IBOs get edified, including myself. Of course it felt great when your upline platinum or diamond would say something that made you stand out in the crowd. For example, I remember an IBO being exalted because he quit his job to attend a major function. His boss wouldn't allow him to use vacation time so he quit to attend the function. I remember Brad Wolgamott telling people it's just a job, attend the function and get another one (job). I remember at a family reunion function, a man was edified by the diamonds because he was diagnosed with terminal cancer but instead of being at home and bitching and moaning, there he was at an Amway function, making a difference in the world they would say. But looking back, I truly believe that the upline's intentions were to uplift those who went thru extraordinary efforts to spend money on tools or functions.

In other words, you are buying your edification. Of course when I say you are buying your edification, you are not necessarily doing so in dollars. It can either be in dollars or in time. For example, you may have been edified for listening to 15 standing orders in one day, or you may be edified for driving the miles to show plans, even if the guest was a no-show. I also recall some IBOs in the group being edified for 1000 PV personal use in a month. I honestly don't know how anyone can possibly do 1000 PV in personal use without the purchase of some big ticket items. I mean how much SA8 or LOC can anyone use in the month? I suppose that you could make Nutrilite vitamins your main source of food or something like that and move a lot of PV, but it's ridiculous to spend that much on personal use. Isn't the idea to replace your normal purchases with Amway products? Did anyone spend that much on consumable products prior to Amway? Somehow I don't think so.

So to what extent are you willing to go to get edified? For my upline sponsor, it was what he lived for. My sponsor was/is a physician and he therefore could have a nice lifestyle without Amway but he was more interested in the recognition and edification. He ate it up when he was asked to speak at a function once. He told the group in a nite owl that the dream of being on stage as a diamond was more important to him than the money. Sadly, he never got beyond the platinum level as far as I know and last I heard, he was below 2500 PV. Whatever your dream or reason for building Amway, I honestly believe you need to look at the cost of it. For example, you wouldn't sell your soul to the devil in order to go diamond, or at least I hope you wouldn't. I actually wonder how my former sponsor feels these days now that our upline diamond (his hero) has moved to Washington and he cannot spend much time with him anymore?

The cost of edification in Amway is high. Are you willing to foot that bill? I'm glad I woke up and decided that there are much better ways to spend my time, money and efforts. Joecool's blog is one of the better things. :-)


Anonymous said...

The fact that your sponsor was obsessed with "edification," and with the mirage of being adulated as a diamond on stage, is an important bit of evidence.

One of the deep secrets of Amway is that, for thousands of people in it, it isn't primarily about money. It's about something that they crave much more than cash: respect, honor, prestige, and praise.

In the beginning they get these things easily, via the routine love-bombing of recruits and new members. But soon it grows harder to get, and rarer. They have to work slavishly for it, and it come only in little dribs and drabs from their up-line.

This is exactly how professional drug-dealers hook future addicts. At first they give them "freebies" -- that is, samples of heroin or crack or cocaine at no charge. In a little while, the addict has a habit, and then the drug dealer insists on payment for further satisfaction. The addict must then cheat and steal and hustle to get his fix.

Who are these people who want "edification? Who needs constant praise and honor?

The answer is easy: people who are lowly, humble, and generally victimized by life. They crave some sort of recognition. They want to BE SOMEBODY, because in fact they are nobody. The Amway vultures give it to them freely at the start, with the love-bombing.

The persons who actually do succeed in Amway, however, are not of this sort. They are the hard-bitten, tough-minded go-getter types (what some Amway people call "movers and shakers"). They are the ones who drive and exploit the weaker IBOs, who will essentially do little else except pay the fees and buy the tools.

This is the exploitative nature of Amway -- the big fish live off the little fish, and the little fish are kept going by getting small offerings of edification to soothe their fragile egos. I can see no other reason why your doctor friend would stay in Amway for so many years, losing money hand over fist.

So really -- are we ever going to convince people with a deep psychological craving for praise and honor to give up or stay away from Amway using FINANCIAL arguments? You can't use medical arguments to convince addicts to stop using drugs. It won't work.

This is why Amway (like Dracula) won't die. There are millions of desolate persons out there with a big hole in their souls, hungering for hope and praise and friendship and community. They are Amway's prime prey.

Joecool said...

Thanks for your post. I think for my doctor friend. he had that desire for adulation because even though he did well in academics (obviously), we has a nobody in high school and college and was basically considered by most "a nerd".

But I can imagine someone who's never had the big stage might crave it, especially when you see diamonds getting standing ovations and people going out of their way just to spend a few minutes with the diamond. Sort of a rock star type of popularity.

But you're right, the little tidbits of reinforcement can be very powerful in getting people addicted to Amway.

Anonymous said...

I read another story about an upline who advised a couple that "it's okay to lose your house because once you get the diamond level, you will be able to buy another house."

This is no longer counseling but advising them to kill their long term assets for a short term edification.

Lorikeets said...

This is a good post Joe. I hope it reaches the places it is needed most and makes an impact.

Joecool said...

Thank you and I hope so too!

Joecool said...

That's the kind of dangerous advice I've heard of that Amway should be held accountable for. Their independent business owners say and do unethical things that benefit Amway and if not held accountable, why would they stop the bad behavior?

Jerry D. said...

What a diamond of a post, Joe! You deserve major edifying and adulation yourself for that! : ) I have to say the same about Anonymous311 as well! Very well written, beautiful analysis about a topic rarely discussed. Thank you to you both! Joe, I personally find your old sponsor and all lifers most fascinating. And all the other psychological games that go on in Amway. They have obviously zeroed in on so many basic human psychological needs and they exploit them viciously. We do need to understand more about these psychological issues and how we can maybe save addicts, stage interventions, prevent relapse when 'pots are stirred', but most importantly prevent it before it happens to our loved ones and friends. How do we fulfill those human needs with better alternatives? Perhaps your sponsor could have just donated all the money, time, and effort he gave to Amway to a charity that organizes stage events and honors donors and showers them with adulation. That's the better, more beneficial way for all of us to be rock stars!

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most evil and corrupt practices that Amway tolerates: up-line telling down-line that substantial assets (like homes, savings accounts, IRAs, 401Ks, stocks and bonds, and insurance policies) should be liquidated and sacrificed for the sake of the Amway "business."

Anyone who convinces another person to liquidate their solid assets and property for the sake of some rotten MLM scheme (where 99% of the members fail) should in my opinion be executed by the government. No ifs, and, or buts. EXECUTED.

Anonymous said...

I thought that the primary reasons why people join the business is hopes that they would reap profits after 2-5 years, edification is secondary.

Joecool said...

Upline uses clever psychology when talking to prospects. They make small talk and they use small agreements to gain trust. For example, just about everyone will agree that we pay too much income taxes, and that the cost of insurance and/or the interest we pay on loans, debt etc can be heavy.

Then you drop in the line about how the diamond can help you save money, or possibly make money, and even the chance to make a lot of money. Just follow the diamond's plan and advice and you can have what the diamond has - financial freedom and no debt.

This is a powerful tactic that many people do not recognize.

Joecool said...

Basically the diamonds are conmen. They get you to do things that a normal person wouldn't do, such as selling things or skipping important payments to attend a function or to buy tools.

Joecool said...

Agree, but for some people, it's the recognition and adulation that counts more than money. That was the case for my former sponsor.