I remember the first time I saw the "plan" at a big hotel meeting. The person who invited me told me to be sure that I was there on time because in business, time is money. I was a bit disturbed when the speaker showed up 20 minutes late. Anyway, the speaker arrived to a standing ovation. The speaker host really built up the diamond speaker, saying the audience was really lucky as the speaker was sought all over the country and that the speaker was in the top one tenth of one percent of all income earners in the US (never confirmed though). This was common practice it seems, and some speakers got into how much money they had. At one open meeting, I remember Bill Britt proclaiming that he was close to being a "billionaire". The crowd went wild of course, even though it wasn't close to being true AFAIK.
At major functions, the IBOs would line up to watch the diamonds arrive at the hotel in their Mercedes, BMWs, Lexus and other fancy cars. We were told stories of fabulous wealth, early retirement, making large purchases in cash, etc. One major function, now called winter conference, used to be called "dream nite". We saw videos of jetskis, golf memberships, jets, cars, mansions and other toys to the background music of "I wanna be rich" sung by a group called "Calloway".
What went unnoticed by myself, and probably most IBOs was where upline's wealth actually came from. I mean we saw the big checks from Amway and all. At the time, the tools income was not disclosed, but most groups at least mention tools money now, even though details remain a bit sketchy as to who qualifies and how much you can earn. We know from Amway's own information that very few products are sold to people who are not IBOs, therefore one can reasonably conclude that the "wealthy" upline makes much of their income primarily from downline purchases. And the cds, books, KATE, functions and other support materials are bought only by IBOs, thus that source of income is almost soley from IBOs.
Basically, the fabulous wealth that some upline diamond portray simply comes out of the thousands of their downline's pockets. It's no secret that significant profit comes from selling tools. The problem though, is that some uplines gain all this wealth and the tools don't work for the vast majority, regardless of the amount of effort.
Now I already know that some supporters and apologists of the business and the systems will say that all businesses make money from people. While that is true, it is not done under the pretense of you buying and using tools that will make you wealthy or buying products for yourself that will make you wealthy. And you can't compare this to a job because everyone is an independent business owner. And besides in a job, everyone gets a paycheck and the income is derived from customer sales. In Amway, the "sales" are primarily from the IBOs themselves.
So prospects and IBOs, when you see your upline's fabulous wealth being flashed about, you no longer have to wonder where the wealth came from. All you need to do is look at your dwindling bank account and you will get your answers.