This collection of mail about multi-level marketing and pyramid schemes covers correspondence received during 2005.
From: "Lisa Boicos"
Subject: MISERABLE SOUL!!!!
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2005 11:56:47 +1100
YOU POOR, BITTER, TWISTED SOUL! I KNOW IT MUST BE VERY HARD WATCHING OTHER PEOPLE MAKE THE MOST OF THEIR LIVES AND LIVING A LIFE YOU ONLY WISHED FOR IN YOUR WILDEST DREAMS! YOU SAY YOU HAVE NEVER EVEN ATTEMPTED A MLM BUSINESS, WELL WHY DOES THAT NOT SURPRISE ME YOU IGNORANT FOOL, WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF???? LOOKS LIKE YOU ONLY FEAR YOURSELF AND LIFE ITSELF FOR EVEN WASTING YOUR PRECSIOUS TIME IN PUTTING TOGETHER SUCH A COMMICAL WEBSITE! OH WELL, ENOUGH TIME WASTED ON SUCH IGNORANCE! I HAVE TO GO SHOPPING AND HAVE LUNCH WITH MY MLM BIZ. FRIENDS NOW WHILE YOU AND 95% OF THE SOCIETY ARE TOO BUSY WORKING!
AS THEY SAY "IGNORANT PEOPLE ALWAYS HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY, BUT THEY NEVER HAVE A SOLUTION?!!!! TRY AND HAVE A GOOD DAY, YOU MESIREBLE SOUL!
Thank you for your kind thoughts. I am sorry to hear that the only friends who will go to lunch with you are from the "MLM BIZ", but that's the way things go when you join these organisations. The question is, however, how many will still be your friends after you leave the business.
Which "MLM BIZ" are you in?
By the way, you don't have to type everything in capital letters. As the saying goes: "Want to lose CAPS? Ask me how".
Subject: pyramid schemes
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 14:39:42 -0500
I wish there were a better way to say this, but you, my friend, are an idiot!
Thank you. It always useful to start off with a compliment.
Everything is a Pyramid! From your govt. system in Australia, to any corporation. Every corporation has a CEO and then some VPs, some SR management, middle managers, supervvisors, and grunts. Our govt. has a President, the VP and Secretary of State, Representatives, Senators, etc. People have been sooooo brain washed into thinking that Pyramids are inherently evil. I think the Egyptians built some great ones!
You need to speak to your upline about this, but please try to be polite and not appear negative. The comparison between pyramid marketing schemes and hierarchical organisations is very fatuous and very old. I am surprised that this tired old pack of nonsense is still being used, but I suppose I shouldn't be surprised as the perpetuation of MLM frauds relies on a continuous stream of new prospects who think that they are the first people to hear the story.
I know you say you've never been in a pyramid system or MLM of any sort, but after reading many of your other lies how am I supposed to believe you on this?
What are those "other lies". Please be specific. Simply making baseless accusations is a form of negative thinking.
Either you're jealous because you didn't think of the idea first, you've failed miserably at a few "pyramid systems, or you're just plain stupid. I'm not sure which it is.
Try "None of the above". I didn't think of selling heroin to school children first either, and I could have made a lot more money doing that.
I couldn't believe some of the ill-informed, ignorant statements that were made on your web page. You've got too much time on your hands and not enough knowledge.
Enlighten me. Please do not regurgitate all those old, recycled things that filter down from the crooks at the top to the poor, misnamed "Independent Business Owners" (who are none of independent, business operators or owners of anything). I want to hear specific statements of where I am wrong. Back up your statements with citations and facts. Do not tell me about people who know people who know people who made a lot of money.
From: "rhoda taylor"
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 2005 15:54:01 -0800
I know a couple of people who have gotten involved selling this.
I was wondering if the fact it's listed on The Millenium Project means it's a scam, MLM, pyramid and quackery and if their claims to having won 5 Nobel prizes are false?
Yes – it is a scam
Yes – it is MLM
Yes – it is a pyramid (all MLM organisations are)
Yes – it is quackery
Yes – the claims to have won Nobel Prizes are false (although they were only claiming one the last time I looked)
Something about the Nobel Prize lie is at https://ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/mannatech.htm
From: "Debbie Griffith"
Subject: bad taste in your mouth
Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2005 22:57:07 +1100
ow you seem to have a very bad taste in your mouth or your just jealous that there people out there making money and quite a bit of it how can you give information like that and you oviously have no idea of the business and how it works
Which particular MLM scam has worked for you? Have you given up your day job yet? Now you have reached a high status in the business, do you have enormous amounts of spare time to spend your many tens of thousands of residual income dollars?
I didn't think so.
From: "Debbie Griffith"
Subject: Re: bad taste in your mouth
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 21:45:33 +1100
even if I haven't made a cent what's the harm in trying and if it works great and if it doesn't well at least we had a go and will not look back and wonder. its like negative people like yourself that have no balls and get up and go and lie in self pity and whinge and carry on when people do succeed and wish it was you get a life I bet you want put this e-mail on your site because your mr negative looser
I assume that you meant "won't" in that last sentence. You lost the bet.
From: "Pat Kohl"
Subject: The Scam is This Site
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 13:04:22 -0800
I am absolutely appalled at the gall of your categorizing all MLM as scams. Yes there are scams in the industry, just as there are thieves in any area. . .also in websites.
Claims of millions being made quick are obviously wrong and misleading. However, there is empowerment and and better health available to thousands of people who have chosen to be self reliant by joining a company that produces legitimate products for sale. Word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising. Why should you label people as scam artists for participating in a basic concept of referral marketing? Each person can do research to make sure a company produces products of value and each person can understand that it takes hard work and effort to build a business.
I am sure there must be more wrong in the world you could go after. How about the pharmaceutical companies that make billions while people get more and more symptoms of ill health?
What is your background?
Here's something showing why I dislike parasites like Network 21. The bastards are targeting school children and first-year university students. Still, I suppose a dollar is a dollar wherever you steal it from My reply is in italics.
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 04:54:57 -0800 (PST)
From: Jie-Xing Teoh
Subject: Infomation regarding on Network 21
First of all i would like to say that i have not very good english language in experssing my words. My background, I was born in Malaysia came over to Australia 2 years ago. Currently in Melbourne studying Year 12( i know i'm very young but please listen ) equivalent. I have never in my life written any emails of such to such a highly positioned person such as you. But please listen to what i have to say.
Your English is much better than my Malay or Chinese (which are non-existent) and you have nothing to apologise for.
Yesterday 29 March 2005, i was invited by a company called Network 21 to attend a presentation discussing who they are and what do they do and yada yada how can we earn money by inviting friends.
The first thing that comes in my mind was, didn't i saw something like this in the media before? about the ladder thing where the top of the ladder always profits and it gradually sucks as it goes down from the ladder.
The next thing was, i look beside me was sitting a guy, 1st year of his Buisness Degree. Everybody here seem so amatuer and young. What do these companies want from all the young guys?
They want people who might not have the experience to see that they are talking nonsense. It's the same reason that heroin dealers try to hook school children – because adults might be more wary of the promises. There is no difference between the morals of the people at the top of multi-level marketing organisations and the heads of criminal syndicates. All they care about is money.
After the presentation, the people who invited me to attend this thing started to talk to me saying "Do you understand what concept they are showing?" "If you have questions please ask" "Do you know that women there? She earns 30,000 a month from Passive income!" "WOw age of 26 retire! Thats how much they are earning" "Its about taking a step forward, the bigger the step the more you earn". I'm sorry if its very hard for me to go into further depth as i can't remember exactly what they said. They even had a meeting scheduled for me today after school to explain to me 1 on 1 what is Network 21 all about.
Note: – Why are they inviting young guys such as me to attend this? Aren't we too young and inexperience and our money comes from our parents to be listening to these kind of things? (i'm an international student btw, which means my fund to pay for my schooling comes from malaysia, my father)
As I said before, they rely on people not having enough experience. They don't care where the money comes from as long as it comes. They might even think that if your father can afford to pay for your schooling in Australia he might also give you a good allowance that they can steal by selling you tapes and getting you to go to meetings, which is where the diamonds make their money.
- I use the word investment, how much must we invest. They drift away from the question i'm asking into another topic.
They never tell you the truth – that it costs you money to be in their business.
- They never mentioned the usage of money to invest except for the 1 on 1 talk where i demanded how much will it be (that is the ONLY time mentioned about money)
- They seduce many people by emphasizing EARLY RETIREMENT, NO NEED TO WORK SINCE THE AGE OF 24, FREE TIME.
Why are they still working? Why doesn't Kerry Packer sell his magazines and television stations and join Network 21?
By the way, i would like to mention that Angie Somers is coming to have a talk on April 2nd in 388 Swanston Street, Melbourne. She is ranked the Double Diamond, one of the richest profitters from this Network 21 scheme.
If she is a Double Diamond then she is a very well-paid crook. Ask her to call me and convince me to join Network 21. Of course, I would embarrass her by asking to see her house and her tax records.
I cannot conclude 100% that Network 21 is Amway. But some of their sheets gave the website www.a2k.com.au which is the Amway website.
Network 21 is not Amway officially, but is an organisation set up to work with Amway. If you ask them about Amway they deny any connection. They lie. The only products they sell are from the Amway catalogue.
Finnaly, if you recive this email and read it, please reply to me. I am very concerned about this issue because they have been asking me to invest in it and some of my friends are already caught in this, but blindly persuading more to join.
Resist and tell them to go away. They will tell you that you have been listening to a loser and they will insult you. Ignore them.
Good luck, and enjoy the rest of your time in Australia. I am sure you know this already, but we are not all crooks like the people at Network 21.
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 08:46:18 -0800
Subject: Re- comments about Mannatech Scam
Recently I read your page on https://ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/mannatech.htm
And would like to add a bit more to help you out.
You have been misinformed about Mannatech. The reason why they sell their products the way they do is because of current FDA regulations. FDA regulations say that if you actually have a herbal medicine which can treat a current aliment, it must be considered a drug and therefore registered by the FDA. There is one simple problem however, these are simple sugars which we all put in our diet and are not drugs.
So you admit that they do not treat any ailment. What are they for, then? (Other than to make money for the sellers, of course.)
I'm not going to debate this with you, but education is the key to ignorance. In fact, I'm not even a Mannatech affiliate, just someone who knows enough about how corrupt the government of the United Stated actually is. I still personally use Mannatech products which have help subside migrane headaches as well as severe allergies...
If they are simple sugars which do not treat any ailment, how can they treat migraine and allergies? I suffer from both, and I would definitely call them "ailments".
Simple sugars and whole foods can help curb these problems in our society today as well.
These sugars are so simple that your body can make them from the components of your food, But as they don't treat any ailments but instead only "curb ... problems" I suppose taking them is harmless. Except to your wallet.
Just my two cents...
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 11:25:28 -0600
From: "Robinson, Christina"
So are you saying anything that has to do with nutritional supplements is a scam?
No. I am saying that multi-level marketing is a scam. The fact that Mannatech products are useless and have no nutritional value is icing on the cake.
You seem to believe we can stay perfectly healthy with diet and exercise. Just what diet would that be? Have you come up with the perfect balance of nutrition. I would be very interested in this. Please also prove this theory to me.
Which theory would that be? That people can get a balanced diet and enough exercise if they set out to do these things? That hardly needs proving – it is what in mathematics is called "an axiom".
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 22:26:08 +1000
From: "Mars Browne and Don Wilson"
No minimum purchase of everyday products that you WANT to purchase Use whatever service you benefit from....phone , credit card , mortgage, insurance, mobile phone, health insurance
with at least 12 business builders plus 1500 global points you get $2000 per month guaranteed
for 10-15 hour work per week
Tell me please if there is something better out there??? I am waiting for your reply
$2000 was achieved by us within 7 months
Congratulations! Someone has to win.
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2005 20:25:40 +1000
From: "Mars Browne and Don Wilson"
Subject: Re: Omegatrend
Its called "don't give up"
But really you would have to be stupid not to do it. OT leads the pack, why give all your hard earned money to the big corporations??
And whats really stupid is that you do it all your life and you think nothing of it go figure
Omegatrend went belly-up in May 2006, leaving distributors stranded and suppliers whistling for the $2 million they were owed.
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 15:28:28 -0700
From: Swati Fernando
Subject: check your facts
Your web site is an interesting one. And for the most part, I agree wih many of the things that you say. But you need to be informed that Alticor does not only sell products that Access Business Group manufactures, but they are partnered up with over 110 companies to provide the consumer choices when purchasing for their needs and wants. So, when you say that they only sell Amway products, I do not know about the system of Network 21 or the others out there, I do know that Quixtar is the portal where I can get any brand name product of my choice. And in return for loyalty of buying through their site, I am rewraded a number of ways. Either through points, through volume discounts, or through commission cheques. Costco charges a yearly membership to be ablel to buy through them. So do many tother companies. This is a useful way to "entangle" customers witht he company and the company rewards them with benefits. In this case, with Quixtar, it is money.
On one more note, the fellow at the bottom is able to make more money than the sponsor or even higher up. It all depends on volume and produciton. If the sponsor is unable to meet certain growth targets, and his down line are exeeding his/her performance, then the downline will make greater sums of money. There is even a point where if the down line acheive a certain growth target, they are removed from their sponsor and operate directly with Quixtar. This is what fundamentally violates the very structure of a pyramid.
In case, you were not aware, pyramid schemes are illegal in all first world nations. The system that Quixtar has is place if neither MLM nor is it a pyramid. If I want a Sony TV I can get it! I think that you spin more baseless fear than what actually is the case. I have read the documents of the Congressional hearings to see in indeed Quixtar is violating US law and the transcripts tell us that it is a viable and acceptable business to operate in both Canada and the USA.
Subject: Your opinion
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2005 11:39:26 +1000
I was quite surprised to read what you have written on your website.
On behalf of all the other honourable people in Network 21, we apologise for the misconceptions you have been subjected to and for the misinformation you have received.
As part of Network 21 we have never denied our affiliation with Amway – we are proud to acknowledge Amway as our supply company and the others as partner stores. Clearly you have still not understood that it is all about increasing Amway's volume and for your effort you are rewarded (In other words – we all act as 'representatives' for Amway and by building a network we increase our group and Amway's turnover). It is a very simple and effective system when you understand it. Yes – and the person that works the hardest receives most money – not the person at the "top". The products are fantastic and the research and development Amway invests in is second to none.
(Also: We are not employees of Amway as you state – and yes – you can sell your business)
In Network 21 – an information and training organisation we are proud to be affiliated with – we always say "the most expensive advice you will get is free advice from ill informed people". Network 21 is truly a "people helping people" business – however, we are all human and we all make mistakes. When I read your comments, I am astounded that you have so many misconceived ideas and that you get away with them – also influencing others not to investigate for themselves and therefore depriving them of a genuine opportunity. When you lightly make demeaning comments about a person like Angie Somers that has worked very hard to be where she enjoys the fruit of her labour today (although she is still putting in time and effort), I wonder how you would feel if someone just broke down your efforts in things that you value. (Just so that you know: We are not in Angie Somers' line of sponsorship, we just acknowledge her for what she has achieved. She is a clear teacher and we value her input and dedication.)
Maybe you should take the time to research on your own. You are obviously a well-educated person and owe it to yourself to move past a few people that did not have the ability to handle your questions and under-estimated your intellect. You are invited to do worthwhile research on Amway's site, as well as others listed below – most of which we have exclusive distribution rights to.
May you grant others the success they dream about and realise not everyone is blessed with the same talent and perseverance you have.
We wish you success in you chosen field! Thea
<snip addresses and web sites for various Amway product lines, including the ridiculous Magnabloc magnetic products scam>
Schalk & Thea van Heerden
Here's a conversation going nowhere.
Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 12:08:44 +0530
From: shishir k
Looking at the matter posted on your site... i guess.. u must be a person who has built humungous Amway business or must be the founder of Network 21... Right?
I'm sorry, but having morals, ethical standards and a conscience prevents me from being either.
Or, as Richard Nixon said: "I am not a crook"
Date: Thu, 19 May 2005 11:43:21 +0530
From: shishir k
Subject: Re: Amway-N21
I thought you are the person who "walks the talk"... and sharing the info based on your own experience ...! If you stick to .... "morals, ethical standards and a conscience" ... then I guess... you should build this business and then share your wisdom on the business... coz.. then whatever you write.. will be MORAL-Coz, you are talking from your own experience, ETHICAL- Coz... you have done it... and thats why preaching what you have done, and CONSCIENCE – Give me a break -having not built the business... whatever you are writing, should eat you conscience! Great writing.. and enjoy reading your own stuff!! Regards
I thought about asking Shishir whether jumping off bridges or drinking sulphuric acid could be harmful or if each person had to find out for himself, but I felt that the point would not get across.
From: "Angela von Tunk"
Subject: re Amway
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 09:27:48 +1000
what a sad sack you must be. I feel sorry for you.
A friend of mine bought into Mannatech about 5 years ago. He has experienced overwhelming success with this company as well he has reaped the benefits of wellness in his life and has witnessed the benefits of Mannatech's products in the lives of others. I'm not writing this email to convince you of anything. After looking at your webpage about the Millenium project I have to lay some truths about the company and glyconutrients out in plain view. It's simple so don't expect me to get to complex about the subject. I don't know if you've ever heard of Harpers Biochemistry, most likely you have because you seem like a knowledeable and intelligent person. I do believe though that you have been misinformed when explaining or trying to make a point on the bodies natural ability to obtain necessary monosaccharides from our every day sources of food. Chapter 56 in Harpers Biochemistry is titled Glycoproteins and is devoted to the recently discovered area of glycoscience. W hen our everyday food is consumed the body immediately begins to break down whatever it is that we consumed and only 2 or 3 of the necessary 8 monsaccharides are found in our consumed diets. These 2 or 3 monosaccharides become useful in the bodies functions ie: metabolic rate, immune functions, etc. This is the problem that we run into those other monosaccharides(or missing links in the human diet) are necessary for proper cellular response and function. I recently have started to take Mannatech's products and I can attest to the fact that indeed they do work. I have never had a severe medical problem or ailment. I've kept my body in good shape and workout consistently. I have noticed that my focus at work and in my personal life is more deffined. I also can tell you that my healing rate for working out is much more responsive. I know you can say that it's a state of mind perhaps, that when I started taking these products that I convinced myself that they were going to be ef fective. I've been practicing a highly intense weight training program for a good part of my life. I can promise that these products, Ambrotose in particular, allows my body to respond better to weight bearing stimuli and produce more energy while exercising. A few other points that I would like to make are the fact that many Olympic athletes use this product in their training and Mannatech is also supported by the NFL's Player Association. Just one more thing to actually reiterate on the subject of the Nobel Prize. I have no intention of correcting you I just would like to set the record straight. Four of the last eight Nobel Prizes for medicine( the medical field does participate in the Nobel Prize) have dealt with the cellular communication process and its importance to our welness. The 1999 Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to Dr. Gunter Blobel for his work in this new field of Science-Medicine called Glycobiology. I hope that you will take this information that I hav e brought to the table and make an educated reanalysis of your view on glyconutrients and Mannatech's role in the world today. I am in no way a certified physician or clynical expert but I have studied and taken courses in college on the human body and it?s response to carbohydrates. Glyconutrients takes this approach to carbs for energy a step further and proves the usefullness of the product towards cell communication and the body's immune boost response. Remember there is nothing magical about these sugars, I hope the magical comment was not a shot taken in hopes of distastefulness. I think that anyone with knowledge of how the body works will agree that Mannatech's products help treat the underlying condition of illness at the cellular level and do not just treat and rid of symptomatic illness, such as do many pharmaceutical drugs. I believe that many people in the medical profession and pharmaceutical industry may feel threatened by the science of glycobiology but this very well could be what we've been looking for, that is a product for the body's WELLNESS and not treatment. Hope to hear back from you.
Mannatech User and Associate,
Robert was less than happy with the speed of my response, and wrote to me again.
From: "Goldrick, Robert"
Subject: Where's my response?
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 12:48:28 -0400
Hello my name is Robert Goldrick. I sent you an email about 1-2 months ago and was wondering if you had a response for my discussion. Just checking in to see if you could come back with anything of substance. I guess not though.
As I have a limited attention span, I usually refuse to read paragraphs containing more than 300 words. This is based on the perfectly reasonable assumption that the Gettysburg Address contains only 278 words and therefore sets a plausible upper limit on the expression of a single thought. Your first self-serving message about the Mannatech fraud contained more than 700 words in a single paragraph and was therefore rejected by my brain filter.
Having said that, I notice upon scanning your message that it contains the old Mannatech lie about Dr Gunter Blobel and his Nobel Prize. He won the 1999 Medicine Prize "for the discovery that proteins have intrinsic signals that govern their transport and localization in the cell", which has nothing to do with Mannatech or "glycobiology", whatever that is. I realise that you are just parroting something told to you by your upline, but facts are facts. At least you didn't give me the absurd nonsense that I received from a previous Mannatech salesperson who made the ludicrous claim that in "1994, Dr Gunter Blobel MD PhD, received the Nobel Peace Prize for his discovery in glycoproteins have with the body's ability to fix itself".
From: "Jim Storan"
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 12:58:56 -0400
You must have had a bad experience, and I apologize for that. If you would like to sign up for a program that produces let me know
Subject: network 21
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 20:18:57 +1000
Forget the sour grapes. Not everyone succeeds in life & possibly neither did you. Just get over it & cut out the sour grapes stuff.
Do you have a point?
I came across your comments on Network 21. I've worked with both Amway and Network 21 for several years, both in Australia and other countries. Most of what I read on your site indicates you truly don't understand how the Amway opportunity works or how Network 21 works with it.
Firstly, I'd like to address the issue of the relationship between N21 and Amway and IBOs. For an IBO, both Network 21 and Amway are suppliers. An IBO is neither an employee of Amway or Network 21. The IBO<->Amway link is obviously stronger than a normal product supplier, it is more like a franchising agreement. Any IBO denying a link with Amway is obviously being dishonest, and in my experience, as stated by your other correspondent, Network 21 does not condone or teach that. We work very closely with Amway.
You state on your site -
"My experience with their distributors is that they turn up for the plan showing with a professional salesman from Network 21 who runs the presentation"
This shows a complete lack of understanding of how we operate. Network 21 has no "professional salesmen". Anyone running the presentation is just a "distributor" like anyone else there, just likely one with more success and experience. It would be very very very unusual to have any Network 21 employee at anything except the very major functions. Certainly not at a plan showing.
You continue ...
"Every Amway "IBO" (or Network 21 salesperson denying the Amway connection) who has ever shown me the plan has told me that it is a simple matter to sign up five people in a month"
I find this difficult to believe. Could you elaborate on how many "Every Amway IBO" is? For most people it is NOT simple to sign up 5 people a month. Network 21 teaches as a *goal* to sponsor TWO people a month. Regarding your mathematical extrapolations, well, they are meaningless. First of all, humans being humans, only about 1 in 5 who register as IBOs ever actually do anything serious towards building the business. And very few of those consistently sponsor even those two people a month. When I first joined I did a spreadsheet factoring in known statistics on plan-showing rates, sponsoring rates, renewal rates etc etc and came up with numerous models where "saturation" as you define it never occurs.
Later on I realised this wasn't even a valid exercise, as our goal isn't to sponsor people. Our goal is to build sales volume, and sponsoring others is simply a strategy to do that. These strategies change and modify over time. Sometimes it's more effective to focus on individual IBOs generating more volume through retailing, other times it's more effective to sponsor more people who do less volume. It's a business, and as such strategies need to change over time.
Some further comments on your page -
*************************** "I must say that while I have long observed immorality among big pins and pyramid operators"
I'd appreciate it if you could elucidate upon this as it relates to Network 21? There are undoubtedly many negative Amway-related stories on the internet, but in my research they seem to be almost exclusively related to one particular organisation that works with Amway. Your page is the closest thing I've found reporting any problems with Network 21's operations. Some more information to back up your claims would be appreciated.
*************************** "There is also the obvious question of why someone would work for an organisation like Network 21 and not be an "IBO"
And there is an obvious answer. Not everybody wants to be an IBO. It's an opportunity for anyone, not everyone. Having said that, I am aware of people who have resigned from Amway and/or Network 21 in order to become IBOs. One of them is my upline.
*************************** "The taxation authorities recognise my business as a business and allow me to claim business expenses as deductions, but they have explicitly stated that MLM activities are not businesses."
This is completely false. In fact the Australian Tax Office has fairly explicit guidelines on this regarding Amway. You can read them at http://www.ato.gov.au/corporate/content.asp?doc=/content/Amway.htm&pag e=1#H1
*************************** "I am not expected to find and recruit competitors for my business"
This is further evidence of your misunderstanding. If you were to open up your hypothetical computer store, and business went so well that you could open up further stores, perhaps through selling franchises, would that be "finding and recruiting competitors"? Of course not. You would be expanding your wholesale business. Same applies for Amway. Any sales you do directly are retail sales. Any sales to people you "recruit" are wholesale sales. Anyone I recruit or they recruit and so on is not a competitor, they are a *part* of my business.
*************************** "At what level in the hierarchy can you sell your downline to someone else? If you can't sell it, you do not own it"
This is theoretically possible at any level, but in practice it only occurs at levels above Platinum (in excess of around A$23,000 in turnover each month). And when I say "in practise" I mean it – this has happened numerous times.
*************************** "They never tell you the truth – that it costs you money to be in their business"
This is completely false. In what we call an "options" or "alternatives" meeting, where we sit down 1 on 1 with a prospect, we explictly go through the costs of starting and running this type of business. This can't be done in an "open" meeting as the costs will very considerably depending upon what the individual person wants to achieve out of their business and in what time frame.
*************************** "Why are they still working? Why doesn't Kerry Packer sell his magazines and television stations and join Network 21?"
Why would he? This is an opportunity, not the only opportunity. Don't be ridiculous. As for "why are they still working?" – perhaps because we have things we still want to achieve. If you enjoy it, why not keep on doing it? You have to do something with your life. The key is that people successful in this type of business have the choice.
*************************** "If she is a Double Diamond then she is a very well-paid crook. Ask her to call me and convince me to join Network 21. Of course, I would embarrass her by asking to see her house and her tax records."
Why don't you giver her a call and do just that? She's listed in the Whitepages – do a search for Amway and Drummoyne, NSW on www.whitepages.com.au.
Just a friendly word of caution. In my experience successful N21 people don't waste their time on sites like this, but I believe you just libeled her. Australian law isn't quite as friendly as some other countries when it comes to "free speech".
*************************** "Network 21 is not Amway officially, but is an organisation set up to work with Amway. If you ask them about Amway they deny any connection. They lie. The only products they sell are from the Amway catalogue."
This is incorrect. First of all we do not deny any connection. Anyone doing that is NOT operating according to what N21 teaches. Secondly, N21 does not sell *any* Amway products. Network 21 is a for-profit company that sells books, tapes, cds, and other business aids, and promotes and sells tickets to seminars and other events.
If you're talking about N21 affiliated IBOs, they promote Amway products and anything else they care to promote. As with virtually any agent/franchising type arrangement, IBOs are not supposed to promote competitive products, but that's not an unusual arrangement in the business world. I own a number of businesses apart from my Amway businesses and I "sell" products from all of them.
*************************** "<snip addresses and web sites for various Amway product lines, including the ridiculous Magnabloc magnetic products scam>"
Have you actually done any research into Magnabloc? I spent many years as a research scientist at a major university medical faculty. I have post-grad qualifications in health sciences and am currently considering pursuing my interests in the field with a PHD. I was honestly very skeptical when this product range came out. So I did the research. And I discovered that the developers of Magnabloc were at Vanderbilt University, one of the US's top medical universities. Furthermore they had a number of published peer-reviewed papers on magnetic pain therapy, including double-blind placebo studies and even in-vitro studies investigating proposed mechanisms. No doubt there are many magnetic therapy products on the market that are a complete scam, but these would not appear to be one of them.
I look forward to your response and seeing my comments posted on your site.
As everything in this rant has been answered elsewhere, I saw no need to reply. Also, anyone writing anonymously from a domain called "mlmfacts.net" would almost certainly be impervious to facts or logic.
From: "Silvia Veronica"
Subject: Amway and Network 21!!!!!!
Date: Sun, 20 Nov 2005 03:16:06 +1100
This is really funny.........or should I say your comments sound really funny?
You sound like you know what you are talking about but in fact.........to be honest there are lots of holes in your arguments !!!!! Yes anyone is entitled for their own opinion but at least do some research before you post it on the net......for godsake it does reflect on your credibility!!! I am not sure if you have any..............just read below why I say that .
First of all your comment about Amway the pyramid scheme, just for your information, pyramid scheme is banned in Australia and Amway is registered in ATO [incase if you don't know and haven't done your research, it's Australian Taxation Office] Well..... would Amway be accepted by the registration board if their scheme is deemed to be illegal?
Second, your comment that Network 21 people deny any affiliation with Amway, which network 21 people have you spoken to? Coz as Thea van Herdeen wrote in the email[I don't know her], we network 21 people are proud to be affiliated with the Amway corporation, for the best product that they present in the market. If you wanna know if they pay? Yes they pay.......they do send the check and report with full detail and calculation of what they are paying me for.
I trully think that the one who does not have a clue of what ShiSir said in the email is noone but YOU. It is true that unless you have experience the system yourself and proof us that it's a scam, yes you have been unethical and I am not sure either if you have moral standard or conscience as you claim.......
In Network 21 we are all IBO [Independent Business Owner], although all IBO follow the same system, the way each IBO conduct their business may differed. I do not say that network 21 member are all fantastic, surely that there may be some of us who do not do it properly or perhaps whoever it was that you met couldn't relate to you. Get over it coz this happens in every industry too. There are some that do it well and some that don't. If that is the case then stop ridiculing the system coz the system is genuine and fantastic !!!!
For your information, the team where I'm at, we never promise people anything. We never say that it is an easy and quick way of making money, not in the seminar and certainly not when we do personal meeting either. But we all know if we put effort surely we'll get the result and the team always help us along the way !!!!!!!!!
From: "Gavin Mace"
Subject: MLM – Network 21
Date: Sun, 20 Nov 2005 20:36:16 +1100
I am writing to you to discuss the opinions expressed on your website concerning Network 21 and your opinions in general. After seeing your website I think that you tend to contradict yourself quite regularly by making a website that will tell everyone about all the bad things in the world and acting as though you are the answer to all of their problems. In doing this, you are creating another problem, I think you could possibly even include yourself in The Millenium Project. You are robbing people of the opportunity to make a decision themselves and simply filling their heads with negative rubbish.
You information is very biased and seems to be an attempt to degrade others who have different opinions while trying to feel good about yourself by putting others done. If you are talking about influences on young people in the case of that email from the foreign student, then you may remember a kindergarten rule "No Putdowns". I am not questioning you as a person, nor am I putting you down in regard to your employment, I solely do not agree with your opinions and don't believe you are giving an accurate account to viewers of this website. Infact, one of my best friends is very much the same as you in his way of thinking, it does not offend me.
I think it is wrong that you speak of people involved in Network 21 or Amway like they are the scum of the universe and their morals and ethics are far inferior to those of yourself. You say that people who try and recruit when building a Network 21 business are only interested in the money side of things and therefore are trying to scam you. If you looked at both sides of the coin, you would see that this is how all business operates, if it doesn't then the business owner is quite stupid infact. If you have a boss, then he will employ you because he thinks that you will increase his profits by doing a certain job for him, if you don't achieve this for the boss, he will fire you. The aim of every business is to increase their profits, by doing so other people will always make money, but not as much as their boss (or person above them).
You also spoke of people getting discounts on overpriced products so they are lead to believe they get it cheap at wholesale. Just a quick bit of background on myself, I am currently in the process of finishing school and weighing up whether to join Network 21 or get a job at a retail store next year. This retail store I bought an accessory from about two years ago now for about $210. I later found out that the wholesale price that the business had purchased this for was $51. Most Network 21 products are perhaps a tad expensive yes. The difference between wholesale and retail price for Amway is perhaps about 20% roughly on average, maybe abit less. This store charged me more than 400% ontop of what the item was at wholesale. The guy who owns the store is a great bloke, I am not questioning that, we are good friends. However, every time I go into the store to buy something, he will drop whatever he is doing, tell his crappy sales staff to go away and he will talk talk talk to me all day... while i'm in his store. No he doesn't talk to me outside of the store, nor does he really care about what im doing. He wants to sell me something and make a profit. If he was to hire me to work in his store, it would be to make a profit from me increasing his sales a certain amount. If I was not any good at it, he would fire me and rightly so. If I was to work extra hard for him and increase his profits, then I might get a pay rise... and rightly so. This is the way that business works. You say that people at the top of the pyramid are the ones that make all the money. This is the same for all other businesses, I saw on Today Tonight a short time ago (I think you may want to marry that presenter, her narrow minded opinions are similar to those of yourself) that all major business board members or whatever they were made so many millions each year and were supposed to be con artists. I take my hat off to these people, they are very good.
I think it is also good from the people at Network 21 that they generally do focus most of their attention on how much money they are going to make. I find generally that most people do want to help others, however they cannot do so without first helping themselves (goes without saying really). My question is that is it more immoral to become, for example, a doctor, if your life long dream is to help others and be a nice person. Yes, they do help others in a health sense, but then they cause them a whole lot of stress by hiring a receptionist to post them out a big medical bill. In my opinion, this is an even playing field. The sick patient is helping the doctor as much as the doctor is helping the sick patient. They are there to make money from sick people! If I was to be so narrow minded you could mislead people to believe that doctors are scum, however, they are not. However, does a doctor give you a full money back guarentee if you don't achieve alot from a visit? NO WAY! I have been screwed over many times from doctors giving me false information and then costing me lots of money on various other tests and medicines etc... However, in general I think that doctors are very knowledgable and do try their best to make things better.
I do not think that Amway products can really be attacked as many of them are good quality. I have seen many doctors recommend the healthy products which they provide. However at the same time, they don't neglect the value of other parts to being healthy such as eat fruit and vegetables. This is doing what is right for the customer.
I think that those involved in Network 21 should not be generalised into your incorrect category of them all being scum and having no morals or ethics. They are infact very different to this and I think it is very inappropriate for you to say such things. Many people in Network 21 use this business because it is an easy source of money. You cannot blame people for not wanting to make their work a large part of their life. These people see that they don't want to retire poor at the age of 65 and have done nothing they enjoy with their life. As is the saying, 'The best things in life are free'.... however, in order for this to happen, we do need to take care of the bills. Not saying that all people in Network 21 are like this, they are not, a large portion however simply want to be able to forget about their own incomes and careers so they can focus on more important things. Family, children, enjoying life, travelling and helping others are the main goals that I see when listening to the majority of people in the business. I don't think it is appropriate to dislike people for trying to fulfill their dreams.
I am sure you have heard all of this before from people talking about how they hate schools for not teaching kids about money, or they hate universities for telling kids that they need to go there. The schools promote uni and then that cycle goes over and over, then at the end of uni you are smart in your chosen area, but unless you have some financial backing, your in debt. Does 15 years of school and 4 years of uni earn you money? HELL NO! they do claim to however, in most of the uni advertising I have seen (yes I am very capable of doing university, I do not want to though as I don't consider it to be enjoyable. All of my friends agree, but for some reason, usually parental pressure, many are going either next year or the year after. I don't understand why people would do things they don't enjoy)
When I leave school, I will most likely never use any of my $100,000+ education for career purposes. I will however use my tiny little $10,000 (it's not really that big, but if we go by your estimation, I will even give you a few thousand dollars lee-way) education from N21 which teaches me how to make money. All people want money, lets be honest, very few care about what they do with their job. It is what we do outside of our job, things with our family and lives that I consider to be most important (really it's a no-brainer)
I think this email is now well and truly long enough. I would very much like this letter to be posted on your website and I would like to hear a response from you so that you can teach me more (you seem to be very knowledgable) about why your beliefs are so and also so we can continue to discuss. I am interested in your opinion and will look forward to hearing it.
There must be a script out there somewhere.