Amway Speaks: Memorable Quotes


"Of course, there is a danger here. Along the way we may envision scenarios that are unrealistic. I would love to sing like Pavarotti or pass like Joe Montana or shoot like magic Johnson, or write like Toni Morrison. It is real important to get regular reality checks from those we love and trust. On occasion unrealistic dreams become obsessive and need a counselor's help"
--Rich DeVos Co-founder of Amway page 23 Compassionate Capitalism

"We’re just pleased to move on," Amway’s Meurlin said. "Stacy Hanrahan and the other plaintiffs had a very abnormal experience with the company."
--Craig "Pinocchio" Meurlin, senior vice president of Amway, commenting on the Hanrahan lawsuit which charged that distributors were being lied to about distributor incomes and being coerced by their uplines into buying motivational tools.

"So I am talking about $100,000 that you can make in your spare time without giving up what you do during the day."
--Amway distributor caught lying at recruitment meeting by hidden camera, American Journal, 2/14/94

"We have a major lawsuit going on right now with an attorney general in one of the states based on people making what they say are excess claims and telling people they hardly have to work at all, telling them you can make $50,000.00 a year and you only have to work twelve hours a week. Now, you and I both know, you know, that--that just can't be put up with."
--Rich Devos, co-founder of Amway, from a "Directly Speaking" tape, 1983

"In truth and fact, the average annual adjusted gross income for each of the approximately 20,000 Wisconsin Amway Distributorships was $267, or 2.2% of the projected $12,000 income. During the two-year period of 1979-1980, approximately 139 Direct Distributorships, or less than 1% of all Wisconsin Distributorships, had an average annual adjusted gross income in excess of $12,000. The average annual net income (after the deduction of business expenses) for all Wisconsin Direct Distributorships was, in fact, a net loss of $918."
--State of Wisconsin v. Amway Corporation et al, 7/82, in which Amway and a number of Amway distributors were fined for illegal misrepresentation of income

"Thus, the claims of incomes of $100 to $1,000 per month and the use of the $200 figure [in Amway hypothetical earnings examples] in such a way as to imply that it is a typical monthly retail sales figure, constitute misstatements of the amount of money a distributor is likely to earn. The $200 Business Volume figure overstates the true average Business Volume by more than 500%. And the often unqualified claims regarding actual income are even more removed from reality, at least as far as reality exists for the vast majority of Amway distributors."
--FTC v. Amway, 1979, in which Amway was found guilty of illegal misrepresentation of income

"We didn't start out with BV on tapes ... We put it in by the way, to be a competing force and to draw your attention to the kind of potential abuse that we thought was there, which we know is there, with a kind of power and pressure I never believed; and I am not going to take all afternoon to read you the horror stories of the people who say, 'I'm connected with such and such a system. I have $8,000 worth of their tapes in my basement. They will not take them back.' and the others who were told to mortgage their houses, cash in their life insurance, told to go to the bank to borrow because this big weekend seminar was so important. Well, that's extracting money."
--Rich Devos, co-founder of Amway, from a "Directly Speaking" tape, 1983

"One will discover in reading through these pages that there is, indeed, a price to be paid--a 'hidden' business carefully concealed behind the infrastructure of Amway's hierarchy. It is a multi-million dollar enterprise, cleverly designed and fueled by excitement and hero worship. Some have said that this 'ghost' system of 'non-Amway' produced materials has created a massive surge of grabby avariciousness from many of the top leaders, much more today than ever before. --Phil Kerns "Fake It 'Til You Make It: Inside Amway," 1982

"Amway is not a pyramid, an FTC judge ruled in 1979. But some of its independent distributors apparently have turned their groups into pyramidlike operations. Known as "black hats," these middlemen push their recruits to consume Amway goods, skip the retailing and buy large amounts of non-Amway peripherals (tapes, books, suits, jewels and even tickets to motivational rallies). Dexter Yager, for example, a one-time beer salesman from Rome, N.Y., is a distributor whose 'downliners'--distributors downstream, who generate commissions for him--account for perhaps a third of Amway's direct sales volume. He guesses his non-Amway tape-book-rally business brings two-thirds of in annual income..."
--Forbes magazine, 3/25/85


"Amway also agreed to incorporate a statement in its distributor agreement affirming individual’s rights to religious and political independence. Craig Meurlin, senior vice president of Amway, said that the company does not push religious or political philosophies on distributors, but agreed to the provision because 'the plaintiffs were concerned with the topic.'"
--Craig "Pinocchio" Meurlin, senior vice president of Amway, as his nose grows even longer.

"Though he praised the U.S. environmental efforts in general, he said 'whiners' at the Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro this week 'are talking like all the other lousy liberals I know. They want to take away from the overachievers and give to the underachievers ... But the answer is to teach them how to do better along with us."
--Rich Devos, quoted in "Amway's DeVos blasts 'whiners, Japan-bashers' at convention," Grand Rapids Press, 6/14/92.

"Now the Amway business is built on Christian principles, and therefore it's built on God's laws, because a Christian is going to live God's laws."
--Dave "I'm not a preacher" Severn recorded at Sunday Service, Duncan Family Reunion, 7/28/91

"I'm going to tell you what's wrong with this country the United States of America...I don't care who you are or what you believe. It's not the government, it's not the President, it's not the is the people of this nation that got the problem with this nation. They have allowed everything we stand for and [unintelligible due to applause and cheering from audience] to simply go down the tubes by hiring UN-CHRISTIAN PEOPLE [he shouts the words] to try and run a Christian-based society. And it just isn't going to work, friends."
--more from Dave "I'm not a preacher" Severn, same recording

"Some would see their Amway group as representing an opportunity to promote a political platform or to espouse a particular religious philosophy. Those people are not in the Amway business. They are in the business of using their groups for their own particular ends."
--From a regular feature of the Australian Amagram called "In Plain English: Guidelines from Amway Legal Services," 5/95.

"Amway relies heavily on the nearly fanatical--some say cultlike--devotion of its more than 500,000 U.S. 'independent distributors.' As they sell the company's soaps, vitamins, detergents and other household products, the distributors push the Amway philosophy. 'They tell you to always vote conservative no matter what. They say liberals support the homosexuals and let women get out of their place,' says Karen Jones, a former distributor in Myrick's hometown of Charlotte, N.C."
--"She Did It Amway," Mother Jones, Sep/Oct 1996

"Soon, however, [1994 GOP senate candidate and Amway distributor Sue] Myrick became a regular on the Amway circuit, speaking at hundreds of rallies, according to a former campaign staffer, and selling $5 and $10 audiotapes. Many lower-level Amway distributors say they also heard about Myrick via Amvox. 'Dexter Yager told us about [Myrick]. We had messages from him on Amvox,' says Jerry Barber of Yellville, Ark. According to Charlotte Courtney, Yager sent Amvox messages touting Myrick's 1994 run for the House to 'everyone in [his] downline.' Those messages may violate campaign laws."
----"She Did It Amway," Mother Jones, Sep/Oct 1996

"Karen and Craig Jones, both former distributors, attended one rally where Myrick spoke. 'She got up with her husband and said, 'You're the kind of people we like,' Karen says. After Myrick's speech, Amway leaders passed around buckets for contributions, and asked donors to write their names and the names of their Amway sponsors, or 'upline,' on the envelope."
--"She Did It Amway," Mother Jones, Sep/Oct 1996

"Last year DeVos and Van Andel brought in William Nicholson, former president Gerald Ford's appointments secretary, to reorganize Amway. Nicholson says the firm is cleansing the sales force and there is a new approach, downplaying evangalism and cultism and emphasizing real sales training instead."
--"Cleaning Up?", Forbes, 3/25/85

"Britt normally lectures the audience on living clean, traditional family lives. 'Don't wear the pants in the family,' he admonishes the women, who make up half his audience. He glowers at the men: 'Get rid of your pornography.'"
--"The Power of Positive Inspiration," Forbes, 12/9/91

"As DeVos puts it: "Our people are seeking inspiration all the time, as most people are. Some people find it in the Rotary Club, some people find it at church and some people like to go to Amway meetings."
--"The Power of Positive Inspiration," Forbes, 12/9/91

"In their paper on the 'gospel of prosperity,' [sociologists] Shupe and Bromley said that Amway, the nation's second-largest direct sales company, was the 'quintessential quasi-religious' corporation. 'It's many rallies and seminars are heavily laced with flag-waving, unabashed patriotism, prayers and references to the Almighty. But the real object of celebration is the corporate entity itself. America and God are simply associated symbols,' the researchers said."
--"The Gospel According To Amway," Sunday Punch, 1/4/87

"Amway's enthusiastic leadership preaches a convincing gospel of free enterprise, religious patriotism and American individualism--a concoction that has found a ready ear in a society searching for economic and spiritual fulfillment. Amway offers both. And its success and growth among many well-meaning Christians makes it a subtle competitor with biblical Christianity."
--"Giving God 'the business'", Mennonite Brethren Herald, 9/14/79

"Amway rally speakers have included Ronald Reagan, Robert Shuler, Pat Boone, Dale Evans, Bob Harrington, all well-known for their evangelical conservatism. DeVos himself was involved in a political initiative called 'The Plan to Save America,' with other evangelical 'Far Right' adherents like Bill Bright of Campus Crusade and former Arizona Rep. John Conlan (Sojourners, April 1976). The plan, among other things, was designed to help elect 'real Christians' to government and, according to DeVos, 'get rid of those so-called liberal Christians like Mark Hatfield' (a Republican Senator from Oregon and an outspoken evangelical)."
--"Giving God 'the business'", Mennonite Brethren Herald, 9/14/79

"About Marriage & Family For Women Only"
"Bush Vs. Dukakis"
"Christian American Values"
"God I Still Believe in You"
"Husband, Father, Leader"
"The Moral Map of American"
"Woman's Role"
"Raising Christians--Not Just Children"
"Pat Robertson A Biography"
"Growing Up Spiritually"
"Growing Through Divorce"
"How You Can be Led by the Spirit of God"
"Husbands Who Won't Lead and Wives Who Won't Follow"
"Straight Talk to Men and Their Wives"

--Some of the book and tape titles from Dexter Yager's 1992 tools catalog (and these aren't even from the "Inspirational" section of the catalog, which includes titles like "Biblical Thinking" and "God's Laws on Marriage and Sex"

"When I look at him, I see Jesus. I want you to listen to him--I know that you'll see Jesus too."
--Mike Wallace on "60 Minutes" quoting Birdie Yager talking about her husband, Dexter, at an Amway rally

"Brig Hart had just joined Amway when he went to a Yager rally years ago. That Sunday he found his way to its optional religious service. 'It wasn't like any church I'd been to,' says Hart. 'I saw people professing their faith in Jesus Christ and not ashamed. . . . I didn't see one person who reached high levels who didn't acknowledge the Lord and give him credit for the success.'"
--"Amway The Yager Way," Charlotte Observer, 3/19/95

"Yager displays his religion as openly as the Christian flags that flutter outside Internet offices ... Yager donated royalties of an early book to PTL Television Network. And when Jim and Tammy Bakker fell on hard times, he leased his home as a broadcast center. Gerald Harteis, an Amway distributor from Pennsylvania, says 'a strong faith and belief in God and the principles of our founding father' is, along with following your dream and supporting your associates, a tenet of the Yager System. 'What we do is try to make it available,' Harteis, 48, says of religion. 'I don't think we're attempting whatsoever to force this on people.'"
--"Amway The Yager Way," Charlotte Observer, 3/19/95

(I'm sure we all wish Craig "Pinocchio" Meurlin a speedy recovery from his case of terminal Foot-In-Mouth disease.)


"He [an Amway distributor] owns his own business. It's part of the estate that he'll pass on to his children. It includes a network of thousands that produces an income whether he's dead or alive. That drives his motivation to succeed."
--Rich DeVos in "Success" magazine

"16. The sole basis of Amway's discontinuance of the Gommeringers' distributorships is Amway's claim that plaintiffs failed to mail their signed 'Notice of Intent to Continue' form for 1985 and their $12.00 'Amagram' subscription fee (plus a $4.00 late fee if sent after December 31, 1984) to Amway.
--From the complaint filed in "Gommeringer v Amway," 9/85, in which a couple who spent 15 years building a Crown Direct distributorship alleged that Amway destroyed their business (and their lives) solely because of a dispute over their annual renewal fee

"16. Admitted."
--Amway's answer, filed in court, to the above allegation

"The Amway Vice President who made the transfer of the Baker/Michaels Distributors to another Amway organization contended that he 'has the authority to waive Contract Rules and would do it again.'"
--From an 8/95 article on Baker v Amway, in which a distributor sued Amway Corp. for violating its own rules in allowing her downline to transfer to another distributor, and was awarded in excess of $1 million in a unanimous jury verdict


"We will talk about the big picture--no problem--while making sure we do not diminish those who choose to do less or make them feel like losers. I hear that very often. 'There's winners and losers. Are you a winner? Are you a loser?' Almost insulting to people who don't sign up. You even got bad terminology. 'We're the winners. Over there are the losers in life.' They're not losers. They may have a richer, fuller life than those of you that got fancy cars and new clothes or big rings have got."
--Rich DeVos, "Directly Speaking," 1/93

"God gave us a life, and then he gave us a choice--choice to be a winner, choice to be a loser. Choice to live in American or LEAVE. Choice to get in Amway and be a winner, or laugh and be a whiner."

"You're worried about what your friends are going to think? Hey, that just proves you've got some stinkin' thinkin' friends, and you already recognize it."

"You going to lest some loser lead your life? I get sick and tired of dummies telling me about the good job they got. Ain't no such thing as a good job."

"You gotta be duuuuumb to stay broke. And if you're gonna keep a job, then you're gonna stay broke. And that's really duuuuuumb! Amen."
--all above quotes attributed to Dexter Yager by the Detroit Free Press

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