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distressed_IBO

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  1. Amway and Quixtar are sister companies. Quixtar was launched in 1999, I believe. Most active Amway distributers have become Quixtar IBO's, in North America. The official reason for launching Quixtar was to provide online shopping. The more likely reason is because of the bad reputation Amway developed. Most current BWW Diamonds started as Amway distributors, and their organizations switched to Quixtar. The two companies have similar product lines. I don't think Amway's product lines are growing. The Amway/Quixtar business model pays comissions based on sales, or referral of sales (and referrals of referrals of sales). Getting people signed up does not make you money, so it's not really a Ponzi, but still has a pyramid-like structure. BWW makes money from CD's, seminars, functions. My understanding is that it is an illegal pyramid, because the CD's never make it to an end consumer, whereas a percentage of the Quixtar products are supposed to go to a client that is not an IBO.
  2. I've not made any claims regarding the political positions of the owners of the websites I linked to. I only claimed that their observations regarding the motivational organizations match my personal experience, and those websites provide both background and more detailed information on this topic. Even if I were a Marxist with a hidden agenda, how would my politics affect my claims regarding cults hidden behind Quixtar? Regarding the network marketing business as whole, I've stressed the distinction between the Quixtar pyramid-like structure and the pyramid-structured cult hidden behind it. I've already said that there are probably Quixtar groups without abusive cult characteristics, and that there are other network marketing businesses, and there is no reason for me to believe that they are cults, and I've already implicitly supported the beneficial aspects of network marketing. I don't see any other way in which my politics would affect the topic. If I've broken any forum rules, point them out and I'll stop. I know I "stormed" on to this forum, but I was confused and distressed, and did not want to go through the normal proceedure of going to the Introductions and Personal Notes thread. And there's little chance I'll post in any other thread. I'm a long time lurker and plan on going back. Many of these posts here are extremely informative.
  3. Thanks, Dismuke, for providing a larger context for these motivational groups. I've had first-hand experience supporting every single one of your points. I can certainly see the ringleaders in BWW having Toohey characteristics, but I've had very little personal experience with them, because they spend so little time on stage, which helps create the image that they are legends. I'm sure there are a number of Dr. Floyd Ferris types running around behind the scenes, but it is the large number of Robert Stadler types that recently stuck me, and they are the Amway/Quixtar Diamonds. From when you first start the business, the Diamonds are upheld as heroes to be worshipped. They are supposed to have a 6-figure, willable, inflation-adjusted, on-going residual income. "Here's the CD featuring our upline Diamond, listen to it to learn the secrets of building a big, world wide business." Huge anticipation is built up for going Diamond. "You drove 4 hours for a no-show? With that dedication, you're sure to go Diamond soon!" By the time someone goes Diamond, he has a huge team under him, and they are all hanging on every word he says. Since his critical thinking ability is severly hampered by now, he ignores the suspicious activity at this level in the business. He has no clue what to do with his huge team, so he relies on his upline more than ever. During the seasonal functions, 10 to 20,000 people gather in coliseums to listen to Diamond after Diamond go on stage, tell their life story, describe the struggles they went through to build this business, and how the business has made all their dreams come true. Most of these 20,000 people are sitting on the fence, trying to figure out if the business is worth it. The Diamonds know, deep down inside, that something is wrong (aisde from a large portion of their income coming from the motivation business, not the Quixtar product business) but they go ahead and emphatically praise the business. They do it because the system has bullied them into doing it. I think Diamonds get the most abuse from upline, and dish out the most damage to their downline. This strikes me as eerily similar to Robert Stadler, a well known authority of science, addressing the anxious and confused crowd, assuring them that Project X has beneficial humanitarian motives, right before the demonstration with farm animals and buildings. (If I remember correctly.)
  4. I haven't been able to come up with good definitions for any of those terms. I looked in a few dictionaries for "cult" but many of the definitions were so bad that they would include this forum. The best approximation I can come up with is: A cult is an organization that systematically and intentionally brainwashes its members. I don't have a good definition for brainwashing either, but I can give examples of BWW brainwashing/mind control techniques from first hand experience. The freedomofmind website also lists many of these things. It also describes common characteristics of cults, but it's not clear if these are essential characteristics needed for a proper definition. 1) Sleep deprivation. Many seminars and all the weekend functions go late into the morning hours. You simply can't think straight. 2) Block all exits. You are let to believe that the business is the only path to financial success. The stock market, your job, real estate investing, are all put down as guaranteed failures. Stories of people getting laid off, losing their pension, stock market crashes right at retirement age, etc. 3) Information control. You are told that you need to get financial advice from financial successful people. The Diamonds in this business are the ideal mentors. Don't listen to stock brokers because they tell you to buy stocks that they personally don't buy. Don't listen to financial planners because their own finances are a mess. Listen to only your upline because they are where you want to be. There are many others, as well as the BWW rules I listed in a previous post. These may seem silly, but they are used very subtlely and repeatedly, all the while you think you are learning about successful business principles. People sign up for Quixtar for good reasons: learn people skills, learn how to sell, network with good people, develop character, develop a second source of income, etc. but they end up getting sucked into cults like BWW. Worst of all, your sponsor is being indoctrinated while he simultaneously indoctrinates you. Hence the blind leading the blind that bothered me. I think I would need expertise in cult psychology for a proper definition.
  5. I shopped at the grocery store once a week when I was in the business. Like I said, some Quixtar items are overpriced, but some are favorable. Quixtar also has promotional sales. I'm good at introspection and identifying false integrations. I've been discussing this with many people, on and off this forum. I've been losing sleep browsing websites. I was not mildly concerned, I was distressed. I'm anti-Quixtar only because it knowingly condones the motivational cults. I was personally participating in the cult, so I have a deep-seated grudge. I was to stress that the products, the network marketing aspect, and the selling to friends aspects are not my focus. My focus is the motivational organization that you unknowingly sign up for when you sign up for Quixtar. My sponsor was an expert at half-truths and evasion, but I thought that was just him. I didn't know that it was typical under this type of organization. BWW is mostly in the east coast, United Kingdom, and Canada. WWDB is the west coast and else where. Instead of looking only at my sponsor, I looked at the rules of the system as a whole. Two BWW rules raised red flags: 1) Consult upline, but don't discuss business crossline or downline. 2) Don't pass negative. The first rule is justified by saying that only your upline has a vested interest in your business. If you make a lot of money, your upline will get a percentage for sponsoring you. This rule creates a dependency and a phobia against discussing business with anyone except your upline. At the meetings, if you mention your own business or ask someone about theirs, they freak out as though you've committed a mortal sin. The second rule is justified by saying: spread negative and you'll get negative back. Spread positive and you'll have a positive business. This rule causes everyone in the business to be afraid of pointing out suspicious activity. If you question your upline or anything or anyone in the business, you're met with scornful looks. This may seem silly to some of you, but you are not introduced to these rules until you have (unknowingly) undergone some of the mind-control techniques already. My point is, anyone interested in a network marketing business needs to watch out for these types of rules. These are not Quixtar rules, they are motivational organization rules. They can't enforce these rules, but if you break then, you are outcast by both your upline and your downline. Also, these rules are listed with obvious rules like: "Don't mess with anyone's money" and "Don't mess with anyone's spouse" which package-deals them and makes them seem innocuous. http://www.freedomofmind.com/ http://www.freedomofmind.com/resourcecente...amway/index.htm That website is run by a cult expert and lists Quixtar/Amway as a possible cult. I had first hand experience that it is a cult.
  6. I am promoting those links now, but that was not the reason I started this thread. formerdiamond.com is by a former Diamond in the business. merchantsofdeception is by a former Emerald. A Diamond has 6 Platinums. An Emerald has 3 Platinums. A Platinum is an IBO with a group that does 7500 BV worth of product volume a month. Last month, I did over 600 BV of volume. 1 BV is approximately $2.50. All three of us were working hard and making money (from what a gather from those sites). We did not quit because we sucked at the business and became bitter losers. This is exactly what members in the business want people to think. We quit because we discovered the deceptive, brainwashing, illegal pyramid hidden behind Quixtar. I'm not trying to say that buying a book or two will guarantee wealth. I'm not even saying that performing all the recommened actions will guarantee big business. (Although I have personal experience that this is true.) I am saying that the payouts and the lifestyles are purposely deceptive. And that groups such as BWW are cults that utilize mind control techniques. I've spent hours on the internet, and these sites, as well as the Dateline movie clip, are the most informative, in my opinion.
  7. That's exactly the sentiment used to keep people from doubting the business. The book is a free download pdf, why would I peddle it? Try this website: http://www.formerdiamond.com/ I'll give specific examples from personal experience shortly.
  8. Hidden behind Quixtar are motivational groups that are both illegal pyramids and brainwashing cults. Quixtar and motivational groups like Britt World Wide (which I was in) have symbiotic relationships that destroys the minds of anyone who gets involved. BWW (and other groups) engage in brainwashing with the goal of creating zombies that become addicted to the books, CD's, seminars, coliseum functions, etc. BWW needs Quixtar as a cover-up. Quixtar, by itself, is a sound business, but it is corrupt because it has caved-in in its efforts to shut down groups like BWW. If these groups where shut down, Quixtar would not survive the drop in sales. For the past 3 months, in this business, I've been staring at the gaping mouth of a demon, and I didn't know it until I almost fell in. BWW is a cult that indoctrinates and gets indoctrinated without anyone in it knowing. Everyone thinks they are participating in an experiment of free enterprise. Most people involved come from well-respected professions like engineers, doctors, CPA's, etc. This cult covers you with a blanket of both comfort and fear, and blocks all exits. People in the cult have absolutely no reason to quit. http://www.merchantsofdeception.com/ This man's horror story is what I've experienced (and am recovering from) only multiplied by about 100. He was in the business for about 10 years. I've been trying to de-program myself for the last week or so. I'm not eating and my sleep schedule is shot. I'm constantly looking out the window and checking the lock on my door. Luckily, I have a rough understanding of the destructive power of false integrations, so I hope to fully recover in a few days. http://www.amquix.info/dateline/dateline.html The dateline story above does a decent job of summing it up, but it should have put more emphasis on the distinction between Amway/Quixtar and the motivational organizations hidden behind it. Note that I am only speaking of organizations such as Britt World Wide and World Wide Dream Builders, both of which I have first hand experience that they are cults. It is possible that there are organizations within Quixtar that are NOT cults. Additionally, I've been to meetings of other network marketing businesses, and I doubt they are cults.
  9. Interesting...I'm an engineer who works with metallurgists. After a few days away from my sponsor and sifting through massive amounts of opinions, from both sides, most of which is garbage, I've concluded that my sponsor is personally evasive, but not the business itself. The posts above are pretty typical, whether online or in person. I was going to compile a list of evasions I've personally seen, but it would require lots more background info. I should be able to provide this info to anyone who is seriously considering these types of businesses. I think my original question requires more study on the topic of moral sanction and perhaps expertise in psychology and cults.
  10. 1) SA8 laundry detergent 2) Glister mouthwash 3) Dishdrops dish detergent Please don't go down this road unless you've seen a significant part of the business from the inside. One of the reasons Amway/Quixtar is so successful is because all the common accusations against it are easily refuted. A half baked argument is worse than no argument at all. In this case, superficial arguments against the products only lends more credibility to Quixtar. This causes persons considering Quixtar to believe that all anti-Quixtar messages are from wackos. Like I said, Quixtar is highly evolved, and my sponsors "warned" me against these ahead of time. One thing I'm trying to figure out is if the evasiveness is inherent in the system or depends on the individual. I know my question is not completely clear, because I'm trying to formulate it as I write it. That's why my original post was to see if anyone here has had any experience in this business.
  11. Like I said, some of the products are more cost effective than the grocery store counterparts, so yes. I don't see why this is relevant. Since you seem to place high importance on the products, let me just give you one example, at the risk of sounding like a pitch: Quixtar is in the practice of buying out good companies with specialized products: it recently bought out Interleukin, which has patents on a product call Gensona, which is a genetic test for IL1 heart disease. This is a little bit beyond soap and shampoo: if today I cancelled my Quixtar account, and tomorrow someone is concerned about hereditary heart disease, then I would recommend Gensona, again, regardless if that person is a friend or a stranger. I don't mind discussing products and the business model, but my oringinal question was more geared towards the educational system. I have no problem recommending the products and giving the exact same business opportunity that I was given, whether to a friend or to a stranger. I was hoping someone with some experience could offer a second set of eyes. This business evolves at a rapid pace. If a book, CD, or line does not work, it is thrown out and replaced immediately. An Objectivist friend of mine proudly stated that he does not do anything unless he has a reason for it. In Quixtar, nothing happens unless there are multiple reasons for it. My problem has to do with me supporting/promoting/sanctioning a system that I don't understand 100% of, and might evolve into something I don't approve of.
  12. This is a non-issue. You are encouraged to sell/promote only items that you have personally used and enjoyed. I don't know why many people take this position. If a dear friend of mine asked me to sit down to see a product or a business, I'll be impressed that s/he took the time and effort in preparation of the presentation. I'm objective with my friends. I'm objective with my money. Why should there be trouble when the two are mixed? Doesn't this really depend on how that first 5 minutes is presented? Why can't you have a business transaction and still preserve the respect of friendship? This is the same in reverse. If a salesman, be it automotive, shampoo, or whatever, takes the time to get to know me better, I'll reciprocate and give him more attention. My sales method basically consists of giving out freebies, telling them that they are found nowhere else on the market, and wait for them to ask me details like the price, shipping time, etc. Why should this change if my client changes from a stranger to a close friend? I know I've been defending Quixtar, but only because I don't want to quit this business for superficial reasons.
  13. Either I was unclear, or you may have downplayed my concern. If someone can't see through the hype, it's his own fault. Every company that hires salesmen trains them, to the best of my knowledge. What's the distinction between training and programming? Tell them exactly what you said. I was told early in the game that if I use the products my downline will copy me. It works. And it's not like I just toss my products in the trash. I use them. Some are exorbitantly priced, but quite a few of them are cost effective. This is closest to my concern, which I can't quite identify 100%. Do you have specific examples? I count myself as hard working. It's not like it's a scam where they take your money and run. Your income is proportional to the effort you put in, but this is not obvious, because there is a time lag, just like any other business. I'm trying to get this whole thing straightened out before I sponsor friends. What I'm trying to get at is: is it okay to endorse/support something that you don't understand 100%? I'm learning as I go, but I suspect that I'll discover something unsavory. Is it moral to keep charging ahead, since I don't have any concrete examples of dishonesty?
  14. Multi-level marketing, network marketing, affiliate marketing, private franchising, etc. are all forms of businesses that rely on word-of-mouth advertising instead of advertising through mass media. I was wondering if anyone here has any experience with the Amway/Quixtar business, the biggest (and first, I believe) network marketing business. I've been an Quixtar IBO (Independent Business Owner) for 3 months. I've had doubts from the beginning, but I set those aside, labeling them as fear of contacting prospects. Now that I've gotten much better at contacting strangers, and am making some pocket cash, the doubts have actually grown. The more I see of the business, the less I like it. My main concern is that I might be sanctioning/approving of a system that is dishonest/evasive. If you memorize and use the lines given to you after you join the business, you will quickly sponsor several people (bring them in the business), each of whom will be asking many questions. Since you don't know all the answers, you just ask your sponsor (the person who brought you in the business) and use whatever answer he gives you. Worst of all, your sponsor does not understand everything either, and is only passing along the phrases he got from his sponsor. This system of the blind leading the blind strikes me as incredibly dangerous. I suspect that by the time most people start to suspect this, they are making some money (not serious money, but some extra spending money) which they don't want to give up, so they keep up the charade. The seminars and rallies are incredibly motivational and emotion-charged, and makes it difficult for me to think straight. Can anyone here who's seen the business from the inside comment on this? I'd like to know if I'm paranoid or if I'm the only one in my IBO team who's both honest and perceptive. Thanks, Distressed
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