Sunday, April 6, 2008

TEX Answers The Prague Questions

As most of you know, Tex was invited to Prague by Alticor to speak to, along with 4 other bloggers and blog commenters, a conference of PR and External Affairs Staff on the phenomena of blogging and its impact on the direct sales industry, specifically Alticor, Amway, and Quixtar.

The blog panel was asked a series of questions by a panel moderator and then allowed to follow up.

Tex was articulate and to the point.

Over at "On The Road With Dave", I reprinted the questions asked of the panel and Tex gave his answers.

I'm reprinting them here.

Let me say, that at no time during the conference were we told NOT to blog about the conference. It was pretty much expected that we would.

The conference session opened with Dino giving a short Powerpoint presentation on what Blogging is, What blogs can do, and how Quixtar, Amway, and Alticor are using blogs. The ease of setting up a blog was mention and different Blog platforms like WordPress and Blogger were mentioned.

The Alticor Media Blog and the Amway Media Blog were began to address questions from, who else, but the Media. At the time, Dick DeVos, son of Amway Founder Rich DeVos was running for Governor of Michigan and his connection with Amway was an issue during the campaign.

After the campaign(and DeVos' loss) the two media blogs began to address Alticor lawsuits and troubles with terminated Independent Business Owners affiliated with Alticor.

Dino then introduced the invited bloggers and briefly explained their blogging efforts.

Again, the panel consisted of Dave Robison; "IBOFightback" (David Steadson); Bridgett, "Tex", "Big Apple". and Quixtar's own, Robin Luymes.

Although, the conference organizers knew all the attendees' real names, each blogger was introduced as their Internet personae. Their anonymity was important to the organizers.

1. When did you first start blogging about Amway, and why?

This is when the "No Tool Scam" sign came out, and I described how the business has been hijacked by the "kingpins" as a tool profit business, and A/Q as a secondary business. I mentioned Rich DeVos and the Directly Speaking recordings, and encouraged the attendees to listen/read them. I started blogging about 3 years ago to put an end to this bait-and-switch scam.

(Blogger's Note: Tex also told the audience that the corporation had lost millions of dollars because they had not addressed the issue of IBOs losing even more millions of dollars through the "tool scam".)

2. Many blogs have their own ground rules, and certainly the blogosphere has many rules of the road. What rules—if any—do you govern yourself by when you blog, and for what reasons?

I treat others as they treat me. When I started blogging, I soon found others were very nasty and had no interest in my ideas. After trying to stay "above the fray" for some time, it became apparent the only way to get my message out was to push back. I don't insult anyone, but I do return insults, and I continue to do so until they apologize for the original insult. (However, since returning, I've agreed with Chuck Lia to be "nicer", as he has indicated he will police his blog fairly with all bloggers.)

3. In your opinion, what do you think of our company’s approach to blogging?

I think I generally agreed with their approach.

(Blogger's Note: Tex? Didn't you also disagree with some panelists,(not me) in that you respected the "strong" approach of the Alticor and Amway Media Blogs?)

4. How has blogging helped you as an individual, as an advocate for the company, and as an "online citizen"? (In my notes, this question was "Has Blogging made you a better person?)

I responded blogging hasn't made me a better person, it has revealed who I am, which is someone who wants to be treated with honesty in a business dealing, which has clearly NOT happened with the tool scam.

5. Do you participate in other online venues, such as with sites like MySpace or Facebook, or do any podcasting? Do you feel that our involvement in these venues makes sense given the nature of our business? Please explain your answer.

I responded I do not participate much in these other venues, although upon reflection I have done some podcasts.

6. Our bloggging presence – the way we blog, how we blog and what we say – is evolving over time. We are still in the learning stages. Many of the audience members here are professional communicators from our Amway affiliates all over the world. What advice can you give our audience members as they continue to embrace blogging as a tool of communication?

I don't recall responding to this question.

7. Do You Make Any Money Blogging?

No, but I believe I have caused a lot of tool scam money to NOT be made that otherwise would have been.

8. Many of the people in this audience primarily deal with reporters and are just now beginning to deal with bloggers. There has been much debate in recent years whether bloggers carry the same rights and privileges, as do traditional journalists. Do you feel bloggers and journalists are one in the same, and should we treat bloggers with the same level of professional courtesy as we do with reporters?

I replied I don't know, I would need to know how they treat reporters.

9. As a global company, we must cooperate with different governments and respect their laws and customs as a rule of doing business. That said, how has blogging impacted the global marketplace?

Many companies have realized they need to pay attention to blogs, as this is a real impact on their reputation.

10. Do you think that blogging has changed the direct selling industry as a whole? Why or why not?

Yes, but I don't recall any further details.

FINALLY, Dino said that over the past year or so; Alticor was trying to transform itself and its companies and its online reputation. In a one-word, "Yes or No" answer; Do you believe the company is already being transformed?

I responded yes, but only because he asked for a single word, I didn't add this question is a bit like asking someone if they have stopped beating their wife. We have started the transformation, but have a long way to go.


Anonymous said...

I believe Amway also paid an EXTREMELY high price because the tool scamming Kingpins slowly, but surely, developed a dysfunctional relationship with "the corporation" that removed them from free market pressures that would have improved the competitiveness of Amway.

The fact is - Kingpins delivered volume. If the business had continued with Rich Devos' original vision, then I believe market pressures would have had more of an impact on the corporation's decision making.

In the absence of Kingpin induced cultlike manipulation to drive volume, distributors would have put a reasonable focus on retailing, and would have "pushed back" on the corporation for better competitively priced products.

Amway corp would have benefitted from feedback from a distributor network that was actually working the market-place. Instead, the kingpins developed a "shadow market" based on internal consumption combined with manipulation techniques.

Re-orienting the business to reflect market-place realitites will now be more painful, because Amway corp has been insulated from the market drivers that have forced other companies to change over the past ten or more years (i.e. responding to "box stores" like WalMart and/or TRUE Internet based businesses).

The changes, while painful, will ultimately create a much healthier business. Hopefully, if the Kingpins can be coralled, it can also be made a more HONEST business.


Anonymous said...


Good comments. Another reason why retail decreased is the number of products increased, so retail not only became less necessary, it became a waste of time the Distributors/IBO's could use in a more profitable manner (for the upline) by consuming tools. I view the manipulation less as a cult, and more as a good, old fashioned bait-and-switch.

Another good blog I suggest you visit is:

Anonymous said...

Hey Tex, so what is supposed to happen now that the conference is over?

Anonymous said...

I already answered that question on Dave's blog. This is one of the reasons I'm not in favor of having my own blog, people like you ask the same questions on different blogs.

Anonymous said...

Well, the tools scam is alive and well. Hopefully your input at the conference had some impact.

Anonymous said...

I said in my opening statements we would give them advice worth billions of dollars to them. I clearly stated the business is currently a bait-and-switch situation because of the tool scam. I posted my "No Tool Scam" sign. I can't be more clear, but again, these were PR types. I wouldn't go half way around the world again for the same audience, but I would go almost anywhere in the world to speak to other A/Q executives.

Anonymous said...

BILLIONS of dollars for that advice?


North American business, when you factor in inflation, population growth, etc has actually decreased for a long time. Even the inital Quixtar launch sales were just transfer growth from Amway N.A.

My understanding is that Monavie, which I am not impressed with, has already passed a billion in just a few years. The fact that Quixtar has been left "in the dust" seems incommprehensible given their long established presence and breadth of product offering.

They need to make dramatic changes, and the biggest obstacle to change, ironically, are the tool systems that have a vested interest in "business as usual".

How ironic, the "leadership development" programs are the greatest obstacle to leadership.


Anonymous said...

What I didn't say, but was thinking at the time, was I wouldn't give them advice worth billions of dollars without being compensated appropriately, EXCEPT I care more about the IBO's getting ripped off than the resulting benefits to the company. Several in the audience chuckled and laughed when I made the statement, and that is when I continued with the part about the business being reduced to a bait-and-switch situation, the bait being Quixtar, the switch being the tool profits. I also encouraged them to google Rich DeVos and Directly Speaking, and listen to a co-founder of Amway in 1983, as the problems 25 years later are still "alive and well."

I think we need to transition the discussion from what the problem is, to what we can do about it. I have contacted everyone I can think of, including A/Q, regulators, legislators, media, industry organizations, lawyers with active lawsuits involving the tool scam, etc., and would encourage others to do the same. Can you think of what else we can do to bring pressure on the situation? Would it help to post the specific contact web addresses, telephone numbers, e-mails, etc?

Anonymous said...

Maybe "formal" complaints need to be registered with the FTW and BBB

Anonymous said...


Let not your heart be troubled. I think there are market forces at work that will force the tool scam to be "brought to justice".

The UK experience MUST be a wakeup call for the Corp. Let's face it - they have come within inches of having an entire country operation cut down.

Add to that the TEAM debacle (from a PR standpoint) and the continuing lawsuits and I have to believe that at some point the Corp will exceed their "pain threshold".

When people talk about self-destructive or dysfunctional behavior, you will hear mental health professionals talk about why they continue to do so. One reason is "secondary gains" - there is something about the dysfunctiion that is rewarding to the individual even though the "primary pain" that results in bad outcomes because of the behavior.

In Quixtar, the corporation has had the "secondary gain" of having their volume increased without them having to yield to market pressures - because the Kingpins have helped them "artificially" maintain volume out of proportion to what a free market would reward them for.

That is starting to change. UK will be a big hit on their bottom line. Fallout from TEAM will likely also negatively affect their sales as well. The conversion to "Amway" will hurt them further (with the Kingpins). There is a reason they shut out the IBOIA board - because they knew the board was adamantly opposed to the name switch back to Amyway.

All these factors, and more, have the potential to raise the pain threshold high enough so the "secondary gains" will no longer exceed the primary pain.

Once that tipping point is reached, and the Corp finally stands up to the corrupt Kingpins, then you will see "TEAM TIMES TWENTY". It will be incredibly ugly and will put them into a big hole. And as they recover they will put controls in place so they NEVER have their business Hijacked out from under them the way the Kingpins did to their fathers in the 70's and 80's.


Anonymous said...


What is FTW? I think the BBB is a good idea.

JimZ, I think your analysis is correct, and I will continue to push to ensure the tipping point occurs sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

Jim Z seems only to be impressed with companies that run a product scam, then also create their own tool scam "Quixtar U", imprission their own "Independant" contractors, only lower prices when the country's government is about to exspell out of the counrty for running a what? Internal consumption pyramid. Wow, same thing in two totally different countries. I swear you people need to look at the facts and stop listening to the corp. spin.


Anonymous said...

Why did they bow to the British governmaent faster? Quixtar has not been able to pay for their protection from government officals over seas in the same manner as they have in the US.


Anonymous said...


I'm not completely in A/Q's corner. In fact this year I did not renew as an IBO.

I think it's inexcusable that Rich and Jay never killed the "tool income cancer" back in 1983. Too many people have paid a high price for that failure. I view it as a business, moral and ethical failure.

Both sides have extreme problems that need to be rectified:

Corporation side:
- Arbitration process is an end run around US Law, and should be eliminated. No IBO has a secure business as long as the Arbitration "kangaroo court" is in place.
- Product prices are too high. Essentially A/Q's IBO's are retail customers who must then try to sell at "retail+retail" pricing

Distributor side:
- Tool income must become completely transparant (I know if you are in TEAM you will argue that is the case - I will not debate that point because I was in BWW and can't comment on TEAM tool disclosure.
- The MANY MANY false, misleading claims and outright lies that have become part of the leadership culture of the distributor networks must end. The lies are too numerous to mention, but include ("your upline doesn't make any money until you are successful, if you invest 8-12 hours a week you'll have a six figure income in 2-5 years, everything has a money back guarantee (except the ten boxes of tapes my upline wouldn't buy back)

I could go on, but will stop there.

That said, what do we do? We could advocate completely shutting down A/Q, but there IS a legitimate business deep down inside - unlike the tool "business" which has NEVER offered a market-value product - and has always required a "real" business to feed off of.

The only answer left is to try to get A/Q back on track with how Rich and Jay founded it. How it was BEFORE the Kingpins hijacked it and perverted the educational function into a shadow business.

In fact, I genuinely believe that if the kinpins had not hijacked the business, it would have had to have been more responsive to market pressures (see the very first post at the top of this page).

On another blog I read a poster (forget who and where) who described the high income of the tool business as a conflict of interest. I thought that was an accurate representation. The incentive for leadership is to promote more tools, not real success on the part of the newer people.

Anonymous said...

As indicated on Chuck Lia's blog, here is the A/Q "Declaration of Independence" written almost 3 years ago. I write this as a rallying cry to put an end to the tool scam.

November 1, 2005
The unanimous Declaration of the BSM Lite, Inc. Tool System
When in the Course of business events it becomes necessary for enlightened IBO’s to dissolve the tool/system support bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the Quixtar Rules of Conduct, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Common Sense and of Common Sense's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all IBO’s are created equal, that they are endowed by their Support Team with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Audios, Books and Functions. — That to secure these tools at a minimal cost, Initiative is instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the other IBO’s, — That whenever any Form of Business Support Team becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the IBO’s to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new tool system, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Profitability, Success, and Ethics. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Business Support Teams long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience has shown that IBO’s are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Business Support Teams, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these IBO’s; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Business Support Tools. The history of the present Kingpins is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these IBO’s. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
The Kingpins have refuted their Assent to honesty about tool profits, most wholesome and necessary for the IBO good.
The Kingpins have forbidden their kingpins to pass through honesty of tool profits of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till their Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, they have utterly neglected to attend to them.
The Kingpins have refused to pass through other honesty of tool profits for the accommodation of large numbers of IBO’s, unless those IBO’s would relinquish the right of discussing them with lower level IBO’s, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
The Kingpins have called together other Kingpins at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their IBO’s, for the sole purpose of keeping them in the dark, and into compliance with their mandates.
The Kingpins have dissolved IBO feedback repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness their invasions on the tool costs of the people.
The Kingpins have refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be hold similar opinions, whereby the Common Sense, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the IBO’s at large for their exercise; the Business remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
The Kingpins have endeavored to prevent the population of these IBO’s product and services businesses; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Common Sense; refusing to lower tool prices to encourage their future growth, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of New IBO’s.
The Kingpins have obstructed the Administration of Common Sense by refusing to lower tool prices.
The Kingpins have made kingpins dependent on their Will alone for the tenure of their businesses, and the amount and payment of their product and tool revenue.
The Kingpins have erected a multitude of New Price Increases, and sent hither swarms of kingpins to harass our people and eat out their substance.
The Kingpins have kept among us, in times of less expensive technologies, high tool prices without the Consent of the IBO’s.
The Kingpins have affected to render the tool profit system independent of and superior to the product and service business and the Power of Reason.
The Kingpins have combined with other Kingpins to subject us to tool prices foreign to our logic, and unacknowledged by our Sense of Fairness; giving their Assent to their Acts of pretended Value.
For selling large bodies of overpriced tools among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any tool abuse which they should commit on the IBO’s:
For cutting off our Honorable Businesses with all parts of the world:
For imposing High Tool Prices on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For accusing us of being negative beyond Reason be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of Cost Effective Tools in all known lines of sponsorship, establishing therein an Arbitrary and Excessive tool profit structure, and enlarging its Profit so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these IBO’s businesses:
For taking away our tool money, abolishing our most valuable Sense of Ethics and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Businesses:
For suspending our own Sense of Worth, and declaring themselves invested with power to support us in all cases whatsoever.
The Kingpins have abdicated authority here, by declaring us out of their System Profits Structure and waging War in the form of lack of training and motivation against us.
The Kingpins have plundered our finances with overpriced tapes, books, and functions, ravaged our bank accounts, caused excessive charges on our credit cards, and damaged the reputation of an honorable business.
The Kingpins are at this time transporting large quantities of high cost tools to complete the works of buying themselves large homes, automobiles, boats, and planes already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized business partner.
The Kingpins have constrained our fellow IBO’s taken Captive on the high level of lack of information to bear witness against their fellow IBO’s, to become the adversaries of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their continued lies.
The Kingpins have excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and have endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless anti-business fanatics whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all IBO’s because of tool abuse of a few.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated non-answers. A Kingpin, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the mentor of IBO’s.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Kingpin brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their tool abuse to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our establishment of our businesses here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred, to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of BSM Lite, in General Meeting, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Independent Businesses, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Independent Businesses are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent Businesses, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the Kingpins, and that all abusive tool business connection between them and the Kingpins’ tool businesses, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent Businesses, they have full Power to levy their own tool business, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent Businesses may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Anonymous said...

Here's the A/Q version of the Constitution Preamble:

We the IBO’s of BSM Lite, in Order to form a more perfect Team, establish Ethics, Honesty, and Openness, insure Fairness with our business partners, provide for the common Information Needs, promote the general Profit, and secure the Blessings of Independent Businesses to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this tool system for the associated IBO’s.

Anonymous said...

Here's one more I didn't mention on Chuck's blog, but believe is appropriate, as we recently recognized the 40th anniversary of MLK's death, and Chuck used MLK to illustrate his point. I recommend you read these 3 original documents to get a flavor of how I have modified them in their "A/Q" form:

As a tribute to MLK, I offer this IBO version of MLK's most famous speech.

I Have a Dream
January 2007
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for IBO tool profit knowledge in the history of our business.
Two score years and eight years ago, two great Americans, in whose symbolic shadows we stand today, started the Amway Corporation. This momentous business concept came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of common Americans who couldn’t afford starting their own businesses. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their frustration of attaining the American Dream.
But forty eight years later, the prospect still is not shown the business honestly. Forty eight years later, the life of the IBO is still sadly crippled by the manacles of the “kingpins” and the chains of their overpriced tool systems. Forty eight years later, the IBO lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of “kingpin” material prosperity. Forty eight years later, the IBO is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our senses to protest a bill. When the architects of our business wrote the magnificent words of the Amway Founding Principles, they were signing a promissory note to which every IBO was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all IBO’s, yes, common IBO’s as well as “kingpin” IBO’s, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights to be offered Hope, Freedom, Family, and Reward, in proportion to their efforts.
It is obvious today that the “kingpins” have defaulted on this promissory note insofar as their IBO’s of less than Platinum level are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, the “kingpins” have given the IBO’s a bad bill, a check which has come back marked "excessive tool prices". But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this business. So we have come to protest this bill — a bill that when reduced will give us upon demand the riches of low overhead and the security of proper incentives. We have also come to remind the corporation and “kinpins” of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of the Amway/Quixtar business. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of the tool scam to the sunlit path of truthful tool profit disclosure. Now is the time to lift our business from the quick sands of tool scam injustice to the solid rock of honesty. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's IBO’s.
It would be fatal for the business to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the IBO’s legitimate tool price discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of knowing more of tool profit information and equality of opportunity. Two thousand seven is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the IBO needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the Quixtar business returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in Quixtar until the IBO’s are granted their business overhead knowledge rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our business until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my fellow IBO’s who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for knowing the level of tool profit by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting financial tool scamming force with factual force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the IBO community must not lead us to distrust of all “kingpins”, for many of our “kingpin” brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their financial freedom is inextricably bound to our financial freedom. We cannot walk alone.
As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of Quixtar IBO business rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the IBO is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of “kingpin” financial brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain being welcomed in the hotel meeting rooms along the highways and the living rooms of the cities. We can never be satisfied as long as an IBO in Mississippi cannot afford to attend a function and an IBO in New York believes he has nothing for which to afford outside the tool purchases. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until the level of tool profit rolls down like waters and true overhead costs are commonly known like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow personal budgets. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for financial freedom left you battered by the storms of pricey CD’s and staggered by the winds of brutal major function costs. You have been the veterans of creative financial suffering that benefits the “kingpins”. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to the east, go back to the west, go back to the south, go back to the north, go back to the midwest, go back to the homes and apartments of all our cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my fellow IBO’s, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the Amway dream.
I have a dream that one day this business will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all IBO’s are to tell the truth about tool profits."
I have a dream that one day the 100 PV IBO's, the sons of former IBO’s and the sons of former “kingpins” will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the entire business, a business sweltering with the heat of the tool scam injustice, sweltering with the heat of financial oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of knowing the level of tool profit and justice.
I have a dream that my two children will one day live in a business where they will not be judged by the color of their pin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, all across Quixtar, with its vicious “kingpin” tool profiteers, with its “kingpins” having their lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Quixtar, IBO’s will be able to join hands with “kingpins” as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to Quixtar with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our business into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for financial freedom together, knowing that we will have an honest business and financial freedom one day.
This will be the day when all of God's IBO’s will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
And if Quixtar is to be a great business this must become true. So let tool profit honesty ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let tool profit honesty ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let tool profit honesty ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let tool profit honesty ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let tool profit honesty ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let tool profit honesty ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let tool profit honesty ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let tool profit honesty ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let profit honesty ring.
And when this happens, When we allow tool profit knowledge to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's IBO’s, lower level IBO’s and “kingpins”, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old DeVos book, "Compassionate Capitalism at last! Compassionate Capitalism at last! Thank God Almighty, we have Compassionate Capitalism at last!"

Anonymous said...

June 6, 2005
Rich DeVos
7575 Fulton Street East
Ada, Michigan 49355

Dear Rich:
We hope this letter finds you in good health. The main purpose of this communication is to make you aware of a recent decision we have made to return the Quixtar business back to its roots. We know the principles you and Jay founded the Amway Corporation with, and we are in total agreement with those principles. I have recently read/listened to the “Directly Speaking” tapes you recorded in 1983. I have also watched the 4 Compassionate Capitalism videos you made in 1994 and I am currently reading the book. All these activities have motivated us to develop a tool system that meets the maximum 20% tool profit to product profit guideline, for Platinums and above. We are appalled at the continued abuse that continues to this day, and you correctly identified as a major problem in 1983. The inappropriate economic incentives the higher pins have are in direct opposition to many of the founding principles of this business, not to mention the unethical practice we believe the current systems represent.
We could take other paths, such as quit and move on to other activities or join the “anti-Amway/Quixtar army” on the internet. However, we are neither quitters nor complainers. We could sue/enter arbitration, which would probably result in minimal or no monetary payment, and we would likely lose when attorney fees and effort are considered, and probably be prevented from speaking out in this matter as a condition of arbitration. We also consider this to be a path of last resort, if we would even use it at all. We could continue with the current system, which is not working, and the negative publicity is only building on the internet. We have asked our upline for price breaks by getting permission to make copies of CD’s, but this would cut into their profits and probably their lifestyle, we are not expecting much of a positive response in this area, and would probably be considered troublemakers, with the inherent downside connotations this represents.
I sent and received an e-mail response and talked with a second person in your Conduct and Rules department, and they were not helpful in answering my 3 questions, which were whether Quixtar still supports the “20% guideline”, whether they are aware of any organizations with this practice, and whether they could get me in touch with this type organization(s). When I state they were not helpful, I understand the legal implications of actually answering my questions, so I don’t mean to relate these folks were not doing their job. I expected the answers I received, namely tools are optional, they were not aware of the tool practices of the lines of sponsorship, and would not be able to assist in finding a group meeting the above guideline. However, I needed to ask to be sure the best alternative was to go forward developing a reformed system.
Therefore, we are developing a lower cost system that will generally not make use of “major functions”, will use monthly seminar/rallies as the major functions to be attended 3-4 times/year, and conduct separate monthly meetings centered around, but not exclusively use, the Compassionate Capitalism book/videos and Credos, which will represent our “Constitution”, as well as the 11 major points (we may call them the “Bill of Rights”, as in right versus wrong) made in your “Directly Speaking” tapes. These could also be amended from time to time as the need arises. All of the negative sites on the internet will be used to our advantage, as we can clearly show how “THAT is not US”. The intent is to create a “Constitutional” system, whereby the above principles will guide us, not individuals. This form of government has served our country well, and we think it will serve us well also. We are indebted to you for developing the “Directly Speaking” tapes and Compassionate Capitalism book/videos. They will (finally) be put to good and proper use.
Note that we are copyrighting this practice, as further evidenced by the notarized seal on this letter. We believe this letter represents a description, explanation, and illustration, therefore it is copyright protected. Others are welcome to use this system, but they must seek me out, as I know I am not allowed to promote our system outside of our line of sponsorship.
It is our desire you are aware of what we are doing, and you do not pass on without knowing there are truly good people actively working to straighten out this business. That is our gift to you, hope that this reform will wash over the business and clean it up while you are still alive. We hope you are with us for a long time, especially long enough to see the fruits of our labor, but when the time comes, tell Jay everything is okay, we are fixing it and will never give up.
We are not looking for a “handout”, but whatever support you feel is appropriate would be welcomed. We have no intent to break any rules, and ask for your assistance, patience, and understanding as we move forward. We consider ourselves to be on your side, assuming you still stand behind the “Directly Speaking” tapes and Compassionate Capitalism book/videos.

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