Alex Constantine - October 27, 2009
" ... nearly 99% of all investors suffer financial loss - and sometimes ruin - while Amway generates billions in 'revenues.' ... this financial scam is carried out publicly in well orchestrated recruitment rallies attended by thousands of hopefuls. They are urged to continue in Amway by high-profile Republican politicians, famous motivational speakers and Christian religious leaders, and the crafted presentation of a business hoax audaciously and guilefully portrayed as a legal and viable business model. ... "
Montoursville, PA - Merchants of Deception, a new book released yesterday, offers detailed revelations of a Main Street Ponzi that seems to dwarf Bernard' Madoff's Wall Street fraud in scale and audacity. While much attention is directed at financial investment scams, whistleblower Eric Scheibeler reveals how the very same model of "endless chain" investments is carried out by the Amway Corporation and its high level distributors. He shows that, just as Bernard Madoff escaped scrutiny disguised by high-powered credentials and the camouflage of a legitimate "hedge fund," Amway operates in plain sight as a successful "direct selling company."
As it was ultimately revealed that Madoff had no revenue source other than new investors, Scheibeler shows how Amway's "business model" includes almost no retail sales revenue, just a continuous enrollment of "salespeople" whose personal investments in product purchases and marketing materials provide Amway and its top recruiters with billions ill-gotten revenues. The large-scale losses caused by the fraudulent and unsustainable Ponzi scheme are borne by million or more "losers" who "fail" and quit the scheme each year, only to be replaced by new hopefuls.
Continuous defrauding of new investors enables the Amway scheme to thrive, as the documentation seems to clearly support that nearly 99% of all investors suffer financial loss - and sometimes ruin - while Amway generates billions in "revenues."
As a high level former insider and whistleblower, Scheibeler shows how this financial scam is carried out publicly in well orchestrated recruitment rallies attended by thousands of hopefuls. They are urged to continue in Amway by high-profile Republican politicians, famous motivational speakers and Christian religious leaders, and the crafted presentation of a business hoax audaciously and guilefully portrayed as a legal and viable business model. The plan is fraudulently proclaimed from the stage as a beacon of hope for millions of consumers weakened and desperate from the housing collapse, declining wages, shrinking income and unemployment.
Scheibeler shows how the multibillion dollar fraud is then spread virally, out of sight of the media, in the privacy of homes, between friends and family members, inspired by the false story of the "greatest income opportunity in the world" and the last best hope of the American Dream.
The euphoria and belief of victims are based upon Amway high level leaders' fraudulent promise that each new investor can find wealth and security by recruiting other investors, all of whom can do the same, in a chain that will expand forever.
While the false hopes in the endless chain plan may be seen as merely a popular delusion, Scheibeler's insider account reveals that the catastrophic consequences of the fraud are perfectly understood by the perpetrators at the top of the Amway sales chain and within the company. The blatant deception and the illegality of making the false income claims are also well known to them, Scheibeler charges. This calculated strategy of fraud is protected with an aggressive force of lawyers that sue detractors or whistle-blowers and a powerful lobbying force in Washington to stave off regulation or investigation Amway victim testimonials from over 30 nations. Many of these alleged losses range from small to tens of thousands of dollars, bankruptcy, foreclosure, divorce and multiple suicides. Cult expert and licensed family therapist Steve Hassan has had to do cult interventions for well indoctrinated distributors, as detailed in Merchants of Deception. The author has consulted with the UK government, law enforcement in India and class action law firms when they took action against the Amway scheme.
The purposeful execution of this massive fraud is fully revealed in Scheibeler's own story of what transpired when he presented his realization of the fraud to the company and announced intentions to expose it. Scheibeler was sued, defamed by Amway and/or company distributors.
An individual (not an Amway employee) told Scheibeler told what gun specifically would be used to "take him out" if he made trouble. Even Scheibeler's wife and young son were threatened anonymously on the telephone. Unlike others who were forced into submission or shamed into silence, Eric Scheibeler fought back and stood up to the intimidation. The book Merchants of Deception has been described as "Erin Brockovich on steroids."
"Mr. Scheibeler's book is a chilling portrayal of the process by which intelligent people can persist for years in pursuing the Amway dream while making no money. It is all the more significant because he earned his way to one of the highest distributor levels in the Company . . .
I learned of similar experiences from ex-distributors when I interviewed them for the State of Wisconsin's Amway litigation in the early 80's. Such conditioning may explain why the tax returns (obtained for this litigation) of all active Wisconsin Direct Distributors, the company's top 1%, showed an average net income of minus $900. Why did these men and women persist . .. under these economic circumstances? Eric Scheibeler's book answers this question for those whose minds are clear enough to read its pages."
- BRUCE A. CRAIG, retired Assistant Attorney General,
Wisconsin Department of Justice - Office of Consumer Protection
(This statement is my own and not that of the State of Wisconsin.)
This economy has driven the industry of "business opportunity" to epidemic levels. If you or anyone you care for has been recruited into Nikken, Nuskin, Mannatech, ACN, Herbalife, Tahitian Noni, Morinda, Market America, Arbonne, NSA, Symmetry, Quixtar or any multi level marketing business, this book is a must read.
Merchants of Deception - An Insider's Chilling look at the worldwide, multi-billion dollar conspiracy of lies that is Amway and its motivational organizations.
High level whistle blower and former federal auditor reveals documentation on loss rates for the vast majority of all who are induced to invest in "their own Amway Business". Victims have responded with detailed testimonials of large losses, bankruptcy, foreclosure, divorce and suicides while the owners create billions in net worth, buy the Orlando Magic and name the Amway Arena in Orlando.