MLM Hall of Fame

Having traveled the world for many years now and spoken at networking conventions and met and known many of its leaders, here is my own subjective list for a networker’s hall of fame.

I have not included many of the legendary founders, like Rich Devos, Jay Van Andal, David McConnell, Mary Kay Ash, Mark Hughes, nor did I include the popular speakers, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Billy Zeoli and Robert Kiyosaki.  Maybe someday I will do those lists.  But each one of the following men and women actually built their own significant, personal networks into the hundreds of thousands.

Many on this list have made mistakes but so to have most of the rest of us.  And some have done extraordinary things for their countries and the world. They work with different companies and each have their different ideas and personalities.  What they have in common is uncommon results.

Nowadays, there are many phony “trade lists” of income earners floated on the internet by shill websites.  Some of them list names of leaders who have been paid out huge sign up bonuses.  Some have never sponsored a single person themselves. But I have met most of the people on my list and spoken to their groups in coliseums or soccer stadiums and been in their homes and I can say that their accomplishments are real.

Doug Wead’s Networking Hall of Fame

Robert Ankasa: This former vice president of the Bank of America in Jakarta has built the largest network in Indonesia and has filled soccer stadiums and auditoriums across the fourth largest nation in the world.

Jeff Boyle: Founder of Jus, he is included in this mix because he actually built his company’s own networks. Young. brilliant, with a big heart.  No one knows the science of networking any better.  He is the Alvin Toffler of the industry.

BK Boreyko: He hailed from a family that built one of the largest organizations in the Matal Company and when a corporate crisis occurred he stared his own company, New Vision, which reached the $100 million sales mark in record time.

Bill Britt: At one time his organization may have represented half of all Amway volume.  He transformed the networking systems by being the first to build his own cassette manufacturing company.

Craig Bryson: He is Nu Skin’s biggest lifetime earner and one of the industry’s greatest storytellers.

Bill Childers: He built the largest, single, cohesive group in networking history.  His secret?  He insisted on always appearing as the second man to his upline, even when his own group was at times much larger.

Jim Dornan: The founder of Network 21 has the largest and most efficient system business in the world. His organization has donated $100 million to World Vision..

Tim Foley: He defied the accepted wisdom of all the other North America networking leaders and proved that system networks could be profitable outside the United States building giant groups in Brazil and Spain.

Attila Gidofalvi: This Hungarian businessman is the father of networking in the former Soviet Union, Attila built 120 Amway diamonds in two years and held meetings at Olympic Stadium in Moscow.

John Godzich: He built a network in France and then a company that reached $200 million in sales in two years and annually filled Bercy, the largest auditorium in Paris, four weekends in a row.  80% of the money was made from retail sales, allowing new people to make money too.  It is still an industry record.

Hal and Susan Gooch: They hosted some of the largest networking events in the United States, filling the 90,000 seat Indiana Hoosier Dome on multiple occasions.  While most wives of American networkers were limited to roles as “speakers,” Susan played an integral part in the organization of the business.

Bob Goshen: “Mr. Enthusiasm,” he was the first system’s person in Sunrider and drove its success.

Brig Hart: Already very successful in networking, he felt cheated by his experience and joined a new company.  Brig proved wrong the old networking adage that successful networkers are too soft to build it twice and took his new company, MonaVie, into the stratosphere, making himself a legend in the process.

Randy Haugen: He had a great run in the west.

Don Held: In his heyday he filled coliseums in Ohio and Canada, and launched an educational system, showing that a network can do more than just make money.

Dave Johnson: He is the giant of Nikken. Supposedly 99% of the company is in his downline.

Charlie Marsh: An early Amway pioneer. He organized the first events and functions. In some respects he is “the father of network marketing.”

Norman and Glenda Leonard: Masters of depth.  By some estimates there are 300 diamonds in their organization including all of Amway Russia, most of Eastern Europe, half of Indonesia.  They divorced in 2007.

Ken Pontious:  He was top earner with Enrich, was once taking home a monthly income which was twice the annual salary of the president of the United States.

Vladimir Pozdnyakov: He is nicknamed “The Poz” by his American colleagues, he is one of the new Russian millionaires, who developed a network out of trust, in a difficult environment.  His groups fill auditoriums.

Ron Puryear: He built one of the largest networks in the Britt system and for awhile, ruled in the northwest USA, filling the largest coliseums in Portland and Seattle to capacity..

Kaoru Nakajimi: He has more than 700,000 in his downline.  He built Amway in Japan.

Art Napolitano:  Top earner at ACN. Built  an organization to 500,000 customers that bill into the millions.

Nathan Ricks: The charismatic legend who helped build Nu Skin.

Mitch Sala: He is the great Australian networker who solved the problem of isolation downunder by exporting his business worldwide. Sala has one of the most geographically diverse groups in the world.

Max Schwarz has built networks east and west and has adapted to numerous changes in mlm systems.  He is a survivor.

Rick Setzer: He was once the third leg in the Yager-Britt stool.  Great systems knowledge.

Bo Short built all over again three times and each time  built a leading organization within his respective company.

Sherman Unkefer: A legend in XanGo, with an estimated $350,000 a month income off his XanGo business, Sherman’s simple prospecting package called “The Magic Wand,” helped him build a resilient networking business in only a few short explosive months.  No one has reached the top quicker.

Don Wilson: He succeeded by hard work.  Yager didn’t like flying on airplanes so Wilson soon owned the Yager system in the west.

Dexter Yager: The father of the so called “system,” he may be the greatest networker of all time, he has not only built one of the biggest organizations, he has maintained it big for the longest time.  His secret?  He keeps starting new groups and for years he has outworked everybody else.

Mark Yarnell: Formerly of Nu Skin, he is networking’s thinking man and its most prolific chronicler.

Natasha Yena: A wise and resourceful strategic thinker, Natasha is the mother of all Russian speaking networkers, Her events fill auditoriums across Russia and Ukraine and have spawned dozens of other networking women leaders with enormous businesses of their own, clearly disproving the misogynist declarations of some American networkers who insist that women can’t build the business by themselves.  Indeed, in Russia, it is mostly the women who do.

James Vagyi: He is a Hungarian whose business exploits put him on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.  He successfully launched networking in Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Moldavia, Belarus, Romania, Slovenia and Croatia, making him “the networking father of many nations.”  And while others have appeared and died in some of those markets, Vagyi’s groups continue.

Jody Victor: He proved that networking can survive and even thrive into a second generation. Victor has seen the dozens of seismic changes in networking and landed on his feet each time.

Orrin Woodward: He took the so called “systems building” to its ultimate extreme.

George Zalucki:  One of the world’s most inspirational speakers and trainers.  He built a $150 million business with 150,000 distributors for ACN  in

Даг Вид


Published by Doug Wead

Doug Wead is a New York Times bestselling author whose latest book, Game of Thorns, is about the Trump-Clinton 2016 election. He served as an adviser to two American presidents and was a special assistant to the president in the George H.W. Bush White House.

114 thoughts on “MLM Hall of Fame

  1. This is a great list. It is nice to see someone saying something nice about all of these people without a big argument. I don’t know all of them but have heard about many of them. They deserve to get some credit for their accomplishments.

    1. First of all it took 2 hours and help from my neice to figure out how to make a comment. You better figure out a better way.

      I can’t believe you left out John Crowe. He is the only true network builder left. Britt and the Yager boys have been paid off as the company goes to retail business worldwide, like Avon. Britt is corrupt and Yager has betrayed his own people to cut a deal for his sons.

      Except for Jophn Crowe, there is not integrity left, top to bottom. He is the only one who tells the truth and cares a whit about his people. The show is over.

  2. I hear that Orrin Woodward has flopped in MonaVie and is in a war with Brig Hart. Two predators fighting it out. Both are experts at raiding other people’s groups. We’ll see who wins.

    1. Brig Hart is a man of God and he would not lead people astray.

      Amway is over in the USA as well as the UK. There have been downtimes before but not like this. Dexter Yager is not having a Free Enterprise for the first time since 1969. His whole group can now fit in a ballroom in the Amway hotel in Grand Rapids.

      There was never any money in Amway and now that they have ended any hope of money from tools and functions there is no reason for anyone to build it.

      Promotion from stage is now a lie and that is why Brig Hart got out and it is why 23 other diamond are out. It is why Doug Wead got out. And Amway lost its last qualifying Crown who also left. It is over.

      1. Hello, is it really over? They went from $8.4 billion in 2009 to $11.3 billion in 2013. And since 2003 when Hart was terminated (he didn’t leave, he was terminated) Amway more than doubled its sales from $4.9 billion to $11.3 billion. As far as I know, at the last European Free Enterprise Celebration Dexter Yager had several thousand people and many thousands more in the US, not counting his Asian groups. And, by the way, Brig Hart was terminated due to tools issues. And you seem to be misinformed.

    2. This website is a farce because it blocks anything that is pro MonaVie. I just placed a comment and it wasn’t posted. But God will winn out anyway. Brig Hart is a true man of God and now Dalin Larson has accepted Christ too. MonaVie is the right company. Amway is done. Falling apart. The top earners are all MonaVie. Amway lawsuits and harrassment cannot stop us.

  3. Well, too bad they have to fight. You would think that they would be happy with their millions instead many of them want to steal everybody else’s groups. I still say that some of these are great rags to riches stories, God bless them.

  4. MonaVie is the trailer park trash of MLM. They set up booths at other conventions trying to steal people from other companies. They sponsor phony websites. They offer millions of dollars to entice the heads of networks to bring their groups over from other companies and then report those bonuses as income, implying to the poor people at the bottom that it is income they earned in months from building a new network. It is worse than Amway and they have the nerve to complain that Amway ibo’s make no money. They are so unethical that they cannot even get into the Direct Sales Association. My guess, Dateline is coming for them.

    1. I think it is now clear that Mona Vie is the only viable network marketing opportunity left. Amway is dead in the USA. All of the old pins who had their own functions are now plugged into Dexter Yager and he could only get a crowd of 700 people in a hotel ballroom for his latest annual free enterprise day.

      At one time Dexter Yager had seven different locations, all of them big coliseums. full of people. This had gone on for 40 years.

      So what happened to Amway? One simple word. Internet.

      With the internet there are no secrets and without secrecy Amway fails. When people learn the truth they realize that there is simply no money for the average person in the Amway compensation plan. The only money goes to the very top few. For years distributors thought they were the only ones not making any money but when the internet came out they realized that it was everyobdy else too.

      Now, I will admit, they made money, big money off of their functions and sale of tapes and cd’s. But that is over. Amway is so greedy that they have stopped that. All the money goes to the owners. The IBO’s are their slaves.

      In Mona Vie you make money off of the product, through fast growth and its super hybrid binary (hybrid, hybrid, hybrid,) and unilevel compensation plan AND you can make money off of the sale of CD’s and functions too.

      Brig Hart is the top earner in the wrold. Orrin Woodward is second. Dexter Yager is finished. Amway is finished. Look at the numbers. Read the inernet. If Amway started today it would not survive one year with its compensation plan which takes all the money for the oweners. It has only survived this long because of foreign markets where good companies with good compensation plans are not available.

    1. Lennon Ledbetter is now part of Truestar Health… Master Distributor.. He has left XanGo and we believe he will kill it here at Truestar… I personally know Lennon, great guy and a hard worker… Very good motivational speaker…

  5. Great post Mr. Wead. I’m amazed at your knowledge of leaders industry wide.

    MLM is hot right now because talented people are losing their jobs and desperate for an opportunity.

  6. The thing about Amway is that after many, many years, they finally decided to give some more money in the plan and Yager and other leaders were so powerful that they argued it should go to new qualifications, to motivate the people at the top to start working again. They said the problem with Amway is that the people who are best at building it are sitting idle. So guess who got all the new money? The people at the top. Which now means. No tape money, no money in the plan. Nothing.

  7. Well, do you think that MonaVie is any better? In a binary it all goes up to the top anyway. 99% of the people get nothing. They will say we almost got $30,000 this month. Then you ask, so how much did you get? $200. But next month we will do better. Right. That is the nature of the binary. You get screwed.

  8. The reason all the new companies are copying the XanGo plan is that unlike MonaVie and Amway, they have a “middle class.” MonaVie and Amway are like India. A very, very tiny few are rich. The overwhelming masses are poor. There are tons of people who get into XanGo and are making $30,000 a month without breaking a sweat. It is the easiest one to get going and I have seen them all. It is an easy sell.

  9. Xango has a good looking bottle. MV uplines are such morons. At first their were taste tests with Xango but MV lost so much that they told us to stop it.

  10. Its not fair to call XanGo middle class. We have distributers making 350,000 a month. Look it up.

  11. It was a compliment dumb ass. I was making the point that you don’t have to be at the very top to make money. You prove that dumb people can make money in Xango too. Besides you can’t look them up. MV has phony sites which they set up. They pay some Amway diamond $3 million to bring their group over and then say the guy made $3 mill his first year. ROTFL

  12. I would like to see a list of the founders. And I would like to say that the anger among some in MLM is really foolish. Where else do you find so many millionaires coming from the ranks of ordinary people? It really is a wonderful thing. In an age of Billionaire bankers ripping off the people, an ordinary person can build their network and make some money.

  13. Well, I have been surfing the web while we talk and I would say that I am too young for Amway, too old for Xango, they look like young uns to me and too smart for MV, which has bad math. So maybe I will just watch you guys.

  14. The thing about XanGo is that there is no breakage. This is the dirty little secret of MLM companies and it is how binaries work. They are counting on the field to fail. The numbers show that. It all flows up and up and up to the top. Remember how Blockbuster made money off of late fees. And you thought you were the only one. And you blamed yourself . And the fees kept mounting and you paid the tape off a dozen times. But really the company knew you would be late and counted on it. This is how breakage works.

  15. ScAmway has lots of breakage. That is why they kick out the people who do well. The money doesnot move up it goes to the company which holds that vacated position. Then they say they have a big percentage payout but some of it is going to themselves. If you are fully compensated in Amway you are a dangerous species. They kicked out their most recent Crown Ambassador.

    1. No, they didn’t kick out Crown Ambassador. Perhaps you had Hungarian Crown (not Crown Ambassador) Attila Gidofalvi in mind. He was terminated due to the violation of zero tolerance policy – he exported the Amway products to countries that Amway hasn’t opened yet. And he was warned several times both by Amway and his upline before he was finally terminated. It was the only way to stop him from doing this. Just because you’re a Crown, doesn’t mean you can harm businesses of other people and do anything you want to do. Amway did this to protect their business and the businesses of all other distributors who operate in accordance with the Rules of Conduct. And I am certainly glad they did it.

      1. Actually, I was there in Russia as the speaker at Attila’s event when Amway had their confrontation with him. The charges were that he had two events that year. According to Amway rules at the time he was only allowed to have one event a year. He had a big Free Enterprise event and then added a Diamond meeting just before with all of his Diamonds, which he thought was reasonable and allowable. They also had a rule at that time which limited the number of CD’s a Diamond could produce to four a year. If you know anything about building an Amway business, you must have a CD for your group every week or they will atrophy and die. And you must have a local function once a month. So it is inevitable that they will break these unreasonable rules. At the next event, the company actually sent a young lady in her twenties to read from stage, before 7,500 people, an official statement that Attila was kicked out for having two meetings.

        Perhaps you are an employee or under contract from Amway to try to influence this story but there were thousands of witnesses present at these events. I ;must say that the ongoing online attempts to defame Attila, who built Amway in Russia, is not necessary nor is it very honorable.

      2. I’ve been in the business since 1990’s and our group never needed a CD of the week. It is simply not true.
        The problem is that Gidofalvi operated in these countries before the markets were actually opened. And that falls under the zero tolerance policy. You may not like the policy, but that’s all you can do about it. This policy is nothing new, I personally remember my first Free Enterprise Celebration where the speaker Triple Diamond discouraged people from entering a new market (don’t remember which particular market it was) before it’s opened. He gave an example from the history of how Amway was forced to postpone the market opening due to the problems arising from distributors who presented the products and the business to an authority when Amway didn’t even had a license there. Unreasonable rules? Maybe for you. Not for me and definitely not for Amway.
        It was Attila’s choice – he could wait (as I do, for example), for the official opening of the market. I have a downline who has relatives in Bulgaria – now opened for the business. I had the info several months ago. But we didn’t contact his family there before the market was opened. The same happened when Ukraine was opened. When our market was opened, some distributors from other countries operated here 2 years before the official launch. Do you know that it’s happening almost everywhere? I bet you do. It’s our choice if we will be those breaking the rules or if we follow them. Is there any problem with following the rules? No. The groups that operated here prior to the opening shrinked in size and our upline’s group has grown to have more than 50% of qualified Platinums.
        I am not an employee and I am not trying to influence the story. I am playing by the rules and I am trying to understand what’s behind these rules.
        Speaking of the attempts to defame anyone – do you think that the attempts to defame Amway by implying that they terminated Attila because he got too much high is OK? You have to know this is NOT true! Yet you chose to react only when MY contribution appeared and let chumpzilla’s statement unanswered for 4 years. Why?

      3. Again, if you are being told this you are not being told the truth. Attila did indeed launch the market before it was legal. But that had nothing to do with why he was kicked out. When Amway finally entered Russia legally they accepted Attila’s check for $3 million and all the thousands of applications he had collected from his group. They allowed him to build the business for several years and sent corporate leaders to his events. He was flown to big events in the USA and around the world. It was years later, long after the market was legally opened that they canned him. And they – not me – sent an employee to read why in a statement that was given in public before thousands of people. As to unopened markets? There are markets where Amway is not yet opened that have thousands of people. I have spoken for some of their events. Some have operated for fifteen years or more and the Amway leaders in these countries are feted all over the world. Is Amway ignorant of this? I doubt it. I love Amway and love its leaders. But I do not approve of the attacks made on Attila who actually is the “father of network marketing in Russia” and should not be the subject of disinformation. He does not deserved that.

      4. Sorry, we are not talking just about Russia here. There were many other countries he went to before they were opened. I am glad you admitted he had operated in Russia before it was legal. Entering new markets before the official launch date seemed to be his way of doing business. The pitcher goes so often to the well that it is broken at last.
        But I would like to hear the answer to my question, i.e. do you believe it was because he got too high? If not (and you know that this certainly wasn’t the reason), why did you leave the chumpzilla’s contribution unanswered so that for 4 years people could think this was the reason?

      5. First, you are hiding anonymously. Why?

        To answer your question, yes, I believe it is very possible that this is the reason. I was nervous for him, he was way too high profile. It certainly is not because they suddenly learned, years after the fact, that he had opened the market before they were legally there. If so, even now they would kick out all the other leaders around the world who are operating in unopened markets. Some are apparently tolerated, some are not. This is not uncommon in the industry. There are other companies who have terminated their top distributors for one charge or another. There are also some who have been in the company for years and have been outspoken defenders of the company who were terminated because they or their spouse allegedly knew of products being sold on E-Bay.

        There will always be politics where there are people. But these issues do not negate the fact that many people have been able to build a great income from network marketing. No company and no P and P is perfect. And neither is any distributor, including you and me. (Assuming you are really a distributor and not a company employee – operating anonymously.)

      6. Sorry, I do not believe you believe that the reason for the termination was that he got so far. If it was true, why didn’t Rich terminate Kaoru Nakajima instead of motivating him to become a Double Crown Ambassador? Why don’t they stop Foo Howe Kean from becoming Crown Ambassador in 3 different markets (with 4th market on the way)? Why did they keep adding the awards and pins over the last few decades? Why did they added Crown Ambassador, why did they added Founders pins, why did they added Executive Diamond bonus (Diamond plus bonus), why did they added FAA points. Why didn’t they keep FAA at 40, but added 45, 50, 55, 60, 65 and 70 FAA? None of these rewards were in the original marketing plan. If they are afraid of somebody getting too high, why do they keep adding new bonuses for them and motivate them even at the highest pin levels? Sorry, your theory doesn’t make any sense. You can try to fool somebody who is new to the business, but not me. The fact is that they do not have to be afraid of anything. If you study the marketing plan, you will find that it is designed as a win-win relationship for both the distributors and the company. They do not pay a dollar unless you bring the volume. The fact is that all Leadership, Emerald, Diamond and Diamond Plus bonuses are always paid in full amount – the company doesn’t keep them. In the case of leadership bonus, the percentage is 4% and it is paid to those who qualify, but the ones who do not qualify contribute to the bonus as well and it is paid to the first qualified upline. In the case of Emerald, Diamond and Diamond plus bonus it’s a given percentage (0.25%) and it’s divided among all qualified distributors. Again, it is always paid even when there is only one qualified person in a market. With recent enhancements on Emerald and Diamond bonuses, your theory makes even less sense. And I don’t believe that with all your experiences you didn’t know all of these facts.

        Here is an article about Attila:
        I agree that sometimes the same behavior is tolerated and sometimes not. Nemo iudex sine actore. But this isn’t an excuse for those who break the rules.

        P.S.: Yes, I am staying anonymous on the Internet. I once made a mistake years ago and revealed my identity in one forum and it got abused by one negative prospect. I am not going to do the same mistake again. Sorry. But my comments are clear, right? Anybody can make their own opinion on them.

  16. This reminds me of the Alltel and Apple ads where they try to make competing phone and computer companies look like nerds. In this economy we should encourage anyone who is making money. At the risk of sounding like Rodney King – can’t we all just get along?

  17. I thought you said they were a class act. Insulting people over the internet fits that charachter alright. Talk about hypocritical.

  18. Come on, guys. Be sweet. What were we talking about, anyway? Let’s get back to the subject at hand.

  19. No need to be so accusatory! I never said that XanGo people don’t have a sense of humor. 😉

  20. Doug, the Amway folks you listed are all LCKs (Lying Cowardly “Kingpins”) who made most of their money from their tool scams, not Amway. They ripped off their groups, you can’t call them Hall of Fame anything, unless Bernie Madoff has a Hall of Fame. Here’s the facts: “”

  21. What “fray” are you talking about? I’m talking about a multi-decade, multi-million IBO, multi-10’s of billions of dollars tool scam. It needs to be addressed in the U.S. as it was in the UK last year. Are you familiar with what happened in the UK in the past 2 years regarding Amway?

  22. Sheesh, Tex. Obviously you never bought any tools, or if you did, you didn’t read or listen to them. What a negative person. With that attitude, no wonder you can’t succeed.

  23. Sheesh, historiosos5, I have about 15,000 tapes/CDs and several hundred books. I obviously haven’t listened to or read all of them, but yes, many of them.

    I have stated RREPEATEDLY the tools have good content, but they are OVERPRICED. Haven’t you kept up on what happened in the UK the past 2 years?

    With your lack of knowledge, no wonder you don’t understand.

  24. By the way, if Doug changed the Amway folks mentioned from “Hall of Fame” to “Hall of Shame”, he would have a good list, or at least a good start. Perhaps some of the other MLM folks would move over as well, but I can’t comment on that, I don’t have enough knowledge in those other MLMs.

  25. Dear Tex: I’d like you ask you a question, and I’m not trying to be a smartass, but I would really like to know: Did anyone force you to buy those tools? What is the situation there?

    I once was in a MLM, and it wasn’t for me, but those tools really helped adjust my attitudes and aided me in other life strategies. That’s why I’m asking.

  26. Most of the tools I have were purchased over the past 4 years for pennies on the dollar.

    However, when I went off standing order tools 4 years ago, I went from “best buddy” to completely ignored, overnight.

    I’m glad MLM helped adjust your attitudes and aided you in other life strategies, whatever that means, but I joined to make money, NOT feed a tool scam. I have no idea what “wasn’t for me” means, either.

  27. I have to agree with Tex2, this “Hall of Fame” list is questionable. If you’re in Amway and are still on the “tools” you are simply being taken advantage of. You don’t need more inspiring stories from people selling these tapes (or are they on disc now)? You don’t build a business buying these crappy tools. This system scam is how many of these people on this list make (or made)their money. They didn’t make their money from actually moving product they made it from the “tools” and Amway is to blame for not stopping it. The fact is that there are much better ways to build your businesses then using the company to rely on. Remember, they are in to win for themselves so you must brand yourself and create your own system. Put it this way, if a company goes out of business or disappears (and this happens all the time)then where does that leave you and your downline (up the creek without a paddle)?! You must treat an MLM/network marketing company just as as a supplier and not your business. You must build up a list and contacts so that if the company you are using disappears or you’re not happy with them, then you can take you business elsewhere and start with a new company. Brand YOU INC. don’t rely on your mlm company.

  28. historioso5,

    Not yet. I’m not going to go over the details again. If you are really interested, visit my blog and propose a time to talk. There’s a “Talk To Tex” link along the left side.


    There isn’t that much traffic here. Go back to your pink blog.

  29. What I find concerning is how many of these “hall of famers” have been sanctioned for ethical and rule breaches – a number of the folk mentioned were even kicked out of their original businesses, ranging from Godzich decades ago to Attila Gidofalvi last year. Do folk who break the rules in order to “grow” really deserve “hall of fame” status?

  30. What I find concerning is how many of these “hall of famers have NOT been sanctioned for ethical and rule breeches. Yager, Britt, Gooch, Childers, Puryear, etc were all Diamond or above in 1983 when Rich DeVos first started talking about the tool abuse.

    Incidentally, Rich DeVos was quoted in today’s Grand Rapids Press as saying that one of his biggest mistakes was not disciplining the distributor force.


    Q: Looking back on on some of the major events in the company’s history, what would you do differently now?

    A: I would maintain better control on the business. I would have better and clearer rules. I’d have more police and enforcement-type things. We believed so much that people would do these things in the right way because they were right.

    But the normal greed of all of us and a lot of these people just overcame them. They wanted to make more money now.

    We failed to come down hard enough, quick enough, to stamp that sort of thing out. That was a sin of omission. We failed to discipline the organization.


  31. I actually asked the journalist to ask him that (he requested questions on twitter). It was the answer I expected.

    It would be interesting to get Doug’s take on the events of 1983. Come to think of it, would be interesting to get RDV’s take too …

  32. Concerning? It’s OUTRAGEOUS!!! That’s why Hall of Shame is much more appropriate.

    Are you referring to the tool scam when you say “events of 1983?” Can’t we be specific?

  33. In 1983, RDV said the tools business was an illegal pyramid. He implied that Amway would take action against the tool scammers. The tool scammer kingpins countered that they would take their groups an go elsewhere. The tool scammers also had their groups temporarily boycott Amway products which resulted in a loss of sales for Amway. RDV got cold feet and never took the right action, thus the tool scammer kingpins were left to run their illegal pyramid tools business unbridled.

  34. Once did a study for a business law class on the difference between legitimate MLM and pyramid schemes…the difference legally – as specified in a case against Amway, so Mr DeVos would be completely familiar with it was that there was actual product being sold not just membership or joining fees. So the irony of DeVos calling a tool business a pyramid is palpable – the whole reason tool businesses work is that there is actual product sold -Tapes (in the ancient days) CDs and Books and now podcasts and down loads.

    This is just like any other business…when Music CD’s are sold there are different mark ups along different points along the supply chain. In fact the “tool” businesses are much less like pyramids than any traditional MLM program – and even the law sees the difference there.

  35. Dave (aka 1former(and wonderful)ibo,

    Rich didn’t imply anything. He said he would take action, but didn’t. Otherwise, I’ve heard the same rumors, which are reasonable and believable.


    You need to get back in the classroom and study MLM in more detail. Rich said tools were illegal because there are no non-IBO customers buying the tools. Rich is on thin ice, as Amway isn’t enforcing their own customer (sales to non-IBOs) sales. You need to review the UK court ruling from last year as well, counsellor. You have a LOT to learn.

  36. polishprophet – you are correct, and RDV was wrong about the tools setup being a pyramid. Folk like Tex fail to understand that having non “non-IBO” customers is only an issue if the tools were sold by Amway. Since they’re sold by other companies, they have a huge number of “outside” customers who are not “participants in the scheme” – all the IBOs who are not eligible for tool rebates. They’re nothing but retail customers paying full price. Indeed there’s a lot more “outside customers” with the tool systems than there currently is with Amway.

    Even then, it doesn’t matter. As the FTC has made clear, and more recently EU law, if the tools, or Amway products, are being purchased for legitimate personal use, then they count as a legitimate retail sale. Doesn’t matter if they’re being purchased by a “participant in the scheme” or someone with no connection at all.

    Unfortunately folk like Tex and Brear and FitzPatrick and others constantly ignore this reality and waste the time of various authorities, trying to convince them otherwise. Sometimes they succeed, such as in the case of the UK, and then the courts time gets wasted.

  37. ibofb,

    Wrong again. The tools “customers” are a captured market, much like the Amway products when there are no outside sales. Rich was dead-on correct, as I explained a month ago on my blog:

    You can’t call IBOs “unaffiliated” any more than you can call a rapist “unaffiliated” with a birth of a baby to their victim 9 months later. The Amway Rules clearly state tool profit is made from the money paid by the IBOs. That is NOT “unaffiliated.”

    The FTC and the EU is not the final word on this, and the UK court ruling last year proves that.

    Unfortunately folk like ibofb and others constantly ignore this reality and waste the time of various bloggers, trying to convince them otherwise. The UK is a great example of a situation that was thoroughly examined and they got it right. Not in the 2008 court ruling, but in 2007, when Amway made the changes PRIOR to the court ruling. Amway knew better, but they took action ONLY when threatened with being booted from the UK.

  38. Are the IBO’s clearly told they are merely “retail” customers of the tools? Or are the IBO’s led to believe that they need the tools to succeed in Amway?

    While the process may not be illegal, it certainly seems unethical for the diamond kingpins to cloud this fact. It is also a conflict of interest when the “LCK’s” make sigificant income from these tools while portraying their trappings as if it all came from Quixtar/Amway. It is also significant because many of these LCK’s portray themselves and pillars of integrity and men of God.

  39. Dave (aka 1former(and wonderful)ibo),

    IBOs are told they are “teammates” and “business partners”, and other similar terms. They are NEVER told they are retail customers for the tools, because then they would ask why they can’t get the tools for wholesale, like they get their Amway products. Besides, I already proved above IBOs CAN’T be retail customers, because they are not “unaffiliated” with the tool scam.

    I also described on my site why tools are illegal. The immoral and unethical practices are also why I call them LCKs.

  40. 1formeribo – what else are they? You’re either a wholesale customer (you plan on reselling) or your a retail customer (it’s for you own use). Why would they need to be told which one of these they are?

  41. IBO’s should be informed of their role in the business, either Amway or the tools. The LCK’s as tex points out, sells recruit on dreams and then informs the recruits that tools are the vital components of achieving those dreams. Then IBO’s are made to feel like partners or associates, but since IBO’s on the lower tiers do not share in the tool compensation, they are not in any way partners. In other words the way the systems are promoted by the LCK’s in unethical and possibly illegal, depending on your POV.

  42. ibofb,

    As pointed out, there’s a third choice, they are “business partners” and “teammates” that are being lied to.

  43. Right, so these IBOs who are, well, buying stuff need to be explicitly told they are customers … you know, folk who buy stuff.

    I worry about the quality of person you tried to introduce. No wonder you’re a “former” IBO.

  44. IBOfightback, with all due respect, you have soap in your eyes. Many new IBO’s don’t know who owns and runs the tools company, or the overall role of tools in the system. They are told to buy heir own goods and to purchase the tools that will lead them to surefire success. Even though there may be some mention about upline profiting from tools, surely it is glossed over and not explained in any detail. I believe it is very relevent that this disclosure be made. If you don’t, it’s sort of like leaving out that one important detail that could change someone’s mind.

  45. ibofb,

    No, you are WRONG. IBOs buy tools to learn, not pad their uplines’ back pocket with the vast majority of their profit. You are a LIAR.

    Dave (aka 1former(and nice)ibo),

    ibofb deserves ZERO respect. He’s a known liar.

  46. ibofightback, is retail sales, what the “LCK’s” are doing is called a bait and switch. It’s like advertsiing one product and then you end up selling the customer something else. It’s unethical and possibly illegal, at least in the USA.

  47. “Right, so these IBO’s, who are well, buying stuff need to be explicitly told they are customers…you know, folk who buy stuff.”

    Yes, because they are being sold on Amway as a financial vehicle. Then when they show interest, then the tools become the secret to their future success. It’s a slick con man game. It is exactly what I described, a bait and switch. In retail sales, one might advertise a television set for $99. Then when the customer shows up, you tell them you ran out of the $99 set, but you have a pretty similar one for $129, still a good deal.

    That’s how the bait and switch tools scam works. Prospects are shown cool things like retiring at age 27, driving a Porsche, etc. Then you tell them they will have all of that – if you buy the tools.

    It’s a scam, and because IBOfightback defends this, it makes IBOfightback a scammer. Yes?

  48. Hi Doug,

    You have an interesting list here… why would you say that Orrin Woodward is the man who took “systems building” to the extreme?

    How is it different from Jim Dornan/Network21 or Bill Britt/BWW, for example?

  49. I will like to know from all the people who is saying negative things about amway educational system if they will trust a doctor without title, without six or more years of education and after expending thousands of dollars in universities and some of them with degrees and doctorates and masters. Anyone of them expend thousand of dollars in books and materials and lessons and everybody find that normal.
    Why them in God`s name a mlm proffesional should not expend time and money in education?,
    Any Platinum or Sapphire or Emerald got the future or minimum 500 people in their own hands, should not be educated to be the most efficient it can be?
    Should not every proffesional expend some money in education just to be ready asap and in the best shape possible according to anyone possibilities?
    I`m getting myself a future in Amway, i`m grateful that we got a educational system and i do pay for all the materials with a smile knowing that all this money will comeback multiply many times over.
    Only a fool will do a busines by the try and error system when you can used a educational guidance.

  50. ibodeamway, let me explain something to you.

    A doctor, in addition to extensive training, carries liability insurance. The reason why a doctor carries this insurance is because if he makes a mistake, then the losses are picked up by the insurance company.

    What consequence is there for upline when IBOs do everything they are taught only to fail?

    And what education are you refering to? The cd’s tell you to attend more functions and the functions tell you to buy more cd’s. There is very little material coming from upline that teaches you to file business taxes, or to track expenses and profits.

  51. Sigh… 1formeribo shows the SHALLOW level of thinking that goes on inside those who quit… AGAIN!

    He/she assumes that what it takes to “succeed” in the Amway community building business is “(filing) business taxes… or (tracking) expenses and profits”.

    To rephrase 1formeribo, “What business taxes? What expenses and profits?”

    Either he/she does not know what it does take to build a huge, successful organisation, OR he/she has decided NOT to believe in what the System teaches.

    As for liability insurance, any IBO can apply for Income Loss, Product Liability insurance etc. Just because some IBOs did not apply for them does not mean that they do not exist.

    Get it?

  52. Rykel98,

    Shallow thinking because I think learning to file business taxes and tracking expenses and profits is important. More like you are shallow thinking that these issues are not vital to your business.

    How many IBO’s, including yourself, have this liability insurance?

    You are more likely one of those IBO’s who ignores facts because your upline said so right? You have what is called “no business” mentality.

  53. 1formeribo,

    You are ignoring the fact that we learn filing of business taxes and tracking expenses/profits back then in SCHOOL, and that the System may or may not review these basics, but you just got a bonus if your System taught these fundamentals.

    What you do NOT know (or deny) is that the System IS what you need to be successful in the Amway/networking business, because the System teaches principles of relationship, professional contacting, expanding your contact circles etc. and it is an ongoing curriculum, much like science and medicine, which is continually evolving better.

    The System IS getting better each year!

    As for the liability insurance, you must be out of your mind to insist that if most of us do not buy it, then it does not exist. The question is, “Do liability insurance exist for networkers?” and anything else is just to belittle the fact that it DOES.

    You have your dreams and goals, and bad experience with Amway/System I presume, but if you think you “know it all” already, then you cannot discover further truths, I am afraid.

    However, if you still have a hunger to reignite the IBO fire in you, to become a Community Building LEADER, instead of the obnoxious anti-Amway “kingpin”, then maybe, you would like to pick up the Top 5 Books and (really) read them again.

    Thanks, Rykel

  54. Rykel, if most IBO’s have never owned a business, just how have they learned to file business taxes and to track income and expenses? Where are you getting this assumption from?

    Where is there bonafide proof that this system works? When I was an IBO, there were tens of thousands of IBO’s in the audience at functions and a small handful of speakers who said the system works.
    I could do the same thing with lottery winner. Put them on stage and all of them will say the lottery is great and proven. It is the ones not on stage who are losing, especially in Amway.

    I do not claim to know it all, but when you talk about Amway, why do you think people run when you even mention the name? Because it’s a scam for the tools scammers and many people have been burned in the past. Look at your BS perfect water scam and all of the lies that IBO’s tell. It is BS that their upline teaches them like Amway and Quixtar have no relationship. If Amway is so good, why all the BS in your recruiting pitch? Why don’t more people make money? 99+ % of people are not lazy.

    Maybe Rykel, if you want to be honest and stop idolizing the diamonds and money, you should see what the Bible says. It doesn’t say anything about Amway being a God pleasing business or whatever BS your upline leaders tell you.



    1. Amway amazing 2011
      6 new Crown Ambassadors
      7 new Crowns
      8 new Triple Diamonds
      25 new Double Diamonds
      83 new Executive Diamonds
      339 new Diamonds
      1,532 new Emeralds
      1,641 new Rubies
      12,454 new Founders Platinums
      38,000 new Platinums

  55. I would say that Brig Hart should be in the MLM Hall of Shame. And Orrin Woodward too. They have both cheated their own downline by taking them to other companies and getting big pay offs for themselves. If they had stayed with Amway their people would be doing fine right now. They made money off their groups and now Mona Vie is in big trouble. They complained about Amway’s low pay but they are now doing the same thing to their own people. They jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.

  56. That’s inspired review. Could anyone give a tip to check the real track records of MLM gurus? There’s a lot of MLM gurus (or self-award MLM gurus) on the internet. I find the best gurus but they all said that they the best. So, I convinced myself that the guru I follow is the right one. I think it’s unused if you just type “best MLM gurus” at Google. No real fact! Just opinion. Any of you could give the answer?

  57. For nearly all finacial gurus, success is a “unique” experience and there is usually a disclaimer on their ads or on their recordings. There is not easy way to richs except for those who exploit others. In many many cases, these gurus get rich by selling the system and not by using the system.

  58. In discussing these various MLM companies, I saw no mention of how many, of which, companies provide product liability coverage to their distributors/representatives. I know of one company which does provide it free for the first year and then $30/year thereafter. They also include general business liability (property damage) as well as product liability. Is this the coming trend? How do most MLM companies handle this matter?

  59. You somehow left Charlie and Elsie Marsh out. They built their Amway business beyond Amway or anyone elses wildest dreams, and they did it all by sharing their knowledge, not selling it.

  60. Things that I felt absolutely sure of but a few years ago, I do not believe now. This thought makes me see more clearly how foolish it would be to expect all men to agree with me. Jim Rohn

  61. This message is directed to Mr. Doug Wead. I truly thank God for allowing me to find your blog. I have been in the Amway business for 16 1/2 years. I have seen numerous examples of corruption in certain members of my upline. NONE of those specific persons are in the business anymore. I have also seen a dozen people in my upline quit the business, including one of my dearest friends. I still keep in touch with that friend to this day. In fact, when I did 1000PV (thru personal use and retail only), my former IBO friend was my biggest cheerleader… we and our wives shed tears together………. When I found myself alone in the business (all my local upline had quit, and the only distance upline I knew of was corrupt in his dealings) I took the initiative to call the Amway corporation. I explained my situation, and I asked for help. They offered to connect me with a particular upline… I said no, because I had seen corrupt practices with that person. They mentioned another upline further up… I said no; they were associated in practices with the first one. Finally, the Amway representative mentioned another upline. I had no experience with this person, but I had seen the couples photos in the Amway recognition magazine… I said OK. Since I have known this couple, who happen to be Diamonds and above, I have been supported and encouraged in a wonderful way. My Diamond has encouraged the use of the “system”, which I have not always done, but he has always respected my decisions… and he just told yesterday (he has told me for 11 years) “Michael, I believe in you. You can do it!” My Diamond, who is my immediate sponsor now (and who knows my business), told me I could do it before I ever bought a tape. He told me when I did not come to functions. He told me I could do it when I didn’t by 15pv a month in products. And he tells me that to this day. I have been in my Diamond’s home. We have prayed together. And he has offered to come to my town, 600 miles away, to help me (I declined, because I wanted to earn that visit).

    All of this is to say that I have seen corruption and I have seen integrity. I have been unfairly taken advantage of and I have been truly uplifted & supported.

    I have also been alone in the business, with literally no person around to help me. And I must admit, it was only all those tapes that I had previously purchased that kept me holding on to my dream that I could make… the tapes were my lifeline… for years. I could not purchase new tapes from anyone, but I recycled the ones I had. When all my upline, including my dear friend, quit the business, the tapes and books kept me in. They kept me in for years, long enough to find my upline Diamond… and the association of the “system” functions.

    I was searching the internet, looking for something… I’m not sure what. Maybe, a reason to quit… or maybe a reason to hang in there a little longer. But I was looking when I found this blog. This is not by any means the first blog I have read. I have read dozens of them. I have seen the back and forth of advocates and critics, of both MLM in general, and Amway in particular. But, for some reason, the format of this blog was the answer to the questions my heart was asking. And I finally “know” a few things:

    1. There are problems with ALL systems, even the best of them.

    2. Some of those problems will be fixed. Some won’t.

    3. Each of us must decide, for himself, if the solutions offered by the system offset the “cost” of the problems created by that system.

    And 4. When we make our decision,we must cut off all other options and opinions… and we must go forward.

    Doug, this blog has helped me to decide. I decide to build my Amway business. I decide to use the available “system” to do so. And I decide to fulfill my dreams in the process.

    I have also decided not to visit this blog Site, or any other Amway/MLM editorial Site again. Now that I know what I have decided to do, I am cutting off ALL options and opinions. I do hope, Mr. Wead, that you read these comments… you were instrumental in saving my economic destiny. If you do read these comments, however, I won’t know it. I won’t be on this Site again, and I am not requesting notification of response or future posts to this blog.

    There is one more thing that I “know” after visiting this Site:

    5. I am so grateful to God that I have a dream, and that my dream would not allow me to quit on my chances in Amway!

    Because I did not quit after 16 years, and many reasons to do so, I was able to do 1000pv and $600 in profit in a month (use & retail). That is something my original sponsor, and dear friend, had never done (and never can do now, unless he rejoins). But it is something we celebrated together, even with tears and prayer! And now I “know”, if I can do that in the business, with God’s help, and the support of true friends, I CAN DO ANYTHING in Amway!

    Thank you, Mr. Wead, and God Bless You!

    (And, God willing, I will find you one day to thank you in person.)

  62. Home centered companies will provide you with the ability to adjust your company either scale up or down dimension your company. The area that you lease to do your company usually chooses the dimension your company. If you want to hire more people or carry out downsizing, then online company will advantage you a lot reason being online company does not need area to do. The only area that one must have is the area for the pc.

  63. Hello Doug, I enjoy reading your blog.
    Among the truly great ones, there is a new leader called M. Holton Buggs from Houston, TX. He is making over a million a month and has produced at least a dozen millionaires in 6 years.
    I believe he should be added to your list since he got his start with Amway.

    Also, do you know where to get Amway Personal development CDs?


  64. Doug, thanks for posting this valuable article.
    If you were starting an entirely new network marketing entity today, similar to what Rich DeVoss and Jay Van Andel did back in the late 1950s, or even going further back to the sales and marketing organization that Singer Sewing Machines created way back in their day. With all of your experience, awareness and with the wisdom of hindsight, how would you organise it, and what would you do differently?

  65. Pingback: ALEXANDER vASKO

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