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Name: The Kestrel\'s Eye
Gender: Female
Hometown: America
Home country: Planet Earth
Current location: Far, far north on the Mississippi River
Member since: Fri Jul 10, 2015, 01:26 PM
Number of posts: 8

About Me

Flaming Progressive, Proud Tree-Hugger

Journal Archives

The DeVos family BELIEVE they are kings and queens...

In case it hasn't been said enough: The DeVos family, founders of Amway, made their billions substantially by scamming off "the little people" in one of the world's biggest multi-level marketing schemes. They use religion, flag-waving and pledge-reciting to 'sanctify' their business. Prayer and recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance figure prominently at the majority of group marketing meetings. Motivational success-hype figures prominently at these meetings, at conventions, and in all aspects of the business. Upline leaders are worshipped like godlings. Any criticism is treated as sacrilege. The further up the line, the more godlike. The founders carry a status akin to the Olympians. The DeVos' family business is not just another MLM scheme. It is the original template from which almost all MLM schemes draw their baseline business model.

The business is a true empire, with its own private factories for many of the products, which range across an astonishing number of categories. Although it is possible to save some money over bigbox retail purchase, that only can occur if substantial and mandatory yearly fees are paid, and the member is willing to spend the time required to replace a large number of household products with substitutes made exclusively by the company, and learns which product lines will earn them the most "points" toward rebates. Some of the products are superior, but most are not IMO. For example: Many of the so-called environmentally friendly household products are actually full of chemicals; Foods marketed as healthy are full of artificial sweeteners, and other questionable additives. Products are often sold on the basis of anecdotes which have no basis in fact, and these product-myths are actively encouraged upline.

Contrary to the hype, very few members get wealthy signing up more members and selling the product. Those few who do, do so in part by selling "How to Succeed in Business" self-help materials to their downline members on a monthly subscription basis, which of course adds tremendously to the monthly expenses of downline members. This income can easily comprise half or more of the upline leader's profit. These materials are often marketed to the membership as indispensible to their success. Those who choose not to sign up for monthly subscriptions are stigmatized as "not really serious about the business."

No one, not even the majority of upline leaders, really has any security in the business. Only the founders have any security, and most of the profit eventually finds its way up to them. If people do make any money, you can be sure they work like a dog for it, often 7 days a week, and late into the night. Contrary to company myth, it's not a business that can work well on a part time basis. Most successful members are married teams where both work the business full time. The average Joe or Josephine will spend a lot to save a little on purchases, if they understand how to use the product lines efficiently, but will never see a profit.

The DeVos family reigns supreme over this empire. It really is its own little world, with its own capitol in Grand Rapids MI, where the business faithful make yearly pilgrimage to worship at annual conventions. The DeVos' receive adulation therein comparable to that of Emperors and Empresses.

I have no illusions that the more conventional retail approach is any better, overall, than a company of this type. Anyone who knows retail knows that is rife with middlemen who do little more than add to the cost of products for consumers. Amway, marketed as Quixtar at the turn of the millennium, developed a marketing website that for several years was unrivaled and the envy of online product sales. Much of what we now know as Amazon's website was originally modeled on that site's innovations. Most who bought their products in those days and wanted to return them found their customer service to be generally obliging and efficient.

What I object to in a business like that of the Devos' is that it preys particularly on the vulnerability of the inexperienced, desperate and struggling, arraying itself in the guise of a false integrity and spirituality, and promising miracles and a rescue it cannot deliver. Those few who rise to a bit of notoriety and profit in the business know very well exactly how it works, and that the majority who participate will fail, making the necessity of finding new 'marks' relentless. But by the time they wake up from the sanctified and patriotic dream of an easy materialistic heaven that's been dangled continuously before them, it's swallowed them whole. They've already invested so much time, energy, and money in the enterprise, the suck to remain, and keep on peddling the lie downline is very strong.
Posted by thekestrelseye | Wed Jan 18, 2017, 10:57 AM (1 replies)

Here, here!

Thanks for expressing what has been sitting like a cold stone at the bottom of my craw these past months. I'm sick of playing nice. Bullies don't respect nice. They laugh at nice. They use nice. Then they just roll right over nice. It's about time we learned that lesson.

Time to stand for what we believe, wholly and completely, no compromise. Whatever it takes.

Posted by thekestrelseye | Wed Jan 18, 2017, 08:37 AM (3 replies)

Thank you, brother. I love you with a flaming heart.

Thank you, my brother. God, it's good to hear veterans come out & tell the truth about what these wars are really all about. Personally, I haven't been able to feel anything but disgust, grief, & revulsion in response to these wars, because I KNOW, I've always known, what they're really like, & the real reasons why they've been fought. Words aren't adequate to express the respect & admiration I feel for you, for 1) Being & staying awake (as in fully self-aware) in the middle of Hell, & in dealing with the personal consequences later, and 2) Having the courage to speak out loudly about just what kind of hell it really all is.

Myself, I can't stand these holidays we celebrate, Veterans & Memorial Day, & for the most part now, July 4th, in honor of "Our Heroes" who got themselves sucked into these travesties, these orgies of violence, cruelty & horror, all conducted ulitmately just for massive profits to a few. For these heroes who, once trapped into it, couldn't find the guts (or the awareness), unlike yourself, to tell the truth about it.

Today you've freed me to stand up, for once & all, & say: I'm not celebrating this crap, I don't buy it, never did, & I'm not putting up with it ANY MORE.

Posted by thekestrelseye | Fri Jul 10, 2015, 02:08 PM (0 replies)
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