The Grand Rapids Press sorta reported this on Wednesday, but here’s the real story …
A few years back the Fixer helped Rich and Jay re-brand the Amway multi-level marketing scam as Quixtar. Sure, call it a corporate reorganization if want, but it’s the same ol’ pyramid, the same ol’ hucksters, and the same ol’ suckers buying Amway kits and loads of motivational materials from the hucksters. But now the hucksters are feuding. The big bucks in the Amway/Quixtar pyramid come from flogging motivational books, tapes, CD’s, and seminars to newbie Amway distributors. It seems that not all the hucksters are getting their chance to fleece the flock with tapes and seminars. Only the hucksters highest on the pyramid, the “kingpins”, get to do that. So a group of non-kingpin hucksters filed suit against Amway in the U.S. district court in the western district of Missouri.
They accuse Amway a.k.a. Quixtar of helping the kingpins monopolize what is known in their parlance as the “tools and functions” trade – i.e., motivational materials and seminars. About twenty years ago Amway and the kingpins, the independent distributors at the top of the pyramid, were in a Mexican stand-off. The kingpins were making most of their money pushing “tools and functions” instead of Amway kits, which displeased Amway. However, Amway needed the kingpins to recruit new distributors into the bottom of the pyramid to buy Amway kits and keep the Ponzi scheme rolling forward. Likewise, the kingpins needed a product like the Amway kit as a pretext to hook new distributors and then browbeat them into attending their seminars and buy piles of their motivational materials.
In the early ‘80s the kingpins showed Amway that they had the clout to reduce the sales of Amway’s kits – you know, that bundle of soap and vitamins that a new distributor buys thinking he’s going to get rich reselling the stuff to others (just as those motivational tapes he bought from his kingpin tell him) but almost always ends up using the overpriced products for himself. So Amway dropped its opposition to the “tools and functions” trade and instead decided to regulate it. Primarily that meant enforcing rules that let the kingpins monopolize the trade.
It’s a business that is rotten to its core. Amway’s real customer is the sucker who buys the distributor’s kit. Getting rich off reselling the goods in the kit is a pipe dream fueled by the kingpins and their get-rich-quick wares. So the kingpins are parasites feeding off of Amway’s already parasitical business, yet Amway is completely dependent upon them. They bring in Amway’s new customers/distributors. You already know Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel, the founders of Amway. Now know their kingpins, Ron Puryear, Dexter Yager, and Bill Britt, who are in the filthy business of conning ordinary people into buying Amway kits through their motivational materials promising them riches if they do. Also know that the mid-level distributors who are suing Amway are no champions of free enterprise. What they want is a piece of the kingpins’ “tools and functions” trade. It’s one band of thieves suing another.
The pyramid is crumbling. Well, you were never foolish enough to get suckered by Amway, so what does it matter to you as a taxpayer or a resident of Grand Rapids? An excellent question, which I will answer next week.