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Their deaths are trivial, because the spirit in them, their human essence, does not depend on their particular incarnations for its continued existence. There has never been a time when you and I have not existed, nor will there be a time when we will cease to exist … the wise are not deluded by these changes. There are a great number of ego defenses, and the combinations and circumstances in which we use them reflect on our personality. Indeed, one could go so far as to argue that the self is nothing but the sum of its ego defenses, which are constantly shaping, upholding, protecting, and repairing it.

The self is like a cracked mask that is in constant need of being pieced together. But behind the mask there is nobody at home. While we cannot entirely escape from ego defenses, we can gain some insight into how we use them. This self-knowledge, if we have the courage for it, can awaken us to ourselves, to others, and to the world around us, and free us to express our full potential as human beings.

The greatest oracle of the ancient world was the oracle at Delphi, and inscribed on the forecourt of the temple of Apollo at Delphi was a simple two-word command:. This article gives great examples of some important defense mechanisms. Using defense mechanisms such as sublimation and humor can make anxiety much easier to deal with.

Knowing these mature defense mechanisms and how to consciously use them can help one improve the quality of their life. Hi Dr. Your article was a great read, and I greatly appreciate your insight on this subject. To me, one of the most captivating ego defenses noted in your article is reaction formation. Prior to moving forward, it seems necessary that we establish a common understanding of the process.

With the heritability of wealth, and the ability to obtain wealth through anti-capitalistic rallies, I would suggest that a student could genuinely endorse anti-capitalism while being rich. Thus, one cannot support the notion of all rich people supporting capitalism, so the example appears to be inapplicable to reaction formation. Thus, one could seemingly argue that individuals with obsessive-compulsions are disproportionately compensating for their naturally occurring fears.


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Atmaca, Yildirim, Koc, Korkmaz, Ozler, and Erenkus would likely support such a claim with their conclusion that obsessions reflect responses to unconscious conflicts, which can then be neutralized under reaction formation with an opposite impulse. Would you still suggest that the example of the rich student applies to reaction formation, and do you agree with the relationship between OCPD and reaction formation? I hope you enjoy this alternative method of exemplifying defense mechanisms. Have a great day! References Atmaca, M. Do defense styles of ego relate to volumes of orbito-frontal cortex in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder?.

Psychiatry investigation, 8 2 , Bowins, B. Personality disorders: a dimensional defense mechanism approach. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 64 2 , Neel Burton, M. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Back Magazine. Subscribe Issue Archive. Back Today. The Psychology of Creativity.

Deception's Playground 2

Gender Segregation at Work. Neel Burton M. Follow me on Twitter. Friend me on Faceook. The Psychology of Self-Deception A short, sharp look into some of our most important ego defenses. Neel Submitted by BigDog on August 28, - am.

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You used "himself" and then went to on to say she Psychology Submitted by Mohammad bn yusouf on August 28, - pm. Thanks much doctor,may you continue teaching. Feedback Submitted by Raghavendra Saralaya on October 9, - am. Brilliant article. Enjoyed reading! Submitted by David N. Andrews M. How about something evidence-based and scientifically vrifiable? Psychoanalysis is neither of those Post Comment Your name. E-mail The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. Notify me when new comments are posted. All comments. Replies to my comment.

Leave this field blank. About the Author. In Print:. Hypersanity: Thinking Beyond Thinking. The many Diamonds that were brought to inspire us affirmed that the leaders we were working with almost always a husband and wife team set the standard in the area of values.

These couples were bold in proclaiming their faith and patriotism and also in practicing what seemed then like unparalleled generosity. The reason they were so successful, we were told, was due to their having helped many, many others succeed financially. We were reminded that the same practice of helping others would become the measure of our success. The Diamond-level distributors became real-life heroes not only to us, but to our children as well. I studied and emulated their every move and mannerism.

What a fulfilling life we were going to lead by helping so many of the people we loved! Our group, indeed, was more like a family to us than friends or business partners. We had little time for any relationships outside of Amway; consequently, our children referred to members of our new Amway family as "aunt" or "uncle" so-and-so.

This is an Amway pattern, such that there are distributors who have affectionately named their pets, and in some instances their children, after members of their upline. After achieving the level of Emerald, we spent more and more time around many very wealthy distributors and even had some personal time with billionaire Amway founder Rich DeVos. It was this increased contact with high-level distributors, from Diamond through Crown Ambassador, that finally permitted a chance event of fate to lead us to some terribly disturbing discoveries.

These inadvertent discoveries eventually led to an agonizing exodus from "our" business, my becoming a federal witness and the actual publication of this book. The carefully guarded secrets I discovered, and am about to share with you, became a nightmare that plagued our every waking moment, an evil monster that ate at the fabric of our carefully structured lives like a swiftly moving cancer. I was horrified to discover and later document that the Amway business is used in a "bait and switch" fraud of global proportions.

As a result of this, nearly all of the thousands of people we brought into the Amway business lost money. Some lost tens of thousands of dollars. We were unknowingly used to extract millions of dollars of good people's hard-earned money for our upline Diamonds' covert business. Amway's owners and management have known of this deception for twenty years and have failed to stop it.

Looking the other way has made them wealthy beyond belief. Before we entered The Business, I figured the only danger was that I might waste a few weekends and lose a couple hundred dollars of our savings trying to move product that wouldn't sell. After ten years in The Business, I realized the danger had unbelievably escalated to not only the worst kind of slimy character assassination, but also having my life threatened. I am going to share with you the reaction of our leaders, upline Double Diamond, and fellow Amway distributors as we revealed the truth. The people we had admired and loved worked insidiously to undermine our position in the community.

Our horrifying escape from building "our" Amway business, its related "support" system, and our upline may literally keep you awake at night. The unnamed symbiotic relationship between Amway and its related Motivational Organizations has unimaginable psychological and financial control over many of its distributors. In fact, the enormous motivational organization, that I was a part of, is a cult using the very definition of such provided to Amway distributors on tape and at a seminar.

This cult exercises control and manipulation over distributors beyond your imagination. We got started in this venture to experience the freedom of owning our own business and setting our own income in, what was described to us as, the purest form of free enterprise. You may be thinking, "Come on now, Amway is just a harmless soap business, right? However, it is not. We have been advised repeatedly that we could "sell our business.

My silence is not for sale at any price. I was used as a dupe to swindle so many people that I cannot be silent and live with myself. Already, I have lost almost every friend I have ever had, been bankrupted, and forced to the brink of foreclosure since speaking, on a small scale, of what I know to be the truth. It is a strange irony that those I loved the most now see me as the enemy. Many of my closest friends have participated effectively in our character assassination.

Some pray for us, believing that Satan is using us to do a great evil. Publishing this book is against the advice of almost all who care about me, but it is one of several actions I am taking to stop the harm being done to so many families around the world who are unconsciously buying into a cult. This is not written out of a spirit of anger or retribution. I pity the people who took great liberties with our trust and used us as unwitting dupes to extract millions from the people we love most.

One day, these cult-like leaders will have to face themselves in the mirror. If this book helps you or someone you love, I am one step closer to undoing the damage I did as a trusting Amway distributor. I am one step closer to being able to live in peace. Only when the counterfeit is examined and compared with the real thing does the counterfeit become apparent. By then it's often too late Also, I have tried to protect the people we were closest to in Amway by not using their real names. Motivation and concern for others set Amway people apart form the rest of the crowd.

They know that if you can change one person's life for the better, you have helped a community and changed the world. Holcomb, M. Our journey into the darkness began uneventfully. As a young, newly married couple, Kathy and I were very much in love and enjoyed spending as much time as we could together. I had a job as a Federal auditor, working for a branch of the Department of Energy. The position provided a good salary for a recent college graduate. It was a nice upgrade for me, after working in McDonald's, factories, and cafeterias for minimum wage for most of my life. I had moved out of my home my senior year of high school and understood, firsthand, what it was like to struggle.

The struggles of life had overtaken my parents' marriage many years before. They each, in turn, found and re -married very special people and began new lives. I grew up living with my mother and stepfather. In terms of a home environment, we did not have much money. Too many of the decisions seemed to revolve around what we could afford, not what was the most important to us.

Money seemed to be a master that controlled our most important decisions. My mother and stepfather were hardworking, honest people. Despite this, we always seemed to struggle. This had a profound effect upon the manner in which I viewed success. As far back as I can remember, I wanted to succeed and to be in a position to help the people that I loved. I landed my first real job at McDonald's. Working the grill was a great learning experience. Many other employees were just putting in their time, but I was learning how businesses worked.

One night the owner came in, shook hands with the employees, and then left in a powder blue Jaguar. Most of the other employees mocked him for being the "rich guy," but I was excited. I had heard his story. He started as a waiter and then met Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's. Ray took him under his wing and mentored him. It wasn't long before he owned several McDonald's restaurants. I just knew that if I worked hard enough, one day I would be like my boss. Perhaps he would be my mentor. Somehow, I knew that I, too, would become an entrepreneur.

Although bored with school, I read constantly. The usual focus of my reading was ' Robert R. Holcomb M. The Horatio Alger stories intrigued me. I had no interest in get-rich-quick schemes. My focus was on people that founded successful businesses on a shoestring, faith, and hard work. Because of this, I started a lawn maintenance service and soon had over 30 customers. Through this experience, I learned a lot about both the good and bad nature of people.

Some were kind and encouraging, while others treated me like the "yard boy. Soon after graduation, I was off to a large state college. For far too long, I majored in fun, and my grades reflected that. I was still searching for the right answers for my future. Then, because so many of my relatives had served in the U. This proved to be one of the best experiences of my life, in terms of giving me discipline. I graduated in the honor platoon and realized how much further I could push myself both physically and psychologically than I had previously thought. While my patriotism increased as a result of this time, I wanted a little more freedom in my choices than a military career, as an officer would afford me.

Upon graduating from the training program, I took the option of declining my commission as a second lieutenant and was honorably discharged. Around this time, I decided to transfer to another University campus to get a fresh start. I didn't know any other students there, but that helped me to get focused on my studies and my future. My transfer was one of the single most important decisions of my life, because it was at the new campus that I met Kathy, the love of my life! Her quiet confidence and gentle nature made her different from any other woman I had ever met.

Before long, when I wasn't with her, she was all that I could think about. She wasn't just special: She was, and still is, "the woman of my dreams. They were kind and strong in a quiet way. They displayed the same warm, compassionate nature that had drawn me to Kathy. This was unusual, considering the fact that I was dating their beautiful twenty-year-old, only daughter. I now marvel at their openness. As the father of two young daughters, I can't imagine having the same composure. I would be tempted to greet prospective boyfriends while wearing full camouflage with a Bowie knife in my teeth Fortunately, I have a several years to prepare myself for that encounter.

I graduated with a degree in business a year before Kathy and started my career with the Government as a Federal Auditor. It was exciting to begin traveling the country, as I worked within large corporations. My first audit took me to Jackson, Mississippi. It was a wonderful place, where I met many nice people, but there was something missing — a part of me was missing. I was scared to death of marriage and probably took a job in far away Mississippi to avoid the decision.

This was a strange contradiction. I had met the woman of my dreams, but I was also terrified of the idea of commitment and loving her completely. It seemed that nothing good in my life had ever lasted; I was afraid to get my hopes up and put my heart on the line. There are a few moments in each of our lives in which we stand at life-changing crossroads.

One of mine came on a warm spring night in Jackson. I lived in a beautiful apartment complex that had many elderly residents. Many were widows or widowers. I was walking my dog one evening and saw several elderly men and women out doing the same thing. We exchanged pleasantries and commented on the seasonal weather. I realized that they were very much alone. Unless I did something different, I would become them.

The only difference between us was the passing of time. I got on a plane and flew back across the country. I asked Kathy. Fortunately, she saw enough good qualities in me to take the chance. We drove straight to a mall to put a small down payment on an engagement ring. What a great day that was! We were married in August of , honeymooned in Cancun, and returned to begin our married life at the next audit site in Miami. The nature of my job meant that I was assigned to one big city after another for months at a time. This got old quickly. Kathy and I longed to be back home near our families, and we wanted to put down some roots.

Over all, I found the daily routine of auditing rather boring, but I did learn a great deal about documentation while employed in that field. Working with people really seemed to create more personal satisfaction for me than working with numbers and spreadsheets.

So, I presented my boss with a two weeks notice. Once home, I landed an entry-level management position as an underwriter for a large insurance company. Fortunately, although this new job paid less than my auditing one, we experienced an increase in lifestyle. Kathy accepted a job with the same company, and we were able to spend a great deal of time together. Acquaintances commented that they couldn't hack that much time with their spouse, but we very much enjoyed taking breaks and lunches together.

We bought our first home, and it was an incredible dump. Some homes are fixer uppers and some blower uppers; this one was right on the border. It was a dump, but it was our dump. We took great pride in working together to make it a nice place to live. Most of our friends shook their heads in disbelief when they first saw it, but with time and with a lot of "sweat equity," the house turned out great.

It was a double home with three bedrooms on both sides. The biggest advantage was that the rent from the one side paid most of the mortgage. I studied real-estate seminars and used the equity in this property to buy several others. Finally, we were beginning to plan for our future.

We spent a lot of time working on the home and met several couples that lived on our street. Some of our neighbors told us that that they had gotten into Amway through a mutual acquaintance. Privately, we thought this was a real joke. They had put pictures of Mercedes and enormous homes up on their refrigerator and spoke often of Zack Walters, this "Diamond Guy," who was going to help them get wealthy. I distinctly remember feeling that they spoke of him with an unnatural level of respect. It was as if they thought he were God-like.

Our neighbors told us that our mutual friends, Kerry and Chris, had "gone Direct," whatever that meant. Because I supervised a woman at work who had told me she was in Amway, I mentioned to her that Kathy had some friends who had "gone Direct. That figure was equal to my full-time salary at that point. I still remember thinking that I would NOT go and sell soap, even for that much extra money! I was too busy building a mini real-estate empire to be bothered with door-to-door sales of soap.

One day, Kerry and Chris, the couple that had "gone Direct" in Amway, called us, because their printer had stopped working. They knew I was handy with computers and Not their real names 10 asked if I would come look at it. We went over and I tinkered with it for a while and then gave it the last rites. Soon, the four of us were sitting around their dining room table. They were very engaging and wanted to know more about us and how our properties were doing. They asked so many questions about us that, out of politeness, I asked them how their Amway business was doing.

They seemed almost to cringe at the mention of the word "Amway" and advised us that it wasn't really Amway. It was their own business, and it involved hundreds of companies. Kerry and Chris told us that it was going better than they had ever expected and wanted to know if we wanted to see "the business" sometime. We agreed to look at it sometime, more to be polite than out of any real interest.

Kerry said he would call us, and we could get together when he had time. As promised, Kerry called about a week later and set up an appointment to come over. Soon, we found ourselves at our kitchen table seeing "the plan" for the very first time. He explained that it was far more than just Amway. Kerry told us that, "Amway was only the corporate supplier. Amway later developed brochures with the quote, "Known for the Company we keep. The most striking thing I remember about that day was seeing the book entitled Profiles of Success.

It depicted many, many couples who became wealthy in the business we had just been shown. Over the next decade, I would become so familiar with their stories that I could practically recite them by heart. At that first meeting, Kerry told us that these Amway millionaires were actually willing to come teach us how to do what they had done.

But we had to be willing to do the work. They explained that there was a specific pattern of success helping all these people become wealthy in Amway or "The Business. They promised us that we would have access to monthly seminars and ongoing training by people who had gained wealth through The Business.

The catalog and the diversity of products impressed me. Kerry explained there were so many products, that we did not have to sell things. This was a relief, as neither Kathy nor I were salespeople. Apparently, our business would be just to purchase products we already used from their special catalog at discount-store savings and then show the discount catalog to other potential "members,' recruiting them to do the same. It sounded good. The first was the fact that "we" did not have the cost of traditional retail establishments. There were normally large amounts of revenue eaten up by the cost of buildings, labor, employees and employee theft.

The second factor was that there were tremendous economies of scale negotiated to the benefit of the distributors. Specifically, we were able to get a far better price on sneakers, for example, because Amway purchased in such volume — perhaps 10, pairs at a time. We only needed to purchase one pair as distributors for our own 10 11 use, but we reaped the benefit of the price negotiated for the bulk purchase. Our sponsors would not leave catalogs with us to check prices. We had to take the promise of savings on faith. Who sells? Somebody sells I always like to say to them The "middle man" had essentially been cut out, and the profits that normally went to traditional retailers would now come to us.

This "wholesale" arrangement, we were told, was what created the many millionaires and multimillionaires depicted in Profiles of Success. A black information pack, containing quite a bit of literature and two cassette tapes, was left for our review. It was a catchy idea, but we were indifferent at that point.

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Before they left, Kerry and Chris had arranged to come back in two days to pick up the information and to answer any questions we had. Before our prospective partners arrived, we were already having an argument over The Business. I knew the value of mentors. After many trials and tribulations, Kathy had given birth to our first child, Josh, and did not ever want to be away from him. I knew we needed to get around wealthy people, if we were ever going to succeed.

In the middle of this "discussion," the doorbell rang. It was our Amway friends. Somewhat to our surprise, Kerry and Chris did not want to talk much about Amway at all. Instead, they focused on helping us create a list of our dreams and goals. Sure we wanted to be debt free, have a nice home in a safe neighborhood, drive newer and safer cars, vacation, help our parents, and be together; what did that have to do with how this business worked?

They pulled out Profiles of Success again, and we thumbed through it. They told us that the Amway Diamonds featured in the book had no work schedule and extensive family time. This lifestyle was constantly referred to as one of "six Saturdays and a Sunday. We actually found out much later that no one lives this reported lifestyle. They are indicative of the statements and business philosophies that were promoted to either prospects or distributors in Amway. Would you rather own one McDonald's or be Ray Kroc and have the right to franchise or duplicate your efforts?

By helping many people succeed in owning their own franchise, so to speak, you could literally work yourself out of a "job" and live comfortably on the residual income, generated by the businesses you started. This residual income stream could even be passed on to your children as part of your estate. There was "no way to lose money", as it was the perfect business opportunity with "no employees or overhead. It was obvious, from all the information we had accessed, that this business worked!

As a corporation, Amway was doing somewhere around two billion dollars a year in volume, and was dealing with the many of the largest manufacturers in the country, and had created many millionaires, as evidenced by Profiles of Success. This appealed to me very strongly. All my life, I had dreamed of succeeding and being able to provide very well for those I loved.

Most important of all, to have unlimited family time would be a dream come true! I had always wanted to have my own business, and this looked like the answer. I did not believe that anyone was willing to work harder than I would in this business. If I could meet one of the many millionaire mentors, I knew we would succeed.

We were very fortunate in that we were able to meet an Amway Double Diamond, Zack Walters, in just a few weeks. Zack was "showing the plan" at a home about 10 minutes from where we lived. We were told that he was a millionaire-maker. He was a former teacher, who, we were told, had become a millionaire in this business in only four years. We were later informed, "he bought a home appraised at a million and a quarter when he was twenty-nine years old When he drove up in his Mercedes, people were rushing to hold the door open for him and to carry his briefcase.

Upon entering the home, he was handed a cup of coffee, already prepared exactly to his liking. It was almost as if a member of the royal family was visiting. He wore a hand-tailored suit, expensive leather shoes, and tens of thousands of dollars in jewelry; all of which certainly made him look like the picture of success.

This very slick image was exactly what we had expected. But much to our surprise, he was very friendly and had more than his share of charisma. He joked and laughed with those he knew. He casually walked around the room and met most of the new people. His sincere smile and warm handshake made us feel as if we had just met a new friend. This was not at all what we had anticipated. After about 15 minutes of small talk, our sponsor got up and introduced Zack as the speaker for the evening. We expected a very hard-core, high-pressured sales pitch.

We could not have been more wrong. Zack began his presentation with a few lighthearted jokes that set most of the audience at ease. The presentation moved into a description of how hard Zack had worked before The Business in an effort to succeed. It seemed as if no matter what he had tried to do in the past, he always ran out of either time or money. By now, he had my attention, because this really sounded like me! Zack went on to explain many people's lack of success is due to our engaging in production work of one sort or another.

Specifically, most of us toiled our entire lives, exchanging time for dollars. It would not matter if we were bricklayers or neurosurgeons, as both merely traded hours for dollars. No matter how long we did this, we would always be busy. Zack used many analogies to illustrate the point that most people were working harder and longer for less and less. Only five percent would ever become financially free. How could anyone succeed against such staggering odds?

It was really quite simple, he explained. All we had to do was get advice from people who had already achieved success. How do you stay broke? You just get advice from people in the 95 percent group and follow it. To succeed, all people needed to do was 'plug into' others who have already succeeded, those who are in the five percent. Simply put, wealthy people could teach you how to become wealthy. Even the best and most well- meaning parents, teachers, accountants, attorneys, friends and co-workers could not possibly help you accomplish something that they themselves had never experienced.

How could someone give you directions to a place that they have never been? This philosophy made sense to me. I whispered to Kathy, "It's what I've been telling you. All I need to do is get business advice from a millionaire. He claimed that God's word said, "a man without vision shall perish. He explained that most people don't focus on these things but, instead, focus on the negative in life.

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Soon, we all were thinking about living debt free, driving newer vehicles, living in newer homes in nicer neighborhoods, taking our children to Disney World, helping our loved ones, and spending time with our families. Before long, most of us had verbalized these goals and objectives. Zack commended us, saying that most people get so busy earning a living that they have no 13 14 time to design a life. He declared that many people spend more time planning a family vacation than they spend planning their entire future. Obviously, we were going to be different, and it truly was exciting to think about the possibilities our future held.

Zack concluded the presentation with a quick review of the logistics of the Amway sales and marketing plan. This portion of the two-hour meeting took only about 15 minutes. The details became clearer, as we saw the plan again. Zack described what we saw as a very specific two- to five-year plan for financial freedom. Once again, Amway was mentioned only once, very briefly, at the very end. It was described as only serving a supply function.

The Business operated on a very simple concept in that you just changed your shopping habits to purchase goods and services from yourself, at a 30 percent discount over the retail stores, where you currently did your shopping. Due to these economies of scale, the business was commonly referred to as a "wholesaling business.

This represented an incredible increase in leverage, affording us the ability to purchase things from ourselves at "wholesale. There was one statement that Zack made that I can still hear as clearly as if it were yesterday. He revealed, "This business didn't make me a millionaire It made me a multi-millionaire Everybody has got to be something. To make it even better, he spoke of his faith and time with his family and of things we all cherish.

He shared how he and his wife enjoyed greeting the school bus together when the kids got home. He had found that elusive balance in life and was willing to give us directions. I thought for sure this was it. I had found my mentor. There followed a whirlwind of introductory and follow-up meetings, and it became time to "break open our kit. We were surprised and confused to see the box was filled with Amway products. Was this really Amway or not? It was explained that technically we were wholesale business owners and that Amway merely served as our supplier. The most important part of the business was the support side, which included the team of people in our upline.

They would teach us how to build a network through which large amounts of product would flow. On this note, our sponsors completed the application and handed it to us to sign. We were advised many times in The Business, "There is nothing in the Amway kit to teach you how to build the business.


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Specifically, it was not clear what the difference was between Amway and our upline. Despite the initial confusion, we were excited about having a chance to build our future together. We signed the Amway application, and our sponsors, Kerry and Chris, congratulated us. We had no hint that what we had just signed up for would take us to the brink of hell — nearly complete personal, financial, emotional, and spiritual destruction.

They also left more tapes and a follow-up pack for us to go through. They left most of the literature and products on our kitchen table but took the box with them. They joked that we would get the whole box once we sponsored someone. This seemed a little odd, but it was a distinct pattern that we would later learn, duplicate, and teach. We closed the door, as they cheerfully congratulated us on becoming new business owners. They were nice people, and they were actually going to help us succeed. We listened to the tapes they left, which were full of motivation and inspiration.

The speakers were from different backgrounds, but all had developed incredible wealth and an enviable lifestyle via The Business, Amway. Many of the speakers on the tapes, like us, had originally held the misconception that Amway was a door-to-door sales business. I decided that the concept of the wholesaling business, or Network Marketing, seemed simple enough.

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What an incredible concept! You would actually succeed only as a result of helping your friends save money and succeed in their own business. Kathy and I still did not have a complete grasp of the mechanics of how The Business worked. It was reassuring to know Kerry and other members of our "upline" would always be there to explain the details until we were more comfortable with them. This was like having a personal business consultant that you did not have to pay. This mentorship program was one of the most appealing and key benefits of this business. What a blessing to have successful people leading the way for us.

Kathy and I began studying the follow-up pack that described the mechanics of starting your own business. The literature advised that to have a successful meeting, we needed to invite at least twice the number of people that we expected to come. In the follow-up pack, we also were given "inviting" techniques and instruction on how to handle certain questions that friends might ask. I was very clearly coached to make certain not to use the words "Amway", "products" or "selling" in the phone calls to friends. There were many approaches suggested, but the basic call went like this: Hi, Joe.

It's John. How are the kids? How's work? The reason I am calling is that you seem like a very business-oriented guy. Are you interested in making more money? To better handle their response, since the people we called wouldn't have a script, we were given a tape called "Telephone Inviting. I followed the instructions on that tape almost word for word. The advice given on that tape was to say this: 15 16 The reason I asked you I have my own business; I have gone into business with a friend of mine who has a wholesaling business.

They are wholesaling all over the country and several other countries. And one of the things we're doing is expanding right now and it looks like there is a good possibility that we may be expanding in your area. I really don't know for sure. We're looking for a couple of people that have their act pretty well together that have some management background and some management skills. They were as follows: Question: "Is it Amway? Are you looking for a particular product line or what? I'm not looking for some door- to-door, party plan sales person. We're looking for some level headed people to run and manage their own business.

Most of the people I called did, indeed, have some level of interest. This proved to me that the system worked. Had I made the calls without the tapes and literature, I would have been tongue-tied. You have more tools for you to use. You have more experienced leadership as everyone has learned over the past years DeVos, B. Kerkstra GDL 16 17 Every successful program has a system. The one used by The Business was later described as a "field proven multi media professional development program. We soon met many, many wealthy Amway distributors at large seminars, who gave all the credit of their financial success to the system.

Most were openly Christian and praised both God and the system for their good fortune. We were getting great results on the phone calls and were very excited at the prospect of helping our friends. Most were young, ambitious couples with families, and they could use some help in the area of finances.

This venture was looking like a dream come true. Kerry and Chris loaned us a copy of Profiles of Success to keep until we received the one that we had ordered. We stayed awake late every night reading each Diamond's success story. Most all had struggled before they entered The Business. From the book and the tapes that we were now avidly listening to, we learned that these people had become full-time parents.

Making money was not the highest priority in their lives. Most all spoke about "the system. I was not a deeply spiritual person at that point, but it gave me a sense of reassurance that we were dealing with people of faith and integrity. The tapes we listened to spoke not only of business success but also of patriotism, family, and strong values. Kathy and I wondered how we could have thought that this was some stupid door-to-door sales business. This was something great, and we were going to be part of it. It was truly our chance to work hard for ourselves and succeed.

Many of the Diamond-level distributors that we met in person, or saw pictured in the literature, wore large diamonds, drove luxury cars, and lived in palatial homes. This flaunting of wealth did not interest me. However, my auditor's training to question everything was appeased, because these trappings supplied documentation and verification that this business worked.

To Kathy and to me, "making it" did not necessarily mean owning a Rolls Royce, expensive jewelry, and a home big enough to get lost in. At that point, success meant having the freedom to be together as a family, whenever we chose. It meant being in a financial position to help those that we loved. The Business just provided a financial vehicle to take us from where we were to where we wanted to go in life. We weren't going to change or get lost in this process. Sometime early into the business, Kerry and Chris began promoting a weekend seminar with Dexter Yager.

Dexter was spoken of not only as the most successful distributor in Amway but also in the history of all Network Marketing businesses. Now when people spoke of him, it was with an unusual awestruck reverence. He was doing somewhere in the area of a billion dollars a year in business. But being new, we did not want to take the time or spend the money for a whole weekend with an Amway guru. We settled, instead, on driving almost two hours to the Sunday afternoon session to hear Dexter's leadership talk. We found what we thought was the right building; there were hundreds of well- dressed men and women streaming into it.

We asked a few people if this was the Amway seminar. They answered something like "Walters International" and kept walking past us. Confused, and feeling like an idiot, I asked someone else if this was the Amway seminar. It turned out that the business name that we kept hearing was the name of Diamond Zack Walters' Amway distributorship. We quickly learned that saying Amway was taboo. This seemed unusual; it did not make much sense that this was a 'dirty word' among what seemed like a large group of Amway distributors.

We purchased our tickets and walked into a large hall that must have seated about people. The women in the audience wore conservative dresses, and the men were nearly all clean-shaven and in suits. It was a sharp-looking group. The energy in the room was contagious. We met a few people, and they all seemed friendly and upbeat. Someone walked onstage and began to warm up the group, pep-rally style. Many yelled with excitement.

This seemed odd, but we were intrigued, wondering what caused the near evangelical fervor in the room. After several speakers had each worked the crowd into an even more excited state, Zack and Molly Walters were brought to the stage as our host and hostess for the day. The crowd seemed suddenly to have lost their minds! There must have been a three- or four-minute standing ovation. It was all Zack could do to calm them down. I now felt even more fortunate for having had personal contact with someone this important.

When Molly spoke, she was emotional about the blessings that this business had brought to them. She also seemed to be very sincere and down to earth. Zack took the microphone and spent quite some time telling us of the successful background of the speaker he was about to introduce. He described Dexter Yager as a man who had become very wealthy, due to his uncompromising willingness to serve other people.

It looked like the plaster might literally vibrate loose from the ceiling when the thunderous applause erupted as soon as Dexter emerged onstage. To Kathy and I, the remarkable enthusiasm seemed both odd and wonderful at the same time. We had never been to either a business or church meeting that had this level of emotion and excitement. These people had an absolute passion for life. We also were encouraged that someone as successful as Dexter Yager would come back to help us, the new recruits. I do not remember much of the specifics of his speech that day.

The sight of the room filled with over a thousand enthusiastic people was more than enough motivation for me to get going. Little did I know that, one day, Kathy and I would also have an enthusiastic audience several times that size of Amway distributors cheering for us. We ran into members of our upline support team. They greeted us enthusiastically and commented on what a sharp couple we were. They were all extremely positive and radiated hope. Soon, all we could think of was getting back home and making business calls.

We were very excited! In short order, we had two meetings, in which our friends came to see the plan. My sponsor, Kerry, did one meeting for us, where we sponsored four distributors, right off-the-bat. The momentum was beginning to build when we got the incredible news. Zack Walters had asked about us personally and was going to come to our home to do a meeting for us. We knew he had helped many people become wealthy.

All we could think of was, what a true blessing to have a young millionaire coming to our home to help our friends and us secure our futures. A quick way for them to gain control over others is to tempt people with the opportunity to discover some "knowledge" unavailable outside of an exclusive group. Springfield, MO:Radiant Life, The remarkable character and achievements of these men— now continuing with the second generation— provide the solid foundation for their remarkable company and the businesses of Amway entrepreneurs.

Like the U. Chamber of Commerce, Amway has been a champion of the economic principles that create greater opportunities and prosperity for all. Chamber of Commerce ' The Amway bonus schedule was beginning to make more sense, now that we had seen the plan several times. All the products you purchased were tracked back to you by your distributor number and assigned a point value. You were compensated at the end of the month for all the business volume that went through your organization. This is where the power of leveraging or duplication was evident. We would be paid on a sliding scale from PV point value through PV.

The plan was still a little confusing, in that Kerry and Zack drew out " dollar" circles when showing the plan. Each distributorship in the plan was depicted doing a hundred dollars in volume. The speakers referred to "doing your hundred" often. When I questioned Kerry about this, he said something like, "This is how we always have done it" and "most people do not find it confusing. He had answered the question but, at the same time, seemed to be ignoring the issue. It seemed like he didn't understand what I had told him. I did not realize it at that time, but I had just stepped over one of the boundaries you were never supposed to cross.

The meeting remained friendly, because as a new person, I was unaware of the many unspoken rules governing behavior in The Business. It would be quite a while before Kathy and I were fully indoctrinated. We had begun sponsoring our friends almost immediately. We sponsored my best friend, Paul, first. We then sponsored some young professionals that I worked with. Kerry and Chris helped us break open the new members' kits and go through the Amagram February They explained that they intentionally took away each kit box after emptying its contents on the table of new distributors.

This would encourage them to begin using "their own" products. Most, like us, were surprised that the products were almost exclusively Amway products. We were puzzled to see Kerry and Chris remove a small white form that we had never seen in our literature. It was Amway literature that advised all distributors to sell products to ten customers per month. We were told to take these forms out and throw them away. They were part of the old door-to-door Amway.

This was the new wholesale, networking phase of Amway. We were just supposed to use our own new household products and teach others to do the same. This made us comfortable, as no one we knew wanted to sell Amway to family and friends. The handful of distributors we had sponsored were very motivated to get people out to see Zack. We all were impressed by the fact that he and Molly had traveled around the world, and yet he was taking a night out of his life to come and help us.

Zack himself remarked that he could be home with his family or in countless other places in his business, so we should take full advantage of having his time. We were not completely naive. We understood that he would derive some benefit from helping us. This concept would be constantly reinforced over the next nine and half years: 'No one makes more money off your business for your efforts than you.

You then receive a leadership bonus of four percent of that distributor's personal group volume for having helped build it. Your sponsor is also being paid the additional four percent leadership bonus as well. Again, it was clear that no one made more money off your efforts than you. Your upline would never give you bad advice, because it would adversely affect their income to do so. Your upline had, what was continually referred to as, a "vested interest" in the success of your business. It directly benefited them to give you good advice.

They became like a new family that you could trust without reserve. Several standard analogies were commonly used to delineate how very different the advice was that you were likely to receive in the "real world. Distributors were instructed to be wary of advice they might receive from a broker, because "you may end up 'broker' if you listen. They were compensated on a transaction basis, simply for making the sale, and not upon the quality of advice given. The wealthy distributors in Amway that would act as your advisers were more interested in your long-term success, because it was of mutual benefit.

My skeptical, auditor's nature was overruled by the pure simplicity of the compensation plan. I have always been good with numbers. Math feels safe to me. It cannot lie and has no emotion. Clearly, my support team would not benefit unless they helped Kathy and me succeed 22 23 financially in Amway. This understanding was also the source of tremendous personal inspiration for us as well.

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We would only stand to gain after helping our friends prosper in their own businesses. We became very busy helping our other distributors as the day of Zack's meeting drew closer. The instruction regarding the necessity for exact duplication had been quite clear. This business was very much like a franchise and to try something "new" would not be a good idea. Why reinvent the wheel? People who had successfully built this business for over two decades had already established a system or pattern for success. Using the same pack of follow-up information, we helped our people invite their friends to the meeting that Zack was doing.

Some did much better than others on the phone, but overall, the results seemed very good. The momentum was already beginning to build, as the people we had sponsored now had others interested in looking at The Business. You could see the excitement in their eyes, as they began to believe that this could also work for them.

Our sponsors, Kerry and Chris, came to our home about an hour before the p. With Zack coming, they both seemed incredibly nervous about everything being just right, making coffee and preparing Amway-brand snacks to be served after the meeting. The "plan" would be shown on a white board and easel that had to be placed away from the door, so that latecomers would not interrupt the speaker. Children and pets were not to be in or near the meeting area, in order to preserve a professional atmosphere.

As I was the host for the evening, I was given very specific coaching as to how to introduce the speaker. This would transfer my credibility to him. This made sense to me, as Zack was a stranger to almost everyone that would be present that evening.