We don't want to use the word "cult" lightly -- it's not like you'll get six meetings into Amway and find out it's all being done in service to the invisible space lizard Quixtar. But you've probably heard how groups like Scientology make their millions -- new members are roped in and told that the road to enlightenment runs through some very expensive course materials. Well, new Amway members ("distributors") are constantly promised there's a rocketship to success waiting just on the other side of the next $250 seminar. And then they're assured that those seminars are nothing without a $40 package of tapes and books to accompany them.
In both cases, the hook is the same, and it's targeted at the desperate: a little money now, a better life later. Only it's not "a little" money. As Kyritsis told us:
"The two years I was supposedly building my Amway business, I lost nearly $10,000 on tapes, seminars, books, gas, and traveling expenses for out-of-town seminars. My earnings? Less than $500 total. Since I was unemployed -- and pretty much unemployable for any nonburger-flipping job -- those $10,000 came exclusively from my grandmother, who was also my biggest (and only) Amway customer, buying expensive, 'concentrated' Amway products she didn't need, every month to support me."
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