AMWAY -- A Different Gospel? J'Accuse!
by an anonymous Christian
This page was last updated on January 13, 1998
Dedicated with thanks and gratitude to the author of "Amway Motivational Organizations: The Nightmare Builders".
This is also dedicated to the author of "Amway: The Untold Story", who was threatened by Amway with legal harassment if he did not shut his site down. All he did was to inform the public of his assessments and conclusions and let the public make their own decision.
Is this what a "christian" organization does to those who dare to disagree with it? Is this the "jesus" and "holy spirit" that leads Amway, it's leaders, and the big "pins"? It seems we have to choose between the God of the Bible and Christianity and the "god" of Amway.
Galatians 1:6-9 (New King James Version (NKJV)):
"I marvel that you are turning away from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed." (The word "accursed" in Greek is "anathema", meaning excommunicated, not in communion with).
This is written primarily for a Christian audience, to warn fellow Christians of yet another deceptive and false gospel that has invaded Christendom. However, non-Christian readers may find this of interest as well, since they may be approached in their workplaces, malls, grocery stores, parking lots and other public places. I strongly believe that non-Christians also need to be warned that this "christian business". It's "christian" purveyors are not bringing forth the genuine Christian faith as taught and practiced throughout history, but an aberrant and false version. Do not be taken in by it.
At the end of this document are a list of books and internet sites where I found information that indicates serious questions and doubts about the type of "christianity" taught and practiced in Amway Motivational Organizations (AMOs). I strongly encourage everyone, Christian and non-Christian to do their own research, using these sources as starting points, and find out for themselves.
The phenomenon of Amway and other multi-level marketing schemes has reached the church. Regardless of denomination, you may be approached by a "brother" or a "sister" who will befriend you, "love bomb" you, and tell you such things as "you are a winner", "have you ever thought of supplementing your income", "are you unhappy at your job", "would you like to see a "christian" business opportunity", etc. You may be told that someone is in the area increasing their business and is "looking for a few sharp individuals" to join them, however the "time to join is limited". This is a subtle pressure to stampede a panic decision by prospects.
Scare tactics and statistics will be thrown out by the "brother" or "sister" to show that a large number of those 65 and over retire and are soon "dead" or "broke". Other approaches include getting the potential recruit to talk about their financial situations, family, dreams, goals and hopes, as well as personal interests and hobbies. If the individual approached asks any questions regarding the type of business or what it is about, some vague generalities about a large number of companies using this business to distribute their products, the offer of a large number of goods and services provided, and "helping people to save money" may be stated.
You will = not be told any clear, straightforward and up-front answer. It will be kept vague while pressure is applied for the potential recruit to come to a "business meeting" where they can find out more. If the pitch is being made over the phone, the person will not tell you what it is, but will hem and haw to avoid answering any questions.
NOTE: Once the recruit signs up for this "business opportunity" these techniques will be taught to them by their sponsors and uplines in face-to-face meetings, larger meetings, rallies and functions, as well as in the tapes provided by the organization.
If the potential recruit shows any interest, they will be wooed and courted by the "brother" or "sister". They will be treated as though they are fellow Christians, shown great amounts of love, friendship, concern and support. It will appear to the potential recruit that they have found a genuine "brother" or "sister" that is "in the Lord". Should the potential recruit, or the newly signed up recruit attend any meetings or functions, they will be effusively greeted by "loving" and "caring" people who will tell them they are "winners". Yet the person has never met any of these people. As a part of this stage, the prospect or new recruit will be told that there is so much "love" that is felt and shown at these meetings and functions; the implied suggestion being that such love is not found or displayed anywhere else.
Once signed up, the recruit will be strongly encouraged to sign up for standing order tapes (called SOT), and to read the books on a reading list. The books are as diverse as word faith types such as Charles Capps "The Tongue: A Creative Force", Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich", as well as works by Norman Vincent Peale (Positive Thinking) and Robert Schuller (Possibility Thinking). Other titles such as "Psycho-Cybernetics", "The Magic of Thinking Big", and "How to Win Friends and Influence People" will also be on the recommended reading list. Other authors who are not specifically on the reading list, but which may be encouraged for the recruit to read include E.W. Kenyon (a mind science teacher who mixed mind science/new thought doctrine with the Pentecostal form of Christianity).
These books contain, different techniques for bringing about "success". Terms such as "speaking it into existence" and "you get what you speak" are used. Visualization techniques such as thinking of a particular goal or item (such as a car or new house), or a specific amount of money, are encouraged. The recruit is strongly exhorted to paste pictures of such things on their refrigerator, bathroom mirrors, etc. They are also instructed to paste quotes from the different authors on the reading list in different places, and repeat these "success" and "positive thinking" quotes over in the mornings and evenings. The recruit is told to speak "positively", think "positively" and to associate only with "positive" and "right thinking" people (meaning people who are in the = AMO).
They are told that a person becomes what they read and with whom they associate. No TV, no reading of "negative" books (that is, anything that questions any of these techniques and practices), and naturally, to buy only "positive" products (all non-Amway products are considered "negative" and "heathen"). All of these different things are reinforced over and over in the tapes from the standing order tape list. Further reinforcement comes from speakers at the various meetings and functions. The outwardly stated goal is to help the new recruit "become a better person", change them to "positive thinking" from "stinking thinking", and to help them become "successful", "build a big business", bring them "freedom", and be a "success".
is defined as being a "diamond", having an extremely
lavish lifestyle with large houses, vacation houses, expensive
cars and watches, jewelry, furs, and so on. To make this
palatable, bits and pieces of Scripture will be quoted to show
that "God wants you to be rich and successful"
(successful, of course as defined by the sponsors, directs and
higher-up leaders of the particular
But are these techniques, teachings and practices compatible with Scripture? Does God indeed want everyone to be fabulously wealthy and successful as the AMOs define success? Does God want people to visualize things over and over in their minds, repeat quotes and goals over and over, "speak things into existence", and even get in touch with "ascended masters" (see Napoleon Hill's writings , especially "Think and Grow Rich") to learn further "success" techniques and thinking? Does the Bible teach such things? In the history of the Church, did the great theologians and scholars of Christendom, whether Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican or Protestant, ever teach that such techniques and practices were for Christians? Did they interpret Scriptures in the way that persons such as E.W. Kenyon, Charles Capps, Norman Vincent Peale, Robert Schuller, and Napoleon Hill do?
I have = not found in my own research and study so far that practices and techniques for "influencing people" (i.e., manipulate and control people for one's own goals and ends), "speaking things into existence", repeating different sayings or passages of Scripture over and over while visualizing "success" are in any way compatible with the whole counsel of Scripture. They are not in any way compatible with the historic teachings of the whole Church (whether Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, or Protestant), with the exception of heretical or aberrant groups. My research and study has shown that such things are deceptive and consist of practices forbidden in Scripture such as divination, spiritism, sorcery, etc. I have found so far that those who teach such things, and utilize bits and pieces of Scripture to justify them, are spoken of in Scripture as false prophets and teachers of a false and different gospel. Their gospel is different from the one spoken of in the Bible, and taught over the centuries by the great scholars and theologians of all branches of Christendom.
When I began to discover these discrepancies, I went to my sponsor and uplines. Since we were all "christian brothers", I felt it was important to tell them what I was finding, since I was very troubled and concerned. Further, I wanted to warn them of these questionable practices that were incompatible with Scripture and traditional Christian thought and teaching. Many Christians are not aware of these things. I felt I had a duty to bring this up to them as I thought at the time we were all friends and "brothers".
The initial response to my concerns was gracious and pleasant. I was thanked for bringing them up, that my questions were good ones, and that my questions and concerns would be passed upline. The reason given for passing them upline was that some of the uplines might have run into these questions and could answer them.
I added that I felt in conscience, given the evidence I was discovering, that I could not engage in the practices and techniques taught, nor could I read any of the materials on the reading list. I also asked whether I would still be able to "do the business" without these particular tools. I wanted an honest and simple "yes, you can build the business without them", or "no, you cannot build the business without them". =
I had one conversation with the upline immediately above my sponsor regarding my concerns and questions. It was very polite and gracious. It was reaffirmed to me that my questions were very good and legitimate, and that they would be passed further upline. About one month after this conversation, I received a message from this person that they would call me the following weekend, promising they would call. The call never came. After waiting a month and bringing up the promised call, I was politely told that with the string of functions going on and the holidays, that everyone was very busy, but after the holidays when things quieted down, then we would talk.
Two months after this, I once again brought up my concerns and questions, asking that the promise made to me be kept. I again asked for a simple answer of yes or no. By this time, all of my research and reading indicated that I probably could not build the "business" and be true to my conscience and faith. However, I believed that it was right and fair to my "brothers" that I gave them every opportunity to answer my concerns and questions openly and honestly. I was finally answered three months after the promised phone call (after much prodding and persistence on my part). I was praised for my research and knowledge of Scripture and history. It was admitted that some of the practices and roots were probably rooted in historical heresies, but "we just need to keep on reading to become better people".
I did not = receive a "yes, you can build the business without these tools", or "no, you cannot build the business without these tools", neither did I receive an honest "we don't know what the answers are", or even "we do not want to deal with this". The concerns were avoided by a polite indifference. Essentially, it appears that what they wanted was for me to accept their "praise" and then go away and stop bringing up my concerns.
At this point, I had no choice. I resigned my distributorship, getting out completely. I also cut off all contact with these former "brothers". Apparently, I'd been lead down a garden path, and when I started researching and asking questions, they didn't seem to like it. I believe they hoped a few pats on the head, sweet words, or ignoring the "problem" would make it (that is, me) go away. They got their wish, I did go away, but my concerns and conclusions did not. After several more months of study and research, these conclusions appear clearer.
It seems clear to me that my concerns and questions were correct, that the "christianity" and "gospel" purveyed by AMOs and their members is false and bogus, and is contrary to the true gospel and faith. Essentially, I have concluded that AMOs are another false and aberrant "christianity" like the "word faith" movement, the so-called "Toronto blessing", the so-called "Pensacola outpouring" and the "Kingdom Now/Dominion = Theology".
I believe that Christians and non-Christians need to be warned and encouraged to seriously research and study for themselves. For Christians, I would say to you, this is a dangerous and false gospel. No matter how "christian" the persons and teachings in the AMOs may appear, the roots are actually false, heretical, and apostate. Read the books listed at the end of this document, and look at the information at the internet sites listed as well, and educate yourself. For non-Christians, do not in any way think or believe that these things are the genuine christian faith, they are not. What is being presented to you as "christian" by these AMOs and their personnel is a false and = aberrant type of Christianity. You are very welcome to read the books cited at the end of this document, and look at the different internet sites listed as well to look and research the details and for yourself.
Why are the AMOs practices such as visualization, repeating things endlessly, "christianized" forms of spiritism and so forth forbidden and what are their effects? Refer to the following Scripture references as a starting point: = Leviticus 19:31, Leviticus 20:6, Leviticus 20:27, Deuteronomy 18:9-14, 2 Kings 17:17, 2 Kings 21:6, 2 Chronicles 33:6, Isaiah 8: 19-20, Jeremiah 14:14, Ezekiel 13:1-23, Acts 8:9-23, Acts 13:6-12, Galatians 5:19-21, Revelation 21:6-8, and Revelation = 22:14-15.
What are the warnings regarding the types of "christians" in AMOs and their "doctrines"? The following may provide answers. All are quoted from the New King James Version of the Bible:
Jeremiah 23:16, 21, 25-27: Thus says the Lord of hosts: Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophecy to you. They make you worthless; They speak a vision of their own hear, not from the mouth of the Lord ... I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied ... I have heard what the prophets have said who prophecy lies in My name, saying "I have dreamed, I have dreamed!" How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophecy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, who try to make my people forget My name by their dreams, which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal.
Matthew 7:15-23: "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not everyone who says to me "Lord, Lord" shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to me in that day "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?" And then I will declare to them "I never knew you; depart from me you who practice lawlessness!"
Acts 20:29-30: For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after = themselves.
Romans 16:17-18: Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth talk and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.
2 Corinthians 11:12-15: But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded, just as we are in the things of which they boast. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder? For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great things if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their = works.
1 Timothy 4:1-2: Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking likes in hypocrisy, having their own consciences seared with a hot iron.
1 Timothy 6:9-10: But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root to all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness and pierce themselves through with many sorrows.
2 Timothy 3:1-5: But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemous, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
2 Peter 2:1-3, 18-19: But there were false prophets among the people even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words ...For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.
The following books will provide useful information on the destructive roots of the practices mentioned in this document, the origins and roots of "word faith" teachings and other aberrations, as well as historical heresies. The book by Steve Hassan will be very useful as a guide to the techniques used by cultic groups on people; many of the same techniques are practiced by AMOs in varying degrees of blatancy or subtlety.
Adams, Jay E., "The Biblical View of Self-Esteem, Self-Love, and Self-Image", copyright 1986, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon 97402 ISBN 0-89081-553-4
Allison, C. FitzSimmons, "The Cruelty of Heresy: An Affirmation of Christian Orthodoxy", copyright 1994 by C. FitzSimmons Allison, published by Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17105
Ankerberg, John and Weldon, John, "The Facts on False Teaching in the Church", copyright 1988 by The Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon 97402 ISBN 0-89081-714-6
Ankerberg, John and Weldon, John, "The Facts on the Faith Movement", copyright 1993 by The Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon 97402 ISBN 0-89081-994-7
Ankerberg, John and Weldon, John, "The Facts on the Mind Sciences", copyright 1993 by The Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon 97402 ISBN 1-56507-153-0
Barron, Bruce, "The Health and Wealth Gospel", copyright 1987 by Bruce Barron, published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois 60515 ISBN 0-87784-327-9
Bulle, Florence, "God Wants You Rich and Other Enticing Doctrines", copyright 1983 by Florence Bulle, published by Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, Minnesota ISBN 0-87123-264-2
Bulle, Florence, "The Many Faces of Deception", (this is an updated and expanded version of the previous book) copyright 1983, 1989 by Florence Bulle, published by Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, Minnesota ISBN 1-55661-075-0
Christie-Murray, David, "A History of Heresy", copyright 1976 by David Christie-Murray, published 1976 by New English Library, first issued in 1989 as an Oxford University Press paperback, Oxford University Press, Oxford OX26DP, United Kingdom
Crenshaw, Rev. Curtis I., Th.D., "Man as God: The Word Faith Movement", copyright 1994 by Footstool Publications, Memphis, Tennessee 38714 ISBN 1-877818-11-9
Forbes, Stephanie, "Help Yourself: Today's Obsession with Satan's Oldest Lie", copyright 1996 by Stephanie L. Forbes, published by Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois ISBN 0-89107-902-5
Hanegraaff, Hank, "Christianity in Crisis", copyright 1993 by Hank Hanegraaff, published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon 97402 ISBN 0-89081-976-9
Hassan, Steve, "Combatting Cult Mind Control", copyright 1988, 1990 by Steve Hassan, published by Park Street Press, Rochester, Vermont 05767 ISBN 0-89281-311-3
Horton, Michael, editor, "The Agony of Deceit", (contains a chapter on the word faith movement and discusses other aberrations as well), copyright 1990 by The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago ISBN 0-8024-8776-9
Hunt, Dave and McMahon, T.A., "The Seduction of Christianity: Spiritual Discernment in the Last Days", copyright 1985 by Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon, published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon 97402
Hunt, Dave, "Beyond Seduction: A Return to Biblical Christianity", copyright 1987 by Dave Hunt, published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon 97402
Keller, W. Phillip, "Predators in our Pulpits", copyright 1988 by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon 97402 ISBN 0-89081-674-3
Lawless, Agnes C, with Lawless, John W., "The Drift into Deception: The Eight Characteristics of Abusive Christianity", copyright 1995 by Agnes C. Lawless and John W. Lawless, published 1995 by Kregel Resources, an imprint of Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49501 ISBN 0-8254-3163-8
MacArthur, John F. Jr., "Charismatic Chaos", (contains a well-written chapter on the word faith movement), copyright 1992 by John F. MacArthur, Jr., published by Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530
McConnell, D.R., "A Different Gospel", copyright 1988, 1995 (the 1995 version is updated and expanded), by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., Peabody, Massachusetts 01961-3473 ISBN 1-56563-132-3
The following internet sites are useful for beginning research. All of them have links to related sites for the researcher to explore.
1. Sites that discuss the reality of Amway:
Amway: An Insider's Perspective:
Amway: The Other Side of the Plan:
The Untold Story:
(shutdown on 12/7/97 due to Amway's threats of harassment to the site author)
The Untold Story Continues, thanks to someone of courage and values:
Amway Motivational Organizations: The Nightmare Builders:
WWDB And the Things They will Say to Profit from Your Dreams:
Myth and the Amway Experience: (NEW)
The Amway $ite Without a Name: (NEW)
Anway: The Continuing Story: (NEW)
The Canadian Amway Expose: (NEW)
What's Wrong with Multi-Level Marketing?:
Donlen's House (discusses the mixture of aberrant "christianity" with motivational speakers and Amway):
Read about one family's interesting experience:
The MLM Survivors Page:
2. Sites that discuss word faith and other aberrations of Christianity, their roots and dangers:
Christian Research Institute:
Cross+Word Christian Resource:
Inner City Christian Discernment Ministry:
Outrigger Productions - Deception in the Church
3. Sites that discuss the dangers of cults (some site Amway), their different techniques, plus various forms of aberrant Christianity.
Some are christian based, and others are secular:
Cult Awareness and Information Center:
Resource Center for Freedom of Mind:
An Underdstanding of Cult Mind Control:
Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center:
The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author. The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.