|Barry Chi and Holly Chen|
|Dennis K. Berman|
Dennis Berman did not bother to reply, so I sent him the following e-mail:
The simplest way to explain this age-old con, is to imagine 100 wide-eyed children being persuaded by a psychologically-dominant adult to place one dollar each on a table on the pretext that they can magically all have more money than they started with. Sadly, unless the recipient really does possess super-human powers, then, if the resulting 100 dollars is divided up honestly, the most that each infant contributor can hope to receive in return, is only what he/she started with.
Dennis Berman again did not bother to reply to me. Without informing me, three days later, he conducted this thoughtless, 30 minute interview http://online.wsj.com/video/the-big-interview-questioning-the-amway-way/FE12F29C-D022-42B8-8ACD-16A114E0DA96.html in which, not only did he fail to ask Messrs. DeVos and Van Andel the above questions, but he actually behaved like a grinning stooge feeding scripted gag-lines to two grinning comedians. At no time did Dennis Berman challenge any unsubstantiated statement made by Messrs. DeVos and VanAndel whom he kept addressing as 'you guys.'
During the interview, and in his previous WSJ article, Dennis Berman made passing reference to the fact that attorneys acting for 'Amway' are currently in the process of settling a class-action lawsuit in California, but he completely failed to mention that this lawsuit was filed by Boies Flexner and Schiller LLP under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 1970, or that it essentially accused the 'Amway' corporation of being the front for a Ponzi scheme (dissimulated as an 'MLM income opportunity') and related advance fee frauds (dissimulated as the sale of 'Business Support Materials' or 'Tools'). Dennis Berman did, however, briefly mention that, last year, 'Amway's' attorneys offered to pay the equivalent of $155 millions to stop this California case from going to trial. I am reliably informed that a new, agreed-settlement is about to be made public within the next few weeks.
Dennis Berman seemed to be completely unaware that, in order to avoid closure (after a protracted US Federal Trade Commission investigation) the 'Amway' bosses introduced a fake 'rule' which appeared, to casual observers, to require that 70% of all purchases by 'Amway sales people' be resold to at least 10 retail customers before 'Amway sales people' could receive commission payments. Mysteriously, 'Amway' was allowed to continue by a 1979 federal court ruling, apparently on the mistaken assumption that at least 70% of 'Amway' products would, henceforth, be retailed to the public, but the same court failed to determine what this fake '70% retail rule' actually stated or to introduce an independent mechanism to verify that it would be enforced. However, even though 'Amway's' own essentially-meaningless 'rule' very specifically did not refer to 'the public' and has never been enforced, the '7O%' criteria still established whether what 'Amway' describes as 'bonuses' are lawful payments based on external, retail sales transactions, or unlawful internal reward-payments secretly based on recruiting. i.e. if a significant majority of 'Amway's' claimed 'sales' are to the public, 'Amway' is a direct selling company, but, if a significant majority of 'Amway's' alleged 'sales' actually derive only from the recruits' own purchases, 'Amway' is a Ponzi scheme. Thus, by claiming that only 50% of 'Amway' sales are retail, the 'Amway' bosses have now foolishly admitted to running a Ponzi scheme (albeit, not in so many words). Instead, they have steadfastly pretended to be running a 'direct selling' scheme with $10.8 billions in total annual revenue deriving from independent business owners. Yet, the company's own data reveals total annual sales worldwide of just over $6 billions. In other words, the 'Amway' bosses would have us believe that their own '3 millions sales force' buys and consumes, but never sells, around half as much as the rest of the entire world buys from 'Amway.' Now, even a ten year child ought to be able to tell that this mathematically-complex, Utopian/capitalist fairytale does not add up.
In reality, believing that they were following a proven-plan to achieve 'total financial freedom,' for more than 50 years, a never-ending chain of tens of millions of temporary, active 'Amway' recruiters have been paid net-loss 'bonuses' on their own monthly purchases of effectively-unsaleable 'Amway' wampum. When they have abandoned this closed-market swindle, almost all of them have never bought from 'Amway' again. Thus, only a fool, or a stooge, would accept that 'billions of dollars of purchases' and 'sales' made by all the tens of millions of constantly-churning 'Amway' recruits have been based solely on 'value' and 'demand', as Messrs. VanAndel and DeVos told the wide-eyed Dennis Berman. Indeed, in the recent lawsuit brought by high-level 'Amway' adherents, the plaintiffs submitted a sworn affidavit stating that 'Amway' products were sold almost entirely to the 'distributors' and never retailed. They also produced an internal 'Amway' study of 2006 which revealed that retail sales to the public were actually less than 4%. In other words, by lying to Dennis Berman about the legality of their enterprise, Doug DeVos and Steve Van Andel have actually used the on-line version of 'The Wall Street Journal' to commit wire fraud.
As if to prove his complicity with the bosses of the 'Amway' mob, Dennis Berman now does not want to talk to anyone rigorously-challenging the authenticity of his so-called 'Big Interview' with Doug Devos and Steve Van Andel.
David Brear (copyright 2012)