Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Would You Trust These Guys

Below is a fascinating little article that that illustrates the incredible consistency in the way our beloved founding families ( DeVos’s & VanAndel’s) conduct themselves in business. Their questionable ethics are not just restricted to IBO’s and ABO’s. Here’s what really bothers me. When a company go’s public it’s usually to raise money for investment in infrastructure or a new plant etc… It asks the public to invest their money in shares of stock with an implied promise to do it’s best to secure a return on their investment. It’s saying we don’t have the capital but we have the sweat equity, and if you help us we will do our best to make this win win. It does not mean they guarantee results, only that they will give good faith effort. Investment means risk, But risk with good faith! The article below is self explanatory read it for yourself.

GRAND RAPIDS -- The way three former Amway Corp. Asian subsidiary investors see it, Alticor Inc. President Doug DeVos, Chairman Steve Van Andel and former President Dick DeVos helped cheat them and others out of more than $1 billion seven years ago. Alticor attorney Robert Yonker says the former stockholders had an opportunity to recover their presumed losses, and they failed to do so. The investors sued Amway Asia Pacific, its executives and its New York investment firm, Goldman Sachs, nearly five years ago. They claim they were forced to sell shares when the company went private and before stockholders could reap rewards of China's huge consumer market. Two years ago, their case was dismissed by a Kent County Circuit Court judge. Their appeal got a hearing Thursday by a three-judge panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals. Former shareholders Robert F. Wardrop, a local attorney, and Donald and Nancee Turnwall, of Irons, believe Van Andel, Dick DeVos and Doug DeVos effectively forced shareholders to sell stock the day it was announced China would be admitted into the World Trade Organization. The WTO decision helped open the lucrative Chinese market to Amway and other businesses. The ex-investors claim China's entrance into WTO was not factored into an $18 per-share offer, even though Goldman Sachs and Van Andel had information China likely would be admitted into the trade group.
How did Van Andel have that information? Here is something that today's Press doesn't mention-
In addition to serving as chairman of Amway Asia Pacific, Van Andel also was vice chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a group actively supporting China's bid. "This is an example of corporate America abusing individual investors for their own profit," said Clinton Krislov, a Chicago attorney representing the plaintiffs. (Source Citation: "Amway spinoff cheated investors, suit says; Some shareholders in Amway Asia Pacific say they had to take too low a price when the company went private.(Front Page)." The Grand Rapids Press August 7, 2003)
Here is a brief timeline on what happened back then.
In 1998, the Chinese government banned chain selling after its citizens complained about losing money on get-rich-quick schemes. The company was lumped into that group and forced to halt operations there. The stock rose the next year after reports surfaced that Dick DeVos had met with State Councilor Wu Yi of the Chinese government. The stories said authorities were considering doubling the number of Amway representative offices in China. According to the lawsuit, executives met in Chicago in September 1999 to discuss "Project Powerhouse," a plan for taking the company private. About two months later, the United States and China began intense negotiations regarding China's entry into the WTO. It was believed that if China did not enter by Nov. 30, 1999, when the group was meeting in Seattle, it could be years before another opportunity arrived. On Nov. 11, 1999, the principal shareholders delivered an $18 per-share offer. Four days later, Amway Asia Pacific's board of directors said the offer was fair and in the best interest of minority shareholders, "all without considering the impact of China's WTO admission," according to the lawsuit.
Others had sued, also, and the suit bounced around looking for jurisdiction.
Amway Asia Pacific now is part of Alticor Inc., the parent of Amway. A company lawyer, Bert Hultink, said "this has no more merit" than two other lawsuits connected to the stock repurchase. Those complaints were dismissed or dropped. The lawsuit started in New York, moved to Chicago and finally landed in Grand Rapids in late June after judges grappled with jurisdiction and whether the case belonged in state or federal court.
Today, Dick's lawyers claim that these people should have sued in Bermuda. Notice they don't answer the charge of how sleazy this was in the first place, only that it's the investors fault that they are in the wrong court. Gotta admit, that's a nice deflection.
Yonker said Amway gave shareholders a fair share. And, if they had a problem with that, they had an opportunity to increase their take. The shareholders should have sought an appraised value of their share with an appeal in the Supreme Court in Bermuda, where the company was incorporated, Yonker said. "They had an efficient judicial mechanism to determine they had fair value of their shares," he said. "They had that opportunity, didn't exercise it, and failed to use the tools at their disposal."
See? All your fault. Remember that when Dick screws you over in the future. You had the chance to stop him. Make sure you "exercise your opportunity

So let us reflect.
1. IBO’s in good standing denied bonuses they earned
2. Loyal IBO’s gouged for years with overpriced products
3. DeVos’s launch new networking biz (Fanista) developed over last 2 years in secret and excludes Q/A IBO’s
4. Shady hospital merger to access liquid cash to funnel into holding company ( alleged but consistent )
5. Orlando Magic arena: taxpayers pay for arena Magic organization stops airing home games on free network affiliates in Orlando area ( fans stiffed aka fan non appreciation day )
6. Spectrum health ( DeVos owned ) raises prices increases profit margins on the heals of GR hospital demanding higher reimbursements from BCBS or it will no longer accept BCBS insurance.
The list go’s on and on and on

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Agony Of Defeat

Quixtar"s arbitration process defeated in Federal court in Northern California. It seems the crack in the wall of Amway's oppressive rules of conduct is ever widening as the truth becomes more apparent in courts of law. It makes me wonder if perhaps when the crack in that wall gets wide enough will 31,000+ people be filing a class action suit seeking damages for loss of income due to illusory non compete, pain and suffering and such. I'm no lawyer and am not necessarily advocating that, But I do wonder if it's possible. The following article is posted on The IBO Rebellion Blog.

Quixtar continues to get pounded in courts across America. The latest fissure was opened by a decision handed down on March 31st in United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The decision, rendered by Senior Judge Samuel Conti, found Quixtar's arbitration process to be "procedurally and substantively unconscionable, and therefore unenforceable."

Judge Conti's written opinion was very comprehensive and quite impressive. Judge Conti meticulously detailed why each and every part of Quixtar's arbitration and dispute resolution process is inherently flawed and unfair.

The motion ruled on by Judge Conti was the result of a suit brought by former IBO Jeff Pokorny. Pokorny and others alleged the Quixtar is an illegal pyramid scheme. It appears that the California suit filed by the TEAM affiliated IBOs and Pokorny's class action suit are very similar. If you recall Quixtar has yet to refute any of the allegations claimed in the suit filed by Woodward and company. Pokorny's suit also named Bill Britt, Ron Puryear and their related tools organizations. Quixtar, Britt, and Puryear all made motion to have the suit removed from court and into arbitration where they can hide their mischief.

The Court attacked Quixtar's arbitration clause on the basis of how it is procedurally applied. The Court stated:

To determine whether a contract provision is procedurally
unconscionable, the Court looks for oppression or surprise, where oppression "'arises from an inequality of bargaining power that results in no real negotiation and absence of meaningful choice.'"

As most of you know by now the arbitration clause was added to distributor agreements in 1998. Quixtar then added the non-compete and non-solicitation clauses in the same underhand way in 2004. In both of these instances IBOs were not fully disclosed the information nor were they given any ability to opt out or negotiate. Again the unilateral actions of Amway / Quixtar will likely result in the striking down of the Quixtar's non-compete and non-solicitation clauses on the same grounds Judge Conti notes here.

What is interesting is that Quixtar admits that there is no negotiation but instead claims that the IBOAI is the "voice of IBOs." Judge Conti noted that IBOs have the option to join the IBOAI or not but that those that do join aren't allowed to vote until reaching the level of "Platinum." Quixtar did not present any evidence to suggest that the IBOAI did represent the best interests of IBOs. As we know the IBOAI failed miserably to represent IBOs. Outside of the 15 martyrs led by Woodward, the rest of the IBOAI laid down with the company over pricing issues as well as the dreaded name change to the notorious AMWAY. Judge Conti also noted that in Pokorny's case he was not only suing Quixtar but those in his upline and that believing the IBOAI would act in his interest was described as:
In such a scenario, allowing the most senior IBOs to "negotiate" the rights of all other IBOs would be leaving the proverbial fox in charge of the henhouse.
Pokorny's attorneys raised the following issues with Quixtar's arbitration process and all of the steps required leading to arbitration:

Plaintiffs, however, advance a number of problems with the
Conciliation stages of the Quixtar process, and argue that the
agreement is not enforceable. The specific defects Plaintiffs
allege are:

1. The Hearing Panel must make recommendations that promote
the RoC being challenged here.

2. The Conciliation requirement is not mutual. IBOs must
bring claims against Quixtar using the Quixtar ADR
process, but Quixtar is not required to do so.

3. The Conciliation process is not neutral because the
IBOAI board is dominated by the "Kingpin" IBOs that
Plaintiffs allege are part of the same unlawful
enterprise as Quixtar.

4. At most, the Hearing Panel or IBOAI board can make a
recommendation, which Quixtar may accept, reject, or
modify at its discretion.
5. Quixtar may unilaterally modify the RoC.

6. The procedure is burdensome, time-consuming, and
designed to encourage compliance with the very rules
Plaintiffs are challenging here.

7. IBOs must initiate all arbitration proceedings within 2
years, even if the applicable statute of limitations is
Judge Conti covers in great detail the short comings of the pre-arbitration procedures IBOs are forced to endure. Judge Conti sums it up as follows:
The Court finds, without reaching every possible defect
identified by Plaintiffs, that the RoC requirement that an IBO
engage in Informal and Formal Conciliation prior to arbitration is
substantively unconscionable, and exceedingly so. The ADR deck
could not possibly be stacked more in Quixtar's favor than it is
here. Having already concluded that the agreement is procedurally
unconscionable because the Plaintiffs did not have a chance to
negotiate its terms, the Court holds that the pre-arbitration
provisions of the agreement are unconscionable, and declines to
enforce them.
Quite frankly there is just too much quotable information to note in one post. I strongly urge you to read the attached opinion from Judge Conti. In item after item addressed by the judge, Quixtar and its processes and actions, all were found to be blatantly unfair. Even the issue of severability, where the judge can strip away parts that are unconscionable and leave the clause mostly intact, Quixtar failed to convince. In fact Judge Conti found the entire process so afoul of due process that he noted:
The Quixtar arbitration agreement is simply too tainted to be
saved through minor adjustments. Therefore, though mindful of the
strong state and federal policies favoring arbitration, the Court
holds that the entire Quixtar ADR scheme is unconscionable and
In the end Judge Conti denied the motions of the defendants Quixtar, Britt, and Puryear. Judge filed his conclusion as follows.

For the foregoing reasons, the Court finds that the
arbitration agreement contained in the Registration, the BSMAA,
and the DM Terms and Conditions, and incorporating the RoC, is
procedurally and substantively unconscionable, and therefore
unenforceable. The Court therefore ORDERS as follows:

1. Quixtar's Motion to Dismiss or Stay and Compel
Compliance With Dispute Resolution Agreement is DENIED.

2. The Britt Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and Compel
Compliance With Dispute Resolution Agreement is DENIED.

3. The Puryear Defendants' Motion in Support of Joinder in
Quixtar's and Britt's Motion to Dismiss or Stay
Litigation and Compel Compliance With Dispute Resolution
Agreement is DENIED.

4. Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike Quixtar's Reply Re:
Statement of Recent Decision is VACATED AS MOOT.


Full Court Document Here

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Leader Speaks

After 7 1/2 months of silence Orrin Woodward is finally able to begin sharing his side of the Amway - Woodward/Brady saga and refute the spin and character assassination published by Mike Mohr and Amway management. Her is the web address of Mr. Woodwards Blog.

Enjoy and God Bless

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Freedom Today: Challange Continues

After an arbitration hearing yesterday March 26 Orrin and Laurie Woodward, and Chris and Terry Brady were given their freedom to compete. They can now pursue the Mona Vie opportunity and resume their quest to bring millions of people with them. Truth prevailed once again when testimony was heard. The fight I’m sure is not over but the tide of the war has certainly changed. Consider this week TEAM’s battle of Midway. A crippling blow to Amway however many more important battles to go. The legal department at Q/A seems unable to come to grips with any reality whatsoever. They are insane with resentment and their only aim now is to attempt to inflict damage on good people who’s only crime is that they quit the Amway business.
Remember when Hitler launched the air assault on Great Brittan he was blind with rage (much like Mr. Mohr, Amway’s chief council ) and he unleashed a cowardly bombardment of civilian target in London. Therefore please understand the need to support the IBO legal defense fund is probably greater now than ever. The hyena is wounded and dangerous.
So hears the challenge. Every time you take a swig of Mona Vie put at least a quarter in the jar to send into the IBO legal defense fund.
God Bless and have a great week

Saturday, March 8, 2008


First IBO Rebellion has announced last week that a Georgia judge ruled the Quixtar restrictive covenant unenforcible, and a Texas court ruled the Quixtar arbitration process is illusory and unenforcible. The legal tide is turning, but the fight will go on for a long time. The IBO legal defense fund needs all of us to help. So here go's the next challenge. I know you're all hungry students and reading has become a habit so every time you open a team system book this week please remember to put 1 quarter into the IBO Legal defense fund jar. Please remember your reading that book and reaping great rewards from it. Please remember that the men and women in the middle of this fight went through years of being out night after night for many years back when it wasn't team approach and they had to break Amway kits when a new person signed up and it was impossible to grow that business. They did that so you could reap benefits from the book your reading. Get in the fight. God Bless.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Get In The Fight For Change

First of all great job getting the word out hit count is up. Now lets issue the first weekly challenge and make a game out of this fight. The first challenge is a double win, for every TEAM cd you listen to this week put a quarter into the change jar to be donated to the IBO LEGAL DEFENSE FUND. So if you listen to 4 it's $1. This way you learn while you contribute. Remember use your pocket change, your couch dive change, the change you've seen laying on the floor of your car for the last 2 months. that way it will be financially painless. Also I would like to welcome anonymous comments, go ahead and brag about how much you came up with. Or if you have suggestions for weekly challenges please feel to let us know. Finally spread the word, remember $10/ month X 10,000 people = $100,000 / month. When the Amway lawyers see they cannot financially hurt anyone this will help drive the wooden stake into their hearts. See you next week with the next challenge.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


A short post to help spread awareness of the IBO legal defense fund. As you know there are several lawsuits throughout the country that involve Quixtar vs. TEAM or TEAM members. The strategy of Amway’s lawyers is a simple one: Keep litigating until TEAM runs out of money. If that happens Amway wins. The Amway owners are billionaires and that’s the way they have always won their legal battles. It’s the only way they can win against TEAM. Their attorney’s are highly played but in the courtroom they are incompetent . Their rules of conduct are illusory , their non compete is bogus, and they have no hard evidence that we are building a competing business during that non compete. because we aren’t. The TEAM leaders and the rest of us have honored the non compete clause. The only ammunition Amway has in their arsenal is money and lots of it.
Amway’s aim is to harass and pour money into litigation and force the leadership and members of TEAM into spending every dime in legal fees until we can’t fight them. That’s how they have never been beaten and believe me they have bankrupted many people this way. But I believe they have underestimated TEAM resolve.
The Policy Council members who are involved in the lawsuits have already spent fortunes in legal fees and continue to do so. Every one of them could do an about face, head for warm weather and sunshine and live out the rest of their lives without a care in the world without TEAM if they wished. Yet all of them have thrown themselves into the center of the enemy’s line to fight this fight. So far these men and women have born the full burden of this fight, keeping the dream alive for you and me, Mr. and Mrs. Little guy.
Individually you and I wouldn’t last 2 seconds in a legal fight with Amway . They would own my house your house our cars etc………
If we fight together however they can’t win. My self and some of my little guy friends have begun to implement a plan that if followed by the rest of the people with an interest in this fight will ensure rapid victory. POCKET CHANGE, yes that’s right POCKET CHANGE, Piggy Banks, Change Jars, Couch Diving, Change in the ashtray of your car, on the floor of your car. Anywhere you can find it, collect it count it, deposit it, and contribute it to the IBO Legal Defense fund. If 20,000 people contribute $5/ month that’s $100,000/month. That should put a huge dent in the legal fees needed to keep going. Even more important than money is the moral damage it would do to Amway. This is the dagger to the heart that we need. Once they see they can’t spend us into the dust they will retreat and put up a white flag.
Here is the challenge, WILL YOU SPREAD THE WORD to everyone and anyone who has an interest in TEAM. This is a painless way that you and your team mates and friends can drive the wooden steak into the heart of Mike Mohr and the rest of the Amway legal team. I will watch the # of hits to this site, if I see the hit count increase over the next couple of weeks I will know your spreading the word.
I will leave this post up for the next few weeks to see your responses. At a later date I will issue challenges to make this a fun process on our way to $100,000 / month
God Bless