In its 50-plus years of business, Amway has had millions upon millions of satisfied and positive distributors, now known as Independent Business Owners.
Along the way, a small proportion has been dissatisfied with their experiences for various reasons. And from that relatively tiny pool is an even more minuscule population of very vocal individuals who have gone to great—and sometimes pathological—lengths to air their discontent.
Usually, it’s rehashing of old grievances that have little, if any, relation to how the business is currently operated. But at times, the criticism has at least a kernel of truth or validity. Amway has taken steps to address those problems, with the most recent in which Amway went so far as to terminate high-ranking IBOs, and endured the consequences of he-said-she-said gossip, and significant lost revenue.
For the most part though, the complaints are surrounded by falsehoods, lies, mischaracterizations and character assassinations that reveal more about the critics than the objects of their criticism.
One such critic is Steve Nakamura, who was an Amway distributor, in the World Wide DreamBuilders (WWDB) organization, for about a year back in the mid-1990s.
Over the past several years, Mr. Nakamura has used aliases, primarily “joecool” to throw stones all over the Internet—and all while trying to hide his identity (another tactic common to some Amway critics).
When you encounter a large volume of information, patterns emerge. So what may not seem apparent to the casual observer, is blatantly obvious to those of us who’ve “been around” for a while.
For example some of us who have been engaged in the Amway conversation on the Internet have become increasingly convinced that Mr. Nakamura was using other online aliases. Why would he do such a thing? Mostly, to try to make it appear as if the number of Amway and WWDB opponents is greater than is truly the case. And partly because it give his alias another to banter with, and sometimes debate (yes, it’s also been obvious that he creates pro-Amway characters who come across as naive and cult-like).
When it comes to the Internet, the ratio of positive-to-negative about Amway is along the lines of a gigantic stadium filled with all of those who are positive about Amway, but remain silent along with a handful of spiteful yahoos screaming at the top of their lungs, “Amway is a scam! Amway is a pyramid! Amway is a cult!”
And a recurring ploy among some critics is to wear multiple masks. As was revealed this week, one who fits this description is Steve Nakamura.
For years, Mr. Nakamura has been one of those running around the stadium, spewing venom from multiple seats (his thousands of comments and posts on the Internet) to give exaggerated weight to his views’ legitimacy.
On his website, The Truth About Amway, David Steadson recently laid out the conniving smoke-and-mirrors path that Mr. Nakamura has taken over the years in his vitriolic anti-Amway crusade.
David’s meticulously researched and reported post might seem like so much “inside sports,” but if you’ve already read some of the negative, you need to read David’s post below so you know the unmasked man behind much of it: