This is from someone who claims to have done some research on it. Please read the entire article. His methodology appears unbiased and informed. Will look into this one further.
Quoted from http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/003/RipOff0003443.htm:
I am not a winner, nor a loser, just your average intelligent college student who joined AMWAY. I joined a year ago after a friend of one of my roommates showed me the plan. I have seen the business inside and out. Now I want to make it clear to all those considering joining amway.
Why AMWAY works....
Amway works because every individual who joins, learns the art of social engineering. 'Social Engineering' is the term a that a famous computer hacker named CitiZen-0ne coined. Social Engineering is the Art of Influence, Manipulation and lying. In other words it is the Mastery of bullshitting others into thinking or believing any thing they want you to believe.
Every single successful distributor who has 'plugged into the system' has learned this art. They KNOW every single question question you are going to ask before you ask it, and they know how to answer it in a Myriad of different ways. They know how to answer your questions and what to tell you, to convince you into believing them. They even sell tapes and other various information through the company so that you can learn all these skills. I challenge you to go talk to someone who is fairly successful in the business. Let them show you the plan and then ask them questions and if your sharp you will catch all the mind games, the well rehearsed answers to common questions and the sneaky escapes they perfectly execute in tight situations. AMWAY is the college of 'Social Engineering'. They will try to convince you and get you excited. Once they get you excited and convinced you end up joining and becoming a student at the college of AMWAY studying 'Social Engineering' and if you master this Major at U. OF AMway you can make a relatively decent salary. IF you get a PhD in Deception, you will get a diamond pin to wear on your colar or lapel. GO DIAMOND, BREAK 7!!!
Events are thrown as often as every week, the purpose of these cult events is to get you HIGH. The speakers at these events are usually high ranking individuals who speak so 'Elequently' or even so 'Down to Earth'. They play on your dreams and hopes of success in the world. They get your blood and heart pumping with all kinds of chants and other audience participation things. They make the business seem so easy. They get people from the audience who have gone to certain levels walk across the stage so you can see how many people actually move up in the business. They tell you all kinds of inspiring statistics so that you get 'FIRED UP', 'IM FIRED UP, HOW 'BOUT YOU?'. They will tell you how many billions of dollars amway did and any other things that have worked in scamming people in to the business. They tell you about there good times in life and there bad times, so that you can relate to them emotionally. Because all of us have been through good and bad times in life, DONT YOU JUST FEEL THE UNITY! (By the way all things in Capital letters are things actually chanted or spoken with religious conviction at these events).
All the chanting and inspiration from hese 'successful' individuals in amway makes you a believer and soon you find these meetings or big events are your only escape from a business smart society where the majority of common people can see through the false illusions of Amway. These meetings or events become addictive, they become your safe haven, the place where you can feel unity with all the other foot soldiers of failure and even success. Soon you become friends with these other individuals and you slowly begin to see amway consume your life. Amway promises freedom, but in truth you get trapped in a business that you might end up peddling for the rest of your life. They Speak of Freedom to do as you want and when you want. Common Catch phrases 'They speak of being free and roaming the beaches of the world.' Actually you are getting trapped in a business that you will have to peddle forever.