Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part Two: Amway: The Gravedigger of Democracy

Part Two: Amway: The Gravedigger of Democracy

Thu, 07 Oct 2021 10:00

Robert is joined again by Jack O'Brien to continue to discuss Amway.

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Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Wanna say I don't know less? Listen to stuff you should know more. Join host Josh and Chuck on the podcast packed with fascinating discussions about science, history, pop culture and more episodes. Dive into topics like was the lost, city of Atlantis Real? And how does pizza work? Say goodbye to I don't know. Because after listening to stuff you should know you will listen to stuff you should know on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Sisters of the Underground is a podcast about fearless Dominican women who stood up against the brutal dictator Kapal Trujillo. He needs to be stopped. We've been silent and complacent for far too long. I am Daniel Ramirez, and as a Dominicana myself, I am proud to be narrating this true story that is often left out of the history books through your husband, blood on his hands. Listen to sisters of the underground wherever you get your podcasts. What's truth in my squad? I'm Robert Evans. This is part two of our Amway episode, and by popular acclaim, Sophie Jack. And they're gonna start this by digging into the fact that when he decided Amway needed, it's an internal police force to make sure people weren't making illegal, fraudulent claims about the products. He wanted to call it. The truth squad that he was profiting off of. Yeah. That made me think of all the, you know, the fact that everything that modern mega companies are profiting from are are the things that like get the most attention, most attention and scrutiny from the media like Facebook and lies and, you know, misinformation. And so they're like, yeah, we're going to invest in like squat, like these groups that are this, like entire branch of our company. That's gonna be the truth squad or the Facebook equivalent of that. And then, like, they just have their knees cut out from under them. Like the second that nobody's looking. Yeah, she just named it the NARC squad and then you NARC squad. Yeah. It's just so culty the name. It's just like, it's like triggering. I'm like, yeah, no, thank you. Jack. Jack. Hey, do your kids use the Tik T.O.K? Are they talking the ticks? Yeah, because I'm. I just came across a letter. Kevin Barron posted it, who's some some guy on Twitter, I don't know that he got an e-mail from his public school system that I just want to talk about now. And it's about like kids have. There's like a series of escalating any criminal Tik T.O.K challenges that kids are are putting on each other in public schools, apparently, or at least in schools. Yeah, September's vandalized school bathrooms that I can confirm from friends who are teachers that all their school bathrooms have been like massively vandalized. Wow. On a problematic scale, like several of them are nonfunctional. October is apparently smack a staff member. I have no idea how accurate the rest of these are, but a bunch of kids did vandalize their school bathrooms for Tik T.O.K in September. So there was November, there was a tick. There was a thing where they were supposed to be, like, stealing the biggest item in the room from schools, like people. And they would like, take, like, they would take, like, an entire, like, sink setup from a bathroom, God, from a school and take it home. Yeah. It's an incredible talk about it, and it's like, that's crime. Crime. Yeah, that's a crime. Yeah, a bunch of these are crimes. January is apparently Jabba breast. December's. Check the holes and show your balls. February's mess up school signs. Yeah, I don't know. It seems like and grab a very different, like, I don't know whose children, I don't know who's decided. These are like the things that are gonna be done. I'll say that I did walk in on my 5 year old and three-year old planning this entire thing out. OK, so that we found the origin point. Yeah, they are the bread, the nerve center of this entire plot. It feels suspiciously similar to like. You know, you combine anything that's like a newfangled thing that parents don't understand and, you know, maybe a seed of truth of, like some misbehavior and like, it just seems like catnip for the local news and parents. Yeah. And educators. But you're you're saying that they're actually destroying bathrooms, which I can confirm that some kids for Tik T.O.K challenges have destroyed bathrooms in a couple of different schools, at least where I am. So there's an extent to which something that I think this may just be that. Like that happened. There was a Tik T.O.K scam, or a tik T.O.K not scam, but there was like a tik T.O.K thing to, like, vandalize your school bathroom for the likes and a bunch of kids did it. And then school instructors like flip the **** out and somebody convince them that there was a whole list of things for the next year. Because I can't imagine, I can't imagine that a bunch of kids like planned the next 11 months of tick tock. Like, who would even do that, right? Too much planning. Too much. Yeah. Jabba breast day. Jabba breast today. Created by a like guidance counselor. Like I will believe in deck the halls show your balls that. Yeah, that I will believe it. That's sprung from the mind of an 8 year old. Yeah. Yeah. So I don't know. We'll see. It could just be a it could be a real interesting the next couple of months on the tax. So I'm not teachers. Yeah. If your teachers alone. I do. I don't mind stealing the biggest thing in the room and then like returning it. That is fun. Like I'm trying to think of the. The effect is always, yeah, most of I guess would either be the teachers desk or like the the whiteboard. Yeah, the yeah, the debt. If you could steal your teachers desk like props to you, that's impressive. But but it does. I mean, destroying school bathrooms is not cool, especially during a pandemic. Kind of a bad idea. No, that sucks. So does like slapping a teacher too. That's like 1 less hand washing station that people. Yeah, anything that violates someone's personal space or like bodily autonomy, like at the **** out of here. I also you probably shouldn't be showing your balls to anyone, but I mean, yeah, that's that's problematic for a number of reasons. Yeah, if it was, I don't know, deck the halls. Steal. School resource officers car. Well, we're probably move on to the episode, yeah. OK. So Jack. Robert Tober fest. Jack Tober fest. Sure. That's the only holiday I celebrate. Jack. Yeah. It's all October for me. I'm just yeah. Just. I don't know what I'm doing. I never really stopped to figure out how to celebrate Jack Tober Fest. I just hold it in my heart. Just Apple Strudels day after just strudel. Piles of strudel. So Jack, after Gerald Ford got Jimmy Carter in 1976, you know he was the big in that Van Andel and Rich. The boss had that anways like political in was when he gets, you know, it's not not president anymore. They didn't give up on influencing the government. They just got better at it. They got into increasingly overt political fundraising. So they moved from, you know, they had started kind of supporting free enterprise think tanks and putting out propaganda booklets to try to, you know, change hearts and minds. And they moved on to just making direct $10,000 donations per year to the Republican National Committee. This earned them the rank of eagle. If you're curious what that gets you, Richard DeVos, as usual. ******* Boy Scouts. Yeah, yeah, it kind of is. Well, you know, the Republicans love them. Eagles. Yeah. OK. Big, big, big on Eagles. So 10,000 a year doesn't sound like that much. Well, this is 76, OK? Yeah, that's like, I don't know, 100 grand. That's a lot of money, OK? More than it is now. And they're also giving more money, right? This is what they're giving to the party. But this is like emblematic of the money they're shotgunning to different. Conservative causes uh Richard DeVos started putting a lot of money into pushing for more right to work laws which, despite their name, are actually make it easier for corporations to fire people without cause. They're kind of skirt through like different Union restrictions and whatnot. DeVos pumped a fortune into the Council on a Union free environment, which was an organization dedicated to stopping making it harder for people to unionize. It had been founded in 1977, the year he started giving it money. And he was almost immediately made a director. We saw this earlier with one of the other groups that, like this group, will start, he'll give them a bunch of money, and then he'll be in charge of them. So he's technically donating money. I'm sure there's a tax thing there, right, where, like, he pays less taxes because he's giving these money, but also these are groups that he effectively runs and solicits donations from other people. And they're just all of these different organizations are effectively like instruments of Richard Devos's political whims, which he hates, unions, which. Because why do you even care about unions? Richard DeVos? Amway, like, none of them are your employees. How could you like I? I've been thinking about that like because they go from this, you know triangularly shaped financial model thing company to like going really hard in the direction of like be almost like legendarily. You know, big influencers in the in the realm of like conservative politics in like all these different ways. And I I feel like there's like when you look at the central lie that their family is trying to perpetuate, it's that they, like, deserve more than their fair share rather than less because they've like who they've morally ******. They're like. ****** so many people over, like the amount of damage caused by this company where everyone who works for them loses all their money is like absolutely incalculable. And so they have to convince themselves that not only it that that's not bad, but that they are worth like billions times as much as other people. And I think one of the ways they do that is by believing that everyone is lazier than them. And so it's. Unions would make it easy for people to be lazy. And yeah, it's laziness at scale. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And it's just trying to, like, perpetuate this lie across generations, like, to make it so that reality, like, bends to, like, kind of your warped, like, hope that. And this is how he bends reality, too, because, like, he believes that his opinion, his beliefs are worth more than other peoples. And he makes that real because he has all of these different. Political action organizations that are lobbying and that are getting donations that he winds up running. Either he was the one who orchestrated them being started or because he gives so much, he just winds up in charge. But these are all instruments of his will that effectively like he was one of the earlier earliest rich people in the country to really figure out how to make, how, how to do like what the Koch brothers do right, where you have this sprawling network of think tanks and and lobbying groups and influence operations that. All basically exist to make people, to make it so that people to what you think about the world matters, right? And so to keep Charlie Kirk employed. Yeah. And to keep Charlie Kirk employed. Now, one of the first politicians Anway went whole hog on electing was Sue Myrick, who eventually became a congresswoman. She had initially joined Amway in 1992, and by that point she'd been elected once to the Charlotte, NC City Council. She'd lost a bid for mayor in 1985, but then won in 1987. She had a history of trying to get elected, losing, and then getting elected the next election. So she she had a proven ability to, like, figure out how to make things work for her in in politics. Now the year she joined Amway, she ran for Senate, and her campaign did not get off to a good start because she had a lot less money than her rival. But once she joined Amway as a distributor, the company decided to allow her to start selling her own motivational tapes at company rallies to raise money for her campaign, even though she was very new. Amway. Also donated more than $16,000 to her campaign. Now, she lost this first Senate election, but Amway continued to invest in her, largely because she was an effective speaker. They put her on their national circuit, and she visited hundreds of Amway rallies for distributors around the world and was able to sell 5 and $10 audio tapes of her motivational speeches that went right into her war chest. We've talked about these tapes a few times, and I should probably provide you with an example of how they sounded. I haven't found any issue. Might. Yeah. And I don't have any of Sue. Hey Rick Samway recordings, but I did find a video made by her Amway mentor Dexter Yager, who was actually, he gave her 13,000 of that $16,000 that her campaign got from Amway. So this is the guy who was like her mentor, Dexter Yager. This is a segment from one of his motivational speeches from, I don't know, like 30 something years ago. Sophie, I know a guy that was dating a girl back when he was about 16 years old, and when he dated girls, he always liked to take them out first. Flash in accordance with his income, and he had a girl he was dating, but she turned to him and said my folks would never allow me to marry you. You're nothing but a spendthrift, and you'll have nothing, ever. And I was that guy. I was that guy. I don't know where that girl is, but I know where this guy is. Logan. I can tell you. But Dexter and Birdie living on the alley? Broke anybody can go down on Courtland Ave in Rome, NY and they can see how we lived. And it was in a sloppy section. It was a poor section of town. Don't tell me how bad you got it. Tell me how good you're gonna get it. Don't tell me about your problems. Tell me about your dreams. Yeah. Hell yeah. Yeah. That's a that's hot **** Jack. That is good American thing. And you'll notice again part of how like what keeps them safe from getting charged with the **** they get charged in the past. He's not like and often generally isn't like making specific promises about Amway. He's making promises about like, the way they they it started out when these distributors started putting out these motivate. They'll be like they would be saying like. The Amway. You know, if you sell the way I tell you to sell, you're gonna be a millionaire in six months. You'll get rich. You'll get. And that's illegal. What he's doing is very general and he's getting people. It makes people believe, yeah, I can become a millionaire too. It's all on me. It's totally on me to do the work necessary. But he's also, he's very says very little about Amway. Like that's that's a general thing with a lot of these folks. They're they're making these very general motivational claims about what you're capable of, which is not a crime. Yeah, so that's cool. But also everybody knows, like believing in yourself and not accepting no for an answer and working the system. And yeah, it could be a speech at literally any capitalist institution about any job and any you say. It could be a speech at, like, literally any capitalist institution. Part of what has made the kind of speeches that I'm sure a lot of people listening. You've gone to some sort of like corporate event where somebody saying **** like that came up. Just to motivate you, not necessarily for a scam, just because, like, your company was like, well, let's hire A motivational speaker, right? The reason they all sound like Dexter Yager is because they're all copying guys like Dexter Yager and other people at Amway, right? Like it. They helped invent the concept of these kinds of motivational speeches that are now everywhere, you know? And there's other people too. I don't want to, like, pretend like this all came from his mind. But this is really when this **** starts happening the, the 70s and 80s and by the 90s, it's it's. Finely tuned machine O sues doing the Amway circuit. She's selling tapes, probably a lot like what we just played, but with, you know, a lady and Dexter Yager, who did that would regularly record messages about her, and he would put them out to Amway distributors via Ambox, which was a voice messaging line. Amway members were encouraged to pay to have access to Richard DeVos, and other high-ranking Amway Grifters would often use it to push members towards political action. We'll talk a little bit more about that in a second. So. When Sue Myrick runs for Senate again in 1994, Yager sends out ambox messages to everyone in his downline and gets them to donate to her now. This was, as Mother Jones will argue, very likely a crime quote. Those messages may violate campaign laws. The use of corporate resources on behalf of a federal campaign is illegal, says Kenneth Cross, a former head of enforcement at the FEC. Gross says that if Jager used the voicemail system for fundraising, the law required either Amway or Jager to report it as an in kind contribution that should have been reimbursed by the Myrick campaign. If corporate resources are not properly reimbursed, then it would result in a violation of federal election laws, Gross says. There is no FEC record of any such contribution from Amway or from Yager Amway. Spokesman Robert Lum says that Yeager rinsed the ambox service for 1695 per month. What he does with it is his business, Liam said. Jager would not. Yeah. So you get it, right? Like you get the and and it worked, right? Like, yeah, maybe it was illegal, but they didn't get charged for it because I think the the he gave them enough of an excuse and they had enough people in power that were sympathetic to Amway that nobody went after them for this. And the messages worked. A review of the FEC filing shows that at least 171 Amway. Distributors and family members, 140, three of whom did not live in Myrick's home state, gave Myrick's campaign more than $178,000 in 1994. That is election. When you're talking about like, a Senate race like that, that's enough to tip a ******* election. Yeah. Also, just every time you mention, like, a new Amway product for the distributor is like, envox or the yeah, these motivational tapes. I'm just. Like, seeing a person who, like, is, like, sees somebody else using it and is, like, jealous. They're like, wow, they're hot ****. They have access to ambox and then, like, they, you know, sell all their kids toys so they can, like, pay for for access to ambox. It's just, like, so dark and so profoundly American. Yeah, yeah, dark and profoundly American is the the Amway motto, now flush with real cash. This time, Sue Myrick won her Senate campaign. Once she was in office, she wasted no time and Co sponsoring a Home Office deductibility bill, which offered tax write offs for independent contractors who used their homes as offices and was heavily pushed by Amway. She pushed a bunch of bills that specifically were in order to reduce the tax burden on people who worked for Amway. On July 24th, the day before Amway announced a $1.3 million donation to the Republican Convention, Bob Dole announced his support for sues Bill. It's all very direct, you know? They fund her. She pushes this bill. They give up 1.3 million to the Republican Party. The next day, Bob Dole announces he supports the bill. Like, obviously, right, like it's not illegal. It is corrupt. Now, uh, and also, you know, I I will admit, like when we're talking about the scale of crimes anways committed, a Home Office deductibility Bill is is not the shadiest thing an elected leader has ever pushed. I'm just laying this path out because it's illustrative of how the company wields influence for a variety of purposes, all geared towards protecting the profitability of Amway for the people at the top, as Myrick became, and stopping things from like the there's a reason the FEC didn't look into **** right? There's a reason why this stuff that might be illegal never gets prosecuted, and it's because they've got friends in high places. Myrick became very popular within the GOP. Speaker Newt Gingrich appointed her as a freshman senator to the Budget Committee, which is not like, that's a very powerful position, like the one of the big, big deal. And yeah, she's a freshman senator and gets in there. This was widely seen as Gingrich Supplicating what became known as the Amway Caucus, which included three other senators. At this point, SO4 senators are all like Amway distributors. One of these senators, Jack, has the best name I've ever encountered for a senator. Give it to me. **** Chrysler. What? Yeah, **** Chrysler. There's a senator named **** Chrysler. Yeah, well, at least there was in the early 90s. He had **** Chrysler and his his his Democratic rival, **** forward. **** Chrysler. Chrysler. What an incredible name for an Amway distributor who becomes a senator. Chrysler, here to tell you about the most incredible opportunity you're ever gonna have to make a fortune. Oh my God, is that. Yeah, **** Chrysler's not his actual, like, given name. That is one of the great works of, like, authorship of all time. Whoever came up with the name **** Chrysler. **** Chrysler. Richard Chrysler. Yeah, that's his real name. Politician from Michelin, Michigan. Born in Minnesota. But of course he's. Yeah, Chrysler. So Michigan, yeah, **** Chrysler. In office from 1995 to 1997. It's like Steve Martin. He does look a bit like Steve Martin. If Steve Martin looked kind of more like **** OK, yeah, if Steve Martin looked a little bit more like **** he would look **** **** Chrysler. Yeah he does. Just with like like he looks like Steve Martin got tanned by just on his forehead though just just a forehead till like haphazardly had himself like like sprayed with brown face or something. It's amazing because the way the shading looks in this photo, he's clearly a white man, but it also looks like he's wearing white face because of that shade at the hair. His skin is like the his scalpel. Some what is happening? Yeah, no, yeah. Nobody taught him how to correctly blend his makeup. Yeah, what a fascinating looking man. Also, the person who succeeded him had an incredible name. Debbie Stabenow. Wow. This is just like, yeah, gold mine. Yeah, what an incredible Michigan. Something's going on with people's names in ******* Michigan State of Michigan. Shout out to Michigan for some entertainingly named legislators, at least one of whom was a corrupt Amway. Shell so Amway acknowledged the existence of the Amway caucus. In fact, they kind of celebrated IT company lobbyist John Gartland told Mother Jones that the caucus would meet with him to discuss legislation or set up conversations between senators and high level Amway distributors. Quote, we'll tell them Amway's opinion. We can't guarantee their votes, but they love Amway. There we go. And so long as the Amway caucus voted the right way, they could count on a virtually limitless source of funding for Mother Jones. Karen Karen and Craig Jones, both former distributors, attended one rally where Sue Myrick spoke. She got up with her husband and said, you were the kind of people we like, Karen says. After Myricks speech, Amway leaders passed around buckets for contributions and asked donors to write their names and the names of their Amway sponsors, or upline, on the envelope. Karen's husband Craig adds. It wasn't like you need to do this, or else it was more like if you're smart and you want your business to grow. I'm sure your upline was aware if you gave her if you didn't. So. That's ****** **. But not illegal and not legal. It's all just social pressure and like, building out this kind of network of, like, this community where the the cool thing to do is to just buy into this thing and give people who are richer than you all your money. It's just basically the I be. I wouldn't be shocked if, like, the Republican Party, like, saw this and was like, we've got they did. Jack. Yeah, yeah, this is spoiler. Amway kind of helped create the modern Republican Party. And this is this is the process, this is what what's happening. Because they're also, again, they give $1.3 million to the 94 Republican convention. They're giving meaningful amounts of money and Republicans are paying attention. Oh, these guys, these. We're getting more Republican senators in competitive districts, in some cases because the Amway money and because Amway is really good at organizing funding and voting and stuff. There's a reason that Betsy DeVos was the Secretary of education, and it's because Amway money and. Cloud is really important to the Republican Party. They are kind of kingmakers within the Republican Party. Also, Donald Trump has plugged for Amway in the past. So, I mean, that makes perfect sense. Yep. Yeah, it's good ****. And you can see again. So it's number one. They say, like, well, these these caucus members, we just let them know what Amway wants. We can't make them do anything. Yeah, but that money spigot can get turned off for your reelection campaign if you don't make Amway happy, right? Which, again, is not illegal. A lot of other industries do this. We're seeing this with Kristen Cinema right now. But you can see the financial value of this arrangement for Amway because, again, it is kind of hard to tell, like, what did this exactly result in? I think a good way to do that is to look at what happened in a country where they do not have political influence. That's very close to the United States and I'm talking about Canada. So while the FTC gave up on regulating Amway in 1979, and it's been smooth sailing for them ever since because they give a lot of money because they have a lot of ties to American politicians. The same has not been true in Canada. I'm not saying they have no ties to politicians, but they do not have the kind of influence there that they have here. In 1989, they paid $38 million to settle a lawsuit with the Canadian Trade Office that alleged they'd been illegally skirting customs dues. In 1983, the province of Ontario nailed Amway with a $25 million fine for fraud, to which Amway pled guilty. So you can see why. Like, yeah, give a couple of million a year to the Republican Party. It's going to save us money in the long term because we're not dealing with the kind of ****. Dealing with in Canada, that's why it's worth it for them and it very much is. But you know who hasn't been convicted of fraud in a Canadian court Jack that nice and specific. I think we can probably guarantee that that's true. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. None of the sponsors probably of our podcast. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. 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In this special episode, we sit down with Doctor Jane Goodall to hear her inspiring thoughts on how we can create a better future for humans, animals and the environment. Eating particularly young children out into nature so that they can experience it and take time off from this virtual world of being always on your cell phones and so on. And get the feel of nature so that you come to be fascinated, then you come to want to understand it, and then you come to love it, and at that point you want to protect it. And then we'll come to the sort of healthy world that I envision as a good future for us. And the rest of life on this planet. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Ohh, we're back, and we're we're talking, talking Amway. So amway's deep integration with the Republican Party did not start or end with just business. Over years of congenial relations, the two melded together into something terrifying and inseparable. And to walk through the story of the merging of Amway and the Republican Party, I'm going to have to peel back to 1979 one more time. That's the year the religious right became an organized. Person in US politics for the first time. The moral majority is formed in 1979, the night that that election, Reagan's election is like the first time the religious right was a political bloc in American politics. And yeah, this all happened just in time, obviously, to to push Ronald Reagan into the presidency. The Amway Co founders were very bullish on Ronald Reagan. Not only did they pour money into supporting the campaign, but they encouraged other Amway leaders to use their tax deductible business functions to get the word out, as one former distributor claimed. They tell you to always vote conservative, no matter what they say. Liberals support the homosexuals and let women get out of their place. Richard DeVos achieving handle there? Yeah, he homosexual as well. That's Speaking of the homosexuals. Well, not quite yet. So by the time he died in 2018, Richard DeVos had personally paid out more than $200 million to fund the Republican Party and other right wing causes in addition to the groups we've already named that he gave money to. He sent fortunes to the Family Research Council, focus on the family, and the Acton Institute Richard's generosity. Earned him serious rewards. This is where gay people come and do it again, unfortunately. Most notably, Ronald Reagan appointed him the to the President's Commission on the HIV epidemic. Oh my God, Richard DeVos. That ******* guy gets put on the president. Which tells you how seriously Reagan treated HIV. Yeah, get the Amway guy on there. He knows how to deal with a pandemic. So clean it right up with frisk. Yeah, yeah, you gotta frisk it. So Richard de Vos later wrote of this time quote of his time on the President's Commission on the HIV epidemic quote. I listened to 300 witnesses tell us that it was everybody else's fault but their own. Nothing to do with their conduct, just that the government didn't fix this disease. I said you are responsible for your actions, too. You know, conduct yourself properly, which is a pretty solid Christian principle. Wow. Yeah. Yeah, very. That's the guy. You solid. Christian principles right there. Yeah, great. Does his Shapiro voice out of nowhere? Yeah, it's my right wing ******** voice. Richard used his influence to fight vigorously against workplace democracy, supporting right to work laws throughout the 1970s by funding a variety of anti worker organizations. These included the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress, the national Conservative Political Action Committee, the American Conservative Union Victory Fund, the National Right to Work committee, and the public Service Political Action Committee. Amway didn't start the push to force right to work laws in place across the country, just that they didn't start the MLM industry, but their specific brew of grifting. Political activism was extremely influential, and it has been copied by every generation of MLMS and right to work advocates, since we could talk, as we often do, about how the state of Utah has famously lacks laws on supplements because certain companies that sell essential oils have lobbied for those laws. But that's a rant for another day. But the point is that these like the fact that, you know, you have a Utah has these very LAX laws on supplements which benefit a variety of MLM's that have given money to Utah politicians. Those MLM's are very much copying Amway. They saw what worked, and they're they're doing the same thing. It's not a super complicated story right now, though. Let's talk about another way. Amway was an innovator in Mick in the field of mixing religion into conservative action and into grifting, and I'm going to quote from the an article in Jacobin. Here quote the sociologists David Bromley and Anson Shupe have argued that what is unique about Amway is not its melding of God and capitalism, an amalgam almost as old as Christianity. Itself. Instead, the power of Amway lies in its ability to harness these ideologies to motivate individual salespersons far beyond the scope of their actual remuneration or realistic prospects thereof. Amway takes free market worship a step further, garnering much of its wealth from selling the idea of prosperity itself. Upper level distributors, the top 2%, don't sell soap. They hawk instructional seminars, CD's, books, website access, voicemail recordings, and other sales tools to the lower level. Salesforce at huge profit margins, as Amway profit and and profiteer Dexter Yager once noted when describing Amway's model, if you work just for money, you'll reach a point where you may have enough and you'll let up. We build relationships, and people don't normally quit on people who love them. That is a no. It's just it brings to mind earlier that Amway couple who got scammed out of like 50 grand in four years who, like, sold their home and moved to be closer to their up line because you make them think that you care about them, right? That's how you get money from these people. Yeah, yeah, you just gotta if you. And also you're constantly having to explain to them why they're losing money, right? So you have to, you have to just be like, I mean, if you lived closer, maybe we could like make something work a little bit better. Oh **** you just bought the house down the street from me. Umm, you guys just don't want it enough. The degree to which the energy and like what you see at a MLM versus the actual product that is being sold like are completely out of any sort of like ratio to one another is always interesting to me. Like the fact that Amway is like you heard that guy speak about like you know he was basically selling the fact that. That mean woman didn't wanna **** him. And like, yeah, he you know, he's the best. But like, the thing he's selling is ****** soap. Like, substandard like soap. Yeah. Bad toilet paper. Yeah, bad toilet paper that couldn't be sold at Kroger. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's amazing. And that's again you. What's amazing to me is that, like, you know, we, we we talk a lot in the old the old cracked crew about like how at times unreasonable everybody's devotion to work was and about like the workloads that we would take on. But it's because we like we we were doing the thing that was our dream as opposed to selling bargained like terrible soap for a markup. Like that's what the genius of Amway is getting the like you always will have people who are willing to like put in unbelievable. Amounts of work for things they love. Amway got people to do that for nonsense. And they they figured out that the way to do it was it. It's not about the product. It's about what these people believe about America and capitalism and and that's the thing that's hard for me. I can, I can imagine, like doing like I can imagine selling my home and moving. I can imagine, like working, you know, unbelievable hours. Even doing a chunk of it for no money, which I've done before for like my novel right I where I spent hundreds of hours. Working effectively for free to write a novel. It's because I loved the thing. The thing that Amway does that's so scary is they're able to hack people into doing it for like, nothing. None of them care about soap. Like they're not like huge into Amway brand Ziploc bags. That's the thing that's so like ****** **. And that's the thing that I don't think is possible without the cult **** right? Like that's there's like people away that they in which they resent the products because it's like so out of whack with, like they're like selling their lives for these, like ******. Paper, plastic products. It was just like, yeah, it's like how you you get people who will work. And I mean, there's you can, we can talk about, like, the degree to which it's a little messed up, but people who are willing to like, take huge pay cuts to work for like SpaceX because they believe in space travel, right. Sure. Because they have a there's a real dream that they're pursuing that this company is letting them pursue. And it's it's amazing that Amway is able to do that. But the dream is making rich divots richer, like that's what you're giving up your life for, is the dream of making rich. Give us more money so that he can fund anti Union legislation around the country. And it's like and the the central tenet is like happiness through willpower and through being able to like just kind of focus on like put on blinders to everything except what's in front of you and just, yeah, just will yourself to happiness, which is. Yeah. And it's the kind of like this is not one of those episodes like with Nexium where we're going to talk about. Leader who like, raped 1000 women or whatever. Like, this is not one of those episodes with like a body count, but there is what you have to when you actually try to like the body count of Amway. It's like that one couple lost 4 1/2 years to it that the amount of if imagine if all of these people had had either been working on something they truly cared about that wasn't just like making rich DeVos rich had had been pursuing a real dream beyond selling soap, or that they just put that time into their families like it's the the evil of Amway is like the the cumulative. Probably 10s of millions of hours of human life that could have been spent making something worthwhile or being with the people they loved that was instead spent selling soap. I mean, that's yeah, that's true. I think of a lot of current, you know, there's that. Say from. I think it was like 10-12 years ago. About ******** jobs and just how many yeah, David Graves is yeah, yeah, yeah. Only exists to justify a boss having somebody to like, push around, essentially. And they don't. Contribute to the greater good of society. And in fact, like a lot of times they hurt. And, like, people know that, and that's doing, like, psychic damage. And these are like, you know, oftentimes creative people who just happen to, you know, this is where they landed. And like, it's it's kind of hopeful because it's like there's so much time and energy and, you know, ingenious. Like ******* human brilliance. Yeah, charismatic. People with like you know who are putting all of that energy and inspiration towards just nonsense and like so yes we have like a World War Two level problem to solve in in climate change. But like it's like we the energy is there, the like capital is there. It's just a matter of like getting people to ******* put it towards something that will actually like save us. Yeah, yeah, that's the that's the thing. That's. And I, you know, I I wonder because I I guess I have a debate in my own head. What's sadder? The person who works a ******** job that exists to, like, give someone an underlying or to perform some other meaningless purpose and knows it. But at least like that, you're making money, right? And often, oftentimes a lot of money. A lot of ******** jobs pay you well. As opposed to a ******** job where you give up everything in order to make someone else rich and you do nothing for society or for yourself. Really? That's the sad one. That's the one. You're right. Yeah. I don't even get to like, you know, do the thing that makes them happy while pretending to work like, you know, work on their novel or ******* nice or whatever. I I do know a lot of people. To work with. They admit her ******** jobs and are perfectly happy. Yeah, it's it's my, you know, I, I do 30-40 hours a week. I spend half the time, like, reading a book anyway. And then I come home and I get to live my life and it's like, well, fine, that's not the best human beings could be. But like, whatever, like everybody makes compromises. As opposed to. Yeah, I don't know. This has been a long, like, existential digression about what's, like, horrifying about Amway. It's not one of those things where I could say, like, amway's evil because they killed X people or because the founder was a child molester. It's amway's evil because of like this. Gaping maw that swallows human potential. Yes, yes, yes, that's right. And just like the the hope in that person's face, when I can't, I keep coming back to voxware or ambox and like the person. Just like being like, I'm going to buy ambox and all my problems are going to be over because that is me leveling up and this is the way. And then they sign up for this and get to call in and just like have somebody tell them to buy. Something else that you're giving money to. Sue myrick? Yeah. Lobby for Amway? Yeah. My God. Yeah. It's bleak. It is. I do wish I had access to a reputable independent biography that talked to folks from Richard Devos's early life and from from Jay von Andals, all Amway publications I found. Note that both of their families were religious. Obviously, they both went to, like, a religious private school, but I don't know, like, to what extent evangelism was they. Obviously, they were huge about it within their their jobs at Amway, they were big about like the. Pushing evangelism. I don't know the degree to which they actually believed in anything. Was this just like a convenient way for them to cloak their radical free market ideology? Or was it like critical to their self perception that they believe God wants me to have this wealth? Because there's certainly a lot of like, people who are like that, like prosperity gospel stuff. I don't know what these people actually believed and I just don't have the kind of insight into their early lives to know, like how much of this was maybe directly what they were raised to believe as opposed to something they came up with, you know, post hoc to I just don't know. The purpose of religion in Amway, though, as in the Ramadan Republican Party, is to render debate over economic and political issues impossible. If capitalism is a system made by people for the benefit of a segment of the population, then it can be criticized. It can even be altered or abolished entirely in order to build, you know, either make it better or replace it with something better. If capitalism is a system made by people, it can be changed or removed, right? But if property rights and the free market are divinely inspired, and the United States. Was chosen by God to be a Christian nation, specifically to protect free enterprise and the property of the wealthy? Well then, there is no room for debate. Then it's holy to be an entrepreneur, right? Which is now kind of a Republican gospel, but but it was really introduced in a big way. Again, these are not the only people as we talk about, like the religious right. This is part of a broader movement. But Richard DeVos is one of the major people pushing this. He's a huge part of why this is so prominent, because he's got #1 the money to be that influential again, $200 million over his lifetime that he put into pushing these causes. It seems accurate to say, though, that Amway was initially before it became as big as it was a lot less religious than it became, just as it was initially less political than it became. The process of both started in the 1970s when Van Andel and Davos became very wealthy, and by the early 1990s Amway meetings had taken on the characteristics of a revival gathering, one distributor told a journalist at the time after a meeting quote. It wasn't like any church I'd ever been to. I saw people professing their faith in Jesus Christ and not ashamed. I didn't see one person who reached high levels who didn't acknowledge the Lord and give him. Get it for the success now, there are a lot of family horror stories you can find online. Reddit in particular has a whole community, the anti MLM subreddit with nearly 3/4 of a million members that's dedicated to telling stories from different M and there's a lot of Amway stories there. I want to read one that I think does a good job of laying out the culty nature of the company, like where the kind of entrepreneur stuff intersects with just straight up cult **** quote. My ex-husband got involved in Amway. Every cent of our miniscule budget in our 20s was spent on expensive. Products, training materials, and conferences. I made it clear that it was his thing that I didn't want to be involved. I tried supporting him in meetings, but there was always a pressure to convert me as being an unsupportive spouse. He argued with me that the hours I spent commuting to university to complete postgrad studies could be better spent prospecting new sales for him. Well, sure, yeah. The only way I survived this part of my life was to sleep on trains during the commute as I went to school. 8 hours, commuted 5 hours, then lectured at college 6:00 to 10:00 PM each night. You do the math. That was exhausted. He glowingly reported how many Amway bigwigs showed up to conferences and limousines. I argued that I too could rent a limo and appear to be prosperous for about $100. The training materials were nothing short of brainwashing. He listened to them religiously. Then he started prospecting my family and friends. Our marriage was on a downslide since this I couldn't take the passive aggressive demands that because I saw more people on a daily basis than him, that I owed it to him to prospect them. The day that I decided to leave him, I had my bags. Act and was walking out the door. He said don't blame Amway for this. Amway is just a vehicle for success rhetoric from his training materials. I kept walking, like, ohh yeah, yeah, that's really bad. I thought he was going to like that. That's a great twist at the end. But the thing he's most afraid of is that she's going to blame Amway for just a vehicle for success. Jack. Yeah, that's this is my fault. I failed as a husband, not anyone. That was a ****** husband because I wanted you to give up your postgrad dreams and or at least try to convert your fellow grad students to sell Amway. Oh my God, yeah. There is a bottomless well of stories like this, Jack, and I want to read one other one that I think gets to just how deranged people are when they're stuck in kind of the worst level of Amway. Bullishness. I was in the military and lived far from post, so to get to PT physical training in the morning, I had to wake up at 5:00 AM and leave by 5:15 AM. We usually networked until 11:00 PM each night at Amway after work, and I wouldn't go to bed until midnight or later because we'd only eat dinner after networking. Well, on a Friday after a big meeting that lasted towards 2:00 AM, I got up at 5 like normal. Keep in mind we're told that listening to any music that is negative or not value based would hold you back being a metal head and only interact. And only into rap and hip hop meant that I shouldn't listen to anything I like. So usually I just listened to my Bible app. The Bible narrator has the most monotone voice voice ever, and some parts of the Bible are seriously the most boring and arduous things you could ever hear just about being real. Also, the only drink I'd allow myself to drink is either water or excess. Excess is an energy drink with enough caffeine and vitamins to do absolutely nothing, especially a few pounds six a day. Seriously, if a sleeping fly fell into that drink, I would drown before waking up. So driving down the highway. After a long night, I passed out at the wheel even though I was drinking in excess. My car lurched to the right and caught the ridges on the edge of the road, and if I didn't jerk the wheel back and skid onto the road, I would have caught the railing. What's sad is I patted myself on the back for being so tired because it meant I was a hard worker. We didn't leave until over a year later, and nearly falling asleep at the wheel was a common occurrence, at least two or three times a week. Hey, man, that's what the rumble strips are for, you know? That's. Yeah, that's what they're there for, guys, for the Amway, reps for. It's to grind. And the grinders out there in Dimmick among especially enlisted. Like soldiers, like, because soldiers don't make a lot of money, but they'll often get like a signing bonus. So you'll you'll have 10 grand and some ammo will be like, hey, you want to just waste that or do you want to turn that into, you know, a fortune. You want to be able to not have to work in the future, you know? It's it's uh, it's the best, Jack. I just. I know. Like, I there's, I I found myself when you were telling the story about the person whose husband's like, got a husband's life, got taken over by Amway. Like being like how did she end up with such a dummy when she was like such a, you know, a grad student. But I. I was also just realizing like I've known people who were in medical school who got whose lives, who ended up devoting their lives to multi level marketing, like who are still like trying to recruit me to multi level marketing. Like there's yeah, it's it and you know the same thing they say like cult members are tend to be just as if not more intelligent than non cult members like I I'm sure that, yeah it's not. Intelligence thing. Yeah. Yeah. It's what you're vulnerable to, you know? Right. It's in the same way, Jack, that, like, getting addicted to drugs doesn't mean you're dumb. It means you're vulnerable to whatever drug it is, right? Like there's a bunch of people who can do cocaine at a party once and never want to do it again, and then there's somebody who does it, and it it just captures them. And it it's it's just it's the same thing with cults. People have, for whatever reason, what Amway puts out the the specific kind of propaganda latches on to certain kinds of people's heads. And it's it can it can destroy anybody who's got kind of the right vulnerabilities to it. It's like a virus. I did want to note, by the way, that the excess energy drink that that guy says nearly got him killed because it's so ****** is an Amway product. And if you buy it, Jack, you can get 12250 milliliter cans for $24.00. And here's the best part, 48 AM perks points. Wow. OK, now we're talking. Now we're talking 80 milligrams of caffeine per can, which is. Nonsense. That's not enough. Red Bull is about 80. I feel like. No, I think it's 100 and 11111. OK, yeah. Yeah. So I think the highest that energy drinks goes, like 200, usually without. Yeah. The highest they can go without, like, you know, threatening to explode your heart but don't even need a heart for is what I ask. Excess, but excess? Yeah. Not. I wouldn't call it excessive. I wouldn't call it milligrams of caffeine. You can. Excessive? No, for sure. Now. In 2008, as a result of lawsuits in the UK, Government authorities carried out a mass survey of Amway distributors in that country. They found that out of a population of 33,000 UK distributors, only 90 people made enough money to cover the costs of operating the business. So out of 33,090 at least, broke even. I assume some of those people got rich, right? Because there were a lot of 33,000 people. That's a lot of downline. But. 90 I think the total number of people who either got rich or didn't go into debt was 90 out of 33,000. God, yeah. Yeah. I mean, I guess that's what that means with the 99.9% percent, right? Like it's a ******* **** Robert. Speaking of covering costs, so we can operate our business, Speaking of covering costs, you know who more than 90 out of every 33,000 people make a profit from? Is that the products? Is it? Yeah, that's right, Jack. Products and services that support this podcast. I don't know. I'm not entirely certain what claim we're making either. So but that's the way it goes. Sometimes you don't know what you're doing and you just do it anyway, like Amway. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying. Or for a family. And it meant family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. 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It's convenient, accessible, affordable, and it is entirely online. You can get matched with a therapist after filling out a brief survey, and if the therapist that you get matched with doesn't wind up working out, you can switch therapists at any time when you want to be a better problem solver therapy can get you there. Visit behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's better Betterhelp from behind. Hey, it's Rick Schwartz, one of your hosts for San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we sit down with Doctor Jane Goodall to hear her inspiring thoughts on how we can create a better future for humans, animals and the environment. If we don't help them find ways of making a living without destroying the environment, we can't save chimps, forests or anything else. And that becomes very clear when you look at poverty around the world. If you're living in poverty, you can't afford to ask as we can. Did this product harm the environment? Was it cruel to animals like, was it factory farmed? Is it cheap because of unfair wages paid to people and so alleviating poverty? Is tremendously important. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Ah, we're back and yeah, so let's, let's, let's let's let's so yeah. Yeah, thank you, Jack. Thank you for appreciating my professionalism. So one of my favorite articles, if you want to get like an idea of the desperation of Amway people who really buy into it, who who drink the kool-aid, so to speak. Amway for this Robert. So this is not amway's fault, the author is. It's an article I came across in the Baffler, which is one of my favorite publications. The author, Matt Roth, was invited to Amway by a coworker. And when he respected who got roped into Amway with her husband, he attended a handful of motivational events for distributors, and he even purchased a small number of products. I don't think he ever bought into it, but he, like, I think he believed at one point, well, maybe this is a business opportunity. I don't know. He also was a writer, so it may have just been like, I want to see what's going on in this weird subculture. Much of Matt's article delves into what a horrible deal Amway is for its distributors. One of their main selling points is that Amway distributors get Amway products at wholesale prices. Great. Products. So even if you're only buying the products for yourself, it's a good deal because you're going to save money on the stuff you need for your house. You get cheaper detergent and toilet paper and all that stuff, right? Matt found that not only were a lot of amway's products of questionable quality, but their wholesale prices were at best slightly cheaper than supermarket retail prices for brand. Oh my God, yeah, Matt's friends repeated to him the lion that that that distributors enjoyed a 30% discount on basic goods, which on its own might make being an Amway worth it, but this would appear to be a complete. Falsehood, none of the promises Amway made hold up to even a tiny degree of scrutiny. That's why the company spends fairly little effort on these claims. The products, again, are not would bring people in. What brings people in is a mix of peer pressure and the sheer spectacle of Amway events, which are forcefully pushed on new recruits and distributors to keep them in business. One of the first Amway events Matt went to was something called Dream Night quote. It began with the triumphal entrance of the Amway Diamond couples half jogging through a gauntlet of high fives to the theme. Rocky as the audience, right as the audience ruled. It's amazing as the audience whooped and hollered and twirled their napkins over their heads. When the standing ovation finally tapered off, the MC offered a prayer, thanking God for the fact that we lived in a free enterprise system where there were no government agents, kicking down the doors of meetings like Dream Night. I'm just so embarrassed for them all. Yeah, I guess I don't need to be. No, they're they're having a great time. As dinner wound down, the video screens displayed a picture of what the guy next to me was quick to identify as a $20,000 Rolex watch. He went on to tell if a fellow he knew who had a $30,000 Rolex and who couldn't tell the time for the glare of the golden diamonds. As its hands reached midnight, the Rolex dissolved into a series of video montages depicting the consumer Shangri-La that our own forthcoming Amway success would open. For us, we leered as a day at at. We leered as a day in the life of a typical job holder. All alarm clocks, traffic jams and dingy cubicles was contrasted with that of an Amway distributor who slept in and lounged the day away with his family. We gawked hungrily as real life Amway millionaires strutted about sprawling estates proudly referred to as family compounds, and explained that such opulence was ours for the asking. We chortled as a highway patrolman stopped an expensive sports car for speeding, only to right away a moment later with an Amway sample. Get strapped to his motorcycle. Our laughter became a roar of delight as the camera zoomed in on the sports cars bumper sticker. Jobless and rich? Wow. Yeah, and that Jack gets to one of the things I find most interesting about Amway and its place in our culture. Richard de Vos was the ultimate cheerleader of the side hustle, grind, set capitalist attitude. He was a man who got famous saying stuff like this. If I had to select one quality, one personal characteristic that I regard as being most highly correlated with success, whatever the field. I would pick the trait of persistence, determination, the will to endure to the end, to get knocked down 70 times and get up off the floor, saying here comes #71. Which is a great thing to get people to believe if you want them to spend years giving all of their money to Amway. Rise and grind. Get my paper up. All that. So yeah, Amway. Amway, yeah, Amway's a huge, a huge originator of that attitude, of the grinds that you gotta grind attitude. But also at the same time, a massive amount of their propaganda revolves around the idea that there's basically nothing worse than having a job. And I wanna read a quote from Amanda Montell's book Coltish next quote at Amway, the world's biggest MLM, anyone who works for an employer as opposed to an upline mentor, is said with disdain to have a JOB or ******* of a boss. When you work for someone else, you will never get paid what you're worth and waste recruits are all taught to say to ML Immers. The word entrepreneur represents not just a career, but a morally superior way of being in the economy, comments Nicole Woolsey, biggart, a UC Davis sociologist. The author of charismatic capitalism, direct selling organizations in America MLM's gaslight you into believing that if you follow their flawless system and don't succeed, there is simply something wrong with you. Every willing and hardworking person can be successful in this business. A good system always works is a thought terminating cliche pulled from Amway's handbook. There are countless MLM vision boards all across the web featuring emotionally manipulative platitudes like people often fail in MLM's before they all ever begin because the approach is from the head, not from the heart. And I really hate when broke people who don't work complain about being broke. #billionaire mindset. In an article titled Top 50 MLM quotes of All Time, the website showcases a litany of misattributed inspirational quotes, including this axiom falsely associated with Winston Churchill. The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty, as if the British statesman successes had anything to do with direct sales, or if even if the quote were really his. Yeah. Right. I mean, like, yeah, Churchill or **** or Einstein. It. Like, if you want to just make your quote sound like it, it's smart. Just give it to them. I'm pretty sure they're not speaking like, like, quippy reversals of, like, phrases. No, Winston Churchill was, for one thing, when he was witty. A lot wittier than that. Yeah. Amway is essentially the arch cult of American capitalism. And it's now spread across the world and into the highest levels of power. It's a lure comes from both a religious worship of capitalism and a bald faced admission that the realities of life under capitalism are unbearable. Amway's pitch doesn't work if you don't think one of the worst things possible is to work a job all your life, right? Like, like that. That's that's a key factor in why they're **** works. The solution to how nightmarish it is to live, unlike the economy, is to leave the daily grind and instead work yourself to the bone to make your Amway. Dreams come true so that one day you can quit working and give speeches to cheering crowds while light shows play. It's an incredible grift. Richard DeVos died on September 6th, 2018 at 92. He was worth more than $5 billion. Yeah, he died like the 200 richest person in the world at the time. Jay Van Andel died in 2004 of Parkinson's. His family today is worth $4.7 billion. I'm sure you all know of the DeVos clan and have been waiting for the moment where we discuss them now. One thing I find interesting is that winrich. Died. He was worth 5.1 billion, and today the family's worth an estimated 5.4 billion. So they've gone up by about $300 million since 2018, when he dropped. Betsy DeVos is Richard's daughter-in-law, so she's not a blood relative. She was originally a Prince, like her brother Eric Prince, but she has conducted herself in a way that would have made rich proud. She is also a Christian supremacist. She attended a very expensive Christian School as a child for basically her whole education, and as an adult, she became the Republican National Committee. Woman from Michigan and chair of the Michigan Republican Party. She used her position very effectively to advocate for charter schools. Leaked videotapes in 2017 revealed Betsy admitting that her goal in doing this was to hinder secular public schools, which she called a dead end, and provide public funding to religious schools and thus, in her words, advance God's Kingdom. When Donald Trump made her the secretary of education, she was only barely confirmed. Mike Pence, another religious extremist, cast the tie breaking vote. Here's how the website. Rock beat, which is dedicated to education, sums up her legacy as the Secretary of Education. In her first year as Education Secretary, Devos's Education Department revoked guidance that spelled out how schools should protect transgender students, which included providing them access to facilities corresponding to their gender identity. DeVos reportedly opposed the change at first, but eventually went along with it, saying the issues were best left to States and local school districts. Eliza Byard, the executive director of GLSEN, which advocates on behalf of. LGBTQ students said the effects were chilling and immediate. Several GLSEN chapters reported cases of transgender students losing access to bathrooms they've been able to use before. Byrd noted transgender students who filed civil rights complaints with the department after being denied bathroom access had their cases thrown out. In 2018, DeVos rolled back the Obama administration's guidance around school discipline, as well as guidance for school districts that wanted to use race and admissions and enrollment decisions to integrate their schools. It's unclear how many school districts. Change their policies. In response, Devos's Education Department also quickly closed many of the civil rights investigations that inherited from the Obama administration, then, limiting the length and scope of the investigations that did conduct. DeVos also blocked some efforts to desegregate schools, ending a program that would have given school districts $12 million for school integration efforts without the federal money. Many districts abandoned their ideas. So yeah, Jack, it's been a pretty bad run of her as Secretary of Education Chalkbeat doesn't. She nailed it. Yeah. You know, she's just like, wait, when when she's in her room, you know? It's just you get the sense of competence. Like, we all saw that 60 minutes interview. Yeah. Yeah. There's a woman who should be in charge of how all kids in America learn. Yeah. Yes. Nailed it. My brain is so poisoned by, you know, modern media and like the billionaire off that we get to witness between Bezos and Elon Musk that I when I heard 5 billion I was a little bit like, oh, that's all the thing you call that money. But so I I always this is a simple trick but it always works for me comparing 5,000,000 seconds which is. 57 days to 5 billion seconds, which is 158 years. Yep, that is always helpful for me to just kind of put the just completely just unethical amount of wealth you need to have to be a billionaire in perspective. Yeah, and every hour, every dollar in that bank account is again like dreams not pursued, family not spent, time with like debt incurred. It's it's money made. Breaking people like the original DeVos guy was going to probably be successful and powerful no matter what he did. And he went into stealing money from people and then spending all his time convincing people it was OK yeah, and he's, you know, it's a part of this broader like the the destruction of the middle class and the the the growth of the billionaire class. He just did it very directly by just taking the middle classes money, making the mortgage their homes, and giving them fairy tales. It's great as a billionaire thanks to well both her her dad who was rich and Richard Juniors inheritance her husband who is is also rich DeVos. But you know Junior Betsy has poured almost 2,000,000 into anti LGBT causes in recent years. She and her husband funded the passage of right to work legislation in Michigan and the exact wording of the legislation they pushed is being used as a blueprint for efforts in the remaining 23 U.S. states without right to work laws. We can all be grateful that Betsy's general legislative incompetence which was matched by the incompetence of the Trump administration. Meant that she failed in many of her goals. Charter schools were not massively expanded, Department of Education funding was not cut to a massive degree. The most sweeping changes she supported required an entirely compliant Congress, and we as a nation just weren't quite ready to end public education yet. But Betsy de Vos and Richard DeVos are hell bent on continuing the legacy of Richard DeVos senior using the Amway money that still daily pours into their coffers. They see this wealth as entitling them to rule over the rest of us in 1997. Betsy wrote a column for the magazine Roll Call where she made this very clear quote. I have decided to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence now. I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect something in return. Wow, her so much roll call is like, this is the role that you are called to. It's like this is American caste system. Yeah, just really a great sort of crystallization of all the, you know, just most rotten. Values that were created by the the original sin of this company, and then also like a great illustration of the diminished returns that you get by just being just through nepotism and spoiled ******. You know children. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, Jack, that's our episode. I wanted to direct. You actually need to go get to dream night. Yeah. You gotta, you gotta do your dream now. I'm gonna be a dream night. You're double diamond. You gotta, you gotta walk through that, that, that cheering crowd. They know Jack. Jack Pontiac. But Jack Pontiac? Because you always drive out? Well, no one would brag about that. Hey man, your fiero is a nice car. Yeah, it's in my Pontiac, baby. Yeah. Yeah, I want to remind people again, we've got a one of our fans is putting out a comic book series. Ringo Award nominated comic creator Brenton Lengel is a trying to crowdfund Durruti Shadow of the people about an anarchist. Militant during the Spanish Civil War Buenaventura Durruti. You can find and back his comic on Kickstarter. If you just type in DURUTI Durruti at Kickstarter and if you back at the book level or higher and comment ******** you'll get a unique signed print for free. So do Rudy on Kickstarter. Check it out Jack hey people can find you at the daily site Geist. Yeah, the daily zeitgeist. The Twice Daily podcast that I host with former gas miles Gray. Pretty soon it's just going to be cut. That you're never not podcasting? Yeah, that's where that's where I'm headed. And you can also follow me on Twitter at Jack under score O'Brien OBRIENI think I am excited Jack for when we just install. Recording equipment in your head on the daily basis and and there's you're never able to you're never able to to stop you just podcasting all the time no matter what. Hey man, the cast, that grind mentality, you know, rise and grind. Gotta get my paper up. Yeah I'm I'm it's going to be rad when that becomes common. And you can also like hear in your head the voices of your commenters just like telling you to do things like when you're out. I mean there's people doing that already, right with with Twitch. Why not just make it perpetual for everybody? Do you think I can already hear my commenters in my head, man, think hard at Jack and he'll do what you tell him. That's true. All right. Thank you. Bye. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's breaker handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's SPREA. 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