Hope this helped!

Like someone else said, put aside the mini-EF of $1000 and tackle your cars first. We did and paid off our Van really fast.
If you have the kids college fund in something liquid take the EF out of there. We did this, and we certainly don’t feel bad about since 1. we put it there and 2. if an emergency comes up the money will protect them as much as you two. If it’s not in a liquid account, then stop contributing to the college fund and anything else, including retirement accounts and any other pay-in monthly accounts. Getting your EF put together is more important that any of these.
Another thing we did was change our withholdings at work so are checks would be bigger now and our tax return smaller later. I’d rather have the money now working for me, then give the govt an interest free loan.
Another thing we did was have a rummage sale – made about $300+
I also started selling stuff on Amazon – I make at least $50-100/month doing that, on movies, books, old video games, old textbooks, and anything else I can get rid of online.
Write a budget that tracks your cashflow. We found we were spending so much money on junk and going out to eat and movies, I mean hundreds of dollars a month. Now we cook in and watch cable movies or borrow DVDs from our spendthrift family members.

Now I assume you’re saying you’re entirely debt free except the house. If that’s the case you’ll need 3-6 months of expenses. If you’re not entirely debt free then you would put 1K into the EF and the rest would apply to your smallest debt.

If you can use even one of these suggestions you should be able to make a dent in your efforts.

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Mmmm, I don’t know. I’m pretty strict with the whole ethical aspect of debt reduction (having NOT been as a young adult) and yet if I had received a 1099c on a debt–that’s a pretty firm indication of settlement on the part of the creditor. While obviously it would have been better to have paid off the debt initially–well there’s a point at which you have to say that amends have been made and the way towards righteousness is in focusing on present and future behavior. Trying to make good on a debt that the original creditor has already written off its books and the profit on which you have already paid taxes is like calling an ex-husband five years after the divorce and offering to go to marriage counseling.

I’m not saying there’s a time and a place for making good on very old debts. I owe $1800.00 to my mother’s ex-husband–$1200.00 of which it can be convincingly argued I’d have never needed to borrow if I hadn’t gotten mixed up in his life to begin with. We haven’t spoken in well over a decade. But he’s on my list in the proper place in the snowball (most of which is on hold till my taxes are caught up). I don’t even know where to FIND him at this point, but it’s right to repay him. So this isn’t about the age of the debt. It’s about the degree to which the debt has been settled. If ex-stepfather called me tomorrow and said, “I heard you have plans to repay me, look, I’ve thought about it and here’s why I don’t want you to do that . . .” or “this would be a more reasonable amount, after all, I was the one who talked you into blah, blah, blah” then there wouldn’t be anything immoral about accepting his offer (although I’d probably want to pray about it first).

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Having had the same “upline” as him

I was nodding, and nearly reciting — word-for-word — all the Ambot answers and brainwash bull$#1t. It was, for me, an uncanny, sickening, infuriating (and cathartic) read. I’ve gone so far as to take up Mr. Schreibler on his request to contact him with personal stories of this nature. I have to tell you, the “detox” period of abject fear, hopelessness, distrust, emptiness, aloofness, emotionally distance, etc. that he describes so well is something I went through on my own — without a clue as to what was going on. Upon reading his book, I recognized and identified with all the symptoms he details — I actually started weeping like a baby (but don’t tell anyone that!) I simply can’t say enough about it. Well worth the read.

I plan on getting the Hassan book, too, as well as Ruth Carter’s book. I can’t express enough spiteful hatred for the EVIL that scum like Yager, Coniguliaro, Harteis, Britt, Wright, Sutton — continue to drip out of their purulent mouths, twisting and screwing everyone they can. I hope to be a force to help stop them forever.

I know I had to go through that experience as part of my life’s journey, but MAN! I’ll take a rain check next time. With a little luck, James, maybe your mom/family will come out the fog. It will be a tough walk, but please, whatever you do, steer and stay clear of it. It sounds like you’re doing the right thing.

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On the “business meetings” and “trainings”

Yeah, I’ve been to a few of them now (on the local, regional, and international levels) and they are running together because there is so little substance being imparted. I’ve attended real business meetings and trainings before and some of the stuff they do in those “trainings” just wouldn’t fly.

About a year and a half ago in college, I took a series of 4 timeshare classes which dissected every caveat of a scripted presentation (if not for that class I may have taken the Kool-ade and need windex for my eyes LOL). Additionally, it’s also where their “top salesperson” came into the class and proudly stated that he outright makes up stories that he uses to sell the product. Ever since then I don’t trust anything at face value that someone is telling me that I can’t independently verify with multiple sources.

I’m someone who doesn’t like to “Buy into” things anyway and unfortunately it sometimes comes off as callousness or humorlessness;
and that’s part of the issue. She sees my lack of faith in the system as being negative, while I on the other hand see both sides of the issue and know what it truly is. I don’t want to have to shut away my instincts and credibility to only be rewarded with money (if that is even the reward), it’s plain not worth it.

Speaking about research though, I’ve done plenty into brainwashing and cults so some of the methods were familiar to me.

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Is Hassan’s book something I’ll be able to find at a local library?

I’ve been shielding myself as much as I can ever since she started, mainly concentrating on school and the running of my own store. I have a silver tongue sometimes (though it’s usually under maximum security and completely out of character for me *sometimes*) and there have been only been 3 incidents since September that I’ve let my frustration slip. Unfortunately at the moment I’m completely financially dependent on the family which makes it complicated.

If it comes down to having to change my perspective, then so be it, there will be no other way at that point.

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You’re right in that call

about how it changes families. I know that at this point she is grasping for straws and positive messages as business is slowing down.
I personally hate the idea of “buying in” to idealism because it shuts off your instincts and I don’t like not having that sense active (the vary rare exception I embrace is the “E-myth” philosophy by Micheal Gerber, but that is grounded in logic). Unfortunately, not taking things on faith (like she is at the moment) is portraying me in a “negative” light, but again it is understood that she is being fed the rhetoric and she wants so much to believe it is legitimate. The only thing I can do at the moment is ride it out, and I’m good at that LOL.

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I’ve familiarized myself on the comp plan

and you’re right in the fact that it is set up as a recruiting scheme. I’ve been keeping her mostly at bay with the excuse of schoolwork and my store’s obligations and it has helped out a bit.

I mentioned my uncle in my original post, he is usually my confidant away from the house, but now that he’s “buying into” the philosophies that are being touted is part of what has driven me to this board.
Again mentioned in my original post, I’ve forgone any semblance of a paycheck to help with the finances of the store (as of now I just have it paying for my gas which is the minimum I “need” out of it) so she bought my distributorship and I currently have no way to pay it back.
I’ll have to see what happens after this week because that’s when I get out of school.

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I appreciate the kind words

one of the first things to stand out about it was the scripted presentation and the lack of information about the product (that’s what really set the alarm bells off).

About a year and a half ago I took a set of electives and ended up taking 4 timeshare sales courses. Consequently, through those classes I was given a complete dissection of how a scripted presentation is set up and all it’s elements are put together (not that I didn’t know already, as I’ve attended several with my family over the years).
Thankfully it gave me the ability to see through the rah rah aspect of the “trainings” and “business opportunities.”

As of now I’m just steering clear of everyone I can afford to miss and concentrating on finishing these last 2 classes before the bachelors degree at the end of the week.

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Unfortunately, this is what MLM does

It splinters families, destroys relationships and renders most in its path completely and utterly broke.

As others have mentioned, your mom is being told daily that anyone with anything negative to say about her business (her hopes & dreams) should not be in her life. So you definitely want to be careful in how you deal with her now.

Lol…I can recall my own father asking me hypothetically if I would take $2,000/week salary right now in exchange for my MLM business. My answer? Not a chance because I just KNEW how far this was going to go.
I’m glad I can laugh at it now! I so respected my father and KNEW he didn’t buy the MLM thing but he never said anything against my business. Just that he hoped I was right and was happy that I was happy, etc.

One thing I would be clear on though and that is to not enable her via financial support.

Good luck!

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Your education and instincts are spot on

Now you must educate yourself on how not to become a “negative person” inyour mom’s eyes. She’s being slowly indoctrinated to break ties with all things “negative,” up to and including her immediate family. Arm yourself with knowledge, of which there is plenty in the archives of this group alone. In fact, you’ll find your story played out over and over again.
Learn from it. There is a wealth of information and advice in the archives.
There are survivors and there are affected family members here, even a relative of someone who helped start Amway (definitely one to whom to listen). There are many excellent, insightful posts; so much so, you’ll feel a wave of relief just to have this resource.

In short, the best approach is not to come off as “negative” (easier said than done). Innocently ask her questions she can’t answer, making her consult her upline; questions that make her really think. You can show her the logic, prove your case, but she is being indoctrinated to simply dismiss you as a dream stealer. YOU MUST UNDERSTAND YOU CANNOT SWAY HER WITH REASON. She must come to the conclusion on her own. You can only guide her with carefully presented questions.

They are using her dreams against her (and you) to keep her hooked. She is being conditioned to think emotionally, to sacrifice for her family. This is a powerful, well refined technique developed over decades, so it’s not really her fault for being victim to it. Proceed caringly and with caution.

It’s FREE. I was never actually in an Amway Motivational Org, but I was being recruited (by my boss, even) into LTD (Larry Winters) when I found this group and subsequently the book. I saw first-hand Winters’ “quality leads” technique. The weekly meeting I attended was described perfectly in the book, and my boss was a textbook example of the rhetoric espoused by virtually all MLMs. I once told him certain aspects of his “LTD business” made me uncomfortable. Without missing a beat, he said “Which aspects?
Making money? Helping people? Retiring early to spend time with your family?” His upline would have been damn proud of him. I shook my head and left his office. That was over two years ago and I am so fascinated by this dodged bullet I still lurk and follow most threads.

Judging from your well composed message, you’ll be able to handle this in stride if you just do the research. Most, if not all, of what you need to know is right here. Good luck, and please let us know how it goes!

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