Nation/World


MONDAY, OCT. 14, 1996

“Chasing The Dream” Top Amway Exec Links Public Schools, Socialism

Socialism began eroding American culture when the government started running schools, an Amway hero told 6,500 fans in Spokane.

Bill Britt, a millionaire Amway distributor credited with pioneering many of the company’s recruiting techniques, was greeted with a prolonged standing ovation as he took the stage Saturday at the Spokane Arena.

In an hourlong speech that ended at midnight, Britt criticized abortion, farm subsidies, welfare, government regulations and a school system that doesn’t allow educators to teach Bible verses.

“It (public education) is a national tragedy,” said Britt, 65, former city manager of Raleigh, N.C.

Graduates “can’t read and write, but they can hug trees.”

An outspoken Christian, Britt recommended the Amway distributors homeschool their children, or send them to private schools.

“Thank God for the Catholics,” he said. “They never bought (into) public education.”

Britt told the audience to work hard building their businesses. When wealth comes, he said, distributors should use a good share of it helping their families and improving society.

“You know you’re successful when other people are better off because you live,” he said, adding that if America is to improve, it will be through love, “not bullets.”

Big-name Amway distributors like Britt donate generously to Easter Seals and Christian groups. Many donate to political campaigns, typically for conservative Republicans.

Introduced with a video that showcased his horse ranch, several homes and fleet of cars, including a Humvee and a Dodge Viper, Britt told distributors they should not be ashamed of their quest for wealth.

The Bible calls poverty “a curse,” he noted.

Britt was the wealthiest of several millionaire speakers at Free Enterprise Days, as last weekend’s convention was called.

Greg and Laurie Duncan told the crowd they are building one dream house in western Washington and another on Montana’s Flathead Lake.

Six years ago, John Huffstetler of North Carolina said he left a thriving law practice at 27 because his Amway business was doing so well.

His introductory video showed him sitting in a Mercedes convertible, thumbing through a stack of $100 bills as thick as a Readers Digest.

Eugene and Sarah Kim immigrated from South Korea to Tacoma in 1977. They opened restaurants and a doughnut shop, but couldn’t keep up with the bills, they said.

The couple joined Amway in 1992 and have already made a fortune.

“To me, Amway is not a business,” said Sarah Kim. “This is my life. It is my family.”

, DataTimes


 
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