Behind the Smoke and Mirrors



Specialty Speeches Speech 5:
Introduce the Speaker

by Luke Setzer

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to tonight’s gathering of the Space Coast Objectivism Promoters and Explorers.

Many free market advocates have held up Amway as a role model, a modern success story of how American free enterprise can allow anyone to rise to economic success. Amway, we are told, has created more millionaires than any other company. Amway is the bastion of “compassionate capitalism”, they say.

But is any of this true?

The philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand identified an unbreakable link between nature, knowledge and morality. She said that the true is the good, and the false is the evil. In other words, valid knowledge helps people, while invalid knowledge harms them.

Ayn Rand saw reality as a world open to our senses and comprehensible to our minds through logic. The foundation of her entire philosophy rests on Aristotle’s principle of non-contradiction: A is A, reality is what it is, and wishing or hoping or praying will not affect the laws of nature. She called this metaphysical idea “the primacy of existence”.

Contrast this view with the one that religions advocate, especially New Age religions: the idea that your internal thoughts affect external reality -- not just your ability to focus and choose goals and take actions, mind you, but the idea that THOUGHTS THEMSELVES can reshape reality. Ayn Rand called this metaphysical idea “the primacy of consciousness”, and she rejected this notion as completely mystical, irrational and destructive.

Unfortunately, the idea that thoughts themselves reshape reality has permeated our culture in countless ways. They have especially made themselves prevalent in today’s MOTIVATIONAL MATERIALS produced by such notables as Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and AMWAY.

What happens when private companies employ this mystical concept in their training materials? What harm is brought to people when they accept false ideas as true -- specifically, the New Age idea that “if the dream is big enough, facts don’t matter”?

Our speaker tonight will share with us the many disastrous consequences Amway recruits have experienced. Students of Ayn Rand should especially appreciate what happens to people who attempt to mix mysticism with capitalism.

Ruth Carter spent 15 years as an Amway distributor. During most of that time she was completely immersed in her upline's Motivational Organization. She also spent nearly five years working for her upline Diamond in his office, only then witnessing the trickery and deception of Amway Motivational Organizations. Upon leaving Amway, she wrote and published an expose’ called AMWAY MOTIVATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS: BEHIND THE SMOKE AND MIRRORS.

It is my privilege tonight to welcome Ruth Carter. She will explain to us how one very wealthy private company has learned to promote and to exploit mysticism to its own advantage.

Ladies and gentlemen, please help me to welcome ... Ruth Carter!


Objectivism 101
Objectivism 101