Podcast #22: Shameful MLM Products

Host: Len Clements; Co-Host: Cathy Wilcox

Alert #191: 8/30/2011

Amega WorldWide to Close in United States
Greatest Scientific Breakthrough in Human History
Not Enough to Keep Company Solvent

Although no public announcement has yet been made, Amega Worldwide has notified a select group of distributors by conference call that the United States division of Amega Global, LLC will be closing its operation as of August 31st, 2011. The reason given was that the parent company, based in Singapore, ordered the closure due to “insolvency”. Such a term is usually applied to a company that can no longer meet its financial obligations to its vendors and creditors.

I contacted Amega Worldwide President Marvin Higbee who confirmed all of the above. No further comment was provided as to what will become of the Amega distributor base and products in the United States.

Sam Adams, Amega’s Worldwide’s master distributor, and high profile distributor Jason Boreyko both resigned from Amega about six weeks ago.

Amega Worldwide will have existed exactly 19 months. Mr. Higbee was hired as President less than three months ago. Their CEO is Arun Kemer from Amega’s Singapore office.


To their credit Amega Worldwide (the U.S. operation which I will refer to as simply Amega from this point forward) did try some aggressive promotional tactics while under the leadership of Mr. Higbee, including an $8 enrollment special and significant product price reductions. But it appears to be too little too late.

Here’s what I don’t understand…

The parent company Amega Global has not only made no announcement of Amega’s pending closure, they still list an active U.S. entity and within the “News” section of their website the latest entry is the announcement of Marvin Higbee’s installment as the new Preisdent of Amega Worldwide. The U.S. website also makes no mention of a pending closure, and their calendar still lists ongoing events throughout the country. However, prospects have not been able to enroll online for the past several days ostensibly “Due to the transition to our new platform”. When I called Amega’s customer service line I listened to announcements about how to enroll while I was on hold – for 30 minutes before giving up.

This is only my theory, but I suspect Amega is holding back any public announcement until they can include who will be absorbing the U.S. distributor base. If they tip their hand too soon the Amega distributor base will quickly look like a Roadrunner exit – a big cloud with the word “Poof!” in the middle. Maakoa is the rumored suitor.
Here’s what I really don’t understand…

The AMWand is a stem of metal that closely resembles an expensive pen. It originally sold for $299.00, then was discounted to $273.60. Recently Amega added a “30% more powerful” version of the wand called “Black Tipped”, which did not have a black tip (the clip on the side was black). The distributor price was $313.20. These wands had BV-to-Wholesale ratios of 70% to as low as 56% (the percentage of the price that was actually commissionable). Amega also sells a variety of other pseudoscience based products, including a $363.00 pendant and a $119.00 “bio-energy” bracelet.

Within the wand are, allegedly, various minerals and crystals that have been altered in some mysterious, unidentified way by applying “AMized Fusion” technology. The result is the production of “zero point energy” (ZPE) that is emitted by a narrow beam that extends up to 30 meters (a few feet farther than the distance between home plate and first base on a standard baseball diamond). By subjecting cells to this ZPE it “reminds” them to “return to source”. That is, their original, pristine state. Therefore, according to Amega and it’s disciples, if you direct this beam of ZPE into someone’s head who has a headache, or into any point on their body where pain is occurring, the cells will be reminded to return to their undamaged state and the pain will go away. ZPE will also give you greater strength if you drink wanded water (or just point the wand at the right “chakra” or “meridian point” on the body), and will make plants grow larger and faster. According to some Amega reps, if you wand your gas tank you’re car will get better mileage. It will also make food taste a lot better. If you wave the wand around a lemon wedge, for example, it will taste sweet, not tart or sour. YouTube is loaded with videos of people, including Sam Adams, wanding a lemon wedge then having a subject take a bite out of it. Delicious, 100% of the time. The second unwanded wedge always results in a facial expression as bitter as we are to assume the lemon tasted.

By the way, the wand works best if you wave it in concentric circles, clockwise, for precisely 3-and-a-half rotations. Not four, not three. Three-and-a-half.

Although ZPE is technically theoretical, it is generally accepted even among legitimate quantum physicists to exist. ZPE is what everything is made up of when you can’t break it down to it’s component parts any further. That is, people are made up of cells, cells are made up of molecules, molecules are made up of atoms, which are made up of electrons, protons and neutrons, which are made up of quarks, which are made up of, finally, zero point energy. So in other words, every bit of matter in the universe is made up entirely of zero point energy.

So, wouldn’t zapping someone’s body with a beam of ZPE be kind of like shooting a squirt gun into the Pacific Ocean? You’re body is already completely made up of exactly the same thing the wand is supposedly introducing into it.

I have more questions besides this one.

Amega-folk love(ed) to cite testimonials from doctors and scientists that supported the wand (almost all of which were not medical doctors or quantum physicists). For example, Dr. David Pascal specifically declared that he knows “beyond doubt” that the wand is “contributing to cellular repair”. So this begs the question, why does it only contribute to repairing cells we can’t see? Why doesn’t zero point energy repair skin cells of burn victims or those with eczema, psoriasis or acne? Why doesn’t it reverse cataracts, or return the scalp cells of balding men back to “source”? In fact, the only demonstrations we are ever presented are subjective, where the subject rates their pain from 1 to 10, and the injury is internal where we must only assume “cellular repair” actually took place. This is somewhat similar to charlatans like Peter Popoff and Benny Hinn who routinely heal trick hips and bad backs, but who can never seem to find any clinically blind, quadriplegic or stage-4 cancer patients in their audience, in spite of the hundreds that attended.

It’s also interesting that virtually all of the doctors who endorsed the wand were chiropractors who, if the wand actually worked as they claimed, would be put out of business by it. But then, there was Dr. Robert DeMartino who assured his fellow chiropractors that the wand would not take business away from them. Why? Well, because even if a patient is getting adjustments to resolve pain issues, and the wand resolves their pain, they should tell their patients to keep coming in for adjustments anyway. Why would they want to do that if the wand, which allegedly has an unlimited shelf life, has resolved the problem?

If it is known that the beam of zero-point energy is laser thin and extends 30 meters (98.4 feet), there must be a way to measure it. According to a professor at the UNLV physics department, no such device exists that can even detect thepresence of zero-point energy emissions, let alone the strength, width and length of the beam. According to other online investigators, some of which have recorded their testing on YouTube, there is essentially nothing being emitted from the wand. No magnetism, no radiation, no ions, nothing.

Since Amega only wanted to demonstrate the wand’s efficacy with simple party tricks, rather than well constructed tests (let alone double-blinded clinical trials), I decided to perform them myself. Using an AMWand I acquired strictly for this purpose, I first performed the “Lemon Test” 18 times. But I did it a little differently. I thoroughly wanded one lemon wedge out of view of the subject, then brought in a plate with two lemon wedges on it. The subject was free to select which ever wedge they wanted for the first bite. The results were exactly as expected. Ten out of 18 (just one more than by random chance) picked the wanded lemon wedge by taste. However, the wanded wedge was the first one they tasted 9 of 18 times, and all 9 times they said that was the better tasting wedge. When they selected the unwanded wedge first it was the better tasting 8 out of 9 times. So what this test actually revealed is that the first wedge chosen was the better tasting one 17 of 18 times, regardless of wanding. This explains why Amega reps always wanded the first wedge that they handed to the subject. All the other tricks commonly used (pushing someone over, pushing their extended arm down, lifting someone with two fingers, etc.) are already well exposed online.

I tried the plant test. The wanded plant grew just as large, just as fast, as the non-wanded plant. I really wanted to conduct a number of pain reduction tests, with half using a placebo wand, but after much effort I could not find a single Amega distributor, nor anyone at Amega corporate, that was willing to allow me into an Amega demonstration meeting, no matter how favorable I made the conditions for them.

I also tested the wand on myself and several family members. While working in my yard I sucked in some debris which caused a very painful sinus infection. While still skeptical, I desperately wanted the wand to work! After wanding my nose for several minutes I went from a pain of about 8 to, about 8. Same with my mildly arthritic knees (don’t jog on hard surfaces, kids). No other family member experienced any benefit as well.

Of course, this all begs the ultimate question, if this were all true, why doesn’t Amega conduct their own well controlled clinical trials? Not only would this scientifically (rather than anecdotally) prove the wand really worked, it would surely elicit overwhelming media attention, and customer orders. Yet, even when facing “insolvency” Amega chose not to even try to provide such evidence, which could have been accomplished very quickly and inexpensively (I was willing to construct and perform the tests for free!). What’s more, Australian Skeptics, Inc. would have paid them $100,000 for such proof, and the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) would have awarded them $1 million! Yet, they never even applied (I confirmed with JREF that Amega’s claims “certainly fit the bill” as to what would qualify for their award).

Amega reps (although, to my knowledge, never corporate) often claimed the wand healed cancer and paralysis. For example, Brian Tracy’s throat cancer was resolved due, at least in part, to his use of the wand. When Tracy offers a numbered list all of the factors contributing to his complete recovery (prayer, “healing hands”, a tree bark tea, optimism, a proper diet, and the wand) he failed to include three other forms of treatment he received that might have contributed: Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation! Brian Tracy, who I’m otherwise a big fan of, states he is often pitched to endorse or sell “unproven” products, and rejects them. No explanation is given as to why he made an exception here. Tracy claimed, in December of 2010, that Amega had exceeded “$100 million in 2010” and was growing “at 20 to 30 percent, per month”. I can only assume he was citing Amega’s worldwide sales, not Amega Worldwide’s sales.

Mark Victor Hansen, author of “Chicken Soup For The Soul”, was also an active proponent of the AMWand, as were the afore mentioned Sam Adams (co-founder of Matol) and Jason Boreyko (co-founder of New Vision). I know several others who are intelligent, rational people who had a lot of credibility at stake by endorsing Amega and its products and who seemed to, in most cases, genuinely believe in it. I was able to speak to some, including Mr. Adams, who were utterly incapable of addressing, or unwilling to address, any of my concerns or questions. In response to my request for testing assistance, Adams responded by voice message, “We don’t need any proof the wand works”, as if he thought I was performing the tests for the benefit of only Amega distributors. When I sent a list of questions to Amega corporate I received no response at all.

One of the saddest, if not disturbing, exhibitions of Amega wand power are the numerous online videos of people “healing” their sick or aging pets. In one video a man waves the wand over his old, disease riddled family dog and eventually he gets up and slowly walks around for a few seconds. In another vid a dog that appears to be simply sleeping, or lazy, gets a full body wand for over seven minutes, then gets up and walks away. A fish that looks sick is wanded for “several hours” each day for three days, then later appears healthy (and three times its original size). A horse with an injured left hoof is shown slightly limping around his pen. After being wanded he is shown – slightly limping around his pen. All videographers declared their animals healed by the wand. Amegites proclaimed this evidence that was not subject to the placebo effect. Although animals may not be prone to the placebo effect, their human observersabsolutely are. They make no room for simple concepts like, animals get sick and get well, just like humans do, or if you really, really, want to see your beloved animal not limping any more, that’s what you’ll see. Also, we have no idea how many wand enthusiasts wanded animals that did not improve, which would likely not be something they’d post on YouTube. That is, if 100 people wanded their sick dog and 5 of them got up and walked around a little (most likely because someone was waving a metal stick at them), those five videos are going online. The other 95 will hit the proverbial cutting room floor, giving theillusion to online viewers that the wand is effective 100% of the time. This is a similar tactic used by Uri Geller (a magician who claims he’s really doing magic) when, on a nationally televised show, he asked viewers to find a watch or clock that is not working, hold it tightly and rhythmically shake it slightly as you forcefully say “Work!” over and over. Out of likely a million or more viewers who participated, maybe a dozen will see the second hand now moving on their clock (a clock that has simply ran down will usually run for a few seconds if you shake it a little). These successes are asked to call the live show, and all the audience hears are one astonished clock owner after another praising the amazing powers of Uri Geller. The 999,988 who tossed their clocks back in the Yard Sale pile in their garage, and now feeling kind of dumb for even participating, never make the call – or get past the call screener.

Instead of demonstrating the miraculous powers of the wand on citrus fruits, old dogs or people with a headache, why didn’t Amega send free wands to stage four cancer sufferers who are under hospice care and have ceased all anti-cancer treatment? That way there would be no doubt what caused their cancer to go into remission, they could save thousands of lives and end tremendous suffering, and Amega would heroically be front page news all over the world. And there would be a multi-billion dollar bidding war among pharmaceutical companies for the rights to “AMized Fusion” technology, and hundreds of new jobs created to dig the ten mile deep hole for them to bury it in.

If Amega has discovered nothing more than a way to detect and measure zero point energy, it would be a Nobel Prize worthy accomplishment. The ability toharness and control zero point energy, let alone all the profound benefits attributed to it, would be tantamount to harnessing and controlling gravity. It would be the single greatest scientific breakthrough in human history. And there would be at least one double-blinded, clinical study to validate it.

And the company that was selling it would be able to pay their bills.

Len Clements
Founder & CEO
MarketWave, Inc.