Off the record, at least one (well-informed) British government official, who was part of the team that investigated the pernicious (blame the victim) closed-market swindle behind 'Amway UK Ltd.', has compared 'Amway' to the 'Second Ku Klux Klan' in the 1920s. This is why:
The criminogenic organization most-commonly referred to as the 'Second Ku Klux Klan' was instigated at a ceremony performed (in costume) by an existing gang or self-righteous criminals known as the 'Knights of Mary Phagan,' on top of Stone Mountain (over-looking) Atlanta, Georgia, on the night of October 16th. 1915. The event, which culminated in the burning of a large wooden cross, was tailored to fit the xenophobic spirit of the times. The reality-inverting imagery used to control the core-membership of the 'Second KKK' was borrowed from the first feature-length Hollywood blockbuster, 'The Birth of a Nation.' This highly-controversial movie, directed by D. W. Griffith and based on the pulp novels, 'The Clansman' and 'The Leopard's Spots,' by Thomas Dixon, had been released 9 months previously. Dixon himself had borrowed popular, romantic images from 19th century historical fiction and transposed these into the period of the American Civil War. The burning cross was actually taken from Sir Walter Scott's poem,'The Lady of the Lake.' Griffith's silent epic falsely portrayed the 'KKK' as a Righteous Order of handsome and chivalrous, white southern Christian kinights in shining white costumes, riding to defend their beautiful, pure white women-folk from the bestial sexual desires of freed negro slaves and their Godless, new political masters from the north.
'The Birth of a Nation' cost $112 000 to produce. Dixon originally sold the rights to his unoriginal tales for $10 000, but when Griffith could only raise $25% of this sum, the author reluctantly accepted a 25% share of the movie. At an unprecedented $2 a head entrance fee, 'The Birth of a Nation' eventually attracted more than 5 millions paying customers and grossed over $10 millions at the box office (a record which stood for 22 years).
Within 8 years, the 'Second KKK' had also attracted millions of paying customers, but its birth was attended by only 16 individuals and it cost just a few dollars to stage. The event was written, produced and directed by William Joseph Simmons (1880-1945) a.k.a. 'Doc' Simmons a.k.a. 'Colonel' Simmons, a veteran of the Spanish American war and (suspended) Methodist preacher, turned insurance salesman. Simmons was the son of a doctor and he often pretended to have studied medicine himself. He also had a fascination for fraternal organizations (he is known to have been a member of 12). His impressive-sounding title of 'Colonel' came from the 'Woodmen of the World' (a group created in 1890 by 'Freemason' Joseph Cullen Root, and which today still operates its own mutual life insurance scheme). In the spring of 1915, after seeing 'The Birth of a Nation', Simmons announced that he was going to 'rebuild the Klan'. He produced a prospectus after finding some old-timers who had been involved with the 'First KKK'. Simmons then made contact with Thomas Watson, a publisher and xenophobic politician. Watson had come to prominence in 1913, when a 13 year old white girl, Mary Phagan, was brutally raped and murdered in Atlanta. Despite much evidence proving his innocence, Leo Frank, the Jewish superintendant of the factory where Mary Phagan worked, was indicted, convicted and sentenced to death. In the summer of 1915, Georgia Governor, John M. Slaton, commuted Leo Frank's death sentence to life imprisonment. Watson first used his influencial position as editor of the 'Jeffersonian' magazine to whip up hatred against the 6000 Jews who lived in Georgia and then to campaign for Frank and Slaton's lynching. A conspiracy to kidnap and murder Frank, known as the 'Knights of Mary Phagan' was formed. This is what transformed into the 'Second KKK.'
The 'Second KKK' was presented externally as a traditional Fraternal Secret Societyand conservative Christian political movement based on a revival of the 'Chivalrous Ku Klux Klan' (as depicted in 'The Birth of a Nation'), but internally it was totalitarian (i.e. it was centrally-controlled and required of its adherents an absolute subservience to the group and its leadership above all other persons). The bosses of the 'Second KKK' pretended absolute moral and intellectual authority(apparently crusading against prostitution, gambling, alcohol, corruption, etc.) whilst pursuing various hidden criminal objectives (fraudulent, sexual and violent). Adherents of the'Second KKK' really believed that they were building aUtopian White Christian Republic. They were obliged to pay annual subscription fees, and to buy over-priced goods and services from the organization, including life insurance, esoteric accessories, publications, recordings, tickets to meetings, etc. For almost 30 years, first Simmons and then a sanctimonious gang of successors, continued to organize the creation, dissolution and subversion of all manner of corporate structures pursuing lawful, and/or unlawful, activities in order to prevent, and/or divert, investigation and isolate themselves from liability. In this way, the 'Second KKK' survived all low-level challenges to its authenticity and spread like a cancer destroying the lives of countless individuals in the process. At the same time, its leaders (who gave themselves impressive-sounding made-up ranks and titles) acquired absolute control over capital sums which placed them alongside the most notorious racketeers in history.