The Grandfather of MLM Is Amway
Founded by Richard DeVos and Jay Van Andel in the mid-twentieth century, Amway is considered to be the grandfather of all multilevel marketing companies. In the 1960s, it narrowly escaped prosecution by FTC for operating a pyramid scheme in violation of FTC section 5. The court victory spawned dozens, hundreds, and then thousands of cookie-cut Amway/MLM spin-offs including Herbalife, Nu Skin, Mannatech, Vemma and Shaklee. The theme in these operations is that one should recruit one’s friends and family to do the same. Normally a product or service is offered as a means to inject the operation with revenue. Some consider this revenue to be stolen money. Before long, American MLMs coalesced to form the Direct Selling Association or DSA, a lobbying organization built to transfer pyramid scheme revenue to the campaigns of US officials including those charged with oversight of trade, MLM regulation and pyramid scheme busting. For more than five decades, such a relationship has existed between the Federal Trade Commission and the Direct Selling Association.
Multilevel Marketing Research by Dr. Taylor & Fitzpatrick
According to multilevel marketing research by Dr. Jon M. Taylor & Robert Fitzpatrick, the odds of success at starting a “downline” to generate income from home are worse than those of betting on a single slot of a roulette wheel. By all accounts, the MLM industry is built on deception and is often observed to possess cult-like characteristics.