Some Amway distributor groups have been accused of using "cult-like" tactics to attract new distributors and keep them involved and committed.[84][173][174][175] Allegations include resemblance to a Big Brother organization with a paranoid attitude toward insiders critical of the organization,[175] seminars and rallies resembling religious revival meetings,[84][175] and enormous involvement of distributors despite minimal incomes.[84][174][175] An examination of the 1979–1980 tax records in the state of Wisconsin showed that the Direct Distributors reported a net loss of $918 on average.[95][174]
We follow her up the stairs. There are two large bedrooms separated by a bathroom and a linen closet – the children’s rooms. I step into the one on my left, which is smaller than I expected. It has wood floors and a closet with sliding mirror doors. Out the window, the neighboring house is less than ten feet away, and the space between is filled with broad-leafed palm trees. I hear the faint twang of the radio on the pool deck, playing ‘Sweet Home Alabama.’
In 2014, Founders Crown Ambassadors Barry Chi and Holly Chen, who run the biggest Amway distributorship in the world based in Taiwan, were sued by nine Chinese immigrants in the Southern California region who claimed that, although Chi and Chen promised they could potentially make millions in commissions, Amway business owners make closer to $200 a month.
What made Amway different at the time was their combination of direct selling and multi-level marketing. Distributors could make money in both arenas. Distributors can buy Amway products at “wholesale” prices for themselves or to independently sell. This can generate a modest income, but the larger payouts come from recruiting new distributors. Any recruits result in residual pay to the recruiter, hypothetically leading to a lucrative “downline” (income that comes from recruits’ sales). This allows Amway to market to future distributors by offering an easy way to start your own successful business or store. With an average yearly income for active distributors at less than $3,000, Amway has redefined what constitutes a successful business.
William Keep, dean of the College of New Jersey’s School of Business, and a pyramid scheme critic, told Bloomberg earlier this year that “in terms of sending clear signals to the industry, the F.T.C. has done worse than nothing since 1979. It sends confusing signals that have in no way helped us understand how to identify a multilevel marketing company that may be a pyramid scheme.” 

Others receiving votes: Texas A&M 167, Cincinnati 116, South Florida 87, Michigan State 48, Wisconsin 41, Northwestern 40, NC State 40, Miami 38, Georgia Southern 32, Oklahoma State 31, UAB 24, Auburn 21, Stanford 21, Oregon 20, San Diego State 16, Buffalo 14, Army 13, South Carolina 11, Florida Intl 6, Iowa State 6, Virginia Tech 5, Pittsburgh 3, Duke 3, Boise State 2
Amway and its founders have long had deep ties to the Washington D.C., and particularly the Republican Party. The current House basically has a minor Amway caucus with five former distributors and Amway has been one of the largest donors to the Republican Party since the early 1990s. DeVos’s son, Dick, ran for governor of Michigan in 2006 and his wife, Betsy, is currently the Secretary of Education in the first Trump administration. She has speculated that the DeVos family has donated around $200 million to Republican candidates. 

After graduating from high school in 1975, Betsy enrolled at Calvin College, her mother’s alma mater. Calvin’s mission, as stated in the 1975–1976 course catalog, was “to prepare students to live productive lives of faith to the glory of God in contemporary society—not merely lives that have a place for religion … but lives which in every part, in every manifestation, in their very essence, are Christian.”
In September 2006, following a public complaint, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana state police (CID) initiated raids and seizures against Amway distributors in the state, and submitted a petition against them, claiming the company violated the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (banning) Act.[118] They shut down all corporate offices associated with the Amway organization including the offices of some Amway distributors. The enforcement said that the business model of the company is illegal.[11][119] The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had notified the police that Amway in India may be violating certain laws regarding a "money circulation scheme" and the IB Times article writes that "some say ... Amway is really more about making money from recruiting people to become distributors, as opposed to selling products".[11] In 2008, the state government of Andhra Pradesh enacted a ban on Amway media advertisements.[118]
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