Monday, October 2, 2017

"According to a public income statement, more than ninety-four per cent of Young Living’s two million active members made less than a dollar in 2016"


many distributors who don’t make a substantial income nonetheless stick with it, in part because the benefits are more than just monetary. Distributors, many of whom are stay-at-home mothers, find social connections and creative outlets through their oil business


What held Amway together was its ability to foster strong feelings of identification, and to get its members to see the company as the embodiment of an idealized life. Young Living’s affection for abstract nouns—purity, abundance, wellness, vitality—helps to define a shared culture that prizes freedom, family, and self-sufficiency, and is suspicious of regulation and Big Pharma.


Gary Young, the founder of Young Living, made his first appearance at the convention by riding into the arena on a sled pulled by a team of huskies. (Last year, he flew in on a zip line.) An annual highlight is the announcement of a new oil blend.


As Young Living grew, former employees told me, reining in Young’s spending became an issue. At the company’s showcase farm, in Mona, Utah, Young built replicas of a Wild West town and a medieval castle. As “Sir Gary,” he hosted tournaments, in which he donned a suit of armor and competed in jousting events. He had plans drawn up for a two-hundred-and-fifty-million-dollar theme park, Mount Youngmore, which would feature jousting, a five-star hotel, and a mountain with Young’s face etched on it. (Young has denied this.)