CLEVELAND — On Wednesday, small-business owner Michelle Van Etten will address the Republican National Convention on the subject of Making America First Again. According to the convention schedule, Van Etten employs more than 100,000 people. Actually, the Guardian reports, she doesn’t employ anyone.
“Michelle employs over 100,000 people and is a strong supporter of Donald Trump, knowing his policies will support businesses all across America,” the schedule states.
“I don’t employ,” Van Etten told the Guardian: She is a “multi-level marketer” for a company called Youngevity. “Nobody works for me, because we are all individual contractors, and we all have our own individual businesses,” she added.
“[Trump] resonates with me because he’s a businessman,” Van Etten said. “We need someone who’s not a bureaucrat.”
Youngevity has a network of about 100,000 independent retailers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and elsewhere. As it happens, one of those retailers is conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones. The Daily Beast reports:
Conspiracy theorist and Trump supporter Alex Jones (who is in Cleveland for the GOP convention) is an enthusiastic backer of the Youngevity brand. Its products can be found referenced in the online store of his InfoWars website, and at infowarshealth.com. One website even sells a package of Youngevity goods known as ‘The Alex Pack.’
“I want to stomp people… I like it,” Jones said in one video endorsing the product, claiming that the “Tangy Tangerine” made him more “crazed” and aggressive. “The only problem is that I’m 22 [years-old] again…The only side effect is that I’m crazed now. Now I can jog 8 miles instead of 4 miles…My testosterone is up.”
Youngevity lists Van Etten as a senior vice chairman marketing director. She told the Guardian that she collects between three percent and five percent of profits made by members below her in the network.
“The company certainly appears to be a pyramid scheme, advertising unique opportunities through a ‘world class marketing system,’” Britt Hermes, a naturopathic whistleblower, told The Daily Beast. “Rather, it seems like a world-class scam to me.”