I have posted a comment and link to the forum where I unearthed it. Although the commentor doesn't specify which AMO he was involved with, it sounds very similar to teaching I heard (and still hear about) from Worldwide Group or WWDB. I also saw something like this happen to more than one IBO when I was an IBO myself:
I ended up filing for bankruptcy after trying to build a group myself for three years. I ended up having one person become interested, and they decided to sign with someone else when it got to time for me to bring them a start-up package. That was the last straw for me. I am still good friends with my sponsor, but they have also dropped out after their group of people petered out (sorry Peter).
I was encouraged to attend several conferences out of state and spend tons of money on motivational tapes and books even though I was failing to pay my mortgage and credit card bills… when I tried to get better financial advice from my “upline” - they continued to encourage me to spend, spend, spend… “fake it ‘til I make it”... and all that kind of garbage. When I finally filed for my bankruptcy they were nowhere to be found to assist me with life after Amway.
The people at the top of the sponsorship tend to make a decent amount of income while those at the bottom levels of things really have to struggle to make ends meet. I suppose if you are really charismatic you might be able to sponsor a bunch of people and bring in a fair amount of money, but to really make it big, you need to have connections inside… since support is how you make things work when you can’t.