While browsing through Cult information sites I was surprised to hear of "commercial" cults, a label sometimes applied to direct marketing and
distribution networks like Amway or Herbalife. I wonder whether this discription is at all fair. But then I recalled going for a job "interview"
with an unkown telemarketing group. They took 20 of us for the presentation, so they were obvioulsy focused on constant recruitment. The business
was in a delapidated building and the operation looked like it could be packed up over-night. They claimed not to have a website, and the commision
pay was for getting people to attend a presentation concerning a time-share holiday club. Especially as I was working towards a degree, I was quite
disappointed when I didn't get the job. It later turned out that they were under an umbrella company operating a scam. More recently we were
approached by really aggro sales-ladies flogging a range of make-up "from the stars". Luckily we didn't fall for it, but I read on sites concerming
the Victoria Jackson range that the sales-people are naive youngsters, lured with false promises of a high income and management positions. They spend
up to ten hours a day, often for minimal income on commision only. Here in South Africa this brand is new, but in the UK it seems well established. I
wonder if I should approach these young ladies with some of the information I gathered? But who knows, some people are making money from Herbalife and
so forth? Is it even fair to speak of a "commercial cult"? They do seem kinda brainwashed, and they are totally committed.
Rick Ross defines a commercial cult rather cautiously, with a mighty general disclaimer on his Cult News site:
"Can some multi-level-marketing and commercial schemes be seen as somewhat cultic?
Yes, some commercially motivated groups stress total commitment, avoid answering critical questions and seem to employ "cult like" manipulative
techniques to achieve what can be seen as undue influence. Though most lack the intense focus upon a central leader like a classic cult, I have
received repeated complaints about alleged abuse within some commercial groups.
People considering multi-level-marketing need to research a company thoroughly and ask tough questions.
Is the company about selling a product or selling its system of distribution? This can often be seen by the emphasis it places upon the importance of
What amount of the company's income is derived from promotional tools and/or percentages paid up the chain of distribution, as opposed to product
What is the actual net monthly income for the average distributor and the the typical number of hours devoted to achieve that income?
These are important common sense questions that should be clearly answered and objectively proven before becoming involved with any marketing and/or
commercial sales group." (www.rickross.com...
Victoria Jackson make-up (see Victoria Jackson: Enough already at Beaut.ie - The Irish Beauty blog www.beaut.ie...
) seems to be a bit of
a mixed bag. Some customers seem happy, although the sales pitch is a lie: the products are made in China and not used by Hollywood stars, they are
not vastly reduced in price, they will not be introduced into major retailers, they are talc based with little pigment and not hypoallergenic
(allegedly far from it). Yet everyone has a sale pitch, and surely the sales-people will leave when they see the light?
Should one make an effort to "deprogram" workers in commerical cults?
[edit on 21-11-2009 by halfoldman]
[edit on 22-11-2009 by halfoldman]