Using Religion to Manipulate in Mary Kay

Written by Anonymous

Mary Kay consultants are vulnerable. They are told to follow the direction of their sales directors and sales directors. Those in leadership have an opportunity to manipulate these women, especially when it comes to religion and spirituality.

We’ve all seen them: brand new, giddy, starry-eyed Mary Kay consultants. They are full of hope, expectation, awe, and a little bit of fear at their first unit meeting or first big Mary Kay Cosmetics event. They are like sponges, ready and willing to absorb everything they hear.

And of course, they are told from day one to do everything their director tells them to do.

Because of this vulnerability, I believe the new consultant elevates her director to an unhealthy level, and most times, the director is happy to become whatever that consultant thinks she is… pastor, preacher, teacher, mother, grandmother, best friend, business partner, or even…..should I say it? GOD.

There are some women who come into Mary Kay with their spiritual identity firmly intact, and nothing their director or national says would influence their beliefs anyway. These women, unfortunately, are the minority.

The vast majority of women who join MK need something more, and most often it’s a spiritual filling that they’re longing for. It all starts at the interview. “God first, Family second, and Career third. Isn’t it great that Mary Kay allows us to keep our priorities in order while making money?” First seed planted. Now the watering begins…

The prayers at the unit meetings. The prayers for production. Even prayers TO Mary Kay Ash the woman. Then the countless I-stories from women who were homeless, bankrupt, in jail, or on drugs, who turned to Mary Kay and found God!

Don’t get me wrong here. It is entirely possible that God has used Mary Kay to bring many women to Him. I firmly believe that God will use WHATEVER necessary to bring us to a closer relationship with Him. He will use anybody, any situation, or any company to get our attention.

God is no respecter of persons, so I don’t imagine He’s any respecter of MLMs either. Have you ever heard a National or a top director declare “This is an anointed company.” or “God has His hand on this company.” or “When I get to heaven I know Mary Kay will be there waiting for me.”?

Sick stuff. It’s not Mary Kay the company that is “anointed” or “special” or “holy”. It is the GOD of the universe that may have used certain people in this company for His glory. Period.

You know, for me, it really boils down to the separation of church and state. I don’t want government interfering in my personal religious freedom in any way, shape or form. My spirituality is mine alone, and although this country was founded on Christian values and principles, I reserve my right to believe whatever I want. If I want to believe that my favorite house plant is my God, then so be it. (I’m a Christian, by the way, so don’t anyone start praying for me.)

Although Mary Kay is a private company and therefore not subject to the separation of church and state per se, I believe they have a responsibility to stop manipulating its sales force with religion. Case in point: Stacy James. I think Stacy is smart, attractive, and obviously very successful in her Mary Kay business. I have nothing against her personally.

What I resent, however, is her narcissistic assumption that every woman at seminar this past year actually wanted to listen to her go on and on and on about her spiritual beliefs, her new church, her pastor and his wife, and their decision to move from Nebraska to Oklahoma.

And I must confess; at the time I ate it up! I got the warm fuzzies and goosebumps as she owned that stage. (She really is a dynamic speaker.) But looking back, I realize that I had no choice! I had spent over $1000 to attend Seminar to get training so that I might further advance myself up the career path.

But, no. I heard more spiritual nonsense during my 4 days in Dallas than I did any type of real training. However, I did come home very well indoctrinated in the Gospel according to Pastor Stacy James! (Kind of like “But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night!) Stacy’s “name it and claim it” rendition of the gospel coupled with her newfound passion for “The Secret” movie can be an intoxicating mix for many spiritually vulnerable consultants.

Stacy is entitled to believe what she wants. But when she passes it on and holds it up as necessary for moving up in Mary Kay, I call this spiritual abuse. She, among others, are taking scripture and God, and twisting them to elicit more loyalty from their sales force. I don’t think Stacy has an intentional, malicious plan in place to do this. I just think that she, like many other NSDs, has become too powerful, too influential, and too important in Mary Kay. I believe that these Nationals actually believe that they have been “called” to share the Good News. And maybe a few of them have. But it’s when they take scripture, and twist it to meet THEIR needs, that it becomes dangerous and disgusting.

But Stacy is not the only one. She just happens to be one of the most obvious. This spiritual “mentorship” happens at all levels every single day in the Mary Kay world. We’ve all seen it, been a part of it, or even doled it out a few times ourselves.

As a director, I never intentionally manipulated my unit to order or to recruit, but peppering my “training” with intimations of God and scripture were probably manipulation enough! But I was just doing as I had been taught. It starts at the top and trickles down.

And Corporate sits back and smiles, doing nothing to stop it. Why should they? There’s no better way to get women to order than to use God! It’s all about their bottom line. Cha-ching! Until women stand up and say “No thanks” to the latest and greatest spiritual “wisdom” from the top, this will continue. Find a healthy, well-balanced church to attend instead of leaving your spiritual growth in the hands of a Mary Kay National Sales Director.


  1. BestDecision

    The Prayer of Jabez, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyers. I read them all because I was told I wasn’t letting God work through me. And then He gave me the guts to resign and send my product back. And all those religious people that claimed to really care about me? Not one peep from them since I left. How’s that for the Golden Rule?

  2. Debbie

    Um, my director started and invited me to a Bible study she was leading, cool but then one morning she texted me and the other participants that she had to cancel that day’s study, ok that’s fine, life happens. But then at a weekly meeting she mentioned how she did a skin care class for another consultant and hmm, I figured out she blew off Bible study to help out a consultant.

  3. Neverpink

    I have an honest question – what do Mary Kay consultants do with atheist or non-Christian recruits? Are they less likely on average to try and recruit them, or do they simply not use the “God first, family second, career third” talking point? Not trying to be offensive or anything, I’m just genuinely curious!

    1. MLM Radar

      If you have a credit card and can fog a mirror, your Mary Kay sales director has a script to use on you. Period. Religion is just another tool they use.

      If you’re unchurched but open to the idea and they can get you to buy into the Mary Kay god-vision, all the better. Being unchurched you’re not likely to have enough religious training to recognize the false prophets proclaiming false profits.

      1. Neverpink

        That makes complete sense. For whatever reason, I thought religion was a huge part of Mary Kay, but you’re right – it’s just another tool they use. Thank you for the clarification!

        1. enorth

          “it’s just another tool they use”

          Some of them have quite a large box of tools. They’ll try Scripture. If that’s not you, they’ll try self-help babble. Sometimes they will use them together. One minute it’s God, the next sentence it’s the “Universe”, your “inner-being”, “positive energy”, or whatever tickles your ear and makes you pull out your credit card for your next order or the next MK event.

          The NSDs do it, and the “up and coming” underlings follow. They parrot NSDs’ language, scripts, looks, and mannerisms. When you look at their YouTube Channels and their “liked” videos include everything from church services and worship-ministry events to Og Mandino, The Secret, affirmations, and Tony Robbins…well…it goes with what the article mentions about consultants seeing their SD (or NSD) as pastor, preacher, teacher, mother, grandmother, best friend, business partner, etc. It’s truly cult-like.


    2. SAH

      Im an athiest, but my unit, although filled with very religious members, was not heavy handed.

      I understand the sentiment, so it didn’t bother me and since religion was not shoved in my face I found the meetings very welcoming.

  4. MLM Radar

    The line which absolutely upsets me is “I took God as my business partner.” I have to respond with, “Why would God take YOU as a business partner?”

    Oh, I get the part about God loves her, and wants to help her, and forgives her. But did she ever read the next part: “Go forth and STOP doing this stuff”??? So here she is, lying, manipulating, misleading, blaming, shunning… pleading for help and then despising those who she hurts…

    Yet she says God is her business partner, which carries the message that God approves of these tactics. For some strange reason, I suspect that isn’t true.

    When you take a business partner, divine or human, you have to live up to the partnership agreement. If you don’t, then everything you say is just empty.

    1. ran4fun

      I could be wrong, but I always thought business partners were “equal”. Not necessarily the same “roles” but equal standing. Neither one “above” the other. In my opinion, a better place for God would be CEO and CFO.

      I do take issue with this line from the OP:
      “There are some women who come into Mary Kay with their spiritual identity firmly intact, and nothing their director or national says would influence their beliefs anyway.” …
      … not in the case of my loved one. She is one of the most devout and spiritually grounded persons I know. The fact that she cannot see through the spiritual manipulation is testimony to the power of cult-like indoctrination.

  5. Stephanie Kilian

    What I don’t like is that people in leadership or quasi leadership roles in a religion, such as a minister’s wife, invites women in her church to “participate” in selling Mary Kay, as a way fundamentalist Christian SAHM, can “earn” extra income.

    SCAM! Then, it is all about building an inventory to be able to sell more. SCAM!

    Spend more, taking advantage of people who really are susceptible to a person in authority in their church. It is a huge boundary issue, and should be against the rules of the religion for members to sell MLM to other members.

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