The Danger of MLM in Church
Written by The Scribbler
This article is designed to show church leaders of all denominations how the recruiting practices of multi-level marketing companies like Mary Kay are stumbling blocks to the spiritual growth and faith of their parishioners. I encourage you to e-mail this article to the leaders of your chosen house of worship (anonymously if you wish), along with a link to pinktruth.com should they desire to learn more.
“This is serious,” the pastor’s wife said sternly. “I know lots of godly women who do Mary Kay. They’re not going to Hell, are they?”
“No,” I replied.
She continued, her voice escalating with each question. “They’re not sinning by doing Mary Kay, are they? They’re not doing anything wrong by being in Mary Kay, are they?”
I didn’t take the pastor’s wife’s words personally; deep down, I knew that the mixture of shock and standoffishness she’d projected stemmed from a simple lack of knowledge. I explained to her that I was writing a book on Mary Kay and had discovered a practice that was sickeningly far from anything Christ would endorse. I added that while women were not going to Hell or sinning by being in Mary Kay, they were actively engaging in something that had great potential to cripple or God forbid, shut down their spiritual growth. The practice I was referring to was recruiting.
Also known as “team building” and “sharing the opportunity,” nearly every aspect of recognition and advancement in Mary Kay hinges on recruiting. No pink Cadillacs are driven, no promotions are awarded, and no commission checks are gained unless beauty consultants convince other women to join the fold. One Mary Kay training document reminds its readers of the importance of recruiting over sales: “Sales is the instant money, but recruiting is your future and your retirement!”
Since critical factors like one’s future and retirement depend on one’s recruitment of others, one may be able to see how easily recruiting can be corrupted. Think about it: a single “No, thanks, I’m not interested,” could pulverize a consultant’s chances of getting promoted. Therefore, in a frenzied attempt to avert such outcomes, a tool is used that works to keep the “yes” answers coming: the recruiting script. This is where Mary Kay’s pink rivers turn very dark.
Written by individuals in leadership positions and varying widely in content and delivery, recruiting scripts are designed to overcome any and every objection a woman may have regarding Mary Kay. Their deceptive and manipulative tactics include (and are definitely not limited to) the following:
- Emotional appeals/body language: “Look your prospect right in the eyes. Touch her arm. Have a SINCERE look on your face and FEEL that sincerity in your heart, and say with conviction, “You’d be great doing what I do!”
- Guilt: “I believe Mary Kay comes into our lives when we need it the most. How long can you afford NOT to make money? What if something happened to your husband – could you support your family?”
- The “Hail Mary”: Used when a target won’t budge and you needed a recruit yesterday. “No matter what your potential recruit answers, the magic words are, “That’s exactly why you need Mary Kay!” Whether you have too much money or too little, whether you have ten children or a single Chihuahua; whether you’re as shaggy as Cookie Monster or bald as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, it doesn’t matter: “That’s exactly why you need Mary Kay!”
- The “Your Husband’s a Shallow Brute” Technique: Suppose a woman shows an interest in doing Mary Kay, but hasn’t had a chance to discuss the idea, the $100 startup fee, or the initial inventory order, (which can spike as high as $4800) with her husband. According to this script, some circumventing and a bit of womanly wiles are all that’s needed: “Let’s fill out the paperwork, get your check, and I’ll hold it for a day until you have had time to talk to your husband. I’ll bet with your charm, you usually can persuade him to your way of thinking, right?”
It pains my heart to know that there are thousands upon thousands of women – women endeavoring to put God first in their lives and walk out the teachings of Jesus Christ – willingly participating in these silver-tongued shenanigans. These beauty consultants are being reassured by their leaders that their recruiting efforts are “enriching women’s lives,” and many are told that what they are doing is fulfilling God’s plan for their lives. After all, Mary Kay’s motto is “God First, Family Second, Career Third,” so women who join do so believing that their relationship with God will flourish as they recruit women and to a lesser extent, sell product. Oh, if only this were the case!
Attempting to put God’s stamp of approval on an entity that schools its women in manipulation is a dangerous game. Resolving to recruit others in their endless quest for recognition and financial freedom, Christian women in Mary Kay may eventually find that they’re experiencing confusion and condemnation; things they believe to be coming from the God they serve, especially when “valley experiences” occur. Consider the gravity of this former Mary Kay director’s testimony:
“I heard over and over how women would die and would have to face God and Mary Kay Ash. I started questioning Mary Kay; but since I have blended Mary Kay and God, I was, in fact, questioning God. Why is God punishing me? Why would He not allow me success in Mary Kay? What did I do wrong? I am going to hell for sure.”
If that isn’t heartbreaking enough, let me show you what happens when confusion is ignored, allowing it to pervert a woman’s faith by perverting her perception of God. Chew on this motivational e-mail sent to consultants via a woman in top leadership; “Seminar” is Mary Kay’s annual awards bash and the pinnacle of every good consultant’s year:
“God has been waiting, very patiently, for you to put on a “Give me more, you can’t touch this, you SO need to meet me” attitude that will absolutely dazzle Him…He will want you to account for yourself. Seminar is the place where He can nod his head and say, “You’ve done well.” Or can you see Him shaking his head in disappointment…again?”
That blatant twisting of doctrine should make you want to twist together a whip and flip over a few temple tables, friend. Despite its wholesome, bubbly, god-fearing façade, Mary Kay Cosmetics is little more than a whitewashed tomb; gleaming on the outside, full of dead men’s bones within. I implore you as a fellow Christian to educate yourself and your congregation regarding this prowling pink lion – the spiritual maturity of your women depends on it.