Greed Throughout Mary Kay

Written by A Mary Kay Husband

I read a particularly disturbing email from my wife’s NSD. In the National Sales Director’s “marching orders” for the upcoming months, the NSD referenced the name “Mary Kay” no less than 40 times. Can you imagine that? FORTY one-liners, listing the attributes of this God/lady/or company called “Mary Kay.”

Most of the page was used to blast your senses, and the rest of the page is for praising God, and giving him his due, or credit for past production, and the last part was the offer of prizes for some kind of carrot being offered. These “personnel” goodie points appeared to be gleaned from ordinary, annual evaluation reports most executives get plus some godlike features thrown in for icing —but 40 times—C’mon! And greed was at the heart of it.

Deep in the recesses of darker days I recall the most subtle of brainwashing techniques and how they worked. Believe me, repetition is the best tool in the devil’s workshop when he wants something of value from you. In war it’s usually intelligence, and in the MLM of MK it’s perfected to relieve you and your followers of your money for products that they don’t care what you do with.

The technique I’m referring to is called the “Water Torture.” I’m sure most have heard of this, but for those who haven’t, it’s quite simply this:

The prisoner is immobilized, and deprived of most sensory input. Then the subject has a dripping water pipe positioned right above his forehead. He will lay there for hours and sometimes days with this contraption dripping water droplets right in the middle of his forehead, all the while listening to a recorded message set to soft music that contains a message your interrogator wants you to believe. Granted, this is referred to as “soft torture” and your captor will resort to other physically damaging methods if this doesn’t work.

The longer you resist, the drops of water seem to get ever larger and become like a trip hammer to your head and psyche. The message you’re supposed to “get” increases to a volume level that makes you feel like your eardrums are being ruptured.

The foundation of these techniques can still be found in modern day advertising. How many of us hit the mute button whenever a commercial pops up on the tube. Just keep in mind, all you have to do is accept one “reward” or in turn do the same to others as what’s been done to you and you are hooked. Good brainwashing techniques can begin after you take the offered rewards for your cooperation, and you see things their way.

In my humble opinion, people in this pink MLM act almost like captives after a thorough indoctrination by their leadership. Otherwise good intelligent women are schmoozed into this diaphanous world and they can become somewhat zombie like if they don’t have intervention.

Ask yourself… Aren’t you, with whispered voices, promised that this indeed is a business of women, run by women, for women? And doesn’t this have great appeal for anyone who has ever suffered abuse on any level?

By their nurturing, nature pathos runs rampant among women in the ranks. Everyone relates to your “I” story, and how you “stuck it to the man.” (One of actor Dennis Hoppers favorite movie lines in the 60’s.)

The part that bothers me the most is the women who believe they’re being protected by MKC are actually “sticking it to each other.” I don’t know what kind of creature feeds on itself, but Mary Kay women do. Greed takes over. It is often so subtle that these women don’t recognize it. And they certainly wouldn’t ever ADMIT they’re motivated by greed.

Additionally, there was an offer of a reward for anyone who jumped through her hoops (increased purchases by a certain percent compared to last year). In the movie Wall Street Michael Douglas, in his role as a Wall Street mogul, announced to a group of stockholders that greed was good. This apparently is the lever the leadership in Mary Kay intends to impress upon their downline.

You pay for everything you do in Mary Kay. You pay real money for cheap, shiny trinkets and the promise of rewards. You personally pay for every prize at every level that you buy. You will be allowed to BUY every step you walk across in that company “stage.” The designer dresses, shoes, purses, accessories, the airplane fare, the hotel expense, food, buses, director suits – everything connected with “your stage walk” is paid for by you. And it is paid for by you because EVERY LEVEL OF THE PYRAMID requires it.

You pull your credit card out and authorize Mary Kay to charge it for everything from the time you step through the door of this corporation until the day you leave.

Hear me loud and clear – the company pays for nothing! You pay for everything. The revenue the company brings in is solely from you—you are their only source of income including the “compensatory” incentives brought about by you using the Mary Kay sources. Please remember that. Please remember that there is greed throughout this entire organization, and every bit of “advice” you receive is designed to get you to spend more, so they make more.


  1. Very well said! Only in MLM are you required to buy the company’s product personally to be eligible for your pay check!

    In traditional companies, cash flow is provided by outside customers. In MLMs like Mary Kay, the sales force pays for everything, including the cost of the product, but especially the bonuses of the up-line, and as OP points out, all the awards.

    Research shows that only 0.4% of MLMers can turn a profit. This translates to a minimum downline size of 249 people before you stop losing money. Those 249 must be losing money for the one to turn a profit. And that’s just not losing money. Just think of the size of the downline needed to net six figures!

    Just picture all of those downline losses. How do they justify it? “We’re helping women” they say. Let’s add the term “helping” to the list of words misused in MLM.

    • @DataJunkie, I witnessed this first hand. An NSD retired, and her Sales Director daughter (in my city) inherited all of her personal unit. Yes, having a unit of 300+ people does produce a nice, big paycheck!

      But at what cost??

  2. MK always pressed upon us that Corporate benevolently paid for commissions from their profit. The downline never had to pay their “leaders” for all the “free” “training” they were given.

    The question that is glaringly obvious from outside the Pink Fog, that was completely quashed inside of it, is WHERE DOES THE COMPANY GET THAT MONEY FROM IN THE FIRST PLACE??? For me, this is the key that unravels the whole mess. Corporate has no money other than what consultants give them, ostensibly to purchase products at “wholesale” price. Like the government redistributing tax money, they don’t have anything that we didn’t first give them!

    If it was all ours to begin with, then we the consultants were the ones that funded commissions paid to our uplines. We were the ones who bought the pink marble “debt-free” building that sits in Dallas. We were the ones who paid for cars, diamonds, and everything else that was given as a “prize” or “bonus.” And then we paid income taxes on all of it!

    I am disgusted with myself that I believed this mess. I’m humiliated that I convinced others of the reality of the mirage.

    • Excellent comment.

      “MK always pressed upon us that Corporate benevolently paid for commissions from their profit. WHERE DOES THE COMPANY GET THAT MONEY FROM IN THE FIRST PLACE???”—

      I’m with you. I find this so incredibly frustrating.

      “Corporate has no money other than what consultants give them,”—

      I’ve seen this explained away that it compares to any other corporation selling wholesale to stores. The difference, of course, is that those other corporations are not using the MLM system. I have to run, but does anyone wants to elaborate further on this? In case we have some lurkers.


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