There’s been a slow wave of sales cults erupting in the western world and it’s one of those things that you wouldn’t really notice until you or a family member succumbs to them. You see the members everywhere, on the streets, near your roads, knocking your doors. They’re usually selling something – cheaper broadband, charity, apps, you name it, they’re selling it. They’re also quite charming, great at the art of the sale and part of one of the biggest scams that is somehow allowed to spread.
You’re probably wondering how the cult continues to function and spread without any legal action, well, they change the name of their companies every few years and don’t have a HR department. The lack of paper trail between employees and the ‘owner’ also makes it difficult to prove that they’re scamming people.
They also work with real clients that are respectable and actually do offer the service they’re selling – the scam isn’t at the heart of the sale, it’s at the heart of
They ask you to come in for an interview hours after applying for the job
Applying for jobs in this day and age involves a lot of effort wading through job adverts and hitting ‘click reply’, it gets to the point that you’ve applied for so many that when they eventually do respond you’ve forgotten which company and role it was for. However if they reply instantly it’s usually a weird sign, yeh we get the automatic ‘we’re looking into your CV email’, but no one offers you an interview within hours of applying – that’s just weird.
They also usually offer you the interview for the following day. It’s not the offer of an interview thats the warning sign, it’s the sense of urgency and desperation that you should look out for.
The interview is also usually split in two stages, the first one with the manager, the second is an ‘observation’ day with a team leader – if it’s for door to door they usually let you know to wear comfortable shoes, but won’t give you a reason why,
They offer you a ‘once in a life time oppurtunity’
Whether it’s during the first or second stage of the interview, at some point they’ll call the role a ‘once in a life time opportunity’. That’s the line they use to suck you in and keep you working there. That it’s not just a job, that it’s a platform to help you achieve your dreams. whether it’s making loads of money, supporting your family or running your own business – for a lot of people it’s all three, and those people are usually fucked over the most.
They give you a pitch on how to explain the job to your family and friends
Once the job is offered to you, after a whole day of being out in the rain or ditched in a coffee shop doing tasks and repeatedly told to fight for the role (spoiler alert – everyone gets the job), they then give you a lovely way of explaining the job to your friends and family. Since they see their common sense as a threat to their possible new cult member they have many ways of answering the most commonly asked questions and even have multiple scripts for it.
They isolate you from your life outside of the job
The one thing that separates a sales cult from a normal job is the need for the role to be your everything. They require complete dedication to their ideology and will spend the first few weeks moulding the newbies into giving their 150% to the role. It’s done through isolation to begin with, by ensuring that you spend all of your time in work and outside of work with them. Whether it’s through networking, living with them and even just spending a lot of time messaging one another – the role becomes your life and everything else takes a sideline.
They also spend a lot of time doing morning meetings and ‘opportunity meetings’ which essentially drive in their warped mentality that this role is the only way to achieve your dreams, and they’ll find their 18 year old manager to prove it.
Condemning 9-5’ers/Regular brainwashing sessions
Yep, you read that one right, they spend a lot of time condemning people who work 9-5’s, and people who also go to university. The idea is that their way is better, by putting in the 12+ hours a day for 6 days a week, they’re building a future with money, power and an early retirement. The thing they forget to mention is that this isn’t for everyone, and the process is rigged to begin with, but by condemning 9-5ers they make anyone who wants that future a ‘neg’, a ‘sell out’ and through the negative connotations the new people begin to parrot their ideals and become well and truly brainwashed.
There’s a lot more ways to tell if you’re in a sales cult but these ones are the major red flags. Other small ones are business trips that you have to pay to go to, a lack of a HR department, lots of chanting/screaming and a general atmosphere of ‘you’re either with us or against us’. If you ever join one and progress to a leadership role, look out for the ritual humiliation as well – that’s a big one.