"Subject : Another Kind Of Cult - Traveling Sales Crews
Your Message : My nephew got caught up in another sort of cult - the traveling sales crew. The young adults are often a bit adrift, no marketable job skills and they see an ad in a newspaper promising fun and big money if you join their "team." These kids have to make a decision right away! The team is leaving soon! They get shipped off to some other part of the country where they know no-one. They are never alone. They have "sales meetings" every morning, lots of manipulation, threats, and coercion. If the kid doesn't sell enough sketchy home energy plans as in the case of my nephew, they will not be allowed to eat, or they will often get left behind thousands of miles from home. The team leaders pocket the money and the kids only get a pittance and often go home with the same amount of nothing the started out with. The brainwashing techniques are similar to what you shared in you video. Amway and other personal selling pyramid schemes also take on a cult like feel as well."
In a report by the anti-trafficking charity Polaris, entitled "Knocking at Your Door: Labor Trafficking on Traveling Sales Crews provides an in-depth analysis of the factors that allow this crime to persist and encourages greater understanding of the extensive abuses within the industry.
The report makes several recommendations, including:
- Congress should amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in order to cover door-to-door sales,
- The Federal Government should investigate abuses of the J-1 visa program
- Law enforcement should pursue bad actors at the top of the sales network instead of focusing on crew members violating local anti-solicitation laws,
- Service organizations should recognize crew members as victims of labor trafficking so they can receive support,
- The publishing industry should ensure transparent business supply chains in their magazine sales, and
- Consumers should use caution when buying magazines or other items from sales crews."
The F.A..C.T. Team