Cultish by Amanda Montell

I think almost everyone I know has had a brush with pyramid sales multi-level marketing (MLM). Has a ‘friend’ tried to sell you a cleaning cloth, vitamins (that make you thin AND rich), or suggested an evening with girlfriends, trying bras on in the comfort of your lounge room? My standard response is that I’m happy to buy something from a catalogue to support them but there will be no parties (hosting or attending). I loathe the sales pitch that must be endured at these events.

I picked up Amanda Montell’s book, Cultish, because I was interested in her classification of MLM as a ‘cult’. Some might consider that a stretch, but Montell provides evidence and also examines other groups that we traditionally think of as cults such as Heaven’s Gate, Scientology, and The Family, as well as modern, ‘socially acceptable’ cults such as SoulCycle and Peloton. The core of her thesis is that one thing unites these groups – language. Continue reading