How is ISIS like a MLM Cult?
According to Scott Atran, an advisor to UN and the White House as anthropologist, explained that most ISIS fighters genuinely believe they are fighting for a "great cause", i.e. establishing a Caliphate, and generally it is the people in their 20's that were enticed by promises of glory, adventure, and purpose. They also believe that world is a disaster, peaceful change is not possible, self-sacrifice is honorable, ends justifies the means, and utopia is possible. ISIS recruit by leveraging idealism in naive young people already ostracized from society.
Now think about how MLM cults leverage a very similar mindset... MLM cult believers genuinely believe they are building a better world by spreading the "great product and great opportunity" among the masses. Many MLM cult believers do believe they cannot succeed in a regular job market. Indeed, that is a mantra often repeated in MLM cults, like "J.O.B. = just over broke" and so on, and MLM promises glory (recognition for accomplishments), adventure (travel all over, often exotic places) and purpose (spread the gospel of prosperity). There's also belief that traditional job CANNOT allow one to be financially secure, and utopia (financial freedom) is possible. In many ways, MLM cult preys on idealism of people who can't get a regular job (often through no fault of their own) and ostracized from society.
- Both ISIS and MLM cult tell followers to believe in a great cause
- Both ISIS and MLM cult promise followers glory, adventure, and purpose
- Both ISIS and MLM cult tell followers world is a disaster
- Both ISIS and MLM cult tell followers existing ways do not work
- Both ISIS and MLM cult tell followers utopia is achievable
- Both ISIS and MLM cult leverage idealism in people
It's scary how similar they sound, if you break it all down and get to the core message.