I’ve seen WeWork. I’ve seen Theranos. I’ve seen the NXIVM stuff. I’ve watched the Netflix series UnWell.
I know this story already… but I still cannot look away. These people are TOO FASCINATING.
Here’s where we veer into some utter fuckery, though. Founder of LuLaRoe, DeAnne Stidham, says this:
“I wanted to start something to give women an opportunity… to be able to give something to their families, give back to their husbands.”
umm… ex-squeeze me? Aren’t these women raising the children and handling the whole household so Daddy can go off and work? Aren’t they “giving” enough? Until we start valuing domestic work, “women’s” work, things like LuLaRoe will always have a foothold.
THEN there’s the whole nefarious #retireyourhusband gambit:
“I knew that they were just wanting him to quit his job so we would have all our eggs in one basket. We would be indebted to them forever.”
And yeah… there’s all the normal rich-person culty BS. The product starts deteriorating, the home office claims there’s no problem:
Mark Stidham: “We did not have a huge problem with wet leggings. We have the highest quality control in the industry”
And DeAnne just has this weird blank smile the whole time. It’s unnerving.
Dirty delete, deny, gaslight. Mark & DeAnne hold these “calls” where they shove their faces right up into the camera to berate & abuse their team:
<imitating a baby whiny voice> “my leggings are stale! NO, YOU’RE STALE!!!!”
sick burn, Mark.
If you complain or criticize then you are taking on a “victim mentality”:
“It works if you work it, and I guess you weren’t working hard enough.”
“After I left everyone was told… to have no association with me or they would be terminated.”
At the end, a LuLaRoe defender says this:
“If LuLaRoe were to be found guilty then I feel that every direct sales company should be investigated as well. Because I’ve never seen LulaRoe do something that other companies haven’t done.”
^^ YES, EXACTLY! THAT IS EXACTLY THE POINT! THEY ALL DO THIS SHIT!
Samantha Pollack writes creative copy (mostly emails) for feminist companies and/or thought leaders who are working to build a fairer, more connected culture. She’s also the founder of The Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur, a 6-week course that helps HSP business owners create healthier, more sustainable systems in their work.
She publishes frequent essays on feminism, privilege, pop culture, entrepreneurship, the creative process, and more on her website, cultofpersonality.co. She currently lives in Asheville, NC, and while she can *technically* work from anywhere, she prefers her adventures laptop-free.
Emails for cult thought leaders.
Want to learn how to craft emails that inspire action and engagement WITHOUT the “tried and true” (cough: patriarchal) norms we’ve all been taught?
I’m doing it, and I can show you how to do it, too.
(But sometimes, I also like to write about the books I’m reading, or the creative process, or the entrepreneurial experience, or why I hate Steve Jobs, or how I met my BFF. I’ll send you emails like that, too.)
*Just kidding. It’s only an email list.
Books. Cats. Rants. Drawrings.
(and every couple months or so, an unexplained absence 🤷🏻)