Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pink Truth: Mary Kay Lies - a mini-series (Part 1 of 7) Mary Kay Exploits Christianity for Monetary Gain

Pink Truth (the website that smears Mary Kay) has a very interesting, if liberal, definition of "truth". I doubt if anyone that has read here long has any doubt about the contempt I hold for the standards that website holds for conveying "truth".

So what happens when a weblog that plays loose with the truth starts slinging accusations about rampant lies? (sounds like the lead-in blurb about an upcoming TV sitcom) Intrigued? I hope so, because we are going to spend the next several days talking about the so called lies, manufactured or otherwise, that Pink Truth would like you to believe that Mary Kay tells.

Tonight, by way of introduction to this concept (and the ensuing conversation I hope it will spark) lets look at Pink Truth's explanation to us of just how credible it is to allege that lies are being told in Mary Kay.

Although Tracy has gotten better at giving credit to her guest posters, one can never be too sure whether or not she "forgot" to give credit... so, barring any later revelations, this is from Tracy:

"I thought it would be fun to tell you about some of my favorite lies told in Mary Kay. Lies? Lies, you say? But you thought Mary Kay was a “Christian” company!

Wrong! It’s a company that exploits Christianity for monetary gain. By spouting things about Christianity, they get women off their guard. Their defenses are lowered, and they’re more likely to believe the lies they’re told."

Now, I really want to hear your thoughts on this, but I would like to take a moment to make a few personal observations.

First of all, I strongly disagree with any assertion of "Christianity" being applied to inanimate objects.

A Christian company
A Christian song
A Christian band

A "Christian", by definition, is a person, no? Carried out further, a person that "follows Christ", right? So, do some people (in and out of Mary Kay) refer to Mary Kay as a "Christian" company? Of course. Does that make it a given? Does that mean that everyone in Mary Kay is a Christian? Of course not.

Was Mary Kay founded on Christian principles? Are some (or many) of Mary Kay's core values guided by Christian values? It sure seems that way.

My question is, "What does this have to do with a discussion about rampant deception in a company?"

Wouldn't lies be bad whether or not the company was "Christian"?
Isn't it possible that a company aiming to uphold Christian values be capable of lies?

Now this, in and of itself, is not really very shocking. (considering the source) It irritates me, yes, but, really, Pink Truth is hardly the first or only people to mock someone that tries to put Christian principles into practical application and they certainly won't be the last. However, what changes this from a minor irritation (like the rash you get as a result of chafing) to something worth committing an entire post to, is the second part of this "introduction".

For the sake of emphasis, I will quote it again:

"Wrong! It’s a company that exploits Christianity for monetary gain. By spouting things about Christianity, they get women off their guard. Their defenses are lowered, and they’re more likely to believe the lies they’re told."

Using the "It's a Christian company" line as a segue, they tell the most insidious lie in the Pink Truth handbook. "Mary Kay exploits Christianity for monetary gain."

This has been discussed in other places, and undoubtedly, there are people that fit this accusation. However, consider the person that holds their beliefs and values so highly that they make an effort to incorporate them in their business dealing. When they approach a potential recruit (for the sake of argument, let's assume that this potential recruit holds similar values in similarly high esteem... how else would they be "exploitable"?), they encourage them, as they would like to be encouraged... to pray about it, to ask God for guidance, and whether this would be a good direction for them to take. Pink Truth would have you believe that this person is exploiting Christianity for monetary gain. And not just this person. Mary Kay as a company is doing this. How, you may ask. "By spouting things about Christianity..."

Here's the problem with this "theory".

A God-fearing, Bible-believing Christian is not going to be taken in by someone "spouting things about Christianity".

Anyone that doesn't identify as "Christian" is even less likely to be taken in by "things-about-Christianity" spouting.

So, who exactly is Mary Kay using Christianity to exploit for monetary gain?

What are your thoughts? Does Mary Kay exploit Christianity for monetary gain? If so, how? Can anyone explain this to me?


  1. Will have to come back when I have more time to do this justice but quickly, as a long time reader of pt, I see them use the very same principles that they accuse MK of and yet, are Christians not suppose to be judging?

    The longer I read pt, the more the word hypocracy is shouted. If you want to criticize others for doing something wrong maybe you should not then blantantly support wrong doing on the site that is complaining about what others do wrong.

    Here is just one piece of evidence from their post yesterday.
    So I guess two wrongs do make a right?? These posts actually encourage someone to do something wrong and then justifies it.
    So I guess it is okay to do something wrong as long as you are benefiting from it?? Note: noone says, hey, it is wrong.

    What's the old saying, you should watch who you point your finger at because there will be 4 pointing back at you?

    lightershadeofpink said:
    Ebay question: Is there a way to sell on ebay where no one can trace you? I'd like to unload most of my inventory and then keep only what I use and my best customers use. Is this possible without MK corpse finding out who I am?
    report abusevote downvote up

    Tue 26 Aug 04:24
    Votes: +0
    Janet Sinclair said:
    We live in a free market society. I see Mary Kay products on ebay all the time.
    report abusevote downvote up

    Tue 26 Aug 04:32
    Votes: +0
    lightershadeofpink said:
    I worry about being identified by selling on ebay. For instance, I know I can't list my hometown because MK corpse would be able to trace me since there are no other consultants in my area (I live in a remote location). If I send an ebay package to someone who has purchased my products and I put my return address on the box then I can be traced. Also, if I give my address as a place to send a payment check, I can also be traced. Is there a way to do this so I can't be traced and be kicked out of MK?
    report abusevote downvote up

    Tue 26 Aug 04:53
    Votes: +0
    Janet Sinclair said:
    You can set up a post office box or a box at one of those mail places. Payments from ebay can go into a paypal account. Just don't put your actual name on the account

    Again, in a free market, you can sell whatever you want, where ever you want, to whomever you want. This all is contingent upon your goods being legal. And, from what I'm reading MK is packed with lies, so go make some money.

    I'm curious, does your "agreement" say anything about ebay?
    report abusevote downvote up

    Tue 26 Aug 05:06
    Votes: +0
    sassy0930 said:
    yes, the agreement does make it against the rules to sell on Ebay. It certainly can be done, but you do run the risk of having your contract terminated.
    report abusevote downvote up

    Tue 26 Aug 05:43
    Votes: +0
    ShabbyinPink said:

    Give the product to your husband, sister, friend, etc. and have them sell it for you. Give them a small percentage of the sales for their trouble - this would be like selling the product to them, making everything very MK-legal and ethical. There is NOTHING wrong with selling on Ebay. You provide a valuable service to those who can't pay full-price (or don't want to deal with a consultant) and you get peace of mind by unloading your inventory.

    Hope that helps.

    report abusevote downvote up
    hmmmm.... so PT is going to condone how to cheat the system?

  2. mk4me, I hear what you're saying. A lot of things pop into my head, from, maybe they're trying to keep an active consultant around in the hopes of "defogging" her, to maybe they just want to live vicariously through the active consultant trying to beat the system.

    I notice this type of "tit-for-tat' thing occurring is in direct proportion to how "wronged" a poster feels along with the length of time a poster has been out of Mary Kay. Actually, a lot of these questions are asked by women still in Mary Kay who are trying to beat the system. Have you noticed that?

    The upside of this to the active Mary Kay community is that, if Mary Kay is indeed reading PT, they can see the struggles some consultants are having and the ways they're going about "having" to deal with them.

    IMO, I think Mary Kay should be very clear about who should be having the final say about what's in a store and allow consultants, in certain circumstances (discontinuance of a product/line,) to return product they can't sell, but at a discount. Like what a liquidator does. But instead of Mary Kay reselling the items to a secondary market, they could control the surplus by either disposing of it completely or giving it away to women shelters, etc.. That way the price of the product the active consultant is trying to sell her inventory for isn't devalued and she gets some money for something she can't flip. Mary Kay still wins. They get to look like a good Samaritan (especially great for the sales force) and they can still write-off the loss.

  3. Does MK exploit women? No. The company DOES however, employ people who do that. Do they know about it? I doubt if the ones at the very top know everything about the ones at the very bottom. BUT, the directors should know what their units are doing and report any wrong doing. And the nationals should know what their directors are doing and report it. Oh, wait, sometimes it is the nationals and the directors exploiting. Then, what? Does MKC lose money by terminating? Is that good business sense?

    And as long as nationals and directors keep calling MK a christian company and then turn around and abuse their postions then MKC will be accused of using christianity to exploit women. And isn't it usually the so called christian companies doing the wrong? It's never a shock anymore when a high profile preacher gets caught with a prostitute, or money laundering. Now, when I hear christian company, I stop listening and start looking for the exit.

  4. mk4me: I can't believe you posted the Ebay string! I read that last night and I literally saw in a cartoon! You're so right! What hypocrits! What are they, some priestesses of cosmetic ethics?

    "I'm curious, does your "agreement" say anything about ebay?" LIKE SHE DOESN'T KNOW!?!

    This really really gets me. It's like people selling cheap knockoffs of name brand purses in Chinatown. "oh...what's the harm?"
    MK purposefully chooses to protect it's consultants and the brand, and there on Pink "Truth" they're giving out advice they know will harm this woman, just to screw with honest, hard working consultants for the deluded ideal of bringing down a 45 year old company who's easy-to-sell products they apparently couldn't sell? How pathetic!

    As for exploiting Christianity, I refuse to judge other people's faith and those that do have no right either. How can anyone know another's heart? My director isn't Christian, nor is her director. I'm a faithful Catholic, we're not the types that get talk loudly about our faith, and I've been surprised at some MK events where I thought they were pretty evangelical...but it was SINCERE, not exploitative. I strongly feel that MK has encouraged me to pray for guidance, strength and help..and so? Is that wrong? Is it wrong to ask God for help when I've got a hefty mortgage, a son and 4 animals to feed?

  5. Mary Kay is not a Christian company. It happened to be started by a woman who was a Christian.

    We can go back and forth about who said what to whom, and how the message got wrangled in translation and which directors or national directors are misrepresenting the company.

    What WE must do is change these inconsistencies through OUR actions. That's why this board is helpful. My Director is amazing - she leaves nothing out of the intitial interview - inventory, website, propay - all those "extras" that people feel "roped" in to when they join up. She is even respectful of those women who want to join, are excited to join, and would sign on the bottom line right now only their husband is out of town and they would really like to discuss it with him. It is a person with integrity who will say, "Yes, let's chat again after you discuss this new business with your family."

    It CAN be done correctly.

    So, those of us here, reading this and running our businesses, must be the one's to begin the change. WE must now take resonsibility and run our businesses with ethics and honesty.

    We have a few Muslim women in our unit. I think they would be surprised to hear this is a Christian company. Yes, Mary Kay was a Christian. Yes, the "Golden Rule" is essentially scripture, but the company itself is inherently Christian.

    Faith, Family, Career . . . to ME it means Jesus, Family, MK - but to others in my unit it means something else. I do ask God to help me be a steward of my finances and my time . . . that would include this business. I felt that He called me into starting. Why would I leave Him out now?

    I know this was quite the hodge podge of a reply - not well crafted, but I need to run . . .

  6. Arabella, the Company does,and over the last few months Mk has terminated over 900 director and consultant agreements for breeching their contracts. And I am sure this was not profitable for them because when the Company terminates them, the (ex) consultant can use the buyback option. They are only scratching the tip of the iceberg and they will continue to terminate those violating their agreements and I say good for them. If some of us are willing to work ethically and play by the rules, those that aren't don't need to be making the rest of us look poorly. The active consultants selling on ebay are hurting the rest of us because they are putting product out there at less than retail. Plus I have seen stuff on ebay and liquidators that is over 10 years old, yewww... could you imagine? - so, say someone buys their first piece of MK and gets something that should have been disposed of years ago, and thinks the product stinks. Now she think MK is a crappy product, see that could also hurt a consultant be giving her a bad opinion of MK.

    Once again, from reading pt, it seems the people complaining the most are the ones that are exhibiting the questionable behaviors. Which doing something you know is wrong isn't Christian either.

    (**I would like to clarify I am not talking about every poster on pt - just the ones that are actually and openly admitting all the wrong they are doing) and instead of being a little embarrassed, it seems like they are even proud of their "stick" it to the man attitude.

  7. Whoa, Jo! In the same vein...

    "The US has long thought itself a nation "under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all". Based on this unity it rose to become the most prosperous of all."

    (Paraphrasing) "Under God, indivisible" = the universal truth of UNITY.

    "This has weakened.

    Today, religious freedom has become religious righteousness bordering on religious intolerance. Individual freedom has all but vanished as individual responsibility has disappeared.

    The notion of individual responsibility has been distorted to mean "every man for himself". That is the new philosophy that imagines itself to be harkening back to the Early American tradition of rugged individualism.

    But the original sense of individual responsibility upon which the American vision and the American dream was based, found its deepest meaning and its highest expression in the concept of Brotherly Love.

    What made America great was not that every man struggled for his own survival, but that every man accepted individual responsibility for the survival of all."

    That passage is compliments of a book (Book 2 to be precise) by Neale Donald Walsch, called Conversations with God, *an uncommon dialogue*

    I read this very passage today and wow, I just couldn't keep it to myself after I read Jo's post.

    Don't you think that's profound? It's true. We accomplish more and are stronger and happier as whole than when we exist as individuals.

  8. I'd just like to add, that when I apply that passage to Mary Kay, I think about when one conducts a Mary Kay business, it's done with passion and sharing.

    mk4me, (and others like her here on the board) has got it right. It only works to undermine the director when she withholds information or lies by omission. Or worse, fulfills immediate gratification (commission) at the demise of the consultant.

    You know, if every director operated like Mary Kay Ash i.e., gave everything to her downline in order for her to succeed... share their wealth with them (time and knowledge) and their passion (enthusiasm and belief) more people would be much much happier doing what they were doing than trying to find loopholes to fulfill the gaping holes in their heart.

    Our success is in direct proportion to our passion of what we do. Mary Kay Ash was passionate about what she did. She was passionate that women had every opportunity available to them to be everything they ever wanted to be without anyone holding them back. She appreciated the finer things in life and wanted every women to be "allowed" to have what their hearts desired as well simply by realizing them through hard work. Not empty promises. She set up her company with us (past, present and future) in mind. It was her gift to us. Her legacy. The riches she reaped were merely a by-product of her dream for us.

    It can be that way for the rest of us if we have our heart (love) in the right place.

    Okay, I think that's the most "christian" I've been in my life.

  9. Standing Ovation for flybye64, first post, wow, deep!!

    Second post, how wonderful worded and presented.

    I applaud your excellent posts.

    I am really sorry you were mislead when you started MK because had you been mentoured by a person that had your best interests at heart instead of hers, I truly think you would have gone very far because you have a great heart and and a brain. (Ok, you use your brain, I guess most of us have one).

    And I do have a passion for this Company and a genuine love of people. So I do my best when guiding my unit (or others) for what is best for them not what is best for me and hopefully without sounding too cliche, it has come back to me ten-fold.

    I know I am respected and loved for who I am and how I work. I have integrity and honesty. I can put my head on the pillow when I close my eyes with a clear conscious and that does feel good.

  10. Thanks mk4me.

    I quoted the author re Brotherly Love, unity, under God, indivisible, etc.. I felt inspired and I couldn't resist sharing after reading Cuppa Jo's post.

    In all honesty, if I had been "passionate" about Mary Kay, I don't think my recruiter or anyone else would've stopped me. I think I ran my course with Mary Kay because for me, all it would've been was a hobby and a hobby like Mary Kay just doesn't sustain itself the way I would've like it to have.

    I think in the grand scheme of things, it was a lesson. One that will help me to succeed in whatever it is I finally decide to do when I grow up. :)

  11. I'm in total agreement with mk4me, flybye, and jo. WOW, ladies! Just want to add that my director is also very go-give. She has given me great leads that she could have kept for herself. She helps me build my business. I work to emulate her in managing my own team. It's not about me, it's about them! :)

  12. Good morning!! I believe that Mary Kay Ash was a Christian women that started a company and she chose to run it with Christian principles. I own a hair salon and I am a Christian and yes I run it with Christian principles. I run my life that way also.

    OK does MK exploit for monetary gain? No I don't think that they do. Here is the thing when someone goes into business they do so to make money that is the ultimate goal. In MK they started this company so that not only the company makes money however the consultant can make money too. This is business pure and simple. Someone does not open a business to not make money. This is what people today don't seem to understand. I don't just hear it from pt and it is not just MK it is really any big busines that makes money some people tend to get mad. Well, if these big companies were not making money how do you think our ecomony would be if they didn't. I think that our Country has gotten to liberal in there thinking.

    OK let me just say this. The Word says that the tongue is the evilest member of the body that can not be tamed. So blessings and cursings come out of the mouth. You can speak life into someone or you can tear them down and speak cursings on them. We have to watch what we say because it does have an effect. So like my momma has always told me if you have nothing nice to say then don't say anything at all.

    OK Do recruiters lie? The answer here is that some do and some don't. You have people that couldn't tell the truth if it slapped them in the face. I think that on pt they do lie they take half a story and run with it. The don't know if it is fact however if it is about MK and it is bad then it must be true. However if you have someone that tells the whole truth about MK they aren't allowed to post. So that is my take.

    Have a good day.


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