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In A Fishbowl 4/15

In A Fishbowl 4/15 published on 10 Comments on In A Fishbowl 4/15

Updated the dialogue in this one! Jasmine isn’t with Raster Marketing anymore, she’s in her Life After MLM phase.

Jasmine: We’re gonna go around the circle and say a thing we’re having trouble with today . . . Then you also gotta say one good thing in your life.

Sooo, my girlfriend found the crate of soaps I bought to hit Double Pink Diamond, back when I did Raster Marketing. Do I try to explain MLM ranking nonsense to her? Or do I just let her think I need that much soap??

Good thing: I get to hold this cat!

Cat: Mrrr.

Larch: Can we all say “the cats” for our good thing?

Jasmine: No. Get your own.

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Yeah, it just clicked for me that Jasmine is a really worrying lead for this group, considering how MLMs tend to be pretty high up there on the cultometer… Cult survivors seems like a way to recruit for a company that uses the techniques of cults for profit.

Interesting! I took her presence here (and Erin’s comments on strip 1) to mean she was formerly caught up in an MLM, and is one of those people who can’t bear to throw away the product even after they’ve left the company. Because, you know, it’s still decent soap, probably! It’d be wasteful to throw it out just because it’ll take five years for a single person to use it all!

Thank you for this, because I also (mis?)interpreted what Jasmine was saying to mean that she just bought these soaps and was therefore still an active member of the MLM. I was pretty confused by that. But it makes a lot more sense if this is something she bought in the past and it’s just that her girlfriend stumbled across them recently.

In my admittedly second-hand experience, it’s usual and helpful for the lead of these kinds of groups to be relatable by sharing the same kinds of problems that the rest of the support group is there to find support on. The group lead starting off the go-around by sharing one of their ongoing struggles with having been a fully on-board part of a cult or cult-like organization helps open the door for the rest of the group so they can share their own experiences without feeling ashamed or othered, like they might in most other social groups that don’t share the experiences.

I think a bit part of why it made me think that is how “hit Double Pink Diamond with Raster Marketing” is really hard to parse, making me think that Jasmine is still part of the MLM. It feels like a recovering member would avoid the technical details of a scheme that’s no longer planned to happen.

I rewrote the dialogue to make it clearer that the MLM is definitely in Jasmine’s past!

She can still do the patter, though. (One of my big reference points for this is the Life After MLM podcast, and if somebody was in one for any length of time, they can switch back into the marketing/promo talk at the drop of a hat.)

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