Amway, traveling magazine sales, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others arguably blur the line between door-to-door sales and cults. The Neurocritic presents an unusual psychiatric report from Japan describing a door-to-door salesman’s use of religious brainwashing and hypnosis to make a Tokyo-area housewife be “possessed by God”:
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In Japan, due to the prevalence of door-to-door peddling of items such as amulets and talismans to ward off curses and misfortune, the term ‘door-to-door sales’ has come to have a religious connotation.
Recently, we treated a case of possessive state accompanied with suicidal tendencies which are thought to have developed in connection with door-to-door sales.
When the patient was 47 years old, a male she described as a ‘salesperson type’ came to her home in May. He predicted that some misfortune would befall her husband. The patient’s husband had fallen in an accident a few days earlier, and she became extremely anxious. The man then said, ‘I have a talisman, a lucky name chop (family seal) which will protect your husband from misfortune’.