All are welcome... ALL ARE WELCOME!
Anyone driving south of Salt Lake City might notice that from Murray to Draper, Lehi, Provo and beyond, Utah is teeming with prominent MLM or Multi-Level Marketing/Networking companies. These are "lawful and legitimate business models, not rip-off pyramid schemes," claims Michigan based Amway, the genetic Lucy of all MLM's. Regardless of how lawful they is, the stupid is as stupid does aesthetic that permeates network marketing extends handily to their ever-so-strange architectural endeavors. These companies, who's products range from scrap-booking supplies and skin-care lines to cure-all life enhancing herbal supplements and exotic anti-oxidant fruit juices have produced some of the worst architecture in our nations short history.
Some MLM's, like Malaleuca from my home town of Idaho Falls, Idaho have a nauseating effect on the local economy. Tea Tree Oil or "The Wonder From Down Under", injected into every imaginable product ranging from toothpaste to household cleaners and forcefully sold by the caseload has allowed it's shareholders to buy the local baseball field, a few anti-gay billboards and fund the city's annual Fourth of July "Freedom Celebration". A fireworks show timed to Lee Greenwood's "I'm Proud To Be An American", one of the small joys of growing up Idahoan.
Similarly, back in Utah, the Provo Center For The Arts as well as Salt Lake City's baseball field were made possible with donations from Franklin Covey, the company that promised to organize your life with their annoying day-planners and make you rich selling them.
And what is it with all the damn flags?
All this success in the wild west might be attributed in part to these gaudy 'world headquarters' style buildings the lower tier pilgrims see as some kind of OZ. Mirroring religions of the world, these overly fussy office complex-es with mind control ray dispensing signage plopped on top don't leave much for the average plebeian to worry about. Optionally, there's mind numbing colonial style HQ's in updated materials and mammoth proportions. And let's not forget the placement of flags. Flags everywhere to remind the world that this type of business is as American as apple pie.
Extending the lifestyle/brand of these companies to their distributors is essential to washing their brains. The best of the bunch feature excessive reception areas, visitor centers, supernature cafe's, gardens and stores. And if it all starts to sound to good to be true, well...