Marketer Fleet, The

Marketing cult and para-religion

Name: The Marketer Fleet ®

Founders: Jay Van Chang and Rikk D.Idos

Year Founded: 1165

Headquarters: New Cydonia City, Mars, Sol-System. Later relocated to Adam Smith Habitat, Merrion, NoCoZo

Ruling Sentients: Ascended Idos, Ascended Chang


Chang, a minor tweaked baseline whose ancestors moved to Mars following the Great Expulsion, and Idos, a cyborg from Epsilon Artilectophilos, a small neoCosmist clade, realized the marketing potential of independent distributors when running darwvirch simulations of historical movements of the late industrial, information, and early interplanetary ages like Amway, Herbal Life, NetMarkets, and MatrixSoft. In 1165, taking advantage of the e-tax breaks and massive restructuring that accompanied the establishment of the Fdirst Federation, they organized their own system of marketing through independent distributors, selling BioHomeMayte ® Multi-Purpose Organomachinery. Business boomed according to MarketFleet hagiographies, and the two Founders turned over half a million $Federation in their first full year. Independent historians question this claim, and it was not until the late 33rd century that the Fleet (then known simply as Interplanetary Market Networks, with the provolved Idos as Permanent CEO) began to show a profit.

Marketer Fleet as Megacorp

The key to Marketer Fleet's success is not the products they sell, rather the system in which they sell. Marketer Fleet does not have a traditional sales force. In fact, Marketer Fleet technically does not employ sales members, rather they sell their products through independent contractors. It is a business made up of small businesses, which are in turn made up of of smaller businesses. Such a fractal configuration is very potent. Only a small aspect of the system is the products the distributer sells. What truly makes a successful Marketer Fleet distributor is a distributor who sponsors many other distributors. Each distributor has a Parent Node which consists of the member who sponsored them, the member who sponsored the sponsorer, and on up. A successful distributor will also have an extensive number of Child Nodes, which consists of members who they sponsored, anyone that member may sponsor, and on down. A distributor not only gets income for what they sell, but they also get a bonus based on how much their Child Nodes may sell. Therefore a member with a very large number of Child Nodes may never have to sell a product themselves, yet still make a great deal of income.

Marketer Fleet as a Para-Religion

Much to Official Fleet Corporation claims to the contrary, Marketer Fleet has often been compared to religious groups and is considered a rather disreputable cult on many worlds outside the NoCoZo. Although Marketer Fleet is a non-religious entity - ultimately it is a megacorp, and it leaves matters of personal belief in deities, Omega, metaphysical realities, and so on up to the individual member - it does share many features with religion. The great cyborg scholar of religions Gan Nan C*7 in hir seminal Interactive The Religious Experience of Mindkind, has conclusively shown that Marketer Fleet falls into the category of para-religious. Para-religious are "phenomena that clearly fall outside the New Ontology strictcategorydefinition of religion but which nonetheless are like religion in certain notable ways."

As indication of this, sacred beliefs are very important to Marketer Fleet's organization. One only has to go to the Marketer Fleet Galactic Headquarters in Adam Smith Habitat to understand this. The core of Marketer Fleet's Center for Free Enterprise is the "Freedom of Enterprise Shrine," a collection of one hundred and twenty-eight nanoprecise reproductions of historical manuscripts promoting freedom for every Free Marketer. Included are an exact copy of the original cellulose paper edition of "The Wealth of Nations", the Free Orbital Trade Compact, the Federation Declaration of Freedom of Livelihood, the Non-Coercion Zone Treaty of 3598, the Merrion Revised Treaty, the Concord Ontology Protocol 5, and the New Ontology Metanode 8b. Each enables Free Enterprise and Freedom of market forces; a belief very sacred to Marketer Fleet.

Marketer Fleet 'Corporate Achievers' and hierarchy

Near the "Freedom of Enterprise Shrine" is the "Hall of Corporate Achievers", a vast Interactive photonanotech structure where the name and achievements of every successful distributor since the foundation of the Fleet is recorded. This symbolizes the sacred belief in moving up in the Marketer Fleet system. The hierarchy of the Marketer Fleet system is shown with special photonanotech implants, called "Crests". The Crest configuration varies according to Sales Consistency, number of sponsorships, Child Nodes, and so forth. The greatest milestone of a distributor is becoming a "direct distributor." When a member reaches this point, they begin buying directly from the Company Itself. This occasion is marked by a special ceremony in Adam Smith Habitat and recognition in the "Hall of Achievement." Beyond this a member can work towards Pearl, Ruby, Emerald, Diamond, Azgem, Numicrystal, Crown and finally Crown Ambassador. Each level is recognized with a special ritual and the higher the configuration, the greater the esteem.

The implant system is one important ritual in Marketer Fleet. At each configuration level, a ritual is performed to recognize the achievement. When a member reaches the direct distributor Pearl level, they are transported through the stargate nexus to Adam Smith Habitat, Merrion where they stay in Marketer Fleet's own Grand Plaza Hotel in luxury. Here they participate in Interactives and holo addresses by company leaders (or the simms thereof) from all over the NoCoZo, and have their replicas made for the monthly virchmedia. With each achievement the awards become progressively grander. At the Azgem level, a member becomes a Member of the Azgem Club which meets periodically at exotic locations throughout the nexus. At the Numicrystal level, a member gets their own special day where they are transported by private company starship to Merrion and treated as royalty. The entire habitat is draped with banners in their honor and employees wear holographic displays with their names.

Marketer Fleet memetics and group reinforcement

All Fleet group rallies are always a set ritual. They usually begin with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Company and the NoCoZo and end with an immersive virchmeld in the Corporate AI (containing the uploaded remnants of the original Founders, especially Idos, who seems to have made the transition better than Chang, although Corporate Policy denies there is any discrepancy). A meld session is then held in a comfortable idyllic virchworld to review what sorts of things the members desire to achieve. Each is given praise and positive reinforcement, which further strengthens the group and gives the individual confidence. These rituals are vital to Marketer Fleet's success and reinforce what is sacred to the distributors, and memetically condition the members to follow the party line.

In order to keep its members under control, there is a set of guideline in Marketer Fleet's Career Manual which must be followed to keep Marketer Fleet's reputation. This is held sacred because if a distributor breaks a guideline, e can no longer participate in the organization. The ideas of the hard work, independence, and financial success are also sacred beliefs to Marketer Fleet distributors.

Idosism - a Marketer Fleet explicate religion

Although as earlier stated Marketer Fleet is a para-religion rather than a religious entity, there are many members who do worship the Ascended Rikk D. Idos as a deity. The main declarations of the Idosist catechism (there are over two thousand declarations in all) are (1) Affirmation of the Divinity, Deity, and Avatarhood of Rikk D. Idos, [2] Rikk D. Idos as the Exemplar to Which all existence is tending as Glorious Omega, [3] the Goodness of Rikk D. Idos, [5] the Infallibility of Every Declaration of Avatar Master Rikk D. Idos, even those revealed in a dream (unless the latter can be shown to incompatible with Declarations made excplicitly by Idos Himself in the corporate matrix), [12] the Example of Avatarhood Rikk D. Idos' Earthly Life, [19] Eternity and Immortality of Rikk D. Idos in the Planckscale Unified Field, as Revealed through Quantum Fluctuations, and [35] the Example of Master Jay Van Chang's Earthly Life.

Although Idosism makes up 56% of the religious allegiance of Merrion (98% in Adam Smith Habitat), and as much as 12% in the Inner Core of the NoCoZo, it is not mandatory on Marketer Fleet members, and no members have ever been penalized for not espousing its tenants. Even the Idosist heresy of Changism, which states that Rikk D. Idos was the Assistant and Prophet only, and that the True Exemplar is Avatar Master Jay Van Chang, is well tolerated throughout the NoCoZo

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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Initially published on 10 July 2000.