Police rescued dozens of charity workers from a cult organization operating from within Metro’s largest charity. The workers were removed after a branding exercise at the Metro Trust Foundation went horribly wrong. At least one person is dead.
“We were called to the Foundation’s office by the family of one of the workers who told us that since they created their new brand the workers haven’t returned home, were unresponsive and kept repeating taglines over and over,” said Police Chief Dibble Brewer. “When we got there we found dozens of unwashed people sitting and praying in a large circle to their new God – the brand created by a local ad agency. It was creepy.”
Since the brand was unveiled last week, the Foundation has shut its doors and stopped answering phone calls and emails. Visitors to the office were told that the charity’s new brand had demanded that they worship it continually around the clock. Then charity staff shut and locked the front door and began singing dirges and praising the new brand. Witnesses say they saw staff members burning the brand’s new full colour logo into their foreheads with a hot iron.
The Foundation hired the biggest and most expensive ad agency possible to create their new brand, ignoring more cost-effective and specialized consultants available. In their branding proposal, which was later seized by police, the agency, Big Invoice, said that the brand they would create would be so powerful that it would “transform the work of the Foundation and motivate its staff to new levels of mission and vision.” Police say Foundation leaders should have known they were playing with fire.
“When these cult organizations come around and promise a new, powerful brand these charities don’t know what they’re getting into,” said Chief Brewer. “I’ve seen it before. A brand like that can have a profound impact on their mental state. It can take them over and turn them into brand slaves.”
Cult deprogrammer and planned giving expert Dr. Roberta Roberts says brands impact the so-called “permission centres” of the brain, turning normal ordinary people into slobbering cult members who only respond to what the brand tells them.
“Brands are not just logos, they are a gateway to the control of the mind. Just one look at them, or even perhaps seeing one corner of a logo or hearing part of the tagline will change people into zombies,” said Dr. Roberts. “They simply enslave people. Thank goodness most brands are for good, instead of evil.”
Police says they have arrested two ad agency executives on a charge of negligent brainwashing. They says the two people, one an executive and one a designer, should have known that their powerful brand would consume the very souls of the Foundation staff.
Meantime, hospital officials report that they were treating at least a dozen of the survivors of the cult for dehydration, fatigue and general smelliness. One man is in critical condition after being forced to gnaw off his own toe to “prove his loyalty” to the new brand.
The dead staff member, identified as the finance director of the Foundation, was reportedly killed by the other cult members when she failed to show the brand deity respect.
“The survivors tell us that when this woman asked how much the brand would cost the others turned on her, and then ate her.”
In a related story, the Foundation won “best new brand” from the National Branding Cult Awards.