While working at IHOP-KC in the marketing team, I endured extensive psychological abuse, gaslighting, and labor exploitation. Our daily routine demanded 8–10 hours of work, alongside a mandatory minimum of 2 hours in the prayer room. Additionally, we were coerced into fasting every Wednesday and participating in a 3-day monthly fast. Though labeled "optional," there was substantial shaming for non-participation, creating an atmosphere where we felt inferior for not complying. This pressure to conform is a classic tactic in cult-like organizations, where intensive scheduling is designed to consume members' time. This strategy limits external contacts, fostering an isolated environment where the group's influence becomes pervasive and unchecked. Our employment conditions were precarious. As 1099 employees, our maximum earnings were $1,500 monthly, with no healthcare, benefits, or protections. The workload was overwhelming, and the combined stress of meeting both work and prayer room commitments felt insurmountable. Upon voicing our concerns, leadership targeted me as the instigator and terminated my employment. The impact on mental health was profound. I witnessed multiple colleagues suffer mental breakdowns, with at least one requiring hospitalization. This experience is a stark illustration of the harmful effects of organizations that exploit devotion and labor under the guise of religious commitment. My experience underscores the necessity of awareness and intervention in situations where religious practices are manipulated to control and exploit individuals.

- Marketing Team2008–2009