You may be aware of the concerted effort by Pro-Doula to spear head what they call “The Doula Revolution” (rev·o·lu·tion noun; a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system). This is essentially a labor union (noun: an organised association of workers, often in a trade or profession, formed to protect and further their rights and interests) asserting a misguided entitlement to excessive compensation using multi-level marketing practices and disguising it as a "revolution".
The following description of the hallmarks of MLM will likely sound familiar to you.
"Companies that use MLM models for compensation have been a frequent subject of criticism and lawsuits. Criticism has focused on their similarity to illegal pyramid schemes, price fixing of products, high initial entry costs (for marketing kit and first products), emphasis on recruitment of others over actual sales, encouraging if not requiring members to purchase and use the company's products, exploitation of personal relationships as both sales and recruiting targets, complex and exaggerated compensation schemes, the company and/or leading distributors making major money off training events and materials, and cult-like techniques which some groups use to enhance their members' enthusiasm and devotion"
MLM’s are infamous for recruiting “lost souls” into their “families” and pandering to their disillusionment while asking them to suspend critical thinking. Why you should be bothered by MLM schemes.
While most industry leaders consider Pro-Doula and other agencies like it, a nuisance, they also acknowledge the unfortunate pressures on the consumer to spot and avoid a doula whose priorities do not rest with the mother but rather with her own pocket book and her advancement within the organizational ranks. We must all be prepared to speak to this unsavory aspect in our profession and help parents navigate doula communities to locate and hire the doula that best suits them and is guided by business ethics. Our clients ought not have to sort the wolves from the sheep. We, as an industry that has so far, escaped regulation, must do that ourselves.