chapter  4
Hate at $10 a package
Selling the Invisible Empire
ByMiguel Hernandez
Pages 22

Historians have often noted how crucial the Ku Klux Klan’s salesmen were for the development of the movement. Trading on the order’s public image and the nation’s interest in the Reconstruction Klan, these “kleagles” helped to spread the order throughout America, spurred on by a profitable commission system. This chapter focuses on these agents of the Klan and the order’s Propagation Department to provide an in-depth analysis of their strategies. By contextualizing their sales tactics in the era of the 1920s and comparing their approach to that of other successful companies, in this chapter it is demonstrated that the Propagation Department was a driven, modern, coordinated, and intelligent sales force. Furthermore, the chapter examines how kleagles exploited social channels, especially Masonic lodges, to find new recruits who could boost the order’s membership and their respectability. It was this vital wing of the Invisible Empire that helped this organization stand out from its competitors and surpass other similar rival movements to recruit millions of Americans to its ranks.