The problem is %99 of members never make a profit. You cant reach past level 12 on the pyramid because there are not enough people on the planet.
Pyramid schemes also typically require you to "buy in" to get in on it, and many of the members never even recoup the "buy-in" yet the people above them profit from it.
As Steven Hassan has pointed out, there are commercial cults and political cults too, not just religious. Anything can be a cult if BITE is applied.
This is a very interesting blog on the Amway cult:
Melaleuca was another big one that a bunch of witnesses were involved in. Some local dunces did some kind of presentation to my parents but they ended up not getting involved, thankfully. Talk about a cult within a cult.
For starters: Majority of people like to talk out of ignorance but few really talk out of knowledge on this subject... just a few clicks away
from wiki :
A pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable business model that involves promising participants payment or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public.  
Sooo : pyramid schemes are illegal. are un-sustainable business models... just because something looks like a triangle in your head is not a pyramid... the same way a sphere is not a circle.
now if you refer to the fact that are people on top that make more money than the people on the bottom.... that sounds more like a traditional business model... if you work for a company i would bet that the top boss makes less money than the managers and they make more money than the supervisors and they make more money than the employees.... and for your to be able to become the top earner if you are an employee the odds are very slim.
enigma: see another statement pulled out of nowhere...99% of the members dont make any profits.... where exactly did you get that number? are you being creative here? or do you really know? because i do...
first of all the industry is called Relationship Marketing, Direct Marketing or Network Marketing, heck you can even call it multilevel marketing... is not a pyramid and its definetely not a pyramid scheme..
there are multiple compensention models, binaries, matrix, unilevels, unigens, party plans etc etc etc and none of them if you put them on a piece of paper look like a pyramid.... most of them look more like branches on a tree or a root and they grow rather organically.
so if you are really curious lets start calling the things for what they are not for what they arent..
there are busineses where you can make more money than others... it all depends on many factors.. but i can tell you that in any MLM that is regulated you wont make any money if you dont work it....... if you treat it like a scheme..... thats why you dont make any money you are taking advantage of people but if you treated like a business and work it as such you will make money....
uh.... just like in any other business.. bummer uh? somebody promise you riches without working? that sounds more like someone was trying to take advantage of you.,,,
My mother sold Avon, tupperware and Mary Kay.... i didnt like it... but she made extra money, heck i still use those plastic containers.... and they look very real to me.
puff: they require you to buy in? so its a business.. where you expecting it for free? any business, requires that you invest money..... i have had all kinds of business in 3 different countries and alll of them require investments....
and yes you have to work it to get your investment back.... once again if you think that you are not do anything to get your money back then thats not a business...
investment + work= earnings...... sounds familiar?
Buy a business work the business system = make money.
London: exactly, anything can be cult if they behave like a cult. mlm is a marketing strategy, the same ways as canvassing, door to door, telemarketing, etc.
a statement like "telemarketing is a cult or a pyramid scheme" would be ignorant right?
chaserius:ok so you know how to paste pics on the board..... that proves what exactly? Melaleuca is a home based business that its been operating over 30 years in the us. I personally know more than 30 people who have made over 100k
i love their products and buy them.
Somebody is dunce because they are doing a presentation of their business? let me ask you how much money have you made from melaleuca?