I've probably talked 4 or 5 people out of pyramid schemes in my life. It usually ends with me just saying "it's a fucking pyramid scheme, dude."
When I was 16 my manager - a college educated and fairly well-compensated man - nearly got wrapped up in one of these. I can't recall the product but I think it was catalog trinkets ala Amway.
At any rate, he's telling me about this amazing system and in my head I'm thinking "you can't be this dumb." But I tell him "it's a fucking pyramid scheme, dude" to which he's very skeptical, because people get their hopes up very easily and are very opposed to giving them up. He gives me their packet and starts telling me how it works, which is basically Pyramid Scheme 101. He won't listen to reason and asks me to meet his regional distributor leader or whatever cult-like nonsense they impart onto their lackeys. I agree to go to lunch with this guy (again, I'm 16 and I work at K-Mart).
One day at lunchtime I'm standing outside of K-Mart with my smock in my hand when this yellow Lamborghini pulls up and the side door opens. "Nathan? Hop in." We do some quick introductions and we're off to lunch. He starts asking me about my finances (again, 16, K-Mart) and whether I like the car. I actually don't like the car, it's ugly as shit and uncomfortable. But he's like "it's so easy to get here, it's insane. You could be in a car like this in 2, 3 years, tops." It's obvious though that the sell is for my boss, who's at least making north of $50k, unlike myself. "Your boss, he's not totally sold on this yet, which is weird to me, but I can tell you get it. You should let him know how it works."
We're almost at the restaurant now, but all I can say to this guy is "this just seems like a fucking pyramid scheme to me, dude."
He immediately makes this face of "jesus, cmon, kid" and starts asking these awful rhetorical questions like "exactly what IS a pyramid scheme, when you really think about it ..." and "is not every corporation a pyramid scheme?"
We arrive at the restaurant. Previously this guy had told me "lunch is on me" but once we're in (it's a pub) he tells the waitress we'll just be having drinks today. He gets a mixed drink and I of course am relegated to diet soda. It's a pretty uncomfortable 15 minute meeting after which we sit in silence as he races me back to the sporting goods department.
I took all that info and talked the dude out, eventually, which seemed even more devastating to him.
Do this ... make yourself a calendar reminder for 6 months from now and ask them how much money they've made. Some people have to learn the hard way and others have to learn the really hard way.
i need to get a date with this BEER so i can tickle torture my inhibitions!!