Blaming those who lose money on such business schemes is not a meaningful response.
Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) is plagued with complaints, lawsuits and financial losses.
It is most often the system itself and not the participants, which causes failure within many MLM schemes.
This research paper explains the inherent structural and marketing flaws that cause so many MLM participants to lose money.
Also see [www.mlmwatch.org
This is a Web site that monitors such schemes.
There was an old episode of Dragnet years ago which did an expose of MLM schemes. If you had to recruit 12 people and each person did the same, by the time you got 12 levels down about 250 million people had to get involved. I went to some Primerica meetings and some people make money. It's possible but the average person won't make a lot of money. There are people in Primerica who make millions but they're few and far between. The local office to where I live is in Woodbridge, NJ. One woman has been coming every other week to teach people and she earns about 400K a year. It's doable, but only a few manage it. Most people quit and they even say so at the meetings. So I don't think they're trying to deceive anyone.
Essentially, what you need is a background in sales and or a good feeling for the product. Years ago, I used to sell and design weightlifting equipment for TDS Barbell Company. Not everyone can do it. I was a die hard weight lifter and even had a well stocked gym in my parent's house. I lived, breathed, ate and drank weightlifting. I could bench press 380 lbs at a bodyweight of 165 which would have tied the world's record in that class if I had done it several years earlier. I also didn't use any steriods. I had a natural gift on that lift.
A lot of people knew me and I used to get a lot of sales based upon all of that. Plus I used to train naturally and I used to write workout routines for people. I taught people my secrets. But no one I knew could quite duplicate my results. I bench pressed 375 at a bodyweight of 148 and that was only 27 lbs. off the world's record at the time I did it back in '80.
Genetics plays a role as I had short arms and my chest muscles build up easily. Like I said, not everyone can duplicate those kind of results.
By the way, Primerica's training materials EXPLICITLY state that Primerica's methods work like a pyramid. They don't hide that at all.