...are the pyramid scheme of fiction. Yeah, I'm onto you Count Strahd. And you, Nosferatu! You're just another one of AMWAY's marketing ploys to make their businesses appeal to a wider range of clientele. Specifically: goths.
Let's just look at the facts:
1) The entire concept of the Vampire and his power parallels that of the pyramid scheme. Think about it. Who are the most powerful vamps? Bingo! The ones who've been in the biz the longest. First generation vampires always trump the younger ones. Everyone pledges their fealty to the vampire that bit them, and they can only become more powerful as they get more vampires under them, which in turn makes big daddy vampire even stronger.
Vampirism is also illegal. You can try to refute this, but it's true. Philip K. Buck, the "Sheboygan County Vampire," was prosecuted. See Vampire Legislation. Also, if vampirism were legal, why would all those blood suckers hide out during the day and only come out at night? Must have something hide. I see right through you (quite literally when mirrors are involved.)
3) While these two might both be illegal, hybrids are totally cool and accepted. Think about it: QUIXTAR is all the rage, and totally legal. QUIXTAR takes some legal business practices, with the spirit of a pyramid scheme, and *sha-ZAM* you've got something sweeping the globe. In the same vein (pun!), Dhamphir--the offspring of vampire and humans--are gaining popularity. Take a look at Blade and Vampire Hunter D. Both legal and totally awesome, thus all the legitimate money the franchises have made.
4) And finally, take a look at the Vampires program in the immensely popular social networking site Facebook. The point of this application within the site is to bite other people, and get more vampires under you. The more you have under you, the more points they gather for you. Basically, you get the weaker ones to work for you while you gain power through doing nothing...I smell a pyramid scheme!
Well, the evidence is overwhelming. I'm sort of surprised this isn't on Dateline already.