Following the collapse of WMI in Norway earlier this year, the sudden and unexplained departure of WMI Pure CEO Deanna Latson in late July, Wealth Masters appeared to dip into a well-observed lull.
One month later in August, WMI founders Kip Herriage and Karl Bessey announced that they were going to issue Wealth Masters shares via an IPO.
At the time I speculated that this was most likely due to a badly needed injection of funds into the company. With WMI’s venture into finance with Opes Partners failing to gain any real traction and the year long delay it’s taken to get WMI Pure off the ground… speculation has fueled rumour that Wealth Masters is having an internal revenue crisis.
Well, as with most things where there’s smoke there’s fire and contrary to Herriage and Bessey’s claims that WMI is ‘debt free’, turns out there’s some truth to this one folks.
In a recent email that came across my desk, an explosive exchange between former WMI Chief Operating Officer Mary Dee and Karl Bessey reveals that there are indeed revenue problems within the company.
But that’s only the tip of the iceberg…
Read on for a rare insight into the corporate workings of a MLM company. A glimpse, if you will, at what really goes on behind the fake smiles, extravagant conferences and oft manufactured positivity of Wealth Masters International.
The emails between Dee and Bessey (together on right there) were sent in early September which puts us at roughly just over a month after Deanna Latson’s abrupt departure from WMI to work as ‘Chief Product Officer’ over at Ariix.
Dated the 6th and 7th of September, the email exchange also appears to have occurred about a week after Mary Dee herself left Wealth Masters also to work for Ariix as General Manager of Thailand.
The exchange begins with an email from Karl Bessey, seemingly furious over what he perceives to be a serious breach of trust and friendship at Dee’s departure from WMI.
I tried to call you. I wanted to talk to you instead of email. But here are my thoughts and feelings.
I asked you when all the shit happened with Deanna if you were talking to them about working with them and If we can continue to trust you with Corp info with Pure and WMI.
Your answer was you are not in talks with them and we can trust you. In the last couple weeks it is clear you had this up your sleeve and that you have shared corp private information that was for your only.
You continued to lie as late as the m3 as you were telling us that you were going Thailand to work for an import export company. Your words.
The import/export company in Thailand of course being Ariix.
Bessey continues, absolutely furious at Dee’s sudden departure;
We hung out during the m3 and not one time did you have balls enough to tell me what you were really up to and what your plans were.
After calling Dee a liar, Bessey then goes on to accuse Dee and her ‘band of thugs‘ of attempting to ‘rape and pillage’ the Wealth Masters memberbase;
Kip and I paid you very well and were flexible as hell with you. Tried to give you all you wanted to do a great job and enjoy the time put into WMI.
Now I find out that your gang of thugs (which is exactly what they are) are now calling our WMI consultants and trying to get them in your new company????
How the hell can you let them do such a low life practice to a company that has gone out of its way to always treat you well and keep you happy? Does this not bother your conscience at all?
If not you are not who I thought you were.
This makes me sick and again, a friend would never to this to another friend.
Can you see me doing this to you? NO fucking way.
Bessey at this point drags Deanna Latson into the picture too, seemingly tarring her with the same ‘raping and pillaging’ brush as Dee;
After we told the m3 crowd about Deanna I had several that came up to me and told asked me if it was TIM sales…when I told them yes…they told me that we should count our blessings as he is a slime ball….
We saw that with Deanna and now the ok to rape and pillage WMI??? What the hell did we do to Deanna or you??? That is as low as it gets and you know it.
And if I’m reading that correctly, it appears that Bessey is still seething over what clearly perceives to be plundering of the WMI memberbase by Latson along with Tim Sales upon her departure.
Tim Sales I believe was a speaker at WMI events and is now also working for Ariix.
Quite obviously agitated at all of this, Bessey drops Dee an ultimatum
This calling our Consultants will cease right now and you will make sure it does.
I have seen things on the internet that could have only come from you and or Deanna. I have proof you have been feeding others our private information.
This will also cease right now. If I see one more thing that even closely resembles you or Deanna you will be sorry for a long time to come.
I am serious about the items above…you better contact your buddies and get it stopped right now. YOU will be hearing from our attorneys soon.
I cannot stand a cheat or a liar and that is exactly what you and your gang are.
You made your bed..now you will get to sleep in it for a long long time.
Heavy stuff and as Bessey finishes up, you really get a sense that he’s quite cut up over all of this.
You and Bobby are not the friends I thought you were….you are far from friends at all.
What you have done is total betrayal. I hope you feel good about the way you have made your selfish business decisions.
The bullshit Bobby spread at the m3 is dirty slimy shit…we fly you both there ….pick up the tab and Bobby spent the week being my friend and also destroying WMI.
Kip and I have always taken the high road and will continue to do so. But we will not let you destroy WMI or Pure.
You and your new company are destined to self destruct as you are all a bunch of liars and thugs. It will certainly fail…you cannot do business this way and survive.
It will come back to you ….trust me on that.
Some colorful characterisations of the staff over at Ariix and dire predictions over the future of Ariix I’m sure you’ll agree.
Although if Bessey is as bad as Kip Herriage in predicting the future, Ariix probably don’t have too much to worry about.
The second email in the exchange is Mary Dee’s response to Bessey’s accusation riddled rant. Not only is Dee as furious sounding as Bessey is, but turns out she’s got some juicy revelations of her own to share.
Dee begins by explaining the whole import/export thing;
Import/Export was a half truth to spare you hurt feelings. Importing vitamins into Thailand and exporting them to other Asian countries IS import/export, I just left out a major detail.
At the time I had not signed anything, but I had an offer on the table (literally 2 days before we left for Italy) and in my mind going to Thailand was too good to pass up. Thailand beats out Austin all day long.
If I had told you that I was certainly going to work with Ariix it would have been heavy on your mind and I didn’t want that to be the case for the sake of the event.
I knew it would be tough news for you.
The event being discussed here of course is the recent Wealth Masters M3 conference held in Italy earlier this year.
What Bessey sees as a clear competitive advantage and deception, Dee writes off as looking out for his feelings.
Still, I guess it’s not a crime to immediately relay to your employer every offer you get on the table.
Dee goes on to further clarify the events as they unfolded, portraying a starkly different picture to the portrait of raging betrayal that Bessey feels took place -
I had nothing up my sleeve. I put in my 30 day notice BEFORE I ever knew I was going to go and work for Ariix.
How long have we been going back and forth about my pay and contract and work load…HELLO, for like over a year!
With salary and contract problems carrying on for over a year, can you really blame Dee for abandoning ship?
Interestingly, Dee then brings Deanna Latson back into the conversation mentioning a ‘Deanna demand letter‘;
You guys shared your Deanna demand letter with me back in, oh, May? June?
After I picked it apart, I never saw it again, as Kip thought I was being biased since I was still friends with Deanna.
To be honest, I found that letter really embarrassing to WMI. It’s not like Deanna couldn’t be replaced but you guys were so out for blood.
As to what was contained in this ‘Deanna demand letter’ I can’t say, but it certainly sounds like it could explain once and for with clarity why Latson abruptly left the company.
In a moment of clarity, Dee then goes on to offer Bessey some useful advice;
Like I said, it’s the girlfriend who left you for someone else. Get over it and go focus on making Pure work.
You guys are spending way too much energy on bullshit and the WMI business is suffering for your distractions.
I’m not sure what “edge” it would have given her to get the letter ahead of time anyways??
Again, what this letter contained and why or why not it could have given Latson an edge before she departed WMI remains a mystery.
Leaving the Latson issue at that, Dee then moves to respond to Bessey’s accusation of the ‘rape and pillaging‘ of the Wealth Masters memberbase;
I don’t know what “low life thugs” you’re referring to, but I can only assume that there are INDEPENDENT reps who are calling on leads and perhaps WMI people are some of them.
I have had ONE rep at Ariix call me, she mentioned that she had some WMI contacts and I told her she is welcome to use my name and let them know that I am now at Ariix too.
I didn’t stop to ask her if she was friends with the entire organization so who knows, maybe she went and found that list that was out on the internet for God knows how long that had our database on it thanks to some disgruntled Norwegian.
Outside of that…I can’t help what reps do but I have no partnership with any Ariix reps nor do I have some secret list of WMI people or anything else like that. Think about it…Why would I do it to you?
You guys don’t need any help from me taking your consultants…you are already running them off single handedly.
And clearly, there’s obviously some hurt on Dee’s side of things as well:
I thought we were friends, but it seems my leaving has got the rumors really going and you guys feel the need to point the finger, thus I’m up 2 hate mails from Kip and one from you, all in 3 days.
Geezus Karl, I thought YOU were better than this??
I guess even being an original founding member of Wealth Masters isn’t enough to get to know someone you’ve worked with closely for years.
What occurs next is quite possibly the most blunt and frank objective assessment you will ever read of Wealth Masters International.
Mary Dee goes for gold and lays out exactly why she left WMI, blows wide open the ‘debt free’ claims and IPO amongst a whole host of other things.
Kip Herriage ‘treats his wife like shit’ and is giving it to Karl Bessey ‘up the ass!’
These first claims pretty much speak for themselves so I’m just going to lay them out, as written by Dee in her own words;
Kip treats his wife like SHIT. If he treats his wife like shit, what makes me think he’s going to be any better to anyone else?
That poor woman is always in tears and after everything she has shared with me, my conscience says RUN.
I watch how he’s treated other people, my conscience says RUN FASTER. You become more like the people you hang around with, and Kip is not someone I want to become more like.
Kip is giving it to you UP THE ASS Karl.
Capital One (allegedly Tylers, which doesn’t make it any better) and Amex cards with NO reconciliation or accountability…yet he’s going to take WMI public?
Where do you think they look first…hello, your bank account!
He paid his $10k deer lease before a $10k monthly rental to Exigo when it was already late, I mean, really??
If exigo shuts us down it shuts down our ability to take orders, help reps into their back office, etc. and he’s paying for some silly deer lease over the paying for the engine that runs the business?
Does the man not have his own check book?? After 4 years I can confidently say that he spends WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY more than you do on BULLLLSHHHIT.
He steals from you Karl! But its your fault, because you let him!
Quit being such a damn pansy, you own 40%! Act like it.
Despite the rosy public image and gushing adoration between the two founders in public, it appears not all is well with Bessey and Herriage.
And what’s this stuff about Herriage’s wife crying all the time? I sincerely hope that’s exaggerated on Dee’s part otherwise that’s some messed up crap right there.
WMI is a ‘sinking ship’
As an icebreaker to what comes next, in these next paragraphs Dee begins to hint at Wealth Masters financial strife.
Barely making payroll and commission runs for like, oh, the last 3-4 pay periods before I left.
Maybe Kip will fund WMI forever, I don’t know. I just know that I see signs of a sinking ship and I don’t want any part of it.
Particularly when the Captain of the ship is barely accessible and the Co-Captain is half way across the country.
You guys paid me well alright…in experience. The lesson is, if you don’t want to go through hell, don’t dance with the Devil!
The comments about payroll and commissions runs is particularly interesting as it flies in the face of Herriage and Bessey’s recent claim that Wealth Masters is ‘the only $100 million plus, direct selling/network marketing Seminar Company still in business today’.
Busting open the Wealth Masters ‘debt free’ claims
More a direct criticism on the running of Wealth Masters and highlighting of the irony of conducting wealth education when you yourself are failing to generate wealth, Dee offers up a scathing bottomline assessment of WMI’s finances;
Hearing Kip tell the WMI community that “…we are a debt free company..” Holy hell, we haven’t been debt free for almost 2 years now.
If having over half a million dollars in outstanding invoices while our alliances like Wayne, vendors like corporate disk and even our own attorneys (Babener, Rapp & Krock AND even the friggin ex-AG of Kansas…I mean really??!!) are knocking down our doors to collect is “debt free” then pigs must fly on butterfly wings!
EVERYONE has to chase WMI down for their check, and anyone who has done business with them knows this!!!!
God forbid all these people get in a room together because all it takes is one person to say Please raise your hand if you had to beat down WMI’s door to get paid- cause EVERYONE would raise their hand!!
I was weary of making excuses for Kip and dodging bill collectors. For having a name like Wealth Masters, you guys are doing a lousy job of living up to it.
Perhaps someone needs to remind Bessey and Herriage that the secret to wealth creation is in collecting exorbitant conference fees and using this money to pay your bills… as clearly whatever the pair are doing now obviously isn’t working.
Problems in paying Michael Hamburger and Ryan Nelson
Much of a big deal was made when Michael Hamburger left Liberty League International back in 2009. After a brief stint with LifePath Unlimited, Hamburger joined Wealth Masters International as Vice President of Marketing by the end of 2009.
Ryan Nelson joining Wealth Masters as ‘Vice President of Internet Strategy’ in November 2010 was also highly publicised. Apart from launching the largely useless and irrelevant ‘Wealth Journals’ website however, Nelson’s partnership with WMI doesn’t seem to have amounted to much.
Regardless, according to Mary Dee both these high-profile members seem to carry an air of uncertainty about their contracts with Wealth Masters International.
Michael came up to me some time ago and was complaining about how his “hand shake” deal was a 3 year contract at $300k.
He looked me in the eye and said to me “You said these guys are good to their word, so if that’s true than my verbal contract should be for 3 years.”
At that moment in time I could not bring myself to even utter an affirmation. I couldn’t say “yes” because I’ve seen Kip NOT keep his word so many times.
1/3 of the time he’s being too literal, 1/3 of the time he just can’t help but over promise and the other 1/3 is likely out of his need to hoard money since he didn’t have any when he was younger.
Then Ryan comes on board and has a pay issue, and says to me “I thought these guys are good to their word, I thought it was a handshake…” and then AGAIN I could not honestly say yes.
Instead, I started saying “It’s always a good idea to get everything in writing.”
I left it at that because it was honest without the blinking red lights above my head to tell them they should cut their losses now and get out before he (Kip) lights their bridge on fire.
Kip Herriage is a ‘son of a bitch’
The following is how Mary Dee chose to close her letter to Karl Bessey;
You’re not taking any high road Karl, who are you kidding? Yourself? Is it opposite day and I missed the memo?
You guys were jilted by Pro, jilted by Deanna…apparently jilted by me too (in your own minds) and the best you can do is seek revenge, spread rumors…are your penises really that tiny?
If Kip really believed that there was plenty of room in industry for “1000′s of Pure’s and WMI’s and Ariix’s” then you guys would be focusing on Wealth Masters and not on me. Not on Pro. Not on Deanna.
You sure do know how to make a girl feel special…I had no idea you guys gave me so much credit. I’m trying to move on but you just don’t seem to want to let me go!!!
I want to make this crystal clear…I have ZERO desire to hurt you or Wealth Masters or even that SOB Kip Herriage.
Deep down I still love you both regardless of this BS but you are making it very difficult for me to LIKE either one of you right now. You guys are acting like 3rd graders.
I like the people at the office, they need jobs, I want to see them employed. I like the consultants at WMI, they like the company and believe in the opportunity, good for them. But I will NOT sit by and let you harass me or spread vicious rumors.
I will share my side of the story all day long to whoever contacts me and asks for it.
Go run your company Karl, it needs you. If you think you have something on me, then come and get it.
I did a great job at WMI and I’m proud of the work I did. I’m proud to see Morgan and everyone else stepping up their game. After all, I trained them!
You guys have OVP, which is going to be a great system. Michael gets to take credit for it, but don’t forget that it was me who pinned him down to look at it.
I set you guys up for success, so why don’t you go out and prove to me and the rest of the world that you can actually run your own company and FINALLY go public.
The line “In 2-3 years from now” is only going to work so much longer, after all, you’re almost 7.
Wishing you all the best!!! (REALLY!)
Reading between the lines you really get the sense that Dee is someone who has seen and put up with too much crap for too long, and was finally pushed to breaking point.
Like I said earlier, these email exchanges between Dee and Bessey are easily the most publicly blunt and frank objective assessment you will ever read of Wealth Masters International.
The silence during the last six months firstly over Latson’s departure, the future of PURE and WMI’s future plans to publicly float the company have been deafening. Add to that Mary Dee’s insight, and one can’t help but sincerely question the future of Wealth Masters.
Just last week the company announced the planned launch of WMI Pure in early 2012, which translates into roughly a year of delays. At least for now, things seem to be looking forward.
But the omnipresent question still looms, will it be enough?
With the 2012 deadline ticking down for Pure and no scheduled timeline for the IPO that will hopefully deliver the seemingly desperate injection of funds WMI needs to survive, as always, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.