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World Financial Group / Bizarre Cult

Altadena, CA, US Review updated:

I was recently invited to attend a presentation by a friend of mine who has recently been sucked into World Financial Group. He explained it as an opportunity to make a great deal of money and said that he wanted to bring me "on board". My "BS" radar was already switched on. Nevertheless I found it hard to imagine that a company like AGEON would be foolish enough to purchase a company that wasn't on the up and up. So I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.

A few days before I attended the meeting, my friend told me that he couldn't wait for me to meet his "friends" x, y, and z. He said that he had been working very closely with x, y and z and that they had become like "brothers". I aussumed they had been working together for quite some time.

Needless to say my friend was very "pumped up" about becoming financially independent and had already begun parroting their terminology using terms like "Financial Cancer", "Emergecny Fund" and "Inner Circle". The Cool-aid drinking had commenced. It was clear to me that I was about to witness the latest incarnation of Amway. I've been to dozens of these rah-rah meetings and had a good idea of what to expect.

Not surprisingly, the next day I was swiftly ushered in by the usual group of enthusiastic, grinning faces eager to learn my life story. I was given a name tag, and escorted to a thumping disco of a an office party, with Lady Gaga blaring over the throngs of followers and their invited guests shouting over eachother and the music to exchange testimonials about how they'd been "saved" from their circumstances by WFG.

The presentation itself wasn't particulary out of the ordinary. It had all the trappings of every MLM meeting I've ever been to; uplifting music, charismatic speakers, promises of untold fortunes and travel to exotic locale's, emotional testimonials of "real life success stories", and all of this woven together with a sort of esoteric, feel good mantra about changing lives and giving back to the community etc... The speakers repeatedly mentioned the word integrity and said they needed to "hire" people with integrity.

What troubled me about WFG were a couple of things I haven't seen before. The first was an attempt by WFG to imbue all of this hoo ha with religiosity. Several of the speakers mentioned their faith in God, talked about recruitng memebers of church or Bible study etc... There was also a large poster hanging on the wall that spelled out what they beileve to be the American Dream, begining with faith in God and the importance of family. The poster goes on to list things like freedom etc...

While I have no problem with discussing faith, family or any of the other values laid out in this description, the idea of linking them to a highly profit-driven set of motives seems downright eerie and well, blasphemous to someone who takes their faith very seriously. Just like the televangelists fleecing the faithful, this is a cynical attempt to cash in on God and makes a mockery of faith.

It is surreal to hear people promising gold watches and diamond rings out of one side of their mouth while claiming to be followers of Jesus out of the other. Any real Christian knows that this kind of greed is un-Christ-like. They know that as the Bible says, it is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.

There is also an intense desire on the part of WFG to recruit married couples. Why? Any financial expert will tell you that a single person with no dependents doesn't need life insurance beyond what is required to cover their debts and burial expenses. Since married couples are more likely to own homes, have assetts and dependents, they are more likely to purchase WFG financial products.

If you pay attention, you can see the company bringing to light its own dishonesty and lack of integrity in the way it interchangably uses the terminology of employemnt and self-employment. The branch manager told the group sitting before him that he needed to "hire" a few people with integrity to work in his branch office. He discussed the $100.00 background check and that it was necessary because if you have a felony conviction "you cannot work here". He discussed "applications" and setting up "interviews" with prospective "candidates" etc... All of this language implies an employee/employer relationship. It is intended to give the impression that one will be working for WFG. They lead you to believe you are applying for a job.

However the speakers are also quick to point out that once on board with WFG, you will be a self-employed, free agent. Whether you are an employee or an independent contractor apparently depends on the circumstances and what is in the company's best interests at the time. This playing loosey goosey with the language is a deliberate attempt to confuse people. It is dishonest and raises serious questions about their corporate culture and this so called "integrity" they claim to hold in sch high regard.

If you are going to be an independent contractor, why does the company need to do a background check? They are not liable for any of your actions as a financial advisor. As a self employed person, you carry all of the risk. If you counduct business in a manner that is unethical or make a mistake or do something illegal, the SEC is comming after you personally; NOT WFG. WFG protects its own ### by refusing to hire you. They do not have to provide you health benefits, they do not have to carry workers' compensation coverage in case you are injured in the course of your duties, and they are not responsible if you make a mistake. You are on your own. It is a VERY risky propostion. Especially considering that you may be going into business for yourself with less than six weeks training and no experience in finance or insurance. The odds of even accidenatly violating a law or ethical breech are extremely high. Think about that.

After having met with x, y and z I learned that my friend had only been with the company for a week. He didn't know anything about x, y, and z. That he was already referring to them as "friends" and "like brothers" demonstrates the firm grip these people will have on you from the get go if you let them.

So why would AEGON purchase a shady company with a shady history? Simple. Their stated aim is to have 1 million associates by 2010. If they all fork over the minumun $100 for the background check and another $60 for the online classes, WFG has made a cool $160 million dollars for doing absolutely nothing, taken absolutely zero risk and created nothing of value for anyone but themselves.

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Comments

  • To answer your question:

    If you are going to be an independent contractor, why does the company need to do a background check? They are not liable for any of your actions as a financial advisor. As a self employed person, you carry all of the risk. If you counduct business in a manner that is unethical or make a mistake or do something illegal, the SEC is comming after you personally; NOT WFG. WFG protects its own ### by refusing to hire you. They do not have to provide you health benefits, they do not have to carry workers' compensation coverage in case you are injured in the course of your duties, and they are not responsible if you make a mistake. You are on your own. It is a VERY risky propostion. Especially considering that you may be going into business for yourself with less than six weeks training and no experience in finance or insurance. The odds of even accidenatly violating a law or ethical breech are extremely high. Think about that.

    background check: because you will be dealing in a federally security business, the 100 also goes the towards cost of your series 5 licensing course. You wouldnt someone who commited robbery helping you with your finances would you?

    With WFG.. Your in business for yourself.. if you would run a hot dog stand and someone got food poisioning from your product wouldnt they come after you?

    Business for yourself your right.. but on your own never. You have to learn how to deal with folks finance and be properly trained, Plus you pay a 25.00 insurace fee a month its called error and ommissions.. it covers you from getting sued.

    Hang out with your friend.. dont invest the 100 in yourself you will see this works..

    -2 Votes
  • Wf
      Dec 17, 2009

    I attend Faith Community Church. I'm with WFG as well as other great leaders whom are Christians exercising their Faith.
    If you were invited to attend a party, you expect a party or/with entertainment. If you were invited in a school, you expect students. If you were invited in a conference meeting, you expect suit/tie business background people with thick roller bags and stuff. You were invited to business presentation, music and agents walking around entertaining their invited guests are normal. Do you see yourself having guests that you will not entertain before everything else starts? Please dont get sensible but you got to think of both sides, not one-sided.
    Aegon is a 400B company and the 3rd world's financial conglomerate. Do you think they will just own WFG out of nowhere? Well, maybe you were off at a wrong start. I will actually congratulate your friend for presenting to you a business that really works. if this was introduced to me while i was younger, i'd be outreaching to more poor countries. Let me make this short, you get life and health license, you get trained, you go field training, you get commissions; once you are licensed. WFG will stand by you til lyou reach your dreams! They will look at your vision and dreams and your business plans! Where will you find a business company who will stand by your side and help you achieve your goals. Oh, and you are not paying them to do it.
    WFG is never an MLM . How? Why? WFG is highly regulated by securities and FINRA. You dont sell, you dont make money. No one makes money. You joined once, you are lifetime member and doesnt require monthly membership/products to buy; that's MLM. You find people and introduce the company; they become agents. You dont make money from your recruiting!
    If you still find this wrong, move on and give the rest a chance to reach their dreams joining WFG.
    Oh, look for yourfriend who introduced WFG to you after 1 year and see how he is doing with his business.

    Faith, Family, Friends

    Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version)

    11 For I know the plans I have for you, " declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    0 Votes
  • Pe
      Mar 04, 2010

    The person complaining is totally clueless and not with reality. $100.00 cover background check and who do you think is processing your paperwork do you think they should be paid also? Anyone reading and believing these complaints look at them are they complaining about anything the company itself has done so wrong? No, why because the company is solid. You work the company pays just like your job if you work you get paid but the difference is no matter how hard you work at your job you get paid no more no less until review time comes around her with WFG you work hard you get paid your worth and efforts. Every day we help people teaching and encouraging them to make sound financial decisions. Showing people how to make positive choices regarding their finances and showing them effective ways to earn more and save more has never been a bad thing.

    -3 Votes
  • Su
      Jun 24, 2010

    they do the background check because if you have had any felonies, money laundering, bankruptcies and such - who the hell would want to listen to you about finance? also, if you try to get appointed by other companies that wfg sells for such as Prudential, Pacific Life, etc., - they too will ask you about your background and if you've had felonies, money laundering, bankruptcies, etc, you will not be able to sell their products.

    and when you pay for your online class, that does not go to WFG you idiot. maybe if you made the initiative to enroll in class, you too would see that you're not paying WFG. i took my class at Kaplin Financial Institute and paid them. my friend paid to do online classes with EXAMFX.COM - they have nothing to do with WFG.

    THE BIGGEST FORM OF IGNORANCE IS WHEN SOMEONE REJECTS OR SPEAKS NEGATIVELY ABOUT SOMETHING THEY KNOW LITTLE OR NOTHING ABOUT.

    -2 Votes
  • My
      Jul 23, 2010

    Not a bizarre cult, just fake [censor] people trying to put on a game face in order to impress potential recruits. They have an event before the Mozone (Motivation Zone) which is called the pre-game where they discuss who's doing what. This happens every Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings. This event is called BPM (Business Presentation Meeting). WFG make their associates lie about limited seating when associates invite guests. It is very very very rare for a BPM to be out of seatings since not many guests show up to warrant that.

    +1 Votes
  • So
      Aug 16, 2010

    I have selected a few paragraphs from Tom92's Bizarre Cult complaint above because I have just recently been chosen to interview and work for this company. The similarities concern me. Tom92's paragraph 1. is pretty much how it happened for me except it was not a friend of mine it was a classmate. Paragraph 2. and 4. REALLY interest me because this is exactly what happened to me, and when Tom92 writes "brothers" I worried because my classmate has been referring to me and these other people as "brothers" to the point where I wanna say something. Paragraph 3. sums up the first meeting at company headquarters, and paragraph 4. is right on point. From the start I didn't put much stock in what my classmate was saying but I was curious and had the time so I went to the meeting. Next my classmate, another girl, and the trainer met with me for an interview and I paid the $100 even though I really thought they should have covered that. The interviewer told me in six months he wants me to be a manager at a new office they're opening in my area. During the interview my classmate just sat there nodding her head up and down oblivious to what was being said and spouted out "brother this" and "brother that" every now and then. Now I don't know what to expect from this company so I am gonna go to the follow up meetings etc, but I am definitely keeping my eyes open and not putting any faith in them until I see otherwise.


    Tom92's Bizarre Cult Complaint

    (1.) I was recently invited to attend a presentation by a friend of mine who has recently been sucked into World Financial Group. He explained it as an opportunity to make a great deal of money and said that he wanted to bring me "on board". My "BS" radar was already switched on. Nevertheless I found it hard to imagine that a company like AGEON would be foolish enough to purchase a company that wasn't on the up and up. So I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    (2.) A few days before I attended the meeting, my friend told me that he couldn't wait for me to meet his "friends" x, y, and z. He said that he had been working very closely with x, y and z and that they had become like "brothers". I aussumed they had been working together for quite some time.

    (3.) Not surprisingly, the next day I was swiftly ushered in by the usual group of enthusiastic, grinning faces eager to learn my life story. I was given a name tag, and escorted to a thumping disco of a an office party, with Lady Gaga blaring over the throngs of followers and their invited guests shouting over eachother and the music to exchange testimonials about how they'd been "saved" from their circumstances by WFG.

    (4.) After having met with x, y and z I learned that my friend had only been with the company for a week. He didn't know anything about x, y, and z. That he was already referring to them as "friends" and "like brothers" demonstrates the firm grip these people will have on you from the get go if you let them.

    +1 Votes
  • No
      Mar 12, 2011

    Tom92's Bizarre Cult Complaints are typical of a looser who can do anything for themselves but whining.

    -1 Votes
  • Me
      Jul 14, 2014

    I have seen only one smart comments about WFG and this is the first one. All you do is stoling people money you have numerous complaints about you everywhere as I have never seen fo any companies in my life. Why don't they aren't shutting you down because you use the money you stole to win . Shame on youuu for those who are doing it on purpose and those who are too stupid to see the reality. I pray they will shut you down as soon as possible.

    -1 Votes
  • Iw
      Oct 09, 2015
    Best Best Advice

    This company is a true CULT! I have a family member who has been involved for the last few years. She has invested all of her money into the company so she's in deep. I sat in on one of her "training" sessions where the fellow she was training under tried to get me to buy a Indexed Universal Life Insurance policy. Anyone with half a brain knows these are risky and full of ridiculous hidden fees. When I started to ask him the hard questions he shut down and packed up his stuff and was on his way. This company caters to the poor and uneducated. They say they are trying to "help families"...Ha! They're helping families allright, by taking their very last dollar! Shame on them!! And by bringing God into the picture they are really going down the wrong path. My family member is now obsessed with making $$, even if it means never having anything to do with her family again.
    My family member now shuns all her former caring brothers and sisters, nieces and newphews, old friends, etc. because they won't buy her terrible product or go to her "cult" meetings. It breaks my heart as before she got involved in this she was a terrific fun person. This companies philosophy is if you're not with them you're agaisnt them and they make all their members feel the same way. It's their way or the highway. I would highly suggest reading up on what's it like to be in a cult. This company fits about 99% of the criteria...pathetic.

    +4 Votes
  • Ca
      Jul 31, 2016

    this is stupid. first you have no background information of how people benefit from insurance other than you. how about you research little more before talk. Second what separate you from the rest of people attaining there. You think all these stranger that don't work there come out making over 100, 000 k income with no education requirement or skill. I pretty sure you been to a interview before, some people get the job and some don't. this bpm is a interview. To test your interest and get your interest. not to fool you wasting your money

    +1 Votes
  • Ri
      Feb 09, 2017

    My wife got involved with this cult and got me to attend an introductory meeting. The cult members met in a separate room, and every so often there would be a loud chants, applause, and cheering coming from that group. The introductory presentation never really disclosed what was offered; they just said financial products and career opportunity. And the presentation was full of half truths such as, "If you miss the fifteen best days of the stock market...", but left out missing the fifteen worst days. The presentor said that the compound interest formula he learned in college was too complex for him. He used the faulty method we are taught in school to calculate percent change. If something declines 50% they teach that if falls to half its value; the correct way is to evaluate fifty successive declines of 1%. That makes equal percent changes up and down more nearly cancel. There is a general appeal to the ignorant. And they stress FAITH, not facts. Alas, I am not blessed with faith. I have tried and tried to believe, but I just don't.
    If WFG gets my wife, it will surely end a 30 year marriage.

    0 Votes
  • Jo
      Oct 21, 2017

    Selling insurance is a job, being part of WFG qualifies you as a business owner. I've done a lot of due diligence on this company. The reality from my experience is this, those who are purely negative understand nothing at all about this business. Those who are in between, gave it an honest try got licensed and realized how much work is involved and may or maynot have continued, they got some sort of education from all this, those who love it are those who are disciplined and understand the business are making money and realize this is what they want to do going forward. This is a great opportunity but it's not for lazy people, or people who are afraid to succeed. I would not have been successful at this business 20 years ago, you really need to be convinced, this is an all or nothing business even if it starts out as part time.

    0 Votes

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