OUTWITTING THE DEVIL
by Napoleon Hill
Chapter l My First Meeting with Andrew Carnegie
Chapter 2 A New World Is Revealed to Me
Chapter 3 A Strange Interview with the Devil.
Chapter 4 Drifting with the Devil
Chapter 5 The Confession Continues
Chapter 6 Hypnotic Rhythm
Chapter 7 Seeds of Fear
Chapter 8 Definiteness of Purpose
Chapter 9 Education and Religion
Chapter 1 Self-Discipline
Chapter 1 1 Learning from Adversity
Chapter 12 Environment, Time, Harmony, and Caution
Uncommented as the original manuscript from 1938
FEAR is the tool of a man-made devil.
Self-confident faith in one's self is both the
man-made weapon which defeats this devil
and the man-made tool which builds a
triumphant life. And it is more than that.
It is a link to the irresistible forces of the
universe which stand behind a man who
does not believe in failure and defeat as being
anything but temporary experiences."
— Napoleon Hill
The introduction, typed on a manual typewriter with handwritten notes:
The Secret of how the Author Attained
Physical and Financial Freedom
The boldest and the most inspiring of the
success philosopher who, after thirty
years of diligent snooping, found the
Devil and wrung from him an astounding
confession disclosing where he lives,
why he exists, and how he gains control
over the minds of people, and how one
can outwit him . The book is a generous
course in psychology, making clear the
working principles of the human mind.
When you finish this story of the Devil
you will know much more about God.
Chapter One MY FIRST MEETING WITH ANDREW CARNEGIE
FOR MORE THAN A QUARTER OF A CENTURY my major
purpose has been that of isolating and organizing into
a philosophy of achievement the causes of both failure
and success, with the object of being helpful to others
who have neither the inclination nor the opportunity to
engage in this form of research.
My labor began in 1908, as the result of an interview that I
had with the late Andrew Carnegie. I frankly told Mr. Carnegie
that I wished to enter law school and that I had conceived the
idea of paying my way through school by interviewing suc-
cessful men and women, finding out how they came by their
success, and writing stories of my discoveries for magazines. At
the end of our first visit Mr. Carnegie asked whether or not I
possessed enough courage to carry out a suggestion he wished
to offer me. I replied that courage was about all I did have and
that I was prepared to do my best to carry out any suggestion
he cared to offer.
He then said, "Your idea of writing stories about men and
women who are successful is commendable, as far as it goes,
and I have no intention of trying to discourage you from car-
rying out your purpose, but I must tell you that if you wish
to be of enduring service, not only to those now living, but
to posterity as well, you can do so if you will take the time to
organize all of the causes of failure as well as all of the causes
"There are millions of people in the world who have not
the slightest conception of the causes of success and failure.
The schools and colleges teach practically everything except
the principles of individual achievement. They require young
men and women to spend from four to eight years acquiring
abstract knowledge, but do not teach them what to do with
this knowledge after they get it.
"The world is in need of a practical, understandable phi-
losophy of achievement, organized from the factual knowl-
edge gained from the experience of men and women in the
great university of life. In the entire field of philosophy I find
nothing which even remotely resembles the sort of philos-
ophy which I have in mind. We have few philosophers who are
capable of teaching men and women the art of living.
"It seems to me that here is an opportunity which should
challenge an ambitious young man of your type; but ambition
alone is not enough for this task which I have suggested. The
one who undertakes it must have courage and tenacity.
"The job will require at least twenty years of continuous
effort, during which the one who undertakes it will have to
earn his living from some other source, because this sort of
research is never profitable at the outset, and generally those
who have contributed to civilization through work of this
nature have had to wait a hundred years or so after their own
funerals to receive recognition for their labor."
"If you undertake this job, you should interview not only
the few who have succeeded, but the many who have failed.
You should carefully analyze many thousands of people who
have been classed as 'failures,' and I mean by the term 'failures,'
men and women who come to the closing chapter of life disap-
pointed because they did not attain the goal which they had
set their hearts upon achieving. As inconsistent as it may seem,
you will learn more about how to succeed from the failures
than you will from the so-called successes. They will teach you
what not to do.
"Along toward the end of your labor, if you carry it
through successfully, you will make a discovery which may be
a great surprise to you. You will discover that the cause of suc-
cess is not something separate and apart from the man; that
it is a force so intangible in nature that the majority of men
never recognize it; a force which might be properly called the
'other self.' Noteworthy is the fact that this 'other self seldom
exerts its influence or makes itself known excepting at times of
unusual emergency, when men are forced, through adversity
and temporary defeat, to change their habits and to think their
way out of difficulty.
"My experience has taught me that a man is never quite so
near success as when that which he calls 'failure' has overtaken
him, for it is on occasions of this sort that he is forced to think.
If he thinks accurately, and with persistence, he discovers
that so-called failure usually is nothing more than a signal to
re-arm himself with a new plan or purpose. Most real failures
are due to limitations which men set up in their own minds.
If they had the courage to go one step further, they would dis-
cover their error."
Begin Life Anew
Mr. Carnegie's speech reshaped my entire life and planted in
my mind a burning purpose, which has driven me ceaselessly,
and this despite the fact that I had but a vague idea as to what
he meant by the term "other self."
During my labor of research into the causes of failure and
success I have had the privilege of analyzing more than 25,000
men and women who were rated as "failures," and over 500
who were classed as "successful." Many years ago I caught my
first glimpse of that "other self Mr. Carnegie had mentioned.
The discovery came, as he said it would, as the result of two
major turning-points of my life, which constituted emergen-
cies that forced me to think my way out of difficulties such as I
had never before experienced.
I wish it were possible to describe this discovery without
the use of the personal pronoun, but this is impossible because
it came through personal experiences from which it cannot be
separated. To give you the complete picture I shall have to go
back to the first of these two major turning-points and bring
you up to the discovery step by step.
The research necessary for the accumulation of the data,
from which the seventeen principles of achievement and the
thirty major causes of failure were organized, required years
I had reached the false conclusion that my task of orga-
nizing a complete philosophy of personal achievement had
been completed. Far from having been completed, my work
had merely begun. I had erected the skeleton of a philosophy
by organizing the seventeen principles of achievement and the
thirty major causes of failure, but that skeleton had to be cov-
ered with the flesh of application and experience. Moreover, it
had to be given a soul through which it might inspire men and
women to meet obstacles without going down under them.
The "soul," which had yet to be added, as I discovered later,
became available only after my "other self" made its appear-
ance, through two major turning-points of my life.
Resolving to turn my attention, and whatever talents
I might possess, into monetary returns through business
and professional channels, I decided to go into the profes-
sion of advertising, and I became the advertising manager of
the LaSalle Extension University of Chicago. Everything went
along beautifully for one year, at the end of which I was seized
by a violent dislike for my job and resigned.
I then entered the chain store business, with the former
president of the LaSalle Extension University, and became the
president of the Betsy Ross Candy Company. Unfortunate— or
what seemed to me at the time to be unfortunate— disagree-
ments with business associates disengaged me from that
The lure of advertising still was in my blood, and I tried
again to give expression to it by organizing a school of adver-
tising and salesmanship, as a part of Bryant & Stratton
The enterprise was sailing smoothly and we were making
money rapidly when the United States entered World War I.
In response to an inner urge which no words can describe,
I walked away from the school and entered the service of
the United States government, under President Woodrow
Wilson's personal direction, leaving a perfectly sound busi-
ness to disintegrate.
On Armistice Day 1918, I began the publication of The
Golden Rule magazine. Despite the fact that I did not have a
penny of capital, the magazine grew rapidly and soon gained a
nation-wide circulation of nearly half a million, ending its first
year's business with a profit of $3,156.
Some years later I learned, from an experienced publisher, that
no man experienced in the publication and distribution of
national magazines would think of starting such a magazine
with less than half a million dollars of capital.
The Golden Rule magazine and I were destined to part
company. The more we succeeded the more discontented
I became, until finally, due to an accumulation of petty annoy-
ances caused by business associates, I made them a present of
the magazine and stepped out. Through that move perhaps I
tossed a small fortune over my shoulder.
Next I organized a training school for salesmen. My first
assignment was to train a sales army of 3,000 people for a chain
store company, for which I received $10 for each salesman who
went through my classes. Within six months my work had
netted me a little over $30,000. Success, as far as money was
concerned, was crowning my efforts with abundance. Again
I became "fidgety" inside. I was not happy. It became more
obvious every day that no amount of money would ever make
Without the slightest reasonable excuse for my actions,
I stepped out and gave up a business from which I might
easily have earned a healthy salary. My friends and business
associates thought I was crazy, and they were not backward
about saying so.
Frankly, I was inclined to agree with them, but there
seemed nothing I could do about it. I was seeking happiness
and I had not found it. At least that is the only explanation
I could offer for my unusual actions. What man really
That was during the late fall of 1923. I found myself
stranded in Columbus, Ohio, without funds, and worse still,
without a plan by which to work my way out of my difficulty.
It was the first time in my life that I had actually been stranded
because of lack of funds.
Many times previously I had found money to be rather
shy, but never before had I failed to get what I needed for my
personal conveniences. The experience stunned me. I seemed
totally at sea as to what I could or should do.
I thought of a dozen plans by which I might solve my
problem, but dismissed them all as being either impractical
or impossible of achievement. I felt like one who was lost in a
jungle without a compass. Every attempt I made to work my
way out brought me back to the original starting point.
For nearly two months I suffered with the worst of all
human ailments: indecision. I knew the seventeen principles
of personal achievement, but what I did not know was how
to apply them! Without knowing it I was facing one of those
emergencies of life through which, Mr. Carnegie had told me,
men sometimes discover their "other selves."
My distress was so great that it never occurred to me to sit
down and analyze its cause and seek its cure.
Defeat Is Converted into Victory
One afternoon I reached a decision through which I found the
way out of my difficulty. I had a feeling that I wanted to get
out into the "open spaces" of the country, where I could get a
breath of fresh air and think.
I began to walk, and had gone seven or eight miles when
I felt myself brought suddenly to a standstill. For several
minutes I stood there as if I had been glued to my tracks.
Everything around me went dark. I could hear the loud sound
of some form of energy which was vibrating at a very high rate.
Then my nerves became quiet, my muscles relaxed, and a
great calmness came over me. The atmosphere began to clear,
and as it did so, I received a command from within which came
in the form of a thought, as near as I can describe it.
The command was so clear and distinct that I could
not misunderstand it. In substance it said, "The time has
come for you to complete the philosophy of achievement
which you began at Carnegie's suggestion. Go back home
at once and begin transferring the data you have gathered
from your own mind to written manuscripts." My "other self"
For a few minutes I was frightened. The experience was
unlike any I had ever undergone before. I turned and walked
rapidly until I reached home. As I approached the house, I saw
my three little boys looking out of a window of our house at
our neighbor's children, who were dressing a Christmas tree in
the house next door.
Then I recalled that it was Christmas Eve. Moreover, I
recalled, with a feeling of deep distress such as I had never
known before, that there would be no Christmas tree at our
house. The look of disappointment on the faces of my children
reminded me painfully of that fact.
I went into the house, sat down at my typewriter, and began
at once to reduce to writing the discoveries I had made con-
cerning the causes of success and failure. As I placed the first
sheet of paper in the typewriter I was interrupted by that same
strange feeling which had come over me out in the country a
few hours before, and this thought flashed into my mind:
"Your mission in life is to complete the world's first philos-
ophy of individual achievement. You have been trying in vain
to escape your task, each effort having brought you failure.
You are seeking happiness. Learn this lesson, once and forever,
that you will find happiness only by helping others to find it!
You have been a stubborn student. You had to be cured of your
stubbornness through disappointment. Within a few years
from now the whole world will start through an experience
which will place millions of people in need of the philosophy
which you have been directed to complete. Your big oppor-
tunity to find happiness by rendering useful service will have
come. Go to work, and do not stop until you have completed
and published the manuscripts which you have begun."
I was conscious of having arrived, at last, at the end of life's
rainbow, and I was happy!
Doubt Makes Its Appearance
The "spell," if the experience may be so called, passed away.
I began to write. Shortly thereafter my "reason" suggested to
me that I was embarking upon a fool's mission. The idea of
a man who was down and almost out presuming to write a
philosophy of personal achievement seemed so ludicrous
that I laughed hilariously, perhaps scornfully.
I squirmed in my chair, ran my fingers through my hair,
and tried to create an alibi that would justify me in my own
mind in taking the sheet of paper out of my typewriter before
I had really begun to write, but the urge to continue was
stronger than the desire to quit. I became reconciled to my task
and went ahead.
Looking backward now, in the light of all that has hap-
pened, I can see that those minor experiences of adversity
through which I had passed were among the most fortunate
and profitable of all of my experiences. They were blessings
in disguise because they forced me to continue a work which
finally brought me an opportunity to make myself more useful
to the world than I might have been had I succeeded in any
previous plan or purpose.
For almost three months I worked on those manu-
scripts, completing them during the early part of 1924. As
soon as they had been completed, I felt myself again being
lured by the desire to get back into the great American game
Succumbing to the lure, I purchased the Metropolitan
Business College in Cleveland, Ohio, and began to lay plans for
increasing its capacity. By the end of 1924 we had developed
and expanded, by adding new courses, until we were doing a
business nearly double the best previous record the school had
Again the germ of discontentment began to make itself
felt in my blood. Again I knew that I could not find happi-
ness in that sort of endeavor. I turned the business over to my
associates and went on the lecture platform, lecturing on the
philosophy of achievement, to the organization of which I had
devoted so many of my previous years.
One night I was booked to lecture in Canton, Ohio. Fate,
or whatever it is that seems sometimes to shape the destiny
of men, no matter how hard they may try to battle against it,
again stepped into the picture and brought me face to face
with a painful experience.
In my Canton audience sat Don R. Mellett, publisher of
the Canton Daily News. Mr. Mellett became so thoroughly
interested in the philosophy of individual achievement on
which I lectured that night that he invited me to come to see
him the following day.
That visit resulted in a partnership agreement which was
to have taken place on the first of the following January when
Mr. Mellett planned to resign as publisher of the Daily News, to
take charge of the business and publishing of the philosophy
on which I had been working.
However, in July 1926, Mr. Mellett was murdered by Pat
McDermott, an underworld character, and a Canton, Ohio,
policeman, both of whom were sentenced to life imprison-
ment. He was murdered because he was exposing in his news-
paper a hook-up between the boodeggers and certain members
of the Canton police force. The crime was one of the most
shocking that the prohibition era produced.
Chance (?) Saves My Life
The morning after Mr. Mellett's death I was called on the
telephone and put on notice, by some unknown person, that
I had one hour in which to get out of Canton; that I could go
voluntarily within the hour, but if I waited longer I probably
would go in a pine box. My business association with Mr.
Mellett had apparently been misunderstood. His murderers
evidently believed I was directly connected with the expose he
was making in his newspapers.
I did not wait for the one hour time limit to expire, but
immediately got into my automobile and drove down to the
home of relatives in the mountains of West Virginia, where
I remained until the murderers had been placed in jail.
That experience came well within the category described by
Mr. Carnegie as an "emergency" that forces men to think. For
the first time in my life I knew the pain of constant fear. My
experience of a few years before, in Columbus, had filled my
mind with doubt and temporary indecision, but this one had
filled it with a fear which I seemed unable to remove. During
the time that I was in hiding I seldom left the house at night,
and when I did step out I kept my hand on an automatic pistol
in my coat pocket, with the safety catch unlatched for imme-
diate action. If a strange automobile stopped in front of the
house where I was hiding, I went into the basement and care-
fully scrutinized its occupants through the basement windows.
After some months of this sort of experience, my nerves
began to crack. My courage had completely left me. The
ambition which had heartened me during the long years of
labor in my search for the causes of failure and success also
Slowly, step by step, I felt myself slipping into a state of
lethargy from which I was afraid I should never be able to
emerge. The feeling must have been closely akin to that expe-
rienced by one who suddenly steps into quicksand and real-
izes that every effort to extricate himself carries him just so
much deeper. Fear is a self-generating morass.
If the seed of insanity had been in my make-up, surely it
would have germinated during those months of living death.
Foolish indecision, irresolute dreams, doubt and fear were my
mind's concern, day and night.
The "emergency" I faced was disastrous in two ways. First,
the very nature of it kept me in a constant state of indecision
and fear. Secondly, the forced concealment kept me in idle-
ness, with its attendant heaviness of time, which I naturally
devoted to worry.
My reasoning faculty had almost been paralyzed. I realized
that I had to work myself out of this state of mind. But how?
The resourcefulness which had helped me to meet all previous
emergencies seemed to have completely taken wing, leaving
Out of my difficulties, which were burdensome enough
up to this point, grew another which seemed more painful
than all the others combined. It was the realization that
I had spent the better portion of my past years in chasing a
rainbow, searching hither and yon for the causes of success,
and finding myself now more helpless than any of the 25,000
people whom I had judged as being "failures."
This thought was almost maddening. Moreover, it was
extremely humiliating, because I had been lecturing all over
the country, in schools and colleges and before business
organizations, presuming to tell other people how to apply
the seventeen principles of success, while here I was, unable to
apply them myself. I was sure that I never could again face the
world with a feeling of confidence.
Every time I looked at myself in a mirror I noticed an
expression of self-contempt on my face, and not infrequently
I did say things to the man in the mirror which are not print-
able. I had begun to place myself in the category of charlatans
who offer others a remedy for failure which they themselves
cannot successfully apply.
The criminals who had murdered Mr. Mellett had been
tried and sent to the penitentiary for life; therefore, it was per-
fectly safe, as far as they were concerned, for me to come out
of hiding and again take up my work. I could not come out,
however, because now I faced circumstances more frightful
than the criminals who had sent me into hiding.
The experience had destroyed whatever initiative I had
possessed. I felt myself in the clutches of some depressing
influence which seemed like a nightmare. I was alive; I could
move around, but I could not think of a single move by
which I might continue to seek the goal which I had, at Mr.
Carnegie's suggestion, set for myself. I was rapidly becoming
indifferent, not only toward myself, but worse still, I was
becoming grouchy and irritable toward those who had given
me shelter during my "emergency."
I faced the greatest emergency of my life. Unless you have
gone through a similar experience, you cannot possibly know
how I felt. Such experiences cannot be described. To be under-
stood they must be felt.
The Most Dramatic Moment of My Life
The turn came suddenly, in fall 1927, more than a year after
the Canton incident. I left the house one night and walked up
to the public school building, on top of a hill above the town.
I had reached a decision to fight the matter out with myself
before that night ended. I began to walk around the building,
trying to force my befuddled brain to think clearly. I must have
made several hundred trips around the building before any-
thing which even remotely resembled organized thought began
to take place in my mind. As I walked I repeated over and over
to myself, "There is a way out and I am going to find it before
I go back to the house." I must have repeated that sentence a
thousand times. Moreover, I meant exactly what I was saying.
I was thoroughly disgusted with myself, but I entertained a
hope of salvation.
Then like a flash of lightning out of a clear sky, an idea
burst into my mind with such force that the impulse drove my
blood up and down my veins:
"This is your testing time. You have been reduced to pov-
erty and humiliated in order that you might be forced to dis-
cover your 'other self"
For the first time in years I recalled what Mr. Carnegie
had said about this "other self." I recalled now that he said I
would discover it toward the end of my labor of research into
the causes of failure and success, and that the discovery usu-
ally came as the result of an emergency, when men are forced
to change their habits and to think their way out of difficulty.
I continued to walk around the school house, but now
I was walking on air. Subconsciously I seemed to know that I
was about to be released from the self-made prison into which
I had cast myself.
I realized that this great emergency had brought me an
opportunity, not merely to discover my "other self," but to test
the soundness of the philosophy of achievement which I had
been teaching others as being workable. Soon I would know
whether it would work or not. I made up my mind that if it
did not work I would burn the manuscripts I had written and
never again be guilty of telling other people that they were "the
masters of their fate, the captains of their souls."
The full moon was just rising over the mountain top. I had
never seen it shine so brightly before. As I stood gazing at it,
another thought flashed into my mind. It was this:
"You have been telling other people how to master fear
and how to surmount the difficulties which arise out of the
emergencies of life. From now on you can speak with authority
because you are about to rise above your own difficulties with
courage and purpose, resolute and unafraid."
With that thought came a change in the chemistry of my
being which lifted me into a state of exultation I had never
before known. My brain began to clear itself of the state of
lethargy into which it had lapsed. My faculty of reason began
to work once more.
For a brief moment I was happy to have had the privilege
of going through those long months of torment, because the
experience provided an opportunity for me to test the sound-
ness of the principles of achievement which I had so labori-
ously wrested from my research.
When this thought came to me, I stopped still, drew my
feet closely together, saluted (I did not know what or whom),
and stood rigidly at attention for several minutes. This seemed,
at first, like a foolish thing to do, but while I was standing
there another thought came through in the form of an "order"
that was as brief and snappy as any ever given by a military
commander to a subordinate.
The order said, "Tomorrow get into your automobile and
drive to Philadelphia, where you will receive aid in publishing
your philosophy of achievement."
There was no further explanation and no modification of
the order. As soon as I received it, I walked back to the house,
went to bed, and slept with peace of mind such as I had not
known for over a year.
When I awoke the following morning, I got out of bed and
immediately began to pack my clothes and make ready for the
trip to Philadelphia. My reason told me that I was embarking
upon a fool's mission. Who did I know in Philadelphia to
whom I might apply for financial aid in publishing eight vol-
umes of books at a cost of $25,000? I asked myself.
Instantly the answer to that question flashed into my
mind, as plainly as if it had been uttered in audible words:
"You are following orders now, instead of asking questions.
Your 'other self will be in charge during this trip."
There was another condition which seemed to make my
preparation to go to Philadelphia absurd. I had no money!
This thought had barely occurred to me when my "other self"
exploded it by giving another sharp order, saying, "Ask your
brother-in-law for fifty dollars and he will lend it to you."
The order seemed definite and final. Without further hesi-
tation I followed instructions. When I asked my brother-in-law
for the money, he said, "Why, certainly you can have fifty dol-
lars, but if you are going to be gone very long you had better
take a hundred dollars." I thanked him and said I thought fifty
dollars would be enough. I knew it was not enough, but that
was the amount my "other self" had commanded me to ask for
and that is the amount I secured.
I was greatly relieved when I found that my brother-in-
law was not going to ask me why I was going to Philadelphia.
If he had known all that had taken place in my mind during
the previous night, he perhaps would have thought I should
go to a psychiatric hospital for treatment instead of going to
Philadelphia on a wild-goose chase.
My "Other Self Takes Command
I left with my head telling me I was a fool and my "other self"
commanding me to ignore the challenge and carry out my
I drove all night, arriving in Philadelphia the next morning.
My first thought was to look up a modestly priced boarding
house where I could rent a room for about one dollar a day.
Here again my "other self" took charge and gave the com-
mand to register at the most exclusive hotel in the city. With
a little more than forty dollars of my remaining capital in my
pocket, it seemed like financial suicide when I marched up to
the desk and asked for a room; or rather I should say I started
to ask for a room when my newly discovered "other self" gave
the order to ask for a suite of rooms, the cost of which would
about consume my remaining capital in two days. I obeyed.
The bell-boy picked up my bags, handed me my claim
check for my automobile, and bowed me toward the elevator
as if I were the Prince of Wales. It was the first time in more
than a year that any human being had shown me such defer-
ence. My own relatives, with whom I had been living, far from
having shown me deference, had (so I imagined) felt I was a
burden on their hands, and I am sure that I was, because no
man in the frame of mind that I had been in for the past year
could be anything other than a burden to all with whom he
came into contact.
It was becoming apparent that my "other self" was deter-
mined to wean me away from the inferiority complex which I
I tossed the bell-boy a dollar. I started to estimate what my
hotel bill would be by the end of the week when my "other self"
commanded me to get my mind entirely off of all thoughts of
limitation, and to conduct myself, for the time being, just as I
would if I had all the money I wanted in my pockets.
The experience I was passing through was both new and
strange to me. I had never posed as being anything other than
what I believed myself to be.
For nearly half an hour this "other self" gave orders which
I followed to the letter during the subsequent period of my
stay in Philadelphia. The instructions were given through the
medium of thoughts which presented themselves in my mind
with such force that they were readily distinguishable from my
ordinary self-created thoughts.
I Receive Strange "Orders" from a Strange Source
My instructions began in this fashion:
"You are now completely in charge of your 'other self.' You
are entitled to know that two entities occupy your body, as in
fact two similar entities occupy the body of each living person
"One of these entities is motivated by and responds to the
impulse of fear. The other is motivated by and responds to the
impulse of faith. For more than a year you have been driven,
like a slave, by the fear entity.
"Night before last the faith entity gained control over
your physical body, and you are now motivated by that entity.
For the sake of convenience you may call this faith entity your
'other self.' It knows no limitations, has no fears, and recog-
nizes no such word as 'impossible.'
"You were directed to select this environment of luxury, in
a good hotel, as a means of discouraging the return to power
of the fear entity. That fear-motivated 'old self is not dead;
it has merely been dethroned. And it will follow you around
wherever you go, awaiting a favorable opportunity to step in
and take charge of you again. It can gain control of you only
through your thoughts. Remember this, and keep the doors
to your mind tightly closed against all thoughts which seek to
limit you in any manner whatsoever, and you will be safe.
"Do not permit yourself to worry about the money you
will need for your immediate expenses. That will come to you
by the time you must have it.
"Now, let us get down to business. First of all you should
know that the faith entity now in charge of your body performs
no miracles, nor does it work in opposition to any of nature's
laws. As long as it is in charge of your body it will guide you
when you call on it, through impulses of thought which it will
place in your mind, in carrying out your plans through the
most logical and convenient natural media available.
"Above everything else, get this fact clearly fixed in your
mind, that your 'other self will not do your work for you; it
will only guide you intelligently in achieving for yourself the
objects of your desires.
"This 'other self will aid you in translating your plans
into reality. Moreover, you should know that it begins, always,
with your major, or most pronounced desire. At this time your
major desire— the one which brought you here— is to publish
and distribute the results of your research into the causes of
success and failure. You estimate that you will need approxi-
"Among your acquaintances there is a man who will supply
you with this needed capital. Begin, at once, to call into your
mind the names of all persons of your acquaintance whom you
have reason to believe might be induced to furnish the finan-
cial aid you require.
"When the name of the logical person comes into your
mind, you will recognize it immediately. Communicate
with that person and the aid you seek will be given. In your
approach, however, present your request in terminology such
as you would use in the usual course of business transactions.
Make no reference whatsoever to this introduction you have
had to your 'other self If you violate these instructions, you
will meet with temporary defeat.
"Your 'other self will remain in charge and continue to
direct you as long as you rely upon it. Keep doubt and fear and
worry, and all thoughts of limitation, entirely out of your mind.
"That will be all for the present. You will now begin to
move of your own free will, precisely as you did before you dis-
covered your 'other self. Physically you are the same as you
have always been; therefore, no one will recognize that any
change has taken place in you."
I looked around the room, blinked my eyes, and to make
sure that I was not dreaming, I got up and walked over to a
mirror and looked at myself closely. The expression on my face
had changed from one of doubt to one of courage and faith.
There was no longer any doubt in my mind that my physical
body was in charge of an influence far different from the one
which had been dethroned two nights before, as I walked
around that school house in West Virginia.
Chapter Two A NEW WORLD IS REVEALED TO ME
OBVIOUSLY I HAD UNDERGONE A NEW BIRTH by which
I had been separated from all forms of fear. I now
had courage such as I never before had experienced.
Despite the fact that I had not as yet been shown
how, or from what source, I would be able to secure the neces-
sary funds which I was seeking, I had such absolute faith that
the money would be forthcoming that I could see it already in
On but few occasions in my entire life have I experienced
such faith. It was a feeling which one person cannot describe
to another. There are no words in the English language suit-
able for such a description— a fact that all who have had similar
experiences can easily verify.
I proceeded immediately to carry out the instructions I
had received. All feeling that I had embarked upon an impos-
sible mission had now left me. One by one I began to call
into my mind the names of all my acquaintances I knew to be
financially able to supply me with the $25,000 which I needed,
starting with the name of Henry Ford, and going over the
entire list of more than three hundred people. My "other self
plainly said, "Keep on searching."
The Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn
But I had come to the end of my rope. My entire list of
acquaintances had been exhausted, and with it my physical
endurance as well. I had been at work, concentrating my
mind upon that list of names, for the better part of two days
and nights, having stopped only long enough to sleep for a
I leaned back in my chair, shut my eyes, and went into a
sort of doze for a few minutes. I was aroused by what seemed
to be an explosion in the room. As I regained consciousness
the name of Albert L. Pelton came into my mind . . . and with
it a plan which I knew instantly to be the plan through which
I would succeed in getting Mr. Pelton to publish my books. I
remembered Mr. Pelton only as an advertiser in The Golden
Rule magazine, which I had formerly published.
I sent for a typewriter, addressed a letter to Mr. Pelton at
Meriden, Connecticut, and described the plan just as it had
been handed over to me. He answered by telegram, saying that
he would be in Philadelphia to see me the following day.
When he came I showed him the original manuscripts of
my philosophy, and briefly explained what I believed its mis-
sion to be. He turned through the pages of the manuscripts
for a few minutes, then stopped suddenly and fixed his eyes
on the wall for a few seconds and said, "I will publish your
books for you."
The contract was drawn; a substantial advance payment
on royalties was given me, the manuscripts were turned over to
him, and he took them back to Meriden.
I did not ask him at the time what caused him to reach
a decision to publish my books before he had read the
manuscripts, but I do know that he supplied the necessary
capital, printed the books, and assisted me in selling many
thousands of sets of them to his own clientele of book buyers,
who were located in practically every English-speaking country
in the world.
My "Other Self Makes Good
Three months from the day that Mr. Pelton called on me in
Philadelphia, a completed set of my books was placed on the
table in front of me, and my income from the sale of the books
began to run high enough for all my needs. These books are
now in the hands of my students all over the world.
My first royalty check from the sale of my books was for
$850. As I opened the envelope in which it came, my "other
self" said, "Your only limitation is the one which you set up in
your own mind!"
I am not sure that I understand just what this "other self"
is, but I do know that there can be no permanent defeat for the
man or the woman who discovers it and relies upon it.
The day after Mr. Pelton came to see me in Philadelphia,
my other self presented me with an idea which solved my
immediate financial problem. The idea flashed into my mind
that automobile merchandising methods had to undergo a
drastic change and that future salesmen in this field would
have to learn to sell automobiles instead of merely serving as
buyers of used car trade-ins, as most of them were doing at
It also occurred to me that young men who had just fin-
ished college and who, therefore, knew nothing of the old
"tricks" of automobile merchandising would be the mate-
rial out of which this new brand of salesmen could best
The idea was so distinct and impressive that I immedi-
ately called the sales manager of the General Motors Company
on long-distance telephone and briefly explained my plan to
him. He too was impressed by it and referred me to the West
Philadelphia branch of the Buick Automobile Company, which
was then owned and managed by Earl Powell. I went to see Mr.
Powell, explained my plan to him, and he retained me at once
to train fifteen carefully selected young college men through
whom the plan was put into operation.
My income from that retainer was more than enough to
take care of all of my expenses for the following three months,
until the returns from the sale of my books began to come in,
including the cost of that expensive suite of rooms, over which
I had at first been so concerned.
My "other self" had not disappointed me. The money I
needed was in my hands at the proper time, just as I had been
assured the money would be. By this time I had been con-
vinced that my trip to Philadelphia was by no means a fool's
mission, as my reason had indicated it would be before I left
From that time right up to this very minute everything I
have needed has come to me, and this despite the fact that the
whole world has recently passed through a period of economic
depression, when the bare necessities of life have not always
been available to all people. Sometimes the arrival of the mate-
rial things I needed has been a little late, but I can truthfully say
that my "other self" has always met me at the cross-roads when
I have come to them, and indicated which path I should follow.
The "other self follows no precedents, recognizes no limi-
tations, and always finds a way to accomplish desired ends!
It may meet with temporary defeat, but not with permanent
failure. I am as sure of the soundness of this statement as I am
of the fact of being engaged in writing these lines.
Meanwhile, I earnestly hope that some of the millions
of men and women who have been wounded by the business
depression and other unpleasant experiences will discover
within themselves this strange entity which I have called my
"other self," and that the discovery will lead them, as it has led
me, into a closer relationship with that source of power which
surmounts obstacles and masters difficulties, instead of being
mastered by them. There is a great power to be discovered in
your "other self"! Search sincerely and you will find it.
"Failure": A Blessing in Disguise
I have made another discovery as the result of this
introduction to my "other self," namely, that there is a
solution for every legitimate problem, no matter how difficult
the problem may seem.
I have also discovered that there comes with every experi-
ence of temporary defeat, and every failure and every form of
adversity, the seed of an equivalent benefit.
Mind you, I did not say the full-blown flower of success,
but the seed from which that flower may be made to germi-
nate and grow. I know of no exception to this rule. The seed of
which I speak may not always be observed, but you may be sure
it is there, in one form or another.
I do not pretend to understand all about this strange force
which reduced me to poverty and want, and filled me with fear,
and then gave me a new birth of faith through which I have
been privileged to extend help to tens of thousands who found
themselves slipping. But I do know that such a force has come
into my life and that I am doing all I can to place others in
communication with it.
During my quarter-century of research into the causes of
success and failure I have discovered many principles of truth
which have been helpful to me and to others, but nothing
I have observed has impressed me more than the discovery
that every great leader of the past, whose record I have exam-
ined, was beset by difficulties and met with temporary defeat
From Christ on down to Edison, the men who have
achieved most have been those who met with the most stub-
born forms of temporary defeat. This would seem to justify
the conclusion that Infinite Intelligence has a plan, or a law, by
which it hurdles men over many obstacles before giving them
the privilege of leadership or the opportunity to render useful
service in a noteworthy fashion.
I would not wish to be again subjected to the experiences
through which I passed during that fateful Christmas Eve
in 1923, and since, on that eventful evening when I walked
around the school house in West Virginia and fought that
terrible battle with fear, but all the wealth in the world would
not induce me to divest myself of the knowledge I have gained
from those experiences.
Faith Has a New Meaning to Me
I repeat that I do not know exactly what this "other self" is, but
I know enough about it to lean upon it in a spirit of absolute
faith in times of difficulty, when the ordinary reasoning faculty
of my mind seems to be inadequate for my needs.
The economic depression which started in 1929 brought
misery to millions of people, but let us not forget that the
experience also brought many blessings, not the least of these
being the knowledge that there is something infinitely worse
than being forced to work. It is being forced not to work.
In the main, that depression was more of a blessing than it
was a curse, if analyzed in the light of the changes it brought
to the minds of those who were wounded by it. The same is
true of every experience which changes men's habits and
forces them to turn to the great "within" for the solution of
The time which I spent in seclusion in West Virginia was,
by great odds, the most severe punishment of my life, but the
experience brought blessings in the form of needed knowledge
which more than offset the suffering which it cost me.
These two results— the suffering and the knowledge gained
from it— were inevitable. The law of compensation, which
Emerson so clearly defined, made this result both natural
What the future may hold for me in the way of disappoint-
ment, through temporary defeat, I of course have no way of
knowing. I do know, however, that no experience of the future
can possibly wound me as deeply as have some of those of the
past, because I am now on speaking terms at least with my
Since this "other self" took charge of me, I have come by
useful knowledge which I am sure I never would have discov-
ered while my old fear entity was on the throne. For one thing I
have learned that those who meet with difficulties which seem
insurmountable may, if they will do so, best overcome these
difficulties by forgetting them for a time and helping others
who have greater problems.
The Value of Giving Before Trying to Get
I am sure that no effort which we extend to those who are in
distress can go without some form of adequate reward. Not
always does the reward come from those to whom the service
is rendered, but it will come from one source or another.
I seriously doubt that any man can avail himself of the
benefits of his "other self" as long as he is steeped in greed
and avarice, envy and fear, but if I am wrong in this conclu-
sion then I still have the unusual honor of being one who has
found peace of mind and happiness through a viewpoint that
was not sound. I would prefer being thus wrong and happy, to
being right and unhappy! But this viewpoint is not wrong!
As long as I remain on good terms with my "other self"
I shall be able to acquire every material thing that I need.
Moreover, I shall be able to find happiness and peace of mind.
What more could anyone else accomplish?
The sole motive which inspired me to write this book was
a sincere desire to be helpful to others by sharing with them as
much as they may be prepared to accept of the stupendous for-
tune which became mine the moment I discovered my "other
self." This fortune, happily, is one that cannot be measured
in material or financial terms alone, because it is greater than
everything which such things represent.
Material and financial fortunes, when reduced to their most
liquid terms, are measurable in terms of bank balances. Bank
balances are no stronger than banks. This other fortune of
which I speak is measurable, not only in terms of peace of mind
and contentment but as manifested in those adept at prayer.
My "other self" has taught me to concentrate upon my
purpose and to forget about the plan by which it is to be
attained when I go to prayer. I am not suggesting that mate-
rial objects may be acquired without plans. What I am saying is
that the power which translates one's thoughts or desires into
realities has its source in an Infinite Intelligence which knows
more about plans than the one doing the praying.
Stating the case in another way, may it not be wise, when
praying, to trust to the Universal Mind to hand over the plan
best suited for the attainment of the object of that prayer? My
experience with prayer has taught me that so often all which
results from prayer is a plan (if the prayer is answered at all),
a plan that is suited for the attainment of the object of the
prayer through natural and material media. The plan must be
transmuted, through self-effort action.
I know nothing about any form of prayer which can be
induced to work favorably in a mind that is colored, in the
slightest degree, by fear.
A New Way to Pray
Since becoming better acquainted with my "other self," my
way of praying is different from what it was before. I used to
go to prayer only when facing difficulty. Now I go to prayer
before difficulty overtakes me, when possible. I now pray, not
for more of this world's goods and greater blessings, but to
be worthy of that which I already have. I find that this plan is
better than the old one.
Infinite Intelligence seems not at all offended when I give
thanks and show that I am grateful for the blessings which
have crowned my efforts. I was astounded, when I first tried
this plan of offering a prayer of thanks for what I already pos-
sessed, to discover what a vast fortune I had owned without
being appreciative of it.
For example, I discovered that I possessed a sound body
which had never been seriously damaged by illness. I had a
mind which was reasonably well balanced. I had a creative
imagination through which I could render useful service to
great numbers of people. I was blessed with all the freedom I
desired, in both body and mind. I possessed an imperishable
desire to help others who were less fortunate.
I discovered that happiness, the highest aim of mankind,
was mine for the taking, business depression or no business
Last, but by no means least, I discovered that I had the
privilege of approaching Infinite Intelligence, either for the
purpose of offering thanks for what I already possessed, or to
ask for more, and for guidance.
It may be helpful for every reader of this book to take
inventory of his or her intangible assets. Such an inventory
may disclose possessions of priceless value.
Some Signs We Have Overlooked
The whole world is undergoing a change of such stupendous
proportions that millions of people have become panic-
stricken with worry, doubt, indecision, and fear! It seems to
me that now is a splendid time for those who have come to the
cross-roads of doubt to endeavor to become acquainted with
their "other selves."
All who wish to do so will find it helpful if they take a
lesson from nature. Observation will show that the eternal
stars shine nightly in their accustomed places; that the sun
continues to send down its rays of warmth, causing Mother
Earth to yield an over-abundance of food and clothing; that
water continues to flow down hill; that the birds of the air
and the wild animals of the forest receive their accustomed
requirements of food; that useful day follows restful night;
that busy summer follows the inactive winter; that the seasons
come and go precisely as they did before the 1929 depression
began; that, in reality, only men's minds have ceased to func-
tion normally, and this, because men have filled their minds
with fear. Observation of these simple facts of everyday life
may be helpful as a starting point for those who wish to sup-
plant fear by faith.
I am not a prophet, but I can, with all due modesty, pre-
dict that every individual has the power to change his or her
material or financial status by first changing the nature of his
or her beliefs.
Do not confuse the word "belief" with the word "wish."
The two are not the same. Everyone is capable of "wishing" for
financial, material, or spiritual advantages, but the element of
faith is the only sure power by which a wish may be translated
into a belief, and a belief into reality.
And right here is an appropriate place at which to call
attention to a real benefit which anyone may experience by
deliberately using faith in focusing attention upon any form of
constructive desire. The mind acts upon one's dominating, or
most pronounced desires. There is no escape from this fact. It
is a fact indeed. "Be careful what you set your heart upon, for it
surely shall be yours."
Faith Is the Beginning of All Great Achievement
If Edison had stopped by merely wishing for the secret
with which electric energy might be harnessed and made to
serve through the incandescent lamp, that convenience to
civilization would have remained among nature's multifarious
secrets. He met with temporary defeat more than 10,000 times
before wresting this secret from nature. It was finally yielded
up to him because he believed it would be, and he kept on
trying until he had the answer.
Edison uncovered more of nature's secrets (they might
have been called "miracles" at an earlier period) in the realm
of physics than did any other man who ever lived, and
this because he became acquainted with his "other self." I
have his own word for this, but even if I did not have it, his
achievements of themselves have disclosed the secret in their
Nothing within reason is impossible to the man who
knows and relies upon his "other self." Whatever man believes
to be true has a way of becoming true.
A prayer is a released thought, sometimes expressed in
audible words and at other times expressed silently. I have
observed by experience that a silent prayer is as efficacious as
the one which is expressed in words. I have observed also that
one's state of mind is the determining factor when prayer
works, as well as when it does not.
My conception of the "other self" which I have tried
to describe is that it merely symbolizes a newly discovered
approach to Infinite Intelligence, an approach which one may
control and direct through the simple process of mixing faith
with one's thoughts. This is only another way of saying that I
now have greater faith in the power of prayer.
The state of mind known as faith apparently opens to one
the medium of a sixth sense through which one may commu-
nicate with sources of power and information far surpassing
any available through the five physical senses. There comes to
your aid, and to do your bidding, with the development of the
sixth sense, a strange power which, let us assume, is a guardian
angel who can open to you at all times the door to the Temple
of Wisdom. The "sixth sense" comes as near to being a miracle
as anything I have ever experienced, and it appears so perhaps
because I do not understand the method by which this prin-
ciple is operated.
This much I do know— that there is a power or a first cause,
or an Intelligence which permeates every atom of matter, and
embraces every unit of energy perceptible to man; that this
Infinite Intelligence converts acorns into oak trees, causes
water to flow downhill in response to the law of gravity, follows
night with day, and winter with summer, each maintaining its
proper place and relationship to the other. This Intelligence
may aid in transmuting one's desires into concrete or material
form. I have this knowledge because I have experimented with
it and have experienced it.
I have for many years followed the habit of taking personal
inventory of myself once a year, for the purpose of determining
how many of my weaknesses I have bridged or eliminated, and
to ascertain what progress, if any, I had made during the year.
Chapter Three A STRANGE INTERVIEW WITH THE DEVIL
WHILE YOU ARE READING THE INTERVIEW with the
Devil, you will recognize from the brief description I
have given you of the history of my life what a des-
perate effort the Devil made to muzzle me before
I gained public recognition. You will understand also, after
reading the interview with the Devil, why the interview had to
be preceded by this personal history of my background.
Before you begin to read the interview, I want you to have
a clear picture of the final fling the Devil had at me, and be
it remembered with profit that it was this final fling which
gave mercy a chance to turn and twist the Devil's tail until he
squealed out his confession.
The Devil's undoing began with the depression in 1929.
Through that fortunate turn of the Wheel of Life, I lost my
600-acre estate in the Catskill Mountains; my income was
entirely cut off; the Harriman National Bank, in which all my
funds were deposited, folded up and was wiped out. Before I
realized what was happening, I found myself caught up in a
spiritual and economic hurricane which evolved into a world-
wide catastrophe of such force that no individual or group of
individuals could withstand it.
While waiting for the storm to cease and the stampede
of human fear to stop, I moved to Washington, D.C., the
city from which I made my start after my first meeting with
Andrew Carnegie, nearly a quarter of a century previously.
There seemed nothing for me to do except sit down
and wait. All I had was time. After three years of waiting
without tangible results, my restless soul began to push me
back into service.
There was little opportunity for me to teach a philosophy
of success when the world around me was in the midst of abject
failure, and men's minds were filled with the fear of poverty.
This thought came to me one evening while I was sitting
in my automobile, in front of the Lincoln Memorial on the
Potomac River, within the shadow of the Capitol. With it came
another thought: The world had staged an unprecedented
depression over which no human being had control. With that
depression had come to me an opportunity to test the philos-
ophy of self-determination, to the organization of which I had
devoted the better portion of my adult life. Once more I had
the opportunity to learn whether my philosophy was practical
or mere theory.
I realized too the opportunity had come to test a claim I
had made hundreds of times that "every adversity brings with
it the seed of an equivalent advantage." What, if any, I asked
myself, were the advantages to me of a world depression?
When I began to look for a direction in which I might
move to test my philosophy, I made the most shocking dis-
covery of my life. I discovered that through some strange power
which I did not understand, I had lost my courage; my initia-
tive had been demoralized; my enthusiasm had been weak-
ened. Worst of all, I was sorely ashamed to acknowledge that I
was the author of a philosophy of self-determination, because
down deep in my heart I knew, or thought I knew, that I could
not make my philosophy pull me out of the hole of despair in
which I found myself.
While I floundered in a state of mental bewilderment,
the Devil must have been dancing a jig of rejoicing. At last
he had "the author of the world's first philosophy of indi-
vidual achievement" pinned under his thumb and paralyzed
But the Devil's opposition must have been at work too!
+ + + + + + + + + +
As I sat there in front of the Lincoln Memorial, reviewing
in retrospect the circumstances which had so many times
previously lifted me to great heights of achievement, only to
let me drop to equal depths of despair, a happy thought was
handed over to me in the form of a definite plan of action by
which I believed I could throw off that hypnotic feeling of
indifference with which I had been bound.
In the interview with the Devil, the exact nature of the
power by which I had been deprived of my initiative and
courage has been described. It is the same power with which
millions of others were bound during the Great Depression. It
is the chief weapon with which the Devil ensnares and controls
The sum and substance of this thought which came to
me was this: Despite the fact that I had learned from Andrew
Carnegie and more than five hundred others of equal business
and professional achievements that noteworthy achievements
in all walks of life come through the application of the Master
Mind (the harmonious coordination of two or more minds
working to a definite end), I had failed to make such an alli-
ance for the purpose of carrying out my plan to take the phi-
losophy of individual achievement to the world.
Despite the fact I had understood the power of the Master
Mind, I had neglected to appropriate and use this power. I had
been laboring as a "lone wolf instead of allying myself with
other and superior minds.
Let us now briefly analyze the strange interview you are about
to begin. Some who read will want to ask, after they finish it,
"Did you really interview the Devil, or did you merely interview
an imaginary Devil?" Some may wish the answer to this
question before they begin the interview.
I will answer in the only truthful way I could answer ... by
saying that the Devil I interviewed may have been real, just as
he claimed to be, or he may have been the creation of my own
imagination. Whichever he was, whether real or imaginary, is
of little importance compared with the nature of the informa-
tion conveyed through the interview.
The important question is this: Does the interview convey
dependable information which may be helpful to people who
are trying to find their places in the world? If it conveys that
sort of information, no matter whether it is conveyed in the
form of fact or fiction, then it is worthy of serious analysis
through careful reading. I am not concerned in the least as
to the real source of the information or as to the real nature
of the Devil whose astounding story you are about to read. I
am concerned only with the fact that the Devil's confession
squares perfectly with what I have seen of life.
I believe the interview does convey information of prac-
tical benefit to all who have not found life to be friendly, and
the reason I believe so is the fact that I have made the central
theme of this book yield to me all the happiness I need, in the
form best suited to my nature.
I have had experience with enough of the principles men-
tioned by the Devil to assure me that they will do exactly what
he says they will. That is enough for me. So I pass the story of
the interview on to you for whatever you may be able to make
it pay in useful dividends.
Perhaps you will get the greatest values if you accept the
Devil as being what he claims himself to be, relying upon his
message for whatever it may bring you that you can use, and
not worrying as to who the Devil is or whether he exists.
If you want my honest personal opinion, I believe the
Devil is exactly who he claims to be. Now let us analyze his
After forcing his way into the consciousness of the Devil,
"Mr. Earthbound" began the unwilling interview with ques-
tions which could not be evaded . . .
Here Begins the Interview with the Devil
Q I have uncovered the secret code by which I can pick up
your thoughts. I have come to ask you some very plain ques-
tions. I demand that you give me direct and truthful answers.
Are you ready for the interview, Mr. Devil?
A Yes, I am ready, but you must address me with more
respect. During this interview you will address me as
Q By what right do you demand such royal respect?
A You should know I control 98 percent of the people of your
world. Do you not think that entitles me to rate as royalty?
Q Have you proof of your claim?
A Yes, plenty of it.
Q Of what does your proof consist?
A Of many things. If you want answers, you will address me
as "Your Majesty." Some things you will understand; some
you will not. In order that you may get my viewpoint, I shall
describe myself and correct the false notions people have of me
and my place of abode.
Q That is a fine idea, Your Majesty. Start by telling me where
you live. Then describe your physical appearance.
A My physical appearance? Why, my dear Mr. Earthbound,
I have no physical body. I would be handicapped by such an
encumbrance as those in which you earthbound creatures live.
I consist of negative energy, and I live in the minds of people
who fear me. I also occupy one-half of every atom of physical
matter and every unit of mental and physical energy. Perhaps
you will better understand my nature if I tell you I am the nega-
tive portion of the atom.
Q Oh, I see what you are preparing to claim. You are laying
the foundation to say that if it were not for you, there would be
no world, no stars, no electrons, no atoms, no human beings,
nothing. Is that correct?
A True ! Absolutely true.
Q Well, if you only occupy one-half of energy and matter,
who occupies the other half?
A The other half is occupied by my opposition.
Q Opposition? What do you mean?
A The opposition is what you earthbound call God.
Q So you have the universe divided up with God. Is that
A Not my claim, but the actual fact. Before this interview is
finished you will understand why my claim is true. You will also
understand why it has to be true, or there could be no world
such as yours, no earthbound creatures such as you. I am no
beast with a forked tongue and a spiked tail.
Q But you do control the minds of 98 out of every 100
people. You said so yourself. Who causes all the misery in this
98 percent Devil-controlled world, if you do not?
A I have not said that I do not cause all the misery of the
world. On the other hand, I boast of it. It is my business to
represent the negative side of everything, including the
thoughts of you earthbound people. How else could I control
people? My opposition controls positive thought. I control neg-
Q How do you gain control of the minds of people?
A Oh, that is easy: I merely move in and occupy the unused
space of the human brain. I sow the seeds of negative thought
in the minds of people so I can occupy and control the space!
Q You must have many tricks and devices by which you gain
and hold control of the human mind.
A To be sure, I employ tricks and devices to control human
thought. My devices are clever ones too.
Q Go ahead and describe your clever tricks, Your Majesty.
A One of my cleverest devices for mind control is fear. I plant
the seed of fear in the minds of people, and as these seeds ger-
minate and grow, through use, I control the space they occupy.
The six most effective fears are the fear of poverty, criticism, ill
health, loss of love, old age, and death.
Q Which of these six fears serves you most often, Your
A The first and the last— poverty and death! At one time or
another during life I tighten my grip on all people through one
or both of these. I plant these fears in the minds of people so
deftly that they believe them to be their own creation. I accom-
plish this end by making people believe I am standing just
beyond the entrance gate of the next life, waiting to claim them
after death for eternal punishment. Of course I cannot punish
anyone, except in that person's own mind, through some form
of fear— but fear of the thing which does not exist is just as
useful to me as fear of that which does exist. All forms of fear
extend the space I occupy in the human mind
Q Your Majesty, will you explain how you gained this control
over human beings?
A The story is too long to be told in a few words. It began
over a million years ago, when the first man began to think.
Up to that time I had control over all mankind, but enemies of
mine discovered the power of positive thought, placed it in the
minds of men, and then began a battle on my part to remain
in control. So far, I have done quite well by myself, having lost
only 2 percent of the people to the opposition.
Q I take it from your answer that men who think are your
enemies. Is that right?
A It is not right, but it is correct.
Q Tell me something more about the world in which you live.
A I live wherever I choose. Time and space do not exist for
me. I am a force best described to you as energy. My favorite
physical dwelling place, as I have told you, is the minds of the
earthbound. I control a part of the brain space of every human
being. The amount of space I occupy in each individual's mind
depends upon how little and what sort of thinking that person
does. As I have told you, I cannot entirely control any person
Q You speak of your opposition. What do you mean by that?
A My opponent controls all the positive forces of the world,
such as love, faith, hope, and optimism. My opponent also con-
trols the positive factors of all natural law throughout the uni-
verse, the forces which keep the earth and the planets and all
the stars balanced in their courses, but these forces are meek
in comparison with those which operate in the human mind
under my control. You see, I do not seek to control stars and
planets. I prefer the control of human minds.
Q Where did you acquire your power, and by what means do
you add to it?
A I add to my power by appropriating the mind-power of the
earthbound, as they come through the gate at the time of death.
Ninety-eight out of every 100 who come back to my plane from
the earth plane are taken over by me and their mind-power is
added to my being. I get all who come over with any form of
fear. You see I am constantly at work, preparing the minds of
people before death, so I can appropriate them when they come
back to my plane.
Q Will you tell me how you go about your job of preparing
human minds so you can control them?
A I have countless ways of gaining control of human minds
while they are still on the earth plane. My greatest weapon
is poverty. I deliberately discourage people from accumu-
lating material wealth because poverty discourages men from
thinking and makes them easy prey for me. My next best friend
is ill health. An unhealthy body discourages thinking. Then
I have countless thousands of workers on earth who aid me in
gaining control of human minds. I have these agents placed in
every calling. They represent every race and creed, every religion.
Q Who are your greatest enemies on earth, Your Majesty?
A All who inspire people to think and act on their own initia-
tive are my enemies. Such men as Socrates, Confucius, Voltaire,
Emerson, Thomas Paine, and Abraham Lincoln. And you are
not doing me any good either.
Q Is it true that you use men who have great wealth?
A As I have already told you, poverty is always my friend
because it discourages independence of thought and encour-
ages fear in the minds of men. Some wealthy men serve my
cause while others do me great damage, depending upon how
the wealth is used. The great Rockefeller fortune, for example,
is one of my worst enemies.
Q That is interesting, Your Majesty; will you tell me why you
fear the Rockefeller fortune more than others?
A The Rockefeller money is being used to isolate and conquer
diseases of the physical body, in all parts of the world. Disease
has always been one of my most effective weapons. The fear of
ill health is second only to the fear of poverty. The Rockefeller
money is uncovering new secrets of nature in a hundred dif-
ferent directions, all of which are designed to help men take
and keep possession of their own minds. It is encouraging new
and better methods of feeding, clothing, and housing people. It
is wiping out the slums in the large cities, the places where my
favorite allies are found It is financing campaigns for better
government and helping to wipe out dishonesty in politics.
It is helping to set higher standards in business practice and
encouraging business men to conduct business by the Golden
Rule; and that is not doing my cause any good.
Q What about these boys and girls who are said to be on the
road to hell? Are you in control of them?
A Well, I can answer that question only with "yes and no."
I have corrupted the minds of the young by teaching them to
drink and smoke, but they have me baffled through their ten-
dency to think for themselves.
Q You say you have corrupted the minds of the young people
with liquor and cigarettes. I can understand how liquor might
destroy the power of independent thought but do not see what
cigarettes have to do with helping your cause.
A You may not know it, but cigarettes break down the power
of persistence; they destroy the power of endurance; they
destroy the ability to concentrate; they deaden and undermine
the imaginative faculty, and help in other ways to keep people
from using their minds most effectively.
Do you know I have millions of people, young and old, of
both sexes, who smoke two packages of cigarettes a day? That
means I have millions of people who are gradually destroying
their power of resistance.
One day I shall add to their habit of cigarette smoking
other thought-destroying habits, until I shall have gained con-
trol of their minds.
Habits come in pairs, triplets, and quadruplets. Any habit
which weakens one's will power invites a flock of its relatives to
move in and take possession of the mind. The cigarette habit
not only lowers the power of resistance and discourages persis-
tence, but it invites looseness in other human relationships.
Q I never thought that cigarettes were a tool of destruc-
tion, Your Majesty, but your explanation throws a different
light on the subject. How many converts to the habit do you
A I am proud of my record. Millions are now victims, and the
number is increasing daily. Soon I shall have most of the world
indulging in the habit. In thousands of families I now have fol-
lowers of the habit, including every member of the family. Very
young boys and girls are beginning to take up the habit. They
are learning how to smoke by observing their parents and older
brothers and sisters.
Q Which do you consider to be your greater tool for gaining
control of human minds— cigarettes or liquor?
A Without hesitation I would say cigarettes. Once I get a
young person to join my two-package-a-day club, I have no
trouble in inducing that person to take on the habit of liquor,
over-indulgence of sex, and all other related habits which
destroy independence of thought and action.
Q Your Majesty, when I began this interview I had you all
wrong. I thought you were a fraud and a fake, but I see now
that you are quite real and very powerful.
A Your apology is accepted, but you need not have bothered.
Millions of people have questioned my power, and I got most
of them at the gate as they came over.
I ask no person to believe in me. I prefer that people fear
me. I am no beggar! I take what I want by cleverness and force.
Begging people to believe is the business of my opposition—
Q Your Majesty will please pardon my rudeness, but I would
not be able to look myself in the face again if I did not tell you,
here and now, that you are the damnedest fiend ever to be
turned loose on innocent people.
I always had the wrong conception of you. I thought you
were kind enough to let people alone while they were living,
that you merely tortured their souls after death. Now I learn,
from your own brazen confession, that you destroy their right
to freedom of thought and cause them to go through a living
hell on earth. What do you have to say to that?
A I get what I want by exercising self-control. It is not
so good for my own business, but I suggest you emulate me
instead of criticizing me. You call yourself a thinker, and
you are. Otherwise you would never have forced this interview
on me. But you will never be the sort of thinker that frightens
me unless you gain and exercise greater control over your
Q Let us get away from personalities. I came here to learn
more about you, not to discuss myself. Please go ahead and
tell me of the many tricks you have devised for gaining con-
trol of the human mind. What is your most powerful weapon
A That is a difficult question to answer. I have so many
devices for entering human minds and controlling them that
it is difficult to say which are the most powerful. Right at the
moment I am trying to bring about another world war. My
friends here in Washington are helping me to involve America
in the war. If I can start the world to killing on a wholesale
basis, I shall be able to put into operation my favorite device
for mind control. It is what you may call mass fear. I used this
device to bring about the other World War in 1914. 1 used it to
bring about the economic depression in 1929, and if my oppo-
sition had not double-crossed me I would now be in posses-
sion of every man, woman, and child in the world. You can see
for yourself how near I came to world domination— the thing I
have been struggling to attain for thousands of years.
Q Yes, I see your point. Who wouldn't? You are a very inge-
nious manipulator of the minds of people. Is your devilish
business carried on only through people of high position and
A Oh, no! I use the minds of people in all walks of life. As a
matter of fact, I prefer the type of person who makes no pre-
tense of thinking; I can manipulate that sort of person without
difficulty. I could not control 98 percent of the people of the
world if all people were skilled in thinking for themselves.
Q I am interested in the welfare of those people whom you
claim to control. Therefore, I wish you to tell me all of the
tricks by which you enter and control their minds. I want
a complete confession from you, so begin with your clever-
A This is suicide you are forcing on me, but I am helpless! So
settle down and I will place in your hands the weapon by which
millions of your fellow-earthbound will defend themselves
Chapter Four DRIFTING WITH THE DEVIL
Q Tell me first about your most clever trick — the
one you use to ensnare the greatest number of people.
A If you force me to give away this secret, it will mean my loss
of millions of people now living and still greater numbers of
millions as yet unborn. I beg of you, permit me to pass this one
Q So His Majesty the Devil fears a mere humble earthbound
creature! Is that right?
A It is not right, but it is true. You have no right to rob me
of my most necessary tool of trade. For millions of years I
have dominated earthbound creatures through fear and igno-
rance. Now you come along and would destroy my use of these
weapons by forcing me to tell how I use them. Do you not
realize that you will break my grip on every person who heeds
this confession you are forcing from me? Have you no mercy?
Have you no sense of humor? Have you no sportsmanship?
Q Stop stalling, and start confessing. Who are you to ask
mercy of one whom you would destroy if you could? Who are
you to talk of sportsmanship and a sense of humor? You, who
by your own confession have set up a living hell on earth, where
you punish innocent people through their fears and igno-
rance. As for minding my own business, that is just what I am
doing when I force you to tell how you control people through
their own minds. My business, if it can be called a business, is
helping to unlock the doors of the self-made prisons in which
men and women are confined because of the fears you have
planted in their minds.
A My greatest weapon over human beings consists of two secret
principles by which I gain control of their minds. I will speak
first of the principle of habit, through which I silently enter the
minds of people. By operating through this principle, I establish
(I wish I could avoid using this word) the habit of drifting. When
a person begins to drift on any subject, he is headed straight
toward the gates of what you earthbound call hell.
Q Describe all the ways in which you induce people to drift.
Define the word and tell us exactly what you mean by it.
A I can best define the word "drift" by saying that people who
think for themselves never drift, while those who do little or no
thinking for themselves are drifters. A drifter is one who per-
mits himself to be influenced and controlled by circumstances
outside of his own mind. He would rather let me occupy his
mind and do his thinking than go to the trouble of thinking
for himself. A drifter is one who accepts whatever life throws
in his way without making a protest or putting up a fight. He
doesn't know what he wants from life and spends all of his
time getting just that. A drifter has lots of opinions, but they
are not his own. Most of them are supplied by me.
A drifter is one who is too lazy mentally to use his own
brain. That is the reason I can take control of people's thinking
and plant my own ideas in their minds.
Q I think I understand what a drifter is. Tell me the exact
habits of people by which you induce them to drift through
life. Start by telling me when and how you first gain control of
a person's mind.
A My control over the mind of a human being is obtained
while the person is young. Sometimes I lay the foundation for
my control of a mind before the owner of it is born, by manipu-
lating the minds of that person's parents. Sometimes I go fur-
ther back than this and prepare people for my control through
what you earthbound call "physical heredity." You see, there-
fore, I have two approaches to the mind of a person.
Q Yes. Go on and describe these two doors by which you
enter and control the minds of human beings.
A As I have stated, I help to bring people into your world with
weak brains by giving to them, before birth, as many as possible
of the weaknesses of their ancestors. You call this principle
"physical heredity." After people are born I make use of what
you earthbound call "environment" as a means of controlling
them. This is where the principle of habit enters. The mind is
nothing more than the sum total of one's habits! One by one
I enter the mind and establish habits, which lead finally to my
absolute domination of the mind
Q Tell me of the most common habits by which you control
the minds of people.
A That is one of my cleverest tricks: I enter the minds of
people through thoughts which they believe to be their own.
Those most useful to me are fear, superstition, avarice, greed,
lust, revenge, anger, vanity, and plain laziness. Through one or
more of these I can enter any mind, at any age, but I get my best
results when I take charge of a mind while it is young, before its
owner has learned how to close any of these nine doors. Then I
can set up habits which keep the doors ajar forever.
Q I am catching on to your methods. Now let us go back to
the habit of drifting. Tell us all about that habit since you say
it is your cleverest trick in controlling the minds of people.
A As I said before, I start people drifting during their youth.
I induce them to drift through school without knowing what
occupation they wish to follow in life. Here I catch the majority
of people. Habits are related. Drift in one direction and soon
you will be drifting in all directions. I also use environmental
habits to give me a definite grip on my victims.
Q I see. You make it your business to train children in the
habit of drifting by inducing them to go through school
without aim or purpose. Now tell me of some of your other
tricks with which you cause people to become drifters.
A Well, my second best trick in developing the habit of
drifting is one that I put into operation with the aid of parents
and public schoolteachers and religious instructors.
I warn you not to force me to mention this trick. Do
not disclose this trick. If you do so, you will be hated by my
co-workers who help me use this trick. If you publish this con-
fession in book form, your book will be barred from the public
schools. It will be blacklisted by most of the religious leaders. It
will be hidden from children by many parents. The newspapers
will not dare to give reviews of your book. Millions of people
will hate you for writing the book.
In fact, no one will like you or your book except those
who think, and you know how very few there are of this sort!
My advice to you is to let me skip the description of my second
Q So for my own good you wish to withhold the descrip-
tion of your second best trick. No one will like my book except
those who think, eh? Very well, go ahead and answer.
A You'll regret this, Mr. Earthbound, but the joke is on you.
By this mistake of yours you will divert attention from me to
yourself. My co-workers, of whom there are millions, will forget
about me and hate you for uncovering my methods.
Q Never mind about me. Tell me all about this second best
trick of yours with which you induce people to drift with you
A My second best trick is not second at all. It is first! It is first
because without it I never could gain control of the minds of
the youths. Parents, schoolteachers, religious instructors, and
many other adults unknowingly serve my purpose by helping
me to destroy in children the habit of thinking for themselves.
They go about their work in various ways, never suspecting
what they are doing to the minds of children or the real cause
of the children's mistakes.
Q I can hardly believe you, Your Majesty. I have always
believed that children's best friends were those closest to
them, their parents, their school teachers, and their religious
instructors. Where would children go for dependable guidance
if not to those who have charge of them?
A That is where my cleverness comes in. There is the exact
explanation of how I control 98 percent of the people of the
world. I take possession of people during their youth, before
they come into possession of their own minds, by using those
who are in charge of them. I especially need the help of those
who give children their religious instruction, because it is here
that I break down independent thought and start people on
the habit of drifting, by confusing their minds with unprov-
able ideas concerning a world of which they know nothing. It is
here also that I plant in the minds of children the greatest of all
fears— the fear of hell!
Q I understand that it is easy for you to frighten children
with threats of hell, but how do you continue to make them
fear you and your hell after they grow up and learn to think for
A Children grow up, but they do not always learn to think for
themselves! Once I capture the mind of a child, through fear, I
weaken that child's ability to reason and to think for himself,
and that weakness goes with the child all through life.
Q Is that not taking unfair advantage of a human being by
contaminating his mind before he comes into full possession
A Everything is fair that I can use to further my ends. I have
no foolish limitations of right and wrong. Might is right with
me. I use every known human weakness to gain and keep con-
trol of the human mind.
Q I understand your devilish nature! Now let us get back to
further discussion of your methods of inducing people to drift
to hell here on earth. From your confession I see that you take
charge of children while their minds are young and pliable.
Tell me more of how you use parents, teachers, and religious
leaders to ensnare people into drifting.
A One of my favorite tricks is to coordinate the efforts of par-
ents and religious instructors so they work together in helping
me to destroy the children's power to think for themselves. I
use many religious instructors to undermine the courage and
power of independent thought of children, by teaching them
to fear me; but I use parents to aid the religious leaders in this
great work of mine.
Q How do parents help religious leaders destroy their chil-
dren's power to think for themselves? I never heard of such a
A I accomplish this through a very clever trick. I cause the
parents to teach their children to believe as the parents do
in connection with religion, politics, marriage, and other
important subjects. In this way, as you can see, when I gain con-
trol of the mind of a person I can easily perpetuate the control
by causing that person to help me fasten it upon the minds of
Q In what other ways do you use parents to convert children
A I cause children to become drifters by following the
example of their parents, most of whom I have already taken
over and bound eternally to my cause. In some parts of the
world I gain mastery over children's minds and subdue their
will power in exactly the same way that men break and subdue
animals of lower intelligence. It makes no difference to me how
a child's will is subdued, as long as it fears something. I will
enter its mind through that fear and limit the child's power to
Q It seems that you go out of your way to keep people
A Yes. Accurate thought is death to me. I cannot exist in the
minds of those who think accurately. I do not mind people
thinking as long as they think in terms of fear, discouragement,
hopelessness, and destructiveness. When they begin to think in
constructive terms of faith, courage, hope, and definiteness of
purpose, they immediately become allies of my opposition and
are therefore lost to me.
Q I am beginning to understand how you gain control of the
minds of children through the help of their parents and reli-
gious instructors, but I do not see how the schoolteachers help
you in this damnable work.
A Schoolteachers help me gain control of the minds of chil-
dren not so much by what they teach the children as because of
what they do not teach them. The entire public school system
is so administered that it helps my cause by teaching children
almost everything except how to use their own minds and
think independently. I live in fear that someday some coura-
geous person will reverse the present system of school teaching
and deal my cause a death blow by allowing the students to
become the instructors, using those who now serve as teachers
only as guides to help the children establish ways and means
of developing their own minds from within. When that time
comes, the schoolteachers will no longer belong to my staff.
Q I was under the impression that the purpose of all
schooling was to help children to think.
A That may be the purpose of schooling, but the system in
most of the schools of the world does not carry out the pur-
pose. School children are taught not to develop and use their
own minds, but to adopt and use the thoughts of others.
This sort of schooling destroys the capacity for independent
thought, except in a few rare cases where children rely so defi-
nitely upon their own will power that they refuse to allow
others to do their thinking. Accurate thought is the business of
my opposition, not mine!
Q What relationship, if any, has your opposition with the
homes, the churches, and the schools? Your reply to this ques-
tion should be interesting.
A Here is where I make use of some more of my clever tricks.
I cause it to appear that everything done by the parents, the
schoolteachers, and the religious instructors is being done by
This diverts attention from me while I manipulate the
minds of the young. When religious instructors try to teach
children the virtues of my opposition, they generally do so
by frightening them with my name. That is all I ask of them.
I kindle the flame of fear into proportions which destroy the
child's power to think accurately. In the public schools the
teachers further my cause by keeping the children so busy
cramming non-essential information into their minds they
have no opportunity to think accurately or to analyze correcdy
the things their instructors teach them.
Q Do you claim, for your cause, all those who are bound by
the habit of drifting?
A No. Drifting is only one of my tricks through which I
take over the power of independent thought. Before a drifter
becomes my permanent property, I must lead him on and
ensnare him with another trick. I will tell you about this other
trick after I finish describing my methods of converting people
Q Do you mean you have a method by which you can cause
people to drift so far away from self-determination that they
can never save themselves?
A Yes, a definite method: And it is so effective it never fails.
Q Do I understand you to claim your method is so powerful
your opposition cannot reclaim those whom you have perma-
nently ensnared through drifting?
A I claim just that! Do you think I would control so many
people if my opposition could prevent me? Nothing can stop
me from controlling people except people themselves.
Nothing can stop me except the power of accurate thought.
People who think accurately do not drift on any subject. They
recognize the power of their own minds. Moreover, they take
over that power and yield it to no person or influence.
Q Go ahead and tell me more of the methods by which you
cause people to drift to hell with you!
A I cause people to drift on every subject through which I
can control independent thought and action. Take the subject
of health, for example. I cause most people to eat too much
food and the wrong sort of food. This leads to indigestion and
destroys the power of accurate thought. If the public schools
and the churches taught children more about proper eating,
they would do my cause irreparable damage.
Marriage: I cause men and women to drift into marriage
without plan or purpose designed to convert the relationship
into harmony. Here is one of my most effective methods of
converting people into the habit of drifting. I cause married
people to bicker and nag one another over money matters. I
cause them to quarrel over the bringing up of their children.
I engage them in unpleasant controversies over their intimate
relationships and in disagreements over friends and social
activities. I keep them so busy finding fault with one another
that they never have time to do anything else long enough to
break the habit of drifting.
Occupation: I teach people to become drifters by causing them
to drift out of school into the first job they can find, with no
definite aim or purpose except to make a living. Through this
trick I keep millions of people in fear of poverty all their lives.
Through this fear I lead them slowly but surely onward until
they reach the point beyond which no individual ever has
broken the drifting habit.
Savings: I cause people to spend freely and to save sparingly or
not at all, until I take complete control of them through their
fear of poverty.
Environment: I cause people to drift into inharmonious and
unpleasant environments in the home, in their places of occupa-
tion, in their relationship with relatives and acquaintances, and
to remain there until I claim them through the habit of drifting.
Dominating Thoughts: I cause people to drift into the habit of
thinking negative thoughts. This leads to negative acts and
involves people in controversies and fills their minds with
fears, thus paving the way for me to enter and control their
minds. When I move in, I do so by appealing to people through
negative thoughts which they believe to be their own. I plant
the seeds of negative thought in the minds of people through
the pulpit, the newspapers, the moving pictures, the radio,
and all other popular methods of appeal to the mind. I cause
people to allow me to do their thinking for them because they
are too lazy and too indifferent to think for themselves.
Q I conclude from what you say that drifting and procrasti-
nation are the same. Is that true?
A Yes, that is correct. Any habit which causes one to procras-
tinate—to put off reaching a definite decision— leads to the
habit of drifting.
Q Is man the only creature who drifts?
A Yes. All other creatures move in response to definite laws of
nature. Man alone defies nature's laws and drifts when he wills.
Everything outside the minds of men is controlled by my
opposition, bylaws so definite that drifting is impossible. I con-
trol the minds of men solely because of their habit of drifting,
which is only another way of saying that I control the minds
of men only because they neglect or refuse to control and use
their own minds.
Q This is getting to be pretty deep stuff for a mere human
being. Let us get back to the discussion of something less
abstract. Please tell me how this drifting habit affects people
in the everyday walks of life and tell me in terms the average
person can understand.
A I would prefer to keep this interview up among the stars !
Q No doubt you would. That would save you from being
exposed. But let us come back to earth. Tell me now what
drifting is doing to us as a nation here in the United States.
A Frankly, I may as well tell you that I hate the United States
as only the Devil can hate.
Q That is interesting. What is the cause of this hatred?
A The cause was born on July 4, 1776, when fifty-six men
signed a document which destroyed my chances of control-
ling the nation. You know that document as the Declaration
of Independence. Had it not been for the influence of that
damnable document, I would now have a dictator running the
country and I would stop this right to free speech and indepen-
dent thought that is threatening my rule on earth.
Q Am I to understand from what you say that nations con-
trolled by self-appointed dictators belong in your camp?
A There are no self-appointed dictators. I appoint them all.
Moreover, I manipulate them and direct them in their work.
Nations run by my dictators know what they want and take it
by force. Look what I have done through Mussolini in Italy!
Look what I am doing through Hitler in Germany. Look what
I am doing through Stalin in Russia. My dictators run those
nations for me because the people have been subdued through
the habit of drifting. My dictators do no drifting. That is why
they rule for me the millions of people under their control.
Q What would happen if Mussolini, Stalin, and Hitler turned
traitors and disavowed you and your rule?
A That will not happen because I have them too well bribed.
I am paying each of them with the sop of his own vanity, by
making him believe he is acting on his own account. That is
another trick of mine.
Q Let us come back to the United States and learn some-
thing of what you are doing to convert people into the habit of
A Right now I am paving the way for a dictatorship by sowing
the seeds of fear and uncertainty in the minds of the people.
Q Through whom are you carrying on your work?
A Mainly through the President. I am destroying his influ-
ence with the people by causing him to drift on the question of
a working agreement between employers and their employees.
If I can induce him to drift for another year, he will be so thor-
oughly discredited I can hand over the country to a dictator.
If the President continues to drift, I will paralyze personal
freedom in the United States just as I destroyed it in Spain,
Italy, Germany, and England.
Q What you say leads me to the conclusion that drifting is
a weakness which inevitably ends in failure, whether among
individuals or nations. Is that your claim?
A Drifting is the most common cause of failure in every
walk of life. I can control anyone whom I can induce to form
the habit of drifting on any subject. The reason for this is two-
fold. First, the drifter is just so much putty in my hands, to
be molded into whatever pattern I choose, because drifting
destroys the power of individual initiative. Second, the drifter
cannot get help from my opposition, because the opposition is
not attracted to anything so soft and useless.
Q Is that why a few people are wealthy while the majority of
people are poor?
A That is exactly the reason. Poverty, like physical illness, is a
contagious disease. You find it always among the drifters, never
among those who know what they want and are determined to
get just that! It may mean something to you when I call your
attention to the fact that the non-drifters, whom I do not con-
trol, and those who possess most of the wealth of the world,
happen to be the same people.
Q I have always understood that money was the root of all
evil, that the poor and the meek would inherit heaven, while
the wealthy would pass into your hands. What have you to say
of that claim?
A Men who know how to get the material things of life gen-
erally know how to keep out of the hands of the Devil as well.
The ability to acquire things is contagious. Drifters acquire
nothing except that which no one else wants. If more people
had definite aims and stronger desires for material and spiri-
tual riches, I would have fewer victims.
Q I assume, from what you say, that you do not claim fellow-
ship with the industrial leaders. Evidently they are not friends
A Friends of mine? I'll tell you what sort of friends of mine
they are. They have belted the entire country with good roads,
thus bringing into close communion the people of both city
and country. They have converted ores into steel, with which
they have built the skeletons of great skyscrapers. They have
harnessed electrical power and converted it into a thousand
uses, all designed to give man time to think. They have pro-
vided through the automobile personal transportation to
the humblest citizen, thus giving to everyone the freedom of
travel. They have provided every home with instantaneous
news of what is happening in all parts of the world through
the aid of the radio.
They have reared libraries in every city, town, and hamlet
and have filled them with books giving to all who read a com-
plete outline of the most useful knowledge mankind has gath-
ered from his experiences. They have given the humblest citizen
the right to express his own opinion on any subject, anytime,
anywhere, without fear of molestation, and they have seen to
it that every citizen may help make his own laws, levy his own
taxes, and manage his own country through the ballot. These
are but some of the things the industrial leaders have done
to give every citizen the privilege of becoming a non-drifter.
Do you think these men have helped my cause?
Q Who are some of the present-day non-drifters over whom
you have no control?
A I have control over no non-drifter, present or past. I control
the weak, not those who think for themselves.
Q Go ahead and describe a typical drifter. Give your descrip-
tion point by point so I can recognize a drifter when I see him.
A The first thing you will notice about a drifter is his total
lack of a major purpose in life.
He will be conspicuous by his lack of self-confidence.
He will never accomplish anything requiring thought
He spends all he earns and more too, if he can get credit.
He will be sick or ailing from some real or imaginary cause,
and calling to high heaven if he suffers the least physical pain.
He will have little or no imagination.
He will lack enthusiasm and initiative to begin anything he
is not forced to undertake, and he will plainly express his
weakness by taking the line of least resistance whenever he
can do so.
He will be ill-tempered and lacking in control over
His personality will be without magnetism and it will not
attract other people.
He will have opinions on everything but accurate knowledge
He may be jack of all trades but good at none.
He will neglect to cooperate with those around him, even
those on whom he must depend for food and shelter.
He will make the same mistake over and over again, never
profiting by failure.
He will be narrow-minded and intolerant on all subjects,
ready to crucify those who may disagree with him.
He will expect everything of others but be willing to give little
or nothing in return.
He may begin many things but he will complete nothing.
He will be loud in his condemnation of his government, but
he will never tell you definitely how it can be improved.
He will never reach decisions on anything if he can avoid it,
and if he is forced to decide he will reverse himself at the first
He will eat too much and exercise too little.
He will take a drink of liquor if someone else will pay for it.
He will gamble if he can do it "on the cuff."
He will criticize others who are succeeding in their
In brief, the drifter will work harder to get out of thinking
than most others work in earning a good living.
He will tell a lie rather than admit his ignorance on
If he works for others, he will criticize them to their backs
and flatter them to their faces.
Q You have given me a graphic description of the drifter.
Please now describe the non-drifter so that I may recognize
him on sight.
A The first sign of a non-drifter is this: He is always engaged
in doing something definite, through some well-organized
plan which is definite. He has a major goal in life toward which
he is always working, and many minor goals, all of which lead
toward his central scheme.
The tone of his voice, the quickness of his step, the sparkle in
his eyes, the quickness of his decisions clearly mark him as a
person who knows exactly what he wants and is determined
to get it, no matter how long it may take or what price he
If you ask him questions, he gives you direct answers and
never falls back on evasions or resorts to subterfuge.
He extends many favors to others, but accepts favors
sparingly or not at all.
He will be found up front whether he is playing a game or
fighting a war.
If he does not know the answers he will say so frankly.
He has a good memory; never offers an alibi for his
He never blames others for his mistakes no matter if they
deserve the blame.
He used to be known as a go-getter, but in modern times he
is called a go-giver. You will find him running the biggest
business in town, living on the best street, driving the best
automobile, and making his presence felt wherever he
happens to be.
He is an inspiration to all who come into contact with
The major distinguishing feature of the non-drifter is this:
He has a mind of his own and uses it for all purposes.
Q Is the non-drifter born with some mental, physical, or spir-
itual advantage not available to the drifter?
A No. The major difference between the drifter and the
non-drifter is something equally available to both. It is simply
the prerogative right of each to use his own mind and think
Q What brief message would you send to the typical drifter if
you wished to cure him of this evil habit?
A I would admonish him to wake up and give !
Q Give what?
A Some form of service useful to as many people as possible.
Q So the non-drifter is supposed to give, is he?
A Yes, if he expects to get! And he must give before he gets!
Q Some people doubt that you exist.
A I wouldn't worry about that if I were you. Those who
are ready to be converted from the habit of drifting will rec-
ognize the authenticity of this interview by its soundness of
counsel. The others are not worth the trouble it would take to
Q Why do you not try to stop me from publishing this con-
fession I am wringing from you?
A Because that would be the surest of all ways to guarantee
you will publish it. I have a better plan than trying to sup-
press publication of my confession. I will urge you to go ahead
with the publication, then sit back and watch you suffer when
some of my faithful drifters begin to make things hot for you.
I will not need to deny your story. My followers will do that for
me— see if they don't.
Chapter Five THE CONFESSION CONTINUES
Q If this confession of yours stopped right here your
statement would be sound, but fortunately for millions of your
victims who will gain their release because of your confession,
this interview will continue until you have supplied me with
the weapon by which you will eventually be restrained from
domination of people through their fears and superstitions.
Remember, Your Majesty, your confession has just begun.
After I wring from you a description of the methods by which
you control people, I will force you also to give the formula by
which your control can be broken at will.
It is true I shall not remain here long enough to defeat
you, but the published word I leave behind me will be death-
less because it will consist of truth! You fear the opposition
of no individual because you know it will be short, but you
do fear truth. You fear truth and nothing else, for the reason
it is slowly but definitely giving human beings freedom from
all manner of fear. Without the weapon of fear you would be
helpless and entirely unable to control any human being! Is
that true or false?
A I have no alternative but to admit that what you say is true.
Q Now that we understand each other, let us go ahead with
your confession. But before we continue, I may as well take
time out to do a little boasting on my own account, now that
you have had your fling at it. I will confine myself to one ques-
tion, the answer to which will give me all the satisfaction I
want. Is it not true that you control only the minds of those
who have allowed the drifting habit to be fixed upon them?
A Yes, that is true. I have already admitted this truth in a
dozen or more different ways. Why do you tantalize me by
repeating the question?
Q There is power in repetition. I am forcing you to repeat the
highlights of your confession in as many different ways as pos-
sible so your victims may check this interview and determine
its soundness by their own experiences with you. That is one of
my little tricks. Do you approve of my method?
A You couldn't be setting a trap for me for the purpose of
doing some more boasting, could you?
Q I am asking the questions and you are doing the
answering! Go ahead now and confess why you are power-
less to stop me from forcing this confession from you. I want
your confession for aid and comfort to victims of yours whom
I intend to release from your control the moment they read
A I am powerless to influence or control you because you
have found the secret approach to my kingdom. You know that
I exist only in the minds of people who have fears. You know
that I control only the drifters who neglect to use their own
minds. You know that my hell is here on earth and not in the
world that comes after death. And you know also that drifters
supply all the fire I use in my hell. You know that I am a prin-
ciple or form of energy which expresses the negative side of
matter and energy, and that I am not a person with a forked
tongue and a spiked tail You have become my master because
you have mastered all your fears. Lastly, you know that you can
release all of my earthbound victims whom you contact, and
this definite knowledge is the blow with which you will deal me
the greatest damage.
I cannot control you because you have discovered your
own mind and you have taken charge of it. There now, Mr.
Earthbound, that confession should feed your vanity to the
Q That last dart was unnecessary. Knowledge of the sort
I have used to master you does not contaminate itself with
vulgar indulgence in vanity. Truth is the one, and only, thing
in the world that can stand ridicule. Now let us continue with
your confession. What is wrong with the principle of flattery?
You use it, do you not?
A Do I use it? Man alive! Flattery is one of my most useful
weapons. With this deadly instrument I slay the big ones and
the little ones.
Q Your admission interests me. Go ahead now and tell me
how you make use of flattery.
A I make use of it in so many ways it is difficult to know
where to begin. I warn you, before I answer in detail, that pub-
lishing my answers will bring down an avalanche of ridicule on
your head for bringing up the question.
Q I'll take the responsibility. Proceed.
A Well, I may as well here admit that you have stumbled
onto the major secret of how I convert people to the habit
Q That is a startling admission. Go ahead with your confes-
sion, and stick strictly to this subject of flattery. No more side
remarks and no more facetiousness for the present. Tell me all
about your use of flattery in gaining control over people.
A Flattery is a bait of incomparable value to all who wish
to gain control over others. It has powerful pulling qualities
because it operates through two of the most common human
weaknesses: vanity and egotism. There is a certain amount of
vanity and egotism in everyone. In some people these qualities
are so pronounced they literally serve as a rope by which one
may be bound. The best of all ropes is flattery.
Flattery is the chief bait through which men seduce women.
Sometimes— in fact, frequently— women use the same bait to
gain control of men, especially men who cannot be mastered
through sex appeal. I teach its use to both men and women.
Flattery is the chief bait with which my agents weave their way
into the confidence of people from whom they procure infor-
mation needed to carry on warfare.
Wherever anyone stops to feed his vanity on flattery, I move
in and begin to build another drifter. Non-drifters are not
easily flattered. I inspire people to use flattery in every human
relationship where its use is possible because those who are
influenced by it become easy victims of the drifting habit.
Q Can you control anyone who is amenable to flattery?
A Very easily. As I have already told you, flattery is of major
importance in alluring people into the habit of drifting.
Q At what age are people most susceptible to flattery?
A Age has nothing to do with one's susceptibility to flattery.
People respond to it, in one way or another, from the time they
become conscious of their own existence until they die.
Q Through what motive can women be most easily flattered?
A Their vanity. Tell a woman she is pretty or that she wears
Q What motive is most effective in harpooning men?
A Egotism, with a capital E! Tell a man he has a strong
Herculean body or that he is a great business tycoon, and he
will purr like a cat and smile like an opossum! After that you
know what happens.
Q Are all men like that?
A Oh, no. Two out of every hundred have their egotism so
thoroughly under control that even an expert flatterer couldn't
get under their skins with a double-edged butcher knife.
Q How does a cunning woman apply her art of flattery in
A Great heavens, man, do I have to draw a picture of her
method for you? Have you no imagination?
Q Oh, yes, I have imagination enough, Your Majesty, but I am
thinking of the poor dupes of the world who need to under-
stand the exact technique with which they may be flattered
into the habit of drifting. Go on and tell us how a woman can
harpoon rich and presumably smart men.
A This is a devilish trick to play on women, but since you
demand the information I am helpless to withhold it. Women
influence men through a technique consisting, first, of ability
to inject soft, cooing baby tones into their voices, and, second,
by closing their eyes into a half-closed position which registers
hypnotism in connection with the flattery of men.
Q Is that all there is to the business of flattery?
A No, that is only the technique. Then comes the motive a
woman uses as a lure. The type of woman you perhaps have in
mind never sells a man herself or anything she can give him.
Instead she sells him his own egotism!
Q Is that all that women use when they wish to flatter men?
A That is the most effective thing they use It works when sex
Q So I am to believe that big, strong, smart men can be
wound up and manipulated through flattery, just as if they
were so much putty? Is that possible?
A Is it possible? It is happening every minute of the day.
Moreover, unless they are non-drifters, the bigger they come,
the harder they fall when the expert flatterer moves in on them.
Q Tell me of some of your other tricks with which you cause
people to drift in life.
A One of my most effective devices is failure! The majority of
people begin to drift as soon as they meet with opposition, and
not one out of ten thousand will keep on trying after failing
two or three times.
Q So it is your business to induce people to fail whenever you
can. Is that correct?
A You have it right. Failure breaks down one's morale,
destroys self-confidence, subdues enthusiasm, dulls imagina-
tion, and drives away definiteness of purpose.
Without these qualities no one can permanently suc-
ceed in any undertaking. The world has produced thousands
of inventors with ability superior to that of the late Thomas
A. Edison. But these men have never been heard of, while the
name of Edison will go marching on because Edison converted
failure into a stepping stone to achievement while the others
used it as an alibi for not producing results.
Q Is the capacity to surmount failure without being discour-
aged one of Henry Ford's chief assets?
A Yes, and this same quality is the chief asset of every man
who attains outstanding success in any calling.
Q That statement covers lots of territory, Your Majesty.
Do you not wish to modify it or tone it down a bit for the sake
A No modification is necessary because the claim is none too
broad. Search accurately into the lives of men and women who
achieve enduring success and you will find, without exception,
that their success has been in exact proportion to the extent
that they surmounted failure.
The life of every successful person loudly acclaims that
which every true philosopher knows: "Every failure brings with
it the seed of an equivalent success."
But the seed will not germinate and grow under the influ-
ence of a drifter. It springs to life only when it is in the hands
of one who recognizes that most failures are only temporary
defeat, and who never, under any circumstances, accepts defeat
as an excuse for drifting.
Q If I understand you correctly, you claim there is virtue in
failure. That does not seem reasonable. Why do you try to
induce people to fail if there is virtue in failure?
A There is no inconsistency in my claims. The appearance of
inconsistency is due to your lack of understanding. Failure is a
virtue only when it does not lead one to quit trying and begin
drifting. I induce as many people as I can to fail as often as
possible for the reason that not one out of ten thousand will
keep on trying after failing two or three times. I am not con-
cerned about the few who convert failures into stepping stones
because they belong to my opposition anyway. They are the
non-drifters and therefore they are beyond my reach.
Q Your explanation clears up the matter. Now go ahead and
tell me of some of your other tricks with which you allure
people into drifting.
A One of my most effective tricks is known to you as propa-
ganda. This is the instrument of greatest value to me in setting
people to murdering one another under the guise of war.
The cleverness of this trick consists mainly of the subtlety
with which I use it.
I mix propaganda with the news of the world. I have it
taught in public and private schools. I see that it finds its way
into the pulpit. I color moving pictures with it I see that it
enters every home where there is a radio. I inject it into bill-
board, newspaper, and radio advertising. I spread it in every
place of business where people work. I use it to fill the divorce
courts and I make it serve to destroy business and industry.
It is my chief instrument for starting runs on banks. My
propagandists cover the world so thoroughly that I can start
epidemics of disease, turn loose the dogs of war, or throw busi-
ness into a panic at will.
Q If you can do all that you claim with propaganda, it is little
wonder that we have wars and business depressions. Give me
a simple description of what you mean by the term "propa-
ganda." Just what is it and how does it work? I wish to know
particularly how you cause people to drift through the use of
this devilish device.
A Propaganda is any device, plan, or method by which people
can be influenced without knowing that they are being influ-
enced, or the source of the influence.
Propaganda is used in business for the purpose of discour-
aging competition. Employers use it to gain advantage over
their employees. The employees retaliate by using it to gain
advantage over their employers. In fact, it is used so universally
and through such a smooth and beautiful streamlined tech-
nique that it looks harmless even when it is detected.
Q I suppose some of your boys are now engaged in preparing
the minds of the American people to drift into some form of
dictatorship. Tell me how they work.
A Yes! Millions of my boys are preparing Americans to
become Hitlerized My best boys are working through poli-
tics and labor organization. We intend to take over the country
with ballots instead of bullets. Americans are so sensitive they
would never stand the shock of seeing their form of govern-
ment changed with the aid of machine guns and tank cars.
So our propaganda boys are serving them a diet they will
swallow, by stirring up strife between employers and employees
and turning the government against business and industry.
When propaganda has done its work thoroughly, one of my boys
will move in as dictator and the Nine Old Men on your Supreme
Court with their silly notions of the Constitution will move out!
Everyone will be given a job or fed from the government treasury.
When men's bellies are filled, they drift freely with one who does
the filling. Hungry men get out from under control.
Q I have often wondered who invented the clever trick which
you call propaganda. From what you tell me of its source and
nature I understand why it is so deadly. Only one as clever as
Your Majesty could have invented such a device with which to
dull the reason, dethrone the will, and lure men into drifting.
Why do you not use your powerful propaganda to gain
control of your victims instead of subduing them through fear
and annihilating them through warfare?
A What is fear of the Devil except propaganda? You have not
observed my technique very carefully or you would have seen
that I am the world's greatest propagandist! I never attain an
end by direct, open means which I can achieve through subter-
fuge and subtlety. What do you suppose I am using, when I plant
negative ideas in the minds of men and gain control of them
through what they believe to be their own ideas? What would
you call that except the cleverest of all forms of propaganda?
Q Surely you are not going to tell me that you destroy people
through their own help without their realizing what you
A That is exactly what I wish you to understand. Moreover,
I will show you exactly how the trick is performed.
Q Now we are getting somewhere. Exactly how do you con-
vert human beings into propagandists and lure them into
self-imprisonment? Give me the story with all its lurid details.
This is the most important part of your confession and I am
consumed with eagerness to gain control of your secret. I can
hardly blame you for stalling about answering my question
because you know so well that your answer will snatch mil-
lions of innocent victims from your control. You also know
that your answer will protect other countless millions of yet
unborn people from being victimized by you. It is little wonder
you are hedging about answering.
A Your deductions are correct. This part of my confession
will do me more damage than all the remainder of it.
Q Stating your headache in a better way, this part of your
confession will save more millions of people from your control
than all the remainder of it.
A All I can say is that you have me in a hell of a situation!
Q Now you shall know how the millions of your victims feel.
Let's have it.
A I make my first entry into an individual's mind by bribing
Q What do you use as a bribe?
A I use many things, all of them pleasant things the indi-
vidual covets. I use the same sort of bribes that individuals use
when they bribe one another. That is, I use for bribes the things
people most want. My best bribes are these:
The thirst for sex expression
Covetousness for money
The obsessive desire to gain something for nothing— gambling
Vanity in women, egotism in men
Desire to be the master of others
• Desire for intoxicants and narcotics
Desire for self-expression through words and deeds
Desire to imitate others
Desire for perpetuation of life after death
Desire to be a hero or heroine
Desire for physical food
Q That is an imposing list of bribes, Your Majesty. Do you
A Yes, plenty of them, but these are my favorites. Through
some combination of them I can enter the mind of any human
being at will at any age from birth until death.
Q You mean that these bribes are the keys with which you
can silently unlock the door to any mind you choose?
A That is exactly what I mean and I can do it too.
Q What happens when you enter the mind of a person who
is not yet in the habit of drifting, but belongs in the 98 percent
class as a potential drifter?
A I go to work immediately to occupy as much of that per-
son's mind as I can master. If the individual's greatest weak-
ness is the desire for money, I begin to dangle coins before him,
figuratively speaking. I intensify his desire and induce him
to go after money. Then when he gets near it I snatch it away
This is an old trick of mine. After the trick has been
repeated a few times, the poor fellow gives in and quits. Then I
take over a little more space in his mind and fill it with the fear
of poverty. That is one of my best mind-fillers.
Q Yes, I admit your method is very clever, but what happens
if the victim fools you and gets his hands on a lot of money?
You don't fill his mind with fear of poverty then, do you?
A No, I don't. I take over the space by filling it with something
which serves my purpose just as well. If my victim converts his
desire for money into large sums, I start over-feeding him with
the things he can buy with it. For example, I cause him to stuff
himself with rich foods. This slows down his thinking capacity,
endangers his heart, and starts him on the road to drifting.
Then I pester him with intestinal poisoning through the
surplus food he eats. That also slows down his thinking and
gives him a nasty disposition.
Q What if the victim is not a glutton? What other follies can
you induce him to pick up that lead to drifting?
A If the victim is a male I can usually snare him through his
sex appetite. Over-indulgence in sex starts more men to drifting
toward failure than all other causes combined.
Q So food and sex are two of your sure-fire baits! Is that
A Yes. With these two lures I can take over a majority of my
victims, and then there is the desire for money.
Q I am beginning to think that wealth is more dangerous
than poverty, if your story is to be believed.
A That altogether depends upon who has the wealth and how
it was acquired.
Q What has the manner in which money is acquired to do
with its being a blessing or a curse?
A Everything. If you don't believe me, take a look at those
who acquire a large amount of money quickly, without time to
get wisdom along with it, and observe how they use it.
Why, do you suppose, rich men's sons seldom equal the
achievements of their fathers? I'll tell you why. It is because
they have been deprived of the self-discipline which comes
from being forced to work.
Look into the records of moving picture stars or athletes
who suddenly find themselves in possession of big money and
hero worship and praise from the public. Observe how quickly
I move in and take them over in many cases, mainly through
sex, gambling, food, and liquor. With these I catch and con-
trol the biggest and the best of people as soon as they get their
hands on big money.
Q What about those who acquire money slowly, by rendering
some form of useful service? Are they easily snared too?
A Oh, I get them all right, but I generally have to change
my bait. Some of them want one thing and others want some-
Where my purpose is best served I see to it that they get
what they want most, but I manage to wrap in the package
something they don't want. The thing I give them is the
definite thing that makes them drifters. Do you see how
Q And very clever work it is. You lure people on through their
natural desires, but you slip your deadly poison into the object
of those desires wherever you can.
A Now you are catching on. You see, I play both ends against
the middle, so to speak.
Q From all you say I infer that you cannot induce a non-
drifter to help you gain control of his mind by baiting him
with your bribes. Is that correct?
A That is exactly correct. I can— and I do— interest non-
drifters in my bribes, because I use for the purpose of bribery
the things all people naturally desire, but the non-drifter
resembles a fish that steals the bait from your hook but refuses
to take the hook.
The non-drifter takes from life whatever he wants, but he
takes it on his own terms. The drifter takes whatever he can get,
but he takes what he gets on my terms.
Stating the matter in another way, the non-drifter borrows
money from a legitimate banker, if he wants it, and pays a legit-
imate rate of interest. The drifter goes to the pawn shop, hocks
his watch, and pays a suicidal rate of interest for his loan.
Q So I draw from your claims the conclusion that your hand
is mixed up somehow in all of people's troubles and miseries,
even though your presence may not be visible?
A My unwilling workers are often my best workers. You see,
my unwilling workers are those whom I cannot control with
some combination of bribes, people whom I have to master by
fear or through some form of misfortune. They do not wish
to serve me, but they cannot avoid it because they are eternally
bound to me by the habit of drifting.
Q Now I am beginning to better understand your technique.
You bribe your victims through their natural desires and lead
them astray while you induce them to become drifters if they
respond to your lure. If they refuse to respond, you plant the
seed of fear in their minds or trap them through some form
of misfortune, and hog-tie them while they are down. Is that
A That is exactly the way I work. Clever, don't you think?
Q Which do you prefer to serve as your propagandists— the
young or the old?
A The young, of course! They can be influenced by most
bribes more easily than people of mature judgment. Moreover,
they have longer to remain in my service.
Q Your Majesty has given me a clear description of drifting.
Tell me what must be done to insure against the habit of
drifting. I want a complete formula that anyone can use.
A Protection against drifting lies within easy reach of every
human being who has a normal body and a sound mind. The
self-defense can be applied through these simple methods:
1. Do your own thinking on all occasions. The fact that
human beings are given complete control over nothing
save the power to think their own thoughts is laden with
2. Decide definitely what you want from life; then create
a plan for attaining it and be willing to sacrifice everything
else, if necessary, rather than accept permanent defeat.
3. Analyze temporary defeat, no matter of what nature
or cause, and extract from it the seed of an equivalent
4. Be willing to render useful service equivalent to the value
of all material things you demand of life, and render the ser-
5. Recognize that your brain is a receiving set that can be
attuned to receive communications from the universal store-
house of Infinite Intelligence, to help you transmute your
desires into their physical equivalent.
6. Recognize that your greatest asset is time, the only thing
except the power of thought which you own outright, and
the one thing which can be shaped into whatever material
things you want. Budget your time so none of it is wasted.
7. Recognize the truth that fear generally is a filler with
which the Devil occupies the unused portion of your mind.
It is only a state of mind which you can control by filling the
space it occupies with faith in your ability to make life pro-
vide you with whatever you demand of it.
8. When you pray, do not beg! Demand what you want and
insist upon getting exactly that, with no substitutes.
9. Recognize that life is a cruel taskmaster and that either
you master it or it masters you. There is no half-way or com-
promising point. Never accept from life anything you do not
want. If that which you do not want is temporarily forced
upon you, you can refuse, in your own mind, to accept it and
it will make way for the thing you do want.
10. Lastly, remember that your dominating thoughts attract,
through a definite law of nature, by the shortest and most
convenient route, their physical counterpart. Be careful what
your thoughts dwell upon.
Q That list looks imposing. Give me a simple formula, com-
bining all the ten points. If you had to combine all ten in one,
what would it be?
A Be definite in everything you do and never leave unfinished
thoughts in the mind. Form the habit of reaching definite deci-
sions on all subjects.
Q Can the habit of drifting be broken, or does it become per-
manent once it has been formed?
A The habit can be broken if the victim has enough will
power, providing it is done in time. There is a point beyond
which the habit can never be broken. Beyond that point the
victim is mine. He resembles a fly that has been caught in a spi-
der's web. He may struggle, but he cannot get out. Each move
he makes entangles him more securely. The web in which I
entangle my victims permanently is a law of nature not yet iso-
lated by, or understood by, men of science.
Chapter Six HYPNOTIC RHYTHM
Q What is this mysterious law through which you take
permanent control of people's bodies even before you take over
their souls? The whole world will want to know more about
this law and how it operates.
A It will be hard to describe the law so you will understand
it, but you may call it "hypnotic rhythm." It is the same law
through which people can be hypnotized.
Q So you have the power to use the laws of nature as a
web in which you bind your victims in eternal control. Is that
A That is not only my claim. It is the truth! I take over their
minds and bodies even before they die whenever I can lure
them or frighten them into hypnotic rhythm.
Q What is hypnotic rhythm? How do you use it to gain per-
manent mastery over human beings?
A I will have to go back into time and space and give you
a brief elementary description of how nature uses hyp-
notic rhythm. Otherwise you will not be able to understand
my description of how I use this universal law to control
Q Go ahead, but keep your story confined to simple illustra-
tions which come within the range of my own experience and
knowledge of natural laws.
A Very well, I shall do my best You, of course, know that
nature maintains a perfect balance between all the elements
and all the energy in the universe. You can see that the stars
and the planets move with perfect precision, each one keeping
its own place in time and space. You can see that the seasons of
the year come and go with perfect regularity. You can see that
an oak tree grows from an acorn and a pine grows from the
seed of its ancestor. An acorn never produces a pine and a pine
seed never produces an oak.
These are simple things which anyone can understand;
what one cannot see is the universal law through which nature
maintains perfect balance throughout the myriad of universes.
You earthbound caught a fragmentary glimpse of this great
universal law when Newton discovered that it holds your earth
in its position and causes all material objects to be attracted
toward the center of the earth. He called the law gravitation.
But he did not go far enough in his study of the law. If he
had, he would have discovered that the same law which holds
your earth in position and helps nature to maintain a perfect
balance over the four dimensions— in which all matter and
energy are contained— is the web in which I entangle and con-
trol the minds of human beings.
Q Tell me more of this astounding law of hypnotic rhythm.
A As I have already stated, there is a universal form of
energy with which nature keeps a perfect balance between all
matter and energy. She makes specialized use of this universal
building material by breaking it up into different wavelengths.
The breaking-up process is carried on through habit.
You will better understand what I am trying to convey if I
compare it with the method by which one learns to play music.
At first the notes are memorized in the mind. Then they are
related to one another through melody and rhythm By repeti-
tion the melody and rhythm become fixed in the mind. Observe
how relentlessly the musician must repeat a tune before he
masters it. Through repetition the musical notes blend and
then you have music.
Any impulse of thought that the mind repeats over and
over through habit forms an organized rhythm. Undesirable
habits can be broken. They must be broken before they assume
the proportions of rhythm. Are you following me?
A Well, to continue, rhythm is the last stage of habit! Any
thought or physical movement which is repeated over and over
through the principle of habit finally reaches the proportion
Then the habit cannot be broken because nature takes it
over and makes it permanent. It is something like a whirlpool
in water. An object may keep floating indefinitely unless it is
caught in a whirlpool. Then it is carried round and round but
it cannot escape. The energy with which people think may be
compared with water in a river.
Q So this is the way in which you take control of the minds
of people, is it?
A Yes. All I have to do to gain control over any mind is to
induce its owner to drift
Q Am I to understand that the habit of drifting is the major
danger through which people lose their prerogative or privilege
of thinking their own thoughts and shaping their own earthly
A That and much more. Drifting is also the habit through
which I take over their souls after they give up their phys-
Q Then the only way a human being can be saved from
eternal annihilation is by maintaining control over his own
mind while he is on this earth. Is that true?
A You have stated the truth perfectly! Those who control and
use their own minds escape my web. I get all the others as natu-
rally as the sun sets in the west.
Q Is that all there is to the business of being saved from
eternal annihilation? Doesn't what you call your opposition
have anything to do with saving people?
A I can see that you do think very deeply. My opposition—
the power you earthbound call God— has everything to do with
the salvation of people from eternal annihilation, and for that
reason it is my opposition who provides every human being
with the privilege of using his own mind.
If you use that power by maintaining control over your own
mind, you become a part of it when you give up your physical
body. If you neglect to use it, then I have the privilege of taking
advantage of the neglect through the law of hypnotic rhythm.
Q How much of a person do you take over when you gain
control of him?
A Everything that is left after he ceases to control and use his
Q In other words, when you gain control of a person you take
over all there is of his individuality up to the time that he quits
using his own mind? Is that correct?
A That is how I operate.
Q What do you do with people whom you control before
death? Of what good are they to you while they live?
A I use them, or what is left of than after I take charge, as pro-
pagandists to help me prepare the minds of others to drift
Q You not only fool people into destroying their power
to control their own minds, but you use them to help you
A Yes, I let no opportunity get away from me.
Q Let us come back to the subject of hypnotic rhythm. Tell
me more of how this law works. Show me how you use indi-
viduals to help you gain control over others. I want to know
something of the most effective way you use hypnotic rhythm.
A Oh, that is easy! The thing I like best is to fill the minds of
people with fear. Once I fill one's mind with fear I have little
trouble causing him to drift until I have entangled him in the
web of hypnotic rhythm.
Q What human fear best serves your purpose?
A The fear of death.
Q Why is the fear of death your favorite weapon?
A Because no one knows, and by the very nature of the laws
of the universe, no one can prove definitely what happens after
death. This uncertainty frightens people out of their wits.
People who give over their minds to fear— any sort of fear-
neglect to use their minds and begin to drift. Eventually they
drift into the whirlpool of hypnotic rhythm from which they
may never escape.
Q Then you do not mind what religious leaders think or say
of you when they speak of death?
A Not as long as they say something! If the churches should
stop talking about me, my cause would receive a severe setback.
Every attack made against me fixes the fear of me in the minds
of all who are influenced by it. You see, opposition is the thing
that keeps some people from drifting! Providing they do not
yield to it.
Q Since you claim the churches help instead of hindering
your cause, tell me what would give you cause to worry?
A My only worry is that someday a real thinker may appear
Q What would happen if a thinker did appear?
A You ask me what would happen? I'll tell you what would
happen. People would learn the greatest of all truths— that the
time they spend in fearing something would, if reversed, give
them all they want in the material world and save them from
me after death. Isn't that worth thinking about?
Q What is keeping such a thinker from appearing in
A Fear of criticism! It may interest you to know that the fear
of criticism is the only effective weapon I have with which to
whip you. If you were not afraid to publish this confession
after you wring it from me, I would lose my earthly kingdom.
Q And if I did surprise you and publish it, how long would it
be until you lost your kingdom?
A Just long enough for one generation of children to grow
into understanding. You cannot take the adults from me. I
have them too securely sewed up. But if you published this
confession, it would be sufficient to keep me from gaining con-
trol of the yet unborn and those who have not yet reached the
age of reason. You wouldn't dare publish what I have told you
about the religious leaders. They would crucify you!
Q I thought the savage practice of crucifixion went out of
style two thousand years ago.
A I don't mean crucifixion on a cross. I mean social and
financial crucifixion. Your income would be shut off. You
would become a social outcast. Religious leaders and their fol-
lowers alike would treat you with scorn.
Q Suppose I should choose to throw in my lot with the select
few who make a pretence of using their own minds rather than
fear the masses who do not— the masses of whom you claim 98
A If you have courage enough to do this, you will crimp
Q Why do you lay claim to no scientist? Don't you like
A Oh yes, I like all people well enough, but true scientists are
out of my reach.
A Because they think for themselves and spend their time
studying natural laws. They deal with cause and effect. They
deal with facts wherever they find them. But do not make the
mistake of believing scientists have no religion. They have a
very definite religion.
Q What is their religion?
A The religion of truth! The religion of natural law! If the
world ever produces an accurate thinker with ability to fathom
the deeply buried secret of life and death, you can be sure that
science will be responsible for the catastrophe.
Q Catastrophe to whom?
A To me, of course!
Q Let's get back to the subject of hypnotic rhythm. I want to
know more about it. Is it something like the principle through
which people can hypnotize one another?
A It is precisely the same thing. I have already told you so.
Why do you repeat your questions?
Q That is an old worldly custom of mine, Your Majesty. For
your enlightenment I will tell you I am forcing you to repeat
many of your statements for the sake of emphasis. I am also
trying to see if I can catch you in a lie! Don't dodge the issue.
Get back to hypnotic rhythm and tell me all you know about
it. Am I a victim of it?
A Not now, but you barely missed falling into my web. You
drifted toward the whirlpool of hypnotic rhythm, until you dis-
covered how to force me into making this confession. Then I
lost control of you!
Q How interesting. You are not trying to recapture me
through flattery, are you?
A That would be the best bribe I could offer you. It is the bribe
I used on you effectively before you got the upper hand of me.
Q With what did you flatter me?
A With many things, chief among them sex and the desire for
Q What effect did your bribes have on me?
A They caused you to neglect your major purpose in life and
started you to drifting.
Q Was that all you did to me through your bribes?
A That was plenty.
Q But I am back on the track and out of your reach now, am
A Yes, you are temporarily out of my reach because you are
Q What broke your spell over me and released me from the
habit of drifting?
A My answer may humiliate you. Do you want to hear it?
Q Go ahead and give it to me, Your Majesty. I wish to learn
how much truth I can stand.
A When you found a great love in the woman of your choice,
I lost my grip on you.
Q So you are going to accuse me of hiding behind a woman's
skirts, are you?
A No, not hiding. I wouldn't put it that way. I would say you
have learned how to give yourself a solid background with the
embellishment of a woman's mind.
Q The woman's skirt has nothing to do with it then?
A No, but her brain does. When you and your wife began
to combine your two brains, through your habit of "Master
Minding" every day, you stumbled upon the secret power with
which you forced me into this confession.
Q Is that the truth, or are you trying to flatter me again?
A I could flatter you if I had you alone, but I cannot flatter
you while you have the use of your wife's mind.
Q I am beginning to catch on to something important. I am
beginning to understand what was meant by the writer of that
passage in the Bible which says substantially, "When two or
more meet together and ask for anything in My name, it shall
be granted." It is true, then, that two minds are better than one.
A It is not only true, it is necessary before anyone can con-
tinuously contact the great storehouse of Infinite Intelligence
wherein is stored all that is, all that ever was, and all that can
Q Is there such a storehouse?
A If there had not been, you would not— could not— now be
humiliating me with this silly forced confession.
Q Isn't it dangerous to give this sort of information to the
A Sure, it is dangerous to me. If I were you, I would not give
Q Let us get back, now, to the technique through which you
fasten on your victims the habit of drifting. What is the very
first step a drifter must take to break the habit?
A A burning desire to break it! You of course know that no
one can be hypnotized by another person without his willing-
ness to be hypnotized. The willingness may assume the form of
indifference toward life generally, lack of ambition, fear, lack
of definiteness of purpose, and many other forms. Nature does
not need one's consent in order to place him under the spell of
hypnotic rhythm. It needs only to find him off guard, through
any form of neglect to use his own mind. Remember this: what-
ever you have, you use it or you lose it!
All successful attempts to break the habit of drifting must
be done before nature makes the habit permanent, through
Q As I understand you, hypnotic rhythm is a natural law
through which nature fixes the vibration of all environments.
Is that true?
A Yes, nature uses hypnotic rhythm to make one's domi-
nating thoughts and one's thought-habits permanent. That
is why poverty is disease. Nature makes it so by fixing per-
manently the thought-habits of all who accept poverty as an
Through this same law of hypnotic rhythm, nature will also
fix permanently positive thoughts of opulence and prosperity.
Perhaps you will better understand the working principle
of hypnotic rhythm if I tell you its nature is to fix permanently
all habits whether they are mental or physical. If your mind
fears poverty, your mind will attract poverty. If your mind
demands opulence and expects it, your mind will attract the
physical and financial equivalents of opulence. This is in accor-
dance with an immutable law of nature.
Q Did the writer of that sentence in the Bible, "Whatsoever
a man soweth, that shall he also reap," have in mind this law
A He could have nothing else in mind. The statement is true.
You can see evidence of its truth in all human relationships.
Q And that is why the man who forms the habit of drifting
through life must accept whatever life hands him. Is that
A That is absolutely correct. Life pays the drifter its own
price, on its own terms. The non-drifter makes life pay on his
Q Doesn't the question of morals enter into what one gets
A To be sure, but only for the reason that one's morals have
an influence on one's thoughts. No one can collect what he
wants from life merely by being good, if that is what you want
Q No, I guess not. I see what you mean. We are all where we
are and what we are because of our own deeds.
A No, not exactly. You are where you are and what you are
because of your thoughts and your deeds.
Q Then there is no such reality as luck, is there?
A Emphatically no. Circumstances which people do not
understand are classified under the heading of luck. Back of
every reality is a cause. Often the cause is so far removed from
the effect that the circumstance can be explained only by attrib-
uting it to the operation of luck. Nature knows no such law as
luck. It is a man-made hypothesis with which he explains away
things he does not understand. The terms "luck" and "miracle"
are twin sisters. Neither of them has any real existence except in
the imaginations of people. Both are used to explain that which
people do not understand. Remember this: everything having a
real existence is capable of proof. Keep this one truth in mind
and you will become a sounder thinker.
Q Which is more important, one's thoughts or one's deeds?
A All deeds follow thoughts. There can be no deeds without
their having first been patterned in thought. Moreover, all
thoughts have a tendency to clothe themselves in their phys-
ical counterpart. One's dominating thoughts, that is, the
thoughts one mixes with the emotions, desire, hope, faith,
fear, hate, greed, enthusiasm, not only have a tendency to
clothe themselves in their physical equivalent, but they are
bound to do so.
Q That reminds me to ask you to tell me more about your-
self. Where, in addition to the minds of people, do you dwell
A I operate wherever there is something I can control and
appropriate. I have already told you I am the negative portion
of the electron of matter.
• I am the explosion in lightning.
• I am the pain in disease and physical suffering.
• I am the unseen general in warfare.
• I am the unknown commissioner of poverty and famine.
• I am the executioner extraordinaire at death.
• I am the inspirer of lust after the flesh.
• I am the creator of jealousy and envy and greed.
• I am the instigator of fear.
• I am the genius who converts the achievements of men
of science into instruments of death.
• I am the destroyer of harmony in all manner of human
• I am the antithesis of justice.
• I am the driving force in all immorality.
• I am the stalemate of all good.
• I am anxiety, suspense, superstition, and insanity.
• I am the destroyer of hope and faith.
• I am the inspirer of destructive gossip and scandal.
• I am the discourager of free and independent thought.
• In brief, I am the creator of all forms of human
misery, the instigator of discouragement and
Q And you do not call that cold and cruel?
A I call that definite and dependable.
The world depression broke up the habits of men every-
where and redistributed the sources of opportunity in all walks
of life on an unprecedented scale.
The drifter's pet alibi, with which he tries to explain away
his undesirable position, is his cry that the world has run dry
Non-drifters do not wait for opportunity to be placed
in their way. They create opportunity to fit their desires and
demands of life!
Q Are non-drifters smart enough to avoid the influence of
A No one is smart enough to dodge the influence of hypnotic
rhythm. One could just as easily avoid the influence of the
law of gravity. The law of hypnotic rhythm fixes permanently
the dominating thoughts of men, whether they be drifters or
There is no reason why a non-drifter would want to avoid
the influence of hypnotic rhythm, because that law is favor-
able to him. It helps him convert his dominating aims, plans,
and purposes into their physical replicas. It fixes his habits of
thought and makes them permanent.
Only the drifter would wish to dodge the influence of hyp-
Q For the better portion of my adult life I have been a drifter.
How did I manage to escape being swept into the whirlpool of
A You haven't escaped. The major portion of your domi-
nating thoughts and desires, since you reached adulthood, has
been a well-defined, definite desire to understand all the poten-
tialities of the mind.
You may have drifted on thoughts of lesser importance, but
you did not drift in connection with this desire. Because you
did not drift, you are now recording a document which gives
you exactly what your dominating thoughts demanded of life.
Q Why doesn't your opposition use hypnotic rhythm to
make permanent one's higher thoughts and nobler deeds?
Why does your opposition permit you to use this stupendous
force as a means of entangling people in a web of evil spun by
their own thoughts and deeds? Why does your opposition not
outwit you by binding people with thoughts which build and
lift them above your influence?
A The law of hypnotic rhythm is available to all who will use
it. I make use of it more effectively than does my opposition
because I offer people more attractive bribes to think my sort
of thoughts and indulge in my sort of deeds.
Q In other words, you control people by making nega-
tive thinking and destructive deeds pleasing to them. Is that
A That is the idea, exactly!
Chapter Seven SEEDS OF FEAR
Q I have often wondered why your opposition— what
we earthbound call God— does not annihilate you? Can you tell
A Because the power is as much mine as his. It is as available
to me as to him. That is what I have been trying to get over to
you. The highest power in the universe can be used for con-
structive purposes, through what you call God, or it can be
used for negative purposes, through what you call the Devil.
And something more important still, it can be used by any
human being just as effectively as by God or the Devil.
Q You make a far-reaching claim. Can you prove your claim?
A Yes, but it would be better if you proved it for yourself. The
Devil's word is not worth much among you earthbound sin-
ners. Neither is God's word. You fear the Devil and refuse to
trust your God; therefore you have but one source available
through which you may appropriate the benefit of universal
power, and that is by trusting and using your own power of
thought. This is the direct road to the universal storehouse of
Infinite Intelligence. There is no other road available to any
Q Why have we earthbound not found the road to Infinite
A Because I have intercepted you and led you off the path by
planting in your minds thoughts which destroy your power to
use your minds constructively. I have made it attractive to you
to use the Power of Infinite Intelligence to attain negative ends,
through greed, avarice, lust, envy, and hatred. Remember, your
mind attracts that which your mind dwells upon. To divert you
away from my opposition, I had only to feed you on thoughts
helpful to my cause.
Q If I understand what you are saying, you are admitting that
no human being need fear the Devil or worry about how to
A That is it precisely. This admission may put a crimp in my
style, but I have this satisfaction of knowing it may also slow
down my opposition by sending people direct to the source of
Q In other words, if you cannot control people through nega-
tive bribes or fear, then you wish to kick over the entire apple
cart and show people how to go directly to God? Are you, by
any chance, in politics too? Your technique seems frightfully
A Am I in politics? If I am not in politics, who do you believe
starts depressions and forces people into wars? Surely you
would not lay this at the door of my opposition? As I have
already told you, I have allies in all walks of life, to help me in
connection with all human relationships.
Q Why don't you take over the churches and use them out-
right in your cause?
A Do you think I am a fool? Who would keep alive the fear
of the Devil if I subdued the churches? Who would serve as a
decoy to attract the attention of people while I manipulate
their minds if I did not have some agency through which to
sow the seeds of fear and doubt? The cleverest thing I do is to
use the allies of my opposition to keep the fear of hell burning
in the minds of people. As long as people fear something, no
matter what, I will keep a grip on them.
Q I am beginning to see your scheme. You use the churches
to plant the seed of fear and uncertainty and indefiniteness
in the minds of people. These negative states of mind cause
people to form the habit of drifting. This habit crystallizes
into permanency through the law of hypnotic rhythm; then
the victim is helpless to help himself, is that right? Hypnotic
rhythm, then, is something to be watched and respected?
A A better way of stating the truth is that hypnotic rhythm is
something to be studied, understood, and voluntarily applied
to attain definite desired ends.
Q If the force of hypnotic rhythm is not voluntarily applied
to attain definite ends, may it be a great danger?
A Yes, and for the reason that it operates automatically. If it
is not consciously applied to attain a desired end, it can, and it
will, operate to attain undesired ends.
Take the simple illustration of climate, for example.
Anyone can see and understand that nature forces every
living thing and every element of matter to adjust itself to her
climates. In the tropics she creates trees which bear fruit and
reproduce themselves. She forces the trees to adjust themselves
to her scorching sun! She forces them to put out leaves suit-
able for protection against the rays of the sun. These same trees
could not survive if removed to the arctic regions where nature
has established an entirely different climate.
In the colder climate she creates trees which are adjusted
to survive and to reproduce themselves, but they could not
survive if transplanted in the tropical regions. In the same
manner, nature clothes her animals, giving to those in each dif-
ferent climate a covering suited to their comfort and survival
in that climate.
In a similar manner, nature forces upon the minds of men
the influences of their environment, which are stronger than
the individual's own thoughts. Children are forced to take on
the nature of all influences of those around them unless their
own thoughts are stronger than the influences.
Nature sets up a definite rhythm for every environment,
and everything within the range of that rhythm is forced to
conform to it. Man, alone, has the power to establish his own
rhythm of thought providing he exercises this privilege before
hypnotic rhythm has forced upon him the influences of his
Every home, every place of business, every town and village
and every street and community center has its own definite, dis-
cernible rhythm. If you wish to know what a difference there is
in the rhythms of streets, take a walk up Fifth Avenue, in New
York, and then down a street in the slums! All forms of rhythm
become permanent with time.
Q Does each individual have his own rhythm of thought?
A Yes. That is precisely the major difference between indi-
viduals. The person who thinks in terms of power, success,
opulence, sets up a rhythm which attracts these desirable pos-
sessions. The person who thinks in terms of misery, failure,
defeat, discouragement, and poverty attracts these undesirable
influences. This explains why both success and failure are the
result of habit. Habit establishes one's rhythm of thought, and
that rhythm attracts the object of one's dominating thoughts.
Q Hypnotic rhythm is something resembling a magnet which
attracts things for which it has a magnetic affinity. Is that
A Yes, that is correct. That is why the poverty-stricken herd
themselves into the same communities. It explains that old
saying, "Misery loves company." It also explains why people
who begin to succeed in any undertaking find that success mul-
tiplies, with less effort, as time goes on.
All successful people use hypnotic rhythm, either con-
sciously or unconsciously, by expecting and demanding suc-
cess. The demand becomes a habit, hypnotic rhythm takes over
the habit, and the law of harmonious attraction translates it
into its physical equivalent.
Q In other words, if I know what I want from life, demand
it and back my demand by a willingness to pay life's price for
what I want, and refuse to accept any substitutes, the law of
hypnotic rhythm takes over my desire and helps, by natural
and logical means, to transmute it into its physical counter-
part. Is that true?
A That describes the way the law works.
Q Science has established irrefutable evidence that people
are what they are because of heredity and environment. They
bring over with them at birth a combination of all the phys-
ical qualities of all their numberless ancestors. After they arrive
here, they reach the age of self-consciousness and from there
on they shape their own personalities and more or less fix their
own earthly destinations as the result of the environmental
influences to which they are subjected, especially the influences
which control them during early childhood. These two facts
have been so well established there is no room for any intel-
ligent person to question them. How can hypnotic rhythm
change the nature of a physical body which is a combination of
thousands of ancestors who have lived and died before one is
born? How can hypnotic rhythm change the influence of one's
environment? People who are born in poverty and ignorance
have a strong tendency to remain poverty-stricken and igno-
rant all through life. What, if anything, can hypnotic rhythm
do about this?
A Hypnotic rhythm cannot change the nature of the physical
body one inherits at birth, but it can and it does modify, change,
control, and make permanent one's environmental influences.
Q If I understand what you mean, a human being is forced
by nature to take on and become a part of the environment he
chooses or the environment that may be forced upon him?
A That is correct, but there are ways and means by which an
individual may resist the influences of an environment he does
not wish to accept, and also a method of procedure by which
one may reverse the application of hypnotic rhythm from nega-
tive to positive ends.
Q Do you mean that there is a definite method by which hyp-
notic rhythm can be made to serve instead of destroy one?
A I mean just that.
Q Tell me how this astounding end may be attained.
A For my description to be of any practical value, it will be
necessarily lengthy because it will have to cover seven princi-
ples of psychology which must be understood and applied by
all who use hypnotic rhythm to aid them in forcing life to yield
that which they want.
Q Then break your description into seven parts, each giving
a detailed analysis of one of the seven principles, with simple
instructions for its practical application.
Chapter Eight DEFINITENESS OF PURPOSE
Q Your Majesty will now proceed to unfold the secrets
of the seven principles through which human beings may
force life to provide them with spiritual, mental, and phys-
Do not be sparing in your description of these principles.
I want a complete illustration of how the principles may be
used by anyone who chooses to use them. Tell us all you know
about the principle of definiteness of purpose.
A If you go through with this mad idea of publishing my con-
fession, you will open the gates of hell and turn loose all the
precious souls I have collected back down through the ages.
You will deprive me of souls yet unborn. You will release from
my bondage millions now living. Stop, I beg of you.
Q Open up. Let's hear what you have to say about the prin-
ciple of definiteness of purpose.
A You are pouring water on the fires of hell, but the responsi-
bility is yours, not mine. I may as well tell you that any human
being who can be definite in his aims and plans can make life
hand over whatever is wanted.
Q That is a broad claim, Your Majesty. Do you wish to tone it
down a bit?
A Tone it down? No, I wish to tone it up. When you hear what
I now have to say, you will understand why the principle of defi-
niteness is so important. My opposition uses a clever little trick
to cheat me of my control over people. The opposition knows
that definiteness of purpose closes the door of one's mind so
tightly against me that I cannot break through unless I can
induce one to form the habit of drifting.
Q Why doesn't your opposition give your secret to all people
by telling them to avoid you through definiteness of purpose?
You have already admitted that two out of every hundred
people belong to your opposition.
A Because I am more clever than my opposition. I draw
people away from definiteness with my promises. You see,
I control more people than my opposition because I am a
better salesman and a better showman. I attract people by
feeding them liberally of the thought-habits in which they like
Q Is definiteness of purpose something with which one must
be born or may it be acquired?
A Everyone, as I have told you before, is born with the privi-
lege of being definite, but 98 out of every 100 people lose this
privilege by sleeping on it. The privilege of definiteness can
be maintained only by adopting it as a policy by which one is
guided in all the affairs of life.
Q Oh, I see! One takes advantage of the principle of definite-
ness just as one may build a strong physical body— through
constant, systematic use. Is that it?
A You have stated the truth clearly and accurately.
Q Now I think we are getting somewhere, Your Majesty. We
have at long last found the starting point from which all who
become self-determining in life must take off.
We have discovered, from your astounding confession,
that your greatest asset is man's lack of caution, which enables
you to lead him into the jungle of indefiniteness through
We have learned, beyond the question of doubt, that
anyone who adopts definiteness of purpose as a policy and uses
it in all of his daily experiences cannot be induced to form the
habit of drifting. Without the aid of the drifting habit you are
powerless to attract people through promises. Is this correct?
A I couldn't have stated the truth more clearly myself.
Q Go ahead, now, and describe how people neglect their priv-
ilege of being free and self-determining through indefiniteness
A I have already made brief reference to this principle, but I will
now go into more minute details as to how the principle works.
I shall have to begin at the time of birth. When a child is
born, it brings with it nothing but a physical body representing
the evolutionary results of millions of years of ancestry.
Its mind is a total blank. When the child reaches the age
of consciousness and begins to recognize the objects of its sur-
roundings, it begins, also, to imitate others.
Imitation becomes a fixed habit. Naturally the child imi-
tates, first of all, its parents! Then it begins to imitate its other
relatives and daily associates, including its religious instructors
The imitation extends not merely to physical expression,
but also to thought expression. If a child's parents fear me and
express that fear within range of the child's hearing, the child
picks up the fear through the habit of imitation and stores it
away as a part of its subconscious stock of beliefs.
If the child's religious instructor expresses any form of
fear of me (and they all do, in one form or another), that fear is
added to the similar fear passed to the child by its parents, and
the two forms of negative limitation are stored away in the sub-
conscious mind to be drawn upon and used by me later in life.
In a similar way the child learns, by imitation, to limit its
power of thought by filling its mind with envy, hatred, greed,
lust, revenge, and all the other negative impulses of thought
which destroy all possibility of definiteness.
Meanwhile I move in and induce the child to drift until I
bind its mind through hypnotic rhythm.
Q Am I to understand from your remarks that you have to
gain control of people while they are very young or lose your
opportunity at them altogether?
A I prefer to claim them before they come into possession
of their own minds. Once any person learns the power of his
own thoughts, he becomes positive and difficult to subdue. As
a matter of fact, I cannot control any human being who dis-
covers and uses the principle of definiteness.
Q Is the habit of definiteness a permanent protection against
A No, not by any means. Definiteness closes the door of one's
mind to me only as long as that person follows the principle as
a matter of policy. Once any person hesitates, procrastinates, or
becomes indefinite about anything, he is just one step removed
from my control.
Q What has definiteness to do with one's material circum-
stances? I want to know if one may acquire power through def-
initeness of purpose without inviting destruction through the
law of compensation.
A Your question limits my illustrations because there are so
few people in the world who understand, and there have been
so few in the past who understood, how to use definiteness of
purpose without attracting to themselves the negative applica-
tion of the law of compensation.
Here you are forcing me to disclose one of my most prized
tricks. I am bound to tell you that I eventually reclaim for my
cause all who escape me temporarily through definiteness of
purpose. The reclamation is made by filling the mind with greed
for power and the love of egotistical expression, until the indi-
vidual falls into the habit of violating the rights of others. Then
I step in with the law of compensation and reclaim my victim.
Q So I see from your admission that definiteness of purpose
may be dangerous in proportion to its possibility as a power. Is
A Yes, and what is more important, every principle of good
carries with it the seed of an equivalent danger.
Q That is hard to believe. What danger, for example, can
there be in the habit of love of truth?
A The danger lies in the word "habit." All habits, save only
that of the love of definiteness of purpose, may lead to the
habit of drifting. Love for truth, unless it assumes the propor-
tion of definite pursuit of truth, may become similar to all
other good intentions. You know, of course, what I do with
Q Is love for one's relatives also dangerous?
A The love for anything or anyone, save only the love of defi-
niteness of purpose, may become dangerous. Love is a state of
mind which beclouds reason, saps will power, and blinds one
to facts and truth.
Everyone who becomes self-determining and gains spiri-
tual freedom to think his own thoughts must examine care-
fully every emotion that seems even remotely related to love.
You may be surprised to know that love is one of my most
effective baits. With it I lead into the habit of drifting those
whom I could attract with nothing else.
That is why I have placed it at the head of my list of bribes.
Show me what any person loves most and I will have my cue
as to how that person can be induced to drift until I bind him
with hypnotic rhythm.
Love and fear, combined, give me the most effective
weapons with which I induce people to drift. One is as helpful
to me as the other. Both have the effect of causing people to
neglect to develop definiteness in the use of their own minds.
Give me control over a person's fears and tell me what he
loves most and you may as well mark that person down as my
slave. Both love and fear are emotional forces of such stupen-
dous potency that either may completely set aside the power of
will and the power of reason. Without will and reason there is
nothing left to support definiteness of purpose.
Q But, Your Majesty, life would not be worth living if people
never felt the emotion of love.
A Ah! You are right as far as your reasoning goes, but you
neglected to add that love should be under one's definite con-
trol at all times.
Of course, love is a desirable state of mind, but it also is a
palliative which may be used to limit or destroy reason and will
power, both of which rate above love in importance to human
beings who want freedom and self-determination.
Q I understand from what you say that people who gain
power must harden their emotions, master fear, and subdue
love. Is that correct?
A People who gain and maintain power must become definite
in all their thoughts and all their deeds. If that is what you call
hard, then they must become hard
Q Let us look into the sources of advantage of definiteness
in the everyday affairs of life. Which is more apt to succeed, a
weak plan applied with definiteness, or a sound strong plan
A Weak plans have a way of becoming strong if definitely
Q You mean that any plan definitely put into continuous
action in pursuit of a definite purpose may be successful even
if it is not the best plan?
A Yes, I mean just that. Definiteness of purpose plus defi-
niteness of plan by which the purpose is to be achieved gener-
ally succeeds, no matter how weak the plan may be. The major
difference between a sound and an unsound plan is that the
sound plan, if definitely applied, may be carried out more
quickly than an unsound plan.
Q In other words, if one cannot be always right one can and
should be always definite? Is that what you are trying to get
across to me?
A That is the idea. People who are definite in both their
plans and their purposes never accept temporary defeat as
being more than an urge to greater effort. You can see for
yourself that this sort of policy is bound to win if it is fol-
lowed with definiteness.
Q Can a person who moves with definiteness of both plan
and purpose be always sure of success?
A No. The best of plans sometimes misfire, but the person
who moves with definiteness recognizes the difference between
temporary defeat and failure. When plans fail he substitutes
others but he does not change his purpose. He perseveres.
Eventually he finds a plan that succeeds.
Q Will a plan based upon immoral or unjust ends succeed
as quickly as one motivated by a keen sense of justice and
A Through the operation of the law of compensation,
everyone reaps that which he sows. Plans based on unjust
or immoral motives may bring temporary success, but enduring
success must take into consideration the fourth dimen-
Time is the enemy of immorality and injustice. It is the
friend of justice and morality. Failure to recognize this fact
has been responsible for the crime wave among the youths of
The youthful, inexperienced mind is apt to mistake tempo-
rary success for permanency. The youth often makes the mis-
take of coveting the temporary gains of immoral, unjust plans,
but neglects to look ahead and observe the penalties which
follow as definitely as night follows day.
Chapter Nine EDUCATION AND RELIGION
Q This is pretty deep stuff, Your Majesty. Let us get back
to the discussion of lighter and more concrete subjects that are
likely to interest the majority of people. I am interested in dis-
cussing the things that make people happy and miserable, rich
and poor, sick and healthy. In brief, I am interested in every-
thing that can be used by human beings to make life pay satis-
factory dividends in return for the effort that one puts into the
business of living.
A Very well, let us be definite.
Q You have my idea. Your Majesty has a tendency to stray
off into abstract details which most people can neither under-
stand nor use in the solution of their problems. Could that, by
any chance, be a definite plan of yours to answer my questions
with indefinite answers? If that is your plan, it is a slick trick
but it will not work. Go ahead now and tell me something
more of the miseries and failures of human beings growing
directly out of indefiniteness.
A Why not permit me to tell you more of the pleasures and
successes of people who understand and apply the principle of
Q I observe that sometimes people with definiteness of plan
and purpose get what they ask from life only to find after they
get it that they do not want it. What then?
A Generally one can get rid of whatever is not wanted by
application of the same principle of definiteness with which
the thing was acquired. A life that is lived with fullness of peace
of mind, contentment, and happiness always divests itself of
everything it does not want. Anyone who submits to annoyance
by things he does not want is not definite. He is a drifter.
Q What about married people who cease to want each other?
Should they separate, or is it true that all marriages are made
in heaven and the contracting parties are, therefore, forever
bound by their bargain, even though it may prove to be a poor
one for both.
A First, let me correct that old saying that all marriages are
made in heaven. I know of some which were made on my side
of the fence. Minds which do not harmonize should never be
forced to remain together in marriage or any other relationship.
Friction and all forms of discord between minds lead inevitably
to the habit of drifting, and of course to indefiniteness.
Q Aren't people sometimes bound to others by a relationship
of duty which renders it impractical for them to take from life
what they want most?
A "Duty" is one of the most abused and misunderstood
words in existence. The first duty of every human being is to
himself. Every person owes himself the duty of finding how
to live a full and happy life. Beyond this, if one has time and
energy not needed in the fulfillment of his own desires, one
may assume responsibility for helping others.
Q Isn't that a selfish attitude, and isn't selfishness one of the
causes of failure to find happiness?
A I stand by my statement that there is no higher duty than
that which one owes himself.
Q Doesn't a child owe something in the way of duty to its
parents who gave it life and sustenance during its periods of
A Not at all. It is just the other way around. Parents owe their
children everything they can give them in the way of knowl-
edge. Beyond that, parents often spoil instead of helping their
offspring by a false sense of duty which prompts them to
indulge their children instead of forcing them to seek and gain
knowledge at first hand.
Q I see what you mean. Your theory is that too much help
thrust upon the youth encourages him to drift and become
indefinite in all things. You believe that necessity is a teacher of
great sagacity, that defeat carries with it an equivalent virtue,
that unearned gifts of every nature may become a curse instead
of a blessing. Is that correct?
A You have stated my philosophy perfectly. My belief is not
theory. It is fact.
Q Then you do not advocate prayer as a means of gaining
A On the contrary I do advocate prayer, but not the sort of
prayer that consists of empty, begging, meaningless words.
The sort of prayer against which I am helpless is the prayer of
definiteness of purpose.
Q I never thought of definiteness of purpose as being a
prayer. How can it be?
A Definiteness is in effect the only sort of prayer upon which
one can rely. It places one in the way of using hypnotic rhythm
to attain definite ends ... by the mere act of appropriating it
from the great universal storehouse of Infinite Intelligence.
The appropriation, in case you are interested, takes place
through definiteness of purpose, persistently pursued!
Q Why do the majority of prayers fail?
A They don't. All prayers bring that for which one prays.
Q But you just said that definiteness of purpose is the only
sort of prayer upon which one can rely. Now you say that all
prayers bring results. What do you mean?
A There is nothing inconsistent about it. The majority of
people who pray go to prayer only after everything else fails
them. Naturally they go with their minds filled with fear that
the prayers will not be answered. Well, their fears are realized.
The person who goes to prayer with definiteness of purpose
and faith in the attainment of that purpose puts into motion
the laws of nature which transmute one's dominating desires
into their physical equivalent. That is all there is to prayer.
One form of prayer is negative and brings only nega-
tive results. One form is positive and brings definite, positive
results. Could anything be more simple?
People who whine and beg God to assume responsibility
for all their troubles and provide them with all the necessi-
ties and luxuries of life are too lazy to create what they want
and translate it into existence through the power of their
When you hear a person praying for something that he
should procure through his own efforts, you may be sure you
are listening to a drifter. Infinite Intelligence favors only those
who understand and adapt themselves to her laws. She makes
no discrimination because of fine character or pleasing per-
sonality. These things help people negotiate their way through
life more harmoniously with one another, but the source from
which prayer is answered is not impressed by fine feathers.
Nature's law is, "Know what you want, adapt yourself to my
laws, and you shall have it."
Q Does that harmonize with the teachings of Christ?
A Perfectly. Also it harmonizes with the teachings of all truly
Q Is your theory of definiteness in harmony with the philos-
ophy of men of science?
A Definiteness is the major difference between a scientist
and a drifter. Through the principle of definiteness of purpose
and plan, the scientist forces nature to hand over her most
profound secrets. It was through this principle that Edison
uncovered the secret of the talking machine, the incandescent
electric light, and scores of other benefits for mankind.
Q Then I understand that definiteness is the first requisite
for success in all earthly undertakings? Is that right?
A Exactly! Anything which teaches people to examine facts
and coordinate them into definite plans through accurate
thinking is hard on my profession. If this thirst for definite
knowledge now spreading over the world keeps up, my busi-
ness will be shot to pieces within the next few centuries. I thrive
on ignorance, superstition, intolerance, and fear, but I cannot
stand up under definite knowledge properly organized into
definite plans in the minds of people who think for themselves.
Q Why don't you take over Omnipotence and manage the
whole works in your own way?
A You might as well ask why the negative portion of the elec-
tron doesn't take over the positive portion and run the entire
works. The answer is that both the positive and the negative
charges of energy are necessary to the existence of the elec-
tron. One is balanced equally against the other, stalemated, as
So it is with what you call Omnipotence and I. We repre-
sent the positive and the negative forces of the entire system of
universes, and we are equally balanced one against the other.
If this power of balance were shifted the slightest degree,
the whole system of universes would become quickly reduced
to a mass of inert matter. Now you know why I cannot take
over the whole show and run it my way.
Q If what you say is true, you have exactly the same power as
Omnipotence. Is that true?
A That is correct. My opposition— you call it Omnipotence-
expresses itself through the forces which you call good, the
positive forces of nature. I express myself through the forces
you call bad, the negative forces. Both good and bad are coinci-
dental with existence. One is as important as the other.
Q Then the doctrine of predestination is sound. People are
born to success or failure, misery or happiness, to be good or
bad, and they have nothing to do with this nor can they modify
their natures. Is that your claim?
A Emphatically not! Every human being has a wide range
of choice in both his thoughts and his deeds. Every human
being can use his brain for the reception and the expression of
positive thoughts or he can use it for the expression of nega-
tive thoughts. His choice in this important matter shapes his
Q From what you have said I gather the idea that human
beings have more freedom of expression than either you or
your opposition. Is that correct?
A That is true. Omnipotence and I are bound by immutable
laws of nature. We cannot express ourselves in any manner not
conforming to these laws.
Q Then it is true that man has rights and privileges not avail-
able to either Omnipotence or the Devil. Is that the truth?
A Yes, that is true, but you might well have added that man
has not yet fully awakened to the realization of this potential
power. Man still regards himself as something resembling the
worms in the dust, when in reality he has more power than all
other living things combined.
Q Definiteness of purpose seems to be a panacea for all evils
A Not that perhaps, but you may be sure no one ever will
become self-determining without it.
Q Why aren't children taught definiteness of purpose in the
A For the reason that there is no definite plan or purpose
behind any of the school curricula! Children are sent to school
to make credits and to learn how to memorize, not to learn
what they want of life.
Q What good is a school credit if one cannot convert it into
the material and spiritual needs of life?
A I am only a Devil, not an un- winder of riddles!
Q I deduce from all you say that neither the schools nor
the churches prepare the youths of the world with a practical
working knowledge of their own minds. Is anything of more
importance to a human being than an understanding of the
forces and circumstances which influence his own mind?
A The only thing of enduring value to any human being is
a working knowledge of his own mind. The churches do not
permit a person to inquire into the possibilities of his own
mind, and the schools do not recognize that such a thing as a
Q Aren't you a little hard on the schools and the churches?
A No, I am merely describing them as they are, without bias
Q Aren't the schools and the churches your bitter enemies?
A Their leaders may think they are, but I am impressed only
by facts. The truth is this, if you must know it: the churches
are my most helpful allies and the schools run the churches a
Q On what specific or general grounds do you make this
A On the grounds that both the churches and the schools
help me to convert people to the habit of drifting.
Q Do you realize that your charge is substantially a sweeping
indictment of the two institutions of major importance which
have been responsible for civilization, in its present form?
A Do I realize it? Man alive, I gloat over it. If the schools and
churches had taught people how to think for themselves, where
would I be, now?
Q This confession of yours will disillusion millions of people
whose only hope for salvation is in their churches. Isn't that
a cruel thing to do to them? Wouldn't most people be better
off living in the bliss of ignorance than to know the truth
A What do you mean by the term "salvation"? From what are
people being saved? The only form of enduring salvation that
is worth a green fig to any human being is that which comes
from recognition of the power of his own mind. Ignorance and
fear are the only enemies from which men need salvation.
Q You seem to hold nothing sacred.
A You are wrong. I hold sacred the one thing which is my
master— the one thing I fear.
Q What is that?
A The power of independent thought backed by definiteness
Q Then you do not have many people to fear?
A Only two out of every 100 to be exact. I control all others.
Q Let's give the churches a rest and get back to the public
schools. Your confession has shown clearly that you thrive and
perpetuate yourself from one generation to another by the
clever trick of taking over the minds of children before they
have the chance to learn how to use their minds.
I wish to know what is wrong with a public school system
that permits the Devil to control so many people. I wish to
know, also, what can be done to the established system of
teaching that will insure all children the opportunity to learn,
first, that they have minds, and second, how to use those
minds to bring spiritual and economic freedom.
I am putting the question to you definitely enough, and
since you have stressed the importance of definiteness of
purpose I am here and now putting you on notice that your
answer to my question must be definite.
A Wait a moment while I catch my breath. You have given me
quite an order! It seems strange that you would come to the
Devil to learn how to live. I should think you would go to my
opposition. Why don't you?
Q Your Majesty, it is you who are on trial here, not I. I want
the truth and I am not particular as to the source from which
I get it. There is something radically wrong with the system of
education that has given us a balance sheet with life that shows
us hopelessly in the red and groping for the road to self-deter-
mination as if we were so many animals lost in the jungle.
I want to know two things about this system. First, what is
the major weakness of the system? Second, how can this weak-
ness be eliminated? The floor is yours again! Please stick to the
question and stop trying to decoy me into the discussion of
deep, abstract subjects. That's definite, is it not?
A You leave me no choice but that of direct answer. To begin
with, the public school system approaches the subject of edu-
cation from the wrong angle. The school system endeavors to
teach children to memorize facts, instead of teaching them how
to use their own minds.
Q Is that all that is wrong with the system?
A No, that is only the beginning. Another major weakness of
the school system is that it does not establish in the minds of
children either the importance of definiteness of purpose or
make any attempt to teach youths how to be definite about
The major object of all schooling is to force the students to
cram their memories with facts instead of teaching them how
to organize and make practical use of facts.
This cramming system centers the attention of students
on the accumulation of "credits" but overlooks the important
question of how to use knowledge in the practical affairs of life.
This system turns out graduates whose names are inscribed
upon parchment certificates, but whose minds are empty of
self-determination. The school system got off to a bad start
at the beginning. The schools began as institutions of "higher
learning," operated entirely for the select few whose wealth and
family entitled them to education.
Thus the entire school system was evolved by beginning at
the top and working back down to the bottom. It is no wonder
the system neglects to teach children the importance of defi-
niteness of purpose when the system, itself, has literally evolved
Q What would correct this weakness of the public school
system? Let's not complain of the weakness of the system
unless we are prepared to offer a practical remedy with which
it can be corrected. In other words, while we are discussing the
importance of definiteness of plan and purpose, let us take our
own medicine and be definite.
A Why don't you lay off the schools and churches and save
yourself plenty of trouble? Don't you know that you are poking
your nose into the affairs of the two forces that control the
world? Suppose you do show up the schools and the churches
as being weak and inadequate for the needs of human beings?
What then? With what are you going to replace these two
Q Stop trying to evade my questions by the old trick of
asking a counter-question! I do not propose to replace the
schools and churches. But I do propose to find out, if I can,
how these organized forces can be modified so they will serve
people instead of keeping them in ignorance. Go ahead, now,
and give me a detailed catalogue of all the changes in the
public school system which would improve it.
A So you want the entire catalogue, do you? Do you want the
suggested changes in the order of their importance?
Q Describe the changes needed just as they come to you.
A You are forcing me to commit an act of treason against
myself, but here it is:
Reverse the present system by giving children the privilege
of leading in their school work instead of following orthodox
rules designed only to impart abstract knowledge. Let
instructors serve as students and let the students serve
As far as possible, organize all school work into definite
methods through which the student can learn by doing, and
direct the class work so that every student engages in some
form of practical labor connected with the daily problems
Ideas are the beginning of all human achievement. Teach
all students how to recognize practical ideas that may be of
benefit in helping them acquire whatever they demand of life.
Teach the students how to budget and use time, and above
all teach the truth that time is the greatest asset available to
human beings and the cheapest.
Teach the student the basic motives by which all people are
influenced and show how to use these motives in acquiring
the necessities and the luxuries of life.
Teach children what to eat, how much to eat, and what is the
relationship between proper eating and sound health.
Teach children the true nature and function of the emotion
of sex, and above all, teach them that it can be transmuted
into a driving force capable of lifting one to great heights
Teach children to be definite in all things, beginning with the
choice of a definite major purpose in life!
Teach children the nature of and possibilities for good and
evil in the principle of habit, using as illustrations with
which to dramatize the subject the everyday experiences of
children and adults.
Teach children how habits become fixed through the law of
hypnotic rhythm, and influence them to adopt, while in the
lower grades, habits that will lead to independent thought!
Teach children the difference between temporary defeat
and failure, and show them how to search for the seed of an
equivalent advantage which comes with every defeat.
Teach children to express their own thoughts fearlessly and
to accept or reject, at will, all ideas of others, reserving to
themselves, always, the privilege of relying upon their
Teach children to reach decisions promptly and to change
them, if at all, slowly and with reluctance, and never without a
Teach children that the human brain is the instrument with
which one receives, from the great storehouse of nature, the
energy which is specialized into definite thoughts; that the
brain does not think, but serves as an instrument for the
interpretation of stimuli which cause thought.
Teach children the value of harmony in their own minds and
that this is attainable only through self-control.
Teach children the nature and the value of self-control.
Teach children that there is a law of increasing returns which
can be and should be put into operation, as a matter of habit,
by rendering always more service and better service than is
expected of them.
Teach children the true nature of the Golden Rule, and above
all show them that through the operation of this principle,
everything they do to and for another they do also to and
Teach children not to have opinions unless they are formed
from facts or beliefs which may reasonably be accepted as facts.
Teach children that cigarettes, liquor, narcotics, and over-
indulgence in sex destroy the power of will and lead to the habit
of drifting. Do not forbid these evils— just explain them.
Teach children the danger of believing anything merely
because their parents, religious instructors, or someone else
says it is so.
Teach children to face facts, whether they are pleasant or
unpleasant, without resorting to subterfuge or offering alibis.
Teach children to encourage the use of their sixth sense
through which ideas present themselves in their minds from
unknown sources, and to examine all such ideas carefully.
Teach children the full import of the law of compensation as it
was interpreted by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and show them how
the law works in the small, everyday affairs of life.
Teach children that definiteness of purpose, backed by definite
plans persistently and continuously applied, is the most
efficacious form of prayer available to human beings.
Teach children that the space they occupy in the world is
measured definitely by the quality and quantity of useful
service they render the world.
Teach children there is no problem which does not have an
appropriate solution and that the solution often may be found
in the circumstance creating the problem.
Teach children that their only real limitations are those which
they set up or permit others to establish in their own minds.
Teach them that man can achieve whatever man can conceive
Teach children that all schoolhouses and all textbooks
are elementary implements which may be helpful in the
development of their minds, but that the only school of
real value is the great University of Life wherein one has the
privilege of learning from experience.
Teach children to be true to themselves at all times and, since
they cannot please everybody, therefore to do a good job of
Q That is an imposing list, but it seems conspicuous by
the fact it ignores practically every subject now taught in the
public schools. Was that intended?
A Yes. You asked for a list of suggested changes in public
school curricula which would benefit children— well, that is
what you got.
Q Some of the changes you suggest are so unorthodox they
would shock most of the educators of today, wouldn't they?
A Most of the educators of today need to be shocked. A good
sound shock often helps the brain that has been atrophied
Q Would the changes you suggest for the public schools give
children immunity against the habit of drifting?
A Yes, that is one of the results the changes would bring, but
there are others too.
Q How could the suggested changes be forced into the public
school system? You know, of course, it is as difficult to get a
new idea into an educator's brain as it is to interest a religious
leader in modifying religion so it will help people to get more
A The quickest and surest way to force practical ideas into
the public schools is to first introduce the ideas through pri-
vate schools and establish such a demand for their use that
public school officials will be compelled to employ them.
Q Should any other changes be made in the public school
A Yes, many. Among other changes needed in all public
school programs is the addition of a complete course of
training in the psychology of harmonious negotiation between
people. All children should be taught how to sell their way
through life with the minimum amount of friction.
Every public school should teach the principles of indi-
vidual achievement through which one may attain a position
of financial independence.
Classes should be abolished altogether. They should be
replaced by the round table or conference system such as
businessmen employ. All students should receive individual
instruction and guidance in connection with subjects which
cannot be properly taught in groups.
Every school should have an auxiliary group of instruc-
tors consisting of business and professional people, scientists,
artists, engineers, and newspapermen, each of whom would
impart to all the students a practical working knowledge of
his own profession, business, or occupation. This instruction
should be conducted through the conference system, to save
the time of the instructors.
Q What you have suggested is, in effect, an auxiliary system
of instruction that would give all school children a working
knowledge of the practical affairs of life, direct from the orig-
inal source. Is that the idea?
A You've stated it correctly.
Q Let us dismiss the public school system and go back
to the churches for a moment. All my life I have heard cler-
gymen preaching against sin and warning sinners to beware
and repent so they could be saved. But I have never heard
any of them tell me what sin is. Will you give me some light on
A Sin is anything one does or thinks which causes one to be
unhappy! Human beings who are in sound physical and spiri-
tual health should be at peace with themselves and always
happy. Any form of mental or physical misery indicates the
presence of sin.
Q Name some of the common forms of sin.
A It is a sin to overeat because that leads to ill health
It is a sin to over-indulge in sex because that breaks down
one's will power and leads to the habit of drifting.
It is a sin to permit one's mind to be dominated by nega-
tive thoughts of envy, greed, fear, hatred, intolerance, vanity,
self-pity, or discouragement, because these states of mind lead
to the habit of drifting.
It is a sin to cheat, lie, and steal, because these habits
destroy self-respect, subdue one's conscience, and lead to
It is a sin to remain in ignorance because that leads to pov-
erty and loss of self-reliance.
It is a sin to accept from life anything one does not
want because that indicates an unpardonable neglect to use
Q Is it a sin for one to drift through life, without definite aim,
plan, or purpose?
A Yes, because this habit leads to poverty and destroys the
privilege of self-determination. It also deprives one of the
privilege of using his own mind as a medium of contact with
Q Are you the chief inspirer of sin?
A Yes! It is my business to gain control of the minds of people
in every way possible.
Q Can you control the mind of a person who commits no
A I cannot, because that person never permits his mind to be
dominated by any form of negative thought. I cannot enter the
mind of one who never sins, let alone control it.
Q What is the commonest and most destructive of all sins?
A Fear and ignorance.
Q Have you nothing else to add to the list?
A There is nothing else to be added.
Q What is faith?
A It is a state of mind wherein one recognizes and uses the
power of positive thought as a medium by which one contacts
and draws upon the universal store of Infinite Intelligence at will.
Q In other words, faith is the absence of all forms of negative
thought. Is that the idea?
A Yes, that is another way of describing it.
Q Has a drifter the capacity to use faith?
A He may have the capacity but he does not use it. Everyone
has the potential power to clear his mind of all negative
thoughts and thereby avail himself of the power of faith.
Q Stating the matter in another way, faith is definiteness of
purpose backed by belief in the attainment of the object of
that purpose. Is that correct?
A That's the idea, exactly.
Chapter Ten SELF-DISCIPLINE
Q What preparation must one undergo before being
able to move with definiteness of purpose at all times?
A One must gain mastery over self. This is the second of the
seven principles. The person who is not master of himself can
never be master of others. Lack of self-mastery is, of itself, the
most destructive form of indefiniteness.
Q Where should one begin when making a start at control
A By mastering the three appetites responsible for most
of one's lack of self-discipline. The three appetites are (1) the
desire for food, (2) the desire for expression of sex, (3) the
desire to express loosely organized opinions.
Q Does man have other appetites which need control?
A Yes, many of them, but these three are the ones which
should be conquered first. When a man becomes master of
these three appetites, he has developed enough self-discipline
to conquer easily those of lesser importance.
Q But these are natural appetites. They must be indulged if
one is to be healthy and happy.
A To be sure they are natural appetites, but they are also dan-
gerous because people who have not mastered themselves over-
feed the appetites. Self-mastery contemplates sufficient control
over the appetites to enable one to feed them what they need
and withhold food not needed.
Q Your viewpoint is both interesting and educational.
Describe the details through which I may understand how and
under what circumstances people over-feed the appetites.
A Take the desire for physical food, for example. The majority
of people are so weak in self-discipline they fill their stomachs
with combinations of rich food which please the taste but over-
work the organs of digestion and elimination.
They pour into their stomachs both quantity and combi-
nations of food which the body chemist can dispose of only by
converting the food into deadly toxic poisons.
These poisons clog and stagnate the body sewer system
until it slows down in its work of elimination of waste matter.
After a while the sewer system stops working altogether, and
the victim has what he calls "constipation."
By that time he is ready for the hospital. Auto-intoxication,
or body sewer poisoning, takes the machinery of the brain and
rolls it into something resembling a wad of putty.
The victim then becomes sluggish in his physical move-
ments and mentally irritable and fussy. If he could only take
one good look at, and one bad smell of, his sewer system, he
would be ashamed to look himself in the face.
City sewers are not the pleasantest of places when they
become over-loaded or clogged, but they are clean and sweet
compared with the intestinal sewer when it has been over-
loaded or clogged. This is not a pretty story to be associated
with the pleasant and necessary act of eating, but that is where
it belongs because over-eating and wrong food combinations
are the evils which cause auto-intoxication.
People who eat wisely and keep their body sewers clean
handicap me because a clean body sewer generally means a
sound body and a brain that functions properly.
Imagine— if your imagination can be stretched that far-
how any human being could move with definiteness of purpose
with his body sewer filled with enough poison to kill a hundred
people if it were injected into their bloodstream directly.
Q And all this trouble is the result of lack of control over the
physical appetite for food?
A Well, if you wish to be absolutely correct you should say
that improper eating is responsible for the majority of the ills
of the body, and practically all headaches.
If you want proof of this, select 100 people suffering with
headaches and give each of them a thorough washing out
of their body sewer systems with a high enema, and observe
that no fewer than ninety-five of the headaches will disappear
within a few minutes after their sewers have been cleaned.
Q From all you say about the intestinal tract, I gather the
impression that mastery over the physical appetite for food
means also mastery over the habit of neglecting to keep the
A Yes, that is true. It is just as important to eliminate the
waste matter of the body and the unused portions of food
as it is to take the right amount and the correct combinations
Q I never thought of auto-intoxication as being one of your
devices of control over people, and I am utterly shocked to
know how many people are victims of this subtle enemy. Let's
hear what you have to say of the other two appetites.
A Well, take the desire for sex expression. Now there is a
force with which I master the weak and the strong, the old and
the young, the ignorant and the wise. In fact, I master all who
neglect to master sex!
Q How can one master the emotion of sex?
A By the simple process of transmuting that emotion into
some form of activity other than copulation. Sex is one of the
greatest of all forces which motivate human beings. Because of
this fact it is also one of the most dangerous forces. If humans
would control their sex desires and transmute them into a
driving force with which to carry on their occupation— that is,
if they spent on their work one half the time they dissipate in
pursuit of sex, they would never know poverty.
Q Do I understand you to imply there is a relationship
between sex and poverty?
A Yes, where sex is not under definite control. If allowed to
run its natural course, sex will quickly lead one into the habit
Q Is there any relationship between sex and leadership?
A Yes, all great leaders in every walk of life are highly sexed,
but they follow the habit of controlling their sex desires,
switching them into a driving force behind their occupation.
Q Is the habit of over-indulgence in sex as dangerous as the
habit of taking narcotics or liquor?
A There is no difference between these habits. Both lead to
hypnotic control, through the habit of drifting!
Q Why does the world look upon sex as something vulgar?
A Because of the vulgar abuse people have made of this emo-
tion. It is not sex that is vulgar. It is the individual who neglects
or refuses to control and guide it.
Q Do you mean, by your statement, that one should not
indulge the desire for sex?
A No, I mean that sex, like all other forces available to man,
should be understood, mastered, and made to serve man. The
desire for sex expression is as natural as the desire for food.
The desire can no more be killed than one can entirely stop a
river from flowing. If the emotion of sex is shut off from the
natural mode of expression, it will break out in some other less
desirable form, just as a river will, if dammed, break through
and flow around the dam. The person who has self-discipline
understands the emotion of sex, respects it, and learns to con-
trol and transmute it into constructive activities.
Q Just what damage is there in over-indulgence of sex?
A The greatest damage is that it depletes the source of man's
greatest driving force, and wastes, without adequate compensa-
tion, man's creative energy.
It dissipates energy needed by nature to maintain physical
health. Sex is nature's most useful therapeutic force.
It depletes the magnetic energy which is the source of an
attractive, pleasing personality.
It removes the sparkle from one's eyes and sets up discord
in the tone of one's voice.
It destroys enthusiasm, subdues ambition, and leads inevi-
tably to the habit of drifting on all subjects.
Q I would like for you to answer my question in another way
by telling me what beneficial ends the emotion of sex may be
made to attain, if mastered and transmuted.
A Controlled sex supplies the magnetic force that attracts
people to one another. It is the most important factor of a
It gives quality to the tone of voice and enables one to
convey through the voice any feeling desired.
It serves, as nothing else can serve, to give motive-power to
It keeps the nervous system charged with the energy needed
to carry on the work of maintaining the body.
It sharpens the imagination and enables one to create
It gives quickness and definiteness to one's physical and
It gives one persistence and perseverance in the pursuit of
one's major purpose in life.
It is a great antidote for all fear.
It gives one immunity against discouragement.
It helps to master laziness and procrastination.
It gives one physical and mental endurance while under-
going any form of opposition or defeat.
It gives one the fighting qualities necessary under all cir-
cumstances for self-defense.
In brief, it makes winners and not quitters!
Q Are those all the advantages you claim for controlled sex
A No, they are only some of the more important benefits
it provides. Perhaps some will believe the greatest of all the
virtues of sex is that it is nature's method of perpetuation of
all living things. This alone should remove all thought that sex
Q I gather, from what you say, that the emotion of sex is a
virtue, not a fault.
A It is a virtue when controlled and directed to the attain-
ment of desirable ends. It is a fault when neglected and per-
mitted to lead to acts of lust.
Q Why aren't these truths taught to children by their parents
and the public schools?
A The neglect is due to ignorance of the real nature of sex.
It is just as necessary in maintaining health for one to under-
stand and properly use the emotion of sex as it is to keep the
body sewer system clean. Both subjects should be taught in all
public schools and all homes where there are children.
Q Wouldn't the majority of parents need instruction on the
proper function and use of sex before they could intelligently
teach their children?
A Yes, and so would the public schoolteachers.
Q What relative position of importance would you give to the
need for accurate knowledge on the subject of sex?
A It is next to the top of the list. There is but one thing of
greater importance to human beings. That is accurate thought.
Q Do I understand you to say that knowledge of the true
functions of sex and ability to think accurately are the two
things of greatest importance to mankind?
A That is what I intended you to understand. Accurate
thinking comes first because it is the solution to all man's
problems, the answer to all his prayers, the source of opulence
and all material possessions. Accurate thinking is aided by
properly controlled and directed sex emotion because sex emo-
tion is the same energy as that with which one thinks. It begins
with those who desire self-determination sufficiently to be
willing to pay its price. No one can be entirely free— spiritually,
mentally, physically, and economically— without learning the
art of accurate thinking. No one can learn to think accurately
without including, as a part of the needed knowledge, informa-
tion on the control of sex emotion through transmutation.
Q It will be a great surprise to many people to learn there is
so close a relationship between thinking and sex emotion. Tell
us, now, about the third appetite, and let's see what it has to do
A The habit of expressing loosely organized opinions is one
of the most destructive of habits. Its destructiveness consists in
its tendency to influence people to guess instead of searching
for the facts when they form opinions, create ideas, or organize
The habit develops a grasshopper mind— one that jumps
from one thing to another but never completes anything.
And of course, carelessness in the expression of opinions
leads to the habit of drifting. From there it is only a step or two
until one is bound by the law of hypnotic rhythm which auto-
matically prohibits accurate thinking.
Q What other disadvantages are there in free expression of
A The person who talks too much informs the world of his
aims and plans and gives to others the opportunity to profit by
Wise men keep their plans to themselves and refrain from
expressing uninvited opinions. This prevents others from
appropriating their ideas and makes it difficult for others to
interfere with their plans.
Q Why do so many people indulge in the habit of expressing
A The habit is one way of expressing egotism and vanity.
The desire for self-expression is inborn in people. The motive
behind the habit is to attract the attention of others and to
impress them favorably. Actually it has just the opposite effect.
When the self-invited speaker attracts attention, it usually is
Q Yes, what other disadvantages has the habit?
A The person who insists on talking seldom has an opportu-
nity to learn by listening to others.
Q But isn't it true that a magnetic speaker often puts himself
in the way of opportunity to benefit himself by attracting the
attention of others through his powers of oratory?
A Yes, a magnetic orator does have an asset of tremendous
value in his ability to impress people by his speech, but he
cannot make the best use of this asset if he forces his speech on
others without their invitation.
No single quality adds more to one's personality than the
ability to speak with emotional feeling, force, and conviction,
but the speaker must not impose his speech upon others without
being invited to do so. There is an old saying that nothing is
worth more than its actual cost. This applies as well to the free
uninvited expression of opinions as to material things.
Q What about people who volunteer their opinions by
expressing them in writing? Do they also suffer by lack of
A One of the worst pests on earth is the person who writes
uninvited letters to people of prominence. Men in public office,
moving picture stars, men who have succeeded in business or
written a best-selling book, and people whose names appear
often in the newspapers are continuously besieged by people
who write letters expressing their opinion on all subjects.
Q But the writing of uninvited letters is a harmless way
of finding pleasure through self-expression, is it not? What
damage does one do by the habit?
A Habits are contagious. Every habit attracts a flock of its rel-
atives. The habit of doing anything that is useless leads to the
formation of other habits that are useless, especially the habit
But that is not all the dangers associated with the habit of
indulging in uninvited expression of opinions. The habit cre-
ates enemies and places in their hands dangerous weapons by
which they may do great injury to the one who indulges in it.
Thieves and confidence men and racketeers pay big prices for
the names and addresses of the writers of uninvited letters,
knowing as they do the writers of these letters become easy vic-
tims of all manner of schemes that result in the loss of their
money. They refer to the writers of such letters as "nuts." If
you wish to know how foolish people are who write uninvited
letters, read the "nut column" of any newspaper— the column
in which the paper publishes the voluntary opinions of its
readers— and you will see for yourself how the writers of such
letters antagonize people and invite opposition from others.
Q I had no idea, Your Majesty, that people get into so much
difficulty through uninvited expression of their opinions,
but now that you have brought up the subject I do remember
writing the editor of a prominent magazine an uninvited
letter of criticism which cost me a fine position on his staff, at
a fat salary.
A That is a perfect example. The proper place to begin
self-discipline is right where you stand. The way to begin is
by recognizing the truth— that there is nothing for good or
evil throughout the myriads of universes except the power
of natural law. There is no individual personality anywhere
throughout the myriad of universes with the slightest power
to influence a human being save nature and human beings
There is no human being now living, no human being has
ever lived, and no human being ever will live with the right
or the power to deprive another human being of the inborn
privilege of free and independent thought. That privilege is
the only one over which any human being can have absolute
control. No adult human being ever loses the right to freedom
of thought, but most humans lose the benefits of this privi-
lege either by neglect or because it has been taken away from
them by their parents or religious instructors before the
age of understanding. These are self-evident truths, no less
important because they are being called to your attention by
the Devil than they would be if brought to your attention by
Q But what are people going to lean upon in the hour of
emergency when they know not where nor to whom to appeal?
A Let them lean upon the only dependable power available to
any human being.
Q And what is that?
A Themselves! The power of their own thoughts. The only
power they can control and may rely upon. The only power
which cannot be perverted, colored, modified, and falsified by
their dishonest fellow human beings.
Q All you say seems logical, but why must I come to the Devil
to discover such profound truths? Let's get back to the seven
principles. You have already disclosed enough information
to show clearly that the secret of how to break the power of
hypnotic rhythm is wrapped in the seven principles. You have
shown, too, that the most important of these principles is self-
discipline. Now go ahead and describe the other five principles
you have not yet mentioned, and indicate what part they play
in giving one self-discipline.
A First, let me summarize that part of my confession we have
I have frankly told you that my two most effective devices
for mastering human beings are the habit of drifting and the
law of hypnotic rhythm. I have shown you that drifting is not
a natural law, but a man-made habit which leads to man's sub-
mission to the law of hypnotic rhythm.
The seven principles are the media by which man may
break the hold of hypnotic rhythm and take possession, again,
of his own mind. You see, therefore, the seven principles are the
seven steps which lead victims of hypnotic rhythm out of the
self-made prisons in which they are bound.
Q The seven principles are the master key that unlocks the
door to spiritual, mental, and economic self-determination? Is
A Yes, that's another way of stating the truth.
Chapter Eleven LEARNING FROM ADVERSITY
Q IS FAILURE EVER A BENEFIT TO MAN?
A Yes. Indeed, learning from adversity is the third of the seven
principles. But few people know that every adversity brings
with it the seed of an equivalent advantage. Still fewer people
know the difference between temporary defeat and failure. If
this knowledge were generally known, I would be deprived of
one of my strongest weapons of control over human beings.
Q But I understood you to say that failure is one of your
greatest allies. I got the impression from your confession that
failure causes people to lose ambition and quit trying, and
then you take them over without opposition on their part.
A That is just the point. I take them over after they quit
trying. If they knew the difference between temporary defeat
and failure, they would not quit when they meet with opposi-
tion from life. If they knew that every form of defeat, and all
failures, bring with them the seed of unborn opportunity, they
would keep on fighting and win. Success usually is but one
short step beyond the point where one quits fighting.
Q Is that all one might learn from adversity, defeat, and
A No, that is the least of what one might learn. I hate to
tell you this, but failure often serves as a blessing in disguise
because it breaks the grip of hypnotic rhythm and frees the
mind for a fresh start.
Q Now we are getting somewhere. So you have confessed, at
long last, that even nature's law of hypnotic rhythm can be and
often is annulled by nature herself. Is that correct?
A No, that is not stating the matter accurately. Nature never
reverses any of her natural laws. Nature does not take away a
human being's freedom of thought through hypnotic rhythm.
The individual gives up his freedom by abuse of this law. If a
man jumped from a tree and was killed by the sudden impact of
his body with the earth, through the law of gravity, you wouldn't
say nature murdered him, would you? You would say the man
neglected to relate himself properly to the law of gravity.
Q I am beginning to see. The law of hypnotic rhythm is
capable of both negative and positive application. It may drag
one down to slavery through loss of the privilege of freedom
of thought, or it may help one rise to great heights of achieve-
ment through the free use of thought, depending on how the
individual relates himself to the law. Is that correct?
A Now you have it right.
Q But what about failure? One does not fail intentionally,
with purpose aforethought. No one encourages temporary
defeat. These are circumstances over which the individual
often has no control whatsoever. How, then, can it be said that
nature does not take away one's freedom of thought when
failure destroys ambition, will power, and the self-confidence
essential to make a fresh start?
A Failure is a man-made circumstance. It is never real until it
has been accepted by man as permanent. Stating it another way,
failure is a state of mind; therefore, it is something an individual
can control until he neglects to exercise this privilege. Nature
does not force people to fail. But nature does impose her law
of hypnotic rhythm upon all minds and through this law gives
permanency to the thoughts which dominate those minds.
In other words, failure thoughts are taken over by the law
of hypnotic rhythm and made permanent if the individual
accepts any circumstances as being permanent failure. That
same law just as readily takes over and makes permanent
thoughts of success.
Q What part, then, does failure play in helping an individual
break the grip of hypnotic rhythm after that law has been fas-
tened upon his mind?
A Failure brings a climax in which one has the privilege of
clearing his mind of fear and making a new start in another
direction. Failure proves conclusively that something is wrong
with one's aims or the plans by which the object of these aims
is sought. Failure is the dead end of the habit-path one has
been following, and when it is reached it forces one to leave
that path and take up another, thereby creating a new rhythm.
But failure does more than this. It gives an individual an
opportunity to test himself wherein he may learn how much
will power he possesses. Failure also forces people to learn
many truths they would never discover without it. Failure often
leads an individual to an understanding of the power of self-
discipline without which no one could turn back after having
once been the victim of hypnotic rhythm.
Study the lives of all people who achieve outstanding
success in any calling and observe, with profit, that their suc-
cess is usually in exact ratio to their experiences of defeat
Q Is this all you have to say of the advantages of failure?
A No, I have barely begun. If you want the real significance of
adversity, failure, defeat, and all other experiences which break
up a human being's habits and force him to form new habits,
watch nature at her work. Nature uses illness to break the
physical rhythm of the body when the cells and organs become
improperly related. She uses economic depressions to break
the rhythm of mass thought when great numbers of people
become improperly related— through business, social, and
political activities. And she uses failure to break the rhythm
of negative thought when an individual becomes improperly
related to himself in his own mind.
Observe carefully and you will see that everywhere in nature
there is always at work a natural law which gives eternal change
to all matter, all energy, and to the power of thought. The only
permanent thing in the universes is change. Eternal, inexorable
change— through which every atom of matter and every unit of
energy has the opportunity to properly relate itself to all other
units of matter and energy, and every human being has the
opportunity and the privilege of properly relating himself to all
other human beings no matter how many mistakes he makes,
or how many times or in what ways he may be defeated.
When mass failure overtakes a nation, such as the 1929
world business depression, the circumstance is in perfect har-
mony with nature's plan to break up man's habits and give out
Q What you are saying intrigues me. Am I to understand that
hypnotic rhythm has something to do with the way people
relate themselves to one another?
A That abstract, elusive thing called character is nothing
but a manifestation of the law of hypnotic rhythm; therefore,
when speaking of one's character it would be proper to say
his thought-habits have been crystallized into a positive or a
negative personality, through hypnotic rhythm. One is good or
bad because of the knitting together of his thoughts and deeds
through hypnotic rhythm. One is bound by poverty or blessed
with abundance because his aims, plans, and desires, or lack of
them, have been made permanent and real by hypnotic rhythm.
Q Is that all you have to say of the connection between hyp-
notic rhythm and human relationships?
A No, I have just begun. Remember while I am talking I am
speaking of the influence of hypnotic rhythm in connection
with all human relationships. Men who succeed in business
do so entirely because of the way they relate themselves to their
associates and to others outside of the business.
Professional men who succeed do so largely because of
the manner in which they relate themselves to their clients.
It is much more important for the lawyer to know people and
to know the laws of nature than it is to know the law. And
the doctor is a failure before he starts unless he knows how
to relate himself to his patients so as to establish their faith
Marriage succeeds or fails entirely because of the manner in
which the participants relate themselves to one another. Proper
relationship in marriage begins with a proper motive for the
marriage. Most marriages do not bring happiness because the
contracting parties neither understand, nor attempt to under-
stand, the law of hypnotic rhythm, through the operation of
which every word they speak, every act in which they engage,
and every motive by which they are inspired to deal with each
other is picked up and woven into a web that entangles them
in controversial misery or gives to them the wings of freedom
through which they soar above all forms of unhappiness.
Every newly made acquaintanceship between people ripens
into friendship and then into spiritual harmony (sometimes
called love) or plants a germ of suspicion and doubt which
evolves and grows into open rebellion, according to the way in
which the participants in the acquaintanceship relate them-
selves to one another.
Hypnotic rhythm picks up the dominating motives, aims,
purposes, and feelings of the contacting minds and weaves
these into some degree of faith or fear, love or hatred. After
the pattern has taken definite shape, as it does with time, it is
forced upon the contacting minds and made a part thereof.
In this silent way does nature make permanent the domi-
nating factors of every human relationship. In every human
relationship the evil motives and the evil deeds of the contacting
individuals are coordinated and consolidated into definite form
and subtly woven into that all-important human trait known
as character. In the same manner, the motives and the deeds of
good are consolidated and forced upon the individual. You see,
therefore, it is not only one's deeds but also one's very thoughts
which determine the nature of all human relationships.
Q You are leading into pretty deep water. Let's keep near the
shore, where I can follow you without fear of getting beyond a
safe depth. Go ahead and tell me how this subject of human
relationships actually works in the current affairs of a problem-
filled world such as we have today.
A That is a happy thought. But let me make sure you under-
stand the principles I am telling about, before I try to show you
how to apply them in the affairs of life.
I wish to be sure you understand that the law of hypnotic
rhythm is something that no one can control, influence, or
evade. But everyone can relate himself to this law so as to ben-
efit by its inexorable operation. Harmonious relationship with
the law consists entirely of the individual changing his habits
so they represent the circumstances and the things the indi-
vidual wants and is willing to accept.
No one can change the law of hypnotic rhythm any more
than one can change the law of gravity, but everyone can
change himself. Remember, therefore, in all the discussion of
this subject that all human relationships are made and main-
tained by the habits of the individuals related.
The law of hypnotic rhythm plays only the part of solidi-
fying the factors which constitute human relationships, but
it does not create those factors. Before we go further with the
discussion of human relationships, I want you to get a clear
understanding of the subconscious mind.
The term "subconscious mind" represents a hypothetical
physical organ which has no actual existence. The mind of man
consists of universal energy (some call it Infinite Intelligence)
which the individual receives, appropriates, and organizes in
definite thought forms through the network of intricate phys-
ical apparatus known as a brain.
These thought forms are replicas of various stimuli which
reach the brain through the five commonly known physical
senses and the sixth sense, which is not so well known. When
any form of stimuli reaches the brain and takes the definite
shape of thought, it is classified and stored away in a group of
the brain cells known as the memory group.
All thoughts of a similar nature are stored together so that
the bringing forth of one leads to easy contact with all its asso-
ciates. The system is very similar to the modern office filing
cabinet, and it is operated in a similar manner.
The thought impressions with which one mixes the
greatest amount of emotion (or feeling) are the dominating
factors of the brain because they are always near the surface—
at the top of the filing system, so to speak— where they spring
into action voluntarily, the moment an individual neglects to
exercise self-discipline. These emotion-laden thoughts are so
powerful they often cause an individual to rush into action
and indulge in deeds which have not been submitted to or
approved by his reasoning faculty. These emotional outbursts
usually destroy harmony in all human relationships. The brain
often brings together combinations of emotional feeling so
powerful they completely set aside the control of the reasoning
faculty. On all such occasions human relationships are apt to
be lacking in harmony.
Through the operation of the sixth sense, the brain of a
human being may contact the filing cabinet of other brains
and inspect at will whatever thought impressions are on file
there. The condition under which one person may contact and
inspect the filing cabinet of another person's brain is gener-
ally known as harmony, but you may better understand what is
meant if I say brains attuned to the same rate of thought vibra-
tions can easily and quickly exercise the privilege of entering
and inspecting each other's filing cabinets of thoughts.
In addition to receiving organized thoughts from the
filing cabinets of other brains through the sixth sense, one
can, through this same physical organ, contact and receive
information from the universal storehouse known as Infinite
All information reaching one's brain through the sixth
sense comes from sources not easily isolated or traced; there-
fore, this sort of information is generally believed to come from
one's subconscious mind. The sixth sense is the organ of the
brain through which one receives all information, all knowl-
edge, all thought impressions which do not come through one
or more of the five physical senses.
Now that you understand how the mind operates, you will
more easily understand how and why people come to grief
through improper human relationships. You will also under-
stand how human relationship may be made to yield riches
in their highest form, riches in material, mental, and spirit-
Moreover, you will understand there can never be hap-
piness except through understanding and application of the
right principles of human relationships. You will understand,
too, that no individual is an entity unto himself, that com-
pleteness of mind can be attained only by harmony of purpose
and deed between two or more minds. You will understand
why every human being should, of his own choice, become his
brother's keeper in fact as well as in theory.
Q What you say may be true, but I still insist that you have
me beyond safe depths of thought. Let us get back nearer to
the shore, where I can wade in familiar water. We shall go out
into the deeper water after we learn to swim well. We started
out to discuss the subject of how to profit by adversity, but it
seems we have drifted somewhat afield from that subject.
A We have detoured, but we have not drifted. The Devil never
drifts. The detour was necessary in order that you might be
prepared to understand the most important part of this entire
We are now ready to get back to the discussion of the sub-
ject of adversity. Inasmuch as most adversities grow out of
improper relationships between people, it seems important to
understand how people may become properly related.
Naturally the question arises as to what is a proper rela-
tionship between people? The answer is that the proper rela-
tionship is one that brings to all connected with it, or affected
by it, some form of benefit.
Q What, then, is an improper relationship?
A Any relationship between people which damages anyone
or brings any form of misery or unhappiness to any of the
Q How can improper relationships be corrected?
A By change of mind of the person causing the improper
relationship, or by changing the persons to the relationship.
Some minds harmonize naturally while others just as natu-
rally clash. Successful human relationships, to endure as such,
must be formed of minds that naturally harmonize, quite aside
from the question of having common interests as a means of
bringing them into harmony.
When you speak of business leaders who succeed because
"they know how to pick men," you might more correctly say
they succeed because they know how to associate minds which
harmonize naturally. Knowing how to pick people successfully
for any definite purpose in life is based upon ability to recog-
nize the types of people whose minds naturally harmonize.
Q Stay focused on adversity, if you will. If there are possible
benefits to be found through adversity, name some of them.
A Adversity relieves people of vanity and egotism. It discour-
ages selfishness by proving that no one can succeed without the
cooperation of others.
Adversity forces an individual to test his mental, physical,
and spiritual strength; it thus brings him face to face with his
weaknesses and gives him the opportunity to bridge them.
Adversity forces one to seek ways and means to definite
ends by meditation and introspective thought. This often leads
to the discovery and use of the sixth sense through which one
may communicate with Infinite Intelligence.
Adversity forces one to recognize the need for intelligence
not available except from sources outside of one's own mind.
Adversity breaks old habits of thought and gives one an
opportunity to form new habits; therefore, it may serve to
break the hold of hypnotic rhythm and change its operation
from negative to positive ends.
Q What is the greatest benefit one may receive through
A The greatest benefit of adversity is that it may, and gen-
erally does, force one to change one's thought-habits, thus
breaking and redirecting the force of hypnotic rhythm.
Q In other words, failure always is a blessing when it forces
one to acquire knowledge or to build habits that lead to the
achievement of one's major purpose in life. Is that correct?
A Yes, and something more! Failure is a blessing when it
forces one to depend less upon material forces and more upon
Many human beings discover their "other selves," the
forces which operate through the power of thought, only
after some catastrophe deprives them of the full and free
use of their physical bodies. When a man can no longer use
his hands and his feet, he usually begins to use his brain; thus
he puts himself in the way of discovering the power of his
Q What benefits may be derived from the loss of material
things— money, for example?
A The loss of material things may teach many needed les-
sons, none greater, however, than the truth that man has con-
trol over nothing and has no assurance of the permanent use
of anything except his own power of thought.
Q I wonder if this is not the greatest benefit available
A No, the greatest potential benefit of any circumstance
which causes one to make a fresh start is that it provides an
opportunity to break the grip of hypnotic rhythm and set up
a new set of thought-habits. New habits offer the only way out
for people who fail. Most people who escape from the negative
to the positive operation of the law of hypnotic rhythm do so
only because of some form of adversity which forces them to
change their thought-habits.
Q Isn't adversity apt to break one's self-reliance and cause
one to give up hope?
A It has that effect on those whose will power is weak through
long established habits of drifting. It has the opposite effect on
those who have not been weakened through drifting. The non-
drifter meets with temporary defeat and failure, but his reac-
tion to all forms of adversity is positive. He fights instead of
giving up, and usually wins.
Life gives no one immunity against adversity, but life
gives to everyone the power of positive thought, which is suf-
ficient to master all circumstances of adversity and convert
them into benefits. The individual is left with the privilege of
using or neglecting to use his prerogative right to think his
way through all adversities. Every individual is forced either to
use his thought power for the attainment of definite, positive
ends, or by neglect or design use this power for the attainment
of negative ends. There can be no compromise, no refusal to
use the mind.
The law of hypnotic rhythm forces every individual to give
some degree of use, either negative or positive, to his mind,
but it does not influence the individual as to which use he will
make of his mind.
Q Am I to understand from what you say that every adversity
is a blessing?
A No, I did not say that. I said there is the seed of an equiv-
alent advantage in every adversity. I did not say there was the
full-blown flower of advantage, just the seed. Usually the seed
consists of some form of knowledge, some idea or plan, or
some opportunity which would not have been available except
through the change of thought-habits forced by the adversity.
Q Are those all the benefits available to human beings
A No, failure is used by nature as a common language in
which she chastises people when they neglect to adapt them-
selves to her laws.
For example, the world war was man-made and destructive.
Nature planted in the circumstances of the war the seed of an
equivalent reprimand in the form of a world depression. The
depression was inevitable and inescapable. It followed the war
as naturally as day follows night and by the operation of the
self-same law, the law of hypnotic rhythm.
Q Am I to understand that the law of hypnotic rhythm is the
same as that which Ralph Waldo Emerson called the law of
A The law of hypnotic rhythm is the law of compensation. It
is the power with which nature balances negative and positive
forces throughout the universes, in all forms of energy, in all
forms of matter, and in all human relationships.
Q Does the law of hypnotic rhythm operate quickly in all
instances? For example, does this law immediately bless one
with the benefits of positive application of thoughts, or curse
one immediately with the results of negative thoughts?
A The law operates definitely but not always swiftly. Both
the benefits and the penalties incurred through the law by
individuals may be harvested by others, either before or after
Observe how this law works by forcing upon one genera-
tion of people the effects of both the sins and the virtues of
preceding generations. In the operation of all of nature's laws,
the fourth dimension, time, is an inexorable factor. The length
of time consumed by nature in the relation of effects to their
causes depends, in every instance, on the circumstances at
hand. Nature grows a pumpkin in three months. A good size
oak tree requires a hundred years. She converts a hen's egg into
a chicken in four weeks, but she requires nine months to con-
vert the egg of a human being into an individual.
Chapter Twelve ENVIRONMENT, TIME, HARMONY, AND CAUTION
Q I now have A better understanding of the potentiali-
ties of adversity and failure. You may go ahead, now, with your
description of the next of the seven principles. What is your
A The next principle is environmental influence.
Q Go ahead and describe the working principle of environ-
mental influences as a determining factor in human destinies.
A Environment consists of all the mental, spiritual, and phys-
ical forces which affect and influence human beings.
Q What connection, if any, is there between environmental
influences and hypnotic rhythm?
A Hypnotic rhythm solidifies and makes permanent the
thought-habits of human beings. Thought-habits are stimu-
lated by environmental influences. In other words, the mate-
rial on which thoughts are fed comes from one's environment.
Thought-habits are made permanent by hypnotic rhythm.
Q What is the most important part of one's environment, the
part which determines, more than all others, whether an indi-
vidual makes positive or negative use of his mind?
A The most important part of one's environment is that cre-
ated by his association with others. All people absorb and take
over, either consciously or unconsciously, the thought-habits
of those with whom they associate closely.
Q Do you mean by this that constant association with a
person whose thought-habits are negative influences one to
form negative thought-habits?
A Yes, the law of hypnotic rhythm forces every human being
to form thought-habits which harmonize with the dominating
influences of his environment, particularly that part of his
environment created by his association with other minds.
Q Then it is important that one select one's close associates
with great care?
A Yes, one's intimate associates should be chosen with as
much care as one chooses the food with which he feeds his
body, with the object always of associating with people whose
dominating thoughts are positive, friendly, and harmonious.
Q Which class of associates has the greatest influence
A One's partner in marriage and in the home and one's asso-
ciates in his occupation. After that come close friends and
acquaintances. Casual acquaintances and strangers have but
little influence on one.
Q Why does one's partner in marriage have so great an influ-
ence upon one's mind?
A Because the relationship of marriage brings people under
the influence of spiritual forces of such weight that they
become dominating forces of the mind.
Q How may environmental influences be used to break the
grip of hypnotic rhythm?
A All influences which establish thought-habits are given per-
manency through the law of hypnotic rhythm. One may change
the influences of his environment so that the dominating influ-
ences are either positive or negative, and the law of hypnotic
rhythm will make them permanent, unless they are changed
through one's habits of thought.
Q Stating this truth in another way, one may submit himself
to any environmental influence desired, whether positive or
negative, and the law of hypnotic rhythm will make the influ-
ence permanent when it assumes the magnitude of thought-
habit. Is that the way the law works?
A That is correct. Be careful of all forces which inspire
thought; those are the forces which constitute environment
and determine the nature of one's earthly destiny.
Q What class of people controls their environmental
A The non-drifters. All who are victims of the habit of
drifting forfeit their power to choose their own environment.
They become the victims of every negative influence of their
Q Is there no way out for the drifter? Is there no method by
which he may submit himself to the influence of a positive
A Yes, there is a way out for drifters. They can stop drifting,
take possession of their own minds, and choose an environ-
ment which inspires positive thought. This they may accom-
plish through definiteness of purpose.
Q Is that all there is to the act of eliminating the habit of
drifting? Is the habit only a state of mind?
A Drifting is nothing but a negative state of mind, a state of
mind conspicuous by its emptiness of purpose.
Q What effective procedure may one follow in establishing
an environment most helpful in developing and maintaining
A The most effective of all environments is that which may
be created by a friendly alliance of a group of people who will
obligate themselves to assist one another in achieving the
object of some definite purpose. This sort of an alliance is
known as a Master Mind. Through its operation one may asso-
ciate himself with carefully chosen individuals each of whom
brings to the alliance some knowledge, experience, education,
plan, or idea suited to his needs in carrying out the object of
his definite purpose.
The most successful leaders in all walks of life avail them-
selves of this sort of made-to-order environmental influence.
Outstanding achievement is impossible without the friendly
cooperation of others. Stating the truth in another way, suc-
cessful people must control their environment, thereby
insuring themselves against the influence of a negative
Q What of people whose duty to relatives makes it impossible
for them to avoid the influence of a negative environment?
A No human being owes another any degree of duty which
robs him of his privilege of building his thought-habits in a
positive environment. On the other hand, every human being
is duty bound to himself to remove from his environment
every influence which even remotely tends to develop negative
Q Isn't this a cold-blooded philosophy?
A Only the strong survive. No one can be strong without
removing himself from all influences which develop negative
thought-habits. Negative thought-habits result in the loss of
the privilege of self-determination, no matter what or who may
cause those habits. Positive thought-habits may be controlled
by the individual and made to serve his aims and purposes.
Negative thought-habits control the individual and deprive
him of the privilege of self-determination.
Q I deduce from all you have said that those who control
the environmental influences out of which their thought-
habits are built are masters of their earthly destinies and that
all others are mastered by earthly destinies. Is that stating the
A Perfectly stated.
Q What establishes one's thought-habits?
A All habits are established because of inherent or acquired
desires, or motives. That is, habits are begun as the result of
some form of definite desire.
Q What takes place in the physical brain while one is forming
A Desires are organized impulses of energy called thoughts.
Desires that are mixed with emotional feeling magnetize the
brain cells in which they are stored and prepare those cells
to be taken over and directed by the law of hypnotic rhythm.
When any thought appears in the brain or is created there, and
is mixed with keen emotional feeling of desire, the law of hyp-
notic rhythm begins, at once, to translate it into its physical
counterpart. Dominating thoughts, which are acted upon first
by the law of hypnotic rhythm, are those with which are mixed
the strongest desires and the most intense feelings. Thought-
habits are established by the repetition of the same thoughts.
Q What are the most impelling basic motives or desires which
inspire thought action?
A The ten most common motives, those which inspire most
of one's thought-action, are these:
• The desire for sex expression and love
• The desire for physical food
• The desire for spiritual, mental, and physical
• The desire for perpetuation of life after death
• The desire for power over others
• The desire for material wealth
• The desire for knowledge
• The desire to imitate others
• The desire to excel others
• The seven basic fears
These are the dominating motives which inspire the
majority of all human endeavors.
Q What about the negative desires such as greed, envy, ava-
rice, jealousy, anger? Are these not expressed more often than
any of the positive desires?
A All negative desires are nothing but frustrations of positive
desires. They are inspired by some form of defeat, failure, or
neglect by human beings to adapt themselves to nature's laws
in a positive way.
Q That's a new slant on the subject of negative thoughts. If I
correctly understand what you have said, all negative thoughts
are inspired by one's neglect or failure to adapt oneself harmo-
niously to nature's laws. Is that correct?
A That is exactly correct. Nature will not tolerate idleness
or vacuums of any sort. All space must be and is filled with
Everything in existence, of both a physical and a spiri-
tual nature, must be and is constantly in motion. The human
brain is no exception. It was created to receive, organize, spe-
cialize, and express the power of thought. When the individual
does not use the brain for the expression of positive, creative
thoughts, nature fills the vacuum by forcing the brain to act
upon negative thoughts.
There can be no idleness in the brain. Understand this
principle and you will come into a new and important under-
standing of the part environmental influences take in the lives
of human beings.
You will better understand, also, how the law of hypnotic
rhythm operates, it being the law which keeps everything and
everyone constantly moving through some form of expression
of either negative or positive principles.
Nature is not interested in morals as such. She is not inter-
ested in right and wrong. She is not interested in justice and
injustice. She is interested only in forcing everything to express
action according to its nature!
Q That is an enlightening interpretation of nature's ways. To
whom may I turn for corroboration of your claims?
A To men of science, to the philosophers, to all accurate
thinkers. Lastly, to the physical manifestations of nature
Nature has no such thing as dead matter. Every atom of
matter is constantly in a state of motion. All energy is con-
stantly in motion. There are no dead voids anywhere. Time and
space are literally manifestations of motion of such swiftness
that it cannot be measured by human beings.
Q Alas, one is forced to the conclusion, from what you say,
that the sources of dependable knowledge are shockingly
A The developed sources of knowledge are limited. Every
normal adult human brain is a potential gateway to all the
knowledge there is throughout the universes. Every normal
adult brain has within its mechanism the possibility of direct
communication with Infinite Intelligence, wherein exists all the
knowledge that is or can ever be.
Q Your statement leads me to believe that human beings may
become all they have attributed to what they call God. Is that
what you mean?
A Through the law of evolution the human brain is being
perfected to communicate at will with Infinite Intelligence.
The perfection will come through organized development of
the brain, through its adaptation to nature's laws. Time is the
factor which will bring perfection.
Q What causes cycles of recurring events, such as epidemics
of disease, business depressions, wars, and crime waves?
A All such epidemics in which great numbers of people are
similarly affected are caused by the law of hypnotic rhythm,
through which nature consolidates thoughts of a similar
nature and causes those thoughts to be expressed through
Q Then the Great Depression was put into motion because
great numbers of people were influenced to release thoughts of
fear. Is that correct?
A Perfectly. Millions of people were endeavoring to get some-
thing for nothing, through stock gambling. When they sud-
denly discovered they had gotten nothing for something, they
became frightened, rushed to their banks to draw out their
balances, and the panic was on. Through mass thought of
millions of minds, all thinking in terms of fear of poverty, the
depression was prolonged over a period of years.
Q From what you say, I deduce that nature consolidates the
dominating thoughts of people and expresses these thoughts
through some form of mass action, such as business depres-
sions, business booms, and so on. Is that correct?
A You have the right idea.
Q Let us now take up the next of the seven principles. Go
ahead and describe it.
A The next principle is time, the fourth dimension.
Q What relationship is there between time and the operation
of the law of hypnotic rhythm?
A Time is the law of hypnotic rhythm. The lapse of time
required to give permanency to thought-habits depends upon
the object and the nature of the thoughts.
Q But I understood you to say that the only enduring thing
in nature is change. If that is true, then time is constantly
changing, rearranging, and recombining all things, including
one's thought-habits. How, then, could the law of hypnotic
rhythm give permanency to one's thought-habits?
A Time divides all thought-habits into two classes, negative
thoughts and positive thoughts. One's individual thoughts are
of course constantly changing and being recombined to suit
the individual's desires, but thoughts do not change from neg-
ative to positive or vice versa except through voluntary effort
on the part of the individual.
Time penalizes the individual for all negative thoughts and
rewards him for all positive thoughts, according to the nature
and purpose of the thoughts. If one's dominating thoughts are
negative, time penalizes the individual by building in his mind
the habit of negative thinking and then proceeds to solidify
this habit into permanency every second of its existence.
Positive thoughts are, likewise, woven by time into permanent
habits. The term "permanency," of course, refers to the natural
life of the individual. In the strict sense of the term, nothing is
permanent. Time converts thought-habits into what might be
called permanency during the life of the individual.
Q Now I have a better understanding of how time works.
What other characteristics has time in connection with the
earthly destiny of human beings?
A Time is nature's seasoning influence through which
human experience may be ripened into wisdom. People are
not born with wisdom, but they are born with the capacity to
think, and they may, through the lapse of time, think their way
Q Do youths ever possess wisdom?
A Only in very elementary matters. Wisdom comes only
through the lapse of time. It cannot be inherited and it cannot
be imparted from one person to another except through the
lapse of time.
Q Does the lapse of time force an individual to acquire
A No! Wisdom comes only to non-drifters who form positive
thought-habits as a dominating force in their lives. Drifters
and those whose dominating thoughts are negative never
acquire wisdom except of a very elementary nature.
Q From what you say, I infer that time is the friend of the
person who trains his mind to follow positive thought-habits
and the enemy of the person who drifts into negative thought-
habits. Is that correct?
A That is precisely true. All people can be classified as drifters
and non-drifters. Drifters are always at the mercy of the non-
drifters, and time makes this relationship permanent.
Q Do you mean that if I drift along through life, without def-
inite aim or purpose, the non-drifter may become my master,
and time only serves to give the non-drifter a stronger and
more permanent grip upon me?
A That is stating the truth exactly.
Q What is wisdom?
A Wisdom is the ability to relate yourself to nature's laws so
as to make them serve you, and the ability to relate yourself to
other people so as to gain their harmonious, willing coopera-
tion in helping you to make life yield whatever you demand
Q Then accumulated knowledge is not wisdom?
A Great heavens, no! If knowledge were wisdom, the achieve-
ments of science would not have been converted into imple-
ments of destruction.
Q What is needed to convert knowledge into wisdom?
A Time plus the desire for wisdom. Wisdom is never thrust
upon one. It is acquired, if at all, by positive thinking, through
Q Is it safe for all people to have knowledge?
A It is never safe for anyone to have extensive knowledge
Q What is the age at which most people who acquire wisdom
begin to acquire it?
A The majority of people who acquire wisdom do so after
they have passed the age of forty. Prior to that time the majority
of people are too busy gathering knowledge and organizing it
into plans to spend any effort seeking wisdom.
Q What circumstance of life is most apt to lead one to
A Adversity and failure. These are nature's universal lan-
guages through which she imparts wisdom to those who are
ready to receive it.
Q Do adversity and failure always bring wisdom?
A No, only to those who are ready for wisdom and have vol-
untarily sought it.
Q What determines one's readiness to receive wisdom?
A Time and the nature of one's thought-habits.
Q Is newly acquired knowledge the same as time-tested
A No, knowledge tested through the lapse of time always is
superior to that which has been newly acquired. Time gives
to knowledge definiteness in both quality and quantity, and
dependability. One never can be sure of knowledge that has not
Q What is dependable knowledge?
A It is knowledge which harmonizes with natural law, which
means that it is based upon positive thought.
Q Does time modify and alter the values of knowledge?
A Yes, time modifies and alters all values. That which is accu-
rate knowledge today may become null and void tomorrow
because of time's rearrangement of facts and values. Time
modifies all human relationships for better or for worse,
depending upon the policy through which people relate them-
selves to one another.
In the realm of thought there is a time when it is proper
to sow the seeds of thought, and there is a proper time
to reap the harvest of those thoughts, the same as there is
a time to sow and a time to reap from the soil of the earth.
Without the proper measurement of time between the sowing
and the reaping, nature modifies or withholds the rewards of
Q Go ahead, now, and describe the last two of the seven
A The next principle is harmony.
Throughout nature one may find evidences that all natural
law moves in an orderly manner, through the law of harmony.
Through the operation of this law nature forces everything
within the range of a given environment to become harmoni-
ously related. Understand this truth and you will catch a new
and a more intriguing vision of the power of environment. You
will understand why association with negative minds is fatal to
those seeking self-determination.
Q Do you mean that nature voluntarily forces human beings
to harmonize with the influences of their environment?
A Yes, that is true. The law of hypnotic rhythm forces upon
every living thing the dominating influences of the environ-
ment in which it exists.
Q If nature forces human beings to take on the nature of the
environment in which they live, what means of escape are avail-
able to people who find themselves in an environment of pov-
erty and failure but desire to escape?
A They must change their environment or remain poverty-
stricken. Nature permits no one to escape the influences of his
However, nature, in her abundance of wisdom, has given
to every normal human being the privilege of establishing his
own mental, spiritual, and physical environment, but once he
establishes it he must become a part of it. This is the inexorable
working of the law of harmony.
Q In a business association, for example, who establishes
the dominating influence that determines the rhythm of the
A The individual or individuals who think and act with defi-
niteness of purpose.
Q Is it as simple as that?
A Yes, definiteness of purpose is the starting point from
which an individual may establish his own environment.
Q I do not seem to follow your reasoning. The entire world
is torn with warfare and business depressions and other forms
of strife which represent about everything except harmony.
Nature does not seem to be forcing people to harmonize with
one another. How do you explain this inconsistency?
A There is no inconsistency. The dominating influences of
the world are, as you say, negative. Very well, nature is forcing
human beings to harmonize with the dominating influences of
the world environment.
Manifestations of harmony may be either positive or nega-
tive. For example, a group of men in prison may, and they gen-
erally do, think and act in a negative manner, but nature sees
to it that the dominating influence of the prison is impressed
upon every individual in it. A group of poverty-stricken people
in a tenement house may fight among themselves and appar-
ently resist all forms of harmony, but nature forces each of
them to become a part of the dominating influence of the
house in which they live.
Harmony, in the sense it is here used, means that nature
relates everything throughout the universes to every other
thing of a similar nature. Negative influences are forced into
association with one another, no matter where they may be.
Positive influences are just as definitely forced into association
with one another.
Q I am beginning to see why successful business leaders are
so careful in the choice of their business associates. Men who
succeed in any calling usually establish their own environment
by surrounding themselves with people who think and act in
terms of success. Is that the idea?
A That is the idea exactly. Observe, with profit, that the one
thing all successful men insist upon is harmony among their
business associates. Another trait of successful people is that
they move with definiteness of purpose and insist upon their
associates doing the same. Understand these two truths and
you understand the major difference between a Henry Ford
and a day laborer.
Q Now tell me about the last of the seven principles.
A The last principle is caution.
Next to the habit of drifting, the most dangerous human
trait is the lack of caution.
People drift into all sorts of hazardous circumstances
because they do not exercise caution by planning the moves
they make. The drifter always moves without exercising cau-
tion. He acts first and thinks later, if at all. He does not choose
his friends. He drifts along and allows people to attach them-
selves to him on their own terms. He does not choose an occu-
pation. He drifts through school and is glad to get the first
job that will give him food and clothing. He invites people to
cheat him at trade by neglecting to inform himself of the rules
of trade. He invites illness by neglecting to inform himself of
the rules of sound health. He invites poverty by neglecting to
protect himself against the environmental influences of the
poverty-stricken. He invites failure at every step he takes by
neglecting to exercise the caution to observe what causes people
to fail. He invites fear in all its forms by his lack of caution in
examining the causes of fear. He fails in marriage because he
neglects to use caution in his choice of a mate, and he uses still
less caution in his methods of relating himself to her after mar-
riage. He loses his friends or converts them into enemies by his
lack of caution in relating himself to them on the proper basis.
Q Are all people lacking in caution?
A No, only those who have acquired the habit of drifting.
The non-drifter always uses caution. He carefully thinks his
plans through before he begins them. He makes allowances
for the human frailties of his associates and plans ahead to
If he sends a messenger on an important mission, he sends
someone else to make sure the messenger does not neglect his
mission. Then he checks on both of them to be sure his wishes
have been fulfilled. He takes nothing for granted where caution
provides a way to insure his success.
Q Isn't over-caution as detrimental as lack of caution?
A There is no such thing as over-caution. What you call "over-
caution" is an expression of fear. Fear and caution are two
entirely different things.
Q Don't people mistake fear for over-caution?
A Yes, that does sometimes happen, but the majority of
people create for themselves far more disastrous hazards by
total lack of the habit of caution than by over-caution.
Q In what way may caution be used most advantageously?
A In the selection of one's associates and in one's method of
relating oneself to associates. The reason for this is obvious.
One's associates constitute the most important part of one's
environment, and environmental influences determine whether
one forms the habit of drifting or becomes a non-drifter. The
person who exercises due caution in the choice of associates
never allows himself to be closely associated with any person
who does not bring to him, through the association, some defi-
nite mental, spiritual, or economic benefit.
Q Isn't that method of choosing associates selfish?
A It is sensible and leads to self-determination. It is the
desire of every normal person to find material success and
Nothing contributes more to one's success and happiness
than carefully chosen associates. Caution in the selection of
associates becomes, therefore, the duty of every person who
wishes to become happy and successful. The drifter allows
his closest associates to attach themselves to him on their
own terms. The non-drifter carefully selects his associates and
allows no one to become closely associated with him unless
that person contributes some form of helpful influence or
bestows some definite benefit.
Q It never occurred to me that caution in the selection of
friends had so definite a bearing on one's success or failure.
Do all successful people exercise caution in the selection of
all their associates, whether in business, social, or professional
A Without the exercise of caution in the choice of all associ-
ates, no one may be certain of success in any calling. On the
other hand, lack of exercise of caution brings almost certain
defeat in whatever one undertakes.
THREE THINGS connected with my interview with the Devil
interest me most. These three factors interest me because they
have been the most important influences in my own life, a
fact which any reader of my story can easily discern. The three
important factors are the habit of drifting, the law of hypnotic
rhythm through which all habits are made permanent, and the
element of time.
Here is a trio of forces which hold inviolate the destinies of
all men. The three take on a new and more important meaning
when they are grouped and studied as a combined force. It
takes but little imagination and scarcely any understanding
of natural laws for one to see that most of the difficulties
in which people find themselves are of their own making.
Moreover, difficulties seldom are the outgrowth of immediate
circumstances. They are generally the climax of a series of cir-
cumstances which have been consolidated through the habit
of drifting and with the aid of time.
Samuel Insull did not lose his $4 billion industrial empire
as the result of the depression. He began losing it long before
the depression when he became the victim of a group of
women who flattered him into turning his talents from public
utilities to grand opera. If ever a man in a high position in the
financial world went down because of the power of drifting,
hypnotic rhythm, and time, that man was Samuel Insull. I am
writing from accurate knowledge of Mr. Insull and the cause
of his troubles dating from the time that I served with him
during the World War to the time of his ill-advised attempt to
run away from himself.
Henry Ford went through the same depression that swept
Mr. Insull under, but Ford came out on top without a scratch.
Do you want to know the reason? I'll tell you. Ford has the
habit of not drifting on any subject. Time is Ford's friend
because he has formed the habit of using it in a positive, con-
structive manner, with the aid of thoughts of his own making,
woven into plans of his own creation.
Take any circumstance you wish, measure it with reference
to its relationship to the habit of drifting, hypnotic rhythm,
and time, and you may ascertain accurately the cause of all suc-
cess and all failure.
Franklin D. Roosevelt went into office with a bang during
his first term. He had but one major purpose in mind and that
was very definite. It was to stop the stampede of fear and start
people to thinking and talking in terms of business recovery
instead of business depression.
In carrying out that purpose, there was no drifting. The
forces of the entire nation were consolidated and moved as one
to help carry out the President's definite purpose. For the first
time in the history of America, the newspapers of all political
leanings, the churches of all denominations, the people of all
races and colors, and the political organizations of all brands
united themselves into one stupendous power for the sole pur-
pose of helping the President restore faith and normal busi-
ness relationships in the country.
In a conference held between the President and a group of
emergency advisers a few days after he went into office, I asked
him what was his major problem. He replied, "It is not a ques-
tion of majors and minors; we have but one problem and that
is to stop fear and supplant it with faith."
Before the end of his first year in office, the President had
stopped fear and supplanted it by faith, and the nation was
slowly but surely on the way out of the jungle of depression.
By the end of his first term— mark well the element of lapse of
time— the President had so effectively consolidated the forces
of American business and private life that he had an entire
nation in back of him, ready, willing, and enthusiastically
desirous of following his lead no matter which way he went.
These are facts well known to everyone who reads newspa-
pers or listens to the radio.
Then came another presidential election and the opportu-
nity for the people to express their faith in their leader. They
expressed it in a landslide without precedent in American
politics, and the President went into office a second time with
an almost unanimous electorate vote with only two states
Now observe how the Wheel of Life began to reverse itself
and turn back in the other direction. The President changed
his policy from definiteness of purpose to indefiniteness and
His change of policy split the powerful labor group
and turned more than half of it against him. It split the
almost-solid following he held in both houses of Congress,
and more important than all this, it split the American people
into "pro" and "anti" groups with the result that about all
the President had left of his original political assets was his
million-dollar smile and his ready handshake— obviously not
enough to enable him to regain the power he once wielded in
Here, then, we have an excellent example of a man who
skyrocketed to great power through definiteness of purpose
and belly-flopped to the starting point by his habit of drifting.
In both his rise and his fall can be seen clearly the operation
of the principles of drifting and non-drifting reaching a climax
through the power of hypnotic rhythm and time.
All my life the Devil had a dramatic story to tell of his deal-
ings with me. He saw me drift in and out of scores of busi-
ness opportunities for which many would have given a king's
ransom. He saw me drifting in my policy of relating myself to
others, particularly in my lack of caution in business dealings.
The circumstance which saved me from fatal control of the
law of hypnotic rhythm was the definiteness of purpose with
which, at long last, I dedicated my entire life to the organiza-
tion of a philosophy of individual achievement. I drifted at one
time or another on all my minor whims and endeavors, but my
drifting was offset by my major purpose, which was sufficient
to restore my courage and start me once more in the quest of
knowledge every time I was defeated in connection with my
I learned something of the hazardous nature of the habit
of drifting while engaged in analyzing more than 25,000
people in connection with the organization of the Law of
Success. These analyses showed that only two out of every 100
have a definite major aim in life. The other 98 were caught
by the habit of drifting. It seems more than a coincidence
that my analyses clearly corroborated the Devil's claim that
he controls 98 out of every 100 people because of their habit
Looking back over my own career, I can see clearly that I
could have avoided the majority of the temporary defeats with
which I met if I had been definitely following a plan for the
attainment of my major purpose in life.
From my experience in having analyzed the problems of
more than 5,000 families, I know, definitely, that the majority
of married people who get out of harmony with each other
do so because of the accumulation of a great number of little
circumstances in their married relationship which could have
been cleared up and disposed of as they arose if there had been
a definite policy to do so. They do not live their married life
with definiteness of purpose.
So the story has gone, all back down the ages. The man
with the most definite plan and purpose and the most power
rides on to victory. The others scurry for cover and get crushed
under the heels of those who are more determined.
The answer is not hard to find. There is no use looking
toward high heaven for it. For my part I would prefer to
seek the answer from the Devil, for he would tell me quickly
enough that victory goes to the people who know what they
want and are determined to have it. They have mastered the
habit of drifting. They have definite policies, definite plans,
and definite objectives. Their opposition, which may out-
number them very greatly, has no chance against them
because the opposition has no plan, no purpose, no policy
except that of drifting along, hoping that something may turn
up to help them. In those three brief sentences you have the
sum and the substance of the difference between success and
failure, power and lack of it.
We come, now, near to the end of our visit through this
book. If we were to try to state in one brief sentence the most
important part of that which I have tried to convey through
the book, it would be something like this:
One's dominating desires can be crystallized into their
physical equivalents through definiteness of purpose backed
by definiteness of plans, with the aid of nature's law of
hypnotic rhythm and time!
There you have the positive phase of the philosophy of
individual achievement I have tried to describe through this
book, brought down to an irreducible minimum of brevity
and simplicity. If you expand the philosophy for the purpose
of adapting it to the circumstances of life, you find that it is
as broad as life itself, that it covers all human relationships, all
human thoughts, aims, and desires.
So here we are, at the end of the strangest of all the thou-
sands of interviews I have had with the great and the near-
great, over a period of fifty years of labor, in my search for the
truths of life that lead to happiness and economic security.
How strange, indeed, that after having had active coopera-
tion from such men as Carnegie, Edison, and Ford, I should
have been compelled, finally, to go to the Devil for a working
knowledge of the greatest of all the principles uncovered in my
quest for truth. How strange that I was forced to experience
poverty and failure and adversity in a hundred forms before
being given the privilege of understanding and using a law of
nature which softens the thrust of these wicked weapons or
wipes them out altogether. But the strangest of all this dra-
matic experience which life has provided me is the simplicity
of the law through which, if I had understood it, I could have
transmuted my desires into substantial form without having
to undergo so many years of hardship and misery.
I find now, at the end of my interview with the Devil, that I
had been carrying in my own pockets the matches with which
the fires of adversity were being touched off. And I find, too,
that the water with which those fires were finally extinguished
was at my command in great abundance.
I searched for the philosopher's lodestone with which
failure may be converted into success, only to learn that both
success and failure are the results of day-to-day evolutionary
forces through which dominating thoughts are pieced together
bit by bit and woven into the things we want or the things we
do not want, according to the nature of those thoughts.
How unfortunate that I did not understand this truth
from the time that I reached the age of reason, for if I had
understood it then I might have been able to go around some
of the hurdles I have been forced to jump as I walked through
"The Valley of the Shadow" of life.
The story of my interview with the Devil is now in your
hands. The benefits you will receive from it will be in exact
proportion to the thought it inspires in you. To benefit from
reading the interview, you need not agree with every portion
You have only to think and to reach your own conclusions
concerning every part of it. How reasonable that is. You are the
judge and the jury and the attorney for both the prosecution
and the defense. If you do not win your case, the loss and the
cause thereof will be yours!
MY INVISIBLE COUNSELORS
The author has for many years followed the habit of taking
personal inventory of himself once a year, for the purpose of
determining how many of his weaknesses he has bridged or
eliminated, and to ascertain what progress, if any, he has
made during the year.
On one of these occasions, before THE LAW OF SUCCESS philosophy
had been reduced to textbooks and published, the inventory showed the
author had not only slowed down during the year, but that he was becoming
indifferent toward himself and toward life. He was scheduled to deliver an
address in Ohio, some two hundred miles from his home. The trip was made
On the way the author's "guardian angel" took her place beside him on
the vacant front seat of the car. (This portion of the incident may, if the reader
desires, be attributed entirely to the author's use of his imagination, or to day-
dreaming, or to any other cause one sees fit.)
The personage on the vacant seat beside the author seemed very real.
There took place, almost immediately after the author observed by his
"feelings" that some force or personality beside his own was in the car, the
following interview, which resulted in the Compact described:
Voice speaking to me from within: You have wasted more of your time
in the past than you have used constructively. How long are you going to
continue this waste?
The author: Yes, I know I have wasted too much time. What has been
the cause of this waste, and how can I make amends for it in the future?
Voice from within: The time you have wasted in the main has been the
time you have devoted to thinking and indulging too freely in physical
pleasures. You should make amends for this waste by transmuting this
vital energy into a service to others, through THE LAW OF SUCCESS
The author: Do I understand that my thoughts in the future should be
devoted entirely to serving others through the LAW OF SUCCESS?
Voice from within: Not at all, but you should divert the major portion of
your thoughts to the purpose suggested. If you fail to do so, you will
bring misery to yourself, and deprive others of knowledge which you
should impart to them through the LAW OF SUCCESS.
The author: I haven't the money with which to publish the LAW OF
Voice from within: That is no excuse. You may have all the money you
need for this, and for every other purpose, provided you are willing to
accept advice and follow it.
The author: I am willing to accept advice and I will follow it. Give me
instructions, and I will follow them to the letter.
Voice from within: Very well, your willingness to follow instructions is
all that you need for the present. Are you ready to receive your
The author: I am ready.
Voice from within: You will find it difficult at first to follow your
instructions, because you will have to change completely your habits.
The reward which awaits you, if you follow instructions faithfully,
however, is worth all the effort you will devote to the task. Here are your
First. In the future, you shall devote as much time and effort to
serving others, through the LAW OF SUCCESS philosophy, as you
have devoted in the past to indulgence in personal pleasures.
Second. Proceed at once to the task of writing the LAW OF
SUCCESS philosophy. When the manuscripts have been completed,
you will receive further instructions for their publication.
Third. Upon publication of the LAW OF SUCCESS, philosophy you
will receive instructions for the writing of other books. Carry out
those instructions as soon as you receive them.
Fourth. As compensation for carrying out these and other
instructions which will be given to you in the future, you may have
your choice of any three things you wish.
The Author: Do you mean that I may really have any three things I
choose, in return for carrying out these instructions?"
Voice from within: Yes, any three things you choose.
The Author: With whom am I dealing? Who will be responsible to me
for the compensation I have been promised after I carry out the
Voice from within: You are dealing with Infinite Intelligence. I am the
Individual Entity designated by Infinite Intelligence to bargain with you
for your services. So you may proceed with your instructions with faith
that you will receive your reward. I shall now give you the power to
compensate yourself as soon as you earn your reward.
The Author: Very well. I shall choose (1) Wisdom through an
understanding heart that will help me to relate myself to others in a spirit
of harmony; (2) Health in both body and mind, and (3) Wealth in such
amounts as I may need to carry out the instruction you have given me.
Voice from within: It is not enough. I cannot permit you to be cheated.
You should modify your first choice to include happiness. Without
happiness you will not be an efficient worker. Infinite Intelligence has
selected you to assume a great responsibility. A world-crisis is impending.
You have been prepared to render useful service in connection with this crisis. Revise your first choice.
The Author: All right! My first choice shall be happiness through the
wisdom of an understanding heart.
Voice speaking from within: That is better! The terms of our compact
are now satisfactory. You are now assuming the role of both master and servant. Your wages shall be paid as fast as the service is rendered. I shall explain the method by which you shall be paid, so that you will know you can neither collect without earning your pay, nor be cheated out of your
reward after earning it.
Happiness comes only from rendering useful service to others. You shall
receive this portion of your reward as fast as you earn it.
The wisdom of an understanding heart comes through intense desire for
it. Take this portion of your reward as rapidly as you wish.
Health of body and mind comes through positive thought. Keep your
mind free from negative thoughts and claim this portion of your reward
as fast as you earn it.
Wealth of this sort, which will permit happiness, comes by rendering
useful service to others. Through the LAW OF SUCCESS you may
render such service. The money will be paid directly to you by those
whom you serve, and in proportion to the amount of service you render,
the quality of the service, and the number of people served.
Infinite Intelligence has very wisely made you your own supervisor, your
own employer, your own servant, and your own pay-master. The compact
is now in force. The extent to which it is carried out is limited only by
you. This is irrevocable except by your own default.
My visitor departed, leaving behind a feeling of aloneness, similar to that
which one might have felt if a fellow-traveler had opened the door of the car
and stepped out. The experience was uncanny. I had never had such an
experience before. For a time I was not sure what had happened.
Many thoughts ran through my mind. The first was that I had been day-
dreaming. Another was that I had been overworking my imagination.
Subsequent events proved both thoughts to be wrong.
Briefly, the following, took place, after that experience on the twenty-
sixth of October, 1923 (my birthday):
(a) Upon my return home the following day I began to organize the data
I had been gathering on the LAW OF SUCCESS philosophy for
nearly fifteen years previously On the following Christmas evening
I began the actual writing of the LAW OF SUCCESS.
(b) Late in the year 1928 the manuscripts had been completed, after
many revisions, and they were published by A. L. Felton of Meriden,
Connecticut, through circumstances which fully harmonize with the
terms of the compact already described.
(c) In 1929 the world-wide "Business Depression" began creating a state
of chaos throughout the civilized world. Examination of the LAW
OF SUCCESS philosophy will disclose the fact that it is perfectly
suited to the needs of millions of people who have been injured by
loss of faith, and in other ways by the depression.
(d) The LAW OF SUCCESS philosophy now has a following in all
cities, towns and villages in America, and in practically every country
on earth. The means of distribution of the philosophy (which I have
described in other books recently written) came through media which
harmonize perfectly with the terms of the compact.
(e) Last, but by no means least, I am healthy in both body and mind; I
am happier than I have ever been before in my entire life, and I have
not wanted for the money necessary to carry out my instructions.
The part of this experience which impresses me most is the ingenuity
with which the compact was so designed that it gave me both the privilege
of becoming the master, and the responsibility of being the servant. Literally,
this compact made me the "Master of my own fate, the Captain of my own
And right here is an appropriate place at which to call attention to a real
benefit which anyone may experience by deliberately focusing attention upon
any form of constructive desire. The mind acts upon one's dominating, or
most pronounced desires. There is no escape from this fact. It is a fact indeed.
"Be careful what you set your heart upon, for it surely shall be yours."
Did They Speak From the Grave?
While I was passing through the age of "hero-worship" I found myself
trying to imitate those whom I most admired. Moreover, I discovered that
the element of faith, with which I endeavored to imitate my idols, gave me
great capacity to do so quite successfully.
I have never quite divested myself of, this habit of hero worship, although
I have passed the age commonly given over to such state of being. My
experience has taught me that the next best thing to being truly great is to
emulate the great, by feeling and action, as nearly as possible. I have never
known of this habit doing anyone any harm.
Long before the LAW OF SUCCESS philosophy was completed, before
I had ever written a line for publication or endeavored to deliver a speech in
public, I followed the habit of reshaping my own character by trying to
imitate the nine men whose lives and life-works had been most impressive to
me. These nine men were Emerson, Paine, Edison, Darwin, Lincoln,
Burbank, Napoleon, Ford and Carnegie. Every night, over a long period of
years, I held an imaginary council meeting with this group, whom I called my
The procedure was this: Just before going to sleep at night, I would shut
my eyes and see, in my imagination, this group of men seated with me around
my council table. Here I had not only an opportunity to sit among those whom
I considered to be great, but I actually dominated the group by serving as the
chairman and leader.
I had a very definite purpose in indulging my imagination through these
nightly meetings. My purpose was to rebuild my own character so it would
represent a composite of my imaginary counselors. Realizing, as I did early
in life, that I had to overcome the handicap of a lowly birth in an environment
of ignorance and superstition, I deliberately assigned myself the task of
voluntary rebirth through the method here described.
Rebuilding Character Through Auto-Suggestion
Having been an earnest student of psychology, I knew of course that all
people become what they are because of their dominating thoughts and
desires. I knew that every deeply seated desire may be transmuted into its
physical counterpart. I knew that self-suggestion was a powerful factor in the
building of character; that it was in fact the sole principle through which
character is built!
With this knowledge of the principles of mind operation, I was fairly well
armed with the equipment needed in rebuilding my character. In these
imaginary council meetings, I called on my Cabinet members for the
knowledge and the traits of character I wished each to contribute, addressing
myself to each member, in audible words, as follows:
Mr. Emerson, I desire to acquire from you the marvelous understanding
of Nature which distinguished your life. I ask that you make an impress
upon my subconscious mind of whatever qualities you possessed which
enabled you to understand and adapt yourself to the laws of Nature. I ask
that you assist me in reaching and drawing upon whatever sources of
knowledge are available to this end.
Mr. Burbank, I request that you pass on to me the knowledge which
enabled you to so harmonize the laws of Nature that you caused the
cactus to shed its thorns, and become an edible food. Give me access to
the knowledge which enabled you to make two blades of grass grow
where but one grew before, and helped you to blend the coloring of the
flowers with more splendor and harmony. For you alone have
successfully painted the lily.
Napoleon, I desire to acquire from you, by emulation the marvelous
ability you possessed to inspire men and to arouse them to a greater and
more determined spirit of action. Also to acquire the spirit of enduring
faith which enabled you to turn defeat into victory, and to surmount
staggering obstacles. Emperor of Fate, King of Chance, Man of Destiny,
I salute you!
Mr. Paine, I desire to acquire from you the freedom of your thought and
the courage and clarity with which to express your convictions, which so
Mr. Darwin, I wish to acquire from you the marvelous patience and
ability to study cause and effect, without bias or prejudice, so exemplified
by you in the field of natural science.
Mr. Lincoln, I desire to build into my own character the keen sense of
justice, the untiring spirit of patience, the sense of humor, the spirit of
human understanding and the tolerance which were your distinguishing
Mr. Carnegie, I am already indebted to you for my choice of a life-work,
which has brought me great happiness and peace of mind. I wish to
acquire a thorough understanding of the principles of organized effort
which you used so effectively in the building of a great industrial
Mr. Ford, you have been among the most helpful of the men who have
supplied much of the material out of which the philosophy of
achievement is being built. I wish to acquire your spirit of persistence,
your determination, your poise, and your self-confidence, with which
you have mastered poverty, organized directness, unified and simplified
human effort, so I may help others to follow in your footsteps.
Mr. Edison, I have seated you nearest to me, at my right, because of the
personal cooperation you have given me during my research into the
causes of success and failure. I wish to acquire from you the marvelous
spirit of faith with which you have uncovered so many of Nature's
secrets, and the spirit of unremitting toil with which you have so often
wrested victory from defeat."
My method of addressing the members of my imaginary Cabinet would
vary, according to the traits of character in which I was, for the moment, most
interested in acquiring. I studied the records of their lives with painstaking
care. After some three months of this sort of nightly procedure, I was
astounded by the discovery that these imaginary figures became apparently
Each of these nine men developed individual characteristics which
surprised me. For example, Lincoln developed the habit of being always late,
then walking around the table in a solemn parade. When he came he walked
very slowly, with his hands clasped behind him, and once in a while, he would
stop at my seat as he passed and rest his hand momentarily, upon my shoulder.
He always wore an expression of seriousness upon his face. Rarely did I see
him smile. The cares of a sundered nation had made him grave.
That was not true of the others. Burbank and Paine often indulged in
witty repartee which seemed at times to shock the other members of my
One night Paine suggested that I prepare a lecture on "The Age of
Reason", and deliver it from the pulpit of a church which I formerly attended.
Many around the table laughed heartily at the suggestion. But Napoleon did
not. He drew his mouth down at the corners and groaned so loudly that they
all turned and looked at him with amazement. To him the church was but a
pawn of the State, not to be reformed, but to be used, as a convenient inciter
to mass activity by the people.
On one occasion Burbank was late. When he came he was excited with
enthusiasm, and explained that he had been delayed because of an experiment
he was making, through which he hoped to be able to grow apples on most
any sort of tree.
Paine chided him by reminding him that it was an apple which started all
the trouble between man and woman.
Darwin chuckled heartily as he suggested that Paine should watch out
for little serpents when he went out into the forest to gather apples, as they
had the habit of growing into big snakes.
Emerson observed, "No serpents, no apples." And Napoleon remarked,
"No apples, no state!"
Once I had a love affair with a young lady whose name was Josephine.
We had a misunderstanding and agreed to discontinue our love affair. That
evening at the meeting Napoleon smiled as he reminded me that he too had
given up a cherished possession whose name was Josephine, and admonished
me to re-establish myself in the young lady's good graces. I did not follow the
Years later I met the young lady, after she had married another man, and
she told me that shortly after she and I had our break, she had a dream in
which Napoleon appeared and strongly urged her to recant, and invite me to
do the same.
Lincoln developed the habit of being always the last one to leave the
table after each meeting. On one occasion, he leaned across the end of the
table on his folded arms, and remained in that position for several minutes. I
made no attempt to disturb him.
Finally he lifted his head slowly, got up and walked to the door, then
turned around, came back, and laid his hand on my shoulder and said, "My
boy, you will need much courage if you remain steadfast in carrying out your
purpose in life. But remember, when difficulties overtake that the common
people have common sense. Adversity will develop it."
One evening Edison arrived ahead of all the others. He seated himself
at, my left, where Emerson was accustomed to sit.
Edison, you are destined to witness the discovery of the secret of life.
When the time comes you will observe that life consists of great swarms
of energy, or entities, each as intelligent as human beings believe
themselves to be.
These units of life group themselves together like hives of bees, and
remain together until they disintegrate through lack of harmony. These
units have differences of opinion, just as do human beings, and often they
fight among themselves.
These meetings which you are conducting will be very helpful to you.
They will bring to your rescue some of the same units of life which
served the members of your Cabinet, whose physical bodies have been
discarded. These units are eternal. They never die!
Your own thoughts and desires serve as the magnet which attracts units
of life from the great ocean of life. Only the friendly units which
harmonize with the nature of your desires are attracted.
The other members of the Cabinet began to enter the room. Edison rose
and slowly walked around to his own seat. Edison was still living when this
happened. It impressed me so greatly that I went to see him and told him
about the experience. He smiled broadly, and said: "Your dream was more a
reality than you may imagine it to have been." He added no further
explanation to his statement.
These meetings became so realistic that I became fearful of their
consequence, and discontinued them for several months. The experiences
were so uncanny that I was afraid my mind might become unbalanced if I
continued them, or that I would become a fanatic on the subject and lose sight
of the fact that these meetings were purely experiences of my imagination.
Some six months after I had discontinued the practice I was awakened
one night, or thought I was, when I saw Lincoln standing at my bedside. He
said, "The world will soon need your services. It is about to undergo a period
of chaos which will cause men and women to lose faith and become panic
stricken. Go ahead with your work and complete your philosophy. That is
your mission in life. If you neglect it, for any cause whatsoever, you will be
reduced to a primal state and be compelled to retrace the cycles through
which you have passed during thousands of years."
I was unable to tell when morning came whether I had dreamed this, or
had actually been awake, and I have never since found out which it was, but
I do know that the dream — if it were a dream — was so vivid in my mind the
next day that I resumed my meetings the following night and have ever since
At our next meeting the members of my Cabinet all filed into the room
together and stood at their accustomed places at the council table, while
Lincoln raised a glass and said, "Gentlemen, let us drink a toast to a friend
of man. He has returned to the fold."
After that I began to add new members to my Cabinet, until now it
consists of more than fifty, among them Galileo, Copernicus, Aristotle, Plato,
OUTWITTING THE DEVIL
Socrates, Homer, Voltaire, Bruno, Spinoza, Drummond, Kant, Schopenhauer,
Newton, Confucius, Elbert Hubbard, Brann, Ingersoll, Wilson and William
This is the first time that I have had the courage to mention this chapter
of my life. Heretofore, I have remained quiet on the subject because I knew,
from my own attitude in connection with such matters, that I would be
branded as a pious fraud if I described my unusual experiences.
I have been emboldened by time to reduce my experiences to the printed
page because the philosophy of achievement which I have had the privilege
of organizing has been accepted as being sound and practical by a great army
of men and women in practically every walk of life.
Also I am now less concerned about what "they will say" than I was in
the past. One of the blessings of maturity is that it sometimes brings one
greater courage to be truthful, regardless of what those who do not understand
may think or say.
Lest I be misunderstood, I wish here to state most emphatically that I still
regard my Cabinet meetings as being purely imaginary, but I feel entitled to
suggest that, while the members of my Cabinet may be purely fictional, and
the meetings entirely existent in my own imagination, they have led me into
glorious paths of adventure, rekindled an appreciation of true greatness,
encouraged creative endeavor, and emboldened the expression of honest