by Napoleon Hill




1  2

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.



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

of success.


"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

of labor.


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

Business College.


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

me happy.


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

knows himself?


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"

had awakened.


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

of business.


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

ever known.


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

had departed.


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

me helpless.


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

had developed.


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

on earth.


"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-

mately $25,000.


"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.




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

my possession.


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

few hours.


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

the time.


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

be developed.


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

West Virginia.


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

before "arriving."


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

their problems.


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

and necessary.


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

"other self."


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.





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

with indecision.


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

human beings.


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.


An Analysis


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

strange confession.


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

"Your Majesty."


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

your claim?


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-

ative thought.


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

who thinks.


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

now claim?


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—

not mine.


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

own emotions.


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

just now?


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

great influence?


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-

est trick.


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

against me.



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

question unanswered.


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

best trick.


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

to hell.


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

his offspring.


Q In what other ways do you use parents to convert children

into drifters?


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

think independendy.


Q It seems that you go out of your way to keep people

from thinking?


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

my opposition.


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

into drifters.


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

of yours.


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

and effort.


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 emotions.


His personality will be without magnetism and it will not

attract other people.


He will have opinions on everything but accurate knowledge

of nothing.


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

chosen calling.


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

any subject.


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

must pay.


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

his mind.


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

for himself.


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

convert them.


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.




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

your confession.


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

bursting point.


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

of drifting!


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

clothes well.


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

attracting men?


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

appeal fails!


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

of accuracy?


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

are doing?


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:


 Q That is an imposing list of bribes, Your Majesty. Do you

use others?


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

from him.


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-

thing else.


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

I work?


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

your method?


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-

vice first.


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.




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

your claim?


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

human beings.


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?


Q Yes.


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

of rhythm.


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-

ical bodies.


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

own mind.


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

trap others?


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

on earth.


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

the world?


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

my style.  


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.


Q Why?


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

I not?


A Yes, you are temporarily out of my reach because you are

not drifting.


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

ever be.


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

it out.


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

hypnotic rhythm.


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

unavoidable circumstance.


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

of nature?


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

own terms.


Q Doesn't the question of morals enter into what one gets

from life?


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

to know.


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

and operate?


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

of opportunities.


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

hypnotic rhythm?


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-

notic rhythm.


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

hypnotic rhythm?


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

me why?


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

human being.


Q Why have we earthbound not found the road to Infinite

Intelligence sooner?


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

flatter God!


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

all power.  


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.




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-

ical freedom.  


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

to indulge.


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

simple bribes.


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

and drifting.


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

and schoolteachers.


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

your control?


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

that true?


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

good intentions.


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

indefinitely applied?


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-

sion, time.


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 world.


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.




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

desirable ends?


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

own minds.


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

great philosophers.


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

it were.


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

entire life.


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

of man.


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

public schools?


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

mind exists.  


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

or prejudice.


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

close second.


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

about you?


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

of purpose.


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

through indefiniteness.


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 instructors.


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

of life.


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

of achievement.


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

own judgment.


Teach children to reach decisions promptly and to change

them, if at all, slowly and with reluctance, and never without a

definite reason.


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

for themselves.


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

and believe!


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

pleasing themselves.


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

by habit.


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

from life.


 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

this subject?


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

and misery.


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

the mind.


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

Infinite Intelligence.


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.




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

over self?


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

intestines clean?


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

of food.


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

of drifting.


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

pleasing personality.


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

one's desires.


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

useful ideas.


It gives quickness and definiteness to one's physical and

mental movements.


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

is vulgar.


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

with self-discipline.


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

his ideas.


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

uninvited opinions?


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

of drifting.


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

my opposition.


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

already covered.


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

that true?


A Yes, that's another way of stating the truth.








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

before succeeding.


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

fresh opportunities.  


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

in him.


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-

ual estates.


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

spiritual forces.


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

own mind.


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

through adversity?


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

through failure?


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

their death.


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.




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

next principle?


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

upon one?


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

positive thought-habits?


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

matter correctly?


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

mass action.


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

into wisdom.


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

of it.


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

voluntary effort!


Q Is it safe for all people to have knowledge?


A It is never safe for anyone to have extensive knowledge

without wisdom.


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

acquire wisdom?


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

been tested.


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

the sowing.


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

bridge them.


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

meekly dissenting.


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

American life.


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

minor aims.


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

of drifting.


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

of it.


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!


—Napoleon Hill





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

by automobile.


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

SUCCESS philosophy.


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

"Invisible Counselors".


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

distinguished you!


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

continued them.


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,




• 12*








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