My first thought about this posting as I sit down to think it through on my computer is it's going to piss some people off.
Or at least discomfort and knock some people off balance. That is not my intention, but as I sat in my cell in Folsom State Prison, I often thought about this period--my first year of freedom. And I made a decision that, no matter what else I
accomplished in my new life, I would make a commitment to be completely honest, to tell the truth even when it didn't seem to serve me, to avoid even those little white lies most of us tell in order to spare other people's feelings or avoid embarrassment or inconvenience.
One part of this, and famously a part of most twelve step recovery programs, is to confess past lies. As I think back on it, in this brand new year, one of the worst lies I told back before my original legal problems involving overseas investments was to the investors. I told them everything was O.K. that we were just experiencing a temporary delay in getting our money back.
(I say "our money" because the truth is I lost more money than any other single person in these investments--and that was
only because I was stupid enough to invest more than anyone else--and if I could have gone after myself and sued myself
for stupidity, I would have done so.) Of course, I could parse this and say it wasn't so much a lie as wishful thinking on my
part. I was certainly lying to myself at the time. And I kept repeating this lie. In fact, here's a truth I never told anyone before,
when I was facing eighteen months in federal prison for those investment schemes, one of the main harebrained reasons I
came up with my ridiculous scheme to steal a motorhome and run away was to try and recoup those losses in order to pay
the investors back. I thought I could not afford an eighteen month prison hiatus, that long a delay in trying to either recover the money or earn a replacement amount.
While my federal case was pending, I kept up my futile hope the money would be coming back to the U.S. I was promised that it would be put into an escrow account in the highly respected Barings Bank in England. You may remember that Barings notoriously failed in 1995, when a lower management type named Nick Leeson, finagled some junk bonds out of Singapore and lost a couple of billion dollars of the bank's money, or rather the bank depositors' money. Leeson had nothing to do with the investment deal I involved myself and a number of others in, but he may have had a lot to do with the money being lost
forever. And even then, I refused to tell myself or anyone else the truth.
Through this period, I was not thinking very clearly, was not even aware of a lot going on, certainly was not doing due diligence on behalf of the people who trusted me with their faith and their money. I lied whenever I reassured them all was going to turn out alright--but that was also the biggest lie I told myself. One of the things I was not really aware of during that time was the fact that I was not writing or speaking, my two main activities for most of my professional life.
I was living in a commune in Northern California, not doing much of anything, I was living a simple, inexpensive life--not
writing or speaking meant I had almost no income, and with all my assets tied up in the overseas investment scheme, I
was basically broke. This, strangely enough, kept my federal prison sentence down to a minimum, because after a couple of
years of investigations, no one could find any evidence that I had gained financially from the investment scheme. In fact there was substantial proof that I had lost more than anyone else. At the time, this provided little comfort to me or my investors.
It was only after two years in prison that I began to suspect the reason for my mental and emotional disability during this time. I never believed it was clinical depression, as the psychiatrist my public defender hired told the court during my trial.
I thought it might be what the British call a "brainstorm", a sudden breakdown of rational thought (I always found it fascinating that the two countries had such different definitions for the same word, where "brainstorm" in the U.S. means to
let the mind think freely trying to come up with solutions and new ideas.) But when my cellmate Keith, a methamphetamine addict, told me some of his symptoms and experiences, and they felt so familiar, I began to look back and realized that
in the five years prior to my arrest, I had been taking a nutritional product that was legal and thought safe, and seemed to
work perfectly, keeping my ideal weight and giving me lots of energy. The main ingredient was ephedra, which has since
come into major disrepute, and has been banned, and blamed for damaging lots of hearts. And ephedra, of course, is one of
the main ingredients in manufacturing meth. So I may as well have been doing that drug, in spite of my often self-righteous
attitude that I was somehow superior for not doing any drugs at all. Once I was in prison, my mind came out of its fog, I
began to think and create like my old self. I didn't know why this was at the time, but can now safely assume it was my
system recovering from the ephedra abuse. I still have atrial fibrillation and take a powerful blood thinner, Warfarin, on a
daily basis, for that heart condition I didn't have before using the nutritional product with ephedra. Whew! That's a lot of truth.
More truth is that I haven't completely forgiven myself for my stupidity in letting all this happen. For not realizing what was going on with my mind at the time. If I had been in a relationship during this period, or hadn't moved from Southern California where I had friends and a support system, then someone could have told me I was acting and thinking in ways that were unusual for me. But I was living among strangers, keeping mostly to myself for several years, and no one noticed anything. Most of all, I wasn't paying attention. The most serious failing of all, and one I am very purposefully focused on not repeating.
The comment I heard most often from fellow inmates and even correctional officers familiar with my case was,
"How could someone so smart do something so dumb?" This was usually followed by a laugh. It would make a great episode on America's Dumbest Criminals, me driving a motorhome down the freeway, being chased by a couple of dozen police cars.
I had to deal with truth a lot in those twelve years of incarceration. The truth about who my real friends were, for instance.
Some of the people I had supported the most in life were just not able to handle my arrest and removed themselves from
my life. And some friends I had no reason to expect anything from really came through for me. In a strange way, it sort of
balanced itself out.
This whole train of thought was prompted by some Internet advertising for self-help and business success programs.
The people, mostly men, offering some of these courses always depict themselves sitting in or standing beside their expensive cars, or on the balconies of their beachfront homes. And I realized that if I stuck to my commitment to truth, as I advertised my own ideas about success, and enroll people in this healthy dark chocolate business I am now promoting, I would have to say I am probably broker than most of the people I approach (You'll note one of my earlier postings addresses this, JERRY GILLIES IS BROKER THAN YOU RIGHT NOW). I am starting from scratch and want to build an ongoing residual income for my associates in this business, which will also lead to royalty income for myself. But one of the things that most attracted me to MXI CORP and the Xocai Chocolate business was that it is designed so that the people you get involved and sponsor under you can end up making a lot more money than you. My life and future will be just fine. I have three book projects underway, including my book on the health benefits of dark chocolate. But I am not going to tell people that I've already made a lot of money in this dark chocolate business, I just got started a little over a month ago, after careful research and the kind of investigation I used to do as an NBC business reporter. I am being very selective about who I invite to join my prosperity team. I am not sitting in my Rolls Royce as I invite them to join me. In fact, I don't own a car right now. I am just starting out, much as I did as a nineteen-year-old beginning a broadcasting career in the small town of Dover, Delaware, where I didn't know a soul. I am living in the small town of San Bruno, at least for the next year as conditions of my parole, where I also don't know a soul.
My first radio job paid me $55 a week. I expect to do better in the chocolate business. But the excitement of new
beginnings is the same. Another book I have in mind is one telling how I went from being broke and in prison to great financial success, taking some people with me.
This, by the way, was one of the ways in which I did affirmations in prison. I would visualize myself on a talk show, telling the host how I had been absolutely broke, no assets at all, in prison, and got out and made a great success of my life.
"Yes, Oprah, these are the principles and strategies that brought me from absolutely nothing to my current level of total abundance." I don't know how truthful some of these entrepreneurs are when they talk about their financial success,
a lot of prosperity gurus have ended up in bankruptcy court or worse. I know for a fact that one of the best known of these so-called prosperity teachers, a sometime friend of mine, offering a "Millionaire's Course" was in such dire straits at the time that he had to lay off most of his staff, and told me he could no longer afford to send me a book or two from Amazon.com for my prison reading. So I will be brutally honest while trying not to be smug about it. You'd like to join me in this dark chocolate adventure, I'll say, fine, we'll have fun and I think do very well financially together. But understand this, if you
have a car right now, and/or own your own home, you are a lot richer than me.
I just read over what I have written so far, and have a strong urge to edit it, or maybe not publish it at all. I sound like
such a loser to myself. But then I read between the lines. I know how to create prosperity, I've done it before for myself and countless others. Dozens of millionaires have approached or written me to say that MONEYLOVE inspired them or gave
them the strategies to dramatically change their lives for the better. One of the ways I failed myself and others was by not
sticking to my own rules and principles and strategies. Just one example of this, as I wrote in MONEYLOVE, in the chapter
on Prosperity Investing: "The MONEYLOVE view of investing is that you can make the most money when you invest for love rather than money." The overseas investments I got myself embroiled in were just about moving money around. They didn't have to do with anything I loved. They were much like the deals that recently brought Wall Street crashing down, no projects that improved people's lives, just money being moved from one pile to another. That is why I am so excited about putting my energy into this healthy dark chocolate business. I love dark chocolate, and have for nearly forty years. I am passionate about it. It is one of the main things I missed while spending twelve years in prison, and one of the first things I bought when I got out (the second thing, actually, as I got my first French Fries in twelve years on the train from Folsom to San Francisco). The idea of not only turning people onto a great-tasting chocolate, but one that is healthy and may produce amazing health benefits, and even extend life, and on top of that, for those interested, produce some substantial extra income, is just
exactly the breath of fresh air I need in my life.
There is one lie I have told in doing this healthy dark chocolate business. I've tried to be gentle and patient, and
when somone doesn't see the vision I see, doesn't realize how momentous it is that a delicious small square of chocolate has the highest antioxidant content in history. Or realize how amazing it is to be able, for a few hundred dollars, to get in on the ground floor of a business ready to explode as more and more people become aware of the potential, I still tell
the person I'm telling about this to take their time, study all the possibilities, go at their own most comfortable pace. But the truth is a part of me wants to yell as loud as I can, "Get off your butt, let's do this--wealth, health, and lots of fun are yours
for the asking--what in the world are you waiting for?" So, okay, maybe it's impossible to tell the whole truth to everyone
all the time. But I like it as an ideal to aim for. And if each year of our lives, we can be willing to tell more of the truth to ourselves and others, I think that's a pretty good measure of a pretty good life.
And if you are still interested in this healthy dark chocolate opportunity after that heavy dose of truth, contact me at
You can also check out a couple of my upline team members, Hope Kiah at darkchocolatebenefits.net,
and Susannah Lippman at Alphasonics.com (go to her Chocolate For Health link). Both offer some short, informative videos on why we're so excited about this new business. I am looking for partners, not followers, and that's the truth.