Dr. Joe Vitale’s Blog


How Three Monks Made Me Smile, or, The Power of Chartreuse

Well, my $166 bottle of CHARTREUSE arrived this morning.

I didn’t open it, though. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It looked too rare, too special, too luxurious to be opened by myself for no good reason at all.

Fortunately I had also ordered a less expensive bottle of the same thing, just aged less. It’s a green Charteuse. (That’s it, above.) I opened it and am having it right now. All I can say is this…

I’ve tasted heaven.

I don’t know who the three monks were who discovered this fountain of youth in a bottle, but I hope God blesses them.

This is mellow stuff. And potent. Take one sip and you feel warm all over.

Then the tensions of the day ease away.

The your mind relaxes.

Then you start smiling for no good reason.

I think I’m in love. Nerissa had a sip and is in love, too. Hopefully with me. But we both are very impressed with this new discovery: CHARTREUSE.

I did a little more research and learned the following (from http://www.nycgoth.com/more/chartreuse/):

Chartreuse is an herbal liqueur made by the Carthusian Monks near Grenoble, France. According to the tale, the formula for chartruese was invented by a 16th century alchemist as an attempt to create aqua vitae (the waters of life.)

Aqua vitae was believed to restore youth to the aged, endow animation to the dead, and be a key ingredient in the creation of the philosophers stone. Though this attempt at its creation seems to fall somewhat short of the legendary effects, it was promoted as a heal-all tonic by the descendant of the alchemist, and was bequeathed to the Carthusian Order upon his death.

This formula of 130 herbs has been secret for nearly 400 years. Today, only three brothers of that monastery know how to make chartreuse.

Charteuse is made in three varieties; yellow chartreuse, green chartreuse, and VEP elixir chartreuse. Yellow chartreuse is a pale golden color, extremely sweet, and tastes roughly like plum wine with a touch of honey, or perhaps a delicate version of Benedictine (which is probably related.)

Green chartreuse is fiery; the shade of green actually named for this liquor denotes an intense herbal taste vaguely reminiscent of absinthe. Also like absinthe, it has an extremely high alcohol content. VEP elixir chartreuse, the rarest and most expensive kind, sacrifices a small amount of green’s intensity for all of the sweetness of the yellow. Only 100 bottles of VEP elixir are produced each year, and it is the variant closest to the original alchemical formula. It is also, supposedly, the most difficult to create.

Though the precise herbs in chartreuse are not publically known, there is a small quantity of thujone, the active chemical in wormwood. This considered, it is no surprise that the intoxication caused by chartruese is both stronger than it’s alcohol content (110 proof) would otherwise indicate, and slightly different because of thujone’s psychoactive qualities.

Green chartreuse is particularly loved in the goth scene because of it’s efficiency; a very small quantity can maintain a buzz for most of an evening, and a larger quantity can take the sharp edges off of everything.

Yes, it takes the edge off everything. A cat just jumped up here beside my keyboard and I’m smiling. Normally I would ask him to leave. I’m waiting for him to type something here, too.

I’m drinking the “green chartreuse” and loving it. I’m not sure what the copywriting or marketing lesson is here, but heck, this is a blog, so I ought to be able to share whatever I want.

Even this.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll open the $166 bottle.

For now, I’m verrrrrrry content with the less expensive green one.

To Your Health,


PS – You can get the less expensive green Chartreuse liquor (pictured above) at http://store.yahoo.com/randalls/pa37264.html And no, I do not make a dime from telling you about the site. I’m not selling, I’m sharing.


Why I spent $166 on a bottle of booze

I’m a copywriter. I know the power of words. They can be used to start wars, start romances, and of course to start sales, too. For example…

When Mark Ryan and I were in LA at the little Italian restaurant I wrote about in my last post, I asked the owner if he ever heard of a rare green colored bitter Italian liqueur translated as “101 herbs.” My second-generation cousin, a Catholic priest in Corpus Christi, Texas, showed me a bottle of it almost thirty years ago. I never forgot it. I also never saw it again. But whenever I meet a pure old world Italian, I ask about it.

The owner never heard of it. But days later Mark did some online research and found something close to it. He sent me the link. It didn’t take much time for me to order the bottle — even though it cost me $166. Here’s the copy that sold me:

“Chartreuse is a unique and extraordinary product rich with history and fascinating lore. This herbal liqueur is produced by monks of the Carthusian order whose magnificent monastery is situated in the French Alps.

In l605 the residents of Chartreux obtained a secret formula to make an “Elixir of Long Life” from plants and flowers growing in the mountains. The formula was gradually perfected and, in 1737, the Elixir, which led to today’s Chartreuse, was released to the world.

Only three monks are responsible for the production; each monk knows only part of the formula. Chartreuse is the only liqueur to be aged in oak vats – and the only one to give its name to a color! Chartreuse V.E.P. (Vieillissement Exceptionnellement Prolong) is made using the same secret formula as the traditional liqueur, with the addition of extra long ageing in oak casks until mellowed to an exceptional flavor.

Each bottle is carefully closed with a wax-sealed cork, and the back label is wax stamped with the Chartreuse seal, before shipping in a wooden box marked with a branding iron. The most mellow of the Chartreuse liqueurs. Mild herbal and floral aromatics. Flavors of honey, saffron, sage, licorice, vanilla, citrus rind, anise, cardamon, white pepper, and many more linger on the palate in a smooth finish.”

Re-read the above and notice what pops out:

  • It involves a secret formula from 1605
  • “Elixir of long life” (re: fountain of youth)
  • Only three monks know the formula — and each only knows part of it.
  • It’s shipped in a wooden box branded with a heated iron

This is the stuff of hypnotic copy. Couple the near excellent writing with my long desire to find the rare and mysterious “101 herbs” bottle and you’re on the way to a sale.

But what about the price?

Each bottle cost $166.

Why would I spend so much on a bottle I never heard of before?

I justifed the purchase by telling myself my birthday is December 29th, so why not give it as a gift to myself?

I’ve said this time and time again for over twenty years but it’s worth repeating:

People buy for emotional reasons and justify their purchase with a rationalization.

The rare bottle of booze appealed to my emotions. Getting it for myself as a birthday present was my “logical” reason to spend the money.

But look: It all comes down to copy. Had the copy been lousy or incomplete, I wouldn’t have spent $166 for a bottle of booze — the most I have EVER spent — and I wouldn’t be writing this post to you. The words ignited the desire within me, and my mind did the rest to rationalize the purchase.

If you want more sales, learn how to write hypnotic copy. Get my software at http://www.hypnoticwritingwizard.com/ and/or my definitive guide to learning it all at http://www.hypnoticmarketingstrategy.com/

And to get that expensive, rare, secret Chartreuse liquor (you know, for your birthday), see http://www.internetwines.com/rws23800.html

Happy Thanksgiving!

Joe “Mr. Fire” Vitale

PS – To help you improve your copywriting skills, you might also check out Randy Gage’s “Copywriting Secret Manual” at http://www.TheCopywritingCourse.com


Living Bliss, or, My Awakening at the Hands of a Hawaiian Shaman

I’m back from my trip to LA.

It was bliss.

It was divine.

It was beyond all expectations.

It went from visiting the famous muscle beach area of Venice Beach, to dinner at sunset on the beach in Malibu, to discovering a treasured book at a famous book store in LA, to being wined and dined at an upscale LA restaurant, to the deepest and most stimulating conversations with a dear friend, to the actual experience of meeting the Divine in the ho’oponopono workshop, led by the world’s most unusual therapist, who lovingly picked on me throughout the event.

Here are just a few highlights…

My friend Mark Ryan picked me up at the airport, running a DVD camera as I walked up to him, filming every moment of my arrival. Nothing like being put on the spot and being treated like a movie star in LA. I should have shaved first.

When Mark realized I had never explored LA before, he became tour guide and took me to Venice Beach. The ocean waves, the people, the clear sky and cool air, were intoxicating. The quaint shops along the beach were fascinating. But the thing I found most interesting (due to my own fitness transformation) was the muscle beach area. This is where some of the bodybuilding legends used to work out, letting spectators watch and admire their bodies. Mark filmed me at this famous spot. (It’ll show up on my video blog down the road.)

From there, it was a two hour drive to get to Calabasas, a beautiful city where the workshop was held. It turned out to be convenient as we could leave it and get to Sunset Blvd or Rodeo Drive or Malibu or Pepperdine University or anywhere else we wanted in a short amount of time. The LA traffic was always slow, but it never bothered me. I wasn’t driving (being chauffeured is truly wonderful) and during the rides Mark and I had the deepest of conversations, about life, success, the workshop and more.

The only thing I really wanted to see in the LA area was the legendary Bodhi Tree Book Store. It’s a giant spiritually oriented store, with one building for new books and another for old ones. We went there Saturday night. I enjoyed it because I love books. But I never expected to find a real gem of a book there, let alone a fascinating author I had never heard of before.

We were wandering the store when a book seemed to leap off the shelf. It’s called Think: The First Principle of Business Ethics. It’s a collection of lectures by Walter Russell. Now get this: The lectures were given in the 1930s to the employees of IBM. And the lectures were on how to use your mind for success, how to listen to the universe and then take action, how to create your own reality with your thoughts, etc. Whew. This was a mystic teaching sales people how to become whole. He even told them that it was more important to forget money and just serve, than to focus on profit. The book shows IBM began from spiritual roots. I still can’t believe I missed that book or that author until now.

Mark knew about Walter Russell and said he was a modern day Da Vinci or Michelangelo. Russell excelled in numerous arts, from painting to sculpture to philosophy to science to writing and speaking. And he taught sales people how to improve themselves in order to profit. And he taught this in the 1930s, the Great Depression years here in America. He was an early practictioner of The Attractor Factor. Amazing.

After the bookstore (which alone was a memorable experience), Mark called a friend of his, a woman who owns the most famous dry cleaning service in LA. (Imagine how good it must be to have that distinction in LA.) She serves the rich and famous. Well, she made some calls and got us into a charming but busy little Italian restaurant in Sherman Oaks called Tiramisu. The owner treated us like royalty. Even though Mark was in cut off jeans and I was dressed causally, the owner said, “This is Southern California. You wear whatever you like.”

That owner, Peter Kastelan, was a delight. His service was stunning. I told him about being in Rome, Italy and how the nuns there pampered Nerissa and I and even gave us home made wine and homemade grappa (potent alcohol made from the leaves of grape vines). He went behind the counter of the bar and pulled out a bottle of clear alcohol. “My father made this grappa in Italy,” and he poured us a glass. He refilled our cups, too. My world was spinning by the time I got back to my hotel. But oh, was I happy.

After reading my previous post (The World’s Most Unusual Therapist), you probably want to know about the therapist, Dr. Len, and the actual event I attended. Well, I’m forbidden to share the details of the workshop. I’m serious. I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement. All I can tell you is this: It is about taking full resposibility for your life.

I know you’ve heard that before. So have I. But you’ve never taken it to the all encompassing extent taught in the workshop. Complete responsibility means accepting it all — even the people who enter your life and their problems. Because their problems are your problems. They are in your life, and if you take full resonsibilty for your life, then you have to take full responsibility for what they are experiencing, too. (Re-read that. I dare you.)

This is a head warping, mind opening, brain cramping concept. To live it is to transform your life as never before. But to even grasp the idea of 100% responsibility is beyond what most of us are ready to do, let alone accept.

But once you accept it, the next question is how to transform yourself so the rest of the world changes, too.

The only sure way is with “I love you”. That’s the code that unlocks the healing. But you use it on you, not on others. Their problem is your problem, remember, so working on them won’t help you. They don’t need healing; you do. You have to heal you. You are the source of all the experiences.

That’s the essence of the modernized ho’oponopono process.

Go ahead and chew on that for a while.

While you are doing so, I will just keep saying I love you.

Don’t get it? I understand. That’s why there are workshops to help ingrain this universal truth into us. And that’s why so many people keep repeating the workshop, especially the one led by Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len.

Dr. Len (that’s him on the right above) is a lovable, grandfatherly, modern day Hawaiian shaman dressed in dockers and sneakers. His teaching method is intuitive and Socratic. He called on me so many times during the three day event that others thought we were old friends. Some felt he was “picking on” me, mainly because he often asked questions I could not answer. But neither could anyone else. So I never felt picked on, and always liked the attention. Dr. Len told everyone to read my book, The Attractor Factor, saying he loved the concept of letting go (the fifth step) in it.

After the event, I asked Dr. Len if I could help him write a book or something about his experiences in that mental hospital for the criminally insane. (See my earlier post.) He agreed, and I’m excited to be following up on that later. That story just has to be told. Imagine: Healing mentally ill criminals by healing yourself.

I cou
ld go on and on about the weekend. Everywhere we went we met happy people. I still remember the server at Duke’s in Malibu, who radiated happiness. She admitted she was in bliss…and she confessed she had no good reason for it. She was just plain happy.

She understood the secret of the universe.

And to think we were finding this bliss in LA, which is no small Mayberry.

Gee, do you think Mark and I simply attracted all this good stuff?

Finally, here’s a funny story to end this post:

At one point a fellow student in the class walked up to me and said, “Did you know you have the same last name as a famous speaker?”

“I do?” I asked, surprised. I thought I would have heard of him. “What does he speak on?”

“He talks about Internet marketing.”

“That’s me,” I said.

The guy was slightly embarrassed and said, “I have all of your stuff and love it. I just didn’t recognize you.”

Mark piped up and said,”He’s lost 80 pounds. He’s a new man.”

And that I am. Both on the inside and on the outside.

All in all, my trip to LA was heavenly.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.

I’m sure you have something to be grateful for.

I do.

In Love,


PS – Here are some resources for your pleasure:

Walter Russell http://www.philosophy.org/
Italian cafe in LA www.il-tiramisu.com
Bodhi Tree Bookstore http://www.bodhitree.com/
Ho’oponopono http://www.hooponopono.org/
Mark Ryan http://markjryan.com
Dr. Len www.businessbyyou.com
My video blog www.drjoevitale.blogspot.com
Joe Vitale main site www.mrfire.com


The World's Most Unusual Therapist

Two years ago I heard about a therapist in Hawaii who healed people but never saw them.

He worked in a mental hospital for criminals. Patients there were sedated and often even shackled. Staff called in sick a lot because they hated their job, the patients, and the environment.

But this therapist turned all that around. He did it solely by working on himself, doing an updated ancient Hawaiian healing method called ho’oponopono.

It took me two years to accept this story. I was fascinated but thought it was an urban myth. After all, how could a therapist cure anyone by working on himself and not even seeing the actual patients? It didn’t make any sense.

I heard about this therapist again this past summer. The story began to bug me so I began to research it. It seemed to take forever to find the man, but I did. I emailed him, asked if I could interview him, and he agreed.

We spoke on the phone for an hour. He’s now elderly, lives in California and Hawaii, and teaches people how to do this updated old healing method in private seminars.

He told me that he worked at that mental hospital for two years. He said it’s true that he never saw a client. What he would do was look at the patient’s file and then look within himself, trying to clear what was in him that created the patient and his condition.


The therapist said everything in your life is created from within you. When you change you, the outer world changes.

I’ve heard this before, of course. I’ve even written about this in my book, The Attractor Factor. But this unusual therapist was taking the idea of total responsibility into unknown territory. He was claiming that he could heal people — even mentally ill criminals — by healing himself.

He went on to tell me that in a few months of doing his inner work at that hospital, patients began to improve. Many that needed sedated no longer needed sedated. Many that were in chains could be freed. And many that had been in the mental hospital for seven years, were actually being released. Even the staff started to get better, beginning to love their job and joyfully showing up to work every day. In fact, so many patients got better, that the hospital closed.

Incredible. Simply incredible.

I wanted to know more. I kept probing to find out how this therapist actually heals himself to heal others. What was he doing inside himself, anyway?

“I just keep cleaning,” is all he could say.

Well, I’m leaving today to go see this therapist. I’m catching a plane to LA in just a few hours. I’m attending his seminar. I’ll do my best to report what happens at his workshop when I get back next week.

For now, check out this unusual therapist, named Ihaleakala Hew Len, and the updated ho’oponopono process at http://www.hooponopono.org

If nothing else, be sure to read the mind-expanding article at http://www.hooponopono.org/Articles/self_i-dentity.html

Towards the Light,



The Formula, or, What kind of sites actually sell today, anyway?

A few people have looked at my homemade wine making site at www.dadshomemadewine.com and complimented me on the short, sweet, folksy style of it. While that is flattering, the fact remains that the site doesn’t actually sell. Oh, there’s a product for sale on the site. But few buy it. Alas. The site is a bomb.

So what types of sites do sell today?

Is there a formula for sites that sell?

Though no one outside of real world marketing likes to hear it, the sites that sell are typically hard hitting, benefit rich, long copy packed, reader focused and easy to read. But no one notices the ease of reading because they are too busy actually buying the product they just read about.

If you want to create a website that sells, don’t model my homemade wine site. I was lazy when I wrote it. Instead, model something like the Pelman site that Pat O’Bryan and I have up at http://www.pelmanismonline.com/ That site sells more than anything either Pat or I ever expected or predicted. It still sells. Why? Study the site and see. And then compare it to www.dadshomemadewine.com

I just had http://www.moneybeyondbelief.com/ rewritten because the original copy for it sucked. So it’s not un-common to have to rewrite sites so they actually make sales. We all have to do it. Even me.

But what about an actual formula for money-making websites?

Is there one?

Yes, there is a new trend in creating sites that sell that you need to know about. I’m probably nuts to share this with you for free, but here goes.

Here’s the exact formula:

Step #1. Today it’s wise to first have a squeeze page where people get teased about your product. You are essentially “squeezing” contact info out of visitors. They can’t get more info unless they part with their email address. This site can be short, sweet and even folksy. The idea is to collect email addresses so you can follow up with people later if they don’t buy today.

Step #2. After they give you their email address, they are taken to the actual website, which more often than not will be long copy, benefit rich, and structured to make the sale. This is typically where old school online marketing began. What you are doing now is assuring a follow-up. If people see the site and still don’t buy, there’s always…

Step #3. Because you now have their email address, which they voluntarily gave to you, you can send follow-up sales pitches (usually by autoresponder) to these visitors until they either buy, die, or unsubscribe. Believe it or not, up to a whopping 70% of these people will end up buying later if your product, offer and copy are right.

Pat and I are using this new formula right now at http://www.milagroresearchinstitute.com/mmm01.htm

Go take a look to see how this new 3-step strategy works.

I’ve just given you a proven formula for making websites that make money. I ought to charge for this, but here I am, giving it away. I just hope you use it. At least test it.

To Your Success,