Dr. Joe Vitale’s Blog


The Magic Furnace, or, People Reading is a Joke

I’m typing this on my laptop. Four guys are upstairs putting together my new office. I’m hiding downstairs at the kitchen table, trying not to cringe whenever I hear them bump something or say “Oops.”

Earlier two other guys were here. They are the ones who do maintanence for us, cut the grass, trim the trees, etc. I’m hiring them to build a walking/jogging trail on the back part of our acreage. While here, we got to talking. They came inside to pick up some of my old office furniture, which I donated to them, and they of course saw the mountain of books on the floor, lining the walls, etc. Turns out these guys are big readers, too.

I was stunned. I never would have suspected they were even literate, let alone book worms. I don’t mean that in any way as a negative comment. I like these guys. They are honest, dependable and talented. But both look and act like stereotypical Texas rednecks. They talk with a heavy southern accent, wear battle fatigue clothes, work outside all the time, chew tobacco, and never mention their interests. So how would I have guessed they liked to read books?

The taller of the two said his favorite books are on physics. He just finished a book called The Magic Furnace: The Search for the Origins of Atoms. He loaned it to his partner to read next. I haven’t read the book but it’s said to be about how we all started from star dust. Pretty deep.

Like everyone else, I often judge people based on a first impression. I’ve often been wrong, too. I need to remind myself to just look into people’s eyes when I meet them, meet their spirit, and ask about their interests rather than guess at them.

I wonder how many people mis-judge me, too, based on a first impression?



Why Lindsay Lohan Wants Me Bad, or, How I Lost 80 Pounds in 3 Steps

Several people want to know how I managed to lose 80 pounds and become the Charles Atlas of the Internet.

I think Lindsay Lohan is one of them.

I saw her the other night.

I could tell from the way she looked at me through the television that she has the hots for the new me.

She was on Jay Leno, but I know she was thinking about me.

She, like everyone else, wants to know my secret.

Well, I’m not telling.

At least not today.

I’m putting together my story and my system as a new info product I’ll offer to the world in ’06. I plan to make an infomercial, too. Look out Tony Robbins. Here comes Mighty Joe Young!

I mean, Mighty Joe Vitale!

I did a lot of things to change my life. Some of them were unusual and esoteric. (What would you expect from a guy who wrote Spiritual Marketing and The Attractor Factor?) I also gave up being Italian, but that’s a whole other story. For now, here are the three essential keys to weight loss in case you just can’t wait for the whole system:

1. Everyone needs an exercise program.

I found my exercise program in the Body for Life fitness contest. Bill Phillips started it, and later sold it for enough money to buy his own planet. God bless him, for he has helped millions of people. His program lives on, now going into its eleventh year. The people who have completed the 12-week program are overwhelming evidence that change is possible and the program works. I looked at all their before and after pictures, all of average folks like you and me, and thought, “If they can do it, I can do it.” I’ve been in four contests so far. They map out what to do and have lots of support. I’ve added to their support by hiring trainers, such as famous body builder Frank Zane and Body for Life winner Jeremy Likness. See www.bodyforlife.com

2. Everyone needs emotional support.

I knew I had to do something about my emotions, beliefs, and mindset toward weight loss and exercise, or else I’d just be on another diet that wouldn’t work. (I was in the Body for Life contest ten years ago but didn’t last three weeks. A fitness program alone isn’t enough.) I also knew that food is an addiction, but rarely acknowledged as such. We use food for comfort, safety, escape, diversion, reward, release, and more. I’ve been a food addict. I needed help. I’m forever grateful to Steve Siebold for creating The Mental Toughness Institute for Weight Control. This program elevated my consciousness. I took it three times, mostly for the weekly telephone support and to reprogram my mind. It helped me see that my body wasn’t destined to genetic programming, but to belief programming. See www.mentaltoughnessinstitute.com

3. Everyone needs an eating program.

This one can be tricky. A lot of information out there is contradictory. I began my weight loss adventure by simply cutting calories. That was enough to get me going. Then I followed the body builder’s advice of eating mostly protein. Then I learned from a dear friend, a physician, that his rule is, “No grain and no cane,” meaning no sugar and no wheat. I still follow that one, adding in “No dairy,” too. The same doctor introduced me to the Paleo Diet, which is often called the Caveman Diet. The Paleo rule of thumb is this: If a caveman can eat it, then you can eat it. A caveman wouldn’t eat a pizza because he could never find one, but he’d eat any animal he could catch. So lean meat is okay. These days I’m living a combination of high protein/Paleo Diet. I also eat something, however small, every two to three hours. As long as I do, I never feel hungry and I’m never (well, rarely) tempted to stray. And even when I am tempted to stray, I don’t. See http://www.paleodiet.com/

All of the above are the three essential keys I’ve found to lose weight.

Of course, I’ve left a few very important things out. For example…


If you aren’t motivated to change, then nothing will work. No diet. No exercise. No plan. No way.

If you have motivation, then any diet, exercise, or program will work.

When you have motivation, you won’t be tempted at holidays when desserts are put before you, or at birthdays when the cake is passed around, or at social gatherings where others are forgetting their figure in order to be accepted, or when it’s raining out and you don’t feel like going for a walk.

Where do you get the motivation to change?

Ah, there’s the million dollar question. I wrestled with that one most of my life. And that’s why I wrestled with obesity for most of my life, too.

So, where do you get the motivation to change?

I’ll reveal that, and the rest of the secret formula for permanently losing weight, in ’06.

You didn’t really expect me to give away the farm in this free blog, did you?

Unless you’re Lindsay Lohan, don’t ask!



PS – Get more information about my physical transformation, including seeing before and after pictures, at www.GladiatorGym.com

PPS – If you really can’t wait for my system to be released, which means you must already be motivated to change, then go see Harry Johnson’s terrific program “Beyond Genetic” at http://www.thehealthandfitnesschannel.com/go.cgi?323355 He’s another Body for Life winner, and a wonderful guy, as well. Tell him hi from Charles Atlas. (You know, me.)


Gold in Chaos, or, Finding Old Books Under Thick Dust

I’m neck deep in the de-construction of my office so the remodellers can come in this Wednesday and construct my luxurious new office, complete with two hanging monitors, glass-door bookcases, wooden filing cabinets, floor to ceiling shelving, and much more. The end result will be a work of art I can sit in.

For now, though, my office is chaos.

I haven’t completely cleaned out my office yet, but so far there are piles of books and papers all over the floor right outside the French doors. I’m moving stuff from the inner office to the outer library area. What a mess. I didn’t even start moving books for an entire week because the thought of it was so overwhelming. Now that I’m working at this cleaning and moving a little every day, it’s totally overwhelming.

How did I accumulate so much stuff?

Nerissa reminded me that most geniuses have messy offices. I thought back to guys I knew in college who never cleaned their rooms. They weren’t geniuses. Not even close. Of course, leaving your clothes and beer bottles on the floor isn’t exactly what I’m doing in my office. So maybe there is a difference.

I do know that since my world is books, it’s only natural that I would have a lot of them. I used to go to the library when I was broke. Now I built my own library right here. I have huge collections of books on marketing, fitness, hypnosis, psychology, metaphysics, and magic. Thousands of them. I’d like to say I’ve read all of them. I haven’t. I often read enough to get the gist of a book, and then put it aside. Sometimes I never get to a book, though I long to one day.

There’s gold here, of course. I have rare books, signed books, limited edition books; I have books signed by P.T. Barnum, the great showman and circus promoter. I have one copy of his autobiography with a news release he typed up and signed still stuck in it. It’s a treasure.

There are many treasures here. Another favorite is How to Turn People into Gold by Kenneth Goode. He wrote numerous books and was well known in the 1930s or so. His book on Showmanship in Business is wonderful. I often wonder what happened to him.

My all time favorite book is The Magic of Believing by Claude Bristol. I have two signed copies of the very early editions of the book, which apparently was first self-published. That classic is still in print today, while Mr. Bristol is long gone.

Of course, anyone who knows my work knows I love Robert Collier. I have every known book by him, including of course his legendary The Robert Collier Letter Book. I was an okay writer before that book; I was a Hypnotic Writer after it. I also have a rare brief biography of him that his daughter sent me decades ago.

Then there are the books by Walter Dill Scott, the early 1900s psychologist who wrote the first books on how the mind works, aimed at advertisers. I still love his classic The Psychology of Advertising.

I also love the old school publicists, such as Harry Reichenbach, who promoted movies with wild stunts in the early days of films. His unfinished auobiography is a real joy to read. It’s called Phantom Fame.

I have virtually every book by Alan Abel, a famous hoaxer who today is a friend of mine. He’s a true genius at getting publicity for events. Barnum would have loved him and his humbugs. He’s the brain behind the old movement to clothe animals — a fake organization that the media took seriously for five years. Abel wrote about that event in The Great American Hoax. I so respect Alan Abel that I just hired him to come up with a wild idea to promote the living daylights out of my next book (due out March 7th).

The list of gold goes on: I have many cherished signed books by Neville, the mystic who inspired my website at www.AttractaNewCar.com I even have one extrememely rare book by him, probably his first published work ever, signed, that I paid over $500 to grab on eBay. I later reprinted the book. It’s called At Your Command. (Amazon sells it.)

There are also dozens of audio packages here published by Nightingale-Conant, the company that produced my own program, The Power of Outrageous Marketing. www.nightingale.com

But by and large, the great population of things over-filling my office are books.

I love books. Obviously. But that’s not why I’m writing this post.

I’m writing this post because it’s a way to take a break from the chaos. It’s a way to escape.

Oh, I know the chaos is here. It’s at my feet, behind my back, whispering to me, calling me back…waiting for me to scream out…“I’m coming, already!”

No wonder I’m spending $166 on a bottle of hard booze.

This chaos is driving me to drink.

It’s also driving me to eat.

Nerissa and I went out for dinner last night and I had two bites of cheescake — my first dessert in a year and a half! I didn’t lose 80 pounds by eating desserts!

Breathe, Joe, just b-r-e-a-t-h-e.

A clean office reflects a clean mind.

That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.

A clean office reflects a clean mind.

Though I think Einstein had a messy office.

Guess I better get back to cleaning this office, less I get drunk and fat and just keeping writing in this blog, forever delaying what needs to be done.



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