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In a world of information overload, whoever appears to be the most reasonable can influence or control the overloaded.

There’s no historical precedent for the amount of information the average person has at their fingertips, today. Anyone with a phone can bring libraries of information to bear on each and every decision.

But information is not knowledge. And knowledge is not wisdom. Without wisdom, it’s hard to tell what information applies to which decision.

This challenge, to the average person, is an opportunity for:

  1. Those who would seek to influence.
  2. Those who would seek to control.

Influence vs. Control

Whether influence is good or bad can only be determined by context and discernment. For now, I’ll confine “influence” to that with no destructive intent.

Control, on the other hand, is the desire to obtain consent for the purpose of domination. I’ll explain why consent is necessary, later in this article.

How can you tell whether someone is seeking benevolent influence or destructive control?

Those Seeking Influence …

… behave like vendors in a marketplace. They present the pros and cons of an idea or product and leave you to decide for yourself.

Those Seeking Control …

… bully, rather than inform or persuade. For example, any one of Schopenhauer’s 38 stratagems might be used to give the appearance of being right; with little or no interest in actually being right:

  1. The Extension (Dana’s Law)
  2. The Homonymy
  3. Generalize Your Opponent’s Specific Statements
  4. Conceal Your Game
  5. False Propositions
  6. Postulate What Has to Be Proved
  7. Yield Admissions Through Questions
  8. Make Your Opponent Angry
  9. Questions in Detouring Order
  10. Take Advantage of the Nay-Sayer
  11. Generalize Admissions of Specific Cases
  12. Choose Metaphors Favourable to Your Proposition
  13. Agree to Reject the Counter-Proposition
  14. Claim Victory Despite Defeat
  15. Use Seemingly Absurd Propositions
  16. Arguments Ad Hominem
  17. Defense Through Subtle Distinction
  18. Interrupt, Break, Divert the Dispute
  19. Generalize the Matter, Then Argue Against it
  20. Draw Conclusions Yourself
  21. Meet Him With a Counter-Argument as Bad as His
  22. Petitio principii
  23. Make Him Exaggerate His Statement
  24. State a False Syllogism
  25. Find One Instance to the Contrary
  26. Turn the Tables
  27. Anger Indicates a Weak Point
  28. Persuade the Audience, Not the Opponent
  29. Diversion
  30. Appeal to Authority Rather Than Reason
  31. This Is Beyond Me
  32. Put His Thesis into Some Odious Category
  33. It Applies in Theory, but Not in Practice
  34. Don’t Let Him Off the Hook
  35. Will Is More Effective Than Insight
  36. Bewilder Your opponent by Mere Bombast
  37. A Faulty Proof Refutes His Whole Position
  38. Become Personal, Insulting, Rude (argumentum ad personam)

Personal Favorites

  1. Declaring as “over”, debates that have hardly begun.
  2. Declaring as “debunked”, valid concerns yet to be addressed.
  3. Declaring as “discredited”, persons of integrity.
  4. Declaring as “concluded”, discussions that have hardly begun.
  5. Threats in lieu of persuasion.
  6. Imposing artificial deadlines for a decision.
  7. Declaring that “everybody does it” while providing no specific examples.

All of the above are attempts to deceive, rather than inform or persuade.

The Debate is Over!

Whenever I hear someone say, “The debate is over”, I know an end has been pronounced by someone desperate to avoid a beginning. I also know that the one making the pronouncement has made an investment, either monetary or emotional, that debate would put in jeopardy.

Global/Climate (Cooling | Warming | Change)

The first time I heard the phrase “Global Cooling” was in a sentence declaring the debate about it to be over. The phrase was then changed to “Global Warming” in the  same sentence declaring that debate to be over, as well.

Finally, the phrase was changed to something for which no debate is necessary: “Climate Change”. Indeed, climate is 100% guaranteed to change, forever!

The debate is over on a lot of things: ocean waves, morning dew, childish innocence. If the debate about something is declared to be over before it’s even begun, the one making the declaration has something to hide.

The Information Advantage

Due to the amount of information available, those who seek control must compete in the “marketplace” of ideas. They must not only to appear reasonable, but the most reasonable among competing alternatives. This “most reasonable” appearance must persist for as long as it takes to obtain a lasting form of control. The best of these is a binding contract, either signed or opted into.

Consent is Required for Lasting Control

Without consent, control is temporary. It lasts only as long as you remain fooled.

With consent, however, control lasts for the length of the contract.

The Jurisdiction of Reasonableness

Mere opinions, and the bullying tactics used to get them accepted, don’t matter unless there’s a valuable jurisdiction to be gained, and a judge to decide who gains them.

Those who don’t seek control rarely think about things like jurisdictions and judges. Those who do seek control, however, think about little else. They spend most of their time campaigning for appointment, by you, to be a judge in one of the most important jurisdictions of all: your mind.

Your mind is not only a jurisdiction, but the deciding jurisdiction of all others.

Agreement Types

Contractual opt-ins are becoming more and more subtle. For example, the mere breaking of a plastic seal on the box for a TV or appliance, is the opt-in for many EULAs (End-User License Agreements).

Still, an actual signature “on the dotted line” of a contract is the best legal mechanism of control.

The Debt-Contract Example

Only a handful of contracts, spread across the 7 Matters of Life, are needed to control most aspects of life. Three debt-contracts illustrate the point:

  1. Student loans — 10 Years.
  2. Car Loan — 5 Years.
  3. Mortgage — 30 Years.

One of these three contracts enslaves a large percentage of the world. To avoid that fate, consider two questions, before signing one of them:

  1. Are you fully aware of the educational, transportation, or housing alternatives that would fill these needs without going into debt?
  2. Do you not know that, if you present yourselves to anyone as an obedient slave, you are a slave of the one whom you obey? (Romans 6:16)

Some Legal Terms

Contracts are as good, or bad, as the words they contain.

Most liberties are not “lost” or “stolen”. They are surrendered, voluntarily, through legal contracts. It’s worth understanding some legal terms around such contracts.

To bear witness v. — To solemnly assert something, offering firsthand authentication of the fact; often concerning grave or important matters.

Truth (quality) n. — Conformity to reality or actuality; often with the implication of dependability.

Message — truth n. — A message that conforms to reality or actuality; whether historical (in space and time) or supernatural.

The Usual Campaign Sequence

The campaign to become an appointed judge in the jurisdiction of your mind follows a usual sequence. Think of it as a sales pitch, because that’s what it is.

  1. I am the most reasonable and provide the best options.
  2. You are less reasonable with limited options.
  3. “Those who love the truth hear my voice”1, and sign my contract.

Conclusion

Your mind is the deciding jurisdiction of all others, and you are its primary judge. The cost of retaining this position is choosing the highest source of truth, exploring all options available, and solving problems with a commitment to remain debt-free.

Pay whatever cost necessary to remain the primary judge of the jurisdiction of your mind. If you forfeit that position, all that isn’t immediately lost, is exposed to loss.

In a world of information overload, whoever appears to be the most reasonable can influence or control the overloaded.


  1. John 18:37 (ESV) 

If you want to start a virtual community, don’t. If you have to start a virtual community then what I’ve discovered, after three weeks of exhaustive research, may help you create a good one, and realize the benefits.

#1 Facebook for the Masses

Facebook is the best and worst of the social media community platforms. They all have one thing in common: you are the product. You are the value they “provide”. Your data, your community, and anything Facebook can gather through your interactions, is the product they sell back to … You.

In return for the value you provide, you’ll be constantly reminded that your presence on Facebook is a privilege. In return for that privilege, you agree to:

  • Lose control over your data.
  • Forfeit exclusive copyrights of your data.
  • Be unable to locate threads, links, or documents of interest after they’ve scrolled off the main screen.
  • Put up with the ebbs & flows of FB’s politically correct censorship.
  • Be subject to the collapse of your community at their whim.

If need compels you to “go where the people are” then start a FB group (Not a personal or business page, but a group). Don’t get too attached to your “likes”. What may take you years to build, Facebook can, has, and will, collapse overnight. And just like that, thousands of conversations, links, documents, and stories disappear down the memory hole.

#2 A Forum for Serious Matters

If you’ve decided to run a virtual community on a serious subject, with people that matter, then skip Facebook and start interacting with the actual people. If you can’t do that in person, install a private forum on a private server and encourage people to join.

Facebook, and most other social media outlets, are best used as a supplement to a garden that already feeds your community. That primary garden is either personal “real life” interaction, or, a private online virtual community. Both are under the stewardship and control of the community, itself.

#3 Forum Software

The time, people, and data involved in maintaining and participating in a forum is so precious, it’s foolish to compromise on platform or functionality, if you don’t have to. Happily, the costs and capabilities of the software and servers that host it are such that compromise is unnecessary.

I recommend myBB as a “free” starting point, and XenForo as your final platform. If cost isn’t a factor, skip myBB and start your forum on Xenforo. Otherwise, there’s an import function built-in to Xenforo, enabling the import of your myBB forum data, later. There’s also a professional service that will perform the migration for you, cms2cms.

My research on forum platforms was comprehensive and inspired by my own desire to start an online community. I have no skin in the forum software game, other than that. However, if you want to do your own research, here’s a good starting point comparing the features of 67 forum platforms: forummatrix.org.

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#4 Why Not vBulletin?

With it’s large installed user base and functionality, I thought vBulletin was a slam dunk as the optimal platform. I was wrong.

Four leading developers of vBulletin split from gelsoft because they wanted to re-write the code from scratch rather that keep adding patches (per vB mgmt.) Sure enough, after the lawsuit was settled vB has had difficulties keeping pace with bugs and new developments. The latest V5 version has a terrible reputation and they stopped supporting version 4.3, which is what most of their large installed user base is using.

On the other hand, XenForo (which has all of vB’s functionality and the benefit of having been re-written on a new platform) is sailing smoothly due to their re-write. The developers “won” the lawsuit because they re-wrote new code from scratch during their 365-day non-compete clause.

If you go with vBulletin, I think it will lead to a boxed canyon in the mid-term. New plug-ins, and integrations with new internet functionalities, will be slow in coming, if they come, at all. If some functionality comes along that’s crucial to your business, you’ll have to migrate to Xenforo to get it. Therefore, why not just start with Xenforo from the beginning?

Surprisingly, myBB is has almost every feature vBulletin has. It’s also free, open-source, and well-designed. Still, if you have the money, skip myBB and start building from the start on Xenforo.

#5 Scalability

Here’s a Xenforo forum with 56 million posts.

Enough said on scalability.

#6 Time

20 hours per week in administration and board moderation is a good rule-of-thumb for a forum that has enough visitors to pay for itself. The maximum amount of time I could spend is between 3 and 10 hours per week. Therefore, if the forum I’m considering ever “took off” I’d need immediate help so it would not detract from larger purposes.

Including this article, I’ve put 20 hours of research into vetting platforms, and the possibility of starting, a virtual community. That’s time well spent in avoiding getting stuck on the wrong platform. It might turn out to be time well spent in deciding not to start a virtual community, at all. If I do move forward, it will be with the experiences of others informing the implementation so the whole enterprise doesn’t become unwieldy or detract from larger purposes.

#7 Money

Between the cost of the software and the cost of the servers, the monetary cost of putting on a sustainable private forum is $460 per year.

If you install myBB on a server you’re currently using for another website, the additional monetary cost of your forum will be ZERO. That is, until your forum starts to attract users, or you post things on the forum that require disk space and network bandwidth to downloaded by many simultaneous users. To account for that growth — which you, presumably, are trying to make happen — I estimate a mid-term monetary costs of $460 per year.

Xenforo is $140 – $290 for the initial purchase (varies with plug-ins needed) and perhaps 1/3 of that for upgrade privileges per year, thereafter. Since forums tend to eat server resources, I estimate a cost of $20 to $30 per month for server hosting for a moderately busy forum. Your other websites (with moderate to large traffic) could be hosted on the same dedicated server. Therefore, you could consolidate them onto the same dedicated server making the effective increase in server fees be less.

#8 The Hassles of an Online Community

For a birds-eye-view of the kinds of hassles a popular online forum can present, read Steve Pavlina article explaining why he shut his forum down. This article is a MUST-READ for anyone seriously considering the start of a virtual community.

#9 Monetization

All forums are monetized. Here’s my proof: All existing forums cost money and someone is paying for them. The only question is: who pays?

If a forum is paid for, directly, by one person or entity, the forum is sponsored. Sponsorship is a form of monetization.

Forum participants only view a forum as being monetized if they see ads or have to pay an entrance fee of some kind. There are many more ways than that to monetize a forum:

  • Sponsorship
  • Display ads
  • CPM – Cost per Impression
  • CPA – Cost per Action
  • CPC – Cost per Click
  • Classified ads
  • Affiliates
  • Premium Memberships

That’s not to say that a forum will ever become profitable. Most of the forums I’ve read about are considered to be doing well if they break even.

My view on monetizing a forum is that a community worth having is a one worth paying for. What I’m not sure about (that Steve Pavlina’s article has me contemplating) is whether a community that doesn’t pay for itself is worth having.

#10 One Forum, Multiple Communities?

Could one forum handle multiple communities?

Yes, but the communities that work best in that scenario are sub-communities of a larger purpose. A good example of this is a corporate forum handling company-wide categories and topics. Employees would log-in to keep abreast of the two or three categories of their interest. The remaining categories would be unread, or specifically reserved, for groups with other interests or responsibilities.

Another example of one forum serving multiple communities is a forum for a church. Only one forum need be created, and maintained, to accommodate a large church. Still, very few members would be interested in every category on the forum. A hundred or so ministries, and all activities, within one church could be easily handled by one forum.

The limit to the number of sub-communities a single forum can accommodate is a function of the coherence of governance between sub-communities.

#11 Customer Service Platform?

This is an interesting use of a private forum: For each product you sell start a new support thread on a forum. This enables all your customers to see the latest status of the product. Theoretically, it could save a busy retailer, or consultant, from being overwhelmed by individual customers asking the same questions. It could also be a great place to put FAQ’s for your company, service, or product.

The comment section of your product page could function in the same way. However, as most product pages are now designated landing pages, they no longer include comment sections. Starting a forum around your products might be a great way to serve that need.

#12 Should I Start a Forum, or Not?

With all the costs, time, and hassles involved in running a private forum, why have one, at all? This is a question I’ve not yet answered, for myself.

SM Comparison Table
 Service Capability
1 to 1 1 to Many Many to 1 Many to Many
E-mail Y Y Firehose N
Twitter N  Y Clumsy N
FaceBook Y  Y Confusing Share Rules
Forum Y  Y Y Y

 

There are four things a private forum does, extremely well. They:

  1. Provide a means for communicating with people you want to talk to, or have to talk to, for which the conversations are most beneficially conducted in a group setting.
  2. Serve as a rare, nearly optimal, vehicle for all four types of interactions with people: 1 to 1, 1 to many, many to 1, many to many.
  3. Function as online knowledge and resource repositories. I’ve greatly benefitted from forums around subjects I didn’t become interested in until the most active phase of the forum had already passed. Such forums, to me, were like floating spaceship libraries I was very thankful to find in “outer space”.
  4. Facilitate group conversations with people that matter.

Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.1

A recent conversation with a friend (who wants to start a Martial Arts studio) inspired me to revisit the topic of business vetting. The questions in this article were inspired by our conversation. What better place for a “victorious warrior to win first and then go to war…” than in vetting the business of a martial arts studio?!

The High-Paying Activities of Business Vetting & Negotiation

Negotiating is one of the highest paying activities if the return is measured by the time spent negotiating. Higher still is the activity of business vetting. The stakes are, by definition, higher than any deal the business will ever do. After all, no money can be made (or lost) in a business that doesn’t exist.

What’s at stake when vetting a business, however, is far more than money. People invest a large portion of their lives into a business to make it successful. If the time & money invested doesn’t lead to a return, or leaves them in debt, then it would have been far better to have not started the business, at all.

I’m big fan of acquiring the skill of business vetting.

Shark Tank

One of my wife’s favorite shows is “Shark Tank”. We often get drawn into vetting business ideas when watching that show. I wrote How to Vet a Business Idea in 10 Minutes to express my thoughts on the subject and make a reference  that might help others.

Business Vetting is Space-Time Travel

Do you think I’m exaggerating by saying business vetting is a form of space-time travel? If so, I beg to differ. If you don’t take it that seriously then you’re in danger of losing large chucks of time and money. The stakes of either a “Go” or “No-Go” decision are immense. The mission, if you choose to accept it, involves:

  1. Deep consideration of the experiences of others.
  2. Knowledge of location and service.
  3. Intimate knowledge of self.

Keeping all these factors, and more, in mind, around a business that doesn’t yet exist, is serious mind-work. Li Ch`uan sums it up, as follows:

Given a knowledge of three things—the affairs of men, the seasons of heaven and the natural advantages of earth—, victory will invariably crown your battles.1

Martial Arts Studio – Questions, Factors, Mentors & Ideas

Subject expertise is only a starting point in creating and running a business around that expertise. I have no expertise in the Martial Arts or the studios in which they’re taught. Someone with expertise could make a better list. But, they wouldn’t make a better list without placing a high value on business vetting and letting go of their fears of exploring the unknowns.

Pedigree

Dojo’s seriously value their pedigree. Who started the art? What inspired them? What problem were they trying to solve? What is their philosophy? Who were their first students? Then the same questions start over, again, with the first students and the next.

Certifications & Organizations

  • Organizations to become member of?
  • Do members typically make a profit?
  • Mentor sign-off/Certification?
  • Entity Choice?

Tools: Studio equipment, posters, mats, props, safety, uniform suggestions, patch design, belt systems, belt requirements, rate of progress?, web site formats/info, accounting programs, taxe, entity choice?

Location

  • What factors do successful studios consider before choosing a location?
  • What factors would successful studios have considered if they could relocate?

Students

  • What is the expected # of students per population size of the city?
  • What is the needed # of students needed to pay for average expenses?
  • What is the average age range of students that make a long-term commitment to the art?

Mentor Modeling of …

When vetting a business, the ideal is to find a real-life mentor who’s “been there before”. If you find one, do whatever it takes to spend time with them. Take your potential business out for a virtual walk by asking them about theirs. Every word out of their mouths is pure gold. The mission is to Simulate Virtual Failure (To avoid actual failure).

  • Fees?
  • Schedules?
  • Number of Instructors needed per students served by studio?
  • Do you pay advanced students to handle instructor overflow?
    • How Much?
  • Seasonal Considerations?
  • Private Lessons
    • Offered?
    • Price?
    • Schedule?
  • What’s your day/week/month/year like?
  • What do you wish you had done (that I could do, now)?
  • What are you about to try (that I could also try)?
  • Profit expectations per location?
  • What obstacles were crucial to overcome to breakthrough to success or smooth operations?
  • What are common obstacles that have taken down other MA operations (That I could start planning to overcome, now)?

The Ideal Time to Fail, and to Succeed

The ideal time for a business to fail is before it starts. That is, before time and money (or fortunes) have been invested that may never be recouped. Ironically, as captured in the Sun Tzu quote at the beginning of this article, the ideal time for a business to succeed is also before it has started.

The “enemy”, for business vetting purposes, is any factor, external or internal, that would cause the business to fail, or become unsustainable. Would you prefer to subdue your enemies after they surprise you or before they even know there’s a war?

For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.1

There’s so much to running a business that owners must subdue most “enemies” without fighting. Otherwise, they’ll be fighting all day. A Martial Arts studio, especially, ought to save the fighting for the mats.

Try to Talk Yourself Out of It

Entrepreneurs are naturally optimistic. To counterbalance this natural demeanor, try talking yourself out of the business you’re vetting, instead of into it.

If you can talk yourself out of a business idea, then you should. Doing that, gracefully and thoroughly, is what How to Vet a Business Idea in 10 Minutes is meant to accomplish. As my friend, David, used to say:

If you want to be a writer, then don’t. If you have to be a writer, then good luck to you.

Successful Vetting ‘Failures’

I have no idea if a Martial Arts studio is a good business or not. In this section, I’m not speculating, either way. I’m merely offering an example of what a successful vetting “failure” might look like.

What if my friend gets to the end (or middle) of vetting her business and realizes that running her own studio is not going to work? Maybe it won’t pay for itself, won’t make enough of a profit, would require 70-hours-a-week, or that she’s got the right idea for the wrong location, etc. Would that mean she’s, somehow, failed?

Not, at all! She could then redirect maximum effort and resources back into her passion for the Martial Arts. She’d only be able to do that with resources that weren’t lost (on a business that wouldn’t have succeeded, anyway). One of the worst possible outcomes of a failed business is to leave the owner, not only drained of money and energy, but drained of passion for the service, or product, that made them want to start a business in the first place!

If a Martial Arts studio is a “No-Go” for her location then perhaps her “Go” would be to switch gears to offering private lessons, only. Perhaps those private lessons could be made available only to exclusive clients who would pay more for her time. Maybe there’s a resort in her area that would love to have a Martial Arts teacher on tap to teach high-paying classes to guests. If a studio-sized operation won’t break-even, or make a profit, then she’ll be making more profit on her first private lesson than she would have made by running an entire studio!

Passion vs. Business Forms of Expression

I believe all non-destructive passions are good. And yet, where the application of our passions may fit into a business is not always obvious, or conventional. One of the best payoffs of good business vetting is the preservation of our passions so they may be optimally applied, later. The conventional application of well-known passions or talents, may have little or nothing to do with what makes money. It may also have little or nothing to do with their optimal deployment. We should indulge our passions, anyway. Develop them, and enjoy them, while vetting business ideas that may lead to their optimal deployment.

100 to 1

Be willing to get to the end of a hundred business ideas that never start because they can’t succeed. Only then will you have the full confidence and resources to fully engage in a business, around your passion, that will.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.”1

Yep, that Sun Tzu dude knew what he was talking about!


  1. “The Art of War.”, Sun Tzu 

The expectation that your job & spiritual calling must be identical is false. Fortunately, the mysteries of the relationship between the two are revealed with delightful clarity through a careful reading of the Bible. Even non-Christians can gain insights into their own work and aspirations by considering what the Bible has to say about them.

After clarifying the biblical meanings of words like talents, spiritual gifts, natural abilities, job, and spiritual calling, this article will describe 7 ways to integrate your job and spiritual calling.

Total Integration in Perspective

Large overlaps between job and spiritual calling have been more the exception, than the rule, throughout church history. Typically, those who’ve found their calling (At last!) are already making a living with natural abilities. Current jobs then become a platform from which to direct that calling.

However improbable, total integration is a possibility. Apart from traditional clergy and dedicated pastors and worship leaders, the luxuries of a sophisticated division of labor and access to investment capital have made the total integration of job and spiritual calling more possible than ever. However, utmost care must be taken so that believer’s expectations are set with respect to all the factors involved. Where your job and spiritual calling fit on the continuum between “Total Integration” and “No overlap” is a reflection of divine design.

Talents vs. Spiritual Gifts

Talents are the natural abilities you have prior to conversion.

“Talents have to do with techniques and methods; gifts have to do with spiritual abilities. Talents depend on natural power, gifts on spiritual endowment.1

A spiritual gift is …

… a God-given special ability, given to every believer at conversion by the Holy Spirit, to share his love and strengthen the body of Christ.2

Believers Have Both

A believer has both the natural talents they were born with and the spiritual gifts received at conversion. Both are at their disposal in everything they do. The spiritual gifts, however, are a special empowerment for the fulfillment of your calling.

Job vs. Spiritual Calling

A job is whatever you do to make a living. Prior to conversion, you have only your natural talents to perform this work. A job may provide the platform from which to direct your calling. However, it does not define your calling nor is it the same as your calling.3

A spiritual calling is a …

… commissioning from God to make a significant difference on this earth. It’s the banner of your life that you carry and wave for God’s glory.3

Spiritual gifts empower the fulfillment of this calling. What God has called you to do, he has empowered you to do.

7 Ways to Integrate Your Job & Spiritual Calling

The relationship between your job and spiritual calling will fall on a continuum between “no overlap” and “identical”.

Working out this relationship can only begin when you …

1 — Answer the Call, Obedience Precedes Results

The first way to integrate your job and spiritual calling is to answer the call. Obedience precedes, and is more important than, results (which are for God to judge). Feelings about not being ready are irrelevant. If you’ve been called, you’re ready to start.

The way to answer the call is probably the same way you found your calling in the first place:

Move forward with confirmation and stay with your holy passion.4

Let external circumstances sharpen, but never stop, the answer to your calling. A sobering view on one consequence of this obedience comes from John Bevere in “Driven by Eternity”:

One believer’s effectiveness may be limited by another’s obedience.

We’re all parts of the body. When one part is not working, the whole body is affected.

Deployable vs. Employable

All gifts and callings are deployable. Not all are employable. Deploy anyway. Even the Apostle Paul continued his trade of tent-making while pursuing his calling of preaching the Gospel.5
Deployment, with no expectation of remuneration or employment, is the best way to discover what the relationship between your job and calling is meant to be.

2 — Connect with an Existing Ministry of Your Church

If your calling fits naturally into an existing ministry of your church then BINGO! Figure out where best to plug in and you’re off to the races!

  • Do you have a list of all the ministries of your church?
  • Does your calling fit naturally into one of them?
  • Are you the missing piece to helping that ministry to continue, grow or thrive?
  • Are they stuck, or not exploring the possibilities, in the area of your spiritual gifts because someone just like you hasn’t shown up, yet?
  • Could your calling be part of a ministry your church has been wanting to move forward on but nobody like you has showed up?

The only way to get these answers is to ask. Depending on the size of your church you might have to ask leaders at multiple levels. Even the lead pastor may not be the person with the answer. Keep asking until you know for sure.

Your church is the ideal platform from which to answer your spiritual calling. So ideal, in fact, that it’s best not to move on to other ways until you’ve thoroughly explored this option.

3— Partnering

… when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.
— Philippians 4:14–17 (ESV)

The Philippians partnered with Paul sending help for his needs. In return, Paul “seeks the fruit that increases to their credit”.

Working with another church is the next best thing to working from within your church. The relationship between the churches will be naturally strengthened through your work. It may even inspire your church to join in. That shouldn’t be your motivation, of course; just a possible outcome to keep in mind.

4 — Donations

Many callings, and the goals of some large charities and non-profits, are fueled largely (or solely) through donations. This could be as simple as putting a donate button on a website or just saying, “Yes”, when asked if you could use some funding.

Don’t be afraid to ask. Be a squeaky wheel for a divine purpose!

5 — Attract (And ask for) Sponsorships

Think of getting sponsorships as making sales for God. You must become lucid on your goals and mission. You’ll also need to list the benefits of success to your sponsor.

  1. What is the specific mission you’re asking to be sponsored?
  2. Who are you going to help?
  3. How are you going to help them?
  4. What will helping them look like? What impact will it have on them and the community where you live?
  5. What will be the benefits to the sponsor if you succeed in your mission?
  6. Is anyone else partnering with you, already? Who else are you working with?

Don’t underestimate the value of your sponsor’s logo on the T-shirts or hats of people performing excellent work in the local community. Seen from your sponsors point of view, your work may be the best representation of their core values apart from the product or service they provide.

6 — Start a Non-Profit

I’ve been watching this process unfold with Dr. Michael Heiser. After many years, and with great  reluctance, Mike’s enlisted help from readers to form a non-profit named after a retreat as named in one of his books. It’s called Miqlat. They’re already doing great work that wouldn’t be as effective, or possible, if performed through a different entity.

Even with all the material and talents available to Mike starting your own non-profit is a daunting prospect. As you’d see from following Miqlat’s’ journey, nobody has all the skills necessary to accomplish all the many tasks and projects required to get one of these off the ground. If this option is for you, let providence enable it to unfold as it should.

7 — Identical or Bust!

The total integration of your job & spiritual calling is the exception, rather than the rule. Still, I can’t leave this option out because it is possible. It’s the defining relationship for traditional clergy, some pastors, some worship and ministry leaders, and many who are called as missionaries.

Now that you understand the difference between jobs and spiritual callings you know that one of them may suffer terribly if the roles are forced, in any way. You are seeking to discover the divine design of the relationship rather than imposing it.

Non-Clergy Example

A better example for those reading this article, however, is probably the example of Dr. Michael Heiser described in the previous way. He has kept his income going through teaching, being a “scholar in residence” at Logos Software (FaithLife Corp.) and is now, slowly, trying to get donations to his new Miqlat non-profit to cover his expenses. This may, at last, free him up to work solely on creating the content that he’s been called to create.

Another example are the many individual employees of FaithLife Corp. I’m sure many of their jobs and spiritual callings are exactly in line with each other.

That’s not to say that one must be as prepared as Mike, or a happy employee of FaithLife, to achieve total integration of job and spiritual calling. In fact, such integration may not be possible or meant to happen, at all. And, if it doesn’t, it’s by no means an indication of failure. It’s more likely an indication of divine design.

This total integration option is best taken to prayer and balanced with the providence of where you live, what your talents and gifts are, and the particulars of your calling.

If You Insist …

The reason for this stubborn belief is the sophisticated division of labor and availability of capital often present in developed countries. For those who absolutely insist that their job and spiritual calling can be identical you’ll need to take on the burdens of understanding all the factors involved. You’ll also need to read up, or take some courses, on entrepreneurship.

More is Expected and Required

Though beyond the scope of this article here’s some great advice from Gary North on taking a run at the possibility of total integration between your job and spiritual calling.

Gary starts with an expanded definition of calling. He defines it as whatever your answer is to this question …

What is the most important thing you can do in which you would be most difficult to replace?

With your answer to that question firmly in mind, Gary recommends asking yourself these followup questions with respect to the marketplace in which you’ll be working:

  1. Where do you have a clear-cut advantage over your competitors?
  2. Is this advantage visible to others?
  3. Can you leverage this outside your present job?
  4. Can this leverage extend beyond your retirement?
  5. Can this leverage extend beyond your death?
  6. What are the technical tools of your leverage?
  7. Are you skilled in the use of these tools?
  8. Are your competitors equally skilled?

As you can see by the questions, you’re now faced with, not only the work of your calling, but interfacing directly with all the forces of the marketplace. Unless entrepreneurship is part of your calling these requirements will degrade your effectiveness.

In good faith, I can only recommend this option for believer’s whose gifts are designed for it. Frankly, any option that would completely stop you subverts Way #1: “Answer the Call, Obedience Precedes Results”.

Conclusion

Large overlaps between your job and spiritual calling are the exception, not the rule. The expectation that they must be identical (Or forced to be identical) is a myth. If that prevents you from answering your calling then myth has spawned tragedy.

In partial summary:

  • Let nothing discourage you (Including this article)!
  • What you’ve been called to do, you’ve been empowered to do.
  • Obedience is more important than results.
  • Every calling is deployable. Not every calling is employable.
  • The relationship between a deployable and employable is not completely in your control.
  • Even the Apostle Paul continued his trade of tent-making while engaged in his calling of preaching the Gospel.5
  • Your calling will almost certainly involve the participation of others in order to be brought to fruition.
  • Your calling will present different challenges depending on the economic realities of where you live.
  • The relationship between deployable and employable will be greatly affected by the location in which you pursue your calling.

Like a brilliant diamond, your calling will need the 5 C’s applied to be made into the masterpiece it was intended to be. It will need to be expertly cut, clarified, colored, carat weighted, and confidence added.

What you’ve been called to do, you’ve been empowered to do!

Check Out My Online Course, “Your Life, On Purpose”

In my upcoming course, “Your Life, on Purpose” I explore and remove the biggest obstacles to discovering and living on purpose. The most prevalent worldviews are compared, word puzzles resolved, and terms further clarified and integrated into a coherent understanding. Upon completing the course terms like purpose, career, meaning, vocation, avocation, success, mission, goal, values, worldview, destiny, gifts, spiritual gifts, spiritual calling, etc. will inform, rather than confuse.

For a free sample module of “Your Life, On Purpose“, and to stay updated on the release of the full course, please sign up for e-mail updates, below. As an added bonus you’ll receive the password for McGillespie’s Free-Resource Library.


  1. Leslie B. Flynn, 19 Gifts of the Spirit. Colorado Springs: Cook Communications, 1974, 1994, 17 – 18. 
  2. Rees, Erik; Rees, Erik. S.H.A.P.E.: Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose for Life (p. 34). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. 
  3. Rees, Erik; Rees, Erik. S.H.A.P.E.: Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose for Life (p. 22). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. 
  4. Dave Patterson, Sermon #3 of “The Big 4” at The Father’s House, January 29, 2017 
  5. “…and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks. Acts 18:3 (ESV). 

If you can read this article you can sell your house without using a realtor.

I’m doing it now and its taken 2-4 hours a week to keep the sale on track.

Selling without using a realtor will save you 4-7% on the sale price. The median priced home in the US in 2008 is $212,400. A 4-7% commission on the sale is $8500- $15,000!

That’s a lot of money.

How long would it take you to save $15K after you pay your mortgage, food, clothing, children’s school, insurance, car payments, income taxes, state taxes and pizza on Fridays?

This is the story of what I did to sell my own house; how it happened, what worked, and what didn’t. I’ll tell you what I would do differently the next time, problems that had to be solved and tips I would offer other sellers who want to sell their house without using a realtor.

Worse Time to Sell, Ever!

There has never been a worse time to sell a house than now (10/8/2008). Truth be told: I had the ability to avoid selling at the wrong time, but, got caught for reasons beyond the scope of this article. I’m not complaining: At least I was able to sell, to find the buyer myself and for what I know to be the highest price possible.

The excess inventory of houses on the market is huge, prices are down 30% and the average house is on the market for 11.2 months before being sold or taken off the market. What made the process harder for me was the constantly falling prices throughout the sale.

If I can sell a house in this market, without a realtor, from three thousand miles away without even showing up for the closing then every seller has good reason to be optimistic.

Help-U-Sell Wouldn’t Return My Calls

The first thing I did was look for a company I saw on 60 minutes called Redfin. I liked their philosophy on breaking out realtor services into parts and giving the seller the option of choosing which services they wanted. Since I was selling from a distance I thought paying for the help would be a wise tradeoff.

There were no Redfin offices in Boca Raton, Florida.

So, I looked for a local Help-U-Sell since they break out their services, too. My wife used them to sell her house in California and had a good experience. She believes it saved her a lot by using them instead of a old-school realtor. They added her to the MLS, advised her on price, did several open houses which eventually produced a buyer.

My first call to Help-U-Sell was not returned. My second phone call to Help-U-Sell was not returned. My friend David called a third time and they didn’t return his call, either.

This is what lit my fuse and got me thinking about selling it myself. If they won’t return my calls maybe they won’t return calls from potential buyers, either? And after my wifes experience I didn’t want to have to pay the whole 6% commission to an old-school realtor.

Brief Summary of My Sale

I live in California and will be closing on the sale of my house in Florida, this week.

I hired a friend to prepare the house for the sale, set the price, found the buyer, arranged for a Title Company to handle the escrow and the paperwork and will not be present at the closing. The title company is sending all the documents to me in California to perform what they call a ‘mailaway’ closing.

I’m not bragging. It’s a description of what happened.

My friend David spent two weeks at the property preparing the house, painting, putting up the sign, hanging a lockbox on the door, gathering info on the local market and fixing up the kitchen and bathroom.

Excluding David’s work, its taken 2-4 hours per week to find the buyer and keep the sale on track.

The Steps

These are the steps you’ll be going through to sell your house:

  1. Preparing the House
  2. Setting the Price
  3. Finding a Buyer
  4. Negotiating the Details
  5. Doing the Paperwork
  6. Solving Problems
  7. Closing

If you’re like me you may think you need a realtor to help with every step. What I’m going to explain in this article is that realtors help you mostly with Step 3.: Finding a Buyer.

I was worried about all the paperwork. All those contracts, disclosures and escrow forms. Don’t realtors handle all that?

No, they don’t. The Title company does. Your realtor just calls one and turns it over to them. You can call one, just as easily. They make the paperwork a breeze.

You have to manage all the other steps, anyway, whether you use a realtor or not. With a little extra effort you can find your own buyer (Step 3), too. If you do, you’ll be paid handsomely by saving yourself a large commission.

To put it another way: Finding a buyer is the most expensive part of the process to outsource.

Warning: This Article Could Be a Book

Some books have one thing to say and take a book to say it. This article has a books worth of things to say and will take an article to say it.

Update: I did have to make this article into a book. It grew to ~20,000 words and is now a mini-book. I’ll post a few more thousands words, here, and you can download the book, for free …

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Searching amazon reveals that people have written books about this subject. I haven’t read them, so, can’t vouch for them.

Searching Google turns up many articles about this topic. I found these articles to be encouraging, but, not conclusive. They don’t seem to be written by actual sellers who went through the whole process of selling their own house. The next time you search for articles you’ll find this one. Problem solved.

The goals for this article are:

  1. To document and guide you through every aspect of one sale: My own.
  2. To be complete enough that you could make a decision to use, or not use a realtor for your own sale.

I’ll be as brief as the subject allows. When you’re selling your own house it won’t seem too long. Hopefully, it will be saving you time, effort and some money, too.

Terminology

A broker holds the licence for a Real Estate office. They are the only legal party eligible to receive the entire commission. It is harder to become a broker than an agent in that there are more tests involved and more legal requirements to keep the license active.

An agent works for a broker and receives a percentage of the commission for conducting the sale.

A realtor could be either an agent or a broker.

This article will use the term Realtor, in most cases. It does’nt matter whether you’re working with an agent or a broker. They’re both realtors and, therefore, working for a commission.

Real Estate Commissions – The Last Dinosaur

The internet has destroyed or brought into the new millennium every commission known to man. Every commission, that is, except for what realtors take for connecting sellers with buyers.

Realtors Make More than Architects?

My brother was an architect. Architects earn one of the hardest BS degrees taking five years of college, not four. When they graduate they spend 5 years preparing for the boards. During that dues paying period they make half as much as a good waitress. When they finally get their board certification they still have to work another five years for another architect because its so difficult to establish a practice. Yet another another 5-year dues-paying phase.

Architects design, draw, code, change, every aspect of material and space and attend to every imaginable detail to bring a building into existence. Their exposure to liability is insane to the point that many can’t afford the insurance.

If an architect does manage to have his own practice the costs to run the practice dwarf those of a brokers office.

What’s the architects commission on a building after this lifetime of preparation, exposure to liability and detailed work on the building, itself? Six percent.

That’s right, the same commission a broker gets.

How would you compare what an architect does for a building to what a realtor does for it? How would you compare the cost of education and training of an architect to that of a broker?

Case closed.

I’m not criticizing Realtors, agents or brokers. I’m criticizing the size of their commission. It’s disproportionately large for what they do compared to an architects work on the same building.

How much work does it take you to earn the money your about to turn over to the realtor for finding a buyer?

The Biggest Deal of Your Life

Selling your house is the largest deal most people will ever do. Optimizing the 6-7% commission on that transaction should be a priority. I say ‘optimize’ instead of save because, if you do pay a commission, you should get the best service you can and pay only for the services you get.

Many people would say they want to use a realtor because it’s the biggest deal of their life. After all, if you pay 7% to an agent that’s still leaves 93%. If you feel this way I still think you should try selling yourself for the first 30-days.

What About the Other Transaction Costs?

Can you save on them, too?

Yes. But, why talk about them before you’ve gone after your biggest cost? The other transaction costs pale in comparison.

DIY, Not!

Just because I want to save the 6% commission to a Realtor doesn’t mean I want to conduct the whole sale, myself. No, thank you! These two things are not the same thing.

Enlisting the talents of other people is a smart thing to do. And its a brilliant thing to do when selling your own house. I received (And paid for) an extensive amount of help on each step of the process.

Several things motivated me to attempt the sale without using a Realtor:

  • My opportunity cost is currently low.
  • I’ve read a lot on the subject and am familiar with the process.
  • I’m an experienced buyer, but not seller.
  • I wanted to see if saving the 6% commission was possible.
  • I have another house for sale and could save 6% on that one, too.
  • If successful I could write this article and help others save a chunk of money in bad economic times.

And, like I said above, Help-U-Sell wouldn’t return my calls. Too bad for them.

Real Estate Expert, Not!

The subject of Real Estate is vast. One could devote a lifetime to all the various aspects to become an expert. Even then, a true expert would have to specialize because there are so many fields of knowledge involved.

So, what?! I didn’t have to be an expert to sell my house, expertly. And, neither do you.

A mere play on words? Not in my case. I’m selling a house, not running a business or a career. I suspect my perspective is more useful to other sellers because I’m not an expert.

You don’t need to be an expert to have each step of your sale be expertly done.

Don’t Become an Agent

Becoming an agent to sell your own house is like “Burning down a house to make toast”. Total overkill. Not needed. In fact, being an agent is probably a liability, see below.

Don’t become an agent just to sell your house.

Liability, Not an Asset

In 2002 I studied to become a real estate broker. I enjoy the subject, read all the prep material and thought about taking the tests. But, working as a broker or agent did not fit my personality so there was little point in getting the license.

One of the things I learned is there’s a downside to being an broker: They’re held to a higher legal standard of performance. In practice, this means you’re exposed to more legal liabilities because its easier to accuse you of negligence if you have a license proving competence.

So, why not just be competent without a license? I’m more interested in having knowledge and understanding than in having a license saying I do. Dishonesty at any stage of selling a house is more likely to blow the deal than anything. But, the law can often be an ass. Let it be an ass to someone else.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not claiming to know as much as a broker or an agent. They have their focus and I have mine. Theirs is to run a business and earn commissions. Mine is to sell my house for the optimal price and keep as much of the proceeds of the sale as possible.

Those two areas of focus are not the same.

John T. Reed – Thumbs Up

Much more helpful than reading the material for the brokers license was reading John T. Reed’s books on the subject of Real Estate. I read all 20 of them and they’re the best survey of the field of Real Estate I’ve ever found. Each of his books describe a different aspect of Real Estate mostly for the benefit of investors, specifically. However, taken in total, the reader is given a practical overview of the subject like no other.

What’s great about John’s writing is his readability when writing about a complex subject. He will tell you in two pages what would take another author an entire chapter if they had the knowledge to say it. In my opinion that makes John an expert’s expert.

Although I highly recommend all of John’s Real Estate books I don’t think reading them is a prerequisite to sell your house without using a realtor. However, there is no doubt that you’ll do a better job of it if you do. You’ll have to decide that based on your goals and time available. It should go without saying that the cost of buying all of his books is nothing compared to the deal you’re trying to optimize.

(Note: This article is a report from the battlefield of my sale. Don’t blame John for mistakes I made and write about in this article. At some point, we all have to stop reading and start doing. I read until I was blue in the face and still made mistakes. That’s just the way it goes when you’re in the ring and have to get the job done. Rest assured I made less mistakes, and lost less money, by learning from others experience and writings.)

How Do You Handle a Hungry Realtor?

By understanding what they do, what they charge, how they talk and what motivates them. You may even end up hiring one. If you do I hope you’ll be able to put their role in perspective and limit their service to the help you need to conduct the sale.

Realtors Want Speed, Not Price

Brokers use price when deciding what state, region, city, neighborhood or type of property to specialize in selling. After that its all about speed. Any broker in their right mind values speed over price.

Brokers make more money if they sell more houses in less time. Even if they’re only selling one house it’s a better use of their time to sell it quickly. No problem, so far. Why tell you the obvious you may be wondering.

Because the higher the price the slower the sale. In fact, if you know the fair market value (FMV) for your house and take 5% off that price John T. Reed refers to it as the ‘Quick Sale Price’. Its called that because you can sell it within a week if the market is efficient.

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Doesn’t Higher Price Means More for Them?

Sure, their commission, based on percentage, goes up with the price. But, the amount the commission goes up as the price rises is small compared to the commission on the whole deal.

Sure they’re supposed to represent your interests and a lot of that is getting the highest price possible. But advising you on the highest price you can get will almost always add time to the length of the sale. That may be ok with you, but, it is not in the realtors best interest.

Even worse, setting too high a price is the most common reason for a deal not going through, at all. And setting the price, even for the ‘experts’ is not an exact science. Why take any risk at all, the realtor may conclude.

I’m not making a blanket accusation of realtors, here. I’m merely pointing out there’s a natural tension between getting the highest price you can and the time it takes to sell. And you should know that the realtor cares a lot more about speed than you do about price.

There’s little to no incentive for the buyer or sellers broker to hold out for a higher price. A realtor will probably tell you if what you’re asking for is too low for the area. But, its more likely a broker will need to talk a seller down in price. Some of that may be to correctly adjust a sellers unrealistic expectations, fine. However, be on the lookout for the suggestion being offered merely to increase the speed of the sale. If it is, make sure that’s what you want to accomplish.

Unfortunately, its always to the brokers advantage to lower the price . . . to increase the speed.

6-7% and The Seller Pays It All

Realtors say they only charge 3%. But, there are two realtors: The buyers and the sellers. They each charge 3%. That makes realtor fees 6%. Most of the time the seller pays it all.

The marketplace has decided the seller has more to gain from the sale than the buyer. I don’t like that, but, it makes sense when you realize the seller has one house to sell and the buyer has many houses to choose from.

Why would a buyer pay broker fees if they can buy the same or similar house and negotiate those fees away? This has become standard behavior so sellers know they have to pay all the broker fees and most of the other closing costs, as well.

The exceptions to this are when the buyer doesn’t have competing choices for the house or has decided they must have a particular house. Any situation that would inspire these feelings in the buyer have the potential for the seller to get the buyer to share in the broker fees.

Do I Have to Pay the Buyers Broker?

Not, at all. But, don’t blow a good deal over it.

Even if you don’t use a realtor you may get a call from a realtor who has ‘found’ you a buyer. As with all people interested in your house I recommend you show it to them.

Don’t Let Them Screen You

Don’t let the buyers realtor screen your position on paying their commission before they show their buyer the house. If they don’t like what you say they may not show their buyer your house even if your house is perfect for their buyer. This would be a violation of their ethical code as a realtor. But, I don’t recommend you risk losing a buyer for your house by relying on their broker adhering to their own ethical code.

On the initial phone call just tell them the truth: You’re willing to consider any offer, agreeable to all parties, that will make the sale go through.

Your Options

If their buyer is interested in making an offer you have the following options for paying the commission to the buyers broker:

  • Recommend the buyer pay since the buyer benefited from their service.
  • Agree to pay them a commission, but, you only pay X% to buying brokers.
  • Tell them you’ll pay if the buyer increases the sales price (Same as buyer pays).
  • Don’t pay them and leave the choice to the buyer (Probably resulting in splitting it).

It’s possible the buyer signed a contract with their broker. That’s got nothing to do with you. Don’t interfere with a contract the buyer may have signed with his broker.

In other words, you have options, but not obligations, if a realtor shows up and wants money from you for a buyer.

Offers to Help With the Sale

When they find out you’re not using a realtor they may offer to help you conduct the sale in exchange for a commission. You should already be prepared to handle the sale, yourself. Tell them no thank you. They have enough to do helping their buyer find a house, a loan and guiding them through the sale. You’ve already got a Title company handling everything and don’t require assistance.

Be Prepared For Intimidation Tactics

You may get all sorts of intimidating advice from Realtors, at this point. All of it is aimed at trying to get you to use a realtor instead of finding a buyer yourself:

  • They may threaten to ‘take away’ their buyer (Which violates their professional obligation to act for the benefit of their buyer).
  • They may imply you’re a fool and know nothing about real estate and should let the experts handle it.
  • They may claim you’ll never sell the house if its not on the MLS, which they can generously put you on (For 3%).
  • They may throw escrow terms around in the hopes that you’ll be intimidated.
  • They may try to confuse you on the steps of the process.

Hopefully, you’ve read my entire article by then and don’t fall for any of it.

Divide and Conquer

This is how ‘experts’ do it: They talk fast and confidently, using terms you havn’t heard, about a subject that’s new to you. Your wife, or you, get nervous and says, “Maybe we should stick with the professionals”. The remainder of the conversation is you pitting your instinct up against their ‘expertise’ on a subject you haven’t yet studied.

Even if you ‘win’ the argument they change the subject and say another misleading 50 words to start over again.

Since you’re going with instinct and it appears the agent is going with ‘facts’ you get in an argument with your wife because she wants to go with the ‘experts’ because the deal involves so much money.

I truly hope this article helps you with that situation. I will give you one example, and how I would handle it, below. However, I can’t address everything that may come up. If you do decide to talk with a realtor I recommend studying up on all the potential things that might come up before the meeting. Especially if your meeting as a couple. Why not print out a copy of this article for your wife?

Heck, at the very least you can show the realtor this article and say, “Why can’t I do what this guy did?”. Maybe it will change the subject into a service you might want to purchase from the realtor. Something costing less than their entire 3%, I would hope.

One Example and How I Would Handle It

Here’s one example of the kind of misleading advice brokers give out. Its from an article on the web written by a Realtor named Elizabeth Weintraub on about.com. The title of the article is Who Pays the Real Estate Commission? How Does an Agent Get Paid?

Elizabeth writes:

“It can be argued and, quite rightfully so, that the buyer always pays the commission. Why? Because it’s typically part of the sales price. If the seller did not sign an agreement to pay a commission, the sales price might have been lowered. And therein lies the appeal of buying homes through unrepresented sellers because, given the same logic, those prices should reflect a net sales price without a commission. But those sellers haven’t quite figured this out yet which causes potential buyers of those listings to be consistently disappointed.”

Ms. Weintraub’s advice is wrong, misleading, insulting to sellers and meant to intimidate potential buyers and sellers of FSBO (For Sale By Owner) properties. Let me explain why:

(Note: This concludes the excerpt from Chapter One of the e-book,  “How To Sell Your House Without Using A Realtor”. It grew to ~20,000 words and is now a mini-book. You can download it, for free, from McGillespie Free Resource Library.)

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“Everything should be as simple as it can be, but not simpler.”

— Albert Einstein

I’ve found that life can be optimized with respect to a minimum of seven areas. Delete any one of them from the equations of your awareness and your life will degrade, sooner or later. Since these areas are irreducible I call them the Seven Matters of Life. They are: Personal, Health, Spiritual, Business, Family, Law, & Government.

The Seven Matters exert an inevitable, if not invisible, influence on our lives. As with natural laws describing gravity, time, the speed of light, etc. they persist whether we ignore them or not. We “escape” them only through acknowledgement and mastery.

My writing is an informational vortex swirling around the Seven Matters. Ideally, it serves as a generational boost to reduce the time needed to put your own life on optimal track.

A Portrait of the Seven Matters

To portray the seven matters I’ll use a pattern-type at the core of natural design: Fractals. Before fractals were discovered, Hollywood was unable to reproduce mountain landscapes without using artist renderings or real pictures of mountains. Now, they use triangles, a computer, and a dash of randomness to create breathtaking landscapes.

The point of using a fractal to portray the seven matters of life is this:

Fractals prove that stupefying complexity can emerge from utter simplicity. The reverse is not true.

Also, I want to make a point, graphically, about the nature of optimizing one’s life:

Even when a complex solution is needed it will inevitably be constructed with simple (not simplistic) components.

The Metatron Cube

One of my favorite fractals is the metatron cube, sometimes referred to as “the flower of life”. It’s formed with 13 spheres set in relation to each other, like this:

Wire Metatron Cube
Within the metatron cube are many other shapes. For example, it contains all five platonic solids.

metatron platonic

In this revolving view the cubic relationships of the same fractal are emphasized.

Metatron in Motion

Fractals can represent infinity by putting the same fractal within itself. Here’s what a metatron cube looks like with each sphere filled with its own metatron cube:

Metatron Infinity

Working Portrait

Please don’t mistake the colorful portrait, below, as “New Age” philosophy with its nauseating relativism. To the contrary, it’s a working portrait of the seven matters  at the core of each person. Though we’re all unique, and at differing levels of development, our design is specific and persistent.

Self Portrait 1
Notice these aspects of the portrait:

  1. The seven inner-spheres of the core correspond closely to the seven matters of life.
  2. The “matter” at the center is Spirit; a reference to the spirit inside you and to God.
  3. Each sphere is a fractal identical to the others, and to the whole.
  4. The outer spheres represent personal interactions with the external world. They are the natural outward reach stemming from the inner core.
  5. To the extent the inner-core is balanced, so is the person, and so are interactions with the external world.

Everyone has these “matters” in their life, in one formation or another. My choice of their positions is, therefore, a kind of self-portrait. Change the position of the “matters”, especially the one in the core, and the resulting life of the person will be quite different.

Psychopaths are all the rage, lately. About 1% of the population meet the clinical criteria for psychopathy.1 That percentage rises to 3-4% in senior executives.2 Many articles and books list their attributes and behaviors. Still, advice on what to do about them is sparse.

I have an idea: use the new tool enabling psychiatrists to standardize their diagnosis and communicate accurately about such “patients”. That is, use the PCL-R (Psychopathy Checklist-Revised) to detect the potential psychopaths in your life. Then eject them before they have a chance to do the damage they seem born to do. You don’t have to be an expert to protect yourself.

If that seems harsh then avail yourself of the innumerable books and articles about these human predators. They rarely create anything but chaos. They’re usually parasites that rely on the productivity of others to supply for their every need. And yet, human hosts abound. Hosts, who don’t realize they’re facilitating their own demise until it’s too late.

I wrote a book about a suspected psychopath to thicken the non-fiction part of his résumé. He hasn’t been brought to justice, yet, but perhaps my book will put a digital noose around his neck, in the meantime. In Chapter 13 of “The Creature from Galt’s Gulch” I used eyewitness accounts to compare the suspect with Dr. Robert Hare’s PCL-R checklist for psychopathy.

Beginning of Book Excerpt

Johnson and the Psychopathy Checklist

Here’s a list of eyewitness accounts of Johnson and their correspondence to the attributes and behaviors on Dr. Robert Hare’s PCL-R checklist for psychopathy.

Preserving the term, “Psychopathy”

Words are often used with little respect for their original meaning. They’re used in propaganda and strung together in phrases that become memes. Memes are captured in social media, sitcoms, and movies. Within a few short years the word bears little resemblance to its original meaning. The first casualty is that the word in question may never recover it’s original, and most powerful, meaning. Even greater damage is done by obscuring the definition of a perfectly good word and thereby shrinking the vocabulary of humanity. It then takes that much more effort to  communicate effectively.

We’re all familiar with the trivial use of the word “Fascist” hurled at anyone, and anything, the accuser may not like or that presents a maddening obstacle to their whims. Only when fascism describes the merger of corporate with state powers does meaning reappear. Another word that must be recovered to understand Galt’s Gulch Chile is “Psychopath”.

If your understanding of the word “Psychopath” is anyone acting in a way you don’t understand or agree with, then maybe the word “Psychotic” or “Psychosis” is a better fit. At the heart of the GGC story there sits a man exhibiting behaviors I believe (As a layman) to be consistent with the medical use of the term “Psychopath”. I refer to him as the “Creature” or Kenneth Dale Johnson. I have been careful to refrain from throwing the word “Psychopath” around in the irresponsible manner in which the word has become a cultural meme since 2010. That was when the Showtime series, “Dexter”, portrayed one as an ersatz hero. The word “Psychopath” is a medical term used to describe someone who lacks all empathy with their fellow man, someone who has no conscience, someone who can lie about millions of dollars of stolen money as if he were handing you an ice cream cone. It gets worse, but, let’s just leave it at that, for now.

As a layman, with no psychiatric medical training, I’ll stick with the PCL-R standard the professionals use to diagnose psychopathy. Dr. Robert Hare’s revised checklist for psychopathy is something I recommend all people become familiar with as a tool to assist in spotting, and then avoiding, the psychopaths that cross their path.
If there should be some kind of future “therapy” to shift the behavior of psychopaths towards that which, at least, acknowledges empathy with their fellow man (And not their pets or animals as is characteristic of the psychopath) then I welcome it. As of today, there is no such therapy that I’m aware of. The best course of action is to understand the behavior, recognize when they are being exhibited by someone, gauge the extent to which the person under consideration may be a psychopath, and avoid them in equal measure.

I believe that, unless Johnson ends up in jail, he’ll move on to live somewhere else in the world. May what’s been written here about the damage he’s done to so many people be added to his resume.

As of June, 2015 Johnson is making the mistake of recording himself on dozens of video updates he calls “Farm updates”. As with the rare movie, “I, Psychopath” where Sam Vaknin allows a filmmaker to create a documentary about him, this is a rare opportunity to study the behavior of a likely psychopath, in real time, and on video.

“Each of the 20 items in the PCL-R is scored on a three-point scale, with a rating of 0 if it does not apply at all, 1 if there is a partial match or mixed information, and 2 if there is a reasonably good match to the offender. This is said to be ideally done through a face-to-face interview together with supporting information on lifetime behavior (e.g. from case files), but is also done based only on file information. It can take up to three hours to collect and review the information. Out of a maximum score of 40, the cut-off for the label of psychopathy is 30 in the United States and 25 in the United Kingdom. A cut-off score of 25 is also sometimes used for research purposes. High PCL-R scores are positively associated with measures of impulsivity and aggression, Machiavellianism, persistent criminal behavior, and negatively associated with measures of empathy and affiliation.”
— Wikipedia entry for “Psychopathy Checklist”

GGC Logo
GGC Logo

PCL-R1

pcl-r2

PCL-R3

With five categories unknown Kenneth Dale Johnson already rates a score of 29, in the collective recollection of those who’ve tangled with him. If correct, that makes him a psychopath in the UK and 1 point shy in the US. What do you think are the chances of him scoring a 0 in the unknown categories?

End of Book Excerpt

 

If you’re interested in the full story of Galt’s Gulch Chile the 186-page book is free for those who have access to the resource library.

Dealing with Psychopaths

You have two options:

  1. Detect and Avoid.
  2. Disentangle, Starve, and Extract.

Detect and Avoid

The unhired employee is the easiest to fire. The unentangled friend has no pretense to interfere. The unmarried crazy-maker is the easiest to divorce. Memorize the attributes of the PCL-R checklist so you can vet strangers that want to become more than strangers. Be on guard for anything over a score of 10 or for any attributes you find disturbing. Call former business associates and friends (If there are any). Did your candidate get along well with others? Did they show genuine empathy for other people? Would they do business with them again? Are they still friends? Just those four questions are probably enough.

I have a friend with an uncanny ability to detect the unseen factors about people and situations.  She refers to it as her “Spidey Sense”. In the seven years I’ve known her she’s never been wrong. Now, when she tells me something is up I adjust my thoughts and actions to be in line with her intuitions. My friend has rare abilities. However, perhaps you can assemble a group of friends to achieve a similar result? Why not invite your candidate out for coffee for an informal vetting session?

Learning to recognize an aggressive move when somebody makes one and learning how to handle oneself in any of life’s many battles has turned out to be the most empowering experience for the manipulation victims with whom I’ve worked. It’s how they eventually freed themselves from their manipulator’s dominance and control and gained a much needed boost to their own sense of self-esteem. Recognizing the inherent aggression in manipulative behavior and becoming more aware of the slick, surreptitious ways that manipulative people prefer to aggress against us is extremely important. Not recognizing and accurately labeling their subtly aggressive moves causes most people to misinterpret the behavior of manipulators and, therefore, fail to respond to them in an appropriate fashion.3

Heavily Scrutinize Claims of Pain, Hurt Feelings, or Victimhood from Prospective Friends, Partners, etc.

Are they sharing a real experience or merely evoking feelings of sympathy to put you off-guard?

The tactics manipulators use can make it seem like they’re hurting, caring, defending, … almost anything but fighting. These tactics are hard to recognize as merely clever ploys. They always make just enough sense to make a person doubt their gut hunch that they’re being taken advantage of or abused. Besides, the tactics not only make it hard for you to consciously and objectively tell that a manipulator is fighting, but they also simultaneously keep you unconsciously on the defensive. These features make them highly effective psychological weapons to which anyone can be vulnerable. It’s hard to think clearly when someone has you emotionally on the run.4

Disentangle, Starve, and Extract

If you fail to detect or avoid a psychopath it will be much harder to get rid of them once they’ve embedded themselves into your life or business. It will be like trying to capture a spider while preserving the web. There will be people, assets, and money to preserve during the extraction. You can’t possibly care less about these things than your psycho already does. A psycho will think and feel nothing in “burning” through all of them just to see your reaction. Your best bet is to proceed slowly and document their every move so that contradictions and lies can be made visible to all. Get them talking and record everything (which is what psychos, themselves, are famous for doing). The biggest lies of their twisted premises must be debunked to the satisfaction of those who don’t yet see the spider for who they are. Those who don’t yet see through the psychos deceptions are unwittingly feeding the spider that will eventually bite them. In the meantime, the spider will continue to feed on the energy of those who still believe their lies. The idea is to cut off this source of the spider’s food so it eventually starves amidst a desert of unbelieving attention.

The ideal outcome is to have the spider eject themselves from the web. They will do so in huffs and indignant cries of counter-accusations. The psycho will go down with the ship repeating the same tired stories of how they have always been the victim and don’t care how many people don’t believe them. If you’ve done your homework such cries and accusations will now be seen and recognized by all to be ridiculous.

Of course, psycho extractions are rarely smooth and are difficult even when they can be done, at all. Perhaps Kent Kiehl’s, “The Psychopath Whisperer” can help. You may also enjoy Ann Barnhardt’s presentation on Diabolical Narcissism.

Their Words are Dead until You Make them Alive

Repeating the accusations of a psychopath makes dead words come alive. You are the source of that life. The more you repeat their words the more life the words have to impact the living. Stop repeating them, or even listening to them, and a psychopaths words remain dead in their own mouths. I’ve had personal experience with this.

A former boss of mine used to plant lies among his small group of five or so consultants. The point of his lies were to gain information from how each consultant reacted to them. I knew what he was doing but was never able to persuade the others to ignore his lies, altogether. When a co-worker would feel cornered into admitting to some trivial error the boss held it up as proof of the entire group being “liars”. That story reminds me of a simple and effective method for …

Extracting the Truth from a Psychopath

It’s easier than you think. Psychos are all blabber-mouths and can’t keep their own mouths shut. Your job is to listen and record. Then, translate their accusations as what they are: projected admissions of what the psycho, themselves, have done or are doing. It really is that simple. Psychos don’t so much create their own lies as much as they describe what they’ve actually done, and what their own motivations were. Then, a few names are swapped around, and fresh accusations can be launched. If cornered, your psycho will, of course, extend the web. But that be plausibly and quickly done with the inside knowledge of having been the original culprit.

Think of it this way: They’re not performing the mental feat of keeping track of multiple lies and the rippling consequences of multiple conflicting stories. They’re merely reciting from memory what they, themselves, have done.

Example

Psycho: “You’re a lying buffoon who has doctored up your resume with false experience while taking credit for the work that Joe and Marcia have done! You’re also using company money to pay for non-business events and expenses!”

You: Excellent. Now I know that my psycho has:

  1. Lied.
  2. Doctored up his resume
  3. Taken credit for Joe and Marcia’s work
  4. Used company money for travel, food, and events.

This is as close to a direct admission of deeds and guilt as your ever likely to get from your local psychopath. Enjoy it. Now you know exactly what they’ve been up to and how they mucked things up.

Herd Immunity from Psychos?

There is little hope or evidence that such creatures will self-correct and change their destructive ways. As with most problems facing humanity the hope lies in what changes the victims can make to avoid or neutralize the attack.
In the long-term, humanity must confront and overcome the following deficiencies if “Herd Immunity” is to be attained:

  • A pervasive lack of awareness of their existence.
  • Inability to diagnose and, therefore, to defend against, avoid, or thwart.
  • No understanding of how they fit-in, demographically, with humanity.
  • Apologetic denial that notorious figures of history were obvious and diagnosable psychopaths but my “friend” (Partner, Business Associate, City Councilman, etc.) is different.
  • No spiritual discernment of the possibility that some people are just plain evil and that’s all there is to it.
  • A knee-jerk tendency to dismiss outrageous behavior happening right in front of them.
  • A tendency to take responsibility for outrageous behavior so as not to upset the guilty offender with the truth, or upset the sensibilities of the group.
  • A long willingness to “Strike-a-Deal” to cap the bleeding despite an established string of lies.

Anyone wanting to avoid being victimized by covert-aggression must redefine the terms of engagement with a would-be manipulator. To do this effectively, one must: 1. be free of any harmful misconceptions about human nature and behavior, 2. know how to correctly assess the character of others, 3. heighten self-awareness, paying special attention to aspects of one’s own character that increase vulnerability to manipulation, 4. correctly recognize and label the tactics of manipulation and respond to them ap- propriately, 5. avoid fighting losing battles, and 6. know how to maintain a position of power and strength in interpersonal relationships.5

But, what about the short-term? What might you be able to do right now about the potential psychopaths in your life?

Adopt-A-Path

Ex-CIA agent Robert David Steele advised bloggers to adopt their own zip-code and illuminate whatever hanky-panky is going on.

“If you bloggers self-organize and attach yourselves like leeches to specific issues, corporations, organizations, challenges, whatever, you will be the intelligence minutemen of this century. The power is in your hands.”

Perhaps the same could done for Psychopaths or Diabolical Narcissists?

For those inclined I recommend being quite sure of the informal diagnosis of your adopted specimen. Preserve your integrity by using words and terms accurately. You won’t need to use hyperbole as there’s no need to exaggerate behavior that’s already quite outrageous. I’ve also learned from experience the many benefits of the writer having no ties, whatsoever, to the subject or their crimes. Human cooperation confuses the living daylight out of these creatures. They can’t understand something that’s not within them to ever do. I suppose that leaves them without much light, at all.

May it leave them with no victims, either.


  1. Hare, R. D 1994, ‘Predators: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths among Us’,Psychology Today, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 54–61 
  2. Baibak, P; Hare, R. D Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (2007) 
  3. In Sheep’s Clothing, Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People, George K. Simon, Ph.D., page 8. 
  4. Ibid., 9. 
  5. Ibid., 93. 

If you want your words to last as long as parchment use plain ASCII text with Markdown. When found, your writing can be republished at the click of a button. It’s digital; make lots of copies.

Markdown is . . .1

… a way to format plain text to show the formatting choices of the writer.

The syntax is natural and the formatted text is readable (Unlike HTML from which Markdown was derived as a form of shorthand). And, since most publishing software can read Markdown, directly, the writer can write once, skip the hassles of formatting, and pass the text directly on to the publisher.

Half of the Markdown syntax is just how a writer would format text, naturally. For example, you type an asterisk or a number in front of bullet points or a list of items, or hit enter to separate paragraphs. Heading levels are marked by the number of “#” signs placed before the heading. Even footnotes, tables and web links are straightforward and the text remains readable after formatting.

Storage

Plain digital text bypasses the problems of paper storage. It also bypasses the format wars of proprietary software. Your writing is created, stored, and published from the same text file. If we can read Egyptian hieroglyphs, today, perhaps people will be able to read ASCII text files, 5000 years from now.

Ideally, you make a (Digital) book available and distribute it to hundreds or thousands of people. Upload it to a website where it will be indexed, and possibly stored, by a third party. Less ambitious writers could put their text on as many mediums as they can find. Put them in a safe, wrapped in a paper printout. Tell your family about them and put it in your will. If your lucky, your progeny will see it and use the search engine of the day to find a copy, somewhere. Otherwise, perhaps one of your digital copies is readable. In terms of survivability, the paper copy is likely the weakest contender after 100 years or so.

How Long Will it Last?

Markdown_table
Markdown_table

 

Search

The presumption, even today, is that if you have the title, or the author’s name, you have a fair chance of finding the book. As more books are published in digital-only formats the odds of being able to find any book will increase.

Write Once, Publish Anywhere

Markdown makes it possible to write once and publish anywhere. Every platform I’ve needed to publish to can receive markdown text. But, it’s even better than that: Most of my writing is outlined, written, edited, and exported directly to the publishing platform and archived in markdown from within one program: Scrivener. The text can then be updated or repurposed from the same place it’s archived! It’s hard to describe the relief of simplicity this workflow provides. It makes for a frictionless writing environment that shifts the focus of the work back onto content. You just keep writing and let the publishing platforms handle the formatting details.

Markdown Benefits

  • Liberates the writer from formatting concerns both during, and after, writing.
  • Liberates the writer from proprietary software jail.
  • Gives the writer the widest number of choices in publishing platforms.
  • Enables the writer to use the same text file to feed multiple software and publishing platforms.
  • Updates and editions are made to one file: The original text file.
  • Enables the text to be read now and for the foreseeable human future.
  • Puts the writing in simple text format which will outlast all software programs currently in use.
  • Text processing programs are everywhere as are publishing software and platforms that can read Markdown, directly. Pick one and start writing.

WYSIWYG Live Preview, Yes!

Ironically, writing in simple text was a big step for me. I worked as a typesetter before, and during, college and have always loved the look of well-formatted text and book design. My professional consulting is replete with word processors, project management software, presentations, adobe frame maker proposals, etc. To make it worse, I’ve relied heavily on HTML and InDesign for the past eight years. Must I do without the inspiration of formatted text to get all the benefits of writing in markdown?

Not at all! Marked reads your text file (Even a Scrivener file!) and displays a fully formatted version of your document in real time. As you type, Marked updates the displayed document. When you’re finished you can export the document from your original text editor or right from Marked, in all the standard formats.

Workflows

Website Articles

  1. Scrivener to WordPress.
  2. Markdownify plug-in within wordpress editor box.
  3. Images stored on dropbox or website image directory.
  4. Marked shows WYSIWYG of Scrivener file, including images, while the article is being written.

Guest posts

  1. Scrivener exported to publisher’s format preference.
    A. Cut/paste of Markdown txt?
    B. Html or pdf export from Marked
    C. Other?

Client Documents

  1. Scrivener to pdf export.
  2. Indesign for special formats only.

Books

  1. Scrivener to first draft.
  2. Edit drafts in Scrivener.
  3. Send to Editor(s).
  4. Make edits in Scrivener.
  5. Final copy to Indesign.
  6. Format for Kindle, PDF, etc.
  7. Succeeding versions in Indesign.

Project Planning & Tasks

  1. Omnifocus (Text only)
  2. Drafts (MD and Text)
  3. Scrivener (MD and Text)
  4. Excel

E-mails

MailMate

Notes

  1. Evernote
  2. Nvalt
  3. Drafts (iphone/pad) to Evernote to Scrivener

Misc. Tools

  • Byword
  • Brett Terpstra’s Markdown services
  • MultiMarkdown Composer

P.S., Nine Months Later

Shortly after starting to use Markdown I began using dictation software to talk words onto the screen. Dictation has now taken such a big place in my daily writing that my typing speed has declined. One thing I haven’t yet done is to train the dictation software to implement markdown syntax. For example, perhaps I could train the software so that saying, “Bold that”, puts double asterisks around the last word?

I no longer need Adobe Indesign or Word for daily writing. I much prefer to use Marked 2 for WYSIWYG of the draft folder of Scrivener. It’s not as good as Indesign but enough to be inspired by the clean text and formatting of what I’m working on.

When writing articles I sometimes use temporary droplink addresses of image files so Marked can show me how the picture will look with the text during the writing process. I also use droplink addresses to compose e-mails to friends (Also in markdown) if they’re to include photos. If I need the images to be viewable in the long-term I use “Transmit” to quickly upload the images to my website image directory and use that address in the markdown syntax.

When composing agendas and client documents I write them all in scrivener using markdown. I then use Marked to convert markdown to the pdf files that are sent directly to the client. Client work is started, and completed, in Scrivener where it remains in its final form. The pdf’s sent to the client are beautiful and archived in Scrivener.

Best Markdown Resources


  1. Invented by John Gruber and Fletcher Penny. 
  2. https://www.whalingmuseum.org/explore/library/from-the-vault/cuffe-manuscripts 
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gutenberg_Bible 
  4. David Diringer noted that “the first mention of Egyptian documents written on leather goes back to the Fourth Dynasty (c. 2550–2450 BC), but the earliest of such documents extant are: a fragmentary roll of leather of the Sixth Dynasty (c. 24th century BC) 
  5. Jiahu symbols, carved on tortoise shells in Jiahu, c. 6600 BC 

Your Optimal Life Equation (YOLE) is an algebraic formula to describe, contemplate, and re-calibrate the optimality of one’s life.  The relationships of the major elements are shown as well as the potential  impacts a change may have. The equation is introduced, here, and referred to throughout the “The Outliers Handbook“.

When I got the idea to describe an Optimal life with an algebraic formula the flaws in the approach were obvious: The units don’t match and assigning one number to something that, by its very nature, is multi-dimensional is absurd. Such absurdities are built-in to something else passed on as knowledge, every day . . . the IQ. Who in the world thinks something as multi-faceted as intelligence can be fully captured and described by an integer? It can’t. And yet, the IQ is still, somehow, useful. So is YOLE.

Cross-discipline metaphors are useful for the same reason any metaphor can be: Patterns in nature are like other patterns in nature. Sometimes, the same fractal pattern in one natural structure is duplicated exactly in another. Fractals prove that stupefying complexity can emerge from utter simplicity. The reverse is not true.

Those who have no problem “dividing” a mountain by a triangle  or seeing the golden ratio in a conch shell or human face may find YOLE useful. It doesn’t reach fractal-like perfection (Yet) but Your Optimal Life Equation may show how some of the major elements of life may be changed to lead to a more optimally functioning one.

Your Optimal Equation

Where all people have S,W,V,G,H,T,El,j,c and at least one Pg. Not every person has Pr, Pb or EB.

 

YOE-Variables
Key

Talking Through the Equation

The sum total of your Strengths and Weaknesses is all you have to maintain everything you Value, your Goals, the People in your life (H), and the Things you own. The results of that division is multiplied by  the purposeful roles you play in the lives of others, the purpose of your business activities, and whatever you most desire or worship (Your God). The resulting numerator is what you bring into (Is divided by) your larger environment: The physical or virtual stage of  your life and business. The major elements of your Environment are physical location, legal jurisdiction and community. Your business may have a separate environment with its own physical location, legal jurisdiction and community.

Small Changes Can Have a Huge Impact

The legal jurisdiction of one’s physical body and business could be the sole determining factor of whether one is at liberty to accomplish anything, at all. Likewise, the wrong community could leave one alone and bereft of the amplifications (And enjoyment) that a strong and thriving community can provide.

Whether or not one has an immediate family, an optional component of Pr , will have a huge impact on the nature of the most purposeful roles in one’s life.

What You Control . . .

You determine the inputs and amounts of most variables. You may have little to no control over some of them, in the short-term. You can have some degree of control over most of them, eventually. It’s  daunting to realize how most of the important aspects of life are the direct result of personal choice. The sheer amount of decisions one could make to optimize life is probably why people rarely take full control over all the elements they could potentially control. Of course, depending on resources available  (Strengths) an attempt to control everything might lead to a failure to control anything.

. . . and What You Don’t

Your unique disposition of strengths and weaknesses is part of your natural disposition at birth. You have huge latitude in honing and deploying strengths. You also have many options for minimizing the impacts of natural weaknesses. However, it’s still mostly a matter of playing smarter with the hand you’ve been dealt.

Likewise, you don’t choose to live on “The grid” of planet earth. You choose where to locate the various elements of your life on that grid.

You don’t choose the members of your local (And virtual) communities. You choose the location and subjects around which those communities are organized, and possibly united.

On Values

Values present a cost to maintain and uphold. Hold to as few of the best values in life while tending to values.  Discard bad values and replace merely good values with great ones. Great values are consistent with Purpose(s) and decrease net costs to Strengths.

On Goals

Goals are costly to achieve. Achieving goals is usually a good thing. A great thing, however, is achieving great goals. Great goals align with the purposes of your life. Discrimination between good and great goals requires awareness of purpose(s).

On People (H)

People can be among the greatest sources of abundance on earth. They can also be the most taxing. The task here is to have the right balance of people in your life. Those congruent with your purposes will bring abundance to your life (And you to theirs) even if they’re taxing. For one thing, people tend to motivate growth. Growth makes us stronger and leaves us with more strengths to optimize life. Therefore, the tax of people in our lives may be a large cost in the short-term and change the fundamental balance of the equation in the long-term. People are a “Capital” investment in the grandest sense of the world.

On Things

Things, or possessions, require some combination of storage, maintenance, insurance, licensing, money, time, registration, bill processing (Registration renewal, licensing updates, etc.) and on and on. The least number of Things you need to accomplish purpose(s) the better.

On Purpose(s)

Ants, snails, and bugs may have one purpose. People have multiple purposes. The popular myth that people have just one purpose is harmful and tends to thwart the discovery of what one’s purposes may be. There’s a purpose for every role, family member, business activity, ongoing responsibility and activity in your life. The YOLE encapsulates them all into the roles you play in the lives of others, business purposes, and God (Pr,b,g).

On Environment(s)

Personal and Business environments might be separate. Therefore, the equation allows for both E and EB. Each have their own components of physical location, legal jurisdiction and community.

Location has a dramatic affect on the prevailing Law, Jurisdiction, and Community with which you’re interacting with in time. However, physical location is not a static, one-time-only, choice. With cyberspace, jet travel, dual-citizenship, and multi-state and national entities a person’s Environment is no longer determined solely by physical Location. Of course, if your E and EB are tied to one physical location then it makes the equation easier to “Calculate”. The cost of that simplicity will probably increase as technocratic mechanisms of control and taxation become more refined and perfected. Also, as such mechanisms are refined and perfected E, EB, and their subcomponents will tend to merge into one. The more completely merged, the more each component will be the same for more people. Physical locations will always vary but characteristics of legal jurisdiction and community may become so similar that distinctions are of little importance. In some ways this can be seen as one drives across the US stopping into the “Same” fast-food franchises in every state.

Environments are multi-locational and sometimes virtual. Where is the PT (Perpetual Traveler) located if his business is in one country, money in another, investments in another and body in another? His body can only be in one location at a time, of course. But will he be there long enough to be viewed as a resident (Legal jurisdiction)? Even so, his business may be in a different jurisdiction. Complex combinations can grow out of varied components of E and EB.

Reality has ~10 Dimensions, Not Four

Theoretical physicists now presume Reality presents in 10 dimensions. That’s six more than most people assume comprise the Reality in which their life is taking place. To distinguish the standard four from the 10 I’ll use the convention of uppercase Reality (10) and lowercase reality (4). I might turn YOLE into a graphic to account for Reality. For now, think of E as not limited to the dimensions of X,Y,Z and Time/Space but extending into dimensions that may or may not be discernible to the five senses.

People with a keener sense of dimensions, beyond the four, may possess either a physical, intellectual or theological strength. Some choices of Pg enable such awareness and some preclude it. Since anything that obscures the full  dimensions of Reality is a handicap one can better optimize life with a Pg that enables full awareness.

What God?

Desire provides powerful insight into purpose. People align their lives with what they most desire in the moment. What people most desire can be described as their god of the moment.

There are as many gods (Idols) as there are nouns in the dictionary: Money, alcohol, sex, prestige, control over others, Buddha, Allah, nature, Lucifer or the Holy Trinity of the God of the Bible, etc. Gods are swapped in and out over time. Whatever one desires most during a given period is the god of that period. Sex in the morning, money in the afternoon, control over others at night . . . gods tend to become the sole purpose of one’s life for the time period they are most desired. During that period everything about the person tends to be oriented around obtaining or reveling in (Worshipping) whatever it is. Such desires effect physical, mental and spiritual changes in the person experiencing them. In a sense, we become what we most desire.

Business (Job) vs. Calling

If what you do for a living is also the highest purpose of your life, i.e., your business or job is also your calling,  then Pb will be a higher “Number” or of greater magnitude, to be more accurate.. The components of your business environment (EB) will still have a large impact on the equation but the first main numerator of the equation will tend to offset any negatives that may be components of EB.

Some Output Examples

O = (((S + W) / (V + G + H + T)) * Pr,b,g) / (El,j,c * EBl,j,c)

  • Strength(s) and Purpose(s) are the positive inputs used to optimize life. Their number, amount, deployment and alignment determine the positive “Numbers” of the equation, after which, everything gets divided.
  • By minimizing the impact of your weaknesses the impact of your strengths is greater.
  • Choose only the highest quality Values to uphold or maintain because any value presents a cost to your strengths to maintain. Replace merely good values with great values.
  • Choose only the highest quality goals to accomplish because any goal presents an achievement cost to your strengths. Replace merely good goals with great goals. Great goals still tax your strengths but are also components of Purpose and, therefore, counterbalance the equation.
  • Surround yourself with high quality people. All roles and relationships tax your strengths but the right people are components of Purpose and counterbalance the equation.
  • The less Things you own (Store, maintain, insure, move, sell, buy) the better. Anything that owns you must go. Such things make an optimal life impossible unless the purpose of your life is Thing(s).
  • If you have no Purpose(s) the chance of optimizing life falls to zero.
  • If you get stronger (Or deploy existing strengths more efficiently) you can support more Values, Goals, People and Things in your life. However, the least number of these you have, ideally keeping only those that will be factored with  purpose(s), the more optimal your life.
  • If the impact of your weaknesses are lessened you can support more Values, Goals, People and Things in your life because the tax (Direct subtraction) to your strengths is lessened.

This is a short list of example outputs from YOLE. It is, by no means, exhaustive.

On and On It Goes

There’s no end to the complexities of even one human life. The YOLE can be referred to in the middle of a storm (When nothing seems clear because everything is happening fast) or tranquil waters (When everything is fine and you want to focus on what small changes might have the best impact). Whatever the context it can show how some of major elements of life may be changed to enable one’s life to function more optimally. In “The Outliers Handbook” I refer to the equation in the context of the subjects and areas of life being addressed.

As promised by investor Lt. Col. Thomas Baker, the forensic reconstruction of Galt’s Gulch Chile has been completed and was hand-delivered to the FBI and the IRS on June 8th, 2015. Informed by the reconstruction, investor David McLeod filed criminal charges against Kenneth Johnson and Pamela Del Real in Chile (Docket number RUC 4710-2015) on May 20th. More US civil suits against Johnson are likely to follow.

On a phone call with Cathy Cuthbert, she described the forensic recontruction as a wellspring of previously unknown facts and details about what actually transpired around GGC. Timelines, Contracts, Accounting, Wire Transfers, Corporate reports, Recorded conversations between Johnson and investors, Videos, Credit reports, etc. showing Johnson to be at the heart of the problems surrounding GGC he has blamed on others. In other words, despite Johnson’s claims of working for the investors as a developer the reconstruction shows that the “service” Johnson has been providing them is similar to that which the bull provides the cow.

Readers of this GGC series will find it no surprise that Johnson used investor funds to spin a complex web of deceit involving multiple entities, off-shore trusts, multiple bank accounts, share swaps with Mario Del Real and others, inflated prices, ridiculous late fees, absurdly negotiated prices, etc. all while using corporate bank accounts like a personal checking account.

It’s tempting to leave Jeff Berwick out of discussions about GGC now that he’s so publicly apologized. Unfortunately, his involvement in cutting Cobin and German out, starting a different entity into which to take title (IGGSA) and trying to get the New Zealand trust and offshore structures in place is quite evident in the reconstruction documents. There’s little doubt Ken Johnson was the instigator of the most serious problems with GGC, and continues to make all things worse with his presence and current behavior. However, to say Berwick wasn’t right there at the beginning is to not tell the story, correctly, at all. As mentioned in Part 3 my hope is that Berwick will externalize his contrite heart into some modest assistance to ongoing recovery efforts or investors in extreme need. With the introduction of these new charges, with more to follow, the publicity surrounding the aftermath of GGC is not going away, anytime soon.

Note: The criminal charges filed by David McLeod, and some documents of the forensic reconstruction I was able to coax from the recovery team, have been added to the free E-book, “The Creature from Galt’s Gulch”. I will continue to add such elements to the book as I receive them and within the boundaries of preserving the privacy of the investors.

Justice Provided by the People Involved

As described by Cathy Cuthbert and Thomas Baker, the breadth and depth of the forensic reconstruction they’ve put together is quite impressive. It’s not only a meticulous investigation and gathering of documents but they’ve formatted the whole thing into a package that makes it accessible to outside parties.

I’m not sure what may have transpired between Tom and Ken but the USMC motto of “No better friend, no worse enemy” might echo in Johnson’s mind for some time to come. That is, if Johnson is able to comprehend what has just happened to him. The agencies he’s just been reported to will hound him for the next decade. Half of that decade will be spent defending himself against the criminal charges that were filed against him in Chile on May 20th, by David McLeod. And, there’s more to come. A rather obvious tip to Johnson would be: The next time Tom makes an offer of either “Friend” or “Enemy” . . . go with the former choice. Who knows? Maybe the recovery team would still let Johnson wiggle out of his fraud if he’d just hand over the land the investors paid for.

The FBI white collar crime fraud division will find that most of the investigative, forensic accounting, and reconstructive work has been done and hand-delivered to them by the recovery team. With so much work already complete perhaps the agency will bump the case to the top of their case-load so they may stand in front of their logo at a news conference and receive some good publicity.

The Del Real Factor

Johnson is solely responsible for inviting a local Chilean, Mario Del Real, into GGC affairs. And yet, investors have been made to suffer Johnson’s endless complaining about problems he’s had with Mario and his daughter, Pamela. That’s because Johnson performed a bizarre GGC stock swap with Mario hoping to make big money on the value of water in an Andes Water company called Rio Colorado. By the time the smoke had cleared Mario owned most of IGGSA and his daughter was the general manager of the company! In other words, Johnson was no longer the dominant share holder of GGC and had lost all control over the entity that holds the land. What great “Development” work, Ken!

(To understand more about this failed deal see Chapter 7, “The Rio Colorado/GGC Share Swap”, in the GGC E-book.)

If you’ve read my “Stolen Car Metaphor” at the end of Part 7 you know my take that Johnson’s epic fail with the Del Real share swap is merely the lamentations of a thief who bungled and lost the proceeds of a previous theft. The fact that Johnson’s audience for these lamentations are the victims of the first theft is exactly the kind of behavior I find consistent with Dr. Robert Hare’s psychopathy checklist.

Any deal Johnson made with stolen shares of stock can, and should be, overturned. Therefore, whether the Del Reals colluded with Johnson, or are merely his victims, is a matter for a judge to decide (Yes, there is no longer any way to resolve GGC disputes without involving state agencies, unfortunately). Pamela Del Real’s resume (She’s now the general manager for IGGSA) shows substantial accounting expertise. Such expertise will make it impossible for her to plead ignorance if there was any foul-play on the Del Reals part.

Johnson’s Latest Ploy, Revealed

Johnson has now revealed his latest ploy and what’s behind his re-occupation of the GGC hacienda and grounds. And, surprise, surprise, it’s a variation on his usual … lies mixed with just enough truth to confuse and divide his listeners against themselves while holding out a carrot and stick for those who either cooperate or resist.

More specifically, Johnson is trying to confuse and divide investors against lead investor Josh Kirley hoping they’ll put pressure on Josh to relent in his legal actions which have locked up Johnson’s sale and pillage of IGGSA assets. He also wants the investors to help him get rid of his “Del Real” problem. The carrot Johnson offers is the same old title to land he’s been promising investors, and not delivering, for the past two years. The stick is his continued presence and purported counter-attacks on investors who “continue to attack him”. For those not familiar with Johnson-speak, the word “attack” describes the actions of anyone who points out to Johnson another of his own broken promises.

If only the investors will help him convince Kirley to relent, and help him get rid of the Del Reals, then Johnson can deliver, at long last, the coveted Titles to actual land the investors have been pestering him about, all this time.

E-mail Between Host and Parasite

A recent e-mail exchange between Josh Kirley (The host) and Ken Johnson (The parasite) is an excellent illustration of what actually went wrong with GGC. It’s also an excellent example of what happens when “The creature” is confronted with truth.

My thanks to Josh Kirley for making this e-mail exchange available:

On Thu, May 28, 2015 at 12:27 PM, Josh Kirley <joshkirley@gmail.com> wrote:

“Ken,

For two years, you keep sending out the same emails. Always full of juicy drama, promising the release of more information in the future. This behavior is unprofessional. It inspires no confidence. Why can’t you just do your job?Try building something. Try living up to your responsibilities. Produce something. Be accountable. If you are GGC’s Minister of Propaganda, who is the Project Manager? Your accusations are baseless and defy all logic.

Tell me if you can refute the accuracy of the following facts. I swear to their order and authenticity.

1) You are wholly responsible for bringing the del Reals into this nightmare.

2) You pleaded with me to give 1 to 2.5 million dollars to Mario del Real for his Rio Colorado Project. You personally vouched for Mario, insisting the Rio Colorado deal was a “No Brainer” and a “Homerun”

3) I told you that I had my suspicions about del Real and would get back to you after performing some due diligence.

4) Once I told you that I was not willing to put money into a second Chilean investment, you totally reversed course.

5) You refused to provide me with del Real’s Ruta number, or even his full name, intentionally stonewalling my attempts to research his background.

6) You told an entire room full of defrauded investors at the second festival that your deal with del Real was a “totally separate” matter between you and him.

7) You told all of us that your alliance with del Real was “none of our business” and would have no impact on our contracts.

8) When I offered to pay, out of my own pocket, to have del Real looked into for you, you refused my help, saying that you feared if I looked into del Real, he might “get spooked” and walk away from your deal.

9) Weeks later, you came back to me, begging for a million dollars. You said that you were double crossed by del Real and you needed me to buy back the shares that you gave to him.

10) When I would not bail you out, you predictably changed your characterization of my relationship to the project from savior to saboteur.

I’m sorry if I cannot respond to each of your lying emails. But, I have to give priority to my day job. I suggest you do the same. Maybe start by paying employees, repaying loans, and living up to the contracts you signed.

Josh Kirley”

The Parasite Responds

“Josh,

As you know, you are lying about most all that you discuss. There are communications between you, Monica Wehrhahn, Ken Carpenter, Alison Sherman, the Del Reals and more. Do you think that those just disappear because you are now pitching your false storyline to yet another news outlet? This has always seemed to be a publicity stunt for you, just as GGC always have been for Jeff Berwick.”

Johnson then goes on a bizarre rant about Jeff Berwick and BitcoinATM, Wire Transfers, Cafayate, Argentina (If you can believe it) and ends with:

“We are working on completing what Mr. Aguirre was unable to complete, or was unwilling to complete. We are working to fix the $1m+ damages that those labeling themselves “rescuers” of GGC have inflicted upon the farm, buildings and property. We don’t spend our time pitching a false story line for our own publicity, as Mr. Berwick and yourself seem to focus on quite a lot.

Ken”

Notice that Johnson does not dispute, nor even address, any of Kirley’s questions or statements. This is the way e-mail “Exchanges” and “Dialogues” go with Johnson. For readers who may have wondered . . . “Why don’t they just ask Johnson if [Insert simple question here] the above exchange with Josh Kirley is your example. Josh speaks the pure truth and asks sincere questions and, in response, Johnson doesn’t respond, at all.

The last paragraph is classic Johnson-speak. For readers who don’t understand the dialect his e-mails usually end with a payoff like this if you know how to read Johnson-speak. That is, you take all accusations as a literal description of what Johnson, himself, has done or is doing. In his last paragraph, therefore, we learn that Johnson has caused more than a million dollars of damage and is pitching false story lines for his own publicity.

Johnson’s Assaults

I’ve spoken with two people who were physically assaulted by Ken Johnson. The first was a young man Johnson tried to push around (Mentally and physically) during Johnson’s employment with The Dollar Vigilante. This young man would not tolerate Johnson’s nonsense and was the first person to speak up to Berwick about his suspicions about Johnson poisonous behavior. If Berwick had listened it’s anyone’s guess how Galt’s Gulch Chile might have played out without the involvement of Ken Johnson.

The second assault was that of a 70-year-old Salesman that worked for GGC who didn’t fare so well in the “Encounter”. Sandy “Clarence” Sandfort was grabbed by the lapels and thrown over a couch by Johnson when he learned that Sandy was about the leave Chile after all of Johnson’s promises had remained unfulfilled. Sandy was severely bruised and Johnson had almost managed to break a few of Sandy’s ribs. He was so shaken up by Johnson’s assault that Berwick had to fly in the next day and negotiate an NDA and payoff to keep Sandy quiet about the assault. Johnson later broke the terms of that NDA by talking about the assault with a third-party. Hence, Sandy’s retelling of the assault to me.

and Taunting . . .

Tatiana Moroz, who worked for Ken Johnson and wrote the GGC theme song, shares her experiences with GGC and with sociopaths in the liberty movement. Most of what involves GGC is in the first 25 minutes of the video, but, the ladies (With Julia Tourianski, BraveTheWorld.com, and Gigi Bowman, gigibowman.com) go on to tell other fascinating stories around the theme.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqQW5a4dJMk

Contrast the story Tatiana tells in the above video with the excitement she started out with and you’ll get a feeling for the roller coaster ride that was GGC. Tatiana perfectly captures the cognitive dissonance felt by most who’ve followed the promise, and then the reality, of GGC in the hands of Ken Johnson.

Favorite excerpts:

“This nonsense [Sociopaths in the Liberty Movement] is disgusting and ridiculous … and what’s gonna happen, here, is that people are going to leave and they’re not going to want anything to do with it (True Liberty) and all we’re going to be left with is the dirtbags who think this kind of behavior is ok. … And I’m sick and tired of the people that are trying to call attention to the sociopathic behavior within our own movement getting trashed.”

Tatiana’s right, of course. Natural law doesn’t evaporate around people who wish to retain and use their liberties. If anything, we must be more mindful of universal human truths because we are the people exploring the boundaries of liberty. A tolerance for lies, manipulation, sexual assault, and broken contracts is not “What’s up!” in Liberty. Anyone claiming that such tolerance is “Cool” is not a libertarian. They’re just another asshole in disguise.

John Cobin Interview

I had the pleasure of interviewing John Cobin about GGC for 1.5 hours, last week. The interview was mostly for my E-book about GGC. However, of interest, here, is the remarkable consistency of Dr. Cobin’s story with everything he’s said from the very beginning. Cobin is abundantly forthcoming about every meeting, document, e-mail and conversation he’s had with respect to GGC. My reaction to the interview was to tell him that it was a pleasure to speak with someone involved in GGC that looks better and better with each discovered and documented fact about the project.

Cobin said the impression he got from Jeff Berwick and Ken Johnson was that, they alone, might be able to supply the funding for GGC. He had no idea that they would, almost immediately, take his extensive research and information about Chile and GGC and cut him out of the deal. Although he concurs with the possible psychopathy of Johnson he puts Berwick in the same category in terms of the way they defrauded him. And yet, I had the impression that, even now, he would be forgiving of Berwick if approached in some meaningful way to make restitution.

Cobin said Johnson came after him, very agressively, in a libel suit in Chile. Guess what happened when the court date arrived? Johnson was a no-show! I won’t compare a libel suit with a podcast debate, but, I’m becoming quite familiar with Johnson’s cowardice in the face of someone determined to tell the truth. So far, Johnson’s been a no-show on two podcasts about GGC that he, himself, dared me to participate in.

For those interested in Chile I highly recommend the interview James and Johnathan conducted with Dr. Cobin on Monday over at Borderless. Cobin proves himself to be THE reliable source for all of Chile and much of the rest of the “Expat” world, as well. Cobin’s book, “Life in Chile” greatly increased the effectiveness of my 21-day country-vetting trip to Chile in 2012. I look forward to reading his latest book, “Living in Chile” when I can come up for air over the summer.

GGC Theatre

Johnson has been roaming around the property making absurd videos in an attempt to document the damage done by the recovery team. Perhaps the investors share my hope that Johnson continue making these videos as they are helpful in documenting what Johnson, himself, has done.

One of the things Johnson harps on in the videos are the “Damages” done by the recovery team causing a poor yield from the wells. In fact, such poor yields were caused by Johnson’s complete ignorance and inept handling of the well work around the property. Despite the pleadings of the local workers Johnson put Manuel Hermosillo in charge of the wells and the work was terribly bungled. And yet, somehow, the investors end up blamed, yet again, for Johnson’s incompetence. Such GGC Theatre might be a useful prop to help Johnson influence the Chilean locals who have no idea what’s going on with GGC. To those who’ve read the first thing about GGC, however, they are just that much more documentation of Johnson’s failings.

Message to local Chileans:

Johnson’s accusations of others are a reliable confession of his own failings. There is truth in many of the disasters he documents but your messenger is the culprit, not the victim. Johnson’s “Investment” into GGC remains at zero while 76-investors and buyers have given $10.45 million dollars for the purchase of everything you see associated with GGC. 72 of the investors have been begging Johnson to leave for over a year.

What happens next?

First, most of the predictions made in Part 6 seem to be coming true. That includes Johnson hinting that he wants to sell water rights, again. Happily, he’s unable to do so with the current injunctions in place.

Johnson has some time while the ocean water recedes in preparation for a tsunami of new legal problems.

Some think Johnson will stick it out to the end because his claim to be “Working for” the investors is his only defense against the legal actions that have been filed against him. But, Johnson also claims he controls or owns everything (Vacillating between claims of control or ownership) depending on his audience and the phases of GGC. How could someone who owns everything be an employee? How could a trustee (Controls everything) claim to be a trustee of beneficiaries who have been begging him to leave for the past year?

Perhaps Chile, and the local populace of Curacavi, will no longer tolerate Johnson as the criminal charges pile on. If he’s made to flee then we may see more pictures of his backpacks of stolen money while he’s on the run. I think he still has a Paraguayan passport from the passport scandal he was conducting at TDV. Still, all these charges filed with state agencies will haunt him wherever he goes. As of today, Johnson has put a digital data noose around his own neck that will follow him around the globe.

NOTE: Version 1 of this book is ready as of June 11th, 2015.

I’ve put all the articles of the McGillespie.com GGC series into book format and am supplementing it with the latest developments and documents from the recovery efforts. In addition to all the articles of the series the book contains:

  • An Index and description of all people involved, or referenced, in the GGC story.
  • QR Codes for videos, websites, media articles, etc.
  • Links to ALL publicly available articles and documents related to GGC.
  • A Chapter describing the types of fraud that were conducted around GGC.
  • A Chapter describing the five types of contracts that were used with investors and buyers of GGC “Products”.
  • A Chapter describing the Rio Colorado/GGC Share swap.
  • A comparison table of the eye-witnessed actions of Kenneth Johnson to Dr. Robert Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist (PCL-R).
  • Copies of all legal actions or criminal charges filed with regard to Galt’s Gulch Chile.
  • The original “Founders Club” document Cobin wrote, and Johnson later modified, and sent out to all investors who expressed interest in GGC.
  • The original Business Plan that got things started.
  • Download links for all PDF files related to GGC that are too large to be included in the book.

The book will be updated with all the latest developments around GGC including legal actions, criminal complaints, media articles, youtube videos, articles by Terence, and any significant releases from the recovery team.

This is not a traditional book but a working document meant to help the people involved and inform (And entertain!) the public. It’s currently 200 pages, and growing. I may add an index but the e-book format already enables the reader to search for their term of interest, quite easily. It’s currently in PDF format but I could convert it to EPUB and .MOBI if there’s enough interest. Please send me an e-mail if you would appreciate that potential effort.

The purpose of the Book

  • To Document, on an ongoing basis, what is happening with Galt’s Gulch Chile to assist recovery efforts, underway.
  • To be a trusted and reliable source for journalists and media outlets who may wish to write about various aspects of GGC.
  • To tell the truth about GGC while the facts are clearly in the memory of the participants and the evidence is freshly available.
  • To document the crimes of Kenneth Dale Johnson and others so possible future victims may be warned.
  • To Document GGC for legacy reference and lessons that may be gleaned for both GGC restoration and other such ambitious liberty-minded projects.

How to Get Your Copy

Version 1 is ready as of June 11th, 2015. If there’s an update I’ll post the version and date, here, on the page you’re reading.

Go to McGillespie.Com, type your name and e-mail into the boxes under “McGillespie Resource Library”, then hit the submit button. An e-mail will be sent with the password to the McGillespie Resource Library which contains the book and many other resources you might find useful.

For future updates (Or any problems downloading the book) use the “Contact Us” tab or leave a comment, below, on this page with your name and e-mail.

The Jetsetter Show with Jason Hartman

Jason Hartman and Terence Gillespie discuss Galt’s Gulch Chile and many ways to optimize the path for expatriates in Chile and Colombia. Jason has a wonderful transcription posted just below the link for the podcast:

JS 101: What Happened with Galt’s Gulch, Chile?

Borderless Network Podcast

In this episode we have Terence Gillespie on the show to discuss what happened with Galt’s Gulch Chile and some of the lessons that can be learned from what happened there.

Show notes:

The background on Galt’s Gulch Chile (0:50)
Who is Terence Gillespie (4:13)
Why does he care (5:18)
Was Galt’s Gulch a libertarian project? (6:36)
At what point in time did this deal fall apart? (9:40)
How was this theft possible? (11:42)
How much of the blame should go on the investors? (13:15)
What caused the change is perception in August 2014? (17:15)
What was Jeff Berwick’s role in this fiasco (22:30)
What is going to have to happen in order for this to turn into a successful project? (27:35)
Will the $10.5 million be recovered? (32:09)
Affinity Scam
Was GGC a fraud from the beginning? (34:54)
Lessons learned from GGC (36:36)