"Therefore read on [in chapters 19, 20 and 21] and
know that there is the victory over the beast and the
fallen ones, and that victory does precede your merging
with the Holy City.
"These events take place, beloved,
in the depths and the recesses of being, as well as objectively
on the planetary scene. As you have been instructed, the
verses and chapters of Revelation are charted in a giant
spiral on the Cosmic Clock so that they do not occur in
a straight line but in cycles and spirals continuing.
"Thus you understand that
the armies of the kings of the earth are gathered together.
And therefore, may your prayer be for the salvation of
the Lightbearers as this karma and this judgment of the
Lord God does outplay itself."
November 22, 1990
The Og Mandino Story
Hello . . . This is Og Mandino.
Some memories of my long-ago childhood are still
very vivid, especially when I think of that special little red-headed
Irish lady who was my loving mother. She had a special dream for
her son. "Someday," she would tell me, again and again,
"someday you will be a writer . . . not just a writer but
a great writer! "
Well . . . I bought her dream. Most kids resent
having their parents plan their future but I liked the idea. A
famous writer. Yes! Mother had me reading grown-up books from
the library long before I entered the first grade and I was always
writing short stories for her approval.
In my senior year of high school I was editor
of the school paper and our plans were that in the fall I would
attend the University of Missouri because we believed that they
had the best journalism school in the country.
And, then . . . six weeks after I graduated from
high school, my mother dropped dead in our kitchen while she was
making lunch for me.
I had a terrible time trying to deal with her
passing. Instead of going on to college in the fall of 1940, I
went to work in a paper factory and, in 1942, I joined the Army
Air Corps. In 1943 I received my officer's commission and my silver
wings as a bombardier. I was an "officer and a gentleman"
two weeks before I could legally vote. I flew thirty bombing missions
over Germany in a B-24 Liberator. Jimmy Stewart also flew in the
same heavy bombardment group . . . the 445th. Nice man.
I returned to the United States, after the war
had ended, and discovered quickly that there wasn't much of an
employment market for bombardiers with only a high school education.
After many months of unemployment checks and painful searching,
I finally secured a job selling life insurance and married the
lady I had been dating before I went to war.
The following ten years were a living hell .
. . for me, for her, and even for the lovely daughter we had been
blessed with. It seemed that no matter how many hours of the day
and night I worked, struggling to sell insurance, we drifted deeper
and deeper into debt and I began to do what so many frustrated
individuals still do today, to hide from their problems.
On the way home, after a long day of sales calls
and canvassing for business, I would stop at a barroom for a drink.
After all, I deserved it, didn't I, following such a tough day?
Well, soon one drink became two, two became four, four became
six and finally my wife and daughter, when they could no longer
endure my behavior, left me.
The following two years are no more than a hazy
memory. I traveled the country in my old Ford, doing any kind
of odd jobs in order to earn enough for another bottle of cheap
wine and I spent countless drunken nights in gutters, a sorry
wretch of a human being, in a living hell.
Then, one cold wintry morning in Cleveland, one
I shall never forget, I almost took my life. I had passed the
window of a dingy pawn shop and paused when I saw, inside on a
shelf, a small handgun. Attached to its barrel was a yellow tag
. . . $29. I reached into my pocket and removed three ten dollar
bills . . . all I had in the world and I thought . . . "There's
the answer to all my problems. I'll buy that gun, get a couple
of bullets and take. them back to that dingy room where I'm staying.
Then I'll put the bullets in the gun, put the gun to my head .
. . and pull the trigger. . . and I'll never have to face that
miserable failure in the mirror again."
I don't know what happened next. I joke about
it now and say that I was such a spineless individual at that
time that I couldn't even muster enough courage to do away with
myself. In any event, I didn't buy that gun. As the snow was falling
I turned away from the pawn shop and commenced walking until I
eventually found myself inside a public library. It was so warm
after the outside chills of November.
I began wandering among the thousands of books
until I found myself standing in front of the shelves containing
scores of volumes on self-help, success, and motivation. I selected
several of them, went to a nearby table and commenced reading,
searching for some answers. Where had I gone wrong? Could I make
it with just a high school education? Was there any hope for me?
What about my drinking problem? Was it too late for me? Was I
doomed now to a life of frustration, failure, and tears?
That library visit was the first of many library
visits I began making as I wandered across the country, searching
for Og Mandino. I must have read hundreds of books dealing with
success and gradually my drinking subsided. Then, in a library
in Concord, New Hampshire, I discovered W. Clement Stone's great
classic, Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude . . . and
my life has never been the same since then.
I was so impressed with Stone's philosophy of
success, that one must be prepared to pay a price in order to
achieve any worthwhile goals, that I wanted to work for the man.
His book jacket indicated that he was president of Combined Insurance
Company of America and I searched until I found a subsidiary of
that company in Boston and applied for a salesman's job. At about
that same time, I met a lovely lady who had a lot more faith in
me than I had in myself and when Mr. Stone's insurance company
hired this thirty-two year old loser, I married the lady. Bette
and I have now been together for forty years.
Within a year I was promoted to sales manager
in the wide-open, and cold, territory of Northern Maine. I hired
several young potato farmers, taught them how to sell, applying
Stone's philosophy of a positive mental attitude, and we were
soon breaking company records.
Then I took a week off from work and rented a
typewriter. You see, the dream of writing had never really faded
from my heart. I wrote a sales manual on how one sells insurance
in the rural areas, typed it as neatly as I could and sent it
to Combined Insurance's home office in Chicago . . . just praying
that someone there would recognize the great talent they had buried
in Northern Maine.
Well, someone did! The next thing I knew, Bette
and I and our new young son, Dana, were moving to Chicago, with
all our possessions tied to the roof of our car and I was assigned
to the sales promotion department, writing company bulletins.
At last . . . I was finally writing!
Mr. Stone also published a small book titled
Success Unlimited which was circulated to all his employees and
shareholders. I had been working at the home office for several
months and had become a friend of Mr. Stone's when the editor
of his magazine retired. I boldly applied for the position, although
I knew nothing about magazine editing, and he not only gave me
the job but also entrusted me with a mission.
I was to convert his publication from a house
organ to a national magazine and I had a blank check from him
to take all the steps that were necessary to accomplish our goal.
In the following ten years our magazine staff grew from two to
sixty-two and we attained a paid circulation
of close to a quarter of a million!
Several months after I became the magazine's
editor I realized that I needed one more article to fill the next
issue that was going to press in just a few days . . . and there
was nothing suitable in our files. Well, I'm a golf nut and so
I went home and worked all night, writing a piece about Ben Hogan
and his terrible automobile accident when they told him he would
never walk again. The great man not only walked again, he won
the National Open again!
I ran the article in Success Unlimited and then
fate took over. A letter arrived on my desk from a New York publisher
. . . the kind of letter all writers dream about receiving. He
had enjoyed the Hogan article and believed I had much talent and
if I ever decided to write a book his company would be interested
in considering it for publication.
Eighteen months later we published a tiny book
entitled The Greatest Salesman in the World. Of course, since
no one had ever heard of Og Mandino, the first printing was rather
small, 5,000 as I remember. But here's where fate stepped in again.
Rich DeVos, co-founder of Amway Corp., was addressing an Amway
Convention and he told his people that there was a new book just
published that he believed would help all of them, The Greatest
Salesman In the World, written by a man with a funny name, he
said, Og Mandino.
Rich DeVos's testimonial triggered an unbelievable
number of book sales and many reprintings. When total sales reached
350,000 copies within a couple of years, Bantam Books purchased
the paperback rights . . . for more money than I believed there
was in the entire world. The book's sales have never abated. Even
now, thirty years after initial publication, it still continues
to sell more than 100,000 copies each month in paperback!
For many years now, I have received approximately
80 to 120 letters each week from grateful readers thanking me
for The Greatest Salesman in the World and relating examples of
how the book saved or changed the writer's life. Most amazing
to me is how many of these letters are lovingly sent by individuals
we would categorize as celebrities in the world of business, entertainment,
and sports. I respond to all of them, of course, but I respect
their privacy too much to divulge their names, ever.
What a lucky man I am!