I am trying to find the means to express my gratitude without sounding too cliche. However, a mere “Thank You” seems far too limited to convey how much of a Reality Check your, and Mark Hamilton’s writings have been for me. Thus, I would like to share my story with you:
I have had a dark cloud surrounding me for most of my 41 years. At the age of five, my mother became a Jehovah’s Witness and I was instantly thrust into the thickest, darkest cloud mass anyone could ever imagine. Of course I had no choice but to follow my mother’s direction, yet somehow I knew that their system of beliefs wasn’t for me – I knew something was wrong from the very start. I even remember crying and resisting against my mother before we entered the Kingdom Hall for the very first time! But the desire to please my mother, and no real contrarian viewpoints from my non-Jehovah’s Witness agnostic father, caused me to eventually acquiesce and stay with the cult for 11 years.
Ironically, I was actually a very good, well-respected member of my mother’s congregation. I had a knack for public speaking and, although I wasn’t yet old enough to become a fully ‘baptized’ member, I was allowed to give several “Talks” (i.e. speeches) on their more complex, convoluted theocratic dogma. However, I quietly struggled mightily with the duality I experienced in my life as one side of me wanted to be “normal” like my peers who freely indulged themselves in their play, reading, and entertainment choices, while remained a steadfast and pious “Lamb” restricted to the cult’s strict regimen of Bible Studies, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday night Meetings, and Field Service. My want for something more in life compelled me to go outside of the Organization and secretly begin reading works of fiction by Sir Author Conan Doyle and Jules Verne as means to escape from my confining little world. Sherlock Holmes quickly became my childhood hero as he scientifically debunked the ‘magic and mysticism’ that always overwhelmed and victimized his peers and consignees. With all due respect, Mr. Hamilton, I must credit Sherlock Holmes for offering me my first peek into the world that existed beyond that dark cloud.
When I became a teenager, the dual-life that I was leading became too unbearable to continue without some sort of direct questioning towards the very foundation of the Jehovah’s Witness’s teachings. I began to openly question many of their irrational and conflicting ideologies, particularly their resistance to higher learning via college and university. I was a decent student (which was encouraged by the Organization) who wanted to earn a mechanical engineering degree, so I found their unbridled fear of higher education to be completely bizarre – they believed that pursuing a higher education could be a fatal test of one’s faith, thus causing one to completely forsake Jehovah and become too reliant on their own judgement… sound familiar?
I first put this conundrum before my mother who, so steeped in the zombie-esque mode of non-thinking typical of religious fanatacs, could not provide a reasoned answer. Thwarted by my simple yet critical puzzle, she decided to seek guidance from the Elders of the Congregation. This was a crucial point in time for me because I was very close to the age of 16 and would soon be old enough to become a baptized member. Accordingly, the Elders met with me personally to dissuade my thinking. I argued that 1) if one’s faith is strong enough, a few years of education could easily be attained without succumbing to “Worldly” influences, and 2) upon arrival of the New System (i.e. the complete and total annihilation of all non- believers), members of the Organization would need individuals with knowledge of engineering, business, and the arts to help rebuild society. Again, I received zombie-like responses from the Elders who invoked specious passages from the Bible to basically counter with ‘God will take care of all of that, so you needn’t worry…’ Sensing that I was on the path to nowhere with the Jehovah’s Witness’s, I decided to disassociate myself from the Organization soon after my 16th birthday. Surprisingly, my mother took the news pretty well. She told me that she knew, courtesy of my tantrum when I was five, that I would eventually leave.
Fast forward about 24 years to the day I received your first classical postal service, white with red and blue envelope containing your introductory letter and offer. It’s safe to say that I was completely lost at this point in my life. I was unemployed, broke, and completely reliant upon my dear wife for financial support. During the span of years between my disassociation and that day, I had a few more glimpses into a cloudless world via the Objectivist teachings of Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff, but I was still in the midst of the storm.
Searching for some sort of “truth”, I even dabbled in Positive Thinking, Think and Grow Rich, and Law of Attraction snake-oils. Yet, none of these belief systems hit that underlying Honesty note deep within me.
Admittedly, when I opened and read your letter, I had pretty much resolved your offer to a scam! Yet despite my cynicism, it seemed like your offer was an answer to a cry for help. Looking back at that day, and with further understanding of Neo-Tech, I understand the reason why you hit a chord within me and I decided to give ‘your little idea’ a try. Fortunately, I had a little cash left over from an odd job I took earlier that week and bought the first Manuscript. I couldn’t believe the size of the manuscript when it arrived shortly thereafter!
Aesthetics aside, the information inside was simply incredible!
This was my first real introduction to Honesty. Your Prologue stated everything that those self-help, positive thinking, higher-consciousness charlatans just loved to refute, “You need control.”
That was like a Red-Pill for me! You placed the essential component of consciously interacting with reality right before me and I haven’t looked back since. I devoured your first Manuscript and anxiously awaited more. Superpuzzle was as visionary and powerful as Atlas Shrugged, but without the brooding, doom-and-gloom, doomsday scenario of Rand’s mysticism-shrouded narrative. It was the first story that moved me on an emotional level – I choked back tears of joy and sadness on several occasions as I followed the characters through their journey in the Anticivilization and onward into the C of the U.
During the course of reading the Neothink literature, I found steady employment, received a pro bono Patent for a device I had been developing just before Neothink (I include this because I definitely used Power-Thinking methodologies during the development stages of my patent and, although I hadn’t specific knowledge of Neothink at the time, I feel I can submit this accomplishment a testament to the Honesty and soundness behind this way of thinking), and have started developing my own business. I am currently re-reading all of the material and endeavor to meet others through your Neothink membership website. although, admittedly, I have become so immersed in my Business projects that I regrettably haven’t enough time to do so.
But the most important thing to me is that I now look upon the world and reality with a piercing sense of clarity and control. Things don’t always go my way, but I know I’m still in complete control of everything I do and every interaction I have with reality is clearly my responsibility. This gives me a power that no amount of positive- thinking, Objectivism, or Law of Attraction could ever hope to provide. Before the Honesty of Neo-Tech, I was like a driver barreling down the highway in his car through the night with no headlights on…
I knew the general direction in which I was headed, but had no way of seeing ahead of me. Now, thanks to your insights, I have both the high-beams and driving lights on and a cloud-free day is soon to arrive! For this, I am eternally grateful! Thank you so very much!