August 6, 2017 | Author: frankie57 | Category: Persuasion, Sales, Taxes, Perception, Credit Card
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You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

You Aren't Supposed To Know A Book Of Secrets

By Steve Gillman


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Legal Notice And Disclaimer

The author has used his best efforts to verify the information contained in this e-book, but makes no warranties with respect to the accuracy or applicability of the information. The author shall not be held liable for loss or damage resulting from use or misuse of the material here. All web sites linked to or mentioned are for informational purposes, and are not warranted for content, accuracy, or any implied purpose. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or used without permission from Steve Gillman, except for brief quotations that are properly credited.

Copyright 2009 - 2011 by Steve Gillman


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Table of Contents Page: 10 - Introduction 11 - Chapter 1 - Subliminal Persuasion Techniques You Can Use Today 36 - Chapter 2 - How To Read Minds And Influence The Opposite Sex 44 - Chapter 3 - How To Increase Your Brainpower - 70 Ways 60 - Chapter 4 - How To Get The Real News 67 - Chapter 5 - Medical and Health Secrets 90 - Chapter 6 - How Politicians Manipulate You 97 - Chapter 7 - Hypnotic Sales Writing 108 - Chapter 8 - The Power Of Neuro-Linguistic Programming 120 - Chapter 9 - How To Quickly Motivate Yourself 124 - Chapter 10 - How To Beat A Lie Detector Test 129 - Chapter 11 - How To Find People And Get Information 135 - Chapter 12 - Insider Secrets Of Treasure Hunting 141 - Chapter 13 - How I Make A Living On The Internet 146 - Chapter 14 - Make Money Online With No Website 150 - Chapter 15 - Twenty Ways To Make Any Business More Profitable 154 - Chapter 16 - How To Get Rid Of Your Debt 159 - Chapter 17 - How To Fix Your Credit 162 - Chapter 18 - Credit Card Company Tricks To Watch Out For 165 - Chapter 19 - I Watched Him Make $ 80,000 On The Roulette Wheel 173 - Chapter 20 - What Real Estate Agents Won't Tell You 176 - Chapter 21 - The Truth About Zero-Down Real Estate Investing 180 - Chapter 22 - How To Be More Creative 185 - Chapter 23 - How To Develop Your Intuition 187 - Chapter 24 - Secrets Of Focused Concentration 189 - Chapter 25 - Memory Secrets 193 - Chapter 26 - Secrets Of Spies 198 - Chapter 27 - Weight Loss Secrets 218 - Chapter 28 - Free Things - Are They Really Free? 221 - Chapter 29 - A Secret Of Lucky People 3

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

More Secrets (These start on page 223)

1. Fresh Breath Secret 2. E-mail Travel Trick 3. Free Campgrounds 4. Secret FSBO Marketing Technique 5. How To Put A Cigarette Out In Your Palm 6. Rent Rooms - Make Thousands 7. Keyword Research Secret 8. Towns With Houses Under $50,000 9. How To Get Government Documents 10. Breath Holding Secret 11. How To Do Better On A Physical Exam 12. Free Photos For Web Sites 13. High Altitude Secrets 14. The 25-Cent Potato Trick 15. Job Search Secret 16. Nickel-Dime Bar Trick 17. Coupon Secrets 18. Free Web Content From Article Banks 19. New Job Salary Negotiation Secret 20. Cheap Carpeting Trick 21. Landlord's Eviction Secret 22. Hidden Hot Springs 23. Make Money With Your RV 24. Keep A Traffic Ticket Off Your Record 25. Secret Business Currencies 26. The Secret To Buying And Selling Cars 27. Cosign That Loan? 28. Quality Shoes For Less 29. Motel Buying Scam 30. Auto 'Bluebook' Secret 31. Eat Out Cheap 32. Satellite TV For Less 33. Teenage Credit Building Secret 4

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

34. The Cheapest Long Distance 35. Systematic Poetry Secret 36. How To Be Remembered 37. Debit Cards Versus Traveler's Checks 38. Money Making Hobbies 39. Dirty Secret Of Doctor's Advice 40. Internet Arbitrage Secrets 41. Get A Higher Appraisal On Your Property 42. Manipulative Music In Stores 43. How To Get Out Of A Speeding Ticket 44. Assuming A Mortgage That Isn't Assumable 45. Cheap Magic Trick 46. You Can Levitate 47. Strobe Light Trick 48. Lose Five Pounds Tomorrow 49. Deposit A Check With No Signature 50. The 'Wizard' Magic Trick Revealed 51. Secret Of Store Brands 52. Secret For Staying Warm 53. Home Insurance Secret For Getting Claims Paid 54. Wealth Privacy Secret 55. A Trick To Save On Business Calls 56. Don't Be Irreplaceable 57. How To Diversify Out Of The Dollar 58. The "Rule Of 72" 59. Rummage Sale Secret 60. Simple Speed Reading Trick 61. Make Money With Credit Cards 62. Mind Power Ego Secret 63. Strange Ways To Make Money 64. Fastest Way To Learn A Language 65. Folded Dollar Bill Secret 66. Math Shortcuts 67. Emeralds Versus Diamonds 68. Price Testing Secret 69. Exercise Secret 70. Oils In Your Food That Kill You 71. Accupressure Sleep Secret 72. Cheap Car Rental Secrets 5

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

73. Cheap Dandruff Treatment 74. Make Money From Uncopyrighted Books And Articles 75. Bankruptcy Recovery Secret 76. Where To Get the Latest News Online 77. Research Your Family 78. Free Legal Advice 79. Free Medical Advice 80. Three Keys To Stain Removal 81. Hard Money Lenders 82. Secret Recipes 83. The Key To Lightweight Backpacking 84. Secret Hangover Cures 85. The Best Carpet Cleaning Method 86. Carpet Cleaning Secret 87. Test Your Website For Free 88. HTML Secrets 89. Free Money Search 90. Hypothermia Secrets 91. Nutmeg Gets You High 92. Mail Letters From Another Country 93. Have A Secret Address 94. Free Tire Repairs 95. Try Vodka For Fresher Flowers 96. Trick To Impress Friends 97. Avoid A Speeding Ticket 98. Be A Keyword Collector! 99. Secret To Selling A Home With Problems 100. Sneaky ATM Fees 101. Get Rid Of Credit Card Fees 102. Cheap Jewelry Secret 103. Deadlines Matter More Than You Think 104. Dirty Tricks Of Car Dealers 105. Delay Stock Sales Without Risk Of Loss 106. Car Savings Secret 107. Social Security Benefit Mistakes 108. Small Business Interest Tax Deduction 109. Tax Free IRA Rollover 110. Bottled Water Secrets 111. Better Job Interview Secret 6

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

112. Improve Your Lottery Odds 113. Diamond Ring Savings Secret 114. Cheap Viagra Substitute 115. Shopping Card Privacy Invasion 116. Hotel Room Deals 117. Stock Broker Secret 118. Secret Of Better Conversations 119. Low Fat Isn't Always Low Fat 120. The Cleanest Restroom Stall? 121. Secret Of Safer Hotel Stays 122. Older Drugs May Be Better 123. Hotel Concierge Secret 124. Better Than Arguing 125. Calorie Secret 126. Mutual Fund Tax Secret 127. Save Money On Medications 127. No Vacancy Doesn't Mean No Rooms 128. Pay Less Sales Tax On Used Cars 129. Real Estate Listing Secret 130. Demonstration Of The "Laffer Curve" 131. Cheap High Blood Pressure Treatment 132. A Secret To Avoiding People 133. Real Estate Lawsuit Protection 134. Hotel Room Theft 135. IRS Audit Secret 136. Don't Advertise Your Alarm System 137. Brainpower Secret 138. Getting Insurance Claims Paid 139. Stock Market Secret 140. Avoiding "Wind Chill" 141. How To Get Two IRA Tax Deductions 142. Kitchen Bacteria Secret 143. Resume E-Mail Secret 144. What Does Reduced-Calorie Mean? 145. Motion Sickness Secret 146. Travel Safety Secret 147. Computer Security Secret 148. Credit Safety Secret 149. Pickpocket Safety 7

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

150. Job Interview Secret 151. Hotel Room Bedspreads 152. Personal Energy Secret 153. Longevity Secret 154. A Secret For Ending A Phone Conversation 155. Biased News 156. Dirty Hotel Rooms 157. Another Media Bias Example 158. Drug Research Lies 159. Which Psychological Therapy Works? 160. Burglar Alarm Secret 161. Globalization Secret 162. Best Time To Buy Plane Tickets 163. Pure Fruit May Mean 30% Fruit 164. An Herbal Sleep Aid That Works 165. Credit Counseling Secret 166. Burglars Like Bushes 167. Viagra May Not Be The Answer 168. Hydrogenated Oil's Evil Twin 169. How To Retrieve A Letter 170. Sweaty Palms? 171. Best Guard Dog According To Burglars? 172. Highway Toll Secret 173. Home Security Secret 174. Appendectomy Mistakes 175. Another Mutual Fund Tax Secret 176. Slot Machine Secret 177. Gasoline Secrets 178. Insect Protection Trick 179. Retirement Secret 180. Reduce Cold Sores 181. Surviving A Hospital Stay 182. Secret Cancer Killer 183. Tooth Brushing Secrets 184. Pricier Models May Cost Less To Produce 185. Lost Bombs 186. Who Really Pays The Most Taxes? 187. Think Lincoln Wanted To Free The Slaves? 188. Watchful Eyes 8

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

189. Money Causes What? 190. Tax-Free Cash From Your Real Estate Investments 191. Offshore Account Warning 192. How To Get An Interest Deduction On A Car Loan 193. Reducing Taxes When Giving To Charity 194. Choosing A Financial Advisor 195. Discount Shopping Clubs Save You Money? 196. Sales Trick 197. How To Hide Valuables 198. Sun Danger Hype 199. Why Cities Have New Public Phones 200. Cutting Short A Cold 201. Adding Odors And Sounds 202. Buy Local? 203. Watch For Funny Math 204. Tea For Preventing Anthrax Poisoning 205. Cell-Phone Credit Card Scam 206. Doctor Appointment Secret 207. Banks Versus Money Market Funds 208. Spotting a Fake ID 209. Little-Known Drug Database 210. Pinkeye Cure 211. Prozac Doesn't Work 212. Sneaky Check Clearing Practices 213. How To Have Bank Fees Reversed 214. Eliminating A Late Credit Card Fee 215. Credit Card Credit Score Secret 216. How To Eliminate An Old Debt 217. Subliminal Scent Marketing 218. How To Find Out Of Print Books 219. Getting Past Automated Phone Menus 220. How To Get Health Insurance Claims Paid 221. Dealing With Debt Collectors 222. Best Time To Have Surgery Done 223. Best Time To Fill A Prescription


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman


Is there such a thing as "secret information?" Some people may think that not much remains truly hidden anymore. Not true! There are many little-known tricks-of-the-trade, techniques of control, and secrets. Of course many of the people "in the know" don't want you to know about them. Politicians, salesmen and others use subtle techniques to influence you, for example. Do you think they want you to know what they're doing? What else is being kept from you? How about the truth regarding oil changes? Did you know that the standard of an oil change every 3,000 miles was simply invented by the oil change industry? There is no real basis for it. In 100,000 miles, if you change the oil every three thousand miles instead of the manufacturer's recommended 6,000 mile frequency, you'll have an extra 17 oil changes. At $32 per oil change, that is an extra $544! That little secret comes from the bonus e-book 99 Lies, and is explained in greater detail there. I bring it up here to show you what a little knowledge can do for you. Now you can avoid throwing away thousands of dollars on oil changes over your lifetime (That pays for this book a few dozen times over, doesn't it?). If you're one of the few who already knew this one, don't worry. There will still be much for you to learn and use in the following pages. Some of these secrets you may have read about before, because any purchaser of this book probably already looks outside the mainstream for information and knowledge. Much of it, however, will be entirely new to you. I hope you can make good use of it.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

1 - Subliminal Persuasion Techniques You Can Use Today

Subliminal: Below the threshold of conscious perception. A smile can be a form of subliminal persuasion, assuming the person who is persuaded is not consciously aware that they were influenced by it. In fact, it has been shown in studies that patrons of bars buy more drinks and tip more if the bartender smiles at them. No real surprise there, but still a valuable tool for any waiters, waitresses and bartenders who haven't yet put this income booster to work consistently. Is it unfair to subliminally persuade people? Probably no more so than it is to persuade them at all. In other words, it depends on what you are trying to get them to do. For example, if it is good for him, is it wrong to use subtle techniques to help a woman overcome her fear and enroll in an investing course that can make her wealthy? Is it wrong to influence an obese man to lose weight? Certainly the knowledge and techniques here can be used for bad purposes. They can be used for good as well. Finally, even if you don't choose to practice and apply the following methods, don't you at least want to know if they are being used on you?

The Techniques Some of the best subliminal persuasion techniques come from NLP (neurolinguistic programming). For example, if you hear a person saying, "I see," a few times, they are probably processing information visually, according to NLP. To influence them then, you would use phrases like, "You can see how..." or you would actually show them things. A more auditory person would be influenced more if you said, "I hear what you're saying," and 11

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

"Listen..." That's a technique you may have read about before - it is in many books now. But there are many techniques of subliminal persuasion that are not so well known. In the examples that follow, you'll find both the well-known techniques (in case you haven't tried them yet) and the more secret techniques. Some of these may border on unethical at times. I will report on them anyhow, and let you decide which you want to use. In any case, you need to know about them. Why? Because others may be using them on you.

Use A Person's Name This is one of the most common persuasion techniques. You have probably heard salesmen use this technique and abuse it. A statement like "Look Steve, you can see the benefits of this..." just turns me off. You see, there is more subtlety and art to persuasion than just following simple rules. People do love to hear their own name, but you have to be careful how you use it. First of all, you have to use it how they want to hear it. Ask them how they prefer to be addressed. A Mike may not like "Michael," and a Joseph may be irritated by you calling him "Joe." Second, use it at the right time. Unless you are great at reading people and know it is okay, don't say "Hi Betty!" the moment she walks into your office. Like myself, Betty may be irritated if you use her name with familiarity too soon. Wait until there is a bit of rapport, and sometimes even ask permission; "Is it okay if I call you Betty?"

Use Motivating Words If you say "think about it," they'll do just that. It's not a call to action. Instead, use words like "today," and "now," and "do this." The sounds of similarly-pronounced words may matter as well. The words "buy" and "by" are a classic example. Many subliminal experts will tell you 12

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

that even using "by now," repetitively, as in "By now you can see that this car is luxurious," is subconsciously taken as "buy now." Now you'll know what's going on if you hear a salesman using this little trick. Remember to use their words. For example, if you hear a man use the word "efficient" often, then it's important to him - so start using it: "You can see how efficient this RV is in its use of space." Pay attention and pick out any words a person uses often. To see this in action, consider what words you commonly use, and see if any smart sale's people are catching on and using them with you. Also watch for the type of words they use. Do they use visual, aural, or kinesthetic words? "I see" is something a more visually-oriented person would use. "I hear what you're saying," is something a more aurally-oriented person might say. A person who is more kinesthetic will use expressions like, "I'm not sure how I feel about that." This can be important. Suppose you want to convince your spouse to go to the Bahamas with you. It makes a difference which words you use. "We'll be feeling that sun on our backs," is not the same as "We'll see sunny beaches," or We'll listen to the waves at night." You may use all of these, but one of the three types of words will usually work better than the others.

Find Key Motivators Our prime motivators are survival, food and shelter. However, we each are also motivated by some or all of the following: Ego Vanity Pleasure Pain Anger Love Pride Envy Greed Hostility 13

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Acceptance Approval Maternal Instinct Random Feelings Listen, listen and listen some more. Then you can identify those motivators that are strongest in a person This is valuable knowledge if you want to influence them. If you are raising money for a charity, for example, and you have identified "ego" as a strong motivator in a prospect, you can perhaps promise to give him a prominent mention in your newsletter if he donates enough. The idea is to find a way to use their own motivators to influence them to do what you want.

Ask Questions You want to know a little general information about the person you are trying to influence, but you also want to know specific things. You need to determine in what areas he or she is defensive, for example, so you can avoid those areas, or have plans to deal with them. You especially should ask about previous decisions. The information you gather will help you determine what circumstances and information this person needs to make a decision and act. For an example of this in action, let's suppose you want the woman in front of you to be your new girlfriend. You are in a casual conversation, and the subject of partners comes up. You ask what it was that made her fall in love with her last boyfriend. "When I first met him, he really listened to me," she starts, "and I could tell he was really paying attention, not just pretending to." At this point you would want to look right into her eyes and really listen, of course. "He was such a gentleman too," she adds. If she pulls out a cigarette you better be ready to light it. "And I just felt safe when I was with him." At this point, you have some good information. If you walk her to her car, you know you better guide her around that patch of ice (make her feel safe) and open the door for her (be a gentleman). Of course, you should always listen to a woman (or any person) you want to be with. 14

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

If you are trying to sell an investment to someone, you need to ask questions like, "What have you invested in before?" Then ask "How long did it take you to decide on that investment?" and "What made you finally decide to invest in that?" If he tells you that he had to check with his wife, you need to start selling his wife too. If he says he makes up his own mind and doesn't like pushy salesmen, you need to help him be the "expert."

Be Like Them People like people who are like themselves. People are more easily persuaded by people they like. The lesson is that if you want to persuade people, be like them. There are simple ways to do this, like dressing in a way that isn't intimidating to them. Subtle tones and non-solid colors are usually best in this respect. Then there are the more subtle ways to be like them. Be a chameleon. Change your language to more closely match theirs. Sit like they sit. Use the same facial expressions. Laugh when they laugh. This is called "mirroring and matching." When done well, you can establish rapport quickly and easily with most people. A bond begins to develop between you, and you can test this by "leading." This means that once you have established the bond, you change your body posture, to see if they unconsciously do the same. If so, they are ready to follow. You continue to mirror and match, but you also start to lead them right to the bottom line on the contract, or to whatever action you want them to take. How well does this work? A study done at INSEAD business school in Fontainebleau, France, and reported in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, volume 44, page 461, tested the effect of mimicking behavior on 166 students. One part involved job negotiation, and another involved the interaction between buyers and sellers. Both showed that subtle mimicry worked. In the buyer/seller experiment, for example, those not using mimicry made a sale less than 13% of the time. Those who did copy the behaviors of the prospects made a sale 67% of the time. These were role-playing 15

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

experiments, so it is still an open question if you could get that kind of dramatic advantage in real life situations, but the effect is real, so there is undoubtedly some advantage. In another study, this time at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, students were asked to talk about a new soft drink with sales representatives. The students did not know that the drink was fictitious (an existing soda was used), or that they were in an experiment. Half of the salesmen mimicked the facial expressions and behaviors of the students. That half elicited much better ratings for the drink, and the students talked to be them even drank more of it. Mirroring and matching works. But be subtle, and if you think that the prospect suspects you are mimicking him or her, stop.

Use Inflection It is easy to assume that a sentence like "I can't promise you that price." has only one meaning. In reality, though, inflection provides much of the actual meaning. Look at the each of the sentences below, each with a different word emphasized, and followed by the implied meaning. I can't promise you that price. (But maybe someone can.) I can't promise you that price. (There's no way.) I can't promise you that price. (But maybe you'll get it.) I can't promise you that price. (But I can promise someone else.) I can't promise you that price. (But maybe a good price.) I can't promise you that price. (But I can promise something.) The meaning of our statements is determined by which words we emphasize, and it is a subtle process. If you can't promise him that price, you can tell him "I can't promise you that price," and he may still feel good about the situation, especially if you immediately follow with what you can 16

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

promise him. You probably know what you want to say to a person. Understanding the subtle power of inflection will mean you actually say it.

Use Their Own Words Restate what a person has said they want, and then show them how you can give them that. We all need to have some internal consistency, so we don't like to act against what we say. This is why, as long as you have what they need, this technique works well. For an example, we'll suppose you are selling a prospect a vacation. After listening to what they want, you find something that fits their needs, and then say, "If I remember right, you said you wanted a warm beach, under $2,000 for the week, and with nearby nightlife. I think we're in luck. Both of the packages we just looked at fit your criteria, so do you like Cancun or the Bahamas better?" It is tough for someone to say they are not interested when you just found exactly what they said they wanted, and reminded them of their words.

How To Plant An Idea To plant an idea in a person's mind, say something like, "What will you do if your plan doesn't work?" In this case you have planted the seed of doubt. This doesn't have to be a negative plant, though. The idea is simply to get a person to answer in a given direction. This gets them thinking in that direction. Suppose you are selling prepackaged internet businesses. You ask a prospective client, "What will you do if this internet business doubles your current income?" A question like that plants the idea of success, and the process of answering of it generates excitement. Be aware that people all around you use this technique half-consciously, but the ideas that most of them plant in their friend's minds are fear-based. A man wants to open a restaurant, for example, and his friend asks casually, "Have you seen the statistics for the failure of new restaurants?" Or a woman wants to travel alone and her friends asks, "Isn't that really 17

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

dangerous?" If you choose to plant ideas in your friend's minds, you might want to try more positive ones. For example, if a friend has credit card debt, rather than telling him what he needs to do (few care for our "helpful" advice), you might ask, "What would you do if you really needed to get out of debt quick?" This could get your friend thinking in the right direction.

How To Create A State Of Mind To create a state in a person, talk about that state, and invite the person to participate in the discussion. For example, if you want to generate some excitement in a friend, talk about how exciting something is to you, and ask what gets her going. She will likely get excited as she explains. You can also ask people to recall something from a time you know (or can assume) they were in the state you want them to be in now. This could be whatever state you think will be useful. Remind them of some injustice, for example, and have them recount it, and they will likely become angry all over again.

Getting People To Be Their Own Salesmen People generally don't like to be "sold" by anyone but themselves. So whether you want a man to buy a television or your husband to take you to Hawaii, you'll have more success if you know how to get your "prospect" to make the sale's pitch. Here are some examples of how this can be done. In a regular sales situation this technique is much easier to use, because you normally are only hoping to get the prospect to buy "something." For example, if you're selling him a large-screen television, it isn't necessarily important which one he buys, as long as it's one from your store. After he has seen a few then, you ask him which one he favors, and - this is the crucial part - ask him why. The idea here is to get him to start arguing for a particular television. If he has good reasons, admit it to him, as though he is winning an argument. You 18

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

essentially let him sell you on why he should buy that TV. It is hard for a man to then say no to his own sale's pitch. For a "sale," where you want one particular outcome, you have to be more creative. For example, suppose a woman wants to convince her husband that they should take a vacation in Hawaii. First, she should find some activities he would enjoy there. She may want to go for the beach and hiking opportunities, but if he would be more excited by shark-fishing and volcano tours, that's where she needs to start the conversation. However, if he is already resistant to the idea of the trip, just telling him what fun he could have will cause him to argue against the idea. Instead, his wife needs to get him arguing for the trip. To do this, she can casually mention another friend who went, and say something like, "They have these shark-fishing cruises and volcano tours, but hiking would be fun too. Which sounds better to you - I mean if we ever go there someday?" She isn't suggesting buying tickets yet, but just asking a hypothetical question. He has no reason to get defensive about a trip that isn't even being planned or directly suggested. So he answers, possibly adding other thing he would like to do, if they ever go. Once he answers, she immediately asks him why he would want to do these things, and what "his" activities would involve. This get's him arguing for shark-fishing and volcano tours in Hawaii, and actually imagining them, which gets him more excited about the trip. As she hesitantly acknowledges that his idea of fun isn't so bad, he "wins" the argument for a trip he might have said no to if she proposed it outright. His wife gets him to sell himself on the idea. Of course, she'll work in her hiking or beach time once they finally plan the trip.

Using Cognitive Dissonance We all try to be consistent with what we think we should be, and what we believe or say. When faced with possible inconsistency, we experience what psychologists call "cognitive dissonance," the stress resulting from holding two contradictory cognitions at once. A "cognition," in this context, can be a thought, attitude, emotion, belief or behavior. 19

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

For example, suppose a man thinks he's a nice person, but says something cruel to a woman he works with. That uncomfortable feeling he experiences is less about her being hurt as it is about violating his belief about himself as a nice man. This is cognitive dissonance, but the important point for our purposes is that he feels the need to resolve it (we all do). He can do so in number of ways. First, he could alter his belief, recognizing that he's not always nice perhaps the least likely option to be chosen. Second, he can explain why she deserved it, thus making it her fault, not his, a common way to resolve one's own self-doubt. He could blame it on other factors, telling himself he's only this way when tired, for example. The many psychological responses to cognitive dissonance are fascinating, but how do we use them? Start by getting people to say something about who they are or what they believe. Then fashion your "sale's pitch" in such a way that doing what you want resolves any cognitive dissonance, or in such a way that any other choice causes the discomfort of inconsistency. By the way, this works whether actually selling a product, an idea, or just trying to persuade a man to take a particular action. Is this a dirty trick? Yes. Here's how it might work: A man enters your stereo shop one evening and tells you a little bit about what he is looking for. You tell him about some stereo that you'll be selling in a couple weeks, but describe it in a way that makes him not want it. You finish with, "But that won't be here for a couple weeks. You want something today, right?" If he agrees, you have what you want. The idea is to get him to say something that you can use. He will feel uncomfortable acting in a way which contradicts what he has said. After he says something like, "Yes, I want to bring something home tonight," you might now say, "Well, it's getting late for more shopping, so if you really want to get a stereo today, I think I have what you need right over here." The phrase, "if you really want to get a stereo today," reminds him of his words, influencing him to follow through on them. Let's look at a non-monetary example. Suppose you are trying to organize a clean-up of a local park, and you are with friends who might help. Instead of 20

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

asking directly, you steer the conversation to the trash in the park and let them talk about it. Then you suggest, "Us city residents should do something about it, shouldn't we?" As soon as they agree, you ask each one which day they can volunteer a few hours to help you. Publicly stated beliefs and commitments are the most uncomfortable ones for a person to contradict or back out of. Another way to use cognitive dissonance is to suggest something about a person that they can agree with, and ask for a small commitment based on it. For example, if you want to influence a man politically, you might start with, "Hi, you probably care about justice, so could I have just thirty seconds of your time?" In his mind, he immediately agrees to the first part, and to be consistent he feels the need to grant your small request, due to your subtle inference that if he cares, he will give you that thirty seconds. This is just a first step, of course. Small commitments lead to larger ones. In one study, reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, psychology students were asked to participate in research on thinking processes. One group was told beforehand that they would have to show up at 7:00 A.M. Only 24% agreed to take part. The second group was first asked if they would participate, and 56% agreed. Then they were told it would start at 7:00 A.M, and 95% still showed up, for an overall compliance rate of over 53%, more than twice that of the first group. One obvious lesson here is that you might want to mention the good stuff first when seeking a commitment. Afterwards, having agreed to something, people feel uneasy saying no, even if the new information makes them not want to continue. Other research shows that any minor commitment makes people far more likely to make a larger one. If you first agree to watch you friends dog for an hour, for example, you're more likely to later agree to care for him for a week (don't you hope your friend doesn't know these tricks?). This is true even though you never said you would watch him for a week. By watching him at all, you've created a cognition of yourself as the "helpful friend who watches the dog," and you feel cognitive dissonance when thinking of denying the next request. It becomes easier to say yes. This is all very manipulative, at least when used consciously. I am not 21

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

recommending that you use these techniques, and I think there are morehonest and rational ways to persuade others. But if these less-honest methods are being used on you, at least you'll be able to recognize that now.

The Obligation Trap John comes up to Sally in the office and hands her a bar of her favorite chocolate. "I just saw it and thought you might need a mid-morning snack." She happily takes it. Later in the day John casually says to her, "Hey Sally, if the boss comes by, could you let him know that you saw me here by nine this morning?" She didn't see him until ten, but she finds herself saying, "Yeah, okay." We tend to feel a sense of obligation when given something. This psychological phenomenon is often used by smart salesmen and others. True story (with names changed): In a big-money business negotiation, Joe mentioned that he liked Frank's expensive watch, thinking that flattery would help him get what he wanted. Frank took it off and handed it to the Joe. "It's yours," he said. "I've got another." Joe tried to refuse, but Frank insisted. After such a generous gift, Joe found it difficult not to agree to some of the terms Frank immediately proposed in the negotiations. A $600 watch may have bought Frank tens of thousands of dollars in concessions. I have read about car salesmen who stop heated negotiations to step out to buy themselves and the customer a soda. They claim that they close a lot more deals this way. It seems that a one-dollar gift may just make a person hesitate to argue about a $300 item. Notice that this is not a rational calculation. If it were, Joe might allow for a $600 concession, or that car buyer might think, "Okay, I'll pay a dollar more for the car." But what really happens is the creation of a less-conscious sense of obligation toward the gift-giver, which he or she can use in very profitable ways. To understand how powerful this can be, a study was done by Cornell University researcher Dennis Regan. He had two accomplices sell raffle 22

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

tickets to employees. The first made an effort to be friendly to everyone first, before mentioning the tickets. The second was rude and very negative around everyone first, but then bought drinks for the employees. Afterwards, he sold twice as many tickets to the workers, despite the fact that he was rude and the other seller was nice. Apparently the sense of obligation created over-ruled people's normal tendency to buy from the nice guy. By the way, this is exactly why many charitable organizations send you free address labels when asking for a donation. I'm not sure that the saying "give and ye shall receive" was meant as a subliminal influence technique, but it works. Use it if you think it is appropriate. But be wary of it being used on you. There is one more important way this is used. If you want to create a sense of obligation in a person, particularly an obligation to give you some information, tell that person a secret. This may work even better if you first ask, "Do you want to know a secret?" Once he says yes, and you tell him some juicy bit of information, he will feel inclined to return the favor - when you are ready.

Social Validation Theaters have been known to have accomplices in the audience who clap or laugh so that real audience members will do the same. This is the principle of social validation. We look to what others around us are doing to validate what is normal and acceptable. In sales situations, this can mean mentioning other purchasers who the prospect knows. She feel more comfortable buying if she knows others who have done so. In a retail setting, a store could hire undercover shoppers to congregate around things that they want to sell more of. Real shoppers will respond by at least checking out what is being sold. Testimonials from "ordinary people" do the same thing. Interestingly, just calling something a "best seller" or "our most popular product," can dramatically increase sales. We want what others want, perhaps assuming there are good reasons others have chosen these things, 23

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

but without really knowing if the item actually is popular. In fact, evidence that a product is actually better doesn't seem to matter nearly as much as the mere assertion that it is a customer favorite. In other words lying to us and using social validation works.

Scarcity We have all seen the signs in stores that say, "today only," or "limited quantities." They're there because they work. We respond to scarcity, sometimes buying things we wouldn't have bought or buying more than we need, because this is the "last chance." The lesson? If you want to get a man to buy your handmade banjos or agree to a fishing trip, tell him something like, "I'm only offering this to a few people, and only this week." If you are selling raffle tickets, always have your "last four" (or two or six) in your hands.

Less Is More This is a subtle technique that is based on the latest research into how people form strong opinions. Interestingly, studies show that if people have many reasons for believing something, they ascribe less value or weight to each, and they often feel more strongly if they have just a couple good reasons. In one university study, for example, students were told there would be new exams as part of their course. Half were asked to give eight reasons why this was a bad idea, while the other half were asked to give just two reasons why this was a bad idea. Those who gave just two reasons were later much more opposed to the new plan. Other studies have confirmed this tendency to be more convinced by fewer arguments. Researchers theorize that because it is easier to come up with one or two good reasons, it is easier to have confidence in those opinions. The practical application? First of all, don't be tempted to ask a person for "one good reason" why they disagree with your plan or idea. They'll not only find one, but it will be convincing to him or her. Instead, when trying 24

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

to persuade a person, ask him to tell you one or two (three at most) positive things about your idea or product or proposal.

Using Your Voice You probably know or suspected that news broadcasters have voicetraining. What you may not have known is that they are specifically taught to inflect their voices downwards at the end of their sentences. To listeners, this suggests authority and confidence, making them seem more trustworthy. Inflecting the voice upwards at the end of sentences is perceived as doubt and lack of confidence. To train yourself in this way, find a few short things to read aloud. Try both upwards and downward inflection at the end of sentences until you are clear about the difference. Record yourself, and after practicing for a while, record yourself again to see if you are improving. A confident and trustworthy voice and good eye-contact can go a long way toward influencing people. Your voice also conveys meaning according to how you say certain things. It was found that juries in California were two times as likely to convict defendants with prior convictions and criminal records if the judge knew about these. By law the judges can't tell the jury of these, but it's hypothesized that judges are communicating their bias in their attitude and tone of voice. "How are you doing?" said sarcastically is obviously communicating something different than an excited "How are you doing?!" said with a smile. Watch your tone of voice and how you say things for a couple days. Are you communicating what you consciously intend? If not, start practicing. One last tip about voice. For some reason, people with a deeper voice are judged to be more sincere and believable. Because of this, some speakers drink hot tea just before a speech, to make their voices sound lower. You may want to try that before getting in front of an audience.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

The Words You Use In a study, people were asked if they had headaches occasionally. Then they were asked to estimate how often. The average was .7 headaches weekly. Another group was asked if they had headaches frequently, and asked to estimate how many. The average was 2.2 per week. In other words, simply by changing one word in the initial question, researchers influenced participants to estimate three times as many headaches. Words alter our perception of reality. In a more dramatic case, defendants in lawsuits regarding car accidents were asked either how fast they were going when they "smashed" into the other car, or "hit" the other car. Much higher speeds were reported by those asked the first question. How do you use this information? Think of the words to use that will most likely influence the person you are talking to in the direction you desire. If a man wants to buy a drink for a woman he doesn't know, for example, instead of asking, "Can I buy you a drink?" he might try, "Would you like a delicious glass of wine?" If you want to influence a choice, you make the one you want the person to make sound better, and the others sound worse. "Do you want to stay trapped in your job, or would you like to make some money in a fun business?" "Would you like the regular beer, or the cold and tasty special?" "Are you going to stick with what you know and the results you've had, or are you going to learn the powerful secrets found in this book and start living better? Just associating certain words with a person or idea can influence how people see that person or idea. Newt Gingrich (former speaker of the house of representatives) is said to have circulated a list of words for other Republicans to use. If speaking about Republicans and their causes, they were to use the words, "dream, courage, common sense, duty, fair, family, freedom." When talking about Democrats and their causes, they were supposed to use the words, "betray, corruption, devour, destroy, cheat, bizarre, disgrace, crisis." The lesson? Watch out for how others use certain words to quietly affect the way you see things. And perhaps choose carefully the words that you use to 26

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

describe those things which you wish to promote.

Using Contrast It has long been noted that when faced with a large request or purchase to which a person says no, that same person is more likely to then agree to a smaller request or purchase. It's a matter of contrast. After the salesman shows you the $4,000 couch, the $900 one doesn't seem so expensive. In one study, researchers asked college students to donate blood. The first group was asked to donate their blood every two months for three years. They almost all said no. The next day they were asked to donate just one time, on the next day. 49% agreed. The control group was simply asked to donate once, without the request for the three-year commitment. Only 31% of them agreed. How do you use this? Request much more than you need, and then make a smaller request for what you really wanted. You can also hint at a larger request. Suppose, for example, you want to borrow $20 from a co-worker. You mention your bills and talk about how you're going to have to borrow a few hundred dollars from someone to stay out of trouble. At this point, when he is thinking you're about to ask for a big loan, you say, "Hey, I don't have any cash on me for lunch. Could you loan me $20 until next weeks paycheck?" Relieved that you aren't asking for hundreds of dollars, he agrees. This is used by smart business people all the time, by the way. If a furniture store has two types of kitchen tables, one for $200 and the other for $900, all they have to do to increase the sales of the second is add one for $3,000. They may not ever sell the most expensive one, but by contrast it makes the others look much cheaper, and more customers who would have bought the $200 one buy the $900 one. If you have a retail business, you may want to experiment with this technique.

Using Expectation In general, people do as they are expected to do. There was a study in which 27

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

girls who were told they would do poorly on math tests actually did worse on them than those who were not told that.. In another test, adults doing difficult mazes to solve did better when they were told they were designed for grade school children. You can use this phenomenon to influence people, and in good ways. For example, if Joe works for you and you have assigned him a project with a deadline, you can make it clear that you have confidence in him. You could reinforce that by letting him overhear you praise him to a colleague. Most of us have seen instances where this works in negative ways as well. The children that teachers expect to fail are more likely to fail, regardless of inherent ability. And we know that one's own expectations have a profound impact on performance. Cruel people encourage this self-image-lowering phenomenon with comments like, "You don't really think you'll succeed, do you?" Specific expectations can work as well. If you want a person to agree to some plan of yours, act as though you expect them to. This won't always work, but it increases the odds. Another form of specific expectation is praising what you want to see more of. In one study, the students of a psychology class decided to compliment any woman wearing red, to see what would happen. After a while, the percentage of woman wearing red on campus doubled from 11% to 22%. Based on research like this and our own experience, it seems reasonable that we can influence people with healthy praise. Want someone to help you more? Praise him for how helpful he is. Want employees to show up early more often? Praise them when they are early. One last note: praising in public may be even more effective than in private, because you build a "community expectation" about the person's behavior.

Clothing Suppose a man dressed in a ripped t-shirt got up in front of an audience at a seminar on how to get rich. Do you think he would be taken seriously? There are reasons to dress a certain way if you want to influence people. 28

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Dressing like the person you want to influence may help, because people tend to like those who are like them, and clothing is one of their first clues to similarity. On the other hand, people in jeans still expect their financial planner to wear something more formal. We have expectations for the clothing worn by people in certain positions. We also make assumptions based on what they are wearing, and are more likely or less likely to follow them according to their clothing. In a simple experiment, a man dressed in a suit crossed the street at a fairly busy intersection while the sign said, "Don't Walk." About 14% of the people who had been waiting for the light to change decided to follow him. The next day the same man did this again, but this time dressed in casual, sloppy clothes. This time only 3% of the waiting people followed. People follow the example of those they perceive as "authorities," and clothing helps create that perception.

Ego Stroking You have probably met people who tell everyone what they want to hear about themselves. If you haven't tried this kind of basic flattery, it actually can be effective. Most of the time this isn't really subliminal ("below the threshold of conscious perception"), because people are perfectly aware that you're appealing to their egos. Nonetheless, they like it and want you to continue, so they will often comply with your wishes. There are more subliminal techniques involving ego, though. For example, if I ask a strong chess player to evaluate my game, he won't normally notice that his telling me I'm a decent player is actually an ego trip for him. I set him up as the "expert" after all, and to be able to say I'm good he has to be good enough to recognize that. The basis of this "trick" is to find something that you can make the person an "expert" at, and then ask for his or her opinion. Then you move toward asking for what you really want. For example, suppose Sam wants his friend to help him move his things into his new apartment. 29

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

His friend loves clothes and thinks dressing well is important, so Sam says, "Hey, maybe you can help me. I have an interview next week, and I was thinking of wearing what I have on now. Do you think this is good enough?" Whatever the answer, Sam asks his friend for a few more pointers. Then he says, "By the way, there is something else I could really use your help with. Could you help me move a few things into my new apartment?" His friend has already been put into the "helpful mode" and has had his ego stroked by the insinuation that he is an expert on dressing for success. This makes a him more likely to agree to the request.

Ego Challenges Subtle challenges to the ego can backfire, but if used properly they not only work, but go unnoticed. We all tend to defend our egos. When specific abilities are challenged, especially those of our profession or area of expertise, it is a common response to "prove" those abilities. One way this is used is with simple questions like, "Are you sure you can do that?" It should be asked with some hesitation or doubt in the voice. Whatever it is, if he didn't want to do it before, now he does. He wants to prove that he can. One of my favorite stories of using an ego challenge was from a man who was stopped by a highway patrolman for speeding. It seemed certain that he would get a ticket, but he knew how to both be nice and challenge the officer at the same time. He started with, "Hi!" and a smile. "I know I was going too fast. I don't normally speed, but I'm late for my daughter's recital. Can you let me go with a warning? If you can't do it, I totally understand." Notice that the line, "If you can't do it" suggests that he may not have the authority. It is said in a nice way, but it is a subtle ego challenge which insinuates that the officer doesn't have much power. To prove otherwise, he has to let the man go, which he did, by the way. Be careful how you use this. You might say something like, "I know you probably don't have the authority, but..." This could be even more effective, but the closer you get to making the ego challenge obvious, the more likely 30

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

it will be seen as a direct insult. Ideally, you want the person recognize the challenge on a deeper level, but not consciously. This technique is often used in high-pressure sales pitches. For example, a recruiter for a multi-level marketing company might tell you, "This opportunity is really only for people ready to take action." He is suggesting that you may not be such a person, and hoping you will try to prove him wrong by signing up. A wine salesman might say, "This one is a favorite of our more discriminating clients." The buyer can then be discriminating or "cheap." Ego challenges work when done right.

Secret Subliminal Clues, Cues and Tips (Some of these are unproven, but worth a try.) - Face women directly, but take an angular stance to men. This is perceived as less confrontational. - Don't discuss anything while you are standing and the other person is sitting. - The more receptive a person is to you , the closer they move. They may lean over the table or step closer. Moving away from you means they are less receptive. - On first meetings, subtly act as if you own the place, have good but relaxed posture, and nod to people, even if you haven't met. - Handshakes are not always a good idea. Use your judgment, but always put out your hand once they do, and match their facial expression. - Sitting side-by-side can be much less confrontational and more conducive to good rapport than sitting across a desk from someone. - Brief touches on shoulders, forearms or hands while emphasizing a point or agreeing with a person can be a powerful way to establish rapport. However, unless you are truly skilled in reading people, you should avoid all touching. 31

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

- Have the right amount of distance between you. A rough guide: Intimate 0 to 2 feet; Personal - 2 to 4 feet; Public - 4 feet or more. This varies greatly from culture to culture and person to person, so follow their lead and respect their space requirements. - When they say "Let me see if I got this right," they are ready to decide, as long as, upon review, everything you say is as they expect. It can also mean they see a problem, and want you to confirm it or explain it away. Either way, a decision is near. - Cheeks get pale when a person is agitated, hostile or aggressive. - Body positions can be just a matter of comfort, but watch for changes just after they say something, like crossing their arms defensively. - When showing charts or pictures, point without looking (look at the person). Don't show the back of your hand or a clenched fist when you point. Also, don't grip a pointer like a knife. - Casual showing of a fist or back of your hand can influence a submissive person, if you want to dominate them. - After a statement or question, if the person's hands are palms-up, they are cooperative and ready to agree. Palms-down means you should slow down, and ask if they have any questions. - If their hands are clutching their body, they have no belief or trust in you. It is best to start over. - If their hands are clutching the chair or table, they are defensive. Ask a few questions to discover their true feelings. - If their hands are on the table, with the forefinger raised, they intend to dominate the you and/or the conversation. You may have to make the right moves and countermoves to establish respect and rapport. - If their hands are tightly closed in a fist, they are naturally aggressive or you pissed them off. In this case, it is best to let them express their feelings 32

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

before continuing. - When their hands are clasped behind their heads, or their fingertips are steepled in front of them, they want to dominate you or the situation. - If their hands are grooming their hair, they are unsure if they agree. - When their hand is rubbing their forehead, or shading the eyes, they are usually bored, don't agree, and won't listen to you. - If their hands are out of sight, they may be aware that hands communicate. - People distrust people wearing sunglasses. - Dress as the person you want to influence would want or expect. - Initial eye contact with someone you're meeting for the first time should be intense but brief, less than five seconds, and broken with a sideways glance (never downward). - Look at a person when they start talking, break contact when they pause, and then look back again. - Establish eye contact when you start speaking, and glance away when done, or toward the person if you expect a response. - Look at a person in the area between the top of the eyes and the point of the nose for business meetings, and between the top of the eyes and the chin in a social setting. - A general rule: maintain eye contact 2/3 of the time man-to-man and 1/2 the time man-to-woman. - If their head is tilted forward, and there eyes are just under their lids, aimed directly at you, this means they don't believe you and are ready to fight. - Glancing to the side can mean they are under stress. Make them comfortable. 33

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

- Squinting may mean doubt or a question. Ask. - Eyes wide open and looking at you means a desire to know more. - Tilting their head, especially if smiling, indicates receptivity and warmth. - Arms folded or legs crossed indicates defensiveness or uncertainty. - Raised chin and clamped-shut mouth is anger. - When parting, make it brief and smooth. Shake hands and try hard to leave a good impression.

The Darker Side Of Persuasion I recently read portions of a CIA Interrogation Manual, which were made public under the Freedom of Information Act. (Later you'll learn how to request things under this law.) It wasn't terribly relevant to persuasion on people who are free to get up and leave, but I thought it was interesting enough to share a little of it with you. "Alice in Wonderland," for example, is a confusion technique used to get information. "The confusion technique is designed not only to obliterate the familiar but to replace it with the weird. Although this method can be employed by a single interrogator, it is better adapted to use by two or three. When the subject enters the room, the first interrogator asks a doubletalk question one which seems straightforward but is essentially nonsensical. Whether the interrogatee tries to answer or not, the second interrogator follows up (interrupting any attempted response) with a wholly unrelated and equally illogical query. Sometimes two or more questions are asked simultaneously. Pitch, tone, and volume of the interrogators' voices are unrelated to the import of the questions. No pattern of questions and answers is permitted to develop, nor do the questions themselves relate logically to each other. "In this strange atmosphere the subject finds that the pattern of speech and thought which he has learned to consider normal have been replaced by an eerie meaninglessness. The interrogatee may start laughing or refuse to take 34

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

the situation seriously. But as the process continues, day after day if necessary, the subject begins to try to make sense of the situation, which becomes mentally intolerable. Now he is likely to make significant admissions, or even to pour out his story, just to stop the flow of babble which assails him. This technique may be especially effective with the orderly, obstinate type." For more on subliminal persuasion, be sure to read the following chapter on mind reading and influencing the opposite sex.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

2 - How To Read Minds And Influence The Opposite Sex

I hope you won't be too disappointed when I tell you that you'll never read minds like Mel Gibson in "What Women Want." However, you can learn how to get a better idea of the general state of mind and receptivity of the person in front of you. And you can subliminally persuade the opposite sex. Let's jump straight to one of the fun ways.

Watch Those Pupils You probably know that your pupils get bigger in the dark and smaller in the light. But light levels are not the only things that affect pupil size... A person's pupils get larger when they are aroused, interested and/or receptive. If you look into his or her eyes and see those pupils growing large - it's looking good for you, because big pupils (unless it's just dark) often mean a person likes what they see. Try this experiment, and you'll understand how immediate this effect can be. Go right now and look in the mirror at your own eyes. As you look at them, imagine a sexy man or woman you are attracted to - in whatever way would turn you on. You'll see that your pupils get bigger in just seconds. Actually, if you love to fish, they may get big just thinking about a lake you love. Anything you like to look at can make your pupils bigger. There are two ways to use this.

1. Mind Reading Watch for changing of pupil size to know if someone is interested in you or 36

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

what you have to say. And yes, shrinking pupils can mean the person is not interested in you, but be careful to note if light in the persons eyes is causing the shrinking pupils. If the person is facing a bright light, you may want to suggest another table. In addition to judging the general level of interest and/or receptivity to you, you can use pupil size to go a little deeper into a person's mind. For example, during the course of a conversation, you can describe various scenes or delve into different topics, while watching the persons pupils. If her pupils shrank at the mention of skiing, and got huge when you described a beach you like, you can be fairly certain she would like the Bahamas over a ski resort. The great thing about this little trick is that you can easily test it and refine your technique. Start with a friend whose interests you know already, and watch his or her pupils as you describe various places or even ideas. See if getting your friend to visualize, by saying something "Remember how that car of yours looked," gets a bigger pupil response. Note: There is one problem with this little trick. It is difficult to use on those who have dark eyes. If the person in front of you has light blue eyes, it is easy to see his or her pupils. If eyes are dark brown, however, it can be tough. You might have to try to get the person into a room with more light. That can cause pupils to shrink, of course, but you can still watch for relative changes in size.

2. Influencing If you haven't yet experimented with your own pupils, by watching them in the mirror, go try it now. You'll find that you can quickly train yourself to change your pupil size at will. Just find a mental image or two that gets them really big, and use these as necessary. Look at a light briefly when you want to shrink your pupils back down in a hurry. Now, how do you use this? First, you have to understand that we all use little clues like pupil size unconsciously as we interact with people. We are affected by people's 37

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

expressions and body language even when we haven't yet learned to identify what it is we are picking up on. This is the basis for our intuitive feelings about others. In other words - the person in front of you will unconsciously pick upon your enlarging pupils. They will unconsciously take this to mean that you like him or her, and for many people, this will make them like you more. By enlarging your pupils at will, you can effectively establish rapport more quickly. Try this the next time you want to convince someone to do something. Make your pupils get bigger before making the request.

More Mind Reading Tricks Listen This is perhaps the most effective way to read minds. Just pay attention, ask a few questions and listen to what they say about themselves. Use silence people want to fill that empty space, and will reveal more about themselves. Once you are told what is in their minds, you can be fairly certain the same things will keep circulating in there, making "mind reading" in the future much easier.

Watch the Posture Leaning toward you indicates that the person is interested and receptive. Defensive moves like leaning away and crossing the arms over the chest suggests the opposite.

Watch For Hair Play When women play with their hair while talking to you, it can be (but isn't always) a sign of receptivity. Verify this with other signals, of course. 38

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Watch the Mouth A slightly open mouth is sometimes a sign of curiosity and interest. Note whether it is just due to a stuffy nose, however.

Watch the Head A tilting head, especially if it comes with a smile and eye contact, is a sign that the person likes you.

Watch the Eyes By noticing what a person looks at, you can learn a lot. What kind of women does a man look at? Does he pay any attention to the game on the TV? Note whether he seems bored or interested as he looks at different things. Does she smile when she sees certain things? Eyes can tell us a lot about what a person is thinking because they simultaneously show us what the person is feeling and what they are looking at. Follow the eyes, and pay attention to the total facial expression, and you may gain some insight into how that man or woman feels about things. Is he fascinated by the buildings around him? Is she disgusted by the dogs in the street?

Watch the Eyes - Part Two Here is what people's minds are doing when they are thinking or asked to remember something. This is true for most right handed people (reverse all this for left-handed people): As you face them, and their eyes go... Up and to the right - They are remembering a visual image. Up and to the left - They are constructing a visual image. 39

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

To the right - They are remembering sounds or conversation. To the left - The are constructing sounds or conversations. Down and to the right - They are in an internal dialog. Down and to the left - They are accessing kinesthetic feelings, tastes and smells. You can test this on yourself in a mirror. Be aware that people who are more ambidextrous may be less consistent in how their eye movements relate to their thoughts.

Read Lips Some people move their lips when deep in thought, mouthing the words they are hearing or repeating in their minds. If you train yourself in lip reading, you can pick up on their thoughts in this way. Undoubtedly many lip-reading deaf people already do this. It is even more common for people to move their lips to the words they're reading. Many of us do this without being aware of it. If you observe people reading books or newspapers, then, you might catch them doing this and with practice decipher the movements of their lips to know what they're reading. What they are reading is likely related to what they are thinking at that moment (no big surprise there), so if you bring it up in conversation, it might appear that you have a way into his or her mind - and you do.

Get His Or Her Attention With Key Phrases There are certain key phrases, or ways of phrasing things that will get the person you are with to focus on you and what you are saying. Use these when you have something important to say. Use them just before you make your point, and the person you are with should pay attention. Here are some examples: "Can you keep a secret?" 40

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

"I probably shouldn't be saying this, but..." "You might not believe this, but..." "Hey, listen..." "Promise that you won't tell anyone, but..." "Now, I'm going to tell you something..." "Hey, I've got a secret for you..." "Listen, what if I told you..." "I have to tell you something..." "You'd never guess, but..." You can notice what little snippets of language grab attention best and add them to this list. Then just use the most appropriate one when the need arises. If you are single, try these out in a bar or other social setting where you interact with strangers. You'll be surprised at how effective these key phrases can be at grabbing - and holding - attention.

More Ways To Influence The Opposite Sex Use His or Her Name Try to use a persons name as soon as it feels right. If you aren't sure when it's right, ask him or her. "Is it all right if I call you Sue?"

Use Inflection Remember from the previous chapter that the meaning in a sentence like "I think you are the best dancer here," depends on the word you emphasize. 41

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This subtle use of inflection can be used to convey "hidden" messages. Saying to an insecure woman "I think you are the best dancer here," could be unconsciously taken as defending her honor, since it implies that other's might not think she is.

Use Mirroring and Matching Match the speed of your speech to that of the person you're talking to. Sit like he is sitting. Use the same words she is using. This technique is a fast way to build rapport. Once there is a "bond" built between the two of you, you can start to lead the conversation and actions where you want them to go.

Compliment Her or Him Make compliments sincere and of relevance to the person's desires. For example, first discover what a woman is proud of, and then find a genuine way to compliment her in that area. Notice when a man is wearing a new shirt, and tell him how much you like it.

Listen Always show a genuine interest in what the person is saying. Ask appropriate questions, so the person knows you're paying attention. Use their interests to lead into a direction you want to go.

Make Good First Impressions Studies show that men usually form a quick visual impression in less than 20 seconds, and then make another judgment based on appearance and personality within a couple minutes. Women usually place less immediate emphasis on appearance, and form an "intuitive" first impression in a couple minutes. Either way the lesson is clear: work fast.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Get A Yes When you end a sentence with a question, the person you are talking to will often say yes automatically, without thinking about it much. He or she then feels obligated to stand by the answer. For example, you might say "You'll let me buy you another drink, right?" and she or he will likely say yes. Of course, don't overdo this or any particular technique. You'll want to use this one at the end of the night to set up that first date: "You can meet me for lunch on Tuesday, can't you?"

Have "Bedroom Eyes" Look deeply into the person's eyes, and ignore the people passing by. Let your eyes wander only slightly, to look at the person's face admiringly, like a piece of art. Most people like this kind of attention.

Dress Nicely Dress in a way that isn't too formal or too sloppy. Ideally, you want to be dressed just a bit better than the others in the room. For example, if the setting is a bar full of guys in flannel shirts, a man shouldn't come in with a suit on, but perhaps with a nice sweater. If the women are wearing jeans, a woman should try slacks or a skirt. The idea here is that if you are overdressed you'll make people uncomfortable, yet you still want to stand out from the crowd a little.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

3 - How To Increase Your Brainpower 70 Ways

You want more brainpower, but maybe you want higher IQ scores too. Some say one's IQ can't be increased. Some psychologists and scientists used to perpetuate this lie, claiming that a person's intelligence is determined at birth, or at least fixed in early childhood, and couldn't increase later in life. Fortunately, the evidence has shown otherwise in recent years, although the public still seems to hold the old view of intelligence. How about the myth that the number of neurons in the brain is set by early childhood, and thereafter can only decline throughout life. True or false? Absolutely false. First of all, let's look at the idea that you can't get smarter. Does it even make any sense when we consider our experience? Aren't there new tricks we learn that make us able to use our brains more effectively? If we train ourselves to use these tricks and techniques, we are functionally more intelligent. Some claim that although we think and act in better ways, the essential power of our brain has not changed. That's a game of semantics. More powerful is more powerful. If you learn how to gear a car engine more efficiently, and make the car climb hills better and go faster, can you really argue that it's not more powerful because it has the same engine? I raised my own IQ score by at least 20 points after learning and applying certain techniques. Perhaps all I did was learn more effective ways to take an IQ test. On the other hand, even that could be considered a sign of increasing intelligence. In any case their arguments fall apart when we consider the latest research into the brain. Contrary to what most scientists used to believe - and many 44

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

laymen still believe - the number of neurons in the brain is not set by early childhood. The brain continues to produce new neurons throughout our lives. That is what the science now shows. Even better news: It produces new neurons in response to stimulation (mental exercise). This phenomenon is referred to as brain plasticity or neuro-plasticity. The brain gets stronger with exercise, just like the muscles. Also, like any other test, how well you do on an IQ test is certainly affected by how much sleep you got, how distracted you are, whether you had your morning coffee and many other things. In other words, you'll score differently on different days, and better on the days when you do everything right. In other words you CAN increase your IQ score.

Real Life Results Versus Scores Now let me ask you a question. What was Henry Fords IQ? Who cares! The man was one of the most innovative people of the last century, and he did what he did by surrounding himself with intelligent people. That practice alone has to be worth more than 20 IQ points in terms of real life results. Aim for real life results. If you want more creativity, learn creative problem solving techniques. To concentrate better, learn techniques for that. Speed reading can double the knowledge you gain in a given time. After you paint your first Mona Lisa, build your first skyscraper or make your first million, who cares what your IQ score will be! Here is a sampling of some of the ways you can increase your brainpower.

More Brainpower - 70 Ways (In no particular order.)

1. Breath Deep More air means more oxygen in the blood and the brain. Breath through 45

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

your nose and you'll notice your diaphragm is used more, drawing air deeper into your lungs. Several deep breaths can also help to relax you, which is conducive to clearer thinking. 2. Meditate A simple meditation you can do right now is just closing your eyes and paying attention to your breath. Tensing up your muscles and then relaxing them to start may help. When your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath. Five or ten minutes of this will relax you, clear your mind, and leave you more ready for any mental task. 3. Sit Up Straight Posture affects your thinking process. Prove it to yourself by doing math in your head while slouching, looking at the floor and letting your mouth hang open. Then do the mental math while sitting up straight, keeping your mouth closed and looking forward or slightly upwards. You'll notice that it's easier to think with the latter posture. 4. Phosphotidyl Serine (PS) This supplement has been shown in clinical studies to increase lucidity and rate of learning. It activates cell-to-cell communication, helps regulate cell growth, improves the functioning of the special receptors found on cells, and prepares cells for activity. In other words, it can help your brain power. It's also thought to reverse memory decline. Phosphatidylserine has no known adverse side effects. 5.Vinpocetine This extract, derived from an alkaloid found in the Periwinkle plant, is used as a cerebral vasodilator. It increases blood flow to the brain, improving its oxygenation and thereby increasing mental alertness and acuity. Research suggests it may also be a powerful memory enhancer. 6. Ginkgo Biloba The leaves of this tree have been proven to increase blood flow to the brain. 46

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

The trees are often planted in parks. My friends and I used to eat a few leaves when we wanted a brain boost. It is also inexpensive, if you buy the capsules or tea at any health food store. 7. Saint John's Wort This common weed may be growing in your yard. Its brain enhancing qualities are less documented (studies do show its usefulness for treating long-term depression), but many people swear by its temporary moodelevating effect, and our brains tend to function better when we're happy. It's inexpensive, but I just collect it where I find it and make tea of the plant tops. (Botanical name: Hyperacum Perforatum.) 8. Good Thinking Habits Just use a problem solving technique for several weeks and it will become a habit. Redesign everything you see for a while, and that will become a habit. You can develop many good thinking habits with some effort, and then be more resourceful effortlessly from that point on. Use the power of habit. 9. Use Dead Time This is time that is otherwise wasted or just under-utilized. Driving time, time spent in waiting rooms, or even time spent raking your yard can be included in this. With a tape player and a trip to a public library, you can start to use this time to listen to books-on-tape. You may spend 200 hours a year in your car. What could you learn in that time? 10. Learn A Language Learning a new language has been shown to halt the age-related decline in brain function. It also introduces your mind to new ways of looking at things (in English we are afraid, whereas in Spanish we have fear). It is one of the best brain exercises. 11. Rosemary This common herb may have an effect on the brain when the scent is inhaled. We are waiting for the research, but some people swear that just 47

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

sniffing rosemary wakes up their brain. It seems safe, so if you have rosemary in your spice rack, give it a try. 12. Mindfulness Exercises Concentration and clear thinking are more or less automatic once you remove distractions. Learn to stop and watch your busy mind. As you notice things that are subtly bothering you, deal with them. This might mean making a phone call you need to make, or putting things on a list so you can forget them for now. With practice, this becomes easier, and your thinking becomes more powerful. 13. Write Writing is good for your mind in many ways. It's a way to tell your memory what is important, so you'll recall things more easily in the future. It's a way to clarify thinking. It exercises your creativity and analytical ability. Diaries, idea-journals, poetry, note-taking and story-writing are all ways to use writing to boost your brain power. 14. Listen To Mozart In a study at the University of California, researchers found that children who studied piano and sang daily in chorus, were much better at solving puzzles, and when tested, scored 80% higher in spatial intelligence than the non-musical group. In another study, 36 students were given three spatial reasoning tests on a standard IQ test. Just before the first test, they listened to Mozart's sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K. 448 for ten minutes. Before the second test, they listened to a relaxation tape. Before the third, they sat in silence. The average scores for all 36 students: 1st test: 119. 2nd test: 111. 3rd test: 110. A nine-point boost from Mozart! 15. Develop Your Intuition Intuition can be an important part of brainpower. Einstein and others have relied heavily on their intuitive hunches. There's more on developing your intuition later in the book.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

16. Avoid Foods That Cause Subtle Allergies These can include wheat, corn, peanuts and dairy products. Watch yourself to see if you have a problem with any of these. They cause digestive problems and brain fog in some people. 17. Sleep Better As long as you get a certain amount of sleep - probably a minimum of five hours - the quality seems to be more important than the quantity. Also, short naps in the afternoon seem to work well to recharge the brain for some people. 18. Caffeine The research shows higher test scores for students who drink coffee before major exams. My chess game gets better. In other studies, it has been shown that too much caffeine leads to poorer quality decisions. Caffeine affects individuals differently, and has some nasty long-term side effects for some of us, but short-term - it works! 19. Avoid Sugar Any simple carbohydrates can give you "brain fog." Sometimes called the "sugar blues" as well, this sluggish feeling makes it hard to think clearly. It results from the insulin rushing into the bloodstream to counteract the sugar rush. Avoid pasta, sugars, white bread and potato chips before any important mental tasks. 20. Hypnosis Audios The power of suggestion is real, and one way to use it is with hypnosis tapes, CD's or downloads. This type of brain "programming" has more evidence for it than subliminal audios. 21. Speed Reading Contrary to what many believe, your comprehension of material often goes up when you learn to speed-read. You get to learn a lot more in less time, 49

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

and it is definitely a good brain exercise. 22. Exercise Long term exercise can boost brainpower, which isn't surprising. Anything that affects physical health in a positive way probably helps the brain too. Recent research, though, shows that cognitive function is improved immediately after just ten minutes of aerobic exercise. If you need a brain recharge, you might want to walk up and down the stairs a few times. 23. Imaginary Friends Talking to and getting advice from characters in your mind can be a great way to access the information in your subconscious mind. Imagine a conversation with a person who has a lot of knowledge in the area you want advice in. 24. Develop Your Creativity Creativity gives power to your thinking. Raw computation can be done by computers now, but humans provide the creative thought that shapes our world. There is more on developing your creativity later in the book. 25. Learn More Efficiently When you decide to learn something, take notes from the start. Leave each "learning session" with a question or two in mind, to create anticipation and curiosity. Take short breaks, so there will be more beginnings and endings to your studies (Things learned at the beginning or ending of a class or session are remembered better). 26. Use Techniques For Clear Thinking Cluttered rooms and offices can contribute to cluttered thinking. Organize a particular space for mental work. Sigh, stretch, and take a deep breath before you start on a tough mental job. Plan some distraction-free time for brainstorming.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

27. Brain Wave Entrainment The newest brain wave entrainment products are powerful tools for altering your brain function. Some will almost immediately relax you, while others will put your brain waves in a pattern that is most conducive to analytical thinking. 28. Creatine This is a compound found in meat, used by athletes to help build muscle. Now the evidence is here to show that it helps your brain as well. Proceedings B, a journal published by the Royal Society reports that the research showed improvement in working memory and general intelligence resulting from creatine supplementation. The dose used in the study was 5 grams per day. This is about the level used to boost sports performance, and is as much as you'd normally get in four pounds of meat, according to lead researcher Doctor Caroline Rae. 29. Talk Talking is only good for the brain if you are actually exercising it, of course. Try explaining something that you don't understand very well to a friend, though, and you'll notice that the process of explaining will help you clarify your understanding. 30. Do Something You Enjoy This is a way to both lower stress and rev up your brain. The key is to do something active. Watching TV doesn't count. Whether it is playing Scrabble or building birdhouses, when you are actively engaged in an activity that you enjoy, you worry less about things and you start to think better. 31. Adjust Your Beliefs Believe you are smarter, and you'll become smarter. Affirmations may work, but even better is evidence. Make a note of your successes. Tell yourself, "Hey, that was really creative," when you do something creative. When you have a good idea, make a note of it. Gather evidence for your own 51

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

intelligence and you'll start to experience more of it. 32. Brain Exercises Do math in your mind while driving. Think of a new use for everything you see. Regular use of the brain has been shown to generate new neuronal growth, and even halt the decline of mental function that often comes with age. 33. Learn New Things This is another way to exercise the brain. It can also be done with little time investment if you use books-on-tapes while driving. 34. Walk Exercise has been shown to benefit the brain, and walking is one of the best exercises for many. It is low impact, and the rhythmic nature of it seems to put you in a state that is very conducive to clear thinking. In fact, carry a tape recorder with you to take notes, and a twenty minute walk can be a great way to solve problems. 35. Model Others Find others that are creative, intelligent, or very productive. Do what they do, and think what they think. This is a key principle of neuro-linguistic programming. Be careful about taking their advice, though. Successful people often don't really understand why they are successful. Do what they do, not what they say. 36. Eat Fish Eating fish actually speeds up brain waves, and improves concentration. Researchers have also found an almost perfect correlation between intake of fish and lowered levels of depression in the various countries of the world. The U.S. has 24 times the incidence of depression as Japan, for example, where fish intake is much higher.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

37. Avoid Unnecessary Arguments When you defend a position too vigorously, especially when it is just to "win" the argument, you invest our ego into it. This is not conducive to the easy acceptance and use of new information. In other words, you put your mind in a rut, and you dig it deeper with each argument. Debate can be a valuable thing, but when the ego takes over, the mind closes a little. This is not a recipe for better thinking. 38. Laugh The release of endorphins caused by laughter lowers stress levels, which is good for long term brain health. Laughter also tends to leave you more open to new ideas and thoughts. 39. Play Stimulating the brain causes measurable changes in the structure of the brain. New connections are made and new brain cells are grown. Intellectual play, as well as any playing that involves hand-eye coordination stimulates the brain. 40. Do Puzzles Crossword puzzles, lateral thinking puzzles, and even good riddles are a great way to get brain exercise. You can work on them while waiting for a dentist appointment, or on the bus, if you are short on time. 41. Sing When you are alone in your car, try singing about something you are working on. This taps into and exercises your right brain. Have you ever noticed how it is easier to rhyme when you sing than when you just speak or write? This is because the right brain is better at pattern recognition. By doing this brain exercise regularly you can train yourself to tap into the power of the right brain. This will make you a more effective problemsolver. If you doubt the distinction between the hemispheres of the brain, look at how stutterers can stop stuttering as soon as they start singing. Try it. 53

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

42. Nuts University students in Brazil and other South American countries often eat several Brazil nuts before an exam, believing they are good for their mental power. The evidence is starting to confirm this. Other nuts that have minerals and amino acids that are beneficial to the brain include almonds and walnuts. 43. Olive Oil High in mono-unsaturated fat, olive oil has been shown to improve memory. A cheaper alternative is canola oil, but this hasn't been studied much yet. 44. Vitamin Supplements In studies, children scored higher on tests when on a regimen of daily vitamin supplements. "Experts" will tell you that if you eat a balanced diet, you don't need supplements, which, given the culture here, is really just a sales pitch for vitamins, isn't it? Who eats a perfectly balanced diet? 45. Fiber It isn't just what goes in, but what comes out that is important to brain function. Toxic build-up in the body and brain can cause "brain fog." People often report clearer thinking as one of the benefits of curing their constipation. 46. Self Awareness This may not seem important to brain power, but it is. When you know yourself better, you can avoid the usual effects of ego and emotion in your seemingly "rational" thinking. Or you can at least take it into account. Watch yourself, especially as you explain things or argue. 47. Motivate Yourself Motivation is as important to mental tasks as it is to any other. Learn a few simple techniques for self motivation. You can start with those in the chapter on how to motivate yourself. 54

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

48. Avoid Stress Neuro-psychiatrist Richard Restak, M.D., from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Services, sums up the research thus: "Stress causes brain damage." Long term stress has repeated been shown to hurt the brain, not to mention the rest of the body. Learn a few stress reduction techniques if you get stressed out often. 49. Get Educated Scientists have known for a while that the less educated get Alzheimer's more frequently. Education in any area seems to make the brain stronger. 50. Avoid Too Much Fat In laboratory studies, animals consistently learn slower when they are on a diet high in fat. Type of fat may make a difference, so you may want to stick to using olive oil and other non-saturated fats. Saturated fats have been shown to actually stunt the growth of brain cells. 51. Eat Less Overeating has the immediate effect of redirecting more blood to the digestive process, leaving less for the brain. Long term, it can cause arterial obstructions that reduce blood flow to the brain permanently. In at least one study, rats on a restricted-calorie diet had more brainpower. 52. Avoid Suspect Foods There is evidence that the following foods can be bad for your brain: Artificial food colorings, artificial sweeteners, colas, corn syrup, frostings, high-sugar drinks, hydrogenated fats, sugars, white bread, and any whiteflour products. 53. Eat Breakfast When kids who didn't eat breakfast started to eat it, researchers found that their math scores went up a whole grade on average. 55

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

54. Avoid Diabetes The development of diabetes coincides with a dropping of IQ scores. In other words, if you want to maintain your brain power, follow your doctors dietary recommendations for preventing or treating diabetes. 55. Eat Foods High In Antioxidants Antioxidants protect all your cells, including brain cells. Some of the foods highest in antioxidants include: prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, garlic, kale, cranberries, strawberries, spinach, and raspberries. In one test, rats had age-related mental decline reversed by eating the equivalent of a 1/2 cup of blueberries per day. 56. Drink Wine In moderation, red wine can be good for the brain, it seems. It is rich in antioxidants, which protect brain cells. One glass per day for women and two for men is usually considered a safe and moderate amount. 57. Alcohol In Moderation In a study at the University of Indiana School of Medicine, elderly light drinkers (fewer than 4 drinks per week) scored higher on tests of thinking abilities than non-drinkers. Those who drank 10 or more drinks per week scored lower. It is known that alcohol can kill brain cells, so moderation seems to be the key. 58. Folic Acid According to one study, 200 micrograms of folic acid, the amount found in 3/4 cup of cooked spinach, alleviates depression and reverses memory loss. 59. Potential Brain Foods Other foods that may be good for your brain include: Avocados, bananas, lean beef, brewer's yeast. broccoli, brown rice, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, cheese, chicken, collard greens, eggs, flaxseed oil, legumes, oatmeal, 56

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

oranges, peanut butter, peas, potatoes, romaine lettuce, salmon, spinach, tuna, turkey, wheat germ, and yogurt. 60. Vitamin E Jean Carper, in researching her book, "Your Miracle Brain," found that many brain researchers are taking 400 I.U.s of vitamin E daily and are very convinced of its beneficial effect. It's an antioxidant, and reduces the clogging of blood vessels, including those going in the brain. Take the supplements which say, "mixed tocopherols." 61. Vitamin C Taken in the form of orange juice in a study at the Texas Women's University, vitamin C increased the IQ scores of children. Supplements probably have the same effects. As with other nutritional approaches, the research may not have tested to see if the effects were do to a correction of deficiencies, so this may not help if you are already getting sufficient vitamin C (and only children were tested). 62. Selenium 100 micrograms of selenium has been shown to be a mood-elevator. Your brain almost certainly functions better when you are in a better mood. Foods rich in selenium include Brazil nuts and garlic. 63. Alpha-lipoic Acid Alpha-lipoic acid (10 to 50 milligrams daily) improves memory and protects nerve cells. The body produces enough alpha-lipoic acid for its basic function of producing energy. Any excess beyond this then functions as an antioxidant, with many possible health benefits, including better brain function. Natural sources include spinach, broccoli, beef, and brewer's yeast. 64. Inositol This is a safe and natural substance that is often grouped with the Bvitamins. It reduces stress and promotes clear thinking. It contributes to 57

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

energy production, and so can "wake you up." Animal studies show a measurable increase in physical activity for up to five hours after taking it. 65. Huperzine A This is a compound extracted from the Chinese club moss. Researchers both in Israel and the U.S. have used it to treat Alzheimer's. It improves memory and learning an seems to be very safe. 66. Ask Questions This is a great way to keep your brain in shape. Just get in the habit of asking questions often, even if it is only in your own mind. Why are taller buildings better? what is the purpose of curbs? Ask anything that comes to mind, and ponder the possible answers. 67. Sniff Basil This another of the herbs that may be good for your brain. No studies yet, but many report a brain boost from smelling basil, and it seems safe to try it. 68. Temperature Many people have noted that they think better at certain temperatures. In general, it seems that being slightly cool, but not uncomfortable, is most conducive to good thinking. Try experimenting on yourself to see what temperature works best for you. 69. Use Systems From the time I was ten years old, 12 x 49 was always (12 x 50) - 12. It's easier to figure in your head this way (588, by the way). I didn't get any credit for my personal algorithms then, but they are selling these shortcuts on late-night TV now, because they work. You can find your own easier ways to do mental math or other mental tasks, or read a good book on them. 70. Make A Brainpower Plan It takes about twenty to thirty days of repetition to establish new habits, 58

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many psychologists will tell you. This means that when you create your plan for better brainpower, be sure you plan to use that new problem solving technique, or eat those new brain foods for at least three weeks. You can use many of the brain boosters here and get immediate results, but it is creating new habits that will give you the most brainpower.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

4 - How To Get The Real News

Note: The following was written a few years ago, but is still relevant today, and the list of sources has been updated.

Do you get the real news on CNN or FOX News? Only part of it, and a very selective part. One example: Do you remember years ago when president Bush was announcing the war in Iraq and he said "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." He knew when he said it that it was bad information. In fact, the document that was used to support the British claim was signed by an African official that hadn't even been in office for years. It was an obvious fake. How do I know this? Well, it was reported on the CBS Evening News on July 10, 2003. This, of course was long after the war had started, and it was given little time because the public didn't care at that point. CBS said: "The statement was technically correct, since it accurately reflected the British paper. But the bottom line is the White House knowingly included in a presidential address information its own CIA had explicitly warned might not be true." However, I didn't learn the news from CBS. I knew the true story a week after Bush made the statement - several months before the CBS report. How? By reading alternative newspapers and newsletters. This is not a matter of political viewpoint, by the way. I am certainly not a Democrat, nor am I trying to discredit Bush. The point is that I read the real story months before the administration acknowledged that the uranium document "wasn't sufficiently strong as evidence." 60

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Why wasn't it on the major news outlets sooner? It is difficult to say with any certainty. I don't believe there are as many true conspiracies to hide the truth as there are "conspiracies of interests." In other words, it is in the interest of CNN and FOX to present entertaining and dramatic news, and their subsequent ignoring of other important news happens to help those who want things left unexplored and unreported. Whatever the reasons (and yes, there are undoubtedly some conspiracies out there), there is much that doesn't make it to the evening news. In 1984 I read about how hydrogenated oils, which are still used to make margarine, and still in most packaged foods, were used to cause heart disease in mice in the 1960's. Scientists did this so they could study the disease, but failed to tell the public that the same oils were causing heart disease in humans. Over ten years after I learned of this, the networks finally reported the evidence that margarine was perhaps worse for your health than butter. Even then, they left out the gruesome truth about the experiments with the mice.

What The Rest Of The World Sees The first time I was in Ecuador, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the news on CNN (the Cable News Network). It wasn't the same broadcast I watched at home though. CNN International, in case you didn't know, is the CNN that the rest of the world sees, and it has a lot more news from everywhere. It is also more balanced news, in my opinion. The executives know that most Americans won't tolerate "in-depth" and "foreign" news, so they entertain us with the dumbed-down version. When Saddam's statue was being pulled down in Bhagdad, and the scene was playing over and over here on CNN all day, viewers of CNN International were seeing something else. They were getting more complete coverage of everything going on both in Iraq, and around the world. They saw the statue come down, but they also saw news and scenes from around the country, including hundreds of dead children and civilians killed by American bombs, something that was never shown on U.S. networks. Again, this isn't a matter of politics. Whether or not you agreed with the war, 61

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wouldn't you like to have all of the important news?

The Dirty Secret Of VNRs News programs have found a cheaper way to get news, but they don't talk about it, because they want you to believe they are still "objective" (not that they ever were or could be). The unfortunate result is that corporate promotions and government messages are replacing real news. VNRs, or Video News Releases, are now used several times per month by about 80% of U.S. news directors according to one Nielsen Media Research Survey. All the major television networks now use them. They will likely become even more common as the costs of producing real news gets more expensive (the number of foreign correspondents has already declined by more than 50% in the last twenty years for the same reason). What are Video News Releases? They are "planted" stories that large companies and governments create and distribute. The networks love these because they are free and provide interesting content. The government, for example, puts together a "news story" on the rebuilding of schools in Iraq, and gives it to the networks to use. Another example: A VNR produced by Medialink promoted Jennifer Lopez's perfume, Glow. In order to appear as news, it concentrated on Lopez as a Hispanic role model and reported the "news" of her being rated as one of the most beautiful people in People magazine. The story aired on at least three different networks. A story created by a drug company, announcing some new "miracle drug," could in theory be objective and important news. A government story suggesting some political problem that we need to solve could be objective as well. But does objectivity seem likely in these cases? No. The creators of these VNRs are not in the business of doing objective or investigative journalism. They always have something to sell in these stories. There is no other reason they would spend the money to make them. For an example of how these are made and distributed, I just went to the web site for TVA Productions. They offer their "MediaBlitz" (registered 62

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

trademark) program, which is a "complete production of a TV News Spotlight / Video News Release," and more. They guarantee "At least 1,000 televised airings nationwide on your Story..." and much more: "massive media coverage nationwide for a fraction of the costs of traditional advertising." Understand that they are not an advertising broker. They produce ads, but then get them run as though they are news, so that a government or corporate message can "Receive thousands of media placements on TV, Airlines, Newspapers, Magazines, Radio and the Internet ... for 10% the costs of traditional advertising." One more quote from their Q & A page: "we also can also create or repurpose your ads into AP style News Features for over 20,000 TV, Radio and Print media outlets." Much of the VNRs out there are harmless fluff. However, some of them can alter the public perception and politics of an issue with "facts" that are selective or just not true. In addition, they all take the place of what could be real news.

How Do You Get The Rest Of The Story? It is as easy as being willing to look. You can just type "alternative news" into the Google search engine, and in minutes you can find sources that will leave you far better informed than all-day cable-news watchers. Below you'll find a list of some places to check out, so you won't even have to search on your own. A warning is in order though: Every source of news is biased. The networks try to hide that fact, but it is as inevitable as humans having opinions. In fact, if CNN were an arm of the Democratic party, and FOX News was the propaganda arm of the Republican party, it's hard to imagine what they would do differently. This is just a result of the perspectives of the key players in these companies. Will their own political beliefs make them lie? Not likely, but their bias will 63

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determine what news reporters and editors consider worth covering. The choices as to what is important enough to report then affects the attitudes of the public. This is even more true with the alternative press. The big news sources are as much a reflection of public opinion as a creator of it, while the smaller outfits usually come from a very definite political persuasion. This affects the content of their news greatly. For example, the more right-wing sources reported that private individuals were having their legal weapons confiscated by the authorities in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. This left many defenseless against looters, and may have been unconstitutional as well. They also reported that after hurricane Andrew, the police in Florida acknowledged that patrols of private citizen with legal guns kept things safer. Meanwhile, the more left-leaning alternative news sources reported on a Republican official who was given a National Guard escort to his New Orleans home while people were still waiting to be rescued. They also reported on the almost racist comments of officials who saw the event as an opportunity to "clean up the town," and "change the social and cultural structure" of the town. Look, they have their viewpoints, and the stories they choose to report will often reflect those. In fact, some of the more radical newsletters will even weave the facts into an implied conspiracy. So what?! We can see where their politics are, and at least they aren't as hidden as those of the big players. The point is this: The alternative sources of news regularly report many, many facts that don't make it to the network news. Whatever their purpose in reporting these facts, they do their research like others, and whatever the "slant" of the stories, the facts themselves are usually correct. You can read the right and the left and the rest, ignore the political slant, and have better information with which to make up your own mind. 64

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Some Of The Alternatives http://www.townhall.com - Town Hall has more than 1.5 million conservative readers a month. It also has a lot of good news that isn't heavily reported in the traditional press. http://www.democracynow.org - This is the web site of the Democracy Now television program. You can find the program on "Free Speech Television, carried by some of the satellite TV systems now, and on the public access channels of some cable systems. The slant is very socialistic, but the facts are usually checked, making this one of the best sources for accurate news that you won't see elsewhere. http://www.projectcensored.org - Publishers of an annual book of the most under-reported or censored news stories. Very liberal. http://alternativenews.org - Alternative news. http://www.unknownnews.net - Alternative news. http://www.freespeech.org - The website of Free Speech TV. http://www.thenation.com - News and commentary with a liberal slant. http://www.realhealthnews.com - Dr. Douglas reports on many little-known medical breakthroughs, and his own political opinions. He is always outside the mainstream. http://www.unknownnews.net - Alternative news.

Find Your Own Alternative News Sources How do you find more alternatives? One way is to search online. In preparing this report, I used The Google and MSN search engines, typing in searches like "alternative news," "conservative news," and "censored news." This will keep you busy for hours, and you'll have to use your judgment to 65

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weed out those who ignore basic fact-checking in their reporting. Another way to get alternative news is to subscribe to a newsletter that covers the news from a different angle. I don't want to recommend any specific ones here, and that isn't the point. The point is that if you look you'll find a good one that suit you, and once you subscribe to one you'll get on mailing lists and get offers and sample newsletters from others. Don't let the fact that they are trying to sell you something turn you off. Even CNN is out for a buck, remember. There are some good newsletters out there, offered both by "snail mail" and now by e-mail. You can read the freebies, and when you see their "inside" information show up on the network news a few months later, you have some indication that they really do know what they are talking about.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

5 - Medical and Health Secrets

(This information is not medical advice. Talk to your doctor on any matter relating to your health and well-being. Those who fail to consult appropriate health professionals assume the risk of any injuries.)

If you read the last chapter, you can see how important health news can take years to make it to the mainstream press. Alternative treatments and medicines most often show up on the networks when they are connected to a death. One such case was the FDA ban of L-tryptophan, an amino acid nutritional supplement, on March 22, 1990. The Ban continues today. The FDA stated that L-tryptophan (commonly just called "tryptophan") caused a rare and deadly flu-like condition (Eosinophilia-Myalgia Syndrome - EMS). It seems that it actually was from contaminated tryptophan, most of which was traced back to one supplier. There was no indication that tryptophan itself is dangerous, just that one batch was. Then, on March 26, 1990, Newsweek's lead article praised the virtues of the anti-depressant drug Prozac, with a colorful photo of the pill and the headline: "Prozac: A Breakthrough Drug for Depression." The FDA ban and the Newsweek story occurred within four days of each other. This went unnoticed by the mainstream media and the public, but to those who understand the properties of tryptophan and Prozac, this seems more than coincidental. Tryptophan has the anti-depressant benefits of Prozac, without the side effects. Prozac, a much more expensive antidepressant, was left without its most serious, safer and cheaper competition, and of course soon became a very profitable drug. This kind of news shows up in small alternative newsletters, written by doctors and medical reporters who pay attention and give a damn. By the way, whether or not there is a conspiracy here, since when do we permanently ban otherwise safe products because of contamination? After 67

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Jack-in-the-Box burgers killed all those people, did we ban hamburger forever? (If you want to read more about this, just type in "tryptophan+prozac" in any search engine.)

Conspiracy? This is one of those areas where there may be some conspiracies between government officials and the pharmaceutical corporations. The easy movement of top people between the boardrooms of drug companies and positions in the FDA and other agencies is more than a little suspicious. More often than not, though, there is just a conspiracy-of-common-interest that prevents safe alternatives from coming to market. For example, drug companies don't want the competition of safe alternatives to their drugs. Meanwhile, it is politically safer for the FDA to not allow an unproven alternative product to be marketed, because if they approve something and it causes any problems, they get the blame. This is a convenient coinciding of interests. Also, natural products, like silymarin (Milk Thistle Extract), which is used all over Europe to treat poisonings and to protect the liver, are legal here, but not as well known as advertised drugs (fortunately there is a growing public awareness of some of these natural alternatives). This is because, as a natural product, there is no way to patent it. Without being able to exclude others from selling it, no company can afford to spend the millions it would take to get it approved as a medicine here, nor do many who sell it want to even advertise it. This means that there are no pharmaceutical representatives out there educating doctors about it. (Didn't you know that's how doctors keep educated?) In addition, even if a doctor has read about the alternative, he is more likely to face a malpractice suit for an allergic reaction to a plant, than from killing someone with a "standard and accepted" treatment. For the same reasons of liability (and because of FDA rules), the companies that sell these natural products can't even tell you what they're good for. 68

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In other words, if you want to know about all the alternative medicines and medical treatments, you have to look outside the mainstream for your information. Below, I'll introduce you to a small sampling of alternative remedies. More importantly, you'll find a list of sources for more information. As for how to know if a remedy really works, I'll tell you my own approach. I like to see that there is actually some real research that demonstrates a benefit. Anecdotal evidence doesn't mean much. Sick people get better all the time, and then give credit to whatever they happened to be using at the time. A study or two showing some real benefit then, is a good place to start. You can often find these reported in online medical journals. On the other hand, strong evidence isn't always necessary. If it is inexpensive and safe, like eating blueberries to improve vision, I'll try almost anything once. With that in mind, here are some of my own experiences.

My Own Stories From the National Cancer Institute PDQ Statement: There are several types of cancer that start in the skin. The most common are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer... most common in places that have been exposed to more sunlight, such as your face, neck, hands, and arms... The most common sign of skin cancer is a change on the skin, such as a growth or a sore that won't heal. Sometime there may be a small lump. This lump can be smooth, shiny and waxy looking... (etc.) Mine was on the side of my nose, a lump growing slowly, bleeding at times. I had it for years, and the one time I asked a doctor about it, he wasn't sure if it was actually cancerous. Then I read report in Doctor David Williams's "Alternatives" health newsletter.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Devil's Apple A plant called the Devil's Apple (Solanum sodomaeum) contains the glycoalkaloid, solasodine, which was rigorously tested in a cream, and "Not only was the cream totally free from an biochemical or clinical side effects, it also proved to be virtually 100 percent effective in the prevention and treatment of solar keratoses, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma." The cream was not available in this country, unfortunately, and the British source was temporarily shut down when I tried to contact them. Unfortunately, there really is an effort at times to prevent access to natural remedies. This may have been one of those cases.

Tee Tree Oil Then I read somewhere that tee tree oil might work. I bought a bottle at a health-food store for $6. I applied a drop to the lump each day, and in less than six weeks, the lump was gone completely. Coincidence? After having the growth for years? I don't think so. In fact, I had another growth years later on my neck, and because I had forgotten what I used on the first one, I lived with this one for years as well. Then I discovered my old notes and I used tea tree oil on that growth. It was even larger than the first one - but it too was gone in about six weeks.

Oak Many years ago, when backpacking in Mexico, I had diarrhea. I use tea made of Oak twigs to cure it quickly. The tannin in Oak may be hard on your liver, by the way, so be careful with this one.

Jewelweed One summer, a friend had a nasty poison ivy rash on her arm. Remembering my medicinal plant studies, I applied the juice from a Jewelweed plant 70

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(impatiens species). The rash was gone by the following morning.

St. John's Wort When hiking in Canada, I cut my foot. The gash was deep. I found St. John's Wort (Hypericum perfolatum), which has been proven to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. I mashed up a few leaves and bandaged them to the cut, replacing them occasionally. I have honestly never seen a cut heal faster. St. John's Wort is used as an anti-depressant, with numerous studies showing its effectiveness. It is also used by some as a temporary moodelevator. This effect isn't proven yet, but whenever I've had tea made from the plant, it tasted awful and left me happy for two hours. Anecdotal and subjective evidence (I'm not even entirely convinced), but interesting.

Willow I have used Willow for pain relief when hiking. Willow contains a compound that is very similar to aspirin. I either make tea of the bark from the twigs, or I eat a few leaf buds.

A Few Alternative Remedies Here are a few remedies you probably won't hear about from your doctor. They are ones that were recently (2008) reported on in Alternatives, and other health newsletters. The website addresses for several of them can be found later in this chapter.

Insect and Plant Stings The sting from various insects and the irritation from plants can be either because of acidic or alkaline venom or juice. Which it is determines the best treatment. 71

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The venom from ants and bees, as well as the juice from stinging nettles, is acidic. Pain relief for these is usually accomplished by applying alkaline substances. Baking soda, for example, works well. Just apply a paste of it made with water. Soap is also generally alkaline enough to provide relief. Wasp venom is alkaline, so apply something acidic for relief. Vinegar is one good possibility. Doctor Williams, in his newsletter Alternatives, suggests that on a picnic, pickle juice could be used as well.

Cheap Artery Cleaner Cholesterol melts at a high temperature, much higher than your body temperature, Therefore it can remain in your arteries as waxy deposits, unless it liquefied. A Canadian researcher has found that it only becomes soluble in the blood when enough lecithin is present (reported in the Journal of American Oil Chemist's Society 63:40:464). Since lecithin is natural and therefore cannot be patented, it is not widely promoted. Fortunately, though, it is inexpensive and available at most health food stores. A tablespoon or two of the granules daily may help clean up your system. An interesting anecdote: many years ago, I made my own capsules of lecithin and cayenne pepper. I had suffered from low blood pressure for years. I also had always had a resting heart rate of around 65 beats-perminute. I took two capsule daily for about a month or two. After a few weeks, I noticed that I no longer lost my vision when standing up quickly (a common sign of low blood pressure). Later, I also discovered that my pulse was now down to 48 beats-per-minute. In fact, the effects persisted for a couple years after I stopped the supplements. I also had no negative side effects while taking the capsules. I'm not a doctor, and not recommending this. It isn't clear if the lecithin and cayenne cleaned out my arteries or just one or the other caused the effects. Also, it seems that cleaning them out would help with high blood pressure, and yet my problem was the opposite. Perhaps someone who has medical 72

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and/or nutritional training can eventually tell me what the likely explanation is. In any case, I bring it up to show that there are natural remedies which can be powerful and cheap and apparently safe (but talk to a doctor).

Static Electricity Back Pain Treatment Here's one I read about years ago, and just saw an article about again. Apparently our cells are charged negatively or positively, and an imbalance of charges (generally too much of a positive charge) can lead to or contribute to back and joint pain as well as headaches. According to some doctors, electrostatic electricity can restore the balance and relieve the pain. Here's how you can make and use your own electrostatic pain-relief device. Buy a piece of one-and-a-half-inch PVC pipe (Home depot has it), and cut off a piece about 25 inches long. Using a piece of fake fur or other fuzzy material (polyester may be best), rub back and forth along the section of pipe while holding it in your other hand. Now pass the charged pipe over the area of pain, about an inch or less over the skin. After a few passes, recharge it by rubbing it again, and repeat the treatment until you feel relief. It is said that this will be anytime from a few minutes to fifteen minutes later. I haven't tried this one yet, but I will (and I can't imagine that waving a plastic pipe over my body is dangerous).

Gas According to some doctors, most intestinal gas is the result of improper protein digestion. One simple solution to this is to eat protein foods first. This is because the hydrochloric acid enters your stomach when you first start eating, but is unnecessary for digesting carbohydrates. But if it is mostly used up before the protein foods are eaten, they won't digest well. Start with proteins. Betain hydrochlroride tablets may help if the above isn't enough. These are available at health food stores. It is recommended that you take these after your meal, so that you allow and encourage as much natural production of hydrochloric acid as possible. 73

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Other remedies for intestinal gas include eating smaller meals, chewing more thoroughly, and not mixing fruits and vegetables in the same meal.

Canker Sores These are now known to be related to stress and/or food allergies. In an Indian study, when using a mouthwash containing DGL (deglycerrhizinated licorice), 75% of subjects saw an improvement in one day, and all the ulcers had healed by the third day. DGL is also used to heal intestinal and stomach ulcers. You can find this in the form of tablets online and in some health food stores. To make your own mouthwash, crush about 200 milligrams up and mix it into four ounces of warm water. Swish your mouth with the mix four times daily, and don't eat or drink for a few minutes afterwards.

Natural Means Safe? People sometimes assume that natural treatments and dietary supplements are always safe, but many common herbs can interact with prescription drugs in harmful ways. Cayenne, for example, can increase the side effects of aspirin and ibuprofen. Ginger can cause a bleeding risk if you are taking clopidogrel or other antiplatelet drugs. Milk thistle may interfere with how the liver breaks down some antibiotics and antifungals. All of these herbs have proven benefits, but being natural doesn't make them entirely harmless. Unfortunately, there is a double-standard in judging risks. If a natural or alternative medical or health remedy ever causes any trouble, it's big news, while "standard" treatments can kill hundreds without being deemed too risky. In any case, when your doctor prescribes drugs for you, ask about interactions with any herbs or supplements you're using.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

How The FDA Really Works The Food And Drug Administration claims in its mission statement, "The FDA is responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations a that make medicines and foods more effective, safer, and more affordable; and helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to improve their health." Is this what they do? Or does the cozy relationship between the drug industry and the FDA cloud their judgment? Consider the following two facts. Doctor David Graham, associate director for science at the FDA's Office of Drug Safety, testified before congress in November of 2004. He said that Vioxx has caused 88,000 to 139,000 cases of heart attack and stroke. He also said that the FDA intentionally covered up information about the deadly side effects of Vioxx. So much for helping disseminate good information about a dangerous drug. But what about information regarding healthy foods?

Cherries Are Illegal Drugs? On October 17, 2005, the FDA sent warning letters to companies marketing cherry products. Many cherry growers were letting consumers know (on their web sites) about the scientific evidence for the health benefits of cherries. However, according to the FDA, by revealing this information, these companies were marketing cherries as a drug. As unapproved drugs, the cherries could be seized, and those who distributed the information could be sent to jail. The evidence for the health benefits of cherries was not in question. It just wasn't legal for the cherry growers to tell people about it. The FDA is essentially censoring scientific information - at least for cherry growers, natural food sellers, and anyone not part of the drug industry. No small grower can spend millions to get cherries "approved" as a drug, particularly since they cannot patent a cherry and exclude others from profiting off their approval process. 75

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Again from the FDA's mission statement: "...helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to improve their health." Yeah, right. Oh, and by the way, here are some of the health benefits of cherries, according to the latest research: Tart cherries have chemicals that relieve pain, and which are potentially much stronger than aspirin and ibuprofen; Substances in cherries may kill cancer cells and help prevent cancer; Cherries seem to relieve arthritis pain; Cherries contain high levels of melatonin, which helps with quality sleep and boosts the immune system. Cherries are also fat free and have a low glycemic index, the latter making them a great sweet treat for diabetics.

Fish Oil Scandal Doctor David Williams, in the February 2008 issue of Alternatives, reported on a new prescription drug called Lovaza. It is a fish-oil based product that lowers triglycerides, blood fats which are risk factor for heart disease. Fish oil supplements do the same thing, by the way. The primary difference between the new drug and plain fish oil is price. A month of fish oil supplementation costs about $20, while a month of Lovaza costs about $200. What's worse is that your doctor probably has to prescribe Lovasa if you want your insurance to cover it, since fish oil is not an FDAapproved drug. It gets worse. The FDA has allowed Reliant Pharmaceuticals (now owned by GlaxoSmithCline) to market Lovasa with this statement: "Dietary supplements are not substitutes for Lovasa. Every other Omega-3 product is a dietary supplement, which means it is not approved for the treatment of any specific disease or medical condition, like very high triglycerides." Notice that they don't say supplements don't work, just that they are not approved (and never can be for the reasons given earlier). Yet they are allowed to imply that only FDA-approved fish oil products work for lowering triglycerides. It verges on fraud, and obfuscates the truth. A seller 76

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of fish oil, despite the evidence, would go to jail or at least pay heavy fines if he tried to make similar claims. Again from the FDA's mission statement: "...helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to improve their health." Yeah, right.

The Truth About Cholesterol And Statin Drugs Medical researcher Dr. David Williams and founder of "Alternatives Newsletter" points out that most heart attacks (60%) occur in people with normal cholesterol levels, and most people with high cholesterol never have a heart attack. In fact, half of all those who have heart attacks don't have any of the "standard risk factors," such as high cholesterol, genetics, obesity and smoking. Research shows that eating less cholesterol won't necessarily help your heart at all, because dietary sources just don't do much to blood levels. If you eat less, your liver produces more. If you eat more, your liver produces less. Your body needs cholesterol, and your liver works to maintain a consistent level. While some high-cholesterol foods are unhealthy for other reasons, this suggests that we can stop worrying so much about the cholesterol in the things we eat. High blood levels of cholesterol can be a problem, but the statin drugs used to treat this have their own issues. In particular, they deplete the heart of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a crucial nutrient. Research has shown that all statin drugs create deficiencies which can lead to heart failure. Many doctors are not aware of this, and Doctor Williams says you should be taking CoQ10 supplements if you are on these medications.

Surgery For Sciatica? A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association followed the progress of 1244 patients with sciatica. Doctors routinely 77

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recommend back surgery for this lower back pain that typically radiates down the leg. In fact up to 300,000 people each year have the surgery in the United States. Does it help? Yes and no. The study found that the only real difference was that those who had the surgery got relief from the pain sooner. After two years, there was no difference at all between those who had surgery and those who didn't. Sciatica typically resolves itself over time. Furthermore, of those who delayed or never had surgery, not one had any serious complications. A tear in the membrane covering the spinal cord, and other complications, affected around 4% of those who had surgery. Damage to their financial situation from the expensive surgery may have affected many as well, but this wasn't part of the study. Should you have surgery for sciatica? Maybe. If it is affecting your body in other ways (loss of bladder control, for example), or if the pain is severe enough that you don't want to wait (or can't due to work-related issues), it may be a good choice. But if the pain is tolerable, it seems safest to wait for it to resolve itself. Talk to a doctor - but not the one who will get paid for the surgery. There are some non-surgical treatments too.

Gum Disease Cure? Like many in their forties, I had gum disease. I had been seeing blood when I brushed my teeth for ten years or more. In 2007, I asked the dentist about it, and he said it wasn't too serious and there wasn't much to do about it in any case. There were no treatments that were very effective, he said. Later that year we were in South America and I had a bout with Typhoid (possibly - they never were sure about what got me) .I spent two days in the hospital. Along with other drugs, I was given metronidazole (Flagyl), an antibiotic. Weeks later, at home, I realized that I was no longer seeing blood when brushing my teeth. I watched for a couple months to see if it would come back. It didn't. After ten years or more of bleeding gums, there was no more blood! 78

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Researching this possible cure on the internet, I found that there have been studies done using metronidazole to resolve gum disease, with some success. The usual dose was 500 milligrams twice daily for two weeks (I probably had massive doses during those two days). If you have gum disease, you may want to ask your dentist about this.

Things Hospitals Don't Want You To Know The Institute of Medicine recently reported that in the U.S. 1.5 million patients are harmed each year because a hospital gave them the wrong drugs. When in the hospital, check that medicine (or have a family member do so) to be sure it is the one prescribed, and isn't one you are allergic to. According to the Centers for Disease Control, almost two million people per year in the U.S. get sick from hospital-related infections, and 90,000 die. To avoid this, make sure that anyone who touches you washes their hands. Also, since many infections come from tubes and catheters, ask again each day if they are still necessary. Often you can go for hours or days without being seen by an experienced doctor. A first-year resident may be fine if your illness is simple and not deadly, but if you are not sure about something (new doctors are more likely to misdiagnose things, for example), try to get another doctor to see you. If employees resist, ask to see a nurse supervisor. This is usually the highest ranking staff member who is quickly available. The quality of various hospitals can vary widely. For example, twice as many people per thousand may die from a given surgery at one versus another. For a specific operation, find the hospital with the longest track record which does the most of that type of surgery, and with the best survival rate. Be wary of those which won't answer these questions. Other things to look for" A high nurse-to-patient ratio. You can also find information comparing hospitals to national averages on web sites like www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov. In July, medical students typically become interns, interns become residents, and residents become doctors. In other words, if it is a teaching hospital, a 79

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large proportion of the staff are new to their jobs. The result? According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the mortality rate rises an average of 4% in July and August. Try to avoid going to the hospital during this time of the year. Doctors in U.S. hospitals are typically overworked, and the evidence shows that this affects performance. Their hours tend to get longer at the end of the week as their schedules back up. Try to schedule surgery early in the day and early in the week to increase the odds that you get the doctors at their best. Hospitals and other health care providers make mistakes not only in care, but in the paperwork. They don't always like to give you your records, but you have a right to see them and have copies made to take with you. Get copies and check them for errors. Mistakes not only can jeopardize future care, but can cause insurance eligibility problems.

Getting An Insurance Claim Paid If your health insurance company has denied a claim or part of a claim that you think is valid, don't give up. There is still a chance you can get them to pay. First, it has long been suspected that some insurance companies have an unadvertised policy of routinely denying certain types of claims unless their decision is challenged. If true, the reason is obvious: many people will accept their decision without complaint, saving the company some money. In these cases, almost any protest on your part may get your medical bills paid (assuming you have a reasonable claim). Here are some things you can do to get the insurance company to pay up. * Read your policy handbook and materials, and note any exclusions relevant to your denied claim. Does the exclusion fit your case well? Is there anything about your claim that makes the exclusion not applicable? * Gather up all denial notices, hospital bills and other relevant papers. Then 80

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call the insurance company. Let them know that you think your claim should be paid, and explain why. Take notes and record the time and date of the call, as well as the name of the person you talked to. Ask for a decision. * If you are told your case will be investigated, ask by whom, and by what date a decision will be made. Call back on that date. * If at any pint you read or hear that the claim was denied for a lack of information, go to your doctor or hospital and ask them which documents were sent to the insurance company. See if they have other documents that will help your case. * Present your case in writing. Call first, and ask who has the authority to resolve the problem in your favor. Send your letter to that person. * Demand that the company give you a full explanation of why the claim was denied - in writing. You may be able to use this later if they try to change the reasons. * If the language used for procedures is involved, such as a "nontraditional" treatment, see if your doctor will change the description and resubmit the claim. * Be persistent above all. Let everyone you contact know that you expect either to have the claim paid or to have a complete written explanation of why it was denied. * If you are sure it should be paid, and you are willing to sue, start dropping hints to that effect. If it may be an interesting case, you could call the press as well, or at least suggest that possibility to the insurance company. Filing complaints with regulatory agencies is another action to both take and threaten to take. * At some point do more than hint at trouble for the company. Tell them that unless the matter is resolved within tow weeks, you'll be filing complaints and starting a lawsuit (if you are ready to actually do this). * Filing a lawsuit may be the thing that gets you to a resolution. Insurance companies do not like the cost or negative publicity of a lawsuit, and may 81

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settle your claim quickly at this point. As a young man, I once had a hospital bill paid even though the claim was filed well past the usual one-year deadline. I had paid the thousands of dollars owed to the hospital before my father discovered that a couple years earlier the insurance company had forgotten to remove me from his policy when I turned eighteen. Since he didn't know I was on the policy, but premiums had been paid, he argued that the claim should be paid even though filed late. They paid it, but here's the important point: It took several calls, letters and steps from the above list to get it paid.

Medical Tourism More and more Americans are choosing to go overseas to have expensive surgeries and other medical procedures. "Medical Tourism," as this is referred to, is a relatively new phenomenon, but according to Forbes magazine (August 13, 2007) it's expected to be a $40 billion industry by 2010. In the 1990s, entrepreneurs began to build first-rate facilities in other countries to service this new market. Fly to India, for example, and you can have knee replacement surgery done to the same standards as in the United States. The difference is that it will cost $4,500 instead of the $16,000 you would pay here. Heart surgeries can be as much as 90% cheaper. The reasons it can be so much less overseas include less bureaucratic red tape, lower construction costs, and lower costs for doctors and nurses. In fact, many top doctors that are trained here in the United States are now returning to their home countries. They may be paid less, but that money goes farther there as well (unlike in California, a nice home in other parts of the world doesn't cost $600,000). There are already over 100 of these foreign hospitals that cater to "medical tourists." They generally follow the best U.S. practices. If you consider this option, ask if the hospital is accredited by Joint Commission International, a subsidiary of Joint Commission, which accredits U.S. hospitals. The process is considered as rigorous as in the United States. 82

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Cheaper Medicine Drugs in larger doses are often cheaper per milligram. If they come in tablet form, you can buy a pill-splitter at the pharmacy for a few dollars and cut them in half to get the dose you need. For example, suppose you take 500 milligrams daily of some medicine, which costs you $22 for 30 tablets. If the 1,000 milligram bottle of 30 tablets costs $32, have the doctor prescribe that, and then split them. You'll save $6 per month, or $72 per year. Drug prices can vary by as much as 25% in the same town. To see where they are cheapest, you can call several pharmacies and ask the price. Try this in the afternoon, when pharmacists are less busy. Buying online is another way to save (sometimes up to 40% or more). Look for the Verified Internet Pharmacy Provider Site (VIPPS) seal before trusting a site. This shows that the company is legitimate and has been inspected by the National Association of the Boards of Pharmacy. Examples: www.drugstore.com, and www.medco.com. You probably know that generic drugs are cheaper and usually just as effective. But how do you know if there is a generic version available? You can view a list of all drugs and their generic versions approved by the FDA at: www.fda.gov/cder/ob/default.htm. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, undoubtedly under pressure from the drug industry, has so far (2008) refused to certify the safety of drugs coming from Canada, meaning they can't be legally imported. However, you are allowed to bring back a 90-day supply with you. Since prescription drugs can be as much 50% less there, you may want to remember this on your next trip to Canada.

How To Lower Your Hospital Charges According to the nonprofit "People's Medical Society," over 70% of hospital 83

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bills have overcharges. Review that bill carefully! Also, in the United States it is the law that hospitals have to provide an itemized bill daily if you request it. Ask them to bring one straight to your bed each day. Question every item that isn't clear. A "mucus recovery system" that costs $12 may be a simple dollar box of tissues, and if you push the point, they should reduce the cost. Ask about the daily charge. usually you are charged for a full day the first day of your stay, regardless of when you checked in. But you generally are not charged for the last day, unless you are there past a certain time (noon is common). Hospitals may charge you anyhow, and will often remove the charge if you ask. Also, ask to be discharged in the morning. If you can't because of a doctor's schedule, complain that the delay is not your fault, so you shouldn't pay for it. Bring your own medicines as well. The hospital may charge you $5 every time they give you a Tylenol, but you can bring your own to avoid this. Check your anesthesia records to see how long your operation lasted. Compare this to the time you were charged for the surgery. Hospitals often charge for the time spent in the operating room ($20 to $90 per minute), so watch for any overcharges.

Can't Afford The Hospital Bill? The Hill-Burton Fund is a program that works with hundreds of hospitals to help those who don't have health insurance. You can make up to twice of what poverty-level is in your area and still qualify. You may even qualify if the bill has been turned over to a collection agency. Call the Hill-Burton Hotline at 1-800-638-0742 for more information.

Free Medical Care If your condition is one of the hundreds being studied by the National Institutes of Health, you may qualify for free medical care. One catch: you'll probably have to go to the NIH hospital in Maryland. For more information, 84

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call 1-800-411-1222 or visit www.cc.nih.gov.

Other Health Secrets The following are some home remedies many people swear by. They're not all scientifically proven, but seem safe to try (check with your doctor). Arthritis Staying evenly warm while in bed seems to help many who suffer from arthritis. A sleeping bag may be the best way to accomplish this, since it traps the heated air around you. It is also safer than either a heating pad or an electric blanket. Athlete's Foot Crush six garlic cloves, and let them sit for a few minutes to allow the compound allicin to form. Then mix them into hot water and let it steep for thirty minutes. Now soak your feet in the warm solution for twenty minutes. Bad Breath Raw sunflower seeds are not only good for you, but they definitely can diminish bad breath, at least temporarily. The roasted ones will cause bad breath, by the way. Sunflower seed oil along with parsley is used in some commercial bad breath remedies. Bladder Infection You have probably heard of drinking cranberry juice to cure a bladder infection. Another cure that many swear by is parsley tea. Just pour boiling water over a few sprigs of fresh parsley and let it steep for a few minutes. Drink the tea throughout the day Colds Partly due to the compound allicin, garlic is naturally antibiotic, antiviral 85

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and antifungal. However, allicin forms when the raw garlic is crushed or bruised or cut. After cutting (or crushing) the garlic, let it sit for a minute or two before adding it to soups or other foods. Add it to chicken soup for best results in fighting colds. Eyesight British pilots considered bilberry jam to be their "secret weapon" for night flights during World War Two. Bilberry has since been proven to increase blood flow to the capillaries of the eyes, and is being used to treat some eye conditions. You can get capsules in health-food stores. You can also eat blueberries, although this close relative hasn't been proven to have the same effect (yet). Flu Miso soup has enzymes that may help in fighting viruses. You can find the miso paste in heath food stores. Make the soup with garlic, cayenne, and some fresh or frozen vegetables for best results. Tea made from the yarrow plant may help alleviate symptoms. Gas Mint tea, particularly peppermint, can alleviate the pain of gas. Gout Bing cherries (1/2 cup per day) provide relief for many people. Cherry juice works if cherries are not available, as does three tablespoons daily of cherry juice concentrate. Strawberries may help too, because they prevent the buildup of uric acid, which is what causes gout. Indigestion Slice several coin-sized pieces of fresh ginger root and pour a cup of boiling water over them. Let this steep for ten minutes or so. Drink this after a greasy or gas-causing meal, and it will aid digestion as well as reduce the gas. 86

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Insomnia An apple before bed increases the level of melatonin in your system. Melatonin is the hormone that helps you relax and feel drowsy. Menstruation Pain My women friends report easier menstruation when drinking Valerian tea. Again, this is easy to find in any store that carries a wide variety of herbal teas. Valerian is a pretty strong relaxant, by the way, so don't try driving while under its influence. Migraine Headache As soon as the migraine starts, sprinkle a dash of cayenne on a spoon and sniff it in each nostril. This can be very painful at first, but many people report relief from this. Also, since cayenne is a good source of magnesium, which helps prevent migraines, eating some regularly may help. Muscle Pain Myself and many athletes have used DMSO for years. This by-product of the paper industry does wonders for sore muscles, and has other uses too. Powerful stuff. You will often have a garlicky taste in your mouth twenty seconds after rubbing DMSO on your back. It penetrates and gets into your system that fast. Sore Throat Mix apple cider vinegar (a tablespoon) in a cup of warm water. Gargle with this, spitting most of it out. Then drink a bit as well. Repeat this process several times over three hours. This is just a quick sampling to let you know that there is a lot more out there than your doctor may be aware of. There are plants that are proven to lower bad cholesterol, simple techniques for boosting your immune system, natural ways to boost bone density and prevent osteoporosis, many natural ways to stop diabetes and much more. (But talk to your doctor first.) 87

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Alternative Sources Of Health Information Below you'll find some of the sources for alternative views, news and information on health-related issues. When you hear about some new treatment for a medical condition, you can also use a search engine to get more information. When you do this, try to find a site that reports on actual research, and refers you to the original source of the published studies. http://healthiernews.com - A variety of health related news. http://www.wrightnewsletter.com - Doctor Jonathan Wright has degrees from both Harvard University (cum laude) and the University of Michigan. This site has his reporting on the latest alternatives. http://www.hsibaltimore.com - Health Sciences Institute. They produce books and newsletters on alternative medicines and treatments, with full references to the medical journals where the research is published. http://www.realhealthnews.com - Dr. Douglas reports on many little-known medical breakthroughs, and his own political opinions. He is always outside the mainstream. You might still get one of his newsletters free, here: http://www.realhealthnews.com/dailydose/freecopy.html http://www.drdavidwilliams.com - Home of Doctor David William's "Alternatives," a newsletter with the latest in medical alternatives - one of my favorites. I particularly like the fact that he is always looking for cheaper alternatives that are just as effective. (But I am a little disappointed that he is also selling products now, which could at some point get in the way of his objectivity.) http://www.acam.org - American College For Advancement In Medicine. This organization keeps doctors up to date on the newest alternative or nutritional treatments. You can search for a member doctor in your area on their website.


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Other Sources Certainly some of the more traditional sources of medical and health information can be helpful as well. For example, you can get a lot of great information at the Centers for Disease Control websites, or learn about the drugs you are taking from a website that lists 4,000 of them. http://www.cdc.gov - A wide variety of health topics are covered here on the primary CDC site. http://wonder.cdc.gov - CDC Wonder (Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research). A menu-driven system that makes the information resources of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention available to public health professionals and the public at large. Great statistics and a good index. http://www.rxlist.com - The internet drug index for prescription drugs. Information on 4,000 drugs. You can also search their medical dictionary for health definitions as well as medical abbreviations.

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6 - How Politicians Manipulate You

When can you be sure that a politician is lying? When his lips are moving. Seriously, for several reasons, many (okay, maybe not all) politicians find it necessary to be less than truthful and to manipulate public opinion. Here are some of the ways in which they do it. I hope you'll use this information to better analyze what you hear, and not as a guide to becoming a politician.

Control Through Words The classic joke, "Have you stopped beating your wife?" is difficult to answer without incriminating yourself, isn't it? This is a humorous use of what is called an "implicit premise." To answer yes or no is to accept the premise - in this case that you beat your wife. Politicians, of course, use this technique of the implicit premise for more than jokes. For example, if they can get everyone to argue about how to do something, nobody questions if it should even be done. How should we fight the "war on terrorism?" To engage in this debate, framed in this way, is to ignore the possibility that it isn't a war, but an attempt to stop a bunch of sometimes unrelated crimes and criminals. The premise of "war" implies it is something that can be "won" too. Stop terrorism? Is that realistic? Do you think if we declare a "war" on robbery we can be rid of all theft forever? "War" implies that this is the major threat to all Americans. It makes it easy to forget that in an average year 100 times more Americans are killed by common murderers than by terrorists. Even in 2001 it was five times as 90

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many. Is it possible that a tenth of the money spent on this "war," if spent on law enforcement, might result in far more lives saved? I seriously don't have an answer, by the way. I just use this as an example to show that many questions and possible solutions aren't discussed because politicians and the press manipulate the context of all public discussion. Implicit premises are a powerful method of control. Get in the habit of recognizing the premises hidden in political debate. One more example. I got a call from an automated political survey system the other day. The first question was "Do you consider yourself a Republican or a Democrat?" Is that a rigged question? Is that an honest survey? Do you know how many political parties get tens of thousands of votes in this country in each time there is a national election? More than two. This premise that we only have two important parties is firmly established in our media. In 1980, for example, Libertarians, Independents (like John Anderson) and others got over 7 million votes, or 9% of all votes. Yet I saw at least one network claim that Reagan got 55% of the vote, and Carter 45%. Notice that adds up to 100%? What happened to the other votes? Reagan had 50% of the votes, and Carter 41%, by the way. They could at least be honest and say "Of the votes that we consider important, Reagan got 55%, and Carter got 45% ." But this wasn't a conspiracy. This was some poor reporter adding up only the votes for the two major parties and dividing to get his percentages. That he would forget the other votes is indicative of how powerful an implied premise can be.

Words - Part Two Another way to politically manipulate the public is to control the labels used in discussion. Social security payments don't come from actual investments, unless you call the government lending itself money "investing." We would call it stupid if a man thought he was investing by loaning himself all the money from a 401K or other retirement account to pay for his lifestyle. In other words, the "Social Security Trust Fund," isn't a trust or a 91

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"retirement fund." However, calling it that makes it seem safer and more acceptable than what it is: welfare. What else do you call it when you take money from current workers taxes to pay for someone else's benefits? (Some will argue that it was promised, but if we promised people food stamps for paying their taxes, that wouldn't make them into something other than welfare.) Without arguing right or wrong, can you see how the words used control the debate? Do you think that politicians might have more than logical debate in mind when they choose between using the term "illegal aliens" or "undocumented workers?" If you want to get more funding for a program to help homeless people, do you call them "people without their own housing?" No, you use "homeless," because home and homeless have the connotations you want, even if many legal definitions of the term "homeless " include people safe and warm and living in a friend's house. Words matter greatly. "Daisy cutters" are certainly more acceptable to the public than the more accurate, "human shredder bombs," right? Control the labels, the words, and you control the debate. Start noticing how words are used to influence you. When listening to anything that politicians are saying, ask yourself what hidden premises are there, and what other words could be used instead. How do you feel about the issue when you use other words, or other premises?

Outright Lies Remember the OSI, or Office of Strategic Influence? It was created to distribute U.S. propaganda materials, including the planting of false news stories, for the stated purpose of misleading enemy forces or their civilian populations for "Operation Enduring Freedom" in 2001. As you may recall, the public outcry shut it down once it was revealed. Or was it closed? Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld: "I went down (to the OSI) that next day and said fine, if you want to savage this thing fine I'll give you the corpse. There's the name. You can have the name, but I'm gonna keep doing every single thing that needs to be done and I have." 92

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He was clearly saying that the U.S. Government would just continue the practice without the OSI. Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner, in his book Truth from these Podia, looked at various stories and suggests that the White House and Pentagon invented or distorted at least 50 news stories related to the war in Iraq. Apart from the questionable ethics of inventing news stories, and the questionable practicality (who thought the office wouldn't be noticed, and why would the world trust what our government says once it is caught in enough lies?), there is another problem for those of us here in the U.S. The idea that you can just limit the lies to other places is obviously shortsighted. A good story in Afghanistan or Iraq is bound to be picked up by the news wires and repeated here.

Manipulation Using Numbers One of the easiest ways to manipulate public opinion is with the use of statistics. The average American has no idea how to figure an average, and three quarters of the population make up 75% of the people here. Sorry about that last one, but you know that some of the readers of this won't get it, which makes my point. We are largely a mathematically illiterate country. How do politicians and opinion-makers use this? From Gillespie Research's "A Primer on Government Economic Reports -Things You've Probably Suspected But Perhaps Were Afraid to Ask!" by By Walter J. "John" Williams - Aug. 24, 2004 - "As former Labor Secretary Bob Reich explained in his memoirs, the Clinton administration had found in its public polling that if the government inflated economic reporting, enough people would believe it to swing a close election. Accordingly, whatever integrity had survived in the economic reporting system disappeared during the Clinton years." Apparently, the administration redefined unemployment in order to eliminate five million discouraged workers and so lower the unemployment rate. The various methodologies were changed in ways that reduced the 93

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apparent poverty rate, reduced the reported CPI inflation rate, and increased GDP growth. After the Clinton administration, The Bush administration continued the trend by adopting a new and lower-inflation CPI and also by redefining the Gross Domestic Product. What is unemployment anyhow? Do you include housewives or house husbands? Of course not. So let's just count the people that are getting unemployment benefits. Sounds reasonable. Of course, that ignores all the people that want to work, but have used up their benefits, or don't qualify, or can only get 20 hours per week of work. Excluding all these can be very useful if you want to show lower unemployment. Want to attack an oil company for political gain? Point out that their profits went up 300%. Want to defend the oil company? Point out that the return on assets went from 2% to 6%, a 300% gain, perhaps, but still a terrible rate of return for any industry. Statistical manipulation is too easy. A common technique is to use numbers out of context. In the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve oil-exploration debate, both sides do this. One side reports on the total area that may potentially be explored, as though it will all be ruined. The other side adds up only the surface area of the roads and structures and pretends that only a few acres will be affected. Either view is very limited and meant to mislead the public. The oil companies and their interests in Washington talk about the high price for gas, and quote the number of barrels of oil likely to be extracted. They never mention that the Energy Department's own figures show that drilling in ANWR will likely lower the price of gas by only one cent per gallon. That's using numbers out of context (but it isn't necessarily an argument for or against the drilling).

A Test Here is a quick test to show you how easy it is to misunderstand the statistics that are used everywhere. If an HIV test is 98% accurate, meaning 1% will have false-positives and 1% will have false-negatives, what is the likelihood that you have the HIV 94

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virus if you test positive? Take a guess. Actually, it's impossible to answer correctly (except by chance) without knowing the underlying or "base rate" of infection in the general population. That was your first test. Now, if the base rate is 1%, meaning one of every hundred people in the population have the virus, what is the likelihood that you have it when you test positive? A. 97% B. 75% C. 50% The answer is C, 50%. Here is the explanation: For this example, we are supposing that of 10,000 people, 1%, or 100 people will normally have HIV. Of these, 99 will test positive, and 1 negative (there's the 1% false-negative). Of the 9900 people who don't have HIV, 99%, which is 9,801 people, will test negative, but 99 will test positive (there's that 1% false-positive). Notice that there are 198 people who test positive. 99 of those are true positives, though, and 99 are false-positives. So for any given person in that 198 who the tests indicate has HIV, the odds are only 50% that they actually do. And this is from a test with a 99% accuracy rate. It's confusing, isn't it? This shows you how misleading the accuracy rates of tests can be. You have to know the base rate to make sense of them.

Correlation and Causation Another way to misrepresent the numbers is to play to people's normal confusion about correlation and causation. High salt intake in this country is correlated with high blood pressure. People assume that this means salt causes high blood pressure. How, then, do you explain the fact that in Japan, where salt consumption is much higher than here, the incidence of high blood pressure is lower? Correlation does not equal causation. It is possible that those who consume 95

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more salt here consume more saturated fats, and that causes high blood pressure. This confusion over correlation and causation is one of easiest ways to manipulate people's opinions with data. If private school students consistently score higher on academic tests, does that mean that private schools do a better job educating students? No. Perhaps students who are sent to private schools come from families that value knowledge and education more, so they would score higher wherever they went to school. To test if the private schools are doing a better job, you would have to choose a number of students at random, and send half to public schools and half to private schools. I'll tell you right now that I'm not defending public schools. I think the private schools would win this contest easily. I am defending good science, though, and an argument from correlation to imply causation is not only bad science, but can be very manipulative.

Using This Information If you want to be less susceptible to political manipulation, ask the following questions. What is the motivation of the speaker or source of the information? What other words could be used to represent these facts? What facts are being left out? How are these numbers being arrived at? What important statistics might be missing? What are the premises that are left unstated in the information? Do you agree with the hidden and stated premises? Is the evidence anecdotal or based on real science? 96

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7 - Hypnotic Sales Writing

Read the following sales pitch: Does public speaking make you nervous? What if it was easy? Imagine standing at the podium, knowing exactly what to say to make them love you. Wouldn't that feel great? Just apply our simple methods, and you'll have that power. Use the form below to order right now. Okay, let's dissect the sales pitch above, sentence-by-sentence. Sentence #1: Does public speaking make you nervous? This gets the reader to say yes, which is habit forming. Getting a prospect to say yes is a classic old technique that still works. It also introduces the problem, for which the solution is coming. Sentence #2: What if it was easy? This suggests the possibility of a solution, creating hope and anticipation in the reader. Sentence #3: Imagine standing at the podium, knowing exactly what to say to make them love you. The word "imagine," gets the reader to do just that. Helping readers create a scene in their minds creates desire for that scene to be reality, and good feelings too. Sentence #4: Wouldn't that feel great? This suggests a positive emotion and gets another yes. Questions involve a prospect more, and it is better to suggest an emotional state (by asking) than to tell a person how to feel. Sentence #5: Just apply our simple methods, and you'll have that power. The "and" is used to infer cause and effect (you'll have the power because you used our product). This is subtle way of getting the reader to accept the benefits of a product uncritically. Sentence #6: Use the form below to order right now. The last line directs the reader with "Use the form below." The "order right now" is called an 97

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"embedded command," because putting it in italics subtly draws attention to it, and influences a prospect without them noticing consciously. That simple paragraph uses many so-called "hypnotic sales techniques." The idea is that by using the right words and techniques, you can put a person into a kind of "buying trance," in which they are much more receptive to your offer. Do these techniques work? When I first learned of them, I used them to rewrite the subscription page for the Brainpower Newsletter. I immediately started to get four times as many subscribers from the same traffic. Sales writing uses some of the same subliminal techniques that are used for selling in person. One difference, though, is that you cannot "correct course" when a prospect is half-way through a written sales presentation. This is partly why long sales letters have been found to be more effective than short ones. In a long letter, you can address the pitch to many types of personalities. Here are some more techniques to use, or to watch out for.

Embedded Commands These phrases, usually three to five words, are designed to persuade unconsciously. They should be italicized, bold, highlighted, in a different font, underlined or in some way different than the surrounding words. They actively (but subtly) tell the reader what to do. Here are a couple quick examples: "If you order right now, we'll include three bonuses." That sentence is commanding the reader to order right now. "You'll be happy you ordered today." That one helps create a state of mind by suggesting the reader should be happy. Put commands in the present tense, and don't use negatives (It's better to say "go now" than "don't wait." Here are some embedded commands that are commonly used: feel good buy now get it 98

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desire more learn buy today order right now see results fast hurry follow my lead want this see the value change your life act now believe in this relax do it now You can use these when speaking too, by the way, if you are subtle enough. You just alter the pitch or volume of your voice when saying the key command words or phrases.

Hypnotic Phrases These are phrases that really involve the reader, so they are following your every word. They can include questions, words that create curiosity, and words that cause the reader to create a scene in their imagination. Here are some examples: Imagine having the house of your dreams... You probably already know... Are you beginning to see... Wouldn't it be amazing if... Picture this... That's all it takes... 99

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Whether you believe it or not right now... What would you do if... How would it feel if you could... This is just a tiny glimpse into the power of... The choice is yours... Free gift... You... Why not do it right now?

Pacing And Leading This is a way to get the reader to go along with you, but without being to obvious. First you talk about things that are accepted as true (pacing), and then you talk about what you want the reader to accept (leading). Below is an example. The first two sentences are "pacing" sentences, and the next three lead. "You have seen personal change in your life. Some changes are more difficult than others, of course. There is a reason for this. Once you understand it, personal change can be quick and easy. Let us show you how." There are several patterns of pacing and leading you can use. Two pacing sentences followed by two leading sentences, for example: pace, pace, lead, lead. You could also try; pace, lead, pace, lead. Experiment for best results.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Implied Cause And Effect This appeals to the logical side of the reader, without giving them something to object to or argue about. In other words, instead of just making an outright claim of cause and effect, you imply it subtly. Here's an example: "Our tapes allow you to change your habits as you sleep. Since you will be hearing the subliminal messages while in a receptive state, they'll more deeply affect you." Just listen regularly, and you'll notice the changes happening." The words that imply cause and effect above, are "allow" in the first sentence, "since" in the second, and "and" in the third. Other words you can use include: as while creates means demonstrates brings to pass constitutes enables leads to provokes implies forces makes causes

More Ways To Persuade Turn Headlines Into Questions "Make $1,000 Per Day!" isn't as persuasive as, "What Would You Do If You Made $1,000 Every Day?" 101

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Use Testimonials I ignorantly was deleting all the great e-mails people sent me when I first started doing newsletters. Now, anytime someone just says "I liked the article," I save it for possible use in the future. The better testimonials ("You changed my life!") are like gold. Letting the reader know that other people like what you have to offer is very persuasive.

Use Questions Throughout Have you ever read a good sales letter and found yourself nodding and agreeing? (Nod and agree.) That's the power of good questions. They involve the reader and keep him glued to the page.

Say "Imagine" Then paint a picture of life with your product. Other words, like "picture this," or "see yourself," can be used. Just describing the scene works too. "You pick an orange from the tree in your yard and watch the sun set on the ocean. This is when you realize what zero-down real estate investing has done to change your life."

State A Fact And Describe The Benefit To the fact "you'll get twenty four problem solving techniques," add "so you can use the one that will easily give you solutions to your problems." The fact, "powerful engine," should be followed by, "meaning you can pass other cars more quickly and safely."

Use Lists People like lists. Consider how tedious reading about these persuasion techniques would be if instead of a list, the information was written out in 102

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three or four huge paragraphs.

Use Repetition Tell the reader several times why they need your product, and what to do. You may want to say it slightly differently each time.

Use Their Words This is a powerful. Learn the language of your target audience by hanging out in online forums, coffee shops, or wherever you need to. They'll be much more responsive if you talk like they do, right dude? (Perhaps an example of how not to use words.)

Let Them Join An Exclusive Group It doesn't have to be an actual membership, although that can be good too. You can just suggest that they will be "among the elite few who know how to..."

Be The Authority They don't want to buy from someone who knows only as much as they do. You may want to mention what qualifies you as an authority. At the least, you can speak (write) with the attitude of an authority.

Tell Stories My insurance agent told me a story about a man who lost everything because he was sued and didn't have enough insurance. It was an effective sales technique. Personal stories are the most persuasive, which is why almost every "get rich quick" pitch starts with some variation of, "I was in a dingy studio apartment, staring at my unpaid bills..." 103

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Justify The Discount People want a great deal, but you don't want to give the impression that your product isn't as valuable as you say. So explain why they can get it cheaper now: "Our warehouse is too crowded, and that's good news for you."

Get Them To Test-Drive If you know it's something they'll hate to give up once they have it, get it in their hands. This could mean a free trial. If it's a newsletter, you can give them a free issue. If it's any information product, give samples. I know that with or without my business, I couldn't go back to telephone internet service after using cable - even if cable was ten times the cost! If it really is something they won't want to give up, find a way to give them a test-drive.

Tell Them They Started Something Then they'll want to finish: "You've taken the first step by reading through this page. Don't quit now. There are eight more lessons, and the best is yet to come. Continue by subscribing right now."

Let Them "Know" You "I was in a dingy studio apartment, staring at my unpaid bills..." Okay, you don't need an autobiography, but let some of your personality come through in your writing. It is easier for people to trust someone they know, or even someone they think they know.

Put Problems Up Front Then tell them why it's a great product: "You'll have to spend five hours learning how to use this program, but it will save you that many hours every week for years to come." 104

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Compare And Show Value "Others are selling the information in just one of these bonuses for more than the cost of this whole course..." Help people convince themselves that what you offer is a good deal.

Involve Their Emotions Selling a nice sports car? Say, "Wouldn't it be exciting to drive this car to your class reunion?" Find some way to involve a customer's emotions. Asking them to recall an emotional event is one way to do this. Then tie that emotion to what you are offering. For example, if you are selling custom homes, you might ask the readers to remember the first time they moved into their own place. That would be followed by suggesting a similar good feeling will come from moving into one of your houses.

Give Them A Logical Justification First make them want to buy, then let them know why it's okay, by showing them the logic: "One missed sale would cost you more than the price of this cell phone, right? This is one of those purchases that makes you more money than it costs." It has been said that an appeal to emotion creates the desire to buy, but an appeal to logic closes the sale.

Offer A Clear Guarantee "If you don't like it for any reason, return in any time in the first 90 days and you'll get your money back - no questions asked." Make it even clearer than that: "Just drop us a note or call the number below."

Create Time Pressure If they leave without buying, they almost never return. Don't give them the option of "thinking about it." Use "This week only," or "Only 60 left," or "We're testing this price and will be raising it soon," or something to create 105

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urgency. People respond well to this, especially if you have a clear guarantee.

Create Credibility Quote official sources, and drop names. Endorsements are great, but you can benefit just by using the names: "These are the techniques that Robert Allen, Charles Givens and other real estate gurus used to make millions."

Use Carrot And Stick Use one or the other or both. Tell them what they'll gain by using your product, and tell them what they'll lose if they don't.

Make Specific Claims Did you know that the average sales letter gets 54% more orders when it uses specific claims? Okay, I made that up, but it got your attention, right? People believe in the authority of exact numbers and exact descriptions of what will happen. Example: "Use this technique starting today, and you'll see your sales increase by tomorrow."

Play To Hope Examples: "Would you like to be free of your job by next spring?" or "What if you could own that house on the lake that you have always wanted?"

Create Obligation If you give a gift, people feel at least the obligation to listen to your sale's pitch. Be sure it is something of real value, though, or you will lose credibility.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Limit Options In one study, people were given samples and a chance to buy a fancy jam. The group given four options bought twice as much as the group given twenty options. Having more choices is not always better at least for the person or business offering the choices. This process, by the way, is referred to as "decision paralysis." With too many options, it becomes too overwhelming to make a decision. One choice, with good reasons for making it, is less stressful and easier for the prospect to make.

Use Curiosity The "cliffhanger" is a powerful way to do this. Imagine reading a story that started "I was in a dingy studio apartment, staring at my unpaid bills..." Now imagine reading, "It took just five minutes for the old man to tell me his secret. I did what he said, and soon I was making thousands of dollars per week. What did the old man tell me? It's on page one of my special report..." You may want to read that report, right?

A Final Thought Before you start to get too cynical about the world of sales, remember that a salesman's job is to sell. We need to be sold things - sometimes even things we didn't know we needed. I wouldn't have bought some of my best investments if it weren't for good salesmen. If it took subliminal persuasion to get me to do what was in my best interest, I can live with that. Their goal is to sell. Our goal is to learn how to be sold the right things. (Or vice-versa when you are in business.)


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

8 - The Power Of Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Above all, neuro-linguistic programming is about results. Richard Bandler and John Grinder, who developed NLP into a usable science of self improvement, noted that in traditional psychotherapy, when something doesn't work, the therapist considers it to be a problem of a "resistant client." Bandler and Grinder approached their work differently, saying, "If what you do doesn't work, do something else." They often started their seminars by telling the audience that everything they would say would be a lie, and that other teachers believed their own lies, not realizing they were invented explanations. The difference with Bandler and Grinder was that they understood that words are a feeble and shifting attempt to understand things. The other difference, they claimed , is that "Most of our lies will work out really well if you act as if they are true." Many thousands of people will attest to the truth of this claim. So what did they do? How do people use NLP today to change their lives? Note: This is my own understanding of NLP, and an attempt to condense its most valuable insights and techniques into a few dozen paragraphs. Since using even one of these techniques can change things for you dramatically, I think this is a worthwhile endeavor. However, if you want to go farther with this, I highly recommend the books of Anthony Robbins.

Try This Let's start with a simple demonstration of an NLP technique. Choose a bad memory, a real event from your past that still hurts you when you think about it. Watch the event like a movie in your mind, to be sure it still affects you.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Now watch it again, but take the most painful moment and make a still photo of it in your mind. Take away the color, and put it in a frame. Imagine the frame in detail. It can be wooden, plastic - whatever you want. Imagine taking your framed black and white photo and hanging it in a dark corner of some room in your house. See it there from the other side of the room. Repeat this exercise several times, and then test the results. Recall the bad event again. For most people who try this, the memory will have lost its emotional power. It will no longer hurt to recall that moment. If it doesn't work, try the exercise again, then try anything else in the NLP "arsenal." Always remember, "If what you do doesn't work, do something else."

What Is NLP? "Neuro" has to do with the brain of course, and "linguistic" refers to things having to do with language. Neuro-linguistic programming is about changing the brain by speaking its "language." For example, for most people, a memory is more vivid and emotionally strong when it is close to them in their imagination. Recognizing this "coding" or language of the mind, you can do something as simple as imagining a scene to be further away, and this will diminish the emotion. Bring it closer if it is a positive memory, and you'll feel the positive emotions more strongly. NLP identifies the important ways in which information is encoded in your brain, and teaches you to use that knowledge to program yourself how you want. It also recognizes that their are differences in the ways different individuals function mentally. For example, some of us are more visually oriented, and some more auditorily oriented. It even shows in our language. People who continually say, "I see," are processing things differently than those who more often use "I hear what you're saying." This has to be taken into account whether you want to influence others or your own mind. The way we use our words, the words themselves, and even body posture affects our experience of life, and therefore our success in life. To see (or feel or hear) the truth in this, slouch, let your mouth hang open, stare at the 109

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floor, and say "everything is messed up." Then sit up straight, close your mouth, take a deep breath through your nose, look slightly upwards and say "What a great day!" If you do this exercise, you'll notice the difference in how you feel during the first part versus the second. You are using the language of the brain to change your experience.

Sub-Modalities One of the primary tools used in NLP is reprogramming our experiences using sub-modalities. That's what you did if you tried the exercise with the demonstration above involving a negative event from your past. You took away the color, put the memory farther away in your mind, and made other changes. The idea is that if you want to change a bad experience that still hurts, or change a good experience to make it more enjoyable, you look at how it's coded in the brain, and you change the coding. You change the coding by changing the sub-modalities. If a bad memory is close to you and very large in your mind, for example, you put it farther away and smaller. If you want to look at broccoli like you look at ice cream, you find the way ice cream is coded in your mind. You identify all the submodalities and apply them to your thoughts about broccoli. For that matter, if you want to eat less ice cream, you might train your mind to see it in black and white, far away and unattractive. Here's a checklist of sub-modalities, borrowed from Tony Robbins book, Awaken The Giant Within.

Visual Sub-Modalities Color or black and white? Moving or still? With you in it or watching it? Near or far? Large or small? Below you or above you? Two-dimensional or three-dimensional? Moving fast or slow? 110

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Isolated or in a larger context? Bright or dim? To the left, right, or center? In focus or blurry? With a particular focus on one thing, or general? Containing anything that triggers strong emotions?

Auditory Sub-Modalities How loud is it? Where is the sound coming from? Are you speaking or hearing others speak? Are certain words important? Is the sound clear or muffled? What do you say or hear? Are the sounds/words fast or slow? What is the tone? Is the sound normal or unusual? Does anything about the sound trigger strong feelings?

Kinesthetic Sub-Modalities Is it light or heavy? Are there any vibrations? Are there changes in size? What is the texture? Are your feeling steady or changing? Is it hot or cold or alternating? Is there pressure? Where is the pressure? Are you tensed or relaxed? Is you breathing normal, shallow, or stopped? Is there movement? Anything that triggers strong feelings? Understanding these sub-modalities, and using them to change your experience, is a classic NLP technique. The quick phobia cure described 111

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below shows one way to do this.

Fast Phobia Cure In NLP - The New Technology Of Achievement, a Nightengale-Conant book, there is an example of a technique used to get rid of phobias. Some NLP practitioners have used similar techniques to cure people of their phobias in an hour after regular psychologists failed them for years. It can be tough to do these things on your own, and you may prefer the guidance of an NLP practitioner, but there really isn't any harm in trying this technique right now. First you think of the situation or thing that causes you fear. Whether it is public speaking, spiders, or whatever, get it in your mind until you feel the fear a bit. Now close your eyes and imagine yourself in a movie theater. See yourself on the screen, with the film stopped at the moment before you had the fearful response for the first time. If you can't recall the first time you had the fear, recall the most intense time instead. Leave your body and float into the projection booth. Look down and see yourself watching the screen. As you watch yourself watching yourself in the movie, let it un-pause and begin to play a black and white movie of what actually happened in the fearful experience. See yourself going through the experience up to the point where it ends and you are safe again. Now stop the movie and see it as a still picture of yourself safely sitting or standing there when the traumatic experience is over. Step into this still picture at this point, and go through the experience, but backwards and in color, as if time was suddenly reversed. Do this really fast - in two seconds or so. Do it again and again. After repeating this backwards replay ten times, get up, take a deep breath, shake your arms and body a bit. Now recall the real-life experience again. If you still get more than a small fearful response, repeat the whole process. Some people have reported amazingly fast results from using this technique. 112

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Modeling Another important NLP method is that of is modeling success. Basically, you find someone who is succeeding at something which you want to succeed at, and then you "model" them. This doesn't mean taking their advice, since they actually may not know why they succeed. Bandler and Grinder said, "What we essentially do is pay very little attention to what people say they do, and a great deal of attention to what they do." This means what they do physically, as well as what they are doing in their minds. For example, when I have a computer problem, I am likely to put my hand to my forehead, and say "Here we go again" in my mind. I then think of the things I hate about computers. Of course, this can be a very disempowering approach to the problem. My brother, on the other hand, will stop for a second, and think or say "Hmm... that's interesting. I wonder how I can solve this?" He'll also assume there is a solution, and that he'll find it soon. Naturally, he is more successful than me at dealing with his computer. He has a lot more knowledge, of course, but that isn't as important as his approach. Now if I want to be more successful with my computer, or with problemsolving in general, I just need to model him. This may include even sitting like he sits, adopting his facial expressions, and using the same words and thoughts he uses. The point of NLP is to do what works, without spending too much time worrying about why, or worrying about what elements fit into some theory of success. Just copy success as closely as you can. Modeling works. I may never be as knowledgeable as my brother when it comes to computers, but just saying "Hmm... that's interesting. I wonder how I can solve this?" really helps. In fact when I assume I'll quickly find a solution, and even pretend to be him, I am more successful.

Don't Listen To Success - Model It Don't do as they say, but rather do as they do. That is the way to learn success from the successful. A wealthy real estate investor once told me he didn't believe in setting goals. Only later in the conversation did I realize 113

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that he knew just where he expected to be with his projects in six months. That's goal-setting - he just called the process something else. Don't stop listening to what successful people have to say - but read between the lines. Look at their words for insight into how they think about things, how they approach their challenges. A successful basketball player might only advise you to practice more, but if he mentions "I saw that going in," after a great shot, follow his lead and start visualizing your shots going in.

Copy Everything At First Sometimes we won't know what's causing a person's success. For example, when starting out on the internet, I tried to exchange links with other web sites, but the owners didn't respond to my e-mails. Then I found a letter used by a successful internet marketer to get links from other web site owners. The truth is, his letter sounded silly to me, and I really wanted to change it, but I copied it and used it as it was, and it worked. At first, it may be best to just copy many of the actions, attitudes and approaches of someone who is succeeding. As you learn, you can drop those parts that aren't contributing, and add elements of your own. If you have children, for example, model a successful parent, and if that works don't worry if you don't know right away which changes were most helpful, or why. You may not ever understand why some things work, but you don't need to, do you? It is better to have success than to explain it. So do what they do, not what they say.

Motivational Styles We each get motivated in different ways. There are two primary ways that NLP focuses on: "away-from" and "toward." We each have both as a part of the way we function, but often one is dominant in each of us. Those in who the "toward" motivation dominates will be more affected by thoughts of future rewards. Those with a primarily "away-from" motivational style, will 114

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be more affected by thoughts of escaping pain or trouble. Use this test to get an idea about which motivational style dominates your personality. Read the following two descriptions of what having millions of dollars could mean to you. 1. You are safe and secure. You never have to return to your job or do anything you don't want to do. You have the means to eliminate most of your problems easily. You have everything you need to be free and comfortable. 2. You have the house of your dreams, and your favorite car too. You buy anything you want for you and your friends, and you do what you want. You have the means to achieve any of your goals. If you find the first description more compelling, you primarily have an "away-from" personality. If you are more motivated by the second description, you have more of a "toward" personality. There are good and bad points to both. "toward" individuals make good entrepreneurs, for example, but often get into trouble because they don't plan well enough to avoid problems. "Away-from" individuals manage things well and avoid problems, but don't do as well at big goals. How do you use this knowledge to your advantage? If you want to make more money and you are an "toward" person, envision the things you'll buy and do with that money, but be aware that you may be glossing over the problems. If you are an "away-from" person, you'll might continually remind yourself what a mess it will be if you fail. Otherwise you can lose your motivation once you reach some level of comfort. When you understand these two motivational styles, you can also influence others more easily. If you wanted to sell a new car to someone, for example, first determine if they are motivated away-from things or toward things. For the former, you might explain how this new car will mean no more used-car hassles, or how it will make life easier. For the latter, you would explain how great they'll look in it, or what it can do.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Neuro-Associative Conditioning Neuro-associative conditioning is about using the "pavlovian response." Remember that Pavlov's dogs salivated when the bell was rung, because it had been rung before each time they received food. They associated the ringing bell with food. How do you use this to change your habits and your life? 1. Associate pain with habits and patterns you don't want. 2. Associate pleasure with habits and patterns you want. Let's suppose you want to stop smoking, for example. First, you'll be more successful if you replace the habit, rather than ignore the real benefits you are getting from it. You get pleasure, and maybe relaxation from cigarettes, so you might replace smoking with drinking chamomile tea or chewing gum. You should find something that is healthier and gives you the same or similar feelings or benefits. Then start associating smoking with pain. Maybe try smoking only while doing things you hate to do, imagining yourself getting lung cancer, or thinking about your yellowing teeth. Use the information on sub-modalities above to change the way you think about smoking, and do anything that works to associate pain with smoking. Get creative here. If you would be painfully embarrassed by people moving away from you because you stink of cigarettes, then see that scene over and over in your mind. Use the same techniques to establish the new habit. See yourself enjoying that chamomile tea, or whatever the new habit will be. Make it bigger and more colorful in your imagination. Do anything you can to associate it with pleasure. Then you have to test yourself. Imagine yourself at some point in the future, in a situation that would normally have triggered your desire to engage in the old pattern (smoking, in this case). Do you feel certain that you can use the new pattern instead of the old? If not, you need some more work to fully associate the old habit with pain and the new with pleasure.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

"The secret to success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you're in control of your life. If you don't, life controls you... What you link pain to and what you link pleasure to shapes your destiny." - Tony Robbins

Using Words The other day a friend was explaining some of the problems he has had to me. I wondered at times why it seemed that he couldn't do the simple things he needed to do in those situations. Then I realized he was saying things like "Then that situation exploded on me!" and "It blew up in my face!" I'm not sure I would have had the motivation necessary to deal with his problems if I saw them that way. Perspectives matter, and words create them. I used to catch myself using the expression "It's overwhelming," or "Sometimes it's so overwhelming." Then I learned to stop myself and say, "That's somewhat irritating," instead. Without a doubt it changed the way I felt. In fact, when I used a sillier expression, like "That's icky," it was almost impossible to consider the situation as a big or irresolvable problem. Words have power. Play with them a bit and you'll understand that it isn't just the power to affect others, but the power to change your own life experiences. Instead of saying "I'm depressed," try "I feel a little down." "I'm exhausted," could be "I need to recharge." "I'm so stupid!" can be expressed as "I'm learning a lesson right now." To affect long-term change in your experience of life, note and list all the words and phrases you use that are disempowering, and find better alternatives. If you are stressing yourself out by saying, "I have to do this!" start saying "I get to do this!" while remembering the benefits (We get something from everything we do). Use neuro-associative conditioning to make the new words stick. Associate pain with the old words, and pleasure with using the new ones. This might be as simple as seeing how silly it is to be "stupid" when you could be "learning." Finally, really experiment with yourself. Play with words, to see what value you can get from using them differently. I think you would find, for example, that new real estate agents that say, "I'm going try to sell houses," 117

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will have less success than those who say "I'm doing whatever it takes to sell real estate."

The Power Of Questions Here are some of the ways to use questions powerfully: 1. To Change Beliefs If you want to change beliefs in yourself or another, ask the right questions to create doubt in the old belief. For example, if your subconscious mind won't let go of the belief that you are unintelligent, you can ask, "Is it possible that I am intelligent?" and "What evidence can I point to that shows my intelligence?" and "What can I do now to demonstrate my intelligence?" The very act of questioning cause your mind to change its focus. Now it will be looking for all the evidence that you are in fact intelligent. It will find it, and the old belief will be weakened. 2. To Change Attitude Ask yourself or another person, "What is good in this situation?" and you will start to feel better about it. You can't help but be affected by seeing the good. Have you ever wondered why two people can go through the same situation and yet it destroys one of them and strengthens the other? They are looking at it differently, and asking different questions. 3. To Direct Focus This is obvious stuff, and yet we need to be reminded. Why get frustrated and say "Why won't this work?" when you can say "How can I get this to work?" Ask questions that direct your focus in the most useful ways.

Some Basic Premises of NLP 1. People already have the resources they need. They just need to know how to use them. 118

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2. A map is not the territory. Our mental "maps" are easier to change than the world. 3. There is a structure to experience. Change that structure and you change your experience. 4. If one person can do something, others can learn to do it. Model success. 5. People make the best choices they are aware of. Learn more to have more choices. 6. If it doesn't work, do something else. Anything else is better than repeating failure. 7. Mind and body work as one. Posture, food, and movement affects your mind, and what you think affects your body. 8. Underlying every behavior is a positive intention. We act to create pleasure or relieve pain. 9. The meaning of your communication is the response you get. Notice how your words and actions are received in your mind and other's, and you can change them to get the response you really want.

Anthony Robbin's Ultimate Success Formula (From Awaken The Giant Within) 1. Decide what you want. 2. Take action. 3. Notice what's working or not. 4. Change your approach until you achieve what you want.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

9 - How To Quickly Motivate Yourself

Have you ever had a hard time getting to work on something, or just getting up in the morning? This chapter covers self motivation techniques, because if you want to effectively use what you learn here or anywhere, you have to be able to act. This means you have to know how to motivate yourself.

Fifteen Techniques of Self Motivation 1. Talk About Your Plans By the time I tell my wife about the newsletter I'm going to write, I'm out of my slump and back at the keyboard. When you truly want to accomplish something, talking about it to an interested person will usually get you excited and motivated. The physical changes in your energy level are real. 2. Use Your Passion Here's a little motivation-transfer secret: If what you're working on doesn't inspire you, talk about something that does. Once you get excited talking about anything that interests you, you can transfer the energy created to what you need to work on. If talking politics gets you going, for example, do that, and then work on your current goal. This will be even more effective if you can connect the two in your mind. If making money is your goal, for example, you could tell yourself, "With more money, I can find ways to change things politically." 3. Strengthen Your Desire Seeing the rewards of your effort clearly, motivates you. A good salesman can have you living in your imagined dream home in minutes, and you'll 120

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feel motivated to do anything to make it real. Learn to be your own salesman. Whatever it is that you are having trouble getting motivated about, ask yourself, "What rewards will I have when I get this done?" 4. Use Pain Neuro-linguistic programming teaches you to link pain with inaction. (Be careful with this one - it isn't for everyone.) If I imagine myself on the couch wasting time, and then see myself looking at a lousy bank statement, I'm motivated to get to work. An imaginary scene of one's wife walking out the door with another man, as one sits there silently - that might motivate a man to have that talk he's been avoiding. You know best what painful images will get you moving. 5. Be Truly Interested If you really don't care about something, it will be almost impossible to feel motivated. In that case you need to do something else. If however, it's just a particular task you're having trouble with, connect it clearly in your mind to the greater goal. I don't like typing, but when I see the finished lesson in my mind, I'm ready to work. 6. Have The Proper Mental State It's hard to be depressed and motivated. Resolving some of your negative feelings will certainly help. But if you can't seem to do that, at least take advantage of your natural ups and downs, by doing your most important work when you're in a better mood. 7. Take Any Small Step The process of taking action - any action - creates a kind of momentum in your body and mind. This is why taking any small step toward your goals feeds your motivation. For example, if I force myself to write the title and first line of an article, I usually end up writing the whole article. Commit to five minutes of working on a project, and you might find yourself doing it for an hour.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Energy For Self Motivation Sometimes, the biggest problem is a lack of energy. Some of the above self motivation techniques address this issue indirectly, but here are some more direct energy boosters: 8. Music Different types have different effects on us, so experiment. When you find an album that energizes you, keep it ready. You may want to start a list of the most energizing songs, and add to it as you come across good ones. Once you have ten or more, visit a download site online and buy them. Put them onto your MP3 or a CD, and keep this "maximum energy" album handy. 9. Energy Drinks The verdict isn't in on most of them, but it's a cheap option to try (but not too cheap for regular use). I seem to get a boost from the ones with Ginkgo Biloba in them. Some like the ones which contain the amino acid taurine, although when combined with caffeine this may cause anxiety and irritability. 10. Coffee This is the original energy drink. Caffeine can make you more tired if it's abused, but short-term, it can work wonders. If you are sensitive to too much caffeine, you may want to try tea instead of coffee. 11. Better Sleep We do not all need the same amount of sleep, so experiment with different amounts. Also, as long as you get at least five or six hours of sleep, the quality seems to be more important than the quantity. 12. Deep Breathing Three slow deep breaths through your nose will help oxygenate your blood, and especially seems to wake up the brain. Another technique that works for 122

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some is panting like a dog for a minute or so. 13. Moving Your Body Washing the dishes, or walking around the office can boost energy levels. At least stand up and stretch from time-to-time if you work at a desk for hours. 14. Hot And Cold Showers Here's the recipe: minute of hot water, a minute of cold, alternating for six minutes. This isn't for those with weak hearts, but it will wake you up. Incidentally, research shows it also revs up the immune system. 15. Outdoors Sometimes a little sunshine and fresh air can be very energizing. Get out for a short walk, or at least open a window. Try several of these self motivation techniques, and make a couple of them habitual, by using them often for several weeks. Habits are the key to success.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

10 - How To Beat A Lie Detector Test

After 9/11, the polygraph failure rate went to 50% for agent applicants at the FBI. Did liars suddenly start applying for jobs? No, the testers were instructed to read the tests differently, even though this meant throwing out some honest people with the few dishonest ones. Imagine what this would do to your future. For all of their lives these mostly innocent people will have a record of a failed FBI polygraph following them. Most scientists now agree that polygraph "testing" is junk science. In fact, John Larson, one of the pioneers of polygraphic lie detection, says "I'm sorry I ever had any part in its development." The test is valued by governments and others because it is useful for getting damaging admissions from people, especially those who don't know that the test is a sham. Unfortunately, the test is actually biased against the truthful. This is because the more honestly one answers the "control" questions, the more likely one is to fail. Meanwhile, hardened criminals have proven they can lie throughout the test without detection.

Polygraph 101 The basic idea is this: The polygrapher asks some simple questions in order to get your "baseline responses." These are questions to which the operator knows (or assumes) the truthful answer. Meanwhile the device measures blood pressure, heart, breathing and perspiration rates. Then you are asked "control" questions and "relevant" questions, such as, "Are you involved in espionage?" or "Did you take John's watch?" Your responses are compared to your control question responses, to determine if your answer is honest or a lie. 124

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They will tell you that you should answer all questions honestly, but they don't actually want this to happen. In fact, they will often ask control questions that they assume you will answer with a lie. This could be something like "Have you ever lied when in trouble?" They may mention that someone who would do such a thing is suspect, thus encouraging you to lie, so they can see your response. Operators use this kind of trickery as a standard part of the testing procedure. They also have to use their own judgment. If they think you are dishonest, they may interpret the results differently. Even if they don't do this, they may push harder to find questions that give the result they want. Whether this is conscious or not, it shows how unscientific the whole procedure can be. In fact, there isn't even agreement among believers in the polygraph as to why it works. There are three common theories. The first is that a subject reacts when questions that strike sensitive areas, whether he is telling the truth or not. This theory would indicate that your nervousness (natural under the circumstances, right) might be taken as dishonesty. The second theory is the theory of conflict. It supposes that a measurable physiologic disturbance takes place when a subject is caught between a habitual inclination to tell the truth and a strong desire not to admit to certain actions of facts. Some researchers think that if this concept is valid, it is only when conflict is intense. Of course habitual liars may be measured as honest in this case. The most accepted theory is the threat-of-punishment theory. It says that a large physiologic response accompanies lying because a subject fears consequences for failing to deceive the operator. In other words, a subjects own fear of failing is what causes the response. The problem that many researchers note is that one who does not fear the results of his failure should not produce measurable responses. "[The CIA's] reliance on the polygraph is truly insane." former CIA Director John M. Deutch


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

"...the use of this highly flawed instrument should be radically curtailed." former CIA Director R. James Woolsey

How To Beat It Don't Take It There is little that taking the test can do to help you, and a lot that can hurt you. In criminal matters, just refuse. In cases of pre-employment screening, you may have to take the test to get the job. There is one technique that has been used to have the test waived, even for positions in the Department of Defense. This involves letting the operator know that you understand how the test works. R.C. Davis, in "Physiological Responses as a Means of Evaluating Information" found that if a subject "knows that changes in breathing will disturb all physiologic variables under control of the autonomic division of the nervous system, and possibly even some others, a certain amount of cooperation or a certain degree of ignorance is required for lie detection by physiologic methods to work." Because of this, you will generally not be considered an appropriate subject if you know too much about the test. How do you convince the operator of this? Try the following: go to the web site http://antipolygraph.org and download the book "The Lie Behind The Lie Detector." Read it, and keep a printed copy handy. When you arrive for the test, tell the operator what you know about the test, and show him the book to prove it. Then explain that because of this, you are not a suitable candidate for polygraph testing. He should agree. Be careful though, as he may angrily decide that you still should take the test, and may even decide to fail you regardless of results.

If You Take It If you decide to take a polygraph test, insist that your lawyer be present 126

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through the entire examination. Also, refuse to sign any papers, such as those saying the results will be admissible in court, or used for other purposes. Insist that the entire examination be videotaped, and that you get a copy as soon as it is done. (At least have it audio taped.) Finally, refuse any post-test interrogation.

Behavioral Countermeasures Look and act innocent. Be polite to the examiner. He has to use his judgment to decide how to interpret the results, as well as how hard to push in certain questions. You want him to like you and assume you are innocent from the start, so he doesn't try too hard to prove your guilt. During the test he may stop to ask you why you seem to be responding strongly to a certain question - especially a control question, if you are applying physiological countermeasures. Have a seemingly spontaneous answer ready. For example, hesitate, look confused and say, "I guess I always feel guilty when I am asked about things. My mother was a very suspicious person, and used to blame me for so many things that I felt like I had really done them."

Physiological Countermeasures The idea behind physiological countermeasures is to have stronger physiological responses to "control" questions, so that the responses when you answer relevant questions will seem normal when compared to them. So the first thing you need to know is how to tell the "control" questions from the other questions. You can usually tell them by their vagueness, as in "Did you ever cheat in school?" When you identify a question as a control question, you want to have a measurable increase in your response to it. The primary ways to do this are by using your breathing and your heart rate. Train yourself to breath comfortably at the same rate throughout the interview (until the devices are removed from your body). During the test, use one or both of the following two countermeasures. 127

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1. Breathing responses: After answering a control question, do one of the following: a. Breath more slowly for 5 to 15 seconds, then resume normal breathing before the next question. b. Hold your breath for 4 to 5 seconds, then resume normal breathing before the next question. c. Exhale more slowly than you inhale for 5 to 15 seconds, then resume normal breathing before the next question. d. Take several shallow breaths, then resume normal breathing before the next question. 2. Heart rate responses: After answering a control question, do one of the following: a. Quickly bite the side of your tongue hard enough to hurt a little. This will get your heart rate to speed up. Practice this one in front of a mirror, so you aren't obvious when you do it. b. Use your imagination to speed up your heart. Quickly think of a car crash, a knife going into you, or anything that will provoke a fear response. There is no evidence to show that polygraph operators can detect these countermeasures. If you combine behavioral techniques with well-executed physiological techniques, the operator will be fooled, and have no reason to think you are lying.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

11 - How To Find People And Get Information

People are creatures of habit. Even when they are willing to give up their names, and move far away, they rarely are willing to change who they are. A bowler will still want to bowl. If you suspected which city he may have moved to, you could call bowling alleys there to get information on new league members. If I moved and changed my name, you could find me where people gather to play chess. Most of the time, though, people you try to find aren't really trying to hide. At least, they aren't trying very hard. Maybe they have left town and keep their phone number unlisted, but they probably haven't changed their name. How do you find them quickly? Here are some techniques.

Basic Skip Tracing "Skip tracing" is tracking down people who have "skipped" out of town, or otherwise disappeared. This was the part of my job that I enjoyed when I was a bill collector years ago. It is much easier today with the use of the internet, but the principles remain the same. The basic things you start with are things like sending mail to any addresses you have and calling any phone numbers you have for the person. When you send a letter, you pay a little extra for "address correction." The post office will return a card to you with any forwarding address they have on file for the subject. When you call their phone number(s), if you get an answer, you of course want to ask for the subject. If they have moved, you want to get any information you can from the person on the line. Use basic phone pretexts for this.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Phone Pretexts These are useful stories. They can be as simple as "Hi, this is Dave. I'm an old friend of John's. Do you know where I can find him?" Be prepared, of course for a question or two, like. "Where do you know John from?" More complicated pretexts might involve a temptation like, "I have a rebate check for $50 on a car stereo here that John never claimed. Do you have his address, so I can just drop it in the mail today?" If they refuse or claim they don't know where he is, give them your number and ask if they could give it to John if they talk to him. Get any information you can while you have a person on the phone. They may refuse to give you an address or phone number, but then mention the city that the subject has moved to.

The "Call Me" Trick When I couldn't get a phone number and had no response to the collection notices I sent, I tried something a little sneakier. This was illegal, I later discovered, under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, but it is perfectly legal for other purposes. Here's how it worked: First, I tore off a scrap of paper and wrote on it "John (or whatever the subject's name was), call me. It's important." I signed it with my alias (we had to use these state-registered names for safety) and put our phone number on it. I put it in a plain envelope and sent it to his last-known address. Even if John no longer lived at the address, these little notes usually found their way to the subjects. Curiosity often got the best of them, and they called. When I told them they had to pay Doctor Smith or whoever our client was, they were disappointed, but they never hung up. Of course, I still didn't know where they were (that has changed with caller ID now). Interestingly, they felt as if they were "caught" and usually easily gave their new address and phone number. You can use this technique to 130

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contact the subject, but you can also use it to contact others who may help you locate the subject.

Who To Talk To And How If you call the neighbors where John used to live, they may know him. Even if they didn't know him, they will often have heard something about him, like where he moved. To find these neighbors, start with John's address and start to either side or across the street. If he was at 234 Third Street, type in 238 or 235 Third Street at a reverse directory site like http://www.reversephonedirectory.com/. Try several addresses until you get one or two results with phone numbers. Then call and use a pretext like "Hi. I'm sorry to bother you, but my friend John used to live across the street from you at 234 Third, and I can't seem to locate him. Did you know him?" If they did, you could explain, "I'm sure he's been trying to get a hold of me, but I changed my phone number. I've been storing some of his things for him and I don't know where to send them." Former employers may have some information, even if it is only the name of a friend of John. You can also try family members. If you don't know any, just look for people with the same last name and start calling. Ask if they are related, and have your story ready. Here is a list of people who are possible sources of information: Employers Family members Ex-spouses Neighbors Co-workers Members of organizations he belonged to 131

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People where he spent time (bars, restaurants, coffee houses, etc.) Vendors he frequented (his auto repair guy, hairdresser, etc.) If a person has little or no information, don't hang up. See if they know of someone who can help. A co-worker may say she knows nothing, and yet when you ask if she knows who might know something, she remembers that he spent every Monday at a certain bar. The bartender may say he knows nothing, but then remember where John's brother works. You get the point. Follow any leads.

Google The Subject Type a persons name into Google or another search engine, and who knows what you'll find. You'll see my articles if you type my name in. Click through to one, scroll to the bottom, and you'll find a link to one of my web sites. Go to www.whois.net or another free look-up service, type in the name of any site, and you'll usually get the name, address and phone number of the owner. As I said, you don't know what you might find. Maybe John wrote a letter to the editor of a local paper where he now lives, and it's in the search engine index. Now you know the city where he lives. If his name is John Smith, that can be a problem, since there are a few of those. How do you narrow it down, to find your John Smith? Use any other information you have. For example, if you know he loves to fish type in "john smith"+"fishing tournament." Maybe he has recently won a prize, and the story is on the internet. There are, of course, more sophisticated tools you can use. The truth is though, that with these simple tools and techniques you can locate almost anyone with a bit of persistence. Try the easiest ways first, then move on to the longer routes. You may have to google a neighbor's name that you learned from a friend, just to get another friends's name from that neighbor and so on. Just keep at it. The phone and the internet may be all you need.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Other Resources Here are some sites that can help you get information on a variety of subjects. 1. http://www.anywho.com Type in a name, city or state, and hit enter. They may just have John's address and number right there. You can pay for more detailed information too. 2. http://people.yahoo.com Use this one just like the above. 3. http://www.canada411.ca This site will help you locate people and businesses in Canada. 4. http://www.usa-people-search.com Another people locator for the U.S. 5. http://www.reversephonedirectory.com You can find names and phone numbers from addresses here, for a fee. 6. http://www.google.com If you can't find anything using their search engine, you can find other "look-up" sites by searching "find people." 7. http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/ This is the CIA World Fact Book online, in case you need to know who to call in another country to locate someone. 8. http://www.whois.sc 133

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Another place to find out the name address and phone number of the owner of a website. 9. http://www.epodunk.com City information for virtually any town (including ghost towns) in the U.S. To find a person when you suspect the town they are in and the type of job they might have, you can look for businesses in the town to call. This site also has information on organizations in towns. 10. http://www.unclaimed.org This site links to the unclaimed money sites for all the states. If John moved without forwarding his mail, his tax refund could be here, along with his last known address. If so, call neighbors once you have an old address. 11. http://www.cyberdetectiveplus.com Pay for access to criminal Records, social security death index, unclaimed money information, sexual offenders list, background checks, real estate and mortgage information, current residential address, marital status and spouse's name, birth date, co-habitants, details of felonies, database of those supervised by the Department of Corrections, genealogy research, DMV records, judgments, minor convictions, child support orders, property records, certificates of title, title liens, and foreclosure information. Sites like the last one can get you a lot of information quickly,and may be worth the price. Remember that they are primarily giving you access to public information that you can get on your own, though. If you are on a limited budget, you can find the DMV (department of motor vehicles) online for most states now, and see what they require for you to get information, for example. The key to gathering information and finding people is persistence.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

12 - Insider Secrets Of Treasure Hunting

When you think of treasure hunting, maybe gold coins and precious stones come to mind, but it doesn't end there. Treasure hunting can begin at home. People regularly find famous old books and valuable antiques in their attics, so get up there and look. One couple tore open their walls while remodeling, and found them insulated with thousands of old and valuable movie posters, put there by a theater owner in the thirties. The couple sold $200,000 worth of posters, the last I heard. Many years ago, I used to take the old telegraph pole insulators from along train tracks, to sell for $4 each at an antique store. They were otherwise being shot to pieces by hunters over time. The colored glass ones were usually the more valuable ones. Treasure hunting isn't about making money, although that's a possibility. It's about the "thrill of the hunt", and the pleasure of using your wits and "secret" knowledge. And it can be addicting. Below are some of the more obscure secrets of treasure hunting.

Treasure In Vacuum Cleaner Dust A man in California offered to take the shag carpet when a large old theater was being remodeled, saving the new owners the cost of disposal. The theater had been closed for years, but during the thirties it was a place where the wealthy went for entertainment. Of course the wealthy, like all of us, lose things, but perhaps more valuable things. When the old carpet was cut up and carefully shook out, it was found to contain over $2,000 worth of precious stones, rings, and coins. Wondering what may be caught by vacuum cleaners, the man then arranged to take the full cleaner bags from several cleaning companies each week. It saves them disposal costs, and he regularly finds coins and small jewelry when he digs through the dirt. 135

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Diamonds In Parking Lots Temperature changes getting in and out of cars and buildings cause diamonds to come loose from their settings. Because of this, parking lots are one of the most common places diamonds are lost. An older couple I read about became experts at telling the difference (from a distance!) between the sparkle of a diamond and bits of glass. Now they regularly take early morning walks in mall parking lots for a second income.

Desert Treasure Hunting An old Native American we met at a hot spring in Arizona showed us how to find arrowheads and metates (used for grinding corn or mesquite beans) in the desert. They're hundreds of years old. He sold one of his metates for $200 during a yard sale, but for non-Native Americans this may be illegal. Check with authorities on this one.

Treasure In Vacuum Cleaner Dust In California a man took the shag carpet from an a old theater being remodeled, saving the owners the cost of disposal. During the thirties the theater was a place where the wealthy went. Like all of us, the wealthy lose things, but perhaps more valuable things. When he cut up and carefully shook out the old carpet , he found over $2,000 worth of precious stones, rings, and coins. Then, wondering what's caught by vacuum cleaners, the man arranged to take the full cleaner bags from several cleaning companies each week. It saves them disposal costs, and he regularly finds coins and small jewelry when he digs through the dirt.

Natural Treasures My wife and I have sold sea shells we collected from Florida beaches, giant 136

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pine cones from California, and rocks we collected all over the country. We sold them at flea markets and craft shows, as is, or made into something crafty. I once met a man who sold "burls" (unusual growths on trees) for as much as $200 each.

Treasures In The River Both kids and criminals throw things off of bridges routinely. It's a quick way to get rid of evidence. As a child I saw bicycles in rivers several times. I know of at least one guy that makes a living using magnets and other tools to retrieve guns, money, and other things of value from the bottom of murky rivers, near bridges.

Panning For Gold For $10 you can buy a gold pan, and start prospecting. It's easier to see the gold in the green plastic ones. Most federal lands are open to prospectors without a permit. I play around with prospecting at times, and have seen gold in my pan in Canada, but people have better luck in the mountain streams of the southeast and southwest. It's a nice way to spend an afternoon in any case.

Gold From Moss A man bought a piece of property with an old barn on it. He found a pile of old dry moss that the former owner collected to sell to craft stores. When he burned it to get rid of it, he noticed something glittering. It was gold a couple hundred dollars worth. He discovered that the moss was collected in a nearby gold-bearing stream. The moss on the rocks and along the banks traps the flakes of gold. Soon he was harvesting moss regularly, and breaking it up, shaking it out in water, then panning out the gold. (This is the only way I've found gold, by the way.)


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Treasure Hunting With A Metal Detector Metal detectors start under $200. I've found a few hundred coins, but none of them have been valuable ones. When the city tore up old sidewalks, a woman in our town used her detector to find coins . She sold one to a local coin shop for $700. A friend tells me that her husband and her have found many pieces of gold jewelry at the beach with their detector. It's also common to use metal detectors to find gold nuggets in the southwest. To find old coins and jewelry, you can try ghost towns, but these are generally picked over. Better to find records that indicate where a picnic grounds used to be. If it has long since been overgrown, all the better. The coins are then more likely to be old and valuable. Beaches are an obvious place to use your metal detector. A friend of mine told me that her and her husband regularly found coins, rings and watches at the beach. They also said that there were sometimes five or six people with detectors out there at three in the morning on summer nights.

Treasure Hunting In The Streets Collecting cans for 37 cents a pound is a tough way to make a living. In Michigan and other states, however, there's a 10 cent deposit on every beverage container. During festivals I see people with bags of hundreds of cans they collected in the parks and garbage containers. Some travel here every year during the Cherry Festival, just to collect returnable bottles and cans that week. I spoke to a man who went to the big concerts to collect beer and pop cans in the parking areas. He said he makes over $100 in a few hours (plus the time to take them to the store). Collecting "returnables" can be an unpleasant way to make money, but an old guy in town here tells me he pays the rent doing this.

Places Where Things Collect Sometimes you can find valuables where they tend to collect. One such 138

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place is in ponds and lakes when they are lowered by drought or for other reasons. Everything that has been lost there for years becomes visible and more accessible. Another collection point is anywhere that snow is dumped in large quantities. Much of what is lost in parking lots is scraped up with the snow and deposited in specific dumping areas. This consolidates all those lost coins and things, to be found when the snow melts away.

Places People Hide Money And Valuables Treasure hunting is about having the right frame of mind. There are treasures to be found everywhere. I once found a chest with foreign notes and coins in the crawl space under our house. If you have some reason to think a treasure is buried in an area, look for sagging asphalt. It can indicate that the soil underneath was loosened when someone buried something. In the thirties people threw coins in there car gas tanks to save for a rainy day (the tanks then were easy to remove for later recovery). More than one person has found valuable old coins by kicking old gas tanks to listen for the rattling of coins. Hotel owners report that visitors tuck money in the bedside bible, and forget to take it with them. Businessmen also take off and hide their wedding rings in hotel rooms, before they head to the bars. They sometimes forget them when they check out. Sometimes you just have to look. Where? Here are some more of the places people hide valuables and money. Abandoned buildings Above ceiling tiles In wall spaces Under floor boards Under the edge of cement slabs 139

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In heating oil tanks Under sinks In old cars In the pages of books In motel rooms In bibles In walls behind electrical outlets In pump houses Buried near signs


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

13 - How I Make A Living On The Internet

Before I started creating e-books, my wife and I were already making a living with informational web sites. It costs about $5 per month to maintain each site. This is a low-overhead business. I still make pages with an old copy of Adobe PageMill, and I invested less than a hundred dollars initially for things like Cute FTP, which uploads pages to the server. An internet business is one of the lowest risk businesses you can get into. A couple years ago I knew nothing about the internet. In fact, I honestly hadn't even heard of HTML. It took days for my wife and I to put up the first page (it takes only minutes now). My brother's were making money online long before I was, but they sold physical things and had houses full of shipping boxes and inventory - not my idea of fun. That can be a great way to make money too, but we wanted a business didn't involve shipping things, and could be run from wherever we were. That's exactly what we have now. In fact, when we recently visited family in Michigan for two weeks, the business was making even more money on our return, and we had done nothing but spend a couple minutes to check e-mail every few days. I like that. I haven't had a job in years and perhaps I never will have one again - I like that too. There is some useful information here if you are just getting started, or thinking about it, but you'll need more if you want to succeed. Later in the chapter, I'll point you to two free resources that can help. The following is just an outline of how to make money online, or at least how I do it. 1. Make a website. 2. Get traffic to that website. 3. Make money from that traffic. 4. Repeat steps one to three. 141

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For our web sites, I find topics of interest to me, then find related keywords that have enough traffic each month. Our first site came from our experience buying a beautiful house in Montana for $17,500. (we lived there for four months and sold it for a profit). We looked around at other towns with cheap homes, and created the site; www.HousesUnderFiftyThousand.com. I could use our own experience, and do the rest of the research online. (If you go to the site, that's me, my wife and parents on the front steps). The second site, www.TheUltralightBackpackingSite.com, I created because of my interest in ultralight backpacking. An interest in brainpower resulted in www.IncreaseBrainPower.com. After that we built more than a dozen sites in the next year. As for building the sites, all I can say is that you have to just buy one of those page builders, start playing with it and figure it out. I have no expertise in this area, and our sites were relatively plain looking as a result (they are better now). I consciously spent my time learning how to make money online, because that seemed more important to me than having fancy sites.

How To Get Traffic You need traffic to your web site to make money. One of the ways you get traffic is to get found in the search engines. If you want any chance at all to get found in the search engines, you have to have the right "keywords." If I used the word "rucksacks" on a page on my site, nobody will find it in the search engines, because most people are searching "backpacks." However, if there are too many good sites using that term already, I can't compete, so instead I build pages that are optimized for "lightweight backpacks," "light backpacks," and "ultralight backpacks." To help you learn how to find the right keywords and optimize your pages, I set up a page on one of my sites just for readers of this book, where you'll find a link to each of nine lessons. Here it is: http://www.TheMoneyMakerSite.com/lessons.html 142

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Now For The Fun Part Somewhere along the way, in an attempt to get more traffic, I discovered the now well-known technique of writing articles and submitting them to "article directories." Here's an example of how that works: I write an article about how to find an inexpensive home. I include my author's resource box at the end of the article. It looks something like this: Steve Gillman has invested in real estate for years. See a photo of a beautiful house he and his wife bought for $17,500, and get a free real estate investing course, at: http://www.HousesUnderFiftyThousand.com At this point I submit the article to about 15 directories. This step takes me only 20 minutes now, but you can pay a service to do this or use an automated program. An article directory is a website where you can submit and post your articles for others to read and to use. They have the right to use them on their own web sites - as long as they don't change them, and they leave the links active in the resource boxes. By the way, it is easier than you think to write articles. If your website is on Nascar racing, for example, you could do a simple article called "My Ten Favorite Racers," and it would be nothing but a list, with a few words about why he is a favorite after each name, and an invitation to visit your site in the resource box. When people read your article, some of them click through to your site assuming you give them a reason to. Also, others take the article and put it on their sites, creating new and possibly permanent streams of traffic. Traffic can mean money. In other words, you can: Write about things that interest you and make money doing it. You can find my articles on thousands of web sites all over the internet. People just take them from the directories and use them on their sites, creating thousands of links to our web sites. This is sometimes called "viral marketing," because the articles are spreading out there on their own now. This simple strategy took me from making a little bit of money online to making thousands of dollars per month. 143

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Update: I recently put together a course which details exactly how I use simple articles to generate traffic and make a living online. I sell it at www.99reports.com, but you can get the same course for free at: http://www.999articles.com. The only "catch" is that you'll get just a lesson per week by e-mail.

Monetizing the Traffic Just getting traffic isn't all you need, of course. You have to make money with that traffic. There are many ways to do this, but the three that have worked best for me so far, are using Google AdSense (registered trademark), selling my own e-books, and promoting affiliate products.

Pay Per Click With Google AdSense and other pay-per-click programs, you sign up, paste their code on your pages, and let them display ads. They collect for every click, and you get a share. It doesn't get any easier than that. In fact, I can't say what I make with Google because of the terms of our agreement with them, but I can tell you that we could live on that alone.

E-Books It is fun (and profitable) to be able to write and sell what you write without the need to get a manuscript accepted by a publisher. You just find out what you know or can research that others want to read about, and start writing. Letting a service like ClickBank (registered trademark) sell the books for you means you don't even have to have a credit card account. It can also be a very inexpensive business to get into. Some free wordprocessing programs, like those at www.openoffice.org, even have a PDF converter built in. A website to sell your book on can be run for less than $10 per month, and ClickBank charges just $50 or so to set up an account to have them sell the books. 144

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

If you like to write, reports and PDF books can be done quickly and are not as difficult as it might seem. A good $19, 60-page book full of truly useful information can often be put together and be online for sale in less than a few weeks. (Packages like this one take a bit longer, of course.) Don't worry too much about the size or having fancy graphics. People buy e-books for content. Have great information and they'll be happy. I once paid $17 for ten pages about buying wholesale diamond rings online. It wasn't even an e-book, but was simply sent to me by e-mail, where I could read it or print it out. Was I upset? Not at all. I used the information to buy a gold and diamond ring for my wife for $43 - one which was selling at the local jewelry store for $153. Information can be valuable if its put to use, and buyers of e-books want that valuable information more than great formatting or 400-page rambling stories.

Affiliate Programs Affiliate programs can be a pain in the butt, and yet I have to say that I love it every time someone buys some other author's e-book off of one of our sites and we get a $20 commission. Basically, you sign up with a program, put links on your sites, and when people use your link to go buy their products, you get a commission. If you click on a Backcountry.com link on one of my backpacking sites, for example, and then buy a tent from them, I'll get a 5% commission. Those are three of the ways to make money online. As you can see, you don't have to ship anything, or even be in town to be making money. To really make this work, though, you have to continually learn more. You need to find new ways to increase traffic, new ways to get them to click more, buy more and return to your site more often. For the last, this can mean getting them to subscribe to a course or newsletter. This means you have not just one chance to make money from a visitor, but numerous chances. If you are running a site on a topic of interest to you, it also means once more that you get to (I like this part): Write about things that interest you and make money doing it. 145

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14 - Make Money Online With No Website

This little money making scheme was in some e-book I bought on the internet. It involves writing articles, so I had to try it out. One man claimed he made $1700 with his first article using this plan. I rewrote five of my articles and gave it a try. I'll tell you how it worked out, but first I will explain the basic idea. You probably know how easy it is now to sign up as an affiliate for various products. With services like ClickBank (www.clickbank.com) it has become even easier. There is no approval process for each individual product or company. Once you have your ClickBank "nickname" you can send traffic to any one of their thousands of vendors and get a commission. Some pay as high as 70%, and 50% is probably the average. For example, on my website UnusualWaysToMakeMoney.com, I have an page about buying and selling used cars for profit. I went to ClickBank and found an e-book for sale on how to make money selling cars - a natural fit for the page. The publisher offers a 50% commission on each $49 sale, which amounts to about $22 after the fees. A few minutes later, I had a link up on my page, going to his site. Every now and then someone clicks through to his sales page from my link and buys the book, which earns me about $22. It's simple, but some people want it to be even simpler. Building a website is a bit of work, after all. What if you just wrote an article and had a link in the resource box go directly to the affiliate (with your affiliate code in it), so you could earn commissions without any website? You then submit the article to a dozen free article directories, where people can read it, or web site owners can use it on their sites. This has worked for some, but most article directories won't allow affiliate links in an article, and they do check. A better way follows.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

1. Find a product you would like to promote as an affiliate. It should be related to a topic you can easily write about. It should pay a commission of at least $20 (my opinion). Sign up and get your affiliate URL. This is the address you send people to in order to get credit (and your commission) for the sale. 2. Register a domain. This will be your only expense (assuming you already have internet access), and should cost less than $10 per year. Register a name that has something to do with your topic or product. Most good names are taken, but you can use numbers in the name in order to find an available one with the word(s) you want (this is why I have the site 999articles.com). 3. Set the domain to redirect or forward to your affiliate URL. All good registries have free forwarding for your domain. Now any time that someone clicks through to your domain (or enters it in their browser) they will be forwarded to the affiliate URL, where they will hopefully buy something. 4. Write relevant articles, linking to your domain in the resource box. When your article is read, and the reader wants to learn more, he will click through to your domain and be redirected to your affiliate URL. Be sure your article is relevant to what he finds there, or he isn't likely to buy anything. 5. Submit your article to twenty or more article directories. Most article directories don't allow affiliate links, but they usually allow links to a domain as long as you own it - even if it redirects to an affiliate link. Read the agreement to be sure this is the case. How well does this money making scheme work? Others claim they do great with this plan, but my own success was limited. I spent an afternoon on my first attempt. I figured it was worth 4 or 5 hours to give it a try. Using a domain I owned but which I hadn't developed into a website, I set it up to redirect to an affiliate product that I liked - which paid a nice $42 commission. I rewrote five of my previous articles that I had written about making money online, and I linked to my domain in each resource box. I submitted each to about a dozen article directories. Total time invested? Less than 5 hours. 147

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The results? Over the next two months, I made exactly $84 - two $42 commissions. It has been many more months now without a sale. There are certainly ways to "tweak" this system, and do better than the $17 per hour I made for my effort, but I have enough other things in the works. Let me know if you try this and have more success with it.

Helpful Hints 1. You can't take back those articles once they're out there, but you can redirect your domain to a different affiliate to experiment, or if the original one cancels its program. Just be sure that the affiliate product or service is relevant to the content in your articles. 2. Look for high-priced, high-commission products. "Conversion rates" don't usually drop proportionately with higher prices. In other words, if 10 out of 1000 visitors buys a $17 product, that number may only drop to 4 for a $100 product. Making 50% on either, you would make an average of $85 for each 1000 readers who clicked on that link in the first case, or $200 in the second case. 3. Don't try to "sell" anything in your article. Write good informational articles and let the affiliate sales page do the selling when your reader arrives there. However, do try to "sell" them on clicking that link in the resource box.

Update To make money online with no cost at all (you can even do this from a computer at your local library, try using a free blog. Blogger.com, for example, lets you set up free blogs (short for ""web logs"). Write about a topic that you have an interest in, and find some affiliate products to promote. You can promote the blog in the same way you do a website (articles, reciprocal links, etc.). This is a zero-investment business. One blogger I read about had built his numerous blogs up to an income of $10,000 per month. From my 148

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experience, I can tell you that you should be happy if you are making any money at all in the first few months, but it if you are diligent you should be making some regular income eventually, and it comes in day and night. The only downside I see is that you are not paying for the blog. This is a plus for those who need to start on a low budget, but free services are more likely to close your account if they feel like it for some reason someday. Blogger.com (and others) have been around for years, but I feel that a company which is being paid is less likely to cause you any trouble. They want to keep their customers happy.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

15 - Twenty Ways To Make Any Business More Profitable

Here are some essential techniques and approaches, in the form of questions. These are used by the highest-paid consultants to help owners and managers make their businesses more profitable. If you have a business or are going to start one, find answers to these questions. By the way, I give just a quick example with one type of business for each, but with a little imagination, you can apply these techniques to almost any type. 1. Can you increase the average sale? This is a powerful way to boost profits without spending money to get new customers. This is what fast-food places are doing when they ask you, "Would you like something to drink with that?" 2. Can you increase the frequency of customer visits or purchases? Again, it's usually cheaper and easier to make more money from existing customers than to get new ones. If you have a carpet cleaning business, for example, you could give a discount if they have the carpet cleaning scheduled automatically for every six months. 3. What is the least expensive way to get new customers? You have to track the results of your marketing and advertising to know this. If coupons in newspapers get you customers cheaper than your mailers, you should probably drop the mailings and devote that money to newspaper coupons. 4. Can you get good publicity somehow? Publicity can be a cheap way to get customers. If you have a fishing gear shop, you might write a fishing column for the local newspaper, or sponsor 150

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a fishing competition for kids. 5. Have you tested prices? If you sell a product for $20 that costs you $15, and you sell 200 per week, your gross profit is $1,000. If you raise the price to $27, and only sell 120 per week, your gross profit is $1,440 - $440 more, on fewer sales. You only learn these things by testing. 6. Can you educate the customer to increase sales? If you are an accountant, you could offer a free educational seminar to teach people tax-reduction techniques. You will be the expert they think of when they need help, of course. 7. Can you "sell" lost customers to a another business? If you sell new cars, for example, and the customer can't qualify for financing, you can still make money on them. Send them to a used car lot that finances bad credit risks. Arrange beforehand to get a commission for each person you send that buys something. 8. Can you sell your customer list? Even my credit union does this now, putting offers from insurance companies in with my statements. The idea is to sell or rent the list to companies with non-competing products, of course. 9. What low-risk ideas can you try to increase sales? I once spent six stamps and an hour to mail an invitation out to visiting high school sports teams. I invited them to come to the fast-food restaurant I managed, and bribed the coach with a free meal. Two bus loads came in. The point of the low risk ways is that nine out of ten could fail, and you can still make money for the effort. 10. What are similar businesses doing that works? This is something you should ask repeatedly. It's great to come up with your 151

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own ideas, but why not also use ideas that have already been proven to work? This is usually the fastest way to success. 11. Can you get the customers of failing businesses? Suppose you have a snow plowing business and you hear that another plowing business is closing down. Why wait to see if a few of their 200 customers call you? Offer to take over the route and pay the owner $20 for each customer that stays with you for three months. 12. Can you sell things or services for other businesses? When I sold real estate, the buyers could buy a "home warrantee plan" that covered major systems in the house. We were paid a commission by the company selling the plans. 13. Can you sublet space to another business? An ice cream shop I know of rents out their lot to Christmas tree vendors and others during the winter months. A furniture store with extra space could sublet to a company that sells paintings. Extra income like this, from non-competing businesses, is almost pure profit. 14. What back-end sales can you make? These are the sales-after-the-sale. If you sell pets for example, you can offer buyers ten percent off any supplies they buy today. 15. What ways can you cut your costs? As long as you don't also reduce sales, the money you save goes 100% to your bottom line profit. Save $500 per year on electricity for a $200 investment in fluorescent light bulbs, and you'll be making $300 more profit every year. If you have a 25% margin on sales, you'd have to sell $1200 more to accomplish that with sales. 16. Have you tried different headlines for ads? You have to have a way to measure the results, because sometimes a small 152

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change in a headline can double the response. 17. Is ad-bartering possible? This is a great way to cut the cost of advertising. If you have a pizzeria, for example, you can hand out coupons for a video store if they will hand out coupons for your pizza. 18. Can you pay employees for results? I had an employee at a restaurant that could replace any other two and do a better job. If you can't pay directly for results (like with per-piece factory pay), try to give more hours and bonuses to the more productive employees. 19. Can you redeploy business assets in a more profitable way? Maybe you would make more money selling off you equipment, leasing instead, and using the money for a good marketing campaign. Think of your time as a business asset too. How can you most profitably use that? 20. Do you have a follow-up plan for customers? If you have a cleaning business, you might have a simple plan, like: 1. Schedule a reminder call for the next cleaning; 2. Leave an extra card for them to give to a friend, and; 3. Put them on your Christmas-card list.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

16 - How To Get Rid Of Your Debt

To get rid of your debt, you have to learn new habits, above all else. If you don't, you'll probably end up right back in the hole no matter what you do. Start saving up and paying cash for things. Wait a couple days before buying something, to see if it was just a temporary desire. Do what you have to do to change your habits (including reading the NLP chapter again, perhaps). But if you have the debt, how do you get rid of it?

Budget For Debt Reduction Set aside 10% or as much as you can of every paycheck to start paying down your debt. Again, this will only work if you aren't borrowing more at the same time. Pay your debts before you do anything else.

Be Careful Refinancing Homes To Consolidate Loans It may seem smart to reduce the rate on all that credit card debt to 7% by paying it off with a home mortgage refinance loan. When your credit card and loan payments add up to $900 every month, why not just get a loan that will pay all of these debts off and have a nice easy payment of say, $300? There are two reasons why this may be a bad idea. Reason 1 Treating symptoms while ignoring causes creates more problems. Rarely is the cause of excessive debt just unforeseeable circumstances. Usually it is at least partly because you buy too many things on credit. In other words, it is due to bad financial habits. Now what happens when you combine all that debt? Do you have less debt? No. Maybe you get a lower interest rate on average, but you still owe all the money, right? Your consolidated debt is just easier to pay, because it is in 154

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one lower payment stretched out over a longer period. What else becomes easier now? Adding more debt. This is exactly what many people do. They get their $900 of various payments rolled into a loan with a $300 payment, and now they have excess income. Time to buy some things on credit! Debt consolidation can be a way to postpone reckoning with the real problem - bad financial habits. Postponing dealing with debt makes it much worse, of course. Reason 2 Lower interest can cost more. It may seem like you are saving money on interest with some consolidation loans, but this isn't always true. The problem is that you are converting short-term debt into long term debt. The longer you take to pay off the money owed, the more you pay in interest. An example: If you owed $6,000 on a credit card, with 18% annual interest, it would take a payment of $176.26 per month to pay it off in four years. You would pay a total of $2460 in interest. Suppose, in order to get the best interest rate and easiest terms, you rolled the debt into your 30-year mortgage on your home (many people do this). If it was a 7% loan, it would add only $39.92 to the payment. That's easier than $176, and a much lower interest rate, but how much total interest will you pay over the years? $8371 - that's more than the original debt! Of course there are debt consolidation loans that are not for 30 years, but you get the point. Even with a 15-year, 7% loan, which would costs $53.93 per month, you would pay at least 50% more in interest than with the 18% 4-year payoff. Converting short-term debt into long term debt can cost you a lot more in interest. Try hard to make those payments and get rid of that debt sooner. You'll be glad you did. Of course, it may be impossible to make those payments. That happens, but for a reason. At least work as hard on changing your habits as you do on getting that consolidation loan. Then apply your debt-reduction budget to prepaying the mortgage loan.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Get The Balance Reduced If you're in a truly tough situation, let creditors know with a letter explaining the situation. Ask them if they'll accept 30% or 50% of the balance as payment in full, if you can raise the cash before filing bankruptcy. They know they'll get nothing if you file. I have seen more than one person eliminate a large chunk of their debt in this way. If a lawyer or "representative" writes the letter for you, the creditors may pay more attention. Be sure it mentions that you may be filing bankruptcy. Of course, you won't have to if this strategy works. Below is an example of a basic letter for this purpose. From: (your name and address) To: (credit department, company name) Dear sirs, I am facing a very bad financial situation. (briefly explain here if you lost a job, had hours reduced at work, or had uninsured medical expanses, etc., and keep this to a couple sentences.) As a result it seems I will not be able to pay my debts in full, and I will likely be filing for bankruptcy soon. However, I would like to do my best to pay as much as possible before that happens. I've sold things and brought together what little money I have left. As a result I can pay part of the total debt to those creditors who are willing to accept this as payment in full. If all accept, I am able to pay about 50% (or whatever you can pay). Those who refuse can certainly wait to see what is left at the time of bankruptcy, but it may be nothing. My Offer I've been advised that since some will likely refuse, the money I have left can be split fewer ways. With that in mind, I will find a way to pay 70% (or whatever you think you can afford) of the debt that I owe you, if you will return a copy of this letter agreeing to this as the total payment for what I owe. An agreement can be found below. 156

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I can send the money by the end of the month. If I do not receive a reply within two weeks I'll assume you do not want to be included among the creditors I am paying prior to my probable bankruptcy filing. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, (your name and address) Agreement: Regarding the debt owed by (your name) to (company name): (details of the debt, account number, possibly the current balance), (company name) agrees to accept (put the dollar amount you can pay - 70% of the amount owed in this example), as payment in full, if paid by (date - you might let them fill in this). Today's Date: _______________ Signature: _______________________ (company name)

Of course, you would modify this letter for personal debts or other circumstances. A lawyer may write a more formal letter. The basic idea is to let the creditor know that your remaining funds will be divided among those who agree, and they will be "left out" if they don't. likely getting nothing at bankruptcy. This type of letter has been very effective for many, sometimes getting most creditors to accept less than 50 cents-on-the-dollar.

The Absolute Quickest Way To Pay Down Credit Card Debt If you have much credit card debt, you probably want to pay it off as quickly as you can. Before outlining how, we'll assume you have taken the first step - you stopped creating more debt and changed your ways. Hopefully you also understand that paying off credit card balances with a consolidation loan or rolling it into a mortgage isn't paying it off. It may 157

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make things worse. You see, paying on the debt for many more years usually means paying much more, not less. Now it is time to learn how to be rid of that credit card debt fast. First, you have to understand that not all debt is the same, which, of course, you know. Some of your cards have a higher interest rate than others. How do you use this fact, though, to pay off the total debt in the most efficient way? Budget money to pay down those balances. Don't have it? Find it! If you order pizza every week, for example, it may cost $60 or $80 per month. If you’re serious about getting those debts paid, you may have to eat $4 frozen pizzas for now. Do what you have to do, and determine how much you can apply toward the debt each month. For an example, let's suppose you can budget $300 per month to pay your credit card balances. We'll also assume that you have four credit cards, and to keep it simple we'll say the minimum payment on each is $45. Now, you could just divide your $300 budget four ways, and pay $75 on each card every month. This, however, is the wrong way. You should pay the minimum payment on all the cards but one, and apply the rest of the budget to that card. Which card? The one with the highest interest rate, of course. $45 toward each of the other three cards leaves $165 to apply toward the one with the highest interest. Continue in this way until this card debt is paid in full. This is how you pay the least in total interest charges. Once the card is paid off, do you have an extra $165 to spend every month? Not if your serious about paying off your debts! Maintain the $300 budget and pay the minimums on the lower interest cards, and the rest on the one with the highest interest rate. You'll have $210 per month to pay on that one now, so things will start to get done more quickly. Just continue this process in the same way. In the end, you'll be paying $300 every month on your last credit card, and the balance will be paid off quickly. If you have the opportunity to transfer balances to lower-interest cards during this time, do it - but keep paying that $300 per month, and keep allocating it first to the highest rate cards. This is the fastest way to pay off that credit card debt. 158

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

17 - How To Fix Your Credit

Fixing a credit report starts with seeing what's on it. You may get access to your credit report and credit score for free online. Try a search for "free credit report." Alternately, when you are denied credit based on a report issued by a local credit reporting agency, you can request a free credit report from that agency within 30 days. A quick look and you'll have an idea why you were denied credit. Now how do you fix what you see? What if you find incorrect information on the report? What if you want to change information that is accurate, but unfair? First, if there is anything you want to dispute in the report, you can write a letter to the agency. Tell them exactly what is incorrect, and they must investigate. Send copies of any documentation, such as canceled checks, and send it all by certified mail. The agency must contact the source of the disputed information. If they receive no confirmation within 14 days, they must delete the item from their files, and send you an updated report. You can demand that they send the corrected report to all creditors that received your credit report in the previous six months. This last part won't be done automatically, so be sure to demand it. Honestly, if the item is under $500 or is more than a year old, many creditors don't bother to respond. Thus "fixing" a credit report is possible even if it isn't incorrect. If you don't succeed on your first attempt, you can dispute the item again after 30 days.

Put Explanations On Your Credit Report When an item can't be removed, you have the right to add a 100-word explanation permanently to your credit report. All who receive the report will see your explanation. For example, if you argued with your doctor over 159

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

a charge, you can explain the details. Fixing a credit report may take a long time if it is based on a history of late payments and loan defaults. But even in this case, you can correct little errors, and explain anything that isn't fair. This will make it look a little better while you start paying bills on time and doing the other things necessary.

Raise Your Credit Score Is it important to raise your credit score? Maybe. Lenders have their own "break points" between scores that get you one interest rate or another. If you have a score of 688, and the lender drops the mortgage rate by .5% at 690, those two points can cost you an extra $20,000 in interest on a $170,000 loan (30 years at 6.5% instead of 6%). Is that important? What can you do about it? 1. Check your credit reports for errors. See the section above for information on how to correct any errors you find. 2. Pay all bills on time. You may even want to borrow money to get those bills paid on time, if you have to. Paying on time is the thing that has the biggest positive impact on your credit score. Paying off old delinquencies won't immediately raise your credit score, because these will still show as being paid late, but start paying on time now, and with time, these old late payments are deemed less important. 3. Have the right number of cards. At least two cards is best, and having more than five or six can actually lower your score. 4. Pay off your balances every month. This is just good for your future, as a way to keep you out of excessive debt. It can save you a lot in interest charges too. It also demonstrates your ability to manage your debt, and so increases your credit score. Note: Paying off the balance each month may be frowned on by some lenders, which may hesitate to offer you a new credit card. They want the interest, after all. But it shouldn't negatively affect a credit score (I pay off 160

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my balances every month and have good credit score), and it is a good idea for your personal finances in any case. 5. Manage your balances. It is best for your credit score if the balance on a given card is less than 50% of the limit on that card. Manage your use of the cards to keep the balances below this amount. For example, if you have three cards with limits of $2,000, $3,000 and $2,500, it is better to have a $600 balance on each than $1800 on one. 6. Keep the right cards. If you close accounts or cancel cards, do it right. Old accounts are better than new ones for your credit score. Keep those old ones open, even if the balance is zero. Also, it's best to keep balances below 50% of the card limits, so you may want to cancel your lower-limit cards if you regularly keep balances on your cards. 7. Don't apply for too many loans and cards. Too many inquiries on your credit reports lowers your score. Don't apply for a lot of cards in a given year. 8. Be careful whom you borrow from. Furniture stores and others help you finance your purchases through finance companies, and this can lower your score. It is better to borrow the money from a bank or credit union. You may have noticed that this is almost a list of things that your lower credit score. It really is, and you should keep that in mind. Just pay things bills on time and don't do things that lower your score - that's the best way to raise your credit score.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

18 - Credit Card Company Tricks To Watch Out For

Credit card companies are in business to make money, and they make it primarily from the interest they collect on card balances. This means they want to encourage you to use the card, and to not pay off the balance ever, so they can continue to charge interest. Sometimes they get just a little bit sneaky in the process, though. Here are some things to watch for.

Changing Due Dates Of course it makes sense that you should pay a penalty if you are late with your payment. However, some credit card companies are changing the due dates in order to get you to pay late, so they can generate more profits from late fees. Don't assume that because you always had three weeks after the statement arrived, you will this time. Check the date. By the way, this happened to a neighbor of mine (in 2009), and his interest rate jumped to 29.75%! He called and asked for a better due date, since the one he had was only a day or two after his Social Security check arrived, not giving him enough time to get the payment in. They agreed, but made the due date retroactive, so he was immediately considered late again - and charged another late fee.

Annual Fees If you have good credit, you don't have to pay annual fees. Call and ask for the fee to be removed. Years ago, when I first heard that you could do this, I tried it immediately. On three out of four cards I called on, they dropped the fee. For the fourth, I dropped the card. In fact, the threat of closing the account is what got the fees dropped on the others. The trick that these companies often play, is to offer no fee - for the first year. Then you are hit with a fee when you aren't expecting it. You still can 162

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usually get this fee removed if you threaten to cancel the card.

Late Fees Mistakes happen, right? Sometimes, it isn't a mistake. Some credit card companies may opt to count your bill as paid when they process it, rather than when you sent it. If you've never been late before, many credit card companies will waive a late fee - if you ask.

Universal Default Read the fine print. Under "universal default" rules, if you are late on one card, your interest rate can be increased on other cards as well. In fact, if you are late on anything which is on your credit report (like a phone bill, for example), they can increase your interest rate. Dispute any inaccurate reports of late payments to avoid being hit by universal default penalties.

Tricky Promotions One month you'll receive credit card convenience checks that are "no fee" checks. The next month, another offer from the same company will say "Use these checks and pay zero interest for the next three months." In the small print, where they hope you'll miss it, they mention a 3% fee. If you are like me, and normally pay off your balances every month, that's 3% for a month. In other words, on these "zero interest" checks you would pay 36% annual interest. Read the fine print. Sometimes there are no fees if the checks are used to transfer debt from other cards. In that case, you might actually have a zero-cost loan for the month.

Credit Card Insurance This typically stops your payments when you are injured or unemployed. It is one of the most over-priced insurances out there. Most of these programs don't even eliminate the debt, but just delay it. Others just pay the minimum 163

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until you are employed again. In other words, you might pay $90 in a year for this insurance, and then someday, when you are laid off for two months, they will make the $30 minimum payment for you twice. Jut skip it.

Credit Card Security Insurance It pays for unauthorized charges when your card is stolen. Since you are usually only liable for the first $50 if you report the theft in any case (and many cards already have zero liability), you'll spend far more on this insurance than it will save you.

"Free" Trials Of Other Services There are "credit protection" plans, "credit rating monitoring" services and many other gimmicks that the credit card companies invent to take more of your money. The usual way they sell you these is to give you a free trial for a month or two, after which, if you're not "absolutely satisfied and thrilled with the service," you can cancel - if you remember to. Of course if you don't. you are billed for the year. How could you judge the value of these types of programs in a month? If you don't buy a bad television under an extended warrantee plan in the next thirty days, how do you know what the plan can do for you. If you don't have your identity stolen during the trial period of your "identity protection plan," you have no way to know what kind of service they offer. Obviously, the real intent of the "free trial" isn't so you can try out the services, since 99% of the time you'll have no way to judge them. The credit card companies intention is that you forget you signed up for something, and you just keep paying for it. Don't think they will remind you when the free trial is over. Your card will be billed automatically.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

19 - I Watched Him Make $ 80,000 On The Roulette Wheel

In any casino, secrets and "systems" are passed from player to player. The result? Big profits - for the casino. Most systems are really just ways to lose slower. Some are just ways to lose differently. For example, with one system you get many small wins followed by big losses, while with another you make occasional big bets that are won or lost randomly. On the other hand, there was that one man who made $80,000 over several months on my roulette wheel, when I was working in a casino. I'll get the details of how he did it in a moment. But first let's look at some misconceptions about gambling.

Gamblers Dumb Ideas The "Due" Fallacy If a red number comes up on roulette twenty times in a row, the odds of another red on the next spin are the same as they are for black. Nonetheless, many people will be betting black, thinking it is "due" to come up. This is just one of the many delusional ideas out there. Now if you want to test the theory, you can. Just stand by the roulette table and wait. Bet on black, but only when red has come up four or more times in a row. Remember, black is "due" or more likely at these times, according to this theory. You'll have a lot of opportunities to bet during an evening, but I can tell you right now that you probably won't like the result, so don't quit your day job. This theory is applied to many games, by the way. Blackjack players will bet 165

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more after losing several hands in a row, for example, because they feel they are "due" to win. Many craps players, slot machine gamblers and poker players share this superstition.

The "Hot Streak" Fallacy The "hot streak" theory is similar but the opposite of the "due" theory. It is similar because it assumes that recent random results predict future results. According to this theory, if a red number has been spun several times in a row, red is on "hot streak" and you should bet it. Or if you win two or three hands in a row in blackjack, you should bet more on the next hand. To test this, just bet when either a red or black number has come in three times in a row, and bet on that same color. Or bet the table minimum on blackjack all night, raising your bet five-fold after every time you win two hands in a row. This will be about as successful as the last theory.

Money Management Fallacies One of the most common ideas I have seen in recent years, is that some system of "money management" can make you a winner in a casino. One late-night television "infomercial" was really promoting this idea for a while. The star of the show was always in a casino demonstrating his system. Do you think a casino would allow the cameras in if he could really show you how to win? Managing your bets in certain ways can slow your losses, and it certainly can mean more winning nights. But money management doesn't change the odds. In the long run you still lose, just in different ways. For example, if you sit down to play blackjack, without card counting or otherwise moving the odds in your favor, you may see your bankroll go up and down. If your habit is to keep playing until you win really big or lose, you'll normally go home behind. On the other hand, if you have a simple money management system that gets you out while you are ahead, you can go home a winner more often. 166

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Let's say you start with $100. Your money management "rules" say that you leave if you lose $50 from any high-point. This is called a "trailing stop loss" in stock trading. In other words, if your bankroll is up to $175 at some point, the most you'll let it slip back to is $125. That's $50 lost from that point, but you still leave $25 ahead. The idea here is that you can still win big while controlling losses. You can even increase the size of the "stop loss" once you get to say $300, to allow for bigger bets. This isn't a system to change the odds, of course, but only one to change your behavior. You will very likely go home ahead more often with a simple system like this. But again, you haven't changed the odds one bit. You are simply disciplining yourself to play less and not lose too much in one night. Over the years, you'll still lose 6% of every dollar bet, or whatever percentage the casino's "edge" is, according to the particular rules they play by.

Slot Machine Fallacies Slot machine players may be the most superstitious of all gamblers. They think there are "hot" machines which they can intuitively pick out. They rub their hands over the screen to affect the outcome. They pull the handle at the exact "right" moment they have tuned into. There are ways to win at slots, but they have nothing to do with the theories of most players. There are sometimes slot machines programmed to pay out more than 100%, for example (one major casino in Las Vegas did this for years), in order to attract attention. There are tournaments where you win based on beating the results of other players, for which there are workable strategies. As far as the rest of the nonsense, here is the simple test, which no slot machine player wants to take: write down the amount won or lost every time you play. Then add it all up after a few months and again after a year. Interestingly, when I have actually suggested this to some players, they seem almost horrified. One even suggested that doing this would interfere with his luck. What can I say, except that when such "luck" is delusion, the truth does seem to get in the way. 167

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Now I know that someone will write me and tell me that they were ahead after a year. The odds say that will happen once in a while. I will invite such "lucky" players to keep tracking their results and get back with me two years down the road.

Card Counting People want to believe there is a system they can easily use to beat the "house." The good news is that there are ways to get the statistical edge over the casino. Unfortunately, they are not usually easy. Card counting, for example, really can give you the edge at blackjack. The problem is that it is often a small advantage, and there is a lot of work and self discipline required. From my days working at a casino, I do remember one "regular" who I an fairly certain made money consistently at the blackjack tables, but even he wasn't getting rich. You see, you may only get a 1/2 percent edge over the casino. If your average bet is just twenty dollars, and the dealer deals out sixty hands per hour, that $1,200 laid out each hour will make you about $6 per hour in the "long run." In the short run you will lose or win hundreds on different days. That's with perfect play and $20 bets. To make a more worthwhile $30-per-hour then, you would need to bet an average of five times as much money each time. Do you have the stomach for $100 bets - which by the way means that on some days you'll lose thousands of dollars? One more thing: If your eyes glazed over from this little bit of math, you may not have what it takes to beat the house. It's all about the math. I won't get into an explanation of card counting. There are good books to show you how to do it if you are interested. I can tell you that you'll need to practice and follow the "rules" religiously. Although this is one of the few things that work, I include in this collection of "dumb" ideas because of the way most gamblers try it. Probably 95% of "card counters" won't put forth the effort to do it right, so they make a lot of money for casinos. 168

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Biased Roulette Wheels Okay, there are great books out there if you want to count cards. This, however, is a story about roulette. One of my favorite players - who I'll call John - used to win regularly. When I ran the table, we would talk philosophy while he patiently made his simple bets all night. I knew he was winning, but I never knew how much. After I quit the job, I met him for coffee and discovered that he had made over $80,000 in sixteen months of part-time play. That made it more interesting. More about John in a moment. I'll assume you have seen a roulette wheel (you can go look at one online by searching "roulette" on a search engine). But in case you aren't familiar with how it works, here's a brief explanation. Players bet on numbers or combinations of numbers. The dealer or "croupier" spins the wheel in one direction, and the ball in the other. This is to make predicting where the ball lands almost impossible. There are 38 "pockets" or numbers on an American wheel (1 through 36, plus "0" and "00"). 18 of them are red, 18 are black, and the "zeros" are green. Players place their bets, and when the ball falls, they are paid according to the number of that pocket. We'll ignore all the other various bets and concentrate just on the "straight up" bets. These are when you bet on one number. You get paid 35 to 1 if your number comes up, so you receive $35 for each dollar bet, plus you keep the bet. Since there are 38 numbers, you can see that the house has an edge (5.6 percent, to be precise), but what if certain numbers came up more often than they should - for example, more often than 1-in-35 spins? That's when you can make money. Let's suppose, for example, that number 5 is coming up an average of once every 29 spins. If you bet ten dollars on the number 5 every time, you would lose 28 times out of every 29 spins, for a total loss of $280, but you would win once, which would pay you $350. In other words, in the long run, you would be making $70 for each 29 spins ($350 on the winning spin minus $280 on the losing ones). When there weren't many customers, I sometimes 169

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

spun the wheel 60 or more times per hour, so you can see that this could be very lucrative. So why would that number or any other come up more often than it should? The short answer is Who cares - just bet it! The longer explanation has to do with the nature of the wheels. The pockets could be manufactured imperfectly, with one or more slightly larger than the others, therefore catching the ball more often. One or more of the dividers between the pockets could be loose, meaning it absorbs the force of the ball instead of bouncing the ball away. The ball would therefore tend to drop into that pocket more often. There are other reasons, including more temporary ones, like a drop of sticky pop in one of the pockets, or a build-up of dust. The important point isn't what causes a "biased" wheel, though. The important point is this: Biased wheels exist, and can be taken advantage of. Why would a casino let this happen? One reason is that roulette wheels are expensive, and so they are not often replaced, unlike cards and dice, which casinos replace daily. This means that if there is a bias, it sometimes remains for months. Another reason is laziness. I know for a fact that managers where I worked were aware of their biased roulette wheel, but as long as the table made money for the casino overall, they were too lazy to worry about one guy making a profit on it.

Charting a Roulette Wheel John (not his real name) came in initially with two friends, as he explained to me. They took turns "charting" the wheel. This is nothing more than the process of writing down the number that comes up on every spin. They did this for weeks on both roulette wheels in the casino. It is an incredibly boring yet crucial part of the process, often amounting to nothing, since there may not be a bias to be discovered. You see, if the number eighteen comes up ten times in a hundred spins, it is 170

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meaningless, because the sample is too small. You need to know if the bias is real, and therefore will continue, or is just a statistical fluke. Without getting into probability theory and a discussion of standard deviations, suffice it to say that if you want to be fairly certain the bias is "real," you need a sample of about 5,000 spins or more. Any less than that, and you may be betting on a false-bias. The mathematics can be difficult, but a simple example help explain: Any ten coin tosses can result in seven heads or tails, right? But an unbiased coin probably won't ever come up heads 7,000 out of 10,000 tosses. Big numbers show true bias. John's crew eventually had 15,000 spins recorded in a little notebook. As it turned out, the number "0" was coming in 1-in-28 spins. This surpassed the 1-in-33 threshold they had decided they needed to make it safe and worth their while. Only John had the patience, though, to continue sitting there night after night, placing one bet on one number, over and over. Within a couple weeks, his friends quit. They not only didn't have the patience required, but probably also didn't like the fact that even with the odds in their favor, they had nights when they lost as much as $700, due to the normal ups and downs the probabilities dictate. So night after night John sat there discussing politics and philosophy with me and the other dealers, placing one bet on 0 for each spin of the wheel. He was making between $50 and $100 per hour depending on the number of spins per hour, and assuming the bias was consistent in the long run. Eventually, after more than a year, and $80,000 in profits for John, the casino got a new wheel. If you want to try this yourself, here is the simplest formula: 1. Find a roulette wheel. 2. Watch 5000 spins, writing down the number the ball falls into on each one. 3. Start betting any that came up more than 151 times (1-in-33 spins). 4. If none are coming up that often, find a new wheel and start the process over. 171

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If you do notice temporary reasons for a bias, like a sticky pocket with a few drops of someone's drink splashed in it, you may want to watch to see if they are corrected (cleaned, in this case). Most biases remain for a while because they are not noticed by management, or their cause is unknown, and replacing roulette wheels is expensive. Of course, cleaning isn't. A cheap solution some casinos use to thwart "wheel charters," is switching a couple wheels around. If you memorize the wood-grain pattern of the wheel you'll know if it was moved or replaced (John had done this). This kind of roulette system works only on specific wheels (those with known biases), so you have to know you're at the same wheel each time you play.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

20 - What Real Estate Agents Won't Tell You

You should almost certainly use a real estate agent to help you sell your house. I say this for many reasons, but I'll just sum them up by saying that the biggest reason people try to sell on their own is to save money - and it rarely works! I also recommend that you get the help of a good real estate agent when you are buying a house. However, there are some things you should know that most agents will never tell you.

Open Houses An open house is a prospecting tool for the agent, not a way to sell your house. In fact, many experienced agents won't even host their own open houses. They get a newer agent to host it. I did this many times as a new agent. I would a good chunk of his or her commission if I sold it instead of them. They wouldn't risk that if homes were commonly sold from open houses (they aren't). Why do they let dozens of people who aren't qualified to buy your home track their muddy feet through it then? The listing agent does it so she can appear to be doing everything she can to sell it. Since it is the norm now, an agent might look lazy or neglectful if she doesn't at least suggest an open house to you. The hosting agent uses it as a prospecting tool. There may be two dozen couples who want a new home coming right to him, and usually leaving their names and phone numbers. Now that's an opportunity, but for the agent, not for you. Yes, sometimes an open house can help sell your home, but not as often as you might think. So if you are worried about the inconvenience, possible theft and damage, just say no.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Agents Work For Sellers Unless they are specifically working as buyers agents, they are working for the seller. Many buyers don't think this matters, as long as the agent is helpful. That's true to an extent. What buyers don't realize though, is that an agent has a legal responsibility to and loyalty to the best interest of the seller. What does this mean? As an example, suppose you make an offer on a home and mention that if the seller says no, you'll probably go $8,000 higher. The agent has an obligation to tell the seller what you just said. A good agent, even if he is a seller's agent, can be a great help to a buyer. Just remember that he's a salesman, and you're not the boss. Be careful about what you say, and be careful with what he says. You may think that you can avoid this problem by using a buyer's agent. This is true to an extent, but not entirely. Remember that typically the agent still only gets paid when a sale is made. That means an agent may be more interested in getting you to buy something quick (and expensive - if his commission is based on the price), than in helping you get a great deal.

Showing The Price Is Important Have you seen the ads in the paper for homes for sale that don't have prices? What do you do? Sometimes I may call, but there are so many homes to look at that I often just skip over these ones. With that in mind, how did leaving the price out help the seller? It didn't. If the price was there, callers would effectively pre-qualify themselves to buy your home, since they often know what they can afford. Those who are looking for less expensive homes wouldn't call, which is what you would want if you were selling it on your own. Why waste your time, right? And why risk losing a sale to people like me who skip over non-priced homes? Again, this is a prospecting tool. For the agent, it is good to have people call out of curiosity. When they find that the home isn't right for them, the agent can steer them to another listing that he can make money on. Agents have enough ways to get buyers for other properties. Personally, I insist that they 174

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put the price of my home in their advertising.

Agents Let You Assume Things Agents often just want to get the sale closed, and will let you believe whatever you have to in order to do that. They'll tell you that the seller and buyer always split the closing fee, for example. They'll tell you that they can't change the commission after it has been set. They'll tell you that you have to write a big check for a "good faith" deposit when you make an offer. I have seen realtors knock $4,000 off the commission to get a sale closed at a lower price. I have seen the buyer or the seller pay the entire closing fee. People sometimes put less than $1000 down as a deposit with an offer, and sometimes nothing - with the agreement to put up something when the offer is accepted. Very little is set in stone when it comes to real estate.

Agents Are Not All Experts The first time I made an offer on a house, the agent didn't understand what I meant when I told him that I wanted to get a 90% first mortgage and have the seller carry a second for 5%, so I could get in with only 5% down. Years into his career, he still had only dealt with deals that had regular bank mortgages. Often agents will be very knowledgeable about a certain type of real estate, or a certain neighborhood, but know little else. Like other professionals, they specialize. If you really need help finding a particular type of property, look through listings online until you find an agent that already has several of that type listed. Investing in real estate? Remember that while some real estate agents may be investors too (surprisingly, most aren't), not many will still be showing properties once they've made millions on their own account. In other words, a real estate sales person may not be the best source for investing advice. Talk to an agent for what they know about homes and property, but don't forget to also talk to other investors for investment expertise. 175

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21 - The Truth About Zero-Down Real Estate Investing

A Real Life Zero Down Example? My wife and I sold a small rental property, with payments of $400/month. The buyer had a good credit report, and his $5,000 down payment covered closing costs and even the cost of a foreclosure, if that is ever necessary. As a result, I didn't care where he got the down payment. Now suppose he had taken a $6000 cash advance on a low-interest credit card. It would have cost him about $135 per month, and given him enough for the down payment and his closing costs. That and the payment to us would add up to $535 per month. We didn't ask where he got the down payment, but the above scenario is possible. It would mean he invested no money of his own. Of course, if you do this, you have to look at whether you'll make enough in rent to cover your monthly expenses. In this case, with rent around $600 per month, he would be okay. In some cases, however, that extra $135 might cause negative cash-flow. So be sure that however you do it, the numbers work. By the way, I would have set the payments at $350, if he had asked, because it's the price and the interest rate that are important to me. You should understand two things if you want to buy real estate with no money down: 1. Zero-down means none of your money. While there are sellers who are able to offer terms and low down payments (as we did), usually you'll have to find a way to get at least 70% of the price to them in cash. Think in terms of how to get a primary loan, then how to raise the money for the remainder. 176

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2. A good deal is all about solving problems. Learn what the seller really needs and wants. In the above case, I wanted a good price and interest rate. I would have been flexible in many ways if I could get these. You also have to be clear about your own needs, so you can find a way to solve the seller's problem and yours.

Some Zero-Down Methods No-Doc Loans Combined With Seconds Some banks still do "no-doc" loans, meaning they don't require verification of income, source of down payment, etc. They generally loan only 70% to 80% of the property value, but if the seller is willing to take a second mortgage from you for the other 20% to 30%, you are in with no money down. The seller gets 70% or 80% in cash, plus payments for years to come. You'll have two payments, of course, so be sure the numbers work.

Equity Loans You can borrow against your home or other property to come up with down payment money. If you borrow for a "vacation," and leave whatever you don't spend in your checking account for a while, you can use it without violating bankers rules about borrowing for a down payment.

Note Buyers Even if you live in a small town, there are usually a few "note buyers." These are investors that buy land contracts, mortgage loans and other "notes" at a discount. If a seller takes a purchase money mortgage from you for $100,000, for example, a note buyer might pay him $85,000 for it. So how does that help you or him? An example: A seller prices his property at $195,000, and expects to sell it for $180,000. You offer $210,000 in the form of a mortgage for $160,000, 177

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and another for $50,000. You have arranged for the sale of the first mortgage at closing for $136,000 to a note buyer. The seller gets that cash now, plus payments from you on the second loan for $50,000. Notice that this adds up to $186,000, which is more than he expected to get out of the deal. Of course you will have two payments. You also paid $210,000 for the property. That's okay if it still shows positive cash flow when you have it rented out. Just be sure to run the numbers. Zero-down doesn't help you if you don't get something for your effort.

Gifting Programs In some parts of the country, builders fund foundations that give you a portion of the down payment, so you can get into a home with as little as 3% down payment from your own pocket. FHA and other lenders have so far approved of or allowed this. To make it "zero-down" you could borrow for a vacation and forget to take it, using the loan for the down payment instead.

VA Loans If you have been in the armed services, have a decent job, and can save two or three paychecks, you can probably get a home with a VA loan. They get very close to being no-money-down deals, and if you can borrow the small down payment, they can be truly no-money-down.

Land Contract Also called "contract for sale" and other names depending on the part of the country you are in, this just means that you make payments to the seller instead of a bank. It's up to you and them to negotiate down payment amount, interest rate, and the term of the loan. If the seller needs a boat and you have one, this could be a down payment, making the deal zero-down.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Family Loans It may not be out of charity that a brother or a friend lends you the money to buy a home. A 7% return might look awfully good if their money is sitting in the bank at 2%. Get a mortgage or have the seller finance the purchase, and then borrow the down payment from the friend or family member to make it a zero-down deal.

Credit Cards This is a risky one, but if you have a low-interest credit card, you can use it to come up with the down payment, especially if you can pay it off soon with a coming tax refund, for example. Banks generally won't allow this, but you can combine this with seller financing.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

22 - How To Be More Creative

A creative imagination is more than just an active imagination. To actively imagine things, and see and hear things in one's mind, is an important ability, but it doesn't have to involve much creativity, does it? For example, normal daydreaming is a process of imagination, and it can consist of an elaborate fantasy world, but one mostly full of things that many people think about. More creative imagination, then, must include the ability not just to imagine things, but to imagine original things. This means seeing things that others don't see, and coming up with new ideas. Can you cultivate this? Yes.

How To Improve Your Creative Imagination Start by exercising your basic imagination. Try thinking in pictures more, or listening to music in your mind. Play little "movies" in your mind, until you can watch them on command. For those of us that can't easily do this naturally, it can take a lot of practice. Fortunately, it is not an unpleasant activity. Get more creative in your thinking and imagining. This can be as simple as paying attention to your creativity, because our subconscious minds give us more of what we pay attention to. When you ignore creative aspects of your life, you're telling your subconscious they're unimportant, but if you notice when you're creative, your subconscious mind will start feeding you more creative ideas. Getting into different surroundings can encourage creativity. Want more creativity in your love life? Hike up a mountain with your partner. Do you write? Sit on a roof to write. Are you looking for creative new ideas for your business? Bring a notebook to the park and sit by the duck pond. A change of environment can get your thinking out of its ruts. 180

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Start playing games that exercise your creative imagination. One such game uses a technique called "concept combination." Whether played alone or with other players, you combine random concepts or things in new ways, to see who has the best idea. A thermometer and a billboard, for example, could generate an idea for a sign that checks the weather and adjusts the message accordingly ("Come in out of the heat for a cold beverage," or "Come in out of the rain and warm up with our gourmet coffee," or "Come enjoy this beautiful sunset from our deck.").

Creative Thinking Techniques Want the mind of a creative inventor? Start redesigning everything you see. Imagine better cars, faster ways to serve food, or better light bulbs. If you do this every day for three weeks, it will become a habit. Want to be the person who always has something interesting to say? Train yourself to look at things from other perspectives. What would the Buddha say about this? How would a Martian view it? What's the opposite perspective? The point isn't to ask others silly questions, but to ask yourself, to see what interesting ideas result. Do this until it is a habit, and you'll always have something interesting to add to a conversation. For systematic creativity in poetry put a word on each of 40 cards; 10 nouns, 10 verbs, 10 adjectives, and 10 random words. Shuffle, deal out the cards and write a poem using one of the words in each line. My wife has had poems published that were created with this technique. Your mind will find a poetic use for any word if you use this method often.

Why Wait For Creative Imagination? Creative inspiration can strike at any time, but such inspiration strikes more often when there is work instead of waiting. So if you want to come up with creative inventions, start mentally redesigning everything you see. Imagine a better bicycle, a faster mail service, or a better chair. Continue this for three weeks, and it will become a habit. The most creative imaginations go beyond solving specific problems or 181

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inventing things. Truly creative minds are always coming up with the questions too, and not just the solutions. To cultivate this kind of creativity, try these three things: 1. Change Your Perspective Working just to not work (to retire) might seem silly to a child. Thinking from that child's perspective might give you ideas for how to make money doing things you enjoy. Seeing the world as a bear sees it might give a painter imaginative new ideas. Seeing things from a customer's perspective is a sure way to find creative improvements for a business. Try to see everything from several perspectives. 2. Challenge Your Assumptions What if restaurants didn't have employees? Customers pay a machine as they enter, feed themselves at a buffet, and everything is as automated as possible, so one owner-operator could run a large restaurant alone. Challenge all your assumptions for practice. Do you really have to pay rent? Do fish tanks need water? Can friendship be a bad thing? 3. Let Ideas Run Wild A flying bed may seem silly, but then it could lead to the concept of a helium mattress. Get out of bed in the morning, and it floats up and out of the way, to the ceiling. Ideal for small apartments. Never stifle your creativity. Relax, let ideas come in any form, and remember that you can always discard them later. If you want these techniques to be a habitual part of your thinking, you have to use them regularly. Since it usually takes several weeks to develop a habit, consciously use them each day for 20 days or more. List a few of your favorite creative problem solving techniques on a card, for example, and carry it with you. Look over the list every day and apply the methods there to anything and everything. In a few short weeks you'll have a more creative imagination.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Creative Thinking Games Classic creative thinking games are a great way to tune up your brain. You can use these mind games to help you increase your brain power and to get you out of your thinking "ruts." Play them enough, and they'll habituate you to using creative problem solving as a normal part of thinking about things.

Creative Thinking Games For Groups Group thinking games are especially good for long trips in a car. Have someone look out the window, for example, and randomly choose an object. Everyone in the car then tries to imagine a new way to make money with it. Common street signs become places to advertise, trees are sold with names, and a truck becomes a traveling grocery store. Use the "change of perspective" technique as a problem-solving game. Just pick any topic, and see who can come up with the most unique new perspective. Could there be a world where jobs weren't necessary? How would a virus define morality if it was conscious? One creative thinking game uses a technique called "concept combination." You simply combine random concepts or things in interesting ways, and see who has the best idea. A chair and a microwave? Maybe an easy-chair with a built-in cooler, microwave and television, or microwaveable "couch potatoes" - a potato snack in the shape of a couch.

More Creative Thinking Games A lateral thinking puzzle you can try right now involves nine dots, laid out three by three. Connect them all with four straight lines, without lifting the pen or pencil from the paper. When you figure this one out you'll appreciate the expression "thinking outside of the box."

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Many lateral-thinking puzzles use a scenario, real or imagined, with a selection of things you have to use to accomplish something. Imagine a ping-pong ball in an iron pipe that's set in cement. The pipe sticks up threefeet high, and has almost the same diameter as the ball. Using only a box of frosted-flakes, and a t-shirt, and your body and mind, how many ways can you find to get the ball out of the pipe? You could also set this up for real, to know if a proposed solution will really work. Many riddles are just mind games or lateral-thinking puzzles. You move laterally in your mind, away from your usual line of thought, to solve a riddle. For example, what did his friends do when the cannibal was late for dinner? They gave him the cold shoulder, of course! Keeping your brain in shape doesn't have to be a matter of serious study. Why not play some thinking games?


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

23 - How To Develop Your Intuition

The first step to develop your intuition is to realize you have it already. If you've ever had a hunch about something, that was intuition. Intuition is just your mind using more than what you are consciously aware of. But can you trust your intuition? How do you improve it?

Developing Intuition In Three Steps 1. Recognize it and encourage it. 2. Study it to make it more trustworthy. 3. Give it good information to work with. Gary Kasparov would probably admit that a computer can calculate chess positions many moves further ahead than he can. Yet he still beats the best computers out there because of his intuitive grasp of the game. His experience allows him to combine analysis with a "sense" of which move is best. Try to find areas in your own life where you intuitively operate. Intuition is also a warning device. Both my wife and I felt we shouldn't get on that bus in Ecuador. This is no psychic power. Crowded busses are prime locations for pickpockets. A drunk man was bumping into people repeatedly. We didn't consciously pay attention, but these things registered in our minds, warning us. We felt "something isn't right here." When we ignored our intuition, I was robbed. When I bought a conversion van, I saw them all over. Maybe you've had a similar experience. Looking for and recognizing a thing trains your mind to find more of it. The same process will happen if you watch for your intuition - you'll start to see more of it. Unfortunately, a strong hunch can be for irrelevant reasons too. If you were 185

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hit by a yellow taxi as a child, you might have "intuitive" hunches not to get into yellow taxis for the rest of your life. So even learning to recognize your intuition and encourage it may leave you wondering when to trust it.

Study Your Intuition Start questioning your hunches. If we had asked why we felt bad about that bus, it may have occurred to us, "Oh yeah, crowded busses are a bad idea we know that." Study your strong feeling about that taxi, and you might say, "Oh, it's just my fear of yellow taxis." Get in the habit of paying attention to and studying your intuitive feelings. Where does your intuition work best? If you're always right about your intuitive stock picks, give a little credence to them. On the other hand, if your hunches about people are usually wrong, don't follow them. Just pay attention more, and you'll be developing intuition about your intuition.

Start With Good Information Your skill, knowledge and experience determine the potential effectiveness of your intuition. No weak chess player will never intuitively beat that computer, like Kasparov can. Learn enough about a subject, before expecting good hunches about it - or before trusting the hunches. Work in the area you want more intuition in. When enough information is in your mind, it will go to work for you with or without your conscious participation, so feed it well. 1. Recognize your intuition and you'll have hunches and ideas more often. 2. Study it and you'll learn when to trust it. 3. Give it good information and you'll be repaid with good hunches and ideas. This is the simple formula for developing intuition.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

24 - Secrets Of Focused Concentration

If you had the power of concentration whenever you wanted it, imagine how much more productive you could be. Good news! Not only can learn how to concentrate better, but you can do so right now.

Concentration Is Automatic Start working on something, and concentration is more or less automatic, until you are distracted. Often these distractions and interruptions are your own thoughts, and they may come every few seconds. If there was nothing interfering, you would have easier and more complete concentration. What you need then, is a method to remove the distractions, to control your wandering mind. Here it is: Start paying attention to what is going on in your head. Maybe there's a phone call you need to make, that has been quietly bothering you, just below consciousness. You could be worried about an upcoming meeting, or a family matter. A conversation from the past or an imagined one you plan to have may be running through your mind. Start tuning into your mind today, and it will become easier by tomorrow. As you become aware of these stressors, do something with them to let them go for the moment. Make that phone call, or make a note about it, and your mind will usually let go of the concern for now. Put future things that need to be done on a list. Do whatever you can quickly do to let these "mind irritations" go. Sometimes just telling yourself something like, "There is nothing I can do about this problem until Friday," will stop unconscious worrying. Do this exercise a few times, and you'll find it becomes easier to recognize what is just below the surface, irritating you and sapping your power of 187

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concentration. Set these mind irritations aside, and you will think more clearly. This is essentially a "mindfulness” exercise, by the way. Mindfulness meditation can help with this process and with self awareness if you want to go deeper in this practice.

Ask Why Another simple technique is to honestly ask yourself why you want to concentrate. Concentration is difficult if you're bored. A cure for this is to stop and consider why it's important, if it is. Answer the question, and visualize the benefits clearly, and it will be easier to focus your mind.

Remove Obvious Distractions I have read that Stephen King writes with loud music on. What distracts each of us, or doesn't, is obviously personal and somewhat unique. Do something about whatever it is that takes your mind away from the task at hand. Turn off the TV, feed your empty stomach, or turn your desk away from the window. When you take care of the external and the internal distractions, you'll be able to focus your attention and brain power like a spotlight. Watch a child building a sand castle sometime, and you'll see that the power of concentration really is natural.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

25 - Memory Secrets

The Loci Method The "loci" method for remembering things is at least two thousand years old. Loci is the plural of locus, meaning place or location. This system was used by Greek and Roman orators to memorize speeches, and it is the origin of the phrase "in the first place." Here's how to make it work for you: Choose ten locations that you can memorize and recall easily. It is best if they are in your home or town, or somewhere you are very familiar with. For my own loci, I use the window in our kitchen, the microwave oven, the sink, the stove, the refrigerator, the front door, the TV, the hall, the washing machine and the dryer. These ten locations are easy to remember and use because they are in order as I mentally walk through the house. When you want to remember a list of things (or parts of a speech), you place each item in one of the places in your imagination. For best results, make it unusual in some way. I'll use a grocery list of eight items as an example. Milk... eggs... grapes.. paper towels... soup... tomatoes... salt... turkey. In my mind, I see: 1. Milk splashing against the kitchen window, with wiper blades clearing it off. 2. Eggs dancing around in the microwave. 3. Grapes filling the kitchen sink as I mash them to make wine. 4. I put paper towels on the stove, and watch them bursting into flames. 5. Bowls of steaming soup lining the shelves in the refrigerator. 189

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6. I open the front door and I am pelted by tomatoes. 7. I turn on the TV and salt pours out of the screen. 8. I look down the hall to see a turkey running straight at me. Later, when I am in the grocery store, I can mental walk through the house and easily recall all eight items. If you involve your senses, and make the images crazy, you'll remember a list like this even the next day. You can have as many loci as you want for your system, but I recommend a minimum of ten.

The Link and Story Method This is another way to remember a list of things. The trick is to link the items together in an imaginative story. Let's say you want to remember the following things: milk, soap, forks, honey, and flowers. You create a story, and see it as vividly as you can in your imagination. For example: At the bathroom sink, you reach for the soap, but the soap dish is filled with milk, so you wash your hands with that, then comb honey into your hair with a fork, pick up a bouquet of flowers and smile at yourself in the mirror. Repeat each item to yourself as you review this mental "movie," and you'll remember all five things, even the next day.

More Memory Secrets There are, of course, many more complicated systems, if you want to invest the time to learn them (most people don't). They are well worth the time if you work in sales or other areas where a good memory for names and information can double your income. Meanwhile, here are some simple tips that will yield you the most improvement for the time spent learning them. 190

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To Remember Places - Look around and record cues in your mind. - The cues should be things that won't move or change. - Look at things from another direction. - Involve more senses.

To Remember Numbers - "Chunking" helps (26483947329 is harder to remember than 264-83947329). - Visualize the number. - Look for relationships (March 23rd is 3/21 or 3,2,1, for example). For a neat trick that could win you a bar bet, memorize the what day of the week it is on the first day of each month in the coming year. Then, if someone asks you what day May 25th will be, and you know the first is a Tuesday, you quickly move in sevens and know that the 22nd is Tuesday (1,8,15,22), add three days, and tell them it will be a Friday. This is easy with a little practice.

To Remember Names - Ask, and pay attention. - Repeat it as soon as possible. - Write it down. - Reintroduce the person to someone else. 191

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- Associate the name with meeting the person in the future. - Associate the name with any distinctive facial features.

Guess what the biggest problem with memory techniques is? Remembering to use them. Seriously, there are many great methods, but if you don't have the habit of using them, you'll forget to when you need them most. With any technique, make a conscious effort to use it until it becomes automatic.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

26 - Secrets Of Spies

Creating A New Identity Ever wonder how people create a new identity? There are various reasons for doing so, some ethical, some not. The following was done by someone I know, and provides an example of how to get a driver's license in a new name. It is what I would call a "low level identity change" because to really adopt new identity is lot more work, and involves changing your lifestyle so as not to leave clues for investigators. Note: The following may not work in every state, and cannot be recommended, since it is illegal. This man first chose a new name. He was careful not to use anything close to his current name. He tried to think of himself using the name, to "set" it in his mind. He also invented a "history," complete with parents names and origins and such. He found blank w-2 tax forms in the office where he worked. He took one home and filled it out on a typewriter, using his new name, social security number and a reasonable income. He filled in the space for the employers name and address by looking through a phone book from another state in the library, and choosing a small business there. It was safer to choose a real business, but far way, so nobody who saw this document would know the employer. He chose the social security number for his w-2 form using information online about how numbers are assigned. In this case, his started with 405, because 400 to 407 is used for Kentucky, the state he had on his birth certificate. The number couldn't be used for working, at least not for long, since it most likely belonged to someone else (again, this is a "low level identity change"). Next, he photocopied his own birth certificate and baptismal certificate. On the copies, he covered his name, his parent's names, the doctor's signatures, and the date, using correcting fluid. He copied these onto white paper, then copied those onto parchment paper (most copy-shops have many types of 193

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paper to choose from). With an old typewriter he filled in the new certificates the way he wanted, and signed them with invented names for doctors. Then he folded them up and carried them around in his back pocket for a week to "age" them. he says a quick soak in tea, an hour in the cloths dryer or a few days outside under a bush will work as well. They can't look too new. He went to an office supply store and bought some blank employee award forms and evaluation forms. He filled these out using the name of the employer he had put on the w-2 form. Extra documents like these aren't worth much by themselves, but when used along with more "official" documents like a birth certificate, they make the new identity more believable. He chose a local address to use for the next step. This was a real address in an apartment building, miles from where he actually lived. With the photocopy-and-correction-fluid method described above, he used some bills and letters to create "mail" that looked as though it had been sent to him at that address. With this mail, his birth certificate, and w-2 form, he went to a private mailbox rental place to rent a mailbox in his new name. The postal service requires that these services verify identity and current address (which is what he had the fake mail for). The first one insisted on a driver's license, but the second one he tried just had him fill out the form, verifying nothing. Now he had an address to use. Most of these places let you use their street address, followed by a "department number" or "suite number" in order to get the mail to the right box. It makes it look like it could be a residential address. This is important, because he needed a place to have his driver's license sent to. Next, he found a mail-order service that provides replacement social security cards. They don't do anything to verify the number with the government, but just ask for a name and the number to put on the card. He gave them his new name, the number he had used on the w-2, and had them send it to his new address. This cost him $12, because he ordered a paper 194

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card as well as an unbreakable brass one. He called the department of motor vehicles and explained that he had moved to this state from Illinois a few weeks earlier, and just lost his driver's license. It seemed like a good time to finally get a new one. The woman said he could either obtain the number of the previous license from Illinois and transfer his license, or he could take the written test and have a permit good for 30 days, at which point he could take the driving test and get a new license. He said he was having trouble getting the number from the other state, so he would take the written test just in case, while he was trying to get the number. He went and took the test, planning to claim to be homeless if they recognized the address as a mailbox service. they didn't notice. They had two lists of documents they accepted for identification purposes, and required one from each list. The birth certificate was good for the first list, and the w-2 for the second. He got the temporary permit. Thirty days later he returned and took the driving test. The new driver's license was in his new mailbox nine days later. He used that to get library cards and other documents in case he needed more evidence of his new identity. This true story, as noted, is the simple way to create a limited new identity. Much more sophisticated approaches, like the infant-death birth certificate method, are used for a true "starting over."

How To Tell If You're Being Bugged If you are in high-level politics, in a politically unpopular group, work for a company involved in developing new and currently secret products, or in management at a large corporation, it is possible you could be "bugged" with electronic listening devices. As I write this (2009), our government is becoming less and less respectful of our rights, and warrant-less surveillance is more common. 195

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Even worse, when bugs are placed by intelligence or law enforcement agencies, you are unlikely to find them (they know what they're doing). It is very easy to buy high-tech gadgets, however, so more private surveillance is happening as well. Often done by amateurs, this is easier to detect. In either case, here are some signs to watch for. * Has the phone been moved or scratched? A microphone in the handset is a common way to listen in not only to phone calls, but to conversations in the room. Removing the casing will usually reveal the bug. * Have any meter-readers or others spent more time than usual in your yard? A transmitter can be placed in the outside junction box to transmit all your telephone calls. Your house is never entered. A screwdriver is all that's needed to open these and check for bugs. * Is confidential information getting out to your competitors. If your people seem to be honest and trustworthy, they may not be the source of the leak. Someone may be listening in, using planted bugs or telescopic listening devices aimed at your windows. * Has your home been broken into but valuable things left alone? Theft may not have been the motive. Look for electronic bugs. * Do your sockets or switches show signs of alteration: moved slightly, unfaded paint from underneath showing, wallpaper disturbed? Sockets and light switches can be replaced with similar ones that have built-in transmitters. * Has anyone been hanging around outside your home or office? A contact microphone for walls can pick up conversations through almost a foot of concrete. * Are there new vehicles, especially vans, which have been recently parked near your home? Note when they come and go, and whether anyone ever gets out of them. * Have the numbers in the memory on your phone been lost? This can happen when the phone is either tampered with or replaced. 196

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* Have telephone or utility company repair people shown up to do work that you didn't request? Call the company to see if they are supposed to be there. * Are you getting new interference on your television or radio? Note when it started and consider whether there were any other suspicious signs. * Have you noticed that some part of your wall or baseboard has an odd texture? This can be from conductive paint used for hidden microphones. * Do any wall hangings or pieces of furniture seem moved? This happens when surveilers are looking for the best places to put bugs. * Have you seen brick or plaster dust on the floor? This can be from drilling or from lifting wallpaper to place a microphone. Most of us have nothing to worry about, but if there are reasons you might be bugged, and you suspect it is happening, use the list above to investigate. A proper visual investigation of a home or office can take hours, though, and is not easy. You'll probably want to hire a private detective who specializes in this area. By yourself you're not likely to detect a sophisticated listening device, like one hidden in the wiring of a smoke alarm. If you do discover a bug, what do you do? It may seem that you should just get rid of the device, but it may not be the only one, and removing it lets the surveillers know that you are on to them. A better idea, if you have a good idea who placed the bugs, could be to feed your surveillers false information. Think this through carefully, and be sure you are up to the acting job it entails.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

27 - Weight Loss Secrets

Do You Really Need To Lose Weight? You are unique, both in your personality and your body. That's why diets fail when they aren't right for you. Keep looking, though, and you'll find a way to lose weight. It may be a plan that suits your unique personality and body, or the result of many small changes you make - or a combination of both. First, though, I have a question for you. Why do you need to lose weight? Don't buy into the myth that we all need to be thin. There is no rational basis for it. Write down the benefits you expect from losing weight. Are they worth the effort? Being clear about this is the best way to stay motivated if you do decide to lose weight.

A Dose Of Honesty Just before writing this, I saw a report on the news about a review of existing obesity studies. It showed that, contrary to the consensus of health professionals, being a little overweight actually had no effect on longevity. You can be overweight and live a long, healthy life. Overweight people are discriminated against terribly in this culture. Often, as when an employer chooses a thinner person over a heavier one, the prejudice is unconscious, but it's very real. It may be true that statistically you are more likely to succeed if you're thinner, but overweight people still succeed in all areas of life. The point of bringing this up is to dispel some silly ideas and get real about weight loss. Will you get more dates if you lose weight? Probably, but how many do you need? You certainly can find friends and lovers right now. Look around and you'll see that there are many overweight or even obese people in happy relationships. 198

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There Is Nothing Wrong With You There's nothing wrong with you just because you're overweight. Don't accept the idea that heavy people have some special character flaw. People who are cruel to their kids or lie to their spouses have flaws not visible to the public, so nobody thinks badly of them, yet aren't these far worse than simply eating too much? Our culture is obsessed with appearance, and with the idea of willpower. A man can bite his nails his whole life (or drink or smoke or have a cold heart), and he'll be accepted in polite society, weak willpower and all, because his weakness can be hidden. Gain a little weight, though, and people think "Look at that. Hmm...no willpower." Don't hate judgmental people for their ignorance and hypocrisy, but don't accept their silly ideas for a second! Overweight is okay. So is losing weight, if you have decided that it is the right thing for you to do. I just don't want to encourage anyone to lose weight for the wrong reasons. Okay, moving on...

The Benefits Of Weight Loss Look at the list of possible benefits below. Which are important or relevant to your desires and goals? Write them down, but in more personal terms (example: "I'll have the energy to start that business," or "I'll be able to climb mountains again.") Review your list regularly, so you are motivated, and for the right reasons. Here are some possible benefits of losing weight, depending on how overweight you are right now: - You'll have the energy to do what you want. - You'll be healthier, and feel better. - You'll be more attractive, and other's will notice you. 199

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- You'll feel like you are more in control of your life. - You'll have more opportunities in life. - You'll have higher self-esteem. - You'll be happier about where you are in life. - You'll get your diabetes under better control. - You'll be able to buy regular clothes. - People will look at you differently. - You'll like what you see when you look in the mirror. - People will be more accepting of you. - You'll have less pain in your joints.

Unique Diets For Unique People Explore and address your specific needs. Maybe your weight problem is something that requires psychological help. Maybe you just need a slightly easier-to-follow diet, and you'll finally lose that weight. Maybe exercise is the way for you. Find the unique combination of factors that work for you. The list that follows is just a collection of many options, all of which have worked for some people sometimes. If the methods which involve changing the foods you eat and activities you engage in don't work after several tries, you may want to focus on the methods that work to change your beliefs and thinking. The key? Persist - you'll find the way if you do that. But persist in the effort, not in using methods that fail you. One more thought: If you find enough little "tricks" that help (start with the list below), you might not need any complicated or overwhelming "weight loss plan." Just keep adding helpful and simple routines and foods to your life. 200

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73 Ways To Lose Weight 1. Park Farther Away Park farther from the door when you go to work or to a store or office. The extra little bit of walking really adds up and burns more calories if you do this regularly. It's a whole lot easier to find parking this way, too. 2. Avoid Certain People Stay away from people who encourage you to eat too much. If they are good friends, tell them that you would appreciate it if they help you with your goal instead. You may also find it useful to eat with people who have small appetites. 3. Don't Shop Hungry Don't ever shop when you are hungry. You'll buy more, but even worse, you'll tend to buy more snacks. Get in the habit of eating right before grocery shopping. This can save you money as well. 4. Avoid High-Calorie Drinks Switch from sugary soft drinks to flavored water. The carbonated ones with nothing but natural fruit flavor and carbonated water - are delicious. Artificially sweetened ones may be a bad idea because they can stimulate your hunger, and especially your cravings for carbohydrates. 5. Regular Short Walks Start taking short walks each evening. You can start at any length, and then make them a little longer as you get in shape. Walk with your spouse, or find a friend to walk with.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

6. Never Dwell On "Failures" Look at failures honestly, and then tell yourself, "This setback is temporary here's what I'll do differently next time." Dwelling on negatives makes it too easy to give up trying. 7. Look At Setbacks As Opportunities Problems and temporary failures provide a chance to learn how to do it better. Use them as steps toward success. Look at what lead to them, and what could be done to prevent those conditions from happening again. This is not "dwelling on the failures," by the way, as long as it is limited to looking for a lesson and a positive change to make. 8. Concentrate On Solutions Think in terms of solutions, not problems. "I have such a hard time resisting temptation," becomes, "When have I resisted, and what can I learn from that experience?" Reaching for the convenient junk food isn't a problem, but a lesson: Don't let it be convenient. 9. Note Successes See success, both your own and other's. Noticing even a little progress reminds you what is possible, and it keeps you motivated. This is a powerful way to stay on track. Little successes give the motivation for bigger ones. It may help to keep a journal of your progress 10. Visualize Imagine yourself how you want to be. When you see yourself how you want to be repeatedly, this gets your subconscious mind working toward that image. Do this often. 11. Try Yoga Yoga can promote a balanced and healthy lifestyle, and the techniques can also be applied to removing excess weight. Some of the techniques are difficult, but you can start with what you can do now. 202

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12. Use Goal Reminders Find a pair of pants you want to fit into in the future, and leave them out where you'll see them daily. This makes your goal visible, and reminds you to keep working toward it. If you are an artist, you can draw yourself how you will look once you reach your goal. 13. Try Metabolism Boosters Mustard and hot sauce have been shown to rev up your metabolism. You'll burn roughly 25% more calories for up to three hours after eating a tablespoonful. If they don't bother your stomach, start spicing up your meals. Jalepenos and other hot peppers seem to have the same effect. 14. Make Yourself Get Up If you find your self turning off the alarm and going back to sleep too often, put the alarm clock on the other side of the room. You're less likely to lose your motivation and go back to sleep if you've already gotten out of bed and crossed the room to turn off the alarm. 15. Use The Stairs Use the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator whenever you have the choice (okay, maybe not in the Sears Tower). Every little bit of exercise helps, and stair climbing has been shown to burn more calories than playing tennis. 16. Try Low-Carb Foods Low-carbohydrate diets work for most who can follow them, but being able to follow a diet is the biggest problem with all of them, right? Fortunately, there are more low carbohydrate products coming all the time, so maybe Atkins and other low-carb diets will become easier to use with time. 17. Try The South Beach Diet This is a low-carb diet, but it is very flexible, and doesn't rely on counting 203

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calories, counting grams of fat or grams of carbohydrates. It may soon pass the Atkins approach in popularity. 18. Get Rid Of The TV I wouldn't be surprised if we someday find that television causes as much weight gain as any other single cause. You eat more and exercise less when you watch television for hours. Just think of all the fun and productive things you could do with all that time as well. 19. Pay For TV Time With Exercise Okay, getting rid of it completely may be too much. Keep the TV, but put your exercise-bicycle in front of it, and make pedaling for the first twenty minutes the price of watching it. 20. Exercise The Dog Make a commitment to walk your dog every day. You'll both benefit. It is also a good way to meet other people. 21. Try The "Fit For Life" Plan This plan by Harvey Diamond involves a diet that relies heavily on "living" foods. Living foods are uncooked vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. The idea is to keep cooked foods to 50% or less of your daily intake. It may be a tough one for some people, but others swear by it. 22. Use Creative Procrastination Put off eating that snack for twenty minutes, and you'll be less hungry an hour later at dinner time. Wait long enough for each of those three snacks throughout the day, and you won't have time left for the fourth. Procrastinate a little here and there and you'll eat less over-all. 23. Pay For Food With Exercise Walk to the grocery store, if it within a reasonable distance. You'll burn calories, and be discouraged from buying too much, since you have to carry 204

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the groceries home. Alternately, you can limit your snacks by paying for them with a specified amount of exercise. 24. Fill Up First On Low-Calorie Food Snack on fresh, healthy vegetables first. You will be more likely to get the vitamins and enzymes you need, and then when you break out the chips, you won't eat as many. Done the other way around, you sometimes may not get to those carrot sticks. 25. Try Hypnosis Does hypnosis work for weight loss? Many people swear by it. Like all weight loss plans, it probably works well for some, and not as well for others. If you don't want to pay for expensive sessions, you can try the hypnosis downloads found for sale on the internet. You have little to lose if you buy the ones which are reasonably priced and have a money-back guarantee. 26. Make Healthy Eating Convenient Have convenient healthy snacks available for immediate consumption. I realized one day how many healthy snacks I would enjoy - if they were convenient. Spend a little more if you have to, but have the ready-to-eat vegetables right there at the front of the refrigerator. 27. Fill Up First On Liquids Drink a cup of herb tea or water before a meal. You won't feel as hungry, and you won't have as much room left in your stomach. This is also a good way to be sure you get enough liquids. Be careful about drinking too much, though, or the liquids may interfere with proper digestion. 28. Eat Smaller Portions Of course you've heard this one (like a lot of these), but we all need to be reminded sometimes, right? Twenty-percent smaller portions mean twentypercent fewer calories. But this isn't about self-denial. Most of the time you won't notice the difference in portion size, but it affect how much we eat. In 205

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one study, people at a theater who were given bigger portions of popcorn ate substantially more, seemingly without regard to whether they were hungry or even enjoyed overloading their stomachs. 29. Watch Who You Eat With Don't eat with people that bring out your bad habits. If you have ever noticed that you eat differently around different people, then eat with the ones that motivate you to eat right! 30. Use Celery To Fill Up Celery is easy on the stomach, and if you fill up on it, you'll get almost no calories, and be less hungry for the less-healthy foods. The fiber in it also good for keeping your system cleaned out. 31. Buy Less Variety Most people will eat less if they have fewer options in the kitchen. This has been shown by research and by common experience. More variety may even increase the storing of fat, according to some research. 32. Change Salad Dressings Change your salad dressing from the creamy ones to a simple oil-andvinegar one, and you'll cut out more than half of the calories of your salad. Lime juice with a bit of olive oil makes a decent dressing as well. 33. Take Vitamins If you have a lot of cravings, try taking a multi-vitamin supplement for a few weeks, to see if that helps. Sometimes cravings are a result of a deficiency of some sort. If you suspect this, you could also get tested for blood levels of various nutrients. 34. Eat Slowly Slow down when you eat. You may even enjoy the food more, but the point is that you'll eat less if your stomach can register its fullness - and that can 206

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take fifteen or twenty minutes. In fact, any time you're not sure if you have had enough, wait a while to see if the hunger dissipates. 35. Try Weight Lifting This may or may not be your thing, but it does more than just burn calories during the exercise. When you add muscle mass, your base metabolism goes up, meaning you'll be burning more calories all of the time. 36. Make A Plan And Schedule Schedule your weight loss activities. If you put that walk on your daily list, you're more likely to actually take it. It is often easier to add a new activity to your routine if you do it in the mornings. Things done later in the day are often forgotten or pushed off the schedule. 37. Try Safe Laxatives For quick weight loss, natural laxatives can be safe, if used occasionally. Many of us have a lot of build-up of matter in our intestines. A good bowelcleansing with a natural laxative (something with senna and fiber, for example) can often knock an inch off that tummy. This is a temporary measure, but it might get you motivated to take more long-term actions. Regular use of laxatives is almost always a bad idea, since it tends to reduce the effectiveness of our natural elimination process. 38. Use Healthy Rewards Pick a few favorite healthy foods, and use them to reward yourself for goals achieved. This will associate them with pleasure in your mind, and you'll naturally start to desire these healthier foods. 39. Keep A Diet Journal Write down everything you eat for a week. You may learn something, and the desire not to see too much on the daily list may cause you to cut down on your snacking too. 207

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40. Have Friend Remind You Having trouble remembering to do the things you need to do to lose weight? Have a friend help you by regularly calling you and reminding you. You may want to give him or her a list of your weight-loss goals, so you'll be reminded about the specific things you wish to accomplish. 41. Lose Weight With A friend Find a friend to lose weight with. This is especially helpful if you don't have the support of a doctor or group. It may also work well if you both happen to be competitive. 42. Make Small Permanent Changes Permanent weight loss requires permanent changes. That can be intimidating, but you can start with any small change that you can handle, like developing the habit of walking up the stairs instead of using the elevator, or of drinking herbal tea or water instead of soda. The accumulation of small changes can add up to a big change in your life. 43. Use Music Find music that energizes you, and get your exercise around the house. Play the music while sweeping, raking leaves or doing anything that makes you move. As you come across music that works for you, write down the titles and download them from the internet onto your MP3 or a CD. 44. Keep Water Available Keep water in the refrigerator if you like it cold, so it's convenient. Otherwise, keep a jug of pure water on the counter. Then drink it often, to fill yourself up and reduce your desire for food. 45. Systematically Replace Foods Replace your normal foods one-by-one with lower-calorie alternatives that are just as good. Eventually, you'll be eating a lot less without suffering. All of us can find at least a few foods which we not only like, but are also very 208

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good for us and low in calories. 46. Try A Sauna A sauna helps you to sweat out toxins in your body. The weight loss from the sweating is temporary, but removing toxins helps your body function better, which may reduce cravings. 47. Spoil Yourself A Little Eating a favorite rich food may keep you from craving it - but eat only a small amount. If this isn't possible (if you are tempted to eat more), it is probably better to keep the food out of the house altogether. 48. Be More Self Aware Watch yourself and take notes. Which foods just wake-up your hunger, and which seem to actually satisfy it? For most people fatty carbohydrate-rich foods will make them hungrier. 49. Use Charts Make a chart of your progress to keep yourself motivated. Don't just put your weight on it, but include a list of good habits you've developed or permanent small changes you've made. 50. Learn From Others Ask people what has worked for them, but only ask those who have similar problems, and a similar body-type. A diet that has worked well for somebody is likely to work well for you - if you have a similar physical and psychological make up. 51. Balance Tastes At Mealtime There is some evidence that you can satisfy hunger with less food, if you satisfy all the basic tastes in each meal. Experiment with eating a little of something sweet, bitter, sour, and full of protein at mealtime. 209

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52. Accept Any Small Success Recognize any progress you make, and don't take setbacks to be permanent. Avoid "all-or-nothing" thinking. It can lead to a diet/binge cycle, which will cause your body to become more efficient at storing fat. 53. Try NLP Techniques Re-coding how the mind sees various foods can help you desire the healthier choices and lose your cravings for the less-healthy ones. See the chapter on Neuro-Linguistic Programming for more on this. 54. Eat More Filling Foods Eat foods that fill you up with less calories. Dried beans, for example, have as many calories as bread, but you'll feel full with less. many protein-rich foods will leave you fuller for a longer time, and with less calorie-intake. 55. Keep It Cool As long as it isn't uncomfortable, keep your house cooler, and your body will be burning more calories to heat itself. Swimming in cold water can have the same effect, but be careful not to get hypothermia. 56. Do Any Exercise Research at the University of Pittsburgh showed there isn't a big difference in weight loss between those who exercise intensively, and those who just walked or did any exercise consistently. You don't need to run or pedal the bicycle up miles of hills. Do any exercise regularly - even for ten minutes and it will help. 57. Eat Many Small Meals Eating more often, but eating smaller meals, seems to help some people lose weight. If you try it, you may want to track your calorie intake before and after, to see if this method causes you to eat more or less overall.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

58. Decrease Your Hunger Some of us find that exercise temporarily decreases hunger. Try vacuuming the house right before dinner, to see how it affects you. Of course, it burns calories in any case. 59. Work On Related Goals Now Think of what you want to get by losing weight, and find a way to get those things now. You can lose the weight, but there's no point waiting to dress better, go out dancing or whatever. Get motivated by reminding yourself with each activity that you'll enjoy it even more when you are thinner. 60. Buy Smaller Portions Most people will eat the same number of sandwiches in a day whether the bread slices are thin (with fewer calories) or thick. Buy the thinner ones. and see if this is true for you. You might also buy smaller bananas or cookies. Do you still eat just one at a time? 61. Don't Eat At Night If you can get in the habit of not eating after a certain time, you'll stop feeling hungry at night. You'll eat less, and also give your body's systems a longer break. If you do get hungry late, see if an apple is enough. An apple before bed helps some people sleep better as well. 62. Try Chamomile If you eat when you are stressed, try chamomile tea to lower stress. Make that cup of tea your first response to stress, instead of food, and you may not need that extra snack. 63. Walk In The Mall If it's too snowy outside, or you don't live in area that is good for walking, take a few laps around the mall. Do it with a friend and the time will pass quickly. This can be dangerous if you are a shopaholic, of course. 211

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64. Do Isometric Exercises Push your hands together, tense up your stomach, etc. There are lots of little exercises you can do while sitting at your desk at work, or waiting at the dentist's office. Isometric exercise use only your own body, either tensing muscles or using them in opposition to each other. Every little bit helps. Also, since these are muscle-building exercises, they may cause a rise in your basal metabolism rate, so you'll burn more calories day and night. 65. Skip Some Meals Skip a meal every other day, replacing it with a few carrot-sticks or pieces of celery. A big cup of herb tea or some other drink to fill your stomach might make this easier. 66. Use Photographic Reminders Find a photograph of yourself when you were thinner, and keep it out where you'll see it every day. Tell yourself "that's me," each time you look at it. This helps to program your subconscious mind to help you look like that again. 67. Do Something Do anything. Action often precedes attitude and motivation. Read something helpful, eat some healthy snacks, get out and take a walk, or do anything, however small, toward your weight loss goals. There is a momentum created by taking a step in the right direction. 68. Eat Eggs With Cayenne Try eggs with cayenne to start the day. Cayenne and other peppers contain capsaicin, which suppresses appetite signals in the body. It also increases metabolism, so you burn the calories faster. The protein in the eggs make you feel fuller as well. 69. Eat Fiber In The Morning Fiber can help suppress appetite signals, and make you less hungry later in 212

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the day. Aim for about 25 grams of fiber each morning, in the form of whole grain cereals, whole grain breads, fruits and vegetables. 70. Eat Nuts A compound in nuts slows the rate at which the stomach empties, and so reduces appetite. Before a meal, eat a dozen almonds or other nuts. Experiment with this a bit. Maybe a small handful of nuts can take the place of a meal now and then. 71. Drink Coffee Unlike sugary soft drinks, coffee has no calories (unless you sweeten it with sugar and cream). The caffeine also works as an appetite suppressant, and may stimulate a higher metabolism. 72. Lower Stress Chronic stress causes an increase in cortisol in the body. This, in turn, causes the body to store more fat. Exercise and meditation may be the two best ways to lower your stress level. You also can get in the habit of taking a few deep breaths several times throughout the say. 73. Stay Warm Cold sometimes stimulates appetite, so turning up the thermostat may help reduce appetite. It may also slightly increase your metabolism rate, helping you burn those calories faster. Note: Yes, number 55 did say to turn down the thermostat to burn more calories, while number 73 says to stay warm to avoid getting hungry. What's up? The same as always: People's bodies and personalities are different, so what works for one may not work for another. You may have to try many different things to see which work best for you.

What About Diet Pills? You'll notice that diet pills were not on the list. This is because the ones you 213

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can buy without a prescription generally won't make a big difference in how much you lose each week or how long you keep the weight off. If you do use them, read the label carefully. Because of possible side effects, like high blood pressure, never take more than the listed dose. Also, be careful about taking cough or cold medicines with diet pills you buy without a prescription. These medicines may contain the same drug used in diet pills, or a similar drug with the same effects. If you take both products together, you may get too much of the same type drug. This can hurt you. Before taking a cough or cold medicine while using diet pills, ask your pharmacist if it's OK. Prescription diet pills may help some people. If you use them, follow the doctor's directions carefully.

Weight Loss Programs Before signing up for a weight loss program, do your research. Specifically, ask if the company: * Explains possible health risks from weight loss? * Explains all costs? * Includes weight control over a long time? * Has proof of success, not just praise by other people? * Gives a clear, truthful statement of how you're going to lose weight, including how much and how fast? * Teaches how to eat healthfully and exercise more?

A Quick Look At A Few Diet Ideas Low carb diets are difficult for most, but have worked wonders for many. The best example is the Atkins Nutritional Approach. It's considered 214

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extreme by many, when compared to other low carbohydrate diets, such as the South Beach Diet. Atkin's induction phase, for example, allows only 20 carbs per day.

What's Wrong With Carbohydrates? Here's the quick lesson. Carbohydrates, especially refined carbs, such as sugar and white flour, cause a spike in your blood sugar, causing insulin to rush into your veins. This lowers your blood sugar, giving you the "sugar blues", and causing you to crave more carbs. The excess insulin causes you to retain salt and water, which is bad for your health, but that's not even the main concern. Insulin, a powerful hormone, carries glucose (blood sugar) from your blood to your cells, for conversion into energy. You liver converts excess glucose into glycogen, which is stored in the liver and muscles for additional energy. The remaining glucose is then converted to fat and stored throughout your body. The problem here is that excess carbohydrate intake results in too much glucose, which cause too much insulin production, and eventually hyperinsulinism. This is a condition that makes it very hard to lose weight, and can lead to diabetes as well.

The Low Carb Solution Weight loss with a low carb diet is achieved by stabilizing insulin production. This is done by restricting carbohydrates, and eating complex carbs that are digested and converted to glucose more slowly. Initially, you are encouraged to severely restrict carbohydrates, which causes the body to burn fat for energy, a process called ketosis or lipolysis. Later, you add back foods that have more carbs, as long as they have a low "glycemic index" number. The glycemic index is just a way of measuring how fast various foods are converted to glucose in the body. A low number (apple: 36, lentils:29) is better than a high one (white rice: 88, baked potato: 85). 215

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Will It Work For You? How many pork rinds and eggs can you eat in a day? This is the biggest reason people fail on these diets: not enough things to eat. Low carb diets work for most of those who can follow them, but being able to follow a diet is the biggest problem with all of them, right? There are more low carbohydrate products coming all the time, so maybe Atkins and other low carb diets will become easier to use with time.

The South Beach Diet Want a low carb diet that's less strict than Atkins? Try the South Beach Diet. Doctor Arthur Agatston started the diet as a way of lowering cholesterol and triglycerides in his patients, and soon noticed that it lowered weight as well.

What's The Difference? The South Beach Diet is different from Atkins in a couple important ways. It emphasizes good fats rather than the saturated fats, for example. Saturated fats can cause "sticky " blood, vessel constriction, and negative effects on insulin and sugar metabolism. Good fats help prevent heart attack and stroke and improve insulin and sugar metabolism long term. Good fats include olive oil, canola oil, omega-3 fish oils and the oils found in most nuts. Unlike Atkins, the South Beach Diet doesn't count grams of carbohydrates. It's not so strict in the first phase that it puts patients into ketosis (burning fat as your primary energy source). Ketosis often causes excessive water loss early. We found it is unnecessary for significant early weight loss. Doctor Agatston found that if you consume low glycemic index carbohydrates, you can do very well on a high carbohydrate diet. You can eat plenty of vegetables, whole-grain breads and whole fruits. You can use strategic snacking, to control hunger and prevent cravings. The South Beach Diet is very flexible, and doesn't rely on counting calories, 216

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counting grams of fat or grams of carbohydrates. It may soon pass the Atkins approach in popularity.

Harvey Diamond's "Fit For Life" Diet The Fit For Life plan involves a diet that relies heavily on "living" foods. Living foods are uncooked vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. The idea is to keep cooked foods to 50% or less of your daily intake. Apart from the loads of vitamins and healthy enzymes you'll get eating fresh fruits and vegetables, you also will be eating fewer calories, since these foods will fill you up with far fewer calories. A Fit For Life morning is for eating fresh fruit only, and drinking water. Fruit "smoothies," made in your blender, are allowed, but without added sweeteners. This morning routine cleans out your system, and is very easy on your stomach. Diamond stresses an understanding of proper "food combination." Proteins are digested by very acidic gastric juices, while starches are handled by more alkaline digestive juices. Mixing them too much, then, causes problems, because they can't digest as quickly. They may "spoil" in you stomach. If you do have digestion problems, try eating proteins at one time, and starches at another. To avoid improper mixing of different food types, you are instructed to wait 30 to 40 minutes after eating fruit to eat other foods. Fruits digests very quickly. You have to wait three to four hours after eating starches or proteins to eat other types of food. This emphasis on proper food combination is one of the primary differences between the "Fit For Life" diet plan and others. It is not universally accepted by nutritionists, but any of us that have mixed the wrong foods and suffered the consequences can see that there is an element of truth here.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

28 - Free Things: Are They Really Free?

You see the word "free" all over the internet, and everywhere else for that matter. What is it that makes someone who doesn't know you want to give you something for free? Well, there are generous people out there, and many people really do love to share what they have, but usually there is more than that involved, of course. Here's a realistic, non-cynical understanding of the typical "free offer": It works well as a marketing tool for businesses and can be very valuable to you too. For example, those who market mail-order information discovered long ago that if they gave away some of their valuable information, people were more likely to buy the product. Give you several secrets to financing real estate, for example, and as long as it really is good information, you are more likely to buy the whole real estate course. The same is true with handing out samples of new foods at grocery stores. You get a free taste, and you are more likely to buy. Unfortunately, "free" is being used in other ways too. Like internet marketers who tell you to go get your "free" report, and then send you to an order page, where you discover that you only get the "free" gift once you buy the primary product. That may be a bonus, but it isn't really free.

How To Get Free Things Why not take free samples if you want them and you have no obligation to buy? Why not subscribe to free newsletters, and download free e-books of interest to you? I will always go ahead and accept such "freebies" when they are offered. But to be safe, do the following: 1. Don't give your credit card number to get something free. There are many deals out there where you get the first month free, and then 218

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you are automatically billed after that. Even if you have the right to cancel, will you remember to before you are charged? Probably not. That's often the plan with these kinds of offers. 2. Understand that there is more than generosity behind 99% of "freebies." See what the purpose is and you should be safe. There is nothing wrong with a site asking for your e-mail address when they give you a free e-book. Giving them a chance to try to sell something is fair if the book they give you is a good one, right? If you aren't interested, just use the unsubscribe link that should come in the e-mail you receive. By the way, if they ever make it difficult to take yourself off their mailing list, complain to their server. With enough complaints they'll be shut down. If enough sleazy operators are shut down, it will be a warning to others, and we'll all have a more pleasant experience on the internet. 3. Ask exactly what you have to do for the "free" thing. Before you take that free vacation, for example, be sure you ask how many hours you'll have to spend with that timeshare salesman. Take notes, and don't let them play to your guilt. You have no obligation to do more than you agreed to. 4. Consider the real cost. If there is a $7 "shipping charge" for a "free CD," it isn't really free, and the company is probably making a profit. They don't charge you a "handling charge" for a free sample at a grocery store, and it doesn't cost $7 to send a CD. I consider this to be dishonest, unless a true shipping charge is all they ask (which would be $2 or less for a CD). But in any case just decide if it's worth that much to you. In all such cases, look at the real cost to you and forget about claims of it being "free".

Some Freebies I was going to put a list of links here to things you can get for free. Then I realized that I have seen other people do that in their e-books, only to have 219

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half the links go bad as the sites closed down or changed addresses. Instead, below is a link to a page on my site, which will always be there, and which I can easily update. You'll find a list of things you can get for free, from a real estate course, to free e-books, magic tricks, a creativity test, an IQ test, hypnosis lessons, commercial-free online radio and more. I will add to the list as I find more free things. Please keep this too yourself, though. I set up the page exclusively for readers of this book. Here's the URL: http://www.TheSecretInformationSite.com/free.html


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

29 - A Secret Of Lucky People

Is there really is such a thing as good luck? Yes. You can use all kinds of other words to describe it. But whatever you call it, don't you agree that some people have more good things happen in their lives than others? Would you like to learn how to be one of those lucky people? Actually, there are dozens of very specific techniques for generating luck in your life, many based on important research that has been done in the last twenty years. One of the simplest secrets of lucky people is that they just start looking for good luck. You have probably noticed that if you start looking to buy a car of a certain type, they are suddenly all over. They were there before, but now you are seeing them, because you are looking. More specifically, this phenomenon is due to your reticular cortex. This small organ in the brain directs incoming stimulus to your conscious or unconscious mind. If you are looking for a type of car, it helps you out by letting you be more consciously aware of those cars. This "gatekeeper" of the mind works in any area you choose. If you start looking for luck, it will help you find it. It helps you "tune into" opportunity once you have decided that this is important. The simplest way to activate this is to start counting the ways you are already lucky. Soon you'll have even more luck.

Why Not Get Lucky Today? There are those who will tell you that God or the universe brings luck into your life once there's gratitude in your heart. This actually describes the process pretty well, but here is a less spiritual explanation: When you acknowledge the luck you have, and you start looking for more, you create a certain frame of mind - one that helps you take advantage of opportunities you might otherwise not recognize. 221

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You are instructing your reticular cortex to let information about potential opportunities rise to a conscious level. For example, suppose a friend mentions that a furniture store is going out of business. Normally, you might think nothing of it. But because you have been counting your blessings and looking for more examples of your good luck, your mind is thinking "Hmm, how could this be an opportunity?" Then it occurs to you that the company you work for has been considering getting a several new desks, and that they are on sale for 60% off at this store. You tell your boss. The company saves hundreds of dollars, the boss is impressed by how you took the initiative, and he gives you a raise. You get lucky. Noticing how lucky you are, even in small ways, makes the possibility of good luck more real to you. This gets you watching, and the watching gets you thinking, "How is this lucky for me? Can I do something beneficial with this situation? You'll notice that you feel better if you try this, and you'll see results. Gratitude is good for you, and it won't be your imagination when you start to get lucky.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

More Secrets

1. Fresh Breath Secret Sunflower oil is used, along with parsley, in at least one commercial bad breath treatment. They also both work individually, in their natural forms. Chewing on a sprig of parsley will freshen your breath immediately. Eating raw sunflower seeds will freshen your breath, and the oil absorbs odors that may emanate from your stomach as well. Roasted sunflower seeds tend to cause bad breath, by the way, so stick to the raw ones. Try brushing your tongue too. One experiment showed that brushing just teeth reduced odor by 25%. Brushing the tongue reduced odor by 75%. Do both to reduce odor by 85%.

2. E-mail Travel Trick Send a list of important information to yourself by e-mail, like the number to call if your credit card is stolen, or the number of the U.S. Embassy where you'll be. E-mail yourself a copy of your passport and important documents. When you need them, they'll be available in any internet cafe in the world.

3. Free Campgrounds There are free campgrounds scattered across the country. Some are run by local governments, and others by the Army Core Of Engineers and other federal agencies. We stayed at William's Landing, on Lake Talquin, east of Tallahassee, Florida, for more than a week for free. They even had hot showers. Go to any large RV dealer and you can get a Woodall's campground directory, which lists most of the campgrounds in the country, including free ones.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

4. Secret FSBO Marketing Technique If you decide to sell your house by yourself (usually a bad idea), you can still have realtors working for you. First find real estate agents that sell your type of property, by watching the ads in sales magazines and newspapers. These are the agents most likely to have buyers for a home like yours. Photocopy a photo and description of your house and send it to these real estate agents. Let them know that you are willing to do a "one party listing," if they have a buyer. This means if their customer, John Q, is looking for a house like yours, you sign a listing agreement just for him. The agent will show John Q the house, and you'll pay a commission if he buys it. If not, you are on your own again. Remember, you don't have to accept any offer (or if the agent insists on a price in the listing, just make it high enough that you'll be happy). This is a way to let agents bring buyers to you that may not be reading your classified ads.

5. How To Put A Cigarette Out In Your Palm Here's a fun trick for a bar bet. Hold your palm against an ice-cold beer bottle, or a piece of ice for a few minutes. You can usually casually put out a cigarette in your palm then, as long as you do it quickly. The cold and moisture prevents any damage if you do it right. Warning: you might burn yourself practicing this trick.

6. Rent Rooms - Make Thousands Towns with high rent have a high demand for rooms. Single people share apartments with others, and have problems splitting bills, or deciding what to do if one is late with their share of the rent, etc. This makes a room for rent in a nice home, with everything from local calls to cable TV included in the rent, an attractive idea. When I lived in Traverse City, Michigan, it was about $100/week for a room in a decent house. Two rooms rented meant $10,400 per year, mostly profit. 224

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Include everything in the rent, to avoid arguments about who owes for utilities, or who watches more cable TV. Cancel long distance, and get a phone card for yourself. If utilities go too high, raise the rent. Don't be tempted into "share" arrangements for anything. While others were fighting with landlords and roommate-friends, my renters stayed for years. They had no household bills to pay, and no money issues to argue about. They paid weekly or biweekly, according to their paydays, so they wouldn't even have to budget for monthly rent. Regulations that prevent renting a room are rarely enforced, and are being legally challenged more and more. It's tough to justify allowing parents with ten kids to live in a house, while discriminating against a household of three or four - just because they are unrelated. Watch ads in the paper to determine what you can get for a room in your area. If there are several ads, renting rooms is probably common, and you'll get numerous calls from a two-day weekend ad. Use your intuition to choose renters, as well as a list of questions. Take notes. Where does he/she work? What is the phone number? What family can you call in an emergency? Be clear about house rules to avoid any issues. I personally won't allow pets, smoking in the house, or late-night noise. Everyone does their own dishes, and keeps any mess in their rooms.

7. Keyword Research Secret Optimization experts advise comparing demand to supply to find good keywords for your web pages. Maybe you have found, though, that your pages with "good ratio" keywords never show up in search engine results, while others you shouldn't be able to compete on do. This is because the quality of your competition matters. Find keywords at: http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/ or another free source of data (The keyword tools available through Google's Adwords program may now be the best). See how much traffic a keyword phrase had last month. Make a long list of words and phrases with decent demand. Go to http://toolbar.google.com , and install the free "Google Toolbar" on your browser. With this you can see the "PageRank" (trademarked name) of 225

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any web page. See what your own pages have. Then type in your keywords one by one, into Google or another search engine. Click through to the first ten results. If a couple sites have a lower page rank than your existing pages, you can probably compete. Your new pages will have a PageRank similar to the existing, with time because of your own internal linking. This PageRank determines search results placement. If all of the first ten results have a page rank of 5 or higher, and your own pages are 3 or less, you probably can't compete (yet). There are more sophisticated ways to do keyword research, but this is fast, and a big improvement over using demand/supply ratios.

8. Towns With Houses Under $50,000 My wife Ana and I bought a beautiful house in a great little mountain town in Montana back in 2002. It cost $17,500, had two bedrooms, a full basement, garage, and hardwood floors. You can see us on the porch at our web site http://www.HousesUnderFiftyThousand.com. There are still nice homes there for under $50,000. Here are a few towns where you can find them (as of 2009): Alpena, Michigan Altoona, Pennsylvania Warren, Pennsylvania Hot Springs, Arkansas Independence, Kansas

9. How To Get Government Documents Do you want to get documents from the government under the "Freedom Of Information Act?" Maybe you want to request those Roswell papers? Here is a basic outline of an FOIA request; .................. 226

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Address your request letter to the FOIA officer of the department. (Date) (FOIA officer) (Name of agency) (Address) Dear FOIA officer; Under the Freedom Of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, I am requesting access to, or copies of (describe and identify the material as much as possible here). If you deny this request in part or whole, please give the specific legal exemption justifying your refusal, and notify me of appeal procedures that are available under current laws. Notify me of any fees for copying and/or searching records before completing my request, or bill me if these total less than (specify an amount - this is an optional paragraph). If you have questions about this matter, you can call me at (include your home and business and cell phone numbers - this is also an optional paragraph). Yours very truly, (Name) (Address) .................. You my not need this now, but you can hang onto it for future reference. Did you know that the FBI has files on millions of Americans (maybe you)? 227

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

Much of that information is available through the Freedom Of Information Act.

10. Breath Holding Secret I used to sit at the bottom of a swimming pool for over four minutes, surprising my friends. The secret to this is three-part. First, you superoxygenate your blood, by breathing deeply for several minutes. If you get dizzy, don't try this - passing out under water is bad for your health. Once you have breathed deeply, and fairly rapidly for a few minutes, take one last deep breath and hold it. The second part is to reduce your use of the oxygen in your blood. When you go under the water, use your muscles as little as possible. Use your mind very little too. Relax as much as you can, and you'll last longer, because you are using the oxygen at a slower rate. The third part may or may not help, but it seems to work for me. Here it is: Near the end of your breath-holding, let air from your lungs into your mouth. Your cheeks should balloon out. Then pull the air back into your lungs. My theory (unproven) is that the oxygen is used up unevenly in the still air of your lungs. This technique mixes it up, exposing more of the pockets of oxygen-rich air to the lung tissue. Note: There are risks. Someone will die or maybe has already died trying this. Of course, that is true of riding bicycles or walking too. In any case BE CAREFUL, and have someone hold onto you while you do this.

11. How To Do Better On A Physical Exam What can you do to improve the results of a physical exam? Here are five things. Of course these are essentially dishonest techniques if used to get a better rate on health or life insurance, or otherwise defraud a company or organization. But I will report the information and hope your conscience will guide you. 1. Stop smoking. 228

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It is perhaps the most effective way to reduce the premiums you'll pay. However, nicotine can be detected in a urine sample for 3 to 15 days after you quit. The time depends on whether you are an occasional or regular smoker. The point is to quit far enough in advance. 2. Identify and treat high blood pressure. Test it on a drugstore machine (often a dollar or less). If it is high, go to a doctor and pay out of pocket for the visit and any prescription. You may still have to report the medication you take, but there won't be a record in any insurers database if you pay cash. 3. Stop eating. Have juice only for two days and you can dramatically decrease cholesterol in your bloodstream. Fasting can also reduce blood sugar levels for some diabetics. It may help to first drink plenty of fluids and eat lots of fiber to flush out your system. 4. Look good. Nicely dressed, well-groomed people often get better scores on physical examinations. It is a natural prejudice you can use in your favor. 5. Clean your system. Alcohol will show up in urine up to 12 hours after that last drink. Marijuana - 3 days for occasional users, 30 days for chronic users. Everything else four days.

12. Free Photos For Web Sites You can get beautiful photos to use for your web site at no charge. One of the better places is http://www.sxc.hu . For more sites that offer free use of photos (they do come and go) search "free photos" in any search engine.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

13. High Altitude Secrets Many people have reported better performance or less altitude sickness when using Ginkgo Biloba. In Ecuador we drank "mate de coca" (tea of coca leaves) before going to 20,600 feet on Chimborazo. Coca leaves are nothing like the cocaine they are processed into, and have been used for centuries to help people function better at high altitude. The other thing you can do to feel better when you're high in the mountains, is to breath more. Surprisingly, there doesn't seem to be a survival mechanism that makes us breath more deeply at altitude. We tend to continue our shallow-breathing, so consciously try to breath more deeply.

14. The 25-Cent Potato Trick When you buy the all-you-can-eat salad bar at one restaurant chain, they may offer you a baked potato for only 25 cents extra. It sounds like a good deal, but is it? Their real motivation is not to give you a better deal, but to save themselves money. You can only eat so much, and that potato will take the place of a lot of expensive salad bar foods. In reality, they would save money if they gave you the potato for free, but then you might catch on to the trick. And this isn't just about potatoes. Any food that is cheaper than the average salad bar foods might be offered.

15. Job Search Secret Look at the pay of the highest ranked employees before taking a job. This lets you know how far you can advance and what you might make. You might also see if you would like to have those positions, so you don't just work your way toward something you won't enjoy.

16. Nickel-Dime Bar Trick You can fit a nickel through a hole the size of a dime. Have someone trace a 230

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circle around a dime, on a piece of paper. Cut out the hole. Let everyone see that it would tear the paper if you forced a nickel through the hole. Then fold the paper across the middle of the hole, set the nickel between the folds onto the hole, and pull up the ends of the paper. The nickel will fall through, without tearing the paper.

17. Coupon Secrets Grocery stores are still occasionally offering to double manufacturers coupons, a practice that was more common twenty years ago. To get the maximum value from these promotions, you should use the coupon to buy the smallest size of the product. A 50-cent coupon will get you $1 off a $2.50 tube of toothpaste, meaning it cost you $1.50. If there is a small tube of the same product for $1.09, however, your net cost will be just 9 cents. Actually, when these promotions were more common and less restrictive, many shoppers would get bags full of groceries and household products for free.

18. Free Web Content From Article Banks Article directories exist to collect and distribute articles. Authors submit their articles for free usually, with the understanding that anyone can take the article and use it for their web site (and sometimes their e-mail newsletters). The catch is that it can't be changed, and the link to the author's site, usually found in the "resource box" at the bottom, must be active. You can go and take all the articles you want to use for free. If they have decent keywords, you can get search engine traffic for the pages you make from them. I needed a page on buying real estate in Mexico for one of my sites, for example, but knew nothing about the topic. I went to a directory and picked out an article, and now I get search engine traffic for the new page. The best article directory, in my experience, is http://www.EzineArticles.com 231

You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

19. New Job Salary Negotiation Secret Once you are actually offered a job, you are in a much stronger position to negotiate your salary. Don't discuss salary during a first interview. Don't let them think you are more interested in the money than the job. Once an employer has decided on you, they don't want to start the whole interviewing and hiring process over, and they generally won't if there is any way they can justify paying what you are asking. Be ready to help them (Why are you worth it?).

20. Cheap Carpeting Trick For a child's room, or a playhouse, or any room that isn't too formal, you can use carpet samples for flooring. Kids love the patchwork of colors. I have done a large bedroom with just a staple gun and a few dozen samples, for $9. Call the carpet dealers and ask how many they have. They'll usually sell them for about a dollar each.

21. Landlord's Eviction Secret Savvy landlords have given up fighting "for the principle of the thing." They understand that eviction can be messy and expensive. Some are using an easier, and ultimately cheaper way to get rid of problem tenants: They pay them to leave. A couple hundred dollars is usually enough (the tenant knows they'll be kicked out eventually anyhow). Just don't pay until the keys are turned in.

22. Hidden Hot Springs The Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area, north of Bowie, Arizona, costs $3 per night, has nice hot springs and plenty of wildlife. You can get an annual permit for $30, but you're limited to two weeks per month (permits are sold at the BLM office in Safford). Here's a secret though: Outside of the fenced area you can stay free. You don't get the shaded picnic tables next to your RV, but you can hike into the hot springs (some people have lived for 232

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months in the desert in this way). Watson Wash, near Safford, Arizona, is a circular stone tub with 101 degree water flowing out of a well casing into the pool. It has a reputation as a party location, so be ready for weekend crowds. Because it is a few hundred yards up a wash off the road, nudity is common. For more information on this and other hot springs, stop in at the visitor center in Safford. A hot spring west of Los Alamos required crossing a stream on a log and hiking up a hill through the woods. We found two pools, with astronomers, and cowboys for company. Many hot springs are even more difficult to find. For information on hot springs visit http://www.hotspringsenthusiast.com.

23. Make Money With Your RV Recreational vehicles (motor homes and trailers) are rented out all over in places like Arizona. Although this isn't such a good idea in northern areas due to winter, you can still make a couple thousand dollars seasonally if you have an RV in the yard and you live in an area where rents are high. This works best if you can arrange for the sewage tank to pump out directly into your septic system.

24. Keep A Traffic Ticket Off Your Record You are probably aware that once your traffic ticket is in the system, your insurance company will raise your rates. A minor ticket can cost you hundreds in additional insurance over the years. How do you keep it out of the system? Overpay it. Most states won't enter your ticket into their system until the case is closed. If you overpay by $5, they'll issue you a refund check for the $5, and close the case once you cash it. Don't cash it, and the case will be "still pending," meaning your record isn't updated with that ticket yet. This is said to work in most states, at least to delay having a ticket on your record. It is a difficult thing to verify, but it is also cheap enough to try. 233

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25. Secret Business Currencies There is a lot of barter that goes on in this country that people don't know about. I have a friend that trades carpet cleaning for radio advertising. An even more efficient way to trade goods and services is by creating your own currency. A pizzeria owner I know used to have his own "pizza dollars." They were good for pizza at his restaurant, and he used them for various promotional purposes, but that's not all. I once saw him pay his dentist the $90 he owed him with $100 in pizza dollars. Of course, his cost of providing the pizza was half or less of that, so he got a deal. The dentist, meanwhile, ate pizza anyhow, and probably didn't report the $100 or pay taxes on it. He also wasn't the only person who was paid in pizza dollars by this guy. Of course, both sides are supposed to report as income the value received in a barter exchange. But even if it was all above-board, with everyone reporting and paying taxes, it was still a way to guarantee more business. The dentist couldn't spend the pizza dollars anywhere else, after all.

26. The Secret To Buying And Selling Cars Years ago we had a neighbor, Jose, who didn't speak much English. This could have made it tough to live in the north. Despite that, he made a profit of $35,000 one year selling cars in front of his mobile home. He is a bit of a mechanic, but this wasn't the key. The key was knowing the value of cars in that market. How do you do this? Here is a quick explanation: Look at cars for sale, or cars just sitting idle in people's yards. If you can comfortably say how much each can be sold for, the rest is easy. Offer at least $1000 less. Eventually you'll buy a car, sell it for a profit, and repeat the process. To learn the used car market, you can watch the classified ads, keeping in mind that the asking prices are not the sales prices. Used car guides, such as the "bluebook," show inflated retail prices. If you use them, assume you will sell the car for the "loan value", or average wholesale price. Use them in any 234

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case to show to your prospective buyers. Regulations vary, but in Michigan, when Jose was doing this, you could sell five or six cars per year before you need a dealers license. Your wife could sell five or six more in her name, if she wanted to. Find out what the law says where you live before trying this. Also, keep good records of every last expense, since you are required to report the income you make and pay taxes on it.

27. Cosign That Loan? A friend or relative only needs you to cosign because a bank has determined they are a bad credit risk. Banks are better than you at determining these things. Cosign a loan, and you will have to pay if the borrower doesn't. In fact, in many states, the law does not require creditors to notify a cosigner if the borrower is late on payments or over the credit limit. This not only means that you can become liable for the debt, but you can also get a black mark on your credit report before you even know there is a problem. If you really must help, here are three safer ways: 1. Put the amount of the loan in an interest-bearing account and let the borrower use it as collateral for a bank loan. You'll lose the money if they don't make the loan payments, but your credit rating won't be affected, since your name won't be on the loan. 2. If you can afford to lose the money (and if you can't, why are you thinking about cosigning?) just lend the money yourself and charge a reasonable interest rate. 3. You can also have a son, daughter or friend who needs your help cosign on a credit card or loan in your name. That way they can still build credit, but the monthly statements will come directly to you, so you'll know if there is a problem.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

28. Quality Shoes For Less With shoes you mostly get what you pay for. Mostly. However, with quality running shoes the manufacturers seem to feel the need to change styles every few months. This is why you can find $90 running shoes for as little as $25 at many discount sporting goods stores and in discount catalogs. There is nothing wrong with these shoes, unless you really need the latest color scheme.

29. Motel Buying Scam I hesitate to mention this one, since it may encourage some to try it. Hotel owners need to know about it though. My wife and I noticed how certain types of motels owned by a people from a certain group were just barely maintained. Knobs on air-conditioners would be broken, and obviously not replaced for years. Paint would be old and peeling. A real estate agent finally clued us in to what was going on. These families are buying the motels for a down payment of let's say, $40,000, and making payments to the seller on a long-term contract. The day they close, they stop virtually all maintenance. The family does all the work of running the place, eliminating the need for any outside employees. The cash flow goes up initially as a result. Of course they eventually start losing business as the condition of the place deteriorates. However, in the first few years they have banked the excess cash flow. We'll say that is $180,000 for this example. Then they stop making payments. When the seller forecloses on the property, they walk away. The seller gets back a run-down place that might need $50,000 in deferred maintenance. Meanwhile, the family moves on with their profit, to buy the next motel to run into the ground.

30. Auto 'Bluebook' Secret The used car buying guides you see, sometimes called "bluebooks," are primarily a tool for car dealers. Everyone seems to be buying "below 236

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bluebook," which is clearly impossible if the book shows average sales prices, as claimed. One way or another, the prices listed are inflated. Use them as a rough guide only, and try to never pay retail. Use them when you sell your car of course, to show to your prospective buyers.

31. Eat Out Cheap There are delicious things on the a la cart menu of many great restaurants. These side dishes are cheap too. Even eating several of them is usually cheaper than a regular meal, and often more filling. Mexican restaurants where you get unlimited tortilla chips are a great place for this strategy. Just order a side of guacamole when you only want a snack. Another way to eat out inexpensively, is to watch for "two-for-one" coupons in mailings and magazines. This is a great way to try new restaurants without spending much.

32. Satellite TV For Less Negotiate. When they told me it would be $120 to get the receivers and dish I wanted, I told them it was too much. I was signing up for a one-year commitment, after all, so I should get a break. The operator told me I could have it for $100. I said I'd try the other satellite company first, then get back with her. She got a manager, who finally told me I could have all the equipment for free. If you don't ask, you don't get it. Another possibility: If you are sure that you want their system due to cost, ask if they can reduce any setup fees or equipment fees in exchange for a few months more on the contract.

33. Teenage Credit Building Secret If you want to help your teenage children to establish credit, add their names to your credit card accounts. You do not need to give them access to the cards to do this, or even mention to them that their names are on them. The idea here is that they will have a credit file started and will benefit from 237

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your positive credit history, even if they're not the primary card holders. This can help them in the future, when they need a loan for a first home, for example.

34. The Cheapest Long Distance The cheapest long distance is no longer from the traditional phone companies. Phone cards are the best deals now. The best of these aren't even cards, but accounts that you recharge on the internet. The one we use costs just 1.9 cents per minute to call anywhere in the U.S., with no connection charge. It's only 13 cents per minute to call my wife's family in Ecuador (It cost us over $2 per minute just a few years ago). The only extra charge is 50 cents for pay phone use, as mandated by law for all cards now. You use these accounts by funding them on the internet, using any credit card. With most, you can open an account for $20. You get a toll-free number to call, an account number (usually your home phone number), and a 4-digit PIN. To place a call, you dial the toll free number, then enter your account number, PIN, and number you're calling. Many buttons to push, but then you can call Paris, France for 3 cents per minute. That's cheap! Recharge your account from anywhere there is internet access, and you'll never have a phone bill, since you pay in advance. Tel 3 Advantage is a decent one to use : http://www.tel3advantage.com. You can also just search "phone cards" on Google or another search engine.

35. Systematic Poetry Secret Take random words, use one per line, and start writing. We created a game (Deal-A-Poem) from this technique, and my wife has had poems published that were created in this way. We put nouns on cards, adjectives and verbs on others, then shuffle and deal. Your mind will begin to find a poetic use for any word if you use this method often. For a complete description, visit www.DealAPoem.com.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

36. How To Be Remembered If you regularly use the same aftershave, perfume or cologne, you can use it to be sure your partner thinks of you when you are gone. Just put a drop of it on light bulbs, when they are off, in any rooms he or she is likely to be in. Near the bulb is better if it is 75 watts or more. When the light is turned on, the heat will activate the scent - your scent. Your partner may or may not notice consciously, but will undoubtedly think of you. Science has shown that scents create strong memory responses.

37. Debit Cards Versus Traveler's Checks My first time overseas, I exchanged $200 in travelers checks. The bank charged $8. On the same trip, I used my debit card at an ATM to get $200 from my checking account. Once home, I saw that the charge for this was $1, and that was the last time I used traveler's checks. When you need local currency, you'll get a better exchange rate with your cards. Also, the cash you get from the local ATM will truly be accepted everywhere, which isn't true of travelers checks.

38. Money Making Hobbies A friend of mine made a life-sized cow out of plywood once. After painting it up and putting it out in the yard, he started to get people stopping by to see if he would sell it. He loved working with wood, and soon had a waiting list of customers for his plywood cows. At about a fifty-dollar profit each, he wasn't going to get rich, but isn't making money with your hobby more fun than a job? The real secret today, though, is that any hobby can make you money now. Just make a web site about your favorite hobby, sign up for Google's Adsense program, and make something every time someone clicks on an advertisement.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

39. Dirty Secret Of Doctor's Advice Think your doctor is giving you objective advice? Doctors get cash bonuses and other perks from manufacturers for recommending certain drugs. Aside from that, they also get most of their education about new drugs from the makers of the drugs. Some doctors are also part-owners of the testing facilities they send your blood and tissue samples to. Patients may need all those extra tests that are ordered only because the doctor needs another boat or car. Don't be so sure that your doctor knows best, or that he wants what's best for you.

40. Internet Arbitrage Secrets A friend used to buy things at Wal-Mart that he sold for more on E-bay. He has done this with a number of things. Not every town has a Wal-Mart, so this is possible with many items that are not readily available everywhere. Another person I know buys things on E-bay to resell at a higher price on Ebay. The reason it works is that some people sell in the wrong category. When it is in front of the right buyers, the price goes higher. Some are still playing Google arbitrage games, although you'll be banned from Google AdSense program if you are caught. It works like this: Make a page on something like mesothelioma, or "asbestos lawsuits," and put Google AdSense ads on it. Advertisers are, amazingly, paying $10 or more per click on these terms, and you get maybe half of that, or $5 per click. For traffic, you then advertise your site on Google's AdWords program, paying only 10 or 20 cents per click, for less known terms like "asbestos diseases." If enough of the people that click through to your site then click on one of the ads, you make money. I've known people that were making hundreds per month on one web site doing this. Once the system is in place, you build another site. Since you are essentially stepping in the middle of a stream of customers and making money off of it, the big advertisers don't like this. Google doesn't either, and will rarely tolerate it any longer. They shouldn't tolerate it 240

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in my opinion, but the concept might be used in a more constructive and ethical way.

41. Get A Higher Appraisal On Your Property If you need a higher appraisal on your property to close a sale, there are a couple things you can do. First of all, let the appraiser know of any improvements that he might miss. Second, if you know of any homes in the area that are similar to yours and sold for a high price recently, tell the appraiser, and give him the details. If the appraisal comes in too low, you can ask the bank for another - if you have a good reason. Try listing any factors the first appraiser missed. If you are selling an investment property, plan ahead. Income properties are valued according to net income, so try to cut expenses and raise the rents a year before you sell. Also look for any other ways to boost income, like renting storage space to tenants, or installing vending machines.

42. Manipulative Music In Stores Think the music in stores is for your pleasure. Well, that's only half the reason. It is also created and tested for the purpose of getting you to buy more. "Muzak" is perhaps the biggest player in the field of manipulative music and audio. Here is quote from their web site (November 2006) on what they call "Audio Architecture": "Audio Architecture is emotion by design... it is the integration of music, voice and sound to create experiences that link customers with companies. Its power lies in its subtlety. It bypasses the resistance of the mind..."

43. How To Get Out Of A Speeding Ticket You know that the police have discretion, and they don't always give out that ticket. So how do you get them to let you off with a warning? Try the following procedure. 241

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1. As soon as you see the lights flashing, pull over and roll down your window. Pull off far enough that the officer won't have to stand in the road while talking to you. You want to make him or her as comfortable as possible. 2. If it is dark, turn on the inside light in the car, so you are clearly visible. Put your hands on the steering wheel where they can be seen. Approaching a car is one of the most dangerous moments for officers, and you want them to feel safe. They'll appreciate this courtesy. 3. When the officer asks you if you know how fast you were going, don't lie. Just take responsibility. You might add something like "I just didn't realize it until I heard your siren, but you're absolutely right. I was going too fast." Be polite always. 4. If it still seems that a ticket is coming, ask for a break. Say something like, "I know I was in the wrong, officer, but I don't usually speed. Can I get by with just a warning? If you can't do it, I totally understand." The last line is an effective but subtle challenge. It is polite, and the officer may be motivated to "prove" his authority by showing that he can just give you a warning.

44. Assuming A Mortgage That Isn't Assumable There are a couple ways to assume a mortgage that isn't assumable. The first is to buy "subject to the existing loan," meaning you'll just start paying on the existing mortgage loan, and hope that the bank won't call it due. Often they won't, as long as the payments are on time, and the interest rate is not below the current market rates. Talk to an attorney about this. Then there is a secret "dirty trick." Some states (ask an attorney) have laws that say a holder of a second mortgage has the right to assume a first mortgage without qualifying, when he forecloses on his second. These laws are meant to protect lenders in "second position," but some investors use this "loophole" to get property with financing already in place. Instead of buying a property, they loan a seller enough to give him some of his equity, with the understanding that he won't pay on this second 242

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mortgage. Then the investor forecloses on the "delinquent" loan and assumes the first mortgage loan. The seller keeps the money he was lent, but he does get a foreclosure on his credit report. The investor meanwhile gets a property with the existing mortgage in place which reduces his closing costs and eliminates the need to find financing. He may also get the property cheap if the seller was otherwise facing foreclosure on the primary mortgage loan. The seller would lose everything if that happened, after all.

45. Cheap Magic Trick You place a coin on the bar or table. As people watch, you place your hand over it, then quickly raise your hand, close it into a fist, and the coin is in your palm. Others will usually try it without success. The trick is to press the ball of your hand below your third finger onto the coin when you put your hand over it. If you press lightly, the coin should stick to your hand long enough as you lift and close your hand. Practice before you show off.

46. You Can Levitate One of the most widely used levitation tricks is the "Balducci Levitation." Basically you stand sideways to a small audience, a short distance away. You rise up on the toe of the foot farthest away, letting the other foot (the visible one) stay horizontal as it rises. Angle is important, so practice with a friend. The effect is great if you do it right. Do it with loose, long pants, and the audience can't see your other foot. They will be amazed as you hover a few inches off the ground for a second and then settle back down. Acting tired, like it took all your mental energy, helps the effect. You can type "Balducci Levitation" into any search engine to see more about this trick.

47. Strobe Light Trick A strobe light with adjustable speed control costs about $30, and is loads of 243

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fun. One of the things you can do with it is a great levitation trick. If you get the speed right, and you cross a room in a series of jumps, lifting your legs up behind you each time, onlookers will see you "floating" toward them three feet off the ground. Make sure all the other lighting is off, and practice the timing.

48. Lose Five Pounds By Tomorrow This is not a long term solution to weight loss, and won't take an ounce of fat off. However, you can lose a pound or five quickly with "dieter's tea" from a health food store. These are laxatives, and the better ones also contain herbs that loosen compacted material in your colon. Some people are carrying around ten pounds of extra waste material in their colons. It is probably a good idea to clean this out at least once a year, and it will help you fit into those pants by tomorrow.

49. Deposit A Check With No Signature Sometimes people write you a check, but forget to sign it. You can often still deposit it. On the signature line, write "over." On the back, write "Lack of signature guaranteed," along with your endorsement signature, and your title, if it is to your company. Most banks will accept it and deposit the funds into your account.

50. The 'Wizard' Magic Trick Revealed You are at a bar or party, and you have someone draw a card from a normal deck. Everyone sees it, and you tell them that the "Wizard," can tell what it is from a distance. To prove it, you call the Wizard, and hand the phone to one of the spectators. The Wizard immediately announces what the card is, and everyone is amazed. How is it done? You have to have a "wizard" waiting for the call, of course. This is a friend who will be there to answer the phone. Now, suppose the card is the nine of diamonds. When you call, your friend answers, and you ask "Is the Wizard there?" He immediately starts saying "clubs, hearts..." When he gets to the 244

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right suit (diamonds in this case), you interrupt him with "Okay." Now he knows the suit. The spectators assume that whoever answered the phone is getting the Wizard for you. Your friend, meanwhile, starts saying "ace, two, three..." and when he gets to nine you interrupt with "Hi Wizard, can you tell these people what the card is?" He knows now that it's the nine of diamonds, and tells the person you hand the phone to. It's an impressive trick for those who don't have a clue to how it is done.

51. Secret Of Store Brands Many packaged foods that have a store label on them are in fact made by a known brand name company. Look at the fine print to see if you recognize the manufacturer. These products are generally the same as the ones under their own label. They are simply relabeled and sold cheap for those that only buy cheaper products. This is a modern day technique that answers the age-old marketing problem: How do you get people who are willing to pay more to do so while also selling for less to others? Some people will pay $3.69 for a box of their saltine crackers, for example. But what about the people who will only pay $1.49? Assuming that the manufacturer can still make a profit at the lower price, they don't want to lose those sales, but they also don't want to lose $2.20 in profit on each sale to those who would pay more. The answer to this seeming dilemma is to make two or more "versions" of a product and let people believe here is a difference in quality. The "off brand" ones are even purposefully put into less attractive packaging to discourage sales to the "big spenders." They see the prettier packaging and name brand and pay perhaps twice as much, believing they're getting something better. Sometimes the cheaper brand really is of inferior quality, though. The best way to tell in the end is to experiment.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

52. Secret For Staying Warm For cold fingers and toes, drinking hot tea helps, as does eating spicy foods. For staying warm outdoors for longer periods of time, eat fats. Any fatty foods can help, but in army survival training, soldiers are taught to eat half a stick of butter at a time in arctic situations. Fats, unlike other foods, create heat when they are digested. This is why Eskimos stay warmer by eating whale blubber.

53. Home Insurance Secret For Getting Claims Paid If your house burns down, will you remember everything that was in it? Will you be able to prove it all to the insurance company when you file your claim? Here's a good way to do it. Just videotape the every room, and talk as you do it, identifying each object and how much you paid for it. Then keep the tape in the house of a friend or family member. You'll have the verification you need for any claim. The easiest way to do this now is with a digital camera. If you don't have one, borrow one from a friend. Buy a cheap ($10) memory card for it, use it for the video walk-through, and then put the memory card in a safe deposit box or with a friend, as mentioned above.

54. Wealth Privacy Secret Everything is recorded and tracked. Buy with a credit card, and there is a record. Every bank account and investment leaves a paper trail. Except one. When you buy gold and silver coins for cash, you have the ultimate in privacy and wealth protection. These are generally not good investments, but they are a private way to hold some of your wealth. Even small towns usually have a coin shop or other place that buys and sells gold and silver. Just don't buy gold in pieces larger than an ounce, and don't buy silver in anything bigger than ten-ounce bars. That way you can cash them in almost anywhere. In fact, if you are worried about a currency collapse someday, you may even want to have a bag of old silver coins (pre1965 U.S. dimes and quarters) stashed away, so you will have a currency for 246

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small purchases.

55. A Trick To Save On Business Calls Long distance rates are so low now that the savings from this trick are almost irrelevant. Still I'm partial to cheapskate ideas, so I'll tell you what cheap businessmen used to do more often. They would call clients and associates during lunch, and leave a message. They only paid for a minute that way, and the other person paid the charges when they called back.

56. Don't Be Irreplaceable You may think that being irreplaceable is a sure way to job security. However, it can also be a way to get stuck in a position. More than one person has been passed up for promotion because they did a great job that others couldn't do. If you hope for more, you need to do your job well, find ways to make it easier for the next guy, and even perhaps train your replacement. Then the company can afford to lose you there to promote you to something better.

57. How To Diversify Out Of The Dollar If you're worried about the collapse of the U.S. dollar, put some of your money in a foreign bank, or a U.S. bank that lets you open foreign currency accounts. One such bank is EverBank, at http://www.everbank.com. If the dollar falls 20% against the Swiss Franc, or whichever currency you choose, you'll be that much further ahead. If it rises, of course, your account will lose value. These accounts are FDIC insured, but this won't protect you from currency fluctuations.

58. The "Rule Of 72" Want to figure how fast your money will multiply in an investment? Use the "rule of 72." Divide the expected annual rate of return into 72 to get the approximate number of years it will take for your money to multiply. This 247

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assumes you reinvest any interest or gains along the way. For example, if your money is making 6% interest, it will take 12 years to double it (72 divided by 6). This can be used in reverse too. If an investment has doubled in value in the last 16 years, you had a compounded return of about 4.5% (72 divided by 16).

59. Rummage Sale Secret Rummage sales are a lot of work. Is there a better way to get rid of your stuff and still make some money? There is if you have a flea market nearby. It will probably cost you less than the price of a newspaper ad to set up at the local flea market, and you'll be guaranteed a lot of traffic. You also may find regular flea-marketers who will buy everything you have left over for one price, hoping to sell off the individual items for a profit. That means nothing left to pack up and carry home or to the Salvation Army store.

60. Simple Speed Reading Trick A good reading shortcut is to read the first and last sentences of paragraphs. That's usually where you'll get most of the important information. Training yourself to use any shortcuts you can find or create is a great way to make more efficient use of your mind power.

61. Make Money With Credit Cards I have taken cash advances on credit cards at low promotional rates, and loaned the money out at higher interest. That's one way to make money with credit cards. Investing in the expertise of others, as in the following story, is another. When I was a young man my buddy John showed me several car magazines before I understood that an old fiberglass car really was a good deal at $2,300, because I know nothing about cars. "What's a corvette?" I asked. He eventually convinced me to put up the money. After a new transmission that cost $900, he sold the corvette for $4,300, netting us about $1,000 after all 248

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costs. I took half the profit ($500) for investing the money for just two weeks.

I've done this several times with friends that know cars but don't have cash. By the way, you don't have to have cash to do this. If I had paid 18% interest and a $50 cash advance fee to raise the money with a credit card, my profit would still have been over $400, and John did all the work. This doesn't have to be done with just cars, either. Do you have any friends who know all about boats?

62. Mind Power Ego Secret Have you ever watched a person cling to an idea just because it was their idea? Have you been that person at times? When you're attached to an idea, it's like it's a part of you, and it hurts to let go. New ideas and evidence get ignored. In other words, you are limited in your thinking. Obviously ego can get in the way of mind power, but how do you prevent that? Try this: Listen to an idea that a friend has. Then explain that idea to somebody else. Notice how much more interesting the idea seems when you explain it. Watching this ego-identification process will make you more aware of it in the future, and keep your mind more open to other possibilities.

63. Strange Ways To Make Money At a campfire in the desert one winter (years ago), my wife and I met a man who sold stuffed animals on the side of the highway. When we saw him again, in his van full of stuffed animals, I pressed him for details. He bought used stuffed animals at thrift stores in bulk and then sold them alongside the highway. Early on, he even got the stores to give him the animals, with the agreement that he would return with the money wed or the animals the next week. In some small towns he could get a vendor's permit cheaply ($18/year, for example). Otherwise he just sold them until he was chased out of the county. 249

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He said he hadn't been fined yet (the fines are typically minor in any case), and he claimed he sold $4,000 worth his first month. He may have been exaggerating, but because of him we included used stuffed animals in our flea market stands with some success. For more on unusual ways to make money, visit www.UnusualWaysToMakeMoney.com. You can browse the site and sign up for the free newsletter while you're there.

64. Fastest Way To Learn A Language Learn the basic phrases that will get the native speakers to be your teachers. Learn how to say in their language "How do you say...?" "What is the word for that?" "How do you spell that?" "Can you write that down?" and "Please, can you speak more slowly?" Then do the following: - Learn the basic phrases to ask for help (where is a bathroom... doctor... bank... bar). - Carry and use an English-Spanish (or whatever language) dictionary. - Spend time with native speakers. - Start talking. You'll need to learn grammar, and vocabulary, of course, but speaking a language is the best way to learn it quickly. You can also get free language lessons online, at places like www.TheSpanishLesson.com.

65. Folded Dollar Bill Secret Here's a fun bar bet. bet someone that they can't fold a dollar bill in half eight times, doubling it each time. Try it. In fact, try it even with a large piece of paper. It can't be done. (Okay, on the program "Mythbusters" they proved that it can be done with a huge piece of very thin paper.) 250

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66. Mental Math Shortcuts As a child, I didn't "show my work" in math class. In my head, 97 x 16 became 100 x 16 (1600) minus 3 x 16 (48). I just wrote down 1552 and couldn't explain very well how I arrived at the answer. Teachers called that a problem. Only many years later did such math shortcuts get packaged into seminars and books. You might want to learn a few. You can create your own. The general idea is to find easier ways to hold the information in your head. It's easy to subtract 100, for example, so if the problem is 315 minus 96, you think 315 minus 100, and quickly get 215. Since you know that you subtracted 4 too many, you then add it back, arriving at 219.

67. Emeralds Versus Diamonds Diamonds are not actually very rare any longer. They are only expensive because they are a controlled commodity. That control could be lost, resulting in lower prices, so if you have considered investment grade diamonds as an inflation hedge or private way to carry your wealth, you may want to think of other alternatives. Rubies, emeralds, and sapphires are a safer bet.

68. Price Testing Secret If you sell a product for $20 that costs you $15, and you sell 200 per week, your gross profit is $1,000. If you raise the price to $27, and only sell 120 per week, your gross profit is $1,440 - $440 more, on fewer sales. You only learn these things by testing and doing the math. There was a store that sold cigarettes for five cents over their cost. Raise the price a dime and they would triple the profit margin. They could sell half as many and be farther ahead (they probably wouldn't lose even 10% of their sales). Of course they were using the cigarettes to get people in the store, hoping they would buy other things. Such products are called "loss leaders." 251

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This just shows us that business is always more complicated than a few simple principles - but this doesn't invalidate the principles.

69. Exercise Secret One of the best exercises doesn't require that you buy anything. It is also less tedious and boring than a treadmill or other machine, because you actually go somewhere. It is climbing stairs. Minute for minute, it actually burns more calories than playing tennis.

70. Oils In Your Food That Kill You Hydrogenated oils were once used to cause heart disease in laboratory mice, about forty years ago. They needed to cause the disease in order to study it. It would have been nice if these scientists also mentioned to the public that it works this way in humans too. All margarine then consisted of hydrogenated oils. Many still do. Only a few years ago, it was finally in the news that margarine is actually worse for you than butter. But hydrogenated oils are in so many things. Look at the ingredients labels the next time you are in the grocery store. Unfortunately you'll see that hydrogenated (or partially-hydrogenated) oil is in most packaged foods.

71. Accupressure Sleep Secret Put your index finger and middle finger of your left hand on your right wrist, about two inches below the crease. Sit comfortably, and apply gentle pressure to the wrist for several minutes. Then switch, and do the same on the other wrist. This hasn't been studied yet, as far as I know, but it can't hurt to try this before bed tonight, if you have insomnia.

72. Cheap Car Rental Secrets Search online before you travel. I have found that Thrifty Car Rental is 252

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almost always the cheapest, but this changes. Include a Saturday or Sunday to get the cheapest rate. It is also worth looking at the various sizes of cars. Sometimes the compacts are not the lowest cost.

73. Cheap Dandruff Treatment Regular table salt can get rid of most dandruff. Just massage it into you scalp before you shampoo, and repeat as necessary.

74. Make Money From Uncopyrighted Books And Articles You can generally copy and use books that are officially produced by the U.S. Government. One enterprising mail order marketer made copies of a government study on lie detectors, and sold it as a guide to beating them. The Gutenberg Project, at http://www.gutenberg.org has thousands of books you can download absolutely free. Some of them have no copyright, or have expired copyrights, and you can use these in part or in whole to make your own books to sell.

75. Bankruptcy Recovery Secret If you have to file bankruptcy, plan ahead and you can restore your credit quickly. The key is to pay off one of your credit cards, even if that means transferring the balance to another. Be sure that you make all payments on time on the card, and don't owe a penny on it the day you go to court. This is so you don't have to declare this creditor. Don't include this card in the list of your debts when filing. It isn't a debt if you don't owe anything on it. And don't mention it to anyone. When the bankruptcy is completely done, you'll use this card to start rebuilding your credit rating. Many stores will issue you credit if you have a major credit card. Some gas companies may as well. See if your bank or credit union will make a small loan to you with the credit card as collateral as well. With a Mastercard or 253

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Visa which shows no late payments, you'll be on your way to rebuilding your credit.

76. Where To Get the Latest News Online Don't want to wait for the evening news? The fastest way to get the latest news is online now. Sign up for a "My Yahoo" account (www.yahoo.com), and you'll get the headlines updated every few minutes. Another great source for the most recent news events is http://www.newsmeat.com.

77. Research Your Family Want to research your family history? It's getting easier. You can track your family back over 200 years, and see the census sheets back to 1790 at: http://www.ancestry.com.

78. Free Legal Advice Many communities have free "legal clinics," where you can get some help. Attorneys volunteer for these, and you may or may not find one that handles the specialty you need. Another way to get help is online. You can get information, articles, free legal forms, and even ask for help in the forums at : http://freeadvice.com.

79. Free Medical Advice You can read good articles and do a lot of your own research online now. Enter "medical advice," or "free health advice," into any search engine. One site you might find useful, is http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/hp.asp. Also search for specific topics along with "forum" to see if there is a discussion board where you can learn about other people's experiences with various conditions and treatments.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

80. Three Keys To Stain Removal Have a stain in your living room carpet or car upholstery. There are many good stain cleaners, and some are meant for specific types of stains. Whichever ones you use, though, there are three basic principles that help get the stain out. They are: 1) Dwell time. this is the amount of time that the water and/or cleaning solution is left to loosen up the stain; 2) Heat. The more heat, the more likely the stain will come out (except for blood stains and certain others); 3) Agitation. How hard and long can you scrub? If you are weak in one area, you can compensate with the others, so if you don't have time, scrub harder or heat the water. For complete directions on removing all types of stains (free), visit www.HowToRemoveCarpetStains.com.

81. Hard Money Lenders Want to fix and sell a house, but you can't get financing? Try a "hard money" lender. They'll charge you as much as five percent up front, and then maybe double what mortgage rates are at. Why would you want to pay that much? To make money, of course. Suppose you found a house for sale in rough shape. It will take $20,000 to fix it up, at which point it should sell for $150,000. The seller wants out fast, and has accepted your offer of $80,000 cash. A hard money lender will loan you 70% of the ARV, or after-repair value, which is $105,000. He'll only forward the $80,000 purchase price, and put the other $25,000 in an account that you'll draw on specifically for repairs. The lender will add the $5,250 origination fee onto the balance, so you already owe $110,250. If it takes you four months to complete and sell the house, you will have also paid $5,000 in interest (at 15%). Let's suppose the repairs were unexpectedly $27,000. If the other expenses came to around 255

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$5,000, in the end you still make a profit of over $30,000. Would it still bother you that the hard money lender made $10,250? You can ask other investors in your area who the hard money lenders are. You can also find them online now.

82. Secret Recipes Want to make caramel corn like Cracker Jacks? To find secret recipes and clone recipes of famous products, visit: http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/home.asp.

83. The Key To Lightweight Backpacking Want to go really light when you backpack? I have gone for a week, in comfort, in the mountains of Colorado, with never more than 17 pounds on my back. The key is to lighten the heavy items first! Your backpack, tent and sleeping bag are the heaviest items, so work on those before cutting the handle off a toothbrush to save half an ounce. For more specific and detailed advice, see web sites like www.TheUltralightBackpackingSite.com or www.TheMountainHikingSite.com.

84. Secret Hangover Cures Yes, there really are some ways to avoid and cure a hangover. Here are a few you may not have heard of. One way to avoid a hangover is to drink lighter-colored alcohols - vodka may be the best. Brandy, whiskey and other darker drinks have more congeners, the by-products of fermentation and aging, which give the distinctive flavors to alcohols. Congeners also are one of the primary causes of hangovers. There is some evidence that cabbage can also help prevent a hangover, by "chelating," the toxins (congeners) in your system. This means that some elements in the cabbage attach to toxins and carry them out of your body. 256

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This may be why cabbage-based products (borscht in Russia, sauerkraut in Germany) are often regarded as hangover cures. A simpler cure is to drink water along with your beer or booze, and drink a large glass before you go to sleep. In fact, if you wake up during the night, drink more water, and take an aspirin. Many hangovers are due to dehydration. Of course drinking the water also slows down your alcohol consumption. Another way to avoid the worst of a hangover is to drink early. Skip the late nights out and have a few drinks with your afternoon barbecue instead (careful - don't burn yourself). The point here is that worst of the negative effects will occur while you are asleep that night. The hangover may be gone by the tie you wake up. Be aware though, that you will generally not have quality sleep when you drink more than a beer or two. B-complex vitamin supplements, taken before drinking and again the next morning may help too. Alcohol destroys many B vitamins, and the resulting deficiencies may cause some hangover symptoms.

85. The Best Carpet Cleaning Method "Steam cleaning" as it is called, is actually hot-water extraction (it creates a lot of steam). A truck-mount hot-water extraction unit forces hot water into carpet under high pressure, and then thoroughly sucks it out (along with the dirt). This method has the following advantages over the various "dry cleaning" methods and portable wet cleaning machines: The high heat kills bacteria, fungus, mold, and dust mites, making it the healthiest way to clean carpet. It doesn't leave residue (if done correctly). Detergent residue can attract dirt, which can damage carpet. High pressure cleans carpet more deeply. The strong vacuum these units use also cleans carpet more deeply.

86. Carpet Cleaning Secret One of the most useful tools for removing carpet stains is a shop-vac. With a 257

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wet/dry vacuum cleaner you can quickly suck up spills, but more importantly, you can repeatedly flush the area with water and suck it out. This is more efficient than blotting with a cloth, and less likely to damage the carpet.

87. Test Your Website For Free Net Mechanic sells their services, but if you click on one of the "try it" buttons, you can test for bad links, HTML errors, and several other things, for free. Visit http://www.NetMechanic.com.

88. HTML Secrets Every HTML document contains certain standard HTML tags. If you don't even know what an HTML tag is, start with great tutorials here: www.htmlgoodies.com. If you want to see how a website created a certain effect, learn by example about HTML, or just look for hidden messages in a web page source code, here's how: Click on "View" on your browser bar while you are at a website. In the menu that drops down, click on "Source," "View Source," or "Source Code." What you'll see is the HTML source code for the page. For example, you can see which keywords the web master is optimizing for, listed near the top like this META NAME="KEYWORDS" CONTENT="secrets, inside information, information". Or, if you like something about the page (like the way some lines are highlighted), you can see how it was coded and try to replicate it.

89. Free Money Search Sometimes people forget accounts, or they die without telling anyone about them. For all sorts of reasons, money that is unclaimed gets turned over to the states. Go to http://www.unclaimed.org, and follow the links to your state web site. You'll be surprised when you type in the names of people you know, how many unclaimed monies you'll see. 258

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I recently told a family member about this, and he found an insurance refund his wife was owed, which that had been lost years earlier. It was close to $900, and only took a few minutes of paperwork to claim.

90. Hypothermia Secrets There are actually two types of hypothermia: slow-onset and sudden-onset. Slow onset is when the body cools over time, usually in an environment of cold air. The body is chilled through, and exercise can help warm you up. It can kill you if you have sudden onset hypothermia. Sudden-onset hypothermia is usually occurs when the body is immersed in cold water. The outer extremities of the body can be extremely cold, while the core isn't. In this case, moving fast or exercising once rescued can cause blood to start pumping to the extremities, and then bringing the cold into the core, causing heart failure. Hot liquids, slow warming from the outside, and staying still is best.

91. Nutmeg Gets You High Nutmeg, the common spice that might be in you kitchen right now, is the drug of choice in some prisons. According to some reports Malcom X used it in prison. It is legal, and might get you high. I felt very good for hours when I tried a teaspoonful many years ago, but not high. Now for the bad news: My eyes hurt (a common side effect), and I later read that a spoonful may be enough to kill a person. Maybe you shouldn't try this one.

92. Mail Letters From Another Country To hide where they are living, or where their letters are coming from, many people use what are called "re-mailing" services. You basically put your letters in a large envelope, send it to a re-mailer, and they send out the letters. They are then postmarked in the city where the re-mailer is. For example, you put your stamped, addressed letter in an envelope, then 259

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put that in an envelope in a larger one, with 5 euros cash or the equivalent in any currency or by money order and mail to: Remailer, P.O. Box 2081, DK1013 Copenhagen K, Denmark. (I can't guarantee that the rate will remain the same, so write and ask). Services like these do not ask any questions, or keep any files.

93. Have A Secret Address To receive mail without giving away your address, you can use a mail-drop. This is a mail forwarding service. You use the mail-drop's address to receive mail and then have it forwarded to the address where you want to receive mail. This may be on another continent. Any mail sent to the mail-drop is placed into another envelope and mailed to its final destination. This is only illegal if done to commit fraud. You may just not want to be found by an ex-spouse, or enemies you have made. You may want an address that gives you a greater respectability for business purposes. A good service will never give out your address, unless under a legal order to do so. They also won't give out any information over the phone. Ask them, to be sure what their guidelines are. Just in case an employee is bribed to give out information, some people have a mail-drop send the mail to another mail-drop, and then that one sends it to a post office box near them. This provides much more privacy.

94. Free Tire Repairs If you have a flat or a slow leak in your tire, you may be able to get it fixed for free. Discount Tires, one of the largest tire store chains in the country, has been offering free repairs for years. They hope to get your business if you need new tires, but I have had a tire repaired by them twice, for free, and they didn't try to sell me a thing. Let's hope they continue the practice.

95. Try Vodka For Fresher Flowers When added to the water that cut flowers are in, a small amount of vodka 260

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can work as a preservative. It interferes with the ripening process of the plant. This was reported by Scientific American magazine, but they did not specify the amount to be used.

96. Trick To Impress Friends Drop an egg and watch it bounce. Your friends will think it is a fake egg until you break it open and pour out the yolk. The trick is to first soak a raw egg in vinegar for a day or two. Turn it occasionally or otherwise be sure the egg is entirely soaked. It will feel rubbery when done, and will bounce - but only if dropped a short distance. Drop it from too high and it will break.

97. Avoid A Speeding Ticket If you must speed, the best lane to be in (on a multi-lane highway) is the far right lane. The police usually have the radar gun aimed at the left or passing lanes. Since faster traffic is usually in the passing lanes, you also just attract less attention on the right. Also, there will often be trucks and other vehicles between you and any police cars that are in the median. It is difficult for them to get an accurate reading on your speed in that case, or to be sure which car the reading was on.

98. Be A Keyword Collector! Need more ideas for your web site pages or articles? As you search for keywords for an article or web page, you'll find other good keywords too. Write them down, along with the number of monthly searches for them. Suppose your site is on gardening, and you searched "tomato." You choose "growing tomatoes," as your keyword for the article or page you had in mind, but you also see that last month 3400 people searched for "tomato cages" (I actually just checked this). Write it down! Later you can do an article on how to make your own tomato cages (or how to choose the best ones, if you sell them). 3600 people searched "tomato plant care." Another article, right? Collect those keywords. They give you ideas for articles. Even better, you know that there 261

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are people waiting to read those articles - and then visit your website.

99. Secret To Selling A Home With Problems Buyers are always more afraid of unknown factors than known ones. If there are potential problems, such as an old roof, get an estimate for repairs. This makes an unknown into a known factor. You might then get an offer that wouldn't otherwise be made. Also, potential buyers may want a $7,000 allowance for a new roof - until you show them your $4,000 estimate. Anticipate all possible problems and have a solution or information ready for buyers.

100. Sneaky ATM Fees Many banks are now allowing you to take cash out at an ATM even if you don't have enough in your account. This may sound generous of them until you realize they are doing this to make big overdraft fees from you. Of course, it would be easy for the bank to program the ATM to alert you if you try to take more than you have in the account, so the intention is clear. They want those fees, even if getting them comes from a mistake on your part. To avoid this, check your balance before you make a withdrawal (so far there is no fee for this).

101. Get Rid Of Credit Card Fees Hopefully you don't have annual fees on your credit cards. If you do, though, and you have been making your payments on time, getting rid of those fees may be as simple as asking to have them removed. This worked three out of four times back when I had cards with annual fees. It helps to let them know you'll be canceling the card otherwise, and it helps if you have a good credit score as well, but in any case, it can't help to ask.

102. Cheap Jewelry Secret Why pay retail? There are auction sites online that specialize in selling 262

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jewelry cheap. For example, you can often buy an engagement ring for a third or less of what you would pay for the same ring at a local jewelry store. How to use this information: Check out www.gemdealz.com, where you can click on the link for the three-minute auctions and catch an occasional great deal. We bought a gold and diamond ring there for $43. Almost identical ones cost $89 at one local department store and $149 at a jewelry store. Others have used sites like this to pick up jewelry for as little as 10% of retail, to resell for a profit through classified ads. These rings usually come tagged with the "suggested retail price" which helps the vendors to sell them. This price will always be greatly exaggerated (ours said $495), but nonetheless, you can get a real deal, as our experience shows. Many of these sites also sell watches, loose gems and gold.

103. Deadlines Matter More Than You Think Behavioral economists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman did an experiment to see what effect a deadline would have on turning in a survey. They gave the survey to three groups of college students and offered a fivedollar reward for turning it in. Each group was given a different deadline. The first was told that they had 5 days to turn it in, the second group was told they had 21 days, and the third group was told they could turn it in anytime (no deadline) to get their five dollars. Now, students might be very busy and not have time to complete the survey in 5 or even 21 days, so you might think that with more time, eventually more of the surveys would be turned in. As it turns out, the opposite is true. Tallying up the totals a year later, it was found that 66% of those with the 5day deadline turned in their surveys, 40% with a 21-day deadline turned them in, and only 25% of those with no deadline turned them in. There will be many times when you can apply the lessons learned from this research. For example, if you are hiring a handyman, set a deadline (and withhold at least some of the payment until the job is completed). If you want anyone to do something for you, avoid ever saying something like "whenever you get to it is fine." Set a deadline. 263

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104. Dirty Tricks Of Car Dealers Some car dealers will have you sign a "Conflict Resolution or "Dispute Resolution" agreement, usually after you have already negotiated all terms and are ready to close the deal. Be careful! These agreements state that you'll settle any disputes through arbitration rather than the courts, and they often specify that YOU will pay for the arbiter, but the dealer will choose him or her - and you can't appeal the decision. Just say no, and if they insist, buy your car elsewhere. These kind of agreements are most often used by dealers who have a lot of legal problems. Some dealers will let you trade in your car and drive the new one home before your loan application is approved. Then they call you up and tell you that the loan wasn't approved, but you were approved for a loan with worse terms, which you now have to take. Why? The contract you signed had a "writ of recision," in the fine print. You agreed that if you failed to qualify for the original loan, you would abide by the terms of the loan with a higher interest rate. Avoid any loan application with a writ of recision. Extra fees are often added after you have agreed on terms. Dealers may even suggest that some of these are mandated by the government. Among these are "environmental fees," "protection packages," "fabric treatment," "extended warranties," and even "advertising fees" - as though you should be paying for their advertising! Refuse anything you don't want, and if they insist, walk out. Watch out for zero-interest deals. Often you pay nothing in interest for the first year, but the interest is still accumulating. It isn't really zero-interest if you have to pay it at some point. Also, lower interest rates (even 0%) often mean a higher sale's price, so there may not be any real savings.

105. Delay Stock Sales Without Risk Of Loss Suppose you own 1,000 shares of Coca Cola that you bought years ago for $30 per share. Now it's $61 per share. You want to sell soon, but because it's December, if you wait a month you'll put off the taxable gain of $31,000 264

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($31 times 1,000 shares) until next year. You think you'll be in a lower tax bracket then, so waiting could save you thousands. But you are worried that the stock price could drop before you sell. What do you do? You buy a put option and sell a call option. This little secret has been used by smart investors for many years. Prices vary widely at different times and depending on the stock, but if an option to sell (a put) at $60, which expires a month later, cost $1.50 per share, you would pay $1,500 total, plus about $25 for the commission. Now, to cover all or part of that cost, you sell a call option, which gives someone the right to buy your stocks. Let's assume you can get $1.25 for an option that gives the holder the right to buy your stock at $62. You get a total of $1,250, minus about $25 for the commission. You have spent $300 more than you took in, and two scenarios are possible now. If the stock goes down, you will be able to sell at $60 (that's what you put option gives you the right to do). If the price goes up, you will be forced to sell at $62. This pairing of option trades is called a "collar." The idea is to sell a call and buy a put worth roughly the same amount, in order to protect your gain. What happens now? Suppose the stock price rises to $70. You'll have to sell at $62, making $700 more for your wait ($1,000 minus the $300 the transaction cost). And if the price goes down to $50. You can sell at $60 (that's why you bought the put option), meaning you'll make $1,300 less for the sale than now ($1,000 and the $300 costs). If the price hovers around the same area, the options will expire worthless, and you can sell at about $61. Even the worst-case scenario of making $1,300 less on the sale is cheap insurance if it guarantees saving a few thousand on taxes. Ask a tax professional about the complete tax consequences. It is possible that if the "strike prices" of the put and call options are too close together, the IRS will rule it as a "constructive sale" of the stock. Also, the options cost (for the put), and the income (for the call) will be part of the equation.

106. Car Savings Secret Consider insurance costs. There is a big difference between what you'll pay to insure a sports car and a mini-van. Check out car safety ratings at 265

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www.iihs.org, to see if one of the cars you are considering is safer, and therefore will mean cheaper insurance rates. See the section on insurance as well.

107. Social Security Benefit Mistakes Most retirees probably assume that their benefit rate is correct. But mistakes are made, and they can affect what you receive. Your rate is based on your 35 highest-earning years. To make sure these have been reported correctly, review the annual statement the social security administration sends you, comparing to your w-2s for all years if you have them. If there is a mistake, call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213. Some errors can be taken care of by phone, but otherwise ask what you need to do to get the information corrected. Calculation errors are less common, but do happen. If you suspect this is the case, you can see the formula used on the SSA web site: www.socialsecurity.gov. Other error can result from name changes due to marriage and address changes. Call the SSA number above to see what can be done about these.

108. Small Business Interest Tax Deduction If you can allocate debt to your business you'll get a tax deduction for the interest. For example, suppose you have saved up $10,000 in your business account to buy new equipment. If you have any personal debt that is not tax deductible (credit card debt, for example), pay the business account money out to yourself and use it to pay that debt down, and then borrow for the new equipment. Suppose you pay off $10,000 of your personal car loan debt that was costing you 12% interest, and borrow that much (at about the same rate) to buy the new business equipment. You end up with the exact same amount of debt overall, but now all of the interest can be called a business expense, meaning you will save hundreds at tax time. This can be done with most small businesses, but ask your tax professional about your particular case.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

109. Tax Free IRA Rollover Distributions from a traditional IRA (Individual Retirement Account) are taxed. For that reason, many people prefer the Roth IRA. Though you don't get the tax deduction when putting money in, you never pay taxes on gains made or money taken out during retirement. You can convert a traditional IRA to a Roth, subject to limitations and rules (ask an accountant), but the proceeds which are rolled into the Roth are treated as normal income, and taxed. To avoid this or to pay less in taxes, do the rollover in a year of low income (perhaps when you have business or investment losses). If your reported income is low enough that you'll owe no taxes, even the IRA proceeds may be entirely untaxed. This trick won't work for everyone, but it is a way to take advantage of what may otherwise be a bad year financially.

110. Bottled Water Secrets Some bottled water is just regular tap water (if you look, it may say "from a municipal source" on the label. In any case, when ABC News tested bottled water and tap water, they found no difference (on average) in purity. Both had similar levels of E. coli, for example. New York City tap water was even rated higher for taste than Evian bottled water. To avoid chlorine, fluoride and other chemicals added to tap water, you can buy distilled water or get a water filter for your faucet.

111. Better Job Interview Secret Known as the "serial position effect," it has been shown that contestants who perform later in competitions are rated better than those who perform earlier. This seems to hold true in job interviews as well. Try to be one of the last ones interviewed to increase your odds of getting the job.

112. Improve Your Lottery Odds Here is a secret to increase your "investment odds" when buying a lottery 267

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ticket. If it is the typical lottery based on choosing from 40 numbers, choose the numbers over 31. This doesn't increase the actual odds of winning, but "investment odds" take into account not just the odds of a win, but also the amount of the win. All numbers are equally likely to come up, but when the numbers between 32 and 40 come up, you will normally win more money. Why? So many people bet birthdays, that winning tickets with numbers below 31 usually split the pot more ways, so each winner makes less. When the winning numbers are all over 32, there will be fewer tickets with the winning numbers, and so each one is worth more.

113. Diamond Ring Savings Secret Buying an engagement or other ring for your girlfriend, fiancée or wife? Why not have it made? Often it is cheaper (and more romantic) to buy a diamond or gemstone and then have it set in a ring by a jeweler, rather than buy a ring that is already made. In fact, if you buy your diamonds wholesale from a reputable dealer, you can save hundreds of dollars. You can also honestly say you had it specially made for her.

114. Cheap Viagra Substitute Viagra makes nitric oxide more available to the body, which relaxes the smooth muscle contractions, thus boosting atrial dilation. This brings more blood to the pelvic area, and encourages an erection. It also, unfortunately, has some real risks. Arginine, an amino acid you can buy in almost any health food store, works in a similar way. The body uses it to produce nitric oxide which as noted above, encourages an erection. 1,000 to 2,000 mg is the usual dose, and it is best to take it between meals.

115. Shopping Card Privacy Invasion The "loyalty" cards you get at various grocery stores and supermarkets do more than just get you a discount on some items. They also record your 268

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purchases, supposedly just for marketing purposes. However, some companies are now selling this information to life and health insurance companies. The insurance companies are using these records to determine your rates, looking especially at your food and non-prescription drug purchases. They also have no way of knowing if some of your purchases are for a friend or because you loaned your card to another customer. It is assumed that you are the end consumer for anything that shows up in your records of purchases. Don't want to miss out on the discounts, but don't like the invasion of privacy? Some stores (Safeway, for example) allow you enroll without your name, using "Store Customer" or something similar instead. Alternately, you can use only part of your name, or give false information.

116. Hotel Room Deals Best time to get a deal on a hotel room? Right after six in the evening. The hotels clear the no-shows from the reservations and often let these rooms go cheap in order to fill them up. In some large cites with high-occupancy (New York, for example) this happens after 4 in the afternoon. The only drawback to this strategy is that it's possible the hotels will be all booked up by the time you call.

117. Stock Broker Secret When opening a stock trading account, especially with a discount broker, check for conflicts of interest. Ask if they are paid for "order flow" (they may use other terminology). Some brokers are paid to direct your orders to a particular "specialist" on the trading floor. This means they aren't necessarily getting you the best price. Verify that they always execute your trade at the best price available.

118. Secret Of Better Conversations Want to be a better conversationalist? Instead of just waiting to make your 269

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points, actually listen to what the other person is saying, and let him know that you are listening. One way to do this is to occasionally recap what the other person has said. Start with something like, "If I understand this, you're saying..."

119. Low Fat Isn't Always Low Fat To comply with FDA rules, a product that is advertised as "low fat" must have 3 grams or less of fat per serving. The FDA rules, however, do not specify what a "serving" is. If the serving size chosen by the manufacturer happens to be a fourth of the amount you typically eat, then you are may actually be getting 12 grams of fat per serving. Look at the size per serving listed on the package, and consider what amount you'll actually eat at once.

120. The Cleanest Restroom Stall? Want to avoid the worst of the germs that breed in public restrooms? Use the toilet closest to the door. A study of public restrooms found that toilets in the stall nearest the door consistently had the lowest bacteria levels. It is a matter of traffic. Most people, looking for privacy, pass the first stall and use one further in. Less use means lower bacteria counts.

121. Secret Of Safer Hotel Stays Tip your housekeepers, and say hello. They probably deserve a tip anyhow, but it also prevents burglary. A dishonest housekeeper is less likely to steal from someone he or she has met. Also, if a criminal is in your room pretending to be you, which is a common pretext when robbing hotel guests, the housekeeper will know it isn't you since you have met.

122. Older Drugs May Be Better The newest drugs don't have generic versions available, and they can be very expensive. However, they are not necessarily better than the older drug that treat the same disease or condition. Even if the older drugs don't have 270

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generic versions available, if they have been around for more than seven years they can be half the cost of newer drugs. Ask your doctor about these older drugs. If he knows of one that is just as effective as the newer drugs, have him prescribe that one. Then shop around. The price for the same drug can vary by 30% from one pharmacy to another.

123. Hotel Concierge Secret Just because the concierge has a hotel uniform on doesn't mean he works for the hotel. Many hotels out-source their concierge services. Some concierges are not even allowed to say that they don't work for the hotel. Does it matter? These third-party concierges may be steering guests to affiliated car services, restaurants and even shows. They may be paid commissions for this. As a result, they are not necessarily looking out for the best interests of the guests, even though they will still happily take tips from them. Ask who their paycheck comes from, and if they hesitate, they are probably not working for the hotel.

124. Better Than Arguing If you start by trying to convince a person he is wrong about something, his defenses go up immediately. Neither of you is likely to change the other's mind once that happens. A better way is to find things you can agree on, and then show the person your viewpoint. This is especially effective if there are others involved in the conversation who disagree with the person you want to persuade. Finding issues you can agree on that the others are disagreeing with forms a bond between you. You are both "on the same side." Later, you can steer the conversation to your viewpoint, and he is much more likely to listen to your side of the issue with an open mind.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

125. Calorie Secret All calories were not created equal. Calorie for calorie, some foods become fat in your body more easily. One of the worst is high-fructose corn syrup. Normally carbohydrates cause your body to produce insulin, which in turn causes the carbs to be immediately used for energy or stored in muscle tissue for later use, or if not needed, converted into fat. However, high-fructose corn syrup doesn't stimulate insulin production. That causes it to be stored as fat rather than used for quick energy. Even worse, insulin is part of your appetite mechanism, and without it, you don't know you've had enough to eat. You can drink one of those 1000-calorie big sodas and hardly feel like you had any calories. What is high-fructose corn syrup found in? More and more foods. Pop, cookies, juice mixes, crackers, soups. Even most breads and spaghetti sauces now have it. (Apparently regular corn syrup is not as harmful.)

126. Mutual Fund Tax Secret Here's a secret that most accountants and tax preparers don't tell their clients: You can designate which shares you are selling when you sell part of your investment in a mutual fund. Why would you want to do this? Because selling shares that were acquired at a higher cost means paying less in capital gains taxes. For example, suppose you bought 400 shares of XYZ Fund at $10 per share, or $4,000 total, and later invested another $4000 when the share price was at $15. Later, you want to move $4,000 to another fund or use it for a vacation. If you simply redeem $4,000 of your shares, you'll have to report the profit based on your average cost. In this case that would be $12.50. Let's say the shares are currently at $16. That's a profit of $3.50 per share, or $875 total. You will have to pay taxes on that profit. However, you can write to the broker or fund company and say, "Please sell 250 of the shares of XYZ Fund that I bought on (the date of your second 272

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purchase at $15/share)." Since your cost for those specific shares was $15, you only show a profit of only one dollar per share, or $250 total. Depending on your tax rate, this could mean a couple hundred dollars less you pay, just because you knew how to sell your mutual fund shares.

127. Save Money On Medications Check for generic versions regularly. Most people check for a generic version of a drug when they first get their prescription, and if it isn't available, they don't think about it again. But generic drugs are regularly becoming available. In the last year, for example, the following drugs have become available in less expensive generic versions: Zocor (cholesterollowering, generic name simvastatin); Flonase (allergy spray, generic name fluticason); and Zoloft (antidepressant, generic name sertraline).

127. No Vacancy Doesn't Mean No Rooms No rooms in the Hotel? Here's a little secret: There might still be a few. There are sometimes rooms that are out of use due to a broken table or other non-essential problem. If you really need that room, tell the manager that you can take any room that might be closed for minor problems. You should even get a discount.

128. Pay Less Sales Tax On Used Cars When buying a used car, buy the car stereo separately. If you buy a used car from somebody for $3,000, a six percent sales tax will cost you $180. Have him write the price up as $1,000, and buy the "extras" (stereo, seat covers) for $2,000 cash. You'll save yourself $120, if you don't mention the extras to the state.

129. Real Estate Listing Secret When looking at a home or other real estate, be skeptical of the number of "days on the market" in the listing information (sometimes abbreviated as 273

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"DOM"). Sometimes sellers, or their agents, remove a home from the listings for a while, and then re-list it. The "days on the market" figure in these cases will only indicate the days since the most recent re-listing. Ask if the property was previous listed for sale and when.

130. Demonstration Of The "Laffer Curve" You may recall Lie #3 from the e-book 99 Lies, which is the idea that raising taxes automatically raises revenue. A short excerpt: If the government took 95% of your income in taxes, would you work much? Do they get any taxes if you don't work? No. More money will actually be collected if they take a lower percentage, right? Add to that the fact that every dollar the government takes can't be invested into new businesses businesses which would create more income to be taxed - and you can see that there is a point of diminishing returns. Forbes magazine recently reported on a great example of this. Iceland cut its corporate tax rate step-by-step from 45% in 1991, to 18% in 2001. What happened? Tax revenues went up step-by-step, perfectly demonstrating the Laffer Curve. They tripled by 2001, and tripled again in the next five years. Lower rates meant MORE tax revenue. Once you understand this principle, you know that an increase above the most efficient tax rate (probably 15% to 20%) means LESS money for education, helping the poor, or anything we might want our government to do. A person who knows this and continues advocating higher taxes must do so from a desire to punish success, to get votes, or for some motivation other than to raise more revenue for anyone's benefit. Of course, in the case of politicians - who almost certainly are familiar with the Laffer Curve, the motivation is to get elected. They play to voters' ignorance of how taxation really works. Even worse, they cater to envious people's desire to make the wealthy suffer. Of course, some politicians may simply be ignorant when it comes to this and many issues.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

131. Cheap High Blood Pressure Treatment Recently scientists at John Hopkins University reviewed 33 studies on hypertension, otherwise known as high blood pressure. They found that many people with high blood pressure simply have a potassium imbalance. Taking in more potassium can make their blood pressure drop dramatically. How much potassium? Normally it is recommended that you get 4.7 grams a day (more for athletes), which is less than the average American gets. The safest way to increase one's intake of potassium is from foods. Try a couple spoons of blackstrap molasses daily, or eat more bananas and avocados.

132. A Secret To Avoiding People There are times when you need to avoid someone, whether it is for your own self protection, to keep from hurting that person, or both. One of the best ways to do this is to purposely mis-time your contact efforts. Call when you know the he'll be out, for example, or invite him to a party when you know he can't make it. You might even stop by his office when you know he won't be there. You can avoid him in this way without hurting his feelings.

133. Real Estate Lawsuit Protection To protect yourself from lawsuits arising from real estate investments, an LLC (Limited Liability Company) can be set up for less than $100 in most states. Use one of the packages now available at most large bookstores for $25 to $40. The filing fee for most states is about $50. Alternately, some legal services will do the whole process for you for $500 or less. (A tax preparer set up ours for $120 in 2007.) Put your rental in an LLC, and the liability is limited to that LLC. In other words, if someone gets hurt on your property and sues, they cannot come after your personal assets. Because the cost is so low, and the protection so valuable, many investors are now setting up a separate LLC for each property they own. In this way, they don't risk any of the income from their other properties when one of them has a legal problem. Any non-real estate business you own should also be in a separate LLC or corporation from your real estate investments. 275

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134. Hotel Room Theft Hotel-room thieves often take just one credit card from your wallet or purse, and then touch nothing else. In this way, you might go a day or more without noticing the missing card. Meanwhile they are running it up to the limit. I once had a thief in Mexico take just half of the checks from my book of traveler's checks. I felt the book in my jacket lining where I had hid it, so for half a day or more I didn't know I had been robbed. Travel with just a couple credit cards, and check on them regularly to avoid this. It is also a bad idea to leave your purse or wallet in the hotel room.

135. IRS Audit Secret Getting audited by the IRS? Don't bring too much information. Specifically, don't bring other year's tax returns. This increases the risk of the auditor finding things to look into. The secret here is that although the audit notice may tell you to bring other years tax returns, IRS rules state that you are only required to provide information relating to the tax year that the audit is for. The only information from other years that you need to provide is that which is related to the tax return being audited. This could be items that carry over from prior years, such as the depreciation on a real estate investment, or investment loss carryovers. When asked for the previous years returns, tell the auditor that it doesn't relate to the issues or the year being examined, so you didn't bring them. This will normally end the matter.

136. Don't Advertise Your Alarm System Some professional criminals have admitted that alarm signs which identify the alarm company are good news for them. They can buy a diagram of how that particular system is wired, and then disable it. If you want signs as a deterrent, use generic ones that say something like, "This Home Protected By An Alarm System." 276

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137. Brainpower Secret Act as if you are more intelligent. Acting more intelligent sets up an expectation in your mind that your unconscious mind tries to meet. Studies in which subjects pretend to be either a failing student or a university professor, show that those who do the latter before taking a test score higher.

138. Getting Insurance Claims Paid Many insurance companies have a policy of denying claims if there is any possible way to do so. They count on the fact that most people will not challenge the denial. If you do challenge it, they will often then pay the claim. Get your records in order, make a clear case for why they should pay the claim, and hint at legal action if they don't. I once had a $2,700 medical claim paid a year after the deadline for filing the claim had passed. Persistence, and having a lawyer write a letter is what did it.

139. Stock Market Secret Do you believe the various "experts" who say that stocks go up 9% or 10% per year on average? Here is a little secret: It all depends on which segment of time you measure. How about the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) for the years 1906 to 1981? The compound annual growth rate for that period was just 2.75%. That makes the old advice about buying and holding for the long term seem a bit naive, doesn't it? What if you invested in the Japanese stock market in the early 1980s? The Nikkei Average is just now (2009) 75% below where it was then. Buy and hold for the long term? There are times when different markets - from real estate to stocks to bonds - do better or worse than other investments. But at all times, those promoting a given class of investment will claim it is best to just buy it and hold on.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

140. Avoiding "Windchill" The windchill effect is measured on bare skin. In other words, when the weather man says that the "windchill temperature" is a certain degree, it is only relevant to the degree that the wind can get to your body. A good windbreaker for an outer layer means that the apparent windchill temperature doesn't fully apply to you (except of course to your face and any other exposed skin).

141. How To Get Two IRA Tax Deductions Starting an IRA (Individual retirement account)? There is a way to get two tax deductions from your contribution. Instead of using cash, sell any stock you own which has decreased in value, and then put THAT cash in your IRA. Why? Because you can write off the capital loss for the sale of the stock, and thereby reduce your taxes even more than if you just put savings into the IRA. What if you still like the stock? Buy it back using your IRA. There is a "wash rule" in the tax code that says you can't sell and repurchase a stock (within a certain amount of time) just to claim a loss. However, you and your IRA are separate entities as far as this rule is concerned, so you can immediately repurchase the stock in your IRA and still write off the loss.

142. Kitchen Bacteria Secret The average kitchen dishrag or sponge has far more bacteria than a toilet seat. A million harmful bacteria in a sponge is common. Then these get smeared over dishes and counters. The solution? Put the sponge in the microwave for a minute and all the bacteria should be dead.

143. Resume E-Mail Secret Don't send your resume as an attachment to an email to a prospective employer. Most readers are afraid to download documents that may contain viruses. In other words, it may never be seen. It is better to simply paste the 278

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resume in the email, perhaps at the bottom of your introductory letter.

144. What Does Reduced-Calorie Mean? For a food item to use the label "reduced calorie," it must have 25% fewer calories than the comparison product, according to FDA rules. This does not necessarily mean that it is "low calorie." For example, if regular mixed nuts have 165 calories per ounce, "reduced calorie" mixed nuts could still have up to 121 calories per ounce - 10% more than pure sugar!

"Low calorie" means 40 calories or less per serving, according to FDA rules. However, even this can be misleading, since the FDA rules do not specify what a "serving" is. If the serving size chosen by the manufacturer happens to be a fourth of the amount you typically eat, then you are may actually be getting 160 calories per serving. Look at the size per serving listed on the package, and consider what amount you'll actually eat at once.

145. Motion Sickness Secret There are two ways to overcome motion sickness that most people have not heard of. The first is to get outside - if you can. Many people find that being able to see the horizon and breath fresh air while on a boat eliminates their nausea. The second thing you can do is take ginger root. It has been shown to be more effective than over-the-counter medications for motion sickness and nausea. There probably won't be enough ginger in drinks and other products that use it for flavoring, so you should carry some ginger capsules (buy them at a health food store), or make tea from a tablespoon of freshly sliced ginger root (sold at most grocery stores).

146. Travel Safety Secret Professional thieves admit to this unsurprising "trade secret": They target expensive luggage for theft. If you want to reduce the odds of your things 279

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being stolen while traveling, don't have the prettiest most expensive bags around. The uglier the better from the perspective of reducing the odds of losing your luggage to criminals. Fortunately good bags don't have to look expensive to be just as functional, and you can find other ways to impress fellow travelers.

147. Computer Security Secret You may be aware that deleting files still leaves them on your hard drive. For example, things you download from the internet and later delete can still be accessed using software that is widely available. What if you want to truly get rid of them? There are computer programs that will erase the files from your hard drive. Sometimes they are available free. Try www.pcworld.com/downloads and search for "permanently erase files." You can do a similar search using a search engine if the program is no longer available there.

148. Credit Safety Secret If you already have the credit cards that you need, it is an unnecessary risk to have many pre-approved offers coming in the mail. These can be stolen and used to apply for a card in your name, with a different address. How do you prevent this? Go to www.optoutprescreen.com and opt out of receiving these offers. You just fill out a simple form online to opt out for five years, or you can print and mail a form in to be permanently put on the no-offers list.

149. Pickpocket Safety Put a rubber band around your wallet if there is a possibility of pickpockets where you are. Put one around anything else that could be slid out of your pockets. This isn't guaranteed to prevent the crime, but the friction of the rubber band makes it harder to get something out of your pocket without you noticing. 280

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150. Job Interview Secret Employers sometimes try to get you to say bad things about previous employers. The interviewer might say something like, "I can understand why you quit. I have heard they aren't the best people to work for." Don't take the bait. Don't say anything negative about your former employers. The interviewer is simply trying to determine if you are a complainer, and if you are, you probably won't get the job.

151. Hotel Room Bedspreads Want to know a dirty secret of hotel rooms? They change the sheets every day (the reputable ones), but even the best hotels may go months without washing the bedspreads. You can imagine what germs and filth might be on them. Most hotels will bring you fresh clean bedspreads if you ask. Jut negotiate the price of the room and get checked in first. Then you can tell them that you are a bit sensitive to other peoples dandruff and perfumes, so could they please bring you clean bedspreads?

152. Personal Energy Secret Certain odors cause increased activity in the part of the brain that creates a state of wakefulness. These are odors that stimulate the trigemial nerve, which has receptors in the nose and eyes. Peppermint in particular seems to give many people a burst of energy when they smell it. The scent of strawberries works for some as well.

153. Longevity Secret Curiosity Extends Life - Dr. Sonia Cavigelli, at Penn State, tested 80 rats with tumors, and found that those which were more curious lived 25% longer. Curiosity was measured by the rats willingness to explore their 281

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environment. Future research may show a similar correlation in people. So get curious about something today.

154. A Secret For Ending A Phone Conversation Need to get someone off the phone, but you don't want to be rude? Click the receiver button, and then do it again after a few seconds (be careful not to hang up on her). She'll hear the clicks, which sound the same as those produced by call waiting. Then tell her that you have another call coming in. Alternately, you can ring the doorbell so she'll hear it in the background, and say you have a visitor.

155. Biased News One of the ways in which television news shows its bias is in the labels used. Bernard Goldberg, a reporter and former self-described liberal, notes that all the major news outlets had a liberal bias. (This may have changed with the introduction of Fox News - now you have a conservatively biased news broadcast as well. And all the major news sources have a bias against any politics that are outside the conservative or liberal mainstream.) In his book "Bias," he gives example after example, including the following, which shows how subtle the process can be. "Harry Smith, the co-host (at the time) of 'CBS This Morning,' introduced a segment on sexual harassment, saying: "...has anything really changed? Just ahead we're going to ask noted law professor Catharine MacKinnon and conservative spokeswoman Phyllis Schlafly to talk about that." "It sounds innocent enough, but why is it that Phyllis Schlafly was identified as a conservative, but Catharine MacKinnon was not identified as a radical feminist, or a far-left law professor, or even as a plain old liberal? MacKinnon, after all, is at least as far to the left as Schlafly is to the right. Why was she simply a "noted law professor?" The clear implication was that Catharine MacKinnon is an objective, well respected observer and Phyllis Schlafly is a political partisan." (MacKinnon, by the way, once implied that all sexual intercourse is rape - a fairly radical opinion.) 282

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The technique is subtle but effective. If you want to favor one political persuasion and disfavor another on the news, you introduce those with the former using their credentials, and those with the latter with a label. The audience will rarely even notice that you are playing with how they see each side.

156. Dirty Hotel Rooms The housekeeping staff is expected to clean a certain number of rooms per hour or shift. They will not normally clean telephones, TV remote controls, doorknobs or clocks. These things can be covered with germs from previous users. You may want to use antibacterial wipes to clean these things as soon as you enter the room. Alternately, you can be sure to wash your hands a lot or use antibacterial gel. This is especially important during flu season. Most colds and influenzas are transmitted from hand to object to you hand, and then to your mouth, nose or eyes.

157. Another Media Bias Example Bernard Goldberg, a reporter for the CBS News, in his book, "Bias," gives dozens of great examples of how distorted the truth can be due to reporter's biases. One of the most blatant cases is that of reporting on the "homeless crisis" of the late 80s and early 90s. Several reliable sources, including the Urban Institute and the U.S. Census Bureau, put the number of homeless people in the U.S. at between 250,000 and 500,000. The most likely figure was around 300,000 homeless. Meanwhile, homeless advocates were exaggerating the problem in order to get more money for their cause. As Goldberg points out, we expect this. But the news media was accepting at face value almost anything these advocates said. They never do that with causes they don't like, Goldberg points out. Objectivity went out the window. In 1989, on CNN Candy Crowley reported that there were three million homeless. Then in 1993, on NBC, Jackie Nespral reported that there were five million homeless "and the numbers are increasing." Charles Osgood, on CBS, announced, "It is estimated that by the year 2000, nineteen million 283

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Americans will be homeless, unless something is done, and done now." It is doubtful that the number ever reached 500,000, or 1/38 of that, at any point. The definition of homeless was changing too. Many advocates counted people living in nice homes in the suburbs, with large screen TVs and good meals, as homeless. Ray Brady, on CBS News, called these the "hidden homeless." They included sons and daughters living with wealthy parents or just about anyone who didn't have his or her own place to live in. Goldberg reports on how this pattern of reporters becoming advocates repeats itself again and again. If the cause is one they like and support, they are uncritical in reporting what the lobbyists and advocates claim. If they don't agree with a cause, they ignore it or attack the claims of advocates. There is little objectivity. Goldberg had this to say about the reporting on the homeless: "It's as if our coverage of this very big story was being directed not by objective journalists, but by the advocates for the homeless themselves. We took what they said at face value even though we would never do that with advocates for causes we did not embrace." Beyond the regular, large distortions of facts that occur in the media, there is also a more subtle cause of bias. It is in the simple process of selecting stories. Every day reporters and news managers make decisions like whether to report on the latest escapades of some celebrity or to cover the rising national debt. Their choices certainly affect the view that we have of what is happening in the world. Bias will always show in what is considered important enough or not important enough to report on. This may be unavoidable. More than anything else then, this is an argument for getting your news from several sources. In other words, getting your news from numerous blatantly biased sources with varied viewpoints is probably better than relying on just one supposedly "objective" news broadcast.

158. Drug Research Lies Think Drug company studies are objective? Think again. The Guardian 284

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newspaper reports that many systematic reviews show that pharmaceutical industry studies show positive results far more often than those funded by independent sources. Apart from designing the studies in ways that show the results they want, the primary reason for this seems to be that negative data is often hidden or thrown out. To understand why this matters, consider a simple example. A new drug is given to ten groups of people who share a given disease or condition. On average, it appears to help the people in five of the groups , but the subjects in the other five groups have no improvement or get worse. This is common, since people get better or worse for many reasons, and this is why many trials are necessary to be statistically significant. Now suppose, in this case, the company decided that only the five trials with positive results are important enough to report, and they quietly get rid of the data from the other five. Now, a drug that has no real benefit appears to have helped in every trial - every one that the rest of the world hears about anyhow. This is bad science, of course, and unfortunately is just one of the ways that pharmaceutical companies play with data. Scientists have been recommending a simple and inexpensive solution to this problem for decades: a compulsory international trials register. In this way trials that don't give the result wanted can't just disappear. Not surprisingly, the drug companies are against the idea.

159. Which Psychological Therapy Works? Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (which concentrates on changing the thoughts and behavior that led to problems, rather than dwelling on past issues) in all its variations, works. Hundreds of studies show that it helps with depression, panic disorder, anxiety, insomnia, hypochondria, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and more. Nonetheless, many traditional psychotherapists criticize it as "simplistic". Look hard and you might find some evidence for the effectiveness of psychoanalysis, but perhaps the primary reason that many therapists defend it, is that it's profitable. Cognitive therapies usually try to resolve a problem in 10 to 20 visits - traditional psychotherapy can go on for years. In a recent 285

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Forbes magazine article a psychoanalyst criticized Cognitive Therapy as "A simplistic method of treatment." It was then noted that he sees most patients four or five times weekly for two to five years or longer. Hmm... four times weekly times four years is over 200 visits. I imagine using a method that got a better result in 20 visits would be quite a downward adjustment in his income. Don't be surprised if drug companies start a campaign against cognitive therapy soon. Now that many studies have shown cognitive therapy to be as effective in treating depression and anxiety as expensive drugs, these companies stand to lose a big part of the 13 billion dollars in drugs sold for these conditions. The therapy not only is cheaper in the long run, but comes without nasty side effects most of the drugs have. A 2006 study reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association compared six sessions of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with using a Lunesta-style drug for long term insomnia problems. The therapy was far more effective, again without the side effects that the drugs can have. Bottom line? Cognitive therapy is likely to continue having its critics because it works so well.

160. Burglar Alarm Secret More than half of the alarm-protected homes they rob have the alarm system turned off when they rob them. The most common reason? People don't bother to turn the alarms on when they are just going out for a few minutes. Burglars watch nice homes to learn the habits of the residents. If you regularly leave to run to the store for a few moments, they know that, and they also know that is unlikely that you'll set the alarm. This is when they break in. The lesson? If you are going to pay for an alarm system, why not use it even when leaving for short trips out?

161. Globalization Secret Contrary to what many protesters and public figures say, multinational corporations and globalization in general does not make the poor poorer. 286

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Just the opposite is true. According to statistics from all parts of the world, the poor are the primary beneficiaries of the opening of markets. In fact, as globalization took off in the 1990s, over 200 million people were lifted out of abject poverty in India and China. Both economies boomed due to globalization. By all objective measures, opening a country to international companies is far more beneficial to the poor than any amount of international aid that could be given. Note: This isn't an argument against international aid, which is truly needed in countries trapped in extreme poverty. And not all business activity is good for poor countries. In some small countries bad policies of the World Bank and IMF, combined with crude exploitation by large corporations cause horrible problems, including further impoverishment. Globalization has to be based on ethical principles to alleviate poverty.

162. Best Time To Buy Plane Tickets Many airlines post their special offers on Friday nights. This is a good time to check for flights, but not the best. The best time may be just after midnight on Tuesday. This is when the special offers usually expire, and the unsold seats pour into the computer system. For the next hour or so, you may find especially cheap flights, particularly if you use a bidding system like that of Priceline.com. Check for the cheapest flight first, then bid cheaper. If you don't get your price, hurry back to get the cheapest posted price.

163. Pure Fruit May Mean 30% Fruit Look closely at those fruit spreads that claim to be just fruit. They may be more condensed fruit syrup (essentially sugar) than fruit. For example, some "only fruit" strawberry jams are as little as 30% strawberries. The rest is syrup made from condensed apple juice or other cheap juices. You may think that if the fruit is first on the label it must be mostly fruit, but watch out! By including various forms of sweetening, manufacturers can make hide the fact that it is mostly sugar. For example, sugary syrups from 287

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apple, pineapple and grape juice might make up 25%, 25% and 20% of the spread respectively, leaving strawberries at 30%, or first on the list of ingredients, even though the spread is essentially 70% sugary syrup.

164. An Herbal Sleep Aid That Works Valerian is very effective for promoting relaxation and sleep for most people. However, in a recent study, less than half of the supplements containing it didn't have enough to be clinically effective. You need at least 600 mg of the extract. If the amount is not listed, note the effect and try another brand if necessary.

165. Credit Counseling Secret Not all credit counseling companies are working for your best interests. Some of them get paid in some way by creditors, and so are working as much (or more) for their interests as yours. In the last couple years, the IRS has revoked the tax-exempt status of dozens of counseling firms that claimed to be non-profit. Ask if they get any money at all from creditors.

166. Burglars Like Bushes Bushes near the home give burglars places to hide. This is especially true if they are high enough to cover windows where the burglar might enter. At least trim trees and bushes so that windows are clearly visible.

167. Viagra May Not Be The Answer A recent study from Johns Hopkins University found that 90% of men with erectile dysfunction have one or more cardiovascular risk factors. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, prostate enlargement, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease. Erectile dysfunction may indicate atherosclerosis, and so should be taken as a sign to see a doctor.


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168. Hydrogenated Oil's Evil Twin Now that people are becoming aware of the dangers of hydrogenated oil, some manufacturers are replacing it with "interesterified" oils. Unfortunately, scientists have found that these fats seem to cause a serious decrease in HDL or "good" cholesterol. They also cause a 20% increase in blood sugar levels. Both of these can increase the risk of heart disease. Watch for the words "interesterified" or "stearate-rich" on the label to avoid these fats.

169. How To Retrieve A Letter Contrary to what many believe, you can get that letter back after you drop it in the mailbox. But you have to move fast. Go to the post office and fill out "Sender's Application For Recall Of Mail" form. If you can get this done before the letter is shipped out from the local post office, you may be able to get it back.

170. Sweaty Palms? Got a big meeting or social event to go to where you'll be shaking a lot of hands? Sweaty palms can leave a bad impression. To prevent this, coat your hands with an antiperspirant that has aluminum chloride in it. Wipe off the excess and you're ready to go.

171. Best Guard Dog According To Burglars? Unless trained to do so, big dogs often don't bark when burglars enter a property. They may even welcome criminals who feed them. Burglars, who don't want attention, say that small "yappie" dogs, like Chihuahuas, make a better deterrent, because they consistently make noise when strangers enter.

172. Highway Toll Secret The passes (such as E-ZPass) that allow you to quickly bypass the normal 289

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toll booths do more than just speed up your trip. They also can result in a speeding ticket or be used to track your movements. Some states are issuing tickets if you traveled too quickly between tolls, and the information recorded has been even been subpoenaed in civil lawsuits, including divorce cases. If you want more privacy, you may want to have more than one pass, and alternate their use, or occasionally just use the regular toll booths.

173. Home Security Secret Stopping newspapers and mail while away from home for a vacation or other trip can invite burglars. Professional burglars admit that they often get tips from newspaper and postal employees, telling them that the resident is gone from the house. It is better to have your mail and paper picked up by a neighbor, and at various times, so there is noticeable activity at your home.

174. Appendectomy Mistakes Almost one-in-five appendectomies (18%) are done on patients who don't need them. This is according to a recent study at the University of Washington. It seems that doctors are quick to recommend the surgery without waiting to confirm the diagnosis. A common mistake is diagnosing inflamed lymph nodes or stomach viruses as appendicitis. If there is any doubt, you should ask for a CT scan of your stomach.

175. Another Mutual Fund Tax Secret When you opt for automatic reinvestment of dividends and capital gain distributions with your mutual fund investments, tax considerations get complicated. You need to add up all these reinvestments and count them as part of your "basis," or cost, when you report this on tax forms. Otherwise you will report too low of a basis and pay more in taxes than you should (this is unfortunately common, especially for those who do their own taxes). You may want to have the distributions go into a money market account instead. As this money accumulates you can periodically invest it into the fund or any other investments. 290

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176. Slot Machine Secret Casinos are almost always regulated and required to have a certain minimum percentage payout for their slot machines, but this does not mean that all machines are the same. Machines that have a higher payout ratio are purposely put close to the cashier's cage and in high-traffic areas. Try these machines first.

177. Gasoline Secrets Get more per gallon. How is that possible? By pumping your gas when it is cooler, like in the morning. Gasoline expands as it gets warmer. In fact, when it is shipped, every load is temperature-compensated to be sure the indicated gallon amount is the actual amount pumped, and a couple degrees difference is a big deal in the business. Gas stations, however, don't compensate for temperature, so buy cool. Get cleaner gas. How? By pumping only when tanks are not being filled. If you see the tanker truck filling the station tanks, drive on by. The process stirs up sludge and dirt in the tank, which will then end up in your tank if you fill at those times. Pump slow. The modern vapor-recovery pumps suck fumes back into the stations tank as you fill up. Faster filling agitates the gasoline more, creating more vapors, which are recovered after the gasoline has been measured meaning less gas for you. So unless you are in a hurry, pull the trigger to just the first of the three notches. Fill when half-full. More air in your tank cause faster evaporation of gasoline, especially when it is warm. You can avoid this by keeping more gas in there instead. Gasoline storage tanks sometimes have a membrane roof over the gas, to prevent airspace evaporation. Your solution is simpler just keep the tank fuller.


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178. Insect Protection Trick Would you like to reduce the number of bothersome insects when you are out in your yard at night? Put a yellow fluorescent light over the area you'll be in, because bugs generally can't see a yellow light. Then put a regular fluorescent or incandescent bulb a short distance away. The insects and bugs will be drawn to that light - away from you.

179. Retirement Secret Of course it is no secret that putting a little aside each month can add up to a lot of money for retirement. But sometimes we forget just how little it takes, and what our options are. For example, suppose you drink a $3 cup of coffee each workday. If you drank water for free instead, and put that money into an IRA that yielded a very realistic 8%, you would have almost $300,000 in the account in 40 years.

180. Reduce Cold Sores If you are afflicted with cold sores, you can reduce their incidence by reducing your intake of arginine-rich foods. These include beer, chocolate, cola, peanuts and peas. Herpes Simplex, the virus that causes cold sores, needs the arginine to become active.

181. Surviving A Hospital Stay The National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine recently issued a report showing that avoidable medical mistakes cause more deaths in the United States each year than car accidents or AIDs or breast cancer. In fact, they are the 8th leading cause of death. Hmm... and a survey found that 70% of surgeons don't think fatigue affects their performance. Latest Update: The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study showing that close to 100,000 people die each year due to hospital mistakes or negligence. This did not include deaths due to infections acquired in hospitals, which are estimated to cause another 90,000 deaths 292

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according to estimates from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). The good news? It's estimated that half of the deaths from infections are preventable by following some simple guidelines. Don't wait for the hospital to implement new procedures, though. Ask all staff to wash their hands before touching you or the devices that will be touching you. Have your own bottle of hand sanitizer available at all times and use it frequently. Ask Nurses and doctors to put on fresh gloves in your presence. Have the nurse check on your catheter if you have one, to see if it is backed up or flowing properly (a common source of infection). Report any itchiness or other problems with incisions. In other words, take control of your own health. If you will be incapacitated too much to do so, pass these guidelines on to a friend or family member who can stay with you.

182. Secret Cancer Killer The BBC news recently reported that a study at Nottingham University showed that the capsaicin in peppers like Jalapenos kills cancer cells. Vanilloids, the family of molecules to which capsaicin belongs, bind to proteins in the cancer cells mitochondria to cause cell death. The molecules don't have this damaging effect on healthy cells. Capsaicin extracts were tested human lung cancer cells as well as on pancreatic cancers. The tests were on cultures of these cells, but research on humans is sure to follow.

183. Tooth Brushing Secrets Brushing your teeth with a dry toothbrush has been shown to cut tarter by 60% over regular brushing, and to reduce bleeding of the gums by 50%. It seems to work best to first dry-brush your teeth, and then rinse out your mouth and brush again with toothpaste.

184. Pricier Models May Cost Less To Produce Think products always have higher prices when they cost more to produce? 293

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Not so. Often the cheaper product actually costs the manufacturer more to produce. For example, a few years ago IBM sold their higher-priced "LaserWriter" and their lower-priced LaserWriterE. The latter was simply the former with a chip added to slow it down. The extra chip meant it cost more to make, but the resulting slower printer gave customers reason to buy the higher-priced printer. This was apparently the most effective way for IBM to "price target" their customers. Adding a chip to slow one version down was likely cheaper than actually producing two entirely different models for high-end and low-end customers. Software companies sometimes do this, making a "professional" version of a piece of software, and then modifying it to remove some of the functionality, to create the cheaper model.

185. Lost Bombs According to the Magazine "Mother Jones," the U.S. government has lost at least ten nuclear bombs. Whether they are really gone or just misplaced in some government facility is anyone's guess

186. Who Really Pays The Most Taxes? Before we argue too much for the unfairness of a tax system that lets the wealthy find a few loopholes, let's look at who really pays. According to a recent article in Forbes magazine (11/26/07) the top 1% of income earners in the U.S. (who receive 21% of the income) pay 39% of income taxes collected. The top 5% pay 60%, and the top 50% pay 97%. This is misleading, however, because social security taxes are not included. These contributions are never actually invested, and so are taxes like any others. When a government borrows and immediately spends the money, that's not an investment any more than if you "invested" your 401K in a loan to yourself to take a vacation. What's more, an employee really pays over 15% of his or her income for this tax, since the employer half is merely passed on in the form of lower wages. If all taxes were paid by employers, it would still be the labor of the 294

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employee that makes paying the taxes possible, and wages would be lower. This is an easy to understand economic principle. Finally, there are no loopholes for this tax, unlike almost every other tax. As a result, a burger flipper who pays 5% of his income in other taxes and 15% in payroll taxes is paying a total percentage of income that is higher than the $17.3% billionaire Warren Buffet paid on his income in 2006. Of course the wealthy pay most of our taxes. There is no other way, since the cost of government couldn't be covered by taking even 90% of the wages of the poor. But loopholes and biases in the system (lower taxes on the forms of income most common in the wealthy class) mean that many poor and middle class often pay a bigger chunk of what they make in taxes.

187. Think Lincoln Wanted To Free The Slaves? One month before he was inaugurated as president, Abraham Lincoln said: I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it now exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. After the civil war started, he said; My paramount objective is to save the union and NOT either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the union without freeing any slaves, I would do it. Politicians do what they do for reasons which rarely have much to do with the positive motives we ascribe to some of them. More often than not, society (and history books) creates heroes not to honor them, but at best to honor the ideals we would have liked them to have, and at worst to generate a patriotism that can be usefully exploited by those in power.

188. Watchful Eyes At the University Of Newcastle they have a lounge where you can get 295

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coffee. People are encouraged to pay a fair price, and there is a suggested price list. Money is simply dropped in a box. Researchers started with the idea that people are better-behaved when they are being watched. Some wondered if that "watching" needed to be real or if it could be symbolic and still have a similar effect. So they put a picture of flowers next to the price list in the coffee-lounge, and later put a picture of two eyes looking out at the coffee drinkers. The amount people put in the box while the eyes were there was almost three times the amount they put in the box when the picture of the flowers was there.

189. Money Causes What? Paul Johnson, in his column "Current Events" in Forbes magazine (July 2, 2007), notes that "the hugely wicked are quite innocent of avarice. Hitler never showed any interest in money. Stalin left his salary envelopes unopened. When Stalin died, the little old desk in his modest office was found stuffed with them. Mao Zedong, over the course of his career, killed 70 million people, but toward the end of his life Mao failed to recognize a current banknote. These three monsters weren't obsessed with wealth; they were obsessed with power.

190. Tax-Free Cash From Your Real Estate Investments Suppose you have a rental home you bought for $50,000 many years ago, which is now worth $150,000. If you sell it, you'll owe tax on the $100,000 gain. But if you borrow against it, the cash is yours, you owe no taxes, and you still own the house. You might even maintain close to the same cash flow. For example, if you happened to borrow during a time of higher interest rates, you might be still owe $20,000 on an original loan of $40,000 at 10% annual interest on a 15 year loan. Your payments would be $430. If you take out a new loan at 6% for 30 years, you can borrow $75,000 for just $450 per month. That gives you $55,000 to spend how you want, tax free, and your cash flow will only be reduced by $20 per month. You may be able the raise the rent that much.


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191. Offshore Account Warning The IRS recently announced (but not loudly) that major credit card companies are helping with their program to identify those who open foreign bank accounts in order to avoid reporting the interest earned in them. MasterCard has turned over the records from hundreds of thousands of accounts, and American Express has also agreed to turn over information.

192. How To Get An Interest Deduction On A Car Loan Suppose you want to borrow $20,000 to buy a new car, and would like to make the interest on it deductible. Sometimes there is a way. If you have enough equity in your home to refinance it or get a home-equity loan, borrow the money in that way and pay cash for the car. Assuming you itemize on your tax return, the mortgage interest will be fully tax deductible. If there are any special circumstances (it's a second home, you may not itemize, you are beyond the tax deductibility limit for a home-equity loan, etc.), ask your tax professional about your particular case.

193. Reducing Taxes When Giving To Charity If you want to give $10,000 to your favorite charity, consider giving appreciated assets instead of cash. Either way you get a tax deduction, but donating appreciated assets means you also save the possible tax on capital gains. For example, if you donate $10,000 worth of stocks that you bought for $2,000, you gave the same amount, and get the same deduction, but you also saved the taxes which would have due on the $8,000 gain if you sold the stock.

194. Choosing A Financial Advisor Beware of financial advisors who charge you nothing. They have to be paid somehow, and it is usually through commissions on the investments they put you into. In other words, they'll have a limited view of what you should do with your money, and even within those choices may choose according to commission amount over what is best for your purposes. Some fee-based 297

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advisors may also get commissions. You may do best with a fee-only advisor. Interview advisors to see if they know what they're talking about and can communicate it clearly to you. Once you choose one, ask for a written agreement that details the fees you'll be charged (will a quick phone call be billed?), and a list of potential conflicts of interest having to do with product-based commissions they might receive, with an explanation of how these will be handled. Have the agreement state that the advisor or company is working as your "fiduciary." This means they're legally obligated to look out for your best financial interests.

195. Discount Shopping Clubs Save You Money? The theory is that by paying the $20 or $40 annual fee, and buying the larger sizes, you save money at a Costco, Sam's club or similar membership store. There are four problems with this. First, you have to save more than your annual membership fee to be further ahead. Second, the price per ounce or pound is cheaper because of the larger sizes, but you tend to have more waste with large sizes, losing what you gained. Third, they rarely have sales, and a good supermarket sale on potato chips, for example, can make them cheaper than any discount club price. Fourth, a study done by Cornell University in 2002 found that warehouse club members tend to buy and eat more food, and gain more weight. Paying less per-pound doesn't save you money if you just buy more pounds, unless you plan to take a break and live off of those pounds you added to your body for a while.

196. Sales Trick Good salesmen have always known intuitively what behavioral economists are finally proving through research. For example, there is a process of 298

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"integrating losses" that causes us to pay more for things than we normally would. A classic example is a $300 car stereo you would have thought was too expensive the day before, but when you are buying a $21,000 car, $500 for the same stereo seems reasonable. This is why car salesmen push the extras hard. They are easier sales when you are already spending a large amount of money. When making any large purchase, look at each extra and ask yourself if you would have bought it for that price last week. If not, you probably don't need it, so save yourself the money.

197. How To Hide Valuables Hiding things in a freezer is a trick known to thieves, but can still be used. Just put the valuables in a plastic bag, then put that inside a bag of frozen peas and glue the frozen pea bag closed. A thief will not likely thaw out all your frozen food to look for valuables. A phony electrical outlet (real, but unconnected) that allows you access to the inside of a wall is another way to safely hide things.

198. Sun Danger Hype There has not been an increase in melanoma (a type of skin cancer) in the last twenty years as widely-reported. Recent investigation of the statistics shows that what has increased is diagnoses of melanoma, followed by biopsies. This is largely due to an increased awareness of the disease, and in fact, many of the cases are false diagnoses, even though they may be counted in the statistics. A study at the Dartmouth Medical School found a 250% increase in biopsies since 1986. This is almost the same as the increase in diagnoses for earlystage melanoma. What led to the research was scientists noticing that though more cases seemed to be showing up, the death rate from melanoma hadn't changed, nor had the number of advanced cases. Furthermore, there has been evidence that the sun is very healthy for us, as long as we avoid burning. Studies show that sun exposure can be used to 299

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decrease incidence of colon and breast cancer, osteoporosis, and more. In fact, one study even demonstrated that regular sun exposure may even reduce the risk of skin cancer.

199. Why Cities Have New Public Phones Cell Phones are quickly making pay phones obsolete. Nonetheless, many cities keep installing more of them. Why? Because the local government gets a cut of the revenue from the advertising on them. According to the New York Times, in 2006 the city of New York received over 13 million dollars in advertising revenue from public phone booths.

200. Cutting Short A Cold Recent research done in the Netherlands shows that you can combat a cold by eating a large meal at the right time. Specifically, eat a big breakfast and eat it early. Subjects who did this were found to increase their blood levels of gamma interferon, an anti viral agent we all produce in our bodies, by 450%. The study suggests that you should eat 1,200 calories early each morning until the cold symptoms disappear.

201. Adding Odors And Sounds You may already know that the awful odor of natural gas isn't natural at all. It is added for safety reasons. We need to smell something to know that there is a gas leak. What you may not know, is that noises may soon need to be added to things as well. Blind people are protesting some hybrid cars for being to silent, according to an article in Scientific American (February 2008). A silent two-thousand-pound vehicle can be deadly to someone who is used to hearing their approach. One group is calling for minimum noise standards, so they can be aware of the cars.

202. Buy Local? It may make sense to buy locally grown foods, especially if they are not too 300

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expensive. After all, they may be higher in vitamin content since they haven't had to travel so far (time plus air and sun exposure reduces vitamin content). But what about doing it for environmental reasons? Is it always environmentally friendly to buy local, as many claim? Not necessarily. Due to the efficiencies of transporting large amounts of foods in large vehicles, only about a gallon of gasoline is needed to bring 150 pounds of food 2,000 miles to your local grocery store (source: Sierra magazine, May 2008). To determine if it makes environmental sense to buy locally, then, you have to do the math with the costs at your end. Suppose the nearest farmer's market is five miles further away than your grocery store. That's an extra ten miles to go there to buy your food. Suppose your car gets 30 miles to the gallon, and you normally buy about 25 pounds of food. That means it takes you about two gallons of extra gasoline for every 150 pounds of food you buy there. That is twice the environmental impact as buying at the supermarket. By the way, this also assumes that there are no transportation costs for the vegetables at the farmer's market, but some of that food may be "locally grown" 100 miles away. Also, remember that you pay for that extra gallon of gas and the higher cost for the food. If you need to work more to make that money, that too may have an additional environmental impact. These things are never as simple as the political sound bites and slogans make them seem.

203. Watch For Funny Math In the May 2008 issue of Sierra Magazine there is a small piece on the "hyper-consumptive, carbon spewing ways" of Western countries." In it you can find the following quote: "Stephen Pacala, director of the Princeton Environmental Institute, claims that the planets richest 700 million people a mere 7% of the world's population - are responsible for half of the global greenhouse-gas emissions produced by fossil fuels." Unfortunately, they seem to also be responsible for most of the world's bad math. Notice that if 700 million is 7% of the world's population, we suddenly have 10 billion people in the world (The actual figure was about 6.7 billion as of 2008). 301

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This kind of mistake is common in reporting, and at times even in papers that are supposed to be scientific. It is undoubtedly a simple error much of the time, but on the other hand, it seems that the mistaken figures are often better for making the desired point than the true ones would be. It is bad enough if 10.3% of the world's people produce over half of carbon emissions, but even worse if a mere 7% do. Watch for this kind of common mistake and/or manipulation of the statistics.

204. Tea For Preventing Anthrax Poisoning Researchers from the Biodefense Institute and the Welsh School of Pharmacy at Cardiff University found that English breakfast tea (black tea) inhibits the activity of the anthrax virus (Bacillus anthracis). Other caffeinecontaining drinks, like coffee, were tested without much effect, but the polyphenols and other compounds in black tea can protect against anthrax. Even better news is that one cup of normal English Black tea (Earl Grey, for example) gives the maximum protection. an important note: adding milk seems to negate any effect. Apparently casein, a protein in milk, binds with many of the beneficial compounds. This makes them unusable by our bodies. So drink it black.

205. Cell-Phone Credit Card Scam If someone is close to you while you are paying for a purchase, and talking on a cell phone, something else could be going on. One of the latest scams is photograph a person's credit card and identification while pretending to talk on the phone. Many phones now have good enough resolution in their cameras that even from several feet they can pick out credit card numbers and expirations dates - the two things needed to charge things to your account. Be wary if it seems that a person is trying to stay too close to you while chatting on their cell phone. Cover the card with your hand.

206. Doctor Appointment Secret Want to get in to see the doctor without waiting for weeks? Call the office as 302

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soon as it opens, to see if there is an opening due to a cancellation. People often leave messages on the answering machine during the night, canceling their appointments.

207. Banks Versus Money Market Funds Because they are regulated differently, money market funds are only allowed to tell you their simple interest rates, while banks advertise their annual percentage rate (APR) which includes the effects of daily compounding. Money market funds compound daily as well, but as a result of this discrepancy in how they can advertise, their rates may look lower than they are. Be sure to compare the simple interest rate of the bank (they often show both this and the APR) to the fund.

208. Spotting a Fake ID If you aren't sure that a person's ID is real, start with a good look at the photo. Does it look like him or her? Is it raised from the rest of the document (this could mean it was added or altered). Look for wear patterns. Artificially aged documents (this is done to make them look real) will be worn more evenly, while regular wear is more likely at the edges, or irregular. Ask for a signature and compare it to that on the card. You can also "test" the holder of the ID. Mention some information from the ID, but make a mistake on purpose to see if the person agrees. For example, if the address is 214 Ninth Street, say, "So you live at 234 Ninth Street?" Getting a fake identification card can be easier than memorizing all the information on it.

209. Little-Known Drug Database There is a new National Library of Medicine access page online at http://druginfo.nim.nih.gov. You can get information on 12,000 drugs, including results of research and clinical trials, as well as general consumer information. 303

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210. Pinkeye Cure The last time one of my family had a minor eye infection, or "pinkeye," we knew what was needed; antibiotic eye drops. They cost $4. Unfortunately, the system is rigged to require that we pay a doctor for permission to buy them. that cost $80. There is an alternative, I discovered later. Apparently, if you can get your tears flowing, your body can often clear up a pinkeye infection on its own. Here's a method recommended by at least one doctor: Start by massaging the area around the corners of your eyes, where eyeglass pads would normally rest. Then take a clean washcloth that has been soaked in warm water and wrung out, and place it over an eye for ten minutes. Do this routine several times daily with each eye, and you might open up those tear ducts enough to see an improvement of minor infections within a few hours. If you don't see any improvement the first day, go see a doctor to get that prescription before the problem gets too serious.

211. Prozac Doesn't Work A recent article in The Guardian newspaper reported on a study which shows Prozac and similar antidepressant drugs to be almost entirely ineffective. The authors of the study, Irving Kirsch from Hull University and his colleagues in the US and Canada, say that the only exception may be with severely depressed patients. Kirsch says, "Given these results, there seems little reason to prescribe antidepressant medication to any but the most severely depressed patients. The study looked at all available data on the drugs. This included results which manufacturers chose not to publish at the time when certain clinical trials were completed. This selective withholding of trial results is likely the biggest reason that the companies have been able to claim better results than they actually get. But in fact, when all data was analyzed, it became clear that though patients on anti depressant drugs had improved, those on placebos improved just as much. 304

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The research was based on the full set of trial data for four antidepressants, obtained in part by using the freedom of information rules from the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. They looked at fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Seroxat), venlafaxine (Effexor) and nefazodone (Serzone), and found in all cases that, "...the overall effect of newgeneration antidepressant medication is below recommended criteria for clinical significance." Naturally, Eli Lilly (maker of Prozac), and GlaxoSmithKline (maker of Seroxat) did their best to dispute the results. We can expect future clinical trials that have negative results to be hidden more carefully.

212. Sneaky Check Clearing Practices Suppose you have written checks over the last two days for $5, $10, $15, $70, $200 and $300, for a total of $600. However, you only have $302 in the account because of a deposit that didn't clear. If the checks are cleared in that order, the last one will bounce, and you'll likely pay a fee of $30 or so to the bank, as well as one to the merchant you wrote the check to. However, many banks have adopted a policy of always clearing the largest checks first when there are multiple checks to clear. They claim it is because the big checks are usually more important, but when you see the results, you understand the real motivation. In this case, the $300 check would clear, but then all five of other checks would bounce, allowing the bank to collect 5 of those $30 check bouncing charges (plus you get in trouble with five times as many merchants). If you are writing many checks in the same day or two, be sure that you have the money in the account to cover them. Be especially careful if you have made any recent deposits that you are counting toward that balance. By the way, according to Frederick Lowe of ATM & Debit News, banks in the U.S. collect about $175 billion in overdraft fees each year.

213. How To Have Bank Fees Reversed Bank account rules change regularly, and although customers get a 305

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disclosure in the mail, the wording and fine print make it unlikely that most read these through. So what do you do if there are fees that you don't understand and which you think are unfair? Challenge them. At the very least, they may remove the fee the first time it occurs. It is said that banks no longer will cancel fees like this. It's true that most low-level employees do not have the authority to remove fees from your account, but they can pick up the phone and call the person who does have the authority. I have had two fees ($25 and $12) removed this way at Well's Fargo. I simply made it clear that I did not agree to the new terms and was going to sit there until the fee was removed. I subsequently changed to a new account with different rules. I also very politely (it's not the employees fault) suggested that I would be moving my accounts if this wasn't resolved to my satisfaction.

214. Eliminating A Late Credit Card Fee Late payment fees are as high as $38 on some credit cards now. You can still usually get the first late removed if you call and ask ("I've never been late before. Could you please remove the fee this time?"). It is tough to get any subsequent late fees removed. Also, if the representative on the phone doesn't get rid of the fee for you, call back later and speak to a different person. Sometimes it's just a matter of who you get and how their day is going.

215. Credit Card Credit Score Secret Credit rating companies generally give you a higher score for credit card accounts that have been open for a long time. If you need to cancel some of your credit cards, keep one or two of the oldest accounts around. Even if you never use them, they are available and are boosting your credit score.

216. How To Eliminate An Old Debt I hesitate to tell people how to avoid debts they legally incurred, but then perhaps there is a valid reason for not paying at times. In any case, there are 306

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two important things to know about old debts. First, there are statute of limitations on debt, which vary from state to state. In Michigan, for example, at the time I was a debt collector, you no longer legally owed anything on most debts over seven years old, except in the case of the exception noted below. You can find out what the rules are in your state at http://www.fair-debt-collection.com/SOL-by-State.html. The second important thing to know is that generally you "restart the clock" on the statute of limitations if you pay anything at all. This is why if a debtor owes several thousand dollars from a six-and-a-half-year-old debt, the collection agents try hard to get him to send in $5, perhaps telling him that this can show he's serious about paying. If he does pay $5, they then have another seven years to collect the balance. So if you can make it past the statute of limitations, and if you pay nothing at all during that time, and if there is not a judgment against you (which have their own statute of limitations), you don't have to pay the debt.

217. Subliminal Scent Marketing The New York Times recently reported that between $50 million to $80 million annually is spent on the new practice of "scent marketing." The science is relatively new, but the idea is that retailers can use special fragrances to persuade you buy products and services you were not intending to buy. The company ScentAir, which produces "aroma-marketing systems," saw their business quadruple between 2005 and 2006, and now hundreds of companies fill their retail spaces with odors. Martin Lindstrom, author of "Brand Sense," says that by using the right odors, "People will make quicker decisions, be willing to pay more, and most likely be so emotionally engaged that they are removed from the rational part of their behavior." Harald Vogt, founder of the Scent Marketing Institute, says that since consumers are already overly assaulted with sights and sounds, the sense of smell is the best competitive edge left. He notes that "You cannot turn off your nose. You have to breathe."


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

218. How To Find Out Of Print Books The website www.worldcat.org has a catalog of books from 10,000 libraries around the world. You can search for a book and find the closest library that has a copy, and usually link through to information on how to get access. I searched for a book on poker I had read twenty years ago, without knowing the title, and knowing only the last name of the author. It was a book which I knew was out of print for at least thirty years. Just entering "poker" under "keywords" and "Wallace" under "author," it located a dozen copies in seconds, and now I am reminded that the title was "Poker: a guaranteed income for life using the advanced principles of poker," by Frank R. Wallace.

219. Getting Past Automated Phone Menus All you want is a question answered, so you call customer service. But you get a series of recorded prompt that lead you nowhere, or to a long wait. How do you get through to a real human? There are a few tricks to try. The most common one is to keep hitting "0" regardless of what the messages say. This will often get you an operator. The other way to is to ignore the "appropriate" category and push the button indicated for "sales" or "billing." Companies generally will answer the phone if it means a chance to make money or not lose money. Once you have a real person on the phone, if he or she can't answer your question you can then usually get transferred to a real human in the right department. Also, try this webiste: http://www.gethuman.com . It has hundreds of companies listed along with instructions on how to reach a real human at each.

220. How To Get Health Insurance Claims Paid Many people get angry but do nothing when a health insurance claim is rejected. The assumption seems to be that nothing can be done. Fortunately this is not always true. 308

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To start with, ask your doctor for help with any claim the insurance company rejects. Many denials happen simply because a doctor or hospital didn't submit enough documentation. Some claims are denied because of a wrong procedural code on the paperwork submitted. Call the insurance company and find out the exact reasons for the denial of the claim, then call the doctor or hospital that submitted it. Talk to the person who handles billing and ask them to resubmit the claim with any necessary corrections or additional documentation. All states require insurance companies to have appeal processes, so a second denial is not the end of the matter. Call the company and ask them to send you a claims appeal form. For Medicare claims you can download the forms at www.medicare.gov. An employer who provides your insurance can help too. Talk to your benefits manager. Your employer may be able to resolve the matter with a phone call, because insurance companies often fear losing their business. Even if your appeal is denied, you can go further if you think your case warrants it. Go to www.naic.org to find the contact numbers for the agency that regulates insurance in your state. They can review the decision of the insurance company to see if it is legally correct and meets the terms of your policy. Finally, a lawyer might help you settle a claim. You can find information and often a free consultation at www.lawyers.com. Be sure to hire a lawyer with experience in insurance disputes.

221. Dealing With Debt Collectors You may already know that debt collectors cannot threaten violence, use abusive language, or harass you with repeated calls after you have told them to stop. They also cannot tell your employer about a debt or threaten to. If they try any of these tactics, you can file a complaint with the FTC (www.ftc.gov), or with your state attorney general's office. What you may not have known is that you shouldn't acknowledge the debt when collectors call - unless you plan to pay immediately. There are statute 309

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of limitation that are different in each state, and if you have not acknowledged the debt before the limit is reached, nor paid on it in that time, it becomes legally unenforceable. Find out what the statute is in your state. Ask the collector for written verification of the debt, which he must send within five days. It should include the name of the creditor, the balance due, the original balance and due date, the account number and the options you have - including how to dispute the debt. You generally have 30 days to do the latter.

222. Best Time To Have Surgery Done Surgeons don't like to talk about it, but they are not always at their best when digging into your heart or brain or other parts. If you can, try to schedule surgery for around nine to eleven o'clock. By this time the surgeon will have normally done a surgery or two, and so is warmed up and more likely to perform at his peak. The problem later in the day is simple: tiredness.

223. Best Time To Fill A Prescription To avoid lines and the time when the greatest number of prescription errors are made, wait until after the first week of any month. Social security, welfare and other checks go out at the beginning of the month, creating not only creates lines of customers which result in more errors by rushed pharmacists and assistants.


You Aren't Supposed to Know - A Book of Secrets - by Steve Gillman

You Aren't Supposed To Know A Book Of Secrets

Copyright Steve Gillman

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