W-A-Y West of Jewfish Creek

Dear Friend & Subscriber,

Nobody ever asks me who the best copywriter in the world is anymore.

My answer is a foregone conclusion.

However, I am now often asked, "Who is the world's second-best copywriter?" And, although there are a handful of world-class contenders, on an all-round basis, I'd have to give the nod to my friend, John Carlton because he is at the top of the heap when it comes to being...

A Hard-Boiled, Go-Get-The-Job-Done,
Grab-Them-By-The-Throat, And
Force-Them-To-Order Copywriter!

John almost makes a fetish out of being low profile. Even though he's a world-class copywriter... and... someone who makes millions of dollars for his clients... he is NOT someone who chooses to be on the book market or seminar circuit. He's not somebody who goes out and tries to become famous. He's like a "quiet trade secret" for those few of us insiders who are privileged to know him... and... he's one of those people you'll rarely ever get the opportunity to hear his advice.

Like most of the best writers, John is a complex man. He loathes publicity and limelight yet, he performs on stage as a scorching lead guitarist for local bar bands as a hobby.

John scrambled from a loving, working-class home in tiny Cucamonga, California. He was the first of his tribe to attend college and he has lived all over the country working as a cartoonist, fisherman, dishwasher, novelist and executive. He's proud of his white-trash, blue-collar roots. "We were the people you cherished as your friends and neighbors," John says.

He tried many different lifestyles as he was growing up. John was lucky enough to catch the heyday of Beatlemania, the emerging pop-culture of television, hippydom, the sexual revolution, Watergate, the rise of importance of Silicon Valley, Los Angeles decadence during the '80s... and... most importantly... the radical changes in advertising that came with computers, cable television, video, and the absorption of junk mail into everyday life. John's involvement with these events is critical to you being able to understand the depth of his experience and knowledge as it relates to advertising and marketing.

John has combined his degree in Psychology from UC Davis, his passion for history, his wicked sense of humor and his youth spent on the edge of Bohemia into a powerful writing talent and a "feel" for what makes people tick.

On today's mean streets of marketing, he is truly the "best-of-the-best."

His assault on the advertising world started with an old school education in direct mail. Typing on an ancient IBM Selectric, crafting camera-ready production work with hot wax and an x-acto knife.

Then WHAM! Everything he knew became obsolete as technology exploded. However, like every world-class craftsman, John stayed immersed in educating himself. He's read hundreds of books about writing and advertising. He personally sought out and learned from the great men of the industry: He went from being the high-paid, hot-shot freelancer Los Angeles agencies snuck in the back door (to write the pieces they couldn't get their staff to pull off) to writing on the inside with marketing wizards like Jay Abraham and established copywriters like Jim Rutz.

Circa 1988, I invited John to handle the big desk chores at my Hollywood office on Sunset Boulevard. During our long friendship, John has accompanied me on marketing adventures that have changed the very nature of advertising forever.

His education with me included convincing famous celebrities to humiliate themselves on camera for obscure ads... telling rooms full of millionaire executives their ideas sucked (and making them like it)... saving corporations from bankruptcy with campaigns we had to whip up overnight (and then "con" the clients into running the ads even though it ran against every fiber of their being). We put on lavish seminars where people happily paid $10,000+ just to glean a few nuggets of advice while John and I ranted and babbled and goofed off without a plan. Being enslaved to insane deadlines. Re-inventing modern advertising for cable and the Internet. We were among the very first to do infomercials, to advertise on the 'Net and make videos a marketing industry.

John's had fun, brushes with death, helped small men accumulate fortunes and watched helplessly as rich corporations came tumbling down from their own idiocy. There's no better way to learn how the world works than to roll up your sleeves and get filthy with experience like this. He's been stupid, smart, cursed, lucky, broke, well off, mocked, worshiped, hated and loved.

And, he's learned something from every damned minute of it.

John is a master of what I call "muscle writing." He can write a brilliant ad on any subject no matter how complex, technical or difficult. Yet, he makes each ad easy to understand. Also, he writes it in such a way, it's as impossible to stop reading as an Ian Fleming or a John D. MacDonald novel.

He can identify and relate to every type of customer... and... he can sell to them. In 21 years as a prolific writer, John has had a hand in selling nearly every product or service used by human beings. His accomplishments include promoting an unlikely sex manual for the conservative Rodale Press... and... John's sales letter for that manual has been unbeatable for three years... despite... constant attempts by other copywriters to write a different sales letter that will pull in a higher percentage of orders.

Another of John's achievements is his excellent promotion of a right wing financial doomsday letter. John's "Package of Paranoia" mailed successfully for seven years. (By the way, had he been hired by a liberal publisher, he would have written a sales letter from their point of view which would have worked just as well.)

Then, there's the dozens of how-to-fight videos from real-life street fighters and Navy SEALS... which... has earned millions from a tiny, miniscule niche market.

Plus reams of other ads and letters written for shrinks, people looking for mates, new computer products, chiropractors, diet programs, precious metal investing, fund raisers and personal letters which have motivated people to change their lives.

When John's ads run in magazines (which often fill three pages of copy) the entire look of the publication quickly changes as other advertisers catch on... and... begin to imitate... his hard-hitting writing style that is so effective at raking in profits.

His direct mail sales letters have long been used all over the world as study guides for other writers. In fact, many copywriters (including me) secretly come to John for marketing help with their projects. You see, John has a soft spot for helping people... because... no one helped him when he was struggling in the early years. Once I heard this remark from John:

"It's amazing how people can so readily crush someone's dreams."

So true and to the point.

But, as John also remarked, "The lesson is, don't look for anyone to cheer your success until after you've arrived. Trust only those who believed in you when things were tough. They are the gems who will brighten your life."

College-educated, street-trained, honed by years of intense work in the trenches, John Carlton has quietly earned his place as one of the best copywriters on the planet. While his demand for privacy keeps him out of the limelight, in 1998 alone, he turned down over $300,000 worth of jobs from well-known marketers. He prefers to work with a handful of private clients, though on occasion, he will take on new work.

He Is Truly A Man
Who Cherishes His Laziness!

His fees have caused un-initiated clients to choke... but... the results of his ads and mailing packages often rake in multi-millions in profits for his clients.

So what? Why should you care about all this? How does all this fit into a newsletter you read because you want to suck more fungolas out of the world for your own evil purposes?

You'll soon find out. But, first, I have to tell you a little about another of my friends, Joe Polish.

Joe is 30 years old. He had a difficult childhood surrounded by dysfunctional, drug-addicted, impoverished people. By sheer force of will, he overcame all that and enrolled in New Mexico State College in 1986. He worked various odd jobs until he finished college in 1989. Then, he returned to Phoenix and opened a carpet cleaning business. For two years he floundered, barely keeping the business alive. Then, in 1992, he read one of my newsletters. It was, I think, the one about the "Halbert Index." He started using some of my marketing techniques and turned his business around.

Later, he began to study other marketing gurus like Dan Kennedy and Jay Abraham and his business grew even more.

In 1994, Joe formed Polish & Burke which rapidly morphed into Piranha Marketing with a mission to teach other carpet cleaners the marketing secrets he had learned.

Piranha Marketing did 1/4 million the first year, 1/2 million the second and is now pulling in over a million per year... and... still growing.

One of the deals he offers his subscribers is membership in his "Tape-Of-The-Month Club." This is where he interviews a different expert every month on some aspect of business or marketing.

It quickly became apparent these tapes were not only valuable to carpet cleaners but... to anyone... interested in increasing their bottom-line.

Joe's interviewed me, Dan Kennedy, Michael Gerber and a couple dozen other people and the wisdom on these tapes is invaluable. It costs $18.53 per month to be a member of Joe's Tape-Of-The-Month Club... for which... you get the tape of his current interview... as well as... the written transcript.

Well, recently, Joe interviewed my friend John Carlton... and... it is the most electric and revealing interview (even better than his interview with me) Joe has ever done. In fact, John was pouring forth so much valuable info... that... for the first time... Joe's tape of the month consisted of two tapes... and... you ought to listen to those tapes.

When I listened to them, I was reminded of our exciting times together when John and I were working feverishly on "Operation Moneysuck" which is a concept John explains brilliantly on the tapes.  John also gets into...

x  Why you should think of yourself as a "sales detective" instead of just a copywriter...
x How to identify the real hot buttons which make people buy...
x His work strategies that let him turn out killer sales letters and ads time-after-time...
x How you start writing copy by "circling the desk..."
x  How he created a sensational "sex book ad" for the conservative Rodale Press...
x How he created the "amazing, one-legged golfer" package...
x  His "human computer" stock wizard package...
x How to use the "shortcut" of endorsed mailings...
x How to create headlines that go straight for the jugular...
x  The power of the blow-up photo of the microscopic dust mite...
x How to create sales by pissing off your customers...
x His "lipstick-on-the-collar" concept...
x How mega-power guarantees pump up sales...
x What kind of free presents you should be giving your customers...
x Why his headlines are so long...
x Why having a "swipe file" is essential...
x Why you need to reach for the outrageous limits of every emotion including guilt, outrage, fear, greed and suspicion.

I'm gonna stop now. There's so much on these tapes, I could spend another couple of hours trying to describe them all to you. You need to listen to these and...

I've Arranged For You To
Have A "Free Listen" To Them!

What you do is, you call Joe Polish's office (1-800-275-2643) and sign up for his Tape-Of-The-Month Club. Tell the office you're one of my subscribers and they will immediately send you the two tapes of Joe's interview with John Carlton. These are yours to keep... no matter what.

After you listen to this interview, if you don't want any more of the tapes of Joe's monthly interviews, simply call his office and tell them you want to un-sign-up. (I just made up that word.) If you do that, they won't send you any more tapes... but... you still get to keep the tapes of John's interview... and... you won't be out a single dime.

Another thing: If I were you... and... I had a need for a serious, world-class copywriter, I'd try to get John Carlton. You can e-mail him at...

Now listen: Neither John nor Joe have any idea I'm writing this. I don't get a penny in commissions if you join Joe's Tape-Of-The-Month Club. I am making a strong recommendation here with no financial motive whatsoever. I want you to have the tapes of Joe's interview with John simply because...

They Are So Damn Good!

So there.

By the way, in case you're out of the country and can't call Piranha Marketing's 800 number, the direct line is...



Back in the late '60s, I read a novel. I can't remember the title but, I'll never forget though the story. It was about one college professor who was jealous of another professor who had become rich and famous by writing a series of "how-to-become-a-success" type books.

The first professor decided he would discredit the second guy. His plan was, he would read one of the self-help books, follow its instructions to the letter... and then... since he knew none of these instructions would actually work... he would write a book exposing the "how-to" book author as a fraud.

So, he read one of the books, followed all the instructions... and... unfortunately for him...

His Life Started
Getting Better!

t  Setting goals did work.

t  Keeping a positive mental attitude did work.

t  Visualizing himself as the improved self he desired to be did work.

t  Planning his work and working his plan did work.

Etc., etc., etc.

Ain't that a bitch? What's the world coming to? You set out to discredit a man and then discover his advice is actually helping you!

Anyway, I've got another book in front of me now titled, If I Knew Then What I Know Now. In this book, CEO's and other smart executives share wisdom they wish they'd been told 25 years ago. It's pretty good. Here's one very short observation from page 144 by a columnist named Whit Hobbs:

"Success is waking up in the morning, whoever you are, however old or young, and bounding out of bed because there's something out there that you love to do, that you believe in, that you're good at -- something that's bigger than you are, and you can't hardly wait to get at it again today."

What a great observation.

Listen: I'll tell you something: I teach people all about how to do a mathematical, marketing regression analysis, how to access Nasdaq Level II quotes, how to massage complex statistics, how to create engineered reciprocity, how to profitably navigate the Internet with their PC's, and an endless variety of other complex, highly-technical shit.

But you know what? The really important wisdom... the stuff which will really change your life... is simple. In fact, it's so simple, it could rightly be considered downright corny.

I've been thinking: What if I were on my death bed? What if I had only a few minutes left? What if God told me to use those last few minutes to tell someone the single most important thing I knew? What if it had to be the one thing... that... in my opinion... would enhance their life more than anything else I could ever tell them?

What would it be? Something about love? Loyalty? Marketing or perhaps spirituality? Exercise, study habits, nutrition, fitness, relationships? WHAT?

Nope. It wouldn't be any of that stuff. If it could only be one thing, here is what I would teach you:


How You Should
Start Every Day For
The Rest Of Your Life!

1. Set your alarm clock to go off 10 minutes earlier  than usual.
2. The first thing, after you get up, is to immediately remake your bed.
3. Go to the kitchen, pour yourself a glass of water and drink it all.
4. Go to the bathroom, take care of "business," brush your teeth, wash the sleep out of  your face and eyes and brush and comb your hair.
5. Next, put on some exercise clothes like sweatpants, a sweatshirt and sneakers.
6. Leave the house immediately and take a 20-minute walk.
7. As soon as you get back, woof down a nutritionally-dense protein drink made by mixing the contents of a packet of Myoplex, Met-RX or Lean Body with eight ounces of fat-free milk and a banana.
8.  Scarf down a packet of vitamins and minerals like Dr. Julian Whitaker's "FORWARD PLUS."
9. Take a shower.
10. Dress in fresh, crisp clothes and go about your day.


Pretty simple stuff, isn't it? But, I'll tell you this: If you will do this every day in 1999, it will create a more positive change in your life than anything else you can do.

This regiment, although simple on the surface, has profound and somewhat complex and far-reaching psychological ramifications.

May I explain?

Thank you.

1.  Set your alarm to go off 10 minutes earlier than usual. By getting a 10-minute earlier start, you tend to remove the "urgency" many of us experience as soon as we wake up. You'll feel less harried, less hurried and a bit more peaceful.

2.  The first thing, after you get up, is to immediately remake your bed. If you don't do this, you will be starting your day... instantly... creating an "undone chore" which will nag at the back of your mind for the rest of the day. If you do do this, you will start the day without having added a single, niggling little thing to your "to do" list.

3.  Go to the kitchen, pour yourself a glass of water and drink it all. You do NOT drink enough water. Nobody in America does. Water is the elixir of elixirs. It flushes toxins out of your body, provides an environment which lets your electrolytes and all other aspects of your biochemistry function at maximum efficiency.

4.  Go to the bathroom, take care of "business," brush your teeth, wash the sleep out of your face and eyes and brush and comb your hair. You're getting ready for battle: The battle to have a good day. Doing all the above will wake you up a little, freshen you up a bit and "set-you-up" to get going.

5.  Next, put on some exercise clothes like sweatpants, a sweatshirt and sneakers. Make this a ritual. You are dressing for battle: An assault on the forces of negativism.

6.  Leave the house immediately and take a 20-minute walk. You're outside, you're breathing fresh air, you're getting your circulation going, you're becoming more mentally alert. Some of the fog begins to lift from your mind. You begin to notice your environment, see the colors of the fall foliage, the bloom of a spring flower, the dew on the grass on a summer morning, the untrodden snow in mid-winter. NOTE: This is NOT exercise. This is a loosening up; a "defogging" of your mind and allowing your body to gently warm up for its daily tasks.

7.  As soon as you get back, woof down a nutritionally-dense protein drink made by mixing the contents of a packet of Myoplex, Met-RX or Lean Body with eight ounces of fat-free milk and a banana. This will infuse your body with nearly all the vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and other good stuff to help your body and mind function at peak throughout the day.

8.  Scarf down a packet of vitamins and minerals like  Dr. Julian Whitaker's "FORWARD PLUS." More insurance you're getting the minimum (at least) ingredients your body needs to run efficiently.

9.  Take a shower. Part of the ritual of getting ready to battle the day.

10.  Dress in fresh, crisp clothes and go about your day. Ritual completed. You're loosened up, oxygenated, clean, crisp, nourished, starting your day with no added baggage.


Is this the perfect way to start a day? No, but it's a very good way. Maybe someday, after your 20-minute walk, you'll extend it to some power-walking, a jog or a run. After your roadwork, maybe you'll pump a little iron.

But, that's for the future. Maybe. Don't think about it now. Just give the above routine a shot for seven weeks and I guarantee your life will be better. Much better. It may sound funny and incredibly simplistic but, that's the advice I'd give you if I could only give you one piece of advice. It's based on years of exhaustive personal research on my part... that proves... the best way to get a good day started is to...

Get Up And
Get Going!

Here's a few odds and ends: My Viagra research in Brazil went very well. There's only a handful of Americans in Rio and they are not particularly eager to encourage other Americans to go there. Neither am I.

There's a website I think some of you (certainly not all of you) should visit. It's These people make synthetic women. Not blow-up dolls, but rather, these things are extremely realistic, "real" fake women. Howard Stern had one on his show. They sell for $6,000+ and the shipping cost alone is $700.00. These dealybops are so realistic, they've got me thinking: If this is available now...

Just Think What You'll
Be Able To Buy Five
Years From Now!

Still pining for your ex-wife? Send in a photo of her and an audio tape of her voice and they'll make a new and improved, more "user friendly" version of her for you.

Fantasizing about Claudia Schiffer, Pamela Lee or the current Playmate of the month? Custom-order her from someplace like five years from now and I bet they'll replicate her for you complete with programming so she will respond only to your voice with the type of moaning and groaning you want to hear: "Oh baby, you're so big!" Or, "Oh, my God! It's never been like this for me before!"

Real relationships are rapidly reaching redundancy. Why put up with a whining bitching mate when you can have all the good stuff with none of the bad?

WARNING: This is an X-rated website. So don't go there if you will be offended. On the other hand, if you do visit the site, be sure to check out the FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions).

You know, the truth is, pornography is often at the forefront of technology. The real reason I want you to visit this site is not to get some libidinous thrill. The real reason is, of all the sites I've seen on the 'Net, this is the one that has most amazed me.

You'll see.

   Gary C. Halbert

P.S. God bless you and MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HANUKKAH! Take care of yourself. Be safe during the holidays and have a joyous New Year.

As ever, Peace.

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Copyright 2003 Gary C. Halbert.  All Rights Reserved.