Napoleon Hill readers: Read This and Comment

For a long time I have recommended Napoleon Hill and his books as one of my major reasons for aspiring to success (even recommending it again today.) However, researching into a book called The Master Key System (Charles F Haanel), I have found an alignment to the ‘new thought movement’, which is also another form of New Age and Christian Science’s foundational philosophy. This book was a major influence on both Bill Gates (allegedly) and Napoleon Hill, and was outlawed by the Catholic Church in the early 20th Century, only to be revived recently. Napoleon Hill acknowledges the influence of this book to the author in the following letter:

April 21, 1919.
Mr. Charles F. Haanel,
St. Louis, Mo.
My Dear Mr. Haanel,
You probably know, from the editorial in the January issue of the Golden Rule, copy of which my Secretary sent to you, that I began twenty-two years ago as a coal miner at a dollar a day.
I have just been retained by a ten million dollar corporation at a salary of $105,200.00 a year, for a portion of my time only, it having been agreed that I shall continue as editor of the Hill’s Golden Rule.
I believe in giving credit where it is due, therefore I believe I ought to inform you that my present success and the success which has followed my work as President of the Napoleon Hill Institute is due largely to the principles laid down in The Master-Key System.
You are doing a good work by helping people to realize that nothing is impossible of accomplishment which a man can create in his imagination. Surely my own experience proves this.
I shall cooperate with you in getting your course into the hands of the many who so greatly need your message.
Cordially and sincerely,
Napoleon Hill,
Editor The Golden Rule
Chicago, Illinois

Here is an article I have found on Napoleon Hill by a guy named Dave Hunt. Have a read and leave your thoughts in the comments. (Found at: )

The Classic Case of Napoleon Hill
By Dave Hunt
(from Occult Invasion, Harvest House, 1996)

We have briefly mentioned Napoleon Hill in previous articles. He was not seeking contact
with spirit beings when he was suddenly confronted in his study by an unexpected and
uninvited intruder. Hill claims that an emissary came across the astral plane. In a voice that
“sounded like chimes of great music,” this visitor from another dimension declared: “I come
from the Great School of Masters. I am one of the Council of Thirty-Three who serve the
Great School and its initiates on the physical plane.”

Hill was informed that he had been “under the guidance of the Great School” for years
and had been chosen by them to give the formula of success, the “Supreme Secret,” to the
world: that “anything the human mind can believe, the human mind can achieve.” 1 Here
again is the same lie that turns one from God to the alleged power of the human mind.
Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller try to link this occult power with prayer and
faith. Hill was not praying, but was introduced to a mysterious source of “guidance” claiming
to inhabit a spiritual dimension (“a region beyond the power of our five senses to know”)
from which “unseen, silent forces influence us constantly.” 2

Although he spoke and wrote a great deal about “mind power” and “positive mental
attitude” (a phrase he was inspired by these entities to coin), Hill was convinced that behind
these forces were “unseen watchers” guiding the destiny of those who were willing to
submit to their leadership. There was no limit to the success and wealth which these allegedly
higher beings would give in exchange for following their principles. Hill claims to have
gotten these secrets from contact with “The Great School of Masters,” of which he wrote:
Sometimes known as the Venerable Brotherhood of Ancient India, it is the great
central reservoir of religious, philosophical, moral, physical, spiritual and psychical
knowledge. Patiently this school strives to lift mankind from spiritual infancy to
maturity of soul and final illumination. 3

Still a perennial bestseller even after 60 years, Hill’s best-known book, Think and Grow
Rich, has been credited with changing the lives and influencing the careers of a large
percentage of America’s top business executives. Its 1941 edition contains endorsements
from United States Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Harding, Wilson, and Taft; and from
some of the world’s greatest scientists and founders of America’s leading corporations:
Thomas A. Edison, Luther Burbank, John D. Rockefeller, F. W. Woolworth, William
Wrigley, Jr., George Eastman (of Eastman Kodak), Robert Dollar (of Dollar Steamship
Lines), and others.

The Venerable Brotherhood of Ancient India taught Hill the power of visualization. Following
their advice, Hill visualized nine famous men from the past sitting around a table as his “advisers.”

And their advice proved to be remarkably sound and profitable for Hill to follow.
As a result, Hill became very successful, and millions of other people (including many of
America’s leading business, professional, and political leaders) adopted and proved the
astonishing power of this ancient shamanic technique in every area of their lives. Though
he clung to the idea that it was all imagination, from what Hill wrote it is clear that visualization had opened the door to the world of the occult:These nine men were Emerson, Paine, Edison, Darwin, Lincoln, Burbank,
Napoleon, Ford and Carnegie. Every night… I held an imaginary council meeting with
this group whom I called my “Invisible Counselors.”
In these imaginary council meetings I called on my cabinet members for the
knowledge I wished each to contribute, addressing myself to each member….
After some months of this nightly procedure, I was astounded by the discovery
that these imaginary figures became apparently real. Each of these nine men
developed individual characteristics, which surprised me….
These meetings became so realistic that I became fearful of their consequences,
and discontinued them for several months. The experiences were so uncanny, I was
afraid if I continued them I would lose sight of the fact that the meetings were purely
experiences of my imagination [emphasis in original].
This is the first time I have had the courage to mention this…. I still regard my
cabinet meetings as being purely imaginary, but … they have led me into glorious
paths of adventure… [and] I have been miraculously guided past [scores] of
I now go to my imaginary counselors with every difficult problem which confronts
me and my clients. The results are often astonishing…. 4

Carl Jung also tried to deny the reality of the entities that visited and guided him. Jung
finally was forced to admit their objective reality. Surely Hill could not really believe that his
imagination gave each one of his nine counselors “individual characteristics,” characteristics
which he confessed surprised him. And whence the wisdom that proved so beneficial
on so many occasions when problems beyond his ability to solve were presented to his
“imaginary” advisers? Of course, it is much more comfortable to believe in the power of
imagination than to accept the fact that one has become the victim of an occult invasion.

1. Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone, Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude
(Pocket Books, 1977), p. 44.
2. Napoleon Hill, Grow Rich with Peace of Mind (Fawcett Crest, 1967), pp. 218-19, etc.
3. Ibid., p. 159
4. Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich (Fawcett, 1979), pp. 215-19.

I Personally found this a real eye opener and interesting… what are your thoughts?

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