Thursday, August 26, 2010

Making money through dishonesty

I could be a fraud.

What I'm saying is, I could do it.  I am capable.  Freelance writing is grueling work, and competitive, and dollars run short a little too often.  Imagine the money I could make being a fraud!  It sounds like a joke, but if you look at your own life, and your own troubles, you realize it's no joke.  Life just might be a little better, for me, my girlfriend, and her children, if I put my scruples aside and decided to take advantage of the natural gullibility of the human.

How would I do it?  My natural talent is writing, so I would write a book.  It would be a long, inspirational Fabrication Friday, as convincing as anything I've ever written.  The book would include:
  • Visitation from an angel.
  • A message centered on the importance of peace.
  • A number of fabricated accounts of miracles, backed up by the written accounts of fictitious people, written by me.
  • At some point, I would meet God personally.  He would appear as an unimaginably bright light, giving off love and caring.
I would pump it to bursting full of good feelings and inspiration, telling people about how they have the power to change the world, and change their lives.  I would come up with logical arguments to back all of it up, and I would say that it was the angel that had told them to me.  I would make out the angel to be kind of snobby, which would be believable because it isn't what the reader is expecting.  Also, I would write it as a woman.

Here is an excerpt, fresh-made as I write this:

I don't remember exactly what time it was, but the waiter hadn't brought our food yet, and I noticed that my bladder was, very suddenly, painfully full.  I excused myself, trying to act casual, but I don't think I pulled it off because Mark looked concerned.

I didn't understand why I had to urinate so badly!  I had actually been neglecting my thirst all day, having to tear myself away from Lonnie and her dangerous habits just to get a glass of water.  When I  got into the bathroom, though, I suddenly felt fine.  I was bewildered, and I was already thinking about how long something like that could go on before I eventually forced myself to go to the doctor's office.  A second later, though, I understood what was going on.

I was the only person in the bathroom, but when I looked into the mirror, I saw Lotem standing next to me, but only in the mirror!.  Now, I know crazy stuff like that happens in movies all the time, but I can't describe how eerie and disorienting it is when it really happens.  I tried to keep my cool, just happy that I didn't pee myself.  I asked him what he wanted, perhaps a little more curt than one should talk to an angel.  I had finally gotten used to him, it seemed.  Then he gave me his message, all at once, like a ball of information right into my brain.  What he said made my blood run cold.  After he said it, he vanished. 

His message was, "Marcus has a malignant tumor in the lymph nodes under his left shoulder.  He's been keeping the pain secret from you, hoping it would go away.  You can get rid of it in less than a month by holding an herbal compress over it, for an hour a day.  Ask Bill Chan about the herbs that cured his ulcers."

I washed my hands, even though I hadn't used the toilet, and then went back to the table with my big secret.

There are a few publishers out there that would probably fight over that book.  After publication I would mail it, not to book reviewers, but instead to Oprah, and the ladies on The View.  It would certainly do better than any book written by The Polite Skeptic, I'll tell you that much.

There is an old, persistent myth about people who sell their souls to the devil.  It's used as a metaphor, and I think that it's always had root in metaphor.  Money seems to come more freely when you disregard your fellow human being.  Plenty of large companies know this, loads of charlatans, and robbers, and slavers understand that once you stop caring, you start earning.  That's not to say that dishonesty is the only way to become wealthy (that's a bit of a stereotype) but it's certainly one way to do it.

And I know that if I did use my creativity to become a fraud, and I did it properly, no army of skeptics would be able to dent my fan base.  Because most people don't appreciate a downer.

I'm not saying that everyone who writes a book about supernatural things is a fraud.  I'm not all-knowing, after all, and such a statement would be a guess.  I'm just pointing out that the motivation to do such a thing is there, it is real, and it is strong enough that I fantasize about it from time to time.  And, as far as I can tell, I am a good person.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. That is awesome! I thought the same thing many times.