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An Interview with the Devil

awareness better life tips happiness inspirational stories suffering Jul 07, 2021
An Interview with the Devil


(By Eldad Ben-Moshe)

❤ Hey there Better Lifers!

In 1938, Napoleon Hill wrote down an eye-opening interview he had with...

The devil!

The Devil?

Well, I agree with what Napoleon Hill wrote about it:

“... the Devil I interviewed may have been real, just as he claimed to be, or he may have been the creation of my own imagination. 

Whichever he was, whether real or imaginary, is of little importance compared with the nature of the information conveyed through the interview…”


Now you might wonder, 
why am I telling you about this?

After all,
I made it very clear that I don't really believe in religious stories such as heaven and hell, the devil, a punishing God, etc. (for example, here and here)


The reason is that in this interview, there are gems of understanding how your mind works, why fear is so dangerous, and how to overcome it.

And that, my friends, is priceless.
And that, metaphorically, might as well be called "the devil."


So I brought you some of the many golden nuggets that were published in Napoleon Hill's book, "Outwitting the Devil."

There are many, many more in the book itself.

I hope you'll find it as interesting - and valuable - as I have.

At the very least, it will help you outwit your ego and fear-based beliefs and behaviors.

That's kind of a big deal...


1. While this is just a short segment of the book, this post is not a short one. 
I helped with highlighting some parts, but...

I Intentionally kept some golden nuggets un-highlighted 
to reward those who take the time to invest in themselves and read this post.

Also, sometimes I highlighted the question, not the answer...

So if your happiness, growth, and awakening are important to you?

Take a few minutes, and read.

2. As (almost) always, I've added practical, actionable steps at the end of the post.

If your happiness, growth, and awakening are important to you?



 Question:  Are you ready for the interview, Mr. Devil?

Answer: Yes, I am ready, but you must address me with more respect.
During this interview you will address me as 
"Your Majesty."

Question: By what right do you demand such royal respect?

Answer: You should know I control 98 percent of the people of your world.
Do you not think that entitles me to rate as royalty?....

Question: That is a fine idea, Your Majesty. Start by telling me where you live.
Then describe your physical appearance.

Answer: My physical appearance?
Why, my dear Mr. Earthbound, 
I have no physical body.

I would be handicapped by such an 
encumbrance as those in which you earthbound creatures live. 

I consist of negative energy, and I live in the minds of people who fear me...

It is my business to represent the negative side of everything, including the thoughts of you earthbound people.

How else could I control people?
My opposition controls positive thought.
I control negative thought.

Question: How do you gain control of the minds of people?

Answer: Oh, that is easy: I merely move in and occupy the unused space of the human brain.

I sow the seeds of negative thought 
in the minds of people so I can occupy and control the space!

Question: You must have many tricks and devices by which you gain and hold control of the human mind.

Answer: To be sure, I employ tricks and devices to control human thought.
My devices are clever ones too.

Question: Go ahead and describe your clever tricks, Your Majesty.

Answer: One of my cleverest devices for mind control is fear.

I plant 
the seed of fear in the minds of people, and as these seeds germinate and grow, through use, I control the space they occupy.

The six most effective fears are the fear of poverty, criticism, ill health, loss of love, old age, and death.

Question: Which of these six fears serves you most often, Your Majesty?

Answer: The first and the last-poverty and death!

At one time or 
another during life I tighten my grip on all people through one or both of these.

I plant these fears in the minds of people so deftly that they believe them to be their own creation.

I accomplish this end by making people believe I am standing just beyond the entrance gate of the next life, waiting to claim them after death for eternal punishment.

Of course I cannot punish anyone, except in that person's own mind, through some form of fear-but fear of the thing which does not exist is just as useful to me as fear of that which does exist.


All forms of fear extend the space I occupy in the human mind. ...

Question: I take it from your answer that men who think are your enemies.
Is that right?

Answer: It is not right, but it is correct.

Question: Tell me something more about the world in which you live.

Answer: I live wherever I choose. Time and space do not exist for me.

I am a force best described to you as energy. My favorite physical dwelling place,
as I have told you, is the minds of the 

I control a part of the brain space of every human being.

The amount of space I occupy in each individual's mind depends upon how little and what sort of thinking that person does.


As I have told you, I cannot entirely control any person who thinks.

Question: You speak of your opposition.
What do you mean by that?

Answer: My opponent controls all the positive forces of the world, such as love, faith, hope, and optimism.

My opponent also controls the positive factors of all natural law throughout the universe, 
the forces which keep the earth and the planets and all the stars balanced in their courses,

but these forces are meek 
in comparison with those which operate in the human mind under my control.

You see, I do not seek to control stars and planets.
I prefer the control of human minds.

Question: Where did you acquire your power, and by what means do you add to it?

Answer: I add to my power by appropriating the mind-power of the earthbound,
as they come through the gate at the time of death. 

Ninety-eight out of every 100 who come back to my plane from the earth plane are taken over by me and their mind-power is added to my being.

I get all who come over with any form of f

You see I am constantly at work, preparing the minds of people before death, so I can appropriate them when they come back to my plane.

Question: Will you tell me how you go about your job of preparing human minds so you can control them?

Answer: I have countless ways of gaining control of human minds while they are still on the earth plane.

My greatest weapon 
is poverty.

I deliberately discourage people from accumulating material wealth because poverty discourages men from thinking and makes them easy prey for me.

My next best friend is ill health.
An unhealthy body discourages thinking….

Question: Who are your greatest enemies on earth, Your Majesty?

Answer: All who inspire people to think and act on their own initiative are my enemies.

Such men as Socrates, Confucius, Voltaire, 
Emerson, Thomas Paine, and Abraham Lincoln.

And you are not doing me any good either…

...I have corrupted the minds of the young by teaching them to drink and smoke, but they have me baffled through their tendency to think for themselves...

Cigarettes break down the power of persistence;  they destroy the power of endurance; they  destroy the ability to concentrate; they deaden and undermine the imaginative faculty, and help in other ways to keep people from using their minds most effectively...

Habits come in pairs, triplets, and quadruplets.

Any habit 
which weakens one's will power invites a flock of its relatives to move in and take possession of the mind.

The cigarette habit not only lowers the power of resistance and discourages persistence, 
but it invites looseness in other human relationships…

Once I get a young person to join my two-package-a-day club,
I have no trouble in inducing that person to take on the habit of liquor... 

and all other related habits which destroy independence of thought and action.

[*Note: This was written in 1938 - long before the addictive nature of tobacco was discovered.] 

… I get what I want by exercising self-control.

It is not so good for my own business, but I suggest you emulate me instead of criticizing me.
You call yourself a thinker, and 
you are.

Otherwise you would never have forced this interview 
on me.

But you will never be the sort of thinker that frightens unless you gain and exercise greater control over your own emotions….


I could not control 98 percent of the people of the world if all people were skilled in thinking for themselves.

Question: I am interested in the welfare of those people whom you claim to control.

Therefore, I wish you to
tell me all of the tricks by which you enter and control their minds.

I want a complete confession from you, so begin with your cleverest trick.

Answer: ... My greatest weapon over human beings consists of two secret principles by which I gain control of their minds.

I will speak 
first of the principle of habit, through which I silently enter the minds of people.

By operating through this principle, I establish (I wish I could avoid using this word) the habit of drifting.

When a person begins to drift on any subject, he is headed straight toward the gates of what you earthbound call hell.

Question: Describe all the ways in which you induce people to drift. 
Define the word and tell us exactly what you mean by it.

Answer: I can best define the word "drift" by saying that people who think for themselves never drift, while those who do little or no thinking for themselves are drifters.

A drifter is one who permits himself to be influenced and controlled by circumstances outside of his own mind.

He would rather let me occupy his 
mind and do his thinking than go to the trouble of thinking for himself.

A drifter is one who accepts whatever life throws in his way without making a protest or putting up a fight.

doesn't know what he wants from life and spends all of his time getting just that.

A drifter has lots of opinions, but they 
are not his own.
Most of them are supplied by me.

A drifter is one who is too lazy mentally to use his own brain.

That is the reason I can take control of people's thinking 
and plant my own ideas in their minds….

My control over the mind of a human being is obtained while the person is young.

Sometimes I lay the foundation for 
my control of a mind before the owner of it is born, by manipulating the minds of that person's parents.

Sometimes I go further back than this and prepare people for my control through what you earthbound call "physical heredity."

You see, therefore, I have two approaches to the mind of a person....

I help to bring people into your world with weak brains by giving to them, before birth, as many as possible of the weaknesses of their ancestors.

You call this principle 
"physical heredity."

After people are born I make use of what you earthbound call "environment" as a means of controlling them.

This is where the principle of habit enters.

The mind is nothing more than the sum total of one's habits. One by one I enter the mind and establish habits, which lead finally to my absolute domination of the mind.

Question: Tell me of the most common habits by which you control the minds of people.

Answer: That is one of my cleverest tricks: I enter the minds of people through thoughts which they believe to be their own. 

Those most useful to me are fear, superstition, avarice, greed, lust, revenge, anger, vanity, and plain laziness.

Through one or more of these I can enter any mind, at any age, but I get my best results when I take charge of a mind while it is young, before its owner has learned how to close any of these nine doors.

Then I 
can set up habits which keep the doors ajar forever.

Question: I am catching on to your methods.
Now let us go back to 
the habit of drifting.

Tell us all about that habit since you say 
it is your cleverest trick in controlling the minds of people.

Answer: As I said before, I start people drifting during their youth.

I induce them to drift through school without knowing what occupation they wish to follow in life.

Here I catch the majority of people.
Habits are related.

Drift in one direction and soon 
you will be drifting in all directions.

I also use environmental habits to give me a definite grip on my victims….

I cause the parents to teach their children to believe as the parents do in connection with religion, politics, marriage, and other important subjects.

In this way, as you can see, when I gain control 
of the mind of a person I can easily perpetuate the control by causing that person to help me fasten it upon the minds of his offspring…

Question: It seems that you go out of your way to keep people from thinking?

Answer: Yes. Accurate thought is death to me.
I cannot exist in the minds of those who think accurately.

I do not mind people thinking as long as they think in terms of fear, discouragement, hopelessness, and destructiveness.

When they begin to think in 
constructive terms of faith, courage, hope, and definiteness of purpose, they immediately become allies of my opposition and are therefore lost to me…

Nothing can stop me from controlling people except people themselves.
Nothing can stop me except the power of accurate thought.

People who think accurately do not drift on any subject.
recognize the power of their own minds.

Moreover, they take over that power and yield it to no person or influence.

... Any habit which causes one to procrastinate- to put off reaching a definite decision-leads to the habit of drifting…

I control the minds of men solely because of their habit of drifting, which is only another way of saying that I control the minds of men only because they neglect or refuse to control and use their own minds…

 ...The major distinguishing feature of the non-drifter is this:
He has a mind of his own and uses it for all purposes.

Question: What brief message would you send to the typical drifter if you wished to cure him of this evil habit?

Answer: I would admonish him to wake up and give!

Question: Give what?

Answer: Some form of service useful to as many people as possible.

Question: So the non-drifter is supposed to give, is he?

Answer: Yes, if he expects to get! And he must give before he gets!...

Question: Why do you not try to stop me from publishing this confession I am wringing from you?

Answer: Because that would be the surest of all ways to guarantee you will publish it.
I have a better plan than trying to suppress 
publication of my confession…

[Eventually, this book was only published 73 years after Hill wrote these words.
Napoleon Hill wrote this on 1938, passed away in 1970, and this work was published in 2011]

Question: It is true I shall not remain here long enough to defeat you, but the published word I leave behind me will be deathless because it will consist of truth!

You fear the opposition 
of no individual because you know it will be short, but you do fear truth.

You fear truth and nothing else, for the reason it is slowly but definitely giving human beings freedom from all manner of fear.

Without the weapon of fear you would be helpless and entirely unable to control any human being!

that true or false?

Answer: I have no alternative but to admit that what you say is true…

Question: Tell me of some of your other tricks with which you cause people to drift in life.

Answer: One of my most effective devices is failure!

The majority of 
people begin to drift as soon as they meet with opposition, and not one out of ten thousand will keep on trying after failing two or three times.

Question: So it is your business to induce people to fail whenever you can.
Is that correct?

Answer: You have it right.

Failure breaks down one's morale, destroys self-confidence, subdues enthusiasm, dulls imagination, and drives away definiteness of purpose.

Without these qualities no one can permanently succeed in any undertaking. 

The world has produced thousands of inventors with ability superior to that of the late Thomas A. Edison.

But these men have never been heard of, while the name of Edison will go marching on because Edison converted failure into a stepping stone to achievement while the others used it as an alibi for not producing results...

The life of every successful person loudly acclaims that which every true philosopher knows:
"Every failure brings with 
it the seed of an equivalent success."

But the seed will not germinate and grow under the influence of a drifter.

It springs to life only when it is in the hands 
of one who recognizes that most failures are only temporary defeat, and who never, under any circumstances, accepts defeat as an excuse for drifting…

I induce as many people as I can to fail as often as possible for the reason that not one out of ten thousand will keep on trying after failing two or three times.

I am not concerned 
about the few who convert failures into stepping stones because they belong to my opposition anyway.

They are the non-drifters and therefore they are beyond my reach…

Question: What happens when you enter the mind of a person who is not yet in the habit of drifting, but belongs in the 98 percent class as a potential drifter?

Answer: I go to work immediately to occupy as much of that person's mind as I can master.

If the individual's greatest weakness 
is the desire for money, I begin to dangle coins before him, figuratively speaking.

I intensify his desire and induce him to go after money.
Then when he gets near it I snatch it away 
from him.

This is an old trick of mine.

After the trick has been repeated a few times, the poor fellow gives in and quits.
Then I 
take over a little more space in his mind and fill it with the fear of poverty.

That is one of my best mind-fillers.

Question: Yes, I admit your method is very clever, but what happens if the victim fools you and gets his hands on a lot of money?

You don't fill his mind with fear of poverty then, do you?

Answer: No, I don't. I take over the space by filling it with something which serves my purpose just as well.

If my victim converts his desire for money into large sums, I start over-feeding him with 
the things he can buy with it.

For example, I cause him to stuff himself with rich foods.

This slows down his thinking capacity, 
endangers his heart, and starts him on the road to drifting.

Then I pester him with intestinal poisoning through the surplus food he eats.
That also slows down his thinking and 
gives him a nasty disposition…

Question: I am beginning to think that wealth is more dangerous than poverty, if your story is to be believed.

Answer: That altogether depends upon who has the wealth and how it was acquired...

Take a look at those who acquire a large amount of money quickly, without time to get wisdom along with it, and observe how they use it.

Why, do you suppose, rich men's sons seldom equal the achievements of their fathers?
I'll tell you why.

It is because they have been deprived of the self-discipline which comes from being forced to work.

Look into the records of moving picture stars or athletes who suddenly find themselves in possession of big money and hero worship and praise from the public.

Observe how quickly I move in and take them over in many cases, mainly through sex, gambling, food, and liquor.

With these I catch and control 
the biggest and the best of people as soon as they get their hands on big money.

Question: What about those who acquire money slowly, by rendering some form of useful service?

Are they easily snared too?

Answer: Oh, I get them all right, but I generally have to change my bait.
Some of them want one thing and others want something 

Where my purpose is best served I see to it that they get what they want most, but I manage to wrap in the package something they don't want.

The thing I give them is the definite thing that makes them drifters.
Do you see how I work?

Question: And very clever work it is. You lure people on through their natural desires,
but you slip your deadly poison into the object 
of those desires wherever you can.

Answer: Now you are catching on. You see, I play both ends against the middle, so to speak.

Question: From all you say I infer that you cannot induce a nondrifter to help you gain control of his mind by baiting him with your bribes.

Is that correct?

Answer: That is exactly correct.

I can-and I do-interest nondrifters in my bribes, because I use for the purpose of bribery the things all people naturally desire,

but the non-drifter 
resembles a fish that steals the bait from your hook but refuses to take the hook.

The non-drifter takes from life whatever he wants, but he takes it on his own terms.
The drifter takes whatever he can get, 
but he takes what he gets on my terms.


Stating the matter in another way, the non-drifter borrows money from a legitimate banker, if he wants it, and pays a legitimate rate of interest.

The drifter goes to the pawn shop, hocks 
his watch, and pays a suicidal rate of interest for his loan…

Question: Now I am beginning to better understand your technique. 

You bribe your victims through their natural desires and lead them astray while you induce them to become drifters if they respond to your lure.

If they refuse to respond, you plant the seed of fear in their minds or trap them through some form of misfortune, and hog-tie them while they are down.

Is that 
your method?

Answer: That is exactly the way I work.
Clever, don't you think?

Question: Your Majesty has given me a clear description of drifting.

Tell me what must be done to insure against the habit of drifting.
I want a complete formula that anyone can use.

Answer: Protection against drifting lies within easy reach of every human being who has a normal body and a sound mind.

self-defense can be applied through these simple methods:

  1. Do your own thinking on all occasions.

    The fact that 
    human beings are given complete control over nothing save the power to think their own thoughts is laden with significance.
  1. Decide definitely what you want from life; then create a plan for attaining it and be willing to sacrifice everything else, if necessary, rather than accept permanent defeat.
  1. Analyze temporary defeat, no matter of what nature or cause, and extract from it the seed of an equivalent advantage.
  1. Be willing to render useful service equivalent to the value of all material things you demand of life, and render the service first.
  1. Recognize that your brain is a receiving set that can be attuned to receive communications from the universal storehouse of Infinite Intelligence, to help you transmute your desires into their physical equivalent.
  1. Recognize that your greatest asset is time, the only thing except the power of thought which you own outright, and the one thing which can be shaped into whatever material things you want.

    Budget your time so none of it is wasted.
  1. Recognize the truth that fear generally is a filler with which the Devil occupies the unused portion of your mind.

    It is only a state of mind which you can control by filling the space it occupies with faith in your ability to make life provide you with whatever you demand of it.
  1. When you pray, do not beg! Demand what you want and insist upon getting exactly that, with no substitutes.
  1. Recognize that life is a cruel taskmaster and that either you master it or it masters you.

    There is no half-way or compromising 
    Never accept from life anything you do not want.

    If that which you do not want is temporarily forced upon you, you can refuse, in your own mind, to accept it and it will make way for the thing you do want.
  1. Lastly, remember that your dominating thoughts attract, through a definite law of nature, by the shortest and most convenient route, their physical counterpart.
    Be careful what your thoughts dwell upon.


Question: That list looks imposing. Give me a simple formula, combining all the ten points.

If you had to combine all ten in one, 
what would it be?

Answer: Be definite in everything you do and never leave unfinished thoughts in the mind.
Form the habit of reaching definite decisions 
on all subjects.


Practical Actionable Steps- From Information to Transformation:

👉 Expose: What is "the devil" (/ego/fear) whispering in your ear?
What destructive stories and beliefs are lurking in your mind?

👉 Observe:  What sabotaging behaviors do you have?

👉 Acknowledge: Are those beliefs, stories, and behaviors causing any problems or pain in your life? How strong is the pain? (hint: the stronger it is, the better your chances are for making a real, long-lasting change).

👉 Investigate: Were you able to overcome them by yourself so far?

Do you want to get help with that?

Do you believe that it is possible to overcome them?
If not - why?

👉 Take Action: Either deal with the stories, destructive beliefs, and sabotaging behaviors on your own...

Or contact us here now and ask for a free breakthrough call...

Or keep creating more suffering for yourself. 
By now, I'm sure you know your beliefs, stories, and actions will not change by themselves...

They never did.
They never will.

But you can change all that.
Alone or with my help, you can do that.


To your better life,
with tons of 💖

Eldad Ben-Moshe
Founder, Teacher, and Coach
Better Life Awareness Center 



Life is a journey of learning together, learning from each other.
You don’t have to do it alone.

Share your thoughts and questions with me by leaving your comments on this page or by sending me a message via our chat icon or our contact us form. 

I love hearing what you think and answering your questions.