Tag Archives: Hurricane Katrina

I am one of the feeble who have to hit rock bottom before they can put things in perspective

D. Donovan, Senior eBook Reviewer,  Midwest Book Review.  http://www.midwestbookreview.com/mbw/jun_14.htm#donovan

Michael Enzo was a fraud. He was also a philanthropist. He was also a gigolo. And a devout Catholic. He profited from people’s insecurities and when that wasn’t enough he began systematically psychologically destroying those closest to him – including author Benjamin W. DeHaven. So why would DeHaven then salvage his former friend’s journal from his New Orleans estate after Hurricane Katrina and publish it; especially since he was involved in Enzo’s self-help industry deceptions? Simple: the act of publishing a journal exposing the roots of deception is an act of contrition and an effort to undo the harm that they caused . And who will be the likely reader of Confessions of a Self-Help Writer? That would be the reader already interested in the self-help field (possibly even those already familiar with Enzo’s works) who want a deeper understanding of the entire operation, from Enzo’s personality and motivations to the author’s own rationale for participating in Enzo’s schemes. Now, forgiveness is a powerful motivator – and so is guilt. Without either in place, Confessions of a Self-Help Writer likely wouldn’t have seen the light of day. And another powerful force at work here is egotism: specifically, Michael Enzo’s drive to control and change his world and the worlds of others. Without THAT piece in place, he wouldn’t have formed the schemes he did, nor candidly wrote about them in this journal.

Consider the power of the voice that explains his perspective: “”I am one of the feeble who have to hit rock bottom before they can put things in perspective.  Besides, once you hit rock bottom, you can start publishing self-help books in your own name, as long as you’re famous. Mine will be a great testimonial to the will of men. When you’ve physically and mentally demolished the physical representation of your soul, suddenly you become an incredible healer, according to my books.” Add to this dose of autobiography a series of revelations that systematically show how darkness enters a common man’s soul and how it twists motivation to ultimately foster deceptive practices and you have a satisfying blend of autobiography, journal entries, and insights into not just one man’s obsession, but the psychological trappings of the self-help industry as a whole. Eye-opening (even eye-popping, at points) and involving, Confessions of a Self-Help Writer reads like a thriller but is true life confession at its best. D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, MBR (Midwest Book Review)

Donovan’s Bookshelf (http://donovansbookshelf.weebly.com/ ) later in the month.

Confessions of a Self-Help Writer (The Journal of Michael Enzo) Benjamin W. DeHaven Lagniappe Publishing 9780989912686   $22.95 9780988912693    $14.95  www.bdehaven.com

I am one of the feeble who have to hit rock bottom before they can put things in perspective

Little Enzo1

I don’t know if I want to buy these men a drink or punch them in the face-a Book Review

Richard Collier #2 Confessions of a Self-Help Writer (The Journal of Michael Enzo) —Michael Enzo and Benjamin DeHaven… I don’t know if I want to buy these men a drink or punch them in the nose.  Confessions of a Self-Help Writer (The Journal of Michael Enzo) is a short read with far more life lessons cleverly hidden within its depths than the modest page count might suggest. Granted most of those lessons are given as a firsthand account of what not to do, but they’re there nonetheless. The novel is a breezy, easy read thanks to the impact of the characters and short chapter length. The book is presented as a journal of the main character, Enzo, with the occasional inserted timeline chapters and frequent margin comments from his former friend and patsy-in-crime, DeHaven.

Enzo’s journal chronicles his descent down the same slippery slopes he is often trying to warn us against, but can’t seem to avoid himself. Doing whatever he wants with no real regard for the consequences, Enzo leaves a trail of destruction in his wake without ever purposely being malicious. His frequent lack of any sense of morality makes those rare moments where his conscience takes control even more pointed and sincere. While Enzo is a charismatic ass people seem to gravitate towards, DeHaven, who sticks mostly to the background of the story, is more relatable and human. While some of DeHaven’s comments may border on the self-righteous, remember that no saints would consider Enzo a friend.

Benjamin DeHaven’s Confessions of a Self-Help Writer may be one of the most standout books written in 2014. The book almost demands a second read through for multiple reasons. Firstly, even with visual formatting clues, at times its difficult to separate Michael Enzo and DeHaven’s narrative. Initially this can be confusing and might throw a reader off but I don’t feel it dissuades from the overall content or impact of the book.  Also it seems to make much more sense upon second reading and to quote the book “There are signs everywhere, the secret is reading them.”  Secondly is that those pearls of wisdom standout even more the second time around. And finally the truly hysterical moments in the first reading are still humorous on later passes (occasionally even more so). You would be doing yourself a huge injustice to read this book only once. —

Confessions of a Self-Help Writer (The Journal of Michael Enzo) Lagniappe Publishing (July 1, 2014) By Benjamin DeHaven More information available at http://bdehaven.com  $22.95 ISBN-13: 978-09899126-8-6 (Hardcover) #1 Most Wished-for-Book 2014 Indie Bound Richard Collier, LSU School of Journalism

Nola Shopper Video History

http://youtu.be/5Jv1GpPOKsI

In a jacket that was too small for him and a set of burgundy penny loafers, Enzo finally walked through the door of the Nola Shopper. He was followed by the smell of cheap bourbon and menthol cigarettes.

He had a garbage bag with him, which he tossed onto my desk. In it was cash, which he began to distribute as if he were dropping off discarded children’s clothes at the Good- will. He then told me I was the new owner of the Nola Shopper—he had signed the business over to me that morning. I thought the statement very matter-of-fact in its presenta- tion, but he convinced me once again to start the cycle of cleaning up his relationships, his lies, and his financial matters before disappearing into the abyss of society. I once again pushed back a normal person’s questions of why he would simply give me a business or ever mislead me.Before I could settle him down, Enzo passed out and rolled off his chair onto the concrete floor, and I dragged him to the Ochsner Hospital, where they knew him on sight.

From: Confessions of a Self-Help Writer (The Journal of Michael Enzo) by: Benjamin DeHaven

Revenge Is Sweet When It Means Exposing A Former Friend Who Betrayed You And Countless Others

Chicago, IL, September 22, 2014 – Whether you’re a prolific reader or read one book a year, you don’t want to miss Confessions of a Self-Help Writer (The Journal of Michael Enzo) by Benjamin W. DeHaven from Lagniappe Publishing.

This is the actual journal of ghost writer Michael Enzo. An enigma to most, Enzo has been described as a philanthropist, a con man, a ghost, a devout Catholic, a gigolo, a savior, and an addict. While he was often many of these things, the reality is that Enzo was the ghost writer of more than 100 self-help books for a number of celebrities, politicians and business icons. In many ways his story reads like a bizarre fiction novel…but it’s not, it’s true!

Benjamin DeHaven, Enzo’s former friend and collaborator, describes him as a man who “Defrauded an industry for almost 20 years by exploiting people’s insecurities and profiting from them.” Adding, “After failing to make what he considered to be a positive impact on society he began to destroy those closest to him – including me.” By once living life on the edge in their belief that they could only understand people’s problems by experiencing them, it’s very possible that these two friends actually contributed more to the field of self-help, while profiting from it, than they will ever know.

“You couldn’t make this stuff up!” has become the mantra for this extraordinary book that was on IndieBound’s ‘Most Wished for Book of 2014’ list for over 10 weeks. DeHaven, a romantic adventurer who admits his past was filled with lurid depravity, substance abuse and emotional complexity, has released Enzo’s personal journal (salvaged from Enzo’s New Orleans estate after hurricane Katrina) for two reasons; to clear his own conscience and in hopes that people will start helping themselves again after reading it. “To read it is to discover what turns someone from preaching salvation towards seeking its destruction. This is a true story,” says DeHaven.

A graduate of Columbia College in Chicago, Benjamin DeHaven earned an MBA from Tulane University in New Orleans. Currently residing in Las Vegas, he began his writing career with Stone United, a Chicago-based film company that works primarily in independent film. He has written for numerous magazines and media outlets, and has edited screenplays. He was the editor-in-chief of the Nola Shopper (“an enterprise Enzo eventually pauperized,” says DeHaven), a free art newspaper and the second-largest monthly paper in the New Orleans MSA. For more information on Ben or his book, please visit the website: www.bdehaven.com.

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TIP SHEET

Foreword Magazine: “This pontificating, self-centered character offers unexpected insight in an entertaining and edgy way.”

Ken Wilbur, PHD, Marketing Magazine Journal, California: “DeHaven is either a thinking man’s Tucker Max, or an idiot’s Hunter S. Thompson.”

  1. Donovan, Midwest Book Review “Eye-opening (even eye-popping at points) and involving, Confessions reads like a thriller but is true life at its best.”

Michael Scripps, Scripps Media: “DeHaven makes Bukowski read like a Disney story!”

Ed Helm, Studio News: “Here is one book you must read that also asks you-“What’s the meaning of life?” and is there really a God upstairs guiding your decisions?”

Richard Collier: “The standout Book of 2014. A huge injustice is only reading this book only once.”

Marc Hershon: “A rollicking ride…, a diary of sorts from a man possessed.”

AJ Klatch:A unique piece of literature to be remembered for its originality as much as for its significance as a statement about living life in today’s harsh reality”