Articles submitted for publication in Parish Newsletters since: February '03 | February '04 | February '05 | February '07
The following notice was prepared for publication in the September 2014 edition of the Dun Valley News.

Coffee Morning Fund Raising Event in King George's Hall, West Dean
by Richard Parsons at West Dean Events

On Saturday, 20 September, 9:00am - 12:00pm, the West Dean Community is planning to hold a Coffee Morning event in support of the Macmillan Cancer Support Charity...

I will be seeking support for this initiative through a variety of methods... See:

The following article was prepared for publication in the July 2014 edition of the Dun Valley News.

Interactive Community Engagement
by Richard Parsons at West Dean

The last chapters of Napoleon Hill's book, 'Think and Grow Rich', deal with the human mind and how we become what we think about most of the time... the final chapter, entitled, ‘How to Outwit the Six Ghosts of Fear’, alerts readers to the importance of preparation by first understanding how INDECISION, DOUBT and FEAR will directly hamper attempts at putting the philosophy, as a whole, into practical use...

Hill states that, ‘every human being has the ability to completely control his own mind’ and while this is theoretically true, most people will find that being able to interact with others in a safe community environment will shorten the time necessary to fully appreciate the importance of developing a success oriented mindset. Hill lists the FEAR of POVERTY as a debilitating ‘State of Mind’ and the whole of chapter 15 causes readers to analyse themselves for the evidence that they are being influenced by the six basic fears, the last of which is the FEAR of DEATH. Hill advises that ‘the greatest of all remedies for the fear of death is a BURNING DESIRE FOR ACHIEVEMENT, backed by useful service to others.’

Besides the six basic fears, Hill alerts readers to what he calls, the evil of SUSCEPTIBILITY TO NEGATIVE INFLUENCES and how to protect oneself against them. He lists more than 60 questions which, when answered truthfully, will help a person to better understand herself. He further recommends seeking the counsel of a close friend if unsure of a correct answer and returning once a week for several months to further study the questions and one’s answers.

This chapter ends with a list of ‘alibis’ used by those to explain away their own lack of achievement. To avoid ‘owning’ any of these alibis, readers are advised to adopt the philosophy presented in the book.

Napoleon Hill’s first book, the final edition of which was published in 1928 with the title, ‘The Law of Success in 16 Lessons’, stresses the importance of practicing the ‘Golden Rule’ which states that, ‘One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself’.

This concludes my summary, started in November 2013, of ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill. See:

The following article was prepared for publication in the June 2014 edition of the Dun Valley News.

Richer Thinking
by Richard Parsons at West Dean

So what is it that sets Napoleon Hill's book, 'Think and Grow Rich', apart from all other books on the subject of Personal Development? For me, the answer is simple... my thoughts become richer with each reading of these amazing chapters. Then, reading and listening to the effect that Napoleon's words have on others from around the world, ideas which might never have been realised, becoming crystal clear, I can only wonder at the power of the written word... be in no doubt, the '30 Day Mental Cleanse' Master Mind group, of which I am a member, is NOT a business opportunity, merely a safe place for the sharing of ideas... where some participants have only just discovered this unique text book, while others are in their tenth year of study... see: and contact me about where to get started... Tel: 01794-341405

The subject of this week's study (14-May) is CHAPTER 13 - THE BRAIN - A BROADCASTING AND RECEIVING STATION FOR THOUGHT. Quote: 'After this book had been written, just before the manuscript went to the publisher, there appeared in the New York Times, an editorial showing that at least one great University, and one intelligent investigator in the field of mental phenomena, are carrying on an organized research through which conclusions have been reached that parallel many of those described in this and the following chapter. The editorial briefly analyzed the work carried on by Dr. Rhine, and his associates at Duke University, viz:- What is 'Telepathy'?...' Now, through the power of the Internet, a news item from 78 years ago can be easily researched with just the aid of a personal computer and a telephone line...

Another great publication to which I subscribe is Success Magazine where this June's cover story is about Jack Welch, the CEO of General Electric 1981-2001. Welch joined GE at age 25 and stayed for 40 years... plenty of books by and about Jack Welch on Amazon, also a short interview at "It totally is in a learning culture that you create an atmosphere where everyone is looking all the time to do things better," Welch says... I say that learning is best done in an Interactive Community Environment... please join me at

The following article was prepared for publication in the May 2014 edition of the Dun Valley News.

Relationship of Energy and Matter
by Richard Parsons at West Dean

Before Albert Einstein theorised that matter and energy were interchangeable, Wallace D Wattles (1860–1911) wrote 'Harnessing the Power of Creative Thought' which might help readers to better understand Chapters 10 & 11 of Napoleon Hill's book, 'Think and Grow Rich'.

Chapter 10 contains precise instruction about how the POWER of people's minds can be harnessed to achieve a planned objective. POWER is defined as ‘organised and intelligently directed KNOWLEDGE’.

Chapter 11 illustrates how powerful human emotions can be channelled into the pursuit of achievement. An idea without an accompanying plan of action will likely remain unfulfilled. Controlling one’s negative emotions through positive transmutation into constructive emotion can deliver the genius necessary for great achievement.

A MASTER MIND, by definition, is the result of two or more people who work in a spirit of harmony toward a DEFINITE end. A sports person will work with a coach or mentor in order to achieve peak performance. In all human endeavours, achievement will be the result of education and teamwork. An online group established for over nine years can be accessed at

The following article was prepared for publication in the April 2014 edition of the Dun Valley News.

Decision and Persistence
by Richard Parsons at West Dean

In Chapter 8 of 'Think and Grow Rich', Napoleon Hill illustrates the importance of DEFINITENESS OF DECISION by recounting the circumstances of the fifty-six men who signed the American Declaration of Independence in 1776. Briefly, the story spells out the events which led to the First Continental Congress nearly two years earlier, just one of several important decisions influenced by the thoughts of the men who are credited with achieving the objective.

Chapter 9 demonstrates how PERSISTENCE is an essential ingredient in any PLAN OF ACTION. Hill states that persistence is a state of mind which can be developed into a HABIT. His study of the achievements of Henry Ford and Thomas A Edison, amongst others, proved that concentration of effort, DEFINITENESS OF PURPOSE and persistence are characteristics which helped to ensure their successes.

In the foreword to 'Think and Grow Rich', Hill explains that the 'secret' becomes apparent when the reader is 'ready' to receive it and that study of the individual chapters is best conducted in a group environment. An online group established for over nine years can be accessed at

Dale Carnegie (1888-1955), a contemporary of Napoleon Hill, authored the 1936 book, 'How to win Friends and Influence People' which has recently been updated to incorporate Social Media etiquette:

The following article was prepared for publication in the March 2014 edition of the Dun Valley News.

Ideas, Imagination and the Internet
by Richard Parsons at West Dean

My purpose in seeking attention is because I am passionate about the subject of Personal Development. My wish is that my words will cause readers to join me in this journey of self-discovery. Today, I discovered 'The Power of Who' by Bob Beaudine... there is always something good just around the corner!!

Being half way through 'Think and Grow Rich' by Napoleon Hill, Chapters 6 and 7 contain perhaps the most pertinent messages. Hill describes the reasons and motivations which caused him to devote 25 years of research into the planning for the book.

Chapter 7, in particular, being the longest and most detailed, delivers advice and recommendations which are just as relevant today as they were at the time of the 1930s depression in America.

The key message of the whole book is to find those people with whom a master mind group can be established which will enable ideas to be converted into ACTION PLANS for the purpose of achieving DEFINED OBJECTIVES. Learn more at

The following article was prepared for publication in the February 2014 edition of the Dun Valley News.

The Power of the Positive Emotions
by Richard Parsons at West Dean

'... the subconscious mind will translate into its physical equivalent, a thought impulse of a negative or destructive nature, just as readily as it will act upon thought impulses of a positive or constructive nature' is how Napoleon Hill describes the importance of dominating one's mind with positive emotions to sustain FAITH.

In Chapter 4 of 'Think and Grow Rich', Hill explains precisely how to formulate a plan for the accumulation of WEALTH, a word which he mentions 29 times in his book. By contrast, the word 'EMOTION' is mentioned over 140 times, illustrating, perhaps, the importance of always being passionate about the methods employed to achieve a particular objective in life.

In Chapter 5, Hill reveals his personal experiences of the differences between general and specialised knowledge. In creating a PLAN OF ACTION, a person must determine the information which s/he will require to pursue their life's objective to a successful conclusion. Any areas of weakness in the plan must be identified and resolved with the help of the person's MASTER MIND GROUP, as explained in Chapter 10.

We live in truly amazing times... ask Google about 'life's purpose' and you will be spoilt for choice when looking for guidance on this particular subject. Select your words carefully and a search for any subject will be similarly rewarding. Some of the results which I have acquired by this method are revealed at Please call 01794-341405 or send an email to for more information.

The following article was prepared for publication in the December 2013 edition of the Dun Valley News.

What to Expect from a Mastermind
by Richard Parsons at West Dean

‘Thoughts are Things’ is how Napoleon Hill describes the outcome of a person’s strong desire to achieve a particular objective. In his book, Hill illustrates his methods by writing about the successful people whom he had interviewed and revealing a 13 step process which when followed with PERSISTENCE will develop the habits for success. The starting point is an idea which will inspire action.

In early November 1910, United States Senator Nelson Aldrich led a group of New York bankers at a secret 10 day meeting on Jekyll Island where the Aldrich Plan was conceived. The 1907 run on the banks had set the scene for a government commission run by Aldrich and a team of economists who had travelled to Europe where they were impressed with how well European Central Banks and the Bank of England appeared to be maintaining financial stability. The idea of the Aldrich plan was to establish an American ‘lender of last resort’ and while this plan did not receive the necessary political support, it did pave the way for the signing into law of the Federal Reserve Act on 23rd December 1913.

In Chapters 2 & 3, Napoleon Hill tells anecdotal stories which demonstrate why a BURNING DESIRE BACKED BY FAITH is an essential element in the pursuit of any endeavour. An electronic copy of ‘Think and Grow Rich’ can be downloaded from and access to a weekly mastermind group is at where, in this context, a mastermind is a group of like-minded people who share their interpretations on live conference calls which are recorded and archived. Please call 01794-341405 or send an email to for more information.

The following article was prepared for publication in the November 2013 edition of the Dun Valley News.

Networking for Harmony in Business
by Richard Parsons at West Dean

Business works best in a Spirit of Harmony between people with pleasing Personalities, writes celebrated Author and Personal Development exponent, Napoleon Hill (1883-1970). He recommends self-analysis to identify the quality of services delivered and determine how improvements can best be achieved. He further suggests that frequent meetings with like-minded people will help prevent self-deception.

Hill wrote the manuscripts, which later became the book for which he is best known, while assisting Franklin Roosevelt during his first term as President of the United States. Having worked for Roosevelt when he was Governor of New York, Hill’s brief was to help create harmony amongst the American people in the aftermath of the 1929 financial collapse. Hill had been commissioned to interview many of the most successful people in America from which he developed his ‘Law of Success’ Philosophy.

Hill’s book, ‘Think and Grow Rich’, first published in 1937, received widespread acclaim by leaders of the time in Finance, Education, Politics and Government as a ‘common sense’ textbook approach to personal achievement and is still a standard by which personal development books are measured today.

An online Mastermind group can be a useful means for shared learning in today’s fast-paced world and Richard Parsons at West Dean will be interested in hearing from those who believe that they could benefit from joining a regular weekly mastermind group who study Napoleon Hill’s book chapter by chapter. Please call 01794-341405 or send an email to for more information.

The following article was prepared for publication in the Autumn 2011 edition of the FSB Salisbury Branch Newsletter.

IT Update - Richard Parsons, Committee Member, writes:
"We shall call it information technology (IT)" stated Leavitt and Whisler in the December 1958 edition of the Harvard Business Review. This emerging new technology did not at that time have a single established name. Prior to this, the acronym 'IT' also referred to 'Instructional Technology', the use of audio and visual methods for delivering systematic training to factory workers, notably by the military during WW2.

Communications and IT
In 1997, Dennis Stevenson first used the acronym, 'ICT', in his report to the UK government, referring to the convergence of audio and video processing and transmission, telephony and computer networks. Modern scientific methods have delivered a globally connected world ready to take business processes and learning to the next level.

Cloud Computing and the Internet
Robust Internet connections provide the opportunity for using strategically located data centres to store and manipulate business critical information. In the USA, the impetus towards Cloud Computing has been cost-cutting in government departments, although there is still some concern from the military about security. 

Interactivity and Social Media
The use of Social Media tools like Twitter, Facebook, Ecademy, LinkedIn, etc, will lead to greater interactivity between members of these online platforms. Successful engagement starts with an informative and intimate profile and the potential for business relationships to develop will be enhanced through conversation. Sharing worthwhile references can add value to the user experience; watch Professor Mark Williams on Mindfullness at

Websites and Ecommerce
Open Source software like WordPress and OpenCart have revolutionised Web Development and the proliferation of Data Centres providing load-balanced grid hosting has lowered the cost of scalable, reliable, server space. Whilst it is now easier than ever to use entrepreneurial creativity to manage a person's web presence, the philosophical reasoning for interacting online requires careful strategic consideration. Inevitably, the large, well-established, web brands will provide a destination for the majority of web surfers, going forward.

Richard Parsons will welcome the opportunity for both on-line and off-line engagement with fellow local FSB members. Contact information is readily available online. Communication via is preferred.

The following article was prepared for publication in the September 2010 edition of the Dun Valley News.
(however, this article was NOT submitted to the editor of the Dun Valley News!!)

Practical Enlightenment in West Dean on 9 September 2010

Between 12:00 and 8:00pm on Thursday, 9 September, Laurence Chetwood and Richard Parsons will be receiving Friends and Neighbours at Merry Meeting, West Dean, SP5-1JJ for the purpose of sharing some lifetime experiences and discussing ideas for future projects. Laurence and Richard want to create interesting opportunities which will build on the relationships formed over the preceding three score years of living.

If you know Laurence and Richard and neither has contacted you about this Special Social Networking event, designed to discuss some New Ideas on 9 September, do please get in touch. To learn more about what has been planned for the day or just to say 'hello', contact Laurence on 01794-340673 and Richard on 01794-341405 -

A proportion of any funds generated on the day will be donated to Naomi House.   R.S.V.P.

The following article was prepared for publication in the February 2010 edition of the Dun Valley News.

New Media for Communicating

In October 1999, I wrote three paragraphs for the November 1999 edition of the Dun Valley News entitled, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The article's call to action was the BBC's FREE WebWise taster sessions being held in Salisbury.

Readers of the March 2000 edition of the Dun Valley News will have learnt about the 'computer awareness' events which I had organised in West Dean Village Hall during February 2000. Further events were held over the following months and one of those was attended by Thomas Power's mother who was at that time living in West Winterslow. Thomas and his wife, Penny, founded the social networking website,, in February 1998.

Ten years on and the promise of self-expression through a globally connected world is now a reality. With the emergence of MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, to name but three of the popular social media websites, the ability to publish content in a way which makes it readily available to an engaged audience, is easily achieved.

The challenge to those using these new methods of communication is in demonstrating how they can be integrated into everyday life. To be successful, any new channel of communication will have the effect of uniting those with a common interest into an extended community, in much the same way that newspapers and the radio have been doing for many years. Learn more by following me on Twitter! - Richard Parsons

The following article was prepared for publication in the October 2008 edition of the Dun Valley News.

The Zielgers are coming to London!

In April 2008, Jim Ziegler arrived at, the most successful online Social Network to have originated from here in the United Kingdom. It wasn’t long before this dynamic individual motivated the Ecademy membership into being a lot more active at debating in the online Club forums.

This man’s enthusiasm is infectious! Having just returned from a speaking engagement in Australia, Jim and his wife, Debbie, are preparing to visit London on 14 and 15 October. Just type Jim Ziegler in to an Internet search engine for full details.

By the time this article is published locally, the South Wiltshire Business EXPO 2008 will be a distant memory. However, www.ZGLR.CO.UK will serve as a lasting reminder!

The following article was prepared for publication in the September 2008 edition of the Dun Valley News.

Recycling and the Internet

There are active on-line communities centered on both Salisbury and Romsey where members can exchange reusable items rather than disposing of them through the regular refuse collection services. Freecycle UK is a registered charity setup as a company limited by guarantee and is part of the global Freecycle Network. reports that there are 480 groups spread across the UK with a total of 1,276,415 members.
The Salisbury group was founded in April 2006 and currently has 4,491 members. The Romsey group was founded in November 2006 and currently has 1,167 members. People wanting to be rid of unwanted items can list them on a website where others who may be able to make use of them can arrange for their collection.
In November 2007, the Daily Telegraph reported that the Internet Domain Name,, had been sold for a record 150,000. Previously, the highest price paid for a domain name was 120,000 by J Sainsbury for
Both the Freecycle website and the website insist that all items listed must be free of charge. The Freecycle websites are operated for free by local moderators whereas the website requires a payment of 1 per 'wanted' advertisement.

The following article was prepared for publication in the Summer 2008 edition of the FSB Salisbury Branch Newsletter.

Effective Online Marketing

Richard ParsonsInternet activity is being highlighted by the enormous growth in the numbers using Internet Portals like and A google search for 'Social Networking' reveals the entry in listing over 120 Websites in this category. Add to this the many community based websites having their own forum and it's evident that large numbers of people are connecting on-line with friends and acquaintances. In most cases, there is no initial cost involved with participating at the basic level. 

The American Business portal,, recently announced that they had over 1 million United Kingdom based account holders. Linkedin attributes much of its success to its Question and Answer section where a member can invite those in their network to answer a question on a particular subject. After a few days the poster will review the answers and nominate one as the most helpful. Like many of these portals, the majority of members contribute only their time rather than their cash!

As in the off-line world, the valuation of an on-line company is often based on the perception of a few wealthy individuals. One such company, California based, has successfully attracted over 50 million of investment valuing the company at almost quarter of a billion pounds. Marc Andreessen, formally of Internet pioneer Netscape and Gina Bianchini have created the Ning platform which currently hosts over 250,000 customisable Social Networking Websites, mostly at no cost to their participants.

Perhaps the newest initiative capturing the imagination of the growing numbers of the on-line community is Described as a micro-blogging service, participants keep their followers informed by text-based 'tweets' of up to 140 characters. When you receive an email telling you that Barack Obama is following you on Twitter, even though you're only one of about 50,000, you immediately believe that you just might be listened too!!

FSB Salisbury Branch committee member, Richard Parsons, is building his online reputation by actively participating in many of the Internet's social and business networking websites. Being connected through a on-line community enhances the effectiveness of off-line networking leading to the successful marketing of local goods and services.

The following article was prepared for publication in the May 2007 edition of the Dun Valley News.

Are You Ready? A Unitary Authority for Wiltshire

Communities and Local Government under the leadership of the Rt Hon Ruth Kelly MP came into being on 5th May 2006. On 27th March '07, this government department announced that 16 proposals for Unitary Authority status would be considered for a final decision in July '07. Of those bids, 3 are from City Councils.
In the South-West, Cornwall, Somerset, Wiltshire and Exeter City will each be seeking support from partners and stakeholders.
Learn more about the proposals at 
The arguments are compelling but could it really work in practice?

Are You Ready? Royal Mail and Post Office Closures

The Post Offices Act (2000) established Royal Mail Group plc, owned by the government. Two businesses make up the group. Whilst Royal Mail plc has been relatively successful, Post Office Counters Ltd has struggled, even with an annual 150m subsidy from the government, guaranteed until March 2008.
In October '06, the FSB questioned its membership and published a report in December that illustrated the importance of a regular, efficient postal service for Small Businesses throughout the UK.
There is also, an independent organisation setup to ensure that customers receive good service from competing postal providers.
Other FSB surveys have found that the proportion of home-based businesses has been rising significantly year-on-year since 2000 and that of the 4.3m Small Businesses in the UK, one third operate from a rural location.
The FSB represents 550 sub-postmasters and as much as 60% of their income has been lost because government business such as benefits, pensions and TV licencing is now handled through the banking system. Postage stamps can be purchased anywhere, even on the Internet.
Did you know that you can often draw cash at a Post Office and pay road fund tax? The scenario is familiar, use it or lose it!

The following article was prepared for publication in the March 2007 edition of the Dun Valley News.

'State of the District Debate' on 29th January

Last month's 'State of the District Debate' was pretty depressing. The inexorable rise of property prices locally doesn't give much hope to those wanting to stay in the area. Entitled 'A Place to Call Home', the debate centered on the District Council's seemingly ineffective attempts to meet the demand of a lengthening housing waiting list. At least one District Councillor was calling for a step change in the Council's housing policy although he appeared to be unable to offer a solution.

I can't help thinking people's expectations on behalf of others are too ambitious. Perhaps the 'two up, two down with a garden' ideal is just too optimistic. Even Cllr Cole-Morgan, the Community and Housing Portfolio holder, expressed an opinion that he was disappointed to see how small the rooms were in some of the 'low cost' houses.

If the supply of 'accommodation units' were to exceed the demand, there might be a chance that property prices would start falling back to more realistic levels. Increasing density by building higher would be one obvious solution. In other parts of the World, the 'condominium' has become an accepted method for maximising high land values. Here in the UK, the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 is central government's attempt to help make it more easily possible for portions of a property to be commonly owned and other portions to be individually owned. Perhaps this could be a starting point for developing a strategy to address the local housing shortage? 

Since being able to pay the cost of housing is closely linked to earning ability, wouldn't it make sense to build 'accommodation units' closer to where the lower paid employment opportunities are situated? The supermarkets, hospitals, care homes, etc., enabling people to save more of their income towards their ideal future housing needs.

With the restriction on the number of hours that employees can work, many will want to investigate extra income streams in their spare time. The availability of a high-speed Internet connection is certainly making this a realistic possibility for those with entrepreneurial ambition. Let's hope our democratically elected leaders will quickly find a solution to the urgent need to dramatically increase locally, the numbers of readily available Accommodation Units.

Comment on this article at

The following article was prepared for publication in the February 2007 edition of the Dun Valley News.

Command and Control or Cause and Effect?

Mention 'command and control' and most people will think in terms of a military context, whereas, 'cause and effect' might more commonly refer to natural phenomena.

Military theory, as defined by Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831), has influenced modern political authority to the extent that powers and resources are being delegated to smaller democratic groupings. The evolution of Local Government in the UK should lead to more effective decision-making processes.

Whilst recent legislation has conferred more powers on to Parish and Town Councils, initiative and flexibility of implementation are not discouraged. Consensus driven decision-making seeks to mitigate minority objections in order to achieve more universally acceptable outcomes.

Welcome to the beginning of the Chaordic Age! WWW.CHAORDIC.ORG

Want to learn more? See Birth of the Chaordic Age by Dee Hock, Founder and CEO Emeritus of the VISA International Credit Card company in 1974.

The Power of Research and Communication.

Without a broadband connection at home in West Dean, I would not be able to spend my time researching the seemingly endless supply of interesting subject matter that has been published thus far on the Internet. I have no doubt that we are at a similar stage in the evolution of the Information Age to that of our forefathers 200 years ago and the then evolving Industrial Revolution.

Reports that 80%-90% of all email traffic is useless, annoying, SPAM is entirely believable. In spite of this, I would hope that no one has been dissuaded from ‘getting connected’ by disturbing reports like this and the ever-present danger of electronic ‘viruses’. Yes, it’s time-consuming but the benefits outweigh the disadvantages by a wide margin.

The whole family is embracing this New Media Technology and the benefits are clear to see. There are online communities to suit all tastes and once you’re connected, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it! Call me, Richard Parsons, if you think I might be able to help! Tel: 01794-341405

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