When I was younger, one big television series was Truth or Consequences. I often think back and wonder about the meaning behind this simple phrase. I did not understand the meaning until I was in my mid to late forties. Truth or Consequences came to mind as I spoke with Branch. I had the realization that you need Truth or Consequences to grow. So often, we overlook or ignore the truth; then, we are faced with Consequences.
Branch is very good at understanding the challenges we all face in life. When we seek people for help, it is a good idea to understand the foundation that the person is teaching from. I find that Branch is on a solid foundation to advise on life. We all need someone to help us understand life a little better. You can find the links in our link section to find out more about Branch and what he has to offer.
You will never avoid the Truth or Consequences in life, it is time to face the truth, and your Consequences will change. It all starts with a choice. What will you choose today?
No matter where you are in life, you control your choices. When you understand this, life will begin for you. Find the people you need around you who will support you and encourage you to be your best self.
And remember that excuses will never change the facts or the truth.
Be responsible for yourself!
And again, you know, the person who's addicted, whatever the substance, uh, may be drugs, sex, rock and roll. Um, there's a, there's a, a draw for us. You know, we live in a world that offers lots of escapes and it's very easy to have a bad day, you know, and start drinking, um, to excess, or doing drugs to excess, or abuse to excess.
You know, there's lots of outlets available to us. Again, most of them with no consequence except to the damage it does to ourselves and to the people in our lives that we claim to love.
Ed Watters: To overcome, you must educate. Educate not only yourself, but educate anyone seeking to learn. We are all Dead America, we can all learn something. To learn, we must challenge what we already understand, the way we do that is through conversation. Sometimes we have conversations with others, however, some of the best conversations happen with ourself. Reach out and challenge yourself. Let's dive in and learn something right now. Today we are with Branch Isole, he is an author of 22 books. Uh, Branch, could you please introduce yourself, let people know just a little bit about you, please?
Branch Isole: Sure Ed, thanks so much, it's great being with you this morning. Uh, I'm a writer, I'm the author of 22 books. I write for adults about contemporary life situations that virtually every adult, um, comes in contact with either firsthand, or through friends or family. Um, most of my material deals with relationships. And, you know, a lot of the emotions that we struggle with as we go through our daily lives, um, in contact with people and events that are always, you know, experiences that are affecting us and, and possibly changing our lives, hopefully, uh, in a growth filled way.
Ed Watters: Well, that's very interesting. You know, we all deal with our day to day lives, but how we deal with them really matters. You know, the emotions behind all of this turmoil in our world, it's rather, uh, hostile anymore. Compared to when I was younger, you know, you would think that the Wild West was back or something. Uh, what inspired you to start writing your books, Branch?
Branch Isole: Well, that's a great question because I didn't start writing until I was 50 years old. Um, it was not something that I had ever foreseen myself doing, I was not a real avid reader and I was not an exceptional student.
So, you know, that thought of expressing ideas for others, um, was never sort of in my wheelhouse. As, I was in school, I was getting a master's degree in theology and I was moved to write a book for basically fallen away Christians, and seekers and searchers. In my own path, I had been raised in a Christian household, but not an active household,
we were sort of C and E Christians, you know, Christmas and Easter. Um, other than that, there wasn't a lot of religious experience for me, and it wasn't part of my life. But as I grew and, you know, got into the career workplace and got caught up in corporate America, [00:05:00] um, there came a time when I was sort of disillusioned and disappointed. So I started searching for truth and what that looked like in my life. And that led me
to, uh, studies of Eastern religions, philosophies, and mysticism and that eventually led me back to Christianity, but not back to the church. And so as I was getting my master's degree, um, I was moved to write a book for fallen away Christians, as I said, and that was how the writing started. Um, from there, my second book
was a selection of short stories and poetry dealing with, you know, life situations. And so that's how it sort of grew as a career for me.
Ed Watters: Yeah. You know, a lot of life situations, from my experiences, a lot of them lack communication skills. And learning how to communicate well is very difficult, especially in our world, because nobody teaches us how to really live anymore.
It's more, like you said, this corporate world that we live in and it's all about franchising, money making. And it's a chase, we get lost in it. How, how do we find ourselves within that, Branch?
Branch Isole: Wow, that's such a good question because as you say, you know, today just about every activity that you come in contact with, somebody's trying to monetize it. And
Ed Watters: Yes.
Branch Isole: um, I, I find that, you know, most people in, in that situation, And I hate to say, use Amway as an example, but multi-level marketing. It's that same kind of mindset of I really don't have any experience to draw from, but I've read about this, so I think I can do it and I'm gonna do it and I'm gonna charge for it.
And this, um, goal to monetize everything really sort of takes the personal contact and the personal communication out of the scenario. You know, life is about relationships. And one of the things we know from advanced technology that we have today is, everybody's on their phone texting and they're in conversation, but not with the people standing next to them.
And so this continual, you know, deep dive into the whole of isolation, you're right. You know, lots of people have lost the skill of communicating and, you know, the kind of world we live in today, truth and honesty is not a part of that communication. So we really struggle with, you know, trying to present ideas and thoughts in a cogent way that somebody else can understand and either agree or disagree with. So we live in interesting times, to say the least.
Ed Watters: Yeah, scary times also, you know, a lot of, a lot of things hurling at us at the same time. And you're a believer, you know things will speed up in the end times. So I, I'm one of those believers myself, that we are living at the edge of those times that we've always heard about.
You know, people assume that we're there all the time. But if you actually pay attention to the signs and the times that we are actually living in, everything seems to be culminating into this great big cauldron of, a melting pot. We're all in it together no matter if you believe or not. That's, that's the thing that a lot of people are lost about.
So learning to communicate is very important to me that, that's one of the things that sent me down the rabbit hole, I didn't know how to communicate effectively. I knew how to communicate to make money, and really, I, I was in that ball of corporate greed and everything. And I lost everything, I, I kinda was thrown down per se and I was crushed into rubble to form me back into concrete.
And now I am such a different person because of what I've went through in my life. My belief system can't be shaken and that's why I'm out there reaching out to people all the time and trying to find out what makes them tick. Why are we in this situation? It seems like you're kind of in that same ballpark.
And then as adults, of course, you know, we're all craving approval of our peers and the world at, at large. And as we go through this growth cycle, uh, we soon find out that everybody has an agenda, right? And so they come in, these people come into our lives and we are often believing in and believing what we see and not looking a little deeper. And, and we end up, you know, getting beat up pretty good or getting knocked down and taken advantage of, you know, by people we didn't know, or people we trusted, or companies that
we believed in. And we soon start to get a little gun shy until we realize, you know, everybody's got an agenda. They're trying to sell me something, or get something from me, or do something to me that may or may not be in my best interest. And then finally, the fourth cornerstone that a lot of people are missing because they're sort of buried under layers of the world, is that spiritual grounding.
And a lot of people, you know, when they go through enough turmoil and trouble in their lives and sort of reach rock bottom, they finally decide, gee, I need to look someplace else. And, you know, we all have an innate connection to something greater than ourselves, outside of ourselves. And what many people come to realize, but many more don't, is that's a spiritual connection that we are craving to give us purpose and understanding of why we encounter so much struggle, and stress, and conflict,
you know, in our world, in our daily life, within our families, within our job. And so those people who are willing to, you know, pull the trigger and take that leap to look at what spirituality is and how it applies to and can affect them, have that opportunity then to really start again and start growing
with a little more balance in their life with both. I'm living in the world, but, you know, my being, my essence is actually outside of this world and how can I make those two coexist and work for me? As opposed to, you know, me going down this path where I just continually struggle and face challenge and adversity.
Ed Watters: Yeah, that's, that's a struggle every day, that fine balance that we have to find. Morals, people tend to don't even know what the word morals mean anymore. But, you know, you talked about you hitting rock bottom before you actually start observing. And I always look at that like the cup of wrath not being full enough yet
and that's our, that's our learning. You know, that, that's what makes us not want any more of that disgusting filth in our life. And believe me, I, I come from some pretty disgusting, filthy stuff, but I love every portion of my life because it made me who I am. So discovery and that personal growth, it's very hard in life, especially when you're young,
you know, I'm speaking [00:15:00] from an experience from a young man's perspective. But that growth period is extremely hard. And when you're, you know, 15, 16, 17, going on into those early adulthood phases, finding the person to turn to for, you know, the right values. You, you want that good moral surrounding around you.
And, uh, it's hard when you're that young because you're so susceptible to, you know, what people think of you. And if I do this, it's going to, you know, how, how can you encourage a young person not to think about what people will think of them and to think about doing the right thing?
Branch Isole: . Wow. Um, I don't know that we can, you know, we live in a world
that literally bombards us every day with this material drive for wealth and stuff, and therefore power. And we see its, you know, example to us every day in the news or in your life. You know, exactly what you've just mentioned, we see people taking advantage with unethical practices, or amoral, or immoral behavior, and there's no consequence anymore. Um,
Ed Watters: Yeah.
Branch Isole: you know, and, and this example shows, young people particularly, but twenties, thirties, you know, into our forties when we're in that career and job market, ladder climbing kind of environment. You know, spirituality is not part of many people's lives and as the result, we only see that one path,
the world's ways, and we get caught up and assimilated into that. And our perception is this is the only way and I've got to do whatever I can do or have to do to get ahead. And instead of seeing leadership, you know, in industry, in government, in religion, in all of these other aspects of life, what we see is people taking advantage for their own greed and avarice, and even when they're caught, there's no consequence.
Ed Watters: Yeah.
And we see that every day in our lives. And so for young people, you know, we get caught up in this movement forward, this goal-oriented life, and materialism, and money. And that's a, that's a deep struggle that most people are gonna fail at. You know, if you look at any industry, there's very few people at the top
of that industry. There's a lot of people struggling and there's a lot more people who have had a dream, but it has been crushed or they've been failed. And so they've basically given up and they don't know where to turn. And, and this is where we get a lot of people who are struggling, you know, and they fail.
And then rather than knowing how or where to go to pick themselves up, instead they beat themselves up. And they get deeper and deeper, you know, mired in that miras of rejection and failure. And so, you know, how do you change anybody's mind? How do you convince them that there's a different course that they can take?
And, and that's the struggle and that's the question. And that's where people who've been called to service like you and I, we can do all we can do. And that is simply to help people understand that, number one, we identify with where you are because we were there also at one time. And, you know, this is [00:20:00] what we struggled with and this was the consequence of those choices.
And we finally turned outside of ourselves and in doing so, our life was changed. And in the way that our life was changed, your life can be changed also. But you have to make that choice, you have to take those actions and, you know, we can help you to see that path, but you're the one who has to step on that path.
So can we help people? You know, hopefully, I mean, that's why we do what we do and all we can do is scatter seeds and, you know, trust that they'll be watered. And then, you know, we, you and I both go out there and try and help one person at a time and, and that's our goal. If we can help one person, today, realize that there is a different way and get them started on that path than we've done our job, I think.
Ed Watters: Yeah. Yeah. I, I think you're absolutely right. Poetry, you know, short stories, you teach writing short stories. Why, why the short stories instead of, you know, long, long stories?
Branch Isole: Well, you know, poetry in its original form was mankind's first literary adventure. You know, when, when people lived in caves and fire was the epitome of technology for them, their entertainment, their teaching tool, their movement forward of their culture was in storytelling
and, you know, that's what their life was. Every day they struggled to survive and when it got dark, they hid from the beasts in their neighborhood, lit a fire and told stories, you know, about their experiences, and their culture, and their tribal communication. And so as literature developed, storytelling, you know, is still the foundation of literature and poetry at one time, um, you know, in the last 500 years, sort of had its heyday.
Well, poetry was a great vehicle for education because most people weren't educated, right? And so something that's brief and concise but still can tell a story and have a tale or a lesson to be learned, um, was the primary function of literature, you know, among uneducated villages and communities. Um, poetry sort of lost its luster,
you know, in the eighteen hundreds with the age of enlightenment and, and, and scientific knowledge and application, and then the industrial revolution. You know, as we've grown as, as humans and our technology has grown, our literature has changed, but poetry is still around and it's still a great vehicle because it does share a story, teach a lesson in a very brief and concise presentation.
Uh, you know, it's sort of making a rebound now because everybody is so busy. You know, they want something quick, they want something brief, they want something, you know, they can read on the way to work on the bus. Uh, they don't want to be bogged down with a 300 page novel necessarily, unless they've got the time to do that.
So short stories and poetry , you know, is making a good comeback, especially where we have a generation with very short attention spans. So that's why I continue to write short stories and poetry. Um, you know, I'm trying to develop themes with each story but it's gotta be something that people can read and digest in just a couple of minutes, and then hopefully if I've done my job, there's enough of a hook in there that will bring them back to it so they can read it again and think a little more about it and what it's trying to say to them.
Ed Watters: Yeah, yeah. Get the hook in the jaw and, you know, you might succeed there. So let, let's talk about how, how do we help people with the struggle of addiction and bringing them out of the addiction cycle? Because that breaks a lot of relationships. You know, my family came out of that cycle of [00:25:00] abusive behavior and, you know, alcoholics and drug addicts, all of that.
How can we kind of help alleviate that and bring our world out of that sort of behavior because it's getting bad out there. There's homeless off the chart, and like you alluded to earlier, it's all about our mental capacity and what we, you know, aspire to be. And that's what we end up, dead in America. Dead America, that's what Dead America's about. How can we help that?
Branch Isole: Well, first of all, you know, we make choices and we make decisions and a lot of people put out of their mind that every time we make that choice, there's a consequence, right? And the consequence can be good, bad, or ugly, or all three actually.
But with every choice we make, there comes an outcome, a consequence, or fallout. And again, you know, the person who's addicted, whatever the substance, uh, may be, drugs, sex, rock and roll. Um, there's a, there's a draw for us, you know, we live in a world that offers lots of escapes and it's very easy to have a bad day, you know, and start drinking, um, to excess, or doing drugs to excess,
or abuse to excess. You know, there's lots of outlets available to us. Again, most of them with no consequence except to the damage it does to ourselves and to the people in our lives that we claim to love. How do we break that cycle? How do we get, you know, people unaddicted? Um, Well, first they have to realize that with every choice comes a consequence.
You know, my primary focus is to help people get spiritually grounded and then to use that spiritual strength, okay. And even when people hit rock bottom in an addiction kind of a cycle, they may not quit, you know, it, it may take losing their life for them to become unaddicted. And so the struggle for anyone that's in that addiction cycle can be so great that they feel there's no way to overcome it. And yet they're the only ones who can get themselves clean or out of the addiction cycle.
Um, and so we have to have something to replace that with. The problem with both physical addictions is they are physical addictions. But we have to remember that the mind and our thoughts, you know, our thoughts control our actions, our actions control our habits, our habits control our character, and our character determines our destiny.
So what we have to do is, first of all, we've got to change the thoughts. We've got to change the mindset of the person who's in addiction. And then we have to give them an alternative to that
reward that they get from the addiction. But with that reward, they already know that there's a downside, that there's a fallout, that there's a heavy consequence to it. So we've got to change the mindset and then they've got to have an alternative. And this is where spirituality can become so much of a, uh, an ally
to fighting addiction. We've got to have something we can put our trust in that's greater than the pull of the addiction. The reason I say this is, you know, there's, I have a program that's called, Five Steps on the Stairway to Heaven, and there's only five steps. There's only five steps you need to take to get to heaven, and one of those is, um, embracing
three of the sayings that John has. And one of the ones that he particularly talks about for the person who has received Christ and now has the Holy Spirit within them, how they call upon that spiritual strength in any kind of a situation. Let's say somebody's wanting to have that next [00:30:00] drink or that next hit, you know, and, and they, their body is telling them, go ahead.
You know, the little angel and the little devil, the devil's saying, go ahead it's not gonna hurt you. You can do it, it's all okay. And the angel's saying, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. And without that spiritual strength to show us why and how, We tend to give into the little devil. Well, when we have a relationship with Christ, and I'll go through the five real quick,
we get a relationship with Christ by inviting Him into our lives. Once we've invited Him into our lives, He tells us He will send His Holy Spirit to be with us to give us guidance, and counseling, and advice when we need it most. When we need, need to make those important choices in our lives. Number three, and this is John 16:13, and this is the one that's so important, when we've got the Holy Spirit living with our spirit, and I'm in a situation where I want to have that drink and I call on the Holy Spirit to advise me or counsel me,
His spirit living in, within me will come and show me the truth. And the truth that He shows me is the consequences of taking that drink, okay. He's not gonna show me a blessing or reward for listening to Him, but He is going to show me the future outcome, and the possibilities, the consequences of taking that next drink.
And based on my prior experiences, I already know what those are. You know, um, all of the negative consequences that I've experienced in the past are shown to me again for my future. Now, does this mean I don't take the drink? Not necessarily, but it gives me the spiritual strength of God Himself through my belief in Jesus Christ who has sent to me His Holy Spirit to advise me, to guide me, and to instruct me.
And He does that by showing me the consequences, the negative consequences of that choice. And the great thing is when I see those negative consequences, now I know what the alternative is. Now I can still make the choice of whether I'm gonna have the drink or not, but I have been shown the truth of what my actions may produce.
And by not taking that drink, I start breaking that cycle of addiction, I start growing stronger in my spiritual grounding and my spiritual connection to God himself through Jesus. And believe it or not, the further down that path I go, I start to realize He is working in my life and there's a reward or a blessing
somewhere along the line for me not taking that drink and getting into that negative consequence. And when people do this pattern of behavior, they start to see God working in their lives and it helps them to understand, I don't need this substance, or I don't need this inappropriate behavior to make me feel better because now I have something that shows me the truth of who I am
and who I can be. And that's the power of having a spiritual relationship with God through Jesus Christ. And, you know, there's no way we can explain this to people who are not there. But we can encourage them to just try it, consider it just one time and see what the result is. Now the, the caveat is, it's not gonna happen overnight and anybody who's on the spiritual path knows this.
Ed Watters: Yeah, yeah.
they will leave your thought process. You want to change that desire of addiction, change your thoughts, think about something else. Think about the consequences of negativity that you've already experienced in your life by going down that path and then realized you have an option to go down a different path.
Ed Watters: Yeah, truth and consequences. Truth will set you free, the consequences [00:35:00] always tells you that was the truth. So, you know, when we, when we end our lives in an addiction, I, I really think it's a waste in so many ways. But as you said, we have to make that choice and sometimes you have to hit rock bottom several times to make that choice. So is there anything else you'd like to add to our conversation, Branch?
Branch Isole: Wow, where should we start?
So, uh, you know,
Ed Watters: Yeah.
Branch Isole: We talked, we talked briefly about the end times and you and I both had that conception that we are in the end times. You know, a lot of people, um, wonder about the end times, a lot of people doubt the end times, and most people aren't really concerned about the end times because they don't know biblical scripture and, and they don't know about prophecy.
And the, the great thing about prophecy is, if the word of God is true, if you believe there's a God and He is who He claims to be, who we think He is, then we must believe that what He says is true. And if His word is true, then the things that He tells us in prophecy about what's going to happen in our world must also be true.
The great thing about living in this age, and, and the end times started on May 14th, 1948. We know this because the pinnacle point of the end times is prophesized to start with the rebirth of Israel as a nation, and that's the date that that happens. So we know that we have entered the end times. Now for the average person the importance is, the things that are happening in our world right now that we see on the media and the newscast every day,
there's so many precursors that have to take place for the big end time events to take place. And these are all the warning signs, these are the shots across the bow of our ship that's telling us, these things at the end are gonna happen and they're gonna be pretty terrific and pretty horrible all at the same time.
And for you not to be caught up in that mayhem and that hell that's going to be unleashed, you've got to be able to identify the things that are happening before that, that cause the lead up to, you know, one of the, one of the things everybody knows about is the anti-christ and the mark of the beast, right?
I mean, you might not know anything about Bible prophecy, or scripture, or anything, but everybody has seen movies or videos about the rapture, about the anti-christ, you know, and about the the end times, the real horrible things that can possibly take place. And for all of those things to happen, for the mark of the beast to be instituted,
that means we have to have a one world economy and a one world monetary system. And for that to take place, you know, we have 12 different, um, federal reserve banks here in our country and there's a couple of dozen around the world that control the flow of money. For one economy to be with one currency
right now, it's like, well, that could never happen, you know, that, that's impossible. Look at all the different currencies and all the different federal banks around the world. Well, there's, there's things that have to happen before that big one can take place so that the mark of the beast can actually happen.
And if you pay attention and you know a little bit about end times, big events, then you can start to see the unfolding of these small incremental steps. And these small movements forward that are changing, you know, the monetary system, that are changing religions, that are changing the social structure, that are changing governments so that the big things will happen.
And that's, you know, that's one of my goals is to help people understand, these are the big ones that are hap, gonna be taking place, that are gonna affect every person on the planet, literally. But you can start to see the small steps that will allow these [00:40:00] things to happen. And now's the time to get prepared mentally, physically, and most of all, spiritually.
Ed Watters: Yeah. That's right, I, I agree a hundred percent. I, I've enjoyed our talk today. I, I do want you to explain one more thing to the people. I, I listened to a video, you explained your name. Could you explain why you have the name Branch Isole?
Branch Isole: Sure. Um, the first half of my life was pretty similar to most people, you know, I was on the education path, on the career path, on the job path. And then, uh, I got disillusioned and I got off the corporate
path and the, and the Ferris wheel and I started talking to myself about how can I become a better person? How can I, you know, be more truthful with myself and with the people in my life? And so that led me on, you know, a 15 year trek through spirituality, and mysticism, and religions, and study. At one point I knew that I wanted to change my name
from my given name. And I knew that I wanted my last name, because I was on a spiritual path and, and had been called to serve, I knew I wanted my last name to be, I Serve Only Lord Emmanuel and so I chose I, S, O, L, E. And at that time I didn't realize that it was actually, you know, a word in use. But that was the, the monogram that I used and I thought, well, I want my name to be Joshua.
And for two years I didn't do anything about the name change and I, I thought about it, but never was motivated or moved to put it into action. And one day I was doing a Bible study with a young couple and I opened the Bible and I looked down and I was at Zacharia 3:8, and that scripture says, I will raise up Joshua, my branch.
And at that moment, the Lord told me, that's your new name. So I had Isole, and now I had Branch. And if you know, if you know the Old Testament, particularly if the Lord calls to you and gives you a new name and you accept the name, then from that moment on, you are committed to service, you know, in, in the, in the word and, and for the Lord.
And so that's how the name change came about. And, you know, ever since the path has been enlightened and I continue to see Him working, you know, in my life, in, in, in every way, in every little way, every day, I'm acknowledging His presence. And so that's how the name came to be, but thanks for asking.
Ed Watters: Well that, that's quite an interesting name and, and a lot of people when they first see it probably go, what? So yeah, it's good to have the explanation behind that name. Uh, do you have a call to action for people?
Branch Isole: Sure. Thank you so much for asking. Um, I invite people to Google my name. Uh, you know, I've got a website, I've got a YouTube channel, I've got lots of podcasts, videos, um, I've got lots of information out there.
It's all free, um, you know, you can buy the books, but you don't have to that's not where it's at for me. Uh, I love readers to purchase books and then comment or write to me and say, you know, I love this poem, I hated this poem. Um, but I, I openly, you know, encourage people to learn and to grow. And all of my efforts, the books, the videos, the podcasts, the interviews, everything is designed to help the listener or the reader
look out in their world and reflect inward how they can become a better person in their life for them, for their family, and for their community. So I always say just Google my name Branch, like a tree, Isole, I, S, like Sam, O, L, E, and that'll give you links to everything, you know, that I've done. And there's only one, so you don't have to go through a lot of pages. If you just Google it, it'll come right up.
Ed Watters: And, and the best way to contact you, Branch?
Branch Isole: Uh, through my website, I've, I've got a link there, people can write to me or, or ask questions. Um, branchisole.com is the website.
Ed Watters: You're a very interesting man, I wish [00:45:00] you well in all you do. And thank you for being part of the Dead America podcast.
Branch Isole: Ed, my pleasure, thank you for having me buddy.
Ed Watters: Thank you for joining us today. If you found this podcast enlightening, entertaining, educational, in any way, please share, like, subscribe, and join us right back here next week for another great episode of Dead America Podcast. I'm Ed Watters your host, enjoy your afternoon wherever you may be.