Girls Gone Wild Magazine, June 2009
by Henry Gandorf
This month, Joe shoots the shit about social networking sites, Big Brother, drug legalization, his favorite books, the secrets of success and the prospect of putting a cornerstone on the Francis dynasty.

Are you on Facebook and MySpace?
I was forced to set up a MySpace account. If I didn’t, people could continue to squat on my name.

Are there fake Joe Francis MySpace accounts?
Oh, yeah. We used to have a guy in the office whose job was to patrol MySpace for all the fake Joe Francis and Girls Gone Wild accounts. Both my girlfriend at the time and my mom had communicated with a fake Joe Francis on MySpace. I came downstairs one night and my girlfriend said, “I’m on MySpace right now, responding to you.” I told her it wasn’t me and she said, “Well, whoever it is just invited me to Mexico for the weekend.”

Did she go to Mexico with fake Joe?
<Laughs> No, but she couldn’t get her head around the fact that it wasn’t me. My mom caught on pretty quick.

Do you think social networking sites are too intrusive?
People sometimes say that Girls Gone Wild is exploitive, but you look at these social networking sites and it’s an outright exploitation of the people who use them, even if you set your profile to “private.”

Once it’s on the internet, it’s out there.
Not only that, but take a look at the terms and conditions. Everything you put on Facebook, for example, is property of Facebook in perpetuity, forever. And they can sublicense your pics and material. They could take you, for instance, make a Henry Gandorf profile and use your pics, your memories, your stuff, 10 years from now, and publish them and release them.

And they would be breaking no laws, no rules.
No, because you signed away your rights to be on there. And what’s even more intrusive and scary is that they’ve collected all this data — your age, sex, sexual orientation, where you went to school, who your friends are, how you’re related to those friends — to use in any way the see fit, even sell it. To me, that is the biggest invasion of privacy ever.

And we’ve given it to them.
You’re giving it to them on a daily basis. From a business standpoint, that’s the value of those companies, the extensive data they collect. They know what you like, what you buy, where you travel, who your friends are. The companies own that information and are free to use it however they like.

Like Big Brother.
It’s beyond Big Brother. They’re not only doing it as a private enterprise, but they can share info with the government.

Speaking of the government interfering in people’s lives, do you think recreational drugs should be legalized?
There’s no way marijuana should be illegal. Certain other drugs that are more dangerous should remain illegal or at least be heavily regulated to protect the certain segment of society who can’t stop, who can’t say no. If the other drugs were readily available to those people, it would be detrimental to society. Crystal meth, for example. Can you imagine that being legal in this country? I’ve never met a crystal meth addict that was in control of their life. But some drugs that are illegal are actually less harmful and addictive than drugs you can buy legally —alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, lots of prescription medications, etc.

Do you think we’re heading in the direction of being forced to legalize drugs for the tax benefit?
There’s an interesting stat — the US represents 4 percent of the world’s population and consumes 2/3 of the illegal drugs. George Soros is a champion of the legalization of drugs. I was at a very interesting dinner recently, seated next to one of his guys, and he said Soros has been putting millions of dollars of his own money toward a methodical approach to the legalization of drugs. The first step is getting medicinal acceptance and moving from there into general acceptance, and ultimately legalization. The federal government still doesn’t recognize marijuana as a legal drug, even though people can have prescriptions. Until recently, the dispensaries where they distribute medicinal marijuana to patients were raided on a daily basis by the DEA and other federal agencies. And that’s just right here in LA.

Maybe it’s a desert island question, but what books are on Joe Francis’ required reading list?
Well, on a desert island, I wouldn’t want anything but porn or a Girls Gone Wild Magazine. But living in the real world, I think the most important book you can read is Orwell’s 1984, because it helps you understand the inner workings of government, the relationship of government to society, and helps make sense of the inter-relationships of society and the class system. So, just for a general understanding of how the world works, 1984 would be my first pick.

Wow, more Big Brother. What else?
My number two pick would be The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran. It’s not a religious text, but it is a spiritual text and it covers a lot of universal truths that the religious texts contain, but without the religion. I think it’s a very important book. It’s under 100 pages and it explains pretty much everything you need to know about spiritualism.

Have you read The Secret?
The Secret is a self-help book. And who buys these books? Socially inept people who need this type of help. People who buy business books, for example, aren’t very good at business. The real entrepreneurs are reading other stuff, finding ideas on their own.

So you’re not a big believer.
In The Secret? Look, I read part of it. But it generally repeats itself over and over again. After the first chapter, I got it. Then it kept giving me examples over and over so I put it down. The self-fulfilling prophecy idea behind The Secret, basically visualizing where you want to be and then sort of letting everything else falls into place, isn’t new. They just repackaged it. And it’s something that’s inherent in most successful people.

Why are some people inherently successful and other people can’t turn the corner? Is it something you’re born with, a mentality you have to have?
Absolutely. Business success requires three different but equal components: Creativity, drive and intellect. And those three have to be balanced and come together. Sometimes one person has all three. And sometimes partnerships make it work — one person has the creativity and another has the drive, etc. Like athletic or artistic success, you’re usually born with some part of it. But those other elements are on top of that.

You have to add to it. It can’t stand alone.
You can’t just have an idea, or raw talent, or just be really smart. You have to have it all. And it all has to come together to create those extraordinary successes. There are different levels and types of success, obviously. I think the ultimate success is a good family.

So speaking of family, when does Joe Francis settle down? Will there be Joe Jr.’s running around?
God, I hope there’s no pattering of Joe, Jr. feet. I don’t know if the world can handle another Joe Francis. I hope I have little girls. It would be easier.

And 18 years later, they go on Spring Break.
Oh, man. Never mind.

Is that the goal? You don’t want to be running around when you’re 70?
I don’t think I’m running around now. I’ve got a girlfriend upstairs.

You are very settled.
If you can hear me, I’m being held against my will in a mansion in Bel Air. This is a hostage situation.

You heard nothing.

Follow the sound of my voice.