Go straight to heaven or your money back!

Rukhnama_smWe’ll be watching the Amazon.com rankings to see whether Turkmenistan’s president-for-life Saparmurat Niyazov has any luck with a bold new sales strategy for his book of philosophical musings. According to a wire-service story, Niyazov (known affectionately or otherwise as Turkmenbashi, which translates as “great leader of all Turkmen”) has promised that anyone who reads the book three times will “go straight to heaven.” The locals already are required to pass a test on their knowledge of the book, titled Rukhnama, in order to get a driver’s license. It’s enough to make you wonder whether Ali G picked the wrong one of the former Soviet ’stans to mock via his Borat Sagdiyev character (aka “Kazakhstan’s sixth most famous man”).

—Posted by Mark Dolliver