Glenn’s sits down with Tim Ballard of Operation Underground Railroad. Glenn and Tim tell the story of Harriet Jacobs, an important person in abolitionist history and Glenn shares a traumatic personal story.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey! Welcome to the podcast. Today, you're gonna hear an amazing story of somebody you ve never heard of in history. Your name is Harriet Jacobs. Her story was really literally erased, but she is one of the most amazing characters in american history and she made this courageous decision one right after another that seem knots But she knew exactly what she was doing and it's an amazing tail. Also something that kind of spilled out about Halfway through it can flows into a very personal story that I hadn't planned on, sharing It happened over the summer of two eighteen and was extraordinarily dramatic. My family and it's taken me a while to be able to share it and in this podcast it just kind of came out. And the reason. Why is because of TIM Ballard
if you ve ever listened to my show, you know who he is, but only give ever heard him like this. TIM was a government agent. He was in a CIA than he worked for homeland security, but it was an undercover guy. I didn't even know that he was an agent. I thought he was an author he's a really good writer It was about five years ago that he he said to me. Can I meet with you and I did and he pulls out a badge and, unlike my under arrest- and he said no, I have to tell you who I really am and, The reason why is he wanted to start operation? Oh you are. We are operation underground, rail road, a team of former CIA and military personnel created to rescue traffic children and dismantle these criminal networks. Now, a few years later, after he's really gotten. Oh, you are running in. We play a big role in that were grateful to be a part of it. He's all
taken on the role of overseeing the Nazareth Fund, which is saving women and children in the Middle EAST from slavery and about to go global on that as well. I think you're really going to enjoy today's podcast with TIM Ballard, Couple things have happened one and I want to start here. I've learned so much history. And seen stories that. You don't see anywhere You don't see anywhere there just gone, but there's fragments and if you start to pull
that thread. You start to say. Oh my gosh here at all is your book slave Steelers. Tells the story of I've, never even heard of, and it's the most riveting immense to patients story slave story. I've ever heard tell me who is whose Harriet Jacobs hurry. Jacobs is. Hero she's my hero, She was a the great one of the greatest, maybe the greatest abolitionists her story. She was a slave and even to North Carolina escape slavery, but not only is livery herself at her two children. She was hounded by Emmy, hounded by the worst master. You can you can imagine what to rip his guys eyeballs out when you re her story, the way she escaped away. She outsmarted him and the reason she did. The motive was love always love. She want
become free, so she could help others her own children, stares at them. Amazing part sister. I want to start a start, but for She obviously scapes with their children before she, even as children. She's, really young and she's with I mean you, you describe the family as as a good of a slave owner family, as you can get they still own slaves, but they they too eat them like people, they teach them how to read, write and correctly and they promise them that they are going to be released and they are, but at the time of the American Revolution, and so there's chaos everywhere. What happens? so the family visits to Canada, the first to Harriet there the masters liberalism gives the monies get out of here and there they're off to go, find their their lives and
stop by other. The revolutionary war is going in there, stopping ships they stop on to get greedy there their black people, so we can say their slaves. You know they have immense patient papers and they sound and they parts They divide this family. They partially different p who purchase them. An Harriet grandmother ends up in eating to North Carolina owned by the hard blow family. Who is one purchasers of of human beings and her grandmother is, is put up for auction right or her aunt Molly. Who was murdered her grandmother, grandma and she's. Put up reduction in that town, yes, but she's so loved by everybody that when her in her new slave. Stir knows that two towns gonna go They know that she was
was to be really right, and so he says we're not gonna have a public auction and she demands it. Yes, and so she standing on the auction block and the white people of the town right correct is the white people in town. They they stand up and say no She's, not a slave she's, not supposed to be a slave. She supposed to be free and nobody bids on her except White woman who bids on. I think what was at fifty dollars you earlier. It was a lot of money back then fifty dollars visor nobody else bids for her? is her takes her right to the courthouse and fill out the pair of emancipation correct That part of the story alone is amazing. This town that their there, to buy slaves by humans but they see this one slave and there no. We can't buy her because she
supposed to be free, Make of that is a strange world slavery, it's the complex most bewildering cons It became so unnatural so wrong that it could it's those kind of legislative comic. And an cognitive dissonance right, and we lived through those today through modern day slavery. I see those things everyday and tell the world word system this bizarre world, okay, so that the the dog the grand daughter Harriet. So this monster of a family, the guy, is truly a monster making children with all of the slave women and Hurry it in a way out, smarts him, but in a way He also causes trouble, probably not as much trouble if she would have had, because he was raping everybody.
But what does she do to get away from him? she was, she does outsmart him. I mean yes, that's that's my fear. A part of the story is how she firstly tells a wife, she she takes steps. The first thing she says is your husband is predator. And this is an unspoken thing of course she sees the babysitting born that look like her husband all over, but we don't talk about that. Well, right, yeah, at least at least twelve issue identified and she's young she's twelve thirteen years old, and she goes to the want to the wife and says: he's preying on me and I'm not gonna happen. Help me and and Harry talks were held. Slavery makes the wife's wretched that them husband monsters in the wife's wretched can now there's wife. What did she do? called out by a slave her husband's been called out about something you don't talk about, and
she's jealous, she becomes jealousy Harriet, but also subset of her husband did she Let her husband be close to Harriet saw her plan. Her plan work, But now she dealing with this jealous wife who, is now in trouble. Another her husband is in trouble and he makes Harriet pay, but how strangely is it his is the back that he can't get his hands on her. That drives him? It's I mean one of power up, see ethics hell yeah, not, and it makes him want her more neck. She's. The only one that will not submit she will not submit to his last. Is his desires in she cannot handle it. She falls in love. Yes with a free black man in town after he says, The flavor look I'm at him a cue
like you, the mistress of the house, you're gonna, be arrogant and then a Iowa for anything and she so disgusted by him. She's like no- I'll be involved with him he tries kind of romantically right to kind of coke, sorely tried everything, and then she falls in love with a free black man and she has another moment that. Slaves don't have one her. He saying that guy you love is a puppy he's a dog to his well least. The dog never beat me pudding, The putting him below the doll s way, enrages him. Yes, and she does this on her she's, she's, brilliant she's, fine, team is busy know what she's doing and she's playing is psychological warfare in she doesn't her whole life to him. She, I think she puts them in his grave and in bed,
He she says YO. She weighs both in the balance and he loses like. I just Puppy over you, and he jumps up, grab Surrey, Easy beats, Europe throws or down. You know he in his eye. Who is this this? and she did that she proves later when she gets where she hides eventually end. Want to go to jail, and she did That she proves later when she gets where she hides eventually end I she would like to go to jail. No, you have to stay here and then he just he doesn't want to do- is accused confused and she's winning this. This then she's fifteen s and she is outsmarting him every step of the way so then Is she realizes and a cat can even imagine what this was like? She realized does that. He's, never go. Let her go he's. Never that hurt me. No. Pros Lou. He says I'll I'll buy you, he says no price, no price never go Ergo
She knows that that will mean that if they marry they'll have children which will belong, to the slave master and debt and he ll sell em the hill use those care absolutely and he'll, sell em, and she says to the two: her fiance, you gotta, go away and never look back how hard? How hard do? that must have been. She says that was when the lights went out for her ask her only dream her last dream: it's gone, it's gone Sheeta, seventeen she's, no, seventeen, it nineteen sheets. She's got another plan prior to to beat the slave on. Yes, he offers to build her a cabin out in the woods
they never have you the mistress, be concubine yadda me you'll, never have to worry about a thing I'll they come visit, you occasionally, and she wants no part of that, And so living next to her grandmother in this same town is lawyer a white Loi. Yes, that she starts flirting with now because of why she- and she says you know she says, look I'm I'm I'm a moral person, I'm a christian woman, I believe in God, but this is my only way out. I will never get away from this. This monster. And she allowed herself she she she made a romantic in our relationship with with with SAM Sawyer who's, this bachelor, good guy he's here, he's a young,
similar wealthy lawyer right price to buy her traces gesture, the buyer freer freer and he won't in nor com. James Norton he's the master, the town doctor. You will have nothing to do with it, so she says mechanic the fall in love with him and, I mean how babies with him- and that was intentional Because then she would be connected to a powerful person in town, a white man in town, and should also be you know, is as major slacken in the matters face today. That's all he wants is to be that to be the father from children, and she just where's him down, and she says I did it for that I'm wearing this master down until he dies. Whenever I need to do I'm getting away from him. I was her goal and so she she has to children by sam- saw who takes care the kids, financially and and
we're trying to buy the kids nor come what have you won't sell the kid, but he doesn't know what to do now is now she's living with grandma who live next door to SAM Sawyer, because James overcomes wife, what let her live in the house because she so jealous of em now she's pray. So here you imagine what her life was like I mean just the complexity alone of This woman was meeting just up to this point. I she has in turn twenty the yeah. That turn a rebellion happens there. If people know what that is. What was that rebellion? that Turner. He was a slave of Virginia and he said enough is enough. I can't do this anymore, He Rosa there's a great movie called birth of a nation that came out. I think two years ago. Maybe on the tale
The story any not the original birth of no, no, no, no, definitely not been like great movie. Now, not just now the turn of the century s they wanted cannot two years ago- and he rises up and he and he starts a rebellion and he starts the they literally gonna start murdering. Slaveowners and taking their things, and actually gets. He gets crashed he gets taken. Scared, the hell out of slaveowners, and it was started. This move in sort of making people realize Can we art slaves? Just aren't that guy says? Were slaves doesn't mean we are it mean we are empowering kind of? Movement to it, but it also created if externalities, that no one wanted the slaves you want, because it scared the hell out of everybody, including their neighbouring North Carolina were Harry, was living and they came in and they just they decided they had to make a maker. A show of this,
created. This bears some these rates and create these really raiders came in the militia sanctioned by the state and they sort of beating in terrorizing and killing and invent imprisoning black people. Free ones and ones. No one was safe, normal if there planting evidence to If there were a billion there wasn't one but a scary body, but you you put a spin on. But I have not heard before and and it's not your spin it from the evidence of Harry its life. She again was so smart and I'm not sure I understand exactly how this work, but the the part you brought out was that it wasn't the intelligent, well To do that. We're on these raids it it was the the downtrodden white guy
who had been crushed his whole life had no future in his life. Probably a lot like people who probably join the Nazi Party, you know or these crazy parties today who they feel like nobody's listening to me. Nobody cares those the guys that go in, because as their living, pretty the the same life as a slave far as what they have in and how they live, and This is the way for them to feel superior to somebody. Yes, sir What did Harry to do so again Harriet because her her grandmothers now free because we re mention how she was emancipated and she runs a bakery in town. Everybody loves her and everyone loves her she's she's Grandmama Collar Anti molly yeah. They Collar and Harriet lives there in and in their ok they're they're they're they're, not wealthy, but they have nice things. They have and he's raiders come in
and she knows they're coming because in other they're going to make this this whole dogging pony showed a scary body, so she brings out the nicest tablecloth she is, he brings out the flowers she decorated, the house, to make it even look nicer than it usually is an income these low life's these? These were these these. You know he's a white raiders who just signed up for the militia just for this purpose for this day of raid in in horrible things, they come in and are there there sick? Because I back in and they see this black family has more than they have. I would think if I were with aunt Molly and here yet I would say, don't do opposite! I know right. I don't know how this worked see in order for her to actually wage this psychological warfare on her master and on the back, you will know tat. She had to have a defiant spirit and
it manifests itself, maybe even when maybe she didn't really want do sometimes, but she couldn't help herself. She knew she was a daughter of God and no one could tell her that her skin change that, and she is, she would do these things and they were. Into the house and shoot fight with them. Find Europe. There's no evidence here in an inch and then she trying to kick him out of the house, and then she was so smart. She had, she had a couple, a wife power, friends and town who things got to the point She gave him a sign. They walk and stood in the in the house and it's time for you, you boys to leave and analysed funny part in it, and the story were as a walking out there. There cussing in racist slurs, and I can't believe you believe what he believes have all this stuff. You know we don't have tablecloth like this. Where'd. You get this then in Ghana Molly who have the same defiant spirits as well. You can rest assured, we didn't find them from wouldn't get it from your homes and-
and with that they get booted out of the house. You know, so I think that that Harriet, was righteously defiant. He know in sheer men, she couldn't she couldn't till she was so? is transferred to the plantation, because won't give in to her masters. Will the age and he says I'm gonna hour break them. Yep, I'm going to work your kids to the bone thing. I sell your daughter how to sell your daughter and Shin. She knows what that means and what he means by that since our first put youth plantation again. She says, ok it away- and he says no, no, you need a week to think about their easily heaves issues like no I've got my answer. You could send me, he comes back a week later, and so what I ve been thinking and she's like that, sweet. I ready to go can you give me the offer the cottage you can go to the cottage your kids can stay with grandma? I can say with you knows
and he was just bewildered seriously, did you hear what I told you? I'm not sell your children. If you dont becoming concubine, your kids are sold and she's like. I can see right now, I'm going to go back. I'll go to the plantation and surface you would think Harriet we doing, but you you are now creating the very thing you fear the most, but she didn't on the surface. You didn't think on the surface. She knew exactly what she was doing. She was always ten steps ahead of this guy so she goes to do you think she was or was she. Was she was? She were her actions Smarter Then she even knew was she She always I mean cosette- takes radical courage. To do what she did.
You know if you really believe you're being guided by God, which I think she she added Fisher block. You knows you that gives you some extra, but you do still our human being and you have to go. Oh my gosh. I because she did not want to lose her children. That's all that matters of economic machine could lose her life, but she wanted to make sure her children never lived in slavery. Gay So she had that fear. What do you think sometimes she's? She thought to herself, maybe have counterparts, I think she had to have had because I've read her, I read her autobiography so many times, and I M thinking Harry what you doing in here. Why are you doing this aunt em She doesn't revealed to exactly in now and on why she did things. It was it God inspiring. Her was at her coming overzealous whenever it was, though she ended up. Figuring out right. She gets to the plantation here and she appears to have a plan. Yes from day one,
she becomes the most subservient the most obedient working four hours, everything she can do and James? Nor can the master son runs that plantation and they follow with their. They think what was made talking about this issue, the best way we got infected can't do enough to help us and- and she talks about like under what I was doing shook I needed them to be complacent. I needed to them start loving me and start trusting me and that's when I can. Work. My works from day one she started doing that. And she knew the day would come as nor can promised the kids would come out and what these in broke in broken in his slaves and adventure. Your daughter is going to be, a sexually by this man and when that day came. She knew I mean she had already figured out. She had
he had taken her close. Earlier or maybe months earlier what grandma Molly's her room from my house and tat the plant ages about six miles outside of town and she hid them with a friend yet so this this? These were her private things that state in town, she took her everyday clothes to the plantation right, but all of her stuff that she, if you were gonna, go someplace you wanted those thing right eye for possession and she quietly no one knew accept. Grandma, I presume, took all those things and hit hid them. And no one who know why what she did that when she did it right, but There's the day she she's in waiting for the kids are coming tomorrow tomorrow Kids come to the plantation to be broken in what that's the night. She said the window there not watching, because they trust her and she heads into the woods and disappears so, the next morning, the
lasting and she knows what she's doing they're not gonna bring the kids out to the plantation, because their only two years old and six- so who's gonna watch them is going to be a drain on. They did that the economy of the far right. So she knows they're not going to come out a machine. There take care of him. So do you, it's your kids safe, and that in that, in that instant, and nor can goes nuts she's escaped. I can't believe she's escape how'd. You get this happen and he sends out the patrols and they go and re gonna. My house and all her positions are gone well she's, not in town issue. She went north she's out here, who's, a brilliant. So he concentrates all these efforts on searching for it in the north when in fact, she's a mile away hiding in the woods, but all calculated just just amazing. He is in trouble she spit. By snake here. And now she's in trouble and she he has got to get help
somebody in town has got to help her and it's a white woman Who own slave yes and the Doesn't she go to family, our engraver Molly or at Molly and say I can help which had to be a big role of the dice huge right, huge, trusting for sites right at this point right, and this is the point I think we're when you say hang on when you say both sides later later you will see that there was a slave. That was- trying to find Harry S, because she, then could be the masters favorite. Ok, so we They both sides, though a person New York, I'm gonna be destroyed the black pearl, I knew it.
This is a trap. I'm toast right. Oh yeah, they both had everything to leave everything to lose an early, I picture this moment there. Looking at mother, Martha Blount has her name and she's looking around the table can like you, and I are right now. And grandma Molly and they're just looking at each other. Can we trust each other cause if either thus betrayed the secret were both dead or if one of us does both that it's a trap. Nor can send you to me. And Molly is out in the woods bitten by a snake. I'm sorry Harriet, and she had these moments where I think it was like all do all that I can do, and then I leave the recipe guiding because she had a point where this, where she's, I don't care. I need someone to help me. I didn't expect the snake and she's secret diary is poisonous bite. She can tell and so Grandma says, very religious, very prayerful. She said she felt a piece God said you can trust Martha. You can trust. Me. Even though she own slaves- and so too, we stop here for
Second, let me let me this is the point. Two of the story, that Anne Frank came to mind that its. It's not just the slave trade, where we ve seen this kind of stuff. It's Anne Frank in the Nazis, somebody comes to the door and says I can hide you. You know, no, you don't know We have it now in the Middle EAST, ices and with Christians I can hide you. I can get you out yeah. You might take me right or wrong key to an auction block or to somebody who wants you know to whom risk my organs, I mean it's hit this, is still happening- still happening.
Then, what's happening back then saw the Northrop with another twelve years a slave s story. They seemed trapped. They took him and they said they're gonna there. Tonight I read about in the book whether they're they're going to take him and make him in a musician and in a talent, and producers are slaveowners. Lol trap in and so this is the world you live in when slavery exists, it's horrible place and, and all you have that moment, Molly and Martha is God to intervene and you're. Both your head for a witness cause, that's all you ve got and you have you have neither the Best intention peoples, if you look back at John Merrick, the elephant man, and you see he went from one cage kind of two You know where he was a showpiece in in some regard. Ok back to the story Oh Martha sense,
mother jollier solve characters in the whole book, and her name is old. Betty old Betty is the one slaved marthas, as I would give my life two sheets trust her. She tells her the secret catch. The other slaves in our own house, the planned she's about would think If your slave would be the most trustworthy on hiding a slave right. Wouldn't you? as this is one of the surprising part of the story, but that didn't Harriet she couldn't trust other slaves they would rather out and and be nor comes hero. You know it's greed and power on one side and it survival and power. On the other side that's a games running. He all the place. So old Betty goes. This is the cook for slave verdict from four Martha Blount.
Goes. Grandmama Grandmama tells her where here it's hiding in the wood they go, get her bring her back and they hide her in his closet room this that Sir adjoining the master bedroom. Where mother Blount resides, And she's only one of the key and she's in extreme differences, you can't come out. You can't make a noise, let's figure this out set figure was what's going on. And so there they take care of her. They do you know the rules and now nor com can't find her he's freaking out. He does the unthinkable for me that drew me more to this story than anything else, I've guy, obviously will eventually ended as my personal connection to why I am almost obsessed over his story and that the poorest, application to me nor come Besides at the end. He takes the two children, as is his right. He owns those children,
he snatches amount available house and he throws them tiny little Jill that still exists I go, there have been. Many many times saw the pictures of prayed there. I small any take Two years old and six years old, pros he's gonna babies into jail and holds them as hostages,. And says: let's lets the word out that until and unless Harriet returns does stay in jail and learns if she's up in the closet- and she learns your kids are there- all you gotta do is go to them. He'll, let em out now you'll be yours. Destroyed- and This is the high thing, maybe the hardest part for her I trust in God, twenty first in my plan and I was telling her and her plan was telling her. Let him stay in jail, stay the closet stain jail that will lead to ultimate liberation and she's
by the way but she's having to put faith in this now you say, stay in the closet, it is truly, small little closet right, then locked by neither the cook or the mistress of thousands No other slave has key to launch an and she has to stay quiet because their slaves, all over the house, who will rather out at one point one of the slaves trying all their keys cause she's moved. They ve heard her. Yes, and they think o there. She is yes right exactly what did why didn't that go any Well, I guess I did. They came to the house and she was she was hiding under the floorboards in the kitchen yes, so they kept coming. In checking everyone's houses and an inevitable word would get out old Betty. Would come Gram Harriet through
floorboard in the kitchen and should sit under that thing for days, if necessary and back and forth, and back and forth and then things just got too hot. Nor asking too many questions and they realized they need a more permanent, better hiding place for her, and- but first I have to get out of town put her somewhere and this is one of the most horrifying part of the story I've been to this horrifying place. Call snaky swamp, it's it's leading to a little costs. Coastal town hasn't changed much too much from four nineteenth century, I miss you, can go there and see this and smelled us and we kissed. You feel your city, the store at Molly's house still there in the tub there herb her lot is still there. The houses that was no longer there and so they take Harriet, there's theirs, her late fathers friend Peter they let him and on the secret put her in a canoe and rose around his neck. You swamp now making swamp. Today is a
historical site certified by the state of North Korea, as an underground rail road Haven before this is this is this. It is therefore the underground rail before the integral rowers appeal and really and so she goes out there and spend two horrifying nights. Fighting makes mosquitos he rose or three miles deep into the into snaky swamp. Wanting to learn her story for more than just for this book. But for my own pursue You have talked about. Eventually, When out there I rented a canoe went by myself. Afternoon, into snaky swamp and the guy who rent in me the canoes were you going. I think I'm gonna go into snaky swamp, he does know you're, not he says there's they called for a reason, their snakes everywhere. I I've gotta I've gotta came all the way out here, a three thousand hackles to go into the swamp.
There's waterways, that take you miles deep. And he said, is: listen, sir. The snakes, are in the trees If they see something moving below they jump out onto your head, you don't want to go in there, and he saw my consternation- and he said You don't wanna relent and these have all most of them are poisonous or maybe he'll be. Ok. I think I need. I need a heavier deposit on their canoes, and so I was I was. I was helmet, I'm getting out there. So I went about a half a mile in an hour. Third, confrontation with the snake. I I'm done I guide tighter turn that thing around and I can go. A fast enough and Anna, so can't even fathom she's three miles deepened to this place.
Similarly, snakes are everywhere there crawling on her she's. All might just going just blindly stabbing around to keep snakes away from her, unlike when Indiana Jones jumped out into the vets, ached snakes, exactly it they eventually after two days there- creating another hiding place for her in Grandma Molly's house. It was an attic space about three three feet by feet high feet in length it was a little attic space. It is creed with a false compartment. Peter got around the snake. You want put her up in groundwater, he said he said need this will be of your last walk enjoy this mother, the wonder from the water to the Molly's house, and she went up to that place, There remember Molly is a target she's, a bakery people. They're big reason our house more does not come down. I'm sorry, Harriet does not come out of that little space.
For seven years, she's holed up in this little place, there's a replica and even then you can actually going crawl into there's a picture, and I have seen in the book and that's why she and that's her she's date for for seven years to make his eye. I don't wanna reveal all the story, but then tell me tell me the happy ending The happy ending is the person that is Harriet Jacobs, that her motive for doing all of this her. Her, her love of God and heard her spirit of of the service that she just display is to everybody she just wants to help people
You know it wasn't, like all of you will read the daring rescue, how she got her kid that jail, how she got out of me. It's a great story, but I want you you're right what we won't need everything way, and she gets her. Freedom in this is that this is the part that just is done so tender to me. She could learn anything She could have pursued professional thing she could have she didn't she gets you if I carry tubman before you know, who's also our hero in this book. She gets to her freedom and by way she's, not free, she's, a fugitive and that's a whole nother story. How fighting in the north? Now but she turns around and goes back into the south, go to the front lines into civil war because she wants to be there for the fowls, the fugitive children who curbing liberated by this war and running north and coming two coming orphaned, coming hungry and she's on the front lines.
Establishes the Jacobs free. She called it later. She established the Lincoln School for these children. She she helped these kids get adopted and which is So a personal thing that can extend to my story and so this is she lived to serve God and man an nothing, to distract her all these distractions, all this people there. Their viciousness she was able to put it aside and say: there is real things going on here. God is real, I'm real! These children are real. This war is real. The focus on these things, That's why I am woodwork That's. Why got allow me be liberated so that I could focus on these real things.
And make people's lives better. I heard great phrase the other day, the pulpit of the church. Somebody said in the midst of the darkest of human suffering. That is, where you'll find God you're looking for him write their code there, because it's? Where he's dwelling, that's what she did, that's what she did and amnesia. If, if you know my is proud to mind something you know people asked me often they asked me. How do you go notion? those were traffickers and buy and sell children. Even though you doing an undercover, how do you do that and not just become so give yourself ingest, cynical and
I couldn't answer that question for a long time, because the answer made me look crazy. Because the answer was that I thought I thought some of the lightest moments- those are some of the most brilliant moments of my life and I was embarrassed to say it is again. I would if I would look fool you're, crazy or immoral, or something or would you enjoy this and I figure out why? What has until I heard some, and once talk about angels, and the doctrine of angels, you know did the reality and did. I was relieved I re island is hit me like a ton of bricks. That's what it is when I'm close to the door- guess, things in those kids are right in another room about to be sold. That's I've been feeling all these times. You know that the light guy Is there. The angels are with these children. It's you. Luther there there their belief
their faith. In God, I've watched people in my in my industry. If you who are under cover operators, they from God, because how could God? Let this happen? how could God let these children be abused this way there is no God, I'm out. I watch it all the time and my Experience has been just the opposite because, The closer we get to the dark is place, especially where the kids are I witnessed angels there in God is there and you keep? can't get closer to garden by going vicar you- and I- two M: Thailand together and an eye We will never forget walking down the street with you and talking to you about one other, Worst guys that you had ever encountered, who was just a monster, you remember and you told me the conversations that you had to have to gain-
Trust. Can you share a little bit of that so you'd People know how dark this is Is law I'll tell this at the end of those conversations. I'm running to the bathroom and throwing up literally vomiting talking about children like you're selling, a computer peace or a car right in there, You know it gets so grotesque that I will stop there. So I asked you at that point because there's something there's something to be said for apparent a father and a man. That may or may not be unique to our gender, but I asked you, how do you not just pull a gun and killing people. How do you know? I mean I know you're,
Probably very handy with your hands, I would need a gun. You're, probably more handy, with your hands into your memory, He said to me, I think, about those kids. If I If I missed this up, if I were to do that and. And the sting operation there, be children who would be lost the press fusion winning go through. He would I'd be free and I'd be in jail. I mean there's all the it's. The kids it's the children that I think of those moments. Betray the kids, don't betray the kids and that smile. My face dots, look
At evil stays- and I and I finished it- the job, but you ve had days were you ve, come home and looked at your kids and thought, I can't do it anymore. When I first talk to you, you were kind going through that? I can't do it anymore. I have had many. I still have those day. His and it is usually with my children- I come home and I see them. I've done operations where the kids we just rescue four miles away for from where I live and Going from that The aim to this scene and your filled with guilt, almost guilt wire, my kids, ok and, in the end, that child is not. Why do my kids have to parents and a fan?
system or they have. Trafficker as the only adult in their life whose raping them and selling them, and I've buckled America is, as I have passed, out: I've dropped to the floor, its It's it's a really really. Hard thing to two tickets.
But we didn t- got this in advance and I didn't plan on this advance but prayed before social compelled to share something that you know about that. Nobody else knows about. I not talked about this with anybody. You say you feel guilty. You know. Why are my kids, I felt my kids were safe
you ve, been to my house. I have twenty four seven armed security. I have thousands of dollars worth of equipment. At my house we have five. Her walls we have you name it. We have it. The police actually call me my house, the compound Kay.
And one night at one o clock in the morning because we happened to have phones in her house that have different lines. My wife happened to be awake and she saw the the phone rang just half a ring and then she looked at the phone and she saw the light, went on somebody had answered and then it went off right away. She woke me up and she said somebody answer the phone and I said other heads asleep. She said I just went in both their rooms, their sleep. Somebody is in the house.
So I said: okay, let's come down for a second, let's just wait, let's just let's talk about this for a minute and then about twenty minutes later. That light went on again and we could see that the the call that have come in was from California. So now I grab my kind of my dogs and I go out in the house and I'm looking for somebody in our house- and I say I hear something: And I say if you're one of the kids announce it right now. If you security announce it right. Now I have a gun and I have a dog and I feel under for and I will shoot you
out. So you are now nothing. I'm serious. If there is someone in this house. I will shoot you announce and I heard my son say it's me. My son had been playing on play station and had been contacted by a guy in California, and they were quote just talking about the games at one o clock in the morning. He was a thirty year old man. I think- and my son thought that that was normal and my wife and I said no- that's not normal honey. You
You he called at night and then you picked up on half a ring and said I'll call you back when easy calling it you know at that time. It was clock in the morning. I am so blessed to have I security and no you, I think, at five o clock in the morning when I thought people might start beginning up. I wrote to you, I contacted secure and said here's the guy's name here is what was on collar. I d and I called you and you had the child services come. Or to our house right away, you wanna about that at all- and what its issue TAT could happen to you of all people I'm not only because your car as our cause. You hear this year, one of the fuse, so
n, N, N, N n, supportive of the cause of protecting children and the physical security rules, and yet one of these creeps penetrate got into your house and my son was defending him at first. My son was defending at first my son said, dad you're, always paranoid about everything. Like son. This is a thirty year old man, you're twelve and of course we figured out that you are right about if that person, you're hunters correct him. He is is his his days are numbered and he's a predator, Have you got in your house and and its annex? Its is such an important story for all parents and all people That's how many predators. They're out there are two million children are in the commercial sector, two million children so
What kind of demand justifies that number? That's how many creditors are low. For our kids to find him on Facebook defined a month. Instagram we'll find him on play station there, finding the monk when, when you know children's sex crimes. Division came over. They asked for the playstation, My sense of idle record anything I said: oh, don't worry everything. Everything is recorded. And I'll. Never forget, he looked at me said do if your permission to transcribe all of your sons, conversations and I said. It that's available. He said he up and ice. Oh, you have my permission, which led them to a lot of discovery, but what they did was they took my play station and they just had done this. A few
before with somebody else whose, whose son was in Actually the same situation and had been taken to another city and just by the grace of God, they come he had already been abused, but they caught the person and its because they were playing a game she was. It was a woman. She was forty and she was bonding on the game and then molesting and an What they do is they take these playstations when they find them and they pose as people. And this particular person, the last I have on this is the last I care to share is that there were twelve children that he was grooming, then because-
This would happen. Wow, that's wild be stopped if he hasn't already. We can't talk about it, so I am, I dont think people. I think people think this is a far off problem. They doing this in that's the problem could not. It is everywhere, it's horrifying to look at and don't want to look at it, but we ve got to we ve gotta, look at it for the for the kids. For the kids abroad. We have to stand. And be the parents to all these. It's who don't have anybody know it makes So what makes me so I want to say angry, but it doesn't cause. I I under standard in it just turns into frustration for me of trying to do where repeating history all People who say or founders were so bad all these people are so bad out. How come now
Why community knew that was going on with Harriet, and they did nothing you're, sure that one woman bought Molly, but the town People they knew that woman how come they didn't stand up. Well because we want to look at it now. We want to look at. It's too big to solve. They don't know what they're going to do, and what am I gonna do about it. That's it exactly where we are right. Now nobody wants to look at it. I can literally see minute two minute ratings and TIM. Every time you come on every time we talk about Nazareth, fun, oh, you are saving kids every time You come on, I can see my ratings go right to the floor. Sorry, no! No
No, it is I've tried million different ways to package it. It doesn't matter now. Nobody wants to hear it and yet said on the air if you're looking for God, you're gonna find him at the idea at the point of the most human suffering, that's where he is, but if you're looking at God, what is God got his love he's compassionate empathy he's help ease comfort, he's all of those good things, all of those good things, I don't find any of those things on Twitter. I don't find em if those things on Facebook find any of those things on talk, radio, CNN Fox, whose MSNBC in Washington DC I find none of that there.
And that's what we're missing. If, I am convinced use you. You talked me into how you and do a lot of talking into, but You talked me into this cause, not just because of the children, but because this is the way to heal. This is this? Is it this? Is it everybody's asked me over and over again? Okay? So now what do we do? We know the problem. What would you do this? This is what we do right here. This we save people, we save children, we save Christians, Save the Muslims in China, we save people. And that's exactly why the interval,
but my Tom and came to me. He had the same realisation you had inviting you talking to me. I thought I saw your face is taken the same language, the Glen. Talking about what this causes. So I was so myopic just the same, because if the kids and user and talking about healing how this can heal the nation, and then my Tomlin out of the blue calls me last year. And it has come to Steelers Camp, and I was, as you know, Football fan and I can the Steelers or calling me to come. I want to talk about who you are, and I go case why I get I get to there's camp with him, a thirty day. He says, meet me for much just you and me, no one else I ain't any says this is, as I haven't dirty little secret. I have to tell you a boy and
What is worse, where we went so I've got some children I'd like to set out, as you might imagine away, you know anywhere from where he was gonna, so we sit down and he says, look before I say this to you. I want you to know that the most important thing is saving kids, that's why I want you here, but I do have an ulterior motive for having you here. And he says to me, is why did you call your foundation, the underground rail road, and I said because I love the movement If we can turn later about me, I was you know I am When the beginning, when I was in early two thousand, I don't know who to turn to teach me about slavery, because no talking about the word trafficking, human trafficking, that wasn't even a thing,
and I turned and quiet desperation to history. That's why people like you rejected for my heroes. That's why, and he said, but the underground? He opened my eyes. He's very smart guy. You know very well read is it the underground rail road tat? There was a time bitter, hey people are killing each other because of the color of their skin and Anne. Oh, it was just a horrible time There are people of all colors and all creeds who drop to hate and they found something that was recall, something they all agreed was real. They might not agree on anything else. Politics everything else. States rise verses this and everything else. But they all agreed that people should be abused. And so they dropped their hate, they came together, black white and every other color creed and they join hands. They went into the dark together and they healed and he said, look at me right now. Look look, look at the Unifil he's
I'm getting hit up all over the place. This whole kneeling on the anthem, it he's a guy all this stuff, How can we be so distracted by all this stuff in and whether we should take statue down or not and all this stuff? And yes, it is so important to some people, but children are being raped by the millions here. In the: U S and elsewhere, Can we what if we followed the example of the original railroad, and he says what we got everybody. The focus on something that's that we can all agree. Even if it's the only thing, we can agree that wrong children should be sold and raped and trafficked, and then we're together in the trenches and then we learn to serve alongside each other. We learn to serve one another and we start seeing each other as people, and then the healing begin as for the nation- and I thought, as he's time claimed back told me that a year ago this
resale thing, and this is why my tom and the forward to this book, because he wants that message out. That's in the end, what this book slave tillers is about its, these exciting stories of rescue, then and now, and- and but in the end its case, this is, those things that are real. There's things it aren't so real. There's enough real things, real suffering. God is there. You go to those things he'll receive. You have embrace you it's hard to go there. When your eyes, you gotta, take some You gonna lose some innocence by going into this dark place, but God is an aerial rap. You up in your love, you for coming there and he will begin his healing and if we can spread into the world to the nation, I was trapped in a jungle with you.
And I was surrounded by your, so you were so Christ, like with children, I'm I'm very awkward around children. I was an awkward kid I'm and allow for the man. You are so good with children. I just love you and they flock to you. An you brought me to display I oh you are- has supported and its for all these kids that have been rescued, whether happy happy. They got nothing but they're. Happy. And you said the young, the sex crime. Division is coming out and they're gonna show you some things and give you an update on things, and I,
and I want to see it all. I want us, I want to see it wants it and how long was everything twenty minutes and I've? I finally said turn turn it off. I can't I can't I was a mess. I was a mess, did it views with these kids and I couldn't I could even talk. They were all happy and I couldn't even talk. I was just a wreck and then you come out- and you say I'm glad he didn't show you the tough stuff. The founders were progressives when it comes to slavery, their progressive we're, not gonna convince anybody was just start dismantling at one piece at a time. Let's first stop
slave trade in a few years and will do this in a few years. It didn't work that way, but that's what they were trying to do is they knew they couldn't stop at the, Slave trade, the abolitionist Ben Franklin was called Insane at the end of his life, they might TIM and ridiculed him because slavery and him standing up and being an abolitionist. The Liberty bells, only known to be the Liberty Bell, so called the Liberty Bell was a broken old bell, the abolitionists, founded. Proclaim liberty throughout the land cycle, take that old, bell and use that, and they took it on tour. Who proclaim liberty throughout the land. It was. Abolitionist message, it wasn't It wasn't a founding fathers hey, let's all come together and bill,
the country that Liberty Bell, we know it because of the abolitionist people tried everything from plates. Another Wedgwood plates that they made anything to get people. To see it and talk about it and think about it. And they tried. Bringing down to the slave ship, so you could see it and smell it at an orca! Well, what what is the message TIM that they can get people really. I mean I believe this will come together. I believe this is what we need. This is this. Is I told you September, Haven't made me a better man. Barack Obama made me a better man, Donald trumps, making me a better man,
the slave trade is making me a better man. That's strife makes us better cause. It pushes up against the wall and if your pushed hardened feel finally figure out who you are either somebody who's living up to their highest potential or a coward. Some porches coward as a nation that is already pushed to the absolute limit and is focused Done on all of the wrong things, how do we get them to look at an even bigger problem that nobody wants to even met. You know it's, I don't know the answer to what I do know our job is to kill Can you telling the story
because we do make converts every time we tell a story, we film everything we can I've written this book. For that very purpose. You Talk about what we do in history tat gives us some insight for hundreds of years. No one did anything about slavery, nothing. So win was their movement in the nineteenth century. A movement begins, People have heard of human trafficking, but they don't want to engage in what way look at it. They know it's there and then move on. She was that persons the government as much. I love Abe. He didn't just rise up one day and say hark liberating everybody right. So what happened happen was the people Frederick Douglass spoke up, Harriet Tubman spoke up. Harriet Beecher, Stowe Rights. Book Uncle Tom Cabin- this was the media. They were. The media was books who, as tracks it was lectures, and they start speaking. Harry Beecher, Stowe, her story, so amazing she was one of the ignorant in the north, the dune
believer or nor had heard of it, but didn't really engaged. Just like today, people I heard of human trafficking, but they dont want to engage in what way look at it. They know it's there and move on. She was up. She admits it. He crossed you, Susan in Cincinnati, and she crossed the river in saved. Her dream and stumbled upon slavery sees it sees it like a lot of people stumble upon our website or stem upon your show, windy and here This pod Castro here are talking. And she didn't cower She was one of those that didn't cower, but she said who am? I. This human captivity before me. Who am I and she went home and she couldn't sleep. Might Tom I had a similar spurs. You had a similar experience when you were introduced, as you can. Sleep. She couldn't sleep and she wrote if she were loaded with her sister and so what do I do and she was more embarrassed. From a northern perspective kisses where- complicit in this way in the north? We know what's happening. We do nothing
for hundreds of years and her sister wrote back into what can you do You know that you're not an operator, you, not a government official, but you can write your writer and she stands up and she tells a story. She takes her, let her sister, her sisters, letter in her hand and crumpled up in her hand- and she says I will write something. I would If I live, and she sat down she researched up slavery was and she wrote Uncle Tom Cabin within it here. Two years millions are reading it endorsing what this house So there is a precedent we can make converts than in those people asked the question: what can I do? One good Thinking I'm good at planning events, I'm I happened to be an operator five, a former Navy seal. I can go now and everyone does what they can and then all of a sudden vat was the movement. The end of slavery that was the beginning of the end of slavery,. The foundations. So much of the government had to respond. And when Abraham Lincoln meets Harriet, Beecher Stowe for the first time during the war,
According to her son, he bent down and grab your little hand, and he says so you're the woman who wrote the book. They started this war. And so that's where it begins at has to begin with the people and the media, and in I come home from operations when I'm so Kristen it I've seen these kids and I'm weeping, and I can't look at my kids. Yet I need you like decompress and I go to my news: feeders airplanes landing. And I'm reading this crap everyone's caring about fake crap. Really you you're just so worry about what this person did, who they paid and what they said and I just saw twelve kids being raped for money. And we just barely got em out, I hope a heel, and all you guys are caring about everywhere is is, how outrage you can be because it feels good to your whatever and invest we are fighting, I I went to Mexico City feel hand
team and I met three people that had been rescued. These amazing women. Its role one of them. This sex slave, that is, is Harriet story I mean Harriet story her children are being used against her in the young horrible story. Another woman who's, a literal labour slave who had a chain around her neck. I mean the scar we're still around her neck, and I sat there and I I talk to them about their story. We captured them all and tape and they were. I've never met bigger Stronger women, one of the wind, the women, the one one woman with this chain around her neck.
I said I said I said: could you just hold up a blank piece of paper? Is we're gonna bring to put this to the end and could just hold up a blank piece of paper and say my name is And I was a slave and then hold up the come home. My I the only author of my story. I write my story. Meaning that that slavery doesn't mean anything. I can choose my own path now. She said I won't do that. You know the story. I won't do that. I said. Oh ok, why she said. I wasn't a slight. I wasn't a slave, no one can make me a slave. I was free in my mind. I was not a slave
and I had to change the language for her sake, Some would say I was a slave. That's wrong. These people are. I get on the plane and I come home. My wife and I urge is devastated, maybe three days just devastated and we add that weekend was the weekend. We were pulling down statues and I saw college kids saying that they were being pressed by this statue and I had just been with slaves, and I was, I wanted to run to the bathroom to vomit. I was so SK by us. We are living in a world where nothing now Literally, nothing matters true Doesn't matter, math doesn't matter science doesn't matter.
Nothing matters. No. Cares principles, don't matter. If you a party says one thing: you'll turn on a dime because it will help our side beat that side. So nothing matters and, at the same time,. The little is things we are fighting to the death over the untrue you're in Facebook and in our personal lives, we are willing to fight too death, we're on the edge of civil war over meaningless stuff meaningless. Those choose, don't oppress, anyone put em care melted down, put a minute, it doesn't matter. Matter this.
Happening now, will you just spend more time we have left telling me the personal side of this. Tat. This was the hardest work, however written I they took me three four. Here's a thank to tell this story hurt. You know some people ask if so weird, because every other chapters alternates between Harriet story in mine and is in no way to compare myself to her. I I vote fifteen. I say I'm here to learn at her feet. Because she does something I need to do I will not. Let me just say something here: first, anybody you
that doesn't know you you're the most humble decent man, broadband Godfrey man. I think I've ever met and if you I before I do, I will do my best to raise money to build. Statue, which I know you would hate, but you will go down in history, as in the end the league, I think, of upon offer, you are remarkable thing: I believe that there is currently no so what you know In early two thousands I got pulled into the child crimes unit and I was doing different criminal investigations and I was scared to death and and no one knew what they were doing. Our agency was leading. The way was great, but no one knew what it was huge slavery, modern day slavery, children, child slavery, sex slavery
you can google, like, I said you could go. Human trafficking in private apartment of transportation would come up, you help trafficking, trains or something I known even knew what it was. And they sent me to undercover school. It wasn't, it's done. Do it's been around for years been around had been so hidden. I ve been hidden, it wasn't being spoken of and started leaking out. It's so hidden when you get the underbelly like you, we ve seen it In places like Thailand in Mexico with Mean eighty, it's in the underbelly, but once you're there it's a stick, and and survey they Take me to undercover school, they say we're gonna teach you to be an undercover operator. Twins trade, child trafficking rings, I'm scared to death again, and they put my first simulator it's a stage. It's it's a house at this stage as cameras Black meares and and I'm going to tow with privately. Under cover operator in U S, government
He doesn't know why I'm coming they say you he's a general smuggler getting to talk about the kids. He knows are being salt, ok, So I have no idea what I'm doing my stomach churning I'm bringing up this, these God first can cause. You know these topics, and this guy says he cuts he's turning. Greece is our role. Who am I going to do this anymore like someone set em up like I have a daughter is some kind of joke. I'm not gonna talk about. This leaves And I'm sitting there on a stage, and I like this all alone, You think I don't know what went on in this. Other instructor comes up and put his arm around many says: hey look at bottom line where we're pioneering this week, figure, this out so minuses two thousand too early to their holy. Well, we didn't we weren't, we were dabbling we're doing some things and again not to knock.
The donor. I work for you. They were leading the way in, but just wasn't. No, there were no things like crimes against children. Task force was just getting up and running event. Just barely Pedophiles are running a mark on line, they were making child porn and we weren't catching up to him. And so I had nothing to turn to us where's my manual where's, my curriculum, and quite desperation. I I did, best? I could I bought every book I could on the transatlantic slave trade that recognise it as slavery, but I saw with slavery. These kids didn't control themselves up. Owned their bodies right and it's in its eyes. Pose. We used to see it as prostitutes, we would see it. As you know, that's a sixteen year old girl! Well, that's Sixteen year old girl may have been an eight year old, runaway actually, but I haven't or kidnapped at five interact smuggled from Mexico exactly so we were saying, criminalizing all prostitutes and not understanding, rob right, and so
I sought reading over that kind, slavery desperately and I saw reading things learning things and and these people became my heroes. We still the father of the underground rail road Levi coffin. Here recovery operations. I mean we I've used the tactics How'd you get in here. Would he do hued poses a slave hunter and in and become best friends with a slave hunters. To put the bounty hunters you know and in an end push him after there. Therefore given false intelligence, and we these guys inspired just the technical side of it. Harriet Tubman running missions going under cover Code word to me here: people another Harriet Tubman was the first woman to lead a raid during the civil war and she she liberate surrendered slaves, and that rate she she carried her pissed armies were, I mean, I'm really stories in their inspiring either my heroes. And then I come across this
Harriet Jacobs. And something happened to my heart and who is she? She she wrote the most important book on slavery published in eighteen sixty one, but she had to use false names because the people who helped her escape still alive when they had broken the law, and so by the next generation. That's, why was bare that's why I was buried by the next generation. It was decided copycat of Uncle Tom Cow, my gosh and she was lost to history. Her name was Linda Brent, and so she called herself in her book incidents in the life of a slave girl. Poverty can sixty one the prince, not a real person, accurate Ex threw up through our generation. It was a fake book cast aside until this is one professor. Jeanne, yell and figure of an english professor, sir, Putting the pieces together and fan
verified the whole story? Her book came out in two thousand for the first book. Have you met her? I have talked to I've talked to read all her stuff. Still. Her story has not been out publicly right. It's still kind of hard to find. I never heard it I you know me, I'm pretty good with his. I know. I've never heard it and it's one of the most compelling store. I've read all the citizens too. It is the most Yahoo I get it. It's riveting its and I could not, but booked on really could not. Yeah, it's she her story, just this unbelievable and in the fact that she has two kids now this is where became so personal to me because, as you know,. I was looking for two kids The traffickers had held. And it's so personal to me, because they became my children. That I've adopted
Just came home a couple months ago. You know, and I love them as much still of any of my children. You know it and but during the time like I couldn't get to them, I couldn't reach them, and This might sound over the top, but I would took trip. I don't live close to North Carolina. You know I live in the west and I would take trips to North Carolina, to go to Eden, Tin, What is a town that hasn't changed from the nineteen century? I mean that the roads are paved in, the cars are modern, modern, but everything's. The same you look at a map from nineteen century still looks like that. And I would go there and just walk the streets. My daughter at one point she took the pictures for the book. I wasn't going to write a book. I was going to learn how to rescue these two kids because I don't know else to turn and because she had done it am I
and went to those places. I went to the cemetery where she she makes this covenant a one point in the book. I write about that. She goes and make this come right before she does the most daring part of a rescue wish. I let people read about she go as to the slave cemetery which had been desecrated because of the net Turner thing. Yes, They decided to send a point. Yes, they destroyed it. It was rediscovered in two thousand one Things were happening as I was writing my career listening who being brow, poured out of the dino and it was rededicated two thousand and one. So it's still people don't even in town, so don't even know what this there they don't really know. I had to me forever to find it But then I cried and I prayed. There was no spiritual experience of my life when I went to The Providence cemetery is tiny. Little slave cemetery, where Harry Jacobs, parents are buried. And where she dropped her knees and had got em you to do this.
Take my life, but I'm gonna do this and am can tell you what it was. You can read the I want you to read what it is it she went and did which led to the liberation and There she was there, I believe and angels, I'm telling you. I was on my knees and I've in people I've taken tours back in this last summer Tipp. So people can experience this. And saw her story becomes what I trying to achieve what I'm trying to emulate She was an after care she's, a healer thou. Main thing and, as you know, you ve been with us. You know that after cares, the most important part of our operation, in adoptions. I mean she would take these children fugitive orphans, fugitive slave kids. And find homes for them in the north and south. Everything she did. I just want to be, and I still want to do is she is, but one seldom beginning this interview. She is my hero and, and Miss
book tells the story of how every other chapter you go from her story to mine and the things I'm extrapolating from history, what she's teaching me and not just her but the other, the other. The founders of the underground rail road in that and that amazing abolition, movement and use it is parallel stories kind of make their way across until she finds her kids and I find mine Anne and then it cannot from there. But it's full of these rescue stories in triumphs and tragedies in miracles and and and and God, enlightened service are the core of the whole book. That's the key to not only finding kids but to healing Are you ourselves and our communities in in our world. It's an honor to know. You think I think you fora safety. If my son and heir.
And for some of the worst experiences of my life and have made me a much better man. Thank you. Thank you just a reminder make sure you subscribe and pass this on to a friend if you haven't subscribed already just click subscribe and rate and review, so it can be discovered by other people
Transcript generated on 2020-05-06.