Ben Anderson is a journalist, television reporter, writer and recipient of the Foreign Press Award.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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when you're ready to launch use the offer code, Joe to save ten percent off your first purchase of a website or domain all right. My guest today is Ben Anderson and Ben Anderson is war journalist he he works for vice and travels all over the world's and he's actually, the television reporter or writer journalist recipient of the Foreign Press award and a brilliant guy, a brilliant guy, very easy going guy, who has seen a lot of shit and really appreciated talking to him? So please give it up for Ben Anderson the Joe Rogan experience trying my day, Joe Rogan podcast by night all day live with. Do you want to talk about that or no
the same thing that just everyone sending the clip and uh, and I think you said something about taking a knee in the middle of a gunfight and he said yeah that was bad and he's a fucking savage. What did you do that? What happened refresh my memory were in Afghanistan right and the guys and with the afghan soldiers on with get ambushed by the Taliban. I just went down on one knee and carried on talking, uh and and chain said yeah he's so apparently that's a compliment was zero. One journalists are very fast in the people to me because oftentimes, you guys moved towards the gunfire with the camera to get the shot and it you know. I've talked to folks before who I have worked as a a war journalist may say you almost don't think your you, your you you're you're from his
so concentrated on getting a shot. You don't think about the fact that you might get shot it's a safety mechanism, yet you think you're protected by looking at it on a screen rather than realizing it's. It's actually happening in real life right now that stupid. It's so strange that would try to keep this. Let go just from your face, perfect. I was with them. U S. Marines for operation moshtarak, like the biggest operation of the afghan war on does a town called Marja that was controlled by the Taliban on the map. It's one group of Marines got the Marines. If you were willing to run the same risk, then they'd, let you film everything and their mission was to get dropped by helicopter in the middle of this town at three a dot m on day, one and then just fight way out from the middle of the town and as soon as the sun came up. All of the speakers on the mosques were saying the infidelity here, the infidels here get your weapons get your weapons and General Mcchrystal didn't use his rule of courageous restraint.
Thank you know not to shoot. Unless you shorter honest, you see someone preparing a hostile act and the Taliban and figure out how to use this soap. I'm sitting in this field, with about twenty eight Marines watching the Taliban drop off guys in buildings all around with their weapons wrapped in blankets. Knowing the Marines con shoot to the setting up the perfect ambush, I'm gonna soon, as we start walking across the field, it started, and it's like nothing. I've ever heard or experienced before me ran and dived into a ditch. The guy- I see the side of me got got hit, one of them badly. A guy was killed on the other side of the field. On my straight away, I was there alone filming it myself, because I was watching the whole thing through this tiny little screen on my camera. It felt like I wasn't, you know inasmuch dangerous as they were, and
I was so afraid, and the adrenaline runs out after a while and just become numb- and you I mean then I'd resigned myself. I thought we were gonna get killed. We were completely surrounded and outnumbered and rpgs and snipers I washed it back and the footages. Pretty good? You know changing shorts and zooming in and focus your heart, and I think focusing on that. Helped me help me. How did you get out of it? Today, I'm not even sure I think the Marines just started identifying Taliban targets and picking them off and Taliban ran out of ammunition and the actual ambush lasted like sixty seven hours of non stop fighting. And then we we run into a an old building, which is which became that base for six months, just in a in a abandoned building, and they play shelled that all night, the fighting carried on the whole next day, but but that first day in the ditch, I remember saying to myself: you're an idiot You never say no to anything. You always just you know, join up sign up for these insane trips and, if
survive today and you're, probably not gonna survive. If you do survive today, don't ever go out with these idiots ever again, the next day they said all we're gonna launch this operation. Take this mask and I went out with them. This fella goodnight night's sleep. What was even a good night's sleep, yeah yeah, but yeah survive a few. You mean you I started doing this. You have an idea of what what good odds in battle or two and that you know the you YO go willing to accept less unless owns as time goes on, because nothing happens and it's it's easy to get to get careless and stupid. That's a real thing, with violence right until you've actually experienced it first hand, personally, being an actor on yourself. It almost doesn't seem real, even when bullets at sitting by ahead yeah. Isn't it just a weird compartmentalize ation thing that people are capable of? Is that what it is? I think it is. I mean I think with me. It's like a different I'm I mean I type took part in this MDMA.
Therapy for PTSD recently, and one of one of the revelations that came out as a result of that was I got into this twenty years ago thinking I could help people in Syria Palace in Congo wherever by raising awareness about about what's happening. After a while, you lose faith in the idea, so then you start feeling a bit guilty and thing My just here for my own benefit, am I just hit a profit in some way and not actually helping whatsoever. So I think that guilt made me think you're not important enough to have something as dramatic as getting shot or blown up happened to you. I know that sounds so stupid and never thought that until you know it came out as part of this therapy, but I think I really had started thinking that so the the MDMA therapy made you sort of look at your ration perspective like what would how you rationalizing your your time in these very, very dangerous places in in ways that I hadn't even thought about it,
it was going on your subconscious. It was absolutely you're sort of making these agreements and arrangements in order to be able to still do that, yeah if it continued, then than it was gonna end back. Thank you. You know, was only one way, gonna end and I hadn't hadn't seen that That's all I hadn't hadn't connected the dots like that at all. How did you wind up stopping cheers, cheers I mean this is the big I haven't stopped and I don't think I'm gonna stop. I I did the MGM a therapy thinking. This would give me an excuse to stop right. I thought that's what I wanted three cause of the way through first session. I was planning the next to program and I mean people say you're an adrenaline junkie. That's not true at all. It's not a thrill to be there. It's horrible to be there. It's an endurance test every single time, but I still think it's it's important. Do you think it's important because the information that you can get to people there's no other way. They,
yeah. I mean, I wonder what impact that has these days, but you hope that everything has an impact, I'm sure it doesn't but I mean the example I was using this. You know some of my colleagues have been broken by this is, is you know the syrian war has been very well covered. Every crime has been very well documented. You know, often with video footage of exactly the crime being carried out. Has it made any difference whatsoever, I'm not sure the syrian one is one where you hear you hear rational people say that, like is not our enemy, and how do you you feel about that And I think we're dealing with the legacy of the rock in the Afghanistan war in the. Even if you want to help. What's the point you can't you're only going to make it worse. I think a lot of people feel that way, and I think that leads some people to think Assad is not a good guy. He probably does have the blood of hundreds of thousands on his hands, but we should deal with him anyway. 'cause that's better than Iraq or Afghanistan.
Because when we do get rid of a leader like Libya, with Gaddafi or Iraq, with Hussein, that what happens is you get this power vacuum and then it becomes far worse? We've tried every model. We've tried. Invading Afghanistan, taking over re, trying to rebuild the entire culture and armed forces and government ourselves that has failed miserably, try to rock, Libya tried leading from the back. You know limited intervention, hoping The guys on the ground could do the fighting for us and then Sierra we've tried almost no intervention whatsoever and all three have failed. So I think now you've got people, I mean the thing. I always think. Most people would say we should have intervened in Rwanda. I think almost everyone would say I mean bill. Clinton would say that's his biggest regret. I think his presidency, most people would say we should have intervened in Rwanda. I think everyone
that happened tomorrow. You'd have a lot of people here, saying it's not worth it. We won't help. We can't make the situation better. So why even try? Well it's so hard when you look at the rest of the world, and you see these horrific conditions, and you see warlords and power, and you see atrocities being committed and we're sitting over here in the valley watching on internet and drinking Starbucks. You know, oh, it's just trump gossip yeah, I mean well more so yeah american american Foreign coverage was never would have a great. No now it's it's well. My Garmin Yemen, we'll see me. Because of the questions murder. Maybe maybe something can happen with, and there is What we can do that, because we are directly supporting one side It almost seems like what you were talking about, but in a far lesser extent the the feeling that you get when you're in these war zones that it's almost that it's not real, that you're covering it through this lens.
So you're immune from it almost feels like we view the the massive conflicts of the world that way like we're, watching it on television, we're seeing it on our phones or laptops. It's not real? I know it's real. It is it's a real issue. It's not real like in terms of its not knocking on my door. You know it's almost like. We feel about that way yeah and the numbers as well. I mean you know in syria- could be one hundred thousand dead. People really think what that means. What is eight hundred thousand dead actually mean right today, when I think with certain numbers you just they just become ah just becomes digits and it just doesn't make sense. Yeah doesn't. Ah you like, if you hear five guys get killed in a shoot out, your wallets five guys are dead. You start thinking about it here, five hundred thousand people died on the other side of the planet. It's almost it almost doesn't register.
Yeah yeah- and you know I mean the reason I started doing this- you know when I was a kid as soon as I start reading about the situations and- and you know when I, when I or I remember reading that hit my government, which is government, was arming in often the wrong side, yeah and he's come let's remember thinking. How is this not front page news? How is everyone not talking about that every single day and I still feel like but now, even though I'm clearly out of step with you know most of the popular, but you so immersed? Is it hard for you, you when you come back and you see the Trump gossip and all the nonsense and all the things that we engage in a daily basis here in America that are really trivial at best I mean you know, is it hard for you to the e? U mean you get to see the world just shit happening in the world. All the time is it hard for you to relate yeah, I mean you know I mean one of the one of the main symptoms I had of of the PTSD from covering this. For so long was, was it was numbness to physical danger when I was there, but it was numbness. When I got back home
He'd come back in at one point used to think. If I come back with with the footage I have of would have a conflict, it's going to have. Some kind of impact is gonna, create some kind of ripple when you come back and you think it's this going to be the mean nothing. The film's gonna go out with a few people can tweet a few people gonna, you know, send me a message that that's it are we in the information overload state, I mean you. If you go back to in the early days of the internet, Facebook is going to be the free flow of information, and you know no borders. It's I mean, I don't think we you can dial it's. It's made us Donna. Now that the info there's so much. This is not just how much there is it's also how much bad stuff gets traction how much really important stuff doesn't get correction, I mean one of the great things about about the Trump era is some of the best writing. You know I think for for years, but how many people are reading,
yeah. I would like to know how many people read man tie any of these articles, yeah from the beginning to the end, yeah yeah. I really would like to see that night when you think about the amount of time that guy puts into an article Yeah is of such a strange time because it doesn't, it doesn't seem like any other time it doesn't. Seem like any other time in terms of our consumption of information or how much information we consuming and it's like. The sheer volume of it is it's almost. It's almost like the sheer volume of data that comes in every day, it doesn't go away it just new data comes in it just keeps women piling up. You know it's like porn right, like you, never could watch all the porns this it's not possible. But they keep making him yeah. You know what I mean like la you, open up pornhub and you
How many? How many of them are there and that's? You know that is really data I mean, but then all these crazy internet videos and stories in this is Scott every day. It's something new, it's constant, but but you'd have thought that would that would have led to a situation where some things the indisputable right, because the There is video evidence, but but it's the opposite is the case. Not is verifiable. Now, no matter how much evidence My concern is that that's leading into this trend of deep fakes and this new audio editing ability that they have to they can take your voice your your mouth and put some stuff in there. He never said, and you know it could be news I mean you could that it could be Assad, it could be. Obama could be anyone it's so strange and it might get debunked in the New York Times the next day. Don't care how many people are reading that many people even aware of it very few yeah everything taken out of context, no one reads the full context and
thing. That is, is a small video clip going to see the full and I think that's what what Trump is master? He doesn't care if he gets taken apart the next day in the new Yorker he knows is based reading the new they're, not even aware of of article well, it doesn't seem to be bothering him he's one of the rare guys I've been paying attention to him a lot over the last few months. He doesn't seem to be getting older, like a lot of them. Do like it's. The concern turn that makes them old. You know the stress of the job makes more. He seems to be sleeping in late. Go traveling and I come back and I read the headline Trump's having a meltdown screaming in the White House, and I see him on tv. He looks as happy as a pig in shit. I don't believe any of that shit they're right. I think they write things like that. I think yells at people, but I think yelled at people when he was a real estate mogul, and I think you know he will
to get shit done, he's a billionaire really likes progress. He likes to make money. He doesn't like incompetence yells at people. I don't know it just it's who I feel like we're at this car. Of something very strange happening like we're in the middle of it right now, but we're the cusp of something very strange where all it take is one massive world event: one Matt lately remap how we we view each other and how we've you thanks? It's a very disconcerting to me this I feel like without that one big world event, when not that far away from that right now there are parallel universes right now they exist on things that you would have thought everyone can accept as a basic fact I mean Syria, you know the white helmets. There there are some fairly serious people saying the white helmets are. You know some kind of media front for Al Qaeda Would you explain the white helmets for people
So when is that, when there's a bombing of building collapses, they go in and and drag people out and get the medical attention as as quick as possible, and people think that there somehow or another involved in it there front yeah. To and that the footage is faked. In order to drum up sympathy for the rebel held areas, I mean as I've, I've heard people serious people say that yeah, not not not loons. On Facebook, I've heard you know, journalists, yeah, yeah yeah, I mean I mean Seymour Hersh. I think, as walked it back a little bit since, but he said that in the early days, why do you think he believed it really interesting Oscar him. Just a few days ago, when I was in, I forget what what it was it was. You know the I expose a really good look, look, look at him and I think he's just spent his career. Believing rightly, the government lies about all kinds of things, and that's got me to a point where he thinks well. They always lie no matter. What
so- and I think it's happened to all of Genesis- that Robert Fiske a see more harsh, Martha Gellhorn when my favorite war correspondents of all time. I re read some of her stuff recently and and the first batch of war reporting she did, I think, is the the best war reporting I've ever read: spanish Civil war, Vietnam, um um, and then she spent twenty five years writing novels and then later on wrote about? I believe it is the Yum Kippur war and was denying that massacre. That happened and saying you know: Arabs like they always lie with no massacre and we now know there was a massacre or there were massacres in the aftermath of these of these war. I am so I don't know what happened to me. Maybe if you just do this for too long, you just become so cynical ma'am that that you're open to these things, but it's yeah. I'm amazed that Seymour Hersh is is open to the idea when the very people that are calling in the very people that have boots on the ground and that are in these war zones are calling these things that when they become cynical and they become jaded
That's when it gets really really sketchy and we rely so heavily on people like it like there's, I'm not going over. There and James not going over there, I'm saying I mean in and you wouldn't be able to really get like. I know a little gun to Venezuela and they come back and they go. I don't know what the fuck is going on over there. I don't know who to believe. I don't understand that as well as a very strange one and I get messages, All the time- and you know, I've had Abby Martin who goes over there and she has one take on it, and I have other people that I talked to that of a different take on it, and I do not know, I don't know who to believe, and I think you'd have to go. Over there and do use. Edith has been a lot of time trying to figure this out. It would have to be the entire focus of your life to really try to parse it out. I think that's true of a lot of conflict. I mean one of the one of the one of the drawbacks of doing what I do is I'm covering seven or eight things at once. Yeah. I feel like I'm no expert enough, even Afghanistan, what I've covered you have covered that more
any other, but the Venezuela is an interesting one, because it's there's such a left right divide on that and if you support the opposition, you find yourself alongside John Bolton and Donald Trump which means that a lot of people are going to automatically attack you, right right automatically. Even if it's correct- and I think it we can say with doubt the Maduro has destroyed the economy. There. Medoro has imprisoned, beaten, killed journal first, there is a movement there that do want genuine elections, but some people will say well just because George Bush in another area or John Bolton, this error support the opposition there, for the opposition must be illegitimate and the information coming out must be must be false. And I wish people did rely on people who actually went there, but it doesn't feel like that. It feels like they rely on the you know the guy behind last ask on the news. They were allowed opinion role where people are actually that we still
with this idea in our head that the person who reading the news is the authority there that Don and has the inside scoop or whoever it is. You know I it used to be that those guys would spend twenty or thirty years traveling and then they'd get the cushy job behind that. Just asking this union now is You can go straight to the cushy job behind the glass desk. Well just need someone who's relatable, who can read a teleprompter. You know who fits the profile of they're. Looking for whether it's Fox news or see and then you know, and also the information is there. You know there are fantastic documentaries articles being written about all of these conflicts right people aren't reading them. Well with something like Venezuela that the real problem is. You have two sides if two different versions of what's happening and it's if you're, if you're, not educated in that country- and you don't
stand the politics, it's very difficult to figure out who's, telling the truth yeah same in yeah yeah, and you know I I agree with do that I don't, I don't necessarily think we're getting stupider or dumber in this country. Are in the world in general because the internet, but we're definitely getting weirder in our perceptions of actual world events, and I think, every time something like mass shootings, for instance, like New Zealand. Every time. One of these horrific tragedies takes place. You see more and more division, as I watch people fight over it on twitter people blaming left people, people blaming right wing people, people trying to find some reason, and this one is particularly disturbing because it appears that
at least one of the guys. I don't know their names, I don't know if they even release they withheld withheld the names of these guys have done this. I haven't seen the names I fought in. It one of them seems like he's trolling like he he think pie and said that can is Owens was his biggest inspiration and he's doing that. I guess we could agree. Some people are saying that that okay sign is a white power sign. I know we had this dispute with TIM Pool where he was saying, I guess is a game that some people do play. What is it called the game? The look I don't know official name, there's some game where, if you look under the table, you see someone doing that there a lot of punch or something something stupid like that. I saw the Stephen Miller photo where he's doing up his blazer and supposedly doing the white and if it really is that, is that really evident enough? Now there was a woman in court too. That was doing that where she had her hand like this, and people are saying that but that's what people are talking about rather than right, which is ridic
evidence evidence, but this guy in custody is clearly making that symbol clearly, so like what is he? You know he's like some troll, murderer. Some troll mass murder means both he's both can, with everybody and cold blooded Ruth this killer, people that were praying yeah. I mean, I think, let's not lose sight of, that. You have to have some serious hatred to walk into a mosque and gunned down, he's a few people and have been the other way. You know if that's yeah, it's horrific across the board top to bottom. It's, it's horrific, but it's also one of those things were like. We see so many of these. Now that we're starting to get numb whether it's a jewish synagogue, whether it's. You know a muslim Temple, whether it's a gay club, wear whatever it is, It's like you, see so many of these mass murders. Now that's just whether
it's school or a movie theater theater like fuck man, it's just it all. Like you were talking about you're, filming the news you're there you're watching the bullets fly by We hear them fly by your head and you are just watching it through the lens weird many, many many many levels removed from that. And we're sitting here trying to figure out what to do and when there were not where the boat and the people that are there. Where the bullets take place, they try to give you a description of it and even they barely can comprehend what happened, but also, as you said, we're going straight to the argument about who to blame. Rightly following you follow, and you know rather than people spend as much time is they spend arguing on twitter reading. You know people say fake news. You know that there are people who you can but if they write a ten thousand word piece on Syria for the New Yorker, for example, like you know that they're being fact check- and
Maybe it would be better if there was a website where we cure, rated all of the like the bulletproof that's terrible way to describe, but you know a lot. Rock solid investigative journalism's that are one hundred percent ethical you could completely rely on for an accurate assessment of what's happening because it is difficult for people and when P cool. They rely on biased websites, which many of them do, whether it's biased to the left or bias to the right things get even more money and there's so many of them. It's so easy to get so easy to reinforce your confirmation bias with whatever you know whether it's left wing or right wing find that website read the comments. These are my people, they think, like me, and especially now when it used to be, if you were conservatively and read the Wall Street Journal, fewer liberal, leading New York Times now, no matter how far off the scale you are. You can find a pretty professional looking website, yeah that will write a story backing up your your precious and people aren't
sing, a story, thinking. Ok, I want to find out what happened here: yeah they're thinking. I know what my gut feeling tells me. I need find a had not even a story, a headline that justifies my gut feeling about this that's as far as it seems to go now you as a journalist as a person who risks their life to bring this information to people. How does this make you feel I mean. Is this part of the reason why you needed to do that? Mdma therapy, not just the fact that you were really really are without better of without a better term shell shocked right, I mean you're. There thought you there there something that comes out of that? That's got to be very, very difficult to recover from and overcome yeah, but there's also the fact but you're going over there and bring the shit back and it doesn't seem to people don't seem to give and that used to be what kept you going. Is you thought like some of my?
Work is going to make some kind of difference and when that starts to fade- and you start to think that's not gonna happen, that's I'm sure your work makes a lot of difference to the people that pay attention to it. The day, I think were were overwhelmed by both. I think it's everywhere, there's what I mean bullshit I mean like nonsense. You know Kim Kardashian Psoriasis is in the front page of the CNN, or something like that. You know nonsense to her, but you know what I mean like there's there's stuff that people are concentrating on. It's like Jesus Christ. That's, I know you have what of about one of our talks on HBO. If they go four million views, I think that would be considered very good. Viewing figures yeah well in a country of three hundred and sixty million people yeah. Well, it's very difficult to get people to watch documentaries on real world events. You get him to watch documentaries
unlike a sex cult from Oregon or something like that. Like country, Wild got ten million yeah ten million- I don't know man this New Zealand thing really had me rattled. I and you know what is also strange. People seem to demand a response. They demand people in the public eye to talk about it and you know say: thought. Some prayers or something like that, but as soon as you say, thoughts and prayers, they'll say the thoughts and prayers that we had that for years, and that was actually happened. It's here yeah it's um, it's very strict, but weak. I don't know if they, they're concerned that you're not horrified? make sure you are like who the fuck isn't like. How did you know baby. I don't understand this, or is it just just to confuse themselves so just lashing out at any target they can find or anyone they can find
no, the footage is available. Of of you know this guy's head count as he as he show everybody, but but footage like that has been widely available for a long time now, and I think that's that's had a massive numbing effect. I mean you know the the picture of that. The syrian refugee, washing up on the beach you know I felt like that- was going to have an effect it felt like that was the pit to that was really gonna. Gonna change things, not I'm not short in the mind of for a couple days and then more news. The the now I mean not, you know just to be not completely pessimistic that when you're doing stuff for vice an HBO, you do get young people reaching out to you and say I had no idea yeah. I want to be a photographer or doctor or maybe that's an effect. It's going to be felt down the road
I don't know it feels like there are. There is a generation of people growing up thinking, I'm not gonna play by the numbers, so everyone's like I am gonna, actually try and do something about this. I think I really do believe you do have an effect. I think vice certainly has an effect. I think a lot of this has an effect. I think it's very difficult to feel that effect if you're not experiencing it. Personally, I mean T just look out onto a landscape and say how much of an effect is this having on people it's hard like where you getting feedback from how you how you gauging whether or not this is changing people's perceptions? Well, sometimes the feedback you do get is is on twitter, we'll get a few lunatics will say, in fact this? What did you so then you think well really having no impact, but I think that's an argument for just the well there's a little bit brown and then you know I had grenade to rest on recently and she's done a lot of work covering all these various russian troll farms Ann. How the so essentially
organize conflict online, and you know they set up these things where you have like a pro Texas movement and they set him up across the street from a pro muslim movement and they do it on purpose, and then they have. These pro lg Bt Movement things online today organize to attack certain people in certain groups, the minish certain aspects and defied parts of the Democratic Party. It's crazy! When you hear about shit like that, on top of all this, you well, just the actual news itself so difficult to disseminate it so difficult to figure out what should I pay attention to? What's real and then you have this kind of shit happening. On top of that, you like well well, well, well, fuck, you know, I don't know, there's a piece came now in the New York. I don't mean to keep on going on about the New York about piece came out about the new Yorker today by Ed Caesar, the friend of mine, about Brexit and about Aaron banks and and I have read the piece yet, but I know I know we've been working on and you know the
maybe evidence that the Russians directly influence the brexit vote. Are the brexit voters really gonna? Look at that article and think? Oh maybe I was misled. Maybe I maybe I read ten Alka articles on Facebook that that made me wrongly how many people actually have their minds open enough to write. Consider that I mean especially with american politics. It feels like football will play a foul. Someone, of course, is not foul fuel player gets fouled ISA plane found he should get sent off. It's one hundred percent, blatant tribalism, yeah very few objective people very few legit centrists, everyone seems to be digging their heels in on one side or the other, and it seems a lot of 'em of just picked teen yeah. I don't necessarily think they've curated these opinions and cultivated these ideas over for many years of soul, searching and reading and trying to understand who they are and how they interface with the world. I don't think that's how
for your family. You have the team. If your family is always been republican, then sent only saying maybe I'm gonna vote for Hillary. Instead of Trump feels like coming out. Something you know like it's! It's that big a deal, your occupation. You know, depending upon your occupation, I mean good luck, finding a job in tech if you're right wing, you know good luck, working in the arms industry, if your left wing, yeah it's like there's weird weird time, Ben yeah, you know- I always used to read about the Nixon era. Thinking that must been time to be alive yeah. But then to actually live through a similar period. Now you think it's not it's not fascinating. It's just it's just depressing. Every single deadly Nixon thing must have been insanely difficult to get information right. You relied on rolling Stone New York Times, whatever Washington Post, whatever newspaper was covering whatever store you relied on all those but you, you couldn't get it any other way. Now you can get it from everything I mean. There's
People on the ground are tweeting about things, and then they become local celebrities. They become sort of like temporary, in net journalist, slash celebrities at weird when you, when you you your perspective and your your life experiences so much richer and deeper in this than anybody else's. Did you do you think, there's a way to turn this around? This is going to eventually even out, I hope so right now I don't see what that what that looks like what that looks. It is the best way to describe it. What does that? Look like I mean it Attention span, I think, has been shortened yeah. Down to watch a movie at home, I'm in ten minutes, I'm reaching for my phone. Yes out I'm not a surgeon! There's no emergency that you know right right. I might be checking twitter again, perfect storm yeah,
distractions in and we now Know- is a is addictive, so yeah how you turn that around I mean it feels like there's a little bit of a movement of people to you know, switch that stuff off and just read a book or go for will call but yeah you gotta have real discipline. Now I mean you fight against Fucking heroin, addiction, yeah, it's crazy and everyone else is addicted to oh yeah, so you're, not part of the conversation. If you don't know, I walked into a restaurant, the other night, and everyone was looking at phone. No one was looking at each other, like I'm in a movie yeah. This is a movie some post of some gay. I mean if, if, instead of looking at their phones, if everyone's just looking at the guy you'd, be like. Oh, my god, there's a real problem. These people are sick, yeah, there's something wrong. You know if everyone is just sitting there with their hands open like staring up with this guy and sitting next to each other, like these people are sick, there's something wrong. They need help instead, they're looking at nothing, yeah they're checking their feet over and over again someone's complaining about
captain Marvel being a woman. Yeah, hey all the experts are the ones getting followed on there there who, in their I mean the experts in whatever you know the ones we really are we looking at them. It should be this free flow imation, where you can find out anything in your hand, what one incredible thing yeah, but it's it's not that it's definitely not that! Well, I think there's two things I think one we didn't earn. It is just given to us right. It's not like we He did all the work to curate. All this technology and put it together and figure out how to implement it- and I don't know we just went to the Fucking Verizon store and picked up a new phone. I mean that's that's what most people are doing. And because of that, it's almost like being like a trust fund kid or something like that. It's just all given to you. It's all handed to you all this, I felt I feel the same way sometimes about weapons. I feel like the discipline required
learn how to use one and create it and build it and then understand the responsibility of actually using it on human being all that shit out the window. You just go to the store and buy it. You know, there's no Requirements of you other than you never killed anybody yet have you written? river over anybody in your car. No, if you robbed a bank now, okay, yeah, you beating your wife, now, okay, here's, a guy yeah, it's fuckin strange and this as as a human being the lack of discipline and accountability that we have in this ultimate access to all these things constantly. And many of them become just massive distractions, and you know this in some ways is: is the utopia that people have dreamed for you doing that for generations short with free of war? You're not gonna, get attacked in your house tonight, I'm not going to starve you
everything you could possibly need. So you'd think we would become the perfect human beings in the absence of all those things that would have killed us in the past or would have made life hard in the past and again, that's not what we're doing well, I don't think we operate very well without legitimate conflict without legitimate conflict in terms of like actual things you need to worry about. Like I, when I used to live in the EAST coast, one of things that was really noticeable was that when no doubt people were nicer, they help people when they're broken on the side of the road they were nice. Each other. There was a sense of vulnerability that we are all deeply entrenched in winter nature thing and we got to work other. Otherwise we can survive yeah. You know, and I think that apply rise to all aspects of life that when there's no real danger, people become extremely frivolous. It's amazing how quickly we become lazy and complacent yeah
actually the flip side of the negative stuff. I was saying earlier it's on good days, I'll, come back from Yemen, Syria, wherever I'll, go out and get a cup of coffee. You know I read the newspaper I'll get, don't don't think man, I'm the luckiest man alive, yeah, the fact that could do this because you do experience these horrific environ and so you can appreciate it yeah. The fact that we can you know I mean within a few hours here we have one of the best meals yeah possible in the world. We can you know it's in a it's red. That's been incredible, so good that you can you can you can appreciate again this is you coming from these babs being so it puts it in perspective. Sorry, I'm trying to try to back you up and say yeah like if you, if you're, not if you're, not checked it more that stuff, then you can get to appreciate the basics. Again. I was on this trip and prince of Wales. We camped out on this island. It rained every day for six days. Seven days I mean
We were soaked, you're soaked everything, so your sleeping bag, so slash soaked. Everything came back home and it felt so good like I've. Never felt this, unlike that before, like this son was just this like this magic love glow that the sky was pouring down on the city, everything felt so happy and I realize, like you, can't really appreciate this until it's taken a from yeah, let's take it away from you, then you understand what it is. So then you wonder when the kids of today grow up right, where they like, when everything has just been at their fingertips from day one forever for up no mystery, they don't understand bullshit hers either because, like like when I was a kid people just to lie about shed- and you really didn't know you I he seems like he's full of shit. You couldn't just have to go to an encyclopedia, you know and actually read. The information. Now you can go ok. What year did this happen and you pull up your phone can't
fuck yeah, no yeah people lie about being in the Olympics. They lied about this. They lied about that yeah. It's um, it's good, in that we have ultimate access to information for people that use it and understand what it is: appreciate. It is good, but to your point, if there was a way to actually filter and say this is verifiable, this disk nine, seven things which are absolutely bullshit. We have no doubt about that whatsoever if that could exist. Wonderful, but when folks I've tried a few people tried it. He still is still felt, like you end up being described, as you know, being on one side of the fire yeah, I almost feel like we need some sort of organized disciplined, like maybe like a mandatory volunteer work. Cleaning up, impoverished communities are mandatory, volunteer, work to delegate and that, but I don't want people to have to do things like I'm, because I'm conflicted on that too. I don't want people to have to
do that, you know like when those countries that have mandatory military service, they seem to have an amazing feeling of of patriotism in those countries and appreciation in those countries, because they actually do have to join the military for two years or whatever it is. We don't have that over here weird and to a point about going up and cleaning out cleaning up in an impoverished area. At least then you'd get to me yeah the other people, people outside of your circle. In your bubble I mean yeah. The amount of times here. When you talk to people about Muslims, LGBT or whatever it is, and you think I ask as you've never met anyone right if you've actually never met anyone that is Xy or z, which is. I moved to Brooklyn five years six years ago, I moved Clinton Hill, Fort Greene. I got a few friends that have been there forever and I said, look this probably sounds like a really stupid thing to say, but it feels kind of segregated here and they like the uh, because it does and
and believe it. You know not grown up on the spike Lee Movies, and I mean I guess they do show what kind of segregation, but I thought you know this was the place where everyone lives today. I went to each other's bodegas and restaurants and right It's on the dividing line between the bit that was going to fight and the projects you go, two blocks that way pretty much all black. You go three blocks that way pretty much all white with yoga studios and bougie, coffee shops and pets, bars and, and the two communities just did not mix it wasn't necessarily they hated each other or they just did not mix different language different everything right. This is utopian option that there is a place where everybody's cool yeah yeah and I thought it might be New York. It might be Brooklyn It's probably the only place, that's close right. Well. At least it has a reputation for yeah, at least in Brooklyn. People walk around yeah,
but talking about amazing pieces of journalism. Over last few years, there's Nicole Hannah Jones wrote a piece about New York, school system, public school system. The most said created school system in America, in New York really, and she had to her daughter into a public school and the was that the very good well supported cool in the gentrifying, mostly white area or the bad failing public school in the non tried, mostly black area, where her kids, might suffer, and I think I'm remembering correctly, but her and her husband had a real fight about it. 'cause she said no, we gotta put our kid in the bad, failing school and help it get better and it's going to take years and are or two may suffer in the short term. But that's what we have to do. If we're living in this neighborhood um, it's an incredible piece: wow yeah! That's the real conflict as a parent, you have children, no one's your, possibly it's usually I'm sure right.
You're when you're thinking of your children, you're, always thinking of their safety, always worried about them. You want to protect them, so putting them in a situation where they wouldn't be as protected is Never your first instinct! Oh! She! She was in Town Hall meetings where Progressive white, liberal parents, who would be very left wing every other issue, we're really fighting to make sure their kid went to the good majority white schools. You know they want a bit of diversity, but no not too much diversity right. They want a black friend, yeah yeah yeah. That's when people think of Brooklyn, they do think of it as being like the most diverse place. Yeah and it's yeah, I mean street by street, segregated it land is pretty diverse, Atlanta's interesting. You know, because Atlanta has um a lot of there's a there's, a lot of um plus a lot of everything in Atlanta, but it Zaveri black city in a lot of ways,
but it's also very white city. You see a lot of black and white people hanging out together and clubs and bars and restaurants and stuff- and it's really like much closer to like a five thousand and fifty split in a lot of places, at least in some of the neighborhoods that I've been to when I go back to London. This was one of the few things I'm proud of about about London. Yes, it certainly New York, it's it's, not a big deal for a group of friend a family account to be to be genuinely mixed here. It's that you would know I'd, ask you. Is that big? because London didn't experience slavery. The way the United States did yeah, I mean. Obviously we have you, know Cologne, history, of course, but that wasn't in the country itself right for a very long time. We've had a huge pakistani bangladeshi jamaican community and it's it's. You know I mean here if you have black friends or you date, a black girl or you know it's- it's people think you're trying to prove your work right
there. It was just normal, normal London saying England's perfect London. I experienced that, in London as well. It seemed like way: more integrated, yeah, yeah, that's still! Five, six years after I moved to New York, it's still a surprise. Every day new is a different animal. Now New York is so fucking. Expensive, It's so strange, and my friend Judah who Judah Friedlander who lives there said he's live there for a long time. He's like it's so changed. It used to be like a lot of artists and a lot of creative people, and he goes it's now. It's all finance people. Wherever you go, it's finance, everybody just wants the most. Suit the most expensive watch and they live in this ridiculously expensive apartment, and I,
that went out in the eighties. I thought that was like Wall Street American Psycho yeah. That's that's still very much exist that still prevalent well. I was talking to this guy yesterday, who is a twenty six year old who's graduating with a degree in finance and trying to figure out what he wants to Dio and he's thinking about moving New York and getting a job on Wall Street, but he's hesitant because he's a nice guy he doesn't want to go dark, you know, and I'm like you could you could go to the dark side like these people are look not all of them, but a lot of them are just straight up. Materialists there just chasing money when you're the money, business and you're just chasing money like there your reward. Is things your reward? Is objects and status and clothes and how
Xyz and shit yeah? And sometimes you talk to the guys, you say so. What do you do? I work in finance yeah. What do you actually do, but working finance, I'm very well rewarded as you can see, but what do you Really do I look for fluctuations in international grain markets. Congratulations amazing thing to dedicate you know and if you just said what they do, rather than what the reward waas think. This is ridiculous. What a waste of your time it is, but the the status of being super wealthy for a lot of miss worth it, because they don't have a passion right. They don't have a thing. There do not trying to write a book. They're not tryingto, make a painting or whatever the fuck it is. You know they're just trying to make the money and they're making the money. So everything is great. Do the coke- and I mean if I, if I pulled up here in a purple Lamborghini with a diamond studded watch, but look at this mother Fucker must be running people
yeah, but not that many people would be, would be that impressed. I think most people would think what it do yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, certain circles right. It's whatever circle that you're in certain circles. I can finance circles. It is about those things more than it's, not because those things Rep and success in your industry. Your friend should read a piece of maybe even a book by Michael Lewis, any talk to to graduates who are about to get approached by the big banks and financial institutions. He says: listen, you think you're gonna do this, but two or three years a few million dollars and then do something worthwhile with your life. But what's gonna it is you're, gonna, get seduced and you're gonna get the mortgage, you're, gonna and suddenly twenty years of your life would have gone by and you'll think what the fuck am. I just don't like. This is the exact advice I gave him yesterday the exact advice I was like man, you got to do something that actually makes you
happy, don't get sucked into that, and he was saying I was thinking about trying it for a few years. That's what they say. Yeah man, once you once you get a mortgage once you get a car, yeah nice, Bmw, yeah, how much that running a month? Yeah! Ah wolf, fuck man yeah! It's some! It's a stray thing to the stock market, the the moving around of numbers looking for fluctuations in the market and the fact that would drive me crazy is when you hear that people have gotten servers that are what the closest as part full to the market, because that the paying, because they're they're using algorithm so that everything is done off of a computer program in the close of the are the quicker the transaction takes place and it actually can be to the tune of millions of dollars. That's another Michael Lewis, book yeah! Oh! Is it flash boys yeah? Ok, yeah these guys figure out what was going on and then
it's not a a trading floor where there was so much cable that no one could benefit from those. You know those ns advantage and, of course the other banks tried to close it down it wasn't that popular Jamie was telling me that there's a game called four nights and all the kids play and they're moving to Columbus Ohio. So they could be closed in a server there. But that's one of the places right axis also there's also another place with a move to same deal yeah to be closer to the server, so they could paying lower because it's like a real business yeah, but at least these guys are playing a game with skill I mean there. I guess it's still. I that meant at a moment hundred thousand dollars yesterday, yeah yeah sure, so I I tend on ESPN last night, trying to watch the boxing most boxing at Madison Square Garden. Last night and ESPN, the main channel had gamers stadium playing playing football on a computer. They haven't
sports arena in Vegas right at the Luxor, so I can ease ports arena. I think the franchise fees for the next season of call of duty or twenty five million dollars team, which is like four four guys on the team, jeez landing a and then someone's gotta pay for that Jesus Christ. You were in Dallas for the Earl Spence, Mikey, Garcia, fight, yeah, yeah, Earl Spence is the real deal I mean Mikey. Garcia would books him for a few rounds at least early on, and then maybe you know, Spence's size and power make a difference but yeah box and from what both them in the way, and I was like yikes yeah he's a lot bigger, yeah two weight divisions, yeah yeah well Mikey start his career at one was at one hundred and thirty five. He was featherweight champ, I think, with his fastball, so is lighter than yeah, so it was at one hundred and twenty six seat pulled up MIKE Garcia, so they fought at forty seven and Earl Spence looks every bit of one hundred and forty seven I mean he's a big fella. He looks like he could fight one hundred and fifty four
crazy. You know, MIKE Garcia, just looks so much smaller than him at the wind, but it wasn't just the size. It's like yeah, just real. That was a surprise. For me. He was incredible. He's fucking, good, so smart to like when you talking so smooth Remember that remember the Miley Winky Wright Felix Trinidad. Yes, I do it reminded him that yeah look at the size difference and he would have put on a load of in the next thirty six hours as well I mean he's, he's taller, he's wider, he's more muscular and he's probably pretty dehydrated making their way. Google Roberto Duran. Having time is life yeah yeah yeah, he was dancing at the weigh ins and shit, certain fighters were dancing and he was dancing to pretty funny. What is he doing now see you like working as he's helping them. But these things is that, what's going on, he was on this one yeah. He was there. We saw him ringside, he so beloved story that I had right like to go for that no MAS fight, he was
He was shunned. I mean hated mass shame across the whole world for years until he beat Davie more at one of my favorite. I mean it's brutal baradal, just to see that city just slowly come out and I story. That Tyson was at that fight with all of his mens from Brooklyn and they couldn't afford tickets. So they just rush the security gate, knowing that three or four of them would get caught and the others were getting and that's how he got in yeah wow, wow yeah. I remember watching that fight thinking that he was going to lose and I was a big Roberto. Duran fan God. It's probably lose exposed, please right under the shore and he fucked Davey Moore up, Davey, more wound up dying in a crazy accident where he was working on his car is Dr. When it fell on him yeah, you fell on him or ran him over like one of those things that I was trying to fix his car, something fucked up Duran laced him at one point: when you still the yeah, he thumbed them too. They think that
what remember his eyes, swollen pretty bad. That's when the things that makes me feel a bit guilty about love, boxing. You see see that it's, it's fucking businessman, it's brutal business. You know I mean. I don't know if Emma is more brutal, I think it probably is there's a lot of pokes the the in MMA a lot and most of them are their unintentional most of them, but a bunch have to think that gets me them. It may is because I come from you know. Boxing is my sport. When you see a guy go down and he's clearly out on the guy jumped on him and pounds him, I know. Sometimes the ref tries to get in there. That's that's just a bit too much for me this weekend, Jorge MAS Vidal. He knocked out Darren till And he K Odom, he clipped him in the left hand on the way down. He hit him with another left hand, then Darren till it's flatlined completely out and Moscow doubt on corks of bomb right on his face, while he's out cold
was right. I mean correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel, like a boxing crowd, appreciate a good skillful technical match. I feel like sometimes a UFC crowd will be cheering at that moment you just described. I think you. Humans. Like brawls, I mean the reason why Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward was such a successful trilogy is because those guys would just beat the fuck out of yeah. They were so closely matching they're both these blood and that's warriors and they just stood in front of each other and they were- and we knew at the time that these guys are not gonna, be Floyd Mayweather to not gonna, be the best guys did their. You know their good fighters third World class fighters, but there not world champions and there's a thing that we look at when we watch fighters like fighter could be good, but there's a fighters that we appreciate but they'll never fight for the world title they do. They have no chance and then his fighters like this guy might be the best in the world. You know there's a difference.
Admire, Floyd, a defensive skills, but he's never gonna have that that war with Mickey Ward Arturo Gatti never but he's also going to be fine. And when he's fifty five yeah he'll be able to talk and walk in. You know nothing happens to them to him. His he's not he does. He didn't endear the punishment, the beatings of those guys out, that's the saddest of all, is when you see these guys. You see them on television, you see the war, you see the, but you don't see the aftermath. You don't see the struggles that they have with their memory. You don't see the confusion of the anger out of nowhere. The emotional outbursts with they don't they don't know, Why they're doing what they're doing they? Don't? Why they're saying they're saying most of my broke before they even retired yeah yeah yeah? Did you see that the film about Michael Bent, just came out on Netflix, is part of that loser series. No, I did not that that's worth what he never really liked boxing everyone to box, but he's got already really successful career in Hollywood, but you,
plays and movies really yeah yeah, it's a great Michael Bent it uses plays and movies yeah. He won't vote to play. I think any teachers actors how to box as well when the doing movies, it's movies great, a great little talk good for him. Well, I'm always very happy a path. You know you get the sense that boxing was never him and he found a way at the end to be him and do some he laughed and is thriving at it, which is, which is a rare thing for ex boxes. It's crazy once people are just good. I think. There's a guy in MMA like that Anthony Rumble Johnson was one of the most terrifying fighters in the history of sport, just a ruthless knockout artist and um last his last loss. He was talking to him in the octagon. I was interviewing him when he said I know I don't like fighting I'm not a fighter because I'm an athlete, I'm just good at it, and I was like wow, that is a crazy honest, like such a introspective way of like he's like looking had themselves like this is not what I don't want to do this, but since then he thought about coming back, but
people, say to me all the time, your adrenaline, junkie or addicted to the thrill and there's no way thrill doing this. What you think it's it's a thrill! You know and I'm sure, there's no thrill for you, but do you think that being in these incredibly tense environments- ramps life up in a way that you don't get outside of it. Like you did you re tribe Sebastian, and I met him a few times where he was When I was having a few problems, he was. He was very helpful. He was really really good guy. I really like that. Guy yeah, yeah before I met him, he's got that picture in vanity, fair of like posing with the dog tag, and it's like a model. Looking picture after now, these guys were tosser, yeah, yeah yeah, and then I met him? He was the nicest most humble considerate guy he's he's fantastic, and I really like that book as well. Yeah I couldn't couldn't be a bigger fan of hers. Is a human too,
just very genuine, really there when you're talking to him, but that's sort of his take on it. Is that um if you're listening. I know I talk about that book too much. I just love it, but his take on it was that these people are experiencing life in this incredibly extreme environment and then come back to the rest of the world and it just doesn't feel real anymore. So it's not it's not thrilling when you there, but it is real drama, you're seeing LA from death drama right in front of your face. When you come back, you think you really want to see this person see this film try out this new restaurant and then you get back and you just don't care just feel flat. Yeah yeah, I mean you know when when I was getting the PTSD treatment, numb numbness was the word that came out more. I'm Nestor. Everything like numbness to the danger you there but numbness back here for the things that should be pleasurable and should be providing some kind of relief as well. Now, how did the pt it's PTSD treatment, get organized.
Through maps. You part of that study. Yeah. We did a short film about about Rick. Doubling in this this you know, there's this effort to get M d M a legal, but I've been in deny for years and years and a new producer joined Vice guy called Steven Bailey, and we had the first idea what he was pitching some. Meeting. He was pitching some of his ideas and he mentioned. You know this breakthrough therapy using MDMA for PTSD, and I just involuntarily put my hand up and said Do it straight away? It me the excuse to actually to get some help. And see if hasn't done. Mdma recreationally. Before that I mean yeah, I came of age in in London in the 90s areas like it was like having a pint of beer, then what is the difference between doing it in a therapeutic environment? It's it's! It's MDMA, assisted therapy, the This is on the therapy, so you're lying in a bed. If you fasted for twenty four hours before
The therapist knows you and knows your issues so knows how to like politely, gently nudge, you towards the right topic of conversation, but always makes it makes you actually get sick, conclusions. You know there are times when I would ask him. Why is this happening? Why do I think this? And he put it back on me and make me put two and two together? Sometimes you listen to music. Sometimes you put an eye mask on and you don't sleep, but you just have a quiet, two thousand and thirty minutes, but it's very intense, seven to eight hour therapy session in may just enables you to get the benefits and all of the veterans and first responders, who took part in the first round of trials, had been therapy resistant and I think the first round. I think seventy two percent of them got the benefits and were considered PTSD free after after the three month trial. So during the three month trial. How many this: is: do they have one a month, one of my three three totally yeah, and that that I mean the best. The best them example can give. How this works at the first veteran had been through it he had one session and heat loss,
friends in Iraq and it felt guilty about it and always thought. Maybe if I had done something different, I could have saved them and he in being them in in the first MDMA session, and they were saying to him why are you ruining your life you're alive, you're healthy? We want you to have a fun, productive, full life and enjoy your friends enjoy your family and he said that gave him. Mission, and that was what he needed and he didn't even do the second two sessions wow. That's a what an interesting way of looking at. Of course, and that word permission, because there is so much guilt just getting just getting just to just a bit a In fact, there was a break in Israel. Oh yeah, yeah, a lot of people that come back from the war that lost friends have that horrible feeling that it should have been them they're, not as good as the person who died. Ed or that somehow or another them being alive is the reason why their friend was dead irrational. Well, maybe I didn't really experience it because I came out unscathed right yeah.
Which is one of the reasons why I didn't seek treatment. For years and years and years I got friends who lost their legs. I've got friends who were kidnapped and killed so maybe I've only just dip. My toes so there's nothing. Nothing. I've got nothing to complain about. What was your number one issue? I think the numbness, to danger and to pleasurable things back here I mean my cameraman in Mosul. We were there when there, when the iraqi army- and it was it was- I mean house- was we were stepping on we to get through rooms to at one point with three or four iraqi, so we'll just trying to get to the river to cut off these two ISIS positions, They got a radio message, saying: there's a suicide bomber and a gun man running down the street towards you now, so we stepped into this. What used to be a shop? That's all blown up and smashed a bit and I sat down as the two soldiers tried to shoot a suicide bomber as he was running towards us on someone id id and right next me under the rubble, was an ied the day before I think, or two days before, two french journalists and Curtis German.
Been killed when they stepped on Riday trying to get out, a montana. My camera man just said. Looked bored, he looked bored We got that moment on camera and I remember just looking so bored and I couldn't give a shit about the suicide bomber. The I e d, I was just bored out my brain and that's when I this is this is not a natural reaction to what's going on around you right now. What did you think your natural reaction should have been? I mean rating racing heart rate, we sing of em vigilance, I'm you know, and what did you think at the time was the cause of you being numb and while it was happening I hadn't really thought that much about PTSD. I just thought I'd become so used to this and one of the things that came up in the when the last sessions I did was, I didn't think, an important enough to get to get shot in the Her and have medics rush over to help me, and maybe a helicopter take me out, and you know
I'm. I know that sounds ridiculous now, but I think part me thought yeah you're not important enough to have something so dramatic happened to you. You're just you're, just witnessing other people in these dramas wow to be right. Next, to an I d and not freaking out it's pretty crazy, yeah with a suicide bomber down the street. Towards I mean that's and also you know, people people you feel guilty is you do get respect for being brave and I would say for wasn't bravery I wasn't scared and then did it anyway. I wasn't scared, just numb and just capital get respect from other journalists from the soldiers like who are you getting respect from, I owe to people of one of the film's or yeah yeah. Then it doesn't, it doesn't feel like brave. It just feels like cool you've. You've you've become stupid about the risk you're taking so talk me through this therapy, so
you faster for twenty four hours. You take the MDMA and then they just start talking to you about the things that are troubling you yeah, so you take one hundred twenty five milligrams and then, when that it's about hour. I think it's a good dose But then, when it hits, you take another. Seventy five we'll go over all that that's a good dose, and that keeps you up for you know six hundred and seventy eight hours um on the you know. The therapist would ask very brief question just just knowing what, more direction to push me, and I remember the first session. I mean I'd thought because of what I now know was PTSD I'd thought because of the job I do and because there is this kind of darkness in there I do get involved with anyone seriously for a very long time and even thought. I'm not gonna have a family and kids and house and dog- and you know just just we thought about it, just assumed. That's not for me because of the job. I do and very early on in that first session after I resisted it for about an hour
but we was really resisting it for a long time thinking it was even a placebo I am but, but there was this wave of relief of just, of course you can. Of course you can have all that on it. It felt like a revelation because I thought that had been closed to me for so long. For you know seventy eight years, maybe longer I just thought I'd ask you can't do that? It's not for you all! You can't put someone else through that with you. What is it particularly about MD? What is it about? I mean I've done it, but I've only done it once the is it just because of the fact that it just alleviates the insecurity and allows you to look at things in a more natural sense. You look at Everything as if we're just talking about having coffee or water. Everything is just easy to think about on a dress and talk about. I think I'll, probably explain it badly, but I think the science of it is. You have five networks in your brain and- and I was basically in fight or flight mode, so much That was the only mode I need to, even when I'm back in New York. If someone walks up to close behind me, I'm expecting a confrontation and fight or flight mode all the time, so you're
your brain is ignoring the other parts of your brain that provide context and that's a that. Bang outside is just a car backfiring, it's not an idea or someone shooting, so the India may just allows your brain tow away parts of your brain to commune. Again you're, not just in that fight or flight mode? So once you get out of that fight or flight mode, you can then address things that you can even begin to address before and once you've had these experiences for you. It was three experiences their profound and now that you retain the benefits some I mean it looks like I'm in the twenty five percent that still have PTSD after the three months, but it still helps enormously. I mean the next day they sit down and do a video diary- and I was kind of saying diary listen. If this was a revelation- and I said you know what I'm just I'm just smiling now in a way that I don't feel like I've smiled for years like it feels like my whole face is smiling. When is the next day, which is usually
correct, yeah. I think it's two or three days when you have the, but we stickle Moody Tuesday, on the other two or three days yeah, but with with this that there's no there's no come down with this. It's it's. You know there. There there's, no downside how they give you know cover is that they give you five ht peer, anything and while you're nothing apart from the MDMA you have, you have share of water water. Throughout I mean maybe the come down is related to you know people that used to take it. We just dance and sweat. The hydrate yeah? Maybe it's a shitty yeah, maybe I mean yeah, the ecstasy they would have sold in London would have been rat poison and breezeblocks fast and all kinds of stuff in there. So I know they have a very positive results with this and are they planning on this to to the public in anytime short term mean. Is this something that, like people listening this right now is this going to be available to them fairly soon it looks.
It should be legal by twenty twenty one. Twenty twenty two, the third round of officially FDA approved trials, start soon. That's the first It involves people other than veterans and first responders. If that gets as good result, the first two trials, which I'm sure it will then then I think it's going to be because FDA gave it breakthrough drug status. There's nothing that you know anyone could do to stop it. It will be legal by two thousand and twenty one. Two thousand and twenty that's very good news for a lot of people that are suffering yeah. It's so difficult for people to change perspective. To to have a break from the the normal sort of momentum of your life and to be able to stop and analyze and
exactly what did to me. I was just in this rock for so long with it was. It was impossible to tend to look at things. Did you think about changing your life yeah? I don't think about a lot right now I mean I I you know I I thought I would retire after this SAM, this therapy mmhm, but I think I said before that you know. In the first session I was planning the next film next series like this is still. What I wanna do have to do is smart. I'm gonna take breaks of going to recover in between trips there isn't this pressure to be where people are getting their heads blown off every single time, and the last time I did was about Yemen and we spent a week on the front lines with the various fighting groups and got the usual crazy fighting footage. But the powerful stuff was woman and had a leg blown off by a strike and id be camp in a miserable. I dp camp with the Saudis number onto the claiming that providing people with everything they need and then at the end. A child malnutrition clinic right on the front line where a nurse, just just begged, all parties to end this war, and she was she was literally
the line surrounded by a minefield couldn't get doctors couldn't get supplies had a few dozen kids in this clinic that she was just managed keep alive in these wailing emaciated babies with their rib cages, caged it caved in on Dhe. You know the reason you do this is to cover the effects of war. It's not to get crazy footage of explosions and shoot outs, it's the effect of war on civilians. So maybe the answer is to do that on. Do you not feel this pressure toe I just get the crazy fighting with you all the time in our country. Yemen is in many ways mostly synonymous for drone attacks. Drone strikes is when we think about Yemen. We think about the drone strikes that we hear about on wedding parties. They accidentally of the the number of people that are accidentally killed. The sieve,
be in casualty rate- is some preposterous number. I mean no one knows 'cause. You can't check how much of these areas, but it's in the 10s of thousands at least, and it's the percentage, is also preposterous. It's far more than fifty percent yeah I mean it's Astra x. Yes, so it used to be. U S. Drone strikes on on Al Qaeda Sussman's. Now it's saudi Emirati s strikes and with with us assistance when we were until recently refueling the plane's, applying the plane supplying the weapons, but yeah they've hit weddings, funerals, schools, hospitals, I I don't think that's by accident, I think they're, taking our approach to Yemen that we to crush the opposition, not take out the military leaders, and you can't there's no movement in history. That's been crushed by force that never Jesus Christ when you're over there. What does it feel like in Yemen is opposed to Afghanistan or other places?
Yemen, the actual fighting is, is much more low intensity. It's fairly small, oops of guys at some distance, just lobbing shells each other and there's and know, there's snipers and there are gunfights. But it's not as big scale is Iraq or Afghanistan, but there were regular. Airstrikes strikes are killing civilians. And while the two sides of fighting this, this slow and bloody war, WTH e infrastructures being destroyed and the civilians are unable to get basic food and medicine that that's the shocking thing that, and also the I mean I knew that the coalition is it's cold. You know that that the fighting groups backed by saudi Arabian you a were American backed, but you see american stuff everywhere. I mean M right You know these one million dollars, bombproof trucks, I've only ever seen american soldiers and Marines driving in Iraq and Afghanistan. You see them everywhere. There um and that's a real surprise to see that. How did Yemen become this area? That's so
synonymous with drone strikes like. Why did we approach Yemen differently than any other part of the world in terms of the the the allocation? drone strikes there in terms of numbers? I don't know I think, for a while. The only thing the U S was doing in Yemen was drone strikes against Al Qaeda. I've been more drone strikes in Yemen, then than elsewhere. I mean that We killed an american citizen right that which got lots of headlines round purpose. Yes, yeah with no trial they just to so we do. It was because he Add to join ISIS. Is that what it was for? Al Qaeda was yeah, it was. It was a very well known and popular. You know online presence rallying people to to to fight, but the air strikes in in in Yemen, you know- and- and you know with with us weapons- are that That's that's! That's! What's really killing people and meaning and meeting the people can't get get food made that there, because you just can't move things around that whatever came out of that guy, getting killed
they they basically no one was punished for it I mean he's an american citizen. He was mean if it was in America, if somehow This guy was in the suburbs of Chicago and they launched a drone strike on him. It would be front page news. It would be a real issue with the fact that was in Yemen. I mean and again the legacy of Iraq and Afghanistan is that now we killing guys like him with drone strikes or special forces, it's here and there and it's happening almost in secret. One saying this appears to be illegal. I mean some people. Are you know you can you can you? Can you know which media outlets? You can go to to read about this, but I think most people thinking, if that's if that's the alternative, Thio invasion, yeah on Dhe trillions of dollars in american soldiers coming back with no legs for a war. We don't understand, but I think a lot of people are willing to accept it. I don't agree with it, but that seems to be what's happening. You know, I think you're right. The other thing about that is with lot of these. Even
it does seem to be illegal people, sort of shrug their show others and then no one pursues it, and then it just kind of goes away, but there's some stories that, for whatever reason like Jamal Khashoggi, did not go away and still still out there like it was so egregious, is so crazy that this guy walks into the end. See and just never comes out and they like. I don't know what happened slowly. You start getting a different story and then apparently, there's leaked, there's audio and perhaps even video of his murder, did by the way by someone who was hanging out with Jared Kushner afterwards the bounty, no mention of of of what happened. Yeah now I am as a journalist when you see like that that has got him home at the yeah the last few years, but for journalists, especially you know, if your family an american citizen, but he did ready for the Washington Post and was a resident, but I mean I
Yes, I was. I was arrested and run for a week a long long time ago and roughly the same time and iranian canadian photographer was arrested and she was raped and beaten to death to the people, the the US citizens of these countries that they really really bearing the brunt and again that's why I'm I'm comfortable? If people call me brave, because I get to come home right with these guys, you know they can get to them and they can get to the family's very easily and that that takes a whole other level of of bravery and the woman who was raped and beaten to death. Would what was she involved with a photographer, I'm just taking pictures, yeah yeah and the jewel thing with- I mean certainly in IRAN, but this is common all over the place, if you're a jewel citizen working as a journalist in, for example, IRAN, they'll accuse you of being a spy, I was accused of being a spy. They tried to get me to confess to being a spy, that's a very normal assumption out there and how long were you in jail for just seven?
taste was out like actually no, not too bad. I mean psychologically, it was bad because they were threatening torture and execution physically it wasn't it wasn't too bad. I was FED had a bad bed. I was roughed up a bit. I wasn't I wasn't beaten, but I did think it could last months and months and months- and I did I think I could go to Evin prison. They actually put me in a car and drove me to what they said was ever in prison once and then just take me somewhere else ever in prison. Even risen is where people have been tortured and executed, so they just drove you ever scare. You drove me around for a few hours to scare me and then took me to another place. What were they trying to get you to confer? that being a spy, and they said at one point they said: do you honestly expect us to believe you travel the world collecting all this information? And you don't share Your government, I said yeah, that's exactly how it works and they thought I was insulting their intelligence by by saying that what were you over there? we were. I did a series one. The first series I did was called holidays in the axis of evil, so I spent my first four years as a journalist, undercover wearing a secret.
And luckily I appeared on a couple of dogs with a guy who was not very good, and so I looked genuine next to him. Um So the controller BBC two said give this guy up series, brains trying think wanted to be a foreign correspondent wanted to cover conflict than George Bush made the axis of evil. And John Bolton added three countries to the list, so it was Iraq, Syria, Cuber North Korea Libya, Cuba, with a six evil countries, so we went to all six trees me and one cameraman held handheld camera chain actually saw it and that's when he first reached out- and I started talking to vice about eventually joining them but kind of doc. You, trees from the streets up. Just trying to say you know, despite all the rhetoric about IRAN, this is what is. People are actually like and it was, it was use lead we
we interviewed a bunch of students who are involved in some famous protest in one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine, where the police came in and smashed the dormitories and burn them down and beat them. I think, because we interviewed them, we were then tracked and arrested. So how did you get it free? How how'd, you get free, it's I didn't know at the time, but if to come, turned countries have diplomatic relations. It's only a big deal after a week. So on the night of the seventh veil that are the eighth day. They let me go oh yeah, but I had no idea at the time. I thought I thought this could go on months and months and months now, when you're over there in IRAN? What is their perception of the United States? When you talk to the young people over there? Oh uh love the United States, really music culture, sports everything and never extremely well educated about the United States. American foreign policy is a different discussion, but
I mean one of the things we tried to cover was the Friday rally, Tehran University, where you see everyone, chanting, death to America, death to Israel, and we want to cover it because they busey in old men from the countryside. You sit there going on your desk, America, death to Israel. It's it's not something to be so system propaganda staged event. I mean, if There was a turning point in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and with IRAN, Ryan Crocker, who was the in a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, this straight after nine eleven. He sent to Geneva. Where a number of countries affected by the refugee crisis were meeting to discuss how to deal with it, one of the countries are wrong. I have this meeting and then he and his iranian counterpart would disappear for he says seventy hours over t to discuss the future of American IRAN relations. They knew that they were gonna, get rid of
Taliban, so the Iranians said: okay, here's a map of the Taliban leaders, homes if you take out those homes on day, one Taliban have finished on Ryan Crocker set up. Thank you can I can I take note from this map. The map is yours: we made it for you gave him the map Clea and Ryan Crocker was making good progress and then talking about the future of Iraq Post Saddam one night on his door, and two of his staff has come in and say, boss, you're, really not gonna like what's just happened, he said, what's just happened and it was the axis of evil speech, so the moderates so called in IRAN Who'd fought hard to get permission to negotiate with the great Satan the? U S said you made us look stupid. You know it was hard for us to get. This
chance. We helped you in Afghanistan. We were willing to discuss future relations between our two countries, and- and this is this- is what happened so it's over on then family soon after that? Obviously, there's the invasion of Iraq and IRAN is sponsoring the insurgency and giving them sophistry. Hated ideas and all that rather than you know, potentially helping. So you think that, with a wow with one speech, yeah the whole thing shifted yeah, so they would, they would have been willing to somehow or another go she later cooperated, or I mean it would get along side. Getting rid of Saddam was obviously and we were interested in the whole of brutal a year that you're with we have a very strange relationship with around I mean going back to the hostages from in on the Jimmy Carter era,
yeah I, but I do think it's one of the most misunderstood countries in the region. I mean when you actually go with that. You know the people are so smart, some indicated and and and potentially such such good ally. So what is the key issue? Is the government yeah yeah yeah end? Well, I just explained right and I think that capable of fame being far more rational than than the speeches by the crazy old mother. Would suggest they proved it yeah, and the idea that the Saudis number Artie's can somehow bomb the who sees in Yemen into submission and push back iranian influence on the southern border. Ace is ridiculous. This is never going to happen and- and I think, even if you ignore the obvious moral argument, just from a pragmatic point of view- the idea that we should back this them unconditionally- is this project
see this is just part of the real problem. When you're dealing with world events is trying to parse all this stuff out and look at so many different stories from so in parts of the world in so many different areas of conflict, and it's almost impossible to pay attention to it all. Every time I meet in these countries, I'm I'm I I feel like a fraud, because there's so much that they know the. I don't know, and I should write- and you know I get paid to do this. I get paid to pay attention to this for a living, and I feel out of my regularly and that's focusing on the five or six countries that I focus on alone, everything else. What other countries do you focus on? I mean the last few years has been Congo quite a bit Afghanistan, mostly Iraq, Yemen of focus on a lot of the last three four years:
in Brazil, recently been sent off in a public recently, but but not talk to a friend of mine who's from Brazil, who has a completely different take on the new leader of Brazil, like he's more positive about it, and I've talked to other people that say he's a monster yeah um I mean if people in Brazil are living through the current chaos. I can and when they might go to a dirty type figure to say it's going to be messy, but he's going to clean it up right, but he certainly seems like a monster yeah and they they're experiencing some crazy economic crisis. Well yeah and it was the fastest growing economy and in Latin America was booming yeah. I was doing just a few years ago. So it's like this rollercoaster ride. We did a film there recently and I might might get the numbers slightly wrong, but the amount of people that were murdered in Brazil in two thousand. Seventeen I believe it was, was double more than double the amount that were murdered in Syria,
Jesus, seventy two thousand seventy and after the World CUP and Olympics the trafficking gangs and the police militias. Just re took all of those areas that were pacified Tina, protect the tourists during the the World CUP Olympics so that violence just come right back to the planet again just so much to pay attention to yeah, and we have. The image of Rio is still yeah. Sambar on the beach in the US, I've been a few times might have been over UFC events. People ran I it's very friendly, but then you go to three miles up into the hills: yeah, it's another world. What we drove when you land at the airport, you drive through the favelas on the way to Rio and you're like whoa. This is this is a different kind of poverty and during the World CUP Olympics, they put billboards next to that road to block the view of the favelas. Do there and those billboards are now starting to fall apart, and you can now sound seeing again yeah well and you can hear if you, if you stay close to their you're here I mean we went into the village
many times we we saw one guy who was suspected of being a police informer, so the the trafficking gangs had captured him his legs, so he was lying on the ground, put four rifle to his head and just unloaded, and his chin was still kind of where it should be. But everything else This is when you you got there. While we got the right off to it. So I know we can win this happening and we got that right off to its but yeah it's it's. I mean the heaviest wild salmon, I'm on a massive scale. Yeah, I don't. So I got on the other day about this. You know The rich people in ebony might tend to be white european descendants, the poor kids getting shot in the favelas. Almost all black, and if you walk into a bar if an email with a black girl ever seems she's a prostitute if you will to a bar, and even even with a black guy, everyone assumes a drug dealer, and again, the exact opposite of the public image of Brazil opinion
is the more wealthy area, because there is yeah, that's the very best, the very wealthy nice beach area will the nice hotels and apartment blocks, but they still must get robbed all the time down there. It used to be the the the violence was separated from the radio which areas, but there are now a lot of wealthy brazilians leaving because it's it's it's affecting everywhere. Now I mean the the one of the experts. We in in the last film said, I believe it was one in three Rio residents will get caught in crossfire. At some point of the course I might be wrong. I believe it one three yeah was a massive massive number yeah yeah. I mean if you're anywhere near a fella you'll hear it most Nigel, hear shots being fired most night, I'm not like boom boom boom. You know, you'll hear a fight kind of Jesus Christ. How much time do you spend over there three weeks? I believe it was wow
and what do you covering at? We did a film about the pacification campaign, the police and army clearing the favelas before the World CUP Olympics. So we went back just to see just to sort of illuminated for people to think that this is what Brazil's actually like, and see what yeah what happened afterwards and those areas were abandoned as soon as the World CUP Olympics were, it was over. Do know how you do this you're, so only two so easy going with seem so peaceful like you, don't seem like a shell shocked guy. You know you really don't you seem very, very even a list That's good to hear six months ago, few friends here but yeah I mean I think I still have pizza it definitely helps, and I bumped into a friend of mine that the diet then read who made the Michael Jackson Documentary. I saw him in New York, Felix Neverland, yeah, yeah yeah. One said then you just seem to seem a bit of a comma. What what is your take on the documentary? I have not watched it, but I've heard
heard that those two guys at testified saying that nothing had ever happened to them before this and then then, other down on their luck and now they've changed their tune and saying that it was they go into that in detail in the dark and basically they had been replaced by the new young boy. And I've been kind of kick to the side and then Michael reached out and said. I need you to help me and they say it was exciting. The idea to be to be back in Michael's good books and be wanted by Michael again. They they they talk about that very openly. I had dinner with them as a week before the film came out and I believe them really yeah. Yeah and and of them- certainly I think has has- will It's like the symptoms of PTSD and the other one I think went through therapy before he was able to talk about this stuff. So I don't think they're doing it for financial gain. But what did you think about the doctor? Michael Jackson's doctor saying that he was
the castrated I didn't I didn't have an email addresses is something that we've talked about before, because his voice was so different and to me, I said a long time ago before his doctor came out, so it was kind of castrated pastors of sounds like a castrato. He sounds like one of those men who are. Taking his boys- and you know the eighteen, hundreds and seventy chose to do it, the doctors say I don't know that. I think the doctor saying that his father did it to him. I think that was this is the doctor that killed him all right, so take that with a grand sight right, but they were saying that he chemically crass traded him to preserve his voice, which you know it sounds preposterous. Look at this frame. Me did not have the frame of a person who, but then he had kids. Their own is also saying that you didn't see those kids are not his kids, honest, kids right. I definitely not as kids
So what we're talking about? How it's easy to get the facts to fit a theory, you know, trouble those kids they're, not his kids, those air, the whitest, kids, you're ever gonna. Look at yeah, they're, really white, I mean they're, not part african American mean and heat we've got to remember before his vitiligo kicked in. He was very dark. You know he looked like his brothers yeah yeah. It looked like his father yeah in its I don't know. I haven't heard that theory before that his kids, his kids, want his kids really haven't heard many theories. I'm not. I don't think that much about Michael Jackson, so I mean, I think, that's just been pretty much established, yeah that his kids weren't, really his kids and I think the woman that he had children with. I think it's on the record saying they never had sex. I think I think they think they talk about that as well. Yeah, I don't know, but is it when we had a similar case in the UK with Jimmy Saville that the most popular? That's that that's that seems even more first. The document is great, is a portrait of how you groom not just a kid but the family as well, and in some ways you groom the entire country to the point where, if I
stations come out, everyone says no, not him no way right. That's that's how it works when he looked like a monster and Michael Jackson looked like a monster eventually, but when we always go back to him as a boy when he singing ABC Mean this adorable little kid incredibly talented and so dynamic and exciting. To watch. Like God he's so talented, look her and then in thriller I mean everybody loved him, but Jimmy it looks like a monster. In retrospect I wrote to him as a kid had the show Jim will fix it right. We have grown to your wish and then he'd sit on his lap and give you a medal. You got off light. No, no one thought it was a monster back, then no one, but he was so hideous yeah and Louis, throw that a great documentary with him. He keeps his mother's. Bedroom exactly was. It was all their clothes hanging in and yeah but honestly in his lifetime? This was not discussed, not being questioned. Yeah and like I, I think he groomed the entire country, while there's so
Any cases like that, where you have this systemic pedophile situ, Asian. That doesn't make sense like how did this? How did this last, like Penn State, like the Sandusky case, like how did this? everyone seems to have known about it. How did it last and people seeing a kid in the shower and hadn't I mean you think now you're killing, If you didn't intervene in some way, I I think it's also easy to forget how much that wasn't part of the conversation back then there. You know the idea that there are PETA files out there and it's actually incredibly widespread that just wasn't right that wasn't something people worried about better than from my memory at least anyway. No it was church who is catholic, church priests? We knew about that ever other than that there no discussion of like some world famous football coach was secretly fucking. Kids, like that, you never heard that I mean and paternal they thinks had to of known there's no
we could have known, or at least been exposed to some of it and to the conversation we had earlier. I remember that great documentary, where a guide protest in front of the statue and uh guy comes up and tries to beat him up just for daring to suggest that you know this this here of his would be capable of that yeah people, just you know they just can't fathom it, because they've been so well groomed, that's also Penn State Football is just like it's a religion. It's so important to them to see that these people that were in charge of it we're so fucked up man. Jesus Man shows a bummer sorry, but do you don't plan on doing this MDMA therapy a regular basis and what what sort of impact do you think I mean when, when you go over the results of the first therapy?
Are you almost immediately alleviates you of a lot of your feelings, but you still are thinking about planning your next adventure and your next project I'm probably going to four session like the therapist recommended A4 session, which isn't what they normally do but said? I mean I thought I thought being able to cry would be a major breakthrough in spite of this therapy Um, I'm actually do you normally can't cry it all haven't cried since I was thirteen years old or something forty zero. Well, that's different, because that predates your war, correspondent, yeah yeah, I mean english culture. It's you know my grandparents fought in the war. What tough as nails? It's you know there is this prey. To be to be tough in the first normal therapy session. I told what I thought was quite an everyday story about an experience in to the therapist He cried Jesus and then the first MDMA session, the therapist cried, I don't know two or three. The cameraman cried and I still still couldn't get
and then the third session I nearly did- and I like my jaw- was trembling and I kind of thought all there's. Is going to be this. What would have felt like a breakthrough still come yeah. Well, what were they crying about I can't even Stories you just at the show's, been a bomb at the stories. I just tell them that you know. Well, I mean I'm I'm joking kind of joke, but it is as if this is your time. This is one of the you know. One of the the the lessons in terms of doing this is you you turn up to a a pot your day or something you know with people that enjoying this out there is a smiling, so this is Ben Ben. Just come back from from Yemen. Oh, what's it like in Yemen Ben. Do you really really wanna know yeah, tell us and then ten minutes later there's this dark, cloud of the evening Jesus. So you just feel like you know the idea of kids killing killing the they're cutting and asking you. Can you talk? Yeah, yeah, yeah and I've got bad habit of doing that, but I can't remember what the stories were that had that effect. What is it
when you go to dinner with fellow war, journalists? Um? What do you guys talk about? I'm no there's a few that were really good friends and we can talk about all this stuff. There's a lot, I'm not I'm not that close to, and I don't like Lee, you know the the mutual you know backpacking that goes on with it in this. I wouldn't, I think you know if you're doing this for a living like you, you, you shouldn't, be sharing stories with other people to cover that country. Other other people from you know. From your background for your country, you should be talking to the people from that country a lot of journalists. It is possible in Afghanistan and Syria and Iraq to have a pretty good life. You stay in a five star hotel. You eat well drink wine, every night, you in you, if you, if you get information from each other right and I think that defeats the point of of foreign reporting, how I see so consciously or unconsciously, I I I'm not I'm not. You know I don't. I don't spend a lot of time with with other
watch. Unless there are, there are those who are deeply admire. I see every now and again like Sebastian younger, but I'm not. I don't. I don't hang out with them day in day out, so there's levels to the involvement yeah to weather, how deeply your immerse and it's it's completely upside down in the states, because the tv Nugent tv news. Journalists aren't deeply involved and just want to get that quick shot of them. Looking like there somewhere middle Eastern E, closest to the front line with the flak jacket on the perfectly ironed shirt and they're, not they're, not sweating, or even worse, the Brian Williams type situation yeah or on the roof of the five STAR Hotel sometime, you might people report about what's happening with ISIS and there in Beirut, right I think they're, relying on the fact that a lot of people don't understand that's a different country, but you know those guys. Some of those guys are paid millions and treated very, very well. The photographers and print journalists who are immersed in our spending
weeks there are sometimes struggling to make a living and aren't well known, aren't well supported. What is it about the talking head in front of the camera that we want so badly? I mean I think it's it's it's a way for the news networks to claim credibility. And then, when you see them get deployed, then not focused on getting material from the war in these countries they focused on the The two way right now talking to Argyle I from wherever right, that's more important spending days collecting footage of what's actually going on. It seems like you see that rarely if ever these case. It's more and more rare. It seemed to me that during like desert storm in the 90s, there was always someone that was over there and it seemed like there was real threat and it was really going on now everything seems to be done from the desk and you don't really see a lot of I mean: am I right about that yeah I mean I think in most a lot of the major news networks said to their cruise you're not allow
spend the night in muscle. You can go there and film a street interview refugees who just escaped ISIS Territory- but you can't spend days on end there, whereas the freelance photographers and so the rights as they were, spending days on in there and getting getting the real stuff. Is it because the on camera people be targeted? I just the risk is too high full stop for the entire crew, and certainly if you know when the story is really big- and you send one of the very well known correspondents there then yeah, they can't be running around filming house house fighting so when you're over there and you see these guys show up- and you know that they're just gonna be hanging out at the hotel and what is that feeling like uh yeah, I mean I'm pretty disdainful of love yeah. Those guys do you have to be yeah. I need you see these films, like whiskey, tango foxtrot,
about Afghanistan. I just don't recognize that that world partying every night, whatever bar restaurant, isn't just think if you're there, when you're, obviously in the wrong place right right and it's no, it's not an adventure. You know it's not a fun trip for you of wild times, and you know it. It shouldn't be that it should be um. I mean from it feels like an endurance death. Every time you go, it should be hard and you should be spending time with the people you're covering, and you know. Sometimes you can. You can think you've finished with someone and just go for dinner or tea just by having normal human conversations. You find out so much other stuff that you didn't go there to report yeah, that's that that's what you have to be doing on that takes weeks weeks of getting closer to them and gain their trust, yeah, yeah yeah, just just just you know, spending enough time there, where you then end up being in the right place at the right time to show something really happening. I mean most of all. We filmed. Ah, the iraqi army attacking a house where ISIS was shooting from the house and there were three or four families in the house.
So the iraqi Army shot ISIS or the ISIS guys went down and encourage families to run towards us and just seeing the moment of civilians fleeing in escaping ISIS for the first time after three years, and when they turned the corner and tore us, they knew that made it and they just collapsed to the ground. They were kissing the ground. They were hugging each other. Now those the moments you you're you're, trying to capture just I mean I've, never seen relief like. Jesus Christ and how do they get them out of there? What do they do? From that stage? I mean they'll eventually walk out of muscle itself and then
there are people that can take them to the dp camps around there and we'll get them. Though you know the basic service is they need, and medical service is but there's not there's not much of that there, and that that was the shocking in Yemen was the places that Saudis Nimrod. He said we're being so well supplied with food and water and tent on Dhe medical facilities, just just weren't a tall we took no, we talked about Syria early and half the population has displaced yeah you're. Talking about you, know, twelve thirteen million people either internally displaced or fled uh. You know just unimaginable unimaginable and it's one of the biggest controversies in this country in terms of what to do when the refugees com. What what? What do you do? Some countries are taking the men with open arms. Some countries are not and there's a lot of people that are concentrating on the negative aspects of taking these people in your communique community. What? What is your? What is your take on watch on this thing happen. What what's all this time I was, I spent
Friday and Saturday in Houston, with a group of afghan interpreters who had been with in Afghanistan who got these special immigrant visas and came to America with their with their families. I cannot think of a better group of people contributing to tell I fed I mean on the Saturday morning. They were, they were running a food bank. They cut jobs that pay taxes yeah. I I mean I think we should welcome them with open arms. I think you know, despite a moral obligation, to do that, I think we would benefit from. From from doing it, and you know it. We turned away jewish refugees during world war. Two you'd think we'd learn from that and say never again, you know you know. I mean if you're, if you're an american Christian I think Christianity is fairly clear on what to do with refugees. You know so so the to not only say no to refugees, but also to vilify them and say look a lot of them are fighting age.
Well, you're. Clearly ISIS sneaking in I mean that's a level of of viciousness and ignorance that I just I just can't fathom the ignorance. Is it's it's very pervasive right. It's like it's one of these things where we don't you don't know you're you're, reading these stories, and there is people are telling you that these air fighting age males and that we could very well be letting ISIS into our country. We very well could be letting in these terrorist cells and allowing them to come in, but we also could be letting families in that. This is a country that, made of immigrants mean that's one of the weirdest things in this country that this is a country, so so obsessed with borders and immigration yeah. But yet it's comprised entirely of immigrants Great, do you know Gary Young, their british journalist, he interviews Richard Spencer
and Richard spent Spencer, I think, makes a very similar point. Spencer, says yeah, but this country was built by white people. You know we came but with the patient, no no it was. It was literally built by black people carry youngsters. This is yeah, but only 'cause. We told him how to do it and his on camera. Gary Young says you know what I came to see you 'cause. I thought you were the intellectual argument for for supporting trump so I thought I might know Spencer Spencer. Was he didn't? Why do you think that I don't know, but he says you're know this is just oculus and he just shuts down interview turns around and walks off for him I don't know anything about Richard Spencer other than he always gets mentioned. As a white supremacist, I literally don't know what he stands for yeah. He does what he says and they will say he's well dressed in with a nice hat huh. This is a no it's just such a crazy subject. The idea of I mean it would be nice
If the whole world was up to the same standards of health and and prosperity, and you didn't have to worry about where you could go. If, The whole world was essentially like the United States, where you could go to where the good parts were. You know if you live in Detroit, you save up your money, you can move to Florida or wherever you want to go. I mean you can do that. This is the beautiful thing about living inside of a country. Be fantastic of the whole world was like that. You could just kind of go wherever you would prosper and wherever things would be well, but the thing about refugees in other countries where we understand their language of their culture and then you get scared, because you hear that they're Muslims were worried about muslim terrorists and
Dan, it's one more piece of information that just it just overwhelms you one more way we're thing construct. There is a difference with Muslims in the the Catholic Church and child abuse scandal. Yeah, I am did a lot of people say: are there for all Christians are suspicious and christian to secretly paedophile ride the just not telling no, they didn't they didn't, but there with with Muslims. What's fear of the unknown? You know hello, out of it, the languages and the fact that, were you know, there's also this? There has to be this feeling that we've invaded their country several countries and been there for a long time and there's a deep seated resentment that you know, there's the the thought of every time you accidentally blow up a wedding ready with a drone. Every time you kill civilians every ten times in collateral damage, you're, creating untold numbers of people that hate the United States. You'd. Think that
having traveled too much of the country's. I don't see, don't see that and yesterday I was interviewing the afghan interpreters and I said what do you think about negotiating with the Taliban? I mean in one case a good friend of Michael's Roach who's who's now living in Houston, I said you know these guys killed your brother because you were working for the Americans an interpreter. So how do you feel about the Americans now doing a deal with the Taliban about if the US leaves and the Taliban finishes off the government and then comes after your family. He said you know what America is not going to happen. America has so much power and knows what to do that they will. Make sure that any agreement reached with the Taliban will be enforceable and it will be safe. He had so faith and me far more than me. One of them, and that's that's what I hear from more often than than the opposite is it doesn't really depend on where you go, because if you go Sir certain places people a lot of faith in Trump. You know like Donald Trump, can protect us from evil. There's this places where you go, that
it's become a cliche, but but I do think you'll you'll find a lot of places critical of american foreign policy, and that doesn't mean that critical of of America and how the person out I am, I think that I mean Vietnam, I think, is a good example. You know we have defeated communism or, This has been defeated in Vietnam just because the new generation grow up and think western culture at communism. I know which one I want is a simple choice: Andi Ink that young generation is making that very simple choice, and it could just mean democracy. You think that is in Afghanistan as well yeah that they're recognizing the western culture provides more freedom and more economic, opportune, any more prosperity yeah I am- and I haven't heard apart from from the town of- and I haven't heard much anti american feeling in Afghanistan, that'll really and also of the I mean, maybe I'm biased, because all the people I'm talking to how interactions with with Americans, but they would even say as many
X's were made in the prosecution of the war with air strikes and nitrates and all that american soldiers and Marines we met. We knew were good people and and on, like I said I, with with approach my interpreter. It's it's incredible. How many people still believe that, to this day, there are conspiracy theories so, for example, in Iraq, you'll hear a lot of people say what ISIS must have been part of America's plan and competence cannot explain what happened in Iraq. This cannot be a mistake. Lott people believe that a lot of people believe that over here as well- but that still doesn't mean they'll hate all Americans in America, and it means a lot of them, would love to visit and maybe even come and live here. Is that
anything that you take seriously those conspiracy theories? Is there any validity to any that's the massive failures in Iraq and Afghanistan have done massive damage? The? U S on the world stage, there's no way the? U S benefits from from. What's what's happened, I mean you know. The Taliban would have been a deal in two thousand and two where they go almost nothing. Eighteen years later, actually dollars later, tens of thousands of in dollars with Taliban were they might get a very good deal? That's a massive humiliation for the US, and also IRAN. Russia is below others know that the US is not going to intervene and lots of countries so they're doing whatever they want and almost gloating about it, knowing full well that America just doesn't have this. Have the public support to intervene anywhere else for a very long time? What's the predominant conspiracy theory that want to prolong this war because of the military industrial complex, because they're they're spending tons of money and yeah
Chiron's an oil, obviously in a row I have because I, as as, as said to me, do you think America failed in Afghanistan. But of course I do like every film of maids, like you know, explains exactly how and he says no. I think I think this is exactly what they want. They want us being attacked on all sides by extremists and we will bow to the to the every wish and when he said in the
um. I mean you know, he's he's met far more senior people than may so it's hard for me to argue with him, but yeah. I don't give that there any any thought. That's the creepiest thought whatsoever is that the government wants these perpetual wars. I mean that is the scariest conspiracy theory. I'm not saying I support it, but with you wanted to consider a conspiracy theory, that's truly terrifying! It's that they keep perpetual wars going on so that they can profit, and you know, George H, W Bush Bill Clinton benefited from airstrikes. You know, there's a quick possible bump in terms of your approval ratings and that's that's been proven many times, but these wars, Iraq and Afghanistan You know having gone so long yeah and resulted in, and I think, a humiliating defeat in both countries. Um no one's benefit from that. Well, there's a numbness that this country has towards them. Now it's been so many generations
it's been so many years. There's so many I mean What are the numbers of troops that have gone over to Afghanistan and Iraq and come back and just and not come back to different staggering and those towns they fought for flu. In Iraq, Helmand Province in Afghanistan? and now back in the hands of the Taliban in helmet property That's not even use it. Now, all those places margar the place I described yeah is now back in the hands of the Taliban. Have you know, since I went there with us, Marines, I don't remember seeing a headline about that there because the public is just you know: you know I have had so long of seeing people come back in body bags or without legs and thinking I don't even know what victory looks like now. I don't even know what the point of this is any more yeah sixteen years in. Is that what it is now? Yes, that is one thousand eight hundred and eighteen.
I mean they say the longest war in american history, the first four or five years. We went to Iraq very quickly and weren't doing very much in Afghanistan. So you know it's not an one thousand eight hundred and nineteen year war, but it's a very long and very Does this ever give you this feeling of hopelessness like do you like yourself, forty years down the line still doing this like? How do you? How do you? How do you approach this think about that. I also think about just selling everything I have in getting a little house in Jamaica and give me a Lansing yeah? I think I tried to do my bit. I'm not sure how much of a bit I did but but yeah like it's, it's it's a you can get that feeling very yeah. I would imagine that to you. You see so much and you see so much anguish in so much pain and suffering and death and war, and so much of it seems pointless, but after a
while you might want to just detach disconnect- and you said earlier, you know when you read the numbers here, the story she I I just I can't even take. If there's anyone I mean I I can take it seriously by Khan, fathom it in the country of Turkey on board and really imagine what that's like yeah and uh. Seen it with my own eyes and even then it's it's it's so hard to process. Do you have an existing? No, I am I mean I could make documentaries about other things, but I just don't think it would be this this this field, urgent to me, yeah. You know, and I question how useful this work is, but it feels somewhat useful is that he feels that the most useful thing I can do for now. I'm not a doctor. I'm not you know, I'm not a politician, so even if it's not that much use it's I'm want there's also the problem that you've you've dedicated. So much of your time to. I do think it's very useful, you've dedicated so much
Time doing this, that if you were to make how do you do it? Bob yeah, yeah yeah, you might lose your fucking mind. I mean I don't think once you've experienced what you've experienced is probably very very difficult. To look at the world through a normal lens and be satisfied with normal results, and it would be easy to dismiss anything else. You did as being frivolous in comparison to covering Yammer Afghanistan, hunger or wherever so do you essentially just take it project by project and just keep going.
I'm I'm think about this every day. Right now because, like I said in the in the first and you may see, I thought this is what you want to do. This is this is what you care about. This is where your heart is some, I'm, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna keep on doing. It is maybe in a different way. I'm also really tempted just to try and take in three months off I go to Costa Rica, one seven, two younger and read nice books, and just just just then see how I feel when my favorite quotes is, is nature. He says credit no, for or not had in the open air while walking in beautiful landscapes? What a great we're only when you're in that state of mind can you make the right decision, so it would be nice to make the decision in a place like that. Should work specially you mean you caught up in the momentum of these Hanukkah events and that everything is happening that you want to be? I mean I sister about to get defeated in Syria. I want to be there to see it yeah coverage. Do you think you really could take three months and go to Costa Rica and you done that before I did nine days in Jamaica recently
in whole days yeah. What was it like on day two I I loved every minute of digit and I actually felt felt like my brain kind of woke up. I just felt the numbness I talked about earlier. The worst thing is it just kills your curiosity yeah and that's that's horrible, and I just I just felt you know Curie again. I felt like my mind, and I read a couple of books that one war related and I focused on them. I took it and you know I was I was in it for the experience and I loved it. Why don't you just do that then take those three months I live in a different view. Yeah I feel guilty you have. What do you do feel guilty yeah, yeah? That's what I was gonna ask you wanted to know if you felt killed here on day, two idea. I didn't, I didn't feel giving on this one because it was. It was quick. I mean in the past, you know you can you can go to a big fight
and enjoy it and love it and you go for a big dinner, enjoy it and love it, but that's about it um! You know a month of luxury somewhere. I think I would. I would get uncomfortable not covering this fight. When you went to the aerial Spence, my You know just have made a couple of boxing documented, documented, Danny Jacobs. Did you really when he survived cancer in the night he became a world champion, oh wow champion were there and it was actually. It was great to be able to say to people. Here's my latest film, make you feel really good inspire that soda can did I said earlier that felt really good to be able to do that. He is more of those in your future yeah I So can someone that the other day about maybe a documentary about the gym that Danny comes from, which is a door that leads to the basement of a dagger in bed. Stuy and they have three world champions. Wow. It's tiny, since it's not a lot bigger than this. Really was a lower ceiling, yeah yeah, really yeah yeah, and it's underneath
the bodega yeah, it's a Saddam Ali, you think is the first Arabs or yemeni world champion. He beat Miguel Carter, he got the boxing is a kid. So his dad who owns the bodega, built this gym in the basement and that's where he and Danny came up. That's incredible and people will Boston is just this door. There's no sign and people don't even know. Have you been to the talked him in Detroit. Now I have it's like the exist anymore. Doesn't I know, but you turn up the building and you think this can't be the right place. It looks like a derelict building. You go down this basement staircase into the basement and there's this crappy gym. One ring a few back and that's a and then tell me hands works in an enemy. I can one day walks in and you know the call walks in it's similar to that. I had Lennox Lewis on the I was amazed. He sounded great These are good. I is anything wrong with with at all. I was wondering if chess is is helping him. You know, because doesn't seem to be sustaining any of the long term and he got
knocked out a couple of like yeah yeah, yeah yeah, he really dead. You know, I mean it's, it's amazing. I want I do wonder because chess is so it's so difficult. And your mind, is constantly firing and it and The brain in some ways does atrophy without use. I mean whether it's not physical atrophy in terms of the size of it, but in terms of its ability the more active you are solving George Foreman used to do a lot of crossword puzzles and things along those lines and he actively sought different difficult, little quizzes and puzzles and things and things to keep his mind sharp, Quincy Jones, a couple of months ago. I he's learning Mandarin, I think. Well it it. I don't know he's in his eighties. I think eighty six and by the way we had a whole group of us had dinner, and he was the last man to leave he closed the restaurant down. These incredible
and I got into an argument about Rio and racism in Brazil in front of him really and he said, wait a minute. I've been going to the favelas in Rio since the 60s I file share, we go he's right. Brazil is deeply racist. Are I just got back down by Quincy Jones, an argument it was. It was great, but he's he's. Is exactly the same thing I think, there's something to that. I mean I mean the Lennox. Lewis is obviously one anecdotal case, but man he's so fucking sharp. That's what's so frightening about the numbness that comes from the PTSD as if it takes away that key yeah you've got a day off and you think I'm gonna do a crossword. I wanna learn a language that takes away that their energies that terrifying right, the numbness yeah the numbness at people
well people in extreme poverty and extreme stress? They do experience that sort of numbness, especially if you're in a dangerous neighborhood and just you're overwhelmed, like you were saying about how the adrenaline eventually wears off, and then you just kind of doing this. Weird gray, state. And imagine someone someone in prison, if you can awaken that you it's possible, but it seems like there's almost no effort rehabilitation awakening. That is, I don't think that difficult. They just need the right book or the right person. The right film well, there's a place where I believe MDMA therapy. Could really have some amazing results. Yeah we've talked about it with the therapist who are leading this. I think that's their dream is to get in do this in a prison because I guarantee the majority of those guys in there suffering from PTSD reaction are reacting to it. Well The majority of them have probably been abused and come from piece of environments in horrible situations,
the idea that we just take people lock lock in cages and say well, you've done your time now get get out and now you're going to be even more fucked up and now you're. You know you're habituate. Yeah you're used to being surrounded by violent criminals. Good luck in the world we're to make it even harder for you than anybody else to get a job or an appointment? Yeah yeah, I mean it was just a story about Kim Kardashian trying to pay this guys, rent 'cause. He got out of jail and she's going to pay his rent for five years to sort of get him on his feet. He still can't get a fucking apartment, I would have the first bad yeah. Nobody wants him. No one wants to take him in yeah yeah. It's and we don't ever want to give anybody a road to redemption. You fuck up once you do something wrong
on one memory, you guys use of yeah looking up yeah and you have to write this for three years before we even stand trial. Sure I read is that the other day I think it's ninety four percent of trials in the US are settled on a on a plea: bargain don't even go to trial. I thought that was wrong with it. I can't be accurate and while the scare people yeah yeah, you can click click LT and get five years yeah. Well, you could go to trial and you'll, probably get thirty yeah, which is insane yeah like what. Why would you give me five years? If a judge would give me like. What is that yeah? What is IBM yeah if I am guilty? Yeah yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah yeah? No, no! It's insane! It's just like that. It's the dumb! any saving sort of mechanism and and ensuring that they don't lose. You know just they scare, you want to risk it all you Thirty years you won't have a life, but five years you will might get out to be a good fella,
don't stab anybody in jail yeah. What we do with people in this country when someone commits a crime, is it's pretty stunning and then, when you factor in the fact that there's actual businesses that evolved or revolve rather around profiting off of people being incarcerated, is even crazy yeah and no one investigates that either yeah. I'm again there are some great investigations. Propublica people like that or how many people are reading reading them. That's a better way to say: yeah, it's not! The new information is there and, to your point about you, know the overflow of information, it's all there, so that's not the stuff at the top of the file anywhere near the top of the pile. That's probably the last thing that people are concentrating on 'cause you're, assuming these people are bad criminals and you don't want them on the street. What you want to do you want to think about all the good people out there that are struggling constraint of them first then, This is part of what's wrong part of what's wrong, as these people were in these terrible situations, terrible commute is no way out. Nothing. No positive image to model
everyone is a drug dealer criminal, it's crime around you all the time you wind up in the system he becoming carcere did and then that's your life now you're stuck in in this thing, and there's more of them in american prison than anywhere else on the planet. Earth and is a foreign yeah. That's one of the things that just never fails to shock me well. England's got its own concerns too right I mean there's so many fucking stabbings in London. Now it's really crazy yeah I mean, but compared to shootings. Here it's it's nothing. You know it's, but yet it's it's definitely a problem, and you know that you just don't see police on the streets like you used to in London, yeah and you don't see police. My dad was a policeman before I was born, but you just don't see like streetwise policeman, who are part of the local community, getting intelligence knowing what's going and often you'll, see I remember the riot in Brixton, which were right near where I lived and the police would stand back. Let the RIAA unfold, and then just study video afterwards that guy will arrest him three days later, Jesus
I think that's what the police were supposed to do. While they want to protect their own house, yeah, yeah yeah, then how do we fix the world? I have no idea what it might be: a m d M, a I I know some people would say that and make a good argument for, for and and and really believe, it's a really good argument for psychedelics remapping the world. There really is in the revolution, this, I'm I'm in the MDMA doctrine treated right into the republic. You know that the the mastermind of this Panama, how it has been on and at the end I say: what's the potential of this: if you get it legalized and he basically says spiritualize the world world peace, and I look at him like he serious and he laughed and said. I know it sounds crazy, but I really believe this is possible. It is possible, but will not MDMA Mdma is a great doorway because of its work with people trauma, but Psilocybin is as well, and you know, Psilocybin obviously comes with these profound breakthrough, psychedelic experiences that
completely re map, your perceptions of life, but show you a whole world, you didn't think could possibly exist and then all the other ones. You know the I b gain for all these people are hooked on pills and was one of the most effective drugs or not known molecules on earth levy, a getting people of opiates. I'm trying Catamenia me tried a couple of times, but that's what they want. Try do with me next yeah anything that makes people compassionate and kind to them, wells as well as others, yes seem like that. Much of a jump I think most people have in them yeah. You know not not that fond of surface people are scared. You know, they're scared, their tents, and you know people just in constant states of conflict minutes a big thing. That's going on this world and one of things it's psychedelics do. Is they give you a brief break from that conflict and how are, and then you can give you these
thoughts that he probably would have never achieved without these drugs, and that's exactly what Andy made did with me. It just removed all of those of those fears, yeah yeah. I think it's entirely possible. I really d'oh. I think it's a really there's a really Kate for us being able to set up some sort of clinics, some sort of supervised, psychedelic experiences where one after another people start changing and that trickles down start changing the people around them. People say happened. A MIKE like, oh MIKE, did mushrooms at this new clinic that they're opening up changing the new guy he's a different person he's so nice, and then they joined two, and I mean I just think, there's so much room for that in this world. It's so difficult to change, who you are people, rarely change. They become a slightly different version of who they were five. One thousand and fifteen years
they rarely actually change and even to people who are completely skeptical about this. The fact this is helping veterans means that means everyone is behind. What's it's a great way to get in yeah yeah, I mean they're. Very wise maps is in their approach to this one particular modality, because if they can actually achieve this. You're gonna also achieve it and help people that are in the there in the community, that's least likely to accept psychedelics right wing pro war. You know Maga people like those those people- I mean those- probably the least likely. If you want to generalize to accept psychedelics, we watch the box new segment with Rick his house in Boston of Fox NEWS talking about MDMA for veterans. How did they approach it or they looked at each other at the end and said, did you ever think you'd do a pro ecstasy peas and they said no, but if it helps the veterans, I guess we're for it too right. Yes,
exactly yeah, exactly yeah, and if, if it can lower crime rates to get people on mushrooms, I mean, if dimethyl trip to mean, can change P, those perceptions, there's so many of these different drugs to that you could introduce people to under a clinic, cool supervision, setting where you could change I mean how many people are involved in psychotherapy and it doesn't do a God damn thing to them: they just keep going back and forth. They numb them up with pills with me. It was so long straight away, you know and it didn't work. They double the dose didn't work double the dose again. I was just just a zombie yeah and that I don't have any experience with it, but I know people that have had very negative experiences. Just the world becomes all the bright. Colors are gone and the world just becomes weird That's exactly exact! Already adult everything and the great thing about MDMA. Is it's not a potential opioid crisis because it's a therapy, sitting down giving you the pill right. I don't give you fifty pills and you can abuse it wherever you want
logistically doing He say it's gonna be hard to set up a meeting aloft therapist a lot of facilities by it's. It's it's. It's not possible well, once their success it in that it becomes a business. Then it can happen. I mean once insurance starts covering it once people start experiencing positive benefits, you can get it from both sides. Right you get it from the commerce asap. Do you get money starts coming in people start paying for it, and it becomes a business that successful. It actually has good results. Start talking well about it. Other people start opening up these. These centers there's so much potential to this and those people at maps Rick Doblin in all of his crew there, really they have the real potential change the world And actually went the first session when I was really resisting in fighting it. I just imagined Rick's face on the met office faces in South Carolina, just the kindness and benevolence:
just I just thought of those faces and that's what allowed me to just, let it wash over and wow and and hit me but Johnson Johnson just got permission to use to market their version of ketamine and right now the dose of Ketamine I had was like ninety dollars. They're gonna sell it for fifteen thousand dollars. That's that's the danger of it getting properly legalized and, as you said, turned into a successful business. Oh that's terrible! Yeah! Now, why is it so expected just so they can make money off it now. This is the therapeutic, So those of Cada mean in some sort of a psychiatric sort of what's the environment they're going to do it, and so they want to have it very much controlled, but it looks like they want to stop the therapist giving it in the study in their own office. I mean which is which is what's going on now and have it can and under the universal hospital sort of situation, and there is a very good
and it's not even underground, I'm not sure, even sure. It's not illegal here right Cada mean yeah. I think it is illegal now, but there are therapist. Giving it out, and then I bought mine legally. You know, I think you can you bought with the prescription yeah yeah with the prescription in New York. Oh maybe wrong! This can mean legal legal under purple by prescription. Maybe it's a schedule. Two drug or something along those lines, I'm gonna get that someone wrote to me the message about the fifteen thousand dollars and what it that's crazy. Ninety to fifteen thousand yeah, which is far worse for five more than the the the you know, the amount that Martin Shkreli and put the price in Brighton went to jail for yeah yeah, but yeah he's he's a douche bag. Though it's easy to point at him. You know he owns that Wu Tang Clan, album yeah. I mean that I don't know someone's got it. Man he's in jail jail yea, so I study I saw he's still running his business from like a burners
cell phone in jail. Well, that's a what he saying is, though what happened? The Wu Tang Clan album. I thought it was in possession of the FBI hi in the area and offer something come on son. That is hilarious. That might be one of the most hilarious parts of that story. The F B, I owns the Wu Tang Clan forbidden album. How much did you put any peeling a one million dollars for it paid a lot because it was up for auction? I think this says he paid two million wow. You could never get that money back, especially the tracks got released, the great marketing tool, it's worth more than two million dollars in marketing actual, so returning not released in for and he paid two million forever he's for sure. Yes, that's yeah. I bet he did, though
unified of gas. You know I mean how many wealthy people out there Wu Tang fans a lot yeah, probably probably a healthy bid, healthy bidding war as of ah this is as of like a year ago. The feds have it. So I don't know if there's an update on that. There's always I mean when it's an individual. That's like him! That's easy to it's easy to look at him disparagingly like look at this guy he's a Dick No all he wants to raise the money raised, the price of these drugs that can help people fuck him. Let's go get him, but if it's Johnson and Johnson's, like first I'll get that they may be powder yeah, you know they're so respected. It's such a um, common household name and then I'm calling it ketamine they're, calling it Esketamine s slightly different. That sounds like a snail. It sounds like escargot and it's a nasal spray. Oh Jesus different. That makes it, but
huh! Well, it's better than shooting it up, because I no that ah lot of people take it Intra muscular Lee where you just jab it into your thought. I believe you that says the drug will only be given by accredited specialists and must monitor patients for two hours after administration. I don't think you could get it and go home, and that makes sense, because I know Neil Brennan did it and he had some very good results from it. I I spoke to him a few times he's tried everything he's he's. Trying he's great he's had he's fucking hilarious guy he's had some real depression problems, though he said I some very good relief from magnetic therapy and have you seen the involuntary trembling thing he did as well. No so we've got video of that. What is that? I have no idea involved Terry Trammel just sitting there and like his arm and shoulder is just going. He just said it was great juice him up with something nothing just just talking. Oh so he just does it on purpose. Yeah what all this therapist and la gets him to do it somehow and that helps yeah.
Last game- I don't know other ions and out, but I watched three 3m special thinking. It was just another comedy stand up. I had no They're about that that that might being the serious stuff yeah. I thought as incredible as as he's a brilliant guy. Yes, very smart going to stand up is outstanding and he just keeps getting better, but you know he's a guy fighting demons. Yeah he's the classic case of the the comedian. That can never be how happy and less excited states killing you know, and then you don't even then. That's brief, like he's just never this jovial funny guy, but he's a brilliant comedic yeah, but as long as I've known him for many years, he struggled and it sounds like he's kind of an unofficial executive producer for a bunch of other comedians as well. Like advising them and giving them notes, and it seems like a whole bunch of people, don't respect him and get his input and people definitely respect him, but uh sure he gives people taglines and gives him advice and stuff like that very smart guy to be as honest as he was. I'm not even it with a joke
Tell the serious story, and then Taylor blew me yeah? I met him on a Friday night and watched it on the Saturday morning and had no idea, and it was one of the best things I've seen for a long While yeah, I know, he's a special guy, it's so it's hard when you know what I've had a few friends take your life three in the last year, and you know you, you see a guy like Neil, and you know he he's constantly pursuing all these different therapies and constantly trying to find something that alleviates this depression. And you just keep open. You keep hoping you keep searching, keep hoping that. One of these thing sticks, one seems really see, mean he's very, very proactive, he's, always searching for new things and very open about it and talking about it. But the cat I mean does seem to help.
Him quite a bit, and he was telling me like man he's like this- is so fucking crazy, I'm going to this doctor's office and having these full blown psychedelic experiences at the doctor's office. Yeah then two hours later, you're out on the street feeling completely normal. What was your ketamine experience like uh, I took a tablet you put under your time. Let it dissolve for for ten minutes. Late on a sofa in a therapist office for two hours, and I was out on the street again two hours later, so how long will it take for kicked in I don't really know because I never thought it was kicking in, but I just found myself saying things including concluding things that I wouldn't normally say and for the next we in one slash two I just felt like those are the weight way off. Did you have any sort of hallucinogenic experience. None what something? No hallucinations! No listen to listen to music, quite quietly put on you know I mask on for a few minutes here and there some time didn't talk at all um but yeah. Just there was just this really
if, especially after, was like in the in the week and one slash two or so I just felt this just this lightness. You know to your point about Neil being so open to trying everything even that EVA taking that step is hard, sometimes even getting out the door sure God, let alone researching this die from trying everything I mean when I first moved to America, I said: ok, you're not going to do yoga you're, not going to therapy or not going to prescription drugs. Us in New York, bullshit gotta drop that this scepticism and to try everything you can be genuinely open to everything. That's a lot in itself! Well, it's hard for people to try anything new. I mean you have respect anytime. Anyone does anything new. The first time a person it's on a pair of running shoes and goes for Ajag. It's fucking hard. It's hard to just do something. It's hard to change gears will be curious enough to try it in the first place he open to the idea, not just be cherry. I mean in the case of sitting sums like hell mean brave. You have to be brave for me in your eat once you take, you can't take a year on a ride yeah they take the
MDMA session was frank, frightened writing to me then going to Syria or Yemen or how so vulnerability. I just ability I'd, say things and accept things that accept things that I put up a front against and best british slang. Is very much a british thing, but it's also in my identity has been a tough brave war, correspondent right and you can like that Respected yeah yeah yeah I had that feeling of relief in the last thing is the loss for the first session. Sorry about all, you could have a family and the dog and kids and enjoy it and be happy. There's also a part me that resisted that and thought: no that somehow taking a foot off the gas that somehow.
Now losing sight of what's important and what your role is and what you can do to actually help things. You know yeah andi, just doing whatever is good for you. Well, it seems so conflicted because you obviously great get a great benefit of this. This ability to help you and you really do help, and you really do put yourself in these incredibly difficult situations. So there's there's something: there's there's a positive aspect of it, but for sure there's a price you're, paying that's pretty substantial and I, before the India May therapy, I thought if the price is you're on your own, on Dde you're, no enjoying the things that most people enjoy, then that's the price you pay. You know, that's that's! That's you know what you want to do and you'll do it. Whatever the price is, so I'm open to the idea of that. That not being the case. I hope that's the case. I hope it not being. The case is actually the case. Yeah Wilson Ben. Thank you man, thanks for coming in here
for everything you d'oh. I really appreciate it was great talking to you and I wish you well now. If there's ever anything, we could do. Please. Let me know. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much. You thank you. Thank you, everyone for tuning to show and thank you to squarespace dot com, the host of Joe Rogan dot com and maybe the host of your next website. If you're smart, you can make it yourself Don't need to hire anybody, you can do it through their Gore just designer templates in their seamless e. Easy to use dragon Top user interface, if you could do normal shit on a computer, you can build a fucking, bitch and website with square space, go to squarespace dot com, Slash Joe for a free trial. That's right! then, when you're ready to launch use the offer code, Joe to save ten percent off your first purchase of a website or domain? Okay, Okay, we are also brought to you by
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Transcript generated on 2019-09-25.