Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

How The Internet Spawned A Baby-Killing Cult

How The Internet Spawned A Baby-Killing Cult

Tue, 17 Mar 2020 10:00

How The Internet Spawned A Baby-Killing Cult

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Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey, it's Roy Wood, junior, host of The Daily Show podcast beyond the scenes and we are back for season 2. Beyond the scenes is the podcast where we take the topics and segments that were on The Daily Show and give them a little more love. This season, we're bringing back more Daily Show writers, producers and correspondents, more experts, giving us some extra knowledge you can't get anywhere else. Don't miss it. Listen to beyond the scenes on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. This podcast is brought to Now our friends at JBLM understand the power of tuning in to the real U. From true wireless headphones to pulsing party boxes, you can dare to vibe your way with the wide and colourful range of JBL products. Catch your favorite podcasts like this one unfiltered the JBL podcast on the Go. Play your music whenever, wherever and live in the moment your moment. Be unfiltered at JBL. Com. Hello, America. This is Robert Evans. I am sitting in a car on top of a mountain, like a professional person recording my podcast, which is this podcast behind the ********. And we've had yet another, I mean, really bad introduction, actually. I'm, I'm. I feel bad about this one. I actually like that one. Oh, you like that one, Sophie. That's good. Well, do you think that only people in America, in the US listen to solid point? I if there's non Americans listening to this podcast, what the hell are they doing? Like this is they they don't get our freedom. Our freedom of speech. That's ours and ours alone. Caitlin's the best thing about freedom of speech is limiting it to a small number of people. So I don't agree, but I see your point. Yeah. I firmly disagree with what just happened, and I take back my praise of your introduction. Hello, international listeners. We love you. Yeah, I bet they're from all over the world, I think. Yes. Canada. Yes. Japan. Yes. Canada is just Alaska's Mexico. No, Mexico and Canada are both much better countries. Spit my soup on the mic. Oh my God. Was a bad time to try to eat soup. Sorry. I took a week in rural America to to clear my head and get some writing done, and it has made me insult our neighbors to the North and South for no reason. You did that before. Come on. I did. I did. I did. I love insulting nations for no reason. Well, my guest today, as, as you just heard from, is Caitlin Durante. Caitlin, how are you doing today? Very well, I'm delighted to be here. Now, Caitlin, you are the Co host of the Bechdel cast. That's true. And you would, you have guessed it on behind the ******** before we had a long talk about, I think, a man both of us consider a dear friend now. Lafayette Ron Hubbard. Yes, yes. He he just he's coming to my birthday party soon. Ohh good. You know, I think he's at all of our birthday parties convincing our small children to deliver letters for him on his boat crusade to find gold in the ocean. Yes. God, I miss him. I know. Well, we're not talking about that today, Caitlin. We're not talking about the the the goat testicle Dr either, right? No, we're not talking about the goat testicle. Thought about her. That ******. Ohh, that guy. Yeah, like Alex Jones, but with goat testicles. No. Today we're talking about the free birthing community. Caitlin, have you ever heard of the free birthing community? I don't know that I have. Robert? Oh boy. Caitlin. Yes, you're you're gonna you gotta enjoy this, OK? I mean. So I, I, I God where to start? I, I wrote a little introduction here and I don't think I'm going to read it. I think we're just going to, we're just going to dig into it, yeah. The the Nexus of my introduction was that back in the day. You know, there's this one website that's kind of like the Tower of Babel for the Internet, the something awful forums. It's where 4 Chan came out of. It's where like doxxing was very first practiced. It's where a lot of like, meme culture originated from. OK? And that the those forms had a motto, and that motto was the Internet makes you stupid. And it was just at the time because it like night the late 90s, early 2000s is when like something awful was really at its most relevant. I was alive. Yeah. So was I and. And you were you remember then, Caitlin, when the Internet didn't really matter, when, like, it was just sort of the silly thing and and people like mainstream TV or news kind of made fun of people who were in on the Internet a lot like it, it wasn't taken very seriously, right. And so I think that's what the the motto kind of meant then was just like the internet's dumb, but as the years have gone by and the Internet has eaten the world, I've come to believe in those words very literally like the Internet. Does actually make people stupid? Hmm. And I think to the the free birthing community in particular is a perfect example of how this works. Because thanks to the wonders of the modern Internet, and most particularly Facebook, a bunch of otherwise well meaning functional human beings have left a trail of dead babies in their wake, not because they wanted to kill babies, but because the Internet broke their brains. And that's the story we're going to tell today. Wow. OK, excited. This is a dead baby episode. Ohh my. OK, wait. OK, initial question, preliminary question. Do you know anything? I don't know anything about the free birthing community, but I have a feeling that there's got to be some overlap between it and just based on what I think it is based on the name alone. Overlap between that community and the anti vaxxers. Do you know? Absolutely. Oh yeah. OK. For *** **** sure. Oh my God. 100% cool. Got it. Yeah, it's it's pretty cool. Caitlin and I, I want to welcome you, by the way, into a really rarefied circle of of ******** pod guests currently. Sophia Alexandria, Billy Wayne Davis are the only two members of the Dead Babies episodes. Sub club so very can we get a couple of air horns in there for for the third member of our Dead baby triumvirate? Absolutely. You know, I just added something so much. Are you honored, Caitlin? I'm so honored. And what, what a group to be a part of. I mean the, the, I mean, Billy Wayne and Sophia. I mean, what? Yeah. What terrific people. So rarefied air. I'm on rarified air now. Caitlin, if you, if, if you or at least sorry, not even you, Caitlin, if you, the listener at home, have heard about the free birthing community recently, it's probably because of a fabulous NBC News article by Brandy Zadrozny that dropped a couple of days ago. And the article's title was I brainwashed myself with the Internet? It is the story of a 28 year old woman on the West Coast, Pseudonymised Judith, who found herself slowly drawn into a series of online communities of women who believe that the best way to give birth is with no medicine, no doctor and no midwife. So, you know, we were all aware that there's like home birthing sort of like communities and stuff. These are people who are like that, but they're like, but midwives are evil too. Oh wow, I don't want anyone who knows that *** **** thing about medicine around for my birth. Like, that's the gist of these people, all right? Yeah, yeah. So that's a fun thing that I hadn't realized existed until I read this article. And the the TLDR of the story is that Judith left her baby in her belly for way too long, more than 42 weeks. Because these people believe, among other things, that having your labor induced, you know, medically is is an awful thing to do and an unnecessary thing to do. So she was pregnant almost three weeks past the nine month mark and refused to go to the hospital and her baby died. Outside of her, yeah. This is the first time we've had a first dead baby on page one. We're not even halfway through page one. Yeah, I bring that out and people, you know. Babies. I don't know what I meant by that. Yeah, that weird. Really fast. My presence encourages people to talk about dead babies is, I think, what I meant. Well, that's good. Well, we'll be talking about a number of them today. So, obviously, Judith Story was a traumatic, painful nightmare. And she's far from the only person that this kind of nightmare has happened to as a result of the free birthing community. The NBC article itself links to a November 2018 Daily Beast article by Emily Sugarman. The article's title is. She wanted a free birth at home. When the baby died, the attacks began, and it's it's the story of a woman named Lisa and her would be daughter Journey Moon. Lisa got drawn into the free birthing community via like, Facebook groups and podcasts, and this her baby died. And then she was harassed by a bunch of people online who were angry that she'd killed her baby, who had been infiltrating these free breathing communities. It's a mess of a story, and the tales of these two women comprise about 90% of the public discourse around free birthing at the moment. It's kind of. Very recently burst onto the scene. OK, but there's so much more here under the surface than is, even in both of these very well written articles, and today I I I felt like what I could do to add to this is dig a little bit deeper into where the free birthing community comes from and the individual I'm going to call them ******** who are responsible for starting what is effectively a weird cult dedicated to getting people to basically kill their babies by not having anyone who knows anything about medicine around when they. Come out of people. OK, cool, fun story. Can't wait. You sound really motivated by this to be a part of this fun tale. I so am you. You have no idea. Just I I have no ability to like, emote with my voice. But I am very excited to learn about the call that V modding. Hmm. OK, yeah. Now free birthing obviously has its origins in the natural home birth movement, and the term home birth started being used in the mid 1800s as hospital births became more common at present. Those so-called developed nations, you know, that's the term generally used. I don't like it, but it's kind of hard to find a counter terms sometimes have home birthing rates of less than 1%. It's broadly accurate to say that the end of home birthing is a normal thing. You know, the end of that being the way most babies were born has corresponded with a massive reduction in the rate of both infant and mother deaths in childbirth. So we stopped giving birth at home, started giving birth in hospitals with doctors and a lot less babies and moms. Right, right. Pretty obvious, sure. But here's where it gets weird, because the situation isn't quite that simple. the United States today has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the Western world. Six of our infants die for every thousand live births, which puts the US on par with such healthcare powerhouses as Serbia and Malaysia. Despite regular advances in technology matters, matters are actually getting a lot worse for American mothers. At a startlingly rapid rate, a pregnant woman in the US today is 50%. More likely to die in childbirth than her mother was, huh? Yeah, like that's an enormous jump in Mama and baby deaths, right? What would account for that? What accounts for that? Well, there's there's a number of intersecting factors here. One of the ones given regularly is eroding social support for women. So as a result of this, like crusade against birth control and Planned Parenthood by the right in our country, women's access to obstetric services and rural US counties has collapsed. 9% of all rural American women lost hospital obstetric services. Between 2000 and 2014, the shocking, expensive birth plays a major role in this too, people who just can't afford to to do it in a hospital. So between the cost and the sheer lack of access, the fact that growing communities of American women have been turning to home birth is not weird, and it's not necessarily harmful either. The Netherlands actually has a really high rate of home births. In 2009, the largest study of its kind was conducted there, analyzing more than 530,000 births and finding no difference in the birth or death rates. Of home births versus hospital births. And you'll hear the study cited a lot by home birthing advocates and they all tend to leave out something critical, which is that the home birthing mothers in this Netherlands study were all women who were determined by a doctor beforehand to have low risk pregnancies. So if you have a competent midwife and if a doctor is consulted first to make sure you're a low risk pregnancy, home birth and can be perfectly safe, sure, that's the one thing I want to get out of the way first, but our free birthing friends who are going to be talking about. They they don't use midwives, and they for sure as **** don't consult doctors. And most of the Facebook groups these people gather explicitly list advising and other person to seek medical attention as a bannable offense. So they'll say, like if you advise anyone to go to a doctor to induce pregnancy to, like, talk to an OBGYN or whatever, like, we'll kick you out of the group because this is not about that. OK, so these. These are the people I feel like. These are the people who like if they were. You know, convicted of a crime or they had to go to court or something. They'd be like, I'm going to represent myself. Like I don't need a lawyer. I'm gonna just do this on my own. Wow. Yeah, there's that phrase. Like a person who defends themselves in court has a fool for a lawyer. I guess a person who delivers their own baby has a fool for a dog OBGYN and obstetrician. Yeah. Yeah. So the first Facebook page that comes up now when you Google free Birth Facebook group. Currently hosts an image meme that says we are all descendants of someone who birthed at home without a licensed midwife. And that is true. But you could just as easily say we're all descendants of someone who died at home giving birth without any sort of medical assistance. Because that's equally true, right? Yeah, we all have a grandma here who got through a couple of babies and then couldn't make it past 5th or 6th or whatever, right? Yeah. Gonna be a fun one that just made me think, like, who, like did I have like a great, great, great, great grandmother who like died during childbirth but like, their baby survived and like, I'm the descendant of. Absolutely, yeah, that's got to be true for 100% of us. Probably 100% of us. There's no one who's somewhere in their family line. Doesn't have multiple people who died during childbirth. Like, that's that's just a guarantee just because of the way the world biology and **** worked and works. So when we're. When we're trying to unravel the mystery of how this deadly free birthing community came to be because I wanted to kind of trace it back to its origins. And my first question when I started doing that was when did this whole movement split off from just the home birthing movement? And as best as I can tell, a lot of it traces back to the story of one woman named Catherine Scholl. Now Miss Skull was a former Chicago police officer, and she was pregnant with her fifth child. Back in 2008, she was admitted to Rush University. Medical Center and received an unpleasant surprise. Her normal obstetrician was out of town on vacation. So instead of the doctor she was comfortable with, she was attended to by a stranger and a stranger who happened to be a really big *******. According to miss. Yeah, yeah, he he sucks. This guy's doctor, Scott Pierce is his name, and he apparently started their interaction by yelling at her for not coming in earlier and not calling before coming in. He informed her that because she had not given them enough warning, there was no time for him to give her pain medication. Then he told her that she deserved to be in pain. They're not giving the hospital more lead time saying sometimes pain is the best teacher. Wow. So he's like a great person, not not a great doctor. He next gave her an extremely rough vaginal exam that like she described as unnecessarily rough and painful while she was in mid contraction and then he ordered her to begin pushing before she was fully dilated. He told her repeatedly that her baby might die and had a loud phone conversation in the next room. About abortion. Telling another one of his patients that stupid woman, she has no business being pregnant. So pretty bad story. Yeah? Yeah. Not how you want a pregnancy to go. And Catherine Scholl is not the ******* here. She filed a civil suit against Doctor Pierce uh. He was eventually fined $500.00 and sentenced to one year of medical probation, which seems like a reasonably fair punishment for his crime. Well, find only $500.00. Yeah, I think the fine could have been higher. The fine should have been higher. But like, I yeah, he was definitely like when a medical board looked into it, they found out like, yeah, this guy's behavior was completely unacceptable. And it the story of so, like, Catherine School did nothing wrong. She was abused by a doctor. She filed a suit against him, and he was punished. You know, we could argue the punishment should have more, but her part of the story, she acted perfectly, reasonably. But the story of Catherine School took off. Like wildfire among the networks of Mommy blogs dedicated to the natural birthing movement and without knowing it, scoba came a rallying point for other women who had bad experiences with their doctors during childbirth. Scholl's story helped to galvanized a community of birthing extremists who had started organizing online, and one of the very first, and perhaps the founder of the free birthing movement was an Australian woman named Jeanette Frazier. Jeanette founded the website joyous birth in 2007. In December of that year, she coined the term birth rape in a blog entry to refer to what she thought people like Doctor Pierce were doing to their patients birth rape. Hmm. Yeah. So here's here's kind of her explaining what that means. I don't care if you don't like the word or the idea. It's real, so get used to it. Survivors are angry and we are starting to talk about it. Remember that old anti violence slogan? Well, it means even in hospitals and even in stupid hospital gowns, when I say no, it means no. When you shove your arm in a woman who's screaming, no, that's rape. When you rupture those membranes because you have to tick the box that comply with protocol, even when the woman screams. No, that's rape. When you slash a woman's vagina with scissors. And she's screaming. No, that's rape. And on the streets it would earn you a jail sentence. Your green gown is not protection. Do that to me and I will charge you. Don't forget it. We are angry and we are powerful. We have survived your ****** protocols so we can survive anything. Be afraid and don't underestimate us. And I'm curious kind of for your thoughts on that. And I'll tell you sort of where I land on this, which is that, like, I'm sure there are a lot of things that happen to women who are giving birth that they may say no about because once you're giving birth to a baby, the doctor is going to like legally has to do whatever he can or she can do to make sure that baby comes out alive. And you might not in the moment want that, but you're in a hospital. And that's kind of the way hospitals go. And I'm. I'm personally like, obviously, I'm very pro-choice, but at the point in which that baby is coming out, like, the doctor is equally beholden to the baby and to the mother. That's kind of how I think. And I yeah, I'm not interested in. Yeah, I mean, childbirth, like, that's that does, like, complicate matters because. You know, on one hand you have, you know, I kind of see what she's saying in this, in this definition of this term of, you know, doctors like, you know, doing things that could be considered rape or assault. And like, you know, the the women are, you know, the people who are giving birth, not giving consent, but, you know, the doctor's doing something that they deem medically necessary for, you know, the safety of the baby. Perhaps so. That is a very complicated thing. OK, so I OK, well, let's let's do this. I don't know if if you know this, Robert, or if any listeners are aware of a a podcast that I've been working on called sludge, an American healthcare story. So, and this is all about a recent experience I had with the American healthcare system. Spoiler ****. It's it was ****. So. I and I'm not saying that every, you know, healthcare experience of every person in the US is ******. It's not if you have $1,000,000 or more so. But you know, I this is all to say that I have. Hearing people's stories because I've started to interview other people with their sort of medical nightmare stories and I'm learning all these different things about how certain like medical. Protocol is not very good. One specific example I will cite is the way that the medical community treats like intersex babies, which is horrible, and they perform procedures and surgeries that the babies can't consent to, and that the parents often don't know enough about the situation, you know, just all these things. So. On one hand, like, yes, there like having people who know about childbirth and who know about protocol for medical protocol for childbirth should be present and at a childbirth. But there's also certain things that medical professionals sometimes do that are perhaps violating patients. So I have very complicated feelings about. It's it. It it it is really complicated. I, I I don't like calling it rape because I don't know. Rape is a very specific thing. And I I understand how some of the trauma you know of of undergoing, being forced to undergo a medical procedure you don't want to undergo or don't you know are, are, are kind of not present enough mentally to like understand what's happening to you because you're in this like really altered state. Like, I understand. So that would be traumatic. But I I feel weird about saying that, like, if a doctor does something you don't want because he's trying to save your baby's life, that that's the same as rape. That that's weird to me. I do. But like, there's a bunch of **** obviously, that, like, yeah, doctors do without the consent of the baby, like, with intersex babies. And also, like, you can make an argument about circumcision where it's like, that's not a medically necessary thing you're doing. And the child should maybe have some say in what happens to its own body, right. So like, yeah. Like this is like this whole issue like there I, I, I I want to kind of highlight that like, WOW, this community we're talking about I think is fundamentally toxic. There are some reasonable questions that like start that were being asked at the start of this. And I think this woman, Jeanette Frazier is going too far and kind of, yeah, we'll talk about her more in a bit, but I don't think like they're she's entirely and these other people are entirely coming out of an unreasonable place. The, the healthcare system and the child birthing system in this country is ****** and like the fact that. Women today are 50% likely to die in childbirth is as much evidence as you need to know about that. I wonder. It's really messy. I wonder if she just came up with that term birth rape, because it sounds sort of like birth rate, and she's like, won't this be a catchy phrase or something I don't like? I you know what that might be the case. We'll we'll see if how you think about that when we finish talking about Jeanette Frazier. Hey, Robert. But Robert, do you wanna know what else is a really catchy phrase? Oh, I was going to say, do you want to know what won't? Perform medical procedures on your child's genitalia without their consent. Oh, I I think that's our, our, our our sponsors who offer that services. That is the only guarantee we make about our sponsors. Mike Bloomberg and the Raytheon corporation. They will not order surgery on your children. I can't vote for Mike Bloomberg on that. No, he will. He will absolutely order. Yeah. No, we shouldn't have. And Raytheon will as well. 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I do think there is a certain point where we're like, no, you, you've got two human beings here now, and, like, you don't get to make every, I don't know, I I have a lot of issues in general with the amount of control parents have over what happens to their kids bodies. Sure. That worries me. Yeah. So yeah, this is a really messy and complicated thing, but joyous birth. Was very clearly from the beginning focused around the desire to like not have any medical procedures performed on your children to do it all naturally or holistically with like whatever remedies you could whip up in your kitchen. It had a forum with a few dozen members and that forum had threads with titles like Strep?? Can this be treated without antibiotics? Another ear infection... what can I do to avoid the antibiotics? So not only so, once their children have been birthed, assuming they survive, there's they're against all medical. Yeah, yeah, that's really the feeling their kids Life OK yeah. There's a lot of talk about how can I avoid antibiotics for my children with bacterial infections. One of the threads from mummy juice just says blood in poo? Which I'm sure does not end with a happy story. So, not a great community. We can agree there's some problems with the way childbirth thing is handled by the medical establishment. But like, yeah, if you're typing out, my kid keeps getting ear infections. Why? How can I deal with this without treating it with medicine? Like maybe you're doing a bad job. I don't know. Just give that kid some some goat testicles and give the kids some *******. Take care. It's a cure. All as we learned or audit. Child, get a knee meter out, you know? Yeah. So I I it's it's it's pretty cool. Now, I'm I'm not exactly sure when all these women started using the term free birth to describe what they were advocating, but by March of 2009, that change had happened. And the first time I run across the word free birthing to refer this community is when Jeanette Frazier was interviewed by a website called the age, and I'm going to quote from that interview. This is right before she was supposed to give birth to her fifth child, Jeanette. Frazier is in labor. Her plan is to drop the baby on the lounge room floor or wherever feels good at the time. Has she called the hospital to let them know what's happening when you go on a skiing trip, do you call the hospital to say I'm coming down the mountain? Can you set aside a spot for me in the emergency room? I don't think so, says Frazier, whose breathing sounds strained. Amazing logic, yeah. I mean, they generally do have medical professionals at ski lodges and stuff because of the dangers of skiing. But right, yeah, this is pretty much where we end the conversation that started with me calling Frasier and asking if it was true that her organization, joyous birth, was advocating that women go it alone. Giving birth at home with no midwife or General practitioner or bags of resuscitation gadgets. Free birthing. Plenty of women do it, she says. In fact, Frazier is doing it right now. I prefer to be an autonomous care provider, she says. So that's kind of the terminology used here. Yeah, I mean, OK, so. I am obviously all four like giving women's agency over their bodies, right, right. That's important. And it like, so it feels like this community they like started with that, but then have taken it far too far to the I mean, and I'm sure you're going to get into this soon, but like all, I mean if we prefaced it the dead babies. So, like, obviously the results aren't often good, it seems with this, with free birthing. But like, oh, it just it's it's so annoying that they're like doing this under the guise of like, yes, women's autonomy and agency and look how important it is, but because that is important. But then they've, like, bastardized it into this, like, disgusting. Killing baby enterprise like yeah it's and it's it is frustrating to me that they're kind of Co opting a lot of the language of the pro-choice movement because it is like when that baby's you know, a clump of cells when it's it's not capable of living independently in any way shape or form. I I think it would be horrible to give anyone but the mother control over her own body. But at the point that thing's been in there nine months and it's coming out and it can survive on its own like this is no longer just you here. There's an independent living human being. It also has rights, yeah, and it is kind of messy drawing that line, but certainly at the point at which you're 41 weeks pregnant. I I think, yeah. I don't know. Especially just because like there. I mean, I don't know anything about childbirth, nor will I, because I don't intend to have children ever. But like, there are so many people who do intend to have children who still like there's there's only unless you're trained as a midwife or a medical professional. It seems like a really dangerous thing to go at. Yeah. Yeah. And it's like, these are people who are kind of like refusing for there to be any kind of like reasonable middle path here because, you know, the the, the evidence does show that, like if you're checked out by a doctor beforehand and you have a midwife home birth and can be totally safe process, but they're like, no, **** that midwife thing and **** checking with a doctor. That's all a violation of my rights, which is dumb, I think. I think it's a dumb way to do things. It's not good, yeah. So Jeannette is probably the clearest case for the founder of the free birthing movement and her baby, who she was pregnant with when that article was written. Roisen was born five days after the article dropped. Jeanette delivered him without assistance in her home, and Rosen was born alive but not breathing. His heart was not beating properly. He was not stillborn, but he did come out in immediate need of expert resuscitation, and unfortunately, no expert was available. And all janets arnica creams and herbal child birthing remedies were useless in the face of this cold reality. Imagine that I'm not. Yeah, I'm gonna quote from the coroner's report about her. Her dead baby quote. Essentially, Miss Frazier was quite unprepared for what happened. There was not even a hard, flat surface available on which roisen could be placed for resuscitation. So these three amateurs, Miss Fraser, Mr Stokes, and Miss Deuce, first place the child on the rim of the inflatable pool, and when that proved unsatisfactory, used a chair. They were unable to abandon the chair and place Raisin on the floor in order to effectively administer CPR because, the placenta not having been delivered, that was as far as she would reach. Evidently it appeared to nobody present to clamp and cut the cord, and anyway, Miss Deuce told the inquest she had not been aware of the ready availability of any equipment to enable her to do so. According to Miss Deuce, further difficulties were encountered in administering CPR because Ryzen was slippery and difficult to hold, and evidently it did not occur to anybody to wrap her in a towel. Though there were towels nearby. How yeah. Yeah, it's ****** **. Wow. So yeah, in a case like this, I mean this is like straight up negligence, right? Where like, I would I would say so the baby died and the mom was responsible. Like, is she a murderer now? Like does she face. No. She legally know and in most parts of the world, she will not legally face consequences for this. You know? It's kind of thing we're we're only just now within a pretty recent period of time where like parents would get. Start to get in trouble in some places for like, refusing to give their kids necessary blood transfusions because of a religious belief. Like, you can still get away with that actually in a number of places. So this is this is not a thing where, like, the women who do this are generally prosecuted at all. Although, yeah, I would agree with you. This seems like negligence of maybe a criminal nature. Yeah, it's like manslaughter maybe. I don't like. Yeah, something. Slaughter, baby slaughter. Ohhh. Yeah, a horrible phrase. So that's Jeanette Frazier, one of the founders of the free birthing movement. And the other woman usually given as a founder for the free birthing movement is Laura Shanley. She was interviewed in December of 2008, the same month Catherine Scholl filed charges against her doctor, and she was interviewed for an ABC News article titled Mothers to be saying No to Modern Medicine. Now, that article does not use the term free birthing, which is part of why I think Jeanette Frazier probably gets the credit for that, but it does mention a dead baby. Laura Shanley's dead baby, to be precise. Shanley had successfully delivered her first four children at home. She delivered the fifth, too, but he had a rare heart deformity and he died. Shanley claims this had nothing at all to do with the fact that she chose to give birth without any expert medical care. Present quote if you have a baby that's born at home, and especially in an unassisted birth, regardless of the fact that the coroner said this baby would not have survived, you know, there are still people that will blame me for my baby's death, Shanley said. And that's just something I have to accept. Now, I'm not competent to diagnose whether Shanley's child would have died if he'd been born in a hospital, but someone who is competent is doctor Amy Tuteur, an obstetrician gynecologist who runs A blog called The Skeptical OB and focuses mainly on busting misinformation about pregnancy. She has a special hatred for free birthing and notes of Miss Shanley's pregnancy. She made no attempt to stop the premature birth of a son and watched him die in the bathtub. So yeah, two founders of the movement. Dead babies. That's where we're starting here. OK, cool stuff, huh? Really, really cool stuff. Caitlin's looking at me like Sophie. Why did you bring me here? How you? How you, how you, how you feeling, Caitlin? You know, I am really just frustrated by the willful negligence of this. Yeah, this movement. I'll buy you souplantation next time we get dinner. Thank you so much. We are, we are 5 pages in Caitlin, and we have 4 dead babies, so we are almost one dead baby per page. This wow, yeah, pretty cool. What a rate. What a rate. So Shanley and Frazier were the two earliest, loudest voices and the splinter of the home birthing movement that turned into free birthing. They both led large online communities that increasingly pushed their members away from trusting actual medical professionals for anything. Doctor Tuteur blames them for a lot of this, and she considers their activism to be the result of extreme emotional immaturity. And she wrote on her blog quote free birthers are monstrously egotistical. Reflexively defiant of authority, unwilling to admit mistakes, incapable of accepting responsibility for their own actions, and entirely devoid of any empathy for their suffering babies. Yeah, so this yeah, sums up for me the I wonder if they're all just like. Narset like, yeah, narcissists are like, I don't need a doctor, I'm a genius and I can handle this on my own. I I don't think all of the women who get sucked into it are. I think most of them are probably pretty normal people who are kind of maybe more inclined to like, sort of hippie, dippie stuff and like kind of like off the grid, a lot of like off the grid, sort of like, you know, back to nature kind, almost survivalist kind of women get really into this because they're attracted to the idea of self-sufficiency. But I do think the the people at the head of this movement. The women who are sort of like driving it, I think there is a lot of narcissism. Got it and and you can see that in the things that they say. For example, in the wake of her baby's death, Janet Frazier made this defiant statement. My birth rape with my first child is traumatic. My stillbirth was not. Hmm. Yeah. That just sounds like a lie to justify what she's doing with free birthing. And also like, regardless of what happened with your first child, that baby is alive. It gets to live a life, yeah? Other baby is not and yeah, no. The difference. Like, yeah. Yeah, yeah, so. Another story that a doctor to tour sites of like kind of narcissism. At the heart of a lot of these free birthing people is the case of a woman named Paula PAL a her infant son was born extremely early, weighing only one pound six Oz. He had to spend four months in the NICU and only survived due to intense medical intervention. Paula was forced to give birth in the hospital because something was very clearly wrong with her pregnancy, but she still insisted on giving birth as close to alone as she possibly could. And I'm just gonna read what she wrote on her Facebook page for a community of other free breathers, because it's it's ******* wild. I took out my IV lines. Nothing was being pumped into them at that point anyway. And my hospital bracelet. I wanted to take a shower with both arms free of junk. I figured they could put that crap back on me if it was an emergency, but I needed to feel like myself again. Did I mention they tracked and measured everything that came out of my body? Shortly thereafter, she was in active labor with a premature baby. She retreated to the hospital bathroom to decide what to do. Option One, she wrote. Called the nurses and either be prodded while birthing right there or be wheeled in for an emergency C-section. Option two, wake my husband and labor with him secretly, but then I know he'd lose his cool and call for help. Option three, labor by myself with my baby, just us, and I'd birth him and catch him and then call for help. Obviously, I went for option three. It seemed like the safest thing for my baby and myself. At the time, the studies I'd read didn't report benefits for a C-section. For babies of his age, that vaginal would have been safer, and I knew he'd get drugged up and controlled by strangers. Uh was going to make things dangerous for me. After a couple of painful contractions by the toilet, I laid out a couple of chucks pads to catch the blood and crap I was sure was coming. Yeah. So, and she she writes like this about, like, how good it is and how important what she's doing is for the safety of her baby, and ignores the fact that her baby only survived being born four months prematurely because of intense medical intervention, because of doctors and nurses working incredibly hard with advanced equipment to keep the baby alive. She makes it all into a story about how cool it is that she gave birth hiding alone in a bathroom without telling any of the medical professionals. Around here, yeah, so this also it's messed up this movement seems. Among many things like a disdain for science, like they're just like science is. Not cool. But you know what? He's cool. My baby. Potentially like I the fact that I'm in control and not some doctor right now. I mean it's it's the like I said, it's the anti vaxxer thing, right? It's just like how could this possibly help even though this like it's just, yeah, the, the ignoring the. The science, the facts behind it all wowy. OK. Yeah, it's pretty cool, Caitlin. It's pretty cool. I love it. Yeah. So Paula gave herself an enormous credit for cheating the system and giving birth unassisted while ignoring the hard work of professionals. Her defiant interpretation of a situation she probably made worse was interpreted as a story of self-reliance by her fellow free birthers. Instead of a cautionary tale, it reinforced dangerous ideas in the heads of dozens of women. In the years since Jeanette Frazier's baby died, the free birthing movement has grown like the Alt right, like the bleach drinking cult, like Q Anon, and like dozens of other toxic subcultures in the fertile substrate provided by Facebook. Like every subculture, it developed its own media ecosystem with its own popular podcasts and news websites and influencers, all of whom prey upon the ever growing market of hippie dippy new mothers to be who don't trust Western medicine. And that's how Judith, the subject of that viral NBC article, found out about free birthing. I'm going to quote from that article now. Judith worked at a flower shop. The Daily Drive was an hour outside of town time she filled by listening to podcasts. When she got pregnant, she devoured episodes of the birth hour and indie birth, popular programs on which women shared their childbirth stories, which ranged from hospital to home births. But it was the Free birth podcast that really spoke to Judith. Billed as a supportive space for people who are learning, exploring and celebrating their autonomous choices in childbirth, the podcast features Emily Saldana, 35A Los Angeles free birth advocate and founder of the free birth. Society. The group has 46,000 followers on Instagram and its podcast hit a million downloads last month. Yeah, that's too many. My podcast doesn't even get that much. And it's amazing. Not horrible downloads. 1,000,000 downloads in a year? OK, well, yeah, but that beats that. Too many downloads. Instagram followers. That's thousands of women potentially endangering their babies. Which isn't great. Not great. Not ideal. Do you want to know what will not endanger your? I don't. I can't even vouch for this because we are. I mean, because we're absolutely supported by Mike Bloomberg, who will in fact vouch for this. OK. Actually, Sophie, I'm glad you brought that up, because I have this new ad copy from Mike Bloomberg, so I'm just going to read that right now. Vote for Mike in 2020. He will endanger your babies. That's the Mike Bloomberg promise. He absolutely promises to endanger everyone's baby if elected. President. And it is, in fact, the only promise he's willing to make. 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Together, they led their country toward a revolution against Rafael Trujillo, the brutal dictator who ruled the Dominican Republic for 30 years. Please, please help us has blood on his hands from executive producers Dania Ramirez and Eva Longoria. That's me comes the powerful retelling of this all too relevant narrative. Listen to sisters of the underground as part of Michael Toura podcast network, available on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. We're back. So we're talking about this kind of network of free birthing media circles, primarily podcasts, and this is part of, you know, Caitlin podcasting has been good to both of us. I make a a my living at it and I I enjoy it and I I think I enjoy other people's podcasts that they make, including the Bechtel cast. Your podcast. Thank you so much. I worry a lot about podcasts though, and this is we're getting a little off topic, but like if you read Mein Kampf, which everybody ought to. One of the points Adolf Hitler makes is that, like the written word, essentially newspapers and and books by philosophy, that none of that **** convinces large amounts of people, of anything. The human voice is what can can change people's minds and huge numbers and shift the destinies of nations. Like that's what is the right voice at the right time. Saying the right things can be hypnotizing to large numbers of people, and I think that's what happens. To to this young woman Judith. She's she's spending 2-3 hours a day in the car. She lives out in the sticks. She's listening to the podcast to help pass the time. And these women on this free birthing podcast, in the way that podcasting hosts become to us, become sort of like surrogate friends. And she trusts them. And obviously she trusts these women on this podcast more than she trusts some doctor. She's going to meet a couple of times and it's probably going to be very short on time and like, this is one of the things that scares me about podcasts. Yeah, yeah. I I hadn't even fully until you brought that. Yeah, I hadn't fully appreciated the the power of the voice, the human voice, and how influential it can be. That is scary. OK, I will. Thickness a bit. I mean, on the lighthearted end of it, we can tell people to buy bolt cutters and and and the like to to break into the mansions of the wealthy when society collapses. But like, on the dark side of it, all this stuff happens too. So it's really a mixed bag podcasting. Thanks. Well, didn't we learn about this with Doctor John Brinkley? Was that his name? Who, like we sure did, founded that whole radio absolutely thing and was just Hawking his his fake medicine? Yeah, there's nothing people over the radio. What's new about this is that back in the day, you know, Brinkley was only able to do that because he had a huge amount of money from his goat ball business to establish a radio station with. Now anybody can do this. Anybody with any really ******* dumb idea can build a whole community dedicated to that dumb idea, for whom that dumb idea will become more important than anything else, even the lives of their children. So let's continue listening to podcasts and supporting our industry. Oh no, it's good stuff. It's real good stuff. Everything's a nightmare. So on the free birthing podcast, Emily Saldria hosted the most positive stories of free births. Judith was particularly taken by the tale of one woman who gave birth out in an unpowered yurt in the mountains of California, with, quote, only her husband and a dog she called her mid Wolf. Oh, oh, that. Dogs do not obstetricians. They're wonderful animals. But you, they they they cannot help in a birthing. No, that also just ruins puns for the rest of my life. I know, I know and I know to this day. I know to this day. The woman who decided to call her dog her midwife. That's the thing she's proudest of, is that bit of word play. And I hate it. Off I can't get over. I'm looking at it, and Anderson is shaking her head going, this is not right, but this is this is like an aspect of this story is like, a lot of these women are like, off the grid women, women who live on farms and stuff who are actually, like, probably really competent in a lot of ways because it's hard to live that way. I have lived that way, and it's incredibly difficult and it requires an amount of fortitude. And that's probably why women like Judith are able to go weeks past their due date and like the horrible pain that that involves, because they're tough people. And I. There's an extent to it. Like I I ******* hate hospitals and I avoid them at all. *** **** costs. And I like living out in the middle of nowhere. And I like not relying on anyone for, you know, things of of of my daily necessities. I enjoy that. I understand those impulses. But when you're bringing a baby into the world, your personal level of comfort with, you know, all that matters less than the child survival I. It just does. Yeah, that's part of being a parent. Right. Is that like you put the child first? That's why I don't have a kid. That's why we've been able to perpetuate the species. Yeah. Yeah. Caring for the young. I know I put Robert over myself. I pick Robert over myself all the time because he's my son. I know, I know. And that's why you've got 3 bullets in your shoulder. You know, and I, I appreciate you jumping in between me and that California Highway Patrol officer, but that's a story for another day and another podcast. So Judith becomes obsessed with these stories of, you know, these women having free births in these, like, amazing and exotic locales in the woods on top of mountains and foreign countries. And she, she like, like, loves this stuff and listens to it every day and and recall later to NBC, I became obsessed. Would just wonder what's my story going to be like and think I want my story to be as ****** as their stories. So you see, like there's a level of danger here, too, and the way that online communities do. Everyone pushes each other more extreme. You gave birth in an unpowered yurt? Well, **** it, I'll give birth in a cave or some **** like that. Like so, like many Americans, Judith entered into this world with a distrust of doctors. She'd been put under anesthesia as a child and found the experience frightening as a college student. A doctor shrugged off her inner ear pain, ignoring what she thought was a real issue. Quote. Just calculating all the experiences I've had with doctors I never felt. Heard. I never felt listened to. And this is an extremely common complaint from women who give birth in the United States. Very common. A lot of women will tell you, I didn't think the doctor was listening to me. I didn't feel like they cared about my pain or my situation. I mean, it's not just in that situation. I mean, listen to sludge. You guys listen to sludge. Sludge, yeah. Like every every part of my story is that many people stories. Which is why we need such a major overhaul of the. American health care system because it is full of a lot of medical professionals who are, you know, exhibiting certain biases against certain demographics of people, largely women, people of color, queer people, people with invisible disabilities, plus sized people. I mean so many groups of people are ignored or their pain isn't believed or anything like that. And it. Like, I can understand why certain people would be like, yeah, I don't want to deal with like the healthcare system. It's completely screwed me over. It's completely neglected me. But. I mean so the I mean the way problem. It is this system that is so broken, but it's a lot of the problem is like. Everything you've said is very valid. And I I would add to that a lot of these women go wrong is like, they recognize that the system's ****** ** and it is. And they say, like, the problem is then the doctors. We need to just not have doctors involved. And it's like, no, no, a big part of the problem is actually there aren't nearly enough doctors and they're all overworked. So even, like, the really good ones and the ones who are capable of like, you know, transcending those biases are also just like overworked and exhausted and sleep deprived and ****** *** a lot of the time. Maybe they don't give you the best bedside manner because they're they're doing way too much work. And if we had a lot more doctors, not only would you have a wider variety of life experiences among medical professionals, and so you'd have more doctors who might understand members of these groups, but you would also have less exhausted doctors and so they'd be able to provide better care, right? There's so many problems with our perfect need. What we need is for anyone who's considering starting a podcast, don't do it. There's too many become. And become a doctor instead. Every single one of you, stop listening to our podcast and go to medical school. You know how easy it is to just become a doctor? Just do that. Look, if you're listening to this podcast where you're putting up drywall for your job as a day laborer, drop that ******* drywall hammer or whatever you use to put up drywall and go become a doctor right now. Right now. Podcasts over. Yeah. So Judith is kind of very primed by her past bad experiences with doctors to distrust doctors in the 1st place. So when she starts listening to this free birthing podcast and hearing its host use terms like industrial obstetric tyranny and birth rape, she was ready to to graft those words and the idea behind them onto her life. She watched the free birth societies introduction video hosted by instructor Yolanda Norris Clark and the business partner of Emily Saldanha, the host of the Free Birthing podcast. And I want you to listen to how Yolanda. Introduces herself in this video. Sophie, that's your cue. Oh, that's my cue. That's your cue. I'm Yolanda Clark. I'm a writer, a birth consultant, and I'm the director of education with the Free Birth Society. And my passion and mission in life is to share the open secret that birth is not an inherently medical event, but a spontaneous function of biology, and that it is the pregnant woman herself who possesses inalienable authority over her birth process. I woke up to the truth about birth almost 18 years ago, and since then I've dedicated my life to studying birth and supporting euphoric birth. And I've given birth myself to seven healthy babies in my home without any involvement from medical professionals at all from conception to emergence. I like how she includes conception in there. I didn't need a doctor present when I was *******. ******* is easy. It doesn't require a doctor, clearly. Childbirth is the same. Yeah. Look, I don't need a doctor around when I'm shooting off my gun, so why do I need a doctor when I accidentally shoot my son? Umm, yeah. The these wild leaps of logic are yeah, I also, if you you weren't the guest for our episodes on Keith Ranieri and the Nexium cult. But if you go back to the old videos of what's her name that that Lady who was on Smallville's. Allison Mack. Allison Mack talking to Keith. Annie and listen to the cadence of their voices and compare it to the cadence of Yolanda's voice. They all talk the same way with the same sort of speech patterns and I find that very interesting. Well, OK, so. To quote Hitler. Yikes. To quote to quote Hitler. I mean, you know what? There's a couple of things I'll quote Hitler on in a a sense of agreeing with him, and one of them is how to convince a bunch of people of something he knew how to do it he wasn't bad at. I'm only quoting the quote that you already said from Minecraft, but just like the power of the the human voice, right? So yeah, I hope there are people out there. I know we we should probably edit this out, but no, no, it was wonderful. You cannot edit audio. You cannot edit a human voice. So I hope there are enough people out there who can, like detect this. Those like culty like, and now La La La La, la, like the the just like propaganda. Yeah, yeah, that whole cadence to pick up on the ******** that they're spewing and listeners couldn't see. But she was doing this like almost like conductor, like hand motion the entire time. That was also very flowy and sway and culty. Yes, thank you so much. Yeah. So I mean, I think, I mean, Robert, obviously you picked up on it. Like, I just hope that for the people out there who, like, listen to all these podcasts out there and they can, like, they can tell when people are being scary and spewing propaganda ********. That they understand that when I tell them to purchase bolt cutters and. OK, so later in that video, Yolanda warns against inducing labor, calling it an eviction from the womb and basically arguing that it's traumatic to the infant. She brags about taking her pregnancies well past the normal 40 weeks. And Yolanda's eyes, the idea that the risk of stillbirths rises rapidly after 42 weeks is nonsense, she states. Babies come out, babies always come out. So when Judith's pregnancy crept past 42 weeks, she assured herself it was fine. By remembering Yolanda's words, she also sought reinforcement from her friends in the free birthing Facebook group. Things were not fine, of course, and her baby was, in fact stillborn. The only good news in this terrible story is that this horrific tragedy shocked Judith out of the weird little Internet cult she'd gotten drawn into. As she told NBC, I think I brainwashed myself with the Internet and I that's what happened. The Internet. Like the fact that. Judith was capable of realizing this and acknowledging the bad decisions that that set her on this path should keep you in on the critical fact that she's not a dumb person. She's a person who did a dumb thing with a horrible consequence, but she herself is an intelligent, capable, reasonable human being. The Internet made her stupid. This doesn't take away from her culpability in the tragedy, and she definitely has quite a lot here, but it does highlight a critical reality without this massive ecosystem totaling 10s of thousands of people and hundreds of dedicated content creators. Judith would not have been able to convince herself to make these bad decisions. This this just wouldn't have happened in an age in which this this Internet infrastructure didn't exist. The train of things that led to Judith stillbirth bears tremendous similarities to the radicalization pathway for numerous neo-Nazi and white supremacist terrorists. Some dumb kid comes across a really transgressive podcast or review of a movie they like by some YouTuber like Stefan Molyneux, and that leads them to other content and eventually a more extreme communities and after a few months or a few years. You've got yourself a committed white supremacist, and as is the case with all these new Nazis we're dealing with in 2020, there are specific individuals to blame for creating the radicalization pathways in the free birthing community. The Internet may have made Judith stupid, but it didn't do so on its own. And the two people most responsible for the spread of the free birthing movement and its modern, deadly dimensions are Emily Saldana and Yolanda Norris Clark. They wind up in every single one of these stories. Take the case of Lisa, a 29 year old. Californian who talked to The Daily Beast, Lisa had been living off the grid in an eco friendly sort of, you know, situation in the middle of nowhere. When she found a free birthing page on Instagram. The idea immediately appealed to her and she joined the free birthing Facebook group that Emily Saldria ran. Like Judith, she kept her new friends up to date with her pregnancy. Quote, been in labor for days, thought I was in transition at 11:30 PM, but now it's 3:00 AM and it's intensely painful. Like I just want to lie down and for the pain to stop for a second. Sadaya reached out to her via Facebook Messenger to give support. Other group members left comments like you're a legend. It will happen like Justine. Lisa's pregnancy went on for far too long. Her baby was also born dead. She made a quick post to the free birth Societies Facebook group, and people there sympathized with her. But the important work of radicalizing other pregnant women to avoid hospitals and even midwives continued. Or at least it would have if not for what happened next. And I'm going to quote from The Daily Beast again here. A group of concerned outsiders worried the free birthers were being reckless and set up fake sock puppet accounts to gain entry to the private group and monitor its members. The interlopers saw themselves as centuries, keeping watch over alternative lifestyle practitioners they believed were putting their babies in harm. The sock puppets took screenshots of Lisa's comments and posted them in their own groups, sparking instant outcry from their followers. Some of them marvelled at why anyone would take such a risk with the pregnancy, while others blamed Saldana for luring impressionable women into a dangerous practice. Others were more vicious. The ****. And the Free Bird society needs drop kicking out of a ******* window, one person wrote. I wouldn't mind seeing this monster swinging from a light post, added another. So that's all the Internet that you and I know and love, Caitlin. Yeah. These eruptions of death threats and outrage by anti free breathing activists came to follow every new dead baby story. When baby journey Moon died in 2018, the weight of attention and outrage leveled against the Free Bird Society caused Emily Saldanha to close all four of her Facebook groups. And here's what she wrote in the post announcing this. And oh boy, strap in for this one, Caitlin. OK, dear community. It is with a heavy heart that we officially announced the closing of our four wonderful groups here on Facebook. As of November 1st, all members will be removed and the group's closed permanently. As many of you know, a member of our private free birth society group tragically lost her baby during the birth process earlier this year. The painful reality is that babies do sometimes die in all settings, including the hospital, and every pregnant woman must contend with the possibility of death, which exists for each of us. Babies just die. Emily went on to complain about her own death threats, the ones that she'd received from anti free birthing. Activists and closed the post by announcing in light of all this, we at free birth society and our advancing our plan to move off Facebook to a safe and private membership platform. Patreon. No, yeah, that's actually exactly what they're doing. It's not Patreon, but that's the exactly the goal. This is a grift. The private membership platform is not free. It costs $108.00 to be a member, and since her Facebook group had more than 6000 members when she closed it down, the amount of 46,000 members when she closed it down, the amount of money on the line here is potentially significant. And that's not the whole of the grift. It's barely the start. Emily and Yolanda run a website, On it. You can buy a coffee table. Look, she rises an annual edition of the Wild Mother, which is another thing these people call themselves. For just 2999, you can also pay for a number of different cool services. Caitlin, you're going to love hearing about this. There's the lighthouse leaders group coaching series from $175, birth trauma debrief for $150.00, radical birth keeper consultation for $100, self mastery coaching for $150.00, an undisturbed birth education, and prep for $150. Now I bet you're wondering what is, what is radical birth keeper consultation? I am wondering that. Please tell me. So I looked into it and it turns out it's a guide for other women to start their own business and the radical birth work field. Market for that? Well, because these ladies are making bank. Emily and ******* Yolanda are making a ton of who wouldn't want to make money off of the this? It's like making a money as a midwife, but with all all of that passkey training and apprenticeship and learning useful medical ****. Oh, good God. Here's a quote from the the page for that. That thing's new to birth work. Not sure where to start? Or maybe you've been attending births for a while and are feeling sick. If you're called to radical birth work, identified by us as standing within four women, we are here to help you brainstorm business ideas and dive into all things birth work. We have effectively coached many women who want to launch their birth businesses but don't know where to start, or feel stymied by the pressures that they perceive from general social climate around birth. Or worry as to what and how to charge for their services. During the session, we will help you cut through the noise of self judgment and help you clarify your birth work superpower and project your vision to the world. Implement your passion and translate it into working with women with the highest integrity. This is a 60 minute session that will be done over FaceTime or zoom. OK, so let me let me understand this. So they are basically they offer this service where you can consult with someone to learn how to be a person who will be present at free births just to like help out in case anything goes wrong. So they acknowledge the need for people to be there just like the people with actual medical, medical. Training. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, wow. OK. This is kind of where I I start to see it as like, I don't think like, Justine, obviously, one of the one we've talked to the most, like there was no gift for her. She just thought this was the best thing to do and she was wrong. But these women, Yolanda, Emily Saldana and Yolanda Norris Clark, these are people who just want the respect and money that a real professional, like a midwife or a doctor, receives as a result of what they do. But they don't want to take any training or get any kind of license or be told. By anyone that whatever crazy ideas they have about birth are aren't like, right, so they've just built up this community where they're treated like real medical professionals and essentially train other people in how to give birth without actually knowing how to train other people and then how to give birth with no train, like train people to not be trained. Yeah, it's mind boggling. It's incredible. And if you decide, Caitlin, that you want comprehensive coaching on how to create your own. Maybe Emily and Yolanda will be more than happy to help you for a price. Their full coaching package is a bargain at just $899. Ohh **** yeah. Well, I have decided that I want their help, so I'm going to start saving up. Yeah, midwives have to like, go to a place you just give it on Skype, baby. That's the way easier. My God. Now, I I can't say for certain that Lisa, one of the mothers whose babies died, was actively paying Yolanda and Emily for birth coaching, but the fact that she's mentions getting Facebook messages from Saldanha makes me think that she was, and the precise wording of how The Daily Beast. Discuss this as suspicious to me. Quote Saldana says she provided no advice to Lisa and never even spoke to her on the phone. She doesn't mean she didn't get on Skype or zoom or something so different. Medium? Maybe then yeah, maybe. I found Yolanda Norris Clark on Facebook and Instagram. She goes by Bauhaus wife and sends out free birthing memes and updates to her combined 12,000 followers. Here's one example. The idea that governments could ever have the legitimate jurisdiction to designate birth workers or licensed birth work in any capacity should be preposterous and outrageous to everyone. The fact that it isn't, and that so many women especially, have accepted and even welcomed the appropriation of midwifery by the patriarchal false authority of the official institutions, just reinforces the task that we have at hand to rewild and reauthenticate our relationship to ourselves, to motherhood, to our bodies, to our children, and to each other #radical birth keeper, #radical birth work, #bauhaus wife. Hashtag free birth. Hashtag home birth. Hashtag wild birth. Hashtag free birth society. Hashtag free birth society. Radical birth keepers school #radical birth keeper school, hashtag free birth society. OK, so these are like the the turfs of the birthing community. They're like, these are birth turfs. They're like, you were so right before you said they were like Co opting certain like language in terms of like pro-choice language and then but then they've just like taken it to this such, this horribly harmful radical. Yikes. Yeah, she has her own branded memes, one of them reads. Governments have no business in birth. Birth belongs to women. Which, like, yeah. But not when you're baby dies because you like. Yeah. Ignored science. Yeah. The baby has some rights too, at the point at which it's coming out. Yeah. Now, thanks the kind. This kind of language is powerfully effective to the women who wind up in these groups. Studies have been done on the free birthing community in the US and Australia, and four key things come up over and over again when women say how they found this community. And I'm quoting from a paper commissioned by. Evidence based midwifery so this is an A midwives like organization's rejection of the medical and midwifery models of birth, faith in the birth process, autonomy and agency. There was a prevailing sense of choosing to free birth in order to retain choice, control and autonomy over their bodies during the birth process. It's about control. Another analysis I found on the conversation backs up this interpretation quote where home birth services were available, some women did not want the routine care that is provided by midwives. This was largely due to the belief that routine care practices would cause. Interference that would get in the way of their ability to birth safely. Additionally, they were concerned that they may face coercion should they decline aspects of care provided by the midwives. Therefore, they did not want care imposed upon them during childbirth. The researchers findings across all studies agreed that women ought to retain full control and autonomy throughout their experience of giving birth, a need they felt maternity services were unable to meet. Hmm yeah because you don't you can't. It's not you don't own the baby once it's coming out. It's not your property. It's a thing. It's like it's leaving. It's it's it's getting on out of there. Yeah, ohh gosh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I just you hate, you hate to see it where they like it. They're like, yes, women's autonomy and agency and absolutely like, these are things I so strongly agree with and they're but they're they've just taken it to this horrible, horrible place. They really do it. It rules. Like, I don't enjoy getting a pap smear, but I'm not going to do it to myself because I don't ******* know how. Uh, I have given myself a pap smear, but I don't know what a pap smear is. So I I just kind of, you know, Robert, may I explain to you what a pap smear is? I think that the the reality of that situation, Caitlin, is between me and my hammer. I'm good at you. I'll let you look at it. I'm pretty sure I'm good at it. It's unpleasant, to say the least. I'm starting the self schmeer community, actually. Free smearing, free smears. A lot of people say men cannot get and give themselves Pap smears using hammers, but my Facebook group says otherwise. Uh, well, as long as babies are not dying, I guess that's that's what's important here. No, no babies dying. Some, some people. Adults. Yeah, now the sad reality is that more and more babies are going to keep dying as a result of the free birthing movement. Emily Saldana and Yolanda Norris Clark will continue podcasting and meming and making bank while America's infant mortality rate ticks ever higher. The NBC article that came out earlier this year helped to highlight the movement, but in the end it may just draw more women into the movements maw. That's certainly what Emily Saldria thinks. In the immediate wake of the NBC article, which was focused around the death of a child from someone who followed Emily's instructions to a tee, she posted this on Instagram. Hey guys, no podcast this week decided to prioritize self-care and create some spaciousness to relax and be fully present with my baby after an insane month of working my *** off on this membership launch. I'm extremely proud of what we've built and it feels so good to be off Facebook. Thank you for the outpouring of love and support I've received in this hard as **** past six weeks. Someday when I'm ready, I will talk at length about my experience on this full on cyber attack, but for now it's only furthered my resolve and this work, truth and light will always shine brighter and carry more endurance. And in the words of Lena Dunham. No one that actually knows me thinks I'm an ******* and that's what matters. When you know and love who you are, you're unshakeable. The bright side of all this weird media attention is it's brought a ton of women to this movement, so **** yes to transmuting people's traumatized **** energy into something powerful and exciting. Big bicep emoticon. Fist emoticon. And to all the haters out here that have gotten weirdly obsessed with me, I still got all the love in my heart for you. And I will keep fighting for you whether you're with me or not. Fire emoticon. Heart emoticon. Heart emoticon. Heart emoticon. Heart emoticon. Heart emoticon. Watch free society hashtag the Free birth podcast. #haters gonna hate strong women. Hashtag smash the patriarchy. Hashtag calling ******** hashtag light wins hashtag I am not afraid. Hashtag strong as ****. Hashtag Lena Dunham. You inspire me. Hashtag bye. Bye Facebook Lena Dunham, you inspire me. Women are taking advice on their babies health care from this person. That's so scary. Also, if I like, if I, if it like, if I I can't even speak. It's amazing. It's ******* astonishing. Flabbergasted. I think if I if like if my feminism ever inspired, like, free birthers to be like, yeah, smash the patriarchy, I will. I don't know what I will do. I will have to just like. Log off and never be present in the world again like. If my message somehow gets convoluted to like this version of scary radical free birth feminism. Horrifying, yeah? Yeah. You don't have to give birth in a hospital, but you do have to consult medical professionals about your birth to do so responsibly. Yeah, because when you decide you're bringing a baby into the world, it's not all about you anymore, but it is all about you when you're performing a home Pap smear as a man. And that's why you should join my Facebook group, man smearing, where we're teaching each other how to recapture PAP, smearing from the medical industrial establishment and the feminist. Establishment and Remail and Rewild Pap smears for all of the men who have access to Home Depot hammers. I don't even know how to respond to that, Caitlin. Umm, I will say this. If what? Wouldn't it be funny if there were like MRA's out there who were like, men should be able to get Pap smears too, and then and then they like go out and buy a speculum or sorry, a hammer and hammer. Yes, the male Pap smear is performed with a hammer. I see. Well, I just, I just keep doing good, feel great. I just, I keep going back to like. One of the roots of the problem that births the free birth movement. See what I did there mid wolf, OK. Is the broken American healthcare system and if we totally shattered find a way to fix that I I feel like there would there would never be a need any any you know mothers to feel the need to have a free birthing experience so that I mean. I mean, we. Gosh. I feel sick. Well, if you're feeling sick, that means it's the perfect time to plug your plug cables because nothing cures your ailments like a solid plug. Thank you. Well, I'll start with sludge in American healthcare Story, my podcast about my experience, finding out that I had gallstones and the very long and arduous process that it took for me to get surgery to get them taken out. So check out that and it's amazing. Thank you so much, Sophie. I keep. Saying yeah, I'm releasing season 2 soon, and I don't know when that's going to happen, but it'll happen someday. But season 2 focuses on other people's medical nightmare stories. Excellent. So we're big fans of medical nightmares, yeah, I mean. I really have my mom on what I will. Sure, yeah, I'll have anyone on if anyone has a medical. That's the other thing. If people have medical horror stories, please e-mail them to me at I'll probably feature them on the podcast again when I start releasing episodes someday. Yeah, I just. I want to have faith in a healthcare system. It just needs to be very much revamped. So yeah. Let's work on that a society. Anyway, you can listen to my less of a bummer podcast, the Bechdel cast, which is also still kind of a bummer sometimes because it's all about how most movies are horrible to women, so you know. Sometimes they're not, though, and those episodes are nice. And then you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram at Caitlin Durante. And, uh, yeah, I think that's that's about it. Yay. And you can find me on the Internet at and the man smearing Facebook group where we talk about how to reclaim our wherever you do that from doctors and the feminine triarchy. That's that's at the end of the episode. So what Robert meant to say is he's had. I read OK on Twitter, rat ******** bot on Twitter and Instagram. We have a tea public store. Robert also hosts. Worst year ever. Uh. I have Twitter yes Sophia plug your Twitter. I've I've actually never I've actually never said it out loud. It's why under score, Sophie under score why Anderson content. That's it. OK, so why so few? I why? OK and then because you're a professional. OK. So follow Sophie at on Twitter at why under score Sophie under score why? And then you features. Anderson content? I thought the whole handle for a second was that I'm not a professional like you. I'm a hack and a fraud. No, you're not. That's the ******* ******* episode. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey, it's Roy Wood, junior, host of The Daily Show podcast beyond the scenes and we are back for season 2. Beyond the scenes is the podcast where we take the topics and segments that were on The Daily Show and give them a little more love. This season, we're bringing back more Daily Show writers, producers and correspondents, more experts, giving us some extra knowledge you can't get anywhere else. Don't miss it. Listen to beyond the scenes. 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