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.

Part One: Andrew Tate, and the Mythopoetic Men's Movement

Part One: Andrew Tate, and the Mythopoetic Men's Movement

Tue, 17 Jan 2023 11:00

Robert is joined by Cool Zone Media editor, Ian Johnson to discuss Andrew Tate.

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You have a dark obsession. You love True Crime. An I Heart podcast has gathered the best True Crime all in one channel, I Heart True Crime Plus. It's packed with podcasts about murder cases, missing persons, serial killers, and more. So there's always something disturbingly good to binge and share. I Heart True Crime Plus subscribers also enjoy ad-free listening, early access to select episodes, and exclusive bonus content. I'm Robbert Evans. I'm Robbert Evans. So we'll get into this more later. This is supposed to be, and it's going to be the first of several episodes about Andrew Tate and the mythopoetic minz movement that led to his rise to fame and influence among the generation of young men. We started recording this episode just a few hours ago with the wonderful April Clark and Grace Freud of the Girl God podcast. They have in any way. We recorded a little bit with them, and then I had a minor emergency, which has taken me out of the house for a while. Things are okay. You don't need to flip out on Reddit or whatever, but it was a problem. We were not able to record with them to finish recording with them, and because of the holiday, we have no backlog. So in order to get this episode done and ready for our editor, ASAP, Sophie is going to be my guest today, along with Ian, our editor, and we will get this out as soon as possible, because otherwise we will not have a show, and we are contractually obligated to provide you with entertainment every single week until the heat death of the universe. But I do want to shout out April and Grace, who are wonderful, who came on and booked a time for us, and I'm sorry that things got messed up. We will have them back on the pod at some point in the near future. And I wanted to let people know that there is, they have an upcoming show at JFO Van Cooper on February 25th, and people can get tickets for that show at You can also check out their podcast, just type girl god and any of the things that have been on my podcast, and you can listen to their awesome show. Thank you so much again, April and Grace. I'm sorry that there was a minor calamity. Now welcome to the pod, Sophie and Ian, how are y'all doing? So well, so well. Ian is Ian Johnson, by the way, he edits a lot of our shows and it's also one half of Gladiator with fellow editor DJ Dannel. And we do have the full Gladiator on staff, which I like to bring up as much as possible. Thank you, Sophie. I appreciate the love. And yeah, you know, it's Friday, ready for the weekend. Let's talk some tape, you know, let's do it. Friday, but also almost Saturday. And Ian is currently in his closet. Yeah, and we may start drinking in the near future. It might need to happen. Yeah, let's do it. All right, Robert. Yeah. Ian, I actually have you been on just as one of our podcasts before you have noticed my first time. No, it's my first time. Well, you know, Ian, people should know about you again. You're one half of Gladiator. You are a longtime friend of our other editor, DJ Dannel. You are a legendary podcast editor. And you had absolutely no involvement in the July 16th plane crash that cost John F. Kennedy Junior his life off the Massachusetts coast. No involvement at all. No, no, no. I know why people, yeah, don't bring it up. That's weird. You had nothing to do with it. Why are you talking about that? I just select people know Ian had nothing to do with it. Ian, Sophie, what do y'all know about Andrew Tate? So my limited knowledge of him is he's a, I believe, a former MMA fighter who I don't know how he made a lot of money, but it seems like he has a lot of money from what he's seen on the internet. We will be talking about how. Yeah. And he's into a lot of massage, just like man rights kind of stuff. And he got thoroughly destroyed online by Greta. So I do remember that. Mm-hmm. And I think he's in jail now. He is in jail now. Unrelated to the Greta stuff, there was a little bit of confusion about that. But yes, he is in jail for sex trafficking in Romania. Sophie, is that more or less your understanding of the guy? Yeah, he fucking sucks. Yeah. That's all I need. That's all I need. He doesn't need fucking suck. Unfortunately, he's also kind of worth studying in detail because he's managed to do something with social media that I don't think anyone else has ever managed to the same degree of success. He's smart in one very specific way, even though he also did a bunch of dumb things and some really dumb crimes that hopefully have ruined his life. He was smart in a way that has allowed him to become dangerously influential to an entire generation of teenage boys in a way that like no one on earth has managed quite yet. Donald Trump is really the only other guy that I might put next to Tate in that kind. And I think Tate has a wider appeal among Gen Z teens and tweens than certainly Trump or ex. Yeah, it's interesting to see the spaces where Tate's content shows you. Yeah. We're going to be talking about all that. I am one of the things when I started looking into this guy. There's a ton of articles about, because he blew up kind of mid 2021 up until the arrest a couple of weeks ago. There's not profile articles on him that like go into detail about his background and his past and his entire rise to power. You'll generally the best articles you'll find in places like Buzzfeed or I think we have a couple from like the Guardian, but like summarize his backstory in two or three paragraphs. I wanted to get into who this guy is and where he came from because he kind of pops out and nowhere if you don't follow that. I think this is the first time anyone's really done that. So I think this will be valuable for that. But I want to start by laying out why we have to take Tate seriously and kind of explain the scale of sort of his influence. I am not exaggerating when I say that he is maybe the most influential single person on teen and preteen males in the US and the UK and some other parts of the West than anyone else on planet Earth. In fall of 2022, Financial Services Company Piper Sandler released a survey of 14,500 US teens taken between August and September of that year. Tate was the number one influencer on the list in terms of popularity. He beat Kanye West, he beat Mr. Beast, he beat Dwayne the Rock Johnson, all of them. Not Mr. Beast. I don't know who Mr. Beast is, but he's a YouTuber. He's a YouTuber. I know Elon Musk joked about giving him control of Twitter or he asked whatever. I don't know anything about him. I'm sure you're fine, Mr. Beast. Or he's horrible. I was going to say anybody who's that famous on YouTube, I'm a little bit like. No good people get famous on YouTube, which is what I text our friend Cody Johnston every single day when he releases a new YouTube video. Anyway, the Andrutate hashtag on TikTok has received more than 10 billion views over the course of 2022 alone, which is fucking nuts. That is insane. That is like incomprehensibly viral. He was also, he will always claim that he's like the most Google person on Earth. I looked into what he actually is. That's not quite it. He is the number one when you type in who is into Google, who is Andrutate is the number one who is question asked of Google in 2022, which is not the same as being the most Google person on Earth. Although he is one of the most Google people on Earth. I found a couple of lists of that and he's often at like number eight, some place, some closer to like 10, but like he's incredibly famous. I just tested that and it isn't right. Yes. 10 most Google person on the planet is that's that's that's a lot of people that is a fuckload of people. And in some counties like beating Donald Trump, but you get Trump is the literal president. And it's interesting because his career you can compare him to a guy like Joe Rogan, right? Joe, his career, there's nothing that people like wonder why he's popular, but there's no mystery as to how he became popular. He's got a very he's been consistently. The introjector is very very consistent guy constantly in the limelight constantly doing stuff, not hard to see where he came from. Tate is a kickboxer for a while and then kind of drops off is just sort of a guy on Instagram. And then it's suddenly the most famous influencer on the planet seemingly overnight. And this is not an accident. This isn't also something he didn't just get surprised because something of his happened to go viral. This was the result of a tactic I haven't seen anyone else use or certainly not to the degree of success that Tate used and the tactic that he unleashed not only made him this popular, but it made him popular enough that you can find articles about schools in the US and the UK holding seminars for young male students and for teachers to try to talk about de radicalizing kids who have got who have fallen under Tate spell. I posted a comment about him during his spat with Tunberg just because I was frustrated at the degree. I'm not with Greta's response to him, which I thought was totally fair, but with like people kind of cheering it on as if he'd been beaten by it where my concern was like, well, the attention historically has just kind of made him more popular. And there were a bunch of comments in that post I made by teachers who were like, I don't know how popular he is with like 13, 14, 15 year old boys. I talk to kids every day who worship the guy and I've never seen anything like it. One of my really good friends, Jack, this was actually a few weeks ago we were hanging out and he was like kind of joking, but also serious. He was like, you know, I'm like, it would be scary to be a 13 year old boy right now because of the inundation of this kind of stuff that you're seeing all day every day and he was like, I'm not going to lie if I was 13 or 14 and didn't know better. I could probably fall for a lot of this stuff. It's like, I could imagine being that age right now and just being flooded with that. Yeah, I think about that sort of thing in a lot of, I'll talk about kind of, there's elements of Tate's pitch that I think might have worked on me when I was 17, 18 years old. Particularly a big part of it is like working a shit job that you hate for the entirety of your youth is bullshit, which it is. It's a terrible way to spend a life doing the thing you hate forever. If you kind of, if that's the hook you're leading with rather than what a lot of male influencers lead in with, which is like, here's how to pick up chicks, you know, that's an interesting spin that he's put up. But we'll get more into his pitch and like, what about it is not new and what about it is new. But I wanted to, I wanted to start by kind of explaining who tilled the soil that Tate grew up in. And to do that, we have to travel back in time to the 1990s and the work of the first real modern masculinity guru in the United States. Oh boy. Now, we've talked about guys like Bernard McFadden in the past who had elements of that where he's big into physical culture and getting buff and he talks about like, you know, how modernity is making men weak. But the Robert Bly is the guy who Jordan Peterson is cutting his image. And so do degrees, a guy like Andrew Tate. He is the first guy to kind of bring it both academic rigor and also this kind of focus on the, the damage capitalism has done to masculinity into this kind of, it's become the men's rights movements. It's become the pickup artist community. That's not what it was called at the time. But yeah, Robert L. Wood Bly is the name of the guy who kind of kicked all of this off. And he's not the dude you'd think he was. He's an American poet by some accounts. He's one of the most influential poets in American history. And he was born on December 23rd, 1926 in Minnesota. Initially, Bly seemed to be on certainly not the path that he wound up on. He goes to Harvard University. He studies at the Iowa writers workshop. He receives a full, a full bright scholarship to go to Norway and translate Norwegian poetry into English. And during this time, he also gets connected to these great poets who are not Western writers, like Pablo Nuruja and Rumi. And they influence his understanding of art and the myths that underlie it. And it also leads him to feel that like modern contemporary American poetry is kind of hollow and lacks a connection to this kind of deeper mythology that he sees in some of these Eastern poets and some of these, you know, poets from other parts of the world that aren't the United States that he feels are making a deeper connection to things. This might be just a personal preference, but I find the Iowa's writers workshop to be a red flag. Oh, yeah. Wait, wait, wait, I don't know much about it. Tell me, tell me, why is this? No, it's just it's just one of those things that gets overused in TV as like, oh, I need to go to this. It's like it has like a weird, weird elitism to it that, yeah, I mean, feel that way about Harvard too. Yeah, there's a lot of weird elitism red flags where I'm like, but yeah, hearing, hearing Harvard University followed by Iowa writers workshop is really not the best. Oh, and then there's the full, yeah, full bright grant. So it's, you know, yeah, yeah. So Iowa writers workshop. Sophie says go to hell. Fuck off. Apparently, that's right. Mother fuckers. I don't know much about the Iowa writers workshop. But that's his background. And again, this is also he's coming. He's doing this at an earlier time. I mean, Harvard was very, very much that kind of thing, but I don't know, maybe the Iowa writers workshop was was not, I don't know. His first poem of collection of poems, which was called Silence in the Snowy Fields was published in 1962. And it focused on moments of solitude and beauty as we see in this piece, driving to town late to mail a letter. It is a cold and snowy night. The main street is deserted. The only things moving are swirls of snow. As I lift the mailbox door, I feel it's cold iron. There was a privacy I love in this snowy night driving around. I will waste more time, which is just like this nice quiet little certainly you don't see any red flags there. It's just kind of a poem about one of those quiet moments that you have in your life, you know. It's I don't know. I don't find it deeply affecting, but there's certainly like it's not like he's writing anything you would see a problem with. It's expensive. Yeah, for sure. The next year he published an influential essay in which he attacked mainstream American poetry as impersonal, lacking in soul and a willingness to look inward. His criticism of American society expanded after that. In a 1966, he co-founded the American writers against the Vietnam War. He is one of the very first prominent American artists to like try and organize artists against the war, which is, I mean good because it was a bad war. In 1968, he made a public promise to refuse to pay taxes until the end of the war. And he also made some very trinscient critiques of US imperialism. In 1967, he wrote an article for the New York Review of Books in which he noted, the fact that so few Americans have resigned from the government or from responsible posts to protest the Vietnam War is remarkable to me. And he's bringing up also cases of like the Russian Revolution and stuff where you would have these horrible wars being prosecuted by regimes that are on paper a lot less free than the United States, but also would have a lot more defections or people just like refusing to do their jobs because they believed that of course the sovereign had set was unethical. And he's like, why isn't this happening in American government? Why is no one refusing to be a part of the Vietnam War? And he went on to ask, can we imagine general Westmoreland resigning and refusing to prosecute a brutal war? Pylons drop anti-person L-bombs on small North Vietnamese villages and many of them hate it, but they don't resign with a public statement of protest. They quietly retire when their tour is over. Bly wondered what this showed about Americans. Are we timid? Are we greedy? He thought not. And this is what he wrote. What it shows is a disastrous split between the Americans entering out our worlds. He does not aim to use his life to make himself whole, to join the two worlds in himself. On the contrary, he is prepared to give up one of the two worlds. The businessman gives up the inner world and cleans to the outer as his way. A large body of literature denounces the businessman for taking the one world without the other. But when a writer is opposed to the Vietnam War and still accepts a grant from the government prosecuting the war, he is doing something similar. He is letting the world split. He lets the outer world go by him with just a wave of his hand and then he reaches out and pulls the inner world to him. He accepts the money for the sake of my work. He will enable him to live his inner world. But the disastrous split has already taken place before he begins to use the money for his work. Instead of trying to apply what he has learned in the actions of his inner life to the actions of the world, he pulls back inside the house, closes the door and acquires he doesn't know what is going on out there. Or knows but has rejected it all as outside his fear of influence. Or his interest. He is not political. But what could be more within the fear of interest of a writer than the world? And I actually find that a really affecting critique. I think about that a lot just in terms of number one this desire, I have a lot where I'll just be kind of churning through the muck of a bunch of horrible stories about bullshit going on in Congress or see some horrible Twitter thing, culture wars, shit roll up and one who feel this urge to like, well fuck this, I don't want to pay attention to this anymore. I just want to discard this from my life and focus on this like piece of art or creativity that I think most people feel that most reasonable people feel that way a lot. And what he's saying is like, how can you call yourself a writer? How can you call yourself an artist and attempt to discard the outer world in favor of the one that you focus on for your creativity? Like how can you actually be connected to your inner world in any way and feel as if you can pretend the outer world does not exist? You're doing the same thing as a businessman who focuses entirely on his desire to make money and ignores his spiritual development. Like, there's not a fundamental moral difference between what the two of you are doing because you're both rejecting half of your being in order to stick with the one that's more comfortable because of whatever you've chosen as your profession. And in the case of, yeah, I don't know, I found it a trinsion critique that makes me think a lot about myself. Maybe check out what Bly has to say about the Vietnam War. And he put his money where his mouth was. He used that article to republish a letter he'd sent to the chairman of the National Foundation on the arts and humanities because they had offered him a $5,000 grant and he turns it down because he's like, look, this is an instrument of the United States government. And I am opposed to a war they are waging. And even though I could argue that like, well, if I take this money and won't get spent on bombs, what I'm really doing is providing legitimacy to the state that is carrying out this terrible war. And I'm simply not going to do that. I'm going to choose to refuse to support it in any way, even by letting it support me, which whether or not you agree with it is a deeply principled stance that requires sacrificing something. Yeah, so when does he want to write he's not a bad guy so far. Yeah, I'm waiting. Yeah. So this is not cool people who did go stuff. No, no, no. So spoiler alert, the Vietnam War ends. We don't do great. Go to go to K for Vietnam though. Well, I mean millions of people die, but they do win. Bly remains an influential poet and thinker. In the 1970s, he organizes the first great mother conference, which is still going on today. It's a nine day festival that explores human consciousness and it celebrates this kind of archetypal idea of the great mother as this kind of like feminine creative force that underlies everything in society. And Bly, the reason why he felt it was important to kind of bring consciousness and get people focused on this idea and on this celebration of femininity is that he saw the Vietnam War as kind of the expression of masculinity, like running wild and leading to terrible death. And he believed that Americans needed to reconnect with femininity in the wake of the Vietnam War, which is again, not an unreasonable stance. You know, you can argue with it, but you can see where he's coming from. Yeah, yeah, yeah, like both waiting for it. I'm just waiting for you waiting for the shoot and drop. Motherfucker is coming. Motherfucker is coming. So as the aftershocks of Vietnam faded, America enters the swing in 80s. Blyde becomes concerned with something else entirely. He sees in the Reagan years this vapid consumer culture, you know, malls and shit, the increasing spread of popular music is like a concept in a way that it really has. Oh, no, music. Like, horrible. Again, TV. There's a lot of transgressive shit on TV today. TV in the 1980s was not what it is now. No, no, no, no. So he sees all this happening and he also just sees like, again, what kind of Reaganism and unrestrained capitalism is doing to people. And he begins to believe that the kind of solusness and brokenness at the core of the American experiment is the result now of a crisis in masculinity, right? So previously he had, yeah, he, he, there's an extent to which he thinks like, I don't know, we'll get into what he thinks. So in 1990, he writes a book that is kind of illustrating the things that he's, he started to feel here and he calls it Iron John a book about men. Now have you heard of the fairy tale of Iron John in? No, so familiar. No. No. No, no, not big Grims fairy tales people. That's fine. Neither am I. I had not heard about this either. I think maybe it's bigger in Germany. Grims fairy tales red flag continue. Yeah. Oh, wow, wow, that's a red flag. One of the greatest works of art and I'm going to guess German history. Sophie. Robert. Wow. I feel like you just hate German history reflexively for reasons that have nothing to do with anything that has ever happened in history. Hmm. I have no comment on that. Wow. Wow. Well, red flag. Sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. That's what he does. Oh. I think Iron John, again, it's a fairy tale and I think I'll give a brief summary of how that fairy tale goes. It's because it's again, none of us ever knew that. Yeah, I mean, you brought it up. You should tell us what the fuck it is. I'll tell you I'm going to do it. So, goddamn. I'm going to go from a write up in the New York magazine here. That story goes like this. Something in the forest is killing a kingdom's hunters. A stranger arrives, goes into the forest with his dog and returns with a large, hairy man he's extracted from a pond. This is the wild man whom the king locks in a cage. The king's son, playing with his ball, lets it slip into the cage and the wild man tells him he'll give it back if the boy steals the key to the cage from under his mother's pillow and sets him free. The boy unlocks the cage, but fearful that he'll be in trouble with his parents, flees on the wild man's back to the forest. After the boy fails a series of trials and acquires ahead of golden hair, the wild man kicks him out of the forest. But after he sinks to the low status of a kitchen worker in a foreign kingdom, the wild man helps him become a mighty warrior and he wins the hand of the princess, is reunited with his parents and becomes the rich heroic king in his own right. So, you know, I think we're probably missing some contacts there just from culture, but it's like, I get why that's not in like the the tight five of Grim's fairy tales. That's maybe the one you leave on the cutting room floor. That's like the B sides. Yeah, that's like a B side. Yeah, that's like, that's like, I don't know, one of the Beatles songs that people don't talk about that much anymore. Right. Well, to be fair, like, it's up against like Snow White Cinderella. Exactly. It doesn't know. It's not a Snow White grade. It's not a Snow White grade fairy tale. It would be funny to see like modern Disney try to do this. Yeah. I mean, the actual Grim's fairy tales are pretty horrific, to be honest. Yeah, this one, I also might be one of the tamer ones. I don't know. I'm not an expert on fairy tales. Well, that's why Disney was like, um, two tame, not into it. And again, I feel like, I feel like this is an example. I think sometimes we look at these stories that have been around a long time and are like, wow, you know, there's some deep wisdom in there, which is why we should keep telling them. But I'm looking at this, which is, it's a parable about manhood, right? And about becoming an adult. And I'm like, you know, it's a better parable about manhood and becoming an adult for Star Wars movie. That's a good point. Much better one. Much better one. That's true. Look, George Lucas knocked it out of the park. Fuck you, Grim. You know who else is George Lucas? No, Robert, who else is George Lucas? The sponsor of this podcast. I mean, that would be so incredibly big. That would be pretty amazing. It would be actually George. You have the cash sponsor this podcast. And we'll, we'll, we'll make it work, buddy. We got you. Um, anyway. Okay, go ahead and admit it. You have a dark obsession, an obsession that you just can't quit. You love true crime. And if you're all about unsolved murders, nefarious deeds, and gruesome occurrences, I Heart True Crime Plus is the podcast feed for you. I Heart Podcasts has gathered the best of true crime all in one podcast channel. From your favorite shows to new podcasts you've yet to discover, I Heart True Crime Plus is packed with murder cases, missing persons, serial killers, conspiracies, and everything in between. Always something new and disturbingly good to binge and share. Get the latest episodes and new seasons of your favorite podcasts like The Piked in Massacre, Atlanta Monster, What Happened to Sandy Beale and More. I Heart True Crime Plus subscribers also enjoy an ad-free listening experience early access to select episodes and exclusive never before heard bonus content. Feed your true crime obsession. Subscribe to I Heart True Crime Plus today exclusively on Apple Podcasts. Uh, we are back. And no, but maybe. Okay. So, here we are. Um, we're talking. We, we're, we're having a good time. Um, so, Blis book looks at this myth of Iron John. And he, he reexamines the myth using youngy and psychology, which is again, another red flag. There's perfectly valid reasons to study young, but whenever you have somebody who is re-evaluating myths using youngy and psychology, they always turn into Jordan B. Peterson. I'm sorry. That's just the way that it works. Um, so he's trying to find lessons that are going to be meaningful for men struggling with modernity. And his basic conclusion as far as I can tell is that men need rewilding in order to fix the things that are driving them crazy, right? They need to reconnect with the wild man inside them. Now, this is going to be, this is the root of a million kinds of man-fluencer garbage, right? Everything in that fuck, like you guys know the liver king, that guy who was telling people that he got super jacked by eating nothing but raw animal livers that he hunted. Um, he was spending so much. He was spending so much. 12,000 dollars a month on steroids, which he lied about. Now he's getting sued for $100 million because he defrauded people by convincing them to take his liver in Zimbills. So funny. But what the liver king is doing is he's basically setting it pretending to be the wild man that Bly talks about and being like, this is what you have to do in order to, you know, be healthy and deal with all of these toxic things about our modern lives is go out and throw spears at boars and then eat their raw uncooked organs. Um, which I would actually say is a lot less masculine than doing the thing that our actual caveman ancestors did, which was learn how to cook meat. Um, but make a really good point. Um, it's also the root of, we had, we just started this year with a couple of more episodes of Jordan B. Peterson show. He talks a lot about the need for men to be controllable beasts and also references another Grim's fairy tale, but one that he chooses is, um, well, I think it's a Grim's fairy tale. Fucking, uh, beauty in the beast. I don't know, maybe not. Maybe that started as a Disney thing. I don't know where it started, but he talks a lot about like this. Again, they're the, all of these guys today who are talking about you have to be primal. You have to reconnect with your caveman roots. You have to like the thing I saw. I think I saw Jordan B. Peterson, like video on Instagram the other day and I didn't know it was him. I was just scrolling and he was, but now that you say that I'm pretty sure it was him, because he was talking about how men should be dangerous. Like it should be dangerous, but it's like knowing when to use the threat of violence or not. It's like just because you're dangerous doesn't mean you're like a violent person, but you should have that capacity or some shit. That's what makes you a true man. It's like what? Yeah. Crazy. It's, um, that, I mean, and that's, you can see like Peterson is not an, and he never has been an original thinker. He's, he's cribbing from bligh, right? They all want to. Why is the origin of this? And it's also worth noting that while Bligh's book has been, the descendants of Bligh's book are pure reactionary gibberish. Bligh himself was not. Again, we went through this guy's background. He's, he's a deeper thinker than that. And there's passages in his book that are kind of worth connecting with. Um, so I'm, I'm going to read a quote from that now to judge by men's lives in New Guinea, Kenya, North Africa, Zulu lands and in the Arab and Persian culture, favored, flavored by Sufi communities, men have lived together in heart unions and soul connections for hundreds of thousands of years. Contemporary business life allows competitive relationships only in which the major emotions are anxiety, tension, loneliness, rivalry and fear. After work, what do men do? Collecting a bar to hold light conversations over light beer, unities that are broken off whenever a young woman comes by or touches the brim of someone's cowboy hat? Having no soul union with other men can be the most damaging wound of all. And the cowboy hat things kind of weird, but that's a totally valid point. The lack of intimate male to male friendship is a deep problem in our society. What does he have against light beer? I had, I mean, because I think he's just sort of, I mean, okay, whatever. He's getting into a little bit of masculine in there. I will write yours like fuckers. Yeah, yeah. Sorry, Sufi, famous lover of light beer. It's okay. I love, I love my champagne beer too. I just, I had some lovely per... I actually wish I had some peroni right now. Peroni's life full. Peroni's a lovely, nice, wonderful, especially in a hot day. Yeah, nice. I've gone on long runs with nothing but a backpack full of peroni to keep me going. That sounds very believable actually. Peroni, it is essentially water. I can smell the ad dollars coming in now. Yeah, peroni, sponsor us, you cowards. You see, like what he's making there, and this is not a point that, like, this is not a point Andrew Tate would make, right? Because these guys are all hyper competitive. Right. And that's a huge part of like what they're talking about. Whereas one of the, like, blight is at his core, a large part of what he's complaining about is totally rational, which is like... Yeah, again, Robert, you... Min are allowed to love each other. Where is it? Where is it? Yeah. Where is the thing? Well, that's not the only thing in the book. He's also talking a lot of, yeah. I'm waiting for it. Yeah, we're getting to it. Okay. Iron John spends 62 weeks on the New York Times that's seller list. Yeah, I don't think anything gets, spends that long in the best seller list. That's a long ass time. Yeah. Yes, that is... And this is in the 90s? Still in the... Yeah, this is 1990. Yeah. 1990 to 91, because it's on there for more than a year. And it turned bligh from a respected poet and activist into the first masculinity guru in modern US history. Now, again, we had guys like Barnarmic Fadden before who had talked about aspects of this, but Bly is wrapping his arguments in respected academia. And the way he's connecting with his people is exactly the same as the kind of shit that Jordan Peterson and other folks do today, guys like Ivan Throne and whatnot who were in the masculinity influencer thing. He's doing conferences. He's having rooms full of people, men gather, and he's speaking to them, and he's like running them through... He's basically bringing them to these moments of emotional height. And you can see some... There's a little bit of Werner Airhard in this. There's a reason this is all coming out at the same time as we start to get the self-help Kray is hit. But he's basically holding these big pep rallies for adult men. In 1991, more than 1,000 men went to see him at the Eastfold Auditorium in Parkland, Washington, paying $75, 1991 for the privilege. That's a lot. A contemporary article in Entertainment Weekly describes the scene, thusly. As the customers file in, a dozen white guys flail away and competently on African drums. When the crowd has seated the drummers quit the stage and bligh and Michael Meade, a storyteller who helps run the workshops, begin to recite rambling myths and bits of verse. Meade occasionally bangs a bongo, bligh plinks a bazooki, the Greek version of the mandolin, sending mournful notes, wafting out over the audience. So that sounds good, right? Sounds like a fun time. Yeah, it sounds like a great one. It's been 75. Yeah. I always love white guys playing African drums in my gigantic stadium speech series by a fucking poet. Anyway, bligh who in 1984 had been called the most influential living American poet by current biography, became a kind of celebrity that hadn't previously existed. So he's filling stadiums with people who want to hear him talk. But he's also, he's engaging them in a way that's going to spawn the modern min self-help industry. Quote, bligh are just men to rediscover their manhood by getting back to their wild nature. Some feminists, he says, in a justified fear of brutality, have labored to breed fierceness out of men, creating the sort of soft male of whom Teddy Roosevelt might have said, I could carve a better man out of a banana. Bligh believes that inside of every such male, there's a wild man yearning to get out. A radiant inner king just waiting to confirm masculine pride and sureness of purpose. Bligh insists he doesn't blame women for men's salary state. He blames older men who have failed to provide young ones with the role models they crave. In traditional societies, boys worked alongside men, plowing fields and fashioning arrowheads. But the industrial revolution severed that connection. The title character in his bestseller is a wild, hairy fellow who in a grim fairy tale is fished up from a pond and becomes a boy's mentor. That image is also the inspiration for his most extravagant exercise in manly self-discovery. Five day wild man excursions in which groups of 100 men take to the woods under the two lich of bligh and others to dance around fires banging on drums. I mean, honey, just say you have daddy issues and move the fuck on. Yeah, yeah. I mean, again, there's this element where he's like society is fucked because feminists have tried to breed the violence out of men, which is not the case. What year is this? 91. Yeah, okay. So, you know, it's like a sonishing to me that people are paying $75 and selling out bigger. I mean, that's more than they people were paying for Coachella in the early 2000s. The crazy thing is like at the core of what he's saying, it's like most of that sounds and he's making some good points. Yeah. That's what points about how men have evolved in our society. So I'm just like, where is the twist? Yeah. Where is it? You've seen it start to happen here. Right. Because like the valid thing in that passage is just he's like, hey, look, young boys used to grow up learning alongside both their father and the other men, you know, in whatever community they were in. And that taught them what it meant to be a man. And now because capitalism has kind of taken the man out of the house, you're supposed to be working 40, 60, 80 hours a week, right? They're not there to rate. It's just the usually in like the way our society works. It's the woman who's raising the kid. That's what he's saying. Then we've cut men off from this process of learning how to be an adult man. And like that is actually a pretty valid critique. And the problem is that not that he's saying the problem is that feminists have bred fierceness out of men instead of being like capitalism separates parents from children for huge amounts of time. And that's bad for kids. And actually, if you look at it, like you could see in that very scenario of like men are out of the house working. So their kids are raised largely by their mothers. Well, that also means that unfair burdens being placed on the mother. You could see this. There's a way to have solidarity between the gender and be like, oh, yeah, this is all of a problem of this system we've built that like separates families in ways that are really fucked up. Like I identify with that when I was a kid, because we didn't have much money at all. The only job my dad could get was in New York City. And there was a period of more than a year where he was gone. He was living on a friend's couch working there sending money back to us. And it was, it was, it's not just him that made us sacrifice. I made us sacrifice as his son. And my mom made us sacrifice dealing with the entire job of like raising me. Like I, there's a thing to identify with there. But you can see the start of the toxicity where he's like, well, what's the problem is that feminists have tried to make men less fierce. That's not really the problem, Robert Blie. One interesting thing just before you keep going is I think in that quote, did he say that justifiably they tried to break free, yeah, yeah, brutality out of men or whatever. So even there like on some level, you know, you can kind of like, okay, like I kind of see what the point is making, you know, men do perpetuate a lot of the bullshit that happens to women in our society. So like, he's not nearly, he's not anywhere. He's not on the same planet of toxicity as a lot of like, as guys like, you know, Andrew Tate who we're about to talk about or even like, go and Peterson. But you can see the root of it, right? Where he is. That's like the start. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. He's, he's still saying fundamentally part of the problem is feminist one men to be less aggressive and like, no, that's not really part of the problem that you have adequately identified. Um, yeah, he wants his listeners. The young boys are drowning in female energy in the schools. Every young man has a fantastic need for initiation. That's why we all became so crazy about our football coach such initiations. He says channel wildness into socially approved acts. And again, you see kind of this like, well, why is the problem isn't female energy? Like it's not that like it's that young men, it's that families are being split up by this like need to compete and work in ways that are really unhealthy for kids. But anyway, you can look at the sea of other self help grifters at the time. Turner, Erhard, Elron Hubbard, who would come around at this point. And you could say that Bly is just kind of another dude and that he's doing a lot of the same things, a lot of these other self help grifters are doing. But one of the things that differs him is those guys are mostly pile like playing nonsense based on bad interpretations of Eastern religion and psychological abuse. And Bly is kind of, he's not insulting or attacking people. He's not calling them, them weak. He's making some reasonable points about stuff that's toxic about our society. And then he's trying to create like mutual cathartic experiences with the men in his audience who are being invited to kind of see the men around them as brothers in a way that's more intimate than maybe they had been trained to do previously. So again, he's there's something interesting going on here that he isn't even a holy toxic that I think is kind of worth acknowledging as we lead to the parts of it that are a lot more toxic. And it's one of those things where like I've spent a lot of time on in-sell message boards. And they do talk a lot about this feeling of disconnection with society. So when he says that like young men are not connected to their communities, he's making a decent point. He also, one of the points he makes that I thought was interesting is he talks about the differences between female sex ed and male sex ed. He points out that because of like just basic biological realities of how periods happen, young girls are instructed about their bodies in ways that young boys are not. And it leads to lifelong discomfort talking about their bodies, talking about health problems. And that's probably a valid thing to point out. Sure, but definitely there's both ways. Sure. And again, he's very, he's completely ignorant to, well, I'm sure there's a lot of things actually, especially today that women are not taught about their bodies because of, anyway, again, these are a lot of two way problems and he's focusing just on the male aspect of them, but he's not inherently wrong about the male aspect of them. He's just leaving a large part of the equation out. And that's where the toxicity comes in here. Well, I'm ready. I'm ready. Bligh has reached his fundamental message. Men and women are essentially alien and neither should apologize. They're different tribes, he is saying. My father was an alcoholic and yet if you look underneath his weakness, there was something there that my mother didn't have. She was fine, but she didn't have it. Three million sperm start out and they find themselves immediately in a hostile environment, facing an egg approximately 40,000 times bigger, with a product of the one survivor that didn't give up. Which is, it's really weird to be like setting up the gender struggle as like sperm versus egg where it's like, well, actually all of us to the product of sperm. It's the only way people happen. This is what I emphasize on the last part of that quote there. You said, we are in the product of the one survivor that didn't give up. Yeah. What's the other half of that equation? Is it just one little bit of, bit of come that makes a baby? Yeah. Like, is there another part to the baby equation? Yeah. I just want to be like, honey, did you not show up for sex, that class that day? Did you miss that lesson? Yeah, he's framing it as like the sperm have to murder the egg so that one can survive. That is not the way it works. Bly actually insists that he is not preaching old-style machismo and he takes pains to tell his audience that in fact, male rage is weakness. We're not talking about aggression, he calls out. A few of his listeners seemed confused. At the height of an hour long discussion of the Gulf War, one audience member announces that he's seceded from society. I'm not paying my taxes. I bought an AK-47 and I'm farting around with ammunition just in case I have to back up my decision. He says softly but firmly. Bly and many others have spoken out against the Gulf War, yet nobody criticizes the AK-47 fellow. When Bly asks the Vietnam vet to stand to be honored, the room erupts with applause for about three minutes. And you can see there too, the seeds of a lot that's going on right now, right? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, he's like, we're not talking about men need to be more aggressive and then a guy is like, I have dropped out of society and started buying guns and everyone's like, that's great. Look, we're not, anyway, whatever. Bly died last year. He lived a long time. Yeah, I would say. You can find people, you know, re-appraising his work and stuff. There's some folks who will say that like his greater talent was for self-promotion rather than poetry and he wasn't as good a poet as people had said. I don't know. I'm not a poetry guy. I'm not going to analyze his poetry in that way. I do think sometimes because somebody turns out to age into a problematic person, people are like, well, I guess they're work that everybody loved in the past sucked. And I think that's kind of cowardly. Like, no, people liked his poems. They were influential and then he turned into a crank. That's fine. That happens. Like, yeah. Anyway, you know, who isn't a crank and who will never do anything problematic? My favorite filmmaker, Roman, oh, you know what? I googled his name right as I was saying that. Oh boy, oh dear. Well, I'm going to go burn all my DVDs of Rosemary's Baby and y'all check out these ads. Okay, go ahead and admit it, you have a dark obsession, an obsession that you just can't quit. You love true crime. 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I thought it was good with like the talk about re-opraising artists works and the thank you. Thank you. I thrive on praise. Yeah, that was something different, good for you. So, um, Blyde died, but his work launched what scholars have called the Mythopoetic Min's Movement. Oh my God. That's what they're called. That's amazing. Yeah, it is somewhat a fucking prickish name to call it, I guess. I don't know. But what they mean by Mythopoetic, I should explain like what they're saying, is like the argument, Bly, and the other, because there's a bunch of other authors in this. The argument they're making is that our society has stripped mythology out and has become this like kind of coldly competitive engine for creating cash value and that we need in order to make men healthier. We need to reintroduce like this kind of mythic understanding of masculinity and of the world that like that's kind. And a lot of it is they're like looking at like Native American cultures and some of the different rituals around masculinity they had and being like, well, maybe, well, and there's actually, again, there's a scientific basis to, so a lot of this is cultural appropriation. But like one of the things that's happening this period is you've got a lot of Vietnam veterans dealing with PTSD in an era before they understand it. And a thing that occurs during this period is that some of them have buddies who are also struggling with PTSD and are indigenous Americans and who invite their, their white and black and Hispanic battle buddies back to do stuff like sweat lodges in order to like cope in other kind of different rituals that have existed in some of these indigenous societies to deal with what happens to men when they go to war and they invite their friends back and that stuff works better than just getting a job working for an accounting firm immediately after leaving Vietnam. And so people are starting to study this and write about it. And one of the things that the myth of poetic guy's take is this belief that you should basically just kind of like steal wholesale from these cultures and and dress white people up in headdresses and give them drums and stuff as opposed to being like, oh, well, maybe, you know, there's a way that isn't that to look at the value that some of these rituals have in healing people. You know, I'm not the person to analyze that completely. But that's part of what they're saying here is that like they're kind of recognizing there's something hollow at the center of American culture that is not hollow in some of these other cultures. And instead of being like, maybe there's things that we should fundamentally change about American culture. They're, they're saying, what if we dress up like these other people, right? That's essentially what's going on with a lot of the myth of poetic movement. So a big chunk of this and these are some of this is bli some of this is guys outside of bli is they're they're making they're like putting a bunch of like white accountants in sweat lodges that they make the wrong way and lecturing them about, you know, young and Joseph Campbell or they're like making them dress like cavemen while playing, you know, African drums. There's a lot of like weird and comfortable racism in the myth of poetic men's movement. That said, it is less toxic than the men's rights movement that would follow it. Things kind of get increasingly aggressive and toxic from this point out. But bli and the initial myth of poetic influencers were not they saw themselves as therapists. And again, I don't think they were good at this, but they were not political. So they were not this was not a conservative movement. They were not billing themselves as right wing. They were not really like weighing in on culture war issues. In part because the culture war didn't exist in the same way than that it does now. And it's interesting because bli expressly says this is an apolitical movement. You might criticize him because he had just written a really kind of beautiful essay during the Vietnam War about the cowardness of being apolitical, but whatever. I found an article from the Washington Post in 1991 that talked to a number of men who had been most active in the movement. And there's some interesting pieces in there. Quote, an affirmation and strength comes from a bonding between men that's impossible to put into words says Ed Hanold, the mild-mannered federal lawyer and founder of the men's council of greater Washington, one of six such local groups, salving men's deep inner pain through communal rituals of dancing, roaring, hugging and weeping. The experience was known to men in the past, but has been forgotten. American men face a desperate situation and don't even know it. There are large numbers of men wandering lost and some personal wasteland of jobs with little meaning, personal lives with little passion, and massive confusion about the reasons why. He pauses thoughtfully and adds, there's a lot of hurt and cowboys out there. Now, these guys are not cowboys. These guys were like middle managers at auto parts stores and shit. Like they are absolutely not hurting cowboys. And also actual cowboys aren't what this guy thought they were, but he's not wrong, again, in saying that like the situation of American men was pretty unpleasant in the early 1990s. They were struggling against a capitalist culture that thrived on the obliteration of meaning. However, men of course are not the only ones suffering from this, nor are they suffering worse than any other group of Americans. This is just alienation under capitalism. Part of what he's doing here that is noteworthy and becomes a huge problem later on is he is identifying real problems with the society we live in and then cutting men off from the rest of that society and thus cutting off the possibility of solidarity. You can't look at this kind of alienation and loss of meaning and be like, wow, men and women and everybody is being harmed by the meaninglessness, this whole at the center of our culture. You have to say men are being harmed. And then that invites like, well, there must be women that are doing it and there must be we should be looking at how feminine it is. Right. It opens the door for the tosses to see it flow right in. It's interesting to see like, just how far John Wayne's like reach impacts the way it men think. Yeah. There's a lot of hurt in cowboys. Motherfucker, you are not a cowboy. Yeah. And by the way, cowboy is mostly like poor black and Hispanic and indigenous men who were being exploited for their labor. Like, yeah, this is none of what you're saying means anything. You are entirely, you're talking about the emptiness of culture and your understanding of history has been entirely formed by the movies you watched. Right. Like, anyway, do better. Do better. And some of them will eventually in the future. I think it would be interesting to try and find out, look into all these men's groups in the Washington, in the state of Washington in this period of time and see how many of those guys wound up being elders in the proud boys 30 years later. But that's that's that's a more in-depth work for for someone in the future if they want to do it. So one of the most dangerous aspects of the mythopoetic men's movement is that it was not as toxic as its descendants. Again, it identifies real problems, but then it recast them as things that just men mostly white men are suffering from. And the answer is like, Kichi kind of racist, larping as member, like that's basically what they're doing, right? And this, yeah, it's it's it's it causes problems later on. One of the most ridiculous aspects of the mythopoetic men's movement was the creation of wingspan, the journal of the male spirit. Oh, don't you just want to sit down and with a copy of wingspan, read out quotes to your buds. I start every morning with it. With it. Yeah, yeah, spread spread in your wings. So in the in the pre internet era, this acted as a clearinghouse for the movement and a central place where influencers could advertise their events. Quote, the last issue of wingspan lists dozens of pop publications and events from in around the country, including a new warrior training adventure weekend in Wisconsin, drumming and dancing for men in Massachusetts, brother to brother in New York, healing the father wound in California and Afroamerican males at risk in New Jersey. A recent grandfather's ceremony at the Fairfax Unitarian Min's Council featured drumming on a five and a half foot thunder heart drum. In this area, there are three large councils in Virginia, one in Gathersburg and another in Baltimore. The Min's Council of Greater Washington, which Honnold started in June of 1988 with 50 men, is the largest with 2,000 members and 50 newcomers arriving for each monthly meeting. Late one, Jett, night in January, at the Council's meeting in the Washington Ethical Society Auditorium on Upper 16th Street, Honnold shed his Clark Kent image as he leads 500 men who are pounding drums and chanting. The sweating window shake with rhythmic thunder that reverberates up and down the street as they raise Honnold, gyrating and clapping, high overhead and parade him about the room. Then group leaders circulate with large feathers and clay pots, wafting the smoke of burning sage into the waiting faces and what is termed a Native American ritual designed to put you in touch with generations of male ancestors. So that's a little problematic. Just a scoosh. A number of other masculinity grifters followed by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette wrote the best seller, King Warrior Magician Lover, which reported to his dear. That's a title right there. I want to be a King Warrior Magician Lover. And these are like the archetypes of male masculinity. I don't think they're in order because you probably don't start as a King and end up as a lover. Although maybe you do, that would be progressive actually, saying that you need to shed your mastery and your sense of ownership in order to become a lover. But I don't think that's the point they're making. Moore is a youngy and analyst and a professor of psychology. Gillette, like Dr. Jordan Balthazar Peterson, was a mythologist. I found a good write-up that described the main arguments in their book by Aaron Innis. The book's second shared premise is that there are universal male archetypes inherent to every male-bodied person that are represented in myth and story around the world, but are suppressed in the dominant culture. The developmental history of every man says Moore and Gillette is in large part the story of his failure or success at discovering within himself, the archetypes of mature masculinity. Following youngy and psychological theory, they claim that if men are not given room to express these archetypes in a healthy manner, they will act them out unconsciously in ways that are damaging and violent, either directed outward at other people as overtly hostile male behavior or directed inward, which saps the vitality of the men involved. It's worth noting that the authors of both books, as well as their contemporary followers, seem a hell of a lot more concerned about remedying male acting out that's turned inward and creating male malaise than they are about male violence directed towards others. Take the essay, Why Men Find It So Hard To Feel by Mythopoetic Workshop leader Darren Austin Hall, who says that women are an advantage to men spiritually, and that menstrual cycles made women are energetically connected to cycles of the moon, which in turn is energetically linked to our unconscious. This leads him to the conclusion that the solution to war-mongering tyrants in the world is for women to use touch and the beautiful arts of seductive love to disarm men and that this will solve male violence. Oh, there it is. Can't stop specifically. Okay. These girls just got to touch us, Ryan. We'll stop doing genocides. Oh my god. That's incredible. Hitler wouldn't have done all that bad stuff if I get why I mean he was dating his cousin. So I don't really want to continue this joke, but what? What? Dating's the wrong word. You know that story, Sophie. We've talked about Hitler and his cousin. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. The one who killed herself. Yeah, it's a really bad story. Again, it bringing up Hitler and the cousin that he may be murdered is definitely perhaps a good way of pointing out how fucked up it is to say if the problem of men's violence is that women don't touch them the right way. It's pretty bad. It also brings to mind, I'm thinking about our Liberia episodes and that sex strike that a bunch of women went on to get the warlords to come to the table to negotiate and how it's like literally the opposite. Number one, one of the most amazing stories of activism I've ever heard of and it's literally the opposite of what these guys are saying. But I don't know. I don't know. This is all so gross. Yeah, Iki. So most regular listeners of the show are broadly familiar with the way men's empowerment gurus and men's rights influencers evolved over the last 20 years or so. A mix of right wing culture war politics intersecting with very divorced men. And I think we haven't talked about this yet, but these guys are all extremely divorced. There's a lot of weakened dad energy in these rooms. That makes sense. Yeah. Okay. That's why they're also bitter. Okay. Yeah. There's just no way anything else is going on here. Elon Musk would have been really, really would have fit in at these. Maybe it would have kept him from buying Twitter. You know, I don't want to say it was all toxic. So yeah, again, you have most people listening are kind of familiar with where things descend after the mythopoetic men's movement, which still kind of is around, but more or less peters out over the course of the 90s. And after that point, you've got a mix of right wing culture war politics that intersects with these very divorced dudes angry over custody, you know, yelling about how men are discriminated against. And then we have pick, of course, starting in the early 2000s, these pickup artists selling the secret to fucking chicks at bars. And this all gets brewed up into this slurry. And you know, you've got the pickup artists intersecting with the men's rights activists intersecting with the right wing culture war politicians intersecting with these literal Nazis. And from that slurry, we get gamer gate and the alt right and at least a portion of Donald Trump's political success, right? So, well, how did that was a paragraph that is that is the story. Well, I mean, this is, I, we haven't gone into this on the show and it was something I was broadly aware of, but didn't know much about. But I think this is, especially leading into a story about a guy like Andrew Tate, who was the most toxic arguably calls himself the most like toxic man on the internet and is certainly an archon of, of male toxicity. I think it kind of behooves us to talk about what led to him because I, it's interesting. Um, anyway, this is the end of episode one. Anybody got some thoughts here at the end of things? Um, I mean, I think that was a really great explainer on kind of laying the groundwork for where the ideas that eventually became Andrew Tate, you know, started and took a foothold. And yeah, after you broke it down, it makes sense and I can see how we got there, you know, but it is interesting that, you know, some of the initial original points, like you said, were valid and do kind of highlight some issues in our society that maybe we should be focusing more on our dressing, but also, as you said, it's not just a men's problem. It's a problem for everyone and everyone's being affected by it and we should be finding solidarity in that and how can we help everybody improve our lives? Not just, oh, it's a problem that's only affecting men. So it must be women, you know, those are the women's problem. It's so interesting to me. How many people see, oh, men are being made to like spend their entire young and matured old lives, like laboring for somebody else's profit and a factory, whatever. And as a result, their kids barely know them, which is a real problem. A lot of kids raised in like the 50s, 60s, 70s have and translating that as and like seeing, you know, their mom struggling to like keep the house going and raise the kids through all that and and the kids suffering and be like, well, this is just a problem. This is clearly a men's problem. No, this is, this is an cultural problem. Everybody's problem is this. Um, anyway, Sophie, I'm really not looking forward to what's coming next. Oh, Sophie, it's going to be terrible and you're going to have to play a lot of clips. So I'm so sorry listeners, but it is, but it is necessary. And you know what? I'm not sorry. I'll never apologize. That's what I learned from Andrew Tate. I think you wrote a really good script though. Thank you, Sophie. You're welcome Robert. I love me too. All right, everybody. That's going to do it with us for us to date at, at behind the bastards. The podcast that will be recorded again immediately after this, although I will probably start drinking because it is now quite late. Um, so, hazaa. Hazaa. Hazaa. Behind the bastards is a production of Cool Zone media. For more from Cool Zone media, visit our website or check us out on the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. You have a dark obsession. You love true crime. An I Heart podcast has gathered the best true crime all in one channel. I Heart True Crime Plus. It's packed with podcasts about murder cases, missing persons, serial killers, and more. So there's always something disturbingly good to binge and share. I Heart True Crime Plus subscribers also enjoy ad-free listening, early access to select episodes, and exclusive bonus content. Subscribe to I Heart True Crime Plus today, exclusively on Apple Podcasts.