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.
Tue, 26 Mar 2019 10:00
Part One: Turkmenbashi: The Dictator Who Declared Himself Jesus
Hey, Robert here. It's been like two months since I had LASIK and I'm still seeing 2020. All I had to do was go in for a consultation, then go in for a maybe 10 minute procedure and then my eyes have been great ever since. You know, I healed up wonderfully. It was very simple, couldn't have been a better experience. So if you want to explore LASIK plus I can't recommend it enough. They have over 20 years experience in the industry and they performed more than two million treatments right now if you want to try getting LASIK plus you can get $1000 off of your surgery when you're treated in September, that's $500. Of per eye, just visitmylasikoffer.com to schedule your free consultation. 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 breaker handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her social discoveries on chimpanzees SO4-O months, the chimps ran away from me. I mean, they take one look at this peculiar white ape and disappear into the vegetation. Bing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. What's ringing my bells? I am Robert Evans. This is behind the ********. The show where every week I try out a new introduction. This one got Sophie's approval, so that's good. It's also show where we talk about the worst people in all of history. Tell you the things you don't know about them. My guest today is David Christopher Bell. Hello. How you doing, Dave? I am. Well, I almost hit a man with my car on the way here. Oh, sweet. Yeah. Did he have it coming? Yeah, actually, he was jaywalking. Well, to **** him. Yeah, that's what I thought. Yeah. Yeah, that's that's good. I'm gonna I'm gonna share a little bit of your personal business day, if because it makes me laugh. Your parents came here from the the blighted hellscape that is the East Coast to escape the snow. Yes, that's true. They're very old, so they do what old people do, and they went to a warm climate during the winter, and then Los Angeles got its first snow in 60 something years. It sure did. They are very bummed out because when it's not snowing, it's been raining nonstop. We've had our first winter in decades, which has been delightful. It's been great for the people who live here. Yeah, it's nice. Yeah, especially after the summer, although it is a dire sign of climate change when Los Angeles has seasons. Yeah, the world is dying, but it's clearly. But it's nice to get to wear a jacket and Hollywood. Ah, well, Dave, today we are talking about a special fellow. Very special fellow. Have you ever heard the name Saparmurat Niyazov? No. Oh, boy. Ohh boy. Now the last show we had you on was Moammar Gaddafi. Gaddafi's kind of the gold standard for just a lunatic who winds up in charge of a country like, not like a guy like, like Hitler or Stalin. People called them crazy, but they really weren't. Like if you if you look at them, everything they did kind of made sense, right? Like, based on where they're coming from, Gaddafi was a ******* maniac. And separately, is of maybe even crazier than Gaddafi. He might be the craziest person who's ever run a country, but we'll have to judge. That at the end of these episodes. Ohh, I am ready before we get into that. I have a new sparkling water beverage called bubbly and I I got it hoping for an orange soda of some sort, but I don't know if that's what it is or if it's more like one of those, one of those Lacroix. So I'm going to, I'm going to learn right now. How is it? It's actually really nice. It is on the Lacroix scale. So it's like someone put an orange in. It's like a it's like an orange was in the same room as some sparkling water. But in this case, the Orange talked to the water and they they reached an accord. It's good. It's good. Yeah. It's like a melted popsicle bubbly. I'm going to have to try it if you want to. Yeah, importing your Lacroix. Here we go over the over the equipment. This is we're reaching across the table. Oh Jesus, sorry. Is it good? Has it mixed with that? But I'm going to keep drinking it, so that's a little bit of science for you. Listeners at home do not mix passionfruit. La Croix with orange bubbly. Not a good idea? All right. Speaking of bad ideas, let's talk about Saparmurat Niyazov, the lunatic God, King of Turkmenistan. I'm so excited. So today we're talking about a guy who was, at one point, probably the most powerful crazy person on planet Earth. He was the absolute ruler of a nation of 5 million people, Saparmurat Nazarov was the dictator of Turkmenistan, and I think you're going to enjoy him, Dave. Although Turkmenistan did not. OK, I am. Extremely ignorant of the world. So where is Turkmenistan? It's like near Afghanistan and and in in the old Soviet Union, OK? It's one of those little chunks of the country. It was like when Genghis Khan started doing his thing when he, like, left China and started conquering his way towards the Middle East. They were like the first empire he ran into on his way out of China. Yeah, and he had to. He ****** him up pretty bad. So Turkmenistan, the actual country, did not exist as a political entity until 1924. Like, it wasn't a thing anyone had ever thought about as like an area. It was just a place where a bunch of like, it had been a bunch of different kingdoms, but like no one had called them Turkmenistan or whatever, they wound up under Russian control during the era of the Czars and not much was done with them. They were a little bit of a backwater, so they pretty much just stuck to themselves and did Turkmen stuff, which mainly meant outdoor picnics, fantastic wine and horseback riding. Oh, good for them. Yeah, yeah, yeah, they seem to have. And have their **** together. Yeah. They're just like, no one's noticing us. Yeah, let's just have a great time. Let's just chill out. They like Falcons, big, big Falcon, people. Who doesn't? Who doesn't love a good Falcon? They got great horses, and they're one of those pieces of the Muslim world where everybody drinks still because they became Muslim. But they've been growing wine since before they were Muslims. They were like, well, let's just ignore that part earlier than we've been Muslim. So it's got grandfathered into the religion. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Fair enough. In 1924, the brand new Union of Soviet Socialist Republics decided this chunk of the world and its people needed an official designation and borders. The Turkmen SSR was considered to be the backwater E backwater in the entire Soviet Union, save maybe some of those chunks of Russia that were too cold for anything but gulags. An American diplomat told New Yorker author Paul Theroux. That quote? It was the Sleepiest most remote, least favorite of the USSR republics. So they don't get much love. Yeah, but I mean, I want to live there. Yeah. If you're gonna live in the Soviet Union, you want to live in the place that, like, Stalin doesn't think about ever. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. For sure. Yeah. And they were they were basically the Soviet Union's gas station. They had, like, have like, either the third of the 5th largest natural gas reserves in the world. And so the Soviet Union just kind of took all of their fuel and and didn't really give them money for it. And that that was kind of what happened for like 70 years or so. So they were doing fine separately. Azov was born into this quiet region of the world in 1940, his father. Was Ataya Niyazov a farmer and his mother was Gurban Sultan age? They lived in the town of Kijak, a small village 6 miles from the capital, Ashgabat. If you know much history, you're probably aware that 1940 was not a great time to be born in the Soviet Union. The Nazis invaded before Saparmurat was one, and in 1942 his father died in battle fighting the Vermont. So not the best start so far. A bit of a bummer. Bit of a bummer the Nazis really ruining that's really ****** things up for this kid. Like 20 million other people. Yeah. Yeah. This prompted Saparmurat's mom to move them into the capital, where they all live together until 1948, when a massive earthquake struck the city and killed 110,000 people, including separates entire family. OK, so he's just having none of the none of the look really, really bad. First eight years of his life. Yeah. Yeah. Rough, rough start. Fair to say so. Young Saparmurat grew up in a Soviet orphanage until the government found a family member he'd never met for him to go live. In spite of the rough start, he did pretty well, winning a place in Leningrad Polytechnical Institute and graduating with a degree in Power Engineering in 1966. He got a job at a power plant near the capital and seemed like he was just going to be a normal Soviet dude. So far, so good, so far, so rough start. But he's getting his life on track. Getting his life on track, working as an engineer. If I know anything about engineers, it's that they never turn into power crazed maniacs, right? Yeah, that's that's for sure. Something about engineers. That we know so primer at joined the Communist Party back in 1962, and his ambitions immediately extended beyond just working at a power plant. Throughout the late 1960s and the 1970s, he steadily rose the ranks in local politics, due largely to the fact that he was a member of the largest Turkmen tribe in the region. The techie now Saparmurat Niyazov was named the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Turkmen by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985. He was put in power because his predecessor, a guy named Gap Asov, had been incredibly corrupt. And and stealing huge amounts of money from, you know, the the Republic. So that's that's his predecessor. Now, the good thing about Japan is that he almost completed construction of the world's longest aqueduct during his term, so it was like a couple of weeks away from being finished when he got **** canned. And then Niyazov comes to power and he immediately takes credit for building the aqueduct. Which. Good move. Good solid. Yeah. So Gorbachev promised that Niyazov promotion meant the dawning of a new age of corruption. Free governance in Turkmenistan. This would prove to be about. Wrong as a statement can be. That feels like how a lot of monsters start. Yeah. Of, like, the guy before them was terrible and corrupt. And they come up and they're like, no more corruption. No more corruption. Yeah. Yeah. That's a good pitch. Like, basically how this starts. Yeah. Yeah. And he he probably would have gotten busted by Gorbachev eventually because he was really corrupt, too. But about five years after he comes to power, the USSR starts to fall apart. And so when the Soviet Union collapses, he's the guy in charge of Turkmenistan. So in like, 1990, the Turkmen Parliament declares its independence during a couple of different votes, and on October 26th, 1990, the state of Turkmenistan was officially born. It held its first presidential election. Immediately afterwards, Niyazov was the only candidate, and he received 98.3% of the vote. So, OK, so, yeah, as everything collapsed around him, he just took. It's like having. It's like being the manager at the final blockbuster. Yeah, exactly, yeah. And just being like, we're going to do things differently around here. Blockbuster. Yeah, uh, yeah, he is. He is that guy. So as the autocratic ruler of a new nation, Niyazov's immediate goal was to be as neutral as possible and make a **** load of money. So not a bad plan. At the start. He started selling gas, oil and electricity to Iran, but also sweet talked Saudi Arabia and flew to Mecca to do his pilgrimage. So he's kind of trying to play both sides of of every angle. He's trying to be nice to Russia, be nice to the US he just doesn't want anybody to **** with Turkmenistan. So reasonable. Yeah, that's fair. He's protecting his people, protecting his people. Uh, now when he came to power, most Turkmen were still dirt poor because the Soviet Union had basically just been stealing their gas. Like paying them, but paying them in Soviet money that wasn't worth anything. And being like, yeah, you guys are getting a fair market value for this. Feel like it was. It was a free gas station for the Soviet Union, but now that they were an independent nation, these guys had like a **** load of money at like something like $5 billion a year coming in in in fuel money and there's only 5 million people so it in a fair and equitable system. Everyone in Turkmenistan could be really rich. Yeah, like, like they are in Kuwait or something. Of course. I assume that's what's going to happen. Yeah, they all get taken care of really well. Yeah. And then we're golden age. Well, you can find us on Twitter and Instagram and that ******* pod Dave. No. So that was what a lot of people hoped for, that, like, the economy would be reformed, and they all get some of this sweet, sweet gas money. But Niyazov was worried about what might happen if he reformed the economy too much. He thought it might be too much change for people in too short a period of time. Right. You got to protect the people from progress for money, changing money. Don't want those people to have. Who knows what they'll spend it on, exactly. Houses? Food? Yeah, you know, you don't want to risk that. So he promised that he would eventually add in some free market stuff, but in the short term? He decided that he really needed absolute power to get stuff started on a good foot, you know? Sure. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Makes sense. Understandable. I just need a little. I just need a little absolute power. Couple of years. Yeah, power. Yeah, I swear I will. I'll give it up. Like all the times people have given up absolute power in the past. So he got his wish. When Turkmenistan's new constitution was drafted in 1992, it declared that power is held by the president who was elected by the people. Which seems reasonable until you realize that once elected, the president's power was essentially infinite and then included the power to determine how elections were held in the future. Perfect. Yeah. Now, under the Constitution, citizens did have the right to form political parties as long as they could get 1000 other people together. That was like the minimum threshold. You could make a political party. So several citizens did this. They created political parties. They they kept in line, scrupulously followed the law, they avoided any calls for violence, they filled out all the required forms of petitions, and their parties were immediately banned. Since the state controlled all media, no political parties were allowed in the airtime. So, yeah, that that's that's what happened is all sort of starts off. Tagan Juma Kov, a journalist working for a state paper that was essentially owned by Niyazov, explained quote at this time there is no need for a multiparty system. Many problems have to be solved, social problems and we must raise living standards. When our living standards are high and we are economically independent then we can have a multi party system. But if this happens now there will be anarchy. Feels like there's a lot of putting, putting it off, putting a lot of like, you know, no, it's great. It's great. We'll do that at some point. But right now we really can't. I'll clean up my room after, right? Yeah. I finished stealing all this natural gas. Yeah, I'll clean my room. But first I got to do this cocaine, and that'll help me clean up. I can't. I can't make my bed with all this cocaine on the table. Exactly. What have I what? Have I knocked the cocaine off the table? Exactly. Yes. Yeah. That logic isn't exactly how Niyazov justifies what he does. So, at a People's Council in December 1992, Niyazov estimated it would take 10 years for Turkmenistan to achieve the prosperity it needed for people to be allowed to vote. After the Constitution was ratified, Nasov ran for president again, winning 99.5%. Oh yeah, he's he's very popular. Very popular. Good for him. Also the only candidate. He was the only Central Asian head of state to continue to govern after the USSR's fall. So of of the guys who are in charge when, like the Soviet Union, falls apart, he's the only one who manages to hang on to power. Now, Turkmenistan had never been a country before, not in the modern sense of the world. And Niyazov knew he had to do something to bind all of his people together. So he held conferences using sketchy history to claim that all Turkmen were part of the same ethnic group, the Tehran, which was essentially just an ancient Persian word for the region. He also announced to great fanfare that his name was now Turkmenbashi, which means first among Turkmens, he created an ethnic group. Yeah, kind of. OK. He just said, we're all this thing that's bold. Yeah, he he didn't want the tribalism to get in the way. So he said. We're all part of the same thing now. All right. Yeah, you got it. Invent stuff if you create a country. His full title was Sardar Turkmenbashi, great leader of all Turkmen. Now, as natural gas money started to flow into the country, Turkmenistan found itself with money for the first time and ever. Really turkmenbashi, a man who had promised his people prosperity, knew what he had to spend his windfall on. Wait, what do you think it was? Ohh God. I don't know what what do you what do you think he spent the billions of dollars? That is the first money is countries ever gotten on, I mean. This could go in so many ways. It could be like war and but I feel like it's like a a clown party or something like that's not super far off. I've listened to another show to not make too many predictions. He spent it all on statues. Hey. Oh, of course, of course, of course. Why? Oh, man, that's. I think there's something in our DNA where we want to. It's just a natural thing we want to do is make statues like. You give me, if you gave me $1,000,000, I'd be like, OK, well, the statue and then I'll get a nice apt, I guess a second RoboCop statue in in Detroit would make sense. Yeah, yeah, let's do that first. And then another rocky statue in Philadelphia, all slightly bigger, slightly larger. She's like, drive the statue by homeless people in the street and like, yeah, it was expensive guys. You guys. New Yorker writer Paul Theroux visited Turkmenistan near the end of Turkmen bashi's reign. Here's how he described the capital city quote. Ashgabat was filled with gold statues of Turkmenbashi and these statues, which had an ecclesiastical aura. Bashi was El Dorado, the man of gold. All powerful and all knowing statues show him sitting, striding, waving, saluting and smiling at 24 karat smile. One even showed him as a precocious golden child sitting in the lap of his bronze mother. He once said to a journalist. I admit it, there are too many portraits, pictures and monuments. For me, I don't find any pleasure in it, but the people demand it because of their mentality. Yeah, guys, just give me a few more years, everything will be fine. We'll get a few more statues up and then that's it. Just a couple of more statues in love democracy, I promise. I swear you're going to vote at some point. I do love that he he makes his mom bronze, but he's gold. A little bit of mom shade there. It's just more aesthetically pleasing. Yeah. You want the baby to to really pop. Yeah, exactly. And you're in your statue of yourself as a baby now. We don't know what the people actually demanded because they weren't, you know, allowed to vote or form political parties or speak freely. Several of them were eventually allowed to operate political parties, but these were just for show. And most did not meet the minimum number of Members required in the Constitution, which just so that Turpin Bush could be like, no, we're not a one party state. Look at all these other parties. There's like 9 guys in that one. Whenever Turkmenbashi got in hot water with the democratic world, he'd sponsor a party or two and let his people have the illusion of a tiny amount of choice. Or, to be more accurate, let the world have the illusion that his people had a tiny amount of choice. Now Niyazov immediately started renaming parts of the country after himself. It started, not crazily at least, changing the name of a major St in the capital from Linen to, you know, turkmenbashi. That's fair. That's fair. You know the Soviet Union's gone. You don't want to named after Lennon, OK? We named streets after presidents all the time. Your name to Collective Farm in the linen Canal with his own name. Also when people compared what he was doing to Stalin's personality cult, he said. Quote Stalin achieved his personality cult through repressive measures, whereas I achieved my popularity without conflicts. So overall, I'm just sorry. I'm thinking about his childhood and stuff. There's nothing like that messed up that happened to him. I mean, there's the parents and the earthquake. I'm saying that there's not anything, like horrible things happen to a lot of people. This feels like a story of like, this is just like, you give someone too much power. This, it feels like this could be anybody. It's just like, let's give them a lot of power and then next thing you know, they're a golden baby. That's that's possible. See how you feel at the end of this? OK. I I feel like he might, I mean. Yeah, so, so far. I'm not saying what he did is understandable so far. It's just that it's I I find it remarkable that his childhood isn't that over the top. What, we just don't know that much about, like what happened in the orphanage or whatever. That's ******* Soviet orphanage in the late 40s. That probably wasn't the best place. You probably miss you up probably some bad stuff, but I really don't know because there's just not like, Turkmenistan is still a very closed society, so there's not a whole lot of information. I can't imagine this guy. Keeping good records? No. What's going on? Not a big fan of that now. Turkmenistan launched its own currency, the manat, in the late or in the early 1990s. It's great wealth meant that the money launched at parity with the US dollar. So at the start, the Turkmenistan manat is worth one U.S. dollar. Which is great, you know? Yeah, new country you're the dollars are pretty good thing to be worth. In the early 1990s, Niyazov's face was, of course, prominently printed on each and every bill. Now, it's not true that his popularity was without conflict. Dissidents were punished brutally, although he was pretty popular at first because the Turkmen had been treated like **** by the Soviet Union, and now that they were independent, there was enough money for both ridiculous statues and social programs. So Turkmenbashi tripled the salaries of public employees, he heavily subsidized food, and he offered free gas, electricity, and water to all citizens. He also spent $130,000,000 turning his presidential 767 into an airborne palace. Yeah, so. Little bit for you, a little bit for a little bit for you lot. Lot for me? Yeah, just gold statues for me. Gasolines basically free. So, you know, I mean, as a citizen, at this point, it's not the worst case. It's not the worst, the worst case scenario. It's just like, OK, well, there's a bunch of just terrible statues of this guy, really bad status. But you know what? I'm not. I'm not paying for gas. I'm not paying for gas. You will see where this story goes, but Speaking of not complaining. You know what makes me not complain? I want to say ads. Yes, ads for. Who's the odd product? A couple of services? Ohh OK, maybe, maybe even an ad for bubbly sparkling water. The only sparkling water that tastes terrible when mixed with Lacroix. That is not going to get us any money, Sophie. All right, eds. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the build to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for. None of that. 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It's been like two months since I got LASIK laser eye surgery and my vision still 2020. So many things about my daily life has changed. I don't have to worry about putting on a mask and my glasses fogging up and have to take out contacts at night or put them in the day. I don't have to like, worry all the time when I'm traveling. Like, how many contacts do I have by go swimming at the lake during the summer? Something I like to do, go to the beach or whatever. I don't have to worry about losing a contact or, you know, bringing swimming glasses or something. With me, everything is just easier. And getting it done was easy too. You know, I went in, I had my consultation, they told me I was a good candidate and then I went back in couple of days later about it being about a boom. You know, my eyes were perfect. So LASIK Plus is a leader in laser vision correction in the United States. They have over 20 years in the industry and more than two million treatments performed. If you want to start your LASIK plus journey, you can get $1000 off when treated in September. That's 500 per eye. So visitmylasikoffer.com to schedule your free. Consultation now. And we're back. We're talking about Turkmenbashi, dictator of Turkmenistan, and at this point not doing terrible lot of statues, way too much money on the plane, gold baby. I'm really thinking about that gold baby thing because I think what it is, is that making a statue of yourself as an adult. Like, yeah, that's messed up, but it's celebrating your big birth as this special event. Like, there's really only the one person that we do that with. Yeah. If someone else is doing it like that's, it's a bold statement. It's a bold statement. And I got to say, Dave, you're really on the right track with that. With that. Oh yeah. Ohh delightful. So at this point he is off. Does not seem like the worst case scenario for a dictator. The Turkmen people were at least getting something while he robbed the country blind. But Niyazov's corruption quickly took its toll on the national economy. After bribing former US Secretary of State Alexander Haig to lobby on Turkmenistan's behalf, he almost succeeded in getting the Clinton administration to open the country up to American investment. The deal got derailed because Niyazov demanded 33% of all invested money go to him personally. I can see them whipping that out in the negotiation and they're like, what? But I get 1/3 of everything. Yeah, no, you don't know. Now, this turned out to be a bad idea. Because most of Turkmenistan's regional trading partners, the former Soviet states, suffered economic collapses after their first few years of capitalism. They stopped being able to buy Turkmenistan's fuel. Production fell by 2/3, and all that sweet plane and statue money stopped coming in. Niyazov responded to this with an effort to boost the country's internal economy. He did this by modernizing the capital Ashgabat, according to the book Inside Central Asia by Dilip Hiro quote. Modernizing Ashgabat meant raising many central neighborhoods to create a network of boulevards with lavish palaces of white marble and green tinted glass dotted with massive fountains and statues of Niyazov and his parents, as well as historical Turkmen personalities guarded by uniformed security men standing to attention. The city would become the site of the largest fountain in the world, a multi storied shopping mall with water gushing out of the roof and pouring down in a ring of waterfalls. Its main Ave would end up with 22 five star hotels where foreign guests would be accommodated only in the rooms that were bugged. Many of the displaced families did not get alternative accommodation or compensation as they could not prove the ownership of their homes. How modern. Just bulldoze as hundreds of houses, builds 22 hotels and nobody's visiting Turkmenistan at this point. Like there's no foreign visits. Yeah, but did you hear about that fountain? That ******* fountain, the ****? That's when I think the future. I think how can we make water fall in neat ways? That is what the future is. And and how can we fill a city with enough gold fountains that we need to have permanent security guards stationed to stop people from stealing the gold? Because we bulldozed their houses and they're all. Solid move. Solid move now. Building a **** load of hotels and additional statues during an economic downturn may not seem like a great idea, but that's just because you and I are an economic geniuses like turkmenbashi. Yeah, now, to keep the economy afloat, Turkmenistan Central Bank started printing money like it was going out of ******* style. Inflation hit 3000% and the Minot went from being at one to one parity with the US dollar to being at 5200 to 1 parity with USD. Dollar. Return sticker turns out that's not a great strategy. Yeah. No, nobody could have predicted that. No, no. I mean, you know, it's the economy. Nobody knows. It's like, it's like predicting that offering people a lot of ballooning interest rate mortgages on their houses and, like, loans and stuff would eventually lead to a massive foreclosure crisis. Who could? Who could? Who could have seen that? No, they did all the right things. They got the statues. They got the gold coins. And what is it? Warren Buffett always says when the economy is bad, build more fountains. Yeah, yeah, that's basic economics 102, at least. Now, as his entire nation suffered, so did turkmenbashi. His doctors told him that his arteries had hardened, probably because of his massive chronic alcoholism, constant cigarette smoking. He would need major heart surgery, which he received in a German clinic. He survived the surgery, but it seems to have brought a change in him. Up to this point, he had been the absolute ruler of Turkmenistan, but he was more or less normal for, like, an absolute ruler, you know, banning political parties. Building tons of statues, secret police, nothing super wild, like it was some fun stuff, but like, yeah, dictator stuff. Yeah, as far as, like ruthless dictators go, this is pretty by the book, pretty by the book. After his heart surgery, Niyazov began to treat his nation as an extension of himself. His doctor told him he had to stop smoking, so he ordered all cabinet ministers to stop smoking, too. He banned smoking in public places and even smoking out in the street. That sucks. Really sucks. Why can't we smoke outside? The more the president starts, battered my house into a gold fountain. Let me smoke. Let me smoke. My house is a statue of you as a baby. Well, he was rebuilding his capital in the Muslim Las Vegas and dealing with heart issues and being a nut turkmenbashi managed to maintain his policy of careful, stringent neutrality. He joined the non aligned movement in 1995 and commemorated the event with 170 foot tall neutrality arch in downtown Ashgabat. It is described as an amalgam of a triffid Eiffel Eiffel Tower and a marble covered space rocket. Sophie, I OK, I'll finish describing this first, but can you look up the neutrality art so I can show Dave now, a few years later after his heart? Surgery Turkmenbashi added another statue to the top of the neutrality Arch, a 22 foot tall golden plated statue of himself wearing Superman's Cape with his arms extended into the air. The statue rotates 360 degrees all every day, so his face is always facing the sun. Turkmenbashi required that the statue be visible from the International Airport many miles away from the city. Also, the airport was named after him of course. Of course, this is now. This is reminding me of that Futurama episode where Bender bills the giant statue. Remember Me? Like to shoot fire out of it? No, but it's it's pretty close to that. Sophie. We'll have a picture up on the website. Look at that ******* thing. When I think the word neutral, that's that's what that's what I think of when I think of neutral. Holy ****. I love that he saw that he was like, needs another statue. Needs another statue of me made out of gold wearing a Cape. Oh my God. So Turkmenbashi took his neutrality as seriously as he took his absurd statues and monuments. He renamed the official newspaper from Turkmenistan. To neutral Turkmenistan. He replaced the national anthem Turkmenistan with independent neutral Turkmenistan state anthem. He wrote both the words and the music for this song. I'm just going to read the words. I'm just going to read the first verse because I find it funny. I don't know how to sing this. I am ready to give life for our native hearth. The spirit of ancestors. Descendants are famous for. My land is sacred. My flag plays in the world a symbol of the great neutral country flies. This is why you got to outsource your your songwriting. You got to outsource your songwriting. Dictators of tomorrow don't think you can do anything. It's also of the of the ways to inspire a people. The word neutral is not one of them. No like the Swiss or neutral, but it's not like the session word. It's again another Futurama reference. In 1998, post surgery, Turkmenbashi succeeded in getting a second chance to dance with Uncle Sam. He made some deals that included Unocal, an American corporation, helping Turkmenistan to build a gigantic pipeline. The fact that an American company won the contract looked very good to the White House. There was talk of Okaying more investment in Turkmenistan. But in January of that year, those pesky State Department ******** released their yearly report on human rights. They noted that Turkmenistan had made basically no progress. Towards democracy since leaving the Soviet Union, the Clinton administration asked Niyazov to give them what heroes book calls a gesture towards democratization. In return, Turkmenbashi would be invited to the White House now. He visited the US once before, shortly after taking power, but he'd been ignored by everybody, and this was something turkmenbashi very badly wanted, for reasons I don't understand, but probably boiled down to ego. He wanted pictures with the American president, and was like this thing. So that February, Niyazov got up in front of Turkmenistan's high officials and promised to amend the Constitution, giving more power to Parliament and less to himself. True to his word, Bill Clinton invited him to the White House. Turkmenbashi immediately reneged on his promises now that he had the invitation, and said that any constitutional amendments would have to wait until the parliamentary elections in December of 1999. What a shocker. What a shocker. You can't just be like, look, you have to. You have to say you'll do this, and then you can take pictures with me like you have to make sure they actually follow through. Right. I mean, if we cared about democracy, that's a good point. Yes. That's. I don't know if we cared. Like, look, you have to at least pretend like, just so we can all look good for at least a moment. For at least a second. Yeah. Let us pretend that we care about freedom around the world, which, you know, he did. He he gave Americans the ability to feel like the good guys for one last time before 9:11. That's true. That's true. So thank you, turkmenbashi. So Niyazov spent a fun week in the United States hanging out with Bill Clinton and Al Gore and talking about democracy and all the democracy that he was totally going to bring to his people. There were, of course, questions from the press and outrage from people who didn't like dictators. I'm going to quote from the book Inside Central Asia here. Quote in his press briefing, the White House spokesman explained that just as in the case of China, the US national economic interest outweighed the administration's concern over Niyazov's dismal record on post Soviet reform when questioned on the issues of civil liberties and multi party. Democracy at such forums as the Council on Foreign Relations in New York Niyazov repeated and the argument that political liberalization would follow only after independence and stability had been consolidated. His statement that no one had been arrested in Turkmenistan for political reasons flew in the face of the recent State Department report on Turkmenistan. The opposition was repressed, with leading dissidents either imprisoned or committed to psychiatric hospitals. The reality is that roughly 20,000 people have been imprisoned, so it's frustratingly hard to find many stories of the victims of Turkmen. She's regime because again, it's still a pretty close society. The imprisoned were generally tracked by secret police after being freed to keep them from talking. I did find 1 Telegraph article that interviewed a former enemy of the state. Here's what he said about his time in a Turkmenistan prison. Quote. I had read about the beatings and electric shock therapy which I experienced in prison, but it was the unexpected techniques that really damaged me. I was fitted with a gas mask in the air. Vent was closed. They played tapes of my relatives being beaten after they were arrested. They're suffering. Was mine. It was terrible. Wow. Yeah, that he did not mass execute people. He did have some people killed, but he didn't do mass executions. His thing seems to be if you stepped out of line, he'd arrest your whole family and beat the **** up and then tape them. And that is enough creative way to be a ******* villain. Yeah. Jesus. Yeah, it is one of those, one of those dictator strategies that I hadn't run into yet, which is like, obviously people's families being threatened. Oh yeah, like that specific way. It's like, OK, well, at least you're an innovator. Yeah. He also tortured shitloads of people. Although he did, you know, avoid the mass murder that, like, a guy like Bashar al-Assad is famous for Turkmenbashi was smart enough to avoid doing anything too obviously horrible, like, you know, bombing, you know, a dissident chunk of the city or whatever. And so he never really provoked mass outrage from the United States or any of its allies. Since he only tortured and imprisoned people, our government was happy to take his money. Or to be more accurate, let major US corporations take his money, right. He's staying under the radar. Staying right under the radar. Yeah. Smart guy, smart guy. 1999 elections came 98.9% of the country showed up to choose between 104 candidates for 50 seats in the parliament. So he kept his promise. People got to vote. Oh wow, yeah, they got to vote for Parliament. Now all of the candidates were members of the same party which he headed. But. Something, but it's a yeah, you. You. Yeah. You got to press a button or, like, write a name. You got absolutely all that crank you vote to write it. It's democracy. It's rolling. Yeah. Twice as many choices as there were seats. Yeah. And even though they were all from, it's something the organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe did not send out election observers, which they normally do in situations like this, because the elections were seen as too much of a sham to be worth observing. After the election, the delegates who had been voted in unanimously declared that Niyazov was President for life. Oh, wow. Yeah. Democracy. So lucky for him, he really nailed it. Yeah, that's really like him then. He must be very popular now, president for life. And he has off introduced a new set of civil rights for his citizens. So this is seeming like he's making his promises. I mean, he didn't he didn't choose to be president. No, he the people demanded that he be president for life. Of the new civil rights. He did not, however, have a great grasp on what civil rights are. So his first new civil right was to cancel all Internet licenses except the state owned Telecom Telecom company. Continuing to prove that he really didn't have a good handle on the concept of civil rights, Niyazov next banned ballet and opera, calling them, calling them alien to Turkmen culture. Somewhere there's like a smoking ballet dancer, just like I can't have a cigarette, I can't do ballet. Just staring at that golden baby. *** **** it. Yeah, he ordered the country's few movie theaters shut down, but he did replace the movie theaters with a single enormous puppet theater in the capital. What is wrong with him? OK, why don't you like puppet? What happened at that orphanage? The real question with this guy friend of puppet. Like a bowl of cellulose fell out of a movie theater and crushed his favorite puppeteer. Yeah, this is starting to feel like he's he's trolling his country on purpose. Like, I'm going to get rid of the movie theaters and give them puppet. Shouldn't give them puppet shows. Christ, yeah. His exact justification was something along the lines of, like, all these movies made by foreign people are going to make people not like the way we talk here in terms of understand? Well, yeah, if you're trying to control the Internet and movies. He's definitely trying to make people in this country not realize just how screwed they are at the moment. Yeah, how, how not not great it is to not be able to ******* banning ballet. Like, what's subversive about ballet? Even Stalin had ballet. Still, you could make your own movie. Yeah, he must have, like, dated a ballet dancer or something. Got his heart broken. Yeah, it all feels so personal. Yeah, it really does. Like, that's the thing. That's the thing that's weird about this guy is that every decision he makes feels like. Like a guy who got ****** at something and, like, then banned it for the entire country, right? But like, cigarettes ****** ** my heart. Nobody gets to smoke. As someone who loves movies, I'm real peeved about the movie thing because if you're going to ban movies and then make better movies or something, don't replace it with puppets because your people are going to see that and be like, I know there's something better than this. I know it gets better than puppets. I know this is the best we can do. So. In 2001, President for Life and Puppet lover Turkmenbashi embarked on the next great chapter of his career. As a dictator and as a luminary. He wrote a book good. Not just any book, his opus, the Ruhnama, was built by him as the most important book since the Koran. Part history text, Part guide to life, part religious book, and all crazy, the Ruhnama was the pinnacle of everything insane dictator literature can be. Here's how turkmenbashi described the book in his own introduction. Rama is a visit to this land. Ruhnama is a visit to the past of this territory and a visit to the future of this territory. Ruhnama is the visit made to the heart of the Turkmen. Ruhnama is a sweet spiritual fruit grown in this territory. No human being who has not experienced what I have lived through can understand me. Oh wow, little bit of emo there. Special. He's a real special boy. He's a real special boy. Now, the book is partly fictional, jumping between modern day and the Middle Ages and focused around a character Saparmurat Niyazov. Whose birth was ordained by God himself. There is a character with his name who is God's prophet on Earth. Wonder if it's based on anyone? Down. If you're gonna write a book like this, at least do it under a different name or something because you can't say your God. What? God's prophet on earth? God's prophet? He's not saying he's better than Mohammed, just that he's newer than Mohammed and so should be taken more seriously than the prophet of the Muslims, right? He's the new hip Mohammed. He's the new the new cool Mohammed. OK, he'll let you drink, but you can't smoke, right? Which I mean, I guess, actually that's a that is a health well. This is kind of a watch, actually, yeah. Uh, so we are going to talk about the ruhnama and I'm going to read you some of its timeless wisdom. But first you know what else is timelessly wise? Oh God, I want to say ads again. You're, you're, you're you. Nailed it. 2 for two. All right, products. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. 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So we're talking about the Lunama, a book in which, separately, is off, writes about himself as God's prophet. He goes on a quest to discover the history of the Turkmens, and during that quest he learns that he is God's son, essentially. We're good for him. Yeah, he well, he he was a child ordained by God, and probably probably his mom was impregnated by divine will. In other words, separately, Azov wrote an explicitly Turkmen themed Bible with himself as Jesus and mixed it with a self help book and like one of those history books Bill O'Reilly writes like, that's that's kind of the ruhnama in a nutshell. It's all these red flags just smushed together. It's a lot. Yeah. Now I'm going to level with you all. I did not have time this week to read the entirety of the ruhnama. I may get back to it. Someday, because apparently reading it three times guarantees you entry into heaven. Yeah, I think next vacation or something. Just read it on the beach. Read it on the beach. Did learn reading? Paul throws New Yorker article that apparently you you are guaranteed a trip to heaven if you read it three times. So you know people out there if you're sinning, if you're, if you're doing anything terrible, maybe read the ruhnama three times in a row. I also feel like more books should use that for marketing because it's like, whoa, I mean, they're probably wrong, but what if they're right or wrong? It's just three. You buy the book once and then you just got to read it through. Just you got to read it three times, does it? Does it count? If you do like the thing where it like Kindle like where it reads the book for you, you can do it on your double speed. I don't know if that would trick God. Dave, let me let me read to you where Paul throw learned that this was apparently what Saparmurat was saying. He apparently was told this by a cab driver during a visit to Turkmenistan. So I'm going to quote from that conversation. He was on TV last night, my driver said, well, he's on almost every night, Turkmen, almost never, said Turkmenbashi's name aloud. He said if you read my book three times, you will go to heaven. How does he know this? He said. I asked Allah to arrange it. So yeah, so he told Allah to do so. He told God that if you read his book three times, anyone, he told me, like, a promo code. Yeah, exactly. He's doing what? Like podcasters. God, can we work something out here? Yeah, this is the heavenly equivalent of of offering a discount code on a mattress. Good for him. Working with God? Yeah, working with God. Now Paul Thoreau, being a better journalist than me, read the entirety of the Ruhnama. He described it as a confused mixture of memoir, Turkmen lore, potted history, dietary suggestions, Soviet bashing, boasting, wild promises, and turkmenbashi's poems. He seemed to regard it as both a sort of Quran and as a how to guide for the Turkmen people a jingoistic pep talk. In fact, it is little more than a sophomoric chloroform in print, as Mark Twain described the Book of Mormon. I read it once. Turkmenbashi would have to promise more than heaven for me to read it two more times. Yeah. I I think if you're not a dictator, we call this a manifesto. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. This is just the ravings of a madman. And I do feel like in another society, Turkmenbashi is a guy who mails people bombs and forces the New York Times to print his manifest. Yeah. And it's it's those little things that's, like, hidden in there, like, recipes. Recipes. And it's like, oh, you just want to be listened to. Yeah. You were just dictating this to somebody. And stopped at some point string of consciousness. Now, I did skin the ruhnama in search of some of the apparently ageless wisdom that turkmenbashi blessed the world with in his book. I can tell it's definitely the book of an old man who was worried about dying because he writes about time a lot, but the way he writes about time makes no sense at all to me. Quote the Devil keeps a close eye over your time and faith, both of which are your precious belongings. Time is your life in this world, and faith is your life in the other world. Wasting time means losing one's life or oneself. Teach your child how to save his time and life all that you can save of time. Belong to you. Time is a Mace. Hit or be hit, huh? I don't understand. So you can hit time. What does that mean? Like that. I get saving time. It's valuable to have more time, obviously. What is time? Is a Mace mean? How do you hit someone with time? I'm trying to. I I mean, I want to know. I want to know how. How do you get hit with time? Like jail? Yeah, yeah. Like Marty McFly had this experience. Why? Might might be the only person who's taken turkmenbashi's advice. Get hit by the DeLorean from back to the future. Did get hit by the DeLorean? Yeah. Mm-hmm. All right, well, we're we're finding some logic in this. Yeah, I'm gonna be thinking about this one for a while. You know, he did come to power in the mid 80s, so it's possible he was a big back to the future. Yeah, DeLorean is it's a metallic it's yeah, yeah, yeah, that makes sense. Turkmenbashi also had a lot to say on the subject of laziness. He was not for it. Quote laziness means being profligate and living one, leaving oneself to be blown about by the winds of fate. Be hard working and you will generate returns and cash. Be lazy and you will get into debt. The comfort that laziness provides is like the taste of a sour cucumber out of mercy for yourself. Work, joblessness, lack of wisdom, and laziness will damage you more than your enemies ever could. Time is a wild. Editor but if you train it, you may use it to your benefit. Do not be subject to time. Let it be your subject. Live so that you regret nothing when you die. Living does not only mean passing time, it means reaching eternity after passing through time. I don't think you should train time by hitting it, though. Yeah, that doesn't seem it seems like time is going to grow up like abused and probably. I don't want time to turn on me. You do not want time to turn on you. Yeah, although that is the one thing time does to everybody. Yeah, yeah. Also bold decision, speaking out against laziness. Yeah, really, really a dagger. Now, the RUHNAMA also includes handy advice on how to obtain World Peace quote if everybody likes their own nation, then the nations will like each other. Feels like. I think that's not how that works. That's the opposite of how that works. Yeah, I think historically the nation really likes itself. It becomes a problem. That's the first step to other nations ceasing to exist. Yes, as one nation really liking itself, likes itself so much. It's like, guys, you got to try this nation. You got to try being Germany. It's pretty sweet here in Germany, you know? Want some? No. Come here, come here, come here. You're going to try. You're going to take some, Jeremy. You'll love it. You'll love it. Like that's what the Soviet Union did to them, right? This is going so well. We're just going to keep going now. The RUHNAMA also includes handy advice. Sorry, I already read that part. I didn't edit this, which is unusual for me because I'm a hack and a fraud so everyone should know. No, this is raw. We're going we're raw dogging it is punk rock where we are. Not talking to this. Goodbye for a second. It's one of my favorite terms. It's just so visceral and gross. Really is just the nastiest way to describe that. I love it. OK, so are you wondering, Dave, how Niyazov defined the concept of a nation? Oh yes. Yeah. Well, Nation is the transformation of human groups in the context of certain spiritual foundation. A nation has shaped materially according to these spiritual foundations. You get what he needs? Statues? Statues? Is that where he's going? He got to have. Yeah, like, you're not a nation unless you have, like, I don't know, 10 or more statues. Yeah, I mean way more than 10 statues, right. That's the minimum. That's. Is that the minimum? Yeah. So in the ruhnama Turkmen Bashi credits the Turkmen people with many great historical innovations, including the invention of robots, the invention of white wheat and the invention of the wheel. What robots and the wheel. Robots get into that. I do not know, Dave. I could see, like, anybody can kind of claim the wheel because it's like, who's going to prove them? Who's going to prove you wrong? Yeah. Might have been Turk, man. I don't know. Yeah. And for all we know, but robots, I feel like we have that written down where that, like, we're pretty clear on robots. Yeah. Uh, so I cannot say that my limited reading of the ruhnama has led me to any staggering revelations about my place in the universe. But Niyazov was adamant that his people needed to read this book. He required anyone entering a mosque or a church to kiss a copy of their anama before going into worship. And yeah, in a different New Yorker article by Macy Halford, I found one possible explanation of niyazov's motivation in writing the ruhnama. The person who provided it is just described as a scholar, I think because they're a person from Turkmenistan. He doesn't want to have their family tortured. Fair enough. Yeah. Quote, Niyazov was somewhat illiterate. He couldn't read or write Turkmen or Russian properly. People who have disabilities, for example, illiteracy, want to be seen as geniuses. That's probably what got him started. I don't know about that logic either. Yeah, but it's funny that he can't read. I mean, it's definitely most dictators are compensating for things, right? Yeah, that part seems accurate. Probably starts with, like, a profound lack of confidence, where it's like, you know, just you're you're fine. And you're fine. You don't have to build this many statues and and he starve your people or bulldoze their houses or whatever. Yeah, like, it's alright, you're fine. You're fine. Yeah, you're doing great, buddy. We were all impressed when you were an engineer. Yeah, you didn't need to do the rest of this career. Would have been great career. He what? He would have done so much good things is that just as an engineer, keeping the lights on, not building golden baby statues. You think that's where it started? As an engineer? He was like, you know what I really need? Wanna like engineer is statues. Status? That's yeah. Closer than yeah, it's comfortable. So once it was published, once the Renamo was published, turkmenbashi did everything in his power to make it a central part of Turkmenistan. Life, according to the book. Inside Central Asia, Niyazov erected a commemorative complex in his home village of Kijak, conceived as a symbol of the rebirth of the Turkmen nation, which included a mosque whose walls carry quotations from the Quran as well as the ruhnama. The Turkey that's bold. The Turkmen government. Ordered a prominent display of the Ruhnama not only in book shops and official buildings, but also in mosques and churches sharing its place with the Koran or the Bible. The colossal pink statue of the Ruhnama and Ashgabat was too conspicuous to be missed. Another decree extended the book's presence to libraries and schools and made it a part of the curriculum. To be able to recite passages of of the book became a badge of honor. Next, civil servants, teachers and doctors were required to pass a test on its teachings. Then this requirement also became part of the driving test. The Ruhnama was lauded in songs and the state-run media regularly. Broadcaster printed excerpts from it. Criticizing the book, even in private, was tantamount to criticizing Niyazov, an offense punishable with a 5 year jail sentence. Niyazov redesigned the educational system, reducing the compulsory schooling from two years to one, and higher education by three years down to a mere 2. Inexplicably, he reduced the college and university enrollments to 10% of the then current figure. He banned the teaching of foreign languages and decreed that the exceptional history and culture of Turkmen must be stressed with his ruhnama to act as the lodestar. The worst part is this book sounds terrible. It's a terrible book. It's like, and he bans other languages and, yeah, cuts, like, reduces school by 1/2 so that nobody has any education so that presumably they'll find his book more compelling. Exactly. You can't have these people reading other books. No. Yeah. It's like, it's like if Neil Breen or Tommy Wiseau, like, opened a theater and had, like, Citizen Kane posters and next to the room. Yeah. And it was just walled with that and, like, started to film school or, like, look, we're just going to focus on the room, on the classics. Yeah, but gradually they phase out Citizen Kane for just exactly he's trying to create. He's basically lowering the bar as much as he can to make his book the best thing around. Yeah, that's exactly what's happening. That's infuriating. Yeah. Now, you may have noted from from that passage, I read a little note about a statue of the Ruhnama that was put up in the capital. Oh, I have a video of that statue day and and it'll be up on our side. Behindthebastards.com. But I've got to show it to you, and I'd like you to describe it to our listeners, because most of them are probably jogging or driving or shooting at the moment and can't can't look at the video. I hope they're pooping too. OK, I'm not sure what I'm seeing right now. There's like a cool, very cool, very cool music. Seeing a lot of colors. Feel like there should be high. Oh wow. It's a book. It's a very colorful book. Is this a statue? This is a statue. It's opening. Oh my God, it is a giant book. Every night in Ashgabat, it opens every night. This is like a Disney attraction in this. Like, this should be like the story of Snow White opening new Cora, the owls of spiritual guide for the people. It's an interact. It's like a moving is that a project? There's fountains, of course. There's fountain, of course there's children are expected to learn. Wow. He loves his book. So does anyone who wants to get a driver's license. What is the point of that? Yeah. He made you memorize bits of it to get a driver's license. Yeah. Why? OK. There's so much to unpack here. Yeah. So first of all that he loves his book so much that he made a giant statue that just opens. Yeah, a statue. Like book that opens. Yeah, just like celebrating the act of opening his book. OK, so this drivers license, yeah, what in the book? Helps with driving. Well, you gotta know how to use time as amaze, Dave. Otherwise, you're going to get hit. So back to the DeLorean. Back to the DeLorean. OK. See, it all ties together. The internal logic's consistent. I mean, I'm going to be honest, after writing a book, I was. I'm pretty proud of it, right? But I don't think I would build a giant statue of my book. A brief history of ice. I would build a statue of your book. But see if you build it. It's fine. It is fine. Yeah, exactly. I should note that reading my book will not help you pass a drivers test. Never know. Don't sell yourself short. Don't presume what people will take away from your book. I learned how to merge from you. This is, this is a running theme with like Gaddafi with that astronaut thing. Yeah. With the death of the where it feels like story of all time. Dictators have are like brutal and do all these things and then they're like, you got to read my stuff, you got to read my book. It's just like, why don't we start with that like let's all read their your book 1st and we'll praise you and then you don't have to hurt everybody. It's it's it's you know what it is like and someone has a post go viral on Twitter unexpectedly and they link their SoundCloud or something. Yeah, it's the that but if you're in charge of a country. Yeah. Oh God, I'm in charge. Everybody, look at this. Oh, so many followers. Didn't expect this guys. Didn't expect this guys, here's my PayPal. Oh, wait, I'm in charge of where all the oil and gas money goes, so it just goes right to my bank account. So that's all we're going to talk about in part one of this episode. But when we come back, we're going to talk about Turkmenbashi's post 2001 career. And trust me, Dave, she's going to go even further off the rails. Turns out all the craziness we've talked about so far was just a dress rehearsal. Yeah. So you got any pluggable as you want to plug before we we head out? I guess. So I I have a I have a podcast network that run with Tom Ryman called gainfully unemployed. You can check us out at patreon.com/gainfully. Unemployed. We have a new show called Fox Mulder is a maniac. It's exclusive. Yeah, it's it's our behind the ********. But just for Fox. Just for Fox Mulder. Yeah. So check it out. Yeah. Donate to gainfully unemployed fantastic podcasts. Tommy, Day or two. The funniest guys I know. Thank you. Please, please give them your dollars. Give them your cents. Mail them your your really anything? Yeah. Shirts, pants. Yeah. Oh God, yeah. Pop Tarts, severed heads of horses. All of those things are appreciated. And look up this podcast behindthebastards.com on the Internet. Do it and you find the sources for this. You find us on Twitter and Instagram and that ******* spot you have. T-shirts. We we do. We have a, we have a we have a brand new due crime save lives. Raoul Wallenberg shirts. 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Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her social discoveries on chimpanzees. So four whole months, the chimps ran away from me. I mean, they take one look at this peculiar white ape and disappear into the vegetation. In wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts, sisters of the Underground is a podcast about fearless Dominican women who stood up against the brutal dictator Kapal Trujillo. He needs to be stopped. We've been silent and complacent for far too long. I am Daniel Ramirez, and as a Dominicana myself, I am proud to be narrating this true story that is often left out of the history books through your has blood on his hands. Listen to sisters of the underground wherever you get your podcasts.