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 Two: King Leopold II: The First Modern Bastard

Part Two: King Leopold II: The First Modern Bastard

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 10:00

This is Part Two of, 'King Leopold II: The First Modern Bastard.' Robert is joined again by Andrew Ti (Yo, Is This Racist?) and they continue discuss the evil actions of King Leopold II of Belgium.

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Peace to the planet. I go by the name of Charlemagne the God, and this summer I'm bringing my show back to Comedy Central with a new title and a new podcast. It's called hell of a week. But don't worry, every Friday I'll be keeping that same, calling out the ******** energy, and I'll have some of the biggest names in comedy, politics and entertainment with me. So if the news is terrorizing your timeline and causing your anxiety to rise high and gas prices, don't worry, we got you. Listen to hell of a week with charlamagne the God on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey, I'm dua lipa. And I'm thrilled to be back for the second season of my podcast tulipa at your service. Alongside me and my guests lists and recommendations, the show features conversations with some of my biggest inspirations working across entertainment, politics, activism and much, much more. So please tune in and join me on this very special adventure. Listen to Dua Lipa at your service starting Friday 23rd of September on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Hi, I'm Molly Jong Fast, and this is fast politics. You may know me from my old podcast, the new abnormal, or my articles in vogue, the New York Times, the Washington Post, or my newsletter at The Atlantic. I do my best to poke holes in political arguments with No Fear of critiquing any side of the political spectrum. Listen to fast politics with Molly Jong Fast on September 26 on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hello, friends. I'm Robert Evans, and this is behind the ******** the show where we tell you everything you don't know about the very worst people in history. And this is part two of our episode on Leopold, the second King of Belgium. And part one, we sort of went over how Leopold conned his way into becoming king of the Congo, how he tricked the locals into signing over their rights to their land, and how he conscripted thousands of them into a slave army. So now we're going to get back into all that and the rest of the terrible. Terrible story of the Belgian Congo. So the 1st 5:00 or so years of the Congo project are great for Leopold. He's in total control, richer than God, and most of Europe still believes he's improving a lot of the Congolese people. But in around 1890, a black journalist named Colonel, and he's not really a Colonel. George Washington Williams saw the actual Congo, so he didn't like, take the tour where you get led through the nice parts of the Congo. Like he he went on foot and he got in there and he saw the ******* nightmare that Leopold had built and he wrote an article called an Open letter to King. Leopold and it was the first expose of Leopold's blood soaked rubber regime. Williams document is remarkable because he's basically the only person up to that point who actually sat down with African people and asked them what was going on in the Congo. He retraced a lot of Stanley's right along the Congo and actually talked to some of the people who signed treaties giving their land to Leopold. He learned that a great number of chiefs had been tricked into signing things with magic tricks. One of the tricks was that like Stanley had bought a bunch of electric batteries in London and when. A quote, when attached to the arm under the coat, communicated with a band of ribbon, which passed over the palm of the White Brothers hand. And when he gave the Black brother a cordial grasp of the hand, the black brother was greatly surprised to find his white brother was so strong that he nearly knocked him off his feet. When the native inquired about the disparity of strength between himself and his white brother, he was told that the white man could pull up trees and perform the most prodigious feats of strength. So we did a hand buzzer. He did a hand buzzer. And he's like, if you don't know what electricity is, yeah. Some sort of Superman. Yeah. Yeah. Let's sign the peace treaty. Yeah, yeah. Holy ****. Yeah. Another trick was to use a magnifying glass to light a cigar and then claim that white people had sun powers and he'll burn up your village. Basically. Like, I have power over the sun and a language on fire. Yeah, yeah. God, what a ******* bluff. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So. Williams writes this open letter. He frames it as like, presuming Leopold doesn't know how terrible things are. He writes about the taking of hands and like all of the death and these people who are being like, starved to death as porters carrying. Is this like sort of like modest proposal style, like, of course, you know, but it's an indictment or do you think there's a little bit of a satirical bench? And yeah, so Williams publishes this, that, but unfortunately he dies not long after writing the letter and Leopold's able to clamp down on any kind of outrage after for a little while. But seven or eight years later, another guy who's an amateur journalist named Morrell stumbles upon the conspiracy. So he was working as a mid level employee for a shipping line that had the contract to handle all shipping into the Congo Free State. And so every so often, Morell would get sent over to Belgium and he would report on what's going into and out of the port of Antwerp. And so he realizes that the only thing coming out of the Congo. Into Europe is rubber. Just shitloads of rubber and possible quantities of it. Larger quantities than have been reported in fact. And the only thing that's going being sent out to the Congo rather than trade are just guns and money and a lot more guns than you'd need for any kind of philanthropic enterprise. Yeah, so the wire. Exactly, exactly. So he starts, he never actually goes to the Congo, but he just starts digging and he starts talking to other people who have worked there. And basically he starts a newspaper that is focused entirely on exposing King Leopold's crimes to the world and starts publishing it all throughout Europe. He's active all over the world and basically becomes like the Congo equivalent of WikiLeaks. So all these guys who had worked in Leopold's Congo and felt bad, right to him and be like, I saw this, this is what happened. Here's some documents. Managed to smoke, right. Well, it's also like, you're like, yeah, this is what WikiLeaks was supposed to be like. This is what it could be. And this is also why people like that have legitimacy because and why conspiracies have legitimacy because guess what? There have been big, complex conspiracy, scantic conspiracies. So Morell starts this newspaper and he winds up creating what's probably the first modern human rights organization, the Congo Reform Association, which is dedicated to stopping. Just a ******* nightmare in the Congo, King Leopold responded by inventing the first modern international PR campaign. He bought a **** load of journalists of his own, and he had them all right puff pieces about how great the Congo actually was. He would pay for journalists to go on lavish, carefully controlled trips through the Congo. He'd give them exclusive interviews when they got back, and he'd use his network of agents to help them place their articles in newspapers. He got journalists in the New York Times to write quotes like I have witnessed more atrocities in London streets than I have ever seen in the Congo. He would pay for journalists to give public speeches, and he would lobby politicians. Leopold's regime was heavily criticized for its widespread use of something called the JACOTTE, which is a hippo hide whip, which was used to punish laborers. Prisoners were often lashed to death by it, and it's possible that, like literally several million people were killed with this whip. So Leopold starts catching Flack for this, and he decides to distract attention from his whipping millions of people to death by sending journalists to British colonies and having them write lyrist exposes of abuses and British colonies. So his pet reporters would write stories about like, how the British were using whips on prisoners in South Africa or something terrible they've done to people in India. And then, yeah, exactly. What about Hillary style? That's exactly it. Like I said, he invented the modern art of being ******. Like, he's he's doing. Like, what about ISM on a massive scale? Did he, did he have like an antecedent for like the media, like playing the media? Or did he just make all this ****? He invented this playbook because other people had, obviously. Every the media has existed for a while. Other people have used the media, yeah, 1 degree or another. But he is the first person that I've ever run across who's using it in the same way politicians use it today. Yeah, in the same way world leaders use it today. Like, this is a very modern PR campaign. He buys, he uses his Congo earnings to buy the editors of a bunch of newspapers, including the London Times. So he he he's spending like thousands of dollars on just, yeah, owning editors so that number one, they'll kill stories that are negative towards the Congo Free State. And so that he can place his positive stories, once he gets, like, positive journalists to go, you know, have a tour of the Congo and then come and write about it. And this is all basically a delaying action. Leopold knows eventually the truth is going to get out, but he's playing for time. He's got 20 years before rubber stops being as profit. He doesn't need to do this forever. He just needs to do it for a little while longer. Just wants to suck as much money as he can out of the situation. And eventually the sheer weight of facts did change public opinion against him. But it took like 20 years at one point. Leopold is said to have seen a cartoon of himself in a German newspaper, and in the cartoon he's cutting the hands off of Africans. And he reportedly laughed at that and said cut off hands. That's idiotic. I'd cut off all the rest of them, but not the hands. That's the thing I need in the Congo, so he's a real piece of work. Now, in 1895, Leopold had started dating a 16 year old prostitute named Caroline. This is when the Congo is at the height of its rubber production, so he'd been hooked up to her via a pimp named Duro, who was a former officer in the French Army. We know now that Caroline's whole relationship with Leopold was likely a con game, an incredibly successful scheme to ****** his inheritance. But at the time, King Leopold, blood drenched absolute ruler of the Congo, was smitten with this teenage prostitute. Adam Hochschild writes that quote to the extent that someone like Leopold was capable of love, this teenage prostitute proved to be the love of his life. So he's really got it for this girl hard. He names her the Baroness of Vaughn, and the unseemliness of their relationship isn't really acknowledged in the 1910 biography. It just calls her one of the King's quote favorites. And it dances around the fact that they got together while the queen was still alive. And in general, it refers to the King's constant parade of mistresses as distractions. So yeah, Carolyn went on to write a bit about their life together, and she gives us additional insight into the kind of man. Leopold was quote every evening a steam launch took the king to appear, leading to my villa through a subterranean passage. Speaking about this, I can't help remarking on the extraordinary taste of the king for everything which had a secret and mysterious character. Anyone who could sell him any house so long as it was built on the side of an abandoned quarry, or if it had a secret staircase. So basically, Oh my God, he's gone from being too cheap to like, rinse his ******* like a hankerchief. He's like a cartoon villain. Yeah, to like a cartoon film with like layers. Built into mountainsides and hidden boat like grottos and stuff. Jesus, yeah, but Carolyn seems to have his number, so she's both got him on madly in love with her. But she also like she takes advantage of his hypochondria, ISM, or whatever you call that. Like whenever she wanted him to leave her alone, she'd pretend to have a cough and then he'd hide for days because he was scared of. So she's she's my favorite person in this story. She's got this guy locked down. So the king is sort of the 1900s come around is in his late 60s. And he takes to visiting his teenage mistress in a large tricycle because, again, he's yeah, he's getting more and more just everywhere to get a moment of whimsy. Yeah, for the genocidal murderer, yeah, right in the big tricycle to hang out with his teenage girlfriend, by the way, just as bad. Everyone who every white guy riding a tricycle with big old mustache, you were all as bad as Kingsley, yeah. So he's riding a big tricycle, he drinks nothing but hot water, and he starts referring to himself in the third person at this point in time. So, yeah, he's a weirdo. He's not entirely past his old ways at this point. There's like a story of the time his mistress bought a new hat for him and gives it to him, and he, like, flies into a rage and he only calms down when she explains him that she got it for a bargain, that it was like a deal, that she bought a quarter of its value. So, like, he's still he's he's just a he's just a weirdo. Yeah, he's a weird guy. He's like a weird old rich letcher who's just like. Knows what's going on in the Congo but doesn't like. I mean, look, here's the other part. The other way to look at that I suppose is maybe not in such a direct degree, but as Americans we all have similar types of blood on our hands that we are electing to not think about. Yeah, but we're not, we're not driving it in the same way, but we absolutely like, we all have these phones that we know are made by people who, like, hate the work that they're doing and they're like including minerals that are mined from like conflict ridden nations and often use slave labor and whatnot. Know that, like, the fabric in our clothes is often their slave labor at some point in the production line. Leopold knows that because he's signing the order, saying no, cut off more hands, cut off more hands. And he's just it's just amazing to me that he's able to do that all day, every day and then write a tricycle to his teenage girlfriend's house. Yeah, but that's. Amazing what you're saying, but yeah, to me, I'm like, it's a little bit just degrees. I mean, look, we're all able to. It is degrees. We're all able to compartmentalize the misery that's necessary for our comfort. But **** this guy. **** this guy. One of the things that was interesting to me reading that Pro Leopold biography is that while it does talk about was written in 1910, nineteen 10, the year after he died. Jesus spoiler. So this biography of him, it's very positive. It talks about how there's atrocities, but it always kind of doesn't talk about the detail. It just said he definitely committed atrocities. But look at this cool or look at how smart he saying look at how and and everyone did is like everyone did and we'll get to that in a little bit. Is interesting to me is that this biography does condemn his mistress for capitalizing on the Congo. Sure, it notes that she was called the Queen of the Congo by the people of Belgium, for she was to benefit largely by the atrocities committed in the Free State, where sweating and bleeding natives labored so as to accumulate millions for the royal favorite. So, like, he again, he doesn't really attack Leopold ever like, either. He's like, yeah, he did some bad stuff, but this biographer goes off on her mistress for like, taking money from him. That's that's blood money, which, like it is blood money, but like she's the least objectionable person in this situation. So, yeah, yeah, she is a little Melania ask. I suppose she is. And she maybe knew more what she was getting into at the top. Yeah, she probably knew less about the community because, like, I I doubt just a rich guy. Yeah. Yeah. She just wanted to marry a rich guy. Like, I doubt he. He doesn't seem like the guy who talked to his mistress about the hands or the the whips that they were murdering people with at the time, especially. Quite easy to ignore. Yeah, forget about you. Don't share a lot of that stuff with you. Yeah, especially not your teenage. Child bride. No, no. And as a teenage child bride, to just be like, I don't read those books. Yeah, I don't read that article. Yeah. Yeah. So in the early 1900s, more and more stories of abuse in the Congo hit the world press. People actually started to take notice and care. They read about things like an entire towns worth of boys being giving 50 lashes each, which is a fatal sentence for laughing in the presence of a white man. In 1904, one of the rubber companies in the Congo put one of its own men on trial, mostly to show that they were trying to do something about all of the horrible crimes. The guy, Charles Cadron, was accused of murdering at least 122 Africans. The case wound up revealing a bunch of ****** ** details about like, how all the hostage taking and the hand taking and stuff actually worked, but Cauldron was released due to, quote, extenuating circumstances. The court said that he'd had to contend with, quote, great difficulties under which could drone found himself accomplishing his mission in the midst of a population absolutely resistant to any idea of work, in which respects no other law than force and knows no other means of persuasion than terror. So yeah, yeah. They were asking for a defense, they were asking for it. Defense works. What works today? Kind of. It does, but it was it was stopping. This is at the point where it was working less and less in the Congo. And in the early 1900s, Leopold starts dealing with more and more resistance to his ideas. Both in the Congo and at home. So this is also kind of the point of which socialism is starting to rise. And socialists obviously aren't big fans of Kings, Leopold declared himself a mortal enemy of socialism. He fought against the universal right to vote for all Belgians was still in the playbook, both of those things. In 1902, the Belgian Labour Party called a general strike and Leopold called for it to be brutally stopped. The strikers were fired upon by city guards and eight people were killed. The massacre was a calculated message to the Socialists. Don't **** with the money train. Leopold was willing to kill a hell of a lot more than eight people. To keep the money coming in, Hauschild's book relates 16 week campaign in the Congo that killed, quote, over 900 natives, men, women and children in order to add 20 tons of rubber a month to one region's productivity. So that gives you an idea of the kind of calculus he's making. Yeah. Yeah, that's how I mean, right? It's just lives for rubber. Rubber has a commodity price, yeah. I have to point out that none of the revelations of brutality did much to her Leopold's popularity at home in Belgium. He was growing less popular and even hated in a lot of Europe. But even today there are Belgian museums that proudly talk about his anti slavery campaigns that ignore the whole genocide thing. The crimes against humanity didn't hurt Leopold's legacy. The only thing Belgium couldn't forgive him for was being a ****** dad and having a mistress. In 1904, Leopold's daughter, Stephanie sued her father, the king, for keeping her chunk of her mother's inheritance. Leopold fought in court for their right to deny his children their inheritance and in fact deny them any wealth or property, even after his death. Around this time, a Belgian cabinet minister noted that quote, the King has but two dreams to die a billionaire and to disinherit his daughters. I mean. What? Father doesn't want that? Yeah, yeah, a lot of ways. Kind of cool. Wow. So in 1906, King Leopold finally marries the Baroness. They have two sons. His second son was born with a malformed arm that just sort of ended in a stump with no hand. Obviously, some people suggested this might be a judgment from God for all the millions of hands that Leopold ordered severed, which is almost more ****** ** if you think about the morality behind, like, OK, this guy cut off millions of people's hands. Let's **** *** his innocent baby's hand. Yeah, that's not how you do that if you've got. First of all, that is definitely how God do that. God is a little punchy on the messages. Yeah. God. God ain't great with making sure these people get their just desserts. Yeah, yeah, because, right, because it's so funny. It's like all these, like, just so kind of stories where God is just a little, like, tricky metaphor, man. Like, you didn't expect this, didn't you? Didn't think God would do that, you know? God get it right, man? Yeah. Hey, Speaking of hands, why don't you use both of them to order the products that we are about to advertise? Here they go. 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. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family and at Mint. Families start at 2 lines. 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Now we're sharing this research with you for the first time ever in a book format, you can pre-order stuff they don't want you to know now. It's the new book from us, the creators of the podcast and video series. You can turn back now or read the stuff they don't want you to know. Available for pre-order now, it's stuff you should read or wherever you find your favorite books. Do you love movies or maybe just Anita? Some recommendations on what new movies to watch next time you sit down in front of the TV? Well, I have the podcast for you. Hey, this is Mike D from movie Mike's movie podcast. Your go to source for all things movies and no matter the genre of what you're into, whether it be comedies, romance, action, sci-fi, horror, superhero movies, I cover it all. I'm no critic. I'm just a guy who loves movies. Each episode explores a different movie. Topic plus spoiler free reviews on the latest new movies in theaters and on streaming. And yes, they're always spoiler free so you don't have to worry about anything getting ruined for you. Plus interviews with actors, directors, and writers covering the behind the scenes of your favorite movies. I also keep you in the know with all the latest movie news and movie trailers. Listen to new episodes of movie Mikes Movie podcast Every Monday on the Nashville podcast network, available on the iHeartRadio App Apple Podcast, or wherever you listen to podcasts. And we're back. So the general unseemliness of the King's Young bride and the disinheritance of his daughters meant the public sort of deserted Leopold. Once the Human Rights Campaign against his atrocities really took off. In 1908, King Leopold was forced to bequeath his control of the Congo to the Belgian government. In exchange, they paid for the colonies 110 million francs worth of debt, most of which had been accrued because Leopold used the Free State as a bank to buy gifts for his mistresses before he hands over. Control of the colony he'd ruled with an iron fist for more than 20 years. Leopold has all of the Congo state records burned. I will give them my Congo, he said. But they have no right to know what I did there. He **** such a ***** ** ****. So I thing that I say all the time or think about, it's like, yes, of course there have been massive conspiracies in history and I'm sure today. But like oftentimes like there isn't like the basic human competency to pull off some of the more farfetched, you know, like a pizza gate style thing. You're like, how could everyone cover this up? And then it's like just hearing a story of 19th century to 20th century, like attention to detail. He's he's a genius. Like, he he really is like a genius in the sense that like, if you saw a character execute a plan like this in a movie, you would be like, that's a little far fetched him get away with it. But he did, and he's he is an evil genius. Yeah. And I guess, you know what? And it's I guess it was from a time when little people were less empowered to speak up because that's a real thing. It's like it would be hard to pull off a pizza gate because it's not like the top. Conspirators would go to jail, but it's like there's going to be a janitor who's like, what the **** is this? What the ****** going on? Yeah. Kids in this basement. Yeah. And that's like less likely to happen. That was more controllable back in the day, clearly, yeah. And even when that it started coming out, there's a lot less of a media landscape. You only get the news from your newspapers, you know, read every newspaper. Most people don't read much of 1 newspaper. So if you're a guy like Leopold, you've got the money to. Make the press do what you want to a bigger and if I if I understand my history correctly, which I probably don't, that was a time when the public had a more of an expectation that media was biased. It was just that, right? Well, yeah, this is like a lot of this is right around the time when America gets involved in a war with Spain that's essentially pushed by two different newspaper magnets wanting to sell more papers. So, like, yeah, the press, I mean, doesn't have a great reputation now, but even still didn't have a great reputation then. So yeah, it's like a perfect storm, but it also is it was a legitimately brilliant scheme and he he did his best to cover his tracks and he died in December of 1909 at the age of 84. Super rich. And did he make that billion? Well, we'll get to that in a minute. The biography published the next year said that quote. Were it not for his private life, his domestic affairs and his avarice, he would have retained his popularity to the very last. Belgium as a nation, with the exception of the Socialists, would have forgiven him the Congo atrocities. Indeed, she has forgiven him four. After all, she is destined to benefit by them, and she will not grudge her king the Royal Commission he pocketed on the enterprise. And this is where, again, I want to point out that in sum total there there's no 100%. Agreed upon death toll for Leopold's regime in the Congo, but the likely numbers are between 10 and 13 million, possibly as high as 15 million people, right? Right. And the Congo was definitely the bloodiest of any of the colonies in Africa by a substantial margin. But they all killed a lot of people, and a lot of them killed a lot of people making rubber. And one of the things that was found out after Leopold's death is that in the bloody French and German colonies that were producing rubber. Leopold owned a majority of several of the large rubber making corporations and those colonies too, right? So he was also the first like, Pan multinational, right? The corporations can be the conduits for the scumbags, because the corporations are the scumbags, of course. But Jesus Christ. Yeah, so he's he's he's a real monster. The late King achieved his ambition of disinheriting his daughters. He left them only 15 million francs, the exact amount he'd inherited from his father. His entire fortune went to Baroness. Vaughn, the prostitute cortisone that he fell in love with and married after his death. She immediately married Duro, her pimp, and spent the rest of her life living lavishly off the gold made by the blood of Congolese labor, which she doesn't come out as good as. I don't know, I kind of like that his inheritance got stolen by a scheming prostitute and her pimp friend. Yeah, that's better than not. I guess if she'd murdered him, it would have been better if she'd strangled him with his own beard. Jobba like. Yeah, or poison to. Maybe she did poison him. Maybe she did poison him. I can't hope so. I certainly don't know. Oh, what a grim *** tail. Yeah, yeah. His biography, the 1910 biography, summed up Leopold's life this way. Leopold the second new Belgium's new Europe and new humanity. And like a strong man, he had a deep contempt for everything and everybody. He loved his country and his own interests for all. Love is, after all, selfish. Jesus, the Victorian age is a bleak ask. There's also, you know, Speaking of, although it's not exactly the same players, but it's the same types of institutions every one of y'all who, whenever this comes out, you all have just enjoyed the royal wedding. Yeah, that **** is built off the back of ****. Like, exactly like this. Well, less artful than this. A lot. Not even just good. Because this is, if you can like the it's it's up there with the Holocaust in terms of like the greatest crimes in human history. But as a scheme. His plan is it's like almost artwork. Yeah. It's like watching the the Joker and the the good Chris Nolan Batman. Yeah, pull out, like, but also that one too, where you're like, it has similar moments of like, I feel like some of these lies are just to do the lie. Yeah. It's not even about achieving the need to do this. Yeah, yeah, yeah. There's a lot of like, the **** you do that for? Well. Easy. And so one of the more, I mean, there's so many ****** ** things about this. I really recommend reading King Leopold's ghost by Adam Hauschild. It's a great book and it really delves into the human misery caused by this regime. But, you know, you're you're talking 10 to 15 million people killed, millions more left without hands left maimed, starved, like whose villages were destroyed. The Congo today is still probably the least stable state in Africa, or at least one of them, because all social order was destroyed. Swats the pot like that. It continues to this day. Leopold's profits? Yeah, roughly a billion dollars in modern currency. That's bonkers. That's. I feel like that's ******* nothing for what he did. Oh, in terms of right, yeah. Not billion dollars in 1909 money. Dollars in today's money is what he got for killing 10 to 15 million people and destroying Central Africa. That's Jesus. Yeah. Like, he's not even extracting enough wealth. Like, you could do that just by closing up book shops. Yeah. And I think a lot of that is because he had to spend so much money on an army, on policing the the fighting, because there were a bunch of rebellions, people who fought back. He had to, he had to suppress those rebellions, and he had to pay all these journalists. And yeah, like, yeah, there you go, ******* capitalist. Even profitable should be the worst person in his. Although I guess that was the 2nd lesson that everyone turned. Oh, the real profits and PR and making people think they want to do this. Now, I want to ask you a question that occurred to me when I finished researching this, and I I wonder about this like, is Leopold a worse person than Hitler? Because I can't not think about that line in the Big Lebowski where what's his name? Walters. Like say what you will about National socialism, at least it's an ethos. Hitler committed crimes on a on a similar, if not much greater scale. You include all of the war dead. But he had like an ideology behind it as opposed to Leopold, who this was never anything but money. There was no hatred. There was no goal. There was no view of the world. It was purely, if I can make money and killing these people is the fastest way to get it. Yeah, I don't care what happens to them because I want money. And it was also like separate, I mean, obviously. I guess it's just different things. They are very different things. Although like when you look at the the Holocaust, and this is something that's often glossed over when people talk about the Holocaust, is how much of it was a money making endeavor from the German state because they were literally mining people to death, both in terms of like taking their hair, taking the gold fillings out of them, taking their businesses beforehand, taking their property. So I mean, you have with most of like and with really with every great genocide because like if you look at the Rwandan genocide, there was a lot of financial motivation there, people wanting each other's farms and what. Yeah, I, I, I have to imagine, like, those are the things that allow, I mean, like all look, but like all conflict, too. It's like, like especially anything sectarian or religion like the Crusades. You know, you can make an economic case for the Crusades or or or colonialism writ large, like all that is sort of possible. I think the thing with Leopold's evil is as as we've discussed already, it's like, though not in the same degree, anyone listening to this on a podcast? And on. Like, yeah, exactly. Is complicit in something along Leopold's vector, whereas it's fewer of us listening to this podcast are complicit in some type of thing that Hitler is involved in. So I think it behooves us to say Hitler is more evil because we don't want to be part, you know, like the banality, I mean, look, not banality, but the, you know, the. It's in the direction of banality. I think you're on to something that's great there, and I think that's why the idea of the banality of evil is so important is because Hitler is. It's so easy to see the evil and Hitler because he was, he was showy with like he's the most showy villain in all of history. Leopold was a weird old man who had a stupid beard and sat in his office and never shot anybody and rode a tricycle to his mistress and was just this weird old dude who was happy to orchestrate one of like the great crimes and. Human history. Just for some cash in his pocket. And that's scarier. And you could imagine, like, he doesn't come up with the hands for bullet scheme. No, he's just, he doesn't need to. We can't let them have bullets. We have to make sure that, like, we're accounting for all the bullets, that they're not saving them up for rebellion. What can we do? Oh well, we just make sure they prove to us they're using the bullets for good reason when they fire them. How about we have them bring in a hand? Great. And that's probably the end of the proof. And then the first person brings a million people lose hands like that. Crime on an unspeakable scale happens. And he's just like, sitting at home being like, boy, I wonder why productions down this week. But he can also be like, I'm not the one that came up with the hands thing. It's a shame. He could even be like, all the hand things are real shame. Yeah, that's a real shame. One of my new guys, you know, these, you know, the Walloons. Yeah. You put them in charge or something and they mess it up. I hate that we have to do this. But of course, we do need that rubber. That's that's the thing that you know. And look, that's a version of this everyone of us tells ourselves every ******* day, so. That's why I think most people would say Hitler is a worse, more evil person, because we don't want to be complicit in our own evil. Hey everybody, this is Robert Evans from the future. I I realized that this podcast was a teeny bit incomplete. There were some more information I wanted to give out so I I gained access to a time machine and went back in time to to record it. It was it was either fix the podcast or stop 911. Hopefully I made the right decision, but I wanted to say a little bit more. About the chicote, which we talked about a little bit in this podcast, that's the hippo height whip that was the primary disciplinary tool in the Congo Free State. The book King Leopold's Ghost makes a big deal out of the Jacotte. And it's probably true that the Belgians under Leopold whipped more people to death than any other regime in history. But that book also points out that whipping people to death or nearly to death was basically the bedrock that colonialism was founded upon. It relates the story of a guy named Roger Casement, who we didn't get to talk to in this podcast. He's a very interesting dude. He's one of the men who investigated atrocities in the Congo. We also wound up investigating a lot of atrocities in the Amazon at a place called Putumayo where the Peruvian Amazon Rubber Company had been caught basically enslaving and murdering people to produce even more rubber. And this was for I think the British. It was mostly a British owned company, although was like a corporation with a lot of different sort of stockholders behind it. And the the Peruvian Amazon rubber company delta out punishments with a a whip of their own that was actually appear hide whip, but it was similar to the Chicote and its effect roughly 30,000. Indigenous people in the Amazon died mining rubber for that company whips. It turns out we're basically the glue that made colonialism possible. I found one book on slavery in the British W Indies, published in 1824, that admits that whips were, quote the mainspring of the agricultural system in that region of the empire. Whoops. We were also critical to the French colonies as far back as the 1700s, when a visitor to the French Antilles noticed that the use of whips was, quote, always excessive and barbarous, with the potential of maiming the victim by assaulting his private parts or even killing him. If not instantly, as has already been the case in due course, as is often the case. So whipping and slavery go hand in hand. Obviously I don't think most people are surprised by that, but I think a lot of people would be surprised to know that Europeans didn't stop whipping subject people once slavery was over. The Congo and the Amazon are proof of that, but the atomic bomb is actually even more proof. After Leopold died, the Belgians continued to control the Congo region and they moved on from rubber farming to mining. In the first six months of 1920, a single gold mine is recorded. Is issuing over 26,000 lashes to his workers, more than 8 lashes for every single African quote employed there. I say you know, employed in quotation marks because the Belgians kept right on using forced labor, as did the British and Kenya up and into the modern era. By World War Two, Belgium required 120 days per year of Labor for each adult male inhabitant of the Congo region. And it turns out that 80% of the uranium mine to make the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki came from Congolese mines. Used forced labor, which means we can thank the chicote for the first atom bombs. The British are also famous for flogging their colonial subjects well into the middle of the 20th century. By the 1920s, Kenya was the colony where the British used the most corporal punishment, or as they called it, rough justice. Flogging was seen to be necessary in order to deal with the quote raw Native Africans, who were perhaps so raw because the British regularly whipped them bloody. There were attempts in the 1930s to alter British penal laws in the colony to be less brutal, but they didn't. Quickly stop the problem of white colonists treating black natives like ****. Brutality in the Kenyan colony eventually led to the Maumau uprising, which started in 1952 when a bunch of rebels calling themselves the Maumau killed 32 white people. This made England go batshit crazy. The English forces rounded up 150,000 Kenyans and threw them into concentration camps where they were starved and beaten regularly, one survivor recalled. We were forced to do work carrying bricks to build a school. We were beaten if we moved too slowly. It was very hard work. They would just flog everyone at times four or five. Guards with whips would come into the cell, so at least 12,000 people were killed during the Maumau uprising. Although it's hard to say how many of them died from being whipped, the brutalizing effect of whipping people certainly had an impact on the British men who did it. A Kenyan judge who investigated whipping, torture and murder at one British interrogation center compared it to a Nazi labor camp and said quote from the brutalizing of flogging it is only a step to taking a life without qualm. So I just thought this is a good information to know people talk about colonialism a lot and it gets, you know, a lot of well. Deserved harsh criticism these days, but I think that the people who rightly view it as a as a horrible historical crime also tend to kind of push it further back in history and sort of assume that most of the worst stuff was done. And, you know, the 17 and 1800s. The reality is that colonialism was still exporting wealth from African nations, you know, into Europe well into the 20th century, and that the European nations were using brutal and in a lot of ways medieval justice. Measures in order to keep the colonies compliant. So there's your happy little reminder that not only was colonialism a nightmare, but it is a nightmare that happened recently enough that a lot of people are still alive to remember it today. So just keep that in mind, I guess. And now I'm going to use my magical time powers to go back to, you know, when Andrew and I were sitting in the room. Yeah, and we don't want to. We also don't want to acknowledge like when you go to Belgium, which I've I love Belgium in there a couple of times, and beautiful country, best beer I've ever had in the world. Gorgeous giant buildings, many in like the the cities and stuff like ain't really old. Beautiful museums and stuff, many of which are built on Congo money. And so you don't in in like we're shooting on Belgium here, but that's like all of Europe you go to, you go to, you go to America, South America, N yeah like that's everything was built on the backs of that ****. So and. You know, there's there were good people at all times being like, oh, it sucks. This is really messed up. But that's the same every you pick up an iPhone, you're like, oh, sucks that someone had to suffer for this. I do need it, though. Well, and there are. And this is, again, the thing that Leopold's ghost is a good job of going into. There are the heroes in this story. There's the guy, like, Colonel Washington who goes there. And right. There's guys like Morell who were who, like, who don't even see it first hand, but put it together. Yeah. Like, this can't stand. I have to do something. And I hope that, like, like, that's the we got to. Focus on Leopold in this both because his story is the blueprint of every terrible person who came after him. He really is the first modern. Yeah. Monster world, like, head of State, the first one to use PR in a really modern way. But it's important. It's just as important to think about the guys like Morell who are probably more relevant to our own lives because they pointed like, well, you can do something. Yeah. And you don't have to just say this. It's a shame. Yeah. Exactly. And it might take 15 years. Yeah, you can. Yeah. Like these guys. Will still win to some extent, but you can lower the margins by which they win. You can cut into their profits. Well, right. It's a it's just a battle. All you can do is make it less profitable. Wow. This revolution great. That is our podcast for the week. Andrew, you wanna plug your plug cables? Ohh yeah, well, just just please listen to yo. Is this racist? I used to think it was the most depressing podcast on the Internet, but not anymore. And I'm Robert Evans. You can find me on Twitter at at I write. OK. You can find this podcast on the Internet at You can find us on social media at at ******** pod. I've got a book you can find on Amazon. A brief history of vice. So yeah, check my stuff out. Check us out. We will be back every single Tuesday. From now until the heat death of the universe with a new *******. So check. That is next year though, right? Yes. Can't wait. Yep. OK. Piece of the planet I go by the name of Charlemagne the God, and this summer I'm bringing my show back to Comedy Central with a new title and a new podcast. It's called hell of a week. But don't worry, every Friday I'll be keeping that same, calling out the ******** energy, and I'll have some of the biggest names in comedy, politics, and entertainment with me. So if the news is terrorizing your timeline and causing your anxiety to rise high in gas prices, don't worry. We got you. Listen to hell of a week. Charlamagne the God on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey, I'm dua Lipa and I'm thrilled to be back for the second season of my podcast Dua Lipa at your service. Alongside me and my guests lists and recommendations, the show features conversations with some of my biggest inspirations working across entertainment, politics, activism and much, much more. So please tune in and join me on this very special adventure. Listen to Dua Lipa at your service starting Friday 23rd of September on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Hi, I'm Molly Jong Fast, and this is fast politics. You may know me from my old podcast, the new abnormal, or my articles in vogue, the New York Times, the Washington Post, or my newsletter at The Atlantic. I do my best to poke holes in political arguments with No Fear of critiquing any side of the political spectrum. Listen to fast politics with Molly Jong Fast on September 26th on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.