Philosophy Slays and Saves… Transcript

21 February 2024 Wednesday Night Live!

"What made you change your mind about the woman you almost married?"

Transcript

Australia Adventures

[0:00] Thump, good evening. Good evening. Steph, good morning from Perth.
Perth. Is it true in Australia you have to check under the handles of your car for giant death trap spiders that will inject their babies into your forearm? I think that is true.
Although the trope that everything in Australia is trying to kill you is actually quite true.
When I was in Australia, there were a lot of protesters who seemed to want to unalive me on a fairly regular basis. But that's just the joy of telling the truth and being honest.
We'll get you. We'll get you for those straight up.
There are no false witness facts. So, yeah, it is kind of true though, right? Even the kangaroos are pretty rough at times.
So, let me ask you this. Let me ask you this as a topic.
Nobody's tattooing topics on my head as yet. Although type away if you've got something you want to talk about.
But let me ask you this. Have you ever been the victim of a scan?
I will start it off, a scam, sorry, it's a scan.
Scam with an M. Have you ever been the victim of a scam? I have.
I have, and I will tell you about it if you're interested.
But I'm just curious if you have ever been the victim of a scam.
Could be online, could be in person.
Someone who defrauded you out of some cash-a-splash-a-ola.

[1:29] Yes. Yes. Oh, yeah. No. Yes.
Few times. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's not easy.
It's not easy. It's a little of a broadsword prick to the old ego vanity, right? Right.
Had to cancel my bank card twice from frauds. I don't know what you mean by frauds. You mean somebody else just manages to get a hold of your account number.
That's not, no, I don't mean credit card fraud. I mean a scam, a scam where somebody defrauds you out of money directly.

Scam Stories

[2:07] Like they say, give me money for X, Y, and Z, uh, or whatever it is.
Right. So not fraud, not fraud.
That's a little different. Are you thinking of the rugs again? Yeah, that's right.
I'm actually finding it cold in this February temperature, so I'm thinking of the rugs again.
No, the rugs weren't a scam. No, the rugs weren't a scam, because I got the rugs, and I paid the price I was told.
That was more a bit of weakness of character. But a scam like Bertie Madoff?
Somewhat, yeah, somewhat. Somewhat.

[2:43] I mean, there was a guy I was talking to not too long ago. I don't think the call-in show has ever been published.
Where a couple of guys, he was working the night shift at a gas station.
A convenience store. He was working the night shift at a convenience store.
And some guys came in and said that they wanted to give him a free PS4.
But he had to do X, Y, and Z. He was getting all excited about that.
They cleaned out the store. It was, yeah, it was kind of rough. It was kind of rough.

[3:13] So, no, I don't just mean has anyone, like, spoofed your credit card or something like that, but...
We're downloading a computer game and getting a virus a scam?
No, because it doesn't cost you money.
One exchange I had bitcoins on went under. That one hit me the most.
So, I think that's more fraud than a scam.
Scam is where you look back and you kick yourself, in a way, right?
Scam is you know send me your bank account and blah blah blah Steph what do you think was the success rate of the rug scam guy well high enough to keep doing it right that's basically, crypto scam by an impersonator of a friend yeah okay so yeah when it was oh sorry I'm just this is the second part here.

[4:14] I paid into something. The result was them making it impossible to cancel.
When it was some cheap photography online college courses that looked like it took five minutes to throw together. Yeah.

[4:27] Oh, nevermind. Haven't been scammed, right? Someone sold me a floor tile instead of an iPad. Ooh, $100 lesson. Yeah.
I think that's more fraud.
I think that's more fraud.
Scammers is, um, a lot of scammers on Telegram. Yeah, that's true.
Like the Tinder swindler scam. Yeah. Something where there's some communication with you. You kind of fall for it.
In hindsight, you shouldn't have. have i'm just curious if i i have not lost money to a scam but when i was in high school a friend of mine sent me letter a letter on official this was actually i verified this it was official royalty letterhead and letters like you actually had hrh and the whole crest half visible if you held up the paper to the light inviting me to some summer pageant because i'm actually i mean for For those of you who don't know, I have aristocracy in my lineage.
I actually should be technically referred to as Esquire, Stefan Molyneux, Esquire.
And yet I waive the requirement for you guys.
Freedomain.com slash donate, but not Esquire, not Esquire.

[5:46] So I get an invitation to a scam. Okay, let me ask you this.
How often do you get an invitation to a scam?
Anyway so a friend of mine invited me to the it looked on it came from england it was on official royalty paper uh and it was invited me to a summer pageant all expenses paid i got quite i did ask him if he'd sent this to me because he was known to be a bit of a a scammer and um anyway i didn't he said no i did get excited about it and that it ended up being you know he eventually told me he actually had an uncle who worked uh at the printing place where they produced the queen's letterheads.
So, I mean, it was a very good, it was a very good scam.
It was a very good scam. It didn't cost me any money, but it was definitely a bit of a up and down rollercoaster.
Had a text message come in from a scammer saying my package couldn't be delivered the same day.
I was expecting a delivery shipped on ice in the middle of the summer.
I paid a re-delivery fee, then immediately realized it was a scam and called my bank card to cancel the card.
Super embarrassing. Yeah, it happens, right? It happens.
Uh oh you invested in a kickstarter that reached a target and never got the product yeah could be a scam i guess uh somebody says i had a friend back in the day who walked right into a scam i couldn't convince him he learned the hard way i fell for a fake trading platform scam from cyprus island oof oof.

[7:12] Um, the other was website that tracked if my name was negatively reviewed out on the internet. Felt the sting to that one, even if it only cost $50. Yeah.
Is buying a noble title on Sealand a scam? No, I don't think so.
I mean, if you get what you asked for, it's not a scam.
Yeah, I get these scams all the time. Just because my internet name and contact information is kind of out there.
So, you know, people will be like, hey man, my credit card is getting...
My credit card is getting charged to your business and it's, you know, I'm going to complain and write. And I'm like, okay, well, send me the details.
And then somebody was going to send me the details about it.
Because, you know, I mean, if somebody's charged by mistake, obviously I want to refund them the money and I don't want anyone's money who doesn't want to donate, freedomain.com slash donate.
If you do want to donate, very gratefully accepted, but I don't want anyone's money who doesn't want to donate, of course, right?
And so I'm like, yeah, send me the details and I'll look into it and get you a refund if I can.
In and then he just sent me um it was like a zip file and then exe and i'm like okay so no no right or then other people are like you're using my copyrighted material on your website and i'm gonna get mad and blah blah blah and it's like but there's never any links to anything actually on your website so you get these kinds of things all the time man all the time.

[8:38] Had someone scam money out of a fraudulent business deal oof yeah that's rough, uh steph i'm getting into peaceful parenting and i'm enjoying the first few chapters my wife and i fully on board with the philosophy can i ask a question here would an email be more appropriate i'm happy if you ask it here live stream is a good place to do that, yeah live stream is a good place to do that so would you guys like to hear hit me with a why if you'd like to hear about a truly jaw-dropping scam, I genuinely couldn't believe.
A truly, truly jaw-dropping scam, I genuinely couldn't believe.
Just out of curiosity.

[9:22] I get a lot of urgent emails in Mandarin.
Have you heard about this? This one is truly mind-blowing.
This is my... Now, this is a... It's a long story, so get comfy.
But I will ask you questions.
You can ask me questions sort of as we go along.
And all that kind of good stuff. uh crypto somebody says crypto scams are easy to avoid if you send crypto to an address that's not yours it's gone period so this is from a website called the cut and this is by a woman named charlotte cowles the cuts financial advice columnist the cuts so she is a columnist that It teaches people about how to manage finances well or intelligently or something like that, right?

[10:25] So, oh, someone lost 500,000 to Bitcoin by putting a seed phrase in an Exodus wallet app downloaded from the Ubuntu store.
There is no official Exodus wallet on the Ubuntu store.
Yeah, that's not pleasant.
All right, so you can, of course, ask questions as we go along, but this is quite a story.
And you can go to, I'll put the link here if you want to follow along.
And The Cut is the name of thecut.com.
On a Tuesday evening this past October, I put $50,000 in cash in a shoebox, taped it shut as instructed, and carried it to the sidewalk in front of my apartment, my phone clasped to my ear. here.
Don't let anyone hurt me, I told the man on the line, feeling pathetic.
You won't be hurt. You have to just keep doing exactly what I say.

[11:20] Three minutes later, a white Mercedes SUV pulled up to the curb.
The back window will open, said the man on the phone. Do not look at the driver or talk to him.
Put the box through the window, say thank you, and go back inside. side.
The man on the phone knew my home address, my social security number, the names of my family members, and that my three-year-old son was playing in our living room.
He told me my home was being watched, my laptop had been hacked, and we were in imminent danger.
I can help you, but only if you cooperate, he said. His first orders, I could not tell anyone about our conversation, not even my spouse, or talk to the police, or a lawyer.
Now I know that this was all a scam, a cruel and violating one, but painfully obvious in retrospect.
Here's what I can't figure out. Why didn't I just hang up and call 911?
Why didn't I text my husband, or my brother, a lawyer, or my best friend, also a lawyer, or my parents, or one of the many other people who would have helped me.
Why did I hand over all that money, the contents of my savings account, strictly for emergencies, without a bigger fight?

[12:31] When I've told people this story, most of them say the same thing.
You don't seem like the type of person this would happen to.
What they meant is that I'm not senile or hysterical or a rube, but these stereotypes are actually false.
Younger adults, Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X are 34% more likely to report losing money to fraud compared with those over 60, according to a recent report from the Federal Trade Commission.
Ha ha ha. Now why is that an annoying statistic? statistic.
Younger adults are 34% more likely to lose money to a fraud compared to those over 60.
Why is that an annoying statistic to be just put up there up front, right?

[13:17] Obviously, because those over 60 have been exposed to frauds, have heard stories about frauds, and you learn these things over time right you learn these things over time, so yeah as you get older i assume you're less likely to fall prey to a fraud because you have more experience you're more skeptical you've heard it happening to others you've read more maybe you've been defrauded a small a small amount of fraud is like an inoculation against a larger amount of of fraud.
So yeah, reasoning skills are going down the tube. Yeah, I think so.
People in their 60s can't use a PC.
Well, this one didn't use a PC, I don't think. A further study found that well-educated people or those with good jobs were just as vulnerable to scams as everyone else.
Yeah, you know, like the emails you get, it's like, I have bad news for you.
I have hacked your phone and I've been watching everything you do online for the past three months, six months.

[14:21] And I'm going to tell everyone if you don't send me.
Anyway, so she complains that scam victims tend to be, or she identifies scam victims tend to be single, lonely, and economically insecure with low financial literacy.
I'm none of these things. I'm closer to the opposite. I'm a journalist who had a weekly column in the business section of the New York Times.
I've written a personal finance column for this magazine for the past seven years. I interview money experts all the time and take their advice seriously. I'm married.
I talk to my friends, family, colleagues every day.
Well.

[15:02] So, let's get to the scam.
I don't think, unless you're really fascinated, I won't do the whole thing, but let's get to the scam.
That morning, it was October the 31st, I dressed my toddler in a pizza costume for Halloween and kissed him goodbye before school.
I wrote some work emails. At about 12.30, my phone buzzed.

[15:32] The caller ID said it was Amazon. I answered.
A polite woman with a vague accent told me she was calling from Amazon customer service to check some unusual activity on my account.
The call was being recorded for quality assurance.
Had I recently spent $8,000 on MacBooks and iPads?
I had not. I checked my Amazon account. account. My order history showed diapers and groceries, no iPads.
The woman who said her name was Krista told me the purchases had been made under my business account.
I don't have a business account. I said, hmm. She said, our system shows that you have two, two.
Okay. Now, if you get a a call, I'm no telephone expert, but if you get a call, can't people just say, here's how I want the phone call to display Amazon.
Like they just can't, they just, it's not like there's some law that it has to be perfectly accurate, right?

[16:42] So, you know, my, my advice is you hang up, you say, give me a direct line, give me a direct line.
Like never seen, you never assume if you don't know the person, you never assume that anyone's honest on the phone. Is that just me?
I mean, I don't mean to sound paranoid or anything like that, but if I get calls saying you're in trouble or, you know, used to get these calls where it'd be like, we are from revenue Canada.
And like terrible things are going to happen if you don't call this number back right away or something like that. I'm like, no, if it's important, they'll send a letter, right?
So the first you say, give me your direct, give me your extension.
And you call, you hang up immediately.
And you call the real Amazon and you ask for that extension.
Again, am I wrong about this?
Trust no one is a Soviet saying, no, I trust people. I mean, it's not like, it's not like, uh, my wife calls and I'm like, I'm afraid you're going to need to lift up your top.
Well, actually I do say that, but that's a different, that's a different situation.
But yeah, if anyone calls and it's like some dangerous thing, right?
It's like, don't you, you know, I mean, honestly, if the police showed up at my door, I would call the police and say, I assume these people are at my door are legit.
Like, isn't that? Yeah, I mean, I would trust some anonymous stranger on the internet.

[18:12] So, if you are concerned, you hang up and you call up, right?
Someone called my grandma and said, I was in prison in Florida.
Oh, sorry, actually, that was me. Just kidding. She called me to verify. No prison. Yeah.
Yeah, I mean, you would just call up. You would hang up. Like, oh, I'm from the bank and this and that. You would just hang up and call back the bank, right?
Because you've got to be initiating the conversation.
Is it just me? I mean, just hit me with a why if you would have that approach.
Like, why would you just, oh, someone says I have a bunch of business accounts, right?
Steph, do you ever hear about people training a relative's voice using AI and calling the relative asking for money? I absolutely have heard of these kinds of things.

[19:01] I don't know. Do women fall for scams more than men?
I don't know. Men seem to believe in central banking. I don't know.
Maybe women do too, I guess, right? Yes, absolutely.
It can sound, but you have to verify. I assume no one's telling me the truth unless I know them personally, right?
Even that guy in the mirror can be a little shifty from time to time.
Sometimes he thinks he's younger than he is. He goes treetop trekking and hurts his back.
I rarely talk money with anyone, let alone some stranger. Yeah.
Anyway, so I will continue with this. True.
Tale of woe. This is wild. This true tale of woe.
Sorry, I should actually have kept a hold of this.
Oh, I have a tab at Norm Macdonald's jokes.
Like all the people who accidentally share their tentacle anime folders on livestreams.
Be wild. Alright, here we go. Here we go.

[20:11] Uh, let's see here.
My friend's Facebook account got taken over by a scammer. What do you do then?
I don't know. Call Facebook up. How am I supposed to know? How am I supposed to know what you do with that?

[20:29] Um, I've listened to some scam calls like this and the women cry instead of hanging up.
Well, I do have a theory that sometimes people quote fall for scams because their Their life is kind of boring and they're secretly hungering for some drama, right?
They're secretly hungering for some drama.
And then, oh, you know, like there's, I think that there's a certain just, I'm not talking about this woman, but I do think that some people just fall for the scams because, you know, they're just excited for the drama in a way, right?
Could be wrong. Could be wrong. but, alright, so remember she said, the woman from quote Amazon said you have two business accounts, Christopher and I concurred that I was the victim of identity theft, and she said she would flag the fraudulent accounts and freeze their activity, she provided me with a case ID number and for future reference and recommended that I check my credit cards, I did, everything looked normal, I thanked her for her help, then Then, Krista explained that Amazon had been having a lot of problems with identity theft and false accounts lately.
It had become so pervasive that the company was working with a liaison at the Federal Trade Commission and was referring defrauded customers to him.
Could she connect me?

[21:58] Now, now, here is, here's where things are just, just get completely bizarre to me.
Here's where things get so if somebody says we're working with the liaison of the federal trade commission oh i mean how many times are you calling for help you call to some company for help i it's at least 50 for me and i don't want to get off on a rant here but it's at least 50 to me you call a company and they say and literally i'm cynical about this now and i'll be openly cynical about this they'll say oh they'll take down all of your information, and then they'll say, oh, it turns out I'm not the right department to help you.

[22:39] And they'll say, can I transfer you to the right department?
And I'm like, hey, you can try. I'm pretty much sure I'm not going to end up at the right department.
But hey, if you want to send me on a journey, send me on a journey.
Because even within a legit organization, if I'm talking to someone and trying to get some help, and I basically have given up on this, if I can't find help on a search engine, I just don't bother. Calling a company to me is completely useless.
Because they'll just transfer you to some place and some other new person will take down all your information for another 20 minutes. And then what happens?
Oh, I'm so sorry. We can't help you. Oh, I think the person who can help you is on lunch. Would you like to leave them a voicemail? I'm like, sure.
Yeah, I'll leave them a voicemail. I don't even remotely expect that anyone's ever going to call me back.
And this isn't even if I have a demanding customer, even if I want to give someone money, I just assume nobody's ever going to call me back. I don't know what people do.
Like why they, why do they even bother having voicemail? I assume that the voicemail is, recorded by an ancient Aztec warrior who they then shoot into space yeah calling a company is complete hell, all I do is hit zero and I just want to talk to someone and I was fine with voicemail before because at least at the end of the fucking breadcrumb journey of voicemail you could talk to someone useful but now you just talk to someone they transfer you I've literally been transferred three times.

[23:57] And of course you never want to to get angry at the third person because it's not their fault and nobody's ever to blame it's nobody's any any never anybody's fault there's nobody you can get mad at who's actually made these decisions and then when companies are like well we and when they end up cutting their workforce it's like yeah i can totally see that yeah i could totally understand i don't know what anyone does there other than transfer people to a total dead end i'm literally waiting to be end up talking to the air conditioner or the janitor's mop or something like that it's just bizarre are. Anyway.
So, some place that has no correct information about her.

[24:40] You think they've made it a maze of phones to discourage callers?

Call Center Frustrations

[24:43] I don't know. I don't think it's that.
I think it's just people who aren't that smart are in charge of these systems.
I think they're genuinely in their own idiotic way of trying to help.
They're just not smart enough to make it effective.

[24:58] Oh, yeah, the on hold stuff, too. We're experiencing a higher than normal call volume every time?
Every time. That might be a hint for something.
Right? all right so uh could she could so this woman from a place called quote amazon says to the writer of this article hey uh i'll connect you to the ftc federal trade commission uh sure.

[25:30] Oh thank you for the tip thank you for the tip so krista transferred the call to a man who who identified himself as Calvin Mitchell.
He said that he was an investigator with the FTC, gave me his badge number.
Yes, because you have a way of verifying that badge number. Good, your badge number is the first 19 digits of pi.
Fantastic, I feel absolutely reassured. I mean, you can't get that any other way.
And had me write down his direct phone line in case I needed to contact him again.
He also told me our call was being recorded. He asked me to verify the spelling of my name.
Then he read me the last four digits of my social security number, my home address, and my date of birth to confirm that they were correct.
The fact that he had my social security number threw me. I was getting nervous.
Okay, now what's not true about that?
What's not true about that? In this sentence, then he read me the last four digits of my social security number, blah, blah, blah.
The fact that he had my social security number threw me. I was getting nervous.
What's not true about that?

[26:42] Well, he doesn't have our social security number. He only has the last four digits of it.
Now, I don't know if you guys know this or not, but from what I've read, and confirm or deny this if you have more information, but from what I've read, yeah, he only had the last four digits. That's right, Mike.
So isn't a bunch of your information just for sale in a bundle on the dark web or something?
Like, isn't that just, am I wrong about this? Isn't that just kind of a thing that's out there for people?
Because so many places have been hacked. I mean, there was a time where it was like every third email I got was, hey, you know, that information we told you was secure.
Funny story. It's not. And you're fucked. Right.
So, yeah, I assume that there's just a bunch of stuff that's out there.
So anybody who says I've got this information or that information, because it's interesting.
At first, when I was reading this, I'm like, wow, this scam artist, they must have done a lot of research on her.
And I assume what they do is they just buy a bunch of people's information and just keep dialing until they get someone who says yes.

[27:48] Right, so this is very sophisticated. It's well set up. It's a good script, so to speak, right? So they get the first person.
They get the first person, this woman, quote Krista at quote Amazon, they get her to just see if she's gullible, right?
Our system shows that you have two.
Okay, so you call back Amazon and you find out, right? So anyway, so the guy Calvin at the quote FTC, he says, I'm glad we're speaking.
Your personal information is linked to a case that we've been working on for quite a while now, and it's quite serious.
Okay, this, I'm wrong. I don't understand this.
And look, I have to be skeptical because I'm a little gullible.
You know, basically, people who grew up without dads tend to be a little gullible because women tend to be very positive and enthusiastic about these kinds of things, whereas every second word a dad speaks is bullshit.
Bullshit. Picture it didn't happen, right? Men tend to be a little bit more skeptical.
So, anyway, Anyway, I don't mean to laugh because, you know, this was a bad situation.

[29:01] So, she's talking to this guy Calvin at the FTC, and this is what happens next.
He told me that 22 bank accounts, 9 vehicles, and 4 properties were registered to my name.
The bank accounts had wired more than $3 million overseas, mostly to Jamaica and Iraq.
Did I know anything about this? No, I said. Did I know someone named Stella Suk-Yi Kwong?
I don't think so, I said. He texted me a photo of her ID, which he claimed had been found in a car rented under my name that was abandoned on the southern border of Texas with blood and drugs in the trunk.
A home in New Mexico affiliated with the car rental had subsequently been raided, he added, and authorities found more drugs, cash, and bank statements registered to my name and social security number.
He texted me a drug bust photo of bags of pills and money stacked on a table.
He told me that there were warrants out for my arrest in Maryland and Texas and that I was being charged with cybercrimes, money laundering, and drug trafficking.

[30:08] Does that not strike you as just a tiny bit over the top?
Does it strike you that some massive criminal investigation is occurring with warrants out for your arrest in two different states, but you find out about it all from Amazon from a girl named Krista?

[30:31] Oh my gosh.

Terrifying Tales of Deception

[30:35] Isn't that so? So at this point, at this point, he's realtor in to the point where she's, I guess, accepting.
So now I guess, and they look, I'm no expert in scams.
So obviously they, they know more than I do about it. And I think what they're doing now is they're giving her full flight of flight, full fight or flight mechanism, right? Just visit your local police station.
Well, yeah, you just call the police, right? And say, do I have warrants? Right? No. Right?
So, yeah, I was just like, holy crap. Blood and drugs in the trunk of a car and a urine. And it's like, what?
Okay, so the woman writes, my head swam.
I googled my name along with warrants and money laundering, but nothing came up.
Were arrest warrants public? I wasn't sure.
Google led me to truthfinder.com, which asked me for my credit card information. Nope.
I'm in deep shit. I texted my husband. My identity was stolen, and it seems really bad.

[31:41] Calvin, the FTC guy, wanted to know if I knew anyone who might be the culprit, or if I had any connections to Iraq or Jamaica.
No, I said. This is the first I'm hearing about any of this, and it's a lot to take in. and he asked me if I had ever used public or unsecured Wi-Fi.
I don't know, maybe? I said, I used the airport Wi-Fi frequently.
Ah, he said, that's unfortunate. It's how many of these breaches start.
I was embarrassed like I'd left my fly unzipped. How could I have been so thoughtless?
But also, didn't everyone use the airport Wi-Fi?
Oh my gosh.
Oh my gosh, isn't this wild?
You know, I mean, obviously I'm a VPN guy anytime I'm out and about, but I don't know if, I'm sorry, like if you log into some unsecured wifi and the next thing you know, $3 million is on its way to Jamaica and Iraq.
I think that they They would shut all that stuff down, right?
Oh, my gosh.

[33:00] Calvin told me to listen carefully. The first thing you must do is not tell anyone what is going on.
Everyone around you is a suspect.
Oh, my gosh.
So, of course, now he's terrified her. Now he's working to build the moat, right? He's working to build the mode to separate her from those around her, so she doesn't get anyone else's perspective on this.
I almost laughed. I told them I was quite sure that my husband, who works for an affordable housing non-profit and makes meticulous spreadsheets for our child care expenses, was not a secret drug smuggler.
So it works for an affordable housing non-profit, so if it's any consolation, it's just government paychecks that are getting ripped off. All right.
I believe you, but even so, your communications are probably under surveillance, Calvin said. You cannot talk to him about this.
I quickly deleted the text messages I had sent my husband a few minutes earlier.
These are sophisticated criminals with a lot of money at stake, he continued. You should assume you are in danger and being watched.
You cannot take any chances.
Wow. Isn't that wild? out.

[34:20] Anyway, I'll skip a little bit here and all of that. Calvin wanted to know how much money I currently had in my bank account.

[34:33] I mean, what do you even say? Because that's exactly what the FTC would, how much money.
And of course, now he's trying to figure out how much money they can get for her, from her, right?
Yeah, the true crime documentaries, women are completely addicted to true crime documentaries.
They are wild. Like, what is the old meme?
Like I've had four caramel macchiatos and I've listened to three hours of a murder crime podcast free and I feel kind of nervous.
So somebody says, I was desperately poor one time and got one of those free $100 Amazon gift card scams.
I actually went through most of the way and gave a fake name.
Got to the point where they were asking for my credit card number and I realized I was desperate but not stupid.
While I didn't get scammed, that fake name went into a database and I get occasional scam calls looking for a fake name and I just tell the caller that fake name is dead. It ends those telemarketer calls real fast.
Yeah, scammers have access to, I assume, terabytes of data about people.
I assume that's why a bunch of people get hacked, right? A bunch of companies get hacked for that.

[35:51] So, she says, I have a little over $80,000 in my checking plus savings account.
His voice took on a more urgent tone. You must have worked very hard to save all that money. Do not share your bank account information with anyone.
I'm going to help you keep your money safe.
He said he would transfer me to his colleague at the CIA, CIA, who was the lead investigator on my case and gave me a nine-digit case number for my records. I googled the number at nothing.
He said the CIA agent would tell me what to do next, and he wished me luck.
All this from one phone call that she's not verifying anything about.
Oh, my gosh.

[36:42] So, the next man who got on the line had a deeper voice and a slight British accent flecked with something I couldn't identify.
He told me his name was Michael Serrano and that he worked for the CIA on cases involving the FTC.
He gave me his badge number.
I'm going to need more than that, I said. I have no reason to believe any of what you're saying is real.
I completely understand. stand, he said calmly. He told me to go to the FTC homepage and look up the main phone number.
Now hang up the phone and I will call you from that number right now.
So why wouldn't you just say, give me your number, give me your extension.
I'll call the FTC switchboard and yeah, every FTC clerk has a CIA on speed dot.
Yeah. You could just transfer it between all government agencies and oh my gosh.

[37:36] I did as he said. The FTC number flashed on my screen and I picked up.
How do I know you're not just spoofing this? I asked. It's a government number, he said, almost indignant. It cannot be spoofed.
I wasn't sure if this was true and tried Googling it, but Michael was already on to his next point.
He told me the call was being recorded, so I put him on speaker and began recording on my end too. He wanted to know if I had told anyone what was going on.
I admitted that I had texted my husband. You must reassure him that everything is fine, Michael said.
In many cases like this we have to investigate the spouse as well and the less he knows the less he is implicated from now on you have to follow protocol if you want us to help you, I don't think I should lie to my husband I said feeling stupid you're being investigated for major federal crimes he said by keeping your husband out of this you are protecting him he then repeated the point Calvin had made about my phone account computer being hacked and blah blah blah alright, so she reassures her husband that nothing is bad, right?

[38:42] And somebody says my friend got scammed my friend got dating scammed where they posed as a cam girl recording him touching himself and threatened to release the video to everyone he knew ouchies, ouchies, um michael snowed me with the same stories calvin had all that sort of stuff, then he asked more questions about my family members including my parents my brother my sister-in-law he knew their names and where they lived i told them they had nothing to do with this in fact i was now sure i wanted to consult a lawyer if you talk to an attorney i cannot help you anymore michael said sternly you will be considered non-cooperative your home will be raided and your assets will be seized you will be arrested it's your choice oh my god.

[39:36] Can I just come to your office and sort this out in person? I said it's getting late and I need to take my son out trick-or-treating soon.
My office is in Langley, he said. We don't have enough time. Oh my gosh.
So he gives us this protocol. It's another magic word, right?
He explained that the CIA would need to freeze all the assets in my name, including my actual bank accounts. In the eyes of the law, there was no difference between the real and the fraudulent ones, he said.
They would also deactivate my compromised social security number and get me a new one.
Then by monitoring any activity under my old social security number and accounts, they would catch the criminals who were using my identity and I would get my life back.
But until then, I would need to use only cash for my day-to-day expenses.
Oh my gosh.
It was far-fetched, ridiculous, but also not completely out of the realm of possibility.

Unraveling the Deception

[40:35] Okay, do I have any other options? I asked. Unfortunately, no.
You must follow my directions very carefully. We do not have much time.
So, I mean, I don't know if you watch too much Mission Impossible or what, but, I mean, the level of, like, credulity to this hysterical level of drama is really something.

[41:01] He asked me how much cash I thought I would need to support myself for a year if necessary.
My assets could be frozen for up to two years if the investigation dragged on, he added.
There could be a trial. I might need to testify. These things take time.
Got an automated email scan threatening to expose my internet history to my family slash grandparents.
If I didn't send them Bitcoin, coin i emailed the back telling them to do it and telling them i had no shame never got any more of that kind oh i have the most boring internet history in the known universe more research on philosophical paradoxes it will put you to sleep oh my gosh uh paula says they prey on the elderly some guy called my mom and convinced her she was helping solve a crime he got her to go and to target and buy a 200 gift card then to her bank where she would have transferred the money had the The bank teller not been on the ball and stopped it before anything cash was transferred.
And again, I assume it has something to do with boredom.
Somebody says one of life's guilty pleasures is placing the scammers or telemarketers in a five-way conference call with each other.
It is a great way to be removed from their call list. Yeah.
Yeah. I'm pretty sure there aren't any Christians doing this stuff, but all right.

[42:27] Oh, he said, oh, I don't know. She says, I don't know. $50,000 will keep me going for a year. I wondered how I would receive paychecks without a bank account.
Would I have to take time off from work? Look, I did some mental calculations on how much my husband could float us and for how long.
Okay, he said. You need to go to the bank and get that cash out now.
You cannot tell them what it is for. In one of my last cases, the identity thief was someone who worked at the bank.
Michael told me to keep the phone on speaker so we would remain in contact. Oh my gosh.
It's important that I monitor where this money goes from now on.
Remember, all of your assets are part of this investigation.
Then you told me that one of my colleagues would meet me at my apartment at 5 p.m. to guide me through the next steps.
Do you think the scammers are normally atheist or agnostic? There are some religions that don't believe that they have any obligations, moral obligations to people not of that religion.
Christianity is a universal moral philosophy, so you have all of that, right?
All right, so blah, blah, blah.

[43:35] When I reached the bank, I told the guard I needed to make a large cash withdrawal, and she sent me upstairs.
Michael, the CIA guy, was on speakerphone in my pocket. I asked to tell her for $50,000.
The woman behind the thick glass window raised her eyebrows, disappeared into a back room, came back with a large metal box of $100 bills.
I counted them out with a machine.
Then she pushed the stacks of bills through the slot, along with a sheet of paper warning me against scams.

[44:06] It's like this story. It's worse. Okay, here's your $50,000.
But I'm also going to give you a sheet of paper warning me against scams.
In fact, the bank knew so much that she didn't even tell her verbally because the guy's on the speakerphone, right?
They probably knew that this guy was on a speakerphone because this has happened a bunch of times before.
So the bank is literally like, well, I guess legally we have to give you your money even though they've had, what, zero reserve deposits in, like, 2021 or something.
But she's like, here's a piece of paper warning you about scams.
Since when does the bank let you withdraw that much cash? Okay, look, to be honest, I have a lot of questions about this as a whole.
Somebody says I worked as a teller and my manager blocked so many scams from people trying to send money overseas. Yeah, yeah, for sure.

[45:01] Nigerian scammers are known to feel glee when getting over on a mugu, which means fool.
Yeah, there's a whole song in Nairobi. Sorry, there's a whole song in Nigeria about their scams. I am the winner, you are the loser.
These types of stories make me question if they're trolling or not, but you do get a ton of different scam requests, so they must be working. Yeah.
So she gets lots of praise from Michael.
And he puts a woman on the line instead. Instead, as I walked back to my apartment, something jolted me out of my trance, and I became furious.
No government agency would establish this as protocol. It was preposterous.

[45:42] So she's like, this whole thing is insane.
There's no government agency. Now, of course, the first thing you do is hang up and, I don't know, call the cops, see if there's a warrant out for your arrest, call the CIA, whatever, right? Right.
So this is, this is, I can't look, this is almost like unbelievable to me.
Now I'm not saying she's lying. I'm just saying it's almost unbelievable to me.
Right. So she's like, what am I doing? This is insane.
It was preposterous. So she says to the woman on the phone, I need to speak with Michael.
This whole thing is a scam. You know what's going to reassure me?
Talking to the scam guy. I don't know what that means. I don't know what that means.
I don't know what that means. So, I need to speak with Michael, I told the woman on the phone. He got on right away.
I don't even believe you're a CIA agent. I said, what you're asking me to do is completely unreasonable. He sighed.
I'm sending you a photo of my badge right now, he said. I don't know what else to tell you.
You can trust me and I will help you, or you can hang up and put yourself and your family in danger. Do you really want to take that risk with a young child?

[46:54] Oh my gosh. I waited for a stoplight at a busy intersection.
Why don't Westerners scam Nigerians? Nigerians too broke to scam? I don't know about that.
But Westerners grow up in a bubble, right? I mean, it's because women run childhoods overwhelmingly these days, whether it's teachers, daycare teachers, single moms, and so on.
Women run childhoods, which mean children are bubble-wrapped and don't learn how to manage risk and danger, right?
Well, you can't go play at the park. You could get abducted, right?
So there's no people don't know how to so you have to grow up in a hyper protected environment to be susceptible i think to this kind of stuff oh my gosh a picture of michael's badge appeared on my phone i had no way of verifying it could easily have been photoshopped i don't trust you at all i said to michael but it doesn't seem like i have any other choice what what, somebody says when i was looking for work and i would get scam texts saying that they wanted to to interview me, but they always wanted you to download Yahoo chat or some other random chat program. I told them that they were real.
If they were real, just to call me once I got a guy to admit that he was scamming, but then he doubled down to try and convince me to join him.

[48:05] Right? Yeah. I remember when in the, in the early nineties, I was desperate for work and there was a really terrible recession and I just couldn't get, I mean, I told you this before, like I, I did gardening work, weeding work.
I cleaned people's car, just about anything everything just to make a couple of bucks and there was a place that was like yeah come on down to a job fair and it's like what kind of job all kinds of jobs what's the pay oh it ranges like everything was totally vague and what's the interest fee 25 bucks and i'm like okay so, it's just a scam right so um.

[48:39] So i don't trust you at all i said to michael but it doesn't seem like i have any other choice i i, I mean, of course, if you doubt someone's identity, then the person, if they're legit, right?
If the person's legit, they'll say, okay, call the main CIA switchboard.
Tell them you want to talk to such and such a person at this extension.
And then if you get transferred, maybe, maybe, right?
It was more understandable to get scammed in the infancy of the internet nowadays.
It's a little silly, yeah.

[49:14] Oh, my gosh. Gosh, when I got home, Michael told me to get a box, put cash in it. Put the cash in it, take a picture of it, then tape it shut.
I found a floral printed shoe box that had once contained a pair of slippers I'd bought for myself. A frivolous purchase that now seemed mortifying.
I don't understand. This is just, that's a female segue?
I couldn't possibly understand in my wildest eternal dreams.
Now, again, I'm not saying this is all women, but this is a peculiarly female segue or detail? tell.

Epiphany in the Bedroom

[49:44] I found a floral printed shoe box that had once contained a pair of slippers I'd bought for myself. A frivolous purchase that now seemed mortifying. Wow.
Get free Disney tickets. Just listen to our timeshare presentation.
I don't think that's a scam.
I don't think that's a scam. Where's the husband in all of this?
He's not involved at all. Have you not been listening?
You've not been listening?
I mean, I already said what's happened to the husband.

[50:09] It's always funny to me if people are like, well, I missed the story.
Can you just go? You can say, I missed the story. Can you explain it?
I missed what happened to the husband.
So I'm not going to say it. You can go read the article. But it's explained. All right.
Michael told me to label it with my name and case number, my address, a lock-in number he read to me, and my signature.
Then he directed me to take another picture of the label box and text it to him.
He's not trying to stop her, I mean.
Dave already explained this. You can ask me nicely, but don't pretend it's a great mystery, because I already explained this.

[50:44] So, he says, oh no, she says, oh sorry, he says, my colleague will be there soon.
He's an undercover CIA agent, and he will secure the money for you.
What exactly would that entail, I asked. Tonight, we will close down your social security number, and you will lose access to your bank accounts, he explained. Oh, so tonight.
So it just happened to be the case that she gets a call from someone at Amazon who then transfers to the STC, who transfers her to the CIA.
And then all of a sudden it's going to happen right tonight. Right.
Right tonight. Oh, my God.
Wow. That's wild. while.
Tomorrow, you'll need to go to the Social Security office and get a new Social Security number. Now, that doesn't actually jive with what they said before.
Before they said the government would shut down your Social Security and will issue you a new ID. Now they says, well, you've got to go and get a new Social Security number.
We'll secure this money for you in a government locker and hand deliver a treasury check for the same amount.
You can cash the check and use it for your expenses until the investigation is over.
My gosh. Why can't I just use this cash? I asked. Why do you have to take it and give me a check?
Because all of your assets under your current identity are part of the investigation, he said. You're being charged with money laundering.
If we secure this cash and then issue you a government check under your new social security number, that would be considered clean money.

[52:04] None of this makes any sense at all. It's dirty money.
But if you give it to me and I write you a check, it's clean money.
Like, this makes absolutely no sense.

[52:17] So, again, she has this pushback that I don't understand. So the colleague who's going to come by and get the money, I'll need to see your colleague's badge, I said.
I'm not just going to give $50,000 of my money to someone I don't know.
Undercover agents don't carry badges, he said, as if I'd asked the CIA to bring me a happy meal. They're undercover, remember.
You're probably being watched. The criminals cannot know that a CIA agent is there.
Oh, my gosh.

[52:46] Ah.
No, the husband wasn't the cam girl. Scam guy. Ah.
In a twisted way, this made some amount of sense to me. Anyway.
Crazy.
So, what can I tell you?
Please stop, Stefan. People are incredibly stupid. We understand you blended, the dead horse into a fine slurry at this point.
Hit me with a why if you would like me to continue. The story is almost done.
Would you like me to finish the story?
And what happens afterwards? Just out of curiosity.
I think it's wild. This was truly jaw-dropping. Somebody says, I'm having fun. I'm pleased.
All right, so we've got some yeses here. This is actually very entertaining.
People are enjoying it. Isn't that interesting?

[53:50] Isn't that interesting? So Mobius, your personal experiences are somehow everybody else's objective reality?
There's a good lesson in that if you want to learn it. You're wrong about other people.
Just popped in, no idea what I'm stepping in. Ah, I'm talking about a woman who got scammed.
She's a financial, she writes an expert column on how people should manage their finances intelligently and she got drawn into the most unbelievable Morpheus-type scam that could possibly be imagined. Oh my gosh.
A little after 6 p.m., Michael told me to go downstairs. His colleague was arriving.
My husband had just come home from work and was reading to our son.
What's going on? Is everything okay? He asked as I put my coat on.
I motioned to the phone and shushed him. Then I whispered, I have to go downstairs.
A media guy is helping me with the identity theft case. I'll explain more later.
He frowned and silently mouthed.
I told him. I had to go.
What the what?

[54:55] So, so first of all, she says, I'm in deep shit. And then she says, nothing's wrong.
And then she says, yeah, I'm going downstairs to meet a guy who's helping with the identity theft case.
What does this mean? And her husband's like, yeah, okay. Off you go.
Sure. Go downstairs in the dark and meet with some guy who's helping you with an identity theft case. You told me it wasn't a problem.

[55:18] Oh, my God. Oh, my God.
I met the SUV at the curb and put the money in the back seat.
It was 6.06 p.m. Even though I had tried to see who was driving, the windows were tinted, and it was dusk.
He maybe wore a baseball cap.
When I turned around, I could see the backlit faces of my husband and son watching from our apartment nine stories above.

[55:45] Oh, my gosh. I mean, this is the people, like, you know that testosterone increases your sense of threat, right?
People who are low T, maybe the husband is, I don't know, right?
But people who are low T don't have any sense of threat or disgust.
Women on birth control bill, pills don't, bills and pills don't get any sense of threat or disgust.
As I walked back inside, Michael texted me a photo of a treasury check made out to me for $50,000 and, sorry, that's too much, Shatner, and told me a hard copy would be hand-delivered to me in the morning.
He was working on setting up my appointment with the Social Security Office.
You will receive a confirmation text shortly, he said. Stay on the line until you do.
I felt oddly comforted by this. An appointment would give me something legitimate and actual.
Connection to a government agency.
I took my son trick-or-treating. My phone on speaker in my pocket.

An Unexpected Disconnection

[56:52] Oh, my gosh.
At one point, I checked to see if Michael was still there. His female colleague answered and said he'll be back soon.
Then when we got home and I checked again, the line was dead.
I panicked and called back.
Oh, so now she's calling back.
I'm pretty sure the CIA and the FBI and the police have 24 hour lines, now she just calls back this number, not anyone else, not anyone who might have verified any of this, but of course she's in now she's let go of the 50k right.

[57:25] The woman answered, Michael is busy, she said. He'll call you in the morning.
I was confused. Did this mean I didn't have a social security number at all anymore?
Do I have an appointment at the social security office, I asked.
Michael will call you tomorrow, she lied, repeated.
He hasn't been able to secure your appointment yet. The security, the social security office is closed now.
Right, because the CIA doesn't know when the social security office closes.
Is it wrong to be rooting for the scammer at this point?
Yeah, I suppose it's moving to a higher IQ place.

[58:09] Oh my gosh. I went into my bedroom and shut the door, feeling my face grow hot.
I had a physical sensation of scales falling from my eyes. The room shimmered around me, spots raining from the ceiling.
I saw the whole day peel away like the layers of an onion.
Michael, the FTC office, the Amazon call, revealing my real life raw and exposed at the center. Oh my God, I said, my hands tingling.
You're lying to me. Michael was lying. You just took my money and I'm never going to get back. That wasn't true.
The woman said she understood that I was upset. She was sorry.
Everything would be fine. You're a fucking liar. I hissed and hung up.

[58:57] Through joking sobs i told my husband what had happened why didn't you tell me he asked incredulous i would have stopped you that i'd been trying to protect him suddenly seemed so idiotic i couldn't even say it aloud, a son looked on confused mama's sad he announced clinging to my leg we put him to bed then i call all my parents and my brother.
At their urging, I called 911 around 10.30 p.m. Three police officers came over and took my statement. I struggled to recount what I'd done.
It seemed like a bad dream. I felt like a fool. Really?
You felt like a fool?
More than a feeling. All right. No government agency will ever ask you for money, one cop informed me, as if I'd never heard it before.
Oh, so she's heard it before that no government agency will ever ask you for money.
I wanted to scream, I know! Instead I said, it didn't really feel like he was asking. Oh, again, we're back to the feels.
Back to the feels.

[1:00:06] Ah, so, uh, the next day she, uh, they don't ask for money.
Uh, the next day she's, you know, but there's something really interesting here, right? There's something really interesting here.
This is sort of what I'm, this is what I want to get to here.
You're probably going to get cheated at some point in your life.
The only alternative to not getting cheated at any point in your life is just to not do anything anywhere ever, right?
Did I hear you correctly? She lost 50K. No, she gave away 50K in cash in a shoebox that held a pair of slippers that she feels guilty about for reasons I'll never fathom.
So the next morning, this is a really interesting chapter or paragraph.

[1:01:29] She says, She says, were my tendencies towards people-pleasing, rule-following, and conflict-aversion far worse than I'd ever thought, even pathological?
What a fascinating question. What a fascinating question.
Were my tendencies towards people-pleasing, rule-following, and conflict-aversion far worse than I'd ever thought, even pathological?

Self-Reflection and Regret

[1:02:00] What a, now that's a shoebox you want to open, like that's a real question that you want to open, what an amazing question hey, quick question, is it answered or even explored any further in the article whatsoever.

[1:02:23] That's an incredible question were my tendencies towards people pleasing, rule following and conflict diversion far worse than had ever thought even pathological.
Now that's a journey you want to go down because you just lost $50,000 but you gained an incredible insight as to how this happened to you.
Bowing down before authority. Worth 50K to get someone to ask that question of themselves.
So here's the only redemption arc for the $50,000 is this question right here.
That's all there is. It's the only way that this money is ever going to be valuable to you is if you genuinely and deeply ask this question.
So when she read this, I got goosebumps. When she wrote this, when I read what she wrote, I got goosebumps. bumps.
Were my tendencies towards people-pleasing, rule-following, and conflict-aversion far worse than I'd ever thought, even pathological?
And she goes on to write, I imagined other people's reactions.

[1:03:33] I'm going to have to start doing these things with helmets and a baseball bat.
I just, I can't, I can't take this stuff.
I literally, it is shortening my lifespan. I can't and take this stuff.
Okay, guys, if you haven't tuned in from the beginning, stop asking all these questions.
You're like somebody coming into a movie and loudly asking what happened.
Oh, you're right. Yeah, Insomniacat. Yes, yes, they are, ma'am.
So, she's like, hey, maybe I'm too, I'm too focused on other people.
Maybe I'm just too focused on other people and her next question is, I imagined other people's reactions.
She's always been a little careless. She seems unhinged. I considered keeping the whole thing a secret.
I worried it would harm my professional reputation. I still do.
Maybe I'm too much of a people pleaser. Oh God, what are other people going to think?
Like she literally goes from that incredible question, which could be the foundation of an unbelievably powerful life journey, to skating right over that incredible question.
It's literally like tripping over a body and just walking on like nothing happened. Holy crap. Holy crap.
Just wild.

[1:04:56] So, I think the police gave her instructions to freeze my credit, file reports with the FBI and FTC, run antivirus software on my laptop, or assist the bank or something like that, right?

[1:05:10] I called my bank. Sorry, the bank gave instructions. I cried a lot.
My husband felt helpless. He still doesn't like to talk about it.
Instead, he researched new locks for our doors and looked into security cameras.
One night I shook him awake, convinced that someone was trying to break in.
It's only the wind, he said. We're safe.
No, you're not. Spoiler, they weren't safe.

[1:05:33] So her husband felt helpless while he was. What an incredible thing to stare at that abyss of overcompliance, fear of authority, conflict avoidance, people pleasing, thing to stare that black hole, hyper-compliant, false self demon straight in the eye and try and take that thing down.
Her husband isn't even talking to her about how this happened because he probably can't talk about it with her without getting angry.
Well, I would be curious, like, how did this happen?
Like without damnation, right? How did this happen?
How did this happen? like a friend of mine his daughter told a lie an obvious lie and a clear lie and he's like well i'm really angry and i'm like why i mean just ask how it came about how did it come about what was your daughter's thinking that she felt the lie was the best thing to do in that moment help her understand her own thinker just punishing her isn't going to solve anything oh my god, fifty thousand dollars she writes is a lot of money it took me years to save stashing away a a few thousand every time I got paid for a big project.
Part of it was money I'd received from my grandfather.
As inheritance, he took great pains to set up for his grandchildren before his death. Oh, my God.

[1:06:48] Oh, my God. It's okay to be angry in a relationship as long as it's not abusive, right? Of course. I mean, you want to be honest, right?
So part of this money is money that her grandfather worked probably his hands to the bone in some manual labor job to gather.
Boy, wasn't he great and happy to give this money that he worked so hard to gather to his granddaughter.

[1:07:23] Now, here's another thing that's just my personal thing. She says, sometimes I imagine how I would have spent that money if I had to get rid of it in a day.
I could have paid for over a year's worth of child care up front.
Yes, you could have spent more time away from your child. That's what that $50,000 could have bought you, according to this woman. Oh, no. Oh, dear.
Oh, gosh. Are you going to have to spend $50,000 worth of time with your child?
Then it's a good thing in my book that you tossed away the $50,000.
You didn't lose $50,000. you gain $50,000 worth of not child care so you spend time with your child which is worth way more than the $50,000.
Oh my God. 90% of wealthy families are likely to lose their money by the third generation.
Yeah, it's a swirl in society, right?
I could have put it towards the master's degree I've always wanted. it.

[1:08:21] Yep, so she could have gone to some woke university and paid them to instill socialism in the younger generation.
Excellent. I could have housed multiple families for months.
She thinking migrants? I don't know what that exactly means.
Perhaps inadvertently I am occasionally wonder what the scammers did with my money.
When I did tell friends what had happened, it seemed like everyone had a horror story. One friend's dad, a criminal defense attorney, had been scammed out of $1.2 million.
Another person I know, a real estate developer, was duped into wiring $450,000 to someone posing as one of his contractors.
Someone else knew a Wall Street executive who'd been conned into draining her 401k by some guy she met in a bar.
Yeah, you're right about that. The MA degree, a master's degree, would be a good way for her to spend time away from her child as well, right?

[1:09:23] So maybe it's drama and maybe there's some unconscious thing in her.
I don't know this woman, right? So this is pure nonsense.
I don't know this woman. I don't know what's going on in her mind, but I could come up with a scenario wherein she's He's like, okay, if that $50,000 is going to be spent keeping me away from my child, maybe I'll get rid of the $50,000 so I'll spend more time with my boy.
I mean, I won't get into any particular details because they're not relevant, but everybody here knows, if you've been around this show for a while, I used to write two books a year, and then I didn't write a book for well over a decade because I was parenting.
If I had written more books and done more shows, I would have made more money, so I gave up money to be with my daughter.

[1:10:20] Which is like the easiest deal I've ever made in my life. If somebody says, here's a Lamborghini for $5, well, I don't really want a Lamborghini in any way, shape, or form. It's just a way to get trailed and robbed.
But, yeah, expensive consumer items were developed in a higher trust society than we currently have now or in the near or medium to term future.
So, it's the easiest deal I ever made, was to take less money for what I do here, for more time with my daughter.
Easy peasy, nice and easy. I mean, I think over 10 years, could conceivably be in a little bit more than $50,000, so that's a great deal.
So again, to me, I find the self-knowledge potential of this is really fascinating.
That it's almost like her son was whispering in her ear, give the money away, give the money away, give the money away.
Stay with me, mommy. Stay with me, mommy.
Stay with me. I'm worth more than $50,000, mommy.

[1:11:36] It's certainly, certainly possible.
Let me just check in on Tether comments.

[1:12:03] All right, let's get back to your comments. And if you find this interesting, freedomain.com slash donate, I would very gratefully accept your support.
But she could have spent that money on spending more time with her child by not having to work so much.
Dave, I love you to death. Beth, why on earth are you not listening at all tonight?
She already told everyone in the article, she said what she was going to spend the money on and her child would have known that and she would have known that.
So I don't know about this hypothetical other woman who would spend her money on more time with her child. That woman is not in the article.
So we can only, I mean, you could create some other fantasy woman who wrote a different kind of article, but we're talking about this woman who wrote this article. My gosh.
You know, it's fine if you don't want to listen or you're half listening or you're doing something else. That's totally fine.
But then don't post your thoughts on what's happening if you're not even listening.
My gosh, it's kind of rude. All right.

[1:13:06] So she says, oh, yes, this blew my mind, right? This blew my mind.
I'm thinking, what if she changes her mind, says Dave?
She can't change her mind. The money's gone. I don't know what you're talking about. All right. it.
So she said, she wrote that, I knew that if I had known that fraud was on the rise, but was shocked to learn from the numbers, to learn the numbers, financial losses ballooned by more than 30% in 2022.
So I guess losses to fraud ballooned more than 30% in 2022.
Why do you think fraud went up 30% in 2022? Why did that happen?
Why did that happen?
I think we all know, right? I think we all know.

[1:14:02] So she wrote, I read that self-laceration is typical. Half of victims blame themselves for being gullible.

COVID Isolation and Scams

[1:14:07] COVID-related, yeah, so COVID isolated people, and isolated people are desperate for contact.
And the human brain, in general, operates on a consistent level of stimulus.
Now, some people need more stimulus, some people need less stimulus, but the human brain operates on a constant level of stimulus, which is why when you go to sleep, you dream very vividly, right?
And why if you just lie down and do nothing, your brain just gets overactive because it's making up for the lack of external stimuli with internal stimuli.
So no, people were isolated in COVID and isolated people are easy to scam.
And this is what happened is they isolated this woman by having her not talk to her husband or like we are a social animal, which means we outsource a good deal of our protection, both physical and psychological, to others, right?
This is why we have eyes in the front of our head, not the front and the back, because you go out hunting back to back, right?
So somebody's watching behind, somebody's watching ahead, right?

[1:15:08] She also said, when I discovered that Katie Gatti Tassin, a personal finance expert who writes the popular Money with Katie newsletter, lost $8,000 five years ago to a grandmotherly-sounding woman pretending to call from Tassin's credit union.
I called her to ask how she'd coped.
Everyone was so patronizing, she told me. The responses were basically, it's your fault that this happened.

[1:15:36] If I had to pinpoint a moment that made me think my scammers were legitimate, it was probably when they read me my social security number.
Now, I know that all kinds of personal information, your email address, your kids' names and birthdays, even your pets' names are commonly sold on the dark web. Of course, the scammers could also have learned about my son from a 30-second perusal of my Instagram feed.
Oh, I need octopus hands. I need like eight forehead slaps because I don't have a forehead. I have an eight head.
So she posts all of this personal information, videos and pictures of her children and her son and her apartment, and she's posting all this kind of shit.
All over the place.
I don't know man I mean I don't know.

[1:16:34] Ah, the stimulus reason makes sense for the elderly scams as well, yeah.

[1:16:44] I still don't believe that what happened to me could happen to anyone, but I'm starting to realize that I'm not uniquely fallible.
Several friends felt strongly that if the scammers hadn't mentioned my son, I would never have fallen for this.

Protection and Scams

[1:16:57] They're right, that I'd be willing to do or pay anything to protect him.
No, this is absolutely false.
Because that money was protection to some degree for your son.
I mean, having it as an asset within the family, like the way she was going to spend it, probably not great.
But so if somebody wants to scam you out of, it sounds like it was a good chunk of her life savings.
If somebody wants to scam you out of that, then you make sure that they're absolutely legitimate before you do anything for them.
I wanted to protect my son. Great, then hang up the phone and call the FTC.
Great, then hang up the phone.
And call the CIA. Hang up the phone, call the police department, find out if there are a bunch of warrants out for your arrest.
You don't think you'd be notified if there were warrants out for your arrest and they were about to close down your bank accounts? I mean, come on.

Husband's Role and Scam Prevention

[1:17:47] So she's all, and this is the funny thing, is that, so her husband would be, look, by paying scammers, you're not protecting your son.
Right? Because this is, she's like, well, there could be danger to my son.
Well, first of all, don't post about him on social media.
God. So worried about your son. I'd do anything to protect my son, okay?
Don't post his image on social media. Sorry, that's just a fact.
I don't think it's a good idea. At all. At all.

[1:18:19] So, the husband would say, I assume, if he's a reasonable husband, and, you know, this could be, it could be reversed, right?
The sexes could be reversed, we're just talking about this in this particular context. The husband would have said, no, you didn't protect your son.
Because, first of all, you showed that we were vulnerable to being scammed, that we have money, although now we don't have much left.
But, you know, I'm sure there's been a little checkbox somewhere on the dark web, oh, these people have been scammed, in which case, people are going to try and scam us some other way.
Also you are by paying scammers you're creating a world in which these kinds of scams are highly profitable and they will just continue which means our son will be targeted at some point and also you just blew $50,000 of after tax money.

[1:19:02] Although she gets to write it off as a business expense I think or as a loss for her business or something like that but you just handed over $50,000 of after tax money to criminals thus making crime more profitable scams more profitable and reducing our our family wealth by $50,000.
That's not protecting our son. And take down the pictures you have of him.
I mean, what's the cost benefit of posting your children's pictures online?
What's the cost benefit?
I don't follow. I don't follow.
I don't follow. I don't foundationally understand what the cost benefit calculation is. so we're subsidizing her stupidity yeah yep, crazy.

[1:19:59] Husband is such an apathetic cuck. Back in the day, this could have resulted in their whole family dying off.
Well, it could have been a lot worse, right? It could have been a whole lot worse.

Reflections on Stupid Choices

[1:20:13] Now, again, there's so much to me that's very interesting about this.
One of the things that's easy, and I understand that. Like, if you've been scammed, it's nice to hear, I guess, quote, nice to hear that other people have been scammed and so on, right?
So she says, either way, I have to accept that someone waged psychological warfare on me, and I lost.
For now, I just don't answer my phone.

[1:20:38] I'm sure the next phone call is going to be, you know, for 10%, you give me $5,000, I'll go get your 50 grand back, I know these people.
That's going to be her next call, right?
But, either way, I have to accept that someone waged psychological warfare on me, and I lost.
Now, listen.
Everybody in this chat, everybody who listens to this show or watches this show, everybody has done some seriously stupid stuff over the years.
If you've not done any stupid stuff, you've not done anything.
Everybody, you don't have to tell me the details. Hit me with a why.
Did the husband do enough to try and stop her giving away $50,000?
Dave you're just pissing me off at this point I mean I've made enough requests right she was forbidden to talk to her husband and she accepted it so the husband didn't know anything about it so stop asking and stop and not just stop being annoying please I'm begging you yeah we've all done stupid stuff we've all done stupid stuff.

[1:21:55] Now, when you do stupid stuff and you lose money or you lose a girlfriend or you lose your mind or you lose your self-respect for whatever reason, yeah, we've all done stupid stuff.
Do you think she was acting like a bit of a victim with the self-reflective question about her own obedience?
I don't know which question you're asking too, right?
So yeah, we've all done stupid stuff and that's how we get wiser.

Learning from Stupid Choices

[1:22:22] So when you do stupid stuff, you have only one or two choices you can either say I need to get to the root of why I did stupid stuff or you can say ah wasn't that stupid it happens to everyone my answer is to not answer the phone, psychological warfare was being waged on me no you were just being given unbelievable instructions and you chose to follow them out of compliance, fear of conflict, and fear of authority.
Stupid stuff is the best education in the world if you let it school you.
Being stupid is the best education in the world if you let it school you.

[1:23:18] Yeah. I almost married The wrong woman.
Bullet went this close. Took off a few testicle hairs.

[1:23:42] Her lack of self-defense makes me sad. She couldn't even trust her husband with the secret. Thank God nothing else happened to her, but that's not what happened.
It wasn't that she couldn't trust her husband with the secret.
She was told by the CIA or whoever it was, she was told that if she told her husband, her husband would be implicated and also investigated.
Welcome, Obi-Wan. Your first live stream. Welcome to Jurassic Park. So?
Well, I am sad for her. I am sad for her. I'm sad for her. I'm sad for her husband.

Self-Image and Reality

[1:24:15] So I almost married the wrong woman. Now, I could have just said, woof, dodge that bullet, blah, blah, blah. But I had to sit there and say, okay, how was it that I almost married the wrong woman?
How is it possible that I almost married the wrong woman?
And she wasn't a terrible woman. It was not horrible or anything like that.
It just was not a good fit.
Now, asking that question is really, That opened up my whole life.
Because you've got this image, right? This woman has an image of herself as smart and savvy and together and connected, and she's a professional, and she teaches people about finance. So she's got this self-image.
It turns out that self-image is false to some degree.
That image is false to some degree.

[1:25:06] And we all have these images of ourselves. That at some point in her life, get nuked from orbit. Have you had this happen to you? Your self-image?
I've certainly had it happen more than once. Your self-image gets nuked from orbit.
I am this.
I'm afraid not. You are not this. You are not even close to this.
You are, in fact, kind of the opposite of this.
And the this that you believe in is scar tissue from you deep down knowing that you're the opposite of this and creating the opposite of what you really are in order to distract yourself from what you really are.

[1:25:51] What made you change your mind about the woman you almost married?
Ah, it was, honestly, maybe I wouldn't have gone through with it.
It's hard to know alternate.
But it was a friend of mine's girlfriend at the time.
They're now married, but it was a friend of mine's girlfriend.
And she just said, she was just making a coffee and she just said over her shoulder, you'd think that someone who's going to be married would be happier about it.
Oh my God. She's right.

[1:26:25] And you know what the nuclear shadow of my falsehoods about myself was, well you know I have all these people around me they just love me they care about me they want the best for me me.
They just respect me. They tell me the truth.
And they care and they care and they care and I'm loved and I'm loved and I'm loved.
And it was all a huge lie.
And it took a chance comment from a woman who had her back turned to me, making a cup of coffee.
She could make make a cup of coffee, and dismantle my delusions.
And me, with at this point 15 years of philosophy, couldn't make a dent in them at all.
So this woman I didn't know particularly well.

[1:27:33] Saved my life.

Wake-Up Call from a Stranger

[1:27:36] And all the people who claim to care and love me didn't say boo to a fucking mouse that I was heading off a cliff.
Now, I could have just said, whoo, dodged that bullet, moving on.
And I'm like, whoa, hang on.
How is it that someone I barely know cares about me enough to point out that I'm not happy and everyone else is encouraging me to marry this woman?
What the fuck does that mean?
I had a close family member enthusiastically take me down to Burke's Jewelry to buy a ring for the wrong woman.

[1:28:27] My mom was like, sounds good. Everybody was, go for it.
So either they don't know me at all, to know that this is the wrong woman or they know me and want me to marry the wrong woman because they hate me.
Others are scared of upsetting you perhaps. No. No.
No, because I wasn't upset. I was relieved and grateful. Took a little while.
I was relieved and grateful.

[1:29:01] And there was a thing in the relationship where really the only way we could resolve conflicts was me giving in.
So I went back and I was like, you know what, I'm not giving in.
And then it just ended. I'm not giving in.
I'm not going to give in if I don't think I'm wrong. That was my big sort of lesson in life. Like, don't give in if you don't think you're wrong.
So either these people didn't know me because i was unknowable or they didn't know me because they didn't care or they knew me and wanted my harm this is the only logical possibilities when you sort of map out you game it out right so why would people be enthusiastic about me marrying the wrong woman either i'm unknowable but if i'm unknowable how come my friend's girlfriend, mentions this if i'm so mysterious and foggy and unknowable how is it blindingly obvious to this woman I barely know.
What is wrong with everyone? That they can't spend, as this woman did, literally 10 seconds to say, are you happy? Is this what you want? Are you happy?
Now, if they're scared of upsetting me, well, then they don't know that I wouldn't be upset because I wasn't upset.
I mean, that's just one of a couple of times where, like, my entire view of myself and my relationship to those around me was nuked from orbit.

Living Values vs. Advocating Them

[1:30:18] Like, there was nothing nothing left standing in a relatively short period of time.

[1:30:28] Like, by definition, if they're encouraging me to do something that is entirely wrong for me, they don't love me.
Like, that's by definition. There's no way around that. The logic is they believe it's your life, your choice.
Fine. So if they're not going to intervene, if they're not going to watch my back, then they don't love me.
Right.

[1:30:59] And it's not my life my choice because if I got married to this woman and would have had kids it would have been a bad marriage and it's about the kids my life my choice fine if I'm that atomized then they don't care about me, I mean if you had a friend who was deeply watching something on a cell phone and about to walk into traffic would you say nothing because hey man It's his life, his choice.
That little bit of honesty from that woman changed so much of your life for the better.
I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be doing this. I wouldn't be a great dad.
I wouldn't be a great husband. No.
Why is it it takes the chance comment of a virtual stranger to save my ass when I'm surrounded by 20 people who claim to love me?
Up, down, and all over.

[1:32:07] You know you go hiking with someone and they're about to step on a rattlesnake and you don't say anything because hey man it's their life their choice, but of course whenever they were unhappy even if i'd want them i mean i had a friend who i said don't marry this girl and it was bad and, I hope you made that woman your best man.

[1:32:45] So that woman's truth created this space crazy motivation to keep the truth inside all the time yeah a woman saved me, and I had yeah just so many people in my life who claimed to love me and didn't know if people let you you, sleepwalk into disaster. They don't love you.
Either they don't know what's good for you, in which case they don't love you or even care about you, or they know what's good for you and they're willing to let it happen to you, in which case they kind of hate you.

[1:33:21] It's a cowardly way to go through life to not warn someone you care about. No.
If you don't warn someone, you don't care about them. In fact, you want them to fail. It's schadenfreude for my commitment to philosophy.
That's what it was. I mean, I had to look eventually not at why are all these people who claim to love me not loving me.
In fact, are cheering me on to step on the rattlesnake.
I had to say, what am I not understanding that I don't see who they are?
Right. Because you can blame others and say, well, like this woman, psychological warfare. I was waged psychological warfare.
No, no, no. That was just the first layer. It wasn't even the deepest layer.
The deepest layer is, what am I lying to myself about?
Because you say, oh, I have people who don't really care about me in my life.
I'm going to get rid of them. Just going to replace them with other people who don't really care about you until you figure out why you can't see that they don't care about you.
Right? And the answer to that Yeah, how did I get here Watching the days go by Let the water hold me down There is water at the bottom of the ocean So, I don't know if you care I don't know if it's too personal to me Or if you care about the answer as to why I didn't see this There were so many layers to this, it was crazy Why did I not see.

[1:34:47] That people didn't really care or in fact were unconsciously cheering on disaster for me.
Why?
I'm not trying to be coy. I just want to make sure that the show is relevant to you.
I'm fine to talk about it because you didn't want to be temporarily lonely. No.

Vanity vs. Integrity

[1:35:16] No it wasn't that i i i'm fine with my own company i i i don't exactly know how to put this but i have i can't remember a time in my life where i have felt what people refer to as loneliness, maybe i have and i don't understand it that way but i've never had an experience of what But because, I mean, I have so much engagement and entertainment and ideas and thoughts and characters and stories and images running through my head, like, I just don't feel. No, this was prior to D.Fu, yeah.
No, it wasn't sentimentality.

[1:36:03] It's because of vanity.
The same thing could happen in reverse, like people convincing you, to end something that you shouldn't, right? Yeah, you could be really happy and then...

[1:36:28] No, so it was because I had been a very vocal in my advocation for rational, empirical, free market, free speech philosophy for I mean, well over 15 years at this point.

[1:36:46] But it was all theoretical. I talked about it. I thought about it.
I wrote about it. I read about it. But I didn't live it.
It wasn't their air, indifference, or hostility that was the problem.
It was my hypocrisy in saying that philosophy was true, but not living it.
Because a lot of the people who were in my life were anti-rationalists, mystics, collectivists, socialists, or semi-socialists, and so on.
Pro-state, pro-whatever, right?
And I was like, well, all of this stuff is immoral. But you see, that's just an argument.
That's just something that I spray paint on the wall in a basement, in a house, in the middle of the woods.
It's just something I write about. It's something that I cogitate about.
It's something I, maybe I'll tap it out in Morse code in a classroom.
I'll fight about it intellectually.
I'll talk about it in school. I'll do speeches.
I'll write a manifesto. I'll do all of these wonderful things.
Hey, do you want to actually live your values?
What? No, no, no. Did you not hear? I'm talking about this shit.

[1:37:59] Don't you understand? Words and syllables are rolling off my tongue.
No, like if you define people as immoral and then you treat them like they're your best friends, you don't believe that they're immoral. You have a contradiction.
This is what you define as immoral and you're perfectly happy to spend time, resources, energy and money on people your philosophy defines as immoral.
They support immorality, you support them, You claim to be good. What the fuck?
You follow?

[1:38:38] And this is why, of course, I approach people in the call-in shows with all humility if they're not living their values.
I was betraying the empiricism of my ideals with every waking breath.
Oh, I thought I was so moral. I had such integrity, don't you know?
Oh boy did i ever have the non-aggression principle and free market capitalism and all of it was down pat and i could argue from here to an orangutan's arsehole every conceivable disco ball facet libertarian and objectivist theory, So you're all talk. No, they're going to change. I'll win them over. That's, you know.

[1:39:33] Apparently the people you define as immoral can totally love you for being moral.
I can't tell you how hard one UPB and my definition of, love as our involuntary response to virtue I can't tell you how hard won that is, how much blood had to be spilled in the battlefields of my mind to extract that argument.

Hypocrisy in Philosophy

[1:40:10] I define x as immoral oh you believe the opposite of x well we've known each other for a long time let's do thanksgiving together and maketh the jokes and clinketh the glasses and tappeth the bread and possibly even double dip in the fondue shall we because you see philosophy is just a bunch of syllables and words that roll around in my head like butterflies in a windstorm.
Meemow by Unconscious is basically just going bullshit all the time. Impecrate. What?
Liar. What? What are you going to say to me? Hey, man. If you don't want to hear, you don't want to hear.
Two-faced son of... What? What did you say?

[1:41:09] You're using philosophy for your ego, not for virtue. I really care about philosophy, man. I've studied it. I've read it.
It was almost impossible for me to graduate from undergraduate.
All my master's degree, I've given up.
Easy access to publishing because I'm all about the integrity, man.
How could you say I don't suffer from philosophy? How do you say I don't care about it?
Look at the people around you. Do they conform to what you define as virtuous?
It's a journey, man. It took me a while. No, it didn't. You learned it right away.
You got into it right away. You accepted it right away. You only accepted it in theory because practicing makes it real, and that's painful.

[1:41:52] I wouldn't want to do it too soon. I don't want to bring these values to life too soon. That's really...
I mean, that's aggressive. that's horrible. Okay, it's been, let's say from when you got into philosophy to now, it's been 15 years.
Anybody moving in your actual direction?
Well, you know, this is going to sound kind of crazy, so here's the plan, oh unconscious mind, here's the plan.
What we're going to do is we're going to be right and then events are going to prove us right, and And then people will accept that what we're saying is right.
You predict things, and then eventually people, oh, so like if you predicted that somebody was going to die of lung cancer, it's fine to wait until they're dying of lung cancer, then you're happy to be right.
Also, we don't have that kind of fucking time, because you want to get married, don't you? You want to get married.
You want to get married, we've got to clear this shit up. Because marriage ain't a past thing, it's a future thing, it's a commitment thing, it's an alimony thing, it's a child support thing, it's a divorce thing.

Sacrifices for Philosophy

[1:43:00] I've given up easy access to publishing, LOL. That's cold, lady.
What I wanted to be was a novelist, but I promoted individualism, reason, anti-communist, anti-collectivism, anti-fascist, and the anti, you know, I mean, we all know who's in charge of the publishing industry, so giving up easy access to publishing was a very big deal for me.
Just so you know, I mean, you may not know that history, so I'm not offended or anything, but I'm just saying it's not an LOL thing.
What I wanted to be was a novelist. Maybe a poet, certainly a playwright.
I wrote like 30 plays. I've written like, I don't know, 10 novels and hundreds of poems. And that's what I wanted to do.
Giving that up for the sake of philosophy was not easy.
But it was still nothing compared to actually living my values.
You thought I was making a joke about giving up access to the other P.
L-M-A-O. Hmm, I think we might have hit some defenses in the audio.
Well, this is deep stuff. I get it. I get it. And I'm older now, so I get it. I understand.
I sympathize that what I'm talking about might be difficult for people.
But those who know, know.

[1:44:26] How could I use philosophy to give up access to philosophy?
Like, that doesn't make any sense. Plus, publishing and philosophy don't even start with the same sounds.
Is being left-wing anti-virtue?

[1:44:50] Well, being hostile towards reason, evidence, objectivity, property rights, and the non-aggression principle is being opposed to morality.
And those who are opposed to morality, are promoting immorality.
Right?
I mean, if your beloved father died of smoking and then you have a friend who has a whole advertising campaign aimed at teenagers about how cool smoking is, would that be okay?
Would that be fine?

[1:45:45] I don't think so.
Jared says, Just Poor is one of the greatest novels I've ever read.
Oh, I think so. I think it's a great book.
Freedomain.com slash books to get that. You should absolutely get it.
You were enjoying the abstract prior to living the value. Your ex's comments, your ex's comment was perfect.
What was my, I don't think I gave a quote from my ex. What do you mean?
I want to make sure I understand what you're saying.
You were enjoying the abstract prior to living the value. No, I didn't want to live the value.
I mean, it's nice that you give me excuses for something that happened 25 years ago when I'm not giving myself excuses for what happened 25 years ago.
Those excuses are for you, not me.

Recognizing Self-Deception

[1:46:45] Boy, a lot of times, people are free to disagree with the advertising campaign if they're adults, and the aim of teenagers is lack of government intervention to ban these advertisements.
Well, I guess you didn't love your father.
I thought someone who's getting married would be more excited about it.

[1:47:19] No, that wasn't my girlfriend's. That wasn't my girlfriend's comment.
Why would my girlfriend say, I don't want you to get married to me, or you... Like, no, anyway, sorry.
It's funny, the people who are like, oh, it sounds like something interesting is going on. I haven't really been listening, but let me jump in with my two cents.
I think the guy made a mistake thinking it was your ex. No, but my...
My fiance wouldn't say, you're not happy to be marrying me if she wanted to marry me.
No, it's not a mistake. It's just not thinking something through and not listening.
I mean, that's just a moment's thought. Like, why would my girlfriend who wanted to marry me say that you'd think someone who wanted to get married would be happier?
That's not how that works.

[1:48:17] No, I wanted to use philosophy, and I was using philosophy, to feel right and to appear clever.
I enjoyed the personal vanity of beating other people at debates.
I enjoyed knowing more than people. I enjoyed having facts that they weren't aware of.
I enjoyed having arguments that they'd never been exposed to.
I enjoyed being a black belt beating up on girl guides.

[1:48:54] I did it to be clever, I did it to be right, and I thought I was being good, but I was lying to myself.
I thought I was a moralist, but a man is judged by the company he keeps.
And how was I going to ask people to give up, unjust government income, unjust government power, subsidies, tariffs, trade barriers of every kind?
Tax credit. How was I going to ask people to give up that which they perceived kept them alive if I wasn't willing to give up crappy half-friends who'd opposed my moral journey for 15 years or more?

[1:49:44] Ah, all the sacrifices for philosophy should be borne by other people.
Mmm, ain't that inspiring.
What are some tips to know if you're lying to yourself?
Well, you look around and does the empiricism of your life match the story you tell yourself?
Does the empiricism of your life match the stories that you're telling yourself? self.
Yeah, I was insomnia and my conscience was just going nuts on me. Going nuts on me.
It wasn't a particular virtue. It was like, you're not going to have a life worth living if you don't live with integrity. I'm not going to say it was some willed great virtue. It wasn't.
Again, I'm not going to lie to myself. Well, I just found the moral courage to, no, I fought a tooth and nail. I didn't want it at all. Didn't want it at all.

[1:50:56] Which is, again, humility. And I didn't get this all in my conscious mind.
It wasn't all spelled out to me.
It was years of therapy and self-knowledge and all of that.
Which is how I ended up with a life not of fixing what was broken, but creating something powerful that never existed before, to my knowledge.

Evaluating Relationship Values

[1:51:41] And then, of course, I had to look at, the character of my fiancé.
Again, not a terrible person. I'm not a bad person, but we did not share those values in any profound way.

[1:52:11] Am I living my values? I thought I was because I was strongly advocating for them and had taken a number of professional, personal, political, artistic, and academic hits for my values and virtues.
Is it living in accordance with your values to not claim for statutory sick pay from the government?
Dave, Dave, Dave, we're so far from that surface stuff, I can't even tell you.
Yeah, my sleep has been absolute crap for the last month and a quarter, says someone, even when I was using cannabis.
Yeah. Yeah.
It's tough to go to sleep when you're sleepwalking through life it's tough to get a good night's sleep when your integrity is dozing through the day.

Depth of Values in Relationships

[1:53:36] Dave, rather than worrying about sick pay, just ask if the people you claim to care about and who claim to care about you, do you share the same morals?
McThree coming in with the surface level advice.
Do this, do that, do the other. Just work at the surface, man.
It'll be totally fine. Blue light glasses after sunset, that's the only problem.
We're down here in the depths and everybody's skimming the duckweed on the surface. Not everybody.
Do the people in your life enthusiastically share that which you define as the good?
Do the people in your life enthusiastically share a belief in that which you define as the good.
Now, hopefully your definition of the good is universal and true and valid. Hopefully it's UPB.

[1:54:49] Do they support the use of institutional force against you for disagreeing with them?
I'm glad to hear that you're going to go to therapy. That's usually a very good thing.
Although I don't know. I don't know what the state of therapy is at the moment, how woke the therapists have become and how, all of that.
He said, no, my dad believes verbal abuse is fine. Right.
I'm very sorry to hear that. That is a very tough thing.
How far can you diverge in values before the relationship? relationship?
How far can you diverge in values before the virtue of the relationship is shattered?
You might need to go for an older therapist, but yeah, therapists, I think, have become very woke.

Therapy in Modern Times

[1:55:41] The younger therapist, I think, would be a challenge to those who are more into, objective virtues and values.
Could be, I don't know. I mean, I don't know, but I would imagine that there's a fair amount of propaganda in the young at the moment.
Takes a long time to undo a civilization.
Almost impossible to reverse once it's started.

[1:56:19] See when you say this is the good your conscience i mean assuming that it's objective and true, when you objectively define the good your conscience lines up behind it, and gives you great joy in the pursuit of virtue and great unease in hypocrisy hypocrisy being yes this is true and virtuous and good for everyone except everyone around me can believe leave the opposite and that's fine. It's fine.
You're like a dietician who says, yeah, to lose weight, everybody needs to exercise more and eat less, except those around me, they can eat, exercise less and eat more and they'll totally lose weight.
What kind of sense does that make?
Zero, zero of the sensing.

Pursuit of Virtue vs. Hypocrisy

[1:57:12] Am I providing a useful value and or service?
Tips are gratefully accepted and more than welcome. You can tip on the app.

[1:57:25] You can tip at freedomain.com slash donate. I will give you guys the promo code.
The promo code so you can get access. The truth about the French Revolution.
The Truth About Sadism, now in the general feed.
Access to the audiobook as it goes forward. My new book, Peaceful Parenting.
StephBot AI, multi-language, private live streams, premium call-in shows, and some of my greatest work, the 22-part History of Philosophers series, and also we're working on philosophical paradoxes as well.
But here is the link. Click right on this.
You can try it out free. You can cancel if you don't find it to be of value.
You there's actually a search engine for the premium podcast which is just great and cool but if you could help out the show i would very very much gratefully deeply and humbly, thank you for that i really really do appreciate it more than words can say.

[1:58:26] Freedom8.com slash donate or of course if you're in brazil you can go to subscribe star.com slash freedom8 subscribe star.com slash freedom8 i just read mate and put freedom8 freedom to eat in the past tense all right thank you everyone so much for a wonderful evening i really really do appreciate it i hope that you get a sense that the show is like the tip of the iceberg that goes down many many layers.
And this is an incredibly hard one, wisdom, which is why I feel very comfortable, of course, asking for your support for what I'm delivering to the world.
Incredibly liberating, very challenging, but I'm giving you, thank you, Alan. I'm giving you a shortcut that I didn't have.
I had to blister through all of this stuff for decades, pay a huge amount of money to to therapists and so on.
I'm trying to get you what I learned without the brutal cost on your wallet and system.
So I hope that you recognize the value in what it is that I'm providing and will help me out at freedomain.com slash donate. All right.
If you are just in the middle of donating, it'd be great if the stream closes, as it will.

[1:59:43] What is the Titanic? titanic what does the titanic represent in your iceberg analogy uh that's the false self thank you steph we went deep we certainly did all right have a great evening everyone lots of love take care i'll talk to you soon bye.

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