[S1 E25] Part 1 or 2
This episode discusses the seamy means by which a working class Jeffrey Epstein accumulated $550,000,000 by providing more than his tax and money market expertise to his wildly wealthy white male clients and their servants in our government, at Harvard and at other prestigious educational and scientific institutions.
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This transcript has been edited for clarity.
Hello. This is Dr. Harriet Fraud on Capitalism Hits Home, an interpersonal update. This is a show about the intersection of capitalism, class, and our personal lives.
What I want to talk about, which has really hit home recently, is the case of Jeffrey Epstein. The Epstein case combines and magnifies everything that's wrong with capitalism, male supremacy, and gender training in one fell swoop. The Epstein case is like a giant squid with deadly tentacles reaching in so many different directions which then contract and move this monstrous predator through the sea. The tentacles here are sex abuse, shame, super wealthy men, their political flunkies, and their social and legal enablers, moving relentlessly forward until they're stopped. Only now, we have Me Too and time's up and a consciousness of not bearing the shame for men's sexual crimes but turning that shame back on them for perpetrating those crimes. To be more direct, Jeffrey Epstein's case is finally exposed for what it is: naked sexual prey on young barely-pubescent girls and women who are bought and traded for sex by the 1% and those who serve them in our government and our halls of justice and our prestigious universities.
What happened in this case? Where did Epstein get the power to abuse with such impunity? How did he operate the Lolita Express where so many rich capitalists and their flunkies including Donald Trump and Bill Clinton flew and got to rape girls on the plane? And when they landed at orgy island also how did Epstein amass the amount of money for such for an entree into such a group of wealthy men and their flunkies? Epstein owns elegant mansions in New York City and Palm Beach, Florida. He owns an elegant apartment in one of the most prestigious sections of Paris and a ten thousand acre ranch in New Mexico plus his own little island in, ironically, the US Virgin Islands.
What did he do to amass such wealth? He has at least five hundred and fifty million dollars at the moment. That's a lot. How he got it is a mystery. Or maybe it isn't. Epstein grew up in Coney Island, a working-class neighborhood in Brooklyn from a working-class family. His mother was a teacher's aide his father worked in lawns and gardens and parks. However brilliant he was, he was a college dropout, his super wealth was acquired through social connections as reported by the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, New York magazine, and others.
The first of his unlikely connections was with Attorney General Barr’s father who granted him a job at Dalton teaching mathematics. Dalton is one of the nation's most prestigious and expensive prep schools. It now cost for example fifty-one-thousand three-hundred fifty dollars, more than the median income in the United States. Fifty-one-thousand three-hundred fifty dollars for tuition. Whether you're in kindergarten all the way up to 12th grade. That’s pretty steep for kindergarten or even 12th grade. Epstein had no college degree and was hired to teach there. He connected with the pupils’ rich father who through the old boy network got him a job at Bear Sterns. There, Epstein ingratiated himself to wealthy investors: one billionaire Leslie Wexner of L brands owners of Abercrombie & Fitch the former are even Dell, the limited, and Victoria's Secret among others trusted Epstein with absolute control over his whole finances. To know what that pays, every financial transaction that Epstein performed for Wexner involved a fee paid to Epstein. From Wexner alone Epstein received two hundred million dollars. Epstein also transferred to Epstein a 56 million dollar mansion, one of the biggest mansions in New York which is now worth 71 million dollars according to The Times.
Epstein's wealthy clients included Glen Dubin of Highbridge Capital Management, one of America's biggest hedge funds, Leon black CEO of the Apollo Global Management firm, one of the biggest capital management firms in the world, and Jess Staley who was a top executive at Morgan Stanley and is now the head of Barclays Bank, fabulously rich men. Epstein was financially clever and he was a talented tax adviser. These men are very interested in keeping more for themselves no matter how many billions they have. But that's not enough to ingratiate himself to all these wealthy men as well as Bill Clinton and Donald Trump and Prince Andrew of the royal family. What else could be happening here? Perhaps the long term well-documented friendship with Donald Trump and his friendship with Bill Clinton may suggest what else Epstein had to offer. This may be typical of their bonding. Epstein and Trump were reportedly the only men to arraign to keep judges at a competition that Trump organized. Actually he hired someone to make this swimsuit contest at mar-a-lago with those two men as judges and 28 young women for a calendar girl competition.
In another more severe related incidents, a 2016 lawsuit alleged that Trump raped a 13 year old girl in Epstein's Manhattan residence in 1994. The suit was voluntarily dismissed on November 4th, 2016. The suit alleged that Epstein raped the 13 year old after Trump did and then the pair told her that she and her family would be killed if she ever spoke about what happened. The girl dropped the suit after too many death threats mounted. She stated she was dropping the suit for that reason. Epstein's friendship with Bill Clinton which Clinton, like Trump, disavows is revealed in several articles and videos in The Times, Rolling Stone, Vox, New York Magazine, and The Business Insider. What was the basis of these friendships with wildly wealthy men and their powerful capitalist apologists like Bill Clinton and Trump and so many others. Friendships in that group are transactional. They're based on mutual benefit. We might guess Trump, Clinton, and Alan Dershowitz of Harvard regularly flew on the Lolita Express where they landed in orgy island, having raped these young women on the plane and kept them pretty sex slaves on orgy island. Just look up Lolita Express on Google see what you find.
So, that Epstein was not only a clever tax and finance advisor, but gave these men, I think, opportunities to rape underage girls. Why would they be interested in doing that? What's in it for them? Well, let's look back from a psychological point of view.
Adolescent men are only allowed to be manly and needy for one thing and that’s sex. Adolescent girls are trained not to give sex to adolescent men because those same men will shame them and ruin their reputation, put them down as dirty. This sex as power which these men exert may be immature men's revenge on the young women who refused them. They may be ashamed of their neediness. According to James Gilligan who's published at least 25 books and is an expert on this at NYU Department of Psychiatry. Nothing shifts shame as thoroughly and effectively as overpowering someone and subjecting them to unwanted sexual activity. Porn culture does that it often presents women as eager to be choked, slapped, and humiliated. One of Epstein's many partners in the rape of underage girls referred to the overpowered girls as sexual snacks. That was in Rolling Stone. They shared Epstein's Lolita Express and enjoyed violating these prepubescent girls because they could transfer their sexual shame onto these children, who they considered snacks and those girls were indeed ashamed. Perhaps a chance to get rid of that shame while raping children was worth millions.
What are the gender dynamics going on here? Well it's one of the many instances of sexual misconduct that are ignored and brushed aside because women, particularly younger women, but all women are not taken seriously. The women who came forward to accuse R Kelly, the singer, have faced that kind of erasure that these victims did. As Fox's Constance Grady notes, Kelly has been accused of “creating an abusive sex cult a very young woman who he isolates brainwashes shames and abuses physically emotionally and sexually.” Girls and young women are routinely seen as unreliable narrators. It took 80 girls to stand up 80 women to stand up and say that Cosby abused them for it to begin to be taken seriously for it. And another great example which is in everyone's brain at this moment is Larry Nasser. For 10 years at least, young 12 year old up to 15 year old and 16 year old gymnastic athletes had been reporting abuse by Larry Nasser. The US gymnastics team doctor finally just this year after abusing at least a hundred girls, Nasser was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison. These girls were reporting abuse since 1997. This year he was finally brought to justice. For more than 10 years the officials at Michigan State University, where he worked, ignored the tortured girls as unreliable witnesses and did nothing. It took a groundbreaking investigation by the Indianapolis Star and the brave testimony of survivors and the growing strength of the Me Too and Times Up movements to bring Nasser to justice.
Meanwhile for the women who say Epstein abused them, that justice has been just as hard to find. That may be about to change. “Oh my God,” said Michelle Licata, one of Epstein's victims. She told the Miami Herald, who broke the story upon hearing about the new indictment. Finally, some justice. In order to enjoy violating young women a man has to be completely isolated from those young women's humanity. That kind of utter divorce from your own, the continuity of your humanity between yourself and others is fascistic. That's what's essential to be killing people, as twenty nine people have been shot in the last two days. It's that divorce from humanity that's responsible for Trump having no compassion for children in cages, for parents and children torn apart and living in wretched, filthy conditions, untended and without enough to eat. It's that utter fascistic divorce from the humanity of others is very dangerous for any nation to have.
In the US vulture capitalism and capitalist predation and grotesque hatred for women and girls combined to let rich men rape with impunity and then cover it up. The cover up, the New York Times reveals that Epstein got out of Palm Beach County Jail in 2009 after serving just 13 months for having sexually abused 36 women. Actually not women, young, young women and often barely pubescent girls. He still had about a half a million dollars intact. He used his money to buy an image as a forward-thinking, scientific philanthropist. He bought journalists to sing his praises in such reputable journals as Forbes, The National Review, even the Huffington Post. The prestigious Financial Times included on its website an interview by journalist Dylan Love recommending Epstein as someone who used his resources towards beneficial ends. The Financial Times didn't mention the beneficial end of buying positive coverage. It also omitted his status as a sex offender in Florida. Epstein's generous generous gifts to scientific research, his invitations to scientists to St. James Island which he owns. His grants for famous scientists work what silence on his copious crimes.
What else made such profligate predation power possible? What are the class dynamics here? Most of the violated girls came from disadvantaged families, single-parent homes who were poor or foster care. Julia Brown, the courageous journalist who exposed Epstein's sweet deal that escaped exposure in serious jail time, reports many of the girls were homeless. They needed money. They were ashamed of what their need for money led them into their youth and poverty made it easier for Epstein and his alleged recruiters, other girls to whom he promised cash and Jess Lane, his accomplice as well as others to bring in more recruits and to intimidate them. It made it easier for prosecutors to discount or disbelieve them when the time came. Important sources report that money talks. That's not news to us. We know that money talks.
Rich men are admired for their wealth, if they got it from legal or illegal ends as long as they're well-spoken, cultured, and educated pimps and educated rapists. They're rich; they buy fancy lawyers, judges, and the media in Epstein's case. It took a valiant reporter, Julia Brown, to track down many of the 36 girls that reported Epstein abused them. Their testimony had been discounted. She finally published the truth and the scope of Epstein's abuse in the Miami Herald. Epstein's money bought silence. There was a sweetheart deal bought; Acosta, Trump's former cabinet member, allowed Epstein to get away with a 13-month sentence. It was originally 18 months and Acosta commuted it and during that sentence Epstein was allowed to be away from his jail cell six days a week, 12 hours a day. During which time he also abused more girls. His money bought silence.
Now with Me Too and Time's Up that business as usual is somewhat interrupted. However, even now the media are quiet. The last we heard from the New York Times, who was covering this story every day, prosecutors subpoenaed the pilots to turn over the flight logs of who flew the Lolita Express to orgy Island. They're mandated by law to keep records, so that we could get to know the whole scope of people who raped these young girls on the Lolita plane. These are some connected people we already know about: two of them from prestigious Harvard. One, Alan Dershowitz, a professional professor who tried in 1997 to get the statutory rape law changed, so it was easier to rape young women. Another on his list was Larry Summers, former president of Harvard, who was kicked out by a popular movement because it was he who said that women's brains were too limited for science, that they weren't suited to that. His misogyny got him demoted to full professor. The information of who was on that flight, all those flights actually, was eliminated.
Why don't we see it? Money talks.
Thank you for listening. This episode has been brought to you by Democracy at Work. Please support our work. Visit our website: democracyatwork.info.
Transcript by Connor Bulgrin
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