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January 23, 2024 64 mins

Were The Finders a CIA operation? The short answer is "maybe"! The long answer is... this episode.

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Also media.

Speaker 2 (00:03):
November fourth, two thousand and nine, Wednesday, Grand Rapids, Michigan,
Oh my God. At a seven to eleven store, four
bodies are found by police just a little before midnight.
Where was Jamie Loftus during this horrible crime? That is
the question we're going to answer today on this episode

(00:25):
Behind the Bastards. I'm Robert Happens.

Speaker 3 (00:28):
I was in high school. I was in high school.

Speaker 2 (00:32):
We didn't all watch Cereal and learn that high schoolers
can murder.

Speaker 4 (00:36):
Jay think maybe that we should just clear the air
at the beginning of the episode. I don't want to,
you know, I feel like I owe the audience an explanation.
I've seen the allegations going around, many of them AI generated, saying.

Speaker 2 (00:51):
Things like all of them AYI generated.

Speaker 3 (00:55):
Quote.

Speaker 4 (00:56):
According to an episode of the podcast The Finders, Jamie
Loftus is involved in murders in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Speaker 3 (01:05):
Unquote.

Speaker 2 (01:06):
God has made it easier to be to be the
kind of piece of shit that I am, and for
that reason, I'm excited for the future.

Speaker 4 (01:15):
How bad could it be? Hopefully I lived till part four. Look,
my alibi is in early two thousand and nine or
in November on November fourth, two thousand and nine. I
was coming off of the rousing success of my Sarah
Palin Halloween costume, so.

Speaker 3 (01:35):
I could not have possibly been in Grand Rapids.

Speaker 4 (01:38):
I was in Brockton, celebrating my hilarious costume. And I
have like when Obama got elected the first time, I
had just tried birth control for the first time because
I like aspirationally thought that I might have sex at
some point, and I threw up during the inaugeration.

Speaker 3 (02:00):
It seems like a statement. It wasn't. I was just sick.

Speaker 2 (02:05):
Well, we've all gotten a fun lesson, a fun lesson
about how AI works and how easy it is if
you have a successful podcast to convince the Internet that
your friend committed a series of murders.

Speaker 4 (02:17):
The first result on Google is now jamieloftis Grand Rapids.

Speaker 5 (02:22):
It works.

Speaker 3 (02:23):
The episode came out five hours ago.

Speaker 2 (02:26):
It was we are recording this the day it dropped,
and I'm.

Speaker 3 (02:30):
A full on murderer already.

Speaker 2 (02:33):
Yeah.

Speaker 3 (02:34):
Okay, well, thank you so much. I have like you
can consult my alibis.

Speaker 4 (02:40):
And and you know, I always had a feeling that
podcasting would ruin my life.

Speaker 2 (02:45):
Yeah, yeah, and this has given me an idea of
folks friends at home every week, just send me money,
and whoever sends me the most money can also send
in the name of a friend they want framed for murder,
and I'll do it. You know, there don't appear to
be consequent is for this, No, not yet.

Speaker 1 (03:02):
Yeah, I do kind of wish mine with grand rapids.
Mine is just a variety of my name multiple times.
With age, Sophie ray lichtman age.

Speaker 6 (03:14):
I'M settling age because it's an awful lot of people
are trying to find out how old you are and
there's really no good reason they'd be doing that.

Speaker 3 (03:24):
You all, I'm ageless.

Speaker 2 (03:26):
Fuck you.

Speaker 4 (03:28):
I love those uh, I love those ones that are
like I like the ones where they speculate about whether
you're married and how much money you have and how
tall you are, because it's always wrong, like fight her,
like Jamie has five million dollars, she's four foot ten
and still a virgin, and you're like, fuck yeah, I

(03:51):
wish brother, that'd be great.

Speaker 2 (03:57):
Well, Jamie. Speaking of short virgins, I don't think there
are any short versions in this in this series, because,
as we discussed in our previous episodes, this guy had
a lot of sex, or at least wanted interviewers in
nineteen ninety six to believe that impossible to say which
the thing.

Speaker 4 (04:15):
We wanted people to believe a lot of things in
nineteen ninety six.

Speaker 3 (04:19):
This is on the less offensive end of it.

Speaker 2 (04:22):
Unfortunately, I will say, someone on the subreddit claims that
their grandma said that, yeah, people got laid like crazy
during World War Two. So you know, there's my AI
grade level of research into whether or not it was
true that people were having wild ass sext or in
the world.

Speaker 4 (04:39):
Sorry, someone on the reddit's grandma said that people fucked.

Speaker 3 (04:44):
During World War Yeah.

Speaker 2 (04:45):
They were commenting on the podcast and were like, well,
you know, based on what to what Marian said about
all the crazy World War two sex, my grandma said
the same thing. So that's you know, two data points.
We could print that in the New York Times now,
if I'm understanding journalists them correctly serious.

Speaker 1 (05:01):
Somebody was like, grandma fucked, and then you were like, great.

Speaker 4 (05:06):
Yeah, yeah, I mean I guess if they are a grandma,
like they fucked, right, yeah, you don't become a grandma,
but you can't become a grandma not fucking.

Speaker 3 (05:16):
Yeah, Well I guess you could adopt anyways.

Speaker 2 (05:19):
Yeah, anyway, let's uh for Grandma. I would watch that
movie story. So yeah, we when we left off our tale,
the story had blown up in the media. There were
all sorts of people speculating that not only was the
cult a bunch of Satanists, but they were trafficking children
across the country. The police were kind of in love

(05:42):
with hearing their own voices on Connie Chung and other
major television shows. Everybody was having a good time except
for six children, two arrested male cult members, and the
mothers of those children who were having much less of
a good time. Right, So the police started carrying out
raids on finders' properties back up north. Because it involved

(06:05):
the customs or interstate commerce, the Customs department wound up
being the guys who actually like did a lot of
the busts and stuff. They're not really busts because they
didn't find any evidence of crimes, but they went into
the properties and ransacked them, took a bunch of shit
away in bags. Particularly, they found a ton of computers
and advanced electronic equipment. This was the eighties, so we're

(06:28):
talking like word processing machines and stuff. But they wrote
about it like it was the KGB's spying operation. I'm
covered because this was the first computer anyone had ever seen.

Speaker 4 (06:38):
It's like it reminds me of I mean, this is
much later, but like when you go back and watch
the first Fast and the Furious movie and you realize
that the electronics they're trafficking are just DVD players and
you're just like, oh, okay, Yeah, people just didn't know
what a computer was at this time.

Speaker 3 (06:56):
You would go to jail over DVD players.

Speaker 2 (06:59):
They didn't know what wasn't wasn't impressive. Nowadays, you can't
throw away a def D player. They won't let you.

Speaker 4 (07:07):
These days, the computer will accuse you of murdering someone
in Michigan.

Speaker 2 (07:13):
For sure. Yeah, yeah, yeah, huge amounts of progress I
am imagining because this is the eighties, and when I
think about the wire, they're all still using typewriters, So
I'm imagining at this point the police are still like
using the Flintstones bird that chisels onto a rock tablet.
That's how all crimes get reported in the eighties. So yeah,
they make a big deal about the fact that they

(07:34):
find a bunch of advanced electronic equipment. Read word processors
and fax.

Speaker 3 (07:39):
Machines very suspicious.

Speaker 2 (07:42):
The only real piece of there's two pieces of like
scary information. One of them there's still no explanation. They
found cages on the farm and claimed that the cages
were for putting children in. I never heard that either
refuted or addressed. I never saw any evidence as to
why they thought that. So maybe someone locked a kid

(08:03):
up in a cage. But also it's only referenced once
in a police report, and as we're going to cover,
everything in the police report was pretty much wrong. So
one of the things stated is that a journal and
this comes from a journalist's article, but it's probably a
journalist who was talking to a police officer that there
were photos of naked children in a bag that he

(08:24):
saw through the plastic in a bag being carried out
by the police. Now that sounds pretty bad, except for
these people were never charged with child pornography. Authorities would
later clarify that none was found. The photos were just
normal pictures of little kids. I think one of two
things happened. Either a cop lied to a journalist common story,
or some parents had pictures of their kids where their

(08:47):
kids weren't like fully clothed like most parents wind up having,
you know, it has a shirt off at summer they're
running around or whatever, and that site was going on.

Speaker 4 (08:57):
Right, there's like those strange cases of people big like
charged with child pornography for pictures of themselves as a
child and all that time. Yeah, I mean, I don't
want to, like, you know, it's so tricky talking about
any of these cases, and it should be, but it
is like, you know, if if the police record is
mostly wrong, it's also very a very scary precedent. If

(09:19):
there is something to that allegation and they just simply
stopped following up on it, like that's also really bad.

Speaker 2 (09:27):
Yeah. Yeah, it's like it's worth investing again. And it
seems like this is probably a case. My guess is
that somebody saw some like unclear because again you're looking
through a trash bag, Like a photo of a kid
without their shirt on was like, oh my god, is
that child porn And it's like, no, it was a
kid running around a sprinkler in the summertime or whatever,

(09:48):
Like a parent took a picture of their child having
fun in the summer. Right, That's my guess based on
the fact that no charges of child pornography were ever
filed and police I tend to file charges for that
sort of thing. Yeah, they really do.

Speaker 4 (10:01):
Uh, they really do. And I know and and their
track record is so bad. Have you ever told you
about the computer game I had to play in middle
school where you have to save a child your age
from being sex trafficked in southern California?

Speaker 2 (10:17):
What it is?

Speaker 3 (10:19):
The way it like pops into my mind.

Speaker 4 (10:22):
It was it was called Missing, and it was like
I played it in like computer class. I will send
you the video. It was like this, you know, like uh,
like Choose your Own Adventure. That's very dark game where
a kid meets a guy on a message board and
is like sex trafficked and then it's like complicit in crimes.

Speaker 3 (10:46):
Wait, I'm saying I'm putting it in the chat right now.
It's really bizarre.

Speaker 4 (10:50):
And the the uh, the acting from the kids. Zach,
He's like, Hey, I'm Zach. I live in Toronto, my
parents got divorce recently, and I'm spending a lot of
time on my computer. And then anyways, he gets he
gets missing, and then you have to work with the
cops to find Zach and get him away from his

(11:15):
on his his online friendship with the villain whose name
is Phantasma.

Speaker 2 (11:20):
Now, Jamie, yes, that doesn't sound like a thing you
should be able to do.

Speaker 3 (11:26):
What play that game when you're twelve?

Speaker 2 (11:28):
Make children play that game, Jamie, that doesn't sound okay
at all?

Speaker 3 (11:32):
So bad? I agree with you. I don't know why,
but it was like.

Speaker 4 (11:36):
There, it was like a three part computer class where
it's like you play a math game for twenty minutes,
you play a reading comprehension game for twenty minutes, and
then you try to save Zach's life for twenty minutes,
and then you have to go to the next class.

Speaker 2 (11:47):
Well, at least the game has its priorities or something.
I know you see. This really shows the difference in
how dystopian things were when I was a kid and
when you were a kid. Because when I was that age,
we simply watched the Voyage of the Mimi, which starred
very very young child Ben Affleck and a huge jug

(12:07):
of peanut butter on a boat. That's an accurate description
of voyage of the meme. A lot of naked men
cuddling together, but not in a sex way. It was
a good show.

Speaker 3 (12:15):
I'm thrilled to report I have not seen it.

Speaker 2 (12:17):
Oh great stuff. A lot of people online are psyched
that I brought up the voyage of the meme. But God,
speaking of voyages, these children are on a voyage into
state custody because the police have apparently wrongly made claims
that they found cages and child pornography. One of the
journalists who reported on the bust of the farm quoted

(12:41):
customs officers Scott Hunt in an article he wrote. He
quoted Hunt as saying, it is our belief that these
kids were not kidnapped, but that their parents gave them
away because one of the rights of the Satanic organization
is that you give up your rights to your children,
and the leaders of this organization can do what they
want with your children. Now, this not based on anything, Jamie.

(13:01):
No one had told Hunt this. He had not found
evidence of this anywhere. This had not been claimed by anyone.

Speaker 1 (13:09):
Uh.

Speaker 2 (13:09):
This is just stuff that Hunt believed based on like
Oprah's shows about the Satanic panic that he'd watched. That's
why I don't know where his info comes from. But
no one told it to him because none of this
was real, and the finders never claimed to be a
Satanic organization.

Speaker 4 (13:24):
It is truly stunning to me how many like just
misinformation crusades were either like low key begun by or
really perpetuated by an episode of Oprah.

Speaker 2 (13:37):
Yeah, I don't know where else this would have come from.
It's possible maybe that random anonymous parent who called the
cops made this claim, but like, no one who had
any knowledge of the group made this claim. None of
the kids made this claim, like, this is just something
this cop set told a reporter that helped ignite a

(13:58):
moral panic, which is great, it's really good.

Speaker 4 (14:01):
And the reporter, what just didn't fact check it? They're like,
this sounds no.

Speaker 2 (14:05):
Why would you fast check a cop? You just print
whatever they say.

Speaker 3 (14:09):
It's true. It is their paper after all.

Speaker 2 (14:11):
Now, there was a small amount of physical evidence, by
which I mean one rate of a finder's own home
turned out a drawing of a pentagram, So that's clear
evidence of And to be honest, I haven't seen this drawing.
I wouldn't be surprised if somebody drew a star of
David and one of the cops was like pentagram the devil.
Really no way to know. Given the quality of the

(14:34):
police work going on here. There was also a bunch
of flat stones in a backyard and something that is
described as a tombstone that may not have been. The
police called this a ritual space. Former residents of the
cold House were like, this was our garden. You know,
we had like stones, like a walking path in the garden. Yeah,

(14:57):
I don't know, maybe it was a tombstone. I know
of at least two friends who have tombstones, like, you know,
fake ones in their garden.

Speaker 3 (15:06):
Like I was about to.

Speaker 4 (15:07):
Talk, I was about to talk shit, and then I realized,
I'm like, I literally have one within like arms lands exactly. Yeah,
I have a fake tombstone within arms reach. Yeah, it
is a normal thing to embarrassing.

Speaker 2 (15:20):
That's a small amount of evidence to find in order
to say they were trading their children for sex. Like,
that's not a lot to base that claim from.

Speaker 1 (15:31):
Right.

Speaker 4 (15:32):
It's so fucking infuriating hearing how poorly these investigations are done.

Speaker 2 (15:38):
Like it's yeah, okay, oh no, it is like blistering
incompetence going on here, and it's about to get incompetent
or which is.

Speaker 3 (15:47):
Not a word oops, all incompetence.

Speaker 2 (15:50):
Yeah. What makes this especially fucked up is that the
mothers of these kids tried as soon as they find
out what's happened, right, because you know, the guys who
get arrested get a call, they call the cold and
like Mary and Petty's secretary has to start calling, getting
off all the moms who were like in different parts
of the country or city, like playing various games that
he's ordered them to play, and be like, hey, your

(16:11):
kids are in custody and we're suspected of trafficking them
to Mexico. Sorry about that.

Speaker 3 (16:17):
Just checking in, Yeah, just checking in. Fuck.

Speaker 2 (16:20):
So obviously, being moms, they immediately call the police, right
and to try to be like, hey, yeah, you know
these guys, our kids were with them with our permission.
Nothing's going on here. Please give us our children back.
But you know, Scott Hunt, that customs officer I quoted
from earlier making those claims about Satanism, was really fucking incompetent.

(16:42):
Scott Hunt skunt as well. No, okay, so no, let's
go with that.

Speaker 3 (16:48):
I'm with you with you.

Speaker 2 (16:50):
So, because of the media circus around the case, they're
not able to get through the phone lines to talk
to him. And I'm going to quote from John Cohen's
article describing what happened when the parents try to call
the police, and this reads like every parent's nightmare. When
the mothers called Scott Hunt at the Tallahassee Police Department
on Monday evening, they couldn't get through. Carolyn's on the

(17:11):
phone saying she's Beebe's mother, and she's met by snorts
and giggles, recalls Erico. That's one of the other mothers.
She's the two hundredth caller claiming these beautiful children. They
finally spoke to Tallahassee police, but Hunt still told the
media they had yet to hear from the mothers. I'll
never forgive him from that, says Erico. So, first off,
the cops laughed when the mothers called in it first
because so many people were calling in falsely claiming to

(17:33):
be the parents of those kids. And then when they
finally did talk to the police, Hunt just didn't report
that to the media. He just continued saying their parents
haven't gotten in touch, because I guess that was made
a better story for him to get on. Connie chung
with like, I don't know why he would lie about that,
but he did. So that's cool, m M, good stuff.

(17:55):
OK Now, it's not just the cops and the press. Here,
Petty is also to blame for a lot of this.
He reacted to the whole very serious situation with more
amusement than concern. Again, everything is kind of a game
to this guy, and that's how he treats the fact
that all of these women's children are now in custody.

Speaker 4 (18:14):
Right, Yeah, it is kind of I mean, I guess
it is very in keeping with a cult like figure
to take things equally unseeriously, no matter how far are
they escalate. Yeah, just same exact energy brought when there's
children in danger.

Speaker 2 (18:28):
And so you know, he gets on the phone with
all the mothers and he's like, well, this is another game.
In this game, the FBI is the game caller, and
you know, we just have to kind of play the
game they want to play. Now. The moms are like,
our kids are in custody in Tallahassee. We are all
flying to Tallahassee. And he is like, no, no, you
live in d C. You should stay in DC. So

(18:49):
he orders them not to go get their kids in Florida,
which pisses a lot of them off. This is actually
going to start a schism within the cult.

Speaker 4 (18:57):
Yeah, no, shit, okay, so, but they're they're not so
far gone that they like.

Speaker 2 (19:04):
They don't seem to be gone at all. That's the
saying okay again. One of the hard things to tell
about this is like the degree to which people are
like brainwashed or whatever. We'll talk with Araco some, but
like the attitude generally seems to be this was like
a fun game. I was playing, Like this whole cult
was like a fun thing to do with my friends

(19:25):
until they fucked with my kids and then it stopped
being fun. Like but they I'm just going to tell
the story. It's it's odd the way this pace is out. Okay, yeah, because.

Speaker 3 (19:35):
This sounds like they're having fairly rational responses.

Speaker 2 (19:39):
Yes, yes, again, this is not whatever else we can
say about this cult. It's not kind of exercising the
same degree of like mental control over at least most
of its members as a lot of other cults we cover.
I don't know where you want to like lash that
out morally, but it is it is interesting. Yeah, speaking

(19:59):
of interesting, Jamie, Yep, Yeah, listen to this podcast. Ads.
Oh okay, yeah, and we're back. We're back.

Speaker 4 (20:17):
I hope that they advertised that computer game I've tried
to buy it online.

Speaker 3 (20:22):
I tried to buy it online. This is horrible.

Speaker 4 (20:25):
I tried to buy it online last year because I
was just like, I need to remember.

Speaker 3 (20:29):
How fucked up this?

Speaker 4 (20:31):
Because it was so scary, and I remember there were
kids in class that were like, can we spend more
time on the Zach game? It just feels more urgent
than math. And I couldn't find it. I got sent
a different game, a different mid Auts computer game about
child abduction, so there was more than one.

Speaker 2 (20:50):
Yeah, and I you know, if you know me, you
know I love a good child. I don't know where
to continue this, Jamie.

Speaker 3 (20:58):
All right, well just get back to the I just,
you know.

Speaker 2 (21:01):
Yeah, let's get back to the podcast. Not talking about
Oh my god, Grand Rapids Michigan.

Speaker 3 (21:09):
No, I already told you where I was. Yeah, I've
been advised to not say more at this time.

Speaker 2 (21:14):
I do, Sophie. Do you think we could make money
if instead of selling ads, we kind of like blackmail
advertisers with not associating their brand with famous killing sprees,
using our audience as sort of like a weapon against them.
Is that a good idea for making money?

Speaker 1 (21:32):
No, it's a good idea for ending this podcast and
all of our people losing their health for shirts and home.

Speaker 2 (21:38):
Well, you and I'll hash that out behind the scenes,
but I feel like we can make some money do it.

Speaker 3 (21:42):
I just vetoed it. I trust Sophie.

Speaker 2 (21:46):
I mean, we didn't get sued over the blue apron thing.
I think that means we're bulletproof.

Speaker 3 (21:50):
Sophie, we agreed to never discuss that.

Speaker 2 (21:54):
Let's test it. Bulletproof coffee is still a product. I think,
why don't you see if you can associate them with
the Green River strangler. You know, let's just try it out, everybody.
Let's just try it out. What Sophie, I have gone
mad with power?

Speaker 3 (22:07):
Yeah, coffee is still around.

Speaker 2 (22:11):
It is still around. Well, that's embarrassing.

Speaker 1 (22:13):
People really liked that shit for like so many years,
and I was like, I had it.

Speaker 2 (22:19):
Once and there's too much butter in that coffee. Yeah
I don't need that much butter in my coffee.

Speaker 3 (22:26):
I just saw the Folders Incest commercial for the first
time a couple You seen it.

Speaker 2 (22:31):
Oh, that is the best part of waking.

Speaker 4 (22:33):
Up is your brother coming home from his creepy mission
trip so you can give him a big old kiss
on the lob.

Speaker 2 (22:41):
I love that he has just been in like Ethiopia
or somewhere and he's like, finally real coffee.

Speaker 3 (22:47):
I know, bro, you were so many.

Speaker 2 (22:48):
You were where coffee comes from? What is wrong with you?

Speaker 4 (22:52):
There's so many errors made and there oh oh it
is what.

Speaker 2 (22:57):
A text that brother inter make immediately after the ad
cuts off. Anyway, speaking first, speaking of mistakes, Petty makes
a series of mistakes here because not only does he
tell these moms don't go get your kids come to DC,
he orders his followers and particularly his like goofy male followers,

(23:19):
who are all again playing a game, to respond to
the court case against them in a way that's like
it's designed, number one, not to be an efficient response,
and number two, it's designed to kind of fuck with
people's heads because he seems to find that funny. Like
I don't know exactly what his purpose here, but he
is not taking steps that you would take to try

(23:39):
and get your kids released as quickly as possible.

Speaker 3 (23:42):
That's another question I have, Like what is he getting
out of this?

Speaker 2 (23:46):
I think he enjoys muddying the waters. He likes being
a prankster. He comes out of you know, we did
our episodes in the Illuminati last year, and we talked
about the Discordians, right, these guys, one of whom was
really closely tied to the fucking Kennedy assassination. Who's like
reaction to being closely tied to a conspiracy was to
just make more conspiracies to like fuck with people.

Speaker 3 (24:07):
I don't like this, Heath Ledger joker approach.

Speaker 2 (24:10):
This is not I think it's fine. Potentially, if it's like, yeah,
I am being investigated by the government for killing the president,
maybe I'm going to like fuck around a little bit.
You're the one on the line. But when you're making
when you're like potentially endangering the ability of parents to
get back their children, I think you're doing something bad.

Speaker 3 (24:29):
You know, yeah, yeah, wow. And that's a really hot take.
But I think you were brave to say it.

Speaker 2 (24:34):
Thank you, Jamie, Thank you.

Speaker 7 (24:37):
So.

Speaker 2 (24:37):
One of the lawyers who's going to be representing the
Finders later tells John Cohen, the journalists that several members
of the group were after he was like retained to
represent them in this case, A bunch of Finders members
are sent over to like help him make the case
to defend them, and this is how he describes them.
They all had handlebar mustaches and dressed alike. I sent

(24:59):
them to the FSU library to get me books for
the case to explain their philosophy. They came back with
books on psychology, India, American Indians, Samoan tribes, Chinese philosophy.

Speaker 3 (25:09):
What are you talking about?

Speaker 2 (25:12):
Yeah, yeah, there, it's nonsense. I'm going to continue that
quote from Cohen's article. Right before the hearing, Walalborski, that's
the lawyer learned that the Finders men she had been
working with had left town and were replaced by Steve Usden,
who is another member of the cult. She also got
the news that Petty had put a gag order on
the other two men who had come there, and that

(25:33):
she was going to be fired. I said, okay, the
First Amendment issues haven't even been argued, and they stand
up and fired me. In court, Steve Ustin delivered a
proclamation from Petty. Our interests in the state's interests are
the same, he said, so we don't need counsel. Some
people practice law twenty or thirty years and never get fired.
On television, Wilborski jokes, so, wow, that is not taking

(25:56):
the case. Firing your lawyer the day of then announcing
you're representing yourself, sending these weird mustache guys in costume
to do research. None of that is like taking it
very seriously.

Speaker 4 (26:09):
Yeah, it's treating it like you live in a B movie,
Like that's absurd.

Speaker 2 (26:14):
Yeah. So one of the moms calls Petty, and this
is how Paula Eriko, who's one of the other mothers,
describes this mother Livingstone, calling Petty, she begs him to
tell her what to do. He said, fire your attorney.
If you called him and begged him and he told
you to do it, you can't say no. She was
in agony. She really loves her son and she knew
what would happened the way I knew what would happen

(26:36):
if I fired my attorney. It wouldn't be in the
best interest of her children. So like, these women are
calling and crying, like begging him to not make them
fire their attorneys, and he's being like, lay off your attorney.
And this is what causes a split, because some of
these women fire their representation and like go with Petty,
and some of them are like, no, fuck you, I'm
gonna do whatever. I think we'll get my kid back. Fastest.

Speaker 3 (26:58):
Right.

Speaker 4 (27:00):
Yeah, it is again just like interesting that they're that
he doesn't have so title hold that it's it's not
one of those stories where parents will actively not act
in the best interests of their child because yeah, he
says so.

Speaker 2 (27:14):
Okay, yes some of them do, when some of them don't.

Speaker 3 (27:17):
Okay.

Speaker 2 (27:17):
Anyway, that's obviously this chaos. The fact that lawyers are
getting hired and fired and like there's they're they're putting
in statements into court based on like Buddhist philosophy and shit.
That is part of where some of the disinformation comes from,
a lot of it also comes from, as we noted earlier.
Once this story blows up, hundreds of random American dip
shits conspiracy theories, people who again watch the same Oprah

(27:40):
special as that customs agent guy and grew paranoid about it.
They start clogging the police phone lines with their own
theories about satanic pedophiles. One of the Scott Hunt, the
customs officer says, I had seventy five reporters waiting skunt
I had seventy five reporters waiting for me in the lobby.
We logged four hundred and fifty ten phone calls to

(28:00):
me in two days. They were bringing in overtime people
to help take messages, and yeah, these are like just
a lot of this is just pure nonsense. They've got
all these different organizations, the National Center for Exploited Children,
Children's Clearing House, the National Child's Safety Council, the National
Association of Missing Children, all like canvassing on this case,

(28:21):
trying to find information about these kids and their parents,
even though the parents have contacted the police, and generating
this like huge amount of like false info. And also,
because this is America, somebody calls in a bomb threat
on the safe house where the police are holding the kids.
May have been a cult member. We don't really know.
It's just chaos right now, right. Yeah, So everything beyond

(28:45):
the initial busybody claims who said that they were Satanists
because she thought that would get a response, and the
human services investigator who claimed that there was proof of
sexual abuse. Everything else that's like claimed in the initial
days after the case breaks about like abuse and ritual
altars and cages and stuff. All of that info comes

(29:06):
from one guy Ramone Martinez, a junior custom service agent.
So we have one the initial claim of satanism comes
from a mom who had never met any of these
guys and was just trying to get someone to do
something because she was worried about the kids. The neighbor, right,
this is the neighbor. The claim that humans that children
were molested comes from a human services investigator who misheard

(29:29):
or lied about what a doctor said when a doctor
was like, there's a couple of things we should check
up on. Might be evidence of abuse, might not be
everything else. The claim that like kids were locked in cages,
that there's pictures of naked children, that there's ritual altars,
and children are being traded. All of that, the source
comes from a police report by Customs Service Agent Ramone Martinez.
Now that sounds pretty serious because that's a federal agent

(29:53):
making some really really horrifying claims. However, other federal agents
get to weigh in on this too, And here's how
a later FBI report summarizes Ramon's claims. United States Customs
Service Agent Blank they're talking about Martinez claims to have
observed a substantial amount of computer equipment and documents purportedly
containing instructions for obtaining children for unspecified purposes. The instructions

(30:17):
allegedly included the impregnation of female members of the community,
purchasing children, trading children, and kidnapping them. So that is
like how they summarize his claims. But there's no evidence.
They're like, we don't write.

Speaker 3 (30:31):
I'm like, where is this coming from. You do have
to prove.

Speaker 2 (30:35):
Something, Yes, you have to show and that's what the
FBI says. They're like, well, we asked him what this
is based on, and he didn't have anything other than
the police report he wrote, Like, he's claiming that he
found documents about how to trade in traffic children and
none of these are ever seen by anyone else. Okay,
So when it comes to the conspiracy theories about the finders,

(30:59):
every conspiratory or you'll take you find takes this guy
very seriously. Now, the FBI comes to the conclusion that, like,
there's no evidence for any of this. The physical evidence
that he claims he saw that was recovered from the
farm and from the house does not match the descriptions
in his police report.

Speaker 4 (31:15):
I hate when the FBI is the most reasonable party present.

Speaker 3 (31:20):
That's like, that's a sign that you're on a dark path.

Speaker 2 (31:23):
Yeah, And like what they do find, there's some weird
essays and on stuff on child rearing that they find,
which is part of like they're these like because again
this is like an experimental cult, like they're experimenting with
like all these different ways, like is it better to
raise children if you raise them communally, you don't send
them to school, and like that's kind of weird. It's

(31:43):
not maybe not great to experiment on your kids, we
could say, but it's not a child trafficking guide, right,
So he is he sees these weird essays on like
new age family rearing, and he just kind of says, ah,
these are these are guides to sex trafficking children, and
it's you know, there's it's like pamphlets on how petty
thinks pregnancy should be handled. And again it's very new agy.

(32:05):
You know what if we take these vitamins and do
a natural birth instead of a birth this way, it's
like the kind of life hack shit that you find
all over the internet now, But it's not instructions for
ritual sex abuse of children.

Speaker 3 (32:18):
Well, if that's the bar, then terrific.

Speaker 2 (32:23):
Yeah. So the wingnut interpretation of Martinez's claims is well
represented from an article I found on an incredibly credible
website Gnostic Warrior Quote. Martinez wrote that he was unable
to review the evidence after multiple attempts, and said that
he was eventually told by a confidential, unnamed informant within
the DC Police the investigation into the finders has become

(32:45):
an internal CIA matter. No further will be available and
no further action will be taken, So that's good. US
Customs Officer, Martinez wrote on April second, nineteen eighty seven,
I arrived at MPD at approximately nine am. Detective Bradley
was not available. I spoke to a third party who
was willing to discuss the case with me on a
strictly off the record basis. I was advised that all

(33:07):
the passport data had been turned over to the State
Department for their investigation. The State Department in turn advised
the MPD that all travel and use of the passports
by the holders of the passports was within the law
and no action would be taken. This included travel to Moscow,
North Korea, and North Vietnam from the late nineteen fifties
to the mid nineteen seventies. The individual further advised me
of circumstances which indicated that the investigation into the activity

(33:29):
of the finders had become a CIA internal matter. The
MPD report has been classified secret and was not available
for review.

Speaker 3 (33:38):
This is such a clusterfuck.

Speaker 2 (33:40):
It is it is, And what he's talking about there,
this is like passport. That's as far as I can tell,
that's Petty's passport. So one of the things will we
get back into, like oh, maybe there is some conspiracy here.
From the fifties to the seventies, Petty is visiting the
Soviet Union, North Korea, and North Vietnam, which is like
a difficult time to visit those countries as an American citizen, right, yes, yes,

(34:03):
And so the CIA becomes aware of him as a
result of that, And it's unclear are they aware of
him because he was traveling to those countries at their behest?
Did they become aware of him because they saw an
American traveling to those countries and wanted to know what
the fuck was going on, like why was he going there?
And knowing Petty, it's entirely possible he was just curious.

(34:24):
But this is some of the shit that gives the
conspiracy legs because you get these like he seems to
have been traveling to some really weird fucked up places
that got him on the government radar. And this guy
Ramon Martinez, this customs agent who is himself a conspiracy theorist,
finds this out as he's starting to suspect that this
is a big child molestation conspiracy, and it seems it

(34:44):
like deepens his suspicions, right right, So yeah, that's cool now.

Speaker 4 (34:51):
It'S I mean, it is just like stunning, how many
like every time a new party is introduced into this
investigation it gets worse.

Speaker 2 (35:02):
Yeah, yeah, and it's you know. He Martinez also claims, quote,
I was advised that the FBI had withdrawn from the
investigation several weeks prior, and that the FBI Foreign counter
Intelligence Division had directed MPD not to advise the FBI
Washington Field office of anything that transpired. Now that we
can say, the FBI says is untrue. Right. The FBI

(35:23):
claims that is not why we did not withdraw from
the investigation. We did not direct MPD not to advise
the Washington Field office of anything that happened. None of
that is true. Their reports state quite bluntly that nothing
Martinez said was verified, right, that he was just kind
of full of shit, like definitely full of shit. And
in the FBI language they say he was full of

(35:44):
fucking shit. And the FBI basically says, we don't see
any evidence of a legal activity whatsoever. Maybe some questionable
parenting tactics, but nothing beyond that. Washington, DC police come
to the same conclusion. And as a spoiler, no member
of the Finders is ever convicted of a crime.

Speaker 4 (36:03):
However, Oh, I genuinely, Robert, I let you tell me
these stories.

Speaker 3 (36:08):
I don't. I don't look it up in the interceding week.

Speaker 2 (36:12):
Yeah, no one, no one, no, because there's no evidence
that any of them broke any loss. Now, okay, there's
actually there are some suggestions that like they may have
done some arson and harassing of former members.

Speaker 3 (36:26):
Thought the arson. We haven't talked about the arson today.

Speaker 2 (36:28):
No one knows anything about it, like the police just
kind of I don't think it ever got reported. It
just got told to the police after the fact when
they started interviewing former members who were like, yeah, and
somebody's house burned down after they left. Maybe that was related.
Maybe it was the fact that they made beds out
of petroleum in the eighties. I don't know. Impossible to
say was this was this a cult attack or was

(36:51):
this someone sleeping with a cigarette in their mouth?

Speaker 3 (36:54):
And yeah, and sometimes it is both.

Speaker 2 (36:58):
Yeah, yeah, which is why I recommend always sleep with
a lit cigarette in your mouth. People. You know it's true.
It's good. That's the best kind of fire alarm because
you'll feel it if the fire starts real fast.

Speaker 4 (37:13):
I miss a good old arson insurance scam that happened
in my neighborhood when I was growing up, and it
was like a regionally specific one. They're like, oh, she
had a Yankee candle on her bed.

Speaker 3 (37:25):
Oh why, I know. You know when you have the
Yankee candle on your bed and then.

Speaker 2 (37:29):
The house burns down for sure.

Speaker 3 (37:32):
And then you have a new, better house across town.
I hate when that happened.

Speaker 2 (37:35):
My last name comes from an arson scam. Do tell well, Yeah,
when my family first came here, my great grandpa, like
the first member of our family to come from Italy
in like the twenties, either was involved with the mob
or was running an insurance scam that the mob wasn't
cut in on, and so they rolled on him to

(37:57):
the cops. It's unclear which, but he was like burning
down barber shops first his own and then other people's
for the insurance money. And he got arrested and his
wife was so ashamed that she moved the family across
the country and changed our last name, which is why
people on the suburb that were like, his last name's Welsh,
but he claims to be Italian. That's because my real
last name is not my legal last name. That, yeah,

(38:21):
is incredible. Good stuff. Isn't that fun? Good family? Yeah,
we love to see it. You know what else we
love to see, Jamie?

Speaker 3 (38:29):
What do we love to see?

Speaker 2 (38:31):
We love to see the products and services that support
this podcast.

Speaker 3 (38:34):
Oh ain't that the truth?

Speaker 6 (38:42):
Ah?

Speaker 2 (38:42):
And we are back. So the good news Jamie is
that our friend the Gnostic Warrior was right about one thing,
which is that the CIA were definitely involved with the Finders.

Speaker 3 (38:54):
Wow.

Speaker 2 (38:55):
Yeah, this is again where we take it. There's so
many turns in this, like they are for sure in
play to some extent. It is just really unclear do
we know?

Speaker 3 (39:06):
Yeah? It was like do we know to what extent?
At which point? Like where?

Speaker 2 (39:10):
Yeah, anything I'm going to verify. I'm going to start
with like what we can verify, right, what we know
were actual connections to Petty and the Finders with the CIA. Right.
The biggest and most obvious one of them is that
his wife works for the CIA. Right. I think I
called her an agent earlier. She's not like a literal
field agent as far as I can tell. But I
also don't know what her job was. I just don't

(39:31):
think they had female agents during the time when she
was in the CIA. But she works in the CIA
for a while. That is definitely the case. And when
the FBI does their first investigation into the Finders while
the court case is still active, they see Martinez claiming that,
like the CIA is involved and like that was trying
to stop the investigation. So the FBI reaches out to

(39:53):
the CIA, right, because they're both federal agencies, you know,
that's the prey normal thing.

Speaker 3 (39:58):
Federal agencies. They're and you know, like fuck with the
world and kill people and yeah, they're well.

Speaker 2 (40:05):
And they also crucially they hate each other. The FBI
and the CIA do not get along because they're always
fighting for money. Right, So the FBI is like, yeah,
maybe the CIA is involved with this guy his wife
was in. We should reach out and see if the
CIA is doing some fucked ub shit. This is not
all that long after they have a big fight over

(40:25):
a bunch of MK ultra stuff, because it leads to
like the CIA fucking with FBI investigations. So the FBI like, hey,
is this shit you and the CIA does not say no,
I'm going to read you first. First, I'm gonna start
with the first reference to the CIA and the FBI's records.
This is from a section summarizing different law enforcement investigations

(40:46):
into the cult. So like Maryland police, you know, DC police, FBI,
they're like summarizing each of the investigations. Central Intelligence Agency investigation.
Although the CIA claims their only involvement was that and
then several words are blanked out was a former employee
of the agency, so it's clearly their only involvement was
that Marion's wife was a former employee. They stated that

(41:06):
they were monitoring the investigation from the beginning, and then
another sentences blanked out, so we don't get much there.
But the FBI files also disclose a DC Metropolitan Police
report which reads this way, At approximately fifteen thirty hours,
Detective Blank spoke with Special Agent Blank, referencing any contact
the members of the Finders may have had with the agency.

(41:28):
Special Agent Blank guarded but Frank and his responses. He
confirmed that Blank Isabelle now deceased, was an employee of
the agency from nineteen fifty until you know that that's
Marion's wife. When as far investigation was treading on anybody's
toes out there, he replied sort of. He acknowledged that
they have someone working on the case since it first

(41:49):
broke in the news media. He also stated that the
agency is aware that during the period of nineteen sixty
nine to nineteen seventy one, Blank traveled to Moscow, North Korea,
and North Vietnam. So what what comes out here is
this detective says, are we treading on your toes by
investigating this cult? And the CIA says sort of, And
then they clarify that they have assigned an agent to

(42:10):
the case when the story broke, And that's backed up
by the fact that the FBI summarizes a CIA investigation
into the Finders, Right. So all the CIA is saying
there is that like, you're kind of treading on our
toes because we know that we're being accused of being
involved and we're looking into it. However, you can also
see how the CIA responding sort of to a detective

(42:31):
asking is this your guys would lead to a lot
of conspiracies that doesn't look good.

Speaker 4 (42:37):
And it's also just like, uh, the CIA, I honestly
kind of appreciate their candor there because they're just like, yeah,
we've done so many fucked up things in the interceding years.

Speaker 2 (42:48):
We're going to have to check the books.

Speaker 3 (42:49):
We're actually like it's probably, but like we just want
to be sure.

Speaker 2 (42:54):
Yeah. It's like it's like when I wake up after
a blackout and someone's like, did you piss on the
side of my car? And I'm like, I don't know,
let me let me consult my notes on last night.

Speaker 7 (43:03):
That's entirely possible based on historical record, it's likely I did,
but I want to do my confirm yeahah, take a
piss strip to it, see if it's real.

Speaker 2 (43:17):
And this also it's interesting to me too that this
detective says that the CIA told him like this guy,
Mary and Petty traveled out of the country to a
bunch of communist states from sixty nine to seventy one.
It's interesting that they would just say that during a
phone call. So that's weird. You get why all of
that causes people to be like, something, what the fuck
was going on here? I'm kind of like, what the

(43:38):
fuck was going on here?

Speaker 4 (43:39):
Right?

Speaker 2 (43:39):
That's suspicious as hell.

Speaker 3 (43:41):
It's deeply weird.

Speaker 2 (43:42):
Now that said, everyone who knew Petty during this time
was like, yeah, he would. He loved pretending to be
a spy and making other people pretend to be a spy.
He may have been traveling like North Korea just to
pretend to be a spy. He may have been LARPing. Right,
anything is possible, Almost anything is possible. Now. The second
half of that police report makes it clear that the

(44:04):
detective in the case also did not take the CIA's
answers at face value, which is very rational when you're
dealing with the CIA quote. As a practical matter, what
is not being said is as important as what Special
Agent Blank has said. Special Agent Blank acknowledge that we
are treading on their toes and that they have had
someone working on the case since February fifth, when it broke.

(44:25):
They apparently have a vested interest in Blank and or
the group. I think that's Petty right, and or the group.
They have not contacted any of the investigating agencies where
they have been working on the case. They are also
aware that Blank traveled to prohibited countries during a period
of hostilities that could only have been arranged by them. Finally,
he stated that, and then there's like two sentences blanked out.
This could explain a lot about this group's funding, which

(44:46):
we have been unable to document at this point. So
does that mean the CIA was sending these guys money,
because that's what it seems like from the police reports,
but anything could be in those sentences.

Speaker 4 (44:55):
It really it's a crimes medlive by some of the
least reliable narrators on the planet.

Speaker 2 (45:04):
Now, and again it's really unclear did the CIA say
something or did he just interpret this as them saying
something that could be determined as them funding it, because
like we know that a bunch of people who had
money joined the Finders and gave them their money, and
we know they operated several profitable businesses, so it's you
don't have to have like what they're doing does not

(45:26):
require so much money that you have to have like
government backing to explain it. But this report does kind
of make it seem like, well, yeah, maybe the fucking
CIA puts some money in there. And it also like
he's saying you can only travel this. Detective says Petty
could only have traveled to these prohibited countries during wartime
if the CIA had arranged it. That's not entirely true.

(45:48):
There's other cases of Americans traveling to these countries during
the Cold War. But maybe the CIA told him that.

Speaker 4 (45:56):
So I don't know, well, And it's like his proximity
to the CIA really, uh, like the CIA and the
LARPing are.

Speaker 3 (46:05):
In constant conflict with each other. Yeah, I don't know
what to think.

Speaker 2 (46:08):
There is zero evidence that this is a satanic conspiracy.

Speaker 4 (46:12):
Now, definitely, That's the one thing I can say for sure.

Speaker 2 (46:16):
There's a decent amount of evidence that something shady with
the CIA and the Finder's coat was going on, right,
It's just really unclear the extent that that took and
what we're we we have more to say on the matter.

Speaker 4 (46:28):
Okay, because I'm also curious because I know that you
you characterized his relationship with his wife as like it
grew as strange pretty quickly once the finger stuff started
taking off.

Speaker 3 (46:36):
But it's like, what do we even know that that's true?

Speaker 2 (46:39):
You know, like it's just there's and here's the thing,
this is where we.

Speaker 3 (46:43):
Sound like we'd spreading conspiracies.

Speaker 2 (46:45):
Okay, it's entirely possible he was connected to the CIA
and that it had nothing to do with his wife's
connection to the CIA. What Yeah, Yeah, that's that's what
we're getting into because it's it's it's just peculiar. Right.
So the author Mark Reebling, who wrote a book about
the conflict between the FBI and the CIA, has described

(47:06):
in that book basically like these two agencies have a
series of escalating conflicts. A lot of it starts with
mk Ultra. So a lot of this stuff actually reaches
kind of like a new height of conspiracism a few
years after the case drops. And we're going to have
to jump ahead here before we go back to nineteen
eighty eight to talk about how this shakes out, because

(47:26):
it's about stuff that's happening in the eighties but doesn't
get found out until later. Just before Christmas nineteen ninety three,
a report comes out that the CIA had had the
FBI cover up to some extent, it's connections with the Finders,
and that connection was that the CIA had hired the
Finders for computer training. Right, And I'm for a more

(47:47):
detailed summary of what happened. I'm going to read an
excerpt from an AP News article here. Okay, the CIA
sent some employees to a company called Future Enterprises, Inc.
For computer training in the nineteen eighties, but the spokesman
said the CIA did not know about any connections between
the company and the Finders, and added that the company
was in no sense a CIA front or ever owned
or operated by anyone for the CIA. Joseph Marinach, vice

(48:11):
president of Future Enterprises, says the company has trained CIA
employees and computer use and continues to do so, but
that it has never been afront for anyone. Marinich said.
One Finder's member, former IRS employee Robert Garder Terrell, worked
for the company before he was let go in February
nineteen eighty seven. So what's going on there is you've
got this company that trains people in computer use, and

(48:35):
right before the Finders all get busted and this case starts,
the CIA hires them to train CIA agents. And the
member of the Finders that is training those CIA agents
is former IRS employee Robert Terrell, Who's the guy who
writes the biography of Mary and Petty. That's the major
source for the first part of this episode, So that's fun. Yeah,

(48:58):
huh yeah, lot of stuff like this. Now we know
the Finders had a lot of coders and computer technicians.
A lot of smart nerds are in this cult and
also in this period of time, the CIA probably doesn't
have a ton of people inside the agency who are
great with computers. It's not weird that they would be
hiring out for that because computers are very new. That said,

(49:21):
it's also totally within the dealings of the CIA to
like operate companies and shit and use that as a
way to like send money places without having it be open.
You know, it's like a thing they do over and
over again. That said, it would be weird to do
that and then hire that company to train CIA agents,
which would seem to like increase the level of suspicion

(49:42):
towards the CIA. Yeah, yeah, I don't know why you
do that.

Speaker 4 (49:48):
I also don't know why you'd do that. I'm also
stuck on computer training.

Speaker 2 (49:52):
Yeah, I think it's like excel basically, like you can't
do a lot like computers back, like how I taught.

Speaker 4 (49:58):
The old employee at the Comptroller's office how to like surely,
I just don't I'm stuck this is this is giving
me conspiracy brand because you're surely there is someone who
could train you on computers comparably to the finders that
aren't the finders.

Speaker 2 (50:16):
Like, I don't know. But also what this makes me think,
So Terrell is a former IRS agent and a big
thing the CIA might want computer training in is like forensics.
Right if you're investigating, say this is the Cold War, Right,
you're investigating a company that you think is a front
for the Russian government there has received funds from Russian intelligence, Right, Sure,

(50:37):
well that would be something you might need someone who
is a forensic analyst of like computer records to look through.
And Tarrell, as a former IRS agent who knows computers,
might be able to train them in doing that, right, Like,
I can see that being just that. I can see
him just being involved because he has this knowledge based
on his background, and the CIA is interesting in getting

(50:58):
their employees trained on it. It's also possible, like a
number of things are possible here, right, it could be
a coincidence like that he was working for this company
and the CIA contracted with them because there just wasn't
a lot of computer training in the DC area at
that point in time. It's also possible that one way
or another, Petty found out that the CIA was using

(51:19):
this company to train their agents, and that Petty sent
Arrell to work at future enterprises as part of a
game because he wanted to know what kind of shit
the CIA was being trained in. Right. That is also
in character with the group.

Speaker 3 (51:31):
Right.

Speaker 2 (51:32):
It's also possible that the CIA was aware of this
and sent agents to get this training because they knew
a Finder's member was in the company. Right, Like, all
three of those things could be the case. It's really
and all three of those things are in character with
the players involved in this, right, and all of.

Speaker 4 (51:49):
The characters in this In this sort of saga, you
historically cannot trust.

Speaker 2 (51:56):
No, everyone is alive and be honest. Beyond being a liar,
Petty likes spreading disinformation to make people believe untrue things
about his cult because he's a prankster and also likes
sewing doubt. And the CIA does the same thing because
they're the CIA. So we really very hard to know
what has actually happened here.

Speaker 4 (52:18):
Yeah, the FBI CIA rivalry, I mean, it makes total sense.
And it's also just like you know, like Red Sox
Yankees for people that want to fucking destroy the world.

Speaker 3 (52:27):
It's so depressing.

Speaker 2 (52:29):
Yeah, it is. And obviously the CIA are the Yankees.
I think we can all agree on that.

Speaker 3 (52:34):
I don't know. I guess I don't. I don't want
to choose. I don't want to choose. I resent having
to choose.

Speaker 2 (52:42):
Yeah, okay, on what grounds is the CIA the Yanks
East Coaster?

Speaker 3 (52:47):
Okay? On what grounds?

Speaker 2 (52:49):
I feel like the Yankees also over through the government
of Guatemala.

Speaker 4 (52:53):
Oh okay, well when you put it like that, yeah, okay,
no further questions.

Speaker 2 (52:59):
So the other possibility as to what's happening here is
that everything that was going on, because like, the thing
that didn't make sense to me is all right, if
the CIA is running this computer training company, why would
they have it train their CIA agents and establish a
paper trail between them? That seems dumb. But what if
the whole training thing is a cover for the agency

(53:20):
to communicate with or otherwise use the Finders, Right? What
if this was a way of them by establishing this
relationship of getting money, funneling money to the Finders for
whatever they had them doing, right, or to like, Yeah,
I don't know, it's possible. A theory I find particularly
compelling is posited to John Cohen by Daniel Brandt. And
Daniel Brandt is an independent left wing intelligence analyst who

(53:44):
marketed in this period of time a database of intelligence
citations called spy Base, starting in the nineteen eighties. So
this is like, if you're a progressive, like, I'm trying
to keep track of all of the different like weird
spy shit going on, so you can be aware of
the different threats to like your political organization or whatever. Right, gotcha.
Brandt met members of the Finders starting in nineteen eighty

(54:06):
four and claimed, quote, they approached me because they saw
I was doing this database. I had posted a note
about it in an extremely obscure journal called Reset. So
two Finders members reach out to Brandt when they see this,
and they're like, hey, we work with something called the
Information Bank, and we'll give you some software we've developed
in exchange for some of your files. And so he
has a little relationship with these guys. He gives them

(54:28):
some software, they give them some files. He says they're
well informed on counterspying, they seem to know a lot
about intelligence, but he also claims that they're like he
kind of breaks ties with them because they keep pushing
him for information, and he talks to some friends at
the same time that members of the Finders reach out
to and they have even more unsettling experiences. He eventually

(54:49):
files a three page memo that he publishes to different
progressive groups around DC to warn them about the Finders.
And I'm going to read a summary of this from
John Cohen's article Quote Data November tenth, nineteen eighty six.
The memo is is headed a summary of what is
known about some very strange people who use computers and
seek out progressives so that they can ask a lot

(55:10):
of suspicious questions. In addition to information Bank, Brandt wrote,
members said that they were from Global Press Review, Hong
Kong Business Today and the Seekers. Members also approached Lou Wolfe,
co editor of Covert Action Information Bulletin, and he helped
Brant check them out. There are several characteristics that lend
themselves to the interpretation that this is an information gathering

(55:31):
front for a cult of some sort. Brant wrote in
his summary, noting that members may not be told the
purpose behind their missions. The guys of computer consulting is
an ideal method of spying on the left. He concluded,
it would take about twenty seconds to copy an entire
mailing list from a hard drive to a floppy And
that's really possible. And that's really possible because, as we'll say,

(55:52):
the CIA did exactly that with different groups. Like this
is not coming out of nowhere. These guys are not
conspiracy theoristying. We know the CIA was doing this with
other groups. They may have been doing it with the Finders, right.
So given this info, I can see two equally plausible possibilities. One,
this cult which recruited from left wing and New age

(56:13):
type people. Right, they may have been spying on progressive
groups and trying to get access to mailing lists for
progressive groups just to recruit people, right, not because of
a CIA thing, but because that was the kind of
person they thought would join their crew. And the cults
are always recruiting, right, That's one possibility. They also may
have been contacted or even paid by the CIA to

(56:35):
spy on progressive groups, right, And it may have been
a bit of both. Right, we can get members this way,
and the CIA will pay us. We can get information
from the CIA if we do this, right. There is
some suggestion that early in the cult's history because they're
doing all these spying games, Petty sending them around the
world to infiltrate companies and get information. There's information that

(56:57):
suggests Petty would reach out to the when he would
get info, to try to trade info with them, right,
to be like, hey, I found this out. If you
find out anything else, you let me know, right, which
would both be a connection with the CIA and also
mean the CIA was like, well, he was just kind
of hassling us, like we weren't contract. He just kept

(57:18):
reaching out with shit.

Speaker 4 (57:19):
I mean, that would that would help resolve the issue
we've been having the whole time, which is like him,
you know, sort of characterizing this this cult atmosphere as
like a Mary prankster joker thing. It's like, if there it,
I understand why this has lent itself to so many conspiracies.

Speaker 3 (57:40):
It's like you're just like.

Speaker 4 (57:42):
Why, like, and that is a thread as to why
that you know, there's Yeah, because I'm so continually baffled
by the ostensible lack of clear purpose. But that I mean,
but if you're telling people they're LARPing and they are
actually accomplishing something for you, yeah, that's not nothing. I
also just I just hearing a couple of the sentences

(58:05):
you were saying, I miss when talking about computers, would
like there was this horny energy.

Speaker 3 (58:11):
About it, hard drive to a floppy.

Speaker 4 (58:13):
You're not getting you know, you're not getting words like
that anymore in the computer world.

Speaker 2 (58:18):
It's illegal to use words like that in the computer world, Jamie,
the woke left will cancel you.

Speaker 3 (58:24):
It's considered a thought crime.

Speaker 4 (58:26):
I think it's really telling that I am. I've allegedly
done a lot of shit in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Speaker 3 (58:32):
But what I'm going to get taken down for is
saying hard drive to a floppy.

Speaker 2 (58:36):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's what That's what you're going to
get canceled for by the AI, that is spreading the
lies against you. So the other thing I want to
add before we end for the day is that like
the possibility that there's a connection to the CIA, which
is that Petty kept trying to feed them information and

(58:56):
maybe they at some point were like, hey, hey, why
don't you, you know, do this for us or that
for us, Like, let's see if we can use this guy.
He come up with something interesting that's really consistent with
how he liked to behave. And we know this because
of what he did to John Cohen, that journalist who
interviewed him in nineteen ninety six. I want to quote

(59:17):
a bit from that article because where this this is
one of the better sources we have on Petty and
his cult, particularly like in the late stage of the cult.
And what happens is Cohen travels to Culpepper, Virginia, you know,
well after the case blows up and like goes away
and he interviews Petty and during their conversation, this is
this happens, and this is Petty talking anyway that we

(59:39):
can throw you any leads? He asks, be thinking about
what leads you could throw us if you come across
anything we'd be interested in. I can't think of a
single lead that Petty might be interested in. He and Burns,
who's his other cult member, both lean forward awaiting my response.
No one says a word, and the silence is deafening.
So like this journalist comes to interview them, and they're like, Hey,

(01:00:00):
we could really use a journalist. What if we have
a partnership. You throw us any leads you get, We'll
throw you leads for stories. We get all sorts of
leads for stories. We're always looking into stuff, right, And
I could see Petty's relationship with the CIA starting at
least with that, with him reaching out to the CIA
and being like, I got this lead on this company
in Japan, or I got this lead on this communist

(01:00:21):
organ this progressive organization in the US. Here's some info.
If you get any leads, here's what I'm interested, and
you throw them my way, right, And I could see
the CIA being like, well, let's humor this guy and
give him some bullshit because we're the CIA, and you
know there's no cost in us trying to see what
we might get. I could see that being the texture
of the relationship they have too. Anyway, Wellamie, yes this

(01:00:49):
this is but not today.

Speaker 5 (01:00:52):
I yeah, this does feel like a perfectly infuriating case
study at just like baffling questions and systemic failure at
virtually every level to the point where you cannot trust
what anyone says, and so at that point you might
as well just make shit up.

Speaker 3 (01:01:11):
And that's conspiracy culture. Wow. I also realized one more thing,
Can I tell you one more thing?

Speaker 2 (01:01:16):
Sure?

Speaker 4 (01:01:18):
I realized that the Red Sox are the FBI, because
they also killed MLK.

Speaker 2 (01:01:24):
Oh wait the Red Sox did Wow, Jamie Loftus. You know,
google the Red Sox assassination.

Speaker 3 (01:01:33):
Don't google anything anymore, see what it comes up.

Speaker 2 (01:01:36):
See what comes up.

Speaker 3 (01:01:37):
Don't google any looking anymore.

Speaker 2 (01:01:41):
There's a lot to these episodes. We have more CIA
talk when we come back, we have the the resolution
of the cult case, and we have what happens after
the child trafficking case goes away. So all of that
and more Jamie in part for the conclusion of the
epic saga of the Finders. But first off, doing this
to me, Yeah, let's conclude the epic saga of Jamie

(01:02:04):
Loftus on this podcast by giving your pluggables.

Speaker 3 (01:02:08):
Oh, I'm going to just plug away.

Speaker 4 (01:02:10):
You should follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

Speaker 3 (01:02:14):
Still against all lots, I am still there. You can
what else can you do? You buy my book Raw Dog,
which is about hot dogs.

Speaker 4 (01:02:24):
You can listen to a showing producing called Media and Housed,
which is hosted by and made for the unhoused community.
And you can listen to my new show called I
don't know. The title is in transit at this time.
It's currently called fifteen Minutes and it's going to be

(01:02:45):
a new weekly show on cool Zone Media.

Speaker 3 (01:02:48):
Ever heard of It?

Speaker 4 (01:02:49):
About every week we look at one of the Internet's
main characters, Yeah.

Speaker 3 (01:02:57):
Past, present, and future.

Speaker 4 (01:02:58):
I'm going to try to estabt see if I could
establish my own main character, just install someone.

Speaker 2 (01:03:03):
Yeah, and you know who else could be a main character?
Mary and Petty. He kind of was early main character
on the early Internet.

Speaker 4 (01:03:13):
It's it's true on the on the floppy, it's.

Speaker 2 (01:03:17):
Uh.

Speaker 3 (01:03:18):
The further you go back in Internet history, you're like, wow, it.
I feel like we characterize it as were we ever
so young? But it's like, no, we're always pretty bad,
but we just didn't didn't realize it.

Speaker 2 (01:03:31):
Yeah.

Speaker 3 (01:03:32):
Oh well, so.

Speaker 2 (01:03:36):
Those are my plug you know, go to help. I
love you.

Speaker 1 (01:03:44):
Behind the Bastards is a production of cool Zone Media.
For more from cool zone Media, visit our website cool
zonemedia dot com, or check us out on the iHeartRadio app,
Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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