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March 19, 2020 81 mins

Robert is joined LIVE from Dynasty Typewriter in Los Angeles by Billy Wayne Davis to discuss Soldier of Fortune Magazine.

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Transcript

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
H Hello, my friends, Hi guys, everybody ready for the show.

(00:21):
All right, Well, this is behind the Bastards and you
might know me as the executive producer Anderson's mom or
that who's that really annoying voice laughing obnoxiously in the background.
Oh thanks, guys. Well, first to the stage, let's welcome
Reverend Dr Billionaire Wayne David h and live in person

(00:54):
and not trapped in an iPad, my favorite bastard, Reverend
doctor Robert Evans. So I let it go to my

(01:17):
head a little bit, Jesus, do you like me to
hold You got so much going on and plan for
after coming in with the cape, just for coming in
with you. Just you look like one of those people
that like you're going to battle, but then you get
the battle and you're wearing things and battles just through.

(01:43):
How are you doing to that, Billy man, I'm fucking good.
I wanted to thank you, Billy for this, the wonderful
gift of this machete. I got a new one. Billy
just gave it some And you know, I'm I'm a
little bit of a connoisseur. And what I love about
this machete is that in order to draw it. You
have to bring it day juriously close to your throat,
and that's the real mark of a quality weapon, Like

(02:04):
look at that. You do that drunk, you could really
damage yourself. That's probably why they had it for sale
on Craigslist. About that, the guy walked out of an alley,
handed me that through my car, just handed it to
my car, and I gave him twenty five. This is

(02:25):
like a real story, you guys, we're laughing. It's not
a bit. No. That's when you see a machete for
sale on Craigslist, you're like, I'm gonna go try to
buy this. You know, you know one thing immediately, and
it's the person you're buying that machete from did not
themselves come by it least no, God, that is a
stolen machete, but it was in a package. That's He

(02:51):
walked off before I could ask him any follow up questions,
where I was like, how many do you have? It's
a fascinating for me to get to the head of
somebody that goes to an ARII and of all of
the different high dollar items you could steal from an
r I picks like the worst price price to size ratio,
but I think that's just opportunity presented itself. And now

(03:12):
you have fourteen machetes that happened to me, but all
they did start a podcast, So Billy, you don't know
the subject today that we're going with. That's good, that's good.
I have a question i'd like to to ask you
before I kind of lead into things, um, and I
hope it's okay to ask this in front of an

(03:33):
intimate group of our friends. Have you ever killed a
man on purpose? No? No, I have not, but you've
you've thought about it? Like we all like like that's
the thing, right, Yeah, I'm not fuck off with that question.
That is you can't answer that and we're recording this.

(03:59):
I think it was like witness with all their names,
have you ever thought about kill in someone? If we're
honest with ourselves, if we're if we're really if we're
really being truthful tonight, I think most most men, particularly
you know, you're in the line at the bank and
you're like, would have ninja came out? Right? You're at

(04:22):
the McDonald's and you just like if something happened, if
the ship went down, Like could I could I be
a badass? And like yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, never, like,
if they weren't on this planet, this would help me out.
Never never think that way. You said McDonald's. I thought
you were going Trump there because how much you love
him some McDonald's, but he ain't step McDonald's. Yeah. So

(04:47):
I think it's a pretty normal thing to like wonder
how you would react if, like a situation required you
to be a giant badass. Um. But that fantasy isn't
enough for everybody. Some people need to really commit to
the fantasy that, despite all evidence to the contrary, they're
huge badasses. And over the last twenty years or so,
there's a whole industry that's grown up of tactical gear

(05:09):
and tactical content and tactical magazine. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah,
we like there's a bit of that. And I mean
I walked on the stage. Yeah it's fine, um, and
I'm gonna go yeah, I don't dive. So we're all
familiar with kind of where the story has ended up

(05:31):
in and today we're going to talk about the birth
of this industry as embodied by a single periodical soldier
of fortunes. Yeah, yes, man, I was so hoping you're
gonna say that. Yeah, you might want to hold onto

(05:52):
that I know I don't mean good. I think is
to entertaining as fuck, entertaining as fun. I think Reddit
is a magazine. You might be surprised by how many
people this magazine got killed, because it is a lot

(06:12):
even better. So our story starts with a single man,
Robert Brown. He was born on November two, nineteen thirty two,
in Monroe, Michigan, and I've been able to find vanishingly
little about his early life, and everything you just said
is boring his head. But he entered college in nineteen
fifty and at the time there was a draft on

(06:32):
and Brown saw some sort of military service as inevitable.
He decided he'd rather be a fighter pilot than anything else,
and he joined the Air Force r OTC to make
that happen. So far, it all scans um. He wound
up not being doing well in college and was forced
to transfer in nineteen fifty three to another university because,
in his words, the dean and I agreed it was
best I leave Michigan State. I've been on some of

(06:54):
those discussions. So, due to a mix of his new
colleges policies and his bad eyesight, Brown gradually accepted that
his career as a that a career as a fighter
pilot was not in the cards, and instead he joined
the Marine Corps Reserve. But then, uh, a military recruiter
he calls a snake oil salesman convinced him to join
the Army instead, saying that he would become a special

(07:17):
agent in the counter Intelligence Corps. You got what you deserve? Yeah, um,
so this was obviously a bald faced lie, as our
most things that military recruiters tell young men. Uh, but
fantasizing of platinum blondes and Catillac convertibles. Brown agreed and
he signed on the dotted line. Yeah he did he

(07:40):
ever watch like even the movies don't make it look great. No, No,
he really thought that he was going to join the
Army and become James Bond. But he was young and dumb.
He gets smarter, so he enters the Army on October
and he loves it. He's particularly taken with arms training

(08:00):
and getting to shoot guns a lot, and the whole
experience of basic training convinces him that the draft is
an awesome idea and should never have been discontinued. He's
he's very, very prone to brainwashing. It was very clear,
Like by the end of basic training, he's like, this
is the best. Everyone should have to do this, like
even the even the drill sergeant, like, we gotta watch him.

(08:25):
We did too good. So once he graduates training, he
has informed that this job as special agent uh is
not going to work out because it doesn't exist. Who
told you it was? Oh, I know who told you
that he's funny. Instead, he's told that his job is
actually going to be clerk analyst, which is essentially secretarial work.

(08:46):
So it's yeah, it's lateral, not a change in money.
So Robert was profoundly bad at this job and he
failed the training course for it four times. You're really
terrible at hitting at that desk. Yeah, keep stand up,

(09:07):
And he just failed down. So he uh. He's admitted
since that he uh found the idea of doing secretarial
work hateful, and this is what convinced him to drop
out of that career track and go to officer candidate
school as a way to escape the tedium of office work.
He graduates, I just want to tell people what to do.

(09:29):
I can't handle this desk. I think I should be
in charge of a lot of people's lives instead. Yeah,
So he graduates, and he would later brag of two accomplishments.
At Officer Candidate School number one, he received more demerits
than any other member of his class. At number two,
he was the best shot with a heavy machine gun.

(09:55):
I was the angriest and the best at machine guns.
And that checks out. You can be a dick when
you're good at the machine gun. Really, all that matters
is good at machine guns. It's wild that we haven't
had a presidential candidate run on that platform. We got

(10:16):
some months. Yeah, that's how Bloomberg could have come in.
And he's still so. Brown's dreams of daring do in
the army were initially cut short by his father's untimely
deaf death. He opted for a state side job in Wisconsin,
working what he calls a cushy desk job. He left

(10:39):
active service in nineteen fifty seven and spent the next
few years in the Army reserves, mostly participating in marksmanship competitions.
He managed to say some to say some of his
desire for action whene Fidel Castro launched his rebellion against
the dictatorial rule of Fugencio Batista. So this happens right
as he gets out of the army and for a
few months Brown improbably became a pro cast stro activist,

(11:01):
even purchasing and hiding at a legal machine gun with
the goal of running weapons to Cuban rebels in Wisconsin.
From Wisconsin, you know, the classic Wisconsin to Cuba flight path.
Everybody French connection. They call Wisconsin Big Cuba. So eventually

(11:23):
he tricked his college's student newspaper into issuing him press credentials,
and he spent a brief period of time and Havana,
but failed to see any action. He was repeatedly invited
by contexts he'd met in Havana to participate as a
war correspondent a number of revolutions throughout South America, but
never quite managed to make it work out, mostly because
he was afraid he'd get killed. Man, now he really

(11:44):
gets in the way of the secret agent work. It does.
That would that would be a bummer if you had
to like go alone into a situation. I'm not gonna
do this. I keep missing matings. It's a lot of anxiety.
So he manages to get hired by the AP to
interview a refugee Spanish general promising to overthrow Francisco Franco,

(12:05):
Spain's dictator. What do you mean? He may like, I
mean some there's some places like there's just refugee General's
left and right. Man, you just gotta He sounds like mean,
he's just stumbling into all this stuff that is kind
of his life. He's like I was in Westconsin and
I was like, I'm gonna go Cuba for a minute,
and people are like, okay, Robert. So he writes an

(12:27):
article based on his his conversation with this general and
it did well, and Brown struck up a friendly acquaintance
ship with the general who had helped to train Castro's guerrillas.
So this guy gives Brown a copy of a book
called A hundred Fifty Questions for a Guerrilla and it's
the militant kind, not the Yeah, it's a manual for
like so funny. I just picked up Males book on

(12:50):
guerrilla warfare, and the first thing I thought was like,
woll I was reading. I was like, so he talked,
guerrilla is to fun This is the dumbest joker. But
it made me laugh for a good fifteen minutes. And
I haven't been able to start that book because there's
time I do right. Uh. So it's a manual for
like how to wage an insurgent war? Right? Um. So
he gets a copy of this book from this general

(13:11):
and he instantly sees dollar signs, and he opens a
publishing company to translate the book into English and sell
it in the United States. So that's his his first business.
That's where the most guerillas are. Ye. So Robert worked
as a reporter for a little while, writing articles for
Guns Magazine and similar publications. But as the Vietnam War

(13:33):
kicked off for the US in the nineteen sixties, are
simpler then what you gonna make a magazine? What's about goods?
I got a dirty one is called jugs? They really
should emerged. I feel like the gas station. So the

(13:58):
Vietnam War kicks off and Robert Brown finds himself drawn
back to his dream of experience in combat. He rejoined
active duty and became a Green Beret, serving from nineteen
sixty eight to nineteen sixty nine. It was easier. They're
just saying stuff. It's like a weird mad lib of
like this dude's life because he was like, he's bad
at desk work, couldn't be a fire pilot. Then he's like,

(14:19):
then he west went to Wisconsin, got really good at
desk work. And then he's like, funk this, I'm going
to Cuba and doing some weird lights spying. That's our
show again. With all of these guys, it's an ability
to pivot that makes them great. It's impressive, and he's
a pivot. So he pivots all the way to Vietnam
and gets horribly wounded at nineteen sixty nine in a

(14:40):
mortar attack. He pivot. So he was pretty good at
a soldier up until getting wounded. Um, but he would
and it would eventually retire from the service as a
lieutenant colonel. But sadly for him at least, the Vietnam
War did not end well for the United States. I'm
sorry if that's a spoiler to anybody. Um. He returned

(15:01):
home to a nation that widely considered the war he'd
nearly died in to have been a colossal waste of money.
Many protesters called soldiers like him baby killers, and Brown
quickly recognized that he was part of a new generation
of retired warrior who felt increasingly isolated from mainstream American society.
See World War two had been this like widely celebrated
collective endeavor, but Korea and Vietnam weren't, and that left

(15:23):
hundreds of thousands of veterans feeling like their service was
neither appreciated nor understood, and a big chunk of those
men in including Robert Brown, still found themselves drawn to
stories of combat and daring do. In nineteen seventy five,
the same year that Vietnam War ended, Robert Brown found
himself traveling around Africa and basically living as a war tourist,
visiting combat zones just to hang out somewhere exciting. You

(15:48):
never done that, Billy, I never thought that that's the thing. Like, Hey,
I'm gonna go watch a little bit war for a while.
Have I Have I ever told you about Iraqi? Margharita's
by the way, Look I get it, Like I used

(16:09):
to not understand like people watching the Civil War like
from a field, but now like I understand, like some
people just like to fight. So you just go like, hey,
we'll watch him do it. But the way he's doing
is not no cool. So while he's touring around and
just hanging out in war zones, Robert Brown befriends some
mercenaries on their way to Oman to put down an

(16:30):
insurrection for the Sultan. Spirit Air spirit Air. Yeah. So
meeting these guys gives Robert Brown the idea to write
the Oman Ministry of Defense inquiring about taking the job himself.
And they send him a contract, just like a blank
contract to be a mercenary for the government of Oman.
And well, no, he he recognizes immediately anyone who's just

(16:51):
gonna send me become a mercenary letter site unseen in
the mail, probably don't want to fight for that army.
Not a great idea, but he has a smarter idea
for what to do with it, So go on. He
takes out ads in a series of gun magazines reading
want to be a mercenary in the Middle East, Send
five dollars. All y'all think this through. This was not

(17:23):
Internet where you're like click, that's hilarious. That was This
is gonna take some time. This is some errands involved.
It's like four to six weeks to get the letter there. Yeah, yeah,
and then you gotta wait for the money to come back.
He's all this through. He's a smart man, So when
people would send him five dollars, he would just xerox

(17:46):
the contract he'd received and mail it to them. Brown
later recalled, I'm not mad at him at all. No, no, no,
this is kind of brilliant. Yeah. I don't get to
where he's a bastard yet. So Brown later recalled, I
got scores of replies. Newsweek spotted this and did an
article on my ad, and it went through the roof.

(18:07):
I was getting replies from people in Bangladesh, Greece. I
was in the army in Turkey for five years. I
want to be a mercenary. I realized I was onto something.
You are. Yeah, it's not a good thing. You're out too. No,
and it's unlikely that any of Brown's clients wound up
actually fighting froman One assumes most men who volunteered to
join a war effort based on an ad in a

(18:29):
magazine are not particularly enticing specimens of soldiery um. But
the financial the financial success of the endeavor convinces Brown
that there's a lot of money to be made and
playing to the dream in every man's heart, that he might,
and the right circumstances, be a fucking badass. So this
is the thing, he realizes, and so Robert Brown uses

(18:52):
the ten thousand dollars he made scamming gun nuts to
fund the creation of a new magazine, Soldier of Fortune.
That was the appropriate That was the right amount of
applause for that. Yeah, he's like one gun fell out,

(19:16):
just fell apart, So Brown stated, go with this magazine
was to rehabilitate the image of the warrior in American society.
I like him a lot. Yeah, And Soldier Fortune magazine

(19:38):
probably would have just been a blip on the radar
if it weren't for a real stroke of marketing genius
by Robert Brown. Rather than portraying or angling it as
a magazine for military veterans, of which there are only
a few, and even a smaller number who glorify what
actually happens. In more, he fashioned Soldier of Fortune as
the journal of professional adventurers, a magazine for mercenaries and

(19:59):
people who think would be cool to be a mercenary?
Do you like hiking? And pretended so well, they won't
let you get boys life anymore. So Uh then, as now,

(20:25):
there were at most a couple of thousand English speaking
works in the world who were actually mercenaries. But Brown's
real target was not hard bitten mercenaries. It was aging
baby boomers who thought they probably could have been hard
bitten mercenaries if they hadn't gotten that girl pregnant back
in sixty two. All that mud, it would stoker, I'd
have been Vietnam towards some ligaments doing fucking. Here's how

(20:52):
Mike Royko of the Chicago Tribune described the magazine in nine.
It's directed to professional mercenaries, men who will fight for
pay in those who want to hire them. But since
mercenaries represent only a tiny portion of the reading population,
the magazine tries to broaden its appeal to include those
who might be called war fans and the weapon their
work through a magazine. Yeah. So. The first ever issue

(21:14):
of Soldier of Fortune features a glossy color picture of
a soldier with a rifle behind a barbed wire fence
with a red sun setting in the background. The whole
image was cast in a green tent. Is it being
viewed through night vision goggles? Articles included You're gonna like this,
billy underwater knife fighting techniques, lunge, lunge again, free and

(21:45):
it it tells you kind of where I am on
this spectrum that I get understanding, Like, yeah, I want
to know what it's like to fight with a knife
in the water, but I recognize that having techniques applied
to it as ridiculous, right, like, do it better? So
in addition to urban knife fighting techniques or underwater knife

(22:05):
fighting technique, sorry, urban street Survival part one. I'm gonna
guess we all assume how racist that article was, right, like,
I don't need to like. Yeah, and then an article
titled American mercenaries in Africa. Now that last article, I'm
gonna guess the person who said, huh knows where we're

(22:25):
going with us. I don't like it. It was a
feature about the conflict in Rhodesia. Yeah, we're gonna talk
a lot about Rhodesia right now. I was having what
do you know about Rhodesia? I don't know much, and
judging by their reaction, I wish I could leave. I

(22:52):
was like, this is a fun one. Nothing bad has happened.
It can't all be underwater knife it can't all be
underwater knife fighting. But you really can only do that once.
It's a general rule. So Rhodesia was a white supremacist
state in modern days Zimbabwe that broke away from the

(23:13):
British Empire in nineteen sixty five over the issue of
whether or not black people should be able to vote.
The three percent of the nation that was white did
not think they should be. Okay, from a logic standpoint,
if you want power, I can see where they're like,
we've been so shitty to you guys for so long. Shit,

(23:36):
what if you all can't vote? Nope? Fuck, I feel
like three per cents enough for us to keep a
lid on this thing, this wanting to vote thing. So
just jesus, I'm gonna read a quote to you, Billy
from Soldier of Fortune magazine describing the Rhodesian conflict, and
they have a different take on it than I do.

(23:58):
In nineteen sixty five, Therhodesian government got together with the
British government to try to sort out a way to
end the war that was smoldering and about to explode.
Ian Smith was the governor of Rhodesia and leader of
the Rhodesia Front. The insurgents were on the move. The
nineteen sixty five talks accomplished nothing with the Brits wanted
was for the Blacks to get the vote. One man,
one vote. Of course, that would mean the Blacks would

(24:19):
get into power, So the white Rhodesian's unilaterally implemented the
Universal Declaration of Independence in nineteen sixty five. So that's
our soldier of Fortune magazine, the country they wanted to
You can't have your country, so you're not read history.

(24:40):
So a lot of Rhodesia's black residents decide that we
should probably overthrow the government, which is a reasonable conclusion
to reach given the circumstances. Um, yeah, I bet they
all came together at once. I mean, like, hey, the
British Empire is all on the reasonable side of things.

(25:01):
I think these guys might be really bad. Yeah. Before
Oh so, having lived under an oppressive capitalist system their
whole lives, most of these rebels decided communism sounded pretty good. Uh.
The U. S s R. In China wound up backing

(25:22):
separate guerrilla armies, and the two fought each other sometimes,
but they put enough pressure on the embattled white minority
that things began to get very dire for the Rhodesian government.
This racist nation's problems were compounded by the fact that
virtually the whole world, except for South Africa, slammed Rhodesia
with sanctions as life in this time, why not South Africa?
You know, Billy, I've never heard anyone theorize on that.

(25:48):
Look it up later. Yeah. As life in the tiny,
landlocked country grew more difficult for a large grew more difficult,
a large chunk of the white population fled the country,
mostly for South Africa. Stuck, you guys, I know a place.

(26:08):
Studying there is going to be interesting. Stuck between a
rock and a hard place. The Rhodesian government decided to
turn their national struggle and struggle into a cost celeb
for the racist right wing worldwide. Of course, they didn't
frame it as a racist crusade to stop black self determination. Instead,
they build it as a fight against the encroachment of communism.

(26:28):
Prime Minister Ian Smith called his nation the ultimate bastion
against communism in the on the African continent, and this
worked pretty well. Mainstream American Republicans can tended to embrace
the idea. William F. Buckley. William F. Buckley found it,
organized the Friends of Rhodesian Independence campaign. He just forgot

(26:55):
his mask. This camp pain work to spread propaganda to
Americans about what a cool place Rhodesia was, but no
single public William historically, motherfuckers, what's your legacy? I'm a motherfucker,

(27:15):
and I made a lot of money being a motherfucker,
but I don't spend it like you think I would. Yeah. So,
Rhodesia had a lot of support in the worldwide right wing,
but no single publication did as much to popular popularize
the Rhodesian cause as Soldier of Fortune magazine. Starting in
nineteen seventy five, they ran a series of lurid articles

(27:37):
about the American volunteers already fighting in Rhodesia. Interviews with
these men focused on the failures of the US to
stop Communism from getting a foothold in Africa, which was
heightened after congressional democrats stopped the CIA from aiding fascists
and Angola against the socialist regime. One mercenary in that
first Soldier of Fortune issue complained, the West isn't doing
its job. The US especially isn't doing its duty. If

(27:59):
they're too scared to fight the communists, than people like
me have to act independently. I consider it my duty
to fight in Rhodesia. After Vietnam and and Goala, we
can't afford to lose any more countries. I ain't allowed
to kill in America. Let me go over endition killing.
So while Soldier of Fortune was smart enough to not

(28:19):
throw out any racial slurs, the racism in its Rhodesian
coverage was pretty obvious. At one point, a mercenary was
quoted as saying, what we have here is an ideal
core of white people who are able to raise the
standard of living among the Africans without US conditions will
decline rapidly. But you guys, he didn't say slurs. He
didn't say slurs, didn't say slurs. I bet he has

(28:41):
strong opinions about the fact that that's free speech, and
he should be able to. But let me communicate my idea.
After Vietnam, the US had probably the highest population of
unemployed combat veterans in the world. A few of these
men joined the Rhodesian fighting effort and rose to high
levels and its military establishment, but most volunteers were far

(29:03):
from hardened operators. Instead, there were folks who had missed
out on their chance to fight in Vietnam but wanted
desperately to experience combat. Oh wish we had videos. Yeah,
you guys to do right, Yes, it's like a truth.

(29:25):
So for these men, Soldier of Fortune published a series
of articles written by major Nick Lamprett, the chief recruiting
officer for the Rhodesian Army. He provided step by step
advice for how they could apply to join and be
flown out to the country to be inducted into the
army as conscripts. Lamp Preck promised that the work would
be difficult but rewarding. Sometimes there's a delay when I

(29:45):
have to switch pieces of paper that normally gets edited
out by Daniels, So let's give a shout out to him. Yeah,
that's right, and by Chris, who's not here tonight. But
it's also great. Yeah, let's give it up for Chris too.
So Chris, Okay, this is Nick Lamprect. Rhodesia has many

(30:07):
things to offer, good Rhodesian beer, friendly, populous and what
I wanted to stop, motherfucker goddamnit, and what I would
describe as a free and easy, unhurry ways of life,
of wide open spaces. And they're filled with some of
those friendly locals with sniper rifles shooting at us for

(30:27):
unexplicable reasons. They hate these cans, Yeah, they hate these
cans of good Rhodesian beer. For years, Soldier of Fortune,
rand glossy recruiting articles with full page spreads featuring the
elite Rhodesian Light Infantry and sell US scouts locked in
glorious combat. Some four hundred men were eventually induced to

(30:48):
join the fight by soldier of Fortune magazine, and as
you might expect, they were not very good at it.
Most Rhodesian it's hot. Yeah. Most Rhodesian volunteers were people
whose lives in the US were going badly enough that
they opted to join the army based on whatever I'm doing.

(31:16):
Feels worse than joining the army based on a magazine ad. Yeah,
I've been there. Yeah, I've been what's in the back
of magazine the guys that were that's a glossy magazine
ad and it said beer, we're not great fighters. No, no,

(31:37):
not not ideal soldiers. No so uh. In nine, one
reporter noted the majority found the routine too leugh to,
too rough to last more than a few months. The
desertion rate among American citizens who have joined the Rhodesian
Army over the past two years has estimated to run
about a Yeah, that's pretty great, but I don't want

(32:04):
to meet this. No, no, no, they like this is
there's some legitimately scary guys among yeah, and of course
a good number of the American volunteers did not survive
their time in Rhodesia. John allan Coe, Yeah, that's fine.
To clap a lot of claps for dead Rhodesians. That's

(32:29):
what I like to hear. No, Yeah, I don't know.
John allan Coe, a medic from Cleveland, Ohio, joint based
on a Soldier of Fortune article and died in combat
almost as soon as he arrived in the country. Soldier
Dangerous Overthing. Soldier of Fortune published a hagiographic article quoting
him as saying this. Since coming to Rhodesia, I've often

(32:52):
heard people remark that it's inevitable for the country and
all of Southern Africa to follow the winds of change
and go the same way as other former allan ease
to the north. This is rubbish and only indicates a
lack of fighting spirit, guts and the will to rule
a civilization built by better men. Would that last part
meaning he was being vague? I don't know that. They

(33:17):
couldn't ask him a follow up question because, you know, yeah,
because a better man got him. Better man got him so.
Soldier of Fortune articles on Rhodesia regular rarely made blatant lies.
It was a lot easier to just ignore facts that
didn't reinforce their narrative. And one piece they noted, it's

(33:40):
a lot easier. It makes everything easier. The young rivaled
Sella Scouts, the covert elite special force regiment of a
thousand that consisted of black and white, with a majority
of blacks, were credited with gathering spot on intelligence for
the regular army. And it is true that the Rhodesian
armed forces were mostly black, but Soldier of Fortune neglected
to mention that on the white men were allowed to

(34:01):
be officers. Yeah, like nobo, are y'all shocked about this
is consistent by ignoring the uncomfortable reality of Rhodesia. Soldier
of Fortune succeeded in painting a picture of a gallant
lost cause fight. And it's not wildly different from this.
The from the lost Cause narrative of the Confederacy. Actual

(34:21):
articles from real journalists who visited Rhodesia, like this nineteen
seventy nine Washington Post article made the reality clear. Quote.
The first impressions are of the rural South I knew
as a boy in the nineteen thirties, Black maids and
houseboys earning twenty to sixty dollars a month, fetching boo,
saying master and boss. Black labors working for twelve to
twenty dollars a month plus rations, cluster and grass grasshots

(34:42):
on the white farmer's land, like the Mississippi sharecroppers of
the remembered past past. They are like children. A housewife says,
you have to do everything for them. You have to
stand over them to get anything done. It's more trouble
than it's worth sometimes, but they are very happy people.
It's not like South Africa. A young woman asks if
we have a dishwash, a clothes washer, and a dryer.
She laughs, you know what we call them here, and

(35:04):
then she says what is essentially the N word, thank
you for coming to the comedy show. The only part
of history that's like this. Yeah, No, everything else is
actually pretty great. Yeah. The Rhodesian Bush War ended in
nineteen seventy nine, when rebel succeeded in blowing up the
nation's entire strategic fuel reserve. Probably shouldn't have kept it

(35:29):
all in the one place. Not a great call, especially
on beer. Not Yeah. A final toll more than eleven
hundred Rhodesian soldiers died, along with roughly ten thousand rebels
and more than twenty thousand civilians. It is unlikely that
the few hundred mercenary Soldier of Fortune induced to join
had a measurable impact on the confliction, but they did

(35:52):
an awful lot to influence how Rhodes has gone on
to be remembered by racists around the world. Remember that
Soldier of Fortune article I quoted from earlier that aked
about how weird it was that the Blacks wanted to
vote unfortunately. Now, when would you guess that article was written, Billy?
Probably like the seventies, right, probably, No, it was two
thousand twelve. You guys, I've been following the news. Yeah, somebody,

(36:23):
I'll need to go home and google the news. You're
gonna be like, what we should do, something we should
we need to do? Maybe find us a strategic well
written No, I'm not gonna probably shouldn't make statements like
that here. Yeah, so I should note before we get

(36:50):
onto the more fun wacky stuff that three years after
that article was published, in two thousand and fifteen, Dylan
Ruth walked into a black church in Charleston and shot
nine people to death. His ated goal was to provoke
a race war, and he left behind a manifesto titled
The Last Rhodesian. Yep, cool, Yep, there's a whole road

(37:11):
easier chunk at YouTube two. You do not want to
read the comments? No, No, you don't. So did you?
Did you read the comment? Yeah? It's not good? Yeah?
I figured you did. Yeah, so um. Most of Soldier
of Fortune's argument in favor of the Rhodesian government came
from the fact that the government it replaced was ruled
by Robert Mugabe, hitler loving monster who killed a lot

(37:33):
of people. Mugabe was absolutely terrible, and there's no arguing
with that. But the argument Robert Brown would make that
the Rhodesian government was the only thing that held Zimbabwe
back from tyranny was nonsense because the reality is that
Mugabi didn't take control of the guerrilla forces fighting Rhodesian's
government until the previous commander was assassinated by Rhodesian forces
in the late seventies. Mugabi rose to power because there
was a civil war and he was good at fighting it.

(37:55):
Rides had transitioned into a democracy in nineteen six five,
Mugabi wouldn't have come to Power War s o f
S articles also ignored the brutal realities of the Rhodesian regime,
which jailed peaceful black political leaders and moss and employed
a torture technique on them known as skull bashing, which
probably shouldn't be referred to as a technique. It's not

(38:15):
a technique if it's just in the name. It's just
what you're doing to them. That's not a technique that
that's not that you need to learn. That's just human instinct.
While the Rhodesian Bush War was a disaster for humanity,
it was a great time for Robert Brown and the
writers of Soldier of Fortune magazine. They got to take
all sorts of little trips to the country and bring

(38:36):
in guns and take part in gunfights because like they
were helping bring in soldiers, so it's like, sure, you
can go, you can go shoot at strangers in the
middle of the savannah with us, like absolutely, So it
was like a really fun time for them, and it
was a perfect situation for Brown. He got to play
soldier whenever he wanted and then head home when things
got really scary and you didn't have to hang around
for strategic oil reserves blowing up in the light. It's

(38:57):
like a rich guy hunter. Yeah, yeah, that's what it is.
It's like those dudes that go up and like my
friend does it in Alaska. He tracks bears and they
get the thing and then he's like, literally just do
everything and they come over and they pull the trigger.
It's like it's good for conservation. He like explained it
to me. He's like, but funk does motherfucker's forever also,
And I was like, I was like, I'm so conflicted.

(39:18):
I don't know how to tell you. He's scary hunt bears,
you know what I mean. It's like it's like volunteerism,
but with war. Yeah, yeah, it's yeah, So that that's
what the Soldier of Fortune writers get up to. Well,
this is all going on, and the whole performance did
great things for Soldier of Fortune subscription numbers. By the
end of the war, more than a hundred thousand people
were signed up for the magazine. So it turns out

(39:40):
this is a good business. Hyeah, don't worry. Nothing like
this ever happened again. Repeatedly fixed it. Yeah, we learned
our lessons. A brief FBI investigation into whether or not
the magazine was breaking the law by soliciting mercenaries. Also,
how drum up interest in Soldier of Fortune? Okay, that

(40:02):
is a good question I've been had in the back.
I was like, Yo, can you do that? Yes, you can.
And here's why. See, the men who joined the Rhodesian
military were conscripted, so they became regular soldiers, so they
weren't mercenaries. So it wasn't illegal to induce people to
do this. That makes sense, right, everybody's on board. I
love a loophole, you know what I mean? No, I go,

(40:24):
I'm not a mercenary by loophole. Yeah. And so, as
the nineteen seventies rolled to an end, Robert Brown continued
to send his writers off to little wars around the world.
He focused primarily on struggles between communist and anti communist forces,
like the fighting in Angola. Brown was canny enough not
to solicit mercenaries directly this time, but he did allow

(40:45):
his readers to place classified ads in the magazines with
no restrictions whatsoever. Those are good. Yeah, you guys ever
been on the internet, That's what that is. One of
these ads caught the eye of a con artist or
the fact that soldier forts had this classified section caught
the eye of a con artist named David Buffkin, a

(41:07):
former I know, right, like what's in a name? You know?
David Buffkin as a man who's started Soldier of Fortune.
I got a idea well prior to finding that he
was a crop duster um, and he decided that crop
dusting had gotten old and he would rather be a
mercenary recruiter. So he started putting up ads in local

(41:29):
newspapers and Soldier of Fortune magazine, trying to raise a
hundred mercenaries to fight against the communists in Angola. To
make his case seem more legit, he lied and claimed
that he'd been given an eighty thousand dollar contract by
the CIA for this. Yeah let checks out, yeah yeah yeah.
So a few dozen would be warriors reached out to Buffkin, but,
as one actual mercenary later recalled, Buffkin obviously had no

(41:53):
funds available. He operated out of motels, He had no office.
Potential recruits had to pay their own travel expenses. It
was definitely a shoester operation. Now, if I'm gonna go
fight for your country, you gotta pay for me to
fly out there. That's how he said. Motels, Yeah, we're
gonna give you a lot of exposure, though it's gonna

(42:16):
really help your career. So a few very dumb men
did agree to join. Former CIA officer George Bacon read
this ad on Soldier of Fortune magazine, enjoyed the war effort,
which the CIA does a lot of shady ship. But
let's not pretend they're smarter than they are. Okay, see

(42:39):
that's someone they got. He programmed and it's not right.
And then he thought he was done, and he's like, no,
I read the thing. It still happened. I'm in the
sag and right, oh we baking up. Yeah, we did
some damage to Bacon. He might have been one of
the ones they gave too much acid to. Uh So,
like many Rhodesian volunteers, Bacon was basically immediately since he

(43:03):
and his fellow antique communist fighters were vastly outnumbered by
tens of thousands of Cuban soldiers. I think there was
like a last second thing where he was like, this
is the yeah, you know what, this doesn't feel like
the c I oh no, it's up dead. I don't know,
you know, the Bay of Pigs wasn't that long ago,
So this kind of does feel like the c Yeah, yeah,

(43:28):
written all over yea, who's yeah, there's thirty of us
in a lot of Cuban Army guys. Yeah, this kind
of feels like the CIA. I'm dead. Daniel Gearhardt, a
thirty four year old Vietnam veteran and financial distress, also replied.
His wife told him this was a terrible idea, but

(43:50):
Buffkin managed to convince him, and soon he found himself
over and come to He was capt it instantly, without
ever getting into common. His wife and family begged President
gerald Ford to do something. But if you know one
thing about gerald Ford, no, no, no, not unless you're

(44:14):
Richard Nixon. So the government of Angolas they made that dirty.
That's a weird reaction. So the government of Angola sentenced
him to death and executed him with a handful of
other mercenaries in nineteen seventy six. He and George we're

(44:35):
not the first soldier of Fortune readers to die as
a result of the magazine's classic classified ads section, and
they would not be the last. We have a legacy
to ophold here now. Billy I found a copy of
the magazine from the Year of Our Lord nineteen eighty
and I'd like to read you a handful of the
different ads in it. Are you you want to? Yeah?

(44:55):
This is this is don't worry no more depressing racism,
some depressing murder, and some depressing racism, but entertaining murder.
Probably at the entertaining murder for something. I noticed that
and then like somebody else does, and you guys like, yeah,
it's a bit of a whip lash episode. We're all

(45:18):
over the place tonight. So add number one male years old,
five ft nine pounds, desire security position any location, excellent
marksman and speaks fair German. I'm anti social and prefer
working alone. That's like the Vegas like, just let me

(45:38):
kiel a German. Du you need a German kield, I'll
do it. I'm quiet. Oh we speak? Ohh I was?
I read something else and speaks German and likes to shoot.
But and anti social. Oh there's a lot of bad
people in this magazine. Yeah. The next ads shrying to

(46:01):
help you. I get it. That's bad. It took me
a minute and I'm glad it did. So. The next
ad x C I A attach a seeks area in

(46:24):
us to it actually does, but like like proud boy
kind of racist, so it seeks area in US to
fulfill purpose of pro Western ideals and their success. Tradecrafts
many cut out, sanitization, sanctification, playback, disinformation, bag jobs, false

(46:46):
flag legends, peeps and sounds, sneak ease, and sisters available.
I don't know what sisters means in this context. I
bet he'd use the same thing on his dating profile up.
Oh yeah, thirty years later and this is just an
okay Cupid Yeah, Snakey's Oh this ad billy former agent

(47:20):
in place, qualified in counter ops, SERAI brief Debrief, War
Planning interrogator to to three and three oh eight arms dead,
serious inquiries only contact micro Data Systems of Huntington's Beach, California.
That's awesome. I don't worry bullshit the next ad. I'll

(47:44):
live an orange Gammy's Madman's Book of Formulas, how to
make step by step goodies like knockout drops, explosives, silencer's poisons,
letter bomb, and many others you need to know to

(48:04):
make a letter bomb. Knockout drops. I bet they're good.
I bet they work. I bet that's where Cosby got his.
I'm just kidding. It was probably a real doctor. You
guys goome off and the last little lad we're gonna

(48:25):
read Billy wanted Patriots, especially veterans who see the coming
national crises and desire to be prepared right to for
free information to Christian Patriots Defense League. Yeah yeah, we've
moved on to Christian mingles. What you're saying, Yeah, yeah,

(48:46):
farmers only I do whenever I see Farmers Only, I
can't imagine someone saying the name of that service without
holding a gun. Yeah, no, no, I think the people
that came up, but that we're like, yeah, now, the
slogan for Soldier of Fortune magazine, displayed displayed in vibrant
color on a poster in their Boulder, Colorado office, was

(49:09):
killing is our business, and business is good. Actually, our
business is a magazine and we most get just you know,
we do a lot of ink writing. They're all fat.

(49:29):
And I have to say, though, like the fact that
their business is killing and it's good was not as
untrue as you'd think, because throughout the early nineteen eighties,
Soldier of Fortune did a brisk business and selling ads
to contract killers. Yeah yeah, yeah, it's wild because like

(49:50):
they kind of invented the dark web before the dark
but while all of them, the hitman on the dark
web are just FBI agents. Like this, this actually happened,
like real people did murders through these. Yeah, I'm gonna
quote now from a media I'll be getting people in

(50:10):
trouble here. I'm gonna quote now from a media matters
right up one of them. Knoxville, Tennessee one of them,
and Knoxville, Tennessee. Nightclub operator and former prison guard named
Richard Michael Savage said that he received thirty to forty
calls a week after he placed this ad in the
June issue of the magazine Gun for Higher. Thirty seven
year old professional mercenary desires jobs Vietnam veteran, discreet and

(50:34):
very private bodyguard, courier, and other special skills all jobs considered.
Which is a nice way of saying, I'll kill people.
I'll kill him. Yeah, I'm from Tennessee. I'll kill somebody.
That was one of the ads. I'm from Tennessee. Some
people don't understand, like the volunteers, they think that's our nickname. No,

(50:54):
that's because whenever there was a kid like war or anything,
every Tennessee and his wit it's okay to go kill people.
There I'll be there. I don't give a ship. Which
side is just something I'm good at. And the Tennessee
Mercenaries doesn't have the ring to it, the volume, because

(51:18):
you gotta sail that ship. You know, we're learning, you
know what I mean. So uh. One of the people
who called Richard Savage wanted to recruit a small army
to rate a gold mine in Alaska. He's go to
a bar in Alaska. It's it's really it is not
hard to find army man looking for work there. Who's

(51:38):
got a gun? Oh? You brought him? Follow me, That's it.
I'll be there in May. Another caller pitched him on
a plot to steal an army payroll in South America,
and based on its interview with a friend of Chard

(52:00):
Savage who was in contact with him during this whole period,
People magazine reported this in quote. Yet another wanted to
rate Nicaragua and promised to supply guns, camouflage, clothing, rubber boats,
and fifty dollars for each mercenary when the raid was completed.
Savage was enthusiastic about every hair braids. It's a good deal.
I do it. Yeah, sure, why not? You don't have

(52:21):
to complete the mission, no, you get the money gets.
Savage was enthusiastic about every hairbrain scheme he heard, but
ultimately was persuaded to concentrate on murder. So if the
caller sounded discreet, Savage would ask for a round trip
for a round trip airline ticket and a thousand dollars,
the two would meet face to face, then feel each
other out until each was certain of the other's credentials.

(52:43):
It's a good business to being getting paid thousand dollars
just to talk about killing a guy that's not against
the law. Probably anyway, I got a new business idea, Billy.
I think d C is the place for that. Yeah,
in a way, Robert, Yeah, sorry, I just gave that

(53:03):
out a little early there. So, um, I know, I know,
I'm fucking hacking a fraud. So Savage took on a
job to kill Richard Brown, an Atlanta man he and
to triggerman also recruited through soldier of Fortune magazine, ambushed
Brown and his teenage son with AMAC eleven. They killed
Brown and wounded his boy. Four months after this, Savage
was hired to kill Anita Spearman of Palm Beach, Florida.

(53:26):
He subcontracted the head out he had. Another Soldier of
Fortune reader. Yeah, listen, I got a lot going on.
A guy named and at Fast in my work for me.
So Savage and the guy that he subcontracted were paid
twenty dollars for the hit by Spearman's husband, himself a

(53:47):
big fan of Soldier of Fortune magazine. Another hit man
I'm a huge fan of Would you murderous? I've always
wanted to do this. Sorry, I'm a little starstruck. Gets
here's the money. Horror she dried here? Should not bring

(54:10):
her in? I don't know. Another hitman was Texas trucker
John Hearno. He ran an ad in four issues of
the magazine looking for high risk assignments USKR overs u
S or overseas. So many people called hern that he
had to hire an answering service to handle all the demand.
He estimated that of his callers wanted him to commit

(54:31):
some sort of crime, ranging from bombings to jail breakings.
Too simple. Assault. He received, he says, three to five
contract murder offers every single day, which says a lot
about the readers of Soldier Fortune magazine. Finally, Yeah, in
February five, Herne took on the job of murdering Sandra Black.

(54:52):
Her husband paid him ten thousand dollars to shoot his
wife the first one. If you're getting that many, you know,
that's a very good question. I would love to asked
him that. Same with the other dude, you're getting like,
I'm like, he was, like, listen, they were all great offers,
but I got in this today murder. Um. You know, Billy,
A big part of success when you do what you
want for a living is figuring out how to say no.

(55:13):
You know, it's a struggle, it is, so Richard said,
oh yeah, um. So Hearne was eventually caught and tried um,
and he has insisted that he never would have gotten
start as a hitman if started as a hitman, if
it weren't for Soldier of Fortune Magazine. What a sentence.

(55:35):
Richard Savage was also caught by the law. He too,
squealed on Soldier of Fortune magazine, and suddenly a deluge
of news coverage hit the magazine. Robert Brown denied any
responsibility for the deaths. He ordered his executive editor to
make this statement, We're as cupable as any newspaper which
accepts an ad from a used car salesman, and doesn't
go out to check the condition of the brakes. Same thing,

(56:00):
tied Jesus, It's amazing. You think they had a meeting
like we'ing go with this one. Yeah. Oh, they must
have workshop the ship out of that. So we're gonna
go to use karthin. I'm glad we all got guns. Still.

(56:20):
Brown was wise enough to stop running ads for murderers
in nineteen eighty six. If he felt any guilt over
all the deaths, he did not show it, writing in
a nineteen eighty six editorial, for the last decade, I
have hunted terrorists with the Rhodesian African rifles and fired
up a Russian fort in Afghanistan with the Mujahideen. Between firefights,
takeovers and insurgencies, I managed to put out a magazine

(56:41):
Kick him in the balls. Yeah. He also managed to
get sued by Richard Brown's sons for his role in
their father's murder. They were awarded four point three million
dollars in civil judgments judgments, which was upheld by the U. S.
Court of Appeals in nineteen two. The New York Times
wrote this about the case. The Eleventh Circuit Panel said, however,

(57:02):
that while the advertisement in the Texas case was facially
innocuous and ambiguous in its message. Mr Savages advertisement clearly
conveyed that he was ready, willing and able to use
his gun to commit crimes. Yeah, I got that. I
got a couple other people got that too, Billy. Yeah,
I'm not good at codes either. Brown wound up settling

(57:25):
with the bron family for two dred thousand dollars. When
he was interviewed about this later in two thousand sixteen,
he said this, they really tried the magazine, not the cases.
Two guys meet through the magazine, They have a friendly
relationship for six months, they don't talk about anything illegal,
but then six months later they agree to commit this
horrendous crime. I'm a dick. Well, if they meet up

(57:47):
in a bar six months later they say, let's rob
a bank, should the bartender be held liable? It was
total crap. Well, like the bar was like a bartend,
like a bar for people that rob banks. Yeah, if
it was the bartender, probould be like the police would
be like yo, I feel like the booze was just

(58:08):
a you got me. Yeah, if instead of checking I
d S, the bar required you to plan to murder
someone's wife, in order to enter like then we then
the comparison would be valid. I will say that and
that's an Applebach just that is an apple BEEAs and
some waffle houses not a good one. So from that

(58:34):
point on, the Soldier of Fortune classified ad section turned
to slightly more licit fair. They sold Mail Order Brides
Bounty Hunter treating all of a sudden, I got real serious,
you guys, that's how you treated that one. They sold

(58:59):
Male Order Bride's Bounty Hunter training manuals, Secrets of the
Ninja Lessons, old Nazi equipment, functional machine. What does that mean?
I think you know what it means. It means as
well as silencers and sniper rifles, they send you a potato.

(59:21):
Soldier of Fortune also did a brisk business and selling
the kind of T shirts that are all too common
in randomly generated Facebook counts today. I do not want
to know what the shirts with slogans like no happiness
is a confirmed kill. There are a few social programs
that cannot be solved by the proper application of high explosives,
and the ever popular kill them all and let God

(59:42):
sort them, saying yes, we have Robert Brown to thank
for launching the bafflingly violent t shirt industry, which, by
my rough count, provides roughly six of Facebook's operating revenue today.
So so belly. Soldier of Fortune also contributed to the

(01:00:08):
birth of the needlessly aggressive sticker industry, selling door stickers
labor is their life after death. Trespass here and find
out and never mind the dog, be aware of owner,
and of course bumper stickers. Like the only way they'll
get my gun is to pry it from my cold
dead hands, and the irony of that one. So Robert

(01:00:33):
Robert Milch wrote Red Dawn classic movie. There's very famous
scene in the beginning when the Soviets are invading were like,
you see a guy with a they get my gun
when they pried for my cold dead hands, lying dead
behind his truck with at five. Robert Milch was the
subject of like a tin page spread like article in
Soldier of Fortune magazine. It's just fun, it's just a
good time. It's good time. Boulder is a nice place.

(01:00:57):
It is a nice place. He went for college and
likes it. He went to college and behold, I went
to the University of Colorado. How do you go there?
And then like I'm gonna be a professional well different age, okay,
because I don't know if you've been in the Boulder lightly,
but no one has murdered anything there, and like even soap,
they don't. It's just where if you rich kids go

(01:01:20):
that can't get into Ivy League schools. So in addition
to all this, Soldier of Fortune continue to play host
to a series of classic articles for the modern man,
who's pretty sure he would have been Conan the Barbarian
if a few cards had landed differently, and yeah, yeah,
time cards to a lot of cards actually, And I

(01:01:43):
think the single best example of this magazine's content is
this classic article that I'm so excited to read you
Billy Wayne Davis. Wow, that's not a good sign. Secrets
of Modern battle Acts Fighting by Jeff Cooper. This ain't
everyday knowledge, and this ain't old school ship modern secret

(01:02:08):
modern battle axe fighting trying to hit him in the neck.
A lot of people don't know that some important ship
here week do their hands. The article opens with Jeff
announcing that, for reasons that are never made clear, he

(01:02:29):
has won an award that also happens to be a
hand forged Norse battle axe, being the kind of man
who writes for Soldier of Fortune magazine, Jeff Cooper decided
he desperately needed to know how to kill people with
this axe. Unfortunately, the only manuals he could find on
axe fighting were archaic and not very detailed. So he
had a friend. Decided to spend the afternoon inventing am saying,

(01:02:51):
I had to drink made first. So he had a
friend and spent an afternoon inventing a modern science of
battle axe fighting by afternoon. Yeah, now that's kung fu
was written in an afternoon, A long afternoon, Yes, they

(01:03:12):
let it was in like August. Yeah, so they did
this by jabbing vaguely at hay bales in an empty field. Now, Billy,
I'm gonna need you to take a look at a
pat I've studied how to do this. I want you
to look at the picture, and I want you to
notice that while he is jabbing this hay bale violently

(01:03:34):
with an axe, he's wearing a gun on his hip.
And we're gonna pass this around. It is this is
He looks like you think you would, yeah, like you
can't see his eyes, but they're beaty, you know, they're bady.

(01:03:57):
I gotta finish to pass this around because you really
need to see Jeff Cooper doing the pike thrust, the
straight right, the full overhead, and of course port guard
for he got again. Yeah, I think he might have
a cigarette in his mouth on the last of these two.

(01:04:19):
He didn't even know he lit it. That's how. That's
how people smoke, how to get I don't even know.
So the business of writing articles like this was rather safe,
but Robert Brown was not satisfied with safe. He still
found himself desperately addicted to war tourism, and the primary
purpose of Soldier of Fortune magazine was to enable his habit.
Throughout the mid nineteen eighties, Brown and his magazine got

(01:04:41):
increasingly involved in the El Salvadoran Civil War. He visited
for the first time in nineteen three and spent several
happy days fighting alongside a cadre of mercenaries and paramilitary
fighters backing Roberto de Abison. Dobyson was, in the words
of the U. S. Ambassador to El Salvador, a pathological
killer who bragged about the need to exterminate two of
the three hundred thousand people in his country. This is

(01:05:02):
the guy Robert Brown's like, I don't want to be
angry with you. I'm gonna I'm gonna pass these battle
axe photos around because I have a moral obligation to
show them to you. Yeah, you guys need to see him.
He looks like he looks like, he looks like he's
gonna like if he was around today, he'd have a

(01:05:24):
red hat on in those pas. No very specific brand.
Oh what happened with the light, I don't know, but
just these people are important, looking very nice. I was
hoping it was shining on Katie Stole and Cody Johnston.
It was just like a red that's like old school Vegas.

(01:05:47):
We're like, hey, Dean Martin's in the Dean Martin is
in the audience. But turn a lout off. So Dabis
and Round ran death squads which massacred women, children, and
a huge number of priests, and Robert Brown was only
too happy to help with that. He claimed to have

(01:06:08):
sent more than a hundred mercenaries into Al Salvador. He
also claimed that Henne came back a lot, didn't um.
He also claimed that his readers had donated more than
four million dollars in supplies to fight the Contra rebels
in Nicaragua. When he was criticized over the fact that
his magazine was actively enabling death squads and multiple nations.
Robert Brown wrote this, we are not content to just

(01:06:30):
tell the story to the best of our ability. We
also help equip, aid and train the world's anti communist
freedom fighters. We make no apologies about this or for
our virulent, anti tyrant, anti communist editorial stance. Now, hey, hey,
not only did I report what happens, I shoot people

(01:06:51):
from a safe distance, from a very safe distance, and
then I leave. Now tragedy, tragically, billy, And this is
really gonna buy me out. Robert Brown's second plan trip
to go fighting El Salvador, was canceled. I know, I
know it's a bummer, right, but we all you know,
sometimes you get sick and you can't make that trip. Sometimes,
as in Brown's case, one of your own mercenary shoots

(01:07:12):
you in the leg and it took a long time.
Well that's you want. You're gonna do some other stuff
after you do that. Well, here's how the Chicago Tribune

(01:07:33):
described what happened. Because this is you're gonna enjoy this.
Colonel Brown and his kitchen table buddies. We're talking about
a flight to El Salvador that Brown was to make
the next day. Brown, who was a captain in Vietnam,
claims to be helping to train the Salvadoran army on
an unofficial basis. He says he's making them tougher and
more disciplined. As the evening war on official basis, I
like that, Like, I'm just gonna war these people up

(01:07:53):
a little bit, Just an ad hoc thing, don't you
mind me? Unofficially teach. As the evening wore on towards midnight,
one of Brown's buddies, who writes for Soldier of Fortune,
took out an automatic pistol he was carrying and showed
it to Brown. Brown's buddy talked about his pistols, heft,
the trigger action, and the other qualities that please gun lovers.

(01:08:16):
He pulled the trigger. Being a gun expert, he knew
it was empty. When Brown's buddy, a gun expert, pulled
the trigger, there was a loud explosion. He scared. He
scared me. He stood there for a moment with his
mouth wide open. Then he looked at his hand and
saw a hole. He had shot a hole through his hand.

(01:08:39):
Brown looked down at his leg, his leg hurt. He
saw blood running out of his calf. The bullet, after
blowing a hole in his buddy's hand, had blown a
hole in Brown's leg. The hole the owner of the
gun was right, It did pack a wallop. I tell you,

(01:09:00):
I tell everyone, Yeah, I didn't look like a strong gun.
Brown looked down looking at it slowed down through his hand.
That could have hurt you. I would have done some
real dawn could up. Brown looked down at his bleeding leg.
Then he looked at his buddy and said, you stupid
son of a bit. You shot me, and now I

(01:09:22):
can't go to El Salvador. That's a good story. That's
a feel good moment right there. We're all nine years old.
That's where we'd never get past. That's our media, just like, hey,
now I can't go to the water park. When I
think about situations that scare me as like a journalist

(01:09:44):
embedded with a group of people, one of them is
being there for that and having to like not laugh,
like because you really can't in that situation because one
bullets already gone off. They're not against using another. Yeah,
we can correct who tells this story to this? A
different version of this gets out As the nineteen eighties

(01:10:06):
wore on and the Cold War neared its end, so
too did the business of soliciting mercenary fighters to crush
so to crush socialist movements. Being a far right crypto fascist,
Robert Brown trans transitioned seamlessly from demonizing left wing movements
around the world and towards attacking the US government. As
the Cold War ended, Soldier of Fortune became one of
the prime sources fueling the American American Militia movement. In

(01:10:27):
April nineteen, it did a cover story on the Michigan Militia,
the largest such patriot group in the country. That same month,
Soldier of Fortune subscriber and former Michigan Militia member Tim
McVeigh set off a truck bomb outside them Are Building
in Oklahoma City, killing a hundred sixty people and injuring
seven hundred. When McVeigh was caught and his car was searched,
the police found a photocopy of an underground right wing

(01:10:49):
zene called The Resistor Sixty Minutes. Correspondent Steve Croft described
it as a political warfare journal, describing the U s
Government as a deadly enemy that needed to be crushed
with lethal course, it's publisher, Stephen Barry, was a former
Special Forces man who went on to work for the
National Alliance, at the time the largest neo Nazi group
in the United States. Now, the FBI obviously wanted to

(01:11:10):
track down how this copy of the Resistor had wound
up in mcveigh's hands, and by reading the fact signature
of the paper, they were able to trace it back
to Soldier of Fortunes offices, because it turns out Robert
Brown had sent out nine hundred free copies of this
zine the Soldier of Fortune subscribers as part of a
promotional offer. Yes, this is a good deal. It is

(01:11:32):
a two for one. You know he's gonna spend the money. Anyway,
the Bureau wanted to know if Steven Barry Nazi head
any ties to Robert Brown, so they leaked him false
intel and watched as Sure enough that false intel appeared
in Soldier of Fortune magazine. No way, So Brown found

(01:11:55):
himself regularly under investigation and sued, but he always managed
to stay in business and just shy of getting convicted
of any felonies I had committing any felonies, But he
absolutely committed some felonies allegedly after the Oklahoma City bombing,
the Patriot movement got too toxic for Soldier of Fortune
to cover. But once the nineties ended, Soldier of Fortune

(01:12:17):
was able to pivot yet again by focusing on the
dangers of immigrants and Muslim extremists. In two thousand three,
Soldier of Fortune published a two part article on a
group called Ranch Rescue a Border, a border vigilante group
that later pistol whipped and set Rottweiler's on immigrants in
Arizona and Texas. In October of two thousand nine, Soldier
of Fortune to the feature on Sheriff Joe R. Pio

(01:12:38):
of Maricopa County. Yeah, you guys, a funny cartoon writing
his tough stand on a legal immigration is what he's
getting beat up for by liberals promoting a legal immigration.
Respect you know other people. They neglected to mention that
dozens of prisoners had died in our piles jails at
that point, often by being illegally risk reigned and boiled

(01:13:00):
to get death in a hundred and forty five degrees
cells under our pile. The Marico County Sheriff's office paid
out more than a hundred and forty million dollars in
wrongful death suits. We don't talk about it. We don't
like to talk about that. Shockingly, Robert Brown was not
an instant fan of the candidacy of Donald J. Trump.
When interviewed about it in two thousand sixteen, he expressed
his belief that the man was a buffoon and would

(01:13:21):
hand the election to Hillary Clinton, meaning Robert Brown was
too optimistic. Um, he has kept his men. Yeah, he
really is. It's amazing. He's kept his mouth mostly quiet
about Trump since then, involving himself primarily and internal n
r A politics. He was once the organization's vice chairman.

(01:13:44):
No way soldier of fortune. No longer publishes a physical magazine.
Brown had to lay off almost all of his staff
and go digital a few years back. The periodical is
still online and still just as racist as ever, although
it's increasing irrelevance has made it less dangerous. In late
two thousand nineteen, the online edition of the magazine republished

(01:14:04):
that two thousand twelve article about Rhodsha. Whatever you can
say about Robert Brown, he's not a quitter, although he
really should be. Is he still is he alive? Oh? Man,
that's frustrating. In it. It's just one of those things
you're like, I wonder what he's doing it now. It's

(01:14:29):
not good. It's good. He's he's too old and sick
to do as much of the bad stuff. He said
like a year or two ago that he thinks he's
got one more good war in him. So that's the
right reaction when anyone says ship like that, Now, yeah,

(01:14:49):
I got one good war left. Things like that. Now, everybody,
I know this has been an emotionally taxing episode. I
know this isn't a ootionally taxing year. And on top
of all of them have to not read Chldren of
Fortune anymore. And that's hard. I know. That's really a
bummer to everybody. People weren't prepared for that. Walking in turning,

(01:15:09):
you're killing people T shirts. It's a bummer. It's a bummer. Um. Now,
we have brought, courtesy of Sophie, a truly unreasonable number
of bagels, and I want to pass those out to
people in the crowds. And then you're gonna take turns
tossing them at Usine We'll we'll, we'll knock him out
of the air. And the water boy is not gonna

(01:15:34):
be excited about it, and there's already some in the
crowd already. Okay, good looking at you, Daniel, Jamie Katie
could if if we hit your bagel, then you're protected.
If we don't, I'm sorry. It's not a perfect science.
This wouldn't be a legitimate medical practice if we claimed

(01:15:55):
it was perfect. I got, hey, this all you also
have to do diet and exercise with this, stay off planes,
all that stuff. I have to put it back around
my neck to draw it again because it doesn't feel
right unless it's day. It looks good, all right, Now

(01:16:24):
what a weird This is the weirdest ship so now okay,
wrong where he looks like he defends MacArthur Park every night. Now, Billy,
I want to ask you to remember all of the
safety precautions we talked about before. That you want to
hold the machete real loose and just as hard as

(01:16:47):
you can with a loose grip, just right at the crowd,
right critical Senator Buck from Colorado taught me safety. Now, yeah,
you're right, I don't want to chainey the mic stand

(01:17:09):
by the way, I could use your help with making
cheney a verb for that specific reason, So I don't
think Cheney gives them fun. No, h these are just
c d s. We're not going to destroy these. Um
funk we can These are just you guys can have these.
These are my first CD. I bought a bunch of them.
In the theme it's a CD, you guys, don't cheers,

(01:17:32):
just a heavy fucking flyer. I'm giving you all right,
all right, Billy, it's time. Okay, it's time. So are
you ready, Reverend doctor, I'm yeah, all right, start throwing
Holy Ship. They're just coming at us. Oh yeah, I
don't know what a terrible idea. It's. It's well because

(01:17:55):
it just comes out of the darkness as you can't
see him deep enough, then they just show up. It's
like an old video game. We're not great at this,
it's not don't cheer, okay, yeah, I talk all right,

(01:18:26):
you do it with a machette. So if I'm just
gonna toss it out and everything, Oh shit, Oh god,
don't she swum that right at the crowd, you guys?
Oh holy ship? There are so many bagels on this.

(01:18:51):
I don't know how to explain this to me now.
I mean, I don't know if I really want to
watch the first minutes of that, I'm sandwiched. He's just
walking around like at a medium pace. Why are all
these bagels here? I mean, I'm a bagel man, right, motherfuck?

(01:19:18):
I think you didn't need that bagel money. One thing
we've learned, Oh there is still all billy billy we
gotta do. We gotta do the throwing and the whole
thing between it, because that's make it explode. Yeah. Here,
just passed that around. This is a new machette. I'm
not as used to hitting. Baby, grab as many. They're free.
You can take ten. I don't give a ship. It's heavy,

(01:19:43):
so you can't have that bag. I don't give a
fun There we go. Ready, I'm gonna doing it vertical
for horizon, horizontal, so aggressive. Here, throw it high. I'm
gonna chop it down there we'll go, oh so high,

(01:20:09):
so high. This is not you just can't just sit
that down. Wasn't it handy weapon? Oh oh no, stop

(01:20:34):
stop hitting it toward the crowd. If you don't throw
things at the crowd, then they don't know. Can you tell?
I have a ten year old and everything I'm like,
this is I don't want to go to the emergency,
all right, you can do it. One more guys getting

(01:20:55):
sucked up. All right, all right, we have to stop
doing this because this is a actually a very big
problem now, so we have to we have to clean everything.
But I want you all to take with you the
knowledge that, through the good graces of Machettison, you are
all now protected and that's legally by all right, everybody,

(01:21:16):
Thank you, guys coming

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