All Episodes

May 23, 2024 46 mins

Is there an international conspiracy to certify rigged elections across the planet? What's with the Coast to Coast story of "Mel's Hole?" Fiona writes in for more information about the extremely real -- and dangerous -- phenomenon of "Active Fitness Clubs." All this and more in this week's listener mail segment.

They don't want you to read our book.:

See for privacy information.

Mark as Played

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
From UFOs to psychic powers and government conspiracies. History is
riddled with unexplained events. You can turn back now or
learn this stuff they don't want you to know. A
production of iHeartRadio.

Speaker 2 (00:24):
Hello, welcome back to the show. My name is Matt,
my name is Noel. They call me Ben.

Speaker 1 (00:29):
We're joined as always with our super producer Alexis code
named Doc Holliday Jackson. Most importantly, you are you. You
are here that makes this this stuff they don't want
you to know. It's an exciting time of the week
for us, folks. This is our listener mail program where
we get to hear directly from the best part of

the show, you, specifically you. We always conclude our episode saying, Hey,
reach out to us, find us online, call us on
the phone, send us an email, and we're not blowing smoke.
We're going to hear about active fitness groups. We'll get
a note from a Knoxvillian, we'll learn about some mysterious holes.
And before we do any of that, we have a

couple of voicemails we'd like to share with you.

Speaker 2 (01:22):
I have so many questions about active fitness groups, and
that just sounds like a group of people that's really active,
and they go out and they do fitness together.

Speaker 1 (01:30):
Because I do that part is true.

Speaker 2 (01:32):
I know a lot of those see them at the
what is it? There's orange theory Jim right around where
I am and see him doing that. All right, So
let's jump first to a voicemail message from Ta Gray.

Speaker 3 (01:45):
Hi, you can call me Gray. I'm a PhD candidate
at Florida State and I study political science and international relations.
And I just want to say I teach American foreign policy.
Uh and as a long time listener of your show,
it's hard not to deveolop my class into discussions of
all the shady stuff that the United States government has

done overseas. But I'm a big fan of the show.
Keep up the good work. I'm calling because I had
any potential idea for a future episode. Recently, I had
a talk at my university from professor Danielle Donno. She's
at University of Oklahoma on fraudulent election monitors. So according

to her, there's an international conspiracy going on about election monitors.
These popped up a lot in international relations after the
fall of the Soviet Union. What they do is they
go into countries that are you know, developing democracies and
they monitor their elections. They then develop objective reports about,

you know, whether the election was free or fair, or
whether there was some fraudulent to be going on. However,
recently there have been efforts uncovered that Russia has been
spearheading a lot of fraudulent election monitors. These monitors are
usually you know, kind of developed overnight, paid off by

either the governments that they're monitoring, or you know, Russia themselves,
and they go in and say elections are free and
fair when they weren't. But they always assign themselves really
official sounding names, so if you're citizen of that country,
it's hard to tell, you know, whether or not this
is legit, especially if your media is you know, not

free and fair as well. So I know there's some
work in terms of sources by Danielle Donnell and her
co authors. There's also been a series of investigative journalism
that looks at some of these kind of pop up
election monitors and tracks their finances and has found a
lot of ties to Russia and other kind of shady
governments as well. So anyways, I thought this might be

of interest. Of course, I'm a political scientist, so my
interests are a little bit more niche. But I hope
to see this in a future episode, thinks I.

Speaker 2 (04:14):
Yes, well, thank you take grade. That's amazing. It's awesome
to your PhD candidate at Florida State that's teaching international relations.
My goodness. And this is something that we have had
our eyes on for a long time. We've talked about
this a little bit in the past, been in Noel right,
specifically election monitoring and kind of a fishiness that can

occur there when it's a third party or an NGO
or some you know, some other group that goes into
a country to verify in some way that this election
is good to go, you guys, especially when it's a
paid group, right, because the money flows from somewhere for
some reason. If it's not just some some pro democratic

group that is just all good and only you know,
only working for good in the world.

Speaker 1 (05:08):
The good folks at Wagner want you to vote your conscience.

Speaker 2 (05:12):
Yeah, but they would never say that, would never say it.
Bogner would be some other group. I don't know, have
you guys heard anything about this or been specifically just
do you know much about the election monitoring process that's
in place right now.

Speaker 1 (05:25):
Yeah, this is astic, T Gray, thank you for reaching
out to us. We share similar interest, especially appreciate your
recommendation to our fellow conspiracy realist about Professor Donno's work.
The idea here in specific seems to be a conspiracy

to legitimize corrupt elections. Election monitoring is an at times
controversial industry. The Carter Center, based here in Atlanta, Georgia,
sends groups across the world to monitor elections. We know
people who work in election monitoring. However, we see in

this in this industry, we do see opportunity for conspiracy
and corruption. I mean, you know, it's weird because there
is an arguably condescending framework for Americans. Looking at the
elections in other countries. The Americans say this election needs

to be investigated, but never our own, because we're so great.

Speaker 2 (06:37):
Yeah, I'm looking at outfits like the Office for Democratic
Institutions and Human Rights based at least it looks like
it is based out of Poland. Maybe yeah it is.
It's based in Warsaw, Poland that do this very thing, right,
go into other countries and monitor elections for theoretically the
good of everyone. And they've got something called thesc E,

which I'm just finding a handbook on it. Maybe it's
just because I've already searched for it. OSCEE called the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which is a
whole other thing. Again, like some of this stuff, just
in looking at it, you know, in the moment here
after listening to that message, there's no way for me
to die or at least me personally to dive into

all the stuff we need to talk about. But y'all,
I found a handbook from for that Office of Democratic
Institutions and Human Rights that goes over like how to
make sure an election is good to go or at
least on the up and up. Wow, there's a lot here.

Speaker 1 (07:39):
And to be clear, folks, election monitoring is a necessary process.
There are tons of corrupt elections around the world every year.
That is not a hot take, That is simply true.
The question then becomes something like who watches the Watchman?

Yeah that's not a dated reference.

Speaker 2 (08:02):
No it's not. But but legitimately is there something like that?
Is there some kind of third party that comes into
the United States and monitors our elections?

Speaker 1 (08:11):
Do you mean like consensually or do you mean they're
pole watchers.

Speaker 2 (08:16):
No, No, I mean not. I mean an actual third
party like this one based out of Warsaw, Poland that
goes into the United States just to be like, okay, well,
let's monitor these elections, just to make sure.

Speaker 1 (08:25):

Speaker 4 (08:25):
I mean to Ben's point though, right, Like, isn't that
sort of a little bit uh oh, We're so great
like these these things don't happen here, you know, because
I think that would be a conflict of interest to
the election process. There's so many things you're not allowed
to do at polls, you know, like they're very particular
about certain you know, campaigning and the like. I don't

think there would have to be special dispensations made for
an organization quote unquote doing that poll watchers. If I'm
not mistaken, what's the deal with that?

Speaker 5 (08:55):

Speaker 4 (08:55):
Remind me, I don't think I've ever witnessed that practice.
But don't they have to keep a distance of some kind?
They hang out outside the polling place. They're certainly not
looking over people's shoulders whilst they vote.

Speaker 2 (09:06):
Well, there's a whole issue that was brought up with
that thing with intimidation, right, pole watchers being put in
place as an intimidation tactic. Potentially, maybe not, but it
certainly seems that way to me, at least from my perspective.
I wonder what hole monitoring is like in another country
where it is a third party coming through just to

keep an eye on everything. And the point you made
been like it could be some third party that is
actually a part of the election, that is doing it
on purpose. I don't know. It just gives me a
weird feeling, you guys, because it makes me want to
look internally and just make sure we're actually good. I
think the US is good, but maybe that's just because

I grew up saying the pledge of allegiance, you know.

Speaker 4 (09:53):
And just to answer my own question, I guess pole
watchers can be affiliated with any number of organizations where
they be a political party or some kind of non
partisan group. They also can conduct exit polls, which we
know are really important for e Gauging how an election
is going right in advance.

Speaker 1 (10:11):
I think they just had one hundred feet back. Yeah,
the idea of corruption here is worth asking, it's worth investigating. Completely,
agree with you, Tay. This maybe an episode in the future.
We do know that Vladimir Putin's pulling numbers are through
the roof. Who would have saw that coming unanimously loved

by the nation.

Speaker 2 (10:35):
Of Russia now that we're there, the shirt off.

Speaker 1 (10:39):
Yeah, yeah, he's he's a real stub buff in that guy.
We do know that there are international observers to your question, Matt,
that will. I guess they're not quite on the level
of poll watchers all the time, but there are institutions
and groups from other countries that will monitor US elections,

and yeah, and it needs to happen. Elections do need
to be monitored, hopefully by an objective third party. The
problem is that a lot of those parties are not
indeed objective.

Speaker 2 (11:15):
Right, How do you get one? There was such a
huge issue during the last presidential election in the United States,
and there's about to be another one. It would be
awesome if there was some kind of watchers of the watchmen,
as you said, Ben, that could just go, hey, guys,
we got it. We're just gonna make sure we're all good,
and we're good, or and oh nope, we have to

do that one again, sorry, y'all.

Speaker 1 (11:38):
I wonder what would happen, though, if some member state
of NATO came out and publicly said or like the
United Nations said, this election has too many serious problems
and we need to just do a take to reset
vote again. America would not have.

Speaker 2 (11:57):
It at I know you're right, especially if it was
like a NATO or some other group that we're supposed
to say. Okay, we'll do what you say. Oh man,
oh well, this feels like a conundrum to me. We
need people like Take Gray out there figuring out what
to do next.

Speaker 1 (12:17):
So congratulations on the PhD.

Speaker 2 (12:19):
Tap absolutely, heck yeah, and shout out to Professor Danielle Adno,
that's awesome. I've looked at her about page on her
own website. It's very interesting stuff and there's a whole
book that we can look into.

Speaker 5 (12:33):

Speaker 1 (12:34):
The Cypress research is fascinating.

Speaker 3 (12:37):

Speaker 5 (12:38):
Very cool.

Speaker 2 (12:38):
All right, well, thanks so much, Take Gray. We are
going to jump to another piece of a listener mail,
but we'll be right back with more messages from you.

Speaker 4 (12:53):
And we have returned with listener mail. This particular missive.

Speaker 5 (12:58):
Comes from Cool Guy, big fan of Cool Guy. Let's
just jump right into it. This is a fun one. Howdy, gentlemen.

Speaker 4 (13:07):
I've been a huge fan of you guys four years
now and always wanted to reach out but never had
anything to say, so glad you finally did.

Speaker 5 (13:13):
Cool guy.

Speaker 4 (13:14):
I was scrolling through the internet when I stumbled upon
a whole m Mel's hole. To be exact, who is
this mel, you may ask, as son in the email.
I was just curious if you guys have ever heard
of it, and what are your thoughts.

Speaker 5 (13:28):
I'm going to attach a link.

Speaker 4 (13:29):
To a YouTube video because it's like, actually super gn hourly.

Speaker 5 (13:33):
Cool guy.

Speaker 4 (13:34):
I appreciate your podcast and can't wait to hear your thoughts.

Speaker 5 (13:38):

Speaker 4 (13:38):
I apologize if I have a spell this, which he does.
But Noel's evil voice definitely is sounding like the killing
Joke joker.

Speaker 5 (13:47):
What is my evil voice? I love it?

Speaker 4 (13:49):
I gotta know. Let us know, cool guy you're talking about.
I hope he's not saying that I sound evil all
the time. Apparently I put on a bit of an
evil patois.

Speaker 2 (14:00):
Let's do a test. Let's do a test. Say something
really evil in your evil.

Speaker 5 (14:04):
Voice, meda most foul.

Speaker 2 (14:07):
There we go. Yeah, I think that's what he's talking about.

Speaker 5 (14:09):
Okay, cool.

Speaker 4 (14:10):
He spells my name nol though, like the grassy noole,
which I get a lot, and I guess that makes
sense considering, you know the nature of the of the podcast,
So I do not.

Speaker 5 (14:20):
Begrudge you that cool guy.

Speaker 4 (14:22):
But Mel's Hole, y'all, this is actually pretty prescient because
we may well have a full episode coming up on
mysterious Holes, and we're gonna try real hard not to
giggle like little school girls throughout that one. But yeah,
this actually kind of ties back around to an episode
of a show that's in some ways adjacent to our show,

at least in this in the sense that it's on
our network, the iHeart Podcast network.

Speaker 5 (14:52):
Coast to Coast AM.

Speaker 4 (14:55):
And if I'm not mistaken, this story first surfaced in
the nineties, and there's a real cool article. You guys,
remember ifl Science you still have a dirty word in
it was still around. Holly Large is kicking it as
their resident whole expert, and the headline to this piece
is geologically impossible. The strange story of Mel's supposedly bottomless

hole essentially what the gist is. And in February of
nineteen ninety seven, a fellow calling himself Mel Waters called
into the late night conspiratorial.

Speaker 5 (15:33):
Talk show Coast to Coast.

Speaker 4 (15:35):
This is back when Art Bell was still at the
helm there and this guy you know, I you know, guys,
I've never really spent any time with coast to coast.
Is this pretty common? Like folks just calling in and
telling their wild stories? Is that sort of the format?

Speaker 5 (15:48):
Yes? Early, Okay, got it, So that makes sense. So
this guy had a bit of a doozy.

Speaker 4 (15:54):
He calls in and says that on his property around
fourteen kilometers nine miles to the west of Ellensburg, Washington State,
there was once a giant hole that, according to this fellow, waters.

Speaker 5 (16:08):
Had no end was it was an endless, bottomless pit.

Speaker 4 (16:13):
He talks about how locals from the area would throw
away their their garbage into the hole pretty regularly, and
one might ask, well, then, at what point wouldn't that
hole just start to fill up and an overflow with
with nasty waiste. Apparently it never did, because he goes
on to talk about how he went to literally try
to get to the bottom of this thing, ha ha,

And he took a real large amount of fishing line.
You know, I mean, I'm not I'm no fishermen here,
no angler, but I think a big old reel of
fishing line probably comprises quite a lot of length and
he had to go through several of them, so he
claimed to get to still not the bottom, he exhausted.

Speaker 5 (16:56):
I believe three reels that he had brought.

Speaker 4 (16:59):
Constitute around eighty thousand feet twenty four thousand meters.

Speaker 5 (17:07):
So yeah, without, he said, without, still, by the way.

Speaker 4 (17:10):
Reaching the bottom of this chasm. The IFL Science article
then goes on to talk a little bit about geology.

Speaker 5 (17:18):
So let's not be the spoilers quite yet.

Speaker 4 (17:21):
Let's talk a little bit more about some of the
lore behind Mel's hole. Waters also goes on to claim
that some government agents of unknown origin or affiliations just
call them general spook type individuals showed up and shut
down the area, claiming that it had been the site

of a plane crash, an official you know, government vehicle,
perhaps some kind of spyplane. Perhaps didn't really go into detail,
so they shut it down. And then he claims that
they essentially forced him to lease his land to the government,
which they paid him, you know, obviously for and he

supposedly was able to use that money paid to him
by the government to move to Australia, which sounds nice.
Probably got some pretty deep holes out there Australia way
as well. So some of the properties of this hole
that he described were things like bringing animals back from
the dead is one that strikes me. I'm a big

I don't know fan is the right word. Pet Cemetery
I find to be one of the most nihilistic and
upsetting pieces of fiction ever penned.

Speaker 5 (18:34):
I think it was so effed up.

Speaker 4 (18:35):
That sorry, talking like Jojo Sewell over here, that Stephen
King kept it in a drawer for many years.

Speaker 1 (18:42):
He says it's the novel that scared him the most.

Speaker 4 (18:44):
That's right, yeah, because it was also I think when
he was in the deepest throes of his cocaine addiction.
I don't know if that has anything to do with it,
but it certainly is a really, really, really dark and
sinister novel about a place in of course, Maine, where
is supposedly an Indian burial ground on the other side
of what became a child's kind of cemetery for dead

burying dead pets and when you bury them on the
other side, the Micmac burial ground, I believe what they
call it. The First Nations tribe that is depicted in
the book and in the film. Then it comes back,
but it comes back bad comes back.

Speaker 5 (19:23):
The soul sour?

Speaker 4 (19:25):
Yes, boy, is it ever? Fred Gwyn for the Wind
to the Road loss Loss, I.

Speaker 5 (19:31):
Mean God, talk about what a bummer.

Speaker 4 (19:33):
And then that guy meets a real gnarly end at
the hands of a spoiler for a probably thirty year
old piece of fiction. At this point, they bury a
small child in the pet cemetery and it comes back
and slices old Herman munster up with a scalpel and
eats his Adam's apple out of his throat. Scared the
crap out of me. You guys have a memory of
seeing a movie that was above your pay grade for

the age you were, and it kind of wrecked you
a little bit. That was that for me Event Horizon
as well, because I would argue Event Horizon was irresponsibly marketed.
I thought that was gonna be a fun space romp,
and it had all kinds of weird, horrible hell raiser surgery,
clawing out people's eyes kind of stuff in and that one

wrecked me. But Pet Cemetery really did a number on me.
So guy claims that a local threw his dog in
there and saw it later shambling around.

Speaker 5 (20:24):
With another hunter and it didn't recognize him.

Speaker 4 (20:27):
Okay also claims that he had heard tale of people
taking radios holding it up around the ridge, which I
believe the mouth of this cavern hear this thing he
claimed to be around nine feet wide the mouth of
the hole, only to pick up music from the past. Huh,

broadcasts from yesteryear. There are claims of transmutation of substances,
the kinds of things that you would only hear in
tales of alchemy, you know of like turning you know,
brass into gold or what have you. Metals specifically said
held near the whole would morph into other substances, and

you guys are already kind of getting the just this
is starting to take on urban lore urban legend type
status real quick. My favorite one was the story of
like somebody lowered like a pack of life savers down
there be not my favorite one, and it's pretty smart,
hoping they would reach water and then it would call.

Speaker 3 (21:32):
You know what.

Speaker 5 (21:32):
I think it was the fishing line.

Speaker 4 (21:34):
It had life savers on the end of it and
it was supposedly if it hit water then it would dissolve,
but it never did. So that's that's one thing. And
the last thing was sounds black beams emitted from this
thing and supposedly the sounds of some sort of sinister creature,
you know, lurking within. This is very Cthulhu esque kind

of stuff. So before we try to debunk it, or
at least talk to some folks that maybe we'll try
their hand at that.

Speaker 5 (22:03):
This cool stuff is very interesting.

Speaker 4 (22:04):
It's the stuff of probably Coast to Coast, you know vibes.
It seems to me to have clearly been an influence
in the television series I think it's called Outer Range
starring Josh Brolin, about a mysterious hole that is some
sort of portal. It would have to be because it's
definitely a rural kind of setting and similar kind of

mystery surrounding this hole.

Speaker 5 (22:28):
But how does this guy? How does this hit you?

Speaker 3 (22:29):

Speaker 4 (22:29):
Do you have any analogs for this sor as you
guys heard of this story?

Speaker 1 (22:33):
Yeah, I have heard of it. In full disclosure, I
am one of the executive producers for a lot of
Coast to Coast AM podcast. However, I didn't put my
thumb on the scale of this exploration of mysterious holes.

Speaker 5 (22:49):
It is.

Speaker 1 (22:50):
It is startling. I think one of the things we
have to remember if we're hearing this and we're saying,
I'm a skeptical person. We have to remember that the
vast majority of cavern systems on this planet remain unexplored.
Like right now, it is totally possible, not plausible, but

totally possible that there is an entire region of the world,
subterranean region that we do not understand knell. For the
case of mel Waters in particular, if I recall correctly,
we just know that the guy called himself Mel Waters.

Speaker 4 (23:32):
We don't know if real Further exploration of into this
dude revealed that no such individual existed by that name,
and he also referred to his wife, I believe, by
name in the broadcast, who was affiliated with a university
in the area. And the cross references of that name

also led to bump. Guess when it came to you know,
somebody that had been employed at this university And sorry,
I'm my tabs are all askew and I'm not getting
the names quite right.

Speaker 5 (24:04):
Way here we go.

Speaker 4 (24:06):
Ellensburg, Ellensburg, Washington, and yeah, Kitchitas County. Yeah, his wife,
he claimed worked at c w U, which I guess
is Central Washington University.

Speaker 5 (24:21):
He named her, and no.

Speaker 4 (24:23):
No person of that name working at Central Washington University.

Speaker 5 (24:28):
So yeah, one hundred percent.

Speaker 4 (24:30):
Ben Seattle's k o m O TV station did a
piece on it on February seventh of that year.

Speaker 5 (24:38):
You know this, this conversation.

Speaker 4 (24:40):
On art Bell definitely hit the hit the small community
pretty hard for whatever reason though this the exact location
is very vague and no one seems to have been
able to actually find the thing. And for a giant,
bottomless hole, that seems a little sketchy, but again, the
guy said that the government basically co opted it. One
would maybe, you know, if we were to believe that

line of thinking, maybe filled it in or camouflaged it
or whatever in some way.

Speaker 2 (25:07):
Well, we are talking about only a nine foot diameter hole, right,
so that's I don't know, imagine if you're looking out
on this like vast landscape where there's not really much
there that does have ups and downs to it, right,
the elevation shifts a little bit, it'd be pretty hard,
I think to find just a hole that's that small.

Speaker 5 (25:29):

Speaker 1 (25:30):
Also, didn't didn't this person make repeat appearances on Coast
to Coast?

Speaker 5 (25:36):
He did?

Speaker 4 (25:37):
Yeah, as recently as two thousand, is my understanding, and
another person who kind of entered the chat when this
story first, you know, kind of hit the airwaves and
then the you know, the TV was a guy who
actually did confirmed, did work at CWU, a geologist for

the Department of now Shore Resources by the name of
Jack Powell, and he was very skeptical. He kind of
even referred to the art Belt show as being all
about UFOs and sasquatches in kind of.

Speaker 5 (26:11):
A dismissive way.

Speaker 4 (26:13):
And he had this to say when interviewed by filmmakers.
Jack Powell, a geologist with the Washington State Department of
Natural Resources, he said, geologically and physically, it's not possible
for a hole to be that deep. It would collapse
into itself under the tremendous pressure and heat from the
surrounding strata. He believes that the legend sparked from the

existence of a local goldbind shaft that he remembered from
being a boy that had its entrance in a local
field with a shaft of around twenty seven meters or
ninety feet deep, which is certainly deep, but not what
one might call bottomless or like you know, portal into
the unknown waters does reference something called the Cola super

deep hole on the Cola Peninsula in northwestern Russia. Which
is a hole that or it is a project, I guess,
a dig that spanned from May twenty fourth, nineteen seventy
to after the collapse of the Soviet Union, which saw
the digging of the deepest hole ever, which is forty
thousand feet below the surface. That's a that's a pretty

deep hole there. It's about still a half what this
hole was purported to have been. And there was another
kind of point of reference. Let's see the Russians, he said,
drilled the deepest hole two hundred and thirty feet in
nineteen eighty nine is when that rapped. He said, if
they had said over the radio was on the north
side of the valley, well I might have stayed with

the program for a while longer. I was thinking the
hole I knew about was somehow being made into Mel's hole.

Speaker 5 (27:50):
And he's referring to.

Speaker 4 (27:54):
Some areas of the eastern Washington you know region, the
lower Kitsitas County and Manna stash Ridge Specifically.

Speaker 5 (28:04):
He says, geologically and physically.

Speaker 4 (28:06):
It's not possible for a hole to be that deep
because of the reasons we mentioned earlier. He said whoever
mel was, he probably knew about the hole in northwest
of allens Burglet's on private land fenced with barbed wire
and is not too far from State D in r Lands.
I suppose this mell Waters, he says, usually the real
hole as a kind of inspiration for making up this

mysterious one in Manustache Ridge.

Speaker 5 (28:31):
Cool idea.

Speaker 4 (28:32):
I really get it, you know. And it's like I
know that art Bell and Coast to Coast. Certainly there
are stuff that gets talked about on there that you
know has grains of truth, like a lot of the
stuff we talk about on this show. But this one
does maybe seem like someone was trying to get some
airtime and created a story that was maybe rooted in

a grain of truth with this other hole, but then
kind of went a little bit. He jumped the shark
a little bit in terms of some of the details.

Speaker 2 (29:01):
What do you guys think, I think we should all
watch out Arrange. I think we've talked about it before
on the show.

Speaker 4 (29:06):
It's good show, really a lot very twin peaksy I
really dig it. I like the the weird, evil kind
of rancher guy who's always singing like to his son,
like he bursts into song all the time. And I
can't remember the character's name. It's been a minute, but
I think there's another season of that too. But I
did watch every episode of the first season and enjoyed

it very much.

Speaker 5 (29:28):
Been any any other thoughts about Mel's hole?

Speaker 1 (29:31):
Oh you know, Mel, I'm kidding me very very much,
looking forward to our future subterranean exploration. Uh, it's a
it's very it's very hold by beer of humanity to
say how deep can we dig? And we will dig

into that in a future episode. So thank you so
much for writing in what a fantastic suggestion.

Speaker 5 (29:57):
Absolutely thanks a lot. Cool guy.

Speaker 4 (30:00):
We're gonna take a quick pause here a word from
our sponsor, and then come back with another one final.

Speaker 5 (30:06):
For this evening's episode. Piece of listener Mayo.

Speaker 2 (30:15):
And we've returned, Ben. I thought you were gonna say,
hold my beer like you just tossed it in.

Speaker 1 (30:21):
This is why we hang out.

Speaker 2 (30:22):
Yeah, maybe you would come out a different kind, right,
Or are.

Speaker 5 (30:26):
You guys talking about beers in butts?

Speaker 3 (30:28):

Speaker 5 (30:29):

Speaker 1 (30:29):
Always If you look back over the course of this show,
every episode in some way is about beers and butts.
Mm hm, you know, think about it. We have. We
have a couple of pieces of correspondence here. This is
something that is pretty serious. It's been on our collective
mind for some time. Here is a piece of correspondence

from our longtime conspiracy realist Fiota. Fiona says, hi, all,
very long time listener here. I had never heard the
term active clubs until today. I've missed some episodes recently,
so not sure if you've covered these already, Fiona. We
have yet to do so, and we're glad you brought
this up. Fiona is quoting from a newsletter called The

Real Intel, and Fiona quotes the following. Active clubs are fraternal,
white only fitness groups that use physical fitness as a
lifestyle draw to funnel men into white nationalism and into
militant neo Nazism. In addition to using fitness culture as

a means of influence and recruitment, the fitness proposition of
active Clubs allows white nationalists to train for street violence.
They were started in January twenty twenty one and use
Mma style training to train for what they claim is
an upcoming race war. They're found throughout the US, Canada, Europe,

and Australia. Canada has twenty two known chapters, including a
rare women only chapter. They've spread fast and hard in
an unprecedented amount of time by hiding and Playing Sight
and making it easier to draw new members in. Let's
pause there, peep behind the curtain. All of us are

exploring physical fitness on our own as individuals. Have you, guys,
ever heard of active fitness clubs?

Speaker 5 (32:29):

Speaker 4 (32:29):
Matt was talking about earlier and it sounded perfectly innocuous
to me.

Speaker 5 (32:33):
But what you're describing doesn't, doesn't.

Speaker 2 (32:37):
Yeah, I've never seen one, and I'm right now searching
for and failing to find like official websites of any
of these things. All I see is links from Anti
Defamation League and a bunch.

Speaker 5 (32:50):
Of other groups talking about them.

Speaker 2 (32:52):
Yeah, but nobody. But there's no like place online. I
guess where there was.

Speaker 1 (32:57):
You know what I mean? You wouldn't advertise that, you
would just have your gym's website. We want to recommend,
First off, Fiona, thank you for the suggestion.

Speaker 5 (33:07):

Speaker 1 (33:07):
We want to recommend an excellent piece by Tim Dickinson
writing for The Rolling Stone, who says, quote this violence
ready militia is hiding in Playing Sight and also Dickinson
describes these active clubs as quote who the Proud Boys
wanted to be. Do you guys remember the Proud Boys debacle? Unfortunately, Well,

I wish we were video for this, because folks, you
had to see Matt nol nod when we remember Proud Boys.
Oh my gosh.

Speaker 2 (33:41):
Well, yeah, we talked about them a while back before
they got involved with the January six things at the
right date, that whole stuff, because they were one of
those groups that seems like an interesting way for especially
like former soldiers or people who are no longer soldiers,

to get together and have like a thing to do, right,
a post deployment hang kind of thing, which is really
important actually, but it seems like it went a different way.
I don't know it, like this whole defending the constitution
thing no matter what. From like there's something at the
heart of it that seems like, okay, I get that,

but then it just goes towards I don't know how
to even say it. Some often racism and terrible things.

Speaker 5 (34:34):

Speaker 1 (34:35):
You can read reports from outfits like the Counter Extremism
Project or CEP that describes these groups this cottage industry
of militias as a backup standby army for what they
envision as some sort of apocalyptic reckoning, right, some sort

of race war. They have been affiliated with groups like
the oath Keepers, right, and I'm sure there are some
one percenter motorcycle clubs that might have a Venn diagram there.
We do have to say, most importantly, one, this conspiracy
does appear to be real. It may be an episode

in the future. And two, I hate to say it,
but hashtag not all gyms. Some people just like to
go boxing, you.

Speaker 2 (35:27):
Know, well, of course, well, absolutely not all gyms, and
also not all groups like that. I mean, it's so
weird to me because you guys remember early early in
the especially ben early in the video days, when we
would get reached out to sometimes by people who were
like oathkeeper kind of folks. I would say, right, who

have this mentality of I am finished with my military service,
but I'm dedicated to either the country or the human
beings inside the country. Right, So, at least from what
we've saw from their writings, it's I will protect the
human beings who live in the United States from any
enemy that tries to roll through here, right, including exactly

including if it's like a government that comes through, or
a tyrant comes through, I will defend the people around
me basically, which I don't know about you guys. That
feels pretty noble to me, at least in theory when
you say it like that. But again, when you have
a bunch of people who are like minded in that
way and then there's a leader who maybe has some

different kind of views, it gets it's a slippery slope
towards radicalization. So it's it's I don't know, I just
I just want to put that out there because I
know there are people listening, at least some people listening
right now that feel the positive parts of that, but
hopefully aren't in you know, infected or influenced by the
negative parts.

Speaker 1 (36:53):
Dude, honestly shout out to everybody doing reps as you're
listening to the show. You know what I mean.

Speaker 5 (37:00):

Speaker 1 (37:01):
Yeah, this also reminds me to your point, met, this
reminds me of nol and observation you made in a
recent previous episode where he said, yeah, communism could be
great if anybody actually did it right. Because these theories,
these grand ideas, in practice, they so often divolve into

very different things. And when we're talking about active clubs. Again,
it's just like motorcycle gangs. A very small percentage of
active clubs or whatever you want to group them as,
a very small percentage of them are these white supremacists.
But if you look at the origin story, as far

as we can tell, it goes back to a guy
named Robert Rundo, Are you in d operating out of
Orange County, California, was attempting to launch an extremist network
for some time. In twenty seventeen, he built something called
the Rise Above Movement or RAM, and it called itself

like a top notch MMA club. It was going to
find the warrior spirit in you, and anyone could sign
up as long as they were a dude and white.
Low caveat there. He got into a lot of trouble.
In twenty nineteen, this guy was charged with federal conspiracy

to riot in sight violence right to try to create
the race war the same way that Charles Manson pushed
his followers to enact Helter Skelter and tune in for
our Manson and Cia episode on the way.

Speaker 4 (38:49):
There's some wild stuff in there, Ben, with the Manson
Cia connections that I only just stumbled across recently.

Speaker 5 (38:55):
I can't wait to have that conversation.

Speaker 1 (38:56):
Excited as well. Yeah, that's going to be a doozy,
as you said, federal prosecutors when they charged Robert Rundo.
The judge threw the case out just in March of
this year, in twenty twenty four, and then another judge
came back in and reinstated the case. If you want

to learn more, check out the Fantastic Guardian article summarizing
this by Ali Winston. The headline is jailed, released, jailed again.
Whiplash in a leading neo Nazis legal case. It's strange, man,
I don't know about this stuff. Have you guys ever
entered into an organization or pursued some kind of hangout

or fellowship only defined? It was very different than what
it presented itself.

Speaker 4 (39:48):
As I think I mentioned to you that I had
a brief period where I was hanging out with some
behigh faith folks that you know, it has been lumped
in with the C word and.

Speaker 5 (39:58):
You know, the cult that is the other sea where.

Speaker 4 (40:01):
I found it to be very friendly, you know, kind
of meet for dinner and like minded folks just kind
of talking.

Speaker 5 (40:10):
It's almost like a group therapy or like an AA
meeting or something like that.

Speaker 4 (40:14):
I did get to a point where it felt a
little weird or like it wasn't exactly what my wheelhouse is.
But I never felt like I was being coerced into
anything at all.

Speaker 5 (40:26):
But I did get to the point where I'm like,
I don't think I am the same as these people. Well,
they're very lovely people. And then I have, you know,
gradually just sort of slow faded it.

Speaker 4 (40:34):
But it was it was, you know, because of school
friends of my kid, and no shade on any of
those people. They are all really lovely people. Just you know,
I just felt like I didn't really belong.

Speaker 2 (40:43):
Yeah, for a while I was in this group. We
would get together like once or twice a week and
we would all kind of sit together, listen to somebody talk,
and we would sing songs together, often like repeat these
words that were written down in this book we had.
And then they tried to get me to drink blood
and eat you know, human flesh. And they were called

the United Methodist Church or something like that.

Speaker 5 (41:08):
I did stuff to you.

Speaker 2 (41:10):
I'm just playing. I'm just playing.

Speaker 1 (41:12):
Canibalism tells us that transubstantiation is like calling bass in
a game attack catalyst.

Speaker 4 (41:20):
I don't think transibstantiation counts as cannibalism.

Speaker 5 (41:23):
I think it's okay. Yeah, yeah, I went to youth
group too.

Speaker 4 (41:26):
I ate a lot of tacos, didn't really eat any
human flesh that I know.

Speaker 1 (41:29):
Technically a sandwich.

Speaker 5 (41:33):
Why am I so anti taco as sandwich?

Speaker 1 (41:35):
I'm just it's like the most conservative opinion I have
ever heard.

Speaker 4 (41:39):
I never really associated that with being one way or
the other politically speaking.

Speaker 1 (41:44):
I like that you're a firebrand for it.

Speaker 4 (41:45):
I think I just like being contankerous about this one
really pretty meaningless issue.

Speaker 5 (41:49):
You know, I will die on this hills.

Speaker 1 (41:53):
And there are people who appear to have decided that
they will die on this hill of white supremacy. Right
of active militias. One thing we need to understand in
the larger context, going back to our earlier conversation in
tonight's program about the importance of election monitoring, we see

opportunities for conspiracy and we see opportunities for corruption. One
very clever thing that the US military does is rotate
out its leaders such that you are following a position
rather than following a person right, and this avoids the

cultish riz that is created by the Mansons and the
Jim Joneses, and you know, I'll say at the castros.
But the issue here is that the US right now,
the anglosphere entire is pretty concerned about the idea of
this hidden column of successionist supremacist you know, and oftentimes

you will hear references to groups like this in just
passing in, like our conversations about attacks on power stations,
right on the very vulnerable US infrastructure, we see again
the shadow of these supremacists. It's a very old enemy,

and it's a it survives, and it's a very troubling
conspiracy in my opinion. Obviously, we don't obviously we don't
co sign this stuff. We think fitness is super cool,
but we really appreciate you, Fiona, for reaching out because
a lot of people don't know about this. Imagine you
go to a gym, right You've got your New Year's

resolution or whatever, and you're thinking, this is it. I'm
gonna learn mma, I'm gonna learn parkour, I've got my gloves,
I got my weird little shorts whatever, and then several
months in they start inviting you to a different sort
of meeting. I don't know, like, how prevalent do you

guys think this could be.

Speaker 2 (44:11):
I don't think it's prevalent at all.

Speaker 1 (44:13):
I think it must be a rarity, right.

Speaker 2 (44:15):
I've seen a lot of MMA Jim's. I've seen a
lot of individuals who like study that kind of martial arts,
and I've yet to meet somebody who crosses that goes
into whatever that is, or at least openly. Right, Maybe
I haven't. I just haven't had that conversation with them.

Speaker 5 (44:33):

Speaker 1 (44:34):
Yeah, maybe they did a vibe check on you and
they decided you weren't receptive, which I think is a
good thing.

Speaker 2 (44:42):
I doubt it, though, I don't know.

Speaker 1 (44:44):
Well, they're out there, folks, And with this we are
going to call it an evening. We're going to dive
into these stories in future episodes. Thank you to everybody
who took the time to reach out and touch faith
and contact us. If you would like to join the
show in a future program, please come into our cult.

It feels weird to ask people to contact us after
we just talked about how fitness clubs will sucker people
into evil things. But you know, find us online.

Speaker 5 (45:20):
Oh, find us online.

Speaker 4 (45:21):
Indeed, we exist in the handle conspiracy Stuff on YouTube,
where we have video content rolling out and switching up
the order this time, on xfka, Twitter, and on Facebook
where you can join our Facebook group Here's where it
gets crazy. On Instagram and TikTok or Conspiracy Stuff Show.

Speaker 2 (45:37):
You can find us by calling this number one eight
three three std WYTK. When you call in, you've got
three minutes. It's a voicemail system. Say whatever you'd like do.
Give yourself a cool nickname and let us know if
we can use your voice and name on the air.
If you got more to say thing and fit in
that three minutes, why not instead send us a good

old fashion email.

Speaker 1 (46:00):
We are conspiracy at iHeartRadio dot com.

Speaker 2 (46:21):
Stuff they don't want you to know is a production
of iHeartRadio. For more podcasts from iHeartRadio, visit the iHeartRadio app,
Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

Stuff They Don't Want You To Know News

Advertise With Us

Follow Us On

Hosts And Creators

Matt Frederick

Matt Frederick

Ben Bowlin

Ben Bowlin

Noel Brown

Noel Brown

Show Links

RSSStoreAboutLive Shows

Popular Podcasts

Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know

If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

The Nikki Glaser Podcast

The Nikki Glaser Podcast

Every week comedian and infamous roaster Nikki Glaser provides a fun, fast-paced, and brutally honest look into current pop-culture and her own personal life.

Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.


© 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc.