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Summary of RFK, Jr. interview with Lex Fridman

Kennedy speaks very well, seemingly off the cuff, in this 2.5 hour interview with Lex Fridman:

Transcript for Robert F. Kennedy Jr: CIA, Power, Corruption, War, Freedom, and Meaning | Lex Fridman Podcast #388

I like Kennedy’s antiwar positions. His antivax activism is concerning (though a lot less concerning than the hawkishness of President Biden and others in D.C.).

The link above has both this youtube video of the interview and transcripts.

0:00 – Introduction
3:18 – US history
7:34 – Freedom
9:28 – Camus
12:51 – Hitler and WW2
22:03 – War in Ukraine
45:24 – JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis
1:10:31 – JFK assassination conspiracy
1:20:06 – CIA influence
1:29:04 – 2024 elections
1:40:49 – Jordan Peterson
1:42:30 – Anthony Fauci
1:45:57 – Big Pharma
2:05:37 – Peter Hotez
2:11:17 – Exercise and diet
2:13:42 – God

The section about the war in Ukraine starts at 22:03. Kennedy gives a good summary of the background to the war. He condemns the Russian invasion but he also condemns the U.S. for intentionally provoking it in order to weaken and over-extend Russia. He tells the history of NATO expansion, the Minsk Agreements, and U.S. squashing of peace agreements in the spring of 2022. He compares the Cuban Missile Crisis to NATO expansion and says that just as the U.S. didn’t accept Russian missiles in Ukraine, and wouldn’t now accept Russian or Chinese missiles in Mexico, the Russians can’t be expected to accept U.S. missiles in Romania and Poland and NATO expansion. I don’t know enough to evaluate Kennedy’s claims about the overwhelming advantage he says the Russians have in this war.

The section on the Cuban Missile Crisis is chilling, because of how close the world came to destruction and because the hawks in the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were willing to risk nuclear war.

Kennedy recalls Operation Mockingbird, in which the CIA had about 400 journalists on its payroll. Kennedy claims that though the CIA was supposed to dismantle Operation Mockingbird, it continues to this day in another form and that the editors of Rolling Stone, DailyKos, the Daily Beast, and Salon have deep connections to the CIA.

Kennedy says “the function of journalists is to maintain this posture of fierce skepticism towards any aggregation of power.” But now journalists don’t do that. He gave the pandemic as an example where the Press repeated the official government line about covid and vaccines. (I was hoping that Kennedy would give the example of militarism and foreign policy, which is what he talked about until this point). Journalists became “propaganda organs” of the government.

He says “For $8 trillion we wrecked the world,” in reference to the post-9/11 wars that ruined Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere and caused refugees to flee to Europe, destabilizing democracies and causing Brexit. In contrast, the Chinese helped countries worldwide build hospitals, roads, ports, etc., and there are no strings attached. So “everybody wants to deal with the Chinese.” Brazil is gonna switch to the Chinese currency.

The interviewer asked Kennedy what Jordan Peterson asked: when does the left go too far (e.g., identity politics). Kennedy said he refuses to badmouth the Left, just as he refused to badmouth Trump or Steve Bannon when David Remnick of the New Yorker interviewed him. “Of course there are a lot of bad things I could say about those people.” But badmouthing people won’t help. A shared vision is better.

He thinks Fauci did a lot more bad than good, for Aids, Covid, etc.

He calls Big Pharma “a criminal enterprise.” Collectively, the four biggest vaccine makers ( Sanofi, Merck, Pfizer, and Glaxo) together paid $35 billion in criminal penalties in the last decade and since 2000 about $79 billion. “These are the most corrupt companies in the world.” “They are serial felons.”
He gives examples of drugs sold despite deadly side effects. “These are the companies that gave us the opioid epidemic.” Big Pharma knew that opioids would kill but did it to make money.

“I have great admiration for and love for the capitalist system. It’s the greatest economic engine ever devised. But it has to be harnessed to a social purpose. Otherwise, it leads us down a trail of oligarchy, environmental destruction, and commoditizing poisoning and killing human beings.”

Kennedy denies that he’s anti-vax. He just wants safe and effective vaccines. When the interviewer asked him to name vaccines he likes, he replied, “There’s no vaccine that is safe and effective.” When the interviewer asked about the polio vaccine, Kennedy replied: “The polio vaccine contained a virus called simian virus 40. SV40. It’s one of the most carcinogenic materials that is known to man. In fact, it’s used now by scientists around the world to induce tumors and rats and Guinea pigs in labs. But it was in that vaccine, 98 million people who got that vaccine. And my generation got it. And now you’ve had this explosion of soft tissue cancers in our generation that killed many, many, many more people than polio ever did.” He goes on to make shocking allegations about the side effects from vaccines. I don’t want to summarize them, and I am not qualified to evaluate them. Go to https://lexfridman.com/robert-f-kennedy-jr-transcript/#chapter12_big_pharma and look at time 1:56:11. He sounds convincing.

In the last section, on God, Kennedy describes how he overcame addiction — he was a (heroin) addict for 14 years. He says his upbringing was very religious; his parents read him Bible stories and they went to mass often. When he became an addict he couldn’t believe in God but he realized, following Jung. that he could pretend to believe in God. “But I was already at a mindset where I would’ve done anything I could to improve my chances of never having to take drugs again by even 1%. And if believing in God was going to help me, whether there’s a God up there or not, believing in one a self had the power to help me, I was going to do that.” Kennedy is eloquent:

And there’s always a temptation to use those [gifts/powers we have] to fulfill self will. And the challenge is how do you use those always to serve instead God’s of will and the good of our community? And that to me, is kind of the struggle. But when I do that, I feel God’s power coming through me and that I can do things. I’m much more effective as a human being. That gnawing anxiety that I lived with for so many years and God, it’s gone and that I can put down the oars and hoist the sail and the wind takes me and I can see the evidence of it in my life. And the big thing, temptation for me is that when all these good things start happening in my life and the cash and prizes start flowing in, how do I maintain that posture of surrender? How do I stay surrender then when my inclination is to say to God, “Thanks God, I got it from here.” And drive the car off the cliff again.

And so, I had a spiritual awakening and my desire for drugs and alcohol was lifted miraculously. And to me, it was as much a miracle as if I’d been able to walk on water because I had tried everything earnestly, sincerely and honestly for a decade to try to stop and I could not do it under my own power. And then all of a sudden, it was lifted effortlessly. So I saw that early evidence of God in my life and of the power, and I see it now every day of my life. ….

It’s the battle to just do the right thing.