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Curt Jaimungal: The Extreme Left’s Common Thread, from Communist China to America

What ideologically separates the rational left from the extremist left? What ideas lead to violence? And why are censorship and redefining language both central to leftist extremism?

In this episode, we sit down with Curt Jaimungal, who explores these questions about political extremism in his documentary, “Better Left Unsaid.” He’s also the host of the podcast “Theories of Everything.”

Jan Jekielek: Curt Jaimungal, such a pleasure to have you on American Thought Leaders.

Curt Jaimungal: I’m extremely glad to be here. Thank you for inviting me.

Mr. Jekielek: Well, Curt, I’ve had such a good time watching your film, “Better Left Unsaid.”   I’m always on the hunt for good material to help explain, let’s call it critical social justice ideology kind of movement that we’re seeing through a lot of the institutions in America and beyond today and done in a kind of thoughtful and non-partisan manner.

I think you’ve kind of checked all the boxes here. And it’s a film that I think I would recommend to absolutely anybody who wants to understand this whole phenomenon and the current social moment. Let’s start here though. Tell me briefly what is this film? What is the conception of this film in your mind?

Mr. Jaimungal: It seems clear that there’s a political left. It seems clear there’s a political right. Then it also seems clear or at least, intuitively clear to most people that there’s extremism. We’ve explored extremist right movements ad nauseam in the media. It seems like that’s all you can read about on Twitter and the major media institutions. Okay. But what about extremism on the left? Does it exist? My question is, “Well, what is it?”

Some people would say, “It’s when the left commits violence”. However, something leads to that violence. Ideas lead to violence. So which ideas? What ideologically, as much as I don’t like to use that word, what ideologically is it that separates the left, the reasonable left, which I say exists from the unreasonable left or the extreme left?

Mr. Jekielek: So in the film, you’ve also managed to connect with a lot of very insightful people who are doing commentary on this whole current social moment and this ideology that you’re exploring. So how did this all come about?

Mr. Jaimungal: Honestly, Jan, I just reached out to them. I just emailed them. I was surprised Noam Chomsky got back to me. And as soon as I got Noam, well, plenty of other people followed. There are people who initially said no, and then I said, “By the way, Noam came on,” and then they’re like, “Okay. Yeah. I’ll come on now.”

So it was as simple as reaching out to people. And just as an aside, I interviewed or I reached out to just as many people on the extreme left as I did on the non-radical side. And I think I got two yeses or so, or three yeses on the radical side and then a slew of yeses, almost everyone said yes on the non-radical side.

The reason why, if you watch the movie, there doesn’t seem to be as many—it doesn’t seem to be proportional. There’s way more non-radical voices than there are radical [ones]. That’s just because they said no or they just didn’t get back to me.

Mr. Jekielek: So it was something that happened on campus, or just your whole experience of being a student in the not-too-distant past that kind of gave rise to this idea to make an actual film?

Mr. Jaimungal: No. I was just thinking about this idea and then I put it out on Reddit and I wanted to know, is there a documentary that explores what happened in Soviet Russia, and in China, and in Cambodia and so on, and so on? Is there a film like this?

And people said, “No. Not one that’s not propagandistic.” I mean, there are some from the ’70s and ’80s produced primarily by the U.S. government itself. There didn’t seem to be any great catalogs—historical catalogs. So I thought, how about I do this historical inventory myself?

Mr. Jekielek: So, what does what happened in China and Cambodia and these other places have to do with what’s happening on campus?

Mr. Jaimungal: That’s a tough question, man. It seems like the through line is class guilt. It seems like that’s pretty much it. That we can evaluate you, not as you, but as your membership.

And you’ve heard this plenty and plenty. It’s a refrain now. You’re a membership of a class. Sorry. You’re a member of a class. So class membership and then whatever I evaluate the class as, I evaluate you as. There are plenty of philosophical justifications for this Marxism. There’s a bit of Hegel in there, so Marx took from Hegel. And not that Hegel is wrong wholesale, but I’m just saying there’s plenty of Hegel, there’s plenty of Freud.

There’s plenty of postmodernism as you’ve heard. So there’s plenty of philosophical justifications for why they’re able to… When I say they, let’s give a name to this, I’ll give a name, I’ll say the radical left.

And I don’t want to denigrate. I think that a large part of our problem is that we tend to denigrate one of the sides, especially the side that is not us. Especially if we see ourselves as part of a side which I also think is an issue. But many of them self identify as radical left and hey, they’re big on self identification. So it doesn’t seem like a huge deal to call it the radical left.

Mr. Jekielek: So very briefly, can you chart me through your kind of progression of the film or the vision for it?

Mr. Jaimungal: Sure. I’ll do so linearly. So in the beginning, what I explore, it’s actually chronological. What the heck is going on? Part in my mind was how can I explain these abstract ideas such as postmodernism, Marxism? Psychoanalysis, I didn’t explore explicitly, but that’s underneath. How can I explain these ideas to someone like my mom who has no university training? No idea about any of this, what’s happened in the past 10 years or so, seems to have only increased. Now, what is it?

Well, one is we’ve seen that there’s been a redefinition of terminology. So racism is redefined to mean old racism plus power. And it’s not as if this switch has been made explicit.

So many of the people from my mother’s generation, they would hear that, “Oh, the society’s racist and people in the university believe that? I guess it must be true. Those are brilliant people.” But my mom doesn’t know that they’re operating on a different definition.

There are other redefinitions we go through a plethora in the film itself. Then we go through, well, what’s happened historically? So it takes a turn back. Then is there a connection between what’s happened historically as to what’s happening now in modern times? And then the question is, well, where may it lead? And then the question which I’m extremely interested in as well, what led us here? And that gets into the problem or the solution of values.

Mr. Jekielek: So, I guess I have to ask what led us here?

Mr. Jaimungal: This is a tough question. People want to be mollycoddled and cosseted. It seems like that’s a human instinct. We want someone else to take care of us. It seems like what’s happening is that the “radical left,” and I’m using that like we mentioned. I’m putting that in quotations, the radical left ideas are justifications—socially acceptable justifications.

They are like tools that can be used to make the problem, whatever the problem is, not theirs. So [this] removes personal culpability for let’s say not being as grateful as one could be or the travails in one’s personal life or travails in society and not taking that on and saying, “It’s my issue. I’m to blame.” And instead blaming someone else.

I would say that this has a large factor of wanting to blame someone else rather than blaming oneself. And it’s actually extremely, extremely, extremely difficult to blame oneself.

Mr. Jekielek: Fascinating. So you’re making this connection between the appeal of a group identity.

Mr. Jaimungal: There’s many studies that demonstrate this and there’s a ‘Just for Laughs’ show about this, where if you have a homeless person just sitting on the… You’ve dressed someone up as a homeless person and have a $20 bill hanging off of their shoe. People who are single, that is a single set of a person, just one person walks by. They don’t tend to take the $20, but if they’re in a group, they’ll tend to take it.

And the reason is that the responsibility is then dispersed. So individual liability leads to more moral action. I don’t know if that’s always the case. It seems like it’s majorly the case.

Mr. Jekielek: One thing that you kind of feature in the film, which I always like to mention, is the role of Herbert Marcuse’s principle of repressive tolerance. This is something that you actually highlight as a centerpiece. So maybe actually, if you can tell me a bit about Marcuse and what this is.

Mr. Jaimungal: Okay. So there’s a book called “Repressive Tolerance,” which is actually more like a section in a larger book called “Critique of Pure Tolerance,” which is a reference back to Immanuel Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason.” This is an extremely… It’s like Pandora’s box this topic because you want to tolerate people. But then it also seems clear that there’s some people, perhaps even ideas that are intolerable.

So for example, criminals, we put them away. And then the question is, are there ideas that are intolerable or people who espouse these ideas? Do we deem them as not worthy of tolerance in the name of tolerance because we want to be so tolerant. At least Herbert Marcuse said, “What we should do is obstruct, interfere with meetings and burn pamphlets.” Whereas Barrington Moore, I believe, said, “We should be violent.” Herbert Marcuse didn’t advocate for that.

So at least that I give him some credit for. However, the problem is that the former, at least historically, at least as far as I can tell, leads inexorably to the latter, which is the burning of the pamphlets. Leads to the latter which is the violence.

Mr. Jekielek: Fascinating. So I want to talk a little bit more about your motivation here for making the film. You obviously were a student and did you experience this critical social justice ideology on campus? Is this what kind of sparked your interest?

Mr. Jaimungal: It [was] more like it annoyed me on campus. In fact, there was a show, I used to have a club called UTTV, University of Toronto Television. And there was a show, a few shows that I did. And one episode had to get pulled because I overstepped my bounds when it comes to political correctness. I remember being annoyed by that.

And then I graduated. So, okay, cool. I’m no longer a part of that, but then you see it encroaching in the culture and increasing. It’s more than just annoying, it seems to be affecting law. I think I just read [that] YouTube is going to ban anti-vaccination articles or anti-vaccination videos. And that sounds like that has nothing to do with the radical left. Well, as soon as you allow for something, one instance to happen, then the generalization of it can happen.

So as soon as you allow, for example, as soon as you allow Google to say, “Well, we’re going to ban racist content and anything that’s racist adjacent.” Well, then you’ve allowed them to ban and that you’ve set precedents. This is what it means to set precedents.

And now it’s not as if they go backward. It’s not as if they say, “Well, okay, we had to do that temporarily. And now we’re going to allow for more liberties.” As far as I can tell, historically, even with the Patriot Act, it’s not as if the government has stopped tapping our phones and we’re no longer at war with Saddam or we’re not under threat from… Well, one can always make that case.

See one can always make the case that we’re under a racial war from the whites or a racial war from the blacks or whatever it may be. One can always make that case. Then one always has a reason for the disabusing of these rights. Now, whether or not it’s a right to publish on YouTube.

I mean, that’s another question, but either way, we’re seeing this extension. You’re no longer allowed to talk about being anti-vax. You’re no longer allowed to put positions forward. Well, what about Geert Van Den Bosch, I believe his name is? Who’s an ex-virologist or was a vaccine developer, or was at least heavily tied to that. And he’s no longer allowed to put out YouTube videos.

And if I want to have a debate on my channel between someone who’s a pro-vaccine person and an anti-vaccine person, I can’t have that because that’ll be seen as being anti-vax. I mean, it could be globally dangerous in the sense that who knows if what we’re doing with vaccinations is nourishing for all of society.

I don’t know. I’m not making a case either way. I’m saying that it would be great to be able to investigate this. And YouTube is a huge platform, but we’re not allowed to. Why? Because precedent has been set from these other issues, like the issues of the, “Radical left,” which seems like it’s just an offshoot of some obscure philosophies that are relegated to the ivory tower. But it’s not just that.

Mr. Jekielek: I’m just remembering a scene in the film where one of the people basically says, this is not a debate. And you kind of go through a number of situations where it’s clear that the people that espouse this ideology have no interest in having the just sort of discourse that you’re describing.

Mr. Jaimungal: Yes. And you can also see that, well, where will that lead? In Cambodia, I believe it was in Cambodia, there wouldn’t be trials because if you’ve already believed the person to be guilty. Now this sounds like, well Curt, hey, you’re drawing a huge line there. But at least that’s what we’re doing in the cognitive realm.

We’re saying that, “No, no, no. I’m not even going to allow you to make the case. So I’m not going to allow you to have a lawyer for the other side.” And the lawyer in this case, being an analogy for you to come up with justifications for your argument, that perhaps it’s not racism per se, that’s the problem. Perhaps it is, perhaps it’s partly that, but perhaps it’s also partly the perception of racism, which is espoused by people from the academy.

And we also know that there’s plenty of data that suggests that if you believe that there’s racism and sexism, you’re going to perform worse. So you have to see plenty of articles right now that say, “Racism is a mental health crisis,” because it gives at least modicums of something that’s like post-traumatic stress disorder. Or may in fact give full-blown post-traumatic stress disorder to people who have experienced racism severely.

They see almost no articles exploring well, what are the consequences of telling someone that they’re in a racist society when they may not be. Well, just telling them this. And there are studies that have been done. I’m just saying, they’re not popularized.

There are studies that if you take people, so set people up into two different groups and you say to one group, “Just so you know, the examiner is sexist, or this test is sexist, or this test is racist, or the examiner is racist.” Then the people who are members of this minority group, if you even want to call women a minority, even though they’re 50 percent, if you want to call them a minority, they perform worse.

Okay. Well, what effect does that have on someone’s mental health? And I’m just saying that that’s not explored. It’s like you can’t explore the other side without being called racist. What I’m saying right now will be called and has been called racist and white supremacist by people who are part of the radical left.

Mr. Jekielek: And you bring up a really interesting point, which is that, and I actually think that this isn’t something that is talked about enough and it’s so central, just this whole idea that the words have been redefined. That’s actually part of the approach to redefine those words and use them with the knowledge that the other side has a different definition.

Mr. Jaimungal: The easy way to understand this is people say to Deepak Chopra, “You shouldn’t use the word quantum.” Deepak Chopra likes to use the word quantum when it comes to consciousness. So he would throw that word around and the reason is that it has scientific veracity. So if you want to make yourself sound more intellectual, whatever your philosophical or metaphysical views are, you can attach yourself to something that sounds scientific, throw it out there, and then all of a sudden you get that credibility.

Well, it’s a similar phenomenon in that they’re using terminology in a polysemic manner. So that is, it has multiple meanings. Then it’s unclear which one you mean at any point. It also makes dialogue extremely difficult because if let’s say I’m… People accused Jordan Peterson of Jesus smuggling. Okay. Why? Because, okay, so first of all, if you want to know what I mean by that, I’ll explain.

Mr. Jekielek: Yes.

Mr. Jaimungal: That he’ll in a secular debate, all of a sudden bring up… One of the reasons Sam Harris is afraid of agreeing with any of Jordan Peterson’s points, even if they were to be… If you were to write to Jordan Peterson’s points, put them on a paper and say, “Sam, do you believe this?” He may say yes, but as soon as it comes from Peterson, Sam is more likely to say no or view it with suspicion.

Because Sam is afraid, Sam Harris is afraid, where will this lead? I have a feeling Peterson, I don’t know where it’s going to be, but you’re going to sneak in Jesus somewhere. So that said, and that’s called Jesus smuggling. This was brought up on one of the debates between Sam Harris and Peterson. And one of the ways that that goes about is, well, here’s an example of how it may go about is that there’s the word logos, which has a religious connotation, but also a secular one as the root of logic.

And so you could act as if you’re talking about the secular definition and then all of a sudden you’re in Bethlehem and you’re like, how the heck did I get here? And one of the reasons is that it’s a polysemic word—it has multiple meanings. And so you’re unclear which one’s being used at any point. And so the interlocutor is agreeing you mean something else and because logic is sequential, you can agree with the previous step and be led somewhere.

Mr. Jekielek: When you were making this film, you certainly explored a whole bunch of different vantage points. I think a centerpiece of what you did is you’re kind of linking, you’re asking questions about how this current ideology is connected to some of the most terrifying regimes of history. So what is that connection exactly?

Mr. Jaimungal: I think in the film, I distilled it down to four claims. And that these are what unified both the current extreme left, and then the historical extreme left, if one wants to call it that. But it also is what characterizes the extreme right. And that is, we have it here.

One is a lens claim.That is that the world is viewed best through a lens of group oppression to say that we should view society through a chronicle of group oppression.

Then there’s the evidentiary claims, so that the evidence of this oppression… So you ask them, “Well, how do you know that this oppression exists?” Well, there’s inequality. Okay. Well, there are many causes of inequality that have nothing to do with oppression, but it’s not as if they’re willing to entertain that. At least not that I’ve seen.

Then there’s another claim, which is that we’re separate. It’s extremely difficult, if not impossible for you to understand my point of view, because you’re of a different background. Nope. See, what’s tricky about this is that partly that’s true. So for example, I don’t know what it’s like to have a baby. I don’t think I’ll ever know. I can make analogies though, because otherwise we wouldn’t be able to speak.

So one may say, “It’s pain down there.” Well, you get the idea. So one would say that inter group dialogue is near impossible. And then you wonder, well, what’s left if you’re not allowed to speak, because you’re going to fight with something because we’re different people—we’re going to conflict?

So if we can’t conflict with our words, then we’re going to conflict with something else, and there’s not much left besides our words, it’s our physical bodies. Then there’s usually a call to action. These philosophies have a group call to action and it’s usually violent as we saw with Herbert Marcuse. Although, I would say that was more Moore than Herbert Marcuse.

Mr. Jekielek: You also identify four axioms of the west. I thought that was interesting.

Mr. Jaimungal: Yeah. I would say the four salutary axioms of the west, that’s the west and it’s best because obviously the west is complex. One of the axioms is not just for people who aren’t familiar with math terminology. Axioms just means it’s a kin to an assumption. So one of the assumptions and they have to be assumptions because they’re unjustified.

One of them is that everyone has a fragment of divinity. So that is that everyone is sacred. And then number two, hell is brought about via conscious lies. So you bring about suffering by vitiating the truth. Then number three is that you’re a free agent, you’re responsible for your choices.

See, this is in contrast to the extreme left. Often you’ll hear them say, “There is no free will,” which is a philosophical… It’s actually intractable, not intractable, but it’s not a solved problem. And you’re not responsible for your actions because you’re a member of a class.

Then that class is what we… We evaluate the class and not the individual member of it. Okay. Then number four is freedom of speech. And obviously, obviously the extreme left is not, at least right now, interested in freedom of speech. That’s the main issue. So those are the four axioms.

Again, that’s everyone is sacred. Every single person, every single person is sacred. Then number two is that hell is brought about via conscious lies. Now, why the heck am I putting that in there? It’s because, well for one, that to me, you asked me what is the source of this? I think plenty of the source of this has to do with our lies. That we tell lies. And if you minimize the amount of lies you tell, you say, “I’m not going to tell a lie.” You go one week without telling a single lie. Firstly, it’s impossible, but minimize it.

And you’ll see your conscience, it’s like, it’s modeled every single time you tell a lie. It’s almost like this radar that you use to navigate the world. And then you disorient it, you dis-calibrate it and it’s used to orient you and it’s then used to orient society. So the more you lie, the more you corrupt that, and the less you lie. The more you tell the truth, the more you refine that, the more you clarify that.

The extreme left with postmodernism doesn’t even believe in truth or lies. Now that’s not entirely true. It’s true in postmodernism. It’s not true in the radical left. And the reason is that the radical left is more post-modern inspired. If they were true postmodernists, they wouldn’t be radical leftist because post-modernists don’t have a particular political philosophy—truly if one was a postmodernist. So they’re not true postmodernists. Then number three, you’re a free agent responsible for your choices. Number four, freedom of speech.

Mr. Jekielek: There’s one brief moment in the film that I found really fascinating. You described it as the socialist moment when America was being formed that didn’t work out very well. And I thought I’d just get you to talk about that briefly, because I thought it was just something that I wasn’t really aware of.

Mr. Jaimungal: So firstly, I call it socialism in the film. What I mean is that it’s the essence of socialism. The word socialism wasn’t there until around the year 1800s—until the 1800s or so. One of the first colonists in America, I think it was Plymouth. I think it was in Plymouth. What they said was, “Okay, how about no one’s going to own land. How about we all pitch in for the food and it’s going to go to a common garner, a common storehouse of grain. You can take what you like and please leave whatever you don’t need.”

It sounds like a utopia. It sounds like that’s what, well, that is in essence what Marxism espouses to be. However, what ended up happening was people started to starve. People started to eat, I think, leather shoes.

And it wasn’t until John Smith and yes, the same John Smith that’s associated with Pocahontas came in and said, “Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. You’re going to own this. You’re going to own that plot of land. And you’re going to reap what you sow. And if you don’t plant, then you don’t eat,” something like that.

And then that’s part of what gave birth to Thanksgiving—this bountiful feast. People don’t know that. People don’t know that something like socialism… America has its foundings in socialism and then it failed. And then what saved it was something approximating capitalism. If one wants to call it capitalism, if one wants to call that socialism. But those terms I’m using extremely loosely.

Mr. Jekielek: I think there’s a lot of people watching the show that would take a lot of issue to hear that America was founded in socialism. But perhaps, I guess what you’re saying is they learned something from its failure, I guess.

Mr. Jaimungal: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And even Robert Owen, like I mentioned, the true first socialist, I believe there were a couple others, but it doesn’t matter. It was what’s called utopian socialism, which is a specific kind of socialism that fell apart just a few years later as well in the 1800s, 1825. I believe it started 1829—it fell apart.

Mr. Jekielek: Do you think you’ve actually changed some minds with the film?

Mr. Jaimungal: I would say I’ve informed some minds and I’ve influenced some minds in the sense that it’s now an extra piece of knowledge for them to use in their everyday life or in their yearly life. Because the way that I imagine this is that people go to debates and they say, “No one changes their minds at these debates. So why do I go anyway? People just are more ensconced and entrenched in what they believed before.”

Well, I don’t think the debate is in the debate. I think it’s in what happens a year or two years after. I know for me, there’s some conversations that I’ve had two years ago, three years ago that I think about that have changed me ever so slightly that at the time I would’ve said, “No, I still believe what I believe.” But a 1 percent change with compound interest over, let’s say two years or so is quite significant. So the result of that, we’ll see.

Mr. Jekielek: How are your career prospects since the film?

Mr. Jaimungal: It’s been going well. I have a podcast. The podcast is called Theories of Everything. I interview people about consciousness, mathematics, my bailiwick of theoretical physics. So that’s what I did in the universities. I’m interested in basically how to unify quantum mechanics and while it’s technically quantum field theory and general relativity, but also with regard to consciousness.

It’s been going well. I also have many of the interviews like Janise Fiamengo and John Vervaeke and so on. I have many of the interviews from the documentary there too. I’ve found that since the documentary has been published, I’ve become much less certain about almost all my beliefs. I just see the political landscape as so vastly complicated, man.

People think math or physics is complicated. Oh my gosh, man. As soon as I put forward any political position in my own head, I can just see three counters to that. And then I put up a counter to one of those counters and I see three counters, three. And I still haven’t come to many conclusions.

You see people who are first year students who have far more conviction than myself. And I don’t know how they do it other than the conviction comes from their professors. And they want to mimic that strength because they lack it. And because we like to be mollycoddled and it gives them a reason that the problem isn’t themselves.

Mr. Jekielek: So, as you were just saying that this reminded me of a line in the film, which I actually jotted down for myself. You said, “Beliefs prevent paralyzing apprehension from flooding our lives.” So it’s almost like some of your beliefs were challenged to the making of the film.

Mr. Jaimungal: That’s absolutely true. Yes. And since then, this is one of the reasons you’re like, well, why is it that they attack? Well, it’s because it’s so fragile. Many movies are about this. Almost every movie is about this in many respects. So look, let’s think about “Alice in Wonderland” and you see the queen—she’s fragile and sensitive. She’s extremely insecure, so she has to surround herself by yes-men and yes-women. And it’s because she will fall apart if not.

So you can see what happens is tyranny. You see her. She’s angry and she’ll off with your head, literally off with your head, if you disagree with her. And it’s not simply disagreeing, although in her case, it is. But at least with the extreme left, it’s not as simple as disagreeing. It’s disagreeing with a certain subset of beliefs and then off with your head if you do it, because their position is fragile.

So hey, there’s a line in the Bible that the devil is, I’m going to butcher this line, but the devil knows its days are numbered. So in some ways the radical left and their beliefs, they’re so easily critiqued by anything that’s outside their beliefs. Fairly easily.

So for example, as you’re aware, well, what’s the difference between… Well, there’s biological sex arguments. First of all, to say biology, they’re like, whoa, racism. Okay. So it seems like it’s easy to critique with logic. It seems like it’s inconsistent in many regards. It seems like it’s hypocritical, i.e. it’s embodied inconsistencies. That is, they say one thing and then they do another. We talk about that, for example, why don’t they criticize her in Islamic regimes if they’re so for being against racism.

Well, America and Canada and the west in general are probably the places on earth that have done the most to repudiate their past of racism over… Find some other place that’s done that.

Mr. Jekielek: So your film actually won an award at the fair, The Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism film festival, which is actually what put it on my radar in the first place.

Mr. Jaimungal: Yeah. Well that was wonderful. I’m extremely happy about that. Just so you know, I’m sure you’re aware but people who are listening may not be. Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have squelched the promotion of this film.

So first of all, we were banned from ads, I believe on each platform. I don’t know if we’re still banned because it’s political or perhaps it’s political in the wrong direction. We don’t know. We’ve petitioned it. So it’s been difficult to get traction when it comes to this film, even though the people who watch it tend to… All of it came from word of mouth essentially is what I’m saying.

Mr. Jekielek: Oh, fascinating. And so this is one of the reasons why American Thought Leaders is on the Epoch TV platform, because we are kind of outside of that circle so to speak. Curt, what would you say is the most important message in the film?

Mr. Jaimungal: There’s two versions of the film. There’s the public version and then there’s the director’s cut. The director’s cut is much longer. And in that one, I tried to emphasize why it destroys yourself and society to tell lies. I would say that is the, even though it’s like, what the heck does that have to do with anything? You’re investigating the extreme left and then all of a sudden you tell people not to speak falsehoods. They may have everything to do with it. I try to make that case.

Mr. Jekielek: Curt, this conclusion of speaking the truth more is very, very close to my heart. And perhaps that’s a big reason why I appreciated the film so much. Curt, it’s such a pleasure to have you on.

Mr. Jaimungal: Jan, thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

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