Questions regarding how, why, and by whom Epstein was killed, and whether he was in the employ of U.S., or foreign intelligence services, will probably never be answered with undeniable hard evidence. But there is another mystery which is even more troubling. How could a prominent man carrying around a very public child prostitution conviction have remained in the good graces of high society? Having loosely followed the Epstein story for nearly a decade before his 2019 arrest, it was a question I’d pondered many times over the years. Until a satisfying answer emerged from, of all things, the PizzaGate conspiracy theory.
For those who do not remember, Pizzagate started with some emails from a Democratic Party operative named John Podesta. Podesta had been a fixture in Washington D.C. for five decades, working for numerous Democratic politicians and committees through the 1970s and ’80s. In 1988 he and his brother Tony started the Podesta Group, which quickly grew into arguably the most powerful Democrat lobbying firm in America. Podesta had met Bill Clinton in 1970, when they both worked for Senator Joseph Duffey; then when Clinton became President, he tapped Podesta to serve in his administration, eventually promoting him to his Chief of Staff in 1998. In 2003, he started the Center for American Progress, one of the Democratic Party’s most important private propaganda outfits. John Podesta is one of those people – there is a whole class of them affiliated with both parties – who never runs for office or heads a government agency, but always seems to be around and in the mix in Washington D.C. When Hillary Clinton needed a loyal old hand to manage her 2016 Presidential campaign, Podesta was the obvious choice.
“OK, so what?” say many. “They’re into transgressive art. That’s nothing new. Maybe it’s not your thing, maybe it’s not mine, but the fact that they enjoy eating dinner off naked corpses in rooms with creepy messages written in pig’s blood all over the walls doesn’t mean anything except that they’re into weird stuff. Just because they collect paintings by an artist who specializes in painting half-naked, abused, and dead children… What’s the difference between that and someone listening to heavy metal songs about the devil? Does that make them devil worshipers?”
No, it doesn’t. And I am not saying that Marina Abramovic should be prevented by law from creating her art installations, or that the Podesta brothers should go to jail for attending them. Most Americans outside of Silicon Valley do interpret the First Amendment pretty broadly, and a person who wishes to attend Satanic soirees or collect paintings of half-naked, bound, dead and abused children is within his legal rights. But, should such a person have a hand in determining education policy in America? Should he have any say over whether it is appropriate to perform gender reassignment surgery on eight-year-olds, when he has paintings of tied up, dead eight-year-olds on his living room wall?
It is tempting to focus on the sick mind of Podesta himself, but his unashamed public behavior forces us to ask a much larger question: What exactly is going on in Washington D.C.? Podesta obviously feels comfortable hanging these pictures on the walls of a house in which he hosts parties, and which he showed off in a D.C. society magazine. Washington D.C. is a cutthroat city where people are regularly destroyed and rendered untouchable for trivial indiscretions. How could Podesta, a powerful Democrat lobbyist with a Rolodex of enemies acquired over a long career, put his depraved predilections on public display, and expect no repercussions?
Famous television news reporters Katie Couric and George Stephanopolous went to Epstein’s New York City mansion for dinner less than a year after he was released from prison. (Remember, it was not even Epstein himself, but his friends who nicknamed his private plane the “Lolita Express”.) As I write this, JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is being deposed over his bank allegedly turning a blind eye to Epstein’s crimes. Dimon’s best defense might well be to point out that everyone turned a blind eye to Epstein’s crimes. Epstein even gave an unrepentant interview to New York Times reporter James B. Stewart in 2019 in which Stewart wrote: “[Epstein] said criminalizing sex with teenage girls was a cultural aberration and that at times in history it was perfectly acceptable. He pointed out that homosexuality had long been considered a crime and was still punishable by death in some parts of the world.”
What are all these powerful and prominent people doing with a monster like Epstein? Taking into account the behavior and inclinations of many people of Epstein’s social class, an obvious, if uncomfortable answer presents itself. To these people, Epstein is not a monster. To an ordinary person the idea of the Lolita Express appears shocking (I personally don’t know anyone who wouldn’t immediately call the police if he found himself surrounded by unrelated underage girls on a private plane named after a novel about a pedophile), but for somebody who sometimes eats dinner off the belly of a bloody mock corpses, at an event hosted by a man with paintings of dead children on his living room walls, it might not be nearly as shocking.
Lyndon answers his own question. Jimmy Savile was able to operate in the open because any semblance of moral order had been thrown out the window in the 1960s, and the stories people heard about him were common. Ours is far from the first late-stage decadent civilization to develop an elite that distinguishes itself from hoi polloiby flouting their basic moral precepts. Cleopatra allegedly enjoyed pushing pins through the breasts of her servant girls, and was driven to orgasm by their screams. Aleister Crowley did not find an audience for his Sex Magick among peasants, but among the British gentry and upper bourgeoisie – people, in other words, much like John and Tony Podesta, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and the rich and famous friends of Jeffrey Epstein.
Shortly after Epstein’s 2019 arrest, Christine Pelosi, a Democratic activist and the daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, tweeted that “it is quite likely that some of our faves are implicated, but we must follow the facts and let the chips fall where they may – whether on Republicans or Democrats.” Who did Pelosi have in mind when she wrote this? That is another question to which we are unlikely to get a good answer. But her tweet certainly serves as a powerful reminder that the morally-permissive environment that prevails in elite circles would have made someone like Epstein feel right at home.