Kamal Ravikant on the Transformative Power of Failure

Failure teaches and it can be transformative --- if you let it.

Kamal Ravikant, author of Rebirth: A Fable of Love, Forgiveness, and Following Your Heart, joined The Glenn Beck Program on Friday for a riveting conversation about his life experiences and the most important lesson he's ever learned --- how to love himself.

"What was the turning point?" Glenn asked.

Ravikant --- a self-made tech icon who served in the US Army, lost everything, trekked to one of the highest base camps in the Himalayas and walked 550 miles across Spain --- described how a message from Pastor Rick Warren motivated him during a very bleak time.

"I made a vow to myself that I was just going to figure out a way to get out," Ravikant said.

Glenn then asked how Ravikant changed things, if he'd bet on an investment.

"No, no, I bet on myself, on my inner self. And I just sat and worked on my inner self and to get myself out of it because ultimately, it's all inside," Ravikant said.

Enjoy this complimentary clip from The Glenn Beck Program:

GLENN: I don't know why I'm having -- you're in Texas. We're going to call you Pete from here on out. Kamal is with us. Kamal is a friend of mine. We met about three years ago. I read a poem of yours on the air. I didn't remember this. You reminded me of this yesterday. Read a poem of yours on the air. And then, did you write to me or call?

KAMAL: No. Someone from your staff reached out.

GLENN: Really? So then you came town. Right?

KAMAL: Yes, sir.

GLENN: And you have a fascinating life. When you came down, did I know who your brother was or who you -- I don't think so.

KAMAL: I don't know.

GLENN: Yeah. Because you have -- if you're in Silicon Valley, you're very well-known. Your brother is very well-known. Like really well-known. And we'll talk about that here in a second. You've written a new book. It's called Rebirth, which is kind of your story.

KAMAL: Yes.

GLENN: I was telling guys when we first came in that, you know, your story is very much, in some ways my story. You know, you kind of go and you lose it all. And then -- what was it, Pat? What was the next part of the story? Oh, yeah. You get fat. He doesn't have the fat part of the story yet. So...

JEFFY: It's coming, my friend. It's coming.

GLENN: But your story is the quintessential American story because you came from India.

KAMAL: Yes, sir.

GLENN: Nine years old.

KAMAL: Uh-huh.

GLENN: Tell me about it.

KAMAL: Single mom. Came here with my brother --

GLENN: You were a single mom at the time?

KAMAL: Yeah, I started early.

Single mom. My brother and I, two little kids, left an abusive father.

GLENN: In India?

KAMAL: No.

GLENN: Here in America?

KAMAL: He was here. He was here. He was still abusive here. And she said, "You know, I'm not raising my boys with this example." And she took my brother and I and left.

And we went through everything: Homeless, food stamps, bouncing one place to the other, and her just working minimum wage jobs day in and day out.

And I got to see her go through some very hard stuff, and she raised my brother and I on nothing. In Jamaica, Queens. We had ten locks on our doors.

GLENN: Jamaica, Queens -- do you guys remember? Did you guys go to Jamaica, Queens, ever? Yeah, I mean that's --

KAMAL: I think Run-DMC and a lot of the original rappers came from there. That kind of place.

GLENN: That's a dicey, dicey place.

KAMAL: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, got jumped a bunch of times. You know, I was a skinny little shy kid.

And then when I graduated, I left and went to college for a year and then just said, "Screw this," and joined the Army, one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. I was a (inaudible) soldier and did that for three years. And then went to college after that. And moved out to Silicon Valley after that. Then started building companies.

GLENN: Would you join the Army now?

KAMAL: Yes.

GLENN: You would?

KAMAL: Yeah, of course.

GLENN: Without hesitation?

KAMAL: Of course.

GLENN: Would you have your son join the Army now?

KAMAL: Yes.

GLENN: Wow.

KAMAL: Of course.

GLENN: No hesitation.

KAMAL: Of course.

GLENN: We've had this conversation internally a lot of times. I'm not sure what we're doing anymore.

KAMAL: Oh, of course not. I mean, it's -- the mission is a mess, but the art -- the -- being a soldier is the best thing I ever gave myself as a boy to become a man.

GLENN: And what part of it made you a man?

KAMAL: Being challenged in boot camp every day. Most of my friends thought I wouldn't ever make it. You know, I didn't need to go to the Army. I had a scholarship to college. And I went on my own, and I was a skinny kid from the city. Like I never held a rifle, never shot at --

GLENN: You had never seen the woods before.

KAMAL: I had never seen the woods. You know, and all of a sudden, I'm with a shaped hat, different haircut than this.

GLENN: Yeah, I would imagine a lot different.

KAMAL: You know, like -- sharing bunks with guys from like gangbangers and basically guys who were from everywhere in the US.

And, you know, you had to gel together, to come together to serve one purpose. And there were a lot of -- we didn't get along well, but by the end, we were like a well-formed unit. We were on mission. So you really get to see what this country is about. That was a great gift.

GLENN: I think you were telling me yesterday that -- that the service -- we have -- how did you phrase it?

KAMAL: Gentleman soldiers.

GLENN: Gentleman soldiers. What do you mean by that?

KAMAL: Well, I'll give you an example. I have a friend of mine who is FA (inaudible). And he's getting out soon. So I'm kind of guiding him on an entrepreneurship. And he just came back from a tour. And he was -- you know, the guy was bombing ISIS. And he was actually showing me some of the unclassified footage of one of the major bombing runs he did. And he took out a lot of ISIS soldiers there. It was where their barracks were, in the middle of the city. And it was very surgical. In the middle of the city. And yet he was telling me, he thinks about the civilians around there, what they must go through. They're stuck with these guys. They have no choice. They're under terror rule. And all of a sudden, the whole place is blowing up. And so he went on YouTube, and so he could look and see the civilian's perspectives, the videos they took of his bombing.

But we have very thoughtful soldiers. You know, people -- you know, people talk about this cowboy -- we don't have that. We have people who really care.

GLENN: You're such an interesting guy. At nine years old, you come over -- you're here coming over to America. You've lived in some of the worst places in America for poverty and violence. You grew up in a violent home. Yet you are one of the most peaceful, gentle, kind men I know. I get the nicest emails from you. And you're so thoughtful.

I think the first time we met, I think one of the first things you said to me -- and it was genuine. Was something along the lines of, how can I serve you? How can I be helpful to you? Where did that come from? What happened?

KAMAL: Well, first of all, thank you. I'd say my mom. I think it comes from who raises you. You know, she was an example.

GLENN: You told me that you rarely saw -- I mean, there were times that your mom was gone because she was working all the time.

KAMAL: Commuted two hours a day.

GLENN: So how did she give you that example?

KAMAL: I think I saw what she had to go through to take care of my brother and I on nothing. And how strong she had to be, but I could see what she was going through and what it took. And she is the most loving, amazing human being.

GLENN: I'd love to meet her sometime.

KAMAL: She is. She volunteers for battered women's shelters. You know, she works with seniors. She just gives.

So like she was an example. I don't think she ever told me to be this way. But I watched her be that way. And ultimately, that's all we can be.

GLENN: Were you ever afraid you would be your dad?

KAMAL: Yeah, yeah. It's something I dealt with in my 20s, you know.

GLENN: Anger, or just the fear of anger?

KAMAL: Anger. The fear of anger. And, you know, honestly, when you take anger and you turn it in -- if you don't let it out and you -- it turns it into depression. You beat yourself up. So I dealt with that in my 20s.

And it was ultimately then coming to terms with his death, with him. I was able to just let it go and realize, I am not him. I will never be him. He was an example for me in ways of not to be. I also have other examples.

You know, I met amazing men in my life who have been mentors to me. Had a great mother. So use that and --

GLENN: You can have other examples. And it's amazing. My son-in-law grew up in a very -- with a very dicey situation with father figures. And to the point to where I hear some of the stories, and I was, you know, watching him very closely on --

KAMAL: Sure.

GLENN: Okay. So who are you? Because figure after figure after figure in his life was not good until recently. And then I came along and screwed it up.

But he is -- he made the choice, I'm not going to be that guy.

KAMAL: Yes. Yes, yes. That's ultimately what we come down to, who we want to be. And then we have to live it.

GLENN: Okay. So let's cut to the chase before the break because I want to talk to you about what you think America means, because you have a great perspective on it.

Are we losing it? Are we getting closer, farther away? What do we do? And then I want to talk to you a little bit about technology.

KAMAL: Sure.

GLENN: But -- so you -- you had this struggle. You gained everything. Then you lost everything.

You end up in Silicon Valley. Did you lose it in Silicon Valley the first time?

KAMAL: Yeah. I made -- built it in Silicon Valley, lost it in Silicon Valley, rebuilt.

GLENN: Okay. Okay. Tell us who -- you know, you and your brother are kind of royalty in Silicon Valley. Why?

KAMAL: Well, my brother is known as one of the most entrepreneur-friendly investors in Silicon Valley. So he's been a investor -- first investor in Uber. You know, one of the first investors in Twitter. And so forth. He's known for being a very, very helpful guy. And he knows what he's doing. Because at one point in his career, he got screwed over by VCs, and I was living with him then. And he had to go through a lawsuit to actually prove it, and he won. I remember him --

GLENN: Meaning that the venture capitalists are vultures -- they can be.

KAMAL: They used to be more. Yeah.

GLENN: Right. And they can come in and take you.

KAMAL: Yeah, they were the money guys. And you needed money. Entrepreneur, you're not thinking like that. You just want to build your business. You want to make your dream. You're not thinking what you just signed away, until it's time, and all of a sudden they come and they take it.

GLENN: Right. Right. Right.

KAMAL: So at that time, I remember when he was going through that, the genesis of what happened, he said, "I'm going to level the playing field. I'm going to give entrepreneurs a power."

So first he started by actually creating a blog called Venture Hacks, where he just shared everything. Deal terms. How to negotiate for entrepreneurs. Just how the whole things works.

And then an angle list for angels to sharing different ideas with them and then built this platform called AngelList, where any entrepreneur now raises money for startups. So you don't have to spend six months begging VCs. You can go there if it's a great thing -- individuals. You know, people with money will just jump in and fund you.

So, like, Uber raised their first round on AngelList.

GLENN: How much was it the first round?

KAMAL: Uber at that time was worth I think maybe less than 8 million dollars. And they raised maybe 1.2 or something.

GLENN: And how much are they worth now?

KAMAL: About 60 billion.

GLENN: Jeez. Holy cow. Did you get in on that first round?

KAMAL: You know, that's a whole different story.

(laughter)

But I have friends of mine who did.

GLENN: Yeah.

KAMAL: And, you know, that one -- a 25,000 on investment at that point in Uber probably results, by the time we go public, at like 30 million, $40 million.

GLENN: Oh, my gosh.

KAMAL: That's Silicon Valley math for you.

GLENN: Yeah. That's crazy.

STU: That's when you need a flux capacitor.

GLENN: Yeah. And they're working on one, I think.

STU: Okay. Good.

GLENN: Okay. So we're going to come back, and I want to talk to you a little bit about your book and how you view America. Because we're an idea. And we're not talking about the idea of America anymore.

KAMAL: I think it's an ideal more than an idea. An ideal is something you uphold. You know, it's a principle. You know, that's what America --

GLENN: And are we -- we'll get into it here in a second.

[break]

GLENN: Kamal Ravikant. A Fable of Love, Forgiveness, and Following Your Heart. The name of the book is Rebirth.

I can't recommend it highly enough. Kamal has a way -- and I think I have read either Edgar Allan Poe, or what's his name? The other one? If. Rudyard Kipling on the air. I've read his. And his novel is, I believe -- and this is probably going to make you uncomfortable. But I believe it is as good anything McCormick McCarthy has ever written.

It's just -- to me at least, it's just -- there's an art to it that you have, that you rarely, rarely see. And the story is really, really great as well. And it's kind of -- it's kind of your story of -- when your dad died, you promised that you would take his ashes back to the Ganges. Right?

KAMAL: Correct.

GLENN: I mean, I don't know if you did this intentionally, but you brought him back --

KAMAL: No, it was given to me.

GLENN: Really?

KAMAL: In a red Marlboro lunchpack, which think of the irony on that, right?

GLENN: Right. It's just my dad's ashes in the Marlboro pack.

KAMAL: I mean, I don't know who thought of that.

GLENN: Right. So you went -- and you were supposed to be just gone for a couple of eight days. You spent eight months.

KAMAL: Spent eight months away.

GLENN: And you ended up doing a Christian pilgrimage in Spain.

KAMAL: Correct.

GLENN: And how?

KAMAL: It changed my life.

I -- first of all, walking -- it was 550 miles long from the French-Spanish Border, all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

GLENN: And then back?

KAMAL: No. I took a plane.

GLENN: You took -- you're supposed to go back.

KAMAL: Well, in the old days, right. In the 11th century, there were no planes. But like -- millions of people had walked this. And so, you know, no matter who you are, you stop following the footsteps of millions of people, from their hopes and dreams, and following their beliefs -- and, just, many people died along the way, originally.

And you walk this, so the kind of people who come and walk it are interesting people, people who are all resolving things in their lives. And you start to share with each other stories of your lives. And when you share stories is how you actually learn and grow.

GLENN: Yeah.

KAMAL: And so that's actually where I learned -- you know, I was in my mid-20s. I was lost. I was broke. My dad had died. I was trying to come to terms with the anger I had towards him. And I couldn't resolve it because he was gone. And so all these issues I was working through, actually got worked out by walking and being out in the middle of nowhere, sleeping in vineyards and wheat fields and castles and churches. And just talk about personal transformation.

GLENN: Were you religious or spiritual at the time? Because you went up to the Himalayas before this. And you did the thing with the Dalai Lama's monks, right?

KAMAL: Yes. Yes.

GLENN: He's -- have you ever met him?

KAMAL: I've listened to him, but I haven't shook hands with him or anything.

GLENN: Yeah, no, he is a really funny guy. In person, he's hysterical. But there's something about him. But, anyway --

KAMAL: There is.

I'm not religious, although when I was in the Army -- in boot camp, I was baptized Southern Baptist. Full-on immersion.

GLENN: Right. Right. Right. Okay.

KAMAL: So it's been a foundation of mine. But it's not something I talk much about. I just go live my own thing.

So -- and this was a Catholic pilgrimage too. And though these days pretty much anybody walks it.

GLENN: Right. The guy that you met -- or, the character meets in the book. Did that guy -- is he a collection of everybody that you met, or?

KAMAL: You know what I did was I took people I've known that I've loved and, like, created characters based on them. And some of them are based on people I met. But all served a story of the lessons he needs to learn. And so as he grows, he meets the right people.

GLENN: Biggest lesson from the book?

KAMAL: Forgiveness. Letting go. You know, that's where freedom is.

When we're hanging onto the past, we can't move forward. And in the story, moving forward, get up, walk west, day after day, towards Santiago de Compostela, which is the destination, where the tomb of St. James the apostle is. And you just get up, and you walk West.

And as you walk, you just -- there's growth that happens. And you got to -- you're leaving the past behind, literally. And so you learn to actually not just let it go physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. And so forgiveness is the biggest lesson. And that is the biggest lesson of this book.

GLENN: Did you crash before you went on that pilgrimage? You had not made your money yet?

KAMAL: No.

GLENN: Okay. When you crashed, did you have a hard the time letting go?

KAMAL: You know, I had no choice. I was incredibly sick. I was depressed. I was suicidal. I think if I had --

GLENN: It made you physically ill?

KAMAL: Yeah. I had been going two and a half years, no vacation. Lost everything. And, you know, thought I was a failure. And I swear like, if I had the strength, I would have walked and thrown myself off the Bay Bridge. Those days -- I'm actually glad I didn't have a firearm. You know, it worked in my favor there.

GLENN: It's funny because I've often said -- because I've gone through that -- you know, when I was younger, in my 20s, and I thought, "I'm glad I'm a coward." Because, you know, I could have pulled myself, you know, off of a bridge, but I know I would have gotten on the bridge and went, "Okay. All right. Okay. This is too -- you know, I'm not -- I'm too much of a scaredy cat to do that." And that, I think, is what saved my life.

KAMAL: I'm glad.

GLENN: Okay. So you pull yourself back from the brink.

What is the -- only got 30 seconds. So we'll come back. I want to know, what was the lesson you learned there? Because now you're about to turbo your life and change everybody's life. And I want to talk about that. And as somebody who came here with nothing, been homeless, and in one generation, you love America more than most Americans, what is the secret of America that maybe we're missing?

[break]

GLENN: Kamal Ravikant is with us. Rebirth: A Fable of Love, Forgiveness, and a Following of Your Heart.

A good friend of mine, a brilliant writer, and a brilliant man, and one of the more kind men I know as well. And really thoughtful on how you approach life.

So you bottomed out. You lost everything. You come over here -- for anybody who is joining us, you come over here from India at nine. Your father is abusive. Your mother says, "Not going to raise you here." You're homeless for a while. Tough, tough upbringing, but a loving mom.

You join the military. Your dad dies. You go over to India. You go to the Himalayas -- I mean, you're a movie.

(laughter)

You come back, you go to Silicon Valley, and you and your brother at the same time are hitting it?

KAMAL: My brother got their first.

GLENN: Okay.

And for anybody who doesn't know, Ravikant is kind of a royal name in Silicon Valley, if I can embarrass you a bit. And then you lose everything.

KAMAL: Uh-huh.

GLENN: You just said, "If I had the strength -- because you were so sick -- I would have thrown myself off the Bay Bridge."

KAMAL: Correct.

GLENN: What was the turning point?

KAMAL: Turning point was actually, I watched this talk -- TED talk by Rick Warren. I don't think I've told this publicly before.

And it's my favorite TED talk. And at the end, he goes -- he's sitting there, kind of just like giving a very casual talk, and he's talking about the purpose driven life, and he's talking about how -- he said, "You know, in the end, we're all betting on something. Find what you're betting on and go on." And I thought at that point, "Okay. I'm going to bet on something and either go all in or die trying." I was going to get better. I made a vow to myself that I was just going to figure out a way to get out.

GLENN: So did you bet on an investment?

KAMAL: No, no, I bet on myself. On my inner self. And I just sat and worked on my inner self and to get myself out of it. Because ultimately, it's all inside. You know, like everything, we're stuck in our head. So I just worked on this. And I got better.

But it was like the focus full-on vow. I'm a big believer in commitment. Because once you commit, the ships -- they don't burn, they explode behind you. Right? That's the only way.

GLENN: Yeah. Yeah.

Once you can get to a place to where you can see it finished, you've done so much work that you're like -- it's not convincing yourself. It's just, all of a sudden, it just rings true. It's done.

KAMAL: Yes.

GLENN: And then your life changes.

KAMAL: It transforms.

GLENN: Transforms.

KAMAL: It really does. And my life changed. And I built myself back up. And I started writing these books to share what I learned. And they started doing very well.

And me being the real me. Not trying to be some hotshot Silicon Valley guy. Me just talking about my failures. And it's been amazing.

GLENN: Yeah. Yeah. Most people who meet you, they have no idea you're a hotshot Silicon Valley kind of guy.

So let's talk a little bit about what is America. What is it? You say it's an ideal.

KAMAL: Uh-huh. I think ultimately, for me, you know, the gift Silicon Valley gave me is the fact that everyone there is doing something. Dreaming and building. Which is what America is for me. It's -- we're always trying to create something better and be better. And, you know, that's -- America was an experiment that could have very easily failed when it started. You know, the Founders could have been shot by the British, and that would have been it. You know, it's about taking risks. It's about falling flat on your face. And Silicon Valley, we don't punish failure. If you did your best, you really tried something, it didn't work, we'll invest in you again. That I think separates it. That's why Europe will never be able to create a Silicon Valley. Because every European entrepreneur I know is terrified of failing. They'll never be able to do anything ever again if they fail.

GLENN: Failure teaches -- if you're smart, failure teaches you really important lessons. Failure is just as important as success. In fact, success can be crippling.

KAMAL: Yeah. Having said, the worst thing that can happen to a writer is early success.

GLENN: Yeah.

KAMAL: You know, like, I was writing and obsessively writing that book for over a decade.

GLENN: Holy cow.

KAMAL: Eight full drafts. Sending them to agents and publishers. Getting rejection letters. And those rejection letters are the best gifts I ever got. Because it made me become a better writer.

You know, I was writing very clever drivel, not from the heart.

GLENN: Yeah, yours is really on it. There's something -- have you ever heard someone say that about your writing? There is something completely unique about your writing. And it's not pretentious, ostentatious. It's not like -- it's not like clever, like you're trying to do something. It's just so authentic. Your sentence structure is different. I mean, it's really good. Really good.

KAMAL: Thank you.

GLENN: So where are we on the American life cycle?

KAMAL: Oh, that's a great question. We're in some interesting times, that's for sure. You know, I get to meet -- because I run a fund -- I invest in entrepreneurs. Even in Silicon Valley, people come from all over the world to be entrepreneurs there. So the American dream is very much alive. It's a matter of choosing who you want to be.

GLENN: You and I were talking yesterday off-air about this concept of -- that Silicon Valley is in its own bubble. And it doesn't relate to the rest of the country, in some ways. You invested in a company -- what is it? The RV --

KAMAL: RV Share. It's my favorite.

GLENN: Yeah. And what is it?

KAMAL: It's Airbnb for RVs. It's amazing. It's brilliant. It's a 12-man team, and they built it from scratch. And 12-man meaning there's a couple -- a few women and men team --

GLENN: Yeah.

KAMAL: -- in Cleveland, Ohio, in this little office park. And they're changing people's lives.

You have an RV, and all of a sudden, you can make a living off it by just renting it out just to individuals. And make it stupid simple. People come find your RV. They rent it --

GLENN: Silicon Valley would have never thought of that.

KAMAL: They thought of Airbnb, but they didn't think of RVs, which is outside of Silicon Valley.

GLENN: Right. Right. This is -- would you compare this time in history to the War of the Currents? Of the Industrial Revolution --

KAMAL: Industrial Revolution. There's changes coming that are just going to transform society.

GLENN: What are people -- and this is something we've talked about working together on. Because I -- I talk to the people in Silicon Valley, and I'm both energized and -- and in a way, horrified because no one is talking about what's coming. And the change is so -- it is the difference between living in -- on a farm, with no telephone, no electricity, no plumbing, and ten years later, you're living in a city. I mean, it's profound change that is coming.

And nobody is explaining this to the center of the country. It's exciting and exhilarating. But it's going to change the way we think -- everybody is -- for instance, education is still preparing us for the 1950s.

KAMAL: Oh, gosh. Yeah, it's terrible. It's actually terrible. I would never hire someone just straight out of a traditional education. The best people I've ever met, I've hired, barely graduated high school, but they were doers.

You know, like traditional education these days does not prepare you to start companies.

GLENN: It doesn't. It doesn't. I think it actually hurts.

KAMAL: It hinders you.

GLENN: Yeah, it does. Because you think in that box.

KAMAL: You think that everything is taken care of. Whereas, if you start something from scratch, as you know, you do everything. You mop the floors. You make the sales calls. You take all the risk. But that is the American dream.

GLENN: Most exciting thing that you have seen that maybe others have missed. What's the most exciting trend line or idea that you have heard that you think is game-changing?

KAMAL: Well, I think ultimately the nearest term stuff is going to be like augmented reality. People talk about virtual reality. Augmented reality is just here. Like all these things, all these beautiful things you have here -- they didn't have to be here, but they'll just be projections that you put on glass that you just see there.

So that's actually coming -- that's actually even more interesting than virtual reality. Because then you can --

GLENN: Because it interacts with real --

KAMAL: Carbon reality.

GLENN: You have to wear glasses?

KAMAL: Glasses. Maybe contacts after a while. It's really interesting. And no one really knows where this is going to go. People can guess. Because ultimately as we talked about, technology is a tool.

GLENN: Yeah.

KAMAL: It's up to -- you know, I think one of the things that you mentioned that people on this side versus that side don't understand -- like, here's Silicon Valley. Here's somewhere on a farm. There's no one speaking a common language.

GLENN: Yes.

KAMAL: We speak a very different language in Silicon Valley and a very different language here, which I think is what we need. Like a middle ground.

GLENN: People don't know -- nobody is talking to the people in the center of the country from Silicon Valley. And so they're just seeing these products roll out, but it's not. It's about fully changing the way you think about everything. And I think the people in the center of the country, A, are going to be thrilled when they see it.

And they will find -- you know, the guy who did the original radio tube. I'm trying to remember his name. But he -- he made the radio tube. The amplifying tube. He didn't even know what it was for. He didn't have any idea what it was for.

Another guy comes along years later, named Armstrong, and he says, "Oh, my gosh. I can amplify sound so you don't have to have headphones anymore." The guy who invented that didn't even see that as the application. And that's what's going to happen when you include the rest of the country.

KAMAL: Yes. And, you know, the best inventors are the guys in the garage and playing with stuff. So there are so many out there.

I think if there is a closer collaboration of it, just language, you're going to create all these new entrepreneurs and new inventors out there that don't exist yet.

GLENN: Scariest thing you see on the horizon?

KAMAL: Virtual reality.

We talked about this before as well. It's amazing what it can be, but also it can be an amazing drug that will just pull you away from reality, which is what a drug does.

You know, just escape reality. And then we lose the incentive to go and change -- I think ultimately, we are all responsible for our lives. And we have to step up and take control and make a choice. Right?

If we're always escaping, that doesn't happen. And we lose -- I think we lose something fundamental as a human being in that process. So that, I'm concerned about.

PAT: How far are we from perfecting that? The virtual reality?

KAMAL: It's here. I mean, it's a matter of --

PAT: I know we actually have it.

GLENN: How long do we have the suit where you can feel the pressure --

PAT: Yeah, the tactile version.

KAMAL: They have that.

PAT: They do have that already? Wow.

KAMAL: To make it mass market, years. A few years.

GLENN: Like three years, five years, ten years?

KAMAL: Five years.

GLENN: Five years.

KAMAL: There's all these interesting things coming out, that, yeah, you can just lose yourself, which is the scary part.

GLENN: Really scary. Because there's a lot of people that want to lose themselves.

KAMAL: Yeah. And I think that could hold us back as human beings and as a society.

PAT: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

GLENN: How concerned are you with the -- the gathering of so much information? Not that anybody is doing it in a nefarious way now, but all you need is an excuse. And all of a sudden, the government can take this --

KAMAL: Yeah. Civil liberties are very easy to take away. You know, very hard to get. You know, we have them, and we've lost some of them, and we're going to lose more.

Everyone in Silicon Valley -- like most people -- we were talking about earlier. People I know, Silicon Valley, they don't use SMS. They use these secure messaging apps that are just -- you know, not that we have anything to hide. But if it tells you that people at the forefront are thinking this way --

GLENN: I use Confide. Is that the kind of thing you're talking about?

KAMAL: I use Signal.

GLENN: Signal?

KAMAL: Yeah. And really, like whenever I go through TSA, I always get pulled aside. Get patted. I don't care. I have nothing to hide. But still, you start thinking, like, if these things are happening, where is it going to go next?

As long as I don't lose due process, I don't mind being frisked. If I lose due process, then I'm in trouble.

Same thing with collecting information. It's very innocuous. But then everyone is being passive that we're being spied on, and then basically you have control over everyone. You know what they're doing.

GLENN: I only have a couple seconds left with you. But let me ask you this -- you know, we were talking about fake news. And the answer to that is everyone needs to be more responsible. And we've done it before. I mean, fake news has been around since the town criers, you know.

Ancient Rome, they had fake news. You can count on it. We have to be more responsible as human beings and more engaged and discerning.

I've talked to -- even Ted Koppel said to me in an interview, he said, "Don't you think that we need to license people who have these websites and blogs, and journalism?" And I said no. But that's where a lot of people will start heading, as things, you know, continue down this --

JEFFY: Well, they already are.

GLENN: Yeah, they already are.

So can you shut -- can people shut the internet and information down? Do you think that's possible at this point?

KAMAL: When you say people, do you mean...?

GLENN: Do you think a government can come in and really shut down the freedoms we have online on the air.

KAMAL: Sure. Look at China. They have entire, you know, full-time job. They're shutting it down. They do a pretty decent job. And you do it -- you know, all of it is done step by step. That's the scary part. You know, it's like when you put a frog, and you boil it slowly. That's what scares me. Right? So that's why I'm a big believer in civil liberties and due process, is that, you know, at least we have the system of law, where you can challenge them. When you can no longer challenge the secret courts, that's when we have problems.

GLENN: The name of the book is Rebirth. Kamal Ravikant. I can't recommend it highly enough. Grab it, read it, you'll love it. Rebirth. Kamal Ravikant. Thank you, Kamal. We'll see you again soon.

Hey Joe, THIS is how you handle terrorists

Wikimedia Commons

If you haven't seen the new Apple TV+ drama Tehran, it's definitely worth your time. It tells the story of an Israeli spy who sneaks into Iran to set up an attack on Iran's nuclear program. Now that the new Bond movie is delayed, this show has a little bit of everything to hold you over: international spies, hackers, double agents.

But I digress...

No matter how Hollywood tries to invent these stories — and this one is definitely good — they always fall short of what happens in real life. What happened in Iran this past Friday is a movie waiting to happen.

What happened in Iran this past Friday is a movie waiting to happen.

Iran's top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was assassinated as he was traveling to his private villa just a few miles east of Tehran. The operation involved a team of over 60 people. Around 50 logistical support agents backed up a dozen gunmen. They knew everything. His schedule, his private address, his classified movements, the route...

Fakhrizadeh was traveling in the middle of three armored vehicles. When they approached the ambush site, the hit team cut off all the electricity in the surrounding area. A car bomb was then remotely detonated, taking out the rear vehicle in the convoy. 12 gunmen proceeded to open fire on the other two cars. Iran's top nuclear scientist was dead, and NONE of the hit squad were wounded or arrested.

Now you can already guess where the blame is being directed this morning. Almost immediately, the fingers began to point at both Israel and the United States. The mainstream media is trying to paint this as an effort by Trump to sabotage a Biden effort to restart the Iran Nuclear Deal. Remember that "masterful" stroke of Middle East foreign policy? You know, the deal that included $150 BILLION — in cash — that Obama and Biden knew would be used to kill Americans and destabilize the entire region. Remember that?

They said it was impossible... but Trump did it.

They claimed their way was the only path to peace. What did they get from it? Iran spread out all the way to the literal doorstep of Israel. The elite Iraqi troops of the Republican Guard were staging in Syria, plotting that ultimate attack to take back Jerusalem. The entire region was set to explode... but then Trump scuttled the deal. What did it lead to? Historic peace agreements between the Arab world and Israel.

They said it was impossible... but Trump did it. He reimposed sanctions and launched a campaign to kill terrorists rather than give them money.

John Brennan took to Twitter this weekend to call the assassination a criminal act.

It echoes what they said when the top terrorist in the world — Qassem Soleimani — was assassinated in Iraq. Coincidentally, the Iranian government published artwork over the weekend depicting Soleimani and the, now dead, nuclear scientist standing side by side.

You see, now matter how people like Brennan and Biden might try and say otherwise, this is exactly the type of person Iran's "Robert Openheimer" was: a terrorist in the same category as Soleimani (but obviously with a lot more dangerous capability).

Iran has been protecting this man for two decades. They called him merely "an academic," but denied the UN IAEA inspectors to ever question him.

The rhetoric Iran fed the global community was that their nuclear program didn't have anything to do with weapons, and that this nuclear scientist was involved in research to improve their energy programs. But in 2007, the CIA said this was a cover story. In 2008, the United States froze his assets, and the IAEA made it public that this scientist was leading Iran's nuclear weapons project.

Iran called it "Projects 110 and 111." Fakhrizadeh was tasked with finding out how to miniaturize a nuclear warhead and make it durable enough so that it could survive re-entry into the atmosphere on top of an ICBM.

There can be no accommodation with terrorists.

Obama and Biden's nuclear deal didn't stop ANY of this. Israel revealed in 2018 that Projects 110 and 111 continued. Fakhrizadeh was specifically called out as still being the main man in charge.

Biden thinks his policy of accommodation will somehow bring us the peace that Neville Chamberlain once thought was possible with Hitler. When has this borne fruit with any maniacal tyrant or terrorist... ever?!

And that's exactly what Iran and their thugs are. They're terrorists! They're not a legitimate regime. Long before ISIS, the terrorists in Iran stole a country, planning to spread their caliphate all over the world. Members of Al Qaeda, despite being Sunni, enjoy free sanctuary under their protection. They want to burn Israel to the ground. They chant "death to America"... It's actually a holiday there.

There can be no accommodation with terrorists. Biden wants peace with Iran, and he'll probably roll out a red carpet and offer them a few hundred billion more dollars. We know this doesn't work. To quote Reagan, "there's one way to have peace and you can have it in this second... surrender."

That's how you deal with terrorists, and — whether we were involved or not — another one was just taken out.

How does a sports writer know how to fix America, and America's racial dilemma?

In a special edition of the "Glenn Beck Radio Program," Outkick sports columnist Jason Whitlock filled in Tuesday for Glenn to explain how we can bring America back together, lean into racial harmony, and restore the values of our Founding Fathers. Because if not us, then who will?

Jason started out by explaining how, during a recent appearance on the program, he felt a spiritual connection with Glenn, regardless of physical differences, as both share a common passion for God and country.

"Glenn and I share a kindred spirit. A kindred passion," Jason said. "We have two things that we love and are passionate about: God and country. I am not a minister. I'm a flawed sinner just like Glenn and just like you. But I am a believer. Believers share an energy that connects them, that cuts through our physical differences and makes those differences irrelevant relevant. That's what I felt when I met Glenn, an energy and a spirit that connects us. We are broadcasters, media personalities, operating in separate spaces, trying to talk to Americans, who share our passion."

Jason went on to say that he believes there are forces operating, both outside of and inside America, that are working to separate America from God, and that much of what we've witnessed in 2020 — from the racial division stirred by the mainstream and social media, to the rioting and looting by Antifa and Black Lives Matter, to the "remaking of the sports world into a shrine that celebrates resisting criminal suspects and denigrates this great country at every turn" — are symptoms and consequences of America's enemies separating God and country.

"We are one nation under God. We are nothing without Him," Jason continued. "The flawed sinners who founded this nation baked God into this country with their Declaration of Independence. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. That among those, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The foreign and domestic enemies of this nation are baking a new American cake. God isn't an essential ingredient in this new cake. He isn't an ingredient at all. The removal of faith is sewing the disharmony that is terrorizing and destroying the United States of America.

"Why am I here today? I'm here to tell you how we take our country back, how we restore the freedoms and the liberties our enemies seek to remove in their remaking of a godless America."

Watch the video below to hear more from Jason Whitlock:

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One of the most shocking things British journalist, political commentator, and author of "The Madness of Crowds," Douglas Murray witnessed during his recent stay in America, was how many Americans are acting as if they live in 1930s Germany or behind the Iron Curtain, afraid to stand up and speak out because they're afraid of the consequences.

Murray joined the "Glenn Beck Podcast" this week to explain why he believes the state of America is actually worse than we realize, and how the Left's obsession with rewriting history has ushered in guilt, fear, and a "silent majority."

Murray said he's particularly "fed up" with those on the Right who are afraid to voice their opinion because they don't want to become the target of leftist mobs on social media.

"Do you think anyone in history who told the truth had an easy time? You've got the easiest time that any opposition movement ever did in history," Murray said.

"You cannot have these people in America living in a free society — which is for the time being free — pretending that they live under the circumstances of Jews in 1930s Germany," he added. "Speak up. Speak out. Don't be a silent majority; be a very damn noisy majority. And don't put up with the oppression of people who are totally insincere ... they want to make money. They want to win. Nothing more. Call them out ... and get back to what you should be doing as a nation."

Watch the full interview with Douglas Murray below:



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New York City shut down its schools over the coronavirus with barely any notice. But even before that, Governor Andrew Cuomo apparently wasn't in the mood to be asked about it, and he made that very clear to reporters.

Asked on Wednesday whether parents could expect schools to be closed as soon as Thursday, Cuomo mocked reporters for their "obnoxious and offensive" questions and accused them of not paying attention. Watch the testy exchange for yourself here.

On Thursday's radio program, Glenn Beck and producer Stu Burguiere had plenty to say about Stu's least favorite governor and the decision to close schools. But Glenn also offered his own theory on why coronavirus restrictions have become so political: Americans refuse to be forced into submission.

Watch the video below to catch the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Subscribe to BlazeTV today with our BEST DEAL EVER for $30 off with promo code GLENN.