Glenn Beck: Out of Captivity


Out of Captivity: Surviving 1,967 Days in the Colombian Jungle

by Marc Gonsalves, Tom Howes, Keith Stansell with Gary Brozek


GLENN: You know, let me tell you about the dark side of the drug industry by introducing you to three guys. We have Marc, Tom and Keith ready to go? Hey, guys.

HOWES: Hey, good morning, this is Tom Howes, how are you, Glenn?

GLENN: Good morning. Is Keith here?

STANSELL: I'm here, Glenn. I'd like you to know one thing. In the six months I've only purchased two books and one of them was An Inconvenient Book. I love it, good job. I guess I'm a dissenter.

GLENN: Thank you. A guy who's been held over five years in the jungle and he comes out and he reads that. And Marc, are you there?

CALLER: Yes, sir, I'm here. It's nice to hear from you.

GLENN: First of all, welcome back, guys. You know, I can't believe in reading the story, in reading the new book Out of Captivity and seeing what happened how frightening what is happening down south really truly is. And FARC is operating in Mexico as well. They have incursions up into Mexico. This is the kind of stuff, America -- and I want you to listen to these three guys. This is the kind of stuff that we're dealing with at the border and South America, this is the kind of stuff that if Mexico spirals out of control, you're going to see this just south of our border, and it will affect the average person.

Tell me the story. I guess, who can just tell me the story real quick about, you know, the day you guys took off? It was February 13th, 2003.

HOWES: This is Tom Howes. We were basically heading out on a recon flight to check out some drug activity coordinates.

GLENN: In Colombia?

HOWES: Yeah, we took off out of Bogota, we were heading to a refuel site that we never made it to. There were five of us on board. We're in a single engine turboprop aircraft. On the final leg we had started the final dissent, we took off the oxygen mask and the engine gave up the ghost, wound down to a stop and we're in rugged, rugged terrain, mountainous terrain with no clearings at all that I could see. And I was trying to calculate, see if we could make it over the ridge and to our refuel point but that was hopeless. And then the pilot, he picked out a little postage stamp clearing on the side of a mountain with a cliff on the far end and we decided to head for that. Tried to do a restart; couldn't get the engine going again. We landed on that little strip and the pilot --

VOICE: Crashed.

HOWES: Yeah, Tommy Janus did an excellent job bringing us in there, superb job. I got knocked out on landing, bloody mess. Keith broke a few ribs, pretty well shaken up, but we all got out alive due to Tommy's flying skills. But we landed almost on top of a group of Colombian rebels, a leftist guerilla group, the FARC. And we were taken captive almost immediately. Tommy Janus, the pilot, the other pilot and the one Colombian that was on board, a Sergeant Cruz were separated. We believe that tremendous tied to make a run for it and were shot to death. That basically kicked off almost five and a half years of captivity with this group just in the most basic living conditions and running from the Colombian military whenever they got close. So we had multimonth starvation death marches mixed in.

GLENN: You guys, the three of you, when you were captured at the plane, Keith, you had internal injuries. And then Marc, you guys all went on for -- you marched for a month drinking muddy rainwater and having no food at all?

GONSALVES: We had nothing but the clothes we were wearing. We were strip searched. We were lucky enough to get our clothes back. Everything else was taken away. And for 24 days it was a hell march. I mean, we were just in shock, first of all, thinking we were being marched to our deaths. You know, I was sure that we were going to be interrogated, tortured and killed. And it was just nightmarish conditions. It's something that I would not wish on even my worst enemy. It was horrible to see how we were surrounded by just this group of youth but ignorant youth, young kids who were pointing the rifles of their automatic weapons at us and it was something that really is something you only see in a movie. It was just so surreal.

GLENN: And speaking of movies, they don't -- they are so ignorant. I mean, usually leftist guerillas are. But they were so ignorant about America and reality that when you got to one of the camps, they watch American movies and one of their favorite movies was the Matrix and they really thought that Americans could bend themselves and slow downtime and dodge bullets, right?

STANSELL: They actually asked how we did that. One of the guards came up and said, how do you do that? With a kind of training do your special forces go through to do that? So it's a level of ignorance that you have to live with to experience, Glenn. I mean, it's not really possible to understand it unless you're immersed in it and it's quite shocking.

GLENN: Keith, because I watched the -- by the way, if you don't know this story, you'll remember this story from, what was it, a year ago now when there was a bogus, you know, Red Cross kind of moment where they flew this military -- or this Red Cross kind of like chopper down and took these guys out. And before anybody on the ground figured it out, they figured out that it was a rescue and that's how you guys got out. And I want to get into the controversy surrounding that because it's been driving me crazy. But when you guys first made the videotapes -- now this is over five years ago. When you were first making the videotapes the, you know, proof that you were alive tapes, Keith, I don't think I've ever heard any dad ever -- I mean, it was amazing to watch. You told your kids to be brave and that if you don't come home, it's okay. What was that like?

STANSELL: It was tough. You know, we were essentially in a box, we could surprise kind of ambushed here, the news of Marc's mom, the deaths of our coworkers that came looking for us a month afterwards and, you know, at that point, Glenn, I think what you need to do is get out the most important thing and I don't want to speak for Marc and Tom. I think it's fairly easy to say that for the three of us, our kids, our families, that was the most important thing. So if I could do anything at that point, I wanted to reach out to my children and let them know how I felt and give them at least one last piece of guidance as if I was never going to speak to them again. That's all I thought about doing.

HOWES: The second proof of life we did, was it last year -- or just year before last, Keith and Marc didn't want to speak. They didn't want to build any propaganda for the FARC, but I did speak on that one and just because it was very important to get a message out to my family because the family looms up huge in situations like that. I kept this going basically.

VOICE: But that was -- we were literally in a situation where we never knew for sure if we were going to live to see them again and that's something that was constantly looming over our heads.

GLENN: You guys were kept in -- you were kept in cages for a while.

VOICE: Depends. We were kept in cages, we were kept in an open, you know, corral that's fenced off, we were chained to trees. I mean, I look at my neck every morning. I have scars from chains around my neck. Every day I get up and I look at that and I remember what happened to me in the jungle. But there were never good conditions.

GLENN: Have you guys, have you guys -- I mean, what is it like to be gone, to have gone through this for five years, come back, see the shape that your country is in today? I mean, when you guys left, we were still I think gearing up for the Iraqi war. You've missed all of this. Has the whirlwind stopped yet for you?

VOICE: This is like coming out of a time machine and for me it hasn't. The whirlwind, I haven't caught up yet. There's been so many advances technologically, so many changes politically. It's --

GLENN: What are the biggest changes?

STANSELL: The economy.

VOICE: That's true.

STANSELL: You know, Glenn, this is Keith.

VOICE: How about the price of gas.

STANSELL: Huge thing for us, we called what we lived in the Planet of the Apes. If you watched the movie, there's a lot of parody in that. The huge change that's happened for me since I've come back to the country is what are we doing as Americans today. It looks like everybody's looking for the government to save them instead of us saving ourselves and it's incredible. There's an unbelievable sense of entitlement that I never saw in our culture before. It's kind of scary to me.

GLENN: Amazing. Okay, hang on just a second. We're going to continue our conversation. The name of the book is Out of Captivity. The story of surviving almost five years with leftist rebels in the jungle. And you are not going to believe. The escape, it almost was blown, the cover was almost blown, and they almost didn't get out because they were like, "Wait a minute, hang on just a second." But also the controversy afterwards will make blood shoot right directly out of your eyes. That's coming up in just a second.

[Read the full transcript]

It's not as easy as it used to be for billion-dollar entertainment empires like The Walt Disney Company. It would be more streamlined for Disney to produce its major motion pictures in its own backyard. After all, abortion in California is readily available, as well as a protected, cherished right. And since abortion access is critical for movie production, right up there with lighting equipment and craft services, you would think California would be the common-sense choice for location shooting. Alas, even billion-dollar studios must pinch pennies these days. So, in recent years, Disney, among other major Hollywood studios, has been farming out production to backwater Southern lands like Georgia, and even Louisiana. Those states offer more generous tax breaks than Disney's native California. As a result, Georgia for example, played host to much of the shooting for the recent worldwide box office smash Avengers: Endgame.

But now it looks like it's Georgia's endgame. The state recently passed what is known as a "heartbeat" bill – a vicious, anti-woman law that would try to make pregnant women allow their babies to be born and actually live. It's a bridge too far for a major studio like Disney, which was largely built on creating family entertainment. How can Disney possibly go about making quality movies, often aimed at children, without access to unfettered abortion? It's unconscionable. Lack of abortion access makes it nearly impossible to shoot movies. So, what's a major studio to do? Disney might have considered migrating its business to Louisiana, but that state too has now signed a heartbeat bill into law. It's utter madness.

These monstrous anti-abortion bills, coupled with having to live under President Trump, has led Disney to seek a new home for its legendary movie magic. Last week, Disney's CEO, Bob Iger, announced that all future Disney movies will now be filmed on location in the Sub-Saharan African nation of Wakanda.

"Disney and Wakanda are a match made in heaven," Iger told reporters. "Wakanda was, until recently, a secret kingdom, much like our own Magic Kingdom. With this new partnership, we'll not only get to continue our legacy of making movies that parents and children everywhere enjoy together, but we'll get to do so in a safe space that reveres abortion as much as we do."

Wakanda is one of only four African countries (out of 55) that allow unrestricted abortion.

As home to the most advanced technology in the world – and with the planet's highest per-capita concentration of wokeness – Wakanda offers women painless, hassle-free abortion on demand. As the Wakandan health ministry website explains, the complete absence of any white-patriarchal-Judeo-Christian influence allows women in Wakanda to have complete control of their own bodies (with the exception of females who are still fetuses). As winner of the U.N.'s 2018 Golden Forceps award (the U.N.'s highest abortion honor) Wakanda continues its glowing record on abortion. That makes it an ideal location for Disney's next round of live-action remakes of its own animated movies in which the company plans to remove all male characters.

Iger says he hopes to convince Wakandan leadership to share their top-secret vibranium-based abortion procedure technology so that American women can enjoy the same convenient, spa-like abortion treatment that Wakandan women have enjoyed for years.

Wakanda is one of only four African countries (out of 55) that allow unrestricted abortion. Disney plans to boycott and/or retaliate against the other 51 African nations, as well as any U.S. states, that restrict abortion. Specific plans are being kept under wraps, but sources say Disney's potential retaliation may include beaming Beverly Hills Chihuahua into the offending territories on a continuous, indefinite loop.

When asked how Wakanda's futuristic capital city and distinctly African landscape would be able to double for American movie locations, Iger said, "I guess America will just have to look more like Wakanda from now on."

One potential wrinkle for the Left-leaning studio is the fact that Wakanda has an impenetrable border wall-shield-thing designed to keep out foreign invaders as well as illegal immigrants. Iger said he understands Wakanda's policy of exclusivity, adding, "After all, not everyone gets into Disneyland. You have to have a ticket to get in. Anyone is welcome, but you have to go through the process of getting a ticket." When one reporter pointed out that Iger's answer sounded like the conservative argument for legal immigration under the rule of law, Iger insisted that the reporter was "a moronic fascist."

What if the unthinkable happens and Florida also enacts its own "heartbeat" law? That would be problematic since Walt Disney World is located in Florida. Iger responded that Disney would "cross that bridge if we get to it" but that the most likely scenario would entail "dismantling Disney World piece-by-piece and relocating it to the actual happiest place on earth – Wakanda." As for whether Disney would ever open character-themed abortion clinics inside its theme parks, Iger remained coy, but said, "Well, it is the place where dreams come true."

With the Wakanda solution, Disney may have found a place where Minnie Mouse can finally follow her heart and have true freedom of choice.

When pressed about the cost of ramping up production in a secretive African kingdom that has no existing moviemaking infrastructure (which could easily end up being much more expensive than simply shooting in California) Iger said, "You can't put a price tag on abortion freedom. Wakanda Forever and Abortion Forever!"

With the Wakanda solution, Disney may have found a place where Minnie Mouse can finally follow her heart and have true freedom of choice. And that will be welcome relief to traditional families all over the world who keep the Walt Disney Company in business.

*Disclaimer: The preceding story is a parody. Bob Iger did not actually say any of the quotes in the story. Neither is Wakanda an actual nation on planet Earth.

"Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris," is a podcast featuring conversations about how faith has guided newsmakers and celebrities through their best and worst times. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a much maligned religion so Glenn joined the podcast and took the time to explain what it means to him and how it changed his life.

From his suicidal days and his battle with drugs and alcohol, it was his wife Tania and his faith that saved him. All his ups and downs have given him the gift of empathy and he says he now understands the "cry for mercy" — something he wishes he'd given out more of over the years.

You can catch the whole podcast on any of the platforms listed below.

- Apple Podcasts
- Google Podcasts
- TuneIn
- Spotify
- Stitcher
- ABC News app

One of these times I'm going to go on vacation, and I'm just not going to come back. I learn so much on a farm.

You want to know how things work, go spend a summer on a farm. You're having problems with your son or daughter, go spend a summer on a farm.

My son changed. Over two weeks.

Getting him out of bed, getting him to do anything, is like insane. He's a 15-year-old kid. Going all through the normal 15-year-old boy stuff. Getting him on the farm, where he was getting up and actually accomplishing stuff, having to build or mend fences, was amazing. And it changed him.

RELATED: 'Human Wave Theory': Connecting the dots on the strategic attack on our border

Our society does not allow our kids to grow up, ever. I am convinced that our 15-year-olds could be fixing all kinds of stuff. Could be actually really making an impact in a positive way in our society. And what's wrong with our society is, we have gotten away from how things actually work. We're living in this theoretical world. When you're out on a farm, there's no theory here. If it rains, the crops will grow. If it rains too much, the crops won't grow.

If there's no sun, they won't grow. If there's too much sun, they'll shrivel up and die. There's no theory. We were out mending fences. Now, when I say the phrase to you, mending fences, what does that mean? When you think of mending fences, you think of, what?

Coming together. Bringing people together. Repairing arguments.

I've never mended a fence before until I started stringing a fence and I was like, "I ain't doing this anymore! Where is it broken? Can't we just tie a piece of barbed wire together?"

Let's stop talking about building a wall. Because that has all kinds of negative imagery. Mending fences is what we need to do.

That's called mending fences.

And why do you mend fences? So your animals don't get out and start to graze on somebody else's land. When your fence goes down, your cow is now on somebody else's land. And your cow is now eating their food.

We look at the phrase, mending fences as saying, hey. You know, we were both wrong. Mending fences has nothing to do with that.

Mending fences means build a wall. My neighbors and I, we're going to get along fine, as long as my cows don't go and steal their food, or their cows don't come over and steal my cow's food.

We're perfectly neighborly with each other, until one of us needs to mend a fence, because, dude, you got to mend that, because your cows keep coming over and eating my food.

You know what we need to do with Mexico? Mend fences.

Now, that's a phrase. You hear build a wall. That's horrible.

No, no, no. We need to mend fences.

In a farming community, that means putting up an electric fence. That means putting up barbed wire.

So the cows — because the cows will — they'll stick their head through barbed wire. And they'll eat the grass close to the road. Or eat the grass close to the other side of the fence. And they'll get their heads in between those fences. And they can't get out sometimes. Because the grass is always greener on the other side. You look at these damn cows and say turn around, cow — there's plenty of stuff over here.

No. They want the grass on the other side of the fence.

So you mend it.

And if it's really bad, you do what we do. We had to put an electric fence up. Now, imagine putting an electric fence up. That seems pretty radical and expensive.

Does it really work? Does it shock them? What does that feel like to a cow?

The cows hit it once, and then they don't hit it again. They can actually hear the buzz of the electric fence. There's a warning. Don't do it. Don't do it. They hear the current and they hit it once and they're like, "I'm not going to do that again."

So you mend fences, which means, keep your stuff on your side. I like you. We're good neighbors. You keep your stuff on your side and I'll keep my stuff on my side and we'll get together at the town hall and we'll see each other at the grocery store. Because we're good neighbors. But what stops us from fighting is knowing that there is a fence there.

This is my stuff. That's your stuff. But we can still trade and we'll help each other. But let's stop talking about building a wall. Because that has all kinds of negative imagery. Mending fences is what we need to do.

You can have a tough fence. It could be a giant wall. It could be an electric fence. But you need one. And that's how you come together.

The side that's having the problem, mends the fence.

The following is part of an ongoing experiment by Glenn Beck program heartthrob, Stu Burguiere, to begin watching Game of Thrones in its final season, without any previous context. Other than highlights shown in commercials, Stu has never seen a second of Game of Thrones, and has never read a word about its characters or plot lines.

PREVIOUSLY on Game of Thrones: it seems like all the people who hated each other but then started working together, now hate each other again.

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS THIS WEEK!

- I think I missed last week's episode, but it's possible the opening credits have just been playing since last week, and I joined at the right time
- Uncle Fester is writing a letter
- Angry Elf is still alive
- Uncle Fester and John Snow(?) are saying their queen doesn't want to eat and shouldn't be left alone
- John Snow doesn't want to be king?
- Queen Blondie has a nice open air balcony with a sweet view
- Angry Elf apparently needs to ask Queen Blondie's permission before doing things, she must have a higher rank
- Uncle Fester burns his letter and hides his ring
- Uncle Fester brought to the beach at night
- Queen Blondie's name is Denarys! (or similar!)
- Uncle Fester sentenced to death by dragon fire breath
- There is some hidden truth about John Snow (maybe he's transitioned?)
- Queen Blondie and John Snow make out because the time immediately after burning a man to death is very romantic
- If some city rings bells, Queen Blondie will stop the attack
- "Next time you fail me, will be the last time you fail me" says Queen Blondie to Angry Elf
- Not a lot of smiling going on in this region
- Angry Elf tries to tell Obi Wan Kenobi a secret, which is difficult because of their height difference
- Frumpy Girl wants to kill Sercy?
- Someone known as the "Stupidest Lannister" is in prison
- Stupid Lannister gets freed by Angry Elf, going to do something to stop a lot of innocent people from dying
- "Tens of thousands of innocent people for one not so innocent dwarf. Seems like a fair trade"
- Angry Elf gives emotional speech to Stupid Lannister who was the only person around who was nice to him as a kid. A little middle school drama.
- Stupid Lannister has gold hand
- Doors to break into castle has disturbing amount of space between them
- 2 big armies stare each other down. At this point, it's important to note that I don't know why they're fighting or who they are
- Queen Love Child of Mick Jagger and Robin Wright makes an appearance
- Dragon versus old times wooden boats proving to be a bit of a mismatch
- Seems like instead of making lots of crossbows, these people should put their resources into dragon development and recruiting
- Dragon proves that my concern about the space between the doors was misplaced
- Unclear why they even bother to send an army when they have the dragon
- Queen Blondie is riding a dragon again. She should spend time making a saddle to make it easier
- Bells in the city ring, which is supposed to stop an attack—even though it's kind of already happened
- My interpretation is the people in the city surrendered, but Queen Blondie kept attacking, killing lots of people for no reason
- This horrifies John Snow and Angry Elf. Queen Blondie has gone dark… not with the hair, but with her murderous tendencies
- Considering all the stabbing and beheading, the dragons flame might be the preferable way to die
- Stupid Lannister is fighting with the lead singer of Coldplay,who apparently swam to safety following near direct hit from dragon
- Stupid Lannister gets himself stabbed
- Queen Mick Jagger/Robin Wright finally figures out she's going to lose and leaves her fancy tower
- Coldplay Lead Singer gets stabbed too. Stupid Lannister's name is possibly Jim Lannister?
- Frumpy Girl contemplates getting revenge on someone, maybe the Queen. Then thanks tall guy named Sandor or maybe Sandle
- Sandle's brother is a guard for the Queen. He kills the Queen's assistant so he can fight Sandle
- Big guard guy looks like Darth Vader without his helmet
- Stupid Lannister has connection Mick Jagger/Robin Wright Queen. She's in a very desperate place, similar to Robin Wright when she married Sean Penn
- Giant Darth Vader without his helmet gets stabbed with long sword, seems to enjoy it
- Again, since the dragon has done all the work, why did they send all these important people into this city?
- Frumpy Girl getting trampled, keeps getting saved at last second, indicating she's an important character
- Giant helmet-free Darth Vader gets stabbed a dozen times or so without dying, so his brother, now without eyes, tackles him off the side of the castle, probably killing them both
- Very dusty with the buildings all collapsing around them. Feels like there could be some fertile ground for the mesothelioma lawyers of the time
- Stupid Lannister and Mick Jagger/Robin Wright Queen escaping in underground tunnel
- Underground tunnel is no longer a tunnel
- Frumpy Girl really mourning lady who helped her up in previous scene
- Everyone is charred, but a horse inexplicably totally fine
- Again, Frumpy must be a big character for all of these nice coincidences to happen to her