Bradley Steyn (@bradley_steyn_) is an expert on risk mitigation, operational support, and racial injustice. He is the co-author of Undercover with Mandela’s Spies: The Story of the Boy Who Crossed the Square, a memoir of his time as a double agent working for Nelson Mandela during the dying days of South African Apartheid. [This is part one of a two-part episode. Get the whole story with part two here!]
What We Discuss with Bradley Steyn:
- Bradley shares his observations as a white kid growing up in Apartheid-era South Africa.
- How, as a teenager, Bradley bore witness to the brutal Strijdom Square massacre, in which white supremacist Barend Hendrik Strydom calmly took the lives of eight People of Color and injured 16 with a 9mm pistol.
- The PTSD, nightmares, anger issues, and emotional distress Bradley was forced to cope with in the aftermath of this horrific experience — and still deals with more than three decades later.
- How Bradley was recruited for undercover duty by the feared security police of the Apartheid government while working as a bouncer at a Pretoria gay bar.
- What led to Bradley’s dedication to the anti-Apartheid struggle and his service as a deep cover double agent within the Department of Intelligence and Security under the directive of Chris Hani’s and Nelson Mandela’s paramilitary wing, uMkhonto weSizwe.
- And much more…
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From the introduction to Undercover with Mandela’s Spies: The Story of the Boy Who Crossed the Square by Bradley Steyn and Mark Fine:
“1988 South Africa teeters on the edge of a state of emergency. Almost exactly 40 years ago, 17-year-old Bradley Steyn crosses Pretoria’s Strydom Square and walks straight into a massacre. Barend Strydom, the notorious white supremacist ‘Wit Wolf’ is mowing down black bystanders relaxing in the square during their lunch break. Bradley cradles a dying man in his arms, and, later, with reports of eight dead and 16 seriously injured, he is brought face to face with the insanity of the nation. Suffering from acute PTSD, unable to cope with day-to-day life, and consumed by rage, Bradley spirals out of control.
“His parents unwittingly initiate the next chapter in the story of the boy who crossed the square when they arrange for him to join the SA Navy. Here, angry and unable to work through his trauma, he is called upon by the Apartheid regime’s Security Branch to “confront the threat of Communism” and the navy serviceman joins the dreaded D-Section as a classified government enforcer.
“But on the political stage events are changing fast: F.W. de Klerk becomes President, the ANC is legalized, and Nelson Mandela walks to freedom. However, undermining this progress, a sinister Third Force has formed an alliance between the deep state military-intelligence complex, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists. With these forces edging the nation toward a bloody race war, President F.W. de Klerk is forced to make a deal with Nelson Mandela.
“And with this deal, the underground Department of Intelligence and Security (DIS) of the African National Congress (MK) recruits Bradley and Neil De Beer to infiltrate the Third Force network before all hope for a free future is destroyed. Bradley Steyn goes undercover to help unravel the extremists’ master plan — but will his time run out before they discover he is working for Mandela’s spies?”
In this two-part episode, Bradley Steyn joins us to discuss what it was like being on the front lines of this secret dirty war between the ANC and the government of the day, how he’s still coping with PTSD in the aftermath of the massacre he survived only because of the color of his skin, what he’s been up to in the meantime, and why he’s moving back to South Africa after years of living in the United States. [This is part one of a two-part episode. Get the whole story with part two here!]
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Miss our two-part conversation with ex-Al-Qaeda spy Aimen Dean? Catch up by starting with episode 383: Aimen Dean | Nine Lives of a Spy Inside Al-Qaeda Part One here!
Thanks, Bradley Steyn!
If you enjoyed this session with Bradley Steyn, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources from This Episode:
- Undercover with Mandela’s Spies: The Story of the Boy Who Crossed the Square by Bradley Steyn and Mark Fine | Amazon
- Unique Access to Experts from the World of Secrets | SPYEX
- Bradley Steyn | Linktree
- Bradley Steyn | Instagram
- Bradley Steyn | Twitter
- Bradley Steyn | YouTube
- Mandela’s Spy | True Spies Podcast
- A History of Apartheid in South Africa | South African History Online
- Soweto, Johannesburg | South African History Online
- The Strijdom Square Massacre | The African Crime & Conflict Journal
- Monumental Space and the Uncanny | Geoforum
- The Wit Wolf: Barend Hendrik Strydom | Nicole Claire
- The Smiling Killer: The White Wolf — Barend Strydom Documentary | YouTube
- How Communists Have Shaped South Africa’s History over 100 Years | The Conversation
- Mandela and the South African Communist Party | South African History Online
- South African Border War | Wikipedia
- Security Branch (South Africa) | Wikipedia
- Chris Hani | South African History Online
- Killer of South African Anti-Apartheid Leader Chris Hani Stabbed in Jail | The Guardian
- Taxi Wars in South Africa | Wikipedia
- Former South African President Zuma Could Be Sent Back to Jail | Voice Online
760: Bradley Steyn | Undercover with Mandela’s Spies Part One
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Special thanks to Nissan for sponsoring this episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:04] This episode is sponsored in part by Peloton. It's the time of year where we start thinking about what next year we'll bring. We make New Year's resolutions to exercise more, but let's face it, will you actually stick with it? It's been proven that you're more likely to stick to a routine if it's something you enjoy, which is why so many people stick with Peloton. The instructors are so fun. It's like working out with a friend. There's a very strong Peloton community. Also, I'm all about data. And Peloton tracks your metrics so you can keep tabs on your performance over time. And right now, Peloton's got a gift for you. Get up to 200 bucks off accessories like cycling shoes, heart rate monitors — both of which I have and use regularly — and more when you purchase a Peloton Bike. Bike+, or Tread, and up to a hundred dollars off accessories with the purchase of a Peloton Guide, which will turn your TV into an AI-powered personal trainer. Make this the first step toward achieving your fitness goals in the new year. Choose from Peloton cycling to scenic runs, boot camps to power walks. A huge variety of classes that work for you, taught by world-class instructors who know exactly how to get the best out of you. So don't wait. Get this offer before it ends on December 25th. Visit onepeloton.com. All-access membership separate, offer ends December 25th, cannot be combined with other offers. See additional terms at onepeloton.com.
[00:01:11] Before we start this show, I want to let you know it has some adult themes and it's a "no kids in the car" for this one. And if you leave the kids in the car and you still play the episode, don't blame me when they have nightmares.
[00:01:21] Coming up next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:01:25] Bradley Steyn: I needed to try and stop the blood. So I saw blood squirting and I stuck my fingers in his bullet holes because I didn't know what else to do. But I thought that made sense and I turned up to him and I said, "Hoekom doen jy dit?" Why are you doing this? And he said, "Ek doen dit vir die toekoms van Wit Suid-Afrikaners," which means, "I'm doing this for the future of White South Africans."
[00:01:54] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people. We have in-depth conversations with scientists and entrepreneurs, spies and psychologists, even the occasional organized crime figure, arms dealer, economic hitman, or cold case homicide investigator. And each episode turns our guest's wisdom into practical advice that you can use to build a deeper understanding of how the world works and become a better thinker.
[00:02:20] If you're new to the show or you want to tell your friends about the show, we've got these starter packs that we set up there, either on the website and/or on Spotify. These are collections of our favorite episodes organized by topic. That'll help new listeners get a taste of what we do here on the show — topics like persuasion and influence, China, North Korea, abnormal psychology, scams and conspiracy debunks, crime and cults, and more. Just visit jordanharbinger.com/start or search for us anywhere in your Spotify app to get started.
[00:02:48] Today, a really interesting friend of mine that I've been meaning to interview for close to a decade now. He grew up in South Africa and almost 40 years ago when he was 17, he ended up in this mass shooting situation and that, of course, sets the stage for the rest of his life here. It's a very famous event in South Africa and it prompts him to join the South African Navy and ends up joining what's called the Security Branch, which is kind of an apartheid-level secret police intelligence agency, and ends up joining something called D-Section as a classified government enforcer.
[00:03:22] Now, if you're not from South Africa, all you need to know is these guys were kind of bad news. If you are from South Africa, you know exactly what I'm talking about here. But at that time, events are changing fast. Nelson Mandela, if you've heard of him, which I assume you have, walks out of prison and there's this sort of third force which, and I hate using this word, but the deep state of military intelligence, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, they're sort of aligned against the ANC and Nelson Mandela, and there's about to be a huge civil, bloody race war, and South Africa has to make a deal with Nelson Mandela.
[00:03:52] Now, there's internal resistance to this. Bradley, our guest today, ends up having to infiltrate this neo-Nazi, white supremacist, military-industrial complex network to avoid civil war in South Africa, and he goes undercover to help unravel the extremist's master plan here. And it's just an incredible, incredible, incredible story that results in a lot of surprising findings. Stuff that you won't hear discussed on the news here in the United States especially, and that you might not know even if you're in South Africa. It's just an astonishing true-life thriller. Full of dirty secrets of a dirty war fought by Nelson Mandela's side, the government of the day. This is really, really quite a tale and I think you're going to love it.
[00:04:34] So here we go with my friend Bradley Steyn.
[00:04:41] So we met when you punched me in the face.
[00:04:43] Bradley Steyn: That's true. I was actually driving up from—
[00:04:47] Jordan Harbinger: Los Angeles.
[00:04:47] Bradley Steyn: —Los Angeles, San Francisco yesterday, and my wife actually said, "Hey, how do you know Jordan?" Because I've heard his name over the years. And I said, "Yeah, we met in a Muay Thai class in Los Angeles, and we were doing very light sparring, and Jordan stepped into one of my stiff jabs.
[00:05:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, yeah. I blocked a punch with my face and it was a remarkable amount of blood. Like the pain level was low, but I still was like, something's definitely not right. And then to add insult to injury, my nose started bleeding everywhere. And of course, then the whole class has to stop. Like, "Oh, what happened?" "Well, I got punched in the face."
[00:05:24] Bradley Steyn: Well, you stepped into my punch.
[00:05:26] Jordan Harbinger: That's true.
[00:05:26] Bradley Steyn: I didn't punch you.
[00:05:27] Jordan Harbinger: That's true. You just held your fist out lightly and I rammed my face into it as hard as I could.
[00:05:31] Bradley Steyn: How many years ago? That's at least 12. 12 years ago. 10 years ago.
[00:05:37] Jordan Harbinger: I think it was probably about 10 years ago.
[00:05:38] Bradley Steyn: Yeah.
[00:05:39] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe a little bit less because I hadn't met my now-wife, mother of my 1.5 children. So it's been a while.
[00:05:46] Bradley Steyn: Yeah.
[00:05:46] Jordan Harbinger: You grew up in, came of age in South Africa in the '80s, '90s. What do you remember most about everyday life in an apartheid South Africa?
[00:05:54] Bradley Steyn: Well, you know, I remember going to high school and then, two days a week we had to wear cadet-style military uniforms, khaki shorts, and khaki shirts, and we had to go and do draw marching on the rugby field. And we learned songs while we're running [indiscernible], which was a terrorist organization in Angola. Why are we running? ANC, ANC. Because the propaganda they were feeding and instilling into us is the white youth of South Africa was that, there's something called [swart gevaar] black danger.
[00:06:37] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:06:37] Bradley Steyn: And [rooi gevaar] Red Danger. So they put it together and said the communist threat and the black threat was going to rise up if we didn't be proactive and chase us all into the ocean.
[00:06:51] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. That's scary when you're like 12.
[00:06:53] Bradley Steyn: Totally.
[00:06:54] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:06:54] Bradley Steyn: Absolutely. So, you know, when you have that fed to you, it's the realization that I need to do something to protect myself. But the flip side of the coin was I'd go home and my parents were very—
[00:07:12] Jordan Harbinger: Were they like hippies?
[00:07:13] Bradley Steyn: They were like hippies. Exactly.
[00:07:15] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:07:15] Bradley Steyn: Exactly.
[00:07:16] Jordan Harbinger: All right.
[00:07:16] Bradley Steyn: They were creatives. My mother was in the theater while my dad was a bespoke tailor of sorts and they were very creative people. So I got home and my parents had black friends that would come and sit on the—
[00:07:32] Jordan Harbinger: And that was rare, right?
[00:07:33] Bradley Steyn: And that was rare in South Africa because I'd gone to another friend's house for barbecue, you know, they'd be treating their staff terribly. And the racist ideology was pretty radical.
[00:07:48] Jordan Harbinger: So in your school, growing up in South Africa, in the seven. There are no like black people or people of color in your school or anything?
[00:07:55] Bradley Steyn: No, no, no. Not at all. Growing up in South Africa, the way the apartheid government had learned how to fortify themselves and defend against the uprising of people of color, black people.
[00:08:14] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:08:14] Bradley Steyn: They actually got a lot of this from the Nazi's playbook on how to protect themselves. For instance, they created segregated communities, which were called townships. And for instance, the biggest one that most people will know about is Soweto, just outside—
[00:08:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I've heard of that.
[00:08:32] Bradley Steyn: Yes, correct. Yeah, so just outside Joburg, and basically what they would do is have a big sort of wall around it and have one entrance in one inch and an exit out. You could use them to enter in and out of, but if there was upheaval or civil unrest in that area, they could block those two entrances and then fly over with Rooivalk helicopters and just take everybody out or whatever they needed.
[00:09:01] Jordan Harbinger: Almost like a big concentration camp?
[00:09:03] Bradley Steyn: Exactly. But you know, obviously, they needed to let — and they were strategically bolts outside of white neighborhood. And they would build train tracks to them. And so that, you know, we could still have our cushy lifestyles or privileged lifestyles by having a maid or housekeepers or gardeners jump on the train. And then they would come to town, but they could only commute from the train station to my house for instance during a certain time, everybody had to have a passbook as well, so you couldn't walk around freely if you were a person of color in South Africa. And that was violently enforced.
[00:09:48] Jordan Harbinger: So you couldn't just be like a rebellious teenager and be like, "I'm not doing that sh*t." And that you would get beat up by the cops or something like that.
[00:09:54] Bradley Steyn: You would get the life beat out of you, you would get dogs put on you.
[00:09:58] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, wow.
[00:09:58] Bradley Steyn: It was pretty gnarly. I have an example of the first time I sort of experienced that was when my folks had just come and picked me up from rugby practice, I was a youngster and we were driving down the road. And my father didn't like confrontation and conflict. My mother on the other side was a very assertive woman. She is a powerful woman. And we were driving down the road and we saw this white guy beating this black guy up on the side of the road. And my mother said, "Stop the car." And then dad said, "Honey, let's just keep going. We don't want to get involved."
[00:10:42] As we were driving by, we heard somebody scream, "Mama Daph." My mom's name was Daphne. So my mother grabbed the steering wheel, pulled it. Car went onto the side of the road. My mother jumped out of the car and it was our gardener, Philemon, who was getting beat up by this white guy. And my mother jumped in there, shoved this white man off Philemon, picked Philemon up, and walked him to the car, put him in the backseat next to me, and Philemon now crying and he's got blood in his face.
[00:11:16] Jordan Harbinger: How old is he?
[00:11:17] Bradley Steyn: He was 19, 20 years old.
[00:11:20] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, okay, he's like a kid too.
[00:11:21] Bradley Steyn: He was like a kid as well. So I put him in the car next to me. I'm completely shocked. I don't know what's going on. And he's crying. Herman, my dad's just saying, "It's okay, Philemon. And I turn and I look through the back window of our old [indiscernible]. And I see my mother sticking her finger in his face—
[00:11:41] Jordan Harbinger: In the white guy's face.
[00:11:42] Bradley Steyn: In the white guy's face. And I can hear her saying, "What's your problem?" And the guy turned around and said, "He hasn't got a passbook." So my mother said, "You're not a police officer."
[00:11:54] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:11:54] Bradley Steyn: And then the wife of this guy jumped out of the car, ran up to my mother, and shoved my mother. My mother shoved her back. The guy moved forward towards my mother, and I remember my mother slapping him against the face and knocking this man down. My mother was a big lady.
[00:12:14] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:12:15] Bradley Steyn: That's how I was introduced to racism, I guess.
[00:12:20] Jordan Harbinger: So before that, you weren't really sure about it. You just didn't think about it because you were too young?
[00:12:24] Bradley Steyn: Well, yes. Like I said, we have had a privileged lifestyle in South Africa. We lived behind these high walls with security systems. We lived in this almost like bubble or Stepford Wives kind of society where everything's picture perfect, but on—
[00:12:46] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:12:47] Bradley Steyn: —on the outskirts, in the townships, fires were going, riots, were going, people were burning tires, et cetera. People were desperate. People were just trying to fight for their human rights.
[00:13:00] Jordan Harbinger: Now tell me about Strijdom Square. I'm not going to get that R roll in there.
[00:13:04] Bradley Steyn: Yeah, no, that's Strijdom Square. Again, rugby, my passion and my love. I had just finished rugby practice. My mother worked at the State Theater, which was the national theater in South Africa, and we were going to go see the opening of Giselle, the ballet that night. I'd caught the train, so I had my rugby kit bag with my tuxedo, folded nicely in my rugby kit bag, and I was listening to my Walkman walking down the street. And you know, during business hours, there's all different walks of life. So, white people, black people, everybody's walking along the streets and there's this one particular place on Strijdom Square where people get to sit and eat and have their lunch, et cetera.
[00:13:54] I was just crossing over Strijdom Square to go to the State Theater. All of a sudden I heard two loud cracks. I knew they were gunshots because recreationally, we used to go target, shoot.
[00:14:08] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:14:09] Bradley Steyn: And all of a sudden I saw the sea of chaos of people just scattering and running everywhere. And I saw these people, black people running towards me with their eyes as big as saucers in complete and utter fear and terror, the look of fear and terror on their faces. Then, I saw in the distance this tall, skinny guy with camouflage fatigues, and I thought, oh, maybe he's a security, task force guy, which was the domestic counter-terrorism unit in South Africa. Maybe there's an incident and he's catching some bad people. And then I saw him walk up to this heavy-set black lady that was carrying some grocery bags and he shot her execution style.
[00:14:57] And that's when I came to the realization that this person was evil and this person was out to hurt people. He then turned into this little garden area, which had this little pathway with little benches and I ran up to a wall that sort of surrounded this garden because I wanted to see what was going on. I was 17 and I thought I was a tough guy and I hid behind this wall and I stuck my head over the wall and I saw him shoot somebody else. And then at that point, I heard somebody go, "Psst, psst, hey, hey, klein baas," which means little boss. And I turned around and I saw this young black guy with Kind Eyes. I call him Kind Eyes, gesture me over, and call me over. So I went and I hid behind a bench with him. He was taking cover behind a bench and there were a few other people behind that bench hiding and taking cover. And somebody jumped up from that bench and ran away.
[00:16:08] And as soon as they did that, that guy with the camouflage turned around and started shooting in our direction. And I can still remember, it was a marble bench. The shards from the ricochet from the marble bench, still hitting the back of my neck and stinging the back of my neck.
[00:16:27] Jordan Harbinger: Like pieces of marble?
[00:16:28] Bradley Steyn: Exactly like pieces of marble. And it's one of these memories that I've just carried with me for so long. And then, Kind Eyes and I looked over the bench again and we saw him shoot somebody else and I think something snapped in Kind Eyes and he jumped up and he rushed towards this guy while he's backwards towards us. And I picked up my rugby kit bag and I followed him to try and see if I could maybe help.
[00:17:01] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:17:03] Bradley Steyn: As I turned around this corner of that little wall, the low wall, and the bushes in that garden, I heard two shots. This guy in the camo had shot Kind Eyes twice. I ran towards Kind Eyes. The guy with the camo saw me running towards him. He raised the gun in my direction and then hesitated, and so I was white and lowered the gun. I got down on my knees, I picked Kind Eyes' head up and I put it on my lap and I saw he was struggling to breathe and I needed to try and stop the blood. So I saw blood squirting and I stuck my fingers in his bullet holes because I didn't know what else to do. But I thought that made sense. And I turned up to him and I said, "Hoekom doen jy dit?" Why are you doing this? And he said, "Ek doen dit vir die toekoms van Wit Suid-Afrikaners."
[00:18:02] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:18:02] Bradley Steyn: Which means I'm doing this for the future of White South Africans. He turned around and he jogged off. A brave black guy that was a taxi driver, followed him later, distracted him, took his gun away from him. And they overpowered him and arrested him.
[00:18:21] Jordan Harbinger: Oh wow.
[00:18:22] Bradley Steyn: That's a gutsy move.
[00:18:23] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah.
[00:18:23] Bradley Steyn: Big time. But that incident was on the Strijdom Square on the 15th of November, 1988, and the guy, in the camouflage, his name is Barend Hendrik Strydom. He calls himself The Wit Wolf. He was a failed police officer that got fired from the South African Police for posing in a photograph with a decapitated black man's head.
[00:18:53] Jordan Harbinger: So he's a sick, psycho.
[00:18:55] Bradley Steyn: Sick psycho, but his father was in the AWB, which is like the Nazi party in Germany. It's called the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, the Afrikaner Resistance Movement. And they were militant right-wing organizations. So what I learned from that is racism is taught.
[00:19:19] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:19:20] Bradley Steyn: Racism, you aren't born or racist. So, you know, because he could have been my brother, that guy, you know?
[00:19:26] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:19:27] Bradley Steyn: We looked similar. We're blonde. He was a few years older than me, but my parents taught me kindness and humanity and his parents taught him hatred.
[00:19:38] Jordan Harbinger: And I know your mom later found you with like a whistle. She whistled for you?
[00:19:42] Bradley Steyn: That's right. Yes. So while I was sitting there and there's a famous photo in South Africa, which was on the front page of the newspaper with Kind Eyes' head on my lap. And my mother was up in the State Theater looking down with some of the ballet dancers. They were looking at the chaos. I think she saw me from the top. She went downstairs and she started running. We have had this family whistle that went [whistle] and I heard her and I was like—
[00:20:13] Jordan Harbinger: It's like the Hunger Games kind of.
[00:20:15] Bradley Steyn: Exactly. Yeah. Thank God my mother's here and she doesn't take no bullsh*t. So yeah.
[00:20:24] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Bradley Steyn. We'll be right back.
[00:20:29] This episode is sponsored in part by Innovation Refunds. If you own a business, you could be eligible to receive a payroll tax rebate of up to $26,000 per employee. Your business has to have five or more employees. It's not a loan. There's no payback. This is a refund of your taxes. It's actually your money that you can get back, potentially. To see if you qualify, go to getrefunds.com/jordan. A lot of you have emailed me asking about Innovation Refunds, saying it sounds too good to be true. I kind of agree with that. I was like, wait a minute. My friend runs this company. It has 4.9 out of five on Trustpilot. But of course, the question remains, how does it actually work? How do you get your refund money? Getrefunds.com/jordan has more details, but Innovation Refunds has a team of tax attorneys that are trained in this little known payroll tax refund program and have already returned one billion dollars to businesses. And they can help you too, potentially. They do all the work. There's no charge upfront. That was important to me. They simply share a percentage of the cash that they get for you. Businesses of all types can qualify, including those who took PPP loans, non-profits, and including those that had an increase in sales.
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[00:21:51] Jordan Harbinger: This episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show is brought to you by Nissan. As a pioneer in the electric vehicle space, Nissan is always looking for ways to deliver new, meaningful technology to EV owners. After all, Nissan has been making EVs since 1947 and their EVs have now traveled eight billion miles by Nissan LEAF owners since 2010, eight billion miles. That's the equivalent of driving to Pluto and back. I guess, I don't know, it doesn't matter if it's a planet, maybe when we're doing these. Think that's electrifying? One of their EVs tracked all the way to the North Pole, and Nissan even tests their EV technology on the Formula E race track. But Nissan knows you can't get an EV just for the E. You get a Nissan EV because it makes you feel electric because it sparks your imagination. It ignites something within you. It pins you to your seat, takes your breath away. At least, that's what Nissan thinks about when they're designing their EVs, like the Nissan ARIYA and the Nissan LEAF. It's about creating a thrilling design that electrifies its customers. I like Nissan's focus on creating a thrilling drive and electrifying life. In today's world, it's so important to look around you, pay attention, look for all the tiny ways that life can electrify you. For me, that's reading an audiobook outside and preparing for this show. Nissan EVs that electrify.
[00:22:56] Hey, if you're wondering how I managed to book all these folks for the show, these authors, thinkers, creators, spies, it's because of my network and I'm teaching you how to build your network for free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. Now, this course, it's all about improving your relationship-building skills and inspiring other people to want to develop a relationship with you. The course does all that in a super easy, non-cringe. What I'd like to think is a down-to-earth kind of way. There's not cheesy, awkward tactics and strategies, just practical exercises that'll make you a better connector, a better colleague, a better friend, a better peer. Six minutes a day, not even that, that's all it takes. And many of the guests on our show subscribe and contribute to that course. So come join us, you'll be in smart company. You can find the course at jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:23:40] Now, back to Bradley Steyn.
[00:23:44] Did you teach the family whistle to your daughter?
[00:23:46] Bradley Steyn: Yes. Essentially.
[00:23:47] Jordan Harbinger: It's kind of a good idea, I think. Jen, let's get a family whistle. Make it, write that down. We might use some take-off of the Hunger Games whistle.
[00:23:57] Bradley Steyn: Yeah.
[00:23:57] Jordan Harbinger: So this screwed you up. You have PTSD, nightmares. You were an angry kid by all account. You didn't really do so well in school after that?
[00:24:07] Bradley Steyn: Correct. Yeah. I've only really been able to tell this story only in the last 10 or 15 years because it was just so hard for me to talk about this story. It still obviously messes with me, but I've had a lot of closure since then. I actually got a lot of closure in 2018 when I went back to South Africa with the documentary film crew. Actually for the first time, opened up those old dossiers and old files that hadn't been opened up since the late '80s. I still remember opening up these and the paper was brown and still crisped.
[00:24:49] Jordan Harbinger: Like police files or something?
[00:24:50] Bradley Steyn: Police files.
[00:24:51] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:24:51] Bradley Steyn: Yeah, police files and reports to figure out what the names were of those people that died on the square that day.
[00:24:59] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, right, because it seems like we see this a lot where the victims' names aren't mentioned, especially if they're considered less important by the society that they've been in, right?
[00:25:11] Bradley Steyn: Exactly. It even went as far as me finding photographs, and it just shows the mindset of the apartheid or the National Party government's way of handling and dealing with the deceased, for instance. There were some people that were on these still gurney type of things in the morgue, and then there were other people that were half lying on the floor. They just sort of discarded them and didn't care about them much just because of the color of their skin.
[00:25:41] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I mean the whole regime was set up that way.
[00:25:43] Bradley Steyn: Yes, exactly.
[00:25:44] Jordan Harbinger: Obviously. And there probably wasn't a whole hell of a lot of counseling back then, grief counseling for somebody who was your age back at South Africa.
[00:25:51] Bradley Steyn: Yeah. And that's the biggest problem with PTSD or mental illness, especially in a society like South African Society where we had one of the most powerful and strongest military forces in the world. For a small country like that we developed seven atomic bombs. Our Special Forces back then, the Recces were on the same par as the British SAS or the Navy SEALs kind of thing.
[00:26:22] Jordan Harbinger: Who trained them? Was it the United States and Britain?
[00:26:24] Bradley Steyn: The British.
[00:26:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:26:25] Bradley Steyn: The British were involved in that and the former Rhodesian Selous Scouts were involved with training. But South Africa was a very powerful military force. My point is the male society will just slap you on the back and say, "Pull yourself towards yourself."
[00:26:44] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:26:44] Bradley Steyn: "Get your sh*t together. Stop being such a wuss, get over it." That's sort of mentality and societal Band-Aid—
[00:26:56] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:26:56] Bradley Steyn: —for dealing with something back then. But my parents, obviously, sent me for therapy, but I was so distracted and I was so angry and confused. I couldn't really focus.
[00:27:08] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:27:09] Bradley Steyn: The problem is my therapist at the time was gorgeous and being a young boy with your hormones racing. I couldn't concentrate.
[00:27:19] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:27:20] Bradley Steyn: Just sort of—
[00:27:20] Jordan Harbinger: That was a poor choice. They should have given you like an old dude.
[00:27:24] Bradley Steyn: Exactly.
[00:27:25] Jordan Harbinger: Old dude.
[00:27:25] Bradley Steyn: Exactly.
[00:27:26] Jordan Harbinger: Like focus, man.
[00:27:28] Bradley Steyn: Exactly.
[00:27:28] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, I'm focused. All right. So your mom or your parents enlist you in the mil military at this point, right? They throw you in the Navy?
[00:27:35] Bradley Steyn: Yeah, because I struggled at school now, you know, I excelled at rugby. I did great at rugby because it's a contact physical sport where I could get rid of my frustrations. But you know, I struggled at school with discipline after that.
[00:27:49] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:27:50] Bradley Steyn: And I'd constantly be getting into fights and not taking orders very well from teachers. And I punched my woodwork teacher.
[00:27:59] Jordan Harbinger: Geez. That's a low-stress subject in school, I would imagine. Of all the teachers to get frustrated with woodworking. Not at the top of my list.
[00:28:07] Bradley Steyn: Exactly. And the reason why I punched him was in South Africa, you get a rule. There's a rule, they'll cane you because we used to get caned at school.
[00:28:19] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, wow.
[00:28:20] Bradley Steyn: But you cannot get more than six canings a day. So there was a limit to six canings a day.
[00:28:25] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. I won't even ask why because the whole thing is this nonsense. I guess at some point you're doing more damage with the cane.
[00:28:32] Bradley Steyn: I have no idea. But you know, I was so broken after the stage. My woodwork teacher gave me six canes and I turned around and I said, "Is that all you got?" And he gave me another cane.
[00:28:44] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:28:45] Bradley Steyn: So now he had broken the law and I turned around and I just popped him on the jaw.
[00:28:49] Jordan Harbinger: Geez.
[00:28:50] Bradley Steyn: Ran to the bicycle shed, got on my BMX, and rode home.
[00:28:54] Jordan Harbinger: Geez.
[00:28:55] Bradley Steyn: Thank God I didn't get expelled because my dad was the head of the Parents-Teachers Association.
[00:29:00] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah. Model child, you were. Hey, I need to call in a favor. My kid knocked out the woodworking teacher.
[00:29:05] Bradley Steyn: Exactly.
[00:29:06] Jordan Harbinger: Geez. So, okay, so you belonged in the military?
[00:29:09] Bradley Steyn: Yeah, so my parents. I was supposed to go out to Phalaborwa Infantry to the Army, but going to be my call up because in South Africa there's a national—
[00:29:18] Jordan Harbinger: Compulsory service?
[00:29:19] Bradley Steyn: Correct. So there's national compulsory service similar to Israel. So my call-up papers were for an infantry division up in Phalaborwa, which is up north in the country. We then changed and I joined the permanent force and I joined the South African Navy. So, I got put on a train. I got sent down to Saldanha, which is the basic training camp for the Navy, and I excelled there. I did well there actually.
[00:29:48] Jordan Harbinger: You mentioned in the book that there were like fake Russian fishing boats. What's that all about? That was kind of interesting.
[00:29:53] Bradley Steyn: Yeah, so after the fall of the Berlin Wall and after the Cold War and the CIA's war with the KBG, the emphasis now switched to Sub-Saharan Africa because of the incredible mineral resources and because of the idealism that a socialist idealism that could be ingrained into a desperate population being the black population in South Africa that were oppressed, so the KGB had started an alliance, or the Russians had started an alliance with Nelson Mandela's Freedom Fighter Movement, the African National Congress, specifically within Umkhonto we Sizwe, which means the spear of the nation.
[00:30:53] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:30:53] Bradley Steyn: So the Russians were giving training and aid to this. Back then, it was still seen as a terrorist organization to the African National Congress. So during the Navy, there were Russian trawlers off the coast communicating secretly to small communication hubs within the townships. They'd given them equipment, et cetera. So you know, that's part of that clandestine warfare—
[00:31:23] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:31:24] Bradley Steyn: —that was going on.
[00:31:25] Jordan Harbinger: White people didn't go into the townships, I assume, for any reason?
[00:31:27] Bradley Steyn: No. No. For the most part, the only people that you would find in the townships were policemen with their dogs or what we call it, the sjambok, a big, long plastic, whip kind of thing.
[00:31:44] Jordan Harbinger: A whip?
[00:31:44] Bradley Steyn: A whip. Well, it's—
[00:31:45] Jordan Harbinger: Like a fiberglass stick.
[00:31:47] Bradley Steyn: It's almost like a fiberglass stick or if you—
[00:31:50] Jordan Harbinger: But it whips, it's not—
[00:31:51] Bradley Steyn: If you take a black plastic trash can and you melt it into a long stick type of thing.
[00:31:58] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:31:59] Bradley Steyn: Thick in the bottom, thin on the top. That's what they used to beat black people within South Africa and do right control.
[00:32:07] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, I feel like I've seen those in the video. You ever see those videos where in India there's a curfew for COVID and if you're caught out, the police are just hitting you with this like plastic thing?
[00:32:15] Bradley Steyn: Exactly.
[00:32:15] Jordan Harbinger: And it looks like a rubber hose kind of deal.
[00:32:18] Bradley Steyn: Exactly. So it's that kind of thing.
[00:32:20] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:32:20] Bradley Steyn: Yeah.
[00:32:20] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Nasty. So you don't go to the township because there's a great soul food restaurant or whatever in the area?
[00:32:26] Bradley Steyn: No.
[00:32:27] Jordan Harbinger: Or a good bar?
[00:32:27] Bradley Steyn: No.
[00:32:28] Jordan Harbinger: It's a no.
[00:32:29] Bradley Steyn: Some kids would go and buy some Durban Poison or Malawi Gold, go buy some flour or marijuana in the townships.
[00:32:36] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:32:37] Bradley Steyn: But for the most, I remember sneaking into the township in my teens to go buy a beer because we could go to the legal bars and buy beer. But the only reason I did that was because the lady that worked for us, her son, later on had one of these and—
[00:32:58] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, so you could—
[00:32:59] Bradley Steyn: I had an in, I had safe passages.
[00:33:01] Jordan Harbinger: You had the hookup? Yeah. Geez. Okay, so you're in the military and you get stationed, was it in Angola or near Angola?
[00:33:08] Bradley Steyn: No, I was, I went to Angola for a while and—
[00:33:12] Jordan Harbinger: That was later though, right?
[00:33:13] Bradley Steyn: Yes.
[00:33:13] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, we'll talk about that.
[00:33:14] Bradley Steyn: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:33:15] Jordan Harbinger: What's going on in Angola in this time? Because all people really know about Angola generally in the United States is sh*tload of landmines, civil war, insurgency, and that's if they even know it.
[00:33:25] Bradley Steyn: Diamonds and oil.
[00:33:26] Jordan Harbinger: Right, diamonds and oil. Okay.
[00:33:27] Bradley Steyn: The biggest tank battle in the history of the world actually happened in Angola. The CIA were very active in Angola, as were the Cubans. The Cubans came and gave support, military support to the Cubans and—
[00:33:44] Jordan Harbinger: To the Angolans. Yeah.
[00:33:46] Bradley Steyn: I'm sorry, to the Angolans. And that was called the Bush War. It was a nasty war and the craziest battles that were fought. A lot of white South Africans that didn't believe in apartheid and didn't believe in joining the South or doing military service for the South African government, they had to leave. So they'd to the United States, or they'd go to England, for instance, because they'd be arrested if they'd—
[00:34:18] Jordan Harbinger: Draft dodging.
[00:34:19] Bradley Steyn: Correct.
[00:34:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:34:20] Bradley Steyn: So that's what was going on there because of the incredible natural resources there are.
[00:34:26] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:34:26] Bradley Steyn: Specifically oil and diamonds. Angola's an incredibly rich place for that and the Angolans were also giving refuge to Nelson Mandela's political freedom fighters within the African National Congress.
[00:34:40] Jordan Harbinger: And this is like a Cold War Relic-type situation, right? It's like there were communists and there was the UNITA insurgency that was funded by CIA, probably South African military, so South African Defense Force. So this is just like a nasty, dirty, Civil War that's sort of pretending to be communist, very anti-communist, but is really just about natural resources, probably, right?
[00:35:01] Bradley Steyn: Ultimately.
[00:35:02] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. So you get booted out of the army for assaulting an officer, which should surprise no one and then you become a bouncer in a gay club as one does, right? After being a badass dude, you know, hey, let's—
[00:35:14] Bradley Steyn: Well, if I could just say my father just had a heart attack and my base commander would not allow me to go see my father.
[00:35:22] Jordan Harbinger: Right. There's a sh*tty, sh*tty move. Yeah.
[00:35:24] Bradley Steyn: Exactly. So, you know, I was really upset because I was very close to my old man. I actually got honorably discharged from the South African Navy.
[00:35:33] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, so you knocked him out, but you did it for a good reason, but still get the hell out of it.
[00:35:37] Bradley Steyn: Exactly.
[00:35:38] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:35:38] Bradley Steyn: But you know, I was, again, PTSD I was very conflicted. I was very depressed. I thought about suicide at that stage. You know, things were, I had this big gray cloud following me constantly. I had this very short fuse, so things weren't working out well for me. And my godfather that my mother knew from the theater had a boyfriend that had a gay club in Cape Town and I didn't know what to do. I needed to make some money. And the conservative South African society really shunned the gay community at that stage as well. They were incredibly religious, very conservative. And so, you know, I got a job as a bouncer at a gay club called Blondes.
[00:36:28] Jordan Harbinger: Blondes?
[00:36:29] Bradley Steyn: Yeah, blondes.
[00:36:29] Jordan Harbinger: That's a very gay club name.
[00:36:31] Bradley Steyn: Exactly.
[00:36:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:36:32] Bradley Steyn: And there's this big blonde kid at the door.
[00:36:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yep. Well, there's a lot we could dive in there, but I'm going to resist the urge because it's just a funny sort of juxtaposition. Like this big, tough guy, ex-military, like, "All right, put him at the front door. Good advertising." But it's also like your mom's friend's boyfriend. It seems like this weird, sort of glamorous turn for a guy that had a rough upbringing. And now, look, this is sort of nearing the end of apartheid, right?
[00:37:00] Bradley Steyn: Yes, correct. Yeah. So basically what happened was, I was actually working at Blondes at the door, and there's a local transvestite. Her name was Coco. She had just walked up the stairs and she was leaving. She gave me a peck on the cheek and walked down the street. And then a few minutes later, one of the little black street kids, which I call Twilight Kids, came running up to the door and said, "Uncle Brad, Uncle Brad, they hurting Miss Coco." So I ran around the corner and as I ran around the corner, I didn't know this at the time, but a car had pulled up to a corner store called [Cades].
[00:37:42] Out of that car, stepped a guy called Neil de Beer. Inside that car was the head of the security police in the Western Cape, a high-ranking man of the security police in the Western Cape called Major Andy Miller and they were in the car. Fast forward, I'm running down the street with the Twilight Kid to go and find these guys that are beating Coco up. I get there and there's these two whites, African-conservative guys, thought Coco was a girl. They found out that Coco was a transvestite and started beating her up.
[00:38:16] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:38:17] Bradley Steyn: So I just let loose and beat the hell out of these guys, and the major was sitting in the car, apparently saw me through the window. When Neil de Beer got back into the car with these constant smokes. He went to buy him smokes. The major said, "I want that guy. Go and recruit him. Get him to come and work with us." So yeah, that's how I ended up joining the security police.
[00:38:42] Jordan Harbinger: So this SB, Security Branch or whatever—
[00:38:44] Bradley Steyn: Yeah.
[00:38:44] Jordan Harbinger: Give us a picture of what this is because it's not—
[00:38:47] Bradley Steyn: It's not the FBI. It's not the CIA. It's a combination of the two, I guess. But it's the enforcement arm of the intelligence community.
[00:39:00] Jordan Harbinger: But still remember folks, the apartheid government, right?
[00:39:02] Bradley Steyn: Yeah.
[00:39:02] Jordan Harbinger: So they're kind of like doing shady sh*t.
[00:39:05] Bradley Steyn: Correct.
[00:39:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:39:06] Bradley Steyn: Yeah, absolutely. That's where all the black ops and gray ops, all that stuff happens through the security police.
[00:39:14] Jordan Harbinger: So it's a little bit like the Stasi, right? The East German Stasi.
[00:39:17] Bradley Steyn: Exactly.
[00:39:17] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:39:17] Bradley Steyn: Yeah, that's spot on. So at the time, Neil De Beer approached me. I knew who he was because he had recently started this outfit called Project Group. But I thought Project Group was just a security company that used to take care of nightclubs and take care of international guests coming into the country—
[00:39:38] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:39:38] Bradley Steyn: —and doing security, et cetera, but I didn't know that it was a proxy front for the Security Branch.
[00:39:47] Jordan Harbinger: This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Bradley Steyn. We'll be right back.
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[00:43:05] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe today I need a double dose.
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[00:43:33] Now for the rest of part one with Bradley Steyn.
[00:43:38] Okay, so they're kind of doing off-the-books stuff for the Security Branch and they send you to find this — well, I don't even think you knew at the time.
[00:43:48] Bradley Steyn: Yeah.
[00:43:48] Jordan Harbinger: You ended up finding this Soviet weapons cache.
[00:43:50] Bradley Steyn: That's right.
[00:43:51] Jordan Harbinger: Like a bathtub full of grenades basically and guns is kind of how it sounds.
[00:43:54] Bradley Steyn: Yeah.
[00:43:55] Jordan Harbinger: Stinky guns.
[00:43:56] Bradley Steyn: Exactly.
[00:43:56] Jordan Harbinger: You said it smelled, that was a part that was confusing. Like when do the guns smell?
[00:44:00] Bradley Steyn: Well, the whole operation smelt. It was off. The whole thing was dodgy.
[00:44:06] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, you didn't mean, oh, I thought you meant they literally smelled.
[00:44:08] Bradley Steyn: No, no, no, no.
[00:44:10] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. In the book, it's a little unclear. It sounds like it smells in the bathroom where you found the guns. You might want to rewrite that paragraph.
[00:44:16] Bradley Steyn: Exactly. So, one of the first operations that we were involved with, well, not one of the first — actually ways into it, at this stage now, I get to finally meet Major Miller. I get to sort of understand that we are actually doing work for the government. "So don't be concerned, Bradley. We've got your back."
[00:44:42] Jordan Harbinger: Right. It's all on the up and up.
[00:44:43] Bradley Steyn: It's on the up and up.
[00:44:45] Jordan Harbinger: Don't worry about the grenades you found.
[00:44:46] Bradley Steyn: Exactly. But we didn't know that there was a cache of arms. He told us to go and retrieve classified documents from a safe house that the African National Congress Mandela's party was harboring there.
[00:45:05] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:45:06] Bradley Steyn: And we went and we got the docks. We put the docks into this seven-series BM and we sent it up to Johannesburg, 12 hours' drive. Then, we went into this bathroom. In the staff quarters, which was locked. We broke in. We got in there and we found a cache of Russian-made RPGs, hand grenades.
[00:45:30] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:45:30] Bradley Steyn: AK-47s, ton of ammunition, et cetera. I guess, Major Miller told us that that stuff was there. We perhaps wouldn't have gone in there and done the operation, but—
[00:45:42] Jordan Harbinger: Because you would be worried that you would get shot if you went in there if they had AK-47s, correct?
[00:45:47] Bradley Steyn: Well, just that the risk of the operation is a lot higher. Correct.
[00:45:51] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay.
[00:45:53] Bradley Steyn: But the interesting thing is that Major Miller got this intel from the CIA. The CIA told him that there's a secret cache of arms that could potentially shoot an airliner down, and they were located right next to Cape Town International Airport.
[00:46:11] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, so you're thinking—
[00:46:12] Bradley Steyn: So, they would've shot a bird out of the sky straight from the backyard of this industrial office.
[00:46:17] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Yeah. You're thinking like they're going to blow a passenger plane down and it's going to be a huge terrorist incident.
[00:46:24] Bradley Steyn: Exactly.
[00:46:24] Jordan Harbinger: And was that the plan or was that—?
[00:46:26] Bradley Steyn: That ultimately was the plan.
[00:46:28] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, that's scary.
[00:46:29] Bradley Steyn: Yeah.
[00:46:29] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:46:29] Bradley Steyn: Yeah. So, you know, we ended up now, so Neil De Beer and myself keep this part away from the four other guys that are on this ops with us. We send those other guys with the Twilight Kids that we were using as lookouts. We send them all away. Everybody's gone now. We take this cache of arms, we load it into the back of a vehicle, and then we need to obviously hide it somewhere.
[00:47:02] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. What do you do? Keep it in the ground?
[00:47:04] Bradley Steyn: So what do we do? Exactly. Do we just take it to—?
[00:47:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Put in mom's house.
[00:47:08] Bradley Steyn: Exactly. Put it in my aunt's house.
[00:47:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:47:11] Bradley Steyn: And my car's giving me some problems. The clutch is not. Can I leave it there? No. So I decided to take it to my old Navy base because I know it's on a secured Navy base.
[00:47:22] Jordan Harbinger: They're not going to ask any questions if you show up with a trunk full of weapons?
[00:47:25] Bradley Steyn: Well, they're not going to know there's a trunk full of weapons in there. So I had a mate that was at a barracks, had a medium to high-security presence at the barracks. My mate walked us straight in, we drove the car in and I left the car there until we figured out what Plan B was.
[00:47:43] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, okay. I would like to think that it's not that easy to do that here in the United States, but I just don't know, like nothing surprises me anymore, but it seems like they should have been a little more oversight as to what's in the trunk of the car that you're going to park in the base.
[00:47:57] Bradley Steyn: I guess so.
[00:47:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:47:57] Bradley Steyn: 100 percent. But not when your mate's running the security—
[00:48:02] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:48:03] Bradley Steyn: —for that. Yeah.
[00:48:04] Jordan Harbinger: And at this time you're running these little side missions, right? And one of them was you put a grenade or a fake grenade in someone's wife's purse. You wanted to intimidate them. So she found the grenade and freaked out obviously. And you break into houses, take photos of yourselves with masks on, with people's pets to show them that you can get to their house. You spike someone's toothbrush with LSD to get them to open up during an interrogation. Is that accurate?
[00:48:27] Bradley Steyn: Not to open up during an interrogation, but rather just to psych—
[00:48:32] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, just to scare them.
[00:48:33] Bradley Steyn: Just to scare them.
[00:48:34] Jordan Harbinger: Because I guess if you didn't know you were on LSD, you would just think you're having a mental breakdown.
[00:48:37] Bradley Steyn: Exactly.
[00:48:38] Jordan Harbinger: That's somehow worse. But I mean, is it weird talking about this know your daughter's going to read this book because I'm kind of imagining, you know, "Well, honey, daddy used to be a bad man and punch people in the face for money and now that's how daddy makes friends," right? I mean, it's just kind of a weird thing to put all out there. It's vulnerable to put that in there. Your wife's going to read this, maybe she already knows.
[00:49:00] Bradley Steyn: No, and she does. But you know the circle that my life has taken, there are bad things that need to be done in this world.
[00:49:11] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:49:12] Bradley Steyn: And some people just need to do that stuff. And I'm not proud of a lot of the things that I've done. But, you know, my biggest mission in life at the moment is to try, for instance, in my homeland South Africa, and that's why I'm actually on my way back to South Africa. I'm moving back to South Africa after being away for so many years.
[00:49:35] Jordan Harbinger: 25 years, right?
[00:49:36] Bradley Steyn: 25 years, yes, to fight for change and to expose what we discovered.
[00:49:43] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:49:43] Bradley Steyn: And this is a good way to sort of segment into what that was.
[00:49:48] Jordan Harbinger: Is the book selling well in South Africa?
[00:49:50] Bradley Steyn: The book was a bestseller for six months—
[00:49:52] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, good.
[00:49:52] Bradley Steyn: —in South Africa.
[00:49:53] Jordan Harbinger: Because you never know, like people could go, "I don't like this at all," right?
[00:49:56] Bradley Steyn: Yeah.
[00:49:56] Jordan Harbinger: This is terrible, I don't want to hear about this.
[00:49:58] Bradley Steyn: So it was released in 2019 and it stayed a bestseller for six months. Apparently, that's pretty good.
[00:50:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that sounds pretty good.
[00:50:06] Bradley Steyn: Yeah.
[00:50:06] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, just hitting any list is good, standard for half a year.
[00:50:09] Bradley Steyn: So, no, it was number one, I think, for a month or two.
[00:50:15] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:50:15] Bradley Steyn: And then, you know, it stayed on the top 10 for six months, which is—
[00:50:20] Jordan Harbinger: That's great.
[00:50:20] Bradley Steyn: —unheard of from what I understand.
[00:50:22] Jordan Harbinger: So you had some other areas where you drew the line, right? You were sent to poison someone and then you replaced the poison with another product, which I guess that was a little confusing in the book, but it sounds like you went to the store. If the poison looks like Cheerios, you bought some Fruit Loops and you sort of switched it up so that whoever you were working with thought you were going to poison this person.
[00:50:42] Bradley Steyn: Yeah. So that's towards the end of the book, but maybe if we can just take a step back.
[00:50:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, we'll step back.
[00:50:48] Bradley Steyn: Yeah. Yeah. Let's just take—
[00:50:50] Jordan Harbinger: By the way, for those who don't know what Fruit Loops are, Fruit Loops is a cereal with a bunch of different colors in it which are all mixed together.
[00:50:55] Bradley Steyn: Yeah.
[00:50:55] Jordan Harbinger: Pretty much the opposite of an apartheid South Africa actually.
[00:50:58] Bradley Steyn: Exactly. So, I basically swapped ricin with caster sugar.
[00:51:03] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, okay.
[00:51:04] Bradley Steyn: Like a, a form of a sweeter sugar.
[00:51:06] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:51:07] Bradley Steyn: Kind of, yeah, to avoid the poisoning of the water supply to Hammanskraal, which is a segregated black township.
[00:51:16] Jordan Harbinger: They were going to poison everyone in the whole township.
[00:51:18] Bradley Steyn: They were going to poison—
[00:51:19] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, so that's like a terrorist attack?
[00:51:20] Bradley Steyn: Yes.
[00:51:20] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, that's horrible.
[00:51:21] Bradley Steyn: Yeah. And that was by WAM, the World Apartheid Movement.
[00:51:26] Jordan Harbinger: Which is sort of like a neo-Nazi party?
[00:51:29] Bradley Steyn: They were involved in the political killings, a few political killings in South—
[00:51:33] Jordan Harbinger: Gotcha. Okay.
[00:51:35] Bradley Steyn: So there's links to them being behind the assassination of our [indiscernible] which was our commander, Chris Hani.
[00:51:45] Jordan Harbinger: But there's so much in the news about this as well, right? First of all, the taxi wars, this is a little bit of a non-sequitur. It's a little bit of an aside, but this is insane. So when I heard taxi wars, I thought, oh, well, you know, we have Lyft, we have Uber. They're competing. They're always doing different coupons and prices. That is not what the taxi wars are. That is not the same thing.
[00:52:05] Bradley Steyn: No. No, basically, if you think about it from an American point of view, if you think of Jimmy Hoffa—
[00:52:12] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:52:12] Bradley Steyn: —and the unions, so the taxis were unions in South Africa. The apartheid government used to politicize it and fuel it with racism between these different tribes, et cetera. Because South Africa is a fascinating country. It has 11 official languages. It has a few different very powerful cultural tribes. For instance, the Zulu—
[00:52:37] Jordan Harbinger: Zulu. Yeah.
[00:52:38] Bradley Steyn: Which Shaka Zulu is the former king and the descendant of the Zulu nation, is the powerful war-type nation. And that's where the local civil unrest in South Africa that's just occurred now in the month of July 2021 has sparked a massive amount of civil unrest across South Africa because one of the most corrupt members of the South African government, former members of the South African government and former president Jacob Zuma Msholozi, is supposed to be standing for trial at our constitutional court, but he has been charged with contempt of court.
[00:53:22] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:53:22] Bradley Steyn: He refused to go to jail.
[00:53:24] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:53:24] Bradley Steyn: And now, the whole country is on fire.
[00:53:29] Jordan Harbinger: I've got some thoughts on this episode, but before I get into that, here's a preview of my conversation with one of Al-Qaeda's most respected bomb and poison makers who swore allegiance to Osama bin Laden himself. Here's a quick listen.
[00:53:42] Aimen Dean: We took so many prisoners, 80 of them where taken to a clearing and it was decided there and then, that these people will have to pay for the crimes of what they did, seeing the bloodthirsty nature of people who just until a year ago, I used to see them as sweet, tender, decent, good people suddenly basically became people who would use chainsaws to dismember these people alive. How could one year in Bosnia, one year of ugly conflict turn these wonderful souls into ugly, bloodthirsty individuals? When I went to sleep that night, all I could think about was how could I unsee what I'd seen,
[00:54:25] None other than the mastermind of 9/11 Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he said to us, "You should go to Afghanistan. Where the training camps are reopening to become good at bomb making, to become good at urban warfare, to become good at assassinations, at kidnapping, a new kind of war that will never be fought in the mountains anymore, but it'll be fought in every urban center from the pole to the pole." Suddenly, you know, I thought that the nature of the war is changing from fighting in the mountains of Bosnia. I mean, basically, we are talking about gassing people in cinemas and nightclubs and trains. Of course, it was unsettling, but I thought this is just a ranting of one insane individual.
[00:55:06] Al-Qaeda carried out its first serious attack against American interest. Everyone was jubilant. In the camps, they were firing bullets into the air in celebration and shouting, "Allahu Akbar." We are no longer just a bunch of freedom fighters, we are now bonafide terrorists.
[00:55:28] Jordan Harbinger: To hear why and how Aimen Dean eventually switched sides from being a jihadi to spending eight years as an MI6 spy, trying to take Al-Qaeda down from the inside, check out episode 383 on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:55:43] That's it for part one, part two coming up in a few days. Links to all things Bradley are going to be in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts in the show notes, videos on YouTube. Advertisers, deals, and discount codes, all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. I've said it once, I'll say it again, please consider supporting who support this show. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram, or just hit me on LinkedIn.
[00:56:05] And don't forget, I'm teaching you how to connect with great people using the same software, systems, and tiny habits that I use every single day. It's our Six-Minute Networking course, and that course is free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. I'm teaching you how to dig that well before you get thirsty. And as I said, many of the guests on the show subscribe to the course, contribute to the course. Come join us, you'll be in smart.
[00:56:26] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Ian Baird, Josh Ballard, and Gabriel Mizrahi. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for this show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. If you know somebody who'd really be interested in this story, somebody from South Africa, somebody interested in South, share this episode with him. The greatest compliment you can give us is to share the show with those you care about. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[00:57:01] This episode is also sponsored in part by Murdaugh Murders. For nearly a hundred years, one family traded influence and held power in the South Carolina lowcountry until a fatal boat crash involving an allegedly intoxicated heir-apparent shed sunlight on a true crime saga like no-other. Award-winning journalist, Mandy Matney, of FITSNews has been investigating the Murdaugh family since that fateful night in 2019. The now-infamous Murdaugh family is surrounded by seven criminal investigations into insurance fraud, drugs, obstruction of justice, the 2021 double homicides of Paul and his mother, Maggie Murdaugh, the 2015 murder of young Stephen Smith, and the suicide-for-hire — you heard me right — plot of family patriarch and disgraced attorney Alex Murdaugh. So you just don't want to be around these people, obviously. Matney's podcast provides unmatched insight into the botched death investigations and newly uncovered crimes that are all interconnected. Follow along with Matney's reporting in real time from South Carolina as her exclusive sources guide listeners on a journey to expose the truth, wherever it leads. Listen on any streaming service or visit murdaughmurderspodcast.com to learn more.
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