Everyone knows that when tweetle beetles fight, it’s called a tweetle beetle battle. But bridesmaids brawling at a bachelorette bash just make wedding plans more of a pain in the ass. Now, to fend off further fighting, the bride must decide who she’s disinviting. Boo, hoo! But who? Which one gets the axe; which one gets to stay? We hope to find out this Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- After a brawl between two bridesmaids at the bachelorette bash, the bride now has to disinvite one to the wedding. But who should she choose?
- Does Jordan Harbinger ever get tired of saying “Jordan Harbinger?”
- Aside from this one, have Gabe or Jordan ever done any weird jobs?
- Just because an oil is classified as “essential” doesn’t mean it’s necessary to put it on your family’s food, right? Right?
- Do we ever get generous offers from shady sponsors?
- What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to Jordan and Gabe (that they’re willing to fess up to)?
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at email@example.com!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Jordan Harbinger Show receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you for your support!
- Seekr: Go to seekr.com to learn how you can make better decisions with access to better information
- WRKOUT: Go to wrkout.com and mention Jordan Harbinger for 20% off your first training package
- Credit Karma: Go to creditkarma.com/loanoffers to find out more
- Organifi: Get 20% off with code JORDAN
Miss our interview with Bar Rescue‘s Jon Taffer? Catch up with episode 142: Jon Taffer | Raising Your Bar and Crushing All Excuses here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Laowhy86 | How the Chinese Social Credit Score System Works Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Laowhy86 | How the Chinese Social Credit Score System Works Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- Uncommitting: How to Say No After You’ve Already Said Yes | Jordan Harbinger
- The Real Housewives | Wikipedia
- Ronda Rousey | Twitter
- Kharkiv, Ukraine | Wikipedia
- Going to North Korea: Part One | Stereo Sunday | Jordan Harbinger
- Going to North Korea: Part Two | Stereo Sunday | Jordan Harbinger
- Essential Oil Poisoning | The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne
- More Kids Accidentally Poisoned by Essential Oils | WebMD
- Are Essential Oils Safe for Kids? | Medical Associates of Northwest Arkansas
- Essential Oils Popular, but Can Pose Risk to Kids | Georgia Health News
- Is It Dangerous to Swallow Essential Oils? Here’s What You Need to Know | Medical Daily
- Can You Ingest Essential Oils Safely? It Depends On These Factors | MindBodyGreen
- dōTERRA | Wikipedia
- Why You Should Avoid dōTERRA Like the Plague | The Motley Fool
- Internal Use of Essential Oils | dōTERRA
- Essential Oil Safety | dōTERRA
- How to Avoid Scams | Deep Dive | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Use Embarrassment to Your Advantage | Jordan Harbinger
- Rick Hanson | The Science of Hardwiring Happiness and Resilience | Jordan Harbinger
- The Redefining Power of Resilience | Stereo Sunday | Jordan Harbinger
- The Secret to Avoiding Suffering | Jordan Harbinger
645: Is a Bridesmaid Fight Worth a Disinvite? | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, the bougie diffuser, wafting out this highly concentrated essential oil of life and career advice, Gabriel Mizrahi. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. And our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. So you can get a much deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening, even inside your own mind.
[00:00:41] If you're new to the show, on Fridays, we give advice. We answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, and performers. This week we had my friend Laowhy86. He is an insanely popular China vlogger who actually had to escape from China. This was a two-parter. We were going to do a segment and we ended up with a two-hour show. We discussed how the Chinese social credit score system works, how he ended up slipping out of China by the skin of his teeth and how both the Chinese Communist Party and now Putin's propaganda machine uses YouTube for information warfare and to sway public opinion. No big surprise there, but we're going to get into some real examples.
[00:01:23] I also write every so often on the blog. The latest post is how to say no after you've already said yes. In this one, we talk about how to gracefully uncommit when you need to back out of a job, a project, a plan, a relationship, whatever it is. That's something we hear about quite a bit here on Feedback Friday. I also write about how to become more conscious and deliberate about the commitments that you do say yes to. So you don't have to back out of them quite so often because that's a little awkward, isn't it? So make sure you've had a look and a listen to everything that we created for you here this week.
[00:01:53] You know, Gabe, I was thinking you're like my opposite brain and I would be totally different in these episodes if you weren't here. So people who've been listening since before you got on the. You know, it was me and producer Jason, and I would sort of just wing the advice — I shouldn't say wing it. I would do the advice on my own. He didn't really contribute to the advice most of the time, but I was a lot harsher and I was like, "Oh, she broke up with you. Get a grip, dude. You're 19. You're never going to remember her."
[00:02:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:02:17] Jordan Harbinger: Or, "Oh, you quit your job without finding another one first. I don't even feel bad for you. We've told you how to do this a hundred times. If you didn't listen by now, it's a you problem," but you bring in a lot more compassion and reason to the table. I'm bringing this up because I become a lot more like Gabriel when I'm with Gabriel on the air or otherwise. And the reason I don't have more friends like you, Gabriel, is because I become much less like Gabriel when you are not around.
[00:02:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: That is such a — I don't know. Is that a compliment? I'm thinking—
[00:02:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it is. It is also, it's a treatise on how I'm a terrible person. That's the underlying message.
[00:02:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yin and yang, yin and yang.
[00:02:54] Jordan Harbinger: That's right.
[00:02:54] Today, we're doing something a little different on Feedback Friday. This is one of our — I guess, you'd call it a WTF episode in celebration of April Fool's Day, which just so happens to be today. So we'll be tackling some of the funniest, strangest, most unusual questions we've gotten, just over the past few months. This is by no means an exhaustive list. We can't do dead squirrels in the mailbox every week, right, Gabe?
[00:03:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's right. We've got to change it up a little bit.
[00:03:16] Jordan Harbinger: That's right.
[00:03:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also sometimes we get emails that are like out of left field and they're so good, but they're, they're not traditional life advice questions. So we just saved them for these LOL/WTF episodes. That's what we'll be doing today.
[00:03:27] Jordan Harbinger: That's right. And we're going to drink a little bit. I've got some Siempre Tequila from a sponsor. I'm drinking the Anejo. It's kind of like whiskey tequila, and I've got this nice Swarovski crystal glass that somebody gifted me with a letter H on it.
[00:03:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, fancy.
[00:03:40] Jordan Harbinger: So I'm feeling kind of extra baller with that. Yeah.
[00:03:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: You called me bougie at the top but you're the bougie one.
[00:03:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I did call you bougie, bougie essential oil diffuser if you remember.
[00:03:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm the bougie diffuser, but you're the bougie Swarovski crystal holder—
[00:03:52] Jordan Harbinger: And bibber, yeah.
[00:03:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: —and bibber.
[00:03:54] Jordan Harbinger: You are drinking the most — what is—? That is ridiculous
[00:03:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: I have nothing, first of all, the first drink of hard alcohol in probably a year, maybe more, so I have no idea how this episode is going to turn out. We'll see what happens.
[00:04:09] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I was going to say, we might not, we have actually continued the show tomorrow.
[00:04:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, not a huge drinker, but this is a tequila. This is Patron Reposado. And it comes in this little airline—
[00:04:22] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, you have like an airline tequila bottle but a little fancier.
[00:04:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Like an airline tequila bottle, like the tiny little one. It's a little fancier than that. This was actually a gift from my brother-in-law.
[00:04:31] Jordan Harbinger: It's a little first-class airline tequila bottle.
[00:04:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: So after my sister and my brother-in-law got married and I helped with the wedding, I sort of like half-officiated and as a small, thank you for whatever, I don't know, it wasn't even that big of a deal. I was happy to do it, but they got me these like little flights of airline-style tequila, and have just been sitting in my closet for the last, how long is it? Like six months or so I just decided to bust it out.
[00:04:52] Jordan Harbinger: Brush off the dust and have a swig. The danger with those is they hold more booze than they appear to them. That's more than a shot in there. That's a couple of solid shots. It's a good double tequila drink—
[00:05:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: Definitely.
[00:05:04] Jordan Harbinger: —except you're drinking it straight. And you haven't had any in a year.
[00:05:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm sipping it like Robitussin, just very casually.
[00:05:10] Jordan Harbinger: Is that what you do with Robitussin? I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to sip on Robitussin. Maybe, I'm doing it wrong.
[00:05:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: I slowly savor my Robitussin over a period of many hours.
[00:05:19] Jordan Harbinger: Do you use a straw for your Robitussin? Yeah, I did grow up in Detroit. So maybe, we do that down there.
[00:05:25] Oh. And by the way, today, I'm going to be telling the story of one of the most embarrassing things that had ever happened to me in my entire life. So make sure you listen through to the end for that.
[00:05:33] All right. We've got some weird ones. We've got some super weird ones and I can't wait to dive in. Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:05:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, my fiancée and I are getting married and under two months, and we couldn't be more excited. We want everything to be perfect, but something just happened that might threaten that. Two weeks ago, my fiancée had her bachelorette party with her bridesmaids and other close girlfriends. It was an amazing time, except for when two of the bridesmaids got into a scuffle, which led to one of them, let's call her Carly punching the other, let's call her, Rose. Carly and Rose haven't gotten along in the past, but it's never gotten to this point before. Based on accounts from some of the other girls, both of them share some of the responsibility for what happened, but it was more Rose's fault for instigating things as she was intoxicated and Carly wasn't. Both of them expressed to my fiancée, that they want nothing to do with the other. And also said that they don't feel comfortable attending the wedding if the other one is going to be present. This has caused an unprecedented amount of stress for me and my fiancée. She now feels that she has to disinvite one of them to ensure that there are no further issues at the wedding, but also fears losing one of them as a friend forever. She also feels that if she doesn't make a decision to disinvite one of them then one of them, or maybe both will disinvite themselves. Generally speaking, she's closer to Carly than she is to Rose, but ideally, she wants both girls to be at the wedding. With time ticking, we're at a crossroads. What should we do? Signed, Burying the Hatchet Before We Get Hitched.
[00:07:01] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Good way to kick off the old April Fool's Day episode, because I know it's pure trash, but that is pretty wild. I thought this kind of thing only happens, you know, in reality TV shows with like, "Girls, we need you to fight seasons ratings are a little lower, you know, get The Real Housewives, season three, back in the charts." But apparently, lady friends do betray and blow bachelorette parties in real life as well. So I'm not going to lie. Gabe, something kind of funny about two women breaking out into a bare-knuckle brawl at one of those drink wine and make DIY pottery places or whatever you do at bachelorette party in the beginning.
[00:07:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. That is a great image. I'm picturing them at like a Color Me Mine, just throwing hands over the ceramic pot as they try to make a plate that says, "I love you, Jessica."
[00:07:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yes. So stressful for the bride, of course. Not only is she caught between two of her bridesmaids, but they're actually making her pick sides while she gets ready for this huge day, which is really uncool, the absolute wrong way to handle this.
[00:08:01] So here's the deal. What's going on with Carly and Rose? That crap is between them. Your fiancée, she's collateral damage, making her disinvite one of them so that the other can attend, I just find that so immature and unfair to your fiancée. This isn't her problem to fix. It's their problem. If their beef is irreconcilable, then they should be able to put it aside for a few hours so that they can both attend a wedding. I mean, they're making this about themselves, which is ridiculous.
[00:08:27] So I think your best bet is to encourage your fiancée, to just get a little tougher on her friends. And if I were her, I would call Carly and Rose probably separately and say something like, "Look, I know things are bad between you right now. I know standing next to each other on the altar might feel like one of those super aggro UFC weigh-in faceoffs. But I need you guys to put all of that aside for one day, for me. I'm not picking sides here. I'm asking you guys to be mature enough to put your friendship with me above the drama between the two of you for literally just a few hours. I don't think that's a lot to. You guys don't even have to interact at the wedding. Just stand there, hold the flowers, save the things. Be there to celebrate with me because if you can't, you guys are going to kind of break my heart. And this fight, which I, by the way, had nothing to do with it's going to infect the whole day, my day. So just please come and be on your best behavior. Can you do that for me?"
[00:09:23] That is a pretty reasonable request. I would be very surprised if they said no to that, but also if one of them did say no, I would think that to be pretty interesting information too because that means that they're putting their own petty drama above your fiancée's happiness. And that's just not a good friend, not in my book.
[00:09:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. I agree with you as sad as it is, maybe that is valuable information for your fiancée to know as she starts this new chapter of her life. And if she senses that Carly and Rose are willing to patch things up, maybe she plays mediator for them, if she feels like it. Of course, I know she's planning a wedding on top of resolving her friends' issues, but she could schedule some time for the three of them to get together, hash this out, figure out who said what and why and how it caused Carly to go full Ronda Rousey on Rose, that was a mouthful, and how they're going to communicate differently from now on.
[00:10:12] And if your fiancée can't talk some sense to them, hey, maybe you step in for a moment. I would make Carly and Rose understand how much heartache their fight is causing her, how stressful it's making the wedding. As the neutral party here, you might be able to help them see this a little more clearly. I would tell them that you don't have a dog in this fight. All you care about is your fiancée's happiness and their relationship with her and your wedding day. And it would mean a lot to her to have both of her friends there. "So please don't make her pick sides right now, sort this out between the two of you guys before the wedding, or put it aside while you're there." It's really, as simple as that.
[00:10:45] Jordan, my only fear would be if they can't put this drama aside at the wedding and then they end up drinking again pretty heavily at the wedding, and I don't know, ripping each other's earrings out by the buffet because Rose has one too many mojitos and mutter something under her breath by the chicken piccata or whatever, like who knows what's going to happen?
[00:11:02] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. Hoop earrings, and blood on the dance floor, not a good look. You never know, honestly. If drinking caused the fight at the bachelorette party, maybe it'll come out again at the wedding. Maybe give the bartender and a friend you trust just to keep a little bit of an eye on Rose and probably Carly too, to be honest. I can't remember who punched who, but basically, both of them need to be under a little bit of babysitting.
[00:11:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:11:22] Jordan Harbinger: Make sure they're not getting shot wasted at the open bar before they bump into each other on the dance floor because they're going to blame it on the alcohol, but that's not good at your wedding. Your mom's going to see that, okay, you do not want this.
[00:11:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. There will be photos.
[00:11:37] Jordan Harbinger: There will be photos and most likely videos, and on TikTok — If somebody fights at your wedding that is going on Tiktok and Instagram, for sure.
[00:11:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:11:46] Jordan Harbinger: It's going to be reposted everywhere. Ugh.
[00:11:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's one of those things you read about on Reddit for years after it happened.
[00:11:52] Jordan Harbinger: Yep.
[00:11:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: I love those subreddits. You ever get into those subreddits on—?
[00:11:55] Jordan Harbinger: Wedding shaming is the subreddit.
[00:11:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wedding shaming. That's what it is.
[00:11:58] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:11:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes, that's right. I haven't read it for a while, but I used to love that subreddit. People would go in there and write stories where you're like, "There's no way this is real." And then they'll be like, "No, this really happened at my sister's wedding. The bride slept with the groundskeeper and then punch the mother-in-law in the face when she called her out on." You're like just like, "What is happening right now?"
[00:12:16] The only thing I regret about this story is I wish we knew what Rose said to Carly to set her off. Like, what do you think it was about? Like, was it our outfit? I don't know. I want to know what makes somebody punch somebody at a Color Me Mine.
[00:12:28] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe they were fighting over whether Elon Musk was actually funny on SNL or not.
[00:12:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. That'll do it.
[00:12:32] Jordan Harbinger: It's weird that you get hung up on this, but also I'm like, "Yeah. What did she say?" I'd like to think of above this, but I'm absolutely not. I'm absolutely not above it.
[00:12:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: I know. I'm like weirdly, I'm weirdly compelled by these two people.
[00:12:42] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Give us a follow up and let us know what they fight about at your wedding. That's interesting. It makes for great reality TV. It's crappy real life. If Carly and Rose want to audition for Jersey Shore remakes, they're going to do great. But if they want to be decent friends to your fiancée, they need to act right. And they need to lock it up.
[00:13:00] You know, who won't flip out and throw hands and probably one of those terrible vegetarian options that they only have to have at the wedding on the most important day of your life? The sponsors and services that support this show.
[00:13:13] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
[00:13:18] This episode is sponsored in part by Seekr. Seekr is building their own independent search engine. So it's not like a veneer over another search engine. It's actually its own search engine. And what's interesting about it is they give you a score of each of the sites. So you get an analysis of whether it's like the article you're clicking on is like a bunch of personal attacks in an article or a clickbait or incoherence or left or right-wing craziness. If there's no byline, so it's written by nobody. It's too subjective. That's really useful when you're trying to read actual news and thoughts and think pieces, instead of somebody just making something for clicks or whining online or venting. And they streamline access to better and reliable information, right? So they're using AI and machine learning to enhance transparency in these. And that score that you see next to the article is really, really helpful to pick what you should spend your time reading. So go to seekr.com to learn how you can make better decisions with access to better information. That's S-E-E-K-R.com.
[00:14:15] This episode is also sponsored by Wrkout. Almost a year ago, my buddy Curtis offered to let me try his company's virtual personal training called Wrkout. Initially, I didn't really want to bother I won't lie but then I realized after trying it, this is one of the best decisions I've made, up there with Mary and Jen. Not even kidding. Now, keep in mind. I've tried a lot of things when it comes to fitness, like I'm just going to be self-motivated. I am reasonably self-motivated, but nothing I've tried has the convenience and personal connection. And frankly, the results that Wrkout has. It has helped me so much. I actually went from two sessions a week to four. I even got my 80-year-old mom doing it. I look forward to my sessions that has not always been the case for me. My trainers, Chad and Corinne. They know me. They know how to push me. I've never gotten an injury doing this at all. I've never even come close. They know what they're doing. They know how to get me rolling when I'm just not feeling it. It's just been amazing. I'm on the floor playing with my kids, popping up. I have more energy and I'm in better shape than I have been in years. So, if you want to see what highly vetted world-class virtual personal training can do, it's all online and it's not prerecorded. It's just like a Zoom call except you're working your butt off. Check out wrkout.com/jordan and get 30 percent off your first two months of training. That's W-R-K-O-U-T.com/jordan. Remember it's Wrkout without that first O. Try it. Trust me. You'll be glad you did.
[00:15:31] Thanks for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us going, who doesn't love some good products and/or services? You can always visit jordanharbinger.com/deals for all the details on everybody that helps support the show.
[00:15:45] And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:15:50] All right, next up.
[00:15:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan, do you ever get sick of saying your name like Jordan Harbinger? Do you ever just want to say Jordan? Signed, What's in a Name.
[00:16:00] Jordan Harbinger: Yup. You can reach us at fridayatjordanharbinger.com. Please keep her emails — No.
[00:16:04] Yeah, I do get sick of it, actually. I really, really do. It sounds to me in my head, a little ridiculous to say, "Welcome to The Jordan Harbinger Show. This is Jordan Harbinger here on The Jordan Harbinger—" And so I've edited that a million times and I can't get it to sound right in my own head. It sounds right and fine when it's played back. But also I do find that I'm constantly saying my full name and it's annoying because when people do that, I feel like it's a little self-important, but in the context of the show, it actually makes sense.
[00:16:31] So there's a lot of times where I wish I could just say Jordan, and in real-life situations, I do not use my full name every single time, I referenced, I don't speak to myself with a third person at all. Like that Seinfeld episode, Jimmy doesn't like that, I will always just speak like a normal person. There are some constructs though, in a podcast that require that, and it is weird every time and it doesn't get any easier after 15 years.
[00:16:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: I mean, you could go with the old J Harbs.
[00:16:55] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, J Harbs, oh yeah. That's really catchy. Yeah.
[00:16:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's professional.
[00:16:59] Jordan Harbinger: No. Ugh, I hate — those things don't work overtime. And when I was at SiriusXM Radio, there were a lot of older DJs and they wouldn't kind of be in on the joke that their nickname from 1987 was ridiculous now. And they would say it over and over and over again. And I'm just thinking, "Do you go to bars and introduce yourself as like the Wolfman Thompson? Like you do, don't you? You do that. And that's why you're alone."
[00:17:29] You can reach us firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep your emails concise. Try to use a descriptive subject line. That does make our job a whole lot easier. If there's something you're going through, any big decision you're wrestling with, or you need a new perspective on anything like life, love, work. What to do. If a hallucinating maniac is repeatedly breaking into your home? Whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up email@example.com. We're here to help and we keep every email anonymous.
[00:17:55] You know, Gabriel takes out your personally-identifying information. So even if I talk to you every other week, because you write in all the time, by the time this question gets to me, I have no clue who you are, ever, which usually is a good thing for you. But I want people to know that so that they don't feel shy about writing in after they wrote in about something sensitive. I never know who any of these people are at the end of the day, with few exceptions, I should say.
[00:18:17] All right, next up.
[00:18:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, I know you've been doing the show for a while now, but have you guys ever done any other weird jobs in a past life or on the side? Has the show ever taken you into weird side quests or adventures you didn't expect? Signed, Curious About That Five to Nine.
[00:18:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Well, y'all know about my Wall Street finance job as an attorney before. I was doing a nighttime drive show on SiriusXM Satellite Radio, many of you know that as well. So that was kind of exciting because I was doing the podcast and radio at the same time, which was a big vote of confidence from somebody who started a podcast in a basement and thought that I was never going to be a real, a real talk show host and then a few a year or so later, I'm on satellite in US and Canada, all over the place.
[00:18:59] In addition to that, I taught English in Serbia, former Yugoslavia. I stayed there for 14 months. It was a lot of fun and really interesting. If you've been listening for a while, that was where I ended up getting kidnapped by the police. I've had a lot of adventures there. Serbia is a great place, so fun and interesting. The people are awesome. Cops, not so much, government, eh, you know, kind of what you call.
[00:19:21] I also had a job in Kharkiv, Ukraine, which is making the news. I honestly never thought I would hear the name of that city again because it's usually not newsworthy. Unfortunately, it is very much so right now, and it's destroyed and it's really, really sad. I also on the same token of Russians, I was — RT tried to hire me, Russia Today, now called RT. It's, I'll say, propaganda news network, but it's run essentially mostly by the Kremlin. They pay above market salary.
[00:19:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wait, wait, wait, wait, hold on. RT, the Russian news outlet—
[00:19:55] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:19:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: —actually tried to, they wanted you to be an anchor.
[00:19:57] Jordan Harbinger: It wasn't an anchor. I was going to do a show. And by the way, this is only like four or five years ago. This is not a long time ago. This is not in the aths.
[00:20:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: I didn't know about this.
[00:20:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:20:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: This is new information to me. Okay. So what happened?
[00:20:08] Jordan Harbinger: Well, they sent me an email. They were recruiting. They were asking if I had any ideas of what I might do. They were interested in my platform, these kinds of things. And it was it's an immediately obvious no. I didn't even really ask for further details because I am in no way, interested in becoming a mouthpiece for a nationalist propaganda outlet, or even a biased media outlet. Like I have my own biases, they're here on The Jordan Harbinger Show, right? But I don't need somebody else, being like, "You have to frame things in this way."
[00:20:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, sure.
[00:20:36] Jordan Harbinger: So that wasn't going to work for me, especially when this way is Kremlin, you know, cover-up disinformation. I don't, I don't want to — I expose disinformation. I don't propagate disinformation, at least not on purpose, right? So that was never going to happen. And so they just kind of ghosted after that. I think I linked them to my disinformation episodes if I'm not mistaken or at least some of the things that I had done up to that point about disinformation. And they were just like, no reply after that.
[00:21:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wait, you mean like you emailed them and said, "By the way, I did some interviews that you might want to check out."
[00:21:05] Jordan Harbinger: Are you familiar with my work? Yeah. And it was like, I've done this and spoken about this and by the way, this and this and this, and they were just kind of like — they didn't even reply because I think the obvious content/answer to this was, "You can literally never work here because your policy is your anti-Chinese communist party disinformation. You expose disinformation, whether it comes from the Kremlin or elsewhere and even the United States. And you're the last person we want here. You're teaching critical thinking. No, thank you. We don't want that here in Kremlin News." Yeah. So the question has occurred that it's very possible that they were very familiar with my work. And they thought that by hiring me, it would be like, "Well, look, this guy's reputation as a critical thinker. And he has a base that trusts him. So this is exactly the type of person we want here because then people will say, "Oh, he's vetted this information. And it's true."
[00:21:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:21:54] Jordan Harbinger: And that would lend them credibility that they don't deserve. On the other hand, maybe I'm giving them way too much. And they just didn't even fricking Google me at all other than to go, oh, "This guy has a large podcast and Instagram following. We can use this guy, send him the form email we sent to 50 other people," right? So I don't know—
[00:22:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. That's possible too.
[00:22:12] Jordan Harbinger: I'm not sure which one it is. I lean towards the latter just given that they didn't even try to convince me at all. They had no interest in doing so after they saw that email. So that's what I think of that.
[00:22:21] And then I've also trained military and intelligence agencies, some of the nonverbal communication and persuasion and influence stuff. That you hear me speak about on the show from time to time. I've done some training for the UK intelligence infrastructure, the United States military and intelligence infrastructure. Just sort of went off stuff, private personal protection companies, security companies, things like that. Cybersecurity companies as well, and cybersecurity companies usually want to know about the social engineering stuff. Like the hacker stuff, right? I'm not a computer hacker, but like human hacker where I try to — I've done things like try to convince people to let me into buildings or give me information. That's a little more time-consuming. I don't do much of it anymore, but it's really fun. I mean, imagine breaking into a warehouse in Mexico by talking your way in. And if you get caught, you have a letter in Spanish, in English, from the CEO and the head of security that says, "It's okay, call me if anything happens." And they're waiting for this call, they're waiting for you to get caught, but then you don't and then you report to them and they're like, "What the hell?" So that's always fun.
[00:23:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's really cool.
[00:23:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Gabe, you've done some, some weird jobs, right? Probably in involving countries currently under sanction and/or embargo.
[00:23:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. That's true. Well, they weren't at the time as you guys know, I think we talked about this on the show before.
[00:23:31] Jordan Harbinger: You would never do anything illegal, of course.
[00:23:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, hardly, but I did lead trips to North Korea for four years. Jordan and I both did actually—
[00:23:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's right.
[00:23:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: For a little while, we had like, I guess you would call it a side hustle, like a low-key side hustle, but it actually kind of grew out of that website, this blog, the North Korea blog that you and I used to run together.
[00:23:48] Jordan Harbinger: That's right.
[00:23:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Where we would post articles and photos from North Korea and people started asking us, "How do we get to go to North Korea? But we want to have the experience you guys got to have and kind of get around some of the rules and see things you're not supposed to see blah, blah, blah." And that just organically led to us just leading trips to North Korea. It was such a weird job. And that's how it all started, yeah. That was 2011 to like 2015.
[00:24:10] Jordan Harbinger: That's right.
[00:24:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: That was the last year we did that. And then shortly after that, they made it illegal to go, yeah.
[00:24:15] Jordan Harbinger: It doesn't seem like it was as long ago as it actually was. It was like seven years ago. That's right. We had howtogotonorthkorea.com. Amazingly totally available.
[00:24:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's right.
[00:24:23] Jordan Harbinger: And never bought by anyone. So yeah, we ended up selling that. I forgot about that.
[00:24:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: The Google juice.
[00:24:27] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:24:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: We did. We sold that for, not life-changing money, but that was kind of a cool end to that chapter.
[00:24:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it was.
[00:24:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: That was around the time I was also working for a circus.
[00:24:37] Jordan Harbinger: Contortionist — go figure.
[00:24:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, of course. Total clown.
[00:24:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I see what you did there. Yeah. All right next up.
[00:24:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I'm a social worker and a step-mom to two great boys, ages eight and 11. Their mom has begun selling doTERRA, the huge essential oils, multilevel marketing company. And it started to become concerning in a few ways, despite the obvious concern that, it's a total scam. The boys are very unhappy. They say that essential oils are all their mother talks about and that she even puts it on their food. I've been doing research and am aware that they should not be ingested and I'm becoming increasingly worried. She's also been putting it on their face and cuts. They've asked that she doesn't, but she says oils are now a part of their family. I believe their mother already has a personality disorder and I'm unsure how I should be managing this situation in the best possible way. She just announced that she's pregnant again with our second baby, with her new husband. And I know that MLMs can ruin lives. So how do I best help and support my stepsons? Signed, Multi-Level Mom-ing.
[00:25:39] Jordan Harbinger: Man, Gabe, nothing like some potential child poisoning to lighten up our April Fool's Day episode, right?
[00:25:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: I just want to throw it in.
[00:25:46] Jordan Harbinger: This is worrisome on several levels, medically, of course, but also just growing up with a mother like this is also probably even a greater concern. She's throwing herself into this MLM propaganda. And then she's incorporating the product into their family, even when the children are asking her not to. Like, "Oils are now a part of our family," yeah, that's not unhinged.
[00:26:07] So look, we're not doctors. We can't offer medical advice whatsoever, but we did some basic homework and surprise, surprise, doTERRA does actually endorse the internal use of essential oils, in other words, ingesting them. In fact, their argument is, and I quote, "Essential oils come from plants, fruits, and compounds found in nature and therefore present a safe way to receive internal benefits. While some essential oils are never appropriate for internal consumption, there are plenty of oils that can be safely taken internally and processed by the body, much like other substances found in nature." By the way, I will note that arsenic and other things like that are also found in nature, cyanide, but they are also very clear on the fact, quote, "It is important to remember that the body can only handle essential oils in appropriate doses. Each essential oil contains different chemical components that will cause unique reactions within the organs and cells of the body. By considering the chemistry and recommended dosage for each individual essential oil, it is possible to safely reap the benefits of internal usage."
[00:27:05] So that's doTERRA's stance and they do cite some research that supports this view. Although what we read seemed very vague. It's not clear how rigorous the research is or who funded it. They also suggest that people start with the smallest dose possible, which is one or two drops by the way, four in adults, and then increase as needed, depending on the size, age, health of the individual." "A recommended dose," they say, "ranges from one to five drops and anything above that will either no longer add benefit or could be potentially harmful and no more than 20 drops of essential oils should be consumed within a 24-hour period."
[00:27:40] And presumably again, these are guidelines for adults in the literature we read. They don't even specify adult doses versus children's doses, but standard is to use adult doses. So it's possible that your step-kids mom is following those guidelines very, very rigorously herself, and that what she's doing isn't hurting them physically, at least according to doTERRA who sells the oils. It is still very questionable but is not clear from what you've shared with us that she's a hundred percent putting her kids at serious risk.
[00:28:08] Now that said, the medical community has a pretty different take on all of this as you might imagine. Most experts out there say it's best not to swallow essential oils, or if you're intent on doing it to consult with a medical expert first. By the way, that's not the person who's selling you the oils from doTERRA that ordered them in a starter kit for 4.99 last week. Make sure you're not ingesting too high a dose. They want to make sure you're doing that. You're doing it in conjunction with the wrong medications or ingesting oils that are too strong.
[00:28:36] But when it comes to children, those warnings are even more important. In fact, according to the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, essential oil poisoning can potentially lead to all sorts of dangerous stuff, including mucus membrane irritation and gastrointestinal symptoms, central nervous system depression, which increases the risk of aspiration pneumonitis, which is basically inflammation or infection of the lungs or large airways when food, saliva, liquids, or vomit is breathed in, aspirated, instead of being swallowed. That's terrifying stuff, it can kill kids, especially. They also say that toxicity can occur from the essential oil itself or from the hydrocarbons or emulsifiers added to many of the preparations, which is something a lot of people overlook with these products. They think, "Oh, it's just the oil from the bergamot." No, there's a bunch of crap in there too. Chemicals that are not by the way, approved by the FDA for ingesting.
[00:29:29] According to them, volumes of five to 15 milliliters are likely to cause toxicity in adults. Smaller ingestions of two or three milliliters of some essential oils have been associated with toxicity in children. Two to three milliliters, that's a very small amount. And to their credit, even doTERRA recognizes that sensitivity reactions and toxicity can occur with essential oils. In fact, they say, and I'm quoting again here, "You must also consider your own personal health history and any health conditions before using essential oils internally. Consult with your physician before internal application and consider your personal state of health."
[00:30:04] So this is serious stuff, but based on our cursory research, again, it's unclear if your stepkids are being poisoned or compromised here, they might be. They might not be, certainly the oils are not doing anything if there, other than annoying your kids. Their mom would probably have to be given them quite a lot to do real damage. And she would have to be ignoring some serious symptoms if she's been doing it for a while. I think the more likely scenario is just that the essential oils really aren't doing much at all, which is problematic, but in a different way.
[00:30:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. In a totally different way that does seem to be what the research shows. And look, I know we dunk on essential oils a lot on the show. They're kind of an easy target or perhaps the people who buy into them so easily are kind of an easy target, especially in today's climate. But there's also a very powerful tradition of plant medicine that does date back thousands and thousands of years. It's not all bogus just because something comes from a plant doesn't mean it's absolutely fake or that it's definitely going to kill you. It's more of the organizations that co-opt these molecules or these compounds and pull them into the system like a pyramid scheme that makes it truly shady because I mean, Jordan, slapping some tea tree oil, or some lavender on a wound or whatever that does seem to help it heal. It could reduce scarring. That's not a myth, but slathering a bunch of like clary sage on your kids' tuna fish sandwich before they go to school because another mom and the PTA told you to do it or something like that's when things get kind of dicey.
[00:31:25] So you could talk to her about all of this and just voice your concern. And I would do it casually, like, "Hey, you know, Ethan mentioned you've been giving the boys some essential oils. I'm sure you know, a ton about this stuff. I'm sure you mean well," you know, maybe played her ego a little bit to lower her defense. "But I just wanted to ask, how are you deciding which oils to give them and how do you measure the dose and which guidelines are you following? You know, are they doTERRA's guidelines or are you getting them from some independent source because you know how much I love your boys. And I don't want to overstep here. I know I'm just their stepmom, you're their mom, but I just wanted to make sure that we're both taking care of them as best we can."
[00:31:59] And hopefully, she doesn't get super defensive and she shows you her sources and it's all kind of on the up and up, hopefully innocent. But if she turns around and she's like, "How dare you question what I give my sons? These oils are natural. I can't believe you'd question my judgment as a parent," or something like that. You know, the typical, like MLM-triggered response, kind of like the typical personality disorder who's caught up in a pyramid scheme kind of thing, then that will be tough. At that point, either you have to fight back and push harder for answers, or maybe the best approach is to get your husband to talk to her because they probably have more of a relationship and he can ask her what she's doing with the boys without setting her off because they're his kids too. And anyway, he is a father should be as concerned as you are about them.
[00:32:39] The bigger issue for me is, yeah, like Jordan said, growing up with a parent like this because in the long run, that's probably more damaging than giving your kids a few drops of chamomile every night or whatever. So the best thing you can do to support them is to keep tabs on what mom is giving them, how it makes them feel if they have any weird symptoms. I would casually ask them about the dosage. You know, like, "How many drops has your mom given you? How many times a day? By the way, do you know which oils she's giving you?" Try to get a little bit of data, compare that to the recommended doses. If they're above the recommended doses, then you know that you need to intervene but if they're at the doses or below the recommended doses, eh, you can probably rest easy, I'm guessing. I mean, assuming there are no other complicating factors at play.
[00:33:18] Now, the boys are still quite young, so they're probably not in a position yet to tell mom, you know, she's nuts and, "Hell, no, I'm not taking this stuff anymore." But the 11-year-old will be at that age pretty soon. So you might want to encourage him to speak up when something doesn't feel right. If he's not into what his mom is giving him, he can say, "You know, mom, I don't want to take this. I'm not doing it today." And, you know, you could even tell them to bring this up with his pediatrician when mom takes him to the doctor, see what the doctor says. Once he's 13, 14, he'll be in a better position to stand up to his mom and also to stand up for his younger brother.
[00:33:50] But really the best thing you can do is to be a great step to these boys. You want them to feel safe coming to you when there are problems with mom, whether it's with essential oils or anything else that you want them to feel like they can talk with you if they need help, that they have a safe haven in your house. And if their mom is kind of unstable, maybe she's pumping a ton of their money into this MLM, straight up ignoring their concerns, you want to be a source of stability and love for them outside of her. I know as a social worker, your instinct is probably to intervene and fix the situation and I get it, but until she is doing something objective dangerous or illegal, it'll probably be hard to make her change. They might have to grow up with a bit of a strange mother and you'll have to watch that happen, but then they can also grow up with a great stepmother — you. And that'll be the thing that saves them. And probably keep them from, you know, pushing frankincense on their downline like mommy does once they're a little bit older.
[00:34:41] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's exactly right. A lot of these products just fall into this medical and ethical gray zone. That's hard to understand at all.
[00:34:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:34:49] Jordan Harbinger: And that's part of, what's so frustrating, but the more you can empower these kids to make their own decisions and gently inform their mom about the best way to handle this stuff the better.
[00:34:57] And by the way, we're going to link to all those sources we read in the show notes. Definitely check those out. I would also share those with your husband. Maybe he can talk about them with his ex-wife so they can get on the same page. And I'm sorry, this is happening. It's pretty unsettling all around. In the meantime, try to stick to the facts and not torture yourself with the worst-case scenario. And hey, maybe put a little, little ylang ylang in your diffuser. I hear that's good for anxiety or, you know, like slam half the bottle. It should be fine, RIP your mucous membrane.
[00:35:25] By the way you might want to check out episode 395 on how to avoid falling for scams. We cover MLM scams. We talk about the psychology. It might just give you a little bit more background and ammo on the mental state of the mother here, and yeah, not easy. I mean, MLMs are essentially, it's a business cult and that's never a good starting point for a mom.
[00:35:45] All right. What's next?
[00:35:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan. In all your years of podcasting, have you ever been approached by sponsors you didn't like? Have you ever had to turn down a sponsor you didn't approve of? If so, can you talk about them without dropping any names? Also, how do you balance the financial interests of the show with your own personal ethics? Or do you usually just take the money and run? Signed, Probing Those Podcasting Principles.
[00:36:09] Jordan Harbinger: That's a great question. I actually do think about this a lot. It really does matter to me. I'm definitely not a take-the-money-and-run guy, especially if I have serious concern about a sponsor. I routinely get approached by sponsors that give me pause. Gambling sites and apps, they have a lot of money. They're willing to pay through the nose. I always turned them down. CBD oils, essential oils, supplements of almost every kind, I turned them down. Something like a daily vitamin, okay, whatever that's reasonable. Something, that's like, "Hey, we have a lot of vitamins and minerals that you probably aren't eating enough of," fair. But when it's like, "This will help you burn fat and improve your immune system." I'm like, "Nope, not going to do it." I'm very careful about all that. I usually have to know the founder of the company personally and know that they're not a sociopathic con man. And even then it's tough, I turned down a lot of that money too.
[00:37:01] I turned down gadgets that seem low quality. They're scams left and right. You know, like I mentioned, essential oils, just dubious health stuff, that's totally fake. "Here's a bracelet that magnetizes your bloodstream for blah, blah." That stuff never makes it past the first pass. But also I get sponsors from agencies that are located in foreign countries. I talked earlier about RT trying to hire me. I get things like, "Can you post this article or talk about this thing about China and why China is going to be the next thing. And we might even pay for your trip to China," all this sort of information war that the Chinese Communist Party and Kremlin are involved in. That was one of the canaries in the coal mine, where I was like, "Wait a minute, why are people trying to pay me to post this weird video on my Instagram? This makes no sense. Why would anybody want to do that?" And I was like, "Oh, this is what this information is." So that's what eventually got me into that kind of stuff.
[00:37:52] And I talked with Laowhy earlier this week about some of the disinformation he's come across. And so if you're interested in that, definitely check out that two-part episode. You know, they try and get him to post things like, "Here's a video about how COVID is caused by American white-tailed deer and then transmitted to humans and then went around the world." It's like, we know it was started in China, but they want to create this false narrative so that they can deny that it was them because they're embarrassed. And they'll offer good money to do that. And a lot of people take it, unfortunately.
[00:38:20] How do I balance the financial interests of the show with my own personal ethics? Look, even now, I'm very wary of how sponsors like fast food, for example, want to frame the ad. I will happily talk about shakes and ice cream and fries and stuff because I know these are treats. I know that you are smart enough to know that you shouldn't eat ice cream for dinner. You shouldn't eat fries for dinner. This is a nostalgia thing. You might bring your kids there as a treat, but I am much more careful when I'm recommending or being asked, I should say, to recommend people, how's a bucket of fried chicken for dinner and feed it to their kids multiple times per week.
[00:38:56] I also work with those agencies, if they're amenable to it on copy, that is less objectionable in my opinion. So if they're like, "Try this. Have it every Friday," I'm like, "Okay, I'm not going to say that, but I can say this is a great treat once in a while. And my favorite thing is this." And sometimes they're like, okay, but most of the time, they're like, "No, we want you to say every Friday I eat fried chicken from this place. So use my code," and I just won't do. It doesn't stop unhinged people from accusing me of enabling alcoholism or other vice because I mentioned a sponsor, like I have a Siempre Tequila in my glass here. They're a sponsor of the show. This is a free shout-out. They're not paying me for it, but they have paid me and I liked the tequila, but someone's going to get mad and say, I'm enabling alcoholism.
[00:39:36] People love to be offended and that's fine. But I don't want to outright encourage people to do things that would harm them. And I'm very protective of you guys, the audience, as an audience. Even if I turned down six figures and so-called easy money every year, it's fine with me. I don't care about that enough. I don't care about that as much as I care about sleeping well at night. So yeah, I'm very, very conscious of the sponsors more than anybody else that I know. And it really annoys my sales team because a lot of the easy money is in the bad stuff and I just won't do it. But you know what? There's more important things in life than easy money. And your trust, you listening to this, your trust is one of those things.
[00:40:13] Incidentally, the following sponsors have compensated me handsomely to deliver the following messages.
[00:40:21] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show, and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:40:26] This episode is sponsored in part by Credit Karma. Are you haunted by credit card debt? A personal loan could be your solution. Loans usually come with fixed monthly payments, making them a simple way to pay off your credit cards. Plus loans have lower interest rates than credit cards do, and Credit Karma can help you find the best option for you. For me, I've had student loan debt, so I get it. You get that reminder bill every month, you feel like you can never get ahead of it. It's not a great feeling. Credit Karma uses your credit data to find loan offers that are personalized to you. So you can have a better idea of what loan amount you can get approved. Credit Karma will even show you your chances of approval. So you can choose between loan offers that you're more likely to get approved for and apply with more confidence. And I know what you're thinking, like, "I don't want to apply for all this. It's going to dig me." Comparing loans on Credit karma is a hundred percent free. It won't affect your credit scores and it could save you money.
[00:41:13] Jen Harbinger: Credit Karma, apply with more confidence today. Ready to apply? Head to creditkarma.com/loanoffers to see personalized offers. Go to creditkarma.com/loanoffers to find the loan for you. That's creditkarma.com/loanoffers with an S.
[00:41:28] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Organifi. Organifi has a line of organic superfood blends that offers plant-based nutrition made with high-quality ingredients. I highly recommend Organifi's complete protein powder. I take it every morning. Each Organifi blend is science back to craft the most effective doses with ingredients that are organic and free of fillers. It contains less than three grams of sugar per serving like Organifi Green Juice with essential superfoods in a clinical dose of ashwagandha, very fancy and new age, or Organifi Red Juice, a superfood punch that increases energy without the caffeine and only two grams of sugar. Each Organifi blend is easy to use by simply mixing it with water or your favorite beverage while you're on the go. And they don't compromise quality for taste. Organifi takes pride in offering the best tasting superfood products on the market at a price that works out to less than three bucks a day. You can experience Organifi's high-quality superfoods without breaking the bank.
[00:42:16] Jen Harbinger: Go to organifi.com/jordan and use code JORDAN for 20 percent off your order. That's O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I.com/jordan and use code JORDAN for 20 percent off any item.
[00:42:28] And now for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
[00:42:32] All right. We're back the moment you've all been waiting for here, or probably forgot about by now, but whatever, our embarrassing stories.
[00:42:39] Jordan Harbinger: Go ahead, Gabe. Let it rip.
[00:42:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe, you talk a lot on the show about inviting shame in and owning your embarrassment as a way to work through those feelings. It's been really helpful in my own life, even though it's pretty uncomfortable, it's actually been kind of amazing to see how it's changed how I relate to people and how they see me. So in that spirit, what's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you? Signed Craving Some Cringe.
[00:43:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. So we do talk about that a lot. Gabe and I are pretty big on owning embarrassment. It's actually fascinating because doing that doesn't just help you process the feeling. It also helps bring you closer to other people. So it's actually a very powerful way to create trust and rapport, which is what you're finding from the sound of it. And that's amazing.
[00:43:24] So, all right, embarrassing stories, I had to think about this for a while. So this is a little bit of a, quite a story. It happened to me about 20 years ago. So it's not so fresh and cringe now, but you shall also cringe when you hear it.
[00:43:36] I lived in Israel in 2000, approximately, and I was supposed to be going to some classes there or something like that. I was only there for a few months and I was supposed to stay for like a whole year. But then there was the second uprising and it became kind of dangerous for a lot of folks to go anywhere and it started to get lonely and isolated and every university in the United States that had a program, there was canceling it, but I had gone independently. So I was just stuck there with another couple of guys. And we were like, "Oh, let's, let's go traveling. Let's go to Egypt." But we still had a little ways before all of us could get free of our obligations.
[00:44:08] And a friend of mine walks into my room, her name was Natanya, and she goes, "Hey, you're kind of my only friend here that I trust. Can you come and visit a friend with me in the Gaza Strip?" And I didn't really understand what she meant by that, but I said, "I don't know, maybe next time." She goes, "There's not going to be a next time. I really need you to come with me because I can't travel there alone. I'm a blonde girl who's 20," or 18 or whatever, how old she was. "And my friend told me I can't come alone. It's just not safe. She can't come here to get me because she can't come out of the Gaza Strip." And I was like, "I better Google the Gaza Strip and learn a little bit more about this."
[00:44:41] Because I thought they were just sort of like settlements. I didn't realize that it was very hard to travel between Gaza and Israel. I just didn't have — I was 20, I wasn't paying attention to that kind of stuff. And I was just like in Israel, hanging out.
[00:44:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:44:54] Jordan Harbinger: We get ready to go down there and we're going to stay for the better part of a week. I think it was like five days. So I'm like, "All right, cool." I bring my back. So I get in the bus, we're driving down there and we get to this checkpoint. I'm like, okay, we get to another checkpoint. We're in line. We're getting interrogated by Israelis. It's really intense. There's aid workers. There's a lot of people in a line trying to get into Israel. The line looked like a mile long. I mean, it was just ridiculous. There was almost no one going in our way. They were very suspicious of us going in there and ask us what was going on. Luckily, my answers were, "I'm just her friend. I'm just sort of like hanging out with her while we do this. I don't know anything about this."
[00:45:30] And they let us in, we walk this almost like this DMZ zone. There's another checkpoint. The Palestinians are like, "what are you doing here? Are you an aid worker?" "No, we're just visiting a friend." "What the hell?" So they are curious about what the hell we're doing there. They're like, "Is somebody coming to pick you up? You can't just kind of like, hang out here. You can't just walk around." "Yeah, they're coming to pick us up." So her friends come and pick us up, and these are really sort of conservative Muslim folks that live in the Gaza Strip.
[00:46:00] And we go to their home and I get in there and I'm like, "Oh, what's that flag on the wall?" And they're like, "Oh, it's a Hezbollah flag." And I'm like, "Hezbollah? But doesn't your dad work for the Palestinian authority? Are they working together on something?" And they're like, "Hmm, let's not get into this mucky-muck into politics." And I was like, okay. And I was like, "Oh, let me take a photo of where I'm staying." And they're like, "Take the flag down." I'm like, "Oh, okay. You can take the flag down." So, they took out all this memorabilia and flags and all this stuff. And I started to be like, "What the hell are they trying to hide? Like, is it not cool that he works for the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat, but also obviously secretly supports Hezbollah."
[00:46:38] And then like they had Hamas stuff in another part of the house that was like documents that I was looking at. And I was like, "Aren't these separate groups?" I was so confused. So I'm staying with these people and we get to know them really well. And we're talking, we're staying up all night and we're eating like this amazing food all the time. I almost forgot this is my embarrassing story because I'm getting into it. And one day we want to talk and we want to stay up kind of late. And it's hard to do that on the roof because the parents could hear some of us. So we would whisper and stuff, but we decided, "Screw it. Let's get off the roof. You know, let's walk out into the desert. It's still nice out. We'll catch the sunset."
[00:47:14] So we go across the desert a little bit and it's like, there's like ruined half-built buildings and garbage piles. I mean, it's a refugee camp. It was not in good condition in 2000 or whatever. You couldn't get to the water. There was an Israeli checkpoint there as well. And then the Egyptian border, I believe we were in Rafa, there was an Egyptian border, which is a wall with towers. And then meeting that was the border, oh, sorry, it was a checkpoint with Israeli military that blocked the water because they didn't want people going in and out by water. And we were right there. I mean, you could see the intersection of these things from where I was.
[00:47:44] So we got into the desert, there's wastewater over to the left. You don't want to go that way. And to the right, is the Israeli checkpoint, straight ahead as Egypt. Okay. That's how far in the corner we are. I mean, we are in the corner of the. And the sun sets and we're talking and I'm like, "All right, it's getting dark. It's getting a little colder." It's not cold. It's the Gaza Strip for God's sake, right? But you know, it's getting dark and I'm like, "I have to go to the bathroom." So I say, "Hey, I got to pee." And I go to turn around in this brick wall and one of the girls says, "Hey, you can't just pee here." You know, she's wearing a headscarf, what are you going to do? And the brothers were like, "Hey man, just go around the way."
[00:48:16] It wasn't really a big deal, but they were like, "We have to kind of pretend it's a big deal, even though my sister goes to school in the United States. And that's how she met your blonde friend, who you're here with. We don't want you to whip your shlong out in the middle in front of my sister." He's just like, "We're brothers. We can't really, we're supposed to say something about this. Okay. You're not even supposed to be hanging out with us like this." Okay. Fair. We're not even supposed to be hanging out with the women like this.
[00:48:36] So I go and I turn the corner, I'm like, "Well, I'm going to walk a little further." So I walk a little further. I walk a little further. I walk a little further. It's really dark, but I can sort of hear them talking whatever. I'm just hoping it won't fall in a damn hole. And I pull down my pants a little bit, you know, the standard maneuver.
[00:48:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:48:51] Jordan Harbinger: I pull my junk out and I'm holding it in my hand. And that's when a spotlight that's brighter than anything I've ever seen in my entire life, illuminates my entire body with my schlong in my left hand. And I'm blinded, first of all, and someone starts yelling over a loudspeaker, something in, I guess, Arabic, but I don't know, because one, I'm terrified, two, I'm blind and I'm going absolutely out of my mind, literally caught with my dick in my hand, okay, in the middle of the day. And the kids are behind me, you know, they're like, "Oh, what the hell is going on? What's going on? Jordan, are you okay?" I'm like, "I'm fine." And so all I think to do is I better raise my hands in the air because this is either Egypt, but most likely the Israeli military has spotted me walking towards their checkpoint in the dark.
[00:49:39] And they are like, "What are you doing?" They probably have a FLIR system to see heat signatures or something, right? And I'm just losing it. I'm standing but I don't want to pull my pants up because I figured that's how you get shot, right? Because I'm just, what am I going to do? So I dropped it and I raised my hands in the air, and the spotlight is on, man. And my pants are, you know, they're just below the cheeks with everything exposed in very, very bright 4,000 Kelvin, 10,000 million, whatever candlepower light. And I'm standing there in the desert like this, from the belly button down to my knees, naked as the day I was born, right? The only important part.
[00:50:17] And I just don't understand what's going on. And I'm just like, "I don't understand. I don't understand. I don't understand. I'm not doing anything. I'm not doing anything." And that's what I noticed that they are chuckling over the loudspeaker and no longer issuing instructions at all. And they just say something that is mostly dismissive.
[00:50:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:50:36] Jordan Harbinger: Like, "Oh, this idiot's just taking a leak," or something like that. So I slowly start to relax. They move the spotlight a little bit because I think they just sort of lose interest and they've realized that they've just scared some idiot who's not doing anything. And once they move the spotlight away from me, I've reached down very slowly, very aware that definitely, there's like a sniper on me with a FLIR system looking at me do this. I pull my pants. And I walked back to the group and I say, "We should probably go home." And they're like, "The police might even visit us." I'm like, "That's the least of our concerns, I guess, right?" And they're like, "Yeah, yeah, don't worry about it. If it happens, you know, we're just going to pretend we don't know you." I'm like, "That's not really what I had in mind.
[00:51:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's not a solution.
[00:51:17] Jordan Harbinger: It occurred to me I hadn't really gone to the bathroom, so I'm still holding it. And by the way, there's nothing that gets rid of the urge, like almost getting slaughtered in the middle of the desert, by the Israeli military in the Gaza Strip.
[00:51:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:51:29] Jordan Harbinger: But I will say that it was probably one of the most embarrassing moments in my life. The only real bright side of that is that I never saw any of those people again because when we left the Gaza Strip, I had lost touch with Nia and that was sort of the pre-Internet era. And you know, they're the only people who know about it, except for all of you now.
[00:51:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:51:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:51:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: There must be some Israeli soldier telling that story to another person or the dinner table right now.
[00:51:52] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe, but probably not as memorable for them as it was for me.
[00:51:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I'm sure you're not the first person they've done that to, also.
[00:51:58] Jordan Harbinger: Nah, it has to happen. They have to catch people all the time that are just like hooking up or whatever, right? In the middle of some isolated area that they don't realize is isolated for a reason. But that was back in 2000. It's a lot worse situation now there than it was then. And it was bad then, so I can only imagine, that was one of the most interesting experiences I had there. They were friends with policemen, so we had a lot of conversations about Palestinian police and what they were going to do in the Palestinian Authority and Hezbollah and Hamas. It was really, really something that most people don't get to do, even if the price was getting caught with my pants down in the middle of the desert.
[00:52:32] Gabe, you're not off the hook. At some point, I'm going to get your story as well, although I know we don't have time for it right now.
[00:52:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure. Yeah, we can — I'll tell you one of the more embarrassing things that happen on an upcoming episode about that.
[00:52:44] Jordan Harbinger: There you go. There's always going to be an April Fool's Day. I hope everyone enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this week and everyone who listened. Thank you so much for that. Go back and check out the two-parter we did with Laowhy86 on the Chinese social credit score system and his escape from China if you haven't yet.
[00:52:59] If you want to know how I managed to book all these amazing guests, it's always about my network. I'm teaching you how to build your network for free over on the Thinkific platform, jordanharbinger.com/course. I'm teaching you how to dig the well before you get thirsty and use the same system, software, and tiny habits that I use every single day. The drills take just a few minutes a day. Ignore these habits at your own peril. Really, this has been game-changing for me in my whole life, my business. Find it all for free at jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:53:27] A link to show notes for the episodes can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts are in the show notes. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram, or you can connect with me on LinkedIn as well. You can find Gabe on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:53:42] The show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Ian Baird, Josh Ballard, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi, our advice and opinions are our own. I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. And would you ever hire a guy who got caught with his pants down, literally? Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on this show. Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love. And if you found this episode useful, please share it with somebody else who can use the advice we gave here today, air quotes, advice we gave here today. 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.
[00:54:21] If you're looking for another episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show to sink your teeth into here's a trailer for another episode that I think you might enjoy.
[00:54:28] Jon Taffer: If you're not honest with yourself, then how do you ever move your life in a positive direction, because you're starting from a point of fantasy. Nobody can succeed if you're not honest with yourself.
[00:54:40] Revenue cures all. You know when I talk to people in business seminars, and they're saying, "Jon, my labor cost is high, my marketing costs is high, promotional cost is high, my tech cost is high," but if I could raise your revenue by 30 percent, you wouldn't have cut cost problems anymore. You won’t have to cut labor cost anymore.
[00:54:57] So it's the ultimate pacifier of every problem that exists in our lives. If we focus on top line, which means I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do is how do I monetize myself right now? How do I drive revenue? That is the first thing I have to do today. Then I can deal with all of the other things that I have to do, but there's nothing more important to an entrepreneur than revenue. And if they don't wake up every morning and think about revenue first thing, you probably shouldn't be an entrepreneur.
[00:55:26] And I'm going to say something that's going to upset some people sometimes when I go to these businesses and I see a bartender, people say, "He's been a bartender for 10 years. He should be the manager." No, if he's been a bartender for 10 years and he hasn't bubbled up, then he's the last guy who should be the manager. Some people are comfortable where they are and you promote them right out of the company.
[00:55:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:55:48] Jon Taffer: That guy who's been a bartender for 10 years, leave him alone.
[00:55:50] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:55:51] Jon Taffer: The person who's not comfortable, who's bubbling up on their own, that's the one who should be promoted, even if they're going to leave for a couple of months. I don't believe that you can make a leader. I don't believe you can train a leader. I don't believe you can make a leader. The pied piper, you would have followed him off a cliff. Leadership is born it's not given.
[00:56:09] Jordan Harbinger: For more no-nonsense business advice with Bar Rescue star, Jon Taffer, check out episode 142 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.