Jan Broberg (@janbroberg) is an actress, singer, dancer, host of The Jan Broberg Show, subject of the Netflix documentary Abducted In Plain Sight and Peacock’s A Friend of the Family, and author of The Jan Broberg Story: The True Crime Story of a Young Girl Abducted.
What We Discuss with Jan Broberg:
- One in four children will be molested, and 97 percent of the time, it’s by a family member. In Jan Broberg’s case, it was by a close “friend” of the family.
- How this predator — himself a father of five — expertly infiltrated the trust of Jan’s family when she was just a child and manipulated her, her siblings, and her parents into questioning their very reality.
- How Jan was kidnapped by this family “friend” not once, but twice as a teenager, and what happened in the aftermath when she was finally recovered.
- Why this story — and countless stories like it — should serve as a wake-up call to legislators that we need to update public policy and raise awareness of this all-too-common threat to our children.
- How our children can be prepared to speak up when the adults in their lives violate their trust and abuse them — and what we as adults can do to ensure their claims are taken seriously and remove them from danger.
- And much more…
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider including your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
How does a trusted but wildly abusive family “friend” get away with kidnapping you as a child not once, but twice — ostensibly assisted by aliens desperate to save their planet? How could your parents have defended themselves against the patient predator who perverted their good nature for the sake of getting closer to you?
On this episode, Jan Broberg (host of The Jan Broberg Show, subject of the Netflix documentary Abducted In Plain Sight and Peacock’s A Friend of the Family, and author of The Jan Broberg Story: The True Crime Story of a Young Girl Abducted) joins us to discuss the harrowing details of her ordeal — and how it continued for years after the perpetrator had been brought to “justice” — the blowback it had on her well-meaning but naive parents, and what steps we can take as a society to prevent like-minded predators from ruining lives without facing the consequences.
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Please note that some 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. We appreciate your support!
This Episode Is Sponsored By:
- Peloton: Learn more at onepeloton.com/row
- TextExpander: Get 20% off your first year
- Athletic Greens: Visit athleticgreens.com/jordan for a free one-year supply of vitamin D and five free travel packs with your first purchase
- US Bank: Apply at usbank.com/altitudego for 20,000 bonus points
- Deep Questions: Listen here or wherever you find fine podcasts!
- God Pod: Listen here or wherever you find fine podcasts!
Thanks, Jan Broberg!
If you enjoyed this session with Jan Broberg, let her know by clicking on the link below and sending her 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:
- The Jan Broberg Story: The True Crime Story of a Young Girl Abducted by Jan Broberg and MaryAnn Broberg | Amazon
- A Friend of the Family | Peacock
- Abducted in Plain Sight | Netflix
- The Jan Broberg Show
- Thrivivors: Website | YouTube
- Community of Support | The Jan Broberg Foundation
- Jan Broberg | Twitter
- Jan Broberg | Facebook
- Jan Broberg | Instagram
- Austen Duke Tanner | Instagram
- Diane Sawyer Interviews Jan Broberg On Good Morning America | YouTube
- ‘Abducted in Plain Sight’ Victim Says Blaming Parents Is Unfair | People
811: Jan Broberg | The True Crime Story of a Young Girl Abducted
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: 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. Now onto the show.
[00:00:11] Special thanks to Peloton for sponsoring this episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:15] Coming up next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:18] Jan Broberg: I'd already planned to tell my sister because I was turning 16. I knew where my dad had hid the gun that he had bought. We had never had a gun before, but my dad bought a gun after the first kidnapping. I knew where it was hidden. I had a plan. I would tell Susan if she didn't want to do the mission, I would kill her and then I'd kill myself. It was all planned out, but I had to finish the show at my theater camp first.
[00:00:41] 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 former cult member, drug trafficker, music mogul, or astronaut. 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.
[00:01:07] If you're new to the show or you want to tell your friends about the show — and I always appreciate it when you do that — our episode starter packs are a great place to begin. These are collections of our favorite episodes organized by topic that'll help new listeners get a taste of everything we do here on this show — topics like persuasion and influence, abnormal psychology, scams and conspiracy debunks, crime and cults, and more. Just visit jordanharbinger.com or search for us in your Spotify app to get started.
[00:01:33] Remember, if you want to search for anything that's ever been on the show, any Feedback Friday, any interview, any promo code, you can use our AI search bot. It's all chatGPT enabled. We're all chatGPT enabled over here on the show, jordanharbinger.com/ai is where you can find it. And if it breaks or you can break it or you get it to say something racist, definitely let me know. I'd love to know how to improve this thing, email@example.com.
[00:01:55] This episode contains graphic or at least super scary descriptions of child abuse, so maybe no little kids in the car for this one. The rest of the story is just kind of weird and bizarre and possibly actually important for children too here. One in four children will be molested in their life, which is an astronomically huge number if you think about it, and 97 percent of the time it's by a family member. In this particularly wild story, not only was the victim, our guest today, Jan Broberg targeted by a predator close to the family, but she was targeted in an especially aggressive and creepy way, involving both of her parents and even aliens. And yes, I said aliens, I'm going to let her tell the story.
[00:02:34] Here we go with Jan Broberg.
[00:02:41] Your story from when you were a little girl was with a predator that your family considered close to being blood relative. Tell us who this guy was.
[00:02:51] Jan Broberg: So he moved into our area with his wife and five children, and their children matched all of us in age. And we became dear friends, we met him at church. And so he owned a brand new furniture store in town and he was like in the paper, you know, new business owner moved here to Pocatello and they lived just a couple, about a block and a half away, just up the street from where we lived. And so it was a natural friendship that happened between us kids and his kids because we were the same age. He had three boys, we had three girls, plus he had a couple of other kids. And we became best friends and he made sure of that. And then he created special relationships with all of us. And he was like the Pied Piper. Everybody loved him.
[00:03:33] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:03:34] Jan Broberg: He became my dad's best friend. And of course, he knew exactly how to manipulate everybody to keep them separate in some ways. And then all together as a family and his family. It was like our best friend. He was like your favorite uncle.
[00:03:49] Jordan Harbinger: When you say he did certain things to keep you guys separate, did he have like secrets with each kid or something? 20/20 hindsight, what was he doing?
[00:03:58] Jan Broberg: You know, it wasn't necessarily secrets, it was just, he would always give each individual a special compliment.
[00:04:04] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:04:05] Jan Broberg: Or, you know, you're awfully talented in this way, or, oh, you look so pretty today. And not necessarily within earshot of the rest of the family. He did that with me. He definitely did that with my mother. He would compliment my dad in other ways about how wonderful he was in the business, in his flower shop, in his church and church callings. He just had a way of making sure that everybody felt as if they were special and that it was like important to have him be your friend.
[00:04:36] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:04:36] Jan Broberg: It was like he was the popular guy—
[00:04:38] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:04:39] Jan Broberg: —you know?
[00:04:39] Jordan Harbinger: That definitely makes sense, right? Yeah, you want his approval and he set it up that way.
[00:04:44] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[00:04:44] Jordan Harbinger: Because that's a status gain for him, which gets compliance from other people, which is funny because I used to—
[00:04:49] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[00:04:50] Jordan Harbinger: —sort of teach these things as like dating concepts a million years ago and it's like, okay, well, if you have the high status, you get the other people to follow you, dah, dah, dah, it's a thing and it increases your status and your ability to, let's say get dates and in this case, it's his ability to get people to do things that he wants.
[00:05:07] And you know, it's funny because in the book, and I assume this was conscious on your part, but I don't even know how many people would catch something like this. There are little signs that he's a predator, that you drop skillfully early in the book, for example. And tell me if I'm just reading into this too much. In the first two pages, this guy, he comes over to take you horseback riding and he pops a vitamin in your . Mouth. And it's like, most people would be like, "Whatever," but it's just this very subtle violation of physical boundaries that's wildly inappropriate, but in a very small way that he's using — and I assume there's a million little examples like this where he just pushes, pushes, pushes and it's like, okay, are the parents going to do anything? No. Is she going to resist in any way? No. It really does seem like that was almost like a test. And then he does it, does it, does it. And then, of course, later on, we find out that he, you know, spoiler alert, he's freaking drugging you. And he probably told you it was vitamin.
[00:05:59] Jan Broberg: Oh, definitely. And he had a special doctor that he knew in Salt Lake and he said, "He is a really good allergist and the girls are always sick. We should have them get allergy tests." So we did. Parents, you know, were like, "Okay, let's get the girls allergy tested." And then all of a sudden, we have a little allergy pill.
[00:06:17] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:06:17] Jan Broberg: Which is in a capsule form. And I remember the color. It was yellow and green. And we took those for a year before he was filling them with drugs.
[00:06:26] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:06:26] Jan Broberg: He was slow. It's the slow burn of a predator—
[00:06:29] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:06:30] Jan Broberg: —that could be patient. Now looking, in hindsight, I know it's because he already had another little girl he was abusing.
[00:06:34] Jordan Harbinger: Oof.
[00:06:35] Jan Broberg: So he didn't need to get there too fast. And then, he had others that he was prepping before he was done with me. He had another woman who was a psychiatric nurse and her daughter that he was prepping and becoming the mom's love interest and best friend and all to get to her nine-year-old.
[00:06:50] Jordan Harbinger: Ugh.
[00:06:50] Jan Broberg: And that took three years there. And so that's the kind of predatory behavior. You know, it's the slow cat in the willows.
[00:06:59] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:06:59] Jan Broberg: That's like looking for the perfect opportunity to strike. And that's what he did. He set up lots of people and over time.
[00:07:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It's really creepy because it's not this clumsy like, "Hey, why don't you send your kids to my house for a sleepover?" And you're like, that guy's creepy. Don't let Jan go over to his house. It's like he just—
[00:07:18] Jan Broberg: Right.
[00:07:18] Jordan Harbinger: —made it so easy for everyone to trust him. And everybody loved the guy. And then, it's like, I'm surprised that when it came out, people weren't like, "Him? No, it can't be." Or were they?
[00:07:29] Jan Broberg: Oh, totally. People were very much like that.
[00:07:31] Jordan Harbinger: He has kids.
[00:07:31] Jan Broberg: People in our—
[00:07:32] Jordan Harbinger: How could he be the guy?
[00:07:33] Jan Broberg: Yeah, exactly.
[00:07:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:07:34] Jan Broberg: Exactly. And you know, you give it, I guess, the '70s, it might have been a little bit different. People were less aware for sure. We didn't even know what a pedophile was.
[00:07:44] Jordan Harbinger: Literally didn't know.
[00:07:46] Jan Broberg: Literally didn't know. I mean, it was just not used yet. You know, it's like saying mental health today.
[00:07:52] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:07:52] Jan Broberg: We didn't know anything like that. We called people crazy.
[00:07:55] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:07:55] Jan Broberg: You know, or whatever, but the point for me is that this is not an old story. This is a current story because it is one in four girls right now and one in six boys right now who are abused, molested, or raped by someone they know, someone in their family, their congregation, their community, their schoolc—
[00:08:13] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:08:13] Jan Broberg: —their sports team. It's not a scary stranger. And until this really comes to our frontal awareness where we go, "Oh my gosh. We have to make public policy changes. We have to put PSA commercials together that teach our five-year-old their body parts."
[00:08:30] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:08:30] Jan Broberg: And that they're theirs.
[00:08:31] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:08:31] Jan Broberg: And that they can call 911 and say, "Daddy's penis is hurting me."
[00:08:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:08:35] Jan Broberg: And they can actually make a call because they can call if grandma's on the floor. They'll call 911. A four-year-old will call 911. They have no idea that they're being hurt.
[00:08:44] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:08:44] Jan Broberg: I mean, they know it hurts, but they don't know what to do about it and who can they tell because they're being rewarded and threatened at the same time.
[00:08:51] Jordan Harbinger: Well, let's go back to your story as well. How did this begin? You said he moved into the neighborhood?
[00:08:57] Jan Broberg: Mm-hmm.
[00:08:57] Jordan Harbinger: He becomes the best friend. He's taking you horseback riding, but then suddenly, he just kind, and I say suddenly because it was sudden for your parents and for you, I guess, but he just takes you. Can you take us through this?
[00:09:11] Jan Broberg: Yeah. So over three years, we are doing hundreds of activities with this family. We eat dinners. We do vacations. I mean, they're our best friends.
[00:09:21] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:09:21] Jan Broberg: And then one afternoon after my piano lesson, he had arranged, so he said, and we had been there before. "I have this client, he needs furniture. I got to go measure the wall. He has a ranch. I'm going to take Jan. I'll take her out there and go horseback riding." And I'd been several times with him and with his oldest son who was my age, who I had a crush on, and so I'd been horseback riding before. This wasn't something unusual. The thing was, my dad, about six months earlier had started to kind of pull away. Like, we do too much with this family.
[00:09:52] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:09:53] Jan Broberg: My dad has an identical twin. We have cousins that live farther away, but it's like a mile and a half, right?
[00:09:57] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:09:57] Jan Broberg: It's not that far. He's like, "We need to spend more time with my, you know, we're just spending too much time with the Berchtolds.
[00:10:03] Jordan Harbinger: Why do you think your dad started to pull back suddenly? Because it seems like that's out of nowhere. I mean, I don't suddenly go, "You know? My best friend is wearing on me. Let's stop hanging out with him so much." He must have known something or felt something.
[00:10:15] Jan Broberg: He felt something. For sure, he felt something. He felt his own guilt because he'd had that masturbation experience with Berchtold in the car.
[00:10:23] Jordan Harbinger: Huh? Okay, well, way to spoil that one.
[00:10:26] Jan Broberg: You know, let's just go for it. Because, I mean, I get asked all the time. How'd you forgive your parents? And I'm like, oh my gosh. I'm so sick of this. I had wonderful parents,
[00:10:36] Jordan Harbinger: Uh-huh.
[00:10:36] Jan Broberg: I had 12 perfect childhood years. I mean, I was never yelled at or spanked or told anything negative about myself. My parents were so complimentary. They were so supportive. And we ate dinner together around our dinner table without any electronics mind you, back in that time. And we talked and our parents listened to us. We had very good communication with our parents. Now, had we had a whole lot of talks about sex or body parts? No, but—
[00:11:02] Jordan Harbinger: You guys were Mormons, not known for the open sex talk at the dinner table. Yeah.
[00:11:07] Jan Broberg: Right. But yet, if we'd have asked a question, our parents would've told us.
[00:11:11] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:11:12] Jan Broberg: It was very middle America. Dad goes to work every day. Mom is a stay-at-home mom. We just had a really wonderful childhood. So when that master manipulator, about two years into the relationship with my parents, and you can watch the series. You'll see exactly how it happened. If you watch the series on Peacock, A Friend of the Family, you can understand it. When you see it in the documentary, it feels like, "Oh my gosh, these parents are so stupid." Well, it's because you're not getting the context.
[00:11:38] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:11:39] Jan Broberg: Watch the series. You'll get the context of how this happens. People do things that they would otherwise never do because somebody is pulling the strings.
[00:11:47] Jordan Harbinger: Well, yeah.
[00:11:47] Jan Broberg: So anyway, they end up in, they go to lunch or a dinner, I think mom and us were out of town. We had gone up to see my grandma. And he says, "Oh, I'm having problems in my marriage which, of course, would had been an ongoing conversation for years and I just am not attracted to her." And anyway, he goes down the whole story and he says, "Just help me out, brother. You know, just help me out, brother." He calls him his brother by this time. They're like brothers. And, you know, unless, a guy has never masturbated before, maybe it's would be shocking that something like this could happen. But I think most people have.
[00:12:23] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:12:23] Jan Broberg: I think most girls have, I think most of us have. So it might feel a little different in hindsight because you're looking at somebody that's in their 30s—
[00:12:32] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:12:32] Jan Broberg: —with a friend instead of in their teens. But looking back on that experience where my dad basically gave him a hand job in the car.
[00:12:40] Jordan Harbinger: Not basically, he gave him a hand job in the car.
[00:12:43] Jan Broberg: Yeah, exactly. I mean, that was it. And when you see that scene with Jake Lacy and Colin Hanks in the Peacock series, you really feel the weight of what my father then carried around because my dad was a very religious man and he knew it was wrong.
[00:13:01] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:13:02] Jan Broberg: And then on top of that, I think that he started to feel like, "I got manipulated. I did something that I would not otherwise have done." And so I think from that point on is kind of my dad just pulling back like, "He spends too much time here. We're with the Berchtolds too much. We need our own space, our own time, our own family." I think it was a combination of guilt—
[00:13:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:13:25] Jan Broberg: —for what he had done. And then, also just maybe it woke something up in him. He didn't think that he was after his daughter.
[00:13:33] Jordan Harbinger: Might've just thought maybe he's gay and he's got a crush on him.
[00:13:36] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[00:13:36] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, if some guy's trying to convince me to jerk him off, I think I might be like, "Wait a minute. Are we just buddies? So what's going on here?
[00:13:42] Jan Broberg: Right. Exactly. And I think that could have been part of it too because he had talked to my dad before that happened about, "You know, wouldn't it be nice just to be bachelors and just let's go get a pad." You know? These are all '70s words.
[00:13:55] Jordan Harbinger: Let's be bachelors and jerk each other off in the car. Like, I thought bachelors meant we play pickleball or something. I don't need this. This has escalated way too quickly for me.
[00:14:03] Jan Broberg: Exactly. I know. And so I get that there's an uproar over that. But I also know the deep shame and guilt—
[00:14:11] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:14:11] Jan Broberg: —that my father felt for not having known more or seen him more in the right light. And I think that that part is really, really hard for me and my sisters.
[00:14:23] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:14:23] Jan Broberg: Because we know the parents that we had. It's hard because when people put the blame there, they take the blame off of the person who was responsible for—
[00:14:31] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:14:32] Jan Broberg: —all of the actions that were wrong, and that's the perpetrator, the predator.
[00:14:35] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:14:36] Jan Broberg: And so to me, he's the only bad guy in my story.
[00:14:38] Jordan Harbinger: Of course. No, of course. I totally understand that. And I think people are blown away by this already. This is the part where they're like, "What the actual is going on here? And it doesn't end there, folks. Not by a long shot.
[00:14:49] Jan Broberg: Oh, no.
[00:14:50] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. So he takes you horseback riding and then he just doesn't take you home but you know it—
[00:14:55] Jan Broberg: Yeah. He drugs me.
[00:14:56] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:14:56] Jan Broberg: Because I'm allergic to horses. Okay. So that was one of the tips that goes back to that vitamin thing.
[00:15:01] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:15:01] Jan Broberg: Okay. So he gave me my thing. It looked just like the thing I've been taking for over a year. And I pop it in my mouth and the next thing I know, I wake up in the back of a moving motor home. I knew it was moving, you could hear the rumble of the motor, but I was strapped by my wrists and my ankles to the back bed, and there was a partition, you couldn't see who was driving and a box with a funny sounding, alien-sounding voice woke me kind of out of that drug-induced sleep.
[00:15:31] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:15:31] Jan Broberg: And it called me, "Female companion, it is time for your mission to begin." And again, people start going, "Oh my gosh, how could she be so stupid?" Well, I was 12 and I was an innocent 12 because I was the oldest. I didn't have older siblings teaching me the ropes. And I was in a very bubble-like community. I mean, it was probably 30 percent Mormon and the rest of my friends, everybody went to church.
[00:15:54] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:15:54] Jan Broberg: That's all I know. I had Presbyterian friends and Methodist friends and Catholic friends and Greek Orthodox friends in little old Idaho.
[00:16:00] Jordan Harbinger: So the voices were coming from what a cassette tape recorder, 20/20 hindsight or some kind of radio?
[00:16:06] Jan Broberg: It looked more like an intercom now that looking back on it.
[00:16:09] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:16:09] Jan Broberg: Because it was just like a little white, boxy thing with speaker, you know, with the little lines.
[00:16:16] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:16:16] Jan Broberg: And a speaker behind it. But yeah, I'm sure that he was playing tapes or something that he had recorded. And back in those three years where he was grooming the family, all of us, he took us to science fiction movies. We were watching I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched and Lost In Space and The Twilight Zone on the weekends. Those were our shows, and we were going to see Planet of the Apes and other science fiction was a huge, it was the beginning of the whole Roswell Swell or it was the middle of that.
[00:16:49] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:16:49] Jan Broberg: And so there was a lot of talk in our newspapers. There would be UFO sightings and they'd had these little black-and-white pictures with this little disc. And he wasn't telling me, but I'm at the kitchen table, mom's doing the dishes over here. Dad's reading the newspaper in the other room and before he gets past the back door in the kitchen, he throws the newspaper on the table in front of me. And Karen and Susan we're sitting there doing our homework. And he is like, "Maryanne, there's been another UFO sighting." You know, he says to my mom, "UFO sighting," he said, "is this the end of times? Is this the gathering of Israel? Is this the time when Jesus is coming again? Is this Armageddon? What is this?" All these, well, he's throwing around words that you hear at church.
[00:17:29] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:17:30] Jan Broberg: And we're nine and seven and five, you know?
[00:17:34] Jordan Harbinger: So you think he's programming you by like walking in and talking around you to say like, "Aaliens, they're real." So you're not like, "What is this crap, this speaker playing?" Now, you're like, "It's the aliens."
[00:17:45] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[00:17:45] Jordan Harbinger: "They're real. And they're talking to me." And what are these alien voices coming out of the intercom? What are they saying?
[00:17:50] Jan Broberg: they're saying, "Female companion, it is time for your mission to begin. You will save our planet." It's like all these things about me being a special child, that I will have a special child, special child will save our planet.
[00:18:04] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:18:04] Jan Broberg: And it's all in this kind of staccato, broken English sort of way that it said in this high pitch sound. Very, very scary. For me, it was the scariest part of the whole thing.
[00:18:13] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:18:13] Jan Broberg: Even being raped by this man hundreds of times wasn't as scary as that voice. I'm not kidding.
[00:18:19] Jordan Harbinger: I'm sure. I mean, you're—
[00:18:20] Jan Broberg: It's terrifying.
[00:18:21] Jordan Harbinger: You're being talked to by aliens and you're 12 years old. 12 going on 10, right? In terms of like emotional maturity.
[00:18:27] Jan Broberg: Exactly, yeah. And physical maturity. I didn't hit puberty until I was 17.
[00:18:31] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, so you were a young 12, so maybe even younger than 10, maybe like going on eight.
[00:18:36] Jan Broberg: Yeah, eight or nine.
[00:18:37] Jordan Harbinger: So he's convinced you what? That you're like a half-alien and that you have to have a baby to save an alien planet.
[00:18:43] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[00:18:43] Jordan Harbinger: Is that the gist of this plot?
[00:18:45] Jan Broberg: Yeah. So basically how that plot twist goes is that my father is not my real father.
[00:18:52] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:18:52] Jan Broberg: He's not my biological father if we were using the right terms today.
[00:18:57] Jordan Harbinger: Interesting little, little wedge that that particular detail drives between you and your dad. Huh?
[00:19:02] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[00:19:02] Jordan Harbinger: That he's not your real bio father.
[00:19:04] Jan Broberg: Exactly.
[00:19:04] Jordan Harbinger: Because he could have chosen your mom, but he didn't. He chose your dad.
[00:19:08] Jan Broberg: No, because he was still grooming my mom. I think he knew my dad was going to, I think he knew he was almost out of, what do you call that?
[00:19:17] Jordan Harbinger: He's on thin ice.
[00:19:18] Jan Broberg: Yeah. He was on thin ice with my dad, and so my mother, whose name happens to be Mary—
[00:19:26] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh, okay.
[00:19:27] Jan Broberg: —is my mother, but fathered by a being from their planet, like their God—
[00:19:34] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:19:35] Jan Broberg: —has fathered this child, me through Mary, my mother. Just look, when you've acted out the Jesus story your whole life at Christmas time, and you know who Mary is and who Joseph is and God the father is, and how Mary got pregnant and had the baby and blah, blah, blah, blah. That's what they do.
[00:19:51] Jordan Harbinger: Right. He followed existing programming that you already had from church and just turned it into creepy alien—
[00:19:55] Jan Broberg: Absolutely.
[00:19:56] Jordan Harbinger: —you know, rape plot.
[00:19:58] Jan Broberg: Yeah. It's called inculcation.
[00:19:59] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:20:00] Jan Broberg: Yeah. You take a familiar thing. I can talk about brainwashing all day long in all the different terms, but that's in simplistic form. You take something very familiar to somebody, anybody, you can do this to adults too, and you twist it just enough, so that it's almost like there's a question mark. Is it, can this be, this could be real, this could be true?
[00:20:18] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:20:18] Jan Broberg: You know, because that little twist plot has a whole body in something that you already know or you already believe and your confirmational biases at work.
[00:20:27] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:20:27] Jan Broberg: All the things that we, you know, that I go around and try to help people understand well.
[00:20:33] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Like, if you take somebody who's never heard the Jesus story and you say, "So yeah, your dad's not your real dad, and then this extraterrestrial being somehow impregnated your mom and had you, and now you're a special half breed." You'd be like, "This makes no sense. You're insane."
[00:20:47] Jan Broberg: Right.
[00:20:47] Jordan Harbinger: But if you believe another version of that same story where everybody has slightly different names and it's for a slightly different reason. You're like, "Oh, this happens in other cases and I just happen to be the chosen one now, which is why I'm a 12-year-old girl in a motor home driving to, what? Mexico with a 40-something-year-old father of five. I mean, that's—
[00:21:08] Jan Broberg: About 40.
[00:21:08] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:21:08] Jan Broberg: Mm-hmm.
[00:21:09] Jordan Harbinger: Yikes. So he takes you to Mexico, somehow. And what's the plan from here?
[00:21:16] Jan Broberg: He wants to get me to South America. This is in hindsight, but the plan is just to do his dirty work as long as he can. I don't know at what point he would've been sick of me because I know there were little girls before me and little girls after me. So I don't think I was going to hold his attention for, you know, much past those years, those tender years.
[00:21:35] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:21:36] Jan Broberg: But he was going to have me for as long as he could. And the interesting thing about me, at least from some of the other girls that I have now met and talked to that were his victims as well, is that he did have some kind of a super fascination with me because he never left me alone my whole life. So this story goes way past the '70s.
[00:21:54] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:21:55] Jan Broberg: And so I look back on that and I think, what was it? Did he just hate my father? Did he just want to continue to torment and torture our family? Anyway, so I think for him it was just to get as far away as he could to have me to himself, leaving his own family or thinking that he would be able to coerce my parents into giving him permission to marry me.
[00:22:15] Jordan Harbinger: Right at age 12. So what is this creepy marriage guardianship idea that he has?
[00:22:20] Jan Broberg: Well, according to him and all of the phone calls that went back to his brother and one to my parents, that got through with me and my sisters. And we have the FBI recordings of those, and some of those are actually in the series on the Peacock. It's the actual voices of all of us.
[00:22:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. We'll link to the series—
[00:22:38] Jan Broberg: Actual recording.
[00:22:39] Jordan Harbinger: —in the show notes. It's on Peacock streaming.
[00:22:41] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[00:22:41] Jordan Harbinger: People can find it if they want to. That's interesting that you have the actual recording. So his plan is to what? Like extort your parents into letting you marry him so that he's not considered to be raping a child because he is legally married to you somehow in Mexico, even though you're 12.
[00:22:58] Jan Broberg: Yes.
[00:22:59] Jordan Harbinger: Is that it?
[00:22:59] Jan Broberg: Yes. That's exactly it. I mean, if you think about it and you put it together and you're like, how could a madman possibly think this could work? But he really, really did think it would work. And he actually had me married to him in Mexico. I was not present.
[00:23:11] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my God.
[00:23:12] Jan Broberg: He paid some people, they had our names. I had a piece of paper. Well, I didn't have it. There was a piece of paper that said we were married. He also did that for me because I knew growing up that, you know, sex was supposed to be special and saved for when you're married.
[00:23:24] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:23:25] Jan Broberg: So, you know, that's what I've been taught. And so I was like, oh, this makes this okay. Oh, okay, okay. We're going to be married. Okay. You know, because again, even though the body and the brain and the mental state of little Jan has not caught up to reality and truth. There are certain things that you know are right or wrong according to your belief system, and then you have this guy who's going to make sure that you're okay with, you know, lay there so I can do my worst.
[00:23:52] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:23:53] Jan Broberg: It's so interesting that there was enough of those kinds of things too, which I think is how predators work. I think that's why it's so often almost impossible to see it because it's somebody that's already close to you, Jordan. It's not somebody that—
[00:24:08] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:24:08] Jan Broberg: —is sort of a friend or maybe an acquaintance. It's somebody in your sphere that's a friend, a family member, a trusted person in your life. And if you are not willing to take your inner eye and go something seems a little off, and then watch and then actually listen to the gut-brain. You know, we got a brain up here. Sometimes it doesn't get to see what's actually happening on some subconscious gut-brain level. And I just, I have to tell people, if you think something's off, something's probably off. Don't dismiss it. Your secondary thought is that's the first kind of thought or the feeling, and then the next thought is, "Well, that's impossible. That guy got teacher of the year," or, "Oh, that's impossible. She's like the best dance teacher in the whole community. She has students on Broadway," or, "Oh, that's impossible. That's Uncle Henry. Everybody loves him."
[00:25:03] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:25:04] Jan Broberg: That's your next thought is to dismiss your gut feeling. Don't do that.
[00:25:08] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:25:08] Jan Broberg: Stop doing that. Don't do that anymore because you have to be able to watch long enough to actually see something that your brain can go, "Oh, that's evidence."
[00:25:19] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm. So he goes, he takes you to Mexico and fake marries you, but then he somehow keeps you fooled, even though he gets arrested by Mexican police. How did he end up getting arrested by Mexican police? How did this whole thing sort of unravel for him in Mexico?
[00:25:36] Jan Broberg: So the FBI is working with, what happens is they find from a phone booth a call that he made to his brother, who was a car salesman and owned a car dealership. He had called his brother and that phone was bugged as well, eventually—
[00:25:53] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:25:53] Jan Broberg: —because that's who he had called a couple of times before. So he put enough coinage in the machine that it can count the coins and that's how they knew geographically where they thought he was in Mexico and what cities. Yeah, even back in the seventies they had some pretty good ways of narrowing things down.
[00:26:14] Jordan Harbinger: What's really interesting about this is the way that they figured this out was some guy who knew the phone system really well, listened to the call and heard how much money he put into the payphone and then listened and said, "That was 48 cents or whatever, 50 cents. So he must be within this circle," because 50 cents gets you another whatever, five minutes, at this particular rate, which gets you to this. And when I was a kid I could do the same thing, not with distance, because I didn't have those maps that the phone guy had, but I could identify the sound that coins made when they went into a payphone if I was listening to the call.
[00:26:48] Jan Broberg: Ah.
[00:26:48] Jordan Harbinger: And it's a really unique skill that you get from messing with the phone system for years at a time and having nothing better to do as I did when I was a kid. But this guy with this sort of kind of dumb skill ended up being the linchpin in finding a missing kid, which is really—
[00:27:03] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[00:27:03] Jordan Harbinger: —really a fascinating thing. So when you put a coin into a payphone, it makes a sound. This guy was able to figure out what quarters, dimes, nickels sounded like, count how many they were, figure out using phone company maps, the distance that that was. And then they pinpointed people that he might know in that distance and figured out who he was calling and where from, which is freaking like so genius.
[00:27:23] Jan Broberg: That's amazing.
[00:27:24] Jordan Harbinger: Really, really amazing.
[00:27:24] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[00:27:25] Jordan Harbinger: He found the payphone that he called from like that is some Matlock level-ish right there.
[00:27:31] Jan Broberg: Right. Yeah. Amazing. Credit to him.
[00:27:35] Jordan Harbinger: So credit to that guy for having like the most useless skill in putting it to action to rescue a missing child. Like he's never used that skill again, that guy.
[00:27:44] Jan Broberg: That's really true. And so that's how they honed in and pretty soon working with the Federales. They knew where the motor home was parked and he had moved around. We had moved deeper into Mexico and one really early in the morning, still dark outside, they just kicked the door down of the motor home and they came in full force. They grabbed him, they grabbed me, put us in this little car. I was sitting in the front seat between two Federales. He's in the back. I can see his eyeballs in the rearview mirror. And I'm like, oh, and I can tell he's trying to tell me something like, "Don't tell, don't tell." And then what happens—
[00:28:21] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:28:22] Jan Broberg: —is before my parents can get on a plane and come to Mexico and get me in those 48 hours or so while I'm in this little room in this Mexican, you know, so one of those old big courtyard and the whole thing, and all the prison cells are kind of down below. He pays a guard off with his wedding ring. And this one guard brings me down to his cell and in the cell of the Mexican prison, he tells me, he says either Zeta and Zethra, the aliens had a name. You always want to personalize those people.
[00:28:53] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:28:53] Jan Broberg: That you're trying to help save their planet, of course. I just want people to know they had a name. "Zeta and Zethra have come to me and have told me here in the cell that we can't talk about these things and if we talk about these things, then they'll vaporize us," which was already a threat.
[00:29:09] Jordan Harbinger: And that's basic. These things are what? The sexual abuse and the fact that he's got this whole stupid plan to have you have his child.
[00:29:15] Jan Broberg: Uh-huh.
[00:29:16] Jordan Harbinger: Alien baby.
[00:29:17] Jan Broberg: Yes. Have this child, the aliens themselves, the alien baby to save their planet, which of course meant the stuff that was happening, like the rape.
[00:29:25] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:29:25] Jan Broberg: All of that without saying those words. And then that we couldn't talk about the relaxing pills, which were just more of my vitamins.
[00:29:31] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:29:32] Jan Broberg: Where I was in and out of drug-induced sleep, a lot of the time I was awake but I take those and that I could not have any relationship with any other males, including my father, that I was to save myself.
[00:29:46] Jordan Harbinger: Which is so weird. That last one is so freaking bizarre.
[00:29:50] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[00:29:50] Jordan Harbinger: Like that's just—
[00:29:51] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[00:29:51] Jordan Harbinger: Hey, I want to make sure that you're still isolated. And I have this last power play, but also mostly like 75 percent of his thing is I don't want to get in trouble for raping this little girl.
[00:30:01] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[00:30:01] Jordan Harbinger: Did he have an excuse that he was planning on telling your parents and the FBI for why he brought you to Mexico? Obviously, you disclosing that he had had sexual intercourse with you would've really been a problem for him, but he must have had some other thing where he can say, "Yeah, we were supposed to go to Mexico, and it's just all fine and cool." I mean, what was his plan?
[00:30:20] Jan Broberg: Oh, he had an answer for everything. His plan was, "If you would've let me marry Jan, then I could have come back to the United States and not have been facing them, throwing me in jail forever. But if I couldn't marry her, then the Mexican police were going to throw me in jail forever. I just had a depressive break and I just kept driving instead of driving home, I drove towards the border and I ended up in Mexico. And she's driving me crazy. Of course, I want to come home. I don't want anything to do with her. And you guys messed it all up—"
[00:30:53] Jordan Harbinger: Oh wow.
[00:30:54] Jan Broberg: "—by calling the police and the FBI." Yeah, blame my parents.
[00:30:57] Jordan Harbinger: So he throws the blame back on your parents for not letting him marry you as an excuse—
[00:31:02] Jan Broberg: Mm-hmm.
[00:31:02] Jordan Harbinger: —to get out of the situation that he put himself in because he supposedly had a depressive break, which caused him to kidnap a 12-year-old girl and drive her to Mexico. This is like the craziest mental gymnastics this guy goes through.
[00:31:16] Jan Broberg: Yeah. And if we think back on the '70s when, you know psychotherapy and therapeutic practice was just beginning.
[00:31:23] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:31:24] Jan Broberg: I mean, there weren't even child abuse laws in the early 1970s. Those were just getting past federally. I mean, you talk about when rights came in the '70s for children, they didn't come until the late '70s where states were adopting, I mean, you couldn't beat your animals, but you could beat your kids and it wasn't a crime. And I still say in 2023, we are still protecting the predator and not the children. It is still a family problem instead of a public problem. This is a criminal problem.
[00:31:55] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:31:56] Jan Broberg: And we are acting as if it's a family problem and we're just going to shut our eyes and just put our head in the sand and just not deal with it. And it just drives me crazy. That's what I'm trying to change.
[00:32:09] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Jan Broberg. We'll be right back.
[00:32:14] This episode is sponsored in part by TextExpander. Do you want to be more productive and save literal hours each month just typing crap? We use a tool every day called TextExpander. I've been using it for years. I can't even remember how I found this thing, but you could save a ton of typing and annoyance and effort by typing out repetitive things like the current date, your email address, your regular address, your phone number, commonly used phrases, catchphrases, sign offs, whatever. I have shortcuts for all that stuff in TextExpander. TextExpander is essentially keyboard shortcuts, but way, way more powerful. You can create dropdown menus, fill in blanks to customize the shortcuts so you can have it be like, "Hey, name, its dates. It's been X weeks since we talked about ABC, whatever." I mean, it's way, way more powerful. A few of you have had your own team implement this after you checked it out and your bosses have been stoked. I've gotten a lot of, rarely do I get fan mail about an ad, and this is one of those times. Our entire team uses it. I use it all the time. It's especially handy if you need to send out mass messages that are customized. Like responding to LinkedIn or social media or anything you do for your business. If you're an e-commerce, I can imagine this is amazing for you. TextExpander is so smart. It'll also suggest snippets that you should create based on things you've typed over and over again. So don't waste time typing out things you've already worded perfectly, whether it's a word or a whole email. Capture the important pieces of your emails, directions, messages, and data so you never have to retype them again. Trust me, you're going to thank me for this one. It works on desktop and it works on mobile.
[00:33:40] Jen Harbinger: It's totally free to try TextExpander. Just go to textexpander.com/jordan and get 20 percent off when you're ready to sign up, text expander.com/jordan.
[00:33:50] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Athletic Greens. Jen and I take AG1 by Athletic Greens every single morning. We add a scoop of AG1 to a bottle of water and shake it up. We started taking AG1, not just because they sent it to us. Some of you smart asses have suggested as much. We just don't have time or always have time to eat a balanced, perfectly nutritious meal. And frankly, some of the stuff I've been eating now that I've had kids is embarrassing. Oh, and many of you have commented that you think it's funny that I ate a meat stick for lunch. Get your mind out of the gutter, folks. That's all I got time for. It's kind of like beef jerky, but fresher. That's all. I walked right into that one. So I'll take my AG1 as a quick and easy way to make sure I'm getting all the nutrients that I need in a way that's easy for my body to absorb. AG1, it's like all-in-one nutritional insurance. Each scoop has 75 vitamins, minerals — now that I think about it, I didn't even know there were 75 vitamins at what shows you what I know — whole food source, superfoods, probiotics, adaptogens, 75 different things. You'd never source that on your own, even if you did. Imagine taking 75 pills. Plus no GMOs, no nasty chemicals, no artificial anything. And remember, everything is a chemical. If you listen to our show with Dave Farina, but there's no nasty ones in here, and it tastes great. I always say it tastes great. It tastes good for a green juice. It's got the slight green flavor. It's good enough that I know that it works, but not bad enough where I'm like, I got to pinch my nose to swallow this. So get that daily nutrition. It's cold and flu season. If you got kids, it's norovirus, icky, everything season, and you're not going to want any part of that. So give your immune system something to work with.
[00:35:18] Jen Harbinger: To make it easy, Athletic Greens is going to give you a free one-year supply of immune-supporting vitamin D and five free travel packs with your first purchase. All you have to do is visit athleticgreens.com/jordan. Again, that's athleticgreens.com/jordan to take ownership over your health and pick up the ultimate daily nutritional insurance.
[00:35:35] Jordan Harbinger: Hey, if you're wondering how I managed to book all these great authors, thinkers, and creators every week, it's because of my network and I'm teaching you how to build your network for free in non-growth, non-schmoozy ways. It's our Six-Minute Networking course over at jordanharbinger.com/course. Yes, the course is all about improving your relationship-building skills, but it's non-cringe. It's down to earth. It's not awkward. It's not going to make you look schmoozy and social climber. It's there to make you a better connector, a better colleague, a better friend, a better peer. Just takes a few minutes and many of the guests on the show subscribe and contribute to the course. So come join us, you'll be in smart company. You can find the course at jordanharbinger.com/course. And again, it's free and it's going to stay that way.
[00:36:16] Now back to Jan Broberg.
[00:36:20] What is this guy's wife thinking the whole time? You know, your guys are all family friends, his wife and your mom, she must have been like, "I'm really sorry. My husband is completely insane. He kidnapped your daughter?" Or what happened? What was her reaction to this?
[00:36:33] Jan Broberg: Well, a lot of her reaction was she was also our best friend and had five children by this man.
[00:36:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:36:40] Jan Broberg: And as a stay-at-home mom has no career. So I believe that a lot of her, you know, she was still at our house all during the kidnapping and the kids were, they were our best friends. Not just mine, but my two sisters.
[00:36:55] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my God.
[00:36:55] Jan Broberg: So the kids are coming over and they're riding bikes and they're playing with my sisters because we're best friends. And Gail's like, "You know, Bob, he's so gregarious, he probably just—" and she's the one that explained that Bob had been being treated for depression, which was a brand new word to everybody too. They're like, "Well, what is it?" "It's called manic depression." And my mom's like, "Well, what's manic depression?" "Well, you're really high. You know how Bob can be like the life of the party, and you're like that. And then he can just drop down where he's just like, in this terrible state." And then, she told my mom and dad about them trying to adopt this little girl out of Mexico and that he was so devastated when they went there. And mind you, people that are in our documentary are people that wrote them letters of recommendation to adopt a little 10-year-old girl from Mexico.
[00:37:47] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:37:48] Jan Broberg: So now, Gail's talking about that, about, "You know, he was just so devastated when we got there and the mother just wouldn't let her go, the little girl, even though she was in abject poverty and we wanted to give her a nice home." So I don't think Gail knew, but I think she had a sense of something about how he had always wanted to have," and they did have a little girl, their last child was a little girl.
[00:38:14] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:38:14] Jan Broberg: Out of the five children.
[00:38:15] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my God.
[00:38:15] Jan Broberg: She was just a little two-year-old at this time, a baby when they moved in, and two or three by this time. So, you know, reiterating these stories about his depression and how much he loved children and wanted to take care of, you know? Like, he took care of his little sister on the farm and his stepdad made him sleep in the barn unless he was taking care of his little sister and then he could sleep in the house. And it's that ball of yarn that's just all tied into some kind of, "Oh, so depressed. And why would he do that? Don't call the police. Please don't call them. Please don't cause a big fuss."
[00:38:52] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:38:52] Jan Broberg: "You know, he'll just be back and laughing his head off. Oh, you know, I just thought I'd trick you all. You know?"
[00:38:58] Jordan Harbinger: Just kidnapped your daughter to Mexico. It's just a big gag.
[00:39:01] Jan Broberg: Yeah. To her, it's not kidnapping at all.
[00:39:04] Jordan Harbinger: Crazy. And then, he somehow convinces your family in signing an affidavit saying, okay, Jan was unharmed. He had permission to take you to Mexico. Dropped the prosecution.
[00:39:16] Jan Broberg: Mm-hmm.
[00:39:18] Jordan Harbinger: And the FBI and the prosecutor are like, "What the hell are you doing signing this?"
[00:39:23] Jan Broberg: Yes. Yes. More or less you got that right. And so, the way it really happened was his attorney drew up these papers, called my parents on the phone. Now mind you, my parents don't have an attorney.
[00:39:35] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:39:36] Jan Broberg: This happens by the state or the federal government.
[00:39:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Your parents don't press charges. The state presses charges. Yeah.
[00:39:42] Jan Broberg: That's right. So, the state is going to press charges and then there's going to be a messy trial. So this attorney for Berchtold calls and she's a friend. She's bought flowers that my dad's store. She's our neighbor. She also just lives a few blocks away from us. You know, my dad was a very, very loved and respected businessman in Pocatello. Had a flower shop. He was there for the weddings and there for the funerals. He knew people. He had been, you know, so he knew her.
[00:40:12] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:40:12] Jan Broberg: And they go down to her office, they don't know they shouldn't go. They don't have anybody advising them.
[00:40:17] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:40:18] Jan Broberg: They've never been in trouble. They've never had a speeding ticket. They've never been in a courtroom or they've never had an attorney for any reason, except some friends, you know? So they go down to talk to her because she's going to, she's going to, has a solution so we don't have to have a messy trial. And she shows them these papers and they're both like, "Well, it's not true. I mean, we didn't give him permission to take Jan to Mexico." "We don't think he hurt her," she said, "You know, we've had her checked out by a doctor. And the doctor says she looks okay." Of course, they don't have all the cool toys doctors that have today. They don't have—
[00:40:52] Jordan Harbinger: Right, well, they don't have rape kits. Right? They're just, "She didn't have bruises on her face, so she's fine," that kind of thing.
[00:40:59] Jan Broberg: Yes, exactly. That's exactly right. And then she says, "So if you don't sign these papers that say that you gave him permission. He's your dear friend. You don't think anything happened, you don't think he would've hurt her," which is true. They didn't think that. She said, "Then, we're going to have to bring out the part that your unfit parents and that Bob had a sexual experience with Berchtold, with B. And we're going to bring all of this out and we're going to have to tell the press all these things about what terrible parents you are."
[00:41:29] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:41:29] Jan Broberg: And my mom and dad are just sitting there. You know, my mom's kind of looking at my dad, who's never really told her explicitly what happened with Berchtold in the car, just said, "Oh, you know, it was kid stuff. And I went and repented and I'll never forgive myself, but don't, it's over. It was one time, Maryanne."
[00:41:48] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:41:48] Jan Broberg: Or two times, I don't know what it was, but doesn't matter. He knew how to manipulate them even when he wasn't in the room. And so that attorney tried to get them to sign by threatening them, and they did sign those papers. And then, of course, everybody, Pete Welsh and all the state, everybody's like you, "Why did you do that?" So then they retracted their signatures. This is the part that is not in the documentary. It is in the series and it's in the book, right? But it's not in the documentary that went viral. So people don't know that they actually, three days later, there's a newspaper article in the paper that retracts what the article in the paper had been a few days earlier that, "Oh, Broberg said that he didn't hurt her and that he had their permission." Three days later, there's an article that says they've retracted those statements. They said they were coerced to sign those papers. The trial is going to go forward. So that's how the whole story goes.
[00:42:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. What's wild to me is the predator later gets back in the good graces of the family. And the way that he does this is, and I'm trying not to be judgey here because you've had enough of that in your life.
[00:42:52] Jan Broberg: But not of my dad.
[00:42:53] Jordan Harbinger: No, not of your dad.
[00:42:53] Jan Broberg: He never is in the good graces of my dad. He's never let him back in my house.
[00:42:56] Jordan Harbinger: The second hand job was the final straw. I say that with love because your parents do seem like lovely people, which was kind of their downfall, right? Because they were so nice that they just—
[00:43:08] Jan Broberg: They are.
[00:43:08] Jordan Harbinger: It was like they were so understanding that their brain kind of fell out of their head when it comes to this particular situation.
[00:43:15] Jan Broberg: Yeah. Like a lot of people who have been groomed and it's somebody in their family. That's why most people who have a predator that's a close, close friend or a family member—
[00:43:23] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:43:23] Jan Broberg: —never get prosecuted. They never go to jail.
[00:43:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:43:26] Jan Broberg: They just keep showing up with a potato salad at your family reunion.
[00:43:29] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Well, it makes—
[00:43:30] Jan Broberg: It's so tricky.
[00:43:30] Jordan Harbinger: Because it's so tricky. Yeah. Right. Like it's either, well, you're going to cause a huge stink in the family, or Aunt Edna is going to be mad when you throw her kid in jail and that's going to be a whole thing or—
[00:43:39] Jan Broberg: Yep.
[00:43:39] Jordan Harbinger: —it's going to be, how did you let this guy do all of this over such a long time to your daughter? This is your situation. How did you let this guy do so many bad things to your family? And the answer is, well, because we would look like idiots if we put a stop to it. Yeah, but how you look like now? Yeah. Well, 20/20 hindsight now we realize we were wrong, but it's too late.
[00:43:58] So he gets back in the good graces of your mom and he even tells your mom, and this is so manipulative that it makes me just want to scream. He tells your mom, "Oh, I really wanted to be with you. I took Jan instead because you're such a good wife. You're too faithful to your husband." It's just an insane thing to say, literally insane. But he's playing—
[00:44:17] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[00:44:17] Jordan Harbinger: —to your mother's emotions, to her insecurities, to the fact that their relationship was a little bit rocky. And your mom's all like, "Oh, he really loved me. That's why he did all this." And it's like, ugh. He's manipulating you. Like you just want to tear your hair out when you hear and see this in the series, in the book.
[00:44:34] Jan Broberg: Right. And he set that up for those three years before he ever took me. He's telling mom, "Oh my gosh. Maryanne your legs. Oh my gosh. Maryanne this dinner. Oh my goodness, Maryanne." Of course, you know, basically for the most part in private moments when he comes to pick us all up for school, because—
[00:44:50] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:44:50] Jan Broberg: —he's on his way to the furniture store. The school is right on the way. So his kids are in the car. We jump in his car. He'd been doing that for years.
[00:44:59] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:44:59] Jan Broberg: And my dad's gone to work. My dad makes us mush on toast and then leaves and goes to work earlier than our school time, and so he's gone. So Berchtold has this opportunity to walk in the back door and say, "It's a great day. Get in the car, girls. Let's get to school," and just say something to my mom—
[00:45:15] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:45:15] Jan Broberg: —in private while she's cleaning up breakfast. He just had that in spades. Many other people around our community were like, "Well, he's so handsome and he's so nice, and oh, he came over and did this for me. Oh, he came over and painted my fence. Oh, he came over and did fix my car. Oh, he came over and brought us some furniture at wholesale." We weren't the only people that he did these kinds of things for. He looked like a good guy. And all the while he's planting these little, these little attractions, these little flirtations. So, yeah.
[00:45:46] Jordan Harbinger: Interesting. Well, he switches to trying to convince your mom that she was the one he wanted the whole time. And then—
[00:45:52] Jan Broberg: Oh yeah.
[00:45:52] Jordan Harbinger: —taking you was some big plan to get closer to her. I mean he's such a manipulator, but also, he kind of had easy willing victims that were naive to the point of what now would look like to the rest of us, like negligence. Right?
[00:46:06] Jan Broberg: Yeah. I can see how people would feel that way. I can understand it, but what I really wish people could do is go, "What is the one thing in my life that I've done in secret that I wish I hadn't done? How did I get there?" And then retract all the steps—
[00:46:24] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:46:24] Jan Broberg: —before they actually did that.
[00:46:25] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:46:25] Jan Broberg: Most people don't pull the trigger on idea number one on day one of that one flirtation or attraction.
[00:46:35] Jordan Harbinger: A friend of mine who used to—
[00:46:37] Jan Broberg: Mm-hmm.
[00:46:37] Jordan Harbinger: —frankly do heroin, said, "You don't start with heroin, man." And I'm like, oh, that's a good point.
[00:46:42] Jan Broberg: Right.
[00:46:42] Jordan Harbinger: You just, you don't start with heroin generally. You start with something else or meth.
[00:46:46] Jan Broberg: That's right.
[00:46:46] Jordan Harbinger: Right. You work your way up the ladder. And so in this weird, ironic twist, your mom ends up speaking to the predator and spending the night with him in the same motor home where he had kidnapped you and tied you to the bed, which is so just poetically gross in so many ways.
[00:47:03] Jan Broberg: Yeah, it is.
[00:47:04] Jordan Harbinger: And the predator's wife and I'm not going to call him Bob because he's a garbage person. He doesn't deserve a name. The Predator's Wife — and because he is the same name as somebody is your dad. So it's confusing. But the Predator's wife—
[00:47:16] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[00:47:16] Jordan Harbinger: —keeps inviting the kids over for overnight visits and pursuing the friendship. These people seem absolutely shameless and continue to be manipulative. And frankly, Gail, the wife, right? She just seems like an accomplice. I think, nowadays we would look at somebody like her and we would say that. "You are not only negligent or grossy and negligent. You are an accessory to this. You're an accomplice to this." I do fault her for that. However, you kind of can't decide if she's bad, right? You know, her actions are bad, but you're like, does she just want to pretend her husband is not a sexually deranged predator who's going after their friends and her friend's kids? And so she's acting as if nothing is wrong as opposed to being a willing, malignant, accomplice accessory to this. Does that distinction make sense? Because she seems like a person who just wants to bury it her head in the sand, even though this is also horrible, versus being like, oh, raping kids is okay.
[00:48:09] Jan Broberg: Yeah, and I think you have to also, I think that distinction is very good, and I think it's very apropo to so many people today who—
[00:48:18] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:48:18] Jan Broberg: —are living with a predator. And on some level they know it, and on another level they cannot see it because they cannot let it be true.
[00:48:25] Jordan Harbinger: Right. It would undo their whole life.
[00:48:27] Jan Broberg: It would undo their whole life. And what would I do next? How would I make a living? I mean, I interview on my own podcast show survivors—
[00:48:36] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:48:36] Jan Broberg: —of sexual assault, and it's almost always, if it was somebody in their home, it's because their mother basically said, "Well, I need him. I'm sorry, your stepfather's doing this," or "You'll get over it."
[00:48:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:48:47] Jan Broberg: Or, "You'll get through it. I need him." Or if they know, and then, more common than that is, , "Well, I think you've made something up, honey. Oh, there's blood on your panties. Where did that come from?" "Well, you know, blah, blah, blah," and, "Oh, honey, I think you've got that mixed up."
[00:49:03] Jordan Harbinger: They're gaslighting.
[00:49:04] Jan Broberg: Or, "We don't talk like that. We don't talk about things like that." You know, like they're on their high horse of their righteousness or whatever. Like, "That can't be possible because you know, this is my father, this is your grandpa. Don't say things like that."
[00:49:17] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:49:17] Jan Broberg: And it's real. It's true. The child is being, being molested or raped and people, they will not see it because they can't. It's too awful. Can you imagine if it's your father? Can you imagine if it's your brother?
[00:49:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:49:29] Jan Broberg: You have to take your closest people and go, "How hard would it be for me to believe it? How hard would it be for me to actually wrap my head around it?" And I think that was the case. And first of all, you have a doctor saying nothing happened. You have Jan who's saying nothing happened. Like, nothing like that.
[00:49:47] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:49:47] Jan Broberg: Gross. No, of course not, because of course I have the mission.
[00:49:50] Jordan Harbinger: The aliens.
[00:49:51] Jan Broberg: Still, I'm being watched by the aliens. They're still there. So you have all these people around you, I mean, we're all protecting the predator—
[00:49:59] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:50:00] Jan Broberg: —on some level.
[00:50:01] Jordan Harbinger: It's so crazy how he set that up. You're all protecting him. And the FBI's like, "Let us arrest this guy." You're like, no.
[00:50:06] Jan Broberg: Right.
[00:50:07] Jordan Harbinger: And all the while he's sneaking into your room at night, which is so brazen.
[00:50:11] Jan Broberg: Yep.
[00:50:12] Jordan Harbinger: And playing the alien voice intercom tape thing.
[00:50:15] Jan Broberg: Yep.
[00:50:15] Jordan Harbinger: And telling you to call and meet him. I mean, he just has no fear of consequences from the sound of it.
[00:50:21] Jan Broberg: Yep. That's exactly right. All through this next year and a half, I'm home. I mean, it's just a constant, I get a note from somebody at school that I don't know, and it says, "Go to center street, to the phone booth right there," and I ride my bike after school. I mean, I'm not even driving a car.
[00:50:38] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:50:38] Jan Broberg: I mean, I'm only—
[00:50:38] Jordan Harbinger: You're 12.
[00:50:39] Jan Broberg: I'm still 12 . I'm 12 and 13.
[00:50:42] Jordan Harbinger: It's so, it's so fucked up, Jan.
[00:50:45] Jan Broberg: Yeah, it really is. And I'll tell you what, that's why that's the most common age of abuse and rape of children is age nine to about age 13 or 14. If you knew the numbers, you would just want to go throw up immediately in your toilet. It is so insane by an older—
[00:51:03] Jordan Harbinger: Ugh.
[00:51:03] Jan Broberg: —maybe a 20-something, you know, or even in 18, 19, 20, but clear up into the '70s and '80s. I mean, most perpetrators, pedophiles who are criminals, and I know not all act on it, but those that are, they say that they offend between 30 and 70 children over the course of their life.
[00:51:24] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my God, that's such a high number.
[00:51:26] Jan Broberg: That's—
[00:51:26] Jordan Harbinger: Holy sh*t.
[00:51:27] Jan Broberg: —an FBI statistic.
[00:51:28] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my God.
[00:51:29] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[00:51:29] Jordan Harbinger: That's awful. I did not know that. That's so awful.
[00:51:32] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[00:51:32] Jordan Harbinger: I really, I had never thought about the same predator going after that many kids. I thought it would just be like the one they have access to in their house or next door.
[00:51:41] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[00:51:42] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my gosh. That's really—
[00:51:43] Jan Broberg: No.
[00:51:43] Jordan Harbinger: That's going to be pure nightmare. The fact that people like this exist at all is terrifying. Really, it is.
[00:51:49] Jan Broberg: It is. It truly is.
[00:51:52] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. So the alien voice is now telling you that if the predator goes to jail, then you are going to get assigned another male companion who's basically, the aliens say, "Hey, if predator goes to jail, another guy's going to start raping you that you don't even know."
[00:52:06] Jan Broberg: That's right.
[00:52:07] Jordan Harbinger: And that's scarier than this guy because you trust him and you like him.
[00:52:11] Jan Broberg: Yeah, he's like my favorite uncle. But now, over this period of this year and a half between, you know, after the first kidnapping. Now, all of the things that he's implanted during those 45 days I was missing, and then the jail cell and then all of that. Like, I'm supposed to be in love with him. I'm supposed to be married to him. I'm supposed to because there's this mission, but it's also that psychological thing that's happening in a little tween brain, which is why that age group is so at risk.
[00:52:43] Jordan Harbinger: Well, you just don't have a blueprint for being like, "Oh, this is fucking crazy and makes no sense and—
[00:52:49] Jan Broberg: No.
[00:52:49] Jordan Harbinger: "—I'm being manipulated." You're like, "Oh, I guess this is what love and relationships are, because this is my first one."
[00:52:54] Jan Broberg: Exactly. That's exactly right. That's that tender thing that they screw with.
[00:53:00] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:53:01] Jan Broberg: Literally, that messes with you in so many ways for the rest of your life, and you work hard at it. And that's my whole thing. You can move forward.
[00:53:09] Jordan Harbinger: I can only imagine like your patterns for adult relationships had to have been super, super screwed up as a result of this. Right?
[00:53:15] Jan Broberg: Yeah, they were. I was married four times. They were screwed up. Yes.
[00:53:18] Jordan Harbinger: Oh gosh.
[00:53:19] Jan Broberg: Definitely. Yeah.
[00:53:21] Jordan Harbinger: The divide and conquer routine, we didn't really talk about this, but your mom is taking you to meet him and your mom's essentially working with him against the wishes of your dad. And the divide and conquer routine was so effective. And it looks like, from my perspective, and it looks like also you would agree with this, just based on what you wrote in the book, this guy had the affair with your mom and did the weird stuff with your dad simply to get leverage over each of your parents and drive wedges between everyone in the family. Right? Like he didn't love your mom, he just wanted her to have an affair with him so he could be like, "Don't make me tell everyone that you slept with me in the motor home, because—"
[00:53:54] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[00:53:54] Jordan Harbinger: "—everyone at church will find out and—"
[00:53:55] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[00:53:55] Jordan Harbinger: "—your reputation's screwed." Like it was just leverage with this guy.
[00:53:59] Jan Broberg: It totally was, it was so calculated and so absolutely premeditated. And when you really look at that and the blackmail that he then used that.
[00:54:09] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:54:11] Jan Broberg: It really is just incredibly criminal of any person to do things like this. And then at the same time, to already be grooming the next victim.
[00:54:20] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:54:21] Jan Broberg: To already be grooming the next woman and her daughter at the end of this year and a half in between the two kidnappings, going back in time now and seeing all of the other reports of other girls—
[00:54:32] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:54:32] Jan Broberg: —and other things that came out after me. And you look at the timeline now and you're like, how did he juggle it all?
[00:54:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Yeah. Full-time job. The amount of crazy that this is, it really does boggle the mind because you mentioned he builds this game center—
[00:54:47] Jan Broberg: Mm-hmm.
[00:54:47] Jordan Harbinger: —and invites you to take a job there over the summer and you think the parents are like, "Of course, you're not going," which is the first reaction, but—
[00:54:55] Jan Broberg: Right. Of course. And my dad is constantly at odds with me and I'm having no relationship with him. We went from this loving relationship to like, "I wouldn't even let him hug me or touch me," or—
[00:55:05] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:55:06] Jan Broberg: —anything. And I'm always in a fight because I'm always trying to stage that. "I'm an adult and I'm independent and I want to be with Berchtold, and this is who I'm going to go and I'm going to be with." And my dad is like, "You're 13." So now, I'm 13. "And you're not doing any of these things." And now, Berchtold and his wife have separated. They've moved away from Pocatello. Now, they live in a different—
[00:55:29] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:55:29] Jan Broberg: They live in Utah instead of Idaho. And now, they've separated and now he goes up to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and builds this fun center and invites me. Now, I'm turning 14. So now it's been almost a year and a half, two years almost.
[00:55:43] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:55:43] Jan Broberg: So I go up there. He sends me the money, he gets me a ticket, basically. He gives me a wat of cash. I take a taxi to the airport. My mom and dad are like, "You're not going, you can't go work there. You can't be around him. He's forbidden from being around you. He can't even be in the same county as you." They have no idea that he's been in my bedroom. That all happened. He hasn't served his time in jail. He's now finally been through the process that he actually is going to go serve his big 15 days in jail.
[00:56:14] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:56:14] Jan Broberg: You know, which makes you crazy too.
[00:56:16] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. He got 15 days in jail. I didn't mention that. That was crazy. I mean, they must have just looked at this kind of child predatory behavior in a totally different way in the '70s.
[00:56:25] Jan Broberg: Oh, definitely. Again, like I said, there were just barely any child abuse laws, period. So they're just grappling with, well, did they let her go or, well, I don't know. Maybe she is in love with him. I don't know what they, I don't know what the judge was thinking, but for time served and blah, blah, blah, it went from a five-year sentence down to 15 days. Okay. So, but he hasn't done that yet. He hasn't gone to serve that time yet. That's coming up in September.
[00:56:50] I fly up there, my mother raced to the airport behind me. My little sister had broken her arm. Karen's like, "She went in a taxi. I don't know it honked and she ran and she left." And I'd wrapped up my sister's little broken arm in a dish towel. And then, my mom is like, "Get in the car and she races to the airport. And I'm already in the tiny little, you know, it's a tiny little airport and there's no rules back then.
[00:57:16] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:57:17] Jan Broberg: And she's running, she's trying to grab me. I've already gone through the door. I just hold up the money. I'm like, "I can do whatever I want. I'm going. Yes, I can." And I've already gone through the thing. I've given my ticket and I've gone through the little door and then you have to walk down on the tarmac to go onto the little plane. I mean it's a tiny airport in Pocatello, Idaho. And I get on the plane and I fly to Jackson Hole and he's not there to pick me up. Somebody else from the fun center picks me up. So I think he was there in the airport and I think he was watching to make sure I got on that plane. And then, he raced back in his own car.
[00:57:52] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my God.
[00:57:53] Jan Broberg: And so I met the fun center for a few days. Of course, my parents are calling an attorney. Anyway, his attorney or somebody, it was a different person, but has called him and said, "You have got to get her home because now you're going to violate your parole and you're going to get sent to jail for five years instead of 15 days. Get her home." So I have my birthday and that's the very last day of July. And then he takes me all the rest of the way home. There's a whole party with his family and the whole thing. He has them all there, all the family, you know, all my friends, you know, his oldest son who I have a crush on still. Even though I'm being raped by his father, I'm still crushing on his oldest son and his wife, everybody is having a birthday party for Jan.
[00:58:35] And then he takes me home to Pocatello and he drops me off with a new sewing machine and all these gifts and my dad meets him and it was painful anyway. And so I get in the parking lot of the mini dome, the big football stadium in Pocatello at ISU, Idaho State University. That's where they meet. And Berchtold gets all the stuff out of the car. And as my dad gets out to take it, he is like, "You can't keep this stuff," and he takes off.
[00:59:01] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:59:02] Jan Broberg: And he leaves and I'm like, "Yes, I can. It's all mine." I just, I'm a bratty 14-year-old, and then literally two weeks later I crawl out my bedroom window. I stage a huge fight with my parents. I pack a backpack. I tell them I'm running away because I can't. I write the letter exactly as it was dictated to me by Berchtold. I write it in my handwriting. It doesn't sound like me. I misspell words. I write it exactly, I copied it basically.
[00:59:27] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:59:27] Jan Broberg: And I'm a straight-A student. I don't misspell words. And I leave it and I leave the backpack. I packed it as if I was going to take it with me. And then, I crawl out my bedroom window and he's right there on my street in a car. And he takes me a second time right there to help me out my window and he has the car parked and we drive in the dark down the street. I remember that there were no headlights on the car. And he takes me to California and he puts me with a family that he's convinced or that he knew. Maybe, he knew as a good guy. I don't know if he knew them or found them through the Catholic girls' school that he enrolled me in. But school hadn't started yet. And so I stayed with his family for the first maybe 10 days, maybe 15, maybe two weeks. And that was when he went back to serve his sentence of 15 days in jail. And he's already kidnapped me the second time and leaves me with a family who they think he's a CIA agent.
[01:00:23] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:00:23] Jan Broberg: My mother's been killed in Lebanon, the whole thing. He's such a master of disguise.
[01:00:29] Jordan Harbinger: He enrolls you in this private Catholic boarding school to hide you. And he tells the boarding school this ridiculous story about him being a CIA agent, your mom getting killed in Lebanon. The fact that people believed what Berchtold, what the predator said. Like, oh, okay, well that sounds pretty dire CIA agent, who's definitely not kidnapping a girl and bring her to another place. "We'll take care of this girl," without asking any questions. It's just people just believe whatever crap came out of this guy's house. If somebody tells you now in 2023, you would immediately call the police, pin the guy down in your office, and these morons just believe everything that comes up. You'd be like, "This guy is a little girl. He says he's a CIA agent, that their mom was killed in Lebanon. Come down here. He's obviously mentally ill and we don't know where he got the girl." Right? That's what your reaction would be now. And back then, they're like, "Oh, we'll hide this child for you."
[01:01:18] Jan Broberg: Yeah. Except that he had papers that I was Jan. That I was Janis—
[01:01:22] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[01:01:22] Jan Broberg: —Tobler. He had a birth certificate made. He was this guy Tobler. I mean, he did all the stuff. I mean, he did make the driver's license and do the birth certificate and all the things to enroll her in school. And then, of course, Jan is an actress. That's what I've been doing since I was six. I can act like my mother died in Lebanon and like I'm a Catholic. I'll learn the prayers.
[01:01:48] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:01:48] Jan Broberg: I'll learn the rosary. I did it in a day because I'm on both levels. One, I'm scared to death, but I'm also important. I have a mission. We have to have this baby. We have to save a dying planet.
[01:02:03] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:02:03] Jan Broberg: You know, I might have been naive and my parents might have been naive, but we weren't stupid people. We were just unaware that anything like this, and I think those nuns at the Catholic girls' school were totally unaware that somebody could—
[01:02:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:02:17] Jan Broberg: —do something.
[01:02:18] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It was like outside.
[01:02:19] Jan Broberg: He looked like my father.
[01:02:20] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:02:21] Jan Broberg: He looked like a CIA agent. He'd get on, "Sorry, I've got to go make a phone call. I got to call Jerry back." You know, Jerry Ford.
[01:02:28] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:02:28] Jan Broberg: You know, I mean, that's the kind of thing. It really is the fodder of great movie-making, but my story is all real. It's all true.
[01:02:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:02:36] Jan Broberg: It's like this guy took everything to the nth degree in manipulation and brainwashing techniques and skills. And I've studied a lot of different ways that people are brainwashed and partly as if you can isolate someone and control their food and their water, and when they can go to the bathroom, you can pretty much convince them of anything with the right mechanism.
[01:03:01] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:03:01] Jan Broberg: You can, you can change a person's way of thinking quickly. You really can.
[01:03:07] Jordan Harbinger: And sympathetic investigators, they get a hold of the predator's phone book or his phone bill somehow thru shady means, right? And they realize he's getting collect calls from different payphones in a certain area and they triangulate the schools in that area, which is also quite brilliant, honestly. And they figure out where you are. I would imagine the school's reaction was quite intense—
[01:03:29] Jan Broberg: Yes.
[01:03:29] Jordan Harbinger: —when the FBI or the investigators came and said, "Do you have this girl who's been kidnapped? They must have been like, "Oh my God, we've helped this guy do this."
[01:03:37] Jan Broberg: Yeah. Yeah. In fact, a couple of the sisters, the nuns came in the next trial that happens after this. I was there in the school for almost three months. I was missing in early August until Thanksgiving. It was right around that time, which is exactly the same time period that I was missing two years earlier.
[01:03:56] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:03:57] Jan Broberg: So this is like with a two-year span in between. And those nuns came and testified, but it took three visits from law enforcement and a private investigator and then the FBI, for them to believe that they were the real people, not him. Because that's like that first teacher. You always hear that, be the first teacher for your kids.
[01:04:18] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:04:18] Jan Broberg: You want them to learn about sex from you because if they learn it from somebody else, they'll learn it whatever way is taught to them first. Like that's the real way.
[01:04:25] Jordan Harbinger: It's like a first impression of any kind, right?
[01:04:28] Jan Broberg: The first impression. And they totally thought that, what he had told them is that, "People might come and looking for my daughter."
[01:04:34] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:04:35] Jan Broberg: "But they're pretending to be the police or whatever. Because if they can get ahold of her and torture her, then they know they can get to me because I would never let anything happen to her. So just call me immediately if anyone comes looking for her because I'm high level."
[01:04:48] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:04:50] Jan Broberg: And so it took three times that they actually had to come before they had all the newspaper articles. I mean, I've been in every newspaper. It's not like we have the Internet, but we had the newspapers across the country looking for me the first time in his face and my face, or in these newspapers and they're like, "Okay, yeah, that little girl is here, but her name is Janis Tobler, not Jan Broberg."
[01:05:11] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:05:12] Jan Broberg: And that's how it happened and unfolded. And yes, I was taken home after. And again, I didn't talk to my parents at all for days and weeks and months. It was the worst time for my mom and dad after the second time.
[01:05:27] Jordan Harbinger: This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Jan Broberg. We'll be right back.
[01:05:32] This episode is sponsored in part by Peloton. Trying a new workout is like learning a new skill. It can be overwhelming, and the uncertainty can be a major barrier to actually getting started. Peloton's approach to convenience is very helpful for people who are looking to take on a new fitness skill or routine. Everything is designed to be as simple and streamlined as possible from the easy-to-use touchscreen interface to the wide range of class options and personalized recommendations. You can access a variety of live and on-demand classes, including cycling, running strength. Now, there's an incredible rower, which I really enjoy, all from the comfort of your own home. Rowing is great as a full-body workout, which means you'll be engaging multiple muscle groups at once, including your legs, core, arms, and back. This will help you burn more calories. Of course, it'll help you build more strength especially, and improve your overall fitness. Correct rowing form isn't intuitive. At least, it certainly wasn't for me, and doing it correctly is harder than it sounds, especially once you start getting tired because of course your form always breaks down when you get tired. Form Assist shows you a figure of yourself as you row, and when you screw up a portion of the body, your body turns red. That's a good way to avoid getting super, super injured or tweaking something and not being able to work out, which stops a lot of people who are diving in either for the first time or getting back into it after a long time. So try Peloton Row risk-free with a 30-day home trial. New members only. Not available in remote locations. See additional terms at onepeloton.com/home-trial.
[01:06:57] This episode is sponsored in part by the podcast Deep Questions with Cal Newport. If his name sounds familiar, it's because you might have heard one of my multiple interviews with Cal right here on my own show episodes 503 and 159. Cal is an MIT-trained computer scientist and the New York Times bestselling author of books such as Deep Work and Digital Minimalism. On Deep Questions, he explains queries from his listeners relating to the struggle to live and work deeply in an increasingly distracted world. He's a freaking brilliant dude by the way. These include practical issues such as taming out of control, email at work, or social media addiction at home. They also include more philosophical takes on how to fulfill the latent desire to live a deep life. A recent favorite episode of mine was episode 232, where a Cal tackled the question of why lumberjacks are happier than lawyers — no surprise there — and what this teaches us about crafting a satisfying career. Bottom line, if you struggle with distraction and overload and you're looking for advice on how to achieve a deeper alternative, you need to listen to Deep Questions. New episodes released every Monday. Search for them on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcast.
[01:07:59] This episode is also sponsored by US Bank. Let this be your reminder to take your PTO and use it on a fun trip. Travel lovers meet the US Bank Altitude Connect Visa signature card. With this credit card, you'll get four times points on travel, including gas and EV charging stations, and five times points on prepaid hotels and car rentals when you book directly through the Altitude Rewards Center. And no matter where in the world you are, you'll get two times points on groceries, dining, and streaming with a $30 annual credit for streaming services too. Visit usbank.com/altitudeconnect to apply and learn how you can earn 50,000 bonus points. You deserve a credit card with more and more travel rewards. Apply to become an Altitude Connect cardholder at usbank.com/altitudeconnect. Limited time offer. The creditor and issuer of this card is US Bank National Association. Pursuant to a license from Visa USA Inc. Some restrictions may apply.
[01:08:45] If you'll like this episode of the show, I invite you to do what other smart and considerate listeners do, which is take a moment and support our sponsors. All of the deals, all the discount codes, all the ways to support the show are at jordanharbinger.com/deals. You can also search for any sponsor using the AI chatbot on the website at jordanharbinger.com. Thank you so much for supporting those who support the show.
[01:09:05] Now for the rest of my conversation with Jan Broberg.
[01:09:09] The letters he's writing to you at this point are so creepy. I mean, it's something adults write to each other, not a 50-year-old man and a 13-year-old girl, or 40 whatever year old.
[01:09:18] Jan Broberg: Right.
[01:09:18] Jordan Harbinger: It's just so bizarre.
[01:09:20] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[01:09:20] Jordan Harbinger: And of course, he ends up arrested and your family business burns down, which is, you know, not a coincidence. So this psychopath, which really, what is what he is, I mean, he's just a very focused—
[01:09:32] Jan Broberg: Yes.
[01:09:33] Jordan Harbinger: —predator, psychopath, pedophile.
[01:09:36] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[01:09:36] Jordan Harbinger: He's really intent on hurting your family as much as possible.
[01:09:39] Jan Broberg: Yeah, it's true. So he pays two guys that he's in the holding cell, basically a holding cell with two arsonists that are in for arson. This is early on within months of me coming home in late November. This is in February of the following year, right there, like few months later. And those two guys that are only in there for jail for a few months get out and they do exactly what he paid him to do. Neither of them actually ever received any of the money, but they both, they went to jail. He didn't, they knew it was him. They told that it was him. He told them how to do it, where to go in the flower shop, to go down in the basement, where dad kept all the wrapping paper and all the supplies, all the wooden flowers, the pods and the things that would—
[01:10:30] Jordan Harbinger: Burn, yeah.
[01:10:30] Jan Broberg: —catch on fire and boxes of all of it. And that's where they started the fire. And it not only destroyed my father's flower shop, it destroyed the whole city block of Pocatello. There were like 12 businesses in that block. And it doesn't even exist. The building has been torn to the ground because of the fire.
[01:10:47] Jordan Harbinger: It's so wild. And he poisons your dogs on what, two separate occasions? He sends people to your school at home to try and kidnap you again, who, like just random people. He's enrolled into his whatever fantasy or on the payroll.
[01:11:01] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[01:11:02] Jordan Harbinger: And I know at one point, you're going to this theater camp or whatever, and your plan was to kill yourself and kill your sister so that she didn't then have to sleep with him—
[01:11:13] Jan Broberg: Mm-hmm.
[01:11:13] Jordan Harbinger: —to complete the mission, right? Because—
[01:11:15] Jan Broberg: yes.
[01:11:15] Jordan Harbinger: —part of his leverage was if you don't complete it, your sister's going to have to do it. And you didn't want him to hurt your sister. Is that accurate?
[01:11:21] Jan Broberg: Exactly. Yes. There were all sorts of threats. My sister Karen would go blind if I did something wrong. My father would be killed or removed. My little sister would be taken in my stead. She would be, my sister Susan. So, yeah, he had a threat for everybody. And they were coming from the aliens, of course, not from him, of course, because he loves my family. He loves me.
[01:11:44] Jordan Harbinger: "Yeah. I would never do that. But those aliens, they'll definitely."
[01:11:48] Jan Broberg: Yeah, those aliens would do that. And you know, he said, "You just have to know that your mom and dad are standing in the way of the mission till you've just got to be very, very focused here because we got to do this. Well, we can save this planet before your 16th birthday." Well, now, I've had my 16th birthday while I'm at the theater camp two years later. So now, I'm turning 16. I was turning 14 and kidnapped the second time right after that. Now, I'm turning 16 at the theater camp. I'm supposed to get together with him. I'm supposed to see him. I'm out of town for five weeks. But there's other kids assigned to you. You have to have a buddy all the time when you're on campus and going to class to class.
[01:12:22] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:12:23] Jan Broberg: So my 16th birthday comes and goes. I haven't been able to see him, hook up with him, whatever you want to call it. I'm now driving. I have a car but I don't have it at the theater camp. My parents took me and came to pick me up to see the show. That's what's at the end. It's this big show that the kids do. Well, during that week, right after my birthday, I'm 16 and I'm not vaporized yet. And basically, I will get little notes. Well, they've given us a little bit more time. He still is trying to hook up with me. He's living in Salt Lake at this point. This camp is in Provo at BYU. And I'm a week away from the performance and the end of the camp. And in that week, my dogs get poisoned and my mom calls. My mom and dad call me every night at the same time because you know it's a phone on the wall.
[01:13:10] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:13:11] Jan Broberg: It's a payphone. And they tell me my dogs are sick and that they're at the vet and had had like little convulsions or something. I know that it's my fault. I know it's because this boy at the theater camp, you know who bought me this ice cream cone because he was in front of me and I knew he liked me, but I didn't know what to do. He'd already bought it and I ran to my dorm room and I'm crying and my roommate's like, "What's wrong with you?"
[01:13:32] Jordan Harbinger: Right. So you think that since a boy was nice to you, you're going to get vaporized by aliens?
[01:13:36] Jan Broberg: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So when the dogs were poisoned and mom called and we had that conversation and I started crying and she was like, I'm like, "Oh, it's my fault. Everything is my fault."
[01:13:48] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:13:49] Jan Broberg: Just know it's my fault because I think I might be vaporized that night. I might not ever have anything else to say to her. And I've hardly spoken to my dad now for like four years, practically three years. It's been just a really, it's been hard and I feel that I'm carrying the weight of a world on my shoulders. Literally, this other planet. And my dogs are sick and maybe they're going to die because I did something wrong. And I hang up the phone and I just cry myself to sleep. And you know, after I go, of course, to my rehearsal that night and then I come home and cry myself to sleep. I'm very dedicated to my craft. And the next morning, not typical, I get the resident comes and says, "You have a phone call, it's your mom." And that was not usual. And so I go, I'm, oh, no, something terrible's happened to somebody in my family, but she called, she said, "I just felt I should call you," again, this is listening to your gut, moms and dads. "I thought I should call you to tell you that the dogs are home and they're doing okay and you were so upset and it's not your fault that they got sick. I think maybe I fed them something bad, but they're okay. They're doing okay. I just wanted you to know they're going to be fine." And at that moment, it was the first time, Jordan, in like four years, almost to the day of my first kidnapping, because this is early August and I was taken in October that I had a thought, "Oh my gosh, the dogs aren't dead."
[01:15:18] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:15:19] Jan Broberg: Because I'd already planned to tell my sister because I was turning 16. I knew where my dad had hid the gun that he had bought. We had never had a gun before, but my dad bought a gun after the first kidnapping. I knew where it was hidden. I had a plan. I would tell Susan if she didn't want to do the mission, I would kill her and then I'd kill myself. It was all planned out, but I had to finish the show at my theater camp first. And that moment of going, "What if? What if this isn't real? What if those voices, what if they aren't real? What if this is a made up thing? What if I killed Susan and myself? I can't do that until I know it's real." The second thought after I'd hung up the phone with mom is, "I'm just kidding. I'll do whatever you tell me to do. I know you can read my mind and my thoughts. I don't know why I thought that. I know that you are real and you're watching me, and I'll do everything you say." That was my second thought. But I'd had the first thought and I had never had a thought like that in all those years.
[01:16:12] So I go back to my theater camp. My mom and dad come to pick me up. We do the performance, it's awesome. I go home, I start school, and here comes September and I'm testing the waters and I'm talking to boys at school for the first time. I'm 16 years old. I barely, I accept a date to go to a dance with a group. But the cousin of my dear friends, my dear friend Jan Hull at the time had a cousin in town and she set me up to go to this dance. She's like, "Jan, you're 16 now. It's okay to go on a date. It's okay." And I accept it. You know, I hadn't done any of that. And I got home from that date and it was late and it was dark, but the porch light was on as it always was. I walked in the front door after saying goodnight to that boy and into my house, and right in the inside of my front door is where my dad's easy chair sits, and our living room is to the right, and his easy chair is right there kind of almost by the door and the first words I heard, I didn't know he was sitting there. He was like, "Oh, Jani."
[01:17:14] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:17:15] Jan Broberg: And I barely talked to my dad. I've treated my dad like, sh*t. It's been so hard and so awful. And he goes, "Jani, how was it? Did you have a good time?" And I sat on the arm of his easy chair and I said, "I did. I had a really good time, dad. Are you okay?" And dad's like, "Oh, of course, I'm fine." And I actually kind of put my head down and I gave him a little kiss on his forehead. Now, I had given him no affection for years.
[01:17:43] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[01:17:43] Jan Broberg: And I walked back to my bedroom, past Susan's room. She was asleep mom was in bed and I didn't sleep downstairs anymore. I couldn't sleep in my bedroom down there. I didn't like it. And I just made them move me up into the den. And there was a bed in the den. And I went back to the den and just laid in my gunny sack dress and my platform shoes on the bed, looking at the ceiling and thinking, "Nobody's died. Nobody's dead. Is this real? Is this not real?" And then over the next couple of weeks is when I really started to go, "Okay, still nobody's dead. Nobody's blind."
[01:18:18] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:18:19] Jan Broberg: And that was my sister. Yeah, and my sister and my best friend Caroline Hansen at the time, one night at a sleepover at our house, they started to ask questions. They'd found some notes and letters that I had kept in a pillow on this blue velvet hanging chair that Berchtold had built for me when he built the wall in our bedroom downstairs to make two rooms out of our great big giant room where we slept together. And in my back bedroom that had the two windows, of course, that I had crawled out of. They found some letters from him, some of those notes, those love notes. And they were like, "What is this? Who's Zeta and Zethra?" one of them said that, and I just screamed. I'm like, "You can't know that. You're going to get hurt. You're going to get hurt." And then, because I was still trying to make, I wasn't for sure but they drew it out of me. They got it out of me. It was the scariest day of either of their lives. They said, "We've never seen anything like it. It was like watching the exorcist happen on the floor as you clawed the floor.
[01:19:15] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:19:15] Jan Broberg: And sobbed and screamed and then clawed the floor and told more little bits and pieces and all night we were up all night and that's how it came out the first time.
[01:19:24] Jordan Harbinger: Gosh, when you're manipulated like this from such a young age, how do you learn to trust other people ever again, especially since the predator was so close to you and close to your whole family?
[01:19:34] Jan Broberg: Well, it's a process for sure, and that's what I spend my work and my time doing now. I have an online community and we basically come together as survivors of assault and abuse, and we talk about things like this. I think it's by getting some good therapists in your life, I think you also have to know that every person that comes into your life is not a predator. You have to believe it on a brain level. You have to reprogram your neuro system. You have to do the exercises that actually fix the brain, that your light—
[01:20:07] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:20:08] Jan Broberg: —in your brain for fear of being abused has been turned on. It is like a huge spotlight in your brain.
[01:20:15] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. You're hypervigilant.
[01:20:17] Jan Broberg: So you have to learn and do certain things that are neurological, whether you do EMDR therapy, I think everyone should do that. I think they should have a good therapist, somebody to talk to. I think you have to find maybe one or two people that will actually believe you. So my foundation, the Jan Broberg Foundation and our online community is set on the tenants of, "We believe you. We don't blame you. We won't judge you. You are safe here." And when people have a safe place to come and talk through what's happened to them, tell their story. Like I have many times throughout these years. My intention was to help others.
[01:20:55] And now, I'm finally able to do that in a concrete way. I'm developing and I have a 12-step, basically, it's like a 12-step program. And if you can imagine AA and Al-Anon, the people that are traumatized, you know, through addiction and alcohol, usually were traumatized in some sort of abusive way in their childhood before that, almost always, not always, but almost always before somebody cuts, before somebody's anorexic, before somebody starts drinking, before somebody is shooting the heroin in their arm, they've had some kind of an abuse as a child and they're self-medicating.
[01:21:31] And so our intention with Thrivivors, our online community, is to bring together people that really need a group, they need an AA, they need a place for sexual assault survivors to gather, to know they're safe, they're believed, and to be able to tell their stories, step one, telling, getting it outside of the body so that you can look at it and examine it. That's step one in coming to trust others again. But you have to get it out of you. You can't just pretend cancer doesn't exist and that you're going to be okay. You have to actually do the chemotherapy. You actually have to do something.
[01:22:07] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:22:08] Jan Broberg: That's kind of what I work on now, is in helping other people actually come together in a safe place where they're believed so that they can do step one through step 12. And I have basically a program that I'm trying to get out there into the universe so that people can have happy relationships and trusting relationships and loving relationships with themselves first.
[01:22:30] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:22:30] Jan Broberg: Because the person you hate the most is yourself, which is completely misplaced. It happened to you, you were a kid, you were a child, you were a tween, a young person with not a fully developed brain. And yet, we carry the shame. We carry the blame. So that has to be uprooted and examined and pulled out. It's like a weed. Shame is like this weed that you got to pull over and over again throughout your life when you've been through abuse. It's just, it just lives it for whatever reason. It's such a shameful experience. It lives in you. So we do a lot of those kinds of things. We work with memory experts and we work with therapists, like you said, they're not your therapist.
[01:23:09] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:23:10] Jan Broberg: But we work with therapists. Just like, you know, your introduction in your podcast is like, don't think that this is therapeutic. That's my thing. It's like AA, they don't claim to be giving you therapy, but you come to a place where others understand where you've been, and there's great things that can happen in that space when you make commitments to yourself and you go through those steps to actually do that thing to trust.
[01:23:34] Jordan Harbinger: [Broberg] ends up stalking you and your family actually for years and years and years. How are you finally rid of this guy? Because the authorities just, they're basically putting him in jail for a few weeks, a few months, and he gets out and he's back to his old tricks.
[01:23:46] Jan Broberg: Right. He's back to his old tricks. He found me in college. He found me when I took my first job as a performer at Disney World. He found me in all these places and, you know, that's where my son was born. My son, who, you know, talk about in generational trauma. My son has also struggled with the trauma of my abuse. It has ha it has passed through our DNA if we don't know how to address it sooner and faster. And that's why I hope people will try to address it, not in their, I mean, address it in your 40s and 50s and 60s if that's when you're strong enough to get there. But if you can address it in your 20s, you know, before you're, you have children, it would help because my son has also struggled with addiction and it's been a rough road to have four different, you know, his father, my first husband, and then three other father figures in his life and have them ripped away from him. And he suffered a lot of loss because of my abuse and what's happened to me.
[01:24:43] So, to get back to your story, he did continue to contact me throughout my life in my college days when I took my first job before my son was born. And then, my son was born in Orlando, Florida. In that period of time, he got ahold of me. And then later as I started to speak out about my story and my mom and I, she interviewed me and she wrote a book called Stolen Innocence. He showed up at a conference that I was giving to a thousand women and their daughters on this very story and this subject.
[01:25:13] Jordan Harbinger: That's crazy. A lot of nerve.
[01:25:15] Jan Broberg: Yeah, a lot of nerve. I mean, we had just published the book. It didn't sell nearly enough copies to cover the costs, but we were trying to get the story out and the message out and he came to a conference and ended up after having contact me a dozen times throughout my adult life in various ways, there he was again at the campus where I'm giving a speech and the police are there. And that's how I was on Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer and being interviewed again about this story long before I had a documentary or another book that was the full story. And long before I had the series.
[01:25:54] I've been speaking out and speaking my story because I knew that others would be emboldened to tell theirs for all these years. But I now know, I know two girls before me that were molested and raped by him, and I know four girls after me that were molested and raped, and there's many others, I'm sure. I don't know. So when those statistics by the FBI. People go, "Well, that can't be true." I'm like, "Oh, it's absolutely true." And again, clear into the 2000s, so it wasn't because, "Oh, now, we know what pedophiles are," it's because manipulators are really, really crafty and smart and they're conmen and con artists and you don't see it coming. They're catfishing you.
[01:26:36] Jordan Harbinger: How did this end with him?
[01:26:38] Jan Broberg: So after he showed up at this conference where I was speaking, he was arrested because he had brandished a firearm—
[01:26:46] Jordan Harbinger: Whoa.
[01:26:47] Jan Broberg: —at one of the people outside on the campus. And that, the guy that he pointed the gun at and had these papers, he's was trying to hand out and we knew his current wife was in the conference because he had made threats—
[01:27:02] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[01:27:02] Jan Broberg: —to the university. Like, "You shouldn't have her talk. She's made this up, this story." And they went ahead with it. We knew his wife was there because one of her daughters had stepped forward and said, "Well, he was doing the worst to us and we ran away and she was actually at the conference and could identify the woman who gave me life." She wouldn't even call her mother at the time. I don't know if she's come together at this point. But anyway, so we knew she was there. So the police were there and the campus police. And when he brandished the firearm, the guy knew exactly what it was, ditched the gun in a McDonald's garbage can outside. And they eventually found it. And so he was tried and he was convicted. And it took almost two years. I mean, this didn't happen overnight. Again, everything goes so slow. And people were like, oh my gosh. So, during that time, because I had no idea that he was only living an hour away from where I was speaking at this conference, and he'd seen my picture on a poster and he knew there was a book and he had threatened my mother at her workplace in Idaho.
[01:28:09] My mother had become a social worker. She went back to college after all of her daughters graduated from college. Became a social worker, and he was putting flyers on all of her workers' cars and all around Pocatello. This is in the 2000s. I mean, this is years later. And basically, he was convicted on three felony charges and two misdemeanors. Nothing to do with raping little girls, but having a firearm. He was a registered sex offender, hadn't registered bunch of things like that. He was found guilty again, and then he was released because he was going to be sentenced a month later. It was the holidays and he had a heart condition, so he was released into the care of the Nevada police to take him to his home and he lived in Nevada, in Logandale, Nevada.
[01:28:51] And as he crossed over the border, he was in his own truck with the police escort, he took off and as the Utah police were passing him onto the Nevada police, and he went up into a campground in the hills and he took a bottle of pills and washed it down with a bottle of Kahlua.
[01:29:08] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[01:29:08] Jan Broberg: And killed himself. I don't even think he meant to die. I think he just, he wrote these little tiny suicide notes to his kids. I feel sorry for all of them. That's what, I can't imagine having this person as your father. Ugh.
[01:29:21] Jordan Harbinger: You think he did it for attention and he ended up dying?
[01:29:24] Jan Broberg: I do because he'd tried before, which I know because the district attorney called me before it was public knowledge that he had died. He said, "We found these little short two or three-sentence suicide notes," that, "Well, everybody's against me. Once again, I'm being wrongly accused," you know?
[01:29:38] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my gosh. Didn't even write anything about other people, like pure psychopath, narcissistic predator. This guy didn't have an honest bone in his body. Ugh.
[01:29:49] I know you touched on this a little bit earlier, and most people, they hear the stories from when you were a kid, because that's the dramatic true crimey stuff.
[01:29:56] Jan Broberg: Mm-hmm.
[01:29:57] Jordan Harbinger: But how has this all affected you as an adult? You mentioned he had four marriages. It affected your relationship pattern, but I'm curious, like, what about in terms of raising your own children? I know your son, Austin, he's a show fan. I know he is mentioned that these events have affected him personally and deeply as well.
[01:30:13] Jan Broberg: Yeah. And I think that that's something that when they talk about intergenerational trauma and how that trauma that lives in your body, if you don't know how to shut it off, if you don't know how to have a trusting relationship or a good relationship and you're maybe not looking for love in all the right places and you missed out on all that natural development. You didn't get to have that as a 12, 13, 14, 15, 16-year-old. You have arrested development. There are things you didn't get to learn because you weren't there. You know, you were in a different state.
[01:30:45] And so I, as an adult now, feel like I have finally maybe crossed some bridges that I didn't know about in my 20s and 30s that I've slowly learned more and more. I've read a lot of books. I listened to a lot of podcasts myself. I listened to books on tape quite a bit. And I also had the advantage of having some, like Oprah, she would say the real words—
[01:31:14] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:31:14] Jan Broberg: —back in the day when we never talked about these things. And that was like a huge thing. And one of the things that doesn't have anything to do with saying the right words, but it has to do with a thing that she taught on one of her shows about a gratitude journal. And it's something that really resonated with me, and it was something that I grew up with in my home. My father was a person that always had a funny saying or just a nice saying, but he'd say I'm in a funny voice, so that we would all remember them and they were like the mantra of our life. "Like every day's a bonus," or, "You know, two things, I love you and the Gospel's true." Or, you know, he'd say, "You know, thanks a million. Wish I had it." He'd say these things that always stuck in our minds, like, you know, the glass really is how full, not empty. Gratitude and attitude, they're directly related, and those sorts of sayings and that little gratitude journal idea from Oprah literally has saved my life.
[01:32:14] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:32:15] Jan Broberg: And so it's one of my steps in the program that I've created. It's really understanding if you can change your traumatic experience from something that is your drama and your story that affects you in a negative way, into something that is positive and that you can be grateful for, you really know at that point. Like, I'm grateful, even as weird as it might sound, that I had these experiences because of who I am today, and they do form who we are. I don't have to be grateful a person doesn't have to like the person, but I had to forgive the person in order for me to move forward. So letting go of certain things and moving forward with my life, knowing I am the creator of my life and my reality and my every day, every minute of my life is hugely empowering. If I can help a million other survivors know that—
[01:33:09] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:33:09] Jan Broberg: —and do that, then what I went through was worth it. If I can help two billion, there's two billion survivors—
[01:33:17] Jordan Harbinger: Geez.
[01:33:18] Jan Broberg: —of sexual assault and abuse that are walking the planet today, right now, two billion around the globe.
[01:33:24] Jordan Harbinger: Just based on the numbers, right?
[01:33:25] Jan Broberg: Just based on the numbers, the stats. So if I were able to help a fraction of those people at least know that they aren't to blame, that their story, it matters and that they can move on from their story into a life that they can create and love. And even if it's not perfect, my life was not perfect. Like you said, I've been married four times, I've been through, you know, Berchtold coming back into my life, I've been through my son, like you were talking about that generational trauma. It didn't start with heroin, but it's where it it ended. And so to go through those years, those many years, and knowing that part of that was just never having security in his life, I want to help other people find that sooner. How can you find yourself, your empowerment, your security, your trust, your love? That's the right, the good kind of love that you have to work on with another person that isn't harmful to you. That isn't harming your loved ones. Those are the things that I believe are robbed from children of physical, mental, emotional, and especially sexual abuse.
[01:34:42] And so that's sort of what happens in going through those marriages. I've gained and lost stepdaughters and people that I wanted in my life, but my own suffering or my own trauma got in the way because of choices that I made and they weren't healthy choices. And I think if I can help somebody avoid some of the aftermath of abuse, then that might make it all worth worthwhile. I guess that's how I've pictured it. So, writing the book that I have and doing the podcast that I do on survivors' stories and on experts in the field. I try to get with people that talk about the neuroscience of the brain, to talk about how can you change your ever-present voice of negativity in your head. How do you change it? How do you quiet it? How do you make it go? There are things you can do to actually make a huge impact and change your life, and that's what I want to do for people. And so that's the kind of thing that I work on now. But yeah, it's affected my family members. It absolutely has. It's affected my relationships with various people, but almost always, I've been able to come back around to having those relationships be healed to a degree.
[01:35:59] Jordan Harbinger: I'm very curious. You know, you've got the series on Peacock, it's doing well. You had the series on Netflix that did really well. There must have been fallout from this because when you see Netflix, if you don't give it a second thought, what you think is, "Look, at these idiots letting their daughter get abused. These are terrible people. They were probably in on it. What a bunch of knuckleheads." I would imagine that this is, and talking with Austin, your son has let me know. Like, I spoke with him on the phone and he's like, you know, one of the reasons he wanted me to interview you is because he's, he knows how I do my interviews. But also I said, you know, I have such a hard time blaming your parents because even though they're just naive to the point where I want to smack them. They're not evil people.
[01:36:39] Jan Broberg: Yeah.
[01:36:40] Jordan Harbinger: But it's very hard to come to that conclusion. You really have to sit there and think about it and weigh all the evidence because they look like total negligent morons, and I'm sorry, these are your parents.
[01:36:48] Jan Broberg: Mm-hmm.
[01:36:49] Jordan Harbinger: But they look so bad in the series.
[01:36:50] Jan Broberg: That's okay.
[01:36:51] Jordan Harbinger: Because they let you be abused by this guy and they let themselves be abused by this guy.
[01:36:55] Jan Broberg: Yeah. And I guess there is a point where every person has to come to that willingly to say, okay, I did not see something that I think I should have seen, I think.
[01:37:08] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:37:08] Jan Broberg: And my parents have definitely come to that point.
[01:37:10] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:37:10] Jan Broberg: They've apologized to me and tried to make it up to me in as many ways as they could, and to then also take all of the mistakes that they made forward to the whole world so that people could, you know, put them under a microscope and say such awful things about was incredibly brave because most of us don't tell our worst things. You know, most of us don't tell the time when we got conned out of $200,000. Most of us don't tell the time that, "Oh yeah, I left that, I actually did suffer basically an abuse or a rape because I did these things. I was drunk." Or you know, whatever we think is our worst moment of not seeing the con artist, of not seeing the predator behind the narcissistic, you know, smile that got us to marry them. And then we don't often tell about our affairs, you know, "Oh, I had an affair." We don't talk about things on our worst days. We don't. And my parents did.
[01:38:10] And so for me, I just, all I can say to everyone is that most people are naive with the people closest to them. So I guess that's what I have to say about yes, naive. Yes, maybe. You know, it can look that way. But when somebody spends three years grooming you into being their best friend, you don't see it coming. You don't see it.
[01:38:38] Jordan Harbinger: Jan Broberg, thank you so much.
[01:38:40] Jan Broberg: Thank you. I appreciate it, Jordan.
[01:38:44] Jordan Harbinger: You're about to hear a preview of The Jordan Harbinger Show with Amanda Catarzi, who was raised in a cult and later sex and labor trafficked.
[01:38:52] Amanda Catarzi: The women were trained to be insanely submissive. Like you could never say no to any man, and then the men were trained in a very military way. These people are well-armed and well-trained, and it's a whole group that thinks that the world is evil and they need to repopulate the world with their people to bring the kingdom of God. When you turn 13 in that culture, you're an adult. So to be 13 years old, being courted by men twice my age, three times my age to see if I would make a good wife, it was just kind of outrageous.
[01:39:28] So I moved to California to go to school and I start training MMA, and my trafficker was there. He was actually one of my boxing coaches. Then he's like, "You know, I like you," and so now we're dating. So this is my first adult relationship. He's twice my age at this point, and then he would always take me up to his cabin on the mountain, which was really far away from everybody else. No phone service, isolation. And it was on a Native American reservation. So whatever they wanted to do to me, they could. Oops, you accidentally got gang raped. That was very common of going to go train. And then all of a sudden, now that you've fought 12 rounds. Now, you're going to be raped.
[01:40:11] A girl ran a red light and T-boned my truck, so I pulled out my phone and I text my trafficker and I say, "Hey, I almost just died a car accident." And he said, "Is your face f*cked up?" And I'm like, "No." And he said, "Well, you're still fuckable then." Something isn't right here. This isn't who I want to be. This isn't what I want. And it was like I was coming out of water. I had this moment of clarity and I knew something wasn't right and I knew this wasn't what I wanted. And I knew I needed to act fast in order to get out of that situation, because I knew it'd get sucked back in.
[01:40:49] Jordan Harbinger: To hear how she escaped her dire situation, check out episode 631 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:40:58] What a story, man. I remember seeing this on Netflix and if you haven't heard this before, I think the question that's probably on your mind is, how could her parents let this happen over and over again? How could they be so naive? Well, conservative way of life, really restrictive religious community. The guy was also an expert abuser, expert manipulator. Nobody ever talked about this sort of thing in that community at that time. And all the weird alien stories used to manipulate the secret hidden cassette player. I mean, this guy really did go kind of above and beyond. And remember the parents were groomed too.
[01:41:31] This guy was a successful father of five, not some random creep. He really managed to weasel his way into the church community, to the family. And dang, if it wasn't just so clear that there's no mental healthcare or counseling or child abuse laws back then. Wow, it's staggering to think what went on and just was lightly frowned upon. If anything, I mean, just absolutely wild. I'm thinking this predator was likely a high-functioning psychopath, and of course, a pedophile. Few people have that level of focus when it comes to harassing one particular person or family, and I know he had other victims, but man, this guy really expended a ton of energy with this.
[01:42:11] As a father, I really related mostly to the father in this story, and there were times where I just had to pause the audiobook because the pain that he went through being unable to protect his kids, of losing his wife, his relationships falling apart, all as a result of this predator because he was a good person and because he trusted other people. It's really just heartbreaking. I know that there's just no way that this guy ever forgave himself for any of this, because I don't think I would.
[01:42:40] And I don't think I have to say this to you all listeners here of The Jordan Harbinger Show, but I'm going to say it because I know that this family, the Brobergs, had a ton of problems after the Netflix documentary aired. Don't troll these people. They're all victims. They've had enough. I know Jan is really tough, but at the same time, I know they put up with a lot of blame. Like I said, when this Netflix thing came out and it was just, it's really shameful. People went after them really hard. And I know you guys are a lovely caring bunch because I see the emails in my inbox, but the reminder never hurts.
[01:43:09] And you know, I'll also say it is really easy to blame other people and say, "Well, this would never happen to me. I would never be this dumb. I would never be this naive. I would've done something differently." We do this because it makes us feel superior and it makes us feel immune to the types of influence that these people were victims of. And you might be right, maybe you wouldn't fall for this, but I think it's much easier to say that than to put yourselves in the shoes of other people. And that's what I think we should do here on this show, is try to put ourselves in their shoes with their life experience and see if we really would've made different decisions, maybe we would have. But then again, maybe not.
[01:43:45] Big thank you to Jan Broberg, all Things Jan will be in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com. Our chatGPT bot is at jordanharbinger.com. You can search for anything in any show, any Feedback Friday, any promo code for any sponsor, jordanharbinger.com/ai. Transcripts in the show notes, videos on YouTube. Advertisers, deals, discount codes, all ways to support the show are going to be over at jordanharbinger.com/deals. Please consider supporting those who support the show. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn and I'm teaching you how to connect with great people and manage relationships using software, systems, tiny habits, the same stuff that I use every single day. That's our Six-Minute Networking course, and that course is free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. I'm teaching you how to dig the well before you get thirsty. Build relationships before you need them. And many of the guests on the show subscribe and/or contribute to the course. So, hey, come join us, you'll be in smart company.
[01:44:40] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Ian Baird, and Gabriel Mizrahi. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for this show is you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. If you know somebody who needs to hear the story or would maybe, I hate to say, get a kick out of this story, but just find it as fascinating as I did, or you did, share this episode with them. The greatest compliment you can give us is to share the show with those you care about. So 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.
[01:45:16] Special thanks to Peloton for sponsoring this episode 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.