Episode Number: 1149
Episode Guest: Michael Scott Moore
Original Airdate: July 30, 2018
Episode Sponsors: Cash App, Squarespace, Black Rifle Coffee
Guest Bio: Michael Scott Moore is a novelist and journalist who was kidnapped and held in captivity by Somali pirates for two and half years. His book The Desert and the Sea: 977 Days Captive on the Somali Pirate Coast is available on Amazon now.
Topics Discussed: The Desert and the Sea book; he was a journalist writing about Somali pirates before being kidnapped and held in captivity for over two years; 12 men grabbed him from a car and kidnapped him; they wanted $20 million in ransom money for his release; Somali pirates aren’t (all) frustrated fisherman, though that’s what they claim; Somali pirates are addicted to khat and he took it as well; Somali pirates are smuggling guns and people; modern day slave auctions in Libya; talk about pirates in Somalia; what the initial kidnapping was like; they beat him with guns and broke his wrist; it’s not hard for him to talk about his ordeal after writing the book; they waited a week before he was allowed to contact his family; he received medical treatment for his wrist; he had to demand $20 million from his mother; they said he would be shot dead if people tried to rescue him; he became friends with about half the pirates; he was held on a ship for five months before being held on land; after a year he stopped hoping he would get out alive; his mom talked the pirates down to $1.6 million for the ransom; he was left alone with a loaded rifle once and considered suicide; he was sympathetic to some his captors; toxic waste dumping by the Italian mafia; he watched some of the Captain Phillips movie on a cell phone in Somalia while held captive; inaccuracies in the Captain Phillips movie; watching pirates watch a movie about pirates; what daily life was like for him while held captive; his physical state deteriorated after two years of being held in captivity; what it feels like now to be free; suffering from PTSD after being released and trying to recover; he lost 40 lbs. while held captive; he lost muscle and suffered from protein deficiency; he was easily overwhelmed with daily life after his release; he recovered one day at a time; he still has difficulty sleeping; his feet were chained while he was sleeping in captivity; the process of writing the book after his release; what he was like before his capture and after his release, and how he has changed; he heard a speech about forgiveness by the Pope and made the choice to forgive his captors; what it was like to see family after his release; other dangerous places he visited as a journalist; Sweetness and Blood book; the Gaza surf club; he’s writing a novel about drones now; he will travel for journalism again, but not to dangerous places; what he hoped to get from the trip to Somalia; piracy and Hamburg, Germany; laws for piracy in Somalia; (1:00:00) what types of people and crafts the pirates target; he met 30 hostages during his time in captivity; pirates are good at kidnapping, but don’t really know what to do afterwards; what his mind was like after two years in captivity; he had to let go of hope; how his view of human life has changed since his ordeal; he learned a bit of their language; their reality is so different compared to an American; if you make more than $34,000 per year, you are in the 1%; pirates spend their money on fancy cars and cell phones; Somali pirates are like gangsters; not all pirates want to be pirates forever; Al-Shabaab; becoming a pirate is tempting for young Somalis; many of the pirates want to leave Somalia for a better life; one of his Somali pirate guards contacted him on Facebook; he expressed forgiveness to one of his captors; he didn’t share much information about his background with his captors; thinking about what it would be like to live in Somalia; what a typical day was like for him while in captivity; while in captivity, he was writing the book in his head to keep his mind occupied; he had a list of his captors but lost it; The Desert and the Sea book just came out last week; what’s next for him; Hostage US; he’s experienced something only a handful of people would ever have to deal with; talking to someone who’s been through a similar experience is psychologically good; currently there are less than 10 people held in captivity by Somali pirates; cargo ships sail with teams of armed guards now; America used to have pirates; Somalia needs real businesses so people have real jobs to do instead of turning to piracy.
These are the books that were mentioned and/or recommended during this episode:
These are the movies that were mentioned and/or recommended during this episode:
Podcast Video: Below is a video of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast episode #1149 available for streaming via YouTube.
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