Skip to main content

tv   Charlie Rose  Bloomberg  October 22, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm EDT

11:00 am
♪ announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." >> bitcoin, the world's most significant and popular cryptocurrency said records this month. the stock price rose to as much as $5,500 before it fell 9% in the past few days. the rise of a worldwide debate over the future of digital currency. here to discuss bitcoin are three experts. catherine wood, the founder and cio of arc investment management. have the co-author of the age of cryptocurrency, how
11:01 am
bitcoin and block chain are challenging the global economic order, and willie cap, a reporter at bloomberg news. i am pleased to have all of them at this table. paul, let me start with you. a lot of bitcoin talk recently. where is that right now? --where it is that right now is it that right now? probably in the third or fourth wave. throughout history it has waxed , and waned in terms of the speculative fervor and attention in the mainstream. certainly in terms of price in dollars, this is the biggest move it has ever had. in terms of interest, probably the biggest too. not totally in the mainstream but much further in the mainstream and it has been. jeff: catherine is it , still at hype phase? catherine: the market cap, the network value of bitcoin when you both include bitcoin and
11:02 am
bitcoin cash is a little over $100 billion. it has, up, very -- it has come up very fast, but it is at a fraction of apple's valuation, amazon's valuation. and we think it is a much bigger idea than either one of those. jeff: and certainly a small fraction of the overall economy. catherine a very small fraction. like $180t cap is billion, or something like that latently for all the cryptocurrencies which there are like 1000 of them. it was $12 billion one year ago. it has been doing pretty well in the last few years. jeff: bitcoin is far and away the most popular. >> it is more than half of the total ecosystem at $100 billion. jeff: paul take me back a little , bit if you would. bitcoin is invented in the wake of the global financial crisis. why and how?
11:03 am
paul: released -- the original white paper announcing the concept was released in october 2008, the head of the financial crisis, by somebody calling themselves toshi nakamoto. to this day, we do not know who this person really is. whoever it was, they had been working on it before the financial crisis. the crisis hits they released , the white paper. january 2009, they launched the software. it is an open so -- source software project. so nakamoto sort of put it out in the world and let anybody who wanted to put the project on. the financial system has collapsed. the central bank had to pour in and put money into it and save it. -- geared ast as an alternative to the banking system. if at another time you released that idea and that paper it , might not have taken off. it could be a group of people,
11:04 am
there are all kinds of theories. because of the timing that nakamoto chose, the thing really took off -- first in the sort of hacker, hobbyist, engineer, software developer communities. and then it started to get out a little more and a little more. through 2010,g 2011, 2012. by 2012 or 2013, it started to really step into the mainstream. jeff: this is one of the most intriguing parts about it, the speculation over who nakamoto is. lily: several people have stepped out and claimed to be nakamoto. but their identity has not been confirmed. >> some have been outed b other , other peopleople have come out and says this is nakamoto, and they are like no, no i am not. lily: people conceptualize this world where transactions are cheaper and not going through a third-party, like a bank.
11:05 am
they are more secure because these transactions are happening on the block chain, a shared ledger of transactions. >> which is why the banks do not like it, which is in part why jamie dimon famously slammed point this past -- bitcoin this past month. there has been a lot of discussion. catherine: a lot of discussion. this is increasing the public's interest in it. you have jamie dimon, public figure, very well-known along with howard marks of oaktree. all negative. interestingly, the following week after jamie's comments, the ceo of morgan stanley, jane's -- james gorman, and lloyd blankfein were speaking about it in a very different tone. i think they are beginning to see trading opportunities. >> they are not endorsing it just saying we are interested in , finding out more about this -- lloyd inclients particular said this -- are asking about it.
11:06 am
lily: the results of the ceo of blackrock who came out and talked about it. jeff: you started introducing more folks to it, which leads to the question of i do not want to get too far ahead -- but it leads to the question of regulation. not just potentially banks and financial services firms being involved, but the government being involved. very denseis a topic. we could probably spend an hour on it, but generally speaking, there are a couple of moving parts there. one, you have people working on bitcoin it else and that project -- itself and that project. other cryptocurrencies like it. initially, a lot of them were very antigovernment, anti-regulation. the whole thing was designed as a hacker projects that wanted to get around the system. like i said, create a network where you do not need these middlemen. and you have businesses coming in and saying we can build a business on top of this. if we want some legitimacy, we will need to be regulated. so they started reaching out to the regulators. the last four or five years, you
11:07 am
have a dynamic where one group is sort of adamantly antigovernment, anti-regulation, and another group that says look, we want to bring this into the mainstream. we think this has value for people in their everyday lives, let us build regulations around this. and then have every regulator on the planet is now at the point where you have to figure out what this is, what it means for the economy, and how they are going to address it. jeff: explain this to me. was very critical of it, but did say he believes the block chain technology is legitimate. what is that? paul: that is another hour. [laughter] paul the concepts behind : bitcoin, behind the software, have broadly come to be called lock chain technology. it is a broad set of ideas that is essentially taking, creating a network where anything that can be digitized to be traded
11:08 am
that could be traded between two people directly. i want to give you, let us say a mortgage deed. i can digitize it, stick it in a pdf, and make it in a transaction on this software program, send it over to you. that gets timestamped in the network. it is like just that email, actually. it is like trading emails. but instead of sending an email back and forth you're sending , something that represents the value. that is all really a block chain is. when you get into block chain bitcoin is this open source, , permissionless network that anybody can join, become part of it, but the banks are trying to build this as something they can control. jeff: because bitcoin was verified publicly? paul: yes. what you are talking about before, the open ledger. what happens is every computer on the network has a copy of this ledger and every
11:09 am
transaction gets updated on every ledger at the same time so that it can be verified. which putss, everything out the open and makes it transparent, that is what makes the banks unnecessary. previously, you would need a third-party tracking those transactions and keeping the books. lily: in the original white paper they talked about proof versus trust. the system we have now is based on trust. you trust a bank to keep your stuff secure. this bitcoin system is based on proof because you have computers that are solving these complex math problems to verify the transactions. jeff: and it could be a mortgage but it could also be a cuppa coffee? catherine: yes. toare seeing more business business these days. people say they do not see this happening with cups of coffee, they cannot conceptualize it. but there is one way we have helped investors conceptualize it. member when technology experts said voicemail is going to be
11:10 am
free one day? we had trouble understanding it -- well, i did back in the day. today, we have a voiceover ip. this is is money over ip. the transition of money over ip will be free again like the email analogy there. the distinction, block chain bitcoin -- when we first started doing research in silicon valley, we heard a lot of companies say i like the block chain, but i do not like bitcoin. we were saying wait a minute, as we were studying this, in terms of the bitcoin block chain, you cannot have that unless you build it out and incentivize the minors with the bitcoin. you cannot separate them unless , in jamie's case he wants a wild garden trusted network. so it is called permissioned. the bitcoin block chain is permissionless.
11:11 am
jeff: the argument on his behalf is that it is too vulnerable to hacking. it cannot be controlled, it already has volatility in the prices, for sure, but those who criticize it say it is dangerous? catherine: this is the same criticism we heard about the cloud when it first came about. everyone said that could be hacked. well, that is true. anything can be hacked. the cloud was an open source system. when you have a lot of eyeballs watching a system, as we do with the bitcoin block chain, and a lot of people's livelihood and businesses dependent on it, you have a lot of people watching it from a security point of view. you are seeing when a hack starts, the news travels really fast, and it stops. we actually think the permission lists -- permission less block chains are very robust and secure relative to the
11:12 am
permissions ones. >> i don't think the argument is if it is vulnerable to hacking or phising scams. i man, i mean everything is. -- i mean everything is. you look at all the hacks that have happened. look at equifax recently. target the systems we have built , up over the past few decades are extremely vulnerable to hacking. hacking is not the real argument against bitcoin. the real argument is that it is a system that authorities cannot control. they do not control the money in it, who is using it, and what they are doing it for. what regulators have to figure out for themselves -- jamie dimon doesn't want that because it cuts into his business. regulators need to figure out is that something we can have at least enough control over that it is not going to destroy the economy, that it is not going to avenge the economy, the end theent, -- up
11:13 am
economy, the government, we can collect taxes on it. can we accept some type of , for better or worse darknet , transactions? bitcoin is somewhat anonymous as a currency. cash is a completely anonymous currency. there is a lot going on right now. this is in its infancy, and there is a lot to be figured out in terms of what it is going to look like. catherine: and it is not just money, it is the technology. you have three forces coming together. financial services -- and the regulators want to impede the -- do not want to impede the technology. they do not want to be accused of preventing the next internet. they are stepping lightly and we are even seeing very recently, actually within the last week, the fcc and the csc see beginning to agree on bitcoin versus other crypto assets. some should be regulated by the sec and some should be regulated cfcc, the commodities
11:14 am
exchange. the other thing that we see going on is fear on the part of regulators in the developed world, they will prevent innovation. so they are stepping lightly. jeff: what you say to investors when they are looking at the volatility? is going from 1000 or so this year all the way up to 6000 and -- in a span of nine or 10 months? not the first very dramatic swing up or down that has happened. you don't think that will end anytime soon? weherine: as we mentioned, have sized it. it is about $100 billion for bitcoin. that is a very small market right now. it has captured a lot of people's imaginations. we are going to go through hypes and then shake out. there will be regulatory news, hacks, all of this have already happened. -- it is being , battle tested almost every day. china banning it, russia banning
11:15 am
it. these are all tests that bitcoin has gone through, dipped, and came right back. so it's in a bull market. lily: it is so resilient, at least in the last year or so. you had it split into two different currencies, you now have bitcoin and bitcoin cash. people were scared before this happened and the price of bitcoin dropped but then it , bounced right back up. china banned the initial coin offering, then it went right back up. is the big question how long the battle testing happens before it settles? paul: i think that will continue -- until bitcoin -- -- assuming it gets -- jeff: i am not saying it will happen anytime soon. paul: that process will go on for a long time. when you talk about the price, there are a couple of things. yes, it is extremely volatile, but there are people like that -- will love that kind of volatility, and they are called traders. a lot of wall street traders are interested in this now because
11:16 am
it is volatile. because you can make money trading it. bitcoinho are traders who have been doing this for a long time, they are total keyboard cowboys. they stay up all night and trade it and they do not care if it goes up or down. they are looking to make money off of it. so part of bitcoin's attraction to that group is the fact it is volatile. what is important to keep in mind as well, when you are talking about the prices -- this group of people trading it, and a lot of them are true believer types, and a lot are buying it and holding it because they are going to a $10,000, $50,000 price. in some ways i really think that bitcoin is a one-way trade. longs in a lot of there, there are not many ways to short it. to some extent, they think there -- it is not like a mature market, or stocks, where if they are going down, people are
11:17 am
selling because something is wrong with the company. it is not like that yet. catherine: we have done a study on the volatility. you can measure it. if you do it on a 12 month , you willrage basis see it had come down quite significantly. we compare it to twitter's stock price. it dipped below that and dipped below gold of volatility last year before this next run up. so the volatility, compared to where it was in 2011, 2012, 2013 has, quite significantly. jeff: which is the natural progression of things, what -- one with think. what is the difference between buying and mining? lily: buying a cryptocurrency is literally paying money to have a digital coin. mining is a process -- i liked -- i like to think about it like people sitting around in their basement around the computer. it is called a mining computer,
11:18 am
and it is running all of these complicated math problems to verify the transaction that is happening on the block chain to digitally timestamp these transactions and making sure there is no double spending happening. if you think about it, if you had somebody counterfeit a dollar, they can spend it in two places jeff: talk to me about what fees associated with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies? >> because we are in the public markets and can only by financial securities, there is only one way we can gain exposure as a registered investment company to bitcoin. it is only the bitcoin we can access. that is through an over-the-counter security called gbct. the stockding in market effectively, it does trade over-the-counter. lily: the fees have changed over time for bitcoin. one of the biggest debates recently has been something call the scaling debate. basically, people are concerned
11:19 am
that bitcoin transactions are getting too expensive and slow, and that is actually why bitcoin split in two. the two rival camps could not really come to agreement, and there was a lot of arguments about the high fees and the slowness of the network. so they moved some of the transactions off one network, basically. jeff: so if i am buying coffee for a couple bucks and i pay for -- with a credit card now mastercard and visa will take a , couple percentage points and american express will take more, where is the money going? obviously, the money is going to starbucks or whoever you buy the coffee from. who else is taking -- paul: you were talking about the fees. what happened with bitcoin is was initially when it was designed, one feature of it was there was a fee. bitcoiny thinks
11:20 am
transactions are free. they are not necessarily free. there was always a fee. it goes to the miners. that is their reward for processing the transactions. initially, they were capped. it is the design of the network. in the early days, the transactions were so small that it didn't matter. that fee, a voluntary fee that i tor would offer them, you did not have anything to offer them -- you did not have to offer them anything because there is no strain on capacity. this year because there were more transactions, you are getting bottlenecks. what people were doing was offering higher fees to get their transactions put to the front of the line. jeff: some countries are embracing and some are banning it. including china. paul: china seems very anti-bitcoin. russia south korea, north korea. , although north korea might be stealing it. south korea is starting to embrace it. over in europe, they are pretty pro-. in switzerland, they are
11:21 am
pro-, and the uk's interested in it. the u.s. is pretty positive for on it. if you talk to government types, regulators, they see there could be some value there and something they want to help build out. every country is trying to come to grips with it. >> they are dealing with two points of view, money carry policy -- monetary policy and power. that is why china did it. they were trying to get capital out also, if they were trying to control that. the regulators are thinking about policy, monetary policy and capital movements, but the technology is where -- they have to do a double take because they are saying if we ban this, we are banning this potential engine of innovation like the internet was. this is where the world wide web was in the early 1990's. do we want to do that? no. so you are seeing especially in
11:22 am
, the developed world, a very careful analysis. --istine regarding the imf she believes it is going to be extremely disruptive and she came out saying so a few weeks ago. she gained credibility in 2008, 2009 for calling a spade a space, so i think a lot of people sat up and took notice.
11:23 am
11:24 am
11:25 am
jeff: rich cohen is here. he is an accomplished writer and of the hbo series vinyl," and a lifelong fan of the chicago cubs. his new book tells the story of the team from its founding to its triumph at the world series. andemoir, reporting history baseball theology to explore the long-held question, why can't the comes when? life is great. you can die in peace. the cubs did win. rich: the idea is being on a road trip that never ends, and the road trip ended so we are searching for meaning a little bit. jeff: you still want to win this year? rich: more than anything. people ask me why i am a cubs fan. i don't know. it was given to me when i was a kid but it becomes so intense , you just try to not put your head through a wall during some of these games. jeff: i have to mention, the
11:26 am
dodgers are good. rich: i am happy living in the past. jeff: honestly, how long does it last? it was something you always wanted. i wonder was it as satisfying as , you thought it might be? rich: it was disorienting because the cubs had not won in 108 years. losing was so regular and so intense and happened in such weird ways that we turned it into a kind of religion. i thought being a cubs fan made you kind of better because they were kind of like buddhists. you have given up on the idea of ambition. you are just enjoying the game. when you wore the cubs hat, you told the world my kingdom is not , of this world. and now we won and i think the red sox and went through the same thing. the identity changes and you realize your children grow up in a very strange world where they think the cubs are a great baseball team. jeff: was it 30 banks -- bernie
11:27 am
banks who said it was never a curse, but a fear? rich: i think in one of the last interviews with sports illustrated, the points were the curse became really serious was 1969, where they had this incredibly great team up by seven games in september, and they collapsed. rnie banks what is the curse? he said it is not voodoo, it is fear. when you have never one in your team has never won and you get into high-pressure games in the season you do not know how to win and you choke. the owner of the cubs said to me the reason he thought they did not win was because you build a baseball team to win over a 162 game season and you get into the playoffs and it is a crapshoot. to increase your odds, you have to go back multiple years and the cubs never repeated in the playoffs since the early 1900s. i'm year, whatever happens, reminding myself to be grateful, because they broke the curse and
11:28 am
i lived to see it, and a lot of but also,didn't, this is their third straight appearance in the nlcs. they give themselves a chance to be there at the end. jeff: it is a fear among the players, the ownership, the fans. it is pervasive. rich: i think it is almost like a psychosis. the one moment that was really hard for me as a cubs fan was the famous barg bartman game where the fan reached for the ball and the cubs fell apart. very close to the world series and the fans at wrigley, whom i love dearly, instead of taking at the players the field who could not get out of the inning they turned to , bartman, the fan. it is like something is happening to us. as a cubs fan, it is like something is happening to you and you do not know what you did to deserve it. jeff: i am a bills fan. i'm waiting to get over that hump. take me back to the genesis of
11:29 am
the team. why -- how did the cubs come to be, and it certainly wasn't the same way back then than it is now? rich: i am not really a sportswriter. it interests me because it is american history shrunk down to a way you can understand it. in this book, i always say if you tell the story of the cubs correctly, you are telling the story of america in a fun house mirror. baseball came out of the civil war in a way, as we know it. there were a town -- townsend local teams people put their heart and. in cincinnati, they put together a team full of ringers. that was the red sox. because they wore red stockings. so they put tether another team of ringers. they were called the white stockings. they beat the red stockings. the real source of the curse is
11:30 am
how their -- their history was intertwined with the story of chicago in america. their first stadium burned down in the chicago fire and the their captain really created the color line of baseball. then they built this famous double play con -- and in 1906, they want 116 games in 154 game season. they were like the yankees in the 40's, 50's, they dominated. >> how did they go from that dominant theme -- team to falling off a bit? >> they stayed good. games, theye 700 stayed good up through world war i, they were continually in the world series, but would lose. i think what happened is it's kind of a corporate thing.
11:31 am
sports doesn't necessarily make sense as a business unless you love the sport and want to win. william wrigley wanted to win. his son didn't really care about baseball. when asked his favorite sport, he said crack. -- graphs. i didn't even know it was a sport. maybe if you bring your are back -- your arm back and forth you can break a sweat. he made this in bargain where he was not going to put money in the team, he has to give a fan reasons to get out, so he made wrigley field. almost outlet we became trapped in this beautiful museum, where we didn't have winning that we have wrigley. jeff: what is sensational postseason? -- what a sensational postseason. in terms of the teams you have, you're the biggest teams and new york, chicago, houston all competing here. three of them have fantastic pedigrees.
11:32 am
houston with what happened with a team that is young and dynamic and exciting, i have to imagine major league baseball is pleased with what they have seen this fall. rich: not only that, i think personally baseball is ever then -- is better than it's ever been. the games may be a little too long. i have little kids and i know you have little kids. the move away from football and where will those kids go? baseball is really athletic now. the cubs are a throwback to the dead ball era of baseball and how athletic the teams are. jeff: even with all the excitement -- and my son is huge into baseball right now, he was in the local sports store the other day and he said football stuff still outsells baseball stuff 10 to one. rich: it is hard to accept as a parent letting your can damage
11:33 am
-- letting your kids damage their brain. baseball always was america's first sport. the cubs are the first pro team in america. it is so linked up to american history that there is something special about it. even the chicago bears. it was started by george callis because he started as the right fielder of the new york yankees, failed as the right fielder, then started the bears to distinguish them from the cubs. so they've always been intertwined and baseball's always been sort of the first sport. jeff: what did the u.s. team do that no one has been able to do for 100 plus years? rich: what theo said to rick was are you willing to let this team get bad? so bad he cannot have dinner out in chicago. that's how bad they have to get. the thing he said to me was the team that was owned by the tribune company were airing the game. they wanted the team to seem like a plausible contender. they never let them truly fall apart like they needed to do.
11:34 am
he also said he never would have bought the team if they won the world series. he wanted to be the one, because he knows that in chicago if you broke the curse you would go to heaven without a stop in purgatory. he wanted to be the guy who did that. he signed on to that. if you are watching the cubs in those years, they were some of the worst cubs in history. lost over 100 games. they never let the team fall apart like that. it's an interesting thing. a story is power of a narrative. the cubs as the lovable losers had an effect on the mentality of the team. i traveled around with them in 2000 to figure out why they couldn't win. that is what they said. joe girardi was on the cubs then. he said look at the pictures around the locker room and pictures of guys will bring -- celebrating winning the world series. there are pictures of wrigley but they're celebrating individual accomplishments. jeff: do you think there is that much psychology to it? rich: i do, especially in baseball.
11:35 am
hitting a baseball, i think the cubs are a great team and the best team in a baseball, probably because i am a cubs fan. they have a fatal flaw where every now and then they stop hitting. i picture them in the bed and i want to yelp wake up. it passes from player to player and they go flat. that is why they were swept by the mets. momentum is a big deal in baseball. that is why they always fall apart right at the end of the season. every cubs fan has one team that almost killed them. in 1984, the cubs team almost died. that is why i became a bears fan. the bears were penicillin for a wounded cubs fan. outsteam was five or six away. it seemed strange that easy place could not be made. you can see that is what ernie banks was talking about.
11:36 am
the sphere as you approach the finish line. boulder at first, rhino, larry the boa constrictor, once every four or five days, steve trout on the mound. i remember arguing with my father that bob, the center fielder, was too soon to tell, but it looks like he would be a better center fielders and joe dimaggio. i should say my father is a yankees fan. he grew up in new york. he took me to my first cubs game and after the game he made me promise not to become a cubs fan because he said that team will ruin your life. he said he will have diminished expectations and expect all human endeavor to end in defeat. jeff: talk a little bit about your kids. rich: they are cubs fans and i did not do it intentionally. i think it's what they call modeling. we're watching a game and the
11:37 am
there was a point where we were -- we were watching a game and the cubs were falling apart. i looked at them and i got that feeling and i looked at them and thought, oh my god. what have i done? i am a monster. this is child abuse. why am i passing this on to another generation? jeff: it is obviously easy for them now after they won. rich: they won when i was 48 years old. if they won when i was 16 i would be 6" taller, more successful, and much more handsome. jeff: how is the dynamic between the cubs and the white sox? rich: the white sox and are going to hate me. i feel like from my friends, the white sox fans have resentment toward the cubs and the cubs do not care. the white sox fans are incredible. the same architect who built committee part built wrigley field.
11:38 am
they took the name white stockings from the cubs. the white sox will always be the team in my mind. if it's the 1919 world series. jeff: what is it like writing a book like this as an outsider, not the cubs' beat reporter? rich: my whole thing is i do not want to be outside -- inside. i want to be outside. i want to get it from the grandstand in the with the fans and get it from the guy jerking -- the drinking beer. he would broadcast from the bleachers and he would get increasingly drunk as the game went on. you felt like there is no way he can really see what is happening. he was 380 feet away from home plate and describing everything wrong. one of the great things was the disparity of what he said and what was happening. he got the bigger story which is what it means to be a cubs fan is in the bleachers and what you
11:39 am
go through out there. the cubs were great. they had no light which meant , they played all day games. if you lived on the north shore, you can get on a train and get down there for the third inning and that was your first taste of the grown-up world. jeff: some of the dodgers' world series that they are back. >> well you know they did that with the cubs, they sort f recreated harry caray. we had terrible teams and we needed somebody to put your hopes on. the fact that earning was optimistic, anybody can be gracious when they win, the person who can be gracious when they lose is the real aristocrat. that is how people react when they win or when they lose.
11:40 am
when the cubs won the world series in game seven last year, i was so excited but my focus immediately went to the cleveland indians dugout to see them. that is who i identify with. that's the side i've been on on my whole life. jeff: the author is rich cohen. great to see you. rich: go cubs. ♪ ♪
11:41 am
11:42 am
jeff: "one of us" is the new documentary from heidi ewing and rachel grady.
11:43 am
it reflects the community in brooklyn and follows three former members who have been harassed and shunned for leaving. it will debut friday, october 20. >> i was living a double life for a little over a year. i called my mom and said hey, mom. can i talk to you? she's like "yeah," and i said, "are you sitting down?" and i said "i am not religious anymore." she said, "ok." then she just hung up. and then we didn't speak again for seven years. ♪ >> i looked in the mirror and saw something that is not what i want to be. i chose a different path.
11:44 am
i don't know anything. i have to learn how people live. google? what the hell is that. i couldn't google what to google because i didn't know how to google in the first place. >> they have designed a society where anybody who leaves will end up in jail. they never make it out there. >> a spouse who beat me, broke me. i never responded. i am breaking a religious law if i pressed charges. i cannot do it anymore. if you do not show up in court, then you lose your children. >> we can no longer retreat. >> nobody leaves the community a -- unless they are willing to pay the price. >> 911, what is your emergency.
11:45 am
>> there are people of the door banging at the door. >> you know these people? >> there my husband's family. -- they are my husband's family. jeff: thank you for coming. what first brought you to this subject? >> my codirector rachel and i are new yorkers. i live in on ultra-orthodox neighborhood. rachel lives adjacent to this hasidic neighborhood. we share the city with a hassidic community. there is a great curiosity about the hassidic group, who are identifiable by their dress and they are often not making eye contact with us. it started with a point of curiosity. jeff: not making contact with you by design? >> yes.
11:46 am
the hasidic community does not interact with outsiders unless they absolutely must. jeff: how big is the community? >> 350,000 in new york. the majority in brooklyn. jeff: what is the reasoning? >> the community was started in eastern europe in the 1700s. in eastern europe, the community was not as insular as it is today. the vast majority of this group of hassidic jews were exterminated in the holocaust, partly because they refused to blend in. they kept ring the clothing, -- they kept wearing the clothing, they were loud and proud about their identity. the vast majority died in the holocaust. when the survivors came to the united states, they became more cloistered, suspicious of outsiders. the theory is this is a community that is traumatized by
11:47 am
the holocaust and passes that down generation to generation. that is their reasoning. they would like to be left alone. jeff: you mentioned you followed three different people as they tried to leave this community with varying degrees of difficulty. one of them is ettie, who has seven children. this is him talking about the strict rules for children. >> you will not enter a secular library for any purpose. a lot of rules. so many rules. my son was in second grade. a hassidich reader, all the schools are using it.
11:48 am
female scribble, female scribble. how are they not putting a yarmulke on this? how did he know which was which? reading and education is deprived of the community. that is how they keep their control. jeff: how old is ettie? heidi: ettie is 33. jeff: she had her first child at 18? when did the recognition come that she didn't want to be a part of the community? >> she never planned on leaving the community. she suffered abuse by her husband. the children also survived physical abuse. what she wanted was a divorce. ettie had gone to the rabbi many times over the years.
11:49 am
it is discouraged to go to secular courts, to call 911, to rely on secular institutions. there is the rabbis that one talks to, counseling like that. she tried that many times with no success. she got fed up and got an order of protection. she went to the authorities. that was a breach of protocol. that was considered a betrayal. the community looked at it as a betrayal. it was a quick house of cards after that. seeing the film, she was pushed out of the community and they attempt to take her children from her. she just wanted a divorce. she was willing to raise the kids hasidic if she needed to. jeff: she no longer has her children? >> she no longer has her children. jeff: how did you get to know ettie and the others, and how do they give you this kind of access? >> there is a reason you have not seen a film about hassidic jews or hassidic jews who will talk to you.
11:50 am
my codirector and i were secular women so we never thought we would make a film like this. we read an article about an organization called footsteps. they have been helping people transition into a more secular lifestyle. the guard their membership very ferociously and jealously. their address is not listed on the website. it is a private space where people were thinking of leaving comfortable. it took them about six months to agree that we can come and hang out in their lobby and his eye -- inside footsteps with no cameras and talk to people. through those months and months of showing up in talking to people, we were able to find the people in our film. jeff: possesses the organization -- footsteps is the organization that shepherds these folks through the process when they decide they may want to leave the community. >> that is right. they are pretty much the only one. jeff: what sort of threats or challenges does footsteps face? >> they are despised.
11:51 am
there looked at as a group that -- they are looked at as an organization that wants to remove the bowl from the community and make them not religious. we observed neither of those things to be true. even a someone in the community -- even if someone in the community find that you have been to footsteps, you are out. it is not like you telling when you have been inside until you are positive you want to leave. jeff: talk about what happened when you used some of the clips from 2011, a speech given, warning about technology and the internet as it relates to the hassidic community and what these rabbis would like to see. >> this is a massive anti-technology rally. we had heard about this through one of our characters who attended them with his father. that really meet him. about the internet.
11:52 am
courteous --m curious. the community is very anti-technology. there are businesses in the community that can filter your cell phones, filter your computer so that you can only do searches perhaps for a local shopping. it is very guarded. the genie is out of the bottle , but the community continues to warn people of watching secular films, or searching the internet. jeff: he said he had to google how to google. he said he did not know how to do math. what does he learn in this community growing up? >> he's a very traditional boy. he was raised in the most powerful sect. religious studies, his first language is yiddish. he barely learned english. he had to learn it because it is the law. but apparently kids leave during
11:53 am
class and parents don't care if they study english. he went to an all boys school where there is no premium on proper education. you come out of the community at 18, he was curious when he learns about the big bang he said. he had no idea. furious. you have to start from scratch. that's one reason why more people do not leave. how can you make it out here? jeff: he cut his hair. what is the reaction when that happens? >> the side curls are an identifying marker. that's a provocative act. like a woman who wears a wig or wears pants. cutting off the curls is an act of rebellion saying i'm the no longer with you. jeff: have they reacted to this? have they had a dialogue with you at all? heidi: almost all of our attempt to reach out remember the response that they are not interested in participating. if there were any people who had left the community represented in the movie, they would not speak to us.
11:54 am
they wished us the best of luck, including the representatives out there in the community. we do have a feeling and a sense of some of the elders in the community, and one lovely gentleman does sit with him and you get a sense of the camaraderie and kinship that exists within the community. we have not had a dialogue with them. they have not seen the film, they are not supposed to watch netflix. i imagine many people will see it anyway. we were shut down. jeff: ettie says she was threatened and harmed by those who did not want her to leave. heidi: she was threatened by her husband and others. we have a series of phone calls in the film you hear. she also suffered a very mysterious bike accident days after she was told a bike was not acceptable.
11:55 am
they saw her riding a bicycle, which is absolutely bad behavior. she was stalked. she was followed for many months and make to feel afraid and -- made to feel afraid and isolated and alienated, her family, her sisters, brothers, neighbors. everybody stop talking to her on the same day. she lost everything after she filed for an order of protection. jeff: when the speeches like one we saw at city feels are given, -- citi field are given, get rid of the phones, get rid of everything that provides any sort of communication to the outside world, why? heidi: the community for the most part believes technology and this sort of secular information is a threat to their existence. they want people to be born, raised, get married, have children in the community to repopulate for the people who died. the holocaust is a reference
11:56 am
point every single day. the idea is the outside world is a threat because they can he -- take people's attention away. it could make people too ambitious to pursue higher education or put off having children. the idea is if you can keep it out, you can keep the unity -- the community intact. jeff: how do they make money? typical jobs inside the hassidic community are what? heidi: the majority of the community is actually at or below the poverty line. williamsburg in brooklyn is the poorest part of brooklyn. there are a handful of families that have all of the money and they share that with the rest. they pay for the weddings and funerals and charities and all sorts of things. it used to be more the garments and diamond industry. for the hassidic community now it is real estate. a large amount of the real estate and burrell park in other parts are owned by a handful of families. they are funding a lot of the community, but a lot are relying
11:57 am
on social services. jeff: "one of us" is available on netflix. thank you so much. ♪
11:58 am
11:59 am
is this a phone? or a little internet machine? it makes you wonder: shouldn't we get our phones and internet from the same company? that's why xfinity mobile comes with your internet. you get up to 5 lines of talk and text at no extra cost. so all you pay for is data. see how much you can save. choose by the gig or unlimited. xfinity mobile. a new kind of network designed to save you money. call, visit, or go to xfinitymobile.com.
12:00 pm

25 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on