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TMHS 507: Find Your Inner Strength & Grow Through Adversity – With Guest Bedros Keuilian
The term self-improvement gets thrown around a lot, but what does it actually take to become a better person? Experiencing growth is much more than implementing self-care practices or reading self-help books. Real, lasting change is often accompanied by discomfort.
At a time when mental health issues like anxiety are at an all-time high, we could all use some sustainable change. On this episode of The Model Health Show, Bedros Keuilian is back to share insights on self-mastery, overcoming trauma, alleviating anxiety, and much more.
You’re going to hear Bedros’ experience dealing with panic attacks and anxiety, and the treatment and mindset shift he’s used to heal from trauma. We’re diving into what it takes to cultivate change in your life and the world around you. So listen in and enjoy the show with the one and only, Bedros Keuilian!
In this episode you’ll discover:
- What the greatest work any human could do is.
- How trauma affects our headspace.
- Bedros’ experience with talk therapy & his tips for finding a therapist.
- Why taking action can alleviate anxiety.
- The importance of self-mastery.
- How healing your trauma can help you experience love at its highest form.
- What a significant life event is, & how it can cultivate change.
- Why we need to lean into discomfort.
- How trauma can lead to self-hatred.
- The main goal of the MDK Project.
- What it means to address toxic cognitions.
- The link between addiction and trauma.
- How being open and honest with yourself can change your life.
- Why healing your trauma can make you stronger.
Items mentioned in this episode include:
- PiqueTea.com/model — Use code MODEL at checkout for 10% off!
- Beekeepersnaturals.com/model — Get 15% off raw honey & other natural remedies!
- Man Up by Bedros Keuilian
- The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell
- The Body Keeps the Score by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk
- Attached by Dr. Amir Levine, MD, and Rachel Heller MA
- Influence by Robert B. Cialdini, PhD
- Mask Facts
- MDK Project
- Connect with Bedros Keuilian Website / Instagram
Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!
SHAWN STEVENSON: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert, Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. On this episode, we're going to be talking about empowerment. We're going to be talking about thinking differently, especially in times of stress, and especially in times of anxiety, and what we can actually do to start to solve some of our biggest problems. And just to give you a heads up, the solution is always going to boil down to us as unique, powerful individuals, but we have to be aware that we have the power to effect change. And right now, a lot of people can feel disempowered, they can feel cut adrift, they can feel like, I don't have that power, I'll be waiting for somebody else to come along and solve these problems. But the reality is right now, oftentimes, especially times like this, you are the very person that you've been looking for to effect change, not just in your own life, but in the world around you. I got a great guest to talk about this, somebody who is truly a really good friend. We spent a lot of time together, and he's come out to St. Louis, to hang out with me and my family and his family, and also the same thing.
He's been such a great friend, somebody who's really helped me to make this move out to California, CA, when I would come out here for speaking events. I actually came out to San Diego to speak at one of his big events, and it was Fitness Business Summit, the biggest fitness business event on planet Earth that he had annually, but of course, the world has been crazy, a little bit different right now, so he hasn't been able to put on that massive event that he put on. And so it was an incredible, incredible experience to be able to talk with and to teach people who are in the domain of fitness, in the domain of health, how can we help people to have sustainable businesses so that you can serve at a higher level because that's what we really need now, is for people to really be tapped into their own dharma, their own gift, and to be able to impact the lives of even more people, to make health go viral, to make health be infectious. So it was a really fun time, and having the opportunity to learn from him because he's also somebody who his story is really powerful because coming here as an immigrant, and he'll share his story, but the circumstances that he comes from, and the way that he got here into the United States and having the experience...
At one point, he was actually homeless, and he was living in his car. And now, today, being the CEO of a company that has over 600 gyms, it is just mind-blowing, and truly, that's the story of potential here in this country. And oftentimes, we don't understand how powerful and how unique that is, and we do not want to let that freedom of possibility slip away. So we're going to be talking about that as well. And also, right now, obviously, our nutrition is of paramount importance because it is a driving force of our energy, it is a driving force of our biology and making up the stuff that actually is running our physiology, running our biology, animating our bodies and our minds. And so that really does matter more than ever. And truly, one of the things that I'm passionate about is this brand new ancient wisdom. So this brand new ancient wisdom, and one of the things that have thousands of years of documented use and efficacy, that now we have peer-reviewed evidence as to how remarkable it really is. And one of my favorite things to sip on actually is one of the very few things ever discovered to have a direct influence on the specific enzyme that unlocks our fat cells to allow its contents to be evacuated and to be used for energy, and that particular enzyme is called hormone-sensitive lipase or HSL. And this nutrient source that I'm talking about, and this is highlighted in the journal, Phytonutrient Research, is the storied fermented tea pu'er.
Pu'er is also effective as an adjunct. If right now, there's a lot of science going around about intermittent fasting, it's an effective adjunct here in this domain as well, because it has these fasting-mimicking benefits because of its ability to support fat loss while protecting muscle mass during intermittent fasting as documented in a recent study featured in Clinical Interventions in Aging. And also, to fan the flames of pu'er even more, a recent study published in the peer-review journal, Nature Communications, uncovered that there's a unique compound found in pu'er that's part of why it's demonstrating all these remarkable effects. It's called theabrownin, theabrownin, which sounds very similar to the theobromine, which is found in chocolate, but theabrownin, in this study, again, published in Nature Communications was found to have some remarkable effects on our microbiome.
The researchers found that theabrownin positively alters gut microbiota that directly reduces excessive hepatic cholesterol and reduces lipogenesis, which means the creation of fat. So really remarkable. Now, the key here always is quality, because what you really got to understand is that this field, this category of tea, is one of the categories of food and beverages and nutrition that doesn't have a lot of regulation, and there are a lot of pesticides and a lot of molds and things of that nature found in a lot of conventional teas. And this is why you got to source it from the right place.
And the tea that I drink uses a patented cold extraction technology to retain the nutrients, and also, they do a triple toxin screen for one of the highest levels of purity. Testing for pesticides, heavy metals, and toxic mold that is common in tea, and I'm talking about the polyphenol-rich pu'er from Pique Tea. Go to piquetea.com/model. That's P-I-Q-U-E-T-E-A.com/model, and you're going to get an exclusive 10% off your entire purchase. So they got an incredible pu'er. I'm also a big fan of their matcha, is one of my favorite things as well. Their ginger is another one of my favorites. So many great teas to choose from, I think it's really going to blow your mind. So pop over there, check them out. It's piquetea.com/model, again that's piquetea.com/model, and use the code Model, M-O-D-E-L at checkout. You're going to get 10% off.
So again, one of my favorite things I have pu'er on a regular basis, I love pu'er with a little bit of emulsified MCT. Oh, it is just such a vibe, and it's so good for you, and it's just one of my favorite things. So pop over there, check 'em out, piquetea.com/model. Now, let's get to the Apple Podcast review of the week.
ITUNES REVIEW: Another five-star review titled, “Speaks the truth” by Jerry4567. “Love this podcast. Just found it during COVID and the only place to get accurate info regarding health. COVID is political, and he steps away from that and looks at what is really going on. I am implementing tips he gives a little at a time and seeing the benefits. He has a lot of great people on too. Please stay strong and continue to speak the truth.”
SHAWN STEVENSON: I appreciate that so much. Thank you so much for that acknowledgment and thank you for leaving that review over on Apple Podcast. It means everything. And if you're yet to do so, please pop over to Apple Podcast and leave a review for this show. And on that note, let's get to our special guest and topic of the day. Our guest today is Bedros Keuilian, and he's the founder and CEO of Fit Body Boot Camp. Three times listed on Entrepreneur Magazine's 500 Fastest-Growing Franchises in the world. He's also the author of The Wall Street Journal bestseller, Man Up, and known as the hidden genius behind many of the top businesses, entrepreneurs, and top leaders who are making an impact on the world today. He is their secret weapon.
His list of clients includes New York Times best-selling authors, celebrities, NFL athletes, Navy Seals, and more. He's an incredible performance coach and uses the stage, television, and social media to share his immigrant edge, what he calls his immigrant edge and American dream story, to help inspire audiences worldwide to reach their fullest potential in business and in life. And I'd like to jump into this conversation with my very good friend, Bedros Keuilian. So you're one of the most inspirational people for me personally. There's so much craziness going on in the world, and just to have a grounded human being who's been through a lot of stuff, but also figured out a lot of stuff, and your posts are always insightful. The work that you're doing behind the scenes, it's just... It's incredible. We'll get into some of that.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Thank you.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But one of the things that you posted recently, you said that the greatest work that we could ever do is the work that we do on ourselves.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Yes.
SHAWN STEVENSON: What do you mean by that?
BEDROS KEUILIAN: The work of self-mastery. The work of self-mastery is the greatest work any human can do, and I thought about that because we were redoing our kitchen in our house, and in the process, we brought a whole new... All new appliances. And these days, I don't even know this, your refrigerator has Wi-Fi, your oven has Wi-Fi, everything has Wi-Fi, and it's a Thermador brand. And so I'm reading through all the Thermador manuals that they all came with. And so you don't have to pull the refrigerator handle, Shawn. Now, you can pull the handle if you want, or you can just kind of nudge the handle forward, give it a little shove and a little kickstand from the inside pushes the door open for you, enough for you to just take it the rest of the way, just out of convenience. I'm like, oh, wow, what a cool feature Diana, and I'm telling my wife like, Holy crap, our other... The Sub-Zero we had. We thought it was cool; it didn't have this. That thing was like 15 years old. This thing is cutting edge. And so then I realized like, Hey, wait a minute, where is the owner's manual for us?
Where is the owner's manual for us? So there's no owner's manual. And then you add to that, one out of every three people have encountered some kind of traumatic event that has completely changed how they view the world. Maybe they were abused, bullied, mentally, physically, sexually abused, whatever it is. And so, in addition to no owner's manual of understanding yourself, you also have traumatic experiences that have now created these belief systems and toxic cognitions where you are operating with a limp, like if you had a physical limp. Today you don't, you wake up tomorrow, and your wife's like, Shawn, you're limping. You're like, Holy shit, I'm limping. It's physical, you would feel something, you'd go do something about it. But there's no owner's manual for the headspace, and so we all just kind of assume that we know what we're doing, but we don't, and this is why we have wars and we have so much corruption of powers and all these things. But when you really, really, really think about it, the greatest work any human can do is the work of becoming a human being, because we are truly human animals, as Joseph Campbell says in his book, The Power of Myth, we're human animals living impulsively, emotionally, reactively.
And until we can start evolving into a human being, living through consciousness and realizing what is my greatest purpose for being here, how can I serve society, because our true... The rent that we pay for being on this planet is service to society, but so many of us are selfish because we live as human animals. A human being says, Oh, I know, I'm here, let me serve. That's the rent that I owe. And so, unfortunately, not enough of us do that great work of self-mastery, and because of that, you have high divorce rates and the abuse continues, the cycle of abuse continues, whether it's sexual, physical, addictions continue. And it just breaks my heart, man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, and we have no idea that we're doing it. So that... That psychological gangster walk that we have, that pimp limp that we have, we often have no idea that it's taking place. And so as you mentioned, being reactive, not being in control of our ability to think and to think rationally and operating from that place, it's true. And I think that one of the steps is for us to acknowledge that, and even within ourselves, because even the most evolved person who's really worked on themselves, we can jump back to that part of us. It's always there, that primal programming. But that work and becoming a human being is realizing you can think the way that you want to think. You can think the thoughts that you want to think. You can respond the way that you want to respond.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Bingo.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And so doing that work. So that makes even more sense, with that statement. So I want to make sure everybody's following you on Instagram. Again, one of my favorite people to look towards for my own personal inspiration.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: You're so good to me, bro.
SHAWN STEVENSON: @bedroskeulian on Instagram. And also, another big issue, man, that I've been really breaking down recently because most folks have no idea about this because you're not going to hear it on the major media channels because they're propagating this very thing. So the CDC reported it's 550,000 citizens hospitalized with COVID-19, 800 hospitals they tracked, they found that the number one leading risk factor for death from COVID is obesity, which we well know. The second leading risk factor for death from COVID-19 was fear and anxiety-related disorders. I just can't make that up. At this point, it's just like... But I was talking about this over a year ago, like, Hey, the psychosomatic effects of this, what if? What if you're terrified of this condition and then you actually get it? What is the body's response going to be? You've already predetermined that it's going to kill you. Do you think your body is going to oblige more likely? And so this is just a basic biochemistry. Your thoughts create chemistry changes in your body, influences your immune system, and the like. And you said in a post, and this is something I just heard you talk about before, that anxiety is anticipation of future pain.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Yes.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And the other part is, action alleviates anxiety. Talk about that.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Indeed. Yeah. So that I have to give a shout-out to Dr. Kevin Downing, who is my therapist. And the first time... So I'm 47 now. The first time I had an anxiety attack, I was 38 years old. And I had never had an anxiety attack. I felt stressed and overwhelmed. Being an entrepreneur, growing businesses, it comes with uncertainty, and so you have stressful days. You know that. And then also being a man, I like to block things out.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Right? And so...
SHAWN STEVENSON: Stuff it deep, deep down inside.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Deep, deep, deep, and then put phone books on it, so it doesn't come out. And so... Actually, you don't have phone books anymore, so the younger generation's like, What's a phone book?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right. So put a... Put MacBooks on top of that.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Yeah. Put heavy-duty MacBooks on there. Exactly. That's a good way to put it. And so, dude, I had this anxiety attack. I swear, I thought I was having a panic... Or a heart attack. And so, went to the doctor, the doctors like, "Hey, man. You're fine, but your stress levels are probably through the roof. That was a panic attack you had." I'm like, "No kidding? Tell me more." He's like, "Well, you got to take care of your stress and your... Otherwise, you're going to keep having these anxiety attacks." And he put me on Xanax. Now, truth be told, for three weeks, I had zero anxiety attacks 'cause I was having like two or three back-to-back after that first week. So I went back to him, and he put me on Xanax. Dude, for three weeks, no anxiety attacks. But also for three weeks, I was just sitting there numb, no desire to work. And you know me, I'm a savage. I want to work, I want to serve, I want to create. I love that. There was just no creativity, no desire to work.
So I'm telling my wife like, "If this continues, we're going to lose our businesses. I just have no desire to work." So I tell my doctor, and he goes, "Well, have you considered talk therapy?" He goes, "It will actually help you overcome the things that cause the stress, overwhelm that lead to an anxiety attack." So I go and find one. And by the way, kind of a pro tip to everyone listening to this, it was my third therapist, and I was like, this guy knows what he's talking about. So just 'cause someone's a therapist, bro, if they're brand new, they may not have the experience. And if you're the type of person that you know how to wordsmith your way through things, and I'm a closer, I'm a salesman, and so I know how to move around and dodge your questions. And if you're brand new, you're not going to be able to put me in a corner and help me. So the first therapist, she was so brand new that just nothing was happening. The second therapist, he started crying every time he was trying to help me. Still young. Yeah, I was like, Bro...
SHAWN STEVENSON: That's different.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: If I knew how to help you out, I'd help you. But I don't know. We're both fucked up.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Listen, that would be a great TV show, the crying therapist.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: I'm telling you. And so I would just sit there, an hour would go by, I'd pay my 99 bucks and leave. But what really happened? And again, I'm a type-A person, so I want results, I want results, so I can get off the Xanax. And so finally, I find this dude, Kevin Downing in Brea, right by that steakhouse we went to. And he's late 60s, white hair, and I'm looking at his face, and something's off about his face. And it was like three sessions into my therapy sessions, I was like, this dude's got no eyebrows. He had no eyebrows. And so someone looks different when they don't have eyebrows. I'm like, "Kevin, you got no eyebrows." He's like, "Yeah, I just... I wasn't gifted with eyebrows." So as we got to talking, he teaches me that anxiety is exactly that, anticipation of future pain. When you're anxious about something, you're just anticipating what pain or problem or suffering you're going to deal with in the future, 'cause you haven't addressed it now.
And just like depression is thinking about the past. Just thinking about the past and staying in the past and the what ifs, and the regrets and all that stuff, and so... The truth of the matter is I wasn't addressing my business partner at the time, that, Hey, we need to split up and part ways, and either you take Fit Body Boot Camp or I'll take Fit Body Boot Camp, both of us can't be the CEO anymore 'cause our work ethics were different. He's a good human being, just different work ethic. And so I would hear his car driving up to the HQ and like Pavlov's dog, my heart would start racing, but I never connected the dots that that was the beginning of my anxiety attacks. I was just like, oh, he just makes me tense. Tension is the beginning steps, and my heart would race and my mouth would dry, and then I started avoiding him at work. It was almost like two people who were on the brink of divorce but still living in the same house. And so I was anticipating that if I ever had this conversation with him that he would be like, how dare you and you're trying to take the business away from me and this is going to ruin my family, and so that's the pain I was anticipating, so I was just having anxiety attack after another.
Truth is, when I did have that conversation with him after Kevin taught me this, he was just like, Oh bro, you know what, I'm glad we're talking about this. Let's part ways. Would you want to buy me out? And I'm like, Sure. And I ended up buying him out. And it wasn't anything like I imagined it would be like a full-on bang-up fight. And so from that point on, I started addressing everything as problems came up instead of doing what most people do, which is to avoid, ignore and distract ourselves. And if we avoid, ignore, and distract ourselves, the anxiety tends to build up, and that's how that whole anticipation piece begins. So action of course alleviates anxiety and so when Kevin taught me that I'm a goofball, I just do what a professional tells me. I'm very coachable. So like when you're like, hey, B, when you wear a mask, this is what happens, I'm like, alright, kids, family, you're not wearing masks as much as you can. Like you're... And so if we have to take private flights instead of... Like this flight we are taking to Oregon, we're not going to fly American Airlines first class anymore, we're going to take a private charter because we don't have to wear masks, and had you explained how masks work, I would have been like, hey, we're cool, right? All good.
So all that to say that I'm very coachable. And so Kevin tells me something and I go do it. But even greater than that, Kevin's work with me led to overcoming some of the biggest traumas in my life, which I'm sure we'll dive into later. And I just want to open up the door that we all need some level of self-mastery, and sometimes there's other humans that have the user’s manual and can explain how it works.
SHAWN STEVENSON: That's so helpful, man. Because again, it's breaking down these taboo things. Again, somebody sees Vlad, your alter ego coming their way, they would have a certain impression about you. And like you mentioned, especially in the culture that both of us grew up in, and any other men as well, is just like, you push that down, you stuff that deep, deep down and the recess is...
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Yeah, circle of pain.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And this is the most beautiful part about what you said for me personally, and I just want to thank you for this, is that, and it's so simple, your body was giving you feedback when you were having that anxiety come up. When he would pull up like you said, Pavlov's dog, your body was giving you an indication, Hey, you got something here that needs to be addressed, something is off, but in our culture today, like you said, we distract ourselves, we numb ourselves, we ignore instead of... We evolved to when we get these responses from our bodies, our biology is giving us feedback for us to change something, whether it's an environmental thing, an internal thing, a change of perspective, a change inactivity. So it's giving us an opportunity, but we tend to be imprisoned by the thin, when there's freedom, there's a seed of freedom within that anxiety.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Yeah, that's exactly right, there's a seed of freedom within that anxiety. And actually, to that point, how the body gives feedback, there is a great book out there called The Body Keeps the Score, and that's exactly what the author talks about. He's an amazing psychologist who wrote the book, and he talks about how your body will literally replicate what's going on in your headspace and your psyche. And it's just fantastic to be able to read and go, holy crap, okay. I know why my body's reacting this way, maybe I need to start having dialogue with people and having closure on issues.
SHAWN STEVENSON: The first thing, obviously, is just getting educated and realizing that it's a thing, because we could have just been that limp that you mentioned. I love... I just keep thinking about the psychological limp, and I'm seeing in my mind like a peg leg, like a pirate version of yourself.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Yeah, we have an emotional limp, we have psychological limps, we have love limps, where...
SHAWN STEVENSON: Wait, and what kind of love limp...Okay.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: You're filthy.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Go ahead. Go ahead.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: If you think about this... And I was guilty of this, and there's a great book out there called Attachment. You can tell I'm not smart; I just read a lot of books. And so the book, Attachment, really talks about the three types of attachments out there, insecure attachment, secure attachment, dependent attachment ,and all this stuff, but you'll marry someone. It's like I love you, I love you to pieces, but you won't let them all the way in, because there's some traumatic thing that happened, and so you built the wall and no one's coming in. She or he might be closest, but no one's coming all the way in, and you're living this love relationship with a limp when you could really fix it and then experience love at its most highest purest form, Oh my god.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, it's like you have a mask on. But I want to reiterate this point because you mentioned this, just for people who might be new for this particular episode, who might be tuning in for the first time, and just like, What? Mask does what? Just to share a quick study with you, this was published in the journal Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, recruited pregnant health care workers to wear N95 masks while doing low-intensity activity and the results were shocking. Again, we just kind of like do this thing, there's no side effects, but that's not true. There's actually a substantial amount of peer-reviewed evidence as to their effects. So anyways, wearing the N95 mask reduced their normal volume of air displacement between inhalation and exhalation by 23%. It reduced the volume of gas inhaled or exhaled specifically from their lungs each minute by 26%. Their volume of overall oxygen consumption was reduced by 14%. It's not good.
And the ability to expire carbon dioxide was reduced by 18%. And for me, even with the N95 and seeing some peer-reviewed effectiveness of it, but what is the potential downside? And I was thinking, what about... They must have been wearing it for a long amount of time, but this happened in 15 minutes of wearing the mask. It isn't like, just do this, there's no downside. We got to do a simple cost-benefit analysis because there is some context where they can be effective, but all you're hearing is that, Oh, the science is clear that this is... And it's not the case.
Most of the peer-reviewed evidence, randomized controlled trials, show that they're pretty ineffective against pathogen transfer. Even the thing that masks were invented for, which was during surgery, it's why they're called surgical mask, to prevent the surgeon from passing bacteria on to the surgical site of the patient, every analysis, every one of them has found, whether the person is wearing a mask or not wearing a mask, the risk of infection doesn't go up for the patient.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: When you made that documentary, where you explained all that, it was like a light bulb moment for me, and I shared it with so many people. And for them, it was a light bulb moment. And then as I... Of course, I don't know, I've never told you this, but then you put me down a rabbit hole 'cause they were talking about N95 masks, N95 masks, and those masks are great when there's toxins in the air. There's a fire in your house, grab the N95 mask to be able to scoop up your daughter, come back and scoop up your son and help your family out. It's like for that. It is not for us to wear all day long in the car driving by ourselves, wearing double N95 masks like it's Mad Max or something. What the hell is going on? It's just bananas, man.
But when people are pushed into fear, confusion, doubt, uncertainty, the most bravest and confident of people, you can break them down through those four things: Fear, confusion, doubt, and uncertainty. And so the most capable, confident person, once you've worn them down like that, they go, "Just tell me what to do next. I can't fend for myself. Tell me what to do." You go, "Wear five masks." "Okay. I will" It's ridiculous, man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And by the way, so if you've yet to see it, go to the modelhealthshow.com/maskfacts, and you can see the documentary and also all the studies are there. I also do a video addressing some of the affirmative mask studies that demonstrate how they are effective and breaking it down and just deciding whether or not it's sustainable when put up against scientific scrutiny. So you can check it all out there, but I want to ask you about this one as well. You said that when you get tired of your own bullshit excuses, that's when the real growth starts.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Yeah. Yeah.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Talk about that.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: You can sell, we can sell anybody on anything. "Hey, how are you?" "I'm doing great." But deep down inside, you're like, "Oh, I've got a porn addiction. I drink heavily. I don't work out when I say I'm supposed to. I'm pretty much a failure." Outwardly, especially on social media now, everything's fine, everything's great, I'm on top of the world. And so you have to hit rock bottom for you to start doing something. I call it a significant life event, and in The Project, for example, every guy that comes through, there's a significant life event.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Wait, this is not the projects like where I would frequent when I was a kid?
BEDROS KEUILIAN: No, no.
SHAWN STEVENSON: This is like... Okay.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: By the way, dude from the projects where you would frequent when you were a kid when I was in St. Louis, picked us up in an Uber. Have I told you that story? That's a whole different story. He ended up being a really awesome dude, but he definitely had thug life in him, for sure. And so...
SHAWN STEVENSON: This is your men's project?
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Yeah, The Project is a 75-hour men's personal development program run by myself, a Navy SEAL, a Marine, a SWAT Sniper, and an MMA Fighter. And we put men through a... Every man must test themselves to suffer and face adversity because it's only in suffering and adversity that you meet your highest self. There is a higher version of every single one of us within, but it is only exposed and revealed when we are called to be tested. And of course, life is so convenient and awesome that we're barely tested. In fact, we go away from discomfort. You need to lean into discomfort, but that's a whole different thing. But at The Project, every dude that comes through to experience The Project has had some kind of a significant life event, whether it's alcoholism to the point where it got them out of their... They were a VP of a multi-million dollar company and they lost a career, they fell asleep behind the steering wheel after... Blacked out after drinking and killed the family of four in an opposing car, cheated on their spouse, and gave their spouse a disease, and it's like now they're heading to a divorce. There's always a significant life event, but outwardly, every single one of these men who come to The Project are very successful.
And I created The Project because these are men who won't go to therapy, they won't go to some AA or public thing because some are pretty well known. One of them, in fact, is a top poker player, and that's the extent that I'll share that. So they come there, and they are tested, we break them down, we get them to bond because they're strangers when they show up at hour number one, but hour number 75, they are now calling each other brothers. And so somewhere in between where we deprive them of sleep and the Navy SEAL beats them up, not physically, but through exercise evolutions, we have this period of time called the toxic cognitions, removing toxic cognitions, and it's a journaling process. And I lead the way with that, and the program goes like this: The very first sentence is, "The worst thing that's ever happened to me is... " And then dot, dot, dot, and then I start reading what I wrote. "Between ages of four and six, I was molested by two older boys over and over again in a carport in Armenia." And they're like, "Holy shit, you just shared that?"
And so I'm like, "Alright, gentlemen, we're here for a reason. All of the self-destruction that you're doing, all the lies that you're telling, the feeling like an impostor in life, the divorce you're going through, your child's not respecting you, all your addictions are a by-product of trauma." Addictions are literally a by-product of trauma. You show me a man or a woman with addiction, I will show you a man or a woman who has experienced trauma and who refuses to process through the trauma, and if they process through the trauma, they won't be addicted to porn, alcohol, food, drugs, gambling, which is a form of avoid and ignore.
Distraction. And so they do that and they openly talk about that for the first time, they talk about their worst thing that's ever happened to them, and then the next sentence, And that made me feel... And I go through, broken, unlovable, like trash, I could be used and thrown away, I'm not deserving of happiness, and I go on and on, right? And then I go, alright guys, your turn to write this and this becomes like a four-hour exercise. Now, at hour number one, these guys would have never shared that because pride. By hour number 29 of no sleep, food deprivation, exhaustion, and putting them through exercise and evolutions where they have to help each other, and therefore, they have to build a kinship, brotherhood of trust, they openly talk about this, cry through this, and for many of these men, this is the first time they've openly addressed their bullshit, that they've been hiding from. And until you will be open and honest about the bullshit that you have been hiding from, and... We all have Kryptonite in our life bro. Everyone walks around like they're Superman, and I've got this and everything's under control and everything's great.
Show the kryptonite, let's work through it, let's heal, and move on. It'll be better for your relationship with your wife, with your children, with your employees, with society in general, because otherwise, traumatic events that have happened to you, they're not your fault, but they put on these filters on your eyes and ears that you see and you hear the world in a different way. For me, before healing and working with Kevin for 16 months to get past... The anxiety attack was nothing. In four weeks, he helped me overcome my anxiety attacks. It was the next 16 months because he built trust with me within four sessions. At the end of the fourth session when I was leaving Kevin's office, he's like Bedros, I guess we're done. For a month, you've had no anxiety attacks, you've got all the tools. Anxiety is anticipation of future pain that actually alleviates anxiety. HALT, hungry, angry, lonely, tired. When you're hungry, angry, lonely, tired, it will trigger an anxiety attack or alcoholism for the alcoholic, or you go back to a prostitute if you're a sex addict, whatever. So manage your hungry, angry, lonely, tired, HALT. Easy enough to do, but yet, I was the guy on my laptop, "I'm not going to go pee until I'm done with every email."
Well, I got a lot of emails, now I'm angry, and now I'm hungry and I'm thirsty. And my wife comes in and is like, "Hey, honey do you want to... " And I scream at her. How is that good for my relationship? So he teaches me all this stuff. As I'm leaving, Shawn, as I'm leaving his office, See you later, Kevin, peace. He's like, "Hey, is there anything else you want to talk about?" I'm like, "No, everything's great." He's like, "Everything was great with your family growing up, like your parents?" I'm like, "Listen, man, I come from a communist family, from Soviet Union. And so my dad was pretty heavy-handed, but honestly, that's nothing compared to what really happened to me as a kid in Armenia." I felt so safe with him that I threw that out there. And Kevin goes, "What happened?" And I just started bawling, dude, and I started crying, and I couldn't even look at him. I was just looking out of his window, and he goes, "Were you abused?" And I shook my head, "Yes." Words were not coming out of my mouth. He goes, "Were you beaten?" I'm like, "No, no, no." "Were you sexually abused?" "Yes." "Male, female?" "Yes, no, whatever."
And before you know it, it all comes out, and we spend the next 16 months healing, and it's only then that I could address the real deep that I was hiding. I walked around like I'm whole like I'm confident, I had swagger, like I'm alpha, beating my chest, I'm going to put on all this muscle. It was after that, the 16 months with him that people were like, Bedros, you look leaner. I'm like, Yeah, 'cause I got leaner, 'cause I was just self-destructive, I would... So I'm the CEO of a fitness franchise, and I would come home and eat 5000 to 6000 calories in the evening. Not all day, in the evening. Bagel and cream cheese. Bagel and cream cheese, four, five, six of them, because I hated myself. This is deep-seated stuff that trauma will do because I felt like I was just throw away-able. And so as I worked through that with Kevin, now I can openly talk about it on podcasts, from stages, on TV shows. Bro, this would have never happened even six years ago before Kevin. And so we all have to address the that we're hiding because if we don't, we're just going to walk around with this false armor when in reality, people are like," Dude, you're more compassionate, more empathetic. You look younger." So as I get older, people are telling that I look younger and all because the weight was lifted. Just lift the weight, address the, heal. It's magical.
SHAWN STEVENSON: It's powerful. To say the least, man. That's incredible, it's incredible. Just thinking about... In zooming out and looking at this bigger picture... First of all, can you let people know where they can get more information about the men's project?
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Really, they can just reach out to me on Instagram, but a better place to go is mdkproject.com, MDK stands for Modern Day Knight Project, mdkproject.com, because we really want to help men become modern day knights, and we do need more modern day knights than ever, because with... Well, with free speech being censored, and that was our very first amendment... So being that I wasn't born here, I had to learn about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and the stars and stripes, and all that stuff on the flag, and of course, our judicial system and legislative system. I had to learn all that to become a citizen. And so what I did is like the First Amendment is there for a reason, Freedom of speech.
The Second Amendment is there to protect the First Amendment. And I see both of those being eroded, and as a former communist, it brings a lot of panic and fear within me to see that. So we need more modern day knights than ever to be able to stand up, 'cause I know they feel it in their gut like something's not right, something's not right with this whole Corona, the lockdown, the forced vaccines, the mandates, the registering myself on some list, something's not right, but I don't know what to do about it because I've been declawed and defanged as a man, and what if we just became servant, competent, confident men that we can step up and say, "No," to the government. Not kill them. Not shoot them. If all of us said, "No, I will not comply," it's a done deal, the world opens up. That's how easy it is.
SHAWN STEVENSON: We've got a quick break coming up, we'll be right back.
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You're one of the few people that has been, since the very beginning... Me and you, we were voice-texting a little bit...
BEDROS KEUILIAN: I remember that.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Because I could see the camaraderie there with us truly knowing... People were going through a lot of stuff when all this kicked off, but we came to that agreement, like... I think it's because we've been through stuff, some serious... This is nothing to me. This is all a warm-up for me, so I can maintain my sense of certainty, my sense of awareness of the bigger picture, being able to have multiple perspectives to also remember what's most important. And so right from the very beginning, you've held that carried that torch for us, and also, you've been somebody who's been... And the few who's been speaking up. And so we were talking about this earlier about a lot of our friends and colleagues who got these big platforms, we'll share something, we'll put a show out, we'll do a post, and then they'll send us a private message like, "Hey, what you said, thank you so much. I 1000% agree with you." I wish that I could fill in the blank. Let's talk about that because...
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Let's talk about that.
SHAWN STEVENSON: In a post, you said this quote, "Someone should do something about this." And you are that someone.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: You are that someone. You are that someone. We forget, don't we, that... And they say... You've taken a first... Not a first aid. When you get CPR certified, and they say that when someone sees somebody fall or they see a car accident, everybody does what? They stop and they watch, and they're all sitting like, "Man, someone should do something about that." So they all want to watch this train wreck happen, this person die in front of them, and it's not that they want to see the person die, but everyone thinks that someone's doing something about it. No one's doing something about it. You are the someone. Step up. We are collectively someone. In fact, I put up a post today before I drove up here, and I said, "Remember we the people, we are the someone," and if we all sit back and go, I'm sure someone is doing something about that when in reality, they just keep tightening down the noose, this is how the Jews ended up in concentration camps, this is how North Korea today, their grandparents were in concentration camps, their parents were born in concentration camps, they are now born in concentration camps, their babies will be born in concentration camps in North Korea, which by the way is currently funded by China. North Korea is propped up by China, that's a whole different podcast on another day, but all this to say that someone should do something about that.
Well, we are the someone, and while you and I may be can't go do anything about North Korea, Lord knows we should be and can do something here, and our friends who are texting us, and I get it, some are in Hollywood, some are in, maybe in parts of the state, like if there are parts of LA County where it's in vogue to do this and, well, you don't want to stand out like a nail because the nail that stands out, it's hammered. And so you don't want to be anti-mask in Hollywood or in parts of LA. And it's not even the anti-mask, it's what it's leading to, the oppression, the tyranny, the erosion, the death of our freedom by a thousand cuts. And you say, someone should do something about that, and our friends who are texting us saying, "Hey, man, I'm glad you said that." Well, why don't you say? You got half a million followers, you've got 1.8 million followers, say something, because as we talked about earlier, by both you and I posting something recently, we got a mutual friend of ours to say... And she's got like 600-700 thousand followers to post something on social media about this, and she feels like, you know what, I feel good about this. I felt it in my gut. I didn't feel right in saying this because she's in the entertainment world, we don't need to share her name here, but God bless her, that's what I'm saying. We're going to be making the change, man.
And coming from a communist country, I know people think like, oh man, now it's time to take up arms. We're far from taking up arms. All we have to do is not comply. If everyone decided not to get on an airplane if the airplane requires masks and say I'm just going to stay home for a whole year, the airlines are literally going to go, "Forget what the government said, we're just going to say, don't wear a mask on the plane." That's how easy it would be, 'cause the government is not going to be funding the airline companies for an entire year, two years, three years. But instead, we're like, just a little inconvenience, I'll put on a mask and go on United Airlines, Delta, whatever, and therefore, you keep allowing the noose to tighten. Somebody should do something about that. You are the somebody.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, yeah. We talked about this. It's been just a little bit at a time. It started off just two weeks to flatten the curve, and I don't know about you, but the streets of LA were empty. I was on the 405, I look in the rare view mirror, no cars, and look in front of me, no cars. And it went from that to, just wear a mask, it's just a mask, it's no big deal. This is for other people. It went to, close down your business. We just need everything to shut down; don't be selfish. This is for the greater good. But we're going to allow McDonalds’ to stay open. We're going to allow Walmart to stay open but shut down your business.
And then it turned into months, and many people, thousands upon thousands of people permanently lost their businesses. Sometimes they've had that business in their family for decades.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Yelp reported that 74% of the restaurants on Yelp had shut down in 2020. 74% of the restaurants on Yelp had shut down in 2020. Now, those restaurants aren't owned by Amazon, Walmart, Target. They're owned by mom and pops, who some months break even, some months lose money and some months they're happy when they make a couple of extra thousand. One of them was this amazing restaurant called Sushi Ten in Chino Hills. Amazing sushi restaurant run by a dude named Aaron, the man's a sushi artist. He is not an entrepreneur, and I say that with respect to him. He's an artist, and that's why I went there, several times a week. And I've got big businesses, and so I had to handle my business in March of 2020 and make sure that everything... I can keep my staff employed and my franchisees operational across the world, but by a few months, by probably July of 2020, I reached out to him and I said, "Aaron, just checking in, man, how's the restaurant? How's Sushi Ten?"
He's like, "Shut down." I'm like, "What do you mean shut down? They're offering PPP, man. You got four employees and you." They're offering PPP. He goes, "I don't know how to fill it out, and my accountant wanted $3500 to fill out my PPP forms." First of all, that's a racket. Shame on that accountant. Secondly, this man is not there to fill out forms. He's a sushi artist, and so he doesn't know where to go online to fill out those forms, I've got like four accountants and two bookkeepers who do this stuff for me. Look, if I had to do it, I'd be out of business too. Thankfully, I've got a team that did it for me.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And also the PPP for a lot of people didn't match up remotely to what they needed.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Right, what they needed exactly, because they're like, "Oh, we're only going to be shut down for 90 days, so here's 90 days of money." Hey, guess what, we're shut down for nine months. Woah. But there's a great book out by Robert Cialdini, old book, he talks about the six weapons of influence. One of the weapons of influence is commitment, consistency. In other words, if I say, "Hey, Sean, do you believe that every child in Africa should have drinking water available to them every day?" You would say, yes. I mean, you're a good human being, you would say, yes.
I would say, then, can I ask you to donate $20 to this cause so that those children in Africa can have drinking water. And what they found is, if I asked "Hey, can you donate $20 so we can have drinking water in Africa?" You're more likely to say, no. But by getting you to agree that kids in Africa should have drinking water and then asking you to donate, quadrupled the... What do you call it?
SHAWN STEVENSON: The margin.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Yeah, the donation rate. The donation rate. And so, commitment, consistency. So think about this...
SHAWN STEVENSON: When you said it, I was reaching for my wallet.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Well, that's good. I'm a closer. I'm a closer.
And so when you think about the control and compliance that is exercised over us right now, over humanity, control and compliance over the world governments, by the world governments, they did got that control and compliance through commitment and consistency, one of the six weapons of influence, because the commitment was, there's a deadly virus out there, and we all have a social obligation to look out for each other. In fact, March 16th, 2020, I did a Facebook live to all of our franchise owners worldwide, throughout US and Canada and Europe, 'cause we happen to be in a private Facebook group, and I was like, "Guys, we have a social obligation as gym's to shut down for two weeks to combat this virus and flatten the curve." I committed to the idea, and so then I had to be consistent and deliver that message to my franchisees.
Of course, at some point I was like, "Wait a minute, something looks fishy," and I had a reawakening. However, most people, if you commit to one idea, "Well, okay, I'll shut down for two weeks. Oh, okay, two weeks. Now, they said I need to shut down for three weeks. Okay, three weeks. Okay, three months, fine. Mask. Okay, mask. Mask is good. Okay, mask. Two masks got it, got it. It's been a year now. Oh, vaccine, vaccine because this is really bad. It's mutating. The mutating, oh, vaccine. Got it, vaccine. Booster shots. Two vaccines, booster shots. Got it. Oh, maybe another lockdown. Oh, maybe now we need to create centers." I don't know if you're seeing what Australia is doing right now. They're creating centers where they're going to put people in. And don't worry, we're going to take good care of your family member who's in the center, but you can't come visit them. Centers. Can we call them concentration centers? There are concentrations of humans in a center, and so this is what worries me is that we use these obvious weapons of influence, commitment, and consistency, people's desires to be good and look out for each other gets weaponized to get control and compliance over humanity.
SHAWN STEVENSON: I saw a video of a woman who lived through the Holocaust. She was a kid, and she was at a protest in New York City, and if the video hasn't been taken down, which is the order of the day, I will put it up for everybody to listen to and to see as well, and to hear her voice, because if somebody says, again, when you've already complied and bought into the narrative, and when you say, "Hey, this is how these atrocities take place," like... Just check history. It's a little bit at a time. A little bit at a time. And my buddy, JP Sears, he's just amazed, true genius, but he was doing a parody, basically kind of a Tony Robbins vibe.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Yes.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And the title of the video was If Authoritarians Taught Self-Help. So instead of Tony saying, "Now, I have the power," in this video, JP's like, "Now you have my power." That kind of thing. And in this, he throws up this graphic that has been circulating for quite some time, and it's just identified as these 10 stages of genocide. And so number one is classification, people are divided into us and them. Us versus them. Do you see any of that going on? Number two, symbolization. People are forced to identify themselves. Three, discrimination. People begin to face systemic discrimination. If you're not doing the thing... I just saw the good folks on one of these major media networks laughing it up, these two very prestigious news anchors, about this guy on a subway harassing this woman who's wearing a mask and giving her a hard time, and they're just like, "I would have did this, I would have kicked his ass," this kind of things, just like they're having a good time with it. But I did not see, all these videos that you can catch online before they were taken down, anybody running to the aid of people who were being attacked, who weren't wearing a mask.
I remember a mother being ripped away from her child in the subway, in the subway vector, because she wasn't wearing a mask and she was getting attacked. And so with that said, we talk about this discrimination that starts to take place because of a narrative, because of a belief system, not even understanding whether or not it's accurate, but based on what they say. And so that's number three. We're just going to get to number four, and then we're going to move on here because there's 10 of them, but does any of these sound familiar? Okay, so here's number four, dehumanization. People equated with animals or diseases. Those are the infected people, those are the ones who are dangerous. Now, we have a pandemic of the unvaccinated on our hands. It's their fault, and not actually looking at the data, not just from the major media channels, and even our well-meaning health officials or health practitioners who are still getting their information from these major media channels and not actually understanding how all this stuff is working itself and of course, that's what we do here.
But just understanding that these things are going in a sequential step, and when are we going to say enough is enough and get back to logic, rationality, perspective-taking, listening to other people's points of view? Because right now, it's so dismissive. So even with the mass conversation, I had to have a little caveat, a little side note because you get classified as a "Anti-masker," and it's a dismissive term. That person's crazy. That's not okay. It's not okay because for any of us, I think the better thing would be for us, for me, and you know this, I'm a results guy. If masks were effective, true, for real, I would probably be wearing a mask right now, I would wear a mask to bed, I would be the guy wearing a mask to get it on with my wife.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: I'm not a creep, but I would pay just for a snapshot picture of that.
SHAWN STEVENSON: I'm just saying. I'm just saying. Some people already do that anyway, you know what I mean? Other kinds of masks.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: All types of fetishes, man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: But just to be safe, just in case, I don't want to get her sick, whatever. You know what I mean?
BEDROS KEUILIAN: You talked about how the body discharges a lot of stuff, man.
SHAWN STEVENSON: A lot of weird stuff comes out of humans. So I would be all for it, but just being logical. And also, I think we have to carry a thread of understanding coming into it. I think this is part of the kryptonite as well. Many of our friends and families, our citizens, have been indoctrinated through our education system that these authorities are actually looking out for us and doing what's right. So they're already coming into it with that unconscious belief, so it's a tough spot to be in.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: And wasn't it Hitler who said, "Give me your youth, and I will change the future?" And that's how he fell into power. He knew that it's... It's a no-win fight for him to try and change the minds of the current voting populace, so he went and started influencing the youth. And as that youth got into voting age, they voted him into power, and he did change the future.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Again, it's a formula, it's a formula. And we're seeing this same thing happening right now. A really good friend, one of the wisest people... He's a true mentor in my life. He mentioned to me something the other day, he is like, "For generations and generations, the young people were the rebels, they were the ones who were speaking up against authority," and he was like, "This has been mutated to something else where they're propping up the authority". And that's not true for all of our youth, but there's this big thread of that, this justice, seeking justice without really understanding who's controlling the narrative of what justice is. You know what I mean? And you've been somebody who has continued to speak about freedom, and you have a very powerful perspective about it because of where you come from. And you just shared a really powerful message the other day, I think many people have seen the folks as they're rolling out of Afghanistan, leaving their country behind, and the people literally on the wings of the plane and falling to their death to try to get out of there, and seeing... So if you could share a little bit about what you talked about in the video, because again, this platform is all about all areas of our lives that create our health. And we have to understand that suffering anywhere, truly is suffering everywhere. At this point, why are we still doing this and allowing these types of situations to take place?
BEDROS KEUILIAN: And I'm not here a Democrat, Republican, I think both sides are effed up anyway. What I am here to say is that we were serving a purpose and keeping the offensive, the pressure on the bad guys so that they cannot plan another attack.
And as far as I'm concerned, maybe we should keep doing that forever to keep our amazing country, amazing because we are a superpower. We need to... Shawn, you need to stay healthy. You need to stay focused because the paychecks, your publisher, your family, your employees, these guys in here, they count on you. You can't just go and be reckless, you have to stay dialed in, 24/7 365. The US has to stay healthy and a superpower in order to go help Haiti when something... An earthquake happens. In order to go help Armenia when, actually, an earthquake happened in my country, in Armenia. To go and help Kosovo in the '90s. We are it. Everyone's trying to say, What's the US going to do? We're able to do it because we're strong, we're healthy, and we have the financial means. Not anymore. Not anymore, so we pulled out of Afghanistan, and we pulled out in a way that forced tyranny on the great people there who were helping the Americans, the interpreters, and all of those Afghanis who were not part of the Taliban. They just wanted to live in their little villages, grow their crops, and live their life, but their daughters and their women were being raped, even their boys were being raped.
No one wants to talk about that. That's so ugly. I don't want to talk about that. Well, guess what, we should. There's a whole documentary made on it, go watch it. Forget the name of it. And so when we went there, that stopped. The 75,000 Taliban, for the most part, fled back into Pakistan. And here's the difference, is that we could have left in phases, and let's say it was a four-phase exit. As phase one, works the way we planned, then we execute phase two, then phase three, then phase four, where we hand the country back to civilized Afghanis. Instead, we left in one weekend. And by doing that, the Taliban poured back in from Pakistan and overthrew the entire airport in Kabul, that was our main holding, in one weekend, man. And now, they're after the families who helped the US military interpret and point out Taliban strongholds, etcetera. So the reason these guys were climbing these jets, 'cause they know they're doomed for life, but the way we left, we did something so anti-American. We were there as the anti-bully, but we left, and we literally let tyranny take over.
And what I said in that video that I put up that you're referring to was, what did you expect? What did you expect from a... I'm not even going to call him a leader, from a President, who is willing to take away your First Amendment rights, Second Amendment rights, is willing to shut down businesses, is willing to use false CDC manufactured claims to instill fear and doubt and uncertainty in society. If he's running our country in a tyrannical fashion, why would he exit the US out of Afghanistan in phases where they're left in good hands? He would just pull the ripcord like he did and leave it in the hands of tyrants again. And so a tyrant does what a tyrant does. We had this beautiful cat, his name was Tiger. We found Tiger while playing miniature golf, so he's a feral outdoor cat, a little baby, and he was blind. My wife and my daughter fed him and he grew, and he liked me. He liked me, and cats don't usually like me and I don't like them, but he liked me and so I liked him, and he'd rub up on me and I'd rub up on him. We had this mutual respect. He's the alpha outside, I'm the alpha inside the house. He can go hunt lizards and squirrels and all the stuff.
But Tiger, when Chloe wouldn't let him out of the house when enough hours’ gone by, Tiger would start clawing at Andrew, at Chloe, at my wife, and sometimes, if enough time went by, he would start clawing at me because Tiger's going to do what a cat's supposed to do. He's going to be a little savage and hunt, and he was hunting my ankles and my daughter's ankles. And so, a tyrant will do what a tyrant does. And so I know people were like... When I posted that up, they were like, "Yeah, but it was Trump's idea that we should leave Afghanistan." I get it. I'm not saying it wasn't Trump's idea. I'm saying now that he took over, Biden took over the presidential seat, he goes, "Alright, the orange man said that we're going to leave Afghanistan, so I'm going to have a three-step or four-step or a nine-step plan, I don't know, get some smart people together, get Jocko Willink and David Goggins, and Navy SEALs, and Delta guys, and generals together and go, "How do we leave this country so that the Taliban doesn't take it? There's only 75,000 of them."
"How do we leave so that these good people can run this country and they could go, Hey, the Americans came here, gave us a taste of democracy, and they left in a way where our children are going to have a better life and then we will forever be indebted to them." Instead of, "Now we hate Americans, they came here, we helped them, they left, and now they're raping and killing our families." The world is laughing at us as a superpower, and it breaks my heart, but a tyrant does what a tyrant's supposed to do. You're a good dude, you do good dude stuff, you put out this whole documentary at your cost. You didn't make any money off that, did you?
SHAWN STEVENSON: No.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: And I know the production value of that is nuts.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Yeah, that a good guy does what a good guy does. Tyrant does what a tyrant does.
SHAWN STEVENSON: The difference today is that we get to see it because these activities have been happening throughout history for a long time, and there's always... Again, there's a story underneath the story of who's benefiting from these situations. So we can firsthand see the people climbing onto the plane and falling to their death. We can firsthand see when a person who's in position of power here, on our television, is saying, "Hey, there's no helicopters leaving the roofs at our strongholds in Afghanistan. It's not happening." And then literally you could see the helicopter just getting the hell out of there. So you could see the lies playing out right before you, but yet, some people still don't realize that this is a big charade, this is a big show, and we got to think about what are the other motivating factors there, the defense contracts and the like. Who's profiting, and also can they make money somewhere else? Because they're not just going to let up?
There's another thing here. War is very expensive, but what is less expensive is maintaining... Actually coming in, like you said, with a plan and executing the plan, sustainability. What we've done is not sustainable, and the same thing has happened here, where we're in the State, where we don't have that might, and we're losing that position as well.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Yeah, and this is not sustainable. Our country, the United States, cannot keep printing more dollars and handing out to the citizens. They extended unemployment, they gave PPP and SBA loans, and if another lockdown happens, they're going to give away more SBA loans and more PPP programs.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Where is it coming from?
BEDROS KEUILIAN: They're printing it, right? And so they keep devaluing the US dollar, inflation keeps going up. For the first time ever in world history, by the way, wood cost more than steel, chicken breast has doubled in price, gasoline has gone through the roof in price. There's literally products stuck at the harbor at San Pedro and Long Beach in those cargo ships because there's no one working to offload. It's not that there is some COVID restriction, there's no one working to offload the cargo ships because they're making more money on this extended unemployment that's being pumped into the hands of society. And so then when we finally go broke, what happens? Well, let's see if there's a country in recent history that we can tap into and learn from. Oh, yeah, I remember, Greece had the Olympics a few years ago, and they spent all this money on doing the Olympics and putting out a brand new airport in so people can fly in for the Olympics. And when I went to Greece two and a half years ago with my family to visit, we had our own little tour guide guy, and I'm like, "Hey, so what's the unemployment?" 27%.
I go, "How come we're driving on this beautiful road, and the four lanes next to it on the other side of the cones have potholes in it? He goes, "Oh, the airport and these toll roads that you're willing to pay for, which is why I'm driving on it, are owned by Germany." So parts of the unemployment is so high now in Greece because they spent every penny, they printed money and spent every penny to build the Olympic Coliseum that now Germany had to come and buy them at wholesale. So, who do we owe money to, the United States? Oh, wait, I got it, China. And when we keep printing more money and giving away right now because of COVID, who are we going to sell the United States to, parts and parcel? Oh, China. Got it
SHAWN STEVENSON: So we've covered a lot of terrains, and these are some really important issues for us to think about. Again, I like to refer people to just thinking about who's benefiting from decisions being made, something real rational, and just having that in your back pocket. Pfizer is set to make $34 billion right now with the vaccine campaign, and then they got boosters coming as well, and... By the way, Pfizer is also convicted of the... And forced to pay the largest fine in the history of the Department of Justice. It's $2.3 billion for fraudulent marketing, but it's neither here nor there. They're a totally ethical company. You got to just look at who's profiting and who's making the decisions, because you better believe, Pfizer is deeply integrated with major media, Pfizer is deeply integrated with our politicians, and people are really not trying to step on each other's toes. It's very rare that you'll see a narrative-disrupting idea on the news, something that doesn't fit what you came there for. You very rarely see that. If you happen to see in a fraction of a percent of chance somebody with a dissenting opinion on something, they're going to bring in the guys to make fun of them, they're going to bring in the guys to belittle them, to ignore their thing, to call them crazy. Just bring on the crazy. There's ghetto crazy on here that we can make look silly and keep the train moving. So yeah, it's a lot going on.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: And by the way, to that point with Pfizer paying that largest fine in history, by the way, a pharmaceutical company of all things that they're going to put stuff in our bodies with deceptive marketing, paying that largest fine and then you look at Johnson & Johnson who's also manufacturing vaccines, they... They had gotten popped by the government. I forget when, it could have been in the '70s or '80s, but there was asbestos in their baby powder. They knew it but didn't want to change the formula. I'm not saying like, Hey... Well, I'm not a conspiracy theorist, I'm not about to wear a tinfoil hat, I'm just saying that we ought to just consider looking at who's running these companies, who's there to benefit like you said, and then go, Do I really need to put this into my body?
SHAWN STEVENSON: And speaking of Johnson & Johnson... And I was just curious, because again, what if you contribute to the problem and you provide the solution? So listen to this, and this is according to a September 2020 analysis of electronic medical records, hospitalized patients who had received a diagnosis of opioid use disorder in the past year were over 10 times more likely to have COVID-19 than those without this particular opioid addiction.
Now, Johnson & Johnson, just a little fun fact, they're the world's largest manufacturer of this genetically modified, what they call super poppy to make opioids, by far. They're providing other pharmaceutical companies with the product, so it's so crazy that, again, they're involved in... They're getting money in all sides of this thing, and then we look to them, they've got this beautiful reputation, Johnson & Johnson baby health... They got the little baby with all the chemicals actually on in the bubble bath. It's this perception, and we don't stop to think, What's really going on here? And I actually had somebody who's a big follower of the show, and she's just like... She works for them, and she's like, "I just struggle with this because... " And that reminds me of the statement that it's very difficult to convince someone of something when their job depends on them not being convinced of something. You know what I mean? So I think that's something that's kind of derived from a Mark Twain assessment, but if you...
BEDROS KEUILIAN: That’s a self-preservation thing, right?
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, if your job is to not know this thing, you're not supposed to know this thing, you're going to stick to that, your great tendency is, especially if you're getting your salary paid. And I remember prior to meeting my wife, I was "Talking" to this girl in college, and I remember bumping into her later, she's like, Shawn what are you up to? That's how she was talking to me.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: With your beautiful green eyes. I bet you slayed 'em.
SHAWN STEVENSON: So I was like... I was working as a personal trainer at the time, finishing up my degree, and I'm just like, I've just been helping people to get healthy, and I'm going to open up a clinical practice, and we just got to talking about a few things. And at the time, I was really studying genetically modified organisms, and... I'm from St. Louis, so Monsanto was like this Megatron there. And so I was just like if you look at some of the data... And I pulled out this report, and I was like, Yeah, this particular genetically modified soy in Monsanto, da, da, da, and then she... Her face changed. She was like, That's not true. And I was like, but it's here in this report. This is a scientific report. She worked for Monsanto, and she got defensive. And I was like, I thought we were cool, just like it happened so quickly. And it went away from logic to our bias, and then we can all fall victim to that. And so this is one of the things I love about you, is like it's not about picking teams, it's just being logical, and who's actually operating with ethics, with compassion. That's another big principle that you teach, and being kind, for example. That should be a primary ingredient.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: It's factory installed in everybody, but we create so much division. Bro, we know racism was happening forever, and quite honestly, I think, for the most part, maybe there's little pockets in the South where it was really happening, but racism has never been worse than it is now, after the whole government and defund the police and everyone stirred the pot, because the more you stir the pot about something, the more kindness goes away, but when you bring something front of mind, fear, any kind of thing that creates division, racism, whatever, kindness is the first thing to get surgically removed, and we become adversarial. And I haven't seen any group or tribe or country of people thrive when kindness is removed, and we've removed kindness out of society. It's sad.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, basic tenet. And also that it's a bridge, so we can actually have the discussions, figure out your perspective, my perspective. Now, it's so crazy people that would normally do small talk at their kid's birthday party, they're on Twitter saying they're going to murder somebody, the same person that they might talk to at a birthday party. You know what I mean? It's so crazy, because also, the way that we interact now is so impersonal too, so people have this detachment from reality that there's another person on the other side of this social media response who's going through in their life, they have their own trials and tribulations, their own goals, their own aspirations, their own worries and ignoring all the humanness and just attacking. And so also, we're coming into it with our own narrative, and especially it's even more dangerous when it's online because you can't get that real-world feedback. And so yeah, we're getting more and more dehumanized in a sense.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: That's it, dehumanized. So sad bro.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And this is why I love the Men's Project that you have. It's flipping that entire thing on its head and getting to, what is that connective tissue? Real-world feeling the things, feeling the feelings with real people. One of the worst things that can happen is a separation of us. It's kind of one of the ingredients to make us do the things that we've done, and also, again, has it worked? Did this work? Has things turned out better? And it's just like, just being very logical, it's still not looking very good, so I want to implore us to never give our power away again. We all same thing, to flatten the curve. And I went further, I was doing the things. I'm a scientist. I was all along like, nah, this doesn't... We don't have any data on this being effective ever, ever in history. This is a big social experiment. There are this other side. And I'm looking at what are the downsides as well, but okay. But eventually, we've got to wake up, we got to take control. And so, man, you saying that we have our kryptonite, that's one of the most powerful things that I have really heard recently because it's true. But you could dance with that kryptonite, in a sense, become... Get to a place where maybe you build up an immunity to it in a sense or you can take that kryptonite and hand that to Batman to shoot you with it. With Batman being the metaphor for anybody, really. Somebody passing off your power to somebody else.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Yeah, yeah, that's a really good way to put it, man. When we have, whatever it is, traumatic events that happened in our life, sexual, physical, mental, emotional abuse, whatever it is, it creates kryptonite, in other words, a weakness within us, an open sore. But what happens with an open sore, if you tend to it, clean it, bandage it up, stitch it up, it becomes scar tissue. It's actually stronger than the rest of the tissue. So like you say, you can dance... Now, that piece of area that was injured, now that it's healed, that's what we keep forgetting... We forget to heal. We walk around with all these open sores. Maybe someone rejected you, and so you have that rejection open sore and then you were molested like I was as a kid, and now you've got that open sore, and you were beaten by your dad and you got that open sore. And now my friend, Shawn, sees me, and like, Hey, what's up B, what's going on? I'm like, Dude, why are you being a jerk? And you're like, I'm just saying, What's up B, what's going on? But if my body is covered with sores, I could just barely rub up against you, and it's going to hurt.
Shawn didn't hurt me. I'm walking around with open sores. I need to heal, so the scar tissue is tough, and when Shawn says, What's up B? What's going on? I'm like, Bro, what's up? Everything's great, I don't interpret it as anything else other than what you said, kindness, not rejection, not hate, not whatever. Heal, and then be kind. And then read the signs.
SHAWN STEVENSON: Right, that too. That too. And also, we can man up, whether it's a man or a woman or a child. Your incredible book, best-selling book, Man Up, make sure you pick up a copy. It's one of those books that... And I told you this, but I bought a bunch of them, and I would give those to... When people come on the show, I would give them to guests, I would give them to friends...
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Thank you.
SHAWN STEVENSON: And I got a couple left still because stuff got shut down, so I still had some books left, still, so make sure to pick up a copy of Man Up. It's such a great read. The way that you write the stories, bringing that to life, and the actionable things, like What can you do? Here's the shift for you to actually employ. And so I really appreciate you, man, can you let everybody know where they can follow you again and also throw a shout out to the men's project once more as well.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Absolutely. So the best place to follow me is on Instagram, I'm just fascinated with that platform, and I just love what it has the potential to do in bringing humanity together, @bedroskeuilian, and then the project is MDK, 'cause it's the Modern Day Knight project, mdkproject.com, and it is definitely not for every man. It's only for men, but it is not for every man. It is for men who want to level up in faith, family, fitness, and finance, so they can live a life of fulfillment.
SHAWN STEVENSON: There it is. My man Bedros Keuilian. Love you, man, appreciate you.
BEDROS KEUILIAN: Love you.
SHAWN STEVENSON: That's Bedros Keuilian everybody, and I appreciate you so much for tuning into the show today. I hope you got a lot of value out of this. If you did, please share it out with your friends and family on social media. You can tag me, I'm @shawnmodel and tag @bedroskeuilian as well, and let him know what you thought about this episode. And we have so much more in store for you coming up, incredible guests, powerful masterclasses, so make sure to stay tuned. The next episode coming out is massively important on a brand new study, so it's going to be hot off the presses, make sure to be ready for it coming very soon. And listen, again, we are not taking the foot off the gas pedal. We've got a lot of work to do, a lot of change to make, but the power is in our hands. Take care, have an amazing day, and I'll talk with you soon.
And for more after the show, make sure to head over to themodelhealthshow.com. That's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode, and if you got a comment, you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome, and I appreciate that so much. And take care. I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.
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