By Kathleen Parker
The more we learn, the more Jeffrey Epstein resembles an evil comic book character for the developmentally arrested intellectual — the charming-but-lurid mastermind with a plot to take over the world by impregnating scores of women on a remote desert estate.
Last Wednesday, The New York Times reported that the financier/convicted sex offender/philanthropist — and now accused sex trafficker — is also a “transhumanist,” who had big plans for humankind. Epstein apparently told one scientist that he hoped to seed the human race with his own DNA by impregnating 20 women at a time at his New Mexico ranch, named “Zorro.”
Transhumanism is the theory that the human population can be enhanced through technologies such as artificial intelligence and genetic engineering. Or eugenics by any other name. Epstein seems to have believed that he was that rare breed that ought to be replicated.
The carriers of Epstein’s apparently rarefied spermatozoa wouldn’t be the younger, underage sexual partners he allegedly prefers. Instead, according to the Times’ reporting, his maternal vehicles would be adult women whose intellectual qualifications would have been established through academic achievement.
For salon dinners he hosted at his Manhattan manse, Epstein often invited scientists as well as a sampling of attractive, accomplished women. Some of the scientists theorized that the women were being vetted as potential candidates for Epstein’s very special black book, according to the Times.
One can only imagine the conversations at such soirees: So, Penelope, what do you think of transhumanism? Oh, you do? And how do you like the desert air?
The male invitees weren’t your run-of-the-mill scientists but were some of the most renowned, innovative minds in research and academia. Among them was Steven Pinker, the Harvard cognitive psychologist and popular science author, who seems to have seen through Epstein, calling him an “intellectual imposter.” Pinker told the Times that Epstein would abruptly shift topics and make juvenile remarks. To the layman’s eye, such behavior suggests a purposeful deflection when the topic at hand is reaching a point beyond the speaker’s comfort range.
Others on Epstein’s guest lists apparently were seduced by his charm and intellect, as well as his wealth, which he reportedly dangled as bait for funding-starved researchers. He was generous, often donating to a variety of interests and causes, including the Clinton Foundation. But he wasn’t convinced that helping the starving masses was productive in the right sense, arguing that providing food and health care to the poor would only heighten the risk of overpopulation.
Pinker, who said he was present when Epstein floated this idea at a gathering at Harvard, dissented, arguing that the evidence points to the contrary. Gods don’t like to be contradicted and Pinker was thereafter told he’d been “voted off the island” and banished from future gatherings.
Speaking of which, Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean — which he dubs “Little St. Jeff’s” — is of renewed interest thanks to an NBC News report last week. Apparently, a blue-and-white striped, block-shaped building on it bears no resemblance to the octagonally shaped design that had been approved for a music hall, according to permit records.
What the structure does resemble, however, is a pharaoh’s headdress. Might this have been intended as a mausoleum for Epstein’s remains? That is, other than his head and penis, which he reportedly wished to have frozen. Also a fan of cryogenics, believing that frozen human parts and bodies could be resurrected in the future, Epstein is no ordinary bloke. Indeed, he is a perversely tragic figure.
Burdened with supra-human fantasies and the means to explore them, it seems that Epstein became lost in his own fable. Wandering the skies in his private jet, enamored of his own mind and image, he forgot that he was merely mortal and may have flown too close to the sun. Confined now to a jail cell (with further punishment perhaps to come) — and removed from his luxurious kingdom, his freedom and the company of luminaries who suffused his ego with admiration — his suffering must be immense.
And so richly deserved.
(c) 2019, Washington Post Writers Group