It is clear by now that the late Jeffrey Epstein, over a period of over 20 years, operating behind the front that he was a hedge fund owner and money manager (and it was a front with little substance to it, as this article makes clear), was running some sort of covert operation to befriend, flatter, and ingratiate himself with a large number of plutocrats, oligarchs, businessmen, academics and other sorts of celebrities.
Epstein had an expansive and expensive lifestyle with no obvious means to finance it, and traveled wide and far on personal jets with all manner of people. Logically, the only tenable explanation was that Epstein was collecting money (and lots of it) from people who suddenly found themselves either indebted to him, or people who controlled him and were paying him for the influence that he was exerting on those indebted people.
The list of people who Epstein befriended and ingratiated himself with is a long one, and the extent to which some of those people interacted with Epstein is slowly becoming clearer by the day.
The most recent burst of re-examination has been triggered by the news that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda French Gates will be divorcing. Gates, it is now clear, was spending a lot more time with Epstein than was previously known or publicly admitted. Allegedly, the relationship between Gates and Epstein, dating back to 2011, was the root cause of Melinda French Gates initiating the divorce. (It now seems that Bill Gates was also playing away with other women during their marriage, an ironically unsurprising event when you consider that his marriage originally started as a workplace romance with Melinda).
Since retiring from Microsoft, Bill and Melinda Gates have been devoting their time to their charitable foundation. Gates, richer than Croesus, probably had no need of basic financial advice, and as this article points out, it is unclear why Bill Gates thought that Jeffrey Epstein should be any better as a source of philanthropic advice than any one of hundreds of other well-connected people. The excessive contact with Epstein led to Gates resigning from the Microsoft board in 2020, under the pretext that he needed more time for philanthropy.
The general public’s conspiracist worldview of Jeffrey Epstein, who, it is well-established, had a liking for girls well under the legal age of consent, has coalesced around the conviction that his strategy was to ingratiate himself with the rich and famous (always men, you will notice) and then entrap them by offering them female juveniles as sexual playthings. Epstein’s arrest and extraordinary plea deal in Florida, when he eventually pleaded guilty in 2008 to state charges of procuring a person under 18 for prostitution and felony solicitation of prostitution, was essentially an escape from what could have been many years of incarceration. He served 13 months, most of it on work release in a private wing of a county jail. The deal has been criticized ever since it was revealed, and the States Attorney who agreed to it, Alex Acosta, has taken the brunt of the criticism, ultimately resigning from his role as US Secretary of Labor in the Trump Administration.
Epstein’s arrest on further sexual abuse charges and his mysterious death in jail have cemented him in the public gaze as primarily a pedophile and pimp for would-be pedophiles. However, that seems way too simplistic. Not every adult male is a pedophile-in-waiting. Some, after all, are gay or bisexual, which are also traits making them vulnerable to entrapment.
If Epstein’s business was entrapment and capture of assets for his controllers (who, I believe, were Russia and Israel, with Ghislaine Maxwell as the intermediary for the Israel connection), then there were plenty of other behaviors, many related to business, that Epstein could have facilitated, that would provide leverage to make people compliant and willing accomplices.
Money laundering is the main alternative explanation. Ever since the collapse of the USSR in the 1990s, Russian oligarchs and business leaders have been adept at moving large sums of money out of Russia to other countries for investment and enjoyment purposes. This is particularly true in locations like the UK, which appeals to Russian oligarchs because of its low taxes and plaintiff-friendly libel laws. There is plenty of evidence that wealthy Russians have been laundering large sums of money into and via the USA, often using a well-established process of buying apartments or property using cash instruments from overseas corporations, often paying well above market rate for the property, in which case a later-kick-back occurs to the buyer, moving cash into the buyer’s US bank account. Once you have engaged in money laundering, you are highly vulnerable to prosecution if that scheme is revealed.
In due course, I expect that it will be revealed that large parts of Donald Trump’s business empire were maintained by money laundered from Russia. There are all manner of businesses and business transactions inside Trump’s empire that in pure business terms, make no sense, but which do make sense in the presence of money laundering. The connection between Trump and Epstein was probably part of a web of people all working covertly to move money around the world, mostly in defiance of local and international laws.
My verdict is that Epstein wasn’t too concerned about how he entrapped people. He would get to know them, discern their vulnerabilities and primitive desires, and create a scenario which capitalized on those vulnerabilities and desires to get them to engage in activities which were highly illegal. If the activity was recorded in detail, with Epstein in possession of the evidence, then that person was now beholden to Epstein, and he could call in one or more favors from them at a later date, or get them to support covert activity on behalf of his controllers…or else…
Epstein was smart and cunning enough to realize that he needed to create a fig-leaf of intellectual heft for his activities. He also befriended academics and intellectuals, even if, in most cases, it is not likely that he was going to get any RoI from them for his controllers. Most likely he wanted to burnish his credentials as a mover and shaker, and provide a veneer of sophistication for his activities. Many intellectuals are vulnerable to flattery, and being sat next to world leaders in business or technology at dinners at posh venues would inflate their egos significantly. Ditto world leaders. The likes of Bill Gates would no doubt be flattered to be able to converse with leading intellectuals, as a form of validation that they had ideas of substance, and were not simply driven assholes who had been ruthless enough and/or lucky enough to accumulate large piles of money.
The underlying purpose of Epstein’s social strategy remained the same; to seduce wealthy and influential people who could be manipulated for the benefit of his underlying client controllers. Intellectuals like Steven Pinker were a bit of glitter dust to provide a veneer of sophistication and class, and occasional help in the form of testimonials as to Epstein’s probity (cough).
Was Jeffrey Epstein murdered in jail? Given how much information he must have possessed on hundreds of people, it is safe to assume that many of those people desperately wanted him to be silenced. His controllers would also not have wanted his role for them to be revealed. The two prime suspect nations have a track record of eliminating people who might threaten the security of the state. Never mind the individuals whose predilections for under-age girls would prove deeply awkward. (Including a certain member of the UK royal family). Quite simply, too many people would have benefitted greatly from Jeffrey Epstein’s demise. So, he obligingly died.
Whether enough evidence has survived Epstein’s demise, we do not really know. However, Ghislaine Maxwell is still alive and is in custody, and she may, to use an old phrase, know where many of the bodies are buried.
Ghislaine Maxwell is probably also terrified of being eliminated in jail. However, if she is released, I expect that she will disappear, and then show up either dead, or in Israel, which has no extradition treaties with any other countries. I am still puzzled about why she did not flee to Israel when she first disappeared. It may be because Trump and Netanyahu had, by all accounts, a tenuous relationship, with Trump pissing off Netanyahu with some of his clumsy attempts at Middle East power plays. Or it may be that with Trump still in power in the USA, she considered herself safe in the USA, or likely to be pardoned (which would be a tribute to her hubris, since as we are now seeing, Trump pardoned few people. Narcissists regard people who are no longer useful as totally expendable).
We will continue to see more revelations about more people who were, even transiently, in Jeffrey Epstein’s orbit. I expect that in due course some of them will end up in receipt of felony charges. I also expect that politicians of both parties will be found to have been pulled into the Epstein circle. Epstein was shrewd and calculating, and if politicians of both parties were beholden to him, then he and his controllers would have influence, no matter which party held power in the USA.
The recent plea deal by Joel Greenberg has led to excited talk that Matt Gaetz is due to be indicted any day now. My suspicion is that the plea deal by Greenberg may turn out to be more related to Jeffrey Epstein. Both men had homes near each other in Florida. Greenberg, superficially, looks to have been engaging in similar (albeit lower-budget) activities to Epstein, but there might be more of a connection between the two men than many people realize. (Although Greenberg probably doesn’t want to suffer the same fate as Epstein). The fact that Greenberg bargained 33 felony charges down to a guilty plea to only 6 suggests that he must have offered a LOT of information (translation: Names) to trade away to make those other 27 felony charges disappear.
None of this will unfold on the timeframe that people want. The wheels of justice do grind exceedingly slow. But they grind.