January 18, 2023

A World in Conflict with Lara Logan

Inside This Episode

Lara Logan is a lightning rod of controversy. By speaking out against vaccine mandates and sounding alarm bells about what she calls a globalist cult of elites, she’s gotten herself in hot water on a regular basis. Still, she refuses to keep quiet, and she insists on telling the truth as she sees it. In Eric Huffman’s conversation with the Emmy award-winning foreign correspondent, she opens up about her South African upbringing under the leadership of Nelson Mandela, her reporting from Afghanistan and Iraq following 9/11, her miraculous rescue from a horrific attack in Egypt, and why she continues to speak out despite the mainstream media turning its back on her. In the end, Eric challenges her about the one thing he thinks she’s missing.

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Episode Transcript

Eric Huffman: Hey, Maybe God Family. Eric Hoffman here. We're gonna take a little break from talking about deconstruction as we have been for a while. In the meantime, I hope you'll keep sending us your own experiences or challenges, or questions that you'd like us to address in the coming weeks as we dig deeper into all the reasons why people walk away from church and from Christianity as they deconstruct. You can reach us at [email protected]

We'd also be so grateful if you would leave us your kindest review on Apple Podcasts so that more people can find the Maybe God Podcast. Thank you in advance.

Today, you're going to hear my conversation with a fascinating and controversial woman who spent much of her life running toward the situations that most of us would run away from. Laura Logan grew up in South Africa, where she witnessed firsthand the extraordinary leadership of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu and others who helped their country begin the post-apartheid healing process.

In her 20s, this prestigious foreign correspondent reported from Afghanistan following 911 and later from the Iraq war for CBS News. In 2011, the world watched in horror as she survived a horrific attack in Egypt while covering the resignation of Hosni Mubarak.

Her work reporting for 60 Minutes won her an Emmy in 2017. But shortly thereafter, Laura's career took a turn as she left CBS News and began speaking openly about the liberal bias and mainstream news media that she says she experienced firsthand.

Today, Laura Logan has a lightning rod of controversy by speaking out against things like vaccine mandates and sounding alarm bells about what she calls "a globalist cult of elites". She's gotten herself in hot water on a regular basis, still, she refuses to keep quiet, and she insists on telling the truth as she sees it.

In full disclosure, as we were vetting Laura's work, I had a few moments of doubt. I just wasn't so sure about having her on this podcast. I don't agree with everything she has to say, and you probably won't either, but in the end, that's not really what this podcast is about. If we only heard from people with whom we agree on everything, what's the point of putting the show together?

What intrigues me about Laura, and the reason I ultimately decided to invite her on the show is because there is a fearlessness about her that I envy, the kind of courage that can only be forged in the fires of trauma and testing, like what Laura survived and overcame in Egypt. One day, I hope to be strong enough to speak truth to power like Laura has been.

So with that in mind, here's my one-on-one conversation with Laura Logan.

[00:02:39] <music>

Eric Huffman: So thank you so much for being with us, Laura Logan.

Lara Logan: Thank you very much for having me.

Eric Huffman: Of course. Welcome to the Maybe God podcast. Welcome to Houston.

Lara Logan: Thank you. I kind of like it here.

Eric Huffman: Well, everybody's seen your face and probably seen your reports over the years, but your style of reporting has inspired me for years. I was 23 when 911 happened and then the aftermath of that all over the Middle East. I mean, how long did you live over there?

Lara Logan: Well, I spent years in Afghanistan and I lived five years in Baghdad from 2003 to 2008. So that was at the height of the violence there. But I also spent time in the Palestinian territories in Gaza, Ramallah, I lived in Jerusalem for a while. I was up in the north of Israel around Haifa during the war with Hezbollah.

Long before all of this when I was a young journalist in South Africa, of course, I was in the South African townships during the struggle against apartheid, which was very violent, and then I was in the civil war in Angola, in Mozambique, other countries that, you know, many people probably haven't heard a lot about, maybe never heard of them. But that was really good training because when we ended up in Afghanistan after 911, there were a lot of journalists who were dropping like flies and they were in shock at the conditions because it was pretty rough.

Eric Huffman: Really.

Lara Logan: But for me, I mean, it was like five-star luxury for me because you cover a war in Africa, you learn about covering war. There's no supply lines. When there's no food, there's no food.

Eric Huffman: Right.

Lara Logan: The cavalry ain't coming, right? You don't have the US military on standby to medevac you out if something happens, and so on. So, I didn't find Afghanistan very hard at all. I mean, of course, they were not having a hot meal and not having a toilet and sleeping on the floor. It wasn't that it was easy but I don't really think people understand what it's like when you're in a place like Angola. There's really nobody cares.

Eric Huffman: Do you love that part of your job, doing things like that that are just the things no one else will do?

Lara Logan: You know, I think I have a heart filled with love. So what I love, I love the people. I love the discovery. But I am always motivated by learning. I mean, I really want to understand. For, for example, one in three Angolan children had lost a parent, and one in six had seen someone they loved tortured to death or murdered. So when I see a statistic like that, I want to feel these children, I want to be there, I want to understand. I want them to know, even for a moment that somebody cares.

I know that's not much of a solution, I know that's not offering a whole lot, but it means a lot to me. So that's how I ended up sleeping on the street with a bunch of street children, right? Because I can't bear to tear myself away. And what do I learn? I learn that most of them had great mothers.

Eric Huffman: Really?

Lara Logan: Yeah. Some of them, in fact, most of them, have really good manners, and they didn't choose to be there.

Eric Huffman: What happened in these cases, I mean?

Lara Logan: Violence took their parents and there was nowhere else for them to go. I'm always discovering something. And I don't feel that it's my right to try to share anything with anyone if I haven't at least put in some work to figure it out.

Eric Huffman: Wow.

Lara Logan: So I don't want to do a superficial interview. I don't want to do a superficial report. I want to do what old-fashioned journalism is supposed to do, which is try and bring the whole story. That doesn't mean tell every detail. That's impossible. It means that as a journalist you do a lot of advanced work and you figure out what are the most important details, the ones that speak to the heart of the issue, or the abandoned side of the story, the part that's been neglected or overlooked. That's really what I bring in.

So, people whose story you may never hear, you might listen to because oh, you know... It used to be, "Oh, I'm going to tune in to 60 Minutes. It's great. Laura's got another story. Let me see who she's talking to." That's when I'm at my happiest.

Eric Huffman: Yeah, it comes through.

[00:07:13] <music>

Laura: We were caught in an ambush with his troops along the frontier. So it was a policy of total annihilation. Do you think they will attack you before you attack them? How many shipwrecks do you think are down there? You've been described as the greatest American rock band? Is that how you feel? Are you among the last people on earth to speak this language? And if you look at the US, what are you most worried about here?

Eric Huffman: You can tell you're in your element. And you want to be telling good stories, you want to be telling the truth, you want to be helping people and holding unjust leaders accountable. That's lights your fire, I can tell. Think about all of those things that make you you.

I wonder what effect growing up in South Africa when you did with the family that you did, like where you learned all of these principles about love and truth-telling and grit, how that shaped you for who you became.

Lara Logan: Well, I can think of no greater act of love than the life Nelson Mandela lived. And he wasn't the only one. There were many Nelson Mandelas whose names will never be known all across the world the way his was known. And that's because of the love of people in South Africa who were willing to sacrifice so much.

And "sacrifice" is a word that's thrown around a lot without meaning but it really meant something to me there. Because I only knew love growing up from the people around me in my country. And I think that that was a mutual thing. That was a two-way street. And so it was really powerful. Mandela had such stature because he was so humble.

If you look at South Africa today, what the politics of today is doing is undoing Mandela's legacy. Because he spoke about unity. He had a choice, he could have done anything he wanted. That man, I always joke that if his name was still on the ballot, even though he's dead and gone, he will be voted into power every election in South Africa from now until eternity. That's how much people loved and adored him. But yet he was willing to give it all up. He served one term and gave it up and continued to live there and be a statesman.

Eric Huffman: Wow.

Lara Logan: He could have clung to power with his dying fingers if he wanted to and nobody would have minded it.

Eric Huffman: But he about bringing people together?

Lara Logan: He was about bringing people together. That's what the rainbow nation of South Africa was all about, and not asking people to erase the past, and not asking people to whitewash anything. We had a Truth and Reconciliation Commission that was led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who is another extraordinary, extraordinary man.

What happened with that, the agreement was made. I mean, the leaders met and talked and they agreed that there would be no land reparations, for example. That having the truth, having the parents whose children disappeared, and having their killers come forward and say, "Yes, it was me, and I was ordered to do it," or "This is why I did it." And finding out exactly how that child died. That was the deal that was made was for the truth. We want to reconcile because we know that together we're stronger as a nation and as a country.

Mandela didn't want to inherit a pile of ashes. He didn't want that. He didn't want his people to suffer through that. He wanted to build something that was strong and unified. That's why Archbishop Desmond Tutu when he led the first day of the Reconciliation Commission, he at one point put his head down on the desk, because the testimony was so horrific. I mean, it was horrific.

Then when he finally lifted his head, and he had tears pouring down his cheeks, he asked everybody to stand. And it was this most extraordinary moment, because the whole country was watching on a live television feed, and many people across the world. And he began to sing. And he sang an old Zulu song, which is Senzeni Na? It's the only words in the whole song. It's just the one line. And it means: What have we done?

Eric Huffman: Wow.

Lara Logan: And that was, as humanity, you know, what have we, as humans, done to each other? And that was the ultimate symbol of recognition and taking responsibility. For me, that has forged the fire of my soul.

Eric Huffman: Wow.

Lara Logan: It has carried me from Africa, to the Middle East to Central Asia, to all across Europe, to China, to Kathmandu, Nepal. I mean, I've been all over the world. And I have found the people that have that same love in their hearts. But you know what? I've also found people who don't. And it is true that evil does exist.

Eric Huffman: It does. I'm really glad you just said those three words: evil does exist. That's why I wanted you in Houston to talk with our people and to have you on the podcast as well. You know, let's just name it, you're a little bit of a lightning rod for people on either-

Lara Logan: You're being polite.

Eric Huffman: Yeah. You know, on either pole. So there was some amount of risk involved in having you coming to speak-

Lara Logan: I'm sure there are people who said, "Why do you want to her to come?"

Eric Huffman: A little bit. Hey, a little bit.

Lara Logan: "Not her."

Eric Huffman: Do you know what I love about your work, even your controversial work is a stark reminder that there are evil, nefarious forces that work in the world that must be confronted. And even if someone's not on the same page with you on some of the details you report or claim or whatever, at least we should be able to get on the same page and acknowledge that we together, as people who want to shine a light on darkness, we should team up against it and be willing to investigate and honestly seek the truth.

The New Testament's all about that. The whole Bible really, but as a Christian, the New Testament speaks clearly to the work of evil in the world and how the evil forces, Satan and his minions manipulate people and work on people through systems and individuals and families that are broken. And if we don't know we're in a war, we are bound to lose it.

A lot of people are just trying to be nice people and live pleasant lives. And I feel like something, since 2020, has broken in our culture. Maybe since 2016. Maybe-

Lara Logan: Yeah, that's what I was thinking as you said that.

Eric Huffman: ...since Trump's election or some connection of different events. But it just feels like we're living in this accelerating chaos that... Really I think those forces have always been waging war against us but now it's overt. It used to be covert ops. Now it's overt. Like it's out in the open. That's how it feels.

Lara Logan: It's interesting that you put it that way. Because if you break that down, right... let's analyze that. So what you're saying is that the normal natural order of things doesn't happen at this pace, right?

Eric Huffman: Yes.

Lara Logan: Doesn't happen at this... not just the speed of it, but also the intensity of it.

Eric Huffman: Yes.

Lara Logan: Right. And then there's something kind of extreme about it, because we've... I mean, it'd be reasonable to say that we've lived all of our lives till now as long as humans have been around with on the understanding that there are two genders. Now suddenly we've gone to 10 and 20, 30, I don't even know. I've lost count at this point.

Now, we've got people saying, I changed my gender 20 times a day and so on and biology doesn't matter and you can't be a birthing person. I mean, I grew up when people were fighting for women's rights. And now the fact that women's rights are obliterated, women are obliterated, you're a birthing person and you're... I don't even know what they have saved for breastfeeding anymore. There's another term.

Eric Huffman: Chestfeeding.

Lara Logan: Chestfeeding. There you go. You're chestfeeding. I get a vision of rats feeding of somebody's chest when I hear that. It's just hard.

Eric Huffman: It's bizarre.

Lara Logan: So what we know then is that that is not the normal, natural course of events, right? That life doesn't normally change at this kind of pace and speed. So what does that suggest? Something unnatural such as... It's being engineered, right? That there's a hand in this.

So this is part of my process as a journalist, how I try to evaluate and understand what am I looking at that's real? Because somebody taught me a very simple but very important lesson a long time ago. One plus one always equals two.

Eric Huffman: Always. Yes.

Lara Logan: Always. So that's a really good guide for people in this moment. Because they want you not to believe what's right in front of your eyes. They want to tell you over and over and over again, repeat a lie so that you believe it. And you hear it all across the media even when it flies in the face of reality.

For example, it is really interesting for me, because when I was researching the Ukraine stuff, when that war became such a big story, most people would expect that as a war correspondent of so many years that I would be jumping in there. But I wasn't because I've never been that person actually. I never went into a war just to be a war correspondent just because I want to show, "Look, I can stand here when I'm being shot at and not flinch." No, it was-

Eric Huffman: Like Richard Engel. I'm just kidding. I don't even know if that's true or not.

Lara Logan: I know. I know Richard. That's fine.

Eric Huffman: He only other guy I know who goes into those things.

Lara Logan: That's funny. He does a lot. Yeah. So what I saw, what I learned, and what I found really showed me how the war correspondents were being exploited and how the emotion of the moment was being exploited to hide a much darker reality about Ukraine that nobody wanted to talk about. Many people get this but some people just don't understand about me.

I don't care about the politics. You can write 400 more articles about "the right wing gets their darling," or "she's a conspiracy theorist," or "Laura Logan's gone far, far, far." Whatever.

Eric Huffman: Who said you... Okay, I was about to say somebody-

Lara Logan: Whatever. Those distinctions are so irrelevant to me. News organizations who have repeatedly lied and repeatedly misreported stories on purpose, and I don't think it's a mistake when the truth is staring you in the face and you're still reporting that nonsense. These are the organizations that you want me to care about what they write about me? Why should I care? These people took Pulitzer Prizes for stories that didn't even happen. I mean, they weren't real. And they won't apologize. And they won't take it back.

Eric Huffman: Do you take it personally as a journalist that journalism has fallen to this state?

Lara Logan: Yes. Yes. I mean, there's a personal dimension to all of this because it is very personal. This is my whole life. And it's not just work for me because I care about these things. So there's always a personal dimension to that. And nobody likes being... You know what? It bothers me to be called things that I know are not true to be.

Eric Huffman: Like what?

Lara Logan: I don't like injustice. So why would it be okay when I'm the victim of injustice? Well, when they say that I'm far right or this and that. I'm not. I've never been politically defined, and I really don't care.

Eric Huffman: Why do you think they say it?

Lara Logan: Because that's all they've got. They just credit the messenger. You see the same tactic used over and over and over again. They're not going to go off to the substance of what you say because they can't because their argument is just based on one lie after another. And since a lie has no legs, it's just gonna collapse.

Eric Huffman: Are you saying that if you happen to live in a different era, the presenting problem in the world was a totalitarian, fascist, right-wing, overlord system, like you'd be going after them the same as you are going after...?

Lara Logan: Of course.

Eric Huffman: You're just seeing that in this time in place right now a great part of the problem that we're facing is this concerted systemic effort that tends left, I guess?

Lara Logan: No. This is what it really is. The people who want to control the world have used the left differently to how they've used the right. But both sides have been used. It's just that Antifa and people like that will be the last to find out that they're useful idiots. We're all just useful idiots to these people. They don't care about us. In fact, they refer to us as hurt.

I got that from someone who was actually in a meeting at the UN, who was able to infiltrate this kind of global cult, is what he calls it, because they were trying to recruit him. And he literally described, I mean, being in one of these meetings that requires two different levels of security clearances just to get in.

And as they were talking about the population, it was whether UN does its migration reports, and so on, and so on, one guy stood up and said that basically "we're going to have to get rid of 75% of the hurt." At that point, another guy stood up and said, "No, no, no, that's wrong." And this person I spoke to thought, "Well, thankfully, somebody's gonna have some sense here." And instead, the guy said, "No, 75% isn't enough. We've got to get rid of 90% of the hurt." And-

Eric Huffman: Speaking of the human population?

Lara Logan: Yes, correct. Nobody should be surprised by this. I mean, years ago, Oxford University did a study on meat and the global warming and climate, and they suggest a tax, a global tax on meat consumption. And in their report, they wrote that something like a third of the world's population would starve to death and most of those people would be in third-world countries. And they posed the question, "But what price are you willing to pay to save the planet?"

Just imagine, imagine a report like that coming out from a right-wing think tank or a conservative university. People would have gone absolutely nuts. And it's amazing to me that they don't see the inconsistencies. You're the sort of the morally superior people who care about everyone, the bleeding hearts, and so on, and so on, but you're quite happy for a third of the population to starve to death because you've got to save the planet. From what exactly? An existential crisis that nobody can define? Because when they do, it's proved wrong time and time and time again.

I mean, we grew up believing the world is overpopulated. Actually, the world is not overpopulated. And when you start to dig into these things, it's got nothing to do with Democrat or Republican. What I find out is that people who are in power want us to believe we're overpopulated and that we're running out of food, and we're running out of this, and we're running out of that. They want to control us.

And when you really trace the roots back of these things, they always lead to the same places. So you follow the money, you find that the same people who fund, for example, Antifa have been secretly putting money into creating organizations like the Proud Boys and others.

And you'll have people say to you, "Well, the Proud Boys don't get any money." But believe me, you've got people within the ranks of your organization who are making suggestions and doing things and coming up with little bits of money. And that is being funded and... Because they want to control both sides of the narrative.

Eric Huffman: I'll tell you, I would love nothing more than to follow Jesus faithfully and just live a normal life. And I'm finding that increasingly difficult to come by because you open your eyes and you see things that can't be unseen.

Lara Logan: I understand.

Eric Huffman: And I don't want to be the weird guy, Laura. You're more comfortable with being labeled things like a conspiracy theorist—people call you that.

Lara Logan: No, I'm not comfortable with that.

Eric Huffman: You're not comfortable with that?

Lara Logan: No, I am not comfortable with it.

Eric Huffman: Well, they call you it all the time.

Lara Logan: I know. But I'm not comfortable with it because it's not true.

Eric Huffman: Sure. I'm not saying it's true.

Lara Logan: And it's offensive. No, I know you're not saying that. But what I want you to understand is don't make the mistake of thinking that there's no price for anyone.

Eric Huffman: Right.

Lara Logan: Right. There's a price for all of us. We all pay for that. I want to be seen as I truly am. I am not a conspiracy theorist at all, and so it offends me. But what I'm not going to do is give them any power over me. And that's different. Nobody wants to be the outlier. Nobody wants to be the outcast. I mean, I was the future of 60 Minutes. I was the future of the most popular news program in the world's ever to have existed.

Eric Huffman: I remember. And then you disappeared.

Lara Logan: All of that was stripped away from me. So I didn't learn overnight to embrace that. What I learned was that it was necessary for me to get outside of that bubble. Like, for example, I was never hired at Fox News. I never had a contract with Fox News. People think I did. I worked for a production company in Montana. When you've been targeted, nobody really wants... No corporation is going to take the chance on you because they know what it mean. I'm not controllable.

So what happened with me was that I got to see that at Fox. Their press office doesn't deal with the CBS News Press Office that used to do, which was, you know, to tell stories and promote their reporters and deal with a crisis every now and then whenever it arose.

No. Fox News Press Office is in crisis from morning to night, every single day since they've been in existence, because they're constantly under attack. And does that mean that there aren't other issues with Fox? Sure, of course there are. But I really didn't understand what that world was like.

Now that I'm not even in that world, now I get another perspective on things. So I can be that person that when someone says Fox News is completely taken over, and I can say, "No, actually, this is how it works." Obviously, there are corporate interests within-

Eric Huffman: Yeah, sure. Right.

Lara Logan: ...that organization that are controlling the messaging and so on but not all of it works that way.

Eric Huffman: The narratives are different, but they both have fixed narratives, it seems like. And it seems like, with some rare exceptions, you could replace one guy on CNN with some other dude on CNN and they would say the same script without missing a beat. And the same is true of different people on Fox. And I just get so bored with it and so frustrated by it, because it's manipulation on both sides of it.

I think that we have an obvious problem in the media that tends to be very heavy on the left. And now there are other news organizations popping up to counterbalance that some.

But let's take our listeners and watchers back a little bit to so you spend 10 years or something in Afghanistan and Iraq in the most dangerous situations, and your bosses are more than happy to let you do that and champion you as a courageous field reporter and feather their nests with putting your life in your hands out there. And then Tahrir Square, which is one of the defining moments of your life. And I'm guessing most people have heard some of what happened there but-

Lara Logan: Tahrir Square in Egypt, for those who don't know.

Eric Huffman: Yes. I hate to even ask you-

Lara Logan: No, don't. Don't because, I mean, I'm a journalist and I don't want people to not answer any questions. So I have to hold myself to the same standard, which I'm happy to do. That was a really interesting moment in my life because I've looked back at it and learned so much more about it. Every time I revisit it, I learn something else.

So for those people who don't know, I was attacked in Tahrir Square during the Arab Spring. Right on the heels of attacks I think on some other journalists that were more violent... That were just violence as opposed to sexual violence. But then there were a number. There's another French journalist and a few others who were also sexually assaulted, and interestingly, right after that, another team in Libya who was sexually assaulted. People don't normally talk about that. You didn't hear a lot of that from journalists. And it probably happened before.

But what happened to us was that we had been arrested the week before and spent a night in prison being interrogated and all of that. And when we were finally released, we would have gone straight to the airport and flown home. I knew that Egypt was still a huge story. And having spent a lot of time in the Middle East and in the Palestinian territories and in Israel, this was such a seismic shift in the balance of power for Hosni Mubarak to be... his whole empire really to be stepping... to be pushed aside. And so I wanted to be there for that, and we decided to go back.

Ten minutes after we landed, Hosni Mubarak actually resigned. So we were in a rush to get all of our gear and get to the hotel and rush into The Square. It was quite the mood of celebration. I remember the streets were filled. It took some time to get to our hotel because we kept being stopped.

And people were chanting, "Thank you, Mark Zuckerberg. Thank you Facebook. This is the Facebook revolution." Because that was really a time when people were communicating on social media, and they had the ability to organize.

Eric Huffman: I forgot about that.

Lara Logan: So we went rushing into the square. I remember seeing these women on the ground, this one little boy wanted me to meet his mother. I'd been talking to his dad and there were families camped out in the square. And he took me over he said, "I want you to meet my mother? My mother."

I went to go meet her and all these women were in black [inaudible 00:29:26], traditional robes and everything. I looked at my translator and I said, "I see liberation for Egypt. Doesn't mean liberation for women." And he looked at me shocked. He said, "I'm not translating that." I said, "That's okay. You don't have to worry."

So it was ironic because not that long afterwards our camera battery went down. And that was when this same translator, this young man looked at me with just horror on his face and said, "We have to run. We have to get out of here." I listened because your local people are... they're the ones who keep you alive.

Eric Huffman: What did he hear or see that made him?

Lara Logan: He told us later and told me later that he heard them say, "Let's take her pants off." I suspect he heard a lot more detail than that. But for a young Muslim man to say those kinds of words to someone, you know, a woman, he wasn't related to that, that'd be tricky in that culture. And it was enough.

But he was literally... I saw the blood drain from his face. There was just pure terror on his face. So he knew. And we started to run. Even before we started to run, I started to feel people putting their hands between my legs and I was just shocked at the persistence.

If you're in a crowd and somebody does something they shouldn't, you know, some horrible guy rubs himself up against you, or whatever, I mean, that's not that unusual. But this was different. It was very persistent.

Eric Huffman: And multiple actors in this?

Lara Logan: Yes, in the end I had a mob of 200 to 300 men on top of me, and I was raped repeatedly and sodomized and beaten almost to death. Some of that was witnessed by our security guard Ray, who I managed to hold on to for about 20 minutes before he was torn off me. I pretty much disappeared because of this sea of men over me.

My producer, Max McClellan, told me later that occasionally there would be a sort of a glimmer of blond hair would surface but that you really couldn't see much of me. Beneath that sea of men, my life was slipping away.

Eric Huffman: Did you think it was over?

Lara Logan: I knew it was over. I knew after I lost Ray, and I'd been raped so many times. I was in so much pain, and I was really struggling to breathe that point. I knew that there was nothing that I could do further to save myself. I knew that it was nothing but an act of God.

Eric Huffman: Was God on your mind at that point?

Lara Logan: No.

Eric Huffman: What was?

Lara Logan: The horror of being raped. The indignity of it. The humiliation. For a long time, it was all about that, for me. It was just unbearable. It's hard to even find words for it really. You've just never experienced anything like it before. It was the certainty of knowing that my death would be filthy, miserable, and on a dirty square at the hands of evil men.

Eric Huffman: What do you attribute that to, those evil acts? Was it something where they were taking out some frustration of their perceived or real oppression on the part of people who look like you? Or was it a mob mentality of just evil taking hold? What happened?

Lara Logan: The first one is cute, Eric.

Eric Huffman: I'm trying to understand you.

Lara Logan: Don't try so hard. It's really much simpler than that. It's really as simple as you had a massive moment of transition. Think about the roots of power of the Mubarak regime, how deep they went, how widespread they were in Egyptian society. You have somebody in a hidden hand like the CIA and MI6 and others who have infiltrated into that society, and they are throwing out that regime.

There are very legitimate reasons that many Egyptians wanted to get rid of Mubarak but that doesn't change the fact that they're helped. So in that moment, extreme things will happen. And unbeknownst to me, because I hadn't done my homework properly, sexual violence is a weapon that is often used by the intelligence agencies in Egypt.

So if you want to discredit a revolution, if you want darkness, right? Because in darkness the regime can do whatever it wants. And yet, if you have journalists there shining a light on it, if it's day and night on CNN, Al Jazeera, and so on and so on, then you can't.

What does the Iranian regime do so effectively? They keep the foreign media out. Because we have no idea from day to day what happens to the opposition in Iran. They just kill with impunity. So the Egyptians were... it was a belated effort to retain some control over the so-called Revolution and discourage the media from being there. I was just the porn. I was nothing. Just a porn.

Eric Huffman: So you're laying there half-dead, struggling to breathe.

Lara Logan: Right.

Eric Huffman: Were you a mother at that point? I know your mom now but-

Lara Logan: Yes. What was hard for me was that as long as I had Ray they're telling me every time I went down, you know, because it was hard with all those men to stay upright, he would say, "Laura, get up, get up or you're going to die. Stand up." He would yell at me. So his voice was constant. He would say, They are stealing our passwords now." They're in our pockets. They're beating us. They have flagpoles. They're beating us with flagpoles. I was raped with flagpoles.

So I was not alone in that moment. I was holding on to Ray who kept saying, "Hold on to me. Don't let go. Don't let go or you're gonna die." When they tore him away from me, that was a very hard moment, because I had never felt anything like it. I mean, it was like you took... The adrenaline just drained out of my body and I felt all my strength go with it. And I just had this moment of reality, where I was like, "Oh, my God, this is it. This is how I'm going to die." And I felt myself give up completely.

And almost instantly, this thought of my children came into my head and all I could think about was, "How could you do that to them? How could you just give up so easily?" And I knew in that moment that I had to fight to the end because I wanted them when they grew up... My daughter was 10 months old and my son was a year and two months older than that.

So I wanted them to know that their mother fought to the end. I couldn't fight for my life anymore because I was too far gone at that point. So I was fighting for a dignified death. I was fighting for something of me in my death that wouldn't be on their terms, you know?

Eric Huffman: Yeah.

Lara Logan: It's interesting that you can have a moment like that of such absolute clarity at the same time as... where everything is going really slowly but at the same time it's flying past you. I had accepted at that point that I personally had no way to affect the outcome of that situation and I was definitely going to die there.

So, for me, it was just fortunate when I was dragged into a part of the square. The last time I went down I couldn't get up again. I didn't have the strength, and there were too many men.

Eric Huffman: You were, I mean, miraculously, with the assistance of some of the Egyptian women, I believe, is what I read and eventually someone from the Egyptian police or military-

Lara Logan: The army. The soldiers that fought their way with batons beating back the mob. It was really just good fortune that I ended up being dragged into a part of the square where there were Egyptian women and children. Because their own sons jumped up and stood between them and the mob.

Eric Huffman: Is that right?

Lara Logan: As well as me. So it wasn't just for me.

Eric Huffman: Because their moms could have been next.

Lara Logan: Well, I mean, that mob was absolutely insane and out of control. What I learned later was that sexual violence is frequently used. Every day it's used as a weapon of power and control over Egyptian women. So it wasn't unique there. For many of them, it wouldn't have been the first time that they encountered that kind of sexual violence.

Eric Huffman: So you faced a long recovery after that, obviously. I recall watching you give at least one major interview, the aftermath of all of that.

Lara Logan: Only one.

Eric Huffman: Truly heroic. Truly heroic and groundbreaking interview where you held nothing back.

Lara Logan: I held a lot back. Well, I held a lit back.

Eric Huffman: Well, from my perspective, I will say. I'm sure there were details that you held back.

Lara Logan: You're right, though. I mean, I tried to be very, very frank. But when I looked at it later, I smiled to myself because I realized how much I did hold back. And part of that was intentional because I didn't want to make it unwatchable for people. You don't want to make people feel uncomfortable.

And what you learn when you've been raped is everybody's uncomfortable. Nobody wants to look at you in the eye. Nobody wants to do anything to especially men. They're terrified to touch you, terrified to come near you. They want to be respectful. They want to show you that they care. But what ends up happening is that you feel completely alone. Because you are because people don't know what to do.

That night my producer Max and my other producer cameraman, Jeff Newton, another close friend of mine, they both slept in the room with me because I was too afraid to sleep alone. But they both slept on the floor. And I was so afraid in that bed on my own. I really wanted someone to be close. Just stand between me and the mob.

Eric Huffman: Just to feel safe?

Lara Logan: Mm-hmm.

Eric Huffman: Wow.

Lara Logan: But they didn't want to invade my space. They didn't want to violate me any further. They wanted to show that they cared and that they respected that-

Eric Huffman: That was their way of showing that, right?

Lara Logan: Yes. Yes.

Eric Huffman: They were doing the best they could.

Lara Logan: Of course.

Eric Huffman: Have you continued over the last 12 almost years to deal with emotional damage or carryover from that?

Lara Logan: You know, not an extraordinary amount. Of course, I've been through the pain and the trauma of it. Some of it you keep it in reserve, and you put it away. But something is really important that for me for people to understand is I was able to make my peace with what happened to me.

I at first had this false sense that you have to prove that you're the same person you were before. But how can you be? You're not the same person you were before. So I feel like we often create this full standard that somehow you have to show that you're not affected. And yet everything that we do affects us, right? When you have a baby, it affects. You get married, it affects. You get divorced, it affects you.

These are our scars. We can live with our scars, and we can still live as very powerful, whole, healed people. I learned a very valuable lesson. Something that stayed with me for all my life was a South African woman, Alison Botha, who was raped by two men who gutted her and slit her throat.

Her story of survival is probably... I don't think I've ever heard anything that is more remarkable, how she survived holding her stomach in and trying to hold her neck on crawling through the African bush, a long way to get to the road, losing blood every step of the way and losing hold of her head so that her eyes were facing backwards and the world was upside down. I mean, what Alison survived is just-

Eric Huffman: Horrific.

Lara Logan: ...indescribable. And when she got to the road, she all she could do was lay across the road. She didn't have the strength to do anything else. And the first car went around her. But the second car was young veterinarian who ended up just grabbing her jugular and calling for an ambulance.

At the trial of the men who did that, two young white men, she said to the judge when he asked her, "How can you be so strong?" She just looked at the courtroom and she said, "They took so much from me that night? Why would I give them the rest of my life as well?"

Eric Huffman: Wow.

Lara Logan: I never forgot those words. It was years before anything happened, more than a decade. And that's how I feel. They took so much from me that night. I'm not giving them any more than I have to.

Eric Huffman: Is it as simple as that to just declare that and it is so.

Lara Logan: Yes. It doesn't mean that you don't have moments where they get more from you than you want. It doesn't mean that you've just instantly... That doesn't mean it's not hard. Look, life is hard. Ask anyone. Life is hard. You have money, you don't have money, life is still hard.

So I think people make the mistake of thinking that just because you have pain or you have some kind of suffering or some kind of difficulty that somehow we're supposed to live free of that. That's not true. It's not real. You can't live free of that. It's just like you have day and you have night; and you have the changing of the seasons; and you have youth and you have old age; you have love, you have hate. These are the things that make up life. And why do we try to create a world in which nobody experiences adversity and nobody is always made to feel uncomfortable? Oh, my goodness.

Eric Huffman: Preach.

Lara Logan: And what we want people to do if they feel uncomfortable is just collapse?

Eric Huffman: I want to go back real quick to wrap up what we were talking about with you. I know you hate talking about this and yourself. You'd rather talk about, you know, all these other things. But do you feel like a victim?

Lara Logan: No. I mean, I was a victim for a moment. But no, I don't feel like a victim, nor do I want to feel like a victim. I mean, what am I? A victim of? Cancer? A victim of canceled culture? A victim of evil corporations, sloppy horrible journalists who aren't even real journalists? I mean, I could be a victim endlessly if I really wanted to.

Eric Huffman: I mean, I think about your life, Laura, and you know, it'd be really easy to adopt a victim mentality. People who have gone through far less have adopted that mentality for a far greater period of time. And I think all of us are tempted to adopt it because it comes with certain benefits or comforts to call yourself a victim in our culture today. But I was thinking about your life, and you've been through a lot. Maybe not more than... I don't know.

Lara Logan: Everyone goes through a lot.

Eric Huffman: I know you want to say that, and I agree. You've lived an extraordinary life, and you've had some extraordinary suffering. And there's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing virtuous or sinful about living a hard life at times. But it's your reality.

You know, you love your parents growing up. They were divorced. You've talked about how that affected you at an early age. In your quest to tell the truth through journalism, you saw human suffering on a scale, most of us cannot imagine. And you saw it up close, and you touch the blood, and you smell the death and you were around it for years. You've talked about your battle with cancer and overcoming breast cancer, I believe.

 

Lara Logan: At 41.

Eric Huffman: At 41. You know, you've become mother, which is its own level of sacrifice and pain and suffering.

Lara Logan: I don't see motherhood as sacrifice.

Eric Huffman: No mother does. But everyone else sees it and goes, "That's a sacrifice."

Lara Logan: No.

Eric Huffman: I know.

Lara Logan: It's the greatest thing in the world.

Eric Huffman: Well, right before we started recording, you talked to your daughter on the phone and your voice with her was just... it was the perfect mother's voice. There's such love that was coming through and I can tell you take that job more seriously than any other job you've ever had before.

And then the suffering and the assault in Tahrir Square you've talked about now. After that, you were summarily dismissed by the same people who had built you up and profited off of your harrowing career because... I traced this back. Before we invited you, I did some research and I was like, "All right, when were the earliest examples of people in the media industry questioning Laura Logan? Because now all the hate pieces are out there everywhere.

And the earliest reference I could find was from I think it was a Rolling Stone piece maybe, where they talked about how people in your newsroom as early as 2012 were concerned about you speaking out against the Obama administration and their policy in Afghanistan, I think it was, and how there's no room for that.

Lara Logan: I love how well that worked out, right?

Eric Huffman: I'm just saying this is why I don't buy the narrative that's common in the mainstream media about Laura Logan today, because it goes back to the first time you spoke out against the Orthodox narrative.

Lara Logan: That's exactly right.

Eric Huffman: I have no patience. I'm like you. I'm not right or left. I have no patience for that kind of brainwashing and manipulation. And I see. I can trace the dots back and connect the dots back to that instance. I can, in some ways even relate to that on like a more personal level, but not to the extreme that you've been banished in a way.

So I see all of that, I hear your passion for justice and truth telling and I just wonder what role God plays in your life. How close do you feel to God right now when you're doing your work, when you're raising your kids?

Lara Logan: I feel closer than I ever have really. I spent a lot of my life wrestling with all the suffering that I saw. I couldn't reconcile the pain of innocent people and children with the idea of a loving God. I just felt that... It just made no sense to me. And what I missed that I feel was right in front of my eyes all along was that the dividing line, there are many dividing lines, but for me, the distinct dividing line between God and the devil is free will.

And when God says and has given us free will, He doesn't get to change that. He doesn't get to pick and choose and say, "Today..." Or if you make a bad decision or an evil decision that He gets to alter the outcome of that. It's not how it works. I think that's mirrored in the idea of principle, right? It's same thing with principles.

It's like the death penalty. I was Growing up in South Africa, you know, we had big arguments over the death penalty and people would inevitably say, if you said you didn't support it, they would say, "Well, what if it was someone you loved who was kidnapped and murdered and blah, blah, blah? Wouldn't you want that person to die?" And of course you would.

So what that taught me was, Well, if I believe in the principle that taking someone's life by mistake, an innocent man who's wrongly convicted, that is a greater crime to me than anything. So I don't believe in the death penalty. Because we had lots of political prisoners in South Africa who were put to death for their political convictions or people put to death for the color of their skin. That's my red line. I can't live with that.

Eric Huffman: Amen.

Lara Logan: So I'm willing to make that sacrifice. And it's easy to talk about it sort of academically, but I know in my heart I'd be willing to make that sacrifice. I might want that person who kills my someone I love to die. But the sacrifice I'm gonna make for us to all live under the rule of law is that I'm going to honor that when the moment comes. We all have to be held to that standard.

One of the many things I've learned from God is that that principle of free will is absolute. And God doesn't get to just change the outcomes of your decisions.

Eric Huffman: Well, He could. It's within His power.

Lara Logan: Of course, it's within His power. But He would be a liar.

Eric Huffman: Or a fortuitous totalitarian.

Lara Logan: He would be lying to us if He said, "I give you a free will and then He didn't."

Eric Huffman: That's right.

Lara Logan: So it's a very hard thing to accept especially when you see innocent people suffer and struggle. And it's all around us. But if you accept that and understand that, that's a very good, strong foundation for understanding faith around you.

What I've seen happen is that people want to walk away from God. You know, nobody wants someone else's religion shoved down your throat. Nobody wants that. But at the same time, as a society now we've walked very far from God. I realized that God kept me alive for many reasons, one of which was that I was supposed to learn and I wasn't supposed to take all of this to my grave.

Eric Huffman: We're almost out of time and I want to offer one word to you that you are obviously able to take or leave. But I think that your story has just begun. And I think it's tempting to look back and go, "Well, most of my story is behind me" or "Most of my mission here in this life is complete."

And I really believe that if you're open to it, God is going to do something with you and with your platform and your passion in ways that you haven't really seen yet. Because I think to this point, Laura, to your credit, you've taken God along on the ride with you on the journey. But He's been more of a passenger-

Lara Logan: To my great fortune.

Eric Huffman: Yeah. He's been a passenger, a fortuitous passenger to have on the voyage with you, and He has gotten you through things that you've been through. But I am really intrigued by what could happen if Laura Logan gave God the keys.

I think one of the challenges you keep running into, as best I can tell, is you are constantly faced with all of these worldly dark problems. And your only solutions are worldly, practical solutions. And that's fine and good. We should be working for those. But you know, as well as I do, that this is not a practical enemy that we're fighting but a spiritual one. And so the solutions must be spiritual solutions. I think I hate the idea of speaking out of turn here-

Lara Logan: Go ahead.

Eric Huffman: But I think what you might be missing to this point in your fight against this evil is the power of the Holy Spirit. And if you were, through prayer, just to say, "Lord, don't just fill me with your knowledge. Don't just fill me with Your wisdom, or Your insight or Your word even, memorizing Bible verses, but fill me with Your Spirit," I think you might be surprised, overwhelmed, amazed by what that would do for you and fighting this battle that I believe God has called you to fight.

I don't see many others willing to do what's necessary and risk what has to be risked in order to fight the demons you're up against in this world. And they are demons. You have convinced me of that in our conversations that there are evil mechanisms that work in this world that most people don't care to see or know about. But you've seen it. You can't unsee it. But you can't fight it by yourself, either.

Lara Logan: No. You can't.

Eric Huffman: You need the Spirit of God to come alongside of you, to be within you, and then to overflow from your heart, out of your mouth, out of your eyes, so that the whole world when you speak doesn't just see Laura Logan the correspondent, or what they see as a political far right, or whatever, but they see the actual power of God coming and speaking through you. And I think that's just as simple as asking God for it. That's what the Bible says. You ask God for it and He gives you His spirit freely. That's who He is. And you know that.

Lara Logan: It's amazing.

Eric Huffman: Because of what you've been through and seen in life, you know God better than most Christians that I've ever met know God.

Lara Logan: I don't know about that.

Eric Huffman: You do. You have a sense of who He is from uncompromising appreciation for justice and love for all people. And you just assume that's what we must do is fight for justice and love everybody. And you're surprised when others don't. I'm telling you, that comes from a place of real knowledge of God. Knowledge of God is one thing but intimacy with Him is another. And now that you've got that place out in West Texas, I think no better place in the world to get intimate with God than just-

Lara Logan: In the middle of nowhere.

Eric Huffman: ...just let Him in and ask Him to fill you with His Spirit, and you will find yourself saying things you've never said before, feeling things you've never felt before, and winning people over that you never thought you could.

Lara Logan: Very interesting. I'm definitely going to do that because I think you're right.

[00:56:55] <music>

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