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The Other Side
Original Broadcast Date
November 19, 2000
Roy Eisenstein, Niles Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, Khalid Muhammad, Joe Frank
Real People, 59 minutes
Preceded by: Silent Sea
Followed by: Brothers

"I must say that I did not come to Los Angeles to tiptoe through the tulips."

Mystery is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series The Other Side. It was originally broadcast on November 19, 2000.


The show begins with a note from an announcer telling the audience that the show contains material that many will find objectionable.

Khalid Muhammad National Chairman of the New Black Panther Party (having been kicked out of the Nation of Islam in 1993), speaks, in Los Angeles 1994 May 27 - anti-semitism is his topic.

8:40: Roy Eisenstein[1] recounts his experience as a soldier in Vietnam in 1967-8 (He says his 19th and 20th birthdays happened there). He was the only Jew in his platoon. Many of the other soldiers expressed anti-semitic sentiments. One night, drinking in town, Kelly (one of them) picked a fight. Eisenstein beat him up.

24:50: Niles Goldstein, a rabbi, talks about God with Joe.

33:00: More anti-semitism from Khalid Muhammad: he calls for their extermination.

34:20: More from Roy Eisenstein in Vietnam. After beating up Kelly all the others in his platoon got along with him.

41:00: Joe talks about nature programs on television, how they're all about animals killing and eating each other, asks Rabbi Goldstein what this says about god.

47:20: Jack Kornfield talks about the morning of the Buddha's enlightenment, his sorrow for the suffering of others, how much of this we cause by our grasping.

49:40: Rabbi Goldstein says his faith comes not so much from study but from 4 or 5 experiences of god.

56:20: Jack Kornfield says that we have to accept the bad with the good, that if we resist this we suffer.

58:00: Rabbi Goldstein tells Joe that he prays for god's presence, not things. 'I don't want things from god, just god.'

Legacy Synopsis
  • An anti-Semitic and racist speech by former NOI spokesman Khalid Muhammad: Comparing the Holocaust to African history. Why kill the women and babies? "Kill them again."
  • A guy named Eisenstein talks about being Jewish in the US military and being confronted by racist soldiers. Jew as a six syllable word. A friendship between two 'steins. Antisemitic comments lead to a fight in a soldiers' bar.
  • Joe in a conversation with a rabbi: Jewish scholarship and the ambiguous god. Believing in something with no rational support because it is comforting. A child frightened in a room who believes in nearby parents as an analogy for man and god. No atheists in foxholes re-re-interpreted. What one does when confronted with the face of the absurd.
  • Muhammad: comparing Jews to parasites.
  • Eisenstein: taking Benzedrine and sharing a room with a couple having sex. The guy he fought apologizes. After the fight he is respected by the others in his unit.
  • Rabbi conversation: Cruelty in the animal kingdom, transcending ethics, believing in something that cannot even be defined.
  • Kornfield on suffering.
  • Rabbi conversation: believing because of a handful of experiences. Theism as an irrational belief. God compared to unrequited love in poetry. If humans need god, does that imply god.


Additional Credits

The original broadcast credits state: "With Roy Eisenstein, Rabbi Niles Goldstein, author of God at the Edge: Searching for the Divine in Uncomfortable and Unexpected Places, Jack Kornfield, and Joe Frank. With excerpts from a speech by Khalid Muhammad in Los Angeles, May 27, 1994. Production: Bob Carlson. Music consultant: Thomas Golubić. Production assistance: Esmé Gregson."


  • The original broadcast was prefaced with the statement "The following program contains material many will find objectionable. We urge you to listen to the entire show before making any judgments."