Jeffrey Epstein was apparently into some out-there scientific ideas. Like, say, impregnating 20 women at once and having them live on his enormous New Mexico ranch, to spread Epstein’s DNA.
Epstein, a multimillionaire who’s been accused of sex trafficking minors, told multiple people about his dream of what the New York Times called a “baby ranch.” But that outlandish idea represented just one of Epstein’s forays into unproven science. He was also reportedly into “transhumanism,” which seeks to use methods like genetic engineering to improve humanity.
It’s been compared to eugenics, a now-discredited school of thought that aimed to control reproduction through, for example, sterilizing people.
Epstein now stands accused of sexually abusing multiple girls, some of whom were as young as 14, between 2002 and 2005. He’s pleaded not guilty to the charges, and is being held without bail in a Manhattan jail, as a judge considered him a flight risk.
Infamously, prosecutors in Florida — including President Donald Trump’s now-former Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta — handed Epstein a cushy plea deal over similar charges in that state more than a decade ago.
There were other signs that Epstein was interested in improving the human population, the Times reported. His charity gave money to a transhumanist group, and a business he’d incorporated in the Virgin Islands said in a local filing that it was working on DNA analysis.
Epstein also once mentioned the idea of freezing his head and penis through cryogenics, which posits that people’s frozen bodies can be brought back to life at some undetermined point in the future, the Times reported.
Epstein also often used his money — and the prospect of funding — to ingratiate himself with high-profile scientists like the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, according to the Times. He sometimes used meetings with those scientists to discuss genetics, sources said.
Jaron Lanier, who pioneered the development of virtual reality, told the Times he felt that Epstein’s dinners were an opportunity for Epstein to scope out women who could potentially bear his seed.
Cover: Jeffrey Epstein in conversation with Professor Alan Dershowitz, one of America's best-known legal experts. (Photo by Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images)