Creepy ol’ Ben Stein

Remember Ben Stein? Lazy character actor best known for his mind-numbing drone, reactionary conservative who writes dull screeds on bogus economics, the creationist voice of Expelled? He’s in the news again, when we’d all rather he just goes away.

He wrote a bizarre rambling bit of nonsense for the American Spectator about how he travels the country, helping breathakingly beautiful women, taking them out to dinner, giving them writing advice, and boy, does airline food suck or what, and Obama is a failure. And he spent a fair amount of the essay just writing about this stunningly beautiful, absolute knockout young Eurasian woman who just happened to be in the airport.

As I walked through SFO in search of my driver, I came across a stunningly beautiful, absolute knockout young Eurasian woman. She was lying on a bench right next to where my driver was supposed to be, so I sat down next to her and chatted her up.

This story has evolved somewhat. Now she’s ambushing him and harassing him for money..

About five months ago, as I was walking through SFO to get into my car, I met a young woman who was extremely excited to meet me. She was literally jumping up and down with excitement. She told me she was a “performance artist” but hinted at some scary parts of her life. She said she would like to be a writer and asked if I could help. We exchanged texting addresses and off I went in my car. I spent fewer than five minutes talking to her in a busy airport terminal.

See? Ben Stein thinks Ben Stein is the kindest, sweetest person around. He deserves a medal for helping a young, beautiful woman out, giving her money and advice.

“I should get a medal for helping this woman. This is a person who appealed to me for money. She said she would send me some examples of her performance art. Some of those examples were racy, and some were not. I just don’t get what I have done wrong. She is mad at me because she wanted more money. … I didn’t expect anything from her.”

This “I am not a crook” moment was prompted by the fact that the young woman, Tanya Ma, released screen shots of their phone messages. And it’s true, he didn’t touch her, he didn’t do anything criminal — he just exposed the fact that the private Ben Stein is a deeply creepy person.

Sext messages below the fold. Wash your hands afterwards.

He writes to her, asking for sexy pics.


He offers money, asking how much she needs. She tells him how much she needs to finish her trip.


She thanks him for his help…and whoa, here we go, plunging off the cliff.


He demands a reply. She demurs. She is not his girlfriend!


Petulant Ben emerges. He’s resentful of being friend-zoned.


Her feelings are the problem. Dang, she’s pretty articulate in squashing Ben’s delusions.



In his weird denial in The American Spectator, which mixes befuddled confusion about why he is being persecuted with existential dread about the fate of Israel, he closes with a pious appeal.

I looked in “The Gift of Peace,” my book of sayings to bring calm:

* When all else fails, turn it over to God.

* I am a person made up of the seven deadly sins. I always will be. I should not be surprised by it. It’s called “Being human.”

* Luckily for me, God works by mercy, and not by justice.

* Fear is the common human condition. Faith is the solution.

* What happens to me is not very important.

* Acceptance of what God sends me is not a choice. It is a necessity.

I am not kidding. I am not at all important. But, please pray for Israel.

Isn’t it sweet how religion is so undiscriminating that it allows the worst sinners to claim grace?


  1. says

    I guess praying for Israel is part of claiming grace. Praying for the poor sods in Gaza, probably not so much.

    Getting back to the original subject: what an asshole.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    $1.5K doesn’t even buy a hug and grope any more?

    Yet Paul Krugman still laughs at those warning of inflation!!!1!

    Let’s all blame Obama!

  3. twas brillig (stevem) says

    That “prayer” screed of Ben’s has convinced me, finally, that his participation in that Expelled abomination was totally participatory. I had considered him being an actor and just got paid to recite this script for $$, “don’t bother trying to understand the context, just read the words, Benny.” It turns out, I was just being blind, blinded by his Hollywood vibe.
    Funny (err, not humorous funny; weird funny) that after sending this “beautiful Eurasian woman, performance artist” a check for $$$$$, he wants to “hug and kiss” her. That sends my thoughts directly into the gutter: He gets angry she denied him, cuz he just paid her, and she gives him nuthin in return. “performance artist” is just the polite label for … you know what. {get outa my brain Ben…. wash wash wash}

  4. U Frood says

    With what he was texting to her, I’d suggest that after accepting that kind of money, the smart thing would be to avoid him at all costs. Don’t give him that hug, because he definitely feels he’s entitled to more. Don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation like that.

    I’d probably advise “Don’t take the money”, but I understand that can be hard.

  5. qwints says

    Is this really a matter of public interest? I feel really creeped out that you posted that PZ.

  6. says

    Ben Stein pretends to be a spokesman for God and Intelligent Design, so yes, his hypocrisy and sleaziness are a matter of public interest.

  7. Artor says

    Eww! Hey, um… Ben? If you want pretty young women to sleep with you for sex, maybe you should try a prostitute? It’s still skeevy, but that’s what they actually do for their job. Sniffing after vulnerable young women and trying to turn them into prostitutes for your own jollies? That’s fucking creepy as hell.

  8. busterggi says

    “* When all else fails, turn it over to God.”

    Like that woman who drove over a motorcyclist a few days ago?

    “* Luckily for me, God works by mercy, and not by justice.”

    Good to know that god is unjust, explains a lot.

    ” But, please pray for Israel.”

    Why, aren’t they Yahweh’s chosen people already? Has he forgotten them? Well considering their history at the hands of his other chosen peoples maybe he has.

  9. jimmyfromchicago says

    I amused myself by reading those texts in his “Bueller…Bueller” voice; I have an immature sense of humor.

    But then I read them for meaning and realized how utterly disgusting the whole exchange was. He actually tells her “Your feelings are the problem” in response to a text where she sets limits but doesn’t actually talk about her feelings. It’s pretty clear what she has to do if she wants that $1500.

    It gets worse when he looks in his “book of sayings”: it’s still all about him, not about the desperate young woman he was trying to groom. He still isn’t asking her forgiveness, even when confronted with the evidence of what he did.

  10. says

    Qwints @7, I’d say this kind of misbehaviour is of public interest, yes. Unless you don’t count women as being part of the public.

  11. says

    I haven’t even finished reading it and I’m overwhelmed by the skeeviness.

    In my mind, I am a young Southern politician. I go up to each person who looks at all interesting and say something like, “Hi, I’m George Wallace and if there’s anything I can do for you here in Clio, Alabama, just let me know.”

    George Wallace.

    “I know,” she said, “but I’ll just be a single mom. Will you help me out?”

    I am so pro-life that I can never say no in these cases but I am worried about it.

    Requires no comment.

    In that same week where I met Lucia, I also met a breathtakingly beautiful middle-aged woman—well, maybe younger than that—at a bar…. She’s thirty-two.


  12. The Mellow Monkey says

    In that same week where I met Lucia, I also met a breathtakingly beautiful middle-aged woman—well, maybe younger than that—at a bar…. She’s thirty-two.

    …this from a man who will be seventy this November. From his perspective of being over twice her age, she might be middle-aged. How does he describe his wife? “Dust”?

  13. says

    “I want to stay at the Beverly Wilshire,” she [not “Lucia”] said. “That’s my hotel in L.A. It’s right in the middle of Beverly Hills, which is where I like to be.”

    “Honey,” I said after a quick text to my travel agent, “rooms there are about twelve hundred a night for when you want to be in L.A.”

    “So?” she asked with a slightly hurt look.

    Those negotiations, like all negotiations in the age of Obama, got stalled.


    These two episodes are typical of my life when I am traveling. My main obsessions in my life are my wife, my dog, my son and his family, my secret gf from Mississippi, and any beautiful girl I meet. I am like a teenager. I get mad crushes and they last about ten minutes. Maybe less. Then it’s off to do the next indicated action. Usually that consists of getting on an airplane.


    I did meet three adorable co-eds from Georgia Regents University and they were the brightest spots of the day by far. Pretty, enthusiastic, polite…I love Southern girls

    Recall: he’s 69.

    There was a staggeringly gorgeous woman working at the party. Just a super beauty. I might add that if she had been any more polite she would have been an impossibility. But wow, where do these gorgeous Southern women come from? What is it? Genetics? Attitude? Something.

    The audience for the speech was great. Got all of my jokes. APPLAUDED AT THE RIGHT MOMENTS. Gave me a long standing ovation. We love Augusta. No sign of the beautiful cocktail party girl but the three glorious co-eds were there, beaming, cheerful, lovely. I think I will bring them out to L.A. on granddad’s jet.

    I’m embarrassed for everyone involved, including myself and anyone else reading. Why was this published?

  14. says

    How does he describe his wife? “Dust”?

    Ha. Apparently, he calls her “Big Wifey.” (“I lay out on the balcony for a while, then came inside to nap with my Big Wifey by my side.”) Almost all she seems to do in his accounts is sleep.


    About five months ago, as I was walking through SFO to get into my car, I met a young woman who was extremely excited to meet me. She was literally jumping up and down with excitement.

    Yes, this is completely belied by the earlier article.

    But my main sin in this case was being beguiled by this young woman whom I thought was my friend, as I had been her benefactor.

    …I simply do not see what this is about except that “no good deed goes unpunished.”

    You’re an uncelebrated hero, Ben Stein.

  15. HolyPinkUnicorn says

    Always thought Charlie Sheen had the creepiest part in Ferris Bueller (he has a weird exchange with Jennifer Grey’s character), but it’s hard not to be disgusted by this and look at that movie in an even stranger light. And how one goes from writing about giving money to some pregnant admirer to the current Israeli war in only a few paragraphs is beyond me, but somehow he does.

    Kinda sad, really, and makes the whole expelled-from-Expelled!-gate episode back in 2008 seem rather innocent in comparison–no Please send me more sexy pics. texts!

  16. samgardner says

    Wow, that was more revolting than I expected.

    Oh, yuck. I went back and read it a second time to see his “justification”. It doesn’t get any more palatable. Wash my hands?? More like I have to induce vomiting.

  17. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    Yeah, I’m with qwints on this one. Damn you PZ for not taking into account that your posting of something of personal interest to your personal blog might not be in the public’s interest. Shame on you for succumbing to offering up what is on your mind rather than what we demand to hear from you. Next time just stick to mayfly porn.

    <!~~~~~~~~~~~ snark ~~~>

  18. fwtbc says

    Not only does this story highlight how many creepy dudes are out there, it also highlights how atrociously bad accessibility on the web is.

    I can’t see the images, so I can’t read them. From an above comment I can tell one contains the text “Your feelings are the problem”, so I googled for: “Ben Stein” “your feelings are the problem” hoping to find a news story that’d transcribed the screenshots, but only got 2 results. This page, and something unrelated.

    So then I searched for “Ben Stein” “Tanya Ma” to see how many results that got, and it was almost 100,000.

    So yeah, hopefully decent bionic eyes are on the way, because there’s fuck all chance anyone else is going to bother making things accessible.

    End of self-pitying rant.

  19. says

    fwtbc @21:

    It’s not a complete solution, but if you’ve got Chrome, you might consider trying the Project Naptha extension. It performs in-browser OCR and lets you select text stright off an image (even rotated or slanted text). You’ll still need to cut & paste it elsewhere to read it, unless you have another extension for text-to-speech or something that plays nicely, but it might be a good start.

  20. says

    I hope this helps:

    First Text

    Where are you?
    Please send more sexy pics.
    Again…where are you?

    Fri, Jul 11, 3:33 AM
    You have a helluva lot on your plate. Really a lot.
    Single mother. Little money. Very young. Father absent.
    But you are a brave and brilliant woman. You will be

    I can’t make out the final word. I think it’s ‘awesome’.

    Second text

    How much do you need?

    Thu, Jul 10, 7:54 PM
    I’m so thankful you’re asking. You’ve been incredibly helpful. If you would send me $1500, that would put me in a safe and comfortable spot as I finish my trip and when I return home.

    Thu, Jul 10, 8:54 PM
    That is too much for one check even for such a charmer as you

    Third text

    Money is in account.

    Thank you very much dear Ben <3

    You are very welcome, of course.

    Fri, Jul 11, 10:02 PM
    When you get here i want to hug and kiss you. I understand you don't want to fuck me.
    But I want to touch you and kiss you.

    Fourth text

    If that does not suit you please let me know.

    Sat, Jul 12, 2:15 AM
    Kindly respond.

    Sat, Jul 12, 11:01 AM
    Ben, you may hug me and feel my baby bump, but anything more is too much for me. I’m not your girlfriend. Can’t we simply enjoy a conversation and meal? I’m pregnant. I need to be very protective of my body.

    Fifth text

    Your note hurts my feelings. Insulting. Shows zero appreciation. Probably better if i don’t see you.
    I wish you well and great success in your future life.

    I’m sorry you feel insulted. My note was about me, not you. I didn’t say anything about you. I thought you’d appreciate a concise, honest answer about my feelings.

    Sixth text

    Your feelings are the problem.

    Actually Ben, you are one being insulting. For one, calling me ungrateful and for two dismissing my feelings as if I’m an object not a human. My feelings are never anyone’s problem but my own, and they aren’t ever problems-just authentic emotions and perspectives. I’ve given you my time more than anything through texting, phone calls, sending multi media,

    The rest of the message, if there is any more, is cut off.

  21. fwtbc says

    Thank you so much, Tony. It definitely helped, and is greatly appreciated.

    He’s a slimy, slimy cretin


    Thanks for the tip on that extension. I currently use Firefox as last time I looked at Chrome it lacked any obvious settings to improve accessibility, but it might be better now. I’ll make a note to check it out when I have sufficient spoons.

  22. normolsen says

    Zombie Voltaire chimes in once again:

    “I have only ever made one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.”

  23. Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^= says

    Thanks for the transcript, Tony!, just one small correction: the first text finishes “… you will overcome” and the rest is missing (including the bottom three-quarters of the word ‘overcome’).