Sid Roth - This Millionaire Lost It All! Then He Found True Success with Peter Hirsch
Sid Roth: My guest was a world-renowned motivational speaker who knew all the secrets of success. Then he lost it all. Next on this edition of It's Supernatural!
Sid Roth: Hello. I'm Sid Roth your investigative reporter. My guest spent most of his life in Yeshivas, rabbinical schools even in Israel, and he really, from all external purposes and appearances had it made. What do I mean by that? Peter Hirsch, you were a motivational speaker, you spoke in front of tens, 20's, thousands, 80,000 people. What's it feel like to be a motivational speaker in front of 80,000 people?
Peter Hirsch: Well, what does it feel like? At first it's terrifying, but then it's great. And the thing for me why it was so great is because I did all on my own. You know, I didn't give anybody else credit. I'd accomplished absolutely everything on my own.
Sid Roth: What did you accomplish?
Peter Hirsch: Well I went to law school. That's something I don't even know if you knew. I graduated law school the top of my class, went to the number one law firm in the world in New York City, practiced for two years, realized I hated it because I became a lawyer for the wrong reasons. I became a lawyer because I didn't want to be a doctor. Growing up Jewish in Long Island, there aren't too many choices.
Sid Roth: Why didn't you become a rabbi?
Peter Hirsch: That's a good question. Because that was what really was expected of me, and I studied in Yeshivas here, intense Jewish learning, in the United States and Israel, and I have no idea to this day what held me back. I have no idea why I didn't just take the few tests that would have been required.
Sid Roth: How much were you making a month? Is that too personal?
Peter Hirsch: Oh please. At the peak it was not too long ago, just between 50 and $60,000 a month.
Sid Roth: And what was your lifestyle like?
Peter Hirsch: My lifestyle was good.
Sid Roth: Tell me about it.
Peter Hirsch: And it's interesting.
Sid Roth: Provoke me to jealousy.
Peter Hirsch: Because, you know, a lot of people say, well I was rich, but I was empty. I didn't feel empty. Okay. That was not an issue with me. Since I had left Orthodoxy, really and become more my own person thinking I can accomplish anything on my own. I met a wonderful woman. Thank God I met this woman. She is just an angel in every way. And she was living on the beach in Hawaii. So rather than me take her to New York, I thought it would be smarter for her to take me to Hawaii.
Sid Roth: Good thinking.
Peter Hirsch: So we were living, for me, it didn't matter because I would just travel. It didn't matter where I lived. I spoke a few times a month and the rest of the month we would sit in our beautiful home. And so you get a picture of the home, my office was in my home, which overlooked the deck, and the deck was about 90 feet long, which overlooked the ocean and the mountains of Kauai.
Sid Roth: Now Peter, why did you become a motivational speaker? Why didn't you with the law degree, and the abilities you had just start your own company? Why a motivational speaker? Why did you do it?
Peter Hirsch: Again, another great question. It was more than anything I know that I can touch people, and I always had that feeling that I could move people to action. Plus, I think a major reason at the time was ego-driven. Ego-driven. But you know, to get in front of that crowd and get the standing ovation and get the letters, Sid, it felt so good.
Sid Roth: Did you feel that you had like the Midas touch that anything you touched would prosper, that you could never fail?
Peter Hirsch: That was exactly it, and that was the reality for most of my life. Whatever venture, whatever I went into just blossomed. Financially, it was beautiful.
Sid Roth: So you really believed what you were teaching.
Peter Hirsch: Oh there's no question. I believed completely that whatever we want, our minds have the power to take us there.
Sid Roth: Yes, but coming from an Orthodox Jewish background, from Yeshiva training, where did God fit in with your presentation of motivation?
Peter Hirsch: That's a good question also. I think God, at the time to me, was more of a, and I always believed in God, but it was sort of like God is within. Do you know what I mean? We have the power to do what God does.
Sid Roth: Did you almost feel like you were a little god? Tell me the truth.
Peter Hirsch: I think that's probably true. I think that's exactly how I felt, not just me, though, not just me. That all of us had the, even saying those words now, hurt me. All of us have the god potential, you know, the potential to be gods, do whatever we want, accomplish whatever we want.
Sid Roth: So your marriage was going good?
Peter Hirsch: Everything was going great. There was nothing, you know, it's not like I could point to my life and say, well here were some holes. I didn't feel the holes at the time. Now looking back, the reality, did I have peace? Well no, I really didn't have peace. I was just always on energy. I was always running.
Sid Roth: Would you almost say that you were deceiving yourself?
Peter Hirsch: There's no question that I was deceiving myself. There's no question. And the only reason I know it is because I see myself now.
Sid Roth: But that's deception. You're the last one to know.
Peter Hirsch: Of course.
Sid Roth: Okay. So one day...
Peter Hirsch: My wife knew it clearly.
Sid Roth: So one day you come home and your wife makes a very simple statement about your wonderful lifestyle. What was it?
Peter Hirsch: Picture the scene. We're sitting on the beach at sunset, holding hands and she says, "Sweetie, we're so blessed. God is just blessing us in so many ways. You really need to thank Jesus for all we have".
Sid Roth: So? I beg your pardon.
Peter Hirsch: Excuse me. Now I remember my words so clearly because these were the exact words: "Sweetheart," with anger, you know, with intensity, "Sweetheart, not only shouldn't you thank Jesus, but you should thank me because I'm the one who worked my butt off for all of this". Now my wife is pretty smart, very smart woman, very loving. She just said, "Okay," smiled and took five steps back to avoid the lightning.
Sid Roth: When you heard "thank Jesus", what really went on inside of you?
Peter Hirsch: Oh to me, understand even though I had left Orthodox Judaism, there's that concept called the___. Do you know that Jewish spark that never leaves and will never leave. I was born, I will die a committed Jew. The concept, I knew my wife had always believed in Jesus.
Sid Roth: Why did you even marry a non-Jew?
Peter Hirsch: Because you know, I had left it at that point. It was okay because we were, the god was within us. But still, when I heard "Jesus".
Sid Roth: Her statement was?
Peter Hirsch: You need to thank Jesus. It wasn't just, I'm thanking Jesus. I knew she did. That was her thing. But now when she's telling me I need to, whoa, that doesn't work.
Sid Roth: Whoa. Guess what? God heard that statement. Guess what? Well come on back in a moment and we'll tell you what. Be right back after this.
Sid Roth: Hello. I'm Sid Roth your investigative reporter. My guest, Peter Hirsch, trained in rabbinical schools, his whole life Yeshivas, even in Israel, became a motivational speaker. 80,000 people would hear him at once, making 40, $50,000 a month, living in Hawaii, beautiful wife, everything going good. And one day his wife says, "You know sweetie, you should thank Jesus for all of our wonderful blessings". And he went through the roof. He says, "Don't thank Jesus, thank me". What happened next, Peter Hirsch?
Peter Hirsch: Well next is when God really allowed the lightning to strike. I'm not going to ever say God did it, I'm going say he just allowed it to happen.
Sid Roth: What happened?
Peter Hirsch: Against, I won't say against my better judgment, but without doing my own due diligence I accepted a position in Dallas, moving the family from Hawaii to Dallas. It was this five-year-old company.
Sid Roth: How could you go from Hawaii, I've been to your city, Dallas.
Peter Hirsch: Yeah. That's a very good question in itself. That's one I still don't have an answer for.
Sid Roth: Why did you? Why did you take this job, even?
Peter Hirsch: Well it was, looking back, it was greed.
Sid Roth: Why? What did they tell you?
Peter Hirsch: How I rationalized it, it was this five-year-old company that had been purchased by new owners. They were taking it public, turning it into a dot-com and I was going to be able to retire with more money than my grandchildren needed. I was only 32. So that was an exciting prospect. I didn't do my own diligence, my own due diligence as a lawyer, no one to blame but myself. Well I'm there at this company a hundred days or so and I realize it's not kosher. These new owners are definitely doing things that they shouldn't be doing. It's not kosher. I leave. I'm there a hundred days, my integrity intact, I leave. Big deal, big deal, very big deal. The Federal Trade Commission of the United States of America comes in, sues the old guy, some new guys and scoops me up in their net.
Sid Roth: But you're a positive thinker. Thank me, not thank Jesus, you said. So you can handle this.
Peter Hirsch: Well that's exactly what I thought. And I was like, this is no problem because I preached all around the world self-responsibility. Whatever mess you're in, you created it. Whatever good things have happened to you, you created it. This was going to be a piece of cake for me because I didn't do anything wrong, after all. Had I done something wrong I'm man enough to take responsibility. Well I didn't do anything, and there was no way out of it. Now I'll fast forward a little. It's months, it's turning into years now, I mean, almost a year where you can imagine the legal costs alone. We now have no home on Kauai, and we've moved from a five-bedroom home on Kauai on the beach to a two-bedroom apartment in Dallas. This is what the legal costs have done to us.
Sid Roth: So and what about bank accounts?
Peter Hirsch: Oh bank accounts are empty. Everything is gone.
Sid Roth: All went to attorneys to defend you for something you're innocent of.
Peter Hirsch: Absolutely.
Sid Roth: That you walked away from, that you, that's only supposed to happen in movies.
Peter Hirsch: Right. Now that's another show maybe one day. But the reality is at this point now my finances are gone. More important, my reputation is gone and I'm feeling no way out. Depression hits.
Sid Roth: But you still have a beautiful wife. You still got the ability to be a motivational speaker. Why depression?
Peter Hirsch: Again, I can't even answer why. I can say for many men we're defined by how well we provide, and I was not providing. I was not providing. My wife never lost her sense of peace and love for me.
Sid Roth: Had you ever had depression like that in your life?
Peter Hirsch: Oh bouts, you know, but never anything I couldn't handle. I mean, it was easy. This was massive. This was massive, this was heavy and on top of it I reached a point where I didn't sleep for two solid weeks.
Sid Roth: My goodness, I didn't know someone could do that.
Peter Hirsch: I didn't either. So now on top of the physical depression, there was physical, I'm a physical wreck and I don't see any way out. I literally don't see a way out and I'm planning a thought, planning actions that many men have had, I've come to discover, and I start thinking I'm worth more dead than alive. But with the case of insurance companies, I had to think how am I going to make it look natural.
Sid Roth: That's so opposite what you propagated, what you taught 80,000 people in an audience. You had them on the edge of their seat, the god within.
Peter Hirsch: That's right.
Sid Roth: You really...
Peter Hirsch: Now I've come to realize I left out the key ingredient throughout all those success talks. But at this point I didn't even see that. At this point I'm just feeling incredible depression with no way out, literally planning how can I make it look natural because I'm worth more dead than alive to my family.
Sid Roth: Do you think your wife realized what was going on?
Peter Hirsch: Oh she realized. She realized it. She prayed and was nothing but supportive, which actually at times made me even angrier. And I'll tell you what really made me angry at this point. She was completely at peace, completely happy, knew things would work out.
Sid Roth: But she lost all that beautiful home.
Peter Hirsch: We lost everything and she was fine about it, which really upset me even more. Had she shown a reaction, "I can't believe you did this," maybe, I don't know. But she never, she, just pure love.
Sid Roth: All your abilities, you couldn't get out of this mess with the federal government?
Peter Hirsch: No, absolutely not.
Sid Roth: What was the potential prognosis for what would have happened to you?
Peter Hirsch: Well two things. First of all, the lawsuit was for $85 million.
Sid Roth: $85 million?
Peter Hirsch: $85 million lawsuit. It's against many defendants and it's still going on against most of them, almost all of them, but me. We'll get to that later.
Sid Roth: Would you have gotten jail time?
Peter Hirsch: No, it was not a criminal case. It was a civil case. But $85 million is enough to affect you the rest of your life.
Sid Roth: A lot of shekels.
Peter Hirsch: Absolutely.
Sid Roth: So you're depressed, you're suicidal.
Peter Hirsch: I am suicidal.
Sid Roth: Do you have the insurance policy?
Peter Hirsch: I have the insurance policy, but I have to make it look natural, you know, because you can't collect, the family can't collect if it's a suicide. So I have that thought, I'm starting to think creatively, how do I make it look natural, because I know that I'm worth more dead than alive at this point. And my wife is comforting me, hugging me doing nothing but loving me.
Sid Roth: Aren't you a little afraid of dying?
Peter Hirsch: I was more afraid of living at that point.
Sid Roth: I'll tell you what, hold that thought. We'll be back right after this and we'll find out what happened with this $85 million lawsuit. Be right back.
Sid Roth: Before we get to Peter Hirsch and that $85 million lawsuit, let's find out who's up next week. Janie?
Janie: Sid, you'll be speaking to a man by the name of Art Mathias who has seen hundreds of people healed of all kinds of diseases when he would find the emotional root, the emotional pain that caused that disease. He was nearly dead himself from an environmental illness. But then when he found out what the emotional pains were, he was totally healed and he had been allergic to a hundred different things.
Sid Roth: You know a lot of people don't realize that the emotions literally, when they're corrected, the body takes care of itself and all these dread diseases disappear.
Janie: And what's really amazing is that he has found, for instance, when women have women problems, they found that a lot of times it's because of a pain or a hurt from their mother or their sisters. It's really amazing.
Sid Roth: Thank you, Janie. I'm here in the studio now with Peter Hirsch. And Peter is a Jewish man trained in Yeshivas, trained in Israel, an attorney, a successful business man that challenged Jesus. He says, don't give Jesus credit, give me credit, and his whole world fell apart. He got involved in an $85 million lawsuit. He lost everything. He went from a beautiful house overlooking the ocean in Hawaii to a small apartment in Dallas, Texas. And so you're losing everything. Now you're thinking about committing suicide and how you can do it, and your wife still gets the life insurance.
Peter Hirsch: Absolutely.
Sid Roth: What happened next?
Peter Hirsch: Well and then it was, I reached a beautiful day. I reached day of total and complete desperation. Where I knew if I didn't sleep this night, the next morning it was over.
Sid Roth: How long had you gone without sleep?
Peter Hirsch: This is two weeks. It's two weeks without sleep, and physically I'm a wreck, and emotionally I'm a wreck. I don't know what caused me to do this, except for my wife and her family's three years of constant prayer for me. But before bed, I got down on my knees for the first time in my life.
Sid Roth: Wait a second, a Jew doesn't get down on their knees. I mean, we do the opposite of what Christians do. Christians get on knees, we don't.
Peter Hirsch: Right.
Sid Roth: Why did you?
Peter Hirsch: I had no way out. And Judaism is who I am, but I needed something more. It was an act of desperation. It was an act of desperation. So I got on my knees and I said the words I remember so clearly. I said, "Jesus, if you're real now is the time to show me because there's not going to be a tomorrow if you don't tell me right now and you don't show me". The miracle that happened wasn't just that I slept through the night, which was a miracle.
Sid Roth: You did sleep through the entire night.
Peter Hirsch: I slept like a baby. But the real miracle is that I woke up in the morning with a sense of peace that I had never felt before in my life, knowing beyond doubt that everything was going to be fine. And my life from that moment on was no longer my own.
Sid Roth: That's very different than what you used to believe.
Peter Hirsch: It's dramatically, it's so different that I actually had to stop selling that first book that I wrote because it's just, it's not what I believe any more.
Sid Roth: But a rabbi would say you just had an emotional experience and now come home to Orthodox Judaism. What would you say?
Peter Hirsch: There's a difference between an emotional experience and a knowing. This was a simple knowing. This was an absolute knowing that my life is no longer my own, that Jesus picked me up from right when I was ready to fall and go to the lowest possible depths, he came in and saved me.
Sid Roth: What about that $85 million lawsuit?
Peter Hirsch: This was beautiful. About six weeks ago, maybe eight weeks ago was my deposition from the Federal Trade Commission. So I'm there. It's eight hours where their questioning me. At the end of the deposition, by the way, I asked the lawyers if they had a few minutes and I shared with them the positive things that have come out of this lawsuit. Well a week later, I get a call from my attorney, surprising call. The Federal Trade Commission is willing to settle with me for zero dollars. I remember when I got the call because I was in the Phoenix Airport. I had just come out of a meeting with Tommy Barnett, a wonderful, wonderful man of God. And right when I came out of that meeting I'm in the airport, going back to Texas, I get this call and if I wasn't surrounded by all these people in that busy airport I would have prostrated myself right on the ground at that airport. I felt so thankful, but so much more than thankful, so humbled to be the object of a direct supernatural miracle.
Sid Roth: You have no doubt.
Peter Hirsch: There's no room for doubt. See, if it was a token fine, which is normally the case when somebody doesn't have money, a token 25, $50,000 in an $85 million lawsuit, there would have been room for doubt. When the fine is zero, there is no room for doubt.
Sid Roth: What is the difference between what you, it was almost a religion, is it fair to say a religion of self, a religion of positive thinking.
Peter Hirsch: Oh it was the religion of positive thinking, absolutely.
Sid Roth: What is the difference now?
Peter Hirsch: Very simple. Faith is not positive thinking because faith focuses clearly on God's supernatural incredible ability to deal with your current situation beyond question. Positive thinking doesn't do that. Positive thinking can be delusional.
Sid Roth: You know, I always felt positive thinking was wonderful until you bump into your first crisis, and then it's not so wonderful. But I'll tell you something about our God. God says all things are possible to those who believe. And that's what Peter is saying right now. Peter is saying that he's no longer reliant on himself because self will fail and disappoint. He's reliant on God. He gives God credit. He trusts God in the impossible. But in order to trust God you have to know him and in order to know him you have to have your sins forgiven. And in order to have your sins forgiven there is no other name given unto men in which we must have our sins atoned for. My father used to tell me, in Poland, his father, my grandfather would take a chicken and break its neck, and wave it over his head, and say, "This blood pays for my sin". But you see, it didn't. It's only the blood of an unblemished lamb in the temple and that pointed to the Passover Lamb of God, Yeshua, that's Hebrew for Jesus. There is no other name given unto men in which we must be saved, and the Torah says, without the shedding of blood there is no atonement for sin. I have given the blood onto the altar as atonement for your sin. It's the blood of Yeshua who came to wash away all of your sins to the point where God says I'll remember them no more. And when you repent of your sins and believe that Yeshua washed them away and ask Yeshua to live inside of you, you become in right relationship with God and he will be your best friend, a friend that is, they're always for you, not sometimes, that loves you no matter what happens in your life. He's just pouring His love through me right now. He is pouring his love. The love of God is going right into you. It's going into every fiber of your being. That's true shalom. That's true love. It's not religion, not Judaism or Christianity, it's relationship.