RUDI DEKKERS UNwittingLY TRAINED THE 9/11 TERRORISTS who flew into the WTC in nY
Who is Rudi?
What is he about?
Any Company or Organization
Why Are They Hiring Rudi?
Story of 9/11
How did he survive the adversity he endured?
Imagine for a moment, the year is 2000
You own your own business
You are living the American Dream
You’ve always wanted that clothing boutique,
a Harley Davidson store
Maybe you have your own restaurant.
Back then, you welcomed all customers... back then it was
business. Back then, you were not suspicious.
You welcomed all customers.
Back then we weren’t thinking about terrorism here in the
Me? I owned a ﬂight school in
Florida in 2000.
I was living my dream.
It was July 2000
And two guys came in asking for information about lessons.
How was I to know that they were about to become mass
It’s time to tell the story.
I come from a humble background...
I’m from Amsterdam (insert a joke, red light district)
I came to America as an immigrant
because there are so many opportunities here in this
I’ve always loved ﬂying, so I started a business, a ﬂight
school, with one airplane.
And it grew to a hundred!
So, like I said, in July 2000, two Middle Eastern guys
walked into my ﬂight school.
Today you may think that sounds suspicious.
But back in 2000, we didn’t think about terrorism
here in the US
and most of my customers were foreigners,
as am I.
And...to be honest...ﬂight training in America is
cheaper than it is in other parts of the world,
so you’re going to get a lot more foreigners.
So these two guys, if I told you they were fun, easy-going,
friendly, I would be lying. They weren't.
But you don’t have to like your customers.
They stayed through December of 2000 and then I never
heard about them again...
...until Sept. 12 of 2001, when I got a call from the FBI.
They were looking for two ﬁles
Mohamed Atta and Al-shihhi.
When the agent mentioned those names I realized I was
connected to 9/11.
I gave the FBI the ﬁles they wanted, plus a ton
more. I told them to take all the computers and
phone records. I actually over-documented
everything, and because of my records, the FBI was
able to be immediately in Germany, where the
terrorists were originally stationed.
The FBI had told me not to talk to the press.
But I had nothing to hide, and I took on the position
of an open book.
I testiﬁed before Congress and they said I did
everything by the book. (insert headline)
This helped me.
The American people saw that I was a regular
business man drawn into a horrible situation and
used by terrorists, like so many others.
9/11 was Incomprehensible
and still is.
Even the people who were involved with the event for 5 minutes
(ticket takers, air trafﬁc control, etc.)
they took on the responsibility for the trauma, and many of them are
still affected today, they are basket cases.
Why did I survive the amount of involvement I had?
Why am I stronger today?
Hey, it wasn’t easy for me. I had hundreds of death threats.
I bit my nails down to the bone, I developed serious health concerns.
I hurt every single day.
So what was it that helped me mentally get through this.
I had to take a
So think about it...
these two men drove cars, had drivers’ licenses issued by the govt.
bought their groceries, rented housing, they belonged to a
community that accepted them.
Are we now all responsible for making life possible for them in this
We’re just people, a society, running our businesses and doing our
jobs...to feed and care for our families.
I asked all 60 of my employees if we saw something or could have
seen something that was out of the ordinary.
None of us did. We did nothing wrong.
This was the ﬁrst step in how I survived.
But I had to go deeper.
I had to go back to my childhood.
It was rough.
We were very poor.
with no water and no electricity.
My parents did not give me any love. And they didn’t have any money.
I searched for pennies under the wooden ﬂoor at the circus.
To the center of Amsterdam.
We lived on a houseboat
My survival instincts came a very young age.
Heck, I was polishing shoes at 7 years old.
(teaching point) You parents out there...
How many of you are denying your children life experience because
you want to protect them too much. Maybe that difﬁcult experience
will help them later in life.
People continually ask me,
It boils down to three words: Integrity, Strength, and Love
“How do you live with it everyday?”
Let’s talk about Integrity.
When I talk about Integrity, I’m talking about following the rules,
doing it right, being thorough, being professional and having follow-
When you are honest and forthright, when you have nothing to hide,
you can sleep at night.
(Slide) Dekkers Did It By The Book!
Let’s talk about Strength.
Like when the FBI told me not to talk to the press.
It takes strength to take a position and tell the FBI that I have nothing to
hide...and that coming forward it the answer.
This was during the time I received 100’s of death threats.
These were the ﬁrst days after 9/11
Strength is about controlling your emotions.
Strength is knowledge.
I have experienced in life that today’s problems will by cut in half by tomorrow if
you sleep on them.
Don’t be part of the problem, be the solution.
Strength is: accepting that not everybody is going to always like you.
the 80/20 rule.
Never stand still, rest on your laurels.
(Teaching point) Do you feel that you deserve a certain salary
or that your quality of work will earn you a certain salary?
Strength is the bridge between
Integrity and Love
Speaking of Love, this is my third word.
You have to have self-respect.
If you don’t have self respect, you can’t respect or love others.
Believe in yourself. Stand for yourself.
(Teaching point) I believe you have to love your work. You don’t want to spend
40 years doing something you don’t love.
The 3 of the most important things in life are Family, Health and Work.
So love your work.
Crash on the river.
Coldest day in Florida in 100 years
Laying on the bottom of the ocean.
Had the thought to let himself die.
Will to live, to see his granddaughter.
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