Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #274 If Music Be the Food of Love, Munch On! Part 2

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1. In yet another update to a series of broadcasts that Mr. Emory has been doing since December of 1998, this program examines maneuvering by the Bertelsmann firm to increase its influence in the music industry.

2. The title of the program is derived from a key passage in the Nazi tract Serpent’s Walk (Randolph D. Calverhall; softcover, National Vanguard Books, copyright 1991, ISBN# 0-937944-05-X.) The book, supposedly a novel, seems rather a blueprint for the strategic policy Nazi elements are currently pursuing. In this regard, it would resemble The Turner Diaries, also published by National Vanguard–the publishing arm of the National Alliance, the most important American Nazi organization. The Turner Diaries was the model for Timothy McVeigh & Co. in the Oklahoma City Bombing, as well as the Nazi group The Order. In Serpent’s Walk, the descendants of Hitler’s SS take over the United States in the mid-21st century, after going underground, building up their economic strength, and gaining control over the American media. This process is described in one of the book’s key passages. “About ten years ago, we swing a merger, a takeover, and got voting control of a supercorp that runs a small but significant chunk of the American media. Not openly, with bands and trumpets. . . . but quietly, one huge corporation cuddling up to another one and gently munching it up, like a great, gubbing amoeba.” (Serpent’s Walk, p. 42.)

3. Borrowing from Shakespeare’s famous quote “if music be the food of love, play on,” the program hybridizes The Bard’s passage with the “munching” process alluded to in Serpent’s Walk. The substantive portion of the program begins with discussion of the use of the Napster file sharing music platform as a vehicle for sharing “neo”-Nazi music. (“Bertelsmann Addresses Napster Nazi Charges” by Rick Perera [IDG, 12/20/2000.) Rock music has been utilized by Nazi elements as a vehicle for converting (or attempting to convert) young people to the Nazi cause. One wonders whether the utilization of the Napster service by Nazi elements may be connected to Bertelsmann’s reasons for purchasing the platform.

4. The first major music company to join Bertelsmann in the Napster deal is the German firm Edel Music. (“Edel Music Reaches Accord With Napster To Provide Songs for Fee-Based Service” by William Boston; Wall Street Journal; 1/3/2001; p. B2.) As noted below, corporate Germany is controlled by the Bormann Organization, and the firms that the group controls act in concert. When considering German corporations, it is important to remember that they are controlled by the Bormann Organization. This institution has perpetuated its power in an effective, clandestine, and deadly, Mafia-like fashion in the years since World War II. American corporations are driven by the profit motive, and coordinate policies on labor, environmental, marketing and taxation issues – they are otherwise relatively apolitical. In contrast, German corporations (under control of the Bormann group) function as coordinated elements of international economic and political control, not unlike the divisions in an army. Although they, too, strive to make money, profit is subordinate to the goal of German national hegemony.

5. In keeping with Bertelsmann’s aim to dominate internet content and e-commerce, the company is integrating Napster and CD Now (two of its recent acquisitions.) (“Napster’s Software Includes CD Now Link” by P.J. Huffstutter; Los Angeles Times; 1/12/2001; p. C5.)

6. Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Middelhoff anounced that Napster would begin charging a fee as early as this summer. (“Bertelsmann Plans Early Napster Relaunch” by James Harding; Financial Times; 1/30/2001; p. 18.)

7. Middelhoff’s announcement came as a surprise to the management at Napster, indicating (perhaps) that effective control of the company had shifted to the German giant. (“Exec Says Napster to Charge Fee” by Benny Evangelista; San Francisco Chronicle; 1/30/2001; p. B3.)

8. Bertelsmann has undergone some dramatic shifts in management as it proceeds with negotiations to effect a dominant “merger” with EMI. (Bertelsmann’s potential deal with EMI was only made possible by the EU’s negation of Time Warner’s acquisition of the British music giant.
9. Serpent’s Walk describes the Nazi/SS/Bormann takeover of media corporations as involving the process of “replacing executives, pushing somebody out here, bringing somebody else in there.” (Serpent’s Walk, p. 42.)

10. Roughly a week before he was scheduled to take control of BMG (Bertelsmann’s music division) Rudi Gassner died of a heart attack at the age of 58. (“Death to Force Restructuring of BMG Ranks” by Martin Peers; Wall Street Journal; 12/26/2000; p. A5.)

11. His replacement is Rolf Schmidt-Holz, whose appointment was expected to facilitate the Bertelsmann-controlled merger with EMI. (“Bertelsmann Expected to Name Ex-TV Exec to Lead Music Group” by Chuck Philips; Los Angeles Times; 1/4/2001; pp. C1-C6.)

12. Schmidt-Holz had previously served as the editor of the Bertelsmann-owned Stern magazine. (“Bertelsmann to Name Company Insider Without Music Experience as BMG Chief” by William Boston and Martin Peers; Wall Street Journal; 1/15/2001; p. B5.)

13. In that capacity, Schmidt-Holz had helped to supervise the “editorial taming” of the magazine. (Global Dreams: Imperial Corporations and the New World Order; by Richard J. Barnet and John Cavanaugh; copyright 1994 [HC]; p. 77.)

14. Technology head Kevin Conroy and Chief Financial Officer Tom McIntyre also exited from BMG at about the same time as Gassner’s “exit.” (“Exec Exodus Continues at BMG” by Chuck Philips; Los Angeles Times; 1/9/2001; p. C11.)

15. Bob Jamieson was made the chief executive of Bertelsmann’s North American music operations, shortly after the departure of Conroy and McIntyre. (“RCA Chief to Head Bertelsmann N. America Music” by Chuck Philips and Jeff Leeds; Los Angeles Times; 1/20/2001; p. C3.)

16. Meanwhile, the negotiations between EMI and Bertelsmann continued. (“Music Majors Try to Strike Accord” by Ashling O’Connor; Financial Times; 1/27/2001; p. 11.)

17. In order to better navigate the waters of antitrust regulation, Bertelsmann hired Joel Klein. (“Ex Regulator Hired to Advise Bertelsmann” by David D. Kirkpatrick; New York Times; 2/1/2001; p. C1.)

18. Klein had been the head of the Justice Department’s antitrust enforcement. (Idem.)

19. Reviewing an item discussed in FTR-266, the program underscores the fact that recent legislation passed by the European Parliament would greatly impede a hostile takeover of a European corporation. (“European Firms Get ‘Poison Pill'” by Paul Meller [New York Times]; San Jose Mercury News; 12/14/2000; p. 4B.) It should be noted that this is highly unlikely to impede German corporations from taking over American firms.

20. Bertelsmann’s parent (the Bertelsmann foundation) sponsored a think tank at which German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder called for the federalist integration of the EU into a European superstate. (“Schroder Launches Brussels Offensive” by Alan Hall; The Scotsman; 1/26/2001.)

21. This step would entail “a Europe where decisions on tax, defense, health, insurance and a plethora of other issues were defined by the EU and not national governments.” (Idem.)

22. Such a state would, of course, be dominated by Germany. In effect, this would give Germany the control of Europe that it has sought through military conquest in two world wars. In language reminiscent of the oratory of Adolf Hitler, German Foreign Minister warned that, unless this integration took place, grave measures would follow. (Idem.)

23. “The German government will not stand idly by, but would take courageous steps against the centrifugal forces of the inter-governmentalists,” warned Fischer. (Idem.)

24. The broadcast concludes by comparing aspects of the aforementioned Serpent’s Walk with the reality of the Bertelsmann firm. In Serpent’s Walk, the descendants of Hitler’s SS take over the United States in the mid-21st century, after going underground, building up their economic strength, and gaining control over the American media. (Text from the back cover of Serpent’s Walk.)

25. The program then reviews Bertelsmann patriarch Heinrich Mohn’s “passive” membership in the SS, and the fact that the firm was the largest publisher of books for the SS and Wehrmacht during World War II. (“Bertelsmann’s Nazi Past” by Hersch Fischler and John Friedman; The Nation; 12/28/98.)

26. Next, the program analyzes more of the scenario presented in Serpent’s Walk. Highlighting the importance of the Nazi-controlled media in revising history during the 21st century, the program underscores the denial of the Holocaust and the shifting of blame for World War II away from the Third Reich. (Serpent’s Walk; p.43.)

27. The program also reviews the political views of the company’s official historian, Dirk Bavendamm. In books published in 1983, 1993 and 1998, Bavendamm blamed World War II on Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “U.S. imperialism,” and the “Jewish-controlled” U.S. media, which, he said, gave a distorted view of Hitler. Bavendamm also said that Hitler’s policy toward the Jews was made necessary by FDR’s war-like policies toward Germany. (“Bertelsmann’s Revisionist” by Hersch Fischler and John Friedman; The Nation; 11/8/99.)

28. The possibility that Serpent’s Walk could become a reality is not one to be taken lightly.

Discussion

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