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FTR #718 In Your Facebook: A Virtual Panopticon?

Lis­ten:
MP3 Side 1 [1] | Side 2 [2]

Intro­duc­tion: Record­ed on 7/4/2010–Independence Day–this pro­gram con­tem­plates how inde­pen­dent our inno­v­a­tive tech­nol­o­gy real­ly makes us. Con­cep­tu­al­ized as a “lib­er­at­ing” tech­nol­o­gy, Face­book (and by exten­sion oth­er social net­work­ing sites) expos­es its clients to poten­tial wide­spread dis­sem­i­na­tion of sen­si­tive per­son­al infor­ma­tion.

Ana­lyz­ing the indi­vid­u­als and ele­ments involved with Face­book, the pro­gram should give poten­tial users of the net­work pause to reflect. Do you real­ly want these folks han­dling your most sen­si­tive data?

Begin­ning with the back­ground of Peter Andreas Thiel [3], the broad­cast ana­lyzes the back­ground and polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy and activism of this pri­ma­ry backer of Face­book. Son of a chem­i­cal engi­neer an appar­ent employ­ee of a suc­ces­sor firm to the I.G. car­tel, Thiel’s res­i­dences include stints in South Africa and Namib­ia, both loca­tions of Under­ground Reich activ­i­ty [4].

Under­ly­ing this exam­i­na­tion is the fun­da­men­tal ques­tion of the fam­i­ly’s pos­si­ble mem­ber­ship in the Under­ground Reich. (In order to gain a work­ing under­stand­ing of the argu­ment pre­sent­ed in these pro­grams, lis­ten­ers should famil­iar­ize them­selves with Paul Man­ning’s Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile [5]. Dom­i­nat­ing the suc­ces­sor firms to the I.G. and embrac­ing the diverse ele­ments of the post­war Nazi dias­po­ra, the net­work Man­ning describes [6] is to be found through­out the ele­ments dis­cussed in FTR #718.

Over the years, Thiel has man­i­fest­ed a far-right/lib­er­tar­i­an polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy. In addi­tion to spawn­ing a con­ser­v­a­tive polit­i­cal review while at Stan­ford and author­ing a con­ser­v­a­tive tome The Diver­si­ty Myth, he has net­worked with a neo-con­ser­v­a­tive orga­ni­za­tion The Vanguard.Org.

Anoth­er Face­book lumi­nary is the grand­son and name­sake of Roelof (Pik) Botha [7], for­mer for­eign min­is­ter of South Africa. Although one cer­tain­ly can’t judge the younger Botha by his grand­fa­ther’s pol­i­tics, one should also weigh the pos­si­bil­i­ty that they may con­sti­tute a trans-gen­er­a­tional nexus of pow­er, not unlike that looked at in con­nec­tion with the Bush fam­i­ly in the Russ Bak­er inter­views (FTR #‘s 711–716.)

Also loom­ing large in Face­book’s back­ground is a CIA ven­ture cap­i­tal firm [8], In-Q-tel.

Of para­mount impor­tance in con­sid­er­ing the Face­book milieu is the fact that much of what is going on on the tech fron­tier is being dom­i­nat­ed by a small group of people–dubbed the Pay­Pal Mafia by wags–who are the Thiel/Botha milieu.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: “Pik” Both­a’s close rela­tion­ship with Third Reich alum­nus Franz Richter [9]; review of the death of the U.N. admin­is­tra­tor for Namib­ia (con­trolled by the apartheid regime of South Africa) on Pan Am 103; review of “Pik” Both­a’s escape from death on Pan Am 103; Peter Thiel’s belief in the Peak Oil phi­los­o­phy; review of the fas­cist over­tones and his­to­ry of Peak Oil.

1. The pro­gram’s title asks the implic­it ques­tion: with its expo­sure of vast amounts of per­son­al data and under the con­trol of, or asso­ci­at­ed with, some appar­ent­ly dark indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions, is Face­book a “vir­tu­al panop­ti­con.”

Panop­ti­con is a type of prison:

The Panop­ti­con is a type of prison build­ing designed by Eng­lish philoso­pher and social the­o­rist Jere­my Ben­tham in 1785. The con­cept of the design is to allow an observ­er to observe (-opti­con) all (pan-) pris­on­ers with­out the incar­cer­at­ed being able to tell whether they are being watched, there­by con­vey­ing what one archi­tect has called the “sen­ti­ment of an invis­i­ble omniscience.”[1]
Ben­tham him­self described the Panop­ti­con as “a new mode of obtain­ing pow­er of mind over mind, in a quan­ti­ty hith­er­to with­out exam­ple.

“Panop­ti­con”; Wikipedia. [10]

2. Begin­ning with the back­ground of Peter Andreas Thiel, the broad­cast ana­lyzes the back­ground and polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy and activism of this pri­ma­ry backer of Face­book. Son of a chem­i­cal engi­neer an appar­ent employ­ee of a suc­ces­sor firm to the I.G. car­tel, Thiel’s res­i­dences include stints in South Africa and Namib­ia, both loca­tions of Under­ground Reich activ­i­ty [4].

Under­ly­ing this exam­i­na­tion is the fun­da­men­tal ques­tion of the fam­i­ly’s pos­si­ble mem­ber­ship in the Under­ground Reich. (In order to gain a work­ing under­stand­ing of the argu­ment pre­sent­ed in these pro­grams, lis­ten­ers should famil­iar­ize them­selves with Paul Man­ning’s Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile [5]. Dom­i­nat­ing the suc­ces­sor firms to the I.G. and embrac­ing the diverse ele­ments of the post­war Nazi dias­po­ra, the net­work Man­ning describes [6] is to be found through­out the ele­ments dis­cussed in FTR #718.)

. . . It’s hard to say when Peter Andreas Thiel first decid­ed that one per­son could out­smart the crowd. Born in Frank­furt in 1967, Thiel bounced among sev­en ele­men­tary schools — from Cal­i­for­nia, to Namib­ia, to Ohio, to South Africa — as his father, Klaus, a chem­i­cal engi­neer, worked around the world.

Klaus; his wife, Susanne; Thiel; and Thiel’s younger broth­er, Patrick, even­tu­al­ly set­tled in Fos­ter City, Cal­i­for­nia, north of Sil­i­con Val­ley. . . .

“Pay­Pal’s Thiel Scores 230 Per­cent Gain with Soros-Style Fund” by Deep­ak Gopinath [Bloomberg.com]; Cana­di­an­Hedge­Watch.com; 12/4/2006. [3]

3. Thiel worked for Sul­li­van & Cromwell and Cred­it Suisse Group after leav­ing law school. One of Amer­i­ca’s pre­mier white-shoe law firms, Sul­li­van & Cromwell has pro­found con­nec­tions to the fas­cist inter­na­tion­al, han­dling the busi­ness affairs of fam­i­lies such as the Bush­es and the Bin Ladens.

. . . After col­lect­ing his law degree, Thiel clerked for U.S. Fed­er­al Cir­cuit Judge Lar­ry Edmond­son in Atlanta and then joined Sul­li­van & Cromwell LLP in New York. He last­ed sev­en months and three days before quit­ting out of bore­dom, he says.

He jumped to CS Finan­cial Prod­ucts, a unit of what’s now Cred­it Suisse Group, where he trad­ed deriv­a­tives and cur­ren­cy options for a lit­tle more than a year. Then he went home to Cal­i­for­nia, raised $1 mil­lion from his friends and fam­i­ly and start­ed his first macro fund, Thiel Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment. . . .

Idem. [3]

4. Thiel sub­scribes to the Peak Oil [11] phi­los­o­phy, which has strong fas­cist under­pin­nings and over­tones [12].

. . . Thiel is a pro­po­nent of a geo­log­ic the­o­ry known as peak oil, which holds that glob­al oil pro­duc­tion is now at or near its apex. Among his picks was Cal­gary-based EnCana Corp., which wrings oil from the tar sands of Cana­da. EnCana stock rose 54 per­cent in 2005. . . .

Idem. [3]

5. Over the years, Thiel has man­i­fest­ed a far-right/lib­er­tar­i­an polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy. In addi­tion to spawn­ing a con­ser­v­a­tive polit­i­cal review while at Stan­ford and author­ing a con­ser­v­a­tive tome The Diver­si­ty Myth, he has net­worked with a neo-con­ser­v­a­tive orga­ni­za­tion The Vanguard.Org.

In addi­tion, a CIA tech­nol­o­gy sub­sidiary is deeply involved with the Face­book milieu.

Although it can be tak­en for grant­ed that the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty will cen­tral­ly posi­tion itself with regard to any and all tech­no­log­i­cal devel­op­ments, the fact that intel­li­gence ser­vices are involved with an orga­ni­za­tion that col­lects and orga­nizes vast amounts of per­son­al data should not be over­looked.

Face­book is a well-fund­ed project, and the peo­ple behind the fund­ing, a group of Sil­i­con Val­ley ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists, have a clear­ly thought out ide­ol­o­gy that they are hop­ing to spread around the world. Face­book is one man­i­fes­ta­tion of this ide­ol­o­gy. Like Pay­Pal before it, it is a social exper­i­ment, an expres­sion of a par­tic­u­lar kind of neo­con­ser­v­a­tive lib­er­tar­i­an­ism. On Face­book, you can be free to be who you want to be, as long as you don’t mind being bom­bard­ed by adverts for the world’s biggest brands. As with Pay­Pal, nation­al bound­aries are a thing of the past.

Although the project was ini­tial­ly con­ceived by media cov­er star Mark Zucker­berg, the real face behind Face­book is the 40-year-old Sil­i­con Val­ley ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist and futur­ist philoso­pher Peter Thiel. There are only three board mem­bers on Face­book, and they are Thiel, Zucker­berg and a third investor called Jim Brey­er from a ven­ture cap­i­tal firm called Accel Part­ners (more on him lat­er). Thiel invest­ed $500,000 in Face­book when Har­vard stu­dents Zucker­berg, Chris Hugh­es and Dustin Moskowitz went to meet him in San Fran­cis­co in June 2004, soon after they had launched the site. Thiel now report­ed­ly owns 7% of Face­book, which, at Face­book’s cur­rent val­u­a­tion of $15bn, would be worth more than $1bn. There is much debate on who exact­ly were the orig­i­nal co-founders of Face­book, but who­ev­er they were, Zucker­berg is the only one left on the board, although Hugh­es and Moskowitz still work for the com­pa­ny.

Thiel is wide­ly regard­ed in Sil­i­con Val­ley and in the US ven­ture cap­i­tal scene as a lib­er­tar­i­an genius. He is the co-founder and CEO of the vir­tu­al bank­ing sys­tem Pay­Pal, which he sold to Ebay for $1.5bn, tak­ing $55m for him­self. He also runs a £3bn hedge fund called Clar­i­um Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment and a ven­ture cap­i­tal fund called Founders Fund. Bloomberg Mar­kets mag­a­zine recent­ly called him “one of the most suc­cess­ful hedge fund man­agers in the coun­try”. He has made mon­ey by bet­ting on ris­ing oil prices and by cor­rect­ly pre­dict­ing that the dol­lar would weak­en. He and his absurd­ly wealthy Sil­i­con Val­ley mates have recent­ly been labelled “The Pay­Pal Mafia” by For­tune mag­a­zine, whose reporter also observed that Thiel has a uni­formed but­ler and a $500,000 McLaren super­car. Thiel is also a chess mas­ter and intense­ly com­pet­i­tive. He has been known to sweep the chess­men off the table in a fury when los­ing. And he does not apol­o­gise for this hyper-com­petitve­ness, say­ing: “Show me a good los­er and I’ll show you a los­er.”

But Thiel is more than just a clever and avari­cious cap­i­tal­ist. He is a futur­ist philoso­pher and neo­con activist. A phi­los­o­phy grad­u­ate from Stan­ford, in 1998 he co-wrote a book called The Diver­si­ty Myth, which is a detailed attack on lib­er­al­ism and the mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ist ide­ol­o­gy that dom­i­nat­ed Stan­ford. He claimed that the “mul­ti­cul­ture” led to a less­en­ing of indi­vid­ual free­doms. While a stu­dent at Stan­ford, Thiel found­ed a rightwing jour­nal, still up and run­ning, called The Stan­ford Review — mot­to: Fiat Lux (“Let there be light”). Thiel is a mem­ber of TheVanguard.Org, an inter­net-based neo­con­ser­v­a­tive pres­sure group that was set up to attack MoveOn.org, a lib­er­al pres­sure group that works on the web. Thiel calls him­self “way lib­er­tar­i­an”.

The Van­guard is run by one Rod D Mar­tin, a philoso­pher-cap­i­tal­ist whom Thiel great­ly admires. On the site, Thiel says: “Rod is one of our nation’s lead­ing minds in the cre­ation of new and need­ed ideas for pub­lic pol­i­cy. He pos­sess­es a more com­plete under­stand­ing of Amer­i­ca than most exec­u­tives have of their own busi­ness­es.”

This lit­tle taster from their web­site will give you an idea of their vision for the world: “TheVanguard.Org is an online com­mu­ni­ty of Amer­i­cans who believe in con­ser­v­a­tive val­ues, the free mar­ket and lim­it­ed gov­ern­ment as the best means to bring hope and ever-increas­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty to every­one, espe­cial­ly the poor­est among us.” Their aim is to pro­mote poli­cies that will “reshape Amer­i­ca and the globe”. The­Van­guard describes its pol­i­tics as “Reaganite/Thatcherite”. The chair­man’s mes­sage says: “Today we’ll teach MoveOn [the lib­er­al web­site], Hillary and the left­wing media some lessons they nev­er imag­ined.”

So, Thiel’s pol­i­tics are not in doubt. What about his phi­los­o­phy? I lis­tened to a pod­cast of an address Thiel gave about his ideas for the future. His phi­los­o­phy, briefly, is this: since the 17th cen­tu­ry, cer­tain enlight­ened thinkers have been tak­ing the world away from the old-fash­ioned nature-bound life, and here he quotes Thomas Hobbes’ famous char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion of life as “nasty, brutish and short”, and towards a new vir­tu­al world where we have con­quered nature. Val­ue now exists in imag­i­nary things. Thiel says that Pay­Pal was moti­vat­ed by this belief: that you can find val­ue not in real man­u­fac­tured objects, but in the rela­tions between human beings. Pay­Pal was a way of mov­ing mon­ey around the world with no restric­tion. Bloomberg Mar­kets puts it like this: “For Thiel, Pay­Pal was all about free­dom: it would enable peo­ple to skirt cur­ren­cy con­trols and move mon­ey around the globe.”

Clear­ly, Face­book is anoth­er uber-cap­i­tal­ist exper­i­ment: can you make mon­ey out of friend­ship? Can you cre­ate com­mu­ni­ties free of nation­al bound­aries — and then sell Coca-Cola to them? Face­book is pro­found­ly uncre­ative. It makes noth­ing at all. It sim­ply medi­ates in rela­tion­ships that were hap­pen­ing any­way.

Thiel’s philo­soph­i­cal men­tor is one René Girard of Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty, pro­po­nent of a the­o­ry of human behav­iour called mimet­ic desire. Girard reck­ons that peo­ple are essen­tial­ly sheep-like and will copy one anoth­er with­out much reflec­tion. The the­o­ry would also seem to be proved cor­rect in the case of Thiel’s vir­tu­al worlds: the desired object is irrel­e­vant; all you need to know is that human beings will tend to move in flocks. Hence finan­cial bub­bles. Hence the enor­mous pop­u­lar­i­ty of Face­book. Girard is a reg­u­lar at Thiel’s intel­lec­tu­al soirees. What you don’t hear about in Thiel’s phi­los­o­phy, by the way, are old-fash­ioned real-world con­cepts such as art, beau­ty, love, plea­sure and truth.

The inter­net is immense­ly appeal­ing to neo­cons such as Thiel because it promis­es a cer­tain sort of free­dom in human rela­tions and in busi­ness, free­dom from pesky nation­al laws, nation­al bound­aries and such­like. The inter­net opens up a world of free trade and lais­sez-faire expan­sion. Thiel also seems to approve of off­shore tax havens, and claims that 40% of the world’s wealth resides in places such as Van­u­atu, the Cay­man Islands, Mona­co and Bar­ba­dos. I think it’s fair to say that Thiel, like Rupert Mur­doch, is against tax. He also likes the glob­al­i­sa­tion of dig­i­tal cul­ture because it makes the bank­ing over­lords hard to attack: “You can’t have a work­ers’ rev­o­lu­tion to take over a bank if the bank is in Van­u­atu,” he says.

If life in the past was nasty, brutish and short, then in the future Thiel wants to make it much longer, and to this end he has also invest­ed in a firm that is explor­ing life-exten­sion tech­nolo­gies. He has pledged £3.5m to a Cam­bridge-based geron­tol­o­gist called Aubrey de Grey, who is search­ing for the key to immor­tal­i­ty. Thiel is also on the board of advis­ers of some­thing called the Sin­gu­lar­i­ty Insti­tute for Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence. From its fan­tas­ti­cal web­site, the fol­low­ing: “The Sin­gu­lar­i­ty is the tech­no­log­i­cal cre­ation of smarter-than-human intel­li­gence. There are sev­er­al tech­nolo­gies ... head­ing in this direc­tion ... Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence ... direct brain-com­put­er inter­faces ... genet­ic engi­neer­ing ... dif­fer­ent tech­nolo­gies which, if they reached a thresh­old lev­el of sophis­ti­ca­tion, would enable the cre­ation of smarter-than-human intel­li­gence.”

So by his own admis­sion, Thiel is try­ing to destroy the real world, which he also calls “nature”, and install a vir­tu­al world in its place, and it is in this con­text that we must view the rise of Face­book. Face­book is a delib­er­ate exper­i­ment in glob­al manip­u­la­tion, and Thiel is a bright young thing in the neo­con­ser­v­a­tive pan­theon, with a pen­chant for far-out tech­no-utopi­an fan­tasies. Not some­one I want to help get any rich­er.

The third board mem­ber of Face­book is Jim Brey­er. He is a part­ner in the ven­ture cap­i­tal firm Accel Part­ners, who put $12.7m into Face­book in April 2005. On the board of such US giants as Wal-Mart and Mar­vel Enter­tain­ment, he is also a for­mer chair­man of the Nation­al Ven­ture Cap­i­tal Asso­ci­a­tion (NVCA). Now these are the peo­ple who are real­ly mak­ing things hap­pen in Amer­i­ca, because they invest in the new young tal­ent, the Zucker­bergs and the like. Face­book’s most recent round of fund­ing was led by a com­pa­ny called Grey­lock Ven­ture Cap­i­tal, who put in the sum of $27.5m. One of Grey­lock­’s senior part­ners is called Howard Cox, anoth­er for­mer chair­man of the NVCA, who is also on the board of In-Q-Tel. What’s In-Q-Tel? Well, believe it or not (and check out their web­site), this is the ven­ture-cap­i­tal wing of the CIA. After 9/11, the US intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty became so excit­ed by the pos­si­bil­i­ties of new tech­nol­o­gy and the inno­va­tions being made in the pri­vate sec­tor, that in 1999 they set up their own ven­ture cap­i­tal fund, In-Q-Tel, which “iden­ti­fies and part­ners with com­pa­nies devel­op­ing cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies to help deliv­er these solu­tions to the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency and the broad­er US Intel­li­gence Com­mu­ni­ty (IC) to fur­ther their mis­sions”.

The US defence depart­ment and the CIA love tech­nol­o­gy because it makes spy­ing eas­i­er. “We need to find new ways to deter new adver­saries,” defence sec­re­tary Don­ald Rums­feld said in 2003. “We need to make the leap into the infor­ma­tion age, which is the crit­i­cal foun­da­tion of our trans­for­ma­tion efforts.” In-Q-Tel’s first chair­man was Gilman Louie, who served on the board of the NVCA with Brey­er. Anoth­er key fig­ure in the In-Q-Tel team is Ani­ta K Jones, for­mer direc­tor of defence research and engi­neer­ing for the US depart­ment of defence, and — with Brey­er — board mem­ber of BBN Tech­nolo­gies. When she left the US depart­ment of defence, Sen­a­tor Chuck Robb paid her the fol­low­ing trib­ute: “She brought the tech­nol­o­gy and oper­a­tional mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ties togeth­er to design detailed plans to sus­tain US dom­i­nance on the bat­tle­field into the next cen­tu­ry.” . . . .

“With Friends Like These . . .” by Tim Hodgkin­son; guardian.co.uk; 1/14/2008. [8]

6. More about the CIA link to Face­book:

. . . . Face­book’s first round of ven­ture cap­i­tal fund­ing ($US500,000) came from for­mer Pay­pal CEO Peter Thiel. Author of anti-mul­ti­cul­tur­al tome ‘The Diver­si­ty Myth’, he is also on the board of rad­i­cal con­ser­v­a­tive group Van­guard­PAC.

The sec­ond round of fund­ing into Face­book ($US12.7 mil­lion) came from ven­ture cap­i­tal firm Accel Part­ners. Its man­ag­er James Brey­er was for­mer­ly chair­man of the Nation­al Ven­ture Cap­i­tal Asso­ci­a­tion, and served on the board with Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel, a ven­ture cap­i­tal firm estab­lished by the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency in 1999. One of the com­pa­ny’s key areas of exper­tise are in “data min­ing tech­nolo­gies”.

Brey­er also served on the board of R&D firm BBN Tech­nolo­gies, which was one of those com­pa­nies respon­si­ble for the rise of the inter­net.

Dr Ani­ta Jones joined the firm, which includ­ed Gilman Louie. She had also served on the In-Q-Tel’s board, and had been direc­tor of Defence Research and Engi­neer­ing for the US Depart­ment of Defence.

She was also an advis­er to the Sec­re­tary of Defence and over­see­ing the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is respon­si­ble for high-tech, high-end devel­op­ment. . . .

“Facebook–the CIA Con­spir­a­cy” by Matt Greenop; The New Zealand Her­ald; 8/8/2007. [13]

7. Anoth­er Face­book lumi­nary is the grand­son of Roelof (Pik) Botha, for­mer for­eign min­is­ter of South Africa. Although one cer­tain­ly can’t judge the younger Botha by his grand­fa­ther’s pol­i­tics, one should also weigh the pos­si­bil­i­ty that they may con­sti­tute a trans-gen­er­a­tional nexus of pow­er, not unlike that looked at in con­nec­tion with the Bush fam­i­ly in the Russ Bak­er inter­views (FTR #‘s 711–716.)

. . . Roelof Botha has been a ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist for three years, and he dreams of putting up the ear­ly mon­ey for a Google-scale suc­cess that is adored on Wall Street and feared by rivals. But Botha, 33, is one of the hottest deal­mak­ers in Sil­i­con Val­ley for tak­ing the oppo­site tack: sell­ing out.

Botha joined Sequoia Cap­i­tal, one of Sil­i­con Val­ley’s elite ven­ture cap­i­tal firms, in 2003; he had helped run the Pay­Pal online out­fit. In Feb­ru­ary 2005 two Pay­Pal pals of his start­ed a video Weblet called YouTube. Botha put up $8.5 mil­lion in Sequoia cash for a 30% stake. In Novem­ber Google bought YouTube for $1.65 bil­lion in stock. Sequoia will reap a 65-fold return, cat­a­pult­ing Botha onto the Forbes Midas List of top tech deal­mak­ers; he ranks 23rd . . . .

. . . Botha was born and bred in South Africa, the grand­son of Roelof (Pik) Botha, a for­eign min­is­ter (1977–94) in the apartheid gov­ern­ment who sup­port­ed the release of the impris­oned Nel­son Man­dela and lat­er served in his gov­ern­ment (1994–96). . . .

“The Art of Sell­ing Out” by Eri­ka Brown; Forbes; 2/12/2007. [7]

8. As dis­cussed in AFA #35 [14], Pik Botha appar­ent­ly had pri­or noti­fi­ca­tion of the impend­ing bomb­ing of Pan Am 103. He switched his reser­va­tions at the last minute, avoid­ing the lethal fate of the U.N. admin­is­tra­tor for Namib­ia, who died on the flight.

There are indi­ca­tions that the Broederbond–epicenter of South African fascism–also went under­ground after the offi­cial fall of the apartheid regime. This “Under­ground Broeder­bond” [15], in turn, is affil­i­at­ed with the Under­ground Reich.

His sup­port for Nel­son Man­dela notwith­stand­ing, Grand­pa Both­a’s polit­i­cal ori­en­ta­tion can be gleaned from his sup­port for asso­ciate Franz Richter, an alum­nus of the Third Reich. (Botha was very close to Richter.)

. . . Franz Richter, who was mur­dered this week in a rob­bery near his game ranch out­side Johan­nes­burg at the age of 80, was one of the pio­neers of game tourism in South Africa. Richter, who was born in Roma­nia on Octo­ber 27 1927, was an orphan by the age of five. As a youth in com­mu­nist-run Roma­nia, all he dreamt about was hav­ing a full stom­ach. That and Africa. When he was 15, he made his way to Ger­many where he was prompt­ly draft­ed into the Hitler Youth and forced to fight in the Ger­man army. . . .

“Franz Richter: Pio­neer of Game Tourism in SA” by Chris Bar­ron [Times of Zam­bia]; psychedelicdungeon.wordpress.com; 12/22/2007. [9]

9. Beyond Face­book, per se, it is impor­tant to con­tem­plate the con­cen­tra­tion of pow­er with­in the tech world, with a small num­ber of indi­vid­u­als (“the Pay­Pal Mafia”) con­trol­ling much of what is tak­ing place.

. . . Thiel won big with Pay­Pal. Eight months lat­er, in Octo­ber 2002, EBay agreed to buy the com­pa­ny for $1.5 bil­lion. The Pay­Pal crew cashed-in and moved on. Chad Hur­ley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim found­ed video-shar­ing Web site YouTube Inc. and sold it to Google Inc. in Octo­ber for $1.65 bil­lion. Levchin went off and found­ed Slide, a pho­to-shar­ing site.

Exec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent Reid Hoff­man found­ed Linked-In Corp., a busi­ness net­work­ing site. Vice Pres­i­dent Jere­my Stop­pel­man cre­at­ed Yelp, a site that helps peo­ple find restau­rants, shops and oth­er busi­ness­es in their area. . . .

“Pay­Pal’s Thiel Scores 230 Per­cent Gain with Soros-Style Fund” by Deep­ak Gopinath [Bloomberg.com]; Cana­di­an­Hedge­Watch.com; 12/4/2006. [3]