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

For The Record  

FTR #422 True Lies: More About Conan the Republican

MP3 Side 1 | Side 2

Intro­duc­tion: Detail­ing the pow­er polit­i­cal con­nec­tions and decep­tive behav­ior that char­ac­ter­ize Arnold Schwarzeneg­ger, the pro­gram sets forth the net­work­ing that is at the foun­da­tion of his bud­ding polit­i­cal career. After high­light­ing the reac­tionary and fas­cist con­nec­tions of the Opus Dei orga­ni­za­tion with which Schwarzeneg­ger’s father-in-law was asso­ci­at­ed, the broad­cast touch­es on Der Ter­mi­na­tor’s delib­er­ate asso­ci­a­tion with the “dark side” of the Kennedys and his con­tact with JFK’s wid­ow, her­self an indi­vid­ual with some inter­est­ing asso­ci­a­tions. Schwarzeneg­ger has long net­worked with the upper ech­e­lons of the Repub­li­can par­ty. He was coor­di­nat­ing his behav­ior with Enron CEO Ken­neth Lay in the spring of 2001, when Lay was at the epi­cen­ter of the cyn­i­cal manip­u­la­tion of Cal­i­for­ni­a’s elec­tric­i­ty mar­ket, thus plac­ing Schwarzeneg­ger “the out­sider” in the mid­dle of the desta­bi­liza­tion of Cal­i­for­nia dis­cussed in FTR#420. Net­work­ing abroad, Schwarzeneg­ger and bil­lion­aire (and now cam­paign advis­er) War­ren Buf­fet were at a meet­ing of some of the world’s wealth­i­est and most influ­en­tial peo­ple at the ances­tral manor of the Roth­schilds. Much of the pro­gram focus­es on Schwarzeneg­ger’s Machi­avel­lian char­ac­ter– cyn­i­cal and decep­tive in a delib­er­ate and far-sight­ed way. The pro­gram details his manip­u­la­tive behav­ior toward those body­builders against whom he has com­pet­ed, Lou Fer­rig­no and Frank Zane in par­tic­u­lar. Much has been made of Schwarzeneg­ger’s sup­port for Holo­caust aware­ness and Israel. This began after the pub­li­ca­tion of Wendy Leigh’s “Arnold: The Unau­tho­rized Biog­ra­phy.” In light of Schwarzeneg­ger’s delib­er­ate craft­ing of his polit­i­cal per­sona, there is every rea­son to assume that his motives for doing so are cyn­i­cal.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: His psych-out of Lou Fer­rig­no pri­or to their Mr. Uni­verse con­test; his delib­er­ate mis­lead­ing of Frank Zane in the 1980 Mr. Olympia con­test; the crowd out­rage when the ver­dict was announced in Schwareneg­ger’s favor; the alle­ga­tion that Schwarzeneg­ger had busi­ness con­nec­tions with the judges in the ’80 Olympia con­test; Schwarzeneg­ger’s heavy-hand­ed attempts at sup­press­ing the Wendy Leigh biog­ra­phy; Opus Dei’s con­nec­tions to the Vat­i­can bank­ing scan­dals and fas­cist dic­ta­tor­ships in Latin Amer­i­ca; Aris­to­tle Onas­sis’ coop­er­a­tion with resid­ual ele­ments of the Third Reich busi­ness estab­lish­ment.

1. Begin­ning with dis­cus­sion of the net­work­ing that has helped to ele­vate Schwarzeneg­ger to the posi­tion he is in, the broad­cast high­lights an aspect of the Shriv­er fam­i­ly that is gen­er­al­ly overlooked—their asso­ci­a­tion with the ultra-reac­tionary lay Catholic order Opus Dei. (For more about Opus Dei, see—among oth­er programs—RFA#21, avail­able from Spit­fire, as well as FTR#98.) Schwarzeneg­ger’s asso­ci­a­tion with the Kennedy fam­i­ly is gen­er­al­ly cit­ed as a lit­mus test for his rel­a­tive lib­er­al­ism. Care­ful scruti­ny of his involve­ment with the Kennedys reveals that his asso­ci­a­tion has been through net­work­ing with the dark­er side of that remark­able fam­i­ly. “A final cat­e­go­ry con­sists of ‘co-oper­a­tors,’ or sym­pa­thiz­ers, who can be Catholics or non-Catholics and who usu­al­ly make finan­cial dona­tions. Sar­gent Shriv­er, George McGov­ern’s run­ning mate in the 1972 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, was a co-oper­a­tor [with Opus Dei] . . . .” (Peo­ple of God; by Pen­ny Lernoux; Copy­right 1989 by Pen­ny Lernoux; [HC] Viking [Viking Pen­guin Pub­lish­ing Inc.]; ISNB 0–670-81529–2; p. 310.)

2. The broad­cast sets forth some of the fas­cist con­nec­tions of the Opus Dei. “But it was not only the inevitable intrigue in Rome that left its mark. Back in Spain, Opus Dei mem­bers were mak­ing rapid advances in the Fran­co gov­ern­ment under Admi­ral Luis Car­rero Blan­co, an Opus Dei sym­pa­thiz­er who, as pre­mier, vir­tu­al­ly ran the coun­try. Until Car­rero’s assas­si­na­tion in 1973, Opus Dei lead­ers were arguably the strongest con­ser­v­a­tive polit­i­cal influ­ence in Spain.” (Ibid.; p. 314.)

3. “Mat­ters changed rad­i­cal­ly when John Paul became pope. Opus Dei had court­ed the pope since his days as arch­bish­op of Krakow. He had been invit­ed to speak at var­i­ous Opus Dei cen­ters in Europe and at an event in Rome. The speech­es were lat­er made into a book, copies of which were sent by Wojty­la to the Vat­i­can Sec­re­tari­at of State. In 1978, when he was in Rome for the funer­al of John Paul I, Wojty­la vis­it­ed Opus Dei’s man­sion to pray at the black mar­ble crypt of ‘El Padre,’ who had died three years ear­li­er. Mon­sign­or Por­tillo, his suc­ces­sor and, by some accounts, the brains of Opus Dei, was wel­comed at the Vat­i­can by the new pope, who in turn was invit­ed to vis­it Opus Dei’s house and cen­ters.” (Ibid.; p. 315.)

4. Among the many shores upon which the waters of Opus Dei have lapped is that of the Ban­co Ambrosiano scan­dal and the P‑2 Lodge. “Opus Dei was drawn into that imbroglio [the P‑2 lodge scan­dal] by asser­tions that it had been nego­ti­at­ing with Rober­to Calvi, head of Milan’s Ambrosiano Bank and a key fig­ure in P‑2, regard­ing a pos­si­ble bailout for Ambrosiano that would save the Vat­i­can Bank finan­cial loss­es and embar­rass­ment aris­ing from its deal­ings with Calvi. The banker’s body, either mur­dered or a sui­cide, was lat­er found hang­ing from Black­fri­ars Bridge in Lon­don. His wid­ow main­tained that he had been in touch with Car­di­nal Palazz­i­ni, the Opus Dei sym­pa­thiz­er in charge of Escriva’s beat­i­fi­ca­tion process, about the res­cue oper­a­tion, pre­sum­ably to be car­ried out with the help of Opus Dei mem­bers who owned or con­trolled banks in Spain. The trade-off, accord­ing to Vat­i­can observers, was to have been a takeover by Opus Dei mem­bers of the Vat­i­can Bank and the Vat­i­can Radio con­trolled by the more pro­gres­sive Jesuits. Let­ters were found on Calvi from Francesco Pazien­za, a Calvi aide with links to Ital­ian and U.S. intel­li­gence, in which Pazien­za referred to con­tacts between Palazz­i­ni and Calvi.”(Ibid.; pp. 317–318.)

5. “At the start of 1983, Opus seemed poised for a major expan­sion based on papal favor and its new sta­tus as a prela­ture. Its main base remained in Spain, where it raised the largest con­tri­bu­tions and enjoyed the most sub­stan­tial polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic influ­ence, but the move­ment also gained mem­bers and influ­ence in Italy . . .It was also strong in Latin Amer­i­ca, par­tic­u­lar­ly in Mex­i­co, Colom­bia, Peru, and Chile. Opus Dei mem­bers and sym­pa­thiz­ers sup­port­ed the CIA-backed coup that over­threw Chilean pres­i­dent Allende, and one of them Her­nan Cubil­los, became Gen­er­al Pinochet’s for­eign min­is­ter. Cubil­los, who found­ed Que Pasa, a mag­a­zine under Opus Dei influ­ence, was lat­er iden­ti­fied as an ‘impor­tant’ CIA agent by the Los Ange­les Times.” (Ibid.; p. 318.)

6. “In Chile, Peru, and El Sal­vador, Opus Dei pro­vides invalu­able sup­port to right-wing polit­i­cal groups through its reli­gious cours­es and schools, and through news­pa­pers, mag­a­zines, and tele­vi­sion out­lets influ­enced or owned by mem­bers. ‘It serves a func­tion for the polit­i­cal right and pow­er hold­ers,’ said a stu­dent of Opus Dei activ­i­ties in Latin Amer­i­ca. . . .A Span­ish priest made a sim­i­lar obser­va­tion about the influ­ence of Opus Dei bankers and indus­tri­al­ists in Europe: ‘They want to stop the growth of social­ism and paci­fy the labor move­ment through reli­gion.” (Ibid.; p. 319.)

7. Inter­est­ing­ly (and per­haps sig­nif­i­cant­ly), Schwarzeneg­ger had tar­get­ed JFK’s wid­ow Jack­ie as a point of intro­duc­tion for the fam­i­ly. In addi­tion to the fact that Jack­ie’s moth­er (Janet Auchin­schloss) was good friends with [alleged] for­mer Ger­man intel­li­gence agent George De Mohren­schildt (also a close friend of the elder George Bush), Jack­ie was mar­ried to Aris­to­tle Onas­sis. (For more about the Auchinschloss/De Mohrenschildt/Bush link, see—among oth­er programs—RFA#37, avail­able from Spit­fire, as well as FTR#367.) “Mr. Schwarzeneg­ger has climbed a social as well as polit­i­cal lad­der. He used his ear­ly fame to get acquaint­ed with Jacque­line Kennedy Onas­sis. When ‘Pump­ing Iron,’ was released, Mr. Schwarzeneg­ger told the film’s pub­lic­i­ty agent, Bob­by Zarem, that the one per­son he want­ed to meet was Mrs. Onas­sis. Mr. Zarem spoke to a friend who worked for Mrs. Onas­sis. A lun­cheon meet­ing was arranged at Elaine’s in New York to intro­duce the rel­a­tive­ly unknown Mr. Schwarzeneg­ger to Mrs. Onas­sis, Andy Warhol and oth­ers. A pho­to­graph of Mr. Schwarzeneg­ger talk­ing to Mrs. Onas­sis was wide­ly dis­trib­uted, and his celebri­ty grew.” (“Schwarzeneg­ger’s Next Goal on Dogged, Ambi­tious Path”; The New York Times; 8/17/2003; accessed at www.nytimes.com .)

8. Onas­sis him­self was no stranger to net­work­ing with peo­ple asso­ci­at­ed with the Under­ground Reich. “Anoth­er key fig­ure involved in Ger­man intrigue in the Mid­dle East was Hjal­mar Schacht. He first came to Egypt as Gen­er­al Naguib’s ‘guest of hon­or’ after the coup against King Farouk. Schacht’s most dar­ing Mid­dle East pow­er-play was the ‘Jid­dah Agree­ment’ between Ger­man indus­try and Sau­di Ara­bia in Jan­u­ary 1954. Under the terms of the deal, Sau­di Ara­bia agreed to estab­lish a fleet of super­tankers to be built in Ger­man ship­yards) that would car­ry Sau­di oil around the world. Aris­to­tle Onas­sis was cho­sen to man­age the ship­ping side of the oper­a­tion. Besides mak­ing the Ruhr indus­tri­al­ists fan­tas­ti­cal­ly wealthy, Jid­dah threat­ened to break the ‘Sev­en Sis­ters’ oil com­pa­nies’ hege­mo­ny over the dis­tri­b­u­tion of Mid­dle East oil. The Jid­dah Agree­ment was ulti­mate­ly blocked by the West­ern oil car­tel with help from the CIA. Yet Allen Dulles’s CIA was sur­pris­ing­ly hes­i­tant to con­front Schacht. Robert Maheu, one of the coor­di­na­tors of the Amer­i­can attack on Jid­dah, said of the CIA: ‘You can’t imag­ine how hard it was to con­vince them that the nation­al inter­est was at stake.’ ” (Dream­er of the Day: Fran­cis Park­er Yock­ey and the Post­war Fas­cist Inter­na­tion­al Copy­right 1999 [SC]; Autono­me­dia; ISBN 1–57027-039–2; p. 383.)

9. Giv­ing the lie to Schwarzeneg­ger’s claim that some of his ver­bal indis­cre­tions were made before he intend­ed to run for Gov­er­nor, Schwarzeneg­ger had that move in mind decades ago. “In the ear­ly 1980’s, Mr. [Fran­co] Colum­bu, now a chi­ro­prac­tor, invit­ed one of his patients, Dana Rohrabach­er, a speech­writer for Ronald Rea­gan, to have din­ner with the action hero. ‘When I first met him, he talked about how much he loved Amer­i­ca, how much he admired Rea­gan,’ said Mr. Rohrabach­er, now a con­gress­man from Hunt­ing­ton Beach. ‘I remem­ber him say­ing, ‘Dana, some day I’m going to be gov­er­nor of Cal­i­for­nia and I’m going to call you.’ I knew he was a guy going places.’ ” (“Schwarzeneg­ger’s Next Goal on Dogged, Ambi­tious Path”; The New York Times; 8/17/2003.)

10. Net­work­ing with the Repub­li­can hier­ar­chy has been some­thing Schwarzeneg­ger has been at for a long time. “Mr. Schwarzeneg­ger’s film star­dom led him to meet top Repub­li­cans like Mr. Rea­gan, Vice Pres­i­dent George Bush and Pete Wil­son, then a sen­a­tor from Cal­i­for­nia and even­tu­al­ly the gov­er­nor. Although he keeps a bust of Mr. Rea­gan in his office, Mr. Schwarzeneg­ger grew espe­cial­ly close to Mr. Bush, admir­ing his prag­ma­tism and world view and reg­u­lar style of speech.” (Idem.)

11. “Mr. Schwarzeneg­ger’s cam­paign team for the run for gov­er­nor con­sists of Mr. Wil­son, a Repub­li­can whose sup­port for rigid mea­sures to com­bat ille­gal immi­gra­tion con­trast­ed with his mod­er­ate approach to abor­tion and oth­er social issues, and some senior mem­bers of his old Sacra­men­to crew, includ­ing Bob White, his long­time strate­gist. Mr. Schwarzeneg­ger has drawn oth­er pow­er­ful and well-known fig­ures to his cause. War­ren Buf­fet, the bil­lion­aire financier and a friend of Mr. Schwarzeneg­ger, came aboard as a finan­cial con­sul­tant, and George P. Shultz, sec­re­tary of state under Pres­i­dent Rea­gan and friend of Mr. Wil­son from the Hoover Insti­tute, is help­ing the cam­paign.” (Idem.)

12. “Mr. Schwarzeneg­ger’s thin polit­i­cal resume includes a stint as chair­man of the Pres­i­den­t’s Coun­cil on Phys­i­cal fit­ness under the first Pres­i­dent George Bush, and spon­sor of last year’s suc­cess­ful Cal­i­for­nia bal­lot ini­tia­tive Propo­si­tion 49, which chan­neled state mon­ey into after-school pro­grams. It also intro­duced him into the Sacra­men­to pow­er clique.” (Idem.)

13. Con­tin­u­ing the analy­sis of Schwarzeneg­ger’s net­work­ing, it is appar­ent that he is far from the “polit­i­cal out­sider” that he pro­fess­es to be. His net­work­ing is inter­na­tion­al in scope and has been under way for a long time. His asso­ci­a­tion with his cur­rent cam­paign advis­er War­ren Buf­fet is noth­ing new. “The world’s sec­ond-rich­est man dropped into the Eng­lish coun­try­side with the Ter­mi­na­tor at his side on Mon­day, a day after warn­ing the UK’s cor­po­rate big game his ele­phant gun was loaded. Bil­lion­aire War­ren Buf­fett and mean machine Arnold Schwarzeneg­ger touched down by heli­copter on the immac­u­late lawns of Wad­des­don manor, a Renais­sance-style chateau in the undu­lat­ing hills of Buck­ing­hamshire. Buf­fett, 72, is guest of hon­or at a closed two-day meet­ing of some of the world’s most pow­er­ful busi­ness­men and financiers—the ulti­mate net­work­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty.” (“Arnold & Buf­fet­t’s Loaded Ele­phant Gun? Buf­fet­t’s Back, with the Ter­mi­na­tor!”; Reuters; 9/24/2003; vis­it their web site at www.reuters.com .)

14. “The get-togeth­er in the ances­tral home of the Roth­schild bank­ing fam­i­ly will dis­cuss eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal issues, the orga­niz­ers said. But Buf­fet­t’s remark, made in a week­end news­pa­per inter­view, that he is look­ing for a ‘big deal’ in Britain has stolen the agen­da. . . .Among those invit­ed to Wad­des­don Manor were the likes of James Wolfen­sohn, pres­i­dent of the World Bank, Jor­ma Ollila, chief exec­u­tive of Nokia and De Beers chair­man Nicky Oppen­heimer.” (Idem.)

15. Among the most reveal­ing and cyn­i­cal of Schwarzeneg­ger’s net­work­ing moves is his pow­wow with Ken­neth Lay, the CEO of Enron dur­ing the very time peri­od that Enron was help­ing to desta­bi­lize Cal­i­for­nia with the delib­er­ate­ly-con­struct­ed “Ener­gy Cri­sis.” This puts Schwarzeneg­ger “right smack dab in the mid­dle” of these shenani­gans. “Arnold Schwarzeneg­ger isn’t talk­ing. The Hol­ly­wood action film star and Cal­i­for­ni­a’s GOP guber­na­to­r­i­al can­di­date in the state’s recall elec­tion has been unusu­al­ly silent about his plans for run­ning the Gold­en State. He has­n’t yet offered up a solu­tion for the state’s $38 bil­lion bud­get deficit, an issue that large­ly got more than one mil­lion peo­ple to sign a peti­tion to recall Gov. Gray Davis. More impor­tant, how­ev­er, Schwarzeneg­ger still won’t respond to ques­tions about why he was at the Penin­su­la Hotel in Bev­er­ly Hills two years ago where he, for­mer Los Ange­les May­or Richard Rior­dan and junk bond king Michael Milken, met secret­ly with for­mer Enron Chair­man Ken­neth Lay who was tout­ing a plan for solv­ing the state’s ener­gy cri­sis.” (“Ahnuld, Ken Lay, George Bush, Dick Cheney and Gray Davis” by Jason Leopold; CommonDreams.org; 8/17/2003; p. 1; accessed at www.CommonDreams.org .)

16. “While Schwarzeneg­ger, Rior­dan and Milken lis­tened to Lay’s pitch, Gov. Davis plead­ed with pres­i­dent George Bush to enact much need­ed price con­trols on elec­tric­i­ty sold in the state, which sky­rock­et­ed to more than $200 per megawatt-hour. Davis said that Texas-based ener­gy com­pa­nies were manip­u­lat­ing Cal­i­for­ni­a’s pow­er mar­ket, charg­ing obscene prices for pow­er and hold­ing con­sumers hostage. Bush agreed to meet with Davis at the Cen­tu­ry Plaza Hotel in West Los Ange­les on may 29, 2001, five days after lay met with Schwarzeneg­ger, to dis­cuss the Cal­i­for­nia pow­er cri­sis.” (Idem.)

17. “At the meet­ing, Davis asked Bush for fed­er­al assis­tance, such as impos­ing fed­er­al­ly man­dat­ed price caps, to rein in soar­ing ener­gy prices. But Bush refused say­ing Cal­i­for­nia leg­is­la­tors designed an elec­tric­i­ty mar­ket that left too many reg­u­la­to­ry restric­tions in place and that’s what caused elec­tric­i­ty prices in the state to sky­rock­et. It was up to the gov­er­nor to fix the prob­lem, Bush said. How­ev­er, Bush’s response appears to be part of a coor­di­nat­ed effort launched by Lay to have Davis shoul­der the blame for the cri­sis. It worked. Accord­ing to recent polls, a major­i­ty of vot­ers grew increas­ing­ly frus­trat­ed with the way Davis han­dled the pow­er cri­sis. Schwarzeneg­ger has used the ener­gy cri­sis and mis­steps by Davis to bol­ster his stand­ing with poten­tial vot­ers. While Davis took a beat­ing in the press (some ener­gy com­pa­nies ran attack ads against the gov­er­nor), Lay used his polit­i­cal clout to gath­er sup­port for dereg­u­la­tion.” (Idem.)

18. “A cou­ple of weeks before Lay met with Schwarzeneg­ger in may 2001, the PBS news pro­gram ‘Front­line’ inter­viewed Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney, whom Lay met with pri­vate­ly a month ear­li­er. Cheney was asked by a cor­re­spon­dent from Front­line whether ener­gy com­pa­nies were act­ing like a car­tel and using manip­u­la­tive tac­tics to cause elec­tric­i­ty prices to spike in Cal­i­for­nia.” (Idem.)

19. ” ‘No,’ Cheney said dur­ing the Front­line inter­view. ‘The prob­lem you had in Cal­i­for­nia was caused by a com­bi­na­tion of things—an unwise reg­u­la­to­ry scheme, because they did­n’t real­ly dereg­u­late. Now they’re trapped from unwise reg­u­la­to­ry schemes, plus not hav­ing addressed the sup­ply side of the issue. They’ve obvi­ous­ly cre­at­ed major prob­lems for them­selves and bank­rupt­ed PG & E in the process.’ ” (Idem.)

20. “The 90-minute secret meet­ing Lay con­vened took place inside a con­fer­ence room at the Penin­su­la Hotel. Lay, and oth­er Enron rep­re­sen­ta­tives at the meet­ing, hand­ed out a four-page doc­u­ment to Schwarzeneg­ger, Rior­dan and Milken titled ‘Com­pre­hen­sive Solu­tion for Cal­i­for­nia,’ which called for an end to fed­er­al and state inves­ti­ga­tions into Enron’s role in the Cal­i­for­nia ener­gy cri­sis and said con­sumers should pay for the state’s dis­as­trous exper­i­ment with dereg­u­la­tion through multi­bil­lion rate increas­es. Anoth­er bul­let point in the four-page doc­u­ment said ‘Get dereg­u­la­tion right this time—California needs a real elec­tric­i­ty mar­ket, not gov­ern­ment takeovers.” (Ibid; p. 2.)

21. “The irony of that state­ment is that Cal­i­for­ni­a’s flawed pow­er mar­ket design helped Enron earn more than $500 mil­lion in one year, a ten­fold increase in prof­its from a pre­vi­ous year and it’s coor­di­nat­ed effort in manip­u­lat­ing the price of elec­tric­i­ty in Cal­i­for­nia, which oth­er pow­er com­pa­nies mim­ic­ked, cost the state close to $70 bil­lion and led to the begin­ning of what is now the state’s $38 bil­lion bud­get deficit. The pow­er cri­sis forced dozens of busi­ness­es to close down or move to oth­er states, where cheap­er elec­tric­i­ty was in abun­dant sup­ply, and great­ly reduced the rev­enue Cal­i­for­nia relied heav­i­ly upon.” (Idem.)

22. “Lay asked the par­tic­i­pants to sup­port his plan and lob­by the state leg­is­la­ture to make it a law. It’s unclear whether Schwarzeneg­ger held a stake in Enron at the time or if he fol­lowed through on Lay’s request. His Spokesman Rob Stutz­man has­n’t returned numer­ous calls for com­ment about the meet­ing. For Schwarzeneg­ger and the oth­ers who attend­ed the meet­ing, asso­ci­at­ing with Enron, Par­tic­u­lar­ly Ken Lay, the dis­graced chair­man of the high-fly­ing ener­gy com­pa­ny, dur­ing the peak of Cal­i­for­ni­a’s pow­er cri­sis in May 2001 could be com­pared to meet­ing with Osama bin Laden after 9–11 to under­stand why ter­ror­ism isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly such a heinous act. A per­son who attend­ed the meet­ing at the Penin­su­la, which this reporter wrote about two years ago said Lay invit­ed Schwarzeneg­ger and Rior­dan because the two were being court­ed in 2001 as GOP guber­na­to­r­i­al can­di­dates.” (Idem.)

23. In the con­text of Schwarzeneg­ger’s veneer of Nazism, it is inter­est­ing to note the pol­i­tics of Schwarzeneg­ger’s close friend and first direc­tor John Mil­ius. “Call­ing him­self ‘a zen fas­cist,’ Mil­ius claims, ‘My pol­i­tics are strange. I’m so far to the right, I’m prob­a­bly an anar­chist.’ Mil­ius also had his own motor­cy­cle gang of friends, apt­ly named Mobile Strike Force Para­noia. And accord­ing to one source, on set, ‘Aides come and go with click­ing heels and mock Nazi salutes.’ Work­ing on a Mil­ius film was a unique expe­ri­ence. Said Arnold, ‘He runs a set like an army. So that’s the feel­ing every­one had—that this was­n’t a movie, it was a bat­tle. I felt like I was once again an army tank dri­ver back home in Aus­tria. . . . It was a high-spir­it­ed set and Mil­ius took it all very well—the Nazi salutes, the drills, ‘Gen­er­al Mil­ius’ writ­ten on the back of his direc­tor’s chair.’ An inter­est­ing choice of direc­tor for Arnold’s main­stream film debut, Mil­ius soon became a firm friend of Arnold.‘s.” (Arnold: The Unau­tho­rized Biog­ra­phy; by Wendy Leigh; Copy­right 1990 by Wendy Leigh; Con­g­don & Weed [HC]; ISBN 0–86553-216–8; pp. 192–193.)

24. If one were to describe Schwarzeneg­ger’s per­son­al­i­ty in one word, it would be Machi­avel­lian. He has giv­en abun­dant evi­dence of this, even dur­ing his body­build­ing days. His sig­na­ture cin­e­mat­ic effort, “Pump­ing Iron,” show­cased his cyn­i­cism. “The gen­uine­ly creepy moments [in “Pump­ing Iron”] come two-thirds in. In one scene, he brags about miss­ing his father’s funer­al in order to train for a com­pe­ti­tion. Talk­ing about his chief rival, Lou Fer­rig­no (who went on to become TV’s ‘Incred­i­ble Hulk’), Schwarzeneg­ger tells the doc­u­men­tary cam­era, ‘It does­n’t mat­ter if he’s in shape or out of shape.’ He plans on mess­ing with his mind. ‘I will mix him up. He will come so ready, but the next morn­ing, he will be ready to lose.’ Of this form of psy­cho­log­i­cal manip­u­la­tion, he says, ‘All these things are avail­able, and so if they’re avail­able, you might as well use them.’ He smiles, and at this point he looks down­right sin­is­ter.” (“Film Probes Beyond Mus­cles” by Mick LaSalle; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 8/15/2003; p. D17.)

25. “The movie shows him putting his strat­e­gy to work on the morn­ing of the com­pe­ti­tion. He has break­fast with Fer­rig­no and Fer­rig­no’s par­ents and sub­tly under­mines his friend’s con­fi­dence. Behind a mask of affa­bil­i­ty, he says that Fer­rig­no, who is huge, would have had a bet­ter chance of win­ning with anoth­er mon­th’s train­ing (‘A month from now would be per­fect for you’). He asks Fer­rig­no, ‘You look kind of wor­ried today.’ He con­soles Fer­rig­no in advance for los­ing. Final­ly, he gets up from the table and tells Fer­rig­no’s father, ‘Help him pump up. Calm him down.’ By the end of break­fast, poor Fer­rig­no looks tied up in a psy­cho­log­i­cal knot. At the com­pe­ti­tion, we see him pos­ing as though apolo­getic about his body, when he could have just as eas­i­ly won.” (Idem.)

26. “Even after the com­pe­ti­tion, Schwarzenegger—clearly hav­ing fun—continues his bar­rage, rid­ing on a bus with Fer­rig­no and his folks, talk­ing about how he plans to come to New York, eat spaghet­ti and date Fer­rig­no’s sis­ter. Every­thing’s said with a smile, but the whole time he seems to be laugh­ing at this guile­less, sweet fam­i­ly. Frankly, it’s almost sick­en­ing. ‘I was always dream­ing about very pow­er­ful people—dictators and things like that,’ Schwarzeneg­ger says of his child­hood ear­ly in the film. ‘Pump­ing Iron’ makes it plain that this is one fel­low who had the will to pow­er at an ear­ly age.” (Idem.)

27. Equal­ly reveal­ing of Schwarzeneg­ger’s char­ac­ter is his Machi­avel­lian, cyn­i­cal behav­ior toward Frank Zane, one of his suc­ces­sors as Mr. Olympia. “In August 1980, Arnold, now known in the body­build­ing com­mu­ni­ty chiefly as CBS com­men­ta­tor and, along with Jim Lorimer, pro­duc­er of body­build­ing shows, attend­ed the Miss Olympia con­test at the Philadel­phia Sher­a­ton. Rick Wayne, there to cov­er the show for a [Joe] Wieder mag­a­zine, inter­viewed Arnold after­ward. Casu­al­ly, Rick asked Arnold, who had now been retired from body­build­ing for five years, if he would ever con­sid­er mak­ing a come­back. ‘No,’ Arnold said firm­ly. ‘No amount of mon­ey could tempt me out of retire­ment.’ The only rea­son he had been train­ing, he told Rick, ws that he was rehears­ing for his part as body­builder Mick­ey Har­gi­tay in the upcom­ing The Jayne Mans­field Sto­ry. As an aside he men­tioned that he was plan­ning to be in Aus­tralia for the 1980 Mr. Olympia con­test, hav­ing just been signed by CBS as com­men­ta­tor for the event. Rick, end­ing the inter­view, believed every word that Arnold had said.” (Arnold: The Unau­tho­rized Biog­ra­phy; pp. 178–179.)

28. “Mean­while, back on the West Coast, the reign­ing Mr. Olympia, Frank Zane, had suf­fered a severe set­back. Eight weeks before the con­test in which he expect­ed to win his fourth Mr. Olympia title, Frank met with a ter­ri­ble acci­dent that almost killed him. After a spell in the hos­pi­tal, on the verge of with­draw­ing from the con­test, Frank approached Arnold and asked his advice. The acci­dent, he said, had weak­ened him, inter­rupt­ed his train­ing, and left its mark. Should he still com­pete in the 1980 Mr. Olympia or back out of the whole thing? Arnold, whom Frank habit­u­al­ly viewed as a friend and coach, thought for a moment, then said that he strong­ly believed that Frank should go to Aus­tralia and defend his Mr. Olympia title. As an after­thought, Frank, a man who is nobody’s fool and had been Arnold’s friend for more than twelve years, casu­al­ly asked him if he planned to com­pete. No, said Arnold. He was going to Aus­tralia to do com­men­tary on the Olympia for CBS—that was all.” (Ibid.; p. 179.)

29. “Two weeks before the 1980 Mr. Olympia Arnold fell ill, los­ing ten pounds. That did­n’t deter him from giv­ing an inter­view to Aus­tri­an jour­nal­ist Roman Schliess­er, who wrote about Arnold on a reg­u­lar basis in his col­umn ‘Adabei’ for the Vien­nese paper Die Kro­nen Zeitung. And if [Schwarzeneg­ger rival Mike] Mentzer, Zane, et al, had sub­scribed to Die Kro­nen Zeitung and had been for­tu­nate enough to under­stand Ger­man, they would not have been at all sur­prised by the events that took place sub­se­quent­ly in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia. For Arnold had quite open­ly revealed to Schliess­er, ‘On Octo­ber 4th the next Mr. Olympia will be cho­sen In Syd­ney. I’m a sports com­men­ta­tor for CBS tele­vi­sion. But I’m doing it. I’ve trained for six weeks. . . . I’m against Frank Zane who was Mr. Olympia three times, but they will all cry when I win again.’ Schliesser’s arti­cle was pub­lished on Sep­tem­ber 28th, just six days before Arnold dropped his bomb­shell on the 1980 Mr. Olympia con­test.” (Ibid.; pp. 180–181.)

30. “The night before the con­test Boy­er Coe dis­cov­ered that Arnold ws plan­ning to make a come­back. After watch­ing Arnold strip down, he took Frank Zane aside and, with a degree of con­cern for Arnold, won­dered out loud, ‘Why is Arnold doing this to him­self? He does­n’t have a prayer.’ Not only had he been out of com­pe­ti­tion for the past five years; body­build­ing had also changed. In Arnold’s day only three or four oth­er body­builders had come close to approach­ing his stan­dard. Now there were many. More­over, the lev­el of com­pe­ti­tion was far high­er and the body­builder’s rou­tines were less hap­haz­ard and more chore­o­graphed. Lat­er that night Arnold approached Zane and asked if he want­ed to share a dress­ing room with him. Frank replied, “Arnold, are you try­ing to psych me out?’ ‘Oh, no,’ replied Arnold. ‘I would­n’t try and do that.’ ” (Ibid.; pp. 182–183.)

31. “Frank Zane was Arnold’s next tar­get. A year lat­er Arnold described his tac­tics in an inter­view: ‘I knew Frank Zane would be tense at the moment of the com­pe­ti­tion, because he had­n’t laughed once in the last six weeks. So if I could crack him up with a good joke, all the laugh­ter that he had stored would come out in a tor­rent. So I pre­pared a joke and told it to him dur­ing the pre­judg­ing. He cracked up so much that he leaned back and bent over. And of course the judges are always look­ing and mak­ing notes. They prob­a­bly thought, ‘He is not tak­ing this seri­ous­ly.’ After five years away from com­pe­ti­tion it was won­der­ful to use psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare again.’ ” (Ibid.; p. 183.)

32. “In inter­views filmed for The Come­back, con­duct­ed before and dur­ing the con­test, Arnold would allege that he was inse­cure about step­ping on stage for the first time in five years. But as he began to pose to the strains of ‘Exo­dus,’ he enthused that noth­ing had changed. Wait­ing for the results, he was exul­tant: over­flow­ing with enthu­si­asm and self-con­fi­dence, impa­tient to hear the out­come of the 1980 Mr. Olympia, con­vinced that he had won. As Dan Howard, one of the 1980 judges, says, ‘Arnold beats peo­ple before they go onstage.’ He was right. Although Arnold had trained for only eight weeks, while all the oth­er con­tes­tants had trained for a year, he was nev­er­the­less declared the 1980 Mr. Olympia. The audi­ence went wild. Though not in the way to which Arnold was accus­tomed.” (Ibid.; pp. 183–184.)

33. “Paul Gra­ham, exec­u­tive pro­duc­er of The Come­back, with the help of film edi­tor Geoff Ben­nett, did­n’t include in the film’s sound track the sub­se­quent erup­tion that greet­ed the announce­ment of the 1980 Olympia win­ner. In the words of an eye­wit­ness, ‘The audi­ence was furi­ous, throw­ing things, swear­ing. A great cho­rus of ‘Rigged, rigged, rigged’ flared up. There’s nev­er been any­thing like it in any body­build­ing con­test ever. Every­one in the place was boo­ing Arnold, shout­ing ‘bull­shit,’ and brawl­ing in dis­gust. Arnold was enraged and went red in the face.’ ” (Ibid.; p. 184.)

34. “Seething with anger, Arnold stormed out of the Syd­ney Opera House with a group of reporters in hot pur­suit. Almost run­ning toward the exit, he avoid­ed answer­ing their ques­tions, toss­ing his head in a com­bi­na­tion of anger and dis­dain. Close to the exit, he sud­den­ly real­ized that Maria, far from being by his side, was talk­ing to some reporters behind him. Accord­ing to Hel­mut Cern­cic, at the top of his voice Arnold Screamed, ‘You stu­pid bitch, I’m wait­ing for you. Come here.’ Wit­ness­ing the scene, Hel­mut, who had known Arnold since he was a teenage mis­fit all those years ago in the Ath­let­ic Union, thought to him­self, ‘This boy from Aus­tria, who nev­er had a pen­ny, could­n’t speak Eng­lish, now knows some­one from the Kennedy fam­i­ly and speaks to her like that. It was amaz­ing.’ ” (Idem.)

35. Schwarzeneg­ger’s vic­to­ry may not have been the result of objec­tive view­points on the part of the judges. “Among the more seri­ous alle­ga­tions was the one claim­ing that all the judges of the 1980 Mr. Olympia either were Arnold’s friends or had busi­ness rela­tion­ships with him. And although no one accused the IFBB of hav­ing fixed the con­test in Arnold’s favor, it seemed as if the judges had had eyes only for him.” (Ibid.; p. 185.)

36. The Wendy Leigh book caused con­sid­er­able stir in the Schwarzeneg­ger camp, and he has gone to con­sid­er­able lengths to have it mar­gin­al­ized. It is worth not­ing in this regard, that Schwarzeneg­ger’s much-pub­li­cized sup­port for the Muse­um of Tol­er­ance and the Wiesen­thal Insti­tute began in 1990, AFTER the Leigh book came out. There is rea­son to believe that his motives in so doing were polit­i­cal­ly moti­vat­ed and every bit as cyn­i­cal as his oth­er care­ful­ly- craft­ed ges­tures. In that con­text, it is worth not­ing that the Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion has made a point of fund­ing Israel, and incor­po­rat­ing Jews in its busi­ness struc­ture. (For more about this, see—among oth­er programs—FTR#‘s 294, 305, 397, 399.) “Through­out his 33-year career, Schwarzeneg­ger has been crafty in his deal­ings with the press: He’s known for show­ing a warm demeanor toward jour­nal­ists while hir­ing con­trol­ling pub­li­cists. As a result Schwarzeneg­ger’s most sen­sa­tion­al con­tro­ver­sies have often been vir­tu­al­ly ignored. The biggest bump in the road came after the pub­li­ca­tion of the 320-page ‘Arnold: The Unau­tho­rized Biog­ra­phy’ by Wendy Leigh. The 1990 book explored in detail Schwarzeneg­ger’s alleged wom­an­iz­ing, abu­sive prac­ti­cal jokes and admi­ra­tion for Kurt Wald­heim (the politi­cian, who had been accused of being a Nazi war crim­i­nal, had been invit­ed to the actor’s wed­ding).” (“Before He Was a Can­di­date Schwarzeneg­ger Open­ly Flexed His Vocal Chords” by Peter Hart­laub, San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 8/15/2003; p. D17.)

37. “But Leigh and her book got very lit­tle cov­er­age in main­stream U.S. media. A 1992 Spy mag­a­zine arti­cle on the actor describes his pub­lic­i­ty machine as a heavy-hand­ed group that resort­ed to threats to keep Leigh’s accu­sa­tions from being wide­ly repeat­ed. Accord­ing to the arti­cle, reporters were told that Schwarzeneg­ger inter­views would end after any men­tion of the book or its con­tents, and jour­nal­ists at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val in 1990 were asked to sign doc­u­ments promis­ing not to ask the actor cer­tain ques­tions.” (Idem.)


No comments for “FTR #422 True Lies: More About Conan the Republican”

Post a comment