Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Steve Bannon' is associated with 28 posts.

Update on the Murder of Gauri Lankesh

In FTR #990, we high­light­ed the assas­si­na­tion of inves­tiga­tive reporter Gau­ri Lankesh. We also not­ed the irony in Pierre Omid­yar evolv­ing into an icon of inves­tiga­tive report­ing by virtue of his launch­ing of “The Inter­cept,” when he helped elect Naren­dra Modi and helped to install the OUN/B suc­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tions in pow­er in Ukraine. Both regimes have man­i­fest­ed lethal hos­til­i­ty to inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ists and polit­i­cal activists. In an update on Lankesh’s killing, we note that her mur­der occurs in the con­text of unprece­dent­ed pres­sure on, and itim­i­da­tion of, the media by the Hin­dut­va fas­cist regime of Naren­dra Modi. ” . . . . Since he took office in 2014, Modi has not held a sin­gle news con­fer­ence in India. Among B.J.P. politi­cians, a pop­u­lar term for jour­nal­ists is “pressti­tutes.’ A dis­patch on Indi­an jour­nal­ism last year by the Com­mit­tee to Pro­tect Jour­nal­ists described an unprece­dent­ed cli­mate of self-cen­sor­ship and fear, report­ing, ‘The media is in the worst state India has ever seen.’ . . . . In these cir­cum­stances, Lankesh’s audac­i­ty and integri­ty were all the more notable. And her mur­der has deep­ened the chill. . . . Jig­nesh Mevani, a leg­is­la­tor and an activist from Gujarat, fears that if the B.J.P. is re-elect­ed, its extrem­ist sup­port­ers will be embold­ened. ‘Every year they will kill 10 to 15 of our kind of peo­ple and put 10 to 15 of our kind of peo­ple in jail,’ he told me at a July meet­ing in Ban­ga­lore in Lankesh’s hon­or. ‘So by the time they are in pow­er for a decade, the major faces of the pro­gres­sive civ­il rights move­ments of this coun­try will be gone.’ Lankesh’s mur­der seemed to fit what was by then an unmis­tak­able pat­tern of assas­si­na­tions of intel­lec­tu­als who opposed the fun­da­men­tal­ist-Hin­du ide­ol­o­gy that ani­mates the B.J.P., all of which remained unsolved. Between 2013 and 2015, three reli­gious­ly free­think­ing Indi­an writ­ers and activists were shot dead near their homes by assailants who escaped on motor­cy­cles: the doc­tor Naren­dra Dab­holkar, in Pune; the politi­cian Govind Pansare, in Kol­ha­pur; and the schol­ar M.M. Kalbur­gi, in Dhar­wad. After Kalburgi’s mur­der, scores of Indi­an writ­ers returned their awards from the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Let­ters to protest both the lack of progress in the mur­der inves­ti­ga­tions and the B.J.P.’s silence over ris­ing intol­er­ance, to no effect. There was much anx­ious spec­u­la­tion over who might be the next writer to die. . . .” After much delay, Hin­dut­va fas­cists have been arrest­ed in con­nec­tion with Lankesh’s killing: ” . . . . in May, the Kar­nata­ka Police’s spe­cial inves­ti­ga­tion team filed a charge sheet against a Hin­dut­va activist named K.T. Naveen Kumar, run­ning to some 650 pages and accus­ing him of crim­i­nal con­spir­a­cy, among oth­er things. Fif­teen more sus­pects have been arrest­ed and charged in the months since then . . . . Accord­ing to the police, foren­sics indi­cat­ed that the gun that killed Lankesh was poten­tial­ly also used in two of the three oth­er unsolved assas­si­na­tions that seemed to fit the same pat­tern. The police sus­pect that the accused are part of an appar­ent­ly name­less, mul­ti­state right-wing assas­si­na­tion net­work with at least 60 mem­bers. Many of the accused have con­nec­tions with a small, secre­tive Hin­dut­va group called the Sanatan Sanstha, mem­bers of which have pre­vi­ous­ly been arrest­ed as sus­pects in four sep­a­rate bomb­ings of pub­lic places. . . . Per­haps the most extra­or­di­nary dis­cov­ery the police have made in their inves­ti­ga­tion of Lankesh’s mur­der is a detailed diary recov­ered from the home of a lead­ing sus­pect. In it were two lists, osten­si­bly of peo­ple the con­spir­a­tors want­ed dead, report­ed­ly includ­ing Veer­ab­hadra Chen­na­mal­la, a lib­er­al-mind­ed Hin­du priest, and K.S. Bha­ga­van, an out­spo­ken­ly athe­ist Shake­speare schol­ar. First on one of the lists was Girish Kar­nad, who is per­haps the great­est liv­ing Kan­na­da play­wright. All have been par­tic­u­lar­ly forth­right in their crit­i­cism of Hin­dut­va. Sec­ond on one list was Lankesh. In the months since she was shot, some of her friends and col­leagues have grown more cau­tious about what they write and say and post to social media, even as this year’s unusu­al­ly fraught and uncer­tain Elec­tion Day approach­es. . . . .”


FTR #1021 FascisBook: (In Your Facebook, Part 3–A Virtual Panopticon, Part 3)

This pro­gram fol­lows up FTR #‘s 718 and 946, we exam­ined Face­book, not­ing how it’s cute, warm, friend­ly pub­lic facade obscured a cyn­i­cal, reac­tionary, exploita­tive and, ulti­mate­ly “cor­po­ratist” eth­ic and oper­a­tion.

The UK’s Chan­nel 4 sent an inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist under­cov­er to work for one of the third-par­ty com­pa­nies Face­book pays to mod­er­ate con­tent. This inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist was trained to take a hands-off approach to far right vio­lent con­tent and fake news because that kind of con­tent engages users for longer and increas­es ad rev­enues. ” . . . . An inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist who went under­cov­er as a Face­book mod­er­a­tor in Ire­land says the com­pa­ny lets pages from far-right fringe groups ‘exceed dele­tion thresh­old,’ and that those pages are ‘sub­ject to dif­fer­ent treat­ment in the same cat­e­go­ry as pages belong­ing to gov­ern­ments and news orga­ni­za­tions.’ The accu­sa­tion is a damn­ing one, under­min­ing Facebook’s claims that it is active­ly try­ing to cut down on fake news, pro­pa­gan­da, hate speech, and oth­er harm­ful con­tent that may have sig­nif­i­cant real-world impact.The under­cov­er jour­nal­ist detailed his find­ings in a new doc­u­men­tary titled Inside Face­book: Secrets of the Social Net­work, that just aired on the UK’s Chan­nel 4. . . . .”

Next, we present a fright­en­ing sto­ry about Aggre­gateIQ (AIQ), the Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca off­shoot to which Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca out­sourced the devel­op­ment of its “Ripon” psy­cho­log­i­cal pro­file soft­ware devel­op­ment, and which lat­er played a key role in the pro-Brex­it cam­paign. The arti­cle also notes that, despite Facebook’s pledge to kick Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca off of its plat­form, secu­ri­ty researchers just found 13 apps avail­able for Face­book that appear to be devel­oped by AIQ. If Face­book real­ly was try­ing to kick Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca off of its plat­form, it’s not try­ing very hard. One app is even named “AIQ John­ny Scraper” and it’s reg­is­tered to AIQ.

The arti­cle is also a reminder that you don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly need to down­load a Cam­bridge Analytica/AIQ app for them to be track­ing your infor­ma­tion and reselling it to clients. Secu­ri­ty researcher stum­bled upon a new repos­i­to­ry of curat­ed Face­book data AIQ was cre­at­ing for a client and it’s entire­ly pos­si­ble a lot of the data was scraped from pub­lic Face­book posts.

” . . . . Aggre­gateIQ, a Cana­di­an con­sul­tan­cy alleged to have links to Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, col­lect­ed and stored the data of hun­dreds of thou­sands of Face­book users, accord­ing to redact­ed com­put­er files seen by the Finan­cial Times.The social net­work banned Aggre­gateIQ, a data com­pa­ny, from its plat­form as part of a clean-up oper­a­tion fol­low­ing the Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca scan­dal, on sus­pi­cion that the com­pa­ny could have been improp­er­ly access­ing user infor­ma­tion. How­ev­er, Chris Vick­ery, a secu­ri­ty researcher, this week found an app on the plat­form called ‘AIQ John­ny Scraper’ reg­is­tered to the com­pa­ny, rais­ing fresh ques­tions about the effec­tive­ness of Facebook’s polic­ing efforts. . . .”

In addi­tion, the sto­ry high­lights a forms of micro-tar­get­ing com­pa­nies like AIQ make avail­able that’s fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent from the algo­rith­mic micro-tar­get­ing asso­ci­at­ed with social media abus­es: micro-tar­get­ing by a human who wants to specif­i­cal­ly look and see what you per­son­al­ly have said about var­i­ous top­ics on social media. This is a ser­vice where some­one can type you into a search engine and AIQ’s prod­uct will serve up a list of all the var­i­ous polit­i­cal posts you’ve made or the polit­i­cal­ly-rel­e­vant “Likes” you’ve made.

Next, we note that Face­book is get­ting sued by an app devel­op­er for act­ing like the mafia and turn­ing access to all that user data as the key enforce­ment tool:

“Mark Zucker­berg faces alle­ga­tions that he devel­oped a ‘mali­cious and fraud­u­lent scheme’ to exploit vast amounts of pri­vate data to earn Face­book bil­lions and force rivals out of busi­ness. A com­pa­ny suing Face­book in a Cal­i­for­nia court claims the social network’s chief exec­u­tive ‘weaponised’ the abil­i­ty to access data from any user’s net­work of friends – the fea­ture at the heart of the Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca scan­dal.  . . . . ‘The evi­dence uncov­ered by plain­tiff demon­strates that the Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca scan­dal was not the result of mere neg­li­gence on Facebook’s part but was rather the direct con­se­quence of the mali­cious and fraud­u­lent scheme Zucker­berg designed in 2012 to cov­er up his fail­ure to antic­i­pate the world’s tran­si­tion to smart­phones,’ legal doc­u­ments said. . . . . Six4Three alleges up to 40,000 com­pa­nies were effec­tive­ly defraud­ed in this way by Face­book. It also alleges that senior exec­u­tives includ­ing Zucker­berg per­son­al­ly devised and man­aged the scheme, indi­vid­u­al­ly decid­ing which com­pa­nies would be cut off from data or allowed pref­er­en­tial access. . . . ‘They felt that it was bet­ter not to know. I found that utter­ly hor­ri­fy­ing,’ he [for­mer Face­book exec­u­tive Sandy Parak­i­las] said. ‘If true, these alle­ga­tions show a huge betray­al of users, part­ners and reg­u­la­tors. They would also show Face­book using its monop­oly pow­er to kill com­pe­ti­tion and putting prof­its over pro­tect­ing its users.’ . . . .”

The above-men­tioned Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca is offi­cial­ly going bank­rupt, along with the elec­tions divi­sion of its par­ent com­pa­ny, SCL Group. Appar­ent­ly their bad press has dri­ven away clients.

Is this tru­ly the end of Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca?

No.

They’re rebrand­ing under a new com­pa­ny, Emer­da­ta. Intrigu­ing­ly, Cam­bridge Analytica’s trans­for­ma­tion into Emer­da­ta is note­wor­thy because  the fir­m’s direc­tors include John­son Ko Chun Shun, a Hong Kong financier and busi­ness part­ner of Erik Prince: ” . . . . But the company’s announce­ment left sev­er­al ques­tions unan­swered, includ­ing who would retain the company’s intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty — the so-called psy­cho­graph­ic vot­er pro­files built in part with data from Face­book — and whether Cam­bridge Analytica’s data-min­ing busi­ness would return under new aus­pices. . . . In recent months, exec­u­tives at Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca and SCL Group, along with the Mer­cer fam­i­ly, have moved to cre­at­ed a new firm, Emer­da­ta, based in Britain, accord­ing to British records. The new company’s direc­tors include John­son Ko Chun Shun, a Hong Kong financier and busi­ness part­ner of Erik Prince. . . . An exec­u­tive and a part own­er of SCL Group, Nigel Oakes, has pub­licly described Emer­da­ta as a way of rolling up the two com­pa­nies under one new ban­ner. . . . ”

In the Big Data inter­net age, there’s one area of per­son­al infor­ma­tion that has yet to be incor­po­rat­ed into the pro­files on everyone–personal bank­ing infor­ma­tion.  ” . . . . If tech com­pa­nies are in con­trol of pay­ment sys­tems, they’ll know “every sin­gle thing you do,” Kapi­to said. It’s a dif­fer­ent busi­ness mod­el from tra­di­tion­al bank­ing: Data is more valu­able for tech firms that sell a range of dif­fer­ent prod­ucts than it is for banks that only sell finan­cial ser­vices, he said. . . .”

Face­book is approach­ing a num­ber of big banks – JP Mor­gan, Wells Far­go, Cit­i­group, and US Ban­corp – request­ing finan­cial data includ­ing card trans­ac­tions and check­ing-account bal­ances. Face­book is joined byIn this by Google and Ama­zon who are also try­ing to get this kind of data.

Face­book assures us that this infor­ma­tion, which will be opt-in, is to be sole­ly for offer­ing new ser­vices on Face­book mes­sen­ger. Face­book also assures us that this infor­ma­tion, which would obvi­ous­ly be invalu­able for deliv­er­ing ads, won’t be used for ads at all. It will ONLY be used for Facebook’s Mes­sen­ger ser­vice.  This is a dubi­ous assur­ance, in light of Face­book’s past behav­ior.

” . . . . Face­book increas­ing­ly wants to be a plat­form where peo­ple buy and sell goods and ser­vices, besides con­nect­ing with friends. The com­pa­ny over the past year asked JPMor­gan Chase & Co., Wells Far­go & Co., Cit­i­group Inc. and U.S. Ban­corp to dis­cuss poten­tial offer­ings it could host for bank cus­tomers on Face­book Mes­sen­ger, said peo­ple famil­iar with the mat­ter. Face­book has talked about a fea­ture that would show its users their check­ing-account bal­ances, the peo­ple said. It has also pitched fraud alerts, some of the peo­ple said. . . .”

Peter Thiel’s sur­veil­lance firm Palan­tir was appar­ent­ly deeply involved with Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca’s gam­ing of per­son­al data har­vest­ed from Face­book in order to engi­neer an elec­toral vic­to­ry for Trump. Thiel was an ear­ly investor in Face­book, at one point was its largest share­hold­er and is still one of its largest share­hold­ers. ” . . . . It was a Palan­tir employ­ee in Lon­don, work­ing close­ly with the data sci­en­tists build­ing Cambridge’s psy­cho­log­i­cal pro­fil­ing tech­nol­o­gy, who sug­gest­ed the sci­en­tists cre­ate their own app — a mobile-phone-based per­son­al­i­ty quiz — to gain access to Face­book users’ friend net­works, accord­ing to doc­u­ments obtained by The New York Times. The rev­e­la­tions pulled Palan­tir — co-found­ed by the wealthy lib­er­tar­i­an Peter Thiel — into the furor sur­round­ing Cam­bridge, which improp­er­ly obtained Face­book data to build ana­lyt­i­cal tools it deployed on behalf of Don­ald J. Trump and oth­er Repub­li­can can­di­dates in 2016. Mr. Thiel, a sup­port­er of Pres­i­dent Trump, serves on the board at Face­book. ‘There were senior Palan­tir employ­ees that were also work­ing on the Face­book data,’ said Christo­pher Wylie, a data expert and Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca co-founder, in tes­ti­mo­ny before British law­mak­ers on Tues­day. . . . The con­nec­tions between Palan­tir and Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca were thrust into the spot­light by Mr. Wylie’s tes­ti­mo­ny on Tues­day. Both com­pa­nies are linked to tech-dri­ven bil­lion­aires who backed Mr. Trump’s cam­paign: Cam­bridge is chiefly owned by Robert Mer­cer, the com­put­er sci­en­tist and hedge fund mag­nate, while Palan­tir was co-found­ed in 2003 by Mr. Thiel, who was an ini­tial investor in Face­book. . . .”

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

1.–Facebook’s project to incor­po­rate brain-to-com­put­er inter­face into its oper­at­ing sys­tem: ” . . . Face­book wants to build its own “brain-to-com­put­er inter­face” that would allow us to send thoughts straight to a com­put­er. ‘What if you could type direct­ly from your brain?’ Regi­na Dugan, the head of the company’s secre­tive hard­ware R&D divi­sion, Build­ing 8, asked from the stage. Dugan then pro­ceed­ed to show a video demo of a woman typ­ing eight words per minute direct­ly from the stage. In a few years, she said, the team hopes to demon­strate a real-time silent speech sys­tem capa­ble of deliv­er­ing a hun­dred words per minute. ‘That’s five times faster than you can type on your smart­phone, and it’s straight from your brain,’ she said. ‘Your brain activ­i­ty con­tains more infor­ma­tion than what a word sounds like and how it’s spelled; it also con­tains seman­tic infor­ma­tion of what those words mean.’ . . .”
2.–” . . . . Brain-com­put­er inter­faces are noth­ing new. DARPA, which Dugan used to head, has invest­ed heav­i­ly in brain-com­put­er inter­face tech­nolo­gies to do things like cure men­tal ill­ness and restore mem­o­ries to sol­diers injured in war. But what Face­book is propos­ing is per­haps more radical—a world in which social media doesn’t require pick­ing up a phone or tap­ping a wrist watch in order to com­mu­ni­cate with your friends; a world where we’re con­nect­ed all the time by thought alone. . . .”
3.–” . . . . Facebook’s Build­ing 8 is mod­eled after DARPA and its projects tend to be equal­ly ambi­tious. . . .”
4.–” . . . . But what Face­book is propos­ing is per­haps more radical—a world in which social media doesn’t require pick­ing up a phone or tap­ping a wrist watch in order to com­mu­ni­cate with your friends; a world where we’re con­nect­ed all the time by thought alone. . . .”
5.–” . . . . Face­book hopes to use opti­cal neur­al imag­ing tech­nol­o­gy to scan the brain 100 times per sec­ond to detect thoughts and turn them into text. Mean­while, it’s work­ing on ‘skin-hear­ing’ that could trans­late sounds into hap­tic feed­back that peo­ple can learn to under­stand like braille. . . .”
6.–” . . . . Wor­ry­ing­ly, Dugan even­tu­al­ly appeared frus­trat­ed in response to my inquiries about how her team thinks about safe­ty pre­cau­tions for brain inter­faces, say­ing, ‘The flip side of the ques­tion that you’re ask­ing is ‘why invent it at all?’ and I just believe that the opti­mistic per­spec­tive is that on bal­ance, tech­no­log­i­cal advances have real­ly meant good things for the world if they’re han­dled respon­si­bly.’ . . . .”
7.–Some telling obser­va­tions by Nigel Oakes, the founder of Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca par­ent firm SCL: ” . . . . . . . . The pan­el has pub­lished audio records in which an exec­u­tive tied to Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca dis­cuss­es how the Trump cam­paign used tech­niques used by the Nazis to tar­get vot­ers. . . .”
8.–Further expo­si­tion of Oakes’ state­ment: ” . . . . Adolf Hitler ‘didn’t have a prob­lem with the Jews at all, but peo­ple didn’t like the Jews,’ he told the aca­d­e­m­ic, Emma L. Bri­ant, a senior lec­tur­er in jour­nal­ism at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Essex. He went on to say that Don­ald J. Trump had done the same thing by tap­ping into griev­ances toward immi­grants and Mus­lims. . . . ‘What hap­pened with Trump, you can for­get all the micro­tar­get­ing and micro­da­ta and what­ev­er, and come back to some very, very sim­ple things,’ he told Dr. Bri­ant. ‘Trump had the balls, and I mean, real­ly the balls, to say what peo­ple want­ed to hear.’ . . .”
9.–Observations about the pos­si­bil­i­ties of Face­book’s goal of hav­ing AI gov­ern­ing the edi­to­r­i­al func­tions of its con­tent: As not­ed in a Pop­u­lar Mechan­ics arti­cle: ” . . . When the next pow­er­ful AI comes along, it will see its first look at the world by look­ing at our faces. And if we stare it in the eyes and shout ‘we’re AWFUL lol,’ the lol might be the one part it doesn’t under­stand. . . .”
10.–Microsoft’s Tay Chat­bot offers a glimpse into this future: As one Twit­ter user not­ed, employ­ing sar­casm: “Tay went from ‘humans are super cool’ to full nazi in <24 hrs and I’m not at all con­cerned about the future of AI.”


FTR #1020 Baba Ramdev, Hindutva Fascism and Geopolitics

The pri­ma­ry “jump­ing off point” of this pro­gram and the foun­da­tion of the pre­vi­ous two broad­casts is the polit­i­cal and com­mer­cial career of Baba Ramdev. A major sup­port­er of Naren­dra Modi, his BJP and the Hin­dut­va fas­cist RSS, for which the BJP is a polit­i­cal front, Ramdev runs a high­ly suc­cess­ful busi­ness career cen­tered on the teach­ing of yoga and the mar­ket­ing of “ayurvedic” foods, cos­met­ics and med­i­cines. In turn, his busi­ness inter­ests are inex­tri­ca­bly linked with Modi, the BJP and the RSS.

(In FTR #‘s 795, 988 and 989, 990, 991, 992, and 1015, we detailed the Hin­dut­va fas­cism of Naren­dra Modi, his BJP Par­ty and sup­port­ive ele­ments, trac­ing the evo­lu­tion of Hin­dut­va fas­cism through the assas­si­na­tion of Mahat­ma Gand­hi to the present time.)

With Modi and the BJP run­ning India, Ramde­v’s Patan­jali food busi­ness has also dove­tailed direct­ly with Indi­a’s mil­i­tary devel­op­ment and poten­tial strate­gic inter­ests. A thought-pro­vok­ing and pos­si­bly valid com­par­i­son might be seen between Ramde­v’s oper­a­tions and the oper­a­tions of the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church of Sun Myung Moon. In FTR #970, among oth­er pro­grams, we exam­ined the Moon oper­a­tion as an exten­sion around the world and down the decades of the Patri­ot­ic and Ultra­na­tion­al­ist Soci­eties of Japan. A reli­gious, com­mer­cial and fas­cist polit­i­cal enti­ty, the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church bears many strik­ing ide­o­log­i­cal and oper­a­tional sim­i­lar­i­ties to the Ramdev orga­ni­za­tion.

Begin­ning with review of ide­o­log­i­cal and oper­a­tional links between RSS Hin­dut­va fas­cists and the fol­low­ers of Hitler and Mus­soli­ni, we high­light key fea­tures of what may seem to many to be a clas­sic case of polit­i­cal “strange bed­fel­lows.” Key con­sid­er­a­tions in the Hitler/Mussolini/Hindutva fas­cist affin­i­ty include:

1.–Opposition to the British Empire (as con­sti­tut­ed), admi­ra­tion for the domes­tic agen­das of the Fuehrer and Il Duce, as well as the mil­i­tary prowess shown by the Euro­pean Axis nations: “. . . . In the decades pri­or to that momen­tous event, senior RSS mem­bers had direct links to both Ben­i­to Mus­soli­ni in Italy and Adolf Hitler in Ger­many. Part of the RSS’ fas­ci­na­tion with these total­i­tar­i­an regimes was their shared oppo­si­tion to the British Empire — how­ev­er, it went far beyond that. The RSS (as well as mul­ti­tudes of oth­er Hin­du nation­al­ists) admired the way Mus­soli­ni and Hitler reor­ga­nized their respec­tive nations so quick­ly from the wreck­age of war to build a pow­er­ful econ­o­my and mil­i­tary under the ban­ner of patri­o­tism and nation­al­ism. . . .”
2.–The stud­ied nature of the Hindutva/Hitler/Mussolini affin­i­ty: ” . . . . Marzia Caso­lari, an Ital­ian schol­ar who stud­ied Indi­an pol­i­tics, once wrote of RSS’ con­nec­tions with Euro­pean fas­cism: The exis­tence of direct con­tacts between the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the [Ital­ian] Fas­cist regime, includ­ing Mus­soli­ni, and Hin­du nation­al­ists demon­strates that Hin­du nation­al­ism had much more than an abstract inter­est in the ide­ol­o­gy and prac­tice of fas­cism. The inter­est of Indi­an Hin­du nation­al­ists in fas­cism and Mus­soli­ni must not be con­sid­ered as dic­tat­ed by an occa­sion­al curios­i­ty, con­fined to a few indi­vid­u­als; rather, it should be con­sid­ered as the cul­mi­nat­ing result of the atten­tion that Hin­du nation­al­ists… focused on Ital­ian dic­ta­tor­ship and its leader. To them, fas­cism appeared to be an exam­ple of con­ser­v­a­tive rev­o­lu­tion. . . .”
3.–Belief in the com­mon, mytho­log­i­cal “Aryan” ori­gins of India and Ger­many: ” . . . . Much of Nazi ide­ol­o­gy and imagery came from the sym­bols and his­to­ry of ancient India – indeed, the infa­mous Nazi swasti­ka was based on a Hin­du sym­bol of strength and good for­tune.
More­over, the leg­endary his­to­ry (some would say, myth) of the inva­sion of pre­his­toric India by the mys­te­ri­ous ‘Aryan’ tribes would (cen­turies lat­er) pro­vide Hitler with his notion of a ‘super mas­ter race’ that was des­tined to dom­i­nate the world. . . .”
4.–The enthu­si­as­tic embrace of Hitler and Mus­soli­ni by V.D. Savarkar, the ide­o­log­i­cal founder of Hin­dut­va fas­cism and the pri­ma­ry archi­tect of Gand­hi’s assas­si­na­tion: ” . . . . Per­haps there was no greater admir­er of Hitler and Mus­soli­ni in India than Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, anoth­er lead­ing mem­ber of RSS. In a speech deliv­ered in 1940 (after the Sec­ond World War had com­menced), Savarkar said: ‘There is no rea­son to sup­pose that Hitler must be a human mon­ster because he pass­es off as a Nazi or Churchill is a demigod because he calls him­self a Demo­c­rat. Nazism proved unde­ni­ably the sav­ior of Ger­many under the set of cir­cum­stances Ger­many was placed in.’ . . .”
5.–The Hin­du Mahasab­ha’s sup­port for a Hitler/RSS con­junc­tion: ” . . . . Indeed, many Hin­du nation­al­ists also derid­ed Gand­hi for oppos­ing Nazism and fas­cism. In 1939, a spokesman for the Hin­du Mahasab­ha (Hin­du Par­ty) inti­mate­ly con­nect­ed Ger­many with Indi­an cul­ture and peo­ple. ‘Germany’s solemn idea of the revival of the Aryan cul­ture, the glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of the Swasti­ka, her patron­age of Vedic learn­ing and the ardent cham­pi­onship of the tra­di­tion of Indo-Ger­man­ic civ­i­liza­tion are wel­comed by the reli­gious and sen­si­ble Hin­dus of India with a jubi­lant hope,’ the spokesman blus­tered. ‘Only a few Social­ists head­ed by… Nehru have cre­at­ed a bub­ble of resent­ment against the present gov­ern­ment of Ger­many, but their activ­i­ties are far from hav­ing any sig­nif­i­cance in India.’ He added: ‘Germany’s cru­sade against the ene­mies of Aryan cul­ture will bring all the Aryan nations of the world to their sens­es and awak­en the Indi­an Hin­dus for the restora­tion of their lost glo­ry. . . .’ ”
6.–Other RSS lead­ers saw use­ful sim­i­lar­i­ties in the eth­nic chau­vin­ist phi­los­o­phy of both Hitler and Hin­dut­va fas­cism. ” . . . . Anoth­er senior RSS mem­ber, Mad­hav Sadashiv Gol­walkar, also praised Nazism and believed the ide­ol­o­gy should be applied to India. ‘Ger­man race pride has now become the top­ic of the day,’ he wrote. ‘To keep up the puri­ty of the race and its cul­ture, Ger­many shocked the world by her purg­ing the coun­try of the Semit­ic Races — the Jews. Race pride at its high­est has been man­i­fest­ed here. Ger­many has also shown how well-nigh impos­si­ble it is for races and cul­tures, hav­ing dif­fer­ences going to the root, to be assim­i­lat­ed into one unit­ed whole, a good les­son for us in Hin­dus­tan [India] to learn and prof­it by.’ Gol­walkar enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly advo­cat­ed for an India dom­i­nat­ed by Hin­dus. ‘There are only two cours­es open to the for­eign ele­ments, either to merge them­selves in the nation­al race and adopt its cul­ture, or to live at its mer­cy so long as the nation­al race may allow them to do so and to quit the coun­try at the sweet will of the nation­al race,’ he wrote. . . . ”
7.–The eth­nic ide­o­log­i­cal par­a­digm of Hin­dut­va fas­cism and Nazism meld well: ” . . . . If one were to replace ‘Hin­du’ with ‘Ger­man,’ Golwalkar’s words would match Hitler’s rhetoric almost exact­ly. . . .”
8.–Savarkar also saw Nazi and RSS eth­nic the­o­ry and pol­i­cy as con­verg­ing: ” . . . . Savarkar also spelled out why Hin­dus should rule India and oth­ers should either be expelled or merged into the Hin­du major­i­ty. ‘The Aryans who set­tled in India at the dawn of his­to­ry already formed a nation, now embod­ied in the Hin­dus,’ he wrote. ‘Hin­dus are bound togeth­er not only by the love they bear to a com­mon father­land and by the com­mon blood that cours­es through their veins and keeps our hearts throb­bing and our affec­tion warm but also by the of the com­mon homage we pay to our great civ­i­liza­tion, our Hin­du cul­ture. . . .”

We review of a miss­ing and very pos­si­bly impor­tant chap­ter in Ramde­v’s per­son­al his­to­ry: miss­ing years in his young adult­hood, rais­ing the ques­tion of where he was and what was he doing? We won­der, in that same con­text, who put up the ven­ture cap­i­tal to launch Ramde­v’s yoga and ayurvedic prod­ucts busi­ness­es: ” . . . . He was born to a poor farm fam­i­ly in north-cen­tral India, prob­a­bly in 1965 (he has always been vague about his age) and giv­en the name Ram Kisan Yadav. . . . As a teenag­er, he left home for a gurukul. The years that fol­lowed are curi­ous­ly blank; Ramdev has said very lit­tle about them, some­times claim­ing he doesn’t remem­ber. What is clear is that in 1995 he became a monk and assumed his cur­rent name after a rev­e­la­tion . . . .”

In addi­tion to pro­mot­ing Yoga’s well-doc­u­ment­ed fit­ness ben­e­fits, Ramdev presents Yoga as a vehi­cle for recon­nect­ing Indi­ans with their myth­ic past. In fact, the dis­ci­pline is root­ed in more recent and Euro­pean-import­ed cul­ture: “. . . . This nar­ra­tive about yoga’s ancient roots has become a sacra­ment for Hin­du nation­al­ists, and it is echoed in the West. But it is most­ly myth, an ide­al­ized ori­gin sto­ry of the kind so many would-be nation-builders, from ancient Rome to the Zion­ists, have fos­tered about them­selves. The old­est Hin­du scrip­tures con­tain almost no men­tion of phys­i­cal pos­tures. Even the Yoga Sutras, the so-called bible of yoga, include only a few short vers­es sug­gest­ing com­fort­able pos­tures for sit­ting. Many of the pos­tures prac­ticed in yoga today appear to have emerged in the 19th and ear­ly 20th cen­turies. . . .”

In fact, a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to con­tem­po­rary Yoga dis­ci­pline was made by a Dan­ish Nazi sym­pa­thiz­er named Niels Bukh. ” . . . . Dozens of mod­ern ash­tan­ga yoga pos­tures are sim­i­lar or iden­ti­cal to those found in a gym­nas­tic rou­tine intro­duced to India by the British in the first decades of the 20th cen­tu­ry and orig­i­nal­ly devel­oped by a Dan­ish fit­ness instruc­tor named Niels Bukh, who lat­er became noto­ri­ous for his pro-Nazi sym­pa­thies. . . .”

More about Niels Bukh: ” . . . . His sys­tem of exer­cise became high­ly pop­u­lar in Ger­many, and in 1933 Bukh pub­licly expressed his alle­giance to the Nation­al Social­ist cause and its aim of improv­ing the health of the Aryan race through gym­nas­tics. . . .”

Yoga’s pop­u­lar­i­ty in Weimar Ger­many trans­lat­ed into an affin­i­ty for the dis­ci­pline expressed by Nazi SS chief Hein­rich Himm­ler, who also saw the phys­i­cal reg­i­men as an exten­sion of the ancient “Aryan” past of India. That myth­i­cal Aryan past also became part of SS and Nazi atavis­tic occult ide­ol­o­gy. ” . . . yoga was rec­om­mend­ed to death camp guards in Nazi Ger­many. But that’s exact­ly what his­to­ri­an and yoga expert Math­ias Tietke found as he researched his new book, ‘Yoga In Nation­al Social­ism’. . . .”

More about the SS/Yoga con­nec­tion: ” . . . . It was seized on by race experts in the par­ty as being the pur­suit of ‘Ayran’ peo­ple. Jakob Wil­helm Hauer, an S.S. cap­tain and yoga expert, who influ­enced his chief Himm­ler and con­vinced him that ‘yoga can inter­nal­ly arm us and pre­pare us for the forth­com­ing bat­tles.’ . . . . Himm­ler, obsessed as he was with hocus-pocus race the­o­ries and mys­ti­cism relat­ing to his S.S. ‘super­men,’ car­ried around a Ger­man copy of the Bha­gavad Gita with him wher­ev­er he went. He regard­ed the ancient San­skrit epic as being a blue­print for cru­el­ty and ter­ror, using it, said Tietke, to ulti­mate­ly jus­ti­fy the Holo­caust. He wrote; ‘He iden­ti­fied him­self and the SS with the old Indi­an Ksha­triya caste and its pub­li­cized atti­tude of unscrupu­lous killing for one’s ‘high­er pur­pose.’ . . . . ”

This dove­tails with the SS mythology/ideology, which saw the SS as the embod­i­ment and ful­fill­ment of the “Aryan” race.

Next, we review of the sweet­heart land deals giv­en to the Morit­o­mo Gakuen school in Japan by the Abe gov­ern­ment and com­par­isons between that arrange­ment and the bar­gain-base­ment land pur­chas­es afford­ed the Ramdev oper­a­tion by the Modi gov­ern­ment.

We then “dol­ly out,” so to speak, and begin to exam­ine the Modi/RSS/Ramdev axis in a broad­er polit­i­cal and geopo­lit­i­cal con­text.

We review the strong links between “Team Trump” and the Modi/BJP/RSS axis. There are also strong links between Tul­si Gab­bard, the left-cov­er Hin­dut­va fas­cist who nom­i­nat­ed Bernie Sanders for Pres­i­dent in 2016 and The Modi/BJP/RSS axis., as well as con­nec­tions between “Team Trump” and Gab­bard.

We also review Pierre Omid­yar’s sig­nif­i­cant role in both India and Ukraine:

Omid­yar’s work in both Ukraine and India–operating as an appar­ent asset of U.S. intel­li­gence and (per­haps) the Under­ground Reich–are best viewed in the con­text of the Earth Island and a flank­ing maneu­ver on Rus­sia and Chi­na.

Stretch­ing from the Straits of Gibral­tar, all across Europe, most of the Mid­dle East, Eura­sia, Rus­sia, Chi­na and India, that stretch of land: com­pris­es most of the world’s land mass; con­tains most of the world’s pop­u­la­tion and most of the world’s nat­ur­al resources (includ­ing oil and nat­ur­al gas.) Geopoliti­cians have long seen con­trol­ling that land mass as the key to world dom­i­na­tion.

With the OUN/B suc­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tion fas­cists in pow­er via the Maid­an coup and a par­lia­men­tary coali­tion gov­ern­ment with Petro Poroshenko, pres­sure is being put direct­ly on Rus­si­a’s flank. With the Hin­dut­va fas­cists of Naren­dra Modi/BJP/RSS in pow­er in India, pres­sure is being put on Chi­na’s flank: “U.S. Sec­re­tary of Defense James Mat­tis announced a momen­tous shift in Amer­i­can glob­al strate­gic pol­i­cy in a lit­tle noticed state­ment on May 30. From now on, he decreed, the U.S. Pacif­ic Com­mand (PACOM), which over­sees all U.S. mil­i­tary forces in Asia, will be called the Indo-Pacif­ic Com­mand (INDOPACOM). The name change, Mat­tis explained, reflects “the increas­ing con­nec­tiv­i­ty between the Indi­an and Pacif­ic Oceans,” as well as Washington’s deter­mi­na­tion to remain the dom­i­nant pow­er in both. Such a name change may not sound like much, but some­day you may look back and real­ize that it couldn’t have been more con­se­quen­tial or omi­nous. Think of it as a sig­nal that the U.S. mil­i­tary is already set­ting the stage for even­tu­al con­fronta­tion with Chi­na. . . .On June 8th, for exam­ple, the DoD launched Mal­abar 2018, a joint Pacif­ic Ocean naval exer­cise involv­ing forces from India, Japan, and the Unit­ed States. Incor­po­rat­ing once neu­tral India into America’s anti-Chi­nese “Pacif­ic” alliance sys­tem in this and oth­er ways has, in fact, become a major twen­ty-first-cen­tu­ry goal of the Pen­ta­gon, pos­ing a sig­nif­i­cant new threat to Chi­na. . . .”

Of sig­nif­i­cance for us in the con­text of anti-Chi­na/Earth Island geopo­lit­i­cals are the anti-com­mu­nist util­i­ty of the BJP/RSS/Ramdev nexus and the dove­tail­ing of a Ramdev/Patanjali instal­la­tion in Assam with the needs of the Indi­an Air Force for a base in that area:

1.–Ramdev and the B.J.P. appear to have util­i­ty as vehi­cles to erad­i­cate Com­mu­nist influ­ence in parts of India: ” . . . . The RSS has become more vis­i­ble since Modi’s 2014 vic­to­ry. The group and its affil­i­ates have built hun­dreds of schools and job-train­ing cen­ters in Assam and oth­er north­east­ern states in recent years. I vis­it­ed sev­er­al and saw unmis­tak­able signs of the RSS ide­o­log­i­cal pro­gram. . . . All this hard indoc­tri­na­tion work has paid off. In 2016, the B.J.P. won con­trol of Assam’s state gov­ern­ment in leg­isla­tive elec­tions. And in March of this year, the par­ty won stun­ning elec­toral upsets in two adja­cent north­east­ern states, where left­ist par­ties had dom­i­nat­ed for decades. There was talk of a ‘saf­fron wave’ that might spread to the south Indi­an regions, includ­ing Com­mu­nist-dom­i­nat­ed Ker­ala, that have long resist­ed the advance of Hin­du nation­al­ism. Many Indi­an polit­i­cal ana­lysts said the RSS’s grass-roots work was essen­tial to the recent elec­toral vic­to­ries. But one RSS vol­un­teer in Assam, a con­struc­tion con­trac­tor, told me Ramdev’s pres­ence and his yoga pro­mo­tion had been very influ­en­tial, too. . . .”
2.–Also of sig­nif­i­cance is the dove­tail­ing of Modi/B.J.P. assist­ed Patan­jali oper­a­tions with the Indi­an military–specifically, the Indi­an Air Force: “. . . . After admir­ing the cook­ie plant and its 300-foot oven, we drove across a deli­cious­ly smooth, medi­an-free stretch of pave­ment that resem­bled a run­way. In fact, it is a run­way, built in con­sul­ta­tion with the Indi­an Air Force so that jet fight­ers can take off and land on it, Singh told me. ‘We will ded­i­cate this to the nation in case there is need for an extra airstrip,’ he said, and then added with a know­ing look, ‘We are near Chi­na.’ Patan­jali seems almost to view itself as an exten­sion of the state — or rather, an illus­tra­tion of what has become a ‘state-tem­ple-cor­po­rate com­plex,’ in the apt phrase of the Indi­an author Meera Nan­da. . . .”

We con­clude the pro­gram with review of a Hin­dut­va chant used by Baba Ramdev and Naren­dra Modi.

In our pre­vi­ous pro­grams, we have spo­ken of Ramde­v’s use of a Modi/BJP/RSS invo­ca­tion, high­light­ing Ramde­v’s work­ing of the “fascis”–the “bun­dle” of accolytes–in Fuhrer/­Duce-like fash­ion: ” . . . . Ramdev took the micro­phone and intro­duced the pha­lanx of sev­er­al hun­dred Hin­du reli­gious stu­dents, known as brah­macharis, sit­ting in neat rows on the field. Every­one repeat after me: ‘Bharat mata ki jai!’ he shout­ed. The crowd raised their arms and pumped their fists as they chant­ed the words — ‘India my moth­er­land is great’ — that have become a defin­ing slo­gan of the Hin­du nation­al­ist move­ment. . . .”

Naren­dra Modi echoed this in his Sep­tem­ber 2015 speech at the SAP Cen­ter in San Jose. (As men­tioned above, Tul­si Gab­bard helped arrange Mod­i’s tour.) An audio excerpt con­cludes this pro­gram. For con­ve­nience, we have includ­ed a por­tion of text from Mod­i’s speech.

“Com­plete Text and Video of Naren­dra Modi’s Speech at SAP Cen­ter: Watch;” India West Online; 9/29/2015.

. . . . Please repeat after me “Bharat Mata Ki Jai.” Say it loud­ly; I want the voice to boom all the way to India, Bharat Mata Ki Jai, (audi­ence repeats), Bharat Mata Ki Jai, (audi­ence repeats) . . . .


FTR #‘s 1018, 1019 Baba Ramdev and Hindutva Fascism, Parts 1 and 2

The pri­ma­ry focal point of these two pro­grams and sup­ple­men­tal dis­cus­sion in the pro­gram to fol­low is the polit­i­cal and com­mer­cial career of Baba Ramdev. A major sup­port­er of Naren­dra Modi, his BJP and the Hin­dut­va fas­cist RSS, for which the BJP is a polit­i­cal front, Ramdev runs a high­ly suc­cess­ful busi­ness career cen­tered on the teach­ing of yoga and the mar­ket­ing of “ayurvedic” foods, cos­met­ics and med­i­cines. In turn, his busi­ness inter­ests are inex­tri­ca­bly linked with Modi, the BJP and the RSS.

(In FTR #‘s 795, 988 and 989, 990, 991, 992, and 1015, we detailed the Hin­dut­va fas­cism of Naren­dra Modi, his BJP Par­ty and sup­port­ive ele­ments, trac­ing the evo­lu­tion of Hin­dut­va fas­cism through the assas­si­na­tion of Mahat­ma Gand­hi to the present time.)

With Modi and the BJP run­ning India, Ramde­v’s Patan­jali food busi­ness has also dove­tailed direct­ly with Indi­a’s mil­i­tary devel­op­ment and poten­tial strate­gic inter­ests. A thought-pro­vok­ing and pos­si­bly valid com­par­i­son might be seen between Ramde­v’s oper­a­tions and the oper­a­tions of the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church of Sun Myung Moon. In FTR #970, among oth­er pro­grams, we exam­ined the Moon oper­a­tion as an exten­sion around the world and down the decades of the Patri­ot­ic and Ultra­na­tion­al­ist Soci­eties of Japan. A reli­gious, com­mer­cial and fas­cist polit­i­cal enti­ty, the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church bears many strik­ing ide­o­log­i­cal and oper­a­tional sim­i­lar­i­ties to the Ramdev orga­ni­za­tion.

This will be dis­cussed at greater length in FTR #1020.

Key points of dis­cus­sion and analy­sis of Ramdev and his polit­i­cal and com­mer­cial under­tak­ings include:

1.–Ramdev’s ide­o­log­i­cal res­o­nance with the Hin­dut­va fas­cist invo­ca­tion of an ide­al­ized mys­ti­cal past: ” . . . . [BJP head and mur­der sus­pect] Amit Shah told the crowd that the B.J.P. want­ed Ramdev to join them in reform­ing the Indi­an edu­ca­tion­al sys­tem. One of the party’s new pri­or­i­ties is an ambi­tious effort to rewrite Indi­an school text­books to assert Hin­du pri­ma­cy. Mahesh Shar­ma, India’s cul­ture min­is­ter and an avowed fol­low­er of the RSS, has said he hopes to rewrite the con­ven­tion­al nar­ra­tive about India as a mul­ti­cul­tur­al tapes­try, and to incul­cate the belief that the ancient Hin­du scrip­tures are his­tor­i­cal facts, not leg­ends. ‘There is a lot of work to be done in edu­ca­tion,’ Shah said on the sta­di­um floor, just after the pre­miere of Ramdev’s biopic. ‘Because of our saints and our heroes — all this needs to be brought into our edu­ca­tion­al sys­tem.’ . . . Ramdev walked to the lectern, smil­ing gra­cious­ly at the gag­gle of B.J.P. lumi­nar­ies onstage. He pledged his sup­port to Modi and Shah, and their efforts to trans­form India. . . . ‘I ded­i­cate my time and ener­gy to the cul­tur­al and spir­i­tu­al edu­ca­tion of the coun­try, to bring our coun­try the great knowl­edge of the Vedas.’ . . .  ‘We will see an Indi­an edu­ca­tion pol­i­cy in this coun­try . . .  Before step­ping down, he pumped his fist once again in a chant of ‘India my moth­er­land is great.’ The crowd roared. . . .”
2.–Ramdev’s fre­quent invok­ing of the “fascis”–the “bun­dle” of accolytes and his work­ing of the crowd in Fuhrer/­Duce-like fash­ion: ” . . . . Ramdev took the micro­phone and intro­duced the pha­lanx of sev­er­al hun­dred Hin­du reli­gious stu­dents, known as brah­macharis, sit­ting in neat rows on the field. Every­one repeat after me: ‘Bharat mata ki jai!’ he shout­ed. The crowd raised their arms and pumped their fists as they chant­ed the words — ‘India my moth­er­land is great’ — that have become a defin­ing slo­gan of the Hin­du nation­al­ist move­ment. . . .”
3.–The fus­ing of Ramde­v’s polit­i­cal endeav­ors on behalf of Modi and the RSS with his com­mer­cial activ­i­ties: ” . . . . Ramdev has been a promi­nent voice on the Hin­du right, and his tac­it endorse­ment dur­ing the land­mark 2014 cam­paign helped bring Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi to pow­er. He appeared along­side Modi on sev­er­al occa­sions, singing the leader’s prais­es and urg­ing Indi­ans to turn out for him. Ramdev has called Modi ‘a close friend,’ and the prime min­is­ter pub­licly lauds Patanjali’s array of ayurvedic prod­ucts — med­i­cines, cos­met­ics and food­stuffs. . . . ”
4.–The favored treat­ment afford­ed Ramdev and his Patan­jali busi­ness by the Modi regime: ” . . . . One thing is cer­tain: Ramdev has received extra­or­di­nary favors from the Indi­an gov­ern­ment since Modi was elect­ed. Soon after the 2014 elec­tion, B.J.P.-led state gov­ern­ments across India began facil­i­tat­ing steep dis­counts on land pur­chas­es for Patan­jali. . . . In the largest of these deals, Patan­jali was giv­en a 1,200-acre par­cel of land in the east­ern state of Assam at no cost. Accord­ing to state leg­is­la­ture doc­u­ments I was shown by a local aca­d­e­m­ic, the deal was made by an agency con­trolled by the Bodoland People’s Front, a par­ty aligned with the B.J.P. Last year a Reuters inves­ti­ga­tion doc­u­ment­ed sev­er­al dis­count­ed land sales and leas­es in three oth­er Indi­an states that saved the com­pa­ny a total of $46 mil­lion. . . .”
5.–Ramdev, the  B.J.P. as vehi­cles to erad­i­cate Com­mu­nist influ­ence in parts of India: The RSS has become more vis­i­ble since Modi’s 2014 vic­to­ry. The group and its affil­i­ates have built hun­dreds of schools and job-train­ing cen­ters in Assam and oth­er north­east­ern states in recent years. I vis­it­ed sev­er­al and saw unmis­tak­able signs of the RSS ide­o­log­i­cal pro­gram. . . . All this hard indoc­tri­na­tion work has paid off. In 2016, the B.J.P. won con­trol of Assam’s state gov­ern­ment in leg­isla­tive elec­tions. And in March of this year, the par­ty won stun­ning elec­toral upsets in two adja­cent north­east­ern states, where left­ist par­ties had dom­i­nat­ed for decades. There was talk of a ‘saf­fron wave’ that might spread to the south Indi­an regions, includ­ing Com­mu­nist-dom­i­nat­ed Ker­ala, that have long resist­ed the advance of Hin­du nation­al­ism. Many Indi­an polit­i­cal ana­lysts said the RSS’s grass-roots work was essen­tial to the recent elec­toral vic­to­ries. But one RSS vol­un­teer in Assam, a con­struc­tion con­trac­tor, told me Ramdev’s pres­ence and his yoga pro­mo­tion had been very influ­en­tial, too. . . .”
6.–The dove­tail­ing of Modi/B.J.P. assist­ed Patan­jali oper­a­tions with the Indi­an military–specifically, the Indi­an Air Force:  “. . . . After admir­ing the cook­ie plant and its 300-foot oven, we drove across a deli­cious­ly smooth, medi­an-free stretch of pave­ment that resem­bled a run­way. In fact, it is a run­way, built in con­sul­ta­tion with the Indi­an Air Force so that jet fight­ers can take off and land on it, Singh told me. ‘We will ded­i­cate this to the nation in case there is need for an extra airstrip,’ he said, and then added with a know­ing look, ‘We are near Chi­na.’ Patan­jali seems almost to view itself as an exten­sion of the state — or rather, an illus­tra­tion of what has become a ‘state-tem­ple-cor­po­rate com­plex,’ in the apt phrase of the Indi­an author Meera Nan­da. . . .”
7.–Evident sim­i­lar­i­ties between Ramde­v’s “swadeshi”–“economic nationalism”–with Mus­solin­i’s con­cept of the Cor­po­rate State and Hitler’s Nation­al Social­ism: ” . . . . Ramdev has led vast­ly pop­u­lar cam­paigns against cor­rup­tion, don­ning the man­tle of swadeshi, or Indi­an eco­nom­ic nation­al­ism, to cast for­eign com­pa­nies as neo­colo­nial vil­lains. In a sense, Ramdev has changed Hin­duism itself. . . .”
8.–Evident sim­i­lar­i­ties between the “eco­nom­ic xeno­pho­bia” pro­pelling Don­ald Trump’s tar­iffs and trade wars and the swadeshi/economic nation­al­ism of Ramdev and com­pa­ny: ” . . . . When it comes to mar­ket­ing against for­eign com­peti­tors, they wield their holi­ness like a club. One Patan­jali ad runs: ‘As East India Com­pa­ny plun­dered our coun­try for 200 years like­wise these multi­na­tion­als are exploit­ing our coun­try by sell­ing their harm­ful and dan­ger­ous chem­i­cal prod­ucts. Beware!’ . . . .”
9.–Ramdev’s seam­less meld­ing with the anti-Mus­lim ide­ol­o­gy of the RSS, man­i­fest­ing the strate­gic and tac­ti­cal demo­niza­tion of the “malev­o­lent oth­er” that char­ac­ter­izes so many iter­a­tions of fas­cism: ” . . . . Ramdev has changed Hin­duism itself. His blend of patri­ot­ic fer­vor, health and reli­gious piety flows seam­less­ly into the hard­er ver­sions of Hin­du nation­al­ism, which are often open­ly hos­tile to India’s 172 mil­lion Mus­lims. Although Ramdev prefers to speak of Indi­an sol­i­dar­i­ty, his B.J.P. allies rou­tine­ly invoke an Islam­ic threat and ral­ly crowds with vows to build tem­ples on the sites of medieval mosques. . . . .”
10.–Ramdev’s atavis­tic pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with the myth­i­cal­ly ide­al­ized past anti-Mus­lim fer­vor at times bor­ders on incite­ment to vio­lence: ” . . . . And the nation, in Ramdev’s telling, is sub­tly twinned with a his­to­ry and cul­ture that is dis­tinct­ly Hin­du: yoga, ayurvedic med­i­cine and the ancient Vedic scrip­tures from which they are said to have emerged. Some­times the hints are not so sub­tle. Two years ago, when a Mus­lim politi­cian refused to chant a nation­al­ist slo­gan, Ramdev laid into him at a right-wing ral­ly, say­ing that were it not for his respect for the law, “we would behead hun­dreds of thou­sands” of such peo­ple. A court lat­er issued a war­rant for Ramdev’s arrest, though the mat­ter appears to have been dropped. . . .”
11.–Similarities between Ramdev and Trump: ” . . . . In his own way, Ramdev is India’s answer to Don­ald Trump, and there is much spec­u­la­tion that he may run for prime min­is­ter him­self. Like Trump, he heads a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar empire. And like Trump, he is a bom­bas­tic TV per­son­al­i­ty whose rela­tion­ship with truth is elas­tic; he can­not resist a brand­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty — his name and face are every­where in India. . . .”
12.–Ramdev’s manip­u­la­tion of the actu­al his­to­ry of Yoga to fit into his “Ancient Vedic” the­o­log­i­cal pol­i­tics: ” . . . . This nar­ra­tive about yoga’s ancient roots has become a sacra­ment for Hin­du nation­al­ists, and it is echoed in the West. But it is most­ly myth, an ide­al­ized ori­gin sto­ry of the kind so many would-be nation-builders. . . . The old­est Hin­du scrip­tures con­tain almost no men­tion of phys­i­cal pos­tures. Even the Yoga Sutras, the so-called bible of yoga, include only a few short vers­es sug­gest­ing com­fort­able pos­tures for sit­ting. Many of the pos­tures prac­ticed in yoga today appear to have emerged in the 19th and ear­ly 20th cen­turies. Dozens of mod­ern ash­tan­ga yoga pos­tures are sim­i­lar or iden­ti­cal to those found in a gym­nas­tic rou­tine intro­duced to India by the British in the first decades of the 20th cen­tu­ry and orig­i­nal­ly devel­oped by a Dan­ish fit­ness instruc­tor named Niels Bukh, who lat­er became noto­ri­ous for his pro-Nazi sym­pa­thies. [The asso­ci­a­tion between Nazism and yoga will be high­light­ed lat­er on in the discussion–D.E.] . . .”
13.–A miss­ing and very pos­si­bly impor­tant chap­ter in Ramde­v’s per­son­al his­to­ry: miss­ing years in his young adult­hood, rais­ing the ques­tion of where he was and what was he doing? We won­der, in that same con­text, who put up the ven­ture cap­i­tal to launch Ramde­v’s yoga and ayurvedic prod­ucts busi­ness­es: ” . . . . He was born to a poor farm fam­i­ly in north-cen­tral India, prob­a­bly in 1965 (he has always been vague about his age) and giv­en the name Ram Kisan Yadav. . . .  As a teenag­er, he left home for a gurukul. The years that fol­lowed are curi­ous­ly blank; Ramdev has said very lit­tle about them, some­times claim­ing he doesn’t remem­ber. What is clear is that in 1995 he became a monk and assumed his cur­rent name after a rev­e­la­tion . . . .”
14.–Ramdev has been accused of some dark acts, includ­ing foul play: ” . . . . One for­mer high-lev­el exec­u­tive at Patan­jali, who worked at the com­pa­ny for sev­er­al years, spoke to me on con­di­tion of anonymi­ty, say­ing he feared retal­i­a­tion. When I asked him why he left, he said of Ramdev: ‘Because he’s a crook. Because he’s a hyp­ocrite.’ He rat­tled off a sheaf of shock­ing claims about fraud and employ­ee abuse. . . . . One sto­ry involved Ramdev’s broth­er, Ram Bharat, who was arrest­ed in 2013 and accused of kid­nap­ping and impris­on­ing a work­er sus­pect­ed of theft (the charges were lat­er dropped). Anoth­er for­mer Patan­jali exec­u­tive told me sim­i­lar sto­ries and added that he began receiv­ing threat­en­ing phone calls after he refused to facil­i­tate what he saw as kick­back schemes. He com­plained to Balkr­ish­na, he said, but the calls con­tin­ued and — feel­ing his life might be in dan­ger — he resigned. . . .”
15.–Ramdev’s grav­i­tas has spawned fear in crit­ics: ” . . . . One Assamese uni­ver­si­ty pro­fes­sor, who asked not to be named because he feared for his safe­ty, told me that Ramdev had abet­ted the RSS’s efforts to ‘ques­tion all oth­er reli­gions here, any­thing non-Hin­du.’ He also said Patan­jali — embold­ened by its ties to the Modi gov­ern­ment — had run roughshod over laws reg­u­lat­ing the har­vest of med­i­c­i­nal plants. . . .”
16.–Ramdev has been sus­pect­ed of foul play: ” . . . . In 2007, Ramdev’s own guru, a man named Shankar Dev, dis­ap­peared with­out a trace after falling into pover­ty and ill­ness, and ques­tions were raised about Ramdev’s neglect of him. (Because Dev ini­ti­at­ed Ramdev into monk­hood, Ramdev would have been expect­ed to treat him like a par­ent.) In 2010, Rajeev Dix­it, one of Ramdev’s clos­est advis­ers, who taught him about swadeshi eco­nom­ics and helped make Patan­jali a nation­al brand, died sud­den­ly. Some of his friends believe that Ramdev resent­ed Dixit’s own ris­ing celebri­ty, and they pub­licly spec­u­lat­ed about foul play. . . .”
17.–Similarities between the RSS/Ramdev polit­i­cal agen­da and ide­ol­o­gy and Hitler’s hail­ing of Nation­al Social­ism as cre­at­ing a “new man.” ” . . . . Patan­jali ran more than 380 work­shops for prospec­tive employ­ees, where it taught a ‘val­ue sys­tem.’ Assam’s peo­ple, he explained, had ‘bad habits,’ includ­ing eat­ing non­veg­e­tar­i­an food and a lack of prop­er respect for the nation. ‘They’ve been lis­ten­ing to cor­rupt pol­i­tics from cor­rupt peo­ple for too long,’ he said. ‘We take what our sages said thou­sands of years ago and put it to use. We didn’t invent it. We took what’s avail­able in our scrip­tures and put it in a mod­ern for­mat.’ In oth­er words, they incul­cate Hin­dut­va. . . .”


FTR #1017 Supreme Court Trump Card: Family Trump, Family [Anthony] Kennedy and Peter Thiel

 Much has been said about Don­ald Trump’s nom­i­na­tion of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to become a Supreme Court jus­tice, replac­ing Antho­ny Kennnedy.

In this pro­gram, we high­light exten­sive net­work­ing between the Trump and Kennedy fam­i­lies and, in turn, some appar­ent “deep net­work­ing” between some of the indi­vid­u­als in the Trump/Kennedy nexus and insti­tu­tions linked to key ele­ments of the remark­able and dead­ly Bor­mann flight cap­i­tal net­work.

Deutsche Bank and the shad­ow of the I.G. Far­ben chem­i­cal com­plex fig­ure into the lat­ter part of this equa­tion.

The con­nec­tions between the fam­i­ly of Antho­ny Kennedy and the Trump milieu run deep. Antho­ny Kennedy’s son Justin was  Trump’s  banker at Deutsche Bank. In FTR #919, we ana­lyzed a New York Times arti­cle high­light­ing Don­ald Trump’s alto­geth­er opaque real estate devel­op­ments and evi­dence that those projects had sig­nif­i­cant links to ele­ments of the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work.

In that pro­gram we set forth the pri­ma­ry role of Deutsche Bank in financ­ing Trump’s real estate projects.

” . . . While many big banks have shunned him, Deutsche Bank AG has been a stead­fast finan­cial backer of the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial candidate’s busi­ness inter­ests. Since 1998, the bank has led or par­tic­i­pat­ed in loans of at least $2.5 bil­lion to com­pa­nies affil­i­at­ed with Mr. Trump, accord­ing to a Wall Street Jour­nal analy­sis of pub­lic records and peo­ple famil­iar with the mat­ter. That doesn’t include at least anoth­er $1 bil­lion in loan com­mit­ments that Deutsche Bank made to Trump-affil­i­at­ed enti­ties. The long-stand­ing con­nec­tion makes Frank­furt-based Deutsche Bank, which has a large U.S. oper­a­tion and has been grap­pling with rep­u­ta­tion­al prob­lems and an almost 50% stock-price decline, the finan­cial insti­tu­tion with prob­a­bly the strongest ties to the con­tro­ver­sial New York busi­ness­man. . . .”

The fact that Deutsche Bank is the pri­ma­ry finan­cial backer of “Trump Incor­po­rat­ed” is of pri­ma­ry impor­tance. The bank is cen­tral to the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work.

The con­nec­tions between the fam­i­ly of Antho­ny Kennedy and the Trump milieu run deep. Antho­ny Kennedy’s son Justin was  Trump’s  banker at Deutsche Bank.

Fur­ther­more, jurists who clerked for Antho­ny Kennedy fig­ure promi­nent­ly in Trump’s judi­cial appoint­ments:

1.–” . . . . He [Trump] picked Jus­tice Neil M. Gor­such, who had served as a law clerk to Jus­tice Kennedy, to fill Jus­tice Scalia’s seat. . . .”
2.–” . . . . Then, after Jus­tice Gorsuch’s nom­i­na­tion was announced, a White House offi­cial sin­gled out two can­di­dates for the next Supreme Court vacan­cy: Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of the Unit­ed States Court of Appeals for the Dis­trict of Colum­bia Cir­cuit and Judge Ray­mond M. Keth­ledge of the Unit­ed States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Cir­cuit, in Cincin­nati. The two judges had some­thing in com­mon: They had both clerked for Jus­tice Kennedy. . . .”
3.–” . . . . In the mean­time, as the White House turned to stock­ing the low­er courts, it did not over­look Jus­tice Kennedy’s clerks. Mr. Trump nom­i­nat­ed three of them to fed­er­al appeals courts: Judges Stephanos Bibas and Michael Scud­der, both of whom have been con­firmed, and Eric Mur­phy, the Ohio solic­i­tor gen­er­al, whom Mr. Trump nom­i­nat­ed to the Sixth Cir­cuit this month. . . .”
4.–” . . . . Jus­tice Kennedy’s son, Justin . . . . spent more than a decade at Deutsche Bank, even­tu­al­ly ris­ing to become the bank’s glob­al head of real estate cap­i­tal mar­kets, and he worked close­ly with Mr. Trump when he was a real estate devel­op­er, accord­ing to two peo­ple with knowl­edge of his role. Dur­ing Mr. Kennedy’s tenure, Deutsche Bank became Mr. Trump’s most impor­tant lender, dis­pens­ing well over $1 bil­lion in loans to him for the ren­o­va­tion and con­struc­tion of sky­scrap­ers in New York and Chica­go at a time oth­er main­stream banks were wary of doing busi­ness with him because of his trou­bled busi­ness his­to­ry. . . .”

After Kennedy left Deutsche Bank in 2009 he went on to become co-CEO LNR Prop­er­ty LLC. LNR Prop­er­ty saved Jared Kushner’s mid­town Man­hat­tan prop­er­ty in 2011:

1.–” . . . . from 2010–2013 Justin Kennedy was the co-CEO of LNR Prop­er­ty LLC with Tobin Cobb. . . .”
2.–” . . . . Accord­ing the New York Times, in 2007 Kush­n­er Com­pa­nies pur­chased ‘an alu­minum-clad office tow­er in Mid­town Man­hat­tan, for a record price of $1.8 bil­lion.’ At the time the NYT wrote that this deal was ‘con­sid­ered a clas­sic exam­ple of reck­less under­writ­ing. The trans­ac­tion was so high­ly lever­aged that the cash flow from rents amount­ed to only 65 per­cent of the debt ser­vice.’ . . .”
3.– ” . . . Who came to the res­cue? None oth­er than LNR Prop­er­ty, the com­pa­ny whose CEO at the time was Justin Kennedy. Accord­ing to the NYT and the Real Deal, Mr. Kush­n­er and LNR ‘reached a pos­si­ble agree­ment with LNR Prop­er­ty, a firm spe­cial­iz­ing in restruc­tur­ing trou­bled debt and which over­sees the mort­gage, that would allow him to retain con­trol of the tow­er by mod­i­fy­ing the terms of the $1.2 bil­lion mort­gage tied to the office por­tion of the build­ing.’ . . .”

The links between Trump­World and Antho­ny Kennedy’s sons is deep­er still. Kennedy’s oth­er son Gre­go­ry, has long-stand­ing ties to Trump Sil­i­con Val­ley advis­er Peter Thiel, whom we first ana­lyzed in FTR #718.

” . . . . . . . . Kennedy’s seat, mean­time, seemed des­tined to go to Kavanaugh, thanks in part to the glow­ing review of Kennedy, whose son, Justin, knows Don­ald Trump Jr. through New York real estate cir­cles, and whose oth­er adult child has con­nec­tions to Trump World via the president’s 2016 Sil­i­con Val­ley advis­er Peter Thiel, most recent­ly when the Kennedy firm Dis­rup­tive Tech­nol­o­gy Advis­ers worked with Thiel’s Palan­tir Tech­nolo­gies. . . .”

Gre­go­ry Kennedy’s DTA has an unusu­al­ly close rela­tion­ship with Palan­tir, a com­pa­ny that has helped the Trump admin­is­tra­tion.

Kennedy’s DTA has oth­er per­son­al con­nec­tions to Palan­tir. Alex Fish­man and Alex Davis, two oth­er DTA founders, “enjoyed a very close rela­tion­ship” with Palan­tir co-founder Alex Karp, accord­ing to the law­suit.

It should be not­ed that the alleged secre­cy with which Palan­tir treats its oper­at­ing and invest­ing infor­ma­tion is char­ac­ter­is­tic of Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tions. A clos­et­ed, insid­ers-only oper­at­ing eth­ic serves the need for this con­sum­mate­ly pow­er­ful orga­ni­za­tion to main­tain a rel­a­tive­ly low pro­file, even as it gains pow­er, influ­ence and wealth.

” . . . . Yet Palan­tir — whose stock changes hands only through pri­vate trades — goes to great lengths to keep any detailed infor­ma­tion about its busi­ness pri­vate. . . .”

A law­suit by Palan­tir investor KT4 Part­ners alleges that Palan­tir is ille­gal­ly block­ing investors from sell­ing shares in the com­pa­ny and that Kennedy’s Dis­rup­tive Tech­nol­o­gy Advi­sors (DTA) is a key part­ner and ben­e­fi­cia­ry of this strat­e­gy.

KT4 claims that when it tried to sell its shares of Palan­tir to a third-par­ty, Palan­tir would have DTA con­tact the third-par­ty and con­vince them to have Palan­tir sells them the shares direct­ly instead. DTA would then col­lect a com­mis­sion.

The cen­tral dynam­ic in the alle­ga­tions of plain­tiff (and Palan­tir investor) KT4 is set forth as fol­lows: ” . . . . But remark­ably, KT4 claims that when Palan­tir receives infor­ma­tion from an investor about a planned sale, it uses that infor­ma­tion to con­tact the buy­er and per­suade them instead to buy shares direct­ly from the com­pa­ny or from cer­tain Palan­tir insid­ers. One par­tic­u­lar bro­ker, Dis­rup­tive Tech­nol­o­gy Advis­ers, or DTA, repeat­ed­ly gets com­mis­sions from these sales, even when it ‘per­formed no legit­i­mate work,’ KT4 claims. KT4 says it expe­ri­enced inter­fer­ence by Palan­tir when it tried to sell shares to High­bridge Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment, a hedge fund that was owned by JPMor­gan Chase, in May 2015. After KT4 noti­fied Palan­tir of the planned sale, Palan­tir turned around and instruct­ed DTA to ‘take the oppor­tu­ni­ty, on Palantir’s behalf,‘and arrange a sale from Palan­tir to High­bridge instead, accord­ing to the law­suit. . . .”

In FTR #946, we exam­ined Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, its Trump and Steve Ban­non-linked tech firm that har­vest­ed Face­book data on behalf of the Trump cam­paign.

Peter Thiel’s Palan­tir was appar­ent­ly deeply involved with Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca’s gam­ing of per­son­al data har­vest­ed from Face­book in order to engi­neer an elec­toral vic­to­ry for Trump, set­ting the GOP cam­paign to con­trol the Supreme Court in a deep­er, broad­er con­text.

Thiel was an ear­ly investor in Face­book, at one point was its largest share­hold­er and is still one of its largest share­hold­ers. ” . . . . It was a Palan­tir employ­ee in Lon­don, work­ing close­ly with the data sci­en­tists build­ing Cambridge’s psy­cho­log­i­cal pro­fil­ing tech­nol­o­gy, who sug­gest­ed the sci­en­tists cre­ate their own app — a mobile-phone-based per­son­al­i­ty quiz — to gain access to Face­book users’ friend net­works, accord­ing to doc­u­ments obtained by The New York Times. The rev­e­la­tions pulled Palan­tir — co-found­ed by the wealthy lib­er­tar­i­an Peter Thiel — into the furor sur­round­ing Cam­bridge, which improp­er­ly obtained Face­book data to build ana­lyt­i­cal tools it deployed on behalf of Don­ald J. Trump and oth­er Repub­li­can can­di­dates in 2016. Mr. Thiel, a sup­port­er of Pres­i­dent Trump, serves on the board at Face­book. ‘There were senior Palan­tir employ­ees that were also work­ing on the Face­book data,’ said Christo­pher Wylie, a data expert and Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca co-founder, in tes­ti­mo­ny before British law­mak­ers on Tues­day. . . . The con­nec­tions between Palan­tir and Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca were thrust into the spot­light by Mr. Wylie’s tes­ti­mo­ny on Tues­day. Both com­pa­nies are linked to tech-dri­ven bil­lion­aires who backed Mr. Trump’s cam­paign: Cam­bridge is chiefly owned by Robert Mer­cer, the com­put­er sci­en­tist and hedge fund mag­nate, while Palan­tir was co-found­ed in 2003 by Mr. Thiel, who was an ini­tial investor in Face­book. . . .”

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

1.–Review of Peter Thiel’s high regard for Carl Schmitt: “. . . . a Nazi and the Third Reich’s pre­em­i­nent legal the­o­rist. For Thiel, Schmitt is an inspir­ing throw­back to a pre-Enlight­en­ment age, who exalts strug­gle and insists that the dis­cov­ery of ene­mies is the foun­da­tion of pol­i­tics. . .” 
2.–Review of Peter Thiel’s ear­ly legal expe­ri­ence with Sul­li­van & Cromwell, the Dulles law firm.
3.–A recount­ing of the role of John Fos­ter Dulles and Sul­li­van & Cromwell’s roles in the for­ma­tion of I.G. Far­ben.
4.–Review of Thiel’s Ger­man her­itage and his father’s prob­a­ble role with one of the I.G. suc­ces­sor com­pa­nies.


FTR #1015 Update on Hindutva Fascism

In numer­ous pro­grams, we have high­light­ed the Nazi tract Ser­pen­t’s Walk, which deals, in part, with the reha­bil­i­ta­tion of the Third Reich’s rep­u­ta­tion and the trans­for­ma­tion of Hitler into a hero.

In FTR #‘s 988 and 989, 990, 991, and 992, we detailed the Hin­dut­va fas­cism of Naren­dra Modi, his BJP Par­ty and sup­port­ive ele­ments, trac­ing the evo­lu­tion of Hin­dut­va fas­cism through the assas­si­na­tion of Mahat­ma Gand­hi to the present time.

Mod­i’s BJP is a polit­i­cal cat’s paw for the RSS, the Hin­dut­va fas­cist orga­ni­za­tion that mur­dered Gand­hi.

It appears that a Ser­pen­t’s Walk sce­nario is indeed unfold­ing in India.

As the say­ing goes, you can’t judge a book by its cov­er. There are excep­tions: When a children’s book is enti­tled “Great Lead­ers” and has a pic­ture of Adolf Hitler stand­ing next to Barack Oba­ma, Mahat­ma Gand­hi, and Nel­son Man­dela, that’s a book cov­er that sug­gests this book should be skipped.

Key points of analy­sis and dis­cus­sion include:

1.–Narendra Mod­i’s pres­ence on the same book cov­er (along with Gand­hi, Man­dela, Oba­ma and Hitler.)
2.–Modi him­self has his own polit­i­cal his­to­ry with children’s books that pro­mote Hitler as a great leader: ” . . . . In 2004, reports sur­faced of high-school text­books in the state of Gujarat, which was then led by Mr. Modi, that spoke glow­ing­ly of Nazism and fas­cism. Accord­ing to ‘The Times of India,’ in a sec­tion called ‘Ide­ol­o­gy of Nazism,’ the text­book said Hitler had ‘lent dig­ni­ty and pres­tige to the Ger­man gov­ern­ment,’ ‘made untir­ing efforts to make Ger­many self-reliant’ and ‘instilled the spir­it of adven­ture in the com­mon peo­ple.’  . . . .”
3.–In India, many have a favor­able view of Hitler: ” . . . . as far back as 2002, the Times of India report­ed a sur­vey that found that 17 per­cent of stu­dents in elite Indi­an col­leges ‘favored Adolf Hitler as the kind of leader India ought to have.’ . . . . Con­sid­er Mein Kampf, Hitler’s auto­bi­og­ra­phy. Reviled it might be in the much of the world, but Indi­ans buy thou­sands of copies of it every month. As a recent paper in the jour­nal EPW tells us (PDF), there are over a dozen Indi­an pub­lish­ers who have edi­tions of the book on the mar­ket. Jaico, for exam­ple, print­ed its 55th edi­tion in 2010, claim­ing to have sold 100,000 copies in the pre­vi­ous sev­en years. (Con­trast this to the 3,000 copies my own 2009 book, Road­run­ner, has sold). In a coun­try where 10,000 copies sold makes a book a best­seller, these are sig­nif­i­cant num­bers. . . .”
4.–A class­room of school chil­dren filled with fans of Hitler had a very dif­fer­ent sen­ti­ment about Gand­hi. ” . . . . ‘He’s a cow­ard!’ That’s the obvi­ous flip side of this love of Hitler in India. It’s an implic­it rejec­tion of Gand­hi. . . .”
5.–Apparently, Mein Kampf has achieved grav­i­tas among busi­ness stu­dents in India: ” . . . . What’s more, there’s a steady trick­le of reports that say it has become a must-read for busi­ness-school stu­dents; a man­age­ment guide much like Spencer Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese or Edward de Bono’s Lat­er­al Think­ing. If this undis­tin­guished artist could take an entire coun­try with him, I imag­ine the rea­son­ing goes, sure­ly his book has some lessons for future cap­tains of indus­try? . . . .”
6.–Hitler’s shock­ing­ly pop­u­lar rep­u­ta­tion in India, is due, in part, to the efforts of Bal Thack­er­ay, the now deceased chief of the Shiv Sena par­ty which is a long-stand­ing BJP ally. ” . . . .Thack­er­ay freely, open­ly, and often admit­ted his admi­ra­tion for Hitler, his book, the Nazis, and their meth­ods. In 1993, for exam­ple, he gave an inter­view to Time mag­a­zine. ‘There is noth­ing wrong,’ he said then, ‘if [Indi­an] Mus­lims are treat­ed as Jews were in Nazi Ger­many.’ This inter­view came only months after the Decem­ber 1992 and Jan­u­ary 1993 riots in Mum­bai, which left about a thou­sand Indi­ans slaugh­tered, the major­i­ty of them Mus­lim. Thack­er­ay was active right through those weeks, writ­ing edi­to­r­i­al after edi­to­r­i­al in his par­ty mouth­piece, ‘Saam­na’ (‘Con­fronta­tion’) about how to ‘treat’ Mus­lims. . . .”
7.–Again, Thack­er­ay felt that the treat­ment Hitler met­ed out to the Jews should be met­ed out to Mus­lims: ” . . . . Thack­er­ay said this about the führer’s famous auto­bi­og­ra­phy: ‘If you take Mein Kampf and if you remove the word Jew and put in the word Mus­lim, that is what I believe in.’ . . . .”

Next, we fur­ther devel­op the oper­a­tional link between Pierre Omid­yar (of EBay and Inter­cept fame) and Naren­dra Mod­i’s BJP (a polit­i­cal front for the Hin­dut­va fas­cist RSS. (We cov­ered this in–among oth­er programs–FTR #889.)

Jayant Sin­ha, the lead advi­sor for the Omid­yar Net­work in India became Naren­dra Modi’s finance min­is­ter and is now a mem­ber of par­lia­ment. Sin­ha gar­land­ed (adorned with flow­ers) eight men con­vict­ed of killing a meat trad­er last year as part of a far right Hin­du nation­al “cow vig­i­lan­tism” cam­paign. The killing was caught on video. One of the killers was a local BJP leader.

The killing  of Alimud­din Ansari took place a day after Modi belat­ed­ly pro­claimed that “killing peo­ple in the name of cow pro­tec­tion unac­cept­able.”

Pri­or to Mod­i’s state­ment, cow vig­i­lan­tism had been going on for years with a mut­ed response from Modi’s gov­ern­ment.

As a result of Mod­i’s state­ment, the eleven peo­ple involved with the killing were sent to a fast track court and giv­en life sen­tences in March, mak­ing it the FIRST suc­cess­ful con­vic­tion over an act of cow vig­i­lan­tism.

Sin­ha protest­ed that con­vic­tion, claim­ing that he was con­vinced that jus­tice was not done. He then demand­ed that the case be probed again, but by the Cen­tral Bureau of Inves­ti­ga­tion this time.

Fast for­ward to today: eight of the con­vict­ed were released on bail, while they appeal their con­vic­tion. They then trav­eled to Sinha’s res­i­dence where they were fet­ed.

The sym­bol­ic impor­tance of cow vig­i­lan­tism isn’t sim­ply a demon­stra­tion of the BJP’s will­ing­ness to cater to Hin­dut­va fas­cist ide­ol­o­gy. The focus on the cow is part of the atavis­tic, anti-mod­ernist, anti-plu­ral­ist nar­ra­tive the BJP and its ide­o­log­i­cal RSS par­ent have been pro­mot­ing.

Cow vig­i­lan­tism is cen­tral to a nar­ra­tive that exalts a myth­i­cal time of Brah­man­ic puri­ty that alleged­ly exist­ed before the arrival of the British and Mus­lims on the Indi­an sub­con­ti­nent.

Because low­er caste Hin­dus and Mus­lims who con­sume beef in India, the cow vig­i­lan­tism pro­vides a con­ve­nient proxy issue to excuse attacks on those seen as ‘oth­er’ by the Hin­du nation­al­ists.

As the arti­cle puts it, a cru­cial ingre­di­ent to Modi’s polit­i­cal suc­cess has been tap­ping into a nos­tal­gic impulse for a pur­er past. The sacred­ness of the cow has come to sym­bol­ize that Hin­du nation­al­ist dri­ve for nation­al renew­al.

” . . . . Under this world­view, the gold­en age of Hin­du rule in the Vedic peri­od, sub­se­quent­ly sul­lied by for­eign pollutants—the British, yes, but the rapa­cious Mus­lim in particular—is to be chan­neled into twen­ty-first-cen­tu­ry renew­al, pilot­ed by an arbi­trary set of “Hin­du val­ues.” And fore­most among these is the invi­o­la­bil­i­ty of the cow. . . .

. . . . The BJP, as well as its ide­o­log­i­cal par­ent orga­ni­za­tion the Rashtriya Swayam­se­vak Sangh, ped­dle a ver­sion of nation­al­ism that pri­or­i­tizes exclu­siv­i­ty, in which Indi­ans are rigid­ly defined by eth­nic­i­ty and reli­gion. The trope of the cow is thus a con­ve­nient instru­ment, mea­sur­ing the alle­giance to the nation along gastronomical—and there­by spiritual—lines. Non-Hin­dus are deemed a sur­plus pop­u­la­tion, and vio­lence against them is sanc­tioned in an attempt to cleanse the true body politic. . . .”

In our dis­cus­sions with Peter Lev­en­da, we have set forth the man­ner in which fas­cism mobi­lizes xeno­pho­bic, eugeni­cist long­ing for a myth­i­cal “pur­er past” to gain and ral­ly adher­ents.

” . . . . But the cru­cial ingre­di­ent is the way Modi has tapped into the nos­tal­gic impulse. Svet­lana Boym, a Russ­ian-Amer­i­can philol­o­gist, has described this as the ‘his­tor­i­cal emo­tion’ of moder­ni­ty, and argued that attempts to cre­ate a ‘phan­tom home­land’ through ahis­tor­i­cal restora­tion would only breed mon­strous con­se­quences. As she writes in The Future of Nos­tal­gia, it is a ‘restora­tive nos­tal­gia’ that ‘is at the core of recent nation­al and reli­gious revivals. It knows two main plots—the return to ori­gins and the con­spir­a­cy.’

And so we inhab­it a land­scape where MAGA caps, Lit­tle Eng­land, the Hin­du Rash­tra, and the Islam­ic Caliphate have arrest­ed the imag­i­na­tion of mil­lions. These are all over­tures to an Edenic past, promis­ing an order that pre­serves tra­di­tion by puri­fy­ing soci­ety of con­ta­gion. . . .”

In our dis­cus­sions with Peter Lev­en­da, we have set forth the man­ner in which fas­cism mobi­lizes xeno­pho­bic, eugeni­cist long­ing for a myth­i­cal “pur­er past” to gain and ral­ly adher­ents.

With 2017 now in the rear view mir­ror, we con­clude the pro­gram by cap­ping our revul­sion at the Bay Area’s 50th anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tions of the Sum­mer of Love (1967.) In FTR #991, we detailed the Hin­dut­va fascist/Nazi phi­los­o­phy of Hare Krish­na cult founder and head guru A.C. Bhak­tivedan­ta Swa­mi Prab­hu­pa­da.

On 1/29/1967, Prab­hu­pa­da and his cult were the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of monies gen­er­at­ed by a con­cert and dance fea­tur­ing the lead­ing San Fran­cis­co psy­che­del­ic-era rock bands. The event also fea­tured par­tic­i­pa­tion by LSD guru Tim­o­thy Leary, whose activ­i­ties and career are inex­tri­ca­bly linked with the CIA.

Pro­gram High­lights:

1.–Hare Krish­na cult founder Bhak­tivedan­ta Swami’s fun­da­men­tal oppo­si­tion to democ­ra­cy. “So monar­chy or dic­ta­tor­ship is wel­come. . . . Per­son­al­ly, I like this posi­tion, dic­ta­tor­ship. Per­son­al­ly, I like this.”
2.–Bhaktivedanta Swami’s teach­ings dove­tail superbly with Nazi occult phi­los­o­phy. ” . . . . Bhak­tivedan­ta Swa­mi, how­ev­er, speaks exten­sive­ly about ‘the Aryans’–at least twen­ty-five of his pur­ports and over a hun­dred lec­tures and con­ver­sa­tions con­tain lengthy elab­o­ra­tions on the top­ic. He places all those whom he calls ‘non-Aryan’ in a cat­e­go­ry sim­i­lar to his ‘unwant­ed pop­u­la­tion,’ thus divid­ing humans into two groups: a large group of var­na sankara  and non-Aryans on one side, and a small group of Aryans,  ie those who fol­low var­nashram, on the oth­er: ‘Those who tra­di­tion­al­ly fol­low these prin­ci­ples are called Aryans, or pro­gres­sive human beings.’ ‘The Vedic way of life,’ he writes, ‘is the pro­gres­sive march of civ­i­liza­tion of the Aryans.’ ‘In the his­to­ry of the human race, the Aryan fam­i­ly is con­sid­ered to be the most ele­vat­ed com­mu­ni­ty in the world.’ . . . . In more than one fifth of his state­ments he clear­ly describes or defines them in racial terms: The Aryan fam­i­ly is dis­trib­uted all over the world and is known as Indo-Aryan. The Aryans are white. But here, this side, due to cli­mat­ic influ­ence, they are a lit­tle tan. Indi­ans are tan but they are not black. But Aryans are all white. And the non-Aryans, they are called black. Yes . . .”
3.–Bhaktivedanta Swami’s phi­los­o­phy saw Euro­peans and Amer­i­cans as part of, and exten­sions of, the Aryan race. Note that he, also, invokes the myth­i­cal lost past, in which Aryan/Brahmanic cul­ture became degrad­ed. In an address to a French audi­ence, he intoned as fol­lows: ” . . . . So we all belong to the Aryan fam­i­ly. His­tor­i­cal ref­er­ence is there, Indo-Euro­pean fam­i­ly. So Aryan stock was on the cen­tral Asia. Some of them migrat­ed to India. Some of them migrat­ed to Europe. And from Europe you have come. So we belong to the Aryan fam­i­ly, but we have lost our knowl­edge. So we have become non-Aryan, prac­ti­cal­ly. You French peo­ple, you are also Aryan fam­i­ly, but the cul­ture is lost now. So this Krish­na con­scious­ness move­ment is actu­al­ly reviv­ing the orig­i­nal Aryan cul­ture. Bhara­ta. We are all inhab­i­tants of Bharatavar­sha, but as we lost our cul­ture, it became divid­ed.  So on the whole, the con­clu­sion is that the Aryans spread in Europe also, and the Amer­i­cans, they also spread from Europe. So the intel­li­gent class of human being, they belong to the Aryans. Aryan fam­i­ly. Just like Hitler claimed that he belonged to the Aryan fam­i­ly. Of course, they belonged to the Aryan fam­i­lies. . . .”
4.–It should  come as  no sur­prise that Bhak­tivedan­ta was pro-Hitler, view­ing the Fuehrer as “a gen­tle­man,” who had to kill the Jews because they were “financ­ing” against him. “. . . . So these Eng­lish peo­ple, they were very expert in mak­ing pro­pa­gan­da. They killed Hitler by pro­pa­gan­da. I don’t think Hitler was so bad [a] man. Hitler knew it [the atom­ic bomb] . . . .  He was gen­tle­man. He said that ‘I can smash the whole world, but I do not use that weapon.’ The Ger­mans already dis­cov­ered. But out of human­i­ty they did not use it. . . . The activ­i­ties of such men are cer­tain­ly very great . . . There­fore Hitler killed these Jews. They were financ­ing against Ger­many. Oth­er­wise he had no enmi­ty with the Jews. . . . There­fore Hitler decid­ed, ‘Kill all the Jews.’ . . . .”
5.–An in-depth view of Bhak­tivedan­ta Swami’s view of “shu­dras” reveals the deep racist/fascistic views of social class/caste. Described var­i­ous­ly as “black” or “com­mon,” shu­dras are the focus of deep ide­o­log­i­cal con­tempt. This should be seen against the back­ground of the Aryan racial phi­los­o­phy of Bhak­tivedan­ta Swa­mi. “. . . . ordi­nary peo­ple; the labor­er class; once-born; the low­est class of men; non-Aryan; work­er; the black man; he must find out a mas­ter; one who has no edu­ca­tion; almost ani­mal; just like a dog; he becomes dis­turbed; one who is depen­dent on oth­ers; they are igno­rant ras­cals; unclean; equal to the ani­mal; no train­ing; fools, ras­cals. . .  Accord­ing to his under­stand­ing, peo­ple of black or dark skin col­or, as well as native Amer­i­cans, are shu­dras, are third-class, degrad­ed, and less intel­li­gent: ‘Shu­dras have no brain. In Amer­i­ca also, the whole Amer­i­ca once belonged to the Red  Indi­ans. Why they could not improve? The land was there. Why these for­eign­ers, the Euro­peans, came and improved? So Shu­dras can­not do this. They can­not make any cor­rec­tion. . . . A first-class Rolls Royce car, and who is sit­ting there? A third class negro. This is going on. You’ll find these things in Europe and Amer­i­ca. This is going on. A first-class car and a third-class negro. . . .”
6.–Bhaktivedanta Swa­mi did not feel that the black Amer­i­can slaves should be freed. ” . . . . Just like in Amer­i­ca. The blacks were slaves. They were under con­trol. And since you have giv­en them equal rights they are dis­turb­ing, most dis­turb­ing, always cre­at­ing a fear­ful sit­u­a­tion, uncul­tured  and drunk­ards. What train­ing they have got? . . .  That is best, to keep them under con­trol as slaves but give them suf­fi­cient food, suf­fi­cient cloth, not more than that. Then they will be sat­is­fied. . . . ‘So the Kiratas, they  were always slaves of the Aryans. The Aryan peo­ple used to keep slaves, but they were treat­ing slaves very nice­ly.’ And that the Kiratas were Africans, he had explained many times: ‘Kira­ta means the black, the Africans.’ . . . .”
7.–Bhaktivedanta Swa­mi had some “choice” things to say about women: ” . . . . Gen­er­al­ly all women desire mate­r­i­al enjoyment.Women in gen­er­al should not be trust­ed. Women are gen­er­al­ly not very intel­li­gent. It appears that women is a stum­bling block [sic] for self-real­iza­tion. . . . Although rape is not legal­ly allowed, it is a fact that a woman likes a man who is very expert at rape. When a hus­band­less woman is attacked by an aggres­sive man, she takes his action to be mer­cy. Gen­er­al­ly when a woman is attacked by a man—whether her hus­band or some oth­er man—she enjoys the attack, being too lusty. . . .”


FTR #1013 Fascism and the Politics of Immigration

In The Hitler Lega­cy, Peter Lev­en­da not­ed anti-immi­grant sen­ti­ment and xeno­pho­bia as part of “The Hitler Lega­cy.”

“. . . Xeno­pho­bia is at an all-time high in Europe and increas­ing­ly in Amer­i­ca. The Inter­net has pro­vid­ed new and improved means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. As the polit­i­cal life of every coun­try becomes more and more polar­ized between “right” and “left,” the men of ODESSA can only laugh at our dis­com­fort. . . .”

Fear of “the oth­er” has been a sta­ple of fas­cist thought and is dom­i­nat­ing much of the polit­i­cal dis­course on both sides of the Atlantic.

In FTR #838, Lev­en­da dis­coursed on how immi­gra­tion from Europe, both Catholic  and Jew­ish,  meld­ed with oth­er events in the post-World War I peri­od to mobi­lize fas­cist sen­ti­ment and activism.

React­ing to the advent of the Sovi­et Union, abortive Marx­ist rev­o­lu­tions in Ger­many and else­where in Europe, large scale immi­gra­tion of Catholics from Ire­land and Italy and Jews from East­ern Europe, pow­er­ful ele­ments of the U.S. pow­er elite embraced fas­cism and eugen­ics ide­ol­o­gy.

With the onset of the Great Depres­sion, the poten­tial threat of Com­mu­nism was mag­ni­fied in the eyes of many pow­er­ful Amer­i­can indus­tri­al­ists, financiers and cor­po­rate lawyers. Ger­many’s suc­cess in putting down the Marx­ist rev­o­lu­tions with­in its own bor­ders, as well as the busi­ness rela­tion­ships between cor­po­rate Ger­many and its car­tel part­ners in the U.S. busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty inclined many influ­en­tial Amer­i­can reac­tionar­ies to sup­port fas­cism.

By the same token, these same ele­ments came to despise Franklin Delano Roo­sevelt and his “Jew Deal,” as it was called by his ene­mies. Amer­i­can Jews were seen as hir­ing Jew­ish immi­grants and thus deny­ing “real Amer­i­cans” jobs and eco­nom­ic well-being.

Attack­ing Roo­sevelt as a Jew and a Com­mu­nist, Amer­i­can fas­cists embraced a cog­ni­tive and rhetor­i­cal posi­tion not unlike the view of Barack Oba­ma as a “Kenyan Mus­lim,” and, con­se­quent­ly, a “trai­tor.”

Some key points in Peter’s analy­sis are explored a sec­tion of the book titled the “Ori­gins of 21st Cen­tu­ry Con­flict.” High­lights of this part of the pro­gram include:

1.–Analyzing the abortive social­ist rev­o­lu­tions that took place in Ger­many at the end of the First World War, Peter notes the role of the Freiko­rps and relat­ed insti­tu­tions in sup­press­ing those revolts. In par­tic­u­lar, a num­ber of over­lap­ping Pan-Ger­man occult orga­ni­za­tions, includ­ing the Thule Gesellschaft, con­tributed to the sub­stance of Ger­man reac­tion in the post-World War I peri­od.
2.–In the Unit­ed States, the Bol­she­vik Rev­o­lu­tion pro­duced a spate of anti-Com­mu­nist orga­ni­za­tions that saw Marx­is­m’s advo­ca­cy of a work­ers’ rev­o­lu­tion as a fun­da­men­tal threat to the exist­ing order.
3.–Marx’s Jew­ish background–in tan­dem with large Jew­ish emi­gra­tion from East­ern Europe–fed a doc­tri­naire anti-Semi­tism which fused with anti-Com­mu­nism to become a key ele­ment of fas­cist ide­ol­o­gy in the U.S. and the rest of the world.
4.–The pro­gram set forth how Bol­she­vism, immi­gra­tion and anti-Semi­tism fused to become a the­o­ry of “glob­al con­spir­a­cy.”
5.–We high­light the role in the for­ma­tion of this ide­ol­o­gy of Dar­win’s the­o­ries and eugen­ics, both in the U.S. and in Ger­many. (In par­tic­u­lar, we dis­cuss the impact of Irish and Ital­ian Catholic immi­gra­tion as well as Jew­ish immi­gra­tion on the con­scious­ness of ele­ments of the Amer­i­can pow­er elite.) We also detail how Nation­al Social­ists came to view their role in shap­ing the evo­lu­tion of homo sapi­ens.
6.–The Depres­sion and FDR’s New Deal and their effects on many of those same ele­ments of the Pow­er Elite.
7.–Hate-mongering that labeled FDR as a “Jew” and a “Communist”–similar to anti-Oba­ma rhetoric por­tray­ing him as a Mus­lim and a trai­tor.
8.–Atavism–the long­ing for a “sim­pler time” and its man­i­fes­ta­tions both in the 1930’s and present­ly.

In FTR #864, record­ed in Sep­tem­ber of 2015, Peter updat­ed the con­text of our dis­cus­sion from March of that year in the con­text of Don­ald Trump’s lead in the GOP pri­ma­ry strug­gle and the reac­tion sweep­ing Europe.

Immi­gra­tion dom­i­nat­ed the news that fall and has con­tin­ued to do so. The flood of refugees from the wars in the Mid­dle East threat­ened to over­whelm Euro­pean infra­struc­ture and the phe­nom­e­non dom­i­nat­ed the polit­i­cal debate in the GOP pri­ma­ry elec­tion cam­paign. Don­ald Trump cap­i­tal­ized on anti-immi­grant xeno­pho­bia dur­ing the pri­ma­ry and then the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

Of course, he con­tin­ues to do so today.

In The Hitler Lega­cy, Peter not­ed anti-immi­grant sen­ti­ment and xeno­pho­bia as part of “The Hitler Lega­cy.”

Fear of “the oth­er” has been a sta­ple of fas­cist thought and has dom­i­nat­ed much of the polit­i­cal dis­course on both sides of the Atlantic.

Next, we turn to a more recent devel­op­ment.

Mela­nia Trump gar­nered con­sid­er­able media atten­tion when she vis­it­ed a deten­tion cen­ter for immi­grants, includ­ing chil­dren, wear­ing a jack­et that said “I Real­ly Don’t Care. Do U?”

Taste­less on its sur­face, the state­ment assumes added sig­nif­i­cance when we fac­tor in the fact that  “I don’t care” (“Me Ne Frego” in Ital­ian) was an impor­tant fas­cist slo­gan.

Fur­ther­more, the Zara com­pa­ny that made Mela­ni­a’s jack­et has a his­to­ry of mar­ket­ing gar­ments with fascist/racist over­tones. It mar­ket­ed a shirt that mim­ic­ked a con­cen­tra­tion camp inmate’s garb and a swasti­ka-enlaid hand­bag. It also mar­ket­ed a Pepe The Frog skirt.

Recent com­ments by Trump dis­parag­ing Haiti as a “shit­hole” coun­try and pin­ing for immi­gra­tion from Nor­way instead war­rant a fresh look at the Cru­sade For Free­dom.

Dur­ing Trump’s brief tenure as Pres­i­dent, the media have con­sis­tent­ly lament­ed his actions as idio­syn­crasies. Trump’s poli­cies are not his alone, but fol­low in a lin­ear path, along which the GOP has trav­eled for decades.

In this post, we review the Cru­sade For Freedom–the covert oper­a­tion that brought Third Reich alum­ni into the coun­try and also sup­port­ed their guer­ril­la war­fare in East­ern Europe, con­duct­ed up until the ear­ly 1950’s. Con­ceived by Allen Dulles, over­seen by Richard Nixon, pub­licly rep­re­sent­ed by Ronald Rea­gan and real­ized in con­sid­er­able mea­sure by William Casey, the CFF ulti­mate­ly evolved into a Nazi wing of the GOP.

“. . . . Vice Pres­i­dent Nixon’s secret polit­i­cal war of Nazis against Jews in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics was nev­er inves­ti­gat­ed at the time. The for­eign lan­guage-speak­ing Croa­t­ians and oth­er Fas­cist émi­gré groups had a ready-made net­work for con­tact­ing and mobi­liz­ing the East­ern Euro­pean eth­nic bloc. There is a very high cor­re­la­tion between CIA domes­tic sub­si­dies to Fas­cist ‘free­dom fight­ers’ dur­ing the 1950’s and the lead­er­ship of the Repub­li­can Party’s eth­nic cam­paign groups. The motive for the under-the-table financ­ing was clear: Nixon used Nazis to off­set the Jew­ish vote for the Democ­rats. . . .

. . . . In 1952, Nixon had formed an Eth­nic Divi­sion with­in the Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee. Dis­placed fas­cists, hop­ing to be returned to pow­er by an Eisen­how­er-Nixon ‘lib­er­a­tion’ pol­i­cy signed on with the com­mit­tee. In 1953, when Repub­li­cans were in office, the immi­gra­tion laws were changed to admit Nazis, even mem­bers of the SS. They flood­ed into the coun­try. Nixon him­self over­saw the new immi­gra­tion pro­gram. . . .”


Walkin’ the Snake in India: Supplement to the Hindutva Fascism Series

In numer­ous pro­grams, we have high­light­ed the Nazi tract Ser­pen­t’s Walk, which deals, in part, with the reha­bil­i­ta­tion of the Third Reich’s rep­u­ta­tion and the trans­for­ma­tion of Hitler into a hero. In FTR #‘s 988 and 989, 990, 991, and 992, we detailed the Hin­dut­va fas­cism of Naren­dra Modi, his BJP Par­ty and sup­port­ive ele­ments, trac­ing the evo­lu­tion of Hin­dut­va fas­cism through the assas­si­na­tion of Mahat­ma Gand­hi and up to the present. It appears that a Ser­pen­t’s Walk sce­nario is indeed unfold­ing in India. A recent book a pic­ture of both Adolf Hitler and Naren­dra Modi stand­ing next to Barack Oba­ma, Mahat­ma Gand­hi, and Nel­son Man­dela, A sim­i­lar, Hitler-glo­ri­fy­ing book was mar­ket­ed to Gujarati school chil­dren when Modi gov­erned the region. Hitler is well-regard­ed in seg­ments of Indi­an soci­ety, in part due to the efforts of Bal Thack­er­ay and his Shriv Sena par­ty. For many years, Shriv Sena was an ally of Mod­i’s Hin­dut­va fas­cist BJP. All of the con­tents of this web­site as of 12/19/2014–Dave Emory’s 37+ years of research and broadcasting–as well as hours of video­taped lec­tures are avail­able on a 32GB flash dri­ve. Dave offers his pro­grams and arti­cles for free–your sup­port is very much appre­ci­at­ed.


FTR #1001 Further Reflections on Weaponized Feminism and the #MeToo Movement

This broad­cast con­cludes our exam­i­na­tion of weaponized fem­i­nism.

In the con­text of the Four B’s of Amer­i­can politics–Bullets, Bribes, Beds and Black­mail, the Cony­ers and Franken “blood­less” polit­i­cal assas­si­na­tions bear more scruti­ny than they have received.

From the stand­point of counter-intel­li­gence analy­sis, the #MeToo phe­nom­e­non sig­nals a superb tac­tic for polit­i­cal destruc­tion: a) infil­trate a woman into the entourage or pro­fes­sion­al envi­ron­ment of a male politi­cian, media or busi­ness fig­ure tar­get­ed for destruc­tion; b) have her gain the trust of her polit­i­cal tar­get and his asso­ciates (the car­di­nal rule for a good dou­ble agent is “make your­self indis­pens­able to the effort”); c) after suf­fi­cient pas­sage of time, sur­face the alle­ga­tions of sex­u­al harass­ment; d) IF the oppor­tu­ni­ty for actu­al sex play and/or flir­ta­tion presents itself, take advan­tage of it for lat­er use as political/rhetorical ammu­ni­tion; e) with accusers hav­ing the tac­ti­cal lux­u­ry of remain­ing anony­mous, the oper­a­tional tem­plate for a form of sex­u­al McCarthy­ism and the prece­dent-set­ting con­tem­po­rary man­i­fes­ta­tion of a sex­u­al Star Cham­ber is very real–the oper­a­tional sim­i­lar­i­ties between much of the #metoo move­ment and the Salem Witch Tri­als should not be lost on the per­se­ver­ing observ­er; f) prop­er vet­ting of the accu­sa­tions is absent in such a process; g) for a pub­lic fig­ure in the U.S., prov­ing delib­er­ate defama­tion (libel/slander) is extreme­ly dif­fi­cult and lit­i­ga­tion is very expensive–the mere sur­fac­ing of charges is enough to taint some­one for life and the exor­bi­tant expense of lit­i­ga­tion is pro­hib­i­tive for all but the wealth­i­est among us.

Recent dis­clo­sures con­cern­ing Trump’s data ally Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca include the fir­m’s appar­ent prac­tice of entrap­ping polit­i­cal oppo­nents with “Ukrain­ian sex work­ers” in order to engi­neer their destruc­tion.

This should be eval­u­at­ed against the sce­nario Mr. Emory has detailed above.

 In FTR #998, we high­light­ed the removal of John Cony­ers, Con­gres­sion­al crit­ic of the Nazi Azov Bat­tal­ion, one of the founders of the Con­gres­sion­al Black Cau­cus, and senior mem­ber of the House Judi­cia­ry Com­mit­tee (which helps vet Pres­i­den­tial judi­cial appoint­ments.)

Cony­ers’ removal was sig­naled and abet­ted by Alt-Right blog­ger Mike Cer­novich, a doc­u­ment­ed misog­y­nist who famous­ly observed that: “Misog­y­ny gets you laid.”

One of Cony­ers’ long-time female staffers–his admin­is­tra­tive assis­tant for more than two decades–did not accuse him of sex­u­al harass­ment. That staffer was Rosa Parks, whose refusal to go to “the back of the bus” sig­naled the mod­ern civ­il rights move­ment.

Cony­ers’ employ­ment of Rosa Parks by itself would have been enough to get him tar­get­ed by the far right.

We note that, before her emer­gence as one of the prime movers of the con­tem­po­rary civ­il rights move­ment, Rosa Parks was a cut­ting-edge fem­i­nist activist (before being fem­i­nist was “cool.”)

” . . . . She joined the Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion for the Advance­ment of Col­ored Peo­ple (NAACP) in 1943, 12 years before that fate­ful com­mute. In her first years in the orga­ni­za­tion, she worked specif­i­cal­ly on crim­i­nal jus­tice and its appli­ca­tion in Alaba­ma com­mu­ni­ties.

One part of this was pro­tect­ing black men from false accu­sa­tions and lynch­ings; the oth­er was ensur­ing that black peo­ple who had been sex­u­al­ly assault­ed by white peo­ple could get their day in court. . . .”

This, also, might well have been moti­va­tion enough for the far right to have effect­ed a polit­i­cal lynch­ing of Cony­ers, adding the irony that his alleged harass­ment of a female staffer was the rea­son for his removal. He denied the alle­ga­tion and said that he set­tled in court to avoid the great time and expense such lit­i­ga­tion would have required.

In con­clu­sion, we dip back a lit­tle over 20 years–to August of 1996, to hear a lengthy excerpt of FTR #7, an inter­view with the late Frank Spier­ing, the author of Who Killed Pol­ly?

In some­thing of a tran­si­tion­al ele­ment to our next show, deal­ing with school shoot­ings, their polit­i­cal and soci­o­log­i­cal ram­i­fi­ca­tions and the omi­nous con­nec­tions of fas­cist groups to many of those events, we note how the dis­ap­pear­ance of Pol­ly Klaas, a twelve-year old alleged­ly raped and mur­dered by Richard Allen Davis, gal­va­nized and ter­ror­ized much of Amer­i­ca. Like the school shoot­ings, young­sters cow­ered in fear because of the event.

Even­tu­al­ly, the case led to the pas­sage of Cal­i­for­ni­a’s “three strikes” law.

Although Davis cer­tain­ly kid­napped Pol­ly, the evi­dence sug­gests that he nei­ther killed her, nor raped her, but that he spir­it­ed the young, unfor­tu­nate Ms. Klaas away at the behest of a pow­er­ful polit­i­cal ele­ment.

With the appar­ent col­lu­sion of ele­ments of law enforce­ment (includ­ing ele­ments of FBI), the actu­al exec­u­tive authors of the event may have spir­it­ed Pol­ly away to slave pros­ti­tu­tion in a Sau­di broth­el, or for some oth­er, mon­strous man­i­fes­ta­tion of child pornog­ra­phy or white slav­ery.

If Mr. Spier­ing’s spec­u­la­tion that she may have end­ed up in a spe­cial Sau­di broth­el spe­cial­iz­ing in under-age Amer­i­can and West­ern women, the cor­rup­tion of ele­ments of law enforce­ment by the tremen­dous petro­le­um wealth and deriv­a­tive polit­i­cal pow­er of that nation should not be sur­pris­ing.

“Fill ‘er up!”

After the pro­gram was record­ed, Frank Spier­ing passed away. The pub­lish­er went out of busi­ness.


FTR #990 Hindutva Fascism, Part 3: Modi Operandi

Con­tin­u­ing our FTR series on Hin­dut­va fas­cism (Hin­du nation­al­ist fas­cism) we high­light key fea­tures of the gov­er­nance of Indi­an Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi, whose BJP is a polit­i­cal front for the RSS. Formed along the lines of Mus­solin­i’s Black­shirts in 1925, the RSS was the orga­ni­za­tion that assas­si­nat­ed Mahat­ma Gand­hi. (We have dis­cussed Modi, the RSS and the BJP in numer­ous broad­casts, includ­ing FTR #‘s 795, 889, 441, 442, 445, 988 and 989.)

Begin­ning with dis­cus­sion of Mod­i’s appoint­ment of Yogi Adityanath to be the gov­er­nor of Uttar Pradesh province, Indi­a’s largest, we note:

1.-Yogi Adityanath is a mem­ber of the Rashtriya Swayam­se­vak Sangh (RSS).  ” . . . . Adityanath, born Ajay Singh Bisht, found his voca­tion in col­lege as an activist in the stu­dent wing of the Rashtriya Swayam­se­vak Sangh, a right-wing Hin­du orga­ni­za­tion. . . .”
2.-Adityanath’s polit­i­cal foun­da­tion is the vir­u­lent­ly anti-Mus­lim ide­ol­o­gy of the RSS: ” . . . . As leader of a tem­ple known for its mil­i­tant Hin­du suprema­cist tra­di­tion, he built an army of youths intent on aveng­ing his­toric wrongs by Mus­lims, whom he has called ‘a crop of two-legged ani­mals that has to be stopped.’ At one ral­ly he cried out, ‘We are all prepar­ing for reli­gious war!’ . . .” 
3.-Modi’s “pro-busi­ness,” “pro-devel­op­ment” polit­i­cal agen­da has giv­en way to what The New York Times pre­dictably labels “populist”–the Hin­dut­va, anti-Mus­lim fas­cism which has long been the  main­stay of the RSS.   “Adityanath (pro­nounced Ah-DIT-ya-nath) was an aston­ish­ing choice by Naren­dra Modi, India’s prime min­is­ter, who came into office three years ago promis­ing to ush­er India into a new age of devel­op­ment and eco­nom­ic growth, and play­ing down any far-right Hin­du agen­da. But a pop­ulist dri­ve to trans­form India into a ‘Hin­du nation’ has drowned out Mr. Modi’s devel­op­ment agen­da, shrink­ing the eco­nom­ic and social space for the country’s 170 mil­lion Mus­lims. . . .”
4.-The gov­er­nor of Uttar Pradesh is also seen as the fron­trun­ner to become Prime Min­is­ter. ” . . . . Few deci­sions in Indi­an pol­i­tics mat­ter more than the selec­tion of the chief min­is­ter of Uttar Pradesh, because the post is seen as a spring­board for future prime min­is­ters. At the age of 45, the diminu­tive, baby-faced Adityanath is receiv­ing the kind of career-mak­ing atten­tion that projects an Indi­an politi­cian toward high­er office. . . .”
5.-Adityanath is best known for encour­ag­ing vig­i­lante death squads against Mus­lims. He also wor­shipped at the Gorakhnath Tem­ple, whose head priest was arrest­ed for encour­ag­ing Hin­du mil­i­tants to kill Gand­hi only days before he was shot. ” . . . . He was so engrossed in the [RSS] group’s work that the first two or three times he was sum­moned by a dis­tant rel­a­tive, the head priest of the Gorakhnath Tem­ple, he ‘could not find the time,’ he has said. . . . But reli­gion and pol­i­tics were fast con­verg­ing. Gorakhnath Tem­ple had a tra­di­tion of mil­i­tan­cy: Digvi­jay Nath, the head priest until 1969, was arrest­ed for exhort­ing Hin­du mil­i­tants to kill Mahat­ma Gand­hi days before he was shot. His suc­ces­sor, Mahant Avaidyanath, urged Hin­du mobs in 1992 to tear down a 16th-cen­tu­ry mosque and build a tem­ple there, set­ting off some of the blood­i­est reli­gious riots in India’s recent his­to­ry. . . .”

Modi is real­iz­ing the repres­sive fas­cist agen­da of the BJP/RSS. Cen­sor­ing the press and con­duct­ing wide­spread sur­veil­lance of crit­ics are now rou­tine. In addi­tion, there have been a num­ber of hith­er­to unsolved assas­si­na­tions of jour­nal­ists and politi­cians crit­i­cal of Modi and his agen­da.

Promi­nent Indi­an jour­nal­ist Gau­ri Lankesh was the lat­est vic­tim:

” . . . . . Gau­ri Lankesh, one of India’s most out­spo­ken jour­nal­ists, was walk­ing into her house on Tues­day night. It was around 8. The night was warm. She was alone. As she stepped through her gate, just feet from her front door, sev­er­al gun­shots rang out. She was killed instant­ly in what polit­i­cal oppo­si­tion offi­cials say appears to be yet anoth­er assas­si­na­tion of an intel­lec­tu­al who pub­licly crit­i­cized India’s gov­ern­ing par­ty and the Hin­du agen­da it has pur­sued. In recent years, at least three oth­er anti­estab­lish­ment activists have been silenced by bul­lets. . . . On Mon­day, the day before she was killed, she shared a post on her Face­book page that was writ­ten by some­one else. ‘The RSS is the ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion,’ it read. . . . ”

The same gun was used to kill both Gau­ri Lankesh and anoth­er promi­nent vic­tim, M M Kalbur­gi: ” . . . . . A pre­lim­i­nary foren­sic analy­sis of bul­lets and car­tridges found at the site of the Sep­tem­ber 5 shoot­ing of jour­nal­ist and activist Gau­ri Lankesh and those recov­ered from the killing of Kan­na­da research schol­ar M M Kalbur­gi two years ago has revealed that the same 7.65-mm coun­try­made pis­tol was used for the two killings. This find­ing has been com­mu­ni­cat­ed to the Spe­cial Inves­ti­ga­tion Team that is prob­ing the mur­der of the 55-year-old jour­nal­ist and activist, sources involved with the two sep­a­rate inves­ti­ga­tions have told The Indi­an Express. . . . .”

There are numer­ous oth­er sim­i­lar­i­ties between the killings of Lankesh and Kalbur­gi. Note that the assas­sins rode motor­bikes with hel­mets in both crimes, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to iden­ti­fy the shoot­er. Note the motor­bikes present in the pho­to of Adiny­ath’s Hin­du Youth Brigade, vis­i­ble above.

The same weapon used to kill Gau­ri Lankesh and M M Kalbur­gi was also used to kill Govind Pansare and Naren­dra Dab­holkar! ” . . . . Schol­ar and ratio­nal­ist Kalbur­gi was shot dead at his home at 8.40 am by two uniden­ti­fied per­sons who drove up on a motor­cy­cle. The assailants knocked on the door of the home of the 77-year-old Sahitya Akade­mi Award win­ner and shot him on the doorstep with two bul­lets from a 7.65 mm coun­try­made pis­tol. Lankesh was shot dead in the front yard of her home at 8 pm on Sep­tem­ber 5 by one of two per­sons who came on a motor­cy­cle and fired four bul­lets from a 7.65 mm coun­try­made pis­tol while she was open­ing the gates to her home. Inves­ti­ga­tions in the Kalbur­gi mur­der case by the Kar­nata­ka Crim­i­nal Inves­ti­ga­tion Depart­ment had revealed that the 7.65 mm pis­tol used to kill the ratio­nal­ist was the same one that was used to mur­der 81-year-old Maha­rash­tra ratio­nal­ist and Left­ist thinker Govind Pansare in Kol­ha­pur on Feb­ru­ary 16, 2015 by two uniden­ti­fied men. The foren­sic analy­sis had also revealed that one of the two guns used to shoot down Pansare in 2015 had also been used to kill Maha­rash­tra ratio­nal­ist Naren­dra Dab­holkar, 69, in Pune on August 20, 2013 by a pair of uniden­ti­fied men. . . .”

The recent assas­si­na­tion of Indi­an jour­nal­ist-turned-activist Gau­ri Lankesh high­lights the role of the Dalit (for­mer­ly “untouch­able”) caste in the elec­toral strat­e­gy of Mod­i’s BJP (again, a polit­i­cal front for the Hin­dut­va fas­cist RSS.) ” . . . . Ms. Lankesh was also an effec­tive polit­i­cal orga­niz­er with the abil­i­ty to bring togeth­er social and polit­i­cal groups — Dal­its, indige­nous trib­als, left­ists, Mus­lims and oth­ers — opposed to the Hin­du nation­al­ist attempts to trans­form India into a coun­try pri­mar­i­ly for the Hin­dus. . . .”

An effec­tive polit­i­cal orga­niz­er who appeared to have the abil­i­ty to bridge a key divide between the Dal­its and the rest of the non-Hin­du nation­al­ist seg­ments of Indi­an society–Ms. Lankesh–gets gunned down. She was the lat­est activist who pos­sessed that abil­i­ty to bridge divides to be assas­si­nat­ed in exact­ly the same man­ner in recent years: The oth­er three were Daab­holkar, Kalbur­gi and Pansare, who were slain with the same weapon–a gun that was used to kill Lankesh as well. ” . . . . In August 2013, the activist Naren­dra Dab­holkar, who cam­paigned against reli­gious super­sti­tions, was mur­dered. In August 2015, M. M. Kalbur­gi, a schol­ar and out­spo­ken crit­ic of idol wor­ship among Hin­dus, was gunned down at his own doorstep. In Feb­ru­ary 2015, Govind Pansare, a Com­mu­nist leader, com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­er and colum­nist, was killed in a small town near Mum­bai. Mr. Dhabolkar, Mr. Kalbur­gi and Mr. Pansare were mur­dered by assas­sins on motor­bikes, who hid their faces with hel­mets and fled after the mur­der. Exact­ly as Ms. Lankesh was killed. The mur­dered intel­lec­tu­als also wrote in region­al lan­guages and worked as activists. Each of them shared the qual­i­ty of being accept­able to the left­ist groups and Dalit groups. They could bring togeth­er com­mu­ni­ties opposed to the Hin­du right. . . . ”

We note that the method­ol­o­gy of the RSS, the orga­ni­za­tion that killed Mahat­ma Gand­hi, remains in place.

We also note that, if Modi wants to not only get reelect­ed and also lead the BJP to a take over of par­lia­ment so he to ful­ly imple­ment his far-right agen­da, he’s going to have to fig­ure out how to get that Dalit vote: Ms. Lankesh and the oth­er vic­tims enu­mer­at­ed above stood in the way of that strat­e­gy: “ . . . . Caste, in short, remains per­haps the sin­gle most influ­en­tial fac­tor in Indi­an pol­i­tics despite rapid mod­ern­iza­tion of the world’s largest democ­ra­cy, as proven in the lat­est pres­i­den­tial con­test. And Naren­dra Modi, who won a land­slide vic­to­ry by widen­ing the party’s appeal beyond the ortho­dox Hin­du class, is sure to milk it for all it’s worth. . . . Even though it has cam­paigned on pre­serv­ing con­ser­v­a­tive Hin­du tra­di­tions, includ­ing sanc­ti­ty of upper-caste Brah­mins, the BJP is depen­dent on the votes of Dal­its and oth­er low­er castes to win cru­cial states. In the state of Bihar, the third most pop­u­lous state, Modi and the BJP suf­fered a demor­al­iz­ing defeat to the rival Rashtriya Jana­ta Dal par­ty in 2015 State Assem­bly elec­tions. Bihar’s low-caste com­mu­ni­ties vot­ed heav­i­ly in sup­port of RJD and its leader, Lalu Prasad Yadav, who was able to strike a fruit­ful elec­toral alliance between Bihar’s Mus­lims and the state’s mar­gin­al­ized, cow-herd­ing Yadav caste . . . . In March, the right-wing Hin­du par­ty secured a major vic­to­ry in India’s most pop­u­lous state of Uttar Pradesh, win­ning over the state’s low­er-caste votes. Modi steered clear of poten­tial­ly divi­sive lan­guage in his speech­es, and the par­ty was report­ed to have induct­ed mem­bers of the low­er caste in lead­er­ship posi­tions. Not sur­pris­ing­ly, Modi and the BJP are con­tin­u­ing this trend with the lat­est nom­i­na­tion of Ram Nath Kovind for pres­i­dent. . . .”

In addi­tion to polit­i­cal assas­si­na­tion and state repres­sion, it appears that Mod­i’s suc­cess may well rest, in part, on the manip­u­la­tion of elec­tron­ic vot­ing machines, some­thing that will ring famil­iar to stu­dents of Amer­i­can elec­toral pol­i­tics. ” . . . . Express­ing shock and dis­be­lief over the Uttar Pradesh Assem­bly elec­tion results, Bahu­jan Samaj Par­ty (BSP) supre­mo Mayawati today accused the Bharatiya Jana­ta Par­ty (BJP) of tam­per­ing with elec­tron­ic vot­ing machines (EVMs). ‘How come the BJP man­aged to win in Mus­lim bas­tions in the state. [The BJP and its polit­i­cal muse the RSS are vio­lent­ly anti-Mus­lim as a mat­ter of doctrine.–D.E.] The poll results are very sur­pris­ing’, Mayawati said. Alleg­ing that there was mas­sive rig­ging of vot­ing machines in the state to favour the BJP, the BSP chief said, ‘Most votes in Mus­lim major­i­ty con­stituen­cies have gone to the BJP. This makes it clear that the vot­ing machines were manip­u­lat­ed.’ . . . . ”

Trag­i­cal­ly, the chaos envelop­ing India–the assas­si­na­tions, cen­sor­ship, cor­rup­tion and con­tin­ued grind­ing social and eco­nom­ic inequality–has fueled sen­ti­ment for a mil­i­tary gov­ern­ment, presided over by a “strong leader.” “. . . . A major­i­ty of Indi­ans, 53 per­cent, sup­port mil­i­tary rule, accord­ing to a Pew Research Cen­ter sur­vey released last week. . . .  At least 55 per­cent of Indi­ans also back a gov­ern­ing sys­tem ‘in which a strong leader can make deci­sions with­out inter­fer­ence from par­lia­ment or the courts,’ the sur­vey added, not­ing that sup­port for auto­crat­ic rule is high­er in India than in any oth­er nation sur­veyed. . . .”

As Modi makes fur­ther moves to con­sol­i­date pow­er, those moves may well have strong pub­lic back­ing. Espe­cial­ly with BJP vot­ers: ” . . . . Sup­port­ers of Modi’s rul­ing Bharatiya Jana­ta Par­ty (BJP) and urban dwellers ‘are sig­nif­i­cant­ly more like­ly’ to sup­port mil­i­tary rule than back­ers of the oppo­si­tion Con­gress par­ty and rur­al res­i­dents, the Pew Research Cen­ter sur­vey showed. . . .”

The pro­gram clos­es with jux­ta­po­si­tion of two grotesque actions by Naren­dra Modi–again the Prime Min­is­ter from the BJP, a polit­i­cal front for the Hin­dut­va fas­cist RSS, the orga­ni­za­tion that mur­dered Gand­hi. (See FTR #‘s 988 and 989 for detailed analy­sis of the RSS and the killing of Gand­hi.)

In a delib­er­ate attempt to con­flate his pub­lic rela­tions image with that of Gand­hi, Modi has posed with a spin­ning wheel, which Gand­hi saw as both a vehi­cle for com­bat­ing British colo­nial tex­tile pol­i­cy and as a tool for real­iz­ing Satya­gra­ha and the per­son­al insight and dis­ci­pline required by it.

Gand­hi prac­ticed what he preached, going about attired in a loin­cloth of “home­spun” fab­ric. Modi, in con­trast, was pho­tographed in an expen­sive, pin-striped suit when enter­tain­ing the Oba­mas on a state vis­it. (The pin-stripes were actu­al­ly Naren­dra Mod­i’s name, in fine gold­en print.) Val­ued at around $16,000.00, the suit was even­tu­al­ly auc­tioned off for the sum of $695,000.00. Gand­hi’s soul must be weep­ing to see what has been done to his lega­cy. ” . . . . Indi­a’s Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi is not­ed for mak­ing bold state­ments — both in pol­i­cy and fash­ion. When Modi sport­ed a suit with pin­stripes that spelled out his name in tiny gold let­ter­ing, his crit­ics called it the height of van­i­ty. But the con­tro­ver­sial suit raised more than eye­brows: It sold at auc­tion today for near­ly $695,000. The ‘self­ie’ suit was debuted when Modi wore it to a bilat­er­al meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Oba­ma dur­ing his vis­it to India last month. . . . .”