Thursday, 4 February 2016
Wednesday, 3 February 2016
In June 1780, weary of the failed prosecution of the war in North America, and convinced that the ministry of Lord George North would bring eternal ruin to his dreams of permanent empire, Lord Shelburne, through the East India Company and its allied Baring Bank, bankrolled a Jacobin mob to descend upon London, ostensibly in protest over the granting of Irish reforms. The so-called Irish reforms amounted to little more than forced conscription of Irishmen into the British Army to fight in North America--a move Shelburne hoped would also defeat the pro-American republican movement inside Ireland that had nearly launched its own revolt against Britain in 1779.
Led by Lord George Gordon, the Protestant rabble stormed Westminster, sending parliamentarians and lords alike down flights of stairs, out windows, and to the hospitals. For eight days, London was ransacked, culminating in the storming of the Newgate Prison and the freeing of all the prisoners, who joined in the assault on the Parliament building.
Lord Shelburne, as head of the interior committee of the House of Lords, personally ensured the maximum terror by delaying the reading of the Riot Act (which would have called out the Home Guard) until violence had spread to every corner of the city. When the flames subsided, the ministry of Lord North was in ashes as well. North resigned as prime minister, and within months, Shelburne was himself in the new Rockingham cabinet as foreign secretary for the Northern District, subsuming the North American colonies. From that post, he would be the principal negotiator in Paris across the table from Benjamin Franklin.
By this time also, King George III had declared himself wholly subservient to the Shelburne-led East India Company faction--the Venetian Party.
As the result of these events, the shadow government formally took charge of the official state apparatus. The intelligence operations formerly housed at the East India Company were henceforth run out of the Foreign Ministry and the British Secret Intelligence Services (SIS).
A postscript on Lord Gordon, Shelburne's agent provocateur: After a brief stay in the Tower of London, foreshortened by Shelburne's personal intervention with the crown, Lord Gordon made off to friendlier ground in the Netherlands, where, to the astonishment of his Scottish Presbyterian cronies, he became a convert to Jewish cabbalism, taking the name Israel Bar Abraham. He shortly thereafter surfaced in Paris as an occult adviser to Marie Antoinette, and from that position participated in Shelburne's intrigues against the French Bourbons.
The Jacobin insurrection in Paris during 1791-93 was a replay on grander scale of the earlier Shelburne-instigated Gordon Riots, down to the storming of the Bastille prison and the unleashing of the criminals.
This article was originally published in Yiddishkeit magazine no. 5 in July 1999
from the August 2004 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
Lord George Gordon
Lord George Gordon
By Moshe Kahan
A pious Jew imprisoned in an English jail in the year 1788 maintained kashrut and prayed with a minyan. "So what?", you may ask, "trying circumstances have always been part and parcel of the exile, yet Jews have kept and always will keep the Torah no matter how difficult the moment appears!"
Yet the story of Yisrael bar Avraham Gordon is especially worth recalling. True, he was but one of a number of Jews at that time in Newgate prison. Yet he was the only Jew who could claim, among other things, to have been a Member of Parliament, a son of the Duke of Gordon, and president of the Protestant Association. This is the story of the remarkable Lord George Gordon, ger tzedek, a righteous convert.
One day, most likely before the year 1780, George Gordon was on holiday in East Anglia. While walking down a street in the small Jewish neighborhood of Ipswich, he noted a strange sign above the door of Isaac Titterman, (the local mohel, shochet and chazzan - ) "All who are hungry enter and eat." Gordon's Calvinistic love for the Old Testament, his familiarity with Hebrew, and his sympathy with the Jewish people made the Haggada's invitation irresistible. Yielding to impulse, he entered; and thus began his lasting friendship with Isaac Titterman.
In the year 1787, at the age of 36, Lord George Gordon converted to Judaism. Considering that the Jewish people were being publicly ridiculed by his fellow countrymen, who had only shortly before grudgingly allowed Jews the right to live in England after almost 400 years of banishment, Gordon's conversion at this time was a marvel. A study of his background reveals many inherent characteristics that led to his conversion.
George Gordon was born on Upper Grosvenor Street in London on December 26, 1751, the sixth son of the Duke of Gordon. His godfather was none other than King George II. Soon after his birth, his father died, and young George was sent to the family estates in Scotland. His mother, the Duchess, soon remarried an American subaltern in the British Army 17 years her junior. She then had little time for her six children by the Duke, whom she shamelessly neglected. By the time George had entered Eton (England's famous prep school), his mother had bought him a commission in the army.
Thus, before he was eleven years old, George Gordon had already been promoted to lieutenant. His sensitivity to all forms of injustice was to lead him later in life to attack this very system of place-giving and the buying of office through family influence. Because his mother had overextended her influence at court to advance the army careers of her husband and George's elder brother William, it seemed more advantageous for George to serve in the Navy. She obtained an appointment for him as a midshipman and, within a year of his leaving Eton, he was at sea.
His behavior in the Navy set the tone for much of his future political life. He was outspoken, independent and generally a nuisance both to his captain and the Admiralty Board; but he was always popular with his shipmates. Above all, he was sensitive to all that smacked of hypocrisy and injustice. At eighteen, while traveling in the West Indies under Lord Sandwich, George Gordon was appalled by the sight of the Negro slaves of Jamaica, and made it his personal business to reprove no less than the governor of Jamaica. As a sailor he got his first glimpse of America and came to admire and respect it. Later, when England was at war with America, he strongly objected and called it "the mad, cruel, and accursed American war."
A few years later he decided to run for Parliament. His unique, original character, complemented by his outspokenness, sympathy, and charm resulted in a most unusual and successful political campaign for the votes of Inverness, Scotland. With enthusiasm and determination he learned the native tongue, Gaelic; he dressed and danced the part of a Highlander, as well as perfecting his playing of the bagpipes. When he was well on the way to victory, the incumbent, General Fraser, afraid for his seat, made an appeal to the Duke of Gordon, George Gordon's older brother, to buy George a seat elsewhere. This was done, and George Gordon took his seat (for Luggershall in Wiltshire) in the House of Commons in 1774 at the age of 23, just two years before the American Revolution.
At first Gordon was a rather taciturn Member of Parliament, but as the war with America raged on poorly for England, he spoke out often against England's involvement. His independent spirit, love of freedom, and hatred of injustice and hypocrisy began to echo in the halls of Parliament. Never did he belong to a party; in his own words he belonged to the "party of the people." A common remark in those days was that there were "three parties in Parliament - the Ministry, the Opposition, and George Gordon." All of this is all the more striking because in 1774 no other aristocrat was so outspokenly propounding the rights of the people. His actions in those days and in the dramatic events that followed seemed to unveil a soul in search of a home, a home George Gordon eventually found in the true justice of Torah.
The incredible events of one week in June 1780 and their subsequent repercussions may have had the most decisive impact on his conversion to Judaism. Few are aware that 197 years ago the city of London was at the mercy of a violent mob for seven days. The town was paralyzed, and its citizens terrorized in riots which may have cost as many as 850 lives. These riots were linked to George Gordon and are often called "The Gordon Riots."
England, in 1778, was in sad shape due to the disastrous American war. This period of confusion and discontent led many of England's unhappy Protestants to see Roman Catholicism as the bogeyman of all their ills. Associations for the defense of Protestantism against the advancing evils of "Popery" sprung up in England and Scotland, especially when the Catholic Relief Bill was passed to induce the draft of Catholics into the army under the sham promise of tolerance.
At the age of 29, George Gordon, already outspoken on behalf of the Scotch Presbyterians, was called upon to become President of the London Protestant Association. When he accepted office he wrote:
The coolness and temper in the proceedings of the Association will soon demonstrate to the Roman Catholics that we are far from being possessed of a persecuting disposition... The Roman Catholics must know as well as we do that "Popery" when encouraged by government has always been dangerous to the liberties of the people.
However, he perceived the hypocrisy in the Catholic Relief Bill and sought its repeal. He even had a private meeting with the King about the issue, but to no avail. A petition asking for the removal of the Relief Bill was then drawn up, and names were collected at Gordon's home. This petition was to be presented to the House of Commons in a massive but peaceful demonstration march set for June 2, 1780. Meanwhile the Government tried to bribe Gordon to leave the Association with large offers of money and political importance, but he could not be bought off.
The demonstration and presentation of this petition turned into a dangerous, destructive, and violent revolt against authority that was quelled only after 15,000 armed militia were called in. For his part as President of the Association, George Gordon was charged with high treason and sent to the Tower of London to await trial. He was imprisoned in June but did not come to trial until December.
This six-month imprisonment and contemplation of a likely death penalty must have been a time of self-appraisal, re-evaluation and prayer, for Gordon emerged from his trial and acquittal a far more religious man. His flashy plaid trousers were exchanged for somber black. He now almost always carried a Bible and memorized entire chapters. He began to study Quakerism and no doubt allied himself to their pacifism and desire to aid the poor.
Although the government had not succeeded in making him appear ultimately responsible for the riots that ensued from the demonstration, they did find at last, six years later, an excuse to have him removed from the political scene. These events coincided with his remarkable conversion to Judaism. Thus begins the final and most significant period of his life.
Lord George Gordon had had a taste of the English penal system first hand. He had not forgotten the long days and nights of his six months in the Tower of London. In 1786, aged 35, he published a pamphlet criticizing the notoriously cruel system of English punishment. The Government saw in this a chance to get Gordon on a charge of libeling the King's Court and Judges. And it seemed likely that they could also get him on an additional charge of libel against the Queen of France and her august ambassador in London.
This second charge, the "French libel," is significant in its display of the strength of Gordon's convictions. In 1782 he had visited the French Court and been appalled by the tremendous contrast between France's rich and poor. At this time he also befriended the Italian Count Cagliostro who had been banished from France under suspicion of involvement in a scandal concerning a diamond necklace which had involved the Queen of France herself.
Back in England, Gordon learned that France was attempting revenge on the Count. Gordon came to his aid by publishing a defense of the Count and an attack on the Queen and her ambassador. Spiced with Gordon's hatred for the abuses of the privileged class and with devotion to his friend, it was interpreted as a libel against the Queen of France and her ambassador. In 1786 Gordon was found guilty on two counts of libel. But before he could be carried off to prison, he escaped to Amsterdam, perhaps with the intention of converting to Judaism there.
Gordon had obviously been aware for some years already that Judaism had something to offer him. His experience in Ipswich of the generosity of the Jewish home, his long months of personal re-evaluation in the Tower of London, his knowledge of Hebrew, his love of the Bible, and his efforts on behalf of Jews the world over all led him on the path to conversion. In 1785, for instance, he wrote to the German Emperor, reproving him for his anti-Semitic laws and citing them as the cause for the German nation's troubles.
His biographer and close companion, John Watson, who wrote The Life of Lord George Gordon in 1795, stated that Gordon understood the hypocrisy of Christianity's break from the Old Testament while admiring the Jews who "literally adhered to the Laws of Moses." Gordon may even have kept kashrut several years before his conversion: at dinner with Count Cagliostro, Gordon ate only watercress with salt.
Why should Gordon have intended to convert in Amsterdam? Why had he not already done so in London? The answer may be that the Chief Rabbi of England, Rav David Tevele Schiff of the Duke's Place Synagogue, was hesitant to admit Gordon into the Jewish Nation because of the risk to the Jewish community. After all, Gordon had not only been a thorn in the side of the Government for years but he was also the brother of a most aristocratic and powerful nobleman, while the Jews in England in those days were barely tolerated.
Even if Gordon did go to Holland with conversion in mind, it did not come about there, as he was refused permission to stay there. According to the Public Advertiser of July 26, 1787, the French ambassador had influenced the Burgomaster of Amsterdam against Gordon. The Sheriff visited Lord Gordon in the home of Moses Opdenberg where he was staying and ordered him to leave the city. On July 22, 1787, he arrived at Harwich, England under Dutch guard. Rather than return to London, Gordon went to Birmingham and there became a ger. The story of this event is related by the historian Moses Margoliouth (a convert out of Judaism) in a literal translation of a Hebrew letter by a Jew named Myer Joseph.
The rite of the Covenant of Abraham was administered to him in the town of Birmingham. The name of the individual who performed the operation was Rabbi Jacob of Birmingham. When Lord George Gordon recovered from the effects of the circumcision seal, he came to London; and (being already pretty well tutored in Jewish rites and customs, and also able to read Hebrew with some degree of fluency), he attended the Hamburgh (Hambro) Synagogue where he was called up to the reading of the Law, and was honoured with a Mi Shebairach blessing. He presented that synagogue with one hundred pounds.
Not much is known about his life as a Jew in Birmingham, but the Bristol Journalof Dec. 15, 1787 reports Gordon's presence in Birmingham since August 1786:
unknown to every class of man but those of the Jewish religion, among whom he has passed his time in the greatest cordiality and friendship...he appears with a beard of extraordinary length, and the usual raiment of a Jew... his observance of the culinary preparation is remarkable.
Unable to refrain from typical scurrilousness, the Journal continues:
He was surrounded by a number of Jews, who affirmed that his Lordship was Moses risen from the dead in order to instruct them and enlighten the whole world...It appears that (he) has officiated as a chief of the Levitical Order..."
In January 1788, Mr. McManus, a police officer from Bow Street, discovered Gordon on Dudley Street in the poor, largely Jewish quarter of Birmingham known as the Froggery. He was living in the home of a poor Jewess who sold capers and anchovies about the streets of the town and whose son was a talmid chacham. He was dressed in the clothes of a Polish chassid. He refused to return with McManus to London because it was Shabbat, but the justice who handled the matter insisted. A Jewish friend gave him a box of kosher food for the journey.
For the two libels he was sentenced to a total of five years imprisonment plus a fine of five hundred pounds. He was required to find 10,000 pounds in securities for good behavior for 14 years, and 2 sureties of 2,500 pounds each. Gordon was sent to Newgate prison. As he had some income, he was able to buy himself a private cell which in effect was a comfortable room.
George Gordon was now an Orthodox Jew, and he therefore adjusted his prison life to this circumstance. He put on his talit and t'filin daily. He fasted when the Halacha prescribed it, and likewise celebrated the Yamim Tovim at the proper times. He had kosher meat and wine, and Shabbat challot. The prison authorities permitted him to have a minyan on Shabbat and to affix a mezuza.The Ten Commandments were also hung on his wall for Shabbat to transform the room into a synagogue.
His minyan consisted of ten Polish Jews who no doubt were incarcerated for debt or perhaps for no special reason as England's courts in those days were notorious. Gordon associated only with these pious Polish Jews because in his passionate enthusiasm for his new faith, he refused to deal with any Jew who compromised Torah faith. Although any non-Jew who desired to visit Gordon in prison (and there were many) was welcome, he ordered the prison guards to admit only Jews who had beards and wore head coverings.
A poor Jew named Angel Lyon once requested a personal interview with Lord Gordon. Because he was beardless, he was refused admittance in deference to Gordon's stipulations. This led to a correspondence between the ger tzedek(righteous convert) and Lyon which was later published in pamphlet form under the title of "A Letter from Angel Lyon to the Right Honourable Lord George Gordon on Wearing Beards; with Lord George Gordon's Answer and a Reply from Lyon."
In his introductory letter, Lyon describes his financial plight, mentions Gordon's reputation as a man of chessed and justifies his being unbearded by reference to the sending of Shmuel to the house of Yishai to anoint a king, whereupon Shmuel was surprised that seven of the finest princes should pass before him unapproved. Hash-m then told Shmuel that "Men see only the eyes but G-d sees the heart."
To this, Gordon replied in a remarkable letter of great length. First commenting on Lyon's reference to the choosing of David, he argued as follows:
The L-rd seeth not as man seeth: for man looketh on the outward appearances, but the L-rd looketh on the heart. Yet this expression is not intended to abolish or contradict the laws of outward appearance among the Jews, but to teach that G-d sees through all outward appearances; which, when accompanied with sincerity of heart, constitute hypocrisy. The L-rd was pleased to choose out David from among his seven brothers, because he knew the superior integrity of his heart, and his skillfulness to guide his people Israel; but the history does not insinuate, in the slightest manner, that any of the sons were deficient as Jews, in outward appearances, according to the law.
They were all outwardly qualified for kings in the eyes of Samuel, or he would not have said of the first, who was afterwards rejected, 'Surely the L-rd's anointed is before Him.' Samuel knew that a king, openly and outwardly contradicting the law and the example of G-d's people, would be an abomination, and not a deliverer in Israel...David and his followers taught no new doctrines, in their dispersion or when they came to power, that can be brought to countenance thee at all in shaving off thy beard.
On the importance of looking Jewish, he writes,
They are ashamed of the outward and visible signs, given unto them by G-d himself, and commanded to be preserved by Moses, because it distinguishes them as Jews, in public, from the nobility and gentry of these lands. But this is serving man and despising G-d; it is building up and confirming the dominion of pride on their distractions and divisions, and erasing the foundation, subverting the compactness, and retarding the building of Jerusalem in our days.
This letter so eloquently expresses Gordon's deep emotional commitment to preserving Jewish tradition that any one of its lines and paragraphs would be worth quoting. He signed it, "Israel bar Abraham George Gordon, Felon Side, Newgate."
In Lyon's reply, which is addressed to "Gair Zadak" (his spelling), we have the following:
I beg leave to declare myself, that owing to your Lordship's few words and personal example, on the tenth of June, when I had the honour of waiting upon you, I took the resolution not to shave anymore.
Whereas the first letter was signed Angel Lyon, this is signed "Asher Bar Judah."
Gordon kept himself occupied in prison with t'fila, writing letters, and entertaining guests. He usually had at least eight guests for two o'clock dinner at his kosher table. His large cell was very often overcrowded with people who came to talk with him. He had sympathetic friends in all classes of society. Among his guests were dukes, Italian barbers, ladies of fashion, Jewish shopkeepers, soldiers, members of Parliament, Polish noblemen, American merchants, rabbis and, once, even His Royal Highness. At times Gordon would give a party and entertain his guests with one of seven musical instruments he had mastered.
From his cell Gordon sent out letters to all parts of the world. Some famous recipients of his letters were Benjamin Franklin, Henry Laurens, and Governor Morris, founders of the American Republic. He also wrote to the House of Commons, often denouncing its members for not abolishing the slave trade. He made appeals on behalf of Jews in other parts of the world. For example, on August 2, 1792 he wrote to "W. Smith, Esq. M.P., Chairman of the Meeting in Support of the People of Poland, at the London Tavern," arguing that "the new constitution of Poland was inadequate since it did not give equal rights to its Jewish citizens as France had done."
He would often go into other parts of the prison to comfort prisoners by speaking with them, playing the violin, and giving what little money he could. Charles Dickens, in his novel Barnaby Rudge, which centers around the "Gordon" riots of 1780, writes about Gordon among the prisoners as follows:
The prisoners bemoaned his loss, and missed him; for though his means were not large his charity was great, and in bestowing alms among them he considered the necessities of all alike, and knew no distinction of sect or creed.
On the 28th of January, 1793, Gordon's sentence expired and he had to appear to give claim to his future good behavior. When appearing in court he was ordered to remove his hat, which he refused to do. The hat was then taken from him by force, but he covered his head with a night cap and bound it with a handkerchief. He defended his behavior concerning his kippa by quoting the Bible "in support of the propriety of the creature having his head covered in reverence to the Creator." Before the court, he read a written statement in which he claimed that "he had been imprisoned for five years among murderers, thieves, etc., and that all the consolation he had arose from his trust in G-d."
Since he had brought as guarantors only two Polish Jews whom the court would not accept, Gordon was again remanded to his prison cello. Although his brothers, the Duke of Gordon and Lord William, and his sister, Lady Susan, offered to cover his bail, Gordon refused their help saying that to "sue for pardon was a confession of guilt."
In October of the same year Gordon caught the dreaded prison fever that had been raging in Newgate that year. Christopher Hibbert, another biographer, writes that scores of prisoners waited outside his door for news of him; friends, regardless of infection, stood whispering in the room and praying for his recovery. But on November 1, 1793 when he was but 42, this virulent form of typhoid took him from this world, and George Gordon's soul returned to its Maker.
It has been reported that Gordon's last moments were make harder by his knowledge that he would not be buried among Jews. He was, in fact, buried "with the utmost privacy" in the St. James' burying ground. Why he could not be buried in a Jewish cemetery is not clear, but it seems that Yisrael bar Avraham Geroge Gordon deserves to be buried among his people - our people. Perhaps the time has come for our Jewish brethren in England to have Yisrael bar Avraham's remains exhumed and brought to Jewish burial.
This article was originally published in Yiddishkeit magazine no. 5 in July 1999
from the August 2004 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
Tuesday, 2 February 2016
“Rhodes’ biographer, Sara Millin, was a little more direct. As she puts it: ‘the government of the world was Rhodes’ simple desire’.” “Quigley quotes:
‘In the middle 1890’s Rhodes had a personal income of at least a million pounds sterling a year which he spent so freely for mysterious purposes that he was usually overdrawn on his account… Cecil Rhodes’ commitment to a conspiracy to establish World Government was set down in a series of wills described by Frank Aydelotte in his book American Rhodes Scholarships.’
‘….In his first will Rhodes states his aim still more specifically: the extension of British rule throughout the world…(with English as the world language), the foundation of so great a power as to hereafter render wars impossible and promote the interest of humanity. ‘The ‘Confession of Faith’ (part of the testament) enlarges upon these ideas. The model for this proposed secret society was the Society of Jesus, though he mentions also the Masons.’
“Gary Allen continues:
“It should be noted that the originator of this type of secret society was Adam Weishaupt, the monter who founded the Order of (Bavarian) Illuminati on May 1, 1776, for the purpose of conspiracy to control the world. The role of Weishaupt’s (Bavarian) Illuminati has long been recognized as models for Communist methodology. Weishaupt also used the structure of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) as the model, and rewrote his Code in Masonic terms.”
‘In 1888 Rhodes made his third will…leaving everything to LORD ROTHSCHILD (his financier in mining enterprises), with an accompanying letter enclosing ‘the written matter discussed between us.’ This, one surmises, consisted of the first will and the ‘Confession of Faith’, since in a postscript Rhodes says ‘in considering questions suggest take Constitution of the Jesuits if obtainable’… ‘Apparently for strategic reasons Lord Rothschild was subsequently removed from the forefront of the scheme. Professor Quigley reveals that Lord Rosebury, replaced his father-in-law Lord Rothschild, in Rhodes’ next (and last) will.
‘The ‘secret society’ was organized on the conspiratorial pattern of circles within circles. Professor Quigley informs us that the central part of the ‘secret society’ was established by March, 1891, using Rhodes’ money. The organization was run for Rothschild by Lord Alfred Milner – The ROUND TABLE worked behind the scenes at the highest levels of British government, influencing foreign policy and England’s involvement and conduct of WW I.’
The oligarchs' real game is killing animals and killing people
by Allen Douglas
"Crack! The rifle shot hits its target, and a mother rhino dies. Its little calf, now abandoned, is also condemned to death. As another of our endangered species is pushed nearer to extinction, the poachers' blood-lust grows."
- World Wildlife Fund circular of July 17, 1987 condemning the "proud men of the Middle East" for their "criminal ignorant waste" of the rhino, because they use its carved horn as handles for their ceremonial knives.
In January 1961, a few months before he would launch the new "Noah's Ark," the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), to save the world's endangered animal species, Prince Philip accompanied Queen Elizabeth on a royal tour of India.
Among the attractions that one of his hosts, a local Rajah in Jaipur, put on for the royal party was a tiger hunt. From a platform high in the trees out of all danger, Philip shot one of the famed Indian tigers, which had been lured by the tethered goats which the rajah had staked out.
The photo of Philip standing proudly by his victim, nearly 10 feet long from nose to tail, caused a worldwide outcry.
Philip, president of the World Wildlife Fund, on the left,
looking after a tiger just killed.
Shaken, the royal consort continued his tour, arriving in Kathmandu with a conspicuous bandage on his trigger finger, explaining that an injury would prevent his participation in the king's "traditional hunt," which he would, nevertheless, accompany.
Philip and Elizabeth rode perched atop some of the 300 elephants which were used to flush the game, as the Queen whirred away with her camera. Several tigers were killed that day, none officially attributed to Philip. Nor did Philip receive official credit for another animal killed that day, an exceedingly rare Indian rhinoceros. Only 250 were then left in the world, after British tea planters had finished slaughtering them to make way for their crop.
As the elephants lumbered on, a female rhino with an infant calf became trapped within their closing circle. One of the royal party, Lord Alex Douglas-Home, known as one of the finest shots in England, fired near the animal in an attempt to scare it away.
But the rhino blundered on, into Philip's path.
"To everyone's horror, Philip shot it," Ian MacPhail, the WWF's first international appeals director, later told a British film crew.
The dead rhino's terrified calf escaped by darting away through the elephants' legs.
"It must have died as well. It was far too young to have managed on its own."
The whole business was covered up, MacPhail explained, for plans were already afoot to found the World Wildlife Fund.
"I was a party to the cover-up," he told the film crew in 1990, believing that the greater good was to save various animal species as a whole.
Reflecting on the WWF's utter failure to do so over the three previous decades, he concluded:
"But with a heavy heart I have to report to you that I was wrong. The rhino, the elephant, and the panda missed the boat, and the new Noah's Ark sailed on without them."
Philip's personal behavior has characterized that of his World Wildlife Fund as a whole.
From 1961 until the present, the WWF has presided over, and in many cases organized and financed, including the purchase of weapons, the systematic slaughter and near extinction of the most prominent species under its self-appointed control. And, under cover of concern for the animals, it used substantial portions of the several hundred million dollars it has raised to date, to finance the slaughter of human beings, in particular in sub-Saharan Africa.
In the account to follow, it must be understood that the WWF was, from the outset, the personal fiefdom of Philip, who oversaw its operations almost down to the smallest detail.
Sir Peter Scott, a WWF founder and longtime chairman, explained to EIR in an interview conducted in the early 1980s why Prince Bernhard, rather than Philip, became the WWFInternational's first president:
"When we started WWF, a British president would have looked too colonial."
But, Scott emphasized, it was Philip, not his friend Prince Bernhard, who was the driving force - testimony echoed by others in the WWF hierarchy.
Longtime Director General Charles de Haes told a journalist,
"Prince Philip is brilliant, he has a remarkable knowledge. He's been involved with WWF since its founding in 1961. He's incredibly active. He chairs all the executive committee meetings. He's involved right down to every aspect of policy."
Added the WWF's Dr. Anne Schiotz,
"The Duke of Edinburgh devotes perhaps one-fourth of his time to the WWF - he is remarkable."
The WWF is best-known for its efforts to conserve four animal species, all of which were in vastly better condition in 1961 than they are today. Two of these, the panda and the African black rhinoceros, are near extinction, andtwoothers, the African elephant and the Indian tiger, are rapidly heading in that direction.
At numerous times during the past 33 years, the WWF has been made aware, often through reports it has itself commissioned, of the approaching extinction of various species. In each case, it has suppressed, sometimes brutally so, the information.
Three of the more notorious instances include:
The "Black Ebur Report"
In 1972, WWF founder Sir Peter Scott commissioned a Nairobi-based big game hunter, Ian Parker, to look into the lucrative and burgeoning illegal trade in animal products such as elephant tusks and rhino horn.
Among other things, Parker found that the family of Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta were notorious traders in illegal products, and that his daughter Margaret was the secretary of a company which sold rhino horns and elephant tusks to the Far East, a trade which had probably done more to decimate Kenya's large animals than any other single cause. Parker also named many of Kenya's most prominent "conservationists" as poachers.
Within hours of turning his report over to Scott, Parker was picked up, taken to the Kenyan Special Branch's notorious Langatta Road station, beaten for three days and told to shut up about what he had written or his wife would be killed.
The report, then the most comprehensive inquiry into African wildlife slaughter ever conducted, remained suppressed until 17 years later, when Irish filmmaker Kevin Dowling unearthed it to use for his scathing expose of the WWF, "Tenpence in the Panda," for Britain's Independent Television network.
At almost the same time that Parker was being beaten, then WWF-International President Prince Bernhard bestowed on Kenyatta his specially created "Order of the Golden Ark," for "saving the rhino." Bernhard was well aware that vast numbers of animals had disappeared during Kenyatta's tenure, because he had received - even signed for - a copy of the Black Ebur Report.
When word leaked out that Bernhard possessed this devastating report, WWF Director General de Haes claimed that this was not a WWF corporate affair, that it was merely Bernhard's "private investigation."
The Phillipson Report
In late 1989, Oxford professor John Phillipson completed his internal audit, commissioned by the WWF, of the organization's effectiveness.
Phillipson's 252-page report, excerpts of which are made public here for the first time, was a scathing indictment of WWF's outrageous incompetence and blundering, or worse. It concluded that what the WWF had adopted as its special mission - saving individual species - was what it was least good at.
Upon receiving a copy of the report, Philip immediately sent a secret memo to Director General de Haes, directing that Phillipson be urged to tone down his findings or, failing that, that the report's key findings be suppressed.
Under this code name, in 1987, the WWF authorized a lavishly funded "emergency effort to save the rhino." The premise of this extremely secret operation was to organize infiltration, from a base in South Africa, of the continent's wildlife smuggling rings in order to stop the animal slaughter. By all accounts, a vast amount of information was gathered. Once again, nothing was done with it, except to suppress it.
Of course, as many conservationists noted at the time, trying to stop wildlife poaching "at the source" was a ridiculous proposition, akin to trying to stop the world's drug trade by rounding up local pushers, while leaving the bankers who finance the trade and launder its hundreds of billions, untouched.
The center of trade in illegal wildlife products was, as with the drag trade, the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong.
Saving the animals?
Let us review some of the WWF's most highly publicized, as well as lucrative, efforts to save individual species.
Counter posing these efforts by what might seem at first to be merely a gang that can't shoot straight, to the most sensitive mission WWF has ever launched, Operation Lock, lays bare WWF's true purpose.
At the time of its formation in November 1961, the WWF proclaimed that it had the answer to what it claimed was the threatened extinction of many species: "There is only one hope for them symbolized by the loveable giant panda. He was saved from extinction because man acted in time. Now the panda is the emblem of a world crusade to beat the 20th century death flood - the World Wildlife Fund." , .
The WWF claimed that "scientific breeding" had saved the panda, an approach which now must be applied to all other species. After raising money off the symbolism of the cuddly mammal for 23 years, the. WWF suddenly discovered that it, too, was an endangered species. In 1987, Philip launched a new appeal for still more millions to "save the panda."
The WWF's efforts, which included "relocating" thousands of poor Chinese peasants out of their homes in the pandas' "range," and building an expensive laboratory in an attempt to breed pandas, were appraised by consultant Phillipson.
After noting that WWF had spent 4,493,021 Swiss francs on eight projects since 1980, Phillipson observed that,
"despite a staff of 43 (23 allegedly science-trained), panda breeding has not been a success and research output negligible.... The laboratories, equipped at a cost to WWF of SFr 0.53 million, are essentially non-functional. .. . A lack of proper advice, inadequately trained staff, and poor direction have resulted in a'moribund'laboratory.... The obvious conclusion must be that WWF has not been effective or efficient in safeguarding its massive investment.... WWF subscribers would be dismayed to learn that the capital input has been virtually written off."
Finally, wrote Phillipson,
"It must be accepted that WWF activities in China are largely in disarray.... The policy of widening WWF involvement to cover other interests has, in my opinion, been counterproductive and, in view of the virtual cessation of support for all forms of panda research, amounts to an abrogation of responsibility for the much publicized 'Panda Program.' "
After 30 years of raising money off the animal, Prince Philip was forced to admit in 1990 that the panda was "probably doomed."
A study by noted animal population ecologist E. Caughey in 1988 concluded that there were 3 million elephants in Africa in the early 1950s. By all accounts, there was little or no decline in elephant numbers during the colonial period, that is, approximately up to the "Winds of Change" policy enunciated by British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan in 1960, almost contemporaneous with the founding of the WWF.
The first systematic field survey, done in 1976 by the Scottish Kenya-based conservationist Iain Douglas-Hamilton, found 1.3 million elephants alive at the time.
Throughout the 1970s and most of the 1980s, the WWF stoutly maintained that there was no "elephant crisis," fighting the efforts of various conservationists to ban trading of the animals' valuable ivory. By the time the "Year of the Elephant" was declared in 1988-89, the WWF maintained that there were 750,000 left, a number that mounting evidence forced them to revise downward to 650,000.
However, a survey done in 1988 by the former WWF president in France, Pierre Pfeffer, who was forced off the board, found that there were only 400,000 left. That number has dropped still further, till various experts interviewed in the 1989 British film "The Elephant Man," spoke of the great beast's looming extinction.
Once again, the WWF had done its bit. In 1963, WWF-International Chairman Peter Scott, in a report to the Ugandan Parks Board, recommended the "culling" of 2,500 elephants. The job was contracted to game hunter Ian Parker, who massacred 4,000 hippos while he was at it.
Scott had recommended the slaughter on the malthusian premise that "overpopulation" required the killing of many individuals in order to "save the species." In reality, as it later emerged, Scott wanted to create a valuable mahogany plantation in the forests where the elephants fed, and they were in the way.
While Parker shot the elephants, WWF directors made a tidy profit from the business. Scott tipped off fellow WWF founder and Prince Philip's Extra Equerry, Lord Aubrey Buxton, that the slaughters were to happen. Buxton, chairman of Survival Anglia, makers of some of the world's leading "nature documentaries," and on whose board Scott also sat, arranged to film the slaughter.
In the early 1970s, the bloody Ugandan dictator Idi Amin was installed in power by British intelligence, and maintained there until 1979. The British government watched benignly as Amin slaughtered thousands and thousands more elephants.
Today, there are fewer elephants left in Uganda than Scott had ordered Parker to kill in one drive.
In 1975, the African Wildlife Leadership Foundation, founded by U.S. WWF President Russell Train, contracted with Parker to kill virtually all the elephants in Rwanda, on the basis that the Rwandans could not protect both the mountain gorilla and the elephant, so the elephant had to go.
One of gorilla expert Diane Fossey's assistants later charged that the elephants had been killed because the land they lived on was ideal for the production of pyrethrum, a natural "nonpolluting" insecticide.
Within a few years, an artificial substitute for pyrethrum was found and production collapsed.
Now cleared of trees, the slopes where the elephants had lived lost their topsoil through erosion, while the rivers backed up with sediment and flooded.
The slaughter continued
In 1986, former Rhodesian bush fighter Clem Coetzee of Zimbabwe was awarded the WWF Conservation Award by Director General de Haes for overseeing a campaign in which 44,000 elephants were killed.
This was necessary, said the WWF, "to protect the environment" of Zimbabwe's "overcrowded" national parks. De Haes lauded Coetzee's work as "exemplary and a model for all Africa."
While other conservation groups worldwide were screaming about the plight of the elephant and calling for an ivory trade ban, the WWF was still maintaining things were fine.
When the WWF belatedly rang the alarm bells in 1989, the "Year of the Elephant," their assistance to the elephants of Uganda was most curious. With funds raised through tear-jerking campaigns "to save Nell the elephant," the WWF set up a camp to rescue the beleaguered behemoths, into which the standard extensive paramilitary gear was flown.
This camp was near the Mountains on the Moon on the Rwandan border, despite the fact that virtually all of Uganda's elephants were in Murchison Park, nearly 1,000 miles away.
But it was from precisely this area that the Rwandan Patriotic Front was to invade Rwanda a short time later.
The black rhino
The WWF was launched in London with a special "shock edition" of the Daily Mirror on Oct. 6, 1961. Virtually the entire front page of the newspaper was given over to a banner headline, "Doomed - by Man's Folly, Greed and Neglect," and to a giant picture of a black rhinoceros.
Only 100,000 "short-sighted and likeably ugly rhinos" like Gertie, as she was christened, who stood there with one of her infant calves at her foot, survived in the wild, Mirror readers were told. And they were dwindling fast. If the rhino were to be "saved" in the troubled times ahead, the whole African herd would have to be "scientifically managed."
Support from the Mirror's working-class readership poured in.
Widows sent their pension money, and children their pennies saved up for school. In all, £45,000 was collected, a huge sum for the time. The WWF thus obtained "a basis for its financial security," and it was off and running. Yet it spent virtually nothing on saving rhinos until almost 10 years later, and sponsored only two rhino projects in its first two decades!
Behind its trumpet blare of concern for the rhino, the WWF had by 1980 spent only 118,533 tax-sheltered Swiss francs, out of more than $110 million raised, to "save the wild black rhino," whose population in the meantime had declined by 95.5%. And when the WWF finally did sponsor "rhino projects," the rhinos invariably died, or at best were sent off to zoos or, more frequently, private game farms.
Today the black rhino is virtually extinct in the wild.
Exemplary of the WWF's work for the "likeably ugly beasts," is a sampling of the rhino projects scathingly criticized by the Phillipson report, chronicled below.
In 1965, a Kenyan resident gave the WWF SFr 36,300 to move six white rhino from Natal, South Africa to Meru Game Reserve in Kenya, which, according to the WWF Yearbook 1965-67 "was felt to contain the right sort of habitat."
From 1961 until the present, the
WWF has presided over, and in
many cases organized and financed,
the systematic slaughter and near
extinction of the most prominent
species under its self-appointed
control. And, under cover of concern for the animals, it used substantial
portions of the several hundred
million dollars it has raised to
date, to finance the slaughter of
"The project was ill-conceived and indefensible in conservation terms; the Southern White Rhino has never, at least in historic times, occurred in Kenya: More over, there is no evidence that the Northern White Rhino ever roamed the lands which now constitute the 87,044 hectare Meru National Park.
The assumption must be that in the mid 1960s WWF was either scientifically incompetent, hungry for publicity, greedy for money, or unduly influenced by scientifically naive persons of stature."
"The program came to an abrupt end in November 1988, perhaps mercifully in that it removed a constant source of embarrassment. Insurgent Somali poachers shot all the remaining white rhino in an act of defiance, an unfortunate end for the rhino but no doubt a welcome relief for concerned conservationists. Project 0195 is not a project that WWF should look back on with any pride."
Nor was Project 917, in which 85 "surplus rhino" from Natal were shipped into Mozambique; all of them died. Nor was the Lake Nakuru National Park rhino project in Kenya.
Half of all the money the WWF spent on Kenya has gone into what it calls "the protected area management" of this park.
Originally set up as a bird park, with hundreds of thousands of flamingos and many other varieties of tropical birds breeding on the lake and its environs, WWF decided by the late 1980s to turn it into a rhino park in which to place the last of the Kenyan rhinos. Seventeen black rhino were translocated, and penned in behind an electric fence. Soon it became obvious that the project was a disaster.
As Phillipson remarked with biting irony:
"The logic behind the choice of Nakuru as a site for the release of black rhinos remains something of a mystery. About one-third of the park is a lake and another third is open grassland, quite unsuitable in the normal course of events, as rhino habitat....
Nakuru was a daft place. What price walking safaris for birdwatchers now that there might be a rhino around the next bush? The park was, after all, created for the birds."
WWF Director General de Haes was notorious among his staff for his reported statement that he "couldn't give a continental f***" about the rhino. But if the WWF has not been saving endangered species, as it clearly has not, then on what has it been spending its hundreds of millions of dollars?
A look at the WWF's "Operation Stronghold," and its sister, "Operation Lock," two more "save the rhino" gambits, gives the answer.
Funded with 1 million Swiss francs and coordinated with Operation Lock, Stronghold was nominally to enable the Zimbabwe Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management to save the 700 black rhino left in the Zambezi Valley, the last major population in the wild in Africa.
Chief Game Ranger Glen Tatham toured the United States, announcing that, with WWF's help, he and his rangers "were going to war" against the poachers allegedly coming over the border from Zambia.
On Nov. 10, 1988, Tatham and two of his assistants were brought before a court in Zimbabwe and charged with murder. It was alleged that they had set up a sting operation against poachers, who, when they approached the meeting place, had been shot dead from ambush without warning by the accused. It soon emerged in a parliamentary debate that Tatham and his men had killed 70 poachers since early 1987.
A law was rushed through parliament, the Protection of Wildlife (Indemnity) Act, which gave game guards immunity from civil and criminal prosecution for killings or woundings carried out in the course of their duties.
Ten parliamentarians opposed the bill on the grounds that it would "legalize murder."
As one of them, Mica Bhebe, put it,
"We are giving people a blank check to kill people."
Official figures show that between July 1984 and September 1991, some 145 "poachers" were killed.
Of the 84 killed in the Zambezi Valley, most were shot from a helicopter paid for by WWF and manned by WWF contract employees. According to the Game Department's figures, of the 228 people killed or taken prisoner, only 107 guns were recovered.
Given that another 202 individuals were recorded as having fled, some badly injured, some of whom would have lost or been unable to carry away their weapons, this means that Tatham et al. failed to recover weapons from three-quarters of those killed, taken prisoner, or driven away. This raises the question of whether those targeted by the guards were in fact armed poachers at all.
According to sources interviewed by the British film crew which made Ten Pence in the Panda, several of the dead were in fact associated with the military wing of the African National Congress.
And what happened to the rhino?
From the moment that the project was agreed to in February 1987, the WWF's aim had been "to translocate rhinos captured in the valley to safer areas elsewhere."
Drugged and immobilized, the rhinos were shipped off to privately owned game farms in Zimbabwe, elsewhere in Africa, and to the United States and Australia. In other words, the WWF paid to slaughter human beings, in order to destroy the last living rhino herd in the world. The reason for the "relocation" became quickly clear - aside from the immense profits it generated for private, WWF-associated interests.
It emerged that the International Monetary Fund (IMF), then dictating a "restructuring" of Zimbabwe's economy, had mandated that a beef ranching business be set up in the Zambezi Valley, in the rhino range, to provide beef to the European Commission.
After the rhino had been "relocated," squads of animal exterminators moved into the valley and killed scores of elephants and 5,000 buffalo to make way for the IMF-mandated beef ranch, which soon collapsed into bankruptcy, leaving large debts and no rhinos.
In late 1989 and early 1990, a scandal broke into the British and European press which threatened to cause immense damage to the green oligarchs at WWF.
One of WWF's most secretive operations, code-named "Operation Lock," ostensibly an aggressive attempt to save the endangered rhino by sending an elite squad of British Special Air Services (SAS) operatives into southern Africa to penetrate, expose, and neutralize the illegal wildlife smuggling cartels, had gone badly awry.
A million pounds sterling had disappeared, and it appeared that the SAS team had started dealing in the very products, in particular rhino horn and ivory, which it had been sent to stop. There were also, as in Operation Stronghold, whispers of rising death tolls of "poachers."
WWF hastily prepared its own version of the matter. In 1986, they said, Prince Bernhard and the new head of the WWF's Africa Program, John Hanks, became alarmed while on a tour of Africa, at the rapidly dwindling rhino numbers. The two cooked up the notion of sending a team of elite trained sabotage experts and killers, SAS men, to Africa to deal with the problem by unorthodox means.
Prince Bernhard, unbeknownst to WWF, put the £500,000 or more he received from the sale of a valuable painting into the project, and off it went. It was completely secret, so the story goes, from the WWF headquarters in Gland, Switzerland, even though Bernhard was at the time president of the Netherlands WWF and two other national WWF organizations.
The SAS team, which had been organized into a company named KAS Enterprises Ltd. for the purpose, was led by Col. David Stirling, the legendary founder of Britain's SAS regiments during World War II, and the veteran of dozens, if not hundreds of special operations all over the Mideast and Africa in the postwar period.
Stirling chose the intials to echo those of his earlier Capricorn Africa Society (CAS), whose purpose had been to "preserve apartheid in a sugar coating," in the words of Kenya governor Sir Philip Kerr.
Capricorn's treasurer had been Mervyn Cowie, the architect of the Kenyan Park system and controller of the Mau Mau, while its chief propagandist was Elspeth Huxley, the wife of Julian Huxley' s cousin Gervas.
Curiously, the most detailed revelations about Operation Lock, which obviously relied on internal WWF documents, came from the newsletter Africa Confidential, widely regarded in Africa and elsewhere as an MI-5 asset, and which had been founded in Stirling's flat in London.
The issue, as defined by Africa Confidential and its editor, who left the newsletter at this time and authored a series of exposes on Operation Lock in the British and Dutch press, became:
Who in the WWF bureaucracy knew about this crazy, if deadly, scheme and when?
Was this another "offline" operation by Bernhard, as the "Black Ebur Report" supposedly had been, or was this official WWF policy?
It soon emerged, contrary to the lies that the WWF leadership and its Director General de Haes spread, that the entire operation from the beginning was official policy, and that a WWF project description - later called a "mistake" - explicitly called for the purchase of arms.
Files existed in the Gland international office titled "Anti-Poaching Units," which operations had indeed been funded by WWF.
Though scandalous, the various exposes missed the point of Operation Lock.
First, as anyone familiar with Africa's parks is well aware, the main "poachers" are usually the guards themselves, often financed and armed by the WWF. Second, the man whom Bernhard (again, according to the received version of events) approached to carry out this delicate "save the rhino" work, was a man who had not only founded the SAS and who had extensive covert operations experience in Africa, but who had been the "Gold Stick" at the coronation of Elizabeth II as queen in 1952.
Though an Anglo-Catholic educated at the Benedictine monastery at Ampleforth contemporaneously with Lord Buxton, Philip's Extra Equerry, and with others of the WWF crowd, Stirling was chosen for the extraordinary honor, coveted among all British peerage,
Special Offprint 37 to be the personal defender of the body of the queen, the head of the Protestant Church of England. And, as do all the men of SAS as well as MI-5, MI-6, and the Life Guards, he had sworn his loyalty not to the British state, but to the person of the monarch.
Throughout the postwar period, Stirling had carried out dozens of the most sensitive political-military operations for the British Crown. A Scottish aristocrat, he was close personally to the Queen Mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, herself of the very cream of the Scottish aristocracy. The aging Stirling chose as the operational officer for his KAS company, Lt. Col. Ian Crooke. Crooke was also a legend.
Decorated with the rarefied Distinguished Service Order for his service during the Falklands campaign, he was the hooded "man on the balcony" who commanded the SAS team which stormed the Iranian Embassy in London in May 1980, and whose picture was flashed round the world. His brother Alastair was a British consular official in Islamabad, Pakistan, reportedly in charge of arming the Afghan mujahideen.
Crooke's number two man in Operation Lock, Nish Bruce, was reportedly the most highly decorated British soldier in the Falklands fighting. (Curiously, WWF founder Lord Buxton's daughter was in the Falkland Islands "birdwatching" just as the fighting broke out.) Others on the team had extensive service in Northern Ireland, and were specialists in hunting down IRA men.
Thus the unit pulled together to "stop poaching" comprised some of the very elite of the British special forces.
Crooke was the head at the time of the 23rd SAS Regiment, the part-time SAS unit which is used, as are dozens of "private" security firms in London such as Stirling's, for operations sanctioned by Her Majesty's Government, but ones which "HMG" prefers to deny.
That Operation Lock was official government policy is obvious:
The chain of command in the WWF led to Prince Philip, the royal consort, and Stirling even admitted to the press that he was in close contact with the British Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs.
One SAS member familiar with Operation Lock reported that there were regular toasts to the Queen Mother in SAS's favorite pub, while another, himself a Lock participant, stated in writing that among Lock's consortium of financial backers was the Queen Mother.
Another subscriber to Lock was Laurens van der Post, the tutor to Prince Charles and at the time Mrs. Thatcher's chief adviser on Africa policy.
What was KAS really?
Stirling was a curious choice to save Africa's wildlife.
He was very close to, among other well-known traffickers in wildlife, the Unita organization of Jonas Savimbi, who in 1988 admitted that his men had killed some 100,000 elephants in order to finance their war against the MPLA government in Luanda.
Furthermore, internal KAS documents showed that Stirling's company planned to make a profit out of trading in the very ivory, rhino horn, etc. which they had ostensibly been sent to Africa to stop.
Under Crook's command, 25 SAS veterans set up a fortified headquarters in Pretoria with sophisticated computer equipment and imported (illegally, due to the embargo then on against South Africa) large amounts of highly sophisticated weaponry. But, if they weren't saving the rhinos, what were they doing?
Zimbabwean Minister for National Security Sydney Sekerayami had an idea.
According to the Dutch paper de Volkrants of Aug. 24, 1991, he,
"plainly stated in public that he suspected KAS of being a cover for the destabilization of southern Africa."
Numerous other governments, including wildlife officials in Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia were suspicious of the Lock men, and refused to work with them.
Rowan Martin, director of research in Zimbabwe's wildlife department, declined to cooperate with Crooke, who flew from Johannesburg to see him because Crooke was "vague about his sponsors and the objectives of his mission."
It also seemed odd to Martin that,
"they seemed more interested in military technology than wildlife... They hinted at some pretty irregular methods."
South African Military Intelligence, evaluating the "antipoachers" as obviously an elite British intelligence unit, sent their own man in to infiltrate the Lock crew.
Crooke managed to work out liaisons with Namibia and Mozambique, and with elements of the South African special forces and intelligence community. Then in a war against the African National Congress (ANC), South West African People's Organization (SWAPO), and the majority-ruled front-line states, some South Africans viewed the paramilitary training capabilities of the British as an asset.
From an operational headquarters in Bophuthatswana's Pilanesberg Park, and in numerous other parks such as Etosha in Namibia and in the game parks in the KaNgwana homeland on the South Africa-Mozambique border, the KAS crew turned out "anti-poaching units."
One such unit which Crooke' s men trained, and the political circumstances in which it operated, is of particular interest.
The 'third force'
From before Nelson Mandela's release in 1990 until the present, well over 10,000 black South Africans have been killed through black-on-black violence.
Observers have attributed much of this murder and mayhem to the agent provocateur actions of a mysterious "third force," which is neither the ANC, nor its Zulu-based Inkatha Freedom Party rival. The third force, by attacking each of the rival groups in turn - which then blame each other - keeps the deadly violence going. Such activity must be gridded against the work of Crooke's unit in Namibia.
After being taken from the Germans following World War I, South West Africa became a protectorate of South Africa.
In the 1980s, as the SWAPO guerilla force of Sam Nujoma waged war against the South African-backed, white-dominated government of the country, South African special forces trained the notorious "Koevoet," Afrikaans for "crowbar," black special warfare units, whose savagery was notorious. Crooke and his crew retrained the Koevoet men as "antipoaching units."
Simultaneously, they set up liaison with the then-minuscule "stock theft unit" of the South African Police.
In late June 1992, shortly after the notorious Boipatong massacre of June 18, in which 39 were killed and many more injured by mysterious "third force" assassins, a joint task force of ANC intelligence, the Goldstone Commission (an inquiry into violence), and a special police unit raided the premises of the British-owned Gold Fields firm.
There, to their surprise, they discovered a "stock theft unit" of 40 men, mainly re-trained Koevoet veterans from Namibia.
According to the South African Weekly Mail of June 26-July 2, 1992,
"The African National Congress says it has witnesses who will testify before the [Goldstone] commission on the unit's role in the Boipatong massacre."
Gold Fields was chaired by Robin Plumbridge, an Oxford graduate and a Trustee of the South African Nature Foundation, the WWF's South African affiliate.
As the Weekly Mail put it,
"The presence of a 'third force' on a British-owned mine will have major international repercussions."
Though £1 million had been spent,
"As one of [Operation Lock's] employees himself put it, there is no proof that the [project] ever even saved one single rhinoceros," according to the Dutch newspaper de Volkrants.
Population controller John Hanks
The story that Prince Bernhard and John Hanks ran Operation Lock as a rogue operation out of their back pockets is nonsense, but it is clear that Hanks did play a key role in the affair.
His career and specialties help shed further light on the operation. Hanks had gotten his start in the conservation business cutting up elephants in an abattoir in Zambia, where elephants were butchered to feed the workers in southern Africa's mines. He spent some time in Rhodesia where, according to his own account, he worked for military intelligence.
In the mid-1970s, he became the chief parks officer of the National Parks Board at Pietmaritzburg in Natal.
But his overwhelming preoccupation from 1976 on, was with human population control. In numerous speeches, he railed about how "Durban will [soon] be worse than Bombay."
The problem, he said, was that,
"African women are among the world's most prolific breeders, with the average woman bearing 5.2 children."
With all these mouths to feed,
"demands are being placed on our natural resources which are not sustainable and can only lead to chronic environmental degradation."
In 1977, he called for a "national population control policy," and the liberal use of contraception, abortion, and sterilization.
In 1979, Hanks became the first director of the Institute of Natural Resources in KwaZulu, founded with a grant from the K.E. Taeubner Management Trust, named for a member of the 1001 Club. He continued to specialize in population matters, and became an executive member of the Family Planning Association of South Africa. In 1986, he became the head of the Africa Program of the WWF.
When Operation Lock was exposed in 1990 (at least certain aspects of it), it caused a bit of a stink, and Hanks was forced to leave the WWF.
He issued a statement on Jan. 4, 1990:
"My own involvement in the project ceased when Prince Bernhard's funds had been exhausted in late 1989. I am aware that similar operations are continuing, but I am no longer involved in any way."
He took up the post of executive director of the WWF's South African branch, the South African Nature Foundation, which Prince Philip called "an elegant solution" to the embarrassment of what to do with him.
However, the Dutch paper de Volksrant reported on Aug. 24, 1991,
"He still works on operations like Lock, together with some of the former British soldiers who also took part in the original project."
Indeed, as an internal KAS situation report of Jan. 18May 31, 1989 marked "Secret" stated,
"KAS should seize this opportunity to become the leading expert on all forms of anti-poaching training throughout Africa."
The document furthermore noted that "the experience gained so far in SWA/ Namibia has proved invaluable."
Who are the poachers?
The nominal purpose of Operation Lock and Operation Stronghold was to "stop poachers." But as the case of the 120-square-mile Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania demonstrates once again, it is usually the WWF which is paying the poachers.
In the late 1950s, WWF founder-to-be Dr. Bernard Grzimek of the Frankfurt Zoo took an animal census in the Ngorongoro Crater, claiming to find that wildlife was disappearing.
This Grzimek blamed on the Masai pastoralists, who herded their cattle across the area, but who rarely killed anything except the lions which attacked their flocks. As a result of the hysteria Grzimek and his allies kicked up, in particular around the associated Hollywood film "Serengeti Shall Not Die!" the Masai were banned from entering vast areas of the national park around the crater, their traditional territory.
In 1964, some 108 rhinos had been individually photographed and given an identity, the most carefully documented population in Africa. A WWF program was set up to "save" them.
Despite the WWF-financed game guard program, by 1981 there were only 20 left. Not one poacher had been caught by the three anti-poaching teams in years.
In that year, an eyewitness wrote to the offices of the African Wildlife Leadership Federation in Nairobi, shedding some light on the disappearing rhino herd. The WWF-financed game guards, she reported, had shot dead two large tame males and wounded a female, "all in broad daylight."
"Isn't it fairly obvious what is going on in the crater