On Prince Bernhard and the WWF: "WWF's Special Founders," by Michael Barker, Swans Commentary, December 2, 2013: "There is a long and intimate history of collaboration between military strategists and conservationists. ... The involvement of conservation organizations in the militarization of national parks [in South Africa] eventually 'culminated in what became known as Operation Lock.' During the late 1980s this controversial project meant that WWF worked with mercenary forces (supplied by KAS Enterprises) in their alleged efforts call a halt to ivory and rhino horn trafficking. Significantly, one major player in such trafficking was the South African Defence Force (SADF), who used the money raised through such illegal trade to help support the apartheid regime.' This is important because as a result of their close working relationship with local mercenaries, WWF was made aware of the SADF's involvement in such unsavory practices, and as a result chose not to target South Africa in their international campaign against the rhino horn trade. In the end: 'Operation Lock spun out of control and the mercenaries started to become involved in smuggling rackets themselves and in the process participated in anti-ANC activities which were part of the general strategy of apartheid's 'general onslaught'.' When it became public, John Hanks, the head of WWF International Africa programmes, eventually took the flack for the entire covert operation, and amazingly was subsequently made head of WWF South Africa. ... "
In 1988, Prince Bernhard and Princess Juliana sold two paintings from their personal collection to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund. The paintings sold for GBP 700,000, which was deposited in a Swiss WWF bank account. In 1989, however, Charles de Haes, director-general of the WWF, transferred GBP500,0 00 back to Bernhard, for what De Haes called a private project. In 1991, newspapers reported what this private project was: Prince Bernhard had hired KAS International, owned by Special Air Service founder David Stirling, to use mercenaries – mostly British – to fight poachers in nature reserves. The paramilitary group infiltrated organisations profiting from illegal trade in ivory in order to arrest them.
This Project Lock seemed to have backfired enormously, however. Bernhard’s private army had not only infiltrated in the illegal trade, they were also participating in it. To make things worse, Irish reporter Kevin Dowling discovered that the South African army was also involved in the trade, hinting at connections between the Bernhard’s army and the WWF and the struggle for maintaining apartheid. Moreover, he claimed members of the South African-run counterinsurgency unit Koevoet (Afrikaans and Dutch for "crowbar") had been trained under Project Lock.
In 1995, Nelson Mandela called upon the Kumleben Commission to investigate, among other things, the role of the WWF in apartheid South Africa. In the report that followed, it was suggested that mercenaries from Project Lock had planned assassinations of ANC members and that mercenaries had been running training camps in the wildlife reserves, training fighters from the anti-communist groups UNITA and Renamo. Although Prince Bernhard was never accused of any crime in its context, the Project Lock scandal dealt another damaging blow to the Prince's name.
Dutch Prince Bernhard 'was member of Nazi party'
Annejet van der Zijl, a Dutch historian, has found membership documents in Berlin's Humboldt University that prove Prince Bernhard, who studied there, had joined Deutsche Studentenschaft, a National Socialist student fraternity, as well as the Nazi NSDAP and its paramilitary wing, the Sturmabteilung.
He left all the groups on leaving university in December 1934, when he went to work for the German chemical giant, IG Farben.
The prince always denied having been a member of the Nazi party, although he admitted that he briefly had sympathised with Adolf Hitler's regime. In one of the last interviews he gave before his death in 2004, he said: "I can swear this with my hand on the Bible: I was never a Nazi."
As the Nazis invaded Holland in 1940, the young prince consort, then aged 28, organised a group of palace guards that engaged in combat with German forces.
Denied the chance to stay and organise resistance by the then Queen Wilhelmina, he became head of the Dutch Royal Military Mission based in London.
As "Wing Commander Gibbs" – an honorary rank he held in the RAF – the prince later flew Allied bombing raids over occupied Europe before returning in 1944 as a Dutch war hero.
Queen's father, Bernhard, a creature of his own myths
By our news staff
A new biography of the late Dutch prince Bernhard, the current queen’s father, reveals more of his Nazi past.
Prince Bernhard zur Lippe-Biesterfeld (1911 – 2004) was the father to the Dutch queen Beatrix, a hero for the Dutch resistance against the German occupation during the second world war, and a member of the Nazi party. In a new biographical dissertation published on Monday, journalist and historian Annejet van der Zijl reveals a lot of unflattering information about this man who, even after his death, continues to inspire strong emotions.
Van der Zijl draws harder conclusions about his behaviour than other biographers before her. She writes that Bernhard’s lifestyle and the “myths” he created around his own person have done “permanent damage to the integrity of the monarchy”. She dubs him “a failure” in the history of the Dutch royal family.
In spite of his German blood, prince Bernhard was seen as a hero of the Dutch resistance against the German occupation of 1940 - 1945. But his life was also mired in controversy. In 1976, the prince was stripped of his military titles after allegations of accepting bribes from the American aircraft manufacturer Lockheed, which was then trying to sell its planes to the Dutch military. In an interview that was published after his death, he admitted to having two illegitimate children, next to the four daughters he fathered with the late Dutch queen Juliana.
Saviour or failure?
Prince Bernhard’s marriage to Juliana, who ruled the Netherlands from 1948 till 1980, also remains the subject of frequent debate. The couple spent large parts of their lives effectively, though not publicly, separated. The marriage, and the monarchy, was cast into crisis when the queen befriended a faith healer, Greet Hofmans, in the 1950s. As the time Hofmans spent at the court and her influence on the queen grew, Bernhard increasingly objected to her presence. In 1956, he leaked the story of this ‘Dutch Rasputin’ to the German press, jumpstarting a chain of events that would lead to her removal from the court.
A biography of the couple’s marriage published in 2008 painted a far more flattering picture of Bernhard than Van der Zijl’s new work does. Its author, historian and legal scholar Cees Fasseur believed prince Bernhard had “saved the monarchy” by leaking the story to the press.
Even though Fasseur was a member of her dissertation committee, Van der Zijl comes to an almost opposite conclusion.
Lies and omissions
Van der Zijl, who is famous in the Netherlands for other biographies and works of narrative non-fiction, spent five years studying the early years of Bernhard’s life in Germany. Her dissertation was published under the title Bernhard, a secret history on Monday. According to Van der Zijl, the main question guiding her research: ‘What makes Sammy run?’ was quickly supplemented with a second: ‘What makes Sammy lie?’
Van der Zijl shows that prince Bernhard’s account of ‘facts’ in his life very often differed from reality. For example, he did not tell the (whole) truth concerning his membership of Hitler’s national-socialist organisations.
She claims that till now Bernhard has never been placed in his proper historical context. In her dissertation, she describes pre-war Germany, where he grew up, as a place where
Prince Bernhard always denied he harboured sympathies for the Nazis, who came to power when he was 21 years old. He admitted to being a (novice) member of national socialist organisations like the German Students Association, but he always insinuated he had been forced into membership because, without it, he would have been unable to pass his exams.
Van der Zijl, however, found a membership card signed by the prince himself on which he reported being a member of the Nazi paramilitary group SA since April 27, 1933. The SA-membership was preceded by an obligatory six month novice membership, which means Bernhard must have applied for membership as early as 1932, a year before the Nazis rose to power, Van der Zijl argues. “At that time in history there was no pressing reason for him to do so,” she writes. She proposed this claim to the head archivist of Berlin’s Humboldt Universität, where Bernhard had studied. “It would be years before […] the nazification of education had progressed so far that political demands were placed on students from the top down,” he told her.
Bernhard lied about other things beside his Nazi involvement, according to Van der Zijl. For example, he omitted crucial facts regarding his athletic abilities. Bernhard, “who loved nothing more than to present himself as a born athlete”, never reported that “his athletic abilities were given a humiliating mangelhaft (lacking) grade” at the high school he attended. Bernhard had also said his parents were so rich he was the only student in Berlin in the 1930s who owned a car, but on his membership card of the German Students’ Association (Deutsche Studentenschaft), Bernhard reported he lacked means of transportation.
Money and social standing
Van der Zijl argues that Bernhard married Juliana not out of love for her, but for his own mother, Armgard. His marriage to Juliana assured Bernhard – and his family – a place in the highest circles. His father had done the opposite and lost social standing by marrying Bernhard’s mother.
Van der Zijl was allowed access to Bernhard’s Zur Lippe family archives. She also spoke to family members, friends and other people who had encountered Bernhard in the first part of his life. According to her, Bernhard himself proved to be one of the most unreliable sources.
In order to finish his education quickly Bernhard had to make some compromises with the monstrous political system that was fastening its grip on Germany. The story that the Prince of the Netherlands once wore the black uniform of Hitler’s SS is quite true. It came about in this way.
Only eleven days after his father’s death, on June 30, 1934, Hitler’s first purge, known as ‘The Night of the Long Knives,’ shocked Germany and the world. On that pleasant summer evening Ernst Rohm, who had been Hitler’s friend and ally from the beginning, and other leaders of the brown-shirted SA (Storm Troopers), the private army which had brought Hitler to power and who were now challenging his will, were taken in their beds and their offices, in beer-halls and on railway trains or in the streets, and shot without even a drumhead court-martial. They were an evil and degenerate crew who lived by violence and appropriately died by it, but the capricious manner of their liquidation proved that justice in Germany had been replaced by the will of a tyrant.
Nor were they the only victims. General Kurt von Schleicher, who had opposed Hitler politically, was shot in the doorway of his home, and when his wife protested too much she was murdered too. All sorts of private grudges were satisfied in the slaughter which was said at the Nuremberg trials to have taken over a thousand lives. It lasted for thirty-six hours.
From that moment no man or woman in the land was safe from the terror, especially not those who wielded power, least of all Hitler himself. The SA was disbanded and replaced by Heinrich Himmler’s black-uniformed SS (Schutzstaffel), and the Gestapo (Secret State Police). They quickly set about tightening the screws of the police state.
At the beginning of his serious studies Bernhard learned that a new sort of test had been decreed for every one graduating from the universities - a written and oral ‘political attitude” examination. With his ideals and high temper he knew that was one examination he could not pass.
However, there was a way round it. Members of the various Nazi paramilitary organizations were ipso facto considered “politically reliable.” Bernhard had joined the League for Air Sports because he wanted to learn to fly. It had been started by the Nazi Party as a sub-rosa method of training war pilots, but it had virtually no political implications. Its leaders were the old World War I airmen like Ernst Udet, who were not Nazis and cared only about teaching young people to fly.
So Bernhard was all set until he went larking around the sky with a wild young friend who flew their plane into a lake. They swam ashore, but the plane had ceased to exist.
When they got back to the base their commander was furious. “He was right, of course,” says Bernhard, “and we were wrong. Even though I was not at the controls, I knew I was out. So while the commandant was screaming at my friend I said, “ I resign too.” It was just a question of who could get the words out first.”
His ignominious ejection from Air Sports left Bernhard in a very vulnerable position. He belonged to no organization and had no uniform or badge to wear. He knew that the law examinations were made doubly difficult for uncommitted people, and that even if he passed them the political attitude test would eliminate him. So he looked around for a harmless cover. He found it by the grace of the son of the man who owned Bernhard’s favourite Berlin pub.
Young Walter Wunderlich was an idealistic Nazi: there were many such young men who truly believed in the noble aspirations of the party as voiced, but not practised, by Hitler and his lieutenants. Wunderlich was head of the Berlin unit of the Motor SS, which was made up of young men who had their own cars. They put on their uniforms and met once a week for what almost amounted to a sportscar rally. Bernhard and five or six friends in the same boat as he, including the Langenheim brothers from Morocco, went to Wunderlich.
Bernhard knew that a man had to serve in the SS for a year and a half before he was admitted to membership; until then he was on probation. Speaking for all of them, he said,
Is that how you want it?” Walter asked.
“Yes,” said Bernhard. “You know just why we are doing this. Under no circumstances does any of us want to become and SS man by quicker promotion or whatsoever. We’ll come in our motorcars, and we’ll all drive together till we graduate. Then out. That is the understanding.”
Though Walter was a dedicated Nazi, he was a loyal friend ready to stick his neck out to help. “I’ll take you,” he said.
They were issued overcoats, and went to the best tailor in Berlin to have their uniforms specially made. “I must say we looked smart in them,” Bernhard says. “The extent of my services included the weekly rallies and standing guard occasionally, because if you did that you could have a free garage. We had a lot of fun and no trouble.”
At the end of their studies Bernhard’s whole group, with one exception, left the SS and severed all connection with the party. This fellow appeared later in Holland and took advantage of Bernhard’s trusting nature to commit an act of treachery.
By the time Bernhard had graduated he was completely determined to get out of Germany. Von Hindenburg was dead. The last vestige of constitutionalism had disappeared as the office of President of the German Republic was abolished and Hitler named himself Fuhrer. He was now more powerful than any German Emperor had ever been, and more obsessed by lust of conquest than old Frederick Barbarossa.
The Nazi movement had gathered such momentum that Bernhard could see no hope of stopping it short of bloody catastrophe. This is not to say that he foresaw the future clearly in all its Wagnerian tragedy. He did not. But neither did he believe for a moment that the Third Reich would last a thousand years, or fifty for that matter. Even if it did he could not conceive of living in a land of government by terror. And despite the military tradition of his family and h is own creed of loyalty, he had not the conscience to become, as conscription would soon compel him to, part of a military machine dedicated to conquest.
Had he been older and his character more hardened by adversity he might have considered remaining to oppose the regime, hopeless as opposition seemed. Even so, open dissent was impossible, and he had neither the talent nor the taste for conspiracy. In addition, the only organized underground resistance was the Communist Party, which was equally distasteful to him.The only solution was self-exile.
Bernhard did not burn all his bridges immediately. As a first step he got a job in the Paris office of I.G.Farben, the great German chemical combine. Though his training had been in law, he was fascinated by industry and finance, and thought that his talents lay in this direction. Which proved to be the case.
In Paris Bernhard threw all his energy into his new career. He says that he wanted to prove that it was not nepotism that got him the job. But the truth is that by now he was so geared to high-pressure work that he could not have done otherwise. Also, the more he learned about business the more interested he became.
Though his working hours were from 8 am to 7 pm he was among the first to reach the office in the morning and the last to leave at night. In addition he took a course in shorthand and typing in the evening or during his lunch-hour, munching a sandwich while he worked. “They were mad for garlic in that school,” he says. “I have never smelt anything like it. I started eating it in self-defence and learned to like it very much. I still do, though my family is not quite in agreement with me.”
I.G.Farben’s Paris manager, Dr Passarge, soon recognized Bernhard as executive material and sent him on a training course through the various departments. In the sales department he really found his metier. He negotiated several barter deals with French Indo-China - rice for chemicals - and took part in various other selling campaigns. It gave him a chance to use all his talents - financial acuteness, ability to think fast, persuasiveness, and that God-given charm of which he was completely aware. He did so well that Dr Passarge said,
In Paris Bernhard lived in the luxurious house of his uncle and aunt by marriage, Count and Countess Paul de Kotzebue. The Countess was an American, Allene Tew, whose first husband had been Anson Wood Berther, an executive of General Electric from whom she inherited a fine old-fashioned American fortune. Countess Kotzebue doted on Bernhard, Princess Armgard says,
Bernhard, who always returned affection in full measure, was completely devoted to “Aunt Allene,” and equally willing to gratify her wishes. Count Kotzebue says that many years later, when the Countess was dying at Nice, Bernhard drove all the way from Soestdijk to see her once more. “Though my wife seemed to be unconscious,” he said, “she recognized his horn in the courtyard and said, ‘That’s my Bernilo come to see me.’ ”
It is not to be supposed that the life of a bachelor prince in Paris was a social blank. No matter how hard Bernhard worked he always had energy left for fun. He was invited to a great many parties and went to most of them. He was a great favourite in the embassies, with one exception. “Soon after I began working for I.G.Farben [see note below],” he says, “ the German Ambassador sent a man to ask me if I would join the organization of Germans living abroad. It was, of course, a party organization, so I said, ‘No’. They gave me no further trouble, but I was never invited to the German Embassy.”
However, the Belgian Ambassador, Count van Kerckhoven, was especially friendly. He had been Ambassador to Berlin when Bernhard was a student there and had been “awfully nice” to him. Their friendship continued in Paris. Though Bernhard had only an hour off at noon, the Ambassador often invited him for lunch and arranged things so that the meal was served the moment he arrived and protocol dispensed with, so that he could eat and run back to his job.
At one of these luncheons late in 1935 Bernhard found himself seated next do Dr Loudon, the Dutch Minister to Portugal, whom he also knew quite well. The conversation turned to the Winter Olympics at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where Bernhard planned to go during his winter holidays. Dr Loudon told him that Queen Wilhelmina and her daughter, Princess Juliana, also planned to go to the Olympics. “They will be staying at Igls, just over the mountain,” he said. “Perhaps you would like to call Her Majesty’s aide-de-camp and arrange to pay them a courtesy visit.”
“Thank you, I believe I will,” Bernhard said. “It might be amusing.”
A celebration was held at the Petersburg Hotel in 1937 with top Nazis and the IG Farben board and friends to celebrate 'Nazification'.
I.G. Farben paid the SS three marks a day for unskilled concentration camp workers and four marks a day for skilled. For child labour they paid the SS 1.5 marks a day.
From the Lockheed Papers
Certainly there was no hint, late in 1974, of a Lockheed connection. Which is why, in total ignorance of the time-bomb on which his American friends were sitting, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands felt confident enough in September to write to Burbank asking for a new commission arrangement. The sum involved this time: anything up to six million dollars.
Early in 1973 the Dutch government had begun to consider a long-term replacement for the navy's obsolete Lockheed P-2V Neptune patrol and anti-submarine planes. By June the admiralty council had three candidates under consideration: the British Nimrod from Hawker Siddeley, the French Breguet Atlantique Mark lA and II, and Lockheed's P-3C Orion.
The Dutch deliberations soon came to the notice of Fred C. Meuser in his mountain retreat at St Moritz. Mouser was by now something of an elder-statesman among the master-salesmen of the aerospace industry. He had served Lockheed, Northrop, and Lockheed again. His loyalty to Prince Bernhard, meanwhile, had never wavered. Now, with an immense new order in the offing (the Dutch admiralty were talking of spending up to 148 million guilders on thirteen planes between 1974 and 1978, and a further 452 million in the 1979-83 period) his eye for the main chance did not fail him.
Meuser contacted the prince and put to him a simple proposition. If the Orion were selected, and if a consultant's contract were concluded with Lockheed on the basis of commission for aircraft supplied to the Dutch navy and for the supply of spare parts, a large sum of money would be at the prince's disposal. He might wish to pass it, for instance, to his very own prestige charity, the World Wildlife Fund.
Bernhard didn't turn down the idea and Meuser was encouraged to take it a step further. In April 1974 he gave the prince a draft note and suggested he send it to Lockheed. It read:
Last time around it would have been of no use to accept Lockheed's offer to appoint Dr. H. Weisbrod agent for the reequipping of the Navy's ASW aircraft fleet with Orions, as European pressures required a European solution. This time around the situation may be more favourable for the Orion, in part due to Dr. Weisbrod's efforts, and it would now seem appropriate for Lockheed to appoint him their 'sub silentio' agent for a prospective Orion program. This could be done on the basis of an agent's agreement between Lockheed and Dr. Weisbrod, calling for a 4 per cent commission on all Lockheed billings for complete aircraft and 8 per cent for parts, services, etc., for the life of the program. As and when payments are received by Lockheed, corresponding commission payments to be made in a manner to be indicated by Dr. Weisbrod.
It was the same old formula that had proved so successful in the past: The Meuser-Weisbrod connection, with Bernhard as the intended principal beneficiary. When Meuser wrote that the Orion's prospects were good 'in part due to Weisbrod's effort,' he was unmistakably signalling to Lockheed that the prince himself had been, and could continue to be, active on Lockheed's behalf. In fact there is no evidence whatever that Bernhard really did involve himself in any way with the admiralty's evaluations. But what mattered was that Lockheed should believe he was rooting for them, and that this could be decisive.
Bernhard accepted Meuser's draft but did not send it to Lockheed immediately. Possibly he was shaken by the much-publicised conviction of his friend Tom Jones on May 1 and fearful of further revelations: but if so, he had overcome such fears by September. On the ninth of that month he sent the note to Roger Bixby-Smith, the intermediary with Lockheed on the abortive Orion deal in 1968 when $100,000 had ended up in the pocket of 'Victor Baarn'. With it he sent a covering letter in his own handwriting. It was one of two letters which, when unexpectedly made public, would finally destroy his good name.
It was short and to the point. He recalled the talks of 'a few years ago', evidently meaning 1968, and said that 'after a hell of a lot of pushing and pulling' it now looked as if something positive might develop and that it therefore might be a good idea to 'process the enclosed idea personally'. Neither the letter nor enclosure referred to the World Wildlife Fund, which seems by now to have dropped from Bernhard's mind.
Bixby-Smith passed the letter and note on to Burbank, probably direct to Haughton or Kotchian, but when they calculated that commission at the rate suggested would add up to between $4 million and $6 million they decided the prince's price was altogether too high. Smith was asked to convey as much to Bernhard, and to explain that in any case commission wasn't allowed on a government-to-government contract - though this prohibition hadn't always inhibited the company in the past.
Accordingly, Bixby-Smith arranged to meet the prince on October 30 on one of his frequent visits to Paris in the elegant company of Miss Helen 'Pussy' Grinda. The prince expressed surprise that the commission rate he was asking had checked out at so high a total. He had in mind, he told Smith, 'only about $1 million'. But he was angry at Lockheed's flat rejection of his proposal, and as the evening wore on he became angrier.
Three days later the prince despatched a second hand-written letter to Burbank. He was to claim later that he based it on a draft suggested by Smith. It seemed incredible, he wrote, that his approach had been rejected without discussion and without consideration of other possibilities. And he added bitterly: 'It would never have happened in the days of Bob or Courtlandt Gross.' He had 'spent a great deal of time and effort' since 1968 'to turn things in the right direction and to prevent wrong decisions influenced by political considerations'—meaning a French or British purchase in the interests of European unity (of which he was a professed champion.). He had done this because of his old friendship for Lockheed 'and based on its past actions'. He now felt 'a little bitter' and would do nothing more for the company. What's more, he would make his attitude clear if he were consulted on the procurement decision by the admiralty or government. Finally, he was considering writing to or phoning Courtlandt Gross, who was still on Lockheed's board with the title 'Senior Adviser', and—at least in Bernhard's view—not without influence.
The letter evidently made a strong impression on Haughton and Kotchian. Whether moved by Bernhard's recollections of old and productive friendships, or by the implied threat to throw his influence decisively against the Orion, Lockheed came up with a new otter. Presumably Bixby-Smith had conveyed to them the prince's expectation of 'about $1 million', because that is exactly what was now proposed: a fixed commission of $1 million provided at least four aircraft were bought. The prohibition of commission on a government-to-government sale was conveniently forgotten. Bixby-Smith conveyed the offer to the prince on December 2 during a visit to the royal palace at Soestdijk, and he accepted immediately. Weisbrod, however, was to be cut out of the reduced sum. The prince, for reasons which are not clear, told Smith he did not wish the money to be paid through the Weisbrod route and would prefer it to be paid into a numbered account in Geneva specially opened for the purpose.
As it turned out, Bernhard never received his million dollars. The Dutch Government opted for defence cuts and postponed its purchase of a successor to the Neptunes. The prince's fateful, tell-tale letter lay forgotten in Haughton's files. And meanwhile the timebomb in Washington ticked away on an ever-shortening fuse.
Concurrent with all the Watergate investigations and quite independent of them was another which had quite separate origins. In 1972 the Democratic Senator from Idaho, Frank Church, had set up a Sub-committee on Multinational Corporations of the powerful Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, to follow up disclosures of ITT's interventions in Chile and to investigate how far big companies were influencing or forming foreign policy. From ITT Church and his Sub-committee moved on to the oil giants, opening public hearings on Gulf, Exxon and Mobil on May 16, 1975.
'What we are concerned with', Church told a huge array of press, radio and television reporters who would soon become very familiar with the dark-panelled Hearings Room, No. 4221, in the Dirksen Senate Building, 'is not a question of private or public morality. What concerns us here is a major issue of foreign policy for the United States.' Watergate had shown how domestic corruption could weaken democratic government. The multinationals' investigation would show that corruption abroad subverted the free world and weakened America's international standing.
The Senate's revelations of huge, systematic bribery by the oil companies caused a sensation. Suddenly it was Church rather than Sam Irvin, Archibald Cox or Stanley Sporkin who held the limelight; and now the Sub-committee decided to expand its reach and go after Northrop.
At the Hand Of Man - The White Man's Game
To attract donors, large and small, as well as media attention, Nicholson, Scott and the founding fathers of WWF wanted the royal family to lend their name. They approached Prince Philip to be president. Philip was an avid outdoorsman and hunter—in January 1961 he had bagged a Bengal tiger in India—and he and Queen Elizabeth had been to Kenya, on a safari best remembered because King George VI died while they were watching wild animals and Princess Elizabeth had become Queen. Scott sent Philip a draft of the proposed charter. Philip read it carefully, replying that one provision was "unctuous," and another "to wordy." This careful reading was not what Scott hold expected. It is "a great bore that he suggests so much alteration," Scott wrote Nicholson. The founding fathers had wanted the Prince only as a figurehead. Philip agreed to head up the British chapter of WWF, but he turned down the presidency of the International and suggested his friend Prince Bernhard for the post. The men were alike in many ways. Both had been born into European royal families, but not very distinguished ones, and had acquired their status and string of titles when they married—Bernhard to the future Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. The two men were handsome, dashing, and staunchly conservative politically.
Scott, who liked consorting with royalty, made the pitch.
Bernhard remained active behind the scenes in WWF, but a couple of years after he resigned, Philip became president of the International, and though it was thought he would serve for only a few years, he is still in power. The Prince is a committed conservationist and he undoubtedly has given prestige and visibility to WWF around the world. At the same time, however, many in the Third World have questioned whether he is the right person to head an organisation that does most of its work in developing countries. At a meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of state, most of them from the Third World and black, Philip said to an aide,
WWF WAS SET UP to raise money, but in spite of the initial successes, it did not prove very effective. Nicholson had said that $1.5 million each year would be needed for conservation, which Scott thought he could easily raise; indeed, he anticipated coaxing $25 million from the rich. Scott discovered that socializing with the elite was one thing, getting them to part with their money quite another, and it was several years before the total of WWF's revenues reached $1 million.
WWF's financial fortunes began to change dramatically after a hard-driving South African businessman, Anton Rupert, joined the board. An Afrikaaner from the Cape, Rupert had already made millions as the owner of Rothmans International tobacco company, the foundation of the Rembrandt Group, his wholly owned business empire. When Rupert expanded beyond South Africa, he bought Dunhill and Cartier, and eventually he became one of the richest men in South Africa, rivalled only by Harry Oppenheimer, the gold and diamond industrialist. Rupert had long been interested in conservation, including the restoration of historic buildings, and in 1968 he joined the WWF board of trustees; he stayed on the board for twenty-two years, ill spite of a provision in the organisation's original incorporation documents that limited members to two three-year terms, a provision that was routinely ignored for the benefit of several other influential members of the board as well. Rupert brought a considerable amount of his own money to WWF, but, more important, he conceived a plan that would raise millions
Rupert's idea was the "1001 Club" The "one" was Prince Bernhard The other one thousand were wealthy individuals who could be persuaded to part with $10,000. The one-time donation brings lifetime membership, and the names of the generous patrons are kept secret by the organisation. According to these secret lists, American givers have included August A Busch, Jr, of the beer company; Henry Ford II; Peter Grace; Nelson Bunker Hunt, the silver trader; Mrs Geoffrey Kent, of Abercrombie & Kent; Robert S. McNamara; Cyril Magnin; Lew Wasserman, of MCA; Thomas Watson, of IBM. Many of the donors understandably wish to remain anonymous (in part to avoid being badgered by other charities), but it is also understandable why WWF does not want the list made public. It has included many less savoury individuals—Zaire's President Mobutu, Sese Seko, one of the most corrupt leaders in Africa; Daniel K Ludwig, the reclusive American billionaire, whose companies destroyed thousands of miles of the Amazon rain forest; Agha Hasan Abedi, the founder of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCC1); Robert Vesco, the financier who fled the United States in the 1970s to escape trial on charges of fraud, embezzlement and obstruction of justice; Tibor Rosenbaum, founder of a Swiss bank that laundered billions of dollars of organised crime money and who was accused of embezzling Israeli deposits in the bank; Thomas Jones, who was forced out as chief executive of Northrop after it was revealed that the company paid $30 million in bribes to government officials and agents around the world in exchange for contracts; Lord Kagan, a British businessman convicted of theft and conspiracy to defraud the British tax service; a Norwegian shipowner convicted of taking a £1 million bribe; an individual who was the conduit for the money from Lockheed to Prince Bernhard.
There has been another remarkable feature about the 1001 Club—the number of South Africans. On the 1989 list, at least sixty individuals were from South Africa, including seven of Rupert's relatives. Many were also members of the Broederbond, the secret, conservative Afrikaaner society that has traditionally wielded immense political power in South Africa. Only five countries had more donors, and as a percentage of their population, South African whites had three hundred times as many members as the United States. It is easy to understand why so many South Africans have been willing to part with $10,000 to Join the 1001 and not all of it has to do with conservation. Not many international clubs welcomed white South Africans, and membership in the 1001 provided them an opportunity to mingle and do business with tycoons, as well as with Prince Philip and Prince Bernhard. What else they may have gained from the membership is unknown, in part because so much of what WWF-lnternational does is kept from the public and even from the organisation's own trustees. Because of the secrecy and closed nature of the WWF club, it is also difficult to know the extent of the influence that so much South African money has had on the organisation's conservation work. There can be little doubt, however, that WWF-International's initial opposition to the ivory ban reflected South African power on the board—South Africa was adamantly opposed to the ban, because its elephants were not being poached and it made money from selling ivory.
One place where South Africa's clout has been felt is in the office of the director-general, the man who runs WWF. Since 1977 that man has been Charles de Haes. Much of de Haes's past is vague, which seems to be by design: he has chosen to reveal very little about his background and some of what the organisation does say publicly about him is at odds with the facts. On WWF's public list of officers and trustees, de Haes is identified as being from Belgium, and he was born there, in 1938. But as a young boy, he moved with his family to South Africa. After graduating from Cape Town University with a law degree, he got a job with Rothmans International, Rupert's tobacco company. De Haes's Official resume—that is, the one WWF distributes—makes a point of noting that he went to work for the tobacco company "although himself a nonsmoker." It then says de Haes "helped establish companies" in Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. What it does not say is that these were companies that sold cigarettes. Maybe de Haes didn't smoke, but he made money by encouraging others to do so.
De Haes was brought to WWF through the back door by Anton Rupert in 1971. He was first assigned to be personal assistant to Prince Bernhard. One of his tasks was to implement the 1001 Club project. He was tremendously successful. Ten thousand dollars was worth even more back then, yet it took de Haes only three years to find one thousand donors. Prince Bernhard provided the letters of introduction, but de Haes was the salesman who clinched the deals. Even de Haes's fiercest critics—and they are many—use the word "brilliant" when describing his fund-raising skills.
In 1975, with the backing of Rupert and Prince Philip de Haes was named joint director-general of WWF, and two years later he had the top position to himself. De Haes had no education or experience in conservation, other than his few years at WWF, yet he was now in charge of the most prestigious and influential conservation organisation in the world. It was a position that would have appealed to the most qualified and eminent individuals in the field, yet no effort was made to recruit any of them.
WWF may have taken on someone without conservation experience, but then, it cost the organisation nothing: Rupert agreed to pay de Haes's salary—which, according to a British trustee, goes far in explaining why de Haes got the Job. WWF never said at the time that Rupert was paying de Haes, and it still tries to conceal this fact. The organisation's chief spokesman, Robert SanGeorge, stated emphatically during an interview in 1991 that de Haes had not been seconded from Rothmans to Prince Bernhard and WWF during the early years. But an internal WWF memorandum signed by the organisation's executive vice-president in 1975 talks specifically about "Mr. de Haes's period of secondment to WWF." What this means, of course, is that de Haes was still employed by a South African corporation while working for WWF. "I thought it was a scandal," says a former board member from North America, Who added that it was only by accident that he learned that Rupert was paying de Haes. This board member did not like the arrangement. "Who does the director general serve'? Is the interest of a South African tobacco company synonymous with the world conservation movement? Even more troubling to this director was the fact that it was kept a secret. "lf it was such a good thing, why weren't they willing to say so in the annual report?"
In a similar vein, the organisation treats as a state secret the question of who paid de Haes after he became director-general. It was "an anonymous donor" SanGeorge says. Even board members have been in the dark. When on occasion one asked, he was told that the donor wished to remain anonymous.
It is unlikely that any other charitable organisation that depends on public support operates with such little accountability and in such secrecy as WWF has under de Haes. It is easier to penetrate the CIA. And when WWF has been caught in embarrassing conducts it has engaged in damage control and cover-ups of the kind that might be expected from a company whose products have caused injury to consumers and the environment. Under rules de Haes promulgated, WWF employees are prohibited from talking to anyone outside the organization about anything except what the organisation has already made public; the obligation to secrecy binds the employee even after he or she has left WWF. Few are willing to break this code of silence—given their fear of de Haes and, in the case of current employees, the generous salaries and pleasant living conditions in Switzerland.
It may well be, as one senior WWF officer put it somewhat defensively, that a dollar given to WWF is still a dollar well spent for conservation. But, as this person added, "imagine what the organisation could be with better leadership."
Over the years there has been increasing dissatisfaction with de Haes's leadership. One of the most serious challenges to his rule came in the early 1980s, when the heads of the WWF organisations in Britain, the Netherlands and Switzerland began to discuss among themselves changes they thought were necessary in the organisation. These organisations should be able to effect change because they provide most of the funds for the International—WWF-UK alone contributes nearly one-third of the International's budget, and Switzerland and the Netherlands rank second and third. The way WWF was set up, two-thirds of the money raised by the national organisations goes to the International, while one third remains with the national organisation. The "dissident" leaders of the three national organisations objected to this because there was no accountability over how the International spent the money. They also did not like the fact that the WWF-International board of trustees doesn't represent the national organisations. The board is a self-selected body— that is, those on the board decide whom to place on it—and the national organisations, even though they give the money, have no right of representation. In short, the heads of the British, Dutch and Swiss organisations felt that too much power was concentrated in Gland—the Swiss town where WWF-lnternational's headquarters is located—and that the local organisations should have more autonomy.
Sir Arthur Norman, the head of WWF-UK at the time, was particularly disturbed by the manner in which WWF-International set up chapters in other countries. He thought they should
Phillipson found that
Occasionally other skeletons got out, and when they did, it became clear that WWF had lost its ethical way, at least in carrying out its conservation work in Africa. In the late 1980s, for example, WWF provided Zimbabwe's Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management with funds to buy a helicopter for its anti-poaching operations in the Zambezi Valley, where the black rhino was on the verge of extinction because of poachers. The department used the helicopter to deploy anti-poaching units when it received reports of poachers in an area. At least fifty-seven poachers were killed in the helicopter-supported operations, and the WWF office in Zimbabwe reported that the helicopter "has made an enormous difference to staff morale and efficiency" in the wildlife department.
That WWF was involved was not flown publicly until the environment correspondent of the British newspaper The Guardian, Paul Brown, broke the story. WWF responded with a statement saying that it had provided the funds for the helicopter
De Haes and WWF-International had to work harder to cover up another scandal in Africa, this one involving mercenaries, intrigue, high level WWF officials and Prince Bernhard. The mercenaries were former British commandos who worked for KAS Enterprises, a company headed by Sir David Stirling, the legendary founder of Britain's Special Air Services (SAS), Britain's most elite commando force. Stirling, who died in 1990, engaged in clandestine activities throughout the world, setting up ostensibly private companies that were in fact covers for Britain's MI-5 and MI-6. In Africa s conservation wars, in the late 1980S KAS, as part of its arrangement with WWF officials, trained anti-poaching units in Namibia, which was then still under the control of South Africa, as well as Mozambicans in South Africa. (The South African government was trying to destabilise Mozambique.) KAS also set up a "sting" operation to catch traffickers in ivory and rhino horn. The project was code-named "Operation Lock," Lock being the maiden name of the wife of a former SAS officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Ian Crooke, who was in charge of it.
Some of KAS's anti-poaching activities were exposed in July 1989 by Robert Powell, the Reuters correspondent in Nairobi. Powell, however, was unable to link WWF to the operation, and so WWF remained silent when Powell's story appeared, and continued working with KAS. But Powell's article provoked Stephen Ellis, editor of Africa Confidential, a fortnightly newsletter published in London, to probe further. Ellis, also a freelance journalist, got an assignment from The Independent to write an article about Operation Lock. In the course of his reporting he called WWF and talked with Robert SanGeorge, the organisation's chief spokesman. SanGeorge, an American, had come to WWF-International in 1940 along with his wife, a tough lawyer who became executive assistant to de Haes. Without telling Ellis, SanGeorge, who has been seen with a recording device attached to his phone, made a verbatim transcript of their conversation, which he passed on to de Haes—SanGeorge even noted when Ellis "paused to fetch a cup of coffee he had left in another room.
A few days later, SanGeorge faxed a statement to Ellis. The statement began:
Ellis wrote his story, and the day it appeared, SanGeorge sent a memorandum to all WWF national organisations. The memo reiterated what SanGeorge had told Ellis, and emphasised that Operation Lock
The truth, which has never come out publicly, is found in a series of communications from Frans Stroebel, executive director of WWF's South African affiliate when Operation Lock commenced and the man who had introduced Lieutenant-Colonel Crooke to senior police and conservation officials in South Africa. Stroebel wrote Prince Philip:
I have given Mr. de Haes a number of comprehensive briefings on the project since I first became involved. In May 1989, I gave him full details. He then went to HRH Prince Bernhard to confirm that Prince Bernhard was indeed the sponsor. Mr. de Haes satisfied himself with the developments, and in subsequent discussions with me he never expressed any concern about my involvement, or, for that matter, the covert programme itself.
As for the funds for the operation, Stroebel said, in another letter, "The funds for Operation Lock were actually WWF funds." The money had come to WWF-lnternational, then was channelled back out to Bernhard for Operation Lock in a series of strange transactions. First, in December 1988, Sotheby's auctioned two paintings owned by Bernhard—The Holy Family, a seven-by-five-foot oil by Bartolome Esteban Murillo, and The Rape of Europa, a four-by-five-foot oil by Elisabetta Sirani. Together they brought in £610,000. On Bernhard's instructions the proceeds were donated to WWF-International; Sotheby's had noted in its catalogue that they would be. But if the buyer—who remains anonymous—thought the money was going toward WWF's general conservation work, he was mistaken. Within a few weeks after the sale, Bernhard called the administrator of the 1001 Club and asked her to transfer £500,000 from the 1001 Club account to Queen Juliana's (his wife's) account in the Netherlands. The £500,000 was needed for Operation Lock, according to Stroebel, and de Haes "agreed to the use of these funds as requested." (Bernhard told WWF it could keep the remaining £110,000, which at the time was worth a little less than $200,000.)
After Ellis's story appeared, many Western conservationists working in Africa were embarrassed, because Operation Lock had been exposed—not because they thought it was wrong to engage in a covert operation to stop the illegal trade in rhino horn and ivory. Indeed, the possibility of covert operations had often been discussed by elephant and rhino specialists. On one occasion, at a meeting attended by conservationists from WWF, AWF and other organisations, Hanks outlined what he had in mind and the general response, as described by a person who attended, was "Get on with it. Don't tell us what you're doing, but get on with it." Government officials in Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya did not feel quite the same way. They declined offers of assistance from KAS.
That there was a schism as big as a canyon between the approach to conservation taken by the Africans on the one hand and the conservation organisations on the other was not surprising, not when one looked at the conservation organisations: they were the monopoly of white Westerners. Whites headed them, hired whites to staff them, and implemented programs that reflected Western values.
WWF-International has its headquarters in Gland, a quintessential Swiss town—small, quiet, neat, and white. It carries out programs around the world, most of them in the Third World, yet one has rarely seen other than a white face in the Gland offices.. For thirty years, not a single African, and only a handful of Asians and Latin Americans, were ever hired by WWF-International. Only one black has ever held a professional position in the Africa section of WWF-US, and he was not hired until 1991. In the field—that is, in Africa—walk into the organisation's offices, and it is like colonial days: white at the top, blacks in the inferior positions. WWF's major presence in Africa has been its regional office in Nairobi, which in various incarnations has existed since the 1960s; it has always been headed by whites, and not until 1989 was there a single African in a professional position. Only one WWF program anywhere on the continent has ever been headed by an African.
Dodgyness is the keyword in all the Dutch Royal Affairs. Following the tradition of Queen Beatrix's marriage to an ex-Hitlerjugend member and her mother Juliana's marriage to an up-to-1938 member of the German Nazi's, Dutch crown prince Willem Alexander is marrying the daughter of a minister in the Argentinian fascist junta.
Committee March on the House of Orange (COMODO) is planning to have a big party of resistance and anarchy in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on the day of the royal wedding, 2-2-2002 of the crownprince with his Argentinian sweetheart Maxima.
As the Dutch royal family, the Dutch parliament, the police and security services are preparing for the wedding, so should we.
It will be a day with lots of actions, fun and possibilities: so please join us and come to Holland on the wedding day! Interested to help preparing? Send an email to email@example.com
A first public meeting, dicussion and action will take place on May 26th in Amsterdam by De Vrije Zone (The Free Zone) and COMODO.
In dutch newspapers and magazines the hype around the father of Maxim, Jorge Zorreguieta, who has been Minister of agriculture in the Videla-junta in Argentinia and was spokesman for the big farmers and landowners, has been going on for months now.
For us the questions are of course different: should there be a royal family at all and is this case not precisely what is wrong with an institute like the monarchy? The Dutch royal family is quite famous for their contacts with "wrong" regimes and dictators throughout history. This is nothing new for us. An institute like the monarchy is an expression of how this capitalistic world works, nothing is democratic, just 'bread and plays' for 'normal people'. Give us queensday every year, a handwaving queen and people will be happy?
We cannot accept backward institutes like monarchies. That is why we will not accept the royal wedding. There is no justification for the existance of a wealthy elite which stands above the law, consolidates hierarchic strucures, stimulates nationalism and tortures animals. We want the entire monarchy abolished.
Well, it shouldn't. But it is interesting to note that our current queen, Beatrix, is one of the few permanent members of the Bilderberg group, and very respected in those high level circles that discuss what should happen to the world. The secretary general of the group is a Dutch economic professor, Victor Rosenboom, and has been put in charge by Beatrix of teaching Maxima Zorreguieta the finer points of Dutch society, such as the world renowned dutch policies of repressive tolerance.
The Dutch monarchy is a powerful party in global high-circles and represents Dutch transnationals, such as Shell, Unilever and Philips on the forefront of developments in globalisation. The Dutch tend to be a favorite for international posts because of their pseudo-neutrality, always wearing the coat of political correctness and compromise. Recent example is the appointment of ex prime minister Ruud Lubbers as UN high commissioner for refugees. In the eighties and early nineties he was the responsible cabinet leader for closing the borders, disallowing refugees to work, the Schengen and Maastricht treaties.
In this time, the Dutch also invented the 'third way', now so revered by social democrats worldwide, by starting the Dutch 'poldermodel' of permanent negotiation between unions and employers, effectively paralysing what was left of worker's protests, while inequality kept growing.
A decade earlier, the Dutch were one of the major economic partners for the fascist Argentinian junta under general Videla. Tens of thousands of people, especially thousands of leftists and jews, were tortured and murdered. "We have to seperate the economic and political side of things", have always been the Dutch motto. Thus the Dutch supplied the Fokker planes with which the Argentinian victims where simply thrown in to the ocean. "Now we have to seperate politics and romance", and thus allow one of the fascist cabinet members become the queen's father and have a direct line of influence in both dutch and global politics.
Anarchists and antifascists may find the Dutch monarchy a worthy symbol of hierarchy, backwardness, fascism and especially deceit.
There is a lot more about the Dutch royal family. Interested in the history of the Dutch royal family?
Send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or look at the website
Our group, Committee March on the House of Orange (COMODO) was formed last year when queen Beatrix planned to visit Leiden on queensday (30th of april, the birthday of her mother) and a lot of repressive measures were announced. With a succesful day of action and a public tribunal against the royals in Leiden, we had a load of fun.
For the manifesto (in English as well) of Comittee March on the House of Orange: see our website http://squat.net/beakomt There is the possibilty to get on the mailinglist.
Note: our phone nr. has changed! (see below)
NO COMPROMISE! http://www.antenna.nl/nvda/groenfront
email@example.com (PGPkey on site)
PO BOX 85069 3508 AB Utrecht Netherlands
Giro 4370351 tnv Steungroep NVDA te Utrecht ovv GroenFront!
Phone/fax: +31 84 8666018
The sensibility for "shadow governments" and "New World Order" is quite minor in Ger"money"... the reasons may lie in the tendency of Germans to "black out" their past. So far as I know Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands was a former SS-officer before marrying into the Dutch Kings-House. He was also employee of a sub-division of the German "IG Farben", "IG Farben und Bilder". The latter fact indicates, that the choice of the Hotel Bilder-Burg for the first meeting was not accidental. There was even a close relationship between Exxon (Standard Oil company) and IG Farben. This connections last until the present time - Monsanto Inc. took over much of the expertise of IG Farben concerning chemical weapons. "Agent Orange" was a "follow up" of Sarin, Senfgas and Tabun. When Monsanto faced financial difficulties in restructuring from a chemical to a biogenetic Company, Citibank (part of the Rothschild-universe) helped out with a loan.
Hannes Oberlindober <firstname.lastname@example.org>
13Feb11 - Dutch Royal family insights
In the article 'Prince Bernhard and the Nazi's' his aunt's name is wrongly spelled. Her correct name is The Countess Paul de Kotzebue née Allene Tew formerly Princess Heinrich Reuss XXXIII formerly the Widow Anson Wood Burchard (1876-1955).
Queen Wilhelmina (1880-1962) was the only surviving child of King Willem III of the Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxembourg (1817-1890). The whole future of the Dutch monarchy and the House of Orange-Nassau was on the shoulders of the young Wilhelmina.
Would something happen to her, then via her father's sister -Queen Wilhelmina's aunt- Grand Duchess Sophie von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach the most likely Heir to the throne was Prince Heinrich XXIII Reuss, who would later marry the dazzlingly rich American widow Mrs Anson Wood Burchard née Allene Tew. This lady would divorce Prince Heinrich and marry for a third time, now with Count Paul de Kotzebue.
For some reason she managed it to bring the apple of her eye, Prince Bernhard zur Lippe-Biesterfeld (1911-2004) in contact with Queen Wilhelmina's single child and heiress, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands (1909-2004). They would have a stormy marriage of 67 years surviving the Hofmans Affair, the Lockheed Scandal, etc. Prince Bernhard, co-founder and central figure of Bilderberg, was the father of the present Queen Beatrix.
Marcel d'Ailly, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1994:
U.S. World Wildlife Fund president Kathryn Fuller didn't just rattle the Clinton administration with her May 12 declaration of opposition to any "first step toward the resumption of commercial whaling." More significant was her statement that, "Even if commercial whaling could be sustainable, it cannot be justified," a welcome marked departure from 35 years of WWF policy, which essentially has endorsed any use of wildlife that even promised to be sustainable.
The most influential of all animal and habitat protection groups internationally, WWF has been problematic since 1961, when founder Sir Peter Scott, a trophy hunter, recruited the leadership elite from among fellow hunters who feared that African independence would lead to the rapid loss of target species. The elite included longtime WWF International president Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands, who escaped punishment for allegedly overshooting bird quotas in Italy in the early 1970s to resign, finally, in 1987, after being implicated in a Dutch bribery scandal. Bernhard was succeeded by another of the founding elite, Prince Philip, long the honorary head of the British chapter. One of the world's most prolific tiger-killers when tigers were abundant, Philip showed his allegiance to conservation ethics that Christmas by leading his sons Charles, Andrew, and Edward in killing 10,000 pigeons, 7,000 pheasants, 300 partridges, and several hundred ducks, geese, and rabbits--all captive-raised--in a six-week vacation bloodbath. This slightly exceeded Philip's previous record of 15,500 captive birds killed during a five-week spree. Early WWF U.S. chapter presidents included C.R. "Pink" Gutermuth, who doubled as president of the National Rifle Association, and Francis L. Kellogg, a notorious trophy hunter.
The attitude of WWF in those days was characterized by support for seal-clubbing off the east coast of Canada, benefit fur auctions (only halted in 1988), and Bernhardt's formation of the 1001 Club, a group of billionaire patrons. A 1988 probe of the 1001 Club by the magazine Private Eye found that the members
Despite or perhaps because of such fancy patronage, WWF meanwhile spent so much of its income on direct mail fundraising that in 1990 it failed to meet the National Charities Information Bureau requirement that it spend at least 60% on program service. Simultaneously WWF was severely embarrassed by a leaked internal study that documented 20 years of massive waste. Nearly every major WWF project had failed. Even pandas, the WWF symbol species, were near extinction. WWF had bribed Chinese officials to preserve panda habitat by allowing them to use donated funds for such projects as building a hydroelectric dam--which only brought demands for still bigger bribes.
WWF turned down the heat by officially turning from a so-called "preservationist" philosophy, which in WWF practice meant only the privileged were allowed to kill endangered wildlife, to endorsement of "sustainable use"--interpreted to mean killing animals for the most profitable use possible at the fastest rate each species can withstand. The WWF doctrine has huge influence. Just a month ago Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy director Andrew Rowan found a single difference in the responses of zoo and humane representatives to 12 hypothetical ethical problems he posed at the White Oak conference on zoos and animal protection. Most agreed that hunting is both ethically and pragmatically dubious as an alleged tool of wildlife management. Yet, endorsing the WWF view, the zoo people were virtually all willing to tolerate trophy hunting as a way to make wildlife lucrative for poor nations, and presumably therefore worth protecting.
The case for "sustainable use" holds accurately enough that poor nations usually can't or won't protect wildlife without both economic means and an economic incentive; notes that trophy hunters pay much more for a head than tourists do for a snapshot; and asserts that trophy hunters, armed with guns and bribes, will go places and take risks that most tourists won't. One might counter that since potential tourists are much more plentiful than trophy hunters, and since tourism creates more jobs than trophy hunting, even though tourists spend less per capita, a wise conservation strategy would help poor nations to create the political stability and economic infrastructure that would attract more tourists, and would oppose activity, including both poaching and trophy hunting, that contributes to instability by heightening the concentration of wealth and privilege with the well-positioned few instead of the desperately needy many.
Instead, the sustainable use doctrine asserts that since hunting is going on, and will go on anyway, legally or not, better to regulate it and make a buck than to merely spend bucks trying to control poaching, as the wildlife traffickers continually jack up the price for bootlegged animal parts and corrupt officials accept ever larger bribes to ignore poachers who often are better equipped than their national armies--or in many cases are themselves renegade army units, with strong clandestine ties to government leaders.
Currently, "sustainable users" point out, hunting is restricted, at least on paper, across much of Africa and Asia. Yet poachers are annihilating elephants, rhinos, and tigers wherever they can, to supply the Asiatic demand for aphrodisiacs and traditional medicines derived from their ivory, horns, bones, and genitals. The demand increases as growth of the leading Asian economies comes faster than the absorption of modern medical knowledge, while ruthless mercantilism shoves aside Buddhist and Hindu teachings which stress human kinship to other species. Because the only current source of the most coveted animal parts is the international black market, and because prices climb as supplies become scarcer, cartels such as the notorious Poon or Pong family of Hong Kong not only promote poaching, but allegedly seek the extinction of the target species, at least in the wild, to guarantee the lasting value of their animal part stockpiles.
Species conservation programs should cash in, the "sustainable users" contend, by helping poor nations to manage wildlife reserves like huge game farms, combining canned hunts for culled animals with the legal sale of their remains. This would supposedly undercut poaching in the marketplace.
Principles and Practice "Sustainable use" is attractive to free marketers who don't know their wildlife history--but there is no evidence that legal traffic in wildlife parts can preserve species. On the contrary, legal ivory traffic provided the cover that nearly wiped out elephants in much of Africa before 1989, when the ivory trading ban adopted by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species curtailed poaching by giving customs officials worldwide the ability to interdict ivory shipments, regardless of purported origin.
The elephant episode duplicated the disastrous attempted international regulation of commercial whaling, begun with the formation of the International Whaling Commission in 1946: by 1986, when the current whaling moratorium began, every species of whale was severely depleted and some were near extinction because of ruthless poaching that used the legal quotas for cover. Russian whaling authorities disclosed recently that some Soviet vessels killed from 10 to 30 times as many whales as they admitted killing--and killed hundreds of some species which were completely off limits.
Even in the closely regulated climate of the U.S. and Canada, the "sustainable use" theory doesn't work, as flagrant poaching continues to masquerade behind legal hunting and game farming. The high rate of poaching in North America also belies the claim, made in support of "sustainable use" in Africa, that the presence of hunters deters poachers. "Sustainable users" contend the mandatory employment of guides will discourage hunters from becoming poachers--but that hasn't worked in Maine, Alaska, or Alberta, where veteran guides have lately been caught running poaching rings after many years of simultaneously catering to both wealthy trophy hunters and the Asian wildlife parts market. Hunters and parts traffickers in effect subsidize each other, with corrupt guides as brokers.
Truth is, those who commit crimes against wildlife will exploit any opportunity. "Sustainable use" is a one-way ticket to extinction because bloodlust and greed, once accepted as legitimate conduct, cannot be appeased or restrained by mere regulation. The political argument against "sustainable use" is equally rooted. "Sustainable users" hope to convince poor Africans and Asians that they should not kill wildlife to collect the equivalent of several years' wages, while rich Europeans and Americans kill the same animals for fun--a new and dangerous idea to people whose own killing is mostly from need, especially when coupled with the idea that thrill-killing has a higher rationale.
"Sustainable users" argue that giving poor Africans and Asians a collective economic stock in wildlife will lead to the development of a collective ethic, whereby poachers will become pariahs. This ignores the history of collectivism wherever it has been attempted, from the failed USSR to Africa's own overgrazed grasslands. It also overlooks the poachers' own collective ethic (perhaps a higher ethic in that it excludes mere thrill-killing). They already use the animals they kill for what they perceive as the common good, the good of their families. Having no faith in corrupt governments that purport to protect wildlife, but in fact sell animals to the highest bidder, they see no reason why they should not poach animals now, before others do and take the profits.
Finally, Africa in particular already suffers too much from the idea that whoever has the most money and firepower is above morality. The example of the Great White Hunter who receives special privileges because he has money reinforces the notion of the Big Man who is above the law because he commands a well-armed tribe.
The "sustainable use" doctrine could be applied to other Third World problems. For instance, the same newly rich and ethically alienated Asian men who buy aphrodisiacs made from wildlife parts are also the chief patrons of the increasingly notorious brothels of the poorest regions of Southeast Asia, where up to 400,000 children a year are bought from illiterate parents in remote villages and held for enforced prostitution until, diseased and often cruelly injured, they are cast out and replaced at the advanced age of perhaps 15. One hopes "sustainable users" would not also endorse financing schools and orphanages by letting well-heeled pedophiles rape selected children--even though child prostitution is reportedly a $3.77-billion-a-year business in Taiwan alone, twice the size of the U.S. retail fur trade at its peak.
Some may respond that the ethics of human welfare should not be the same as those of species conservation. Yet the leaders of the Rwandan massacres in April and May rationalized their deeds with "sustainable use" rhetoric. Hutus didn't massacre Tutsis, reporters were told; they merely culled them. Then, Juliana Mukankwaya explained to Mark Fritz of the Associated Press, she and other women of their village bludgeoned the orphaned children as a purported act of mercy.
WWF is not responsible for the deaths of half a million civilians in Rwanda, nor for the ongoing tribal strife elsewhere in Africa. Nor is WWF to blame for perversions of conservation rhetoric, any more than humane societies are to blame for Mukankwaya's warped notion of euthanasia. Yet WWF is culpable for advancing the view that thrill-killing can be excused--for a price. We hope Fuller's apparent turn away from "sustainable use" means WWF is ready to take a different direction. -- Merritt Clifton Editor, ANIMAL PEOPLE P.O. Box 960 Clinton, WA 98236 Telephone: 360-579-2505 Fax: 360-579-2575 E-mail: email@example.com Web:www.animalpeoplenews.org
[ANIMAL PEOPLE is the leading independent newspaper providing original investigative coverage of animal protection worldwide, founded in 1992. Our readership of 30,000-plus includes the decision-makers at more than 8,300 animal protection organizations. We have no alignment or affiliation with any other entity.]
Fall of the Royal Fortune; How a Dutch prince knocked his family down the Forbes list
By Friso Endt and Karen Lowry Miller
"Kings, Queens and Despots," a short list of the world's most wealthy rulers published by Forbes magazine, comes with a number of caveats. Valuing these multibillion-dollar private fortunes is a "tricky business," says Forbes. Most royal families decline to comment on their wealth. But last December, as the 2003 list was being compiled, a prominent member of the Netherland's illustrious House of Orange broke the family's long silence on the issue. Prince Bernhard, feisty 92-year-old father of Queen Beatrix, phoned Christopher Forbes, who is married to his German niece, and demanded that he stop printing "bulls--t" exaggerations of his family fortune. Forbes told him to call editor Luisa Kroll, who wanted evidence. Bernhard faxed a handwritten letter with enough detail about holdings in companies like Royal Dutch Shell and ABN AMRO to persuade her to slash the estimate from $2.5 billion in 2002 to $250 million.
The Oranges would have been in the billionaire class occupied by the House of Saud and Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein. But when the list was published earlier this year, they were wedged in among the lowly multimillionaires, like Yasir Arafat and Fidel Castro.
It was the first time Kroll had ever gotten a call from a complaining prince, but the plainspoken Bernhard is not your typical royal. In an increasingly transparent financial world, the massive restatement is a reminder of how difficult it remains to penetrate the regal sphere. Dutch stipends are a matter of public record--Queen Beatrix takes home 3.8 euros million per year in "salary" and other expenses. But support for the family is spread across so many departments and "hidden posts" that "nobody, no member of Parliament," knows the real total, according to the Republican Association, a Dutch group of royal reformers. As for the Orange family fortune, which goes back to the early-19th-century spice-, rubber-, tea- and coffee-trading exploits of King Willem I in the East Indies, the discreet Dutch generally consider the subject off-limits. "We are not so rich," Bernhard said in a brief phone interview. "People think we are stingy with money and the truth is that we have to be careful with money."
So why would a prince bother downplaying his fortune for the commoners? According to people who have spoken to Bernhard recently, he worries that exaggerated estimates could inspire personal attacks--either from criminals like those who tried to kidnap his wife, Juliana, in the 1970s, or perhaps from budget cutters in Parliament. (In fact, Parliament last discussed royal funding in the 1960s, when Juliana complained that she had to spend her own money on royal-household expenses, and Parliament agreed to pick up the tab.) The whole episode also fits the prince's reputation for impulsive meddling. Last year, after two supermarket workers were fined for injuring a thief while handing him over to the police, the outraged prince called newspapers to complain about the fine and made a public show of paying it for the two men.
His actions this time have exposed cracks in a family that prides itself on not behaving badly. Bernhard told a close family friend that his daughter was angry at him for calling Forbes. She has been titular head of the family since 1980, when she took over the mantle of queen from her aging mother, but that doesn't mean Bernhard listens to her--"he just reminds her that he is her father," says one royal watcher.
Once a high flier (who in 1954 helped launch a secretive gathering of the global elite called the Bilderberg Group), Bernhard's reputation took a sharp blow in the Lockheed scandal of 1976. He was accused of taking a $1 million bribe. Queen Juliana kept the law at bay, but the prime minister devised a devastating penalty: a onetime Spitfire pilot, Bernhard was forbidden to don a military uniform in public. The wounds are still raw. He and his wife have barely spoken since, and live in separate halves of the Soestdijk Palace. Each has different treasurers, says a former member of the government information service.
That's led some Dutch royal watchers to suspect that Bernhard is now underestimating the family fortune. It's not clear he's privy to the right information: like all royal spouses, Bernhard lives on a stipend and does not have access to the family capital. Republican Association member Hans van den Bergh scoffs at the $250 million estimate and figures the Oranges have a fortune worth between $17 billion and $23 billion, including Rembrandt paintings and silver services from tsarist Russia. "He has a sharp mind, he knows what he wants and he gets what he wants," says Cor de Horde, editor of a monthly royals magazine. "If Prince Bernhard phones you up and doesn't like what you've written, you have to stand firm." Estimating the real wealth of kings, queens and despots remains as tricky as ever.
Royal fortunes tricky to pin down
By Friso Endt and Karen Lowry Miller
"Kings, Queens and Despots," a shortlist of the world's most wealthy rulers published by Forbes magazine, comes with several caveats. Valuing these multibillion-dollar private fortunes is a "tricky business", says Forbes.
Most royal families decline to comment on their wealth. But in December, as the 2003 list was being compiled, a prominent member of the Netherlands' illustrious House of Orange broke the family's long silence on the issue.
Prince Bernhard, feisty 92-year-old father of Queen Beatrix, phoned Christopher Forbes, who is married to his German niece, and demanded that he stop printing "bulls***t" exaggerations of his family fortune.
Forbes told him to call editor Luisa Kroll, who wanted evidence. Bernhard faxed a handwritten letter with enough detail about holdings in companies like Royal Dutch Shell and ABN Amro to persuade her to slash the estimate from US$2.5 billion ($4.28 billion) last year to US$250 million.
The Oranges would have been in the billionaire class occupied by the House of Saud and Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein.
But when the list was published this year, they were wedged in among the lowly multimillionaires, like Yasser Arafat and Fidel Castro.
It was the first time Kroll had ever had a call from a complaining prince, but the plainspoken Bernhard is not your typical royal.
In an increasingly transparent financial world, the massive restatement is a reminder of how difficult it remains to penetrate the regal sphere.
Dutch stipends are a matter of public record - Queen Beatrix takes home 3.8 million ($7.49 million) a year in "salary" and other expenses.
But support for the family is spread across so many departments and "hidden posts" that "nobody, no member of Parliament", knows the real total, says the Republican Association, a Dutch group of royal reformers.
As for the Orange family fortune, which goes back to King Willem I's trading of spice, rubber, tea and coffee in the East Indies in the early 19th century, the discreet Dutch generally consider the subject off-limits.
"We are not so rich," Bernhard said in a brief phone interview.
So why would a Prince bother downplaying his fortune for the commoners? People who have spoken to Bernhard recently say he worries that exaggerated estimates could inspire personal attacks - either from criminals like those who tried to kidnap his wife, Juliana, in the 1970s, or from budget-cutters in Parliament.
(In fact, Parliament last discussed royal funding in the 1960s, when Juliana complained that she had to spend her own money on royal-household expenses, and Parliament agreed to pick up the tab.)
The whole episode also fits the Prince's reputation for impulsive meddling. Last year, after two supermarket workers were fined for injuring a thief while handing him over to the police, the outraged Prince called newspapers to complain about the fine and made a public show of paying it for the two men.
His actions this time have exposed cracks in a family that prides itself on not behaving badly.
Bernhard told a close family friend that his daughter was angry at him for calling Forbes. She has been titular head of the family since 1980, when she took over the mantle of Queen from her aging mother, but that doesn't mean Bernhard listens to her - "He just reminds her that he is her father," says one royal watcher.
Once a high flyer (who in 1954 helped to launch a secretive gathering of the global elite called the Bilderberg Group), Bernhard's reputation took a blow in the Lockheed scandal of 1976. He was accused of taking a US$1 million bribe.
Queen Juliana kept the law at bay, but the Prime Minister devised a devastating penalty: a one-time Spitfire pilot, Bernhard was forbidden to don a military uniform in public.
The wounds are still raw. He and his wife have barely spoken since, and live in separate halves of the Soestdijk Palace. Each has different treasurers, says a former member of the Government information service.
That's led some royal watchers to suspect that Bernhard is now underestimating the family fortune.
Republican Association member Hans van den Bergh scoffs at the US$250 million estimate and figures the Oranges have a fortune worth between US$17 billion and US$23 billion, including Rembrandt paintings and silver from tsarist Russia.
"He has a sharp mind, he knows what he wants and he gets what he wants," says Cor de Horde, editor of a monthly royals magazine.
Estimating the real wealth of Kings, Queens and despots remains as tricky as ever. - NEWSWEEK.