Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Booknote: The Rise of the Fourth Reich

Jim Marrs, The Rise of the Fourth Reich: the Secret Societies That Threaten To Take Over America. Old Saybrook, CT: Tantor Media, 2008. 

Genre: nonfiction
Subgenre: history, politics, conspiracies, United States, national socialism (Nazis), globalism
Format: e-audiobook
Source: Overdrive via the Madison County (KY) Public Library

I picked this book up mainly out of curiosity. The title caught my eye initially, and then the description made me decide to take a chance on it. Though the book goes through many topics and digresses at times, the premise is this: you remember those guys the U.S. imported from Nazi Germany at the end of World War II? The Nazi scientists, engineers, so on the U.S. conveniently kept and put to work building the U.S. rockets and bombs among other things? Well, those guys did not stop being Nazis the moment they landed on U.S. soil. They not only brought their technical and scientific knowledge to the United States, but they also brought along their Nazi ideology and views, and their Nazi influence not only survived in the United States, but it has rooted in and made its way through U.S. society and culture to this day. Sure, we might not call it "Nazism" anymore but Nazi ideas like white supremacy, might makes right, the ends justify the means, racism, so on are very much alive and well. Not only that, but such ideas find support in the high elements of American society and politics. That much does make sense, and there are even books that show that Americans, a large segment of their population, have been supportive of Nazi ideas and even helped inspire Nazi idea. One example is the American eugenics movement of the early 20th century. So the basic premise the author presents makes sense, and you can even argue it with some evidence. However, the author then goes on to explore a variety of issues and events in the U.S. that, according to the book,  you can blame on the Nazis. Some of these make sense, and a few, well, let's say they are quite a bit out there.

In brief, here is a partial list of things in  the United States you can blame on the Nazis:

  • The way businesses control more of society and government (OK, this is hard not to agree with the author given current events and the occupant of the White House as of this review). 
  • Social Security and Medicare.
  • The Department of Homeland Security.
  • Flying saucers (well, some may be actual aliens from space, but others were likely Nazi technology the Americans were trying out with said Nazi scientists). 
  • Fluoride in the water. Water fluoridation eventually goes back to the globalists and the Nazis. In addition, note that for drugs like Prozac, a key ingredient is a form of fluoride. Water fluoridation is not to help children; it is meant to be a long term mind control tool. And yes, this goes back to the Nazis.
  • Osama Bin Laden. The Nazis helped out the Muslim Brotherhood, thus paving the way for Bin Laden (go figure).

That is just a partial list. For the rest of this review, I am going to look at some of the claims and observations the author makes and comment.

The book opens discussing some theories that Hitler may have survived World War II. Part of the argument goes back to the idea that Hitler often used body doubles. This theory has pretty much been debunked, but the point the author makes is that his legacy lived on. That idea that the legacy lived on is hard to argue against if we take a look at the modern United States with its white supremacy ideals and current events. People often complain that one should not make comparisons of the current federal government to Nazis, but when the U.S. government advocates fascist and Nazi ideas such as building walls and more recently separating children from parents in families seeking asylum well the comparisons just write themselves. The author argues that the United States today is basically an American Empire, one formed from Nazi ideas that got imported with Nazi scientists, engineers, so on at the end of World War II. The U.S. did not just  import the German war machine to come work for America, but the ideas of those men as well. The author then says he will offer evidence of this without partisan agenda or bias, so he urges the reader to read on and learn more.

Before he gets too far, the author does take the time to define some terms:

  • The First Reich = The Holy Roman  Empire. 
  • The Second Reich = Germany and Austria at World War I.
  • The Third Reich = Nazi Germany as proclaimed by Adolf Hitler.
  • "Reich" in German means "empire," but "reich" (lowercase letters) means "rich." This can then mean a rule of the rich. I think readers can guess then where the Fourth Reich will be coming from. 
  • The author also reminds us that fascism as the right wing ideology means a merging of government and business. This was modeled historically by Italian Fascism. This definition emphasizes the combination of government and business. In Italy and Germany, the government took control of business. In the modern United States, businesses are making their way into controlling the government. This actually is due in part because, in some corporate cases, these companies had some form of Nazi influence that still permeates said corporations. On a side note, as I often point out as an example, we are not too far off from scenarios like OCP foreclosing on cities to take them private. In the film Robocop 2, OCP fails, but it is mainly due to rogue elements in the company that were less than competent and bad PR, not due to lack of fascist ideals and motivation. Still, as the Old Man asks in the film, "Anyone can buy OCP's stock and own a piece of our city. What could be more democratic than that?" They got close. And it could happen. Closer to reality? The unelected oversight board now running Puerto Rico. By the way, the author notes it is interesting that fascism was seen as acceptable in the 1920s and 1930s. Sure, individual despots were condemned but not the idea of government controlling corporations.

The book does have flaws, and at times a lot of what it presents is tenuous. For instance, at one point  it jumps from National Socialism (nazism) to Socialism (even though they are not the same thing) to argue that things like Social Security and Medicare are part of the National Socialist agenda for controlling the population and centralizing government. Add to this the creation of agencies like Homeland Security after 9/11, and you get more into the argument of the government tightening control. This part can be tenuous, but it provides just enough to make the conspiracy theorists wonder. On the other hand, his later point about how patriotism in the U.S. has been used to stir a strong nationalism where questioning things like foreign policy, overseas wars, so on can open you to be seen as not patriotic is spot on and not to be missed.

The author also looks at how prominent American men and families had connections to the Nazis and/or supported them or their ideals. J.P. Morgan made money helping to rearm the Germans prior to World War II. Families like the Kennedy family (by way of  Joseph Kennedy Sr.) and the Bush family (through their patriarch Prescott Bush) also had connections to the Nazis. In Chapter 5, the author discussed the financial dealings of American families like the Bush family, which are quite intricate. Add to this that many Americans of the time saw FDR as a secret communist, and they often saw fascism as a counter to communism (the big boogeyman to Americans even today), and also note that after FDR limits on presidential terms were put in place. As young folks may say today, just saying.

The business angle also considers how German businesses and companies moved out of Germany at end of war, under various guises and renamings/rebrandings so they could remain in business and operation. Different names, but led by the same Nazis, even if from afar. The author does spend a good amount of time mapping these business ventures. Furthermore, the Marshall Plan? It was business interests that wanted the German economy rebuilt despite other government opposition. And speaking of business, both Hitler and Rockefeller at different times had the sentiment that a thinking populace was not desired; they just wanted a nation of workers. And this by the way is not too different from today.

Chapter 3 is where we go over German "wonder weapons." These were weapons the Germans hoped would win them the war at the last minute, and they ranged from the V rockets to flying saucers. UFOs? Many of them probably go back to the Nazis according to the book, but a few could be real aliens.

Oh, and that Indiana Jones stuff about Nazis and the Ark of the Covenant? Don't worry. The author does not argue that Indiana Jones was real. However, the Nazi Germans did have quite an obsession with the occult, and they even had  special science and military units dedicated to seek out and find occult artifacts such as the Ark of the Covenant. Furthermore, the author provides a look at the role of the occult in Nazism. He gets to an eventual connection to psychics and "remote viewing." This may have inspired the United States Army to later create its own units of psychic spies.  This is what is referred to in the book The Men Who Stare at Goats. On another side note, the author often cites other books to support his claims as well as various articles and other sources. I am sure the text version has a list of references. I read this as an audiobook so I only got references when the author actually mentions them in them in the text. Another example of using other books as evidence comes in Chapter 8 where he cites Robert Jay Lifton's The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide. I had this book in my TBR list at one point. This author weaves a lot of ideas back and forth, cites scholarly and relatively well known sources, like Lifton's book, as well as other sources that may or not be as well known or reputable perhaps.

Chapter 7 looks at Operation Paperclip and bringing Nazi scientists over, including Von Braun, designer of the Saturn V rocket that eventually put a man on the Moon. The operation was justified as "the Russians are doing it, so have we" and in the process, those Nazis mostly got away with their crimes. On an interesting note, those Nazis also proved cheap labor, as they were paid less than American scientists, keeping up the fine American tradition of paying foreigners less rather than hiring Americans (even as they proclaim U.S. pride and such). Conspiracies aside, some things in American history never change, including the lack of overall morality and the justification of the ends justifying the means, which was also a Nazi and fascist mantra.

Going back to Rockefeller, Chapter 14 looks at the U.S. educational system, which is more often than not guided by globalists. In the 1960s, Rockefeller established a foundation/board to funnel money into education ventures (and does that remind you of any rich folks who establish foundations and boards to funnel money to promote their educational ideas? Bill Gates might come to mind for example. Some things really never change). The chapter also presents a comparison of education prior to 1900s in U.S. to today. Technology aside, the education back then was rigorous, and as the author points out, a student back then was an educated person fluent in the language, in culture, math and science. This is unlike high school graduates today who in many cases are barely literate.

In the end, the Nazis had their myth of the superior race. Americans have their myth of American exceptionalism where their values are superior to anyone else's (and they are happy to invade anywhere needed to impose said values). America, the author argues, is a national socialist dream come true. The surveillance state is strong and well, and think tanks, corporations, and organizations study our every habit as well as find ways to justify said surveillance state. Meanwhile, American conservatism is basically just now infused with fascist ideas and authoritarianism while worshiping the military/industrial complex. The change then spread to the media, corporations, and even the (two major) political parties. The bottom line is, as the author says, the New World Order is just the Old World Order packaged with  advertising slickness.

I want to close the review with this very good quote from the book that is definitely relevant today:

"The biggest weapon in American politics is money because you can use money to influence people, to influence the media, to influence campaigns, to influence individuals, to bribe people. . . "

-R. Spencer Oliver

Overall, the book has some good points, but it mostly veers into serious conspiracy theory that may seem outlandish or even a serious stretch (and I am trying to be polite here). The author can get seriously verbose at some times, so the book is not necessarily an easy read. Some chapters are more interesting than others. As for the narrator, given I read this as an audiobook, he has an even sounding voice. The tone is serious but calm, but as I said, the text is verbose at times, so some things can sort of blur as you listen. You may have to back up the text a few times to make sure you got something. I ended up liking the book despite the flaws. If nothing else, it was also entertaining at times, and it did encourage me to go seek out some additional books to learn more about some of the ideas presented. For me, a book that gets me to want to read more cannot be all bad.

3 out of 5 stars.

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