Tag Archives: propaganda

Prussian Blue Sings a New Tune

By Steven Philp

It has been five quiet years since Lamb and Lynx Gaede stepped out of the national spotlight—ending a short and controversial career as the neo-Nazi pop duo Prussian Blue—yet this month they came out of their self-imposed solitude to give an interview with The Daily, singing a different tune. “I’m not a white nationalist anymore,” Lamb explained. “My sister and I are pretty liberal now.” Lynx confirmed their change of heart. “Personally, I love diversity,” she added.

Delivered with such earnestness, it is difficult to believe that these opinions come from the same young women who had spent several years singing at small venues in North America and Europe, spreading messages of white supremacy and Nazi ideology. Prussian Blue was formed under the guidance of their mother April Gaede after the twins were well received at white nationalist events between 2001 and 2003. In 2004 the duo recorded and released their first album Fragment of the Future under Resistance Records, a label closely tied to the National Alliance; this white supremacist organization was founded in 1974 by William Pierce, an outspoken Nazi-sympathizer and—among other forms of bigotry—anti-Semite. Although not widely distributed, Fragment of the Future brought national media attention to the twins for its white nationalist content—including the song “Hate for Hate: Lamb Near the Lane,” penned by Lamb and David Eden Lane. Lane—who passed away in 2007—was a member of The Order, a terrorist organization that precipitated the murder of Jewish talk show host Alan Berg in June 1984.

When interviewed by ABC Primetime in October 2005, the twins eagerly parroted the ideology of their mentors. “We’re proud of being white, we want to keep being white,” explained the thirteen-year-old Lynx. “We want our people to stay white…we don’t want to just be, you know, a big muddle. We just want to preserve our race.” In the same interview their mother April admitted to adding white nationalist themes to the twins’ home education curriculum. “They need to have the background to understand why certain things are happening,” she explained. It was the need to make white nationalism more appealing to a younger audience that drove Eric Gliebe, operator of Resistance Records, to sponsor the twins. Their saccharine melodies provided a pop alternative to the harder genres of his other acts, and allowed his label to access a new market. “Eleven and 12 years old,” he explained of his decision. “I think that’s the perfect age to start grooming kids and instill in them a strong racial identity.” And it was this combination of innocence and hate that made the twins a gross fascination for such a large number of people. Even the name of the band embodies this uncomfortable juxtaposition. According to a 2004 interview with Vice Magazine, Prussian Blue refers both to their German heritage, the color of their eyes—a “really pretty color”—and Zyklon B, the preferred toxin used in WWII concentration camps. Blue discoloration is caused by Zyklon B residue; according to the twins, the lack of substantial “Prussian blue” patches in the remains of Nazi gas chambers “might make people question some of the inaccuracies of the ‘Holocaust’ myth.”

Now 19 years old, the twins claim they have moved away from their white nationalist roots. Lynx attributes their prior ideology to a sheltered childhood, specifically their home-based education. “We were these country bumpkins,” she explained. “We spent most of our days up on the hill playing with our goats.” Lamb concurred with her sister, explaining that in their songs and interviews they emulated the adults around them rather than expressed their own opinions. “I was just spouting a lot of knowledge that I had no idea what I was saying,” she said. The initial change occurred during their 2006 European tour with the Swedish white supremacist act Saga, when the twins decided to add the song “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” to their set; the audience reacted negatively, given that Bob Dylan—born Robert Zimmerman—is Jewish. Still Lynx and Lamb persisted, singing the song at all subsequent concerts. When they returned to the States, they decided that the gig was up. The girls have passed the last five years attempting to lay low and avoid further controversy; recurrent health issues—Lynx underwent treatment for cancer and Lamb suffers from chronic back pain and scoliosis—also prompted them to seek a semblance of normalcy in their lives. Once lauded as the new face of white nationalism, their change in heart has garnered a fair share of criticism within the movement. According to Lynx, they have been labeled as “race traitors.”

Yet despite the evolution of opinion that the twins have demonstrated, it is still possible to identify elements of their white nationalist education within their worldview. The Daily points to their continued denial of the Holocaust; when asked if genocide has occurred, Lynx responded, “I think certain things happened. I think a lot of the stories got misconstrued. I mean—yeah—Hitler wasn’t the best, but Stalin wasn’t, Churchill wasn’t. I disagree with everybody at that time.” Lamb agreed with her sister, expressing frustration with what she perceives as a societal obsession with the events of WWII. “I just think everyone needs to frickin’ get over it,” she argued. “That’s what I think.”

Holy Foreskin, Batman!

By Adina Rosenthal

There is a new superhero on the block. In true Superman fashion, he spends his days as regular citizen Miles Hastwick, but when trouble is afoot, he transforms into a superhero ready to rescue the public from a pernicious danger that has afflicted society for thousands of years and must be stopped: circumcision. Yes, folks, he’s Foreskin Man. “Aided by his advanced plasma boots,” as his trading card states, Foreskin Man flies above San Diego “to hunt down criminals who cut the genitals of innocent boys.” Along with the trading cards, you can purchase two issues of Foreskin Man, where he protects the foreskins of baby boys from the likes of Dr. Mutilator and Monster Mohel. T-Shirts are also available for both adults and children, so you too can wear the symbol of Foreskin Man, which is similar to a phallic version of The Green Lantern’s logo.

The comic series creator, Matthew Hess, is president of MGMBill, a national organization promoting legislation to criminalize circumcision of boys under 18, such as the controversial anti-circumcision initiative that will appear on the San Francisco ballot this November. Proponents of the bill assert that this is a human rights issue, referring to circumcision as unnecessary mutilation. Those opposed argue that circumcision is not harmful and call the measure unconstitutional, interfering with their First Amendment rights. The law would slap a fine of $1000 or a year in jail to anyone who performs the ritual on boys under 18.  While Jews and Muslims are well-known for circumcising their sons, most families who choose circumcision in the United States do so apart from religious reasons. Though a recent study shows that fewer Americans are circumcising their baby boys than in the past, as of 2010, 80 percent of the American male population is circumcised, and Jews make up no more than 3 percent of the population.

Foreskin Man was created as part of the campaign to ban circumcision through legislation, and has taken the rhetoric to a whole new level and seems to have singled out Jews as the major culprits. Many are calling the comic series overtly anti-Semitic. While the first issue of Foreskin Man raises eyebrows about what the blond-haired, blue-eyed hero meant when he said the pro-circumcision lobby has “all the well connected doctors and lawyers,” the second issue, with its hooked nose, tallis-adorned villain, Monster Mohel, and his henchman, sporting peyos, black hats, and kippot, leave less to the imagination.

In a press release, Nancy J. Appel, the Anti-Defamation League’s Associate Regional Director, blasted the comic for going too far. Appel vilified Foreskin Man for portraying mohels as “rapacious, bloodthirsty, and bent on harming children” and noted similarities with the blood libel, the accusation that Jews ritually murder Christian children for their blood (which apparently gives matzah its flavor).  Appel also makes the final point that “No matter what one’s personal opinions of male circumcision, it is irresponsible to use stereotypical caricatures of religious Jews to promote the anti-circumcision agenda.”
This charge of anti-Semitism led Jena Troutman of Santa Monica to drop an anti-circumcision proposal for her city. She claims that the initiative has nothing to do with religion, but about “protecting babies from their parents not knowing that circumcision was started in America to end masturbation…You shouldn’t go around cutting up your little babies. Why don’t people [insert expletive here] get that?”

Obviously, the anti-Semitic label is a loaded, hot potato, not to be taken lightly. But is Foreskin Man hate speech, free speech at its ugliest, or simply a humorous social commentary? Where do we draw the line?

When asked if Foreskin Man is anti-Semitic, creator Matthew Hess responded, “A lot of people have said that, but we’re not trying to be anti-Semitic. We’re trying to be pro-human rights.” But some historical comparisons may show that Foreskin Man’s kryptonite is similarities with anti-Semitic stereotypes.
Nazi Germany used comics as propaganda to paint Jews as dishonest, money-grubbing untermenschen (subhumans). For example, the 1940 Nazi film, Der Ewige Jude (The Eternal Jew) likened Jews to dirty rats that spread disease throughout the world.  Law enforcement like police and SS-units were required to watch the film in order to desensitize them to the maltreatment of Jews in concentration and extermination camps. The Jews depicted in this movie, as well as other examples of Nazi propaganda against the Jews, looks eerily similar to Monster Mohel.

At the end of the day, Foreskin Man is a strong, Aryan-looking hero who rescues the innocent baby boy from the clutches of the dark, sinister Jew, whose diabolical aim is to “carry out the holy covenant” through circumcision. This comic highlights the classic good versus evil trajectory, leaving little question as to which role the Jew plays.

It’s just not kosher.