[This is a continuation of the un-illustrious saga of Henry Randmark (?), who arranged for many of Hamburg's leading celebrities to learn all about Scientology's Narconon program at the US Consulate in that city.]
The story-teller from Hamburg
"Sir Henry" liked to be seen in the Hanseatic society: member of the finest clubs, highly decorated Vietnam veteran, bearer of the French Knight and diverse Bismarck decorations. All a fraud. Henry Randmark loved to hustle people.
March 9, 2002
by Uwe Bahnsen
There is currently one topic in particular being discussed by the finest society of Hamburg: "Sir Henry." That is how the former model Hamburg businessman used to be respectfully referred to in the elegant salons. For days the newspapers have been kept busy with his dazzling character, and now he has taken it upon himself to clear the situation up by publicly confessing that he has been leading the society people of the Hanseatic City obediently around by their noses.
The best place to get a start on "Sir Henry's" perplexing Vita is by looking him up in the "Who is who" for the Federal Republic of Germany. There on page 3,076 one can read about him, that he is a university graduate, a businessman, 65 years old, born in Los Angeles, son of Eugenie Duchess of Porohoff, a graduate of the West Point Military Academy, a highly decorated retired colonel and veteran of the Vietnam War. It was this item in particular of his colorful life career that "Sir Henry" liked to optimistically bolster up by having his picture taken with the uniform, but clever as he is, he merely held the uniform on its hanger up to his breast. He did not put the uniform on for the photographer, because that would have indeed been a punishable offense.
Further information available from the "Who is who" about his breathtaking career is that its origin was to have lain in journalism, and that "Sir Henry" rose up to "team chief of inter-regional television advertising for Randolph Hearst Syndicates L.A., California, USA." And then management positions "in Puerto Rico, Japan, Germany" (exactly where it did not say), in 1985 the opening of the "International Press Agency, Europe in the area of fashion, show business, hotel, gastronomy." In 1992, this impressive career took a different curve, for which there is no sort of explanation mentioned under this entry, because then Henry Randmark was employed in the honorable cleaning profession, in which he, in view of the enormous need, got into the business of creating and running a worldwide operation as an environmental friendly graffiti removal service and similar items.
But then "Sir Henry" cinches his biographical encyclopedia: knows nine languages perfectly, several Bismarck orders, including "in Gold am Halsband," with award certificates which were signed personally by the chief of the Bismarck house, Ferdinand, Prince of Bismarck. But neighboring France has also recognized Henry Randmark as an important personality, because he is "Chevalier of the French Knightly Order of the 13th century, Le Cordon Bleu du Saint Esprit."
His memberships indicate this man of rank and dignity is one of the solid points on the social map of the old City Republic on the Elbe: The Association of Respected Businessman at Hamburg, the Overseas Club, the American Chamber of Commerce in Hamburg, the International Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Society, the Bismarck Society, the Friends of Education of foreign officers at the management academy of the Defense Forces in the noble Blankenese, the American-German Business Club (AGBC), whose Hamburg chapter he is chairman of, or rather, was. He liked to appear in the American General Consulate and with General Consul Susan Elbow, as well as with other consular representatives. The world of receptions, cocktails and distinguished small talk - that was his world. It practically goes without saying that the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City had this gentleman on its extremely grand annual Matthiae banquet.
So nobody could really be surprised if "Sir Henry," this immaculately groomed patriot, were to have left his mark on the politics of the City-State - reserved and discrete, of course, in accordance with the Hanseatic life style. The one who profited in particular from this was the overnight success Ronald Schill, who enjoyed Henry Randmark's support. At Randmark's 65th birthday, Schill honored him "as one of the most multifaceted personalities of Hamburg," - the new Interior Senator surely could not have known how right he was. When the first public doubts were recently expressed about the picture perfect Randmark, Schill's friend Katrin Freund vehemently defended him by saying that the "medals didn't make any difference to her, it was Randmark the person, and she did not doubt him." Party spokeswoman Karina Weber spoke along the same lines, "He supported us, and that is positive. So nothing is really changed when in retrospect one or the other medal does not check out."
People well-acquainted with the topic noticed the flagrant discrepancies in the hero's decorations. The Silver Star stood out on the uniform, for instance, the third highest decoration for bravery in the USA. That was one medal Randmark, as he himself admitted, had never had bestowed upon him. His simple explanation was that the medal must have gotten put there in the cleaners. For another thing the medals were lined up wrongly, or even upside down.
The nightmare for both of Schill's supporters now is not that the business with the medals does "not check out," it is that the whole noble Vita has collapsed, starting with the basics about "Sir Henry" himself. Let's start with his age. He is not 65, but 77 years old. His mom was of noble lineage. Wrong, her Porohoff duchesy was sheer fabrication. West Point Military Academy: faked. US Army colonel: never had been. Vietnam war: Henry Randmark had no part in it and hence had not, as he had asserted, "smashed the drug scene to pieces" there (ROTFL!). Medals and decorations: none. The well-rehearsed descriptions of the multitudinous adventures with which that devil of a chap, Randmark, had impressed the ladies of society, as ear- and eyewitnesses have spontaneously stepped forward to testify, were exquisitely contrived.
Once he was up to his hips in reporters who wanted to make their deadline, Henry decided upon a general confession, typed up on two and a half pages of paper, a tortured paraphrasing of years of braggadocio, "One may describe my conduct in this respect in the past years, with certain justification, as an expression of idle vanity, the other may have some understanding for how a casual, passing remark made one late evening could have become the focal point of a topic of discussion ... Over the course of time, this theme has developed its own dynamic [sic]. The only choice I had was to fill in the details in response to the story of my life in the army being brought up by others." To gently correct "Sir Henry," it was not the "theme," but he himself who saw to the "dynamic" being developed. His next admission that he was aware "that the true would have to surface sometime" also encounters substantiated suspicion.
Randmark responded to reports that he was being investigated for impersonating a government officer as follows, "Just one little correction I'd like to make, I never said I was a "sky marshal" of a flight on the German tour line ... It is properly stated that, in response to being asked why I wanted a forward seat, I wrongly justified my reason."
The unappetizing developments of this case have put the distancing mechanisms of the high class into high gear. "Met him now and then," "used to be a member here," "a random photograph": Henry Randmark is on the road to becoming an Unperson. The Prodigal Son will not be returning home. His name will be deleted from the invitation lists of the Matthiae Banquet and other respected gatherings. Society is not amused. But society is what it is, and sees what it wants to see. "Believe me, our political and moral world rests upon subterranean passages, cellars and cesspools," Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote to Johann Kaspar Lavater on June 22, 1781. Nothing's changed there, as "Sir Henry" can see.
"Sir Henry" hangs up his uniform
WELT interview with Henry Randmark:
how a hustler ascended in Hamburg's best society, and then blew up.
by Martin Kopp
The fake colonel Henry Randmark who has been in the headlines has now publicly admitted for the first time that he had not told the truth. In a written statement and in a personal interview with WELT, Randmark admitted to having constructed a cover story (commonly known as a "shore story" .. trans.) "I was not a member of the American Army. Consequently they have never bestowed any commendations upon me," he stated. "Should I have harmed anyone close to me with my conduct, then I sincerely regret this and would like to apologize for it."
It was the uniform with which he publicly posed for photographs that led to his downfall - now "Sir Henry" has hung up his war clothes for good. That is because he has finished the "game with external appearances." He said what triggered it all off was a random remark he made casually many years ago with which he opened the conversation, "Back then I should have had the courage to immediately take back my random remark. But in the course of time, this theme developed its own dynamic. The only choice I had was to fill in the details of my army story whenever someone else brought the theme up."
Things had gone as far as they did because, in society, appearance was more important than being, he said, and "because people have used me to make an approach to politicians." To be sure he had never been drug advisor to Ronald Schill, the current Interior Senator (to whom the Hamburg Task Force on Scientology, directed by Ursula Caberta, reports .. trans.), reported Randmark. Randmark could not completely clear up the accusation that he had represented himself as a "sky marshal" on a tour flight, "Properly said, I wrongly justified my request for a forward seat after I was asked."
In Hamburg society, where much speculation has been occurring recently in the past few days about Randmark's con, his confession was received with consternation. The American Consul General, with whom Randmark had been a welcome guest, could not be reached for comment. A source close to Consul General Susan Elbow would said on condition of anonymity, "She never doubted his reputation." Katrin Freund, friend of Ronald Schill and Randmark confidante, who once had been gotten by him into the board of the American German Business Club, expressed sorrow, "I think this is all very regrettable for Randmark. He is a tragic-comic figure. But because he has not hurt anyone, I will not avoid him at social events."
But whether that will ever happen again is questionable. Fashion designer Juergen Hartmen doubts it, anyway. He designed the costumes for Randmark's wife, Sylvia, and has met the couple on numerous social occasions. He even met with "Sir Henry" at a private get-together. He said, "I do not believe that Randmark will still be invited to social events. He is done for in Hamburg and may well never again get his foot inside the door."
But how could it get so far? Why did nobody notice anything? "Society considers bragging to be a mark of good breeding, that is why such people would not catch it until it is too late," believes renowned Hamburg psychologist Heidrun Brauer. She said Randmark himself exhibited a mixture of neurotic misconduct and delusional distortion. Brauer said, "He ought to see a therapist."
Randmark himself admitted confidentially in an interview with die WELT, "The people who have supported me so far will continue to do so." To be sure, he stated, all the bad publicity would cause him grave damage. "Even my wife is affected by it. That's not something you can ignore so easily," said Randmark. But he's found his new calling. "I'll dictate my story and have it transcribed. From that I'll make a book. It will be a best-seller," said the Muenchhausen from Hamburg. To leave it on a good note, he finished by clearing up the question of age, "I am 77 years old," revealed the man, who last January publicly celebrated his 65th birthday.
German Scientology News