Henry C. Randmark
The ultimate Outing
How Henry C. Randmark blew his cover in his first MOPO interview
March 10, 2002
by Thomas Hirschbiegel
Inter-regional newspapers are devoting pages to him, television broadcasters are joining the crowd, and the US media have already expressed an interest in the case of "Sir Henry" Randmark, the hustler. On Wednesday the MOPO outed the teller of tall tales, and showed that he wore US decorations improperly. On Friday Randmark gave up, but in his "confession" he portrayed everything as a joke. He said it had been clear to him that the "Muenchhausen number" would soon come to light. A lie. The MOPO prints the (greatly abridged) first telephone conversation with the wannabe-colonel from the Vietnam war, and it documents how bitterly Randmark defended the components of his cover story:
MOPO: "We would like to chat with you about your time in the Army."
Randmark: "I can't say too much about that. I have certain records there."
MOPO: "You had your picture taken with a uniform, where the Silver Star (third highest decoration for bravery in the USA) is on it ..."
Randmark: "That's not right. No."
MOPO: "So what is your highest decoration, then?"
Randmark: "Purple Star, ehhh, - of course I meant the Purple Heart."
MOPO: "And next to the Purple Heart you wear the Silver Star. Have you earned it now or not?"
Randmark: "No, I don't have the Silver Star. But let me take a look here. You're right. The Silver Star is on there. But it's been a few years since I wore the uniform. So it's difficult to remember. But fire away, what else do you want to know?"
MOPO: "Why do you wear a decoration when you have not received it?"
Randmark: "The only way I can explain it is that I had brought my uniform to the cleaners with that of the military attache of the time. Maybe they got something mixed up there."
MOPO: "Did you participate in the fighting in Vietnam?"
Randmark: "No, I was not a soldier there, but I was in drug investigation in Saigon."
MOPO: "But aren't you wearing decorations for bravery?"
Randmark: "Yes, I know what I'm talking about there. Combat operations are there, when you are in a war zone, or when you go on patrol."
MOPO: "So weren't you on the front?"
Randmark: "I'm telling you, I went on a special mission."
MOPO: "And for that you got a Silver Star at the cleaner's?"
Randmark: "What I did with my uniform, and with other uniforms, just leave that up to me. If I had something to hide, then I never would have taken out the uniform. I didn't have a bad conscience."
MOPO: "So how long were you in the US Army?"
Randmark: "Mmmmm, five years."
MOPO: "Are you trying to tell me that you made colonel in five years?"
Randmark: "Yes, colonel, not lieutenant colonel. I have nothing to hide."
MOPO: "Which officers school did you go to?"
Randmark: "All that is secret."
MOPO: "Mr. Randmark, I'm saying to your face that you are a (lying) hustler!"
Randmark: "Just try printing that."
The Psychologist's Evaluation
This is how expert Heidrun Brauer rates the Henry Randmark case:
This man's exaggerations have pathological, almost delusional traits. He is absolutely relieved to say that he only wanted to "fool" society with his lies, but that he stopped too late, so that the thing took on its own dynamic. He says his performance turned into his life, and he even believed it himself. After all, megalomania is an age-old phenomenon.
This man had too little security in his childhood and that drove him his entire life. As a building cleaner he did not receive the attention and the recognition he wished, and he wanted more. He tried to feed his craving for status with his contrived medals and heroic deeds. And he did not just want to be rich, he had to have a very special (military) decoration. But now Henry Randmark will have to face exactly what he was trying to avoid. He is losing his recognition.
Not so funny
"Sir Henry" and the Beust Senate
by Matthias Onken
Humor is when you laugh in spite of it all. That includes the Randmark case. "Sir Henry," the self-proclaimed US colonel, who fooled all of Hamburg - that is worth a slap on the thigh. But there is also the other side of the story. That one is not so funny: Ronald Schill, who the hustler courted. At great pains to make his point, the Senator now asserts that Randmark never gave him any political advice about drugs. The opposite was publicly stated by "Sir Henry" without any denial from Schill. Randmark even wanted him to see how junkies came clean via Scientology. Rudolf Lange is not saying anything more. He knows why. The Free Democrat did not want to be part of the coalition with Schill. Until the hustler introduced him to the (former) judge (Schill). Back when he was a rear admiral, Lange had invited the "colonel" into the officers academy. And Ole von Beust also trusted Randmark. The new government - a product of the Hamburg Muenchhausen's collective wash-out? A crazy idea - without special effects.
A hustler with connections
by Gernot Knödler
With his home-made story of a highly decorated Vietnam officer, he made fools out of high society - but he is not a harmless liar. Henry Randmark, alleged former drug political advisor to Interior Senator Ronald Schill, tried to denounce a colonel of the Defense Forces management academy for "demoralization of military potential" at the Military "Abschirmdienst" (MAD). The (accused German) colonel had expressed a positive opinion about the Defense Forces exhibition. At least that is what Hessian Broadcasting (HR) reported at the time. The interesting thing about it was that today's Education Senator Rudolf Lange (FDP) was chief of the management academy at the time - and he felt compelled to reprimand the critical soldier.
The since then deceased Colonel Herwig Pickert had written a letter in 1996 to the editor of the "Rheinischen Merkur," in which he defended the Defense Forces exhibition of the Hamburg Institute for Social Research. According to the HR video broadcast, criticized by Pickert - who was also a member of the council of the Synod of the Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD) - the Defense Forces were continuing the tradition of the (Nazi) Wehrmacht: "The Wehrmacht was a basic instrument of the Third Reich." Parts of the Wehrmacht had participated in the Reich's worst crimes, as was reported.
Wannabe-soldier Randmark gave the critical colonel a good going-over on television, "He is a traitor to his own profession." He said Pickert was a "mole" with "left-leaning" opinions. To a reporter's question of whether it was true that he had accused the colonel at MAD of "demoralization of military potential" ("Wehrkraftzersetzung") - a Nazi term - Randmark only replied, "No comment."
Randmark is said to have held the best of relations with the management academy back then. Its chief anyway, Rudolf Lange, felt compelled - from whomever he felt compelled by - to give Pickert a letter of reprimand. It said that the colonel, in two letters, had given the name of his post, thereby giving the impression that he was representing the opinion of the academy. In both letters, however, "member of the Synod of the EKD" could be read under "management academy."
Randmark's time as a member in fine society has since run out. In the Hamburg "Buergerschaft" election campaign, the expert in cleaning building facades was still removing graffiti for publicity purposes with Rear Admiral ret. Lange. In February of this year he caused some irritation by inviting people to a presentation about the drug withdrawal program of the Scientology cult. Now Randmark has had to confess that he had never been a US colonel.
German Scientology News