The following is the sad story of "Sir" Henry Randmark.
Dispute over Scientology speech in the US Consulate
Scotland Yard detective praises the Narconon program
Caberta calls it a cult sales talk
February 19, 2002
by Insa Gall
More than 100 representatives of Hamburg society assembled in the venerable halls of the American consulate on the "Aussenalster" to listen to the words of guest speaker Christopher Brightmore as they snacked and sipped champagne. But what the former Scotland Yard investigator had to say to the audience several days ago at the invitation of the German-American Business Club did more than raise a few eyebrows. The retired police officer unceasingly praised Scientology's Narconon program as the best drug withdrawal concept in the world. His speech was cause for an appearance by Ursula Caberta in the meantime. "This was purely a sales talk for Scientology," the feisty director of the Task Force on Scientology criticized the arrangement.
Brightmore did not suffer from a loss of words during his speech. The former narcotics agent reported to the assembled guests, police president Udo Nagel and Ferdinand Prince of Bismarck among them, that he had searched the entire world for the last ten years to find a drug rehabilitation program that actually worked, "And I am happy to communicate to you that I am certain I've found it," Brightmore continued. "It is conducted by an organization called Narconon, which belongs to the ABLE organization, the Association for Better Life and Education, a charitable firm founded by the Church of Scientology." The concept could be regarded "as the best drug rehabilitation program available," the retired agent proceeded to praise the method of operation and success of the program with the appropriate details and rapture. Excerpt: "I have visited this program at three different sites and spoke with the students. All were enthused with their experience."
As far as Ursula Caberta knows, the praise for this drug withdrawal program contradicts all findings. She not only regards the Narconon program as a menace to health, but also believe addicts are being exploited. "This is a case of one drug being replaced by another - Scientology." The basis of the Narconon program is said to be the technology of L. Ron Hubbard. The Hamburg "Buergerschaft" has added to that in a government publication, "Drug therapy based on the psycho-technology used by Scientology is objectionable." The Berlin narcotics authorities have been urgently warning people about Narconon since 1978. It contains, for instance, the "danger of assimilating the irrational, internal hierarchy" of the program. Christopher Brightmore is not unknown to Caberta. She said she has recently received a video in which the former police made a de facto commercial for Scientology.
The director of the government task force also expressed an interest in the role of Henry Randmark, who, as president of the German-American Business Club, sent out invitations for the gathering in the general consulate. The 65-year old American, who runs a cleaning company [probably an unintentional pun in German, could also be stated as purification company], has apparently used his connections to advertise for a dubious drug program, Caberta speculated.
Randmark told WELT that he was outraged that anyone suggested he had a connection with Scientology. He said he was not a member of the controversial cult. Neither did the businessman, who stood at the side of party founder Ronald Schill in the election campaign as political drug advisor, see "anything offensive" in Brightmore's speech when he said that the Scientology program was the most effective drug rehabilitation concept. He had no problem with that. "There's nothing wrong with telling sick people they should get treatment - no matter if it is from Jehovah's Witnesses, the Mormons or the Scientologists," said Randmark.
"Sir Henry": Hero or Hustler?
March 5, 2002
by Mathias Onken
Henry C. Randmark. Hamburg's High Society knows him as "Sir Henry." And believes everything the self-proclaimed man-of-the-world has to say. He says he brought Lange and Schill together, and that he advises the Interior Senator on the drug politic. There is just one thing left to say.
He dances at all the balls. And talks with a perfect German accent about his well-done deeds. About "good friends," like the crown prince family of Bismarck. About his executive job in graffiti-removal and how he scoured the Alsteranleger and the Louvre. About the time when, as a US colonel he led drug investigations in the Vietnam war. And about the medal that was bestowed upon him for that. But everything on his uniform that glitters is not gold. The most important medal he received, as "Sir Henry" meekly commented, was given to him by accident at the cleaner's.
Randmark's experiences as a Vietnam war veteran are not the only things that appear dubious. The businessman, who says he knows nine languages, has been president of the Hamburg Chapter of the "American-German Business Club" (AGBC) since June, 2000. There are said to be 70 members of the association, which was originally founded in Bonn in 1964.
What the club does is not exactly known very well in this city. You cannot reach it at all by the telephone number listed on the home page of the "IPA Randmark International AG" company. The last heard from the AGBC was a Valentine's Day invitation to the US Consulate on the Alster. The theme was combatting drugs and the rehabilitation of addicts. Speaker: Chris Brightmore, former officer from Scotland Yard.
You could have knocked over many of the 100 guests with a feather once it became clear that Mr. Brightmore was advertising for "Narconon." That is the "quasi health and welfare department" of Scientology, explained Hamburg's sect commissioner, Ursula Caberta. Drug experts uniformly describe "Narconon" as unprofessional, dangerous and "junk medicine." Among the guests was Udo Nagel. He, however, arrived late, and hardly caught any of the scandal at all. Unlike Gisela Hackenjos, the president of Scientology Hamburg, who was also in attendance.
Randmark contests being a Scientologist. Although he was a guest at the most recent Scientology show in the Cafe Seeterrassen. Bush-fan Randmark makes no secret of his acquaintance with Interior Senator Schill. The businessman says he gave him financial support, as well as ideological: "I advised in on the issue of combatting drugs, because I have had rather good experience in the field," revealed "Sir Henry." The ex-judge acknowledged the support by honoring the American on his 65th birthday in January with a glowing speech.
Schill's (political party) friend, Katrin Freund, confirmed in an interview that she worked on the board of the AGBC until the political campaign started. She said that Randmark was a "fatherly friend" of the politician, a good acquaintance. Glenn Miller fan ("My father knew him personally") Randmark is no stranger, either, to form vice admiral Rudolf Lange (FDP). In July Randmark brought the liberal together with Schill at a gathering in "Wollenberg," for which his club advertised heavily.
"I have never done anything wrong"
Henry C. Randmark in MOPO interview
March 7, 2002
MOPO: How professional is it to invite celebrities to a presentation where you are going to advertise for "Narconon," a Scientology drug withdrawal program that has been discounted by every expert in Germany?
Randmark: I didn't know what they were going to say.
MOPO: But even before then you said you and Robert Schill had visited a Scientology show that also promoted "Narconon."
Randmark: Mr. Schill was unfortunately running late. I thought he might be interested in it.
MOPO: Are you yourself convinced by "Narconon"?
Randmark: I cannot say if it is good. That is why I invited ace investigator Brightmore, so that he could explain it for us.
MOPO: Are you a Scientologist?
Randmark: I am not now nor have I ever been a Scientologist. I am a devout believer of Russian Orthodoxy. [We pause now for a quick break. If you visit http://cisar.org/russia/970922.htm you will see that it says cult members often depict themselves as being aligned with Russian Orthodoxy. Now back to our regularly scheduled program.] Therefore I accept no church that is not a church.
MOPO: So you have a clean conscience?
Randmark: I have never done anything wrong.
MOPO: You have the best contact in politics. The word is that you helped to forge the coalition.
Randmark: Ah, that was a great honor. I did nothing to deserve it.
MOPO: But you said you brought Schill and Lange together at one of your gatherings.
Randmark: If that's the way you want it. I also know Mr. von Beust. But I did not forge anything.
MOPO: You supported Mr. Schill financially.
Randmark: I happened to say, okay, I can spare 500 Marks for leaflets. But it wasn't any more than that.
Interview conducted by Matthias Onken
"Do the cigar number for me!"
by Matthias Onken
"Mr. Unusual" Henry C. Randmark and his embarrassing appearance
[comments from Joe Cisar in square brackets.]
Gasps of disbelief in Hamburg's finest circles. Henry C. Randmark, flatteringly called "Sir Henry" by this city's VIPs: outed himself as a hustler in MOPO. Medals that adorn his uniform from the good old days as an alleged US colonel were obviously put on there by mistake at the cleaners, he said. That's not the only crooked thing about Henry C. Randmark.
A Pentagon spokesman confirmed that Randmark's uniform and decorations were entirely incorrect. MOPO also has evidence that "Sir Henry" also evidently likes to appear younger than he is. "Randmark has two IDs. I've seen both of them. On one he is 65, and on the other 75," reported an acquaintance. Janine K. (32, named changed) was addressed by "Sir Henry" at the hair stylist's, "Do the Bismarck Cigar number for me!" He wanted her to be a model for an advertising campaign. "Mr. Randmark claimed that he had contracted for the worldwide marketing of Bismarck Cigars." She said Randmark made a point out of saying that he had been in the secret service in Russia. "The embarrassing part was when he introduced me to people who already knew me as a duchess." "Sir Henry" could now possibly be an embarrassment for very many Hamburg celebrities. Ronald Schill, for instance. The Interior Senator did not wish to make a comment as to Randmark's statement that he had advised him on drugs. That's understandable. The cleaning service manager had wanted the former judge (Schill) to go along with him, as he wore a "CIA" baseball cap, to a Scientology show in the Cafe Seeterrasse [Would that have been a photo-op for Scientology's Freedom/Freiheit magazine or not?] Randmark also apparently likes to show off his improperly adorned uniform in public. He is even said to have worn it in the questionable parade in the Blanenese Management Academy.
His Highness Prince Ferdinand von Bismarck can vouch that "Sir Henry" has received at least one honor. For his service in cleaning the Bismarck Monument, the Bismarck Association bestowed upon Randmark the "Medal in Silver with Gold Cluster." But even that had a catch; the association chief at the time was none other than Henry C. Randmark. He diligently collected donations. And got the monument cleaned. The "contractor" was IPA Randmark International. Honest.
The "Colonel" and the case of the missing medals
The fuss about Henry Randmark
He is a dazzling man: Henry Randmark (65). The self-proclaimed anti-graffiti pope who never misses a ball with his wife, Silvia, and who likes to see his name in the society pages. But now Randmark has a problem - since yesterday people in Hamburg have been talking about him. Was Randmark lying when he proudly recounted his past as a Vietnam veteran in the US Army? The "Hamburger Morgenpost" ran an article entitled, "Hamburg's Captain von Koepenick - the fake medals of Henry C. Randmark."
The newspaper wrote that Randmark wore medals on his uniform that had never been bestowed upon him. Such as the Silver Star and the Purple Heart, for example. The Silver Star is the third highest honor awarded for bravery in the USA, and is presented only for heroic acts. The Purple Heart is given "for Combat -- Action only"; those who get it were wounded in battle. Randmark said he was a Colonel from 1968 to 1971 in the Special Forces in Vietnam. He told the Mopo, "I was not on the front lines. I was in the drug investigation unit in Saigon."
And he also admitted to the newspaper, "No, I do not have the Silver Star." But Randmark found a simple explanation, however, for the fact that the Silver Star appeared on the clasp for medals, "Last year, when I brought the uniform to the cleaner's, I did it together with the military attache. Perhaps they got something mixed up. I don't know."
Yesterday, his friends were also confused. Trendsetter Juergen Hartman has known Henry and Silvia Randmark for many years, he said. "Both are customers of mine. I'm afraid someone is running a campaign against Randmark. Before he has actually been proven to be a con man, you shouldn't judge him." Nevertheless, Hartmann thought row of ribbons was rather peculiar, "For such a short time in the military, that's quite a few ribbons."
Military experts know, however, that in the US Army the rank of Colonel can be obtained generally after 15 to 25 years of service. [If Randmark was 65 last January, that means from 1968 to 1971 he would have been 31-34 years old. Assuming he breezed through four years of college without a hitch, the earliest he could have gone active military was 1959, meaning he would have made colonel in 9 to 12 years.]
Hartmen stated, "If the accusations prove true, Randmark is done for in Hamburg society. Those Hanseats won't let him get away with that."
The fuss over Henry Randmark began back in the middle of February, at a gathering in the US Consulate General. Acting as president of the American-German Business Club, Randmark sent out invitations to a presentation by former Scotland Yard investigator Christopher Brightmore about drug crime. Brightmore then proceeded to praise Scientology's Narconon program. Yesterday Randmark had only this to say about the Case of the Missing Medals: "It's nothing but gossip and slander. I've called my lawyer about it."
Fraud in the wild blue yonder
"Sky Marshal Sir Henry": police are now investigating
[For those who are reading this story for the first time, Henry Randmark invited a hundred celebrities to the ever accommodating Hamburg Germany US Consulate, where they were treated to a lecture praising the many accomplishments of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Hubbard also used fake war hero feats to awe his adherents (his WWII military record is online at http://www.lermanet2.com/L_Ron_Hubbard ) Because the US has officially been faulting Germany for discriminating against Scientologists in past years, it is with great interest that we await the next US State Department report on human rights and religious freedom to see if "Sir Henry" was discriminated against for his part in joining with Hamburg US Consulate to promote Scientology in Germany.]
March 7, 2002
The police are now investigating because Randmark identified himself on a Condor flight as a US Sky Marshall
West Point graduate, Vietnam war hero, master of many languages, worldwide operating graffiti terminator and Chevalier Cordon Bleu du Saint Esprit - "Sir Henry" Randmark is really a devil of a fellow. But now his singular Muenchhausen career is probably coming to an end.
It was on the 11.11. (Karneval!) 2001 flight from Palma de Mallorca to Hamburg. With a practiced American accent, Randmark told the flight attendants that he was a "US sky marshal." On grounds of flight security, he would have to have a seat forward. The stewardesses were puzzled, but made arrangements for Randmark's wish. A co-passenger was moved. Then Randmark wanted to inspect the cockpit. The Captain refused. After the plane landed, the airline notified the US authorities. Response: "Sir Henry" was anything but a sky marshal. Randmark will be charged.
The flighty Ami has been conducting his mischief for years in this city. And everybody fell for it. Mainly the rich and the beautiful with whom the man with the Schnauzer liked to associate. But even politicians were taken in by the clever busybody. They were led by Mayor Ole von Beust (CDU), Rear Admiral (ret.) Rudolf Lange (FPD) and Ronald Schill, whose "drug political advisor" Randmark claimed to be for months.
There are many people, however, who were not pleased with "Sir Henry." Harburg TU (Technical University) for example. After having announced that he was the "best graffiti remover in the city," Randmark got the 1999 contract to treat the new administration building with a graffiti-resistant substance. And he did it. With his own miracle treatment. For which he received 80,000 marks. Problem: when the treatment was dried, the beautiful brick wall (200 meters) was white. "The stuff was completely soaked in - it did not exactly make us happy," said TU spokesman Ruediger Bendlin. "We had to get another company to clean it up."
The conversion of "Sir Henry's" "IPA Randmark International" from a GmbH to an AG also turned out backwards. According to a former business partner, "He wanted to sell the business to increase its value." But the three-man operation hardly needed a board of directors and oversight council. His wife Silvia and a few close friends had to try to come to the rescue. But nobody wanted to buy the company. No big surprise, "In order to designate his company cars as part of a professional corporation, Randmark would have had to have merged with a professional company," said the former business acquaintance.
As President of the "American-German Business Club," Randmark did more than have speakers chat about Scientology programs; he also shamelessly exploited the club members. One former club member told MOPO, "He was able to have the annual meeting at the Hotel Hafen Hamburg, where the Club could eat for free. In spite of which Randmark demanded 50 marks from each member to cover expenses."
"Sir Henry," the duke of lies - several weeks ago he and Hamburg's high society celebrated his birthday. Everyone congratulated him on being 65, and Schill gave a speech. But Randmark would not be Randmark if he had not once again bamboozled everybody. The Ami, who is allegedly supposed to be a Latvian, is already 77. Born on January 12, 1925. That is what is documented in his official German records.
In the "Who is Who" with an oak cluster
"Sir Henry" helps himself to 50 lines in the Book of Vanity
"Sir Henry" Randmark has had himself immortalized in the "Who is Who" between singer Bill Ramsey and Lead Conductor of the Vienna Volks Opera. With 50 (!) lines and a picture. We would not want to deprive you of a slightly abbreviated version:
Henry Randmark, Businessman (with university degree), Chairman of the Board of Directors of Randmark International AG. Born January 12, 1937 in Los Angeles. (Father Maximilian Shearing-Randmark, Mother Eugenie Duchess of Porohoff). Education: UCLA California, USA. Colonel retired of the US Armed Forces. Graduate of West Point Military Academy. Journalist, Team Chief of interregional television advertising of the Randolph Hearst Syndicate, LA, Calif. In management positions in Puerto Rico, Japan, Germany. Founded IPA Randmark Enterprise in 1992.
1995: Bismarck Medal in Silver with gold oak cluster. 1996: Bismarck Order in Silver. 1997: Bismarck Order in Gold on collar. 1998: Bismarck Medal in Gold. Member of the Association of Respected Businessmen at Hamburg. Chevalier des Ritterordens Cordon Bleu du Saint Esprit.
His wife Silvia Randmark is Comtesse Cordon Bleu-Frankreich 1579. American Chamber of Commerce Hamburg. Member of the Bismarck-Bund. Pres. des American-German-Business-Clubs Hamburg. Honorary member of the Verein zur Erhaltung des 76er- Denkmals. Member of the Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Society. 1st Chairman of the JCEA Miami Society for the preservation of Monuments. Member of the int. Who is Who of Professionals USA. Member of the Life-Fellowship of international Biographical-Centre Cambridge, England (distinguished with certificates and decorations and published in the book, "Outstanding People of the World").
Interests: Riding, swimming, adventure trips, fishing, attaining international culture. Speaks nine languages perfectly.
Decoration for bravery granted by the dry cleaners
Henry C. Randmark really should have been satisfied with his decoration. But he wanted more.
March 5, 2002
by Thomas Hirschbiegel
Henry C. Randmark really could have been satisfied. He had indeed been decorated with the "Medal in Silver with Golden Oak Cluster" by the Bismarck Association for services performed in the fight against graffiti. But "Sir Henry" wanted more, it had to be a proper medal for bravery, and he had his story lined up as a colonel in the Vietnam War. People from the highest circles hung onto his every word when the "Vietnam veteran" told his stories. Randmark proudly appeared in public with his uniform. But something was not quite right there ...
After the MOPO discovered the photo with the row of medals with the "Silver Star," still the third highest distinction for bravery in the USA, and which is only given out for "acts of heroism," we gave Randmark a call:
"Did you receive the Silver Star?"
Randmark: "No, I did not."
MOPO: "But it is on your bar of military decorations."
Randmark: "No, that's not right." Randmark after a pause, "Let me go look."
He called back, and said suddenly, "You are right. The Silver Star is on there. After 31 years it's hard to remember."
MOPO: "So did you get it or not?"
Randmark: "No, I don't have the Silver Star."
MOPO: "But why do you wear the decoration on your uniform when it was not given to you?"
Randmark: "The only way I can explain it is that last year, when I brought the uniform to the cleaner's, I brought it together with that of the military attache back then. Maybe they got mixed something up. I don't know."
A senior Defense Forces officer told MOPO, "It is of course nonsense that an officer would give his uniform to the cleaner's with the decorations still on it. And I would like to know what the address is of the cleaner's who gives out medals of bravery to people."
Besides that, Randmark wears the "Purple Heart" on his uniform, which he wrongly calls the "Purple Star." The Purple Heart is a decoration "for Combat - Action only." The only people who receive this decoration are those who were wounded in battle. But Randmark told MOPO, "I was not a soldier in that sense of the word. I was in drug investigations ("Drogenbekaempfung") in Saigon; I was not on the front lines. I did not take part in battle operations." But Randmark also wears the "Combat Infantryman" clasp, the clasp for US hand-to-hand combat. Randmark said, "That is a decoration for sharpshooting - that is how we translate it into German here."
Randmark explained that he had been on a "Special Mission." He said he had been in the Army from 1966 to 1971, and that he was separated as a colonel. Clearly his career, for which officers normally need at least 20 years, went by like lightning ("Blitzkarriere", related to "Blitzkrieg"). The questions of what rank he was upon entering or about officers school he refused to answer; he said that was all top secret. To the question of whether he was a con man, Randmark said, "That is what you are trying to print."
The painful confession
Hamburg's brazen con man trying to save his skin
March 8, 2002
by Thomas Hirschbiegel and Matthias Onken
Once a liar, always a liar. Hijinks Henry C. Randmark remains loyal to himself. In a three-page explanation, "Sir Henry" admitted to deceit with the medals and the military career, but said he did it only to make Hamburg society the brunt of a joke. The truth seems different.
Randmark's lies began with the date and place of his birth. Instead of January 12, 1937 in Los Angeles, as he had listed in the respected reference work, "Who is Who," he was born in Tallin, Estonia in 1925.
His explanation then said that an "incidental fringe statement" of his had taken on a life of its own in Hamburg society to become an alleged military career. He was allegedly obliged to keep on inventing new details. The truth was that in 1987, Randmark, as a promoter for a dubious kickboxer that he wanted to get on the "Wetten, dass...?" program, portrayed himself as a "US combat helicopter pilot."
As an alleged general representative for "Stohnsdorfer" and "Doornkaat," he said he had got Hamburg tourists on Mallorca caught up in his tales. As a fishmonger he had depicted himself as a former staff officer. The stories, which he did not mention casually, but rather told with gusto, were about his appalling war experiences in Vietnam. On more than one occasion Randmark bragged about how, as a US Army "drug investigator" in Saigon he had shot down ten suspected dealers. "I blew the pigs away one after the other," was his comment, according to a witness.
In his "confession," Randmark wrote, "By and by I began to get interested in the attention that society was paying to stories of that sort." The truth: he made every one of his stories up, and, according to his former business partner Hans-Werner M. (46), bought no later than 1990 a US Army colonel's uniform and bedecked it liberally with decorations of valor.
He says he never wore the uniform. MOPO has contradictory information at hand. Since the mid-1990s, Randmark has been aggressively and vigorously imposing himself upon the public, first with his "Graffiti-Killer" and monument maintenance company, and, from 2000, as president of the American-German Business Club. He sought out celebrities like Prince Ferdinand von Bismarck, Willi Bartels, Henning Voscherau and General Consul Susan Elbow.
He said he had never "gained undue advantage nor wanted to hurt people" with his contrived statements. Yet another lie: he did this to obtain contracts for his alleged world business, and pressured members of the Business Club he did not like into leaving.
In 1996, Randmark managed to make it to the columns of a major German newspaper for the first time. Almost every year since then he has received a mention of praise. Randmark took those articles to the bank. Before the 2001 Hamburg "Buergerschaft" election, one author in this large newspaper went so far as to list Randmark under "The intelligent men behind our top politicians." One of the politicians was Ronald B. Schill, who now says he knew Randmark only fleetingly. No, "Colonel" Randmark had never been his advisor on the fight against drug crime. Nevertheless, "Sir Henry" previously asserted just the opposite repeatedly without any objections.
Finally came the "home town story" in a Hamburg newspaper. "At heart he is still an American," it said about the "war hero." Randmark posed with a sincere look on his face for the camera. Today Randmark says the reporter made him do it. That went for his uniform, too, the one in the picture that led to his downfall. After that article was published, Randmark then supposedly knew that the jig was up, on account of the false medals. He said "the press reaction to such blatantly false information" had interested him.
The truth: When MOPO asked Randmark about his military service, he desperately defended himself. Heavily seasoning his speech with a fake American accent, he haggled over every single medal. "Of course I know what I'm talking about." He stubbornly insisted he had been a "colonel" in the Vietnam war, and threatened to call in "very good" attorneys. As to the photographs from the home town story, he vehemently tried to stop distribution of the them, also threatening "legal steps" in that case.
It was not until Randmark had been driven up against the wall, after the Pentagon in Washington had explained to MOPO that, regardless of which rank, there had never been a soldier with the name of Henry Randmark, that the con man finally gave up after three days and wrote a confession. Like he said, it was all meant as a joke. Hamburg society and his business partners will not think it is very funny.
The Case of Henry C. Randmark
and how how his story came to light
March 8, 2002
The incomprehensible case of Henry C. Randmark - MOPO documents how it came out:
For years there have been doubts in the world of celebrities about the credibility of the "Vietnam veteran." The scandal sheets heard about them, but there was nothing definite.
On February 14, 2002, Randmark, as president of the American-German Business Club invited over 100 Hamburgers to the US General Consulate for a presentation on Scientology's "Narconon" drug withdrawal program. Participants, including police president Udo Nagel, were appalled. For the first time "Sir Henry" experienced public criticism.
On February 16, a former acquaintance of Randmark's contacted MOPO. He provided information about Randmark's business practices, about his contacts with celebrities and how he landed contacts with politicians as a "graffiti killer," and pointed out inconsistencies in his biography.
On March 1, a Hamburg newspaper published a favorable hometown story about the "former US colonel," and "successful businessman," printing a photograph of his decoration bedecked uniform. The MOPO discovered the medal swindle and asked Randmark about it, who said, "The medals probably got mixed up at the cleaners."
After Randmark was outed in MOPO, nearly all Hamburg media reported the story on the con man. New items of embarrassment came to light daily - even the fact that he was being investigated by the police.
On March 8, Randmark opened up "his heart." And stayed true to himself: once again it was only half the truth.
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.
"Sir Henry" appeared in his uniform publicly after all
More accusations against the false colonel "Sir Henry" thrown on the fire
March 15, 2002
A photograph has been recently uncovered that reveals that the Muenchhausen from Hamburg, even after he was caught red-handed, did not tell the whole truth. The picture was taken in 1996 in the Bismarck tomb in Friedrichsruh, as Randmark was receiving the Bismarck medal for cleaning the monument. The medal recipient appeared in his fake uniform, which he said he had never worn at all.
Randmark had previously admitted he had made up the whole thing about being a US war hero, but at the same time he consistently maintained that he had never appeared in public wearing his fake uniform. Even in his written confession of March 8, Randmark said that at no time had he put his pretend military career in the limelight. The picture contradicts him, and takes on an incriminating relevance. Because in the meantime the state attorney's office in Hamburg has initiated investigative proceedings for unauthorized wearing of a uniform, and Randmark potentially faces a fine or a jail term of up to one year.
"Sir Henry" said he had acquired the beautiful uniform in a shop in Soho while sightseeing in London. He paid 750 marks for it, he admitted to the "Hamburger Morgenpost." He also bragged to them that he had been decisive in forging the new coalition. Randmark said about Ronald Schill, "We're buddies. Once he asked me why I had called Rudolf Lange "rat catcher" and whether he wanted to win the election. I called up Lange and got the both of them together. Rudolf told me, "You better believe it, the coalition's going to work." The fake colonel said he now wants to tell all about the intimate details of high society in a book.
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.
"Sir Henry" is a Criminal
March 14, 2002
by Matthias Onken
Randmark once stood before a court in Denmark, where he was convicted and received a prison sentence for fraud and incitement to commit arson.
The jig is up. Henry Randmark, who made a fool out of the most important people of this city with his brazen lies, by which account he was everybody's darling in the finest circles, is a multiply convicted criminal. A felon who made a mockery of the cleaning man by portraying himself as a worthwhile graffiti remover. The MOPO now reveals that in the 1970s and 1980s, "Sir Henry" appeared in court repeatedly in Denmark. For fraud he received five and half years, and for incitement to commit arson he got four years in prison!
Confronted with the MOPO research, Henry Randmark opened his heart to his attorney. He said he had not wanted to make open statements as to his murky past. No surprise there. For almost 20 years he had diligently worked to erase the last vestiges of his checkered past. And he almost did it.
As late as Tuesday, Randmark had assured MOPO reporters in a follow-up interview that he did not want to tell "anything but the truth." But he struck out again, even if he really had wanted to tell the truth. His undoing came about as a result of statements from a fellow convict. MOPO found the man. Today the 59-year-old Soeren T. (name changed) let the cat out of the bag, "Randmark and I had a regular thing going. That was not the only time."
Back on September 23, 1981, Soeren T. sat on the defendant's bench beside Randmark, who was 56 years old then, in a Copenhagen city court. On the staff of Unilever, T. stole blank checks, among other things, from his company. After he and Randmark cashed in their first 731,680 Danish Kroner (approx 110,000 Eurodollars), they wanted more. But Randmark, according to T., made a mistake in filling out one of the checks that tipped off the police. Busted. Five and a half years in prison for Randmark and four for his accomplice.
Randmark got out ahead of time due to heart problems. He moved to Hamburg, gave a false age, and founded his IPA company.
Back in the 1970s, Randmark stood before the judge for incitement to commit arson. He got four years for telling accomplices to burn down his glue factory. The business was almost bankrupt, said Soeren T., so "Randmark wanted the insurance."
Randmark never lived in America for any amount of time. He just visited friends in Florida and California [sorry, no cities mentioned] now and again. His friend back then said, "He had a three-room apartment in Copenhagen's Hellerup district, and his mother lived in a row house not far away." T. said he had met Randmark in a Copenhagen disco. Randmark had apparently fled Estonia to Scandanavia on a so-called "brown pass" after the war. His connections back then were unquestionably shady," T. recalls.
And why was he talking now? "When I now read what Randmark is telling people in Hamburg, I think about the people who have been taken in by his lies. He used them for his business. And that, for them, is a catastrophe."
Henry Randmark's Secret Identity
Mr. Randmark loses a lawsuit against MOPO
February 22, 2003
An article by Thomas Hirschbiegel reported that Henry Randmark is at it again.
Last year Randmark stated over and over, "I am not a self-proclaimed US colonel. I earned the rank of colonel in the US Army." MOPO (The Hamburg MorgenPost newspaper) wrote that was not the case, and Randmark, the "Vietnam veteran" wanted to stop the MOPO with a temporary restraining order from the court. After it was proven in court that Randmark was never in the Army, his attorney suddenly brought the following to light, "He served under a different identify." Under which identity he served, however, he couldn't say.
A split personality? The attorney stated that words had been put in his client's mouth to produce his confessions of fraud last year. Yes and perhaps the next story he tells us will be that he was really General Eisenhower in a "different lifetime".