In the past several months there have seen a few stories come out showing a potential quid-pro-quo between the Obamas and his now-famous $65m book deal.
Here at RFSO we wanted to investigate the allegations a little more to see if there is more behind this. There very well could be. It may include not only the Obamas but other high profile figures – mostly Democrat and globalist leaning politicians. It is also a maze of corporate interests perhaps hiding any quid-pro-quo and foreign country intervention in the US electoral process. Join us on this adventure and let’s take a deep dive into the details.
According to Investment Watch (IWB), something doesn’t quite look right. Obama gave Pearson Publishing $350 million to create Common Core text, and Pearson gave Obama a $65 million dollar book deal in return. There are other Democratic members also implicated – see further in the article – but includes both Joe and Jill Biden who each published books.These allegations have gone viral, and there are many that have picked up this story from various angles – see others here and here.
The appropriation of government money
NPR – The federal government funded two multistate consortia, PARCC and Smarter Balanced, to the tune of $350 million to create new Common Core aligned tests for math and English language arts. Through various subsidiaries, the revenue leads back to the Penguin Group. This was part of the $4.35 billion by the ED Recovery Act as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and was announced by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on July 24, 2009. PARCC also received funding from New Meridian Corporation of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation financed PBS education programming, which also promoted Microsoft’s interests.All Software utilized in Common Core is Microsoft.
To be clear here, though the reports are of $350 million going to the Penguin Group for the Common Core initiative are staggering, there is far more government money at stake. The Penguin Group has a stranglehold on educational material that is in our educational system via a menagerie of subsidiaries.Michelle Obama’s book is now standard reading for college curriculum’s .Here are the top 20 educational publishers that are in this sector and here are the linked via subsidiary interests to the Penguin Group of this list:
- #4 Pearson Education – $6bn.
- #6 Bertelsmann – $4.2bn.
- #8 Macmillan Learning – Privately Held.
- #12 Penguin Random House – £3.4bn.
In summary, after the sale of McGraw-Hill education division to Private Equity firm Apollo Global Management, there are now the “big three” of educational publishers. The others are Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, itself a subsidiary of a private equity firm. News Corporation, the international media conglomerate, looking to get in the act as well. Back in 2012, all four of those companies have made major financial and personnel moves, as they jockey for position in an increasingly digitized market that is also bracing for the upcoming Common Core State Standards. These companies in effect have a fist tight control of the education materials our children consume – paid of course by you and your tax dollars. Their agenda will become quite clear as we read further in this post.
With all the M&A (mergers and acquisitions) going on, not just in the education space but publishing at large, it is hard to keep track. The point here is that there is a lot of money at stake in terms of publishing revenues. If you want to stay relevant, you will need friends in high places.
Following the money
Penguin Group is a trade book publisher and part of Penguin Random House. It is owned by Bertelsmann, the German media conglomerate. The new company was created by a merger that was finalized on 1 July 2013, with Bertelsmann owning 53% of the joint venture and Pearson plc controlling the remaining 47%.
On April 27, 2011, the Gates Foundation joined forces with the Pearson Foundation, a British multi-national conglomerate, representing the largest private business maneuvering for U.S. education dollars. Pearson executives saw the potential to secure lucrative contracts in testing, textbooks, and software worth tens of millions of dollars. However, The Pearson Foundation closed after a scandal was discovered. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman determined that the foundation had engaged in activities to aid its for-profit business.
Penguin Random House is owned by Pearson Publishing. Pearson is one of the largest publishing companies in the world, with an estimated 8 billion dollars in worldwide sales, half of that in America. Pearson was the company that was awarded the “Common Core” contract in the United States. Both aforementioned companies are owned by Bertelsmann, the German media conglomerate. Never guess who is one of the major investors in Bertelsmann? That’s right, George Soros – but there are many others as well.
Flatiron Books – Flatiron has published forty New York Times bestsellers in its first four years, including ten #1 bestsellers. Flatiron has published non-fiction by such authors as Oprah Winfrey, Vice President Joe Biden, Chelsea Clinton, and James Comey. A division of Macmillan, founded in 2014. Pearson acquired the Macmillan name in America in 1998. Macmillan Publishers has been ordered to pay $17m and banned from World Bank tenders for at least three years for a scheme paying officials to win an education deal in South Sudan. Joe Biden’s 2017 three-book deal was inked with Flatiron – part of Macmillan. He published “Promises to Keep” in 2008 with Penguin Random House (a subsidiary of Pearson). Pearson has been criticized for using offshore tax avoidance schemes involving a host of companies at a service address in Luxembourg.
German media and publishing group Bertelsmann reported net profits of over one billion euros for the fourth straight year on Tuesday, a figure boosted by sales of Michelle Obama’s memoir. “We became a faster-growing, more digital, and more international group,” chairman and CEO Thomas Rabe said in a statement. The service provider Arvato and learning division Bertelsmann Education Group also recorded “strong growth.”
Pearson plc is a British multinational publishing and education company headquartered in London listed on as an FTSE 100 Component. It was founded as a construction business in the 1840s but switched to publishing in the 1920s. It is the largest education company and was once the largest book publisher in the world. In 2013 Pearson merged its Penguin Books with German conglomerate Bertelsmann.
Samuel Pearson (1814–1884) was an English entrepreneur and founder of Pearson plc. Sidney Taurel (born February 9, 1949, in Casablanca) is an American businessman. He is the chairman of Pearson plc and chairman emeritus of Eli Lilly and Company, where he had a 37-year career and served as chairman and the chief executive officer from 1998 to 2008.
Penguin Books was acquired by Pearson plc on 21 August 1970. The latest is – Pearson CEO is to retire, and the company and will sell the remaining Penguin Random House stake to Bertelsmann. Though it is a mix of controlling interests, the focus of control of this group shifts to Bertelsmann.
Elisabeth Mohn and family are on Forbe’s lists as the #715 richest person in the world at $3.1bn – or at least as it is reported.
- Elisabeth (Liz) Mohn (pictured in the inset graphic) is the widow of Reinhard Mohn, whose family has run media conglomerate Bertelsmann for five generations.
- A former secretary at the company, she is now the vice-chair of its board, and, with her three children, owns 19% of the firm.
- The other 81% is owned by the Bertelsmann Foundation (nonvoting), which is dedicated to education and fostering dialogue between different nations and cultures – various elite investors (see inset graphic).
- Bertelsmann owns 75% of Penguin Random House, 75.1% of European entertainment network RTL Group and all of the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr.
As a result of Elisabeth Mohn’s dual role at the company and the foundation, Mohn has received considerable media attention. One reason for this is the assertion that the Bertelsmann Stiftung does not completely separate its nonprofit activities from the company’s commercial interests.
Reinhard Mohn, who died on October 3, 2009, at aged 88, was the fifth-generation head of Bertelsmann, the German publishing company which he inherited in ruins in the aftermath of the Second World War and built into a global media giant.
An independent commission found that Bertelsmann had in fact prospered under the Nazis by publishing titles such as The Christmas Book of the Hitler Youth. During the war, it had printed some 19 million books for the propaganda ministry and the army, making indirect use of Jewish slave labor. Heinrich had not joined the Nazi party but had made donations to the SS. The company had indeed been closed in 1944, but this was attributed to war shortages and illegal paper-trading. A public apology was duly offered by Reinhard’s successor, Gunther Theilen.
Reinhard Mohn himself had served as a lieutenant in Rommel’s Afrika Corps and was captured in Tunisia in 1943. Having spent the remainder of the war in a PoW camp in Kansas. He returned to help rebuild the company headquarters amid the bombed-out rubble of Gutersloh.
But back to Bertelsmann. The Bertelsmann Foundation is, in effect, just the openly political arm of the Bertelsmann Corporation. The Foundation holds nearly three-quarters of the shares in the Corporation, but no voting rights. The remaining shares and all voting rights are controlled by a single family, the Mohns.
Spectator – Bertelsmann’s influence notoriously extends directly into the European institutions and, notably, into the European parliament. Thus longtime German MEP Elmar Brok is likewise a longtime Bertelsmann employee. From 1999 to 2007, Brok served as the chair of the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. Leaked internal Bertelsmann company communications identify him as the “Europe Envoy [Europa-Beauftragter] of the Board of Directors.” In the meanwhile, he officially bears the more innocuous-sounding title of “Senior Vice-President for Media Development.” According to German news reports from 2005, Brok is paid some €180,000 annually by Bertelsmann in addition to his salary as MEP.
As the head of the European People’s Party (EPP) delegation at the EU’s so-called “Constitutional Convention” in 2002-2003, Brok was a leading participant in the drafting of the Constitutional Treaty. Indeed, by his own account, his contribution was so great that he was even voted “Mister Convention.” He has also been an active participant in the Constitutional Affairs Committee. His Social Democratic colleague Jo Leinen has been a regular participant at Bertelsmann-sponsored events like the Bertelsmann International Forum or the Bertelsmann European Summer Academy. This was all to spearhead the globalist agenda.
Bertelsmann and the Obama’s have a long and lucrative history together.
Bertelsmann Corporation happens to be president-elect Obama’s principal source of income. It was Bertelsmann. Namely, that agreed to pay Obama a reported $1.9 million in advances for a three-book deal that the then-senator-elect signed with its wholly-owned American subsidiary, the Random House publishing group, in December 2004.
On June 8, 2011, Liz Mohn, Bertelsmann Foundation Vice Chairwoman, visited the German Historical Institute Washington. Ms. Mohn was in Washington for President Obama’s state dinner in honor of Chancellor Angela Merkel. She used the occasion to discuss future projects of the Bertelsmann Foundation and the GHI Washington.
Obama sold his autobiography for a record sum to a huge German media company called Bertelsmann, which is led by a Liz Mohn who has always been a very determined supporter of Angela Merkel.
Oh, and remember that famous Obama Berlin speech – Bertelsmann. What remains are some serious questions: notably, for German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit. The two leading Social Democrats – both touted as possible candidates for the chancellorship in the 2009 German elections – were also the two politicians most closely associated with the push to have the American presidential candidate give a high-profile public speech in the German capital. Foreign country influence?
Its mission, the Bertelsmann Foundation, was created to promote and strengthen the transatlantic relationship. Through its research, debate forums, and multimedia tools, the Foundation provides analysis and solutions to the most pressing economic, political, and social challenges impacting the United States and Europe. Bertelsmann is all about the “new world globalist order” – trying to dethrone US interests. See here the Bertelsmann Foundation’s website. It is a purely political organization whose mission fits perfectly with the Obama globalist agenda. Or perhaps the other way around – or maybe it doesn’t even matter to the Obamas, as long as it pays.
One thing that stands out after all this information dump. Obama was just a small fish swimming among an ocean of sharks. The $65m he received was chicken feed for these folks. A US president that could easily be bought off for a greater agenda – and be profitable at the same time. You will never find a smoking gun in all of this. The linking of all the events and complicated company structures would hide any quid-pro-quo. A simple nod or wink would seal the deal. Perhaps a conspiracy of sharks swimming toward their prey in uniform – but the line up of all the data points are quite dubious.
The only real protection from potential quid-pro-quo in something like all this is the conservative approach of – smaller government. If less government money is at stake, the sharks will swim away and leave the people in peace. Bigger more centralized government means more potential corruption. In the meantime, I trust the Obama’s will enjoy their new, $15 Million, home in the Hamptons – politics pays.