By Iggy Swind
6 February 2014
Before the Mental-buzz
With a view of an ugly concrete slab wall and a dumpster bin four stories below, Dr. Harry Hiveman recounted the untold story of Ella Yelich-O’Connor’s meteoric rise to ‘Queen Bee’ of pop music as Lorde from his office at Auckland University, in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland.
According to Dr Hiveman, Ella Yelich-O’Connor came to see him one morning at the beginning of 2011, more than a year before she co-wrote the hit pop song ‘Royals’ with Grammy co-winner Joel Little. Hiveman, who is professor of the History of Nearly Every Hierarchical Civilization Since Sumeria, told of how the budding pop-music artist popped into his life looking for answers about why New Zealand had become a more materially unequal society since her parents were bourgeoise children.
“She wanted to know if all the kids in her class would turn into bourgeoise adult bees, or whether there was a statistical probability that some were destined to be working class worker bees”, recalled Dr Hiveman.
Hiveman explained that Aotearoans such as Yelich-O’Connor were recognized as an endangered species during the early experiments here with ‘free market economic shock treatments’. Under the ‘free market’ regime introduced in 1984, regulatory controls on the financial system were lifted, state-sector spending was cut and public sector institutions were corporatized with a modus operandi that is now termed ‘speed politics’. Many academics, including Hiveman, were quick to see that education would be made to fit a corporate model too.
“It was recognized in the quieter corridors of academia that the working class were headed for a cerebral extinction”, lamented Hiveman as he stood in front of a wall of books in his office, which also occupy the parallel intellectual universe that is his brain. “So, those of us who cared in academia – and there were not many prepared to rock the political speed show – mustered as many among the sheople from the wider community as we could to figure out a plan”.
The first meeting, which took place on Halloween night 1987 at the Masonic Hotel in Devonport on Auckland’s North Shore, numbered a dismal 25 people. “Our marketing sucked. People thought we were tricky Freemasons colonizing genuine dissent”, said Hiveman with a wry smile.
Hiveman speaks in a way that learned people do when they have bounced back from that gravity feeling that comes from thinking they are the only one carrying the cares of the world on their shoulders. “Wrongly,” continued Hiveman, “it was decided that the middle-class, who dominated the meetings, would focus their dwindling resources on itself.”
After a few more months, this middle-class membership formed the haughty sounding Aotearoa Rich Reaction to support their kaupapa (or plan). This group, and an offshoot, would eventually have a hand in nurturing Yelich-O’Connor from her earliest years.
It’s telling that the trigger event for the meetings and ultimately the formation of Aotearoa Rich Reaction was the 1987 October Share Market Crash. Angry bourgeoise from Auckland North Shore suburbs formed the grassroots foundation after their forays into the stockmarket turned sour during the Crash of ’87.
Many had lost old family baches, Miami Vice style speed-boats and bikini lifestyles as they were forced to scramble assets to pay for their forays into financial speculation.
Hiveman says his former wife saw ‘opportunity’ in the crisis of the ’87 Sharemarket Crash’, and unbeknown to him quietly set about designing a business plan for what became Limelight.
The group has tried to re-brand itself with a politically correct veneer since the music video for ‘Royals’ laid-bare the mundane waste of youthful aspiration, even among the middle class. This re-branding has occurred amid recent raised awareness of child poverty on ‘the news’ in New Zealand, which has made it hard for Aotearoan parents to explain to their children why they do not appear to care.
To this end, Aotearoa Rich Reaction currently claims the primary trigger for its inception was anger at rising unemployment rates among the working class, particularly in the provinces, during the 1980s.
Back in 1988, a split occurred in Aotearoa Rich Reaction when Harry Hiveman’s marriage with the group’s co-chair, Cynthia Hiveman, hit rocks. Harry Hiveman was the other-half of the group’s chair.
In short, the couple split over the politics of money.
But, it was not so much the stress over a shortage of cash in the household. They were both professors at Auckland University. Dr. Harry Hiveman lectured in history. Dr. Cynthia Hiveman’s expertise was business organizational structures. Cynthia Hiveman had also bought stocks before the ’87 Sharemarket Crash.
The sticky issue for the Hiveman’s was the question of what was the appropriate form and use of money in a country that was increasingly being referred to as an ‘economy’. Harry Hiveman opposed debt-based money systems that dominate the world, wherein governments do not exercise a sovereign power to create money debt-free to support the political-economy.
Hiveman says governments the world-over have submitted to the coercion of international bankers, who have wielded their highly-networked secretive power structures to create financial and economic crises and wars. Hiveman advocated debt-free money, wherein public banks would control the quantity of cash and interest-free credit in relation to necessary political and economic activity.
Overlord rolled her eyes when she heard Hiveman’s vision, as though it were a scratchy sound recording from a fire-side radio chat. “Harry always went ‘high-brow’ with his visions of ‘political economy’”, said Overlord sardonically mimicking Hiveman’s rabbit ear gesture for technical terms and euphemisms. “None of us would be able to shop if he had his way”, chided Overlord.”
For Overlord, sound economics means people (presumably the middle class) being paid well, so that they have enough to live comfortably, save and invest in their own businesses. Overlord does not trust finance companies and the financial markets. Although, oddly, she owns three houses she doesn’t live in, despite the 1987 Share Market Crash precipitating the bust of a property market boom, albeit a commercial one.
Following the Hiveman’s marriage break-up, a rupture occurred in Aotearoa Rich Reaction. A break-away group was formed, called Web Underground, led by Cynthia. It was at this time that Cynthia Hiveman reverted to her family name, Overlord. Harry Hiveman remained involved in Aotearoa Rich Reaction for a short time, but left when he realized Cynthia ultimately controlled the group from within Web Underground’s network.
According to Hiveman, in 1998, Cynthia Overlord spotted Yelich-O’Connor when she was two years-old in a push-chair and was stunned by the look and feeling of intelligence in the toddler’s eyes. Apparently, Overlord said to Yelich-O’Connor’s mother, “I can tell by your girl’s eyes that she is very smart and gifted. Nurture her well.”
Hiveman says Overlord followed Yelich-O’Connor and her perplexed mum to see where they lived and find out who they were. “A normal person would have struck up a conversation.”
An inner circle of the membership of Web Underground, led by Overlord, decided they wanted Yelich-O’Connor to be ‘Queen Bee’ of what would become known as Generation Y in Aotearoa, without her parents’ knowledge. Overlord denies this claim.
When Yelich-O’Connor returned to New Zealand from Los Angeles, I asked ‘Lorde’ whether her family has ties to Aotearoa Rich Reaction and Web Underground. ‘Lorde’ snapped, “Cynthia Hiveman is a stalker who lives a stupid fantasy.”
Hiveman says the break-away group, Web Underground, perceived that there needed to be a ‘Queen Bee’ to live the fantasy of a privileged upper class life. Their logic, according to Hiveman, was so that the next generation would have a leading figurehead to show them the importance of having good taste, which is a value that Aotearoa Rich Reaction claim on their website to have in abundance. Overlord’s company, Limelight, makes the same claim with its slogan, “Keeping good taste in fashion.”
While the media milieu gathered around Yelich-O’Connor at Auckland International Airport persisted in asking her inane ‘little country-big country’ questions about whether she got more of a buzz winning music awards in New Zealand or in USA America, the performer made a point of taking her shades off. Yelich-O’Connor rolled her eyes so much that many of the photos captured the whites of her eyes and prompted a social media frenzy, with captions such as “Return of Lorde of the Zombies”.
Yelich-O’Connor who, as her pop-persona Lorde, had implored the world to let her live the fantasy of being Queen Bee, yet again, during her performance of ‘Royals’ at the Grammy’s became visibly strained as she gathered her mental-buzz for the final push through media circus. “The blue sky day outside is a reminder that this world is worth fighting for. Since Planet Earth can’t speak a human language, artists need to communicate nature’s needs”, Yelich-O’Connor said witheringly. “Now please, return to your news’ hives”. The inane media pack left for their news hives. I rang Dr Harry Hiveman to clarify Lorde’s alleged special status..
Professor Hiveman views Web Underground’s idea of a chosen ‘Queen Bee’ as a reworking of mythological elements from all the world’s major cultures and religions.
“The idea of choosing someone special is not dissimilar to the Roman Catholic Church’s plagiarizing of mythological elements from prior cultures to construct the myth that the legendary Christ figure was ‘God’ incarnated to teach humans how to live a virtuous life”, said Hiveman with a broad smile and shiny white teeth. “When you break it down, Web Underground, which has been headed by Cynthia since day one, wanted to elevate Ella so that all of the Gen Y’s could one day consume a vicarious salvation in the new global religion: cartel capitalism.”
“Ella was nurtured to keep asking ‘But, why?’ by this faction whose stronghold is in the North Shore suburb of Belmont. Ella’s win at her school’s talent show, Belmont Idol, at age 12, was in essence, part of a broader rivalry among the North Shore’s bourgeoise members of Aotearoa Rich Reaction. I found it creepy that she got so much attention after that competition”.
Ironically, Lorde’s curiosity to understand where New Zealand’s egalitarian spirit went led her to Hiveman.
Making a Queen Bee go pop
“Ella came to see me before she wrote ‘Royals’ ”, the Auckland University professor said. He emphasized that he only knew Yelich-O’Connor’s parents as acquaintances and had not seen them “since last century”. Hiveman added with an impish grin, “She said she didn’t know of me at all, and hadn’t spoken to anyone about an inner feeling to find a ‘professor dude’. So, she followed her nose and found herself outside my office, and knocked after having made a wish she would find the right door.”
“Ella was very insistent that I teach her how it was that ‘free markets’ took hold in New Zealand,” said Hiveman. “At first, I set her up in the university library with Alistair Barry’s excellent documentaries, Someone Else’s Country[i] and In a Land of Plenty”.[ii]
She came back the next day and said, “Please professor dude, may I have some more mental-buzz.”
And that’s how I came to give her a one-on-one education in the Shock Doctrine Conspiracy orchestrated by key insiders of the North Atlantic Capitalist Class, which she alluded to her in Grammy speech”, said Hiveman.[iii] “She was my unofficial student of 2011,” he smiled proudly.
He recalled how she’d text him and he’d find her in the library with an array of open books spread across the desk, the floor and the couches. “She never cleaned up after herself. She didn’t care, and we didn’t care, she was on a different kind of buzz”, Hiveman pondered.
“One day I found her sitting on the library floor in a corner with a pile of books stacked around her like a beehive”, recalled Hiveman. “I could see through the hole in the top she had left so she could still see and breathe. Ella had an A3 pad with all these lines joining small boxes with names in them. She titled these sketches “Mental maps of how the world works”.
Evidently, Lorde’s mental maps were always patterned on a pyramid, to symbolize hierarchical power structures.
“It’s rare to see an artistically inspired person of her age take to critically studying the political economy of anywhere”, said Lorde’s mental mentor.
“Sadly,” continued Hiveman, “New Zealand isn’t an anomaly in the ‘free market’ era. Like everywhere else in the ‘developed world’, political apathy has taken hold. It’s achieved in subtle ways like trashy reality TV shows displacing the broadcast of documentaries critical of elite power.”
According to Hiveman, political apathy among the masses is the consequence of calculated planning.
As he reached for a book called “Imperial Brain Trust” on the shelf behind him, Hiveman explained, “A New York-based think-tank called the Council on Foreign Relations designed a blueprint called the ‘1980s project’.”[iv] He didn’t explain further. Instead, he opened the chapter and flicked through the pages that were heavily underlined in pencil and bookmarked with Monopoly game currency.
“Ella is one of the few of her generation to not only question neoliberal economics, but to study the roll-out of ‘free market economic treatments’”, Hiveman said without looking up from pages. The tone he deployed was not unlike a professor speaking proud of a graduating PhD student as a way to inspire a tardy undergrad to work harder. “If only all bourgeois kids came to university prepared with the education I gave Ella,” he said, peering up with a look at me that suggested he could see into my brain, and had found it’s contents wanting.
Imperial Brain Trust
Reading what Hiveman and Lorde have read, it is apparent that key players at the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think-tank led by the super-rich banker David Rockefeller, strategized to transform the world through financial discipline.[v] This ‘discipline’ meted-out by key insiders from Wall Street and London banks involved orchestrating numerous financial crises around the world since the 1970s.[vi]
It turns out, the ‘1980s Project‘ was a plan developed in the 1970s to transform the world under a ‘free market’ economic framework. Their modus operandi would be to cause financial crises as a means to coerce governments to implement more ‘free market economic shock treatments’.
Underpinning this plan was an objective to foment political apathy worldwide on behalf of the North Atlantic capitalist class. The dominant capitalist coalitions of Europe and North America felt there was too much democracy being demanded by the 60s counter-cultural movements.[vii]
Before Lorde’s skin-blistering suppressed speech, the ordinary worker bees that sung along to ‘Royals’ were oblivious to what was required of them. But now, with its ‘gone viral’ status on the web, the Queen Bee has left them with no fantasies about what she wants of them. (See: Lorde’s Suppressed Grammy Award acceptance speech [Full Transcript] on Snoopman News).
“Thank-you everyone soo much for giving a shit about our song, ‘Royals’, said Lorde as she finished her Grammy speech. “May you all find the balls to help construct a world based on resilient community, bona-fide freedom, and peace. To do that, we will need to redeploy the psychopaths that currently run the world to the planet’s prisons. Peace cannot happen with reconciliation. That was Nelson Mandela’s mistake.[viii] The first step to peace is justice firmly served.”
“Gen Y’ers now know”, said Hiveman, “if they are to achieve bona fide ‘freedom’ they will have to work collectively with those older and younger to dismantle the pyramid structures that support capitalism”.
“At the same time, worker bees of the world of all generations will need to theorize, test and transform the world with projects that embed local community resilience” wrote Hiveman on his blog, ‘Nectar and Stings’.
For a generation that has been conditioned to be brand-conscious consumers, it would seem Gen Y need to face their fear of going mental, lest it stops them from being more curious at that moment that their indoctrinated consumerist brains begin to sizzle.
Iggy Swind has worked alongside reporter Clark Kent at the Daily Planet and photojournalist Peter Parker at the Daily Bugle. Swind investigations proved both super-heroes work undercover for the Hollywood media cartel to distract their mass audiences with their mediocre ‘saving the world’ sagas, leaving those that run the world at-large. Those investigations have been suppressed.
To read Lorde’s censored handwritten Grammy speech; & Full Transcript (with citations) of Lorde’s acceptance speech; and Front-page news in New Zealand see: Lorde Censored: The Queen Bee’s Suppressed Grammy Speech at https://snoopman.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/lorde-censored-the-queen-bees-suppressed-grammy-speech/
See the Full Story: Royal Pencil in Print: Lorde’s suppressed Grammy speech makes front-page news in far-flung New Zealand at https://snoopman.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/royal-pencil-in-print-lordes-suppressed-grammy-speech-makes-front-page-news-in-far-flung-new-zealand/
See the scoop Clipping Queen Bee’s Wings: Lorde’s real Grammy speech suppressed
See the inside story behind Lorde’s epic rise “Queen Bee Mentor: The professor who fed Lorde’s mental buzz at https://snoopman.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/queen-bee-mentor-the-professor-who-fed-lordes-mental-buzz/
Snoopman News: http://snoopman.net.nz
[i] Barry, Alistair. (1996). Someone Else’s Country. [Motion Picture]. Vanguard Films. New Zealand. Retrieved from
[ii] Barry, Alistair. (1995). In a Land of Plenty. [Motion Picture]. Vanguard Films. New Zealand. Retrieved from
[iii] Klein, N. (2007). The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster
Capitalism. Camberwell, Australia: Penguin Books.
[iv] Shoup, L. H. & Minter, W. (1977). Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign
Relations and United
States Foreign Policy. New York, NY: Authors Choice Press.
[v] Shoup, L. H. & Minter, W. (1977). Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign
Relations and United
States Foreign Policy. New York, NY: Authors Choice Press.
[vi] Edwards, Steve. (2012). It’s the financial oligarchy, stupid: A study of Anglo
American news coverage during the 2007-2008 financial crisis and bank bailouts
Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10292/5536; Klein, N. (2007). The Shock
Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Camberwell, Australia: Penguin Books.
[vii] Snoopman. (2013, August 31). A Poorly Understood ‘Bargain’: How Democracy and the 60s Movements became Orphans in the ‘Free Market’ Era. Snoopman News. Retrieved from http://snoopman.net.nz/2013/08/31/a-poorly-understood-bargain-or-how-democracy-and-the-60s-movements-became-orphans-in-the-free-market-era/
[viii] Snoopman. (2014, January 28). The Audacity of Obama: A Black Wolf in Corporate Clothing. Snoopman News. Retrieved from