In Pakistan, the ‘establishment’ is the Thierry Tilly and the people the Védrines family
Of late, everyone is discussing the supposed changes happening in the fundamental policies governing Pakistan. The fundamental policy here essentially means its attitude towards its ‘strategic assets’, which it thinks are instrumental in tilting the balance in Afghanistan and Kashmir because direct state involvement would invite retribution. Any change would naturally translate into a change of attitude towards India and Afghanistan, and more importantly, to the scourge of terrorism the world over, which invariably finds its origin here.
Without internal changes, there can never be external changes and no internal change is in the offing; changes cannot happen without a changed mindset. To understand change or the lack thereof, it is essential that Pakistan’s origin is understood and its paths traced. Analysing it without this context precipitates fallacious conclusions.
Pakistan came into being to suit the exigencies of the British rulers and their manufactured elite, which thought it could serve Britain better if they had the status of a country attached to their picket or garrison outpost. When demands for India’s independence gained strength, the British realised that with independent-minded politicians holding sway, their interests in the Gulf, especially their oil interests, which were of primary importance to the industrialised world, would irreparably suffer. Consequently, Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India (1943-47) in his letter of February 1946 to the Secretary of State for India proposed that while granting freedom to India, Britain needs to consider the creation of another country to the North West that would protect Britain’s interest in the Persian Gulf. This consideration suddenly changed the demand for federation to that of independence.
External factors and conditions do play a part in change but change results from decisive and crucial internal compulsions and inner essence. The internal dynamics here have remained in a rut since 1947, and the essence remains unchanged though cosmetic changes have occurred. The people here have been defrauded, shortchanged and manipulated, and ironically, yet many refuse to see this brazen manipulative fraud and continue to be willing victims. Voltaire rightly said, “You cannot free the fools of the chains they revere.”
The following analogy may help understand this pathetic situation. Thierry Tilly, a master manipulator, ‘brainwashed’ 11 members of the French aristocratic Védrines family to deprive them of their rights and fortune. This is how Védrines’ lawyer described him, “Tilly is a rare mix of Rasputin and Machiavelli.” It was in 1999 that Ghislaine de Védrines was introduced to the 36-year-old Thierry Tilly at her Paris secretaries’ training institute. Charmed by his demeanour she employed him and he soon became a close confidante. In mid-2000, Ghislaine invited Tilly to attend the Monflanquin Music Festival. He was welcomed as a guest at their ancestral chateau near the 13th century village of Monflanquin, Bordeaux. There he told them that he was a secret agent with NATO connections. The 66-year-old Ghislaine de Védrines was Thierry Tilly’s Trojan horse, and once he had access to the family already riven by rivalries and jealousies, he played them off against one another. The family’s disunity and mutual distrust was fertile ground for the devious and imaginative lies that Tilly spun and they readily believed. Jean Marchand, Ghislaine’s husband, warned that he was a swindling charlatan but instead of listening to him, they got divorced.
Tilly found his way into the heart of one of France’s oldest aristocratic families with his charm and convinced them that they would have been targeted for death by a secret Masonic order that coveted their wealth, and that only he, a ‘secret agent’ and a Hapsburg descendant, could protect them. He totally convinced them of the danger they faced and his usefulness. Thus, when he told them to empty their accounts and sell off their belongings and put the proceeds for safekeeping in the Blue Light Foundation, they did so without a murmur. He and his accomplice, Jacques Gonzalez, enjoyed a life of extravagance at their expense.
By 2003, all 11 members of the Védrines family had left the chateau and moved at his insistence into the home of Ghislaine’s 74-year-old brother, Philippe, at Talade, near Monflanquin. There between 2003 and 2008 they lived with the shutters closed. Tilly even forbade the use of all timepieces and calendars to disorientate them. Later, for absolute control, he moved them to Oxford for complete isolation from a familiar environment.
In 2008, Philippe eventually left the Oxford house, went to France and pressed charges against Tilly. An international warrant was issued and Tilly was arrested from Zurich in October 2009. On November 13, 2012, Tilly and Jacques Gonzalez were found guilty of ‘brainwashing’ the Védrines family between 2001 and 2009. Out of a family fortune of nearly five million euros that they swindled, only € 220,000 was recovered.
During his prosecution, Tilly listed the different ‘phases’ of brainwashing the Rasputinian and Machiavellian way he used to subjugate the victims’ psyches. 1) Identify and prey on each family member’s particular weakness; 2) cultivate a paranoid siege mentality; 3) have an answer for everything; 4) dismantle strong bonds so as to better enslave your victims; 5) cause each member of the family to doubt their personal lives. With Rasputinian and Machiavellian tactics, he soon had total control over their minds.
In Pakistan, the ‘establishment’ is the Thierry Tilly and the people the Védrines family. These Rasputins and Machiavellis employing Tilly’s manipulative tactics with the media as their active accomplice, preyed upon them after fully exploiting people’s gullibility and weaknesses and enriched themselves. Together since partition, they have cultivated a paranoid siege mentality with fear of neighbours and dangers to Islam. They created mistrust among people, and moreover, tried their best to substitute strong historical and cultural bonds with religion so as to better enslave their victims. They could not isolate people physically so they disorientated them with spurious ideologies and catchy slogans.
The establishment succeeded except with the Bengalis and the Baloch. The Baloch, like Jean Marchand, saw through the fraud early while the Bengalis, like Philippe, got wise after suffering. Unfortunately, most of the victims remain enthralled by the Rasputinian and Machiavellian tactics and concomitantly suffer from the Stockholm syndrome. The Tilly-like establishment has lived a life of extravagance at the cost of people here. The real Tilly was apprehended but the Tillys here have absolute power and abhor losing what they have enjoyed all along and have therefore become extremely brutal and repressive in their pursuit of perpetuating their rule.
The writer has an association with the Baloch rights movement going back to the early 1970s. He tweets at mmatalpur and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org