Part 9 Tarzan And The Lion Man: A Review

May 24, 2008


A Review

Themes And Variations

The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs

#18 Tarzan And The Lion Man

No. 9 of 10 parts


R.E. Prindle

First published on the ezine, ERBzine

Conclusions And Prospectus


     A careful reading of the output of the ’30s reveals a developing antagonism, war if you will, between the Communists, the Jews and ERB.  The attempt to shut down non-Communist writers appears to have been extended to ERB, forcing him into self-publishing in 1930 with Tarzan The Invincible being the first title.  this was followed by its sequel Tarzan Triumphant.

     The two titles would seem to indicate he met that challenge successfully.

     Then in a seemingly unrelated event MGM released the movie version of Trader Horn in 1931.  Trader Horn seems to have led MGM to sign Burroughs on for his Tarzan character shortly after the movie’s release.  MGM would then go on to film six Tarzan features over a ten or eleven year period from 1932 to 1942.  All the movies were profitable yet after the release of Tarzan’s New York Adventure MGM sold a stellar property to the Sol Lesser Company even allowing Johnny Weissmuller and Sheffield to go with the sale.  O’ Sullivan chose to abandon the series.

     The entire MGM series used Trader Horn footage transferring it to the Tarzan series as Tarzan’s home base.  Over the years they incorporated scenes relying on Tarzan And The Leopard Men and Tarzan And The Lion Man.  It would appear they sudied the series closely.  Compare this description of Lady Barbara Collis’s flight in Tarzan Triumphant with the scene used twice in MGM movies of the plane approaching the Escarpment.  Triumphant, p. 10:

…and when there loomed suddenly close to the tip of her left wing a granite escarpment that was lost immediately above and below her in the all eveloping vapor…

     There can be little doubt that the intent was to defame the character of Tarzan with the release of Tarzan, The Ape Man, first of the series.  Ten years later in Tarzan’s New York Adventure he is still the ignorant lout he was as the feral boy of the first film after having been the ‘mate’ of the seemingly well bred, well read, intelligent Jane played by Maureen O’ Sullivan.  After ‘finding’ a son in 1939, three years later, ‘Boy’, as he was generically named, speaks intelligently and is able to write a note telling his mother he will be gone for a day.  At the same time Tarzan is still going around speaking pidgin English like ‘Tarzan kill’ or ‘Me Tarzan, you Jane.’  There’s a guy who isn’t even listening to Jane talk to him.  I personally find this amazing.  The question then is why didn’t MGM develop the character in a more intelligent manner.

     Also, the question arises as to why the character wasn’t made a profit center for MGM as Charlie Chan was for Twentieth Century Fox.  As Burroughs notes in ‘Writer’s Markets And Methods’ in 1938 in reference to the Chan movies, the public was hungry for the serialization of popular characters during the thirties.  There were nearly fifty Charlie Chan films made, some years at a clip of four.  The astonishingly strong and continuing appeal of Tarzan would certainly have justified the attept to produce two or more a year.  Certainly an annual film.  After assuming the license from MGM beginning in 1943 Lesser released a film a year in a very profitable manner.  So, as he found plenty of ideas the argument that MGM exhausted the story potential of the character doesn’t hold up.  Something else was going on.

     That something else was the role of Burroughs as an anti-Communist and in Jewish eyes, an anti-Semite.

     It is important to have an idea of the Jewish role in history as they are invariably in antagonism to the citizens of their host country.  One need look no further for an explanation than the Old Testament story of Cain and Abel.  The story encapsulates the Jewish attitude toward the other peoples of the world.

         The story involves God or in other words, a higher authority, Abel who becomes the the higher authority’s favorite and Cain who is rejected by the higher authority.  Abel presents his offering to God or the higher authority and Cain his.  Abel’s offering is an exploitation of the natural increase of the flocks.  In other words cattle do all the labor while Abel harvests them.  Cain labors in the fields offering the produce of his labor which is rejected as unworthy.

     Once the higher authority chooses the offering of Abel he makes him his favorite.  Abel then lords it over Cain who quite naturally resents this.  Cain then invites Abel into the field where he kills him.  Eh voila!  The origins of Semitism and anti-Semitism.  The problem of anti-Semitism is solved.

     Now, the Jews will compulsively repeat the story of Cain and Abel after the Freudian manner endlessly over the millennia as the story is encoded in their brains.

     Now for the application.  In 1995, BenZion Netanyahu published his mammoth volume titled, The Origins Of The Inquisition In Fifteenth Century Spain.  BenZion is the father of Benyimin the former Prime Minister of Israel.  Mr. Netanyahu’s large sized, eleven hundred pages, book investagates the problem in excruciating and verbose detail.  Mr. Netanyahu chats on interminably in an attempt to deny the obvious.  It’s as though he believes that if he talks long enough the truth will go away.

     Mr. Netanyahu notes that in every instance over the last twenty-five hundred years the Jews have at first been warmly received by the host nation only to have this affection turn to such a hatred over a period of time that the Jews are either killed or thrown out.  He examines the problem in fifteenth century Spain.  His conclusion is that the cattle, or anti-Semites as he styles them, are at fault while his Jews are as blameless as Abel.  Thus he avoids answering the question of why this is the invariable result of Jewish cohabitation in a society.

     For Jewish historians there are two versions of Jewish history.  One is the annals of the Jews and the other is the history of anti-Semites.  This is how the Jews organize their story.  Any thing critical of Judaism automatically falls into the category of the History of anti-Semitism.  One of the most persistent objections to Judaism over the last twenty-five hundred years is that the Jews see the non-Jews or Cainites as cattle meant to contribute to Jewish welfare.  Even though the idea is clearly contained in the story of Cain and Abel the Jews have always considered the charge what they call an anti-Semitic slur.  However Mr. Netanyahu describes the system perfectly in his overlong essay.  This isn’t history. This is one long whine.

     Skipping a repetitious millennium or two let us skip along with Mr. Netanyahu to fifteenth century Spain.

     Our author erroneously established the origins of anti-Semitism in the Hellenic and Roman periods of the Middle East.  He chose to completely ignore the blueprint of Semitism and anit-Semitism as presented in the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis, the first book of the Bible.  For him he has the inexplicable paradox of every people warmly receiving the Jews into their midst while after a period of time universally and brutally rejecting them.  He appears to be genuinely so obtuse as to be unable to understand this.

     The history of the Jews in Spain goes back at least to the Roman transportation to Spain after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD.

     While the usual tradition of the Jewish historian, Heinrich Graetz and others, is to portray the Spain before the expulsion as an idyllic sojourn in ‘The Land Of The Three Religions,’ Mr. Netanyahu presents a picture of cultural conflict under the Visigothic kings down to the expulsion.

     Of course the Moslems occupied Spain from c. 700AD until they were completely expelled in +1492.  The Reconquest began almost immediately, while by c. +1100  when Mr. Netanyahu reaches the beginning of his central story was successful over most of Spain.  Following the scenario of Cain and Abel the Jews were able to insinuate themselves into the role of middlemen between the kings of the various kingdoms, or higher authorities, and the indigenous Spaniards, or cattle who Mr. Netanyahu disparages as Christians as though the conflict were of a religious nature rather than a cultural one.  Spain was a multi-cultural society that functioned as all multi-cultural societies must until one culture establishes itself as the Top Dog.

     We have the classic situation of the Abelites farming their Cainites as  a human herd of cattle.  The cattle produce the wealth, the middlemen reap the harvest.  Thus the kings appointed the Jews tax collectors and tax farmers.

     There is no more vicious or unopular job than that of tax collector.  Even today when governmental functions are institutionalized and no longer personal the resistance is still strong.  The Jews had the advantage of segregating themselves as a distinct culture so that they escaped the opprobrium they would have felt if they had been native tax farmers living amongst their brethren.

     In the nature of tax farming per se there is no reason to believe that the Jews were any more honest or gentle than any other tax farmers.  Exploiting their human cattle as tax farmers the Jews then dug deeper by acting as loan sharks after having expropriated the wealth of the Spaniards as taxes.  Interest or usury as it was called was forbidden the faithful by the Catholic Church so miraculously, almost, the loan sharks had the field to themselves, not ever a shard of competition.  And they took advantage of it.  So for roughly two or three hundred years the Jews exploited their human kine unmercifully.  Mr. Netanyahu acknowledges this although with a different characterization.

     As Abel exploited his position as favorite of God with Cain who, becoming exasperated, killed Abel so in 1391 driven past their endurance the Spanish cattle rose up, as Mr. Netanyahu puts it, to virtually exterminate the Jewish population.  As exaggeration no doubt.  Mr. Netanyahu virtually equates the uprising with the Stalin-Hitler period in Central and Eastern Europe.

     In the interests of brevity we will now skip another four hundred years or so to the post-Revolutionary period of 1913 to the present.  The story was the same in every society the Jews infiltrated; one of expulsion or slaughter during this intervening period.  There is no aberration in history over the period from 1913 to 1945; it is all a continuation of the Abel and Cain story; Semitism and its inevitable reaction.  Underline the word inevitable.  The United States will not be immune to this reaction.

     From 1300 to the French Revolution Jews had been expelled from every Western European country while being placed under civil disabilities in Central and Eastern Europe.  The French Revolution reestablished opportunities for them.  They quickly reestablished their role as middlemen.

     By the time of the Revolution State functions had been depersonalized and institutionalized.  The law of fiat by the king had been replaced by the ‘Rule of Law.’  Thus, while individual rulers who remained goyim were still important, they functioned under the higher authority of the ‘Law.’  The term Majesty indicates the concept of The Law had replaced the Royal authority.

     Thus to regain their position of middlemen Jews had to subvert the Law.  This has been all but completely accomplished in our own time.  In the interim between 1913 and 1953, actually, the Jews fully exasperated their Central and Eastern European host States, thus during the Stalin-Hitler period from 1928 to 1953 Nazis and Communists took the psychological solution of inviting Abel out into the field and killing him.  Both Stalin and Hitler began to systematically exterminate the Jews.  This should surprise no one familiar with the Cain and Abel story and history.

     Stalin was assassinated on the eve of the execution of the order to round up Eastern European Jews for transportation to the gulags in the far North.  Not only a virtual but an actual death sentence.  Thus the Jews in Europe would have been all but destroyed.

     I hope this is suffiecient background for us to now return to the story of Burroughs, Tarzan, MGM and the Judaeo-Communists of Hollywood.

     it is an accepted fact today that the various national CPs were all 50 to 60% Jewish.  Insofar as Jewish Cultural ends coincided with Communist goals, which were not entirely synonymous, all Jews may be said to be Communist sympathizers.  After the establishment of Israel in 1948 a rift occurred between the two cultural factions that resulted in a rejection of the Jews by the Communists.

     We know that ERB became suspect as an anti-Semite after 1919 and I suspect a confirmed one in AJC/ADL eyes, at least by 1924’s Marcia Of  The Doorstep, reinforced by Tarzan Triumphant a few years later.  :Little is known of ERB’s attitude toward the Jews before 1919.  He must have been aware of the Jewish presence in Chicago.

     Gus Russo in his volume Supermob describes their arrival in Chicago in this manner. p. 4:

     This community…was centered around the intersection of Halsted and Maxwell Streets, where the population was 90% Jewish.  Over the next twenty years (after 1871) an estimated fifty-five thousand Eastern European Jewish immigrants crowded into this tiny locus.  So dense had this ghetto become that one social scientist determined that if the rest of the city were similarly clotted, Chicago would boast, instead of two million residents, over thirty-two million people, half the population of the entire country.

     We know that ERB was familiar with the area because Billy Byrne, the Mucker, came from the area, so ERB must have observed the Jewish community in this habitat.  With further arrivals that brought the Jewish population of Chicago to 350,000 the area of Lawndale was colonized.

     Hollywood in the thirties was rapidly changing.  (When wasn’t Los Angeles rapidly changing?)  Beginning in the thirties a remendous influx of revolutionary and conspiratorial Jews arrived from Germany, especially after 1933.  At the same time the Outfit began to annex California as its own crime colony.  As part of this organized crime influx came the generation of Jews from Lawndale in Chicago as the so-called financial wizards of the Chicago Outfit.  Thus the whole charater of LA Burroughs knew from the teens and twenties changed much for the worse.  It will be remembered that ERB was a neighbor of the Sicilian mobster Johnny Roselli in the late thirties while gangsters became prominent in his work beginning with Danny ‘Gunner’ Patrick of Tarzan Triumphant and the assassins of The Swords Of Mars.

     As far as I know ERB was too discreet to discuss his opinions of Jews other than what can be gleaned fromt the novels.  It does seem clear that he knows who he was dealing with.

     We know he was an anti-Communist which was enough to have him shut down as an author, while it is probable that the Jews considered him an anti-Semite which is another reason for him to be brought into line.  The means of doing this was to control him economically while subverting his character of Tarzan.  It was a fairly easy matter to break him financially, but the strength of the appeal of Tarzan was such and the means applied so covert, that when MGM gave up after Tarzan’s New York Adventure the ape man had been too strong for them.

     So, when the string of six MGM Tarzans began in 1932 the intent was to diminish Tarzan to a laughing stock, but the character was too much for them while the movies became extremely profitable.  Even then the Studio abandoned the lucrative series in 1942.  This is inexplicable unless something is going on behind the scenes.

     For the next essay I am going to concentrate on the last of the MGM movies, Tarzan’s New York Adventure primarily because it seems to be directly related to the situation around Tarzan And The Lion Man.  It is highly improbable that Lion Man was not read by those involved with this project at MGM.   They must therefore have reacted to it.  The novel very likely has concealed messages that escape us but which they would have picked up.  The movies also have concealed messages which were directed at Burroughs.  If I am right Tarzan’s New York Adventure is a lecture tha was directed at the old Lion Man, Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Go to part 10 of 10 Tarzan’s Excellent New York Adventure


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s