Journalist Ted McBrain of "The Genitalia Review" goes in search of J.K.Rowling's Publicity Director.
"Finding the Ministry wasn't easy as nobody in Edinburgh seemed to know where it was or even if it existed. Eventually, I found it in a small disused library off Princess Street. There were no signs or indications and all the windows had steel shutters. After I had been checked by security in the foyer and surrendered my passport I was shown upstairs to the Director's rooms.
Frau Sturmblog is a big woman in every sense. As we got talking I found she was loath to tell me exactly what work she did at the Ministry she runs or what forms it took. But the banks of computers and the numerous magazines and newspapers sprawled out on her spacious desk gave me a clue. "My job," she whispered , "is to ensure that nobody has a bad word to say about Miss Rowling. Fortunately she is much loved and that makes my job so mucuh easier."
Come to think of it I never did hear a single bad word said about J.K.Rowling and only now was beginning to see why.
Her dad had been a Scot from Edinburgh, Frau Sturmblog explained, and her mother was an attractive German girl working in Berlin when they met just after the war 1945. Her mother, Freda Schaefer, had a colourful career during the ill-fated Nazi regime and had worked in the office of no less a figure than Heinrich Goebbels, the sole manager of Hitler's propaganda factory. From his ministry, articles, pamphlets, radio broadcasts and newsreels were distributed daily around the world in a bid to scupper the plans of the allies. Goebbels himself wrote much of it. From the beginning, he controlled the minds of an entire nation.
"My mother was always quoting Heinrich whom she adored. He was always bringing her flowers when he came to the Ministry and flirting with her. Such a gentleman," she said. "Such impeccable manners. Dr. Goebbels could write a whole article in ten minutes. Three columns! Just before the end, he gave her all his beloved maps showing all the cities that had been bombed by Germany and the allies during the war. Of course, I was not born when all this happened but I have studied Herr Goebbels and his ingenious propaganda methods. Advertizers in Manhattan and elsewhere in the world have learnt much from him. How he would have loved the internet! And UTube in particular because you can place carefully edited videos there and believe me, there are none so brainwashed as those who are eager to brainwash themselves. That is why an air of mystery for your client is so impotant. Tantalize them with the odd bit of new information. Keep them wanting to know more and you have them, because then they will gobble up everything you throw at them without questioning any of it and defend to the death what you have given them to believe because they will think they have found it out all by themselves. Mum's favourite quotation from Heinrich was...
So, when I moved here to Edinburgh to work for my beloved Joanne, I had it embroidered and hung on the wall where you see it now. It helps me keep everything simple."
When I left the Ministry and made my way into the heart of the big city I could not help wondering who controlled what in our lives and what exactly we were given to believe... and by whom?"