with additional reporting by Sam Alan Jr. , Tim Wright and Marcy Carhenge
It’s a quiet day here on the shady slopes of the Quinine Mountains, just west of the old industrial backwater part of town. Rising from the decrepit ruins of Katharinetowne’s fallen industrial grace is the new global headquarters building of Daniel Bester, Inc.; the trans-global corporation responsible for revitalizing the prospects of this “Paris of the Pine Trees.”
Many in town look upon Daniel Bester, Inc. as their savior, the entity responsible for 97% of the jobs provided in the area. As we will show here, Daniel Bester, Inc. is not the Magnanimous Monolith which its massive PR machine and glowing, company-mollified employees have made it out to be. Allegations of unethical, illegal and mismoral behavior have been prevalent since the company reached its zenith in the early years of this decade.
Following Daniel Bester, Inc.’s consumption of Aerospace Apologetics giant Spirochete Space Systems in 2001 came claims of bribery, anti-competitive practices and insider trading. These were examined by the Senate’s Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) and the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, chaired by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Both committees, after perfunctory sessions on the matter, found no fault with the merger.
After the review was closed in both committees, suspicions were raised by an unnamed official in the administration of West Dakota Governor Boxley Sanchez about West Dakota Senator Howard D. Grumley, III, a member of both committees. The senior Senator stated at the time, “these allegations are baseless, crude and just another example of my political enemies’ willingness to create slander. These, in conjunction with the perfidious aggressors in the industrial sector who wish to bring a good company down, have come together in a master-ful shadow movement against the good people of West Dakota.”
Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL)
Senator Johnny McCain (R-AZ)
Senator Howard D. Grumley III (FA-WD)
Scandal subsided for a while, but Daniel Bester, Inc. founder, Daniel Bester, remained a point of contention for many in the media and govern-ment. Little is known about the founder of the “King of all Industry,” though excerpts from a forthcoming unauthorized autobiography of the man claim he is the son of a former U.S. Army general and his mistress, the daughter of Nazis. Many question if Bester even exists. “I’m of the firm belief that Mr. Bester is a creation of the Bester Corporation, along the lines of Lee Iacocca or Ronald McDonald,” said entertainer Martin Sheen, a leader in the fight for an “open and transparent” corporate system.
The confusion surrounding the Bester company is enhanced by its secretive corporate policy. From all indications, Daniel Bester, Inc. maintains a strict corporate secrecy policy. All potential employees are required to sign non-disclosure agreements at the time of application (several rejected candidates have been the victims of lengthy and expensive civil cases). Once hired, employees are said to undergo extensive background checks, behavioral studies and family interviews.
No one we contacted for this article would respond to questions or sit for an interview, though we were able to obtain some indication of the levels to which Daniel Bester, Inc. will go to maintain its corpo-rate privacy. According to the Daniel Bester, Inc. website, privacy concerns are governed by no less than three “Corporate Privacy Memos.” Daniel Bester, Inc. also maintains what it terms a “Corporate Censor,” similar in function to the censors employed by the U.S. Armed Forces.
The exact function, number and methods used by this department are unknown, but their handiwork is visible throughout the corpus of Daniel Bester, Inc. public and private communications. Whole sections of rules, text and information are marked out by the “Daniel Bester, Inc. Corporate Censor.” A mid-level em-ployee working in the Accounting Department has stated that the Censors are some of the highest paid functionar-ies in Katharinetowne.
Above: This image is rumored to be the only existing photograph of secretive businessman and industrialist Daniel Bester. The shot is from a liquor store security camera in Bestoria, MV, although many claim that it is a fake and that Daniel Bester is a fictional entity created to mask the real power behind the corporation.
Rumors of genocidal connections and fascist corporate policies aside, Daniel Bester, Inc. has had quite a few public mis-steps in the past couple of years. From the faulty wind-sock debacle involving Bester subsidiary AsterStar in February, 2002 to the CDC’s condemnation of AndroSheath prophylactics last year, Daniel Bester, Inc. has had a litany of product recalls, congressional in-vestigations and legal actions which all seem to be solved by unknown means in the end. Daniel Bester, Inc.’s mar-ket share keeps rising, despite these factors and investors have nothing but praise for the industrial behemoth. Sean Cheney, lead investment banker at Daniel Bester, Inc. subsidiary Money House, says “our value in any portfolio outweighs any unfounded scandal in the press.”
Recently, a document subpoenaed by the House Sub-Committee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Pro-tection, chaired by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Ocala), came into the hands of Axes & Alleys staffers on a wine and cheese retreat in upstate New York. This apparent rebuttal of allegations held in closed meetings on Daniel Bester, Inc. brings up occurrences, some known to the authors, some not, which the Bester Corporation wishes to refute.
Amongst the known allegations cited by the document are those which claim that the company had, as recently as 2003, employed the Pope in a supervisory/advisory position (an allegation which prompted the Anti-Papist Investment Coalition to drop all support for Daniel Bester, Inc.); that the company engaged in unlawful human cloning experiments (Daniel Bester, Inc. claims that all experiments took place on the Cosa Nostran Isle of Sau Titlo, though legal jurisdiction on such matters may fall to the U.S. District Court for the Eighth Circuit); and that Daniel Bester, Inc. threatened, bribed and otherwise coerced officials on the New York, London and Tokyo Stock Exchanges (internal reviews by all three Exchanges and their respective governments found no evidence of wrong-doing; though several witnesses refused to testify, dozens of government officials were cast under a pall of suspicion for relations with Daniel Bester, Inc. and six judges recused themselves from various cases).
It is the previously unknown and, as far as the public record is concerned, unrecorded incidents mentioned in the document which further underscore the possibly illegal and quite unbalanced actions of the corporate board. Daniel Bester, Inc. gives mention to, among other things, accusations of involvement in the recent coup in Esperia; creation of “artificial virii, biogens, viroids or prions” in their labs and even makes the strange defense that it never operated in collusion with something called “The Arcane.” The text of the document suggests to the authors that “The Arcane” are believed to be an extra-terrestrial civilization by the Daniel Bester, Inc. corporate board.
This information definitely creates a perception of people who are, for lack of a better term, completely nuts running one of the world’s most powerful conglomerates. A government source in the Office of the Vice-President has told the authors that this document will be released to the public through various publications in due course.
Scandals of a wholly different nature have surfaced involving Daniel Bester, Inc. executives. Recently, the Vice-Chairman of the Daniel Bester, Inc. Appropriations and Subtext Directory Board, one Tyler Griffin Spooner, was found dead under questionable circumstances at a local Katharinetowne strip club. Mr. Spooner rose quickly from the mid-level lackey status at which he entered the company. Creating several innovative policies only whispered about in Bester Tower’s halls, Mr. Spooner was also re-sponsible for the recent creation of Daniel Bester, Inc.’s NuLife biogenetics arm and the spectacularly successful Sonic Sound Records. Sonic Sound has, according to RIAA Chairman Mitch Bainwol, “acquired 13% of the market share in six months of existence.” With such acts as Alabaster Nostrum Procedures, Hanglider, The Whis-tling Seduction, PDTHKLQ and breakout pop sensation The Trucker Hat Banjo Five, Sonic Sound is only a hint of the power behind Daniel Bester, Inc.’s recent acqui-sitions of top industry moguls.
Hence Mr. Spooner’s untimely demise has sparked suspicion of corporate competitor assassination, private infidelities and other personal intrigues. However, a recent web-posting was made on the web log, or blog, Noctious Undertones, which raised suspicion of foul play on the part of Daniel Bester, Inc. The expansion of the “blogosphere,” as it is known to its snobbishly erudite adherents, has made much of the job of tracking down facts easier on the journalistic community.
Noctious Undertones is a site run by the late Mr. Spooner’s assistant, Cornelius R. MacLamare. Mr. MacLamare recounts an exchange he witnessed in the workplace after normal working hours. Unfortunately substantial portions of this site have now been edited by the Daniel Bester, Inc. Corporate Censor, but the parts left in still serve to offer a different outlook on Mr. Spooner’s death.
I can’t take it any longer…I am THIS close to telling everyone at Daniel Bester to go [Daniel Bester, Inc. Corporate Censor] themselves…
Anyway, for 2 months now, I’ve been the Assistant to the Vice-Chairman of the Daniel Bester, Inc. Appropriations and Subtext Directory Board (DBIASDB). At first I liked it. The work was challenging, the bathroom sanitation was improving, and the pay was good.
But now it’s just…I know I need to do something, and that something is going to get me into a lot of trouble. However, I feel motivated to do it. Compelled, even. I was walking through the office last week when I overheard a conversation between [Daniel Bester, Inc. Corporate Censor] and Tyler Griffin Spooner, the Vice-Chairman of the DBIASDB, and the man I worked for. They were both in the hallway, just after closing time…I ducked behind a cubicle after hearing the two arguing, and stayed there for the remainder of the debacle.
Mr. Spooner seemed very defensive when he was talking, and I could tell that he was uncomfortable…What those two men were discussing I can’t say here. In fact, I’ve probably already said too much…but I don’t care anymore.
Sufficed to say, it strikes me as a little suspicious that just two days after this incident, Mr. Spooner was found dead at a local strip club, gagged and asphyxiated by a questionable African American prostitute in the champagne room.
At least, that’s what the police say. But I don’t buy it. If Mr. Spooner was anything, he was a man who favored pasty white Irish girls. I think I know the truth. He found out that [Daniel Bester, Inc. Corporate Censor], and even worse, his cousin over at the Daniel Bester, Inc. Aerospace Apologetics Division was involved with [Daniel Bester, Inc. Corporate Censor] too!
I am fully aware that in accordance with Daniel Bester, Inc. Corporate Memo #4 [Daniel Bester, Inc. Corporate Memo #4 shall remain undisclosed due to Daniel Bester, Inc. Corporate Privacy Memo #3], these kinds of incidents publicly…I will make another entry in this blog after I’ve gone into the office on Monday to make my stand. Wish me luck.”
The puzzle is further confounded by the following press release issued on March 2, 2004 by Daniel Bester, Inc.
“Daniel Bester, Inc. Official Corporate Addendum (Appurtenance): Tragically, Mr. MacLamare was killed in an automobile accident before his concerns could be brought to the attention of Management and appeased by the Daniel Bester, Inc. Mollification Sub-Committee. His mistake was rectifiable, and would not have tarnished his distinguished career with Daniel Bester, Inc. Our most heartfelt condolences go out to his only surviving relative, his Aunt Weatherbee.”
Katharinetowne police have, as of yet, not conducted an autopsy on Mr. MacLamare nor have they released any information about the case. It was difficult to get Katharinetowne Police Chief Harold Spears to even confirm that such a case existed, but he did offer that “Mr. MacLamare’s case is being pursued with the most expediency y’all can expect.”
Based on the secretive dealings of Daniel Bester, Inc.; its founder, Daniel Bester and the dearth of information relating to operational, legal and governmental matters in the cases arrayed against the company it is difficult to create an accurate or balanced picture of the disposition of the world’s “leading industrial consortium.” The final outcome of the various civil and legal cases is years off as are the release of documents held by the government, but it is safe to say that Daniel Bester, Inc. is not the chipper, trendnik, kid-friendly company it makes itself out to be in its new DBInc ad campaign, nor can the company be entirely trusted. With its official headquarters safe from intervention on the company-owned island of St. Jerome’s (also a tax haven) it is likely that the truth of this company’s actions will never be known.
All that is left is a question, delicately wrapped inside a query, bundled in an interrogative statement and of course, the mounting number of coroners’ reports and unexplained disappearances.
-Editor’s Note: Any ideas, thoughts or word arrangements in the preceding article represent only the opinions of Jeremy Rosen and not the opinions of Axes and Alleys, its parent or subsidiary companies.