The billionaire Koch Brothers like to think of themselves as rugged-individualists who made it all on their own, but this is a complete fabrication. The Koch Brothers grew up in the lap of luxury and never had want of anything. Despite their enormous riches, the four brothers were raised in a dysfunctional Lord of the Fly’s environment. According to the book Sons of Wichita,
“Fred rarely displayed affection toward his sons…he was the type of father…who taught his children to swim by throwing them into a pool and walking away… He ruled that house with an iron fist.” pg.15
The oldest, Fred Jr., is the outcast of the family. A private man who was shunned by his family for being “artsy and effete.” Fred suffered a nervous breakdown as a young man and was banished from the family. He is so scarred from his family’s rejection that he will deny to his dying day that he is gay. pg.20 Fred Koch Sr. hated homosexuals so much that he left out his firstborn in his will. His brothers were so disgusted with Fred Jr. that they pushed him out of the family and refused to bring his name up at family gatherings. pg.74
“Of the four brothers, Charles most heartily imbibed their father’s hard-line political views.” pg.55 Charles is the brains and brawn of the Koch Empire and the default leader of the Republican Party. Growing up, Fred Sr. made sure Charles wasn’t gay by being especially hard on him. 22(38). Charles was shipped off to boarding school in Arizona at age 11 and then to Culver Military Academy in Indiana for high school.
The final two brothers are twins, David and Bill. Raised in an abusive childhood, their father would have them box each other at age 5. pg.25 As teenagers, one of the twins “favorite pastimes was bushwhacking.” Like Mitt Romney, the twins terrorized couples parked at secluded make-out spots “scaring the bejesus out of their target.” pg.25
It wasn’t easy being the younger brothers of Charles.”Bill has said that his older brother took sadistic pleasure in provoking fights between him and David.” David agrees. “Charles did some awful things as a teenager.” Charles broke up the twins and picked David to be his partner in crime pushing his brother Bill out of the picture. pg.24 Bill has complained that David is “totally under the control of Charles.” pg.38
Bill was wrecked by Charles. Emotionally unstable, he’d “lash out. He was violent. He’d throw tantrums.” pg.24 “Bill bashed his twin over the head with a polo mallet… brandished a butcher knife against his brother and had to be calmly talked down. David still bears a scar from the time Bill pierced him in the back with a ceremonial sword.” pg.26
The vicious fighting of childhood continued well into adulthood. The greed resulting from inheriting hundreds of millions of dollars led to infighting at Koch Industries. Charles won and he “made a choice not just to excommunicate his brother from the company, but to sever him from his life.” Charles delivered a warning to his brother, “he cautioned Bill and his shareholder allies should steer clear of Wichita… that their safety could not be guaranteed.” pg.137 Charles had the support of his mother who had always looked the other way when abuse occurred. That year, she “told Bill and Frederick not to come home for Christmas,” pg.137 ostracizing them from the family.
This dysfunctional upbringing explains the Koch Brother’s psychosis, their hatred of authority, their extreme paranoia, and their winner-take-all-neighbor-be-damned belief system. It would be nice to report that the Koch Brothers recovered from their toxic childhoods, unfortunately that’s not the case. The brothers have turned their anger and rage and meanness and cruelty into a national crusade, polluting America with their extremist political positions, saturating the airways with hateful messages, and buying politicians to carry out their disturbed and radical agenda.