Greta Thunberg’s rise from unknown schoolgirl just 2 years ago to international celebrity today has been meteoric. The photo of a solitary Greta, protesting outside the Swedish state parliament in 2018 went viral and was picked up by news media outlets around the world. Very quickly, she became a household name, the very voice of Climate Change and an inspiration to millions. People were amazed that this young girl could talk so eloquently, and with such passion, about climate change and the perils we all faced. They were even more amazed when learning how Greta had battled some severe challenges of her own in the form of mental health issues that manifested themselves as Asperger's, OCD and even a period of selective mutism.
Greta has put climate change at the forefront of the news, has addressed world leaders, given interviews to the world's media and even entered into a spat with Donald Trump. She’s been called an environmental ‘Joan of Arc’ a ‘Prophet’ and even ‘the successor to Jesus Christ’.
But is Greta Thunberg really all she seems? Is she really just an innocent school girl worried about climate change? Or is there, in fact, something more sinister going on here?
Certainly the story of her being discovered purely by accident, is a fabrication. The man who claims to have just been 'walking by on his way to work’ and saw the young girl sitting alone outside the Swedish Parliament, and who posted that, now iconic, image was not some random stranger at all but PR Svengali Ingmar Rentzhog, founder and CEO of social media company ‘We Don’t Have Time’. Rather than a chance meeting the entire stunt appears to have been meticulously planned between Ingmar Rentzhog and Greta’s own parents who he had done PR work for previously. Greta, it would seem, was the unwitting puppet in the entire thing.
According to the British Times Newspaper, Rentzhog’s company, who, in reality only give a fraction (10%) of their profits to climate change causes, has earned millions out of the Greta phenomenon. Greta’s parents have since distanced themselves from Rentzhog, claiming that they were unhappy with how their daughter was being used. However, both Greta’s parents are well-versed with celebrity, so it is unlikely they were naive to his intentions or methods. More likely, they approached him with the initial idea. They are the driving force behind Greta, their subsequent anger at Rentzhog likely stemming not from the profits being made, but that they are not flowing in their direction.
A closer look at Thunberg’s parents Svante Thunberg (an actor) and Malena Ernman (an Opera Singer) reveal them to be a couple of really quiet unsavoury characters. Both are activists, both are constantly clamouring for public attention and both appear to have used their own daughter in pursuit of these things. Greta’s catapult onto the world stage just happen to coincide with the launch of her mother Malana’s book. Using their, clearly ill, daughter for cheap publicity horrified many who saw it as blatant child abuse.
It’s obvious too that all her speeches are scripted by others. The entire spectacle has been planned. scripted, and meticulously choreographed, most likely by her helicopter parents. For when Greta is without a script she appears inarticulate, and searches for even basic things to say. Q&A sessions with the Media are always cringeworthy, as she fails to speak coherent sentences and often gives weak and even nonsensical answers. Perhaps she has attacks of selective mutism at these press conferences, or maybe just can’t see her parents mouthing the words from where she is sat.
In fact, Greta is a complete construct by her parents. They played up the little-girl-lost persona by dressing her up to look like fictional Swedish literary character; Pippi Longstocking; a nine year old girl who battles against adults and tells lies. Maybe apt. The fact that Greta is nearly double the age of the fictional character seems to have escaped her supporters notice.. When she did her famous hysterical speech she was 16 years of age. 16 is not a child. At the age of 16 people have fought (and died) on the front line of wars. Dressing her up like a fictional Swedish children’s character makes her just look odd, not venerable, not innocent, just odd. But the pretence of Greta being a 9 yr old child is not the only unsavoury things these people have tried to manipulate us with. Because Greta has severe mental health issues any criticism of her can be labelled as bullying, bigotry, and who knows what else. Her identity as a timid, anxious little girl means even if the world is ‘on fire’ our Greta is flame-proof. Any criticism draws flak from any number of quarters, mental health advocates, women’s lib advocates and millions of youngsters who see Greta as ‘speaking for them’ even though she’s not. Linking identity with their agenda was a smart move, and, again, not by accident. Her performances are stage managed, the hysteria, the crying, the pained look will all have been practiced in front of the mirror, no doubt with Greta’s actor father giving tips on how to cry on cue.
Greta’s first appearance at the UN’s Climate Action Summit was, frankly, bizarre. Watching the piece shown by most media outlets, that of the “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood..” speech, you could be forgiven for thinking that she had been invited onstage specifically to give that very speech, but viewers of the entire piece will see that the host asked a question that was intended as a general ‘round’ to be asked of all on stage, Greta, primed and ready to go however, leapt into action, reading from her pre-prepared script and braking her voice just at the right moment as she was probably told to do. Her father would have been proud of her acting ability. But for many others it was awkward, clumsy, and cringeworthy. She looked like a stroppy teenager, having a tantrum over not being able to get her own way, but whilst teens normally behave like it’s the end of the world if they don’t get it, the entire UN, and much of the media, appears to believe, in Greta’s ca