The American Grotesques known as the Koch brothers are finding it harder and harder to use their traditional means of communication (think tanks, Reason, bloggers at The Atlantic, etc) to convince Americans that eating and breathing industrial effluvia builds strong bodies 12 different ways, so they have turned to the more traditional methods of influence: pr flacks, lawsuits and physical intimidation. Yes, they have become Scientologists.

No, I’m just fucking with you, the Koch brothers are far too evil and not deep enough in the closet for the Scientologists (who have some standards, although none come to mind). But the Koch’s are having problems with the common riff-raff whose air they pollute and whose world they are destroying:

Faced with an avalanche of bad publicity after years of funding conservative causes in relative anonymity, the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers, Charles and David, are fighting back.

They’ve hired a team of PR pros with experience working for top Republicans including Sarah Palin and Arnold Schwarzenegger to quietly engage reporters to try to shape their Koch coverage, and commissioned sophisticated polling to monitor any collateral damage to the image of their company, Koch Industries.

And we are all aware of the high esteem with which America holds Sarah Palin and Arnold Schwarzenegger, so these people must be super-awesome at what they do.

At the same time, through their high-priced lawyers, private security detail and influential allies in conservative politics and media, the Kochs have played hard ball with critics and suspected foes.

Young environmental activists who pranked them have been hit with a lawsuit seeking more than $100,000 in damages, and the leak of an internal document describing their political activities resulted in an investigation – complete with document analysis and interviews of suspects – that eventually identified the mole.

But this is the best part:

The Kochs also deployed a forceful response in late December against an anonymous group of pranksters who had issued a fake press release purporting to be from the company – and set up a corresponding website –implying Koch Industries had changed its skeptical stance towards climate change, and would cease funding organizations that worked to debunk climate science and oppose legislation to limit carbon emissions.

Koch Industries sued the pranksters, who called themselves Youth for Climate Truth, alleging the prank harmed Koch’s “business and reputation,” as well as its “goodwill … in the minds of the public” – and seeking $100,000 and other damages.

One can only imagine the blowback that would come from the public if they began to believe that these two brothers, whose goal in life is to turn Earth into a hellish landscape of suffering and disease and pain which will make the fiery bowels of the hell that they are bound for look like St. Barts on a balmy day, might actually be responsible citizens.

Somebody get Lanny Davis on the line, stat!