Heard the latest about the Bilderberg bunch?
You’ve heard of the Bilderbergs. They’re a shadow world government bent on controlling your life. They are so secretive, they don’t even have a website. No membership list is known to exist. No minutes from their meetings, or press updates, or press conferences, or any on-the-record briefing has ever been given.
Their defenders say that any notion the 140 world leaders who attend the annual conference form the basis for a one world government is absurd. There are those who think otherwise:
In a 1994 report Right Woos Left, published by the Political Research Associates, investigative journalist Chip Berlet argued that right-wing populist conspiracy theories about the Bilderberg group date back as early as 1964 and can be found in Schlafly’s self-published book A Choice, Not an Echo, which promoted a conspiracy theory in which the Republican Party was secretly controlled by elitist intellectuals dominated by members of the Bilderberger group, whose internationalist policies would pave the way for world communism. Paradoxically, in August 2010 former Cuban president Fidel Castro wrote a controversial article for the Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma in which he cited Daniel Estulin’s 2006 book The Secrets of the Bilderberg Club, which, as quoted by Castro, describes “sinister cliques and the Bilderberg lobbyists” manipulating the public “to install a world government that knows no borders and is not accountable to anyone but its own self.”
Castro’s conspiracy theory sounds a lot like Castro’s government.
It doesn’t matter. Those are only two of the conspiracy theories surrounding the Bilderberg — and those are the more rational ones. My favorite is the UFO angle, where the Bilderbergs are in the process of preparing humankind for the knowledge that aliens are among us on earth.
Of course, what the Bilderbergs are really about is a little R&R for the super powerful and super wealthy at very rich, very exclusive venues with a few meetings thrown in where they all get to hob-nob with each other — and plot the overthrow of the free world. Or is it install a communist world government?
The Bilderberg was founded in 1954 to bring the leaders of Western Europe and the United States closer as the Soviet Union cemented its control of the Eastern bloc. They met first at the Bilderberg Hotel, near Arnhem, at the instigation of Joseph Retinger, a Polish polio victim who had fought the Nazis during the war. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands was the chair. In that first meeting, the participants – including bankers, economists, and the future Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell – debated the Communist threat and the prospect of European integration.
Publicly, the group says it is still merely a debating society – a forum for leaders to “listen, reflect and gather insights” unbound by official policy positions.
But while they rankle at the conspiracy theorists, former leaders of the Bilderberg confences says they were the most important events they ever went to, and the freedom of speaking away from the ears of Whitehall officials meant the discussions that took place decisively shaped modern Europe.
It is above all a club for life’s winners. George Osborne, Ed Balls and Ken Clarke, the Cabinet Minister who also serves on the group’s steering committee, will arrive this afternoon, as will Mr Mandelson. They will be joined by Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission; Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF; Francois Fillon, the former French Prime Minister; Robert Rubin and Timothy Geithner, the former secretaries to the US Treasury; and serving prime ministers, foreign ministers and finance ministers from across north west Europe.
The chairmen and chief executives of some of the world’s biggest businesses will attend, with a combined wealth running into hundreds of millions of pounds – from Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Amazon, Google, Shell, HSBC, Lazard, Prudential and Alcoa. Henri de Castries, the chairman of the Bilderberg, is the head of AXA, the insurance giant. Peter Thiel, the billionaire founder of PayPal, is also on the guest list. Goldman Sachs and BP have in recent years been donors to the British committee organising this week’s gathering.
According to Drudge headlines, “Armed checkpoints ring ‘exclusion zone’…Locals must show passports to enter own driveways…Delegates arrive in blacked-out cars…” And that’s what got me to thinking that the Bilderberg group have done the absolute worst PR job in history? All this secrecy has only fueled conspiracy mongering and resentment among the rest of us. Are they trying to tell us that they can’t let us know who is attending? Or a few more details on what they’re going to discuss?
They should hire David Axelrod and his shop. Look what he did for Obama — a nothing state senator became president in 4 years! The Bilderberg’s would hardly be a challenge for Ax.
They better do something. The conspiracy minded among us might decide one day that protesting isn’t enough and break out the tar and feathers. Not that some of those guys wouldn’t look better with a feather coat, but it’s summer and it would probably get a little hot.