The Western world’s insiders in politics, banking, business, military and the media have been meeting in absolute secrecy for the past 57 years. Why?
Which group of people is working tirelessly to establish a new world order designed to most likely benefit a select few?
For 57 years, the Bilderberg Conference, an unofficial conclave of 100-odd uber powerful guests has been meeting in secluded resorts under a complete media blackout. The security presence at these clandestine annual meetings is overwhelming: air force fighter jets fly overhead and army commandoes ring the outer perimeter, and the local police are known to rough up anyone coming within a mile of the conference venue.
The last conference was held from June 9-12, 2011 at a hotel in St Moritz, Switzerland, under a similar security blanket.
The Bilderberg Conference is a meeting of the West's elites: insiders in politics, banking, business, the military and the media.
These are not just any rich and influential people. They are among the richest and most powerful people in the world. Among the members of this club are Bill Clinton, George Bush, Paul Wolfowitz (former World Bank president), Henry Kissinger (arch Cold Warrior), David Rockefeller (international financier and long time chairman of the Rockefeller family-controlled Chase Manhattan Bank), Zbigniew Brzezinski (who has called for the encirclement and breakup of Russia so the US is able to dominate the Eurasian landmass), Tony Blair (one of the central characters who lied about Iraqi WMDs), Peter Sutherland, the former chairman of BP (the oil major which according to official documents was desperate to get at Iraqi oil), European royalty, CIA directors past and present, directors of MI6, the British secret service, and other well-connected individuals.
You get the picture: this is a club is dominated by people who want to preserve Western supremacy ad infinitum.
The group came together because of the events leading up to, and after, the Second World War. The Western empires had crumbled, colonialism was beating a hasty retreat, and suddenly Europe's brief 300-year domination of the world was history. Newly independent countries with vast populations and resources now dotted the world.
Another problem for the European elites was that a large part of the Eurasian landmass was occupied by the Soviets, who also offered a then-attractive economic model for poor post-colonial countries around the globe. How could the West get back in the game after having exhausted itself in two successive world wars?
European leaders were predictably concerned about the future and felt the need to assess and improve the situation. Many of them felt the need for a high-powered forum to promote and protect European and US interests.
The idea for such a platform originated in the mind of Joseph Retinger, a Pole, a drifter, an internationalist if you will, without a country. The Sorbonne-educated Retinger, who was as comfortable with lowly trade union leaders as he was with European royalty, observed an intense anti-Americanism that cut through all European social classes. He felt this was dangerous for both Europe as welll as the US.
While his Atlanticism found acceptance among the caviar-and-champagne classes, Retinger realized no politician would back him. So in 1952 the Pole approached a former Nazi SS officer, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, and asked him to serve as honorary head of the organization. After establishing a small European committee, Retinger and Bernhard turned their attention to the United States.
The Game’s Afoot
American Pulitzer Prize-winning author and columnist Kai Bird, writes in the book, The Chairman: John J. McCloy, The Making of the American Establishment: "In late 1952, Retinger went to America to try the idea out on his American contacts. Among others, he saw such old friends as David Rockefeller and Bedell Smith, then director of the CIA. After Retinger explained his proposal, Smith said, 'Why the hell didn't you come to me in the first place?'
The CIA spy chief quickly referred Retinger to C.D. Jackson, who was about to become Eisenhower's special assistant for psychological warfare. It took a while for Jackson to organize the American wing of the group, but finally, on May 29, 1954, the first conference was held in the Hotel de Bilderberg (hence the name), a secluded hotel in Holland, near the German border.
"Prince Bernhard and Retinger drew up the list of invitees from the European countries, while Jackson controlled the American list. As Retinger explained, invitations were only sent to important and generally respected people who through their special knowledge or experience, their personal contacts and their influence in national and international circles can help to further the aims set by Bilderberg."
Former AFP Editor James P. Tucker is a veteran journalist who spent many years as a member of the elite media in Washington. Since 1975 he has won widespread recognition for his pursuit of on-the-scene stories reporting the intrigues of global power blocs such as the Bilderberg Group.
A few journalists like him have succeeded in getting scraps from the high table (through sympathetic employees like waiters, bellhops, and stewards at conference venues) and have pieced together a story of intrigue at these conclaves.
Like the case for the Iraq war. Perhaps it was at the 2002 conference in Chantilly, Virginia, that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's fate was sealed. Tucker says to appease Europeans who opposed the invasion, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld assured Bilderberg that the invasion would not come until the following year, 2003.
But led by the Washington Post, the entire Western mainstream media was predicting that the US invasion of Iraq would come in the late summer or early fall of 2002.
According to Tucker, "Jimmy Lee Hoagland, associate editor and columnist at the Post, has escorted his publisher to Bilderberg for years. He had to hear Rumsfeld's assurances. But he let his own newspaper continue with the 'late summer or early fall' prediction, knowing it was wrong."
The invasion indeed came in 2003.
Silence of the Hacks
Most people, even the very well-read, are unaware of the group's existence. That's because members are sworn to secrecy and those invited for their annual spring-time conferences are asked to keep things under the radar.
Curiously, for nearly six decades no mainstream media outlet, barring the UK's Guardian (since 2008), has considered these gatherings of the rich and powerful to be newsworthy, when a trip by any one of them individually would surely make headlines.
The media's complete silence about this year's Bilderberg conference, which incidentally was attended by Bill Gates, Larry Summers and allegedly Timothy Geithner, should give you an idea of the cover-up. Gates makes news when he goes abroad for a routine malaria conference. And here he is at a secret conclave in Switzerland and the hacks are silent.
Leading newspapers and TV networks that thump their chests as protectors and practitioners of free speech, are conspicuously absent at these conferences.
To be sure, the top editors are there. Bilderberg has, at one time or another, had representatives of all major US and European newspapers and network news outlets attend meetings. These media people are invited on the condition that they promise to report nothing.
The hacks certainly don't seem to mind. For them clinking champagne glasses with former American presidents, Wall Street insiders and effete European royalty is a heady experience.
It's About Control
What exactly do the Bilderbergs want?
In June 1991 at their meeting in Baden-Baden, Germany, David Rockefeller argued for "supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers, which is surely preferable to the national auto determination practiced in past centuries".
Journalist Bill Moyers spoke about the power of David Rockefeller in a 1980 TV documentary, The Secret Government: "David Rockefeller is the most conspicuous representative today of the ruling class, a multinational fraternity of men who shape the global economy and manage the flow of its capital. Private citizen David Rockefeller is accorded privileges of a head of state. He is untouched by customs or passport offices and hardly pauses for traffic lights."
"Rockefeller's strategy," writes author Will Banyan in his book The Proud Internationalist, "also reveals something fundamental about wealth and power: it does not matter how much money one has. Unless it is employed to capture and control those organizations that produce the ideas and the policies that guide governments and the people who eventually serve in them, the real power of a great fortune will never be realized."
This is exactly what Gordon Gekko tells a young trader who accuses him of always being money-minded, in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps: "You just don't get it do you? It's never about the money; it's about the game between people."
Indeed, it's about control.
One cannot talk about Bilderberg without mentioning the two other members of the triad.
The first is the Trilateral Commission, a private organization that fosters closer cooperation among the US, Europe and Japan. It was established in 1973 when mutual relations between these three blocs were on a downward spiral.
Senator Barry Goldwater, the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election, wrote in his book With No Apologies: "The Trilateral Commission represents a skillful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate the four centers of power: political, monetary, intellectual, and ecclesiastical. What the Trilateralists truly intend is the creation of a worldwide economic power superior to the political governments of the nation-states involved. They believe the abundant materialism they propose to create will overwhelm existing differences. As managers and creators of the system they will rule the future."
The Trilateral Commission is widely seen as an off-shoot of the Council on Foreign Relations, Established in 1921, the Council has a murkier history going back to Cecil Rhodes, the architect of Apartheid in South Africa.
Says the UK's Indepedent: "Unlike the African press, the Western media rarely invoke the name of Cecil John Rhodes; his name is more associated with Oxford Scholarships than with murder. But it was Rhodes who originated the racist "land grabs" to which Zimbabwe's current miseries can ultimately be traced. It was Rhodes, too, who in 1887 told the House of Assembly in Cape Town that "the native is to be treated as a child and denied the franchise. We must adopt a system of despotism in our relations with the barbarians of South Africa". In less oratorical moments, he put it even more bluntly: "I prefer land to niggers."
When, in 1877, he first made his will, he urged his executors to use his fortune to establish a secret society that would aim to redden every area of the planet. He envisioned a world in which British settlers would occupy Africa, the Middle East, South America, the Pacific and Malay islands, China and Japan, before restoring America to colonial rule and founding an imperial world government.
"He was deeply impressed," writes his lifelong companion Leander Starr Jameson, "with a belief in the ultimate destiny of the Anglo-Saxon race. He dwelt repeatedly on the fact that their great want was new territory fit for the overflow population to settle in permanently, and thus provide markets for the wares of the old country -- the workshop of the world." It was a dream of mercantile Lebensraum for the English.
Rhodes used some of his vast wealth acquired from diamond mining to set up his Rhodes Scholarships and also to fund the Royal Institute of International Affairs in the UK, and in America, the Council on Foreign Relations. These institutes are ostensibly think tanks but in reality are designed to steer the political processes of the Anglo-American imperium.
With funding provided mainly by the Carnegie Corporation, the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, today the Council has some 5,000 members, and some of them have been key officials in many US administrations. It has influence with the CIA and the American armed forces as well, and can count on Bill Clinton and George W. Bush as its backers.
Together, the Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission have a degree of influence that is truly alarming. Collectively, they have the ability to subvert democracy and bypass elected representatives.
Tucker shows Bilderberg and the Trilateral Commission are good at picking future presidents. "Actually, they like to own both horses in a two-horse race. Here is the line-up: Jerry Ford, Bilderberg; Jimmy Carter, Trilateral; President Bush the Elder; Trilateral and Bill Clinton, Bilderberg." In fact, Clinton was an obscure Governor from Arkansas when he attended the conference in 1991; a year later he was elected president.
Who knows, perhaps the mockery of democracy that was the 2000 US Presidential election, in which the winning candidate Al Gore miraculously became the loser, was an inside job.
The saving grace, if one can call it that, is that these people are in the NATO zone. So while they may have big ideas about controlling the world, it may not pan out the way they want because of the rise of China, India, Brazil, South Africa and numerous other countries.
Whether the unexpected emergence of India and China will upend the Bilderbergs' grandiose plans or if the elites of New Delhi, Beijing and Brasilia will also get sucked into these cabals remains to be seen.
Also, the intellectual intensity of these luminaries may not be all what it's cracked up to be. The fact that Dan Quayle, former US Vice-President, and the king of gaffes, was an attendee reflects poorly on Bilderberg. David Rockefeller was reported to be highly impressed by Quayle. What more can one say about Rockefeller?
Another blow to the rock-solid club was in 1976 when the conference in Hot Springs, Virginia, was cancelled after Prince Bernhard was caught taking a $1 million bribe from US aerospace giant Lockheed.
But these are minor irritants for the Bilderbergs. They have piles of cash, know how to tame the media, and they stick together.
While the mainstream media has been silent, a small but dogged band of journalists has been chasing the Bilderbergs around the world. Faced with such persistent pursuit, the top guys have issued a statement, saying they need an off-the-record meeting to talk freely, without media distraction.
However, these are the same people who meet annually at Davos and G-8. So clearly, there is a hidden agenda. Is Bilderberg leading us away from democracy towards cryptocracy, a type of government where the real leaders are hidden, or unknown?
In such a scenario one thing is certain: conflict. With economic power swinging East and the West losing critical economic mass, the Bilderbergs might use NATO to make a grab for the world's resources locked up in small countries.
Iraq and Libya are the prelude to that wider conflict.
(About the author: Rakesh Krishnan Simha is a features writer at New Zealand’s leading media house. He has previously worked with Businessworld, India Today and Hindustan Times, and was news editor with the Financial Express.)