Meet the Bilderberg Group – an annual gathering of 130 of the Western world’s top financial, corporate, political, academic, media, military and policy elites, held every year since 1954.
They meet behind closed doors, at five-star hotels, where participants are encouraged to speak frankly – meaning “off the record” and away from the prying eyes and piercing ears of the public. Some journalists and media executives are invited, but they don’t actually cover the meetings: they simply attend them as guests.
The famous exclusivity and secrecy of the Bilderberg Group, we are told, is designed to encourage frank and open discussions among some of the most influential people in North America and Western Europe. But unlike its portrayal as a place where powerful people simply “talk shop,” critics for years have considered the meetings a form of secret world government, and a shadowy cabal.
Bilderberg is a meeting of the movers and shakers, the managers and policy-makers, the plutocrats, technocrats, financiers and imperialists of the North Atlantic powers. Its original purpose was to provide a forum where Western European elites could meet in private with American officials to encourage the strengthening of the “Atlantic Alliance.” The forum has provided the geopolitical and economic framework for behind-the-scenes collaboration and cooperation between the major NATO powers.
In the 1955 meeting of the Bilderberg Group, the topic of “European Unity” was a major discussion point, with attendees articulating the need to eventually create a “common currency” and “a central political authority” in Europe. One American participant reportedly encouraged the European attendees “to be practical and work fast.” Within two years, the Treaty of Rome was signed, establishing the European Economic Community (EEC).
How It Works and Who Is Involved
Bilderberg is run by its Steering Committee of roughly 40 members whose responsibility is to organize the annual meetings and invite guests from their respective countries, bringing the average yearly attendance to roughly 130 people.
Participants and Steering Committee members come from the largest banks, corporations and think tanks; they run media empires, military and intelligence agencies. They include European royalty and representatives from some of the world’s most prominent financial and corporate dynasties, including the Rockefellers of the U.S., the Rothschilds of Europe, the Agnellis of Italy, the Wallenbergs of Sweden, the Desmarais of Canada, and the Koc family of Turkey, among others.
These elites meet together with top foreign and economic policy makers from North American and European nations, as well as up-and-coming politicians being groomed for high office and the heads of major international and regional organizations including NATO, the European Union, IMF, World Bank, WTO and some of the world’s most powerful central banks.
A decade ago, The New York Times wrote that the guest list of Bilderberg meetings “would more or less overlap with the ‘Wanted’ posters of anti-globalization protesters,” noting that a former participant, Will Hutton, once referred to the Bilderberg members and participants as the “high priests of globalization.”
Bilderberg researchers often point out that according to the Logan Act, it is illegal for any American government official to be present at the Bilderberg meetings.
Gerald Ford, who attended two Bilderberg meetings long before becoming vice president and president of the United States, was quoted in 1965 saying: “You don’t really belong to the organization: one gets an invitation from the prince,” referring to Bernhard.
It should be noted that there was one year in which the annual meeting was cancelled – 1976 – due to revelations of corruption involving bribes between the Lockheed military contractor and Prince Bernhard, leading to his resignation as chairman of the group.
In 2001, founding member Denis Healey told the Guardian in an interview, “We aren’t secret, we’re private.” Speaking of the meeting’s critics who contend that the member of the conference aim to achieve a type of “global government,” Healey told journalist Jon Ronson: “To say we were striving for a one-world government is not unfair. Those of us in Bilderberg felt we couldn’t go on forever fighting one another for nothing and killing people and rendering millions homeless. So we felt that a single community throughout the world would be a good thing.”
The key issue, however, is that the world which Bilderberg is helping to shape and support is one in which financiers and industrialists are the key beneficiaries – one in which democratically-elected politicians engage with their real constituents behind closed doors, in “private” conversations that have profound and real effects upon policy and thus upon entire populations who are given no such access to public officials.
Elected leaders and policy-makers don’t meet in secret with the world’s major financiers and industrialists so they can discuss the best ways to serve the interests of the people of their respective nations. They meet to serve their own collective and individual interests. It is not a conspiracy: it is a forum in which leaders from the upper echelons of Western power structures aim to establish consensus on priorities and policies for major political and economic issues.
Bilderberg contributes to directly undermining democracy, while further institutionalizing technocracy – the “rule by experts” – at the national and international level.
When it comes to the secretive meetings of the world’s financial, corporate, political and technocratic elites at the annual Bilderberg conferences, a common criticism is that the group pre-selects major politicians – choosing presidents and prime ministers in private before populations have a chance to vote themselves.
Bilderberg “invites” politicians who appear to have an influential future in their respective nations, but their attendance at the meetings (depending on their ability to impress Bilderberg members and participants) can itself have a very significant influence on their political futures. This is because the industrialists, bankers and media moguls in attendance hold significant individual and collective power over the financial and political processes across much of the Western world.
The main ideologies that pervade the group are an undeterred commitment to corporate and financial globalization, support of a Western-led world order, and the advancement and further institutionalization of global governance. Politicians who share similar views are more likely to be invited and approved.
The result: invited politicians who impress the attended members and guests through speeches or contributions to debates are likely to gain the support of some of the world’s most powerful individuals and institutions.
As Bilderberg’s former Steering Committee member Denis Healey explained in an interview with the Guardian, “Bilderberg is a way of bringing together politicians, industrialists, financiers and journalists. We make a point of getting along younger politicians who are obviously rising, to bring them together with financiers and industrialists who offer them wise words. It increases the chance of having a sensible global policy.”
Of course, the notion of what is “sensible” is clearly biased toward policies that benefit the interests and objectives of financiers and industrialists of the global community.
The Thatcher and Clinton Factors
One good example of this is the rise of Margaret Thatcher. In 1975, when Thatcher became the leader of the opposition in British Parliament, she was invited to that year’s Bilderberg conference. A Financial Times article that year by C. Gordon Tether noted that Thatcher and other British participants “were engaging – in company with a handful of British banking and industrial chiefs – in ‘completely private talks on world problems’ with the top-most brass of the international business community – the super-capitalists.”
The article noted that “if Bilderberg is not a conspiracy, it is conducted in such a way as to give a remarkably good imitation of one.”
Jon Ronson interviewed the member of Bilderberg (who remained anonymous) that had invited Thatcher to the meeting. The former Bilderberg member recalled that Thatcher had sat in silence for the first two days of the meeting, leading to some participants “grumbling” about this lady who “hasn’t said a word.” So the Bilderberg member spoke with Thatcher, and then, “the next day she suddenly stood up and launched into a three-minute Thatcher special… The room was stunned.”
As a result of that speech, David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger and the other Americans fell in love with her. They brought her over to America, took her around in limousines, and introduced her to everyone.” Four years later, Thatcher was Prime Minister, and her reign left a legacy of privatizations, neoliberalism and profit for the powerful.
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But Thatcher is not the only politician who reached great heights after attending a Bilderberg meeting. Bill Clinton was invited to a 1991 meeting in Germany when he was the Governor of Arkansas. Two years later he would be the U.S. president.
Clinton was invited by his friend and Bilderberg Steering Committee member Vernon E. Jordan Jr., a major corporate figure in America who later became known as President Clinton’s “closest confidant.”
Vernon Jordan later recalled that after Bill Clinton won the presidential election and became president, “the steering committee of Bilderberg came to Washington in January, and I called the president up and said ‘Mr. President, they’re here’ – and he came to the Four Seasons hotel, and the Europeans felt like they owned him because they met him when he was totally unknown.”
Shaping Canada, America, the U.K. and beyond
Among the Canadian politicians who attended Bilderberg meetings before they became prime ministers were Pierre Trudeau, Paul Martin, Jean Chrétien and Stephen Harper. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair had also attended before becoming prime minister of the UK. Virtually all presidents of the European Commission attended Bilderberg meetings before being appointed to office.
Before Justin Trudeau took over Canada, he eventually was invited and approved by the Bilderbergs. The next video clip is by a young, independant journalist (you will see his grown-up version later here in his short video explaining what he knows about the agendas of the upcoming 2017 meeting) who attended a meet and greet with Justin Trudeau at the Sheraton Hotel, with the purpose of asking him about the Bilderberg group and whether or not he would attend…apparently that’s not an appropriate question to ask a potential liberal leader…
Bilderberg’s Influence on Obama
From June 5 to 8 of 2008, Bilderberg was meeting in Chantilly, Virginia, just as the campaign to win the presidential nomination was heating up between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. As is typical during campaign season, the candidates traveled with a regular entourage of journalists. But on the night of June 5, following a campaign rally in Bristow, Virginia, Obama’s press entourage was “whisked away to Dulles Airport outside of Washington, D.C., to board a flight to Chicago,” as CBS reported.
The press waited on the plane for Obama, who was said to be doing interviews with local reporters. After an hour of waiting, the pilot informed the press that the plane was about to take off, without Obama on board, leading many journalists to feel that they “had all been duped.” Robert Gibbs, Obama’s communications director (and later press secretary) informed the reporters on the plane that Obama decided to stay behind in Washington for “meetings,” though he refused to say whom the meetings were with. Gibbs explained: “It wasn’t an attempt to deceive in any way, it’s just private meetings.” Shortly after the plane landed in Chicago, Gibbs informed the press that Obama had gone to meet with Hillary Clinton, though provided no details of the meeting or where it took place.
At the time, there was speculation that both Obama and Clinton had gone to attend the Bilderberg meeting taking place nearby. Though never confirmed, the question remains, and two days after the “private meetings,” Hillary withdrew from the race and Obama became the presidential nominee. Later, as president, Obama gave Clinton the role of Secretary of State.
In the summer of 2012, John Kerry attended the Bilderberg meeting, and he went on to replace Hillary Clinton as Obama’s Secretary of State for the second term. Forbes noted that Kerry’s attendance at the Bilderberg meeting may have helped his selection as secretary – also noting that Canadian Mark Carney had attended his first Bilderberg meeting in 2011 when he was Governor of the Bank of Canada, and was invited back in 2012 when he attended alongside British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. Within a couple months of the meeting, Osborne announced Carney’s appointment as the Governor of the Bank of England – the first time a non-British citizen was appointed to head the institution.
The 63rd Bilderberg conference is took place June 11 – 14 2015 in Telfs-Buchen, Austria. A total of around 140 participants from 22 countries were in attendance.
Among the “reported” attendees are former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; Thomas Donilon, former White House national security adviser under President Obama; former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina; former CIA Director David Petraeus; Mary Erdoes, CEO of J.P. Morgan Asset Management; Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands; Goldman Sachs executive Robert Zoellick; Jose Barroso, former president of the European Union Commission and executives of companies ranging from Google to Shell.
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Each year, the “official” Bilderberg Group website released a list of bullet points that they claim is the agenda for the secretive globalist confab. This years agendas have not yet been released, even though the meeting will be June 1-4 in Chantilly VA. This year the site says “A press release including the list of topics and participants will be published a few days in advance.”
The key topics (from the Bilderberg website) for the past few years discussions included:
9-12 June 2016 Dresden, Germany
- Artificial Intelligence
- Chemical Weapons Threats
- Current Economic Issues
- European Strategy
- Middle East
- United Kingdom
- US Elections (Here’s where the real election ‘meddling’ came from!)
11-14 June 2015 Telfs-Buchen, Austria
- Artificial Intelligence
- Chemical Weapons Threats
- Current Economic Issues
- European Strategy
- Middle East
- United Kingdom
- US Elections
29 May-1 June 2014 Copenhagen, Denmark
- Is the Economic Recovery Sustainable?
- Who will Pay for the Demographics?
- Does Privacy Exist?
- How Special is the Relationship in Intelligence Sharing?
- Big Shifts in Technology and Jobs
- The Future of Democracy and the Middle Class Trap
- China’s Political and Economic Outlook
- The New Architecture of the Middle East
- What Next for Europe?
- Current Events
6-9 June 2013 Hertfordshire, England
- Jobs, Entitlements and Debt
- European Politics: Core Questions
- Can the US and Europe Grow Faster and Create Jobs?
- Africa’s Challenges
- Saudi Arabia
- Dialogue with Prime Minister David Cameron
- How Big Data is Changing Almost Everything
- Major Trends in Medical Research
- Nationalism and Populism
- Online Education: Promise and Impacts
- Cyberwarfare and the Proliferation of Asymmetric Threats
- Is America Withdrawing from the World?
- Current Affairs: Syria
You can get a concise explanation of the Bilderberg agendas in this video:
The list of attendees (also on the official website) included Jim Messina of The Messina Group – who just happens to be a chief advisor to Hillary Clinton. Messina also heads up the super PAC Priorities USA, which supported Obama and was firmly in the Clinton camp.
Messina also spearheaded Barack Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012, and has just come back to the US after leading the deeply unpopular UK prime minister David Cameron to a surprise majority victory in British elections.