Bilderberg Group

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The front cover of the allegedly privately circulated report of the 1980 Bilderberg conference in Bad Aachen, Germany.

The front cover of the allegedly privately circulated report of the 1980 Bilderberg conference in Bad Aachen, Germany.

The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg conference, or Bilderberg Club is an unofficial annual invitation-only conference of around 130 guests, most of whom are persons of influence in the fields of business, media and politics.

The elite group meets annually at luxury hotels or resorts throughout the world — normally in Europe — and once every four years in the United States or Canada. It has an office in Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands.[1] The 2007 conference took place from May 31 to June 3 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey.[2]

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[edit] Origin and purpose

The original Bilderberg conference was held at the Hotel de Bilderberg, near Arnhem in The Netherlands, from May 29 to May 31, 1954. The meeting was initiated by several people, including Joseph Retinger, concerned about the growth of anti-Americanism in Western Europe, who proposed an international conference at which leaders from European countries and the United States would be brought together with the aim of promoting understanding between the cultures of United States of America and Western Europe.[3]

Retinger approached Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, who agreed to promote the idea, together with Belgian Prime Minister Paul Van Zeeland, and the head of Unilever at that time, the Dutchman Paul Rijkens. The guest list was to be drawn up by inviting two attendees from each nation, one each to represent conservative and liberal (both terms used in the American sense) points of view.[3]

The success of the meeting led the organizers to arrange an annual conference. A permanent Steering Committee was established, with Retinger appointed as permanent secretary. As well as organizing the conference, the steering committee also maintained a register of attendee names and contact details, with the aim of creating an informal network of individuals who could call upon one another in a private capacity. The declared purpose of the Bilderberg Group was to make a common political line tie between the United States of America and Europe in their opposition to the USSR and the global communist threat to their common monetary interests. Conferences were held in France, Germany, and Denmark over the following three years. In 1957, the first U.S. conference was held in St. Simons, Georgia, with $30,000 from the Ford Foundation. The foundation supplied additional funding of $48,000 in 1959, and $60,000 in 1963.[4]

Dutch economist Ernst van der Beugel took over as permanent secretary in 1960, upon the death of Retinger. Prince Bernhard continued to serve as the meeting’s chairman until 1976, the year of his involvement in the Lockheed affair. There was no conference that year, but meetings resumed in 1977 under Alec Douglas-Home, the former British Prime Minister. He was followed in turn by Walter Scheel, ex-President of West Germany, Eric Roll, former head of SG Warburg and Lord Carrington, former Secretary-General of NATO.[5]

[edit] Attendees

Attendees of Bilderberg include central bankers, defense experts, mass media press barons, government ministers, prime ministers, royalty, international financiers and political leaders from Europe and North America.

Some of the Western world’s leading financiers and foreign policy strategists attend Bilderberg. Donald Rumsfeld is an active Bilderberger, as is Peter Sutherland from Ireland, a former European Union commissioner and chairman of Goldman Sachs and of British Petroleum. Rumsfeld and Sutherland served together in 2000 on the board of the Swedish/Swiss engineering company ABB. Former U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary and former World Bank head Paul Wolfowitz is also a member. The group’s current chairman is Etienne Davignon, the Belgian businessman and politician.

[edit] Conspiracy theories

Critics say the Bilderberg Group promotes the careers of politicians whose views are representative of the interests of multinational corporations, at the expense of democracy.[6] Journalists who have been invited to attend the Bilderberg Conference as observers have discounted these claims, calling the conference “not much different from a seminar or a conference organized by an upscale NGO”[7] with “nothing different except for the influence of the participants.”[8]

The group’s secrecy and its connections to power elites has caused much concern for many who believe that the group is part of a conspiracy to create a New World Order. Radio host Alex Jones, a well known conspiracy theorist,[9] promotes the claim that the group intends to dissolve the sovereignty of the United States and other countries into a supra-national structure similar to the European Union.[10] Madrid-based author Daniel Estulin, writing in the conspiracy theory magazine Nexus, claims that the long-term purpose of Bilderberg is to “Build a One-World Empire”. He states the group “is not the end but the means to a future One World Government”.[11]

Reporter Jonathan Duffy, writing in BBC News Online Magazine states “In the void created by such aloofness, an extraordinary conspiracy theory has grown up around the group that alleges the fate of the world is largely decided by Bilderberg.”[12]

Denis Healey, a Bilderberg founder and former British Chancellor of the Exchequer, decries such theories as “crap.” He was quoted by BBC News as saying “There’s absolutely nothing in it. We never sought to reach a consensus on the big issues at Bilderberg. It’s simply a place for discussion.”[12]

[edit] Meetings

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ The masters of the universe, Asia Times, May 22 2003, accessed on August 18 2007
  2. ^ a b What was discussed at Bilderberg?, Turkish Daily News, June 5 2007, accessed on August 18 2007
  3. ^ a b Hatch, Alden (1962). “The Hôtel de Bilderberg”, H.R.H.Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands: An authorized biography. London: Harrap. ISBN B0000CLLN4.
  4. ^ Valerie Aubourg (June 2003). Organizing Atlanticism: the Bilderberg Group and the Atlantic Institute 1952-63.
  5. ^ Rockefeller, David (2002). Memoirs. Random House, p.412. ISBN 0-679-40588-7.
  6. ^Inside the secretive Bilderberg Group“, BBC. Retrieved on 200803-26.
  7. ^ http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=74734
  8. ^ http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=74966
  9. ^ Willie Nelson: I Question Official Sept. 11 Story. Associated Press (February 05, 2008). Retrieved on 200802-07.
  10. ^ Alex Jones. (2007). ENDGAME – Blueprint for Global Enslavement [DVD]. Infowars Productions.
  11. ^ a b Bilderberg 2007 – Towards a One World Empire?, Nexus Magazine, Volume 14, Number 5 (August – September 2007), accessed on August 18 2007
  12. ^ a b Jonathan Duffy (3rd June, 2004). Bilderberg: The ultimate conspiracy theory. BBC News.
  13. ^ High-security fences surround resort town in preparation for summit, Edmonton Journal, August 18 2007, accessed on August 19 2007
  14. ^ Asia Times Online :: Asian News, Business and Economy.. Retrieved on 200708-22.
  15. ^ Panetta, Alexander (2006). Secretive Bilderbergers meet. http://www.thestar.com. Toronto Star Newspapers Limited. Retrieved on 200606-12.
  • Ronson, Jon (2001). THEM: Adventures with Extremists. London: Picador. ISBN 0-330-37546-6.
  • Eringer, Robert (1980). The Global Manipulators. Bristol, England: Pentacle Books. ISBN 0906850046.

[edit] External links

Note: the Bilderberg Group does not have a website.[1]


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