The infamous annual Bilderberg meetings, which bring together global power-brokers from government, business, finance, intelligence, royalty, media, central banking, academia, and more, are set to begin this week in the United Kingdom. In line with an apparent trend developing in recent years, the veil of secrecy surrounding the mere existence of the controversial confab has slowly been pierced as more and more major media outlets report on the gathering. Taxpayers will be picking up much of the tab, but the growing numbers of protesters and reporters seeking answers will not be allowed in.
Even though Bilderberg has recently started publicly offering some details about its secretive meetings — partial guest lists and supposed topics of discussion, for example — critics say the real agenda remains hidden from the public at large. Around the world, however, outraged citizens and even excluded leaders have become increasingly suspicious of the gathering, blasting what they perceive as the planet’s self-styled “elite” making decisions for humanity behind closed doors.
Of course, Bilderberg leaders try to frame the annual gathering as simply a forum to discuss global issues in private. Indeed, if it were known that attendees were formulating policy, at least American participants would likely be committing a felony by violating the Logan Act, which makes it a crime for Americans to formulate policy in secret with foreigners. Leaks and public statements by Bilderberg participants over the years, however, suggest that the meetings are about much more than just off-the-record discussions.
On the Bilderberg website, organizers offer few details. “Founded in 1954, Bilderberg is an annual conference designed to foster dialogue between Europe and North America,” the site claims without mentioning the key role of Nazi SS member Prince Bernhard of Holland in founding the events. “Every year, between 120-150 political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media are invited to take part in the conference. About two thirds of the participants come from Europe and the rest from North America; one third from politics and government and the rest from other fields.”
Commenting about the meetings themselves, Bilderberg claims online that the conference has always been a “forum for informal, off-the-record discussions about megatrends and the major issues facing the world.” Because the gathering is private and closed to the public, it continues, “participants are not bound by the conventions of office or by pre-agreed positions” so they can take time to “listen, reflect and gather insights.”
According to the Bilderberg site, key topics for discussion this year include economic growth and job creation in the United States and Europe. Also among the primary subjects: entitlement, debt, how “big data” is changing almost everything, nationalism, populism, U.S. foreign policy, Africa, cyber warfare, trends in medical research, online education, politics of the European Union, developments in the Middle East, and current affairs.
Of course, because Bilderberg is so secretive, there is no way to confirm that the few details and talking points provided on its website bear any resemblance to the truth. Indeed, critics say the site is not trustworthy, citing the fact that enormously influential attendees have been left off of the “official” list of participants posted on the site in previous years and the obvious point that many attendees are politicians. The brief Bilderberg statement concludes with this: “There is no detailed agenda, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued.”
Among the 140 or so publicly acknowledged participants this year are many of the usual suspects from Europe’s public sector: Former Maoist revolutionary and current president of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, who recently claimed again that a federal EU would be a reality within a few years; International Monetary Fund (IMF) boss Christine Lagarde, who recently dodged corruption charges in France; Bilderberg leader Mario Monti, appointed by bankers and EU officials rather than voters to serve as Prime Minister of Italy; “Commander” Olivier de Bavinchove with the fledgling European military force known as Eurocorps; and many others. More than a few top political leaders and even royalty will also be attending.
From the private sector in Europe, numerous business chiefs and banking magnates will also be in attendance. Among them: Chairman Peter Mandelson of banking behemoth Lazard International; Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait with the increasingly discredited establishment magazine The Economist; Peter Sutherland, chairman of Goldman Sachs International; and many more. Multiple CEOs from banking, energy, finance, and other sectors will also be in attendance.
Attendees from the United States, meanwhile, also include a virtual “who’s who” list of the political, media, and business establishment. Many of the figures have long and dubious careers in government and the private sector, as well as in powerful so-called “think tanks” and non-profit foundations notorious for attacking U.S. liberties and national sovereignty. Unsurprisingly, virtually all of the American attendees wield tremendous influence both in the United States and abroad within their respective fields.
Among this year’s American participants: Vice Chairman Michael Evans with Goldman Sachs; former Obama administration Treasury boss Timothy Geithner; Washington Post CEO Donald Graham; former Secretary of State and population control zealot Henry Kissinger, a top establishment figure who openly and regularly calls for a “New World Order” and was recently exposed boasting about his illegal and unconstitutional activities in official documents; President Jessica Mathews of the controversial Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; neocon extraordinaire Richard Perle with the American Enterprise Institute; retired Army general and disgraced former CIA boss David Petraeus; ex-Treasury chief Robert Rubin, who also serves as co-chairman of the global government-promoting Council on Foreign Relations; Google boss Eric Schmidt; and more.
When they receive any attention at all, the meetings have largely been portrayed in the establishment press as some sort of gathering for super-capitalists and their lackeys only. That characterization, however, is only partially accurate, as money does not appear to be among the most important criteria for receiving an invitation. As in years past, this year’s guest list actually includes more than a few prominent socialists including Secretary General António José Seguro with the Portuguese Socialist Party and Party Leader Stefan Löfven with the Swedish Social Democratic Party, among others.
Representatives of the ruthless communist dictatorship ruling mainland China, which Bilderberg luminary David Rockefeller openly praised in the New York Times after tens of millions of innocent people were exterminated, have also attended the meetings in years past. At least one Russian “oligarch” was invited in 2011, too.
In recent years, media reports about the shadowy conference have been proliferating — a stark contrast with decades of virtual blackouts on the gathering of some of the world’s most powerful figures. This year has seen an even greater explosion of interest among the press, with news outlets around the world openly reporting on the confab even before it officially begins on June 6. Major media sources have also started calling for more transparency amid fears that representative government is being undermined by the secretive meetings. Large numbers of protesters, too, are expected to converge on this year’s meeting, which will run until June 9 in Watford, near London.
Despite claims that no official decisions are made at Bilderberg, growing amounts of evidence suggest the opposite is true. The emerging Brussels-based super-state, which is desperately seeking to become an all-powerful regime ruling over the formerly sovereign nations of Europe, for example, has been widely attributed to Bilderberg efforts — even by participants themselves. The single euro currency, increasingly unstable, was also brought about in a similar fashion, insiders have admitted.
Anecdotal evidence, meanwhile, appears to show that the meetings wield tremendous power over political affairs even in the United States. Consider Bill Clinton, for example; he attended the summit as a little-known governor in 1991, yet became president the following year. Barack Obama reportedly went in 2008 before being elected president, too. In Europe, similar phenomena have become evident as well.
While the true agenda and purpose of this year’s Bilderberg conference will almost certainly remain hidden, at least for a long time to come, analysts who track the meetings closely say some participants are pushing for more openness. However, even if Bilderberg were to completely disappear as an annual event, the power-brokers behind it are unlikely to be going anywhere anytime soon — especially not if humanity continues to allow itself to be ruled by unaccountable, out-of-touch “elites.”
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is currently based in Europe. He can be reached at
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