Everywhere you look – government, big business and any other institution seeking to exercise power – the key is secrecy. Meetings such as those of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the G-8, World Trade Organisation, World Economic Forum, Central Banks, the European Union Council of Ministers and the EU Commission, EU summits, government cabinet meetings, numerous think tanks etc. are always conducted behind closed doors. The only possible reason for this is that they don’t want you and I to know what they are really up to. That well worn excuse for keeping things under wraps -“it is not in the public interest” really means that it is not in the interest of the powers that be that the public should know. However there is, in addition, a network of private forums and meetings that take place where the secrecy principle extends to the forums and meetings themselves – by and large, we don’t even know that they are taking place, let alone what is being planned and discussed….
Did you know, for example, that some of the biggest names in world politics, media, banking and business met at Turnberry South Ayrshire from 14th. to 17th. May 1998 under the chairmanship of Lord Peter Carrington? If you didn’t, this is your introduction to the Bilderberg Group – a private forum where powerful and influential figures from Europe and North America meet in great secrecy amid very tight security to plan and discuss global strategy and reach consensus on a wide range of issues. What then seems to happen is that ensuing consensus on various issues are then promoted by powerful commercial and business interests in the media at the same time becoming the policy of governments of supposedly different political persuasions.
Bilderberg was formed in 1954, named after the hotel in Oosterbeek, Holland where the first meeting took place. It has a main meeting annually in a heavily guarded location in Europe or North America. It brings together top people from a variety of spheres of influence and power on both sides of the Atlantic. Participants include Heads of State, prime ministers, other leading political figures, top corporate executives, industrialists, bankers, financiers, and an assortment of intellectuals, diplomats, influential representatives of the media and even the occasional trade unionist with demonstrated sympathy for establishment views. One insider apparently has observed that “..today, there are very few figures among governments on both sides of the Atlantic who have not attended at least one of these meetings.”
What sets this private forum, (and others mentioned later) apart from other gatherings of the politically and economically powerful such as the G-8 meetings, European Union summits etc. is that they are little or almost unknown to the public and they escape media attention. Much of the centralisation of power that is taking place in the world today – a process that has been going on for many years, but is now accelerating into top gear – can very likely be attributed to the agreements and consensus reached at these meetings. Human nature being what it is, there are people in power who would seek to bring about some form of centralised all powerful global government. Much of what we see happening around us today is bringing that prospect ever closer, with increasing power of multi-national corporations, the surrender of national sovereignty in the EU, governments handing over complete control of money supply and monetary policy to unaccountable central banks, the rules and regulations of the World Trade Organisation, the ability of the International Monetary Fund to dictate to national governments etc. – power concentrated in the hands of ever fewer people operating through more remote unaccountable institutions. Maybe that is O.K. if you trust the top people in power.. However remember the saying “all power tends to corrupt…”.
Few journalists, reporters and news people in the mainstream media, until very recently, had even heard of Bilderberg, yet these are the people who claim to give us informed in-depth reporting of what is going on in the world. Even many M.Ps. in the House of Commons appear not to have heard of it, and those that have do not speak publicly about it. However some of the more prominent and “promising” ones will have actually attended its meetings.
It is claimed by the organisers to be an “informal” gathering. Attendance is by invitation from the steering committee – an inner circle of permanent members, who meet regularly, setting the aims and agenda of the group, and reviewing progress. Everyone is invited to “speak freely” – which suggests perhaps they can say what they really think and believe rather than what they tell the public they think and believe! And it is all off the record.
If you question anyone who has attended, about the group, the answers you get are either that it is just an informal airing of views in relaxed surroundings with no votes or formal resolutions. (However, one can build up consensus quite adequately without formal resolutions.) Alternatively it is claimed to be a gathering of political “has beens” who no longer wield any real power. An examination of the annual attendance lists reveals nothing could be further from the truth. Many a rising star has attended and the so called “has beens” who do attend are in fact still active and influential behind the scenes. Former Observer Editor Will Hutton attended the 1997 meeting. He did not disclose the content of any discussions, but he expressed the view, privately, that it is Bilderberg that sets the agenda for the forums and summits such as the G-8, Council of Europe and World Trade Organisation meetings that follow.
Lord Carrington was chairman of the steering group until 2000, Lord Home was a former chairman. Kenneth Clarke and Henry Kissinger are current steering group members. Early steering group members included Denis Healey and Reginald Maudling, followed more recently by EU Commission President Romano Prodi, EU Commissioner Mario Monti and former Labour leader John Smith. In the past Wilson, Heath, Callaghan, Thatcher, Roy Jenkins, Jeremy Thorpe, David Steele, the Duke of Edinburgh, Cyrus Vance, George Shultz, Helmut Kohl, Francois Mitterand have all attended. More recently it has been Bill and Hilary Clinton, Blair, Brown, Mandelson, Paddy Ashdown, Norman Lamont, William Waldegrave, Malcolm Rifkind, Alan Greenspan (Head of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank), numerous EU Commissioners, Lord Roll of Ipsden (Labour Peer and former President of merchant bank Warburg, Dillon Read), Conrad Black (Chairman Hollinger Group which owns the Daily Telegraph and the Spectator), Andrew Knight (chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s News International media empire), Umberto Agnelli (President of Fiat SpA). In 1996, T.U.C. General Secretary John Monks attended, and in 1999 former Friends of the Earth Director and current Forum of the Future Director Jonathan Porrit attended. Ever since its inception, members of the Rothschild and Rockefeller families have always attended.
What exactly has been going on here? There’s certainly a wide range of prominent people attending these meetings, and, when hearing about Bilderberg for the first time, some people say isn’t it great that so many different people come together to discuss global issues. Another perhaps more realistic interpretation is that it is the rich and powerful planning our future behind our backs without our knowledge and permission. Previous meetings in Britain have taken place in Buxton, Cambridge, Torquay, and Gleneagles, right under our noses only we didn’t know about them. Only in very recent years has the veil of secrecy surrounding the event begun to break, with limited mention in the local press of the host country. Several Scottish newspapers made quite a splash that the 1998 meeting took place at Turnberry, but since then silence has returned. Nothing on 1999’s meeting at Sintra Portugal or 2000’s meeting at Chateau du Lac south of Brussels, or 2001’s meeting at a secluded island resort near Gothenberg, Sweden. The same applied to this year’s meeting which has just taken place at Chantilly, Virginia, USA. 
Bilderberg is reckoned to be the most influential of the private forums, but there are other little known organisations such as the Trilateral Commission, the Pinay Circle, the Royal Institute of International Affairs- (RIIA is said to be responsible for British foreign policy) and its United States counterpart, the Council on Foreign Relations. Except occasionally the RIIA, these organisations are almost never mentioned in the mainstream media, all meet behind the usual closed doors, yet they are almost certainly closely linked. Some of them are strongly Anglo-American in membership. Indeed it appears that the RIIA and the CFR may be essentially one and the same organisation, born at the same time in the early ‘20’s, out of an earlier grouping known as the Round Table, set up by those advocates of global domination, Cecil Rhodes and Lord Alfred Milner. Perhaps this gives true meaning to the “special relationship” between Britain and the U.S.A.
The Trilateral Commission was born out of Bilderberg discussions in the early ‘70’s, and founded by David Rockefeller, chairman Chase Manhattan Bank and Zbigniew Brzezinski, later President Carter’s national security advisor. Bilderberg is bilateral, taking in Europe and North America, TC is trilateral, taking in Japan and the far east as well. Its members are chiefly bankers, businessmen and top administrators. Included are heads of Japanese multi-nationals corporations,(e.g. Sony, Mitsui, Mitsubishi) top officials of international banks based in the far east,(e.g. Fuji Bank, Mitsubishi Bank) heads of major media organisations (e.g. Time Warner, CNN, Washington Post Co., Times Mirror Co.) Politician members include Jimmy Carter, George Bush Snr, Bill Clinton, Cyrus Vance, Walter Mondale, Warren Christopher, and on this side, David Owen, Edward Heath, Roy Jenkins and Chris Patten.
This is a forum for the political elite – presidents, prime ministers and others. “The Chatham House rule” states….. “when a meeting is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity or the affiliation of speakers, nor that of any other participant may be revealed; nor may it be mentioned that the information was received at a meeting of the Institute.” It will not release the names of individual members, although both James Callaghan and Lord Carrington are honorary presidents. Major global companies and banks fund it, along with the long suffering British taxpayer! Corporate members include B.P., Shell, Barclays Bank, Lloyds TSB, Nat West Bank, Morgan Guaranty Trust, Warburg Dillon Read, RTZ, Unilever, The Economist, CBS, NBC, ABC, Channel 4 TV, ITN, the Financial Times, the Guardian, the Independent, Daily Telegraph, The Times, Reuters, New York Times, Washington Post, BBC Radio, even Amnesty International and the African National Congress. Sounds great – such a diversity of organisations coming together – so why all the secrecy?
Funded largely by the Rockefeller Foundation, the CFR is a major force in the U.S.A. behind economic globalisation that first became very active during the last war, issuing many confidential memoranda to the U.S. government. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was closely associated with it – literally. When governor of New York state, he had a town house next door to its headquarters in New York City. At that time, it set out a vision of huge areas of the globe (a “Grand Area”) that it was perceived would be necessary to come under effective U.S. economic and military control, in order to ensure materials for U.S. industries, following the defeat of Germany and Japan. It called for centralised world wide financial institutions and was a major force that led to the Bretton Woods conference in New Hampshire USA in 1944, which set up the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development now known as the World Bank. A CFR brainchild, the Marshall Plan helped Europe reconstruct after World War 2, but it also ensured the Americanisation of Europe as European political and economic elites became wedded to their American counterparts with no significant economic or political development taking place without U.S. approval. Today many meetings are forums where foreign diplomats can freely express their ideas to council members – “…Participants are assured that they may speak openly, as it is the tradition of the Council that others will not attribute or characterise their statements in public media or forums or knowingly transmit them to persons who will.” Familiar line? Even major summits of international importance are staged in secret such as the Middle East/North Africa Economic Summit co-chaired by Bill Clinton (CFR member) and Boris Yeltsin in Casablanca in 1994 – no mainstream media reports on that. The council claims “…..no affiliation with the U.S. government…” but it just so happens that Clinton and almost all his cabinet members were apparently listed as CFR members. Other members are David Rockefeller , Secretary of State Colin Powell, Vice President Dick Cheney, Jesse Jackson, Pat Buchanan, Katherine Graham (publisher of the Washington Post) and a number of other well known presenters and newspeople in ABC, CBS, and NBC (e.g. Dan Rather, Robert McNeil, Jim Lehrer, Tom Brokaw, and David Brinkley). There are many others including Alan Greenspan head of the Federal Reserve Bank, previous head Paul Volcker, plus the usual array of big corporate bosses from Chrysler, Coca Cola, General Motors, Ford, AT&T, American Express, Exxon, Shell, Mobil, etc.
Founded in 1978, this has become the world’s leading international financial consultative group, comprised of 30 leading figures from economic and financial arenas. It describes itself as a non political organisation that explores issues of business practice and public policy, suggesting measures to improve the functioning of the international financial system… (for bankers and big business etc. rather than the population as a whole?) Members include Deputy Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King, Stanley Fischer – Deputy managing Director of the IMF , the Governors of the Bank of France and the Bank of Japan. The Chairman is Jacob Frenkel who recently took over from former US Federal Reserve boss Paul Volcker. Frenkel is chairman of international merchant bankers Merrill Lynch and a former Governor of the Bank of Israel. 
In reality, there are many more organisations and many possible links between them. For example, the US funded “British American Project for the Successor Generation” has been responsible, since the 1980s, for recruiting young up and coming British politicians and media people and taking them on expenses paid trips to the US to educate them in the virtues of the “American dream” . The message is – stick with us boys and girls and you will go far… And many have done just that, for example Neil Kinnock, Blair, Mandelson, Mo Mowlam, George Robertson plus various Labour party advisers and policy makers, not to mention Radio 4 “Today” programme presenter James Naughty and BBC 2 Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman. 
Of all these secretive private forums you might say, so what – it’s essential that top people get together to discuss and plan global affairs – but if that really is the case, why the secrecy? Could it be that they have something to hide? In a world where more than one billion people live in absolute poverty and where the rich and powerful meet in secrecy one is tempted to wonder. In part 3 we will take a closer look at who really runs the world and how.
1. The Spotlight, an American weekly investigative newspaper with a right wing Christian patriotic stance, was nevertheless acknowledged to be the best single source of information on Bilderberg. In fact it had an outstanding record for accurate reporting of facts on many other subjects not covered by the mainstream media. It was closed down in July 2001 but has been succeeded by a new publication “American Free Press” available by subscription from 1433 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Washington D.C. 20003. www.american freepress.net
2. See On Target 2/12/00 – On Target magazine provides an analysis and perspectives on global happenings not found in the mainstream media. Available by subscription from Intelligence Publications (UK) 26 Meadow Lane Sudbury Suffolk, CO12 2TD
3. See “Conspiracy Theories” by Robin Ramsay (Pocket Essentials 2001) in which chapter 4 mentions many other publicity shy groups dedicated to promoting and maintaining the Anglo American alliance. Available from 214 Westbourne Avenue, Hull, HU5 3JB.