The Bilderberg Meeting is an annual conference established in 1954 to foster dialogue between Europe and North America. The group’s agenda, originally to prevent another world war, is now defined as bolstering a consensus around free market Western capitalism and its interests around the globe. Participants include political leaders, experts from industry, finance, academia, and the media, numbering between 120 and 150. Attendees are entitled to use information gained at meetings, but not attribute it to a named speaker. This is to encourage candid debate, while maintaining privacy – a provision that has fed conspiracy theories from both left and right. Other criticisms have concerned globalism.
- "Of the thirty-five (35) Bilberberg Steering Committee members, sixteen(16) are Jews or have Jewish spouses. This is a numerical representation of 46%. Jews are approximately 1% of the population of the Western world.* Therefore Jews are over-represented on the Bilberberg Steering Committee by a factor of 46 times(4,600 percent)."
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.
Retinger approached German aristocrat Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, now 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.
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.
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.
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.
Beatrix of the Netherlands (daughter of Prince Bernhard) was one of the heads of the Bilderberg Group.
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. 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" with "nothing different except for the influence of the participants."
The group's secrecy and its connections to power elites has raised concerns 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, 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. 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".[
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."
Denis Healey, a Bilderberg founder and former British Chancellor of the Exchequer, decries such theories. 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."
- The Anglo-American Elite, Part 1: Professors Carroll Quigley and Revilo Oliver on the Evolution of the Anglo-American Establishment
- Who Controls the Bilderberg Group? https://thezog.wordpress.com/who-controls-the-bilderberg-group/