A Rumination on the Bilderberg Group - WhoWhatWhy

A Rumination on the Bilderberg Group

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CaptureThe Bilderberg Group is so inherently bizarre that its yearly gatherings generate extreme reactions.

Those who openly profess the belief that the Bilderbergers essentially run the world pay it a whole lot of attention, usually trooping to the scene to stage colorful protests. The media, by and large, ignores it.

The Bilderberg name comes from the first such conclave, in 1954 at the Hotel de Bilderberg, in the Netherlands village of Oosterbeck. Typically, up to 150 of the most powerful people in the world get together at these conferences for an off-the-record chat. A lot of them are multinational execs and tycoons and political figures, but the invitees include journalists, academics and whoever else is considered worth talking to or listening to at the moment.

The Bilderberg Group explains on its website that

The Bilderberg conference is an annual three-day meeting designed to foster dialogue between Europe and North America. The pioneering meeting grew out of the concern expressed by leading citizens on both sides of the Atlantic that Western Europe and North America were not working together as closely as they should on issues of common interest…Through the years, the meetings have become a forum for discussion on a wide range of topics—from trade to jobs, from monetary policy to investment and from ecological challenges to the task of promoting international security. In the context of a globalized world, it is hard to think of any issue in either Europe or North America that could be tackled unilaterally.

The organization asserts that privacy is strictly for the purposes of ensuring candor, and nothing more:

Thanks to the private nature of the conference, the participants are not bound by the conventions of their office or by pre-agreed positions. As such, they can take time to listen, reflect and gather insights. There is no detailed agenda, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued.

Bilderberg is governed by a Steering Committee which designates a Chairman; members are elected for a term of four years and can be re-elected. There are no other members of the Bilderberg conference. The Chair’s main responsibilities are to chair the Steering Committee and to prepare with the Steering Committee the conference program and the selection of participants. He also makes suggestions to the Steering Committee regarding its composition.

The expenses of maintaining the small secretariat of the Bilderberg meetings are covered wholly by private subscription. The hospitality costs of the annual meeting are the responsibility of the Steering Committee member(s) of the host country.

Bilderberg is considered by more than a few vocal critics as a kind of steering committee for global domination by an elite, a bit like Yale’s secret society, Skull and Bones, perhaps sans the oaths and weird induction ceremonies. It is, at minimum, an exclusive club.

Bilderberg’s current chairman is Henri de Castries, a French aristocrat. Castries lives in Paris, spends his weekends in a castle, and one week a month in the United States. He served in the French treasury, and participated in the weaning of France from a mixed economy influenced by socialism to a more purely capitalist one. He is chairman and CEO of something called AXA Group, a global conglomerate involved largely with investments, insurance and healthcare. Its subsidiaries are around the world. In the United States, those include Equitable Life and MONY. The largest ownership stake is held by Americans; the government of Qatar has a piece too.

CaptureOthers on the steering committee are from familiar names like Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Alcoa, and the corporate law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, as well as PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, the neocon former Bush official Richard Perle, along with an amalgam of public and private officials from a host of countries and entities, including a Dutch economics professor, the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the CEO of the European aerospace giant Airbus, and a vice president of the conservative Hudson Institute.

Sitting all by himself, after the Steering Committee, under the heading, Member Advisory Group, is David Rockefeller.

A key question worth asking, of course, is how officials from companies that derive such a big share of their profits from war get along with those ostensibly concerned with advancing the cause of peace. Another is about what kinds of “public policy” think tanks find themselves in alignment with ruthlessly profit-oriented executives.


Years of being battered a bit by protesters has had an effect: although Bilderberg warns participants that the specifics uttered indoors are to remain secret, it has become slightly more open with time, with the website, and by publishing an official agenda. This year, not surprisingly, Ukraine was a major topic at the gathering, which took place recently at the Marriott Hotel in Copenhagen.

One news organization that has not dismissed Bilderberg is the UK’s Guardian. As noted by the Guardian’s Bilderberg correspondent—who has been hanging around outside the proceedings for years—the most interesting visible development this year was the arrival of the U.S. Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, followed by the head of NATO, to brief the assembled on the situation in Ukraine.

[M]ake no mistake. Bilderberg is part of their job….This was briefing papers, dress uniforms and military aides. Land Rovers packed with military bodyguards.

This is NATO business. U.S. military business. Government business.

…What’s obvious is that…this is an official international summit. The discussion about Ukraine isn’t chitchat over a cup of tea. It’s international diplomacy, which makes the mix of people at Bilderberg such an unsettling one.

Bad enough that you’ve got military chiefs briefing arms companies bosses—in private—about their hopes and dreams for Ukraine. But you’ve also got billionaire speculators and the heads of gigantic private equity funds listening in.

People who stand to make a killing out of knowing where and when the bombs are going to fall, how many and on whom.

People like David Petraeus, the former director of the CIA and now head of KKR’s Global Institute, the advisory wing of a multibillion dollar private equity company….

The KKR Global Institute prides itself on “knowing how to respond to emerging geopolitical and macro-economic trends”, which enables “smart investing, portfolio management, and risk mitigation”, in other words getting the inside tip. And once you’re inside Bilderberg, you’re hearing “emerging geopolitical and macro-economic trends” right from the secretary general of NATO’s mouth. Very profitable, I’m sure.

The Bilderberg conference is a five-star car crash of the public and private sectors. It’s full of scenes like this: the head of MI6, Sir John Sawers, having a cheery one-to-one with Carl-Henric Svanberg, the chairman of BP…..


The real story about Bilderberg is not that these people are colluding to secretly run the world. It’s that information is money—and being in the know and socializing with others who share your interests in power and money are good for business. And any consensus reached at these conclaves, however partial and temporary, can affect us all.

But perhaps the most potent take-away, as noted by the Guardian’s correspondent (who is also a comedy writer and therefore gets the laughable aspects of such purportedly high-minded get-togethers) is that the people ostensibly working for us—elected and military officials in particular—think it is part of their job to brief these Titans of the Universe. Why? Well, it seems, so they can maintain the kinds of advantages they have—and lord—over the rest of us.

Where else do you see journalism of this quality and value?

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23 responses to “A Rumination on the Bilderberg Group”

  1. hunde sygdom says:


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  2. Avatar Tera Patric says:

    Enjoyed your informative article Russ. A solid, well-researched and unbiased story even though I still think the Bilderberg Group is still pulling strings and pushing the buttons. It’s basically a Wall Street stockholder meetings on steroids where world leaders give a preview of their intentions for their country such as war, trade, economy….etc so that all these titans of their industry can get the proverbial leg up on the competition for better business leverage and strategies while networking for future contacts and alliances. That’s how they not only stay in business but stay way ahead of everyone else. I don’t think it’s a conspiracy but rather smart and wealthy people manipulating the system for their benefits. In Wall Street and under SEC regulations, this would constitute inside information. But not at the Bilderberg meeting.

    Why are they not in the news more often? Duh! Guess who controls all the media and news outlet? Perhaps the unbiased nature of this story is how it was able to get published. Otherwise, we would not be able to view this if took on a more conspiratorial tone like mine .

    • Avatar Terri says:

      I completely agree with tera! They are real world pinky and the brain… Only each year furthering their cause to take over the world! A wall-less prison

  3. Avatar olde reb says:

    your emails to whowhatwhy and also your contact form are not working.

  4. Avatar JCLincoln says:

    BTW, rhe CFR is the Steering Committee.
    Does that change anyone’s perception of this author’s professed ‘innocence’ of Bilderberg?

  5. Avatar JCLincoln says:

    The CFR is the Steering Committ

  6. Avatar Kelly says:

    Quote: Co-founder of Bilderberg,
    “We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years.”
    He went on to explain:
    “It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity
    during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination
    practiced in past centuries.”
    — David Rockefeller, Speaking at the June, 1991 Bilderberger meeting in Baden, Germany (a meeting also attended by then-Governor Bill Clinton and by Dan Quayle

  7. Avatar ICFubar says:

    I’ve heard Bilderberger referred to as for the retirees or has beens of the world’s global elites where they can get together to discuss events both past and future. The real wheeling, dealing and planning takes place as needed where needed and perhaps at other less well publicized venues such as the “business round table” etcetera. To answer the question how do those who profit from war get along with “those ostensibly concerned with advancing the cause of peace”? Simply put they all utter newspeak…”war is peace”…”war is good for you” and the reverse “peace is war” …”what’s good for you is war”.

  8. Avatar VoxFox says:

    Bilderberg Group : the closest we have to a return to medieval aristocracy (in their own eyes, at least).

  9. Avatar don burgess says:

    I suggest a re-read of Orwell’s 1948 classic “Nineteen Eighty-four”, to clarify the BILDERBERG’S point of view….as we see most clearly, that this is still “THE BLUEPRINT FOR GLOBAL ENSLAVEMENT”

  10. Avatar Robert_Morrow says:

    Great article!

  11. Avatar Charlotta Jones says:

    All I need to know about the Bilderberg group is that it was started by an ex Nazi. And that their meetings are held in secret….CONTROL OF THE WORLD.

    • Avatar News Nag says:

      ‘All you need to know’ actually prevents you from knowing everything else you need to know. Obsessing on one fact, irrelevant or not, chokes off oxygen to the brain.

  12. Avatar sgtdoom says:

    Interesting article on a most topical subject, so let’s just examine one item on the list: Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.

    Gibson Dunn & Crutcher was the shyster firm of choice to represent Reagan’s side during Iran-Contra.

    Later, they would represent Bush #2 in Bush v. Gore, whereby the presidential election was stolen by the court, and handed over to Bush (Gore had won the popular vote) when they ruled that American citizens don’t have a constitutional right to vote.

    And of course, once again Gibson Dunn & Crutcher would represent Citizens United in Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission.

    Naturally, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has successfully represented American-based multinationals in Columbia and West Africa in their defense of hiring assassins and murderers to kill labor organizers and protesters.

    Should be obvious why Chris Christie immediately hired Gibson Dunn & Crutcher to represent him when that Washington Bridge debacle went public.

    David Rockefeller, of course by this time, everyone should be aware of his tenure at Council on Foreign Relations, his Trilateral Commission, his Council of the Americas (lobbyist group which successfully promoted passage of NAFTA) and his Rockefeller Foundation which established the Group of 30 (group30.org), the international bank lobbyist group (Larry Summers, Timmy Geithner, Dudley, Zedillo, Draghi, Trichet, Krugman, etc., etc., etc.). On the 990 tax return form in 2008, as put online at cryptome.org, the directors of the American Friends of Bilderberg, Inc. are listed as: David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, Richard Perle, Jessica Mathews, et al., and their business address at Perseus LLC, then the owner of Perseus Books, publisher of a bunch of mediocrity, but also the publisher of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Report, which is probably why so few actually read that most important of reports. (It was Rockefeller seed money which financed the largest private equity/leveraged buyout firm for many years, the Blackstone Group, while it was Mellon family money which did the same for the Carlyle Group — which is effectively a subset of the Blackstone Group given their club deals and the personnel flows between these two private banks. FYI: Aboard the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 were employess from Freescale Semiconductor, which is owned by the Blackstone Group and Carlyle Group. Booz Allen Hamilton, the contractor where Edward Snowden worked prior to releasing those whistleblowing leaks on the NSA, is owned by the Carlyle Group. Recently, on CNN and elsewhere a “tech surveillance and network security firm” reported on the “spying” on Facebook and similar social networking sites by Iran. Said network security firm is heavily financed by the Blackstone Group. Important to keet these little details in mind.)

  13. Avatar Nys Parkie says:

    Maybe the Gals at NOW can sue….Force some nagging females into these meeting as they attempted at Augusta National a few years back. That would be sweet poison to this gaggle of hegemony…

    • Avatar Patricia says:

      I’m sure Hillary was probably there – so if you are going to send a “nagging female” (hint, your misogyny is showing – are you a fan of George Will?) was probably in attendance. Unfortunately Hilly is on THEIR side, while NOW might actually ask some pertinent questions.

  14. Avatar Hobo says:

    2,600 Bilderberger names here 1954-2014


  15. Avatar Gregory Alan of Johnson says:

    Bilderberg, like the Illuminati and the Vatican, with many of the same membership, are in conspiracy to control the planet. For those refusing to see this, please be cautious about moving around with your eyes tightly closed.

  16. Avatar Gregory Alan of Johnson says:

    This reads as though you’re resigned that there is a world-side effort to control the planet and the rest of us sheeple need to just forget any effort of opposing it.
    I have a 4-word notice to that: OVER MY DEAD BODY!

  17. Avatar SomeoneWatching says:

    That was very good!! Especially pointing out the speculation/financial capital/military nexus, the war racket, together at this secure, exclusive meeting. It’s also interesting that there’s a clear Western/NATO bias to the attendees (the lone Chinese notwithstanding). If there was a meeting of Russian/Chinese “oligarchs”, would the media cover it, to show the “communist collusion”? The “hidden means” they use to oppress their people?

  18. Avatar Carine Clary says:

    Great common sense article. Too bad the people who most need to read it probably won’t. Yes, that’s you, radio screamers and OCD conspiratorial webmasters. Just for your information there has never been a time in human history when the rich & powerful did not collude in actions intended to make them richer & more powerful. They probably had these kinds of meetings in ancient Sumeria so just get over it. Calling them names is not an effective form of raising awareness unless your search engine optimization plan includes using the word “illuminati” fifty times a day.

    • Avatar rumcious says:

      The problem isn’t that meetings of this nature happen, it’s that representatives we vote for often attend in *official capacities*, i.e. on our behalf, without ever releasing details/conclusions on what gets discussed. (and often then dismissing anyone as CT’s, whether they are or not, for asking – in the UK for example apparently several FOIA’s have been issued against political party attendees over the years and not one has been answered with the type of information requested, most appear to be just dismissed out of hand in fact).

  19. Avatar Patriarch says:

    Who what why,

    Check this out: all in one complete package backpack and all.


    “Inert Products, LLC. founded in 2007, produces high quality, inert training aids that withstand punishment in the field. It’s our goal to produce the most realistic training aids available on the market today while keeping them cost effective and durable. With a catalog of 1000+ products and our custom capabilities, we currently offer the widest selection of training aids available. Our training aids are currently in use with our Armed Forces and Law Enforcement agencies worldwide. We are proud to be an American company in which all of our products are made in the USA. Standing behind our work 100%, we believe simply, better products provide better training. ”

    Raytheon is a distributor.

    Judge O’Toole’s wife is a VIP there.
    O’Toole was not the assigned judge in April 2013.

    He was SELECTED in June 2013 according to the court docket entries.


    • Avatar onetree says:

      I always appreciate any help in connecting the dots, but somehow I missed how Inert Products connects to the Tsarnaev case. Does this have something to do with equipment used in the Boston bombing or what?

    • Avatar GoodWord says:

      This comes from an article written last year that was recently shared on the Boston Marathon Bombing Blog general discussion comments. The article is called Toys For Terrorists from Victory Post and features a company that made IED training devices including pressure cookers in backpacks. The website has been covering bomb drills related to the Marathon so I guess the article was insinuating that the company’s products could have been used in these exercises. http://victorypost.com/?p=1423 The blog seems to be mostly about conspiracy theories with a particular focus on Boston bombing theories involving drills turning into the real thing. http://victorypost.com/?p=1791 Not sure where the Judge’s wife thing came from though.