Bilderberg Group

Bilderberg Group

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 in the Netherlands. [ [ The masters of the universe] , Asia Times, May 22 2003, accessed on August 18 2007] The 2007 conference took place from May 31 to June 3 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey. [ What was discussed at Bilderberg?] , Turkish Daily News, June 5 2007, accessed on August 18 2007] The 2008 conference took place in Chantilly, Virginia, United States .

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.cite book
first = Alden
last = Hatch
year = 1962
title = H.R.H.Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands: An authorized biography
chapter =The Hôtel de Bilderberg
publisher = Harrap
location = London
id = ISBN B0000CLLN4

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. Bernhard in turn contacted Walter Bedell Smith, then head of the CIA, who asked Eisenhower adviser C. D. Jackson to deal with the suggestion.cite book
title=Organizing Atlanticism: the Bilderberg Group and the Atlantic Institute 1952-63
author=Valerie Aubourg
month=June | year=2003
] The guest list was to be drawn up by inviting two attendees from each nation, one each to represent conservative and liberal points of view.cite book
first = Alden
last = Hatch
year = 1962
title = H.R.H.Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands: An authorized biography
chapter =The Hôtel de Bilderberg
publisher = Harrap
location = London
id = ISBN B0000CLLN4
quote=The idea was to get two people from each country who would give the conservative and liberal slant

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. 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. [cite book
authorlink=David Rockefeller
publisher=Random House
id=ISBN 0-679-40588-7


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.

Mainstream criticism

Critics claim the Bilderberg Group promotes the careers of politicians whose views are representative of the interests of multinational corporations, at the expense of democracy.cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Inside the secretive Bilderberg Group | date= | publisher= | url = | work =BBC | pages = | accessdate = 2008-03-26 | language = ] 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" [ [ Why are we scared of Bilderberg? - Turkish Daily News Jun 01, 2007 ] ] with "nothing different except for the influence of the participants." [ [ What was discussed at Bilderberg? - Turkish Daily News Jun 05, 2007 ] ]

Conspiracy theories

The group's secrecy and its connections to power elites encourages speculation and mistrust by such groups or individuals who believe that the group is part of a conspiracy to create a New World Order. This is further encouraged by the frequent use of the term 'New World Order' by its members when referring to their ultimate goal of world integration. The group is frequently accused of secretive and nefarious world plots by groups such as the John Birch Society. [ John Birch Society: “the Bilderberg”] This thinking has progressively found acceptance within both elements of the populist movement and fringe politics. [ [RIGHT WOOS LEFT] According to investigative journalist Chip Berlet, the prominent origins of Bilderberger conspiracy theories can be traced to activist Phyllis Schlafly. [ Origins of the Bilderberger conspiracy ]
Radio host Alex Jones claims the group intends to dissolve the sovereignty of the United States and other countries into a supra-national structure similar to the European Union. This accusation is also linked with others claiming plans for a merger of Canada with United States, hoping Canadian influence will be calming to American society and foreign policy. See the North American Union.

From "The Hunt for Red Menace:" "The views on intractable godless communism expressed by [Fred] Schwarz were central themes in three other bestselling books which were used to mobilize support for the 1964 Goldwater campaign. The best known was Phyllis Schlafly's "A Choice, Not an Echo" which suggested a conspiracy theory in which the Republican Party was secretly controlled by elitist intellectuals dominated by members of the Bilderberger group, whose policies would pave the way for global communist conquest. Schlafly's husband Fred had been a lecturer at Schwartz's local Christian anti-communism Crusade conferences." [ Origins of the Bilderberger conspiracy ]

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."cite web
title=Bilderberg: The ultimate conspiracy theory
author=Jonathan Duffy
publisher=BBC News

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."

Some popular media references to the group are in Fredrick Forsyth's novel "The Icon" where the group decides to undermine a nationalist Russian leader loosely modeled on Vladimir Putin (among others).


* 1954 (May 29-31) at the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek, Netherlands
* 1955 (March 18-20) at the Hotellerie Du Bas-Breau in Barbizon, France
* 1955 (September 23-25) at the Grand Hotel Sonnenbichl in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, West Germany
* 1956 (May 11-13) at the Hotel Store Kro in Fredensborg, Denmark
* 1957 (February 15-17) at the King and Prince Hotel in St. Simons Island, Georgia, USA
* 1957 (October 4-6) at the Grand Hotel Palazzo della Fonte in Fiuggi, Italy
* 1958 (September 13-15) at the The Palace Hotel in Buxton, United Kingdom
* 1959 (September 18-20) at the Çinar Hotel in Yeşilköy, Istanbul, Turkey
* 1960 (May 28-29) at the Palace Hotel in Bürgenstock, Nidwalden, Switzerland
* 1961 (April 21-23) at the Manoir St. Castin in Lac-Beauport, Quebec, Quebec, Canada
* 1962 (May 18-20) at the Grand Hotel Saltsjöbaden in Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
* 1963 (May 29-31) in Cannes, France
* 1964 (March 20-22) in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
* 1965 (April 2-4) at the Villa d'Este in Cernobbio, Italy
* 1966 (March 25-27) at the Nassauer Hof Hotel Wiesbaden in Wiesbaden, West Germany
* 1967 (March 31-April 2) in Cambridge, United Kingdom
* 1968 (April 26-28) in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada
* 1969 (May 9-11) at the Hotel Marienlyst in Helsingør, Denmark
* 1970 (April 17-19) at the Grand Hotel Quellenhof in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland
* 1971 (April 23-25) at the Woodstock Inn in Woodstock, Vermont, USA
* 1972 (April 21-23) at the La Reserve di Knokke-Heist in Knokke, Belgium
* 1973 (May 11-13) at the Grand Hotel Saltsjöbaden in Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
* 1974 (April 19-21) at the Hotel Mont d'Arbois in Megeve, France
* 1975 (April 22-24) at the Golden Dolphin Hotel in Çeşme, İzmir, Turkey
* 1976 no conference. The 1976 Bilderberg conference was planned for April at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia, USA. Due to the ongoing Lockheed scandal involving Prince Bernhard at the time, it had to be cancelled.
* 1977 (April 22-24) at the Paramount Imperial Hotel in Torquay, United Kingdom
* 1978 (April 21-23) at the Chauncey Conference Center in Princeton, New Jersey, United States
* 1979 (April 27-29) at the Grand Hotel Sauerhof in Baden bei Wien, Austria
* 1980 (April 18-20) at the Dorint Sofitel Quellenhof Aachen in Aachen, West Germany
* 1981 (May 15-17) at the Palace Hotel in Bürgenstock, Nidwalden, Switzerland
* 1982 (May 14-16) at the Rica Park Hotel Sandefjord in Sandefjord, Norway
* 1983 (May 13-15) at the Château Montebello in Montebello, Quebec, Canada [ [ High-security fences surround resort town in preparation for summit] , Edmonton Journal, August 18 2007, accessed on August 19 2007]
* 1984 (May 11-13) at the Grand Hotel Saltsjöbaden in Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
* 1985 (May 10-12) at the Doral Arrowwood Hotel in Rye Brook, New York, United States
* 1986 (April 25-27) at the Gleneagles Hotel in Gleneagles, Auchterarder, United Kingdom
* 1987 (April 24-26) at the Villa d'Este in Cernobbio, Italy
* 1988 (June 3-5) at the Interalpen-Hotel Tyrol in Telfs-Buchen, Austria
* 1989 (May 12-14) at the Gran Hotel de La Toja in Isla de La Toja, Spain
* 1990 (May 11-13) at the Harrison Conference Center in Glen Cove, New York, United States
* 1991 (June 6-9) at the Steigenberger Badischer Hof Hotel, Schlosshotel Bühlerhöhe in Bühl (Baden) in Baden-Baden, Germany
* 1992 (May 21-24) at the Royal Club Evian Hotel, Ermitage Hotel in Évian-les-Bains, France
* 1993 (April 22-25) at the Nafsika Astir Palace Hotel in Vouliagmeni, Greece
* 1994 (June 2-5) at the Kalastajatorppa Hotel in Helsinki, Finland
* 1995 (June 8-11) at the Palace Hotel in Bürgenstock, Nidwalden, Switzerland
* 1996 (May 30-June 2) at the CIBC Leadership Centre aka The Kingbridge Centre in King City, Ontario, Canada
* 1997 (June 12-15) at the Pine Isle resort in Lake Lanier, Georgia, United States
* 1998 (May 14-17) at the Turnberry Hotel in Turnberry, United Kingdom
* 1999 (June 3-6) at the Caesar Park Hotel Penha Longa in Sintra, Portugal
* 2000 (June 1-4) at the Chateau Du Lac Hotel in Genval, Brussels, Belgium
* 2001 (May 24-27) at the Hotel Stenungsbaden in Stenungsund, Sweden
* 2002 (May 30-June 2) at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Virginia, United States
* 2003 (May 15-18) at the Trianon Palace Hotel in Versailles, France
* 2004 (June 3-6) at the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees in Stresa, Italy
* 2005 (May 5-8) at the Dorint Sofitel Seehotel Überfahrt in Rottach-Egern, Germany [Cite web
title = Asia Times Online :: Asian News, Business and Economy.
accessdate = 2007-08-22
url =
* 2006 (June 8-11) at the Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada [cite web
last = Panetta |first = Alexander | year = 2006 |url =
title = Secretive Bilderbergers meet |work =
publisher = Toronto Star Newspapers Limited |accessdate = 2006-06-12
] See .
* 2007 (May 31 - June 3) at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, in Şişli, Istanbul, Turkey. [ Bilderberg 2007 - Towards a One World Empire?] , [ Nexus Magazine] , Volume 14, Number 5 (August - September 2007), accessed on August 18 2007]
* 2008 (June 5-8) at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Virginia, United Statescite web
year = 2008 |url =
title =Balkenende to Meet Bush in Washington|work =
publisher = NIS News Bulletin |accessdate = 2008-05-25
] cite web
year = 2008 |url =
title =Bilderberg Announces 2008 Conference|work =
publisher = BusinessWire |accessdate = 2008-06-07

ee also

* Trilateral Commission
* Council on Foreign Relations


* cite book
first = Jon
last = Ronson
year = 2001
title = THEM: Adventures with Extremists
publisher = Picador
location = London
id = ISBN 0-330-37546-6

* cite book
first = Robert
last = Eringer
year = 1980
title = The Global Manipulators
publisher = Pentacle Books
location = Bristol, England
id = ISBN 0906850046

External links

Note: the Bilderberg Group does not have a website.
* cite news
title=Inside the secretive Bilderberg Group
work=BBC News

* cite news
title=Elite power brokers meet in secret
work=BBC News
BBC News 15 May, 2003
* Robert Eringer writing about [ Bilderberg, Carroll Quigley]
* [ Extract from the official Bilderberg report on the Fiuggi Conference 4-6 October 1957]
* [ Paper by Sociology Professor (LMU) Mike Peters: "The Bilderberg Group and the Project for European Unification"] from ""
* [ Free Press International: Bilderberg video and info]
* [,6761,449284,00.html Guardian article on the group - an excerpt from Jon Ronson's book "Them"]
* [ - Shadowy group meets amid secrecy in Ottawa]
* [ Minutes from the 1999 Bilderberg meeting from SchNEWS website]
* [ List of recent mainstream news articles and Bilderberg conspiracy gossip]
* [ Historical information on the Bilderberg Group-mentions original location of 1976 meeting]
* [ The world's most powerful secret society - 1998 article from Punch magazine]

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