The Bilderberg Group
- The Invisible Power House -
With its membership selected from the power élite of Europe and North America, many wonder if the Bilderbergers are conspiring to establish a 'new world order'.
Extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 3, #1 (Dec '95-Jan '96).
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© 1994 by Armen Victorian,
The conspiracy theory writers have repeatedly linked one powerful global elite, the Bilderberg Group, with the ultimate take-over of the world. Members of the Bilderberg together with their 'sister' organisations-the Trilateral Commission (known also as the "Child of Bilderberg")(1) and the Council on Foreign Relations(2)-are charged with the post-war take-over of the democratic process. The measures implemented by this group so far prove the control of the world economy through indirect political means.
The constitution of several democratic monarchies of the Western
Europe bans members of their royal families from playing an active
role in the political process. However, the Bilderberg meetings
provide this exact forum and platform for them.
These comments by Pasymowski and Gilbert(3) two decades ago may seem out of phase with the current events in former Yugoslavia, but, in terms of the continued stability of the "European State", they have proven to be largely accurate. Warfare has been removed from the intra-European systems as a means of controlling and directing nationalistic goals and ideas. Even in the case of former Yugoslavia, one observes that the current state of war has resulted from Tito's and the Soviet Union's demise. Consequently, the lid has been lifted on rivals and racial memories which had been artificially kept in place for previous decades. The several proto-states which make up the former Yugoslavia were not part of the economic and social development programs which evolved in Western Europe. As we would see, the way in which the rest of Europe evolved and developed was very different, and for very particular reasons.
Whether co-incidence or not, it is equally ironic that the current Chairman of the Bilderberg, Lord Carrington, was the first UN-appointed representative to bring peace to the war-torn Yugoslavia.
Retinger, as a Catholic, was viewed by many as an agent of the Vatican, acting in liaison between the Pope and the Father-General of the Jesuit order.
One of Retinger's renowned achievements in European politics was the founding of the European Movement, leading to the establishment of the Council of Europe on 5th May 1949. With its headquarters in Strasbourg, the Council Executive Committee provided Retinger his first major platform for his expansive ideology. From his earlier days at the Sorbonne, Retinger believed in greater European unity, both in military and economic terms. It was also at the same time when his interest in the guidance of the Jesuit order manifested itself. He spent a great deal of his time fulfilling these ambitions. He suggested to Premier Georges Clemenceau a plan to unite Eastern Europe-involving the merging of Austria, Hungary and Poland as a tripartite monarchy under the guidance of the Jesuit order. Clemenceau, doubtful of the Vatican-inspired plan, rejected Retinger's proposal outright. This plan labelled Retinger, thereafter, as a Vatican agent.
Retinger's activities were not limited to uniting Europe. Through his several trips to Mexico he played a key role in the creation of a trade union movement in the 1920s. Due to his unprecedented success, and by gaining the Mexican Government's trust, Retinger convinced them to nationalise the US oil interest in Mexico. In the process, Retinger conducted the secret negotiations with Washington for the Mexican Government.
Retinger also had an active war career. He was the political aide to General Sikorski, and served for the London-based Polish Government-in-exile. In addition, at the age of 58, he parachuted into German-occupied territory outside Warsaw for some sabotage missions.
Due to his high-profile career, in the 1950s he was able to create contacts with numerous high-ranking military officials and political leaders. His main aim was to unite the world in peace. His peace dividend was to be under the control of supernational, powerful organisations. He believed that such organisations would be immune from short-term ideological conflicts erupting between governments. To Retinger, it was insignificant what dominated the economic ideology of a country. He believed these differences could be brought into line by powerful multinational organisations dictating and applying powerful economic and military policies, thereby creating a union and a bond between the nations.
Retinger's personal 'left-wing' views from his heady days convinced him that many leaders of newly born socialist and communist nations would be prepared to talk to him. Additionally, his Church background gave him an arena for dialogue with people from the middle-ground connections in international relations.
Nevertheless, Retinger knew that control of the world affairs cannot be achieved without US participation. In pursuit of this ideology, he began a campaign for the creation of an Atlantic Community. This would make the development of Europe an important political aim for the American politicians, thereby preventing their retreat into political isolation.
Retinger, with this in mind, set out his carefully calculated move by involving one of his close and powerful friends, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. Prince Bernhard, at the time, was an important figure in the oil industry and held a major position in Royal Dutch Petroleum (Shell Oil), as well as Société Générale de Belgique-a powerful global corporation.
In 1952 Retinger approached Bernhard with a proposal for a secret conference to involve the NATO leaders in an open and frank discussion on international affairs behind closed doors. The meeting would allow each participant to speak his mind freely because no media representative would be permitted inside; nor would there be any news bulletin about the meeting or the topics discussed. Furthermore, if any leaks occurred, the journalists would be discouraged from writing about it.
Prince Bernhard fully supported Retinger's proposal for an international meeting. Consequently, they formed a committee to organise a plan. In 1952, Bernhard approached the Truman administration and briefed them about the meeting. Despite a positive reception, it was not until the Eisenhower administration when the first American counterpart group was formed. The two key role-players in the US group were General Walter Bedell Smith (Director of the CIA) and C. D. Jackson. Both (European-American) groups working interactively set out to fulfil Retinger's initial plan. From the outset, the American group was heavily influenced by the Rockefeller family, the owners of Standard Oil-competitors of Bernhard's Royal Dutch Petroleum. From then on, the Bilderberg business reflected the concerns of the oil industry in its meetings.
According to Bilderberg's draft document of 1989:
Retinger's main aim in creating Bilderberg had other more important, inherent aspects than an informal gathering of a group of the world's élite. It has been suggested that Bilderberg meetings ultimately would have implemented group dynamics techniques in the shape of a low- key international thinking group with the purpose of sensitising the less enlightened of its membership towards the new transitional diplomacy of the Cold War.
The first meeting witnessed the gathering of ideologies, poles apart. The issue of McCarthyism was reaching its peak in the United States. European participants, exasperated with the McCarthy propaganda, saw in their American counterparts a clear political shift towards an ultra-right-wing fascist state. Memories of World War II still fresh in their minds, the Europeans found the concept rather repulsive.
C. D. Jackson (a member of the CFR), in an attempt to regain the
international delegates' confidence, stated:
Nevertheless, McCarthyism proved to be a source of embarrassment for the US delegate.
Groups such as Bohemian Grove, established in 1872 by San
Franciscans, played an equally significant role in shaping post-war
politics in the US.
The Ditchley Park Foundation was established in 1953 in Britain with the same aim.(8)
Two years earlier, in 1952, Britain's Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery had suggested the idea of a NATO command-post exercise (a paper drill; no movement of forces) to train army divisional commanders. General Eisenhower, who was then NATO's European Commander, accepted it. As a result, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe Exercise-SHAPEX-was created. Ever since, an annual meeting has been held in SHAPE headquarters near Mons, Belgium, and the subject has been broadened to incorporate a wide array of topics.
The historical review of these groups reflects a sudden flourishing trend, and the realisation by the world's leaders of the need for creation of, at times, such overt concepts. The idea of establishing such élite groups did not die with the birth of Bilderberg.
In 1957, the first of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World
Affairs took place.9 Pandit Nehru offered to host the first meeting.
The founder members were personalities such as Bertrand Russell and
Albert Einstein. Scientists from the United States and Soviet Union
were regular participants in this East-West gathering of
élites. Britain is known for its active participation and role
in this group.
Pugwash proved particularly valuable at the time when the relation between East and West was at a stalemate. Many significant topics were discussed in this forum. Ways of monitoring arms control agreements, nuclear disarmament, and reduction of East-West tensions were always on the top of the agenda. In the 1970s Pugwash embraced a range of issues including biological, chemical and conventional arms control, environment and development problems as well as conflicts around the world.
One of the latest groups is the Williamsburg, better known as the Asian Window. Its first meeting was financed by the late John D. Rockefeller in 1971, and continues to date. It brings together the Asian leaders and the Americans. Williamsburg has been particularly effective for discussing Vietnam, or the Indonesian corruption, or supposedly non-existent Japanese exchange controls. Different experiences of trade with China and Russia, or how Singapore has a lower infant mortality than America, have been some of the topics in the Williamsburg forum.
Nonetheless, none of these groups-including the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilaterals-commands the influence the Bilderberg has obtained in shaping and dictating global policies.
CHARACTER OF BILDERBERG MEETINGS
"In short, Bilderberg is a recognised, flexible and informal international leadership forum in which different viewpoints can be expressed and mutual understanding enhanced."(11)
In further recognition of this aspect, Paddy Ashdown, the Leader of the Liberal Party and a participant in the 1989 Bilderberg meeting, wrote to me:
"In view of the recent events right across Europe, this has turned out to have been an exceptionally useful opportunity to meet and discuss with many of the most expert people in the world on international relations. I found it a very stimulating and informative gathering."(12)
But others, such as Prince Charles, Lord Callaghan and Sir Edward Heath, were rather shy in their responses.(13)
Participants are invited to the Bilderberg meeting by the Chairman, following his consultations and recommendations by the Steering Committee membership, the Advisory Group and the Honorary Secretaries-General. This approach ensures a full, informed and balanced discussion of the agenda items. The individuals are chosen based on their knowledge, standing and experience. The previous participants maintain that, at the meetings, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken and no policy statements are made.
Members of Advisory Group:
Though the entire topics of the Bilderberg meetings since its establishment are known to me, listing these topics would occupy several pages, which is not within the scope of this writing. However, I should perhaps include herewith the topics of the first meeting (1954) and the 1992 meeting which, in themselves, provide an insight into the evolution of this group, the Bilderberg.
29-31 May 1954: Oosterbeek, Netherlands
21-24 May 1992: Evian-les-Bains, France