The Bilderberg meeting is an annual three-day conference established in 1954 by Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, Netherlands ‘to cultivate a relationship between the countries of Western Europe and North America.’ Participants are most usually European and North American political leaders, experts in Industry, Finance, Academia, Military, and the Media. The group operates using the Chatham House Rule which allows people to speak freely as individuals and express views that may not be complementary with their affiliated organizations, and therefore, encourages between members free and open discourse. Speakers can freely voice their own opinions, without concern for their reputation or their other affiliations.
The original idea for the meeting was born out of a concern of growing anti-Americanism after the First and Second World War. Moreover, it became evident that a large number of people began to feel apprehensive about the growing distrust of America that was emerging in Western Europe and paralleled a similar distrust brewing within the United States at that time. Some of the issues most recently discussed at the meetings ranged anywhere from the Brexit and global economy to sustainability and ongoing wars in Africa and the Middle East. Most of this information is released to the public on their website, but much of the particulars remain secret. The Bilderberg Group since its conception has been a cause for concern among many people and has attracted great scrutiny for its lack of transparency regarding media coverage and access to its events; which has given rise to many conspiracy theories over the years.
It is widely thought, by those who study such conspiracies, that the primary goal of the Bilderberg Meetings is to bring about a so-called “New World Order” (An unelected one-world government controlled by the international elite). It is also a widely held belief among theorists that this group is responsible for the creation of the European Union and is working to form a similar organization in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. The list of known attendees at Bilderberg Meetings include people such as David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Colin Powell, and Donald Rumsfeld to name a few.
Interestingly enough the founder himself Prince Bernhard was a member of the “Reiter-SS,” a mounted division within the Nazi Party. Prince Bernhard meant with Adolf Hitler several times at his Royal Estate in the Netherlands during the war though; it is believed his family had associations with the party long before the war started. This association with the Party has also been used by prominent conspiracy theorist to demonstrate that the organizations’ sole purpose is global domination. Further analysis of the group reveals that more often than not these high-caliber guests not only come from leading corporations and government organizations from around the world but also have significant ties to, if not directly associated with the most influential people in the world.
According to an Article by Valerie Aubourg found in the Journal of Intelligence and National Security, entitled “Organizing Atlanticism: the Bilderberg group and the Atlantic Institute, 1952–1963,) Prince Bernhard was in contact with, then CIA Director Walter Bedell Smith. Director Smith in consultation with President Eisenhower’s advisor Charles Douglas Jackson suggested helping organize the first meetings and is considered a subsequent co-founder of the group. Also, the eventual success of the meetings led to the eventual formation of the annual event and began to form committees, referred to as the “Steering Committee” to invite new members each year to broaden the discussions and strengthen their influence.
To further exacerbate the conspiracy theories’ that surrounded the group and for some confirm their greatest fears it was revealed that in 2001, Denis Healey, a 30-year veteran member of the Bilderberg Group on the Steering Committee, said, ‘To say we were striving for a one-world government is exaggerated, but not wholly unfair. Those of us in Bilderberg felt we could not go on forever fighting one another for nothing and killing people and rendering millions homeless. So, we felt that a single community throughout the world would be a good thing.’ Although, Mr. Healey clearly states that the ideals of a “one-world government” and global supremacy are greatly exaggerated this does not seem good enough to put some of the questions to rest surrounding the group. From an independent perspective, one could ask the question; What is entirely wrong with a global community committed to ending the “fighting and killings of millions” as Mr. Healey puts it? Most theorists appear to be completely blinded by their ignorance that they cannot possibly see anything good to come of a meeting of the world’s most important and arguably the smartest people.
Their ignorance appears to stem from a lack of understanding about the groups founding purpose. In and around the time of the anti-Americanism that was spreading throughout the whole of Western Europe an idea came about called “Atlanticism,” also known as Trans Atlanticism. The idea proposed that in order to maintain security and prosperity the occidental countries of the world must build and sustain a relationship in protecting the core values of the western civilization in pursuit of greater unity among nations. Before the Second World War, most countries in Europe were occupied with regional issues and building colonial empires on the African and Asian continent. While across the “pond” to the west the, United States was focused on its interventionist foreign policy in Latin America. This divide created great distrust and concern; and with the development of such bodies as the United Nations, then “League of Nations,” NATO, and of course the later development of the Bilderberg Group has been essential in maintaining the peace and prosperity seen in the world today.
Another thing most conspiracy theorist seems to ignore is that the Bilderberg Group does not have any real power. It is an independently funded and private organization with no legal power to enact some of legislation or ideas it has proposed. However, of course with the prestige of its alumni and position that they hold in general does give them significant influence over such decisions than would an ordinary citizen. Many of its members and formal attendees have done great things for society, and far out weight the scrutiny of its past affiliations and the secrecy that overshadows it. For example; The Director General of CERN, Fabiola Gianotti attended the 2017 meeting. If not familiar with CERN, it is a European research organization that operates the single largest particle physics laboratory in the world. It has been credited with many scientific achievements within the diverse field of physics and has produced many Noble Prize winners as well.
Revisiting some conspiracies; one, in particular, is by far the most interesting one that surrounds Bilderberg and that is of Cuban President Fidel Castro’s remarks that were published in August of 2010 for the Cuban newspaper “Granma.” In the paper, he refers back to a book called “The Secrets of the Bilderberg Club,” describing an even smaller club within the Bilderberg Group who directly lobby to members in the U.S. House of Representatives whose goal is to eliminate the border between the United States and Mexico. Though, with all this mind it is quite interesting to note that many are unfamiliar with Bilderberg because it is almost never in the news and when it is, the coverage is usually obscure and brief. Former attendees rarely if ever talk about their experiences there and no one ever seems to ask the question of why?
Bilderberg Group, however, is still a relatively young organization with a great deal of history that is shrouded in secrecy and prestige. It will be interesting to see how it continues to develop and change over the years, but for now, only time will tell if the outside world will ever get a real peek into the workings and discussions that take place every year around the world.