The 66th annual meeting of some of the world’s leading business and political figures, otherwise known as the Bilderberg Group has commenced, running from 7-10 June.
This year’s confab is being held in Turin, Italy, for only the fourth time since the Bilderberg Group has held such meetings since its inception in 1954.
The meetings have traditionally been kept very low-key, but over the past decade or so, both the attendants and their agenda have been the brunt of intrigue and criticism.
Bilderberg agenda in 2018
According to Bilderberg Meetings, this year’s discussion points include:
- Populism in Europe
- The inequality challenge
- The future of work
- Artificial intelligence
- The US before midterms
- Free trade
- US world leadership
- Quantum computing
- Saudi Arabia and Iran
- The “post-truth” world
- Current events
It’s a rather illustrious agenda with several key topics cropping up again just like in previous years – which has led to criticism that pivotal decisions regarding billions of people are being made behind closed doors with potentially chaotic consequences.
In previous years, hot topics of discussion have been titled as, ‘The direction of the EU,’ ‘The war on information,’ ‘Why is populism growing?’ and ‘Russia in the international order.’
The world’s elite are back to discuss all that and more.
According to Bilderberg Meetings, the organisation which organises the group’s meeting each year, the invite-only group of captains of industry, royals, politicians, senators and moguls “meets annually and welcomes informal discussions designed to foster dialogue between Europe and North America” – two continents from which the vast majority of delegates hail from.
Around 150 political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media are invited to take part in the meeting, but the annual event isn’t short of critics.
According to a Bilderberg Group statement, “the meeting is a forum for informal discussions about megatrends and major issues facing the world.”
Despite the official statements, the annual meetings typically attract a hail of criticism from various sections of the public including bloggers and market commentators, but rarely large media organisations or political figureheads.
The prime reason for the critique stems from the fact that all Bilderberg meetings have always been held under what’s known as the ‘Chatham House Rule’ first developed in 1927 by the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), a royal-family-approved think-tank based at Chatham House in the UK, that claims it is an independent policy institute on a mission “to help build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world.”
The Chatham Rule states that “participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s) nor of any other participant may be revealed.” This type of methodology (critics claim) allows for disingenuous and harmful ideas to be discussed and policy decisions proposed, without fear of discovery or public awareness.
In other words, anything can be said without consequence under the guise of free-thinking espousal of ideas, even if some of those ideas happen to come from influential leaders of companies and political parties that direct millions of people at the stroke of a pen (or the wangling of a tongue).
Chatham House was founded by famous British federalist Lionel George Curtis who advocated for a world state in his book Civitas Dei published in 1934 – exactly the thing that Bilderberg critics claim the organisation is working towards.
The empire-building imperialism-supportive Mr Curtis was also the original ideologue behind the Commonwealth, a politico-economic union celebrated by millions of Australians, Brits and Canadians to this day.
Chatham House-based RIIA also happens to be the sister organisation to the US-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and attracts as much conspiracy-related criticism as the Bilderberg Group itself.
In 1950, one of the CFR’s original members James Warburg was quoted as saying: “We shall have world government, whether or not we like it. The question is only whether world government will be achieved by consent or by conquest.”
His father Paul Warburg founded the CFR and the Federal Reserve, currently the most influential central bank in the world.
Critics claim that organisations such as the Bilderberg Group and its apparatchik think tanks have been established to supplant the policy decisions of elected officials and do all the thinking for them – all without having any accountability to the voting public.
Critics also claim that the broader Bilderberg Group is masquerading as a placid discussion forum, when in fact, it is a policy dissemination mouthpiece that distributes policy decisions to the higher echelons of public and private organisations alike, by individuals that are often anonymous and disingenuous.
Structure of power
Today, the Bilderberg Group is managed by a 32-man “steering committee” with a lead chairman who is duly replaced every 4 years.
The current incumbent is Frenchman Henri de Castries, Chairman of Institut Montaigne, a non-profit transpartisan think tank that proposes public policy recommendations to “improve social cohesion, competitiveness and public spending in a variety of policy fields.”
According to Institut Montaigne, its work is based on international benchmarks and collaborations between experts from the French business community, academia, civil society and government.
However, critics claim that unelected think-tanks and supranational organisations such as the RIIA, CFR, Institut Montaigne, Bilderberg Group and hundreds of other such like groups make up a spider-web of “globalists” who collaborate within roundtable groups that intend to surreptitiously take over decision making in all countries, especially those at the epicentre of trade, economics and politics.
The secretive nature of the talking points at the Bilderberg meetings combined with the rather prestigious invite list has led many to label the upcoming event as conspiratorial world leaders discussing matters that pertain to several sensitive topics such as monopolisation of global industries, centralisation of banks towards one central authority, land appropriation under the guise of environmental protection and usury in the form of fractional reserve banking.
Not only that but critics also claim that several policies are masquerading as well-to-do goodwill initiatives, (but are actually carefully planned methodologies hidden in plain sight to ensnare the world’s unaware population) such as Agenda 21, quantitative easing, multigender identification, mass surveillance, transhumanism and Zionism.
Given the Chatham rule-powered private nature of the Bilderberg meetings, the participants are not bound by the conventions of their office or by pre-agreed positions.
As such, critics claim that the above issues could well be discussed but without a detailed agenda, resolutions, minutes or votes taken – many of tomorrow’s policy decisions towards a bleak authoritarian police state are potentially being forged under the noses of the watching public.
Attendants of the Bilderberg Group have included the likes of former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, British royal Prince Charles and famous US industrialist David Rockefeller and all have vehemently denied criticism regarding abuse of power, saying that they are the ramblings of tin-foil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorists.
The best and most common defence used by authorities against conspiracy critics is that someone would have blown the whistle and that to endure such depraved and deeply instituted conspiracies requires thousands of people to keep quiet (and not make any slip-ups).
Regardless, criticism continues to be aimed at the group with mainstream media coverage typically restrained and thin on the ground.
This year’s meeting and previous eventualities
This year’s hot favourite to go from unknown politician to head honcho within their own national ranks is Swedish Centre Party leader Annie Lööf.
She attended last year’s meeting in Chantilly, Virginia and has quickly risen to become one of the front-runners in Sweden’s political elite with an eye on upcoming elections in September this year.
Her critics have said her rise to the top of Swedish politics is likely assured by way of elitist influence exerted by the power brokers behind the Bilderberg Group.
Pragmatically speaking, there could be some truth to their claims.
High profile attendees to the Bilderberg Group have coincidentally attained high political titles soon after attending such as Bill Clinton in 1991, George Bush in 1989, Tony Blair in 1993 and Gerald Ford in 1967.
From an ideological point of view, several agendas have made consistent progress towards ubiquity on a global scale (transhumanism, genetic modification, economic monopolisation, media censorship, mass surveillance and centralised global banking) while historically-famous issues continue to go unsolved such as world poverty, third-world debt, income inequality, rampant elitism and possibly most worrying of all, the horrific escalation of autoimmune diseases and various cancers especially in wealthier countries.
The health agenda is a huge elephant in the room that continues being dismissed as a sign of the times and merely an unfortunate side-effect of modern prosperity that affects the minority; but critics claim that “big pharma” is largely responsible for the debilitating health effects wreaking havoc on communities around the world – to the extent that 1 in 3 people will develop cancer in modern “developed” societies.
Conspiracy theory or conspiracy fact?
The definition of ‘conspiracy’ is a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful. By that definition, there are conspiracies currently in progress on millions of street corners, homes and offices globally.
The big kahuna conspiracy accusations being levied at the Bilderberg Group are unlikely to be revealed in a public ‘eureka’ moment simply because such a reveal is deemed impossible.
The world’s media is supposed to be muzzled thereby preventing such a reveal, while a mainstream audience that does not stray from the mainstream narrative will not believe so-called “conspiracy theories” unless they are reported on the TV evening news and in their morning papers.
As former US President Richard Nixon once said, “The American people don’t believe anything until they see it on television.”
Whether it be a conspiracy theory or conspiracy fact, the Bilderberg Group will continue to meet at its discretion, with its attendants being the most elite individuals from world business, politics and royalty.
Meanwhile, the issues the group portends to be discussing (or solving) continue to rumble on causing havoc in societies around the world.
Like it or not, but just like in previous years, conspiracy theorists and realists alike will be picking through scant information coming out from this weekend’s Bilderberg meeting while mainstream media sources will barely report on the event, its attendees or its discussion topics.
Most news sources are likely to report a dismissive narrative that palms off the event as a gloried gentlemen’s club where cigar-toting old fogeys compare their Bentley collections while lording over their superior portfolio management skills.
2018 Bilderberg Group attendee list
CHAIRMAN STEERING COMMITTEE
Castries, Henri de (FRA), Chairman, Institut Montaigne
Achleitner, Paul M. (DEU), Chairman Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG; Treasurer, Foundation Bilderberg Meetings
Agius, Marcus (GBR), Chairman, PA Consulting Group
Alesina, Alberto (ITA), Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Economics, Harvard University
Altman, Roger C. (USA), Founder and Senior Chairman, Evercore
Amorim, Paula (PRT), Chairman, Américo Amorim Group
Anglade, Dominique (CAN), Deputy Premier of Quebec; Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation
Applebaum, Anne (POL), Columnist, Washington Post; Professor of Practice, London School of Economics
Azoulay, Audrey (INT), Director-General, UNESCO
Baker, James H. (USA), Director, Office of Net Assessment, Office of the Secretary of Defense
Barbizet, Patricia (FRA), President, Temaris & Associés
Barroso, José M. Durão (PRT), Chairman, Goldman Sachs International; Former President, European Commission
Beerli, Christine (CHE), Former Vice-President, International Committee of the Red Cross
Berx, Cathy (BEL), Governor, Province of Antwerp
Beurden, Ben van (NLD), CEO, Royal Dutch Shell plc
Blanquer, Jean-Michel (FRA), Minister of National Education, Youth and Community Life
Botín, Ana P. (ESP), Group Executive Chairman, Banco Santander
Bouverot, Anne (FRA), Board Member; Former CEO, Morpho
Brandtzæg, Svein Richard (NOR), President and CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA
Brende, Børge (INT), President, World Economic Forum
Brennan, Eamonn (IRL), Director General, Eurocontrol
Brnabic, Ana (SRB), Prime Minister
Burns, William J. (USA), President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Burwell, Sylvia M. (USA), President, American University
Caracciolo, Lucio (ITA), Editor-in-Chief, Limes
Carney, Mark J. (GBR), Governor, Bank of England
Castries, Henri de (FRA), Chairman, Institut Montaigne; Chairman, Steering Committee Bilderberg Meetings
Cattaneo, Elena (ITA), Director, Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology, University of Milan
Cazeneuve, Bernard (FRA), Partner, August Debouzy; Former Prime Minister
Cebrián, Juan Luis (ESP), Executive Chairman, El País
Champagne, François-Philippe (CAN), Minister of International Trade
Cohen, Jared (USA), Founder and CEO, Jigsaw at Alphabet Inc.
Colao, Vittorio (ITA), CEO, Vodafone Group
Cook, Charles (USA), Political Analyst, The Cook Political Report
Dagdeviren, Canan (TUR), Assistant Professor, MIT Media Lab
Donohoe, Paschal (IRL), Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform
Döpfner, Mathias (DEU), Chairman and CEO, Axel Springer SE
Ecker, Andrea (AUT), Secretary General, Office Federal President of Austria
Elkann, John (ITA), Chairman, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Émié, Bernard (FRA), Director General, Ministry of the Armed Forces
Enders, Thomas (DEU), CEO, Airbus SE
Fallows, James (USA), Writer and Journalist
Ferguson, Jr., Roger W. (USA), President and CEO, TIAA
Ferguson, Niall (USA), Milbank Family Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Fischer, Stanley (USA), Former Vice-Chairman, Federal Reserve; Former Governor, Bank of Israel
Gilvary, Brian (GBR), Group CFO, BP plc
Goldstein, Rebecca (USA), Visiting Professor, New York University
Gruber, Lilli (ITA), Editor-in-Chief and Anchor “Otto e mezzo”, La7 TV
Hajdarowicz, Greg (POL), Founder and President, Gremi International Sarl
Halberstadt, Victor (NLD), Professor of Economics, Leiden University; Chairman Foundation Bilderberg Meetings
Hassabis, Demis (GBR), Co-Founder and CEO, DeepMind
Hedegaard, Connie (DNK), Chair, KR Foundation; Former European Commissioner
Helgesen, Vidar (NOR), Ambassador for the Ocean
Herlin, Antti (FIN), Chairman, KONE Corporation
Hickenlooper, John (USA), Governor of Colorado
Hobson, Mellody (USA), President, Ariel Investments LLC
Hodgson, Christine (GBR), Chairman, Capgemini UK plc
Hoffman, Reid (USA), Co-Founder, LinkedIn; Partner, Greylock Partners
Horowitz, Michael C. (USA), Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania
Hwang, Tim (USA), Director, Harvard-MIT Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative
Ischinger, Wolfgang (INT), Chairman, Munich Security Conference
Jacobs, Kenneth M. (USA), Chairman and CEO, Lazard
Kaag, Sigrid (NLD), Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
Karp, Alex (USA), CEO, Palantir Technologies
Kissinger, Henry A. (USA), Chairman, Kissinger Associates Inc.
Kleinfeld, Klaus (USA), CEO, NEOM
Knot, Klaas H.W. (NLD), President, De Nederlandsche Bank
Koç, Ömer M. (TUR), Chairman, Koç Holding A.S.
Köcher, Renate (DEU), Managing Director, Allensbach Institute for Public Opinion Research
Kotkin, Stephen (USA), Professor in History and International Affairs, Princeton University
Kragic, Danica (SWE), Professor, School of Computer Science and Communication, KTH
Kravis, Henry R. (USA), Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, KKR
Kravis, Marie-Josée (USA), Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute; President, American Friends of Bilderberg
Kudelski, André (CHE), Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group
Lepomäki, Elina (FIN), MP, National Coalition Party
Leyen, Ursula von der (DEU), Federal Minster of Defence
Leysen, Thomas (BEL), Chairman, KBC Group
Makan, Divesh (USA), CEO, ICONIQ Capital
Massolo, Giampiero (ITA), Chairman, Fincantieri Spa.; President, ISPI
Mazzucato, Mariana (ITA), Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value, University College London
Mead, Walter Russell (USA), Distinguished Fellow, Hudson Institute
Michel, Charles (BEL), Prime Minister
Micklethwait, John (USA), Editor-in-Chief, Bloomberg LP
Minton Beddoes, Zanny (GBR), Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
Mitsotakis, Kyriakos (GRC), President, New Democracy Party
Mota, Isabel (PRT), President, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Moyo, Dambisa F. (USA), Global Economist and Author
Mundie, Craig J. (USA), President, Mundie & Associates
Neven, Hartmut (USA), Director of Engineering, Google Inc.
Noonan, Peggy (USA), Author and Columnist, The Wall Street Journal
Oettinger, Günther H. (INT), Commissioner for Budget & Human Resources, European Commission
O’Leary, Michael (IRL), CEO, Ryanair D.A.C.
O’Neill, Onora (GBR), Emeritus Honorary Professor in Philosophy, University of Cambridge
Osborne, George (GBR), Editor, London Evening Standard
Özkan, Behlül (TUR), Associate Professor in International Relations, Marmara University
Papalexopoulos, Dimitri (GRC), CEO, Titan Cement Company S.A.
Parolin, H.E. Pietro (VAT), Cardinal and Secretary of State
Patino, Bruno (FRA), Chief Content Officer, Arte France TV
Petraeus, David H. (USA), Chairman, KKR Global Institute
Pichette, Patrick (CAN), General Partner, iNovia Capital
Pouyanné, Patrick (FRA), Chairman and CEO, Total S.A.
Pring, Benjamin (USA), Co-Founder and Managing Director, Center for the Future of Work
Rankka, Maria (SWE), CEO, Stockholm Chamber of Commerce
Ratas, Jüri (EST), Prime Minister
Rendi-Wagner, Pamela (AUT), MP (SPÖ); Former Minister of Health
Rivera Díaz, Albert (ESP), President, Ciudadanos Party
Rossi, Salvatore (ITA), Senior Deputy Governor, Bank of Italy
Rubesa, Baiba A. (LVA), CEO, RB Rail AS
Rubin, Robert E. (USA), Co-Chairman Emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Treasury Secretary
Rudd, Amber (GBR), MP; Former Secretary of State, Home Department
Rutte, Mark (NLD), Prime Minister
Sabia, Michael (CAN), President and CEO, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Sadjadpour, Karim (USA), Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Sáenz de Santamaría, Soraya (ESP), Deputy Prime Minister
Sawers, John (GBR), Chairman and Partner, Macro Advisory Partners
Schadlow, Nadia (USA), Former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy
Schneider-Ammann, Johann N. (CHE), Federal Councillor
Scholten, Rudolf (AUT), President, Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue
Sikorski, Radoslaw (POL), Senior Fellow, Harvard University; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Poland
Simsek, Mehmet (TUR), Deputy Prime Minister
Skartveit, Hanne (NOR), Political Editor, Verdens Gang
Stoltenberg, Jens (INT), Secretary General, NATO
Summers, Lawrence H. (USA), Charles W. Eliot University Professor, Harvard University
Thiel, Peter (USA), President, Thiel Capital
Topsøe, Jakob Haldor (DNK), Chairman, Haldor Topsøe Holding A/S
Turpin, Matthew (USA), Director for China, National Security Council
Wahlroos, Björn (FIN), Chairman, Sampo Group, Nordea Bank, UPM-Kymmene Corporation
Wallenberg, Marcus (SWE), Chairman, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB
Woods, Ngaire (GBR), Dean, Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University
Yetkin, Murat (TUR), Editor-in-chief, Hürriyet Daily News
Zeiler, Gerhard (AUT), President, Turner International
Connecting the dots
The Bilderberg Group’s connections to governments, major corporations and global think tanks (click on image to enlarge):