Originally posted at Occupy.com
This is the first instalment in a series examining the activities and individuals behind the Bilderberg Group.
Meet the Bilderberg Group – an annual gathering of 130 of the Western world’s top financial, corporate, political, academic, media, military and policy elites, held every year since 1954.
They meet behind closed doors, at five-star hotels, where participants are encouraged to speak frankly – meaning ‘off the record’ and away from the prying eyes and piercing ears of the public. Some journalists and media executives are invited, but they don’t actually cover the meetings: they simply attend them as guests.
The famous exclusivity and secrecy of the Bilderberg Group, we are told, is designed to encourage frank and open discussions among some of the most influential people in North America and Western Europe. But unlike its portrayal as a place where powerful people simply ‘talk shop,’ critics for years have considered the meetings a form of secret world government, and a shadowy cabal.
The truth, as it often is, rests somewhere between these extremes.
Bilderberg is a meeting of the movers and shakers, the managers and policy-makers, the plutocrats, technocrats, financiers and imperialists of the North Atlantic powers. Its original purpose was to provide a forum where Western European elites could meet in private with American officials to encourage the strengthening of the ‘Atlantic Alliance.’ The forum has provided the geopolitical and economic framework for behind-the-scenes collaboration and cooperation between the major NATO powers.
Founding members of the group in 1954 included Joseph Retinger, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, and David Rockefeller of the United States. Named after the Hotel de Bilderberg in the Netherlands, where the first conference took place, attendees decided to hold a conference annually with locations rotating between Europe and North America. In its early years, much of the funding for the group came from the CIA and American philanthropic foundations such as the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation.
This post was published at Lew Rockwell on November 27, 2014.