The Bilderberg meetings

I thought that secret clubs only existed in elementary schools. This isn’t the case with the Bilderberg Group, an exclusive club that was established in May 1954. The main difference between the lives of first grade kids and Bilderberg Group members is that school-aged children cannot afford fleets of limos with tinted-windows, fancy hotel accommodations and intimidating bodyguards.

The name of the Bilderberg Group is taken from a hotel in Holland where their first meeting was held. Almost every year, since this initial conference, a different city has hosted the event. The orginizations’ website says about 120 people participate in the annual conference — the list of participants only includes those people who are OK with their name being released to the public. For example, it is apparently well documented that Tony Blair attended a Bilderberg Group meeting but he has denied any involvement. Approximately two-thirds of the participants come from Europe, the remainder from North America. Furthermore, about one-third of the participants are government officials and politicians while the rest have careers in finance, industry, labour, education and communications. A steering committee selects those who will be a part of the annual meeting. The steering committee also prepares the program for the conference, resulting in many (even more secret) meetings throughout the year.

What exactly happens during the annual Bilderberg Group meeting? To be frank: no one outside of those who attend really knows. The newly created Bilderberg Group website (don’t get too excited: the small amount of “information” is quite repetitive and provides little real explanation), describes that the beginning of the conference stemmed from a growing concern that Western Europe and North America were not cooperatively working together on “common problems of critical importance.” Common problems, critical importance — can you get any more vague? Essentially, the website says that the meetings try to be a place where informal and off-the-record discussions about world issues can take place. This is fair enough, but why such secrecy?

To say that the conference has a strong security presence is an understatement. Charlie Skelton, a writer for The Gaurdian, certainly noticed the security in May 2009, when he was put on assignment to cover the conference in Athens, Greece. Instead of eating humus and touring beaches during his off time, Skelton was followed by plainclothes cops and detained, twice.

To me, all the security seems like a way for the global elite to illustrate how powerful they are. In my opinion, the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group meetings seems to say: “We are so powerful that we are invited to these meetings and we don’t have to tell you about it because you do not deserve to know.” Maybe I’m being a tad dramatic but it is a little frustrating. Skelton tries to explain this frustration, writing: “perhaps the problem is not that people are meeting up. If there’s a problem at all, it’s whether or not there is a coherent global agenda.”

The group’s website insists that no votes are taken, no resolutions are made, and no policy statements are issued. It also says that the privacy of the meetings has no purpose other than enabling participants to speak freely. Whether these statements are true or not, the one kilometre radius of bodyguards surrounding the hotel seems a little ridiculous.