The Bilderberg Group: Puppet Master of World Leaders
The Birth of Bilderberg
From May 29 to May 31, 1954, the very first meeting of the Bilderberg Group was held in the structure from which its name is derived, the Hotel de Bilderberg, near Arnhem in the Netherlands. Initiated by Polish political advisor Józef Retinger, the Group's professed inaugural aim was to combat growing anti-Americanism and to forestall the future growth of any political entity that could threaten the world, as Nazi Germany had done so recently. The Group was promoted by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands; the head of multinational food, beverage and cosmetics producer Unilever, Paul Rijkens; and in the United States by Walter Bedell Smith, then head of the CIA. Fifty delegates from 11 Western European countries attended the first conference along with 11 Americans. Like Noah's Ark, the goal of the Group was to have one liberal and one conservative attendee from each participating country, so that a broad political spectrum would be represented.
The first Bilderberg Group discussed the issues of the day—the rise of Communism, the rebuilding of Europe and how a future world war might be avoided. The meeting was thought so successful that Retinger, now acting as permanent Secretary, decided the Group should gather annually.
Each year, about 130 guests converge on a different location to participate in the Bilderberg Group. The list of past attendees is the crème de la crème of international politics, industry, media and energy. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford attended in 1991 and 1996, respectively. Other attendees have included Senators Sam Nunn and John Edwards; Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice; Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair; the King of Spain and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands; editors from The New York Times and Washington Post; Bill Gates; the heads of IBM, BP, Shell Oil and Barclays Bank; and Ben Bernake, Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
The food is rumored to be spectacular.
The Bilderberg Group issues no official press releases, has no website and does not comment on its past or present attendees. The media is not invited to any of its meetings and even though minutes are recorded, they are strictly confidential. All proceedings take place according to Chatham House rules, a measure which provides anonymity to speakers even within the confidential meeting minutes.