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The annual meeting of royalty, politicians, business moguls and academics known as the Bilderberg Conference is set to take place later this week. This year's confab will run from June 9th to the 12th at the Grand Hotel Kempinski in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
The conference is a yearly get-together of 130 of the who's who of Europe and North America, from David Rockefeller to Josef Ackermann to Queen Beatrix. The group, which takes its name from the name of the hotel where the first meeting was held, has traditionally convened under a media blackout, with those members of the press and media moguls in attendance agreeing to forego reporting on the proceedings.
Since the group's founding in 1954, a handful of researchers and independent journalists have worked to expose the group and its activities, but it is only with the rise of the online alternative media that Bilderberg has come to mainstream attention.
The organization has had to become more open in recent years, and now operates an official website, BilderbergMeetings.org, which lists the group's steering committee membership, agenda of past meetings, and press releases repeating the official justification for the group's secrecy:
"Bilderberg is a small, flexible, informal and off-the-record international forum in which different viewpoints can be expressed and mutual understanding enhanced," notes the official press release from the 2010 press conference, before adding "At the meetings, no resolutions are proposed, no votes taken, and no policy statements issued"all participants attend Bilderberg in a private and not an official capacity."
The description is not merely a reflection of the group's modesty. As the annual meeting brings together heads of state, finance and defence ministers, state governors and other elected representatives with private business moguls, attendees are generally breaking the laws of their respective countries in engaging in the conference. Under the Logan Act, for instance, it is a crime for any US citizen to negotiate with a foreign nation on the USA's behalf.
As a gathering of some of the richest and most influential people on the planet, the conference is a lightning rod for criticism and speculation about the group's true purpose. This speculation is not unfounded, as investigative journalists like Jim Tucker and Daniel Estulin have been able to predict numerous world events from discussions that their sources were able to smuggle out of past conferences. Such instances include:
Jim Tucker's successful 2002 prediction based on Bilderberg intel that the Iraq War would be launched in March of 2003.
Daniel Estulin's on-camera revelation from the 2006 conference that the Bilderberg members were planning to pop the housing bubble later that year to precipitate a general banking crisis
And Jim Tucker's 2009 prediction that Bilderberg were going to use the financial crisis to work behind the scenes on the construction of a closer North American governmental integration, something that was once again confirmed by newly-revealed Canadian diplomatic cables detailing how lawmakers have been quietly working on just such an integration for years.
In 1991, a then-unknown governor of Arkansas was invited to attend Bilderberg, the year before becoming President of the United States.
In 1993, Tony Blair attended the Bilderberg meeting in Athens, Greece. The next year, he was appointed leader of the Labour party.
On the campaign trail in 2008, Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama disappeared for a secret meeting near Washington. Their private limos were seen entering the Chantilly, Virginia hotel where the Bilderberg meeting was taking place that same day.
Earlier this week I talked to Andrew Marshall, a research associate at the Centre for Research on Globalization, about this year's conference, and the significance of the Bilderberg meetings.
In recent years, mainstream news outlets that have been forced to address the increasingly infamous meetings have resorted to downplaying the meeting's significance, stressing that no decisions are made at the conference and policy is not set there.
This year, the Swedish news outlet TheLocal.se has been the first major outlet to address the meeting. In a piece entitled "Debunking the mystique of the Bilderberg Group," the website quotes a Sweden-based academic who has written a new book on the subject attempting to dismiss the idea that anything of importance is actually discussed behind closed doors.
"To suggest that they [the Bilderbergers] are consciously coming together to agree on objectives to change the world is wrong," Dr. Ian Richardson is quotes as saying in the article.
This claim is particularly puzzling given the repeated admissions and revelations that the group has demonstrably been working toward consciously shaping international policy and using their members' influence to implement their policy objectives.
Leaked documents (password: "dynbase") from the second-ever Bilderberg conference in 1955 reveal that even at that time Bilderberg was devoted to the creation of a European Union and a single European currency. Two years later the Treaty of Rome, now officially regarded as the birth of the European Union, was signed into existence by, among others, Bilderberg attendee Paul-Henri Spaak.
In March of 2009, former EU commissioner and current Bilderberg Steering Committee Chairman Etienne Davignon admitted to the EU Observer that Bilderberg had been instrumental in creating the Euro currency in the 1990s.
Just last year, former NATO Secretary-General and two-time Bilderberg attendee Willy Claes admitted that Bilderberg attendees are expected to use reports from Bilderberg meetings to set policies in their respective countries.
Despite all of this evidence to the contrary, look for more mainstream news reports in the coming days dismissing all talk of the importance of the Bilderberg conference as conspiracy theory.