The Bilderberg Group is an annual conference of influential persons in business, politics, and the media. Each year, they meet in Europe, though every fourth year, they meet in Canada or the USA. Their name comes from the Bilderberg Hotel in the Netherlands, the site of their first meeting in 1954.
The original members met to promote understanding of North American and European cultures, with an eye towards fostering better relations. Membership is restricted to two invitees per country, one leaning politically to the left while the other leans to the right. This keeps the number of attendees quite low – often, no more than 100.
Those who attend the Bilderberg conferences are each powerhouses in their own right. Press barons, royalty, prime ministers and other political leaders, defense experts, and international bankers all get involved. Donald Rumsfeld is active in the Bilderberg Group, as was former US Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz.
In all, it is a conference of powerful (mostly) men, gathering to talk about areas of common concern to their nations. However, the extreme secrecy of the meetings, not to mention the power already wielded by the attendees, has led to many accusations of conspiracy.
Originally, the conference meant to foster better understanding between North America and Europe. While the location of each meeting is public knowledge, what happens during those meetings is kept strictly quiet. Members are expected to maintain a code of secrecy, and what is discussed is never released to the media or the public.
For this reason, the Bilderberg Group has been the centre of several conspiracy theories. Opponents accuse the Group of developing a New World Order. Alex Jones, a researcher and radio host, accuses the Bilderberg Group of attempting to destroy governments as we know them, replacing them with a single structure of government and trade. The sovereignty of each nation will be lost, he claims, and all Europe and North America will be controlled by one government.
Alex Jones is not alone in making these claims. Madrid-based writer Daniel Estulin accuses the Bilderberg Group of trying to create a new society in which the planet is regulated by a United World Army, regulated financially by one large bank, and where the population is microchipped so the government can monitor our every move.
Of course, the Bilderberg Group vehemently denies any accusations of conspiracy or double-dealings. Denis Healey, a founder of Bilderberg, dismisses these theories as “crap”. According to his claims, Bilderberg is for discussion, and not a method of reaching a consensus. A British newspaper published information on the 1999 meeting of the Bilderbergers. No evidence of conspiracy was found.
Whether the Bilderberg is a benign “discussion group”, or a more dangerous capitalist secret society bent on achieving world domination continues to be hotly debated. Until more evidence is found, the possibility of a conspiracy cannot be ignored.