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Bilderberg 2016: It’s not a conspiracy of the global superelite. It’s a summer school for the influential, say organisers

Bilderberg Conference is not about plotting world domination - says Bilderberg spokesman

Published 09/06/2016

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Policemen guard a rally initiated by the right-wing NPD (National Democratic Party of Germany) against the Bilderberg conference in Dresden, eastern Germany, Thursday, June 9, 2016. The words besides the German flag read: 'Peace, Freedom'. Between 9 and 12 June, the Hotel Taschenbergpalais hosts the Bilderberg conference, where politicians, business leaders, academics and media representatives discuss world affairs behind closed doors. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: British Labour MP Helen Goodman arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Policemen walk in front of the Hotel Taschenbergpalais in Dresden, eastern Germany, Thursday, June 9, 2016. Between 9 and 12 June, the Hotel Taschenbergpalais hosts the Bilderberg conference, where politicians, business leaders, academics and media representatives discuss world affairs behind closed doors. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Dutch politician Sharon Dijksma arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Supporters hold German flags during a rally initiated by the right-wing NPD (National Democratic Party of Germany) against the Bilderberg conference in Dresden, eastern Germany, Thursday, June 9, 2016. Between 9 and 12 June, the Hotel Taschenbergpalais hosts the Bilderberg conference, where politicians, business leaders, academics and media representatives discuss world affairs behind closed doors. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Marta Dassu of the Aspen Institute arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Historian Niall Ferguson arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Entrepeneur Peter Thiel arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Patricia Barbizet, CEO of Artemis, arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Historian Niall Ferguson arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Police and onlookers stand outside the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden on the first day of the Bilderberg Group gathering on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Police speak to a man they deemed as suspicious outside the venue of the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. Dresden is hosting the Bilderberg gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Swedish industrialist Jacob Wallenberg arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Martin Wolf of the Financial Times arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Ulrik Federspiel, Group Executive von Haldor Topsoe A/S, arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Rudolf Scholten, General Director of Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG, arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
John Elkann, Chairman of Fiat Chrysler, arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator, arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Andre Kudelski, CEO of the Kudelski Group, arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Ben van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Peace activists with a banner that reads: "Why aren't we allowed to know? Bilderberger - amongst themselves and silent since 1954" maintain a vigil near the venue of the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Thomas Enders, CEO of Airbus Group, arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Pedestrians walk along a barricade, which was erected around the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden on June 7, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Matthias Rietschel/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Vernon Jordan, Senior Managing Director of Lazard Freres, arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 07: The Dresden Royal Castle is reflected in a placard of the hotel outside the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden on June 7, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is scheduled to host the June 9-12 Bilderberg Group conference, which brings together prominent global players from politics, finance, defense, industry, academics and media for four days of private meetings. (Photo by Matthias Rietschel/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 07: Employees of a construction company erect a barricade outside the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden on June 7, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is scheduled to host the June 9-12 Bilderberg Group conference, which brings together prominent global players from politics, finance, defense, industry, academics and media for four days of private meetings. (Photo by Matthias Rietschel/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 07: Pedestrians walk along a barricade, which was erected around the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden on June 7, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is scheduled to host the June 9-12 Bilderberg Group conference, which brings together prominent global players from politics, finance, defense, industry, academics and media for four days of private meetings. (Photo by Matthias Rietschel/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: A policeman stands outside the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden as a limousine drives past on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 07: Members of the public stand outside the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden on June 7, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is scheduled to host the June 9-12 Bilderberg Group conference, which brings together prominent global players from politics, finance, defense, industry, academics and media for four days of private meetings. (Photo by Matthias Rietschel/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Police stand among parked police vans near the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Police stand outside the fenced-off Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Peace activists with a banner showing German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Interioer Minister Thoma de Maiziere prepare their stand for a vigil near the venue of the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. Dresden is hosting the Bilderberg gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Vernon Jordan, Senior Managing Director of Lazard Freres, arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
People walk among the word "Love" drawn on steps in the historic city center near the venue of the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: A protester who is holding a sign that reads: "Satan wants to win." walks outside the venue of the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. Dresden is hosting the Bilderberg gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Protesters stand outside the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden, venue of the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference, on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: A protester's sign makes clear what she thinks about the New World Order near the venue of the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. Dresden is hosting the Bilderberg gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Yasmine Kherbache, MP of the Flemish Paliament, arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
ose Manuel Barroso, former President of the European Commission, arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: Juan Luis Cebrian, CEO of Spanish media company Prisa, arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JUNE 09: British financier Marcus Agius arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. The Taschenbergpalais is hosting the 2016 Bilderberg Group gathering that will bring together 130 leading international players from politics, industry, finance, academia and media to discuss globally-relevant issues from today until June 12. A wide spectrum of groups have announced protests to be held nearby. Critics charge the secretive nature of the Bilderberg Group annual meetings is undemocratic. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

No minutes of the 2016 Bilderberg Conference in Dresden will be taken. Tight security will be provided by the German police, with logistical support from Airbus, one of the world’s biggest arms dealers.

No reporters will be allowed into the Taschenbergpalais Hotel in Dresden to hear what Henry Kissinger says to the Goldman Sachs board member as the prime ministers, financiers, oil executives, and former heads of the CIA and MI6 add their thoughts.

But it’s not a conspiracy of the global superelite.  It’s just a three-day “summer school for the influential.”

And that’s the truth, because we've been told it, by none other than one of the Bilderberg Group’s own spokespeople.

Rather incredibly for an organisation that states – or understates – that it has “never sought any public attention”, spokespeople for it actually exist.  Although they seem to prefer giving information ‘for background’ rather than for, you know, quoting.

They also seem to spend most of their time denying rumours: Trump is coming to Bilderberg, Bilderberg is going to stop Trump, that sort of thing.  One of the favourite “hardy annuals” is the story about a guy looking in a dustbin and finding the real Bilderberg agenda, the one with global domination as item number one.

But it’s not true, because the Bilderberg spokesman told us.

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This year’s agenda, he said, will include China, Europe, migration, the Middle East, Russia and the “geo-politics of energy and commodity prices”.

It will NOT, apparently, include global domination, fixing who becomes US president, and planning wars – as has been alleged over the Kosovo conflict.  That’s not what Bilderberg is about, the charming spokesman assured us.

Peace activists with a banner that reads:
Peace activists with a banner that reads: "Why aren't we allowed to know? Bilderberger - amongst themselves and silent since 1954" maintain a vigil near the venue of the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

“One German political magazine called it ‘a summer school for the influential’,” he said, “Which was an interesting way of looking at it.

 “The participants can come here for three or four days and learn about geopolitics, technology, megatrends.

“It’s a place to gain insights and gather information.”

ose Manuel Barroso, former President of the European Commission, arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
ose Manuel Barroso, former President of the European Commission, arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

And yet those rumours will keep coming.

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Especially this year, with a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU looming.  And with Bilderberg chairman Count Henri de Castries, he of the castle in Anjou, the top role in global insurance giant AXA, and the final say on who is invited and who is left behind the security barrier, telling the Financial Times in January that Brexit, combined with an unreformed EU would be a “disaster for everyone.”

People walk among the word
People walk among the word "Love" drawn on steps in the historic city center near the venue of the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

No wonder Conservative MP and Brexit enthusiast Philip Hollobone, perhaps aware of George Osborne’s presence at Bilderberg 2015, decided to ask questions in the House in March.

 “How can it be in any way acceptable for members of Her Majesty’s Government to encourage foreign Heads of State to comment on the EU referendum?” he demanded.  “Does this not demonstrate the fact that the international Bilderberg group is ganging up against the British people?”

A close reading of the internet suggests quite a few of ‘the people’ agreed with him. 

Protesters stand outside the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden, venue of the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference, on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Protesters stand outside the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden, venue of the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference, on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

In fact it almost seems the conspiracy theories started the moment the first Bilderberg meeting was held in 1954, in the Hotel de Bilderberg in the Dutch village of Oosterbeck.

It probably didn’t help that one of the driving forces in these “informal discussions designed to foster dialogue between Europe and North America” was Józef Retinger, a Sorbonne-educated Pole who was a leading light in the European Movement that inspired the creation of the EU.

And if Retinger really wanted to stop the conspiracy theorists, he probably shouldn’t have asked Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands to help out with the meetings.

Ben van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Ben van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, arrives at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden for the 2016 Bilderberg Group conference on June 9, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Prince Bernhard may have gone to his grave swearing he had never been a committed Nazi, with his party membership while at a Berlin university in the early 1930s being explained by a desire to evade Nazi tests imposed on students.  He may also have subsequently fled to England and flown bombing missions against Nazi Germany.  But try telling that to the internet.

And on the very, very rare occasions that Bilderbergers talk to journalists about Bilderberg, their comments can seem a little … too illuminating.  (Although for the avoidance of doubt, that’s illuminating not Illuminati.)

When Denis Healey, ex-Labour Chancellor, Bilderberg founder and 30 years a steering committee member, spoke to Jon Ronson, the author of Them: Adventures With Extremists, he said: “To say we were striving for a one-world government is exaggerated, but not wholly unfair.

Pedestrians walk along a barricade, which was erected around the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden on June 7, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Matthias Rietschel/Getty Images)
Pedestrians walk along a barricade, which was erected around the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden on June 7, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Matthias Rietschel/Getty Images)

“Those of us in Bilderberg felt we couldn't go on forever fighting one another for nothing and killing people. So we felt that a single community throughout the world would be a good thing."

In remarks that get fewer Google hits, Healey did also say that Ronson’s suggestion of a conspiracy was "Idiocy! Crap!”

“I've never heard such crap!” he added.  “That isn't a conspiracy! That is the world. It is the way things are done.  And quite rightly so."

Then again, Healey did also tell Ronson to “f*** off” when he asked to see the photos the Labour grandee had taken of all his Bilderberg trips.

Intriguingly, Healey mentioned that when it came to how the steering committee proposed invitees: “We make a point of getting along younger politicians who are obviously rising, to bring them together with financiers and industrialists who offer them wise words. It increases the chance of having a sensible global policy."

And look what happened to those young hopeful who went to Bilderberg and learned from financiers and industrialists what sensible global policy looks like:  Margaret Thatcher allegedly impressed David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger at Bilderberg 1975, and became PM in 1979.

Bill Clinton was but a humble governor of Arkansas when he attended Bilderberg 1991.  He was elected US President a year later. And then there’s globe-trottin’, dictator advisin’ Tony Blair: Bilderberg attendee 1993, PM 1997.

Pure coincidence, The Independent was assured.  For every hopeful who made it to the top job, you could find two who went nowhere.  And when we suggested that the two who went nowhere did so because they failed to please Bilderberg’s financiers and industrialists, the smooth-talking spokesman just laughed.

“Oh, come on!” he said.

Which just left surely the greatest Bilderberg revelation of them all.  The bombshell was dropped in 2013.  That year the global superelite converged not on Washington, not on Wall Street or Westminster, but on Watford.

Despite what you might have thought, Watford, Hertfordshire, was – judging by the private helicopters and limousines converging on the Grove Hotel spa and golf resort – the epicentre of world domination.

Or maybe not.

 “The hotel just had really good facilities,” the spokesman assured us.  “There’s no exciting explanation.”

Of course there isn’t.  Is there?

Bilderberg 2016: Who is attending?

The Bilderberg organisers have released a list those who will be present from June 9-12 for a three-day meeting chaired by a French count (and chairman of the global insurance giant AXA), who likes to spend his weekends at his castle in Anjou.   

Among 126 participants discussing an agenda that – we are also told – will include China, Europe, migration, the Middle East, Russia and the “geo-politics of energy and commodity prices”, will be Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, and Jose Manuel Barroso, the former president of the European Commission.

Unlike last year, British Chancellor George Osborne will not be present.  Although Michael O’Leary, the controversial CEO of Ryanair will.

It might also be worth paying attention to the future fortunes of attendees who  seem obscure.  Bill Clinton was a conference attendee in 1991, as a mere governor of Arkansas, a year before he was elected US President.  Tony Blair was only a shadow minister when he got his invitation – (you can’t apply to attend, you must be invited) – in 1993.  Conference organisers have previously insisted there is no conspiracy to crowbar their chosen people into top jobs, they just have excellent talent spotters.

But for now, the more eye-catching Bilderberg attendees due to be rubbing shoulders with senior representatives of Deutsche Bank, the European Central Bank and Lazard – as well as oil giants Shell and BP - will be:

Henri de Castries

When he is not at his home on the Boulevard Saint-Germain, on Paris’ left bank, Henri de Castries, who will be the chairman of the 2016 Bilderberg Conference, can, according to the left-leaning French newspaper Libération, often be found relaxing in his castle in rural Anjou.

Libération described the 61-year-old fifth Count of Castries as a “highbrow” member of a family whose ancestors fought in the Crusades in the 11th and 13th Century.

Continuing the military tradition, his father Comte François de La Croix de Castries reportedly served as a soldier in Korea – as well as the more controversial colonial theatres of French Indochina and Algeria.

The Bilderberg Conference chairman, however, chose a civilian career, attending the École Nationale d'Administration, (ENA) the ‘Grande École’ often regarded as a factory for producing future French prime ministers and presidents including Jacques Chirac, Francois Hollande and Alain Juppé – (who was listed as an attendee at last year’s Bilderberg Conference.)

After ENA, Mr de Castries audited on behalf of the Minister of Finances of France and became a member of the French Treasury in 1984, where he participated in the privatisations initiated by the Chirac government.

He joined AXA in 1989 and in May 2000 he became chairman and chief executive of the Paris-based global insurance group, which is thought to have assets of 552 billion euros (£430 billion.)

Sir John Sawers

Sir John is listed by the Bilderberg organisers as “Chairman and Partner, Macro Advisory Partners”, a consultancy that according to its website provides corporations and governments with “strategic insights to navigate the intersection of global markets, geopolitics and government policy.”

Sir John is also a former head of the Secret Intelligence Service MI6. Prior to heading MI6 between 2009 and 2014, Sir John was Foreign Policy Advisor to Tony Blair from 1999 to 2001 and Political Director of the Foreign Office (2003-7). 

He also spent three months in Baghdad in 2003 as Britain’s Special Representative to Iraq, helping to establish the country’s transitional government after the invasion.

In May 2015 the oil and gas giant BP appointed Sir John to its board – on what was reported to have been a £90,000 salary.

It was thought he had been brought in to help BP deal with difficult political environments in some of the countries in which it operated.

BP’s chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, said Sir John “brings extensive experience of international affairs and geopolitics”.

BP will also be represented at the Bilderberg meeting by Robert Dudley, its group chief executive.

David Petraeus

Listed on the Bilderberg website as “Chairman, KKR Global Institute”, Mr Petraeus is also a former director of the CIA.

Appointed by Geroge W Bush as the general commanding the multinational force in Iraq in 2007, he orchestrated what became known as ‘the surge’, bringing in 30,000 more troops to the country in a move which appeared to quell the insurgency there.

An expert in counter-insurgency, he was made director of the CIA by Barack Obama in 2011.  He resigned, however, in November 2012 after it was reported that he had had an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell.

James A Johnson

He’s listed by the Bilderberg organisers as “Chairman, Johnson Capital Partners.” 

He also happens to be a long-serving Goldman Sachs board member who has been called “Washington DC’s Medici” – a reference to Italy’s Medici family, the so-called “Godfathers of the Renaissance” who produced three popes, prospered in banking and sponsored the arts.

In 2008 it was reported that Mr Johnson was vetting Barack Obama’s potential vice-presidential candidates, as he had chosen running mates for Walter Mondale in 1984, and John Kerry in 2004.

As well as setting up a commercial strategy consultancy with former US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke, Mr Johnson, 72, served as chairman and chief executive to the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) between 1991 and 1998.

His salary was reported to have been $21 million (£14.5 million) by the time he left Fannie Mae – ten years before, at the height of the global economic crisis of 2008, it had to be taken over by the US government.

Atlantic Magazine once described Mr Johnson as “famously reluctant to talk to the Press, which is one reason why he has become a trusted advisor to so many politicians.”

Cartsen Kengeter

As the CEO of the Deutsche Börse, Mr Kengeter will become a leading figure in one of the most important financial institutions in the world when the merger between the Börse and the London Stock Exchange is completed at the end of this year or in early 2017.

With the London Stock Exchange Group already owning the Milan-based Borsa Italia, the planned merger – announced in February - will create one of the world’s largest exchange companies with a combined value thought to be in the region of £21 billion.

Deutsche Börse shareholders will own 54.4 per cent of the new holding company UK TopCo.   Reporting on the merger, The Financial Times described it as evidence of “an ambitious expansion strategy” devised by Mr Kengeter, a 49-year-old the newspaper described as “a starkly ambitious former Goldman Sachs banker who pursues extreme skiing in his spare time.”

Source: Adam Lusher / Independent

Bilderberg 2016: Full list of attendees

CHAIRMAN

Castries, Henri de (FRA), Chairman and CEO, AXA Group

 

Aboutaleb, Ahmed (NLD), Mayor, City of Rotterdam

Achleitner, Paul M. (DEU), Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG

Agius, Marcus (GBR), Chairman, PA Consulting Group

Ahrenkiel, Thomas (DNK), Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence

Albuquerque, Maria Luís (PRT), Former Minister of Finance; MP, Social Democratic Party

Alierta, César (ESP), Executive Chairman and CEO, Telefónica

Altman, Roger C. (USA), Executive Chairman, Evercore

Altman, Sam (USA), President, Y Combinator

Andersson, Magdalena (SWE), Minister of Finance

Applebaum, Anne (USA), Columnist Washington Post; Director of the Transitions Forum, Legatum Institute

Apunen, Matti (FIN), Director, Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA

Aydin-Düzgit, Senem (TUR), Associate Professor and Jean Monnet Chair, Istanbul Bilgi University

Barbizet, Patricia (FRA), CEO, Artemis

Barroso, José M. Durão (PRT), Former President of the European Commission

Baverez, Nicolas (FRA), Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

Bengio, Yoshua (CAN), Professor in Computer Science and Operations Research, University of Montreal

Benko, René (AUT), Founder and Chairman of the Advisory Board, SIGNA Holding GmbH

Bernabè, Franco (ITA), Chairman, CartaSi S.p.A.

Beurden, Ben van (NLD), CEO, Royal Dutch Shell plc

Blanchard, Olivier (FRA), Fred Bergsten Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute

Botín, Ana P. (ESP), Executive Chairman, Banco Santander

Brandtzæg, Svein Richard (NOR), President and CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA

Breedlove, Philip M. (INT), Former Supreme Allied Commander Europe

Brende, Børge (NOR), Minister of Foreign Affairs

Burns, William J. (USA), President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Cebrián, Juan Luis (ESP), Executive Chairman, PRISA and El País

Charpentier, Emmanuelle (FRA), Director, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology

Coeuré, Benoît (INT), Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank

Costamagna, Claudio (ITA), Chairman, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti S.p.A.

Cote, David M. (USA), Chairman and CEO, Honeywell

Cryan, John (DEU), CEO, Deutsche Bank AG

Dassù, Marta (ITA), Senior Director, European Affairs, Aspen Institute

Dijksma, Sharon A.M. (NLD), Minister for the Environment

Döpfner, Mathias (DEU), CEO, Axel Springer SE

Dyvig, Christian (DNK), Chairman, Kompan

Ebeling, Thomas (DEU), CEO, ProSiebenSat.1

Elkann, John (ITA), Chairman and CEO, EXOR; Chairman, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Enders, Thomas (DEU), CEO, Airbus Group

Engel, Richard (USA), Chief Foreign Correspondent, NBC News

Fabius, Laurent (FRA), President, Constitutional Council

Federspiel, Ulrik (DNK), Group Executive, Haldor Topsøe A/S

Ferguson, Jr., Roger W. (USA), President and CEO, TIAA

Ferguson, Niall (USA), Professor of History, Harvard University

Flint, Douglas J. (GBR), Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings plc

Garicano, Luis (ESP), Professor of Economics, LSE; Senior Advisor to Ciudadanos

Georgieva, Kristalina (INT), Vice President, European Commission

Gernelle, Etienne (FRA), Editorial Director, Le Point

Gomes da Silva, Carlos (PRT), Vice Chairman and CEO, Galp Energia

Goodman, Helen (GBR), MP, Labour Party

Goulard, Sylvie (INT), Member of the European Parliament

Graham, Lindsey (USA), Senator

Grillo, Ulrich (DEU), Chairman, Grillo-Werke AG; President, Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie

Gruber, Lilli (ITA), Editor-in-Chief and Anchor “Otto e mezzo”, La7 TV

Hadfield, Chris (CAN), Colonel, Astronaut

Halberstadt, Victor (NLD), Professor of Economics, Leiden University

Harding, Dido (GBR), CEO, TalkTalk Telecom Group plc

Hassabis, Demis (GBR), Co-Founder and CEO, DeepMind

Hobson, Mellody (USA), President, Ariel Investment, LLC

Hoffman, Reid (USA), Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, LinkedIn

Höttges, Timotheus (DEU), CEO, Deutsche Telekom AG

Jacobs, Kenneth M. (USA), Chairman and CEO, Lazard

Jäkel, Julia (DEU), CEO, Gruner + Jahr

Johnson, James A. (USA), Chairman, Johnson Capital Partners

Jonsson, Conni (SWE), Founder and Chairman, EQT

Jordan, Jr., Vernon E. (USA), Senior Managing Director, Lazard Frères & Co. LLC

Kaeser, Joe (DEU), President and CEO, Siemens AG

Karp, Alex (USA), CEO, Palantir Technologies

Kengeter, Carsten (DEU), CEO, Deutsche Börse AG

Kerr, John (GBR), Deputy Chairman, Scottish Power

Kherbache, Yasmine (BEL), MP, Flemish Parliament

Kissinger, Henry A. (USA), Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.

Kleinfeld, Klaus (USA), Chairman and CEO, Alcoa

Kravis, Henry R. (USA), Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

Kravis, Marie-Josée (USA), Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute

Kudelski, André (CHE), Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group

Lagarde, Christine (INT), Managing Director, International Monetary Fund

Levin, Richard (USA), CEO, Coursera

Leyen, Ursula von der (DEU), Minister of Defence

Leysen, Thomas (BEL), Chairman, KBC Group

Logothetis, George (GRC), Chairman and CEO, Libra Group

Maizière, Thomas de (DEU), Minister of the Interior, Federal Ministry of the Interior

Makan, Divesh (USA), CEO, ICONIQ Capital

Malcomson, Scott (USA), Author; President, Monere Ltd.

Markwalder, Christa (CHE), President of the National Council and the Federal Assembly

McArdle, Megan (USA), Columnist, Bloomberg View

Michel, Charles (BEL), Prime Minister

Micklethwait, John (USA), Editor-in-Chief, Bloomberg LP

Minton Beddoes, Zanny (GBR), Editor-in-Chief, The Economist

Mitsotakis, Kyriakos (GRC), President, New Democracy Party

Morneau, Bill (CAN), Minister of Finance

Mundie, Craig J. (USA), Principal, Mundie & Associates

Murray, Charles A. (USA), W.H. Brady Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

Netherlands, H.M. the King of the (NLD)

Noonan, Michael (IRL), Minister for Finance

Noonan, Peggy (USA), Author, Columnist, The Wall Street Journal

O'Leary, Michael (IRL), CEO, Ryanair Plc

Ollongren, Kajsa (NLD), Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam

Özel, Soli (TUR), Professor, Kadir Has University

Papalexopoulos, Dimitri (GRC), CEO, Titan Cement Co.

Petraeus, David H. (USA), Chairman, KKR Global Institute

Philippe, Edouard (FRA), Mayor of Le Havre

Pind, Søren (DNK), Minister of Justice

Ratti, Carlo (ITA), Director, MIT Senseable City Lab

Reisman, Heather M. (CAN), Chair and CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc.

Rutte, Mark (NLD), Prime Minister

Sawers, John (GBR), Chairman and Partner, Macro Advisory Partners

Schäuble, Wolfgang (DEU), Minister of Finance

Schieder, Andreas (AUT), Chairman, Social Democratic Group

Schmidt, Eric E. (USA), Executive Chairman, Alphabet Inc.

Scholten, Rudolf (AUT), CEO, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG

Schwab, Klaus (INT), Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

Sikorski, Radoslaw (POL), Senior Fellow, Harvard University; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs

Simsek, Mehmet (TUR), Deputy Prime Minister

Sinn, Hans-Werner (DEU), Professor for Economics and Public Finance, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Skogen Lund, Kristin (NOR), Director General, The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise

Standing, Guy (GBR), Co-President, BIEN; Research Professor, University of London

Svanberg, Carl-Henric (SWE), Chairman, BP plc and AB Volvo

Thiel, Peter A. (USA), President, Thiel Capital

Tillich, Stanislaw (DEU), Minister-President of Saxony

Vetterli, Martin (CHE), President, NSF

Wahlroos, Björn (FIN), Chairman, Sampo Group, Nordea Bank, UPM-Kymmene Corporation

Wallenberg, Jacob (SWE), Chairman, Investor AB

Weder di Mauro, Beatrice (CHE), Professor of Economics, University of Mainz

Wolf, Martin H. (GBR), Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times

 

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