Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Bilderberg Obsession

During the past few weeks the various Greek nationalist-socialist blogs have been fulminating against the "Bilderberg Club", which has been meeting in the Athens area, specifically in Vouliagmeni, a rather exclusive seaside town. The Bilderberg Club is not an official organization and as such it has no no formal structure, no public spokespersons, no web site and certainly no policies. It is a more informal gathering than the Davos Economic Forum, another favorite bugbear of conspiracy theorists in Greece and abroad, except that the Bilderberg gathering is more secretive and excludes journalists (the latter may explain why even mainstream media has occasionally bought into some of the circulating conspiracy theories). Here's what the Wikipedia has to say (article written before the current meeting):

"The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg conference, or Bilderberg Club is an unofficial, annual, invitation-only conference of around 130 guests, most of whom are persons of influence in the fields of politics, business, and banking.The group meets annually at luxury hotels or resorts throughout the world — normally in Europe, and once every four years in the United States or Canada. It has an office in Leiden in the Netherlands. The 2008 conference took place in Chantilly, Virginia and the 2009 meeting will take place from May 14-16 in Athens, Greece."

And here's some more information from an article in The Times (London) with the rather ironic title "Shadowy Bilderberg group meet in Greece — and here’s their address" (the article actually provides the address of the Nafsika Astir Palace Hotel in Vouliagmeni); the emphasis is mine:

"[...]This year the club is going to talk about depression. “According to the pre-meeting booklet sent out to attendees, Bilderberg is looking at two options,” says the Bilderberg-watcher Daniel Estulin — “either a prolonged, agonising depression that dooms the world to decades of stagnation, decline and poverty — or an intense but shorter depression that paves the way for a new sustainable economic world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency.”
Since Bilderberg does not officially exist, it cannot deny anything and is therefore manna from heaven for the conspiracy theorist. Eurosceptics are convinced that the future development of the European Union was plotted here — EU commissioners have always been welcomed into the coven, with Peter “We are intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich” Mandelson a particular favourite. Margaret Thatcher, it is said, was a shy debutante at a Bilderberg meeting in 1975.
Jim Tucker, veteran stalker of the Bilderberg club meetings, claims that Mrs Thatcher was ordered “to dismantle British sovereignty, but she said, ‘no way’, so they had her sacked”. Left-wing conspiracy theorists believe that Bilderbergers form a capitalist nucleus, and there is a germ of truth in this. The meetings were started in the Netherlands, in the Hotel de Bilderberg, near Arnhem, by the Polish exile Joseph Retinger. He was worried about growing anti-Americanism and the advance of Communism in Western Europe. [...]"

My view is that the "Bilderberg Club" is simply high-level junket for the participants to get away from work and home and spend a few days in a luxury resort hotel, with all expenses paid, all the while feeling important because they think that they are saving/helping/influencing the future of the world. This is not dissimilar to conferences of professional associations such as medical societies, which invariably take place in nice locations (Hawaii, Bali, Crete) and where most of the participants go to combine some business with much more pleasure. Of course, invitation-only conferences carry much greater prestige and, therefore, create a certain amount of jealousy and animosity to those who have not been invited.

It is, of course, perfectly legitimate for anyone to disagree with the politics or the economic or social theories espoused by the individuals who are invited to participate in such conferences. And, I suppose, it is human nature (for some, at least) to see shady dealings and find evidence of conspiracies in the actions of the rich and powerful. What is disturbing, however, is the remarkably high percentage of anti-Bildereberg blogs which claim that the Jews as an organized entity (i.e. "Zionists") are either a big part of this conspiracy for world domination or are actually running the show. Most of the Greek blogs that discuss this negatively can't resist direct or oblique references to the "Zionist conspiracy". Some extremist public figures have come out against this "murderous organization of international zionism", as the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Piraeus (apparently expressing his own views and not the official line of the Greek Orthodox Church) has been quoted to have said publicly.

Although variations on the Bilderberg-Zionist conspiracy theory can be found in a number of the blogs I have listed previously, I recently stumbled across a particularly egregious example of the falsehoods and misinformation that are disseminated by the Greek antisemites with regard to the "Bilderberg Club". In an entry with the title "The logo of Bilderberg reveals its secrets", posted in the nationalist blog Ελλήνων Αφύπνιση (Awakening of the Greeks), there is a made up logo of the "Bilderberg Club", copied from a blatantly anti-Bilderberg site. This fake logo has the wold "Bilderbberg" in gothic script (why does gothic script always look so ominous?), an eagle and stars in the center (the stars arranged like the EU logo) and flags of the U.N., U.S. and Israel in the background. It is used to demonstrate links between the United States, Jews, Nazi Germany, the "New World Order" and the Zionists, the latter, of course, aiming at (what else?) world domination.

It is pretty typical of any fanatic, who does not have any facts to support his case, to manufacture such "facts" so that he can refute them easily, thereby "proving" his point. So what better way than to create a "logo" for an organization that doesn't exist. Goebbels would have been proud, except for the crudeness of it all, which, of course, won't mater to the true believers.


  1. I know nothing about this club, but I know some of the local luminaries a.k.a. "μαϊντανοί" in the local language. People anxious to appear important, and nothing makes somebody look as important as being a member of a "secret" club. Also to get an invitation to an embassy function, particularly "the" embassy function. Or an invitation to the Megaron Mousikis for a private showing of something or other. This is Greece. Land of fantasy, illusion, and deception. Don't take the Bilderberg Club impact on Greek thinking too seriously

  2. I agree, but I think that the desire to appear important cuts across national and cultural lines of demarcation. I also think that a great deal of the animosity towards the Bilderberg club is stoked by those who did not manage to finagle an invitation, journalists included. Δηλαδή "Όσα δεν φτάνει η αλεπού...". So this would explain all the talk (and not only in Greece) about the sinister aims of this meeting but the link of the Bilderberg club with the alleged aims of Jews for world domination has gotten much more play in Greece, not only in the Greek blogs but also through the pronouncements of public figures, than in other countries.

  3. AnonymousMay 21, 2009

    Afshin Rattansi and Daniel Estulin
    on Bilderberg 2009

  4. Here's what the Wikipedia says about Press TV, which is where the Anonymous above is suggesting that we go to get our information on the Bildereberg Club:
    "Press TV is an English language international television news channel which is funded by the Iranian government, based in Tehran and broadcast in English on a round-the-clock schedule. [...] The entity itself claims to offer a different view of world events."
    It offers a "different view" all right, just like the wacko Ahmedenajad, who runs that vast insane asylum known as the "Islamic Republic or Iran".