Watch out Watford: Here comes the secretive Bilderberg Group
A meeting of global power brokers in a Hertfordshire hotel is exciting conspiracy theorists, but what are they really about?
James Cusick is political correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. As an experienced member of the lobby, he has previously worked at The Sunday Times and the BBC. His career as a journalist has been split between print and television, including senior positions as producer with Sir David Frost and at BBC Newsnight. He is also an award-winning golf and travel writer, working for over a decade as the UK contributing editor for one of the USA’s leading golf magazines. He broadcasts regularly for the BBC and CNN. He lives in London.
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Whether it’s the shape-shifting group of reptilian descendants from the constellation Draco who control humanity, or the shadowy cabal of powerful financiers and politicians who covertly run all governments, conspiracy theorists are once again preparing for their annual jamboree of protest against those who really rule the world, this year in the highly secretive destination of... Watford.
For three days beginning on 6 June, a five-star hotel in Chandler’s Cross that normally hosts the England football team before Wembley matches, will turn over its 227 luxury rooms and 300-acre estate grounds to the über-secretive Bilderberg Group.
The Grove, once the home of the earls of Clarendon where prime ministers such as Palmerston and Walpole were guests and where a young Queen Victoria started the fashion for “the weekend break”, will turn back the clock when it welcomes around 140 of Europe and America’s most powerful leaders from banking, finance and politics with a scattering of royalty and aristocracy adding to the elite guest list.
Due to a tradition that stretches back to 1954 and the first conference held at the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek in the Netherlands, nothing that is discussed or agreed at a Bilderberg meeting is reported. Until recently even the names of those who were invited was kept secret.
That tradition, however, according to discreet soundings made by The Independent on Sunday, could be about to change with the new generation of Bilderbergers, who are apparently uncomfortable with the total exclusion of the media.
The conference is the only “activity” of the secretive Bilderberg Group. The list of participants usually includes former US presidents, soon-to-be presidents, UK prime ministers-in-waiting, finance ministers from the leading Western democracies, and presidents of organisations such as the World Bank and the bosses of the largest multinational corporations.
Clinton, Blair, Bushes senior and junior, Cameron, Osborne, Kissinger, Bill Gates and, strangely, Peter Mandelson, have all been Bilderberg invitees in recent years.
Putting a global elite all in one place, and banning any media from attending or reporting what has been said, has led to a vast industry of wild conspiracy which suggests Bilderberg is a “world government meeting in the shadows”.
Watford, if the conspiracy theorists are correct, will be the place where the locations of the next wars are decided and where the next global pandemics will be created to boost the profits of the giant pharmaceutical industries. And forget democracy and ballot boxes – Watford will be where the next leaders of major world powers are actually anointed.
The masses expected to travel to Watford to protest at Bilderberg’s alleged grand design of one world government, centralised foreign policy, global obedience, enslavement, and global tax strategy, appear not to be worrying Hertfordshire Police.
“We’ve experience of dealing with these things,” said a force spokesman, “Some of our senior officers went to the G8 at Gleneagles – we’ve a resilient set-up.”
The force were less than pleased when Watford’s elected mayor, Dorothy Thornhill, warned that the town should be prepared for violent protests. “That was less than helpful,” said one officer. “But she’s revisited her comments. This is being blown up to be a bit bigger than it’s going to be.”
Nevertheless, specialist officers from the Metropolitan Police are being drafted in to assist a combined team from Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridge constabularies who are advanced in their preparations for Bilderberg 2013.
Five pitches belonging to the Fullerians Rugby Club, which backs on to The Grove estate, will be used as the police’s security headquarters for the three days of Bilderberg. “We’d no idea why the police wanted to hire the entire club,” said one Fullerians’ committee member. “But the season is finished, so we didn’t care. We took their money. But if we still had games left, then world government or not, we’d have said find somewhere else.”
Hertfordshire Police would make no comment on the potential security implications of discovering “giant lizards” in the grounds of The Grove. The throwaway line was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the belief of leading New Age conspiracy guru, David Icke. The former BBC presenter has written about the “Babylonian Brotherhood” of “inter-stellar reptilian humanoids” whose bloodline now includes US presidents, UK and Canadian prime ministers; with the House of Windsor described by Icke as “seriously reptilian”.
Icke has suggested that the Bilderberg Group, along with Illuminati, Chatham House, the IMF and the UN, all have a goal of world domination by micro-chipping the world’s population.
“Reporters” from some of the US’s most visited conspiracy websites, have already visited The Grove and claim the 2013 agenda will be focusing on “intellistreet” surveillance technology that can spy on populations 24/7; how the democratisation of 3-D printing of guns must be stopped; and how new strains of bird flu will be used to boost profits of leading drugs companies.
Although those who attend Bilderberg Group gatherings are sworn to secrecy, the Independent on Sunday spoke to a number of delegates who had attended some of the gatherings over the last four years. One, a UK politician, said: “It really is not that exciting, in fact it’s a bit run of the mill.” He compared it to the annual World Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Another delegate said that most of the three days was taken up by “intense plenary sessions that focused on major global issues – but a lot of the most valued contact centred on informal lunch chats”.
Although the tradition of confidentiality was mostly defended, another diplomatic delegate said the younger generation of Bilderberg guests felt different about how useful the closed-door approach had become and were uncomfortable with the policy of total media exclusion. He said : “I sympathise with those who tell us the confidentiality policy only encourages the conspiracy theorists. It does.”
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