Bohemian Grove: Where the Elite Meet to Eat (and Conspire)
Bob Adelmann - 13 July 2011
Debra Saunders complained that, because she is a woman, she wasn’t invited to the upcoming Bohemian Club meeting which begins this Thursday at the Bohemian Grove retreat center an hour’s drive north of San Francisco. Even if she were a man, she most likely still wouldn’t be invited as she is not a member of the “elite.”
Founded just after the Civil War by Henry “Harry” Edwards as a private camp where bohemians — artists and writers — could go to relax and recuperate from the rigors of the work-a-day world, over time the club’s membership evolved to include the rich and powerful, which now numbers over 2,400. The secrecy imposed about the annual meetings has led many to speculate as to the purposes and impact such a conclave might have on the nation’s affairs, especially when membership lists included every Republican President since 1923 (and some Democrats), many cabinet officials, and CEOs of large corporations including the major financial institutions. Military contractors, oil companies, banks (including the Federal Reserve) and national media all have high-ranking officials as either members or guests.
Despite the club’s motto: “Weaving Spiders Come Not Here,” (see club emblem, above left) plenty of business, both economic and political, has been done there. As noted in Peter Phillips’ dissertation for his doctorate in philosophy at the University of California, Davis, “The Bohemian Grove has long been a political networking point for Republicans … along with significant numbers of cabinet members and White House officials. [Dwight] Eisenhower gave a premier political address at the Grove in 1950, setting himself on the path to the presidency.”
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