Tagged: Will Banyan

Much Ado About Nothing? – Bilderberg 2014

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By Will Banyan
Copyright © 23 July 2014

Compared to the public spectacle of the 2013 Bilderberg Meeting, held last year in Watford, Hertsfordshire, where the Bilderberg Fringe Festival attracted thousands of protestors, this year’s event held in Copenhagen from 29 May to 1 June, was a low-key affair. According to mainstream media reports, no more than a “few dozen protesters” had assembled outside Copenhagen’s JW Marriott Hotel, rendering redundant the 3000 police officers on stand-by just in case the anti-Bilderberg protesters turned violent. One of the anti-Bilderberg activists camped out in Copenhagen, Mark Anderson from the American Free Press (AFP), concurred with this assessment of the low turn-out:

Protesters this year—while dealing with a free-speech zone that lacked the soft grass, tents and other comforts evident last year—numbered perhaps 75 on Day 1 of Bilderberg. But with May 30 having been a national holiday, the numbers swelled to about 200 on that day but tapered off a little on May 31 and June 1 (AFP June 01, 2014).

There were but a handful of arrests, but otherwise the disgruntled gathered outside the fences erected especially for the occasion were quite peaceable. As for the Bilderberg Meeting itself, despite the absence of US officials, the elite turn-out at this year’s event was still impressive giving those barred entry good reason wonder what policy innovations will emerge from these confidential consultations.

Now, some two months on, and with a veritable cornucopia of articles and associated commentary in the mainstream and alternative media to consider, the time is now surely right to ask: what did we learn from this year’s Bilderberg meeting? I would suggest there were five important lessons from the 2014 Bilderberg Meeting.

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Obama’s Bilderberg No-Show

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Why Are There No Obama Administration Officials in Copenhagen?

By Will Banyan (Copyright © 31 May 2014)

The relationship between President Obama and the Bilderberg Meetings has been the subject of sporadic speculation over the years. One hoary yarn, which receives an occasional airing, is that back in June 2008 Obama and Hilary Clinton, then both rivals for the Democrat presidential nomination had secretly attended that year’s Bilderberg Meeting, then underway at Chantilly in Virginia. There has been no actual confirmation that either of them did attend Bilderberg, but the suspicion – given the initial caginess about their whereabouts – has been sufficient for many to tar Obama as a Bilderberg puppet. The most recent reminder was on Alex Jones Infowars website, which posted excerpts from its Obama Deception video to remind us how Bilderberg “hand-picked Obama for the 2008 presidential election after a series of private meetings in Chantilly, Virginia.”

But missing from Infowars handy little reminder of an as yet unproven allegation – provided on the eve the meeting currently underway in Copenhagen, Denmark – was another more salient and indisputable fact: for the second year running no officials from the Obama Administration were attending Bilderberg. The official list of participants for this year’s Bilderberg Meeting, currently being held in Copenhagen, Denmark, includes 34 Americans. Many of them are former officials, but not one of them is a serving official in the Obama Administration. The nearest and only contender is US Air Force General Philip Breedlove, except that he is a career military officer and not a political appointee, and that he is participating in his current position as Supreme Allied Commander Europe, the military commander of NATO, and technically represents NATO rather than the US, hence his identification by Bilderberg as an “INT” or international participant.

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A Voyage To Marrs

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Book Review

By Will Banyan (Copyright © 25 May 2014)

Jim Marrs, Our Occulted History: Do The Global Elite Conceal Ancient Aliens? (William Morrow, 2013).

The term “conspiracy theory” is much discussed and contested these days. In 2013 a number of books were released that attempted to shed new light on this increasingly contentious topic. In his well-received book, The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory, Jesse Walker, a US-based writer, presented a “history of the things people believe, not an assessment of whether those beliefs are accurate.” As a social history of conspiracy thinking in the United States, Walker’s book is particularly informative, although its treatment of “New World Order” theories is surprisingly thin, a problem with a lot of books in this genre which seem fixated on the so-called event theories and how conspiracies are represented in popular television shows, films and fiction books. Nevertheless The United States of Paranoia contains many valuable insights into the evolution of conspiracism in the US and how some conspiracy themes have persisted over time. Walker places the appeal of conspiracy theories within the normal human ability for “finding patterns in chaos” and “constructing stories to make sense of events…” As a consequence Walker does not dismiss conspiracy theories outright, acknowledging that some conspiracies are real.

The other major study of conspiracism was Professor Lance deHaven-Smith’s Conspiracy Theory in America. The primary purpose of deHaven-Smith’s book, in contrast to Walker’s observational account, is to rescue the term “conspiracy theory” from its current pejorative context and re-establish it as a core part of the “political science” of the Founders of the US, one with continuing relevance today. DeHaven-Smith also argued that the term “conspiracy theory” had been actively promoted by the CIA in wake of the assassination of JFK as a term to discredit assassination theorists. Conspiracy Theory in America also serves as yet another platform for deHaven-Smith to promote his concept of “State Crimes Against Democracy” or SCADS, to help with the identification of conspiracies by the state.

The treatment of both books by mainstream reviewers also reflects more entrenched biases. Walker’s book has received highly favourable reviews, and has been widely hailed as a “bold and thought-provoking book” (Los Angeles Times) with “deep scholarship and relentless curiosity” (Globe and Mail), and for being “meticulously researched, broadly considered and effervescently written…”(Orlando Weekly). DeHaven’s book, in contrast, has been treated more warily, despite (or even because of) his academic status, his argument being seen as perhaps too radical to warrant popular attention. Indeed reviews appear to be confined to the conspiratorially minded. James Bailey at My FDL, for example, praised it as “excellent…logical and well documented”; while the reviewers at the Citizens for the Truth About the Kennedy Assassination website helpfully suggested, in an otherwise positive review, that deHaven-Smith should have written “either a shorter, or a much larger book.”

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