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Murdoch’s Illuminati: The “Expanded Canvas” of National Geographic Magazine

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By Terry Melanson (9/8/2016)

A Rupert Murdoch company purchased a 73% controlling interest in National Geographic Magazine in September 2015. In November they layed off 180 employees in what The Washington Post called the “biggest layoff in its history.” Several fact-checkers were also sacked.

One article in the July/August issue of National Geographic History definitely could have used some fact-checking.

Titled Adam Weishaupt: Founder of the Illuminati, it was adapted from an article in the Spanish edition online.

The most egregious errors in the piece, written by Isabel Hernandez, are the following:

“Born in 1748 in Ingolstadt, a city in the Electorate of Bavaria (now part of modern-day Germany), Weishaupt was a descendant of Jewish converts to Christianity.”

[…]

“Weishaupt initially thought of joining a lodge. Disillusioned with many of the Freemasons’ ideas, however, he became absorbed in books dealing with such esoteric themes as the Mysteries of the Seven Sages of Memphis and the Kabbala, and decided to found a new secret society of his own.”

[…]

“Over the following years, Weishaupt’s secret order grew considerably in size and diversity, possibly numbering 600 members by 1782. They included important people in Bavarian public life, such as Baron Adolph von Knigge and the banker Mayer Amschel Rothschild, who provided funding.”

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Cremation of Care Ceremony at the Bohemian Grove

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Charles K. Field (1946, 1953) [Ritual still used at the Bohemian Grove]

The Sire

Bohemians, by the power of our fellowship,
Dull care is slain.
Hearken!
High up the hill you may hear Care’s funeral music.

[Tolling of the bell and faint, far strains of the funeral dirge (DENKE). Torches are glimpsed in the distance. Music and light approach.]

The Sire

Behold, the effigy of this, our enemy, is carried hither for our ancient rites.

[Music ceases, drumbeat accompanies the descent of cortege. The cortege passes through the dinning circle and down the main isle as the Band and the effigy of Care proceed down the road to the floor of the Grove. When the torch bearers are leaving the dining circle, followed by the Old Guard.]

The Sire announces

Bohemians, follow to Bohemia’s Shrine!

[The band resumes the funeral dirge ( Denke ). The band turns into the traffic road, where it continues to play; the spectators pass to their seats opposite the shrine, through the two columns of the Torch Bearers who flank the path to Edwards Road. The shrine is bathed in the soft, flickering light from the lamp of fellowship. The radiance of the rising full moon touches the crown of Hamadryad’s tree. 0ffstage chorus of woodland voices. The Hamadryad emerges from the bark. Music by Jan Philip Schirhan and W.J. McCoy]

Lamp of Fellowship

Members of the class of 1912, University of California, Berkeley, California, at Bohemian Grove.
(The Lamp of Fellowship, next to Owl Shrine.)

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The Bilderberg Papers: More or Less Than Meets The Eye?

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By Will Banyan (Copyright © 30 June 2016)

Earlier this month, the Public Intelligence website presented its “Bilderberg Primary Source Academic Material Archive” (Figure 1), which contains the PDF files of some 38 Bilderberg conference reports between 1954 and 2002, plus a number of other primary documents, including official Bilderberg notices to participants, selected discussion papers, correspondence and meeting notes written by participants. It is quite a trove that is of enormous value to any serious researcher into the Bilderberg Group as it fills in large gaps in the record about the annual conference, making it easier to uncover how it has influenced transatlantic policy over the past 62 years.

Figure 1 Public Intelligence's 'Academic Archive' of Bilderberg Primary Source Materials

Figure 1 Public Intelligence’s ‘Academic Archive’ of Bilderberg Primary Source Materials

I was first alerted to the existence of this website by a writer from The New American who asked me if I was aware of this new source and whether they were authentic.  I was familiar with these documents having been provided with copies earlier through another source. Moreover, contrary to the excited claims of some web commentators in the past couple of weeks that this was a damaging new “leak”, almost all of these documents had already been posted online at Scribd a couple of years earlier by “bilderbergboys” (Figure 2).

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Bilderberg 2016: Another Obama No-Show

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The 64th Bilderberg Meeting Deals with a Turbulent World

By Will Banyan, Copyright © 10 June 2016

After a remarkable delay, the Bilderberg Steering Committee finally issued its standard pre-meeting press release and list of participants, on 6 June, just days before the start of the 64th Bilderberg Meeting, now underway at the luxury Grand Hotel Taschenbergpalais in Dresden, Germany. The press release was also notable for its rather soothing language about the private nature of the conference enabling its participants to “take time to listen, reflect and gather insights.” In an attempt at media outreach, Bilderberg’s current chairman, Henri de Castries agreed to an interview with German Press Agency just about Bilderberg. His language was also reassuring as he took issue with the “myth of Bilderberg.” Though admitting many of its participants were powerful people with “great responsibility”, de Castries attributed to the Bilderberg Group the noble aim of trying “understand our world” by facilitating “conversations between these people.”  Bilderberg’s nameless official spokesperson also told The Independent (Jun. 08, 2016) Bilderberg functioned more as a “summer school of influentials”; it was “a place to gain insights and gather information.”

Not everyone has been placated by these charming obfuscations. To Charlie Skelton, for instance, the Guardian’s Bilderberg correspondent, the private conference is obviously a “corporate lobbying event”, where the “financial, industrial and high-tech establishment” retained enough power to have “ministers and European commissioners come running” (Guardian, Jun. 07, 2016). For corporate representatives it was all about “getting a competitive edge”, to lobby the politicians and officials they now had access to; while for the people being lobbied it was “a chance to line up future employment” (Guardian, Jun. 08, 2016). Paul Joseph Watson, a reporter for Alex Jones’ Infowars, described Bilderberg as a “powerful lobby group” and a meeting of the “most powerful people on the planet.” According to Alex Newman, from the John Birch Society, Bilderberg is “essentially a secret meeting of Big Business and Big Government” (The New American, Jun. 09, 2016).

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Book Review: Whitewashing Kissinger

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By Will Banyan, Copyright © 15 May 2016

Perhaps the most obvious point to make about this bloated and lifeless tome, the first of two projected volumes, is that former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger can feel confident he has chosen the right person to write his life story. Over nearly 930 pages (including footnotes), celebrity academic Niall Ferguson formerly a Professor of History at Harvard and now currently a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, proves yet again that when it comes to chronicling the lives of the rich and powerful, he is by far the perfect academic-for-hire. With very little direction, but with a great deal of enthusiasm and industry, Ferguson will strive to paint the best picture possible of his client, turning blemishes into rosy cheeks, sinister frowns into wise laugh-lines, and skeletons into necessary sacrifices. And so it is in this strangely anodyne account of Kissinger’s path to power; one that strips our protagonist of the sins of ambition and duplicity, and instead presents an unlikely tale of a selfless “idealist” who seems to have stumbled into the Nixon White House by happenstance rather than by design.

That Ferguson has performed this important task well is confirmed by the torrent of praise the book has received from Kissinger’s admirers, including his many friends. Convicted felon Conrad Black, for example, a friend of both Kissinger and Ferguson, praised it as a “brilliant book by an outstanding historian about a great and durably interesting statesman, who is also a distinguished historian and gifted strategic thinker.” It was a “compelling book about a towering figure”, claimed Walter Russell Mead in Foreign Affairs (Nov/Dec 2015); a “deeply compelling read” according to the Washington Free Beacon (Oct. 17, 2015); an “epic account of an amazing life”, claimed neo-conservative polemicist Max Boot (National Review, Oct 19, 2015); and according to the Weekly Standard (Dec. 07, 2015) this “attentive, magnificently written and profoundly researched” biography was “stunningly good…”

Writing in the New York Times, historian Andrew Roberts described it as the “most comprehensive defense of Kissinger’s outlooks and actions” since Kissinger’s own three-volume autobiography. But it was “no hagiography”, insisted Roberts (who was Kissinger’s first choice to write his memoir, but who balked at dealing with some “30 tons of material” in Kissinger’s personal archive – Ferguson dismisses him for having “cold feet” p.xiv), but rather “an admiring portrait rather than a particularly affectionate one.”

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Conspiracy Roundup (07-03-2016)

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Drawing mostly upon Annie Jacobsen’s The Pentagon’s Brain, is a summary of some important details in the history of DARPA. The article, by Jake Anderson, purports to be a list of “15 historical facts.” But upon further investigation, some claims do not hold up.

“14. Four nuclear bombs were detonated during the Cuban Missile Crisis” It’s true there were four high-altitude tests during the Cuban Missile Crisis, however it was two from America and two from Russia. In November, after the crisis, the US exploded two more high-altitude bombs, dubbed Kingfish and Tightrope, as part of Operation Fishbowl. Russia was as crazy as America during these years. The summary mentions nothing about the former—a reflection of anti-American bias prevalent in conspiracy circles.

ARPA was not wholly responsible for these atmospheric tests. They did have a stake in it though.

I agree with Robert Schaefer’s statement in his review of Jacobsen’s book:

Perhaps because of the adverse consequences of Operation Argus, there was a treaty to halt to above ground nuclear testing soon after. But not too soon after, for during the Cuban Missile Crisis, there w[e]re four (four!) nuclear detonations in space, two by the U.S. and two by the Soviets. Exploding nuclear weapons in the middle of a nuclear crisis shows how insane the world was in the 1960s. For more information on these tests, do not look to The Pentagon’s Brain, instead Google “Operation Fishbowl,” “Checkmate,” and “Bluegill Triple Prime.”

“12. DARPA scientists drew up plans to nuke the Ho Chi Minh Trail…” The Jasons did, but they were not “at one time a dominant and prolific division within DARPA,” as Anderson contends. They advised ARPA and then DARPA, but were not at any time a “division” of it.

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Alpine Follies – Bilderberg 2015 (Part 3)

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Part 3 of 3: Bilderberg and the Media

By Will Banyan, Copyright © 04 February 2016 [See Part 1 and 2]

The sparseness of mainstream media coverage of Bilderberg’s meetings has long been a topic of concern for those who are wary of the annual gathering. This suspicion has evolved into a mythology that the mainstream media has conspired with Bilderberg’s leadership to suppress mention of its very existence. One key proponent of this mythology was the late Jim Tucker, who chased the Bilderbergers for many years for Spotlight and later American Free Press. In his Bilderberg Diary (2005), Tucker claimed there was a “virtually complete” media “blackout” on Bilderberg in the United States (p.4), with the major newspapers and TV networks having “participated in vows of secrecy” (p.5). Tucker claimed the Washington Post had only mentioned Bilderberg “four times” and the New York Times had just mentioned it once when “one of the luminaries died at a meeting and the obituary writer, and his editors, innocently let the world slip through” (p.7). More recently, Mark Dice’s book The Bilderberg Group Facts and Fiction (2015) sought to reinforce this mythology by making the questionable assertion that “for over half a century there wasn’t more than a peep about the meeting in the American mainstream media” (p.1), which he attributed to some mysterious “arrangement” between Bilderberg and the press (p.5).

As I have detailed elsewhere, none of these claims withstand close scrutiny. Major media outlets on both sides of the Atlantic have used the word “Bilderberg” with seeming impunity for decades, mentioning the location of the meetings, some of the people connected to it, and even leaked some details from the meetings. Tucker’s claims, for example, are easily refuted: a search on the New York Times archive finds 59 articles mentioning Bilderberg rather than just one and a search on the Washington Post archive finds 37 articles about Bilderberg (pre-1995) instead of only four. The issue is not the frequency of the reporting about Bilderberg, or even mentioning that it exists, but the quality. Despite all the reporting on the fact the meetings are happening, detailed reporting about what was actually said is and remains rare. The 2015 Telfs-Buchen meeting was no exception, with both the mainstream and the alternative media largely failing to penetrate Bilderberg’s veil.

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Conspiracy Roundup (31-01-2016)

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Searchlight Magazine, the antifascist parapolitical publication, posted a piece about the importance of the recently-deceased P2-boss Licio Gelli:

The likely date when Gelli became involved with the CIA is probably right at the start of its creation, 1947, when the American Freemason “reverend” Frank B. Gigliotti, a fervent fascist till 1938 who had met Mussolini in the early stages of the dictatorship, visited Italy to recommend certain changes to the new Italian Constitution and hasten the campaign to keep the Communists out of power. The Stay-Behind/Gladio strategy was being developed; money was pouring in from America to help in anti-Communist propaganda and in the recruiting of a clandestine army made up mainly of ex-fascist party members to be trained in the shadow of NATO in whose bases freemason groups were set up as a further means to tie everyone to secrecy.

Links with the Mafia had already been established by Gigliotti and others in the United States and Canada to get help with the landing in Sicily; now the omertà code was extremely useful in preparation of further undercover operations by Mafiosi and the Freemasons. Both organisations had suffered greatly under Mussolini and power was being returned to them, catapulted into action with links at the highest level. Gelli himself apparently did not become a fully-fledged freemason till 1963, but once he joined the “venerables” he operated to combine the secret activities of “brothers” with the political aims of maintaining fascism as a permanent presence: a government in waiting.

That Frank Gigliotti met Mussolini during “early stages of the dictatorship” and was a “fervent fascist till 1938” comes from my research in “Frank Gigliotti: Minister, Freemason, OSS and CIA.” I was hoping the article would be read by investigators researching deep politics, who have the most to gain from the information. Gigliotti was an important man. Much more so than the few scattered references over the years would let on. His life demonstrates in vivid detail the collusion between Fascism, ‘Americanism’ and domestic surveillance, Freemasonry and Protestantism, the OSS and CIA, Propaganda Due, the Mafia, and the Bilderberg/Atlanticist European Movement apparatus. From the 1920s until the 1970s Gigliotti was a valued asset of all of the above, behind the scenes, getting the job done.

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Alpine Follies – Bilderberg 2015 (Part 2)

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Part 2 of 3: Dissecting the Bilderberg Agenda

By Will Banyan, Copyright © 10 January 2016 [See Part 1 and 3]

Among the many differences between the G7 and Bilderberg meetings, perhaps the most significant is the levels of transparency. At last year’s G7 meeting in Schloss Elmau, for example, the German Government not only provided the programme for the “Meeting of Heads of State and Government”, but also overviews of the two days of meetings, the summit declaration, which essentially summarised the outcomes of their discussions and a number of press releases and other documents. G7 participants also spoke to the media about the meeting. The White House, for example, provided transcripts of Obama’s speeches and press conferences, as well as a Fact Sheet and extended press briefing on the G7. This level of detail, and in particular the willingness of its participants to be cross-examined by the media, means that the achievements or otherwise of the G7 are easier to analyse.

It is telling that, in contrast, the Bilderberg Group’s much vaunted “efforts to be more transparent” (The Independent, May 29, 2014) have again been found wanting. As with previous meetings, the official Bilderberg website provided no more than a perfunctory press release and a list of participants. There was no pre-Bilderberg press conference. Questions posed to Bilderberg’s press spokesperson were met with the solemn recitation of information already on the Bilderberg website. Finally attempts to obtain information from Bilderberg participants as they were leaving Austria, elicited either bizarre denials about even being there (as in the case of former World Bank chief James Wolfensohn), or variations on “no comment.” And contrary to the claims made by Steering Committee member, Franco Bernabé – “there is no secret, everything is published on the site…There will be a statement released by Bilderberg” – nothing else was released by the Bilderberg Group.

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Alpine Follies – Bilderberg 2015 (Part 1)

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Part 1 of 3: Is Bilderberg More Important Than The G7?

By Will Banyan, Copyright © 01 January 2016 [See Part 2 and 3]

According to some observers, last year’s Bilderberg Meeting, held over 11-14 June, 2015 at the Interalpen Hotel, near the town of Telfs-Buchen in Austria, was a more significant event than the Group of Seven meeting that had just preceded it across the border in Germany. Bilderberg is “every bit as important as the G7”, claimed The Guardian’s (Jun. 08, 2015) lone correspondent, Charlie Skelton; if not a “much more decisive meeting place [ein viel entscheidenderes Treffen statt]”, wrote Thorsten Schmitt from Extrem News (May 30, 2015). Yet some of the Bilderberg meeting participants – the few that deigned to even speak or write about it – insisted that the 2015 gathering was a very interesting but ultimately benign occasion. Michael O’Leary, CEO of Irish airline Ryanair and newly appointed Bilderberg Steering Committee member, for example, after mocking claims it was a “big conspiracy” told Irish radio that his first Bilderberg meeting had been a “terrific experience” and “very educational.” Another first time participant, Trine Eilertsen, Political Editor of the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten wrote that the “discussions and introductions” at Bilderberg were “very useful because participants spoke so freely.” But she also dismissed as “distant from reality”, a columnist writing in a rival publication, Aftenbladet (Jun. 13, 2015) who criticised her participation and considered it “naïve” of Eilertsen not to see anything sinister in a secret meeting of billionaires, politicians and journalists.

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