Beware of Imitations!
Documents Alleging Bilderberg Interference in Spanish Politics in the 1970s are Likely Fabrications
By Will Banyan (Copyright © July 2023)
Among the many exploits attributed to the devious machinations of the Bilderberg Group, which recently held its 69th meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, is that it had a hand in cultivating and ultimately establishing then Prince Juan Carlos of Borbon as head of state to replace Spanish dictator General Franco well before the latter’s death in 1975. Supporting these allegations are two documents: the first is allegedly from a Bilderberg Group meeting in 1968, discussing the findings of a working group on Franco’s replacement (hereafter the “BWG Report”); and the second is purported to be a memorandum signed by Henry Kissinger in 1973 in his role as Richard Nixon’s National Security Advisor, directing that a study be undertaken into the impact of Franco’s death on US interests and, more significantly, the completed study should be shared with the Bilderberg Steering Committee (hereafter, the “Kissinger Memorandum”. Copies of one or both of these documents are to be found in the 2011 book El Precio Del Trono (The Price of the Throne) by Spanish investigative journalist Pilar Urbano; the 2015 book Los planes del club Bilderberg para España (The Bilderberg Group’s Plans for Spain) by Spanish journalist Cristina Martín Jiménez; and in the Spanish edition of Vanity Fair (May 30, 2012).1
It my contention that both of these documents are fabrications. Not only is the providence of these documents unknown, but they fail to conform with the conventions of either Bilderberg meeting reports or memoranda produced by the National Security Council (NSC) during the Nixon Administration. Moreover, the content of both documents conflict with other known facts about the Bilderberg Meetings at the time. For these reasons, detailed below, both documents should be treated as fabrications by anyone seeking to understand the Bilderberg Group’s political influence.
Document 1: The 1968 “Bilderberg Working Group” Report
The first document, reproduced below (Figure 1), is described by Vanity Fair as an “original document from the [Bilderberg] Club” which describes how a “working group created ad hoc insisted on Franco that Prince Juan Carlos be his successor.” Urbano quotes extensively from the BWG Report to support her account of Bilderberg’s 17th meeting, which was held in Mount Tremblant in Canada over 26-28 April, 1968, where:
One of the items on the agenda was entitled “Possibilities of Selecting Juan Carlos of Borbon as successor to Generalissimo Francisco Franco.”
Before the meeting, two dossiers prepared by an ad hoc working group led by the former Undersecretary of State, George W. Ball, were distributed as background and basic material to discuss this topic, who, when presenting them to the attendees, stated: “There is a fairly widespread agreement in having Juan Carlos de Borbon to assume the position as the nation’s successor at the head of his nation at the time of Generalissimo’s death.”
“In this spirit, the Working Group proposed that it be stressed upon Francisco Franco that the future Prince not only is perfectly trained to take up the high mission to which he might be called but also possesses the qualities necessary to become the future king.”
That recommendation–with the strong support of those who subscribed to it–far from being an empty wish, was going to translate very soon into a political fact. What the Bilderbergers expressed was that the Prince was already had the approval of all those powerful metagroups [pp.325-326]
In an endnote, Urbano describes the BWG Report as follows:
Original document in English of the Bilderberg Club regarding this subject, as stated at the seventeenth meeting, held in Mount Tremblant, Canada, from April 26 to 28, 1968. On the folio appears, following the typescript, a mass of black ink: some later censor crossed out various lines related precisely to the discussion about the future of Spain (p.880).
The BWG Report is also cited repeatedly by Cristina Martín Jiménez, also a prolific chronicler of Bilderberg, in a number of books and articles. This includes her 2017 doctoral thesis on the Bilderberg Group in a table listing the private conclave’s “main milestones” (see Figure 2). Jiménez also refers to it in an annex of “Official documents of the Bilderberg meetings and own files”, labelling it as “Bilderberg apoya a Juan Carlos como futuro Rey en 1968 [Bilderberg supports Juan Carlos as future King in 1968]” (p.22, Anexo 11).
|A working group presents its conclusions on Juan Carlos at the Bilderberg meeting
|They consider him the best successor to Franco and urge their networks to work for his coronation
In an article in El Mundo (May 16, 2017), Martin Jimenez quoted repeatedly from the BWG Report to support a story of Bilderberg-instigated perfidy and interference in Spain’s transition from Franco’s dictatorship towards a new form of government:
Early in the morning of April 26, 1968 , the city of Mont Tremblant, in the province of Quebec (former French colony), Canada, began to receive its first guests. In total, 76 participants from the Government and politics, the university, journalism, diplomacy, industry, justice, banking, the army, espionage, as well as foundations and international organizations from Western Europe and the US to celebrate the 73rd Bilderberg meeting .
The club met in the ‘dark’ to discuss the imminent future of Spain without a single Spaniard being present in the room. The marked absence could not prevent those manipulators from powerfully influencing the destiny of each one of us.
At the given moment, the time came for the debate on the future of Spain under the heading ‘The possibilities of selecting Juan Carlos de Borbón as successor to Generalissimo Francisco Franco’ . Then, as reflected in the official minutes, the moderator expressed the following:
“The substance of the debate is based on two working documents – both prepared by the Special Working Group chaired by former Under Secretary of State George Ball – distributed before the meeting. These documents, and the general observations of their author prior to the meeting are summarized below.
The former US Undersecretary of State began by pointing out that there is a fairly widespread agreement for Juan Carlos de Borbón to assume office as successor of the Nation at the time of the Generalissimo’s death . The Working Group proposes to insist to Franco that the future prince is not only perfectly qualified to assume the high mission, but that he also possesses the necessary qualities to become the future king.”
The hard core of Bilderberg and the special Working Group made their intentions known to the rest of the members so that they all worked to convince Franco that Juan Carlos was the best among all the candidates.
On closer examination the BWG Report appears to be two excerpts from the conference report for the 1968 meeting. The first part is presumably from the introduction, while the second part, below the line, is supposedly from page 23 of the report. But this pastiche, with its crude yet dramatic redactions, is revealed as an obvious fake once it is compared to the actual report for the 1968 meeting, copies of which can be found in a number of locations including: the Shepard Stone papers at the library at Darmouth College; a French-language version at the website of the Rome-based Institute of International Affairs; and on the Public Intelligence website, which has collected a considerable number of Bilderberg documents from various institutions.
We might note that the providence of the BWG Report used by Urbano is less clear. Urbano does not cite a source, and nor does Martin Jimenez, but on the Vanity Fair website, Daniel Estulin, author of The True Story of the Bilderberg Group (2005) is identified as holding the copyright for this “original document”:
Perhaps Mr Estulin can shed light on the origins of the BWG Report.2 Nevertheless, once we compare the authenticated 1968 Bilderberg meeting report with this supposedly “original document”, there are multiple signs of fabrication.
First, there is a problem with the security markings, highlighted below, which appear at the top of the page from this alleged Bilderberg document:
But these markings only appear on the front cover of the Bilderberg meeting reports:
Second, there are significant problems in the four paragraphs of the BWG Report, highlighted below, that make up the Introduction:
The principal problem is the words and content are significantly different to that in the verified meeting report for the 1968 Bilderberg meeting. As can be seen below in this excerpt from page 9 of that document:
Key differences include:
- The BWG Report refers to the meeting having been “held in Mont Tremblant”, whilethe actual report describes it as “the Lodge at Mont Tremblant”;
- the BWG Report claims there were 76 participants, whilst the authentic report gives a figure of 87;
- the details about the participants are also presented different order with variations in the wording;
- the BWG Report refers to “no reporters being admitted”, compared to “the press not being admitted” in the original; and
- in the final line, where Prince Bernhard refers to Bilderberg’s “rules of procedure” is not included in the introduction to the 1968 report, but appears later, on page 13, with Prince Bernhard opening the meeting.
The reason for these discrepancies is because the introduction to the BWG Report has been copied almost verbatim from the Introduction to the report for the 1973 Bilderberg meeting, but with a few changes, such as the location, dates, the (incorrect) number of participants, and the first item of the agenda. Otherwise, the paragraphs highlighted below from page nine of the 1973 report exactly match the wording used in the BWG Report:
This is, in itself, clear evidence that this “original document” is a fake, a conclusion that is repeatedly validated when the second part of the BWG Report is scrutinized:
First, this excerpt mentions the author of a Bilderberg paper in the text. This never happened in Bilderberg meeting reports at that time. In fact, none of the presenters are identified in Bilderberg meeting reports until the 1981 Burgenstock Conference:
Otherwise for the 1968 report, as with all other Bilderberg meeting reports during that and next decade this was the standard format where only the nationality of the participant was identified. This obviously was in line with the Chatham House Rules of not identifying speakers, and instead anonymising them as in this case from the 1968 report with one speaker identified only as the “German participant”:
So, to name George Ball as a presenter in 1968 was completely at odds with the conventions of the time for preparing Bilderberg meeting reports.
Second, this is page 23 from the conference report for the 1968 Bilderberg meeting:
Third, and finally, Spain is not listed as an individual topic in any Bilderberg meeting report between 1968 and 1975. In fact, there is no mention of Spain in the reports for the 1968, 1970, 1971, 1973 and 1974 Bilderberg meetings; Spain is mentioned only twice in the 1969 report (pp. 15 & 45); once in the 1972 report (p.69), and once again in the 1975 report (p.74). All mentions of Spain are fleeting. In summary, there is no evidence that any sustained discussion about Spain after Franco occurred at any Bilderberg meeting during the period in question. For all these reasons the BWG Report should be considered a blatant fabrication.
Document 2: The 1973 Kissinger Memorandum
The second document is purportedly a minute or memorandum signed by Henry Kissinger on February 11, 1973 (see Figure ) informing the Departments of State, Defense and the CIA that President Nixon had directed them to prepare a paper on the “impact of General…Franco’s death on U.S. security and overseas interests.” The study is to “look forward to at least until the year 1982”, and should “include analysis of Prince Juan Carlos of Borbon’s future role as King.” The most important detail, though, in terms of supporting allegations of Bilderberg interference, is the last sentence which insists the study should be made available to the “Bilderberg Steering Committee by April, 14, 1973.”
This alleged memorandum from Kissinger appears to be sole source for Urbano’s account, which claims that at the April 1973 Bilderberg meeting held in Saltsjobaden in Sweden, George Ball presented a paper on “Spain After Franco” that discussed “Spain’s desirable opening to democracy and the future role of Juan Carlos.” This report came from the “eggheads of the National Security Council [who] had been preparing it since February by order of President Nixon to be evaluated at the Bilderberg meeting” (p.458). In the documents at the back of the book, Urbano provides the following commentary:
In February 1973, President Nixon ordered a study on the impact that the death of Franco and the foreseeable political changes could have on United States interests when Juan Carlos was king. Likewise, he ordered a careful monitoring of the Prince “until at least 1982”. In this document, issued by Kissinger from the Department of State, official reports from the National Security Council, the CIA, the Treasury and Defense were to be collected and sent to the Bilderberg Steering Committee. One more proof of their overlapping politics.
Vanity Fair presents the memorandum as evidence of Henry Kissinger’s “interest…in monitoring Prince Juan Carlos based on North American interests after the death of Franco.”
Figure 3: The Kissinger Memorandum (Vanity Fair)
But, like the BWG Report, there are excellent reasons to question its authenticity. The most obvious problem is its providence: it is supposedly a US Government document, but Urbano gives no source or archive from where this document came from. While Vanity Fair merely cites Daniel Estulin as its source, who again appears to be claiming copyright over what is supposed to be a US Government document:
This document, with its NSC letterhead and Kissinger’s signature, appears to be a National Security Study Memoranda or NSSM as it instructs various agencies to commence a study. According to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum the NSSMs were:
formal directives issued by the President or the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (Henry A. Kissinger) that commission studies of particular issues relating to U.S. national security and foreign policy.
Often the memos instruct recipient agencies to address or to answer specific questions. The National Security Council and the Administration would then discuss these studies during the decision making process.
With its wording directing the “preparation of a paper”, the document certainly appears to be an NSSM, but there multiple indicators this document is a fake.
First, the Nixon Administration produced exactly 206 NSSMS almost of which have been declassified3 and can be found at the Nixon Library website. This document, which is dated February 11, 1973, is not on the website. In fact, there were no NSSMs issued about Spain during that month:
Second, another important detail is that each NSSM from the Nixon Administration has a number as can be seen here:
But this document is, for some reason, without a number:
Third, being documents produced by the NSC, each and every NSSM also has a security classification:
A feature that is, yet again, strangely missing from this document, which is extraordinary as the three NSSMs that were about Spain – NSSM 46 (April 21, 1969), NSSM 179 (April 9, 1973), and NSSM 193 (February 15, 1974) – were all classified “SECRET”:
Fourth, there are multiple other formatting issues. The style font on the letterhead does not match that of the genuine NSSMs; the paragraphs are all indented, while there is no paragraph indention in original NSSMs; and the dotted line across the top is also at odds with the appearance of the other NSSMs.
Fifth, the memorandum mentions that to help prepare the paper that President Nixon had “directed the creation of an Ad Hoc Working Group chaired by the former Undersecretary of State…” It is odd, if not inexplicable, that this “former Undersecretary of State” is not named in this supposedly official document. Odd because there were at least five other former Undersecretaries of State, other than George Ball, alive at the time who could have assumed this role. It is the sort of mistake a fabricator might make, after having identified Ball as the lead of the working group in the BWG Report. And yet, there is no evidence the George Ball or any other former Undersecretary of State led a working group for Bilderberg or the US Government during the Nixon Administration about Spain after Franco.
Finally, the document is dated “February 11, 1973”, which besides being a Sunday was also the date that Kissinger happed to be Hanoi for peace talks to end the Vietnam War. Kissinger was in Hanoi from 10 through to 13 February.
This naturally raises the question of how and when did Kissinger sign it? If he somehow signed it before he left for North Vietnam, why not on or just before the date he departed? That the document is fake explains this discrepancy.
In summary, this “original document” is also a rather crude fake. To be sure it duplicates some elements of the form and content of a NSSM, but also misses many other important details that expose it as a fabrication. It is also noteworthy that neither Urbano nor Martin Jimenez have been able to corroborate through other more reliable archival sources that Ball was tasked by the Nixon Administration to lead a study on Spain’s post-Franco future. The ability of the Bilderberg Group meetings to influence transatlantic politics is not to be underestimated. But the processes are more subtle than might be supposed, nevertheless this has not stopped many conspiracist researchers from believing the worst and either misinterpreting Bilderberg meeting reports, or in this case, being taken in by forgeries. As show by the analysis above, both the BWG Report and the Kissinger Memorandum are more likely to be fakes than not. Researchers looking for evidence of elite malfeasance, and particularly of Bilderberg sub rosa influence, are best advised to avoid them. If there is a lesson in this it is the same one I have raisedpreviously: to avoid both embarrassment and misleading readers, check your sources ladies and gentlemen!
2 One of the curiosities of this affair is that while there is no direct evidence that Estulin is the ultimate source of these documents, it is odd that he was clearly source for Vanity Fair, but has not referred to these documents in any of his books about Bilderberg. Nevertheless, Pilar Urbano wrote a prologue to the Spanish edition of Estulin’s book about Bilderberg and she also appeared in his Bilderberg: The Movie documentary.
3 Some NSSM still have redactions for still sensitive matters. The only NSSM not declassified is NSSM 40 from April 11, 1969 on the “Israeli Nuclear Weapons Program.”