Bilderberg Group

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A chart showing Bilderberg connections in politics, media, finance and think-tanks.

The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg Conference, or Bilderberg Club is an annual private conference of approximately 120–150 political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media. About two-thirds of the participants come from Europe and the rest from North America; one third from politics and government and the rest from other fields. The names of participants are not released before the conference takes place and the meetings are closed to the media. Professor Andrew Kakabadse writes in Bilderberg People that the power of the group far outstrips that of the more famous World Economic Forum. "It's much smarter than conspiracy," says Kakabadse. "This is molding the way people think so that it seems like there's no alternative to what is happening."[1] The group has been described as both the most influential and most secretive conference in the world.[2][3]


Hotel de Bilderberg exterior.

The Bilderberg Group is so named for the location of the first meeting, which was the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek, Netherlands. The meeting took place from May 29th to May 31st, 1954, and was intended to strengthen ties between the United States and Europe as the Soviet Union began to strengthen its hold on the Eastern bloc. The meeting was chaired by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and, among other topics, the prospect of European integration was discussed.[4] The meeting was initiated by several people, including Polish politician-in-exile Józef Retinger, concerned about the growth of anti-Americanism in Western Europe, who proposed an international conference at which leaders from European countries and the United States would be brought together with the aim of promoting Atlanticism.[5]

Retinger approached Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands who agreed to promote the idea, together with former Belgian Prime Minister Paul Van Zeeland, and the head of Unilever at that time, Dutchman Paul Rijkens. Bernhard in turn contacted Walter Bedell Smith, then head of the CIA, who asked Eisenhower adviser Charles Douglas Jackson to deal with the suggestion. The guest list was to be drawn up by inviting two attendees from each nation, one each to represent conservative and liberal points of view.[6] The success of the meeting led the organizers to arrange an annual conference. A permanent Steering Committee was established, with Retinger appointed as permanent secretary.[7]

As well as organizing the conference, the steering committee also maintained a register of attendee names and contact details, with the aim of creating an informal network of individuals who could call upon one another in a private capacity.[8] Conferences were held in France, Germany, and Denmark over the following three years. In 1957, the first U.S. conference was held in St. Simons, Georgia, with $30,000 from the Ford Foundation. The foundation supplied additional funding of $48,000 in 1959, and $60,000 in 1963.[9]

Dutch economist Ernst van der Beugel took over as permanent secretary in 1960, upon the death of Retinger. Prince Bernhard continued to serve as the meeting's chairman until 1976, the year of his involvement in the Lockheed bribery scandal, in which it was shown that Bernhard had accepted a series of bribes from the U.S. aerospace company.[10] The position of Honorary American Secretary General has been held successively by Joseph E. Johnson of the Carnegie Endowment, William Bundy of Princeton, Theodore L. Eliot, Jr., former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, and Casimir A. Yost of Georgetown University's Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.[11]


A chart of select Bilderberg attendees.

Attendees of Bilderberg meetings include bankers, defense experts, mass media press barons, government ministers, prime ministers, royalty, international financiers and political leaders from Europe and North America.[12]

Steering Committee Members

  • Josef Meinrad Ackermann (born 7 February 1948), Swiss banker and former chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank
  • Marcus Ambrose Paul Agius (born 22 July 1946), British financier and former Group Chairman of Barclays
  • Giovanni Agnelli (12 March 1921 – 24 January 2003), Italian industrialist and principal shareholder of Fiat
  • Umberto Agnelli (1 November 1934 – 27 May 2004), Italian industrialist and politician
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Terence Sydney Airey, KCMG, CB, CBE (9 July 1900 – 26 March 1983), officer in the British Army
  • Paul Arthur Allaire (born July 21, 1938), CEO and Chairman of Xerox Corporation
  • Roger Charles Altman (born April 2, 1946), American investment banker, private equity investor and former United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury who served under Bill Clinton
  • Otto Wolff von Amerongen (6 August 1918 - 8 March 2007), influential German businessman, who chaired Otto Wolff AG, one of the largest trading groups in West Germany
  • Johannes Hannes Androsch (April 18, 1938), Austrian entrepreneur and consultant; Austrian Minister of Finance from 1970 to 1981 and additionally as Vice Chancellor from 1976–1981
  • George Wildman Ball (December 21, 1909 – May 26, 1994, American diplomat and banker
  • Percy Nils Barnevik (born 13 February 1941), Swedish business executive, best known as CEO and later Chairman of Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) 1988–2002, and for being the centre of a giant pension dispute that shook Sweden in 2003
  • Sir Frederic Mackarness Bennett, (2 December 1918 – 14 September 2002), Knight Bachelor (1964), journalist, barrister and a Conservative Party Member of Parliament
  • Franco Bernabè (born September 18, 1948), Italian banker and manager, formerly the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Telecom Italia, appointed on December 3, 2007
  • Ernst van der Beugel (2 February 1918, Amsterdam – 29 September 2004, The Hague), Dutch economist, businessman, diplomat, and politician
  • Conrad Moffat Black, Baron Black of Crossharbour, KSG (born 25 August 1944), Canadian-born British former newspaper publisher, writer and a convicted felon in the United States for fraud
  • Nicholas Frederick Brady (born April 11, 1930), American politician from the state of New Jersey, United States Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and is also known for articulating the Brady Plan in March 1989
  • William Putnam "Bill" Bundy (September 24, 1917 – October 6, 2000), member of the CIA and foreign affairs adviser to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, played a key role in planning the Vietnam War
  • Frank T. Cary (14 December 1920, Gooding, Idaho – 1 January 2006, Darien, Connecticut), U.S. Executive and Businessman, served as the Chairman from 1973 to 1983 and CEO from 1973 to 1981 of IBM
  • Henri de La Croix de Castries, 5th Comte de Castries (born 15 August 1954), French businessman and a member of the House of Castries, Chairman and CEO of AXA since May 2000
  • William Edmund "Ed" Clark (born October 10, 1947), President and Chief Executive Officer of TD Bank Group (also known as Toronto-Dominion Bank)
  • Jon Stevens Corzine (born January 1, 1947), American financial executive and politician
  • Kenneth W. Dam (born August 10, 1932), served as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury (the second highest official in the United States Department of the Treasury) from 2001 to 2003
  • George David, chairman of the Board of Directors of Coca-Cola HBC, member of the Boards of the Hellenic Institute of Defense and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) and the Centre for Asia Minor Studies
  • Arthur Hobson Dean (1899 – 1987), New York lawyer and diplomat who was viewed as one of the leading corporate lawyers of his day, as well having served as a key advisor to numerous U.S. president
  • Thomas E. "Tom" Donilon (born May 14, 1955), American lawyer and former government official who served as National Security Advisor in the Obama administration
  • Willem Frederik "Wim" Duisenberg (9 July 1935 – 31 July 2005), Dutch politician of the Labour Party (PvdA)and the first President of the European Central Bank from 1 July 1998 until 31 October 2003
  • Anders Eldrup (born October 30, 1948), Danish business leader previously Permanent Secretary at the Danish Ministry of Finance, and since 2001 Eldrup has taken the position as CEO
  • Theodore Lyman Eliot, Jr. (born 1928 into Boston's Eliot family), United States Ambassador to Afghanistan from 1973 to 1978
  • Dr Thomas "Tom" Enders (born December 1958), German business executive
  • Oliver Shewell Franks, Baron Franks, OM GCMG KCB CBE PC DL (16 February 1905 – 15 October 1992), English civil servant and philosopher who has been described as 'one of the founders of the post-war world'
  • David J. Frum (born June 30, 1960), Canadian-American political commentator and speechwriter for President George W. Bush
  • Hugh Todd Naylor Gaitskell CBE PC (9 April 1906 – 18 January 1963, British Labour politician who held Cabinet office in Clement Attlee's governments, and was the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1955 until his death in 1963
  • Geir Hallgrímsson (16 December 1925 – 1 September 1990), 16th Prime Minister of Iceland for the Independence Party from 28 August 1974 to 1 September 1978
  • Louis Vincent Gerstner, Jr. (born March 1, 1942 in Mineola, New York), American businessman, best known for his tenure as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of IBM from April 1993 until 2002
  • Major-General Sir Colin McVean Gubbins KCMG, DSO, MC (2 July 1896 – 11 February 1976), prime mover of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in the Second World War
  • Victor Halberstadt (born June 16, 1939 in Amsterdam), Dutch economist
  • Gabriel Hauge (How-ghee) (March 7, 1914 - July 24, 1981), prominent American bank executive and economist, served as assistant to the President for Economic Affairs during the administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Jens Christian Hauge (15 May 1915 - 30 October 2006), often written Jens Chr. Hauge, Norwegian Minister of Defence and later Minister of Justice
  • Denis Winston Healey, Baron Healey, CH, MBE, PC (born 30 August 1917), retired British Labour politician who served as Secretary of State for Defence from 1964 to 1970 and Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1974 to 1979
  • Henry John "Jack" Heinz II (1908–1987), American business executive and CEO of the H. J. Heinz Company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Alfred Herrhausen (30 January 1930, Essen – 30 November 1989) was a German banker and Chairman of Deutsche Bank
  • Leif Høegh (21 April 1896 - May 1974), Norwegian shipowner
  • Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke (April 24, 1941 – December 13, 2010), American diplomat, magazine editor, author, professor, Peace Corps official, and investment banker
  • Allan Hubbard (born September 8, 1947), Assistant to President George W. Bush for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council at the end of 2007
  • Kenneth M. Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of Lazard since November 16, 2009
  • Peter Jankowitsch (born July 10, 1933), former Austrian diplomat and politician
  • Daniel Janssen (born Brussels 15 April 1936), Belgian businessman
  • James A. Johnson (born December 24, 1943), United States Democratic Party political figure, former CEO of Fannie Mae
  • Joseph Esrey Johnson (April 30, 1895 – 1990), American government official who served with both the United States Department of State and the United Nations
  • Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr. (born August 15, 1935, American business executive and civil rights activist in the United States
  • Kostas Karras (21 June 1936 – 6 May 2012), Greek actor and politician
  • John Olav Kerr, Baron Kerr of Kinlochard GCMG (born 22 February 1942), former diplomat, now Deputy Chairman of Scottish Power and an independent (cross-bench) member of the House of Lords
  • Henry Alfred Kissinger (born Heinz Alfred Kissinger; May 27, 1923), American diplomat and political scientist, served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, proponent of Realpolitik, played a prominent role in United States foreign policy between 1969 and 1977
  • Klaus Kleinfeld (born November 6, 1957 in Bremen, Germany), chief executive officer (CEO) of Alcoa Inc., and former CEO of Siemens AG
  • Andrew Stephen Bower Knight (born 1 November 1939 in England), journalist, editor, and director of News Corporation
  • Max Kohnstamm (22 May 1914 – 20 October 2010), Dutch historian and diplomat
  • Hilmar Kopper (born 13 March, 1935), German banker and former Chairman of the Board of Deutsche Bank (1989-1997)
  • Marie-Josée Kravis (née Drouin) (born 1949), American businesswoman and philanthropist
  • André Kudelski (born on May 26, 1960 in Lausanne), Swiss engineer, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the Kudelski Group
  • Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière (born 1940), CEO of FIMALAC (a.k.a. Financière Marc de Lacharrière), parent of Fitch Group
  • Winston Lord (born on August 14, 1937), United States diplomat and leader of non-governmental foreign policy organizations, served as the president of the Council on Foreign Relations between 1977 and 1985, Ambassador to China (1985–1989) and Assistant Secretary of State (1993–1997)
  • Donald Stovel Macdonald, PC, CC (born March 1, 1932), former Canadian Liberal politician and Cabinet minister
  • Jessica Tuchman Mathews (born July 4, 1946), president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a foreign policy think tank in Washington, D.C., since 1997
  • Charles McCurdy "Mac" Mathias, Jr. (July 24, 1922 – January 25, 2010), Republican member of the United States Senate, representing Maryland from 1969 to 1987
  • Reginald Maudling (7 March 1917 – 14 February 1979), British politician who held several Cabinet posts, including Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Johannes (Jo) Meynen (13 April 1901, Winsum, Friesland – 13 February 1980, Velp), a Dutch politician
  • George John Mitchell, Jr. GBE (born August 20, 1933), American lawyer, businessman and politician
  • Thierry de Montbrial, French economics and international relations specialist and researcher
  • Mario Monti, Knight Grand Cross OMRI (born 19 March 1943), Italian economist who served as the Prime Minister of Italy from 2011 to 2013, leading a government of technocrats in the wake of the Italian debt crisis
  • Bill D. Moyers (born June 5, 1934), American journalist and liberal political commentator
  • Craig James Mundie (born July 1, 1949 in Cleveland, Ohio), Senior Advisor to the CEO at Microsoft and its former Chief Research and Strategy Officer
  • Robert Daniel Murphy (October 28, 1894 – January 9, 1978), American diplomat
  • Egil Myklebust (born 9 June 1942), Norwegian businessman, lawyer, chairman of the board of SAS Group
  • Jorma Jaakko Ollila (born 15 August 1950, Seinäjoki, Finland), Finnish businessman, and Non-Executive Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell since 1 June 2006
  • Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, Knight Grand Cross (Cavaliere di Gran Croce) (23 July 1940 – 18 December 2010), Italian banker and economist, Italy's Minister of Economy and Finances from May 2006 until May 2008, founding father of the European single currency
  • James A. Perkins (October 11, 1911 – August 19, 1998), seventh president of Cornell University
  • Richard Norman Perle (born September 16, 1941), American political advisor, consultant, and lobbyist who began his career in government as a senior staff member to Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson on the Senate Armed Services Committee in the 1970s
  • Francisco José Pereira Pinto Balsemão, GCC (born 1 September 1937), Portuguese businessman, journalist, retired politician and former Prime Minister of Portugal, who served from 1981 to 1983
  • Victor Frederick William Cavendish-Bentinck, 9th Duke of Portland (18 June 1897 – 30 July 1990), known as Victor Cavendish-Bentinck until 1980, British diplomat and businessman
  • Romano Prodi (born 9 August 1939), Italian politician and statesman, served as the Prime Minister of Italy, from 17 May 1996 to 21 October 1998 and from 17 May 2006 to 8 May 2008
  • Heather Reisman (born August 28, 1948), Canadian businesswoman
  • Józef Hieronim Retinger (17 April 1888 – 12 June 1960), Polish political adviser, founder of the European Movement that would lead to the founding of the European Union
  • Rozanne Lejeanne Ridgway (born August 22, 1935 in Saint Paul, Minnesota), served 32 years with the U.S. State Department, holding several posts, including ambassador to Finland and to East Germany, and finished her career as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs
  • David Rockefeller (born June 12, 1915), American banker and philanthropist who served as chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Corporation, the oldest living member of the Rockefeller family and family patriarch since July 2004
  • Sharon Lee Percy Rockefeller (born December 10, 1944), wife of West Virginia Senator John Davison "Jay" Rockefeller IV and served as that state's First Lady from 1977 to 1985
  • Edmond Adolphe Maurice Jules Jacques de Rothschild, usually known as Baron Edmond Adolphe de Rothschild (September 30, 1926 – November 2, 1997), Swiss member of the Rothschild family
  • Renato Ruggiero (9 April 1930 – 4 August 2013), Italian politician, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation from 1995 to 1999 and briefly served as Italy's Foreign Minister in 2001
  • John Davan Sainsbury, Baron Sainsbury of Preston Candover, KG (born 2 November 1927), President of Sainsbury's, a British businessman, a politician, sits in the House of Lords as a member of the Conservative Party
  • Walter Scheel (born 8 July 1919), German politician (FDP), served as Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development from 1961 to 1966, Foreign Minister of Germany and Vice Chancellor from 1969 to 1974, acting Chancellor of Germany from 7 to 16 May 1974 (following the resignation of Willy Brandt after the Guillaume Affair), and finally as President of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1974 to 1979
  • Jürgen Erich Schrempp (born September 15, 1944 in Freiburg), former CEO of DaimlerChrysler, a German-American car and truck manufacturer
  • Klaus Martin Schwab (born March 30, 1938), Swiss engineer and economist, best known as the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum
  • Tøger Seidenfaden (28 April 1957 – 27 January 2011), Danish journalist and political scientist, and, from 1993 until his death, editor-in-chief of the broadsheet newspaper Politiken
  • Ernest-Antoine Seillière de Laborde (born 20 December 1937, Neuilly-sur-Seine), French entrepreneur and the heir to the Wendel empire
  • John Smith QC MP (13 September 1938 – 12 May 1994), British Labour Party politician who served as Leader of the Labour Party from July 1992 until his death from a heart attack in May 1994
  • Count Jean Charles Snoy et d'Oppuers (2 July 1907, Braine-l'Alleud, Walloon Brabant – 17 May 1991), son of Baron Thierry Snoy, a Belgian civil servant, diplomat and Roman Catholic politician for the PSC-CVP
  • Theo Sommer (born 10 June 1930), German newspaper editor and intellectual
  • Shepard Stone (March 31, 1908 - May 4, 1990), American journalist and foundation administrator
  • Lawrence Henry "Larry" Summers (born November 30, 1954), American economist who is President Emeritus and Charles W. Eliot University Professor of Harvard University
  • Peter Denis Sutherland (born 25 April 1946), Irish international businessman and former Attorney General of Ireland, associated with the Fine Gael party
  • Dick Taverne, Baron Taverne, QC (born 18 October 1928), English politician, who is one of the small number of members of the British House of Commons elected since the Second World War who was not the candidate of a major political party
  • Arthur R. Taylor (born July 6, 1935), American businessman
  • Martin Taylor (born 1952), businessman and former chief executive of Barclays Bank
  • Peter Andreas Thiel (born October 11, 1967), American entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and hedge fund manager
  • Otto Grieg Tidemand (18 June 1921-10 June 2006), Norwegian politician for the Conservative Party
  • Jean-Claude Trichet (born 20 December 1942), French civil servant who was the president of the European Central Bank from 2003 to 2011
  • Loukas Tsoukalis (born in Athens in 1950), Greek professor of economics
  • Paul Guillaume van Zeeland (11 November 1893 – 22 September 1973), Belgian lawyer, economist, Catholic politician and statesman born in Soignies
  • Daniel Lucius Vasella, M.D. (born 15 August 1953), medical doctor, author, and executive who served as CEO and chairman of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG, the world's fifth largest drug company
  • Franz Vranitzky (born 4 October 1937), Austrian politician
  • Jacob Wallenberg (born 1956), Swedish banker and industrialist, currently serving as a board member for multiple companies
  • Marcus Wallenberg (born 2 September 1956), Swedish banker and industrialist
  • Kevin Maxwell Warsh (born April 13, 1970), a lawyer, government official and academic, was a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 2006 to 2011
  • Niels Roth Heyerdahl Werring (1897 – 1990), Norwegian ship-owner
  • John Cunningham Whitehead (born April 2, 1922), American banker and civil servant, currently a board member of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation (WTC Memorial Foundation) and, until his resignation in May 2006, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
  • Marina von Neumann Whitman (born March 6, 1935), American economist
  • Lynn Russell Williams, OC (July 21, 1924 – May 5, 2014), Canadian labour leader best remembered as the International President of the United Steelworkers union (USW)
  • Hans-Jürgen Wischnewski (born 24 July 1922 - died 24 February 2005), German Social Democrat politician
  • Sir James David Wolfensohn, KBE, AO (born 1 December 1933), Australian-American lawyer, investment banker and economist who served as the ninth president of the World Bank Group
  • Paul Dundes Wolfowitz (born December 22, 1943), former President of the World Bank, United States Ambassador to Indonesia, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, leading Neocon

Chairmen of the Steering Committee

Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld (1954–1975) [13]
Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld with President John F. Kennedy.

Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, later Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, co-founded the international Bilderberg Group. With his global contacts, Bernhard in May 1954, was a key figure in organizing a meeting at the Bilderberg Hotel in the Netherlands for the business elite and intellectuals of the Western World to discuss the economic problems in the face of what they characterized as the growing threat from Communism. This first meeting was successful, and it became an annual gathering known as the Bilderberg Group.

He was forced to step down from the group after being involved in the Lockheed bribery scandal. It was shown that Prince Bernhard had accepted a US$1.1 million bribe from U.S. aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Corporation to influence the Dutch Government's purchase of fighter aircraft. At the time he had served on more than 300 corporate boards and committees worldwide and had been praised in the Netherlands for his efforts to promote the economic well-being of the country. Prime Minister of the Netherlands Joop den Uyl ordered an inquiry into the Lockheed affair, while Prince Bernhard refused to answer reporters' questions, stating: "I am above such things".[14]

During Dutch and international coverage of the story, Prince Bernhard's Reiter SS membership was also revealed.[15] After an eighteen month period of service in the Reiter SS, Bernhard went on to become a prominent intelligence worker with I.G. Farben. Professor Antony C. Sutton writes that "at the outbreak of war in 1939, Department of Economic Research (Vowi) employees were ordered into the Wehrmacht but in fact continued to perform the same work as when nominally under I.G. Farben". Bernhard was among the employees at Berlin N.W. 7 office of I.G. Farben, a key overseas espionage center.[16] After training, Bernhard became secretary to the board of directors at the Paris office in 1935.

After the Royal Family fled the Netherlands and took refuge in England, Prince Bernhard asked to work in British Intelligence but the War Admiralty, and later General Eisenhower's Allied Command offices, did not trust him sufficiently to allow him access to sensitive intelligence information. However, on the recommendation of Bernhard's friend and admirer, King George VI, who was also of German aristocratic descent via his great-grandfather Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and after being personally screened by intelligence officer Ian Fleming at the behest of Churchill, he was later permitted to work in the Allied War Planning Councils.[17]

Walter Scheel (1975–1977) [18]
Walter Scheel and President Jimmy Carter.

Walter Scheel is a German politician who served as Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development from 1961 to 1966, Foreign Minister of Germany and Vice Chancellor from 1969 to 1974, acting Chancellor of Germany from 7 to 16 May 1974 (following the resignation of Willy Brandt after the Guillaume Affair), and finally as President of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1974 to 1979. He is currently the oldest former German president alive and the longest-lived German head of state. From 1980 to 1989 he was also President of the German section of the Union of European Federalists (UEF), a European non-governmental organization campaigning for a Federal Europe.[19]

Alec Douglas-Home (1977–1980)[20]

Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Baron Home of the Hirsel, KT, PC, was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister from October 1963 to October 1964. Within six years of first entering the House of Commons in 1931, Douglas-Home (then called by the courtesy title Lord Dunglass) became parliamentary aide to Neville Chamberlain, witnessing at first hand Chamberlain's efforts as Prime Minister to preserve peace through appeasement in the two years before the outbreak of the Second World War.[21]

In 1944, with the war turning in the Allies' favour, Dunglass spoke eloquently about the importance of resisting the Soviet Union's ambition to dominate eastern Europe. His boldness in publicly urging Churchill not to give in to Joseph Stalin was widely remarked upon; many, including Churchill himself, observed that some of those once associated with appeasement were determined that it should not be repeated in the face of Russian aggression.[22] He regained his seat in the house of commons 1950, but the following year he left when, on the death of his father, he inherited the earldom of Home and thereby became a member of the House of Lords.

In the post of Foreign Secretary, which he held from 1960 to 1963, he supported United States resolve in the Cuban missile crisis and was the United Kingdom's signatory of the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in August 1963. In east-west relations, Douglas-Home continued his policy of keeping the Soviet Union at bay. In September 1971, after receiving no satisfactory results from negotiations with Gromyko about the flagrant activities of the KGB in Britain, he expelled 105 Soviet diplomats for spying.[23][24]

Eric Roll, Baron Roll of Ipsden

Eric Roll, Baron Roll of Ipsden, CB, KCMG, was an academic economist, public servant and banker. Roll was born as Erich Roll in the then-Austro-Hungarian Empire and grew up near Czernowitz in Bukovina, which became part of Romania and is now part of Ukraine. By the age of 28, Roll became Professor of Economics and Commerce at University College, Hull, appointed with the backing of John Maynard Keynes and Lord Stamp. During World War II, however, he was recruited to the civil service as deputy head of the British Food Mission (1941–1946), where he was principally involved in the procurement of food supplies - most notably dried eggs. He made a number of contacts in the United States and rejected the offer to head the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, instead joining the British Ministry of Food.

His economic experience and contacts made him invaluable in the post-war government and he was the British representative in the Paris discussions on Marshall aid. He played an important role in the setting up of European and trans-Atlantic institutions before rejoining the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Roll was about to accept the vice-chancellorship of Liverpool University, but was asked to go to Washington, D.C. as economic minister at the British embassy from 1963 to 1964. Then, when Labour won the 1964 election, he became permanent secretary of the new Department of Economic Affairs, despite not agreeing with its development. Roll was also a director of the Bank of England between 1968 and 1977, chairman of the merchant bankers SG Warburg, and a director of The Times.

Roll was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1949, a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1956 and a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 1962 and was made an officeur of the Legion d'Honneur. He was created a life peer as Baron Roll of Ipsden, of Ipsden in the County of Oxfordshire, on 19 July 1977.[25]

Peter Carington, 6th Baron Carrington [26]
Peter Carington, 6th Baron Carrington

Peter Alexander Rupert Carington, 6th Baron Carrington, KG, GCMG, CH, MC, PC, DL, is a British Conservative politician. He served as British Defence Secretary between 1970 and 1974, Foreign Secretary between 1979 and 1982 and as the sixth Secretary General of NATO from 1984 to 1988. He is the last surviving member of the Cabinets of both Harold Macmillan and Sir Alec Douglas-Home.

When the Conservatives returned to power in 1970 under Edward Heath, Carrington became Defence Secretary, where he remained until 1974 when the Conservatives were voted out in favour of Harold Wilson's Labour. In a 1977 letter discussing the policy of torture of Irish republican internees during Operation Demetrius in August 1971, the then Home Secretary Merlyn Rees attributed the origins of the policy in particular to Carrington: '"It is my view (confirmed by Brian Faulkner before his death [NI's prime minister at the time]) that the decision to use methods of torture in Northern Ireland in 1971/72 was taken by ministers - in particular Lord Carrington, then secretary of state for defence."[27][28]

He served as Chairman of the Conservative Party from 1972 to 1974, and was briefly Secretary of State for Energy from January to March 1974. Carrington was again Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords from 1974 to 1979. In 1979 he was made Foreign Secretary and Minister for Overseas Development as part of the first Cabinet of Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher spoke very highly of Carrington, stating "Peter had great panache and the ability to identify immediately the main points in any argument; and he could express himself in pungent terms. We had disagreements, but there were never any hard feelings."[29]

Lord Carrington then served as Secretary General of NATO from 1984 to 1988. He was also appointed Chancellor of the Order of St Michael and St George on 1 August 1984, serving until June 1994.[30][31] In 1991, he presided over diplomatic talks about the break-up of the former Yugoslavia and attempted to pass a plan that would end the wars and result in each republic becoming an independent nation. In 1983 he became president of the Pilgrims Society, a British-American society established, in the words of American diplomat Joseph Choate, 'to promote good-will, good-fellowship, and everlasting peace between the United States and Great Britain'.[32][33]

Étienne Davignon

Étienne Francois Jacques Davignon, Viscount Davignon is a Belgian politician, businessman, and former vice-president of the European Commission. Davignon became the first head of the International Energy Agency, from 1974 to 1977, before becoming a member of the European Commission, of which he was vice-president from 1981 till 1985. From 1989 to 2001, he was chairman of the Belgian bank Société Générale de Belgique, which is now part of the French supplier Suez and was not an arm of the French bank Société Générale, but a Belgian institution. He is now Vice Chairman of Suez subsidiary, Suez-Tractebel.[34]

As chairman of Société Générale de Belgique, he was a member of the European Round Table of Industrialists. He is the current co-chairman of the EU-Japan Business Dialogue Round Table, chairman of the Paul-Henri Spaak Foundation, president of the EGMONT – Royal Institute for International Relations, chairman of CSR Europe, chairman of the European Academy of Business in Society and was chairman of the annual Bilderberg conference from 1998 to 2001.[35] He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group.[36]

On 26 January 2004, Davignon was given the honorary title of Minister of State, giving him a seat on the Crown Council.

Henri de Castries [37]

Henri de La Croix de Castries, 5th Comte de Castries, is a French businessman and a member of the House of Castries. He has been Chairman and CEO of AXA since May 2000. From 1980 to 1984, he audited on behalf of the Minister of Finances of France, and in 1984 he became a member of the French Treasury. In 1986, he participated in the privatisation initiated by Jacques Chirac's government, including Compagnie Générale d'Electricité, now known as Alcatel-Lucent, and TF1, both on the CAC 40.[38]


Critics say the Bilderberg Group promotes the careers of politicians whose views are representative of the interests of multinational corporations, at the expense of democracy. Journalists who have been invited to attend the Bilderberg Conference as observers have discounted these claims, calling the conference "not much different from a seminar or a conference organized by an upscale NGO" with "nothing different except for the influence of the participants."

The group's secrecy and its connections to power elites has raised concerns for many who believe that the group is part of a conspiracy to create a New World Order. Radio host Alex Jones, a well known conspiracy theorist, promotes the claim that the group intends to dissolve the sovereignty of the United States and other countries into a supra-national structure similar to the European Union. Madrid-based author Daniel Estulin, writing in the conspiracy theory magazine Nexus, claims that the long-term purpose of Bilderberg is to "Build a One-World Empire". He states the group "is not the end but the means to a future One World Government". Reporter Jonathan Duffy, writing in BBC News Online Magazine states "In the void created by such aloofness, an extraordinary conspiracy theory has grown up around the group that alleges the fate of the world is largely decided by Bilderberg." Denis Healey, a Bilderberg founder and former British Chancellor of the Exchequer, decries such theories. He was quoted by BBC News as saying "There's absolutely nothing in it. We never sought to reach a consensus on the big issues at Bilderberg. It's simply a place for discussion."

See also


  5. Hatch, Alden (1962). "The Hôtel de Bilderberg". H.R.H. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands: An authorized biography. London: Harrap.
  6. Aubourg, Valerie (June 2003). "Organizing Atlanticism: the Bilderberg Group and the Atlantic Institute 1952–63". Intelligence & National Security 18 (2): 92–105.
  7. Rockefeller, David (2002). Memoirs. New York: Random House. p. 412.
  8. "The Hôtel de Bilderberg". H.R.H. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands: An authorized biography. London: Harrap. "anybody who has ever been to a Bilderberg Conference should be able to feel that he can, in a private capacity, call on any former member he has met"
  9. Aubourg, Valerie (June 2003). "Organizing Atlanticism: the Bilderberg Group and the Atlantic Institute 1952–63". Intelligence & National Security 18 (2): 92–105.
  12. Moorehead, Caroline (18 April 1977). "An exclusive club, perhaps without power, but certainly with influence: The Bilderberg group". The Times (London).
  13. "Twenty-fifth Bilderberg meeting held in St joseph MO". Facts on File World News Digest. 14 May 1977.
  18. Rockefeller, David (2002). Memoirs. New York: Random House. p. 412.
  20. "Twenty-fifth Bilderberg meeting held in St joseph MO". Facts on File World News Digest. 14 May 1977.
  21. Heath, p. 120, and Thorpe (1997), pp. 85–86
  22. Alec Douglas-Home. Author: D.R. Thorpe. Publisher: Sinclair-Stevenson Ltd. Published: 23 October 1997. Retrieved: 30 January 2014, p. 124
  23. "Thaw in Anglo-Soviet Relations", The Times, 4 December 1973, p. 17
  24. Leapman, Michael. "Gromyko threat of reprisals on diplomats fails to sway Sir Alec", The Times, 28 September 1971, p. 1
  25. Who's Who. 1999.
  26. Rockefeller, David (2002). Memoirs. New York: Random House. p. 412.
  29. Margaret Thatcher, The Downing Street Years (HarperCollins, 1993), p. 27.
  32. Who's Who. 1999.