Monday, July 04, 2005

It's July and You Know What That Means

While you are busy dusting off your grill for the requisite burning of steaks and tofu pups in honor of the Declaration of Independence, many members of the "rich, powerful, elite" (no doubt, all good, practicing, mainly-white Christians) are dusting off their pagan ritual gear for the annual fete in Bohemian Grove.

Bohemian Grove? What's that? Funny you should ask. Let's have a look.

Slice 1:
The club's famed annual gathering has been held for more than 100 years at the 2,700-acre Bohemian Grove in Monte Rio, about 70 miles north of San Francisco in Sonoma County. This year's event drew in notables such as former President George Bush, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, Henry Kissinger, retired Gen. Colin Powell, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Dow Chemical Chairman Frank Popoff, as well as actor Danny Glover.

The men gather to celebrate what they call "the spirit of Bohemia," said Peter Phillips, a Sonoma State University sociology professor who wrote his doctoral dissertation on the Bohemian Club. "This is a place men can go and hang out with people who are similar to them," he said.

The annual gathering near the Russian River, which was first held in 1879, starts with the "Cremation of Care" ritual, in which the club's mascot is burned in effigy, symbolizing a freedom from care.

Members also perform several plays, and gourmet food and expensive wine are plentiful. While the club was formed in 1872 by a group of San Francisco journalists, the male-only club now bars journalists from membership to protect the group's privacy. Membership is coveted, and people routinely wait 10 or 15 years before gaining admittance. There are currently about 2,700 members.
Slice 2:
For two and a half weeks every July, two thousand of the top movers and shakers in business and government attend the Bohemian Club's summer encampment. Although highly selective, the club has a national membership and is among the most prestigious of affiliations in neoconservative circles. Its membership is known to include Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Gerald Ford, William F. Buckley, Jr., Frank Borman, Justin Dart, William Randolph Hearst, Jr., Caspar Weinberger, Charles Percy, George Schultz, Edward Teller, Merv Griffin, and a large proportion of the directors and chief executive officers of the Fortune 1000. Daniel Ludwig, the richest private citizen on earth, is a Bohemian. Conspiracy nuts think the Bohemian Club meets each summer to plot to take over the world. These guys ALREADY run the world.
Slice 3:
Who are the present members? The Club has evolved into an association of rich and powerful men, mostly of this country (there are similar organizations in other countries). Some artists are allowed to join (often at reduced rates), because of their social status and entertainment value. The membership list has included every Republican U.S. president (as well as some Democrats) since 1923, many cabinet officials, and director; & CEO's of large corporations, including major financial institutions.

What industries are represented among the members? Major military contractors, oil companies, banks (including the Federal Reserve), utilities (including nuclear power), and national media (broadcast and print) have high-ranking officials as club members or guests. Many members are, or have been, on the board of directors of several of these corporations. You should note that most of the above industries depend heavily on a relationship with government for their profitability.

Slice 4:
Now, for the First Time in History, an Outsider Has Infiltrated Bohemian Grove with a Hidden Digital Video Camera and Caught the Ritual on Tape. That Man is Alex Jones, the Exclusive Digital Video is Just Part of His Shocking New Documentary: DARK SECRETS: INSIDE BOHEMIAN GROVE
Slice 5:
The Bohemian Club's summer encampment is the institutionalized embodiment of elite class privilege, a de facto celebration of race and gender exclusiveness, and a slap in the face to democratic process in the United States. Institutions of elite privilege like the San Francisco Bohemian Club run counter to the core American values of equality, due process and political openness. Americans deserve a public apology from the Bohemian Club for their celebration of eliteness, ongoing full disclosures of their lectures and presentations, and the transformation of the club to one of public service and gender and racial inclusiveness.
So, while you are flippin' burgers over the holiday weekend, should we think about this wonderful, uplifting organization and thank our lucky stars they have the freedom of assembly or should we be scared, very scared and rather suspect of their lot?

Incidentially, here's Phillip's dissertation if you want a closer look at it.


Anonymous said...

Free Domain spam! Whooeee, Educational Whisper has arrived

Bohemian Grove. Where is ObL when we need him?

SheaNC said...

I would like to add a couple of links to the Bohemian Grove story. It seems that Bohemian Grove (I detest the way they have usurped that word; it means the opposite of conservative) is connected with the October Surprise, that insidious deal with Iran made by Reagan and Bush to keep Americans hostage until after Reagan could be elected, in exchange for weapons. To these power-elite, the lives of ordinary people are worthless. Here are the links: Real-Life 'National Treasure' -- in Reverse, and The Bushes & the Death of Reason.