Meet the Men Who Rule the WorId
by Alexander Cockburn
The Nation magazine, July 2, 2001
Where's the fashionable rendezvous for the World Secret Government?
In the good old days when the Illuminati had a firm grip on things,
it was wherever the Bilderbergers decided to pitch their tents.
Then Nelson and David Rockefeller horned their way in, and the
spotlight moved to the Trilateral Commission. Was there one Secret
Government or two? Some said all the big decisions were taken
in England, at Ditchley, not so far from the Appeasers' former
haunts at Cliveden and only an hour by Learjet from Davos, which
is where jumped-up finance ministers and arriviste tycoons merely
pretend they rule the world.
Secret World Rulers spend a good deal of time in the air,
whisking from Davos to APEC meetings somewhere in Asia, to Ditchley,
to Sun Valley, Idaho, though mercifully no longer to the Clinton-favored
Renaissance Weekend in Hilton Head, South Carolina. But comes
next July 14 and every self-respecting member of the Secret World
Government will be in a gloomy grove of redwoods in northern California,
preparing to Banish Care for the hundred and twenty-second time,
prelude to three weeks hashing out the future of the world.
If the avenging posses mustered by the Bohemian Grove Action
Network manage this year to burst through the security gates at
the Bohemian Grove, they will (to extrapolate from numerous eyewitness
accounts of past sessions) find proofs most convincing to them
that here indeed is the ruling crowd in executive session: hundreds
of near-dead white men sitting by a lake listening to Henry Kissinger,
plus many other near-dead white men in adjacent landscape in a
state of intoxication so advanced that many of them have fallen
insensible among the ferns, gin fizz glasses gripped firmly till
These same gaping posses would find evidence of bizarre rites,
though not perhaps the Satanic sacrifice of children, as proposed
in one new documentary. Why so many games of dominoes? Why the
evidence that a significant portion of the Secret Government appeared
to be involved in some theatrical production involving the use
of women's clothes and lavish application of makeup?
Many an empire has, of course, been run by drunken men wearing
makeup. But a look at the Bohemian Club, its members and appurtenances,
suggests that behind the pretense of Secret Government lies the
reality of a summer camp for a bunch of San Francisco businessmen,
real estate plungers and lawyers who long ago had the cunning
to recruit some outside megawattage- Herbert Hoover, a Rockefeller,
Richard Nixon-to turn their mundane frolics into the simulacrum
of Secret Government and make the yokels gape.
The Bohemian Club began as a San Francisco institution in
1872, founded by journalists and kindred lowly scriveners as an
excuse for late-night boozing. The hacks soon concluded that Bohemianism,
in the sense of real poverty, was oppressive. So they pulled in
a few wealthy men of commerce to pay for the champagne, and the
rot set in. Within a very few years the lowly scriveners were
on their way out- except for a few of the more presentable among
them to lend a pretense of Boho-dom-and Mammon had seized power.
Near the end of the last century the cult of the redwood grove
as Nature's cathedral was in full swing, and the Boho-businessmen
yearned to give their outings a tincture of spiritual uplift.
The long range planning committee of the club decided to buy a
grove some sixty miles north of the city near the town of Monte
Rio. Soon the ancient redwoods rang to the laughter of the disporting
men of commerce.
The Bohemian Club is set up along frat house lines. Instead
of Deltas and Pi Etas there are camps, some 120 in all, stretching
along River Road and Morse Stephens canyon. Their names follow
the imaginative arc of American industrialists and financiers
over the past hundred years, from Hillbillies (George Bush Sr.,
Walter Cronkite, William F. Buckley) to Ye Merrie Yowls.
The waiting lists for membership are so long it takes years
for the novitiate to be admitted. A friend of mine, big in Reagan's
time, has been on the doorstep for fifteen years. He says he likes
it that way. He's spared the sign-up fee of around $10,000 and
annual membership dues and has to pony up only when he's invited,
which is every two years. Particularly in the more sumptuous camps
it takes plenty of money too, sharing bills for retinues of uniformed
servants, vintage cellars, master chefs and kindred accoutrements
of spiritual refreshment.
There are lakeside talks and increasingly popular science
chats at the Grove's museum. There's skeet-shooting on the private
range. There's endless dominoes-the Grove's board game par excellence.
There's Not Being at Home With the Wife. But best of all, there
are the talent revue and the play. Visit some corporate suite
in San Francisco in June or early July, and if you see the CEO
brooding thoughtfully before his plate-glass window overlooking
the Bay Bridge, the chances are he is not thinking about some
impending takeover or merciless downsizing. He is probably worrying
about the cut of his tutu for the drag act for which he has been
rehearsing keenly for many months.
In the nineties the Grove's reputation as the site of Secret
Government was in eclipse. The young Christian zealots of the
Newt revolution were scarcely Boho material, and Newt himself-he
did give a lakeside talk one year-was a little too tacky in style
for the gin fizz set. But here we are in the Bush II era, and
the Bush Clan is echt Secret Government, all the way from the
old Rockefeller connection to Skull and Bones and the Knights
of Malta. Dick Cheney's a Grover.
So spare yourself the expense of traveling from Quebec to
the next session of the WTO. Voyage to Sonoma County and muster
against the Secret World Government. For details of the rally,
call the Bohemian Grove Action Network, whose Mary Moore has been
chivying the Grovers for twenty years, at (707) 874-2248 or check