With the exception of special guest reporters, journalists are barred from Bilderberg
meetings. The secret services of the United States and several European nations
coordinate with local police to enforce a strict "no-go" area around
Bilderberg venues such as the Turnberry Hotel in Scotland. Since the Group's first
meeting in 1954, its security network has been specifically used to prevent reporters
from sneaking into the forum.
Critics have suggested that the media have been slow to investigate and report
on the Bilderberg because many corporate news executives and journalists are
members of the Group. Like all other Bilderberg attendees, these individuals
have agreed to remain silent about the meetings, in spite of their responsibilities
as high-ranking members of the national and international media.
"Guests of the Bilderberg Society are bound by the same rules as members
of the Bilderberg Society -- not to write about the proceedings," conservative
columnist William F. Buckley wrote six months after attending the Bilderberg's
Some of the Bilderberg's past "guests" from the corporate
News Corporation director Andrew Knight;
Reuters CEO Peter Job;
Henry Anatole Grunwald, former editor-in-chief of Time and Council on Foreign
Mortimer B. Zuckerman, chairman and editor-in-chief of U.S. News and World
Report, New York Daily News, and Atlantic Monthly, also a Council on Foreign
Robert L. Bartley, vice president of the Wall Street Journal and member of
both the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission;
Peter Robert Kann, Chairman and CEO of Dow Jones and Company, and member of
the Council on Foreign Relations;
Katharine Graham, owner and chairwoman of the executive committee of the Washington
Post, also a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral
Jim Hoagland, associate editor, of the Washington Post;
New York Times editor and Council on Foreign Relations member Arthur Sulzberger;
Former Newsweek editor Osborn Eliot;
London Observer editor Will Hutton;
Canadian press baron Conrad Black;
Peter Jennings, anchor and senior editor of ABC's World News Tonight;
Lesley R. Stahl, CBS national affairs correspondent;
WETA-TV president and CEO Sharon Percy Rockefeller;
William F. Buckley, Jr., editor-in-chief of the National Review, host of PBS's
Firing Line and Council on Foreign Relations member;
Prominent political columnists Joseph Kraft, James Reston, Joseph Harsch,
George Will, and Flora Lewis;
Donald C. Cook, former European diplomatic correspondent for the Los Angeles
Times and Council on Foreign Relations member;
Albert J. Wohlstetter, Wall Street Journal correspondent and Council on Foreign
Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times columnist and member of both the Council
on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission;
New York Times book critic Richard Bernstein;
Hedley Donovan, Henry Grunwald, and Ralph Davidson of Time;
Joseph C. Harsch, former NBC commentator and Council on Foreign Relations
Bill Moyers, executive director of Public Affairs TV and former Director of
the Council on Foreign Relations;
Gerald Piel, former chairman of Scientific American and Council on Foreign
William Kristol, editor and publisher of the British Weekly Standard magazine;
Toger Seidenfaden, editor in chief of Denmark's Politiken A/S.
CENSORSHIP AND HARASSMENT
and newspeople outside the Bilderberg's elite inner circle rarely pay much attention
to the Group's activities, usually because they are unaware of them. In recent
years, citizen media activists have had a small measure of success in getting
the local media to cover Bilderberg meetings when they occur. These reports
have little impact in the national and international media, but thanks to the
Internet, detailed information from coverage by local and regional newspapers
is now available to the public worldwide. Without this information, the report
you are now reading could not have been written.
Although underground information activists have managed to pierce the local
media bubbles and gather useful information about the Bilderberg's meetings,
scrutiny of the Group in the establishment press is still verboten.
For example, there is the case of C. Gordon Tether, who for years wrote the
prestigious and influential column "Lombard" for the London Financial
Times. In his May 6, 1975 column, Tether wrote: "If the Bilderberg Group
is not a conspiracy of some sort, it is conducted in such a way as to give a
remarkably good imitation of one."
This would be Tether's last reference to the Bilderberg. He continued to write
articles mentioning the Group, but editorial management barred every single
one of them from publication. After battling this censorship for two years,
Tether was finally dismissed by the Financial Times. It may be more than a mere
coincidence that Max Henry Fisher, the Financial Times editor who quashed Tether's
Bilderberg reports, was a member of the Trilateral Commission.
Freelance journalist Campbell Thomas also saw the ugly side of Bilderberg secrecy
when he attempted to cover the 1998 conference for the Daily Mail. Thomas is
a reporter with eight years' experience, and he happens to be a special constable
as well. Like other journalists at the conference, Thomas remained outside the
police security ring surrounding the Turnberry Hotel.
Hoping to get neighbors' reactions to the conference, Thomas entered a block
of flats through an open door about 500 yards away. At the first door he knocked
on, the young woman who answered informed Thomas that he was in the hotel's
staff quarters, and that he should not be there. He left immediately.
A short while later, two Strathclyde Police officers approached Thomas and
told him that he was being detained. Even though Thomas showed the policemen
his special constable warrant card, he was handcuffed and kept in custody for
eight hours. "I was treated in an appallingly heavy-handed way, like a
common criminal," Thomas told the UK Press Gazette. "The holding cell
I was put in was in a disgusting state, with excrement on every wall, and I
was in that cell for the best part of five hours."
Thomas was then questioned and charged with a breach of the peace for putting
the young woman he spoke to in a "state of fear and alarm," according
to the UK Press Gazette. "I wasn't allowed to speak to my wife," Thomas
said. "They took my shoes, my belt, my glasses, even the wedding ring off
my finger. The whole thing was ridiculous."
Although Scottish prosecutors declined to proceed with the charge against Thomas,
the event left him shaken and angry, and he has sought the advice of his union,
the Chartered Institute of Journalists. CIoJ secretary Chris Underwood agreed
that Thomas received "scandalous treatment," and said that the institute
would back any action that Thomas decided to take.
Jim Bogusz reported similar harassment from the Strathclyde Police while gathering
information on the Bilderberg's 1998 conference for his web site. Bogusz, who
stood as a Referendum Party Candidate during the 1997 General Election, wrote:
"Security at Turnberry was very tight. Even though I had actually driven
into the Police Compound informing them that I was there to register my protest
and identifying myself, I was still later apprehended by two armed guards
who requested my identification and personal details again. I expressed my
concern at the extent of the security in view of the fact that police forces
are allegedly under-funded. They refused to give details of how the security
was being funded. I was pursued by four police motorcyclists when I went to
the local Post Office to buy a newspaper and refreshment."
Bogusz attempted to obtain information from police headquarters on the source
and amount of funding for the massive security effort. "They have replied
saying that they cannot reveal any details about the funding of the security
at Turnberry," Bogusz reported. "I challenged them that as a force
which is accountable to the Public they are duty bound to reveal what resources
are deployed on their activities.... It is very clear that we are having information
unjustly withheld from us and that we must continue to insist on the disclosure
of information which reveals in full the dealings of our Police Forces and our
The Strathclyde Police telephone number is 0141-532-2658.
The rock-hard wall of secrecy which encloses Bilderberg gatherings is more
than an impediment to public knowledge; it is symbolic of the Group's aloof
elitism towards the "great unwashed." We are simply not meant to be
privy to their discussions. Those who cross the threshold get their knuckles
sharply rapped. Like the Group's secrecy policies, the harassment and arrest
of reporters who attempt to cover Bilderberg meetings raises justified suspicions
about the organization's hidden discussions.
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