Since May 1954, a mysterious group of global elites has gathered annually for meetings to discuss world affairs. Known as the Bilderbergers, a name derived from the location of the group’s first meeting, the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek, Netherlands, this organization has for decades met to discuss integral world affairs and, more broadly, the move toward a “globalist” ideology in the West.
Despite the specifics of their operation remaining among the best kept secrets of modern times, it seems clear in this digital age that they are no less susceptible to hacking than anyone else.
Recently, the group’s website (yes, the Bilderbergers have a website), was defaced with a message by hackers, who apparently identified themselves as the online group known as Anonymous.
The message read as follows:
Dear Bilderberg members, from now, each one of you has one year to truly work in favour of humans and not your private interests.
Each Topic you discuss or work you achieve through Your uber private meetings should from now benefit world populations and not X or Y group of people otherwise, we will find you and we will hack you.
The message posted on the group’s by Anonymous is one of many instances in recent weeks, underscoring the broad-reaching influence of hacking groups and organizations calling for greater transparency. This occurs, of course, in the wake of controversy surrounding Wikileaks and its involvement in influencing the recent U.S. election; following the release of a controversial joint report between the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, it has been further asserted that evidence now exists that does point to the involvement of Russian hackers in the operation, which Julian Assange and Wikileaks have repeatedly denied.
“Wikileaks does not reveal its sources,” Assange has said now on a number of occasions.
The origin of the Bilderberg group dates back to the early 1950s, in the years just after World War II. With the emergence of the United States as a superpower following the war, many in power in parts of Western Europe were becoming concerned with the rise of anti-American sentiment, and hoped to ensure measures that would promote goodwill between nations; at the time, this was called “Atlanticism”, although the more popular use of “globalism” in recent years has become a catch-all phrase among the conspiracy-minded, underscoring the dangers of rule by elite groups.
Polish politician Józef Retigner had been the instigator of talks which eventually led to the formation of the Bilderberger meetings. It was he that proposed a private international conference aimed at strengthening American and European relations. Retinger approached Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands with this concept, and the two began coordinating with the Belgian prime minister, Paul Van Zeeland, among others, about making arrangements for the proposed meeting.
Others who became involved in orchestrating the early Bilderberg meetings had been then CIA director Walter Bedell Smith, who tasked Charles Douglas Jackson, an advisor to president Dwight Eisenhower, with tasks related to planning what became the initial 1954 meeting.
Despite their secrecy, there is much that is known about the proceedings of Bilderberger meetings. The initial May 1954 meeting was comprised of fifty “delegates” from eleven different Western European countries, and eleven Americans. The objective had been to draw two prospective attendees from every nation, in order to represent both conservative and liberal views from each location; similar meetings became an annual tradition, though with changes to the list of attendees in subsequent years.
Lord Peter Carrington assumed the position of head of the Bilderberg meetings, following Prince Bernhard’s resignation in 1976. Carrington was later succeeded by Étienne Davignon, former vice-president of the European Commission, who serves as chair of the meetings today.
Anonymous and its unprecedented hacking of the group’s site, which features information that includes attendees and a list of subjects on the agenda of each previous year’s meeting, may indeed mark a turning point in the ways that civilian hacking groups interact with secretive organizations that meet to plan and discuss world affairs. The implications, of course, involve the ever-narrowing divide between such groups, and a concerned populace comprised of individuals, armed with technology, who are now themselves able to influence world affairs in unprecedented ways.
Whether the Bilderberg hack was warranted, or of lasting effect, remains to be seen. However, it will mark one of many events in an ever-changing tide in which technology befits the modern activist with new and bold ways of expressing concerns about elitist control of world affairs.