The 69th Meeting of the Bilderberg Club, a secret conference of the world’s elite, kicked off in Lisbon, Portugal, with issues such as transnational threats, artificial intelligence and US leadership in global affairs on the agenda
This year’s meeting, the latest in a series of meetings that began in 1954, continues to blur the lines between open diplomacy and clandestine elitism, as political leaders rub shoulders with industry ‘bigwigs’, media ‘barons’ and the ‘tycoons’ of the financial sector.
The media write that a sound system and a light installation have already been brought to the place of the next meeting of the Bilderberg Club – to the disco dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Henry Kissinger. The playlist will most likely include Firestarter, Great Balls of Fire, Burning Down The House and other songs with the words “flame”, “bomb” or “Realpolitik” in the title.
In 2022, the meeting was attended by the CIA boss, NATO boss, Pfizer CEO, Henry Kissinger, José Barroso, ex-president of the EU Commission, many high-ranking US security officials, editor-in-chief of The Economist. The full list of participants for 2022 can be found here.
As usual, the details of their discussions remain secret under the “Chatham House Rule,” a protocol that gives participants the discretion to use information gleaned from the conversations but prohibits the identification of speakers or participants, ensuring the anonymity.
“Due to the confidential nature of the Meeting, attendees are participating as individuals and not in any official capacity, and are therefore not bound by the contracts of their office or pre-agreed positions,” says a Bilderberg Meetings press release.
Among the topics to be discussed are artificial intelligence, the banking system, the energy transition, industrial policy and trade. Other high-priority issues include the geopolitical landscape of Europe, China, India, Russia and Ukraine, along with NATO and America’s global leadership. The issue of US leadership, which last appeared on Bilderberg’s agenda in 2018, is in the news as China and Russia have stepped up efforts to reduce reliance on the US dollar as the world’s preeminent reserve and transaction currency.
Agenda and participants
As for the agenda, it is as follows: • Artificial Intelligence • Banking System • China • Energy Transition • Europe • Fiscal Challenges • India • Industrial Policy and Trade • NATO • Russia • Transnational Threats • Ukraine • US Leadership.
The topic at the top of the agenda will be artificial intelligence. The head of ChatGPT will meet Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the annual Bilderberg meeting.
Technology giants will discuss issues related to foreign affairs, trade, energy and finance with political figures such as former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
The closed meeting will be attended by about 130 participants from 23 countries, as in previous years. Among those present will be Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, BP CEO Bernard Looney, TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne, investor Peter Theil and several EU politicians.
The full list of participants in the semi-conspiracy meeting of the Bilderberg elites was published less than two days before the event.
Some people hold conspiracy theories similar to those that arise regarding other high-profile meetings, such as the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. They claim that the participants aim at establishing a “new world order”. However, the organizers of the event say that the confidential nature of the meeting encourages freedom of discussion.
The organizers of the event claim that about two-thirds of the participants come from Europe and the rest from North America. Approximately a quarter of participants represent politics and government, while the rest are from other areas. Women make up about a fifth of the total number of participants.
The key aspect is confidentiality. Participants attend as private individuals, not as official representatives, and the detailed agenda is not disclosed and discussions are not subject to reporting.
The event is organized by the Bilderberg Group Foundation, which is managed by a constantly changing steering committee and funded by various sources. A statement on the Bilderberg meeting website indicates that the annual contributions from the members of the steering committee are used to cover the expenses of the small secretariat. The secretariat’s budget is limited to staff and administrative costs. Representation costs associated with holding the annual meeting are borne by the members of the Steering Committee of the country that hosts the meeting.
Participation in the event is by invitation only, and each participant bears their own travel and accommodation costs.
Conspiracy sources often mention an excerpt from a speech by David Rockefeller, allegedly delivered by him at a meeting of the Bilderberg Club in Baden-Baden, Germany, in 1991:
“We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other major publications whose directors attended our meetings and honored their promise of confidentiality for nearly forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the whole world if it had been made public in those years. But now the world has become more complex and it is ready to go to the world government. The supranational sovereignty of the intellectual elite and bankers of the world is undoubtedly more preferable than the national self-determination practiced in past centuries.“
And the truth is that the secrecy surrounding these meetings has sown range of unproven theories, including that participants are behind the creation of the European Union or the invasion of Iraq.