Read an Excerpt
Modern Secret Societies
check the door, no accountant to check the books, no judge
to check the law. The secret government has no constitution.
The rules it follows are the rules it makes up.
-- Bill Moyers
Secret societies not only exist, they have played an important role in national and international events right up to this day.
In considering the reach of modern secret societies, it is instructive to first look at America's immediate past presidents and the people and events surrounding them.
While many Americans popularly viewed President Bill Clinton as a youthful saxophone player with an eye for the ladies, most were unaware of his connection to three of the most notorious of modern secret societies: the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations (take particular notice of the initials CFR as they crop up incessantly in the study of U.S. policy decisions and world conflicts), and the Bilderbergers.
The Trilateral Commission publishes its membership as well as position papers, but its inner workings are secret. The CFR also publishes a membership roll, but members are pledged to secrecy regarding its goals and operations. The Bilderberg group keeps both its agenda and membership a secret.
Prominent members of the Clinton administration who belonged to the council included former CFR president Peter Tarnoff, Anthony Lake, Al Gore, Warren Christopher, Colin Powell, Les Aspin, James Woolsey, William Cohen, Samuel Lewis, Joan Edelman Spero, Timothy Wirth, Winston Lord, LloydBentsen, Laura Tyson, and George Stephenopoulos. Former Trilateral members included Bruce Babbitt, Stephen W. Bosworth, William Cohen, Thomas Foley, Alan Greenspan,' Donna Shalala, and Strobe Talbott.
Publisher John F. McManus noted that in the fall of 1998, as impeachment loomed over him, Clinton hurried to New York to seek support from his CFR friends. "Bill Clinton knows well that he serves as president because the members of the 'secret society' to which he belongs chose him and expect him to carry out its plans," wrote McManus.
Clinton was not the only recent president with connections to these groups.
President George Bush was a Trilateralist, a CFR member, and a brother in the mysterious Order of Skull and Bones. President Ronald Reagan, a former spokesman for General Electric, did not officially belong to these groups, but his administrations were packed with both current and former members as will be detailed later.
President Jimmy Carter's administration was so filled with members of the Trilateral Commission that conspiracy researchers had a field day. Even the Establishment media began to talk.
THE TRILATERAL COMMISSION
By the early 1970s, thanks to burgeoning communications technology, many Americans were becoming more aware of secretive organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations. Former CFR chairman David Rockefeller, apparently in an effort to deflect public attention from CFR activities, instigated the creation of a more public offshoot organization: the Trilateral Commission.
Both the commission and its predecessor, the CFR, are held out by conspiracy researchers as the epitome of covert organizations which may be guiding public policy in directions opposite to those either in the best interest of or desired by the public.
The concept of the Trilateral Commission was originally brought to Rockefeller by Zbigniew Brzezinski, then head of the Russian Studies Department at Columbia University. While at the Brookings Institution, Brzezinski had been researching the need for closer cooperation between the trilateral nations of Europe, North America, and Asia.
In 1970, Brzezinski wrote in Foreign Affairs, a CFR publication, "A new and broader approach is needed -- creation of a community of the developed nations which can effectively address itself to the larger concerns confronting mankind.... A council representing the United States, Western Europe, and Japan, with regular meetings of the heads of governments as well as some small standing machinery, would be a good start."
Later that year, he published a book entitled Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era. Within those pages, Brzezinski spelled out his vision for the future.
He prophetically foresaw a society "... that is shaped culturally, psychologically, socially, and economically by the impact of technology and electronics -- particularly in the area of computers and communication."
Brzezinski's visions would raise the suspicions of those opposed to the consolidation of world political and economic power. Declaring "National sovereignty is no longer a viable concept," he predicted "movement toward a larger community by the developing nations ... through a variety of indirect ties and already developing limitations on national sovereignty. " He foresaw this larger community being funded by "a global taxation system."
In explaining that a cooperative hub, such as the Trilateral Commission, might set the stage for future consolidation, he reasoned, "Though the objective of shaping a community of developed nations is less ambitious than the goal of world government, it is more attainable."
Brzezinski's hope for a global society did not exclude nations then under the rule of Marxism, which he described as "a further vital and creative stage in the maturing of man's universal vision" and "a victory of the external man over the inner, passive man, and a victory of reason over belief."
Brzezinski's plan for a commission of trilateral nations was first presented during a meeting of the ultrasecret Bilderberg group in April 1972, in the small Belgian town of Knokke-Heist. Reception to Brzezinski's proposal reportedly was enthusiastic. At that time international financiers were concerned over Nixon's devaluation of the dollar, surcharges on imports, and budding détente with China, all of which were causing relations with Japan to deteriorate. In addition, energy problems were growing in response to price increases by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
With the blessing of the Bilderbergers and the CFR, the Trilateral Commission began organizing on July 23-24, 1972, at the 3,500-acre Rockefeller estate at Pocantico Hills, a subdivision of Tarrytown, New York. Participants in this private meeting included Rockefeller, Brzezinski, Brookings Institution director of foreign policy studies Henry Owen, McGeorge Bundy, Robert Bowie, C. Fred Bergsten, Bayless Manning, Karl Carstens, Guido Colonna di Paliano, Francois Duchene, Rene Foch, Max Kohnstamm, Kiichi Miyazawa, Saburo Ikita, and Tadashi Yamamoto. Apparently these founders were selected by Rockefeller and Brzezinski.
The Trilateral Commission officially was founded...