GOOD Guide: to Shadowy Organizations, the Bilderberg Group

The Bilderberg Group has no website, no publicity, no leaks, secret meeting locations, and secret minutes with no names recorded.

"Leave a message after the tone"

DOCTRINEOpen discussion and open criticism, with the kind of candor that can only exist in absolute secrecy. That means no website, no publicity, no leaks, secret meeting locations, and secret minutes with no names recorded. This also means lots of intrigue and speculation among conspiracy buffs as to the group's true purpose. Bilderbergers have said their meetings are too short and membership too varied to generate much consensus, let alone plans for world domination. They do, however, get lots of quality information early-Bilderbergers are said to have heard of U.S. plans to attack Iraq in June, 2002.

HEADQUARTERSBilderberg has a phone, a post-office box, and one full-time staffer in Leiden, a town in southern Holland. Write to this outpost at Bilderberg Meetings, P.O. Box 3017, 2301 DA Leiden, The Netherlands.

MYTHICAL ACHIEVEMENTSThe second Iraq war, NATO's strikes against Serbia, and the creation of the European Union are all said to have been test-marketed in cozy Bilderberg chats.GREATEST ACTUAL ACHIEVEMENTDefying the conventional wisdom that everything eventually leaks onto the record, this Dutch wall of silence has remained intact for 54 years. The greatest testament to Bilderberg's power may be its ability to inspire lunatics from across the political spectrum. Everyone from Timothy McVeigh to Osama bin Laden has worked the group into their rhetoric.

MembershipAn annual meeting of 130 emerging and established players from politics and business-almost exclusively Europeans and Americans-who gather at luxury hotels for four days of off-the-record conversation. Bankers and defense ministers are especially well represented. A few press barons and celebrity reporters are invited along too, as long as they agree not to write about it.AlumniPrince Bernhard of the Netherlands, one of Bilderberg's two founders, was a member of the Nazi Party and Hitler's SS. Veteran scenesters include David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, and a strong U.S. neocon contingent. Jacques Chirac and Ariel Sharon have attended, as did Colin Powell during his time as Secretary of State. Bilderberg's gatekeepers have a strong record of spotting young political talent-Tony Blair and Bill Clinton both attended the conference when they were still cutting their teeth in the provinces.The ExposéA British writer named Jon Ronson came a few feet away from crashing Bilderberg's 1999 meeting in Portugal before being chased off by security guards. In 2007, the group invited Mehmet Ali Birand, a journalist from the Turkish Daily News, to cover its meeting in Istanbul. Birand's story reports, "There were neither secret plans made, nor secret sentences uttered, nor secret decisions taken." It contains no names and no quotes.In Their Own WordsBilderberg has no website, no public email address, and no name on its voicemail. The eight-page fax we received from Maja Banck, Bilderberg's executive secretary, only deepened the group's mystique. Why are the meetings held in secret, we asked. "A meeting to be open must be confidential," Banck replied. What does she make of the conspiracy theories? "Reality speaks louder than fiction."

Four black women, Engineers Christine Darden and Mary Jackson, mathematician Katherine Johnson, and computer programmer Dorothy Vaughan, worked as "human computers" at NASA during the Space Race, making space travel possible through their complex calculations. Jackson, Johnson, and Vaughn all played a vital role in helping John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth.

They worked behind the scenes, but now they're getting the credit they deserve as their accomplishments are brought to the forefront. Their amazing stories were detailed in the book "Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race" by Margot Lee Shetterly, which was later turned into a movie. (Darden was not featured in the movie, but was in the book). Johnson has a building at NASA named after her, and a street in front of NASA's Washington D.C. headquarters was renamed "Hidden Figures Way."

Keep Reading Show less

Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News
Courtesy of John S. Hutton, MD

A report from Common Sense Media found the average child between the ages of 0 and 8 has 2 hours and 19 minutes of screen time a day, and 35% of their screen time is on a mobile device. A new study conducted by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital published in the journal, JAMA Pediatrics, found exactly what all that screen time is doing to your kid, or more specifically, your kid's developing brain. It turns out, more screen time contributes to slower brain development.

First, researchers gave the kids a test to determine how much and what kind of screen time they were getting. Were they watching fighting or educational content? Were they using it alone or with parents? Then, researchers examined the brains of children aged 3 to 5 year olds by using MRI scans. Forty seven brain-healthy children who hadn't started kindergarten yet were used for the study.

They found that kids who had more than one hour of screen time a day without parental supervision had lower levels of development in their brain's white matter, which is important when it comes to developing cognitive skills, language, and literacy.

Keep Reading Show less
via KTVU / YouTube

The 63-year-old Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, currently branded the RingCentral Coliseum, is one of the most decrepit sports venues in America.

The home to the the NFL's Oakland Raiders (until they move to Las Vegas next season) and MLB's A's, is notoriously known as the Black Hole and has made headlines for its frequent flooding and sewage issues.

One of the stadium's few positive aspects is its connection to public transportation.

Keep Reading Show less
Hero Video
via Anadirc / Flickr

We spend roughly one-third of our life asleep, another third at work and the final third trying our best to have a little fun.

But is that the correct balance? Should we spend as much time at the office as we do with our friends and family? One of the greatest regrets people have on their deathbeds is that they spent too much of their time instead of enjoying quality time with friends and family.

Lawmakers in the United Kingdom have made a significant pledge to reevaluate the work-life balance in their country.

Keep Reading Show less