For my write-up today on The Contender: Richard Nixon, The Congress Years, 1946-1952, I'll use as my starting-point something that Irwin Gellman states on page 394.
late July 1950, Nixon attended the annual Midsummer Encampment at the
Bohemian Grove, an extraordinary gathering of influential and powerful
American males presided over by Herbert Hoover. Nixon was profusely
grateful for the invitation: 'It was one of those rare experiences of a
lifetime, and clearly apart from any political consideration, I wouldn't
have missed it for anything.' He made many contacts, had a chance to
meet potential backers, and attended a luncheon at which Ike was
To hear a different opinion from Nixon about the Bohemian Grove, see here! And see here for wikipedia's article on the group.
I was growing up, I read books and articles that said that there was a
conspiracy among elites to create a one-world government. I read Newswatch Magazine, Des Griffin, Phyllis Schlafly's A Choice Not an Echo, Gary Allen's None Dare Call It Conspiracy, John Birch Society
publications, and other works. I can't paint all of these works with
the same brush, for they differed among each other: Schlafly, Allen, and
the John Birch Society, for example, did not criticize Zionism.
Moreover, Schlafly one time said in her Phyllis Schlafly Report
that the influence of the kingmakers at the Republican National
Convention ended with Ronald Reagan, whereas the John Birch Society and
others have contended that globalists were actually influential in
Reagan's Administration. (At the same time, I should note that Schlafly
herself was a critic of some of George W. Bush's policies, believing
that they undermined U.S. sovereignty.)
Bohemian Grove comes up in conspiracy-theory circles as one of the elite
groups that wants a one-world government, or new world order.
Do I think that there's something to that? Well, I don't buy into how
some conspiracy theorists have conceptualized the conspiracy.
The John Birch Society and Phyllis Schlafly, for example, associated the
conspiracy with liberalism and Communism (even though John McManus of
the JBS wrote an anti-William F. Buckley book). But Gellman states on
page 400 that conservative Republican Robert Taft attended the Bohemian
Grove, and Schlafly lauds Taft throughout her A Choice Not An Echo!
Moreover, while Nixon in Congress supported strengthening the United
Nations, he had some views at the time that were at odds with how some
conspiracy theorists have defined the beliefs of the conspiracy: Nixon
disagreed with the United World Federalists' support for world
government, seeing that as unworkable (Gellman 271-272). And Nixon
supported a proposal by Herbert Hoover (who presided over the Bohemian
Grove) to "reorganize the United Nations without Russian participation"
(Gellman's words on page 300), since Nixon did not care for Russia
"constantly exercising the veto power" (Nixon's words). Nixon and
Hoover apparently were not for a Communist one-world government!
think that it's a mistake to assume that the elites who gather at CFR
meetings, Trilateral Commission meetings, Bilderberger meetings, or
Bohemian Grove meetings all share the exact same ideology.
Margaret Thatcher reportedly attended Bilderberger meetings, yet she
stood for Great Britain's sovereignty against European unification.
Ronald Reagan had Trilateralists and CFR people in his cabinet, but he
opposed the Law of the Sea treaty. I have a friend who likes to identify the CFR members who are liberals: does he realize, however, that John Bolton, who was a critic of the United Nations, was himself a member at one time of the Council on Foreign Relations?
the same time, I don't rule out that elites have interests, including
the accumulation of power. Moreover, I doubt that it's entirely a good
thing when elites gather together in secrecy. I doubt that they're all
pushing some sinister agenda----they may just want a forum where they
can speak freely, without their words being jumped on by the press. But
that does not mean that everything they're doing is good, either.
Plus, I think that there is a sense in which elites being around each
other and supporting each other's interests can detach them further from
us non-elites, and the shroud of secrecy inhibits us from evaluating
what they are doing, which is important in a democracy.
Saturday Book Review: Teresa Berger
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