Secret organizations and societies have been around for many centuries, but there are few like the Bohemian Club. The Bohemian Club was formed shortly before the Civil War by a group of journalists and artists who would meet at the Bohemian Grove, a secluded campground in northern California. They have long been associated with San Francisco's Bohemian Building, meeting for two weeks each year in July to intermingle and discuss various situations across the world. It is an all-male association.
The term "Bohemian" actually received its status from this annual meeting. The meetings were stopped during the Civil War, as many of the members were assigned as war correspondents at various locations in the eastern part of the United States. The term actually became a common reference for the journalists and artists themselves.
After the war, in 1872, the ceremonies were re-established and have continued to the present. Upon reformation, The Bohemian Club began receiving new members such as elected politicians and financial experts from around the world. This addition included corporate management and international banking executives who were looking for respite from the frontier culture of the day.
The Bohemian Grove itself is a combination of several camps within the rustic grove and each member is associated with a camp. In these camps, various moguls and experts are free to discuss economic situations across the globe in a very casual setting. It has often been thought that many of the decisions made in world politics are discussed at the annual meeting, which lasts two weeks with three complete weekends.
The contemporary membership lists are private but many of the names of former members are available in the public domain and they are astounding, including several former Unites States presidents and financial leaders such as both David Rockefeller Jr. and David Rockefeller Sr. Also of note on the public domain lists are both Bush Family presidents, Henry Kissinger and even the television reporting icon, Walter Cronkite.
Three distinct ceremonies are held during the meeting. Normally, there are plays that are scripted by the actual members themselves. The first and second are listed as "high jinks" and "low jinks" and are prelude to the final act, which is the highly unusual, "Cremation of Care." The final episode of the event is performed at the base of a 40-foot stone carving of an owl and involves all of the members being dressed in white robes with full white coverings on their heads, similar to a Ku Klux Klan rally. The desire for anonymity is obvious.
The object of the cremation is actually a reference to the ridding of the everyday trials of life, or "cares," and a renewal of energies for those with high-level responsibilities. They provide a convenient appearance of ritual that masks the real informal dialogues that are taking place in the camps, which are primarily economic discussions of the free market global economy.
Though it started in the United States, the membership list is hardly unique to Americans. It is marketed as an annual event and the subject matter has long been held to be similar to the Bilderbergers, which is an unofficial European-based meeting of the minds and moguls.
The original meeting for the Bilderbergers was held in the 1950s, initiated by the Royal Family of the Netherlands. Meetings of the Bilderberg Group are, however, more secretive and security-oriented than those of the Bohemian Club. It has also been assumed that the membership lists or attendees are overlapping, as the Bilderbergers normally meet, at a different location each year, immediately following the Bohemian Club retreat.
The impact that the Bohemian Club has on the modern world economy and recent world history cannot be overestimated. Though it is a consensus that what happens there stays there, there is enormous speculation on the content of discussions and who is actually attending and presiding. The real truth about secret organizations like the Bohemian Club is that the members are prominent international figures, with some more anonymous than the obvious suspects.
The name of the individual that sets the schedule and presides over the ceremonies is also highly guarded information. The general idea is that events that occur across the world are often instigated by informal agreements and discussions during this two-week event in the California redwood forest. While no one knows exactly who is behind these annual events, suspicions are that those impossibly wealthy banking families located in the City of London use these affairs to inform their intimates of the annual agenda. The result somehow always seems to support and enhance global governance.