If you’ve never heard of the Bilderberg Group before, I’m not surprised. They get more press than they used to, but they still avoid the media spotlight as best they can. The Bilderbergs are a group of power elites from the highest levels of corporate, academic, charitable and governmental leadership. Among their ranks you can find people like David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild and many others. You can get a much more complete list with a simple Google search. Since 1954, the group has been meeting annually to… well, to do what is a bit unclear. They have highly secretive meetings, behind closed doors, with armed security. What they discuss, and how it might affect the rest of us is open to some speculation. Members are notoriously close-lipped about the proceedings, and maintain that like any citizens, they have a right to their privacy. Of course that argument falls a bit flat, when participants include publicly-elected officials, travelling at public expense, and discussing (it is known from stolen notes and agendas, see below) matters of public policy with high-ranking members of foreign governments.Ah! Now we’re talking about something altogether different! It could also be argued that what’s taking place behind those closed doors is illegal; a violation of The Logan Act, specifically.Don’t you think the public has a right to know whether the Logan Act is being violated? I do. And it would be a relatively simple matter to investigate, if our press (our famous Fourth Estate, remember) reported on it. But they don’t. It's odd that they don't, isn’t it? If 120 of the world’s top movie stars got together each year to meet, you know the press would be all over that. If 120 of the world’s top football players got together for an annual meeting, there would surely be some press coverage. When the G8 meets, it’s a media event, but when Bilderbergs meet: radio silence. Why?Well, it happens that some of the biggest names in media are part of Bilderberg, and have not only agreed to keep their silence, they have enforced a policy that none of the news agencies within their sphere of influence will report on these meetings. When the Associated Press and other international wire services refuse to carry a story, the only chance you have of hearing about it is on the internet, or in relatively small-circulation publications like Spotlight magazine, The American Free Press, and hometown magazines. This book is really the story of Jim Tucker, and his experience over thirty years, trying to report on the Bilderberg meetings for Spotlight magazine and The American Free Press. He's over 70 years old now, but when he first got into this, he was younger than I am now. At the time, he had never heard of Bilderberg, and that’s no surprise; although it had been around for twenty-one years, the initial news blackouts were so successful, the group was virtually unknown until the early 70’s, and even then only barely known to people who follow the comings and goings to our power Elite. In '75, Jim’s editor sent him to check out a tip on “some secret meeting of heads of state”. They thought it might be some big NATO thing.So began a thirty year odyssey of cat-and-mouse games with security guards, plainclothes police, sneaking into hotels in disguise, midnight meetings with busboys who overheard conversations at Bilderberg dinners, getting shot at (really!)… it goes on and on. This is a story that you hardly ever hear any more: a journalist with a passion to find the truth, and the extreme lenghts he goes to –often at great personal risk- to get his story. Some of it is almost like a James Bond movie. Tucker really discovers his hotel phone to be tapped. He is arrested by Italian police one year, and interrogated like a criminal. He is captured one year, driven deep into the woods, and released, to find his way back on his own. This is the sort of tale that almost single-handedly restores my faith that the true spirit of journalism isn’t dead.To be sure, there is a lot of discouragement along the way. Jim permanently loses his Congressional Press privileges. He suffers career setbacks, losing tens of thousands of dollars in annual income. He is mocked and ridiculed. But he bears it all with humility and quiet determination, because he believes what he is doing is important, and it will matter some day.That day is today, and thanks to Jim, even though a lot of people still haven’t heard about Bilderberg, a lot of people have. This book's appendix is filled with copies of letters dating back to ’75, in which Tucker inquires state agencies –agencies which are supposed to be transparent to the public- about officials attending Bilderberg conferences. In response, he got denials the Bilderberg Group even exists! One could get away with such denials in ’75, before Jim and a small band of others started printing photos, and stories with the paltry information he could ferret out of hotel maids and pilfered agendas. The American press barely noticed, but somehow the story found legs in Europe in the early 80’s. A few Europeans became curious enough that concerned citizens started to picket outside the hotels and resorts where Bilderberg met each year. Eventually, there could be no more denying that Bilderberg existed, so the group acknowledged itself publicly in ’83 with a small press release, admitting they were meeting, and commenting that it was merely a forum to discuss current events.That’s how a lot of secretive stuff is, isn’t it? You get stonewall denials that a secret even exists right up to the point that it is impossible to deny, then you get an admission. All the while, snide, self-proclaimed “debunkers” mock every effort to uncover the truth… average people with no special information, who are in no position whatsoever to know- simply decide that an idea doesn't fit with their expectations, so it can't be true. ("How come I’VE never heard of them??") They ridicule ernest investigators every step of the way, until the truth finally comes out and makes them look like complete jackasses… at which point the erstwhile debunkers backpedal and proclaim they’ve always suspected Bilderberg (or whatever) existed, or even that they had a hand in uncovering it. It’s a variation on the old Gandhi quote: ”First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Having once wrested an admission of existence out of the Bilderbergs, Tucker proceeded over the following twenty-five years to learn through dribbles and drabs that the Bilderberg’s purpose appears to be promoting a transfer of power from traditional nation states to international organizations of its members’ own creating- namely, the United Nations for political power, the World Bank/Bank of International Settlements (BIS) /International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial power, and NATO for military power. Throughout the years, Tucker gleaned the formation of the European Union before it was publicly unveiled, the creation of the Euro before it was unveiled, NATO intervention in former Yugoslavia before it was publicly announced, and former President George H.W. Bush’s decision to break his “no new taxes” campaign promise. Sadly, none of these things were known with sufficient certainty to announce them to the public before their time, but Tucker provides his documentation to show that these things could have at least been reasonably suspected. Perhaps if the press… the larger body of the entire international press… had been doing their jobs, these things could have been known better, for what it’s worth... and the public could have known… for what it’s worth.Well, what is it worth? Officials decide things, and then they happen. Why does it matter that they decided it at some luxury hotel instead of in a state meeting somewhere? Well, it’s worth quite a bit, because a lot of the decisions made at Bilderberg meetings are implemented without announcement or public input. Decisions to raise your taxes and mine should only be made with our input and consent. Decisions to send American troops in support of NATO efforts should be debated in the public square before committed to with blood and treasure. Decisions to send billions of dollars in foreign aid from public coffers should not be made in secret... especially when the intent of the charity is that financially crippled developing countries use the funds to pay interest to private banks which are run by Bilderberg members.The term “conspiracy” has become something of a punchline. Just using the word seems to erode the credibility of whatever preceeds it, and yet- how can some of these things not be reasonably described as conspiracy? How can bankers meeting in secret, in violation of established laws, to figure out how to steal your money or send your kid to war- not be called a conspiracy? In example after example, Tucker shows how the Bilderbergs have followed the same predictable pattern: they seize upon any current event – from environmental concerns, to financial ups and downs, to terrorism, to human rights… no matter what the issue is, they always figure a way to make the solution require an increase in power for the United Nations, NATO, or World Bank/BIS/IMF. I’m not saying, for example, that global warming isn’t a legitimate concern; but the real issue is never about that. The Bilderbergs clearly don’t really care about global warming or any other issue, beyond how it can be used to further their grand dream (the preponderance of Tucker’s evidence suggests) of a unified One World Government, with Bilderberg elites positioned as the feudal lords of the planet, and the rest of us cast as serfs.Is that hyperbole? Who knows? It bears investigation, doesn’t it? That’s the real point of this book; that the truth of the matter has been hidden, and needs to come to light. If the Bilderbergs aren’t as bad as all that, then I’ll kindly offer my apologies, but if they are, it’s a matter of dire consequence. Either way, the public deserves to know.Speaking of your right to know, you may be interested in some future predictions the book (first published in 2005) leaves us with: As best as he can piece together, the Bilderbergs would like to see a world-wide tax on oil, to be paid by all world citizens directly to the United Nations (or one of its affiliated banks as an intermediary). It would start small- barely noticable- just to establish the precedent that the UN can levy a tax on the world citizenry. Then, after a suitable time for that idea to become engrained, the tax could be raised.Tucker says this “foot in the door” approach was exactly how NATO powers were expanded. As it was originally conceived, NATO was only for defense, and was only confined to conflicts involving member nations. NATO involvement in Yugoslavia in 1995 was advocated by the Bilderbergs to test these limitations. It was the first time NATO was used offensively, in a region outside the member nations’ territory. According to Tucker, Bilderberg also had a hand influencing how George H.W. Bush prosecuted the first Gulf War, in 1990. He did not seek approval for the war with the U.S. Congress until he had solicited approval from the United Nations… an incremental step in subverting national sovereignty to an international body. Considering that the President takes an oath to defend and uphold the U.S. Constitution, I consider this criminal.But I’m ranging afield. This book is only peripherally about what the specific machinations of the Bilderberg Group may or may not be. At it’s heart, this is about a man who spent thirty of the best years of his life fighting against staggering odds, at great risk to himself, generally unthanked and unsung, investigating a cause that most people didn't believe in, because he thought it was the right thing to do. And like so many causes, his hard work met with variable success and occasional setbacks. The rewards were often only visible, faintly, after years of persistence. Today the public is more awake than they’ve ever been to this secretive group, yet even still, jeering skeptics still lump Jim Tucker in with UFO abductees and people who see the Virgin Mary on a piece of toast. Most of the distracted and disaffected public don’t know who Tucker is, or what he’s endured, or why it might be important. But it is important- if for no other reason than to demonstrate that the idealistic spirit of an inquiring free press isn’t dead yet. Thank you for that, Mr. Tucker. You’re one of my heros, and I wish there were more like you out there.