While it’s always of interest to examine the list of attendees and topics of the Bilderberg Meetings—the seventieth such meeting in as many years is slated to happen in 2024—most media, even much of the “alternative” variety, go stone-cold silent once the annual intrigue fades, thereby indirectly aiding the meddlesome mountebanks who comprise this unique, highly secretive public-private conference.
Thus, it behooves UK Column—which, as part of extensive Bilderberg coverage, ten years ago this summer, interviewed the concerned MP Michael Meacher outside a Bilderberg meeting—to probe the dealings of the Bilderbergers on at least a semi-regular basis, beyond the highly guarded and rather predictable Bilderberg Meetings. In so doing, we seek a more detailed picture of what is “brewed” at these gatherings, in order to ferret out any apparent outcomes, policies and projects. This article focuses on Ukraine and media connections, largely centered on Bilderberg’s 2023 meeting in mid-May, held in Lisbon, Portugal.
The Bilderberg Meetings, as is generally known, are comprised of about 130 of some of the most influential people in corporate and government sectors, largely from Europe and North America, where sitting “public servants” join media moguls, select editors and writers in cavalierly leaving “the public trust” at the door in order to break bread with some of the world’s top movers and shakers—even while agreeing, due to the strictly enforced “Chatham House rule”, not to disclose who said what at the gatherings.
So, the elected and appointed officials whose only constituency should be the citizens who vote and pay the bills—and the media, whose top priority should always be their readers, listeners and viewers—venture into totally cloaked conversations and dealings with central and investment bankers, think-tankers, former and current finance ministers, officers of investment companies and hedge funds, and heads of the increasingly influential social media companies, combined with the leading officers of major private defense contractors, the head of NATO, illustrious professors and other worldly academics, heads of national intelligence, top military brass etc.
Indeed, Bilderberg is a unique combination of interests that the totally anonymous Bilderberg “media department,” which completely hides its individual employees’ identities and their precise location, attempts to justify by saying that the conference is just a retreat where the rich and powerful from the private and public sectors allegedly put their business plans, agendas and duties completely aside and casually talk about what they see as key issues, allegedly to iron out differences and clear the air of misconceptions.
That media department puts it this way:
Thanks to the private nature of the Meeting, the participants take part as individuals rather than in any official capacity, and hence are not bound by the conventions of their office or by pre-agreed positions. As such, they can take time to listen, reflect and gather insights. There is no detailed agenda, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken and no policy statements are issued.
Not being bound by “the conventions” of one’s office? Might that be another way of saying “not bound” by necessary rules, regulations and conflicts-of-interest ethical considerations? And there’s no “detailed” agenda? Well, they have to cover as much detail as is needed to accomplish their varied, broad objectives. And they say no resolutions are “proposed,” but formal resolutions aren’t necessary anyway, and they wouldn’t disclose them even if they are sometimes required.
Also, notice they say that no votes are “taken”, yet an unrecorded, informal show of hands or good old consensus-building can negate the need to “take” an actual vote. And you wouldn’t formally “issue” policy statements if there’s simply an understanding among attendees about the ways the topics are handled. Moreover, the Chatham House rule stands in the way of disclosing the person(s) who brought forth ideas based on a given topic in the first place. Ah, the “lovely” smell of sophistry.
Bilderberg’s media department always explains that Rule as follows:
[P]articipants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s) nor any other participant may be revealed…
That approach cannot help but establish an unseen channel through which participants can take Bilderberg-born or Bilderberg-bred ideas, policy proposals, projects, deals etc. and infuse them into society without anyone except the involved Bilderberg officers or attendees themselves knowing where, or from whom, the ideas and other matters originated.
Recall that the foundation of the European Union itself was admitted to have been “nurtured” at early Bilderberg Meetings by George McGhee, former U.S. ambassador to West Germany.
Clearly, a group that discusses many of the same exact topics every year (e.g., “Russia,” “China,” “Europe,” are listed in such a blunt one-word fashion) would only do so in order to nurture a long-term ongoing worldview on those subjects. If the meetings were only offhand discussions to simply foster understanding among attendees (this is not to say that informal talks are absent from these meetings altogether), the topics, arguably, would vary more, apart from the logical observation that the listed topics aren’t necessarily the totality of what is discussed—as a lot of specifics can be parked under topics like “Russia” and “China."
And, of course, with that much economic leverage, and compromised political and media power, all operating under one roof with only so much time to deliberate, there would be a strong urge to get the private and public sector attendees on the same page. (That’s where the problem is, since sitting government officials are in a position to leak classified information, and/or mold or enact policies at the behest of the private participants in a completely unaccountable, unlawful manner.)
Thus, the participants are incentivized to branch out and cover as much ground as possible, up to and including what a former British MP, the aforementioned late Bilderberg critic Michael Meacher, boldly declared in the House of Commons and on the grounds of the 2013 Bilderberg gathering in Watford, UK while talking to UK Column and other media; to wit: “This a deal-making conference,” to which he added that Bilderberg would not go to all the trouble and expense of convening “just to have a little chat.”
Bilderberg Connections: Ukraine
All that being said, let’s look at one of the frequent, most-notable attendees: Alex Karp, a major donor to Bilderberg and member of its current 31-member Bilderberg Steering Committee who is CEO of Palantir Technologies, Inc.
Karp’s meeting on 2 June 2022 with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the eve of the 2–5 June 2022 Bilderberg Meeting that Karp still managed to attend in Washington D.C. is indicative of the inroads that Bilderberg-connected companies can and do make for the apparent purpose of creating, maintaining and expanding the “infrastructure” for private world governance, in a manner that comports with Bilderberg’s worldview and its seven-decades-long agenda.
Notably, Defense News headlined that Karp was the “first western CEO to visit [Ukraine President] Zelenskyy amid invasion” and that Karp:
[met] with the country’s president and other leaders in Kyiv to discuss defense cooperation and the opening of an office for the data analytics company in the war-torn country.
Well, since a major Bilderberger is establishing a technological footprint in Ukraine, we must ask, what is Palantir?
According to GlobalData, it is “a software company that develops data-fusion platforms. The company facilitates machine-assisted and human-driven data analysis.” And according to Palantir itself, the company “builds and deploys software platforms that serve as the central operating systems for our customers.”
Furthermore, CNET reported in September 2022 that:
Palantir Technologies, a data analytics company that’s drawn criticism over tech that’s used for surveillance, has extended its contracts with the U.S. government, the company announced [. . .] The Defense Department awarded Palantir a contract worth $229 million over one year to provide artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to the [U.S.] Special Forces and all branches of the U.S. Armed Services.
Is Ukraine actually using Palantir’s services? According to a May 2023 article in Bloomberg media—whose editor-in-chief, longtime Bilderberg fixture John Micklethwait, is a Steering Committee member—Ukraine:
first used Palantir software to help resettle Ukrainian refugees to the UK, Lithuania and Poland. The country has since expanded its use of the software to assist with military operations, including analyzing satellite images.
Palantir Technologies Inc. will deepen its relationship with Ukraine, seeking to help power the country’s reconstruction efforts, the company and Ukrainian officials said.
And acknowledging that yet another Steering Committee member, Peter Thiel, was involved in the very founding of Palantir, Bloomberg added that Palantir’s expertise extends to Ukraine’s battlefield against Russia:
Co-founded by the tech billionaire Peter Thiel [a classmate of Karp’s at Stanford University], Palantir has been working with Ukrainian officials since last year, providing software and incorporating artificial intelligence technologies to power battlefield decision making. The latest partnership [. . .] will focus on reconstruction with an emphasis on reestablishing schools in war-torn areas.
Furthermore, Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who is concurrently a member of Ukraine’s National Defense and Security Council, accepted an invitation to attend Bilderberg’s just-completed Lisbon, Portugal meeting. At 42, this youngest Foreign Affairs Minister in Ukraine’s history is a consistent supporter of Ukraine joining the EU and NATO—and NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg’s regular attendance at Bilderberg for the last seven-plus years, including in Lisbon 2023, certainly won’t hobble Kuleba’s ambitions.
Wikipedia, citing Ukraine media sources, noted:
He also is in favor of providing Ukraine with an Action Program on NATO membership. In his opinion, Ukraine will join the North Atlantic Alliance earlier than the European Union.
Bilderberg Media: ‘All in the family’
Turning to media-related Bilderbergers, Mathias Döpfner, CEO of the German media conglomerate Axel Springer SE, emerged from the 2023 Lisbon Bilderberg Meeting to take a stroll with Economist Editor-in-Chief Zanny Minton-Beddoes, both of whom also are on Bilderberg’s Steering Committee. As Press for Truth journalist Dan Dicks questioned Döpfner and Minton-Beddoes (see videos via the Press for Truth link above) about how they’d answer those concerned about the secrecy of the Bilderberg Meetings, the story behind the story turned out to be that The Economist had recently published an article promoting Axel Springer’s major foray into America, hoping to take its media market by storm.
For the record, Axel Springer SE is a European multinational digital and popular periodical publishing house, Europe’s largest, with numerous multimedia news brands, such as Bild, Die Welt, and Fakt and more than 15,000 employees. It generated total revenues of about €3.3 billion and an EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) of €559 million in the financial year 2015. The digital media activities contribute more than 60% to its revenues and nearly 70% to its EBITDA. Axel Springer's business is divided into three segments: paid models, marketing models, and classified ad models. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, the company is active in more than 40 countries, including subsidiaries, joint ventures, and licensing.
Significantly, since 2020, Axel Springer has been majority-owned by the New York City-based private equity firm KKR, which is Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co. “Kravis” is Henry Kravis, a longtime Bilderberger whose wife, Marie-Josée Kravis, heads up the American Friends of Bilderberg, a New York-registered “charity,” and co-chairs the Bilderberg Steering Committee along with Professor Victor Halberstadt, a Dutch economist. Mr Kravis also joins Döpfner and Minton-Beddoes on the Steering Committee.
As the above-noted Economist article noted:
Mathias Döpfner is a polarising figure in Germany. Lefties loathe him for leading Axel Springer, a publishing giant, because of the aggressive gutter journalism of Bild, its flagship tabloid that helps set the tone of the political debate. Conservatives take umbrage at his provocative pronouncements. And jealous types of all stripes envy his transformation from music critic to media mogul, who in 2020 received Springer shares worth a cool €1bn ($1.1bn) from Friede Springer, widow of the firm’s eponymous founder, as a gift.Across the Atlantic Mr Döpfner does not provoke similar passions. That is about to change, because his ambition is to turn his company into America’s top digital publisher, from number four today. “America has become the main heart chamber and the growth engine of our publishing business,” says Mr Döpfner. Springer already owns Politico, an American journal and associated website for political news junkies; Insider, another news site; and Morning Brew, which offers business news. It is all part of Mr Döpfner’s plan to return to Springer’s origins as a news publisher, except mostly American, not German—and all digital.
Another Bilderberg-affiliated media outlet, the Financial Times—which for years has been advocating and participating in the global cities movement, instead of reporting on it impartially—provided more information on Döpfner’s plans, focusing on how his purchase of Politico is expected to provide major leverage for his American plan. As Brooke Masters wrote recently for the FT:
In buying Politico, Axel Springer is seeking to find specialised revenue streams the big tech companies can’t tap and wrest some of the mainstream money back . . . . [T]he first reaction [to the purchase] in the media was envy. The US political website and subscription service, founded in 2007, has pulled off a rare success story. Politico is profitable, despite two rounds of defections that saw former staff set up competing products. Now its financial backer, Robert Allbritton, has secured close to $1bn, or five times the company’s reported revenue.
Indeed, one gets the impression that these Bilderberg media-meisters are aware of the nearly freefall-speed drop in readership and viewership of the so-called legacy (conventional) media and are pulling out all the stops to rescue it and control it, lest the alternative media nip at their heels a little too closely. Consider the following, as noted by the FT’s Brooke Masters:
The sale [of Politico to Axel Springer] comes at a difficult time for Politico’s competitors, both the legacy media and the digital upstarts, particularly those that rely on advertising. Total US newspaper circulation (print and digital) dropped 6 per cent again last year and is now half of 2007 levels. Even though digital advertising shot up amid Covid–19 to $152bn in the US alone, the benefits are not flowing to news media sites. Last year, for the first time, Facebook, Google and Amazon sucked up the majority of all US ad spending. Many media businesses now see subscriptions as a more reliable source of revenue, and some recorded impressive increases last year amid lockdowns and the US presidential election. But now interest is waning.
Furthermore (and this is more good news amid the growing distrust of the “legacy” media):
Primetime viewership for each of the three big US cable news networks dropped more than 35 per cent year on year in the second quarter, with CNN doing the worst. The New York Times recently reported that subscriber growth is tailing off. [T]he Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and USA Today were all down by at least 10 per cent year on year this July, according to ComScore. Several digital players that hoped to cash in are now struggling.
While Axel Springer’s delisting from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange was enabled by KKR’s backing—and, ironically, Springer was outbid for the Financial Times itself in 2015—it has been “freer to indulge its global ambitions,” the FT noted, while declaring that Springer “aims to create the leading digital media publisher in the democratic world.” But with tech titans such as Google and Facebook gobbling up advertising dollars, media organizations, as Ms. Masters emphasized, have two choices:
They can either find specialised revenue streams that the big tech companies can’t tap, or they can try to wrest some of the mainstream money back. In buying Politico, Axel Springer is seeking ways to do both.
Greater U.S. heft is also an assumed dividend for Döpfner, right at a time when regulating Big Tech is reportedly moving up the Washington legislative agenda. Several antitrust matters may soon be under discussion, but the impact on the orthodox news media could be paramount. Australia has already shown that governments can force big-tech platform companies to share revenue with conventional news-based content creators—and, as Ms. Masters also noted—“how big media companies like Rupert Murdoch’s [Fox] News Corp are most able to profit from such changes.
Considering that key Big Tech “luminaries” such as former Google chief Eric Schmidt, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and several others from that field have steadily attended Bilderberg, meeting this year with the likes of Döpfner, Minton-Beddoes, FT representatives, Mr. and Mrs. Kravis, Bloomberg LP Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait and other key media players and financiers, one can’t help but speculate—and perhaps, given all these connections within Bilderberg, this is a tad more than speculation—that Bilderberg’s secretive discussions are “nurturing” a way for Big Tech and Big Media to scratch each other’s back and in the process attempt to save the orthodox media from the financial impact of its own endemic lies and deceptions.