Royal Dutch Shell Plc board members Peter Voser, Simon Henry and Jorma Ollila, all members of the sinister Bilderberg Group and participants in the controversial 2013 Bilderberg Conference. How is their membership is such a secretive organisation compatible with Shell’s claimed core business principles of openness and transparency? (Comment by John Donovan)
Famous for being shrouded in secrecy, the Bilderberg conference took place in Britain for the first time since 1998 and conspiracy theorists believe this is where leaders plot world domination.
The huge police operation drafted in to monitor the four-day event in Watford, which has previously attracted mass demonstrations, could cost the British taxpayer as much as Â£2million or more, it has been claimed.
Since its inception in 1954, BilderbergÂ has held annual gatherings of 120-150 invited political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media, designed to ‘foster dialogue between Europe and North America’.
The group describes the conference as ‘a forum for informal, off-the-record discussions about megatrends and the major issues facing the world’ and states that the private nature of the meeting allows participants to ‘listen, reflect and gather insights’ without being bound by the conventions of office or by pre-agreed public positions.There is no detailed agenda, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued.
Several cars with blacked-out windows entered the gates of the Grove Hotel, near Watford, in Hertfordshire, were seen arriving the secretive meeting. Some were heckled by crowds of protestors outside.
BILDERBERG CONFERENCE 2013: FULL LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
Chairman: Henri de Castries, Chairman and CEO, AXA Group
Paul M. Achleitner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG
Josef Ackermann, Chairman of the Board, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd
Marcus Agius, Former Chairman, Barclays plc
Helen Alexander, Chairman, UBM plc