Secret Societies News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Secret Societies News Articles in Media
Who rules the world? The rise of nation states produced national ruling classes. It would be odd if the current integration of the world economy did not produce new global elites — business people and financiers who run global companies and global politicians who steer supra-national organisations such as the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund. David Rothkopf, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, argues that these elites constitute nothing less than a new global “superclass”. They have all the clubby characteristics of the old national ruling classes, but with the vital difference that they operate on the global stage, far from mere national electorates. They attend the same universities. They are groomed in a handful of world-spanning institutions such as Goldman Sachs. They belong to the same clubs — the Council on Foreign Relations in New York is a particular favourite — and sit on each other's boards of directors. Many of them shuttle between the public and private sectors. They meet at global events such as the World Economic Forum at Davos and the Trilateral Commission or — for the crčme de la crčme — the Bilderberg meetings or the Bohemian Grove seminars that take place every July in California. Mr Rothkopf is anything but a crank, and he is right when he says that, these days, the most influential people around the world are also the most global people. He is also admirably ambivalent about his subject. He worries about surging inequality — the richest 1% of humans own 40% of the planet's wealth — and about the rumbling backlash against so much unaccountable power.
Note: For reliable, verifiable information the secret societies of which the global elite are a part, click here. Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making by David Rothkopf is available here.
[In] speaking [with New York Federal Reserve Bank president Timothy] Geithner while I was doing the research for my recently published book Superclass, he sketched in fascinating detail how the world's power elite rallies when the markets quake. Recalling an earlier crisis in global securities markets that he helped to manage, Geithner said the Fed brought together the leaders of the world's 14 major financial firms, from five countries, representing 95 percent of all the activity in global markets. The Swiss were there, the Germans were there, the British were there. Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein "jokingly called them 'the 14 families,' like in 'The Godfather'," says Geithner. "And we said to them, 'You guys have got to fix this problem. Tell us how you are going to fix it and we will work out some basic regime.' You ... need a critical mass of the right players. It is a much more concentrated world." Geithner's description of the financial elite in crisis mode came many months before the recent meltdown of Bear Stearns, yet foreshadowed [it] in an uncanny way. The people ... described by Geithner, plus a few thousand more like them, not only in business and finance, but also politics, the arts, the nonprofit world and other realms, are part of a new global elite that has emerged over the past several decades. I call it the "superclass." They have vastly more power than any other group on the planet. Each of the members is set apart by his ability to regularly influence the lives of millions of people in multiple countries worldwide. Each actively exercises this power, and often amplifies it through the development of relationships with other superclass members.
Note: For many revealing stories from reliable sources on secret societies of the world's most powerful people, click here.
In November 1934, federal investigators uncovered an amazing plot involving some two dozen senior businessmen, a good many of them Wall Street financiers, to topple the government of the United States and install a fascist dictatorship. An alert FDR shut it down but stopped short of retaliatory measures against the plotters. A key element of the plot involved [Smedley Butler], a retired prominent general who was to have raised a private army of 500,000 men from unemployed veterans and who blew the whistle when he learned more of what the plot entailed. The plot was heavily funded and well developed and had strong links with fascist forces abroad. A story in the New York Times and several other newspapers reported on it, and a special Congressional committee was created to conduct an investigation. The records of this committee were scrubbed and sealed away in the National Archives, where they have only recently been made available. The Congressional committee kept the names of many of the participants under wraps and no criminal action was ever brought against them. But a few names have leaked out. And one is Prescott Bush, the grandfather of the incumbent president. Prescott Bush was ... deep into the business of the Hamburg-America Lines, and had tight relations throughout this period with the new Government that had come to power in Germany a year earlier under Chancellor Adolph Hitler. It appears that Bush was to have formed a key liaison for the group with the new German government. The role of the most powerful political dynastic family in the nation’s history in this whole affair is shocking.
Note: You can listen to the highly revealing BBC Radio broadcast on Bush/Nazi ties by clicking here. And to watch an eye-opening History Channel documentary on the coup plot, click here. U.S. Marine Corps General Smedley Butler was the author of the landmark book "War is a Racket," summarized here.
Public kept in dark as business leads talks about North American integration. Away from the spotlight, from Sept. 12 to 14, in Banff Springs, Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day and Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor met with U.S. and Mexican government officials and business leaders to discuss North American integration at the second North American Forum. The guest list included such prominent figures as U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Mexican Secretary of Public Security Eduardo Medina Mora and Canadian Forces chief General Rick Hillier. The event was chaired by former U.S. secretary of state George Schultz, former Alberta premier, Peter Lougheed and former Mexican finance minister Pedro Aspe. Organizers did not alert the media about the event. Our government ... refuses to release any information about the content of the discussions or the actors involved. The event was organized by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. The media have paid little attention to this far-reaching agreement, so Canadians are unaware that a dozen working groups are currently "harmonizing" Canadian and U.S. regulations on everything from food to drugs to the environment and even more contentious issues like foreign policy. This process ... is about priming North America for better business by weakening the impacts of such perceived obstacles as environmental standards and labour rights. This is why the public has been kept in the dark while the business elite has played a leading role in designing the blueprint for this more integrated North America.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. Why has the U.S. media not covered this key topic? For a second article discussing this secret meeting on a top Canadian TV website, click here. To learn about other secret meetings of the power elite, click here
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside an exclusive California retreat for government and business leaders Saturday to challenge the right of a "ruling elite" to make policy decisions without public scrutiny. The annual Bohemian Grove retreat has attracted powerful men such as Ronald Reagan, George Bush, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, philanthropist David Rockefeller, former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. It's also become a magnet for all types of activists who increasingly use the event to network and organize their campaigns. The men who attend the Bohemian Grove retreat spend two weeks performing plays, eating gourmet camp grub, listening to speakers and power-bonding at the 2,700-acre compound near the Russian River in Sonoma County. The retreat is organized by the exclusive San Francisco-based Bohemian Club. The club and event are shrouded in mystery, much like Yale University's most-famous secret society, Skull and Bones, whose members include President George W. Bush and his presidential rival Sen. John Kerry.
Note: This article strangely has been removed from the San Francisco Chronicle website. To see it in the Internet Archive, click here. For an informative five-minute ABC news clip on the power elite gathering Bohemian Grove reported in 1981, click here. And for reliable information on the most secretive meeting of the world's elite reported by the major media, see our Bilderberg Group compilation available here.
"Conspiracy of Silence" is a powerful, disturbing documentary revealing a nationwide child abuse and pedophilia ring that leads to the highest levels of government. Featuring intrepid investigator John DeCamp, a highly decorated Vietnam war veteran and 16-year Nebraska state senator, "Conspiracy of Silence" reveals how rogue elements at all levels of government have been involved in systematic child abuse and pedophilia to feed the base desires of key politicians. Based on DeCamp's riveting book, The Franklin Cover-up, "Conspiracy of Silence" begins with the shut-down of Nebraska's Franklin Community Federal Credit Union after a raid by federal agencies in November 1988 revealed that $40 million was missing. When the Nebraska legislature launched a probe into the affair, what initially looked like a financial swindle soon exploded into a startling tale of drugs, money laundering, and a nationwide child abuse ring. Nineteen months later, the legislative committee's chief investigator died suddenly and violently, like more than a dozen other people linked to the Franklin case.
As opposite as George Bush and John Kerry may seem to be, they do share a common secret - one they've shared for decades. The secret: details of their membership in Skull and Bones, the elite Yale University society whose members include some of the most powerful men of the 20th century. Bonesmen, as they're called, are forbidden to reveal what goes on in their inner sanctum. Bones has included presidents, cabinet officers, spies, Supreme Court justices, [and] captains of industry. They'd responded to questions with utter silence until an enterprising Yale graduate, Alexandra Robbins, managed to penetrate the wall of silence in her book, Secrets of the Tomb. "I spoke with about 100 members of Skull and Bones. They were members who were tired of the secrecy,” says Robbins. “But probably twice that number hung up on me, harassed me, or threatened me.” Skull and Bones, with all its ritual and macabre relics, was founded in 1832. Since then, it has chosen or "tapped" only 15 senior students a year who become ... lifetime members of the ultimate old boys' club. A lot of Bonesmen have gone on to positions of great power. President Bush ... tapped five fellow Bonesmen to join his administration. Bonesmen have [included] William Howard Taft, the 27th President; Henry Luce, the founder of Time Magazine; and W. Averell Harriman, the diplomat and confidant of U.S. presidents. Mr. Bush, like his father and grandfather before him, has refused to talk openly about Skull and Bones. But as a Bonesman, he was required to reveal his innermost secrets to his fellow Bones initiates. They're supposed to recount their entire sexual histories in ... a dimly-lit cozy room.
Note: For a highly revealing, four-minute CNN News clip on Skull and Bones, click here. For other major media news clips reporting on this powerful secret society, click here. And for lots more reliable information from major media sources on powerful, secret groups like this, click here.
John "Jack" Whiteside Parsons, a founder of the legendary Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a maverick visionary honored with a moon crater bearing his name, gave no early hint of the inner stirrings that propelled him to worship the devil and lead an extraordinary double life: respected scientist by day, dedicated occultist by night. Parsons earned his bread and butter working on a jet-assisted takeoff unit that developed into a solid-fuel rocket that would help win World War II. In 1942, Parsons and his wife, Helen, moved into an aging Pasadena mansion, [and] converted the rooms into 19 apartments. The residents mockingly named the place "the Parsonage," for it was anything but. Soon the house on South Orange Grove was a laboratory ... for black magic. In 1944, Parsons resigned from JPL in favor of whizzing through time and space via ... hallucinogens. Helen became pregnant by another member of the Parsonage circle, and Parsons took up with Helen's beautiful 18-year-old sister, Sara Northrup. L. Ron Hubbard, the future founder of Scientology ... moved into the house [in 1946] and later married Sara, Parsons' lover and sister-in-law, before divorcing his first wife. After one reputed out-of-body experience, [Parsons] acquired the name "Belarion Armiluss Al Dajjal, antichrist." But even the antichrist had to eat. Low on funds, he worked for various local aviation companies ... and bootlegged nitroglycerin. The FBI [began] investigating him on ... cult activities; the scrutiny cost Parsons his government security clearance.
Note: In these wild and crazy times, it is vitally important that as many people as possible understand the role of Satanism behind the scenes in influencing global politics and much more. For the best documentary on this, watch the suppressed Discovery Channel film Conspiracy of Silence. For the best written essay on the topic, read chapter 12 of the book Lifting the Veil. Another great documentary is available here.
For the investors and market-movers at the annual World Economic Forum [in Davos, Switzerland], a threat lurks. At cocktail parties where the Champagne flows, financiers have expressed bewilderment over the rise of populist groups that are feeding a backlash against globalization. The world order has been upended. As the United States retreats from the promise of free trade, China is taking up the mantle. The stark shift leaves investors trying to assess the new risk and opportunities in the global economy. “This is the first time there is absolutely no consensus,” said William F. Browder ... who has been coming to Davos for 21 years. “Everyone is looking into the abyss.” The religion of the global elite - free trade and open markets - is under attack, and there has been a lot of hand-wringing, [but] little agreement on how to deal with it. The biggest concern? Finding a way to make the people who are driving populist movements feel like they are part of the global economic pie that Davos participants have created and largely own. Ian Bremmer, the president of Eurasia Group, a political-research firm, offered his advice: “Elites won’t be able to manage populism until they stop seeing it as a threat and start seeing it as a symptom.” If that is the case, Davos has, so far, made little progress. Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba in China, offered his view of the problem in the United States. Americans, he said, “do not distribute the money properly.”
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of the secret societies of the elite which manipulate global politics from behind the scenes, and deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.
A satanic group unveiled designs ... for a 7-foot-tall statue of Satan it wants to put at the Oklahoma state Capitol, where a Ten Commandments monument was placed in 2012. The New York-based Satanic Temple formally submitted its application to a panel that oversees the Capitol grounds, including an artist's rendering that depicts Satan as Baphomet, a goat-headed figure with horns, wings and a long beard that's often used as a symbol of the occult. In the rendering, Satan is sitting in a pentagram-adorned throne with smiling children next to him. "The monument has been designed to reflect the views of Satanists in Oklahoma City and beyond," temple spokesman Lucien Greaves said in a statement. "The statue will also have a functional purpose as a chair where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation." The Satanic Temple maintains that the Oklahoma Legislature's decision to authorize a privately funded Ten Commandments monument at the Capitol opened the door for its statue. The Ten Commandments monument was placed on the north steps of the building in 2012, and the Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has sued to have it removed. Similar requests for monuments have been made by a Hindu leader in Nevada, an animal rights group and the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. In response, the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission recently placed a moratorium on considering any new requests. "Anybody can still make their request, but we'll hold off on considering them until the lawsuit is adjudicated," commission Chairman Trait Thompson said.
Note: We include this article because so many people ignore the existence of the Satanists among us, some of whom have even had high rank in the U.S. military. Watch this video to hear U.S. army colonel Michael Aquino defend his being a satanist. If you are open to more, read this essay by a professor who exposed the destruction being caused by these groups.
No [encounters with demonstrators] will take place in Watford this week, as the Bilderberg, the annual conference for 140 of the world’s most powerful, meet for four days at The Grove, a Ł300-a-night golf hotel. The entire hotel has been booked out, and a high fence erected around the exclusion zone. Armed checkpoints have been set up on local roads, and locals must show their passports to enter their own driveways. The Bilderberg was founded in 1954 ... at the Bilderberg Hotel, near Arnhem. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands was the chair. In that first meeting, the participants ... debated the Communist threat and the prospect of European integration. Publicly, the group says it is still merely a debating society – a forum for leaders to "listen, reflect and gather insights" unbound by official policy positions. But while they rankle at the conspiracy theorists, former leaders of the Bilderberg conferences says they were the most important events they ever went to, and the freedom of speaking away from the ears of Whitehall officials meant the discussions that took place decisively shaped modern Europe. On the agenda is economic growth, big data, Africa, medical research and the rise of cyber warfare. The future of the welfare state is likely to be discussed, as one topic is titled "jobs, entitlement and debt". Another session is called simply "current affairs".
On [June 6], a heady mix of politicians, bank bosses, billionaires, chief executives and European royalty will swoop up the elegant drive of the Grove hotel, north of Watford, to begin the annual Bilderberg conference. The CEO of Royal Dutch Shell will hop from his limo, delighted to be spending three solid days in policy talks with the head of HSBC, the president of Dow Chemical, his favourite European finance ministers and US intelligence chiefs. The conference is the highlight of every plutocrat's year and has been since 1954. The only time Bilderberg skipped a year was 1976, after the group's founding chairman, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, was caught taking bribes from Lockheed Martin. It may seem odd, as our own lobbying scandal unfolds, amid calls for a statutory register of lobbyists, that a bunch of our senior politicians will be holed up for three days in luxurious privacy with the chairmen and CEOs of hedge funds, tech corporations and vast multinational holding companies, with zero press oversight. Michael Meacher, MP ... describes the conference as "an anti-democratic cabal of the leaders of western market capitalism meeting in private to maintain their own power and influence outside the reach of public scrutiny". The Bilderberg conference is paid for, in the UK, by an officially registered charity: the Bilderberg Association (charity number 272706). The charity receives regular five-figure sums from two kindly supporters of its benevolent aims: Goldman Sachs and BP. The most recent documentary proof of this is from 2008, since when the charity has omitted its donors' names from its accounts.
A protest targeting a secretive meeting of powerful international leaders entered a third day Saturday, with numbers swelling well into the hundreds ... gathered outside the Westfield Marriott hotel in Chantilly, Virginia where members of the Bilderberg group are meeting. Scores of protesters gathered at the entrance of the hotel, launching into a chorus of jeers each time a vehicle suspected of carrying Bilderberg attendees entered or exited the property. Protesters view the annual off-the-record Bilderberg meeting - which draws dozens of influential figures in finance, national security and politics – with suspicion. Some go as far as to suggest that those invited plan the establishment of an oppressive "new world order". The protest marked the gathering of a diverse cross-section of contemporary US activist movements. Chris McCarron stood outside the fence surrounding the Marriott with a 99% flag, an overt nod to the Occupy movement. For McCarron, who participated in Occupy protests in Colorado, the motivation for attending the rally was simple: "A shadowy group of rich people gathering together, making their plans for the world; I'm not going to sit on my ass and let them do it. They're gonna hear my voice." [He] hoped the movements could find common ground and come together. "It was funny, earlier today me and a Tea Party guy, we threw our arms over each other like 'Hey, here we are, we're working together on this." "We're all kind of protesting the same thing, just different segments of it," he said. "Whenever we can we should get together."
Note: For lots more on secret societies from reliable sources, click here.
In the past 10 years police in greater London have investigated 83 incidents of child abuse and torture linked to witchcraft and other religious rituals. Of these children, four ... were murdered during ritualised violence. One police source said more cases of this kind were coming to light – either because the problem was increasing or because the light shone on the issue had led to increased reporting of incidents. The horrific cases of child abuse are often familial and often emerge from within the African diaspora. While most of the child killings have led to perpetrators being brought to justice, others remain mysteries. Ritualised abuse involves witchcraft-style exorcisms within many different cultures, including Caribbean, Congolese and Asian communities, according to the Met. The police set up Project Violet seven years ago to target the problem and work with other agencies to raise awareness of children at risk. "We know this is an under-reported crime, we know this is a hidden crime," said Det Supt Terry Sharpe, head of Scotland Yard's child abuse investigation command. "That is why Project Violet is working with communities to try to raise the awareness within the community and among professionals so people can see the danger signs."
Note: Sadly very few people are willing to look into these very dark shadows. If you are one of the few, please don't miss the most important documentary on this available here. For lots more powerful information from one who escaped from a powerful cult involved in ritual abuse, click here.
The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting [in Davos, Switzerland is] a heady power gathering that mixes business, politics and Champagne in the Swiss Alps. It is an event that draws a wide range of [chief executives, government leaders and academics], ostensibly to contemplate how to solve the world’s problems. An invitation to the meeting is supposed to be considered an exclusive honor. But for corporate executives, the cost of being a Davos Man, or, yes, a Davos Woman, even for just a couple of days, does not come cheap. Just to have the opportunity to be invited to Davos, you must be invited to be a member of the World Economic Forum. There are several levels of membership: the basic level, which will get you one invitation to Davos, costs 50,000 Swiss francs, or about $52,000. The ticket itself is another 18,000 Swiss francs ($19,000), plus tax, bringing the total cost of membership and entrance fee to $71,000. But that fee just gets you in the door. To participate in private sessions among your industry’s peers, you need to step up to the “Industry Associate” level. That costs $137,000, plus the price of the ticket, bringing the total to about $156,000.
Note: After attending this event, author David Rothkopf quoted AOL's founder as saying,"You always feel like ... the real Davos is happening in secret somewhere." Might this suggest that Davos is a breeding ground for the secret plots of the global elite? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of news articles on secret societies which manipulate global politics.
Ordinary citizens can only guess at the goings-on at the annual meeting of the secretive Bilderberg Group, a media-barred pow-wow of the global elite that in the past has reportedly attracted former US President Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and David Cameron, and US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner. The heavyweight weekend retreat kicked off yesterday with hordes of police security and a gag order for employees at the luxury Dolce. None of the illustrious guests posed for photos or spouted prepared statements for the media. Instead, activists, journalists and bloggers attempted to stake out positions in the surrounding hills to catch glimpses of this year's participants, guerrilla-warrior style. The cloak-and-dagger theorists scored a point this week when ... Daniel Estulin addressed the European Parliament on the invitation of an Italian member, Mario Borghezio. Mr Estulin, an investigative journalist who has written two best-selling books on the subject, contends that "the Bilderberg Club" is not a classic conspiracy but a potentially dangerous meeting of minds with a common goal: to centralise global economic power to benefit corporations. He defined it as "a virtual spider web of interlocking financial, political and industrial interests". "It isn't a secret society," he said. "No matter how powerful they are, no group sits around a table holding hands and deciding the world's future. It is an ideology."
Note: Why is there so little reporting on this influential group in the major media? Thankfully, the alternative media has had some good articles. And a Google search can be highly informative. For many other revealing news articles from major media sources on powerful secret societies, click here. And for reliable information covering the big picture of how and why these secret societies are using government-sponsored mind control programs to achieve their agenda, click here.
Does the layout of Washington reveal some hidden Masonic influence? Masons first appeared in Britain in the early 1400s as members of craft guilds. The Masons encouraged free thought and religious tolerance. They helped invent America: George Washington, Ben Franklin, nine signers of the Declaration of Independence and 13 signers of the Constitution were Masons. Both Presidents Roosevelt and 11 other presidents besides Washington were, too. Also J. Edgar Hoover, Will Rogers, Ty Cobb, John Wayne. [There are] roughly 1.5 million Masons in the United States today. But you only have to visit any number of anti-Masonic Web sites to find the darker claims of conspiracies to rule the world. A persistent rumor involves secret symbols in the map of the city. The White House, Washington Circle, Dupont Circle, Logan Circle and Mount Vernon Square: Draw lines on the avenues connecting the points (pretend Rhode Island doesn't stop at Connecticut) and you get a five-pointed star. It's also possible to divine a six-pointed star on the map east of the Capitol. 16th Street is Washington's "Rose Line." The intersecting line from the Capitol across the Potomac River [takes you to] a place called Rosslyn, which ... is also the name of the sacred Templar chapel in Scotland. The Masonic headquarters ... is on Washington's Rose Line. In September 1793, Washington donned a ceremonial Masonic apron and helped lay the cornerstone of the Capitol. High on the Capitol Rotunda's domed ceiling is Brumidi's dramatic portrayal of the "Apotheosis of Washington" -- the Mason ascending to heaven. Of 100 or so statues in Statuary Hall and elsewhere in the building, [there are] at least 30 Masons.
Note: Without the secret meetings of the Masons, the U.S. likely would not have been able to throw off the oppressive yoke of the British king. Yet they became so powerful and corrupt by the 1820s that there was a huge anti-Masonic movement which swept the nation. For an abundance of reliable information on a number of secret societies and the power they wield, click here.
David Rothkopf's Superclass [can be viewed] as a map of how the world really works. Rothkopf, a former managing director of Kissinger Associates and an international trade official in the Clinton Administration, has identified roughly 6,000 individuals who have "the ability to regularly influence the lives of millions of people in multiple countries worldwide" ... with a growing allegiance ... to each other rather than to any particular nation. Rothkopf [cites] the Pareto principle of distribution, or the "80/20 rule," whereby 20 percent of the causes of anything are responsible for 80 percent of the consequences. That means 20 percent of the money-makers make 80 percent of the money and 20 percent of the politicians make 80 percent of the important decisions. That 20 percent belongs to the superclass. Superclass ... is as much about who is not part of the superclass as who is. As I read Rothkopf's chronicles of elite gatherings -- Davos, Bilderberg, the Bohemian Grove (all male), Fathers and Sons (all male) -- I was repeatedly struck by the near absence of women. When Rothkopf summarizes "how to become a member of the superclass," his first rule is "be born a man." Only 6 percent of the superclass is female. Superclass is written in part as a consciousness-raising exercise for members of the superclass themselves. Rothkopf worries that "the world they are making" is deeply unequal and ultimately unstable. But it's likely to take more than exhortation. In the words of former Navy Secretary John Lehman, "Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat." Why would the superclass want to give it up?
Note: The website www.theyrule.net allows visitors to trace the connections between individuals who serve on the boards of top corporations, universities, think thanks, foundations and other elite institutions. For lots more on secret societies, click here.
For most of the moneyed class, an inquiry into their wealth elicits silence and cringes. Not so with 28-year-old Jamie Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune. For the Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker, wealth is the focus of his life's work. In Johnson's first documentary, Born Rich, he exposed how 10 children from families like the Trumps and the Newhouses spent their time – and their fortunes. Now he turns the camera on his own family in The One Percent. Johnson's documentary ... offers a rarefied view of the scandalously secretive world of "the one percent," a small segment of the U.S. population that owns roughly 40% of the country's wealth. Through a series of interviews with high-profile figures like Bill Gates Sr., U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and economist Milton Friedman, Johnson explores the disparity of wealth in America. Forbes.com: You got your own father, as well as other phenomenally wealthy people, to talk to you. How did you get these folks to open up about such an intensely private topic? Johnson: It wasn't easy. A lot of patience – there was a lot of waiting around. Forbes: I imagine you'll have critics who will call this "rich boy's guilt." What do you say to them? Johnson: That both liberal and conservative economists agree that there is a growing wealth gap, and that it's a problem. It's important to get wealthy people to think about this and think about solving this problem. They are the most influential people in our society and therefore, they should be working on treating this and coming up with a solution.
Note: The films of Jamie Johnson give very rare views into the lives of the upper crust that are incredibly revealing. For another article at CNN on his excellent documentary Born Rich, click here. To see revealing video clips, click here.
In the two decades since private equity firms first stormed the business world, they've been called a lot of things, from raiders to barbarians. But only [the Carlyle Group] has been tagged in the popular imagination with warmongering, treason, and acting as cold-eyed architects of government conspiracies. Carlyle, founded 20 years ago in the shadow of Washington's power centers, long went about its business far from the public eye. Its ranks were larded with the politically connected, including former Presidents, Cabinet members, even former British Prime Minister John Major. It used its partners' collective relationships to build a lucrative business buying, transforming, and selling companies -- particularly defense companies that did business with governments. Carlyle's radical makeover has turned the firm into the biggest fund-raising juggernaut the private equity world has ever seen. By the end of this year it expects to have an unprecedented $85 billion in investor commitments under management, up sixfold from 2001 and more than any other firm. [Founder David] Rubenstein sees the total swelling to as much as $300 billion by 2012. Make no mistake -- Carlyle is already massive. It owns nearly 200 companies that generate a combined $68 billion in revenue and employ 200,000 people. Last year it bought a new company approximately once every three days and sold one almost once a week -- all while dabbling in increasingly esoteric investments. Since its founding in 1987 it has generated annualized after-fee returns of 26%, compared with the industry average in the mid-teens.
Note: With former presidents including George H.W. Bush and many other top world politicians helping to sway huge military contracts, could this be considered a form of insider trading? Those 26% yearly returns are placing our tax monies in the hands of individuals and companies that are already among the wealthiest in the world. For lots more on manipulation of your tax money, click here. And for a Washington Post article showing Osama Bin Laden's brother met with George H.W. Bush at a Carlyle meeting one day before 9/11, click here.
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