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Phantom Patriot attacks Bohemian Grove.
January 24, 2002 8:51 AM   Subscribe

Phantom Patriot attacks Bohemian Grove. I'm no conspiracy theorist. I don't believe that the world is ruled by a secret cabal consisting of the Queen of England, The Bushes, The Sultan of Brunei and the ghost of Red Foxx. But Bohemian Grove is pretty freaky. I mean, a 40 foot owl statue? The Cremation of Care? Obviously, the Phantom Patriot is a little, well, off. But why do the rich and powerful need secret societies and kooky rituals anyway?
posted by emptyage (27 comments total)

 
Funny you brought up Bohemian Grove. I was introduced to it yesterday, in a tale of a temporary food service employee working at the camp. Read it at the Phoenix New Times site.

I guess all the rich and powerful like to feel more so by gathering in mysterious camps and performing kooky rituals. It's inscrutable.
posted by razorwriter at 9:10 AM on January 24, 2002


But, you know, if I were the "Phantom Patriot", I wouldn't wear a pullover that said in big red letters: "PHANTOM PATRIOT". Especially while infiltrating a nefarious coven of evildoers.

Just a thought.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:01 AM on January 24, 2002


" ... But why do the rich and powerful need secret societies and kooky rituals anyway? ..."

If one just looks at the posts over the past year or so just on MiFi, and in particular looks at the attitudes expressed towards the "rich and powerful" - which almost universally range from neutral at best, to extremely negative and disparaging at worst - it should not come as any surprise that they would want to form private clubs where they can relax with one another. The curious thing is that the population in general seems to think that simply because one is rich and powerful, they lose their right to have anything resembling a private life ... and that it is quite ok to infiltrate any place where they gather.

And whether anyone believes it or not (in fact, I presume the following comment will likely also get either neutral or negative reactions), folks in positions of power and influence quite often do really give a shit about the world, really do shoulder enormous responsibility, and commonly do work 18 hour days under almost continual immense pressure.

Why do the "rich and powerful" need "bizzare" rituals? Why does anyone think they are different than those who aren't rich and powerful? What is "bizzare"? Large numbers of the US population, every Sunday, symbolically eat the "body and blood of Christ" during a surreal ritual called "communion".
posted by MidasMulligan at 11:26 AM on January 24, 2002


So, uh, MidasMulligan, are you suggesting that the rich and powerful people at Bohemian Grove are not Christians? I suspect they are. So their rituals are part and parcel of Christian ritualistic cannibalism. And it's all bizarre.
posted by Slagman at 12:35 PM on January 24, 2002


folks in positions of power and influence quite often do really give a shit about the world, really do shoulder enormous responsibility, and commonly do work 18 hour days under almost continual immense pressure

For which they are richly compensated with power and influence.

Contrast this with single moms who really do give a shit about their kids, shoulder enormous responsibility, and commonly work long hours under almost continual immense pressure.

Why do the "rich and powerful" need "bizzare" rituals?
To propitiate their dark gods, of course.

Why does anyone think they are different than those who aren't rich and powerful?
Uh, because they have buckets of money and can satisfy their every material desire? Just a guess.

What is "bizzare"?
The average compensation package of the "average" American CEO. THAT is bizarre.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:01 PM on January 24, 2002


I'm surprised this FPP hasn't been removed by now...
posted by Ty Webb at 1:07 PM on January 24, 2002


Okay, i can't resist:

Who keeps Atlantis off the maps?
Who keeps the Martians under wraps?
We do!
We do!
posted by Ty Webb at 1:09 PM on January 24, 2002


What is the average compensation package of the Average American CEO? I'd bet it's damned small, considering how many tiny corporations, S corporations, and the like, exist.....
posted by dwivian at 1:13 PM on January 24, 2002


Midas, are you real? or are you an AI-based comment generator that is very well programmed to respond as rand intended?

not knocking you, just admiring your very fitting name.

reading that news article made me think Don Quixote.
posted by th3ph17 at 1:28 PM on January 24, 2002


Horrified by the images, McCaslin said he spent a year collecting weapons, staking out the grove and planning the commando-style operation

He planned this for a year and never figured out how to get around in the grove and that nobody was there. Let's get this guy in the military!
posted by witchstone at 1:37 PM on January 24, 2002


This place sounds like a cross between Club Med, The Federalist Society, and a high end militia compound. Liquor, hookers, and policy meetings, eh?

There is a ruling class, and they're drunk in the woods, chasing tail, and discussing policy.

No two ways about it, we live in one frickin' bizarre country. Satire is dead, mudered by reality.
posted by dglynn at 2:31 PM on January 24, 2002


" ... Midas, are you real? or are you an AI-based comment generator that is very well programmed to respond as rand intended? Not knocking you, just admiring your very fitting name ..."

Tee Hee. Yep ... my nickname is Midas, but my real name is Wintermute. (And so far as predictability goes, the liberal response to nearly anything that contains the words "rich and powerful" certainly does give me great competition). I was actually, however, responding to things in the same way before I read Ayn - she just had a knack of framing things. Even more horrid is the fact that I'd probably be considered somewhat rich, mildly powerful, and now and then even sit in on those terrible, evil, secret meetings in which other rich and powerful people actually (gasp!) eat dinner together without bothering to invite the entire American electorate (bastards! they have no right!).
posted by MidasMulligan at 5:51 PM on January 24, 2002


" ... Contrast this with single moms who really do give a shit about their kids, shoulder enormous responsibility, and commonly work long hours under almost continual immense pressure ...".

Ah yes, why don't we contrast this? A bunch of lunatics flew planes into the WTC, killed over 3,000 people. Everyone in the country, and many around the world, had immediate strong opinions about what to do. Massive speculation, brainstorming, huge public emotion. At the end of the day, however, George Bush was the guy that had to actually make the decisions. Knowing full well that large numbers of people would disagree (some violently) with any decision he made.

If you actually want to believe that this responsibility and pressure is equal to that of the woman you use as an example (hhmmm ... why a "single" mother? interesting choice of example apparently meant to gain sympathy) - there's probably not much of a discussion to have here. Other than to mention that the woman you use as an example probably does - in her own circles - also takes time to meet and socialize with people she feels comfortable around.
posted by MidasMulligan at 8:29 PM on January 24, 2002


Indeed we do. Enjoy your summer camp, Midas. Duck over into the shadows for a few minutes, where we impoverished refugees from academia hover with our campstoves, stewing our tofu ramen, wrapping up in a cheap plastic tarp to read C. William Domhoff's "Bohemian Grove and Other Retreats: a Study in Ruling-Class Cohesiveness" by flashlight. Don't trouble yourself over diversity in the power elite -- All our kids think you'd make a great dad! It's just as you suspected: girl redwood protesters have more fun. That's why the real pagans are on our side!
posted by sheauga at 8:46 PM on January 24, 2002


Hhhmmm ... interesting - you certainly do have that ol' passive-agressive guilt trip thing down pat. I'm presuming it actually works on people now and then (or maybe you're just using it 'cause that's all you've got?). But to take you seriously:

1. I'll leave the shadows to you.
2. I don't trouble myself over "diversity in the power elite". Generally, it is people that aren't in a power elite, but desperately want to be, that use this sort of language.
3. Probably might be better if your kids thought their own fathers were good dads. But they are probably too busy being part of the domiant patriarchal power elites to be good fathers I suppose.
4. I certainly never suspected that girl redwood protesters had more fun than anything other than (possibly) girl oak protesters. Certainly do know a few, and they usually seem to attempt to put on a nice show of surface warmth and "playfulness" ... but on the whole seem often to hold a real bitterness and grim attitude about life.
5. Starhawk is a "real pagan"? JHC in a GFH, usually girl redwood protesters - grim and tedious as they get - are at least pretty sharp about who is the genuine article in their own circles.
posted by MidasMulligan at 9:56 PM on January 24, 2002


PS. See you at the Waldorf next week.
posted by MidasMulligan at 10:10 PM on January 24, 2002


PS. See you at the Waldorf next week.
posted by MidasMulligan at 10:11 PM on January 24, 2002


Growing up in San Francisco, I read Herb Caen's annual witticisms in the Chronicle about the hi-jinks of the white male power elite at the Bohemian Grove. Jon Ronson's book "Them: Adventures with Extremists" has an interesting chapter about more recent campers. Activist Mary Moore has been trying to bring the Grove's activities into the light for decades.
posted by Carol Anne at 7:23 AM on January 25, 2002


There is a ruling class, and they're drunk in the woods, chasing tail, and discussing policy.

Hmm. Sounds like a MeFi gathering to me.
posted by haqspan at 7:50 AM on January 25, 2002


" ... Activist Mary Moore has been trying to bring the Grove's activities into the light for decades ..."

Hhmmm. They meet. Watch odd plays. Listen to often mindlessly dull talks. Symbolically put aside heavy responsibilities for a week.

Clearly the future of the world, and the happiness of the "common people" are deeply dependent upon not permitting them to have - er, well, to have the same rights as everyone else does to meet privately with friends and do whatever the hell they want to do.

The first page of Jon Ronson's site is interesting:

"I spent the day sitting in my car and watching limousines pick elderly men up from lear jets at the nearby Santa Rosa airport. I followed them along Bohemian Highway to a lane that read "No Through Road". There, the limousines disappeared up the hill."

If any of those people did the same thing to Jon Ronson, it would be called "stalking". But he is, of course, fully justified, because once one becomes "rich and powerful", they lose all right to privacy, and "emotionally disturbed idiots stalking" magically tansform into "activists struggling to bring their activities to light".
posted by MidasMulligan at 8:46 AM on January 25, 2002


why a "single" mother? interesting choice of example apparently meant to gain sympathy

Actually, I picked that example because most households with children in this country are now headed by single mothers, so it represents the single largest demographic slice of the pie. These are the same families who are lining up in (soon-to-be) record numbers outside food banks and assistance centers since they can't find jobs and don't qualify for welfare assistance.

At the end of the day, however, George Bush was the guy that had to actually make the decisions

I'm sorry, call me a cynic, but I just don't believe this. 43 is the public figurehead, but do you really think he sits alone in his office, pondering weighty matters and single-handedly resolving issues orf state? No, he has a Cabinet and advisors and Karl freakin' Rove to tell him exactly what to say and do on any given issue.

Unlike single moms, who generally don't have a committee to consult when her kids are hungry.

Oh, and I'd call what Jon Ronson was doing "investigating". If he'd come after the fat cats with a sword instead of a pen, now that would be "stalking". Of course, I haven't read the guy's site yet, so I'm just guessing.

I don't trouble myself over "diversity in the power elite". Generally, it is people that aren't in a power elite, but desperately want to be, that use this sort of language.

Please, pardon us for not using the language of the power elite. We'll try to do better. Gee, I wonder why the power elite isn't concerned about diversity?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:48 AM on January 25, 2002


Gee, I wonder why the power elite isn't concerned about diversity?

Because they believe in a meritocracy, in which you become one of the elite by virtue of BEING elite. I've been in the company of the power elite before, and race was never an issue. Gender often was, because it was an all male event.

I'm curious about one other thing, BOP -- your statement that "most households with children in this country are now headed by single mothers". I've never seen anything to back that up. Can you provide a reference to the study that made that claim?
posted by dwivian at 10:48 AM on January 25, 2002


" ... Actually, I picked that example because most households with children in this country are now headed by single mothers, so it represents the single largest demographic slice of the pie ..."

1. "Most households with children in this country are now headed by single mothers"? Data supporting this please.

2. Who, exactly, is responsible for this? The absent fathers? The poor virtuous mothers (gasp, certainly not). Obviously it's the evil rich who selfishly only want to support their own kids, and have no interest subsidizing anyone else's.

" ... Please, pardon us for not using the language of the power elite. We'll try to do better. Gee, I wonder why the power elite isn't concerned about diversity? ..."

Yes, and pardon me for actually daring to question the mindless, guilt-tripping, "poor oppressed masses" language that people having been spouting for years. I'll try to do better. I'll try to at least stomach the fact that you apparently believe that if one is rich they lose all of their right to privacy, are perfectly acceptable targets for every lunatic on earth, and can be subjected to behavior that would be considered extremely intrusive if it were practiced on you.

If you actually want to introduce intelligence into the discussion, the fact is that the "power elite" is not some mass movement full of identical looking people that all think the same. The term is a category made up (largely) by people that don't have much power, and want it. The "power elite" can't care about "diversity", or anything else for that matter, because it is a category you use to group people for your own purposes, not an actual borg-like collective of indentically thinking robots.

And, while of course you won't accept it at all, business is now global, and "white males" are not exactly in sole command. I'm at work right now, in fact, at a large multinational, on a conference call with a senior management team, listening to a consultant. On the phone there are at least five languages, and a fairly even split between men and women. I don't think it has actually occured to anyone on this call to think "oh my god, we're a power elite, we'd better be concerned about diversity". In fact, we're too bloody busy trying to figure out how to deal with the existing diversity (e.g., an Brazilian and a Turk, both trying to talk about very complex technical issues in fractured Spanish, since that is the only language they jointly understand).

It doesn't matter a fig to me (and, I'd probably say with few exceptions, to anyone else on this call) whether someone is a man or women, or whether they're black, white, purple, orange, or completely naked. What matters is whether they are good. Whether they put in the sheer time and energy to keep up with the technicalties of the field.

Funny to see what Time, who alledgedly affirms the "power elite" by killing stories ... has as it's current cover story.
posted by MidasMulligan at 11:06 AM on January 25, 2002


Mea culpa -- I'm wrong.

My statement does hold true for black Americans, but not for households overall. I stand corrected.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:19 AM on January 25, 2002


Interesting links, thanks! Agreed, Domhoff's all-white boys' club subculture is no longer representative of large global business organizations.

"Yes, and pardon me for actually daring to question the mindless, guilt-tripping, 'poor oppressed masses' language that people having been spouting for years. I'll try to do better."
Wow, you really mean it? Say we start calling the women alleged to attend the social gathering in question "competent, respected, well-paid sex workers." Would that make it a more appropriate atmosphere for major players chatting off-the-record on national defense? (Invitation accepted ; you do realize I'll only go Waldorf Astoria to protest or eat salad?)
posted by sheauga at 8:39 PM on January 25, 2002


Wow! You actually used the word "alleged". And here I thought you'd just accuse, try, convict, and hang based on solely on the fact that they are rich.

The sad, terrible fact is that all these gatherings that I hear about the rich and powerful attending, where unspeakable wild things happen ... well ... the truth is really shocking. Wealth and power is, for the most part mind-bogglingly dull, involves less sex than you probably have, and very likely contains little chatting about national defense (on or off the record) - that's shop talk, and people go to these things to take a break from the stuff they spend most of their lives needing to pay attention to. They sure as hell don't need a retreat to talk privately about national defense ... they've got flippin' telephones fer chissake.

Have a good friend that has a bit of a conspiracy bent. Would go on and on about the Trilateral Commission, and the Council on Foreign Relations, and the devious evil that was done therein. So I actually took him to a private CFR meeting. After 45 minutes of listening to a think-tank policy wonk ramble on and on about Russian spring wheat futures, the minutae of shipping complexities, and the interaction between unrest in the Balkans and global agriculture markets (complete with illustrative charts, graphs, and spreadsheets), not only did he not find any evidence of devious plots, he was quite nearly fast asleep.

(Sigh - well it appears we'll be on the opposite side of the police lines next week at the Waldorf.)
posted by MidasMulligan at 11:09 PM on January 25, 2002


" ... Gee, I wonder why the power elite isn't concerned about diversity? ..."

As a final note I should mention something that has struck me forcibly over the last few years of working for multinational Fortune 100 companies. The left's perpetual diatribes about "diversity" are not only wrong, but in fact need to be turned back on the left.

I will say that "diversity" as a concept is lovely ... but diversity in practice is a royal pain in the ass. I've gotten so used to conference calls at midnight, or six in the morning (trying to find times when NA, SA, the EU, and Asia can all be on calls is not easy), to dealing with translators and fractured languages (as everyone tries to negotiate some langauge, or two or three languages, that everyone on a call can understand), to debilitating jetlag and entirely new sorts of illnesses in every country ... THAT, folks, is what it means to have full blown diversity. And it is the day to day life of global businessmen and businesswomen today.

The groups that complain most about the lack of "diversity" however, not only seem to have no clue the world has altered considerably since the 60's ... but are now themselves generally considerably less diverse, more homogenous - both in gender/race diversity and diversity of opinions - than the normal corporate boardroom meeting of a modern multinational.

How's that for a bizarre how-do-you-do.
posted by MidasMulligan at 1:46 PM on January 26, 2002


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