Bohemian Grove is a 2,700-acre campground located at20601 Bohemian Avenue, in MONTE RIO, CA, belonging to a private/secretive organization known as The Bohemian Club. In mid-July each year, Bohemian Grove hosts a two-week, three-weekend encampment of some of the most powerful men in the world. The Bohemian Club's all-male membership includes prominent government officials (including many former U.S.presidents), business leaders, senior media executives & people of power. Members may invite guests to the Grove although those guests are subject to a screening procedure. A guest's first glimpse of the Grove typically is during the "Spring Jinks" in June, preceding the main July encampment. After 40 years of membership the men earn "Old Guard" status, giving them reserved seating at the Grove's daily talks, as well as other perquisites.
The Club motto is "Weaving Spiders Come Not Here," which implies that outside concerns & business deals are to be left outside. When gathered in groups, Bohemians usually adhere to the injunction, though discussion of business often occurs between pairs of members. Important political & business deals have been developed at The Grove. The Grove is particularly famous for a Manhattan Project planning meeting that took place there in September 1942, which subsequently led to the atomic bomb. Those attending this meeting, apart from Ernest Lawrence and military officials, included the president of Harvard and representatives of Standard Oil and General Electric. Grove members take particular pride in this event and often relate the story to new attendees.
The tradition of a summer encampment was established six years after the Bohemian Club was formed in 1872. Henry "Harry" Edwards, a founding father, announced that he was relocating to New York City to further his career. On June 29, 1878, somewhat fewer than 100 Bohemians gathered in the Redwoods in MarinCounty near Taylorville (present-day SamuelP.TaylorState Park) for an evening sendoff party in Edwards' honor. Freely flowing liquor and some Japanese lanterns put a glow on the festivities, and club members retired at a late hour to the modest comfort of blankets laid on the dense mat of Redwood needles. This festive gathering was repeated the next year without Edwards, and became the club's yearly encampment. By 1882 the members of the Club camped together at various locations in both Marin and SonomaCounty, including the present-day Muir Woods and a redwood grove that once stood near Duncans Mills, several miles down theRussianRiver from the current location.
From 1893 Bohemians rented the current location, and in 1899 purchased it from Melvin Cyrus Meeker who had developed a successful logging operation in the area. Gradually over the next decades, members of the Club purchased land surrounding the original location to the perimeter of the basin in which it resides. Not long after the Club's establishment by newspaper journalists, it was commandeered by prominent San Francisco-based businessmen, who provided the financial resources necessary to acquire further land and facilities at the Grove. However, they still retained the "bohemians"—the artists and musicians—who continued to entertain international members and guests.
The Bohemian Club is a private club; only active members of the Club (known as "Bohos" or "Grovers") and their guests may visit the Grove. These guests have been known to include politicians and notable figures from countries outside the U.S. Particularly during the midsummer encampment, the number of guests is strictly limited due to the small size of the facilities. Nevertheless, up to 2,900 members and guests have been reported as attending some of the annual encampments.
The membership list has included every Republican President and some Democratic U.S. presidents since 1923, many cabinet officials, directors and CEOs of large corporations including major financial institutions. Major military contractors, oil companies, banks (including the Federal Reserve), utilities (including nuclear power) & national media have high-ranking officials as club members or guests.
Since the founding of the club, the Bohemian Grove's mascot has been an owl, symbolizing knowledge. A 40-foot (12 m) hollow owl statue made of concrete over steel supports stands at the head of the lake in the Grove; this Owl Shrine was designed by sculptor and two-time club president Haig Patigian, and built in the 1920s. Since 1929, the Owl Shrine has served as the backdrop of the yearly CREMATION OF CARE CEREMONY. The Club's patron saint is John of Nepomuk, who legend says suffered death at the hands of a Bohemian monarch rather than disclose the confessional secrets of the queen. A large wood carving ofSt. John in cleric robes with his index finger over his lips stands at the shore of the lake in the Grove, symbolizing the secrecy kept by the Grove's attendees throughout its long history.
THE CREMATION OF CARE CEREMONY
The Cremation of Care ceremony was first conducted in the Bohemian Grove at the Midsummer encampment in 1881, devised by James F. Bowman with George T. Bromley playing the High Priest. It was originally set up within the plot of the serious "High Jinks" dramatic performance on the first weekend of the summer encampment, after which the spirit of "Care", slain by the Jinks hero, was solemnly cremated. The ceremony served as a catharsis for pent-up high spirits, and "to present symbolically the salvation of the trees by the club..." The Cremation of Care was separated from the Grove Play in 1913 and moved to the first night to become "an exorcising of the Demon to ensure the success of the ensuing two weeks." The Grove Play was moved to the last weekend of the encampment. The ceremony takes place in front of the Owl Shrine, a 40-foot (12 m) hollow owl statue made of concrete over steel supports. The moss- and lichen-covered statue simulates a natural rock formation, yet holds electrical and audio equipment within it. For many years, a recording of the voice of club member Walter Cronkite was used as the voice of The Owl during the ceremony. Music and pyrotechnics accompany the ritual for dramatic effect. Each year, a Grove Play is performed for one night during the final weekend of the summer encampment. The play is a large-scale musical theatrical production, written and composed by club members, involving some 300 people, including chorus, cast, stage crew and orchestra. The first Grove Play was performed in 1902; during the war years 1943–1945 the stage was dark. In 1975, an observer estimated that the Grove Play cost between $20,000–30,000, an amount that would be as high as $122,000 in today's dollars
ENCAMPMENTS & COMMITTEES
The main encampment area consists of 160 acres (0.65 km2) of old-growth redwood trees over 1,000 years old, with some trees exceeding 300 feet (90 m) in height. The primary activities taking place at the Grove are varied and expansive entertainment, such as a grand main stage and a smaller, more intimate stage. Thus, the majority of common facilities are entertainment venues, interspersed among the giant redwoods.
There are also sleeping quarters, or "camps" scattered throughout the grove, of which it is reported there were a total of 118 as of 2007. These camps, which are frequently patrilineal, are the principal means through which high-level business and political contacts and friendships are formed.
LIST OF ENCAMPMENTS –
Hill Billies (Big Business/Banking/Politics/Universities/Media/Texas Business);
Mandalay(Big Business/Defense Contractors/Politics/U.S. Presidents);
Cave Man (Think Tanks/Oil Companies/Banking/Defense Contractors/Universities/Media);
Stowaway (Rockefeller Family Members/Oil Companies/Banking/Think Tanks);
Uplifters (Corporate Executives/Big Business);
Owls Nest (U.S.Presidents/Military/Defense Contractors);
Hideaway (Foundations/Military/Defense Contractors);
Isle of Aves (Military/Defense Contractors);
Lost Angels (Banking/Defense Contractors/Media);
Silverado squatters (Big Business/Defense Contractors);
Sempervirens (California-based Corporations);
Hillside(Military—Joint Chiefs of Staff);
Idlewild (California-based Corporations)
– RECREATION/ENTERTAINMENT COMMITTEES –
Grove Stage: an amphitheater with seating for 2,000 used primarily for the Grove Play production, on the last weekend of the midsummer encampment. The stage extends up the hillside, and is also home to the second largest outdoor pipe organ in the world.
Field Circle: a bowl-shaped amphitheater used for the mid-encampment "Low Jinks" musical comedy, for "Spring Jinks" in early June and for a variety of other performances.
Campfire Circle: has a campfire pit in the middle of the circle, surrounded by carved redwood log benches. Used for smaller performances in a more intimate setting.
Museum Stage: a semi-outdoor venue with a covered stage. Lectures and small ensemble performances.
Dining Circle—seating approximately 1,500 diners simultaneously.
Clubhouse: designed by Bernard Maybeck in 1903, completed in 1904 on a bluff overlooking the RussianRiver; a multi-purpose dining, drinking and entertainment building; the site of the Manhattan Project planning meeting held in 1942.
THE OWL SHRINE & THE LAKE: an artificial lake in the middle of the grove, used for the noon-time concerts and also the venue of the Cremation of Care, that takes place on the first Saturday of the encampment. It is also the location of the 12:30 p.m. daily "Lakeside Talks." These significant informal talks (many on public policy issues) have been given over the years by entertainers, professors, astronauts, business leaders, cabinet officers, CIA directors, future presidents and former presidents; these have been the subject of ongoing controversy, as the transcripts of these talks are rarely released to the public (though have been known to be used for such mundane purposes as reading for the lecturer's graduate students).
With its combination of wealth and power, Bohemian Grove's secrecy has been a target for protest for many years. The Bohemian Grove Action Network of Occidental,California organizes protests and has aided journalists who wish to penetrate the secrecy surrounding the encampment. Over the years, individuals have infiltrated the Grove then later published video and claimed accounts of the activities at Bohemian Grove.
In the summer of 1989, Spy magazine writer Philip Weiss spent some seven days in the camp posing as a guest, which led to his November 1989 article "Inside Bohemian Grove". On July 15, 2000, controversial filmmaker Alex Jones (WWW.INFOWARS.COM) and his cameraman, Mike Hanson, walked into the Grove. With a hidden camera, Jones and Hanson were able to film the Cremation of Care ceremony. The footage was the centerpiece of Jones' documentary Dark Secrets: Inside Bohemian Grove (view the entire ceremony here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5dHhvpHIjM ).
Jones claimed that the Cremation of Care was an "ancient Canaanite, Luciferian, Babylon mystery religion ceremony," and that the owl statue was Moloch. The Grove and Jones' investigation were covered by Jon Ronson in Channel 4's four-part documentary, Secret Rulers of the World. Ronson documented his view of the ritual in his book, Them: Adventures With Extremists. Also filmed for The Order of Death was Jones' return to the entrance of the Bohemian Grove in 2005 where he filmed a protest organized by the Bohemian Grove Action Network, only to discover a majority of the protesters engaging in an "occult counter-ritual" known as the Resurrection of Care, a mock counter-ritual against the Cremation of Care.
In 2005, Chris Jones (no relation) walked into the Grove when hired as an employee, and videotaped the Owl Shrine in daylight, even venturing inside the hollow statue. He also got footage of effigies, the lakeside, and select camps; as well as stealing a membership list. Chris Jones was subsequently sentenced to three years in state prison for “lewd act with minors.” Also, on January 19, 2002, 37-year-old Richard McCaslin was arrested after his nighttime infiltration of the Bohemian Grove, where he set several fires. He was heavily armed and wearing a skull mask and outfit with "Phantom Patriot" written across the chest.
FEMALE MEMBERSHIP AT BOHEMIAN GROVE
Though no woman has ever been given full membership in the Bohemian Club, the four female honorary members were hostess Margaret Bowman, poet Ina Coolbrith (who served as librarian for the Club), actress Elizabeth Crocker Bowers and writer Sara Jane Lippincott. Since Coolbrith's death in 1928, no other woman was made a member. These honorary members and other women guests have been allowed into the Bohemian "City Club" building and as daytime guests of the Grove, but not to the upper floors of the City Club nor as guests to the main summer encampment at the Grove. Annual "Ladies' Jinks" were held at the Club especially for spouses and invited guests.
In 1978 the Bohemian Club was charged with a discrimination lawsuit by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing over its refusal to hire women employees. In January 1981 Judge Robert Kendall issued a decision supporting the practices of the Club, noting that club members at the Grove "urinate in the open without even the use of rudimentary toilet facilities" and that the presence of females would alter club members' behavior. On October 17, 1981 the Department of Fair Employment and Housing countered theKendallruling by ordering the Club to begin recruiting and hiring women as employees. In 1986 the Bohemian Club went to the California Supreme Court over the issue, arguing that their freedom of association was being harmed; the Court found against the Club and denied a review in 1987, forcing the Club to begin hiring female workers during the summer encampment at the Grove in Monte Rio. This ruling became quoted as a legal precedent and was discussed during the 1995-1996 floor debate surrounding California Senate Bill SB 2110 (Maddy), a proposed bill concerning whether tax-exempt organizations (including fraternal clubs) should be exempt from the Unruh Civil Rights Act.
**OCCUPY BOHEMIAN GROVE // JULY 2012, MONTE RIOCALIFORNIA**
OCCUPY BOHEMIAN GROVE on TWITTER --http://twitter.com/#!/OccupyBHgrove
BOHEMIAN GROVE FAQ
CONFIRMED list of BOHEMIAN GROVE MEMBERS
CONFIRMED MEMBERS LIST II: http://www.lookingglassnews.org/viewcommentary.php?storyid=126
Excellent article c/o PHILIP WEISS/SPY MAGAZINE circa 1989
CREMATION OF CARE CEREMONY, as filmed by ALEX JONES: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5dHhvpHIjM
* * *note: OCCUPY BOHEMIAN GROVE is "unofficial" and NOT AFFILIATED with Anonymous, Adbusters or Alex Jones/InfoWars. We are showing solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and this action will be composed of individuals from all backgrounds.
THE 99% :: http://www.meetup.com/occupytogether/