(NaturalNews) Is there a "secret society" of a few elite powerbrokers in politics, finance and the media who really run the world? Is our electoral process and system of government just a front, a sham that is aimed at keeping us believing that we're still in control of our own destiny? Some people believe there is a very small fraternity of groups of elites that really pull all the strings and have all the power, and one such group is called the Bilderbergs, who met recently in the United States.
So powerful is the group, according to some people, that its members actually decide who will become the U.S. president. They point out that the last time the Bilderbergs met in the United States was 2008, the year Barack Obama became president. And the group is meeting back in the U.S. again this year.
Four years ago, when the group met from June 5-8 in Chantilly, Va., near Washington, D.C., Obama and Hillary Clinton were neck-and-neck in their bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. One report said on the first day of the meeting, June 5, Clinton and Obama disappeared from their respective campaign trails, with their agendas blocked from the public. Believers in the power of the Bilderbergs say the two candidates "sneaked away" to meet with members of the group. The inference here is that the group, then, "decided" that Obama was to win the nomination and, later, the presidency.
But how much truth is there to such theories? How much power does this group, and others like it, truly wield?
The group publicizes its conferences - http://www.bilderbergmeetings.org/conferences-10s.html - and even lists the topics of discussion at each conference, of which there are many. For example, at a Bilderberg conference June 9-12 in Switzerland members will discuss "Economic and National Security in a Digital Age," "The Middle East: What Does Democracy Mean?" and "The Appetite for Reform: Can Governments Deliver?" among other topics.
Recent conferences have included discussion about economic changes in China, how sustainable the euro can be, current areas of conflict, how the influence of cyber technology is growing, and so on.
A similar organization, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), does much the same thing - bring powerful people from a number of industries and politics together to discuss issues and problems and, presumably, what some solutions might be to those problems.
The CFR has been described as America's foremost non-profit, non-partisan think tank that specializes in - you guessed it - foreign policy and international affairs.
Granted, membership in either of these organizations is indeed exclusive; only the power elite belong. Bilderberg, for instance, counts as members of its Steering Committee Marcus Agius, chairman of Barclays plc, a major bank and global financial services provider; Italy's Franco Bernabe, head of Telecom Italia; the United States' Klaus Kleinfeld, head of Alcoa, the world's leading producer of aluminum and aluminum-based products, and so on.
Hiding in plain sight
As for CFR members, from the group's Web site:
"With over 4,500 members, CFR's ranks include top government officials, renowned scholars, business leaders, acclaimed journalists, prominent lawyers, and distinguished nonprofit professionals. [...] Members have unparalleled access to world leaders, senior government officials, members of Congress, and prominent thinkers."
Now, there's no question these organizations are comprised of some of the world's more powerful people - collectively, perhaps, you could even say the most powerful people in the world.
And without question, you could say members of these groups have unprecedented access to prominent world leaders in both the public and private sectors.
And it is a legitimate question to ask just exactly what these organizations discuss when they are meeting with the world's most powerful people.
But are they "running things," as some people suggest? Are they selecting our presidents?
If so, they are hiding it - right out in the open.