“Има няколко любопитни неща за функциите на тези Поклонници. На първо място на тези вечери присъства масив от забележителни личности, които например би било трудно да се съберат под един покрив за всяка друга цел и от всяко друго общество… Сред гостите бяха Джон Д. Рокфелер и Джей Пи Морган, Томас У. Ламонт и други членове на Династията Морган… Имаме право да знаем какво представлява обществото на Поклонниците, за какво се бори и кои са тези могъщи Поклонници, които могат да призоват Американците да чуят британски посланик, който разглася пред обществото добродетелите на един обединен демократичен фронт.”
— Джон Т. Уайтфорд задава много разумни въпроси в брошурата си от 1940 г. “Сър чичо Сам: Рицар на Британската империя”.
Източниците за идентификация на членството се появяват само в членския списък.
“[Целта на международните банкери беше] нищо по-малко от създаването на световна система за финансов контрол в частни ръце, способна да доминира в политическата система на всяка страна и икономиката на света като цяло. Тази система трябваше да бъде контролирана по феодален начин от централните банки на света, действащи съгласувано, чрез тайни споразумения, пристигнали на чести частни срещи и конференции.”
— Професор Карол Куигли, ‘Трагедия & Надежда’, стр. Може ли Обществото на поклонниците, което известният Куигли никога не е споменавал, да съвпадне с историята на Куигли за англо-американско заведение?
“[Сенатор Голдуотър] беше нова идеологическа сила в Републиканската партия. Дотогава гледната точка на Източния Естаблишмънт, основана на исторически модели от европейската история, беше доминиращата гледна точка на външната политика. Този нов външнополитически поглед беше по-мисионерски; то подчерта, че Америка има мисия да доведе демокрация – ако е необходимо, чрез използването на сила”
— 19 август 2015 г., “Национален интерес”, ‘Интервюто: Хенри Кисинджър’. Кисинджър е вицепрезидент на Обществото на поклонниците.
За да се избегне объркване в бъдеще, това е първата статия, която някога е правила пълен анализ на Обществото на поклонниците и е направила фотокопия на членски списъци на разположение на публиката. Историята, която е изложена тук е такава, че е безкрайно по-подробна от всичко, написано в миналото.
Както при множество други isgp статии, основните страници в Уикипедия бяха създадени скоро след публикуването на тази статия. Само преди няколко години човек не би могъл да намери и 5 процента от информацията за Поклонниците, която е представена тук. Това е важно да се знае, защото е въпрос на време човек или медиен контакт да повдигне въпроса: “Поклонниците са споменати в Уикипедия, така че каква е тайната?”.
Тайната вероятно е, че пълен анализ ще докаже следното:
- да, англо-американско заведение, включително Източно заведение, съществува доста повече от век;
- наистина невероятно количество влияние е концентрирано в ръцете на Поклонниците;
- и повечето водещи членове са подкрепяли или спонсорирали вътрешен и чуждестранен фашизъм в един или друг момент.
Статията, която виждате тук днес, е версия III на оригинала. Първата версия беше написана през 2005 г. и беше дълга само няколко страници. Тя е заменена през 2008 г. със значително разширена версия II, след като бяха получени редица списъци с членство и списъци с изпълнителни служители. През 2017 година тази статия отново е значително разширена до версия III. Успях да придобия списъци само от 1990 до 2014 г., както и безброй по-стари членски каталози, на последните етапи от писането на версия III. Направени са ключови актуализации и може да последват няколко допълнителни такива в бъдеще, но засега изглежда така, сякаш версия III+ ще бъде окончателната версия на тази статия.
Също толкова важно: към момента версия I и II на тази статия бяха написани, когато все още не бях разработил моя модел за четирите вида Естаблишмънт – или три вида, ако единият обединява американската (смесена религия) и европейските (Ватиканската-Паневропейската) консервативни висши класи. В тази статия обсъждаме преди всичко ядрото на либерален елит. Основните различия между либералния и консервативния естаблишмънт са по следните линии:
|Liberal establishment||Conservative establishment|
|Anti-roll back||Pro-roll back|
|Anti-SDI (Star Wars)||Pro-SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative)|
|Pro-United Nations||Anti-United Nations|
|Anti-tactical nukes||Pro-tactical nukes|
|Pro-Arab (for oil)||Pro-Arab (new right) / anti-Arab (neocons)|
|Pro-Afghanistan invasion||Mixed feelings over Afghanistan invasion|
|Mixed feelings over Iraq invasion||Pro-Iraq invasion|
|Pro-CFR, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg||Anti-CFR, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg|
|Moderately religious, atheist or new age||Usually religious in very rigid ways.|
However, as this article demonstrates in Part III, various key Pilgrims most definitely have had a hand in the rise of neoconservatism.
Most people have at least vaguely heard of the term “Eastern Establishment”. This is a reference to a group of people in the northeast of the United States which to many appears to wield a disproportionate amount of influence over the nation’s politics. This influence, which goes back even further than the days of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. and J. P. Morgan, Sr., has been illustrated by the fact that a great number of individuals working in the senior positions of government have come from a select number of universities, banks, insurance companies, law firms, think tanks and foundations, only to return to this network after their public term came to an end. Often these individuals served as political appointees or “independent” advisors to a number of presidents, with proteges at universities and think tanks continually showing up in later administrations. Together with a number of other peculiarities – think of controversial policies, suspected cover ups, ignored conflicts of interest, lack of media attention, etc. – some people have become suspicious of what at times appears to be a kind of permanent establishment controlling the machinations of government, no matter who the public is allowed to vote for. A 1962 newspaper column voiced these suspicions in the following manner:
|“There is an establishment in the United States. The word “establishment” is a general term for the power elite in international finance, business, the professions largely from the Northeast, who wield most of the power regardless of who is in the White House.|
“Most people are unaware of the existence of this “legitimate Mafia.” Yet the power of the establishment makes itself felt from the professor who seeks a foundation grant, to the candidate for a cabinet post or State Department job. It affects the nation’s policies in almost every area.
For example, the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, subsidized by Rockefeller interests since 1927 boasts a membership of at least 90 per cent establishment figures.” 
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We will be getting back to the person who wrote this column later in this article.
The origin of the Eastern Establishment is hardly part of accepted, official history. When not ignored, authors writing about this subject have generally been criticized; sometimes for seeing things that aren’t there; other times for cherry picking evidence and ignoring the complexities of government and society as a whole. While to a degree there is some merit to these arguments, at the same time it appears these discussions exist because there really exist powerful political and business elites which like the way their system of private, behind-the-scenes conference meetings and policy-influencing is working for them.
What sets an elite apart from the regular population is influence: influence in domestic politics and economy, and influence in foreign politics and the world economy. This influence in many cases is hereditary, because within establishment circles it’s as much about who you know – and who your parents know – as it is about what you know. In the modern age education is crucial, and in case of the Eastern Establishment of the United States, the vast majority of members send their children to Yale, Harvard, or Princeton to get a law degree or MBA. Members of the British establishment usually go to Oxford, with Cambridge coming in second. As soon as these young students graduate they are free to join the family bank, an establishment business, or key think tank or NGO. Outsiders can join “the club” by going to the right universities and allowing themselves to be groomed by members of the establishment.
The London Bush house, built in 1919 with funds provided by U.S. Pilgrim Irving T. Bush. Inscribed above the door is the text, “To the friendship of English Speaking Peoples”. The two men represent the United States and Great Britain, holding a torch to symbolize their everlasting friendship.
The Eastern Establishment is a so-called “WASP” establishment – meaning “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant”. The term specifically refers to Americans of British descent, even though there’s a similar WASP establishment in Great Britain surrounding the royal family, which is closely associated with its American counterpart.
The term WASP when applied to America’s elite is somewhat inadequate. Usually its Anglo-Saxon descent and Protestant values are emphasized, followed by a general description of the historic influence of this group. Whenever the question comes up if this establishment still has great influence today few, if any, scholars come up with clear and definitive answers. Much further than throwing around terms like “Ivy League” and “old boys networks” they usually won’t go.
Now, anno 2008, let’s change this and write down a detailed list of characteristics which fully describes the traditional Eastern Establishment (or WASP elite):
- It is a social elite centered around a number of universities, a group of banks, insurance companies and law firms, and a group of influential, privately-funded foundations and think tanks.
- It is centered in and around New York, even though at any moment a large portion of this group is active within the government and non-government institutions in Washington.
- There is a close relationship with the British aristocracy and the British royal family via diplomatic officials, individual contacts, and private clubs.
- The dominant religion is Protestant, in particular the Episcopal (Anglican) and Presbyterian churches, which overall have no problem with Darwinism.
- British branches of Freemasonry and Templar orders are still quite popular.
- This is the group behind the globalization process and members are generally great supporters of the United Nations and the sustainable development movement.
- Catholic and especially Zionist interests are not very much appreciated, although diplomatic ties are always maintained.
The reader has probably heard some of these points before and may or may not agree with them. So how can ISGP prove that this list is correct? To do that we need to begin our discussion of the Pilgrims Society.
At the turn of 20th century a number of influential persons were interested in bringing the establishments of the United States and Great Britain closer together. The St. George’s Society in New York, the American Society in London, and the growing network of Anglo-American League branches in England (founded by a good number of later Pilgrims Society members), were seen as inadequate, so the idea arose to form a new, elitist society with branches in both London and New York. This became the Pilgrims Society, which organized regular meetings in such prestigious hotels as the Victoria, the Waldorf Astoria, the Carlton Ritz, and the Savoy.
The idea of setting up what ultimately became the Pilgrims Society was first discussed by a number of Americans working in London. One of them was Lindsay Russell, a well-connected lawyer from New York, who regularly visited London in those days to set up his law firm Alexander and Colby. It was Russell who got together with General Joseph Wheeler (on a visit in London), General Lord Roberts, and Sir Harry Brittain. Together they organized the original meeting of the Pilgrims of Great Britain at the Carlton Hotel on July 11, 1902. The meeting was a success and two weeks later Lord Roberts was elected president of the Pilgrims. Lord Grenfell and Admiral Hedworth Lambton became vice presidents. Two other vice presidents were the Americans Senator Chauncey M. Depew (Yale Skull & Bones 1856; lawyer to Cornelius Vanderbilt; member of J.P. Morgan’s elite Corsair Club, together with William Rockefeller) and General Joseph Wheeler. Sir Harry Brittain became secretary and the Archdeacon of London, William MacDonald Sinclair, was elected chairman of the executive committee. 
At the July 11 meeting the attendants also discussed their plans of setting up a branch in New York. Lindsay Russell and Chauncey Depew went back to the United States and approached such men as Bishop of New York Henry Codman Potter, J. P. Morgan, Sr., and Morgan family friend and former U.S. president Grover Cleveland. Under the leadership of Bishop Potter, the Pilgrims of the United States organized their first formal diner on February 4, 1903. The two societies have been organizing meetings ever since. 
Over the years more and more influential persons joined the Pilgrims Society, including virtually all the well known bankers, robber barons and their associates. Going through membership lists of the Pilgrims of the United States one will find the following families:
|Aldrich||(Copeland) Du Pont||Meyer||Schroder|
Within the ranks of the British Pilgrims one comes across a great many Barons, Viscounts, Earls, Marquisses, and Dukes. Members of the British royal family have been patrons of the Pilgrims Society since its inception and regularly attend meetings. Here also well known banking families as Baring, Hambro, Harcourt, Keswick, Rothschild, Kleinwort, Loeb, and Warburg can be found, just as the heads of Barclays and the British managers of U.S. banks as Chase Manhattan and J. P. Morgan – banks that later merged into JPMorgan Chase.
At the moment of this writing the membership list compiled by ISGP contains 1496 names, the vast majority of them from the United States (rough estimate: about 82% or 1227). Analyzing the biographies of these members doesn’t just show that the Pilgrims are part of the WASP elite – they are the WASP elite. The following banks, law firms, and insurance companies have been headed by Pilgrims Society members – usually for generations:
|Am. Securities Corp.||Federal Reserve||Kidder, Peabody and Co.||Morgan Joseph & Co. Inc.|
|Banker’s Trust||Fidelity Int. Trust||Kleinwort Benson||New York Savings Bank|
|Bank of England||Fifth Avenue Bank||Kuhn, Loeb & Co.||N.M. Rothschild & Sons|
|Barclays Bank||First Boston Corp.||Lazard||Oppenheimer & Co.|
|Barings Bank||First National Bank||Lehman Brothers||Paine, Webber|
|Blackstone Group||Fourth Nat. Bank of N.Y.||Loeb, Rhoades & Co.||Rockefeller Center, Inc.|
|Bowery Savings Bank||Goldman Sachs||Manufacturers Hanover||Rockefeller Family & Ass.|
|Brown Brothers Harriman||Gotham National Bank||Marine Midland||Salomon Brothers|
|Bullock Fund||Hambro||Mellon Bank||S.G. Warburg|
|Chase National Bank||Harriman National Bank||J. P. Morgan & Co.||Shearson Loeb Rhoades|
|Chase Manhattan US/UK||Internat. Banking Corp.||J. P. Morgan Chase||U.S. Trust Corp. of N.Y.|
|Chemical Bank||Irving Trust||Morgan Grenfell (UK)||*|
|Citibank||J. G. White & Co.||Morgan Guaranty Trust||*|
|Drexel & Co.||J. Henry Schroder & Co.||Morgan Stanley||*|
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Law firms and insurance companies
|Breed, Abbott & MorganCarter, Ledyard & MilburnCoudert BrothersCravath, Swaine & MooreDavis, Polk & WardwellDebevoise & PlimptonMilbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloyHerbert Oppenheimer Nathan & VandykShearman & SterlingSullivan & CromwellWinthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts||AIGEquitable Life Assurance SocietyMetropolitan Life Insurance Co.Mutual Life Insurance Life Insurance Co.Lloyds of LondonRoyal Globe Insurance Group|
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|Chrysler||Forbes *||ICI||R.J. Reynolds|
|Corning Glass Works||General Electric||Int. Nickel Co. of Canada||Rio Tinto|
|De Beers/AngloAmerican||General Motors||Jardine Matheson||U.S. Steel|
|Dodge||IBM||Phelps-Dodge||W.R. Grace & Co.|
* other media companies not mentioned here
Looking at these tables, it is clear that the major banks of New York and London have been very prominent in the Pilgrims Society, closely followed by a group of influential law firms and insurance companies. A number of corporations have also maintained a considerable presence in the Pilgrims, comparable to some of the law firms and smaller banks. The most prominent of these might well be IBM, of the Watson family – but the founders and owners of Chrysler, Dodge, Jardine Matheson, W.R. Grace & Co., Reynolds, Corning Glass, and Forbes have all been Pilgrims. A vast range of other corporations have been represented by Pilgrims, but do not appear to have been part of the core of the Anglo-American establishment.
U.S. media I: print and television
Except for Forbes, we deliberately left out large media companies in this last section, as their presence in the Pilgrims Society and influence on society deserves to be discussed separately.
The New York Times and Time magazine have been the news publications most intimately tied to the Pilgrims of the United States over the years. Since 1896 the New York Times has been owned by the Ochs-Sulzberger family, members of which have been generational members of the Pilgrims since the very beginning. Orvil E. Dryfoos, who married a daughter of Arthur Sulzberger and rose to president of the New York Times in 1957 and publisher in 1961, was another member of the Pilgrims. A number of outside Pilgrims held senior positions in the New York Times too over the years. Among them were John William Harding, George McAneny, Philip Du Val, Cyrus Vance and Charles H. Price II.
Pilgrims-dominated U.S. publications. Some outside media are still very much in line with the Anglo-American Establishment. In case of CNN it seems that billionaire country boy Ted Turner, with his one billion dollar grant to United Nations causes, really wants to be part of an establishment for which he doesn’t have the background.
Time magazine was founded in 1923 by Henry Luce, whose name featured on Pilgrims Society membership lists in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Key co-founders and financiers of his magazine were also Pilgrims: J.P. Morgan partners Thomas W. Lamont and Dwight Morrow, as well as the Harriman and Harkness families. Among the Pilgrims that have held senior positions in Time Magazine are Paul Gray Hoffman (OSS-CIA), Philip G. Howlett, William J. Cross, Hedley Donovan, Donald M. Elliman, Jr., George A. Heard, Roy E. Larsen, Samuel W. Meek and Frank Pace, Jr. To top things off, Henry Luce III became president of the U.S. Pilgrims in 1997.
Another important Pilgrims-affiliated publication used to be the New York Herald Tribune, owned by the Reid family and dissolved in 1966. Whitelaw Reid, Whitelaw Reid II, Ogden Mills Reid, Ogden Rogers Reid and several other family members have all been members of the Pilgrims Society. In 1958, John Hay Whitney, a vice president of the U.S. Pilgrims, took over the newspaper from the Reids.
Although not extremely prominent within the Pilgrims Society, some of Reader’s Digest most senior and long term managers have been Pilgrims, spanning the period from the 1940s all the way to the early 2000s. Among them have been William John Cross, C. Robert Devine, Walter Wood Hitesman, Kent Rhodes and Russell Twisk.
News stations are considerably less prominent in the Pilgrims Society. One of the exceptions has been the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), located in Rockefeller Center and one of the most dominant broadcasting companies from the 1930s to the early 1970s. Morgan banker Owen D. Young founded the RCA in 1919. Young was chairman of General Electric, which took a controlling interest in the RCA. For the next fifty years, until 1970, the company was headed by James Harbord, Frank Folsom, and David Sarnoff. All these men, including Young, were members of the Pilgrims Society. In 1970, Sarnoff’s son, Robert, took over the chairmanship of the RCA, but couldn’t prevent the company from going into a permanent decline. Robert was ousted in 1975 and in the years after the RCA was taken over by other media conglomerates not particularly tied to the Pilgrims.
RCA, in cooperation with General Electric and Westinghouse, formed NBC in 1926, which became its main broadcasting arm. By the late 1930s, NBC had become so dominant on the airwaves that the FCC forced it to split into two companies, one becoming the significantly less influential ABC. At this moment it appears that successive heads of NBC and ABC weren’t invited to the Pilgrims anymore. In 1985 a minor bit of controversy arose, however, about ABC when Cap Cities bought it. Cap Cities was controlled by a group of Pilgrims Society members as Lowell Thomas, Thomas Dewey and Alger Chapman who were decades-long partners of CIA director William Casey and very close as well to former CIA director Allen Dulles, another Pilgrim.
As for NBC, the Pilgrims of RCA obviously continued to exert their influence over NBC for many years. Influence has also always been maintained through stock ownership and executive and advisory boards. One relevant person in this respect is John Brademas, a director of RCA/NBC. Brademas is a perfect example of a WASP elitist: a member of both the American and British Pilgrims, a Rhodes Scholar, a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation, an advisory board member of the David Rockefeller Fellowships, a director of the Aspen Institute, a governor of the American Ditchley Foundation, a member of the CFR and a member of the Trilateral Commission. Brademas also served on a number of Carnegie commissions.
In 1986 NBC was bought by General Electric, another company dominated by Pilgrims. More than a dozen Pilgrims, both executives and ordinary members, are known to have been directors, presidents, CEOs and chairmen of General Electric on both sides of the Atlantic throughout the 20th century. Names include Lord Carrington, Harry Morgan, a son of J.P. Morgan, Jr.; 1st Baron McGowan, Sir Ronald Grierson, Owen D. Young, Philip D. Reed, Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., Raymond Seitz, Clarence Woolley, Walter Wriston and more.
The other exception of a broadcasting company that has been represented in the Pilgrims Society is CBS. Over the years several Pilgrims have been directors of this New York-based company, among them Henry Kissinger and Marietta Peabody Tree (vice chair Pilgrims; great-granddaughter of George E. Peabody, the famous Morgan partner). William S. Paley, the founder and continuous owner of CBS until his death in 1990, was a member of the Pilgrims Society. So was “the most trusted man in America”, Walter Cronkite, the famous anchorman for CBS Evening News from 1962 to 1982.
U.S. media II: CIA Mockingbird and Washington ties
In the 1970s, after a number of scandals in which the CIA was implicated, several reports emerged about a working relationship between the CIA and a number of major media outlets. One source was the 1979 book Katherine the Great, written by investigative author Deborah Davis, who for her book interviewed numerous individuals in Washington over the course of three years, right when the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) was looking into the death of President John F. Kennedy. Davis described the Washington Post’s relationship with the CIA and even gave a name to the CIA’s effort to establish contacts with the major media: Operation Mockingbird. Unfortunately, virtually no one was able to read the book at the time, because it was immediately forced off the market, only to be republished in 1991. About Paley and Cronkite at CBS, Davis wrote:
|“Paley’s own friendship with Allen Dulles is now known to have been one of the most influential and significant in the communications industry. He provided cover for CIA agents, supplied out-takes of news film, permitted the debriefing of reporters, and in many ways set the standard for cooperation between the CIA and the major broadcast companies which lasted until the mid-1970s… The [Washington] post men continued to see Paley and Cronkite every Christmas at a dinner given by Allen Dulles at a private club called the Alibi… membership is limited to men in or close to intelligence and is by invitation only.” |
Like Paley and Cronkite, Allen Dulles, head of the CIA from 1953 to 1961, was a Pilgrims Society member. In fact, he was an executive member until his death in 1969. His brother, John Foster Dulles, was a member until his own death in 1959. An uncle of the brothers, William Dulles, was also a member of the Pilgrims Society. Membership definitely ran in the family, which isn’t too unexpected considering the family’s life-long close association with the Rockefellers.
In contrast to the Pilgrims, the Alibi Club was part of the “Georgetown Set” in Washington, D.C., an elite, liberal social group with strong anti-communist feelings and close connections to the New York WASP establishment. Members of the Georgetown Set included many senior CIA officers: Allen Dulles, Richard Bissell, Richard Helms, James Angleton, Cord Meyer, Frank Wisner, and others. Washington Post owners Philip and Katherine Graham were part of this group, and so was their long-time editor Benjamin Bradlee. CIA-employed journalist and Katherine Graham and Henry Kissinger friend Joseph Alsop is another well known example. Walter Cronkite clearly belongs in the same category. 
Davis actually was a late-comer. The most important reporter on the relationship between the CIA and reporters is famous Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein. The CIA rated reporters among the best spies, because they could go almost anywhere and ask questions without raising suspicions. At the same time reporters could be used to disseminate anti-communist propaganda, something which the major media outlets were only too happy to support the CIA with. As Newsweek’s foreign editor, Harry F. Kern, a decades-long member of the Pilgrims Society, stated to Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein in October 1977: “The informal relationship was there. Why have anybody sign anything? What we knew we told them [the CIA] and the State Department…. When I went to Washington, I would talk to Foster or Allen Dulles about what was going on. … We thought it was admirable at the time. We were all on the same side.”  In the same October 1977 article for the “new left”/”liberal CIA” Rolling Stone magazine, Bernstein unveiled countless other interesting facts involving CIA cooperation with the media:
“Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were William Paley of the Columbia Broadcasting System, Henry Luce of Time Inc., Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times, Barry Bingham Sr. of the Louisville Courier-Journal, and James Copley of the Copley News Service. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include the American Broadcasting Company [ABC], the National Broadcasting Company [NBC], the Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald-Tribune… By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc…
“A few executives—Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times among them—signed secrecy agreements. But such formal understandings were rare: relationships between Agency officials and media executives were usually social—”The P and Q Street axis in Georgetown,” said one source. … “[Sulzberger] was very eager, he loved to cooperate.” On one occasion, according to several CIA officials, Sulzberger was given a briefing paper by the Agency which ran almost verbatim under the columnist’s byline in the Times. …
“Allen Dulles often interceded with his good friend, the late Henry Luce, founder of Time and Life magazines, who readily allowed certain members of his staff to work for the Agency and agreed to provide jobs and credentials for other CIA operatives who lacked journalistic experience. For many years, Luce’s personal emissary to the CIA was C.D. Jackson…
“Malcolm Muir, Newsweek‘s editor from its founding in 1937 until its sale to the Washington Post Company in 1961, said … “Whenever I heard something that I thought might be of interest to Allen Dulles, I’d call him up…. At one point he appointed one of his CIA men to keep in regular contact with our reporters, a chap that I knew but whose name I can’t remember. I had a number of friends in Allen Dulles’ organization.” …
“When Newsweek was purchased by the Washington Post Company, publisher Philip L. Graham was informed by Agency officials that the CIA occasionally used the magazine for cover purposes, according to CIA sources. “It was widely known that Phil Graham was somebody you could get help from,” said a former deputy director of the Agency. “Frank Wisner dealt with him.” Wisner, deputy director of the CIA [1950-1965] was the Agency’s premier orchestrator of “black” operations, including many in which journalists were involved. Wisner liked to boast of his “mighty Wurlitzer,” a wondrous propaganda instrument he built, and played, with help from the press. Phil Graham was probably Wisner’s closest friend.
“[However,] information about Agency dealings with the Washington Post newspaper is extremely sketchy. According to CIA officials, some Post stringers have been CIA employees… Katharine Graham, Philip Graham’s widow and the current publisher of the Post, says she has never been informed of any CIA relationships with either Post or Newsweek personnel. In November of 1973, Mrs. Graham called William Colby and asked if any Post stringers or staff members were associated with the CIA. Colby assured her that no staff members were employed by the Agency but refused to discuss the question of stringers. …
“According to CIA officials, ABC continued to provide cover for some CIA operatives through the 1960s. … At the time of the Senate bearings, Agency officials serving at the highest levels refused to say whether the CIA was still maintaining active relationships with members of the ABC News organization. … These same sources professed to know few specifies about the Agency’s relationships with NBC, except that several foreign correspondents of the network undertook some assignments for the Agency in the 1950s and 1960s. …
“James Angleton, who was recently removed as the Agency’s head of counterintelligence operations, ran a completely independent group of journalist operatives who performed sensitive and frequently dangerous assignments; little is known about this group for the simple reason that Angleton deliberately kept only the vaguest of files.” 
Many of the above media owners have appeared in the membership lists of the Pilgrims Society. In addition to the earlier-mentioned owners of the New York Times, Time magazine, the New York Herald Tribune, RCA/NBC, and CBS who were involved with this prestigious Anglo-American society, Barry Bingham, Sr. of the Louisville CourierJournal, Jack R. Howard of Scripps-Howard, and the Muir family of Newsweek also were Pilgrims.
This last publication, Newsweek, from 1937 to 1961 was dominated by Pilgrims Society members. Besides the Muir and Harry Kern influence, Newsweek was owned by the Astor Foundation, named after a family with whole generations of members in both the British as the American Pilgrims. Among the directors of the Astor Foundation also was Pilgrims Society member Gates W. McGarrah.  McGarrah had been chairman of the Rockefellers’ Chase National Bank, a U.S. member of the General Council of the German Reichsbank, chairman of the New York Federal Reserve, and the first president of the Bank for International Settlements. He also was a grandfather of CIA director Richard Helms, whose older brother could also be found in the Pilgrims.
In 1961, Newsweek was taken over by the Washington Post, the establishment newspaper from Washington, D.C. whose owners and editors we just described as being part of the Georgetown CIA clique. The only reason no Washington Post men can be found among the U.S. Pilgrims is because the society primarily is centered around New York high society. There actually were plans in the early years to open other Pilgrims clubs in cities as Washington and Paris, but these ideas never materialized.  Interestingly, once considered one of the most “reliable” Mockingbird newspapers, in 1992 the Washington Post revealed to its readers the contents of an internal CIA memorandum, written the year before. In part it read:
|“A. Media. 1) Current program: a) PAO [CIA’s Public Affairs Office] now has relationships with reporters from every major wire service, newspaper, news weekly, and television network in the nation. This has helped us turn some intelligence failure stories into intelligence success stories, and it has contributed to the accuracy of countless others. In many instances, we have persuaded reporters to postpone, change, hold, or even scrap stories that could have adversely affected national security interests or jeopardized sources and methods.” |
In a practical example of that, at one point CIA director Richard Helms provided one of his subordinates, Howard Hunt, with information gathered on Soviet spying and told him “I’ve got a couple of files here. I want you to do a story, about 800 words, and I’ll try it out on Cy Sulzberger.”  Sulzberger, of course, was the owner of the New York Times and, like Helms’ family, a member of the Pilgrims Society.
It appears indeed that with Mockingbird we were mainly dealing with an informal relationship between the top of the CIA and the top of various media corporations. Because the CIA essentially was not infiltrating and subverting the existing national media, it is often pretended that there was no problem here. But what if one of these top people would come out and say: “We hate socialism. We hate labor unions – certainly when they get too influential. We’re all like-minded corporate fascists. We like to have our independence, so we’re not going to do everything the CIA wants us to do (we’re a free capitalist society after all!), but at the same time we’re all on the same side. We’re friends and acquaintences, we socialize, we do favors for each other, and certainly in areas of mutual interest – our own big business interests – we band together.” Would that get people thinking? One would hope so.
The fact is, there have never been any truly independent major news outlets. All of them were financed by major business tycoons with their own interests tightly locked into the national establishment and often the government. If a truly independent media outlet were to arise, or one that is a little too rebellious, the CIA and major media outlets wouldn’t hesitate to band together and undermine it.
A good example of this has been incorporated in an ISGP article that discusses the Dutch establishment surrounding Prince Bernhard and some of his 1001 Club members, which overseas has included David and Laurance Rockefeller, Henry Ford, Robert McNamara, the British and French Rothschilds, Paul Mellon and other major names, many of them Pilgrims. Back in the 1960s consternation arose among Dutch conservative and liberal elites about a certain major newspaper drifting too far to the left. Instantly conspiracies were organized to halt this course:
|“[1001 Club member Frits] Philips had been approached by H.A. Lunshof, who was on a crusade against the leftist tendencies in the liberal press. The controversial Lunshof was columnist and chief editor of Elsevier. His position was in jeopardy, however, because the anti-communist course of the weekly magazine under his leadership wasn’t doing the subscription growth any good. …|
“In the advisory board meeting of 25 March 1964 [1001 Club member Sidney] van den Bergh said that he had heard from [Philips director] Guepin that at Philips ‘serious consternation has arisen about the editorial course of the NRC and that they were willing to make funds available to change this course.’ According to van Lennep these same feelings towards the NRC could also be found in Rotterdam business circles.
“In a next meeting Van den Bergh, who at that point could hardly still take Lunshof serious, said that Lunshof claimed to have gotten insight in dossiers of the German secret service through German president [Heinrich] Lubke. From these it became clear to him that the communists were trying to infiltrate the Dutch newspapers and that they had succeeded in this at the Handelsblad and the NRC with several young editors. So the worries of Lunshof and the NRC did not just go for the NRC, but also, to a lesser extent, the Handelsblad, of which ‘many prominent Amsterdammers’, according to Lunshof, thought ‘there was a threat that it would move too far into leftist water, especially due to deputy editor Hofland.’ To increase the pressure, Lunshof hinted to Van den Bergh of a potential withdrawal of Elsevier as publisher of the Handelsblad and the erection of a rival newspaper.
“Van den Bergh and other commissioners of the Handelsblad didn’t trust the manipulative Lunshof one bit, but did share his worries about the “red ideas” of the NRC. However, in discussions with the NRC management and their colleagues the commissioners of the Handelsblad were quickly satisfied after finding out that over there they also were not interesting in the red virus and that banning leftist ideas from the newspaper could be seen as a joint objective.“ 
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We can also look at the left-wing Ramparts magazine of the 1960s, which supported anti-Vietnam War protestors, took a skeptical stance on the John F. Kennedy assassination, and exposed the role of the CIA in the National Student Association. What did the CIA do? It ran a covert operation against the magazine that included blackmail and successfully undermined it. The details are mentioned in ISGP’s “liberal CIA” article/oversight, which also lists numerous modern “new left” media outlets that are supported by big Pilgrims-ran foundations as Carnegie, Rockefeller, Ford, MacArthur, Soros and others. Harper’s, The Nation, Mother Jones, NPR, PBS and other outlets all belong to this elite-backed “new left” network. As explained in the same article, ISGP suspects these foundations are coordinating their efforts and effectively act as a branch of the CIA – but only if this liberal establishment gets along with the CIA director and the White House. Essentially these foundations and their private networks form the “above government” network conspiracy theorists have been talking about since the beginning of time.
For the most part it appears that the Eastern Establishment, and really the international Liberal Establishment, is acting like one big family. Sometimes family members agree, sometimes they don’t, and almost on a continuous basis they manipulate public opinion to have things go their way as much as possible. A lot of this has to do with the fact that the conservative establishment – which happens to be much more primitive in its thinking than its liberal counterpart – has been doing the exact same thing. Despite that, it’s important to realize the establishment warfare aspect and the establishment influence in general in domains as the progressive media, weed and psychedelics legalization, spirituality, the green movement and even exposes as the Pentagon Papers, MKULTRA, Watergate, Iran Contra, Occupy Wall Street and the Edward Snowden NSA spying affair. However, until we have modern post-1980 full membership lists of the Pilgrims, it is not too productive to discuss many of these affairs. For the time being ISGP has been developing the “liberal CIA” article for that. Rest assured though that the “new left” movement to a large extent falls under the Pilgrims umbrella as the most liberal aspect of an already liberal establishment. It will just take a little more time to prove that.
British media and MI5/MI6 infiltration
In the earlier-discussed 1977 Rolling Stone article of Carl Bernstein, he mentioned one British-based news agency (with an important New York department) that has been significantly influenced by Pilgrims: Reuters. Among the Pilgrims who have held senior positions in Reuters are Sir Christopher Chancellor, general manager from 1944 to 1959; Lord William Barnetson, chairman from 1968 to 1979; Sir Denis Hamilton, chairman from 1979 to 1985; and directors Lord Thomson of Fleet and Sir David Walker. Information on British Pilgrims is still quite scarce compared to its American counterpart, so this list of senior executives will undoubtedly grow as more biographies of historical members are analyzed.
Among the British news outlets that have been influenced by the Pilgrims are The Observer, for a long time a rather “new left” newspaper of the Astor family; The Financial Times, The Economist, and especially The Times and the Commonwealth Press Union. The press baron Lord Beaverbrook, who owned the widely circulated Daily Express, is known to have visited the Pilgrims at least once in 1941, but is not very likely to have been a member of the Pilgrims as he was not particularly interested in an Anglo-American partnership.
Pilgrims have also headed the world famous Encyclopedia Britannica. Examples are Senator William Benton, Philip M. Kaiser and Elmo Roper.
The British publishing house William Collins, Sons was represented in the Pilgrims by its head, Sir William A. R. Collins, from 1951 until the mid 1970s. William Collins, Sons was founded in 1819 and eventually, in 1990, merged with Harper & Row to form HarperCollins, to this day one of the “big five” English-language publishing firms alongside names as Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster.
Britain appears to have had some sort of Mockingbird program similar to the United States. In 1994 Private Eye magazine reported how in 1976 John Snow, a well known newscaster, had been approached by a representative of British intelligence. Snow was asked if he would provide the security services with information on the political activities of his colleagues. His salary of 3,600 pound sterling would be matched and there wouldn’t be any problems with Inland Revenue. Snow refused, but Private Eye suspected that most large newspapers and media stations employed persons who had been more susceptible to this kind of approach. The magazine also wondered aloud if a recent story about the Guardian’s owner, Richard Gott, falsely tying him to the KGB, had been written by journalists on the payroll of British Intelligence. At the time Gott’s newspaper was digging into the affairs of Jonathan Aitken, a person with numerous ties to hard right national and international intelligence people. 
Additionally, in 1995 a person named Gerald James published his rather controversial book ‘In the Public Interest’. James had been a banker at Barings Brothers (a Pilgrims bank) and a member of the aristocratic Monday Club. He knew many people in intelligence, including the former deputy head of MI6, George Kennedy Young (who became a banker at Kleinwort). James was also chairman of the arms company Astra Holdings. In his biography/expose James wrote how a cabal of City bankers and intelligence men were running the major illegal arms deals, had infiltrated and corrupted smaller companies, and collapsed a number of them after fearing exposure in the wake of the Iraqgate scandal. James’s Astra Holdings was among these “front companies” that had been collapsed, prompting James to write a book in an effort to clear his name. This turned out to be not entirely without risk: journalists he talked to were intimidated and several important witnesses died under suspicious circumstances. Relevant here is page 138 of his book, in which James describes his experiences with the British media:
|“I have been involved with a number of journalists in researching this story [arms-to-Iraq affair]. At any one time there might be as many as half a dozen following up this or that line of inquiry and we keep constantly in touch by telephone. It is to our mutual benefit, except that the relationship, which has now been going on for nearly five years, has frequently been marked by sudden changes of policy by newspaper editors or the unexplained removal of a journalist from the case or even from the paper (sometimes to a more exalted position on another where the arms-to-Iraq inquiry is not part of the brief.)… It never really surprised me until I was amazed to receive, from one of my other sources, a list of journalists with affiliations to MI5, on which were posted some of my own contacts in the press, indeed some who had at the beginning made something of a name for themselves on the back of the arms-to-Iraq affair.” |
British Pilgrims can hardly be tied to this British “Mockingbird” program, probably because there’s too little information available on the collusion between British intelligence and the press. The exception might be some of the more reactionary aristocrats in the British Pilgrims, like Sir Frederick Bennett, Lord Chalfont, Lord William Rees-Mogg and their ally in the United States, John Train, though a discussion of these people will have to wait a good number of chapters.
Education is the key to success, and this is no different for Pilgrims. The majority of U.S. Pilgrims have studied at Harvard, Princeton or Yale and majored in either law or economics – if not both. It might not be a surprise then that at any time the boards of these three universities are filled with Pilgrims Society members. There are a few other universities from which Pilgrims have graduated. They include New York University, Columbia University, Dartmouth and a few prestigious European universities. Believe it or not, the prestigious Wharton School of Business is almost non-existent in the biographies of Pilgrims Society members. MIT, on the other hand, is popular among the small number of scientists that have joined the Pilgrims. Additionally, a good number of Pilgrims have been on the board of the American Academy in Rome, a New York-based school for artists. Of course, this is not a mainstay of the average Pilgrims education. It is more a reflection of the Pilgrims influence on aspects of New York social life.
In England the situation is even simpler: the vast majority of future Pilgrims go to Oxford and to a lesser extent, Cambridge University – or they come to the United States to study at Harvard, Princeton or Yale. It’s incredible, but it really seems to be mandatory to have studied at one of these universities in order to be handed some of the absolute top positions in government, especially in the State Department. It is at these universities that the leaders of the country are being groomed at many different levels of society.
We see a similar trend in mainland Europe. France, for example, has the INSEAD Executive School, where many leading bankers in Europe are educated, as well as the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) for politics. In 2014 it was reported that “nearly every French high ranking politician or diplomat has attended Sciences Po since its inception [in 1872 and houses] 14 of the current CEOs of France’s 40 largest companies.”  The remaining portion of these CEOs largely went to INSEAD or the earlier-mentioned universities in the United States and England.
In another example, in 2010 it was reported in the Netherlands that “at least two-thirds of influential Holland has been a member of a fraternity... ten percent [comes from] Minerva, one of the foundations of our ruling elite.”  We see the same trend among American elites, with Yale fraternities as Book and Snake, Scroll & Key, and especially Skull & Bones sticking out as fraternities that have produced quite a few leaders of society. However, overall of absolute prime importance is the university a person graduated from – not the fraternity they have been accepted into. Don’t be fooled by all the propaganda surrounding Skull & Bones. It’s just a fraternity for children of well-to-do families. Essentially it can be seen as a small aspect of the much more elderly Pilgrims Society network.
In fact, many of the leading Skull & Bonesmen have also been Pilgrims. Vanderbilt lawyer and Pilgrims Society co-founder Chauncey Depew is one of them. Daniel Coit Gilman, who incorporated Skull & Bones into the Russell Trust and co-founded the Carnegie Institution, is another. Former U.S. president William Howard Taft, a son of a key Skull & Bones founder and himself Skull & Bones, is known to have visited the Pilgrims, with his brother, Henry, another Skull & Bones member, having been a full member of the Pilgrims. Then there’s John Beckwith Madden, a Brown Brothers Harriman banker from 1946 to 1988 who managed the Russell Trust Association for the bank, who is another. There are many other examples, also for Scroll & Key.
Recently I actually ran into the story of Charlotte Iserbyt, a rather nutty old right conservative McCartyite popular on the Alex Jones Show, but one who is actually responsible for leaking the Skull & Bones lists to author Antony Sutton for his famous 1983 book America’s Secret Establishment on Skull & Bones. Iserbyt’s father and grandfather were Skull & Bones and looking at her father’s two most influential Bones’ classmates, Charles D. Hilles, Jr. and General Charles M. Spofford, they and a number of family members later were invited to the Pilgrims Society as well.
Cultural, scientific and revolutionary societies
October 26, 2007, Pilgrims headquarters. Entrance behind cars on the right.
Next to the influence the Pilgrims have over the major East Coast universities, the Pilgrims are also involved in a wide range of cultural and educational institutes in New York. They include the Museum of Modern Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Royal Society of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the New York Zoological Society (renamed Wildlife Conservation Society), the National Institute of Social Sciences, the Smithsonian, the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the New York Public Library, and the Pierpont Morgan Library.
Many American Pilgrims are members of societies commemorating the revolutionary wars and the founding fathers, and since membership is usually based on achievements of ancestors, genealogical societies are not far behind. The Society of the Cincinnati is extremely popular among Pilgrims; so is the Society of Colonial Wars or the Sons of the American Revolution. The Pilgrims headquarter in New York is actually home to a whole range of societies, even though the sign at the door only reads “New York Genealogical and Biographical Society”, which is generally also headed by a Pilgrim. Following is a full list of other societies located at 122 East 58th Street:
- Daughters of the Cincinnati
- Huguenot Society of America
- Military Order of Foreign Wars
- New England Society
- St Nicholas Society
- Holland Society
- Society of Mayflower Descendants
- Society of Colonial Wars
- New York Genealogical Society
- New York Genealogical & Biological Library .
Ever since the 16th century reformation movement began, the countries of Europe have mainly been divided between Catholicism and different branches of Protestantism. In Great Britain the Protestant branch became known as the Anglican Church. The church came under the patronage of successive Protestant royal families, a tradition that was interrupted now and then, but managed to survive until the present day. Since the British aristocracy to a large extent still is a “cradle to grave dependence on and relationship with the monarchy,” as Lord Weidenfeld – a Pilgrim – put it , it shouldn’t come as a surprise that members of the British royal family are patrons of the Pilgrims of Great Britain while most of these Pilgrims belong to the Anglican Church.
At the time of the American Revolution and the wars against the British Empire, the Anglican Church in the United States was separated from its British counterpart, forming the Episcopal Church. This change had been necessary, as all the Anglican clergy had to swear allegiance to the British monarch. The Episcopal Church did retain its classical Anglican theology. Today, both branches have almost the same tolerance for Darwinism, explaining why the Pilgrims also dominate the American Museum of Natural History and related science-oriented groups.
The ranks of the Pilgrims are filled with members of the Episcopal Church, among them the Morgans and Vanderbilts. Neil Vanderbilt once gave a brief description of these two families’ weekly Sunday visits to St. Thomas’s, the Episcopal church at Fifth Avenue, New York:
|“Father [Cornelius Vanderbilt III, a Pilgrims executive] had business friends whom Mother did not invite to parties at the house–at least, not until she found they were accepted, as sometimes happened, by people she liked in England. Then there were people who liked Mother but not Father. One of these was J. P. Morgan the elder [a Pilgrim]… At St. Thomas’s on Sunday, when the Morgan car drove up behind ours–their footmen in dark blue, ours in maroon–Mr. Morgan would call Mother by her first name but hardly speak to Father.” |
Although the Episcopal Church of the United States officially is independent from the Anglican Church and the British Royal family, this shouldn’t be taken too strictly. There has been a long tradition of inviting the Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Church of England, and the Episcopal Bishops of New York, to senior positions in the Pilgrims Society. As discussed before, one of the primary founders of the Pilgrims of the United States was Bishop Henry C. Potter. This was the Bishop of New York from 1887 to 1908 who regularly went to England to preach at Canterbury Cathedral, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and the Chapel Royal. Having many important friends at both sides of the Atlantic, in 1895 Bishop Potter officiated at the wedding of Consuelo Vanderbilt and the 9th Duke of Marlborough. Potter was also president of the Pilgrims of the United States from 1903 to 1907.
Next to the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterians are also well established in the Pilgrims. The Presbyterian Church is descended from the Scottish branch of the reformation.
A few of the Pilgrims have been of French descent which explains the fact that the Huguenot Society sometimes shows up in the biographies of members. The Huguenots were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France.
Catholics have formed a small minority within the Pilgrims. They include a number of Knights of Malta. Examples of the latter are Myron C. Taylor, Joseph Kennedy, Dean Rusk, Elmer Bobst, J. Peter Grace, Alexander Haig, Lord Lothian and Lord Mowbray. Haig is on the executive committee of the Pilgrims since 1983. The Dukes of Norfolk, probably the most distinguished Catholic family in England and representatives to the Vatican for centuries, have also been occasional visitors of Pilgrims gatherings.
Why would Catholics be allowed in such a strong Protestant milieu as the Pilgrims? One obvious reason would be to avoid accusations of discrimination; another to maintain good relations with the Vatican. For a group so tightly linked to diplomacy and the State Department, it would make little sense to ban Catholics altogether. This is not the 16th century anymore or even the early or mid 20th century. However, traditionally the Anglo-American establishment has not been fond of Catholics holding high office. In the following example Neil Vanderbilt describes the reaction of the Anglo-American establishment when FDR appointed Joseph Kennedy as U.S. Ambassador to England, a position traditionally held by a Pilgrim:
|“Nevertheless I feel sure that if Roosevelt were alive today he would disagree with Senator Kennedy [JFK, a Catholic] about the desirability of Catholics in high places. True, FDR nominated Al Smith and made Joseph Kennedy, the young Senator’s wealthy dad, our ambassador to England. But Smith eventually took a famous walk, and I’m not sure that the Kennedy appointment was made with any degree of enthusiasm; it was partly to please Jimmy Roosevelt, a business associate of Joe Kennedy’s. Certainly the English raised a terrific hue and cry over the appointment. And in private FDR did not hesitate to mention Catholic connections as a bar to political trust. Among high churchmen, the only one he trusted was Cardinal Stritch.” |
Although both FDR and the Anglo-American establishment were extremely wary of Catholic influence, Joseph Kennedy was treated with respect during his visits to the British Pilgrims while Roosevelt tried to maintain a good relationship with the Vatican by appointing Knight of Malta Myron C. Taylor as his personal representative to the Vatican. The Catholic Taylor, a Pilgrim and J. P. Morgan man, had already established a working relationship with the Holy See. At one point Cardinal Pacelli (Pope Pius XII from 1939 to 1958) stayed at Taylor’s home, and for dinner Taylor invited some of his most influential friends. These included the Rockefellers, the widow of Andrew Carnegie, the Bakers (Morgan partners) and members of the Ogden Mills family – all Pilgrims by the way . Roosevelt at one point explained to his friend Neil Vanderbilt why he was reaching out to the Vatican. It is likely that the Pilgrims allow a small number of Catholics and Knights of Malta for similar diplomatic reasons:
|“Non-Catholic churches here put up a big howl [after FDR appointed Myron C. Taylor as ambassador to the Vatican]. Mr. Roosevelt told me one evening in the Lincoln Study at the White House why he had done this. He told me, first of all, he had wanted to make peace with the Catholic Church in the United States as represented in his cabinet by James Farley, the postmaster general, and with various other high Catholic personages, such as Archbishop Stritch of Chicago and Spellman of New York. But in addition, he said, he had appointed Mr. Taylor because the best intelligence system in the entire world, better even than the British, was the intelligence system of the Catholic Church, as received through its priests and high church personnel throughout the entire world. I remembered my reference to the Vatican dossier back in the twenties, and agreed.” |
Apart from membership in the regular Protestant churches or membership in honorary Templar orders as the Knights of the Garter, the Knights of the Thistle (Scotland) and the Order of St. John, a good number of Pilgrims have also been Freemasons. More interestingly, a small percentage of Pilgrims have been involved in rather exotic royalist Templar orders. We aren’t talking here about highly irregular and esoteric lodges as Memphis Misraim or the Synarchist and Martinist Order, but more about symbolic and historical societies as the Order of the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest and the Order of the Merovingian Dynasty. These still sound very mystical though. Here is a longer list of the orders different Pilgrims have been involved in:
|Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite||Order DeMolay|
|Descendants of the Knights of the Garter||Order of the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest|
|Grand Lodge of the State of New York||Shriners|
|International Society Fraternal Chief Executives||Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia|
|Knights Templar||United Grand Lodge|
|Knights of Pythias||Order of Plantagenet|
|Masonic Brotherhood Foundation||Order of the Merovingian Dynasty|
|“Mason”||Order of the Crown of Charlemagne|
Among the literally hundreds of institutes the British royal family are patrons of is the United Grand Lodge. The legend is that Freemasonry has descended from the rituals of the Knights Templar, which had a peculiar obsession with Solomon’s Temple and were said to be involved in certain occult or ritualistic practices. The Knights Templar were active in France until their persecution by the Papacy in 1307. Some of these Templars allegedly fled to Scotland where they were accepted by fellow crusaders Robert de Bruce and the Sinclair family. Connected or not, some time after these Templars arrived, the Sinclair family began to build Rosslyn Chapel, which is supposed to be a replica of Solomon’s Temple; accounts of Rosicrucian initiations began to surface, and an apparently Rosicrucian-connected Martin Luther set off the reformation against the Vatican .
As for Freemasonry, is it really linked to Templarism and Rosicrucianism? To a degree they are all intertwined, but this is a whole different subject which descends into mystery and obscurity the further one looks back. For this article it is sufficient to note that all the traditional secret societies in the West ultimately have taken their inspiration from the Middle-East, particularly Egypt, and that the men heading these different societies today seem to have a pretty good idea of that. The average Freemasonry lodge makes a person feel as if he or she went back in time to Ancient Egypt. As for Templars, the highest level of the York Rite of Freemasonry is a Knights Templar order, which is a layer above the Royal Arch Masons and the Cryptic Masons. The Scottish Rite has a similar system. The following excerpt comes from the text Masonry Beyond the Third Degree, written by the Supreme Council, 33° in the United States:
|“The Scottish Rite degrees give insight to the expansion of Masonic legends. The Lodge of Perfection, 4°–14°, is concerned with events following the murder of Hiram Abiff [linked to the sacred geometry architects of the Cult of Dionysis]: burying him; capturing and punishing his murderers; finding a new master builder; and discovering treasurers buried under King Solomon’s temple. The 15° and 16° explain the return of Zerubbabel from Babylon to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem. The 17° and 18° center around re-instituting the word under the Law of Love as taught by Jesus and other religious reformers. The 19°–30° culminate with the Degree of Knight Kadosh, a spiritual knighthood similar to the Knight Templar, and develop the Scottish Rite’s myth of Masonic succession from crusading knights.” |
It appears that these romantic Templar stories have become part of the history and culture of Britain. They are essentially part of the Arthurian legends, like King Arthur, Merlin, the Knights of the Round Table, and even the Holy Grail. Knights, royalty, and ancient “secret” knowledge have always combined well, and this should especially be the case in the British upper classes whose direct ancestors have often been the source for these legends. In other words, British aristocrats involved in royalist, Freemasonic and Templar organizations appear to be doing nothing more than upholding their heritage, even if this heritage to some extent is a romantic fairy tale. The “pagan” Celtic groves, in which even senior members of the Anglican Church have become members, is a similar example.  Another example of the influence of Arthurian legends is a club named the Society of Knights of the Round Table which is filled with aristocrats and top military figures. This society regularly meets at the prestigious Army and Navy Club. 
Interestingly, besides membership in a number of templar organizations, among the Pilgrims have been the 20th century descendants of the two most legendary templar-related families. These are David Kirkpatrick Este Bruce, who was a vice president of the society, his brother, and William MacDonald Sinclair, a member of the executive committee of the Pilgrims who played a significant role in setting up the American branch of the society. This may well be one more example of the British upper classes’ interest in keeping the Arthurian legends alive.
The big interests and major think tanks
We have taken a little bit of a detour here. From banking, business and media we soon ended up discussing revolutionary societies and templar orders. This is all part of who the Pilgrims are, but many of the most important institutes and interests haven’t been discussed yet. So let’s get back to the core issues: politics and business.
There are a lot of private institutes and a number of big interests which repeatedly show up in the biographies of Pilgrims. The following table lists these institutes and interests, together with how many persons in ISGP’s expanded membership list of 1,800 have been involved with them. Keep in mind that there have been at least 2,500 additional Pilgrims which we either don’t know about or haven’t written a biography of. Also, there are many other political institutes Pilgrims have been involved with that have been left out for practical reasons. The IISS, the Atlantic Councils, the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs and the Aspen Institute are all examples of this.
|CFR members||235||This means that about 18% of the US Pilgrims are CFR members.|
|CFR executives||47||About half of total leadership until late 1980s, including all four chairmen and all vice chairmen until at least 1991. All presidents until 1971, except Norman Davis.|
|Rockefeller interests||108||Includes executives from Standard Oil, Chase Manhattan, and the foundations, but also family members and close friends of the Rockefellers. Museum of Modern Art trustees not included, even though this museum is almost exclusively loaded with close Rockefeller associates. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Nelson Rockefeller, David Rockefeller, Percy Avery Rockefeller, James Stillman Rockefeller, and William Rockefeller (d. 1990) were all members of the Pilgrims Society.|
|Morgan interests||105||Includes executives from all the different Morgan banks, trustees of the Pierpont Morgan Library, and also family and close friends of the Morgans. J. P. Morgan, Sr., J. P. Morgan, Jr., Harry Morgan and Junius Morgan were all Pilgrims.|
|United Nations posts||84||Ambassadors or other representatives to the United Nations, including a number of founders. Also board members of the private UN Association. The League of Nations, the predecessor of the United Nations, was also dominated by Pilgrims.|
|Carnegie network||53||Includes anyone associated with the Carnegie Corporation, the Carnegie Foundation and the Carnegie Endowment, and also family and close friends of the late Andrew Carnegie. The Carnegie Corporation gives huge research grants to virtually all the major universities in the United States and southern Africa. Andrew Carnegie was a member of the Pilgrims Society.|
|Ditchley||44||Mostly governors of either the American or British Ditchley Foundation. Ditchley is an important Anglo-American discussion group.|
|Federal Reserve||33||The vast majority of these have been senior officers in the New York branch or the overall Federal Reserve Board.|
|Trilateral Commission||27||Didn’t specifically look for this, so there are probably more.|
|Bilderberg||26||Didn’t specifically look for this so there are probably more. However, many of the most important Pilgrims also tend to be important Bilderberg members. Bilderberg chairmen Lord Carrington and Lord Roll are among the Pilgrims.|
|Foreign Policy Association||24||Directors.|
|Atlantic Institute of International Affairs||11||Executive level members. There are likely quite a number more among the Pilgrims, as not that many names of the AIIA are known. The AIIA appears to be mainly a think tank for NATO, the OECD and European integration along the lines of Jean Monnet (who was sponsored by a clique of Pilgrims bankers).|
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None of these institutes and big interests should really come as a surprise, as they have been talked about for decades; and not only in more recent conspiracy and patriotic circles. The Morgans’ all-powerful influence on the U.S. economy in the late 19th and early 20th century was known everywhere. During World War I the bank was accused of war profiteering. In the late 1930s, just before World War II, the Morgans were continually attacked for being in league with the British, because they were part of the campaign to bring the United States into the war on the side of England. Not only the public, but also officials in FDR’s administration, including FDR himself, kept a close eye on the Morgan bank, trying to make sure it would not profit from the war as it had done in the first World War.  FDR fully realized that the Morgans, Rockefellers and New York high society in general “often represented important forces or areas of influence”. 
The Pilgrims also reckoned the Morgans and Rockefellers as major interests which shouldn’t be carelessly tossed aside. Frederick Cunliffe-Owen, chairman of the Pilgrims of the United States in 1920, wrote a letter on February 8, 1924 in which he clearly identified the influence of the Morgans and Rockefellers:
|“That bounder Charles Sherrill [who had been forced to resign as chairman of the Pilgrims]. By his tactlessness and indiscretion, he had queered himself with everybody, with the Government at Washington… with the British Embassy… as well as with the French Embassy, with the Morgans, the Standard Oil people and all the big interests including the Chamber of Commerce of New York…” |
The influence of the Morgan family largely ceased to exist with the death of Jack Morgan in 1943. Jack’s son, Henry S. Morgan, did remain a partner in the investment branch, Morgan Stanley, until his death in 1982, but by that time the influence of the Morgan Bank had little do anymore with the family.
The Rockefeller influence continued to exist after their huge Standard Oil monopoly was broken up in 1911. It actually made John D. Rockefeller, Sr. the richest man on the planet, leaving the family free to maintain a significant interest in several of the new companies. Exxon (Standard Oil of New Jersey) was the most important of these and was dominated by the Rockefellers until at least the late 1980s.  John D. Rockefeller, Jr. continued to oversee his father’s business and philanthropic interests, but it was his oldest son, Nelson Rockefeller, who rose to some of the most important posts in the U.S. government. Nelson was the de facto ruler of Latin America during World War II, was influential in setting up the United Nations, briefly oversaw some of the most classified special operations under Eisenhower and was vice president of the United States under Gerald Ford from 1974 to 1977. After Nelson died, his younger brother David became the most visible face of the Rockefeller family. Instead of being active in regular politics, David has been an important player in some of the most important private NGOs the world has seen; from the CFR and Bilderberg to the Trilateral Commission, the Americas Society and the Atlantic Institute; you name it. Nelson’s main focus was anti-communism while David has been more concerned with the globalization process.
There are many other aspects of the Rockefeller family that can be discussed, but the main purpose here is to show that these Rockefeller family interests and the Morgan bank have continued to be dominant forces in the Anglo-American Establishment. The table above which lists the Rockefeller and Morgan interests within the Pilgrims Society already makes a strong cases along these lines, but just to be sure it might be helpful to focus on the Morgan and Rockefeller ties of the more recent Pilgrims Society leadership.
For this analysis ISGP has used nineteen annual Pilgrims of the United States officers list dating from 1973 to 1995. There are a total of 54 different people on these lists. Added to this list is Thomas L. Pulling, whom we know was an executive officer in the late 1990s. Also added are 9 more presidents, vice presidents and secretaries listed on 2004 and 2006 tax returns of the Pilgrims. This brings us to a total of 64 Pilgrims of the United States officers since 1973 that we know about. The table below shows 24 officers among these 64 with rather obvious connections to the Rockefeller interests or the Morgan bank. That comes down to 38 percent.
|Hulbert S. Aldrich||1907-1995||Cousin of the Rockefellers. President of Greer School with Mrs. David Rockefeller (1942-1947). Vice chairman and a director the Chemical Bank New York Trust Company.|
|Winthrop W. Aldrich||1885-1974||Uncle of Nelson Rockefeller. Early member CFR. President and chair of Chase National Bank.|
|Hoyt Ammidon||1909-1988||Personal-investment manager for Vincent Astor in the 1950s. Chair U.S. Trust Co. Fellow Pierpont Morgan Library. His son became managing director of Chase Manhattan Investment Bank and shared a board with Peter C. Rockefeller.|
|Kingman Brewster||1919-1988||Special assistant in the governmental office of Nelson Rockefeller. Member CFR. Trustee Carnegie Endowment.|
|Eli Whitney Debevoise||1899-1990||Heir to the Rockefeller-Whitney Standard Oil fortune through his mother. Associate of Winthrop W. Aldrich, an uncle of Nelson Rockefeller. Trustee of Rockefeller University. Member CFR.|
|C. Douglas Dillon||1909-2003||Schoolmates had included Nelson, Laurance and John Rockefeller III. Director and later chair of Dillon, Read & Co. which financed the Nazis. Chairman Rockefeller Foundation. Board member Chase Manhattan Bank. Vice chair CFR. Associated with many other important people and institutions.|
|John R. Drexel III||1919-2007||The Drexel banker firm historically were partners of J.P. Morgan. The Astors, Aldriches and Rockefellers were among John Drexel’s friends. John’s son, John R. Drexel, IV, also became a Pilgrims executive.|
|John W. Gardner||1912-2002||Associate of Nelson Rockefeller. Director or advisor of Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Rockefeller University. President of the Carnegie Corporation and Carnegie Foundation. Member CFR.|
|Thomas S. Gates||1906-1983||CEO and chairman of Morgan Guaranty Trust. Member CFR.|
|S. Parker Gilbert||alive||Son and godson of two J. P. Morgan partners who were early CFR members. Chairman of Morgan Stanley and trustee of the Morgan Library who still keeps a close eye on the traditional Morgan interests. CFR member.|
|Alfred Hayes||d. 1989||Employee. National City Bank. Chair Morgan Stanley. Member CFR.|
|Henry Kissinger||b. 1923||The undisputed number 1 in ISGP’s Superclass Index. Decades-long close associate of David Rockefeller in groups as the CFR, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg and Le Cercle. He also used to be extremely close to Nelson Rockefeller.|
|Robert V. Lindsay||b. 1926||Assistant vice president J.P. Morgan & Co. Chair Morgan Guarantee Trust. Director Americas Society. Member CFR.|
|John M. Meyer, Jr.||d. 1996||Chair and CEO of J.P. Morgan & Co. and Morgan Guaranty Trust. Member CFR.|
|Henry S. Morgan||1900-1982||A son of J.P. Morgan, Jr. Partner in J. P. Morgan & Co. and co-founder Morgan Stanley. Trustee of the Morgan Library. Early member CFR. OSS during WWII, together with his brother.|
|Ellmore C. Patterson||1913-2004||Married into the Choate family, which was intimately connected to the Rockefeller and Morgan interests, just as the Pilgrims. Chair J.P. Morgan & Co. Shared at least two boards with Laurance Rockefeller. Member CFR.|
|Pulling, Thomas L.||alive||Assistant treasurer J.P. Morgan & Co. Inc., New York City, 1962-1968. Retired as a managing director of Citigroup in 2006.|
|Eben W. Pyne||1917-2007||President and director of National City Trust and senior vice president National City Bank.|
|William Rockefeller||1918-1990||Son of William Avery Rockefeller and descendant of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. Chair Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge Foundation.|
|Dean Rusk||1909-1994||Rhodes Scholar. President Rockefeller Foundation. Co-founder Club of Rome. CFR member.|
|Paul Volcker||b. 1927||Near the top of ISGP’s Superclass Index and a decades-long close associate of David Rockefeller. Economist Chase Manhattan Bank 1957-1961, and vice president 1965-1968. Director Institute for International Economics with David Rockefeller, George Shultz, Lynn Forester de Rothschild, etc. Also: chair J. Rothschild, Wolfensohn & Co. 1992-1995.|
|Warner, Miner||b. 1942||Vice president Salomon Brothers. Director Merrill Lynch. In the early 1990s on the advisory board of the Americas Society, which was founded by David Rockefeller.|
|John C. Whitehead||alive||Near the top of ISGP’s Superclass Index and a long-time friend of David Rockefeller. Director Rockefeller University.|
|John Hay Whitney||1904-1982||Brother-in-law of Vincent Astor. Worked on inter-American cooperation with Nelson Rockefeller during WWII. Chair of the Museum of Modern Art, which has a very strong Rockefeller influence. Trustee Carnegie Foundation.|
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At any one time from the 1970s to the early 2000s there was a dominant presence of Morgan and Rockefeller men on the board of the Pilgrims of the United States, leading to the obvious conclusion that these interests – the Rockefellers, at least – still represent the cornerstone of the Anglo-American Establishment. The old Carnegie foundations are also quite strongly represented among the recent Pilgrims leadership, just as most of the other think tanks listed earlier in this paragraph.
Rockefeller, Morgan and other big interests in Great Britain
It is also possible to spot the Rockefeller and the older Morgan interests in the mid to late 20th century leadership of the Pilgrims of Great Britain. Viscount William Harcourt, for example, who was an executive member of the Pilgrims of Great Britain until his death in 1979, was the great-grandson of Junius S. Morgan and the great-nephew of J.P. Morgan. After having been educated at Oxford, Harcourt spent two months at J.P. Morgan & Co. and Morgan Stanley in New York. Eventually, in 1968, he became chairman of Morgan Grenfell, the British branch of J.P. Morgan.
Lord Carrington, president of the Pilgrims of Great Britain since 1983, used to be a member of the international council of the Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank.
There are a few other, less important examples of British Pilgrims representing Morgan and Rockefeller interests. Sir Evelyn Baring, a British executive member, had his traineeship at J.P. Morgan in New York. Pilgrim Bill Mackworth-Young was head of Morgan Grenfell from 1980 until his death in 1984. Pilgrim John M. Wallace was head of Chase National Bank’s London offices while also vice president of Equitable Trust Company. More examples will probably surface when more British Pilgrims are analyzed.
We also find British Pilgrims representing U.S. corporations, mainly in Great Britain, as IBM (Watson family), General Electric, Blackstone and a few others.
The officers and regular members of the Pilgrims of Great Britain have represented a greater variety of key banks than their friends on the other side of the ocean. The most important English banks in the Pilgrims of Great Britain, next to Morgan Grenfell and to some extent Chase, have been Lazard, Barings, Barclays, Hambros, J. Henry Schroder, S. G. Warburg and probably also National Westminster. The families and individuals heading these banks at the same time have dominated the Bank of England for generation after generation. To illustrate, the following 18 Bank of England governors/directors are known to have been members of the Pilgrims of Great Britain:
|Sir Evelyn Baring:||J.P. Morgan, IMF, World Bank, IBM.|
|Laurence John Cadbury:||Cadbury Bros, Eugenics Society.|
|Lord Thomas Catto:||Morgan Grenfell, Royal Bank of Scotland.|
|Lord Cameron Cobbold:||Hudson’s Bay Company, BP, Chemical Bank.|
|Sir Patrick Cooper:||Hudson’s Bay Company.|
|Sir Andrew Rae Duncan:||Imperial Chemical Industries.|
|Edward C. Grenfell:||Morgan Grenfell.|
|Baron Brian Griffiths:||Goldman Sachs.|
|Sir Charles Hambro:||Hambros Bank.|
|Sir William Keswick:||Jardine Matheson and Hudson’s Bay Company.|
|Sir John Keswick:||Jardine Matheson and Hudson’s Bay Company.|
|Lord Robert Kindersley:||Lazard.|
|Lord Hugh Kindersley:||Lazard, Rolls Royce.|
|Sir Maurice Henry Parsons:||IMF.|
|Lord R. Leigh-Pemberton:||National Westminster Bank.|
|Sir James Pitman:||–|
|Lord Roll (the Court):||Warburg, Kissinger Associates.|
|Sir David Walker:||Lloyds Bank, Morgan Stanley, Reuters.|
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Even though ISGP’s membership list only contains about 350 British members as of this writing, it’s already obvious that not only the Bank of England, but also institutes as the Foreign Office and the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) are strongly represented. This might have been expected, because they are the British counterparts of the Federal Reserve, the State Department and the Council on Foreign Relations.
As for the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA or Chatham House), at this point it is impossible to do as thorough an analysis as has been done with its U.S. counterpart, the CFR, simply because there’s not that much information on membership. However, the following Pilgrims have played a significant role in the Royal Institute of International Affairs:
|3rd Marquess of Salisbury||Member of a prominent Pilgrims Society family. Co-founder and first chairman of the Royal Institute of International Affairs in 1920|
|Waldorf Astor||1950 list. Chairman of the Royal Institute for International Affairs from 1935 to 1949 and had helped to establish it in 1920.|
|Sir Henry Philip Price||Co-founder of the Royal Institute of International Affairs.|
|Sir John Wheeler-Bennett||Information Secretary RIIA 1927-1931 and council member 1930-1938 and 1959-1967.|
|Sir Roderick Jones||Council member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs around the 1940s and 1950s.|
|Christopher Woodhouse||Both his father and older brother were Pilgrims. Director general of the Royal Institute of International Affairs from 1952 to 1955. Primary British organiser 1953 coup in Iran.|
|Sir Duncan Oppenheim||Chairman of the Royal Institute of International Affairs from 1966 to 1970.|
|Lord Humphrey Trevelyan||Chairman of the Royal Institute of International Affairs from 1970 to 1977.|
|Sir David Ormsby-Gore||Chairman of the Royal Institute of International Affairs from 1978 to 1984.|
|Lord Greenhill||Chaired some of the meetings of the Royal Institute of International Affairs back in the 1970s.|
|Lord Shackleton||Council member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs from 1980 to 1986.|
|Lord Gordon Richardson||In early 1984 The Times named Lord Richardson as the soon-to-be-appointed chairman of the Royal Institute of International Affairs. Can’t tell if he was actually appointed.|
|Lord Carrington||Long-time president of the Pilgrims Society. Member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs.|
|Sir Frank Roberts||Council member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs somewhere in the 1970s.|
|Sir John Birch||Council member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs from 1997 to 2003.|
|Lord Paddy Ashdown||One of today’s three presidents of the Royal Institute of International Affairs.|
|Lord George Robertson||Another one of today’s three presidents of the Royal Institute of International Affairs. Previously he was on RIIA governing council for seven years.|
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Like their American colleagues the British Pilgrims also tend to support the United Nations, NATO, liberal globalist institutions as the World Bank, the IMF, the OECD and a host of transatlantic foundations and think tanks. In that sense the Pilgrims Society is the complete opposite of groups as the American Security Council, Le Cercle and Council for National Policy.
For American Pilgrims the most important government department has always been the Department of State. No less than 17 of the 28 secretaries of state of the 20th century appear in Pilgrims lists compiled by ISGP. In case of the British Pilgrims, the link with the Foreign Office is less strong. While there are a good amount of foreign service officers to be found, not exactly a lot of foreign affairs ministers have appeared on Pilgrims Society lists it appears. However, ISGP only has analyzed one-fifth of the British names compared to the American ones, so it’s hard to make any sweeping conclusions here. There are tons of ambassadors, leading bankers, industrialists, aristocrats and people with ties to business groups and the royal family, but top cabinet officials? Not a whole lot relative speaking.
The link between the Pilgrims and the State Department is additionally confirmed through the close ties between the CFR, whose leadership mostly consists of Pilgrims, and the State Department. Hillary Clinton perfectly demonstrated this in recent years when she quipped:
|“It’s good to have an outpost of the council right here down in the street of the State Department. We get a lot of advise from the council, so this will mean I don’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.” |
In the early days the Defense Department, founded in 1947 as part of the national security state, was regularly headed by a Pilgrim or someone very close to the Pilgrims elite. The first secretary of defense, James Forrestal (1947-1949), came out of Dillon, Read & Co. He committed suicide while still in office, but all his friends from big banking, including the Dillons, William Draper Jr., Averell Harriman and Ferdinand Eberstadt, were Pilgrims. So was his son, Michael Forrestal.
The next defense secretary, General George Marshall (1950-1951), was a former secretary of state. Whilenever a member of the Pilgrims, he was well-respected by the Eastern Establishment. Pilgrim David Rockefeller, for example, invited him to the board of trustees of International House. The German Marshall Fund, named after him and his Marshall Plan, has also been stacked with liberal elites ever since its inception in 1972. These include Pilgrims as David Rockefeller, John McCloy and C. Douglas Dillon.
Robert Lovett, the son of a prominent railroad tycoon and himself a well-known member of Skull & Bones, was secretary of defense from 1951 to 1953. He is not known to have been a Pilgrim himself, but his son Edward definitely was. Lovett certainly mingled in elite circles through the Alibi Club, Links Club and the Century Association, all of them stacked with Pilgrims. The bank he worked for in the pre-World War II era, Brown Brothers Harriman, was another major bastion of Pilgrims Society influence. And thus, like Marshall, it is hard to imagine that Lovett never attended any meetings of the Pilgrims.
Charles E. Wilson was the first secretary of defense (1953-1957) who was not part of the Anglo-American establishment. It must be said, however, that the General Electric Company he came from has been dominated by Pilgrims Society members and that the president he served under, Eisenhower, used to be a Pilgrims Society executive himself. Eisenhower’s CIA director and secretary of state, the Dulles brothers, were Pilgrims too. Eisenhower maintained a very pro-Saudi oil stance from which Wilson did not deviate. Certainly it is clear that the geopolitical convictions of an early secretary of defense as Charles Wilson was much more in line with the Anglo-American establishment than some of his neoconservative successors, most notably Donald Rumsfeld (1975-1977; 2001-2006) and also Cheney (1989-1993), although neither went full anti-Arab, pro-Israel neocon until the Bush 43 administration.
Secretaries of defense Thomas Gates (1959-1961), Robert McNamara (1961-1968) and Elliot Richardson (January-May 1973) were, in fact, Pilgrims. Gates, a Pilgrims executive, represented the old Drexel and Morgan banking interests and was close to Eisenhower, John Foster Dulles and the Bechtels.  McNamara represented the Ford Motor and Rockefeller interests before and after his rather long tenure as secretary of defense. Pilgrims vice president Elliot Richardson, a former attorney general and more of a career politician, became a director of the Council on Foreign Relations and a founding executive of the Trilateral Commission.
A 1990 membership list also reveals name of Donald Rumsefeld, secretary of defense from 1975 to 1977 under Gerald Ford and then under George W. Bush from 2001 to 2006. Despite his neocon affiliations, Rumsfeld also has endless ties to the Eastern Establishment and its NGO network. He swings both ways.
Equally surprising, Reagan’s secretary of defense from 1981 to 1987, Caspar Weinberger, was a Pilgrims Society executive. Despite not having a traditional Eastern Establishment background, Weinberger was very much devoted to the Anglo-American cause. He also came from Bechtel, where he served under Reagan’s secretary of state and fellow-Pilgrim, George Shultz, another individual who is both a Rockefeller liberal elitist as a neocon.
The Reagan administration is an interesting one in that sense. Supposedly a Barry Goldwater (ultra)conservative, Reagan was definitely surrounded by “New World Order” type individuals: vice president George H. W. Bush (his older brother became a Pilgrim), Bush’s vice presidential national security advisor Donald Gregg (Pilgrims), chief of staff James Baker (not a Pilgrim), early secretary of state Alexander Haig (Pilgrims executive and vice president), secretary of state George Shultz (Pilgrim), Shultz’ deputy John Whitehead (Pilgrims vice president) and Caspar Weinberger (Pilgrims executive) as secretary of defense. It certainly makes sense that the John Birch Society and Council for National Policy were crying wolf. While it’s arguably less worrisome than having a fully conservative or neoconservative establishment running the show, it definitely seems mighty hard for any elected president to shake off Eastern Establishment influences, especially when it comes to the State Department – a subject actually already discussed in ISGP’s intro article. Individuals as General John Poindexter, General John Singlaub, Colonel Oliver North and CIA director William Casey actually tried to implement their own little foreign policy scheme by primarily isolating Reagan from Shultz, Whitehead and Weinberger  and look where it got them: a nice expose of Iran Contra in all the major Eastern Establishment newspapers, part of it generated by Rockefeller and Shultz friend Daniel Sheehan and his Christic Institute.  It could be a coincidence, but the ties are there and definitely a correction in foreign policy was made.
ISGP investigates the neocon ties of the supposedly liberal Eastern Establishment in a little more detail in Part III.
National security advisors and elite grooming
Together with the secretary of state and secretary of defense, the position of national security advisor, which has existed since 1953, is another crucial one within the U.S. administration. With daily access to the president and as head of his National Security Council and – at least historically – as chairman of the 40 committee and predecessor groups, which sanctioned and monitored CIA covert operations, the national security advisor has been a very influential force in U.S. politics. It can be debated how influential the position actually is, but ultimately it largely comes down to which top official the president prefers to put the most faith in. This dynamic differs per administration.
Trying to tie the position of national security advisor to the Pilgrims Society doesn’t work very well, at least with the present known membership. Only national security advisors Henry Kissinger from 1969 to 1975 and Zbigniew Brzezinski from 1977 to 1981 are known to have become members of the Pilgrims Society. That’s it. Of course, both men are deeply tied to the globalist Rockefeller interests, more so than any other historical national security advisor. Kissinger has ran the Bilderberg meetings with David Rockefeller for many decades, among many other endeavors; and Brzezinski founded the Trilateral Commission with David Rockefeller. So when it comes to the Pilgrims, the Rockefellers might be a more important direction to look into than an official government position.
This does not exactly mean that other national security advisors were nobodies. Far from it. From the beginning the position has been limited to Harvard, Yale and Princeton graduates and over time the road to the office of the national security advisor more and more lay through a variety of think tanks, most of them ran by Pilgrims Society members. Like secretaries of state, defense secretaries and CIA directors, national security advisors are solidly part of the establishment and generally grow to be ranking members of the superclass network after their retirement from official government service. All this indicates they keep some of the nation’s biggest secrets.
We can’t say much about national security advisors from the 1980s on, simply because we don’t have the Pilgrims Society membership lists available for cross-referencing. One assumes that Henry Kissinger protege Brent Scowcroft, Colin Powell and George Shultz-protege Condoleezza Rice are past national security advisors with the biggest chance of receiving an invitation to the Pilgrims Society, but nothing is certain, especially not with most national security advisors building their careers in Washington, D.C.’s national security structure.
Readers should never forget though that it’s impossible to become national security advisor without affiliation to (Pilgrims-linked) think tanks and other related establishment groups. Let’s illustrate this by looking at the latest national security advisor as of this writing: Susan Rice.
Susan Rice’s father, Emmett Rice, was the second black governor of the Federal Reserve System and from 1992 until this day her mother, Lois Dickson Rice, has been a scholar at the Brookings Institution. Rice herself received a BA from Stanford on a Truman fellowship, followed by a doctorate in philosophy on an Oxford Rhodes scholarship in 1990. Clinton’s secretary of state Madeleine Albright was a close family friend and a virtual godmother to Rice. This clearly paid off for Rice. She was invited to Clinton’s national security council in 1993 and from 1997 to 2001, at the recommendation of Albright, she served as assistant secretary of state for African affairs.
When Bush came into office, Rice sought refuge in the private enterprise and think tank world. In 2001 and 2002 she was a managing director of IntelliBridge, a firm founded by David Rothkopf, the former Kissinger Associates managing director who introduced the term “superclass” to the world. In the same period she joined the CFR, the Aspen Strategy Group, and the boards of the Atlantic Council and Madeleine Albright’s National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI). In 2002 she also became a scholar at the Brookings Institution, similar to her mother. In 2007 she was a founding director of the Center for New American Security (CNAS), a group filled to the brim with superclass members that have been part of past and future presidential administrations. Madeleine Albright was another founding director of CNAS.
Rice left CNAS and went on leave at the Brookings Institution in 2008 to become a leading foreign policy advisor to then-presential candidate Barack Obama. Once elected president, Obama appointed her ambassador to the United Nations, a position in which she successfully pushed for the overthrow of Gaddafi (with disastrous immigration consequences to the European Union) and secured tough sanctions against Iran and North Korea. Subsequent to that, in July 2013, she was appointed Obama’s national security advisor. She was considered for the position of secretary of state, but this appointment was handed to John Kerry, a person who married into the family of Bilderberg co-founder and Pilgrims Society member H.J. Heinz II.
Of course, through all of this, Rice’s lifelong mentor Madeleine Albright kept chairing the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), a major think tank and pressure group involved in “spreading democracy” to all corners of the world with financing coming from private foundations and the U.S. government. There’s a good chance that Rice will return to the NDI after her time in government once again is over and help groom future top government officials.
As the reader can see, discussing the history of every national security advisor will be a little cumbersome, but it should be clear that just about every national security advisor, defense secretary, or secretary of state has a similar story: they were all groomed by members of the superclass at an early stage in their career, sometimes because of family ties and other times because they went to the right universities and were considered capable proteges. What should also be very clear is that proteges have to be very, very dependable and need to conform to certain rules of either a conservative or liberal establishment. You can’t be a loose cannon that tries to shake things up by asking questions about the Zapruder film showing the John F. Kennedy assassination or why above 2,800 °F / 1,540 °C temperatures were measured underneath the World Trade Center towers. This is going to upset the mentors big time, because they, or the persons they associate with, (should) actually have the answers. Or the mentors carry secrets of their own that they don’t want exposed in a potential chain reaction. Thus a culture of silence and secrecy is maintained at the highest levels of government, while the masses are indoctrinated not to believe in “conspiracy theories”.
The security services play an important role, of course, in maintaining secrecy. Certainly these days they have the ability to spy on everything and everyone, and in any case have to do background checks in order to authorize security clearances, which all high-level National Security Council, Defense Department and State Department personnel need.
With this last segment we finally end up with the security services. Despite the fact that the CIA was founded earlier than the NSA, it might be better to discuss the NSA first, as it is a much shorter story with regard to the Pilgrims.
The immediate precursor of the NSA was the 1949-founded Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA), an agency focused on code breaking that fell under the control of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As usual, the authorities were reluctant to share crucial information with their sister agencies and higher level civilian authorities. Thus, in December 1951, Truman ordered key members of his administration – secretary of state Dean Acheson, defense secretary Robert Lovett and General Walter Bedell Smith – to set up the Brownell Commission in order to figure out a way to remedy these intelligence failures. This study led to the obvious recommendation to create a similar agency as AFSA, but have it fall directly under the control of the civilian authorities. In October 1952 this became the National Security Agency. 
Important to mention here is that Dean Acheson, General Walter Bedell Smith and Brownell Committee head General George A. Brownell, a major New York lawyer, all became members of the Pilgrims Society. In addition, Robert Lovett’s son, Edward, also became a member of the Pilgrims. The elder Lovett is primarily known in alternative circles for his membership in Skull & Bones (and Dean Acheson for Scroll & Key).
Apart from these founding influences on the NSA, the military chiefs of this agency have hardly – if ever – been invited to the Pilgrims Society. They are career Pentagon officials who have little to no business in New York high society or Washington State Department circles.
If we look today at the post-9/11 situation around the NSA, we find that whistleblowers as William Binney and Edward Snowden are backed by the Rockefellers and a number of their closest allies, some of them undoubtedly involved in the Pilgrims Society. It’s an interesting contrast. Back in the 1950s the liberal Eastern Establishment played a key role in establishing the NSA to prevent a power struggle with the (much more hardline and conservative) military and today the most liberal wing of the Eastern Establishment is concerned that primarily neocon influencies tied to the Pentagon and military-industrial complex who had the ear of George W. Bush, have been using the NSA to spy on American citizens, including journalists. Of course, as long as the truth on 9/11 is kept hidden, the War on Terror is allowed to continue, and the liberal establishment is practicing an open-borders policy with regard to the Middle East, it’s unlikely that domestic spying will be curbed any time soon.
One area of investigation that goes beyond the scope of this article without reliable information being available is to what extent the NSA has worked with private industry in implementing some of its semi-legal spy operations – apart from covert requests to media and IT communications to hand over all user data  – and what this might mean for private members of the superclass being aware of these operations. To single out a possibility, the reader can go through ISGP’s combined membership plus biography list for the Pilgrims Society and find numerous directors, chairs and CEOs of AT&T that have controlled the company for over a century. In addition, AT&T’s Bell Labs ran the government’s super-secret Sandia National Laboratories from 1949 to 1993, after which Lockheed Martin took over. One assumes CEOs of corporations like these must at least have a vague idea of what the NSA has been up to, but, as said, without reliable data being available (a number of rumors do exist), there’s nothing to add to the subject here.
Early CIA ties, the “Company” and corporate coups
While the Pilgrims Society doesn’t have particularly strong ties to the intelligence community, it does have somewhat stronger and longer-lasting ties to the CIA as compared to the NSA. In fact, it is possible to describe the founding and early decades of the CIA simply based on Pilgrims Society membership.
Pilgrim Allen Dulles played a major role in the creation of the CIA. He was a major Wall Street power broker who, along with his brother and future Pilgrim and OSS chief David Bruce, was involved in the 1919 Versailles Peace Conference concerning World War I. As still needs to be discussed in this article, through Sullivan & Cromwell, Standard Oil, Brown Brothers Harriman and J. Henry Schroder, Dulles subsequently played an important role in rebuilding what soon became Nazi Germany. It wasn’t until it was far too late, when he and others finally realized that Hitler was as grave a threat to the West as to the Soviet Union, that they began to lobby for U.S. intervention in World War II on the side of the British.
In July 1941, five months before Pearl Harbor, FDR confidant William Donovan asked Dulles to head the newly-established Coordinator of Information (COI) headquarters at Rockefeller Center, one floor above the U.S. headquarters of MI6. The difficult task these two men had was to integrate the intelligence services of the Navy, Army, FBI and State Department to prepare for war with the Nazis. In 1942 the COI was renamed the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which famously carried out successful espionage and sabotage operations during the latter part of World War II. Dulles was sent to head OSS headquarters in neutral Switzerland, where it is rumored in intelligence circles that he helped the Nazis launder and stash their war loot and also became involved with the Knights of Malta. Certainly the COI/OSS positions Allen Dulles was handed are very curious in light of his role as one the chief liaisons between the Nazi establishment and Eastern Establishment. Reportedly FDR and the British were spying on him relentlessly, trying to find solid evidence of his wheeling and dealing.  Incredibly, even Dulles’ son used to say, “My father was Nazi spy” until he received his “anti-paranoia medication”. 
Nevertheless, at the end of the war, Dulles was brought in as a consultant on how to reorganize the OSS into the peace-time Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and subsequently “was asked to chair an early reform study of the organization.”  In 1951-1952 he served as the deputy of CIA director General Walter Bedell Smith, a future Pilgrims Society executive. In 1953 Eisenhower picked Dulles as CIA director, with his brother becoming secretary of state. He held the position until late 1961, when the Kennedys forced him to resign over the Bay of Pigs debacle.
John McCone became Kennedy’s new pick for CIA director in late 1961. Clearly the fact that McCone was a Catholic and Knights of Malta played a major role in his election, as Kennedy himself was a Catholic. One is tempted to suspect that McCone’s appointment is what brought the Sovereign Military Order of Malta into the CIA, but the fact is that various top level career CIA officers also were Knights of Malta or Opus Dei: James Angleton, Ted Shackley, William Colby, William Casey and General Vernon Walters all come to mind. McCone was far from an independent pick of Kennedy, however, which becomes obvious when we realize that Allen Dulles first struck up a friendship with McCone in 1948 during an evening in which both hoped and expected Pilgrims Society member Thomas Dewey to be elected U.S. president. In that period Dulles served as Dewey’s political advisor. Unfortunately for Dulles and McCone, Harry Truman went home with the prize.
Soon after their first meeting, McCone introduced Dulles to his business partner Stephen Bechtel. Subsequently Dulles introduced Bechtel to key members of the Eastern Establishment, most notably the Rockefellers. In 1955 Bechtel became a partner in J.P. Morgan. By that time he and David Rockefeller were working hand in glove with the CIA at the highest level through their close friendship with Allen Dulles, who by then had become head of the CIA. It is Dulles and Rockefeller who provided Bechtel with extremely lucrative contracts in Saudi Arabia to build pipelines, refineries, airports and military bases, a lot of it in partnership with the Bin Laden family, to which it has remained close even in the post-9/11 world. Bechtel also provided logistical support for the CIA coup against Mohammed Mossadeq in Iran in 1953 and the 1965 coup against Indonesia’s Sukarno. As a result of these coups the Shah was installed in Iran and the Suharto in Indonesia, both of them extremely brutal dictators. 
Through their initial contact with Allen Dulles, the Bechtels essentially became the Rockefellers of the West Coast. The Bechtels have been particularly well-known for their prominence in the Bohemian Grove, which has also been visited by Eastern Establishmentarians as the Rockefellers, Morgans, President Dwight Eisenhower and other Pilgrims. Of course, McCone was another Bohemian Grove visitor. We also find the Bechtels in the elite 1001 Club, alongside the Rockefellers, Rothschilds, Prince Bernhard, Prince Philip and other mainly liberal elites.
With these individuals we are basically zooming in on the origins of who runs our modern security state. Pilgrims executive General Walter Bedell Smith and Allen Dulles largely built the CIA and turned it into what soon also became known as “the Company”. One of the reasons why the CIA has been called “the Company” is because it has been protecting U.S. corporate interests around the world. Let’s take a look at some of the most well-known examples and see in addition if we can find additional Pilgrims Society ties:
- In 1953 the CIA and MI6, with the backing of President Eisenhower, British prime minister Winston Churchill and foreign secretary Sir Anthony Eden, overthrew Mohammed Mossadeq in Iran after he nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), today known as BP , a company whose leadership is quite strongly represented in the Pilgrims Society and 1001 Club. At the time, Anglo-Iranian’s general manager, Sir Eric Drake, flew to London to plead for a coup.  Drake eventually rose to chairman of BP and joined both the Pilgrims Society and 1001 Club, where representatives of the Shah of Iran were also invited to. As mentioned, Bechtel – of the 1001 Club – also aided the Iranian coup.
- Soon after leaving the CIA directorship to fellow-Pilgrim Allen Dulles in 1953, General Walter Bedell Smith joined United Fruit, the company through which he supervised the 1954 Guatemalan coup on behalf of the CIA. The Dulles brothers, John J. McCloy, a Rockefeller man and fellow-Pilgrim; the Lodge family of the Pilgrims; and other local Louisiana elites were all involved in United Fruit. In case of the Dulles brothers, their law firm Sullivan & Cromwell had written the statutes of United Fruit. The others were board members. 
- In 1960 President Eisenhower authorized CIA director and fellow-Pilgrim Allen Dulles to help the Belgian colonialist establishment in killing Patrice Lumumba, the nationalist president of Zaire / The Congo.  In the wake of Lumumba’s death, the brutal anti-communist dictator Mobutu Sese Seko rose to power. Subsequently Mobutu was invited to join the elite 1001 Club, together with the Rockefellers, Rothschilds, Bechtels and members of the Belgian establishment.
- In 1964 LBJ authorized the overthrow of Joao Goulart in Brazil, a directive carried out by CIA director John McCone – the old Bechtel partner – who had plotted the coup in advance with the ITT Corporation.  Soon after, McCone joined ITT, headed by his friend Harold Geneen. Coincidentally, a key player in the Brazilian coup, Paulo Ayres Filho, found his way to the international advisory board of the Bechtel-dominated Stanford Research Institute. At the time of the coup Ayres also was an “intimate” of leading Pilgrim David Rockefeller.  In contrast to AT&T, the board of ITT was not particularly tied to the Pilgrims Society it appears.
- In April 1965 John McCone was replaced as CIA director by Richard Helms, whose younger brother and grandfather, a major Rockefeller banker, were Pilgrims. Later that year the CIA, Bechtel, the Rockefellers, Freeport Minerals, Dutch colonialist and Indonesian elements – who soon coincidentally all gathered in the 1001 Club – organized a conspiracy that removed Sukarno of Indonesia from power and replaced him with the brutal General Suharto. After rising to power, Suharto immediately implemented an enormous genocide against suspected communists and other leftists. The shift in power away from the Kennedy-supported nationalist Sukarno, also resulted in Bechtel and Freeport being able to explore the huge Ertsberg and Grasberg mines, which contained enormous amounts of copper, iron, silver and gold.
It’s important to note here that Freeport was owned and ran by two Pilgrims Society members: Langbourne Williams and John Hay Whitney, both known CIA assets. In addition, Williams was a member of the elite President’s Intelligence Advisory Board while Whitney, in the early 1950s, served on the Psychological Strategy Board. Both groups played an important role in overseeing CIA covert operations. A number of other Pilgrims were also involved in Freeport, as was Godfrey Stillman Rockefeller, a director from 1931 to 1980 whose son joined the 1001 Club. 
- After John McCone’s CIA term came to an end in April 1965, he joined the board of ITT where he helped CEO Harold Geneen and CIA director Richard Helms foment a coup in Chile in 1973, by General Pinochet. This time the coup had been authorized by President Nixon, who earlier served as Eisenhower’s vice president. Another company deeply involved in the push for the Chilean coup was Anaconda Copper, whose top chiefs at the time – Charles M. Brinckerhoff, John B. M. Place and Clyde E. Weed – all belonged to the Pilgrims Society. In addition, at the time of the coup, Place was just in the process of stepping down as vice chairman of the Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank, where he had climbed the ranks for 25 years. Brinckerhoff and Weed actually represented a number of mining corporations active in Chile, with Brinckerhoff also serving as “mining advisor” to the Shah of Iran. A few other senior officers of Anaconda Copper have belonged to the Pilgrims, most notably Percy Avery Rockefeller, who died back in 1934.
Just as important, the primary lobby group for CIA intervention in Chile was the David Rockefeller-founded Council of the Americas (Americas Society), on whose executive board Harold Geneen sat at the time. In fact, David Rockefeller headed the lobbying committee.  As discussed in a chapter of ISGP’s “liberal CIA” article, in 1970, David Rockefeller also brought the owner of Chile’s dominant newspaper, El Mercurio, into the fold of the CIA and Henry Kissinger’s 40 Committee. At a later stage, the Rockefeller “Chicago boys” under Milton Friedman introduced neoliberal “shock therapy” to Chile under Pinochet.
To make David Rockefeller’s dedication to human rights in his younger days just a little clearer, when the Shah of Iran was overthrown in 1979, President Jimmy Carter had no intention of providing the dictator with asylum in the United States, even if only for surgery. Carter only caved in after a campaign headed by David Rockefeller, with support of other Pilgrims as Henry Kissinger and Senator Claiborne Pell, portraying the Shah as a long-time ally of the United States.  The same Rockefeller clique had also been able to temporarily dump the Shah in the Bahamas at Resorts International, a gambling and tourism resort.  The Rockefeller clique claimed the decision for the resort was not their idea, but the fact remains that the chairman of Resorts International, James Crosby, was close to Nixon and Pilgrims Allen Dulles – the former CIA director – and Thomas Dewey. The resort was said to have had ties to Meyer Lansky’s crime syndicate as well. Crosby also was chairman of Intertel, making him an even easier-to-spot CIA asset. Intertel was the primary security contractor of the Howard Hughes Corporation , the CIA’s largest defense-related contractor in the 1960s and 1970s.  It seems clear that some elite Rockefeller networking was going on with regard to finding a new home for the Shah – and that this network extended to the CIA.
What should always be remembered is that while the Shah may have been an ally of the elite, he ran a vicious secret policy and extensive torture operation to keep his country under control. 
- In ISGP’s article A History of CIA Drug Trafficking we also find examples, including proper sources, that Nixon, Kissinger and Helms conspired to aid the overthrow of a socialist president in Bolivia in 1971, in the same period that Allende was removed in Chile. Bolivia’s new dictator, General Hugo Banzer, stood at the base of the rise of South America’s cocaine cartels in the mid-1970s by greatly expanding Bolivia’s coca plantations. Two of his top aides in this effort include notorious CIA assets Klaus Barbie and Stefano Della Chiaie.
In the same article we find plenty of evidence that all presidents, except Kennedy and Carter, pretty much allowed the CIA to do whatever it pleased. For Latin America this meant numerous military dictatorships being installed that repressed leftist elements and prevented any nationalizations or loss in profits of U.S. corporations.
Many additional coups have been fomented around the world by the CIA with the aid of corporate interests or at the very least to protect these interests. In most cases not enough information is available to even attempt to describe them, but the examples mentioned here clearly reveal the core group of conspirators that formed “the Company” in the early days. Before we summarize that core group, we first need to discuss a number of individuals in more detail.
Richard Helms, the CIA director after McCone from 1965 to 1973, is one of these persons who deserves much more attention. As mentioned earlier, Helms’ grandfather and older brother were members of the Pilgrims Society. Helms’ grandfather, Gates White McGarrah, was a very influential pre-World War II banker. Apart from being a Pilgrims Society executive, McGarrah was chairman and CEO of the Rockefeller’s Chase National Bank in 1926 and 1927, followed by a position as chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Bank from 1927 to 1930. Subsequently, from 1930 to 1933, McGarrah was the first president of the Bank of International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. Before this last appointment, he had already served on the general council of the German Reichsbank from 1924 to 1927, dealing with reparations for World War I. Apart from aiding the rearmament of Nazi Germany, McGarrah was also involved alongside the Morgans in financing the fascist regime of Mussolini (to be discussed later). He died in 1940, right when World War II started.
There’s less to say about Richard Helms’ younger brother, Pilgrims Society member Gates McGarrah. He was a vice president of Bowne & Company, the largest and oldest financial printing firm in New York (it was founded in 1775). That appears to be it. It seems obvious that Richard Helms, despite being a more elevated individual than his brother, wasn’t a member of the Pilgrims because he worked in Washington, D.C. throughout his CIA career, instead of New York. Despite that, Helms most certainly remained close friends with the leaders of the Eastern Establishment throughout his life. For example, when Henry Kissinger threw his birthday party in 1983, Peter Peterson, David Rockefeller, George Shultz, the widows of LBJ and Nelson Rockefeller, Helmut Schmidt and Jihan Sadat were all present.  To this day Kissinger, Peterson, Shultz and the Rockefellers are leading members of the Pilgrims Society, a group Helms is also close to. While Shultz was president of Bechtel in the 1975-1982 period (and director 1989-2006 after his term as Reagan’s secretary of state), Helms was hired by the CIA-tied company as a Middle East “consultant”.  Vice president of Bechtel in this period was future Pilgrims executive Caspar Weinberger, who happened to become Reagan’s secretary of defense. Later on, in 2002, Henry Kissinger wrote the foreword of Richard Helms’ biography A Look Over My Shoulder, in which Helms basically revealed nothing of importance with regard to the JFK assassination, CIA drug trafficking, or MKULTRA, all projects he’s considered a chief suspect in.
As the reader can see, there were extremely close ties between Helms and the leaders of the Eastern Establishment. Therefore Helms’ appointment as CIA director can be interpreted as a continued Wall Street domination of the Agency. The first clear example of this influence was OSS founder and Wall Street lawyer William Donovan. While not a member of the Pilgrims Society, in 2002 the William J. Donovan Foundation merged into the Pilgrims Foundation. Looking at the board at the time, we not only spot leading Pilgrims Society members, but also individuals as the daughter of former CIA director William Casey, CIA special operations veteran General John Singlaub, and Prince Michel de Bourbon, a notorious Cold War arms dealer for Opus Dei.
Going back to the early days, we find Pilgrims Society members General Walter Bedell Smith and Allen Dulles, who headed the CIA in the 1951-1962 period – apart from the fact that Dulles, as a Donovan recruit, helped set up the CIA. This is followed by John McCone, a very close “Western Establishment” friend of Allen Dulles, the Rockefellers and the Bechtels, who headed the CIA from 1962 to 1965. Subsequently Richard Helms, with close family in the Pilgrims Society, is appointed head of the CIA. This means that certainly from Bedell Smith’s appointment in 1951 to Helms’ retirement in 1973, the CIA essentially was working hand-in-glove with America’s leading corporate interests. We’re not just talking about an ideological anti-communist and pro-capitalist alliance. We’re talking about close personal relationships and members of the Eastern Establishment setting up and directly running the CIA.
While the Pilgrims connection, and even the Wall Street one, to the CIA directorship gets a little fuzzy after Helms, the Eastern Establishment connection always continued. The clearest example is George H. W. Bush in the January 1976 to January 1977 period. Appointed under Gerald Ford, Bush left as CIA head when the rather left-wing Jimmy Carter came into office. It has been reported that Bush was a Pilgrim in the 1990s, but this seems to be a honorary mentioning as president of the United States. Despite that, the New York banking history of the Bush clan through Pilgrims-dominated banks as Brown Brothers Harriman, Dillon, Read & Co. and the Union Banking Corporation is well-known, as well as the family’s close ties to Yale and Skull & Bones.
Another interesting example is William Casey, the CIA director from 1981 to 1987 under President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H. W. Bush. It is generally suspected in conspiracy circles that Bush, Casey and a number of other CIA veterans got together to undermine the presidency of Jimmy Carter, whose old friend, Admiral Stansfield Turner, fired some of the closest friends of the Bush-Helms clique during his term as CIA director from 1977 to 1981, most notably Ted Shackley and his “secret team”. Like Bush, there are hints that Casey always kept working for the CIA after he resigned as the European chief of the OSS after 1945. Apart from that, Casey is strongly linked to the Pilgrims Society as a rumored asset and later business partner of CIA director Allen Dulles and his decades-long partners in Capital Cities Communications (Cap Cities): suspected fellow-spooks Lowell Thomas, Alger Chapman and Thomas Dewey. This closely-knit network of Pilgrims- (except Casey) and apparent CIA-assets played an important role in politics and reportedly maintained ties with the mafia. In February 1987 L.A. Weekly magazine raised some of these questions about Cap Cities and more:
|“At issue in the ABC situation in particular is an extraordinary story overlooked by most of the press and never taken up by congressional investigators: Who actually took over ABC when Capital Cities Communications bought it in March 1985? … The CIA challenged ABC’s right to retain its broadcasting licenses just before Cap Cities bought out the company and during the period it was negotiating for the purchase. This attack had the result of driving down the price of ABC stock on the public market. In the Iran-Contragate aftermath, with some of the manipulations this administration and William Casey are wont to engage in becoming known, the Cap Cities-ABC deal and Casey’s possible role in it have to be considered high on the curiosity list of unexplored events of the last couple of years. For with the Cap Cities takeover, one of the three primary influences on America’s public consciousness was delivered into the hands of a company that may well have its own agenda. …|
“NBC is the most obvious case of just such a potentially political takeover. Until last year, NBC was owned by [Pilgrims-linked] RCA, whose other interests included consumer electronics, a record label, broadcast equipment and a fair amount of military electronics. Then RCA was acquired by [the very strongly Pilgrims-linked] General Electric (GE), an even larger defense contractor. The new GE, containing RCA, is one of the largest, if not the largest, military suppliers in the world. This led Ted Turner [a close friend of superclass members David Rockefeller, Maurice Strong, etc.] to deplore the acquisition because he felt NBC News would have a vested interest in perpetuating the arms race. Turner’s Cable News Network, of course, competes with NBC News. However, Turner donates much of his time, his money and his cable “superstation’s” prime time to agitating against nuclear escalation.” 
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It has been confirmed to ISGP by the Pilgrims Society secretary that James Woolsey, the CIA director from 1993 to 1995, has given a speech to the Pilgrims on at least one occasion. Despite being the most influential neocon on the planet, bigger even than Richard Perle ever was, Woolsey has a solid Eastern Establishment background as well. And one can argue that most likely he was already recruited by the CIA by the time he became the founder and president of Yale Citizens for Eugene McCarthy for President in 1967 and 1968.
This Eastern Establishment background goes for every CIA director, William Webster (1987-1991) being about the only exception (he was appointed under the conservative Reagan, who also had a strong support base among anti-Eastern Establishment John Birchers). Just to provide a more complete discussion of the CIA here, here are the biographies of the remaining CIA directors:
Feb. 1973 – Jul. 1973
|BA, MA and Ph.D. from Pilgrims-dominated Harvard. At the Rand Corporation 1963-1969, a West Coast think tank with some historical Eastern Establishment ties through the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and about 10-15 percent of its trustees.  However, also many conservatives/neocons as Albert Wohlstetter, Richard Perle and Schlesinger could be found at Rand. At Rand Schlesinger became known and notorious for suggesting nuclear war strategies that would potentially make these wars winnable without the mass targeting of cities.|
Assistant director of the Bureau of the Budget (Office of Management and Budget (OMB)) 1969-1971. In part this was under future Pilgrim George Shultz, who was OMB director from July 1970 to June 1971, followed up by future Pilgrims executive Caspar Weinberger. In March 1971, Shultz and Schlesinger communicated an intelligence reform study to Nixon’s national security advisor and future Pilgrim Henry Kissinger. This suggestion went through deputy national security advisor and future Pilgrims executive Alexander Haig, who wrote to Kissinger:”I agree with you that Jim Schlesinger might be an ideal person to work directly for the President and you in implementing this package. … It is likely that you will have the PFIAB against you, the military, the entire Intelligence Community and a full array of Congressional opponents.” In February 1973 Nixon appointed Schlesinger CIA director and instructed him:”The CIA, like the State Department, is basically a liberal establishment bureaucracy. I want the personnel there cut … at least by 35 to 40 percent and I want a definite improvement in so far as attitudes of those in CIA with regard to our foreign policy. There are some very good men there, but the great majority are the old Georgetown crowd.” Schlesinger and Nixon were of the (correct) opinion that the CIA was massively underestimating the Soviet defense budget and that the Agency was rife with waste due to an old boys network of mainly covert operators. In his 17 weeks as CIA director, Schlesinger fired about 500 CIA analysts and 1,000 covert operatives. He ordered all senior CIA officers to inform him on every CIA operation ever devised, especially those that fell out of the Agency’s charter, culminating in the so-called CIA “Family Jewels”. After receiving death threats, he added armed guards to his detail.
Sep. 1973 – Jan. 1976
|In July 1973 Nixon made Schlesinger secretary of defense, leaving his chief assistant William Colby to become the new CIA director. Colby had earlier been one of two recommendations by Helms to Nixon as his successor.  In contrast to Helms, Colby was considered by Nixon and Schlesinger as being reliable enough to go along with the administration’s agenda and not make too many waves.By the time Colby was appointed the official head of the CIA, Nixon had stepped down as president, with vice president Gerald Ford taking over until the new elections of 1976. Ford, who earlier helped cover up the JFK assassination as a member of the Warren Commission, along with Pilgrims John McCloy and Allen Dulles, appointed their mutual friend and Pilgrim Nelson Rockefeller as his vice president.After a December 21, 1974 expose in the Pilgrims-dominated New York Times by Seymour Hersh about past illegal CIA experiments and domestic operations , Ford sets up the so-called Rockefeller Commission, headed by his new vice president. Rockefeller and Ford are instrumental in keeping crucial documents out of the hands of the subsequent Church Committee in Senate and the Pike Committee in Congress, which not only investigate illegal domestic CIA, FBI and NSA activities such as the undermining of anti-war movements (MHCHAOS) and Watergate, but also CIA activities as coups, assassinations, the Project Phoenix death squads, mind control programs (MKULTRA), Mockingbird (CIA domestic media infiltration) and the John F. Kennedy assassination. The latter becomes a huge public controversy with the first public showing of the Zapruder film. In September 1976 the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) is set up specifically to look into the deaths of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King.Colby’s term as CIA director from September 1973 to January 1976 was one of the most impossible periods ever to be holding this position. Congressional investigations, new media exposes and public criticism involving the CIA were constant.Helms and his supporters never forgave Colby for caving in to pressure that led to a conviction for perjury of Helms about having lied to Congress in 1973 about the CIA’s role in the overthrow of Salvador Allede in Chile.  Another (seemingly somewhat reluctant) admission from Colby led to the exposure that from 1969 to 1976 Kissinger was chairman of the 40 Committee , an unacknowledged government body that controlled CIA coups and other sensitive special operations.  Both Kissinger and his mentor Nelson Rockefeller had experience with earlier incarnations of this “Special Group”. More on that later.Of course, a key question of this section is: was Colby Eastern Establishment? It appears so, because Colby received his Ph.D. from Princeton University, one of three key Pilgrims Society universities, Harvard and Yale being the other two. And he was a protege of Helms.Turns out, Colby’s son, Jonathan; and grandson, Elbridge, became “made” members of the establishment. Both appeared in Pilgrims Society membership lists of later decades, Jonathan in the early 1990s and Elbridge in the 2010s. Looking at the bio of Jonathan in particular one wonders how deep the feud of Colby with Kissinger and Helms really went. During the Nixon administration (1969-1974) Jonathan actually worked as a National Security Council staffer for Henry Kissinger. Talk about keeping the secrets indoors. In later decades, Jonathan worked for Coudert Brothers, a law firm named after a major Pilgrims family; then as a general partner of the super-elite Blackstone Group of Pilgrims Peter Petersen and Sir Henry Grierson. Blackstone maintains a “strategic alliance” with Kissinger Associates and held the lease on WTC 7. Since 1998 Jonathan has been working as a managing director of the Carlyle Group, at that point still ran by top CIA veterans Frank Carlucci and George H. W. Bush. At the same time Jonathan has been involved in various elite think tanks, including the CFR, IISS, Carnegie Council and IISS. In other words, he has been operating as close to the inner core of the David Rockefeller clique as possible.Colby’s grandson has been involved in the IISS, the Rand Corporation and countless sensitive intelligence and DOD assignments. Bizarrely, in 2011 he and Jonathan ended up in a public dispute with another son of William Colby, Carl, about a documentary the latter produced in which he put his father away as a mass murderer (Phoenix Program) who eventually, in 1996, committed suicide. In the documentary Kissinger protege Brent Scowcroft calls Colby a “tortured soul”, adding weight to the suicide theory. In the Washington Post Jonathan and Elbridge countered that William Colby wasn’t that bad of an individual and also that his death was an accident. What is strange here is that Jonathan and Elbridge happily mentioned all the anomalies associated with Colby’s death – pointing to a potential assassination – without providing a clear explanation for them.|
|George H. W. Bush|
Jan. 1976 – Jan. 1977
|Bush has already been mentioned. The New York banking history of the Bush clan through Pilgrims-dominated banks as Brown Brothers Harriman, Dillon, Read & Co. and the Union Banking Corporation is well-known, as well as the family’s close ties to Yale and Skull & Bones. However, the key family member here, Prescott Bush, apparently never was a member of the Pilgrims Society, despite the fact that many of his friends in banking were.At the CIA Bush was a reliable “old boy” of the Helms faction, while Carter was strongly opposed to U.S. support of death squads and military dictators around the world. Bush provided Carter with three hours-long intelligence briefings when the latter was a presidential candidate and then the president-elect.  Carter replaced Bush as CIA director as soon as he came into office.|
|Adm. Stansfield Turner|
March 1977 – January 1981
|For the CIA directorship Carter picked an old Naval Academy classmate of his, Admiral Stansfield Turner.  While Carter was groomed by the Trilateral Commission of David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski , Turner graduated from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Thus both men clearly had an Eastern Establishment background. In later decades Carter became a major member of the NGO superclass network. Turner, on the other hand, largely faded into obscurity.When Carter appointed Turner the director of Central Intelligence, public skepticism of the CIA still was at an all-time high. It wasn’t until 1978, for example, that the House Select Committee on Assassination (HSCA) published its finding on potential CIA involvement in the death of John F. Kennedy.In recent years even Turner made his establishment background clear during an interview with Ali G., who asked him if there had been a conspiracy with the death of John F. Kennedy. Turner answered: “My understanding of Oliver Stone’s movie JFK is that there was a conspiracy of one of my predecessors and the whole captain of the United States to murder the president of the United States and it’s absolutely nonsense.”|
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As should be clear from the previous section in particular, there’s little evidence that the CIA ever went “rogue”. In fact, the “rogue CIA” idea is a myth that has been purposely perpetuated to shield the president in particular from any wrongdoing when it comes to controversial operations. Throughout the decades presidents, national security advisors and often also secretaries of state have authorized just about every major CIA operation ever devised. This most certainly includes pro-big business coups that brought “anti-communist” dictators and drug-dealing death squad leaders to power. These operations have been documented reasonably well over the years by various parliamentary investigations, such as the Church Committee into CIA abuses, the Hamilton and Inouye-led committees into Iran Contra and the closely-related Kerry Committee looking into Contra drug trafficking. A present-day, liberal elite-backed NGO as the National Security Archive has continued the work of these committees by filing FOIA requests and writing additional reports.
The only Cold War presidents who really did their best to not authorize such operations that involved replacing moderate governments with violent dictators and death squads have been John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter, although both continually were under significant pressure by top cabinet members, advisors, and Eastern Establishment and Christian conservative pressure groups to sail more hardline routes. Kennedy was by far the most stubborn in this sense.
We could go into the so-called “Special Groups”. Successively known as the 5412/2 Special Group (1954-1963), the 303 Committee (1963-1969), the 40 Committee (1969-1976), the Operations Advisory Group (1976-1977), the NSC Special Coordination Committee (1977-1981) and the National Security Planning Group (1981-), they provide us with additional evidence that the CIA director does not implement his own major covert operations all by himself. The national security advisor always acted as chairman of the Special Group, with members generally involving the CIA director, the deputy secretary of defense, the deputy secretary of state, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the director of the United States Information Agency and sometimes one or two close advisors of the president.
The fact that the president himself, or even the secretary of state and secretary of defense generally were not directly involved in the Special Group tells one that the Special Group never was the highest decision-making body. The highest decision-making is done by those individuals who have the president’s ear, which varies per administration and can include the national security advisor, the secretary of state, the defense secretary, the CIA director, or maybe sometimes even the vice president. That’s also why certainly during the Nixon-Kissinger-Helms era, immediately before the congressional investigations, all other 40 Committee members were kept out of the loop on the most sensitive operations.
Pilgrims domination of the Democrat vs. Republican system?
It’s time to start putting things together. In the previous section we looked at the correlation between Pilgrims Society members and various specific top government positions, namely the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, the national security advisor and the CIA director. In this section we look at all Democrat and Republican administrations of the Cold War. We not only pay attention to Pilgrims Society membership, but also to the big interest, most notably the Rockefeller family.
While ISGP has done this in the introduction article to this website, there’s little point here in analyzing post-Cold War administrations, because the last complete Pilgrims Society membership list ISGP has been able to acquire dates to 1980. This oversight might be updated as newer lists will become available in the future.
|Name||Administration||State/defense secretary, DCI, etc.|
|Dean Acheson||Truman (D)||Pilgrims. Secretary of state. Son was S&B. Daughter married elite CIA analyst and NSC liaison William Bundy in 1943, who became a lifelong close friend of David Rockefeller in 1953.|
|David K. E. Bruce||Truman (D)||Pilgrims vice president. Deputy secretary of state. Authorized a later aborted Guatemalan coup to Bedell Smith.|
|Walter Bedell Smith||Truman (D)||Pilgrims executive. CIA director. With the Dulles brothers involved in United Fruit and a Guatemalan coup plotter.|
|Nelson Rockefeller||Truman (D)||Pilgrims. Chair International Development Advisory Board, tasked with overseeing U.S. foreign aid. Top CIA asset with Whitney.|
|Averell Harriman||Truman (D)||Pilgrims. Special adviser on foreign affairs. Head Mutual Security Agency and founder Psychological Strategy Board (PSB) that helped oversee CIA operations. Member of a key New York railroad and banking family.|
|John H. Whitney||Truman (D)||Pilgrims vice president. At the PSB he helped oversee CIA operations. Close friend of Nelson Rockefeller and deeply involved in CIA corporate-inspired coups.|
|Henry Kissinger||Truman (D)||Pilgrims vice president. Consultant to the PSB. In this period first grew close to CIA director Allen Dulles and the Rockefeller brothers.|
|Dwight Eisenhower||Eisenhower (R)||Pilgrims executive before U.S. presidency. Campaign co-funded by Rockefeller funds.|
|John Foster Dulles||Eisenhower (R)||Pilgrims. Secretary of state. Grew up with the Rockefellers.|
|Thomas Gates||Eisenhower (R)||Pilgrims. Defense secretary. Ford and Bechtel friend. Morgan bank.|
|Nelson Rockefeller||Eisenhower (R)||Pilgrims. Foreign policy and psychological warfare assistant to Eisenhower. Vice chair Operations Coordinating Board (OCB) and chair Planning Coordination Group, which helped oversee CIA operations. Key CIA asset.|
|Allen Dulles||Eisenhower (R)||Pilgrims. CIA chief. Grew up with the Rockefellers.|
|Allen Dulles||Kennedy (D)||Ibid.|
|John McCone||Kennedy/LBJ (D)||Founder Bechtel-McCone. Met Allen Dulles in 1947. CIA director. Knight of Malta.|
|Dean Rusk||Kennedy/LBJ (D)||Pilgrims. Secretary of state. President Rockefeller Foundation.|
|Robert McNamara||Kennedy/LBJ (D)||Pilgrims. Defense secretary. Ford Foundation and Rockefeller ally.|
|George Ball||Kennedy/LBJ (D)||Pilgrims. Undersecretary of state. Close Rockefeller associate.|
|Lyndon Johnson||LBJ (D)||Tried to convince his close friend Nelson Rockefeller to run for president against Nixon.|
|Richard Helms||LBJ (D)||Pilgrims family. CIA chief. Rockefeller friend.|
|Richard Helms||Nixon (R)||Ibid.|
|Henry Kissinger||Nixon/Ford (R)||Pilgrims. National security advisor and secretary of state. Chairman 40 Committee, which helped oversee CIA operations. Close Rockefeller friend and paid Nelson Rockefeller advisor. High up in ISGP’s Superclass Index.|
|Nelson Rockefeller||Ford (R)||Pilgrims. Vice president under Ford.|
|Jimmy Carter||Carter (D)||President. Groomed by Rockefeller’s Trilateral group.|
|Zbigniew Brzezinski||Carter (D)||Pilgrims. National security advisor. Set up the Trilateral Commission with David Rockefeller, a life-long associate. High up in ISGP’s Superclass Index.|
|Cyrus Vance||Carter (D)||Pilgrims. Secretary of state. Less hawkish than Brzezinski, but still chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation. High up in ISGP’s Superclass Index.|
|George Shultz||Reagan (R)||Pilgrims. Secretary of state. Key Bechtel and Rockefeller employee. High up in ISGP’s Superclass Index.|
|Casper Weinberger||Reagan (R)||Pilgrims. Defense secretary. At Bechtel under Shultz. High up in ISGP’s Superclass Index.|
|John Whitehead||Reagan (R)||Pilgrims. Undersecretary of state. Very close Rockefeller friend. High up in ISGP’s Superclass Index.|
|Lawrence Eagleburger||Bush 41 (R)||Secretary of state. President Kissinger Associates 1984-1989. High up in ISGP’s Superclass Index.|
|Brent Scowcroft||Bush 41 (R)||National security advisor. Founding vice chairman Kissinger Associates in 1982. High up in ISGP’s Superclass Index.|
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It should be quite obvious at this point that the Rockefeller group and their primary protege, Henry Kissinger, together with a little help from George Shultz and Bechtel, have dominated U.S. politics from Eisenhower to to George H. W. Bush.
The Reagan administration possibly stands out the most, because it was considered ultraconservative and ultrahawkish, the complete contrast of Jimmy Carter, a first-rate Trilateral Commission and Rockefeller protege (albeit most definitely to the left once in office). Yet, almost all key Reagan appointments had elite Rockefeller ties as well, either directly or otherwise slightly more indirectly through Bechtel and the Pilgrims Society. We also shouldn’t forget that Reagan’s CIA director William Casey was about the only long-time Cap Cities partner who hadn’t joined the Pilgrims Society.
The Cold War Rockefeller CIA network
Whenever we study the most sensitive covert operations of the 20th and early 21st century, what we bump into again and again is that the real decision-makers within any administration are the individuals with the deepest connections to banking and big business, as well as to the NGO world of elite think tanks, private conferences, and billion dollar foundations. Can there be any doubt that certainly during the Cold War, the most influential government officials all had close Rockefeller ties? No, there can’t be, not after the previous chapter. In it we find indisputable evidence of Rockefeller domination of the Cold War Democrat versus Republican voting system.
“Rockefeller domination”, of course, is a reference to the Rockefeller family and their network of closest friends and associates, most notably the Dulles brothers, John McCone, the Bechtels, later Bechtel employees as George Shultz and Caspar Weinberger; Richard Helms, Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski – all individuals who have been mentioned or discussed already to an extent, primarily in the chapter Early CIA ties, the “Company” and corporate coups. We should recap these ties and even dig a little deeper, because especially with regard to the Rockefeller family, the CIA ties discussed until this point have been somewhat informal and indirect. We’re about to change that.
Of course, the Rockefeller history goes back to the late 19th century, but for practical reasons here we’ll primarily be discussing the Cold War era, the period that coincided with the blooming of the “Rockefeller Five”, the five sons of Pilgrims Society member John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (1874-1960). The most important of these sons to discuss here in relation to the CIA and covert operations are Nelson, David and Laurance Rockefeller – the first two certainly belonging to the Pilgrims Society.
The oldest of the three Rockefeller brothers singled out here, Nelson, born in 1908, maintained very interesting and very elite intelligence ties that go back to even before World War II. Even anno 2017, this hyper-obscure detail only appears in a 1987 biography on Sir Stewart Menzies, the SIS/MI6 chief from 1939 until 1952. In existence in New York City in the 1930s was an elite club called “The Room”, whose members “believed that an Anglo-American understanding was fundamental to the containment and perhaps the liquidation of bolshevism.” Pilgrims Society member Vincent Astor (full family bloodline here), a neighbor and private spymaster of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt , is the one who largely initiated the founding of this group. Members included fellow-Pilgrims Society members Nelson Rockefeller, Winthrop Aldrich and soon-to-be London OSS chief David Bruce; as well as non-Pilgrims Kermit Roosevelt, a future big oil coup plotter for the CIA; OSS founder William Donovan; and a number of other establishmentarians. Sir William Wiseman, a former British SIS/MI6 chief in New York who had joined the Kuhn, Loeb banking house as a partner, served as the primary liaison of this group with with British intelligence in the run up to and during World War II. As far as the information goes, this club, which “essentially [acted as] a private intelligence service that worked in collaboration with the British secret service”, went over into the equally secretive Walrus Club by the late 1930s or early 1940s. 
While little detail is known, this information clearly reveals that names as Astor and Rockefeller were intimately involved in Anglo-American intelligence operations at the highest level since even before the OSS and CIA were founded.
Post-World War II, under President Harry Truman, Nelson Rockefeller set up and ran the foreign aid programs, which he advocated should be used as a tool for political manipulation by the U.S. government. When President Dwight Eisenhower came along in 1953, Nelson was instrumental in reorganizing the Department of Defense and the Office of Defense Mobilization and also in creating the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW). Then, while serving as Eisenhower’s advisor on foreign affairs and psychological warfare in 1954 and 1955, he was vice chairman of the Operations Coordinating Board (OCB) and chairman of the (short-lived) Planning Coordination Group, both involved in overseeing and coordinating presidentially-approved covert operations.  By this time the CIA had started up the MKULTRA mind control programs, with Rockefeller reportedly fully aware that the CIA was using the HEW’s National Institute of Mental Health as a front to conduct some of these covert programs. 
Nelson Rockefeller’s worldly connections and somewhat unorthodox wheeling and dealing at the highest levels of government eventually made him Gerald Ford’s vice president, but on more than a few occasions he drew the ire of presidents and chief cabinet members. These include FDR’s secretary of state Cordell Hull  and even Eisenhower’s secretary of state John Foster Dulles.  As Ford’s vice president, Rockefeller also caused plenty of trouble, in particular for ordinary Ford administration staffers and its chief of staff Dick Cheney. 
Another very prominent political position of Nelson, apart from the vice presidency, was that of governor of New York state in the 1959-1971 period, which he managed to get elected to by beating fellow-Pilgrims Society member Averell Harriman. Nelson’s good friend LBJ tried to convince the New York governor to run for president in the 1968 elections against candidates as Richard Nixon and Robert Kennedy, thinking he stood a better chance than LBJ’s vice president Hubert Humphrey at winning. Rockefeller declined, Kennedy was assassinated, and eventually Nixon beat Humphrey by a hair.  Rockefeller influence on foreign policy remained extremely strong though in the otherwise conservative Nixon administration through Nelson’s close friend Henry Kissinger.
Meanwhile, in the shadows, Nelson’s younger brother, David Rockefeller, another close friend of LBJ and Kissinger, kept building a global network of economic and political think tanks, among them Bilderberg and the Americas Society. At least some of this work was accomplished in coordination with the CIA. Take Joseph Retinger, the official primary founder of Bilderberg in 1954. Previously, in 1948, he and Winston Churchill set up the European Movement with the very similar purpose of uniting the European continent against the Soviet Union. From the very beginning the European Movement was financed by the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and CIA, mainly through an outfit called the American Committee on United Europe (ACUE).  As it so happens, the ACUE was founded and stacked by a board consisting of CIA directors, establishment CIA assets and employees and close personal friends of the Rockefellers. One of them, John McCloy, also served as trustee and later chairman of the Ford Foundation.  When Retinger founded Bilderberg, he first called on the support of this exact same group of men.  He had been doing so since at least 1946, when he set up his European League for Economic Cooperation (ELEC); Pilgrims as J.P. Morgan partner Russell Leffingwell, Nelson and David Rockefeller, Alfred Sloan and George Franklin all approved of it beforehand. So did Sir William Wiseman , largely bringing us back to the pre-World War II Anglo-American intelligence network of “The Room” and the Walrus Club. Parallel to this, this very same network of individuals set up domestic groups for the CIA to work through, the most notable example probably being the Crusade for Freedom , which would later serve as one of many “superclass CIA” links to the JFK assassination.
Now that we’re dabbling in the slightly less legitimate aspects of the “superclass CIA”, in a previous chapter it was already discussed that on occasion David Rockefeller and friends would lobby the U.S. government for an invasion (Vietnam) or the overthrow of an emerging Third World democracy (Chile). This type of activity makes all the sense in the world when we consider the words of high-level CIA official and reported Richard Helms friend Thomas Braden , who explained that David’s ties to the CIA were “much, much, much closer” than Nelson’s:
|“[David Rockefeller] was a friend and confidant of Allen Dulles, and in some instances furnished a [CIA] front [group] … I remember briefing him, in great detail, about the work of the division that I headed in the CIA. Allen asked me to brief him, and I gave him a full briefing, so that he knew everything that I was doing. And I think he did it with the other division chiefs, too. He was close to intelligence work — much, much, much closer than Nelson was.” |
One of these other division chiefs alluded to by Braden undoubtedly was David’s close friend William Bundy, an elite high-level CIA analyst who was married to a daughter of Truman’s secretary of state Dean Acheson (Pilgrims). Bundy and Rockefeller met each other at a party in 1953 organized by Charles Cremeans, another high-level CIA officer who already was a friend of Rockefeller. 
In relation to ISGP’s writings on “liberal CIA“, it is interesting to note that Bundy’s brother, McGeorge Bundy, was national security advisor from 1961 to 1966, after which, from 1966 to 1979, he presided over the “new left” Ford Foundation. While national security advisor, Bundy arranged a deal that CIA-financing of Africa-America Institute (AAI) would be fully taken over by Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation and USAID. At that point the president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund had been serving as chairman of the AAI for some time. 
In the same period, in 1963, one of Bundy’s aides, Marcus Raskin, together with John McCloy (a Pilgrim who chaired the Rockefeller Foundation and Ford Foundation) at the State Department, “dissented” from the government’s perspective and founded the Institute for Policy Studies, an instant nexus of anti-Vietnam War activism, anti-CIA “imperialism” and “new left” politics which soon came to be financed with millions from foundations as Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie, MacArthur, Turner and Soros. In the early 2000s IPS attracted Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal and Richard Falk as senior scholars, the latter two soon-to-be 9/11 skeptics of the no-757-at-Pentagon kind – while the former became an equally irrational opponent of all conspiracy thinking surrounding JFK and 9/11.
The more one looks at it, the more one is forced to conclude that the Rockefeller and Ford foundations were one with the CIA. For example, immediately post-World War II, the Ford Foundation helped sponsor CIA-backed magazines as Perspectives USA and Der Monat. In the same period, its senior (or prospective) leadership had more than a few ties to the CIA. In January 1953, with the election of President Eisenhower, Allen Dulles wasn’t sure if he was going to be appointed Eisenhower’s CIA director. This prompted Allen to set up a meeting with his friend David Rockefeller, who promised him the presidency of the Ford Foundation in case Eisenhower would pick someone else for the job. Two days later Eisenhower handed Dulles the CIA directorship, so that was that. 
At the time, Richard Bissell, who would eventually become Dulles’ deputy director for operations, had only just stepped down from a senior position in the Ford Foundation. Then there was John J. McCloy, a key Rockefeller family operative who at various times chaired Chase Manhattan Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation. McCloy served as Ford Foundation trustee from 1953 to 1958, at which point he was elected chairman, a position he held until 1965. In the years after World War II, as high commissioner in Berlin, McCloy already had provided cover for CIA agents and during his term at the Ford Foundation he established a close working relationship with the Agency. To critics within the foundation of the relationship with the CIA, McCloy simply argued “that if they failed to cooperate, the CIA would simply penetrate the foundation quietly by recruiting or inserting staff at the lower levels.”  Considering Dulles, Rockefeller and McCloy all were close associates and Pilgrims, one can only assume this was little more than an excuse of an otherwise very supportive McCloy.
The same basic story of CIA involvement goes for other key friends of David Rockefeller. Carter’s national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, with whom David founded the Trilateral Commission, used to be on the CIA payroll in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  George S. Franklin, Jr., another key co-founder of the Trilateral Commission and in the 1950s a trustee of the CIA-financed American Committee on a United Europe (ACUE), used to be David’s roommate at Harvard. 
Another very close David Rockefeller associate in later life, George Shultz, through the Rockefeller- and CIA-allied Bechtel Corporation, of which he was president, basically can be seen as CIA. As discussed in a previous section, Bechtel partner and future CIA director John McCone was first brought into the CIA through a 1948 meeting with Allen Dulles, after which a relationship between the Bechtels and Rockefellers also began to flourish. While Shultz was president of Bechtel from 1974 to 1982, he hired as a consultant retired CIA director Richard Helms, a member of a Pilgrims Society family who by that time also had become a friend of Henry Kissinger and David Rockefeller. 
On a side note, it might be interesting to mention that an otherwise pro-big business Stephen Bechtel, Sr. served on the board of trustees of the “liberal CIA”, “new left” Ford Foundation from 1961 to 1970, the first three years under chairman and Rockefeller man John McCloy. And that Ford Foundation trustees as Henry Ford II, Robert McNamara and the Bechtels all ended up in the elite and secretive 1001 Club, alongside the Rockefellers, Rothschilds and royal houses of Europe. It should be clear that the Bechtels were very much on the inside.
As for Henry Kissinger, David’s seven-decade partner-in-crime Henry Kissinger, he too was a favorite of CIA director Allen Dulles in the early 1950s, right out of Harvard and before becoming a chief assistant to the Rockefellers. From that time on, Kissinger has held extremely sensitive and very high level intelligence posts.  In the 1973-1975 period he even managed to serve as national security advisor, secretary of state and chairman of the 40 Committee, which oversaw CIA operations, all at the same time. Kissinger is known to have ran the 40 Committee by himself for the most part, dictating worldwide CIA operations and sometimes even giving direct orders to CIA deputy director of operations Thomas Karamessines without going through CIA director Richard Helms.  As mentioned in a previous chapter, in 1970 David Rockefeller put Kissinger in touch with the El Mercurio newspaper owner, which became a key conduit for CIA propaganda in Chile that brought Pinochet to power in 1973. He is known to have been in the loop of the CIA-ran fascist-terrorist P2 Lodge , making one wonder to what other dark CIA secrets he was privy. Most likely all. Unsurprisingly, in the 1973-1975 period, when Helms was dismissed, Kissinger tried to establish himself as the top intelligence chief of the U.S. government, more important even than the CIA director.  The 1972 Watergate affair, Nixon’s forced resignation over this in August 1974, Seymour Hersh’s initial December 1974 expose on CIA domestic spying against Vietnam War protestors, followed by numerous congressional investigations, and Gerald Ford and his vice president Nelson Rockefeller losing the 1976 election to Jimmy Carter, effecitively put a stop to Kissinger’s power grab.
When controversy about the CIA began to mount in late 1974 and early 1975, president Ford and vice president Nelson Rockefeller tried to scapegoat the CIA by advising various congressional and senatorial investigations to limit their inquiries simply to potential CIA wrongdoing. With that they attempted to hide the fact that key decisions as coups and assassinations always came down from their friend Henry Kissinger – who actually had secretly recommended the founding of the Rockefeller Commission – and then-president Nixon.  While rumors about this were already floating around, this strategy fully fell apart by January 19, 1975 when Colby not only confirmed to the Senate that the 40 Committee indeed existed, but also that Kissinger chaired it. 
Also, since at least February 1967, the president, national security advisor, the entire 40 Committee (then called 303 Committee), and almost certainly the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board (PIAB) under the chairmanship of Clark Clifford had already been aware of internal reports of a “CIA connection with … youth and student groups” that needed further investigation. These reports went back all the way to 1959 and 1964.  Interestingly, on December 26, 1974, two days after the initial New York Times expose on CIA domestic spying, Clifford claimed to the media that “he had never been briefed on any domestic activities by the CIA during his service from 1961 to 1968 as a member and later chairman of the president’s foreign intelligence advisory board.” He strongly hinted that the CIA had gone rogue during the Nixon administration, hiding its activities from FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and the administration.  He later repeated to the Rockefeller Commission to have never heard anything about CIA assassination plots during his term at the PIAB, as foreign policy and national security counselor to a variety of presidents since Truman, and as Nixon’s defense secretary in 1968 and 1969.  Are we to believe this? On the one hand, while Clifford was involved in the creation of the National Security Act and the CIA in 1947, he already expressed worries about the CIA getting out of hand in this period.  On the other, he was very close to Pilgrims establishmentarians as James Forrestal, Dean Acheson, Robert Lovett, David Rockefeller, Averell Harriman and Douglas Dillon throughout the 1950s and 1960s , was invited to the Trilateral Commission , ran a successful law firm that represented numerous establishment corporations, more than a few with CIA ties ; used Saudi money to get the Pilgrims-tied former CIA director Richard Helms off the hook for perjury in the 1970s , and, alongside Helms and arguably elites as the Rockefellers and Rothschilds, became deeply involved in the CIA-Mossad-ISI-linked BCCI network of the 1980s. 
Going back to Kissinger, he was hardly affected by the Watergate affair, despite the fact that it was widely assumed he knew every dirty secret of the Nixon administration.  When finally forced to give up the position of national security advisor in November 1975, and with that the chairmanship of the 40 Committee, the position was simply handed to his staffer and protege Brent Scowcroft , with Kissinger continuing as secretary of state until Carter – another Rockefeller protege, albeit a much briefer and more moderate one – came into office in January 1977. In the 1980s Scowcroft served as vice chairman of Kissinger Associates, only to resurface as George H. W. Bush’s full term national security advisor. Another protege of Kissinger in the Nixon administration, Lawrence Eagleburger, became president of Kissinger Associates in the 1980s, and then was invited to become Bush’s deputy secretary of state and then secretary of state.
By the mid 1990s we see Scowcroft and Eagleburger coalescing with George Shultz-protege Condoleezza Rice  and General Colin Powell, an old associate of the Bush family and Zbigniew Brzezinski in the Knights of Malta-affiliated NGO AmeriCares , at the Forum For International Policy (FFIP), along with former CIA directors John Deutch and Robert Gates.  Subsequently we see Powell and Rice surface in the George W. Bush administration of 2001-2009 as secretaries of state and national security advisors and Robert Gates as secretary of defense. Former Kissinger Associates managing director Paul Bremer is sent to Iraq as its first ambassador. In later years, Kissinger Associates vice chairman and former CIA deputy director of intelligence Jami Miscik is appointed chairman of the PIAB.  Meanwhile, Rockefeller men as Kissinger, Brzezinski and Shultz continued to serve various administrations, including Bush, in independent advisory roles.  Again we ask the question: where does the CIA begin and where does it end?
We are actually somewhat forced to conclude that with individuals as David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski and George Shultz one hardly talks about CIA anymore, because they are so tightly connected to an even higher level of government: the presidency, the secretary of state and the national security advisor. However, the fact remains that they all emerged from a security state structure that is predominantly managed by the CIA.
We haven’t just yet discussed all Rockefeller associates with CIA ties. In 1965 David hired John D. Philipsborn to Chase Manhattan. Phlipsborn went on to play a key role in building up Chase’s European arm, retiring in 1997. From 1991 until his death he was a member of the Pilgrims of Great Britain. Philipsborn came from a wealthy family. In 1945 he briefly served as General Dwight Eisenhower’s personal pilot. From 1958 to 1963, shortly before starting his career at Chase at the invitation of David Rockefeller, Philipsborn served as “first secretary” in Paris, in reality being a leading CIA agent who was in touch with the murderous fascist terrorist AOS group that attempted a coup on De Gaulle and tried to continue the French-Algerian colonial war. This episode is briefly discussed in ISGP’s Cercle article.
Then there was CBS chairman and Pilgrims Society member William Paley, discussed in the media section of this article as an important CIA asset in the Mockingbird program. Paley used to sit on the International Programme board of the Museum for Modern Art (MoMa), founded and headed generation after generation by the Rockefeller family.  Executive secretary of MoMa in 1949 was Tom Braden, who later headed the CIA’s International Organisations Division with responsibility for Mockingbird.  We met him earlier as the Richard Helms friend and the person who explained that David Rockefeller was provided with full briefings by him and most likely other CIA division chiefs, apart from his close personal relationship with CIA director Allen Dulles (and McCone, and Helms).
Another such individual was John Hay Whitney, an OSS veteran and friend of David Rockefeller who used to serve as chairman of MoMa in the early days of the Cold War.  After the war he also set up J. H. Whitney & Co., in which a partner was his friend William H. Jackson, who served as deputy director of the CIA under Truman and national security advisor under Eisenhower. In between, as vice chairman of the Operations Coordinating Board (OCB) under Nelson Rockefeller, Jackson similarly played an important role in overseeing CIA operations. Whitney himself had served on the OCB’s predecessor, the Psychological Strategy Board, during the Truman years. Similar to the Rockefeller family, Whitney ran his own museum – the Whitney Museum – which, like himself , was equally linked to the CIA.  Whitney also ran the elite, Pilgrims-dominated Freeport Minerals corporation and was involved in lobbying the U.S. government to overthrow the overly socialist and nationalist Suharto in Indonesia in order to gain access to Papua’s mineral wealth. 
Whitney served as a long-time vice president of the Pilgrims Society. Another Pilgrims vice president was William Burden, a chairman of the advisory board of the Whitney Museum since 1940 who in 1943 was also elected a trustee of the Rockefeller’s MoMa. In 1953 he followed up Nelson Rockefeller as MoMa’s president and later was elected chairman. Burden’s father had married a Vanderbilt, a family that also intermarried with the Whitneys. A one-time secretary of state for air, Burden came to serve as a director of the CFR, CBS, Lockheed and the Aerospace Corporation. Apart from the Whitney relationship, Burden’s chairmanship of the Farfield Foundation  most clearly gives him away as yet another CIA asset within the Rockefeller clique, as in 1967 this foundation was exposed as a key financial conduit of the CIA for funding of the Congress for Cultural Freedom. The revelation was part of a wider expose on foundations and NGOs being used by the CIA. These included the John Hay Whitney Trust for Charitable Purposes and better known examples as the National Student Association, the African American Institute, the Asia Foundation and the J. M. Kaplan Fund. 
This brings us to another very important Rockefeller secret, which at this point should hardly come as a surprise: the Rockefeller’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), stacked with Eastern Establishmentarians decade after decade, itself served as a CIA front. The museum cooperated with the CIA-backed Congress for Cultural Freedom, its board overlapping with the CIA’s Farfield Foundation.  William Burden wasn’t the only tie between the Farfield Foundation and MoMa – or the Whitney Museum and the Pilgrims Society for that matter. The Farfield Foundation’s founder and president was Julius Fleischmann, also to be found on the International Programme board of the Rockefeller’s MoMa. Another Farfield trustee was Godfrey Stillman Rockefeller (1899-1983), an older cousin of the “Rockefeller Five” whose son joined the 1001 Club with David and Laurance Rockefeller. Milton C. Rose, a director of the William C. Whitney Foundation, was a trustee. So was Whitelaw Reid II, whose New York Herald Tribune in 1958 was bought by John Hay Whitney. Reid II was a Pilgrim, along with various other family members of his. When Whitelaw married his wife in 1959, she served as the executive secretary of the Farfield Foundation. Harper & Row publishing executive (HarperCollins since 1990) Cass Canfield was a trustee of the Farfield Foundation, as well as a Pilgrim. The same went for Gardner Cowles, a newspaper publisher and bitter rival of Henry Luce with his Look magazine. He was both a Pilgrim and a Farfield Foundation trustee. He also sat on board of the Rockefeller’s MoMa. 
Some of these names of the Farfield Foundation give new meaning to the words of CIA division Tom Braden, the earlier-discussed CIA briefer of David Rockefeller, when he explained how the CIA established foundations as Farfield:
“We would go to somebody in New York who was a well-known rich person and we would say, ‘We want to set up a foundation.’ We would tell him what we were trying to do and pledge him to secrecy, and he would say, ‘Of course I’ll do it,’ and then you would publish a letterhead and his name would be on it and there would be a foundation. It was really a pretty simple device.” 
At least one socialist source has suggested that the CIA and the Rockefellers have been pushing abstract expressionism simply because it is completely a-political and thus there was less danger of the public being confronted with prominent paintings portraying capitalism or our political system in a less than favorable light.  The fact that Nelson Rockefeller used to refer to abstract expressionism as “free-enterprise painting” doesn’t really help either in that regard.
This is making the most sinister interpretation, however. Abstract expressionism simply was a new art form developed in the United States immediately post-World War II, in part because so many artists had fled Europe immediately pre-World War II. The fact that it turned out to be ideal to counter Soviet Realism – which has been described as “a glorified depiction of communist values, such as the emancipation of the proletariat, by means of realistic imagery.” – in the coming Cold War most likely is little more than a coincidence. Because abstract expressionism has been a uniquely American creation, it would have been picked up anyway by elites as the Rockefellers to establish themselves in the international art world.
Yes, there most certainly was a CIA and Rockefeller and Ford Foundation agenda to suppress communism and socialism and to promote American values in Europe and to the world. The idea actually was to do this subtlely by targeting the non-communist left of primarily Europe with American cultural values of a more intellectual type; thus something else than movies, cars, comic books, and out-of-control advertizing.  Abstract expressionist art fits right into this agenda, because a) it was new, refreshing, exciting and popular (to elites at least); and b) it allowed for the reasoning that the West is above forcing a political agenda upon its citizens, including its artists.
Of course, considering that this elite network of art supporters never allowed media attention to descent onto art critical of capitalism or the limits to our democratic system, makes the logic of abstract expressionism representing “free speech” as questioble as the claim of today’s establishment-backed new atheist movement to have grown “beyond” religion. This movement simply has introduced us to a new set of rigid dogma.
It should also not be forgotten that the “cultural Cold War” encompassed more than just abstract expressionist art. CIA-backed magazines as Perspectives USA, Der Monat, Encounter, the Partisan Review, the New Leader, and others all were promoting capitalism and liberal democracy to the non-communist left of the United States and Europe, similar to what the “liberal CIA” network is doing today.
While a discussion of the “Cultural Cold War” can be very entertaining, the most important thing to remember here is that David Rockefeller and most of his Pilgrims Society friends should be regarded CIA, or more likely “above CIA” as they are similarly connected to the CIA director, national security advisor, secretary of state and the presidency through a network of think tanks, foundations and personal relationships. As for David Rockefeller and Nelson Rockefeller’s Pilgrims Society friends with clear CIA ties, we have:
- Vincent Astor
- Brooke Astor*
- Alice Astor*
- Allen Dulles
- John McCloy
- Richard Helms (through his brother and father)
- Henry Kissinger
- Zbigniew Brzezinski
- George Franklin
- George Shultz
- John Hay Whitney
- William Burden
- Senator Claiborne Pell*
And some of the additional non-Pilgrims Society friends of David Rockefeller with high-level CIA involvement that we discussed here, include:
- the Bechtels
- William Bundy
- Charles Cremeans
- Tom Braden
- Julius Fleischmann
- William H. Jackson
- Godfrey S. Rockefeller
Rockefeller CIA and the managing of fringe new age networks
We actually haven’t yet discussed the above-listed names accompanied by an asterisk (*). That is what we’ll do here.
As mentioned at the very beginning of the previous chapter, Vincent Astor’s widow, Brooke Astor, maintained a life-long close friendship with Laurance Rockefeller, to the point that people began to think the two had an affair. From about 1990, Brooke Astor also grew very close to David Rockefeller, but she had known him very well since 1958 when Winthrop Aldrich took the Astors, his nephew David Rockefeller and others on a boat trip. She also knew Nelson Rockefeller very well. 
The thing with Laurance Rockefeller is that he has been a key financier of new age, alien abduction, and other UFO disinformation throughout the Cold War and beyond. The ties to CIA directors and other top-level government officials maintained by his brothers David and Nelson, which go back to secret pre-World War II “The Room” network of Vincent Astor (and Winthrop Aldrich), undoubtedly played a key role in how these “alternative media” disinformation networks were built. Laurance wasn’t alone either. He built this network in coordination with employees and assets of the CIA, AFOSI and DIA, as well as other elite CIA-linked families as the Bechtels and Von Liechtensteins. All this is discussed in detail in ISGP’s article Cult of National Security Trolls: Art Bell and Coast to Coast AM.
While there’s little information about Brooke Astor in relation to these adventures, it is known that her sister-in-law, Alice Astor, the sister of the late Vincent Astor, was involved in the exact same new age disinformation network that Laurance Rockefeller was involved in. In the 1950s she participated in Round Table Foundation sessions of suspected MKULTRA participant Colonel Andrija Puharich that supposedly involved the channelling of the Ennead gods of Ancient Egypt. Puharich later became involved in the Bechtel-dominated (with their Bohemian Grove and 1001 Club friends) Stanford Research Institute, when he brought bogus psychic and top Mossad asset Uri Geller over to the United States; the Laurance Rockefeller-influenced Esalen Institute, and eventually retired on an estate of R.J. “Josh” Reynolds III, a tobacco fortune heir whose family also stood at the basis of the Rockefeller-allied “liberal CIA” Arca and Tides foundations. A cousin and a number of company directors of Reynolds were involved in the Pilgrims Society.
Another participant with Alice Astor and Andrija Puharich in the Ennead channelling sessions, Round Table chairman Arthur M. Young, later set up the Foundation for the Study of Consciousness and the related Institute for the Study of Consciousness, which both greatly overlapped with Esalen and SRI. With that, Young stood at the basis of Robert Temple’s bogus space aliens and Sirius theories in relation to the beliefs of the African Dogon tribe. At the same time he was the stepfather and employer of Michael Paine, who at one point was introduced to Lee Harvey Oswald, along with their respective wives, by CIA asset and Oswald handler Georges de Mohrenschildt. If that’s not enough strangeness, Young’s wife, a heir to the wealthy Forbes steel fortune who helped him set up his consciousness-focused institute, and her former husband, Lyman Paine, used to be close friends of Mary Bancroft, the long-time lover of CIA director, Pilgrims executive and close Rockefeller friend Allen Dulles. This latest set of bizarre assocations is primarily discussed in ISGP’s article on the John F. Kennedy assassination.
Another Pilgrim and close Rockefeller ally (in bringing the Shah of Iran to the U.S.) who became deeply involved in disinformative UFO research in the 1980s and 1990s was Senator Claiborne Pell. UFO researcher C. B. Scott Jones, who ran the Laurance Rockefeller and Prince Hans Adam II von Liechtenstein-financed Human Potential Foundation, used to be a staffer in Pell’s office. The Pell family also was the main U.S. liaison of the princely Liechtenstein family. Those familiar with the UFO scene might be aware that Prince Hans Adam II von Liechtenstein financed the apocalyptic alien abduction “research” of Budd Hopkins while Laurance Rockefeller financed the work of the more optimistic John Mack, a person Laurance first met through the Esalen Institute network. Meanwhile, Hopkins received income from the Rockefellers, because his art was exhibited at their Museum of Modern Art, as well as the equally CIA-tied Whitney Museum. Von Liechtenstein is also known to have invited con artist Dr. Steven Greer – himself backed by Laurance Rockefeller – to a private meeting at one point. And so there are many more ties.
Interestingly, the Liechtenstein royal family, including Hans Adam, was invited to the 1001 Club, along with David and Laurance Rockefeller, Maurice Strong, the Bechtels and Prince Philip of Great Britain, all of whom known for having backed con artists that ended up becoming superstars through major book contracts and radio shows as Coast to Coast AM. We find these and other names in the overlapping Pilgrims Society group as well: Astor, Pell, Reynolds, Rockefeller, Bechtel (through key employees George Shultz and Caspar Weinberger), Prince Philip, Maxwell Rabb, James Woolsey (speaker). There’s a good chance that the Clintons, prime movers, along with John Podesta, behind the Rockefeller UFO Initiative, have been involved in the Pilgrims as well. Greer stated to have interacted with an influential person who mentioned an interest in UFO-related matters by the Rothschilds, who have been involved in both the Pilgrims and the 1001 Club; and the Pilgrim Peter Peterson.
More recently I read in the journals of Jacques Vallee that senior researchers and executives of IBM were deeply interested in UFO research. IBM has been owned by the Watson family, generational members of the Pilgrims Society who also enjoyed membership in the 1001 Club. In those same journals George Vila, an alleged Pilgrim, was mentioned as an enthusiastic supporter of Vallee. Vallee also writes about attending an “exclusive UFO study group assembled in Silicon Valley” in 1986 that no one has ever heard about before or since. The group included John W. Hanes II, a former assistant to Rockefeller man John McCloy and then to Rockefeller friend John Foster Dulles – both Pilgrims. Hanes’ father was a Pilgrim, while he himself, apart from being a man with overt and covert CIA ties, was invited to the 1001 Club.
In this regard we might also mention that in the mid 1960s the Harvard psychedelic clique of Dr. Timothy Leary, Dr. Richard Alpert, Ralph Metzner and friends as Alan Watts found refuge at a giant estate of Richard Mellon “Billy” Hitchcock, a heir of the powerful Mellon family, after they were booted from Harvard. It allowed these men to write one of their most crucial books, continue their experimentation with LSD and other psychedelics, and to quite literally help spawn the hippie movement. Members of the Hitchcock and Mellon families belonged to the Pilgrims. The Mellon family is the well-known, of course, also for its ties to the OSS, CIA and certainly through David Bruce, who married a sister of Pilgrim and 1001 Club member Paul Mellon, also to the pre-World War II intelligence network of “The Room” and Walrus Club.
Gordon Wasson, who published his groundbreaking article on magic mushrooms in Henry Luce’s Life magazine in May 1957 and became an ally of the Leary group, also maintained his elite connections. Henry Luce was a Pilgrim. Henry Luce III became president of the Pilgrims. Gordon Wasson was friendly with Pilgrims executive and CIA director Allen Dulles throughout the 1950s and 1960. He also was a long-time member of the Century Association, along with the Dulles brothers, Rockefeller brothers, and other Pilgrims Society elitists. In no-time Colonel Andrija Puharich, also with CIA backing, went down to the same Latin American shaman that Wasson had visited and began to run his own set of psychedelic experiments at the Round Table Foundation. Alice Astor, Arthur Young, Aldous Huxley and future pyramids-on-Mars pusher and Coast to Coast AM guest J.J. Hurtak all were in attendance of these experiments.
There are quite a few other such examples to be found, among them the fact that psychedelics pioneer Aldous Huxley, an associate of the Leary group, Wasson and Puharich, played a key role in the founding of the earlier-mentioned Esalen Institute, which from the very beginning was joined by about every psychedelics pioneer of some standing. Laurance Rockefeller became a key influence at Esalen and in later decades this network produced more than a few new age, conspiracy and alien abduction disinformation pushers whose works remain prominent to this day.
Notice a pattern here? Without going any deeper into this matter in this article, it seems rather clear that various early CIA directors, most notably Walter Bedell Smith, Allen Dulles and Richard Helms, have made use of wealthy establishment families to run some of the most secretive and long-term CIA disinformation operations through, most notably the cultivating and maintaning of fringe new age, UFO and, to a lesser degree (as far as the evidence goes), conspiracy networks. The evidence is clear on that, yet there has never been one single news report about it. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
We see a similar trend in ultraright NGOs, but that is for another article.
What about the “new left”, “liberal CIA” network?
Standing across from the neocons is the rather extensive “new left” network of foundations, media and action groups that ISGP has detailed in a separate “liberal CIA” article. At its core this network has foundations as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Rockefeller Family Fund, the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations (of George Soros), the MacArthur Foundation, the Bill Gates Foundation, the Omidyar Network, the Packard Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation and a few dozen others. These foundations, together worth approximately $150 billion anno 2017, has been funding a network of thousands of non-profit groups, including well-known alternative media outlets and groups involved in organizing protests against right-wing presidents and prime ministers throughout the West, especially over immigration and global warming issues.
What might be interesting to mention is that the owners and leaders of these foundations hardly feature in the Pilgrims Society membership. Considering this author now has now acquired full Pilgrims Society membership lists from the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s, this conclusion can now be drawn with a pretty decent degree of certainty.
Part of this undoubtedly has to do with the fact that many fortunes these foundations were built on aren’t located in New York City. For example, a major driving force behind “new left” Democrat thinking, apart from George Soros and the ever-present Rockefeller family, are Hollywood and especially Silicon Valley: billionaires as Bill Gates, Pierre Omidyar, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and the CEOs of Google and Apple. None of these individuals have a traditional Eastern Establishment background or even reside in New York City, so there’s not too much chance of them getting a Pilgrims Society invitation.
Also, what we find in the Pilgrims Society is the traditional establishment: big bankers, industrial titans, and the most important NGO people from New York and London. These circles tend to vote Republican (or in Great Britain, the Conservative Party) and they tend to have views that range from the middle to the right of the political and economic spectrum. Ultraright Christian conservatives do not really fit in. And neither do “new left” Democrats. Trusted, elitist democrats are one thing, but the fact is that the Democrat Party has been pulled to the left in similar fashion that the Republican Party has been pulled towards Christian conservatism. The Pilgrims tend to sit between these two extremes. Thus, probably not too many of these elements are going to be invited. They’re a key part of the political debate, but apparently not always welcome in private social clubs. Remember Bill Clinton deriding Bohemian Grove as a place for “wealthy Republicans”? Some establishments might not be the best of places for heavy duty Democrats.
William vanden Heuvel, a Pilgrim in the 1960s and again starting around 1990, is an interesting case. Despite his establishment ties, he and his daughter Katrina play a key role in the “new left” Democrat network, something that is actually very rare in Pilgrims circles. The Rockefeller family has been involved very deeply, but generally only through their foundations. These ties of Vanden Heuvel might well be the reason why his name was absent from Pilgrims Society membership lists for so long. Names as Clinton, Vernon Jordan, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, Lynn Forester de Rothschild, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, John Podesta, or George Soros’ Democracy Alliance network – all of them Democrat “new left” supporters – have yet to make an appearance in available Pilgrims Society lists. As long as they went to one of a handful of universities and/or have establishment family ties, it is far from impossible that they’ll be invited (Howard Dean’s father was a Pilgrim, for example, in the 1990s), but it appears good-old, traditional Rockefeller Republicanism is what the Pilgrims continue to be the most comfortable with.
This doesn’t mean that the “new left” Democrat network is independent of the Eastern Establishment. It appears the whole network is thoroughly managed through a private sector CIA program with, historically, the Rockefeller family at its core. How this network exactly was built and continues to be managed today is a really good question. But the Pilgrims network as a whole cannot be used to explain it. However, the core network within the Pilgrims, at least throughout the 20th century, is key to figuring out this puzzle, as it is key to figuring out just about every 20th and 21st century conspiracy-related mystery.
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