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Every summer, 2000 of world's most powerful men gather to burn effigy skeleton in coffin

Compiled by UnderReportedNews.com | March 13 2004

According to a page 99 article of the Aug. 14, 1977 New York Times entitled "Bohemian Grove -- Where Big Shots Go To Camp" (photo also from article):

Monte Rio, Calif. -- When Gerald R. Ford, Henry A. Kissinger and A. W. Clausen joined 2,000 of the richest and most powerful men in the country at the annual ritual known as the "Summer Encampment" at Bohemian Grove near this sleepy hamlet of 997 last month, did they make decisions that will shape America's destiny, or was it merely "the greatest men's party on earth?"
No one's saying for the record -- the camp 65 miles north of San Francisco operates very much in the tradition of Mark Twain's blood brothers on the Mississippi or a college secret society. But two insistently anonymous sources have disclosed that:

[...] This summer, for example, attendees saw several plays. In one, "The Eldorado," if viewers looked closely, they could see that two of the bit actors appearing asdock workers were Casper Weinberger, former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare who is now chief counsel for the Bechtel Corporation, and Mr. Clausen, president and chief executive officer of the Bank of America.

[...] Those who attended included Art Linkletter, who was master of ceremonies for one of the shows, Bing Crosby and Phil Harris, among the entertainers; A. Robert Abbound; John Diebold, the consultant; Edgar F. Kaiser Sr. of Kaiser Industries; Richard Cooley, former president of Wells Fargo Bank; Allan Sproul, former head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Emmet Solomon, former president of the Crocker-Citizens National Bank, and Louis B. Lundborg, retired chairman of the Bank of America.

[...] In years past speakers at the lakeside chats have included Dwight D. Eisenhower, before he was president; Robert F. Kennedy, when he was Attorney General; Arnold Palmer, the golfer; Nelson A. Rockefeller; former Chief Justice Earl Warren; David Sarnoff, former chairman of RCA; Herman Wouk, the writer; Dr. Wernher von Braun of the space program; Neil Armstrong, an astronaut, Richard M. Nixon, who is a club member, and Mr. Kissinger. One of the speakers this year was Defense Secretary Harold Brown.

[...] Senator Charles Percy, Republican of Illinois, William Buckley, Bing Crosby, Phil Harris and William Randolph Hearst Jr. belong, as do the presidents of the Wells Fargo Banks, the First National Bank of Chicago, the Sourthern Pacific Railway, the Los Angeles Times, Pacific Gas and Electric, Levi Strauss, Stanford University and the University of California, among others.

And they do talk to each other -- sometimes ignoring the injunctive to leave business behind. It was at the grove that Gov. Ronald Reagan reportedly met with Mr. Nixon in 1967 and agreed to stay out of the Presidential race unless Mr. Nixon faltered.

[...] [There are] three major stage events at each Summer Encampment. The first, called "Cremation of Care," is a bizarre production on the opening night of every encampment, a ritualistic ceremony involving hundreds of participants. It ends with the symbolic burning in effigy of a wooden skeleton in a coffin that represents the end of the cares of the world.

Carried by pallbearers and "high priests" in bright red hoods and flowing robes, the coffin burns as chants give way to a band playing "There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight."

[...] [T]he club symbol, to this day, is an owl, typifying the night-working journalists, as well as wisdom.

According to a July 8, 1987 Washington Post article :

SAN FRANCISCO, July. 7 -- Members of the Bohemian Club, whose roster includes President Reagan and Vice President Bush, will gather at a sylvan 2,700-acre redwood grove 75 miles north of here on Friday for their 109th annual two-week retreat.

A Jan. 24, 2002 San Francisco Chronicle article relates an intruder describing an owl statue:

The next morning, McCaslin said, he discovered the club's giant owl "idol" and would have blown it up if he had explosives.

And according to a July 1, 2001 article from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, a local newspaper published in a town near the location of the Bohemian Grove camp:

[...] the Grove's opening program [has] members gathered before a giant stone owl. It is a ceremony as old as the camp itself, known as the Cremation of Care.
According to a July 28, 1985 Sacramento Bee article :

Also absent, said some residents, has been the traditionally large number of prostitutes who come north from San Francisco to cater to the Bohemians at the males-only retreat.

'There's been a startling lack of ladies,' said the inn owner.

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