Reprinted from www.libertylobby.org, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive
Bilderberg Gets Attention
By James P. Tucker Jr.
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Despite choosing a site where the state subsidizes the press; where reporters and the public are intimidated; and where a massive campaign of disinformation was easily conducted, Liberty Lobby, publisher of The SPOTLIGHT, finally won against Bilderberg's blackout attempts.
Victory came when a Brussels paper, DeMorgen, carried a major page one story about Bilderberg hiding out behind armed guards at the Chateau du Lac. Inside, on page 7, another detailed story and a photo of two Bilderberg participants strolling past the lake was published.
DeMorgen reporter Sue Somers had heard about the dramatic sealing off of the five-star Chateau du Lac and ap peared because she thought it had something to do with the world soccer championships, which have Europe and the United Kingdom in the grip of great excitement.
SPOTLIGHT photographer-reporter Christopher Bollyn, who is fluent in French and several other languages, explained the situation to Miss Somers, giving her a copy of The SPOTLIGHT's special feature, Who's Hiding Inside the Chateau du Lac?* (This feature was so in demand that the hundreds of copies available were exhausted and supporters made machine copies.)
Miss Somers and her colleague, Walter DeBock, called their newspaper and remained at the chateau, working on a Bilderberg story. Their work ap peared the following day.
Meanwhile, other reporters from Bri tain, who had collaborated with The SPOTLIGHT at earlier Bilderberg sessions, appeared again in Brussels, assuring further exposure.
But it was the toughest fight ever as Bilderberg went even beyond its usual extreme efforts at secrecy.
It began in Washington as Bilderberg tried to divert reporters to the wrong country. The Washington Post reported the meeting would be in Switzerland. Post Publisher Donald Graham knew this was a lie because he attended the meeting near Brussels.
Bilderberg knew The SPOTLIGHT would be on hand when facts about the meeting were posted on Liberty Lobby's web site on May 18, said an angry policeman who was harassing and searching Herbots Didier, who was caught passing out issues of The SPOTLIGHT to an eager public.
Knowing that they had been uncovered, Bilderberg tried to divert all reporters and supporters to the NATO headquarters in downtown Brussels. They came dangerously close to succeeding.
I arrived in Brussels on May 29 for advance scouting. On May 30, I was led into conversation by a friendly, middle-aged man in a Bilderberg uniform -- pin-stripped suit -- at the Hilton Interna tional, where he was quartered.
Yes, some Bilderberg people will be at the chateau, the man said, but others will be staying elsewhere because of the limited (121 rooms) space. They would be shuttled each day to NATO headquarters, where they would do business.
"NATO headquarters is your target," he added, "and good luck."
I've had much experience with liars, having covered the Internal Revenue Service and broken bread with liberals, but this expert seemed believable. I called The SPOTLIGHT with this tentative information.
Another attempt to hide was by not taking over the hotel as an organization called "Bilderberg."
When I called to make reservations and was told the chateau was completely filled up, I said that I was to attend a meeting of a group called Bilderberg. No such group had made reservations, the hotel said.
Later, when Bilderberg shut the place down, they called themselves Bilderberg. And when I -- posing as a friendly trooper -- asked if the place had been secured for Bilderberg, plainclothesmen said, "yes."
My first visit to the Chateau du Lac was as a casual but thirsty tourist.
There, an employee explained that she would have to stop working after Wednesday but those who remained on the job were required to wear photo-ID badges. This sounded like a traditional Bilderberg shutdown.
Also it was learned that the chateau had several villas to accommodate more staff and participants.
By prearrangement, Bollyn had been able to check into the chateau on Wed nesday, June 3, but had to check out by noon the next day. Bollyn called me at the Hilton to say the guards were being deployed and a tent was set up to hide the participants as they entered the chateau.
The SPOTLIGHT was called and advised that it would be a classic Bilderberg meeting: all participants disappearing behind armed guards, including state police and military troops, emerging only after the secret meetings ended.
The resort is not owned by the European Union (EU) but by an English billionaire named John Martin. The Chateau du Lac's own literature describes it as "Belgian owned," which is understood to mean it was owned by the government.
Earlier, The SPOTLIGHT had been erroneously informed that it was owned by the EU.
But this is neither where efforts to suppress the news began nor ended.
Mark Delcour of Brussels had been in extensive contact with The SPOTLIGHT for a month, starting when it was only known that "all planes are flying to Brussels" while the site was still un known. The moment Delcour was called with the information, he alerted the Brussels media. Between them, Delcour and Didier had advised 60 others who normally would want to appear.
"They are intimidated," Delcour ex plained. "The press and the people are afraid of losing jobs and other forms of punishment. With the government subsidizing the press, they can stop the story."
Damien Mears, a freelance writer from London who had collaborated with me in 1998 at the Turnberry in Scotland, arrived and started calling reporters he knew at local newspapers.
At first, Mears said, they all seemed excited about Bilderberg. But when he would call back an hour later, all explained they had been forbidden to cover Bilderberg.
Earlier in the day, Mears had been threatened with arrest by the police if he did not leave even though he was on public property. He didn't and they didn't.
But Bollyn had a close call. Security men were at his side for hours as he photographed luminaries with a long-range lens.
"These two thugs were shadowing me," Bollyn said. "Whenever I tried to take a picture, they would get in the way but I was usually able to outrun them."
Bollyn, outrunning the "thugs," aimed his camera at George Soros and Carl Bildt.
"Then, the head of Belgian security came to me and said: 'If you keep running behind people, I'll jump on you,' " Bollyn added.
Bollyn avoided being taken by outracing the cops to a small restaurant on the edge of the compound. There, he waited for a cab that took him to the train station.
Didier was followed by guards armed with machine guns, he said. When stopped, the guards were told by radio to ask him certain questions. That's when he learned that The SPOTLIGHT's web site had alerted Bilderberg.
They demanded Didier's identification. He gave them three cards -- all with different addresses. They painstakingly recorded it all.
Also present were people from the National Front in France and nationalists from Hungary and other countries.
Stalking began on May 29 when I first began scouting the chateau. There was always one, but most often two, hotel personnel at my side as I roamed public areas as a tourist.
The "lead stalker" was later identified as Christophe Voet, the hotel's banquet and conference manager. Another was Alain Vanbinst, the food and beverage manager.
Later, it was Vanbinst, who helped Bilderberg security harass Bollyn on the morning I was checking out.
The hotel had angered the few remaining guests, who loudly protested as they checked out that the noisy Bilderberg security setup had kept them up all night. One man refused to pay his bill for lodging because he was unable to sleep.
As Bollyn roamed the hotel on the morning he was to check out, he was constantly shadowed. Staff urged him to hurry up and check out. Bollyn pointed out that checkout time was noon, not 11 a.m. Hotel employees told him to stay in his room but Bollyn refused.
When checking out as his deadline approached, Bollyn strongly protested his treatment. Hotel personnel apologized profusely. By that time, they were much experienced at apologizing.
But despite all the disinformation, intimidation and threats, Bilderberg has been covered and photographed.
More newspapermen from around Eur ope came streaming into Brussels after the DeMorgen story broke and pressure was brought on Bilderberg to open up. There was also a lengthy look at Bilderberg arrivals on a French TV station.
A source in the European Union provided the list of participants to The SPOTLIGHT. Then the Bilderberg staff hastily prepared its standard bland "press release," explaining they are nobodies doing nothing, with the list of participants attached.