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Sun Valley Meetings | Membership list
Summer camp like the Bohemian Grove, but different

Contents

  History
  Participants and their companies
  The only British visitor (who coincidentally became the British prime minister within a year)
  Little controversy - little secrecy
  Summary

History
The Sun Valley lodge in Idaho was built by Pilgrims Society member Averell Harriman in the 1930s. Since that time it has regularly served as a meeting place for the most influential people in the West. In the early 1980s, New York investment banker Herbert Allen was looking for a location where he could organize annual meetings for his main client base, consisting of Hollywood producers and media tycoons. In 1983, Allen chose the Sun Valley lodge for this purpose and since then annual meetings have been held at this location.


Left: Rupert Murdoch and his asian wife together with Google's Sergey Brin. Mid: During these 5 days,
the local airport is filled with private jets. Right: Warren Buffett with his daughter Susie.

At the first meeting in 1983, only 35 businessmen were present, but this number grew rapidly as the location turned out to be an ideal place for a short vacation combined with some private business discussions. These days, the meetings have expanded and a few hundred participants attend each year in July. This includes the wives and children of the invited members, who can amuse themselves with tennis, hiking, biking, kayaking, golfing, or a variety of other activities. Since at least half of the guests are billionaires instead of millionaires, most of them come flying in on their own business jets. During the event, presentations are given about a variety of (economic) topics.

The Sun Valley is often compared with the Bohemian Grove, although there are very obvious differences. The Sun Valley is more exclusive, it only lasts 5 days, the participants generally behave a bit better, woman and children are allowed, there are far fewer politicians, the type of companies represented differ, and in this case, "weaving spiders" are welcomed with open arms. Basically, the only parallels between the two is the "vacation theme" and the fact that the media is kept at a distance.

Participants and their companies
At the moment, I have found just over a 100 participants of the Sun Valley meetings. Below you can see a list of companies these people control. Many additional names can be added if you start looking at all the directorships, but the companies below are all represented by a chairman, CEO, president, or someone else who is really in a position to make certain crucial decisions.

Hollywood & TV Main investment bank Other companies
AOL Time Warner Allen & Company Berkshire Hathaway
Bertelsmann Capital Research & Management
Cablevision Systems Corporation IT & websites Coca-Cola
Clear Channel Amazon Gillette
Comcast Apple Heinz
Columbia Tristar AT&T Kodak
Cox Enterprises Ebay MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings
Discovery Communications, Inc. Google Marvel
Disney Intel Mattel
Dreamworks Microsoft National Basketball Association
Liberty Media Nokia Nike
Las Vegas hotels and casinos Priceline Veronis Suhler Stevenson
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Sony
Mexican Broadcaster Grupo Televisa Sprint Politics (not very much)
News Corporation Yahoo Alfalfa Club
Paramount . Bilderberg
Pixar Newspapers CFR
Playboy Enterprises Washington Post Co. CIA
Revelations Entertainment New York Times Co. DAVOS / WEF
Seagram Foreign Affairs European Round Table
Universal Studios Federal Communications Commission
Univision Communications Inc. Department of Health and Human Services
Viacom IMF
Vivendi Universal Entertainment Privy Council
Trilateral Commission
U.S. Ambassador to the USSR & Russia
U.S.-Russia Business Council

Many of the companies above own one or more others in the list and some of them might have merged by now. In any case, all of the large Hollywood studios are represented and TV channels like ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC, MTV, Black Entertainment Television, the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, National Geographic are all owned by the companies above. The same goes for a huge amount of newspapers, magazines, and radio stations.

Europe is also represented. Rupert Murdoch owns British Sky Broadcasting and a couple of newspapers in the UK. The German media company Bertelsmann, represented by CEO Thomas Middelhoff, owns 90% of RTL Group, which is the #1 TV and Radio Broadcaster in Europe. The second largest european TV company, SBS Broadcasting, is owned for 21% by Liberty Media through UGC Europe. The founder and chairman of SBS is an American, although I'm not sure if he attends the Sun Valley. Vivendi Universal Entertainment is owned by the French Vivendi Universal, which bought Seagram from Edgar Bronfman in June 2000. Unfortunately, the Sun Valley meetings are never mentioned in Europe, so names from this side of the ocean are in rather short supply.


Left: Nike's chairman and CEO Philip Knight. Mid: Bill Gates and Henry Vigil of Microsoft. Right:
Former CIA director George Tenet leaves the conference after having given a lecture on terrorism.

The only British visitor
The only British visitor I came across turned out to be someone with close connections to the British aristocracy and the Rothschild interests, which certainly isn't unique to the Sun Valley.

J. Gordon Brown, the participant I'm talking about, is an exceptionally influential Chancellor of the Exchequer, very close to Tony Blair, chairman of the IMF's International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMF's key decision-making committee), member of the Bilderberg Group, and a member of the Privy Council. When Brown came to power as Chancellor of the Exchequer he immediately surprised everyone by giving the Bank of England operational independence from the British government in the conduct of monetary policy, which is very similar to the Federal Reserve of the United States.

Brown is a member of the extremely aristocratic Other Club, over the years together with the Duke of Devonshire (Cavendish), the 7th Marquess of Salisbury (Le Cercle), Lord Carrington (Pilgrims Society president), Lord Richardson of Duntisbourne (major Pilgrims Society member), Lord Jacob Rothschild, Lord Rees-Mogg (media disinformation agent with Richard Mellon Scaife through Strategic Investments and Newsmax), Prince Charles, Lord Julian Amery (former head Le Cercle), Lord Kelvedon (Le Cercle), Tony Blair, Sir Edward Heath, Sir Denis Thatcher (husband of), and Winston S. Churchill (grandson of).

He also attends meetings of the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) - the former Institute of Jewish Affairs - of which Lord Jacob Rothschild is honorary president. At times, the institute receives visits from the Israeli ambassador. Lord Rothschild also organized at least one party at J. Gordon Brown's house.

Other friends of Rothschild are Sun Valley participants Warren Buffett, Rupert Murdoch, Frank Biondi and Vernon Jordan (Lazard; permanent visitor of Bilderberg). Murdoch is well known for his reactionary Zionist bias and his Fox News tv station is clearly promoting a fascist agenda.

Another interesting visitor is George Tenet. Tenet visited the Sun Valley in 2003, when he was still the director of the CIA. In 2005, the AP photographed Tenet again as he left the conference. Turns out that in reaction to the July bombings in London he gave a speech on terrorism with two fellow CFR members. He now has a job at Georgetown University.

Little controversy - little secrecy
Though there are enough people of questionable reputation attending the meetings, the Sun
The Valley generally doesn't seem to be visited by many overly controversial people. It is true that the individual companies have occasionally been accused of doing improper things, but all this stuff would still be going on if the Sun Valley meetings weren't there.

Sun Valley retreats aren't that secret anyway, especially not since the arrival of the internet. The fact that membership lists are not given to the public and guests are asked not to speak to the press doesn't matter. Because the meetings are held at the same location each year and individuals do not try to hide their identity when coming in or going out, it has been fairly easy for any reporter to figure out who entered and left the meeting each year. That no reporter has chosen to publish more than a few - and often the same - names is something entirely different. The Associated Press and other news outlets make a few pictures and write the same superficial articles year after year.

It has happened that a reporter was allowed on the compound, indicating that what is discussed in these meetings is not very sensitive; and even when a reporter is walking around, it is always possible for a few individuals to go to a private location.

Summary
To summarize, anyone can be invited to the Sun Valley meetings. You only need to have some decision making power over a large media affiliated company and probably be known as a player. Judging from the membership list, it
  WH
2010 update: Turns out that a senior advisor to Allen & Co. since 1984 has been William vanden Heuvel (here standing next to Happy Rockefeller, widow of Nelson Rockefeller). Vanden Heuvel, close to the Music Corporation of America (see bio of Lew Wasserman of the 1001 Club for this company's mob links) and The Nation through his wife and daughter, also was a director of Time Warner. Vanden Heuvel was OSS, a director of the William J. Donovan Foundation until it was taken over by the Pilgrims Foundation in 2002. Then he became secretary of the Pilgrims. At the W.J. D. Foundation he shared the board with the notorious General Singlaub and Frank Wisner, Jr., and also with the daughter of William Casey and 1001 Club CIA agent/businessman Francis Kellogg. All of a sudden, Allen & Co. and the Sun Valley Meetings can be seen in a much broader and more integrated context.
doesn't matter if someone is black, white, or Asian. You can check the membership list here. Below you can find a whole lot of additional information.

References

[1] August 14, 1995, Time Magazine, 'Easy as ABC'
[2] July 1, 1996, Forbes Magazine, 'Herbert Allen and his merry dealsters'
[3] July 26, 1996, New York Times, 'For Rupert Murdoch, International Influence Outweighs Wealth'
[4] October 1997, Red Herring Magazine, 'Players Club - CEOs talk media at Herb Allen's Sun Valley'
[5] November 17, 1997, Time Magazine, 'A new world at Sony'
[6] June 29, 1998, New York Magazine, 'Sun Valley Daze'
[7] July 18, 1998, BBC, 'Brown tells Murdoch: No deal over euro'
[8] July 20, 1998, Time Magazine, 'Power Camps'
[9] July 10, 1999, Associated Press, 'Media titans gather in Sun Valley'
[10] July 26, 1999, The New Yorker, 'What I did at summer camp'
[11] July 7, 2001, Taipei Times, 'Moguls, dealmakers rub shoulders at Sun Valley'
[12] July 16, 2001, Taipei Times, 'Buffett warns against buying Internet stocks'
[13] March 10, 2003, Time Magazine, 'Comeback Crusader'
[14] July 15, 2003, Sydney Morning Herald, 'Media moguls relish summer powwow'
[15] July 16, 2003, AllYourTV, 'Commentary: It Ain't Nothing But A Mogul Thing'
[16] April 12, 2004, American Free Press, 'Media Leviathan, U.S. Intelligence Form Secret Cabal'
[17] July 3, 2005, Associated Press, 'Media Moguls to Gather for Schmooze Event'
[18] July 5, 2005, CNN, 'Sun Valley draws media moguls'
[19] July 7, 2005, Associated Press, 'Media Honchos Face Weaker Ad Climate '
[20] July 8, 2005, Idaho Mountain Express, 'Sun Valley hosts media magnates'

Author: Joël van der Reijden
Written: May 27, 2005
Last edit: November 14, 2006
Version: 2.0