Uploaded on Jul 26, 2009
Facebook: Brett Waste http://discordia555.com/?p=7969 CULT! magazine -- punk / conspiracy -- by Waste & Solrac
"Bohemian Grove" is an 11 km square (2700-acre) campground located at 20601 Bohemian Avenue, in Monte Rio, California belonging to a private San Francisco-based men's fine arts club known as the Bohemian Club. In mid-July each year, Bohemian Grove hosts a two-week encampment of some of the most powerful men in the world.
The Bohemian Club's membership includes many artists, particularly musicians, as well as many high-ranking business leaders, government officials (including some US Presidents) and senior media executives. As a measure of the Club's exclusivity, it is reported the waiting list for membership is from 15 to 20 years, though a fast track, three-year membership process is possible. Two current members must sponsor a prospective member. An initiation fee of $25,000 as of 2006 is required in addition to yearly membership dues. Elected members are also allowed to prorate the initiation fee into equal annual payments until they reach the age of 45.
After 40 years of membership the men earn "Old Guard" status, giving them reserved seating at the Grove's daily talks, as well as other perquisites. Members may also invite guests to the Grove although those guests are subject to a rigorous screening procedure. Guests come from across America and overseas. Californian guests are generally limited to attendance at the "Spring Jinks", in June, preceding the main July encampment.
The Grove motto is "Weaving Spiders Come Not Here", which implies that outside concerns and business deals are to be left outside. However, there is demonstrable evidence of political and business deals having been developed at the Grove. The Grove is particularly famous for a Manhattan Project planning meeting that took place there in September of 1942, which subsequently led to the atomic bomb. Those attending, apart from Ernest Lawrence and military officials, included the president of Harvard and representatives of Standard Oil and General Electric. Grove members take particular pride in this event and often relate the story to new attendees.
Bohemian Grove was established over time, shortly after the founding of the Bohemian Club in 1872. For several years, the members of the Club camped together at various locations, including the present Muir Woods, Samuel P. Taylor State Park, and a separate redwood grove near Duncan Mills, down river from the current location. Regular July encampments similar to those held today began in 1899.
The first parcel of the grove was purchased from Melvin Cyrus Meeker who developed a successful logging operation in the area. Gradually over the next decades, members of the Club purchased land surrounding the original location to the perimeter of the basin in which it resides. This was done to secure the rights to the water, so that its water supply would not be affected by uphill operations.
Not long after the Club's establishment by newspaper journalists, it was commandeered by prominent San Francisco-based businessmen, who provided the financial resources necessary to acquire further acreage and facilities at the Grove. They still retained the "bohemians" however — the artists and musicians — who continued to entertain international members and guests.
The Grove itself consists of redwood trees over 1,500 years old. It is a spectacular nature preserve, untouched by logging, and containing many elevated walkways. The longevity of the redwoods stands as emblematic of an untouched natural setting, far removed from modern day vulgarity. This traditional "purity" underpins the Cremation of Care ceremony
The Bohemian Club is a private club; only active members of the Club (known as "Bohos") and their guests may visit the Grove. These guests have been known to include politicians and notable figures from countries outside the US. Particularly during the midsummer encampment, the number of guests is strictly limited due to the small size of the facilities and membership in the Bohemian Club does not necessarily confer the right to attend the annual encampment. Nevertheless, up to 1,500 members and guests have been reported as attending some of the annual encampments.
The primary activities taking place at the Grove are varied and expensive entertainment, such as an elaborate Grove Play (known as "High Jinx") and musical comedies ("Low Jinx") — where female roles are played by men in drag — produced by the members and associate members of the Club. Thus, the majority of common facilities are entertainment venues, interspersed among the giant redwoods.