Bilderberg Association reported to the UK Charity Commission
A serious complaint has been registered against the Bilderberg Group’s charity, the ‘Bilderberg Association’, with the UK’s Charity Commission.
The complaint was launched by a member of the public on the basis that the ‘Bilderberg Association’ could bring the Charity Commission into disrepute and damage public trust in charities, by allegedly not complying with UK charity law.
The ‘Bilderberg Association’ is funded by Goldman Sachs and BP, and engages in one sole ‘charitable activity’ – funding the Bilderberg Meetings.
The Bilderberg Meetings are annual, private conferences attended by 140 of the world’s most powerful people, including bank bosses, CEOs, high-ranking politicians, and royals.
The ‘Bilderberg Association’ claims that its objectives are “to promote the study of, and public education in international affairs, economics and the social sciences”.
In furtherance of its objectives, the Bilderberg Association claims that it “organises meetings and conferences in the UK and elsewhere and disseminates the results thereof by preparing and publishing reports of such conferences and meetings and by other means” (in their ‘Annual Report and Accounts’ 2008-2012).
However, as one of the most prolifically secretive meetings in international politics, the Bilderberg meetings have no known role in “public education”, despite this claim. The Bilderberg Group has also consistently refused to ‘publish reports of such conferences’, despite this being another of their claims to charitable status.
A Bilderberg meeting is, according to the official website, “a forum for informal, off-the-record discussions about megatrends and the major issues facing the world”, and is of an entirely “private nature”. After the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, attended the recent Bilderberg Meeting 2013 in Watford, UK, Downing Street refused to publish minutes of his discussions within the group.
Tax-free corporate funding of a private talking shop between politicians and the meeting’s benefactors cannot be identified as an activity for ‘public benefit’ – particularly since the contents of Bilderberg meetings are withheld from the public. Without discernible public benefit, the Bilderberg Association would not meet the statutory requirements for charity status.
To claim for charitable status in the UK, and thus benefit from tax-free funding, a charity must demonstrate that their aims are for public benefit – broadly, to “advance education or religion or relieve poverty”.
Furthermore, the Charity Commission deems that “a political purpose cannot meet the public benefit requirement and so cannot be a charitable purpose”. A ‘political purpose’ means any purpose directed at furthering the interests of any political party; or securing, or opposing, any change in the law or in the policy or decisions of central government or local authorities, whether in this country or abroad.
Of significant concern is that the Bilderberg Association’s committee member and trustee, Cabinet minister Kenneth Clarke QC, MP, claimed to have ‘forgotten’ that he was a trustee of the charity when questioned in parliament.
The Charity Commission must respond to the complaint within 15 days.
Details of the complaint sent to the Charity Commission are shown below:
Please provide a summary of the evidence:
I am concerned that ‘The Bilderberg Association’ is misleading the Charity Commission, and thus the public, as to its stated ‘Specific objectives’ and ‘Activities’. It’s actual objectives and activities would be highly unlikely to qualify for charitable status. Therefore, large amounts of money, it would appear, are possibly being unlawfully exempt from tax. Full details are set out below.
Please set out any additional facts and information about the serious issue that you wish to report:
The Bilderberg Association engages in one single charitable activity, which is ‘Contributions to the running costs of Bilderberg Meetings’, which are the controversial (having come under recent parliamentary scrutiny and allegedly breaking the Ministerial Code) private meetings between politicians (including the Prime Minister) and heads of corporations and banks. However ‘The Bilderberg Association’ claims that its ‘Specific objectives’ are ‘to promote the study of, and public education in international affairs, economics and the social sciences’; and under ‘Activities’ the Association claims that it ‘organises meetings and conferences in the UK and elsewhere and disseminates the results thereof by preparing and publishing reports of such conferences and meetings and by other means’ (in their ‘Annual Report and Accounts’ 2008-2012). However, the Bilderberg Meetings, as entirely secret meetings, have no role at all in public education, as the results of meetings are not in fact disseminated, and no reports are published. Bilderberg Meetings are in fact, by their own admission, characterised by ultimate secrecy. Therefore, it would appear that the objectives and activities of The Bilderberg Association (at least in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, and 2012 for which I have been able to obtain accounts) are identifiably false and misleading.
The most recent identification of Bilderberg Association funding comes from their 2008 accounts, whereby the Association claims to have received £50,000 each from Goldman Sachs and BP. However, only £50,000 appears in their yearly income (although 2 x £50,000 = £100,000). I am concerned about the real objectives of the Association since they clearly do not match their falsely stated objectives and activities; and since the Association is funded by Goldman Sachs and BP, and goes on to fund the private meeting of Goldman Sachs’ and BP’s CEOs with MPs and Cabinet ministers. This bears the hallmarks of illegal lobbying.
Details of attempts you have made to get the charity to address this issue. Please provide details of when you reported this issue to the charity and the outcome:
The Bilderberg Group is uncontactable. I have contacted several Members of Parliament who share my concerns including some of those subsequently mentioned.
Michael Meacher MP, Dennis Skinner MP, and Tom Watson MP have questioned Bilderberg Association’s Committee Member and trustee, Kenneth Clarke MP in parliament. It concerned me greatly that the oversight of the charity is desperately lacking – in response to Tom Watson MP’s question, Ken Clarke MP claimed to have ‘forgotten’ that he was a Committee Member and trustee of the Bilderberg Association.
Silkie Carlo – https://twitter.com/silkiecarlo