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What REALLY ‘Grows’ at Bohemian Grove?

How much do you really know about the place called “Bohemian Grove?”

It can be argued that ever since Richard Nixon went on live television to tell the American public from the Oval Office on August 8, 1974, that he would be resigning in light of the Watergate scandal, the damage that was done at the highest level of the American government caused a fracture in the trust of the American voter.

In the intervening decades, that trust has dissipated at an alarming rate, with many Americans today believing some increasingly bizarre conspiracy theories. From a baby blood drinking political elite to a group of ancient shape shifting lizard people, both of whom are apparently ruling from the shadows, the idea of an insidious, all powerful cabal controlling the world is not without its merits. This brings us to the curious, mysterious, and downright bizarre existence of Bohemian Grove.

Bohemian Grove
Photo by Brianhama, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Where EXACTLY is Bohemian Grove?

Nestled in the towering redwoods of Northern California is one of the most unusual ‘summer camps’ America has to offer. However, you can’t just hop in your old Studebaker and plan a road trip to this 2,700-acre campground at 20601 Bohemian Avenue, in Monte Rio, California. Not unless you are very rich, very powerful, and of course a very white male. Bohemian Grove was originally founded in 1872 as a gentleman’s club (known as the Bohemian Club) for artistic and intellectual types to spend a fortnight every July sharing ideas while drinking and being merry with the great American outdoors as their playground.

Over time, those artists, writers, and thinkers were replaced by Fortune 500 company directors, chief executives, lawyers, politicians and even presidents. With Presidents Roosevelt, Taft, Hoover, Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and both Bush all passed through the heavily guarded gates of Bohemian Grove throughout the 20th century. Such a wide collection of powerful men all meeting in one location where the wider public has no idea what world-changing topics are on the table. Only adding to the nature of its uncomfortable existence in a supposedly open and free democracy.

Over the years, the members of Bohemian Grove have come forward (not by choice, we’ll get to why soon) professing that it is merely a place for powerful people to let their hair down for a fortnight, pressure-free and without the prying eyes of those pesky, nosy journalists. And most importantly, while they insist it is ‘forbidden’ to discuss business while at the retreat, over the decades, there have been many informal “lakeside chats” by some of the most prominent people in 20th-century history discussing the most pressing issues going on in their respective times.

Although it is almost undeniably laughable that important decisions about the world and everyone in it were NOT discussed and decided upon during their two weeks of revelry, the bash, binge, and blowout of the elaborate entertainment on offer at Bohemian Grove has to be seen to be believed. It wouldn’t be until the dawning of the 21st century that the public would really see what the most powerful people get up to when they’re all in one place and the cameras aren’t rolling.

Bohemian Grove
Photo by Gabriel Moulin, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Bohemian Grove uncovered!

In 2000, British journalist, author, and filmmaker Jon Ronson and Alex Jones, now famous (or infamous depending on your perspective) as a far-right radio show host and prominent conspiracy theorist, managed to do what no one had done before. They got footage from inside the Bohemian Grove compound. And what they captured and subsequently released to the public, shocked, baffled, and troubled arguably everyone that saw it.

At the beginning of the retreat, an elaborate pagan-style ‘ritual’ is performed known as the Cremation of Care. Dressed in long black robes and lit only by torchlight, figures carry an effigy representing the “dull cares” of everyday life to the base of a 40ft concrete owl before a booming voice comes over the loud speakers to give a lengthy and theatrically sinister monologue accompanied by music and pyrotechnics. The aforementioned effigy of ‘care’ is then set alight, much to the enjoyment of those in attendance.

After the release of this footage, members of Bohemian Grove stated that this ‘ritual’ is merely a theatrical performance to symbolize the banishing of the member’s worldly cares while in this place. Despite the weirdness of having a faux pagan ritual performed for a decidedly non-pagan audience, the Cremation of Care ceremony is a theatrical production that has been performed at Bohemian Grove ever since it was created by journalist and poet, and a co-founder of the Bohemian Club, James F. Bowman.

And while Ronson would later describe the event as a “cod-pagan spooky ritual” for men reliving their college years, Ivy League schools have a whole plethora of their own ‘secret societies,’ Jones’s take on the events he cataloged would be viewed through a more nefarious and demonic lens. Describing the ceremony as “Luciferian garbage”, Jones would go on to suggest that the attendees of this most evil of ceremonies are actually witnessing REAL human sacrifice, and they know it

In the two decades since Jones unquestionably important footage hit the eyes of an astonished and shocked public, his own theatrically and angry, shouting persona has turned him into not only a credibility vacuum, but a truly despicable purveyor of wild conspiracy theories that have had a real world and destructive effect on real peoples lives. His Sandy Hook School shooting beliefs are the most hideous.

Jones’s views on the Bohemian Grove being a cult of world-dominating, human-sacrificing, giant owl-worshiping Lucifereans might be a stretch. Unfortunately, the idea that a small group of powerful individuals is working secretly behind the scenes to shape and create the world we live in, the wars we fight, and the people we elect (to name a few) is far from conspiratorial thinking. It’s as old as civilization itself.

Bohemian Grove
Photo by Aarkwilde, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

How much control they possess and the proof that they hold the global puppet strings is a difficult thing to conclusively prove. However, the fact that the Bohemian Grove is far from the only group that meets in secret should give pause to every rational-thinking citizen. Whether it’s The Freemasons, The Bilderberg Group, The Skull and Bones, The Knight Templar, or everyone’s go-to conspiracy bogeymen, The Illuminati, there is no shortage of groups that pique our curiosity and concern in equal measure when it comes to not only their intentions but in the case of The Illuminati, whether they exist at all.

So, in answer to the question in the title, what really ‘grows’ at Bohemian Grove? Suspicion, and an ever growing feeling that we are not as ‘free’ as some might fool themselves into believing. The more we learn about these secret groups, the more we realize that the balance of power is increasingly being held in the clenched fists of fewer and fewer people.

If you found this article on the strange happenings of Bohemian Grove fascinating, we also suggest reading: Meet the Most Controversial Politicians America Ever Had

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