An update on the Netherlands

I send weekly emails to my friends and family back home. Sometimes I am going to post them here. They have been edited to ensure that certain private details never see the light of day!

I spent the weekend looking for the pits where they perform the child sacrifices.

I cannot state whether I found them, however.

Oosterbeek, the town in which I stayed the weekend, is a small village an hour’s journey by train from Amsterdam. I thought I had never been to the Netherland’s before, but it turns out that I technically did visit Amsterdam on the way to Latvia a few years ago. I had a four hour layover at the airport there, and seeing the layout of the shopping mall there reminded me that international travel can be very, very weird.

The reason for my trip to Oosterbeek was purely academic. I belong to the COST Action COMPACT. COST is a pan-European research funding agency, and COMPACT is one of the funded research programmes, in this case research into the COMParative Analysis of Conspiracy Theories.

Being a member of a COST Action in my very particular and special position as a researcher in Romania has been both a pleasure and also deeply hilarious. I represent Romania in the Action, being, as you all surely know, the most Romanian person in the world. I also get fully subsidised for all my COST-related activities, such as staying in fancy hotels in Oosterbeek, despite the fact that my stipend in Romania is not taxed. Basically, I am the reason why the EU is in crisis: rich Westerners living off of the backs of humble EU citizens.

But back to the child sacrifices!

The hotel in which I was staying was the Hotel de Bilderberg. If that name does not ring a bell with you, then I can only surmise that you have not been paying any attention to my research. Hotel de Bilderberg is ground zero for a swathe of New World Order/One World Government conspiracy theories, as the hotel is synonymous with the Bilderberg Group, an organisation that runs yearly meetings with the movers and shakers of society, all in order to set the agenda for the future.

The Bilderberg Group is real, and had it’s first meeting at the Hotel de Bilderberg in the middle of last century. Set up by a local prince, the first meeting included such luminaries as Henry Kissinger amongst its founding members. It’s goal was to find a way to bring different nation states together in an informal setting, in order to work out their differences peacefully. The meeting was such a success that it was held the next year, and then the next year, and then made into an annual event. Former Bilderbergers include Margaret Thatcher (before she became PM), Bill Clinton, members of the Rothschild family, and the like. Getting invited to a Bilderberg Group meeting means you have made it in the political world (or someone thinks you are about to become very, very big).

The problem with the Bilderberg Group (well, one of them) is that their meetings, until relatively recently, were entirely secret and private. The meetings are not officially sanctioned by any governmental or intergovernmental body; every attendee goes there in their private capacity as a citizen interested in world affairs. Or, at least, that is what we are told. Of course, for a certain kind of person, this very much looks like a smokescreen; these “private” citizens with their connection to both politics and big business, are seen as representing elite interests, using the secrecy of a merely “private” meeting to subvert democratic norms.

People think it’s all a conspiracy.

Not just that, but given that it’s also “common knowledge” amongst conspiracy theorists of a certain stripe that said elites are paedophilic superpredators with Satanic interests, what goes on behind the closed doors of the various Bilderberg Group meetings are not just fancy dinners and the divvying up of financial assets. No, there are orgies, child sacrifices, and the communing with ancient gods whose names have been lost to time.

Thus my hunt for the sacrificial pits…

The Bilderberg Group never meets in the same hotel twice, so perhaps evidence of those early debauched acts has been slowly erased by successive renovations. Whatever the case, when Peter Knight (American Studies professor at Manchester) suggested that we hold a COST Action at the Hotel de Bilderberg, I knew that was a meeting I just had to attend. The chance to visit a site so tightly connected with a set of prominent conspiracy theories, and one of which I would bear no cost at all, could not be missed.

It was also overdetermined. A few months ago a fellow Romanian scholar of conspiracy theories contacted me and asked whether I would be willing to present a paper on Romanian conspiracy theories at the Bilderberg COST Action. Being the most Romanian person I know, I immediately said “Yes!” If I had not been a member of the COST Action they would have paid for me to come anyway. Admittedly, it did mean I had to write a paper on conspiracy theories in Romania, and present such a paper to an audience which would have at least one (other) Romanian in it. Given I am very much someone who is mostly into theory, being asked to talk about the history of a place where I can barely understand the local language was quite the challenge… Although it seems it is also one I overcame, given the warm reception to the paper itself, and the fact it is now going to be a chapter in an edited volume on conspiracy theories in former Eastern Bloc countries.

But enough vainglorious talk of academic work. What about those pits?

Well, in truth, I never did find them. But evidence of the Bilderberg Group is everywhere at the Hotel de Bilderberg. From photos of Henry Kissinger to his quotes emblazoned on walls, the Hotel de Bilderberg is trading on its early 20th Century fame.

Which probably also explains the dismal coffee they serve. But that is a matter for another time.