Probable Cause with Sibel Edmonds- Making Our Way through Slippery Slopes & Thin Lines

Welcome to our ninth episode of Probable Cause. This episode is dedicated to a few macro points and questions that were raised by you through our discussions on the last few episode topics. Consider this episode a needed pause to reflect and recollect before we proceed to our next subtopic.

With our topics and related context and real-life examples we have been dealing with heavy doses of reality on the ground. We are lifting the curtains, letting the light in, to see the naked truth. We are pushing the illusions out of the way, and staring truth in the eye. And the truth is not pretty. Far from it: it is ugly and vicious. It seems ominous. In many cases it is like a cancer that has greatly metastasized. How many activists and whistleblowers stop and turn their backs when they look the beast in the eye? How many people cover their eyes or look the other way when they catch a glimpse of the beast? How do we resist this common fate?

Additionally in this episode we’ll be talking about the difference between Pollyanna-esque optimism and realistic optimism. We’ll be discussing the importance of recognizing and acknowledging obstacles before we begin to look for approaches to overcoming them, and the importance of knowing our enemy, our opponents and their methods and tactics. And finally, we’ll be addressing one of the repeated questions in our forum: When are we going to take action? Is it going to be only talk, talk, and talk? How and when we are going to put all this talk into action?

*To listen to our previous episodes on this topic click here

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Probable Cause with Sibel Edmonds: Deep State Sugar Daddies, Mega NGOs & Controlled Opposition

Welcome to our eighth episode of Probable Cause. During our previous episode we talked about one of several tactics used by the powers to counter viable activist movements: Use of Sheep-Dipped operatives.

In this episode we are going to discuss another widely-utilized strategy for the purpose of coopting, pacifying and neutralizing opposition groups, networks and grassroots activists: Coopting and neutralizing viable movements via deep-state-funded political NGOs. I will attempt to explain how this process takes place, why it has been a proven method for success (success for the powers; the deep state), and what happens when a movement resists the cooptation. As with the previous episode I will be providing you with a real-life example as context, and will outline the tactic through a step-by-step account.

What we are about to cover here is the real-life dead-end of many organizations that begin with very noble causes, with a small dedicated network of activists, who become viable opposition, thus, a target of suppression and cooptation.

As always, I will be providing my take based on my experience and through my own personal lens and analyses, and will pose macro questions for you to consider. And as usual our next episode will be based on your reaction, critique, responses and questions posed in the comments section below.

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A Few Related Links

Part I. The Tentacles of Megas

Part II. The Journey from Watch-Dogs to Lap-Dogs

Part III. A Watch-Dog for All Seasons

Part IV. POGO: Mastering the Art of Lap-Dancing for Mega Sugar Daddies

How the ACLU, Ron Paul and a former EFF Director helped jail a CIA whistleblower

Compliance Guide for 501(c)(3) - Internal Revenue Service

Pros & Cons of 501(c)(3) Status

Empire, Power & People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 130

Kissinger: A Modern Machiavelli?

Roughly 500 years ago, Machiavelli wrote 'The Prince' as an instruction manual for how a 'Prince' may gain and maintain power, in which he outlined influential notions, such as the concept that it is much better to be feared than loved, or that it is better to be miserly than generous. At the time, Machiavelli was writing about the Italian city states and the families which ruled and fought over them. Specifically, he dedicated his book to the first family of finance and modern banking, the Medici clan, whom he served as a close advisor, or consigliere. Machiavelli is perhaps best personified in modern times by the likeness of Henry Kissinger, arch-imperial strategist and technocrat who has spent his career in service to the modern Medicis: the Rockefellers, Rothschilds, Agnellis and Oppenheimers, among others. This episode takes a look at the concept of Kissinger as consigliere to 'The Prince.'

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Globalization’s Game of Thrones- Part II: Managing the Wealth of the World’s Dynasties

Whoever wins this ‘Game of Thrones,’ the people lose

In part I of this series (“Globalization’s Game of Thrones”) I examined the concept of corporate and financial dynasties holding significant power in the modern world. In this, part 2 of the series, I examine the realities of the ‘wealth management’ industry in being responsible for handling the wealth and investments of the world’s richest families, and the role of a unique institution dedicated to protecting and propagating dynastic wealth: the family office.

A Family Affair

In 2010, Forbes – a major financial publication which publishes an annual list of the world’s richest people – noted that the richest of the richest 400 Americans were members of prominent corporate and financial dynasties, with six of the top ten wealthiest Americans being heirs to prominent fortunes, as opposed to being ‘self-made’ billionaires. What’s more, since the financial crisis began in 2007 and 2008, the fortunes of these dynasties – and the other super-rich who made the Forbes list – had only increased in value.

Corporate America can frequently be seen as the emblem of the ‘self-made’ rich, a representation of a supposedly democratic, capitalist society, where firms are run by “professional managers” who received the right education and developed the appropriate talents to make successful companies. The reality, however, is that roughly a third of the Fortune 500 companies (that is, many of the world’s largest multinational corporations) are in fact “family businesses,” frequently run by family members, and often outperforming the “professionally managed” firms “by a surprisingly large margin,” noted the New York Times.

In other words, in the United States – the beacon of the ‘self-made’ millionaire – a huge percentage of the most successful companies are owned by family dynasties, and most of the richest individuals are heirs to these family dynasties. The picture that begins to emerge better reflects that of an aristocracy, rather than a democracy.

As the New York Times noted in 2010, “the increasing use of so-called dynasty trusts” was undermining the notion that America was a meritocracy (where people ‘rise through the ranks’ of society based upon merit instead of money, access or family lineage). Dynastic trusts allow super-rich families “to provide their heirs with money and property largely free from taxes and immune to the claims of creditors,” not only providing for children, but “for generations in perpetuity – truly creating an American aristocracy.” In laws that predate the formation of the United States as an independent nation, such family trusts were only able to limit the term of the existing trust to roughly 90 years, after which the property and wealth which was consolidated into the trust would be owned directly by the family members. However, in changes that were implemented through Congress in the mid-1980s and in state legislatures across the U.S. in the 1990s, the rules were amended – with the pressure of the banking lobby – to allow family trusts to exist “forever,” a quiet coup for the existing and emerging aristocratic American class.

Thus, the modern dynasty trust was officially sanctioned as a legal entity – a type of private family company – that would be responsible for handling the collective wealth – in money, property, land, art, equities (stocks), bonds (debt), etc. – of the entire family, for generation after generation. The focus is on long-term planning to maintain, protect and increase the wealth of the dynasty, and to hold it ‘in trust’ against the inevitable in-fighting that accompanies dynastic succession and generational differences. This would prevent – in theory – one generation or patriarch from mishandling and squandering the entire family fortune.

The legal structure of a family trust differs greatly from public corporations, in that their focus is not on maximizing short-term quarterly profits for shareholders, but in maintaining multi-generational wealth and prestige. Family trusts are increasingly used to manage the wealth of the world’s super-rich dynasties, alongside private banking institutions and other wealth management and consulting firms. There is an entire industry dedicated to the management of money, wealth and investments for the super-rich, and it is focused largely – and increasingly – on family dynasties.

Of Rockefellers and Rothschilds

One of the world’s most famous family trusts – the “family office” – is that of Rockefeller & Co., now known as Rockefeller Financial. It was founded in 1882 by the oil baron industrialist John D. Rockefeller as the ‘family office’ to manage the Rockefeller family’s investments and wealth. Roughly a century after it was founded, in the 1980s, Rockefeller & Co. began selling its ‘expertise’ to other rich families, and by the year 2008, the trust had roughly $28 billion under management for multiple clients.

When the CEO of Rockefeller & Co., James S. McDonald, shot himself in an alley behind a car dealership in 2009, the family looked for and found a successor in the former Undersecretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs for the Bush administration, Rueben Jeffery III, a former partner at Goldman Sachs. Jeffery was responsible for handling the family’s wealth throughout the global financial crisis, and by 2012, the assets under management by Rockefeller Financial had grown to $35 billion.

As of late 2012, Rockefeller & Co. had approximately 298 separate clients, providing them with “financial, trust, and tax advice.” The typical clients for Rockefeller & Co. are families with more than $30 million in investments, and the group charges new clients a minimum annual fee of $100,000. However, the family office has increasingly been attracting clients beyond other family dynasties, including major multinational corporations awash with cash in a world where nation states are flooded in debt. David Harris, the chief investment officer of Rockefeller Financial, explained in a 2012 interview with Barron’s (a magazine for the super-rich), that as the world’s nations were stuck in a debt crisis, triple-A rated multinational conglomerates represented “the new sovereigns” with “unprecedented” amounts of cash to be invested.

And while prominent family trusts have become increasingly attractive for other rich families and institutions to handle their wealth, they have also become attractive investments in and of themselves. One of Europe’s largest banks, the French conglomerate Société Générale (SocGen) purchased a 37% stake in Rockefeller & Co. in June of 2008. However, with the European debt crisis, the bank had to cut a great deal of its assets, and so in 2012 Rueben Jeffery III managed the sale of the 37% stake in the Rockefeller enterprise from SocGen to RIT Capital Partners, the investment arm of the London Rothschild family, one of the world’s most famous financial dynasties.

Barron’s magazine noted that the official union of these two major financial dynasties “should provide some valuable marketing opportunities” in such an uncertain economic and financial landscape, where “new wealth” from around the world would seek “to tap the joint expertise of these experienced families that have managed to keep their heads down and their assets intact over several generations and right through the upheavals of history.”

Early in 2012, the Rothschild family, with various banks and investment entities spread out across multiple European nations and family branches, was making a concerted effort to begin the process of “merging its French and British assets into a single entity,” aiming to secure “long-term control” over the family’s “international banking empire,” reported the Financial Times. The main goal of the merger was “to cement once and for all the family’s grip on the business,” giving the family a 57 percent share in the voting rights, thus protecting the merged entity from hostile takeovers. Thus, as the Rothschild banking dynasty was seeking to consolidate its own family interests across Europe, they were simultaneously looking to expand into the U.S. through the Rockefellers.

Thus, when Lord Jacob Rothschild – who managed the British Rothschild’s family trust, RIT Capital Partners – announced that RIT would be purchasing a 37% stake in Rockefeller Financial Services in May of 2012 for an “undisclosed sum,” it was announced as a “strategic partnership” that would allow the Rothschilds to gain “a much sought-after foothold in the US,” representing a “transatlantic union” that officially unites the two family patriarchs of David Rockefeller and Jacob Rothschild, “whose personal relationship spans five decades.”

At the time of the announcement, David Rockefeller, who was then 96-years-old, commented that, “Lord Rothschild and I have known each other for five decades. The connection between the two families is very strong.” Rockefeller & Co.’s CEO, Rueben Jeffery III, declared that, “there is a shared vision, at the conceptual and strategic level, that marrying the two names with particular products, services, geographic market opportunities, can and will have resonance. These are things we will want to act on as this partnership and overall relationship evolves.” In a world where families hold immense wealth and power, the official institutional union of two of the world’s most famous and recognizable dynastic names makes for an attractive investment for newer dynasties seeking propagation and preservation.

The Family Office

As the Financial Times noted in 2013, the “family office” for the world’s wealthy dynasties, which had “long been cloaked in a shroud of secrecy as rich families have sought to keep their personal fortunes private” has become more popular with “the explosion of wealth in the past few decades and dissatisfaction with the poor performance of portfolios handled by global private banks.” Still, many so-called “single family offices” continue to operate in secrecy, managing the wealth of a single dynasty, but the emergence of “multi-family offices” (MFOs) has become an increasing trend in the world of wealth management, handling the wealth and investments of multiple families.

The world’s largest private banks have specific “family office arms” which are dedicated to managing dynastic wealth, and these banks continue to dominate the overall market. Bloomberg Markets published a list of the top 50 MFOs in 2013, with HSBC Private Wealth Solutions topping the list, advising assets totaling $137.3 billion, with other banks appearing on the top ten list such as BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Pictet and UBS Global Family Office. Despite the fact that the family office arms of the world’s top private banks dominate the list, many of the oldest family offices made the list, such as Bessemer Trust and Rockefeller & Co. A top official at HSBC Private Bank was quoted by the Financial Times as saying: “Very wealthy families are becoming more and more globalized. It’s not just the fact that they are acquiring assets – like real estate – in several jurisdictions, but family members are scattered around the globe and need to be able to transact in those countries.” In effect, we are witnessing the era of the globalization of family dynasties.

Such a view is shared by Carol Pepper, a former financial adviser and portfolio manager at Rockefeller & Co. who established her own consulting firm – Pepper International – in 2001, specializing in advising families with more than $100 million in net worth. In a 2013 interview with Barron’s, Pepper explained that with the globalization of higher education – where the super-rich from around the world send their children to the same prominent academic institutions – as well as with the emergence of associations designed to bring wealthy families together, “the 19th century [is] coming back,” referring to the era of Robber Baron industrialists and co-operation between the major industrial and financial fortunes of the era. Pepper explained that in the present global environment, she was witnessing “a lot more exchange of ideas among wealthy families from different countries than there ever was before,” with such families increasingly investing in and with each other, noting that “inter-family transactions” had increased by 60% in the previous two years.

The globalization of family dynasties and the ‘return’ to the 19th century is an institutional phenomenon, facilitated by elite universities, business and family associations, international organizations, conferences and other organizations. Thus, regardless of geographic location, the world’s wealthiest families tend to send their children to one of a list of relatively few elite universities, such as Wharton, Harvard or the London School of Economics. At these and similar schools, noted Carol Pepper, the future heirs of family fortunes attain “both the know-how and the contacts for forging overseas collaborations between family businesses.”

So-called ‘non-profit’ associations like the International Family Office Association, the Family Business Network, and ESAFON, among others, are institutional representations of “intentional efforts by rich clans to rub shoulders with one another.” Instead of a rich family in one region hiring an outside firm to introduce them to a new market, they simply are able to reach out directly to the wealthy families within that market, and, as Pepper explained, their interests will be increasingly aligned and “hopefully you’ll all make money together.”

Instead of relying on banks as intermediaries between markets, rich families with more than $47 million to invest are pooling their wealth into the multi-family offices (MFOs). The Financial Times explained that such wealthy families were “crying out for something financial institutions have singularly failed to provide: a one-stop shop to manage both their business and personal interests.” Further, as banks have been coming under increased scrutiny since the financial crisis, “there is still a clandestine nature to the family-office world that will continue to attract clients.” Explaining this, the Financial Times appropriately quoted advice by the character Don Corleone from The Godfather, when he told his son: “Never tell anybody outside the family what you’re thinking.”

As the Wall Street Journal noted, family offices “are private firms that manage just about everything for the wealthiest families: tax planning, investment management, estate planning, philanthropy, art and wine collections – even the family vacation compound.” As such, regardless of where many family fortunes are made, the family office has come to represent the central institution of modern dynasties. And the growth of multi-family offices has been astounding, with the number increasing by 33% between 2008 and 2013, with more than 4,000 in the United States alone, the country with the highest number of wealthy families and individuals, including 5,000 households that have more than $100 million in assets. The Wall Street Journal noted: “You don’t have to be a Rockefeller to join a family office.” However, it does help to have hundreds of millions of dollars.

In 2012, the list of the largest multi-family offices were largely associated with major banks, including HSBC, BNY Mellon, UBS, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, but Rockefeller Financial maintained a prominent position as the 11th largest multi-family office (according to assets under advisement and number of families being served). And beyond the specific arm of the ‘multi-family office’ to the list of the top wealth management groups as a whole, private bank branches of some of the world’s most recognizable bank names dominated the list: Bank of America Global Wealth & Investment Management, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo & Company, UBS Wealth Management, Fidelity, and Goldman Sachs, among others. However, after the top 19 wealth management companies in the world – all of which were arms of major global banking and financial services conglomerates – came number twenty on the list: Rockefeller Financial.

Indeed, things have never been better for the super-rich. A 2012 poll of 1,000 wealthy Americans by the Merrill Lynch Affluent Insights Survey revealed that 58% of respondents felt more financially secure in 2012 than they did the previous year. In 2013, U.S. Trust, the private banking arm of Bank of America, released a survey of 711 individuals with more than $3 million in investable assets, of whom 88% reported that they were more financially secure today than they were before the financial crisis in 2007. Further, the main goal for the super-rich in 2013 was reported to be “asset appreciation” as opposed to “extreme caution”, as the survey reported for 2012.

In 2013, Bloomberg Markets Magazine reported that the number of wealthy people in the world with more than $1 million in investable assets had increased by 9.2% over 2012, reaching a new record of 12 million individuals, and the assets by the rich increased by roughly 10%, reaching a combined total of roughly $46.2 trillion. With this growth in extreme wealth, the wealth management business is itself becoming a major growth industry, with independent firms competing against the big banks in a race to manage the spoils of the world’s super-rich.

And the world’s big banks want to get more of this investable wealth. For example, Goldman Sachs has boosted its private wealth management services. The number of partners at the bank working in asset management in 2010 represented 4.5% of the bank’s total partners, a number which grew to 12% by 2012. Tucker York, the head of private wealth management in the U.S. for Goldman Sachs, noted: “This is a relationship business, and long-term relationships matter… The focus for us is to have the right quality and caliber of people come into the business and stay in the business for a long, long time.”

The managing director and chief investment officer of Goldman Sachs’ private wealth management arm, Mossavar-Rahmani, told Barron’s in 2012: “This is the time to be a long-term investor… There are very few market participants in today’s environment who can truly be long-term investors. Who can really afford to be a long-term investor? The ultra-high-end client is the only one we could think of, because they generally have more money than their spending needs.” In addition, he noted, “their assets are multigenerational,” and, what’s more, “they are not accountable to anyone.”

In a world of immense inequality, with the super-rich controlling more wealth than the rest of humanity combined, the wealth management industry – and within it, the ‘family office’ – have become growth industries and increasingly important institutions. The whole process of globalization has facilitated not only the internationalization of financial markets, multinational corporations and the economies they dominate, but it has in turn facilitated the globalization of family dynasties themselves, whose wealth is largely based on control over corporate and financial assets and institutions.

In globalization’s ‘Game of Thrones’, the world’s super-rich families compete and cooperate for control not simply over nations, but entire regions and the world as a whole. As dynasties seek perpetuation, most people on this planet are concerned with survival. Whoever wins this ‘Game of Thrones,’ the people lose.

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Andrew Gavin Marshall- BFP Partner Producer, Contributing Author & Analyst
Andrew Gavin Marshall is an independent researcher and writer based in Montreal, Canada, with a focus on studying the ideas, institutions, and individuals of power and resistance across a wide spectrum of social, political, economic, and historical spheres. He is Project Manager of The People’s Book Project and has a weekly podcast show with BoilingFrogsPost

Globalization’s ‘Game of Thrones’, Part 1: Dynastic Power in the Modern World

The stories, players & structures of the world’s dominant dynasties

Think of any period in human history when empires and imperialism were common features of society, whether from ancient Egypt, Rome, China, to the Ottomans and the rise of the European and Japanese empires. There is an institution that – with few exceptions – was prevalent across most imperial societies: the family dynasty.

In a world dominated by institutions – organized hierarchically and embedded with their own functions and ideologies – the ‘family unit’ is very often the first and most important institution in the development of individuals. For the rich and powerful, the family unit has been the principal institution through which power is accumulated, preserved and propagated, precisely because the interest is multi-generational, requiring long-term planning and strategy.

In powerful states and empires, families have been essential in the process of constructing and governing the major institutions within those societies, as well as in the direct control of the imperial or state structure itself. Whether emperors, kings, queens or sultans, family dynasties have very often exerted direct political control of society. This has been the case for much of human history, at least so long as empires and states have been consistent features. And yet, in the modern era, we imagine our societies to be free of dynastic rule – an archaic feature of a world long past, not consistent with the ideals and functions of democracy, capitalism or modernity. We might imagine this to be true, but we would, in fact, be wrong.

Dynastic power not only remains, but it evolves and adapts, and in the present world of ‘globalization’ – with the growth of the modern nation-states, with the development of state capitalist societies, the banking and financial systems, the monetary-central banking system, industrialization and the multinational corporation – in a world largely dominated by a single state, the United States, acting as the international imperial arbiter on behalf of powerful corporate and financial interests, dynastic power remains a central institution in the global system.

There are, however, notable differences from past era of imperial and royal families. Today, most – but certainly not all – dynasties do not hold formal or direct political authority. The world’s most economically and politically powerful countries are no longer governed by kings and queens or emperors. Instead, modern dynastic power is largely a development that emerged with the decline in the authority of monarchs, and with the rise in parliamentary democracy and capitalism.

As the political and economic spheres began to be opened up, new structures emerged to quickly centralize power within those spheres. As kings and queens handed over the ultimate authority to issue coin to other institutions, merchants and financiers stepped in to increase their influence over the new institutions of a changing world order. Out of these monumental social transformations came new dynasties, embedded within the financial, industrial and corporate oligarchies. Their power was not in direct control of the political apparatus, but in their concentration of control over the financial, economic and industrial spheres. With that power, inevitably, came both the desire and the ability to influence and pressure the political sphere.

Today, it is the industrial, financial and corporate dynasties that have risen to unparalleled positions of authority in the age of globalization. And yet, while some of their names ring familiar to the ears of many, they are frequently thought of as relics of past centuries rather than titans of today, or their names are altogether unfamiliar, as is their positions and influence within our societies. We see power – typically – in terms of those who hold political office: prime ministers and presidents who we elect, as is consistent with our belief that we live in democracies. We see competing factions of political parties vying for office, with us – the people – as the ultimate arbiters of who gets to hold power. The influence of globalization’s dynasties remains unseen, or, misunderstood.

When one hears the concept of relatively few families exerting unparalleled influence over the modern world, the immediate reaction or insinuation is that of a ‘conspiracy theory’. Images of smoke-filled back rooms and mentions of ‘thirteen families’ sitting around a table deciding world events permeate the perceptions of those who question or are confronted with the question of the role of powerful families in the modern world. And yet, the concept of dynastic rule – of families competing, cooperating, and indeed, conspiring with and against each other for control and domination – are prevalent and popular within our culture.

A perfect example of this is with the immense popularity of both the books and the television show, ‘Game of Thrones.’ Set in a mythical world, yet largely based upon the historical rivalries of the ‘War of the Roses’, we witness the characters evolve and events unfold as several families and dynasties battle each other, conspire, compete and cooperate for control of the known world. They are frequently ruthless, cunning and deceitful, often surrounded by ‘yes men’ or the poison-tongued advisers who rose to their positions not by virtue of birth and name, but by their individual capacities for manipulation and cunning. It is a world in perpetual war, engrossing poverty, with the privileged few sending the poor to fight their battles for them, to die and suffer while the rich few propagate and prosper. With no lack of conspiracies, the greatest threat to individual members of dynasties typically comes from their own or comparatively powerful families. Issues of patriarchy, incest, blood-lust, and secession – to the head of the family or the head of the throne – are consistent throughout.

Indeed, the world of ‘Game of Thrones’ – so popular in our culture – is not so far from the reality of our culture, itself. In the world of globalization, families cooperate, compete, and perhaps even conspire against and with each other or themselves. They keep the politics of dynastic power from being understood or contemplated by the masses. We are distracted with sports, entertainment, ‘royal weddings’, a fear of foreigners and terrorism, and are blinded and manipulated by a deeply embedded propaganda system. Our celebrity culture celebrates banality and irrelevance: we tune in to the latest Kim Kar-crash-ian disaster of a human being that plasters the tabloids, while we tune out to the rivalries and repercussions of ‘Globalization’s Game of Thrones’.

While modern dynasties share many characteristics of past ruling families, they have their major distinctions, largely derived from the fact that most of them do not hold formal political or absolute authority. Past dynasties typically held absolute authority over their local regions, states or kingdoms. That type of authority does not exist at the major state, regional or global levels today, with few exceptions, such as the ruling monarchs of the Gulf Arab dictatorships. Yet, while the mechanism of authority is less centralized or formalized in the modern world, the scope and reach of authority – or influence – has expanded exponentially. In short, while in past eras, a single family may have exerted absolute authority over a comparably small region or empire, today, the indirect influence of a dynastic family may reach across the globe, though it remains far from absolute.

Thus, we should not mistake modern dynasties as replications of previous ruling families. They are adaptations to the modern era. With the emergence and prevalence of globalization, multinational corporations, banks, financial markets, philanthropic foundations, think tanks, media conglomerates, educational institutions, public relations and the advertising industries, financial and industrial oligarchs and dynasties have come to be integrated with the nation-state structure. Families that have established modern dynasties typically rose to prominence through their concentration of power and wealth in financial, industrial and corporate spheres. From these positions, political power and influence became a necessity, or else the loss of economic power would be an inevitability.

Such dynasties would frequently establish a ‘family office’ – a private corporate entity – which would handle all of the investments, interests and finances of a dynasty; they would create new universities which would focus on producing knowledge and intellectuals capable of managing changes within and protecting the social order, instead of intellectual talents or pursuits being channeled into areas that challenge the prevailing order. Dynastic families establish ‘philanthropic foundations’ to serve a dual purpose of justifying their wealth and influence (by being perceived as ‘giving back’), but which, in actuality, provide concentrations of wealth managed for the purpose of ‘strategic giving’: to undertake social engineering projects with an ultimate objective of maintaining social control. While appearing to be ‘charitable’ institutions, the major foundations are predominantly interested in the process of long-term social engineering. Notably among such foundations are the Rockefeller Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, Ford Foundation, Open Society Institute, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among many others.

Not unrelated – as they are frequently established and funded by foundations – think tanks are created with the intent to bring elite interests together from a wide array of institutions: financial, industrial, corporate, academic/intellectual, media, cultural, foreign policy and political spheres. In think tanks, top officials from these sectors are gathered in a single institution where they work together to plan strategies for economic and foreign policies, for establishing consensus between elites, and to serve as training and recruitment grounds for officials to enter the political and foreign policy establishment, where they are capable of enacting the very policies developed within the think tanks. Notable think tanks with immense influence – specifically in the United States – include the Council on Foreign Relations, the Brookings Institution, the Carnegie Endowment, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Larger, international think tanks have been increasingly common during the era of globalization, uniting respective elites from across the powerful western industrial states, instead of simply the elites within each respective state. Notable among these institutions are the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group and the World Economic Forum.

The prevalence of financial, industrial and corporate dynasties within these institutions has ensured that such families have significant political influence, and have – moreover – played pivotal roles in the construction and evolution of our modern state-capitalist society. Not coincidentally, with the preservation and propagation of modern dynastic power has come the preservation and propagation of modern imperialism, no longer established as a formal colonial system of control. Instead, it is represented as a complex inter-dependency and interaction of institutions and ideologies that manifest as a system of globalized ‘informal imperialism’, with the United States at the center.

Some of the names of these dynasties are better known than others, like Rothschild and Rockefeller, while others are better known within their own countries or barely known at all, like Agnelli (in Italy), Wallenberg (in Sweden) and Desmarais (in Canada). Each family dynasty has their own unique history, with power concentrated in particular companies or family offices. Many, if not most, of these families also have significant connections with each other, acting as joint shareholders in various companies, sitting on the same boards and mingling in the same social circles. They cooperate and they compete with each other for influence in Globalization’s ‘Game of Thrones’.

This series aims to bring to light some of the stories, players and structures of the world’s dominant dynasties. The research included in this series has been undertaken through The People’s Book Project, a crowd-funded initiative to produce a series of books examining the ideas, institutions and individuals of power, as well as the methods and movements of resistance in the modern world.

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Andrew Gavin Marshall- BFP Partner Producer, Contributing Author & Analyst
Andrew Gavin Marshall is an independent researcher and writer based in Montreal, Canada, with a focus on studying the ideas, institutions, and individuals of power and resistance across a wide spectrum of social, political, economic, and historical spheres. He is Project Manager of The People’s Book Project and has a weekly podcast show with BoilingFrogsPost

Empire, Power & People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 109

Globalization's 'Game of Thrones'

EPPIn the popular television show - and the books it was based upon - we are witness to the internal politics, passions and power-plays of the main ruling dynasties of a fictional world, vying for power, going to war, conniving and controlling, killing and cooperating in a Machiavellian manner. The modern cultural phenomenon of 'Game of Thrones' holds similar themes to the reality of the most powerful corporate and financial dynasties in the world today, whether it be the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Wallenbergs, Agnellis, Desmarais, Safras, or any assortment of other families. The dynastic family remains a cornerstone of power in the world, though there is significantly less attention to those who wield it. This episode examines a few stories of the 'Game of Thrones' in the era of Globalization.

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Global Power Project, Part 4: Banking on Influence with JPMorgan Chase

Meet the Elites at the Biggest & Most Connected Bank

In May, JPMorgan Chase was listed as the largest bank in the world with assets at roughly $4 trillion — some $1.53 trillion of it in derivatives. This was reported a month after the announcement that the bank had posted a record first-quarter profit of $6.5 billion.

Jamie Dimon, the bank’s CEO and Chairman, has faced a host of scandals in relation to his management of the megabank, including the loss of roughly $6 billion through the London branch of the bank — losses that Dimon was accused of hiding. [Read more...]

Corbett Report- Beyond Bilderberg

The alt media has done a remarkable job of raising awareness of the Bilderberg meetings in the last few years. Now, as this year's conference gets set to kick off in Watford, UK, this year's protest is shaping up to be the largest one yet. But as hopeful as this growing Bilderberg awareness is, there is always the question: what other meetings, conferences and groups are flying under the radar while the alt media is fixated on the Bilderbergers? Join us this week on The Corbett Report as we explore what lies beyond Bilderberg.

*Show Notes & MP3 is available here @ Corbett Report: http://www.corbettreport.com/?p=7435

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The U.S. Strategy to Control Middle Eastern Oil

“One of the Greatest Material Prizes in World History”

saudIn the midst of World War II, Saudi Arabia secured a position of enormous significance to the rising world power, America. With its oil reserves essentially untapped, the House of Saud became a strategic ally of immense importance, “a matter of national security, nourishing U.S. military might and enhancing the potentiality of postwar American hegemony.” Saudi Arabia welcomed the American interest as it sought to distance itself from its former imperial master, Britain, which it viewed with suspicion as the British established Hashemite kingdoms in the Middle East – the old rivals of the Saudis – in Jordan and Iraq.[1]

The Saudi monarch, Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman al Saud had to contend not only with the reality of Arab nationalism spreading across the Arab world (something which he would have to rhetorically support to legitimate his rule, but strategically maneuver through in order to maintain his rule), but he would also play off the United States and Great Britain against one another to try to ensure a better deal for ‘the Kingdom’, and ensure that his rivals – the Hashemites – in Jordan and Iraq did not spread their influence across the region. Amir (King) Abdullah of Transjordan – the primary rival to the Saudi king – sought to establish a “Greater Syria” following World War II, which would include Transjordan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, and not to mention, the Hejaz province in Saudi Arabia. The image and potential of a “Greater Syria” was central in the mind of King Abdul Aziz. The means through which the House of Saud would seek to prevent such a maneuver and protect the ‘Kingdom’ was to seek Western protection. As the United States had extensive oil interests in the Kingdom, it seemed a natural corollary that the United States government should become the ‘protector’ of Saudi Arabia, especially since the British, long the primary imperial hegemon of the region (with France a close second), had put in place the Hashemites in Transjordan and Iraq.[2] For the Saudis, the British could not be trusted. [Read more...]

FDL Takes on POGO in Support of Bradley Manning

Corporate-Funded Lap-Dog Watchdogs, AntiWar.Com, Whistleblowers & Bradley Manning

pogoLast year, in our series ‘Mega Corporate Foundations’ Lap-Dogs’ we took on pseudo-whistleblower watchdog organization Project on Government Oversight (POGO) and their consistent betrayal of legit government whistleblowers, their corporate sugar-daddies such as Soros-Rockefellers-Carnegie, and their incestuous relationship with the Executive Branch, especially the White House. You can read our coverage here, here, and here.  We also produced a video report on POGO begging the obvious question: Who’s Watching the Watchdogs: [Read more...]

The Rockefeller World, Council on Foreign Relations & the Trilateral Commission

‘The Ultimate Networking & Socializing institution among the American elite’

By Andrew Gavin Marshall

The following is a sneak peak from a chapter in Andrew Gavin Marshall’s upcoming book funded through The People’s Book Project.

It is quite apparent in the history of America from the late 19th century and into the 20th century, that the Rockefeller family has wielded massive influence in shaping the socio-political economic landscape of society. However, up until the first half of the 20th century came to a close, there were several other large dominant families with whom the Rockefellers shared power and purpose, notably among them, the Morgans. As the century progressed, their interests aligned further still, and following World War II, the Rockefellers became the dominant group in America, and arguably, the world. Of course, there was the well-established business links between the major families emerging out of the American Industrial Revolution going into the 20th century, followed with the establishment of the major foundations designed to engage in social engineering. It was with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) that the changing dynamics of the Morgan-Rockefeller clan became most apparent.

As discussed earlier in this book, the Council on Foreign Relations is the ultimate networking and socializing institution among the American elite. The influence of the CFR is unparalleled among other think tanks. One study revealed that between 1945 and 1972, roughly 45% of the top foreign policy officials who served in the United States government were also members of the Council, leading one prominent member to once state that membership in the Council is essentially a “rite of passage” for being a member of the foreign policy establishment. One Council member, Theodore White, explained that the Council’s “roster of members has for a generation, under Republican and Democratic administrations alike, been the chief recruiting ground for Cabinet-level officials in Washington.”[1]

The CIA, as previously examined, is also no stranger to this network, since more often than not in the first several decades of the existence of the Agency, its leaders were drawn from Council membership, such as Allen Dulles, John A. McCone, Richard Helms, William Colby, and George H.W. Bush. As some researchers have examined: [Read more...]

Podcast Show #68

The Boiling Frogs Presents James Corbett

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This is Part III of our interview series on the New World Order. For the Part I & II interviews click here and here.

Independent investigative journalist and producer James Corbett joins us to share with us his journey to and life in Japan as a journalist, how he began the production of his ground-breaking investigative video reports, and his definition of and views on independent media. He provides us with the birth and history of Eugenics, a pseudo scientific study of the presumed racial characteristics of various societal groups with an aim to explaining why the various peoples of the world occupy the positions they do based on the notion that the rich and powerful were rich and powerful because they were genetically superior, how this junk science, pandering as it did to the most racist and elitist interests of the moneyed class, became universally accepted in the Western world, where countries began implementing laws to allow the government to sterilize those citizens it deemed to be "unfit, and how the Rockefeller-funded Kaiser Wilhelm Institute gave the Nazi regime an ideological excuse to take the idea to its logical conclusion. Mr. Corbett explains the continuation of Eugenics under the new name- crypto-eugenics, the relationship and connections between this group and the ruling class and the power players of the New World Order, the role of various NGOs in continuation and implementation of the philosophy, and more!

CorbettJames Corbett is an independent journalist who has been living and working in Japan since 2004. He has been writing and producing The Corbett Report, an online multi-media news and information source since 2007. Mr. Corbett also produces exclusive weekly investigative reports for Boiling Frogs Post. His forthcoming book, Reportage: Essays on the New World Order, will be available for purchase later this year. For more information about Corbett and his background please listen to Episode 163 of The Corbett Report podcast, Meet James Corbett.

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AntiWar.Com’s Momentary Insanity or Selective Amnesia

Crucial Missing Information in Hasty Marketing of a Lap-Dog Watch-Dog


antiwarThis morning I was very surprised to find at AntiWar.Com a long marketing piece written on an infamous Lap-Dog Watch-Dog. Written by an apparently ignorant contributor, Kelley Vlahos, the piece is filled with highly selective and sugar-coated promotional misinformation. Missing from this PR piece for this corporate NGO was its $4 million backing by George Soros, Rockefeller family members, Carnegie, and numerous ‘Secret & Classified’ corporate backers. That’s not all. For a site that has been promoting itself as anti government secrecy, Antiwar.Com’s not-so-bright Vlahos conveniently blacks out POGO’s record on supporting the Obama administration’s retaliation against whistleblowers, his pro secrecy actions, and his anti transparency campaign since day one of his presidency. Let me show you the widely-watched record of this information that was intentionally left out by Antiwar.Com:

And this one:

Also numerous documented reports and article previously provided to Antiwar.Com; here are a few:

POGO: Mastering the Art of Lap-Dancing for Mega Sugar Daddies

A Watch-Dog for All Seasons

The Journey from Watch-Dogs to Lap-Dogs

The Tentacles of Megas

I have been a supporter of AntiWar.Com for many years. We have common readership with them here at Boiling Frogs Post. Granted, it’s been highly annoying to find more and more mainstream media (especially NY Times & Washington Post) generated news roundups at their website in the last few months, and less and less presentation of alternative voices. However, this one really goes beyond the level of my tolerance; as it should with many of their readers who have been dishing out $400,000 a year for them to remain an alternative. I hope their contributors will take this into consideration two months from now when they start beating the ‘help sustain us’ drum.  I know I am not going to support the next round until I see some signs of positive change…at least back to where they were before.

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Part IV. POGO: Mastering the Art of Lap-Dancing for Mega Sugar Daddies

Follow the Money …Even when it comes to NGO Mini Lap-Dogs

lapdogWe began our series with a snapshot of Mega Corporate Foundations extending their tentacles to organizations and entities involved in government watchdog practices and grassroots activism. We summarized the classic story of the transformation from Government Watchdogs to Mega-Corporate Lapdogs. We presented to you the profile of “An Ideal Watch-Dog Lap-Dog” from the perspective of a well-known Mega Corporate Foundation-Carnegie: A Government Watch-Dog Lap-Dog that is loved & cherished by the entire government. Now it is time to take a look at the profile of a mini watch-dog lap-dog: the sugar daddies pouring large sums into their panties, how much money they get, who conducts and choreographs the lap-dance shows internally, and what they show and market as ‘performance’ to the public .

Project on Government Oversight (POGO)

Like many grassroots and government watchdog entities out there POGO started small and passionate with noble intentions and objectives: [Read more...]

Part III. A Watch-Dog for All Seasons

Carnegie Corporation: We Love POGO, So Does the Entire US Government!

JokerIn the spring of 2010 the Carnegie Corporation issued a glowing report on their favorite government watchdog Project on Government Oversight (POGO). The report was meant to justify and showcase the large grants given to POGO by the corporation over the last few years. In 2008 and 2009 alone the corporation had given over $700,000 to this pet-project (lap-dog aka watch-dog). After reading the report one can’t help but wonder at the miscalculation that went with this report’s intention. What was intended to be a glowing report ends up being a major indicator as to the real nature of this corporate-foundation funded government watch-dog turned lap-dog. Allow me to explain further:

Real government watchdogs, if they are doing what they are supposed to be doing, if they are engaged in what they say they are engaged in, become the object of the government’s wrath and hatred. There is no way around this. No way. The executive branch agencies would be up in arms against them: digging their graves as ferocious and as fast as they can; overtly and covertly. And this includes the office of the United States President; the White House.

The legislative branch would be extremely wary of real government watchdogs. After all, real separation of powers ceased to exist a long time ago. Not only that; the last thing the US Congress wants is the existence of whistleblowers in their own backyard. Considering the level of corruption in Congress (think foreign lobby influence; think various methods of going around campaign finance laws; think campaign donors and conflicts of interest when it comes to the congressional decision and legislation making process) how many whistleblowers have we had coming out of congressional offices with reports of corruption, bribery, and other related misdeeds? I believe I have made the case here; suffice to say, Congress has never liked whistleblowers or genuine watchdog groups, evident by their resistance to providing real protection for whistleblowers, holding real hearings on legit whistleblower cases, and holding the executive branch accountable based on proven reports provided to them by whistleblowers.

I’ll go even further: The corporate mainstream media has never been very kind to government whistleblowers, and they usually perceive a genuine watchdog group as a real threat exposing their own cover-up or biased-filled reporting tainted by their masters in corporate and government. I mean, come on, what happens if a genuine watchdog group issues a report exposing illegal wiretapping by the government, when a giant media group, per order of their bosses, chooses to bury and sit on that same revelation? You see what I mean? The reason for the dislike goes beyond a ‘competitive’ relationship; way beyond it.

Now what should be the first thing, first inference, first conclusion, to come to mind (a rational mind that is) when one comes across a self-proclaimed tax-exempt mega corporation-funded watch-dog that happens to be adored by mega corporations, intensely liked by the Congress, truly liked by the executive branch including the White House, and very much admired and complemented by the tainted corporate media? Do you see something extremely disturbing yet very revealing with this picture? Then, with that in mind, let’s read the glowing report issued by the mega corporation, Carnegie Foundation, on their favorite watch-dog, POGO: [Read more...]