—, June 11, 2012 If someone says “Bilderberg Group” with a straight face, most respectable folks reach for their canister of Bear Mace spray—only to check themselves because odds are, if someone is talking “Bilderberg” they’re probably packing something far more lethal than pepper fog.

And yet—our paranoid reactions to paranoiacs’ obsessions with Bilderberg are so unnecessary. There is, of course, a real Bilderberg Group—it’s not like Bilderberg is some delusional fantasy, like the chupacabra or profits. Bilderberg is basically like a Davos or Jackson Hole—only a bit whiter, crustier, and evil-er. But the idea is essentially the same: An annual pow-wow bringing together a cross-section of western power-elites from banking, politics, defense, energy, and industry.

What made Bilderberg an obsession with the Bircher/Ron Paul crowd was the key role David Rockefeller played over the years in handing out Bilderberg invitations. Which is an irrational hatred even by irrational hate standards, given the fact that David Rockefeller was trained in economics by the Yoda of the Bircher/libertarian crowd, Friedrich von Hayek—but then again, people have hated for far dumber reasons.

This week, the Bilderberg Group is gathering in Austria for their annual bull session, and in the benevolent spirit of transparency (or to rub it in our uninvited faces), they’ve released their “final list of participants.” The expected villains' names are there: Henry Kissinger, David Petraeus, Robert Rubin, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Richard “Prince of Darkness” Perle. . . . But for our purposes at Pando, it’s the select few Bilderbergers from Silicon Valley whose names cry out for our attention.

A scan through the list of Bilderbergers over the years shows that Silicon Valley has only recently established a clique within the clique. This year’s list features three Google participants: Eric Schmidt; Demis Hassabis, the AI whiz behind Google DeepMind; and Regina Dugan, the former head of DARPA turned Google executive whom Alex Jones warns invented “ingestible ID chips” that the Bilderbergers will want to force us all to swallow, because Henry Kissinger wants nothing more than to keep tabs on our dreary, monotonous lives.

More serious and significant here is the fact that Google is so well-represented, with three participants. Three names from one company is a rarity, something you might’ve seen in the past from a Goldman Sachs or Lazard—but not Silicon Valley. It shows not just Big Tech’s continued takeover of older established institutions of power, but specifically, Google’s—and it tracks with Google’s new role as the biggest lobbyist spender in Washington.

Next to Google’s three participants, there’s Palantir with two big names on the Bilderberg list: Peter Thiel [Disclosure: A Pando investor via Founders Fund], and Alex Karp. This is where things get a little complicated for the Ron/Rand Paul libertarian cultists and NWO conspiracists. Peter Thiel, as we’ve reported, was the main funder of Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential SuperPAC; Thiel has also been a rainmaker for Rand Paul’s campaign financing efforts, and Thiel has donated lavishly to a number of libertarian outfits, including Students For Liberty, which honored both Thiel and Edward Snowden (and Snowden honored SFL in kind). Thiel and Palantir also set up the Seasteading Institute, which co-organized a libertarian cruise a few years ago with the libertarian Reason magazine.

And yet, even as Thiel serves on the Bilderberg Group’s elite steering committee, Ron Paul, who took millions from Thiel, believes that Thiel’s friends control the world:

“They probably get together and talk about how they’re going to control the banking systems of the world and natural resources.”

There’s more: Napster/Facebook billionaire Sean Parker — who co-sponsored Rand Paul’s recent “Disrupt Democracy” shindig in SOMA and “invested heavily in Rand Paul’s political operation” according to Politico — is listed as a Bilderberg “participant” at the group’s 2010 meeting in Spain.

Another Facebook billionaire, New Republic publisher Chris Hughes, went Bilderberg in 2011.

But of all the Facebook bilderbergillionaires, Peter Thiel has been at it the longest—a “participant” every year since at least 2007. That’s one year longer than Eric Schmidt, who got his Bilderberg on in 2008. While Palantir CEO and co-founder Alex Karp is a relative newbie, Bilderbergering since 2012.

Perhaps the most surprising Bilderberg name that keeps popping up year after year is LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, a Bilderberg Group “participant” since 2011. That makes Reid Hoffman an OG one-world-government conspirator compared to even the likes of Palantir’s Karp. My editors Paul Carr and Sarah Lacy insist Hoffman’s about the nicest guy in the Valley, so they have some explaining to do here—either it’s a sign that the Bilderberg Group is getting soft around the evil-edges, or LinkedIn has configured a way of beaming government ID photons into users’ eyeballs when they log in. I get why Hoffman, who runs a giant techno-schmoozing platform, would want to schmooze with the Injustice League—but why would Henry Kissinger write him an invite? That’s the great unsolved mystery.

(The other mystery—what the Hell does Henry Kissinger, a Cold War fossil long past his expiration date, do at a Bilderberg meeting? Can he even lift his head, and grunt intelligible grunts? I imagine a half-decomposed Kissinger slouched over in a wheelchair like Grandpa in Texas Chainsaw Massacre, weakly clutching an old bloodied gavel, as Petraeus and Henri de Castries drag in a Canadian anti-globalization protester and pin him down between Kissinger’s legs, while Bilderberg “participants” Anne Applebaum and Ed Balls excitedly scream “Hit ‘im Grampa Henry! Like the old days! Hit the hippie good!”)

Another surprise is the unusually low Bill Gates Factor. Microsoft long ago proudly staked its claim to Big Tech Corporate Evil—and yet Gates’ name only shows up on the Bilderberg list once, in 2010. Instead, his spurned Microsoft successor, Craig Mundie, makes regular Bilderberg appearances going back to at least 2006.

Who else? Jeff Bezos made an appearance in 2013, along with that golden retriever of Big Tech optimism, Larry Lessig. Going back further, before Thiel and Schmidt technofied the Bilderberg Group, one of the few standout Silicon Valley names who participated was Esther Dyson, former chair of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, whose name appears on the Bilderberg list in 2007 and 2000.

As for “most disturbing Bilderberger” for our purposes has to go to Obama’s top antitrust enforcer in the DOJ, Christine Varney, a participant at the 2010 and 2011 meetups. Literally weeks after the 2011 Bilderberg meeting in Switzerland, Varney made a surprise announcement: she was quitting the DOJ to join the law firm Cravath, Swaine, to help clients battle government antitrust action.

Did the Bilderbergers have something to do with cutting short Varney’s antitrust tenure, which many business interests, especially in tech, thought was overly aggressive? One is tempted to ask the only two people courageous enough to tell the truth about the Bilderbergers — Ron and Rand Paul — but then one remembers, it’s hard to get an answer out of them while their heads are buried in the feeding troughs of Peter Thiel, Sean Parker, Palantir et al.