WHILE majoring in history at Stanford University, Gary Allen became involved in "power-structure research" on the U.S. banking and corporate elites and their roles in shaping the course of U.S. political and economic policies during this century. Over the last 20 years he has become the leading authority on secretive Establishment organizations including the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. Mr. Allen's commentaries appear regularly in American Opinion magazine, of which he is a contributing editor. His nine books include None Dare Call It Conspiracy, with more than five million copies in print . . ..
Q. Mr. Allen, you have been investigating and writing about the U.S. financial, industrial, and political elite for nearly 20 years. In examining the inner circles of economic power in America, particularly the Trilateral Commission and the much older Council on Foreign Relations, you were pretty much alone until recently. Then, starting with the close of Jimmy Carter's first year as President, a number of articles began appearing in mass-circulation magazines raising serious questions about this elite and its interest groups. Recently a mass news magazine noted that George Bush's membership in the Trilateral Commission may disqualify him in the eyes of most rank and file Republicans. How did this change in the public's awareness of the Trilateral Commission come about?
A. It has been the result of a slow and careful education process. We did the research and laid the groundwork and waited. As we did so, Jimmy Carter appointed a score or so of Trilateralists to the top posts in his Administration. To deny the authority of our analysis, which had predicted this, became more and more difficult. It couldn't be ignored. Those who tried to do so looked like Jimmy Durante trying to steal a circus elephant, getting caught, and responding: 'What elephant?"
In short: The situation became too obvious to ignore and people ran out of rationalizations.
Q. How did you become involved in investigating the Trilateral group?
A. My interest in power-structure research dates back long before David Rockefeller organized the Trilateral Commission in 1972. Its immediate antecedents are the Council on Foreign Relations (C.F.R.) and the Bilderbergers. The former is a secretive group of American-based bankers, academics, and industrialists that has controlled U.S. foreign policy since Franklin Roosevelt. The latter, equally exclusive and secretive, is composed of top United States and European bankers and corporate and political leaders. The Council on Foreign Relations has been run from New York since its founding after World War I. The Bilderbergers have been secretly meeting annually at plush international spas for the past 28 years to coordinate economic, commercial, and political policies.
The first of the post-war writers to examine the Council on Foreign Relations and the policies it advocated, promoted, and eventually turned into official U.S. policy was Dan Smoot, who published The Invisible Government in 1963. This important book was essentially a reference manual on the structure of the C.F.R., listing its membership, its satellite organizations, and its goals.
The next major breakthrough was developed by Don Bell, who had been publishing a newsletter for 27 years on secret arrangements and agreements made by the international banking community. Bell obtained and excerpted sections of Professor Carroll Quigley's 1,450-page Tragedy And Hope, a history of the first half of the Twentieth Century. Less than 100 pages in that book deal with international banking, but they proved to be dynamite.
Q. What was so special about the Quigley study?
A. Professor Quigley was a part of the Council on Foreign Relations elite. He came to the group via Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. And he was so trusted that he was given access to the archives of the C.F.R. Quigley reached the conclusion, based on the archival material, that the international banking community was manipulating not only the great corporations to which it made loans, and whose stocks it held, but also the foreign and domestic policies of the U.S. Government.
Q. Just why was the Trilateral Commission formed?
A. As Trilateral officials are happy to admit, the Commission was entirely the idea of David Rockefeller, who is chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank. The Trilateralists say Rockefeller was worried about the increasing commercial competition between the United States and the combined industries of Japan and Western Europe. His idea was that if the three industrial superpowers -- Japan, the United States, and Western Europe -- could form some sort of industrial cartel they could sit down quietly and carve up the globe into economic areas of influence, nipping price competition in the bud.
Q. And when was the Trilateral flag first run up the pole?
A. Rockefeller tapped Michael Blumenthal, then chairman of the Bendix Corporation, to bring up the idea at the spring 1972 Bilderberger meeting. Since it had Rockefeller's sponsorship, and since in those circles Rockefeller had the authority of a Pope in dealing with the Curia, it wasn't long before the Trilateral Commission was in operation under Rockefeller associate Zbigniew Brzezinski. Blumenthal and Brzezinski, of course, were later moved into respective control of Treasury and National Security under the Carter Administration. Jimmy Carter got his job through the Trilateral Commission.
Q. You covered the 1976 Carter campaign as a journalist and wrote your book Jimmy Carter/Jimmy Carter to warn that the Carter campaign was a wholly owned Rockefeller subsidiary. How did all of that work?
A. First, David Rockefeller began personally to cast about for a suitable man who could be a viable candidate. Assorted polls tested the temper of the American people as Nixon and longtime Rockefeller family retainer Henry Kissinger prepared to abandon Southeast Asia to the Communists and open the door to Red China. When the Watergate scandal was sprung it became clear that David needed a credible Democrat. The idea was to come up with a "progressive" Southern governor who could sound both Conservative and "Liberal" at the same time and court both the white and black votes of the big city machines. By the fall of 1973, Rockefeller had reduced his list to two such candidates: Florida governor Reubin Askew and former Georgia governor Jimmy Carter. They were invited to dine with David Rockefeller and Trilateral administrator Zbigniew Brzezinski at Rockefeller's Tarrytown, New York, estate. Jimmy Carter got the nod soon afterward.
As Zbigniew Brzezinski later put it in an interview: "We [he and David Rockefeller] were impressed with Carter." What impressed them was not his independence.
Q. But I remember that even former governor Terry Sanford made an abortive try for the Presidential nomination during this period. Why did Askew and Sanford fail where Jimmy Carter succeeded?
A. Apparently Rockefeller and Brzezinski thought Carter was more reliable. Carter showed overwhelming ambition. And he was possessed of the kind of ruthlessness that David and his friends understand. This made him vulnerable. It included conniving with his own personal banker, Bert Lance, to funnel the money of hank depositors into the Carter peanut business and into the bank accounts of Lance associates and family members. to finance Carter's campaign while waiting for matching federal funds. The illegalities were enough to send the whole gang to jail. And the key to exposure was in the hands of David Rockefeller and his fellow banking insiders.
Q. So "Jimmy Who" moved on to become President of the United States.
A. What was especially interesting for me to watch as a journalist was the way in which the major media, particularly Time magazine, promoted Carter. After Time devoted a flattering 1971 cover photo to him as a progressive Southern governor, it used that cover photo in all of Time's ads in other magazines through 1975. Time's reports on the Carter campaign were so adulatory that they could scarcely be differentiated from the campaign's own literature. And heavy promotion was going on at a time when polls showed only five percent of registered Democrats favored Carter for the nomination. If that sounds to you like a replay of what is happening with George Bush, another Trilateralist, you are catching on.
Q. What does the Trilateral group do? That is, what function does it serve?
A. The purpose of the Trilateral Commission, and also of the larger and older Council on Foreign Relations and Bilderberger groups, is to use concentrated wealth to exert world power. The individuals involved are the most influential of all the "old boy" networks outside the Soviet Union and Red China.
The Trilateralists made their objective very clear in their 1974 report called "The Crisis of Democracy." Let me quote for you some of this remarkable document produced by the organization to which President Carter, Vice President Mondale, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and George Bush all belong.
The Trilateral report defined the "predominant trends" that started in the 1960s. It expressed alarm at "the challenging of the authority of established political, social, and economic institutions, increased popular participation in and control over those institutions, [and] a reaction against the concentration of power of Congress and of state and local government."
Q. In other words, the Trilateralists are afraid that the voters are no longer so apathetic that they will indifferently accept whatever their "betters" cast down on them?
A. That's the inescapable conclusion. The same report bewailed increased citizen participation in public affairs because the government, "short of a cataclysmic crisis," now has "little ability to impose on its people the sacrifices which may be necessary to deal with foreign-policy problems and defense."
They seem to have forgotten that in a real crisis, if we have a leader really trying to do what is right for our country and ourselves, it is not necessary to "impose" anything. We voluntarily do what is necessary.
These top-level financial and political managers are very big on imposing this and that to deal with one created crisis after another. They see our representative government as the cause of the "problems of governance." In fact this Trilateral report asserts that our democratic republic "is only one way of constituting authority, and it is not necessarily a universally applicable one. In many situations, the claims of expertise, seniority, experience and special talents may override the claims of democracy as a way of constituting authority . . . . The arenas where democratic procedures are appropriate are, in short, limited."
Q. Isn't that reminiscent of the arguments of hereditary aristocracies or even the Communist Politburo?
A. Precisely, only they would establish an aristocracy or Politburo of technocrats selected by the top financial managers and Establishment insiders. The key to fulfillment of their plans for centralized power is that they must first find a way to get us to surrender our liberties in the name of some common threat or crisis. The foundations, educational institutions, and research think-tanks supported by members of the Trilateral Commission and Council on Foreign Relations oblige by financing so-called "studies" which are then used to justify their every excess. The excuses vary but the target is always individual liberty. Our liberty.
Control necessitates a static society. A growing, competitive, and free society gives new people a chance to make their fortune and replace some of those already at the top. So legislation is promoted to restrict entrepreneurial effort and tax away capital accumulations not protected in the tax-free foundations of the Establishment insiders. Every effort is made to press medium-size business to the wall and allow it to be swallowed up by the Establishment giants. This sort of thing covers a broad range. Another response has been to finance campaigns for birth control -- not for poverty-stricken Third World countries that can't feed themselves, but for Middle Americans. Their hostility for the private car, that assures our freedom of mobility, is legendary. And what do they do if someone wants to build a business, open a new mine, develop competing petroleum resources, build vacation houses, and so forth? Why there's a foundation-funded ecology group shouting and filing subsidized lawsuits to block the development.
Q. This seems almost incredible. What is the quality of the evidence?
A. Let me continue to quote the conclusions of that Trilateral Commission report I cited earlier. The recommendations this group proposed "to restore a more equitable relationship between governmental authority and popular control" include the following. I quote:
* centralized economic and social planning;
* centralization of power within Congress...;
* a program . . to lower the job expectations of those who receive a college education;
* such limitations on freedom of the press as "prior restraint "of what newspapers may publish in unspecified "unusual circumstances," the assurance "to the government [of] the right and the ability to withhold information at the source," "moving promptly to reinstate the law of libel as a necessary and appropriate check upon the abuses of power by the press," and press councils enforcing "standards of professionalism," the "alternative [to which] could well be regulation by the government."
Remember, my friend, these are formal Trilateral proposals.
Q. That part about "press councils" to control journalists and their publications is a real shocker to me. Last October I heard the Washington correspondent for the official Soviet Government newspaper Izvestia deliver a commentary over taxpayer-funded National Public Radio recommending precisely such a body. But then, haven't there been charges that what the Trilateralists and Council on Foreign Relations intend is their own version of socialism -- that they seek state control over the economy and over broad areas of people's lives that now are a matter of individual choice?
A. Yes, this super-elite of international bankers and multinational business executives and their aides and staff do promote socialism. This is the apparent contradiction that deceives many Americans. After all, if businessmen and bankers are the mainstays of our Free Enterprise system, how can the biggest and most important of them support socialism? Ideological Marxists have their own problems understanding this. The Red ideologues usually convince themselves that ultimately, after a period of great social pain and revolution, socialism will be proved to be a humanitarian system that abolishes poverty, work, illness, crime, and whatever else is on their list of social ills. But the fact is that socialism is only a system for control, and the members of the Establishment elite operating out of New York and Washington understand socialism much better than do the Marxists.
The believing Marxists have always joined in supporting Big Government because they understand that it leads to socialism. Yet their Welfare and regulation programs have been pushed through Congress with the full backing of the Establishment. This has occurred because the Establishment insiders know that socialism is not a humanitarian system for redistributing wealth, but a system for concentrating wealth and controlling people. Socialism is nothing more or less than a power system -- a power system with quasi-mystical and demonstrably false philosophical premises.
The suggestions of the Trilateral report, "The Crisis of Democracy," are just about the most cultured and genteel proposals for socialist dictatorship I've ever seen. Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao are illiterate boors by comparison.
The great international bankers and industrialists do not favor competition. What they favor is the formation of cartels and monopolies to control world finance, markets, and natural resources. The Communists, led by the Soviet Union, have basically identical goals on the level of world power. What is more natural than for the Western monopolists to divvy up these spheres with the Communist monopolists of the East? There is a great deal more to it than that, but I think I've made my point.
Q. Getting back to the domestic machinations of this elite, Mr. Allen, I note you have written that members of this international financial gang have for years controlled the giant banking firms, the U.S. Federal Reserve, and the U.S. Treasury.
Q. Is that why we have such terrible economic problems? We have double-digit inflation; unemployment rises as goods we use are more and more produced abroad; our money is flowing overseas more and more, not just for oil, but to buy all sorts of other goods; older Americans living on fixed incomes and on savings are being wiped out. What is going on?
A. First, inflation has been a conscious policy of all the Presidential Administrations -- Republican and Democratic -- since Franklin Roosevelt took us off the gold standard. A gold standard puts strong limitations on the financial manipulations of the bankers. A central bank like the Federal Reserve cannot print or coin more gold than it has on hand. It can't finance huge federal deficits simply by running the printing plants overtime.
For years the managers of the central bank advocated outright demonetization of gold and its total replacement with "special drawing rights" by the International Monetary Fund. This was to be a worldwide paper currency that was really based on records in the I.M.F.'s computer. In order to implement this new medium of international trade, it became necessary to down-grade the dollar. As inflation destroys the value of the U.S. dollar, you and I lose because everything costs more.
But the big commercial banks and the central banks win with more and more of this legal counterfeiting because they are at the very top of the inflationary heap. They make the funny money. They control which governments and businesses get the loans, and at what interest. Our salary and wage increases, our pension or Social Security "cost of living" increases, never come fast enough to get ahead of inflation. It's a fixed race.
Q. You mentioned the leadership of David Rockefeller of Chase Manhattan in international banking and as founder of the Trilateral Commission. The new Federal Reserve chairman, Paul H. Volcker, is a Trilateralist and long-time Chase Manhattan executive. What is the relationship of the Trilateralists to international lending institutions like the I.M.F.?
A. The Big Five New York City banks are all run by members of the C.F.R. and the Trilateral Commission. These and a few smaller U.S.-based private transnational banks had by the beginning of the Carter Administration loaned more than $52 billion to Third World and some Communist countries, many of which were already having a hard time paying just the interest, let alone the principal. So the Trilateralists demanded, and got, an "overhauled" International Monetary Fund, subsidized for the most part by the American taxpayer, which would lend money to these deadbeat Third World countries to allow them to meet their obligations to the big banks. And, of course, the money injected into the International Monetary Fund to do this is paid for by still more and more domestic inflation.
Q. How did the Trilateralists push that one through Congress?
A. Early in 1977 they created a new lobbying organization called New Directions. The man set to be responsible for its initial organizing was the Reverend Theodore Hesburgh, chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation, president of Notre Dame University, and a member of the American Committee on East-West Accord that pushes credit sales of our technology to the Communists. Hesburgh and two other very prominent Carter Administration Trilateralists, Secretary of State Vance and chief Arms Control negotiator Paul Warnke, helped set up the New Directions lobbying for the Trilateral program to expand international lending institutions and markedly increase economic development assistance for Third World countries. Those loans of computer-tape "money" are a big reason that inflation is now rampant around the world.
Q. If the Trilateralists and their friends have been so intent on demonetizing gold, why has the price taken off and remained in the range of $600-$700 an ounce?
A. The bankers, especially the central bankers, have always hated gold because it is a strong check on inflation. But they make their money by lending money at interest. Paper banknotes originally were issued by individual banks based on collateral, such as a house or farm, pledged as security for a loan. Now we must deal with the unlimited inflationary capacity of the U.S. Government. It causes inflation by massive deficit spending that is financed by the sale of special bonds to the Federal Reserve, which then prints paper money based on these paper "assets." As a result of this escalating process the dollar is worth less and less every year.
A lot of Arabian sheiks and the governments of oil-producing countries found their own assets, namely millions of U.S. dollars, were losing value. One of the things they did to protect themselves was to start buying gold. After all, why should the Saudis exchange their oil asset for U.S. paper assets of steadily declining value? They are now buying gold -- which runs up the price of depreciating dollars. Even the European and Japanese central banks have gone back to treating their gold reserves as the real store of value. When strapped for funds, they have been pledging their gold for currency loans rather than selling it. Italy and also Portugal did this recently.
Q. What about imports and the deficits in our balance of payments?
A. If you want to understand that, look at where David Rockefeller is putting investments. They are not being placed in the United States. The Trilateralists are quite happy to see the industrial capability of the United States run down, stultify, and collapse. They have already said that they see the future role of America not as a great manufacturing nation but as providing services and raising food. In other words, what America will have for sale is skilled labor, new technological designs, and agricultural products.
Q. Do you think there is any relationship between the Carter Administration's attacks on countries such as Brazil, South Africa, the Republic of China on Taiwan, and Argentina and the Trilateral cartel-type programs?
A. Carter's bizarre "human rights" policies have been used as the pretext to cut off sales of capital goods such as machine tools, nuclear power-plant reactor technology, fuel, and equipment to those countries. All of them are rising industrial powers with fast-growing manufacturing capabilities. All four of the countries you name are more or less currently dependent on oil imports to fuel their industries. Nuclear power plants would obviously make them more independent and would give them a greatly increased industrial capacity. Since the Trilateral Commission is a coalition of Japan, Western Europe, and the U.S. against the rest of the non-Communist world, I have no doubt that their analysts and strategists, David Rockefeller and the men at the top, are attempting to strangle future competitors in the cradle.
South Africa is an especially tough and independent nut to crack. It is the largest source of gold for the Free World and the source of many strategic minerals. If the government there can be destroyed through the Carter Administration, or a future Bush Administration, and if some sort of Marxist black Government is installed by the Western powers or the Soviets, you can bet that mismanagement or policy will virtually cut off production of gold, leaving the U.S.S.R. as the chief world supplier.
Q. Why would the Trilateralists back both Jimmy Carter and George Bush in the same election? Is this like the local businessman who sends $100 to both the Democratic and Republican candidate for Congress in an effort to assure access?
A. No, what you have is an elite that has offered the American people a choice of two candidates, both beholden to them, for at least two generations. The exception to that rule was the case of Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964. Employing their influence in the mass media, the Establishment depicted Goldwater as some sort of war-mad maniac and totally buried him. Currently those same controlled "Liberal" media are building up Bush and Carter while tripping up Reagan, Crane, Kennedy, and others.
Q. Why would the Trilateralists and David Rockefeller back Carter and Bush as Presidential candidates over, say, Teddy Kennedy or Senator Jackson or Ronald Reagan?
A. They want a candidate who is indebted only to themselves. They have always shunned candidates who speak for other identifiable constituencies and would be exposed by turning against those constituencies. Senator Kennedy is the heir to the Far Left wing of the Democratic Party that previously supported Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern. Senator Jackson has an identifiable labor and defense industry constituency. Reagan's Conservative constituency would block his every move in the House and Senate if he were overtly to begin running with the detente and disarmament crowd.
Q. Why have Reagan and Connally begun attacking the Trilateral Commission?
A. The candidates campaigning for the Presidency do not lead their audiences, they follow them and appeal to public opinion. With more and more public awareness of the influence being wielded by the power elite, it is good politics to raise questions about its role. This is fine, because it increases the likelihood that the candidates of the other American constituencies will also reject C.F.R. and Trilateralist overtures and work to reduce their control over U.S. policy. (The Review of the News, February 27, 1980)