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Richard Nixon Talking about the Bohemian Grove

Bohemian Grove is a 2,700-acre (1,100 ha) campground located at 20601 Bohemian Avenue, in Monte Rio, California, belonging to a private San Francisco-based men’s art club known as the Bohemian Club. In mid-July each year, Bohemian Grove hosts a two-week, three-weekend encampment of some of the most powerful men in the world. [1] The Bohemian Club’s all-male membership and guest list includes artists, particularly musicians, as well as many prominent business leaders, government officials (including U.S. presidents), senior media executives, and people of power. The Club motto is “Weaving Spiders Come Not Here,” which implies that outside concerns and business deals are to be left outside. When gathered in groups, Bohemians usually adhere to the injunction, though discussion of business often occurs between pairs of members. [2] Important political and business deals have been developed at the Grove. [3] Since the founding of the club, the Bohemian Grove’s mascot has been an owl, symbolizing knowledge. A 40-foot (12 m) hollow owl statue made of concrete over steel supports stands at the head of the lake in the Grove; this Owl Shrine was designed by sculptor and two-time club president Haig Patigian, and built in the 1920s. [4] Since 1929, the Owl Shrine has served as the backdrop of the yearly Cremation of Care ceremony.[5] The Club’s patron saint is John of Nepomuk, who legend says suffered death at the hands of a Bohemian monarch rather than disclose the confessional secrets of the queen. A large wood carving of St. John in cleric robes with his index finger over his lips stands at the shore of the lake in the Grove, symbolizing the secrecy kept by the Grove’s attendees throughout its long history.[6]  According to his own Memoirs, Bohemian Grove is the place where he gave his best speech in career:

“If I were to choose the speech that gave me the most pleasure and satisfaction in my political career, it would be my Lakeside Speech at the Bohemian Grove in July 1967. Because this speech traditionally was off the record it received no publicity at the time. But in many important ways it marked the first milestone on my road to the presidency.”—President Richard Nixon, Memoirs (1978). [7]

Despite the fact that he keep good memory of the speech he gave there, Nixon had long to say about the people that attend the place:

“The Bohemian Grove, that I attend from time to time—the Easterners and the others come there—but it is the most faggy goddamn thing you could ever imagine, that San Francisco crowd that goes in there; it’s just terrible! I mean I won’t shake hands with anybody from San Francisco.”—President Richard M. Nixon on the Watergate tapes, Bohemian Club member starting in 1953. [8]

 

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[2] Wallace Turner. “At the Bohemian Club, men join, women serve”, The New York Times, January 12, 1981; Inside Bohemian Grove from Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting Nov–Dec 1991
[4] Starr, Kevin (2002). The Dream Endures: California Enters the 1940s. Oxford University Press.
[7] Black, Conrad (2007). Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full. New York: PublicAffairs Books., p.20-23
[8] Aitken, Jonathan (1996). Nixon: A Life. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing., p.97-98; Black, Conrad (2007). Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full. New York: PublicAffairs Books., p.20-23.

 

About Bill Wallace

Bill Wallace is a self-fashioned writter, a computer programmer and cybermarketer from Quebec City, Canada who decided to enter the political arena after his disillusionment with the socialist system under which he was living in the French Canadian province of Quebec.

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