of the Bilderberg
One-World Altruist or the most Pernicious Cabal of the Twentieth Century?
Barry Robson investigates
Group, so called because of their first meeting in May 1954 at the Bilderberg
Hotel, near Arnhem in Holland, are, according to the Christian US based
Shrewd and calculating, their hearts are filled with lust for power
and consumed with greed for money. Rich and aristocratic, they despise
Christians and they loathe the lowly working class. They control the worlds
press and virtually all our banks and financial institutions. They screen
and choose who Americas leaders will be and even determine who will
run on the Democratic and Republican Parties tickets.
Arrogantly, they plot the subversion and take-over of constitutional
governments everywhere. Their goal is a World Government run exclusively
by their hand picked puppets.1
On the other hand to some, a world government might just be a better alternative
to the nationalist strife and religious fundamentalism that has belaboured
our planet for the last millennium. One thing is sure; the Bilderbergers
represent the most wealthy and powerful establishment of every Western
nation. They include royalty, executives of multinational corporations,
leading statesmen, ex-military top brass and other elite influence peddlers.
Their meetings, which take place at a different venue every year, go unannounced,
their speeches unreported and their decisions unrecorded. This seems like
the Mother of all Conspiracies and its been going on a long, long
The great conspiracy apparently goes back to the eighteenth century when
one Adam Weishaupt, who greatly admired the teachings of Plato, formed
a secret fraternity called the Illuminati in Bavaria based loosely on
the lines of the Freemasons. They claimed superior knowledge and access
to the revealed truths about the world. This was all to be used to elevate
the human race to a brotherhood above fratricidal squabbling.
John Ruskin the noted English social critic and philosopher, revived these
ideals in the 1870s through his teachings and writings at Oxford. He wanted
to motivate the upper classes to use their education, breeding and money
to civilise the world. Cecil Rhodes the founder of Rhodesia
(Zimbabwe) and South African diamond millionaire, who was a devoted disciple
of Ruskin used his fortune to promote this grand scheme of federating
the English speaking peoples around the globe and bringing all of it under
their benign imperial control.
To this end Rhodes and other acolytes of Ruskin, formed a secret society
known as the Round Table Group in 1881. This group of academics, dreamers
and aristocrats were able to gain access to Rhodes fortune after
his death in 1902. Under the trusteeship of Lord Milner, another arch-imperialist,
they sought to spread and carry out the ambitions that Rhodes derived
together with Cecil Rhodes, formed a secret society in 1881 known as The
Round Table Group
Milner was Governor-General of South Africa between 1897-1905 and used
his contacts to recruit a group of young men, chiefly from the intellectual
elites of Oxford and Cambridge to assist him in fulfilling his dreams.
These men were able to win important posts in government and international
finance and became the dominant influence in British imperial and foreign
affairs up to the Second World War. They were originally known as Milners
Kindergarten and after 1910 organised confidential, exclusive gatherings
known as Round Table Groups, in the English speaking Empire and in the
After the turmoil of the First World War and the triumph of the Anglo-Saxon
West, it was at the Majestic Hotel in Paris during the peace conferences
that the Round Table Groups emerged from their cloak of secrecy and officially
became the US Council on Foreign Relations and the UK Royal Institute
for International Affairs.
This evolution, in the opinion of the Liberty Lobby, another Christian
ultra-conservative pressure group, based in Washington DC, was the beginning
of what they call a Jewish-communist conspiracy to rule the planet by
way of a New World Order whose eventual goal is one world
government - a sort of apocalyptic marriage between the Communist Manifesto
and the fake Protocols of the Elders of Zion, (a supposed Judaic scheme
to dominate the human race). The Bilderbergers are, according to the Liberty
Lobby, direct descendants of the Satanic-Marxist Illuminati,
the Round Tables and the two subsequent foreign-relations organisations.
The Bible of the conspiracy theorists is a book written in
1966 called Tragedy and Hope by the late Dr Carroll Quigley,
a distinguished professor at Georgetown Universitys School of Foreign
Service. In it he detailed how the complex financial and commercial relations
between the major powers, especially the British and Americans, before
1914 influenced todays global markets. Quigley used his book as
the text of his courses on western civilisation at the University.
The book has become very hard to locate. Quigley had trouble getting it
published; the original plates disappeared and the banking authorities
and the higher echelons of finance voiced their displeasure about its
revealing contents. Quigley himself once remarked how his academic career
in government institutions had been stunted because of the book. It is
for these reasons that Tragedy and Hope became the Holy Grail
of the conspiracy theorists, much to Quigleys annoyance, who disparaged
its revelations claiming it was just the sort of book any assiduous researcher
could produce. The publication is for sale though mail order book clubs
that specialise in the world of paranoia.
The Bilderberger meetings were the brainchild of the remarkable Pole Dr.
Joseph Retinger. He was according to Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands
an extraordinary character who flitted through fifty years of European
history on close terms with prime ministers, trade unionists, industrial
magnates, artists, intellectuals and even committed revolutionaries. His
address book of intimates and confidants read like a Whos Who of
international Movers and Shakers. He was born in 1888 of gentry parents
in pre First World War Krakow, then part of Austrian Poland. He went to
the Sorbonne in Paris to complete his education and was soon part of the
citys literary and artistic circles. He was a fierce Polish patriot
and this made him more than unpopular with the Germans and Austrians,
who during World War One put a price on his head.
His machinations on behalf of the Polish people got him banned from London
and jailed in the USA (he carried an enemy passport). These experiences
sharpened his skills for both intrigue and diplomacy. He moved to England
after the War and found entrée into the political circles that
included Herbert Asquith and Lord Balfour.
London he worked as secretary to the famous novelist and fellow Polish
nationalist, Joseph Conrad. Although Retinger was crippled by polio, he
never let this interfere with his amazingly active life.
At the outbreak of WWII he became an aide to the Free Polish General Sikorski
and despite his painful disability parachuted into Poland to make contact
with the Home Army to arrange the transfer of several million dollars.
When the Red Army moved into Central and Eastern Poland and turned it
into a bastion of Stalinism, Retinger then devoted the rest of his life
to uniting the West against Marxist hegemony - he acted as a sort of Eminence
Grise, a Talleyrand without Portfolio. Cardinal Richelieu would
have been impressed.
Being a realist he knew that Western Europe, devastated by war could not
stand alone against the rising tide of communism and also the growing
tide of anti-Americanism in all social classes. This seemingly illogical
fear of Uncle Sam threatened the Wests defences against the power
of invasion from the East. Retinger devised a plan to address the situation,
but needed powerful allies to implement it. Convinced of the need to strengthen
ties between the USA and Western Europe, he approached through numerous
contacts, leading politicians, businessmen and ex-military leaders who
were concerned to cement Atlantic co-operation.
They asked Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands to act as Chairman designate
because they rightly thought it would be difficult to find a politician
who would not be besmirched with partisanship and who could call on politicians
no matter what their party, without fear or favour (it was quietly forgotten
that as a German-born aristocrat, Bernhard had been an honorary member
of the SS in the 1930s).
Thus was enhanced the cementing of the Atlantic movement, already founded
by the Marshall Plan, NATO, and the European movement, which has led to
todays European Union. Both are the children of Joseph
Retinger. He has been called a True Renaissance Man, a
Machiavellian Jesuit, and having a Borgian Brilliance for
Intrigue. Although his name is virtually unknown today, his influence
has been tremendous - either for good or ill, depending on your world-view.
Until his death in 1960, Retinger devoted his life to strengthening the
West against the threat from the East. He would have been
overjoyed at the collapse of communism, Polands entry into NATO
and its application to join the European Union.
Towards the end of May 1954 at a small hotel at Oosterbeek in the deeply
wooded Arnhem area the most eminent and powerful men from the principal
western European nations gathered. There was absolutely no publicity.
Security personnel surrounded the hotel and journalists, except those
invited in a private capacity, were persona non grata. The participants
sworn to secrecy, stripped of their official titles for the three days
of the forum were just simple citizens of their respective
countries. Everyone could say what he liked without fear of repercussions.
That meeting and all subsequent ones have had an enormous if impossible-to-validate
effect on post-war history.
For the first 22 years of the Bilderberg meetings Price Bernhard was in
the Chair until forced to resign in 1976 because of a bribery scandal
involving Lockheed. Then the former British Prime Minister Lord Home took
over, then his political ally Lord Carrington. There are no members of
Bilderberg. Each year the chairman in consultation with the international
steering committee compiles an invitation list. Individuals are chosen
in the light of their knowledge of, importance to and standing in the
world. To ensure a full and comprehensive discussion the list includes
invitees from the full spectrum of political and economic points of view.
Of the 100 or so participants, approximately one third are from government
and politics and the rest from a wide variety of fields including finance,
journalism, academia and labour. They attend in a personal and not in
an official capacity. From the beginning the conferencees are overwhelmingly
from America and Western Europe and the two debating languages are English
and French. The significance of the gathering can not be underestimated.
The participants on most definitions would be labelled as members of the
Ruling Class in Europe or the USA - the most powerful men
(for they have been overwhelmingly men) in the corridors of power of the
The meetings take place in a different venue every year, alternately in
Northern America and Western Europe. Officially, the discussion at each
meeting is centred on ...topics of current concern in the broad
fields of foreign policy, world economy and other contemporary issues.
Basic groundwork of the symposium is laid by means of working papers for
general discussion. In order to assure freedom of speech and frankness
of expression, the gatherings are closed and off the record. No resolutions
are proposed, no votes taken and no policy statements issued during and
after the meetings.2
It is the Bilderberg custom to book a hotel for a weekend or more, with
the whole building being cleared of all other guests, no matter what their
standing and status. Two days before the meeting the various secret service
personnel move in and go through the place with a fine tooth comb to make
sure there is complete privacy and safety for the delegates. All staff
are thoroughly vetted and any suspect ones are removed for the duration.
To the outsider, this looks like a real cloak-and-dagger operation, where
publicity shy power-brokers lock themselves into a tight security grid.
The meetings are never dull and not always with consensus. Sparks regularly
fly. At St Simons in 1957 the French, British and Americans almost came
to blows over Suez. At another it was the Chinese offshore islands of
Quemoy and Matsu. The Europeans could understand the American attitude
about defending Taiwan, but holding up the Big Stick to the Communists
for a couple of insignificant outcrops seemed military madness for
the sake of tweaking the dragons tail. Other controversial
issues have been the American and British attitudes to European unification
and the USs heavy handed policy towards Cuba.
This is known as Son of Bilderberg and is more or less a global
version of its bilateral parent, with the Japanese being invited. It has
an interlocking membership with Bilderberg and also holds closed-door
meetings. Both George Bush and Bill Clinton were long-time members of
the Commission and got promoted to Bilderberg when the time was thought
right. Having consecutive US presidents mixing with the same people puts
the Bilderbergers in a win-win situation.
Bill Clinton is a member of the Bilderberg Society
Obviously, considering the guest list, the Bilderberger/Trilateral get-togethers
are certainly not an inconsequential gabfest. In recent years some conferencees
have broken their Trappist-like silence and revealed some items on the
agendas. In retrospect they read like a menu of the worlds most
historic events: the USA and UN recognising Communist China was mooted
before Nixon made it so; the idea of a single European currency was debated
in the late 1980s. Apparently, Margaret Thatcher was removed as British
PM because of her opposition to surrendering British sovereignty to a
The invite list reveals that those in power or reckoned to be on its threshold
are immediately incorporated to the inner sanctum. All the Presidents
of the US or their close aides since Eisenhower have attended; the same
goes for British Prime Ministers and senior Cabinet members. Lords Home
and Carrington headed Bilderberg and Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson and George
Robertson were recently there. Robertson, of course will be a regular
attendee now he has been appointed to the Secretary- Generalship of NATO.
Every major banker in America and Europe has turned up at one time or
another and David Rockefeller who heads the Chase Manhattan Bank is almost
a permanent feature. European royalty active in public life such as Prince
Charles, make frequent appearances.
More recent debates have started alarm bells ringing with both the Left
and Right. Its claimed that NATO has decided to become a world policeman
after its intervention in Kosovo and it also promised to turn a blind
eye to Russias complete obliteration of Chechnyas attempt
of secession and the recent razing of Grozny, all at the behest of Bilderberg.
Eventually there will be a unification of the dollar and the Euro making
a de facto world currency, and encouraging of socialist governments
like Tony Blairs New Labour to implement New Right policies so as
to appear to ameliorate their harshness. After all it might be easier
for someone claiming to be a socialist to push the stringent changes through.
Past invitees claim that some of the speeches are so dull and esoteric
that they would be instant cures for insomnia. One thing is certain: the
participants can be relied on to keep mum about what goes on at the Bilderberg.
Even the worlds press barons and their editors who are regularly
invited to attend, make sure that absolutely nothing is printed or broadcast
in their media. Excommunication would not be in their interests. Once
you have been invited to Bilderberg you have arrived. You are a privileged
member of the Grandees of the World; the Patricians with Pull
or what the journalist Tony Gosling calls The High Priests of Globalisation:
a select forum whose talk results in the making of history.
Not everyone succumbs to the lure of the Bilderbergers though. Computer
billionaire and sometime US presidential candidate Ross Perot received
an invitation and gave them short shrift. He told them pointedly,
You boys dont want to know my views, you want to impose your
views on me. If any of you have anything to tell me, write or give me
Those who are considered mavericks or gauche will not get the call. Pat
Buchanan, the powerful leader of the American religious right is never
likely to go through the hallowed portals, and interestingly, Rupert Murdoch
has never been invited - maybe he didnt want to be bound by the
promise of silence.
The disquiet about Bilderberg has reached the level of European parliamentarians.
Patricia McKenna MEP of the Irish Green Party tabled a question to the
European Commission in December 1998 about the attendance of Commissioners
at Bilderberg. Did their presence in any way conflict with their duties
towards Europe? The reply was bland and resembled Bilderbergs own
vague description of the activities the Group involved itself in.
With concern about the amount of sleaze British MPs were involved
in during John Majors administration, the incoming Blair government
assured voters that they would be a squeaky clean act. It came as a bit
of a surprise therefore to discover that the trip Tony Blair, then shadow
Home Secretary, and Kenneth Clarke, then a Cabinet Minister, took to the
Athens meeting in 1993 had not been declared by them in the Parliamentary
Register of Members Interests. Blair belatedly entered his details
in 1995 but Clarke never did.
In 1998, after the Labour election landslide, several questions were asked
in Parliament about ministers attendance at Bilderberg meetings,
the Groups influence on European policy and world agricultural prices.
To all the questions the reply was either in the negative or evasive.
Magazines such as Freedom Today, published by the Freedom Association,
a British right wing pressure group virulently opposed to European federalism
and the single currency, regard Bilderberg as part of planning the death
of Britains independence, Ordinary people do not know Bilderberg
exists, and hence are powerless to scrutinise the highly questionable
activity of this treasonous, corporatist oligarchy of influence.4
Conspiracy theory is more than just a belief in just the occasional cabal.
Simply put, it is a conviction which asserts that world events are being
controlled in secret by a group of ultra-powerful puppeteers behind the
curtains. Is it the stuff of fiction that at once thrills and chills?
The basic storylines of conspiracy theory have a striking resemblance
to the anti-Semitic propaganda manufactured by the Nazis in the 1920s
and 30s. Indeed the Nazis accusations against international bankers
and Zionist-Cosmopolitanists are echoed today by the American
Militia and Patriot movements. Similarly many of these latter-day saviours
of sturdy independence openly revile Jews.
The fact that some of todays international bankers are Jews lends
them more ammunition. It is no coincidence that the Liberty Lobby, which
publishes Spotlight Magazine is the same organisation which claims the
Holocaust is a Jewish invention to milk compensation from the hapless
Germans. The wild claims of insider manipulation of the lives of millions
go back to the beliefs about the Illuminati - a group that divined special
and secret knowledge not available to the common people. The accusers
have figured out that if you do not see it then you are just
one of the dupes controlled by The Puppeteers who have the Concealed Enlightenment.
Of course, its not difficult to conclude that the magazines which
exist to expose schemes for world domination can find ammunition
when they investigate Bilderberg. Most nationalists are hostile to supra-national
attempts, which threaten a countrys sovereignty - some regard the
European Union as a Catholic conspiracy to resurrect the Holy Roman Empire
in another guise! The Bilderberg group is attacked from both sides of
the political spectrum. The far right regard them as a Zionist-Marxist
plot, whilst the far left see them as an offshoot of the Rothschild-Rockefeller
Grand Design to Rule the World.
The length to which the Bilderbergers go to achieve the level of seclusion
and solitude for their deliberations raises deep suspicions about the
groups motives and objectives. The critics may be not so far off
the bulls-eye when they accuse the group of being supra-governmental,
intent on re-educating governments to relinquish their sovereignty.
Their apparent power to manipulate global finances and monetary rates
puts them on a par with the IMF and the World Bank and the selection of
important figures who are either groomed for power or removal is scary.
The most damning indictment is that, rather than pursuing aims which would
solve macro environmental and health problems, the group pursue goals
which guarantee to propagate their own influence and the enrichment of
Bilderbergers at the expense of human rights and the global ecology.
The Bilderbergers are protected from all forms of petty bureaucracy that
face ordinary citizens. Airport formalities disappear as if by magic,
no visas are required. They travel around in armoured limousines with
police escort and their presence at a hideaway venue, screened by a phalanx
of armed guards is hardly likely to be conducive to open disclosure. Therein
lies the problem.
There are many secret organisations in the western world today
whose shibboleths are the subject of scrutiny by watchdog
groups hoping to pick up evidence of plots and subversion. The Freemasons,
the Afrikaner Broederbond and Opus Dei are three which have been powerful
on the international stage. America itself, the centre of suspicion about
the Bilderbergers, has dozens of fraternal organisations with
weird and dubious sounding names: The Royal Arcanum, The Nobles of the
Mystic Shrine, The Maccabees etc. Most are harmless if not beneficial
to society on account of their charitable work. Conversely there are the
Ku Klux Klan, The Militias and the Mafia whose activities cause a shiver
of revulsion. Even the respectable groupings of the right, such as the
John Birch Society are not to most peoples taste.
Yet, the doings of the ultra powerful have always been a part of the modern
international scene since the Congress of Vienna in 1815, which began
to re-arrange Europe into its modern form. The concept of Bilderberg is
not new. Two years before its inception in 1952 field Marshal Bernard
Montgomery suggested to Eisenhower, NATOs European commander an
extension to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe (SHAPE) to include
other topics and exercises of mutual interest. Since then the SHAPEX meeting
has been held every year at SHAPE near Mons in Belgium.
In 1957 the first of the Pugwash Conferences on science and world affairs
took place with India hosting the inaugural meeting. Albert Einstein and
Bertrand Russell were its founder members. In the 1970s Pugwash took in
a range of issues including wars around the world. One of the latest groups
to emerge is the Williamsburg Asian Window. Its first meeting was sponsored
by John D Rockefeller in 1971 and still continues today. It brings together
Asian leaders and the Americans and was particularly effective in bringing
the Vietnam conflict to an end.
Today of course we have the annual winter meeting of the rich and omnipotent
at Davos, the Swiss ski resort and G7/8 the meeting of the worlds
seven - or eight if you include Russia - most industrialised countries.
Both of these conclaves discuss themes of importance that affect the world
but none has attracted and provoked global myths the way Bilderberg has.
As Tony Gosling has stated:
One cannot help but be suspicious when priorities for the future
of mankind are being considered by those who have real influence over
that future in total secret.5
The fate of the ordinary citizen is and always has been in the hands of
the powerful and secretive. They manipulate our daily lives and most of
the time we are not even aware of it. We can only be grateful up to a
point that the Bilderbergers see themselves as a force for stability and
bourgeois values in a world of political violence and economic turmoil.
1 The Bilderbergers. www.jeremiahproject.com/prophecy
2 The Bilderbergers - Invisible powerhouse. Armen Victorian Nexus Magazine
Vol 3#1 January 1996
3 The Bilderbergers. Spotlight Magazine. May 10 1993
4 Bliderbergers Aiming for World Government. Freedom Today Vol 22 The
Freedom Association 1992
5 The Bilderberg Group; Planning the Worlds Future. Charles Overbrook.
Matrix Magazine June 1998
The Global Manipulators. Robert Eringer. Pentacle books 1980
The Time of My Life. Denis Healy. Penguin 1989.
Some Bilderbergers Break Silence. Tricia Katson. Spotlight Magazine. June
International Brokers Meet To Discuss Worlds Future. Portugal today.
Secret Society-Hidden Agenda. Gibby Zobel. Big Issue. Nov 1999
WITH LOVE: THE BIG BREACH
release of Richard Tomlinsons book - The Big Breach: From Top Secret
to Maximum Security, sent shudders through MI6 headquarters at Vauxhall
Cross. Tomlinson is the former MI6 officer who, despite numerous attempts
by the government to silence and entice back to Britain, has vowed to
get even because of his sacking in 1996. He has moved from country to
country, allegedly avoiding capture and harassment by the UKs overseas
intelligence service. MI6 deny this.
Tomlinson, 38, was recruited into the SIS after gaining a first class
degree in aeronautical engineering at Cambridge. He later went to serve
in 21 Special Air Service (the territorial arm of the SAS) and gained
top marks in his training. However, his career spiralled downwards after
receiving a damning report over his service in Bosnia and he was sacked.
Tomlinson was furious and believed he had a good case for unfair dismissal.
However, MI6 do not operate like an ordinary company. Their lawyers simply
stepped in with what is called a Public Interest Immunity Certificate
(PII) and cited national security.
Tomlinson then sought to clear his name and persisted with writing brief
notes about his time in MI6. He was arrested and sent to prison for one
year for breaching the Official Secrets Act (OSA) after presenting a synopsis
of an intended book to an Australian publisher. He claimed that MI6 had
threatened him with arrest and lifelong harassment to force
him to hand over anything he wrote about the extremely secret intelligence
After serving part of his sentence, he was released from Belmarsh top
security prison in May 1998. He was soon on the move again, fleeing from
one country to another to avoid what he called further harassment
instigated by MI6. On his travels, BfV (Bundesamt fur Verfassungsschutz)
the intelligence service of Germany and later Frances DST (Direction
de la Surveillance du Territoire) tried desperately to entice him into
revealing facts about MI6. He refused. As for intimidation, Tomlinson
says he has been arrested, assaulted, held for questioning, and raided
by armed police on no fewer than 11 occasions in six countries. He is
already banned from entering America, Australia, France and Switzerland.
He has been harassed in Germany and also New Zealand. Currently living
in Italy, Tomlinson believes he is under surveillance. In
late Spring 2000, Italian police entered his apartment in Rimini and removed
his computer, mobile phone, computer disks and other legal papers. They
were given to two British police officers believed to be from Special
Branch. They have never been returned.
Britains most wanted intelligence man says that MI6 hired Italian
private detectives who told his landlady she was harbouring a convicted
paedophile. The same story was circulated among his friends.
Parts of the book were filtered out of Russia for review, and it was always
unlikely that MI6 or the government would be able to stop hard copies
from entering the UK, especially with the Internet being able to route
information in seconds. MI6 prosecuted and imprisoned me under laws
which on 20 July 2000 were scathingly condemned by a United Nations report
on Britains human rights record, says Tomlinson in the
books epilogue. They took out an expensive injunction against
me in the UK, Switzerland, Germany, the USA and New Zealand, all in disregard
of laws governing freedom of speech, guessing correctly that I did not
have the funds to appeal through the courts.
But many in Britain sympathise with MI6, saying that they have no option
but to try and silence Tomlinson because of what he knows and has already
revealed. Already published is the alleged MI6 plot to kill the former
Yugoslav leader, Slobodan Milosevic and that Henri Paul, the driver killed
alongside Princess Diane was an MI6 contact in Paris adding fuel to the
controversy over her death.
Former MI6 officer Richard Tomlinson
The publisher printed 10,000 copies, the majority of which were snapped
up by specific companies and individuals in an effort to promote the undercover
work. This led to further deals. Such was the interest in the book, Tomlinson
could receive substantial royalties. However, he is adamant that far from
wanting to get rich from the book, he simply wants justice. Three
times I offered to submit the book for vetting by the D-notice committee,
he said. MI6 allegedly responded with menacing letters threatening
me with imprisonment or used my admission of having a text to confiscate
my computers, he said. It is unusual for the SIS to comment on such
matters, but they say no book has been sent to vet. Furthermore, whilst
acknowledging it has no proof of the publishing company (Narodny
Variant), they believe it was under the control of one of three Russian
intelligence services, either the FSB, GRU or the SVR. MI6 agents trailed
the head of the publishing company, Mr Korovin to America and throughout
Europe. They have learned that he established the company shortly before
the book was published and that he uses false documents to travel throughout
the world (he travels under the name of Kirill Tchashchin). He allegedly
offered Tomlinson $50,000 to print the book.
Tom King, chairman of the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee,
said: It would be naive to believe there was no backing for the
book by Russian Intelligence.
Moscow and Tomlinson have rubbished the MI6 claims: There is no
evidence to support these allegations, but if they are true then Im
grateful to the Russians for supporting freedom of speech, said
The Big Breach is an attack on the running of MI6 and reveals much about
its overseas operations and its management style. Some analysts
having read the content say the SIS is caught in a time warp,
but its supporters believe secrets should remain just that - secret. Other
chapters detail how agents are sent for special training to
Fort Monckton in Portsmouth. Tomlinson also says MI6 is keen to show how
recruits can hide their true careers from family and friends and to create
new identities. Obviously some operations are detailed and it is these
that are a cause for concern.
Nevertheless, it was for MI6 a tricky period. Some of the quotes filtered
out of Vauxhall Cross were seen as an effort to limit the damage. Tomlinson
has mixed fact with fiction, is one such statement.
Some analysts believe Russias support of the book is simply retaliation
for MI6s backing of a 1999 book that exposed KGB secrets - The Mitrokhin
Archive. MI6 reject this and also dismiss Tomlinsons claim that
The Big Breach is all about freedom of speech. Indeed, some intelligence
sources claim they already have the evidence that contradicts such a statement.
Vauxhall Bridge, London
Extracts from The Big Breach
Following the release of the book in Russia, it soon became clear MI6
and the government were going to fail in their attempts to block The Big
Breach reaching these shores. By early February, some 1,500 books had
been imported and sold, though the publishers could easily have sold ten
times that number.
Richard Tomlinson has given a unique insight into the SIS, though much
of it is already in the public domain if one looks hard enough. However,
there are many fascinating tid bits.
MI6 AND THE CX REPORT
Of MI6s CX reports, the former spy writes:
MI6s intelligence product is known as CX, an anachronism from
the earliest days of MI6 when the chief was Mansfield Cumming and intelligence
reports were marked Cumming Exclusively, abbreviated to CX.
He then goes on to say how several major British companies have MI6 liaison
officers who receive relevant CX. Anyone you suspect?!
The CX report, intelligence or product as Mr Tomlinson says
is collected internationally by small cells working within British Embassies
called stations. The CIA use identical expressions - Middle
East Station, for example. The CX is graded for its importance prior to
being sent to Britain. Two-star CX is of little importance and often receives
attention by junior officers. Three star could interest the head of a
Foreign Office or MOD department. CX carrying four stars is important
and would be seen by a permanent secretary, for example. And a five-star
CX would go all the way up the ladder to cabinet level
MI6 STATIONS AND EMPLOYEES
The Secret Service has approximately 50 stations around the world. Its
head is usually a senior officer in his forties, working undercover
as a counsellor, and is normally declared, to the secret service of the
host country, says Mr Tomlinson. Other MI6 officers are mostly
Each station is serviced and administered by MI6 HQ at Vauxhall Cross
in London. A P officer (production) based at the station determines
strategy and targets. He also oversees and plans operations and administers
budgets. An R officer (requirements) distributes intelligence
products to customers.
MI6 has 2,300 full-time staff of which 350 are in the intelligence branch
or IB officers. Some 800 are general service officers (GS), who work in
technical and administration departments. Around 1,000 people are employed
as secretaries, clerks, guards, cooks, drivers and mechanics.
FORT MONCKTON - PORTSMOUTH
Besides an interesting number of operations revealed in the book, Mr Tomlinson
gives a genuine and unique insight into recruitment and training, and
it is perhaps this information that Whitehall did not want publishing.
Mr Tomlinson refers to part of his training at Fort Monckton in Portsmouth,
known by agents as the Fort. This is how he described being
driven to the base after a training exercise:
Fort Monckton, MI6s dramatic and atmospheric training base
is situated on the bleak tip of the Gosport peninsula. The only access
through the thick walls is across a drawbridge. Spread among its wings
are a gymnasium, an indoor pistol range, photographic studios, technical
workshops, laboratories and lecture rooms. At the extremity of the east
wing is a helicopter landing pad and an outdoor pistol and submachinegun
THE BOGUS NEWS AGENCY
One of Mr Tomlinsons first assignments was to set up a fraudulent
news agency in the heart of London. The aim was to get Russian military
and intelligence personnel to defect to Britain. After a wasted £40,000
and some three months later, MI6 had not acquired one single hit.
The agency was called Truefax and most certainly did exist.
Indeed, this has been confirmed by a Russian military analyst whom Mr
Tomlinson tried to recruit in 1992.
By the spring of that year, Mr Tomlinson had been attached to MI6s
Russian section in London where he was to perform much work for the service.
One amusing passage in The Big Breach relates to IONEC, the intelligence
officers entry course. Mr Tomlinson and several other prospective
officers and agents were given a quite unusual task.
Here he reflects on one part of the course:
In the first of many increasingly complicated tests, we had each
been assigned a pub in which we had to approach a member of the public
and extract his or her name, address, date of birth, occupation and...
Pushing open the door of the Hole in the Wall on Great Southsea
Street, I was alarmed to find it was empty. I was on my second pint of
Guinness before the first customer, a smooching couple, appeared. A rowdy
bunch of youths marched in to play pool. The exercise was getting awkward.
At last two girls wandered in. They were casually dressed, one pretty,
the other overweight.
After managing to gain their confidence and pretending to be a yacht skipper
looking for a crew to sail to Cherbourg. he asked, do you know anybody
who might be interested in helping this weekend? The girls who worked
as nurses in a local hospital agreed to help. Sure, said the
Mr Tomlinson continues: On the pretext that I needed to clear them
with Customs, I asked for their passport numbers. The pretty one telephoned
their flatmate to get them. With only a few minutes to go, all the details
were in my notebook.
En-route back to London the IONEC minibus was bursting with chatter,
regarding tales of how gullible people were. Andrew Markham (pseudonym)
had pretended to be a French citizen who bet some pub regulars that all
British passport numbers ended in 666. One man quickly ran home to bring
his passport and although he won the bet, Markham got his passport number.
Another MI6 rooky, Ian Castle, a former merchant banker, posed as a marketing
consultant and distributed to each drinker a questionnaire that requested
the relevant details. Each drinker got a pint for their trouble.
One of the gang was not so lucky. Andrew Spender, a laid-back former
Scots Guards officer, won a great deal of money on a gambling machine,
bought everyone in the pub a drink and ended up hopelessly drunk. Unfortunately,
he also forgot about why he was in the pub in the first place and failed
Editor: One may or may not agree with the manner in which Richard
Tomlinson has gone about his business. However, his decision to write
the Big Breach has given every single person in this country an opportunity
to grasp quite an insight into the highly secret world of MI6. If you
have not purchased The Big Breach yet, then I would urge you to do so.
Mark Ian Birdsall.
EYE SPY! REF: ES/520 £11.99 (includes p & p)
Copies of this book can be purchased in eyespymag.com
Richard Tomlinson, issued the following statement:
I expect that when this book is published, MI6 will spend yet more public
money seeking to disrupt its distribution, attempting to confiscate profits
from its sale and trying to have me arrested and extradited back to the
To justify this expenditure, it will use its pliant friends in Whitehall
and parliament to spread malicious rumours that my dismissal was justified
because I was unreliable and went frolics, and
will spin to friendly press contacts that I am a traitor who
has sold secrets and endangered agents lives,
without substantiating these claims with reasoned argument.
MI6 could save itself all these efforts, legal battles and the British
taxpayer considerable expense if it were to accept a simple pledge from
I will come back to the UK voluntarily, hand over to charity all my personal
proceeds from the sale of this book, accept whatever legal charges MI6
wish to bring against me, and if necessary go to prison again, on one
condition: that I first be allowed to take it to an employment tribunal.
If MI6 were a noble and fair organisation, genuinely interested in protecting
national security and accountable for the public money that it spends,
then it would accept this offer with alacrity. But having worked both
for it and been targeted by it for nearly a decade, I doubt that it will
A step towards greater democratic accountability was taken when the parliamentary
intelligence and security committee, chaired by Tom King MP, was given
limited powers to examine the activities of the intelligence services.
But its role remains entirely advisory, and attempts by King to extend
its powers have been resisted by MI6, which pays only lip service to his
In his 1998 annual report to the prime minister, among several other criticisms
of MI6 King wrote that recent experiences on both sides of the Atlantic
underline the importance of having a range of effective measures for dealing
with staff problems as they arise.
After MI6 paid no attention to Kings recommendation, he repeated
it more strongly in his 1999 report,
We strongly support the right to have access to an employment
Still MI6 paid no attention to this criticism, or many of his other recommendations.
It will continue to ignore Kings recommendations and there will
be no true democratic accountability of the service until the intelligence
and security committee is given executive powers.