One of the most widely discussed (and frequently vilified) coordinating bodies among the industrial world’s economic and political elites, the Trilateral Commission was founded in 1973 by American banking and petroleum magnate David Rockefeller and a consortium of politicians and businessmen from America, Europe, and Japan. The Commission drew its inspiration from Zbigniew Brzezinski’s book Between Two Ages (1970), which argued for an alliance among the world’s industrial powers as a basis for global stability. It had its period of greatest influence in the late 1970s, when Commission member Jimmy Carter was US President and Brzezinski was his national security adviser. Ronald Reagan’s victory in the 1980 presidential elections, which began an era of American military and political adventurism, represented a significant defeat for the Commission’s agenda, but it has continued to meet and lobby for international cooperation.

Currently the Trilateral Commission has some 350 members, drawn in approximately equal numbers from the three regions it represents. Since the Commission’s founding, the Japanese sector has been expanded into an East Asian Group, and the North American Group now includes Canada and Mexico as well as the United States. Like the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bilderberg Group, its most obvious models, it holds an annual meeting in a different venue each year. Between meetings, its staff functions as a think-tank, researching issues and producing position papers on topics of interest to Commission members.

Within a few years of its founding, the Trilateral Commission had already been given a large role in American conspiracy theories at both ends of the political spectrum. The John Birch Society and other right-wing conspiracy watchers quickly identified it as a major player behind the attempt to abolish American independence in a global dictatorship, while their equivalents on the far left listed it as one of the major institutions behind a corporate world order aiming at the destruction of people’s liberation movements worldwide and the imposition of an economic Pax Americana for the benefit of the rich. It still plays a very large role in current theories about the forthcoming New World Order.



The Element Encyclopedia of Secret Societies : the ultimate a-z of ancient mysteries, lost civilizations and forgotten wisdom written by John Michael Greer – © John Michael Greer 2006