A Former President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Recounts Happy Times at Bohemian Grove
In his memoir, Across the Busy Years, Nicholas Murray Butler, a founder of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and unabashed proponent of world government, glorifies the secret Bohemian Grove gathering and notes a unique variation of the Burial of Care (Cremation of Care) ritual during one of his visits there in 1918 while World War I (The Great War) was underway.
Citing the motto, Weaving Spiders Come Not Here, this longtime university president (at Columbia), Nobel Peace Prize recipient and foundation trustee claims that the elite visitors to the Grove are stripped of their titles, offices and claims to power, and are instead judged only by their personal characteristics. Moreover, the Bohemian Grove represents the best to Butler, which he called “the Great Home of the Human Spirit.” Typically elitist, Butler sees the Grove’s secret gathering of rulers as a happy fixture. He writes in the second volume of his memoir on pg. 420:
“Then comes the Bohemian Club of San Francisco, that truly marvelous Club with more than a half-century of fine tradition and distinguished performance in letters and in the arts. San Francisco owes much to the fact that from 1849 until the opening of the first transcontinental railway, some twenty years later, it was so remote and so cut off from the rest of the country that it was not only under invitation, but almost under compulsion, to develop its own independent literary and artistic life. Therefore, there came to be about the Bay a group containing a number of brilliant men who, whatever their calling in life, found time and opportunity to have a real interest in and for letters and the fine arts.”
“They were drawn together in the Bohemian Club, the summer camp of which eventually grew into the magnificent Bohemian Grove on the Russian River, which is a place beyond compare in all the world. It is no exaggeration to say that not since Ancient Greece has there ever been such whole-souled and truly human devotion, on the part of a large group drawn from every walk in life, to all that is best in that life, including human relationships, letters and the fine arts, as is to be found each midsummer at the Bohemian Grove.”
“It is the one place in the world where a man counts for nothing but what he really is. Its motto is: Weaving Spiders Come Not Here. When one arrives at the trees which mark the entrance to the Grove he is, figuratively speaking, stripped naked of all his honors, offices, possessions and emoluments, and is allowed to enter simply as a personality, there to be weighed and measured in terms of personality and nothing more. I have seen men of highest official position and men of great wealth treated with the greatest unconcern by the dwellers in the Bohemian Grove, simply because these men put on airs and endeavored to assume a superiority to which they had no possible claim. The talk there by night and by day, and the music, vocal and instrumental, and the thousand and one human happenings are unique among modern men.”
“Those who have not been present at the ceremony of the Burial of Care at the annual encampment in the Bohemian Grove have missed one of the most solemn and inspiring ceremonies of which I know. It is now done in accordance with a stately ritual, but during the Great War different conditions prevailed. In 1918 when the War on the Western Front was at its height, there were at the Burial of Care ceremony voices to represent France, England, Belgium, Italy and the United States. The vast grove of redwoods was in darkness and as the strong light was turned upon the spokesmen for these nations, one after another, they were seen standing at a slight elevation, clothed in white, each to recite in verse the message which he had to deliver. From him who spoke for Belgium I heard for the first time, with deepest emotion, the verses beginning “In Flanders fields the poppies blow” which had only lately been written.”
“Each annual encampment of the Bohemian Club reaches its climax and end with the High Jinks, when the play of the year, written by a member of the Club, is presented, accompanied by the music written by another member of the Club. It is invariably a stirring and inspiring performance and when, on the following day, we separate and go our several ways from that great home of the human spirit, we go, each one of us, with new strength and inspiration because of our happy and fortunate experiences with the realities of life and quite away from its dross, its too frequent vulgarity and its lack of comprehension.”
“In the Bohemian Grove the Camp to which I was so happy to belong was appropriately called The Land of Happiness. We had intimate friends and companions in every part of the Grove, but especially perhaps in the Camps called Lost Angels, Mandalay, and Woof. These companionships and friendships have extended over many ears and are precious indeed.”
For Nicholas Butler, the Grove is clearly a Valhalla-on-earth where he finds like minded friends influential in government and military affairs, science and academia. For Butler, it is a glowing base in an otherwise Utopian vision for Global Government underway but not yet achieved – patently arranged by the corporate interests working behind powerful philanthropic foundations – attempting to achieve “world peace” through greater international control. His Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (represented annually at gatherings like Bilderberg and Bohemian Grove) plays a major role in this effort.
Wikipedia notes Nicholas Butler, like many others in his company, to be a proud internationalist:
Butler was the chair of the Lake Mohonk Conference on International Arbitration that met periodically from 1907 to 1912. In this time he was appointed president of the American branch of International Conciliation. Butler was also instrumental in persuading Andrew Carnegie to provide the initial $10 million funding for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Butler became head of international education and communication, founded the European branch of the Endowment headquartered in Paris, and was President of the Endowment from 1925 to 1945. For his work in this field, he received the Nobel Peace Prize for 1931 (shared with Jane Addams) “[For his promotion] of the Briand-Kellogg pact” and for his work as the “leader of the more establishment-oriented part of the American peace movement”.”
Butler was President of the elite Pilgrims Society, which promotes Anglo-American friendship. He served as President of the Pilgrims from 1928 to 1946. Butler was president of The American Academy of Arts and Letters from 1928 to 1941.