Bohemian Grove -- Inside the Zany, Top Secret Good Old Boys Camp

Sheri Reed

dull care Bohemian Grove Club

Creation of Care opening ceremony

I had never heard about the private rich Republican men's club at Bohemian Grove until today, and I am floored about what goes on inside that place! Herbert Hoover didn't call it the "world's greatest men's party" for nothing.

Oh wash your dirty minds about porn, prostitutes, and cocaine binges. It's way more exciting -- and scary -- than that (sorry, Charlie Sheen).

Bohemian Grove is a 2,700-acre campground in Northern California along the Russian River near Guernville. The grounds belong to a private San Francisco-based men's club known as the Bohemian Club, which started out really artsy but eventually drew businessmen cause, you know, they have money. Every summer, the Grove hosts a two-week camp for some of the most powerful men in the world.

This is some wacky secret society stuff, and here's what we found out about it.

8 Facts About Bohemian Grove

1. Bohemian Club members have included former Presidents (before they were Presidents) Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush. Henry Kissinger was also a member as well as loads of big business top dogs.

2. Most members are over 50, highly successful, and politically conservative (I'd also be willing to bet they're also mostly white).

3. Attendees are not allowed to speak about, write about, record, or photograph the top-secret activities at Bohemian Grove.

4. The opening ceremony at camp is called the Cremation of Care. They wear hoods and sacrifice the body of “Dull Care,” which symbolizes their woes and cares, before a big owl statue. Then they drink beer.

5. Men pee wherever they like. Writer Philip Weiss spent some time undercover at the Grove, and he wrote in Spy magazine:

You know you are inside the Bohemian Grove when you come down a trail in the woods and hear piano music from amid a group of tents and then round a bend to see a man with a beer in one hand and his penis in the other, urinating into the bushes. This is the most gloried-in ritual of the encampment, the freedom of powerful men to pee wherever they like ...

6. But it's not all just pagan ceremonies and peeing haphazardly in the woods. Discussions at Bohemian Grove in the 1930s led to the development of nuclear power and atomic bombs. Nixon and Reagan hashed out their differences over presidential ambitions in 1967.

7. President Clinton once said, "The Bohemian Club? That's where are those rich Republicans go and stand naked against redwood trees, right?" Somebody's jealous ...

8. Bohemian Grove is most recently in the news because they wanted to start logging their woods, as second-growth redwood is suddenly a lucrative asset. However, a judge revoked their logging permit for not abiding by the unsupervised logging rules.

Crazy huh?

Have you heard of the Bohemian Club at Bohemian Grove before?


Image via YouTube

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