Tax Exempt Foundations and Think Tanks: The Process of Invisible Power

Old-Thinker News | December 11, 2010

By Daniel Taylor

Philanthropy is the essential element in the making of Rockefeller power. It gives the Rockefellers a priceless reputation as public benefactors which the public values so highly that power over public affairs is placed in the Rockefellers’ hands. Philanthropy generates more power than wealth alone can provide.” – Myer Kutz Rockefeller Power (1974)

Some have suggested that the large foundations are monopolizing development.

The hidden influence of tax-exempt foundations and think tanks in the halls of power has dramatically impacted our society, and in turn the world. The Rockefeller dynasty paved the way for eugenics in 20th Century America and heavily influenced the education system. Now Bill Gates’ various philanthropic institutions are impacting the globe, with a new initiative promising to make the next several years the “Decade of vaccines“. These institutions are impacting the globe to such an extent that some have suggested that the large foundations are monopolizing development. The United States has seen a shift of power to individuals who have been called “action intellectuals”. Who’s agenda are they serving? We didn’t elect these individuals, but large foundations are functioning like national governments.

The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense has picked up on this trend in its Strategic Trends program. The MoD’s Global Strategic Trends  – Out to 2040 document foresees “…the emergence of a global elite, a powerful network of individuals and institutions that sits above the level of individual states and influences the global agenda…”

Our health, society and future are all impacted by these elites. Who are they? What agenda are they pursuing?

A look back…

The U.S. Congress first investigated the activities of the large foundations in 1915 under the Commission on Industrial Relations. The Commission found that,

“The domination by the men in whose hands the final control of a large part of American industry rests is not limited to their employees, but is being rapidly extended to control the education and social survival of the nation. This control is being extended largely through the creation of enormous privately managed funds for indefinite purposes, hereafter designated “foundations”, by the endowment of colleges and universities, by the creation of funds for the pensioning of teachers, by contributions to private charities, as well as through controlling or influencing the public press…”

Again in 1953 the Reece Committee found that tax-exempt foundations were wielding an unprecedented amount of influence over American society, including the education system. Norman Dodd served as the chief director of research for the Committee. In the monumental interview below, Dodd outlines what he found:

Foundations serve another, much less discussed purpose. The wealth of the individuals who own the large foundations is protected from taxation.  The Rockefeller Foundation was conveniently founded in 1913, the same year that the income tax was ratified. John D. Rockefeller Sr. pioneered this art of so called “scientific giving”, and modern day philanthropists have followed in his footsteps. When John D’s public image became tarnished by his notoriously ruthless nature in his business dealings, he hired the PR man named Ivy Lee. Lee suggested that Rockefeller begin giving away his wealth, and give it away he did; with strings attached.

Gary Allen explains in The Rockefeller File,

“He [Rockefeller] would “give” money away to foundations under his control and then have those foundations spend the money in ways which brought even more power and profits to the Rockefeller empire. The money “given” away would be bread cast upon the waters. But bread that always had a hook in it. John D. Jr. was to refer to this as the “principle of scientific giving.”

The influence of large foundations on American society is documented by Dr. Lily E. Kay in her book The Molecular Vision of Life: Caltech, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Rise of the New Biology. Kay writes, “Their numerous projects and the unprecedented scope of their financial and institutional resources shaped the development of culture and the production of knowledge in the United States. Through education, public opinion, stimulation of specific research agenda, and the promotion of selective categories of knowledge and research, the Foundation played a key role in the creation of a hegemonic bloc…”

Foundations Today

In May of 2009 several top philanthropists met at the home of Sir Paul Nurse, president of Rockefeller University. David Rockefeller Jr, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Ted Turner and Oprah Winfrey were all in attendance. According to the London Times, the meeting was so secret that, “…some of the billionaires’ aides were told they were at ‘security briefings'”. The Times reports, “Over dinner they discussed how they might settle on an “umbrella cause” that could harness their interests.” The Times interviewed a guest at the meeting, who said that the group wanted to meet in secret because they didn’t want their statements ending up in the media, “painting them as an alternative world government.”

A brief overview of the activities of these groups will show that they have been acting as an alternative world government, and that they have been for decades. Through their grant-making power and immense wealth, they can effectively choose which scientific research projects are funded, what education reforms are initiated, and in turn the entire direction of society at large.

In an interview with the Seattle Times, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was asked, “Some say the emergence of super rich philanthropies like the Gates Foundation has undermined the effectiveness of the U.N. and its member organizations, like the WHO.” Moon responded,

“On the contrary that is what we really want — contributions from the business community as well as philanthropies. We need to have political support, but it doesn’t give us all that we need. NGOs and philanthropies and many foundations such as Bill Gates Foundation — they’re taking a very important role…”

In October of 2007, the Global Impact Investing Network was established by the Rockefeller Foundation. The GIIN will “help solve social and environmental problems” by encouraging investment that will bring both profit and produce real world change. The GIIN is taking John D’s “principle of scientific giving” to another level. This conglomerate of various banks and foundations will attempt to mold industry and society by investing in selected social programs and “screening” out investments for Co2 emitters and others deemed to be unworthy. A few of the banks and organizations involved with GIIN include:

  • Acumen Fund
  • The Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Calvert Foundation
  • Capricorn Investment Group
  • Citigroup
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Equilibrium Capital
  • Generation Investment Management
  • J.P. Morgan
  • The Rockefeller Foundation

Think Tanks: A profile on an “action intellectual”

“Herman Kahn has been a major figure in one of the most fascinating shifts of power in U.S. History: from identifiable public leaders to the ‘action intellectuals.'” – Life Magazine, December 6, 1968

Herman Kahn is known as one of the founding fathers of future studies. After working for the RAND Corporation, Kahn founded the Hudson Institute in 1961. The satirical film Dr. Strangelove is largely based on real documents and ideas that came from RAND. The December 6, 1968 edition of Life Magazine details Kahn’s career, and the larger implications of an unprecedented shift of power to unelected “action intellectuals.”

“…Herman Kahn has been a major figure in one of the most fascinating shifts of power in U.S. History: from identifiable public leaders to the “action intellectuals.” As counselors to the decision-makers, men such as Kahn often have access to future technology (what is known, but not yet disclosed) and official intelligence (what is known, but not yet revealed, about the capacities and plans of other nations).

Thus, decisions – based on private knowledge, analyzed by private consultants and debated in private – can become public policy. This is a process of invisible power. At its extreme this influence can commit a nation to social programs and military actions which have neither been fully explained nor publicly debated. One day, as that power pervades and grows more sophisticated, it may so affect the course of government that any nation’s policies may be locked in, as if by automatic pilot, years before the men who are elected to govern ever take office.”

Whos agenda are they serving? We didn’t elect these individuals. The historical record is ripe with open admissions on part of the elite to use their philanthropic power to manipulate society at large. The world is now in their sights. Whether the elite’s intent is good or bad, are they giving us a choice?

10 Comments on "Tax Exempt Foundations and Think Tanks: The Process of Invisible Power"

  1. Something to ponder about. This is the very same reason why I have zero respect and trust in the media and in the government, they are both pawns of the elite few who control everything where fucking ever I go. It’s annoying at best, and outright deplorable at its worst.

    Perhaps I could only dream that one day I may join the ranks of those sitting behind the curtains preferably to restore balance to this forsaken world. There undoubtedly is more to learn and I am more than enthusiastic to learn the ways of these exceptional pundits so that one day the student may surpass the teacher and fight fire with fire…

  2. “He [Rockefeller] would “give” money away to foundations under his control and then have those foundations spend the money in ways which brought even more power and profits to the Rockefeller empire. The money “given” away would be bread cast upon the waters. But bread that always had a hook in it. John D. Jr. was to refer to this as the “principle of scientific giving.”

    Not telling me anything that I didn’t know years ago. Today, just substitute the name Rockefeller with Gates, the world’s richest man. The world follows his example.

  3. “People are using data broker information to make important decisions about the real you based on the virtual you, decisions like your credit score, your insurance rates, and even whether you get a job. What’s worse, this data is frequently inaccurate.”

    Just imagine how all this data can be “gamed”!

  4. I wonder, is this website being used to gather information on “old thinkers” who don’t subscribe to “current government policy”? Duh!

  5. Liberals, Humanists, humanitarians, philanthropists, etc., are portrayed as the saviors of the world. They are not saviors. They exploit carnal human nature in order to capitalize on human desires and passions. They view you and I, and what we know, as “assets” or “resources”, to be bought and sold! We are considered “cells” in the a “global brain”! Each cell is regularly “profiled” to determine its level of “risk” to the “global community”. Think not? Think this is BS? Better do some research then!

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  8. Te Service and Research Institute on Family and Chidren, INDIA, IS CONVENING A THINK TANK COMPRISED OF UN OFFICIALS, Governmentofficials, University Heads, Professional leaders ,Corporates and NGO’s.
    The title of the think tank is ” Revitalising the fabric of Society-Family< from November 5-7 in New YORK.
    Serfac is seeking funds to convene this meeting and will be grateful if information can be given if this project falls within the purview of the Foundation and the possibility of funding this event.
    Thanking you,

    Catherine BERNARD

  9. has documents on the Gates Foundation

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