A list of several books and magazine articles, and some links pertaining to Bohemian Grove.

Text copyright 2002 Kerry Richardson

The Bohemian Grove and Other Retreats by G. William Domhoff, Harper & Row, New York, 1974. Subtitled "A Study in Ruling-Class Cohesiveness," the 1974 hardbound edition of this book has a 59 page overview of the Bohemian Grove that is only slightly dated and includes a 130 page "Appendix of Heavies," a table analyzing the overlapping social club and policy-planning group memberships of hundreds of prominent men in the fields of business, academia, and the media. Domhoff, a professor of sociology and psychology, also presents the hypothesis that there is an upper social class in the United States made up of owners and managers of large corporations, and that this group's interests often conflict with those of working people. Domhoff argues that this upper social class - comprising one percent of the total population at most and controlling the majority of the nation's privately held corporate wealth - directs the large corporations and foundations, and dominates the federal government. Domhoff views the Bohemian Club and its retreat at the Bohemian Grove as evidence that supports his hypothesis, and he thinks such gatherings facilitate group cohesiveness among the upper social class.

The Greatest Men's Party on Earth by John van der Zee, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., New York, 1974. Writer John van der Zee waited tables at the Grove during the summer of 1972, the Bohemian Club's 100th year of existence. In his 1974 book subtitled "Inside the Bohemian Grove," he combines his first-hand observations of camp life with extensive historical research and information gathered from interviews of club members to present an overview of the club and its encampment. Chapters include a discussion of the founding of the club by newsmen and artistic types and the subsequent evolution of the group to a more socially and politically prominent organization financed by those of greater wealth, with visual and performing artists and musicians accepted as associate members. Van der Zee writes about Herbert Hoover's role as an honored participant in the annual encampments and describes and interprets a lakeside talk, a variety show with famous performers, and the Grove's annual play that is staged with considerable effort and expense at a large outdoor theater within the Grove. Chapter nine, titled "The Bomb" recounts networking activities by Ernest Lawrence at the Grove that resulted in financial support for his nuclear physics research, and it tells of a secret meeting at the Grove during the second world war where scientists made key decisions about how to develop the atomic bomb. The Grove's summer encampments are still much as van der Zee describes, although there are now some African-American members, and, as a result of court decisions, there are now female workers.

Sex Work: Writings by Women in the Sex Industry edited by Frédérique Delacoste and Priscilla Alexander, Cleis Press, San Francisco, 1987. This book is still in print in its second edition. Among its contents are two first person accounts of prostitution related to the Bohemian Grove gatherings. Although not an official club activity, some of the rowdier campers have been known to "jump the river." In Sonoma County where the Grove is located, it is common knowledge that this type of activity occurs during the Grove encampments. In the early 1970's and the early 1980's there were two criminal actions directed against operators of a bar and a motel in the summer resort community of Guerneville upstream and across the river from the Grove. Both prosecutions foundered. Quoted in the West Sonoma County Paper in 1983, Margo St. James noted that the top level guys don't go to the local tavern, "They work through madams from the City." The "low jinks" theatrical production at the 1991 encampment titled "The Fun House" made fun of the topic, the plot being that two not-too-bright takeover artists discover their first corporate raid brings them a brothel.

"Inside Bohemian Grove" by Philip Weiss, Spy magazine, November 1989. A fifteen page article mentioning some sixty Bohemian clubbers by name, the author prior to infiltrating the 1989 Bohemian Grove encampment anticipated writing a satirical piece but found that truth was more pertinent than fiction. The article features a map of the Grove and numerous small photos made inside the encampment. 1989 was the year Ronald Reagan returned to the Grove encampment after his two terms as U.S. president. Weiss was the first to report the presence at the Grove of France's then Prime Minister Michel Rocard and includes a summary with quotes from Rocard's lakeside talk. The article contains many first-hand observations of life at the Grove and includes a sidebar compendium of jokes told by Grove campers.

"Power Playground" by John van der Zee, Business Month magazine, July/August 1988. Van der Zee, author of The Greatest Men's Party on Earth, touches on the business ambiance at the Grove. While the overt conducting of business is discouraged at the Grove - "weaving spiders come not here" is a club motto - introductions and contacts are made, issues can be discussed in privacy at the camps, and the lakeside talks can be one of the country's most influential forums. While there are categories of associate membership for artists and performers, van der Zee notes that dues for regular members in 1988 could be as high as $110 a month with an initiation fee of over $8,000, and a prospective member could be on a waiting list for eighteen years. Van der Zee considers the Cave Man camp, formerly the Bohemian Grove dwelling of Herbert Hoover and Richard Nixon, to have the most honored status among the Grove's residence groupings.

"Mondo loro" by Pino Buongiorno, Panorama magazine, 12 Agosto, 1990 (August 12, 1990). The Italian newsmagazine's four page illustrated article about Bohemian Grove (written in Italian) contains phrases such as "Superclub, che mania" (Superclub, what a craze) and "comandante dello Strategic air command" (commander of the Strategic Air Command), and "una delle maggiori fabbriche di armi del mondo" (one of the biggest arms manufacturers in the world). The article title may mean "their world." The article includes some of the photos that are on this website.

"Pouvoir: le club le plus fermé du monde" by Jean Sébastien Stehli, Le Point magazine, 27 Août, 1994 (August 27, 1994). Written in French. (Power: the world's most exclusive club.) Le Point is a major French newsmagazine.

"Power at Play: The Boho Boys Club" by W. Hampton Sides, Regardie's magazine, January 1991. Sides penetrated the Bohemian Grove in the course of researching a book about American subcultures. (His book Stomping Grounds, in addition to a chapter about Bohemian Grove, includes an account of a Rainbow gathering.) The long article in the Washington D.C. based Regardie's magazine includes a sidebar identifying nineteen Bohemian clubbers connected to the national capital area.

"The Male Manager's Last Refuge" by Walter McQuade, Fortune magazine, August 5, 1985. The Bohemian Grove is featured most prominently in this article about all-male country retreats. McQuade also mentions the horse-oriented Rancheros Visitadores in California and the Colorado based Roundup Riders of the Rockies, as well as the aerospace industry linked Conquistadores del Cielo which meets in Wyoming, and the Moles, a group of executives who build tunnels and other heavy construction projects who have a summer place near New York City. The Fortune article has two large photos supplied by the Bohemian Club, one showing a "low-jinks" theatrical production and the other showing pyrotechnics at the Grove's "Cremation of Care" opening pageant.

"Inside Bohemian Grove: The Story People Magazine Won't Let You Read," Extra! magazine November/December 1991. Another reporter infiltrates the Grove, but this time he is spotted by one of his bosses, a Time Warner executive who was attending the encampment. The story planned for People magazine was killed. Extra! is published by FAIR, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a New York based media watch group. This article has sidebars critical of Time Warner, one quoting an unnamed former Time magazine reporter saying his 1987 report about cocaine trafficking in Oliver North's contra supply network was killed by Time. Another story killing is mentioned: a Time reporter was undercover in the Bohemian Grove in 1982, but that report also didn't see print.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat - The Press Democrat is the daily paper closest geographically to the Bohemian Grove and it has a website. Recent articles can be called up with a search function.

The Sonoma County Free Press - The Free Press is an online activist "zine" that contains commentary and reporting by Mary Moore in the Bohemian Grove Action Network section. Moore has organized protest demonstrations at the entrance to the Grove. (Speaking in Sebastopol a few years ago, Michael Parenti acknowledged Moore as having led the exposure of the Bohemian Grove.)

A Relative Advantage: Sociology of the San Francisco Bohemian Club - A Doctoral Dissertation by Peter M. Phillips, Ph.D., Director of Project Censored and Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, School of Social Sciences at California's Sonoma State University.