Highest level Anglo-American relations for over a century
Note beforehand: Since this article first appeared, knowledge about this group has greatly expanded. This first version of this article was written after about 400 names were gathered and largely analyzed; and even before any work had been done on Le Cercle and the 1001. Now we are up to at least 1500 names, including many recent ones. It will take a lot of time to do bios on these members, analyze them, and give sources with each name, but for now it can be safely concluded that many members consistently are recruited from ALL the major banks, insurance companies, and law firms in New York and London. At the same time, Pilgrims flow in and out of the elected and permanent governments of the US and UK.
I suggest you take a look at the introduction page and appendix B where the origins of this group and its influence is discussed in a bit more detail. I also suggest you check out the work of Charles Savoie, who has been publishing a lot of work on Pilgrims since late 2004.
New information on the Pilgrims might be released via the front page at times, or not. Not sure.
Finally, I also suggest you take a look at this chart, which has been put together by looking at the individual biographies of the Pilgrims Society members.
The Pilgrims Society, an aristocratic Anglo-American dining club, was established over a century ago and meets at least two or three times a year. Its membership consists of the most influential bankers, lawyers, insurance brokers, and businessmen from the New York and London areas. A handful of career politicians also come from Washington. The club's primary purpose is to keep the ties between the United States and Britain as close as possible.The London chapter of the Pilgrims Society was established on July 11, 1902, followed by a New York chapter on January 13, 1903. Its patron is the British monarch, who has plenty of representatives attending the meetings. A member of the Royal family usually attends the London diners.
As you'll find out by looking at the membership list, the Pilgrims Society has clearly fused together the business centers of New York and London, together with a large portion of the political centers of both nations. Ninety percent of the American members are top-level bankers and businessmen from New York city.
Only a couple of Pilgrims own or chair companies with headquarters in Boston or Philadelphia. Businesses that have their headquarters in any other location than this small part of the north-east corner of the United States don't seem to be represented at all (do keep in mind that recent data is sketchy). Relatively few government officials from Washington are recruited into the Pilgrims Society. Officials from outside the UK or US visit the club occasionally. In the past they usually came from countries incorporated within the British Empire or the Commonwealth, most notably Canada and Australia.
A mistake usually made when people refer to this society, is when they call it the 'Pilgrim Society', because this name hasn't been used that often. The most often used name is the 'Pilgrims Society', sometimes spelled as 'Pilgrim's Society'. You might think this isn't such a big deal, but when you search the internet or some archives for the 'Pilgrim Society', you will hardly find any official sources, simply because they all refer to the 'Pilgrims Society'. The name 'Pilgrims Society' is also unique, so you won't confuse it with this one. Also try searching on 'The Pilgrims' or more specifically, the 'Pilgrims of the United States' and the 'Pilgrims of the United Kingdom'/'Pilgrims of Great Britain'.The club is secret. It might be one of those 'open-secrets', but it's secret nonetheless. If it wasn't, we would have read about it in the history books, we would know all the details of the meetings, and we would have membership lists in the public domain. It is possible to find quite a bit of information in regular newspaper archives, but you really have to look for it. It takes forever to piece the story together. For example, The Scotsman made numerous references to it in the first half of the century (archives are only available up to 1950 atm). Time Magazine made them much less, but still referred to the club once every few years. After 1958, Time only mentioned the club 2 or 3 times, even though meetings continued as usual. Other newspapers in the U.S., like the New York Times and the Washington Post have referred the Pilgrims at times. The Wall Street Journal on the other hand never mentioned a whole lot about this dining club at any time in the past century. The Times of London mentioned the society a couple of times in the past 10 years, even though, as all the other papers, it didn't give many details about who's attending. Most other newspapers, including the Scotsman, New York Post, Washington Times, or even the Guardian, seem to have been (almost) completely silent about the Pilgrims in the last 5 to 7 years (that's how far the digital archives go back). In other countries it's virtually impossible to get any information on the Pilgrims. Not one large Dutch newspaper has mentioned the name in the past 20 years. References in German or French newspapers are just as uncommon. One thing you actually càn find, is different speeches on official websites; One at NATO, another one at the State Department, and yet another one from 1999 on the MoD website. They all deal with one little speech and when you ask for some background information you won't get any replies. And that's strange. Maybe it's done to give people the impression there's nothing unusual about the club. Indeed, looking at the speeches there certainly isn't. All they do is talk about regular pro-NATO politics and kiss up to their "brothers" on the other side of the ocean.
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