Passing the torch
Although she hasn't organized protests at the Bohemian Grove for eight years, Mary Moore still gets calls. Sometimes they're from other activists. Sometimes they're from writers for Vanity Fair. Today it's from the Bohemian. "At least in my lifetime," she sighs of her 20-plus years of activism outside the Grove, "I will never escape it."
Between the years 1980 and 2001, Moore was the go-to leader of annual protests outside the Bohemian Grove, the yearly July gathering near Monte Rio of the Bohemian Club, home to some of the wealthiest and most influential men in the world. She stepped down from active organization at the Grove after 2001, but remains an involved participant. So when asked about this year's Bohemian Grove protest, being organized by 9-11 truth crusader Brian Romanoff and involving three 9-11 groups—9-11 Truth, Truth Action and Nor Cal Truth—Moore affirms that she's no rudder-clasping steward.
"I don't own the protest," she emphasizes. "And Brian, I've had long, long talks with him. He knows how I feel. It's not the focus I would want to see there. But I don't own it, and he has a perfect right to protest there. He also agreed with the reasons that we have protested in the past."
Of course, the prominent reason for protesting Bohemian Grove is that it facilitates the deal-making and building of relationships between leaders of corporations who affect U.S. policy. Since the protest is now helmed by those who emphasize a specific event in the nation's history, there is worry that the awareness of the Grove's involvement in America's corporate-controlled culture may be obscured.
"Our protest has always been focusing on what they're doing in the outside world," Moore says. "I don't care if they dress up like women and prance around in tutus and have hookers come in. I just really don't care. I don't care if there is a closeted gay scene up there—that's everywhere. I'm much more concerned about what they're doing to the world."
Past Grove guests have included George H. W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon, who called the Bohemian Grove "the most faggy goddamned thing you could ever imagine." Last year, the 9-11 truth protesters obtained a list of camp members and map of camp locations from a disgruntled employee. Much has been made of Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Mickey Hart being on the list, and Moore was nonplussed to see their membership. "I've never been impressed with the Grateful Dead," she says.
Those wanting to get involved with this year's protests can get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.