Category Archives: Feudalism & Neofeudalism

Who Runs The World? Solid Proof That A Core Group Of Wealthy Elitists Is Pulling The Strings

theeconomiccollapseblog.com | Jan 29, 2013

By Michael

Who-Runs-The-World-Solid-Proof-That-A-Core-Group-Of-Wealthy-Elitists-Are-Pulling-The-Strings-294x300Does a shadowy group ofobscenely wealthy elitists control the world?  Do men and women with enormous amounts of money really run the world from behind the scenes?  The answer might surprise you.  Most of us tend to think of money as a convenient way to conduct transactions, but the truth is that it also represents power and control.  And today we live in a neo-fuedalist system in which the super rich pull all the strings.  When I am talking about the ultra-wealthy, I am not just talking about people that have a few million dollars.  As you will see later in this article, the ultra-wealthy have enough money sitting in offshore banks to buy all of the goods and services produced in the United States during the course of an entire year and still be able to pay off the entire U.S. national debt.  That is an amount of money so large that it is almost incomprehensible.  Under this ne0-feudalist system, all the rest of us are debt slaves, including our own governments.  Just look around – everyone is drowning in debt, and all of that debt is making the ultra-wealthy even wealthier.  But the ultra-wealthy don’t just sit on all of that wealth.  They use some of it to dominate the affairs of the nations.  The ultra-wealthy own virtually every major bank and every major corporation on the planet.  They use a vast network of secret societies, think tanks and charitable organizations to advance their agendas and to keep their members in line.  They control how we view the world through their ownership of the media and their dominance over our education system.  They fund the campaigns of most of our politicians and they exert a tremendous amount of influence over international organizations such as the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO.  When you step back and take a look at the big picture, there is little doubt about who runs the world.  It is just that most people don’t want to admit the truth.

The ultra-wealthy don’t run down and put their money in the local bank like you and I do.  Instead, they tend to stash their assets in places where they won’t be taxed such as the Cayman Islands.  According to a report that was released last summer, the global elite have up to 32 TRILLION dollars stashed in offshore banks around the globe.

U.S. GDP for 2011 was about 15 trillion dollars, and the U.S. national debt is sitting at about 16 trillion dollars, so you could add them both together and you still wouldn’t hit 32 trillion dollars.

And of course that does not even count the money that is stashed in other locations that the study did not account for, and it does not count all of the wealth that the global elite have in hard assets such as real estate, precious metals, art, yachts, etc.

The global elite have really hoarded an incredible amount of wealth in these troubled times.  The following is from an article on the Huffington Post website

Rich individuals and their families have as much as $32 trillion of hidden financial assets in offshore tax havens, representing up to $280 billion in lost income tax revenues, according to research published on Sunday.

The study estimating the extent of global private financial wealth held in offshore accounts – excluding non-financial assets such as real estate, gold, yachts and racehorses – puts the sum at between $21 and $32 trillion.

The research was carried out for pressure group Tax Justice Network, which campaigns against tax havens, by James Henry, former chief economist at consultants McKinsey & Co.

He used data from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations and central banks.

But as I mentioned previously, the global elite just don’t have a lot of money.  They also basically own just about every major bank and every major corporation on the entire planet.

According to an outstanding NewScientist article, a study of more than 40,000 transnational corporations conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich discovered that a very small core group of huge banks and giant predator corporations dominate the entire global economic system…

An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.

The researchers found that this core group consists of just 147 very tightly knit companies…

When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity – that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.

The following are the top 25 banks and corporations at the heart of this “super-entity”.  You will recognize many of the names on the list…

1. Barclays plc
2. Capital Group Companies Inc
3. FMR Corporation
4. AXA
5. State Street Corporation
6. JP Morgan Chase & Co
7. Legal & General Group plc
8. Vanguard Group Inc
9. UBS AG
10. Merrill Lynch & Co Inc
11. Wellington Management Co LLP
12. Deutsche Bank AG
13. Franklin Resources Inc
14. Credit Suisse Group
15. Walton Enterprises LLC
16. Bank of New York Mellon Corp
17. Natixis
18. Goldman Sachs Group Inc
19. T Rowe Price Group Inc
20. Legg Mason Inc
21. Morgan Stanley
22. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc
23. Northern Trust Corporation
24. Société Générale
25. Bank of America Corporation

The ultra-wealthy elite often hide behind layers and layers of ownership, but the truth is that thanks to interlocking corporate relationships, the elite basically control almost every Fortune 500 corporation.

The amount of power and control that this gives them is hard to describe.

Unfortunately, this same group of people have been running things for a very long time.  For example, New York City Mayor John F. Hylan said the following during a speech all the way back in 1922

The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation. To depart from mere generalizations, let me say that at the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as the international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.

They practically control both parties, write political platforms, make catspaws of party leaders, use the leading men of private organizations, and resort to every device to place in nomination for high public office only such candidates as will be amenable to the dictates of corrupt big business.

These international bankers and Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests control the majority of the newspapers and magazines in this country. They use the columns of these papers to club into submission or drive out of office public officials who refuse to do the bidding of the powerful corrupt cliques which compose the invisible government. It operates under cover of a self-created screen [and] seizes our executive officers, legislative bodies, schools, courts, newspapers and every agency created for the public protection.

These international bankers created the central banks of the world (including the Federal Reserve), and they use those central banks to get the governments of the world ensnared in endless cycles of debt from which there is no escape.  Government debt is a way to “legitimately” take money from all of us, transfer it to the government, and then transfer it into the pockets of the ultra-wealthy.

Today, Barack Obama and almost all members of Congress absolutely refuse to criticize the Fed, but in the past there have been some brave members of Congress that have been willing to take a stand.  For example, the following quote is from a speech that Congressman Louis T. McFadden delivered to the U.S. House of Representatives on June 10, 1932

Mr. Chairman, we have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks. The Federal Reserve Board, a Government board, has cheated the Government of the United States and the people of the United States out of enough money to pay the national debt. The depredations and iniquities of the Federal Reserve Board has cost this country enough money to pay the national debt several times over. This evil institution has impoverished and ruined the people of the United States, has bankrupted itself, and has practically bankrupted our Government. It has done this through the defects of the law under which it operates, through the maladministration of that law by the Federal Reserve Board, and through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it.

Sadly, most Americans still believe that the Federal Reserve is a “federal agency”, but that is simply not correct.  The following comes from factcheck.org

The stockholders in the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks are the privately owned banks that fall under the Federal Reserve System. These include all national banks (chartered by the federal government) and those state-chartered banks that wish to join and meet certain requirements. About 38 percent of the nation’s more than 8,000 banks are members of the system, and thus own the Fed banks.

According to researchers that have looked into the ownership of the big Wall Street banks that dominate the Fed, the same names keep coming up over and over: the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, the Warburgs, the Lazards, the Schiffs and the royal families of Europe.

But ultra-wealthy international bankers have not just done this kind of thing in the United States.  Their goal was to create a global financial system that they would dominate and control.  Just check out what Georgetown University history professor Carroll Quigley once wrote

[T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.

Sadly, most Americans have never even heard of the Bank for International Settlements, but it is at the very heart of the global financial system.  The following is from Wikipedia

As an organization of central banks, the BIS seeks to make monetary policy more predictable and transparent among its 58 member central banks. While monetary policy is determined by each sovereign nation, it is subject to central and private banking scrutiny and potentially to speculation that affects foreign exchange rates and especially the fate of export economies. Failures to keep monetary policy in line with reality and make monetary reforms in time, preferably as a simultaneous policy among all 58 member banks and also involving the International Monetary Fund, have historically led to losses in the billions as banks try to maintain a policy using open market methods that have proven to be based on unrealistic assumptions.

The ultra-wealthy have also played a major role in establishing other important international institutions such as the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO.  In fact, the land for the United Nations headquarters in New York City was purchased and donated by John D. Rockefeller.

The international bankers are “internationalists” and they are very proud of that fact.

The elite also dominate the education system in the United States.  Over the years, the Rockefeller Foundation and other elitist organizations have poured massive amounts of money into Ivy League schools.  Today, Ivy League schools are considered to be the standard against which all other colleges and universities in America are measured, and the last four U.S. presidents were educated at Ivy League schools.

The elite also exert a tremendous amount of influence through various secret societies (Skull and Bones, the Freemasons, etc.), through some very powerful think tanks and social clubs (the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, the Bohemian Grove, Chatham House, etc.), and through a vast network of charities and non-governmental organizations (the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund, etc.).

But for a moment, I want to focus on the power the elite have over the media.  In a previous article, I detailed how just six monolithic corporate giants control most of what we watch, hear and read every single day.  These giant corporations own television networks, cable channels, movie studios, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, music labels and even many of our favorite websites.

Considering the fact that the average American watches 153 hours of television a month, the influence of these six giant corporations should not be underestimated.  The following are just some of the media companies that these corporate giants own…

Time Warner

Home Box Office (HBO)
Time Inc.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
CW Network (partial ownership)
TMZ
New Line Cinema
Time Warner Cable
Cinemax
Cartoon Network
TBS
TNT
America Online
MapQuest
Moviefone
Castle Rock
Sports Illustrated
Fortune
Marie Claire
People Magazine

Walt Disney

ABC Television Network
Disney Publishing
ESPN Inc.
Disney Channel
SOAPnet
A&E
Lifetime
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Buena Vista Theatrical Productions
Buena Vista Records
Disney Records
Hollywood Records
Miramax Films
Touchstone Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures
Pixar Animation Studios
Buena Vista Games
Hyperion Books

Viacom

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Home Entertainment
Black Entertainment Television (BET)
Comedy Central
Country Music Television (CMT)
Logo
MTV
MTV Canada
MTV2
Nick Magazine
Nick at Nite
Nick Jr.
Nickelodeon
Noggin
Spike TV
The Movie Channel
TV Land
VH1

News Corporation

Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Fox Television Stations
The New York Post
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Beliefnet
Fox Business Network
Fox Kids Europe
Fox News Channel
Fox Sports Net
Fox Television Network
FX
My Network TV
MySpace
News Limited News
Phoenix InfoNews Channel
Phoenix Movies Channel
Sky PerfecTV
Speed Channel
STAR TV India
STAR TV Taiwan
STAR World
Times Higher Education Supplement Magazine
Times Literary Supplement Magazine
Times of London
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
20th Century Fox International
20th Century Fox Studios
20th Century Fox Television
BSkyB
DIRECTV
The Wall Street Journal
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Interactive Media
FOXTEL
HarperCollins Publishers
The National Geographic Channel
National Rugby League
News Interactive
News Outdoor
Radio Veronica
ReganBooks
Sky Italia
Sky Radio Denmark
Sky Radio Germany
Sky Radio Netherlands
STAR
Zondervan

CBS Corporation

CBS News
CBS Sports
CBS Television Network
CNET
Showtime
TV.com
CBS Radio Inc. (130 stations)
CBS Consumer Products
CBS Outdoor
CW Network (50% ownership)
Infinity Broadcasting
Simon & Schuster (Pocket Books, Scribner)
Westwood One Radio Network

NBC Universal

Bravo
CNBC
NBC News
MSNBC
NBC Sports
NBC Television Network
Oxygen
SciFi Magazine
Syfy (Sci Fi Channel)
Telemundo
USA Network
Weather Channel
Focus Features
NBC Universal Television Distribution
NBC Universal Television Studio
Paxson Communications (partial ownership)
Trio
Universal Parks & Resorts
Universal Pictures
Universal Studio Home Video

And of course the elite own most of our politicians as well.  The following is a quote from journalist Lewis Lapham

“The shaping of the will of Congress and the choosing of the American president has become a privilege reserved to the country’s equestrian classes, a.k.a. the 20% of the population that holds 93% of the wealth, the happy few who run the corporations and the banks, own and operate the news and entertainment media, compose the laws and govern the universities, control the philanthropic foundations, the policy institutes, the casinos, and the sports arenas.”

Have you ever wondered why things never seem to change in Washington D.C. no matter who we vote for?

Well, it is because both parties are owned by the establishment.

It would be nice to think that the American people are in control of who runs things in the U.S., but that is not how it works in the real world.

In the real world, the politician that raises more money wins more than 80 percent of the time in national races.

Our politicians are not stupid – they are going to be very good to the people that can give them the giant piles of money that they need for their campaigns.  And the people that can do that are the ultra-wealthy and the giant corporations that the ultra-wealthy control.

Are you starting to get the picture?

There is a reason why the ultra-wealthy are referred to as “the establishment”.  They have set up a system that greatly benefits them and that allows them to pull the strings.

So who runs the world?

They do.  In fact, they even admit as much.

David Rockefeller wrote the following in his 2003 book entitled “Memoirs”

“For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”

There is so much more that could be said about all of this.  In fact, an entire library of books could be written about the power and the influence of the ultra-wealthy international bankers that run the world.

But hopefully this is enough to at least get some conversations started.

So what do you think about all of this?  Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…

The Great Seal Of The United States

Royal sex club scandal: King of Sweden knew of gangster meetups

thelocal.se | Dec 3, 2011

King Carl XVI Gustaf was aware of friend Anders Lettström’s attempts to silence the scandals described in the book The Unwilling Monarch (Den motvillige monarken), Lettström claimed in tramscripts of tape recordings published by newspaper Aftonbladet.

On Lettström’s initiative, Daniel Webb, acting for well-known criminal Milan Sevo, tried to get sex club owner Mille Markovic to deny the information published in the scandalous book about the Swedish king.

As well as a denial from Markovic, Lettström wanted to buy the alleged scandalous pictures of the king at Markovic’s club, reported Aftonbladet.

Lettström’s silencing attempts are said to have gone on for some months, without a deal being struck with Markovic.

The king publically renounced Lettström’s actions in an interview with news agency TT in May. When asked if the king had known about Anders Lettström’s contacts with Stockholm’s criminal underworld, the king responded with a definite no.

In tape recordings made by Daniel Webb, however, Lettström claims to have informed the king of his ongoings.

“After our meeting on Kungsholmen I spoke with the king that evening, and told him that you’d said Mille was willing to deny, and that he wanted to be paid for it. You didn’t know how much, but thought it would be between one and two million,” Lettström said to Webb in the recording.

Lettström repeats that he has spoken to the king about contacting Markovic once more in the same conversation.

“If we paid Mille for his denial, he would make sure that some of his sources denied it too. That’s what our deal entailed, and I’ve mentioned it to the king,” said Lettström according to Aftonbladet.

The recordings of Lettström’s conversations with Webb haven’t previously been published.

However, Lettström maintains that the king was unaware of his contacts with Daniel Webb, and claims the sound material is manipulated.

“It’s like a photo montage, only with sound. It’s taken out of context,” said Lettström to Aftonbladet.

The company Voxanalys and British experts on sound analysis have, acting on Aftonbladet’s behalf, investigated the recordings. The Swedish and British experts both judged the recordings free from manipulation, modification or cuts from different recordings.

The court’s information officer Bertil Ternert was unwilling to comment further on the matter, stating that information about these recordings has already been published and commented.

Ternert added that an allegation made by Lettström on the recordings, namely that the king’s telephone was being tapped by the National Bureau of Investigation (Rikskriminalpolisen), was “remarkable”, according to Aftonbladet.

Swedish King told of £200,000 payment to end sex party scandal


King Carl Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden Photo: AFP

Telegraph | Dec 4, 2011

By Richard Orange, Malmö

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden discussed payments of almost £200,000 to get a Stockholm nightclub owner to retract a claim he had allegedly attended sex parties at the club, a newspaper reported.

Aftonbladet said Anders Lettström, a close friend of the King, tried to broker the deal through Daniel Webb, an associate of Mille Markovic, the nightclub owner.

A biography, ‘The Reluctant Monarch’ released last November, featured Mr Markovic’s claims to have organised a string of sex parties for the King.

The newspaper published a recording of a conversation with Mr Webb, in which Mr Lettström claims to have kept the King abreast of the negotiations.

“After our meeting on Kungsholmen, I talked to the King during the evening,” Mr Lettström said. “Then I told him that Mille had said that he could take back what he said, and that he wanted to be paid I thought it was between one and two million Kronor [£95,0000-£190,000].”

The recording is the first concrete evidence that the King himself may have been aware of the clean-up exercise Mr Lettström, a theatrical impressario and childhood friend, was making on his behalf.

“This time, he has used up all my trust,” the King said in a statement after Mr Lettström’s negotiations with Sweden’s ‘Balkan Mafia’ became public earlier this year.

The paper also alleged that Mr Markovic had also offered to sell compromising photographs of the King, although talks had broke down over the price.

It said that the King’s friends had already paid £60,000 to Mr Webb and Milan Sevo, the Balkan Mafia boss described as “Sweden’s Godfather”, for their efforts to silence Mr Markovic.

On Sunday, Aftonbladet published a receipt for 650,000 Swedish Kronor [£60,000], made out to a company called Procap Security.

“The commission of contractual activities have been performed and carried out by Milan Sevo and Daniel Webb,” the receipt reads.

Saif Gaddafi arrest could prove embarrassing for Tony Blair, the Duke of York and Nat Rothschild


Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is seen sitting in a plane in Zintan Photo: REUTERS

Telegraph | Nov 20, 2011

By Martin Evans

Any future trial of Saif Al Islam Gaddafi could prove embarrassing for a host of high profile British figures who struck up a relationship with the Gaddafi regime, including Tony Blair, Lord Mandelson and The Duke of York, analysts have suggested.

In 2004 Mr Blair brought Gaddafi in from the cold when the pair signed the so-called ‘deal in the desert’ during a highly symbolic meeting in Tripoli.

The former Prime Minister introduced a UN resolution to lift sanctions against Libya after Gaddafi agreed to compensate victims of the Lockerbie atrocity.

The rapprochement paved the way for a string of highly lucrative deals to be agreed between British companies and the oil rich state.

But many critics, particularly amongst the families of the Lockerbie victims, have questioned the wisdom and circumstances of the thaw in relations.

Any trial featuring Saif is likely to detail what compromises were reached by the UK government when the deals were signed.

Among those who enjoyed close relations with Saif was Lord Mandelson, who as former Business Secretary is understood to have met him on a number of occasions.

He has admitted discussing the fate of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al Megrahi, who was released from prison in Scotland in August 2009.

The Duke of York was also a close associate of Colonel Gaddafi’s most trusted son and met him in Tripoli on a number of occasions in his capacity as the UK’s special representative for international trade and investment.

Other British figures whose relationship with the Libyan regime could come in for scrutiny include Nat Rothschild, the billionaire financier.

Saif is understood to have been a guest of Mr Rothschild at a number of functions he hosted including a party in New York, a shoot at his British estate and a gathering at the family villa in Corfu.

Saif forged strong links with Britain studying for his PhD at the London School of Economics.

Sir Howard Davies, resigned from his post as LSE director earlier this year, when it emerged that Saif’s charitable foundation had given the college a grant of £1.5 million.

Saif, who is now being held in the northern Libyan town of Zintan, is also wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for crimes against humanity.

However the ICC is unlikely to pursue the indictment if Saif is offered a fair trial in Libya.

The Queen’s hidden cousins: They were banished to an asylum in 1941 and left neglected now an intriguing documentary reveals all


Nerissa (pictured) was born in 1919, and Katherine in 1926 – their father was John Bowes-Lyon, one of the Queen Mother’s older brothers

Their shocking story came to light shortly after Nerissa’s death, when journalists discovered she was buried in a grave marked only by a plastic name-tag and a serial number.

Daily Mail | Nov 18, 2011

By Mary Greene

The date was 29 July, 1981, Prince Charles and Lady Di’s wedding day, and as the Queen arrived at St Paul’s Cathedral and waved to the crowds, two women in late middle-age, in shapeless, baggy dresses, shuffled with clumsy gait up to the television and waved and saluted back to her, unable to articulate speech but making excited noises.

It was a poignant moment, recalls Onelle Braithwaite, one of the nurses who cared for them. ‘I remember pondering with my colleague how, if things had been different, they would surely have been guests at the wedding.’

The two women were Nerissa and Katherine Bowes-Lyon – nieces of the Queen Mother and first cousins to the Queen – who had been incarcerated since 1941 in the Royal Earlswood Asylum for Mental Defectives, at Redhill in Surrey.

Their last reported visitors were in the 1960s, and although it was an open secret at the Royal Earlswood, and in the local community, that the asylum housed close relatives of the Royal Family, to the wider world their existence had been obliterated.

Burke’s Peerage had declared them both to be long dead, on misinformation supplied by the family. In fact, Nerissa did not die until 1986, aged 66, and Katherine is still alive; at 85, she is the same age as the Queen.

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Their shocking story came to light shortly after Nerissa’s death, when journalists discovered she was buried in a grave marked only by a plastic name-tag and a serial number.

The ensuing scandal, which prompted an anonymous source to provide a gravestone for Nerissa, made little difference to her sister’s life. Katherine received no visitors at the asylum, and as her aunt, the Queen Mother, lived on into cosseted old age, she did not possess even her own underwear – at least untilher final years there – and had to dress from a communal wardrobe.

Now a Channel 4 documentary tells the story of the Queen’s hidden cousins, born in an era when children with learning disabilities were a family’s shameful secret.

Photographs of Katherine Bowes-Lyon show a distinct resemblance to the Queen, and Onelle Braithwaite says the sisters’ story was common knowledge when she arrived at the asylum as a 20-year-old nurse in the mid-1970s.

Katherine, 85, is still alive and is believed to be living in a care home in Surrey

‘If the Queen or Queen Mum were ever on television, they’d curtsey – very regal, very low. Obviously there was some sort of memory. It was so sad. Just think of the life they might have had. They were two lovely sisters. They didn’t have any speech but they’d point and make noises, and when you knew them, you could understand what they were trying to say. Today they’d probably be given speech therapy and they’d communicate much better. They understood more than you’d think.’

Former ward sister Dot Penfold, now retired from nursing, also has fond memories. ‘They were no problem to look after but they were mischievous, like naughty children. Katherine was a scallywag. You could scream at her and she’d turn a deaf ear.’

Nerissa was born in 1919, and Katherine in 1926. Their father was John Bowes-Lyon, one of the Queen Mother’s older brothers and a son of the Earl of Strathmore. John died in 1930 and was survived, until
1966, by the girls’ mother, Fenella.

The sisters were unfortunate to have been born in an era when mental disability was seen as a threat to society and linked to promiscuity, feckless breeding and petty crime, the characteristics of the underclass; associations encouraged by popular belief in the science of eugenics, soon to be embraced by the Nazis.

‘So the belief was if you had a child with a learning disability, there was something in your family that was suspect and wrong,’ explains Jan Walmsley, the Open University’s professor in the history of learning disabilities.

For the Bowes-Lyons, this was a stigma that could threaten their social standing and taint the marital prospects of their other children. (Nerissa and Katherine’s beautiful and healthy sister Anne became a princess of Denmark by her second marriage; by her first marriage, she was Viscountess Anson and mother of the society photographer, the late Lord Lichfield.)

The imposing Royal Earlswood was the country’s first purpose-built asylum for people with learning disabilities. Nerissa and Katherine were 15 and 22 respectively when they were admitted. Nerissa’s medical records categorise her as ‘imbecile’. ‘She makes unintelligible noises all the time,’ stated a doctor. ‘Very affectionate… can say a few babyish words.’

Judy Wilkinson, 67, from Godalming, Surrey, recalls her apprehension when visiting the Royal Earlswood as a young girl in the 1950s, when her elder sister Nicola, who was brain-damaged at birth, was consigned there. ‘I’d get that gripping feeling of dread,’ Judy explains, and she remembers feeling puzzled that her sister was always wearing the same green coat, which never seemed to wear out.

Now she realises that the inmates wore their own clothes only if they had visitors. But for Nerissa and Katherine, there were few if any visitors. ‘I never saw anybody come,’ says Dot Penfold. ‘The impression I had was that they’d been forgotten.’

From the late 1960s, a wave of scandals exposed conditions in institutions that were severely understaffed and overcrowded. The Royal Earlswood was closed in 1997; at least one former nurse has alleged patients were abused. The grandiose building has since been converted into luxury apartments, while Katherine is believed to be living in a care home in Surrey. Her relationship with her family remains unchanged.

The Order of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star unveiling new relic of the Princess Nun St Agnes of Bohemia


The emblem of the Military Order of Crusaders of the Red Star (Knights of the Cross with the Red Star). Image by: Life of Riley, Wikimedia Commons

Newly uncovered relic of St Agnes to be displayed in Prague

praguemonitor.com | Nov 18, 2011

Prague, Nov 16 (CTK) – The Knights of the Cross with the Red Star order has uncovered a new relic of St Agnes of Bohemia (1211-1282), a part of her hand’s bone, which will be displayed at a large exhibition on her life in Prague, Marek Pucalik, a co-author of the display, told reporters Wednesday.

The Knights of the Cross with the Red Star, the only religious order originating in the Czech lands, was established by Agnes of Bohemia, a princess of the House of Premyslids who opted for a life of charity and piety, in the 13th century.

Pucalik said the Clarisses, nuns of the Order of Saint Clare (whose first convent in Prague was founded by Agnes of Bohemia) had held the relic.

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Then it was moved to Vienna where it stayed until the 1990s and later it was transported to the Czech Republic, he added.

Pucalik noted that the authentic character of the relic was confirmed by the church administration and not by researchers.

The exhibition entitled “St Agnes of Bohemia – Princess and Nun” will be opened at St Agnes Convent in the Old Town of Prague next week, as a culmination of the St Agnes Year celebrating the 800th anniversary of her birth.

The exhibition will offer about 300 exhibits, including some items loaned from abroad.

The unsuccessful search for St Agnes’s bodily remains in Prague’s Hastal Church last February drew attention of the public and the media.

A relic is the remains of a saint as well as other items associated with his/her life, such as a piece of clothes or other personal belongings.

So far the only known relic of St Agnes of Bohemia has been a lower jaw preserved in the collections of the Escorial royal chateau near Madrid.

Spanish King Juan Carlos donated the last tooth from the jaw to the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star in Vienna in the 1990s. The St Vitus Chapter in Prague received a part of the bone after a request by Czech Cardinal Frantisek Tomasek.

However, the origin and genuine character of the relic is being questioned.

Pope John Paul II canonised Blessed Agnes in November 1989, a few days before the Velvet Revolution that prompted the fall of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. Catholic believers therefore connect St Agnes with the restoration of freedom and democracy in the country.

Freedom of City of London for Constantinian Grand Master

indcatholicnews.com | Oct 28, 2011

HRH Princess Camilla of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duchess of Castro and HRH Prince Carlo of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro, with their new Freedom of the City of London documents.

HRH Prince Carlo of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro, and HRH Princess Camilla of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duchess of Castro, have been granted the Freedom of the City of London by order of the Court of Common Council of the City of London. The ceremony took place as part of a wider four-day visit to London at the invitation of the Delegation of Great Britain and Ireland of the Roman Catholic Constantinian Order of St George.

The Duke and Duchess signed the Freemen’s ledger during a ceremony held at Stationers’ Hall after reciting the ‘Declaration of a Freeman’.

Afterwards, the Duke and Duchess were greeted as a ‘Citizen of London’ by Murray Craig, the Clerk of the Chamberlain’s Court, and presented Prince Carlo and Princess Camilla with their framed parchment certificates.

Mr Craig explained to the Duke and Duchess the meaning of the Freedom and invited them to look at a small display of high-level Italian and British statesmen who had received the freedom during the past 200 years.

The Duke of Castro is Grand Master of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George – an internationally recognised Roman Catholic Order of Knighthood. Among the 250 guests attending the ceremony were the Order’s Rome based Grand Prior, Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, the Order’s Prior in Great Britain and Ireland, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster and the Apostolic Nuncio to the Court of St James’s, Archbishop Antonio Meninni.

Sir Gavyn Arthur, former Lord Mayor of London, and HE Mr Anthony Bailey, Delegate for Great Britain and Ireland of the Constantinian Order nominated the Duke and Duchess of Castro for the Freedom.

The Freedom of the City of London is believed to have begun in 1237 and enabled recipients to carry out their trade; and today, people are nominated for the Freedom, because it offers them a link with the historic City of London and one of its ancient traditions. It is also offered to individuals by the City of London Corporation to pay tribute to their outstanding contribution to London life or helps celebrate a significant achievement.