Open Mike: First-time author details clandestine exploits infiltrating secret society


EDITOR’S NOTE: Gonzales resident Mike Hanson has written what some may view as a controversial book about the secrets of the Bohemian Grove. In an interview with The Gonzales Inquirer, Hanson expressed his political views and suspicions about conspiracies, freely shared his rhetoric about the government, and talked candidly about what he experienced at the Bohemian Grove and about those who are reputed to be associated with the mysterious “society.” Hanson’s views do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Gonzales Inquirer or anyone associated with the Inquirer. If you are easily offended by over-the-top accusations and what could be perceived as unpopular opinions, beware. The Gonzales Inquirer does not necessarily condone what Hanson has said or written, but defends his Constitutional right to do so.

They secretly meet for 17 days each July at a place called the Bohemian Grove, a remote forest of ancient redwood trees in the deep Northern California woods.

The Bohemian Club’s membership rolls include former U.S. presidents, as well as current and former heavy-hitting corporate chieftains and high government officials.

Mingling among them are a number of Hollywood movie stars, Broadway producers, famous musicians, authors, painters and poets.

Mike Hanson, along with radio host Alex Jones, clandestinely spied on the Bohemian Grove and emerged to share with the world what they saw.

Hanson is a first-hand eyewitness who has been inside the Bohemian Grove and successfully emerged with the first video evidence ever brought out of the elite’s exclusive compound. He tells all in his new book, Bohemian Grove: Cult of Conspiracy (RiverCrest Publishing, $29.95).

Hanson, who was born in Austin but, like most of his family, has lived most of his life in Gonzales, sat down with The Gonzales Inquirer to discuss his venture into the mysterious Bohemian Grove, and shared what it was like to document such a covert endeavor.

Tell us about your writing background, and what inspired you to write a book.

I’m not really a writer, per se. I’m more of a TV producer. I started out with Jeff Davis and conspiracy hosts like that. They have different conspiracies on things like JFK, and different government conspiracies. Then I started in the mid-1990s with Alex Jones, who is a famous radio host now. I’ve produced over 500 TV shows for him. But writing a book seemed like the most effective way to let people see what really happens inside Bohemian Grove.

What journalists/filmmakers inspired you to take up this project, and how?

Why, Alex Jones, of course. But also Jon Rohnson of the U.K. BBC channel, who calls himself a “Hollywood Jew.” He did a show called ‘The Secret Rulers of the World.” He documented Alex and me sneaking into the Grove back in 2000, and followed the process all the way through. It originally aired on the BBC. It didn’t appear in America until several years later, because George Bush was still in office at that time. He and his father are famous members of the Bohemian Club.

What got you interested in Bohemian Grove?

In 1999, I was helping rebuild the church for the Branch Davidians [in Waco], which was burned down by the government in 1993. Jon Rohnson was following our progress on that, and he happened to be interested in the Bohemian Grove. So he asked Alex to try to sneak in there with a camera. It blossomed from there.

From what I’ve read, I’m given to understand that the goings-on at Bohemian Grove are very incognito. What kinds of technology did you use to record the events at Bohemian Grove, and how did you get them inside the area?

We had a secret pager cam with a camera in it that fit into a bag. We were able to record two hours of footage with it. And we were in there for five hours.

Is this your only writing project so far? Or have you published other books or articles?

No, this is my only writing project to date. But so many years went into preparing Bohemian Grove, it feels like more than that.

How long did it take you to write Bohemian Grove?

Seven days a week for five years.

Who are some famous members of the club?

Some of the biggest business leaders, media people and entertainment personalities are part of this club. People like Jimmy Buffett, Clint Eastwood, George Bush Jr. and Sr., and Paul Newman are members. Both Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan said they became president because of the Bohemian Club.

How did you manage to get inside Bohemian Grove?

We were originally going to access the compound through the mountains and up the Russian River, but were advised not to because it was too dangerous. So we snuck through the woods instead. It took about 30 minutes to reach the parking lot.

Jon Rohnson dressed us up like billionaires so we could look the part. And when we came out of the woods, the guard in the parking lot just happened to be looking the other way. So by the time he turned around, I had placed my hand on a Mercedes-Benz like I was getting out of it. Now, remember, this is an all-men’s club. So we saw these two old men, and remembered there was a lot of gay activity going on there. Alex and I pretended to be interested in them, so when the bus came to pick everybody up, the bus driver thought we were their boyfriends. So they got us past the checkpoint, and we were able to view and secretly videotape the ceremony. It was pretty disturbing.

What did you witness while you were inside Bohemian Grove?

I witnessed a bunch of people in Ku Klux Klan-like robes praying to a 40-foot stone owl called Moloch, which is a god of fire worshipped by the Phoenicians and the Canaanites. They sacrifice (burn) what they describe as an effigy, which is a sculptured figure representative of a person. But what I don’t get is, if it’s only a fake, then why does it scream when it’s being burned? Anyway, you’ve got people like George Bush, who claims to be a Christian, in there worshiping this idol. This has been going on since 1872. Over 140 years of devil worshiping.

Can you recall a particular incident at the grove that surprised you?

Oh, yeah. During the ritual, dozens of old men began peeing on other people’s shoes, including mine. They did this right after dinner. What’s funny is the fact that there was a bathroom 10 feet away. But they didn’t just urinate on shoes. From there, they started spraying the surrounding pine trees as well. Now I’m gonna ask you a question: Do you think the people of Gonzales would approve of someone like George Bush or Clint Eastwood participating in a ritual like this? Do you think our churches in the Gonzales community would approve of this kind of behavior from men who call themselves Christians?

Probably not, in my opinion. But when you were there, did you see either of those men participating in this ritual? Or any of the other celebrities that your book says are members?

No. I did not recognize either of those men at the ceremony I attended. But I didn’t say they were there that night – I only said they are members. But if they’re members, wouldn’t they have to participate? And remember, I was only there for a few hours. This is a two-and-a-half week “camp.” But it’s very important that people who read this don’t just pass judgment on what I’ve said and simply dismiss it. They need to read other stuff that has been written on the Internet and filmed or documented on Youtube. They need to know what these people of such high stature are doing “behind closed doors.” My book has a lot of information, but I’m definitely not the only person with information on the subject.

Are there other books about Bohemian Grove?

Mine is the only actual book. There are some pamphlets and brochures on it, but none of them provide the detailed analysis that mine does. And keep in mind that my book was written by an eyewitness, as opposed to someone with limited to an outside perspective. It’s a very informative collection of facts and findings for those interested in finding out the truth about Bohemian Grove.

How do you think this book is important on a local level?

It’s really an eye-opener to find out what kind of people are running your government – what kind of people are running your life. This kind of stuff filters down to the local level. That’s why we should want everything to be local, and not coming from “them.”