Ben Johnson | The Washington Stand.
Although legacy media apologists insist the World Economic Forum (WEF) “has no authority to enforce” its mandates, the WEF claims it unites “the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.” WEF’s most recent conference left no doubt that the world should resist being shaped by the secular-progressive, globalist agenda on display, included taking part in a pagan ritual, advocating for a universal and biometric ID and a global tax, “public-private” government censorship of the internet, and reining in elected officials’ ability to deliver for their voters.
The World Economic Forum held its 54th meeting in Davos, Switzerland, from January 15-19, 2024. Its speeches included Al Gore tying climate change ideology to the Bible, John Kerry’s daughter rambling incoherently, and John Kerry boasting that “no one politician anywhere in the world can undo” efforts to impose the WEF’s agenda. Here are some of the conference’s most significant moments.
1. A Pagan Ritual
The 2024 World Economic Forum became a coming out party, displaying the WEF’s love of paganism. WEF concluded its Wednesday forum on “Climate and Nature” by inviting a shaman to carry out a pagan ritual for the healing of the planet, because “the healing is spiritual.”
The moderator, Gim Huay Neo, closed the discussion by inviting “a very special guest,” Chieftess Putanny Yawanawá of Brazil’s Yawanawá tribe, whose “cultural and spiritual identities” let them “protect and steward the lands … over thousands of years.” Neo continued, “We know that in order for us to look forward and build this future, we also need to look back and harness the wisdom of our ancestors.” None of the panelists, who represent the power and wealth created by Western civilization, were descended from the Yawanawá tribe. Nor do most Americans have any desire to live like the Yawanawá tribe, whose entire population consists of about 1,200 people in 12 villages.
Chieftess Putanny began her healing ritual by saying she represented “the voice of all the forest people” and “the voice of the forest.” She then asked the crowd of elite secularists to “hold hands and unite our hearts, unite our thoughts in the same direction for healing of the planet. And the healing is spiritual.” She then rubbed her hands together, chanted an incantation, and proceeded to breathe on the foreheads of the panelists. Some of the WEF’s secular elitists, not knowing how to react, briefly broke out into applause.
The recipients of the shaman’s spirit included Klaus Schwab’s wife, Hilde Schwab; the president of the World Bank Group, Ajay S. Banga; the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva; the CEO of IKEA, Jesper Brodin; billionaire André Hoffmann; the moderator, Neo; and one figure of particular importance to evangelical Christians.
“Fun little cameo for Southern Baptists. See the second person on this panel, having a pagan ritual performed over her? That is Dr. Katharine Hayhoe who promotes climate alarmism among evangelicals,” noted evangelical investigative journalist Megan Basham. She noted the president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Danny Akin, “has promoted [Hayhoe] to students” of the ministry school. Hayhoe spoke at a 2021 SEBTS conference on “The Goodness of Creation and Human Responsibility,” where she said she embraced climate change because of her faith, and was interviewed on the seminary’s “Christ and Culture” podcast. (Interestingly, Al Gore would also tie climate alarmism to the Bible at the WEF on Wednesday, insisting, “Every night on the television news is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation.”)
Some may have thought it over the top when Larry Taunton, who attended WEF 2024, referred to its attendees as “members of a godless, secular cult” on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” last Thursday. But those who watched this pagan ritual can hardly find a more fitting illustration of Jesus’s words, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of!” (Luke 9:55). Most Americans do not want anyone possessed of such a spirit making their laws, writing their HR regulations, or teaching their children.
2. A Digital ID to Track Your Whole Life
One of the elitists’ central conceits is that they have the right to surveil every aspect of their subjects’ lives, for their own good. One invaluable tool in the effort is a mandatory identification card that puts as much information as possible at the government’s fingerprints — as noted during WEF’s Thursday panel on “financial inclusion.” Queen Máxima of the Netherlands (whose grandfather, Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, co-founded the Bilderberg Group in 1954) urged governments to adopt a “ubiquitous” ID card that is “digital” and “biometric.” Such an ID can not only provide surveillance over the financial industry, she said: “It’s also good for school enrollment,” and to see “who actually got a vaccination,” as well as facilitating the redistribution of wealth to see that welfare recipients and other favored classes “get your subsidies from the government.”
The WEF has discussed digital IDs and apps for years. In 2022, Alibaba Group President J. Michael Evans announced that he was developing new technology “for consumers to measure their own carbon footprint.” This device would monitor “where are they traveling, how are they traveling, what are they eating, what are they consuming on the platform.” Of course, if the individual can measure his or her carbon footprint, so can the government — which can then microtarget and micromanage individuals’ lives. “We don’t have it operational yet,” Evans said two years ago, “but this is something that we’re working on.”
For his part, former President Donald Trump vowed this month he’d “never allow the creation of a Central Bank Digital Currency,” or CBDC. “Such a currency would give the federal government absolute control of your money,” a proposition he called a tool of “government tyranny” and “a dangerous threat to freedom.” (He credited his position, which he adopted the day after the Iowa Caucus, to Vivek Ramaswamy.)
3. A Global Tax
True global governance requires money and authority — and the WEF discussed measures that would expand both at your expense. One speaker at the 2024 World Economic Forum advised that global bodies impose, not one, but two global taxes on the entire world. “Let’s start taxing carbon,” advised Amnesty International Secretary General Agnès Callamard at Friday’s WEF panel on “global risks.” She added that governments should enact “not just [a] carbon tax. The U.N. General Assembly has adopted a resolution … on the necessity to have a global tax regime, so that actually we can raise the money required for all [the U.N.’s proposed] changes. … Let’s tax the corporate interests.”
The Biden administration took the first step toward such a tax in 2021, when it supported a “Global Minimum Tax.” The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) agreed to an outline on a 15% tax, which would allow foreign nations to tax U.S.-based corporations. According to the OECD’s latest update, 55 nations have begun adopting the putatively voluntary guidelines, “with the rules coming into effect in 2024.”
President Joe Biden has also taken advice from carbon tax advocates. The Obama-Biden administration’s science czar, John Holdren — who wrote a book outlining an Orwellian global regime, including forced abortions for Americans with discredited climate alarmist Paul Ehrlich — “worked closely with the Biden campaign,” according to The New York Times. In 2007, Holdren proposed “a global framework” to impose “a substantial price on carbon emissions in all countries,” preferably via a “carbon tax.” This global tax would conclude with U.N.-strength IRS confiscating and “transferring some of the revenue produced by carbon taxes” away from the West. Such taxes fall hardest on the poor and make reliable energy less accessible. In office, Joe Biden has ordered all federal agencies to write regulations assessing the “social cost of carbon.”
Presumably, the global ID would make it more difficult to avoid paying a global tax.
4. Efforts to “Force” Social Media Companies to Yield to Government Censorship
Most Americans felt outraged to learn U.S. government officials secretly flagged social media posts and accounts for companies to throttle, fact-check, or delete — an action which has all the appearances of violating the law. But then, WEF attendees are not like other people. WEF’s panel on “Protecting Democracy against Bots and Plots” complained that social media titans faced “scrutiny” and sought for ways to “force” companies to comply with free speech restrictions.
Social media platforms that are “still keeping up the work” to censor, ban, or suppress disfavored views “are facing more political scrutiny and pressure to disband those efforts than ever,” groused Alexandra Reeve Givens, the daughter of actor Christopher Reeve and CEO of the Google-aligned Center for Democracy and Technology. “In the United States, for example, right now we have congressional investigations and lawsuits against people who study mis- and disinformation on social media platforms. There is currently an injunction in place stopping the Biden administration from communicating with social media platforms.” The fact that an American judge would prevent a Democratic administration from breaking the law creates a “bizarre environment” that undermines “trust and safety for our online environment,” said Reeve. “We have to have the social media companies keep up the work.”
“Is there a way to force them?” asked moderator Ravi Agrawal, editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine.
This is no passing concern for WEF. It listed misinformation and disinformation as the greatest threat to America, a point driven home on WEF 2024’s opening day by the president of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. An unexpected note of concern came Friday from Alex Soros, the scion of George Soros who now leads the Hungarian-born billionaire’s tax-exempt political influence operation. “If we play too much on this disinformation card, we’re taking responsibility away from ourselves to actually create a narrative that inspires people to vote,” said Soros, speaking in a rapid staccato of stops and starts punctuated by verbalized pauses.
Already, unelected bureaucrats have substantially leaned on social media platforms to silence stories they dislike in the name of COVID-19 “disinformation” or fighting “Russian interference” in U.S. elections. “We learned Twitter, Facebook, Google, and other companies developed a formal system for taking in moderation requests from every corner of government, from the FBI, the DHS, the HHS, DOD, the Global Engagement Center at State, even the CIA,” liberal journalist Matt Taibbi revealed. “For every government agency scanning Twitter, there were perhaps 20 quasi-private entities doing the same thing, including Stanford’s Election Integrity Partnership, NewsGuard, the Global Disinformation Index, and many others — many taxpayer-funded.”
Likewise, Michael Shellenberger testified before Congress last December that, as “DHS-empowered researchers were asking social media platforms to take down, throttle, or otherwise censor social media posts, the president of the United States was accusing Big Tech of ‘killing people,’ his then-press secretary said publicly that the administration was ‘flagging violative posts for Facebook,’ members of Congress threatened to strip social media platforms of their legal right to operate because, they said, the platforms weren’t censoring enough.”
“When they start talking about misinformation and disinformation, that’s just code; that’s just Orwellian speak for ending free speech. And their primary target is to go after X or Twitter,” Taunton told Perkins.
WEF, which calls itself “the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation,” seems happy to have government censorship formally carried out by the “private sector.” Such censorship aims to constrict political debate, stifle dissent, and prevent average American citizens from having any meaningful voice in their own government — or even complain about it online.
5. Reining in Donald Trump, and U.S. Sovereignty
Although the environs of the annual Davos conference lack no conceivable amenity, a persistent discomfort pulsed through the 2024 World Economic Forum: the possibility Donald Trump will defeat Joe Biden this November. To compensate, multiple speakers discussed the joys of circumventing democracy and hemming in Trump, or any elected leader who represents the average man instead of Davos Man.
“How are we assessing the election risk? There is a risk the wrong leaders will get elected,” declared Bloomberg TV’s Haslinda Amin while moderating WEF’s panel on global risks. To assure WEF had no doubts about who the “wrong leaders” might be, Alex Soros claimed Friday that America had an “unwritten” system of checks-and-balances until “one man, Donald Trump, literally came in and just took that all away.”
“So, what Trump is a monster at is, sort of, completely rattling and bringing down, sort of, the structures of institutions,” added Soros’s fellow panelist Rachel Botsman, who describes herself as “a world-renowned expert on an explosive new era of trust and technology.”
“Democracy often depends on trustworthy systems being able to hold untrustworthy individuals, right?” asked Botsman rhetorically, ironically in a panel on global democracy.
“Fortunately, the United States has very strong institutions,” including “the courts,” replied S&P Global President Douglas L. Peterson. “We’re gonna have to rely on them, depending on what the outcome of the election is. And we also need to make sure we stay engaged through the global institutions like the United Nations, like NATO, other organizations around the world — and I add into that international trade pacts,” to limit U.S. sovereignty under Donald Trump.
But a U.S. government official revealed the globalists do not intend to rely solely on government institutions. Climate Envoy John Kerry boasted that no president would be able to stop the Green agenda favored by WEF elites, due to public-private partnerships and government incentives.
“I don’t want this obviously, but if you wound up with a different president who was opposed to climate crisis, I got news for you: No one politician anywhere in the world can undo what is happening now,” boasted Kerry. “You know as well as I do,” Kerry told his fellow WEF attendees. “The marketplace is doing this. The only issue for all of us is not whether or not we can get or will get to a low carbon and no carbon economy globally. We will.”
In reality, “the marketplace” is taking taxpayer funds and following government dictates to produce electric vehicles consumers do not want. The Biden administration dedicated $12 billion — including $2 billion in grants — to convert U.S. auto plants into EV plants and another $7.5 billion to build charging stations which, sadly, do not charge in the winter. But in November, nearly 4,000 car dealers informed the Biden administration, “The supply of unsold BEVs (battery electric vehicles) is surging, as they are not selling nearly as fast as they are arriving at our dealerships — even with deep price cuts, manufacturer incentives, and generous government incentives.”
6. The WHO, Lockdowns, and Pushing the Green Agenda to Preserve ‘Health’
Davos officials made it clear that public health measures will play a role in their plans, despite some of its most prominent considerations proving counterproductive. World Health Organization (WHO) Secretary-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus refused to answer Canadian journalist Andrew Lawton’s question about whether he would reject lockdowns as a public health measure for future pandemics. During COVID-19, Ghebreyesus implied lockdowns did not go far enough. “Physically distancing restrictions are only part of the equation,” he said. “Early case finding, testing, isolating, caring for every case and tracing every contact is essential.” The China-backed doctor’s silence is significant, as he is proposing a massive expansion of its authority through a global pandemic treaty, as well as controversial guidelines to expand abortion and transgenderism.
Lockdowns won the praise of WEF panelist Dr. Sangrit Reddy, vice president of Apollo Hospitals, who said in India, “the fact that there was early intervention of vaccination, there was a lockdown” helped tremendously and that such mandates will be “important going forward.” She also hoped artificial intelligence can “find and detect the problem so early that we can prepare for interventions.”
Climate change will also be weaponized as a “health crisis,” said John Kerry’s daughter, Vanessa Kerry, who is co-founder and CEO of Seed Global Health. “The climate crisis is a health crisis, fundamentally. And that actually means it is a crisis, therefore, also, of our stability, our security, our economic growth, and our fundamental survival as a globe,” said Kerry inarticulately on Tuesday. Since “we are losing progress on [the U.N.’s] Sustainable Development Goals,” nations “have to phase our fossil fuels, ‘cause this is a crisis of burning fossil fuels.”
Despite the bad ideas pervading this and every World Economic Forum, this year’s Davos conference featured notes of dissent. Perhaps eyeing the reality of a Donald Trump presidency, WEF invited some bona fide conservatives to speak, cramming them mostly onto the same panel on Thursday.
- Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts boldly confronted World Economic Forum attendees with a harsh reality: “You are part of the problem.” WEF attendees spout misinformation on such issues as illegal immigration, liberal cities’ crime spree, climate change, WHO’s global advocacy of extreme gender ideology, and the threat posed by the People’s Republic of China. “China, the No. 1 adversary not just to the United States, but to free people on planet Earth. Not only do we at Davos not say that, we give the Chinese Communist Party a platform,” Roberts said.
- President of Argentina Javier Millei delivered a bold address denouncing government interference in the marketplace. Such policies, whether described as fascism, socialism, social democracy, or command-and-control economics broadly, inevitably destroy wealth while enriching the tiny elite who preside over the state. Sky News Australia compared his scathing anti-socialist critique to Ricky Gervais’s speech at the Golden Globes in 2020. Millei wants to “make Argentina a place that is free from globalists, free from their anti-human agenda,” Larry Taunton, who attended WEF 2024, told “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” last Thursday.
- President of Hungary Katalin Novák pushed back against the WEF’s advocacy for prolonging Ukraine’s war with Russia. “We have to avoid a Third World War,” she said, including not getting militarily involved in the war between Russia and Ukraine, “and avoid the escalation of the war.”
Roberts said it best: The next U.S. president should see to it that “every single member of the administration needs to compile a list of everything that has ever been proposed at the World Economic Forum and object to all of them wholesale.”
SOURCE: THE WASHINGTON STAND
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.