Did Wilford Woodruff Attend the Bohemian Grove?

We discuss social media discussions on the idea that Wilford Woodruff, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the 1890’s, attended the Bohemian Grove rituals. Did Woodruff actually attend? What evidence, if any exists? Additionally we will cover the Bohemian Grove, the Bohemian Club and what differences, if any, there are between the two.

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9 Responses

  1. When I read a bunch in the Woodruff Journals when they were first published by Signature Books I was surprised that Wilford and all the church leaders were expecting to be back in Missouri before the end of the century, and that Christ would come after that.

    1. Ya, it’s really interesting especially in light of all the “last days timelines” people have.

  2. Good to know. Thank you for your research. Important to know the actual truth in these times of so much confusion and falsehood.

  3. Thank you for producing this for discussion. There are a number of conclusions of historical fact here, but the following, imho, are the most material “major” conclusions surrounding this topic that–at a minimum–must be considered as context in assessing i) what may have led to WW’s “sudden” and “unexpected” passing, and ii) whether GQC, WW or any other senior officer of the Church at the time (and/or since) has attended Bohemian Grove:
    1) 1890, The US Supreme Court upholds the Edmunds-Tucker Act as constitutional, thereby allowing asset forfeiture and seizure of all Church assets by the US Government.
    2) Soon after, WW issues Official Declaration 1 in 1890 (“Manifesto 1”), representing to the US government and the Church that polygamy isn’t being practiced in the Utah territory anymore.
    3) Senior Church officials continued plural marriages outside the Utah Territory in Canada, Mexico, and on the high seas in international waters.
    4) On or around 1891, George Q. Cannon and WW began to engage Colonel Isaac Trumbo in an effort to improve the Church’s relationship with the United States with the ultimate aim of achieving statehood. Colonel Isaac Trumbo lived in San Francisco and was influential and well connected politically in CA and Washington. He was also friendly to the Church. They wanted ask the US for inclusion and and amnesty, and sought Trumbo out to broker this.
    5) The US and the Church’s relationship was highly adversarial at this time, as the US and Church had experienced multiple points of violent conflict on both sides for the past 40+ years (Bogg Extermination Order, JS Smith death, opposition to polygamy, Mountain Meadows Massacre, Edmunds-Tucker and Morrill-Tucker Acts, disenfranchisement, etc.)
    6) On or around 1891, George Q. Cannon and WW began attending the Bohemian Club gatherings in SF, while lodging with Trumbo, and would do so from time to time up through WW’s passing in 1898.
    7) Utah achieved statehood in 1895.
    8) One may attend the Bohemian Club by invite only, and Trumbo was WW and GQC’s point of contact and invitation to the BC.
    9) A key feature of the BC is its annual ritual, known as the Bohemian Grove ritual. Bohemians must attend the ritual to remain in good standing as invitees and members of the BC.
    10) There is no evidence that GQC or WW ever attended the BC ritual. However, they remained active participant/invitees at the BC for several years from time to time.
    11) The BC did not keep ritual attendee logs or lists during the period that GQC and WW were periodic Bohemians.
    12) The last dinner at the BC that WW attended before his death (just one night prior) was given in his honor and no Bohemian under 80 was invited to attend (it was an octogenarian dinner).
    13) While WW had recently undergone intestinal surgery many days prior to the dinner, by his own and all other accounts extant he was healthy, eating, and enjoying his octogenarian dinner at the BC.
    13) The COD according to a doctor and surgeon present was kidney failure, and was unrelated to his prior intestinal surgery. They both professionally opined that it was a “sudden” and “unexpected” death.
    14) To this day, the Bohemian Club’s membership consists of many of the most powerful and influential men in US politics, finance, business, military, technology, and law.

  4. Thank you for the information.
    I like to hear what is going on in the history of the church even though I am no longer a member. (Probably still on the books though).
    But anything to do with the church, politics and the NWO is fascinating to me.

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