There ‘s No Campground Like the Bohemian Grove

With more than 5.5 million articles, Wikipedia is an invaluable resource, whether you’re throwing a term paper together at the last minute, or working out whether the billionaire’s gold-plated yacht that your tax hike is going to end up paying for will be seaworthy. We explore some of Wikipedia’s oddities in our 5,529,165-week series, Wiki Wormhole.

This week’s entry: Bohemian Grove

What it’s about: Ah, the old campground. Hiking through the woods, singing songs around the campfire, crushing the proletariat under your boot, and other hijinks. Yes, Bohemian Grove is a campground, but not just any campground. The Northern California camp is operated by a private club whose membership contains some of the richest and most powerful men in the world. These guys make the rich kids across the lake look like the scrappy underdogs on your side of the lake.

Biggest controversy: When we say powerful men, we mean men. Women are forbidden to join, and while family members are allowed to visit the Grove, women and children must leave the property by 9 or 10 p.m. The Grove was sued for discrimination and took the fight to keep its He-Man Woman Haters Club intact all the way to the state Supreme Court. This club of billionaires made the legal argument that its members “urinate in the open without even the use of rudimentary toilet facilities,” and therefore they could not allow women to see such a sight, or, naturally, change their behavior in any way. The court ruled against them, but stopped short of insisting they admit female members, requiring them only to hire female employees, in a great blow for equality among wealthy people’s servants.



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