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Skull & Bones

Excerpt from "Secret Societies: And How They Affect Our Lives Today"

by Sylvia Browne

This famous organization has been designated as "America’s secret establishment" by author Antony Sutton, but it’s also been known as "the Brotherhood of Death," "the Order," or just plain "Bones."

For more than 150 years, Skull and Bones has been active at Yale University. Also called "Chapter 322," some claim that it’s an offshoot of a secret German university society. This group allegedly had a fascist and communist bent, with a Hegelian philosophy of "service to the state." Many conspiracy theorists also believe that it was the infamous "Thule Society" (whose members went on to form the Nazi Party) and has ties with the Illuminati (which I’ll discuss in Chapter 11).

Apparently, the American branch of this group was founded in 1832 at Yale University by class valedictorian William Russell and his schoolmate Alphonso Taft. William was the cousin of Samuel Russell, who made his fortune by smuggling opium to China, and he supposedly struck up a great friendship with a leader of a clandestine German university society during the two years he spent studying in Germany. He evidently became so enthralled that he got permission to form a branch in America.

William Russell later went on to become a state legislator in Connecticut and a military general. His partner, Alphonso Taft, was later appointed the United States’ attorney general, secretary of war, and ambassador to both Austria-Hungary and Russia. Alphonso was also the father of William Howard Taft, who ultimately became the only man to be both chief justice of the Supreme Court and President of the United States.

Now, from what I’ve been able to gather from my research, Yale’s chapter is the only one in America, although some say that there’s also one at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Its members are known as "Bonesmen," "Knights of Eulogia," and "Boodle Boys," nicknames that are typical of college fraternal organizations . . . but this group seems to go beyond your average fraternity.

From a Tap to a President?

The identity of those who have been in Skull and Bones is assumed to be secret, but the group actually published membership lists (which were held in the Yale library) until 1970. Only after that time was membership kept secret. However, several leaks have occurred over the years—one of which was the result of a break-in, with another coming from a disgruntled member who gave a list of fellow Bonesmen to Antony Sutton in the mid-1980s. The membership reads like a who’s who of East Coast society, with members from old, wealthy, and powerful families that are steeped in politics, banking, commerce, industry, and the like. Three Presidents of the United States (the aforementioned Taft, along with George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush) were Bonesmen, for instance; and the younger President Bush supposedly appointed 11 of his old "frat brothers" to his administration in his first term.

The way the initiation process works is that certain juniors at Yale are "tapped" (literally, on the body or shoulder) near the end of the school year to join the seniors-only society, resulting in about 15 new members being chosen. Although potential candidates can refuse membership, it’s considered a great honor to be tapped.

Only males were eligible until 1992; through a secret referendum of existing members (which was purportedly quite heated), the group is now said to admit women. To be considered a candidate, it helps if you’re from a Bones family; have access to wealth and power; and are energetic, active, political, and resourceful. To even be admitted to Yale in the first place requires academic prowess or familial influence, so the order can obviously pick from some of America’s best.

Being a seniors-only type of association, one can basically assume that the goals of Skull and Bones probably have more to do with an agenda in the outside world than they do with Yale or "brotherhood." To that end, conspiracy theorists often have a field day with this group, tying it in with numerous other covert political organizations such as the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group, and the Illuminati (all of which I’ll cover in this book).

Skull and Bones owns two pieces of property: their building on the Yale campus, called "the Tomb," which is actually quite large; and Deer Island, a private haven on the St. Lawrence River. Naturally, both locations are for the exclusive use of the order. The Tomb has no exterior windows, and its walls are made of concrete, even though it reportedly has many rooms (including several bedrooms). According to some who have been inside, there’s a room devoted to William H. Taft and his Presidency that’s almost like a shrine. And an eyewitness account of the inside of the Tomb by one of a group of Yale females invited for a tour by a "dissident" member claimed that there’s another room that’s apparently devoted to the Nazi regime in Germany, including quite a bit of "memorabilia." The witness is reported to have said the following:

There were tons of rooms, a whole chain of them. They [sic] were a couple of bedrooms, and there was this monumental dining room with different rolls of Skull and Bones songs suspended from the ceiling. And there was a President Taft memorabilia room filled with flyers, posters, buttons—the whole room was like a Miss Havisham’s shrine. And a big living room with a beautiful rug; and this big, huge, expensive-looking ivory carving in the hallway. The whole thing was on a very medieval scale. The most shocking thing—and I say this because I do think it’s sort of important—I mean, President Bush does belong to Skull and Bones, everyone knows that—there is, like a little Nazi shrine inside. One room on the second floor has a bunch of swastikas, kind of an SS-macho-Nazi iconography. Somebody should ask President Bush about the swastikas in there. I mean, I don’t think he’ll say they’re not there. I think he’ll say, "Oh, it wasn’t a big deal, it was just a little room." Which I don’t think is true and which I wouldn’t find terribly reassuring anyway. But I don’t think he’d deny it altogether, because it’s true. I mean, I think the Nazi stuff was no more serious than all the bones that were around, but I still find it a little disconcerting.

Initiates to the order reportedly have to lie in a coffin naked and tell their sexual history to the other candidates—whether this is a harmless induction or for blackmail purposes, no one really knows. Initiates are also given names that they carry with them for the rest of their lives. For example, the younger President Bush’s name is "Temporary" (make of that what you will).

In addition to Presidents, there have been at least 28 U.S. Senators or Congressmen who belonged to the order, including James Buckley, Prescott Bush, John Chaffee, Thomas Ashley, Jonathan Bingham, David Boren, Thruston Morton, Robert Taft, and John Kerry. Several other Bonesmen served as cabinet members in various administrations (such as William A. Harriman), and most of us know about George H. W. Bush’s involvement with the CIA.

Some of the old-line American families that have ties to the order through the membership of one or more descendants include Whitney, Perkins, Stimson, Taft, Gilman, Wadsworth, Payne, Davidson, Pillsbury, Sloane, Weyerhaeuser, Harriman, Rockefeller, Lord, Brown, Bundy, Bush, and Phelps. Yes, those are the same names you see on brands all over the world, heading huge corporations in banking and industry and being leaders in the political arena. As you can see, membership in this club can mean rubbing elbows with the planet’s elite.

Being a clandestine organization, Skull and Bones members take oaths that they won’t reveal anything about the society or their affiliation with it. For example, both George W. Bush and John Kerry refused to say a word about the order in recent interviews, and very few people list it on their biographical data. Since the group only accepts somewhere around 15 members a year, there are perhaps just 500 to 600 members alive at any given time, and most experts say that about a third of these individuals are active in working for the group. It’s also postulated by many that these active members are deeply involved in politics and big business—some have even reportedly been tied to drug trafficking and various scandals such as Iran-Contra, Watergate, the JFK assassination, and nefarious dealings with China and the Soviet Union.

Whether you believe that Skull and Bones is a powerful secret society or just a typical college fraternal organization, there’s no denying the fact that its members are extremely influential people, and they have impacted affairs all over the world. If you’d like to read more about the order, I recommend the following books:

·Fleshing Out Skull & Bones: Investigations into America’s Most Powerful Secret Society, by Kris Millegan, et al.

·America’s Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull & Bones, by Antony Sutton

·Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power, by Alexandra Robbins

The previous excerpt is taken from the book Secret Societies: And How They Affect Our Lives Today , by Sylvia Browne. It is published by Hay House (September 2007) and available at all bookstores or online at: www.hayhouse.com

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