by William F. Jasper
The two leading contenders
for the U.S. presidency are both members of Skull and Bones,
one of the oldest secret societies in America. Why is this not
a major election-year issue?
Mr. Russert: You both were
members of Skull and Bones, a secret society at Yale. What does
that tell us?
Senator Kerry: Not much, because
it's a secret.
Meet the Press, August
Mr. Russert: You were both
in Skull and Bones, the secret society.
President Bush: It's so secret
we can't talk about it.
Meet the Press, Taped
on February 7, 2004
Every politician, it is said,
has skeletons in his closet, but this is ridiculous. In the cases
of President George W. Bush and Senator John F. Kerry (D-Mass.),
we have two politicos whose careers, literally, were launched
in a crypt full of skeletons. The crypt we refer to is the hulking
mausoleum on the Yale campus that houses The Order of the Skull
and Bones, the infamous, occultic fraternity that both men joined
in the 1960s during their senior year at the university. Both
Bush and Kerry have been asked in recent interviews about their
membership in this very old, super-secret club. Each has waved
off the question with a laugh and refused to say anything further
on the matter. And the Establishment media have politely dropped
For the first time in history
the race for the U.S. presidency is shaping up to be completely
a "Bonesman" affair. What are the odds that out of
a population of nearly 300 million the two front-runners for
the most powerful political office in the world would be "brothers"
in a super-elite, secret society that numbers probably fewer
than 800 living members? The odds are even slimmer than that,
since only a handful of that already minuscule number actually
hold political office and would, therefore, be potential candidates.
Nevertheless, a pair of Bonesmen are poised to carry the Republican
and Democrat banners in the forthcoming quadrennial contest.
We'll leave the statistical computing to the mathematicians,
but it's obvious even to those of us who are mathematically challenged
that the Bush-Kerry match-up in the current White House run is
a bizarre "coincidence" that strains the laws of probability.
Why So Secret?
In his autobiography, A Charge
to Keep, then-Governor Bush disposed of his membership in the
furtive Yale society with a single sentence. "My senior
year I joined Skull and Bones," wrote Bush, "a secret
society, so secret I can't say anything more."
He dealt with the issue similarly
in a February 7, 2004 Oval Office interview that aired the next
day on NBC's Meet the Press. NBC's interviewer, Tim Russert,
broached the topic, noting that Senator Kerry is also a member
of The Order. The very brief exchange that ensued may be more
revealing than a voluble response would have been. Here's the
Russert: "You were both
in Skull and Bones, the secret society."
President Bush: "It's
so secret we can't talk about it."
Russert: "What does that
mean for America? The conspiracy theorists are going to go wild."
President Bush: "I'm
sure they are. I don't know. I haven't seen Web pages yet."
Mr. Russert then said: "Number
322." President Bush ignored Russert's reference to the
Bonesmen's secret code number and went in another direction,
noting that Kerry has not yet been selected as the Democrats'
candidate. Those familiar with Skull and Bones (S&B) know
that "322" is the room number of the initiation room
the sanctum sanctorum or "holy of holies"
in the organization's forbidding structure on the Yale campus.
That structure is commonly known to insiders and outsiders alike
as "the Tomb," but is also referred to by members as
"the Temple." The "322" also refers to the
society itself; it is "Chapter 322" of an older German
Secrets of the Crypt: This
mausoleum-style building known as the "Crypt" serves
as the Yale campus headquarters of the Order of Skull & Bones.
The Order is an offshoot of an immensely powerful German secret
society. For more than a century and half, the Crypt has been
an incubator for fledgling members of the American Power Elite--including
both President George W. Bush and likely Democratic nominee John
However, when the president
evaded the question, Mr. Russert, who has displayed a dogged
persistence in other interviews (indeed, he had shown some of
the same pointed tenacity in his earlier questions for the president),
conspicuously dropped that line of questioning and accommodated
Mr. Bush with cream-puff questions that allowed scripted responses
about the president's vision and leadership.
Likewise, Senator Kerry has
been given a free pass on his S&B membership. On August 31
of last year, Kerry was asked on Meet the Press: "You both
were members of Skull and Bones, a secret society at Yale. What
does that tell us?" His response: "Not much, because
it's a secret."
The Mafia has its infamous
oath of omerta (silence), by which initiates vow never to reveal
any secrets of their criminal enterprise. The slightest violation,
or suspicion of violation, of this oath can earn one a death
sentence. We have no proof that Skull and Bones enforces its
equivalent of omerta with similarly severe means, but there is
no question that Bonesmen take it very seriously; members are
instructed never to mention or discuss S&B with any "barbarian,"
which means all the rest of us outsiders including Bonesmen's
own spouses and biological family members. If barbarians ever
broach the subject in their presence, Bonesmen are instructed
to turn on their heels immediately and leave.
This kind of secrecy by men
in positions of power should be a natural magnet to investigative
reporters and members of the Fourth Estate who posture as the
watchdogs of our political system. But it would seem that our
media mavens, who insist on prying into every other private crevice
of politicians' lives, have a curious lack of curiosity when
it comes to The Order. Like NBC's Russert, the denizens of the
controlled elite media tend to laugh off the S&B connection
as something that would only concern paranoid "conspiracy
theorists." Thus, Elizabeth Bumiller began her February
2 New York Times column on the Bonesmen election race with this
opening line: "It will be a field day for conspiracy theorists."
Bones of Contention
After noting that a Kerry-Bush
race would be "the first skull-to-skull match-up of Bonesmen
in history," the Times' Bumiller asks: "Does this mean
anything at all?"
What it means, the Times would
have us believe, is that we will be fortunate if either of these
elite Bonesmen helms our ship of state. "Historically, Yale's
best and brightest only 15 a year were tapped for
Skull and Bones," an approving Bumiller tells her readers.
"The larger question is whether Skull and Bones inculcated
values of leadership
in Mr. Kerry and Mr. Bush, beyond
what was already driven home by Yale." Then she follows
a familiar pattern of quoting sympathetic sources who extol S&B
as a training ground that transforms callow, shallow youth into
men of caliber dedicated to higher purpose and the public good.
Skull and Bones has, after
all, a particularly illustrious alumni roster: two previous presidents
(Mr. Bush's father and William Howard Taft), Averell Harriman,
McGeorge Bundy, Henry Luce, Potter Stewart, the writer John Hersey
and numerous officials in the Central Intelligence Agency, a
traditional career path for Bonesmen.
U.S. presidents, Supreme Court
justices, senators, governors, university presidents, foundation
presidents, business titans, banking barons, media moguls, CIA
spooks. S&B's history indicates that it has long been a prime
recruiting ground where candidates are "tapped" and
groomed for future service to The Order. The organization uses
its connections to advance its members into positions of power
and influence to an inordinate degree. In addition to its high-profile
members in government service, Skull and Bones is intimately
tied to semi-secret globalist organizations such as the Council
on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderbergers,
which have so come to dominate U.S. political and economic policy
as to constitute a separate American government. Bonesmen have
played prominent roles in leading these groups for the past several
Yes, The Order boasts a membership
roll that elicits oohs and ahs. Speaking of ahs, the most widely
quoted so-called critic of the S&B likens the secret group
to the beneficent and mysterious Wizard of Oz. In her highly
praised 2002 "exposé," Secrets of the Tomb,
Alexandra Robbins writes: "If the Wizard of Oz can represent
Skull and Bones, then one must point out that, for a while, Oz
needed its Wizard to provide balance and a constant current of
reassurance." (Emphasis in the original.) You see, according
to Robbins, we silly little Munchkin mortals need the paternalistic
ministrations of The Order's superior Wizards.
Alexandra Robbins has been
much quoted and interviewed as a leading authority on S&B.
Her book's first chapter, "The Legend of Skull and Bones,"
begins with this description:
Sometime in the early 1830s,
a Yale student named William H. Russell the future valedictorian
of the class of 1833 traveled to Germany to study for
a year. Russell came from an inordinately wealthy family that
ran one of America's most despicable business organizations of
the nineteenth century: Russell and Company, an opium empire....
While in Germany, Russell befriended the leader of an insidious
German secret society that hailed the death's head as its logo.
Russell soon became caught up in this group, itself a sinister
outgrowth of the notorious eighteenth-century society the Illuminati.
According to Robbins, this
is all lurid legend, much of it invented and spread by the Bonesmen
themselves to enhance the sense of mystery and importance surrounding
Skull and Bones. Ms. Robbins' opening chapter combines descriptions
of The Order's bizarre initiation rituals with stories and rumors
of the group's wealth and power in a way calculated to discredit
the most serious concerns about the group. Sure, it's the ultimate
"old boys network," with lots of juvenile mumbo-jumbo,
but nothing to get worked up over.
Truth Behind the "Legend"
Much of what Robbins disingenuously
dismisses as legend is verifiable fact, and much else is very
probably fact, based on what can be determined from available
evidence. Skull and Bones founder William H. Russell did indeed
come from a wealthy opium-empire family. He did found S&B
at Yale after spending 1831-32 studying in Germany. From S&B's
own documents, it seems that The Order may be but a U.S. chapter
of a German secret society. And it is quite possible that the
German society was (is) directly connected to the infamous Order
of the Illuminati, which was founded in Germany in 1776. The
Illuminati, which played a central role in the French Revolution
and in spreading subversion and revolution throughout Europe,
actually sent agents to the United States to overthrow our republic
while it was still in its infancy. In a 1798 letter to Rev. G.
W. Snyder, President George Washington acknowledged that these
agents were then active here, spreading the Illuminati's "diabolical
That same year, 1798, Yale
President Timothy Dwight warned that the Illuminati's conspiratorial
schemes "strike at the root of all human happiness and virtue
[seeking] the overthrow of religion, government, and human
society civil and domestic." These conspirators, said Dwight,
are so committed to their evil ends "that murder, butchery,
and war, however extended and dreadful, are declared by them
to be completely justifiable, if necessary for these great purposes."
A few years later, in 1805,
John Wood, a prominent political writer, surveyor and cartographer,
wrote an important work entitled A Full Exposition of the Clintonian
Faction, Society of the Columbian Illuminati. Mr. Wood's exposé
provided evidence that a number of prominent American individuals,
including New York Governor DeWitt Clinton, were members of Illuminati
lodges that had been established in this country.
So, it is not at all outlandish
to suppose that there could have been a direct Illuminati link
with the S&B founding, especially since the Illuminati and
its subsidiaries were very active in Germany at the time Mr.
Russell attended school there. The initiation methods of the
Order of the Skull and Bones also closely parallel those of the
Order of the Illuminati. Robbins' book records that S&B initiates
must engage in self-criticism and group criticism sessions that
are so harrowing that some initiates have near nervous breakdowns.
Author and Bones watcher Ron Rosenbaum has written that this
self-abasement includes lying in a coffin naked and revealing
one's entire sexual history.
Ultimately, this "group
therapy" helps bind the Bonesmen more closely than family.
Robbins notes: "Eventually a member's self-perception is
so intertwined with his secret-society identity
he were to betray or leave Skull and Bones, he would lose what
has become a major part of the way that he identifies himself."
If one reads the Illuminati's
initiation rites and the diabolical purpose for them, as described
by Illuminati founder Adam Weishaupt, the similarity to the Bonesmen's
experience is striking. The purpose, according to Weishaupt,
was not only to psychologically strip each initiate and create
a powerful group identity through this shared experience; it
also served an equally important objective of learning the weaknesses
of each individual and any crimes or deeds of which he might
be ashamed, for possible blackmail use in the future, should
he decide to oppose or expose The Order. These same techniques
were adopted and perfected by the Communists, and are used to
varying degrees by the Mafia and other criminal conspiracies
to maintain ironclad control over their members.
Secret societies are always
inimical to a free society. It is impossible to judge whether
elected and appointed officials are truly acting as public servants
or are serving an agenda of hidden confederates, if membership
in secret societies is permitted or winked at. Our constitutional
republic is meant to function in an atmosphere of openness and
transparency; it will not long survive if we allow those who
fashion policies and legislation to operate in the shadowy corridors
and chambers of secret societies. Members of Skull and Bones
have occupied (and do today occupy) some of the most powerful
positions in American public and private institutions. We should
not allow the membership in this organization to be lightly dismissed,
especially when it comes to candidates for the highest office
in the land.
* Washington's letter to Rev.
Snyder appears in Volume 36 of The Writings of George Washington
(U.S. Government Printing Office) and pertains to an important
book on the Illuminati, entitled Proofs of a Conspiracy, by a
distinguished Scottish professor, John Robison. Washington shared
Robison's alarm over the dangers posed by this nefarious sect.
At the same time as Robison, but working completely independently,
Abbe Augustin Barruel authored an even more detailed indictment
of the Illuminati, entitled Memoirs Illustrating the History
of Jacobinism. Both of these important works are now back in
print and can be obtained from www.aobs-store.com/conspiracy/
(click on "additional books" for ordering information