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Skull and Bones

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My informant (who is not a member of the Yale secret society, but has reliable inside info) writes:

First, you observe that 5 of the last 10 major party candidates were bonespersons. Four of those five, however, were Bushes. It is more likely that Bones has benefited from the Bush dynasty than that the Bush dynasty has benefited from Bones. In fact, George H.W. Bush has complained that Bones was if anything a liability for him as a politician, and I would tend to believe him. As for Kerry, Bones membership may have conferred some modest benefit, but his rise to prominence in the early 1970s was largely his own doing. His also had helpful family connections and a talent for marrying rich women. I doubt that Bones was much of a factor in his career – although it probably didn’t have as much of a downside for him, as a Democrat, as it may have had for the Bushes.

Finally, on the current influence of the society, it has very little. The admission of women in the early 1990s was disastrous for the Skull & Bones and undermined the cohesion required to make secret organizations work. The relatively high degree of loyalty which the society once inspired depended on members’ ability trust one another, which in turn was based on members being encouraged to divulge their every secret.

Tom Wolfe wrote in his famous 1976 article “The ‘Me’ Decade and the Third Great Awakening:”

At Yale the students on the outside wondered for 80 years what went on inside the fabled secret senior societies, such as Skull and Bones. On Thursday nights one would see the secretsociety members walking silently and single file, in black flannel suits, white shirts, and black knit ties with gold pins on them, toward their great Greek Revival temples on the campus, buildings whose mystery was doubled by the fact that they had no windows. What in the name of God or Mammon went on in those 30-odd Thursday nights during the senior years of these happy few?

What went on was… lemon sessions!-a regularly scheduled series of lemon sessions, just like the ones that occurred informally in girls’ finishing schools. In the girls’ schools these lemon sessions tended to take place at random in nights when a dozen or so girls might end up in someone’s dormitory room. One girl would become “it,” and the others would light into her personality, pulling it to pieces to analyze every defect… her spitefulness, her awkwardness, her bad breath, embarrassing clothes, ridiculous laugh, her suck-up fawning, latent lesbianism, or whatever. The poor creature might be reduced to tears. She might blurt out the most terrible confessions, hatreds, and primordial fears. But, it was presumed, she would be the stronger for it afterward. She would be on her way toward a new personality.

Likewise, in the secret societies: They held lemon sessions for boys. …And Thursday night after Thursday night the awful truths would out, as he who was It stood up before them and answered the most horrible questions. … But out of the fire and the heap of ashes would come a better man, a brother, of good blood and good bone, for the American race guerrière. And what was more… they loved it. No matter how dreary the soap opera, the star was Me.

My informant continues:

“Well, no guy is going to reveal the most shameful details of his life to any girl, even if she is a fellow bonesperson, nor is any girl going to reveal hers to any guy. As I understand it, the society’s current institutional self-understanding is not that of an exclusive brotherhood; instead, the society emphasizes the light-hearted fun they have together and how nice it is that such different people can share something in common. Thin is as the current Bones ideology is, it’s probably the only way to keep everyone together with offending each other.

Which brings us to the other threat (besides coeducation) to the society’s cohesiveness, namely, multiculturalism. About half the “taps” these days come from the ethnic organizations on campus (the Af-Am house, the Hispanic fraternity, &c). Each ethnic group tries to ensure that next tap comes from the same ethnic group. Their primary loyalty is thus to their ethnic group and not to Bones. In fact, after the “The Skulls” movie came out, the Hispanic members of the society starting to call themselves “skulls” (after the movie) rather than “bonesmen.” Needless to say, when society members get their cues about the society from pop culture rather than the society itself, the society can’t claim to have much influence over its members.

Finally, Bones is perpetually short of money and it has proven to be increasingly difficult to get alumni(ae) to donate anything. Bonespersons/”skulls” simply don’t have much loyalty to the institution.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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With all the stereotypes and prejudice in this world that divide groups of people, it’s crucial to help clear up misunderstandings causing enmity amongst them. If the Israelis and Palestinians just understood the facts, I’m sure they’d all have a big laugh over it and get along fine from now on. Hmmhmmh … well, maybe that’s not the best example …

Okay, let me find a better instance of a misconception rather than reality dividing two sets of people … All right, I’ve got one: the long-lasting but surprisingly seldom mentioned in the media rift between the Apache Nation and the secretive Skull & Bones Society of Yale. So, I shall do my part to heal it.

The President’s grandfather, future Senator Prescott Bush, boasted than when training at Fort Sill in 1918, he had dug up the skull of Apache leader Geronimo and given it to the Skull & Bones society to display in their windowless redoubt on the Yale campus known as “The Tomb.”

The Yale Herald reported in 2003:

Apache tribal leader Ned Anderson was informed of the alleged theft in 1986. As an ancestor of Geronimo, Anderson petitioned the Federal Bureau of Investigations to force the return of the skull. Noting that Apaches have a “great fear and respect for death,” Anderson said that he hoped to honor Geronimo’s express wish to be laid to rest in “Arizona acorn country.”

Unwilling to remove himself from the case entirely and yield all his evidence to the FBI, Anderson withdrew his request for action. Instead, he arranged to meet with George H. W. Bush’s, DC ’48, brother Jonathan in New York City. Anderson recounts that Bush sounded “very encouraging” during their initial meeting. Eleven days later, Bush presented the display case. Anderson refused to accept the skull because it appeared to belong to a small child. Bush acknowledged this fact but claimed that it was the only relevant artifact in the society’s possession.

He urged Anderson to accept the display and sign a document verifying that the society was not in possession of Geronimo’s skull. Anderson refused.

By the way,

“Robbins, herself a member of Scroll and Key [boring! -- I like the name of another Yale secret society a lot better -- The Book and Snake], attests to the centrality of ritualized stealing in many of the societies at Yale. Each class attempts to outdo its predecessor in the acquisition of valuables. In addition to Geronimo’s skull, the Bonesmen’s tomb is rumored to contain the skull of Pancho Villa and Adolf Hitler’s silverware.

Anyway, the Apaches have been sore ever since that the Bonesmen tried to pawn off a kid’s skull on them instead of giving them back Geronimo’s real skull. But, now a reader has sent in some inside information that may clear the good name of Skull & Bones as a whole (although not necessarily the Bush family).

But, a reader writes:

Oh, dear, it’s says at the bottom of the email to check with the sender before posting any of it. Okay, well, I’ll write off for permission. In the meantime I’ll post this fragment anyway, just to show you I’m still alive.

Update: The reader writes:

“On Geronimo’s skull, my impression is that even the members themselves don’t know whether it’s genuine. My source always thought it was some child’s skull, not the skull of Geronimo, and that the issue had already been settled with Apache leaders. Recent reports that the skull might actually be genuine were news to my source.”

In other words, Apaches, it appears that the Bonesmen were trying to play it straight with you in 1986 — that kid’s skull is, presumably, what Prescott Bush had told their predecessors was Geronimo’s head. So, it looks like the President’s grandfather either dug up the wrong head by accident, or intentionally pulled their leg. Was Prescott incompetent or insincere? You be the judge! (Funny how this dispute comes up over and over with the Bush Dynasty — maybe it’s hereditary?)

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Skull and Bones 
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The inside history of intra-conservative immigration battles: In the cover story of the July 30 American Conservative, John O’Sullivan offers an extremely lucid recounting of conservative battles over immigration going back to his decision (with Bill Buckley’s concurrence) to print Peter Brimelow’s massive 1992 article on immigration:

Getting Immigration Right
By John O’Sullivan
It took 15 years, but conservative intellectuals finally deserted the Beltway establishment’s open-borders consensus.

WSJistas have long jibed about O’Sullivan and Brimelow being English immigrants, so John concludes his article:

Until the battle recommences, however, if any indignant xenophobe is thinking of writing an exposé of this conspiracy of English immigrants to impose an “un-American” system of immigration law on the American people, Steve Sailer has already come up with the perfect title: “The Protocols of the Elders of Albion.”

I don’t remember writing that, but John, my old editor at UPI, says that was my summary of the 2000 thriller “The Skulls,” a flop of a film about a Skull & Bones-style exclusive club at a college much like Yale. I must say I’ve become far less dismisive of conspiracy theories about the Skull & Bones society since the 2004 election, which matched two Bonesmen in Bush and Kerry. Skull & Bones only taps 15 promising young bucks per year, yet, five of the last ten major party Presidential candidates were Bonesmen. What are the odds of that?

Also, it appears likely that the rumor is true that during WWI, the President’s grandfather, past Bonesman and future Senator Prescott Bush, dug up the skull of Geronimo and loyally gave it to the Skull & Bones society, and that it remains in the windowless, fortress-like Skull & Bones headquarters on the Yale campus, despite efforts by Apache tribesmen to get their famous leader’s noggin back. I think that might explain a lot about the last seven years, although I’m not precisely sure what.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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