From the February 2004 Idaho Observer:
The Order of the Skull and Bones
Election 2004 is unique in that four serious contenders for the presidency -- Bush, Kerry, Lieberman and Dean -- graduated from Yale (home of the Skull and Bones); two of them, the strongest candidates -- Bush and Kerry -- are members of this secret society to which they pledged lifelong allegiance. Skull and Bones has a very interesting history and its members have gone on to become some of the world's most influential people. It seems appropriate that we take a look at this exclusive little club since our current and probable future president is a member. Plus, bonesmen are forbidden to tell us anything about their Skull and Bones membership.
The Skull and Bones story begins at Yale, where three threads of American social history -- espionage, drug smuggling and secret societies -- intertwine into one.
Nathan Hale, along with three other Yale graduates, was a member of the Culper Ring, one of America's first intelligence operations. Established by George Washington, it was successful throughout the Revolutionary War. Nathan was the only operative to be ferreted out by the British, and after speaking his famous regrets, he was hanged in 1776.
Ever since the founding of the Republic, the relationship between Yale and the Intelligence Community has been unique.
In 1823, Samuel Russell established Russell and Company for the purpose of acquiring opium in Turkey and smuggling it to China. Russell and Company merged with the Perkins (Boston) syndicate in 1830 and became the primary American opium smuggler. Many of the great American and European fortunes were built on the China(opium) trade.
One of Russell and Company's Chief of Operations in Canton was Warren Delano, Jr., grandfather of Franklin Roosevelt. Other Russell partners included John Cleve Green (who financed Princeton), Abiel Low (who financed construction of Columbia), Joseph Coolidge and the Perkins, Sturgis and Forbes families. (Coolidge's son organized the United Fruit company, and his grandson, Archibald C. Coolidge, was a co-founder of the Council on Foreign Relations.)
William Huntington Russell, Samuel's cousin, studied in Germany from 1831-32. Germany was a hotbed of new ideas. The scientific method was being applied to all forms of human endeavor. Prussia, which blamed the defeat of its forces by Napoleon in 1806 on soldiers only thinking about themselves in the stress of battle, took the principles set forth by John Locke and Jean Rosseau and created a new educational system. Johan Fitche, in his Address to the German People, declared that the children would be taken over by the State and told what to think and how to think it.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel took over Fitche's chair at the University of Berlin in 1817, and was a professor there until his death in 1831. Hegel was the culmination of the German idealistic philosophy school of Immanuel Kant.
To Hegel, our world is a world of reason. The state is Absolute Reason and the citizen can only become free by worship and obedience to the state. Hegel called the state the march of God in the world and the final end. This final end, Hegel said, has supreme right against the individual, whose supreme duty is to be a member of the state. Both fascism and communism have their philosophical roots in Hegellianism. Hegellian philosophy was very much in vogue during William Russell's time in Germany.
When Russell returned to Yale in 1832, he formed a senior society with Alphonso Taft. According to information acquired from a break-in to the tomb (the Skull and Bones meeting hall) in 1876, Bones is a chapter of a corps in a German University.... General Russell, its founder, was in Germany before his Senior Year and formed a warm friendship with a leading member of a German society. He brought back with him to college, authority to found a chapter here. So class valedictorian William H. Russell, along with 14 others, became the founding members of The Order of Scull and Bones, later changed to The Order of Skull and Bones.
Skull and Bones
The secretive Order of Skull and Bones exists only at Yale. Fifteen juniors are tapped each year by the seniors to be initiated into next year's group. Some say each initiate is given $15,000 and a grandfather clock. Far from being a campus fun-house, the group is geared more toward the success of its members in the post-collegiate world.
The family names on the Skull and Bones roster roll off the tongue like an elite party list -- Lord, Whitney, Taft, Jay, Bundy, Harriman, Weyerhaeuser, Pinchot, Rockefeller, Goodyear, Sloane, Stimson, Phelps, Perkins, Pillsbury, Kellogg, Vanderbilt, Bush, Lovett and so on.
William Russell went on to become a general and a state legislator in Connecticut. Alphonso Taft was appointed U.S. Attorney General, Secretary of War (a post many Bonesmen have held), Ambassador to Austria, and Ambassador to Russia (another post held by many Bonesmen). His son, William Howard Taft ('87), is the only man to be both President of the United States and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
The Order flourished from the very beginning in spite of occasional squalls of controversy. There was dissension from some professors, who didn't like its secrecy and exclusiveness. And there was backlash from students, showing concern about the influence Bones was having over Yale finances and the favoritism shown to Bonesmen.
In October of 1873, Volume 1, Number 1, of The Iconoclast was published in New Haven. It was only published once and was one of very few openly published articles on the Order of Skull and Bones.
From The Iconoclast:
We speak through a new publication. because the college press is closed to those who dare to openly mention 'Bones'....
Out of every class Skull and Bones takes its men. They have gone out into the world and have become, in many instances, leaders in society. They have obtained control of Yale. Its business is performed by them. Money paid to the college must pass into their hands, and be subject to their will. No doubt they are worthy men in themselves, but the many, whom they looked down upon while in college, cannot so far forget as to give money freely into their hands. Men in Wall Street complain that the college comes straight to them for help, instead of asking each graduate for his share. The reason is found in a remark made by one of Yale's and America's first men: 'Few will give but Bones men and they care far more for their society than they do for the college....'
Year by year the deadly evil is growing. The society was never as obnoxious to the college as it is today, and it is just this ill-feeling that shuts the pockets of non-members. Never before has it shown such arrogance and self-fancied superiority. It grasps the College Press and endeavors to rule it all. It does not deign to show its credentials, but clutches at power with the silence of conscious guilt.
To tell the good which Yale College has done would be well nigh impossible. To tell the good she might do would be yet more difficult. The question, then, is reduced to this -- on the one hand lies a source of incalculable good -- on the other a society guilty of serious and far-reaching crimes. It is Yale College against Skull and Bones!! We ask all men, as a question of right, which should be allowed to live?
In his book America's Secret Establishment, Antony Sutton outlined the Order of Skull and Bones' ability to establish vertical and horizontal chains of influence that ensured the continuity of their conspiratorial schemes.
The Whitney-Stimson-Bundy links represent the vertical chain.
W. C. Whitney ('63), who married Flora Payne (of the Standard Oil Payne dynasty), was Secretary of the Navy. His attorney was a man named Elihu Root. Root hired Henry Stimson ('88) out of law school. Stimson took over from Root as Secretary of War in 1911, appointed by fellow Bonesman William Howard Taft. Stimson later became Coolidge's Governor-General of the Philippine Islands, Hoover's Secretary of State, and Secretary of War during the Roosevelt and Truman administrations.
Hollister Bundy ('09) was Stimson's special assistant and point man in the Pentagon for the Manhattan Project. His two sons, also members of Skull and Bones, were William Bundy ('39) and McGeorge Bundy ('40) -- both very active in governmental and foundation affairs.
The two brothers, from their positions in the CIA, the Department of Defense and the State Department, and as Special Assistants to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, exercised significant impact on the flow of information and intelligence during the Vietnam War.
William Bundy became editor of Foreign Affairs, the influential quarterly of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). McGeorge became president of the Ford Foundation.
Another interesting group of Bonesmen is the Harriman/Bush crowd. Averil Harriman ('13), Elder Statesman of the Democratic Party, and his brother Roland Harriman ('17) were very active members. In fact, four of Roland's fellow Bonesmen from the class of 1917 were directors of Brown Brothers, Harriman, including Prescott Bush ('17), George Bush's dad.
Since the turn of the century, two investment bank firms -- Guaranty Trust and Brown Brothers, Harriman -- were both dominated by members of Skull and Bones. These two firms were heavily involved in the financing of Communism and Hitler's regime.
Bonesmen share an affinity for the Hegellian ideas of the historical dialectic, which dictates the use of controlled conflict -- thesis versus anti-thesis -- to create a pre-determined synthesis. A synthesis of their making and design, where the state is absolute and individuals are granted their freedoms based on their obedience to the state -- a New World Order.
Funding and political maneuvering on the part of Bonesmen and their allies helped the Bolsheviks prevail in Russia. In defiance of federal laws, the cabal financed industries, established banks and developed oil and mineral deposits in the fledgling U.S.S.R.
Later, Averil Harriman, as minister to Great Britain in charge of Lend-Lease for Britain and Russia, was responsible for shipping entire factories into Russia. According to some researchers, Harriman also oversaw the transfer of nuclear secrets, plutonium and U. S. dollar printing plates to the U.S.S.R.
In 1932, the Union Banking Corporation of New York City had enlisted four directors from the cell and two Nazi bankers associated with Fritz Thyssen, who had been financing Hitler since 1924.
Note: This page has just gotten us up to modern times. We can see how the Skull and Bones was born and why. We can see how its members have been influential in world events and how it has maintained its secrecy. Next month we will explore the modern bonesmen and, from their actions and associations, find clues as to where they plan on taking the American people.