We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

John Kerry Skull and Bones Link

by Randy Grant Wednesday, Mar. 17, 2004 at 6:04 AM

Yale grads Kerry, Bush share bond of secrecy

By Bob Dart, Palm Beach Post-Cox News Service

Monday, March 8, 2004

WASHINGTON -- In the spring semester of their junior years at Yale University, John Kerry and George W. Bush were tapped on the shoulder and abruptly asked: "Skull and Bones, accept or reject?"

Both answered, "Accept."

Kerry was initiated into this most famous and mysterious of Yale's secret societies in 1965. Bush entered Skull and Bones in 1967, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. Thus was set up the first presidential election between Bonesmen nearly four decades hence.

This development was perhaps inevitable. For generations, 15 Yale seniors -- frequently future leaders of government, business, media, arts and other professions -- have gathered in secrecy in the Tomb, the windowless home of their select society on the Yale campus.

Often after graduation, their bonds have strengthened inside a Bones network entwined throughout American culture.

"The only agenda of Skull and Bones is to get its members into positions of power and then to have those members hire others to positions of prominence. The organization has an enormous superiority complex that partly fuels their secrecy," said Alexandra Robbins, author of Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power.

"I think the problem here is that, frankly, I don't believe that the people who represent our country, especially the president of the United States, should be allowed to have an allegiance to any secret group. Secrecy overshadows democracy," said Robbins, a 1998 Yale graduate who belonged to Scroll and Key, another secret society.

"They stopped talking to me after my book was published," she said, describing the spirit of secrecy that still permeates the societies.

Such secrets seem safe with Bush and Kerry, the likely Democratic nominee for president.

In separate episodes of the NBC program Meet the Press, host Tim Russert asked Bush and Kerry about their memberships in Skull and Bones.

"It's so secret we can't talk about it," answered the president.

"I wish there were something secret I could manifest there," Kerry, a senator from Massachusetts, replied warily when Russert asked if he would divulge rituals of the Tomb.

"What's so staggering about the fact that both presidential candidates are members of Skull and Bones is that this is a tiny organization with perhaps only 800 living members," said Robbins. "This isn't an organization in which a member can simply get an interview at some Joe Schmo law firm. This is an organization where members can call up presidents, Supreme Court justices, and Cabinet members, and ask for jobs, power, money, or connections."

In researching her book, Robbins interviewed more than 100 members of Skull and Bones. She inquired about which candidate the secret society would rather have in the White House.

"I asked many Bonesmen that question," she recalled. "The sincere answer to me was, 'We don't care -- it's a win-win situation.' "

Of course, Bush and Kerry are only the latest Bonesmen to star on the national stage. President George H.W. Bush, the incumbent's father, was also a member of Skull and Bones, as were former President William Howard Taft; former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart; former Sens. Prescott Bush, David Boren, James Buckley, John Heinz and John Chafee; Time magazine founder Henry Luce; writers Archibald MacLeish, John Hersey, William F. Buckley Jr. and his son, Christopher Buckley; historian David McCullough; Washington power brokers Averell Harriman and McGeorge Bundy; anti-Vietnam War activist the Rev. William Sloane Coffin: Morgan Stanley founder Harold Stanley, and a wealth of other well-connected notables.

"I think Skull and Bones has had slightly more success than the Mafia in the sense that the leaders of the five families are all doing 100 years in jail, and the leaders of the Skull and Bones families are doing four and eight years in the White House," author and Yale graduate Ron Rosenbaum said on the CBS News program 60 Minutes.

Ritual and reverence

With roots stretching to 1832, Skull and Bones is the oldest of Yale's secret senior societies. There are others, however, that also meet on Thursday and Sunday evenings in their own "Tombs." Among them are Scroll and Key, Book and Snake, Wolf's Head and Berzelius.

Each chooses 15 or 16 new juniors as members on "tap night" in April. As seniors, they will spend countless hours together in their Tombs and form lifelong relationships. With varying input from alumni, each class chooses -- "taps" -- its successors.

In Secrets of the Tomb, Robbins revealed much of the ritual and reverence of Skull and Bones:

New members are assigned secret names. Some are traditional: "Long Devil" is the tallest member. "Boaz" (for Beelzebub) goes to a varsity football captain. The new member with the least sexual experience is dubbed "Gog." The most sexually experienced member becomes "Magog."

The elder George Bush was nicknamed "Magog," Robbins reported. George W. Bush was called "Temporary" because he was not assigned a name and didn't choose one. The author didn't know Kerry's secret name but "Long Devil" might be a good bet.

Kerry's Bonesman class of 1966 included Alan Cross, now a physician and director of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Federal Express founder Fredrick W. Smith; and William Warren Pershing, grandson of Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, an infantry officer who died in Vietnam.

Among Bush's diverse group of Bonesmen, who graduated in 1968, were Olympic gold medalist Don Schollander; future Harvard Medical School surgeon Gregory Gallico; Jordanian Muhammed Saleh; Donald Etra, an Orthodox Jew; and Roy Austin, then African-American captain of Yale's soccer team and now U.S. ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago.

As president, George W. Bush has appointed other Bonesmen to his administration, including Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman William H. Donaldson and Assistant Attorney General Robert McCallum.

Most of Yale's secret societies set aside long sessions in which members tell their life stories in deep, intimate detail.

The lore of Skull and Bones, which began accepting women members in 1992, describes additional meetings in which each member gives explicit accounts of his or her sexual history. This is known as a "CB" or "Connubial Bliss" account.

"There was nothing perverse or surreal or prurient -- just an open exchange," a Bonesman told Robbins.

Alumni gather annually

Skull and Bones is a "dry" society. No alcohol is consumed inside its Tomb. Members dine together at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays in the Firefly Room, where light comes through fixtures shaped like skulls and beverages are served in skull-shaped cups.

There are also plenty of actual skulls and bones, both human and animal, inside the Skull and Bones Tomb. Initiation puts new members in coffins.

"The preoccupation with bones, mortality, with coffins, lying in coffins, standing around coffins, all this sort of thing I think is designed to give them the sense that, and it's very true, life is short," said Rosenbaum. "You can spend it, if you have a privileged background, enjoying yourself, contributing nothing, or you can spend it making a contribution."

During their senior years, members often hang out in the Tombs, which are closed to outsiders. The Skull and Bones building is described as more comfortable than plush, and the society is financed through an endowment and contributions by alumni. There are no dues.

Meetings are held behind a locked iron door in the Inner Temple, or Room 322. The number is hallowed in Skull and Bones history. In its beginnings, the society was known as the Eulogian Club and honored Eulogia, the goddess of eloquence. She "took her place in the pantheon upon the death of the orator Demosthenes in 322 B.C.," reported Robbins.

Inside their tomb, Bonesman refer to outsiders as "barbarians."

Alumni are expected to return to the Tomb for events. And members from over the years gather at least annually on Deer Island, which is owned by Skull and Bones and located just north of Alexandria Bay, N.Y.

"Bones likes to bring back its prominent alumni, especially, because the visits remind younger members of the illustrious footsteps in which they are expected to follow," said Robbins, "and that the bizarre traditions in which they participate are traditions that famous men have been following for nearly 200 years."


Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Interesting Albert Kada Wednesday, Mar. 17, 2004 at 6:48 AM

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Judge Delays Ruling on Puerto Rico Debt Deal White House Opposes Island's Food Assistance J18 6:04PM



Paraphysique de proxémie guerrière J18 7:59AM


FARCELONA 8.17.2017 J17 3:23PM



PR Debt Cancel, Judge Reviews Cofina Debt J16 9:04PM

Réseautage, fragmentation du capital J16 4:20PM

Paraphysique de manipulation mentale et sociale J15 9:51AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

Markets as a Fetish, Globalization, and Dissent Management J14 1:03PM

State Debts - The Primal German Fear J13 5:09PM

Sans liberté, sans égalité, sans fraternité J13 8:09AM

From Progressive Neoliberalism to Trump - and Beyond J12 9:22PM

Copper Cures Cancer J11 1:42PM

Steven Taylor, Investor who Evicts J11 9:24AM

Du sectarisme, des sectes, des clans J11 8:10AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen J10 6:34PM

Patrick Kilpatrick discusses and signs Dying for Living J09 11:51PM

SexActs vs Sexuality USA 2018 Invitations to Power Marriages without Affection J09 8:36PM

Changer de mentalité, changer de société J09 9:17AM

Teacher Strike? Time for Labor Studies J09 6:26AM

December 2018 Honduras Coup Update J08 10:12PM

Paraphysique de la désespérance J07 9:38AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy