SKULL AND BONES: GEORGE BUSH AND JOHN KERRY
Tim Russert asks the President Sunday (2/08/2004)
about Skull and Bones and the President confirms he is a member by saying he can't talk about. Part of the transcript below.
President Bush: Politics. I mean, this is—you know, if you close your eyes and listen carefully to what you just said, it sounds like the year 2000 all over again.
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 the (unintel) yet. (Laughs)
Russert: Number 322.
President Bush: First of all, he's not the nominee, and I look forward
|John Kerry admits to Skull and Bones Membership on 'Meet The Press'
Bush keeps mum about secret society
WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President George W. Bush discussed Iraq, the November elections and the war on terrorism in an interview broadcast Sunday but laughingly stonewalled a question about his university secret society.
"It's so secret, we can't talk about it," he told NBC television when asked about the fact that both he and the Democratic frontrunner, Senator John Kerry, are members of Yale University's Skull and Bones.
Though they graduated just two years apart and the society reportedly only inducts 15 new "Bonesmen" a year, Bush curtly denied knowing his rival during their time in college.
Bush's father, former president George Bush, and his grandfather, Prescott Bush, were also members, sworn to secrecy about the goings-on in their mausoleum-like headquarters on the school's urban campus.
Other members reportedly include another previous president, William Howard Taft; Vietnam war-era White House adviser McGeorge Bundy; and financier and diplomat W. Averell Harriman
Election shows where Bones are buried
NO ONE answers when you knock on the iron doors of the Skull and Bones society in the middle of the campus at Yale University. If you have to knock, you are not wanted in.
Behind its Greco-Egyptian façade on the High Street in New Haven, the society is said to be one of the most powerful and influential in the United States.
Now, for the first time, two Bonesmen, as members are known, could go head to head for the post of President of the United States of America and Commander in Chief.
Skull and Bones is a social and political network like no other. With all its ritual and macabre relics, it was founded in 1832 as a new world version of secret student societies that were common in Germany at the time. Since then it has chosen or ‘tapped' only 15 senior students a year, who become patriarchs when they graduate - lifetime members of the ultimate old boys' club.
George W Bush (1968) admitted to being a Bonesman in his autobiography: "My senior year [at Yale University] I joined Skull and Bones, a secret society, so secret, I can't say anything more."
Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts (1966), currently the frontrunner in the race to become the Democratic candidate in the November presidential elections, revealed his membership of the society in an interview for US television programme Meet the Press.
Though Howard Dean (1971) has never said if he was a member of Skull and Bones, the former governor of Vermont is a Yale graduate.
Since 1988, three Yale graduates have led the United States. George Bush Sr and Bill Clinton both attended the university, though the latter was not tapped to be a Bonesman. This Yale succession is historic. Never before have three (or even two) successive US presidents studied at the same university.
The Bush family has been associated with Skull and Bones for generations. Prescott Bush, George W's grandfather (1917) was a member of the band that stole for the society what became one of its most treasured artefacts: a skull that was said to be that of the Apache chief Geronimo, though this was later found to be untrue.
George Herbert Walker Bush (1948) was also a Bonesman.
Alexandra Robbins, author of Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power, said George W was "a somewhat ambivalent" Bonesman.
She said: "New members of Skull and Bones are assigned secret names, by which fellow Bonesmen will forever know them. George W was not assigned a name but invited to choose one. According to one report, nothing came to mind, so he was given the name Temporary, which, it is said, he never bothered to replace."
Conspiracy theories and hysteria surround the reporting of the influence of the society. Its rituals are said to be bizarre. Initiates must masturbate in a coffin while recounting their sexual exploits, for which they will be rewarded with a no-strings-attached gift of $15,000.
Kerry often told his fellow Bonesmen of his political ambitions. Even then, he knew he would pursue a career in public service and aim for the top.
Clark Abbott remembered a short exchange with Kerry during their first week at Yale. "I met this tall, athletic-looking fellow from St Paul's [an elite boarding school in New Hampshire] and I asked him: ‘What do you want to do?'" Abbott said. Kerry's response stunned Abbott: "I'd like to be president of the United States."
Kerry worked hard and played hard at Yale. He often woke up at 5am to study and went to Pamplona in Spain to run with the bulls with classmate David Thorne.
Dean was at Yale from 1967 to 1971,
the type who invited you back to his room to finish off the keg that was left over from the social events he helped organise, said friend Richard Willing, a national correspondent for newspaper USA Today.
As for politics, there were no indications that the aspiring doctor from the Upper East Side in New York was headed for a career in government.
"He was political, but he certainly wasn't thinking about being a political office holder, let alone a president," said roommate Ralph Dawson, 54, a lawyer in New York.
The secret society that ties Bush and Kerry
London Telegraph 02/01/2004
Revelations that leading candidates for the US presidency were "Skull and Bones" members have provoked claims of elitism. Charles Laurence reports from New York
The "tomb" stands dark and hulking at the heart of the Yale University campus, almost windowless, and shuttered and padlocked in the thick snow of winter storms.
|Yale's candidates for the White House pictured in their student days and the 'Skull and Bones' mascot
Built to mimic a Greco-Egyptian temple, it is the headquarters of the Order of the Skull and Bones, America's most elite and elusive secret society - and it has become the unlikely focus of this year's presidential election. It turns out that four leading contestants for the White House in November's election were 1960s undergraduates at Yale: President Bush and Democratic rivals Governor Howard Dean, Sen John Kerry and Sen Joseph Lieberman.
What is more, two are "Bonesmen". Both Sen Kerry, now the Democrat front runner, and President Bush belong to the 172-year-old society, which aims to get its members into positions of power. This presidential election seems destined to become the first in history to pit one Skull and Bones member against another.
The phenomenon of the "Yalies", as Yale alumni are known, has provoked an intense debate over apparent elitism among Americans amazed that - in a democracy of almost 300 million people - the battle for power should be waged among candidates drawn from the 4,000 who graduated from Yale in four different years of the 1960s.
"To today's Yale undergraduates it seems quite extraordinary," said Jacob Leibenluft, a student and a reporter on the Yale Daily News, the campus newspaper. "For some it's a source of pride, to others it's a source of shame."
In fact Yale, with annual tuition fees of $28,400 (£16,000), has long sent graduates to the top of all professions from the campus in New Haven, Connecticut, where it was founded in 1731.
The Skull and Bones is the most exclusive organisation on campus. Members have ranged from President William Taft to Henry Luce, the founder of the Time-Life magazine empire, and from Averill Harriman, the businessman and diplomat, to the first President George Bush.
Alexandra Robbins, a Yale graduate and author of a book on the Skull and Bones, Secrets of the Tomb, said: "It is staggering that so many of the candidates are from Yale, and even more so that we are looking at a presidential face-off between two members of the Skull and Bones. It is a tiny club with only 800 living members and 15 new members a year.
"But there has always been a sentiment at Yale to push students into public service, an ethos of the elite making their way through the corridors of power - and the sole purpose of the Bones is power."
The four candidates' time at Yale spans the period from 1960, when Sen Lieberman began his studies, through Sen Kerry's arrival in 1962 and Mr Bush's two years later, to 1971, when Mr Dean graduated - a period that swung through the bright hopes of the Kennedy presidency to tumult and bitterness over Vietnam.
Mr Lieberman and Mr Kerry served on the same committee to oppose resistance to the Vietnam war draft, but otherwise the four appear not to have known each other at the time. They all studied history and political science, however, and had some of the same professors and academic mentors.
Robert Dahl, the then head of the political science department, said: "Many of us had the sense we were preparing future leaders, but I don't think any of us had any idea we were teaching so many presidential candidates."
While at Yale all four showed hints of the varying character traits that would eventually propel them, on different paths, towards the top of American politics.
Mr Lieberman, the grandson of immigrants, arrived from a state school, probably a beneficiary of an unofficial 10 per cent quota of places for Jews that Yale then operated. Politically ambitious, he chaired the Yale Daily News, the most sought-after student position on campus.
Sen Kerry is remembered as "running for president since freshman year". One of his contemporaries said: "He was obsessed by politics to the exclusion of all else. At that age, it's a bit creepy." He dated Janet Auchincloss, the half-sister of Jackie Kennedy, the First Lady, won the presidency of the Yale Political Union, and was initiated into the Skull and Bones before joining the United States Navy for service in Vietnam.
In laid-back contrast, Mr Bush achieved only a "C" grade academically and took little interest in politics. He joined a "sports jock" fraternity and followed his father into the Skull and Bones.
By the time Mr Dean arrived in 1967, Yale was admitting women and setting more store by applicants' academic merit than their social background. The future Vermont governor showed a disdain for Yale politics and resigned from a fraternity order in a dispute over a coffee bar.
Whether the four men's Yale backgrounds is a plus with voters is uncertain. Mr Dean seems embarrassed, once saying he studied "in New Haven, Connecticut" to avoid mentioning Yale by name. Mr Bush makes light of his student years, apparently revelling in his reputation for socialising, not studying.
The Skull and Bones connection is more troublesome. Mr Kerry laughed nervously when questioned about his and Mr Bush's membership on television. "You both were members of the Skull and Bones; what does that tell us?" he was asked. "Yup. Not much," he replied.
Not surprisingly, the club's rituals fascinate many Americans. Robbins's book describes a social club with arcane rules, a hoard of relics ranging from Hitler's silver collection to the skull of the Indian chief Geronimo - plus a resident prostitute.
She says initiation rites include a mud-wrestling bout, receiving a beating and the recitation by a new member of his sexual history - delivered while he lies naked in a coffin. Elevation of a Bonesman creates opportunities for his fellows, and Robbins says that President Bush has appointed 10 members to his administration, including the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
She recently surveyed 100 of the estimated 800 living Bonesmen on their preferred election winner - Sen Kerry or President Bush. Perhaps not surprisingly, given that both are pledged to advance the interests of fellow Bonesmen, "They answered that they didn't care. Whichever way it went, it was a win-win for them."
THE SKULL AND BONES
OF GEORGE BUSH AND JOHN KERRY
By: Jim Moore
If skull and bones were no more than the remains of a human body, or the scare heavy in a Halloween movie, there would be little reason to give it further thought. But it is much more than that.
The Order of the Skull and Bones is far from the fratty, fun-and-games milieu that uninformed people think it is. The fact is, Skull and Bones may be the world's most bizarre, and exclusive, secret society.
Therefore, if both the President of the United States and the top Democratic contender for the job are devoted members of this Order, and they are, the American public ought to know more about it before November rolls around. Not that we can do much more than dissect it at this time. Nevertheless, the dedicated mission of Skull and Bones, though not obvious, should be at least somewhat understood before we elect a member of this mysterious enclave to lead our nation any further.
Before we proceed, it should be stated that the history, background, member roster, and political "connections" of the Order of Skull and Bones is far too complicated and extensive to include in this article, but all the information herein is fully documented and readily available for interested readers.
Let us proceed with its most important tenets.
More than a century ago, Skull and Bones was a secret society in Germany , where it was also known, not always in jest, as the "Brotherhood of Death."
The American chapter of the Society was founded at Yale University in 1833, and its members are known as Bonesmen. Today, Bonesmen number less than 1,000, which is quite fantastic when one considers how effectively they manipulate and influence world affairs.
So, Skull and Bones is not just a bunch of "Yalies" getting their kicks with unique handshakes and secret code words. Bones is a unique group of young men from affluent, well-established, Northeastern families; literally a chosen elite of intellectually superior Yale students, who are educated and prepared for positions of influence and power, particularly in politics and government.
Each year at Yale, 15 juniors are chosen by seniors for Skull and Bones initiation, which is performed in occult surroundings with bizarre rituals, where the initiates are indoctrinated and sworn to absolute and binding secrecy. This illustrates the exclusivity and esoteric, cult-like qualities of this strange order.
As the country's leaders, many Bonesmen have held, and still hold, positions of prestige and influence. These include presidents, cabinet members, congressmen, senators, governors, and other positions of the highest political authority.
Why is it vital that Americans know that both George W. Bush and John Kerry are Yale alumni and Bonesmen? For many compelling reasons. Here are a few.
Since both Bush and Kerry, as sworn Bonesmen, are privy to its rituals, inner workings, and secret objective, it would seem to make little difference in both domestic and foreign policies of the United States which man wins the November 2004 election. This gives us little choice.
Bonesmen believe that the United States should be the first among the "equals" in the New World order. To achieve this, the Order believes in "constructive chaos." And what is constructive chaos? It is simply keeping true intentions secret by constantly sending out mixed signals on all critical policy issues, and keeping sacrosanct their self-created vision of New World warriors. Both Bush and Kerry appear to be victims of this self-aggrandized thinking.
Bonesmen have an affinity for the Heglian theory. This is a precept in which the State is absolute and individuals are granted their freedom based on their obedience to the State, i.e. the New World Order.
Does that have the smell of tyranny or not?
This pretentious elitism and dangerous arrogance is rare in most men. But it is all the more troubling when found in two men who are both vying for the most powerful leadership position in the world
Bonesmen are mostly born to privilege, bred on visions of intellectual superiority, educated in worldly matters, and trained to give orders, not take them. It follows, then, that these men should be the epitome of nationalistic pride. Unless, of course, they have other ideas. Such as keeping their actions secret, using power to achieve ulterior ends, and putting the Skull and Bones oath above allegiance to their country.
And most disturbing of all, the sole purpose of the Skull and Bones Order is to perpetuate power. To maintain and increase this power, politically ambitious Bonesmen strive to put fellow Bonesmen in key positions of influence, to help build the New World organization that is their primary goal.
Recent actions and decisions of President Bush, if carefully scrutinized, tend to bear this out. And there is little reason to believe that John Kerry, as president, would not follow the same detrimental path.
Like all of us, George W. Bush and John Kerry have skeletons in their closet. But unlike ours, their skeletons have the power to undermine the sovereignty of a nation.
Don 't let it undermine ours.
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