A Brief History of the Order of Skull and Bones

Dr. Eric Karlstrom, Professor of Geography, CSUS, 2005

Incredibly, the two candidates for president in the 2004 American election, George W. Bush and John Kerry, are both members of a very small, extremely elite, secret society at Yale University, the Order of Skull and Bones. Since there are only about 500 living members of “the Order”, the odds that both candidates should belong to the same small fraternity are infinitesimally small. When, during a press conference in which both candidates were present, someone in the audience shouted “skull and bones”, both candidates reportedly left the stage without a word. In fact, these individuals are sworn to secrecy about Skull and Bones. The obvious questions are: “What are they hiding?”, “What is Skull and Bones?”, and “What is its agenda?”.

Although information about this fraternity is hard to come by because it is extremely secretive, two books: America’s Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull and Bones by historian Anthony C. Sutton, and Fleshing Out Skull and Bones; Investigations into America’s Most Powerful Secret Society, edited by Kris Millegan, provide a basic understanding of its origins, methods, and apparent purpose. The Order was established at Yale University in 1832 as an American chapter of a German secret society (which according to Sutton, is almost certainly the Illuminati) by General William Huntington Russell and Alfonso Taft. According to Tarply and Chaitkin (19 ), the Russell family was the master of of incalculable wealth derived from the largest American criminal syndicate of the 19th century: Russell and Company, the great opium syndicate that amassed a tremendous fortune by running opium from Turkey to China on Yankee clipper ships. William Huntington Russell had been in Germany in 1831 and 1832, prior to establishing the Order. The Order was legally incorporated in 1856 as the “Russell Trust”, but is also referred to as “Chapter 322” (of the German secret society), the “Brotherhood of Death”, “the Brotherhood, “Skull and Bones”, “Bones”, or “the American Establishment”. The emblem chosen for the Russell Trust Association: the emblem of pirates and death: the skull and bones.

According to Sutton and Millegan, The Order has links with:

1. the Order of the Illuminati, founded in May 1, 1776 in Bavaria (Germany).
2. the Rothschild Family (Lord Rothschild was an original member of Rhodes “inner circle”).
3. the Masons- especially the highest levels, above 32 degrees.
4. the “The Group” in Britain and Oxford University (see previous chapter).
5. the Guggenheim, Schiff, Warburg families (hence, the International Banking Barons) as well as about 20 to 30 other extremely rich and well established East Coast “blue bloods”, mostly from Connecticut and Massechusetts. These families basically comprised the Old New England Tories, whose allegiance, through shipping and merchant banking, was with the British Empire and the British East India Company rather than the young American colonies.
6. Private Foundations, such as the Rockefeller, Carnegie and Heritage Foundations
7. And The Order functions as a secret group within the larger Council on Foreign
Relations (CFR) as well as the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberger groups,
among others.

The basic rules of The Order haven’t changed since 1832, when it was founded. Each year, 15 juniors are “tapped” to become inducted to the Order in their senior year. The Order has maintained its occult traditions, which include secret oaths and rites, such as being “born again” in a coffin. Thus, each new member is given new names: Knight……. whereas old members become Patriarch……. New members go through strenuous and traumatic initiation rites that include naked mud wrestling and revealing their sex secrets to fellow members. Obviously, the blackmail potential of such information can be used to permanently enforce loyalty among the members.

Outsiders are known as Gentiles and vandals. Members of the Order use their power and influence to help fellow members. Sutton notes that only about a quarter of the members are active at any one time. But nonetheless, many Bonesmen are represented in the small clique that covertly rules the world.

However, it is important to note that The Order is only one of 9 secret societies at Yale University. Similarly, there are other secret socities at Harvard ( ) and Princeton ().

Observers of Skull and Bones note that although it is essentially an American group, comprised of American elites, it functions as an agency for British Empire penetration and subversion of the American republic.

Sutton notes that between 1833 and 1983, about 20 to 30 families came to dominate the Order. These include old East Coast families, mostly original settlers in Connecticut and Massachusetts whose wealth dates back to the 1600s: such as the Whitney, Lord, Phelps, Wadsworth, Adams, Bundy, Taft, Perkins, and Allen families. It also includes new families that acquired wealth more recently in the mid-19th century and later such as the Harriman (railroads), Rockefeller (Standard Oil, Chase Bank, etc.), Payne (Standard Oil), Davison (J.P. Morgan Bank), Pilsbury (Flour Milling), Weyerhaeuser (Lumber), and Bush (banking, oil, intelligence, politics) families, etc. These families typically intermarry in order to maintain their wealth and bloodlines.

Typically, the Order has been involved in the ground floor of establishing major US institutions. For example, Andrew Dickson White (S & B, 1853) was the first president of Cornell University and Daniel Coit Gilman (S&B, 1852) was the first president of Johns Hopkins University (which is based on German education system) and the University of California . White also became first President of the Carnegie Institute (1902-5). In 1904, under Gilman’s direction, the Carnegie Institute financed a biological experiment station related to eugenics at Cold Spring Harbor, New York.

In the 1880s, the Order had the great foresight to create The American Historical Association and The American Economic Association. Members of the Order or people close to them also founded The American Chemical Society and The American Psychological Association. Order members also typically pack the boards of the major foundations, such as the Peabody, Slater, Russell Sage, and Ford Foundations and the major think tanks such as the Peace Research Institute. They also tend to own the media: for example, Henry Luce, of Time-Life and William Buckley of National Review are “Bonesmen”. They own major oil companies: the Rockefellers, Paynes, and Pratts own Standard, Shell, and Creole Petroleum, etc. Bonesmen also control the Federal Reserve System and, of course, the White House as well as high cabinet positions in the executive branch, for instance; Taft, Bush, Stimson, Chafee, Lovett, Whitney, Bundy, etc.

What are the secret goals of The Order?

According to Sutton, the goal of the Order is to bring out a New World Order… “a planned order with heavily restricted individual freedom without Constitutional protection, without national boundaries or cultural distinction”. These objectives are deduced from over 100 years of activities, often coordinated between the Order and the Group (of England), as both have the same objectives.

They believe:

1) The state is absolute and requires absolute obedience from the individual. According to their philosophy, drawn in part from the German philosopher Hegel, an individual finds his freedom only in relation to his obedience to the state. By contrast, in the classical liberalism of 19th century British and American society, the state is always subordinate to the individual.

2) They operate under the principle that “the end justifies the means”.

3) They believe in global control, “globalism”, world organizations, world law, and internationalism, and one-world government.

But, asks Sutton, who or what is the state? It is a self-appointed ruling elite. Ultimately, the state is a fiction. Who controls The State? They do.

The Order utilizes the Hegelian dialectic of creating and directing opposites (thesis-antithesis) to foment conflict in order to move society in a particular direction, that is, toward a desired synthesis. This technique can also be stated as “problem-reaction-solution”. Thus, they have learned to create and control both sides of conflicts of their own making in order to arrive at desired outcomes. They typically use the clash of ideals (right vs. left, Democrat vs. Republican, secular vs. religious, etc.) to advance their agenda towards more state power.

Their philosophy, rooted in Hegel, is the root of both Nazism and Marxism.
Marx, in Das Kapital, posited capitalism as thesis and communism as antithesis. The conflict between these two leads to a society where the State is God. Notice, that both Soviet (and Chinese) communism and German fascism are experiments in totalitarian government in which the state is all powerful. Therefore, the Order’s version of the Hegelian doctrine leads to “the divine right of States”, rather than divine right of Kings.

Sutton demonstrates that The Order played a critical role in the establishment of communism in the Soviet Union (1920 to 1984) and of fascism (or national socialism) in Germany (1930 to 1945). Specifically, the Guaranty Trust Co., Brown Brothers, Harriman (formerly W.A. Harriman and Co.), and Union Banking Corporation, were giant investment banks which supported these enterprises. Common to these banks were directors and board members W.A. Harriman (S&B, ’13 and son of E.H. Harriman, the railroad baron) and Prescott S. Bush (S&B, ’17) as well as other prominent Bonesmen. In his many corporate and business roles, Harriman simultaneously backed the transfer of massive amounts of technology to the Soviet Union and encouraged massive arming of the United States to counterbalance and defend itself against the “Soviet threat”.

A member of the Order was either President or VP of Guarantee Trust for the entire period (1915 to 1928) when Soviet communism and German fascism were being established. Soviet communism was constructed as thesis and German fascism as antithesis. Again, the synthesis was to be an all-powerful state, a one-world government. Communist China, another experiment in totalitarian state control, has been another project of the Order. Intervention by the Order included the 1911 Wall Street intervention into the Sun Yat Sen revolution. During WWII, the US covertly helped the communist Chinese into power. Order member Henry L. Stimson was Secretary of War during the 1911 revolution as well as during WWII, when General Marshall was ordered to stop the flow of ammunition to General Chiang Ki Shek, thus throwing the momentum of the conflict to Mao Tse Tung, who was simultaneously being armed by the US through the Soviet Union. Today, China has become a superpower whose political structure and science and technology expertise was engineered and provided by the world’s elite (bankers, bonesman, members of the Group, etc.). In the next chapter we see that the Bush family has been particularly active in the construction of as well as the profit from the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and Communist China.

Because the Order advances its agenda through controlled conflict, Order members are typically in positions of power in both the Democratic and Republican parties. So, for example, whereas Averill Harriman was a Democrat, his business partner and fellow-bonesman, Prescott S. Bush (as well as his progeny) was a Republican.

The Order understands what elements of society need to be changed and controlled in order to bring about a New World Order. These include: 1) education, which determining how the population of the future will behave. 2) money, which determines the means of holding wealth and exchanging goods. 3) law, or the authority to enforce the will of the state, (a world law and world court is needed for a world state), 4) politics, which determines the direction of the State, 5) economy, which determines the creation of wealth, 6) history, which determines what people believe happened in the past. 7) psychology, which determines the means of controlling how people think. 8) philanthropy, so that people will think well of the controllers, 9) medicine, which includes the power over health, life and death, 10) religion, people’s spiritual beliefs, which act as a spur to action for many, 11) the media, which determines what people know and learn about current events, and 12) continuity, or the power to appoint who follows in your footsteps.

Because these are considered the key fields for the control of society, the major occupations of Order members are in law, education, business, finance, and industry.
Of paramount importance is that the Order controls things through funding. In fact, funding controls everything.

Sutton finds that, much like the Group in London, the structure of the Order includes an inner core, an inner circle and an outer circle. In the outer circle are the Council on Foreign Relations (or CFR, founded 1922; with about 2500 members at any one time), the Bohemian Club, the Atlantic Council, the Pilgrim Society, the Trilateral Commission (founded by David Rockefeller in 1973, with 200 members worldwide, 77 of whom are from the US), and the Bilderbergers. The Order is always represented in these “rich men’s clubs” but does not always dominate.

Again, The Order, Nazism, Communism, Bohemian Grove, the CFR, etc., all share a commitment to statist Hegelian idealism, which is basically the opposite of our ideal of Constitutional liberty and individual rights. They believe the state is run for the benefit of the “masters” (Hegel’s term) and that we are “slaves” or peons who do their bidding. The real battle then is not and never has been a battle between right and left, but rather it is a battle between masters (them) and slaves (us). They believe “the masters’” (Bush/Cheney etc.) function is to rule, to steal, to grab, and enjoy the product, while ours (the slaves) is to go along and be obedient slaves. This is the purpose, then of the secret societies such Skull and Bones, Bohemian Grove, and a host of other secret societies; to maintain these class distinctions.

The inner circle, presumably, is comprised of those members of Skull and Bones who are most active and powerful.

Anthony Sutton concludes that Skull and Bones is merely part of a larger two pronged attack via 1) the royal families of Europe and their descendants, and 2) the secret societies. He also sees “bonesmen” themselves as “myopic juveniles”.

It is not true that S&B is essentially an America group- rather it is an agency for British Empire penetration and subversion of the American republic. Similarly, it is not the unique center of conspiratorial control over the US. There are congruent organizations at other Ivy League colleges, which also reflect the over-arching oligarchical power of several heavily intermarried financier families.

Other organizations within the Princeton has it’s “eating clubs” Ivy Club and Cottage Club, At Harvard there is the ultra-blue blooded Precelian Club, and Fly Club. And Yale has several less exclusive secret fraternaties, including Scroll and Key, and Wolf’s Head.

S & B alumni provide a direct link between secret societies and the state department/national security apparatus.

The Wall Street and CIA connections:

The racist nightmare: The American Eugenics Society was headquartered at Yale. And it as affiliated with the British Control League, which had long espoused the need for eugenical births.

Basically, Wall Street and London strategists delivered Eastern Europe and China to communist dictatorship.

9-11 victim family member Ellen Mariani has filed a RICO lawsuit against the Bush administration for complicity in the murder of her husband and about 3,000 others at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The lawsuit notes that in today’s world, big money is made in:

1) war preparations, the international trade in weapons, both legal and illegal, (about $1 trillion/year)
2) oil, gas, and related energy services (about $1 trillion/year)
3) narcotics trafficking (illegal is about $600 billion) ,
4) white collar crimes, e.g., securities fraud, insider trading, illegal manipulation of
markets, denuding funds from banks and pension plans, stealing money from
government-funded programs, etc.,
5) trafficking in humans, in part for forced labor but primarily abducting and sale of
women and children for sex, and
6) money laundering, to “cleanse” the largely illegal proceeds of the foregoing.

Divide and conquer
Control both sides of conflict, Hegelian dialectict
Protocals of Zion
Bush v. Kerry S and Bones

Today (2005), the neocons quote Trotsky: and call for a “permanent worldwide revolution” and an all out “war on tranny