Crypt Keepers

Logo of the S&B Society

Courtesy of Illuminati

Courtesy of Illuminati

Harmon Lanager, Staff Writer

Welcome back, frats and frets alike, to this week’s Conspiracy Corner. In terms of bona fide secrets to discuss, we are spoiled for choice. The Freemasons, Illuminati and New World Order have become well-known names. While each of those societies have their own intriguing stories, this article covers something a bit closer to our university home.

Although it can be difficult to imagine, educational networks are the foundation for great life changes. However, one society uses those networks to weave a web of lies, secrets and political intrigue that can influence the highest positions of power. This society is the infamous Skull and Bones.

Also known as the 322 Society, the Skull and Bones Society is a fraternity at Yale University. This fraternity began in 1832 under the leadership of Alphonso Taft and William Huntington Russell of the 1856 Russell Trust Association. The Russell Trust Association is an alumni organization for the society and the long arm of its economic activities by owning both headquarters at Yale and Deer Island.

The meaning behind the number 322 is a highly contested point. Some claim that it is a reference to the leader of ancient Athens who died in 322 BC after Athens’ defeat in the Lamian War, Demosthenes. While some others believe 322 to be tied to a logarithmic spiral meant to represent a never-ending geometric sequence and is commonly used as a symbol of eternity, “The Golden Spiral.”

With the name Skull and Bones, the society has a morbid aesthetic of death. In addition to their formal name, their nickname is The Brotherhood of Death and they meet at “The Tomb.” “The Tomb” was built to represent a mausoleum with two wings and gothic architecture. According to rumors, the society also has a history of graverobbing. Legends claim that members will dig up graves of notable individuals and collect skulls as keepsakes. The most prominent skulls in this supposed collection are that of Martin Van Buren, Pancho Villa, and Geronimo.

Although mysterious, this speculation lacks proof of an Illuminati-esque society ruling from the shadows. That is, however, until one reviews the names of those that were members of the Skull and Bones. A full personnel list has been put on Wikipedia and notable members include Percy Rockefeller, who founded the Owenoke Corporation with a net worth of 10.6 million dollars, adjusted for inflation, as well as Henry Luce, publisher of Times Magazine. Three US Presidents have also been connected to the club. Cofounder of the society, Alphonso Taft was the father of President William Howard Taft. Not to mention, George H.W. Bush and Prescott Bush have been members. Prescott Bush was not only a member, but a copartner to the Russell Trust Association. In addition, dozens of representatives, senators, judges, and a few

Is it possible that the Skull and Bones Society acts as a secret cabal by using their powerful connections to weave a clandestine web of political alliances? With rumors that the CIA will take orders from The Brotherhood of Death, we know that members of the society have held positions in nearly every major facet of government.

Those within the society appear to be very dedicated to maintaining secrecy. When questioned, politicians will often “shut down” and refuse to answer. At “The University of Florida Taser incident”, a student attempted to question notable member, John Kerry, on his involvement in the society. After Kerry refused to answer, the student became unruly and security intervened. Police were involved, arrests were made, and “Don’t tase me, bro” officially became a meme.

Regardless of the rumors being false or true, it seems the Skull and Bones Society won’t be giving up their secrets any time soon. In the end, it could be nothing or a simple fraternity game put on to keep themselves relevant. Then again, in a world as secretive as ours with a government ‘for the people, by the people’ that seemingly hides more and more from us every day, there are bound to be secrets. Who knows what skeletons they have hidden in their closets or squared away deep within “The Tomb?” Should those secrets ever come bubbling up to the surface or uncovered in some musky grave, it could be enough to chill you… to the skull and bone.