The Order of the Skull and Bones
at Yale University - Part II.

Written and researched by Margaret [nee Knight] Sypniewska, B.F.A.

Other Members of The Order of Skull and Bones Were:

  1. John Chafee

  2. Senator Robert Alphonso Taft (1889-1953)
    son of William Howard Taft (1857-1930)
    Robert Taft (1889-1953) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and graduated from Yale, in 1913.
    Ohio House of Representatives (1921-1926)
    Ohio Senate (1931-1932)
    known as "Mr. Republican."
    He was an arch critic of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), a Democrat. Roosevelt graduated from Harvard in 1904 and was known as the most important U.S. President in the 20th century. He was second only to Abraham Lincoln. Roosevelt's presidency coincided with the Adolf Hitler years. There was a marked contrast between these two leaders.
    had a Senate seat in 1938, 1944, and 1950.
    was Secretary of War. Pressured McKinley to declare war on Spain. McKinley was assassinated.
    made bad blood with President Harry S. Truman for blocking measures that were part of Truman's Fair Deal.

    was a posible presidential candidate in 1940, 1948, and 1952.
    lost to Dwight D. Eisenhower after a bitter struggle which almost split the Republican Party.

  3. William F. Buckley
    graduated from Yale in 1950.
    made wealthy in the oil business.
    was from a strong Roman Cathoic family
    his son, William F. Buckley, Jr. wrote a book called God and Man at Yale (1951). The book attacked Yale's liberal economic thinking and religious agnosticism.
    was anti-communist
    was a conservative
    founded National Review journal.

  4. James Buckley

  5. Archibald MacLeish - poet, intelligence

    graduate of Yale in 1915 and Harvard Law School in 1919.
    member of a mercantile family
    won three Pulitzer Prizes and a National Book Award for his poetry.
    Professor of rhetoric and oratory at Harvard from 1949-1962.
    Lectured at Ameherst College from 1964-1967.

  6. Henry R. Luce (1898-1967)
    was born in China to a Presbyterian missionary.
    was the publisher and editor of Time Magazine
    oversaw the creation of Fortune magazine.
    started Sports Illustrated in 1954.
    was appointed to an intelligence position by Wilmarth Sheldon Lewis, a member of Scroll and Key, the second oldest of the Yale Secret Societies.

  7. Senator John Murray Forbes (1813-1898)
    financed the career of author Ralph Waldo Emerson(1803-1882), a Harvard graduate in 1821.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson married John Murray Forbes' daughter.
    John's first son, William Hathaway Forbes, was the President of the Bell Telephone Company and he married Edith Emerson, a relative of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
    His daughter, Mary Hathaway Forbes married a Russell.
    His grandson, William Cameron Forbes, was appointed by Teddy Roosevelt as Governor General of the Phillipines, and President Harding also gave him an Asian post.

  8. McGeorge Bundy
    began the war in Vietnam
    was a national security advisor to Kennedy

  9. William Sloane Coffin - CIA and war protestor

  10. Russell Davenport
    founder of Fortune magazine.

  11. Henry Stimson (1867-1950).
    Secretary of State under Hoover, in 1929.
    Graduated from Yale in 1888, got his MA at Harvard.
    U.S. attorney from New York in 1906, as appointed by Theodore Roosevelt.
    Secretary of War under William Howard Taft
    Secretary of War under Franklin D. Roosevelt
  12. Gen. George Marshall
    famous for his Marshall Plan for European war aid.
    president of the Red Cross
    Advisor to Franklin D. Roosevelt
    won a Nobel Prize for his plan for European recovery.
    Secretary of State to Truman.

  13. Averil Harriman
    Ambassador-at-large for southeast Asia during the Vietnam war.

"Reputedly all members of The Order of Skull and Bones start with fifteen thousand dollars and countless valuable connections"(Sora, 292). M O N E Y was the prime motivator of this group it seems, no matter how or where it came from. The Russell Trust provided for the Skull and Bones.



In October 1873, there was an article in Volume 1, Number 1 of The Iconoclast about the "Skull and Bones." The Iconoclast was published in New Haven because the Yale college press would not feature any articles about the Skull and Bones. This article descibed its members (S&B) as arrogant and having an attitude of self-described superiority.

The Skull and Bones "Tomb" was built in 1856, so they would no longer have to meet in hired halls where others might watch their activities. Secret meetings have been their practice even since. The Skull and Bones met on Thursdays and Sunday, and many thought they performed occult-like ceremonies. Inititations for Skull and Bones took place on Deer Island in the St. Lawrence River. Deer Island was given to Skull and Bones by George Douglas Miller. Miller was a member of Skull and Bones in 1870.



Another group calling themselves "The Order of the File and Claw," decided to find out about the Skull and Bones. They broke into The Tomb on September 29, 1876. In "The Tomb" they reported they found lodge-room 324 with black velvet everywhere, even on the walls. In lodge-room 322 they found red velvet with a pentagram on the wall. They also reported pictures and photographs of their founders and members of the German society. In lodge-room 322, they also found an old engraving of an open burial vault with four skulls inside. On the wall above this engraving were the Roman letters: "We War Der Thor, Wer Weiser, Wer Bettler Oder, Kaiser." Below the engraving is written: "Ob arm, Ob Beich, im Todo gleich." This was the world's first glimpse of the possible meaning of Skull and Bones.



Modern day Bonesmen connected to the "Intelligence Community" are:

In Bill Minutaglio's book, First Son, tells us how George W. Bush joined The Order of Skull and Bones. First of all, George W. Bush was unsure if he wanted to join this Order. He didn't want to go to all the meetings, and he already had wealth and power, thanks to his father. George is quoted as saying he would rather join "Gin and Tonic."

His father was reported to have visited his son at 8 a.m. and told his son that it was time to do the right thing and to become a good man. After this pep talk, George agreed to become a member of The Order of Skull and Bones, or so says Minutaglio.

George w. Bush was to join the family tradition of membership in secret societies. His first such membership was in Kappa Omicron Alpha at Phillips Andover Academy.




Skull and Bones is only one "Secret Society" at Yale. Others were:

1. Scrolls and Keys - founded in 1842.
2. Wolf's Head was founded in 1883 by Edwin Albert Merritt of the Class of 1884. They were organized as a wave of protest against the things for which Skull and Bone and Scroll and Key stood for. They overtook the 1779 Yale Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa as Third Society. In 1825, there was a movement in place to remove secret societies in colleges all over the country. The removal of the Phi Beta Kappa secret character began and that aspect of their fraternity was dead by 1884. Of course, it still exists today without the secret aspect, for scholars.

Among the controversial Class of 1884 at Yale were the following Founders of Wolf's Head: (1)among the Head Class Day officers were Charles Walter, William Bristow, and Charles Phelps; (2) among the Promenade Committee of nine were William Holliday, Harry Worchester, Harry Wagner and James Dawson were of the Class Supper Committee of five. (3)While Edwin Merritt, Henry Cromwell, and Sidney Hopkins were of the Class Cup Committee of three.
3. He Boule - founded in 1875
4. Eta Phi - founded in 1879
5. Phi Beta Kappa from 1780-1825 was known as a secret fraternity [see above under Wolf's Head].
6. Chi Delta Theta - a secret fraternity. 7. Bones and Keys - founded in 1833.

Fraternities at Yale that emphasized "class spirit" were:

1. Delta Kappa Epsilon - was founded in 1844. (Dan Quayle was a member)
2. Psi Upsilon.
3. Alpha Delta Phi



The Eli Lilly Company of Indianapolis was the first to synthesize LSD for the C.I.A. Dan Quayle's family was a stockholder and George Bush, Sr. was on the Board of Directors. So much for his "war on Drugs," and don't forget the opium trade in China.

Frances Mullen, Jr., former head of the D.E.A. (Drug Enforcement Agency) called Bush, Sr's drug program "an intellectual fraud" (11). Soon after this statement made the press, Mullen "resigned" and his report was buried.


For more details on these subjects see:

Fleshing Out Skull and Bones - the book

This book is about The Order of the Skull and Bones, which includes George W. Bush, John Kerry, and their families and friends. One wonders on all the "dirty politics" in 2004. Seems that they had many things in common, especially in Kerry's mother's line. However, Kerry's father's line was not as powerful, since his father's roots came from Austria, not England (UK).


More on Skull and Bones (This link tells more about powerful families that were members of Skull and Bones).
America's Secret Societies (How the Order Controls Education)
An Bible Belivers.Org(a journalist explores the fact that Skull and Bones is not American in origin, but German)


Andrews, John William. The Foundation of Wolf's Head. The Phelps Association, 1934, 17-67.

Boyer, Paul S. The Oxford Companion to United States History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Doren (editor), Charles Van. Webster's American Biographies. Springfield, MA.: G & C Merriam Company, 1975.

Millegan (editor), Kris. Fleshing Out Skull & Bones. Walterville, OR.: Trine Day, 2003.

Sora, Steven. Secret Societies of America's Elite. Rochester, VT.: Destiny Books. 2003.

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