Skull and bones

Skull and bones DEFAULT





Skull and Bones, Yale University’s most famous and most secret society, has inspired sinister conspiracy theories since its founding in 1832. Some people believe Skull and Bones controls the CIA, while others think it’s a branch of the Illuminati, seeking a global totalitarian government. Still others blame it for the Kennedy assassinations.

Those theories got help from at least one of the society’s famous members James Jesus Angleton, who headed CIA counterintelligence for nearly two decades.


James Jesus Angleton

Skull and Bones also has a reputation as a club for future leaders. It so epitomized East Coast elitism in 1925 that F. Scott Fitzgerald had two of his main WASPy characters in The Great Gatsby belonging to it. Later, in the television series Batman, Bruce Wayne’s grandfather wears a Yale sweater in his portrait and was said to have founded Skull and Bones.

They meet in a crypt-like sandstone structure called the Tomb. Only Skull and Bones members may enter, and ghoulish objects like skeletons and the portraits of famous members decorate the walls.


The Tomb.

Here, then, are seven fast facts about Skull and Bones.

Skull and Bones

  1. The number ‘322’ appears on the society’s insignia, and is said to refer to 322 B.C., when Athens lost the Lamian War and had to dissolve its democracy. A new, plutocratic government allowed only wealthy Athenians to remain citizens.skull-and-bones-logo
  2. Skull and Bones owns Deer Island in the St. Lawrence River in Alexandria, N.Y. The society uses it for get-togethers, and every new member visits it. Though servants once served catered meals in elegant cottages on the island, little is left of the old buildings. The 40-acre retreat had dense undergrowth, stone ruins and a small lodge. One Bonesman described it as a beautiful dump.

    Deer Island

  3. Alphonso Taft, founder of the political dynasty and father of President William Taft, co-founded Skull and Bones in 1832 with William Huntington Russell. Russell in 1856 incorporated the Russell Trust as the business arm of the society.russell
  4. Both President George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush belonged to Bones. So did Secretary of State John Kerry, the younger Bush’s opponent in the 2004 presidential election. Bush wrote in his autobiography, “[In my] senior year I joined Skull and Bones, a secret society; so secret, I can’t say anything more.” A reporter once asked Kerry what it meant that two Bonesmen to run against each other for president. He replied, “Not much, because it’s a secret.”

    Skull Thieves

  5. Bonesmen have a reputation for stealing from other Yale societies. They’ve stolen the skulls of Martin Van Buren, Pancho Villa and Geronimo. In 2009, Geronimo’s descendants charged the society with the theft of his remains. Prescott Bush, George H.W. Bush’s father, supposedly broke into his grave during World War I and stole his skull and two bones. The court dismissed the case.
  6. Of Yale’s 41 secret societies, Bones is only the fifth richest, with $4,129,936 in assets in 2015, according to Business Insider.

    Buckley in 1952

  7. Bonesman William F. Buckley led a group that sued to block the admission of women to Skull and Bones in 1991. Though black men were admitted since 1965, the Russell Trust adamantly opposed. When the class of ’91 tapped seven women for the ’92 class, the Russell Trust changed the locks on the Tomb. Members voted by mail, 368-320 to allow women. But then Buckley and his group got a temporary restraining order against the move. The lawsuit eventually fizzled out and the first women joined in 1992.

This story was updated in 2021. 

Images: Deer Island By TravelJournalNetwork at English Wikipedia, CC BY 1.0, John Kerry By City of Boston Archives from West Roxbury, United States – Senate Candidate John Kerry, CC BY 2.0,

business, characters, cia, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, government, kennedy, Lawrence, mail, president, television, war, women, World War I, xzyz, Yale


Skull and Bones is 'too big to fail', despite eight years of tortured development

A multiplayer expansion to Assassin's Creed: Black Flag. An open-sea survival game. A session-based multiplayer deathmatch. Ubisoft Singapore's Skull and Bones has been many things over the past decade, with past and current developers describing the eight years of mismanagement stopping Skull and Bones from setting sail in a new report from Kotaku.

In the lengthy report, developers describe a game that never really worked out what it wanted to be. Once planned as a simple multiplayer mode for Black Flag, Skull and Bones was transformed into a standalone project—but what that project looked like changed frequently.

Every time Skull and Bones changed track, months of work on design, setting, and art would need to be remade from scratch. Fundamental questions like whether you play as an individual pirate or the boat itself kept coming back up, and excess time was spent on prototypes that never left the ground. The version of the game shown at E3 2018 and 2019, a competitive ship-battler with a Division-style exploration zone, was ultimately scrapped.

"Every time we got feedback from Paris they would just freak out and change everything, and then change the people working on it, and that happened multiple times," one former developer told Kotaku.

This all comes on top of recent reports decrying Ubisoft's abusive work culture, reports that saw Skull and Bones managing director Hugues Ricour ousted from the studio. Developers describe managers who would swoop into the project with a complete change in direction, surrounding themselves with "yes men" to avoid listening to feedback from the devs themselves before selling bosses in Paris on unreasonable expectations.

"The toxic culture permeating the Singapore studio is in no small part responsible for most of the production issues—reboots, rebrands and re-reboots—that have plagued Skull & Bones for a decade."

Despite these problems, Ubisoft is still determined to get Skull and Bones out of port. One current developer described the game as "too big to fail", likening it to U.S. banks during the 2008 crisis, with a former dev adding that if any other publisher were working on Skull and Bones, it "would have been killed 10 times already".

In a statement to Kotaku, Ubisoft explained that the current version of Skull and Bones has just passed alpha and is well underway, but also pinned the blame for any kind of poor studio morale on this kind of reporting. The publisher also reasserted that it had made changes to fix its toxic workplace culture—though, according to French outlet Le Télégramme, many developers feel nothing has meaningfully changed since last year.

"The Skull & Bones team are proud of the work they’ve accomplished on the project since their last update with production just passing Alpha, and are excited to share more details when the time is right. That being said, any unfounded speculation about the game or decisions being made only works to demoralize the team who are working very hard to develop an ambitious new franchise that lives up to the expectations of our players."

Over the past year, we’ve made significant changes to our policies and processes to create a safe and more inclusive workplace and empower our teams to create games that reflect the diversity of the world we live in."

A one-time dog sledder, pancake flipper, alien wrangler and indie darling, Nat now scours the internet looking for the hottest PC gaming news. Destined to become Scotland's first Battlemech pilot.

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Skull & Bones Has Reached Alpha, But It's Reportedly Been a Long, Hard Road

After a reported eight years in development, Ubisoft's Skull & Bones has reached Alpha (a term generally used to denote when the game is in a playable state, even if assets aren't complete). A new report seems to lay bare how many issues it's faced in getting to that point – from beginning life as an Assassin's Creed: Black Flag expansion, to only remaining in existence because of a deal with the government of Singapore.

In response to a lengthy report from Kotaku, an Ubisoft spokesperson told the publication that, "The Skull & Bones team are proud of the work they’ve accomplished on the project since their last update with production just passing Alpha, and are excited to share more details when the time is right."

That project appears to have been a deeply tumultuous one, however. Kotaku's anonymous developer sources say that the game began life as a planned multiplayer expansion to Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, before morphing into a mooted MMO spin-off called Black Flag Infinite. After that, the project was allegedly turned into a new IP, Skull & Bones – but even Skull & Bones itself appears to have taken multiple different forms since then.

Kotaku's sources say that it's been prototyped in multiple settings (the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, and a fantasy world called Hyperborea), and has seen multiple game structures, including the ship-based multiplayer shooter shown at E3 2017, the PvE experience shown at E3 2018, as well as been tested with more survival-like experiences, roguelike elements, and live service ideas. One idea apparently included a floating base described as a "cathedral on water", and the game has shifted between playing as a pirate and simply controlling a boat. A final shape of the game isn't yet clear, but moving into Alpha suggests it does now have a final expected form.

The multiple changes have reportedly seen hundreds of employees working to certain goals, and an estimated production cost exceeding $120 million. One Kotaku source explains that any other publisher would have cancelled the game multiple times by this point – but others claim that a deal between Ubisoft and the Singapore government has forced the project to stay alive, with lead studio Ubisoft Singapore required to launch original games in the coming years in return for subsidy payments.

The difficult development process has reportedly led to an "exodus" of staff, and an allegedly toxic working environment at Ubisoft Singapore. Kotaku's report is very much worth reading, and contains many more details about the situation.

The last we heard officially of Skull & Bones was that it had been delayed once again in June, after it had announced a "new vision" in 2020. Despite the protracted development, in 2019 Ubisoft announced that the game would get a TV show adaptation.

Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected].


Skull and Bones

This article is about the Secret Society at Yale. For the general fraternity that uses a skull in its symbolism, see Phi Kappa Sigma.

For other uses, see Skull and crossbones (disambiguation).

Secret society headquartered at Yale University

Skull and Bones, also known as The Order, Order 322 or The Brotherhood of Death is an undergraduate senior secret student society at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. The oldest senior class society at the university, Skull and Bones has become a cultural institution known for its powerful alumni and various conspiracy theories. It is one of the "Big Three" societies at Yale, the other two being Scroll and Key and Wolf's Head.[1]

The society's alumni organization, the Russell Trust Association, owns the organization's real estate and oversees the membership. The society is known informally as "Bones", and members are known as "Bonesmen", "Members of The Order" or "Initiated to The Order".[2]


Skull and Bones was founded in 1832 after a dispute among Yale debating societies Linonia, Brothers in Unity, and the Calliopean Society over that season's Phi Beta Kappa awards. William Huntington Russell and Alphonso Taft co-founded "the Order of the Skull and Bones".[3][4] The first senior members included Russell, Taft, and 12 other members.[5] Alternative names for Skull and Bones are The Order, Order 322 and The Brotherhood of Death.[6]

The society's assets are managed by its alumni organization, the Russell Trust Association, incorporated in 1856 and named after the Bones' co-founder.[3] The association was founded by Russell and Daniel Coit Gilman, a Skull and Bones member.

The first extended description of Skull and Bones, published in 1871 by Lyman Bagg in his book Four Years at Yale, noted that "the mystery now attending its existence forms the one great enigma which college gossip never tires of discussing".[7][8] Brooks Mather Kelley attributed the interest in Yale senior societies to the fact that underclassmen members of then freshman, sophomore, and junior class societies returned to campus the following years and could share information about society rituals, while graduating seniors were, with their knowledge of such, at least a step removed from campus life.[9]

Skull and Bones selects new members among students every spring as part of Yale University's "Tap Day", and has done so since 1879. Since the society's inclusion of women in the early 1990s, Skull and Bones selects fifteen men and women of the junior class to join the society. Skull and Bones "taps" those that it views as campus leaders and other notable figures for its membership.



The Skull and Bones Hall is otherwise known as the "Tomb".

The tomb before the addition of a second wing

The building was built in three phases: the first wing was built in 1856, the second wing in 1903, and Davis-designed Neo-Gothic towers were added to the rear garden in 1912. The front and side facades are of Portland brownstone in an Egypto-Doric style. The 1912 tower additions created a small enclosed courtyard in the rear of the building, designed by Evarts Tracy and Edgerton Swartwout of Tracy and Swartwout, New York.[10] Evarts Tracy was an 1890 Bonesman, and his paternal grandmother, Martha Sherman Evarts, and maternal grandmother, Mary Evarts, were the sisters of William Maxwell Evarts, an 1837 Bonesman.

A 2009 view of the tomb from across High Street

The architect was possibly Alexander Jackson Davis or Henry Austin. Architectural historian Patrick Pinnell includes an in-depth discussion of the dispute over the identity of the original architect in his 1999 Yale campus history. Pinnell speculates that the re-use of the Davis towers in 1911 suggests Davis's role in the original building and, conversely, Austin was responsible for the architecturally similar brownstoneEgyptian RevivalGrove Street Cemetery gates, built in 1845. Pinnell also discusses the Tomb's esthetic place in relation to its neighbors, including the Yale University Art Gallery.[10] In the late 1990s, New Hampshire landscape architects Saucier and Flynn designed the wrought iron fence that surrounds a portion of the complex.[11]

Deer Island[edit]

The society owns and manages Deer Island, an island retreat on the St. Lawrence River (44°21′33″N75°54′34″W / 44.359063°N 75.909345°W / 44.359063; -75.909345 (Location of New Skull & Bones Society Lodge on Deer Island)). Alexandra Robbins, author of a book on Yale secret societies, wrote:

The forty-acre retreat is intended to give Bonesmen an opportunity to "get together and rekindle old friendships." A century ago the island sported tennis courts and its softball fields were surrounded by rhubarb plants and gooseberry bushes. Catboats waited on the lake. Stewards catered elegant meals. But although each new Skull and Bones member still visits Deer Island, the place leaves something to be desired. "Now it is just a bunch of burned-out stone buildings," a patriarch sighs. "It's basically ruins." Another Bonesman says that to call the island "rustic" would be to glorify it. "It's a dump, but it's beautiful."

— "George W., Knight of Eulogia"


Main article: List of Skull and Bones members

Yearbook listing of Skull and Bones membership for 1920. The 1920 delegation included co-founders of Timemagazine, Briton Haddenand Henry Luce.

Skull and Bones's membership developed a reputation in association with the "power elite".[12] Regarding the qualifications for membership, Lanny Davis wrote in the 1968 Yale yearbook:

If the society had a good year, this is what the "ideal" group will consist of: a football captain; a Chairman of the Yale Daily News; a conspicuous radical; a Whiffenpoof; a swimming captain; a notorious drunk with a 94 average; a film-maker; a political columnist; a religious group leader; a Chairman of the Lit; a foreigner; a ladies' man with two motorcycles; an ex-service man; a negro, if there are enough to go around; a guy nobody else in the group had heard of, ever ...

— Lanny Davis, quoted by Alexandra Robbins, "George W., Knight of Eulogia"

Like other Yale senior societies, Skull and Bones membership was almost exclusively limited to white Protestant males for much of its history. While Yale itself had exclusionary policies directed at particular ethnic and religious groups, the senior societies were even more exclusionary.[13][14] While some Catholics were able to join such groups, Jews were more often not.[14] Some of these excluded groups eventually entered Skull and Bones by means of sports, through the society's practice of tapping standout athletes. Star football players tapped for Skull and Bones included the first Jewish player (Al Hessberg, class of 1938) and African-American player (Levi Jackson, class of 1950, who turned down the invitation for the Berzelius Society).[13]

Yale became coeducational in 1969, prompting some other secret societies such as St. Anthony Hall to transition to co-ed membership, yet Skull and Bones remained fully male until 1992. The Bones class of 1971's attempt to tap women for membership was opposed by Bones alumni, who dubbed them the "bad club" and quashed their attempt. "The issue", as it came to be called by Bonesmen, was debated for decades.[15] The class of 1991 tapped seven female members for membership in the next year's class, causing conflict with the alumni association.[16] The trust changed the locks on the Tomb and the Bonesmen instead met in the Manuscript Society building.[16] A mail-in vote by members decided 368–320 to permit women in the society, but a group of alumni led by William F. Buckley obtained a temporary restraining order to block the move, arguing that a formal change in bylaws was needed.[16][17] Other alumni, such as John Kerry and R. Inslee Clark, Jr., spoke out in favor of admitting women. The dispute was highlighted on an editorial page of The New York Times.[16][18] A second alumni vote, in October 1991, agreed to accept the Class of 1992, and the lawsuit was dropped.[16][19]

Judith Ann Schiff, Chief Research Archivist at the Yale University Library, has written: "The names of its members weren't kept secret‍—‌that was an innovation of the 1970s‍—‌but its meetings and practices were."[20] While resourceful researchers could assemble member data from these original sources, in 1985, an anonymous source leaked rosters to Antony C. Sutton. This membership information was kept privately for over 15 years, as Sutton feared that the photocopied pages could somehow identify the member who leaked it. He wrote a book on the group, America's Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull and Bones. The information was finally reformatted as an appendix in the book Fleshing out Skull and Bones, a compilation edited by Kris Millegan and published in 2003.

Among prominent alumni are former president and Chief Justice William Howard Taft (a founder's son); former presidents and father and son George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush; Chauncey Depew, president of the New York Central Railroad System, and a United States Senator from New York; Juan Terry Trippe, Founder & CEO, Pan American World Airways (Pan Am); Joseph Gibson Hoyt, the first chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis; Supreme Court Justices Morrison R. Waite and Potter Stewart;[21]James Jesus Angleton, "mother of the Central Intelligence Agency"; Henry Stimson, U.S. Secretary of War (1940–1945); Robert A. Lovett, U.S. Secretary of Defense (1951–1953); William B. Washburn, Governor of Massachusetts; and Henry Luce, founder and publisher of Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated magazines.[citation needed]

John Kerry, former U.S. Secretary of State and former U.S. Senator; Stephen A. Schwarzman, founder of Blackstone Group; Austan Goolsbee,[22] Chairman of Barack Obama's Council of Economic Advisers; Harold Stanley, co-founder of Morgan Stanley; and Frederick W. Smith, founder of FedEx, are all reported to be members.

In the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, both the Democratic and Republican nominees were alumni. George W. Bush wrote in his autobiography, "[In my] senior year I joined Skull and Bones, a secret society; so secret, I can't say anything more."[23] When asked what it meant that he and Bush were both Bonesmen, former presidential candidate John Kerry said, "Not much, because it's a secret."[24][25]


The number "322" appears in Skull and Bones' insignia and is widely reported to be significant as the year of Greek orator Demosthenes' death.[19][26][5] A letter between early society members in Yale's archives[27] suggests that 322 is a reference to the year 322 BCE and that members measure dates from this year instead of from the common era. In 322 BC, the Lamian War ended with the death of Demosthenes and Athenians were made to dissolve their government and establish a plutocratic system in its stead, whereby only those possessing 2,000 drachmas or more could remain citizens. Documents in the Tomb have purportedly been found dated to "Anno-Demostheni".[28] Members measure time of day according to a clock 5 minutes out of sync with normal time, the latter is called "barbarian time".

One legend is that the numbers in the society's emblem ("322") represent "founded in '32, 2nd corps", referring to a first Corps in an unknown German university.[29][30]

Members are assigned nicknames (e.g., "Long Devil", the tallest member, and "Boaz", a varsity football captain, or "Sherrife" prince of future). Many of the chosen names are drawn from literature (e.g., "Hamlet", "Uncle Remus") religion, and myth. The banker Lewis Lapham passed on his nickname, "Sancho Panza", to the political adviser Tex McCrary. Averell Harriman was "Thor", Henry Luce was "Baal", McGeorge Bundy was "Odin", and George H. W. Bush was "Magog".[26]


See also: Geronimo § Alleged theft of Geronimo's skull

Skull and Bones has a reputation for stealing keepsakes from other Yale societies or from campus buildings; society members reportedly call the practice "crooking" and strive to outdo each other's "crooks".[31]

The society has been accused of possessing the stolen skulls of Martin Van Buren, Geronimo, and Pancho Villa.[32][33]

Rumors about the club[edit]

The group Skull and Bones is featured in books and movies which claim that the society plays a role in a global conspiracy for world control.[34] There have been rumors that Skull and Bones is a branch of the Illuminati, having been founded by German university alumni following the order's suppression in their native land by Karl Theodor, Elector of Bavaria with the support of Frederick the Great of Prussia,[29][dubious – discuss] or that Skull and Bones itself controls the Central Intelligence Agency.[35]

References in fiction[edit]

  • Skull and Bones has been satirized from time to time in the Doonesbury comic strips by Garry Trudeau, Yale graduate and Scroll and Key member. There are overt references, especially in 1980 and December 1988, with reference to George H. W. Bush, and again when the society first admitted women.[36]
  • The Skulls (2000) and The Skulls II (2002) films are based on the conspiracy theories surrounding Skull and Bones.[37] A third film, The Skulls III (2004), is based on the first woman to be "tapped" to join the society.
  • In Baz Luhrmann's film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway calls Tom Buchanan Boaz. Tom in turn calls Nick Shakespeare. Nick has said earlier that he met Tom at Yale. It is thereby implied that they were in Skull and Bones together. In the novel, Yale is not explicitly mentioned (rather, they were in New Haven together) and it is only stated that they were in the same senior society.[38]
  • In The Good Shepherd (2006) the protagonist becomes a member of Skull and Bones while studying at Yale.
  • In The Simpsonsseason 28 episode "The Caper Chase", Mr. Burns visits the Skull and Bones society to meet with Bourbon Verlander about for-profit universities. In the episode “The Canine Mutiny” (season 8) after doing a secret handshake with a dog, Mr. Burns says: “I believe this dog was in Skull & Bones”.
  • In Family Guy episode, "No Chris Left Behind", when Chris Griffin is being bullied by the richer students at Morningwood Academy, Lois Griffin asks her father, Carter Pewterschmidt to help Chris, so Carter invites Chris to join the Skull and Bones with the other students, who begin to accept him. As part of his initiation, Carter and Chris adopt an orphan and lock him out of the car, which is filled with toys and a puppy, and then drive away when he's unable to get in. Chris though finds out how hard his family is working to pay for his school. At his initiation ceremony, Carter tells Chris that he must spend "Seven minutes in heaven" with their most senior member, Herbert. Chris though feels uncomfortable about joining and convinces Carter to help him get back into his old school.
  • In American Dad! episode, "Bush Comes to Dinner," when President George W. Bush goes out drinking with Hayley, a drunken Bush dances and sings, "Let's all do the Skull and Bones!"
  • In Season 1, Episode 33 of the 1966 Batman TV series, "Fine Finny Fiends" there is a gathering at Wayne Manor during which one guest points out a portrait of Bruce Wayne’s great-grandfather wearing a Yale sweater. He asks if it is true that Bruce’s ancestor was tapped for Skull and Bones, to which Aunt Harriet replies that he was not tapped for it, but “he FOUNDED Skull and Bones!”[39]
  • In Leigh Bardugo's 2019 novel Ninth House, Skull and Bones plays a significant role in the plot surrounding main protagonist Alex Stern, a member of the fictional Lethe House (the ninth ancient secret society at Yale). In the novel, Bonesmen divine the future by reading the entrails of live humans in mystical rituals, one of which sets off a chain of events involving ghosts and demons on Yale's campus.
  • Several characters are associated with Skulls and Bones in the book The Rozabal Line, by Indian author Ashwin Sanghi. The characters try to find the truth about Jesus' marriage and bloodline.
  • In Veep episode "Groundbreaking" a character invokes the name of Skull and Bones while Selina Meyer and her staff are visiting the Yale campus. This prompts Richard Splett to immediately leave the area implying that he is a member of the society.
  • The skull and bones society is mentioned in the "Gilmore Girls" series various times with Rory's boyfriend Logan being a member of a secret society (The Life and Death Brigade) that is based on Skull and Bones.
  • Riverdale's "Quill and skull" society is just another edition of Yale's skull and bones society.

Unanswered media questions[edit]

Austan Goolsbee refused to answer questions when asked about his initiation into the order and the organization of a meeting of initiates to the order in 1991 inside the White House.[40][41]

In the 2004 presidential campaign, Tim Russert on Meet The Press asked both President Bush and John Kerry about their memberships in Skull and Bones to which the president replied, "It's so secret we can't talk about it" and Kerry replied "You trying to get rid of me here?".[42][43]

See also[edit]


  1. ^Peter Jacobs (October 8, 2015). "Yale is revamping its secret society system so students don't feel left out". Business Insider. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  2. ^Stevens, Albert C. (1907). Cyclopedia of Fraternities: A Compilation of Existing Authentic Information and the Results of Original Investigation as to the Origin, Derivation, Founders, Development, Aims, Emblems, Character, and Personnel of More Than Six Hundred Secret Societies in the United States. E. B. Treat and Company. p. 338. ISBN . OCLC 2570157.
  3. ^ ab"Change In Skull And Bones; Famous Yale Society Doubles Size of Its House – Addition a Duplicate of Old Building"(PDF). The New York Times. September 13, 1903. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  4. ^Niarchos, Nicolas; Zapana, Victor (December 5, 2008). "Yale's secret social fabric". Yale Daily News. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  5. ^ abRichards, David (May 2015). "The Origins of the Tomb". Yale Alumni Magazine. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  6. ^Blakely, Rhys (March 2, 2013). "John Kerry and the 'Brotherhood of Death' Yale secret society". The Times. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  7. ^Schiff, Judith Ann. "How the Secret Societies Got That Way". Yale Alumni Magazine (September/October 2004). Archived from the original on April 4, 2005. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  8. ^Bagg, Lyman Hotchkiss (1871). Four Years at Yale. New Haven, C.C. Chatfield & Co. ISBN . OCLC 2007757.
  9. ^Yale: A History, Brooks Mather Kelley, (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, Ltd.), 1974.
  10. ^ abYale University 1999 Princeton Architectural Press, ISBN 1-56898-167-8Google Books
  11. ^"Scull and Bones". Archived from the original on September 18, 2007.
  12. ^Leung, Rebecca (June 13, 2004). "Skull And Bones: Secret Yale Society Includes America's Power Elite". CBS News. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  13. ^ abOren, Dan A. (1985). Joining the Club: A History of Jews and Yale. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp. 87–88. ISBN .
  14. ^ abKarabel, Jerome (2005). The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. pp. 53–36.
  15. ^Robbins, pp. 152–159
  16. ^ abcdeAndrew Cedotal, Rattling those dry bones, Yale Daily News, April 18, 2006.
  17. ^"Yale Alumni Block Women in Secret Club". New York Times. September 6, 1991. Retrieved February 28, 2009.
  18. ^Semple, Robert B., Jr. (April 18, 1991). "High Noon on High Street". New York Times. Retrieved February 28, 2009.
  19. ^ abHevesi, Dennis (October 26, 1991). "Shh! Yale's Skull and Bones Admits Women". New York Times. Retrieved February 28, 2009.
  20. ^Yalealumnimagazine.comArchived April 4, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^Barron, James (July 25, 1991). "Male Fortress Falls at Yale: Bonesmen to Admit Women". New York Times. Retrieved February 28, 2009.
  22. ^Aaron Bray (October 12, 2007). "Goolsbee '91 puts economics degree to use for Obama". Yale Daily News. Archived from the original on October 3, 2012.
  23. ^Bush, George W. (1999). A Charge to Keep. William Morrow and Co. ISBN .
  24. ^Oldenburg, Don (April 4, 2004). "Bush, Kerry Share Tippy-Top Secret". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on August 12, 2018. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  25. ^Meet the PressGoogle Video
  26. ^ abRobbins, Alexandra (May 2000). "George W., Knight of Eulogia". The Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  27. ^"Letter from a member of Skull and Bones Society to another member". Yale Manuscripts & Archives Digital Images Database. Yale University Library. March 23, 1860. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  28. ^Stevens, Albert C. (1907). Cyclopedia of Fraternities: A Compilation of Existing Authentic Information and the Results of Original Investigation as to the Origin, Derivation, Founders, Development, Aims, Emblems, Character, and Personnel of More Than Six Hundred Secret Societies in the United States. E. B. Treat and Company. p. 340. ISBN . OCLC 2570157.
  29. ^ abRobbins, Alexandra. Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power. Back Bay Books, 2003.
  30. ^"German postcard included in a Skull and Bones photograph album originally owned by Chester Wolcott Lyman, BA 1882" [Photograph albums of the Skull and Bones Society]. Yale University Library Manuscripts and Archives. 1882.
  31. ^Lassila;Branch (2006). "Whose skull and bones?"(PDF). Yale Alumni Magazine: 20–22.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  32. ^Greenburg, Zach O. (January 23, 2004). "Bones may have Pancho Villa skull". The Yale Herald. Archived from the original on December 20, 2008. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  33. ^Citro, Joseph A. (2005). Weird New England (illustrated ed.). Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. pp. 270–71. ISBN .
  34. ^Stephey, MJ (February 23, 2009). "A Brief History of the Skull & Bones Society". Time. Archived from the original on February 26, 2009.
  35. ^Dempsey, Rachel (January 18, 2007). "Real Elis inspired fictional 'shepherd'". Yale Daily News. Archived from the original on October 22, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
  36. ^Soper, Kerry (2008). Garry Trudeau: Doonesbury and the Aesthetics of Satire. University Press of Mississippi. pp. 25, 42. ISBN .
  37. ^Ebert, Roger. (July 10, 2013) The Skulls Movie Review & Film Summary (2000) | Roger Ebert. Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  38. ^"The Great Gatsby". Archived from the original on April 7, 2014.
  39. ^Holy Eli, Batman!
  40. ^Coppins, McKay. "Obama Advisor Brought Secret Society To White House". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  41. ^Tau, Byron. "Secret society visited the White House". Politico. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  42. ^NBC News (February 13, 2004). "Transcript for Feb. 8th". Retrieved January 21, 2020.
  43. ^NBC News (April 18, 2004). "Transcript for April 18". Retrieved January 21, 2020.

Further reading[edit]

  • Hodapp, Christopher; Alice Von Kannon (2008). Conspiracy Theories & Secret Societies For Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. ISBN .
  • Klimczuk, Stephen & Warner, Gerald. Secret Places, Hidden Sanctuaries: Uncovering Mysterious Sites, Symbols, and Societies. Sterling Publishing, 2009, New York and London. ISBN 978-1402762079. pp. 212–232 ("University Secret Societies and Dueling Corps").
  • Robbins, Alexandra. Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power. Back Bay Books, 2003. ISBN 0316735612.
  • Sutton, Antony C.America's Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull & Bones. Walterville, OR: Trine Day, 2003. ISBN 0-9720207-0-5.
  • Sutton, Antony C., et al. Fleshing Out Skull & Bones Investigations Into America's Most Powerful Secret Society. Trine Day, 2003. ISBN 0972020721 (hardcover). ISBN 0975290606 (softcover).

External links[edit]


Bones skull and


There is only one movable joint in the skull. That is the joint connecting the lower jaw, or mandible, to the rest of the skull. All the other bones in the skull are firmly attached to one another by sutures. Sutures are rigid immovable connections holding bones tightly to one another. Some of the sutures in the skull take a few months-to-years after birth to completely form.

The brain is encased in the cranium of the skull. The bones that make up the cranium are called the cranial bones. The remainder of the bones in the skull are the facial bones.

Figure 6.7 and Figure 6.8 show all the bones of the skull, as they appear from the outside. In Figure 6.9, some of the bones of the hard palate forming the roof of the mouth are visible because the mandible is not present. Figure 6.9 also shows the foramen magnum, the large hole at the base of the skull that allows the spinal cord to attach to the brain

Side skull bones & processes

Figure 6-7 The bones of the skull, left lateral view.

Figure 6.8. The bones of the skull, anterior view.

Figure 6.9 The bones of the skull, inferior view, looking up. Mandible removed.


Figure 6.10 The interior of the cranial cavity, viewed from above and behind, with the parietal bones removed.


The sphenoid bone, from the outside, appears to contribute to only a small portion of the cranium, but when the parietal bones are removed and the interior of the cranial cavity (where the brain would be housed) is viewed, you can see the butterfly-like shape of the sphenoid bone makes a large contribution to the floor of the cranial cavity. The ethmoid bone, which from the outside is only visible in the eye sockets and as the upper conchae (internal bumps) of the nasal cavity, also contributes to the floor of the cranial cavity.  The contributions of these two bones to the floor of the cranial cavity are shown in Figure 6.10.

What is commonly referred to as the “cheekbone” is really a the processes of two bones connected together: the zygomatic process of the temporal bone is sutured to the temporal process of the zygomatic bone to produce the zygomatic arch.

There are three prominent bone markings on the temporal bones. The external acoustic meatus is the opening that leads to the organs of the inner ear. The styloid process is a thin, pen-like projection where muscles and ligaments of the neck are attached. The mastoid process is a wide and rough projection that serves as another attachment point for neck muscles.


While all the bones of the skull, other than the mandible, are sutured to one another, the flat bones of the cranium are visibly sutured where they articulate to another. There are four different cranial sutures.

The coronal suture is the articulation point of the frontal bone with the two parietal bones.

The sagittal suture is the articulation point between the two parietal bones.

The squamous sutures are the articulation points between the each temporal bone and the parietal bone superior to it.

The lambdoid suture is the articulation point between the occipital bone and the two parietal bones.

Figure 6.11 The cranial sutures.


Lab 6 Exercises 6.4

  1. The instructor will provide you with a model of the human skull. One the model and on the diagrams below, be able to label all the following bones, processes, and foramina:
B1 – frontalS1 – coronalF1 – suprorbitalP1 – mastoid
B2 – parietalS2 – squamousF2 – infraorbitalP2 – styloid
B3 – occipitalS3 – lambdoidF3 – mentalP3 – zygomatic
B4 – temporalP4  temporal
B5 – sphenoid
B6 – ethmoid
B7 – lacrimal
B8 – nasal
B9 – maxilla
B10 – zygomatic
B11 – mandible
B12 – vomer


The Secrets Of Skull And Bones Secret Society

The 13 most powerful members of 'Skull and Bones'

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George Bush
Photo by Susan Watts-Pool/Getty Images
In 1832, Yale students — including future President William Howard Taft's father— founded one of America's most famous secret societies: Skull and Bones.

Each year, only 15 juniors are "tapped," or chosen, for lifetime membership in the club. 

A windowless building on 64 High St., the "Tomb," serves as the club's headquarters. The roof is a landing pad for a private helicopter, according to Alexandra Robbins' book, "Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power." For that perk and others, Bonesmen must swear total allegiance to the club.

New members reportedly divulge intimate personal details, including their full sexual histories, before they're inducted. They also agree to give part of their estates to the club. But, in return, they receive the promise of lifelong financial stability — so they won't feel tempted to sell the club's secrets, Robbins writes.

From among those business titans, politicians, and three US presidents, we picked the honor roll.

William Howard Taft — Class of 1878

President Taft Yale yearbook photo
Yale University Archives

As the only person to serve as both president and Supreme Court chief justice, Taft earned his spot on our list. The 27th president went by "Old Bill" during his Yale days but later earned the nickname "Big Lub."

Taft also received the honorary title of "magog," meaning he had the most sexual experience while in the secret club, according to Alexandra Robbins. 

Young Taft probably found entrance into the club rather easily. His father, former Attorney General Alphonso Taft, cofounded Skull and Bones as a Yale student in 1832.


Walter Camp — Class of 1880

Walter Camp
Wikimedia Commons

Known as the "father of American football," Camp, with other classmates, developed the game from the Brits' version of rugby. He played in the first rugby game at Yale against Harvard in 1876.

Camp created many of modern football's rules, such as assessment of points and limiting the field-team to 11 men per side. But most importantly, he brought organization and esteem to the game, serving on the rules committee until his death. 

Camp also established the National College Athletic Association, still operating today. During World War I, most of the armed forces conditioned using his tactics. 

Lyman Spitzer — Class of 1935

Lyman Spitzer

A noted astrophysicist, Spitzer dreamed up the idea behind the Hubble Space Telescope — the first method to observe space uninhibited by the Earth's atmosphere. He also lobbied NASA and Congress for the funds and oversaw production of the actual machine. 

After 44 years, NASA launched the Hubble into space. The Hubble remains there today, providing stunning images of the universe and making new discoveries.

NASA named the Spitzer Space Telescope in his honor.

Potter Stewart — Class of 1937

Potter Stewart Yale class photo
Yale University Archives

The son of a Midwestern congressman, Stewart became the editor of The Yale Law Review during his time at Yale.

As a Supreme Court justice, Potter sat firmly in the middle of an ideological war on the bench.

Notably, he wrote a dissent in Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965, invalidating a state law that banned contraceptives. The opinion found that law was a violation of the right to marital privacy. His opinions in various cases also helped solidify Fourth Amendment protections.

Stewart also became famous for this quote about hardcore pornography: "I know it when I see it."

McGeorge Bundy — Class of 1940

McGeorge Bundy Yale class photo
Yale University Archives

Before becoming one of JFK's "Wise Men," Bundy may have relied on his big brother to help him get into Skull and Bones. William Bundy, who graduated a class earlier, went on to serve as State Department liaison official, notably during the Bay of Pigs invasion.

"Odin," as fellow Bonesmen called him, however, left his own mark on the world, though potentially not all positive.

One of Kennedy's advisers, Bundy heavily impacted the evolution of the Vietnam War. After his death, fellow officials used his notes to express regret about many policies enacted during the era. 

George Herbert Walker Bush — Class of 1948

George HW Bush Yale class photo
Skull and Bones Yearbook, 1948

Before Bush became the second Bonesman to occupy the Oval Office, he was also a pilot in WWII and served as ambassador to Communist China, director of the CIA, and of course, vice president to Ronald Reagan.

As president during the end of the Cold War, Bush supported space exploration. The American people have also criticized and exalted his involvement in the Gulf War, notably Operation Desert Storm.


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