Related Videos

Top 5 Skull and Bones Facts

VO: Chris Masson
Written by George Pacheco Take cover, keep hidden and get ready to infiltrate a super secret organization. Welcome to WatchMojo's Top 5 Facts, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 5 Facts about the Yale University secret society known as the Skull and Bones. It's an organization with a history spanning over a hundred and fifty years, shrouded in mystery and retaining some pretty unique and fascinating secrets. So let's dive in and see what kind skeletons we can find in the closet, eh? Special thanks to our users Christo or submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
Share
WatchMojo

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Transcript
Written by George Pacheco


Top 5 Skull and Bones Facts


Take cover, keep hidden and get ready to infiltrate a super secret organization. Welcome to WatchMojo's Top 5 Facts, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 5 Facts about the Yale University secret society known as the Skull and Bones. It's an organization with a history spanning over a hundred and fifty years, shrouded in mystery and retaining some pretty unique and fascinating secrets. So let's dive in and see what kind skeletons we can find in the closet, eh?

#5: Lots of Powerful Elite Were Bonesmen


Conspiracy theorists love discussing the Skull and Bones, especially how many important, influential and powerful members have passed through its doors. Members of this super secret organization are known as "Bonesmen," and have included Senator John Kerry, former president William Howard Taft and three generations of the Bush Family, including George W. Bush, George Bush, Sr. and Prescott Bush....but more on him later. Other Bonesmen have gone on to head multi-million dollar corporations or otherwise become power players on the world stage, leading to much speculation that the society is meant to breed future world leaders and other men of influence. And we say men of influence because the Skull and Bones actually didn't accept female membership until the 1990s, long after Yale University itself went co-ed in 1969. This desire to keep the society small, intimate and male-dominated only adds to its legacy of mystery and secrecy… Or maybe it just makes them look like jerks, jury’s out on that one.

#4: They Allegedly Stole the Skulls of Historical Figures


Ok, remember how we mentioned George W. Bush's grandfather Prescott was a Bonesmen? Well in 1918 the patriarch was among six other Bonesmen during World War I who served as guards in Fort Sill, where famed Apache leader Geronimo died and was buried. The legend is that Prescott and co stole Geronimo's skull from the site, and brought it back to the Skull and Bones headquarters known as The Tomb, where it's said to reside to this day. So enduring is this tale that in 2009 Geronimo's descendants sued the Skull and Bones in 2009 for the return of his remains. The case was dismissed in 2010, but not because the bones aren’t there necessarily, but because the judge decided the law they cited applied only to grave robberies that occurred after the law was passed in 1990. The Apache warrior’s skull isn't the only macabre object reportedly housed within The Tomb, either, as author Alexandra Robbins  claims that there were also skulls belonging to Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa and former president Martin Van Buren within The Tomb, as well as coffins, gravestones and even a set of silverware which reportedly belonged to Adolf Hitler.

#3: Initiation Involves Some Bizarre Rituals


We've already mentioned that the Skull and Bones headquarters is known as The Tomb, but is what actually goes on down there in depths all that dark and mysterious? Well… yeah, apparently, as it's been said that the initiation rituals for potential Bonesmen can include some very bizarre, occult-inspired trappings. One former Yale student turned journalist for the New York Observer even managed to capture on video tape one of the Skull and Bones rituals for neophyte pledges to the society. These rituals include a mock human sacrifice, the kissing of a skull and various, embarrassingly juvenile taunts from elder Bonesmen to these neophytes. According to Alexandra Robbins, another infamous hazing ritual involves having a neophyte lie naked in a coffin, masturbate, and reveal their most secretive sexual experiences and fantasies. Are we having fun yet?

#2: They Have Their Very Own Island


Once a Bonesmen, always a Bonesmen. This is idea behind the Skull and Bones membership, as the society's alumni retain oversight of its activities, while also owning its real estate under a business known as the Russell Trust Association. One piece of this real estate is a private island belonging to the Skull and Bones known as Deer Island, located along the St. Lawrence River. The original purpose of Deer Island was as a retreat destination for Bonesmen, where members would enjoy fine dining, play tennis and otherwise catch up with Bonesmen alumni who have lost touch over the years. The idea of vacationing on Deer Island is one which has somewhat lost its luster for younger Bonesmen, however, with many new students claiming that the island has largely fallen into disrepair. In 2009 Gawker posted photos from an alleged Bonesman’s Facebook page depicting what they say is a weekend at Deer Island. It really just looks like a diverse group of friends having a drunken good time. Somewhat disappointing.

#1: The Skull and Bones Isn't the Only Secret Society at Yale


Yup, just imagine: not one, but several freaky clubs, some even richer than Skull and Bones, all perpetuating dangerous and bizarre hazing rituals, and all going on to secretly run the world… or something. They go by such similarly cryptic names as Scroll and Key, Book and Snake and Wolf's Head. According to Robbins they all keep a checks and balances approach to how they recruit reliable new members, protect their own unique hazing traditions, and, of course, keep abreast about what every other secret society is up to, as well. Others claim that the point of all these secret societies, including Skull and Bones, is a much more benign one; they are merely an opportunity for students to create relationships with a diverse set of new people, and hopefully gain some lifelong friends… Or at least a few college drinking buddies.

So, are you ready to pledge allegiance to the Skull and Bones? And would you go through degrading hazing rituals to gain some powerful friends? For more accomplished bonesman top tens and skull kissing top fives, please subscribe to WatchMojo.com!
Comments

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs