Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The secret membership of the 1872 Skull and Bones revealed!

Feb. 24, 2009
Posted by Noah

I love a good conspiracy theory as much, if not just a little more, than anybody. I don’t go to bed at night thinking about any of them, though, if you know what I mean. There plenty of other things to worry about these days, so I can’t really devote too much time to whether a secret shadow government is controlling the world from the earth’s core – or better yet, outer space – or whether Rock and/or Roll is really the root of all evil and a creation of the evil counterpart to our secret shadow government, . I’ll just let their endless struggle for the soul of the world, fought by giant lizard men well-equipped with blasters, play out in the secret cities beneath the earth’s crust and on Mars.

So… Conspiracies! Speaking of good ones, I always like a good Skull and Bones story, and a good one has fallen in my lap courtesy of Heritage Historical Manuscripts cataloger David Boozer. If you don’t know about Skull & Bones, it’s a secret society at Yale from which many prominent politicians, diplomats, judges and lawyers – all the people who control all the conspiracies – have emerged seemingly en masse. It just so happens that we have an 1872 Skull and Bones Gold Stick Pin and Album with 23 Cartes de Visite up for bid in the March 6 Manuscript Auction. It’s a very cool lot, and it's tied to the ultra-secretive society that allegedly houses many significant artifacts in its off-campus HQ, known as “The Tomb.”

The shady membership of the 1872 Skull & Bones has finally been revealed and society has been shaken to its core! Or not really.

“This lot is exciting because, finally, the 1872 members of the secretive and mysterious Skull & Bones are exposed for who they really were!” David wrote (the exclamation point it mine. – NF). “Teachers, lawyers, bankers, doctors, and several ministers. So they weren't the most exciting group – no U.S. senators, presidents, or Geronimo-bone thieves – but still, through these beautiful cartes de visite, we can see a bit into the world of secrecy and privilege in the late 19th century.”

He’s right. It’s one of those cool lots that are so in abundance here but for which there is usually little time to promote or give exposure to. This is my little addition, then, and a part of my job that I sincerely love and am glad to do.

The reference to Geronimo-bone thieves is a reference to a New York Times article last week about a lawsuit filed by Geronimo’s grandson alleging that The Skull & Bones is in possession of his grandfather’s skull and some other artifacts. The grandson wants them back, and if the society is in possession, then I don’t blame him. The story is pretty juicy, as it refers to a story that Prescott Bush – father of George H.W. and George W. – with friends, in 1917, broke into Geronimo’s tomb and stole the bones. There’s actually some evidence that the bones may well be in the society’s possession. The jury is out on Prescott’s involvement, but, you know… Boys will be boys, yes?