Secret Societies

Skull & Bones

George Bush, Skull & Bones and the NWO - part 2 of 4


These rites of passage into the upper ranks of the WASP Establishment are capped by the expeirence the Bonesmen go through in their final year at Yale-the year in which they actively participate in the Order. For the vast majority of the initiates, the process of inculcation with the ideas of WASP supremacy, an American Calvinist version of what British imperialist writer Rudyard Kipling called the "White Man's Burden," began at prep school.

According to the biographical accounts of a number of the leading Bonesmen, the prep school experience is paramount. At prep school, intellectual pursuits are encouraged, but special emphasis is also placed on athletic performance. Future Yale Bonesmen are expected to excel in some team sport, such as baseball and football, both American inventions. (Members of Skull & Bones were involved in the development of both games.) Team sports supposedly prepare the future Bonesman to accept leadership responsibility, and more importantly, teach him to "respect the rules of the game."

According to one biographer, when George Bush was a Yale undergraduate he was a member of the university baseball team. Although he was apparently not a very good baseball player, he eventually became captain of the Yale team. One day during the Yale baseball season, he excitedly visited his mother to proudly proclaim that he had hit his first home run. She reportedly looked back at him with patrician coolness, and asked, "Yes, George, but did your team win the game?"

The particular emphasis on team sports during the prep school and Yale years is, according to several historians, part of the Spartan training that is so essential to the Skull & Bones philosophy. In the world of Skull & Bones, one of the greatest virtues is the ability to steer the nation into war and to successfully prosecute the war.

To the Bonesmen, the use of military power is a natural and essential corollary to political power. The Bonesmen are taught that, although ideas have their place, to truly transform history, military force is almost always required. Critics of the Order have pointed out that this philosophy of power and the imperial use of military force comes straight from the chronicles of the Roman Empire-especially the Roman Empire during its phase of decline and collapse.

The criticism may prove to be most prophetically true of the current generation of Bonesmen who are leading the United States under the presidency of George Bush. During the final phase of the Roman Empire, legions were deployed out around the world to conquer and subjugate vast territories, while back in Rome, there was a breakdown, a crisis in which the entire social and cultural fabric of the early Roman republic was eroding and giving way to something akin to the drug, rock-sex counterculture of today. The Roman imperial policy of attempting to gloss over the decadence at home-by engaging in constant wars of expansion led ultimately to the total collapse of Rome.

In this regard, the Spartan-Roman imperial outlook of the American WASP warrior caste, exemplified by Skull & Bones, cannot be precisely compared to the Japanese samurai code of Bushido. The Japanese Bushido code emphasized honor among the warriors and presumed a fundamentally moral or ethical vision of the world.

No such emphasis on morality and honor exists in the code of Skull & Bones. On the contrary, the Skull & Bones philosophy, according to several of its most astute critics and historians, emphasises the "double-cross system." The "double-cross" is symbolically represented by the crossbones on the emblem of the Order. According to this philosophy, anyone who is not an initiate is inferior, and can be lied to and manipulated to further the power of the WASP Establishment. To the extent that Japanese leaders view their American WASP counterparts as men of honor whose word is sacred and whose intentions are presumed to be virtuous, they will miss the fundamental character of the American imperium. This is of special importance today, with a leading member of the Skull & Bones system occupying the White House.

Skull & Bones philosophy first manifested itself at the American national political level in the late l9th century. At that time, the men of the Order adopted all the critical features of the British imperial system, especially the belief in the Anglo Saxon God-given right to rule over all the other races. Even countries like Japan, which were never colonial possessions of the Anglo-American combination, were viewed as inferior nations to be treated no differently from the colonies in Africa. India or Latin America.

In 1898, President William McKinley, one of the last of the American presidents to manifest any of the early republican (anti-British imperialism) traditions of the Founding Fathers, was under enormous pressure from the Skull & Bones-led American imperialists Eventually, he went to war against Spain to "free" Cuba and seize the Philippines This was the first time that the United States entered a war through devious manipulation and purely in order to expand its territories It marked the beginning of a new epoch in American history which would forever alter the vision of the United States. It was the first evidence that the men of the Order were at the helm of the ship of state

President McKinley's capitulation to the WASP warriors would prove to be fatal to himself and, some would say, for his country, too. The Spanish-American War of 1898 catapulted the Skull & Bones crowd into a position of dominance within the Republican Party. At the 1900 party presidential nominating convention, McKinley was forced to accept Teddy Roosevelt as his vice presidential running mate. The McKinley-Roosevelt slate was swept into office, in part as the result of the jingoist climate built up by the just-concluded Spanish-American War Those circumstances were not all that different from the mood that prevails in America in the aftermath of the Gulf War of 1991

Within months of his inauguration of 1901, President McKinley was assassinated by an anarchist while traveling through Buffalo, New York. Thus, Teddy Roosevelt became president, and the Order of Skull & Bones for the first time moved into the White House. Roosevelt surrounded himself with Bonesmen. His successor in 1908, William Howard Taft, was himself a second generation member of Skull & Bones.


According to a January 1991 article by the Washington syndicated columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, when President George Bush was making his final decision to use military force to crush Saddam Hussein and decimate Iraq, he spent most of the Christmas holidays closeted at Camp David reading a newly published biography of one of his true heroes, fellow Skull & Bones initiate Henry Stimson. While most White House advisers thought that the gulf crisis would be ultimately resolved through diplomacy, unbeknownst to them, President Bush had already decided on the use of devastating military force regardless of what measures the world community or the Iraqi leaders took to avert war. Intimate Bush advisers described the president as being in a "mesmerized" state of mind as he walked around the presidential retreat in the Maryland mountains with his Stimson biography, The Colonel: The Life and Wars of Henry Stimson, under his arm at all times.

Indeed, for most contemporary Bonesmen, Henry Lewis Stimson, the quintessential WASP warrior, was the very personification of the Order's full ascent to power during the period of World War II.

A member of the Order's class of 1888, Stimson served seven U.S. presidents: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft (a fellow Bonesman), Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry S Truman. As the Secretary of War under FDR and Truman, Stimson oversaw the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb. Stimson personally decided on the use of that devastating weapon against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Years earlier, as the chairman of the American delegation at the London Naval Conference and as Secretary of State under President Hoover (1929-1933), Stimson had played a pivotal role in restricting the size of the Japanese Imperial Navy. He would be an architect of the FDR 's administration's economic provocations against Japan which ultimately helped induce Japan into the attack at Pearl Harbor, thus bringing the United States formally into World War II.And Stimson was also ultimately responsible for the FDR administration's decision to intern the Nisei (Japanese-Americans) after Pearl Harbor.

Yet, it was also Stimson who ordered American bombers to refrain from attacking the old Japanese imperial capital of Kyoto, a city rich in religious and historical tradition and artifacts. And, according to at least one of Stimson's biographers, it was also "the Colonel" who decided at the close of the war that the Japanese emperor should not be deposed. His sensitivity to Japanese culture and the importance of allowing Japan to retain honor even in defeat is widely to his close adviser, Joseph Grew, a longtime U.S. ambassador to Japan and an accomplished historian. Whether this report of Stimson's involvement in the decision to maintain the emperor is accurate or whether it underplays the role of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the fact remains certain that Stimson was the key policymaker overseeing the postwar occupations of both Japan and Germany.

To fully understand President George Bush's attitudes and policies toward Japan, one must first appreciate the overarching influence that Stimson had on the current occupant of the White House.

According to his British biographer Geofrey Hodgson, Sdmson's membership in Skull & Bones was "the most important educational experience in his life." Unlike most of his fellow Bonesmen, Stimson earned his membership solely on the basis of his achievements at Yale-not through family money. His parents were not wealthy, although his forefathers did come to America as early Puritan colonists. But Stimson made up for his lack of financial credentials by his fierce competitive spirit. As he himself put it, the "idea of a struggle for prizes, so to speak, has always been one of the fundamental elements of my mind, and I can hardly conceive of what my feelings would be if I ever was put in a position or situation in life where there are no prizes to struggle for."

Although Stimson did not come from classic blueblood background, he married into wealth and power. His wife, Mabel White, came from a prominent Establishment family with longstanding ties to the Order. Thus, upon graduation from law school, Stimson became a partner in the law firm of Eliahu Root, President Theodore Roosevelt's Secretary of War.

Although Stimson and Roosevelt would have a falling out in later years, early on Roosevelt and Root provided "the Colonel" with the critical sponsorship and training required to succeed in the world of Establishment politics. According to Stimson's biographers, Roosevelt would frequently taunt the young Bonesman about the fact that he, unlike the president, had never been-in the military or fought in any wars. (Roosevelt had resigned as Under Secretary of the Navy to go off and fight in the Spanish-American War.) Thus, at the ripe old age of 44, Stimson joined the Army during World War I and served in the American Expeditionary Force in Europe.

Among the other lasting interests that Roosevelt would pass on to Stimson was his deep passion for the Pacific. Roosevelt was convinced that America's imperial destiny was dependent upon its domination of the Pacific Ocean and the Far East. The Spanish-American War, which marked the beginning of Ameriea's imperial phase-and the virtual abandonment of the republican principles upon which the nation had been founded-began the U.S. colonial occupation of the Philippines, which would continue through half of the next century. Ultimately, Stimson would himself serve as the American Governor General of the islands.

In 1900, Roosevelt wrote to Stimson: "Our people are neither craven nor weaklings, as we face the future high of heart and confident of soul, eager to do the great work of a great power . . . ~ wish to see the United States the dominant power on the Pacific Ocean."


Henry Stimson's towering influence on C;eorge Bush and many other current members and like-thinking allies of the Order was based not only on "the Colonel's" lifetime of achievements. It was also rooted in the fact that Stimson used the World War II period to groom a successor generation of young WASP warriors who would dominate American policymaking during thc Cold War and beyond. Although not every member of what came to be known as the "Stimson's Kindergarten" was a member of Skull & Bones, or even a Yale graduate, many were. All were inculcated with the Skull & Bones philosophy and methodology of wielding power. It is through this alliance and patronage system that the influence of the Order has been extended far beyond its small membership roster.

Among the leading members of the "Stimson Kindergarten" were:

* John J. McCloy, who was Assistant Secretary of War and later served as the High Commissioner for Germany during the postwar occupation.

* Robert Lovett, a member of Skull&Bones and a partner in the Order's preeminent Wall Street investment house Brown Brothers Harriman. He became Stimson's Assistant Secretary of War (Air Section). Lovett remained an influential policymaker through the presidency of John F. Kennedy.

* Harvey Bundy, another Bonesman, who became Stimson's special assistant at the War Department. Haryvey Bundy's two sons, McGeorge and William fresh out of Yale University and Skull & Bones, joined their father on Stimson's personal staff. McGeorge Bundy would co-author Stimson's memoirs In Active Service in Peace and War.

* Dean Acheson, Assistant Secretary of State, Yale graduate (he was not a member of the Order, but, rather, of one of the other Yale secret societies, Scroll Key) and senior policy adviser to FDR and Truman, who ultimately made him Secretary of State.

* Gen. George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff of the armed forces during World War II and later Truman's Secretary of State.

This group of high-powered policymakers of World War II and immediate post war period were known as the "Stimson-Marshall-Acheson Circle." They shaped America's Cold War containment policy against the Soviet Union and Communist China, including the involvement of the United States in the Korean War. It was also this group which, for better or worse, directed the postwar reconstruction programs in Germany and Japan.

Another influential member of Skull & Bones, Averell Harriman, was personally responsible for the sacking of Gen. Douglas MacArthur. It was Harriman, a banker, intriguer and former American Ambassador to Moscow, who convinced President Truman to fire MacArthur.

The predominant role that Averell Harriman would play over the course of 40 years of postwar Amencan policymaking underscores the fact that not all leading members of Skull & Bones share the identical policy outlook. While some members of the Stimson inner circle were critical of Harriman, whom they considered to be too personally ambitious (he was also a liberal imperial Democrat in a secret fraternity dominated historically by moderate Republicans), Harriman nevertheless stands out as one of the Order's most active figures. The fact that he was a business partner and social intimate throughout his adult life of fellow Bonesm~n and Republican Sen. Prescott Bush Sr., the father of the current president underscores that point.

Henry Stimson died in 1950, leaving behind a core group of political offspring led by members of his old secret society, Skull & Bones. In the final years of his life he was involved in helping to shape a number of postwar government agencies which would become bastions of power and influence for the Order for years to come. Through this active role in shaping the key institutions of the Cold War era, Stimson was able to establish a continuity of power that would more than compensate for the fact that no single figure among his "kindergarten" emerged as a clear successor, and that several, like McGeorge Bundy, would prove ultimately to be rather disappointing students.

The National Security Act of 1947 transformed Stimson's old War Department into the Department of Defense, a sprawling civilian bureaucracy which would in future years house many of the most important members of the Order. Robert Lovett, for example, would become the Secretary of Defense in 1950. The 1947 act also established the Central Inte!ligence Agency (CIA) as the permnent successor to the wartime Office of Strategic Services (OSS). In the early 1950s, the State Department's Office of Policy Coordination was merged into the CIA, giving the secret agency total control of America's clandestine operations The National Security Agency (NSA) also was established, under the direction of the Department of Defense, vastly expanding America's signal intelligence capability.

Of all these agencies of the Cold War era, the CIA would stand out as a singular power center for Yale University alumni in general and Skull & Bones initiates in particular. The term "spooks," the well-known CIA term for a clandestine operator, was originally Yale campus argot for a secret society member. According to a recently published article in the Covert Action Information Bulletin, there is reportedly a "Bones club" within the CIA which helps promote the intelligence careers of members of the Yale secret society.

It should be pointed out that bureaucratic standing is not a real measure of power within the CIA. Very often, individuals in relatively insignificant positions within the organizational chart wield tremendous clout and maintain access to the most sensitive information and policy. Thus, for example, the present U.S. Ambassaclor to Beijing, James Lilley, a member of Skull & Bones and a career CIA man, is being suggested to replace William Webster as Director of Central Intelligence. For Lilley to step in as director of CIA would at this moment represent a demotion for the senior field operator. It is, however, a demotion he might accept as a personal favor to fellow Bonesman and longtime intimate pal George Bush.

The predominance of Yale graduates inside the CIA is also a part of the Stimson legacy. During World War II, many Yale students and even several leading faculty memhers entered the OSS. The X-2 Branch of OSS, the counterintelligence unit, was dominated by Yale students, as well as Yale English Literature professor Norman Holmes Pearson. One of the Yale men in X-2, James Jesus Angleton, went on to a legendary career as director of the CIA's counterintelligence staff.

Yale Skull & Bonesman and Stimson "Kindergartener" William Bundy assumed a senior post at CIA during the 1950s, as did Yale graduates Richard Bissell and Cord Meyer, and Yale professor Sherman Kent.


According to author David Halberstam's best-selling critique of the Kennedy years, The Best and the Brightest, the JFK presidency marked the high point of Skull & Bones postwar power. But it also marked the beginning of the secret fraternity's fall from the position of unchallenged power, and the beginning of America's precipitous decline as a world power. All these factors are summed up in one word: Vietnam.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy's Cabinet was largely handpicked by Skull & Bones elder statesman Robert Lovett, who was personally approached by Joseph Kennedy, the president's father, and asked to shape the direction of the new administration Lovett had been one of the architects of the World War II industrial mobilization under President Franklin Roosevelt, which helped bring the United States out of the Great Depression. He had been a factional opponent of Averell Harriman within the Skull & Bones circles, initially opposing the Cold War containment doctrine and pushing the idea of Atoms for Peace during the early years of the Eisenhower presidency (l952-1960).

Kennedy had personally asked Lovett to join his Cabinet, but Lovett, a partner in Brown Brothers Harriman, preferred to shun formal government service. Instead, he placed a number of younger Bonesmen into the critical posts. McGeorge Bundy was appointed Kennedy's National Security Adviser. Averell Hamman was made Under Secretary of State for Asian Affairs, a position that placed him in charge of many of the most critical decisions along the way to disaster in Vietnam. William Bundy remained in a senior post at CIA.

The decision to escalate the American military involvement in Vietnam-a rejection of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's prophetic warning that the United States should never engage in a ground war in Asia was made by members of the Order. According to some accounts, President Kennedy began to have senous second thoughts about escalating the war, particularly after several private Oval Office discussions with MacArthur.

With Kennedy's assassination, American soldiers began pouring into Southeast Asia. Harriman remained a fixture of Vietnam policy under President Lyndon Baines Johnson. McGeorge Bundcy remained on as LBJ's National Security Adviser untill , when he left government service to assume the presidene; of the Ford Foundation, the largest tax-exempt philanthropic agency in the United States. The Ford Foundalion annually dispenses of nearly $3 billion in grants.

In his capacity as president of the Ford Foundation, Bundy helped finance the anti-Vietnam War movement. The National Student Mobilization Committee, the umbrella group for the entire New Left of the late 1960s and early 1970s, was led by David Dellinger, a Yale graduate. Episcopal Church activist William Sloan Coffin, a Bonesman, a second leading figure in the anti-war protest movement, had previously served as a CIA officer.

Thus, the Order had its hands in two critical elements of the policy debacle of the second half of the 1960s. Some leading Bonesmen helped shape the disastrous limited war strategy in Vietnam, while other members of the Order, at least tacitly, contributed to the growth of the drug-rock-sex counterculture by nourishing the New Left soil from which it sprang.

As a result of the Vietnam debacle, the "Stimson Kindergarten" literally drove itself out of the corridors of power which it had occupied without challenge for the previous 20 years. With the election of Richard Nixon as president of the United States in November 1968, a different team came into prominence. The politics of that team were personified by Henry A. Kissinger, Nixon's National Security Adviser and Secretary of State.

In a May 1982 speech in London at the Chatham House headquarters of the Royal Institute for International Affairs, Kissinger boasted that he was an enthusiastic follower of the late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and that throughout his years in senior government posts under Presidents Nixon and Gerald Ford (1974-1976), he had always consulted more frequently with his counterparts in the British Foreign Office than he had with officials of his own government.

Although Kissinger had enjoyed early patronage from McGeorge Bundy, when the Bonesman was Dean of Harvard University and Kennedy's NSC adviser, the Kissinger era marked a low point in Skull & Bone's government power. The Central Intelligence Agency, a hub of the Order's clout, was decimated by scandals that only compounded the damage done to the Agency as the result of its role in the Vietnam disaster.

According to some respected writers, for example, Jim Hougan, author of Secret Agenda), the CIA attempted to reverse the route by helping to bring down Richard Nixon in Watergate. There is significant evidence to bolster some of these accounts.

When Gerald Ford became president in August 1974 following Nixon's resignation, Skull & Bones made a brief comeback. In what came to be known as the "Saturday Night Massacre," Ford, in the autumn of l975, removed Henry Kissinger from his post as NSC Adviser, replacing him with Gen. Brent Scowcroft. Kissinger ally James Schlesinger was fired as Secretary of Defense and replaced by Donald Rumsfeld. And CIA Director William Colby, who had dueled with Angleton, was fired and replaced by Skull & Bones member George Bush.

If these maneuvers were intended to be the first step in a more ambitious comeback by the WASP warrior faction, the plan was short-circuited with the election in November 1976 of Jimmy Carter as president. It would really not be until the inauguration of George Bush as president in January 1989-a dozen years later-that Skull & Bones would resurface with the same degree of governmental power that it had enjoyed during the Stimson years. George Bush's selection as Ronald Reagan's vice presidential running mate in the 1980 and 1984 elections was the transition back to that power.

Many things had gone wrong in the years since Vietnam to drive the Bonesmen off the center stage. With more than a little input from Bonesmen like McGeorge Bundy and Averell Harriman, the United States had gone into a period of scientific, technological and industrial retreat. The Nixon decision on August 15, 1971 to remove the dollar from a fixed, gold-backed exchange rate system, had triggered a move toward double-digit inflation, urban decay, rising unemployment and soaring interest rates. The Kissinger-orchestrated Iranian-Middle East oil crisis in the early l970s had contributed to a rate of deindustrialization that ultimately transformed the United State from the biggest creditor nation in the world to the world's biggest debtor nation. According to estimates compiled around the time of George Bush's inauguration as president, the total U.S. internal indebtedness had skyrocketed to more than $12 trillion.

Moreover, the period of the 1970s and l980s had given rise to a new and powerful political-financial combination demanding a share of government clout. This new grouping, with its principle power bases in the U.S. Congress, in Hollywood and on Wall Street, was known as the Zionist lobby.

Although Jewish names had been prominent in the legal profession and on Wall Street since the founding of the American republic, in the aftemath of the 1967 Six-Day War between Israel and her Arab neighbors, Zionist power took on a whole different proportion. Again, Henry Kissinger~s position in the Nixon administration symbolized the fact that the pro-Israel lobby had moved in with a vengeancs. to the corridors of power in the nation's capital. Even on Wall Street the 1970s and 1980s had seen a new generatian of Jewish financiers come into power, replacing their more cultured and Anglicized predecessors. The WASP Establishment had developed a tolerance of and working relationship with the largely German Jewish bankers known among themselves as "Our Crowd." The new upstart Wall Street Zionists, however, were viewed by the WASPs as a collection of gangsters.

If the Skull & Bonesmen needed a legitimate justification for reviving their ever-present dislike of the East European Ashkenazic Jews, the Wall Street Zionists whs became known as the so-called "New Crowd" provided them with all the excuses necessary. When Jonathan Jay Pollard, a Naval intelligence analyst, was arrested in November 1985 and charged with spying for Israel against the United States, there was a resurgence of more unabashed antisemitism among the Bonesmen and their blueblood upperclass mates. It has since become a hallmark of the Bush White House. Even when practiealc political affairs have demanded that the Bush administration deal with the American Zionist lobby or the right-wing Shamir government of Israel, there has been a distinctive undertone of distrust bordering on overt hostility.

(end of part 2)

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