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The Skull & Bones Secret Society of Today is Much Different than What We're Used To

By Sarah Wilson    3/4/13

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In recent news, an article involving the Yale secret society known for playing a part in the furthering the careers of such figures as John Kerry and George W. Bush seems to be changing. According to a piece posted on The Atlantic's website, there are changes seen in the elitist image regarding the infamous Skull and Bones secret society. Carrying a history of pulling strings and advancing the status of its members, the organization is known for being one of the oldest secret societies in America. Do you know what they've been up to in recent years?

The Skull and Bones have become the society with countless legends attached to it – one that is associated with many powerful and influential people in history. Members of the society include many politicians, such as U.S. Presidents, such as William Howard Taft, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. From the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to the founder of Time magazine, Henry Luce, numerous leaders and influential people are linked to the Skull and Bones society.

In the past, the organization had a structure that catered to white, predominately heterosexual men who were all well aware of how it felt to have already lived a privileged existence. It has been suspected that a Skull and Bones membership only intensified the status and potential wealth/power that they could later obtain upon graduation.

However, many things have changed in recent years. The organization has considerably bent the rules in response to the changing times. The standards of the society are becoming more unrestricted than the days of the Bushes. What was once a racist, sexist and elitist group of members has now moved further away from the old boys' club mentality. The dynamics of the organization has changed to include a range of genders, minorities, as well as sexual identities.
 
At the end of every school year, the names of the Yale seniors who have been annually tapped to enter the Skull and Bones are published in the campus tabloid Rumpus. An interesting trend has emerged over the years. For instance, the class of 2010 included more minorities than Caucasians. Two gay students were added to the list in 2011 – one bisexual and one transgender. In 2012, there were a reported equal number of males and females who were identified to have been tapped to join the society.

A representative of the organization noted that the selection of potential members is meant to reflect the "diverse social elements" that Yale has to offer. The way new members are chosen has definitely changed, and the Bonesmen are said to actively seek out diverse individuals to join.

One thing that hasn't changed about the Skull and Bones is the secrecy that members share. They still take an oath to keep the secrets of the organization safe. Those who agree to be interviewed for an article regarding the society will only do so when their names and graduation dates have not been disclosed.
 
The code of the organization is one that dates back to 1832. Interestingly, Yale student William H. Russell established the Order of Skull and Bones following a visit to an occult society in Germany. When he returned to his campus, he took the practice of being shrouded in secrecy as a foundation to build his own society.

For years, members have been trying to shed perceptions that the society is a part of an Illuminati/New World Order conspiracy that leads to immediate success. The fact that members gather in a mausoleum referred to as the Tomb doesn’t help matters much. Non-members are forbidden to enter, but the inside of the building has been described as being decorated with skulls, skeletons and other questionable interior wall décor.

The mystery and legends associated with the Skull and Bones is one that has survived time. It's pretty hard to deny that the society has played a role in advancing the careers of many members. It's really no different than an alumni organization…just one with more powerful strings to pull. If you believe the Skull and Bones has a hidden agenda that plays out after members graduate, then the fact that they have dropped their elitist guard simply means that they have a more diverse group of members entering society to accomplish their goals.

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