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Skull & Bones: Legends of the Secret Society

Secret societies have a colorful history, which gives way to legends and folklore passing on from one class of students to the next. In this article, you will learn about some of the talk centered on the Skull & Bones, as well as an example of a secret society outside of the United States.

A few legends and rumors associated with the Skull & Bones include:

”¢    The number 322 is significant to the members of the Skull & Bones, which believed to serve as the emblem of the society. It supposedly stands for “founded in ’32, 2nd corps”. The meaning is sometimes thought to refer to the first Corps of an unknown German University, while others believe that 322 is a reference to the death of Demosthenes , a prominent statesman and orator of ancient Greek history.

”¢    There is a rumor that new members are made to recite to the society the history of their sexual encounters.

”¢    Nicknames are assigned to members of the society. For example, the tallest member is called ‘Long Devil.’ Many chosen names originate from literature, religion and myths. Examples include Hamlet, Uncle Remus, Thor, and Odin.

”¢    Every member of the current Skull and Bones class is said to meet every Thursday and Sunday night during the senior year.

”¢    The society has been accused of having the stolen skulls of prominent people in their possession, such as Martin Van Buren and Pancho Villa , although this rumor has not been proven.

”¢    Stealing keepsakes from other Yale societies or from campus buildings is a pastime associated with Skull and Bones. This practice is called ‘crooking’ and it some members attempt to outdo the next member.

Secret Societies in Britain

The Bullingdon Club is an exclusive student dining club for those that attend Oxford University. The club has a reputation for having members of great wealth that have no problem indulging in excess. One of the things that the members are known to do is binge on food that ends in destruction of their surroundings. Members are admitted on an invitation-basis only and being wealthy is almost a must since one is expected to pay for their uniform, the dinners, and the damages that follow.

The Club has a history that traces back more than 200 years. One claim is that the organization was founded in 1780 and was limited to only 30 men. By the time 1875 rolled around, the club was called an ‘old Oxford tradition’ that had kept to a host of traditions. Cricket was also associated with the club, which seemed secondary to the extravagant dinners that reportedly took place. A report dating back to 1876 described the members of belonging to an ‘expensive class.’ The men were often sons of nobility or belonged to families of great wealth.

Nowadays, the Bullingdon is primarily run as a dining club. Members are known to meet for a champagne breakfast before sporting races take place. Guests can be invited to such events, including an annual Club dinner. Elections for new membership are held twice per year. Successful members are visited in their rooms, where they are expected to eat the contents of an entire tin of Colman’s powdered English Mustard. The room is then ‘trashed’ as a symbol of their election.