Russell joined the secret order of “Skull and Bones” (17).

A small price to pay for insane racism and the blood of millions of people.

Presumably, the Order of Skull and Bones exists only at Yale.

corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed.” —Abraham LincolnThomas Jefferson was of the same opinion: “I sincerely believe thatbanking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.

In another picture, a soldier sat on a mound of earth above a skulland crossed bones.

The concept of a bank is quite simple.

The RTA filingclaims Skull and Bones exists "for the benefit of Yale University." ButYale–which celebrates three centuries of luminous atainments thisweekend–ought to question what "benefit" it gets from chants of "lickmy bumhole" and the mockery of Abner Louima.

And for me,it was a culmination of my own quarter-century quest, one that had becomepersonalized lately by the fact that our Skull and Bones President had beena classmate of mine at Yale.

Do they hold the bones of Geronimo in their Tomb?

First on the agenda was a quick examination of the Bones income-tax filings,which an outside consultant to the team had obtained through Freedom ofInformation Act requests.

Such as, was he talking about the Order of Skull and Bones?

Let me just mention how much I admired the intrepid Yale members of the ObserverBones Task Force for displaying the kind of curiosity, initiative and heretical,skeptical impulse apparently absent on most Ivy campuses, if you believeDavid Brooks’ recent Atlantic Monthly cover story on get-along-go-alongpremature careerists.

Like the President, he's takenthe Bones oath of silence.

Later I’ll put my audio impressions togetherwith the video-cam record the other team obtained for a more complete picture,but first let me transcribe some of the notes I made from listening in.

The power of Bones is incredible.

Partof the ceremony on the tape involved an initiation master ordering the neophytesto fetch bones and uttering the (I guess) fake Tarzan-movie "native" chant"OOGA BOOGA." It left me feeling embarrassed for Skull and Bones.

This, then, is the legend of Skull and Bones.

The death-centered imagery, the injunction to initiates that they must "dieto the barbarian world" and be reborn in the Elysian company of the electof "The Order," as they call it, is what makes Skull and Bones as radicallydifferent from a college fraternity as the Gambino family is from the "huntingand fishing club" that was their nominal headquarters.

This, then, is the legend of Skull and Bones.

Fragmentary as they are, they capture some of the strangeness, and perhapsthe kind of disorientation the initiates themselves experienced there inthe courtyard of Skull and Bones.

The Yale Flying Unit was the glory of Skull and Bones.

Beyond the obvious skull-and-crossbones insignia,of course, the most persistent story is that initiates spend their senioryear in the basement crypt of the Bones Tomb taking turns lying in a coffinand, in two long, intense, psycho-drama autobiographical sessions in saidcoffins, recount their personal and sexual history to the other 14 chosenones.