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This article is dedicated to the memory of Tim Russert, as he was the only journalist to have had the courage to ask both 2004 presidential candidates (0:54) about the implications of their involvement in the same secret society while in university. He died, on the job, of heart failure in 2008. He was fifty-eight years old.

Occultism features prominently in many secret societies. One of the best known is a Yale club called ‘Skull and Bones‘ whose members meet in a clubhouse called the tomb. It is the oldest senior class landed society at Yale. It owes its notoriety to the fact that both of the presidential candidates in the US elections of 2004, namely John Kerry and George W. Bush (who, incidentally, are also 9th cousins, twice removed,) are members.

The society’s alumni organization, the Russell Trust Association, owns the society’s real estate and oversees the organization. From 1978 until his death in 1988, business of the Russell Trust Association was handled by its single trustee, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. partner John B. Madden. Madden started with Brown Brothers Harriman in 1946, under senior partner and senator Prescott Bush (Bonesman 1917,) who was the step-brother of George Herbert Walker Jr. (Bonesman 1927,) father to George H.W. Bush (Bonesman 1948 [nickname: Magog,] head of the CIA, and 41st president,) father to Jonathan James Bush (Bonesman 1953 banker,) and grandfather of George W. Bush (Bonesman 1968 [nickname: Temporary] 43rd president.) As a sidenote, U S Federal District Court Judge John Walker (Bonesman – not listed on Wikipedia’s list) 1st cousin to Bush 41 and, once removed, to Bush 43 was a judge in April Gallop’s law suit against Dick Cheney for his failure to evacuate the Pentagon on 9/11. Prescott Bush was also a founder of the Union Banking Corporation which was seized by the United States under the Trading with the Enemy Act for its business ties with Nazi Germany.

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fortune was inherited from his maternal grandfather Warren Delano. In 1830 he was a senior partner of Russell & Company. It was their merchant fleet which carried Sassoon‘s opium to China and returned with tea. John Kerry‘s maternal grandfather, James Grant Forbes, was born in Shanghai, China, where the Forbes family of China and Boston accumulated a fortune in the opium and China trade. Kerry’s paternal grandfather, Frederick A. Kerry (born Fritz Kohn), was born in the Czech Republic. The Kerry-Kohns were Jewish, but the family concealed its background upon migrating to the United States, and raised the Kerry children as Catholics. Richard John Kerry, John’s father, also graduated from Yale.

Yale happens to have had a great number of these clubs throughout its long history. The three most exclusive are perhaps ‘Skull and Bones,’ ‘Scroll and Key,’ and ‘Wolf’s Head.’ The logo of ‘Skull and Bones’ features the number 322 displayed under, you guessed it, an image of a skull and crossbones. Of the three, ‘Skull and Bones’ members were said to be the ones who took care of the ‘dirty work.’ Many members went on to very high ranks in diverse fields, but there did seem to be a lot of athletes amongst them.

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