While I typically don’t put any stock in theories about malevolent secret societies which control the world from the shadows (I mean come on, they do it right in the open and we still vote for them), I do know one thing: Yale’s Skull and Bones secret society is up to something. On paper, the society is said to have founded after a dispute among Yale debating societies, social clubs where students would gather to debate and discuss philosophical and cultural ideas. The society operates somewhat in the public sphere, occupying a building on campus known as “the Tomb” and publicly selecting its members from among the most influential students on campus. While the members names are not a secret, its meetings and practices are.
Of course, there’s also a wide range of conspiracy theories about Skull and Bones. The group has been accused of controlling the CIA, being an arm of the Illuminati, or engaging in occult practices to control the world. Whatever the case may be, many of the society’s members have gone on to occupy some of the most influential roles in the American government: both presidents Bush were members, as was Secretary of State John Kerry and a veritable who’s-who list of diplomats, CIA agents, and political figures.
While the mystery persists of whether Skull and Bones secretly rules the world or is merely little more than a fraternity by another name, the secret society was forced to issue a rare public statement in this week in light of an unknown group or individual began posing as the group in what appears to be a sophomoric prank. According to the Yale Daily News, two male students reported being harassed by someone who called them claiming to represent Skull and Bones. The caller asked each student to hand the phone to someone nearby, after which the caller began asking sexually explicit and personal questions.
Skull and Bones was forced to issue a statement claiming no responsibility and pointing out that such harassment is illegal in Connecticut:
Recently, some have exploited the mysterious nature of our society, Skull and Bones, and our selection process to mislead and mistreat Yale students. These ‘pranks’ contradict our core values and, in some cases, violate Connecticut law. To anyone who has been contacted by someone impersonating Skull and Bones: we assure you that we will never ask you to engage in humiliating, uncomfortable, or criminal acts.
Of course, they also took the opportunity to claim that secret societies like Skull and Bones merely “provide a forum for exchanging ideas and fostering friendships.” As usual, this incident will likely stir up more conspiracy theories surrounding the secret society while providing little info about what actually goes on inside “the Tomb.” Could Skull and Bones really be a shadowy organization which maintains control over society? Or, more likely, could it be merely yet another way for Very Important People to let us know they’re better than us? I didn’t want to be in their stupid club anyway.