Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Skull and Bones: A Conversation with the First Outsider to Witness the Clandestineinitiation Ceremony of the Yale Secret Society That Produced Two Presidents Named Bush

StoryAugust 16, 2001
Watch iconWatch Full Show

“It’s the primal scene of American power, of Bush family values. For two centuries, the initiation rite of Skull andBones has shaped the character of the men who have shaped the American character, including two Presidents namedBush.

Last Saturday, for the first time ever, that long-secret rite was witnessed by a team of outsiders." That’s theopening of reporter Ron Rosenbaum’s front-page piece in this week’s New York Observer. He is the first to doan expose on the most influential secret society in the nation. It’s a part of Yale University, which this weekendcelebrates its 300 anniversary with among others, former Presidents Bush and Clinton.

On April 14, the New York Observer team used high-tech night-vision video equipment able to peer through thegloom into the inner courtyard of the Skull and Bones "Tomb" in New Haven. Among other things, the Observer teamwitnessed privileged Skull and Bones members mocking the assault on Abner Louima by crying out repeatedly, "Take thatplunger out of my ass!", and members hurling obscene sexual insults at initiates as they were forced to kneel andkiss a skull at the feet of the initiators.


  • Ron Rosenbaum, reporter for the New York Observer and author of ??The Secret Parts of Fortune,Random House. E-mail:

Related link:

New York Observer

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation