Talk:Skull and Bones

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May 14, 2013 Guild of Copy Editors Copyedited

Need for rewrite[edit]

The entry suffers from too many cooks, a problem w wikipedia, particularly when the cooks haven't finished school. I would prefer to hear from others, pro and con, before I edit the entry.SLY111 (talk) 21:25, 12 December 2012 (UTC)SLY111

I've cracked the 322 number[edit]

It's all to do with the Fibonacci sequence and the golden ratio, which can be found in art, architecture and throughout nature. Another secret society, freemasonry deals with the golden ratio and Fibonacci sequence. So why the number 322? Well if we take the 13th number of the Fibonacci sequence (13 is also a number used by freemasons and the Illuminati) you get 233, which is the inverse of 322, add them together and you get 666!

If you look up the number 666 it is the answer to a number of mathematical equations and I think it's no coincidence that it is the number of the beast in the bible, for what reason I don't know, my theory is the bible was used as a tool to control the masses and stop them from critically thinking about things like the golden ratio, the Fibonacci sequence and the astonishing attributes of the number 666, which include:

  • It's the the sum of the first 36 natural numbers, and thus a triangular number. Since 36 is both square and triangular, it's also a doubly triangular number.
  • It's the sum of the squares of the first seven primes: 666 = 2² +3² +5² +7² +11² +13² +17²
  • It's sum and difference of the first three 6th powers: 666 = 1^6 - 2^6 + 3^6
  • 666 = 1³ + 2³ + 3³ + 4³ + 5³ + 6³ + 5³ + 4³ + 3³ + 2³ + 1³

Now here's where it gets truly astonishing, with astronomical probabilities:

The sum of the first 144 digits of Pi = 666 Now this in itself is amazing, but to top it off 144 just so happens to also be the number that precedes 233 in the Fibonacci Sequence!

and lastly

The Golden ratio φ = -2 sin (666°) = -2 cos(6*6*6°)

This is also so a good reference - http://www.whatabeginning.com/Misc/Golden/P.htm —Preceding unsigned comment added by 114.129.158.43 (talk) 03:55, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Dude, 233 + 322 = 555. Back to the drawing board... 84.112.202.36 (talk) 23:48, 11 July 2009 (UTC): "add together" means multiply one by one the digits, so: 322x233 = (3x2=6,2x3=6,2x3=6)= 666 . Basics of numerology.

The problem is you obviously looked for 666 when you constantly reverse or change the number for no logical reason. We get it, the number looks related to 666 but you kind of need a logical way of getting there besides outright changing the number. BTW the idea that the bible is against free thinking is a tad ignorant. Yes it says things that are simply not true but it never outright says not to think for yourself. It would be like saying all science books are against free thinking because they outright tell you how things work, instead of telling you to figure it out yourself. That's simply how a book that wants to convey information works. 64.119.57.59 (talk) 23:19, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Crooking[edit]

I'm wrong. The article does say other Yale Societies. However, other Yale Societies are outside the scope of this article; so I have removed the reference to other societies.

Someone has changed the article to include other Yale Societies in the crooking activities. I think that needs to be supported by a reference source; otherwise, this should be changed back to just S&B. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 206.109.195.126 (talk) 06:00, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

The Yale Alumni Magazine, CNN, and other sources describe a Skull and Bones tradition called crooking. Crooking is a competitive undertaking where bonesmen try to one-up each other by stealing valuable things either from each other or from Yale or from other Yale students. If no one objects, I would like to include this ini the article under a section titles traditions.

http://www.yalealumnimagazine.com/issues/2006_05/images/Yale_Alumn_Magazine.pdf http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/02/26/geronimo.remains/ http://prorev.com/skull.htm http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/01/books/chapters/1st-chapter-bush-tragedy.html?pagewanted=5&ref=books —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sicluceatlux (talkcontribs) 20:07, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Be sure it's well sourced and neutrally written. (Prorev isn't a reliable source.) It seems all of these sources are really just repeating Robbins. In addition, please put your future new section talk-page comments at the bottom of the page per WP:TALK, and sign your comments. THF (talk) 20:15, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Is it OK to go in as written? That is: "Skull and Bones has tradition called crooking. Crooking is a competitive undertaking where bonesmen try to one-up each other by stealing either from each other or from Yale or from other Yale students." Sicluceatlux (talk) 21:29, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Or: "According to Yale Alumni Magazine, Skull and Bones has tradition called crooking. Crooking is a competitive undertaking where bonesmen try to one-up each other by stealing either from each other or from Yale or from other Yale students." Sicluceatlux (talk) 21:34, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes, if you fix the grammar. See also WP:CITE for the proper way to add a footnote. THF (talk) 21:43, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Thank you. I'm a little bit confused about the footnote. I used the Universal Reference Formatter, but I don't think it came out 100% right. I would appreciate anyone having a look. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sicluceatlux (talkcontribs) 00:21, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Motto[edit]

I want to enter in the motto Rari quippe boni as given by: Sutton, Antony C. America's Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull & Bones. 2003.

There are various translation of this to be found on the order of: Nature makes only a few who are good. Nature, necessarily makes only a few who are good. The good are rare. Only a few are good.

The source is used elsewhere in the article. Please let me know if there are any objections, otherwise I will put this back into the article with the reference.

Here is the link:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/9707/Americas-Secret-Establishment-An-Introduction-to-Skull-and-Bones-by-Antony-Sutton —Preceding unsigned comment added by 206.109.195.126 (talk) 03:05, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

You'll need a better source than Sutton. Sutton is an established crank on the topic. I recommend researching Sutton's source. Maybe he had a reliable source for this bit of information. Rklawton (talk) 03:18, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

It is also given in "Rari quippe boni" ("The good, alas, are few") Words By Matt Schwartz in Good Magazine —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sicluceatlux (talkcontribs) 04:32, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

I created an account for myself - This is not a sockpuppet. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sicluceatlux (talkcontribs) 04:56, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

"Good Magazine" is a zine - and not reliable. I did a quick check to see if I could find something with that phrase and the words skull, bones - and found nothing reliable via Google. That still leaves a lot of other avenues open to pursue. Rklawton (talk) 05:07, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

I am trying to get this from another source. Hopefully, one of my email messages will yield results. In the mean time, perhaps one of the other editors can point to a source. Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sicluceatlux (talkcontribs) 00:23, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Also, can you please show where Mr. Sutton has been designated a crank. Just stating that he is a crank might be considered POV. After all, he is a published source on Skull and Bones who is widely quoted. I can understand that a simple web page or a zine might be unreliable, but a published source? Who has come out against him? Has Skull and Bones sued him? Surely, if he has made-up his material, they would have sued him. I don't mean to give you any trouble and I won't pursue the matter of his crank status further, but if you have the time and are inclined to help, I would like to understand how such a determination is made at Wikipedia. In the mean time I will try to track down his source.Sicluceatlux (talk) 00:33, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Never mind. I did a little more research on the net about Mr. Sutton. A lot of people call him a crank. Of course, that doesn't mean that he is not reliable in this matter, but I won't try to force him in as a source. I'll look for substantiation elsewhere.Sicluceatlux (talk) 00:46, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

From what I can tell Sutton's source is a pamphlet titled, An account of the break-in "Bones Temple". 1876. This pamphlet was written and published by anonymous sources. So, unless someone else has given an account of the interior of their temple, or the membership opf S&Bs has authenticated this pamphlet, it is unlikely that this account of the motto inscribed on their mantel can be substantiated. 206.109.195.126 (talk) 00:58, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Another Bonesman[edit]

The proceeding text has quotes from unnamed sources - another bonesman - unnamed patriarch. Are you kidding? All this should be deleted unless it can be substantiated:

Skull and Bones also owns a campground island in the St. Lawrence River in upstate New York named Deer Island. "The 40-acre (160,000 m2) retreat is intended to give Bonesmen an opportunity to 'get together and rekindle old friendships.' A century ago the island sported tennis courts and its softball fields were surrounded by rhubarb plants and gooseberry bushes. Catboats waited on the lake. Stewards catered elegant meals. Although each new Skull and Bones member still visits Deer Island, the place leaves something to be desired. 'Now it is just a bunch of burned-out stone buildings,' a patriarch sighs. 'It's basically ruins.' Another Bonesman says that to call the island 'rustic' would be to glorify it. 'It's a dump, but it's beautiful.'"[1]

You could save yourself an awful lot of typing if you read and understood the concept of verifiability as defined by WP editors. Unsubstantiated is not the same thing. Your quoted text even includes the reference which is all that is required for inclusion, subject to the reference being from a reliable source. And for crying out loud will you start signing your posts as I for one am sick of seeing paragraphs of total bollocks lying around this page with no attribution. If you aren't going to stick to WP's rules then fuck off to somewhere else where your obtuse and annoying nature would be welcome. --WebHamster 13:23, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

How dare you use obscene language. Shame on you. Children view these pages. I am requesting that you be barred from posting here. At the very least you owe the readers of wikipedia an apology.

wikipedia is not censored, next question. 60.240.145.231 (talk) 09:13, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

I suggest that we leave the size and location description of deer island - but remove the dump and old building remarks since they are made by anonymous people. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 206.109.195.126 (talkcontribs)

How dare I? Quite easily thank you. It's second nature when dealing with trolls, by the way, pass my good wishes onto Jimbo won't you, I'm sure he has plenty of time to pander to trolling conspiracy theorists. --WebHamster 20:38, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Definitely. Except that the source is reliable, and presumably an editor's fact checker verified the the people who wanted to be quoted off-record were accurately quoted. On the other hand, if we had any reliable indication that the description wasn't accurate or that it was disputed, then removing these anonymous quotes would make sense, too.

I just read the article, George W., Knight of Eulogia from the Atlantic Monthly that you describe as a reliable source, and I have some problems with it. First of all, if it is reliable, then it is evidence of a horrible crime that needs to be reported. That is:

"Prescott Bush, George W.'s grandfather, Yale '17, was a legendary Bonesman; he was a member of the band that stole for the society what became one of its most treasured artifacts: a skull that was said to be that of the Apache chief Geronimo."

If this source is reliable, then at the very least, some action should be taken to return this body part. This is a crime that our government should investigate.

Second, all of the sources who have given secret information are by their own admission: lying oath breakers; therefore, they would not appear to be reliable sources.

If this article is reliable, why not include the following quote from it:

"One doesn't need to scratch deeply to uncover accusations of sinister ties with the CIA, the Trilateral Commission, the Illuminati, the Council on Foreign Relations, even the Nazis."

or the following should go into the lore section:

"the most pervasive rumors about Bones are that initiates must masturbate in a coffin while recounting their sexual exploits, and that their candor is ultimately rewarded with a no-strings-attached gift of $15,000."

This is a true mess.[edit]

Too many untutored hands have ruined what might had been an excellent article.SLY111 (talk) 14:25, 24 January 2008 (UTC)SLY111 It's really not that bad, I'm working on it here and there. Adding some cited parts and what not. I'll try to improve a couple of things every now and then. I have already made the intro slightly better. Beam 20:07, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

This article is not here to be a banner for Free Speech[edit]

Too many people are using Wikipedia to speak their minds and present what they believe is true. Wikipedia needs to be controlled by public relations firms and state agencies. Please delete everything here that shows S&B to be an evil organization. Just because they fly the international symbol of piracy as their banner, that doesn't give people the right to speculate on their motives. Order must be maintained. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 206.109.195.126 (talk) 21:46, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Troll. Rklawton (talk) 19:39, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Troll blocked for trolling. Rklawton (talk) 20:55, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Yeah he would have had a point if he had pointed out a specific POV violation but that was just way too obvious. 64.119.57.59 (talk) 23:20, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Deletions[edit]

Eventually, I plan to delete material in the article which isn't cited. Please provide citations, thanks. Silly rabbit (talk) 04:30, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Architecture section...[edit]

is anyone able to get anything out of that? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.58.118.167 (talk) 22:12, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Bones and the Intelligence Community[edit]

We need to delete this I mean the whole section relies on one CIA press release...I mean do I really have to point out the obvious conflict of interest that arises? Read this section it has no place on wikipedia. I'm going to go ahead and delete it in a couple days unless someone gives me a credible source. So now the CIA isn't a credible source? I don't think I understand this logic. What is a credible source? Any website you can find online could possibly contain false information. Can you find a reliable website that proves Australia exists? You may think so but I can find flaws in any site if I really wanted too. 64.119.57.59 (talk) 23:22, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Need a Section on Basics[edit]

It seems that this article is lacking a section on the true basics of the society; what the society generally does, who is eligible to be a member, the society's place on Yale's campus, etc. Most of this information is available from the Yale Daily News and Alexandra Robbin's Secrets of the Tomb, both very reliable sources. I am willing to write this up. -societyalum

That would be great. DO IT. Tanner9461 (talk) 16:43, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Location of the Tomb[edit]

The article seems to imply the Tomb is on the Yale University campus. So do related articles on Wikipedia, like the on on Geronimo. But a Yale spokesman said in a recent NY Times article that the Tomb is in fact not on the Yale campus. Can someone clarify this? --C S (talk) 19:01, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Great observation. I can only give you my opinion about it but I have read most of the books, including Sutton's. This thing has been brewing for generations. The Tomb has been reported for almost 100 years(by the books and other RSs)to have lots of stolen stuff inside it,including lots of Yale University property (valuable historical paintings etc.). The University has never made any attempts to do anything about it(maybe because so many S and B alumni have held high administrative and faculty positions at Yale) which could put them in a difficult legal position if it's ever proven that the Tomb actually does have a lot of products of robberies and theft, especially University property and real Nazi stuff. This is the very first time that I know of that Yale has distanced itself from the Skull and Bones and,in fact, Yale's culture and history has embraced the group since its inception. It now looks as if Yale is trying to hide behind some technicalities: specifically that the group is a corporation which Yale now says is not "affiliated" with Yale and the Tomb sits on private land owned by that corporation. For so many generations the coincidence theorists have been maintaining that S and B is just a harmless fraternity where the alliances begin and end at Yale, this distancing by the University might help remove that particular falsehood about the "animal house" nature of the group.Abbarocks (talk) 01:53, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
sorry, my answer is much too long. Abbarocks (talk) 14:56, 26 February 2009 (UTC)


Um -- what about the question? Collect (talk) 15:31, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Depends on what you mean by campus. The land is not owned by Yale, so it is not on campus. It is literally surrounded by Yale property, and Yale owns all the adjoining city blocks, so it is on campus. ---is a small plot of private property in the middle of acres of campus, on the campus?Marquis de Vaudreuil (talk) 04:39, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Insertion of Clark quote[edit]

The NYT article used as a cite for the lawsuit makes a straightforward statement comment about Ramsey Clark and the fact he does not have any hard evidence for the suit. One editor keeps deleting this -- and this is also a 3RR warning on that removal of RS, fully cited and unquestioned material. It is not POV to cite the NYT article for sure. Thanks! Collect (talk) 21:38, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

You don't seem to have an understanding of NPOV. Just because we use a RS for something does not mean we an include everything from it and still maintain NPOV. Currently the way the section reads, it says Geronimo's family is suing Skull and Bones but their lawyer "acknowledges he has no hard proof". This is hardly a NPOV way of stating things. And yes, I'm well aware of 3RR having had a longer familiarity with Wikipedia practices than you. I expect you may yourself be in danger of breaking 3RR if you keep this up. --C S (talk) 21:44, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Since you insist on the quote and I'm not willing to fight on it longer, I am going to flesh and balance out the section to be more representative of an NPOV. I hope your own reasoning will keep you from removing this material, as I will use only material from the NYT article. --C S (talk) 21:46, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

User:Collect insists on inserting the quote from Clark, the lawyer representing the Geronimo family. His/her reasoning is that it is already in a source used in the article and that since Clark is mentioned, his "view" should be mentioned. However, in context of the NY Times article that the quote appears in, it's not at all clear this is his "view". It's not as if he went out and said "I have no hard proof". Rather, it seems he was pressed on the matter ("Clark acknowledged he has no hard proof") and he responded fairly. But obviously he must believe the case has merit to pursue it. In addition, it's unclear why Collect is insisting so strongly that Clark's "view" should be included. There are other "views" that are just as important as his. Why put in a quote in such a manner as to convey a bias that the lawsuit is frivolous? Perhaps Collect would be happier if we improved the article to source more of the NY Times article, including other views mentioned. --C S (talk) 21:39, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Actually now we have RS in the form of a Cecil Adams article on the topic. Opinions correctly ascribed per WP:V and WP:RS to boot. I trust you will enjoy it. Collect (talk) 21:54, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
You must be joking. Your recent edit is lousy. Not only does it give undue weight to Cecil Adams (who is not a stellar source of information to begin with), but it seems to have been in cavalier fashion with no respect for NPOV. You apparently have read WP:V and WP:RS, but you seem to have forgotten about NPOV. --C S (talk) 22:00, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
You could have responded above (now below as you moved sections about). The sentence is an EXACT quote from the NYT article. No paraphrasing of any sort, and the meaning is quite clear. As I was not the reporter, all I can do is do what WP says should be done -- quote the cited material, which is what I have done. And his view is primarily important as he is identified as the lawyer involved in the prior sentence in the article. Thus his opinions are relevant. And note that I did not use the word "frivolous", the NYT did not use the word "frivolous" and so one editor is seeing POV where none can be found. Collect (talk) 21:50, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Your rephrasing his acknowledgment as his "view" is disingenuous, as I've explained. In any case, I have done as you have done. Cited the material accordingly. And I've included the other views which the NY Times considered important to balance out their article. Whether or not you intend a POV is irrelevant. I think anybody that reads the NY Times article and then reads the section as you made it would see there is a big difference in how the story is presented. --C S (talk) 21:57, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
You should change the attibution of the unnamed "expert" to "Alexandra Robbins, the author of “Secrets of the Tomb” (Little Brown 2002), a book about the society."

(ec) I've made a call for 3rd parties to look at this at the NPOV noticeboard. You are of course free to make comments there too. But since it's an NPOV noticeboard, your comments will need to discuss NPOV which so far you've been avoiding doing. Also, please keep the discussion in one place, as it's confusing otherwise. I didn't purposely make another section at the same time as you to be confusing; it happens when two people use the "add section" function at the same time. --C S (talk) 22:20, 26 February 2009 (UTC)


What is the POV of the NYT article? Seems that it is a simple news article -- are you saying the NYT is pushing a POV here? As for accusing me of avoiding discussing anything -- I have discussed everything raised here. Over and Over. And "add section" for an EC does not reverse order. Collect (talk) 22:50, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't know what the POV of the NYT article is, but, as I said, it's clear that your abbreviated two sentence version was not anywhere close to it. You've yet to utter the acronym NPOV (despite being adept with others). It seems to me you haven't discussed the NPOV issue of your edits.
As for "add section", I have no idea what you mean. My edit was made less than a minute after yours, which is why my section (written at the same time as yours) appeared further down the page. However, when I pushed the add section tab, you had not yet created your section, so please don't try to blame me for somehow purposefully avoiding responding in the appropriate section. --C S (talk) 23:19, 26 February 2009 (UTC)


I "abbreviated" nothing. I took the salient full contiguous sentences and used the same cite as had been there. Collect (talk)
You abbreviated the article with your one sentence insertion. You chose that one sentence out of all possible sentences. Then you defend your edit by saying that it somehow reflects the NY Times noted reliability and impartiality. That's a dubious kind of game playing with quotes. You made an editorial decision. I believe it was not adhering to NPOV standards. You keep arguing against this criticism by saying but I'm just saying what the New York Times said! But you aren't. You're only saying a bit of what they said and by doing so there is the chance of bias, is it not?
Rather than hiding behind the New York Times, why don't you simply explain why your edit is not introducing a bias? Before your edit, there was a factual description of the lawsuit. Afterward, we find a sentence saying the lawyer acknowledges he has no hard proof. Nothing else. Nothing to put his remark in context or explain why the Geronimo family would pursue the case. This is clear undue weight. You could have resolved the addition by adding even more and expanding. You chose not to. And I decided if we keep the quote, I would expand it myself. Then you chose to make another clearly POV edit. This is where the article stands. --C S (talk) 23:41, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Collect has been ignoring NPOV not only here but in other articles as well where he also consistently takes a combative posture [1]. He's wasting a lot of people's time, including mine. Abbarocks (talk) 01:57, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Try using WP:AGF. Collect (talk) 02:15, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
As opposed to WP:DUCK you mean? --WebHamster 14:57, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Opening quote in history section[edit]

That Robbins quote seems like a huge violation of NPOV. Robbins has an important POV to be included in the article, but that purple prose doesn't seem like something Wikipedia should give its imprimatur to. THF (talk) 10:47, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Following up -- anyone want to justify its inclusion? THF (talk) 22:19, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Are you talking about the 322 info? That seems relevant since 322 is part of their identifying logo. What is "purple prose"? I don't see an opening quote in the history section? Abbarocks (talk) 00:30, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Missing section[edit]

There is absolutely nothing in the article about the fight to make Skull and Bones coeducational -- which is surprising, given that it was one of the most notable events in the group's history. THF (talk) 10:51, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done THF (talk) 15:57, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Symbolism[edit]

What the heck are the mentions of the SS and poison symbols for? Was there a reason for this, or is this just someone's original research or attempt to smear by association? (For one thing, Bones predates the SS, and there's no reason to think the SS was copying from a boy's club in New Haven.) THF (talk) 15:56, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Just as a purely logical answer as opposed to anything WP related, but the fact that Bones-related logos pre-date the SS is inconsequential. The swastika pre-dates Western society yet strangely enough it gave someone in the Nazi party an idea ;) --WebHamster 01:49, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but the point is the sentence was trying to compare two pretty different logos just because they both had a skull and bones in them, and there's no sourcing for any relationship. It seemed very COATRACK and guilt-by-association to me. THF (talk) 01:51, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Like I said, my comment was totally non-WP-centric. Yes I agree it's a combination of OR and Synth made easier to travel under the radar due to the fact that it's entirely possible... yet unreferenced heheheheh. --WebHamster 02:12, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

I object to the collapsing of this part of the discussion. If users don't press the show button, they will miss my arguments. Why is my material hidden and not others? COMMENT:I agree with 206.109.195.126:I actually missed the entire collapsed section which I find to contain valid discussion points about the article. Abbarocks (talk) 00:39, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Then get yourself some glasses, a green band across the screen is hardly non-obvious. I wonder if a check user would find that Abbarocks is posting from the 206.109.195.* subnet? --WebHamster 13:26, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

And I wouldn't be surprised to find that you are posting from the CIA.

Trading with the Enemy Act violations[edit]

None of the sources in this rant of a paragraph have anything to do with Skull & Bones. It has thus been removed as a violation of WP:SYNTHESIS and WP:COATRACK. The accusation that Skull & Bones controlled the conspiracy is unsourced; unsourced fringe conspiracy theories don't get Wikipedia play. THF (talk) 17:01, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Maybe there is a misunderstanding here.The inclusion of this event is not meant to accuse the Skull and Bones organization of officially sanctioning the Trading with the Enemy activities. For one thing, the organization never officially sanctions any activities at all except maybe its initiations. The inclusion of theTrading with the Enemy seizures is based upon the RS identification of the primary owners and managers of the companies seized as being Skull and Bones members. If one is to argue that such an event under the control of members of such a group should not be included in an article about the group, then one could equally argue that an article about al Queda should not have any mention of the 9/11 attacks. Abbarocks (talk) 23:06, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
The difference is that numerous reliable sources say that al Qaeda is responsible for 9/11, so it would be possible to source that claim in the al Qaeda article -- which is done there, if you actually read it. So your analogy fails. Based on this admission that your inclusion is based on your own analysis, rather than based on verifiable reliable sources, I am deleting the material. THF (talk) 23:24, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
Congratulations. Clear case of WP:OR. Absent any cite for the organization being involved in any activities at all, the entire section fails. Collect (talk) 23:18, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
Wow, that's about as arrogant and combative an assertion as I've seen in written form in quite awhile: not to mention void of logic. Abbarocks (talk) 00:02, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Abbarocks, please read the synthesis policy: Collect is absolutely right in his analysis. It is a violation of the no original research policy to connect dots that reliable sources haven't connected. Collect, please be a bit less sarcastic; I know it can be frustrating dealing with editors who aren't following the rules, but we should assume that these are good-faith mistakes unless Abbarocks insists on continuing to make them after being corrected. THF (talk) 00:23, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
THF and Collect, both of you seem to think I admitted that the Trading with the Enemy info was OR. Can you refer me to that admission please? That Trading with the Enemy info has 3 very reliable sources and none of them are me. Abbarocks (talk) 03:58, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
You wrote:
The inclusion of this event is not meant to accuse the Skull and Bones organization of officially sanctioning the Trading with the Enemy activities. For one thing, the organization never officially sanctions any activities at all except maybe its initiations. The inclusion of theTrading with the Enemy seizures is based upon the RS identification of the primary owners and managers of the companies seized as being Skull and Bones members.
In other words, you admitted the sources had nothing to do with Skull and Bones qua Skull and Bones, and you were performing WP:SYNTHESIS, which is a violation of WP:OR. None of your sources claim that the activities were S&B-related: that was your original research addition. That's a no-no. Then you edit-warred against that consensus without further discussion, after you were told this by multiple editors, without any attempt to justify your edits on the talk page by policy. Another no-no, and one you had been warned about. Note that it's not just me and Collect: administrator Rklawton found your edits wanting also.
Note that the SYNTHESIS rule is very important for keeping the article clean. Sure Prescott Bush was an S&B member, but adding every scandal of his to the article disrupts the article: someone else will want to add Austan Goolsbee's scandals, someone else David Boren's scandals, someone else John Kerry's scandals, and before you know it, the article isn't about Skull and Bones any more, it's instead a coatrack for irrelevant agitating. That's why we require the sourcing to be to materials that are about the subject of the article. THF (talk) 04:01, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
I can see where your interpretation would make sense from my words, but its not what I meant. What I meant is that if an important event happens which includes a majority of people who belong to the same small team, then it is reasonable to include that event in a bio about the team. For example, if 8 of the Yankees are found to be using steroids, it's appropriate to include that within the bio of the Yankees, is it not? Even though the Yankee organization didn't know about it? Abbarocks (talk) 15:31, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Not a good analogy, because the steroid use would be directly related to the fact that they were playing for the Yankees, and would have affected the results of the Yankees there would be reliable sources discussing whether the steroid usage affected the Yankees' results, and there would be reliable sources indicating that. How was the TWTEA violation related to the Skull & Bones membership or how did it affect Skull & Bones? THF (talk) 15:46, 2 March 2009 (UTC), updated 16:14, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I disagree with your assumptions (which present hurdles to overcome in order to satisfy the false,imo, assumptions). Assumption#1: "the steroid use would be directly related to the fact that they were playing for the Yankees". My response is that the steroid use might be over several different teams that they played at. Assumption #2: "would have affected the results of the Yankees". My response is that it might not actually effect results at all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Abbarocks (talkcontribs) 16:00, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
We're way off topic now, but 1) a baseball player takes steroids to help him play baseball; no one claims that anyone violated TWTEA because of or to help him with S&B; and 2) fine, change the reasoning to "there would be reliable sources discussing whether the steroid usage affected the Yankees' results." such as this New York Times article. If you can find a NY Times article discussing TWTEA's effects on Skull & Bones, your analogy works, and I will be forced to agree with you. If not, it's not analogous. THF (talk) 16:06, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
  • The reason it should be included is because it is a notable event in the life of the Skull and Bones organization according to the RSs. Abbarocks (talk) 16:03, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
You have not cited any RS to support that contention. Again, please read WP:SYNTHESIS, and stop making the same argument over and over without acknowledging that that argument has been addressed. THF (talk) 16:06, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Here's a good example: Why not go after Yale? After all, all of these people were Yale graduates, and I'm sure if someone looked, there even more Yale graduates who were *not* members of S&B were involved in these incidents. Why not report that Yale helped the Nazis rise to power? And yes, the answer to this question is the same answer for why this doesn't belong in the S&B article. Rklawton (talk) 16:11, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Its a matter of proportionality: remember, the Bones only takes in 15 new members per year world wide. To me, your argument is no different than excluding the political activity of some of the Kennedys from a bio on the Kennedy family through the same reasoning (that lots of people are in politics so it has nothing to do with the Kennedy family). I am not going "after" Skull and Bones and perhaps that unfounded synethesis of assumption is the core of this disagreement. I just think the information is obviously a notable part of Skull and Bones history. I'll find a reliable source that says exactly that but I really think this matter is pretty straightforward without such a smoking gun. Abbarocks (talk) 19:54, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Abbarocks, multiple editors have told you what is needed. That you think you have the WP:TRUTH is quite irrelevant, and repeating the same argument over and over just gets other editors angry at you. Your example is once again a bad one because there are whole books written about politics and the Kennedy family: that politics is mentioned in the Kennedy article is because of those verifiable reliable sources, not because some editor somewhere thought there was a connection. Find a reliable source (not a conspiracy theorist), and then there won't be an issue. THF (talk) 19:58, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
ok, THF, now,maybe we are getting somewhere. I am assuming that the authors within the article's current list of references are not who you consider to be conspiracy theorists or they wouldn't be there as RSs. So is it ok if I concentrate on those authors? And absolutely not; I do not think I have the TRUTH (in fact,I don't think such a thing even exists in terms of history), that is another false personal combative attack coming from you towards me. Abbarocks (talk) 15:01, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
THF, I am waiting for a n answer. I don't want to proceed on that basis(directly above) if you are going to come along and revert because you have decided that Antony Sutton is a so-called "conspiracy theorist". Abbarocks (talk) 15:41, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
I have not done a full citecheck. It is entirely possible that the article needs more scrubbing and that there are unreliable sources being cited. THF (talk) 15:44, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
I checked on Sutton. His work on this subject is "controversial" (i.e. fring). It's exactly what we would call a non-reliable source. Rklawton (talk) 16:20, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Ok, although controversial does not = non-RS. What about the U.K. Guardian or Salon? Those are the primary sources anyways. Abbarocks (talk) 21:21, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Either of those could be reliable sources. It depends. If they're doing a story about a crank's theories, then it wouldn't be appropriate to say these theories are reported by reliable sources. On the other hand, if they're doing their own research on a subject, then yes, these publishers tend to be reliable. That leads us to the next point. If these sources are saying here's "x" and here's "y" and here's "z", then that's all we can report, too. If they don't report a relationship, then we can't infer one, either. And if someone does report a relationship, we need to make sure that this "someone" isn't a crank. Take the case of Bill Clinton, for example. Some numb nuts went out and tallied up the number of his associates and acquaintances who have died from something other than old age. The crank's report got a lot of play. The fact that these individuals knew Clinton wasn't disputed. The fact that these individuals were dead wasn't disputed either. These facts were widely reported by reliable sources. However, it was only the crank who reported that there was a causal relationship, and reliable sources reported that this is what the crank had asserted. However, from these sources, it would be entirely inappropriate for us to conclude that "reliable sources have indicated a causal relationship between associating with Clinton and ending up dead." They haven't. They simply reported that this is what some crank has asserted. While that may be interesting to tabloid readers, what some crank has pulled out of his ass is of little interest to readers expecting a well informed article on Bill Clinton. Though yes, it would be appropriate to include this information in an article about the crank himself - assuming he (or she) was a sufficiently notable crank. Fun, huh? Rklawton (talk) 23:02, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
  • UK Guardian was doing its own research: "The Guardian has seen evidence" it says in its article...and it says in the context of the article " Prescott Bush was a member of the secretive and influential Skull and Bones student society" and ...."Bush's friend and fellow "bonesman" Knight Woolley, another partner at BBH," Abbarocks (talk) 00:30, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
So? That's trivia in the Guardian piece, not a claim that S&B had anything to do with it. We read the Guardian piece when we said that it was not appropriate source. Please assume good faith. THF (talk) 00:55, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Trying to make a non-AGF accusation on that basis is pretty absurd. Let's get real. Abbarocks (talk) 01:06, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
The Guardian used Buchanan initially -- then added the disclaimer about him. Seems they did not really believe the article later. Collect (talk) 03:38, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Discussion seems to be side tracked:Do we need to go to that reliable source notice board That THF used for a BBC program re: the Business Plot? Is the consensus here that the Guardian article is not RS? Abbarocks (talk) 17:00, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
You're not listening: the consensus here is that the Guardian piece isn't "directly related to the topic of the article," and violates SYN for that reason. The place to go is the NOR noticeboard, but they'll tell you the same thing if you want to make that tendentious argument there. THF (talk) 17:06, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I understand exactly what you are saying,THF. If noone else wants this in except me, then I guess that's the end of it. Abbarocks (talk) 17:22, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't know if this helps, but this matter is in the Prescott Bush article. I'm not sure how to link it here unless all the seven board members - or at least a majority were bonesmen. I'd say leave it out. If you had a major scandals section, that might work. For fairness, you would need a major accomplishments section too.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Sicluceatlux (talkcontribs) 05:22, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Therein lies the problem - the innuendo. You see this type of crap in an article, and you are left to assume there's some sort of connection. It's not your fault. It's what conspiracy theorists thrive on. Rather than risk liable, they print just enough to keep out of legal trouble and hope their readers draw their own incorrect conclusions. And it's why we strive to keep this sort of garbage out of our articles. Rklawton (talk) 12:42, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and there's no mention of Skull & Bones in the "Trading with the enemy" part of the Bush article. Rklawton (talk) 12:49, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Oh -- and the only part about Trading With the Enemy in the Bush article is a factoid that a bank was seized as being owned by an "enemy alien" under the executive order cited. Collect (talk) 12:53, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Ironically by the time the govt seized the bank, the "enemy alien" was in a Nazi prison as a political prisoner. Rklawton (talk) 13:14, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
When I got to Prescott Bush, he was accused in his article of directly running slave labor camps <g> -- you would be amazed how much such stuff is online, and if it is online how many "editors" here will try putting it into articles. In the Union Bank article, my reference to Thyssen being in prison has routinely been deleted - you might like to vist. Collect (talk) 13:19, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes, there is no direct connection between Prescott Bush's banks seizure via the violation of the trading with the enemies act and Skull and Bones. That is why I voted to leave the mention out of this article. It is already mentioned adequately in the Prescott Bush article, where it belongs. The connection is indirect. And the Prescott Bush article already says he was a bonesman. There doesn't seem to be any reason to include it in this S&B article. That was my only point. Of course, people will always wonder, but that is the problem with belonging to a secret organization - especially one with such a chilling name. That does not make it appropriate to enter theories into this encyclopedia. It does make it somewhat understandable however that people are inclined to do so. I guess people are a bit scared of this society, and that is one way they compensate. I guess it would be OK to mention Prescott Bush as one of the notable members and hyperlink to his article. BTW - the article says alumni. I'm not sure if that is the correct term. I found this definition: "graduate or former student of a school, college, or university" While Mr. Bush, et als, are alumni of Yale, they are members, I believe, of S&B's. I have seen mention that Yale tries to distance itself from S&B. I'll have to check sources on that. Anyway, some articles have famous and infamous members sections, but that is too POV, I think.

BTW, who was that in a POW camp? I don't see anything about that in the Prescott Bush article. Were you talking about someone else? Should that be added to the Prescott Bush article? -- Ah! I'm guessing you meant Fritz Thyssen. I searched for POW in the article instead of prisoner - that's why I missed it. Of course that statement is SYN too, I think. For example, I found the following:

Not even a close personal friendship could save an SS officer from punishment. Dr. Sigmund Rascher, the Waffen-SS officer who conducted experiments for the German air force at Dachau, whose wife was an intimate friend of Himmler, was arrested for illegally adopting children and claiming them as his own.

So being imprisoned by the NAZI's, in and of itself, does not seem necessarilly ironic to me.

Anyway, I hope that I am starting to understand what is POV, OR, or SYN a bit better. With your kind assistance, I may turn out to be a good WP editor someday.206.109.195.126 (talk) 21:01, 12 March 2009 (UTC)206.109.195.126 (talk) 21:22, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Also, someone seems to have deleted my user name, So I am back to using my IP address again. It must have been an administrator.206.109.195.126 (talk) 21:24, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Your user name is still there. Try the "log in" button, and spell it the same way: capitalization counts. THF (talk) 21:26, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Pancho Villa[edit]

The inclusion of a reference to Robbins voicing an opinion in an interview that 800+ of the wealthiest men in the USA were "too cheap" to come up with $25,000, seems to be based upon her discussion with Bonesmen. 1: Shouldn't the interview with Robbins be cited somewhere? and 2:If the "too cheap" opinion was coming from Bonesmen is that still a RS? Abbarocks (talk) 00:54, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Given that the original rumor comes from Robbins, the details of why she has retracted it are important. Your edit (1) duplicated text that was already in the article, and (2) had a far-too-overlong quote from the antisemitic La Voz de Aztlan, which is not a mainstream source, and thus violates WP:WEIGHT. If someone credible from Mexico makes the allegation, we can add that, but at the moment, most sensible people recognize it as an urban legend. THF (talk) 01:14, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
La Voz de Aztlan is a fringe source. There's no need to quote them at all in this context.   Will Beback  talk  01:18, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

June 30, 1907 New York Times on Skull and Bones[edit]

Not sure there's really anything here that fits within the article, but of historical interest: http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9B06EEDF1F30E233A25753C3A9609C946697D6CF - THF (talk) 03:42, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Just read a bit of it and it certainly seems to have some relevant POV quotes from Yale representatives and others, although the phraseology is so old-fashioned I don't know if today's soundbite readers will be able to decipher the nuances and ambiguities of the quotes. I'll go through it later at length and see what I can find that might pass muster here. Abbarocks (talk) 14:47, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Obama's Chief Economist[edit]

I just found out that Obama's Chief Economist - Goolsbee is a bonesman. That is, she was one of the first women tapped to join Skull and Bones. Where in the article should this appear? Do you think it should go into the admitting women section? If no one objects, I'll put it in there.

www.yaledailynews.com/articles/view/21789 Sicluceatlux (talk) 20:22, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Goolsbee is a man. And you'd do a much better job of impressing other editors if you read the article you're asking to edit, since Goolsbee is already mentioned in there. THF (talk) 20:29, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Question: THF, Where is the mention of Goolsbee in this article? Abbarocks (talk) 14:56, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Another example of your disruption. I'm not going to read the article to you. Open your browser and use the Control-F command. I know it's still there, because I just added a cite to that sentence. THF (talk) 15:03, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that tool, THF; it would've been more helpful,however, if you had put the link into your unfriendly edit towards a new participant here (above). My edit above is certainly not disruptive in any way and you should apologise and strike out that adjective. Abbarocks (talk) 15:08, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for pointing that out. It's a good thing I used this discussion section rather than writing it into the article first. I guess that is making good use of the discussion section. It makes the article better that other editors can see oversights, etc. BTW, I'm not trying to impress anyone. That's why I never signed my edits. I'm not looking to gain anyones approval. I just want to get more information out into the world. I think that if more people understand what goes on - that will make the world better. It's a process. People make mistakes along the way. The worst thing is when others try to crush the spirit of inquiry or participation. Thank you again for your guidance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sicluceatlux (talkcontribs) 20:45, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Apologies to Sicluceatlux on behalf of the editors collectively; it's not personal, THF has made similar assumptions as to intent on a regular basis. I really hope you will try to contribute more to this article as it has enormous room for expansion and improvement. Abbarocks (talk) 14:52, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
This is not an appropriate place nor time for you to attack anyone. The talk page is for improving this particular article, and nothing else. Collect (talk) 15:43, 12 March 2009 (UTC)


Theta Nu Epsilon Has No Place In This Article[edit]

TNE's webpage is not a reliable source for information- the current "Alpha" is an upstart that changes their own webpage to foster a history that suits their current needs. Also, it is very misleading to say TNE was a second chapter of S&B- one is a senior society, the other a sophmore society. TNE just wants to ride the coatales of S&B to give that fledgling group more cachet- their associations are not significant enough for this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 63.26.135.234 (talk) 15:59, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

  • The reinserted attempt at TNE info on this page had a link that did not specifically state what TNE says about themselves, also it was a biased source from the Wesleyan newspaper- there needs to be a truly objective source that verifies that there was a fully authorized second chapter sanctioned from Skull and Bones- up to this point it is only the "Alpha" upstart that is saying that or "supposedly" a Wesleyan newspaper article, that is restating what their own TNE group on campus is saying- which would be equally biased- not truly third party sourcing, and info more suitable for the TNE article, rather than an article about Skull and Bones. There has been no objective sourcing about Skull and Bones that ever states some significant TNE connection.63.26.133.234 (talk) 15:12, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

1)The paragraph clearly is about Skull & Bones' history, 2) it is referenced, 3) the reference is to a clearly valid source. The paragraph is better referenced than 90% of all wikipedia articles. 4.245.128.128 (talk) 22:06, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

  • personal attacks are frounded upon and unsubstantiated. What I think you should do is fix your link, your link is not popping up in the way that it should to prove your point. When I open the link now, it doesn't show anything about TNE and Skull and Bones- go fix it to avoid further confusionDmshistory (talk) 23:18, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

I think I have corrected the reference. The correct date is the one I changed it to, as is the page number. I think the problem is that the campus newspaper is not available digitally that far back, but the reference is correct, and I saw the actual page itself today. (The only thing that has me wondering is where the old date came from.) And, of course, the college newspaper is a publicly available source, and any errors in it could be challenged, like any other public source.4.245.128.6 (talk) 03:41, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Added redundant source. 4.245.128.6 (talk) 03:49, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

  • That's fine- the proper sourcing is there to say where info is coming from. Secret society stuff tends to mix up facts with hearsay- which ends up in a big ball of confussion, or hoaxing accusations. Just keep the page clean, source info, and avoid emotional attacks. PeaceDmshistory (talk) 01:58, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Secrecy[edit]

Can someone explain how it is a secret society if we know the names of its members?

--Gramscis cousinTalkStalk 12:41, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

The article explains it. Give it a read. Rklawton (talk) 12:51, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
Duh! sorry. --Gramscis cousinTalkStalk 17:08, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

It is secret because the members don't talk about what they do or in what or believe, etc. At one time the membership was secret too. Of course the membership may actually be far greater than that which is published. We don't know, really, because it's a secret. We know about the Yale Alumni who are tapped. That's all. Anyone else they may bring in would be secret. When the presidential candidates, Bush and Kerry were asked about S&B, they said that they could not talk about it, because it is secret. Therefore, we don't even know what oaths of allegiance the ex-president might have sworn to this society. It is true that WP articles explain this, but I too have the time to try to explain anything you don't understand. After all, you may be young and need a little help - or whatever... Anyway, you might want to take a look at the WP (wikipedia) article on secret societies. There is a link in the first sentence "Skull and Bones is a secret society based at..." It is an interesting article about secret societies in general. I hope this helps. Perhaps, after some research, someday, you will be able to contribute to the article too. Good luck.206.109.195.126 (talk) 23:12, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

A secret society does not mean you don't know it exists or who's a member of it. Any society that HAS secrets can be called a secret society. Adult fraternities like Freemasonry can be considered secret societies, and all college fraternities are secret societies, and used to be listed as such in yearbooks. (Look in any pre-1870 college yearbook.) Membership in Skull & Bones is NOT secret and never has been. They pick members in a public "tapping ceremony" so the whole college knows who's Skull & Bones every year, and this used to be much more true when there were 300 undergrads instead of 3,000. Most American secret societies follow the patterns set by Freemasonry, including the college fraternities, and the primary secret of the secret society is the initiation. ---Now, you get college fraternity members who say 'we're not a secret society, we have a huge building in the middle of campus, that's not secret.' But they are still secret societies. It's just that today, the phrase 'secret society' sounds a little sinister, like it was a conspiracy, so people try to save their own organization from being associated with that.4.245.128.128 (talk) 22:15, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Yale Image Archive of S&Bs images[edit]

I think it would be helpful to include this link to the yale manuscripts and archive digital images that relate to Skull and Bones. I'm not sure how to incorporate this, however. Any ideas on what would be appropriate? The images are very interesting and definitely genuine.

http://images.library.yale.edu/madid/showthumb.aspx?q=skull+and+bones —Preceding unsigned comment added by 206.109.195.126 (talk) 01:48, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

I recommend including the link in an "External links" section for the reasons you noted above. Rklawton (talk) 04:09, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
    • If you can, post the image from the archives depicting the etching of "secret society buildings at New Haven". That image is over 100 years old, was not published by yale, and within the rights to post on Wikipedia. It is a rare and very desirable image because it shows the Skull and Bones tomb before expansion. Originally, the tomb was a single structure building like a mausoleum before they expanded with a second unit and connecting center. Fantastic etching of the Yale tombs and houses, and a very desirable image.63.26.39.217 (talk) 14:45, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

I like the idea of an external links section. If there are no objections, I'll add it tomorrow.206.109.195.126 (talk) 20:13, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Objection. We have seen the attempts to link conspiracy theory sites here, and "external links" would be misused, in all likelihood, to that end. Collect (talk) 22:09, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
That's an argument for enforcing WP:ELNO, rather than for omitting a legitimate scholarly external link from Yale. THF (talk) 22:59, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't want to have a heading that is likely to be misused. Do you have any other ideas? How about a section called photos?206.109.195.126 (talk) 01:35, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

      • Why don't you just label it very specifically: The Skull and Bones Collection from Yale University's Archives

What I will do is add a section that I think is very appropriate- others can adjust it as necessary.63.26.41.105 (talk) 15:51, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

The section you've added is unsourced, and thus violates the no original research rules. (As phrased, it also violates the style rules. We'll have to settle for an external link until you can find a secondary source that discusses the archives collection--and even then, the link you want to add doesn't belong in the main text. THF (talk) 17:52, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Just FYI, 63.26.41.105 is a different user than me. From the flow of the conversation, it seems like me, but it is not. It is a different user - not me on another machine.206.109.195.126 (talk) 01:44, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

popular culture[edit]

No matter how well-referenced is in essence a collection of trivia, and not needed in an encyclopedia article on a topic. Many articles have now removed or reduced such sections, there is no need to have one here. Collect (talk) 22:50, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Those deleted sections usually involve sentences like "In Annie Hall, Woody Allen mentions Ben Hecht in a joke," and are unreferenced original research. In this case, the popular culture section refers to two movies that clearly derive substantially from Bones, and have been noted as such. There's certainly an argument for paring back the Doonesbury reference as non-notable; I'd like to hear what others think. THF (talk) 22:58, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
There is a Doonesbury article. Sans a real benefit to this article, I see no reason to have trivia here. Collect (talk) 23:01, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree about the trivia. THF's latest deletion (claiming it was OR) was right on target. The cartoon made it very clear that the theft claim was unsubstantiated[2], yet the editor who added it somehow skipped over that part. In fact, the strip isn't making a dig at Bush at all but rather mocking the media for its own shoddy work. And yes that's original research, too, except that I think I'll have no trouble finding reliable sources stating that the media has gone to hell in a hand basket. But this is an article about S&B and not the media. Um. Hey, you don't suppose S&B is responsible for media's demise, do you...? Rklawton (talk) 23:16, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't think that a cartoon needs to be in the article. It trivializes what many believe to be a very serious subject.206.109.195.126 (talk) 01:47, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

That's just sad.4.245.170.197 (talk) 16:37, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

      • I moved the skull and bones photo image of the 1947 group to the right rather than the left of the article, before it was messing up the labeling of the "popular culture" section below- it fits in better now63.26.41.105 (talk) 17:15, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
A definitive decision needs to be made. You cannot reference The Simpsons and not include other notable media such two feature films. Otherwise that's completely favouritism and bias. It's an all or nothing point that has to be decided. In the meantime I've reintroduced the feature films and removed some of the non-NPOV statements such as 'probably the most popular' and 'among young people'. Whether you keep the section, I'm indifferent, but realize it cannot include the comic and television series reference and exclude the films as they are equally notable by Wikipedia's standards. Perhaps one is more well known, but they are all equally well within the limits of what can and cannot be excluded. Mkdwtalk 19:38, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I would indeed like to remove the other fairly irrelevant trivia - by consensus it appeared that a couple of examples were reasonable according to other editos. But, if that would clear this up, the section goes (as I had asked befre). Cheers. Collect (talk) 22:14, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. It would be absurd to ignore two prominent feature films inspired by or involving S&B. Gamaliel (talk) 22:19, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
I demur. The addition of "facts" whose only relevance (?) is that they somehow refer to a group, or maybe have a send-up of a group, or deal with the group in a humourous manner, or whatever does not mean the material is relevant to the article, especially where the article specifically refers to living persons (WP:BLP. The material here is WP:IRRELEVANT in the first place. Just because a "fact" exists does not make it "relevant" -- and in the case at hand, the material is utterly irrelevant to the topic of the article. Else we would have gazillions of "in popular culture" sections on the Catholic Church, Scientology, New Age Religions, etc. ad nauseum. Do you realize how many movies, tv shows, books etc. refer to each of those topics? Cheers. Collect (talk) 22:34, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm sure you realize that those examples are very large, broad groups and categories. This is a relatively small and specific group which has been the subject of a very small number of cultural products that specifically mention or reference them. This is not irrelevant, it is directly relevant. Gamaliel (talk) 22:40, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
I now of no Wikipedia policy saying "small groups which are lampooned should have all the movies, books, tv shows etc. which in any way refer to them or to a fictional group should have trivia sections, but bigger groups shall not have such a section." Cheers. "Stuff" does not belong in any Wikipedia article whether about a single person, a group, a country etc. Collect (talk) 17:43, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
So everything that is not required is prohibited? No. The fact is that S&B is not your average college club, and one reason for that is the mystique around them in popular culture. They don't make films about Scroll and Key. It is our duty to document this, just as it is our duty to document other aspects of S&B that you deem more appropriate. Gamaliel (talk) 18:01, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Wasnt there some movie about Skull & Bones? Anyway, the only reason Skull & Bones is so notable is because it figures in the popular imagination. Its inclusion in wikipedia is based on the fact that its a thing to some people, Ottawakismet (talk) 13:57, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Obama from Skull & Bones? Surely not.[edit]

Please double-check the statement that Barack Obama was a member of Skull and Bones. I think it is probably a factual error. Skull and Bones is a Yale society, and Obama never studied there. He graduateed from Columbia and Harvard Law School. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dappledgrass (talkcontribs) 20:14, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Don't need to, ---the article does not say that he was.Marquis de Vaudreuil (talk) 22:18, 3 April 2009 (UTC) knock pknock ii cknow tyour u secrets res contact —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.226.1.55 (talk) 01:56, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

further reading section[edit]

Not that I really care but all books cited in the "further reading" section are conspiracy-theory oriented. (and many were added by A Researcher (talk · contribs)) It does seem a bit misleading to point to these books for further info on Skull and Bones as the books' content is... shall we say... somewhat controversial. Pichpich (talk) 20:23, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

I agree and have removed several of them, as they basically all seem to be issued by the same Oregon-based publisher. I left a couple in for all the conspiracy theorists out there. MarmadukePercy (talk) 20:29, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Permanent editor?[edit]

For a few months now, one poster, Marmaduke Percy, has prohibited virtually any changes to this article. If you look at the history of edits of the article, almost every change has been followed by a Marmaduke Percy revert edit. This seems to be outside the cooperative spirit of Wikipedia.129.133.127.93 (talk) 02:56, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Peraps you should read the talk page archives here for the discussions about WP policies and guidelines, and material which some editors sought to insert contrary to. Collect (talk) 11:14, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Possible lead for additional info[edit]

An additional chapter of the Skull and Bones Society was founded at Beloit College as commemorated on a plaque on the Alpha Zeta of Sigma Chi fraternity (its current form). It may be important to note that Beloit College was founded by Yale grads in 1846. Joseph Emerson, a Yale grad and one of the first professors at Beloit College, was a member of the Skull and Bones.

A picture can be found here:

http://www.beloit.edu/reason_package/reason_4.0/www/images/254257.jpg

The plaque can be seen to the right of the door.


A historic source can be found here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=RBITAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA292&lpg=PA292&dq=skull+and+bones+of+beloit+sigma+chi&source=bl&ots=Cp4pRXJ6tI&sig=V2DsRnxYRWt54VHhLZ8ZTSHnia8&hl=en&ei=ARW9TNLSGsT48AaYo5y6Dw&sa=X&oi=book_result

Specifically on pages 87 and 292

144.89.186.141 (talk) 04:02, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

No critique section[edit]

It is notable that any critique section is missing. This seems odd for such a controversial organisation. Compare with Freemasonry. I wonder if the section had been knocked out for lack of sources. Span (talk) 15:57, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

3 years later and I was wondering basically the same thing. There's an entire page devoted to Masonic Conspiracy Theories, and yet this page has merely a tiny subsection that appears to have been written by a 6th-grader. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.219.170.95 (talk) 16:51, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

um ...[edit]

Until Yale became coed, it is absurd to make a separate claim that S&B excluded women! The article as it is makes clear when women and minorities first became members, it is not up to us to assign a rationale for the lack of such members, and especially to assign rationales which clearly were irrelevant until Yale admitted any significant number of women and minorities. Such material belongs, at most, in the Yale article. Cheers. Collect (talk) 20:11, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

If that was your problem, then you should have mentioned it instead of blindly reverting and reinserting a clearly unreliable source. I'll make appropriate changes. If that's not acceptable, we can discuss the issue here, but there's no reason to strip out material unrelated to this objection or to reinsert fringe sources. Gamaliel (talk) 20:14, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
I thought my point was pretty clear - remove unreliable sources (note that I was not the one who added such, by the way), but adding stuff which is far more relevant to Yale than to a single fraternity has little utility. Cheers. Collect (talk) 20:32, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
And per BRD, please self-revert the bot about it being limited to males etc. when Yale itself had the limitation. I can also find no cite for it barring atheists, by the way, so that part goes away as well. I trust you will do so promptly. Cheers. Collect (talk) 20:34, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm sure you did not initially add the link to theforbiddenknowledge.com, but you have twice reinserted it, so you're still adding unreliable sources regardless of who stuck it in there in the first place. You can easily avoid this by, say, not reverting and only editing the material you take issue with.
  • Atheists? Can't find that word in the article so I have no idea what you are referring to.
  • I'm not going to self-revert because WP:BRD does not override WP:RS. You are welcome to edit whatever you deem appropriate and I'm sure we can come to an accord over one or two sentences without a revert war. Gamaliel (talk) 20:43, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
1. The "source" is not available for most users. This is not insurmountable, but shold indicate that the person proposing the source shold give direct quote thereform to support claims. 2. I can not find anything indicating that atheists were barred from Skull & Bones as a specific requirement. Not even using full googlesearch including the source proffered. 3. The requirement that people be Christian is, per se, a ban on atheists. I do not think that comes close to OR <g>. 4. Most of what appears to be in the book is more about Yale in general than about one specific fraternity separate from all other froternities or groups at Yale. 5. If you wish to assert that an RS source says something specific, it is proper that you give direct material showing that the claim is specifically made in the source - this applies to virtually all the material sourced to the book in question. Cheers. And BRD does, indeed, trump RS when a source is not available to be bvetted by others. I would not be so insistent except that I have found a number of such sources to be wrongly used in other articles. As this article definitely has BLP material, the WP:BLP requirements trump RS. Cheers. Collect (talk) 22:45, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't know why you are using scare quotes around "source", as I'm using high-quality academic sources. This is pretty much the gold standard for RS. As far as BLP trumping RS, we're talking about historical events here for the most part, backed up by academic sources, so BLP doesn't come in to play, and even if it did, it certainly doesn't permit you to restore fringe websites as sources, so thank you for not doing that anymore.
I'm glad you're editing the article now and that leads me to think we can come to an agreement on this material soon. Forgive me if I have this wrong, but your comments haven't been entirely clear on this, but my perception is that you think I'm trying to attribute to Skull and Bones prejudices and exclusionary tactics which are instead the fault of Yale. Of course it's not S&B's fault that Yale was not co-ed, for example, but the secret societies represented an extra layer of exclusion: Jews were at Yale from at least the class of 1809, but were excluded from societies until the 20th century. Gamaliel (talk) 15:46, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
While Jews were under 1% of the student body, the "exclusion" is rather a mathematical certainty for all fraternities <g>. S&B was, moreover, formed during a period when Jews were not excluded per se. Nor were blacks excluded in the 19th century. Wikipedia articles should not make statements which verge on the intuitively obvious in the guise that they are important. Cheers. Collect (talk) 17:12, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
The academic works on the subject cited in my edits make it clear that Jews (and, to varying degrees, Catholics and blacks) were specifically excluded from these societies. It was not just a mathematical accident. Gamaliel (talk) 17:26, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
But the claim "even more exclusionary" requires a specific RS source - were they more exclusionary than the dining clubs? Athletic teams? Theology classes? The current language is sufficiently clear that Yale was not 10% black, or 10% Jewish for most of its history, I am unsure what more needs to be said about this specific organization which is not equally or better placed in the Yale article. Cheers. Collect (talk) 17:33, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
There's a difference between a quota system and specific exclusion of all members of a particular group. It's clear from the historical record that there was more and specific exclusion. You have not provided any RS for your claim that the exclusion was accidental or equivalent to general Yale policy. Gamaliel (talk) 17:38, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)There seems to be a double standard at work here. You claim I am not citing the fact that senior societies were more exclusionary than Yale in general, but you are not citing anything for the claim you keep inserting into the article, that they were equivalently exclusionary as Yale was. Gamaliel (talk) 17:35, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Your source (Chosen) explicitly makes the statements about Yale - including the rise of Jewish enrollment in the 20's to 13%, and the subsequent attempt to limit such to 10%, etc. I am using your sources for what the sources state. You appear to cite footnote 125 of "The Chosen" which primarily refers to Yale of the 60's and 70's onwards entirely. At a time when Jews were generally under 5% of the student population, and Yale was trying to keep them out, it is not surprising that S&B etc. also kept them out. What is more interesting is that your source makes a great deal of S&B choosing members on merit and not on name. I would consider that this meritocracy should be mentioned as long as we are using that book as a source, no? All in all, that book is much more favorable to S&B than it is to, say, any of the Prnceton organizations. Cheers. Collect (talk) 17:47, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
I have no problem at all with the article discussing that meritocracy. After all, it was that meritocracy that led them to let blacks and Jews in and challenge the historical practice of exclusion. Gamaliel (talk) 17:52, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Have a look at page 87 of Joining the Club. It discusses trends of Jewish exclusion from senior societies over various decades, using language I've mirrored here, such as "Jews were specifically excluded from senior societies", "as a general rule, Jews were not elected to the senior societies", etc., and notes that Al Hessberg's tapping in 1938 was a such a rarity in light of these trends. In fact, many sources note Thomas Ginzburg's tapping in the 1940s as the first Jew in Skull and Bones because the Hessberg tapping was such an oddity at a time of almost universal Jewish exclusion. I'm not sure where you have derived this conviction that S&B and senior society membership was an accident of Yale demographics, but it doesn't match up to the historical record. Gamaliel (talk) 17:59, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
According to columnist David Brooks of The New York Times: "From 1900 to 1930, about 1,200 Jews entered Yale and not a single one was elected to a senior society." [3] So, yes, I think it's fair to say that the senior societies were more exclusionary than Yale College itself. MarmadukePercy (talk) 18:12, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Finances/wealth[edit]

Shouldn't this be mentioned? I recall stories of fantastic wealth, of requirements that Bonesmen agree to leave 10% of their wealth to the society, etc. This is a significant part of the story. Dougweller (talk) 10:05, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Sounds extremely apocryphal --- Averill Harriman's probate is known from court records, and no such bequest appears in it AFAICT nor did Pamela Harriman leave anything to that group. [4] etc. Adding something for which contradition is so easy to find would not be wise. Collect (talk) 12:46, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting adding that, or at least not without reliable sources (and only as part of the lore surrounding Skull & Bones). I'm suggesting that there should be a section on its finances. Dougweller (talk) 14:43, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Broken reference[edit]

Reference 14 links to an irrelevant Yale Daily News blog - I'm afraid I'm out of time to find the correct reference today. Chrislintott (talk) 12:52, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference atlantic-robbins was invoked but never defined (see the help page).