posted on Sep, 15 2003 @ 09:24 AM
The order was incorporated in 1856 under the name "Russell Trust Association." By special act of the state legislature in 1943, its trustees are
exempted from the normal requirement of filing corporate reports with the Connecticut secretary of state.
As of 1978, all business of the Russell Trust [which founded Skull and Bones] was handled by its lone trustee, Brown Brothers Harriman partner John B.
Madden, Jr. Madden started with Brown Brothers Harriman in 1946, under senior partner Prescott Bush, George Bush's father.
Each year, Skull and Bones members select ("tap") 15 third-year Yale students to replace them in the senior group the following year. Graduating
members are given a sizeable cash bonus to help them get started in life. Older graduate members, the so-called "Patriarchs," give special backing
in business, politics, espionage and legal careers to graduate Bonesmen who exhibit talent or usefulness.
The home of Skull and Bones on the Yale campus is a stone building resembling a mausoleum, and known as "the Tomb." Initiations take place on Deer
Island in the St. Lawrence River (an island owned by the Russell Trust Association), with regular reunions on Deer Island and at Yale. Initiation
rites reportedly include strenuous and traumatic activities of the new member, while immersed naked in mud, and in a coffin. More important is the
"sexual autobiography": The initiate tells the order all the sex secrets of his young life. Weakened mental defenses against manipulation, and the
blackmail potential of such information, have obvious permanent uses in enforcing loyalty among members.