Reporter Alexandra Robbins claims to have interviewed over 100 "Bonesmen" in researching her book, Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power. In an MSNBC news story she offers some excerpts from her book:
Members of Skull and Bones must make some sacrifices to the society—and they are threatened with blackmail so that they remain loyal—but they are remunerated with honors and rewards, including a graduation gift of $15,000 and a wedding gift of a tall grandfather clock. Though they must tithe their estates to the society, each member is guaranteed financial security for life; in this way, Bones can ensure that no member will feel the need to sell the secrets of the society in order to make a living. And it works: No one has publicly breathed a word about his Skull and Bones membership, ever. Bonesmen are automatically offered jobs at the many investment banks and law firms dominated by their secret society brothers. They are also given exclusive access to the Skull and Bones island, a lush retreat built for millionaires, with a lavish mansion and a bevy of women at the members’ disposal.
Perhaps I'm just a skeptic - but her story doesn't pass the even the most generous smell test. She claims to have received a threatening phone call from a fellow journalist (who she refuses to name) telling her to back off from writing the book. She tells us that man named "Steve" was working on a book exposing Skull and Bones and apparantly had his apartment broken into by Bonesmen and was driven into hiding. Long on spooky-sounding conspiracy stories ... short on verifiable facts, it seems like Robbins was trying hard to trade on her Yale credentials ("Bonesmen have been exceedingly careful not to break this code of secrecy, and have kept specific details about the organization out of the press. Indeed, given the unusual, strict written reminder to stay silent, members of Skull and Bones may well refuse to speak to any member of the media ever again. But they have already spoken to me. When? Over the past three years. Why? Perhaps because I am a member of one of Skull and Bones’ kindred Yale secret societies.") in writing an anthrology of unverifiable anectodes and cashing in on the nation's current anti-corporation, anti-evil-white-male-consipiracy sentiment.