11.29.2005

Has Bush Sold His Soul? Was He Ever Really a 'Christian'? Is He - Oh, I Don't Know - EVIL?!
One Evangelical Wonders...

Is the President's Soul in Jeopardy?

excerpts from Lewis Alper at Counterpunch

Skull and Bones is a worrisome and strange Yale secret society. On August 17, 2000 there was an interview with President George W. Bush that bestirred controversy regarding his initiation into Skull and Bones. Time Magazine asked if it troubled him that he had been initiated into the Society when he was a young man. President Bush responded, "No qualms at all. I was honored." Inevitably some people, knowing the Skull and Bones reputation of blasphemy, were surprised that the President said he was "honored." Others, particularly Christians defended him saying, in effect, "Let's put this aside. He was forgiven of that when he accepted Christ." The disturbing fact, however, is that President Bush's statement came many years after he announced he had accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour.

In that light, the more one learns about Skull and Bones, the more distressing the President's statement becomes. It raises vexing questions for those of us who live our life in Christ and do so as evangelicals.

The fruits of my investigations revealed some details that are truly frightening...

***

"When I was young and irresponsible, I behaved young and irresponsible," President Bush says of this time. In this remark he clearly was not including as "irresponsible" his initiation into Skull and Bones, as witness the statement of this 54-year-old Christian man who says he was honored to be initiated.

It was in 1968 that the 22-year-old was initiated into the cult - as his father and grandfather Prescott had been before him. As had been his uncles Jonathan Bush, John Walker and George Herbert Walker II, his great-uncle George Herbert Walker, Jr. and cousin Ray Walker and numerous friends. Young George was very much following in the footsteps of his kinsmen. Such a multi generational experience, one imagines, inevitably intensifies the emotion and affects of the ritual and gives it more legitimacy and power.

The initiation takes place in an environment called The Tomb where one encounters human and animal skeletons and skulls. "The death's-head logo stamps everything from crockery to painted borders on the wall." (Robbins, p. 87). In this setting "Bonesmen" return weekly after the initiation to talk about what most matters to them. While many of the 1968 initiates spoke of Vietnam, George W. Bush is witnessed to have spent most of his presentations in the tomb speaking about his father--reportedly in "at God-like terms." One of the President's 1968 classmates has said that being in Skull and Bones made young George feel even closer to the line of ancestors who had been in the secret group before him--"it just kind of crystallized his value system." (Robbins, p.178.) Skull and Bones, in this view, became important because it was sealing in young George a sense of identity with family as mutual practitioners of the Skull and Bones rituals and as adaptors of its beliefs.

***

With a hood placed on his head, the text of the Robbins book reports, the initiate is "marched throughout the Tomb on a pseudo-tour, during which the knights and patriarchs shriek in high-pitched voices jokes about the initiate's girlfriend or dog, akin to benign 'yo' mama' cracks." (p.119.) Although resembling Carnival rites in many cultures, in fact the ritual soon begins to teeter dangerously toward other dark ceremonies from anti-Christian secret societies of the past.

The society has a story it claims gives historical and even religious credibility and sanction to these rites. The society's adopted myth states that the Roman goddess Eulogia ascended into heaven in 322 BC. The society's lore refers to the 'First Miracle of the origin of our Goddess' (Robbins, p.84) and to her "second coming" toYale in 1832 to found the society. "Eulogia! Eulogia! Eulogia!" the "Bonesmen" shriek as the initiate is escorted into the inner temple before he is compelled to sign his name to an oath of secrecy.

After this the initiate is brought before a picture of Judas Iscariot, whose name the group screams three times, and then he is led to the heart of the rite: the initiate is pushed to his knees before a human skull filled with blood placed at the foot of a human skeleton called Madame Pompadour.

The crowd "implores him to 'Drink it! Drink it! Drink it!'" and he does. Then he is hurried to a man dressed as the Pope. "But not before the D whips him in the face with his tail. The initiate bends to kiss the Pope's slippered toe on the skull." (Robbins, p.120.) This is the core of the very un-Christian and blasphemous rite that enfolded so many members of the Bush clan into the secret society, mirroring similar rites from earlier blasphemous societies and indeed even some devil-worshipping sects.

***

I was shocked to discover that the Goddess Eulogia is a fabrication. And not a simple fabrication but one that leads us to something very specific. There never was a Roman goddess by that name. However, students of New Testament Greek know that eulogia is one of the names given to the sacrament as in St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians: "The cup of blessing ('eulogia') which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?" Alarming to me and perhaps it will be to you, rather than honoring the sacrament, we see that the secret society initiation culminates in a parody of partaking of the blood of Christ. This parody is known in other contexts as the sinful Black Mass. We know Black Mass is not truly parody but blasphemy and sacrilege. Invoking Judas, dishonoring the Pope and violating the sacrament is terrible sacrilege.

***

It is right that we pray for Mr. Bush and pray fervently, for his soul is profoundly endangered.

***

Faust: If this will satisfy you, then I say let us agree and put this farce to odd use.

Mephistopheles: Blood is a quite peculiar juice.

Faust sold his soul to the devil for power in this temporal world. Let us now be witness to the issue of the desire for power at all costs, and the desire for money that makes for power outside God's world, as it played its (Faustian?) hand through the men in the Bush family line who have been initiated into this rite. I could not help but note the glaring reality that President Bush, his father George, and his grandfather Prescott span three generations of profiting from war and trading with the enemy.

***

The question of who profits from war must be addressed in Iraq as it had been in World War II with President Bush's grandfather. With grieved heart, when I looked to answer this, having been led to this journey by what I learned about Skull and Bones, I found that the companies that are profiting from huge contracts are those closest to and most generous with the President's political party and closest to administration officials, including the Vice President.

And, of course, the lies and exaggerations that led to the war- the non-existent weapons of mass destruction, the non-existent ties between Hussein and Al Qaeda - are now the reality of the daily news. Over 2000 American dead and 30,000 Iraqi.

In this light, let us return then to President Bush having stated he had been "honored" to become a "Bonesman" and to his hosting the secret society members in the the House. Some have asked - is he in fact a true Christian? A few have suggested he sought to succeed as a politician after years of alcoholism and many failures in his career by drawing to himself a base of us evangelical voters. For myself, for a long time I deeply trusted the President because I believed he trusted God. I continued to trust him until some months ago. I am now sadly reminded of the words of Christ : "The devil is the father of lies."

***

Finally, for me, there were the photos of torture in Iraqi prisons, and the news reports of unreleased videotape of children being tortured. This was soon followed by the Wall Street Journal's revelations of the administrations legal efforts to avoid prosecution for torture. And more recently the White House efforts to veto John McCain's efforts to outlaw torture. (McCain himself was tortured in Vietnam and claims that a policy of torture endangers Americans in Iraq.) More than ever I was alerted to the danger the President's soul is in. Is it for a moment possible that a Christian could justify torture? Is he a Christian or have we been lied to?

The ancestral pattern is clear: Trading with the enemy and profiting from war. The Skull and Bones initiation, to the degree it sets young men on a path of ruthless worldly seeking and flaunting of Christian values, was successful. Prescott Bush's legacy, it heart-renderingly appears, is alive and well and living in the White House - and if we are silent we are all implicated.

Prayer is the order of the day, for President Bush is before anything else a child of God.

"And the Devil, taking him up into a high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the Devil said unto him, 'All this power I give you and the glory of them; for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will give to if thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.'"

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