Monday, December 04, 2006

Boodle Boys/Girls - Current Roster


Boodle Boys/Girls - Current roster


Howdy One & All,

Here a list of recent members of the Order of Skull & Bones. The dates with an x have been confirmed from the Order's own paperwork.

The complete known membership list is available for download in a spreadsheet at http://ctrl.org/boodleboys/index.html

Peace,
K

Boasberg, Thomas Alexander 1986 x DC
Budill, Edward McRae 1986 x NY/Pittsford
Chittenden, John Sisson 1986 x NY, Brookly
Crotty, Sean Patrick 1986 x ME, Kennebunkport
Dodge, William Sickels 1986 x CA/ San Anselmo
Gottheim, Joshua Chess 1986 x NY. Johnson City
Havas, Steffan Thayer 1986 x NV/ Reno
Hilliard, Jeffrey 1986 x PA/ Stroudsbourg
Kline, David Franklin 1986 x ND, Fargo
Meyer, Tory Austin 1986 x NY, Chappaqua
Quamina, Alvan Vincent George 1986 x CT/NH
Reeves, William Huntington 1986 x VA, Richmond
Schillinger, Edward Alexander 1986 x NY, Mt Kisco
Strong, Thomas Joseph 1986 x NYC
Walton, Reginald Keith 1986 x Law AL/Birmingham
Cheeks, George Arthur 1987 x OH/ University Heights
Dudley, Andrew Jenkins 1987 x IL/Oak Park
Ewing, Dino Bartlett 1987 x DC
Guettel, Adam Arthur 1987 x NYC
Jeffries, Christopher Warden 1987 x CT/New Canaan
Keck, David Alderson 1987 x CT/NH
Loveyjoy, John Cooper 1987 x PA/sewickly
Millard, Hugh 1987 x NYC
Moscoso, Ricardo 1987 x NYC
Nguyen, Linh Cuu 1987 x SC/Greenville
Shapiro, Michael David 1987 x MA/Brookline
Sylvain, John Stanislaus Henry, II 1987 x NH/Hampton Falls
Wheeler, Kenneth Edward 1987 x NY/Springfield Gardens
Wishnie, Michael Joel 1987 x MA/ Newton
Yoder, Paul Justin 1987 x CA/Elk Grove
1988
1988
1988
1988
1988
1988
1988
1988
1988
1988
1988
1988
1988
1988
1988
Agha, Sohail 1989 x Pakistan/Karachi
Alicea, Noel 1989 x NJ/ Newark
Ashby, Arlan Marcus Caine 1989 x NY/ Edison
Cervepis, Todd Christopher 1989 x NC/ Durham
Cornwell, Michael James 1989 x DC
Fisher, Whitney Charles 1989 x NYC
Giamatti, Paul Edwards Valentine 1989 x CT/Hamden
Haas, James Andrew 1989 x MA/Weston
Korn, Daniel 1989 x NY/Fresh Meadows
Lawerence, Glover Harold 1989 x OR/Portland
O'Brien, Edward Orestes 1989 x NY/St. James
Puchtler, Joel Scobie 1989 x NH/ Barrington
Ryan, Michael David 1989 x NY/Staten Island
Walsh, Michael Francis 1989 x CO/Boulder
Williams, Derrick Maurice 1989 x MI/Detroit
Abrams, Lawrence Dewyatt 1990 x NYC
Aibel, Matthew Benjamin 1990 x NYDemarest
Allara, Willis Chapman 1990 x MA/Wayland
Arndt, Willis Chapman, Jr. 1990 x CT/Old Lyme
Cohen, Andrew Jay 1990 x FL/Brandon
Figueroa, Richard 1990 x IL/Chicago
Gajdusek, Karl Lawrence 1990 x CA/Corte Madera
Hajanal, Zoltan Lloyd 1990 x Canda/Whiteshore Place
Liu, Eric P. 1990 x NY/Wappingers Falls
Milbank, Dana Timothy 1990 x NY/Merrick
Nondorf, James Gregory Robert 1990 x IN/Hammond
Pike, Stephen Langdon 1990 x NY/Rochester
Reed, Mark Armstead 1990 x CT/NH
Sellars, Reginald Bryant 1990 x NC/Winston-Salem
Wertheim, John Vincent 1990 x NM/Santa Fe
Alston, Jonathan Adriel 1991 x NJ/ Newark
Battle, Marell Eston 1991 x Al/Huntsville
Campbell, Cecil Dean Clarke 1991 x MD/Silver Spirings
Delevett, Peter Christian, II 1991 x FL/Pensacola
Estep. Bryon Stearns 1991 x NYC
Goolsbee, Austan Dean 1991 x CA/Whittier
Johnson, Terrell Gordon 1991 x MA/ Mendon
Jones, Benjamin Silliman 1991 x MA/Greenfield
Keaveney, Kevin Michael 1991 x CO/CO springs
Passoja, Erik Allen 1991 x NYC
Schwimmer, David Adam 1991 x NYC
Stracks, John Steven 1991 x IL/Winnetka
Vasquez, Wilfredo 1991 x NY/Bronx
Webster, Douglas Clifford 1991 x VA/Vienna
Worth, John Harold 1991 x NYC
Abdul, Makunda 1992 x NJ/Cranbury
Bernstein, Daniel Jeremy 1992 x NYC
Davis, Marco Antonio Enrique Castaneda 1992 x NY/Mt. Vernon
Gitchell, Joseph Graham 1992 x IA, Ames
Gray, David Edman 1992 x OH, Dayton
Kirchman, Dana 1992 x NYC
Kouri, Christopher Henry 1992 x NC/Charlotte
O'Buachalla, Ciaran Padraig 1992 x Ireland/Piercetown
Romain, Alex 1992 x MA/Boston
Sharkey, Catherine Moira 1992 x MD/Baltimor
So, Lilly Yang 1992 x NY/Rye Brook
Stanley, Elizabeth Ahylyn 1992 x VA/Burke
Strain, Christian Raymond 1992 x France/ Chatou
x 1992 x
x 1992 x
Boren, Carrie Christine 1993 x TX/Longview
Colavito, Peter Nicholas 1993 x NY/Bronx
Gonzales, Oscar Reynaldo 1993 x Honduras, Puerto Cortes
Lehman, Ann Louise 1993 x PA/Holtwood
Ngo, Karen Ka-Kei 1993 x CA/Morga
Park, Chan 1993 x MD/Rockville
Peters, Gregory Kent 1993 x VA/McLean
Pihl, Tina 1993 x CT/Guilford
Rothman, Adam 1993 x MA/Boston
Ruff, Tayna Renee 1993 x OH/Cincinatti
Sheronas, David Anthony 1993 x PA/Devon
Skidmore, Robert Riley 1993 x CT/NH
Taylor, Camilla Bronwen 1993 x OH/Cleve;and Heights
Vishio, Eva Patrice 1993 x MD/Baltimor
Whyte, Paul Andrew 1993 x NY/Bronx
Breyer, Nell Beryl 1994 x MA/Cambridge
Clark, Philip 1994 x PA/Brookhaven
Gilhool, Nicholas Kane 1994 x PA/Philadelphia
Grennan, Kate 1994 x NY/Jersey City
Hess, Mignon Page 1994 x WA/Ridgefield
Lee, Simon Craddock 1994 x NY/Pelham
Leonhardt, David René 1994 x NY/Hastings-on-the-Hudson
Lieberman, Aaron Oscar Lewis 1994 x AZ/Phoenix
Martinson, Haldan 1994 x CA/Santa Monica
Perry, Imani Nia Chiara 1994 x MA/Cambridge
Rocha, Alina Merceds 1994 x Mexico/DF
Saunders, John Kenneth 1994 x OH/Whitehouse
Singley, M'Balia Kafi 1994 x PA/Melrose Park
Warnick, Angela Lee 1994 x WA/Tacoma
Waterman, Shana Christie 1994 x MI/Pontiac
Dacosta, Michelle Marcia 1995 x NJ/Irnington
Emerson, Geoffrey Guy 1995 x WA/Seattle
Grunstein, Yoav 1995 x Israel/Hereliya
Hadayia, Jennifer Marie 1995 x TX/Bellaire
Joo, Sonya Yunee 1995 x NJ/Berkley Heights
Martin, Donald Washington 1995 x VA/Rural Retreat
Martinez, Enrique 1995 x CA/Union City
Mellish, Daniel Joseph 1995 x IL/Downers Grove
Nelson, Emily 1995 x NYC
Phan, Anh Ngoc 1995 x CA/San Jose
Poole, Yusef 1995 x CT/NH
Rivera, Aimee 1995 x NY/Bronx
Rosenbaum, Judith 1995 x CT/NH
Shiffman, Daniel Thomas 1995 x MD/Baltimor
Wagner, Janna Marie 1995 x CT/NH
Crane, Monica Kim 1996 x MO/St. Louis
Flores, Israel 1996 x CT/Hartford
Guckenberger, Virginia Walker 1996 x OH/Cincinatti
Hahn, Albert Sanghyup 1996 x NYC
Jackson, Kwame Addae 1996 x CA/Santa Barbara
Krishnamurthy, Preethi 1996 x CT/Ridgefield
Malvestutto, Carlos Diego 1996 x Canada/Ontario
Mazurkiewicz, Tony 1996 x IN/Crown Point
Norton, Nadjwa Effat Laila 1996 x CT/NH
Oda, Jonathan Francis Tadashi 1996 x HI/Hononlulu
Okpokwasili, Okwuchukwu Addania 1996 x NJ/Howell
Oppenheimer, Mark Edward 1996 x Writer MA/Springfield
Pipersburgh, Denise Joan 1996 x NY/Brooklyn
Taylor, Clinton Watson 1996 x OK/Durant
Weintraub, Rebecca Lynn 1996 x NY/White Plains
Arputhasamy, Paula 1997 x NY/Shirley
Das, Sarba 1997 x NJ/Randolph
Estrada, Francisco Javier 1997 x NY/Astoria
Farhadian, Tali Farimah 1997 x NJ/ Englewood Cliffs
Johnston, Michael Christopher Cox 1997 x CO/Vail
Klein, Jonathan Adam 1997 x CA/Placentia
Obioha, Nkechinyere Lovena 1997 x CA/LA
Park, Hyun 1997 x Spain/Los Palmas
Reeder, Gary Lacy, II 1997 x NC/Seagrove
Selzer, Robert Jackson 1997 x MO/KC
Shakman, Matthew Joseph 1997 x CA/Ventura
Sims, Patrick James 1997 x IL/Riverdale
Sweet, David McIntyre 1997 x PA/St. Davids
Whaley, Darcy Anne 1997 x WA/Federal Way
Yoon, Jane 1997 x NJ/river Vale
Bain, Regina 1998 x FL/rivera Beach
Choo, Michael Youngjun 1998 x MA/Cambridge Korea
Feigelson, Joshua Meir 1998 x MI/Ann Arbor -- CT/NH
Fromm, Blanca Monica Nele 1998 x CA/Altadena
Gastic, Blue (Billie) 1998 x NYC
Gilbert, Laura Elaine 1998 x VA/Stanardsville
Herskovits, Adrianna Zara 1998 x NYC
Hunterton, Gaberiel Sargent 1998 x NV/Las Vegas
Hoo, Robert George 1998 x CT/NH
Knable, Miles Andrew 1998 x CA/Sacramento
Kronman, Matthew Pattersom 1998 x DC
Min, Hae-Won 1998 x NJ/Tenafly
Pan, Christopher 1998 x CT/NH
Wilson, Isaiah, II 1998 x KY/Louisville
Williams, Lorelei 1998 x NYC
Abbot, Frances Reyburn (Frankie) 1999 x NYC
Auh, Eugene 1999 x Korea/Seoul
Benton, Scott Richard 1999 x IL, West Dundee
Eisenstadt, Leora F. 1999 x NY/White Plains
Falcon, Angel Luis, Jr. 1999 x NJ/South Hackensack
Fromm, Juliette Erica 1999 x CA/Altadena
Gonzalez-Altamirano, Julio 1999 x TX/McAllen
Lee, Earl Andrew 1999 x CA/Lafayette
McBride, Webster Dean 1999 x MD/Checy Chase
Medard, Wilodene Anastasia-Marie 1999 x Haiti/Port-au-Prince
Murphy, Maiya Jane 1999 x CO/Lakewood
Petit, Charles J. 1999 x CA/LaCanada
Raborar, Farrah Ann 1999 x MO/Springfield
Rashid, Tauheedah 1999 x CA/Oakland
Scott, Shannon 1999 x SC/Conway
Anderson, Dargie 2000
Berrelez, Manuel 2000
Blake, Benjamin 2000
Borghese, Luca 2000
Charles, Anana 2000
Denit, Kelly 2000
Heikkila, Jennifer 2000
Hirway, Hrishikesh 2000
Hongo, Andrew 2000
Johnson, Ayanna 2000
Kirowski, John 2000
Lester, Sara 2000
Mizrahi, Celine 2000
Renan, Daphna 2000
Walker, Christopher 2000
Amaez, Daniel 2001 x NJ NY/Yorktown Heights
Barret, Annie Rachel 2001 x MD MA/Cambridge
Boone, Louvonia 2001 x KS GA/Calhoun
Cavaco, Isaiah 2001 x TX CA/Orange
Duncan, Mark MacKenzie 2001 x MA CA/Santa Ynez
Gahan, Kimberly Ann 2001 x NC MA/Belmont
Harris, Melanie 2001 x IA NY/New Rochelle
Maserati, Sarah Anne 2001 x CT CA/Palo Alto
Mazza, Peter 2001 x PA CT/Cheshire
Nam, Steve Taek 2001 x CA CA/Corona
Popper, Lauren Jane 2001 x CA CT/Riverside
Proper, Scott Bradley 2001 x CA NY/Niskayuna
Reyes, Patrick 2001 x CT NE/Scottsbluff
Sandy, Akobe 2001 x CA NY/Brooklyn
Slade David 2001 x CA AR/Fayetteville
Austin, Scott Alan 2001 x NJ/River Edge
Bair, Caitlin 2001 x MD/Highland
Banerjee, Bidisha 2001 x KS/Lawrence
Bazzle, John Bradley 2001 x TX/Dallas
Gaughen, Patrick Robert 2001 x MA/Cohasset
Goldsmith, William Dixon 2001 x NC/Old Fort
Herlwig, Paige Lynn 2001 x IA/Des Moines
Hudson, Jared McCabe 2001 x CT/ New Milford
Im, Jaisohn 2001 x PA/Wynnewood
Jiminez, Carlos 2001 x CA/Baldwin Park
Montgomery, Kenita Trenae 2001 x CA/Oakland
Montoya, Maceo 2001 x CA/Elmira
Penna, Timothy Rick 2001 x CT/Branford
Premejee, Sharmeen Malik 2001 x CA/LA
Ruiz, Sara Elizabeth 2001 x CA/Davis
Archibong, Ime 2003
Cobbett, Ashley 2003
Feins, Eric 2003
Kelly, E. B. 2003
Lange, Jason 2003
Norris, Graham 2003
Pearce, James 2003
Schraufnagel, Billy 2003
x 2003
x 2003
x 2003
x 2003
x 2003
x 2003
x 2003
Almy, Chad 2004
Ashraf, Sumeyya 2004
Burke, James 2004
Melniker, Sophie 2004
So, Perry 2004
Vitelli, Paul 2004
x 2004
x 2004
x 2004
x 2004
x 2004
x 2004
x 2004
x 2004
x 2004
Carr, Rob 2005
Croffy, Ally 2005
Fairbanks, Eve 2005
Favors, Jeohn 2005
Grimm, Dan 2005
Morales, Derek 2005
Ng, Derek 2005
Schemmer, Katharine 2005
Shamas, Raja 2005
Shanor, Dicky 2005
Smith, Kirby 2005
Sokolow, Eleanor 2005
Tang, Aaron 2005
x 2005
x 2005
Austin, Paige 2006
Babha, Satya 2006
Dalby, Owen 2006
Dyches, Brandon 2006
Edsail, Caroline 2006
Fei, Jessica 2006
Frericks, Anson 2006
Hopkins, A. J. 2006
Mehta, Nazneen 2006
Liebenluft, Jacob 2006
Phan, Don 2006
Raza, Gul 2006
Sarnelli, Crissaris 2006
Shamas, Diala 2006
Thomas, Andre 2006

Saturday, November 18, 2006

LA CABEZA DE VILLA





from:
The New Yorker
11/27/89
p. 108-120
LA CABEZA DE VILLA

ONE of the current members of the Wednesday Group can say precisely when it was founded. They know that the original Wednesday Group-a weekly, luncheon gathering of self-selected representatives of the intelligentsia of El Paso, Texas—-got started more than twenty-five years ago, and that Pablo Bush Romero, who goes back almost twenty years, is the senior active member. They know that solidarity is a Wednesday Group tradition. In other words, whatever Pablo Bush Romero ultimately decides to do about Pancho Villa’s skull—even if circumstances force him to drag the Wednesday Group into a high-profile geopolitical controversy—the other members are a good bet to back him up a hundred per cent, more or less.

Pablo Bush Romero, a tall and imposing bald man with a pencil-thin mustache, who is now in his mid-eighties, reads a lot. A couple of years ago, he came across “Let the Tail Go with the Hide,” a cowhide-bound vanity-press as-told-to memoir that was published in 1984 by an Arizona rancher and businessman named Ben F. Williams and his daughter-amanuensis, Teresa Williams Irvin. “I read this book by accident,” Bush Romero said later, meaning that the general subject matter lay outside his usual areas of interest, which include under-water archeology, big-game hunting, and Mexican history. What did arouse his interest was two passages that seemed to explain the fate of Pancho Villa’s skull—la cabeza de Villa—which became separated from the rest of his bones in 1926 and has been missing ever since. Villa, the fabled Mexican Centaur—peon hero, scourge of the landowner, part-time bandido, brilliant military strategist—was assassinated and buried in Parral, a town south of Chihuahua, in 1923. According to “Let the Tail Go with the Hide,” Ben Williams happened to turn up in Parral in February of 1926, a few days after an acquaintance of his, an American soldier of fortune named Emil Holmdahl, was jailed as a suspect in the desecration of Villa’s tomb. Williams described visiting Holmdahl in the Parral jail, receiving assurances that he had had nothing to do with robbing the tomb, and arranging for his release. When Williams next encountered Holmdahl, about six weeks later in EI Paso, the soldier of fortune confessed not only that he had robbed the tomb and disposed of the head but also that he had collected twenty-five thousand dollars for his trouble and wished to express his gratitude. An apparent capacity for recalling punchy dialogue verbatim was one of Williams’ remarkable skills:

“Half the money is yours, because you got me out of that damned jail. I have it in my pocket.”
I looked at him and said, “Emil, if I had known then what you’re telling me now, you’d still be in that jail. I’m not interested in your goddamn money!”
He said, “What difference does it make, whether that head is in the hole where it was or where it is now?”
I got up from the table and left. That was the last time I ever saw Major Emil Holmdahl.

Forty-five years and a hundred and eighty-five pages later, in Phoenix, Williams visited a friend, Frank Brophy. On Brophy’s wall he saw “a plaque of the Skull and Bones Society.” When Brophy acknowledged that he was a member of Skull and Bones and remarked that “we have Pancho Villa’s skull in our house at Yale,” Williams proceeded to tell him the tale of Holmdahl, the jail in Parral, and the twenty-five thousand dollars. Brophy replied, “By God, that’s right! Five of us put up five thousand dollars apiece. The other members of Skull and Bones covered his expenses.”

It is a simple fact that Frank Brophy graduated from Yale College but was never a member of Skull and Bones, the most myth-shrouded of Yale’s under-graduate senior societies. Whatever hung on Brophy’s wall would therefore not have been “a plaque of the Skull and Bones Society.” This strongly implies, of course, that if Frank Brophy (who died in 1978) told Ben Williams (who died in 1985) that he and four Bones accomplices had paid twenty-five thousand dollars for Pancho Villa’s cranium his object was to embroider an anecdote that sounded to him more colorful than truthful. It also implies that Brophy was the sort of person who would have enjoyed knowing that a casual, innocent prevarication of his could resurface and cause a stir in EI Paso many years later. Above all, it implies that Frank Brophy and Ben Williams would have fitted right in with the Wednesday Group. In EI Paso—along the blurry border, where the truth can often become as cloudy as the water in the Rio Grande, where history has immediacy and mythology counts for a lot—simple facts tend to ferment awhile before they’re allowed to imply much at all.

BEING dead for sixty-six years has not seriously diminished Pancho Villa’s topicality in EI Paso. Newspaper editors there have long assumed that interchangeable stories marking the anniversary of Villa’s assassination or one of his military skirmishes—with headlines like “PANCHO VILLA RIDES AGAIN IN MEMORY”—make good if not necessarily fresh copy. If, no anniversary is convenient, it’s always O.K. to send a feature writer over to Juarez to interview one of Villa’s widows. In downtown EI Paso, the hotel concierge can still point you to buildings that bear alleged bullet scars left by Villa’s troops. Knowledgeable natives can offer directions to the office of the doctor who periodically treated Villa for chronic gonorrhea. A man in El Paso told me not long ago, with obvious pride, that his mother once danced with General John (Black Jack) Pershing, Villa’s nemesis. Any self-respecting night spot in Juarez, it is said, comes equipped with a mariachi group capable of rendering at least half a dozen corridos, or ballads, about Villa—including, of course, the popular standard “La Decapitación de Pancho Villa.”

In 1960, Haldeen Braddy, a profes-sor at what was then Texas Western College and is now the University of Texas at EI Paso, or UTEP, published an article in the journal Western Folk-lore titled “The Head of Pancho Villa.” Braddy catalogued all the extant theories concerning the missing skull: the tomb was violated by Villa’s enemies, among them one of his assassins and a Mexican Army general; the skull ended up in the hands of American scientists who thought studying it would reveal the source of Villa’s battlefield genius; the culprits were treasure hunters attracted by the legend that tattooed to Villa’s scalp was a map showing where he had buried gold ingots in the Sierra Madre. Braddy also discussed Emil Holmdahl but offered an account of his capture, interrogation, and release not at all consistent with what Ben Williams recorded in his memoirs a quarter of a century later. Other sources suggested that Holmdahl had once tried to buy the head—from the Mexican general—but had failed to come up with the money. Braddy, however, turned up no evidence of this. “The head of Pancho Villa, in the absence of proof to the contrary, is still in Mexico,” Braddy concluded.

Current events have been a staple of Wednesday Group conversations, along with history, archeology, and anthropology. Haldeen Braddy’s scholarship notwithstanding, however, until Pablo Bush Romero introduced la cabeza de Villa as a discussion topic none of the other members had given it much thought. “As a matter of fact, we didn’t even know the son of a bitch was missing,” Frank Hunter told me. Hunter started hanging out with the Wednesday Group around the time he stopped practicing law full time, seven years ago, and he doesn’t deny that his eagerness to pursue la cabeza de Villa has dovetailed with his wife’s eagerness to get him out of the house more often. Three afternoons a week, Hunter puts in regular hours on the golf course, but golf alone cannot nourish an inquisitive mind. It was the former American consul-general in Juarez, now a lapsed member, who originally invited Hunter to join the Wednesday Group. As now constituted, the group reflects a catholic range of interests. Pablo Bush Romero, the exemplar, has had several lucrative careers—automobile dealer (the largest Ford agencies in Mexico City and Juarez), resort developer (on the Yucatan Peninsula), and movie producer (he once showed me a picture of himself with Lupita Topar, “the Mexican Mary Pickford”). Alex Apos-tolides is an archeologist, a museum curator, a free-lance folklorist, co-host (with his wife) of a weekly South-western-history program on the local National Public Radio affiliate, and a weekly columnist for the EI Paso Herald-Post. Oscar Gonzalez has a ranch near Juarez and occasionally promotes bullfights and prizefights. Eugene Finke is a retired Navy captain and electrical engineer who has taught political science at UTEP. Bob Massey has taught studio-art courses at the university. John Bockoven, who happens to be Frank Hunter’s brother-in-law, was stationed in EI Paso, at Fort Bliss, during the Second World War but devoted his civilian career to the insurance business in Wisconsin until five years ago; then he retired to EI Paso and immediately joined the Wednesday Group. A couple of retired Army generals, among them a commanding officer of Fort Bliss, have drifted in and out. So have a rabbi and an F.B.I. agent. Donald Rathbun, an active member, is a physician who once trekked part of the way up Mt. Everest. He is also an accomplished photographer and geologist who carries two business cards-one for his medical practice and one that says “METEOR-ITE RECOVERY EL PASO.” Along with Apostolides, he has organized extra-curricular Wednesday Group excursions to Mexico. Because his avocations demand as much time as his vocation, Dr. Rathbun says, it is a convenient coincidence that his medi-cal specialty is neurology and that the missing part of Pancho Villa is the skull.

I once asked Frank Hunter to explain the protocols of the Wednesday Group, and he said, “No officers, no rules, no nothin’.” As Hunter recalls the scene, Bush Romero showed up at lunch one Wednesday in the spring of 1987 with a copy of “Let the Tail Go with the Hide,” read the passages relating to Villa and Skull and Bones, and said, “Who wants to help me get this thing back?” No one at the table that day had any grasp of the rather more refined protocols of Bones: that fifteen male Yale seniors are selected each year to join the society, thereby entering a brotherhood whose bonds are supposed to offer ineffable but enduring spiritual sustenance; that no one who is not a member or an employee is ever supposed to enter Bones’ so-called tomb, a nearly windowless sandstone monolith in the center of the Yale campus; that it was once customary for a member who happened to be outside the tomb and heard the phrase “skull and bones” uttered to excuse himself, more or less in the manner of Clark Kent abruptly heading off to be Superman for a while. The Wednesday Group merely had a sense that Skull and Bones was old (it was founded in 1832), Eastern, and elitist. And the name, of course, suggested the potential for shadowy activities-say, plundering grave sites in the Mexican outback.

“Pablo’s immediate suggestion was that he would pay for tickets for us to go up to Connecticut and get the skull out of the Skull and Bones tomb up there at Yale,” Hunter said. “The thing that squashed that idea was that we would have to get some sort of admission into the place and we knew we didn’t have it. There was no sense all of us just wandering around New Haven.”

Instead, Hunter put in a call to Benno Schmidt, then recently installed as president of Yale. Without much difficulty, he got through and was able to explain why the Wednesday Group was interested in Villa’s skull. Schmidt replied that the subject was brand-new to him but that he would check it out. A few days later, Hunter received a call from Endicott Peabody Davison, Bones Class of ‘48, a partner in the white-shoe Wall Street law firm Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts, a former officer of Yale University, and at the time the designated spokesman for the Russell Trust Association, the governing body of Bones. Both Hunter and Davison, who is known to his familiars as Cottie, recall their first conversation as friendly. After stating with confidence that Skull and Bones didn’t have la cabeza de Villa, Cottie Davison said, “But if you’re looking for a skull we can probably get you one from the Yale Medical School.” Hunter demurred. What he and his friends had in mind, after all, was a particular skull.

I once heard a Bonesman from the nineteen-thirties brag that there was a time when all senior societies collected relics, and that Bonesies, being naturally superior in every respect, could not avoid excelling at this sport. He quickly added, however, that this institutional interest in relics “was of course generic rather than specific.” (According to this logic, there is no obvious explanation of how Wolf’s Head, the only other remaining all-male senior society, came to possess a set of Hitler’s silverware.) A Bonesman who was an undergraduate,
in the early seventies, and who has difficulty discerning the humor in this subject, said, “We’re not in the business of buying human remains.” A journalist and Yale alumnus who once investigated Skull and Bones says he is disinclined to believe the cabeza de Villa story, “because those old Wasps are so cheap it’s very unlikely they’d pay, twenty-five thousand dollars for it.”

If Davison expected Hunter simply to go away after their first conversations, he failed to take account of several factors, not the least of which was that Hunter, a lifelong resident of El Paso, relished the challenge of corresponding with a New England Brahmin named Endicott Peabody Davison. What motivated the members of the Wednesday Group above all was the knowledge that, no matter how slight might be their reason to believe that Pancho Villa’s skull reposed with-in the Bones tomb, they had plenty of free time to search for corroborating evidence. And so what if they couldn’t prove that Bones had la cabeza de Villa? Merely by stating their suspicion, they had burdened the trustees of Skull and Bones with the logically impossible task of proving that Bones didn’t have it.

SOME months ago, I sat in Dr. Rathbun’s office, in a quiet neighborhood near downtown EI Paso, in a room lined with glass display cases full of archeological and geological specimens and bookshelves stacked with medical literature. A square brown metal file box with an orange label that said “VILLA’S HEAD” rested at our feet. La cabeza de Villa—or, for that matter, the head of an adult gorilla—would have fitted neatly inside. In fact, however, the box contained copies of Dr. Rathbun’s voluminous avocational correspondence. During the past two years, he had written more than two hundred letters on behalf of the Wednesday Group. He wrote to the American Medical Association asking whether its archives might contain information about Villa’s head injuries. He also wrote to the A.M.A. requesting information about Holmdahl, who seems to have last been heard of in Arizona in the fifties. He had been in touch with a forensic archeologist at the University of Wyoming who had developed a computer technique that made it possible to regenerate from a skull the image of a human face. From the director of research of the Institute of Texas Cultures he requested photographs showing Villa with his mouth open. In EI Paso, Dr. Rathbun tracked down the daughter of a dentist who treated Villa on several occasions, but it turned out that the dentist had been dead for more than a decade and the daughter had burned all his records. In a letter to the National Academy of History and Geography in Mexico City he sought, among other things, information about a dentist whose first name was Roberto (but whose last name he could not recall), who might have treated Villa. The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, in Washington, sent Dr. Rathbun eight-by-ten glossy photographs, taken July 22, 1923, of the fresh corpse of Villa. A publisher in Parral sent photocopies of similar images, newspaper accounts of the assassination, excerpts from a book that recounted the’ assassination and the robbing of the grave, and a transcription of excerpts from Villa’s autopsy. In a letter to a Latin-American studies expert at New Mexico State University—a possible source of dental records, X-rays, or pathology reports—Dr. Rathbun discussed suing Skull and Bones to force their representatives to swear under oath that they didn’t have the skull.

“Our only goal in this whole thing is to improve relations between the United States and Mexico,” Dr. Rathbun said as he leafed through his files. “I think Mexico is embarrassed that the head of one of its national heroes is missing, and the Mexicans feel paranoid. Our roads are better, our schools are better, they owe our banks billions of dollars. At a gut level, when they come to the realization that the head of one of their heroes is residing in a club in a rich man’s school this is a thorn in their side. I think some people would be very pissed off about this. As citizens of a Catholic country, the Mexicans have a greater respect for the dead—reverence for the afterlife—than we do.”

During the time that Dr. Rathbun was accumulating his files, his Wednesday Group colleagues were not idle. Suing Skull and Bones, and Yale as well, was originally Hunter’s idea. The prerequisite for this strategy was a plaintiff with recognizable grounds for Complaint—with what is known in the law as “standing.” The Wednesday Group’s curiosity and sincere intentions did not, as a legal technicality, amount to standing. Hunter also looked into the 1970 Treaty of Cooperation between the United States and Mexico, and the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act. The latter, in particular, seemed to offer a basis for a lawsuit, but the sticking point remained: no plaintiff. Then it occurred to Hunter, a regular reader of the EI Paso newspapers, that somewhere in Mexico there must be a widow of Villa. “Pancho Villa had a unique method of courtship,” Hunter told me. “Whenever he saw a chick he wanted to spend the night with, he would marry her. He did this something like twenty-nine times. At the time we showed up, the Mexican government had decided that his legitimate widow was Soledad Seanez la Viuda de Villa. So I prepared an authorization for the lawsuit to be brought in her name.”

Oscar Gonzalez, who was once described to me as “one of those people about whom it’s said ‘They mean well,’ “was dispatched to Juarez to recruit Soledad Seanez to the cause. He carried a document that authorized him and Pablo Bush Romero, the Wednesday Group’s only Mexican citizens, “to bring such action as may be necessary to recover the head of my late husband, and have it returned to Mexico, to be buried with his remains.” Unfortunately, negotiations between Oscar and the incumbent Mrs. Villa did not proceed smoothly.
Hunter: “Oscar took it to her to sign and she refused.”

Dr. Rathbun: “At times, Oscar tends to be a little bombastic.”

Asked to account for what went wrong in Juarez, Gonzalez expressed strong suspicion that Soledad Seanez, at ninety-two, no longer possessed a full complement of marbles. Bush Romero, after one conversation with her, reached a similar conclusion. With what seemed like almost ideological fervor, the widow insisted that Villa’s skull was not missing from his grave.

Hunter’s correspondence with Davison, meanwhile, failed to maintain a tone of unalloyed affability: “Very frankly, Mr. Davidson [sic], we are convinced ... that the skull of Pancho Villa is held by the Skull and Bones Society of Yale University. If you would be so kind as to contact the governing body of that Society and inform them of the contents of this letter, we would be most appreciative. We feel they would be only too happy to return the skull to the proper authorities, rather than have us proceed under the applicable law with its attendant publicity.”

To which Davison replied, “Dear Mr. Hunter: ... Your letter does not help your cause in finding the skull of Pancho Villa.”

Not long after Bush Romero first mentioned “Let the Tail Go with the Hide,” Alex Apostolides wrote about it, rather elliptically, in his weekly column in the Herald-Post. Apostolides invited readers to send along any intelligence they might have about the skull, but he never returned to the subject in his subsequent columns. Therefore, when, more than a year later, a Herald-Post reporter named Tom Tolan wrote a story about la cabeza de Villa—a story that, in the fourth paragraph, invoked George Bush, Bones ‘48—he appeared to have come up with a scoop. The Herald-Post played it across the top of the front page, and the wire services picked it up. That happened just as the 1988 Republican National Convention was about to get under way. Previously, the Wednesday Group’s sphere of political influence had been limited to EI Paso: a former mayor was a lapsed member. By seeming to link the Republican nominee for President of the’ United States, however loosely, to the theft of the head of a Mexican national hero, the Wednesday Group was, for the first time, meddling directly with issues of geopolitical import. According to Tolan, going public with the accusations against Skull and Bones was a last resort. The most telling quotation came from Hunter: “We’ve come to the conclusion that the main thing they don’t want is publicity.”

Hunter’s analysis was accurate. Tolan discovered this for himself when he tried to interview Davison. “When I explained why I was calling, he sounded so sad,” Tolan told me. “He said, ‘But I’ve just spent two years putting to rest the Geronimo story.’”

The Geronimo story, a first cousin of the cabeza de Villa story, had floated around for years, and is not enormously popular with Cottie Davison. Ac-cording to Skull and Bones’ accusers in this instance—principally Ned Ander-son, a former chairman of the San Carlos Apache tribe, of Arizona—the grave of Geronimo, the Apache chief, was violated in 1918 by a six-man raiding party that included the young Prescott Bush, father of George. This depredation was described in a 1933 typewritten manuscript titled “Continuation of the History of Our Order for the Century Celebration,” and a copy of it somehow found its way into Anderson’s hands. Davison and other Bonesies agreed that the document was authentic, but insisted that the events it described—the prying open of the iron doors of Geronimo’s tomb, the use of carbolic acid to clean the skull—were purely apocryphal. Nevertheless, fire or no fire, a tinge of smoke hung in the air. Several generations of Bonesies were familiar with the contents of a glass display case inside the New Haven tomb: a skull that everyone referred to as Geronimo. Whose skull it truly was and how it wound up in the display case were less clearly established. The Apaches had to be dealt with respectfully, and Davison made an effort. In 1986, in New York City, he and other representatives of Skull and Bones—among them George Bush’s brother Jonathan—met with Anderson. They brought a skull, and offered it to Anderson, but he declined it because it seemed not to be the same one he had seen in photographs surreptitiously provided by an anonymous dissident member of Bones. The nose and eye cavities didn’t match. Also, Anderson took offense at a document that Davison wanted him to sign, which stipulated that neither the Apaches nor Skull and Bones would publicly discuss the whole business. Following this encounter, the dispute, though it remained unresolved, became more or less dormant. Anderson has from time to time petitioned public officials for help, but he still lacks proof that Geronimo’s grave was ever robbed. The chief is buried on an Army base in southwestern Oklahoma, and his descendants there oppose disturbing his remains.

PABLO BUSH ROMERO, meanwhile, feels ill served by the President of the United States. When Tom Tolan broke the story in the Herald-Post, Bush Romero and Dr. Rathbun, both of whom strongly support the agenda of the Republican Party, felt apprehensive-for the same reason that Hunter and Apostolides, who are loyal Democrats, did not mind a bit seeing George Bush accused in print of being soft on grave robbers. Dr. Rathbun still marvels at the failure of the Democrats to exploit the issue during the Presidential campaign. “Because I’m a Bush enthusiast, I was worried that this was going to become a big controversy,” Dr. Rathbun has said. “I never understood why Dukakis didn’t make a fuss about it. He could have made hay out of the fact that Bush was a member of a Yale secret society that collected heads and that his father had done the same thing. He could have hurt Bush more with Pancho Villa’s head than Bush hurt him with the Pledge of Allegiance. The only thing I can think of is that there must have been Democrats who were members of Skull and Bones and who prevented Dukakis from bringing this up.”

Although Pablo Bush Romero and George Bush share no blood ties, in jocular moments Bush Romero refers to the President as “my poor relative,” and it gives him no pleasure to speculate that he and the Wednesday Group might yet be forced to escalate the matter of la cabeza de Villa into an international incident. Each time the President’s handlers abandon modesty and enumerate his accomplishments since he took office, Bush Romero notes with regret that the repatriation of Villa’s headbone is not on the list, and he feels his self-restraint weakening. His poor relative, he believes, owes him one—a sentiment that he readily conveys to anybody fortunate enough to be invited to a meeting of the Wednesday Group. For more than a year now, the Wednesday Group has gathered at the Pinetum, an ostensibly Chinese restaurant on the west side of EI Paso, which is part of a commercial strip also populated by floor-covering stores, automotive-service centers, and what seems to be every franchise restaurant known to man. The Pinetum, sui generis, comes equipped with bamboo-print wallpaper and Masonite in the seating area and someone in the kitchen who is not afraid to be generous with the mono-sodium glutamate. Its main attraction is that it has less ambient noise than other places where the Wednesday Group has convened, among them the Juarez country club and a kosher butcher shop. Hunter has said of the Pinetum, “The reason we’re here is that they have a very limited clientele and they have a room that’s just right for us. We can meet and speak in plain language and no one ever objects.”

The first time I dined with the Wednesday Group, Ben Williams’ daughter, Terry Irvin, was also a guest. The conversation that day naturally centered on la cabeza de Villa, and at one point I polled the crowd. On ‘a scale of one to ten, how strongly did they believe that Skull and Bones had the head? “Ten-plus,” Mrs. Irvin said. “I know my dad did not make that story up. There is no reason in the world for this subject even to have come up when we were writing that book if it wasn’t true. I’m convinced in my own mind that they did it and they paid Emil Holmdahl to do it.”

While waiting for la cabeza de Villa to resurface, she has written a screen-play about it. She has also enlisted as an ally Garry Trudeau, the cartoonist, who has published two series of “Doonesbury” strips satirizing Skull and Bones. When I polled the other members, Bush Romero was a solid ten, and Hunter turned up at the low end, with a seven (demonstrating, hardly for the first time, that for the pleasure of an argument most lawyers will advocate anything). Oscar Gonzalez, the finest hairsplitter in the crowd, came in at nine-point-eight-five. Something in Gonzalez’s manner—a naturally antic quality-brought to mind a joke I had heard, about the man who was offered (in this version) two authentic Villa skulls: one of Villa as a boy and one as an adult. Gonzalez still holds out hope that one of Villa’s sons, Hippólito, who now lives in Mexico City, will agree to become the plaintiff in a lawsuit. The notion that anyone would regard such a lawsuit as frivolous offends Gonzalez. “This is an international group—we go all over,” he said. “We’re men. We’re not kids. We know what we’re doing.” Gonzalez had to leave early that day, and he made a ceremonious exit. He put on a black cowboy hat, which made him appear at least five and a half feet tall, gave Bush Romero a brotherly hug, and bade farewell to his other com-padres with a “Viva Villa!” The last thing he said to me was “If you have Villa’s skull and you bring it back to Mexico, that would be one hell of an act of international friendship.”

Pablo Bush Romero, wishing to make approximately the same point, was more specific. He told me that Villa’s body was buried in the Monument of the Revolution, in Mexico City, and that if I could arrange for la cabeza de Villa to once again repose with it he would see to it that I received the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor that Mexico can give to a foreigner. At the time of this tempting offer, we were seated in a room in his house that he uses as a study, and he had just shown me Villa’s death mask-a bronze casting taken from a plaster-of-Paris impression of Villa’s face made shortly after his assassination.

Without wishing to seem immodest, Bush Romero said he assumed that he had read more about Villa than anyone else in the Wednesday Group. His library contains about twenty-five books on the subject, among them “Pancho Villa en la Intimidad,” by Luz Corral Vda. de Villa, Soledad Seanez’s predecessor as Villa’s officially recognized widow, and “Pancho Villa’s Shadow: The True Story of Mexico’s Robin Hood, As Told by His Interpreter,” by Ernest Otto Schuster. The latter book, one of Bush Romero’s favorites, features a dust-jacket photo-graph of a diminutive man wearing a dark suit and a straw boater and cavorting with a German shepherd. The caption says, “The author and his pal, Lobo.” Bush Romero also showed me a photograph of Villa taken in 1913, at the Battle of Ojinaga; a photograph of Villa and Emiliano Zapata sitting in a chair that they had looted from the presidential palace in Mexico City; a Villa autograph; and a bronze statue of Villa. These artifacts shared the room with photographs of Bush Romero and J. Edgar Hoover, Bush Romero and Marshal Tito, Bush Romero and Ronald Reagan, and Bush Romero and some pygmies, in what is now Zaire, posing with the largest privately owned ivory tusks in the world (at the time, Bush Romero owned them); with many big-game trophies (an Alaskan black bear, a wolf from Chihuahua, a wolf from Canada, a tiger from India, a lion from Africa, a Mexican fox and wildcat, a table with an elephant foot for a base and a surface covered with an elephant ear, on which sat a lamp made from an elk’s foot); and with a couple of shrunken human heads, from Colombia, one of which had been in better shape before “rats got to it.”

Bush Romero said he had shown the death mask of Villa and the relevant passages from “Let the Tail Go with the Hide” to the Mexican consul-general in EI Paso, who was impressed and sympathetic. He added that he had thus far avoided getting the Mexican government directly involved, however, because that would involve excessive red tape. “I could have gone to the governor of Chihuahua or the President of Mexico,” he said. “I wrote a letter to the President of Mexico today. But I didn’t go into this. I have other things I’m dealing with him on.” Rather, Bush Romero favored a strategy of direct appeal to George Bush. “I think that eventually we’re going to get something. President Bush wants good relations with Mexico, and that would be one of the best things he could do—influence his club to return the head.”

I mentioned a conversation I had had with a Bonesman who spent many years working in Washington and was of the opinion that “the demand for the return of the head of Pancho Villa is not a White House matter.”

Bush Romero seemed unfazed. “I’m looking at this from the international point of view,” he said.

The last time I happened to be in EI Paso, I discovered that there were no recent developments. The local press, for instance, had not been on top of the story. When I spoke with Tom Tolan, of the Herald-Post, he said that other than extending himself a while back to check out “a misleading rumor that Villa’s head was buried under a G-string at the Naked Harem,” a southeast EI Paso interpretative-dance laboratory, he had been preoccupied with other matters. The contingent at the Pinetum for that week’s Wednesday Club gathering was rather modest: Bush Romero, Hunter, Apostolides, Dr. Rathbun, John Bockoven, and Bob Massey. Of course, we talked about la cabeza de Villa. I felt somewhat sheepish accepting their hospitality, because I had come to lunch to report my growing suspicion that hounding Skull and Bones was a fruitless endeavor—not because the Bonesies would refuse to come clean about the skull but because they really didn’t have it. I warmed up to this by recounting a conversation with one Bonesman who told me he recalled during the early seventies seeing perhaps thirty skulls, not all of them human, scattered about the tomb.

“The fact that they have thirty or more skulls proves that they might have the skull of Villa,” Bush Romero said. “It can’t be proved. It’s just a matter of good will—Bush prevailing on his fellow club members. They collected heads. Why?” He turned his palms up and shrugged. “But they have a few. They’ve consulted with their lawyers and they’ve come to the conclusion that they’re not going to admit anything. And we’re trying to convince them that if they’ll return the head that’ll be it. We’ll bury the whole thing. Or they can leave the head somewhere where we’ll find it. One of the things we were going to discuss here was whether we I should write another letter to Bush, my poor relative. You tell him, Frank.”

Bush Romero deferred to Hunter, who extemporaneously paraphrased the text of a proposed letter to Skull and Bones, a copy of which would go to the President. Its concluding sentiment was “So now it’s time to put up or shut up.”
“If the letter goes unnoticed, then we’ll have to make it an international affair,” Bush Romero said. “It’s vital to Mexico’s history to get that head back with the body. I would make enough fuss that if the Mexican government even thinks not to act they’ll hear plenty about it. I’ll just take the whole thing to Mexico City. I know I can get Channel 2 and Channel 11 interested. If the President of Mexico or the Secretary of Foreign Affairs gets involved, then Bush will have to get involved.”

“The skull has got to be in New Haven,” Apostolides said. “By golly, we’ll take any skull that has a hole in the brain.”

“Villa is news,” Bush Romero said.

“And Villa is international news. He is the man most known in the Mexican Revolution worldwide. And anything that concerns Villa is news worldwide. And we’re banking on keeping that alive. Because it’s news.”

—MARK SINGER

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Propaganda and the News or What makes you think so?



















Propaganda and the News or What makes you think so?

an excerpt from:
Propaganda and the News or What makes you think so?
Will Irwin©1936
Whittlesey House
325 pages-First Edition-Out of print
—-—
An interesting book, 70 years old. Understanding where we have been helps see where “we” are going…

Peace,
K
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Chapter XXI
RUSES NEW AND OLD
IN THE United States as in Europe, peace demobilized whole regiments of war propagandists. Naturally they looked for new jobs at this attractive trade; and they found a brisk demand. The mental maneuvers of the war had taught both business and politics the uses of indirect advertising. Individuals and companies formerly innocent of trying to influence the press now joined the movement. New issues arising from the war had generated new societies to revise the world—or to keep it just as it was—and in these, as of old, the publicity department was driving wheel of the machine. While it still seemed possible that the United States would either join the League of Nations or some other Parliament of Man, new nations like Poland maintained active offices of propaganda in Washington or New York. This period witnessed also the rapid growth of a phenomenon which the slang of sociology calls the" pressure group"—societies formed to bring about special legislation. These strive with one hand to influence congressmen or senators through lobbies, letters and telegrams, and with the other to distribute and plant propaganda. This, of course, was not a new factor in American affairs; but the five years following the war saw its expansion into a universal method.

The publicity agent was adjusting himself to new conditions, and much of his output during this period was stupid and mechanical. A visitor to a city editor of New York found the office boy carrying away three full wastebaskets.

"Mimeographed publicity stuff, every sheet of it," said the editor, "and all from this morning's mail. We don't even attempt to read it." After a year or so, the incompetent and unoriginal among the publicity agents began to drop out and the flood of mimeographed copy subsided.

The artists refined their methods. Commercial propaganda—really, glorified advertising—took a leaf from the notebook of the political propagandist and began to create wide backgrounds. During this period, first the medical profession and then the laity learned of vitamins. The California orange growers opened a highly successful campaign to make the public conscious of those particular vitamins contained in oranges and orange juice. Health hints, medical lectures faithfully reported, even the praise of vitamins in general without any reference to oranges—all helped. Before they finished, they established the glass of orange juice as the eye opener of the American people. So without doubt they served the cause of public health and also their own cause. When, just after the war, skirts rose to a height that shocked the conservative, the stocking became conspicuous. Until then, silk stockings had stood the symbol of affluence; politicians called the rich the "silk-stocking element." Now, every factory girl scrimped and saved to buy a pair of these gauds. Rayon arrived as a substitute for its more luxurious sister. And the struggles of stocking manufacturers to keep short skirts in fashion form a chapter in our commercial history. J. R. Hamilton, advertising expert of Chicago, was working for Wanamaker's in Philadelphia when a customer planted in his mind a seed which grew into the idea of Mother's Day. He "sold" it to the local florists. By another year, it had become an American institution. The manufacturers of small luxuries for men followed with Father's Day.

The counselor on public relations extended his operations until he advised and guided not only single firms but whole industries. Will H. Hays represents the elite of this class. For more than a decade he has mediated between the motion-picture producers and the public. Through the Age of Smut he worked with more than partial success to "hold down Hollywood" while at the same time averting a general legal censorship. Hays stands at the moral height of his curious trade. In the depths wallow some of the men who during the boom of 1923-29 corrupted the country press on behalf of public utilities and certain agents of stock-jobbery who in the same mad period helped to spread that fatal illusion "the new economic plane."

Many counselors on public relations had one foot in commerce and the other in politics—even international politics. The most eminent figure in this class was the late Ivy Lee. It seems a pity that he died silently, leaving behind, so far as anyone knows, no real record of his activities. The candid reminiscences of Ivy Lee would be as useful to a future historian as Pepys' Diary—and perhaps as interesting to the student of human souls. He began his larger career as counselor for certain Rockefeller interests. He was careful, nevertheless, not to identify himself with the Rockefellers or any other group, so leaving himself free to serve all clients. He had a hand in an agitation for recognition of Russia as a means of increasing our export market. Indeed, he may have directed this campaign. So, too, when an element among the bankers decided that cancellation of European war debts would benefit American finance, they used Lee's talent for sweetening unpopular causes. And in the last year of his life he was advising the new German government on ways and means for making Nazi principles and methods less hateful to the average American citizen.

Simon-pure political propaganda—limitations of space will confine me to those recent instances which illuminate new methods.

One would overstate his case if he said that propaganda alone brought about national prohibition and then killed its own creation. Behind its birth and its death worked complex and subtle social forces. But half-truths, slanted news, deliberate creation of a false picture, pressure on the channels of publicity, all sped up the prohibition movement and rushed it on to its extreme in the Eighteenth Amendment. Similar methods, even more cleverly employed, carried along the movement for repeal so fast that it caught most politicians flat-footed.

The women's temperance organizations of the nineteenth century were our earliest pressure groups. Even when the average woman shuddered at the thought of voting, they were carrying into legislatures the humble petitions' of a dear, disenfranchised class. In the seventies and eighties, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union gathered up the scattered groups into a national organization. These ladies understood from the first the uses of made news. They would pick a small town for a "cleanup" and proceed to hold before its doors all-day prayer meetings wherein they craved mercy for the souls of the rum-seller and his drunkards. The proceeding was so picturesque and so full of action that New York, Philadelphia and Chicago newspapers sent special correspondents to follow the militant ladies and report their doings. So from the very beginning the W.C.T.U. attained to front pages all over the country.
When the able Frances Willard took charge, she established a policy of instilling hatred for beverage alcohol into the souls of the younger generation. Hence the temperance rallies of the Sunday schools with the children singing "Cold water, cold water, oh that is my song" and "Tremble, Demon Alcohol, we shall grow up some day!" Further, her followers used all the rising political influence of woman to force "temperance education" into the curricula of the public schools. Eventually, the textbooks on personal hygiene in nearly every state included chapters describing the effects of strong drink. In some cases this literature was merely yellow science; in some, it read like the peroration of a temperance orator. But Frances Willard fulfilled her mission. When she died, she left behind a rising generation whose typical member either repudiated alcohol or took it with a bad conscience.

Then the Anti-Saloon League appeared to transform distrust, dislike and hatred into positive action. It applied a new method in politics which has shown the way to in-numerable other pressure groups—the balance of power. It neither nominated a ticket nor permitted any of its members to run for office. Beginning with the small units and going on to the larger, it interviewed candidates and endorsed that one whose pledges most nearly fitted the ideals of the Anti-Saloon League. Before it finished, many a politician who drank a quart of straight whisky a day was making speeches in favor of prohibition. The very name of the society was a piece of clever propaganda. It did not imply legal prohibition of beverage alcohol, although such was the intention from the beginning. The saloon, the system of retail distribution, was the weak point in our old liquor business. Men who drew back from prohibition would join or support an organization aiming to destroy a social nuisance. And as the struggle grew more intense, the Anti--Saloon League, with its sister, the W.C.T.U., employed publicity agents to affect the newspapers.

The brewers and distillers supported all this time a counterpropaganda. In spite of large supporting funds, they lost most of their battles through failure of the men who employed the publicists to grasp the strategies of such a campaign. Notably—and most stupidly—they took on two opponents at once when they opposed the movement for woman suffrage, which was in this period rolling up like a snowball.

The sentiment for repeal of prohibition arose with the suddenness and violence of a cloudburst. In 1928, Smith's declaration for repeal probably constituted his chief political liability. This, more than the religious issue, was the reason why Hoover broke the solid South. Yet four years later an out-and-out declaration for repeal in the Democratic platform, contrasted with a muted declaration in the Republican, served Roosevelt as an asset. For, just as the tide began to turn, the opponents of prohibition organized, began their own pressure and launched their own propaganda. The astute Jouett Shouse took general direction of this agitation in its later stages. The publicity men assigned to this job perceived one plausible and useful half-truth. In the boom period, when materialism ruled and all classes were a little drunken with greed, crime had followed the tendency of the times. Criminals had organized, had begun to play for higher and higher stakes. Crime grew insolent and violent to an unprecedented degree. In most cities, the murderous activities of the underworld centered about the distribution of illicit alcohol. The eminent traders in sudden death were also "beer barons." It is impossible to say, however, whether the greed of boom days might not have engendered similar sores on the body politic, prohibition or no prohibition. Certainly, the commercial rackets of Chicago, which during one year cost the city more than a hundred million dollars, had little direct connection with bootleggers. But at best or worst, prohibition gave steady employment to hosts of young city toughs who employed murder as a means of competition. Also, the organized gangs of bankrobbers which stamped a gory mark on the social history of this period drew most of their personnel from the pr[a]etorian guards of illicit alcohol.

The organized enemies of prohibition tuned their propaganda on this note. The Eighteenth Amendment was the father of crime. Our scandalous murder rate, the growing corruption of our police, all went back to that source. They used other devices such as presenting partial statistics going to prove—probably contrary to the truth—that drinking had increased under prohibition, and rather bizarre estimates to show that the revenue from legalized alcohol would lighten taxation, balance the budget and restore prosperity. But the crime theme dominated the symphony. The newspapers needed small encouragement to publish stories of bootleg murders; such matter has been the common denominator for readers ever since the days of the chapbooks. Where encouragement was needed, the wet publicity agents applied it. Events worked with them. Just as the movement for repeal began to gather force, Hollywood discovered almost by accident the "pulling power" in films of underworld life. The characters in these dramas were mostly bootleggers, and the plots usually centered round tangles in the illicit alcohol business. Guardians of our public morals protested against setting such shocking examples before our young. The directors of the agitation for repeal drew their own moral to these immoral tales and drove it home through every channel of publicity: prohibition caused all these things to be.

Then, when the inevitable reaction had begun in the public mind, came that Lindbergh case which stirred our people as no other event of the decade. No one knew at the time whether this was the work of a gang or of some free-lance criminal. But the public in general, its eyes and ears full of gangster stories, interpreted it as part of a general background. And wet propaganda had already pointed to prohibition as the generator of these villainies. The Lindbergh episode was the spark that ignited the powder. But propagandists laid the train.

The propaganda of the Ku-Klux Klan is worth mention, now that the Invisible Empire has passed, for its successful use of the isolated instance. Some of the men who founded it were honest fanatics of provincial patriotism; more, probably, were good businessmen, interested in profits from the sale of regalia, or politicians trying to break in. This last element realized that the spread of the Klan was distinctly limited so long as it worked merely to "keep the negro in his place" and to regulate small-town morals. Its charters restricted membership to "white, native-born, Protestant, Gentile Americans." From the first, hatred had proved its best selling point—that hatred which in small minds is the best touchstone for patriotism. For a time the management considered emphasizing the word "Gentile," and starting, in advance of Hitler, a wave of anti-Semitism. But the Jew is typically a dweller in cities, while the Klan made its best appeal in the rural districts or the small towns. Here, "Protestant" would have the stronger pull. This policy decided, the rough but astute propagandists of the Klan turned all their guns against the Roman Catholic Church. The Know-Nothing party of the early nineteenth century founded its agitation on The Confessions of Maria Monk, a book which in collections of odd and mendacious literature occupies a place beside The Protocols of Zion. These new propagandists used the news-slanted, touched up, or dispensed without sense of proportion. Owing to the reverence with which Roman Catholics regard their priest-hood, American newspapers had tended to suppress or to minimize stories of those moral lapses happening occasionally among the clergy of this church—as among that of all churches. In the early days of Christian Science, the newspapers were critical of instances where the sick died under treatment of a healer. The new sect thereupon organized a committee to stimulate floods of protesting letters. This policy, continued year after year, stopped all criticism. So far as appears on any record, the Roman Catholics had never proceeded in such systematic fashion. Pressure was not necessary. Simply, editors and—especially—business managers hesitated to offend a large element of the community, with the risk of losing circulation and advertising. So the Ku-Klux Klan raked up every suppressed or muted story of the kind, old or new, often adding imaginative decorations, and put it forth in pamphlet, lecture and periodical. When the supply ran short, it hammered upon the civic offenses of Catholic laymen in trouble with the police. Axiomatically, the sins, follies and weaknesses of almost any individual, if recorded without mention of his virtues, wisdoms and strengths, could make him appear a creature unfit for membership in the human race. The Klan propagandist applied this principle to an organization. The average Klansman, being a trifle narrow between the ears, had a dull sense of proportion; to him, this matter appeared as well-rounded truth. It was the main stimulant for that bizarre movement which blossomed so rapidly and withered so suddenly.

The war between the Communist propagandists on one hand and the professional patriots on the other has its comic features. On its serious side it illustrates several principles; among others, the odd way in which extreme opponents sometimes find themselves singing the same song. In the two or three years following the war, the wisest could not even guess at the future of Communism in the United States and Western Europe. It was new; and it had brought off the most drastic internal revolution since the 1790's. It might capture the strong Socialist faction in every civilized country and set the workers of the world on fire. The French policy of the Cordon Sanitaire about the Russian border, the American and British appeals to patriotism and reason, had behind them a sense of necessity. Then, as the Soviet government settled down to the long pull, the movement lost ground on all its edges. Except in limited districts of China, the Communists have never gained an inch of territory which did not belong to old Imperialist Russia. Nevertheless, Moscow encouraged the agitation in other lands; though with smaller hope and enthusiasm in later years. So far as the United States is concerned, the "flood of Russian money" supporting Communist agitation is most probably a myth. According to my information—and it comes from very good sources—the lords of the new Russia have tended to reverse the process. Occasionally they have made a contribution to a special purpose, as when they subsidized a sick daily newspaper, which died nevertheless. If we knew the secrets of Soviet finance, we should probably find that the greatest single appropriation for work in the United States went to support the campaign of propaganda for recognition of Russia. And this had ends more mercenary than "freeing the workers" of America. The Russian government has, on the other hand, helped to direct the agitation in the United States; has even claimed the right to dictate appointment and removal of officers in the American Communist party.

Communist agitation on our side of the water has failed, to put the matter badly and bluntly. The depression was its opportunity; yet in the national election of 1932, when the party made its strongest "drive on the political front," it polled only 200,000 votes—about one-half of one per cent of the electorate. Numerically it remains distinctly a minor faction. But, like any political party, it exaggerates its own spread and importance in order to stimulate the fainthearted. And in this instance, so do its most active opponents. Every night some orator quotes to an audience of affrighted patriots the exaggerations of the Communists; every night some Red spellbinder repeats from a soapbox the multiplications of his militant enemies.

Less than moderately successful in rounding up votes, the Communists have proved themselves the best publicity men ever known to American politics. And they have used, virtually, only one device. They make the news. Here, again, their opponents have helped mightily by surrounding the operations of Communists with an aura of fear and melodramatic mystery. A common laborer who murders his neighbor attracts less space and attention from the newspapers than a common laborer who finds himself marked for deportation as a Communist. Two factions fighting it out at a Sunday picnic, with the police taking a battering from both sides—unless it ends in a killing, this recurrent event is good for six inches on an inside page of the local newspaper. A Communist riot of no greater magnitude and violence may achieve the honor of front-page notice all over the country. Barred by circumstances from ordinary channels of publicity, the Communists have specialized on action. Every strike, no matter by whom called, has a fringe of Communist agitators. If they manage to make themselves conspicuous, the employers assert that this is a "Red strike"—splendid advertising. Whenever a poor man runs dramatically afoul of the law, be his case good or bad, one of the multiple Communist-inspired societies considers it. If the prosecution can be warped to appear an assault on the workers, with picket lines, small riots and other devices for attracting attention they join the fray.

Specifically they have made millions of capital out of the Sacco-Vanzetti case, the Mooney case, the prosecution of the Scottsboro negroes. Communist support usually injures any cause. But the party managers are indifferent to the fate of individuals. If the defendant loses, then the event only goes to prove that the worker cannot expect justice from the "bosses." If he wins, they can point to the party as the one potent champion of labor. Meantime, win or lose, they have been crowding the front pages.

Constantly they have staged riots to keep the publicity moving. These have varied from small and rather comic brushes, as when the Young Pioneers demonstrate against their school-teachers, to dazzling generators of publicity like a stage-managed riot in Union Square, New York, a few years ago.

This affair deserves special mention. The Party declared its intention of moving as a body on the mayor to present a petition for redress of some forgotten grievance. When they applied for permission to parade from Union Square to City Hall, the police refused. They would have refused a similar application from the most conservative society, since a procession in the narrow, crowded streets of the wholesale district would have tied up business for hours. Concealing their intention, the Communists ordered a rally in Union Square. The police, scenting trouble, turned out a strong guard. Grover Whalen, police commissioner, himself took charge. When the meeting had begun, a committee approached him with a last demand—the Communists, never do anything so mild as request—for a permit to parade. Whalen, of course, refused. Whereupon Robert Minor, who was speaking from the platform at the time, appeared at least to give marching orders. The procession fell in and started. The police could do nothing but try to break it up. Some of them lost their tempers and used fists or nightsticks roughly. On the other hand, Communist women, burning for the crown of martyrdom, threw themselves under the hoofs of the horses—which, being among the nobler element present at this party, stepped daintily over them. The result: some broken heads, a few really serious injuries, minor trials in the police courts and a front-page story in every newspaper of the land.

In the summer of 1934 a series of small strikes disturbed the cotton and rayon factories of the Blackstone Valley in Rhode Island. This is one of the most densely populated regions of the United States, and it lives entirely by weaving. The depression struck it early; for six years, boys and girls had been finishing school and then simply festering in idle-ness. Brushes between pickets and police grew in to a series of riots wherein youth worked off its energies and expressed its resentment against the world. Of course, the Communists had sent up a few organizers, as they always do. One or two of these had harangued a crowd a little before trouble started. A commander of militia, hearing of this, jumped to a hasty conclusion and informed Governor Theodore F. Green that the Communist Revolution had broken out in Rhode Island. The governor spread this revelation over the world; and again the Communist party, at a minimum of trouble and expense, made display headlines..… Later, the police conducted a roundup of Communists in Rhode Island. They bagged none in the Blackstone Valley and less than twenty in Providence.

Propaganda, in the invidious modern sense of the word, stands almost synonymous with insincerity. To advance a cause in which he mayor may not believe with all his heart, the propagandist puts forth data which he knows to be false or-more usually—incomplete. Anti-Communist propaganda in the United States has given a new quaver to this note. Much of it may be described as propaganda for the by-product. The originator is not vitally concerned with the Red peril; but by stretching definitions a little, he manages to include in "the network" that set of opinions, which he is trying to refute. Harry Daugherty, attorney general in the Harding administration, conducted his office—well, in a political spirit at least. After Coolidge succeeded to the presidency, Daugherty resigned under fire. However, he managed for a time to wrap himself in the American flag and dare any traitor to strike at him through its sacred folds. He transformed the valuable Division of Investigation, since notable as the model police force of the United States, into an organization for showing up the Communists. By stretching the facts a little, he managed to include in the Red Plot innumerable citizens of merely liberal opinions; a task much lightened by the somewhat imaginative Lusk Report for the New York State Legislature.

Meantime, another element with an ax to grind had found a special device to make anti-Communist propaganda useful. Though the country had in 1920 repudiated the letter of Wilson's policy for securing universal and permanent peace, its spirit still held the imagination of the country. The League of Women Voters, formed to educate the newly enfranchised sex, turned itself for a time into a pressure group and was mainly responsible for bringing about President Harding's successful conference on Naval Disarmament. The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, stood even more radically for peace. Men's organizations, like the Rotary Clubs, endorsed the principle.

The militarists, together with those who sincerely believed the fallacy that heavy armament is insurance against war and those who held a stake in the game of the munition makers, were temporarily on the run. They grouped themselves into societies, some with purely patriotic impulses, a few the creation of individuals who scented revenue—"patrioteers." The Intelligence Department of the army had during the war paid some attention to "subversive activities," especially those of the I.W.W., and had collected data on suspected citizens. The men who did this work were mainly amateur soldiers, filled with that hatred for dissenters which is part of the war spirit; and they interpreted the subversive spirit a trifle loosely. From these official records and from those of Harry M. Daugherty in the Department of Justice, publicity agents for certain patriotic societies compiled "blacklists" of "dangerous citizens." These seem at first to have circulated only privately and for the most part among the Officers' Reserve. Brigadier General Amos A. Fries, head of the gas warfare service, belonged to a militaristic faction of the army. An employee in his office put forth a curious document entitled "The Spider-Web Chart" which set a milestone for anti-Communist propaganda. A series of squares enclosed the names and" records" of certain eminent and suspected citizens, mostly women. Lines, making a web, joined the boxes; and all the lines met at the top in—Moscow.

The ladies honored by this singular document were officers or outstanding members of societies for the promotion of international good feeling and permanent peace, not Communists nor—for the most part—adherents of any theory resembling Communism. Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, whose name stood near the head of one column, was a Democrat; Mrs. Maud Wood Park, almost equally condemned for treason, a Republican. But the brief text took that hurdle gracefully. All American pacifists of any degree were auxiliaries of the Communist plot. Their function was to soften us up so that the Red Revolution would find us easy picking. Propagandists for militarism or armament or national defense seized upon this by-product of anti-Communist propaganda. Even today, political orators trying to stir up chauvinistic patriotism lump off pacifists—meaning both non-resisters and workers for international good feeling—with Communists and anarchists. Presently, the blacklists came out from their concealment in wallets and began to find print. Usually they led off with such eminent and useful citizens as Jane Addams, John Dewey, Carrie Chapman Catt, Sinclair Lewis, James T. Shotwell and Stephen P. Duggan, and went on to persons of lesser importance. Professional secretaries of manufacturers' asso-ciations, fighting for the open shop, saw the uses of the by-product and joined in. The authors of the lists hunted constantly for new names. Y.W.C.A: secretaries and school-teachers who promoted peace meetings were almost sure to make the blacklists; often this honor cost them their jobs. In those days the speaking radio had not reached its importance, and the lyceum lecture was in its heyday. Scarcely an American town of more than five or six thousand souls but had its winter "course." A local manager arranged the program; but he had usually behind him a committee of sponsors whose tastes and wishes he consulted. During the period when we were lashing ourselves up to the dis-armanent conference, lectures in favor of peace had come into demand. By 1925, most lecturers on this topic found themselves blacklisted as accessories to the Communist plot. The societies which dispensed the lists had members all over the country. They, as a patriotic service, made it their business to pass the information on to the sponsors of local lecture courses. Two times out of three, a hint was enough. The proportion of peace lectures on lyceum programs steadily declined.

This campaign blazed sometimes into action—and into comedy. A woman novelist of New York, who at the time voted the Republican ticket, went to a city of the Middle West to address a banquet on a literary topic. Some years before, she had taken the unpopular side in a labor controversy; that sufficed for the dispensers of blacklists. When her name was announced, affrighted patriots informed the ladies in charge of the affair that their speaker was a dangerous Red and unquestionably had no other object than to rouse her Communist cohorts—perhaps even start the revolution then and there. The committee stood by its guns and refused to alter the program. On the night of the performance, volunteer saviors of the commonwealth and city detectives lurked in the lobby, crouching to rush in and arrest the speaker at her first treasonable utterance. The ladies in charge, fearful of precipitating a case of nerves, had kept her in ignorance of the situation. For an hour she aired her ideas concerning the process of creating fiction; and she could not understand—then—why there was so much cheering and laughter when she sat down.
When a libel suit brought these odd documents to sudden public attention, the newspapers called them the "D.A.R. Blacklists." In that, they did a partial injustice. The lists originated elsewhere; but the Daughters of the American Revolution, whose officers of the period had swallowed the "Pacifist-Communist" theory hook, line and sinker, helped out by encouraging their circulation. This suit appealed to the comic sense, rather than the civic sense, of the public and the newspapers. When finally an assemblage of prominent citizens held in New York a banquet to celebrate their elevation to this eminence, a gust of laughter sent the blacklists fluttering to the trash heap. Yet this artificial link between Communism and the desire for peace does service yet. It is one reason why the American public has accepted so complacently and casually both the gradual withdrawal of our government from attempts to promote peace through disarmament, and our own increase in armaments. It is one reason why Father Coughlin, by a single speech over the radio, was able to keep us from joining the World Court. He crystallized sentiment, yes; but the sentiment was already in the minds of those who reason faintly and feel vividly.

pp. 265-282

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Onward to the utmost of futures!

Om
K

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Aloha, He'Ping,
Om, Shalom, Salaam.
Em Hotep, Peace Be,
All My Relations.
Omnia Bona Bonis,
Adieu, Adios, Aloha.
Amen.
Roads End