Opium, the Opiate of the Messes

The background to Skull and Bones is a story of Opium Samuel Russell established Russell and Company in 1823. Its business was to acquire opium from Turkey and smuggle it into China, where it was strictly prohibited, under the armed protection of the British Empire. Russell and Company moved the primary center of American opium smuggling to Connecticut.

William Huntington Russell, Samuel's cousin, went to Germany, in 1831-32, to study. According to information acquired from a break-in to the "tomb", in 1876, "Bones is a chapter of a corps in a German University. . . . General Russell, its founder, was in Germany before his Senior Year and formed a warm friendship with a leading member of a German society. He brought back with him to college, authority to found a chapter here." So, William H. Russell, valedictorian of his class and fourteen others became the founding members of "The Order of Scull and Bones", launched under the Russell pirate flag, in 1832-33. It is only at Yale.

Just Coincidentally
Bush appointed Yale University president to his commission to investigate intelligence failures prior to the Iraq

Again, Totally by accident
Opium production in Afghanistan has increased 20-fold since 2001.

Within a year of the Taliban's collapse, Afghanistan had regained its rank as the world's leading producer of opium, supplying 75 percent of the heroin available. After last year's bumper harvest of 3,900 tons of opium, the UN reported that poppy cultivation has increased almost twentyfold since 2001.

The drug economy now is at least as big as the legal economy, contributing $1.5 billion annually to the farmers who cultivate poppies and as much again to the traffickers, middlemen and processors who refine the opium into heroin.