1. The Secret Origins of Skull & Bones

 The story begins at Yale, where three threads of American social history -- 
 espionage, drug smuggling and secret societies -- intertwine into one.

Elihu Yale was born near Boston, educated in London, 
and served with the British East India Company, 
eventually becoming governor of Fort Saint George, Madras, in 1687. He amassed a great fortune from trade and returned to England in 1699. Yale became known as quite a philanthropist; upon receiving a request from the Collegiate School in Connecticut, he sent a donation and a gift of books. After subsequent bequests, Cotton Mather suggested the school be named Yale College, in 1718.

A statue of Nathan Hale stands on Old Campus at Yale University.
 There is a copy of that statue in front of the CIA's headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Yet another 
 stands in front of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts(where George H.W. Bush ('48) 
went to prep school and joined a secret society  at age twelve). 
Nathan Hale, 
along with three other Yale graduates, was a member of the "Culper Ring," one of America's first intelligence operations. 
Established by George Washington, it was successful throughout the Revolutionary War. 
Nathan was the only operative to be ferreted out by the British, and after speaking his famous regrets,
 he was hanged in 1776. 
Ever since the founding of the Republic, the relationship between Yale and the "Intelligence Community" has been unique.
The family names on the Skull and Bones roster roll off the tongue 
like an elite party list -- Lord, Whitney, Taft, Jay, Bundy, Harriman, Weyerhaeuser,
 Pinchot, Rockefeller, Goodyear, Sloane, Stimson, Phelps, Perkins, Pillsbury, Kellogg,
  Vanderbilt, Bush, Lovett and  on. http://www.parascope.com/articles/0997/skullbones.htm

My first introduction to the
Knight Templar Apron  
was made on my first visit to the George Washington Masoni2c Memorial in Alexandria,
 Virginia. There in the ante room to the Lodge is a large portrait of Lafayette wearing a 
 black apron featuring the skull and cross bones. After a bit of inquiry, 
 I was informed that the apron was that of a Knight Templar, which was one of the many 
 orders into which Lafayette was received while he visited the United States during the 
 Colonial Revolution. I was also told that there were three other Knight Templar aprons 
 in the Memorial, located in the Chapter Room.

18- Knight Rose Croix  This degree emphasizes that life and its 
strength come from God. The rose signifies the dawn and the cross is
 a sacred symbol of antiquity in many cultures. 
One is also taught to be tolerant of others errors and their faults.
 The apron worn is of white leather or satin, bordered in red, 
with a skull and cross-bones, 
a red passion cross, and three red rosettes. 
The grand jewel is a gold compass open a quarter circle.
 A rose-cross is between the legs of the compass 
and under it is a pelican, tearing its breast to feed 
its seven young on the obverse and an eagle with wings 
extended on the reverse.  On the circle are the letters I.N.R.I.
The Freemason will never tell you the simplist thing.Rosy Cross and many other exclusive clubs