The Code of the Bones

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one or the other of two Skull and Bones men nearly certain to be
our next president, it behooves us to ask, What does a Bonesman
believe? I am going to suggest an answer to that question based
on what prominent Bonesmen have so far revealed to the world through
their actions. None of them appears to have spoken of the principles
or ethic of their club and, in fact, when asked, they say it is
all a dread secret so they can say nothing.

has been remarked that this is an extraordinary thing for a high-level
politician to say. It seems even more extraordinary that neither
of the two men in question has been called upon by the demos and
its megamouth media to resign from said club, as they surely would
have been had they belonged to a country club that barred blacks
or Jews.

into this gap in our knowledge, I rush with my speculations, which,
in the absence of any statement from the candidates or any other
Bonesman, I think I am sovereignly entitled to do.

I note that this same organization has, so far as I have ever heard,
no women members and no black members, which seems oddly unmulticultural
and even misogynist in this age of Minorities and Women Triumphant.
But then not all animals are equal as we learned long ago from Orwell.

on with the show. I call this code I am going to set out:

Code of the Bones: The Ethos of the Hasnamuss

it is in several nutshells.

  1. Personal
    ambition is ever the lodestar, giving direction and inspiration.
  2. Money
    is everything (in ex-Christendom) because money is power to
    realize ambition (in ex-Christendom).
  3. Words
    mean nothing except what you want them to mean.
  4. Consistency
    and integrity in morality and concern for justice are for the
  5. Crying
    religion is useful for bamboozling same.
  6. War is
    glorious, especially if someone else does the dying.

suppose there are many more elements in the Bones Code, but they
would, I think, all follow from the six I have isolated.

this point I need to reach out a little and drag in some perhaps
unfamiliar names and terms. I beg your indulgence.

nation can afford to have a mad Ludwig (King of Bavaria) in charge
only in relatively calm times, when the most that can go wrong is
that a lot of energy gets used up building fanciful castles that
later, when the madness passes, turn into tourist attractions.

when you get what G.I. Gurdjieff1 called a "Hasnamuss"
sitting on the top of the heap, and the times are of themselves
dreadful, then it's head for the hills, the dam is busted. A Hasnamuss,
in Gurdjieff's teaching, is the fourth of four categories of man
he discerned, and the most disreputable. The four are: good-householder,
tramp, lunatic, and Hasnamuss (made up of two words of Turkish).
These are technical terms in the Gurdjieffian canon that take a
little explaining, but except for Hasnamuss they are not terribly
far off the ordinary meanings we all know. (One may think, however,
of a tramp or lunatic as someone who might very well have a stout
bank account and sharp clothes – it's more a matter of mind,
morals, and behavior.)

Hasnamuss, as Gurdjieff's disciple Ouspensky explained, is someone
who was formerly both "a tramp and a lunatic at the same time."
He arrives finally at a condition where ". . . he never hesitates
to sacrifice people or to create an enormous amount of suffering,
just for his own personal ambitions."2

am of course making the point that our two Bonesmen are Hasnamuss
men. You may well say that it takes more than a colon to make the
one condition the equivalent of the other as I did when I wrote
"The Code of the Bones: The Ethos of the Hasnamuss." Let
me argue this a little further. My "Code of the Bones,"
on examination, is little different than the de facto stance of
a run-of-the mill egotist, a stance that can in some minority of
cases evolve into what people nowadays called psychopathology or
sociopathology. That condition has been superbly defined in Cleckly's
Mask of Sanity

a Hasnamuss is evidently something beyond even that. Ouspensky also
said, ". . . you have nothing to do with such people; but you
meet with the results of their existence." What did he mean?
I have my own answer. The Hasnamuss has been thrown by fate or by
accident, which is a species of fate, to the top of the heap, where
the ordinarily limited ability of an egotist to do much harm is
greatly enhanced. Think of an officious minor military or police
person. Then think of Napoleon (a Hasnamuss if there ever was one).
Bush – the most ordinary of save-your-own-skin fellows –
is suddenly catapulted by family connections and by the sort of
Nominating Committee I will discuss shortly into Ruler of the Free
World, Supreme Commander of the Forces of Freedom, President of
the United States, etc. Petty officer changed into Napoleon, and
doing a pretty good job in the role at that. Lots of mayhem.

look at this election scene. It would almost seem that Kerry was
fingered (as was Bush before him) by some invisible World Rule Nominating
Committee, which has a list of politically prominent people "who
might do." It would surely have been against Kerry that he,
too, was a Bonesman (Hey, let's not be too obvious!), but that objection
had to be overruled finally as things shaped up in the Democratic
primary campaign. One sometimes has to make do with less than the
ideal, and Kerry was obviously sufficiently brainwashed, compromised,
and manageable (as Dean was not) to be otherwise in all ways acceptable
to my (admittedly somewhat occult) Nominating Committee members,
whoever they are.

trouble with Kerry is that he smells like a loser. At least that
is my impression, although I am surely not willing to place any
money on the contest at this point. Bush is clearly the more upstanding
Hasnamuss of the two, but Kerry would probably grow in office, as
the saying is.

seems at present to be positively thriving on his situation. He
is the better looking of the two, the more confidently assured,
the more physically vigorous. He out and away wins on natty shirts
and ties, and as Norman Mailer noted, he is almost absurdly photogenic.
Pictures of him striding across the WH lawn to his helicopter or
doing the furrowed-brow thing in the Oval office, routinely wow
the camp followers. Long-faced and bushy-haired Kerry is a distant
second in all this. But you never know.

is a measure of the frivolity inherent in our selection process
that the Wall Street Journal Online suggested the other day that
Kerry's VP search committee needs to find someone with less hair.

it will come down to religion in the end. Of course I don't mean
real religion, rather, the curious alignment of so-called religious
voting blocks. Maybe Bush's fundy-Zionist Christians (latest label
heard on a C-Span panel discussion: "Christian fascists"),
and his assorted knee-jerk Republicans can overpower Kerry's yellow-dog
Democrats and Catholics. As to Catholics, Kerry seems to be doing
his best to convince them that no Catholic is he. But creedal orthodoxy
seems to matter less and less to anyone.

Democrat party is where, since FDR's time, an awful lot of Catholics
have shoaled up for want of a home elsewhere (unless, like me, they
have given up on the whole lot of pols, all so greedy for the spoils
of office). But Catholics are no longer, en masse, a sure thing
for anyone; they have been splintered by abortion, the sex revolution,
the "modernization" of the Church, and by the failure
and disappearance of the tremendously influential religious orders
that used to staff Catholic schools and hospitals. As one Catholic
writer has said, imagine Cardinal Spellman, back in the 40s, calling
FDR. He was put through right away. Imagine (if you can) New York's
late Cardinal O'Connor calling Clinton some years ago. Not likely
to be available in any big hurry. The whole story of the decline
of Catholic political clout is in the difference.

leave aside this dreary talk of "religious voting blocks."
The thing is more or less contemptible. Rather let us ask what is
the real religion of a Bonesman and by extension of a Hasnamuss,
if I am right that the code of both is essentially the same.

long ago adopted the scheme of the Russian writer Dmitri Merejkowski
(1865–1941) dividing all religions into two basic ones. I may
have mentioned it on LRC before and well may again. M. (Merejkowski)
extracts from the apparently irreconcilable diversity of ancient
religions a central theme, a single tendency. In all the "shadows"
that ultimately turn real in the primary figure of Western religion
and history, the Lord Jesus Christ, carpenter of Galilee, he discerns
the original "Atlantean" and now "Western" religion,
the religion of the suffering God, God self-sacrificed for man.

is, in the eleven or twelve thousand years of history of what he
calls the "second (post-Atlantean) humanity," widespread
evidence of another religion, the obverse or diabolical double of
the true universal religion. As to that true and universal religion,
M. cites approvingly Augustine's well-known mention of "Christianity
before Christ."

religion in opposition to it, the "second religion" (recall
that the devil's number in the Pythagorean system is two), is the
religion of man sacrificed to the "gods." And we know
from the Bible that the gods men make for themselves are evil, of
the devil. The one religion is addressed to God (Tolkien's term
for God in the Trilogy
was "The One.") The second religion addresses Lucifer
or one of his stand-ins; and the requirement laid on the worshippers
is human sacrifice. Think of the Moloch of Carthage and the immolation
of infants the god required, so vividly presented by Flaubert in
his Salammbo.
Our Molochian thing is abortion. As well as war. A Luciferian beatitude:
"Blessed are the warmakers for they shall inherit the earth."
(Can it possibly be that another one is: "Blessed are the warmakers
for they shall be raptured"?)

went down, M. indicates, because it abandoned its true religion
("Christianity before Christ") and adopted the murderous
"second religion." Noah's ark was the bridge from the
first to the second humanity. That is, the Bible story is the condensed
record of the salvation of a remnant of first humanity. You may
consider this, as to history, truth or fiction; M. is by no means
furnishing a detailed factual account of anything; but in my view
it is precise psychological and spiritual truth. And we are still
dealing with the same two fundamental religions.

take religion to mean the understanding of man and the cosmos and
the purpose of life one holds at the root of one's being, no kidding.
It is not a matter of labels and shouting, of loud claims of having
been born again. It is not merely crying Christ ("Lord, Lord!")
and then ignoring his mandates. It is very much connected with what
one wants out of life and what one thinks it is appropriate to do
to get it.

my part I am unable to view the people prosecuting our present war
and the terrible foreign policy our government has espoused as anything
but the most able Luciferians on the block, although I recognize
that is not a trendy handle for the thing. And my Hasnamuss, what
of him? A Luciferian from the ground up. And anyone bidding to replace
the current occupant of the high throne, that "bad eminence,"
is one in the making. All the little Bonesmen everywhere are apprentices,
candidates, trainee-Hasnamuss, an unending supply ever welling up
because raw ego and raw ambition spring eternal.


  1. Gurdjieff
    (1866?–1949), as far as American tastes in intellectuals
    go, was an exotic, but he has had a considerable influence on
    the intellectual classes in Europe and America. It is a subterranean
    influence; not very often acknowledged even where present. (I
    googled for G. I. Gurdjieff just now and got 118,000 hits.) A
    great deal of his influence came over from his No. 1 disciple,
    the less exotic P.D. Ouspensky (25,000 hits), who worked in England
    in the 1920s and 1930s and in America in the 1940s. The best single
    book on the whole Gurdjieff phenomenon is Ouspensky’s In
    Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching

    (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1949).
  2. P.D. Ouspensky,
    Fourth Way
    . (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1957) page

28, 2004

White [send him mail]
writes from Odessa, Texas. He is the author of Bill
W., A Different Kind of Hero: The Story of Alcoholics Anonymous


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