Geronimo's kind sues Skull and Bones for return of remains

Makalakumu

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Interesting story with interesting connections...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29265600/

HARTFORD, Connecticut - Geronimo's descendants have sued Skull and Bones — the secret society at Yale University linked to presidents and other powerful figures — claiming that its members stole the remains of the legendary Apache leader decades ago and have kept them ever since.

The federal lawsuit filed in Washington on Tuesday — the 100th anniversary of Geronimo's death — also names the university and the federal government.

Geronimo's great-grandson Harlyn Geronimo said his family believes Skull and Bones members took some of the remains in 1918 from a burial plot in Fort Sill, Okla., to keep in its New Haven clubhouse, a crypt. The alleged graverobbing is a longstanding legend that gained some validity in recent years with the discovery of a letter from a club member that described the theft.

Comments?

And here's another interesting part...

According to lore, members of Skull and Bones — including former President George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush — dug up his grave when a group of Army volunteers from Yale was stationed at the fort during World War I, taking his skull and some of his bones.
 

tellner

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Good for the Apache. If drunken schmucks dug up my grandfather's grave and stole his remains I'd damned well want them back. It wouldn't matter if they were rich line-bred drunken schmucks.
 
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Makalakumu

Makalakumu

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The whole story is interesting. Apparently, it all stems from a letter written in 1918 from one Bonesman to another that states that they witnessed Geronimo's bones and relics in their crypt. I have so little faith that justice will actually be served in this matter considering the powerful and well connected nature of this little cult, but I can have my shadenfreude fantasy of the police bursting into the place to seize the remains and the exposing all of their little secrets.
 

elder999

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The whole story is interesting. Apparently, it all stems from a letter written in 1918 from one Bonesman to another that states that they witnessed Geronimo's bones and relics in their crypt. I have so little faith that justice will actually be served in this matter considering the powerful and well connected nature of this little cult, but I can have my shadenfreude fantasy of the police bursting into the place to seize the remains and the exposing all of their little secrets.

Oh boy.

If they even thought your fantasy had a chance of happening, they'd relinquish a skull and some bones.....their real secrets are all between their ears, anyway.....

tellner said:
Good for the Apache. If drunken schmucks dug up my grandfather's grave and stole his remains I'd damned well want them back. It wouldn't matter if they were rich line-bred drunken schmucks.

"Great-grandfather," but who's counting??

Harlyn Geronimo is one cool old dude-he's trying to do them all a favor:

Heyoka magazine interview with Mr. Geronimo :

JL:I understand that to desecrate the remains of someone like this, a medicine man, is very bad luck. It can have very negative consequences for the person and their family. Is that true?
Harlyn Geronimo; That's true. Part of it. The spirits are awake and that can be very detrimental.
JL: Is it true that in order to give the spirits rest, they have to make peace and put the remains back in the right place. Is that correct?
Harlyn Geronimo; Yes, also you know, it takes spirituality, through prayers. That's how you revitalize the spirits and when you do that, you know, that gets very, very, very, serious. That's when, you know somebody is going to get hurt.
 
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MA-Caver

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As if the Native American hasn't suffered enough from the white invaders already that their dead are desecrated and used for amusement and other perverse so-called secret societies for the super-rich.

We owe the Native Americans a great debt... not for what they've done/given to us but for what we've done/given/taken away from them. A definite blight on the annals of American History of the audacious and insolent treatment of these noble people, whose only crime (in the eyes of the whites) was that they were not civilized by white standards.
 

Flea

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I had no idea someone was desecrating Geronimo's remains! Shows what I know ... anyway I think the lawsuit is fantastic. If they can prove it's Geronimo's remains - which should be no problem with DNA technology - the law is very clear about possession.

http://www.nps.gov/history/nagpra/FAQ/INDEX.HTM#What_is_NAGPRA?

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif, Frutiger 45 Light]The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act is a Federal law passed in 1990. NAGPRA provides a process for museums and Federal agencies to return certain Native American cultural items -- human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony -- to lineal descendants, and culturally affiliated Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. NAGPRA includes provisions for unclaimed and culturally unidentifiable Native American cultural items, intentional and inadvertent discovery of Native American cultural items on Federal and tribal lands, and penalties for noncompliance and illegal trafficking.[/FONT]

Even if they can't prove it's Geronimo's remains, they may still be able to get them confiscated if they can prove that they belong to a Native American (again with the DNA.) I'll cross my fingers for them.
 

Bob Hubbard

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I doubt the DNA is still viable after all this time unfortunately.
 

Bill Mattocks

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As if the Native American hasn't suffered enough from the white invaders already that their dead are desecrated and used for amusement and other perverse so-called secret societies for the super-rich.

I agree with that.

We owe the Native Americans a great debt... not for what they've done/given to us but for what we've done/given/taken away from them. A definite blight on the annals of American History of the audacious and insolent treatment of these noble people, whose only crime (in the eyes of the whites) was that they were not civilized by white standards.

I'm not sure I can agree as much with that. Not that I disagree with you about how 'we' as a nation treated the native people we found here, but more along the lines of what conquerors owe the conquered.

The world as it exists is full of people who originally came from other places, and many who displaced the ones they found - either by driving them out or breeding them out (or in) or killing them outright. Some we know about - most have been lost. In most parts of the world, if the damage was not really recent - not a lot of people are losing sleep over it.

At what point is it 'over'? I ask this as a philosophical question. I mean, we're not going to give the USA back to native people, are we? So whether we give them land, money, or our apology as a nation for the wrongs we did, is it over at some point and we can get on with our lives?

Do we ever get to stop beating ourselves up over the things we have done wrong as a nation, or does this just continue on forever?
 

Gordon Nore

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At what point is it 'over'? I ask this as a philosophical question. I mean, we're not going to give the USA back to native people, are we? So whether we give them land, money, or our apology as a nation for the wrongs we did, is it over at some point and we can get on with our lives?

It's a valid philosophical question -- here's my philosophical response. I look at it this way. My share of the debt for past wrongs is not because I share a European ancestry with people who originally committed these misdeeds. It is because I am a Canadian and hold myself and my fellow Canadians (who are not all white Europeans, not by long shot) to a higher standard right now. Everything we do right now should be for a better present and future.

Do we ever get to stop beating ourselves up over the things we have done wrong as a nation, or does this just continue on forever?

Very good question. No, it is not my fault that Ontario segregated black and white students in the schools in 1850. It is not my fault that the Federal Government kidnapped Japanese Canadians and held them against their will during World War II. It is not my fault that churches ran 'Residential Schools' on the Federal dime where native children beaten into cultural and linguistic compliance and sexually abused.

But, all of this is part of my heritage. I have an historical duty to remember it, so I can see it coming when it happens again. There is no actual debt I can pay, nor anyone I can pay it to, except to live decently.
 

elder999

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I'm not sure I can agree as much with that. Not that I disagree with you about how 'we' as a nation treated the native people we found here, but more along the lines of what conquerors owe the conquered.

It still goes on, though, Bill, and the U.S. owes Indians billions and possibly trillions of dollars. The U.S. government assumed control of Indian property rights in 1887, and placed funds derived from the exploitation of Indian land for resources in trust. Over a century, U.S. corporations have extracted oil, gas, timber, grazing, uranium and other metals and resources from Indian land, and the nations have not received one dime. There was a class action lawsuit in federal court, and in 2008 it was ruled that the government owed the Indians $455 billion dollars-a fraction of the value of what's been taken in that time, and the decision may still be appealed.

You can read about the case all over the place, but you could start here.
 

MA-Caver

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It still goes on, though, Bill, and the U.S. owes Indians billions and possibly trillions of dollars. The U.S. government assumed control of Indian property rights in 1887, and placed funds derived from the exploitation of Indian land for resources in trust. Over a century, U.S. corporations have extracted oil, gas, timber, grazing, uranium and other metals and resources from Indian land, and the nations have not received one dime. There was a class action lawsuit in federal court, and in 2008 it was ruled that the government owed the Indians $455 billion dollars-a fraction of the value of what's been taken in that time, and the decision may still be appealed.
Now it be understood that the Native Americans (NA) have been a conquered people. Just as soon as the Spaniards, French and English set thier feet on this land along various points on the Atlantic and Gulf coastlines, they were a conquered people. That President Grant declared a state of war on them and wiped out as many as his blue-coated "long knifed" horse- soldiers could. Then he set the likes of Buffalo Bill and his brethren out to kill off the buffalo herds upon which the NA's thrived on... knowing that wiping out their prime source of food, shelter, and way of life, they had no recourse but to either face genocide or bow to the will of the white settlers.
Yet the atrocoties committed against the NA's could never be forgiven because of the sheer barbarity of the soldiers who were in many cases ordered to spare the defenseless... as long as they didn't resist. :rolleyes:

So yes, some compensation should be had. The reservations of land that weren't worth pissing on for farming or ranching, that yeilded oil and other valuable natural resources... the income generated should've been theirs. Taxed of course like everybody else. But I do get to wondering... taxes are an American citizen's responsibility/duty to pay ... citizens mind you.
Which begs the question are ANY of the NA's from past generations ... American citizens? Did any of those placed on those reservations with their guns and way of life taken away from them ever given the oath of citizenship? Were their children or grandchildren?
 

elder999

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Which begs the question are ANY of the NA's from past generations ... American citizens? Did any of those placed on those reservations with their guns and way of life taken away from them ever given the oath of citizenship? Were their children or grandchildren?


Some were. All Indians weren't citizens until 1924, with the Indian Citizenship Act that all natives were recognized as citizens. Of course, it wasn't until the 1879 Standing Bear Trial that Indians were even recognized as persons in the eyes of U.S. government law. Reservation Indians didn't receive the right to vote until 20 years after they became "citizens," though.

Does that answer your questions?
 

Deaf Smith

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Lots of luck with the sue job.

So an old letter written almost 90 years ago is the only proof. And if the S&B guys say it's BS and 'we don't have no crypt around here'.

And being the S&B guys, they have lots of money and many of them are lawyers.

Well, all I can say is....

Geronimo!

Deaf
 

elder999

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Lots of luck with the sue job.

So an old letter written almost 90 years ago is the only proof. And if the S&B guys say it's BS and 'we don't have no crypt around here'.

The location of the "crypt" is well known. There is more than enough anecdotal evidence to support the notion-several Bones members have publicly said that there is a skull that they call "Geronimo" within the crypt, not thinking of that as much of a secret, perhaps.


And being the S&B guys, they have lots of money and many of them are lawyers.

The plaintiffs team is headed up by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. The suit also names the President and current Attorney General as defendants-somewhat absurdly, but since Geronimo's remains were allegedly taken from Federal custody......odds are pretty good, though, that whatever skull Prescott Bush and company removed from Fort Sill back in 1919 isn't Geronimo's. Doesn't matter. It's almost certainly Indian, and certainly doesn't belong in New Haven, morally, or by federal law.

Well, all I can say is....

Geronimo!

Deaf

Indeed. Alleged origin of "Geronimo!" shout.:

The use of “Geronimo” dates back to the early days of the 501st Parachute Battalion, ’way back in last October. Two sergeants got into an argument about being afraid. One said that to prove he was not scared stiff he would yell something as he jumped. When he left the plane the only thing that came to mind was the name of the famous Indian chief. So he hollered out “Geronimo!” It has since become the watchword of the battalion. There is a note of mixed defiance and assurance in it.

More recent versions of the tale change some of the details and fill it out a good deal. The first person ever to shout Geronimo is said to have been Private Aubrey Eberhardt of the US Army’s parachute test corps at Fort Benning, Georgia, in July 1940. They were due to make their first group jump the following morning and to calm their nerves, members of the platoon went to see the 1939 film Geronimo and to have some beers. Eberhardt was teased about whether he would be too scared to do the jump. According to the story that Gerard M Devlin told in his book Paratrooper! in 1979, he said, “All right, dammit! I tell you jokers what I’m gonna do! To prove to you that I’m not scared out of my wits when I jump, I’m gonna yell ‘Geronimo’ loud as hell when I go out that door tomorrow!”
:rolleyes:
 

Bill Mattocks

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It still goes on, though, Bill, and the U.S. owes Indians billions and possibly trillions of dollars. The U.S. government assumed control of Indian property rights in 1887, and placed funds derived from the exploitation of Indian land for resources in trust. Over a century, U.S. corporations have extracted oil, gas, timber, grazing, uranium and other metals and resources from Indian land, and the nations have not received one dime. There was a class action lawsuit in federal court, and in 2008 it was ruled that the government owed the Indians $455 billion dollars-a fraction of the value of what's been taken in that time, and the decision may still be appealed.

You can read about the case all over the place, but you could start here.

I'm aware of the case, I was living in Colorado when it was making headlines, one of our former legislators got indicted. I wasn't actually referring to a court case for damages, but rather when we, as a people, would no longer be 'guilty as charged' and must hang our heads in shame for the crimes of (some of) our ancestors. You made a good point, though. I hadn't thought about that case in a long time.
 

Carol

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I wish I was Native American. Fascinating heritage and I wouldn't have to pay taxes ;)
 

Bill Mattocks

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I wish I was Native American. Fascinating heritage and I wouldn't have to pay taxes ;)

I've lived in New Mexico and spent some time on the rez. Not really a place most people would consider a fun place to hang their hats. Just saying.
 

elder999

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....... and I wouldn't have to pay taxes ;)

What kind of taxes? Maybe not property taxes, if you lived on a reservation, but-and I say this as someone who has numerous relations living on reservations-"reservation" is just a fancy word for ghetto, and you wouldn't really care for most of them-though the Mescalero reservation is pretty nice.....

Ya gotta pay income tax. Doesn't matter what nation you belong to. What else matters?
 

Carol

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Still have to pay the feds? I guess its just state level income tax (in states that recognize such an exemption.)

Never mind then :eek:
 

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