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DeSantis and the 'Ancient Eight': Peering Into Yale's Clandestine Club

Introduction:

  • Ron DeSantis attended Yale University in the early 1990s, where he was a member of the DKE fraternity.

  • At Yale, there are several ultra-exclusive secret societies that only select a handful of students each year. These are called Yale's "Ancient Eight.

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DeSantis and St. Elmo:

  • In June 2022, DeSantis' name briefly appeared on the Wikipedia page for the St. Elmo secret society at Yale. This suggested he may have been a member.

  • However, his name was removed the next day. Yale's secret societies do not officially confirm memberships

  • The St. Elmo society has historical ties to the Knights of Malta, including adopting the Maltese Cross for the Delta Phi fraternity badge in the 1800s.

A LIST OF NAMES AND DECSCRIPTIONS DESCRIBING IN BLACK TEXT THE MEMBER OF THE SOCIETIES


The Question of Influence:

  • Membership in these societies can grant access to powerful networks that last beyond one's time at Yale.

  • Some claim the societies promote cronyism and elitism within business and politics. Others argue they are just old traditions and alumni groups.

  • There are concerns about whether society affiliations may sway policy or decisions for members who become public officials.






The Origins of St. Elmo at Yale and Beyond


The name "St. Elmo" has its roots within the Delta Phi fraternity, which adopted the Maltese Cross emblem in 1833 and established its Omicron chapter at Yale in 1889. It was here that the St. Elmo name was first utilized, evoking the fraternity's linkage to the medieval Knights of Malta and their patron saint. Beyond Yale, Delta Phi's Rho chapter founded at the University of Virginia in 1908 also took on the name St. Elmo Hall. This reflected the society's desire to connect itself to longstanding traditions and secretive early fraternal organizations. Though Delta Phi chapters are typical fraternities, the appropriation of names like St. Elmo cloaked some in an air of prestige and mystery. The practice granted access to extensive networking while paying homage to the elitism and ritual of these early honorary societies. For Ron DeSantis and others, membership in groups like Yale's St. Elmo meant becoming part of a storied legacy.





A PHOTO OF A SYMBOL WITH HORNS ON WHITE BACKGROUND WITH BLUE AND BLACK WRITING

Drawing Conclusions on DeSantis and Yale's Covert Clubs


  • Research indicate DeSantis was likely a member of the St. Elmo secret society at Yale, though his membership cannot be definitively proven.

  • If he was a member of St. Elmo or other exclusive Yale societies, it raises questions about how those connections might influence his decisions and policies today as Florida's Governor.

  • However, these secretive societies operate without transparency, so any influence or cronyism stemming from society affiliations is impossible to fully quantify.

  • DeSantis' team has not publicly addressed the question of his involvement in any Yale secret societies. Unless the societies break tradition and confirm membership, the full facts may never be known.



In conclusion, while Ron DeSantis' ties to Yale's secret societies remain murky, the indications that he was likely a member raise intriguing questions. His affiliation with influential groups like St. Elmo provides context about the networks and connections DeSantis formed at a young age. However, the opacity of these societies means the extent of any continued influence on his career and policies remains merely speculative. Unless the secrecy around Yale's prestigious clubs is lifted, the full story of DeSantis' ties may never be known. Nonetheless, the glimpses available highlight the intriguing and concerning dynamics of power and prYALES ANCIENT EIGHT SECRET SOCIETIES ivilege embodied by these longstanding institutions.

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