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Joshua Jackson talks about Yale's secret society

”The Skulls” star explains why he’d laugh if George W. Bush were elected

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Joshua Jackson
Steve Azzara/Corbis Sygma

In ”The Skulls” (opening today) Joshua Jackson and Paul Walker are drugged, branded on the wrist, and forced to confess their secrets to each other while standing in a medieval iron cage.

A work of pure fiction? Not according to Jackson, who says members of the real Yale University secret society called the Skull & Bones — who include previous presidents William H. Taft and George Bush and current candidate George W. Bush — face even kinkier hazing. A few examples: Getting shot up with Sodium Pentothal (”truth serum”), lying naked with another member for a round of ”Liar’s Hell” (a prolonged game of ”Truth”), and — the actor’s favorite — masturbating in a coffin. ”If George W. becomes president, I won’t be able to look at him without laughing,” Jackson, 21, says. ”I mean, c’mon, he was wankin’ in a coffin at Yale.”

Jackson researched the elite society (which was founded in 1832) by reading Antony C. Sutton’s ”America’s Secret Establishment,” numerous websites like Everything You Wanted to Know about Skull & Bones, and anonymous testimonies from real members. And Jackson believes that even though the murder cover-up plot in ”The Skulls” is made up, the movie can still teach the uninitiated the truth about America’s class system. ”There’s a line in the movie that says ‘if it’s secret and powerful, it can’t be good,’ and I believe that,” Jackson explains. ”Basically, this movie’s about doing the right thing, even if it means giving up privilege and perks.” How’s that for a great campaign slogan, George W.?