One People, One Planet, HON!


2003, Political Commentary Design Originally for the Hieronimus & Co. Journal,

watercolor and pen and ink, 11¼” x 13¾”

Much like its companion piece “Corporate Surprise,” “Monsanto’s Skull and Bones” was born out of Hieronimus’s disgust with the complicity between the American media and its corporate giant owners that apparently hold the general welfare of the public in low regard. This piece singles out one corporation in particular for just one of its numerous endeavors that threaten a sustainable and peaceful world. Most other countries in the world have either banned or highly restricted genetically modified crops due to their untested long-term effects on human health and for their known dangers to sustainable agriculture. The term “Frankenfood” has been coined to describe how man is creating an unpredictable monster in the crop fields through its hubris. But in America, thanks to the enormous political power of the Monsanto corporation, genetically modified foods are not only encouraged, permitted and sold, but Monsanto is allowed to sue the farmers who object to using their products.

Some activists labeled the Bush Administration as “the Monsanto Cabinet” due to the many connections between this powerful company and the highest placed political officials at the beginning of the 21st Century. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, as a former president of Searle Pharmaceuticals, a company owned by Monsanto (and from which he earned around $12 million when Searle was sold to Monsanto), was included in racketeering charges brought against the company. Critics of Monsanto have for years been trying to protect our nation’s milk and beef supply from the contamination of Monsanto’s bovine growth hormone, while others warned about its popular pesticide product “Roundup” which is inevitably creating herbicide-resistant superweeds. Monsanto’s genetically engineered herbicide-resistant seeds are designed to work in tandem with its own brand of weed killer, but the undesired result is also the development of resistant strains of weeds. When the genetically engineered traits in their crops lose their effectiveness, the first generation of biotech crops will be completely dead.

But it was when Monsanto began aggressively bullying objectors to its genetically modified crops, and headlines started appearing like “Terminator Gene Persecutes Farmers,” that Hieronimus picked up his pens. In this piece “Monsanto’s Skull and Bones” he is drawing attention to the company’s loathsome practice of buying out seed companies, monopolizing seed stocks, and actually persecuting hundreds of North American farmers for the "crimes" of seed-saving or accidentally growing the Monsanto patented crops when seeds blew into their fields.

Hieronimus put the headline “Monsanto Frankenfood Terminator Genes Persecutes Farmers” inside the red stripes of an American flag to show that Monsanto’s genetically-modified foods are only declared safe by American scientists under the protection of our corporate media and the well-placed officials in the Bush Administration. The number of red stripes on this modified flag is four, symbolic of the physical, material world. Inside the four white stripes Hieronimus repeated a small symbol of a television set within which he listed the names of America’s corporate news-entertainment dispensers along with a few of their closest corporate advertisers. The white stripes are actually no longer white, but rather have shifted into grey and black, symbolizing these companies’ selfish desires to protect their vested interests over your health interests.

Most striking in this piece, however, is the blue canton where we usually see the 50 stars for the 50 states. Instead of We the People on this flag, however, Hieronimus placed here the logo of the powerful, elite secret society at Yale called Skull and Bones. The significance of the number 322 is a closely guarded secret, but some theorize it is related to the year of its founding in 1832. This symbol is also reminiscent of the pirate flag, which is dually relevant as both the secret society at Yale, and the corporation Monsanto act like pirates, rolling roughshod over the innocent populace, intent only on maximizing personal profits.

Whenever Hieronimus is interviewed on his research into the secret societies that influenced our Founding Fathers, and asked which secret societies are a cause for concern in today’s world, his answer is always: the Skull and Bones. In direct opposition to the secret societies of the Age of Enlightenment, the Skull and Bones exists exclusively for the benefit of its members and with the goal of global domination by the rich elite. It makes no contributions to any charities outside itself, nor does it work to improve the community around it. They exist exclusively to collect and monopolize power by creating networks in business, politics, and media where members ensure that other members obtain positions of prominence.

If that sounds too fantastic to be true, just consider the roster of membership that is known: President George W. Bush, his father George H.W. Bush, and his grandfather, Prescott Bush, who, incidentally, supported Adolf Hitler at the beginning of his rise to power because it was good for business. The Bush family dynasty in Skull and Bones is only one of many prominent and recognizable family names in the society, including also Bundy, Buckley, Harriman, Rockefeller, Taft, and Whitney.

By including their symbolism in his design for “Monsanto’s Skull and Bones” Hieronimus is not claiming a direct connection between these two nefarious organizations, but rather a similarity in purpose. The eight years of the Bush Administration were some of the darkest in the history of the American republic, most notably because the objectives of groups like these radically shifted us away from the lofty spiritual ideals and goals laid out for us at our founding. When our country’s spiritual destiny was hijacked by pirates, Hieronimus’s cries of protest were among the most colorful.