Scalia was a member in good standing in the very real International Order of St. Hubertus, a kind of a Raccoon Lodge for the 1%’ers — perhaps just as silly.
The US chapter of the Order of Hubertus was established in 1966 at the infamous Bohemian Grove in California. Originally the order was founded in Eastern Europe by Habsburg Count Franz Anton von Sporck in 1695. Now members of the worldwide, male-only society wear dark-green robes emblazoned with a large Iron Cross and the motto “Deum Diligite Animalia Diligentes,” which means “Honoring God by honoring His creatures.” Members hold titles, such as Grand Master, Prior, and Knight Grand Officer. And the Order of Hubertus is an IRS non-profit, too — tax free for the Prior and Knights.
Before his death Scalia flew on a private plane for his free stay at the exclusive remote Texas hunting “camp” with fellow Hubertians[?]. Scalia was a frequent flyer: between 2004 and 2014 he traveled 258 times on privately subsidized trips.
His companion on the Texas jaunt, C.Allen Foster, is a prominent Washington lawyer. Foster may be just a Hubertus Knight, but he threw himself a 65th birthday bash fit for Count Von Sporck.
In 2006, Foster was featured in The Post when he celebrated his 65th birthday with a six-day celebration in the Czech Republic. He flew his family and 40 Washington friends there to stay in Moravia’s Zidlochovice, a baroque castle and hunting park. The birthday bash included “tours of the Czech countryside, wine tasting, wild boar and mouflon (wild sheep) hunts, classic dance instruction and a masked costume ball.”
A strange semi-secret society with roots in Eastern Europe and the surprise death of a Supreme Court Justice at a remote Texas hunting camp is the stuff of more than a few conspiracy theories.
But plots and murder are less likely than the simple explanation about the Order of Hubertus. The truth is often odd and pedestrian:
“The main purpose of the International Order of St. Hubertus is to provide a venue for hunters who have been successful in their lives to gather and enjoy each other’s company outside of their normal business, social or religious groups.”
And of course there’s prestige and privilege. Among the privileges the Honored Raccoon Brothers enjoy are opening the first clam at the annual clambake and free burial with spouse at Raccoon National Cemetery in Bismark, North Dakota.
The equivalent in the International Order of St. Hubertus might be opening the first oil drilling rig in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. But I am sure the Knights and Grand Masters would stress the camaraderie at the exclusive society is simply a venue for hunters who have been successful in their lives to gather enjoy each other’s company outside of their normal business.”
Well sure there’s all that. However, should the need ever arise; a good quiet way to subtly nudge a court case this way or that is just a quail hunt away.
But who believes all this conspiracy stuff anyway?
*For those too young to remember or old enough to have forgotten the Raccoons were the fictitious working class lodge of TV’s Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton on the Honeymooners.