Justice Scalia spent his final hours in the company of a secret society of hunters that has existed since the 1600s
- Justice Scalia was found dead on a Texas ranch on the morning of Feb 13
- It has now been revealed the several of his 35 companions during the trip were members of The International Order of Saint Hubertus
- The secretive hunting society was founded in 1695 in central Europe
- John Poindexter, the owner of the ranch and the man to find Scalia dead, and C. Allen Foster, a lawyer and Scalia’s travel companion, are members
- Private planes belonging to two former members were also chartered to the ranch, though it is not clear if the owners attended
Justice Antonin Scalia spent his final hours at a Texas ranch in the company of a secretive society of hunters that has existed for more than 300 years. Several members of the 35-strong hunting party at the Cibolo Creek Ranch where Scalia was found dead are known to be current or former members of The International Order of Saint Hubertus. John Poindexter, the owner of the ranch, is known to hold a leadership position in the Order, as does C. Allen Foster, a prominent Washington lawyer and Scalia’s traveling companion for the trip.
Foster traveled on a private plane to the ranch with Scalia after he opted to leave his U.S. marshal detail behind, while Poindexter was the man who found the Supreme Court Justice dead in bed on the morning of February 13.
Ranks in the Order include Grand Prior, the most senior position, Grand Master, and Knight Grand Officer – though it is not clear which of these roles the men occupy.
According to records unearthed by the Washington Post, private planes owned by Wallace ‘Happy’ Rogers III and A. J. Lewis III were also chartered to the ranch, but it is unclear if the men were there. Rogers, a prominent hunter and museum owner, and Lewis, the owner of a restaurant wholesale business, are both former members of the Order’s elite.
The Cibolo Creek Ranch was used as a meeting place for the American branch of the Order in 2010, when 53 members converged for ‘three days of organized shoots, “gala” lunches and dinners.’
According to a website for the Order, it was created in 1695 by Count Anton von Sporck, ruler of Bohemia, which now forms part of the Czech Republic.
The aim was to gather the finest Noble hunters from across Bohemia, Austria, and the Austo-Hungarian Empire, ruled by the Habsburg family, one of the most powerful European dynasties.
It was named after Saint Hubertus, the patron saint of hunters, mathematicians, opticians, and metalworkers.
The Order’s aim was to promote the gentlemanly sport of hunting, considered one of the finest pursuits a young Nobleman could take up during the 17th Century, and to promote the conservation of game animals on which the sport relied.
The Order was disbanded after Austria fell into the hands of Adolf Hitler during the Second World War, and refused to become part of the Nazi propaganda machine. According to the group, Hermann Goering, who founded the infamous Gestapo police force, asked to become a member in 1938, and executed the Grand Prior when he was turned down.
The Order was restituted in 1950, and in 1966 the first American branch was established at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco.
It is under the Royal Protection of King Juan Carlos of Spain, Archduke Andreas Salvator of Austria and the Grand Master is Istvan von Habsburg Lothringen, Archduke of Austria, Prince of Hungary.
Members of the order often wear green silk coats emblazoned with their logo of a Germanic cross and the Latin words ‘Deum Diligite Animalia Diligentes’ – meaning ‘Honoring God by honoring His creatures.’
Asked about the Order, Poindexter responded: ‘There is nothing I can add to your observation that among my many guests at Cibolo Creek Ranch over the years some members of the International Order of St. Hubertus have been numbered.
‘I am aware of no connection between that organization and Justice Scalia.’
The revelations that a secret society was attending the ranch alongside Scalia comes amid controversy and conspiracy after it was decided that there would be no autopsy for the Supreme Court Justice.
Descriptions of the judge being found with a pillow ‘over his face’, the fact that the death was certified over the phone, and the suddenness of his passing all contributed to theories that his death may not have been natural.
However, his son Eugene has since said there is ‘no doubt’ in his mind that his father died of natural causes. Thousands paid tribute to Scalia, a lifelong Catholic, at his funeral last week.
A sheriff’s incident report, released on Tuesday, shows there was ‘nothing out of the ordinary’ in Scalia’s room when he was found dead.