Secret societies have throughout history been seeped in controversy, conspiracy and murder. However, many of these societies may at one point in time considered
to be an elite gentlemen’s club, or a club for the most influential to partake in world changing events.
Freemasons were at one point full of the most elite and powerful people in the country. Nowadays, people from all walks of life can join.
What is a Secret Society?
Secret societies are clubs whose activities and events or initiations are concealed from non-members. Put like that, it doesn’t sound so nefarious. Still, there was at one point in time some secret societies that concealed their very existence, ones we may still not know about today.
From books to movies and even reaching the news, secret societies are booming with interest, conspiracy theories swirling around what they actually do.
Memberships peeked within these clubs in the 18thand 19thcenturies. Throughout these centuries, these clubs were places where open dialogue could occur on a variety of topics.
What are some of these societies?
You probably have heard of The Order of Skull and Bones, Freemasons, Rosicrucian’s and Illuminati. However, there are small and not such small groups that contain their own rich history.
The Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World was a safe place
for African-Americans during the time of racism and segregation.
Nowadays, they accept any American citizen over the age of 21, and believes in God.
Like Freemasons, their organization partakes in many charity fundraisers and other community service activities.
The Odd Fellows was first conceived due to George IV’s resentment to the Freemasons not allowing his relative to join without going through the usual lengthy initiation process.
Their club was focused on ‘friendship, love and truth’. (www.smithsonianmag.com) There are actually real skeletons in the lodge, used during initiations to remind members of their mortality.
The Molly Maguire’s have a rather dark background. Supposedly, an organization with Irish immigrants living in America. This group allegedly carried out illegal acts like death threats and arson.
However, they were eventually undone when they were suspected for the assassination of 24 foreman and supervisors in the Pennsylvanian coalmines.
The famed Pinkerton Detective Agency was hired by the mining company to look into the Maguire’s. Their investigations brought 20 Maguire’s to court and eventually sentenced to hang.
Assassins secret society, now known as the Nizari, is one of the oldest sects in Islam, with around 15 to 20 million adherents worldwide.
From the Knight’s Templar, Opes Dei, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn,
to political groups like the Black Hand all contain secret rituals that we know very little about.
Secret Societies Politically Motivated?
The Carbonari whose actions resulted in ‘real gains to change the map of the world we know today.”(www.historycollection.com)
The Carbonari could be considered a sect whose members were incredibly influential European figures. Giuseppe Garibaldi, the man who later united Italy; to the French and American revolutionist Marquis de Lafayette, even poet Lord Byron was among them.
Finally, we come to perhaps the most politically motivated group of them all, at least in the 20thand 21stcentury. The Bilderberg Group, soaked in conspiracy theories, their beginnings made up of some of the most powerful people in the world.
When the group was founded it contained the Prince of Netherland, former Prime Minister of Belgium, chairman of Unilever, and head of CIA. Their aim – “roll back what they perceived a wave of anti-American feeling in Western Europe.” (www.historycollection.com)
Their meeting consisting of 50 leading figures, and 11 Americans was such a success they did it the next year in the US, and every year after in a different
location. However, it all began in Hotel de Bilderberg in the Netherlands in 1954.
Nowadays, looking more like a summit of world leaders, a committee decides on the location and invites the cream of the crop of the most influential. Their aim today? Well, no one really knows. One can only surmise what their intentions are now. And who is apart of it.
The main aspect we could glean from secret societies, their roots are steeped in wanting to be around other like-minded individuals for a variety of purposes. From combating racism, to committing crimes, and uniting leaders and the country in times of war.
Still to this day, people will remain fascinated by secret societies and their potential to bring about ‘New World Order’, and what they do behind closed doors…