For ages, Secret Societies have operated in the shadows, infiltrated our culture, and more often than exercised a mysterious impact on our Society. There have been many secret societies and conspiracy theories concerning them throughout history. From political parties to college fraternities, these organizations demand their members keep their activities and names hidden from the public. Learn about the World’s most conspiratorial secret societies in this article. These secret societies have been facing serious allegations of controlling the World in secret, infiltrating our culture, and exerting a mystical influence in our Society.
What are Secret Societies?
A secret society is a group or organization that keeps its activities, events, inner workings, and membership hidden. These Societies may or may not try to keep their existence hidden. For example, covert groups disguise their actions and memberships but maintain a public presence. Intelligence agencies or guerrilla warfare insurgencies are usually excluded from the term. Below are the World’s most conspiratorial secret societies.
World’s Most Conspiratorial Secret Societies
On May 1, 1776, in Ingolstadt (Upper Bavaria), Jesuit-trained Adam Weishaupt created the Illuminati, a radical branch of the Enlightenment, whose members were given the name Illuminati (but who called themselves “Perfectibilists”). The Bavarian Illuminati is the name given to this group presently. Even though it was not legally permitted to exist, it attracted many notable intellectuals and progressive politicians. Despite the presence of several renowned Freemasons among the membership, it was not deemed to be Masonically sanctioned. Atheists were particularly drawn to the Illuminati because they did not require belief in a superior being. The prevalent assumption that the Illuminati aims to overthrow established religion stems from this and the fact that most of its members were humanists.
Internal turmoil over the succession of a new leader and government efforts to prohibit the organization led to its demise in the late 1700s. Despite this, conspiracy theorists such as David Icke and Was Penre have claimed that the Bavarian Illuminati lasted until the nineteenth century, possibly to this day, even though there is very little trustworthy evidence to support this claim. It’s even been speculated that the Skull and Bones club is an Illuminati American offshoot.
Many individuals believe that the Illuminati is still in charge of the World’s governments and their significant actions. Therefore, they want to establish a global government based on humanist and atheist beliefs.
Freemasons, known as the Grand Masonic Lodge, was founded in 1717 when four local lodges joined forces. The first and second degrees of membership was established at first, but in the 1750s, the third degree was added, causing a division in the group. A Master Mason is someone who has completed the third degree. Masons have a ritualized approach to their regular meetings. Many architectural symbols, such as the compass and square, are referenced. “The Great Architect of the Universe,” they call God.
Masonry is divided into three degrees:
- First, you are accepted as an apprentice, making you a core group member.
- Fellow Craft: This is an intermediate degree in which you will be expected to expand your masonry expertise.
- Master Mason: To participate in most masonic events, you must have this degree. Some rites (like the Scottish rite) have as many as 33 degrees of membership.
Masons utilize handshakes and signs to gain entry to their meetings and identify themselves with other Masons. Signs and handshakes vary significantly from one jurisdiction to the next and are frequently revised or updated. This keeps people from figuring out how to get into the group under pretenses. Masons also dress in styled attire similar to that worn by stonemasons in the Middle Ages. The apron is the most well-known of these.
To join the Masonic Lodge, you must be recommended by an existing mason. Before you may enter, you may need to be suggested three times. You must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind to participate. Masonic membership is frowned upon by many religions, including the Roman Catholic Church, which prevents Catholics from joining under the penalty of ex-communication.
Skull and Bones
Skull and Bones, known as the Brotherhood of Death, was the original name of the Order of Skull and Bones, a Yale University club. It is one of the United States’ oldest student secret societies. It was founded in 1832, and only a few selected were allowed to join. Nowadays, this Society practices masonic ceremonies. Members gather every Thursday and Sunday in a structure known as the “Tomb.”
According to Judy Schiff, Chief Archivist at Yale University Library, the members’ names were not kept secret until the 1970s, but the rituals have always been. While at Yale, both Bush presidents were members of the organization, and several other members have gone on to great fame and success.
Conspiracy theories abound in today’s culture, the most prevalent of which is that the CIA was founded on members of the group. In 2007, the CIA issued a statement denying that the group was a CIA incubator (coinciding with the popularity of the film The Good Shepherd). However, these details were available on the CIA’s official site at this link (https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol51no1/the-good-shepherd.html), but now we get a 404 error.
A group of German protestants founded the Rosicrucian Order in the 1600s, when Fama Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis, Confessio Fraternitatis, and The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz anno 1459 were published. However, the documents were widely read, and influential historian Frances Yeats used the term “Rosicrucian Enlightenment” to describe the period.
The first paper describes the tale of a mysterious alchemist (Christian Rosenkreuz) who traveled the World collecting secret information. The second text describes a hidden alchemical society planning to alter Europe’s political and intellectual landscape. Finally, the third paper outlines Christian Rosenkreuz’s invitation to attend and assist at a King and Queen’s “Chemical” wedding at a castle of Miracles.
The Rosicrucian Order’s current members argue that its beginnings are much older than these sources. The papers’ authors appeared to be staunch supporters of Lutheranism, including condemnations of the Catholic Church. Nevertheless, Rosicrucianism influenceMasonryry and the 18th degree of Scottish Rite Masonry is known as the Knight of the Rose Croix (red cross).
Today, there is a slew of Rosicrucian organizations, each claiming to be a near descendant of the original. The first is a blend of Christianity and Rosicrucian ideals, while the second is semi-Masonic. Degrees of membership are joint in Masonic organizations. This organization has ties to masonry as well.
Ordo Templis Orientis
The Order of the Temples of the East is a Masonic organization that, under the direction of Aleister Crowley, the self-proclaimed “Great Beast,” adopted the doctrines of his Thelema religious system. “Do what thou wilt shall be the totality of the law, love is the law, love under the will,” according to Thelema. Degrees of initiation are employed to determine membership, and highly stylized rites are used. Now this Society has approximately 3,000 members all across the World.
The Gnostic Mass is a “Mass” invented by Crowley for this Society. Crowley said of the “Mass”:
“I decided that my Ritual should honor the magnificence of universal energies at work without incorporating debatable metaphysical doctrines.” I would never say or imply anything about nature that the most materialistic scientist would not back up. On the surface, this may appear impossible, but combining the most strictly scientific understanding of events with the most elevated and exuberant celebration of their sublimity proved to be a piece of cake.”
Virgin priestesses, children, and priests are used in the ceremony, which is exceedingly stylized. Many Ancient Egyptian Gods and the Devil are summoned, and the priestess conducts a naked ceremony at one point.
Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn
Dr. William Robert Woodman, William Wynn Westcott, and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers founded the Golden Dawn order. All three were Freemasons and members of the Anglian Society of Rosicrucians (an organization with ties to masonry). Many consider it the progenitor of the Ordo Templi Orientis and most modern Occult organizations.
The Golden Dawn’s belief system is based on Christian mysticism, Qabalah, Hermeticism, Ancient Egyptian religion, Freemasonry, Alchemy, Theosophy, Magic, and Renaissance works. Two of the group’s most well-known members are William Yeats and Aleister Crowley.
The Cipher Documents are the Order’s most essential documents. A cOrder’sttrOrder’sto JohannesOrder’smius was used to convert these into English. The manuscripts consist of 60 folios that contain magical rites. Many of these rites appear to have their basic structure from Rosicrucianism. The origins of these materials are a source of much debate.
The Knights Templar
The United Religious, Military, and Masonic Orders of the Temple and St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes, and Malta is a modern offshoot oMasonryry with no direct ties to the original Knights Templar – a religious, military group founded in the 12th century. Likewise, the Masonic Knights Templar members do not claim a direct link to the medieval Order, instead claiming to have borrOrderroncepts and embOrderfrom them.
You must already be a Christian Master Mason to join this fraternity. This is a different organization, not merely a higher-level masonry. Despite Freemasonry’s standard disclaimer that no Masonic institution claims a direct lineage to the medieval Knights Templar, several degrees and orders are inspired by the Order. “Commemorative orders” or degOrderrre is the best wayOrderefine them. Despite the fraternity’s official denials, some Masons, non-Masons, and even anti-Masons believe that the Templars initially influenced certain Masonic rites or degrees.
The Bilderberg Group
The only difference between this group and the others is that it does not have an official membership. Instead, it’s the name given to a group of influential people who gather in secret yearly (usually with solid military and government-sponsored security). The subjects mentioned are kept under wraps. The meetings are structured like a conference and are frequently conducted at five-star hotels around the World. The gathering is only open to those who have been invited. In 1954, the inaugural meeting was held at the Hotel Bilderberg in the Netherlands.
Several persons convened the initial gathering, concerned about the rise of anti-Americanism in Western Europe; Joseph Retinger, a Polish emigrant and political adviser, proposed an international conference at which leaders from European countries and the United States would be brought together to promote understanding between the cultures of the United States and Western Europe.
Although the agenda and participant list are publicly available, it is unclear whether the group discloses such information. Furthermore, the meetings’ contents are confidential, and attendees agree not to reveal what was discussed. The group’s justification for secrecy is that it allows participants to speak freely without worrying about how the media interprets their words. However, this group is surrounded by rumors and conspiracy theories all of the time.
The Priory of Sion
The Priory of Sion has sparked a lot of attention since Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code was published. However, those expecting to find and join the Priory will be disappointed to learn that it is a work of fiction. It was a fraud perpetrated in 1956 by Pierre Plantard, a pretender to the French throne. Plantard, de Cherisey, and de Sède wrote letters to each other in the 1960s, discussing strategies to battle criticism of their numerous charges and how they would make up fresh allegations to attempt to keep the whole thing going. Despite this, many individuals believe the Priory still exists and operates today.
After being duped by the hoax, the writers of the well-known book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail stated: The Priory of Sion dates back to AD 1099 and has had great Grand Masters such as Isaac Newton and Leonardo da Vinci. The ordinance protects royal claimants who think they are direct descendants of Jesus and his reputed bride Mary Magdalene, or at the very least, king David. The Priory aspires to establish a “Holy European Empire” that will become the next superpower and usher in a new era of peace and prosperity in the globe.
Opus Dei is a Catholic group that promotes the Catholic teaching that everyone is called to holiness and that everyday living can lead to sanctity. Associates are celibate members who reside in their own homes, whereas numeraries and numerary helpers live in designated centers. With Pope Pius XII’s consent, the Order was created in Spain in 1928 byOrdern Catholic prieOrdersemaria Escrivá.
When Dan Brown’OrderVinci Code was published, it stated that Opus Dei was a hidden Church group whose goal was to battle the Priory of Sion and others who sought to unearth the “truth” about Christianity and Christ’s mythical royal bloodline. Outside of the book, there has been a lot of discussion about Opus Dei due to its rigorous religious framework.
The Catholic Church prohibits secret societies and membership in them, and Opus Dei investigators have repeatedly refuted charges that the organization operates secretly to pursue an evil purpose.
The Black Hand began in Serbia in 1912 as a secret military society club of anti-imperialist political revolutionaries. It arose from Narodna Adbrona, a group that aimed to unite Europe’s Slavic people under a single government. This necessitated Serbia’s secession from Austria-monarchy, Hungary’s, which had conquered the country a few years before. To undermine political rule in the region, the group began circulating anti-Austrian propaganda and training saboteurs and assassins.
Their strategy was to create a conflict between Serbia and Austria, allowing them to liberate their country and unify the many Slavic states into one. If it hadn’t been for their unique role in one of the most significant events of the twentieth century, Black Hand would be all but forgotten today. The organization orchestrated the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914. Unfortunately, the assignment went wrong, and it was only finished when a low-level criminal named Gavrilo Princip came into the Archduke’s automobile and shot him at close range. Nonetheless, the assassination’s consequences were disastrous.
Within days, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and the tiny issue escalated into WWI once both countries’ allies joined the conflict. The legacy of WWI eventually led to WWII, which led to the Cold War, making the Black Hand one of the twentieth century’s oddly significant forces.
The Hashshashin, also known as the Nizari, were a mysterious group of Muslim assassins active in the Middle East in the 13th century. The group comprised Shia Muslims who had split off from a more prominent sect and came together to form a utopian Shi’ite kingdom. Because of their limited size, the group used guerilla tactics against its adversaries, including espionage, sabotage, and, most famously, political assassination.
The Hashshashin would place highly trained moles into enemy strongholds, instructing them to attack only when the conditions were ideal. They were notorious for their utmost secrecy to avoid civilian casualties and their penchant for deploying stealth to terrify their targets. According to legend, enemy commanders would wake up to find a Hashshashin dagger on their pillow, coupled with a message that said, “You are in our hands.” Before the Mongols annihilated the group, their mythology expanded, and they became well-known contract killers, allegedly doing jobs for King Richard the Lionheart.
Because the library containing all Nizari documents was destroyed at the time of their demise, much of what is known about them now is considered a legend. The most contentious mythology revolves around the group’s usage of narcotics and other intoxicants in battle–”Hashshashin” loosely translates as “Hashish user”–which some have claimed were used by the members. In addition, the phrase “Hashshashin,” as it pertains to the Nizari, is thought to be the root of the contemporary word “assassin,” though this has been largely debunked.
Great Ashoka’s Nine Unknown Men
The “Nine Unknown Men,” a secret society founded by the Mauryan Emperor Asoka around 270 BC to preserve and develop knowledge that would be dangerous to humanity if it fell into the wrong hands. The nine unidentified men were entrusted with protecting nine hidden knowledge books. It is stated that once conscious of the horrors of battle, Emperor Asoka sought to ban men from ever using their brains for ill purposes. Past and present natural science were sworn to secrecy under his reign.
All science, from the structure of matter to the procedures used in collective psychology, was to be hidden under the mystical mask of a people usually thought to be primarily interested in high and supernatural happenings.
These men’s goals were not to allow 2,000 years of tests, studies, and papers, including weapons of mass destruction, to slip into the hands of unqualified individuals and pursue knowledge that would benefit humanity. Instead, their numbers would be replenished through co-option to safeguard the mystery of ancient procedures.
Each Nine is said to be in charge of protecting and improving a single book. Each of these publications focuses on a different aspect of potentially dangerous knowledge. The books are claimed to address the following topics in the past:
- Book 1 was on the subject of Propaganda and psychological warfare.
- Book 2 was on the topic of Physiology.
- Book 3 was on microbiology and, more recently, Biotechnology.
- Book 4 was on the subject of Metal transformation as a part of alchemy.
- Book 5 was on the topic of Extraterrestrial communication.
- Book 6 was on the topic of Gravitation.
- Book 7 was on the subject of Cosmology.
- Book 8 was on the topic of Light.
- Book 9 was on the topic of Sociology.
In many countries around the World, secret organizations have played a fascinating role. Conspiracy theorists believe that many secret societies today have specific agendas or objectives in mind. The elite form private groups to hold meetings and even exercise de facto control over the countries in which they live.
Secret organizations have left few traces of their presence throughout history. Their secrets are usually only revealed by word of mouth or accidentally discovered old records. Ultimately, everything we know about him is based on rumors or conjectures.
Although it is difficult to define what qualifies secret societies as secret societies, they are usually classified as such if they share three characteristics. First and foremost, it must be a private organization. Second, the organization must claim unique or previously unknown secrets. Finally, the organization often places its members above other individuals or members of Society. Secret societies are often compared to cults and are likely to be highly similar in structure. Cults and secret societies share this uniqueness and claim they are the only ones with the necessary solutions for the World. On the other hand, cults are usually religious or spiritual, while secret organizations tend to be more political and scientific.
- Daraul, Arkon (6 November 2015). A History Of Secret Societies. Pickle Partners Publishing. ISBN 978-1-78625-613-3.
- “Fourth International Conference at UCLA.” Masons of California.
- Vickers, Brian (June 1979), “Frances Yates and the Writing of History,” The Journal of Modern History, 51 (2, Technology and War): 287–316, doi:10.1086/241901, S2CID 144766713
- Yates, Frances A. (1972), The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, London
- Hanegraaff, Wouter J.; Faivre, Antoine; Broek, Roelof van den; Brach, Jean-Pierre (2005). Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism (Online ed.). Leiden: Brill. ISBN 9789004141872.
- Phillips, Julia (1991) History of Wicca in England: 1939 – present day. Lecture at the Wiccan Conference in Canberra, 1991.
- “MasonicWorld.com.” www.masonicworld.com
- “Knights Templar.” London: Mark Masons’ Hall. Retrieved March 8, 2019. Prospective Candidates must be Master Masons, Royal Arch Masons,
- Vernon Stauffer, New England and the Bavarian Illuminati, Columbia University Press, 1918, Chapter 3 The European Illuminati, Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon.
- “Bilderberg mystery: Why do people believe in cabals?”. BBC News. June 7, 2011. Archived from the original on June 10, 2011. They were retrieved on June 14, 2011.
- Massimo Introvigne (2–5 June 2005). Beyond The Da Vinci Code: History and Myth of the Priory of Sion. CESNUR 2005 International Conference. CESAR.
- “Decoding the secret world of Opus Dei.” BBC News. September 16, 2005.
- “Black Hand | secret Serbian society.” Encyclopedia Britannica.
- McCarthy, K. M. (1973). The Origin of Assassin. American Speech, 48(1/2), 77-83.
This Article was Published On: 18 February, 2022 And Last Modified On: 8 January, 2023
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