All those movies you’ve seen involving some kind of secret societies seem to be telling some unknown truth we aren’t privileged to.
That might be because these “clubs” have existed for centuries, operating their private meetings out of darkened back rooms and wielding a mysterious influence upon our culture.
There have been many secret societies and even conspiracy theories about those institutions throughout time. From political organizations to college frats, these groups demand their members conceal their activities, and even their identities, from the public.
But that aside, secret societies are timeless and come in all shapes and sizes. Nowadays, it’s easy to maintain an international society. After all, the Internet gives us access to everything and EVERYONE in the world.
But, limited communication through pen and paper didn’t stop societies from spreading worldwide in the past. So let’s go behind closed doors as we examine the 8 most elite secret societies in history.
The Black Hand
This was a secret society of anti-imperialist political revolutionaries that began in Serbia in 1912. It formed as an offshoot of Narodna Adbrona, a group that wanted to unite all of the Slavic population of Europe under one rule.
This demanded the detachment of Serbia from the monarchy of Austria-Hungary, which annexed the country a few years before. Therefore, the group began publishing anti-Austrian propaganda and training assassins to disrupt political rule within the region.
They planned to initiate a war between Serbia and Austria, giving them the chance to free their country and unite the Slavic nations as one.
Interestingly, Black Hand would be forgotten today if it wasn’t for their unlikely involvement in one of the most significant events of the 20th century. In 1914, the group arranged for the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
The job was severely clumsy and was only completed when a street thug, Gavrilo Princip, stumbled upon the Archduke’s car and shot him at close range, ending his life.
Nevertheless, the results of the assassination were disastrous. Within days, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, afterwhich the allies of both countries joined the fight, and the minor dispute escalated into… WWI!
As we know, the aftermath of WWI eventually led to WWII, which led to the Cold War. This makes the Black Hand one of the most oddly influential forces of the 20th century.
This secret society had a huge hand in changing our world as we know it!
The Knights Templar
We’re sure you’ve heard about this one! The Knights Templar is a modern off-shoot of Masonry and doesn’t have a direct tie to the original Knights Templar, which was a religious, military group formed sometime in the 12th century.
The members of this Masonic Knights Templar don’t claim any direct connections to the medieval group but rather a borrowing of their ideas and symbols. To become a member of this order, you have to be a Christian Master Mason already.
And even though Freemasonry’s general stance is that there isn’t a single Masonic organization that claims an immediate lineage to the medieval Knights Templar, particular degrees and orders are patterned after that medieval order.
They are described best as “commemorative orders” or degrees. Nevertheless, some Masons, non-Masons, and even anti-Masons insist that specific Masonic rites or degrees initially had direct Templar influence despite the fraternity’s official disclaimers.
If you are a history buff, we’re positive that you’ve heard of this secret society before!
The Bilderberg Group
The Bilderberg group is not “technically” a secret society but a group of like-minded people. But that does not make them any less mysterious, which is why they deserve a place on our list. It’s a group of people that meet every year, by invitation only of course!
Only world leaders, media moguls, and SEOs from multinationals companies receive an invitation to these gatherings. This group has been meeting since 1954. The first meeting was at the Dutch Bilderberg hotel in Oosterbeek, which is where the name comes from.
Their official plan is to discuss the integration of various cultures worldwide. At least, that’s what they claim to be doing. Yet, no one knows what is being discussed, the media is not allowed, and the guests don’t divulge anything about the meetings!
It’s difficult not to form negative feelings about this. The most popular theory, but by no means the only one, is that the aim is for world domination by one government during these gatherings. But no one knows the truth! Except, of course… the “members”!
This secret society was news to US! Did YOU know about it?
The Grand Masonic Lodge was assembled in 1717, and masons refer to God as “The Great Architect of the Universe.” The secret society conducts its meetings in a ritualized style. This includes references to key architectural symbols such as the compass and square.
The three degrees of Masonry are as follows:
1- Entered Apprentice: This made you an essential group member.
2- Fellow Craft: This is an intermediate degree in which you learn to develop further knowledge of Masonry.
3- Master Mason: This is a degree required for partaking in most masonic activities.
Some rites list up to 33 degrees of membership. Masons use different signs and handshakes to get admission to their meetings and to identify themselves to other people who may be Masons.
The signs and handshakes often vary from one jurisdiction to another and can frequently be changed. This protects the group from people uncovering how to gain admission under false deceptions.
Masons also wear stylized clothing based on the clothes worn by stonemasons in the middle ages. The most well-known of these is the apron.
To become a Mason, one must generally be recommended by a current mason, and in some cases, you have to be recommended 3 times before joining.
Numerous religions frown upon membership of these Masons, and the Roman Catholic Church bans Catholics to join under the threat of ex-communication.
This surely has to be one of the most well-known secret societies in the world!
The Knights of the Golden Circle
This was a secret society that thrived in the US during the American Civil War. The group initially sought to urge the annexation of Mexico and the West Indies, which they believed could help the dying slave trade flourish once again.
But once the Civil War began, the group changed its focus from colonialism to emotional support for the newly established Confederate government.
These Knights soon had thousands of followers, many of whom also formed guerilla armies and began raiding Union defenses in the West. The bizarre order had an even more significant impact in the Northern states.
Many newspapers and public figures at the time engaged in witch-hunts where they accused Southern sympathizers of being a part of the Knights of the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle didn’t just engage in secret meetings and mysterious plans.
Instead, the group often formed renegade armies to deliver their agenda by force. In 1860, a group of the Knights failed at invading Mexico.
During the war, they robbed stagecoaches and tried to block the harbor in San Francisco, and a group of them even took control of southern New Mexico briefly.
If you’ve done your research on the American Civil War, you’re probably familiar with this secret society!
The Order Of The Skull And Bones
This Yale University society was initially known as the Brotherhood of Death. It’s one of the oldest student secret societies in our country. It was established in 1832, and membership is open to a very limited and elite few.
This society happens to use masonic-inspired rituals even to this day. Its members meet Thursdays and Sundays of each week in a building they call the “Tomb.”
According to the Chief Archivist at the Yale University Library, the order members’ names weren’t kept “hush-hush” until the 1970s, but the rituals themselves always HAVE been.
Both Bush presidents were members of this secret society while studying at Yale, and several other of the order’s members have gone on to great fame and fortune later on.
This society is surrounded by many conspiracy theories, the most popular of which is probably the notion that the CIA was built on members of the group. But, the CIA released an official statement stating that this was untrue.
Did you go to YALE? Are you familiar with this secret society?
A group of freethinkers that were the most radical product of The Enlightenment, whose followers were given the name Illuminati was founded on May 1, 1776, in Upper Bavaria, by Jesuit-taught Adam Weishaupt. This secret society is known in today’s world as the Bavarian Illuminati.
And while it wasn’t legally allowed to operate, many significant intellectuals and progressive politicians were members. Today, they’re the subject of a very successful book and perhaps an even more successful film adaptation, but what Dan Brown wrote is not all fiction!
The people turned their back on them, and they were soon seen in the eyes of ordinary people as heretics and rioters who wanted to take down the government.
Shortly after, the group broke up, but they are far from being forgotten, thanks to their constant attention in popular media. Conspiracy theorists believe that the Illuminati hasn’t disappeared but is simply in hiding.
As a real secret organization, that is, of course, possible. After all, they are only well-kept secrets if we don’t know about them.
The Bush family, Obama, and Churchhill have been suspected of being members! However, as long as they are genuinely a secret organization, we will never know for certain.
What we DO know is that this is one of the most highly publicized secret societies EVER!
The Order Of The Golden Dawn
This secret society was formed by William Wynn Westcott, Dr. William Robert Woodman, and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers. All 3 of these individuals were Freemasons and members of Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, which was an organization believed to have ties to Masonry.
Many consider it a leader of the Ordo Templi Orientis and most modern Occult groups.
The belief outline of the Golden Dawn is taken mainly from Christian mysticism, Hermeticism, Qabalah, the religion of Ancient Egypt, Alchemy, Theosophy, Magic, and a few Renaissance writings.
William Yeats is one of the most famous members of this group. The essential documents of the order are known as the Cipher Documents, and they were translated into English using a cipher created by Johannes Trithemius.
The papers are a series of 60 folios and even include magic rituals. The main structure of many of these rituals appears to originate with Rosicrucianism and they have a great deal of controversy surrounding them.
We know…we can’t pronounce the name either, but bear with us! Many secret societies are accused of having some sort of malicious intent, but this one is one of the few where there is ACTUAL evidence that this was the case.
Its origins begin in Germany, just after the First World War. Its members very quickly developed an obsession with the Aryan race and started to discriminate against the Jewish population and other “less fortunate” folks.
In 1919 they started a political unit and named it the German Workers’ Party. Rumor has it that Adolf Hitler was a member of this secret society. And in fact, he may have even gradually taken over the party!
This is one secret society we want no part of, thank you very much!
Do you think that the secret societies of the world have as much power as this article implies? One thing’s for sure, it definitely gives us something to think about!
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