Top 10 Secret Societies Of The World
Secret societies are famous around the world. Although their purpose of it will never be known because of the secrecy, some secret societies still exist even today. They have secret handshakes, gestures, and passwords which will not be shared among non members. Most of these are formed with political and religious goals in mind, their focus on mystery and secrecy has made them the target of countless criticisms and conspiracy theories.
Opus Dei is an organization of the Catholic Church founded in Spain in 1928 by Roman Catholic priest Josemaría Escrivá with the approval of Pope Pius XII. It emphasizes the Catholic belief that everyone is called to holiness and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity. The celibate numeraries and numerary assistants live in special centers, while associates are celibate members living in their private homes. The secret society was featured on Dan Brown’s famous book, Da Vinci Code.
The Knights Templar
The Knights Templar (full name: The United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta) is a modern off-shoot of Masonry and does not have a direct tie to the original Knights Templar – a religious military group formed in the 12th century.
The Black Hand
It formed as an offshoot from Narodna Adbrona, a group that sought to unite all of the Slavic people of Europe under one country. Their plan was to incite a war between Serbia and Austria, which would give them a chance to free their country and unite the different Slavic nations as one. It is rumored that this society’s secret practices led to the start of WW1.
Hashshashin– The Order of Assassins
The Hashshashin, or Nizari, were a mysterious band of Muslim assassins that operated in the Middle East during the 13th century. The group was made up of Shia Muslims who broke off from a bigger sect and banded together in order to establish a utopian Shi’ite state. Because their number was small, the group used guerilla tactics in their battle against their enemies, including espionage, sabotage, and, most famously, political assassination. They were contract killers for King Richard the Lionheart. It is believed that the society is a myth as the evidence of its existence was destroyed during it’s downfall.
The Thule Society
The group was unofficially started in Germany just after the end of WWI. It began as a kind of German heritage group that dabbled in the occult, and later had racist approaches towards Jews and other minorities. The members grew and in 1919, members of the Thule Society formed a political organization called the German Workers’ Party. A young Adolf Hitler became a member, and eventually took over the party, which would later become known as the National Socialist German Workers’, or Nazi, party. Rudolf Hess, Arthur Rosenberg and Hitler are some of the famous members.
The Knights of the Golden Circle
The Knights of the Golden Circle was a secret society that flourished in the U.S. during the American Civil War. Unlike most secret societies, the Golden Circle didn’t just concern itself with clandestine meetings and mysterious plans. Instead, the group often formed renegade armies and bands of bushwhackers in order to forward their agenda by force. In 1860, a group of the Knights made a failed attempt to invade Mexico. During the war, they robbed stagecoaches and attempted a blockade of the harbor in San Francisco, and a group of them even managed to briefly take control of southern New Mexico. Jesse James was one of the members of the society.
The Sons of Liberty
The Sons of Liberty is the name for a loosely organized group of dissidents that existed in America prior to the Revolutionary War. The group did not exist as a secret society in the traditional sense; rather, it was made up of smaller factions of patriots from across the colonies that united in support of a common goal. They met in Boston around an elm tree that has since become known as the Liberty Tree. The group is most notable today for sowing the seeds of revolution among the colonists with their protest of the Stamp Act, and for coining the now famous phrase “no taxation without representation.”
Skull and Bones
The Order of Skull and Bones, a Yale University society, was originally known as the Brotherhood of Death. It is one of the oldest student secret societies in the United States. It was founded in 1832 and membership is open to an elite few. The society uses masonic inspired rituals to this day. Members meet every Thursday and Sunday of each week in a building they call the “Tomb”.
Although they are less influential and secretive today than they once were, the Freemasons remain one of the most famous fraternal organizations in the world, with a membership somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 million. The group was officially founded in 1717, but documents relating to its existence date back to the 1300s. Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, James Buchanan, Bob Dole, Henry Ford, Ben Franklin are some of the famous members.
You must have heard of the Illuminati if you’ve dead Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. It is the most famous secret group and is popularly understood is more or less a myth, but the legend of it dates back to a real organization that existed in Germany in the late 1700s. The fact that the Illuminati did not require a belief in a supreme being made them particularly popular among atheists. This, and the fact that most members were humanists, is the reason for the widespread belief that the Illuminati wants to overthrow organized religion.