10 Secret Societies That Wield Enormous Power

10 Secret Societies That Wield Enormous Power 10 Freemasons Despite being one of the most famous examples, the Freemasons aren’t technically a secret society

This is because Masons are permitted to tell anyone that they’re a member, although they’re not allowed to spill the secrets of the order When a man named William Morgan tried in the 1800s, he simply disappeared, so they’re not the most open bunch Even if you haven’t heard of them, the society has likely affected your life in one of a number of ways 8 of the people who signed the Declaration of independence were Masons, and its membership is estimated at six million members today These members have included 14 US presidents, from George Washington to Gerald Ford, and in 1952, 89% of The Supreme Court Justices were Freemasons

This kind of power had lead to several conspiracies of global political intervention, although they claim not to be a political group, and using membership for personal gain is allegedly banned 9 Bohemian Club Every July, California plays host to a gathering of some of the richest and most powerful men in the world, at the 2,700 acre Bohemian Grove Split across 118 camps, the forest holds around 2,500 mostly republican and caucasian, all male members for two weeks of socialising Little is known about what goes on between the members, which include every Republican president between 1923 and 2009

The club’s near 15 year waiting list and $25,000 initiation fee make it hard to infiltrate, but resident conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was able to secretly film one ceremony in 2000, involving a 40-foot-tall owl statue Luckily, the powerful club insists that the meeting is purely a social occasion That’s reassuring, given that some conspiracies claimed the manhattan project, which lead to the first nuclear bomb, was planned at the grove A conspiracy that turned out to be completely true 8

Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks The Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World were formed in the 19th century as a way for minstrel show performers to avoid government regulations on the opening times of public taverns In the years since, passwords and other secretive elements of the society have diminished, but initiation rituals uphold the Elk’s discreet history to this day The Elks have taken a charitable turn since their establishment, making use of the 1½ million members at their peak Since The Elks National Foundation was established in 1928, the society has established numerous charity programmes, donating hundreds of millions of dollars to help veterans and young people The Elks are still one of the leading fraternal organisations in the US, still claiming around 800,000 members today

The group also draws great power from certain members These include 5 US presidents, filmmakers like Ben Affleck and Clint Eastwood and even Harry Houdini, putting the power of magic on their side 7 The Knights of Pythias The Knights of Pythias was the first fraternal organization to be officially recognized with a charter from the United States Congress This was in 1870, and the club reached its peak with almost a million members in the 1920s

But in 2003, the secret society still boasted 50,000 members in America and around the world, and is ongoing to this day The group, which promotes loyalty, honor, and friendship, has included 3 US presidents, 2 Vice-Presidents, numerous congressman and governors and even Jazz aficionado Louis Armstrong President Roosevelt even joined during his presidency, so we know for sure the group has held significant sway within the White House Luckily, the society uses this power for numerous charitable endeavors For instance, each year, they send around 100 underprivileged children to summer camps, which would otherwise cost the children around $300 each

They also provide homes to care for members in their later years 6 Bilderberg A secretive annual meeting of western powers, designed to ‘foster dialogue between Europe and North America’ is ominous enough to some as is That’s before you found out it was co-founded in 1954 by a former Nazi prince and one of the founding fathers of the European Union The roughly 150 Bilderberg group members meet annually to discuss, according to their public agenda, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, chemical weapons, and various topical items updated annually

Its members also vary, but some regular faces include the Clintons, leading British politicians and top executives from companies like Google and Facebook and even some royalty This power has made the group’s secrecy a big concern No press are allowed, and police attend each year to quell protests These protests aren’t unfounded, as many detractors have claimed Bilderbergers plan to establish a global economy, and in 1973 discussed a plan to increase petrol prices by up to as much as 400% 5

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows The Independent Order of Odd Fellows is a fraternal society formed in Manchester in the early 19th century Described as ‘the not-so-secret society’, they claim to only uphold certain clandestine ceremonies as tradition But historically, Oddfellows have been subject to the same legal and religious sanctions as more famously secretive groups like the Freemasons Luckily, Oddfellows are much more philanthropic than some shadier societies The society formed before the welfare state or National Health Services to help communities, building houses and burying the dead to stop the spread of the Plague

Today, with 600,000 members spread over 26 countries, the group is still known for its numerous charity fundraisers The influence of the Odd Fellows spans from its 5 US presidential members, all the way through to creatives like Charlie Chaplin Across the Atlantic, membership also includes the famously odd Prime Minister Winston Churchill and an actual king Pretty odd indeed 4

Order of the Solar Temple Established in 1984, The Order of the Solar Temple were modelled after one of the most famous secret groups from history, the Knights Templar Members believed that founder Joseph Di Mambro was a reincarnated member of the actual Knights Templar, but his abuse of power carved out the group’s legacy as more of a cult than a society The group was made to ‘correct notions of authority in the world’, and still runs with that aim today But the society’s true power was held over its own members Between 1994 and 1997 the society pushed themselves into global consciousness with a series of mass suicides

It’s unclear how many members the group had at its peak, or how many remain today, but they were responsible for 74 deaths in total, including children This was attributed to a mix of strange cosmic and Christian rhetoric, culminating in rituals that also took the lives of the societies founders 3 Afrikaner Broederbond Deriving from the Afrikaans word for ‘Brotherhood’, the Afrikaner Broederbond were established in 1918, following the defeat of the Afrikaners in the Boer War Initially established to promote Afrikaner culture, but grew into a powerful white supremacist group, fundamental in the creation of Apartheid in South Africa

They did this through a monopoly of powerful members throughout the media, education and politics During the almost 50 year reign of Apartheid, every South African Prime Minister and State President was a member of the Broederbond But the secrecy of the group allowed them to control South Africa with minimal backlash However, at the start of the 1990s, the Broederbond shifted suddenly into an anti-apartheid stance After its abolition in 1994, the group changed their named to ‘Afrikanerbond’ and became generally more transparent

Today, their roughly 10,000 members work to improve life in South Africa for all citizens, regardless of sex, race or religion 2 Skull and Bones Founded at Yale in 1832, The Skull and Bones society takes their namesake seriously In their headquarters ‘The Tomb’, members are allegedly surrounded by the stolen skulls of famous historical leaders, Hitler’s silverware, and numerous coffins The latter feature heavily in all the societies alleged initiation rituals

These rituals are worth enduring, as the society is said to be established to convene and command America’s richest 1% Some claim that even being tapped for the group will land you a $15,000 gift and lifetime financial security This would sound far fetched if their alumni didn’t include multiple presidents, CIA officials, and the founder of Time magazine This is just to name a few of the members with global influence For instance, whoever you voted for in the 2004 Presidential election, you were voting for a ‘bonesman’

Overseas, two of the members are known to have funded one Adolf Hitler before World War 2 1 Illuminati The real Illuminati was initially established in Bavaria in 1776 Ironically, despite being known today for the rumours and superstitions that surround them, the group was established to oppose superstition and abuse of state power These goals, and its roughly 3,000 members, threatened the Roman Catholic rule in Bavaria so much that they actually outlawed secret societies in 1785

So for all we know, the actual Illuminati only lasted 9 years, but legend dictates that the group were forced underground where they remain today Numerous modern societies operate under the name ‘Illuminati’, and claim to have directly descended from the original group, although nothing has been substantiated This uncertainty gives way for the widest spread of rumoured members, from numerous world leaders to Beyonce to AllTime10s, apparently The society supposedly control the world’s biggest banks to fund their work, which allegedly included the planning of 9/11 at the hands of accused member George Bush

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