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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