I'm not a member of a secret society. We don't have secret society meetings every second tuesday at 3:47 PM in the secret society bunker, and the secret society password definitely isn't "Your mother has fleas".

The government would never crumble before our might, neither do we rule the world with our secret society powers, of which we have none, of course!

Ha Ha!

A brief and horribly incomplete list of "Secret Societies"; a metanode masquerading as real content.

Catholic Knights
Fight Club
Grand Temple of Maat, The Order of Maat
Grotto, The Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm
Illuminati, Illuminatus
Job's Daughters
Knights of Columbus
Knights of Dawn, Les Chevaliers de l'Aube
Knights of the Golden Eagle
Knights of Malta
Knights of Pythias
Ku Klux Klan
Masons, Freemasonry
Modern Woodmen of America
National Ancient Order of Hibernians
P.E.O. Sisterhood
Orange Order (ryano)
Rosae, Rosicrucian, rose-croix
Skull & Bones
Templar, The Knights Templar
Priory of Sion

There are more secret societies, though I haven't found any other information as of late. An interesting resource for some one the more esoteric groups is the reproductions of the 1900 Sears Catalog, which sold a large variety of secret society insignia. Secret Societies reached their peak around the turn of the (previous) century, when it was not uncommon for an individual to be a member of more than one of them, although most of those societies were conjured up and not actually old and grand as member were led to believe.

Secret Societies, organizations that in some form or other have existed in all ages of the world's history. The Freemasons and the Odd Fellows are perhaps the best known of the secret societies in the United States. Speculative Freemasonry does not go further back than the 18th century; its objects are philanthropic and moral. There are associations similar in character to it in Tahiti and others of the Pacific Islands, and among the Foulah and the Negroes of Sierra Leone and the adjacent parts of Africa. There have been numerous associations of a secret kind formed for criminal purposes, and for mutual assistance against and in defiance of the laws of the land; the Assassins in Persia and Syria, the Thugs in India, the Camorra, the Mafia, and the Decisi (1815) in Italy and Sardinia, may be instanced.

There are perhaps no people in the world who favor secret societies more than the Chinese and the inhabitants of the United States. But while the objects of these associations in the former country are mostly political, in the latter they are predominantly social. The most powerful organization of this nature in China -- indeed its ramifications extend to all parts of the world where Chinamen are allowed to settle -- is the Tien-ti Hwuy (Union of Heaven and Earth), and presents many features analogous to Freemasonry, such as secret signs, solemn initiation ceremonies, peculiar observances, and so forth. Secret societies of all kinds, and for nearly all conceivable purposes, are found in the United States, from the Vigilance Committee, formed in the Western States for the preservation of public order, to the associations in the colleges and universities.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

Secret Societies, Shadow Governments, and the New World Order
A Guide to the Octopus, Real and Imagined

After having read Them--a wonderful little book on secret societies and the people who believe in them--and rereading Foucault's Pendulum, I thought it might be useful to present my fellow noders with a quick guide to the so-called secret societies which some people believe rule the world in secret and are waiting to take over the U.S. and kill all the Christians, etc. NOT included are groups like the Nazis or Communists, mainly because for the most part, they were not clandestine, but open about their objectives.

BTW--"The Octopus" is from a famous cartoon depicting a world-wide conspiracy as an octopus with its tentacles around a globe. It is also the name of another conspiracy (see under "Possibly Real").

Any suggestions, additions, with some idea of who they are and how real they are, is appreciated.

Real Organizations: These are organizations which have a definite basis in reality; they acknowledge their existence or have a historically-verifiable existence. Sometimes they even have their own websites.


  • Knights Templar: order of Christian warrior-monks; popular in the Crusades, less so with the kings of France and the pope. Disbanded after false accusations of Satanism.
  • Assassins: fanatical devotees of Hassan i-Sabad, who fought in the Crusades against the Templars. Secretive, high on hashish (hense the name), some say they survived into the eighteenth century to influence the Illuminati.
  • Freemasons: fraternal society formed either by an English stonemasons guild in 1717, or from fleeing Templars who made their way to Scotland. Often accused of running a shadow government. It is true that most of the U.S.'s Founding Fathers were Masons. Still around, not doing much, as far as I'm concerned.
  • Bavarian Illuminati: radical offshoot of the Freemasons; connected to the French revolution and the Englightenment; often accused of running a shadow world government. As far as history is concerned, the Illuminati ceased to be in 1814.
  • Hell Fire Club: supposedly Satanic, this was just famous Freemasons gettin' their freak on. No, really.
  • Ku Klux Klan: yeah--the white knights of the Old South. Still around, but no where near as strong as they were. And they're not just in the South; Pennsylvania is one of their big stomping grounds.


  • Council on Foreign Relations: an international think tank; often accused... Anyway, past presidents (and current VP Dick Cheney) have been members; they claim to have begun at the instigation of Woodrow Wilson in 1921. They even have their own website: http://www.cfr.org
  • Trilateral Commission: not unlike the CFR; again, they also have their own website: http://www.trilateral.org
    The Trilateral Commission was formed in 1973 by private citizens of Japan, Europe (European Union countries), and North America (United States and Canada) to foster closer cooperation among these core democratic industrialized areas of the world with shared leadership responsibilities in the wider international system.
    You can see where they get their name from, then. Very into globalization. Founded by David Rockefeller, one of the 13 Satanic Families (see below).
  • The Family: right-wing religious organization detailed in Harper's April 2003 issue. They want to remake the world into a Christian theocracy. No, I'm serious. Read the article: http://www.harpers.org/online/jesus_plus_nothing/?pg=1
  • Project for the New American Century: The neoconservative thinktank. Some would accuse this group--whose members include --of not only planning Gulf War II way in advance (think 1992; think this particular blueprint: http://cryptome.org/rad.htm.), and even allowed the September 11 attacks to take place in order to convince the U.S. citizens to take on this new imperialist role. Like all good octopi, they have their own website: http://www.newamericancentury.org Wanna know their members? Think: Gary Bauer, William J. Bennett, Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Elliot Abrams, Steve Forbes, Francis Fukuyama, Dan Quayle, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz. It's all on the website. Oh, and this group typically falls victim to the "Jews Who Rule the World" bullshit, despite most members not being Jewish. (NOTE: Some have accused me of dismissing people who disagree with or fear PNAC as Antisemites; this was not my intention. I myself hate and fear the members of this organization. What I was calling attention to--not clearly enough, I now see--is that some people are all too willing to use this group as "proof" of a Jewish conspiracy, when in fact they should simply fear it as proof of a neoconservative conspiracy, regardless of the religion or ethnic group of any of the members.)
  • The Knights of Malta: rivals of the Templars, they're still around and may have played footsie with the Nazis. Reportedly, a number of conservative Catholic figures are members. Some--mainly anti-Catholic conspiracy theorists--think they want to overthrow the U.S. gov't and install a papal theocracy.
  • Opus Dei: ultra-conservative Catholic organization; possibly connected to p2 and the assassination of Oscar Romero and other Liberation Theology followers in Latin America. True or not? The pope will never tell... (thanks, mirv)
  • Skull & Bones: Yale's friendly little occult secret society, whose members seem to end up in the CIA; most famous being George H. W. Bush.
  • p2/Propaganda Du: Freemason offshoot/CIA backed/Mafia-aligned anti-communist group responsible for many terrorist actions in Italy, the Vatican Banking Scandal, and (IMHO) the murder of John Paul I.
  • Odd Fellows: obscure secret society, mostly found in rural America. Kinda like the Freemasons without the mystique. (Thanks, m_turner)

Legit: These are organizations which definitely exist, and who have been accused of being involved in all sorts of dirty, covert operations. And the usual suspects are:

You get the picture.

Imaginary Organizations: These are supposed groups which have never actually existed. They are usually hoaxes created by interested parties.

  • Elders of Zion: supposed world-wide Jewish cabal, as "proved" in the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a document which claims to be a transcript of the meeting of rabbis bent on taking over the world. The hoax is generally thought to have begun in Russia by Czarists, plagarizing a Montaigne satire "Dialogue in Hell between Machiavelli and Montesquieu" (how appropriate); unfortunaly, this text is still used as a justification of persecution and hatred, especially in places like Egypt and the U.S.
  • Priory of Sion: hoax originating with Pierre Plantard, a French resistance leader who got it into his head that he was decended of the Merovingian kings, and that these kings were descended from Jesus Christ. Best known through that pile of kindling Holy Blood, Holy Grail.
  • Worldwide Satanist Conspiracy: this is a big one. Aside from implicating everyone in existence (any group can be listed as Satanic and working for the Antichrist), I would especially like to address the hoax of Ritual Satanic abuse and repressed memory syndromes. Cletus_the_Foetus has an excellent w/u on this subject. Moreover, anyone who asserts that the Church of Satan or Temple of Set is involved in any of this hasn't been doing their homework.(Thanks, Cletus_the_Foetus)
  • The 13 Illuminati/Satanic Families: some--like David Icke or Lyndon LaRouche and their ilk--believe that there are 13 Satanic families behind all these organizations. They have intermingled bloodlines, they worship Satan, and (according to some) are really non-human. I'm serious. These families are:
    • The Astor Bloodline: John Jacob Astor et al., owners of Mastercard and other stuff
    • The Bundy Bloodline: Mostly U.S. gov't wonks, Yalies (and Skull & Bones members), and CFR members. Supposedly Teddy-boy was well-connected.
    • The Collins Bloodline: Anglo-American elite family.
    • The DuPont Bloodline: of course, they only marry in their own family, so there's no chance of breeding little Satans with outsiders. Actually, this is a truly messed-up and well-connected family from nearby (for me) Delaware, who basically have run that state since its inception. No taxes, baby.
    • The Freeman Bloodline: supposedly connected to the mythical Priory de Sion. More evil Jewish stuff.
    • The Kennedy Bloodline: duh. For Old Joe's monopoly on the Scotch trade alone!
    • The Li Bloodline: evil Chinese. Aparently Satan isn't just for WASPs.
    • The Onassis Bloodline: Silly Jackie O.
    • The Rockefeller Bloodline: well, we already knew they were evil.
    • The Rothschild Bloodline: international bankers, and Jews no less! (TWAJ)
    • The Russell Bloodline: apparently the Jehovah's Witnesses are run by Satanists. Go figure.
    • The Van Duyn Bloodline: Dutch chocolate makers, or Mossad informants and promoters of the "New Age group Planned Parenthood"?
    • The Merovingian Bloodline: see Priory of Sion. Yeah, French kings descended of Jesus and a space alien. From which all these bloodlines sprout, and grow to include the British Royal Family.

    There is a website devoted to this: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/steveseymour/The%2013%20Illuminati%20Bloodlines.htm

Possibly Real: These groups may or may not exist; there is evidence, but it isn't conclusive, or there is conclusive evidence, but not enough to say very much about the group without going off into the realms of fantasy and paranoia.

  • Rosicrucians: mystical group in the 18th century; there is so little information about them, yet they show up everywhere. Like the Illuminati, probably a one-time Freemason offshoot.
  • The Bilderberger Group: personally, I believe they are real, especially after reading Them. However, they do not produce documents, they have secretive meetings, etc; one can deny they exist, as no one claims to be a member. This does not mean they do not exist, of course. The claim is that they secretly control trade, elections, and so on. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised by it. However, even if that were true, they are but men, and do not actually control the universe. There is a website which claims to track their activities: http://www.bilderberg.org
  • Majestic 12/the Aviary: super-secret U.S. gov't agencey devoted to disinformation regarding UFOs. Honey, arguing that one is like arguing about God. You either believe or you don't.
  • The Octopus: when journalist Danny Casolaro is found dead after researching a story on how the U.S. gov't stole a computer program called PROMIS from the company Inslaw, not everyone thought it was a suicide. There's more to this than meets the eye, I'll give 'em that. See here: http://www.constitution.org/col/octocaso.htm (Thanks, Quizro)

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