Secret societies have always been fascinating. Which are the most popular among them? What are their motivations? From the Templars to Freemasons to Skull and Bones, here’s what we know (and don’t know) about secret societies throughout history.
The attraction of the secret organizations is both a mystery and a legend. And we are fascinated by skull world ! Death, mystery and depictions with skull and crossbones symbols are our favorite themes. And orders with well-kept secrets are of course no exception. 🤫
The conspiracy theories Most of them have been surrounded for centuries by rumors about the Illuminati being linked to almost everything from the French Revolution to the JFK assassination. However, it is important to separate fact from fiction. Here are the true stories behind history’s most exclusive secret societies. Now discover our top 20 of the most prestigious of them .
Secret Society #20: The Templars
The Templars were warriors dedicated to protecting Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land during the Crusades. The military order was founded around 1118 by Hugues de Payens, a French knight. Based on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, members pledged to live a life of chastity , obedience, and poverty by abstaining from gambling, drinking, and even swearing.
The Templars were known for far more than their military prowess and moral lifestyle. They became one of the richest and most powerful forces in Europe after founding a bank that allowed pilgrims to deposit money in their homeland and withdraw it in the Holy Land. 💰
What happened to the Templars?
When the Crusades ended after the fall of Akko, the Templars withdrew to Paris, where they concentrated on their banking activities. On October 13, 1307, the French king Philip IV, who had been refused further credit by the Templars, had a group of knights arrested and tortured until they made a false confession of their depravity. In 1309, before the eyes of the city of Paris, dozens of Templars were burned at the stake for their alleged crimes. ✝️
Under pressure from the French crown, Pope Clement V officially dissolved the order in 1312 and redistributed its wealth. Rumors that the Templars were guarding artifacts such as the Holy Grail and Shroud of Turin began among conspiracy theoriststo simmer. Popular books and films such as The Da Vinci Code continue to arouse curiosity about the Templars today.
The Templar symbol : the Cross of Lorraine.
Join the Templars by accepting this Lorraine « »skull and cross ring » » .
Secret Society #19: The Freemasons
Freemasons hold an important place in American history. They included 13 of the 39 men who signed the United States Constitution. Founding Fathers such as George Washington, James Monroe, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock and Paul Revere were all members of this organization. But who are the Freemasons?
The Freemasons can trace their path in Europe back to the Middle Ages. By its very nature, cathedral builders had to move from city to city. They identified one another with marks of their profession, such as the square and the builder’s compass, the now iconic symbol of Freemasonry. 🧭
Faith of Freemasonry
Freemasonry is not a religion, although members are encouraged to believe in a Supreme Being. Masonic temples and their secret rituals have brought them into conflict with the Catholic Church. The Church first condemned Freemasons in 1738 and thereafter issued some 20 decrees against them.
Do Freemasons still exist today?
Freemasons exist today, and their public image has been greatly enhanced by the Shriners ‘ charitable workinfluenced, a sub-group of Freemasons also known as: « The Former Nobles of the Arab Order of the Mystical Shrine ». The Shriners were founded in 1870 by Freemasons at Knickerbocker College in New York and continue their volunteer work to this day. 📐
How to become a Freemason?
Membership is open to all men over the age of 21. Women can join an associate group known as the « Order of the Eastern Star, » which we quote a little later in this article. If you’re accepted, you’re in good company! Famous Freemasons include: Mozart, Winston Churchill, Davy Crockett, Franklin D. Roosevelt and John Wayne.
Symbol of Freemasonry : The square and compasses.
Secret Society #18: Biderberg
The first Bilderberg meeting took place in 1954 at the Bilderberg Hotel in the Netherlands, hence the name of the organisation. Convened by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, it was a gathering of powerful politicians from North America and Europe to encourage the revitalization of relations between the two continents amid fears of rising anti-Americanism in Europe. 🇪🇺
Although the Bilderberg Group is not strictly a secret society like the Illuminati or the Freemasons, it has included prominent figures such as Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel, Tony Blair and Henry Kissinger.
Their use of the Chatham House rule prevents participants from sharing what is happening at the meetings, adding an air of mystery to the group. Journalists are not allowed to report on it. The minutes of the meetings are not published.
How do I get an invitation to the Bilderberg meeting?
The participants of the Bilderberg meeting are selected by a specially established international committee. About 120 to 140 people are invited each year, of which about two thirds come from Europe and one third from North America. The participants come mostly from government and politics, but also from areas such as academia, finance and the media.
If you were really looking for a secret society that would control the banks, the financial sector and all the governments of the world, then you would need to look no further than the Bilderberg Group. It was literally founded with the intention of bringing the world’s most influential people together in one place to make the globe smaller and more enterprising. 🤝
Secret Society #17: Rosicrucians
Rosicrucian is a society that comes from the same time and religious background as Freemasonry. In fact, the Rosicrucians are considered one of the main influencers of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.
Their existence in general is not hidden, their members are openly known to be part of the Rosicrucian organization . They have existed around the world in their contemporary forms for well over 100 years, which are varied and diffuse, but always capable of tracing an ideological history that begins in the dark mists of time. ⏳ It is a society founded by Christian Rosenkreutz
in the early 14th century. Soft murmurs in dark corners claimed the group was pursuing the occult to bring about « global transformation. » However, the society only really penetrated the public consciousness 200 years later, when three published manifestos attracted attention.
Historian David Stevenson suggests that the Rosicrucian Society and its manifestos contributed to the emergence of Freemasonry in Scotland. The Order’s stated goal was said to be « to build upon the esoteric truths of the ancient past. » In addition, many consider him to be the guiding force in the founding of all modern day secret societies, including the infamous Illuminati.
Secret Society #16: The Knights Templar
The first Templars were a military order of Catholic chivalry long associated with all manner of heretical behavior and malevolent influences. They were one of Christianity’s most powerful organizations, due in large part to their international infrastructure and ability to regulate finances throughout medieval Europe. They all wore white cloaks and shields with a large red (sometimes pink) cross. 🛡
When a man fought on a crusade in the Holy Land and needed to protect property, he entrusted it to a Knight Templar, since they had sworn eternal poverty and therefore did not need money. Their action enabled wealthy pilgrims to deposit money with a local Templar, who would hand them a document they could then use to withdraw money elsewhere, protecting them from bandits along the way. And while the members of this society were not wealthy, the organization itself became incredibly wealthy.
Origin of Friday 13th
On Friday 13th June 1307, the French king Philippe IV – who was heavily indebted to the Knights Templar banks – ordered the arrest of hundreds of Templars. They were accused of homosexuality, idolatry, apostasy and spitting on the cross. Many were tortured and later that year Pope Clement V, then based in Avignon, France, issued a papal bull calling for the arrest of all of Christendom’s Templars. The order was dissolved and countless Templars were burned at the stake. 🔥 The superstition about Friday the 13th comes from the same story.
Wear the ultimate emblem of the Knights Templar by wearing this ring with the number 13 .
Secret Society #15 : Opus Dei
As we poke around in the darkest corners of the Catholic Church and its many different orders, it seems that we shouldn’t neglect to talk about Opus Dei. Unlike previous secret organizations, it is neither millennial nor secular, despite its Latin name.
Opus Dei was founded in 1928 by Josemaría Escrivá , a Spanish Catholic priest. His goal was to create an institution that would prove that all people are called to holy works and that everyone can bring holiness into their daily lives. Each of the members should be as holy as possible at all times.
Members never openly profess Opus Dei, nor may they disclose their membership unless authorized to do so by a Superior. Around 20% of them live in closed residential centers where lifestyle is heavily regulated and contact with the outside world is censored. 🤫
Critics say that those who go to the residential centers may very well do so voluntarily, but once inside they are prevented from contacting family members and friends from the outside world and therefore cannot leave as and when you want to.
Secret Society #14: Assassins
Christians certainly do not have a monopoly on secret societies. One of the best-known secret organizations of all time emerged at about the same time as the Knights Templar, but was strictly opposed to the Crusades.
These are the assassins now known as the Nizârites . They are one of the oldest sects of Islam and have around 15 to 20 million followers worldwide. Today they are known for their tolerance, sensible approach to religious studies, and commitment to social justice. But in the maelstrom of the medieval Middle East, they were widely revered and feared as masters of murder and psychological warfare. 🧠
It would be inaccurate to call all murderers murderers. The sect, known in Arabic by the name of ‘ Al-Hashashin , was just one of many competing groups in the early days of Islam, and only a portion of them helped the whole group to its glory.
Secret Society #13: Black Hand
After the political assassins, one cannot go on without mentioning this organization, which is surely the deadliest of all time. The name Gavrilo Princip may not mean much to the general public, but he remains likely the man who dealt the heaviest blow in human history in terms of the death toll during the outbreak of World War I. 💀 By assassinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, he sparked a conflict that claimed the lives of more than 15 million people while also defining the modern age of history.
The secret society that produced Princip was known as the Black Hand. Princip was in fact a member of Junges Bosnia, a revolutionary organization different. However, the political ramifications of their actions fell into the hands of the Black Hand, and so it is they who are most at issue here.
The Black Hand was created in 1911 by a group of army officers who had already successfully overthrown the Serbian king and queen in 1903 and more recently devoted himself to the cause of Yugoslavism, ie the unification of the countries that would later become Yugoslavia with Serbia and thus the creation of a larger Yugoslav state. Skilled in assassination tactics, they were organized into underground cells of three to five members, many of whom were already trained officers in the Serbian army. Its members also included the Serbian Crown Prince Alexander and ordinary students.
Secret Society #12: Carbonari
The Black Hand was far from the first underground political group formed with the intention of uniting their countries. In fact, one of their main inspirations was the Carbonari, or « charcoal burners », who themselves had embarked on the same path, from an obscure secret society to a political organization of national importance, about a hundred years earlier in southern Italy. 🇮🇹
The Carbonari can be seen as a kind of cross between the Freemasons and the Black Hand. Like the Freemasons, they were demonstratively a trading company, or at least they gave the semblance of a charcoal burner’s union, called themselves as such, and held their meetings in « baracca, » or huts similar to those used by firewood gatherers. Like the Freemasons, they organized themselves into two groups (Apprentices and Masters), whereby those who were already Freemasons could be dismissed from the apprenticeship and enter directly as Masters. Like the Freemasons, they drew the wrath of the Catholic Church, which was then all-powerful in southern Italy.
Their similarities to the Black Hand were all politically motivated. They may have given the appearance of a trade guild, but the Carbonari were very politically motivated. They developed in the aftermath of the French Revolution and were strongly influenced by their ideas. They placed liberal values and the emphasis on national unity, written constitutions and codified rights at the center of their actions.
Geheime Gesellschaf #11: Hermetic Order Golden Dawn
While our previous secret societies were based on political and societal goals, we must take a step back when discussing this organization. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is inspired by the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians.
Founders William Robert Woodman, William Wynn Westcott and Samuel Lidell MacGregor Mathers were inspired by a fascination with magic, esotericism (the study of mysticism) and the pagan traditions of Western Europe. They focused on studying the so-called « Cypher » manuscripts, which said that written spells could be used to learn the four elements of alchemy, astronomy, tarot, and other magical abilities. 🔮
From the founding of the First Temple in London in 1888, the movement grew rapidly and became something of a fad in late Victorian Britain. Women were admitted alongside men, which would become one of the most recognizable and influential symbols of the patriarchal order of the time. Ten years after its founding, the Golden Dawn could boast of having temples in Edinburgh and Paris, as well as in many English cities.
This secret society collapsed almost as quickly as it was formed. The founders gradually left the country. Westcott surrendered control to Mathers in 1896 after his peers discovered his membership. While Mathers himself was marginalized because the other members felt he had gotten too close to Crowley, which was considered odd even within a group of dedicated occultists .
Yeats expressed dissatisfaction with the leadership of the order and resigned in 1901, leaving Mathers flying the flag of the Golden Dawn in the 20th century. The organization still exists today but will never regain the power and status it enjoyed at the beginning of the 20th century.
Secret Society #10: Illuminati
If there is one group that has retained its power to this day – if you believe there is – it is the Illuminati. Like many of our underground organizations , the Illuminati were founded in the 18th century when the Masons, Rosicrucians and Carbonari were also beginning to form.
Its beginnings were like an order of rationalists in a conservative Christian society who wanted to deny the influence of religion in public life and curb the power of the authoritarian German order. Of course, such behavior did not reflect well on the ruling class of the time and required the movement to mutate into a clandestine organizational structure . 🤔
They had pseudonyms to maintain secrecy and an elaborate system of spying on each other to keep everyone honest and discourage whistleblowers from the police. The original group clashed with the Freemasons, from whom they regularly stole membership, and the Rosicrucians, whom they did not consider revolutionary enough for a rational, technocratic society.
What characterizes the Illuminati is not so much their origins as where they are (supposedly) located today. Although shelved by the 18th century, many believed the Illuminati were merely dormant and not dead. In some royalist circles they were credited with being responsible for the French Revolution, as they certainly had the same goals as Robespierre and Lafayette. And they, as a rule, became the henchman of all conservative fears.
What happened to the Illuminati?
The organization thrived before being suppressed by Karl Theodor von Bayern, who issued an edict banning Illuminati membership 1787 sentenced to death. Yet the Illuminati’s demise has not silenced rumors of their clandestine activities, and conspiracy theorists have linked the group to everything from the French Revolution to the JFK assassination.
Put on your Illuminati ring and join the secret organization .
Secret Society #9: Order of the Eastern Star
The Order of the Eastern Star was founded by Dr. Founded by Rob Morris in the late 1800s. As a Freemason, Dr. Morris the idea that it would be good for women belonging to the Masonic family to have an opportunity to share the benefits of knowledge and self-improvement. This would at the same time allow the wives of Freemasons to take joint action.
This is the largest brother organization in the world that women and men can belong to. There are over 500,000 members worldwide. Men must be Freemasons and women must be a Freemason’s wife. There is a deep brotherly bond between its members. It is the healthy relationship of brotherly love, reflected in the high principles exemplified in our lives, that keeps us close and dear to one another. 🙏
Although this order is made up of people with deep spiritual beliefs, it is open to all people. The personal welfare of members is vital to all associated with Eastern Star and it is considered a privilege to assist another member whenever possible.
Secret Society #8: Order of the Nine Angles
This secret society is believed to be a satanic anarchist group that was formed in the UK in the 1970s and now operates worldwide, including in the US. The group describes itself as “a diverse and global collective of diverse tribes and individuals who share and pursue similar sinister and subversive interests, goals and ways of life. They work together when necessary for their mutual benefit and in the pursuit of their common goals and purposes… ». 🧐
The members of » O9A » claim that Adolf Hitler was sent by the gods to lead them to « greatness ». They believe in racial inequality and the right of Aryans to live by the law of the people.
The group has also expressed support for former al-Qaeda Emir Osama Bin Laden, praising Nazi Germany as a « practical expression of the Satanic spirit. » They also believe that Western civilization has been perverted by Judeo-Christian values, among others, since the time of Nazi Germany, and are therefore attempting to overthrow that civilization by violent means.
Secret Society #7: Ku Klux Klan (KKK)
The Ku Klux Klan, founded in 1865, spread to almost all southern states in 1870 and became a vehicle for the white resistance of the South against the policies of the then Republican Party, which wanted to establish political and economic equality for black Americans. Its members waged an underground campaign of intimidation and violence against white and black Republican leaders.
Although Congress passed legislation aimed at curbing the Klan’s terrorism, the organization saw its main goal realized thanks to Democratic victories in the Southern legislatures of the 1870s. After a period of decline, white Protestant nativist groups resurrected the Klan in the early 20th century, burning crosses and organizing rallies, parades, and marches to denounce immigrants, Catholics, Jews, African Americans, and labor unions. ✝️
Founding of the Ku Klux Klan
The first two words of the organization’s name are said to be derived from the Greek word « kyklos » meaning circle. In the summer of 1867, the local branches of the Klan met at a general organizing convention and formed what they termed the » Invisible Empire of the South . » Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest was elected the clan’s first leader, or « great wizard. »
The violence of the Ku Klux Klan
Beginning in 1867, African American participation in public life in the American South became one of the most radical aspects of Reconstruction as blacks won the elections.
For its part, the Ku Klux Klan engaged in a secret campaign of violence against Republican (both black and white) leaders and voters to reverse Radical Reconstruction policies and restore white supremacy in the South. At least 10% of the black legislators elected at the 1867-68 constitutional conventions were victims of violence, seven of whom were killed.
Secret Society #6: Bohemian Grove
An obscure secret club and controversial club meets every year in the California woods and at least five US Presidents have been members. The club’s rituals and clandestine status have sparked murky rumors across the internet. However, experts and insiders alike conclude that the activities of Bohemian Grove are no more and no less disturbing than a group of extremely wealthy men gathering in the woods. 🌲
Members of this all-male private club include US Presidents, military officials, artists and entrepreneurs. Members have the right to have guests, but women and minors are excluded. The Bohemian Club is almost 150 years old. It was founded in San Francisco in 1872. Originally, the club consisted of newspaper writers who lived a » bohemian lifestyle « . He later expanded his activities to include artists, businessmen, military leaders, and politicians.
How to join this organization?
To become part of this club with around 2,500 members, you either have to receive invitations from several members. Or you may have to languish on the club’s waiting list for decades. You must also be willing to spend $25,000 on your admission fee.
Due to its secretive nature, its strange ceremonies and the elite of its members, the Bohemian Club has long been the subject of sinister rumours . Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones even attempted to film a cremation ceremony there in 2000.
However, the activities of the « Grove camp » but still remain harmless. They are, after all, a group of boys who joke around, drink with their friends, try to relive their youth and often act stupid by doing some stupid things.
Secret Society #5: Society of Corpses
The » Cadaver Society » is a secret society of students at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, USA. The composition and organizational structure of this group are unknown. Society Cadavres has been functioning without interruption since its foundation in 1957.
This corporation, with their well-guarded stock and spirit, have a bridge named after them that connects the main campus to Wilson Field. In addition, their symbol can be seen in many prominent places on campus. In contrast to the non-secret membership in the Sigma Society, the Cadaver Society is one of the largest societies in the world. strictly anonymous. Some have hypothesized that the group serves as a branch of the Illuminati, collaborating with other secret societies at various universities. 🧐
Secret Society #4: Gimghoul Order
In the fall of 1889, Edward Wray Martin, William W. Davies, Shepard Bryan, Andrew Henry Patterson, and Robert Worth Bingham formed a secret society. After the President of the University, Dr. Kemp P. Battle, having told the legend of Peter Dromgoole, a student who disappeared from the university under disputed circumstances in 1833, the students were inspired to name their society the Order of Dromgoole (a short time later it became Gimgoole and then Gimghoul changed).
Only male students and teachers were invited to join the organization. And a list of current members has not been presented since its inception.
We know nothing of the actions or thoughts of this organization that actually exist. That’s why we’ve also put her in fourth place on this ranking. After all, a real secret society is one about which little or nothing is known! 😉.
Secret Society #3: International Order of Saint-Hubert
The International Order of Saint Hubert is a real knightly order in the historical tradition. In particular, the Order is under the royal protection of His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain. It is made up of an international group of people, the Friars , who are passionate about hunting and fishing. They are interested in and actively participate in the conservation of wildlife, their habitat and the ethical tradition of hunting and fishing. 🎣
To the Order Brothers (English name) include highland bird hunters, duck hunters and big game hunters. This group has formed from individuals who have distinguished themselves as leaders in their careers and personal lives and are recognized as battle-hardened hunters or fishermen. Membership is by invitation only and under the patronage of one of the existing members.
Mission and Goals of the Order
The International Order of St. Hubert is dedicated to preserving and promoting the conservation of wildlife and habitats around the world. Each member subscribes to the above principles and applies them individually through their personal power.
Secret Society #2: The Zodiac Club
The most exclusive club in the world is undoubtedly the enigmatic Zodiac Club, which has existed since 1868 but is virtually unknown outside of New York historians and academics. These industry titans have ruled the country from the Manhattan club tables, from the dawn of the first golden age, through the two world wars, to the crash of 1929…
The Zodiac Club was formed in the mid-19th century, when the company’s name still had a capital S was printed. The founder is Edward Elmer Potter, a lifelong New Yorker who graduated from Columbia University. He studied law and graduated at the top of his class. After going gold hunting in California, he returned to the Northeast and settled in New Jersey. He is best known for the « Potter’s Raid, » a Civil War Union campaign he led through North Carolina. 🇺🇸
The Zodiac Club started with simple guidelines. The very first was that only 12 members could be in the club at any one time. Each member represented a zodiac sign of the Zodiac , inherited from their predecessor through death or retirement. Withdrawal was reserved for people who were in poor health or too old to participate. New members had to be unanimously supported by the other eleven. They gathered at dinner for their business meetings.
Secret Society #1: Skull and Bones
Skull and Bones is a secret society founded in 1832 at Yale University in New Haven. Skull and Bones founder William Huntington Russell was inspired by an occult society he attended in Germany. The membership list includes several modern-day presidents and power brokers.
Each year 15 men are recruited to join the Skull and Bones . What happens behind the closed doors of the windowless meeting room where the Bonesmen meet twice a week remains secret. The members take an oath. Members who have completed their training are called « patriarchs, » while members who are still in induction are called « knights. » Individuals outside the group are referred to as « barbarians ».
Famous members of Skull and Bones include Presidents William Howard Taft, George HW Bush and his son, Time Magazine founder Henry Luce, John Kerry, the Fortune 500 elite, and members of the CIA.
The symbol of Skull and Bones is aptly a skull with two crossed bones . ☠️ Less clear is the meaning of the number « 322 » below. The Yale Alumni Magazine points to a popular theory that it was created in 322 B.C. BC is where Alexander the Great died.
Members are required to adopt the Society’s pseudonyms, usually drawn from antiquity and classical literature, and to use a complex numeric code that sets clocks five minutes ahead of actual time. The wildest conspiracy theoriesaccording to the company should own several skulls of famous men. Former President Martin van Buren, Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa, and Native American leader Geronimo are just a few of the speculated skulls.
You too can join the Skull and Bones by accepting the« « »Skull Ring 322 « ».