Top 10 Secret Societies

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No matter what their supposed purpose, there’s something inherently sinister about a secret society. Though most are formed with relatively realistic political and religious goals in mind, their focus on mystery and secrecy has made them the target of countless criticisms and conspiracy theories involving everything from aliens and the occult to world domination. Of course, the reality is usually much more innocuous, but that doesn’t mean that the groups don’t have some fascinatingly weird practices, or that they haven’t had an impact on world events.

With this in mind, the following are ten of the most famous and influential secret societies in history.

10. Ordo Templi Orientis


Famous Members
Aleister Crowley

Ordo Templi Orientis is a mystic organization that was started in the early twentieth century. The group was established along the same lines as the less secretive Freemasons, and supposedly relies on ritual and occult practices as a means for members to move from one level of prestige to another within the organization. The general philosophy of the group was a belief in new age esoteric principles and practices as a method of realizing one’s true identity. Famed occultist and all-around eccentric Aleister Crowley composed much of the group’s lore, including a manifesto called the Mysteria Mystica Maxima, and he later became its head. After his death, the influence and popularity of Ordo Templi Orientis began to wane, but it still exists today and has various chapters scattered across the world, chiefly in the United States, the U.K., and other parts of Europe.

Secret Practices
As Aleister Crowley’s popularity as a new age figure has continued to grow, more and more of the teachings of the Ordo Templi Orientis have come to light. As such, the group makes much less of an attempt to be secretive today than it did in the past. This doesn’t mean that they don’t still have some bizarre practices. Chief among these is the group’s fixation on the sexual, especially their teachings on the “adoration of the phallus” and the magic of masturbation.

9. The Bilderberg Group

Famous Members
No members, but attendees have included Ben Bernanke, the royal families of Spain and the Netherlands, World Bank officials, and representatives from major corporations

The Bilderberg Group is not a secret society per se, but it does operate under a similar veil of mystery, which has made it the subject of countless conspiracy theories and criticisms. The group was started in 1954, and since then it has convened every year as an exclusive, invitation-only conference of various world leaders, captains of industry, and media moguls. The group was originally started as a means of addressing a streak of anti-Americanism that was spreading through Europe following WWII, but over the years it appears to have morphed into a more broad discussion on reaching mutual understanding between cultures.

Secret Practices
The Bilderberg Group has become controversial for one key reason: no press is allowed in the conference and no significant details concerning the topics discussed are ever officially released to the public. That kind of secrecy, along with the intense security of the meeting sites, which often feature armed guards, police, and even fighter jets patrolling the skies overhead, has produced a number of conspiracy theories centered on the conference. The most popular is that the group tries to steer the direction of public policy, financial markets, and media in certain prescribed directions of their choosing, perhaps even with the goal of forming a so-called “one world government.” These claims have been brushed aside by the group, which claims global understanding and the end of nuclear proliferation as its main goals.

8. Hashshashin– The Order of Assassins


Famous Members
None of note

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. The Hashshashin would plant highly trained moles inside enemy strongholds, with instructions to only attack when the time was right. They were known for their extreme discretion in minimizing civilian casualties, as well as their penchant for using stealth to intimidate their targets. As the story goes, enemy leaders would often wake in the morning to find a Hashshashin dagger lying on their pillow, along with a note saying “you are in our grip.” Their legend soon grew, and before the Mongols finally destroyed the group, they became well known contract killers, supposedly performing jobs for the likes of King Richard the Lionheart.

Secret Practices
Around the time of their downfall, the library that contained all Nizari records was destroyed, so much of what is known about them today has taken on the status of myth. The most controversial legend centers of the group’s use of drugs and other intoxicants– “Hashshashin” translates roughly as “Hashish user”–which some have said were employed by the members in battle. This has been widely discredited, but the term “Hashshashin” as it refers to the Nizari is believed to be the origin of the modern word “assassin.”

7. The Black Hand


Famous Members
Gavrilo Princip (rumored)

The Black Hand was a secret society of anti-imperialist political revolutionaries that was started in Serbia in 1912. It formed as an offshoot from Narodna Adbrona, a group that sought to unite all of the Slavic people of Europe under one country. This required the separation of Serbia from the monarchy of Austria-Hungary, which had annexed the country some years before. With this in mind, the group began disseminating anti-Austrian propaganda and training saboteurs and assassins to disrupt political rule within the province. 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.

Secret Practices
Black Hand would be all but forgotten today if not for their unlikely involvement in one of the biggest events of the twentieth century. In 1914, the group engineered the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The job was badly botched, and was only completed when a low-level hood named Gavrilo Princip stumbled upon the Archduke’s car and shot him to death at close range (see photo). Still, the results of the assassination were catastrophic. Within days, Austria-Hungary had declared war on Serbia, and after the allies of both countries joined the fray, the small dispute managed to escalate into WWI.  The aftermath of WWI eventually led to WWII, and this led to the Cold War, which makes the Black Hand one of the most strangely influential forces of the twentieth century.

6. The Knights of the Golden Circle


Famous Members
John Wilkes Booth, Jesse James (above), Franklin Pierce (all rumored)

The Knights of the Golden Circle was a secret society that flourished in the U.S. during the American Civil War. In the beginning, the group sought to encourage the annexation of Mexico and the West Indies, which they believed would help the waning slave trade to once again flourish. But once the Civil War started, the group switched its focus from colonialism to fervent support of the newly established Confederate government. The Knights soon had thousands of followers, many of whom formed guerilla armies and began raiding Union strongholds in the West. In the Northern states, the mysterious order had an even bigger impact. Many newspapers and public figures engaged in witch-hunts where they accused supposed Southern sympathizers, including President Franklin Pierce, of being members of the Knights of the Golden Circle.

Secret Practices
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.

5. The Thule Society


Famous Members
Rudolf Hess, Arthur Rosenberg, Adolf Hitler (rumored)

Lots of secret organizations are suspected of having malevolent ulterior motives, but the Thule Society is one of the few where such suspicions have been proven. 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, but it quickly transformed into an organization that sought to forward the ideology of the Aryan race, and it took an outwardly racist approach toward Jews and other minorities. The group soon boasted over a thousand members, and even had its own propaganda newspaper. 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.

Secret Practices
Even before the Thule Society became a vehicle for Nazism, the members were involved in some pretty bizarre activities. The strangest was the group’s fascination with the Aryan race, whose origins they tried to trace back to the mythical land of Thule, which the Greeks had claimed was found north of Europe near Iceland and Greenland.

4. The Sons of Liberty


Famous Members
Paul Revere, John and Samuel Adams, John Hancock

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. When they did meet, it was usually in Boston around an elm tree that has since become known as the Liberty Tree. It was here that the group would formulate their resistance, which included the dissemination of pamphlets and even some sabotage and terrorist activity. This behavior led to the British branding the Sons of Liberty as seditious, and they were often referred to pejoratively as “The Sons of Violence.” 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.”

Secret Practices
The Sons of Liberty in Boston were the most famous arm of the group, but there were factions spread out all across the 13 colonies. One group in Rhode Island looted and burned the British trade ship Gaspee in protest of unfair trade practices, while others were known to tar and feather British loyalists. Still, the most famous event engineered by the Sons remains the Boston Tea Party in 1773, when members of the group dressed as Indians and dumped shiploads of overtaxed tea into Boston Harbor.

3. Skull and Bones


 

Famous Members
George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, John Kerry

Ivy League Colleges are known for their many secret societies and student organizations, and of these Yale’s Skull and Bones is probably the most famous. The society taps new students for membership every spring, and the only real prerequisite for membership is that the initiate be a campus leader. As such, athletes, members of the student council, and fraternity presidents are often considered. Skull and Bones counts among its membership U.S. Presidents, Senators, and Supreme Court Justices, which has lead many to argue that the group works as some kind of underground organization for the high-powered political elite. There is no denying that the club is well funded: an alumni organization called the Russell Trust Association bankrolls its activities, and the group supposedly owns an island in upstate New York.

Secret Practices
Skull and Bones’ membership is no longer kept secret, but their practices still are. The order meets twice a week, but just what goes on at their meetings has never been revealed. To the disappointment of conspiracy theorists, what rumors have come out are relatively innocuous. The group has supposedly taken part in a number of pranks, and was once even sued by chairman of the Apache tribe, who claimed the Bonesmen were in possession of the skeleton of Geronimo. Beyond this, the group is known for allegedly forcing new members to relate their sexual history to the rest of the society, and for giving out nicknames to each initiate. In a widely reported rumor, President George H.W. Bush was supposedly known as “Magog,” a name given to the Bonesman with the most sexual experience.

2. The Illuminati


Famous Members
Goethe, Ferdinand of Brunswick, many others rumored

In popular culture and the realm of wild and weird conspiracy theories, no secret organization has become as well known as the Illuminati, who have made frequent appearances in books, movies, and television. The group as it 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. At the time, the members of the group presented themselves as an order of enlightened free thinkers. The press soon turned against them, and they came to be regarded by many as an underground force of dissidents intent on overthrowing the government, and they were even blamed for inciting the French Revolution. The group disbanded shortly thereafter, but their influence remained strong, and for years after their dissolution they were rumored to still be operating somewhere in the shadows.

Secret Practices
Thanks to its constant presence in popular culture, the Illuminati have continued to be feared to this day. Modern conspiracy theorists have asserted that the group survived and now operates as a sinister shadow government, directing world industry and politics as it sees fit. The Bush family, Winston Churchill, and President Barack Obama have all been named as prominent members, but no legitimate evidence of such a group has ever been uncovered. Still, the rumor lives on as one of the most popular, albeit bizarre, of all conspiracy theories.

1. The Freemasons


Famous Members
Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, James Buchanan, Bob Dole, Henry Ford, Ben Franklin

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.  It was originally created to be a brotherhood whose members share certain key philosophical ideas, among them a belief in a supreme being. The group stresses moral uprightness, and as such many of the chapters have become known for their charitable work and community service. Despite these seemingly harmless practices, the Freemasons are not without their critics. Conspiracy theorists have long targeted them for supposedly being involved in nefarious occult practices, and there have even been whole political groups based around opposition to the group. Churches of all denominations have also criticized the organization, as its moral teachings and esoteric spiritual beliefs have been said to be in competition with more traditional religion.

The Stonecutters, a secret society featured on the Simpsons is based on the Freemasons.

Secret Practices
With its huge membership and different lodges scattered across the globe, modern Freemasonry no longer has the same universal principles as it did in the old days. One practice that has remained constant is the method for induction. Initiates must be recommended to the group by someone who is already a Mason, and once a member they must pass through three different degrees of standing before reaching the level of “Master Mason.” Members also have certain prescribed modes of greeting one another, including handshakes, gestures, and passwords, and non-masons are always banned from attending meetings.


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88 Comments

  1. Great list as always.

    One correction: Austria did not declare war on Serbia until almost a month later (the end of July), after issuing an intentionally unacceptable list of demands … which Serbia (mostly) accepted. Austria declared war anyway.

    • Austria had given Serbia time to come up with who conducted the assassination of the duke and they had their conditions and if not met they would declare war on Serbia but all this was after the duke’s assassination ….so black hand still remains one of the soul factors which led to the war.

  2. YogiBarrister on

    It's interesting reading about the Sons of Liberty from what I assume is a British point of view. It's not the history Americans learn, but it does show that we aren't any different than the Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq, or the British bully boys of the 18th Century.

  3. If they were secret how would you know about them? Whenever I see things like this I don't know whether to laugh or feel apathetic.

    I am a member of one of these. But I'm keeping that a secret.

    • Maybe we should have called this list secretive societies. Obviously people know about them, but the societies themselves are secretive. Sorry for the confusion.

    • Indeed sir, its funnily true but I wanna say that regarding myself, I am extremely interested in this topic… I will be obliged if you could provide me your e-mail I.D. Just for an extended conversation…

    • How would preople join them if they didn’t let at least a little be known about their existance?, and how would people know to respect them?

  4. In addition to Shawn's comments, Princip was a Bosnian Serb, not a Serb. And that differentiation DOES matter. Also, it has never been conclusively proven that the Black Hand were behind Princip's actions, or even that they existed at all; more recent historical research in fact indicates that they were a fictional group created by the Austro-Hungarians to justify their declaration of war on Serbia.

    • In order to understand whats going on here, and perhaps how WWIII could arise sometime in the the not so distant future, then perhaps itâ??s worth mentioning what was the â??realâ?? cause behind WWI, which followed on from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austria-Hungarian throne, in Sarajevo on the 28th June 1914, by a member of the â??Black Handâ??, a Serbian nationalist â??secret societyâ??. [2] So from the very onset we have the involvement of a â??secret societyâ??.
      Austria-Hungaryâ??s reaction to the death of Franz Ferdinand took three weeks to come about, when they then issued an ultimatum to Serbia, demanding that the assassins be brought to justice, and knowing that Serbia had Slavic ties with Russia, and also being aware that if anything untoward Austria-Hungry, was to come from Serbia and Russia, then the domino effect will begin to be activated.
      So in order to make sure of this domino effect was in place, the Austria-Hungarian government sought assurances that Germany would come to their aid should Russia declare war on Austria-Hungary. Germanyâ??s, elite family of owners of the countryâ??s Military Industrial Complex [MIC] of companies were itching to kick some butt and get the opportunity to use up their mass stock of weaponry and show its military might, so readily agreed and things soon moved quickly thereafter. Austria-Hungary, unsatisfied with Serbiaâ??s response to her ultimatum, declared war on Serbia on the 28th July 1914.
      Russia, bound by treaty to Serbia, then mobilised its vast army. Germany, allied to Austria-Hungary by treaty, viewed the Russian mobilisation as an act of war against Austria-Hungary, and declared war on Russia on the 1st of August 1914. France, bound by treaty to Russia responded by announcing war against Germany and Austria-Hungary on 3rd August. Germany promptly responded on the 4th August by invading neutral Belgium to open a quick path to Paris. Britain allied to Belgium then declared war against Germany on the 4th August. And in just a little over a month all of Europe was at war, and this could quite easily again happen in the middle-east. [2]
      On the 8th of October 1908, just two days after Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina, many men, some of them ranking Serbian ministers, officials and generals, held a meeting at City Hall in Belgrade. They founded a â??semi-secret society â?? known as the Narodna Odbranaâ?? [National Defence], which gave Pan-Slavism a focus and an organisation. The purpose of the group was to recruit and train partisans for a possible war between Serbia and Austria. They also undertook anti-Austrian propaganda and organised spies and saboteurs to operate within the empireâ??s provinces. Satellite groups were formed in Slovenia, Bosnia, Herzegovina and Istria. [2][3]
      The Bosnian group went under the name Mlada Bosna-â??Young Bosniaâ??. So as from this point onwards, you now know the Freemasons/illuminati have walked in stage right, ready to occupy the centre. As Iâ??ve mentioned in my section about the â??birth of the Mafiaâ?? via the â??Young secret societiesâ??, first set up by the Italian â??politicianâ?? Giuseppe Mazzini, aka â??Soul of Italyâ??. [4] When in the mid-19th century and whilst in exile, Mazzini founded â??Young Europeâ?? in Switzerland. In the US they were called â??Young Americaâ??; in England, â??Young Englandâ??, in Italy, â??Young Italyâ?? and in Turkey, â??Young Turksâ??, with Europe, adopting Switzerlandâ??s term of â??Young Europeâ??. â??Young societiesâ?? consisted of radical and riotous youth, many of whom were later initiated into â??Templar Grand Orient lodgesâ?? in their respective countries. And â??Young societiesâ?? and groups continued to form in new territories and long after Mazziniâ??s death, and similar thing is obviously happening in the middle-east, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Bahrain with help by the Muslim Brotherhood. [5]

      Narodna Odbranaâ??s work had been so effective that in 1909 a furious Austria pressured the Serbian government to put a stop to their anti-Austrian insurrection. Russia was not ready to stand fully behind Serbia should things come to a showdown, so Belgrade was grudgingly forced to comply. From then on, Narodna Odbrana concentrated on education and propaganda within Serbia, trying to fashion itself as a â??cultural organisationâ??, [sounds familiar]. Many members formed a new, and again â??secret, organisationâ?? to continue the terrorist actions. [3]
      Ten men met on the 9th of May1911 to form Ujedinjenje ili Smrt [Union or Death], also known as â??The Black Handâ??, though according to some writers such Serbian Wacerpolwacerpol, who regularly writes articles about the Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijevic mentioned below, and the Serbian Army, that the â??Black Handâ?? group was in existence in 1903.] The seal of their group is as good as you can get to the â??Skull and Bonesâ?? secret society in which we know the Bushâ??s are well known members of, and the Serbian Armyâ??s crest was a Knights helmet, with double headed â??phoenixâ?? / eagle/ white bird on a shield]. Itâ??s said by 1914, there were several hundred members, with perhaps as many as 2,500, whom among them were a high number of Serbian army officers. The professed goal of the group was the creation of a â??Greater Serbiaâ??, by use of violence, if necessary. [3]
      The Black Hand trained guerrillas and saboteurs and arranged political murders, and was organised at the grassroots level in 3 to 5-member cells. Above them were district committees, and above them, was the Central committee in Belgrade. At the top was the ten-member â??Executive Committeeâ??, led more or less by Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijevic, [also known as Apis, and â??the Beeâ??, was a Serbian soldier and nationalist leader of the â??Black Handâ?? group which apart from assassinating Franz Ferdinand in 1914, they were responsible for the killing of the Serbian King Aleksandar ObrenoviÄ? and his wife Queen Draga in 1903]. Members rarely knew much more than the members of their own cell and one superior above them, to ensure that the groupâ??s leaders would always remain secret. [And this is exactly how those involved in 9/11 would have worked.] New members swore; â??…before God, on my honour and my life, that I will execute all missions and commands without question. I swear before God, on my honour and on my life, that I will take all the secrets of this organisation into my grave with meâ??. [2][3]

      [1d] “Albert Pike to Mazzini, August 15, 1871: Three World Wars …” <http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/Articles/Pike-Mazzini_Three-World-Wars.htm
      [2] "Murder of Franz Ferdinand : Start WWI .
      [3] “The Assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand : .

      • I would disagree that Germany wanted to get to declare War. Bismarck saw these alliances towards the end of his life, and did everything to prevent Germany from being drawn in. The Kaiser(a complete idiot, but a harmless one) did not want war either. Germany was forced to declare war after Russia mobilized tens of thousands of troops to defend Serbia and along its border. If anyone should take the blame for starting the war it would be Britain. Those alliances took decades to form and craft and were intentionally crafted for Germany. Little would they know that both WWI and WWII would only accelerate it’s declining imperial power.

  5. This should be retitled, “Top 10 AMERICAN SECRET SOCIETIES”! Here is Europe, we have the Mafia, The Secret Order of Libertines and many others which are peopled by the rich and powerful and probably influence much of our every day lives. These organisations go back THOUSANDS of years, not hundreds.Our ancient European cults laugh in the face of puny skull and bones (100yrs old) and Knights of the Golden Circle (300yrs old) and others here!

    • Only 3 of the societies on this list are American (#3, #4, and #6) so Top 10 American Secret Societies would be inaccurate. Thanks for sharing –

        • Actually Vernon Mann You sound like a complete fool. A couple of those “secret Societies” are American, and some of them do go back hundreds to thousands of years ago. America has mafias and mobs and such, which do trace back to their old countries or newer ones created to survive as immigrants in America, but not nearly as powerful as any of those groups. The banking cartels blow the mafia away. usa isn’t that old in comparison with other countries so there societies wouldn’t be that old would they, unless there are a handful of powerful people behind each and every one of the secret societies, maybe even going back to ancient Egypt. who really knows look up the real facts and decide for yourself.

    • Actually you’re wrong…only 3 of them are american. But yes, the mafia, the secret order of libertines go back thousands of years. As do the freemasons. On this side of the atlantic we are easily impressed by anything over 100 years old, whereas in europe you’re only impressed with things 500 years old and beyond. However, i don’t think that any of these dark organisations are something to boast about. They’re all bad news (unless you’re ACTUALLY IN THEM, of course). It always seems so unfair that members of these operations get to have so many benefits, whilst normal folk don’t. It’s good old big brother striking again. But whilst I run them down, I’d probably join if I had the opportunity.

  6. yeah indeed it should be called weird instead of secret…if it is secret we should not know bout this and same goes to who publish this

    • The "secret" part of the society is the fact that you don't really know what is going on and they keep their inner workings private. Maybe the title should have been the Top 10 Secretive Societies. But it just doesn't have that ring.

  7. Scott Olandorfer on

    Only downside of the list is that it doesn’t include the most recent/ fastest growing secret societies. For example, societies like HAF, http://www.princetonhaf.com …the kind of societies that people know nothing about but seem to be the future leaders of America.

  8. To the author: please get your facts straight. Serbia was NOT annexed by Austria-Hungary prior to the First World War; Serbia was an independent nation. You’re most probably thinking of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was annexed by Austria-Hungary in 1908.

  9. One question comes in mind, why would we need to make a society and why a society needs to be secret?? if what they are doing is good for humanity, it needs to be open so everyone can know. If what they are doing is to protect the interest of the members of the society, they need to hide their work as well as intention. We can say that each secretive society is established to protect its own interest and also the interest of their master, if a master exists (in my opinion there is always a master). These societies exist in every culture, every religion and every race, whether it is white or black, muslims or jews or hindus or christians. But they are mostly rich or highly rich people so we cannot say it exists among rich and poor.

  10. So any links or info on who is in the 33? they are supposed to be right at the top of the ‘Elite’

  11. Saya ahli secret society di Malaysia. Kami akan bunuh semua musuh Islam.
    Does that sound secret enough to you?

  12. Why is it that when George H. W. Bush’s name is referenced his title is President George H.W. Bush, but when Barack Obama’s name is referenced the title President is omitted. Is he not the President of the United States?

      • My previous post, directly above this post that you replied to. I will present the question again. Why is George H.W. Bush referred to as President George H.W. Bush but when you refer to Barack Obama, the title President is omitted. Is he not the president of the United States of America? Why do you not refer to him as President Barack Obama?

        • The word President was added. No agenda here, just an oversight. We didn’t add Prime Minister before Winston Churchill either. Don’t look for controversy where there isn’t any.

  13. I deleted it because I thought it was a spam comment trying to sneak in an unrelated link. Nothing more. Post it again and I’ll be more discerning this time. You have no idea the amount of spam we go through every day.

    • Ok sorry for the suspition!!
      My original post was something simular to.

      great artical nice backgrounds and info..
      You have done some good research.. there…
      Which brings me to my next question..
      how can i get more info on a group called P2 or woodoo.. can you help?
      I know they have a website, But what i need to know is about the emblem!!
      anyone with info please mail me..
      Thank you : )

      • it also is carrying a sword in its talons. It looks a lot like the insignia for the scottish rite,
        except the eagle is black.

  14. Interestingly enough, many of the statements made about the masons are in fact made by those who were refused membership for one reason or another. My Grand father was a 32nd degree member of the Masonic Temple. The organizations principals are founded in personal integrity, truth and morality. The question often asked is, would you trust a felon in your home? As far as the OTO is concerned, I happen to be a member of the OTO and am a fifth degree counsel member of the Rose and Croux. Crowleys teachings have less to do with the OTO, but more importantly, the understanding that we all should be able to do as we please as long as it harms no one or infringes upon the human rights of others. 93

  15. i havent heard about others but seen and read lot about ILLUMINBATI.FOR THE AUTHOR I THINK HE HAS SIMPLY COPY PATSED IT FROM SOMEWHERE COZ THE TOPIC IS NOT EVEN WORTH READING INFACT LOOK AT THE EDITING HE HAS JUMPED AND PULLED IN INFORMATION I DONT KNOW FROM WHERE.REGARDING ILLUMINATE THERE IS A DOCUMNETAARY ZEITGEIST and infact the 9/1, the 1929 great depression, the 2007 recesion and present financia turmoil has been the handiwork of this group only..memebers have been the US adminstarion, the Royal family of Britain. Britain adminstration, the J.P. MORGAN GROUP AND SOME OF THE LARGEST BANKS IN USA(DNT KNOW THE NAMES)it has even been said that barring 11 Us presidents, all of others have their blood lines linked to the Royal family of Britain.to get more infomation better read THE BIGGEST SECRET BY DAVID ICKE dear author kindly research more and better. guys i dont c this post remaning here for long time as i am sure the author will surely delete this post owing to critism..but the time u c this bettter start on ur own to research.

    • Bob (if that it your real name), I despise the ploy that people use to “dare” me to keep there post up. When anyone writes “i am sure the author will surely delete this post owing to critism” (and misspells criticism), I roll my eyes. I leave criticism (notice the correct spelling) on the site if it is thoughtful and politely put. Although you have written such a poorly worded comment it is hard to know what you are saying.

      This author did his research but it seems you do not like his findings. If you find copies anywhere it is because Toptenz.net is copied by hundreds of sites every year. We do not copy content. If I find an author has copied, they are not used again. We check all articles submitted on copyscape.com to verify they are original before acceptance on the site. After we post the top 10 list it is taken without permission by many sites. We report them to their hosts and do our best to have them removed.

  16. Question.
    Do you know if the Secret Society in Austria “Bruderschaft or Buerschenschaft”
    originate from the Thule Society? I live in Austria and I see sometimes
    at night men dressed in German WWI uniforms carrying a sword with
    a scare on their cheek.

    Comment:
    I don’t think these so called secret societies should only be called
    wierd, rather weird and DANGEROUS.

  17. The title “Top 10 Secret Societies” is an oxymoron.
    It they were “Secret” they would not be on list on a public webpage.

  18. Magic Neanderthal on

    This list might contain the most famous secret societies but they are far from the most interesting. Perosnally I am more fascinated by some of the lesser known societies. Some of the secret societies particular to the University of Virginia like P.U.M.P.K.I.N. or Eli Banana are particularly intriguing as are lacrosse oriented secret societies like Princeton University’s HAF or the Society of the Psilocrosse.

    Ps – A couple of notable big names in the world of secret societies that were missed by this are Bohemian Grove and the Tri-Lateral Commission.

  19. Board meetings by companies are also conducted behind closed doors, are they also secret societies? or are these societies that are listed actually societies with secrets?

  20. me i have made up my mind long time ago that i wanna join a secret society i am ready for what so ever the case may be

  21. If they’re top ten secret societies, how come there is a list here about them ? Obviously not so secret after all !

  22. Symbolseeker on

    There is a difference between a secret society – one nobody but members know about – and a society with secrets. The Freemasons is a good example. Not secret, but has secrets. But then so does IBM, the military, the government, and, if we are honest, every person has secrets. So what is the big deal? So an organization exists that has secrets. Welcome to real life. If an organization was really a secret, you wouldn’t know it was there to worry about it.

    • You have hit the nail on the head there my friend, ALL societies have secrets , such as there finances and the like but theyt are NOT secret or we wouldnt even know about them

  23. The Zionist Jews are the Masters of the World. All of the rest is just a part of it, or created by the Jews themselves. The Rothschilds, the Morgans, the Schiffs, the Astors, etc., etc. are the Big Boys of world domination and they want to establish an ominous, totalitarian world government dictatorship. Not all Jews are bad, but the Zionists are.

  24. Marvin Jones on

    The military-industrial complex has the fault of all these paranoiac conspiracy theories. They want to accumulate more money each day provoking wars and stuff like that. The Jews, the Illuminati, etc. are just smokescreens!

  25. Marvin Jones on

    They have all attention calling names, the Illuminati, the Freemasons, the Bilderberg Group, the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts, the Carnegies, the Mellons, etc, etc., don’t they? People are blind that they dont see what is under their noses!

  26. Lacrosse Sex on

    I’ve heard that the University of Virginia has more secret societies than any other university. What’s interesting about some of the societies is their recent origin and the very small number of people it took to get them started.

  27. ECHUEGBE DEAN on

    I BELIEVE THERE MUST BE AWAY TO KNOW GOD IN REALITY AND TO FOLLOW WHILE ALIVE.
    I FEAR I HAVE BEEN DECEIVED FOR ALMOST 20 YEARS (TRYING TO FOLLOW THE PATH)BUT I STILL HAVE HOPES OF KNOWING HIM.

  28. What seems to be overlooked is that the illuminati are the inner sanctum of the oto and aleister crowley ended up working with the tavistock institute, who are known for mind control programmes and global brainwashing…

    just a heads up to anyone truly interested in the whole messy truth.

  29. also, funny how david icke knows so much about the illuminati. I watched one of his talks recently and he basically advised the audience that he follows the same beleifs as the oto, without mentioning he is connected to them. I only found out their inner sanctum is the illuminati coz i wrote to them and they sent me info. he is hiding more than he is letting on.

    read liber al legis for yourself and you will see what i mean about david icke following the same spiritual path as those he supposedly condemns. what is his/ their game?

  30. Here’s a more accurate list of the top ten secret societies:

    1. Unknown

    2. Unknown

    3. Unknown

    4. Unknown

    5. Unknown

    6. Unknown

    7. Unknown

    8. Unknown

    9. Unknown

    10. Unknown

    I still think this was a good article though thanks for writing it.

  31. Why nobody dares to say anything about Black Pall?

    Black Pall

    The first truth about Back Pall appeared in 1520 in Patagonia. Pall Black Organization in its activity in Europe discrete imposed strict members and supporters.

    Number of active members is unknown Pall Black Secret Organization, membership is almost impossible.
    In 2003 they dropped information in Romania, with the discovery of secret tunnels Bucegi Black Pall did not comment anything, even among supporters.

    Black Pall is divided in two since 1902, when they were accepted and supporters:
      A. active members
      Two. sympathetic

    Active members can vote according to the scale erarhica have full responsibilities and rights.

    Supporters are people who believe ideology free Black Pall and wish to become active members, only 2% of supporters get active members!

    ideology:

    Freedom and faith to have their own laws, it is the secret laws of the lawyers …
    Internal information is strictly secret and meetings are held in great mystery.

    Most members are politicians, millionaires, etc. ..
    There are rumors that the creator is part of Black Pall FB, this rumor is not confirmed nor denied.

  32. What is really sick about these secret society people are the fact that they’re all human beings trying to run and rule the lives of people who don’t hold the sort of power they do. Strange to see how most are caucasians with a sick and twisted agenda of wanting to play God.

  33. Actually nothing is secret about these societies. There are over two dozen valid books on Amazon.com revealing all their rituals and modus operandi.

    For example a 5000 page plus book by Dr. Duke reveals the rituals of all Masonic Temple Rituals
    Scottish Rite, York Rite, Knights Templar, Woodmen, Shriners, DeMolay, many other Secret Societies around the world such as, Odd Fellows, Vikings, Knights of Zion, Stonecutters, Druids, Red Indian Chieftans, Egyptian Orders, Arab Constitutions.,

    The book “Secret Societies Unmasked: Rituals and Organistion of Freemasons, Knights Templar. Druids, Odd Fellows, Woodmen, Shriners, et al” literally has it all anyways.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0094LY5HK

    So really, there is no secret in the INFORMATION AGE.

  34. Knights Templar.

    Yes, there are books about them, not very secret. Philip Le Bel had them all executed bc they were homosexual and criminal.

    It is really funny or rather seriously embarassing that anyone in this day and age would want to even claim to be a member of an alleged secret society. Only insecurity comes to mind.

  35. Lothari O. Walken on

    You have to read “American Inquisition” by James Simpson. Secret Societies behind the scenes all the way to the very top in 2033. It is a good read and an actual possibility for our future.

  36. It is good to know the types of secret cults in the world but how can one bocome a member of any of them

  37. Johnny Satanik on

    Dont get too obsessed with this junk people. Has anybody heard of the obsession the Killuminati has with the crazies, thugs and retards? They use them like pawns in a chess game and then get rid of them. That’s what’s up! And they use street gangbangers to chase their enemies around! These gangsters don’t know what they’ve gotten themselves into. We give our lives for the Gods and sex! Hail Lord Satan, we worship you and offer obeisances to you for you treat us like what we are, slaves of the system, waccos!! Thank you Lord! Whoever the hell you are! We don’t care! We’ll still kill, die and live for you our dear Lord of the world, and who knows, probably in the future… other worlds! And don’t blame us for this crap cause we didn’t take the first steps to damn ourselves! Watch Bloodline, New Kids on the Block and Menace II Society for fun! And hear some 50 Cent, Young Jeezy, DMX or Mobb Deep!

  38. We are n0w at the m0dern age. Many of these societies that still exist were far differ from the ancient societies or from where they originated. These societies with secrets are less influential,powerful and secretive than they 0nce were. As much as we did n0t see any cruelty fr0m these s0cieties at present,i think there is n0thing to w0rry ab0ut. But this d0es n0t mean that they are w0rth-f0ll0wing. We still need to avoid these societies and never attempt to j0in for we all kn0w that these s0cieties had a very c0ntr0versial hist0ry and had a great c0ntributi0n on the c0nstructi0n of what we call c0nspiracy the0ries that sh0cked the nati0n because of what was being revealed fr0m this the0ries that enlightened us ab0ut their origin. Please walk with G0D and f0ll0w his rules.

  39. Clive ralphson on

    You are all truly not well to consider that the enconcencration of secret societies to be justified

  40. Hello,

    Does any of this really exit in some part of West African country? I have come accros a very strong member with the same symbol of Skull and Bone but diffrent names. Was wanthering if they have a brach in West African?

    Regards,

    Dave…

  41. Surely by default if they were “secret Societies ” you would not know about them ?? …. interesting that you have Freemasons listed as No1, could that be because they have the largest membership and are therefore the most public !! and not the most secretive ?

  42. I think there are many who would love to own the power of these idealogicol secret societies but the truth is only certian events can or have been altered by any unknown group. 911 was by a secret society. death of osama bin laden by a secret society. There is only one true evil regiem to fear, Your personal greed. When a man chooses to look the other way seeing true unjustice being done because he fears financial loss for standing out against corruption or worse yet using corruption for financial gain. Look out for your fellow man and start your own secret society of Do gooders…. Then we will maintian a bright future, One nation under god. I remember taking the Pledge of alligence every morning before class. I miss that…

  43. This in regards to the skull and bones. A ritual that is also used as blackmail for every member, after a certain time of membership they have must rape there child unfortunately. If you watch Skulls one Craig T. Nelson’s character says to the senator “oh she was only 13” with a file in hand which gives some proof. The movie was very whitewashed and wasn’t very factual.

  44. Actually Amazon and Google have disclosed everything there is to ever know about these Secret Societies, including their bizarre rituals and strange beliefs.

    Search for books by Dr. Duke Savage for example and every secret is unmasked and made bare naked to show their ugly nature.
    Albert Pike book
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EAV171Q
    Hiram Abiff book
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EH3R5ZO
    and the masterpiece which has fake reviews from anonymous Illuminati and Skull Bones member named ANTWON H.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0094LY5HK

    So nothing secret anymore. You could Google to find and buy yourself a nuke forget about lousy membership to these stupid Stone Age Societies.

    Best Wishes,
    FREE-thinker with a functional brain

  45. I don’t know if it’s just me or if everybody else encountering problems with your blog.
    It seems like some of the written text in your content are running off the screen.
    Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this
    is happening to them as well? This may be a issue
    with my browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
    Many thanks

  46. A better, more truthful article is “5 Pathetic Groups That People Think Rule the World” from Cracked.com.

  47. Nice list, but pretty superficial and incomplete info on most of them. Inaccurate as far as thinking that societies like the Illuminati disbanded. They only morphed into other things and still exist even as themselves in combination with many of these other groups.

    The OTO is mostly Illuminati and controls entertainment stars, requiring initiation and membership for those who want to become superstars. The truth of what they require is beyond the scope of most people’s imagination.

  48. When someone compiles a list, and misses the granddaddy secret society of all time, someone either has failed to do their homework, is willfully ignorant of the fact, or is simply paid off to do so.

    The Company, The Society, The Sons of Loyola, The Brothers of Ignatius, Societas Iesu, The Jesuits. The one secret society, that is probably behind every single one of the ten your mention.

    The single one that both James Parton, American biographer, and the founder of the Theosophical Society, Madame Blavatsky agree, not to mention the son of the founder of The Church of Satan, Anthony “Jess” LaVey, that the Superior General is at the apex of all Freemasonry, and by logical extension, every other front society, that emulates Freemasonry.

    The OTO is an extension of Theosophy. The Temple of Set and LaVey’s Church of Satan, both extensions of the OTO. The Skull and Bones, probably the the 2nd Chapter of the Bavarian Illuminati, and the American extension of the European parent. (both based on the Jesuit model). Need I give further examples?

    All intelligence organizations have their genesis in secret societies. Watch “The Good Shepherd.” All roads lead to Rome. Then, via stargate, straight to Marduk (with a little help from Nimrod)