1. The Freemasons
This is actually the granddaddy of not-so-secret secret communities. Freemasonry, or "The Craft" since it's people refer to it as, probably has its own roots in 17th-century stoneworkers' guilds. Mason lore, however, stretches its roots to scriptural occasions, connecting the society to regarding the Temple of Solomon. Freemasonry is split up into numerous subgroups and orders, which consider God the Grand Geometrician, or Grand Architect from the World. In their hearts, such groups are way of exploring ethical and philosophical issues, as well as their traditions and symbols are famous (or infamous). Take, for example, the square-and-compass logo design frequently seen being worn by Cadillacs. Or using secret handshakes, passwords, and greeting positions/gestures known as "due pads, " all with each other referred to as Modes of Recognition. Their email list of famous Masons is huge, an online Who's Who of contemporary history, explaining the numerous conspiracy ideas concerning the Masons' influence and intentions. Mozart, FDR, Harry S. Truman, George Washington, Mark Twain, Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, John Wayne, W. C. Fields, and Douglas MacArthur counseled me Masons. But possibly the Masons' finest strides happen to be produced in junk food: KFC's Colonel Sanders and Wendy's founder Dork Thomas understood how you can secret-shake with the very best of Them.
2. The Illuminati
Within the centuries, plenty of groups have known as the Illuminati ("Enlightened Ones"), however the one we are speaking about here started because the Bavarian Illuminati. A radical product from the Enlightenment and offshoot from the religion-based Freemasons, the Illuminati espoused secular freethinking and intellectualism and demonstrated a menace to Europe's old order. Even though they were formally banned through the Bavarian government in 1784, some declare that they live onto this very day in other guises. So, what is the Illuminati's goal? To determine a " new world " order of capitalism and authoritarianism, obviously! They have been charged with adjusting foreign currencies, world stock marketplaces, elections, assassinations, as well as to be aliens. One common myth would be that the eye-and-pyramid image around the dollar bill stands for the Illuminati watching over us. Not a chance. It's symbolic of strength and sturdiness (though incomplete, as a symbol of growth and alter), and also the all-seeing eye signifies the divine guidance from the American cause. Approximately the federal government states.
3. Opus Dei
This organization includes a million, 17-story headquarters building on Lexington Avenue in New You are able to City, claims 85Thousand people in 60 nations, and it was featured in Serta Brown's bestseller The Da Vinci Code. Since its existence continues to be considerably unsecretized, this ultraorthodox Catholic sect has certainly elevated its share of eye brows. Founded in 1928 by Saint JosemarÃa EscrivÃ¡ (a The spanish language priest who bore an uncanny resemblance to Karl Malden), Opus Dei may be the short reputation for the Prelature for that Holy Mix and also the Work of God. The sect (some would say cult) stresses coming back to traditional Catholic orthodoxy and behavior, especially celibacy, with people falling into 1 of 3 levels. Numeraries reside in Opus Dei facilities, devote their money and time towards the prelature, attend mass daily, and have interaction in mortification from the flesh (putting on a spiked chain round the leg known as a cilice, taking cold showers, or flagellating themselves having a knotted rope known as "the discipline"). Next come Affiliates (type of like Numeraries, but living "off campus"), then Supernumeraries (the rank-and-file people). The audience did gain the praise of Pope John Paul II, and it has engaged in many charitable organisation work. Yet, experts accuse the audience to be associated with fascist organizations like Franco's government in The country, as well as anti-Semitism and intolerance, even of other Catholics. [Photo thanks to DanBrown.com.]
4. Skull and Bones
Top dog of all the collegiate secret communities, Yale's Skull and Bones dates to 1832 and passes other spooky names like Chapter 322 and also the Brotherhood of Dying. With a lot of Bonesmen who've achieved positions of energy, such as the leader and also the mind from the CIA, it's no surprise that gossips abound the society is hell-bent on acquiring energy and impacting on U.S. foreign policy. The truth that they meet within an imposing templelike building around the Yale campus known as (what else?) the Tomb does not help much. Bonesmen are selected, or "drawn on, " throughout their junior year and may reveal their membership after they have graduated. However they can't ever discuss it. The Bones happen to be accused of all kinds of crazy traditions and conspiracies, including drug smuggling and also the murder of JFK (a hated Hahvahd guy, in the end). It's even rumored the skull of Geronimo resides within the Tomb, stolen from the resting place by Prescott Rose bush, Dubya's dad. Within the more generally known traditions, the initiate stays through the night naked within an open coffin, confessing all his sexual encounters towards the group. So, who's lucky enough to get make this type of confession? George H. W. Rose bush, George W. Rose bush, John Kerry, William Howard Taft, McGeorge Bundy, William F. Buckley, and Henry Luce are only a couple of.
5. The Bohemian Club
This can be a strange one. Within the regal forests of Sonoma County north of Bay Area lies the Bohemian Grove, the two, 700-acre wooded retreat from the Bohemian Club, the country's most exclusive men's club. Every This summer since 1879, the "Bohos" have collected in the Grove for any two-week encampment, where they are split into greater than 100 residential camps with names like Owl's Nest, Cave Guy, and Lost Angels. Membership has incorporated, well, nearly everyone important: Taxation, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon (who once known as it "faggy"), Gerald Ford, Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, and lots of CEOs and wealthy business leaders like Malcolm Forbes. Each encampment opens having a robed-and-hooded ceremony known as the Cremation of Care, by which an effigy known as "Dull Care" (as a symbol of worldly concerns) is burned before a 40- feet concrete statue of the owl, indication of knowledge and also the club's mascot. Through the week, plays are staged (known as High Jinx and occasional Jinx), there are many eating and consuming (and, apparently, peeing on trees), and people are treated to speeches known as Lakeside Talks. Some competitors go to date regarding accuse the audience of Satanism, witchcraft, homosexuality, and prostitution, while more modest experts resist the Lakeside Talks as national policy discussions that the general public isn't privy. But most importantly, it's seen as an method in which a few of the elite meet others from the elite, therefore making certain that they may all stay elite. All of this helps make the club's apparently anticonspiratorial slogan—"Weaving bots, come not here"—that a lot more ironic. [Photo of Reagan &lifier Nixon in the Bohemian Club thanks to Wikipedia.]