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Secret Societies
A World History of the Clandestine 'Clubs': Freemasonry, Ku Klux Klan, Opus Dei, Triads

Introduction; Hashshashins; Freemasonry; Sons of Liberty; The Triads – Man. Heaven. Earth.; Harvard’s Porcellian Club; Skull and Bones Society, Yale University; The Knights of the Golden Circle; The Ku Klux Klan; The Bohemian Club; ANAK ; The Thule Society; Opus Dei ; The New World Order; Club of the Isles; The Bilderberg Group

We humans are obsessed with secrecy. Exclusive organizations, in which the inner workings are concealed from non-members, or the members list is kept under lock and key, are nothing new. Since civilized society began humans have been intrigued by confidentiality, and have either belonged to a secretive group or organization or, from the other side, tried to rip open these clandestine clubs. People always want to be told a secret and be part of something exclusive. In the same way, if a person finds out that they have been kept in the dark, or if a person is excluded from joining a certain group, feelings of jealousy, anger and resentment often arise – it is hard not to want to be part of the ‘in-crowd’.
Knowing a secret can give a person an overwhelming sense of power over others. Being one of only a select few can make a person feel special, wanted and important. This is something that has been pertinent to humans ever since we started living in large communities. As our population increases it has become harder to be anything but another generic face in the crowd – a number as opposed to a name. In today’s Westernized society, the age of celebrity is upon us and this has made it even more important to some to be notable. To be recognized and valued by people around you is key. There are many ways to do this – becoming a member of an institution or society is one.
Sometimes the strength of a society lies solely in the sense of mystique it is able to create. When a newly initiated member of Harvard’s Porcellian Club finally entered the clubhouse for the very first time, he complained that he had expected a more stimulating experience from Porcellian life than, ‘to be sat in a leather chair, singing praises to the walls’. This could be a major problem for a society initiate; once in, you may wonder what all the fuss was about and discover, much to your dismay, that there are no secrets worth knowing at all.

Author Biography
Benita Estevez is a freelance writer who lives on the Sussex coast with her partner and son.  After studying English Literature & Media in Falmouth, Cornwall she worked in publishing for 10 years as an editor and production manager before deciding to view the industry from the author’s point of view instead. Through her mixed Spanish and English heritage, and her studies, she has a keen interest in the areas of post colonialism, world history and current affairs. She travels extensively for the sheer pleasure of experiencing somewhere new but also enjoys returning to places that hold the comfort of familiarity.  In her spare time she runs marathons and 10kms and balances this out by eating out – enjoying anything from street food in Guatemala to fine dining in London.

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