Secret societies have existed for hundreds of years, projecting a sense of mystery and sometimes cynicism about the collective goal of the individuals in the group.
From religious organisations to political groups, these groups instill a cloud of secrecy that all members much obey. Who truly knows what goes on behind the closed doors of a secret society?
This list will examine the 10 most mysterious secret societies in history.
10. Blackwater: This isn’t so much a secret society, but rather a private army. Actually a corporate army that is, publicly funded, but privately accountable.
They offer mercenary services including infantry, navy and police enforcement to whoever will pay their price.
Since they’re not a government organization, they are frequently called in to help settle disputes that are too secretive or distasteful for public services to be involved with, like policing the survivors of Hurricane Katrina.
9. The Order of the Skull & Bones: It’s one of those upper crust Ivy League student societies dedicated to manipulating the next generation of the power elite.
Oh great, another one. Is anything real anymore? They mockingly refuse membership to all without family names like Rockefeller, Vanderbilt and Bush. Yeah, those Bushes.
8. The Freemasons: Cloaked in secrecy, brothers of this fraternal organization are not allowed to invite new members, nor share any of their secret handshakes, passwords and strange rituals they have to perform, in order to advance in seniority within the organization.
7. Rosicrucians: This mystic Christian fellowship was founded by a group of 8 doctors, alchemists and sages in the 1400s, in a quest to destroy the one true ring.
Joking aside… that would be cool, but instead, they actually dedicated their entire lives to providing free health care to any who needed it, and would appoint a successor to replace them after they died. Why does this sound similar to Obamacare?
6. Ordo Templis Orientis: The Order of the Temples of the East was originally founded as an offshoot of the Masons, kind of like the Stonecutters but without Steve Gutenberg. But it underwent radical changes when an occult magician known as the Great Beast, Aleister Crowley, took over the leadership.
5. Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn: This is yet another occult group that grew out of the Masonic and Rosicrucian traditions, but with a much stronger emphasis on ritual magic like spell-casting, astrology, astral travel, crystal balls and potions.
A young Aleister Crowley was one of the order’s most famous members before he left to really get his freak on.
4. The Knights Templar: Founded almost a thousand years ago as a kind of highway patrol for pilgrims in the holy land, they were originally called the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ.
Their emblem was of two knights riding on a single horse, emphasizing the Order’s poverty.
3. The Illuminati: As the unofficially self appointed spokesperson for the Illuminati, I am in no way whatsoever authorized to tell you that we don’t really exist, so please stop asking. We are not managing the New World Order through YouTube.
2. Opus Dei: Opus Dei is in the form of some sort of organization within the Catholic Church that may be hiding something important and according to many critics allegedly acts as, well, if they’re better than other Christians.
It is claimed that they strongly emphasize the belief that “everyone is called to holiness and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity.” I gotta say, that’s a pretty deep statement.
See also: Top 5 Dark Secrets of the Vatican
1. The Black Hand: This secret military society in the Balkans was formed in 1911 with the aim of liberating the Serbian people from Austro-Hungarian rule.
Their half-baked plan was to assassinate the Archduke Franz Ferdinand (yes, like that Franz Ferdinand), who was the heir to the Austrian throne, assuming that this would initiate a war between Austria and Serbia.
The first two assassination attempts with a car bomb failed to injure the Archduke and his wife and they managed to escape.