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20 Secret Societies in the World

A Secret Society is an organization or club whose events, activities, and inner functioning are concealed from non-members. The society probably tries to conceal its existence. Their activities and events are hidden from the world. They have a special aim which they performed step by step. It is possibly believed that our World is ruling by hidden members of different secret societies. Means, some powerful secret societies are running the World. A large number of secret societies has been formed from various parts of the world to serve different social, political, and religious purposes. Some of the powerful societies dissolved by time and some of these are still working in different parts of the world. Secret societies still exist, but due to the Internet, it is hard to make them real secret.  These societies have millions of members all around the world.

20
Ancient Order of Druids
Ancient Order of Druids

The Ancient Order of Druids is a fraternal organization and secret society founded in 1781, in London England. The origins of society are still largely mysterious. However, this society still operates to this day. It is one of the earliest English group based upon the iconography of the ancient druids. The first Lodge of Druids was created in Victoria by a Mr. Hymen in 1851. The first female lodge was started in Launceston, Tasmania, in 1899 and by about 1915, there were approximately 15 women lodges. By 1877, a large number of lodges existed in Adelaide such as The Sir James Fergusson, The Adelaide, The Allied, The Peace Lodge, the Duke of Leinster, the Albert, the Duke of Brunswick, and the Adelaide Lodge, with total members of 862. The notable members of Ancient Order of Druids were Winston Churchill and Byron B. Brainard.

19
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, or The Golden Dawn was an organization and secret society to the study and practice of the metaphysics, the occult, and paranormal activities during the end of 19th and start of 20th century. Also known as a magical order, it was active in Great Britain and primarily focused practices on spiritual and theurgy development. The Golden Dawn inspired many present day concepts of magic and ritual that were the center of contemporary traditions such as Thelema and Wicca. The three founders, William Wynn Westcott, William Robert Woodman, and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers were the members of Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia. Wescott was the initial driving force behind the foundation of Golden Dawn . in the society; women were admitted on an equal basis with men. The “Golden Dawn” was the first of three secret societies. However, three are collectively referred to as the “Golden Dawn.”

18
Knights of Columbus
Knights of Columbus

Knights of Columbus is the world largest Catholic fraternal service organization. It was created in 1882, by Father Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, Connecticut. The name was given in honor of the Mariner Christopher Columbus. Initially, It has the aim to serve as mutual benefit society to low-income immigrant Catholic. Then it changed into a fraternal benefit organization for promoting Catholic education, providing charitable services and defending Catholicism in different nations. Total members of Knights of Columbus are approximately 2 million in nearly 15,000 councils. Membership of organization is limited to “practical” Catholic men with age of 18 or above. Membership comprises four various degrees; each has a different principal of the Order. The society is a member of the International Alliance of Catholic Knights. Councils have been chartered in the US, the Philippines, Canada, Poland, Mexico, Panama, Cuba, the Bahamas, South Korea, Lithuania, and Ukraine.

17
Foresters Friendly Society
Foresters Friendly Society

Foresters Friendly Society is a British friends society founded in 1834 as the Ancient Order of Foresters. The head office of society is in Southampton, England. According to 31 December 2015 reports, total members of society are 78,108. The Foresters Friendly Society became incorporated on 1 Jan 2003, which added 21,000 members and a 69 million euros in assets. The local branches of society are known as “courts.” The most popular was Court LUD No. 10,1000, which was created in 1947. When the organization became incorporated, the court’s numbers has declined. There were 190 courts in the British Isles, as at June 2016. It comprises its magazine Foresters Miscellany, and it ran from 1862 to 2008. Now it has a new name of “The Forester.” The organization furnishes insurance policies to its members against sickness and death. It has policies for children such as child tax exempt saving plans, child saving plans, and ethical child trust fund. The society also gives group insurance to different police forces in the United Kingdom and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

16
Knights of Pythias
Knights of Pythias

The Knights of Pythias of is a secret society and fraternal organization, founded on 19 February 1864, in Washington, DC. It was the first fraternal organization to get a character under an act of the US Congress. The society was founded by Justus H. Rathbone, who was inspired by a play by the Irish poet John Banim about the legends of Pythias and Damon. Now the Knights of Pythias has over 2,000 lodges in the US and around the world, with the total members of more than 50,000 in 2003. The structure of the organization is three-tiered. The local units are called “Castles” or “Subordinate Lodges.” Provincial or State organizations are known as “Grand Lodges,” and the national structure is famous as the “Supreme Lodge.” The officers of the Supreme Lodge comprises the Sitting Past Supreme Chancellor, Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Treasure, Secretary, Prelate, Inner Guard and Outer Guard, and Inner of Arms. The Auxiliaries of Knights of Pythias are the Pythian Sisters and two young organizations the Junior Order of Princes of Syracuse and the Pythian Sunshine Girls.

15
Illuminati
Illuminati

The Illuminati is a name given to different groups, both fictitious and real. According to historians, the name refers to the Bavarian Illuminati, a secret society founded on May 1, 1776. The aim of the society was to oppose obscurantism, superstition, abuse of state power and religious influence over public life. The Illuminati, along with other secret societies, were outlawed through edict, by Charles Theodore, the Bavarian Ruler, with the assistance of the Roman Catholic Church in different years of late 18th centuries. In the following years, the group was verified by religious and conservative critics who claimed that they were responsible for the French Revolution. Many progressive politicians counted themselves as members such as Xavier von Zwack and Ferdinand of Brunswick. The Illuminati also refers to different organizations which purported to have links to the original Bavarian Illuminati or similar secret societies. It is a conspiracy theory that members are Illuminati are trying to control great politicians and planting agents in corporations and government to gain political power and to establish a New World Order.

14
P.E.O. Sisterhood
P.E.O. Sisterhood

The P.E.O. Sisterhood is a secret society and international organization with 250,000 members. The organization has a primary focus on furnishing educational facilities to female students worldwide. The society is organized with chapters throughout the Canada and United States. It has headquarter in Des Moines, Lowa. More than 235 million US dollars has been awarded to more than 90,000 women from the organization six educational grants, awards, loans and stewardship of Cottey College. The organization has awarded Educational Load fund of total 143.6 million US dollars. Cottey College is a liberal arts and science college for women, situated in Nevada, Missouri. The organization provides Loan funds to the qualified Canadian and American women with financial needs. The Program for Continuing Education furnishes need-based grants to the female students of Canada and US who education has been interrupted due to money problems.

13
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan

Ku Klux Klan or simply “the Klan,” is the name given to three separate past and present movements in the United Sates. All three movements are considered right wing organizations and have called for the “purifications of American Society. The first Klan started in the Southern part of United States in the late 1860s, and it died out by the early 18702. With different chapters across the South, the movement was suppressed though federal law enforcement around 1871. Members of movement mad their colorful costumes, masks, robes, and conical hats, to hide their identities. The second group was created in 1915 and spread nationwide in the 1920s, especially urban areas of the West and Mid-West. The movement opposed Jews and Catholics and stressed opposition to Catholic Church. This movement adapted a standard white costume and used code words similar to used by first Klan while adding mass parades and cross burnings. The last and current movement of the KKK started after 1950, in the form of small, unconnected local groups that use the KKK name. They opposed to the Civil Rights Movement, by using murder and violence to suppress activists. The movement is classified as a Hate Group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. Total members of the KKK are 6,000 according to Southern Poverty Law Center.

12
Bilderberg Group
Bilderberg Group

The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg Club, Bilderberg conference, or Bilderberg meetings, is an annual private conference of 120 to 150 people of the North American and European political elite, experts from finance, industry, media and the academic. The first conference of Bilderberg Group was held from 29 to 31 May 1954 at the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek, Netherlands. The conference was started by many people including Polish politician-in-exile Jozef, Retinger. The original goal of the group was to promote Atlanticism, to strengthen US-European relations and to stop another World War.  Meetings of Bilderberg Group are organized by a street committee of two members, each from 18 nations. Official posts of the group comprise a chairperson and an Honorary Secretary General. In addition to the committee, it has a separate advisory group having overlapping membership.  In 1960, after the death of Retinger, Dutch economist Ernst van der Beugel became permanent secretary. Two-thirds of meeting participants came from Europe and the North America and one-third from government and politics.

11
Freemasonry
Freemasonry

Freemasonry or Masonry comprises fraternal organizations that find their origins to the local fraternities. The basic and local organization unit of Masonry is the Lodge. The Lodge meets regularly the get the formal business of any small organization such as elect new members, pay bills, and organize social and charitable events. It also performs many other activities. Candidates of Freemasonry will have to meet some active members of the Lodge before joining. The minimum requirement for recruitment in Lodge is that the candidate must be free and should have a good character. Grand Lodges and Grand Orients are sovereign bodies which govern Freemasonry in a given state, country, or geographical area. The idea of Masonic brotherhood came from the legal definition of a brother in the 16th century as one who has taken an oath of support to another.

10
Knights of the Golden Eagle
Knights of the Golden Eagle

The Knights of the Golden Eagle was a secret society and organization founded in 1872 in Baltimore. The object of the organization was to help its members find jobs and help them during unemployment. Membership of organization was open to white males over 18, who were of good moral character, without mental or physical handicaps, who had the ability to write and support themselves. The organization also had a female auxiliary with the name, the Ladies of the Golden Eagle. In the start, the organization received help from other fraternal groups and organizations. The group had 73,340 members in 26 states in the early of 1920s. Total members of Knights of the Golden Eagle were 15,000 in 19654. In the early 1920s, headquarter of the group was at 814-816 North Broad Street, Philadelphia. And the last known headquarter was in North Wales, Pennsylvania.

9
Shriners
Shriners

The Shriners, or Shriners International, is a society created in 1870 and has headquarter in Tampa, Florida, USA. The organization describes itself as a fraternity based on fellowship, fun, and the Masonic of brotherly relief, love and truth. It has more than 350,000 members from 195 templates in the US, Brazil, Canada, the Republic of Panama, Mexico, the Philippines, Europe, and Australia. The Society is famous for the Shriners Hospitals for Children that it administers. In the past, the organization was known as Shriners North America or Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. The name was changed across Central America, North America, South America, Southeast Asia and Europe. The Society is a men’s fraternity, and all Shriners members should be Masons. The organization owned a network of twenty-two hospitals in the United States, Canada, and Mexico with the name Shriners Hospitals for Children.

8
Woodmen of the World
Woodmen of the World

Woodmen of the World, officially Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society, is a not-for-profit society created in Omaha, Nebraska, United States, in 1890. The society operates a privately held insurance company for the members. The founder of the organization was Joseph Cullen, a member of many fraternal organizations. The organization began marketing itself under the new name WoodmenLife on June 1, 2015. Many small organizations are merged into Woodmen of the World over the years such as the Order of Railroad Telegraphers in 1962, the United Order of the Golden Cross in 1962 and the New England Order of Protection in 1969. The organization owned a 19-story tower at 14th and Farnam Streets. It was the tallest building in 1912 between the West Coast and Chicago at the time of its dedication.  Later, the society built its current 30-story Woodmen Tower in 1969. The society provides financial services to more than 800,000 members in the US. Members include life insurance and annuities, 529 College Saving Plans, and Access to mutual funds, and other financial services.

7
Ordo Templi Orientis
Ordo Templi Orientis

Ordo Templi Orientis is an international religious and fraternal organization founded at the start of the 20th century. The Occultist and English writer Aleister Crowley had become the well-known member of the organization. The early history of society is difficult to find out. However, it originated between 1895 and 1906 in Germany or Austria. The founder of society was Carl Kellner, a wealthy Austrian industrialist. Theodor Reuss collaborated with Kellner for the creation of Ordo Templi Orientis and succeeded as head of organization after the death of Kellner. Reuss, along with Henry Klein and Franz Hartmann, purchase the right to perform the Right of Memphis and Mizrain of Freemasonry in 1902. The authority was confirmed in 1904 and later in 1905.

6
Improved Order of Red Men
Improved Order of Red Men

The Improved Order of Red Men is a secret society and fraternal organization founded in 1834. The Society claimed that it had half million members in 1935, but the number declined to 15,000 later. The membership requirements for the society were defined in 1886. The side degree of society was founded as the National Haymakers’ Association in 1890. The Order created the Degree of Hiawatha in 1952, as a youth auxiliary for males 8 and up. The memberships of society reached 519,942 in forty-six states in 1921. However, declined to 31,789 in 32 states in 1978. Later, members reduced to 15,251 by 2011. Officially, the Improved Order of Red Men used the Hebrew Anno Mundi system for the calendar year numbering. The notable members of society were Warren G. Harding, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

5
Priory of Sion
Priory of Sion

The Priory of Sion is the name provided to a fringe fraternal organization, founded and dissolved by Pierre Plantard in France in 1956 as part of a hoax. Plantard created a fictitious history for the organization, describing it as a secret society created by Godfrey of Bouillon on Mount Zion in Jerusalem in 1099. According to Plantard, the priory had the aim to install a secret bloodline of the Merovingian dynasty on Thrones of France and other countries of Europe. The theory was popularized by the pseudohistorical book “The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail” in 1982. Scholars and journalists debunked the Priory of Sion Myth as one of the great hoaxes of the 20th century. According to some skeptics, the popularity and proliferation of books, films, and websites inspired by this hoax have a great contribution to the subject of conspiracy theories, pseudohistory.

4
The Sons of Liberty
The Sons of Liberty

The Sons of Liberty was a secret society and organization, created in the Thirteen American Colonies. The aim of the society was to protect the rights of the colonists and to fight taxation by the Government of UK. The organization played a leading role in most colonies for fighting against the Stamp Act in 1765. In the famous imagination, The Sons of Liberty was a formal underground organization. The name of the society was an underground term for any men fighting against new Crown laws and taxes. The society adopted a flag later in 1767, called the rebellious stripes flag with four white and five red stripes. A 13 horizontal white and red stripes flag was used by American ships during the war and was associated with the society. The name was also used during the American Civil War. Later, Sons of Liberty name was used by many small organizations and societies.

3
Thule Society
Thule Society

The Thule Society, originally the Studiengruppe fur germanisches Altertum, was a German volkisch and occultist group created in Munich after World War I. the society got the name from a mythical northern country from Greek legend. The society was an organization that sponsored the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (German Worker’s Party). Adolf Hitler later organized that party into the National Socialist German Worker’s Party or Nazi Party. Originally, the Society was a “German study group” headed by Walter Nauhaus, wounded World War I art student from Berlin. Neuhaus moved to Munich in 1917. Thule Society was also the cover name of the Munich branch of the Germanenorden. Officially, the Thule Society was formed in 1918. The society gathered 250 followers in Munich and at least 1,500 elsewhere in Bavaria. The meetings of the society were often held in the Luxury Hotel Vierjahreszeiten in Munich. The followers of society were interesting in racial theory and especially, in combating Jews and Communists.  The society was dissolved, well before Hitler came to Power.

2
Skull and Bones
Skull and Bones

Skull and Bones is an underground secret society at Yale University, Connecticut. It is the oldest senior class society at Yale. The alumni organization of society, the Russell Trust Association, owns the real state of society and oversees the organization. The secret society was founded after a dispute between debating societies the Calliopean Society and Linonia, Brothers in Unity over that season’s Phi Beta Kappa awards in 1832. Alphonso Taft and William Huntington Russell co-founded “the Order of the Skull and Bones.” The alumni organization of the society incorporated in 1856 and named after the co-founder of society. The Russel Trust Association was founded by Daniel Coit Gilman and Russell. The first description of Skull and Bones published by Lyman Bagg in 1871 in his book Four Years at Yale. The Society chooses new members from students every spring and has done so since 1879. The society included women as members in the early 1990s. It selects fifteen men and women from the junior class to join the society. The Skull and Bones Hall is also famous as the “Tomb.”

1
Rosicrucians
Rosicrucians

Rosicrucians, also referred as the Rosicrucian Enlightenment, arose in Europe in early years of the 17th century after the publication of the Rosicrucian Manifestos, which claimed to announce the presence of a hitherto unknown esoteric order for the world. The Rosicrucian Manifesto kept secret through a science allegedly for decades until the intellectual climate might receive it. After that many controversies arisen for the Manifestos, whether they are a hoax, “the order of the Rosy Cross” existed, or the whole thing was a metaphor to cover up a movement that existed, however in a different form. Johann Valentin Andreae popularly designated it as a “ludicrous” in 1616. The Manifestos tempted many famous figures for the searching of esoteric knowledge, by promising a spiritual conversion at a time of great turmoil. Occult philosophers of the 17th century such as Robert Fludd, Michael Maier, and Thomas Vaughan found interested themselves in the Rosicrucian world view. The secret society was emerged in Scotland, according to historian David Stevenson.

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