Many people around the world are convinced that secret societies run our world and have a hidden hand in everything from politics to business. While it is hard to know whether or not this is actually true, many people are still fascinated by them. For those interested in knowing more, we have produced this list of the top 10 secret societies in the world.
The Freemasons usually top every list of secret societies and are one of the most famous of all secret societies, the Freemasons have officially been around since 1717. In order to become a Mason, you must be recommended by a current Mason. There are three basic levels of Masonry, with the first level being Entered Apprentice, after this comes the level of Fellow Craft, and finally you may become a Master Mason.
2. Skull and Bones
The Order of Skull and Bones is a secret organization at Yale University that can count several US Presidents among its members. It is one of the oldest secret organizations in the United States, and keeps it rituals very private. It also started keeping its membership secret in the 1970s. Many conspiracy theorists think that Skull and Bones is actually responsible for the creation of the CIA and a breeding ground for higher level CIA agents, although the CIA has denied that any link exists.
3. The Knights Templar
This is a group of Christian Master Masons that borrowed their name from a 12th Century religious military group.
4. The Illuminati
The Illuminati has been around for centuries and was founded by Masons amongst others. They believe in atheism and follow humanistic principles, and many people believe they are still trying to create a one world government.
5. The Bilderberg Group
No list of secret societies would be complete without the Bilderberg group. This society does not have a membership, but is rather a yearly meeting of the most powerful and influential people in the world. The meetings and who attends are kept incredibly secret.
6. Opus Dei
A Catholic organization whose members believe in celibacy and living a very plain and normal life, some would argue this society is not actually secret, although not much is known about their practices.
7. Ku Klux Klan
Most people are probably familiar with the KKK and the role that they have played in racism in the United States. The members of the KKK wear white hoods and robes and normally hide their identities. They have taken part in some of the worst aspects of racism in US history, and unfortunately still exist even today.
8. Ordo Templis Orientis (Order of the Temples of the East)
Ordo Templis Orientis is a society that was originally based on Masonic principles that was founded by a famous alchemist named Aleister Crowley. It uses many stylized rituals like the Freemasons, but also takes a lot from Christianity. The main belief of this society comes from Crowley himself and focuses strongly on love.
Rosicrucianism was founded by German Protestants in the 1600s, and is very closely related with alchemy and alchemists. The thoughts and ideas are based on three documents which tell stories about a famous alchemist by the name of Christian Rosenkreuz. The society still exists today, but there are many different divisions within it.
10. Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
This society was founded by several famous Freemasons and is thought to be the precursor to the majority of modern day occult groups. The founders were actually Rosicrucianists as well, and Aleister Crowley was one of the most famous members. The belief system takes from numerous places including Christianity, Alchemy, Ancient Egypt, Qabbala, and many others.