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Secret societies (Essay Sample)

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An Investigation into the Role, Structure and Importance of Secret Societies

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Secret Societies
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Secret Societies
Overview of Secret Societies
Secret societies are an aspect of the society that has been attracting a great deal of attention from the academia in recent times. They are an important part of society and barely one comes across a culture without secret societies. Their members could range from the powerful elites to peasants. This study aims to analyze the role that secret societies have played in different communities and unveil the reasons for their existence.
Secret society can be described as a social group whose activities and ideologies have been maintained as secrets. Their beliefs and the issues that they represent are kept secret, known only to their members. According to Reynold (2006), the secret societies have been treated with suspicion with the view that if they were being involved in something good, then there would be no justification for their secrecy. He further points out that the secret society has changed over time to accommodate varied objectives. Initially, the secret society was primarily linked with religion and philosophy. In the contemporary world however, it is difficult to describe the secret society without mentioning the perceived political and economic influence that they possess over institutions, governments, and even individuals.
Across the world, various groups have formed societies with specific agendas that are kept secret from non-members. Membership in these societies is not usually open and one has to bear specific qualities to be allowed into the group. The secret societies have been in existence for a long time. According to Sora (2003), the secret societies have been in control of human destiny since the onset of civilization. The societies, this study argues, was in existence in the onset of the last millennium. It claims that the Templar knights, one of the earliest and most established of the secret societies, was operational and had a substantive influence as well.
According to Helsing (1995), however, the secret society can be traced back to over 300,000 years back. He points out to a society that had formed under the name The Illuminati in Mesopotamia. This group had initially labelled themselves the Brotherhood of the Snake and were discredited harshly for misusing their agendas. Helsing is keen to point to the involvement of the secret societies in the control of influential sectors in the society. The activities they engage in, to control the societies have varied over time but have proven successful. He further points out their involvement in the major world crises that have seen countries rise against each other resulting in mass loss of lives.
In the prologue of the Da Vinci Code, the secret society is described as the Priory of Sion that was in existence since the year 1901. This European society was one of the alleged elite secret societies where such prominent personalities like Leonardo Da Vinci, Sir Isaac Newton and Victor Hugo were members. The existence of such a society was kept a closely guarded secret and only came to be unearthed following the discovery of scrolls with details about their various meetings and undertakings.
This study aims at evaluating the extent to which the secret societies are involved in today’s society. Various secret societies are highly spoken of in the society and have influenced the various aspects of the society in varied ways. According to numerous studies, the extent of their involvement may range from passive to direct and explicit interference in the society’s affairs. The study will concentrate on finding out the various ways in which the various secret societies have influenced the society.
This paper also purports to find out if there exists any link between the different secret societies or whether they have ever been in conflict. As different studies have posited, secret society’s existence in the contemporary society have been generally accepted. Consequently, understanding their operations may not necessarily lead to any actions against their operations, but rather may help individuals to become aware of their influence. It aims to provide insight into individuals so that they can be aware of situations where they are being subjected to a secret society’s policies; a phenomenon popularly referred to as brainwashing. In addition, this paper seeks to evaluate the extent to which the secret society has influenced people’s perceptions on such cultural aspects like politics and religion.
Secret societies that have been in existence vary both in the composition of their members as well as their objectives. According to Reynold (2006), the various secret societies in existence operate under a diverse set of objectives that are tactically orchestrated to be successfully realized. There are secret societies that were formed specifically to gain control over the political society of the world. Such secret societies ceased to be ‘secret’ once they became open for everyone to join in their expeditions. According to Griffin (2011), such secret societies were formed around specific political ideologies were in most cases were meant to oppose the then existing political ideologies.
For instance, Griffin brings into the picture the Fabian society, which shares almost the same ideologies as the Marxism-Leninism regime, but differs, in their accepted strategies towards achieving these goals. For the Fabians, Griffin argues that they are opposed to engaging in violence in order to solve the society’s problems whereas the Marxist-Leninist groups did not have any problem in calling on their supporters to engage in violence for the sake of achieving a greater good. Such societies aim only at shifting the politics in the contemporary world and may not necessarily be concerned about their founders’ financial gains.
There is another form of secret societies greatly addressed by scholars, which were formed on the grounds of religion. An ideal example is the Templar Knights, which was originally formed to protect Christian pilgrims while worshipping in Jerusalem. This society is probably one of the oldest and longest surviving secret society. According to Sora (2003), the society’s activities cannot be said to have been secretive unless one would be addressing its founders’ real motives as well as their ideologies. This society engaged in various warring expeditions where they engaged in war with the Muslims trying to drive them out of Jerusalem. Their successes in these expeditions gave them control over massive economic resources, which can be attributed to the subsequent shift in their objectives to pursue economic empowerment. Their involvement in the political scene was limited as they only answered to the Catholic Church’s pope.
The other types of secret societies are those driven b...
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