Secret society

A secret society is a club or an organization whose activities, events, inner functioning, or membership are concealed from non-members. The society may or may not attempt to conceal its existence. The term usually excludes covert groups, such as intelligence agencies or guerrilla insurgencies, that hide their activities and memberships but maintain a public presence.

The exact qualifications for labeling a group as a secret society are disputed, but definitions generally rely on the degree to which the organization insists on secrecy, and might involve the retention and transmission of secret knowledge, the denial about membership or knowledge of the group, the creation of personal bonds between members of the organization, and the use of secret rites or rituals which solidify members of the group.

Anthropologically and historically, secret societies have been deeply interlinked with the concept of the Männerbund, the all-male "warrior-band" or "warrior-society" of pre-modern cultures (see H. Schurtz, Alterklassen und Männerbünde, Berlin, 1902; A. Van Gennep, The Rites of Passage, Chicago, 1960).

A purported "family tree of secret societies" has been proposed, although it may not be comprehensive.[2]

Alan Axelrod, author of the International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders, defines a secret society as an organization that:

  • is exclusive
  • claims to own special secrets
  • shows a strong inclination to favor its members.

David V. Barrett, author of Secret Societies: From the Ancient and Arcane to the Modern and Clandestine, has used alternative terms to define what qualifies a secret society. He defined it as any group that possesses the following characteristics:

  • It has "carefully graded and progressed teachings".
  • Teachings are "available only to selected individuals".
  • Teachings lead to "hidden (and 'unique') truths".
  • Truths bring "personal benefits beyond the reach and even the understanding of the uninitiated."

Barrett goes on to say that "a further characteristic common to most of them is the practice of rituals which non-members are not permitted to observe, or even to know the existence of." Barrett's definition would rule out many organizations called secret societies; graded teaching is usually not part of the American college fraternities, the Carbonari, or the 19th century Know Nothings.

Secret Society Buildings New Haven
"Secret Society Buildings at Yale College", by Alice Donlevy[1] ca. 1880. Pictured are: Psi Upsilon (Beta Chapter), 120 High Street. Left center: Skull & Bones (Russell Trust Association), 64 High Street. Right center: Delta Kappa Epsilon (Phi Chapter), east side of York Street, south of Elm Street. Bottom: Scroll and Key (Kingsley Trust Association), 490 College Street.

Realms

Politics

Because some secret societies have political aims, they are illegal in several countries. Italy (Constitution of Italy, Section 2, Articles 13–28) and Poland,[3] for example, ban secret political parties and political organizations in their constitutions.

Colleges and universities

Many student societies established on university campuses in the United States have been considered secret societies. Perhaps one of the most famous secret collegiate societies is Skull and Bones at Yale University.[4] The influence of undergraduate secret societies at colleges such as Harvard College, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, the University of Chicago,[5] the University of Virginia, Georgetown University, New York University,[6] and Wellesley College has been publicly acknowledged, if anonymously and circumspectly, since the 19th century.[7][8]

British Universities, too, have a long history of secret societies or quasi-secret societies, such as The Pitt Club at Cambridge University,[9][10] Bullingdon Club at Oxford University,[10] and the 16' Club at St David's College.[11] Another British secret society is the Cambridge Apostles, founded as an essay and debating society in 1820.

In France, Vandermonde is the secret society of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers.[12]

Notable examples in Canada include Episkopon at the University of Toronto's Trinity College, and the Society of Thoth at the University of British Columbia.

Secret societies are disallowed in a few colleges. The Virginia Military Institute has rules that no cadet may join a secret society,[13] and secret societies have been banned at Oberlin College from 1847[14] to the present,[15] and at Princeton University since the beginning of the 20th century.

Confraternities in Nigeria are secret-society like student groups within higher education. The exact death toll of confraternity activities is unclear. One estimate in 2002 was that 250 people had been killed in campus cult-related murders in the previous decade,[16] while the Exam Ethics Project lobby group estimated that 115 students and teachers had been killed between 1993 and 2003.[17]

Internet

While their existence had been speculated for years, internet-based secret societies first became known to the public in 2012 when the secret society known as Cicada 3301 began recruiting from the public via internet-based puzzles.[18][19] The goals of the society remain unknown, but it is believed that they are involved in cryptography and cryptocurrency.[20][21]

The only secret society abolished and then legalized is that of the philomaths;[22] it is now a legitimate academic association founded on a strict selection of its members.

By location

Asia

厦门洪门腰牌
A Hongmen seal, 19th century.[23]

China

Japan

Singapore

Africa

Nigeria

West African

Zimbabwe

Europe

Germany

United Kingdom

Pan-European

North America

United States

Opposition

Many Christian Churches forbid their members from joining secret societies. For example, ¶41 of the General Rules contained in Discipline of the Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Connection teaches:[24]

Further, by abstaining from membership in secret societies. We will on no account tolerate our ministers and members joining or holding fellowship with secret societies, as, in the judgment of The Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Connection (Original Allegheny Conference), it is inconsistent with our duties to God to hold such relations.

“Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing” (John 18:20). “Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not” (Matt. 24:26).
“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation” (Jas. 5:12).
Also see Lev. 5:4, 5; Isa. 29:15; Matt. 5:34–36; John 3:19, 20; 2 Cor. 4:1, 2; 6:14–18; Eph. 5:11, 12; 1 John 4:2, 3. [24]

See also

References

  1. ^ Alice Donlevy was the author of a book on illustration called "Practical Hints on the Art of Illumination," published by A. D. F. Randolph, New York, 1867
  2. ^ Stevens (1899), p. vii.
  3. ^ "The Constitution of the Republic of Poland". 2 April 1997. Article 13: Political parties and other organizations whose programs are based upon totalitarian methods and the modes of activity of nazism, fascism and communism, as well as those whose programs or activities sanction racial or national hatred, the application of violence for the purpose of obtaining power or to influence the State policy, or provide for the secrecy of their own structure or membership, shall be prohibited.
  4. ^ "Skull And Bones". The Secret Society Manual. thesecretbookgarden.com. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  5. ^ "To The Members of the University of Chicago". The University of Chicago Magazine. 5 (9): 298. July 1913.
  6. ^ Megan Findling (3 November 2011). "Edgar Allan Poe in Greenwich Village" (article). Researching Greenwich Village History. greenwichvillagehistory.wordpress.com. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Secret Societies. The Harvard Crimson".
  8. ^ "Student Government at Wellesley and How It Makes for Loyalty among the College Girls and Faculty". New York Times. 12 February 1912.
  9. ^ Bowers, Mary (17 November 2006). "Pitt Club under pressure from Council" (PDF). Varsity. p. 5. Retrieved 20 August 2009.
  10. ^ a b Gray, Kirsty (11 February 2011). "Oxford's Bully-ingdon Club faces more scandal". Varsity. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
  11. ^ D.T.W. Price. A History of Saint David's University College, Lampeter. University of Wales Press, Cardiff. Volume One, to 1898 (ISBN 0-7083-0606-3)
  12. ^ "Naissance de " Alexandre-Théophile Vandermonde ", mathématicien français – Espace " Sciences du Numérique " Alan Turing (LJAD – CNRS/UNS)". www.espace-turing.fr. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Regulations for the Virginia Military Institute, Part II, Revised 5 December 2008, 12–16(b)". vmi.edu.
  14. ^ Fletcher, Robert Samuel (1943). A History of Oberlin College from Its Foundation Through the Civil War. Oberlin College. "Revised codes were issued every few years, but not many important changes were made in them. Provisions with regard to the hours of 'athletic exercises and sport' were added in 1847. In the same revision there appeared for the first time the 'peculiar' Oberlin rule against secret societies. 'No student,' it runs, 'is permitted to join any secret society, or military company.'"
  15. ^ Student Regulations, Policies, and Procedures, Oberlin College 2011–2012 (PDF). new.oberlin.edu. 2011. p. 34. D. Secret Societies: "No secret society is allowed at Oberlin, and no other societies or self-perpetuating organizations are allowed among students, except by permission of the faculty. This is to be understood to include social and rooming-house clubs."
  16. ^ "NIGERIA: Focus on the menace of student cults", IRIN, 1 August 2002
  17. ^ "Cults of violence", The Economist, 31 July 2008
  18. ^ Bell, Chris (25 November 2013). "The internet mystery that has the world baffled". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  19. ^ Ernst, Douglas (26 November 2013). "Secret society seeks world's brightest: Recruits navigate 'darknet' filled with terrorism, drugs". The Washington Times. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  20. ^ NPR staff (5 January 2014). "The Internet's Cicada: A Mystery without an Answer". All Things Considered, National Public Radio. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  21. ^ Scott, Sam (16 December 2013). "Cicada 3301: The most elaborate and mysterious puzzle of the internet age". Metro. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  22. ^ Arthur Morius Francis. Secret Societies. Vol. 3: The Collegiate Secret Societies of America. 2015 (file pdf).
  23. ^ Alexander Wylie: Secret Societies in China, in China Researches, p131, 1897 Shanghai, reprinted in USA by Nabu Public Domain Reprints
  24. ^ a b The Discipline of the Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Connection (Original Allegheny Conference). Salem: Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Connection. 2014. p. 20-21.

Further reading

External links

Abakuá

Abakuá, also sometimes known as Nañigo, is an Afro-Cuban men's initiatory fraternity or secret society, which originated from fraternal associations in the Cross River region of southeastern Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon.Abakuá has been described as "an Afro-Cuban version of Freemasonry".

Bigg Boss (Hindi season 8)

Bigg Boss 8, which merged into Bigg Boss Halla Bol!, was the eighth season of the Indian reality television series Bigg Boss, which premiered on TV channel Colors from 21 September 2014 and concluded on 3 January 2015 with five final contestants. Bigg Boss is the Indian edition of Big Brother. Salman Khan returned as the host of the series for the fifth time and Snapdeal was chosen to be the new presenting sponsor after the end of Colors' five-year deal with Vodafone India for the series.After the finale of season with five champions, Bigg Boss Halla Bol! a spin-off was launched on 4 January. It merged into the regular series and continued in the same house. Five contestants from previous seasons entered the house to compete with five crowned regular entrants of the season finale. Farah Khan was appointed as the new host as Salman bid adieu due to his filming schedule of Bajrangi Bhaijaan.

Blonde Redhead

Blonde Redhead is an alternative rock band composed of Kazu Makino (vocals, keys/rhythm guitar) and twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace (drums/keys and lead guitar/keys/vocals, respectively) that formed in New York City in 1993. The band's earliest albums were noted for their noise rock influences, though their sound evolved by the early 2000s with the releases of Misery is a Butterfly (2004) and 23 (2007), which both incorporated elements of dream pop, shoegaze and other genres. They have released nine regular studio albums and have toured internationally.

Collegiate secret societies in North America

There are many collegiate secret societies in North America. They vary greatly in their levels of secrecy and independence from their universities. As the term is used in this article, a secret society is a collegiate society where significant effort is made to keep affairs, membership rolls, signs of recognition, initiation, or other aspects secret from the public.

Some collegiate secret societies are referred to as 'class societies', which restrict membership to one class year. Most class societies are restricted to the senior class, and are therefore also called senior societies on many campuses.

Europe (band)

Europe is a Swedish rock band formed in Upplands Väsby in 1979, by vocalist Joey Tempest, guitarist John Norum, bassist Peter Olsson, and drummer Tony Reno. They got a major breakthrough in Sweden in 1982 by winning the televised competition "Rock-SM" (Swedish Rock Championships): it was the first time this competition was held, and Europe became a larger success than the competition itself.

Since their formation, Europe has released eleven studio albums, three live albums, three compilations and twenty-four music videos.

Europe rose to international fame in the 1980s with their third album, 1986's The Final Countdown, which has sold over 3 million copies in the United States and 15 million copies worldwide (including album and single). Europe have sold over 25 million records worldwide. The band has had two top 20 albums on the Billboard 200 chart (The Final Countdown and Out of This World) and two top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart ("The Final Countdown" and "Carrie").Europe went on hiatus in 1992, reunited temporarily for a one-off performance in Stockholm on New Year's Eve 1999 and announced an official reunion in 2003. Since then the band has released six albums, Start from the Dark (2004), Secret Society (2006), Last Look at Eden (2009), Bag of Bones (2012), War of Kings (2015) and Walk the Earth (2017).

Europe has achieved new attention in the US due to being featured in a GEICO Insurance cable television commercial campaign viewed for many months across the US in 2015–16.

The band is mainly influenced by Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, UFO and Michael Schenker Group.

Funky Flashman

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Gen'yōsha

The Dark/Black Ocean Society (Japanese: 玄洋社, Hepburn: Gen'yōsha) was an influential Pan-Asianist group and secret society active in the Empire of Japan, and was considered to be an ultranationalist group by GHQ in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East.

Iron Cross (Secret Society)

The Iron Cross Society is University of Wisconsin–Madison's oldest and most prestigious secret society.

Kim Ji-min (actress)

Kim Ji-min (born February 12, 2000) is a South Korean actress. She is best known for her roles in Goddess of Fire (2013) and Pluto Secret Society (2014).

Kuksu (religion)

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The practice of Kuksu religion included elaborate narrative ceremonial dances and specific regalia. The men of the tribe practiced rituals to ensure good health, bountiful harvests, hunts, fertility, and good weather. Ceremonies included an annual mourning ceremony, rites of passage, and intervention with the spirit world. A male secret society met in underground dance rooms and danced in disguises at the public dances.Kuksu has been identified archaeologically by the discovery of underground dance rooms and wooden dance drums.

List of Justice League episodes

Justice League and Justice League Unlimited are American animated series about a team of superheroes which ran from 2001 to 2006 on Cartoon Network. It is based on the Justice League and associated comic book characters published by DC Comics.

After the second season, the show is renamed Justice League Unlimited, has a vastly expanded cast of characters, and changes from two-part episodes to single-episode stand-alone stories that often intertwine to form long story arcs. Combined, there are a total of 91 episodes, along with two crossover episodes of Static Shock in which the League appears.

The show is the last in a series of animated features that together constitute what is known as the DC animated universe.

Neil Strauss

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Nsibidi

Nsibidi (also known as nsibiri, nchibiddi or nchibiddy) is a system of symbols indigenous to what is now southeastern Nigeria that are apparently pictograms, though there have been suggestions that some are logograms or syllabograms. The symbols are at least several centuries old—early forms appeared on excavated pottery as well as what are most likely ceramic stools and headrests from the Calabar region, with a range of dates from 400 to 1400 CE.There are thousands of nsibidi symbols, of which over 500 have been recorded. They were once taught in a school to children. Many of the signs deal with love affairs; those that deal with warfare and the sacred are kept secret. Nsibidi is used on wall designs, calabashes, metals (such as bronze), leaves, swords, and tattoos. It is primarily used by the Ekpe leopard secret society (also known as Ngbe or Egbo), which is found across Cross River among the Ekoi, Efik, Igbo people, and other nearby peoples.

Outside knowledge of nsibidi came in 1904 when T. D. Maxwell noticed the symbols. Before the British colonisation of the area, nsibidi was divided into a sacred version and a public, more decorative version which could be used by women. Aspects of colonisation such as Western education and Christian doctrine drastically reduced the number of nsibidi-literate people, leaving the secret society members as some of the last literate in the symbols. Nsibidi was and is still a means of transmitting Ekpe symbolism. Nsibidi was transported to Cuba and Haiti via the Atlantic slave trade, where it developed into the anaforuana and veve symbols.

Secret Society (album)

Secret Society is the seventh studio album by the Swedish rock band Europe. It was released on October 25, 2006, by Sanctuary Records. "We think it's one of the strongest albums that Europe has ever done," vocalist Joey Tempest said, "There is definitely some more melodic stuff on this one. Start from the Dark was very raw and made a statement, which is cool but for us it felt like a debut album in a way, so we wanted to branch out a bit on this one and take it to new levels."

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The Secret Society of Super Villains (SSoSV) (also known simply as Secret Society or The Society) is a group of supervillains appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. First introduced in their own eponymous series with issue #1 (May–June 1976), the group consists of enemies of members of the Justice League of America.

The Legacy

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Le Legs or The Legacy, a play by Pierre de Marivaux

The Legacy (professional wrestling), a former professional wrestling faction in World Wrestling Entertainment

The Legacy (album), an album by Testament

"The Legacy" (song), a 2011 song by Black Veil Brides

The Legacy (1978 film), a horror film directed by Richard Marquand

The Legacy (2009 film), a drama film from Canada directed by Bernard Émond

The Legacy (TV series), a 2014 Danish television drama

The Legacy (Lindenwood University), a college newspaper

The Legacy (1961–2002), a boxset covering four decades of recordings by Glen Campbell

The Legacy: Realm of Terror, a 1993 computer game

The Legacy (Forgotten Realms novel), a 1992 book by R. A. Salvatore

The Legacy (Shute novel) (A Town Like Alice), a 1950 novel by Neville Shute

The Legacy, a 2010 novel by Kirsten Tranter, nominated for the Miles Franklin Award

"The Legacy", a song by Testament on Souls of Black

"The Legacy", a song by Iron Maiden on A Matter of Life and Death

"The Legacy", a single by Push

"The Legacy", a secret society of paranormal investigators on the TV show Poltergeist: The Legacy

Wallachian Revolution of 1848

The Wallachian Revolution of 1848 was a Romanian liberal and nationalist uprising in the Principality of Wallachia. Part of the Revolutions of 1848, and closely connected with the unsuccessful revolt in the Principality of Moldavia, it sought to overturn the administration imposed by Imperial Russian authorities under the Regulamentul Organic regime, and, through many of its leaders, demanded the abolition of boyar privilege. Led by a group of young intellectuals and officers in the Wallachian Militia, the movement succeeded in toppling the ruling Prince Gheorghe Bibescu, whom it replaced with a Provisional Government and a Regency, and in passing a series of major progressive reforms, first announced in the Proclamation of Islaz.

Despite its rapid gains and popular backing, the new administration was marked by conflicts between the radical wing and more conservative forces, especially over the issue of land reform. Two successive abortive coups were able to weaken the Government, and its international status was always contested by Russia. After managing to rally a degree of sympathy from Ottoman political leaders, the Revolution was ultimately isolated by the intervention of Russian diplomats, and ultimately repressed by a common intervention of Ottoman and Russian armies, without any significant form of armed resistance. Nevertheless, over the following decade, the completion of its goals was made possible by the international context, and former revolutionaries became the original political class in united Romania.

Wizard (DC Comics)

The Wizard is a fictional DC Comics Golden Age supervillain.

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