Secret societies: Harmless members-only clubs or dire threats to democracy?

“The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings.”

–        John F. Kennedy, April 27, 1961

Long before the fiction writer Dan Brown arrived on the literary scene with his stories of esoterica, people have been intrigued with the idea of secret societies working in the shadows, carrying out evil plots against them. On this score, it would be hard to beat the Freemasons.

Here is a group of characters that has piqued the imaginations of men throughout the centuries. Back in 1798, John Robison, a professor of Natural Philosophy, and Secretary to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, published a book that made a big splash throughout Europe. The publication carried the lengthy title, ‘Proofs of a Conspiracy against All the Religions and Governments of Europe, Carried on in the Secret Meetings of Freemasons, Illuminati and Reading Societies.’ Had John Robison attempted to publish such a book in our day, he would have been quickly written off as a conspiracy theorist nut job along the lines of Alex Jones. But in 1798, the book was taken quite seriously.

Robison, himself a Mason, attempted to prove that not only the French Revolution, but many other historic events of the day were the result of this secret fraternity’s machinations.

“I have seen this Association exerting itself zealously and systematically, till it has become almost irresistible: And I have seen that the most active leaders in the French Revolution were members of this Association, and conducted their first movements according to its principles, and by means of its instructions and assistance, the formerly requested and obtained. And lastly, I have seen that this Association still exists, still works in secret, and that not only several appearances among ourselves show that its emissaries are endeavoring to propagate their detestable doctrines among us…” 

Aside from the question of whether Robison was correct in his accusation is an equally important one: if the freemasons are really up to no good, are they continuing with their shenanigans today?

A lot of people believe they are, and many are speaking out with revelations of various levels of believability. Many are dismissed as conspiracy theorists (which, in turn, reinforces the belief of many others in the secret societies’ willingness to ‘throttle the truth’). Former singer-songwriter and winner of The X Factor Australia, Altiyan Childs, for example, shared a five-hour video where he proclaims that nearly every Western institution has been infiltrated by the Freemasons, to the point where it is nearly impossible to rise to high office – from the world of entertainment to politics and everything in between – without the silent nod of this international fraternity. That video has been viewed nearly four million times.

While it may be easy to laugh off such outlandish claims based on the ‘Illuminati’ and other such groups, there are other societies that make no secret about their secrecy, and have a much more tangible claim to controlling the world.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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