The sense of belonging is a very basic human need for survival. That is one of the reasons for which secret societies have mushroomed all over the world. Religious or cultural persecution is another reason that makes people stick together in secret groups. These are the two reasons that have fostered the development of many secret groups all over the world.
While some of these societies are nothing more than conspiracy theories, some have actual proof of existence. Let us take a look at these secrets groups that have enthralled generations of scholars.
Top 5 Secret Societies In History:
1. Illuminati: Dan Brown's novel 'Angels And Demons' has popularized the Illuminati to a great extent although he hasn't got all the facts right. The Illuminati is a group of the 'enlightened' minds formed in 1700s. This is the time when the Catholic Church was persecuting all free thinkers as heretics. The group was based on atheist principles that denied the presence of a supreme being and the authority of the Church. They upheld scientific reasoning and art; they wanted to establish a new world order based on science and not blind faith.
Illustrious Members: Galileo, Goethe, Raphael.
2. Opus Die: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. When 'faith' is questioned, there is always a counter reaction in its favour. The Opus Die is an order within the Catholic Church that believes in the principles of celibacy and undergoing strict punishment for purification of the soul. There are many conspiracy theories about the Opus Die functioning as secret society that wants to eliminate 'heretic' or the enemies of faith.
3. The Skull & Bones: It is one of the oldest student secret societies in America. This famous group in Yale University has celebrated members like the two Presidents from the Bush family. There is a famous conspiracy theory that this student society actually owes lineage to the Illuminati though there is no proof of such a connection. Another theory also says that this group trains boys as future CIA agents. We only know that this elite secret society exists, but its agenda is totally unknown.
Illustrious Members: George Bush Sr. & Jr.
4. Klu Klux Klan: This is a racist group that was born in Southern USA after the civil war that ended slavery. The Southern gentlemen lost all their estates and slaves in the war leading to widespread resentment. Many people believe that the Southern soldiers who came back from the war started this group that took to attacking and killing Blacks. This secret society is called KKK for short and its sign is a burning cross.
5. The Priory Of Sion: This is the secret group that has shot to fame after Dan Brown's 'Da Vinci Code' was published. With the mission to protect the holy bloodline of Jesus and alleged wife Mary Magdalene (both descending from King David). It might be disappointing to know that a majority of scholars have deemed this society as a hoax or fiction. So we cannot be sure if this celebrated society ever existed.
Illustrious Members: Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo
Which is the secret society that you would love to join?