Secret Society is a term used to describe a variety of organizations. Although the exact meaning of the term is disputed, several of the definitions advanced indicate that a degree of secrecy and secret knowledge, which might include denying membership or knowledge of the group and possibly negative consequences for acknowledging membership, strong ties between members of the organization, and frequently rites or rituals which outsiders are generally not permitted to observe.
Definition Several definitions for the term have been put forward. Alan Axelrod, author of the International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders, defines a secret society as possessing three characteristics. These are that the organization is exclusive, it claims to own special secrets, and it shows a strong inclination to favor its own.
David V. Barrett, author of Secret Societies: From the Ancient and Arcane to the Modern and Clandestine, uses slightly different terms to define what does and does not qualify as a secret society. He defines it as any group that possesses the following characteristics: it has "carefully graded and progressed teachings" that are "available only to selected individuals".
These teachings lead to "hidden (and 'unique') truths" that 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."
Another characteristic these societies may have is that, in extreme cases, they may be required to take an oath or make some similar statement to the effect that they will conceal or deny their membership in the organization, sometimes acknowledging the indicated penalties for not doing so.
The term "secret society" is often used to describe fraternal organizations that may have secret ceremonies, but is also commonly applied to organizations ranging from the common and innocuous (collegiate fraternities) to mythical organizations described in conspiracy theories as immensely powerful, with self-serving financial or political agendas, global reach, and often satanic beliefs.
[ SOURCE:WIKIPEDIA ]
Regardless of what your personal beliefs are or what the so-called academic experts have conditioned you to accept, secret societies have always been in control and still remain in control to this day. We have compiled a list of the 20 most influential and controversial secret societies.