Secret societies have peaked particular interest over the last ten years. Books, films, and even documentaries have streamed many theories trying to prove what is behind these unusual groups. Many times, these suppositions include a basis in religion, yet the stories we hear about some of these powerful clubs appear to be anything but religious when it comes to a sense of piety.
What is it about them that so piques our interest? Is it because most of us are excluded? We tend to want what the other person has without even realizing it. Rene Girard calls this “mimetic desire”, and it’s an instinct we are born with. It makes sense then that we would be dying to see just what goes on in the deepest, darkest, innermost circles of these cult-type organizations.
According to the Masons of California website, masonry is:
…the world’s first and largest fraternal organization, and is based on the belief that
each man has a responsibility to help make the world a better place…
This sounds like a noble institution so why does it get such a bad wrap? The rest of their doctrine seems to promote peace, knowledge, and truth amongst other commendable qualities. If you look a little deeper into it, however, you’ll spot things like a “code of conduct and ethics” (Freemason.org, 2012). This basically means that you have to adhere to their rules in order to be considered part of their club or as they state it – responsible.
Another word that gets thrown around quite a bit in relation to freemasonry is “brotherhood”, and the group is predominated with males, such as some similar groups discussed below. In essence, we are dealing with a “boys club”. In these cultures, men are stronger, smarter, and more capable. We owe the idyllic state of affairs to their inherently masculine, and therefore superior, nature. Women, by exclusion, are deemed the lesser even if it’s not explicitly stated.
Bohemian “Grovers” are perhaps the most extraordinary characters to make up one of these secret societies. The stories that filter out of the expansive stretch of Redwood trees include tales on so many rich and famous men, past and present, it’s difficult to keep track. The one thing you don’t hear about, however, is an everyday Joe without any real notoriety. In order to uphold the common good, you apparently have to have abundant means…and a few weeks to spare in the summer.
Being financially wealthy is just one component of this club along with many others. Having influence in business and government doesn’t hurt your chances for camaraderie, either. It makes you wonder what of our legislature is decided by a group of “good old boys” out there in the forest. What of it trickles down to you and I?
According to sources that have infiltrated the yearly camp where all members of the Bohemian Club go on a yearly basis, members are asked to set aside all of their “cares” (Weiss, 1989). Alcohol and who knows what other mind altering substances are available at this gathering. This seems to be a common thread in any sort of ritualistic event. The mind must be set free in order to get in touch with the spirit. Since drugs and alcohol take over your mind, it is a counterintuitive notion, no matter how commonplace. The scary part is that these rituals get taken too far and too seriously because they are in the name of something greater than the individual.
Ordo Templi Orientis
The mantra of “Peace, Tolerance, and Truth” of this offshoot of Illuminati again shows us what these organizations are trying to preach (Oto-usa.org, 2013). With these words, one can envision a worthy cause and something we should all strive for, but here again, as you investigate further, you will notice that you again have to be a member to be considered in on the secret of these truths. So…peace, tolerance, and truth aren’t for everyone but only a select few.
Another element of these groups that is especially striking is their use of symbolism. Owls and other birds, all-seeing eyes, and royal imagery all stand for something. We like to speculate on what that is and a member (if they are allowed to admit it) will probably tell you it is for something honorable; however, in looking at some ancient roots for some of these symbols, we will find that they might just have a more sinister side.
Male domination, power, affluence, guarded knowledge, and MONEY. In all questionable institutions there is always the fine print. How much will it cost me? In any pamphlet, website, or book, the one inescapable requirement for any of these clubs is the monetary cost. You must prove your allegiance with the almighty dollar. It’s just another example of how backhanded exclusions are instilled in these communities.
It’s Time for Hollywood
Esoteric factions aren’t the only associations which have a dark side. As a matter of fact, many big shot Hollywood players have been identified in groups such as the Bohemian Club. How many times have we heard stories about movie stars and rock stars essentially “selling their soul” to get where they are?
A large part of the problem with instances such as these, as well as the rich and powerful feeling the need for luxurious and covert gangs, is partly our own fault as a culture. We put these people up on a pedestal that they try to live up to, and it’s impossible. The rich, famous, and powerful are treated like gods. It’s a false sense of security that most of us would love to get our hands on, and until we change what we want, tweak that mimetic desire, we are not going to be able to curb our fascination with these infernal fraternal organizations.