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Secret Societies

Secret Societies

Secret society' is a term used to describe a variety of organisations. Although the exact meaning of the term is disputed, several of the definitions advanced indicate a degree of secrecy and secret knowledge, which might include denying membership or knowledge of the group, negative consequences for acknowledging one's membership, strong ties between members of the organisation, and rites or rituals which outsiders are not permitted to observe. Several definitions for the term have been put forward. They may have secret ceremonies, ranging from the common and innocuous (collegiate fraternities, for example) to mythical organisations described in conspiracy theories as immensely powerful, with self-serving financial or political agendas, and global reach.

One of the most ancient of these secret, fraternal societies is the Freemasons. Also called the Brotherhood or the Craft, the different orders provide a network for business, professional, and social success/advancement. Freemasonry is usually only open to men. In England, royalty has joined Freemasonry since the beginning, with the King as Grand Patron, although a woman, Queen Elizabeth II, serves as Grand Patroness. Winston Churchill was a Freemason. British Masonry functions much like old school ties, with the Brotherhood strong in the fields of law, police, government, and the armed forces.

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Items 49 to 55 of 55 total

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