People are fascinated by secret societies. They are mysterious and they appeal to that nagging human curiosity. Secret societies are typically groups whose rituals and activities are hidden away from non-members. Since the time of the crusades, hundreds of secret societies have been formed from different parts of the world to serve diverse political, social and religious purposes. While some of them are believed to be fictitious or have already been dissolved, traces of their existence or their legend remain even until today. Check out the 25 biggest secret societies to ever exist.
Ancient Order of Hibernians
The secret society Ancient Order of Hibernians was organized in 1890 and is a fraternal circle of Irish Roman Catholics who uphold the values of friendship, charity, and oneness among its members. This secret society has historically been primarily devoted to protecting Catholic churches from anti-Catholic forces, and assisting Irish Catholic immigrants to get into America, especially those who faced discrimination or harsh coal mining working conditions.
Oliver Hudson Kelley organized the National Grange in 1867 following the order given to him by President Andrew Johnson to visit the southern United States and identify the war-ravaged areas that needed rehabilitation. In response to the order, he proposed the formation of a secret society that would promote the advancement of rural life. Today, National Grange uses the Masonic Fraternity as its model but accommodates both men and women.
The United Ancient Order of Druids
The Ancient Order of Druids (AOD) is a fraternal organization founded in London, England in 1781 that still operates to this day. It is the earliest known English group to be founded based on the iconography of the ancient druids, who were priest-like figures in Iron Age Celtic paganism.
United Order of the Golden Cross
In 1876, Dr. J.H. Morgan organized the United Order of the Golden Cross to provide a means through which members can have a safe and economical method of getting life insurance policies. Though it originated in England, the strength of this secret society lies in its New York chapter. Its members today are men and women from Indiana, Columbia, Tennessee and Kentucky who pledged to abstain from taking alcoholic drinks. The Golden Cross is among the very few secret societies that treat men and women equally.
The Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm
A Freemason organization more commonly known as M.O.V.P.E.R. or The Grotto, was originally created to “add in greater measure to the Masonic fraternal spirit the charm of radiant cheerfulness and to maintain within the fraternity an impetus of royal good fellowship”. One of their most notable accomplishments is their resolution to establish a 501(c)3 national charitable program, named the Humanitarian Foundation whose first project was “Aid for the Cerebral Palsy Child”. Since its inception over $1,000,000 has been contributed to Research for Cerebral Palsy.