Secret societies: Harmless members-only clubs or dire threats to democracy?
“The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings.”
- John F. Kennedy, April 27, 1961
Long before the fiction writer Dan Brown arrived on the literary scene with his stories of esoterica, people have been intrigued with the idea of secret societies working in the shadows, carrying out evil plots against them. On this score, it would be hard to beat the Freemasons.
Here is a group of characters that has piqued the imaginations of men throughout the centuries. Back in 1798, John Robison, a professor of Natural Philosophy, and Secretary to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, published a book that made a big splash throughout Europe. The publication carried the lengthy title, ‘Proofs of a Conspiracy against All the Religions and Governments of Europe, Carried on in the Secret Meetings of Freemasons, Illuminati and Reading Societies.’ Had John Robison attempted to publish such a book in our day, he would have been quickly written off as a conspiracy theorist nut job along the lines of Alex Jones. But in 1798, the book was taken quite seriously.
Robison, himself a Mason, attempted to prove that not only the French Revolution, but many other historic events of the day were the result of this secret fraternity’s machinations.
“I have seen this Association exerting itself zealously and systematically, till it has become almost irresistible: And I have seen that the most active leaders in the French Revolution were members of this Association, and conducted their first movements according to its principles, and by means of its instructions and assistance, the formerly requested and obtained. And lastly, I have seen that this Association still exists, still works in secret, and that not only several appearances among ourselves show that its emissaries are endeavoring to propagate their detestable doctrines among us…”
Aside from the question of whether Robison was correct in his accusation is an equally important one: if the freemasons are really up to no good, are they continuing with their shenanigans today?
A lot of people believe they are, and many are speaking out with revelations of various levels of believability. Many are dismissed as conspiracy theorists (which, in turn, reinforces the belief of many others in the secret societies’ willingness to ‘throttle the truth’). Former singer-songwriter and winner of The X Factor Australia, Altiyan Childs, for example, shared a five-hour video where he proclaims that nearly every Western institution has been infiltrated by the Freemasons, to the point where it is nearly impossible to rise to high office – from the world of entertainment to politics and everything in between – without the silent nod of this international fraternity. That video has been viewed nearly four million times.
While it may be easy to laugh off such outlandish claims based on the ‘Illuminati’ and other such groups, there are other societies that make no secret about their secrecy, and have a much more tangible claim to controlling the world.
World Economic Forum
If there were a reigning king of secret societies today, the title would undoubtedly go to the World Economic Forum. Founded in 1971 by the German engineer and economist Klaus Schwab, the foundation, which brings together the top 1,000 most powerful corporations in the world, views its mission as "improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas." Democratic procedure doesn’t seem to have a place in this formula.
As the author and social critic Nick Buxton described the annual confab, held in the mountains of Davos, Switzerland, “this unaccountable invitation-only gathering is increasingly where global decisions are being taken and moreover is becoming the default form of global governance.”
Schwab has gone on record as saying that “the sovereign state has become obsolete,” and that in order to fill the power void there needs to be a “global issue alliance” apparently with himself at the helm.
Not only does Davos serve as an elitist cocktail party for “improving the state of the world” far from the prying eyes of humanity, it also works to “penetrate” governments around the world with their self-taught protégé.
“So we penetrate the cabinets”.Here is Klaus Schwab in 2017 discussing how the WEF have penetrated governments with its young global leaders - like Justin Trudeau.pic.twitter.com/07M6LDPHot— James Melville (@JamesMelville) February 1, 2022
“What we are really proud of now is the young generation, like Prime Minister [Justin] Trudeau,” Schwab boasted back in 2017, who make it possible for us to “penetrate the cabinets” of governments around the world.
The Davos leader then provided an example, saying he had “attended a reception for Prime Minister Trudeau and I saw that half or his cabinet or even more are from the Young Global Leaders program of the World Economic Forum.”
It does not require much imagination for regular folks - never mind the conspiracy theorists - to find something nefarious about the most powerful people on the planet “penetrating” governments with their specially trained representatives. And that’s exactly what happened with the introduction of the Covid-19 pandemic – many people saw it as a fabricated emergency to not only deprive millions of people of their livelihood, but to further enrich the very individuals who make up the ranks of the Davos group (the forced lockdowns on people and private businesses caused one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history as only the very largest companies could survive under such conditions).
There were other reasons to be suspicious. In October 2019, the WEF, together with Johns Hopkins University and the Bill & Melissa Gates Foundation, held a tabletop seminar entitled Event 201 that described what would happen in the event of a global pandemic. Three months later, everything that the simulation described – from the lockdown of entire countries, to businesses being forced to close down – came to pass with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Of course, this is not to say that Klaus Schwab and the Davos elite took advantage of a deadly pandemic to enrich themselves, but many people believe just that – or are at least suspicious about a secretive organization pushing for a ‘Great Reset’. Those two words have become the trigger word for many – while the WEF presented them as a benevolent post-Covid economic recovery plan, detractors pointed to a 2016 video released by the Forum as a prediction of the future and featuring the ominous words “You'll own nothing. And you'll be happy.” The plan, they claim, is to enact a new global world order.
Skull and Bones
In a non-descript building (for a full view of this structure, which is dubbed ‘the Tomb’ – and for good reason – check out the video) on the campus of Yale University is the home of Skull and Bones, a secretive fraternity that first appeared on the scene in 1832 (women were not granted membership into Skull and Bones until 1992).
Skull and Bones, which is also known as The Order, Order 322 or The Brotherhood of Death, is notoriously selective in determining who can become a so-called ‘Bonesman.’ The society selects new members among students every spring as part of its so-called ‘Tap Day’ when just 15 seniors are invited.
Despite its intense exclusivity, many members have ascended after graduation to positions of prominence in the world of intelligence, business and government. Three of them—William Howard Taft, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush—went on to become U.S. presidents. This was the cause of an awkward moment in the 2004 United States presidential election between George W. Bush and John Kerry, both members of Skull and Bones.
The late NBC journalist Tim Russert confronted both men as to their membership in the organization and ‘what that means for America.’ Bush just chuckled and said, “It’s so secret we can’t talk about it.” Kerry responded almost the same, saying he could not speak about his membership “because it’s a secret.” And with that the American people were forced to choose between two men from opposite sides of the particular spectrum who shared secrets the voter would never know about.
This group got its name from the Bilderberg Hotel, located in Oosterbeek, Netherlands, where the Bilderbergs had their first meeting in May 1954. But unlike Skull and Bones, Bilderberg is very much global in scope. In fact, it is so global that one of the conspiracy theories it must contend with is that it is trying to create a one world government.
Denis Healey, one of the original founders of the group, lent credence to that theory when he told a journalist: "To say we were striving for a one-world government is exaggerated, but not wholly unfair. Those of us in Bilderberg felt we couldn't go on forever fighting one another for nothing and killing people and rendering millions homeless. So we felt that a single community throughout the world would be a good thing."
The invitees tend to hail from a narrow spectrum of occupations – CEOs, finance ministers and heads of state. For the one or two journalists who receive an invitation, the privilege is largely symbolic since they are not permitted to write about what they see and hear. Bilderberg releases an annual list of those who will attend and the subjects they’ll discuss, but beyond that, little leaves the walls of the hotel.
So here we are left with the question: is there any place for secret societies inside of our democracies, especially when the members of these groups are always working on behalf of their own special interests? The answer seems obvious, but as it stands there are no laws on the books that prevent people – even those who say they represent us – from meeting together in private. As a result, the only option for the common folk is to protest these back-door meetings at every opportunity. And that is all.