Weird History
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Secret Societies From History You'd Most Want to Infiltrate

Updated September 23, 2021 5.3k votes 1.2k voters 46.7k views14 items

List RulesVote up the secret societies you'd sign blood oaths with the fastest.

From the Illuminati to the Freemasons, and the Knights Templar to the Knights of Malta, historical secret societies have long been the stuff of world-domination rumors. But what are the best secret societies to join? That really depends on what you're looking for from your clandestine organization. As for how to join a secret society and make money, you'll have to figure that one out for yourself.

Did the Knights Templar really join an occult society? Were the Sons of Liberty actually behind the Boston Tea Party? And what about how to become Illuminati? These secret societies from history have been alleged to pull the world's strings from behind the scenes, from the mysterious Flat Hat Club to the violent Molly Maguires. 

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  • Photo: James Dabney McCabe / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
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    Molly Maguires

    What Is It: The Molly Maguires date back to 1840, when they were formed in Ireland to fight against terrible working conditions. In the 1870s, the organization murdered 24 mine foremen and supervisors in the United States, and they terrorized more with "coffin notes," which threatened death.

    Famous Members:

    • 20 members were sentenced to hang in 1877

    Why You Should Infiltrate: It took a Pinkerton Detective Agency mole to take down the Molly Maguires, who got their name because members wore women's clothing as a disguise. 

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    Are you desperate to become a member?
  • Photo: Quintendp099 / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-4.0
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    Illuminati

    What Is It: This shadowy secret society was originally created by a German professor in 1776, and its goal was to oppose the Roman Catholic church's power over science and philosophy. One of its many precepts that flew against religious teaching: the belief that suicide was okay. Members of the Bavarian Illumanti (as it was called) were suppressed by the Bavarian government and seemingly vanished in less than a decade. Its creator died in exile.

    Famous Illuminati:

    Why You Should Infiltrate: That bland founding story has to be a cover for some major world-domination stuff. After all, Kanye West, Beyoncé, and Kim Kardashian have all been rumored to be secret members. Dan Brown wouldn't lie to us, right?

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  • Photo: Thomas Lawrence / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
    7

    The Independent Order Of Odd Fellows

    What Is It: The Independent Order of Odd Fellows started for people who were too lazy for the long initiation process to become Freemasons. The future George IV reportedly founded the secret club in 1810 when an impatient relative was refused Freemason membership; however, some of the Odd Fellows own records date their origins to around 587 BCE and exiled Israelites in Babylon. Needless to say, it became one of the most popular secret clubs for British politicians. 

    Famous Members:

    • George IV
    • Winston Churchill
    • Stanley Baldwin

    Why You Should Infiltrate: In 1834, six members of the outlawed Odd Fellows society were sent to an Australian penal colony for their membership. If it's worth a life sentence, it must be pretty cool.

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  • Photo: Jebulon / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
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    International Order Of St. Hubertus

    What Is It: Dating back to 1695, the International Order of Saint Hubertus brought together the greatest aristocratic hunters of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Count Anton von Sporck founded the society, but its real claim to fame didn't come until the 20th century. The order made headlines in 2016 when it was rumored that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was meeting with the secret society members when he died.

    Famous Members:

    • Count Anton von Sporck 
    • Antonin Scalia

    Why You Should Infiltrate: In 1938, the order refused to accept Nazis as members, enraging Adolf Hilter and Herman Goering. The former banned the society, while the latter executed the organization's Grand Prior. 

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    Are you desperate to become a member?