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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Malpass

Secret Societies

Have you heard about so-called secret societies? Simply put, secret societies are organizations whose members keep secrets from non-members. Here are some (ironically) well-known examples:

  • Freemasons

  • The Illuminati

  • The Knights Templar

  • The Bilderberg Society

A recruiting flyer from the Illuminati secret society.

When I was teaching Air Force ROTC at Texas A&M University in the mid-nineties, there was alleged to be a secret "corps within the Corps" called the Swastika Club, or informally, the Stickers. I was asked to look into the activities of the Stickers. I discovered those Stickers were pretty secretive. I'm not even sure the Stickers themselves knew what secrets they were keeping from the rest of us. After many hours interviewing sullen, uncooperative cadets, I concluded the Stickers were mostly organized to drink, smoke, and use foul language. Maybe a little hazing thrown in now and then.

Why would someone want to join a secret society? What's the attraction? I think it's because keeping secrets makes people feel powerful. Because if knowledge is power, maybe secret knowledge is super power. And it's no secret everybody wants to be super powerful, right? (Wait. Is that a secret? I'm so confused right now.)

I'm considering forming my own secret society whose membership rules will be so incredibly secretive prospective members won't know how to join. In fact, the membership application will be simply a blank sheet of paper. Now that's secretive!

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