For centuries, humans have been trying to keep information from other humans. Paradoxically, many have come to the conclusion that the best way to keep a secret is to tell it to a bunch of other people and then swear them all to secrecy.
In short, the society part is easy. The secret part is hard.
Nevertheless, secret societies have become deeply embedded in the zeitgeist. In some cases, their secrets are so poorly kept that a quick run through Google will yield nearly anything you could possibly want to know. In other cases, the society manages to keep some of its secrets secret, but the group itself becomes known to a greater or lesser extent.
There are many different ways to structure a secret society, but there are a few specific models which recur fairly often. In order to qualify as a secret society, a group generally has to be based around initiation rituals, degrees of authority and dramatic oaths of silence. [Read more…]