Political Secret Societies: The Hidden Paths of Power

James Wasserman, New Dawn
Waking Times

“Did Zanoni belong to this mystical Fraternity, who, in an earlier age, boasted of secrets of which the Philosopher’s Stone was but the least; who considered themselves the heirs of all that the Chaldeans, the Magi, the Gymnosophists, and the Platonists had taught; and who differed from all the darker Sons of Magic in the virtue of their lives, the purity of their doctrines, and their insist­ing, as the foundation of all wisdom, on the subjugation of the senses, and the intensity of Religious Faith?”  Zanoni, Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton

“The governments of the present day have to deal not merely with other govern­ments, with emperors, kings and ministers, but also with the secret societies which have everywhere their unscrupulous agents, and can at the last moment upset all the governments’ plans.”  – British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, 1876

Two very different views of secret societies are revealed in the quotations above. The first describes a spiritual brotherhood pledged to Wisdom and guiding humanity toward the realm of the Infinite; the second seeks to expose the machinations of power-seekers who cloak their manipulative agendas in darkness. In addition to spiritual and political secret societies, one could add criminal secret societies such as the Mafia, or even clandestine elite military units – neither of which will be discussed here.

All secret societies share certain fundamental themes. Membership is restricted to those who have an abiding interest in the subject. Thus, a spiritual group will attract people seeking more knowledge of a particular teacher or type of practice. The student is aware of the subject matter in advance and will approach the group for further instruction. More rarely, an individual may be “tapped” by the group because of a perceived affinity to its purpose.

In a political secret society, membership is restricted to those who share an ideological affinity with the goals the group represents. At the furthest end of the political spectrum, the mission will be revolution. Such a society will go to great lengths to defend itself. Generally there will be small semiautonomous cells working in overall concert but with cut-outs introduced at all levels to protect other members from exposure or betrayal. This type of society is represented by a contemporary group such as al-Qaeda. The infamous Weathermen of the 1960s and 1970s had a similar structure. The clandestine revolutionary model was developed and perfected by Hasan-i-Sabah, leader of the Nizari Ismaili Order of Assassins between the late 11th and early 12th centuries.

On another political plane are ideological groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations, or participants in the World Economic Forum. Here we find leaders in politics, business, finance, education, and the media who may share a belief in the value of global solutions; are in high positions of authority and influence; and represent different levels of involvement with the inner circle of the group. Most members simply welcome the opportunity to associate with other well-known luminaries and are honoured by being offered membership or attendance privileges. Yet, the ideology at the highest levels of such groups supports a world government – to be adminis­tered by a class of experts and planners, entrusted with running centrally organised social and political institutions.  Although members may be persuaded to add their considerable voices to certain transnational political and economic policies, they may not be as supportive (or even aware) of the long-range ambitions of the inner circle. While these groups quite often hold their meetings in secret, their membership lists are a matter of public record. It is the central agenda that is disguised.

Adam Weishaupt founded the Bavarian Illuminati in 1776. The Illuminati are perceived by many as spanning the chasm between the spiritual and the political secret society. Often credited (or blamed) for influencing the French Revolution in 1787, the Illuminati taught a doctrine of social and political liberation that hinged on the equal­ity of man, the embrace of rationalism, and the denial of crown and church as the legitimate institutions for the regulation of social and moral values. The bitterness of life in Europe at this time – when church and state monopolised resources and often acted in an irresponsi­ble manner toward the citizenry – created widespread resentment among all classes. While the views of the Illuminati may sound quite advanced for the time, the European revolutions they are believed to have encour­aged degenerated into brutal bloodbaths whose singular lack of moral compass was appalling.

Reprinted with permission from The Mystery Traditions: Secret Symbols and Sacred Art by James Wasserman (Destiny Books, 2005).

The above article appeared in New Dawn Special Issue Vol 6 No 6. If you appreciated this article, please consider a digital subscription to New Dawn.

© Copyright New Dawn Magazine, http://www.newdawnmagazine.com. Permission granted to freely distribute this article for non-commercial purposes if unedited and copied in full, including this notice.

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  • Robert

    Secret Societies are dangerous to the liberties of a free people and shall not be tolerated. ~ Constitution of North Carolina

    This is the one thing he downplayed in the article. Secret Societies are dangerous. They have and will kill people. They have only one real purpose – to attain power – whether it be ecclesiatical, financial, military, or political, or all of the above.

    And they will kill you.

  • Bonnie

    Hey, Wasserman, wise one, there ISN”T any al-quaida! There’s so many discrepancies on 9/11, that’s it’s evident it was done by a Fifth Column, the mortal enemies of Americans and the Bill of Rights.

    Do your homework!

    Remind me NOT to buy your book, because just this mis-information, makes me wonder how many more are in it.

  • Bonnie

    Hey, Wasserman, wise one, there ISN”T any al-quaida! There’s so many discrepancies on 9/11, that’s it’s evident it was done by a Fifth Column, the mortal enemies of Americans and the Bill of Rights.

    Do your homework!

    Temind me NOT to buy your book, because this this mis-information, makes me wonder how many more are in it.

  • * A little further edification regarding the Order of the Nisan Ismali’s; as having formed a mutually beneficial relationship with the Templar Knights on the latter’s sojourn to the middle east,where the knights enjoined, to dig up hidden/sequestered treasure in the legendary tunnels under the Temple Mount, reputedly rediscovering the ‘Arch’.
    …The discipline of the initiates of the Nisan Ismali was severe & harshly inculcated, through the use of opiates & crystallized hashish that when the leaders of these two factions first parlayed…the Assassins leader asked the knight to observe a man standing on a cliff edge…to which he gave a signal…& the man threw himself to his death below…this was repeated twice, until the knight admonished the man to stop the barbaric demonstration of supreme will upon another…This lesson obviously was not wasted …as it’s diabolical practice of ‘mind -control’… is as alive & well today & yielding the same results, with the psychological manipulations of the ‘dark side’ of the mass-mind employing the time honored indefatigable techniques of the contrived ‘cognitive dissonance’of control…orchestrated over a thousand years ago.

  • halderon

    And the author point is? This is a history of secret societies-neither a warning against such-nor an argument for-just a matter of thought. I am certainly glad that I do nor have to continue arming myself against the Nizan Ismali Order of Assassins,since they disbanded in the 11th or 12th century.-which is good to know-I guess.
    The author makes this observation about them,”membership is limited by insuring that the new members share the same ideology that the group represents.” which seems to me to be the most obvious reason for joining a group. You would not join the “Elks club” knowing that the members were holdovers of the Order of Assassins. Some are.But the author makes no point except he won’t tackle the Mafia,which is probably a wise move.

    • dimitri

      The point is to subscribe to his New Dawn Magazine. But it looks as though there’s nothing new in this article. Just a repeat of many exposes of the world’s pyramidal power structure. The structure is such that there is very little transparency between the layers of the pyramid, each layer compartmentalized for the purpose of controlling knowledge. Upward mobility in this pyramid is almost entirely predetermined. In today’s more obfuscating terminology it’s known as The Matrix.

  • abinico warez

    If it weren’t for the fact the bitch Hillary Clinton is SOS, I would never have believed in secret societies. But the facts are clear – the same old corrupt faces keep turning up over and over.

    • * the Jesuit credo: “give me any child between the ages of 3 & 7…& we have them for life!”…the Bill & Hillary’s of this world are inculcated from a very early & malleable state of innocence & spoon-fed with entrenched foundation grants such as ‘Rhode Scholarship’s’ et al, in special indoctrination centers (Oxford/Camebridge/District of Columbia Jesuit enclaves) programming the generational scoin of the 1% socio/psychopath’ruling class’ throughout the world.
      ..Yes! a factory production line of Manchurian Candidates, which I’m sure includes recipients of ‘brain stem scarring’ & trauma induced personality splintering …a bizarre set of (malware/virus) sentient chess pieces, for the ‘Capstone Pyramid Chess Club’ to ensure the enslavement of us all…welcome to the NWO…same as the OWO.

    • S Barringer

      And, have you noticed how we just can’t seem to get rid of them through the usual processes of voting, petitions, etc? No matter what we do, they keep hanging in there like a plague.

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