They’ve been around for thousands of years…orchestrating some of history’s most controversial events. And if not for their radical actions, you may never have even known they existed. Every Thursday, take a journey through hidden passageways and become a member of Parcast’s diabolical series, SECRET SOCIETIES. Each society is explored in 2 episodes—exposing the people and context responsible for its founding, and analyzing the psychology behind their beliefs.
Here's the Latest Episode from Secret Societies:
Some of America’s most historical figures, from Samuel Adams to John Hancock to Paul Revere, were members of the Sons of Liberty. But their methods for securing independence weren’t always pure. Alternate histories suggest they may have incited the Boston Massacre and sold opium to fund their cause.
In 1765, nine middle-class businessmen began meeting under Boston’s Liberty Tree. Over time, merchants, artisans, shopkeepers, even politicians joined the secret society known as the Sons of Liberty. Not only did they orchestrate the Boston Tea Party, they inspired the American Revolution.
He inspired the Beatles, sacrificed goats, and faked his own death. Aleister Crowley is one of the most controversial figures in modern history, and his name has become synonymous with the O.T.O.
The occult society of magicians, Ordo Templi Orientis, has divided public opinion since its founding in Germany around 1890. Are they innovative philosophers, or do they worship Satan? Take a walk into the O.T.O.'s world of blood, rituals, and sex magic.
Knowledge about the Bilderberg Group hit the mainstream in the 2000s. Since then, conspiracy theorists have accused the group of handpicking world leaders, deposing uncooperative governments and even creating implements for mind-control. However, the true danger posed by the group is much more harmful than any wild, unfounded claim.
Since its founding in 1954, the Bilderberg Group, an association made up of the world's richest and most powerful people, have met in secret in luxury hotels around the world. Nobody knows what these heads of state and CEOs discuss behind closed doors though several journalists have tried to find out...
With Hasan-i-Sabbah now dead, the Assassins looked to someone to carry on his legacy. They found it in Rashid al-Din Sinan. With Sinan as Grand Master, the Assassins would become legendary, and their deeds would capture the imagination, and horror, of Christian Crusaders.
Throughout the history of Islam, schisms led to the formation of different branches or sects. In 1090, after the death of an Imam, a missionary would set out to form his own branch of Islam. In the process, he would create one of the deadliest secret societies in history.
Many historians believe that the last Cathar died in 1321. They had been slaughtered in a decades-long inquisition led by the Catholic Church. But has the religious society managed to keep alive in the shadows?
They first appeared in Europe sometime during the 12th century. But unlike other secret societies, the Cathars didn’t choose to hide—they were forced to. They believed the pain we experience in this world is because we've been trapped here, in physical form, by a sinister God.
They were famous in the coal mining region of Pennsylvania. Before the end of the 19th century, twenty of the Molly Maguires’ alleged leaders would be hanged for their heinous crimes. But the question remains, did this menacing Irish society even actually exist?
In the 1800s, Irish farmers began protesting against greedy landlords and excessive tithes. But before long, these protests turned violent—even murderous. As the Mollies began popping up in coal-mining Pennsylvania, the death toll would only continue to grow.
If you enjoy the stories told in Secret Societies, check out this episode from our series Dictators: Now in total power, Joseph Stalin went on to transform the Soviet Union into a modernized country—but at the cost of millions of lives. In order to fulfill his vision of communism, the deaths of peasants and political enemies were required.
If you enjoy the stories told in Secret Societies, check out this episode from our series Dictators: Before he became the leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world, Joseph Stalin was an idealistic, but ruthless revolutionary. A Marxist from a young age, he devoted much of his life to overthrowing Imperial Russia. But as his star rose among the Russian socialists, so too did his list of enemies.
Recent allegations and revelations about the Rosicrucians have accused them of mind control, ritual suicide, and white supremacy. Some even believe they're part of a global conspiracy to hide the truth about Jesus Christ.
Between 1610 and 1614, a series of anonymous letters claimed to reveal hidden knowledge about a mystical secret society. Were the missives divine revelations—or hoaxes? And did a fourteenth-century Christian monk unlock the key to immortality?
Their power allowed them to attain a nearly impossible reach in politics, big business, and the media after the end of World War II. Some have even accused the Council on Foreign Relations of using the U.S. government...to create a New World Order.
Since its founding in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations has claimed to be an independent political think-tank. But they have had a direct hand in crafting some of the most divisive policies in United States History.
From blood rituals to massacres to drug rings, the Triads are still making headlines around the world. A group that was created with a sense of greater purpose has now come to worship one thing: money. And they'll do anything to turn a profit.
Brotherhood. Political rebellion. Mutual aid. The origin of the Triads in the 17th century is almost virtuous. How, then, has their name become synonymous with corruption, crime, and bloodshed?
The Knights Templar grew in wealth and power for several centuries, becoming what many have labeled as the first multinational corporation. That is until French King Philip the Fair accused them of practicing secret, heretical rituals behind closed doors. The Knights, he pronounced to all of Medieval society, were not what they seemed.
It was a Medieval order of Christian warriors, founded on principles of chastity and commitment to the word of God. Their rituals of the Knights Templar were in keeping with their godly public image—on the surface. But even the most honorable of organizations can be corrupted.
When Francis Dashwood founded the London Hellfire Club, he was primarily interested in partying and starting quarrels. But by the early 1760s, the group's hijinx had destabilized the British Parliament, and threatened the course of England's future.
Black masses. Human sacrifice. Satanic rituals. Are these the practices of an 18th century secret society, or merely legend? The answer may never be known, as the members of the Hellfire Club cloaked their practices in shadow and rumor from the time it was founded.
By 1820, the Carbonari had enough influence within Naples to launch their long-awaited revolution. However, they soon realized that leading a government was much harder than overthrowing one.
In the early 1800s, the Italian Kingdom of Naples fell under the control of a succession of autocratic rulers. Desperate to have a say in their own governance, a group of Neapolitan citizens created the Carbonari—a revolutionary secret society that had their fair share of initiation ceremonies, complex symbols, and hierarchical organization.
There are numerous theories about how actively engaged Yale’s Skull and Bones alumni are in implementing a “New World Order.” The Bonesmen may have already taken control of some of our most influential institutions, including high-ranking positions in government, but just how diabolical are their plans?
Some people believe it’s basically just a fraternity. But others believe it’s something more sinister. Founded at Yale University in 1832, members of the Skull and Bones Society include titans of industry, business elite, and world political leaders—including three U.S. Presidents.
Welcome to SECRET SOCIETIES, Parcast’s newest original. Every Thursday starting January 9th, we shine a light on history’s most exclusive organizations. From the Illuminati and the Black Hand to the Order of the Nine Angles and the Hellfire Club—we’ll explore the impact each society actually had on the world around them. So get ready to discover the diabolical beliefs and radical actions you were never supposed to know about in the Parcast original series, SECRET SOCIETIES.