Secret Society

A secret society is a club or organization whose activities and inner functioning are concealed from non-members. The society may or may not attempt to conceal its existence. The term usually excludes covert groups, such as intelligence agencies or guerrilla insurgencies, which hide their activities and memberships but maintain a public presence. The exact qualifications for labeling a group as a secret society are disputed, but definitions generally rely on the degree to which the organization insists on secrecy, and might involve the retention and transmission of secret knowledge, denial of membership in or knowledge of the group, the creation of personal bonds between members of the organization, and the use of secret rites or rituals which solidify members of the group.

Anthropologically and historically, secret societies are deeply interlinked with the concept of the Mannerbund, the all-male "warrior-band" or "warrior-society" of pre-modern cultures (see H. Schurtz, Alterklassen und Mannerbunde, Berlin, 1902; A. Van Gennep, The Rites of Passage, Chicago, 1960).

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Famous quotes containing the words society and/or secret:

    True science investigates and brings to human perception such truths and such knowledge as the people of a given time and society consider most important. Art transmits these truths from the region of perception to the region of emotion.
    Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910)

    Then is it sin
    To rush into the secret house of death
    Ere death dare come to us?
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)