Secret Societies: Their Influence and Power from Antiquity to the Present Day

Overview

An overview of how esoteric brotherhoods have shaped history

• Examines the secret chronology and clandestine causes of seminal world events

• Shows how secret societies feed into one another, and how they have worked together

For thousands of years secret societies—guardians of ancient esoteric wisdom—have exercised a strong and often crucial influence on the destiny of nations. Though largely ignored by orthodox historians, the Freemasons, Knights Templar, and Rosicrucians ...

See more details below
Paperback (3rd Edition, Updated Edition)
$15.19
BN.com price
(Save 10%)$16.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (22) from $1.99   
  • New (13) from $1.99   
  • Used (9) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

An overview of how esoteric brotherhoods have shaped history

• Examines the secret chronology and clandestine causes of seminal world events

• Shows how secret societies feed into one another, and how they have worked together

For thousands of years secret societies—guardians of ancient esoteric wisdom—have exercised a strong and often crucial influence on the destiny of nations. Though largely ignored by orthodox historians, the Freemasons, Knights Templar, and Rosicrucians affected the course of the French and American Revolutions as well as the overthrow of the medieval feudal order. Inevitably, the true ideals and esoteric practices of these societies have, at times, been perverted by self-serving individuals. The Nazis and the Bolsheviks, British security forces, the founding fathers of America, and the Vatican have all justified their actions—for good or for ill—by claiming the mystic ideals of secret societies.

Michael Howard explores these connections, tracing their effects in politics and statecraft from the time of ancient Egypt up to the present. He sheds light on the influence of secret societies on governments and in the lives of many well-known figures, including Frederick the Great, John Dee, Francis Bacon, Benjamin Franklin, Comte de Cagliostro, Helena Blavatsky, Rasputin, and Woodrow Wilson. He contends that the recent formation of the European Union was directed by an umbrella group of secret societies and reveals that though secret societies have been persecuted throughout history, they have survived and continue to operate powerfully in world affairs today.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Reg Little
" . . . a most valuable contribution to contemporary understanding of the role played by many covert forms of spiritual and political activity."
Rahasya Poe
"This book took the 'theory' out of 'conspiracy theory'. . . . a well-documented account of events that date to Egyptian times."
Robert R. Hieronimus
“With the multitude of books and websites published on secret societies, it is refreshing to find one so balanced and well documented. Michael Howard’s chronology of the influence of the occult tradition and secret societies on world history is alone worth the price of the book. Highly recommended.”
New Dawn Reg Little
" . . . a most valuable contribution to contemporary understanding of the role played by many covert forms of spiritual and political activity."
From the Publisher
" . . . a most valuable contribution to contemporary understanding of the role played by many covert forms of spiritual and political activity."

"This book took the 'theory' out of 'conspiracy theory'. . . . a well-documented account of events that date to Egyptian times."

“With the multitude of books and websites published on secret societies, it is refreshing to find one so balanced and well documented. Michael Howard’s chronology of the influence of the occult tradition and secret societies on world history is alone worth the price of the book. Highly recommended.”

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594772030
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Publication date: 1/15/2008
  • Edition description: 3rd Edition, Updated Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,417,492
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Howard has studied secret societies since 1964 and is an expert on Anglo-Saxon runes. He is the author of more than 20 books, including Traditional Folk Remedies and The Wisdom of the Runes. He lives in Devon, England.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

from Chapter 3

The Rosicrucian Connection

The overt influence of the Masonic-Illuminist tradition in the French Revolution was notable. In revolutionary literature of the period, the Illuminist symbol of the eye in the triangle appears on book covers, and the red Phrygian cap, borrowed from the mysteries of Mithras and the initiation rites of the Illuminati, was adopted as the headgear of the citizens’ militia. The Masonic tenets of equality, liberty, and fraternity became the rallying cry of the mob, while the red banner, a Masonic symbol of universal love, was openly carried in the streets by the revolutionaries. It is said that when the French king was executed, a voice cried out from the crowd “De Molay is avenged!”

Within a year of the beginning of the Revolution, the land in France had been divided among the peasants, slavery was eradicated from the French colonies, price controls were introduced to protect the living standards of the poor, and a democratic constitution was created. The Committee of Public Safety passed laws introducing free education, free medical services, and the guidelines for a welfare state. The price for these reforms, however, was high: The threat of foreign invasion and counterrevolution led to a centralized dictatorship of a new ruling class and to the Terror that destroyed all opposition to the alleged betrayal of the original aims of the Revolution. As with all radical political movements, those who advocated the replacement of the status quo were soon seduced by the power they had gained and became oppressors who were worse than the tyrants they replaced.

The role of the Illuminati and the Masons in the French Revolution was confused by the abandonment of the high ideals of the political movement that had instigated the original social reforms. The radicalism of the Masonic lodges before the Revolution had alienated their traditional following among the aristocratic classes in France. Even before 1789, the aristocrats had begun to resign from those lodges promoting socialism, and, as a result, their organization was seriously weakened. By 1792 very few Masonic lodges were practicing, and the movement was in a state of apathy. Those lodges that had survived faced hostility from the revolutionary government. At Versailles in 1792, the former grand master of a Masonic Templar lodge was lynched by an angry mob. Elsewhere, Masonry came under suspicion; those in power saw its role as a secret society as a cover for counterrevolution. Given that it was instrumental in the Revolution, it is ironic that within the space of a few years, French Freemasonry became the victim of the monster it had helped to create.

As early as 1791, allegations concerning the role of the Masons and the Illuminati were already beginning to circulate, based largely on the confessions of Cagliostro, who had been arrested by the Inquisition in 1789. In an attempt to save his life, the comte told his accusers about the international conspiracy by the Illuminati, the neo-Templars, and the Freemasons to start revolutions all over Europe. He revealed that their ultimate objective was to complete the work of the original Knights Templar by overthrowing the papacy or infiltrating agents into the College of Cardinals so that eventually an Illuminist would be elected pope.

In his confession, Cagliostro admitted that large sums of money had been placed by representatives of the Illuminati in banks in Holland, Italy, France, and England to finance future revolutions in those countries. He even claimed that the House of Rothschild, the international banking family founded in 1730, had supplied the funds to finance the French Revolution and that it was acting as secret agent for the Illuminists. No evidence to support this wild allegation has ever been uncovered, and we can only presume it was a figment of Cagliostro’s imagination or a deliberate libel for personal reasons, which are unknown.

By 1796 the allegations of Masonic and Templar involvement in the French Revolution were becoming a cottage industry. It was pointed out that de Molay had been imprisoned in the Bastille, and this was the first target of the Paris mob. Connections were made between the Templars and the Jesuits on the flimsy evidence that both groups were dedicated to the setting up of a “church within the Church.” It was alleged that the duc d’Orleans, the grand master of French Freemasonry and a close friend of Mirabeau, was involved in an Illuminist plot against the French royal family. It was also said that he had practiced a secret, occult ritual and used relics belonging to de Molay in the process. Whether these were the sacred objects smuggled out of the Templar crypt in Paris on the eve of the grand master’s death is unknown.

In 1796, The Tomb of Jacques de Molay was published, claiming that the French Revolution was the work of anarchists who traced their lineage back to the Templars and the Assassins. In 1797 a Jesuit priest, Father Bamuel, published his Memoires pour serir de l’histoire du Jacobinisme in which he traced the survival of the Manichean heresy through the Cathars, the Assassins, the Templars, and the Freemasons and said it was responsible for the French Revolution. He even claimed that the English Civil War had been a Templar conspiracy.

The exposure of the alleged Illuminist plot for universal revolution was greeted with shock by the other European royal families. They had seen what had happened in France and believed they were next in line. Before the French uprising the police in Prussia and Austria had been placed on alert to counteract threats of subversion by secret societies. In 1790 the Bavarian government decreed membership in the Illuminati to be a capital offense. The fear of secret societies even extended to England, when Parliament debated the Unlawful Societies Act that would have prohibited Freemasonry. It failed because the English Craft had never dabbled in politics and was supported by both the aristocracy and the royal family.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface

1. The Ancient Mysteries

2. The Curse of the Templars

3. The Rosicrucian Connection

4. The American Dream

5. German Nationalism and the Bolshevik Revolution

6. Nazism and the Occult Tradition

7. Secrets in the Vatican

8. The Occult and Modern Politics

9. The New World Order

Chronology

Bibliography

Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 10, 2012

    Don't waste you money on this commentary.

    Michael Howard's Commentary on The Secret Society had proved that these societies remain secret and his book does not reveal anything except his opinion. I am very, very disappointed in his attempt to abolish everything from Christianity to gross assumptions of the death of Princess Diana.....it could be regarded as ridiculous. Don't waste your money on this commentary. Most of the words he uses are, "have often been thought of", "in the eyes of others","could have connections to".....all bad, commentary. I thought this would be based on facts. It is not. As I said, spend your money on books with facts as their foundation. The only good this book is good for is kindling for a nice winter fire.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 15, 2009

    Secret Societies

    A good book for people that like that sort of stuff.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)