Secret Societies of America's Elite: From the Knights Templar to Skull and Bones [NOOK Book]

Overview

An expose of the dark and critical role secret societies play within the ruling families in America and their influence on American democracy, current events, and world history.

• Reveals the enormous influence secret societies still have on contemporary American life.

• Shows how the secret Masonic ...
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Secret Societies of America's Elite: From the Knights Templar to Skull and Bones

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Overview

An expose of the dark and critical role secret societies play within the ruling families in America and their influence on American democracy, current events, and world history.

• Reveals the enormous influence secret societies still have on contemporary American life.

• Shows how the secret Masonic cells that smuggled in the democratic ideals inspiring the American Revolution also enabled the future elite of the new society to build huge fortunes.

Elite and secret societies have always been a major force in the history of Western civilization. The alliances formed in secret societies such as the Knights Templar, the Knights of Christ, and the Freemasons transcended patriotism and religious beliefs and had a powerful influence on the establishment of the United States of America. While these secret associations of merchants, smugglers, occultists, gamblers, spies, and slavers succeeded in freeing the United States from foreign domination, the dark side is that the elite used their secret connections to further their own wealth and power. These secret cells did not hesitate to sponsor the assassination of a president and even attempted to break up the union on several occasions when it was deemed expedient.

From the Sons of Liberty and the Essex Junto to the Ku Klux Klan, secret societies have played critical roles in building the fortunes of America's elite. Now Steven Sora reveals in alarming detail how secretive societies continue to wield power even today as organizations such as Yale's Skull & Bones unite America's modern ruling families as strongly as Masonic Lodges once connected the Astors, Livingstons, and Roosevelts. Their immense power and wealth allow this elite to control America to an even greater degree than the Templars once dominated Europe.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Despite the promise of its somewhat lurid title and cover, this odd combination of scholarship and speculation does not really have what it takes to capture the attention of a general reading audience. Its extremely broad theme is that "from the time of the Crusades to modern years, a handful of families have controlled the course of world events and have built their own status and wealth through collective efforts and intermarriage." Sora, who covered much of the same material in his earlier The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar, connects the leaders of the 14th-century French military group the Knights Templar to 18th-century pirates such as Captain Kidd as well as Revolutionary heroes such as Benjamin Franklin. Sora provides some interesting insights into each subject: the business organization and acumen of the Knights Templar made them, in effect, "the first ever multinational corporation"; William Kidd was a businessman with ties to Scottish Masonic private clubs; and Franklin's efforts to keep the colonials supplied and funded meant that he "operated through Masonic groups in England and France, and his partners in the pro-American war efforts were more often than not hedonists, occultists, Rosicrucians, slave traders and spies." But his general attempt to connect Masonic groups to more current events like the J.F.K. assassination is on far shakier ground, and a final chapter on Yale's legendary Skull and Bones fraternity seems tacked on to book only to allow Sora to argue-but never prove-that "coincidences point to an elite handful of interlocking relationships that have a hold over national affairs." (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Robert R. Hieronimus
“A provocative book detailing who among our Founding Fathers participated in such clandestine activities as piracy, drug running, smuggling, slave trading, and multinationalism, and those in our nation’s highest office who have also practiced and benefited from these same illegal activities right up to the 21st century. . . . An intriguing view of some of the planet’s puppeteers.”
AZNetNews
"Exposes the dark and critical role secret societies play within the ruling families in America."
From the Publisher
"Exposes the dark and critical role secret societies play within the ruling families in America."

" . . . this book deserves a place on the shelves of both new age libraries and collections serious about poliltics and American history."

"His investigation makes for a ripping yarn that gives a context to modern-day piracy."

"Steven Sora is an amazing researcher and a thought-provoking writer."

“A provocative book detailing who among our Founding Fathers participated in such clandestine activities as piracy, drug running, smuggling, slave trading, and multinationalism, and those in our nation’s highest office who have also practiced and benefited from these same illegal activities right up to the 21st century. . . . An intriguing view of some of the planet’s puppeteers.”

". . . a simply fascinating, authoritative, strongly recommended study of a metaphysical aspect of human history not shown in most textbooks."

Aug/Sept 2004 AZ Net News
"Exposes the dark and critical role secret societies play within the ruling families in America."
Mar 2008 The Midwest Book Review
" . . . this book deserves a place on the shelves of both new age libraries and collections serious about poliltics and American history."
May 2003 The Midwest Book Review
". . . a simply fascinating, authoritative, strongly recommended study of a metaphysical aspect of human history not shown in most textbooks."
Vol.10 No.5 Nexus
"His investigation makes for a ripping yarn that gives a context to modern-day piracy."
The Midwest Book Review
" . . . this book deserves a place on the shelves of both new age libraries and collections serious about poliltics and American history."
September-October 2003 Nexus

"His investigation makes for a ripping yarn that gives a context to modern-day piracy."
AZ Net News
"Exposes the dark and critical role secret societies play within the ruling families in America."
Michael Peter Langevin
"Steven Sora is an amazing researcher and a thought-provoking writer."
Nexus
"His investigation makes for a ripping yarn that gives a context to modern-day piracy."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594778674
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Publication date: 2/24/2003
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 421,114
  • File size: 662 KB

Meet the Author

Steven Sora has been researching historical enigmas since 1982 and is the author of The Triumph of the Sea Gods, The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar and Secret Societies of America’s Elite. He lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
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Read an Excerpt

Secret Societies of America’s Elite

Introduction: Born in Blood
ELITE AND SECRET SOCIETIES have shaped history since the beginning of civilization. From the time of the Crusades to the twenty-first century a handful of families have controlled the course of world events and have built their own status and wealth through collective efforts and intermarriage. The greatest elite society was that of the Knights Templars.Admission to the organization often required breeding and wealth that were the privilege of a select few. Outside the core a larger force was needed to fight wars and to maintain the organization's far-flung assets. These forces would grow to include an army, a navy; various real estate, and a banking empire. In 1307, when the massive Templar organization was suddenly outlawed by the avarice of the French king, it did not die; it simply moved underground.
The Templars survived militarily. By pledging themselves to various powers, the military orders survived their open attack by both state and church and the mass executions and imprisonments of the fourteenth century. The Knights of Christ, the Teutonic Knights, the Swiss Guard, and the Scots Guard outlived those who prosecuted them. Several are alive and well in the new millennium.
The Masonic brotherhood created in post-Templar Scotland was largely responsible for influencing the American concepts of liberty, freedom, due process, and derriocracy.The concept of the "military lodge"--in which a nonpermanent lodge traveled with soldiers--brought to America by the fighting units of Europe would further the ideals and fight the war for independence. The climax was when French forces, enlisted through Masonic channels, arrived under the command of high-ranking Masons and Knights of Saint John and defeated the British at Yorktown. The result was an elected American president who was a Mason, sworn in on the Bible of a Masonic lodge by the grand master of New York's Masons, and a new form of government. But there was a downside. The higher ideals of liberty and equality were compromised by the elite, who remained in control.
The breakup of the Templars in the early 1300s was directly responsible for the dramatic rise in piracy that plagued Europe, America, and even the Indian Ocean.The ports in Scotland, Ireland, and America where pirates could openly dock and sell their booty were protected by Masonic cells that extended to the courthouses and capitol buildings. Smuggling, too, grew as a worldwide enterprise despite its illegality.
The slave-trading industry was furthered by Masonic groups. In the first fourscore years ofArnerican history the slave-trading ports from Charleston to Newport were controlled by a handful of families bound by Masonic and family ties. These merchants would not relinquish the lucrative trade and seemed to stop at nothing in fighting abolition.The presidency was something members of the mercantile elite felt they could buy, and when money couldn't decide an election they used other means to seize control.
In an effort to derail abolition, Presidents Harrison and Taylor suffered sudden and suspicious deaths that put pro-slave vice presidents in power. When even death failed to halt abolition the country wound up in the most destructive war it ever fought. The Civil War ended at Appomattox, where the armies of Jefferson Davis surrendered--but not for the elite. A conspiracy organized by members of the quasi-Masonic Knights of the Golden Circle to kill President Lincoln sought to nullify the Emancipation Proclamation and its effects on the trade with England. The postwar efforts at reconstruction would also be stained by another Masonic group of "knights," the Ku Klux Klan.
Profits from drug running, smuggling, slave trading, and even piracy are directly responsible for the founding of several of the country's most important banks, which are still in operation today. New England's staunch insurance business was born and prospered through profits earned from insuring opium and slave ships. The large railroad system that was built throughout the continental United States in the nineteenth century was funded with profits from illegal drug smuggling.And one of the greatest opium fortunes would provide seed money for the telephone and communications industry.
Masonic membership did not merely present opportunity in the underworld. Benjamin Franklin acknowledged that success in the printing business hinged on just which Masonic lodge one belonged to in the city of Philadelphia. John Jacob Astor, who once held one-fifteenth of all American personal wealth,joined the prestigious Holland No. 8 Lodge in New York to advance his businesses. Success in the legal profession, almost a prerequisite for government office, was ensured to the sons of the wealthy who could study at the Temple in London. Passing the bar is a term that originated in the Templar stronghold in London, and it is a rite of passage that must be achieved today in order to join the legal profession. Promotion in the military was denied to many who would not be part of the military lodge, a portable home to brothers that included George Washington, the Marquis de Lafayette, and John Paul Jones.
The secret and elite structures that have built Americas business empires and family fortunes have concealed their history well. We have inherited colleges and universities named for slave traders and opium dealers. We honor presidents and other politicians whose families built their fortunes through crime. We patronize businesses founded by men whose fortunes are rooted in illegal activity.
Many of the families regarded as America's blue bloods, our equivalent of aristocracy, have hidden in their ancestral closets men who would make today's organized criminals look cherubic. They were not mere horse thieves and snake oil salesmen, nor were they con men who were ridden out of town on the rail. These Founding Fathers rose to great wealth. Their legacy was passed on to heirs who still enjoy that wealth--and their power too, which is protected by the institutions they put in place and ensures their participation in the future. The system, thanks to ill-gotten gains and power, perpetuates itself.
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Table of Contents

Secret Societies of America's Elite
From the Knights Templar to Skull and Bones

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Born in Blood

PART ONE
Piracy: A Merry and a Short Life
Chapter 1 The New World Order
Chapter 2 Brothers to Pirates and Corsairs
Chapter 3 Under a Black Flag
Chapter 4 Skeletons in the Closet
PART TWO
The Lodge and the Revolution
Chapter 5 Smugglers, Patriots, and Masons
Chapter 6 Franklin and the Masonic Underground
Chapter 7 The Merchants of War
Chapter 8 The Bribe That Won the War
Chapter 9 One Nation Under the Great Architect
PART THREE
From the Sacred to the Profane
Chapter 10 The Slave Traders
Chapter 11 Red Cross and Black Cargo
Chapter 12 Master Masons and Their Slaves
Chapter 13 The Masonic Betrayal
Chapter 14 The Opium Brotherhood
Chapter 15 Opium: From the Lodge to the Den
Chapter 16 Wealth: The Legacy of the Opium Trade
Chapter 17 The Power of the New Skull and Bones
Notes
Index

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2003

    Another fascinating book.

    I was very excited to get my copy of this, as I really enjoyed his last book, Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar. This one begins on a similar note, detailing the start and rise of the Knights Templar, their financial empire as the backbone of banking, shipping and to their eventual downfall. From the KNights Templar's ashes, it then begins the actual topic of the book itself, the genesis of the Freemasons and the rise of their power as secret societies of the elite and powerful, the world over, unite. Since I am not a student of history, parts of the book were a little dry for my taste, however, it does provide an insight to the start of the slave trade, and how many of our largest corporations and families of today are founded on money gleaned from the slave trade, as well as the opium trade with China. The book's high points, to me, were the beginning of the American Revolution and how secret societies played huge roles in the foundations of our country, from the ideals of our founding fathers, to helping liberate it, and right up to some of our most treasured symbols being built and dedicated in outright Masonic rituals! The book's closing chapter brings it together and shows how these societies are still forming plans for our country and for the betterment of the societies' privledged ranking members. I believe the most impressive thing about this book is how, when I was finally done reading it, I picked up a news paper the next day. Reading articles about our current events I was taken aback when I realized I recognized many of the names mentioned, names I never really noticed before, but now knew from reading this book. This is a fascinating book both for historians and conspiracy theorists alike.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Kind of uneven but also chockful of interesting tidbits about early Americans. I got the feeling that Sora didn't have an even amount of material, and so modern times kind of ends with a whimper. Details about Samuel Adams were really interesting.

    Read it. Sora is obviously some kind of nut on this topic, but lots of fascinating detail about the origins of the United States and how the revolution was more about commerce than liberty, since it was mostly the liberty to make money in the face of British monopoly that was at stake.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2007

    A reviewer

    Insightful look at the commercial aspect of the Knights Templar, which evolved into an international banking syndicate. Templar pirate ships were essentially seafaring Masonic lodges -- and democracy on the high seas. Ultimately, admiralty came ashore (roadways are rivers of tar).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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