The Freemasons is one of the most well recognized of the secret societies and it continues to this day. Membership is thought to be near 5 million and the organization has lodges all over the world. The official start of the Freemasons was 1717. It is organized into a hierarchy of lodges that preside over lodges in its jurisdiction.
The Freemasons are known for their secrecy in regards to their traditions and rituals. They use secret handshakes and signs to identify other members.
There are many famous members of the Freemasons and they include George Washington, Ben Franklin, and Winston Churchill.
2. The Illuminati
In recent times, the Illuminati have received a lot of attention with many books and movies being written about the organization. Unfortunately many of the things that the group has become known for are mostly myths. The group is thought to be based on a real organization that existed in Europe in the mid to late 1700s. However, the group disbanded several years after its organization and is not thought to have continued in any form.
3. Skull and Bones
This Skull and Bones organization does not deny its existence. The only secret about them is their practices and rituals. Of all the secret societies and organizations that exist at prestigious colleges, Yale’s Skull and Bones is the most well known. It was started in 1832 and to this day they still meet every Thursday and Sunday.
Many of its members are a part of America’s political elite and they include Senators, Presidents, judges, and other highly influential people.
4. The Knights Templar
The Masonic Knights Templar as it is run today has no real ties to the medieval Knights Templar. However, it is believed that many of its rituals and traditions are based on the historic Knights Templar. The organization has ties with Masonry, which is what it can be considered an offshoot of. One of the requirements for membership is Master Masonry.
5. The Bilderberg Group
The Bilderberg group is not so much a secret society as it is a secret meeting. Every year a group of highly influential world leaders attend the Bilderberg meeting in complete secrecy. No press is allowed inside and no one knows what goes on inside these meetings.
The group is found at the center of many modern day conspiracy theories due to its attendees and secrecy.