It’s hard not to get sucked into the idea of a secret society. Spooky rituals, clandestine meetings, and powerful members bring chills to the skin. The chill factor is taken further when you discover that many of history’s most elite have belonged to one secret society or another. Rumors of midnight gatherings and whispered oaths give an air of almost paranormal type activity. Throughout the ages, these societies have created fear and folklore around their comings and goings. Most secret societies seem to be steeped in mystery – that’s what makes them secret, right? But what happens when the secrets start to come out? Are they just as scary as before or do we start to see the utter humanity behind the smoke and candles? We’ve scoured resources to try and find the history of some of the world’s most interesting secret societies as well as first hand accounts of these secret societies. In the tradition of keeping secrets, we’re going to allow our witnesses to remain anonymous.
The Bohemian Grove – A Camp Where Powerful Men… “Misbehave”
For those of you that don’t know, the Bohemian Grove is a playground for the social elite. Every July, some of the richest and most powerful men in the world come to the Bohemian Grove, an enormous campground in Monte Rio, California, for two weeks of drinking, secretive rituals, and making global decisions. Members of the Bohemian Club have included former U.S. presidents, musicians, oil barons and many more historic figures. Some of these figures include Presidents Nixon, Eisenhower, Roosevelt, Bush senior and junior, Hoover, Ford, and Raegan. Additionally, other politicians such as White House chiefs of staff, senators, secretaries of state, and secretaries of defense have also partaken in the clandestine festivities.
So what is the Bohemian Grove? It’s an Elks Club for the rich; basically a fraternity party in the woods every summer. a boy scout camp for old guys, complete with an initiation ceremony and a totem animal, the owl. The Bohemians started going on their little retreat shortly after the club was founded in 1872 and by the 1880s, it became a hub of debauchery and a meeting for powerful men to simply play and make huge world decisions. Even to this day. For more details on what goes on in this camp, our article on the Bohemian Grove.