THE SECRET SOCIETIES of all ages and countries by Charles Heckethorn Originally published in 1875, Heckethorn’s book is a comprehensive account of the many secret societies with hidden agendas and esoteric doctrines that have been in existence since at least the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs up to the date of its publication. He classifies secret societies as follows: 1. Religious societies such as the Egyptian or Eleusinian Mysteries. 2. Military societies like the Knights Templar. 3. Judiciary societies such as the German Vehmgerichte. 4. Scientific societies like the Alchymists. 5. Civil societies typified by the Freemasons, and 6. Political societies such as the Carbonari. There are also accounts of the Cabala, Gnostics, Illuminati, Druzes, Druids, Fenians, Rosicrucians, Communes, trade unions, and many others, some well-known, others so obscure that their very existence is doubtful. His writing is full of 19th century English prejudices but is, never-the-less, highly informative. It also reveals much about the social turmoil that troubled western Europe during the century in which he lived.
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