The order of the Golden Dawn was created by Dr. William Robert Woodman, William Wynn Westcott, and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers. All three were Freemasons and members of Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (an organization with ties to Masonry). It is considered by many to be a forerunner of the Ordo Templi Orientis and a majority of modern Occult groups.
The belief system of the Golden Dawn is largely taken from Christian mysticism, Qabalah, Hermeticism, the religion of Ancient Egypt, Freemasonry, Alchemy, Theosophy, Magic, and Renaissance writings.
William Yeats, and Aleister Crowly are two of the more famous members of the group. The fundamental documents of the order are known as the Cipher Documents. These were translated into English using a cipher attributed to Johannes Trithemius. The documents are a series of 60 folios containing magic rituals. The basic structure of many of these rituals appear to originate with Rosicrucianism. There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the origins of these documents.
Masons use signs and handshakes to gain admission to their meetings, as well as to identify themselves to other people who may be Masons. The signs and handshakes often differ from one jurisdiction to another and are often changed or updated. This protects the group from people finding out how to gain admission under false pretenses. Masons also wear stylized clothing based upon the clothing worn by stone masons from the middle ages. The most well known of these is the apron.
Opus Dei is an organization of the Catholic Church that emphasizes the Catholic belief that everyone is called to holiness and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity.
The celibate numeraries and numerary assistants live in special centers, while associates are celibate members living in their private homes. The order was founded in Spain in 1928 by Roman Catholic priest JosemarÃa EscrivÃ¡ with the approval of Pope Pius XII.
When Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code was published, it claimed that Opus Dei was a secret organization within the Church whose aim was to defeat the Priory of Sion and those who seek to uncover the “truth” about Christianity and the alleged royal bloodline of Christ.
Outside of the book, there has been a great deal of controversy over Opus Dei because of the strictness of its religious structure. The Catholic Church forbids secret societies and membership in them, and Opus Dei investigators have frequently debunked claims that this organization is acting in secrecy to further a sinister agenda.
This group is slightly different from the others in that it does not have an official membership. It is the name given to a group of highly influential people who meet ever year in secrecy (and usually with strong military and government sponsored security). The topics discussed are kept secret. The structure of the meetings is that of a conference - usually held in five star hotels around the world. Attendance at the meeting is strictly by invitation only. The first meeting took place in 1954 at the Hotel Bilderberg in the Netherlands.
The original meeting was initiated by several people. Polish migrant and political adviser, Joseph Retinger, concerned about the growth of anti-Americanism in Western Europe, proposed an international conference at which leaders from European countries and the United States would be brought together with the aim of promoting understanding between the cultures of The United States of America and Western Europe. Although the agenda and list of participants are openly available to the public, it is not clear that such details are disclosed by the group itself.
Also, the contents of the meetings are kept secret and attendees pledge not to divulge what was discussed. The group’s stated justification for secrecy is that it enables people to speak freely without the need to carefully consider how every word might be interpreted by the mass media. Needless to say, this group is constantly surrounded by controversy and conspiracy theories.
The OTO (Order of the Temples of the East) is an organization that was originally modelled on Masonry but, under the leadership of the self-styled “Great Beast” Aleister Crowley, it took on the principles of his religious system called Thelema. Thelema is based around a single law: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law, love is the law, love under the will” .
Membership is based upon degrees of initiation and highly stylized rituals are used. The OTO currently claims over 3,000 members worldwide. Crowley created a “Mass” for the OTO which is called the Gnostic Mass. Of the "Mass", Crowley wrote: "I resolved that my Ritual should celebrate the sublimity of the operation of universal forces without introducing disputable metaphysical theories.
I would neither make nor imply any statement about nature which would not be endorsed by the most materialistic man of science. On the surface this may sound difficult; but in practice I found it perfectly simple to combine the most rigidly rational conceptions of phenomena with the most exalted and enthusiastic celebration of their sublimity." The ritual is very stylized and uses virgin priestesses, children, and priests. Many Ancient Egyptian God’s are invoked, as well as the Devil, and at one point the priestess performs a naked ritual.
The Knights Templar (full name: The United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta) is a modern off-shoot of Masonry and does not have a direct tie to the original Knights Templar - a religious military group formed in the 12th century. Members of the Masonic Knights Templar do not claim a direct connection to the medieval group, but merely a borrowing of ideas and symbols.
In order to become a member of this group, you must already be a Christian Master Mason. This organization is a distinct one, and is not just a higher degree of Masonry. Despite Freemasonry’s general disclaimer that no one Masonic organization claims a direct heritage to the medieval Knights Templar, certain degrees and orders are obviously patterned after the medieval Order. These are best described as "commemorative orders" or degrees. Nevertheless, in spite of the fraternity’s official disclaimers, some Masons, non-Masons, and even anti-Masons insist that certain Masonic rites or degrees originally had direct Templar influence.
The Fabian Society, founded in 1884 in Great Britain to promote Socialism. The Fabian Society takes its name from the Roman General Fabius Maximus, who fought Hannibal's army in small debilitating skirmishes, rather than attempting one decisive battle.
After the publication of the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, a great deal of interest in the Priory of Sion has been created.
Unfortunately for those hoping to find and join the Priory, it is, in fact, fictional. It was a hoax created in 1956 by a pretender to the French Throne, Pierre Plantard.
Letters in existence dating from the 1960s written by Plantard, de Cherisey and de SÃ¨de to each other confirm that the three were engaging in an out-and-out confidence trick, describing schemes on how to combat criticisms of their various allegations and how they would make up new allegations to try to keep the whole thing going.
Despite this, many people still continue to believe that the Priory exists and functions to this day.
The authors of the well known book, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, misled by the hoax, stated: The Priory of Sion has a long history starting in AD 1099, and had illustrious Grand Masters including Isaac Newton and Leonardo da Vinci.
The order protects certain royal claimants because they believe them to be the literal descendants of Jesus and his alleged wife Mary Magdalene or, at the very least, of king David. The priory seeks the founding of a “Holy European Empire” that would become the next hyper-power and usher in a new world order of peace and prosperity.
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