A secret society is a club or an organization whose activities, events, and inner functioning are known to its members only. The intelligence agencies or guerrilla insurgencies, that hide their activities and memberships but maintain a public presence do not come under its defination. The exact requirements for labeling a group a secret society are disputed, but definitions generally rely on the degree to which the organization insists on secrecy, and the use of secret rites or rituals which bring the members of the group closer together.
1. Opus Dei:
Opus Dei is a latin word and means ‘The Work of God’, hence most of its members call it ‘The Work’., It is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church that teaches that everyone is called to holiness and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity. The majority of its members are common people, with secular priests under the governance of a prelate elected by specific members and appointed by the Pope.
2. Free Masonry:
Freemasonry consists of organizations that trace their origins to the local brotherhood of stonemasons, which regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients. The degrees of Freemasonry is in three grades, those of Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow (now called Fellowcraft), and Master Mason. Members of these organizations are known as Freemasons or Masons. There are additional degrees, which vary with locality and jur isdiction, and are usually administered by different bodies than the craft degrees.
3. The Illuminati:
The Illuminati meaning ‘enlightened’ is a name given to several groups, both real and fictitious. Historically, the name usually refers to the Bavarian Illuminati, an Enlightenment-era secret society founded on 1 May 1776. The society’s goals were to oppose superstition, obscurantism, religious influence over public life, and abuses of state power. “The order of the day,” they wrote in their general statutes, “is to put an end to the machinations of the purveyors of injustice, to control them without dominating them”. The Illuminati—along with Freemasonry and other secret societies—were outlawed by the Bavarian ruler, Charles Theodore, with the encouragement of the Roman Catholic Church.
4.The Knights Templar:
The Knights Templar is the fraternal order affiliated with Freemasonry. Unlike the initial degrees given in a regular Masonic Lodge, which only require a belief in a Supreme Being regardless of religious affiliation, the Knights Templar is one of several additional Masonic Orders in which membership is open only to Freemasons who profess a belief in Christianity.
5. Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn:
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was an organization devoted to the study and practice of the occult, metaphysics, and paranormal activities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Known as a magical order, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was active in Great Britain and focused its practices on theology and spiritual development.
6. The Priory of Sion:
The Priory of Sion was an organization, founded and dissolved in France in 1956 by Pierre Plantard as part of a hoax. In the 1960s, Plantard created a fictitious history for that organization, describing it as a secret society comparing it with a genuine historical monastic order, the Abbey of Our Lady of Mount Zion. According to Plantard the Priory was devoted to installing a secret bloodline of the Merovingian dynasty on the thrones of France and the rest of Europe.