originally published July 4, 2012
I have been waiting for months to write an article about secret societies. I’m fascinated by them; none have ever admitted me as a member (well, none that I can talk about), and I think it’s just adorable that people meet under the veil of night, believing that their membership in this little organization makes them mysterious and cool like Batman.
I’ll leave the Illuminati and Skull and Bones stuff for a later article, one in which I’ll expose their deepest secrets and more likely than not secure my own premature assassination. For now, I’m going to dive into the 21 Society.
These guys (and I’m sure gals, but we’ll never know) are a bunch of philanthropic college students who graciously take time away from their keg-stands and bisexuality experimentation to do some good around campus. They have a commitment to student governance, but also to performing random acts of awesomeness, like dropping little boxes like the one pictured above around campus. The boxes are filled with free Frisbees and footballs for students to use.
Members’ identities are kept completely secret until death, and since the organization is still quite young (it just turned 13), no one has yet been outed. One batch of 21-ers at the University of Virginia dropped a box of free forms for adding and dropping classes when the University announced that they would no longer supply them. I’m totally behind these guys – for a secret society they seem remarkably unfrightening and alien-stashing.
Unlike the guys who wore these outfits. This is the official wardrobe selection of the Leopard Society, a now-defunct league of like-minded gents who would fashion weapons made from leopard teeth and claws (they really stuck to the theme), then stalked travelers to kill and eat them.
I should allay your worries, lest you concern yourself with a potential revival of a Leopard Society chapter in Cleveland or Des Moines; these guys worked their voodoo in west Africa – Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Ivory Coast. They were cannibals, but haven’t been heard from since the mid 1900’s, so you can still take that spa-resort vacation to the Ivory Coast without any fear of violence. Probably.
The Indiana White Caps weren’t so much about doing good deeds or eating tourists as they were about beating the crap out of or lynching people. They tended to target ‘bad’ people, but that doesn’t make the White Caps upstanding members of polite society.
Following the Civil War, there was a spurt of criminal activity in southern Indiana, including train robberies, acts of violence, and people waving cowboy hats around triumphantly while they urinated in public. It was a dark time in American history. Enter the White Caps, a group of vigilantes looking to restore peace and stability to a region that had never really experienced peace or stability.
They targeted the notorious Reno Gang in 1868. The White Caps lynched several Reno Gang members, including a few who had been extradited from Canada and were under federal protection. This alerted the Indiana law-folk that perhaps the White Caps should be made to tone things down somewhat.
The White Caps targeted horse thieves, robbers and killers, lynching anyone they felt deserved it. It didn’t take long before morality became an enforceable crime to the White Caps, and they went after alcoholics, kids who skipped school, and women who were not taking suitable care of their children. Most people were lucky to escape with a flogging.
The Indiana state militia was dispatched, and by about 1905 the White Caps’ brand of unofficial justice was curbed. Luckily for its secret members who still loved dressing in white, the Ku Klux Klan showed up heavily in Indiana in the following decade and snatched up a number of the Caps’ gang as members.
Now we get to the secret government conspiracy that controls everything. This particular strain of everything is run by The Silence Group, a secret coalition of industry owners and financial rulers who make all the important choices that we mere mortals must accept.
The term was created by UFO researcher (always a good sign of cold, honest truth) Major Donald E. Keyhow. It was adopted as gospel by the Aetherius Society, a group identified by some in the media as a ‘UFO Religion.’ We are through the looking glass once we start buying into the weirdness these people are shilling.
The Aetherius gang believes that the Silence Group is a high-level governmental organization that aims to conceal the fact that extra-terrestrials from this solar system have been visiting Earth for at least eighteen million years. Founder George King apparently received a mental transmission from a man from Mars. This occurred while he was deep in a trance before a London audience who evidently had too much money, and felt they needed to spend some watching some doofus talk to invisible aliens from Mars.
The mysterious Martian declared that it the Silence Group does indeed exist, and it is powered by financial organizations that “have sworn to rule Terra with an iron fist.” Martians are known for their sense of drama.
Steven M. Greer is our modern-day Silence Group hunter, claiming to have met with CIA Director R. James Woolsey Jr. during the 90’s. Woolsey allegedly claimed that he, President Clinton, and the Secretary of Defense had all been denied access to the super-secret projects involving UFO’s and extra-terrestrials. Greer has since become an advocate for outing the Silence Group, possibly expecting that the revelation of their secret handshake might bring about a post-corporate utopia or something.
I find it hard to argue with the likelihood that an elite few are in control of the vast majority of the decisions which impact our lives. I think that’s more about who owns the money, the land, and the black stuff bubbling its dying breaths underneath the land than some grand conspiracy of men in black robes, humming chants and sacrificing cloven-hoofed offerings.
But secret societies do exist, even if only in the form of college kids who want to anonymously enable inter-campus Ultimate Frisbee leagues. And I’m glad. It keeps things interesting, knowing people are gathering in hushed tones, showing off forbidden password-tattoos (even if they’re only drawn in with a Sharpie), and practicing their secret handshakes. I may not be a part of it – and really, I’ve got enough responsibility on my plate, what with the upcoming Olympics and a new season of Breaking Bad on the horizon – but as long as they stay out of my way, I won’t worry about them.
Well, maybe I’ll stay away from Leopard Society territory, just in case.