Though most are formed with relatively realistic political and religious goals in mind, their focus on mysteryand secrecy has made them the target of countless criticisms and conspiracy theories involving everything from aliens and the occult to world domination. Of course, the reality is usually much more innocuous, but that doesn’t mean that the groups don’t have some fascinatingly weird practices, or that they haven’t had an impact on world events.
With this in mind, the following are ten of the most famous and influential secret societies in history.
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