Secret Societies

Secret Societies

They’ve been around for thousands of years…orchestrating some of history’s most controversial events. And if not for their radical actions, you may never have even known they existed. Every Thursday, take a journey through hidden passageways and become a member of Parcast’s diabolical series, SECRET SOCIETIES. Each society is explored in 2 episodes—exposing the people and context responsible for its founding, and analyzing the psychology behind their beliefs.... Show More

Episodes

July 30, 2020 47 min
In the mid-1800s, criminal gangs sprang up in Sicily, using violence to extort farmers in the island's lucrative citrus trade. By the end of the century, the gangs organized into the Cosa Nostra: the all-powerful Sicilian mafia.
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July 23, 2020 48 min
At the turn of the century, the Order of the Golden Dawn was born… and then died. In the decades since, several mystics have resurrected the order, founding numerous competing chapters, influencing political elections, and maybe even causing the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. 
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July 16, 2020 49 min
In 1888, three Rosicrucians and Freemasons—William Robert Woodman, William Wynn Wescott, and S.L. Mathers—allegedly found an ancient manuscript detailing rituals of a long lost Golden Dawn. They resurrected the order and perpetuated its magical secrets… but were they really mystics? Or was it all an elaborate hoax?
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July 9, 2020 39 min
Some of America’s most historical figures, from Samuel Adams to John Hancock to Paul Revere, were members of the Sons of Liberty. But their methods for securing independence weren’t always pure. Alternate histories suggest they may have incited the Boston Massacre and sold opium to fund their cause.
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July 2, 2020 40 min
In 1765, nine middle-class businessmen began meeting under Boston’s Liberty Tree. Over time, merchants, artisans, shopkeepers, even politicians joined the secret society known as the Sons of Liberty. Not only did they orchestrate the Boston Tea Party, they inspired the American Revolution.
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June 25, 2020 44 min
He inspired the Beatles, sacrificed goats, and faked his own death. Aleister Crowley is one of the most controversial figures in modern history, and his name has become synonymous with the O.T.O.
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June 18, 2020 44 min
The occult society of magicians, Ordo Templi Orientis, has divided public opinion since its founding in Germany around 1890. Are they innovative philosophers, or do they worship Satan? Take a walk into the O.T.O.'s world of blood, rituals, and sex magic. 
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June 11, 2020 43 min
Knowledge about the Bilderberg Group hit the mainstream in the 2000s. Since then, conspiracy theorists have accused the group of handpicking world leaders, deposing uncooperative governments and even creating implements for mind-control. However, the true danger posed by the group is much more harmful than any wild, unfounded claim.
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June 4, 2020 46 min
Since its founding in 1954, the Bilderberg Group, an association made up of the world's richest and most powerful people, have met in secret in luxury hotels around the world. Nobody knows what these heads of state and CEOs discuss behind closed doors though several journalists have tried to find out...
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May 28, 2020 43 min
With Hasan-i-Sabbah now dead, the Assassins looked to someone to carry on his legacy. They found it in Rashid al-Din Sinan. With Sinan as Grand Master, the Assassins would become legendary, and their deeds would capture the imagination, and horror, of Christian Crusaders.
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May 21, 2020 44 min
Throughout the history of Islam, schisms led to the formation of different branches or sects. In 1090, after the death of an Imam, a missionary would set out to form his own branch of Islam. In the process, he would create one of the deadliest secret societies in history.
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May 14, 2020 42 min
Many historians believe that the last Cathar died in 1321. They had been slaughtered in a decades-long inquisition led by the Catholic Church. But has the religious society managed to keep alive in the shadows?
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May 7, 2020 41 min
They first appeared in Europe sometime during the 12th century. But unlike other secret societies, the Cathars didn’t choose to hide—they were forced to. They believed the pain we experience in this world is because we've been trapped here, in physical form, by a sinister God.
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April 30, 2020 41 min
They were famous in the coal mining region of Pennsylvania. Before the end of the 19th century, twenty of the Molly Maguires’ alleged leaders would be hanged for their heinous crimes. But the question remains, did this menacing Irish society even actually exist?
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April 23, 2020 42 min
In the 1800s, Irish farmers began protesting against greedy landlords and excessive tithes. But before long, these protests turned violent—even murderous. As the Mollies began popping up in coal-mining Pennsylvania, the death toll would only continue to grow.
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If you enjoy the stories told in Secret Societies, check out this episode from our series Dictators: Before he became the leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world, Joseph Stalin was an idealistic, but ruthless revolutionary. A Marxist from a young age, he devoted much of his life to overthrowing Imperial Russia. But as his star rose among the Russian socialists, so too did his list of enemies. 
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If you enjoy the stories told in Secret Societies, check out this episode from our series Dictators: Now in total power, Joseph Stalin went on to transform the Soviet Union into a modernized country—but at the cost of millions of lives. In order to fulfill his vision of communism, the deaths of peasants and political enemies were required. 
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April 9, 2020 50 min
Recent allegations and revelations about the Rosicrucians have accused them of mind control, ritual suicide, and white supremacy. Some even believe they're part of a global conspiracy to hide the truth about Jesus Christ.
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April 2, 2020 48 min
Between 1610 and 1614, a series of anonymous letters claimed to reveal hidden knowledge about a mystical secret society. Were the missives divine revelations—or hoaxes? And did a fourteenth-century Christian monk unlock the key to immortality?
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Their power allowed them to attain a nearly impossible reach in politics, big business, and the media after the end of World War II. Some have even accused the Council on Foreign Relations of using the U.S. government...to create a New World Order.
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