The Secrets of Secret Societies

University of Idaho

Rick Spence is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Idaho, where he was the recipient of numerous teaching and faculty excellence awards.  His research interests include Russian history, espionage, occultism and, of course, secret societies. Professor Spence’s many published works include a biography of Ace-of-Spies Sidney Reilly and an exploration of occultist Aleister Crowley’s connection to British intelligence.


What are Secret Societies?

“Secret Society” tends to conjure images of robed cultists plotting world domination.  But it can just as easily describe the drunken high jinks of a college fraternity, or the Mafia. In fact, secret societies embrace a very wide spectrum, take many forms and have been around a very, very long time. Once you know what to look for, you’ll see them everywhere.

The Secrets of Secret Societies in History

In this course, Professor Spence will begin by defining what makes a society “secret.” He’ll flesh out that definition by looking at historical examples ranging from the well-known (but often misunderstood) Freemasons and Illuminati, to the obscure (but not insignificant) Society of the Elect, the Black Dragons and the Venerable Order of the Blue Lamoo. The big question, of course, is what influence did these groups actually have?  For instance, what role did secret societies play in the American, French and Russian Revolutions?  And what about Pizzagate?  Come and find out.  If you dare.



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Arturo Frappé

Spark of enlightment

The professor is confident about secret societies, reveals interesting facts from the Freemasons to Mexican drug cartels, and explains what a secret society is, its founders, its ideas, and its influence on social movements.

5 months ago
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