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Thread: They Cracked This 250-Year-Old Code, and Found a Secret Society Inside

  1. #1
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    They Cracked This 250-Year-Old Code, and Found a Secret Society Inside

    An interesting read for sure.

    The master wears an amulet with a blue eye in the center. Before him, a candidate kneels in the candlelit room, surrounded by microscopes
    and surgical implements. The year is roughly 1746. The initiation has begun.

    The master places a piece of paper in front of the candidate and orders him to put on a pair of eyeglasses. “Read,” the master commands. The candidate
    squints, but it’s an impossible task. The page is blank.

    The candidate is told not to panic; there is hope for his vision to improve. The master wipes the candidate’s eyes with a cloth and orders preparation for
    the surgery to commence. He selects a pair of tweezers from the table. The other members in attendance raise their candles.
    ..

    Hundreds of thousands of Europeans belonged to secret societies in the 18th century, Önnerfors explained to Megyesi; in Sweden alone, there were more than a hundred orders. Though they were clandestine, they were often remarkably inclusive. Many welcomed noblemen and merchants alike—a rare egalitarian practice in an era of strict social hierarchies. That made the orders dangerous to the state. They also frequently didn’t care about their adherents’ Christian denomination, making these orders—especially the biggest of them, Freemasonry—an implicit threat to the authority of the Catholic Church. In 1738 Pope Clement XII forbade all Catholics from joining a Masonic lodge. Others implied that the male-only groups might be hotbeds of sodomy. Not long after, rumors started that members of these orders actually worshipped the devil.

    These societies were the incubators of democracy, modern science, and ecumenical religion. They elected their own leaders and drew up constitutions to govern their operations. It wasn’t an accident that Voltaire, George Washington, and Ben Franklin were all active members. And just like today’s networked radicals, much of their power was wrapped up in their ability to stay anonymous and keep their communications secret.
    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012...anuscript/all/

  2. #2
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