I’m reading Secret Societies: Inside the World’s Most Notorious Organizations by John Lawrence Reynolds to help me develop my own evil organization for my story. I recommend this book- I’m not usually a fan of history books, but this one was fascinating. It covers the league of assassins, Templars, Illuminati, the Priory of Scion and Freemasons, explores the myths behind Kabbalah, Wicca and Rosicrucians, and explains the origins and organizational structure of Triads, Cosa Nostra, and Yakuza.
I’m most interested in how they develop and what methods they use to find and bind members to their cause. The Assassins used elaborate staging to make members think they’d died and gone to paradise so they could “come back from the dead” and recount what they saw. The Yakuza punish members by making them cut off their own pinky finger (which is needed for master swordsmen).
Reynolds also talked about how many organizations became secretive to avoid prosecution, but that very secrecy made it easy for their enemies to make up stories about their practices, such as claiming early Christians ate babies.
I’m coming up with a name for the group in my story. They were established to protect cultures from outside influence and contamination from other worlds, but over the years they’ve built up rituals, beliefs and practices that will lead them to try to destroy the connections between worlds, even though that will sever their communication to each other. I started out with “the Order” but I don’t want to look like I’m copying Star Wars.
Here’s some possible secret organization names:
- the Pact
- Wall Guard
- Guild of Smiths
- Borders Union
- Council of Order
- Venn Diagram
- Root and Leaf
Hail Hydra. 😉