Well, I owe a bit to Susan Sayler who must spend more time than I do looking for interesting material on the web. Her post led me to investigate John Kennedy’s views on secret societies and the unseen hands that help move our culture in a direction known to the unseen forces that nudge us to the path of “righteousness.”
Conspiracy, ritual, secrecy, and malign influence have been popular with humanity since the first caveman became suspicious when his neighbor erected a fence around a piece of land.
People are by nature suspicious of others because their own instincts are selfish. We are informed by our historical development (Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiaveli, Hobbes, and others) to suspect that our neighbors motives may not be as pure as our own. We might even think our neighbor to the East might be in league with our neighbor to the West and lose sleep lest we lose more.
The formation of mutual aid organization comes from the feeling of helplessness that comes from living in the state of nature – a hostile world before the civil state arose and protections were guaranteed.
The Masons, Opus Dei, the Illuminati, Bildebergers, Skull and Bones, (tip of the hat to) Ordo Templi Orientis, Jesuits, Kabbalah and others. They function as a parareligious or religious organizations dedicated to certain principles and fraternity among members. To a certain extent we must include multinational corporations because of their scope and ability to influence world governments and social attitudes.
They are often held in suspicion due to their secret rites and purposes and ability to act anonymously. They often surface in presidential speeches in where their function is alluded to as unhealthy.
The source of the slides at 5:35 in the following video of a Kennedy speech may not have been part of the original speech but rather included by a clever poster on Youtube, however the intent is clear http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLn7zbxyrPM&feature=related
Original post that started this http://susansayler.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/secrecy-john-f-kennedy/