Fascinated by secret societies? Check out these creative pieces from Etsy and find out more about each society after the jump!
From the Encyclopaedia Britannica:
"Templar, also called Knight Templar, A mounted Templar charging into battle, detail of a fresco in the Templar chapel at Cressac, France. Member of the Poor Knights of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, a religious military order of knighthood established at the time of the Crusades that became a model and inspiration for other military orders. Originally founded to protect Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land, the order assumed greater military duties during the 12th century. Its prominence and growing wealth, however, provoked opposition from rival orders. Falsely accused of blasphemy and blamed for Crusader failures in the Holy Land, the order was destroyed by King Philip IV of France."
From the Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia:
"Illuminati: rationalistic society founded in Germany soon after 1776 by Adam Weishaupt, a professor at Ingolstadt, having close affinities with the Freemasons and seemingly organized on a Masonic plan. While briefly very popular among German rationalists, it had limited influence. The Roman Catholic Church, which Weishaupt left in his youth and rejoined before his death, condemned the Illuminati; in 1785 the Bavarian government dissolved the organization. It did not long survive. In Spain and Italy in the 15th and 16th cents. the term Illuminati, or Alumbrado, referred to persons claiming direct communion with the Holy Spirit, so asserting that outward forms of religious life are unnecessary. Their claims led to persecution by the Inquisition. Other groups using the name have included the Rosicrucians, and certain followers of Jakob Boehme and Emmanuel Swedenborg."
"The Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, also commonly known as Shriners and abbreviated A.A.O.N.M.S., established in 1870, is an appendant body to Freemasonry, based in the United States. The organization is best-known for the Shriners Hospitals for Children they administer and the red fezzes that members wear."
From the History of the Order of the Eastern Star:
"The real origin of the Order of the Eastern Star, like Masonry, will always be shrouded in mystery. Many researchers believe it had a French origin as early as 1703. By some, this is claimed to be the first inception of 'Female Masonry' or 'Androgynous Degrees' -- (degrees for both men and women)."