Their Influence and Power from Antiquity

to the Present Day

(Destiny Books/Inner Traditions USA 2008)


For thousands of years occult secret societies have been the guardians of ancient esoteric wisdom and also exercised a powerful influence on international politics and even the destiny of nations. Though largely ignored by orthodox historians, such historical groups as the Knights Templar, the Rosicrucians and the Freemasons helped to end the medieval feudal order and influenced the course of the French and American Revolutions. Inevitably the high ideals and moral principles of these secret societies have at times been perverted by self-serving individuals. The American founding fathers, the Soviet Bolsheviks, the Nazis, the British Secret Intelligence Service and the Vatican have all at times justified their actions – good or ill – by adopting the mystical ideals and philosophy of the occult secret societies.


‘With the multitude of books published on secret societies, it is refreshing to find one so balanced and well documented. Michael Howard’s chronology of the influence of the occult tradition and secret societies on world history is alone worth the price of the book’.


Dr Robert Hieroninus, author of Founding Fathers, Secret Societies: Freemasons, Illuminati, Rosicrucians and the Decoding of the Great Seal.