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Chinese Secret Societies: Getting a Handle on the Big Picture

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posted on May, 10 2011 @ 02:02 AM
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 INTRODUCTION 

This thread is intended provide a very brief overview of the incredibly complex world of Chinese secret societies. Prior to writing this, I ran a cursory ATS search on the subject, and although there seem to be occasional threads about the Triads, I could find little in-depth discussion about the bigger picture. (My apologies to any ATS scholars if I’ve missed something. Knowing the minds of ATS, I probably have.) This thread, then, will hopefully serve as a general “staging ground” for approaching an important and fascinating topic.

The average Westerner who knows anything at all about Chinese secret societies might be vaguely aware of the so-called “Triads.” Perhaps they have an image of these groups as a sort of “Chinese Mafia” — that society’s equivalent to groups like the “classic” Italian-American Mafia, the Russian Mafiya, the Japanese Yakuza, and so forth. In essence, this is not necessarily incorrect, as far such types of vague awarenesses go, but it goes nowhere near to telling the whole story.





Today’s Triads are certainly very much organized crime groups in every modern sense of the term. However, they have developed out of a rich social ecology of secret societies in China stretching back at least 2,000 years. Throughout its long and complex history, China has been a fertile breeding ground for secret heterodox religious cults, straight-up organized crime/banditry groups, shady brotherhoods steeped in complex ritual lore, mutual aid societies that functioned as a cross between pyramid schemes and cooperative unions, complex international linkages between syndicates comprised of expat Chinese around the globe and groups that straddle all these categories or defy classification.


Above: A modest, modern-day Chinese Triad stash uncovered in Japan




Obviously, completely untangling this dense history (thick with its own mythology that further obscures the facts) is far beyond the scope of this humble thread. But we have to start somewhere, no? The three major posts I plan to make in this thread will follow the following outline:

Part I. The Big Picture
A whirlwind tour of the major names, groups, and phenomena that make up the backbone of the long history of Chinese secret societies. All of the information (names, dates, etc.) in this section falls more or less within the realm of standard, “orthodox” history, and are not in any serious scholarly dispute. This will give you some background to look more closely at any specific secret societies or related phenomena.

Part II. The Triads: A Closer Look
A quick look at the origins, ritual world, and some of the lore of the Triads, the most well-known Chinese secret societies active today. As I will avoid a number of specific aspects surrounding this topic (see below), this section will probably be shorter than the other two.

III. Lore, Ritual, and Mythos
The Triads and other Chinese secret societies define themselves with permutations of a complex esoteric system that is part history, part ritual, and part mythology. Exploring it is one way to reach a closer understanding of how the societies see themselves, as well as to shed some light on their inner worldview.






Disclaimer/What this thread is not: It’s certainly not perfect. As always, a lot of what you hear depends on your sources, and different people might tell parts of the story below in a different way. I can’t say they are wrong and I am right. I admit I may be mistaken within this thread. If you think I’ve made a major factual error anywhere, by all means let me know.

Also, certain very central aspects of the Triad phenomenon — for example, specific modern-day organized criminal, financial, and political activities — are not going to be treated here, at least by me. I’m also not going to get too deeply into the more modern/recent history of the Triads, specific contemporary organizational or operational matters, the names different factions now operating, etc. These topics certainly bear scrutiny, but are beyond the scope of this thread. It is worth reminding would-be investigators that they are also highly sensitive, and best approached with extreme caution (if at all) for obvious reasons.

Language Note: For the convenience of Western readers, I will keep the use of Chinese names and terms to a minimum, and use Western-style dates rather then getting all wrapped up in dynastic progression, etc. Likewise, the use of place-names will be minimized. Those who want to know more are encouraged to do their own Googling. The Chinese names of the major secret societies are given. I hope purists and quibblers will forgive me if I happen to mix Pinyin, Wade-Giles, or other transliteration systems. And sorry but I’m not even going to bother with the accent marks. You get whatcha pay for, folks.


One more thing. This is a Benjamin-Fulford-free zone. The man is a not-unintelligent guy who knows enough about Asia to turn a quick buck on the conspiracy gravytrain tossing around random names and the right types of garbled bits of nonsense. He has his own little hustle going, but he is ultimately a carnival barker. For me, this is a labor of love, and of truth, offered freely to all comers. Let’s deal in fact, insomuch as we can. Life’s simply more interesting that way.
edit on 5/10/11 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 10 2011 @ 02:02 AM
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PART I. THE BIG PICTURE

The farther back one goes in history, the harder it is to say anything for sure about any given event. Natural distortions blend with myth and we are lost, tumbling end-over-end. Yet more documentation exists for ancient China than any other culture I can think of. Their long history of literacy and careful record-keeping provides a powerful telescope to the past. It doesn’t give us certainty, but it gives us wonderful detail.


Origins of the secret societies

As long ago as the Zhou dynasty (started 1027 BC), there is evidence of tension between merchants and the government. This tension was to ebb and flow in fits and starts over the next millennium. As civilization gradually become more complex, money and trade assumed more importance, eclipsing the priorities of an earlier age in which raw force had held all the cards. The military and government, feeling their power ebbing, made trade with the world outside China illegal, and put extreme regulations on internal trade, hoping to curtail the wealth and influence of the traders. This new illegality made rare goods from abroad all the more valuable, and trade all the more enticing. But since it was illegal, trade demanded secrecy. Secrecy, of course, is the primary essential element of all secret societies, Chinese or otherwise.


Above: A man of the warrior class, Chin Dynasty (221 BC-207 BC). His social type didn’t take so kindly to ancient merchants.

Periodically, groups of pesky merchants were banished by the military class to obscure corners of China or even cast outside the empire, where they established the first “Chinatowns.” Networks of banished merchant Chinese living in remote parts of the empire or places as far-flung as Korea, Indonesia, and Siberia quickly sprung up. These networks in turn bolstered the ability of merchants operating on the shady side of the law at home to pull in greater profits from smoother, more organized illicit trade systems and routines. Reinvestment of profits in graft and further streamlining made for even more profits, and so on. Strait-up street economics 101 even in our day and age in every country, if you think about it, my friends. The virtuous cycle of vice, if you will.

Desires for material comfort, followed swiftly and logically by bribes and graft, began to penetrate the world of the greedy officials, blurring the lines between the two opposing camps of government and trade. But rather than having a simplifying or unifying effect, this blurring birthed corruption: A feature is very hard to eradicate once it sets in in any society, and one which is highly conducive to the flourishing of secretive networks.

As the system grew still more complex, we begin to see records trade guilds, groups of associates originally from the same areas of China but now scattered, people sharing similar religious views, groups of merchants specializing in the same goods or types of business — these were “proto-secret societies:” naturally-growing networks for mutual benefit, almost always with at least some involvement in dangerous, socially unacceptable, or illicit trade (hence the “secret” in “secret society”). Perhaps they used hand signals, words, phrases, indications on clothing and so forth to identify each other like later Chinese Secret societies would do. Or perhaps they were not at this stage of complexity yet.


Above: Merchants of Han Dynasty China (206 BC – 220 AD)

The Red Eyebrows (赤眉- Chimei): The first Chinese secret society known by name
In addition to the merchants-versus-government dynamic, there were other forces at work. Open rebellion, for one. Chinese history is a series of dynasties that usually last for some decades or centuries, only to vanish in turmoil and be replaced with a new dynasty. The early first century AD was a period of turbulence between dynasties.

The Red Eyebrows were thus-known because they used red eyebrow coloration as war-paint. Their leader was Fan Tsung, who saw his organization as a conservative, patriotic group (think “militia”) that sought to restore the recently-overthrown Western Han imperial dynasty, following its fall in the year 9 A.D. They were victorious in their struggle, ushering in a short-lived revival of the old dynasty. But after triumph, the society found itself idle, and soon turned to banditry and other forms of criminal activity. They were eventually crushed by the very same government they had helped bring to power. This type of story is repeated frequently in the annals of Chinese secret societies down through the millennia.


Aboove:Han Guang Wudi, the emperor restored by the Red Eyebrows.

Other secret societies from around the same time included the Iron Shins, Copper Horses, Big Spears, and Iron Necks.



The Yellow Turbans (黃巾 – Huangjin): Throwing religion into the mix


Above: A modern-era painting of Chang Cheuh and the Yellow Turbans


We first saw how economic and trade conditions gave rise to the “proto-secret societies” of Ancient China. The Red Eyebrows gave the phenomenon a more tightly organized, political twist. With the next major secret society to arise, we come to the third fundamental ingredient in the Chinese secret society cocktail: religion.

To simplify grossly, China has had three major religions: Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. But these have often been blended and warped in heterodox ways by small sects and cults, movements coalescing around charismatic leaders, and so forth. The more “mainstream” religious-political establishment was forever trying to put down these wild, rambunctious groups, for reasons that will shortly become apparent. At least some or perhaps sometimes all of the following were typically involved: florid, complex secrecy, esoteric rituals and incantations, complex theologies blending ideas from different traditions, fortune-telling and psychic-type traditions, alchemical and magical-type work, “dark arts,” rank superstition, deep energy-work rituals, valid medicinal knowledge, and so forth.

They also drew the same kind of crowds as the more economic or political secret societies did, which is why the authorities feared them and drove them underground…into secrecy. Naturally, they fell in with their fellow travelers, the trade- and politics-based secret societies, as they had much in common. The lines between them all blurred, as did membership rolls, and it became difficult in many cases to tell where religion and ritual left off and politics and economics began. (Anyone who has spent any time at all on ATS should have an immediate, intuitive understanding of exactly how this dynamic works…)

The Yellow Turbans were formed around 180 AD by a charismatic religious figure from the north known as Chang Cheuh. He claimed to be a direct descendent of Lao Tse, the legendary founder of Taoism. His movement spread by wildfire, growing to include 36 fanatical generals and scores of followers across Northern China. This phenomenon was less political and more a mix of religious fanaticism tinged with personal greed. They were not out to topple the government per se, but because of their massive size and the rapacious greed of the movement’s leaders, China was soon plunged into anarchy as the militarized sect began skirmishing with government troops on multiple fronts.

The White Lotus Society (白蓮之交 – Bailianshe): The Mother of the Modern Chinese Secret Society
According to hazy legend, this society claims roots in the fourth century AD, with the “White Lotus Sect,” a form of heterodox Pure Land Buddhism. In the centuries ahead, “White Lotus” became a kind of “meme” for Chinese secret societies of all sorts. Think of the “White Lotus” as a kind of concept or set of traditions rather than a solid, specific group, and you will be getting close to the scenario in its early form. The actual specifics and arcana of White Lotus Buddhism and associated secret societies are far beyond my limited knowledge, but I am aware it is a vast universe indeed. White-Lotus-type groups survived many persecutions by changing names and outward forms whenever necessary for increased secrecy, always evolving, always fascinating, and of course operating in the same kind of rough-and-tumble world as Chinese secret societies from other streams and traditions.

Names of groups associated to one degree or another with the “White Lotus phenomenon” down through the centuries include the following:
The White Yang Society
The Incense-Smelling Society
The White Lilly Society
The Eight Diagram Sect (AKA The Celestial Principles Sect)
The Nine Mansion Sect
The Three United Society (doesn’t that sound awfully close to “triad,” loyal reader?)


Above: Temple to The Unborn Venerable Mother, the central deity of the Way of Former Heaven, one of the many sects to emerge from the White Lotus phenomenon

The White Lotus constellation of traditions seems to find more solid footing in the 14th century with the arrival of “the” White Lotus Society, founded in 1344 AD. (Or at least the group most people are actually referring to when they say “the White Lotus Society” with capital letters). This powerful organization became instrumental in toppling the Mongol rule of China — the iron yoke of Genghis Khan and his descendents. The White Lotus Society was one of a number of powerful groups (most of which were more straight-up military coalitions rather than secret societies per se) that had a major role in finally forcing out the Mongols in 1368 and returning China to native-Chinese rule. After victory, the White Lotus Society was given the high honor of naming the new dynasty, which it dubbed the Ming.


Above: The White Lotus Society in action

For the next three centuries, this secret society was to remain a powerful force in China, although was said to be “neither officially recognized nor officially prohibited.” Over the years it came to have a troubled and sometimes even violent on-again, off-again relationship with its old comrades, the Ming government and military. It was, after all, a secret society, with its own multiple agendas.

As we approach more modern times, the White Lotus Society seems to splinter and fragment into a number of smaller sects before fading away completely. One of the more important of these mutations was the Hung Society, which, in time-honored fashion, changed its name and outward form many times for survival purposes. The name it eventually took on was the Heaven and Earth Society. In this form, the group was to become quite significant — so significant, in fact, that it gets its own section, below.


Above: A Hung Society member and family


Heaven and Earth Society(天地會 - Tianduhui): Schemes n’ dreams
The Heaven and Earth Society was rooted in the White Lotus tradition, as described above, and it had its lofty political and religious aspects. It came of age in the mid-1700s, a time when “the system” was having all kinds of troubles. One interesting parallel with our own age: China was producing a number of people who were over-educated and over-qualified, with high expectations of success, but actual available jobs were limited and the road to prosperity was tortured. You thus had a vast population of over-educated, underemployed people who had often invested a years of time and effort to master an arcane system of classical education that, while intellectually beautiful, was utterly useless in any practical sense. This sort of thing might sound all too familiar to many young people in today’s “information society”…. And many of these disaffected, intelligent people with nowhere to apply their talents and anger turned to the arcana, lore, mystery, romance, and potential financial rewards of secret society.


Above: Heaven and Earth Society initiation ceremony.

In addition to those types, an earthier clientele gradually came to fill the ranks of the Heaven and Earth Society: more common, less educated citizens simply looking to band together for protection in a tough old world. The membership benefits of the Heaven and Earth Society were good for the average Joe — if you needed to borrow money for a big event like a wedding or an emergency, you could do so through the society. If you were traveling in a strange part of the empire, you could use secret verbal cues, hand gestures, and other indications to find members of the society who might help you. Bandits who were members of the society were forbidden to rob fellow members, and since so many bandits were members, many common folk thought it prudent to join for “protection.” It could help you resolve conflicts and take revenge when the often-corrupt courts failed, too. It offered the pageantry, mystery, and romance of secrecy in what were often dull, hard lives. The organization swelled, becoming enormous.

The society was not without serious problems. Financially, it was essentially a pyramid scheme, counting on the fees from recruiting new members to pay out the sums that existing members wanted to borrow. The best way to keep the money flowing was to increase membership, but as every single member arrived wanting more than they had to give, eventually the thing was bound to hit a wall. To plug the gap, the society took on darker and darker, more and more criminal tones, emphasizing violence and extortion to get the needed dough against innocent bystanders, other secret societies, and general non-members, and also by squeezing its own members for more and more while in actuality providing less and less.

There is a lesson for the United States and the other “developed economies” of today in that cheery tale. Are you listening, people?

Despite this situation, Heaven and Earth lumbered on by relying more and more on violence and outright illegality, spreading its terror farther and farther (including abroad), and marching through a series of violent convulsions and perpetual conflict with all and sundry that culled the weak and sometimes enriched the strong before they, too, met the reaper. Death is certain, life is not.

The Heaven and Earth Society, particularly from the south, was to form one pillar that would go on to make up the Triads in their truly modern form.


Secret Societies and the Fall of Imperial China
Before we finally get to the Triads themselves, there are a few other phenomena that need to be noted. In the 19th century, Imperial China was coming apart at the seams. Harassed by foreigners with new, effective ways of conducting business and war, it seemed stuck in past glories, complacent, befuddled by opium addiction and corruption, and aflame with turmoil and the ravages of secret societies and others. The following phenomena are not 100% strictly secret-society-related, but they share aspects of “secret society culture,” with of course much overlap and involvement from Heaven and Earth members and those of other secret societies of the day, and they give a sense of the turbulence from which the modern Triads were to emerge.

The Taiping Rebellion: This captivating episode in Chinese history deserves its own thread. Hong Xiuquan was a typically overeducated and undermployable young man who turned to a form of heterodox Christianity after reading garbled translations of the Bible and early Christian missionary tracts. He claimed to be Jesus Christ’s younger brother, destined to found a paradise on earth, a kind of Chinese “Promised land” based on his idiosyncratic view of the wanderings of Moses and so forth. Starting out with a small band of ragged followers, went on to control most of Southern China, establishing a capital for his earthly Christian-oid kingdom at Nanjing. At the height of his power, he commanded 30 million people. Much of the trappings of Hong’s “Christianity,” as well as general organizational principles, were borrowed straight from the traditional Chinese secret society playbook. But the fall of the Taiping movement was as swift as its rise. By 1864 the “Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace," as Hong called his nacient empire, was in ruins, and over twenty million chinese had died in the conflict or from related starvation as the basic state fell apart in conflict. Yes, you heard that right: over 20 million, making it one of the highest death-tolls in all history.



Above: Throne of Hong Xiuquan, the self-proclamed “Younger Brother of Jesus.”




Above: The death toll of the Taiping Rebellion would not be equaled anywhere again on earth until the World Wars of the twentieth century.


The Red Turban Revolt: By the mid-1800s, common people were being pressured by government officials seeking to squeeze more taxes, general unrest from the Taiping Rebellion and other woes, and falling living conditions. In 1854, a mobs of “normal people” who had had enough donned red turbans and turned violent against the government. Many secret society members and units joined in. The revolt spread to inflame all of Southern China. Yet the Red Turban leaders were unable to hold their grassroots army together, and the area soon fell to squabbling and anarchic infighting. The Red Turbans were finally decisively defeated by a heavy-handed and by-now-quite paranoid imperial government, which, still quivering from the aftermath of the Taiping Rebellion, unleashed a reign of terror on common people in the area as well as secret societies.

Opium, Foreigners, and Christianity: All disruptive elements that came from outside. The secret societies, with their deep roots in foreign trade and general shadiness, took to the opium trade like fish to water, often becoming staggeringly wealthy in the process. Drug lords tend to follow that brutal arc, you know, At the same time, the patriotic, nationalistic roots of the Secret Societies made them loathe foreigners. They were quite aware of — and angry about — what was happening to their country. But like most human beings in all times and places, greed and general convenience eventually got the best of abstract principles. Yet the foreigner-Chinese underground relationship was never a stable one. Mistrust was the default mode, and violence was never far.


Above: The Chinese and the British have it out in the First Opium War

The secret societies (as well as the orthodox authorities) had a particular fear of Christian missionaries, which were swarming across China in the 19th century. The societies actually felt that Christianity was the one thing that had the potential to undermine their own authority among the local people, because it offered essentially the same things. Christian missionaries promised converts free food (and occasionally free opium. Yup, this did happen) to converts, as well as protection, a new narrative, and the same sorts of spiritual and ritual trappings that defined the secret societies and bound their members to tradition.


NEXT UP : PART II - The Triads Themselves: A Closer Look
And now at last we have some background that will enable us to turn to the Triads and take a closer look. To be continued in my next major post in this thread, hopefully within a week. In the meantime, feel free to comment, and I’ll try to answer any questions.



edit on 5/10/11 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 10 2011 @ 03:40 AM
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Thanks! Very interesting.
This is left out of the loop far to often when it comes to topics of secrecy.

Ill be waiting for the next post.

S+F
edit on 10-5-2011 by TheFaceless because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 10 2011 @ 10:49 AM
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I wonder is John Carpenter drew on this type of information for "Big Trouble in Little China." Reminds me of the Chang Sing fighting the Wing Kong, and the mystic society that served as David Lopan's royal court.



posted on May, 10 2011 @ 11:03 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


great information. Thinking of the Shaoulin Monks, most of the ancient martial arts groups would fall into this same realm would they not? Their secrets only shared with those who prove through time that they are worthy to receive the training.

The groups you posted on seem to be somewhat rooted in business/socio-economical style. Do you think the orient has retained that aspect of business over the years more so than US or western business models?



posted on May, 10 2011 @ 11:24 AM
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Velly intellesting! - I have difficulty fathoming how China is interwoven into the NWO schemes - I know the Jesuits were heavily involved there at one time,will be intersted to read following posts - much appreciated!



posted on May, 10 2011 @ 11:30 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


Very informative thread
I enjoyed the pics as well S&F



posted on May, 10 2011 @ 03:02 PM
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Very awesome post on a topic that is all too often ignored.

I realize you have done some intensive research into this topic, and that is why I come to ATS so often. I am always pleasantly surprised and I learn all kinds of things I never knew about.

Thank you for bringing it up and spurring discussion about it. I will also aid in looking into this topic and see if I cannot find anything of importance about this topic that you haven't mentioned yet.

Very good post, I apologize for not having a higher quality post at this point. Give me some time and I will see what I can come up with.

I can really make use of your research because of what I am currently putting together myself. It is about secret societies and orders, and although I most likely will not get into or mention Chinese Secret Societies other than a brief reference at best, the information you posted can aid in understanding the history of Secret Societies in general. And the better understanding we can have of a general topic, the more informative we can make specific smaller topics.

Point is sir, you have educated me about some things I was not aware of. One thing that stood out which I knew nothing about specifically was the information and leads I got from you about Hong Xiuquan. TYVM.

Keep up the work good sir!



posted on May, 10 2011 @ 03:05 PM
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Fantastic read/thread....off to do some googling myself. Star and flag for you, and again...great job.



posted on May, 10 2011 @ 05:37 PM
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Thank you for taking the time to research this scarcely covered topic. I like things thread about secret societies, and i believe they play a major role society. Although i have never read up about China's secret societies i am now eager to, and i am looking forward to your next posts.



posted on May, 11 2011 @ 01:54 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 01:04 AM
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Originally posted by network dude
reply to post by silent thunder
 


great information. Thinking of the Shaoulin Monks, most of the ancient martial arts groups would fall into this same realm would they not? Their secrets only shared with those who prove through time that they are worthy to receive the training.

The groups you posted on seem to be somewhat rooted in business/socio-economical style. Do you think the orient has retained that aspect of business over the years more so than US or western business models?


The secret societies he refers to are guilds, not esoteric teachings. Mafias, mobs, guilds, black market type folks. Definitely not laboring over an ashlar.

I should clarify: not knocking this thread at all. Great information and I look forward to the next "installment".
edit on 12-5-2011 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 01:32 AM
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Very nice research.

Am lucky enough to live in Northern China, moved here 7 years ago. Much of todays business and culture in China is based on several thousand year old traditions and customs, and why westerners have such trouble with a reference point for conversation or business.


There is a reason these societies still exist, especially in China. Change, such as World Wars, end of the emperor rule, socialism, and the like, creates confusion and desperation. Having a Society like Heaven and Earth, or greens, or whatever, provides some form of stability during the shift in the nation.

Looking forward to the rest of this thread, appreciate your research very much...well done.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 04:30 PM
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Originally posted by silent thunder
PART I. THE BIG PICTURE

The farther back one goes in history, the harder it is to say anything for sure about any given event. Natural distortions blend with myth and we are lost, tumbling end-over-end. Yet more documentation exists for ancient China than any other culture I can think of. Their long history of literacy and careful record-keeping provides a powerful telescope to the past. It doesn’t give us certainty, but it gives us wonderful detail.


Origins of the secret societies

As long ago as the Zhou dynasty (started 1027 BC), there is evidence of tension between merchants and the government. This tension was to ebb and flow in fits and starts over the next millennium. As civilization gradually become more complex, money and trade assumed more importance, eclipsing the priorities of an earlier age in which raw force had held all the cards. The military and government, feeling their power ebbing, made trade with the world outside China illegal, and put extreme regulations on internal trade, hoping to curtail the wealth and influence of the traders. This new illegality made rare goods from abroad all the more valuable, and trade all the more enticing. But since it was illegal, trade demanded secrecy. Secrecy, of course, is the primary essential element of all secret societies, Chinese or otherwise.



One might wonder if those "tensions" between merchants and the government were actually planned by the elite Merchant class who had much power and wealth, not only in China but all over the known world.

Trade routes had been well established by 1000 bc by those same elite merchants.

The merchant class may very well have had control of most "governments" along the wealthy routes.

Creating "tensions" is a perfect way to establish higher demand and higher prices as well as allowing "expansions".

The Merchant Trade Groups had Multi-Nation influence over City-States and ports spanning the entire Mediterranean coastal areas and many inland outposts as far away as present day Europe, Great Britain, Africa, Egypt, upper and central Asia, India, China and probably limited areas in the Americas.

Perhaps the Chinese secret societies had connections to the Mediterranean Groups ?

Good thread ...... much discussion needed



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 07:23 AM
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Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan

Originally posted by network dude
reply to post by silent thunder
 


great information. Thinking of the Shaoulin Monks, most of the ancient martial arts groups would fall into this same realm would they not? Their secrets only shared with those who prove through time that they are worthy to receive the training.

The groups you posted on seem to be somewhat rooted in business/socio-economical style. Do you think the orient has retained that aspect of business over the years more so than US or western business models?


The secret societies he refers to are guilds, not esoteric teachings. Mafias, mobs, guilds, black market type folks. Definitely not laboring over an ashlar.

I should clarify: not knocking this thread at all. Great information and I look forward to the next "installment".
edit on 12-5-2011 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)


The groups brought up are Gangs but the philosophy of this type of teaching seems to have been going on for centuries. I think it stems much deeper than just the crime families. I could be wrong.



posted on May, 16 2011 @ 10:38 PM
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Looking forward to part II, thanks for the great look back into Chinese history.



posted on May, 16 2011 @ 11:14 PM
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silent thunder, Very interesting thread,,, Let's not forget the Tong. This is a Gang of Criminals thats have Secrets to keep. I believe Tong also means "Hall" in English and their are out of Southern China.

Don't Ask,,, But I've heard this organization being described as a secret society or a sworn brotherhood and are often tied to criminals.
I've also heard,,,,,Tongs are, for the most part, members of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Associations found in most if not all Chinatown communities.

It is important to remember,

Tongs follow the pattern of secret societies common to southern China and many are connected to a secret society called the Tiandihui, which follows this pattern. The Tiandihui claimed its purpose was to work for the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty and restoration of the Ming Dynasty in China, but most of its activities were, in fact, apolitical. Other groups worldwide that follow this pattern and are connected with the Tiandihui, are known as hui, hongmen, and triads.

en.wikipedia.org...(organization)
I just found them in wikipedia,,,,
Did you catch That Part,,,,, Tongs and most secret societies are common in Southern China. They are connected to the Tiandihui and Hui and Hongmen and TRIADS!

Thank You for your thread.
edit on 16-5-2011 by guohua because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 03:02 PM
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I'd like to thank the people who posted and showed interest in this thread. Although I initially planned this as the first part of a series, after some thought I abandoned the project because I was concerned that some of the material might potentially contravene the Terms and Conditions (T&C) of ATS. However, I hope you enjoyed the first post, at least, and I hope it can serve as stand-alone background info for anyone who wants to dig further into the subject on their own. See you around, ATS.
edit on 7/27/11 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 05:16 PM
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I was seriously anticipating the next chapter of this Saga, I hope you reconsider!



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 06:35 PM
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reply to post by eLPresidente
 


This is two of us.

I would really like to hear more, if you have it, on this subject.






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