posted on Feb, 25 2016 @ 10:59 PM
Some historical insight - whether it is related at all except tangentially is not mine to assert - for what little it may be worth.
The late 1600s was a time (as throughout much of European history) when multiple mystery schools, alchemical practices, and occult societies
flourished, rubbing up against more established forms of mysticism and esoteric-ism. It was also the aftermath of the 30 year war, and the remnants of
the Holy Roman Empire were regaining their political bearings and identities under the Peace of Westphalia.
You had belief systems like Bektashi Sufism brushing up against Jewish Kabbalah among many others, lots of lodges and sects and knightly orders all
cross-pollinating and recombining into their own mystical and moral interpretations of reality, and it was in the latter midst of all this that von
Sporck founded the hunting society in question of which Scalia was a member. (Of note, legend has it - though many historians reject this notion - von
Sprock also had a hand in founding or assisting in the founding of an order of Freemasonry in Bohemia. Where historians do not seem to disagree is
that his name crops up in relationship to various secret societies of the era.)
Although not directly related that anyone knows of (or that I've seen hinted at by anyone at least,) it was also in the ensuing first half of the
1700s that the Golden and Rosy Cross order was founded by occultists and alchemists in Prague. And, of course, Freemasonry's spread in Britain and
America was of note during the first half of the 1700s as well. How all of these factors related, or if they do at all beyond a lot of
cross-pollination and "borrowing" of concepts of the day, is a matter of some debate.
So, how does the term "Bohemian" relate to the modern Bohemian Club?
During the 1840s, Czech nationals called for the restoration of Bohemia’s historic rights, whereby Czech would replace German as the language of the
land and the government administration. Around the same time, the wandering, gypsy-like lifestyle of the Romani peoples, believed by the French to
have arrived from Bohemia, became romanticized and associated with wandering writers and artists. This is where the term Bohemian or Bohemianism
initially originated. It came to mean anyone who was a wanderer, vagabond, or impoverished intellectual. A “free spirited” artist or thinker or
Bohemian nationals began to immigrate to the United States around 1845. From 1848 or so, the Bohemian immigration wave included some of the radicals
and ex-priests who had wanted a new constitutional government independent from Austria. In 1857, 15 to 20 young journalists started calling themselves
Bohemians in New York in the run up to the civil war in 1860. During the war, journalists started calling themselves Bohemian, and thus Bohemian
became synonymous with being a writer for a newspaper.
So being a “Bohemian” was originally something requiring poverty and artistry, sometimes including journalism. In 1872 however, some
California Chronicle (later the San Francisco Chronicle) reporters/writers founded the Bohemian Club as a mens club for journalists who enjoyed the
fine arts and the “finer things” in life. In time they relaxed their rules, permitting those who had little or no artistic leanings but who were
financially affluent to join. In time, the original artistic Bohemians were in the minority, and the wealthy disproportionately influenced the
club. These members defined their own version of "Bohemianism," which today - for them - bears little resemblance to the literary or journalistic
connotation. Let alone the national and ethnic connotation it originally had.
Since its founding, the Bohemian Club’s mascot has been an owl, supposedly symbolizing knowledge. The club’s motto, emblazoned on the image of an
owl on the plaque found on its San Francisco headquarters on Taylor Street, is “Weaving spiders come not here,” which is a quote from
Shakespeare. The club maintains, or has at certain points, that this motto is intended to be an instruction to leave all worldly or political concerns
outside the club’s confines. They likewise attest that this is what the legendary "cremation of care" that is carried out in the Muir Woods is
intended to symbolize. Essentially that they're just there to leave their cares behind, and make merry.
However the phrase in Shakespeare when placed in its full context refers to the high-born Faerie court warning creeping, crawling low-born beings
such as spiders and snails to stay away, because they are about to begin their worship of the Faerie queen. Some speculate that this is a metaphor for
what really goes on in the Bohemian Grove proceedings, and how certain powerful interests in the club view the rest of society.
This is all speculative of course. And I wish to go on record as saying I am not one who paints with a broad brush or views association with the
Bohemian Club - nor Freemasonry, or any other such order - as intrinsically bad, ominous, or harmful. I have known Masons who are wonderful people,
and Masons have undertaken social work that is of enormous contribution to society and the betterment of many people's lives in my opinion. One
prominent example can be found in the Shriners' children's hospitals.
I find it more likely that only a very few powerful and affluent individuals, or people in key positions, exploit the secrecy afforded by such
orders and institutions, and perhaps hold their own interpretation and intentions with regard to their mysticism, rather than seeing those orders and
institutions themselves as somehow complicit directly in any potential conspiracy or dark deeds.
That said, this is just my attempt at providing some historical context on a very, very broad, general scale.