Sure, you’ve heard of some “secret” societies, like the Illuminati, Skull and Bones, Rosicrucians, and Freemasons. Those aren't really all that secret anymore. But there are plenty of others, some so esoteric that they are rarely mentioned outside their own circle. One only came to light in the past few years from a coded text that was finally translated when a linguist and a computer programmer joined forces.
What they found were the long-lost rituals of a group known as the Great Enlightened Society of Oculists. In the mid 18th century, the esoteric organisation appeared to be made up of ophthalmologists who were performing ground-breaking work in the field of eyesight. They were experimenting with the likes of eye surgeries and cataract removals. At least, that’s how they presented themselves to the public, or even to church and state.
The Great Enlightened Society of Oculists also used the eye as a symbol of knowledge; they seemed to be experts in the eye and gatekeepers to the knowledge that lay beyond it. And while much of the text, even when translated, is still full of code and double-speak, experts were able to make educated guesses as to what was going on behind closed doors.
Find out what that document was about, plus the stories of quite a few other secret societies, at Urban Ghosts.