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blog Hush: The Role of Secret Societies in Revolutions

Discussion in 'Research' started by Black Dragon, Aug 9, 2020.

  1. Featured Author

    Featured Author Scribe

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    Featured Author submitted a new blog post:

    Hush: The Role of Secret Societies in Revolutions
    This article is by Seán Gray, and is presented by Worldbuilding Magazine.

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    Revolutions and secret societies have long shared a connection. Whether through military action or fostering divergent thought, these organizations have played key roles in several revolutions around the world. This article aims to help you create truly interesting and compelling revolutionary groups—a valuable skill for any prospective worldbuilder to add to their arsenal. Whether it be out of idealism and a desire for non-violent resistance, purely pragmatic, or somewhere in-between, revolutionaries have long engaged in cloak and daggers. It’s time to peel back the curtain and find out why.

    Whispered Conversations

    It is important to note that secret societies come in in a variety of different flavors. For some of these groups, secrecy is only a means to foster martial revolution. Many a revolt has been stifled in its crib by informers and police raids, after all. For more peaceful groups, secrecy serves a different—if equally important—purpose: protecting ideas and conversations repressed by (usually) the government. Revolution does not have to be achieved through military means, and not all clandestine groups adopt violence as a tool. Secret societies can act as a forum for illegal or repressed thought. Many cultural transformations...
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  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Excellent article and thanks for the references!

    Your fictional Labar example made me think at once of the Huguenots. Another type of secret society is most any religious movement that is condemned and anathematized by the relgion of the ruler. Secret meetings, a shared literature, and a willingness to face martyrdom are key elements.

    Secret societies offer loads of storytelling possibilities. Thanks for offering up this one!
     
  3. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Inkling

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    Secret societies can provide all sorts of opportunities for humor, if one has a bent for that sort of thing (as do I). Ernest Bramah's pseudo-Chinese cities were full of them, sometimes with hereditary members, plotting against the government and/or each other. And didn't de Camp have a city state ruled by a secret society? I'll have to look that up sometime.
     

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