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valerielynn
12-13-2012, 06:05 PM
I have this wealthy family in my story named the Montgomery's. The father of this family owns a successful multi national conglomerate company. This business mainly deals with green energy, real estate, financial plus also has many other subsidiares. The father of this family is also on the board of many other businesses, non profit organizations, etc.

This wealthy family is in danger because some secret group, organization, or society is after them. This group that is after the Montgomery family is considered dangerous.

So my first question are there any secret groups, societies, or organizations that exist in real life? I plan on creating a fictional group but if there are any of these in existance then I just want to read up on them and learn more about them so I can put some elements of the real life secret group into my fictional group (hopefully that makes sense).

Another question I have is considering what the Montgomery family business is involved in business wise what could be a possible motive for this dangerous secret group for wanting to harm the Montgomery family?

Sarpedon
12-13-2012, 06:08 PM
Watch The Battle of Algiers, for how a real life secret organization was structured. It can be quite a challenge to organize a group big enough to be powerful and yet keep it secret.

Sunwords
12-13-2012, 06:10 PM
Easiest example to study is the mafia - lots of stuff to read about.
So if you create an organization of criminals, they might be interested in the business to whitewash their money.

Dave Hardy
12-13-2012, 06:23 PM
What kind of secret group are you talking about? If you mean the Illuminati, the Elders of Zion, or David Icke's Reptilians, then you've got more myth than facts.

If you mean the KKK, the Dixie Mafia, the Mafia Mafia, the Red Brigades, or the Elks Club, then the myth to fact ratio is stronger on the fact side. Still a lot of myth though.

The good news is you are writing fiction, so a bit of license to deal in myth is in order. Part of your task is to determine where on the realistic-fantasy scale you want to be. Battle of Algiers is grimly realistic (and highly compelling, one of my favorite movies, a true classic).

In short secret societies are a very broad topic. I'd suggest narrowing you're focus a bit. Who is chasing these folks and why. The story will be different if its gangsters, or terrorists, or shape-shifting aliens.

valerielynn
12-13-2012, 06:34 PM
I already tried doing a search on secret or underground groups/societies/organizations and most the information I found was mostly conspiracy theories and myths.

I'm just trying to develop this secret group and I was hoping I could find some information on some secret group or society that does exist so I could research this group and possibly put some elements of the real life group into my fictional group.

waylander
12-13-2012, 06:36 PM
Al-Quaeda certainly exist!
The major question for credibility is why the secret society are after the Montgomerys, that will I think give you a lead into who they are.
Hardline ecowarriors perhaps?

valerielynn
12-13-2012, 06:52 PM
Maybe I need to expand on my thinking and do a little bit more research and do a little research on mobs/mafia and terrorists groups. I think if I can figure out or get a grasp on who or what this group is then I think it will be pretty easy for me to come up with a theory as to why this group is after the Montgomery family.

waylander, what you said about hardline ecowarriors got me thinking of another idea or concept. What if its some kind of radical group that is after this family? I'm sure there are lots of those in existence (don't know much about those though). So would a terrorist organization be considered a radical group? Or would a radical group be more of a hate group or Extremist group?

Dave Hardy
12-13-2012, 07:07 PM
I already tried doing a search on secret or underground groups/societies/organizations and most the information I found was mostly conspiracy theories and myths.

I'm just trying to develop this secret group and I was hoping I could find some information on some secret group or society that does exist so I could research this group and possibly put some elements of the real life group into my fictional group.

The secret society concept is ancient and embraces stuff as varied as traditional tribal clubs (Duk-duk in New Guinea), Chinese Triads, to the Rosicrucians, fraternities, Skull & Bones, the Masons, the Klan, the Mafia, etc. A lot has to do with style. A proper secret society has an oath, some ritual, and secret business, either for charity, or a kegger, or loansharking, or murder or something.

In 18th century Europe (and by extension America) secret societies got a boost in the way Masonry spread. It's a society, it's secret. The Illuminati used Masonry as a cover to advocate political ends, which is where the conspiracy stuff got it's start. You can be the judge how much is myth or fact.

The Masons were the focus of a lot of hostility in the early 1800s in the US, to the point an Anti-Masonic political party formed (appropriately called the Anti-Masons). There were more serious secret societies. The Carbonari were Italian revolutionaries. The Knights of the Golden Circle started as a scam to collect dues, but became a vehicle for American expansionists to plot efforts to seize parts of Latin America. The Propaganda-Due affair in Italy (in the 1970s) shed light on connections between organized crime, politicians, right-wing terrorists, and Masons. In Italy, Masonry ain't just Shriners in tiny cars. Prison gangs in South Africa (dating to the 1890s) have elaborate myths and rituals, as well as being deadly serious about drugs and murder. American street gangs, outlaw bikers, and prison gangs all have their own rituals of initiation, dress codes, and power structures.

The Klan, the Mafia, and the Fenian Brotherhood got their start in the 1860s and were considered secret societies, with oaths, rituals, and hierarchies. The Klan and Mafia are still around the Fenians evolved into the IRA.

There are many, many clandestine organizations around today, though perhaps few would care much about 1860s-style rituals. Russian gangsters might adhere to traditions of rank & ritual, or they might be loosely organized thugs cooperating as needed to make a score. Modern terrorists wouldn't care very much about oaths or rituals as ideology.

So again, a lot goes back to specifics. Instead of secret societies (a massive , maybe you should look at how gangsters or terrorists maintain security and discipline to achieve long-term goals. There are hundreds of such groups I could name, and the details ranging from highly documented fact to sheer fantasy. What type are you interested in?

WeaselFire
12-13-2012, 07:21 PM
Secret Societies are like the American Association of Telepaths. If you can't find them, you don't qualify for membership. :)

Secret Societies are often small and ineffectual. When they get big enough to actually have power, they tend to lose secrecy. In your case, figure out a basis or goal for the society (World Peace, brotherhood, Global Domination, whatever...) and why they would want to interfere in your plot. Then write it.

Jeff

lbender
12-13-2012, 07:22 PM
Dave Hardy has given you a more complete answer than I could. However, as far as secret societies go - if they're truly secret, nobody will know about them, so nobody will be able to tell you anything about them. Hidden groups of evildoers are and have been a fiction staple for a long, long time.

Buffysquirrel
12-13-2012, 09:28 PM
You could look up the Illuminati, who probably don't exist, or the Freemasons, who are somewhat secretive, or the Templars.

Dave Hardy
12-13-2012, 10:12 PM
waylander, what you said about hardline ecowarriors got me thinking of another idea or concept. What if its some kind of radical group that is after this family? I'm sure there are lots of those in existence (don't know much about those though). So would a terrorist organization be considered a radical group? Or would a radical group be more of a hate group or Extremist group?

I know a few Earth First radicals. About the worst they ever did was pour a jar of algae onto the ground during a protest. Turns out that was a crime and they were hounded for it, up to arrest and trial. Some loose algae didn't sound too menacing to me. :Shrug:

As a group, they are pretty loosely organized. Admittedly, I've never taken a deep interest into prying into the group.

There are of course other avenues one could look into regards eco-radicals. There was Julia Butterfly Hill the tree-sitter (not very menacing, and rather sweet). The Unabomber was a different sort of radical, but he worked alone, which is why he was at large for so long, but also undermines the "society" aspect. Allegedly, the Texas Governor's Mansion was burned by eco-radicals, but that case has gone nowhere.

An aside, radical, hate-group, extremist and terrorist are not mutually exclusive terms. They have specific meanings, but in controversial situations they tend to get tossed around less as a means to define, than as a means to make one's enemies sound awful.

Siri Kirpal
12-13-2012, 10:35 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Thinking about WHY your secret society is targeting your family: Since your family is rich, what about kidnapping for ransom? That takes you out of Freemason territory and into any group with a political agenda.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

ironmikezero
12-13-2012, 11:26 PM
It would be wise to create a fictitious secret society that meets the needs of your story. Be clear in your disclaimer that it is a work of fiction and any resemblance, etc... is purely coincidental. Avoid obvious parallels to existing (or suspected of existing) groups. Some may take umbrage at your depiction thereof and act accordingly - reactions may not be civil. You could expose yourself and those close to you to personal jeopardy. Use good judgement... capisce?

melindamusil
12-13-2012, 11:32 PM
For some reason this made me think of eco-terrorism (and more specifically, ELF- the earth liberation front group). For the most part their actions are relatively harmless (think of the Greenpeace advocates chaining themselves to a tree), but I do remember one of them started a pretty serious arson fire at a car dealership around here some time ago.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eco-terrorism

Maybe in your case, they're going after the Mongomeries because he's not eco-friendly "enough", or because he decides to invest in an oil well.
Or maybe he's going to cut down a forest of trees with some kind of infestation and replace them with healthy trees, but they flip out anyway.

Hannibal7
12-13-2012, 11:54 PM
The Skull and Bones society is an interesting option. Notable members include George Bush Snr, George Bush Jnr, John Kerry (two bonesmen running 'against' each other for the presidency... dun..dun...dun!)

I would look at creating your own group that is specific to your story, there are plenty of templates to draw inspiration from.

I'm currently taking a pop at scientology for my story and it feels good!

King Neptune
12-14-2012, 12:19 AM
The post by Dave Hardy said essentially what I would have expressed. If you wnat a specific group, then look into the Masons; there's plenty of information about them that is generally available now. If you want a group that would target specific individuals, the look into the Molly Maguires. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molly_Maguires

ClareGreen
12-14-2012, 12:44 AM
If you're interested in secret societies, you may be interested in this. Not long ago, a centuries-old code got cracked.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/11/ff-the-manuscript/all/

Dave Hardy
12-14-2012, 12:59 AM
The post by Dave Hardy said essentially what I would have expressed. If you wnat a specific group, then look into the Masons; there's plenty of information about them that is generally available now. If you want a group that would target specific individuals, the look into the Molly Maguires. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molly_Maguires

The Mollies are a great example of an 1860s secret society, with oaths & passwords they borrowed from the Ancient Order of Hibernians. They were Irish coal miners who backed the union. They engaged in feuds with Welshmen (who were skilled labor & supervisors), draft officers (in the Civil War), and management goons generally. They were penetrated by McParland, a Pinkerton detective, in the 1870s. He got evidence against a few who rolled over and sent their comrades to the gallows.

By contrast, when McParland went up against the Western Federation of Miners in the 1890s-1900s, the Union was open to any laborer, but only a small clique dealt with revenge & sabotage. One bomber was caught red-handed & talked (http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/haywood/HAY_BORC.HTM), but neither threats nor promises could make any other turn evidence. The leaders of the WFM walked. (http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/haywood/HAYWOOD.HTM)

You could argue that the mine owners & their hired detectives and strike-breakers has their own secret society, but that's going a bit beyond our scope here. Totally irrelevant, but Big Trouble by J Anthony Lukas will tell you everything you wanted to know about life in Idaho at the time of the Steunenberg bombing.

sassandgroove
12-14-2012, 01:08 AM
I already tried doing a search on secret or underground groups/societies/organizations and most the information I found was mostly conspiracy theories and myths.

I'm just trying to develop this secret group and I was hoping I could find some information on some secret group or society that does exist so I could research this group and possibly put some elements of the real life group into my fictional group.
That's because they are SECRET.

valerielynn
12-14-2012, 01:31 AM
Thanks everyone for all the information you provided it was VERY helpful. But after looking closer at my story and the information that I already have I figured out that what I was looking for was right under my nose all along (basically I had an ah ha moment. gotta love those).

ironmikezero you are so right about creating a fictious secret society and that was my intent all along. I guess I just thought I would need to look into supposedly real secret societies so I could somehow model my secret society after the real one (which I guess is a horrible idea)