Secret societies and fraternal orders have many different raisons d'tre, but they all have one thing in common: they divide the world into "us" and "them." Whether their motives are vindictive or purely innocent, these organizations often provide those who join with a sense of purpose in their lives.
Featuring over 800 entries, this complete A-to-Z guide profiles all types of private organizations-social, benevolent, ethnic, trade, religious, criminal, and political-and the important rites, concepts, and key individuals within these groups.
For many currently active groups and organizations, this reference provides information on membership, activities, and location.
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This A-Z reference, covering such groups as the Ku Klux Klan, the Freemasons, Scientologists and the Hell Fire Club, describes the entry ''qualifications'', principal activities, membership and location of each society or organisation.'From Library Journal:
Axelrod (Encyclopedia of the American West, LJ 11/1/96) gives us a detailed, well-written encyclopedia of past and present social, service, ethnic, trade, mystical, religious, political, and criminal societies from around the world. Over 800 entries cover organizations and related topics such as rituals, degrees, and symbols, with those on active organizations including membership information, activities, and addresses. Axelrod also provides a useful introductory essay on the evolution of secret societies and reasons why individuals join such groups, and he closes the work with a detailed bibliography. This work duplicates some of the directory information found in the Encyclopedia of Associations (Gale, 1997. 32d ed.) but updates older titles like William Joseph Whalen's Handbook of Secret Organizations (1966. o.p.). Recommended for both academic and public libraries.?Stephen L. Hupp, Univ. of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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