Secret societies can even be found within religious organizations. One of the most conservative Catholic organizations is called the Opus Dei, “the work of God”, and has been accused of many things based on their seemingly huge amount of power and money as well as their tendency to secrecy. Are they a secret society in the sense of covering up immoral or unethical actions?
Opus Dei was founded in 1928 Spain by a priest named Saint Josemaria Escriva. He says that he saw a vision from God showing him how the work of God should be more in every person’s everyday life. Many began to follow his teachings though others called him a heretic. The Opus Dei has grown substantially over the years and increased in power within the Catholic Church.
As their numbers and power have grown, so have the questions about what the organization does. According to their own website, they help “people turn their worship and daily activities into occasions for growing closer to God.” Who are their members? That is where the first hint of uncomfortable secrecy arises.
There is no membership list that is available for the public. Throughout the life of Opus Dei membership has been typically a secret. Not all members choose to be quiet of their involvement, but the vast majority keep their membership quiet. This does not sit well with the general public which begin to suspect activities that are clandestine in nature just from this action alone.
As the secrecy of membership has continued, the group has been accused of overturning governments, having spies in governmental places, and even of using mind-control. With many schools being supported by the Opus Dei though not in name, many conclude that mind-control goes through the area of academics. Having riches that rival many countries, the group has been accused of building up its treasury with criminal activities.
The majority of the public might not have been aware of Opus Dei until The Da Vinci Code came out portraying the group as a murderous faction who whip themselves on a regular basis. This perception has been taken up by many as fact though members who are not secretive of their association laugh at this portrayal seeing it far from the truth and the result of a very active imagination.
What historical evidence is there of Opus Dei being a secret organization that controls governments and murders those that oppose them? None except a few members of the society being in high places during revolutions and other governmental actions. The same can be said for many other clubs and societies with their men and women in power during that time. Though there is some suspicion in the fact that not all documents and material are easily available to the public and responses at times seem evasive.
Opus Dei is a young society with secretive actions that give rise to many rumors of what their true intent is. Time will only tell as to what the society really does and how far it reaches around the world.