Simmel on Secrecy and Secret Societies

by Esteban

“The structure of the group is often with the direct view to assurance of keeping certain subjects from general knowledge. This is the case with those peculiar types of secret society whose substance is an esoteric doctrine, a theoretical, mystical, religious gnosis. In this case secrecy is the sociological end-unto-itself.” Simmel, “Sociology of Secrecy,” pg. 476-7.

–Kocku von Stuckrad, “Secrecy as Social Capital,” in Andreas Kilcher, Constructing Tradition, Means and Myths of Transmission in Western Esotericism, 2010, pg. 239-42.

–Georg Simmel, “The Sociology of Secrecy and of Secret Societies,” American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 11, Issue 4 (Jan., 1906), pp. 441-498.