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A secret society is a social organization which requires its members to conceal certain activities—such as rites of initiation or club ceremonies—from outsiders. Members may be required to conceal or deny their membership, and are often sworn to hold the society's secrets by an oath. The term "secret society" is often used to describe fraternal organizations that may have secret ceremonies, but is also commonly applied to organizations ranging from the common and innocuous (collegiate fraternities) to mythical organizations described in conspiracy theories as immensely powerful, with self-serving financial or political agendas, global reach, and often satanic beliefs.
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