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. [via]