Mike Horn-Mitchem, Academy Village
Monday, May 31, 2021,
an ASA Zoom Webinar*
The idea of secret knowledge possessed by secret societies goes back at least to the dawn of Western civilization and flourished during the classical era in Greece and Rome. Although often conflated with secret societies, cults are in some ways their opposites, just as conspiracy theories are darker, mirror-images of secret knowledge. In his talk, Mike will lay out the distinguishing characteristics of the four entities, along with their internal subcategories.
At times, all four structures have made their mark on politics and altered history: The Knights Templar, Freemasons and the Illuminati are among the best-known examples. More recently, in only three years
Q-Anon spread from nothing to millions of adherents. Does it represent a new model or is it only the most recent iteration of an old subculture?
These and other questions will be addressed, with thumbnail surveys of over twenty secret societies, cults, conspiracies, and caches of secret knowledge. During his years in California and the deep South, Mike had personal engagement with several groups, including the John Birch Society, the Unification Church (Moonies), the Rosicrucians, Scientology and Anglo-Israelism.. He and his wife both underwent initiate/intake training with three groups that are often classified as cults.
Mike Horn-Mitchem has been a resident of AV for two years. He has a B.A. in Political Geography from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.B.A. in Information Systems from the University of New Mexico. He hasn’t quite given up his interest in field observations of the secret subcultures, although Tucson today is a considerably less fertile environment than was California in the 1970s.
Written by Mike Horn-Mitchem, Academy Village Volunteer
*For access to the Zoom Webinar, please write firstname.lastname@example.org.