The Secret History of the Drinking Club
The secret drinking club is a time honored tradition still in use today. This tradition was first popularized by Greeks such as Socrates and Plato; and is predominately European in origin. The Greek Symposium or drinking party was a way for Greek citizens to get together, drink wine and discuss philosophy.Slaves and woman were not allowed to participate in the symposium discussions except Hetaira, who brought entertainment along with intellectual and sexual stimulation. Click here to read more.
However, the drinking party might have origins elsewhere like Egypt where beer became a substitute for water. The Festival of Drunkenness was held on the first month of the Egyptian calendar. Read Here for More. The Greeks had a similar festival to Dionysus, the God of Wine, Food, Entertainment and sexual mania. Today, we still celebrate these party hard festivals with Mardi Gras, and living up to the Greek passion of turning every holiday towards alcoholism, celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Halloween, etc.
Egyptian Secret Drinking clubs could have existed and would have been reserved for the very rich and consist of wine, rare in Egypt, where the royal elite drank mass amounts of wine or like the symposium, was a place for wealthy priests to get together in a secluded location and discuss spirituality and Alchemy with other high priests (this is speculation admirable of further inquiry).
But thekeep.org article does shine some light on the fact that Egyptian masons were given five pints of beer a day; and it doesn’t seem unreasonable to think that Egyptian Masons got together in secret, during times when religion and literary studies were illegal activities for the working class and discussed things they picked up from the High Priests. This could very well be the origins of Freemasonry, whose origins according to every major scholar on the subject, begins in Egypt.
The Calves Head Club began sometime after the death of Charles the First of England around 1694. The club met in secret every year where they held a festival consisting of animal heads which represented the beheading of the king and his entourage where they sang songs in commemoration of the death of a tyrant. Click here to read more.
According to an Article by the blog Lord of the Drinks, when Peter the Great was a young man, he ran around the countryside with an entourage of heavy drinkers who called themselves the Jolly Company. This is similar to the Greek tradition of komastai where symposium attendees would roam the streets in drunken groups. This Jolly Company of Peter’s would go on to become the elite secret society All Joking, All Drunken Synod of Jesters and Fools where members were given titles like Pope, Cardinal and bishop as a parody on the catholic church. Read this article here.
The American Revolution was invoked by a Symposium located on Bostons North side called the Green Dragon. The Secret Society Sons of Liberty is believed to have met here along with the Committee of Correspondence both led by Samuel Adams. Warontherock.com has an article titled Colonial Tavern: Crucible of the American Revolution that mentions another important taverns, like The Tun Tavern of Philidelphia which is the birth place of The first American Grand Free masonic Lodge and also of the Marine Corps. Click here to read.
The American tradition of the Symposium doesn’t end in colonial times with the American Revolution but continues into the twenty first century. The Secret Society Bohemian Grove with it’s 2,700 acre headquarters, according to the Washington Post is where the worlds rich and elite go to play. Read that article Here.
College fraternities also play a pivotal role role in the Symposium tradition. The most famous being the highly secretive Skull And Bones Society of Yale University whose origins seem to stem from ancient Death cults, mystery schools like the Free Masons and college drinking fraternities. The Kappa Beta Pi is a secret society of elite bankers according to this article, who feel that the current financial crisis is a joke.
The oldest surviving pornographic film according to filmsite.org, click here to read more on the early history of sex in cinema, was a French film produced in 1908. The significance of this is that these films were shown in brothels before finding their way in the backrooms of parlors and drinking clubs back when such explicit material was still illegal. The prohibition era a decade later would lead to the corruption of the drinking club and the rise of the mafia in America. This infiltration of the criminal underground into the political sphere of powerful drinking clubs affect are still relevant leading to the rise of the Kennedy’s among other rum runners.
Finally, the last entry into this tradition is a private sect of Free Masons and Shiners called the Royal Order of Jesters who ran into legal troubles back in 2009 when several members were caught in Brazil trying to hook up with underage girls. The non profit organization has also run into other financial issues. Read this article to learn more.
My Thoughts on the Secret Drinking Club.
I’m not much of a drinker, so my opinion on the subject is quite biased although I do enjoy an IPA with my meal from time to time. From the article I read about the Greek Symposium, their tradition is the most inspired with individuals like Socrates leading conversations on the great mysteries of life.
This is far different than the corruption of these institutions found in the scandals of many of these organizations such as The Royal Order of Jesters and Skull and Bones. Many elite college clubs only offer membership built on certain economic and social standards that creates an organization, similar to a barbaric horde; out too rob, cheat and loot anyone not part of their inner circle that leads to conspiracies on a massive scale like The Bohemian Club, whose members wealth accumulate to that of entire governments.
I also don’t understand why alcohol serves as the common recreational drug among such secret societies when they could just as well make hash readily available for their get together’s, or reserve a private resort in the Amazon for a Ayahausca experience. The drinking club as the dominate secret society demonstrates a public consciousness dominated by materialism and building stronger bonds between those on the top of the social manure pile over spiritual revitalization and social enlightenment has lead to the social erosion of our infrastructure and wide spread corruption in our institutions.
Alcohol itself is a dangerous drug that can lead to long term dependence and health affects. It also leads to an escapist mentality where bad habits turn to serious issues like greed and lack of empathy that’s only elevated in a social environment where such behavior is promoted and often elevated. . This is a dangerous realty when in the hands of men with the power to influence entire nations, institutions, .corporations, governments and economies.
I understand that these people need to build strong connections for political purposes that affects all of us and their’s been many enlightened and admirable players through the history of drinking clubs like that of the American Founding Fathers who made compromises where everyone, even the little guy, came out ahead. And many of these gatherings probably stay away from politics all together; and members simply use these events to bring powerful people together. But they need to throw in some variety, find some artists, musicians, writers, small business owners not to intrude but to observe these events where the elite get a more well rounded perspective than just that of their peers. Thank you.