I’ve been fascinated by secret societies ever since I read a book called ‘The Holy Blood & the Holy Grail’, back in the 80s. Dan Brown took the fabric of this investigative piece of work, added a plot and called it the Da Vinci Code. If you happen to be a fan of the secret society genre, you’ll find that the Knight’s Templars, the Freemasons and the Jesuits are pretty much responsible for everything that’s happened behind the scenes from the twelfth century onwards. In fact, the more you read, the more brain knots you’ll end up with, as each author argues persuasively that it was their favourite society who were responsible for this or that event, and not another author’s. Fast forward to today, and the vast array of secret organisations attempting to control the world are mind boggling, including in their number the Trilateral Committee, the Knights of Malta, Skull & Bones, Bilderberg, etc. All of these societies are presented to the layman as totally omnipotent, in control of our lives from the day we’re born. Occasionally, member’s lists sneak out, and lo & behold – everyone who’s anyone is a member of them all.
Before I go any further, let me state that I am not and never have been a member of any secret society, although obviously, if I was, that’s exactly what you’d expect me to say. D’oh! I was once a member of Round Table, but that’s: a) not a secret club, and b) a charity organisation. What I discovered from that experience is when you throw a load of successful businessmen in a pot, add a framework for the purposes of imposing order, and stir, what comes out the other end is not necessarily as successful as its constituent parts. This is mainly thanks to infighting and vested interests. The same can be said of Parliament and the Senate – MPs and Senators do what is right for them and their backers, not the people who put them in power.
Given that this is how things work, I have to ask whether the idea of the all-seeing, all-powerful secret society that cannot be beaten and never makes a mistake is fact the truth. Perhaps that what they want you to believe, because the truth would shatter their carefully concocted image. Certainly, if everyone who’s anyone is a member of every society going, then their vested interests will conflict between societies, causing proceedings to grind to a halt. Plus, the Anyones will never have any time to do any real work, because they’re so busy with their secret society schedules, they can’t fit the day job in. Just a thought, but it’s one I like very much – the incompetent secret society that blunders its way through history, screwing up every major deal it’s involved in. When they try to hint how powerful they are, even that continually goes wrong, with the result that they’ve never been mentioned in print for the whole of their 200 year history.
With most of the protagonist Vs Secret Society plots, the hero is desperately trying to outwit the bad guys and solve a mystery before their men get him. Now flip that on its head. What if the protagonist is a member of an incompetent secret society who find it difficult to recruit new members because no-one has ever heard of them. The only thing they’ve been able to do is infiltrate the world of finance (City of London), and they’ve made a massive dog’s dinner of that, thanks to corruption, vested interests and plain stupidity. This is the world in which Ferret finds himself – he is that protagonist. And he’s had enough of taking ridiculous orders, he wants out. What happens when one tries to leave an incompetent secret society that has a habit of handing out concrete flippers to those who want to leave?
You’ll have to read the novel to find out.