The Orange Order is one of the most mysterious and little remarked upon secret societies around. There's a reason for that: it's also one of the most historically important of the last two-hundred and fifty years. And not for reasons Alex Jones will ever acknowledge.
You see, modern history has produced a certain type of secret society. Think Germany's Thule Society, France's La Cagoule, Italy's Propaganda Due, or our very own Sovereign Order of Saint John. One thing all of these outfits have in common are their own secret armies.
It is now grudgingly acknowledged, at least in Europe, that "stay-behind armies" were a common feature of the Cold War era. These clandestine militias were established across Western Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War by the intelligence services of the US and UK. In theory, these stay-behinds would be used, in conjunction with American and British special operations forces, to wage a guerrilla war against the Soviet Union in the event that Western Europe was invaded.
That was the theory at least. In actuality, these stay-behinds often turned up in more nefarious and illicit activities. This is one aspect of the stay-behinds that has been covered up for decades. Another is the close relation these stay-behinds often had to secret societies, or that they were modeled on interwar arrangements used by groups like the Thulists or Cagoulards.
But to find the origins of the modern use of militias by secret societies, one must turn to the Orangemen. Unlike most secret societies, this group always had militant intentions from it's very inception. For over two plus centuries years, it has been used as a cudgel to support British interests in Ireland and beyond.
The strange and terrible history of the Orangemen and their legacy is the subject of The Farm's latest subscribers episode. Helping me unfold this history is the great Richard B. Spence. Richard is the author of such works as Secret Agent 666: Aleister Crowley, British Intelligence, and the Occult and Trust No One: The Secret World of Sidney Reilly. He is also the host of "The Real History of Secret Societies" of the History Channel's Great Courses series.
This is an epic chat that covers both the modern history of Ireland and Freemasonry, the role of secret societies in the strategy of tension, and all kinds of high weirdness surrounding America's oh-so-mysterious Sovereign Order of Saint John, more commonly known as the "Shickshinny Knights of Malta."
For those of you unaware, by joining The Farm's patron for $5 a month you receive two additional, full lengths episodes per month. That's between two and four hours of bonus material with exclusive guests and content. The likes of Christopher Knowles, J. Michael "Doc Future" Bennett, Neil Sanders, and David Metcalfe have already joined me for these exclusive shows and in the coming weeks Greg Bishop and Adam Gorightly will be dropping by. So please, consider it folks.