SECRET SOCIETIES AS A HISTORICAL FACTOR: DOCTRINES, FEATURES AND ACTIVITIES
This article is devoted to the socio-philosophical analysis of secret societies and their role in socio-political development. Based on the research of L. A. Tikhomirov, the author identifies esoteric communities from the entire spectrum of public organizations that avoid publicity, which build their own hierarchy based on the dosing of information depending on the degree of initiation of the adherent. Such an organization is instrumental in a society not dedicated to the doctrine: depending on its needs and capabilities, it can either be adjacent to it or parasitizing on it. Esoteric organizations, in turn, are divided into chiliastic and escapist. The chiliastic ones expect the end of the world, or at least radical transformations of the existing social empire, and in some cases they are even ready to contribute to the onset of this massive social cataclysm (in order to subjugate the uninitiated in a new order). Escapist secret societies deny the available social reality and either alienate themselves from the pressing problems of the society in which they live, or try to parasitize on it. Esoteric organizations of both types in the struggle for the implementation of their doctrines can act both indirectly, through unequal cooperation with the uninitiated, and directly, using armed speech. Secret chiliastic-type societies are examined by the example of the Manichaean movement and its sects, and a Haitian voodoo cult is given as an illustration of an escapist secret society.