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Jamaica's secret societies

Published:Thursday | October 6, 2011 | 12:00 AM


IT IS noticeable that The Gleaner has abandoned its campaign of labelling political parties gangs. In my opinion, the correct label is secret society. The definition of this label appears below, quoted from the book Secret Societies of the Middle Ages by Thomas Keightley (1837).

If we had the means of investigating historically the origin of secret societies, we should probably find that they began to be formed almost as soon as any knowledge had been accumulated by particular individuals beyond what constituted the common stock.

The highest levels of the political parties have access to the bulk of the information (knowledge) and only select members of this secret society benefit. Then some of the information (knowledge) is allowed to trickle to the lower levels of the party before entering the public domain. Even if eventually, some of this information (knowledge) enters the public domain, the timing does not allow for any advantage to be taken, except by the very innovative.

Keightley goes on to explain why secret societies have a negative impact on the society.

In any circumstances, a secret association is an imperium in imperio, a power separate from, and independent of, that which is recognised as the supreme power in the state, and therefore something essentially disorganising, and which it is contrary to the first principles of all government for any state to tolerate.

The Jamaican people have long deduced that what goes on in Parliament is not what is directing the country, but instead it is the secret knowledge and back-door deals that carry the swing. If only we could get some members of these secret societies to come out and expose the dealings and get us to a state of openness. Is there any hope that new leadership will take us in this direction, away from secret societies?

Roger Blair, DBA