What are the names of the (semi)secret societies — any and/or all of them — that have influenced, are influencing (and, via common consent, may influence in the future) Buddhism?

  • I've seen talk of secret societies before in relation to Buddhism but can't imagine where it comes from. Perhaps it arises from the conspiracy theory culture we live in.
    – user14119
    Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 13:38
  • To clarify, the key word here is “influence.” Not so much that there are secret Buddhists withholding secret Dhamma. Rather, we can see how some large public organizations are now very interested in the popularity of mindfulness which may result in a knock-on effect on “Buddhism.” Where attention goes, energy flows. So then, why wouldn’t those in power attempt to exert influence? Furthermore, wouldn’t those in power (outside of Buddhism) have less power if they were 100% transparent? As a reference please look to the vast amount of State secrets and the “security clearances” involved.
    – vimutti
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 3:44
  • You may look at Theosophical Society, it shaped the Theravada and constructed the term Early Buddhism. They have involved in instigating the two WWs. Of course there are more... do you think the one in power wanted everyone to get enlightened? What we get in general public, the most popular, the voted answers, or the highest scores... are resulted from devices and schemes to herd people in certain direction. Even in scientific field there are curfews not to mention arts like Buddhism Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 18:01
  • @Mishu米殊 Please post that as an answer not a comment.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 18:11
  • 1
    ... I just am not sure if this forum can contain it? Secret society is touchy and "conspiracy" is designed to put doubts to the minds of many, it doesn't bare a good name. I avert the name "conspiracy theorist" which I am not, and among them are double-roled spies who mix in hilarious theories to discredit the real one... Definitely there are infiltration into the Samgha & Sangha... Some Bhiksus/Bhikkhus are financed and promoted to spread or market certain views... If I post a post to state this it will not work here... and it's too complicated to explain... involves history... politic Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 5:22

3 Answers 3


The Dhamma(teachings of the Buddha) is the sole authority on Buddhism and the Sangha are the guardians of it. There is no need for secret societies in Buddhism. It is not supposed to be secret or hidden. The Dhamma has the following 6 qualities:

  1. Svakkhato: The Dhamma is not a speculative philosophy, but is the Universal Law found through enlightenment and is preached precisely. Therefore it is Excellent in the beginning (Sila — Moral principles), Excellent in the middle (Samadhi — Concentration) and Excellent in the end (Panna — Wisdom),

  2. Samditthiko: The Dhamma is testable by practice and known by direct experience,

  3. Akaliko: The Dhamma is able to bestow timeless and immediate results here and now, for which there is no need to wait until the future or next existence.

  4. Ehipassiko: The Dhamma welcomes all beings to put it to the test and to experience it for themselves.

  5. Opaneyiko: The Dhamma is capable of being entered upon and therefore it is worthy to be followed as a part of one's life.

  6. Paccattam veditabbo vinnunhi: The Dhamma may be perfectly realized only by the noble disciples who have matured and enlightened enough in supreme wisdom.

It is like the moon. The more it is revealed to the world, the brighter the world becomes.


In DN 16 (below), the Buddha said that he did not hide anything with the closed fist of a teacher who keeps some things back. He did not separate some doctrines as exotic or esoteric from other doctrines.

So this removes the need for secret or semi-secret societies in Buddhism. In fact, all that the Buddha taught can be found online in English, barring those which have not yet been translated to English or not yet digitally transcribed.

So, we should openly reject any groups that claim to teach some secrets in Buddhism that is accessible only to those who join those organizations and swear to keep secrets.

Thus spoke the Venerable Ananda, but the Blessed One answered him, saying: "What more does the community of bhikkhus expect from me, Ananda? I have set forth the Dhamma without making any distinction of esoteric and exotic doctrine; there is nothing, Ananda, with regard to the teachings that the Tathagata holds to the last with the closed fist of a teacher who keeps some things back.

In SN 56.31 (the parable of the Simsapa leaves), the Buddha said that he taught only part of what he directly realized and did not teach a lot of other things. But he said that the things he did not teach were not useful to the path to end all suffering.


Mara and his host, inwardly and outwardly, as for the Dhamma-Vinaya. As for Buddh-ism, it's not secret that it's born from trends of self-identification.

They, those unknowingly or knowingly destruct the Dhamma-Vinaya are usually of pseudoliberal, marxistic views like "The more it is revealed to the world, the brighter the world becomes." Dhamma is something that no-one can reveal for others, yet some might be ready to follow the Noble track. Others, not capable letting go of house (identification) are using all ways to pull it into their outer lands domain.

If this would be true, that this times of easy access would not be the most destructive and harming times since the last Buddha arose. What is not seen or ignored? That this Dhamma is naturally just fir those ready and willing to be tamed and not thought for common folk.

Can you see Mara grasping after the moon?

[Note: this is a gift of Dhamma, not thought for trade, stakes, exchanges or other gains subject toward decay and should be deleted if it's not giften to give in Dhammic conditions]

  • Are there naturally occurring processes also (self-)identifying as beings who constitute gatherings (in one way or another) related to Mara and his hosts? If so, what are any and/or all names attributed to such gatherings?
    – vimutti
    Commented Nov 16, 2018 at 15:34
  • Some gather on BSe or use it... Commented Nov 16, 2018 at 23:25
  • Can " @vimutti " see them now? Commented Nov 16, 2018 at 23:58

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