Friday, June 6, 2008

Fictional Fraternities

I followed a link to this interesting list of fictional fraternities from the Van Gorden-Williams Library's weblog post Improved Order of the Benevolent Quiz-Takers, and quickly noticed that a couple that are missing:

The Bookhouse Boys

From WikiPedia:

The Bookhouse Boys are a secret society on Twin Peaks formed to combat the darkness surrounding the town.

The members, some of which belong to the police department, also play a kind of vigilante role against drug dealers etc. The series says that it was formed about twenty years previous to the events, so probably some time in the 1960s. They are not afraid to take the law into their own hands, e.g. when Bernard Renault is interrogated in the Bookhouse.

Like the Freemasons, they have their own secret gesture, a stroke with a finger on the temple.

The Esoteric Order of Dagon

You may remember these fellows from H.P. Lovecraft's story The Shadow over Innsmouth:
It was called, she said, "The Esoteric Order of Dagon", and was undoubtedly a debased, quasi-pagan thing imported from the East a century before, at a time when the Innsmouth fisheries seemed to be going barren. Its persistence among a simple people was quite natural in view of the sudden and permanent return of abundantly fine fishing, and it soon came to be the greatest influence in the town, replacing Freemasonry altogether and taking up headquarters in the old Masonic Hall on New Church Green.
Although it's true that I didn't know much about the Masons and certainly never gave any serious thought to joining a fraternal order until last summer, it's interesting to read through that list and realize how many cultural cues I grew up with. All of the "funny hat frats" on TV helped reinforce the stereotypal view of lodges as goofy, harmless stag gathering places, while The Bookhouse Boys and the Esoteric order of Dagon were examples of the more mysterious, shadowy sort.

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