The Secret Conspiracy of the Elks Clubs
: >Personally, I wonder about the Elks Clubs. Just what does B.P.O.E.
: >stand for anyway? Just what are they *really* up to?
: In many small towns and even large cities, the Elks include prominent
: members of the community. They get together, sometimes make business
: deals and plan political actions. They are the equivalent of the
: Masons in England which includes a large part of the "establishment"
: in its membership.
: The result is a "conspiracy" of sorts, but in communities where
: formal club exists, groups of "power players" get together at certain
: eating spots or spas or whatever else is "in". Typically the coalitions
: formed are loose, disturbed by conflicting interests and in many cases
: the time spent cultivating such "contacts" can be better spent elsewhere.
: However in not a few cases, collectives of the (relatively) powerful
: result in unsavory behavior including outright corruption.
: The problem is that no specific organization is really the cause. Such
: organizations simply act to bring people together. If the organization
: is disrupted, then a new one will form. For example in the Italy of
: the seventies, national corruption was clustered in a pseudo Masonic
: organization known as Propaganda 2. When this was exposed, the games
: moved elsewhere and the recent scandals have shown.
: One thing that the powerful know (and this is no secret, Ben Franklin
: wrote about it) is that places and organizations which encourage people
: to meet are an important tool (often benign). Such groupings will
: always exist and cultures (eg. Jewish, Chinese) which encourage them
: will often have advantages in business. More recently, the American
: rightwing has used churches for such purposes.
: Those who feel left out by the system should remember the pragmatic
: reality that they have to build their own system. This often requires
: a substantial investment in time and money. One reason that the
: American "left" is so weak as a grassroots organization is that
: relatively few of those who wanted an "alternative culture" were
: willing to go through the sacrifice. They hoped things would
: somehow happen spontaneously.
: Every organization is a potential powerbase. And evryone is suspect
: (at least within local conditions) because power can be abused. But
: a great deal of positive accomplishment is also associated with
: such groupings because "they can get things done" (be it cleaning
: a local park or gathering votes for their favorite canidate).
Yes indeed! Conspiracy or "breathing together" is in the very nature
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