Ethical Understanding

The Assassins are a legend in the Muslim world. Part freedom fighters, part special forces and part Islamic fundamentalists, they were set up back in the 11th century in today's Syria around the time of the First Christian Crusade in the Holy Land. They were an elite sect of highly trained killers who often operated behind enemy lines, in deep cover, assassinating military leaders and rulers. Their covert tactics and ruthless operations spread fear and terror across the medieval world. Assassinations were primarily carried out with a dagger, which was sometimes tipped with poison. As their legend and infamy grew they started to carry out their assassinations in public spaces so as to instil terror in their foes. They would often assimilate themselves in the cities, palaces and fortresses of their targets and, over time, stealthily insert themselves into strategic positions. Although many scholars believe that they died out after the Crusades, there are those who say that they simply went 'underground' with reports of their activities in the early 20th century. Certainly, the Assassins have inspired, and possibly given rise to, many of today's Islamic fundamentalist groups, including the Taliban in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda and even ISIS. The training methods, secrecy, ruthlessness and covert operations of all these groups are directly the result of The Assassins.

Inside Secret Societies: The Order of the Assassins

Ethical understanding, Critical thinking

Years 11-12 Ethical understanding, Critical thinking
45:10
The Assassins are a legend in the Muslim world. Part freedom fighters, part special forces and part Islamic fundamentalists, they were set up back in the 11th century in today's Syria around the time of the First Christian Crusade in the Holy Land. They were an elite sect of highly trained killers who often operated behind enemy lines, in deep cover, assassinating military leaders and rulers. Their covert tactics and ruthless operations spread fear and terror across the medieval world. Assassinations were primarily carried out with a dagger, which was sometimes tipped with poison. As their legend and infamy grew they started to carry out their assassinations in public spaces so as to instil terror in their foes. They would often assimilate themselves in the cities, palaces and fortresses of their targets and, over time, stealthily insert themselves into strategic positions. Although many scholars believe that they died out after the Crusades, there are those who say that they simply went 'underground' with reports of their activities in the early 20th century. Certainly, the Assassins have inspired, and possibly given rise to, many of today's Islamic fundamentalist groups, including the Taliban in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda and even ISIS. The training methods, secrecy, ruthlessness and covert operations of all these groups are directly the result of The Assassins.
With its origins in the Samurai culture of 17th century Japan, the Yakusa are one of the most infamous, secret and feared of all Asian secret societies. They call themselves a 'chivalrous organisation', and are notorious for their strict codes of conduct and highly organised structure, with an estimated 100,000 members today. They started as hired security men for local festivals, markets and gambling dens, before slowly growing in power and prestige. Today they are a vast organisation and their leaders, known as Oyabun, maintain strict rules within the ranks. No disloyalty is permitted. Yubitsume, or the cutting off of a finger, is a form of penance or apology. Upon a first offence, the transgressor must cut off the tip of his left little finger and give the severed portion to his boss. Its origin stems from the traditional way of holding a Japanese sword. The removal of digits starting with the little finger moving up the hand to the index finger progressively weakens a person's sword grip. Many Yakusa have full-body tattoos known as Irezumi which are often "hand-poked", that is, the ink is inserted beneath the skin using non-electrical, handmade and hand-held tools with needles of sharpened bamboo or steel. The Yakusa are a very powerful organisation in Japan who's tentacles of influence reach the very highest levels of power. Drawing on their rich Samurai heritage they believe they can operate above and beyond modern laws and government, bringing what they see as a purer form of justice and control to a corrupt country.

Inside Secret Societies: The Yakuza

Ethical understanding, Critical thinking

Years 11-12 Ethical understanding, Critical thinking
46:00
With its origins in the Samurai culture of 17th century Japan, the Yakusa are one of the most infamous, secret and feared of all Asian secret societies. They call themselves a 'chivalrous organisation', and are notorious for their strict codes of conduct and highly organised structure, with an estimated 100,000 members today. They started as hired security men for local festivals, markets and gambling dens, before slowly growing in power and prestige. Today they are a vast organisation and their leaders, known as Oyabun, maintain strict rules within the ranks. No disloyalty is permitted. Yubitsume, or the cutting off of a finger, is a form of penance or apology. Upon a first offence, the transgressor must cut off the tip of his left little finger and give the severed portion to his boss. Its origin stems from the traditional way of holding a Japanese sword. The removal of digits starting with the little finger moving up the hand to the index finger progressively weakens a person's sword grip. Many Yakusa have full-body tattoos known as Irezumi which are often "hand-poked", that is, the ink is inserted beneath the skin using non-electrical, handmade and hand-held tools with needles of sharpened bamboo or steel. The Yakusa are a very powerful organisation in Japan who's tentacles of influence reach the very highest levels of power. Drawing on their rich Samurai heritage they believe they can operate above and beyond modern laws and government, bringing what they see as a purer form of justice and control to a corrupt country.
Hitler and the key officers of the Nazi High Command were all members of three main secret societies which had a strong belief in the occult; the Vril Society, the Thule society and the Ahnenerbe. The Vril Society was based on a novel written in 1871 by Edward Bulwer-Lytton called The Power of the Coming Race which talks of a superior subterranean master race and the energy-form called "Vril" which powers UFO's from hidden bases beneath the arctic ice. It sounds crazy but Hitler, Himmler and other leading Nazis took it very seriously. The Thule Society was named after a mythical northern country from Greek legend which was the origins of the "Aryan Race", also thought to have been the mythical Atlantis. It had about 2000 members, insisting on intense loyalty and secrecy, as well pure white blood, "untainted" by any other race, or colour. This belief in the Aryan race and its connection to Atlantis led to the foundation of the Ahnenerbe by Heinrich Himmler to research the archaeological and racial heritage of the Aryan race. It conducted experiments and launched expeditions in an attempt to find the lost city of Atlantis, and prove that mythological Aryan populations had once ruled the world. Although the Vril and Thule societies, as well as the Ahnenerbe were officially disbanded at the end of World War ll, there are reports that they continued for many decades afterwards through surviving Nazi officers in Europe, America and South America. Today, it's believed that several Neo-Nazi groups made up of descendants of former German soldiers, politicians and new, younger recruits, keep the flame alive, with regular meetings, and the same beliefs.

Inside Secret Societies: Nazi Occult Societies

Ethical understanding, Critical thinking

Years 11-12 Ethical understanding, Critical thinking
46:58
Hitler and the key officers of the Nazi High Command were all members of three main secret societies which had a strong belief in the occult; the Vril Society, the Thule society and the Ahnenerbe. The Vril Society was based on a novel written in 1871 by Edward Bulwer-Lytton called The Power of the Coming Race which talks of a superior subterranean master race and the energy-form called "Vril" which powers UFO's from hidden bases beneath the arctic ice. It sounds crazy but Hitler, Himmler and other leading Nazis took it very seriously. The Thule Society was named after a mythical northern country from Greek legend which was the origins of the "Aryan Race", also thought to have been the mythical Atlantis. It had about 2000 members, insisting on intense loyalty and secrecy, as well pure white blood, "untainted" by any other race, or colour. This belief in the Aryan race and its connection to Atlantis led to the foundation of the Ahnenerbe by Heinrich Himmler to research the archaeological and racial heritage of the Aryan race. It conducted experiments and launched expeditions in an attempt to find the lost city of Atlantis, and prove that mythological Aryan populations had once ruled the world. Although the Vril and Thule societies, as well as the Ahnenerbe were officially disbanded at the end of World War ll, there are reports that they continued for many decades afterwards through surviving Nazi officers in Europe, America and South America. Today, it's believed that several Neo-Nazi groups made up of descendants of former German soldiers, politicians and new, younger recruits, keep the flame alive, with regular meetings, and the same beliefs.
This is the story of the greatest war of world history, of men and encounters that cast huge shadows across time. In this 13-part series we examine the events and personalities that drove World War II. In part one of this series we look at the legacy of Versailles and the League of Nations and their impact on events to come. The Versailles Conference and Treaty supposedly ended World War I; the guarantee of peace was the punishment and weakening of Germany. This humiliation would fuel the fire of one man's ambition to exact revenge - Adolf Hitler. When Hitler came to power in 1933 he did so on a wave of anti-Versailles feeling, assuring the German people that he would destroy the slave treaty of Versailles and once again make Germany a great power. With the impotence of the League of Nations further illustrated by their failure to act against Italy's invasion of Ethiopia and Japan's subsequent war on China, Hitler realised there was nothing to stop his plans for German rearmament and expansion. In 1938 he announced his plans to annexe Austria. With this country now in his pocket the way was clear for Hitler to move on to his next target - Czechoslovakia. As 1938 drew to a close Britain's Prime Minister was talking of appeasement, whilst a lone voice in Parliament, Winston Churchill, was warning the world about the coming dangers of Nazism.

World War 2: The Complete History: The Stumble to War

Modern history, Ethical understanding

Years 9-10, 11-12 Modern history, Ethical understanding
52:18
This is the story of the greatest war of world history, of men and encounters that cast huge shadows across time. In this 13-part series we examine the events and personalities that drove World War II. In part one of this series we look at the legacy of Versailles and the League of Nations and their impact on events to come. The Versailles Conference and Treaty supposedly ended World War I; the guarantee of peace was the punishment and weakening of Germany. This humiliation would fuel the fire of one man's ambition to exact revenge - Adolf Hitler. When Hitler came to power in 1933 he did so on a wave of anti-Versailles feeling, assuring the German people that he would destroy the slave treaty of Versailles and once again make Germany a great power. With the impotence of the League of Nations further illustrated by their failure to act against Italy's invasion of Ethiopia and Japan's subsequent war on China, Hitler realised there was nothing to stop his plans for German rearmament and expansion. In 1938 he announced his plans to annexe Austria. With this country now in his pocket the way was clear for Hitler to move on to his next target - Czechoslovakia. As 1938 drew to a close Britain's Prime Minister was talking of appeasement, whilst a lone voice in Parliament, Winston Churchill, was warning the world about the coming dangers of Nazism.
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