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.
Every Easter across France, Spain and much of Europe a secret "confrerie" or "brotherhood" marches in silence through the old medieval streets wearing dark, hooded robes, their faces and identities concealed. So who are they? They are members of a little known and extremely secretive Catholic religious society known as the "The Brotherhoods of the Blood". The organisation can trace its roots back to the middle ages when they were used as part of the bloody Inquisition across Europe. The passionately Roman Catholic groups used to help hunt down, torture and burn "heretics" across Europe, working with the local Dominican Inquisitors. They then marched the accused to their execution wearing the same robes as today. Today, the Brotherhood is a part time calling for its members, but when called to do so, they still work with the local Bishops and Cardinals to do the Catholic church's work across Europe, much of which is done behind closed doors. This includes investigations, recruitment, finances and enforcement of Rome's edicts and punishments.
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.
We learn about the history and origins of the Priory back in Jerusalem in the 12th century, and its connections to the Knights Templar. We learn about its history down through the centuries, including its Grand Masters like Leonardo Da Vinci, Sir Isaac Newton, Sandro Botticelli and Jean Cocteau. We learn about the release of the infamous 'Dossiers Secrets' in the 1960s in the Paris National Library, as well the Order's then grand master, Pierre Plantard, agreeing to an interview with the BBC. We learn about the Order's structure today, as well as who its members currently are. We also learn about the 'irrefutable' evidence it is said to protect that challenges accepted church doctrine, as well as what it is and where it might be hidden. We learn where, and how, the Order operates today, and how it is still releasing information, and its connection to, and relationship with, the Freemasons.
Leigh Sales addresses the issue of shortage of teachers all over Australia especially in areas and subjects where needed most.
Chronicles the final years of the Gatwick Private Hotel, a boarding house in St Kilda that became a national icon. Follow the true story of sisters Rose Banks and Yvette Kelly, who worked at the hotel then sold it in 2017.
Hana Assafiri is a woman on a mission. At a time when Islamophobia is on the rise, she runs regular speed dating sessions where people come and ask Muslim women any questions they like about Islam.
Gretel and Matt discuss the rules of farting in front of a partner and dumping someone. Comedian Greg Larsen goes speed dating in a hidden camera social experiment and Bettina Arndt tells us how to find that special someone.
So far, the panel of experts has found their assignment a struggle. As the unique study now reaches its climax, the tests become more challenging and the panel is faced with their final decision. Members of the group risk being labelled with a mental illness they don't have.
Examine Australia's answer to Judge Judy and the reality court show genre, when shock jock Kyle Sandilands steps in to mediate the disputes and injustices the court system couldn't (or wouldn't) handle. Criminal lawyer and former Bachelor contender Anna Heinrich is on hand to assist, and both plaintiffs and defendants have agreed to adhere to Sandilands' judgments. (Coarse language.)
This documentary is based on the book of the same name and deals with the death of Duk Koo Kim who was killed in a fight against Ray Boom Boom Mancini in 1982 in Las Vegas. Ray travels to meet Duks' son and widow in a very moving scene.
This film recreates the final hours of Myuran Sukumaran, before his execution. This deeply moving film raises questions about rehabilitation and the death penalty, and whether we have the right to take a life in this way.
Marty has Fragile X and wants workplaces to see that he is an employable man. Cain's insight about his autism and its impact on his life is stirring and Jessica offers up her IT skills to companies targeting neurodiversity.
A racially charged criminal trial and a heart-rending love story converge in this definitive documentary about Mildred and Richard Loving. The marriage of Mildred (who was part-black and part-Native American) and Richard (who was white) was declared illegal in 1958 by their home state of Virginia. They refused to leave one another and, with the help of the ACLU, relentlessly pursued their right to happiness. Their case made it all the way to the US Supreme Court where, in 1967, it struck down laws against interracial marriage in the US once and for all.
Ben taps into the positive aspects of his OCD while job hunting. Krystyna is geography personified but her Peter Pan attitude is a barrier to work. Jonathan throws his hat in the ring with neurotypical accounting candidates.
Three people with Down syndrome take their first strides towards independence. Digby Webster is an artist who wants to live alone, Tom Elenor wants stardom, and Tracie Sammut is an actress who wants to teach.
Meet the extraordinary job seekers who aim to prove that having a neurological condition shouldn't make them unemployable. Follow the challenges faced by Kayla who has Tourette syndrome, and Tim and Rohan who both have autism.
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