Many colleges around the world have something called a ‘Secret Society’. The illicit meeting, suspicious working, ridiculous initiation ceremonies, and hidden knowledge are crucial parts of such secret societies. There is something about the mystery and clandestine groups that ropes masses into it.
Way before the Priory of Sion, Opus Dei, and the infamous Illuminati came into existence, India had it’s very own secret society- ‘The Nine Unknown Men‘, which many still believe to be a work of fiction. The ‘Nine Unknown Men’ was formed over 2000 years ago under Emperor Ashoka’s reign in 226 BC.
Let’s see what triggered the formation of what can very well be called the Indian Illuminati.
The Kalingan War Under Ashoka's Reign
The Kalingan populace between the regions of Calcutta and Madras resisted Emperor Ashoka’s rule. And this resistance led to a massive war- the infamous Battle of Kalinga. In it, more than 100,000 Kalingan warriors were killed, and over 150,000 of the civilians were deported making it one of the bloodiest war in history.
Despite the victory, the war-affected Emperor Ashoka adversely. With the deaths of scores of people in the war and the destruction that ensued due to violence, something changed in the mighty king- he dropped his weapons and disavowed violence forever.
Effects of Kalinga War On Ashoka
Post-bellum, Ashoka converted to Buddhism to spread the idea of peace and harmony. He became an advocate of Buddhism not only in India, but also in Malaya, Ceylon, and Indonesia. He was so committed to the cause that he wanted to prevent others from focusing their energy and intelligence towards something other than warfare.
In his quest for spreading the teachings of Buddha, Ashoka needed more people to carry the message to faraway lands. Therefore, he appointed nine men to collect, preserve and contain all knowledge and preachings available in the world.
These men’s identity was not made public to protect them from hostile forces (probably other religious extremists). And this gave birth to the secret society known as the Nine Unknown Men.
The Nine Unknowns of Ashoka
These men were designated to gain as much knowledge as possible about science, nature, psychology, and the composition of matter. Any knowledge of these men and their endeavour was kept hidden from the common populace due to the fear of the collated data’s abuse in the wrong hands.
To make data collection, developing and experimenting with new theories easier, each man was appointed one book that he had to revise, update, and in the end, make the knowledge flawless.
When one was to retire or had deteriorating health or was dying, a chosen successor was to continue the task. The society was to, at all times, consist of nine men only. There could never be more or fewer members in the community at any time.
In the year 1923, an English writer published a book The Nine Unknown Men. This book consisted of the nine books written by the Nine Unknown Men members on their researched topics and collected the data.
The Topics of Their NINE Books
1. Propaganda: This book contained many techniques of propaganda and psychological warfare.
2. Physiology: It is said that Judo is a result of a leak from this book. This book consists of physiology and information on killing a person by merely touching them, also known as “the touch of death”.
3. Microbiology: This book discussed microbiology as well as for biotechnology. They developed a “divine nectar” which made them immortal.
4. Alchemy: This book dealt with alchemy and transmutation of metals. Legend has it that at times of severe drought, temples and religious relief organisations received a tremendous amount of gold from a “secret source.”
5. Communication: It studies all means of communication, terrestrial and extra-terrestrial. It is believed that the Nine Unknown Men knew of alien existence.
6. Gravity: This book explored gravity and instructed how to make anti-gravity, flying machine known as a “Vimana”.
7. Cosmology: It dealt with the matters of the universe and cosmology.
8. Light: This book includes the speed of light and the use of it as a potential weapon.
9. Sociology: It contained ways to create, nurture and even destroy a whole civilisation. Therefore, it tells us about humans’ evolution and how to foretell the eventual decline of the human race.
The Morning of the Magicians
In the novel The Morning of the Magicians by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier, it was claimed that Pope Silvester II had met the society. The 19th-century French administrator and writer Louis Jacolliot also confirmed society’s existence.
It was believed that the Pope had brought back a strange ‘gadget-type’ thing that was sort of like a computer. This gadget could interact via speech and answer yes or no type question (Alexa / Siri who?) When he tried to show this gadget to the public, he mysteriously died.
The organisation was accused of murder to keep the knowledge from spreading to the masses at large. This fascinated many historians and novelists.
It is believed that whenever the time was right, and India’s people were ready to accept change and become progressive, the ‘Nine Unknown Men’ provided them with the knowledge needed at the time.
The Nine Unknown Provided Knowledge to Humanity
It is also believed that after Indian independence in 1947, when the USSR and the United States denied ISRO and DRDO scientists access to technology for GPS and Satellites, it was the ‘Nine Unknown Men’ that helped Indian scientists develop these technologies anonymously.
Whether they are real or not is debatable. If they existed back then, the question arises, why didn’t they help Indians when the Mughals and the British evaded us?
Why did they not help the Indian fighters gain independence sooner? Why did they not help when there were a series of terrorist attacks in India? Where are they now?
There just isn’t enough evidence to either consider them as a myth or confirm their existence. Yet, it gives us, the geeky history nerds, enough fodder to munch on in excitement.