Late 19th Century in the US, it was briefly fashionable for people to form "13 Clubs" where they would dine in groups of 13, walk under ladders, spill salt at the table, etc. to demonstrate their lack of superstition. Several future US Presidents had also participated in it.
2. Edith Margaret Garrud was a 20th Century suffragette who was well known as Williams. She knew Jujitsu and was one of the first female martial arts instructors in the West. She taught the "Suffragettes Self-Defence Club", and was an instructor for "the Bodyguard" a 30-women unit that defended fugitive suffragettes and fought against the police.
3. In 1738, when the Pope banned joining the Freemasons, a group of Catholics started their own secret society named 'The Order of the Pug' in which initiation involved wearing a collar, walking on all fours, pawing at the door to be let in, getting barked at and kissing a pug statue's butt.
4. There is a secret society called 'E Clampus Vitus' that started as a parody of societies like the Freemasons. Members wore badges made of tin cans and held official titles such as "Grand Lama" and "Great High Humbug" although said titles meant nothing and everyone had one.
5. In the early 1900s, a group of U.S. government scientists started a private dinner club, in which they only ate poisonous food. They documented their illnesses in order to convince Congress to pass food safety laws. They were called "The Poison Squad."
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6Association of the Living Dead
In India, there are numerous cases where people "kill" their relatives on paper, in order to take over their land, leaving the relative officially documented as dead. Victims are known as "Mritak" (Dead Man), some adding the title to their names, and there is an "Association of the Living Dead."
7. In 1960, the US government formed a clandestine group of elite scientists called JASON. It is an acronym for "July August September October November." They have eleven Nobel Prize laureates and several dozen members of the United States National Academy of Sciences. Their report on the futility of tactical nuclear weapons may have saved a lot of lives during the Vietnam War.
8. In the early 1960s, there was group called 'The Mercury 13' which exclusively comprised of women who had passed the same rigorous tests as male astronauts. They were part of a privately funded project that aimed to send them to the moon.
9. Fighter jet pilots who are saved by a Martin-Baker ejection seat during an emergency, become part of an exclusive club named the 'Ejection Tie Club'. As the name implies, they get to wear a special tie.
10. A group of middle-aged women called "Snapists" believe that they are all married to Severus Snape (from Harry Potter lore) on the ‘astral plane’ and that he controls their lives. An independent researcher even published an in-depth paper on the matter.
During the 18th Century, London had an actual 'Thieves Guild'. Jonathan Wild ran an underground syndicate as "Thief-Taker General". His men would steal valuables, only for him to "find" them for reward and fame. He would catch and present known thieves, most of whom were his rivals.
12. There was a group of notable French artists who gathered and smoked cannabis. Members of "Club des Hashischins" included Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Charles Baudelaire, and Eugene Delacroix.
13. The '7 Society' is a secret society at the University of Virginia that is so secret that its members are only revealed after their death.
14. The lifespan of the first generation of postal pilots was around 900 flight hours. Their job was so dangerous that 35 of the first 40 pilots hired to do the job, died in crashes, leading to the nickname 'The Suicide Club.'
15. In 1982, after flying through a cloud of volcanic ash over Indonesia, a Boeing 747 plane lost power in all 4 engines. After gliding for 14 minutes, all 4 engines were restarted, and the plane landed safely. The pilot subsequently founded a group for survivors of the flight called 'The Galunggung Gliders Club.'
The '300 Club' is a group of people who have endured a temperature difference of 300°F. There is also the 200 Club - a temperature difference of 200°C.
17. Over 20,000 acres of untouched Michigan Forest are shared by 50 elite families as a Summer Getaway. These families are part of a private club called the 'The Huron Mountain Club' and the club is so elusive that it took Henry Ford several years of being waitlisted before he was allowed in.
18. In the weeks following the Titanic sinking, over 118,000 people had joined the "just missed it club", claiming they had missed or canceled their trip at the last moment.
19. "Coffin Clubs" are groups of old people in New Zealand who are banding together to make their own funeral caskets. They say that it helps combat loneliness and is a cost-effective way of having a coffin. They also make baby coffins and donate them to local hospitals.
20. In 2015, two groups of science fiction writers, the "Sad Puppies" and the "Rabid Puppies" each put forward a slate of nominations for the Hugo awards. In response, a new set of rules, called "E Pluribus Hugo", were passed to modify the process to ensure that organized groups cannot dominate.
21Peter I's Club
Peter I of Russia founded a club called "The All-Joking, All-Drunken Synod of Fools and Jesters." The mock Synod angered many Orthodox Russians and many even believed that Peter was the Antichrist.
22. In 1962, the Anti-Superstition Society of Chicago awarded John Glenn (occupant of the 13th capsule in space) with a gold watch with each number replaced with the number 13. There were 13 senators attending, each paid $13.13 to be there, and it was held on Friday the 13th.
23. A club of multidisciplinary scientists formed a group called NecroSearch, which volunteers to assist law enforcement in the location of clandestine graves and recovery of evidence (aka cold-case bodies). Their team is comprised of botanists, meteorologists, and other technical specialists.
24. The Black Guard was a Brazilian 19th-century secret paramilitary society of recently freed slaves whose purpose was to protect the emancipation of slaves, the Brazilian Imperial family, and the institution of the Monarchy against Republicanism.
25. The Fletcher Street Riding Club is a more than 100-year-old club of black urban cowboys who live in the heart of Philadelphia. They tend to horses and teach the youth of the area how to do the same.