Behold the Green Dragon: The Myth & Reality of an Asian Secret Society
BY DR. RICHARD SPENCE
History certainly has no shortage of enigmatic or controversial brotherhoods, orders, lodges and societies. The Knights Templar, for instance, are a perennial object of fascination and speculation. Whether the Templars were the inspiration for the no less controversial Freemasons, a band of depraved heretics or the innocent victims of a conspiracy born of greed and envy remains a topic of lively debate.
What no one can contest, however, is that the Knights existed. The beginning and formal end of the Order can be dated with precision, and the names of its leaders are a matter of historical record. Even a dubious organisation like the Priory of Sion can be shown to have had a genuine, if recent, existence, though its claims to centuries of tradition and hidden influence remain unsubstantiated. But there are other groups which seem to exist only in that gray zone between reality and imagination, ones whose origins, number, scope and purpose remain maddeningly vague.
One such entity is the quasi-mythical Green Dragon Society (GDS), also known as the Order of the Green Dragon or simply the Green Dragon. It most often is mentioned as a Japanese secret society, but that is not necessarily the whole story. Other evidence, or at least allegation, argues that its true origins lay in China or Tibet and that its influence extended to the power centres of Tsarist Russia and Nazi Germany. Historical figures from the Emperor Hirohito, to Adolf Hitler to Rasputin have been tied to the Green Dragon, legitimately or not. The waters have been further muddied by role-playing games which have combined the Society with H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos and other fictional elements. Determining what is “real” and what is the playful figment of someone’s imagination can be tricky.
What follows will not solve the mystery of the Green Dragon, but it will try to separate fact from fiction and explain where claims and information came from. In doing so, it will offer a tantalising glimpse into a mysterious organisation that may have played a significant role in shaping modern history.
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Behold the Green Dragon