Secret Chiefs
A term which emerged in the nineteenth century to designate
the superhuman adepts who were attributed with the
founding of several secret magical orders. They were the real
founders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, for example,
analogous to the Mahatmas or Masters who supposedly
led the Theosophical Society (founded in 1875). Together
they formed the Great White Brotherhood who from their
lofty perspective secretly guided and influenced human history.
They also had a model in the Superiores Incogniti, or hidden
superiors, introduced by Baron Hund (1722–76) for his Strikt
Observanz Masonic system.
The Secret Chiefs of the Golden Dawn were said to be unknown
magi who were ‘‘Concealed Rulers of the Wisdom of the
True Rosicrucian Magic of Light.’’ Human founders W. Wynn
Westcott, S. L. MacGregor Mathers and W. R. Woodman are
supposed to be in contact with them.
King, Francis. The Rites of Modern Occult Magic. New York
Macmillan, 1970.