It is often the dream of many boat owners to travel the world safely on…
One of the overriding needs in human nature is the need to belong. This need led to the formation of clubs and societies. No matter what your interest or talents, the odds are that you can find a club made up of like-minded individuals. Here are some of the more unusual and exclusive ones:
The Bohemian Club
The San Francisco based private club dates back to 1872. The private men’s club was originally founded for writers, artists, and musicians. That original concept has changed somewhat drastically as over the years politicians, wealthy CEOs and businessmen, and conservative leaders were invited to join. Ronald Regan and Richard Nixon were reported to have been members, but the membership roster of the club is private. The club hosts a two week meeting every summer which the San Francisco Chronicle called a “rowdy bacchanal.” The club’s motto is “Weaving spiders come not here” which is taken from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The motto reflects the club’s credo that work is left behind during the meetings and the annual outing. Supposedly this rule was abandoned in 1944 when several members were actively involved in The Manhattan Project.
Order of Merit
Some call the Order of Merit the most exclusive club in the world. Membership is limited to 24 members. All of the members have incredible achievements in the world of science, arts, literature, or learning. Most of the members are knighted and membership is by invitation of the Queen. The club has only one meeting a year; a lunch hosted by the Queen at Windsor Castle.
The Beefsteak Club
Exclusive English Clubs for some reason are fixated on the number 24. The Beefsteak Club, which dates back more than 300 years, is one such club. When the Prince of Wales wished to become a member, he had to wait for one of the members to die to claim a spot. The club exists for one purpose; to enjoy and extoll the wonders of steak. The members meet to eat, discuss, and even sing songs about steak. There motto is “Beef and Liberty.”
The Blackjack Hall of Fame
The Blackjack Hall of Fame is located at the Barona Casino near San Diego. Members enjoy free rooms, free drinks, and free food as long as they agree to never play blackjack at the casino. Those selected for membership are faced with somewhat of a paradox. Professional blackjack players prefer anonymity over the spotlight. New members are selected each year at a secret Blackjack Ball, which was founded by Max Rubin. The guests at the ball compete in a number of events. The Ball operates similar to casinos in one interesting way: casinos often ask professional blackjack players to play elsewhere.
The Giga Society
For a club where membership is not restricted by background, interests, money, the love of beef or skill at a blackjack table, the Giga Society is the most exclusive club in the world. Current membership stands at 6. Four of the members are European and two are in the US. To be a member you have to have an IQ score of 195 on one of their accepted IQ tests. To give you an idea of what that means, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking have Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking have Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking have IQs of 160. Giga Society members’ IQ scores are higher than 99.9999999% of the world’s population.
Academy of Magical Arts
The Academy of Magical Arts consists of a little over 2,000 members who gather at The Magic Castle, which is one of the more famous clubhouses in the world. The members are arguably the best and most accomplished magicians in the world. While many are world renowned performers, others are masters in the creation of tricks and illusions. The Magic Castle was built as a private home in 1908 and eventually became home to the Academy of Magical Arts in 1963. Members are treated to regular performances in several theatres, including one that is limited to 28 guests. The Castle is home to the world’s largest collection of magic memorabilia.
The Ejection Tie Club
The Ejection Tie Club’s more than 5,000 members never go to meetings, never have organized lunches, and do not pay dues. However, they all do have matching ties. To receive a tie (which allows other members to spot you in public), all that is required is that you survive being ejected from an airplane in an ejection seat. Almost all of the members are in military service and less than a dozen are women.
The Society of 7
Colleges and Universities have long been the home of exclusive and secret societies. Many of these clubs have arcane or demeaning initiation rituals. The Society of 7 is different. The Society is said to have originated at either William and Mary or the University of Virginia and has spread to schools around the world. Each club has only seven members, whose membership status is only revealed upon their death. Membership requires an act of philanthropy. This ranges from creating anonymous grants, endowments or scholarships to more common acts such as leaving items around campus to benefit those in need.
As you can see, there are many exclusive clubs around the world that may not be easy to get accepted to, but from beef appreciation to getting ejected from an airplane, they certainly offer something for everyone.