Was True Detective Season Two Inspired by a Real Life Secret Society?


There are so many hidden facets of True Detective season two that it at times feels as if we’ll never uncover all of its secrets. But you can’t blame some people for trying. True Detective season two is, but isn’t really, about a cult-like bird man that’s making everybody’s lives very difficult. Even outside of that, however, there are a lot of cult rumblings going on in True Detective.

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Vanity Fair has dug a little deeper and come up with a possible answer. Taking specific clues from season two’s first episode, specifically The Good People, the group run by Ani Bezzeride’s father. There is a apparently a real life group that exists outside of Guerneville in around the same area that The Good People, or what’s left of them, function in the show.

This relatively secret society is called The Bohemian Grove. It has all the hallmarks of a secret society: invitations necessary and rich very rich members. There is some compelling evidence that The Bohemian Grove inspired True Detective season two, including a photo of Mayor Chessani with George W. Bush. In real life, Bush is a member of this group.

The Grove also apparently uses animal imagery. The parallel here is fairly obvious — the crow men. Other characters can be seen with animal decorations, including Ray Velcoro’s dad. This is the strongest case for cult activity in True Detective’s second season that we’ve seen so far. With all the evidence out there, it certainly seems like Nic Pizzolatto took a lot from The Bohemian Grove.

You can read the entire article over at Vanity Fair, and we encourage you to do so. Some of it has that certain “tin foil” feel to it, but it’s impossible to deny that these links exist and are very compelling. With this theory, True Detective season two now feels more claustrophobic than ever; there is no safe place.

As Frank’s wife, Jordan, says in the first episode, “Everybody gets touched.”

Next: True Detective season two is far more complex than season one.

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