Among the many interesting elements in the Faraway Hill trilogy is the Brothers of Thebes. 

The Brothers of Thebes is a secret society of influential men that dates back to America’s colonial days. Among the founding members was textile magnate John Halloran (1750-1823), who began his career as a personal aid to Josiah Bartlett (1729-1795), a physician, statesman and New Hampshire’s delegate to the Continental Congress.

The society’s name and mission were inspired by the Sacred Band of Thebes, a troop of elite citizen soldiers consisting of 150 to 300 male
couples drawn from the ancient Greek city of Thebes.

According to the historian and essayist Plutarch, the band was organized by the Theban commander Gorgidas in 378 BCE who encouraged the men to be sexually intimate as a means of cementing their loyalty to the corps.

For decades they were a successful and potent fighting force until they were destroyed by the Macedonian army. Around 300 BCE, the citizens of Thebes erected a memorial on the band’s burial site of a giant stone lion. This memorial was restored in the 20th century and still stands today. 

Like John Halloran, most of the original members were gatekeepers to powerful men. They realized that their unique positions made it possible to build and maintain their own family empires. Using the story of Thebes as a guide, these men created the most restricted club in the new country. They determined that the best way to secure their members was to require them to be intimately connected to each other. Therefore, intense and often shocking sexual acts joined other rituals to create a unique initiation program. 

Brothers consider themselves above the law, often manipulate politicians and even utilize a group of “enforcers” to deal with people who are considered dangerous to a Brother or the society. Everything about the Brothers of Thebes is geared to protecting and promoting the interests of the Brothers. 

When in public or formal rituals, members use a collection of Latin phrases. Brothers have become very skilled in remaining hidden. The membership meets at and is governed from a secret lodge located in rural Massachusetts so cleverly hidden it cannot be found on any print or online map. It is managed by a nameless major domo and a staff of carefully selected young men. Most people consider the Brothers to be nothing more than a legend and those who believe otherwise are merely dismissed as conspiracy nuts. 

The Brothers are hinted at in Faraway Hill: Book One and fully introduced in Faraway Hill: Book Two. They play a critical role in the climax in Faraway Hill: Book Three.