Wednesday, January 5, 2011

[Resources] The Black Lords of Florida

You've never heard of the Black Lords of Florida? Not surprising. I first became aware of them while watching Veronica Mars in episode "You Think You Know Somebody" (episode 5, season 1) from a throw-away line in the midst of some snappy banter, so they must be important enough for that daring and beautiful master sleuth to find out a little bit about them.

In fact, the "of Florida" is incorrect now. Sure, they started "The Great Game" (to use a term from Kipling's Kim) in Florida but have broadened their horizons to worldwide influence ever since.

Since they don't appear on any list of secret societies or are linked to any conspiracies (I know because I've checked with all my sources), you have to wonder - are they that good that they wouldn't appear on even a 5-person 'zine called "Conspiracy Theory"?

Maybe but I've had little luck. Taking some time investigating, I came up with two pieces of information and a bit of speculation.

First the information, which falls into two parts:

1. The Seminole is the collegiate annual of the University of Florida (aka UF, est. 1853). In the rare 1941 issue (few copies have come to light), graduating Senior Richard Rudley, the Class of '41 valedictorian, lists the following as his activities:

Student Government
Glee Club
Economic Club
BLFx13 = FBK
Chess Club

"BLF" is obviously the Black Lords of Florida. But what or who is "FBK?" Is it a person or some sort of code? Well, since Richard was killed two months after graduating while in London by a stray bomb (at least that's the story, though there are some descrepancies in the various reports I have seen on his death), we'll never know exactly but here's what I think.

UF, has only one "secret society," the Florida Blue Key (FBK) society. The initials match up. Now, compared to the nearly 20 secret societies at Yale, FBK has nearly the same level of influence at UF as Skull and Bones has at Yale. And FBK has branch societies all across the U.S. Since FBK was formed (1923), they've had the movers and shakers of the Florida elite set as members, which make it an excellent recruiting ground of the up-and-coming for the Black Lords (or at the very least a ready stable of shock troops and patsies for them).

2. The second bit of information is a rich guy named Conrad Black, a Canadian citizen with an English title, Lord of Crossharbour, was convicted of fraud in Illinois and served time in a prison in Florida. Sure, a tenuous link ("Black," "Lord" and "Florida") but maybe they had something to do with that.

Now the speculation: Does their name itself provides some clues? The more salacious among us could go completely off the rails and wildly speculate that they're a Satanic-based cult, a response to the Masons, or even that they're some sort of Voodoo drug gang operating out of Miami. I won't do that.

Lords obviously means they are lording over the rest of us, so it makes sense for there to be only "lords" in the organization, probably using minions and underlings who have no idea who they are working for to do their bidding.

Black has a lot of connotations, from secrecy and evil magic to superstition and expression. The term in this case (due to the hidden nature of the group) definitely goes toward the secrecy definition. However, it could also be linked to the evil magic and superstition (as most secret societies have quite a bit of occult lore and archaic ceremonies built into their regular proceedings).

So how many Black Lords of Florida are there? Well, we still have the part of the clue "BLFx13" from Rudley's notes. Does the x13 mean the Lords are 13 in number? It makes sense in a numerology view (as many secret societies also have special "magical" numbers), after all, 13 is a powerful "black" number.

But the scant information is troubling, to say the least. Even Skull and Bones is relatively "open" compared to the BLFs. Maybe one day, we'll know more. In the meantime, I'll keep searching for more info and keep you updated.


  1. Please do.
    --My sister and I both attended the U of F and I don't recall any mention of them, yet I have encountered the 'movers and shakers' of Florida.

  2. Wow, this opens up for so many interpretations in a fictional setting. And kinda makes you look over your shoulder in this, most real, setting.

    Thank you for a truly fascinating post.


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