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A cabal is a group of people united in some close design together, usually to promote their private views or interests in a church, state, or other community, often by intrigue, usually unbeknownst to persons outside their group. Cabals are sometimes secret societies composed of a few designing persons, and at other times are manifestations of emergent behavior in society or governance on the part of a community of persons who have well established public affiliation or kinship. The term can also be used to refer to the designs of such persons or to the practical consequences of their emergent behavior, and also holds a general meaning of intrigue and conspiracy. The use of this term usually carries strong connotations of shadowy corners, back rooms and insidious influence. The term is frequently used in conspiracy theories; some Discordian conspiracy theories describe the Illuminati as an internationalist secret cabal.