According to occult lore, the Nine Unknown Men are a two millennia-old secret society founded by the Indian Emperor Asoka 273 BC.
The legend of The Nine Unknown Men goes back to the time of the Emperor Asoka, who was the grandson of Chandragupta. Ambitious like his ancestor whose achievements he was anxious to complete, he conquered the region of Kalinga which lay between what is now Calcutta and Madras.
The Kalingans resisted and lost 100,000 men in the battle. At the sight of this massacre Asoka was overcome and resolved to follow the path of non-violence.
He converted to Buddhism after the massacre, the Emperor founded the society of the Nine to preserve and develop knowledge that would be dangerous to humanity if it fell into the wrong hands. It is said that the Emperor Asoka once aware of the horrors of war, wished to forbid men ever to put their intelligence to evil uses. During his reign natural science, past and present, was vowed to secrecy. Henceforward, and for the next 2,000 years, all researches, ranging from the structure of matter to the techniques employed in collective psychology, were to be hidden behind the mystical mask of a people commonly believed to be exclusively concerned with ecstasy and supernatural phenomena. Asoka founded the most powerful secret society on earth: that of the Nine Unknown Men.
One can imagine the extraordinary importance of secret knowledge in the hands of nine men benefiting directly from experiments, studies and documents accumulated over a period of more than 2,000 years. What can have been the aim of these men? Not to allow methods of destruction to fall into the hands of unqualified persons and to pursue knowledge which would benefit mankind. Their numbers would be renewed by co-option, so as to preserve the secrecy of techniques handed down from ancient times.