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The tendency to perceive covert groups as reticent conspirators rather than curators of hidden knowledge is universal.

In Japan, secret oral transmissions, chants, rituals and services have long been identified with esoteric schools of Buddhist faith such as Shingon and Tendai. Defenders of secrecy have drawn attention to several examples of the discretionary sharing of teachings among other well-established religious groups to prove that they are hardly unique in their commitment to confidentiality.

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