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Nebulous Evil Organisation

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"You really don't know anything about us! Ha! It's so amusing, because we're on the other side thinking 'Oh, the MI6, the CIA, they're looking over our shoulders, they're listening to our conversations', and the truth is you don't even know we exist!"
Mr. White, Quantum of Solace

Appearing most often in less realistic spy/action fiction, the Nebulous Evil Organisation is the natural enemy of Heroes "R" Us.

Often led by a Diabolical Mastermind, and sometimes developed enough to have its own bureaucracy, It is a vast, deep-pocketed machine with one apparent goal: The proliferation of evil across the globe, maybe with some personal profit on the side.

Like The Syndicate, it has a hand in every conceivable kind of nefarious dealing, from murder to terrorism to grand robbery to bad traffic. However, its criminal activities have some grand goal, almost always to Take Over the World or The End of the World as We Know It — which is, by sheer coincidence, nebulous enough that nearly any anti-good act can be shoehorned into it. Price-fixing of consumer goods, killing political leaders, blowing up buildings, stealing the gold from Fort Knox, and attacking the heroes for no stated reason at all are all things the organization gets up to. Expect vast armies of mooks, a secret underground lair, immense amounts of advanced technology and a clever name that often does away with any notion of subtlety.

See also Nebulous Criminal Conspiracy, which the operations extend beyond one single organization. Compare and contrast Generic Doomsday Villain.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Logos from Active Raid, a mysterious hacker group who has clashed with Unit 8 on several occasions.
  • Babel II: Yomi's evil organization does everything to secretly control the world behind the scenes.
  • Claymore: The Organization are the ones sending out hunters to kill the Yoma, but they also are the ones behind the Yoma. The whole reason for it all is to create Awakened Beings to use as weapons in a giant, unseen war far away from the island the story takes place on. The entire island is just one big laboratory and testing ground.
  • The Cutey Honey franchise has Panther Claw, with innumerable guys in spiffy cat masks and cool hats and all manner of (typically female) monsters, usually led by either Panther Zora or her subordinate Sister Jill. The original series gave us their goal early on as "the rest of the world doesn't deserve cool stuff, only us!" Different incarnations are different, though: In Cutie Honey: THE LIVE, Panther Claw is about making lots and lots of money through outlandishly evil means (sometimes Crazy Is Cool, sometimes Nightmare Fuel), but always with a way to directly profit from the plot of the week.
  • Cyborg 009 has Black Ghost, a consortium of Arms Dealers who conspire to cause conflicts around the world so they can profit off of them. About 90% of the problems the 00 Cyborgs investigate turn out to be caused by them in some way, either directly, or through former agents or the revival organization Neo Black Ghost. Even similarities to Shocker is probably not coincidental.
  • Dragon Ball:
  • Medical Mechanica in FLCL are the Greater-Scope Villain of the series, and the viewer is only given tiny scraps of information about them. Their front is a business creating "medical machines" (which also double as Killer Robots), but they also apparently plan to iron out all free thought on Earth with a giant clothing iron, and they've captured legendary Space Pirate Atomsk for some unknown reason.
  • Asclepius, the Ku Klux Klan-like organization from Flip Flappers. They aim to collect Amorphous and use it to Take Over the World, and have no problem experimenting on children.
  • Giant Robo's Big Fire, an evil organisation whose only goal is absolute world domination. "Together, allegiance or death! Big Fire!" Amusingly enough, they actually end up helping the heroes when someone even worse comes along.
  • Yami from Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple. As explained over various chapters, they have their hands in everything from weapon sales to the military to governmental influence, and enough funds to potentially be a self-sustaining nation. Their intention is to preserve and promote the "Satsu-jinken" (killing fist) style of martial arts, a goal they've pursued since their initial formation after World War II because several martial arts masters died during that war. Additionally, the group is known by several names worldwide, including "L'Obscurite" in France, with "Yami" being its Japanese name (both words mean "darkness" in their respective languages). The organization is divided into two factions, one side consisting of weapons specialists and the other side focusing on empty-hand martial arts. At the very top of Yami's structure is the "One Shadow Nine Fists" group, which consists of Yami's ten strongest empty-hand martial artists; the eponymous "One Shadow" is the most powerful being in the entire organization.
    • While Yami as a whole espouses the killing-fist philosophy (with their members serving chiefly as assassins-for-hire), the One Shadow Nine Fists leadership core is made up of members who are the most skilled at teaching disciples, as opposed to simply being the best at fighting; in fact, on one occasion it's noted that if the latter condition was the only criterion for membership into the Nine Fists, there would be too much infighting and Yami would destroy itself.
    • Interestingly, very few characters in Yami are actually amoral people: because the "good-teacher" attribute is mandatory to qualify for the One Shadow Nine Fists, several of the ten martial artists in the group come across as being not so much evil as simply being dedicated to their philosophy (once the reader gets to know their personalities), and in fact, a number of them still have certain moral guidelines that they will not violate, chief among them the silent agreement with Ryozanpaku that a master should never interfere with his/her student's battles with another student and should never interrupt or intervene in a fight between two masters.
  • The Liar Game Tournament Office. A shady organization out to make a profit, they manage to secure 100 million yen (about US$1.5 million) for each of the participants in the first round (that's US $1.9 trillion). The final chapter reveals that the LGT is actually a Benevolent Conspiracy in opposition to a Government Conspiracy.
  • Lupin III: Part 1 has "Scorpian" from "Is Lupin Burning... ?!". The Scorpian Clan doesn't have any specific goals aside from the death of Lupin. On the other hand, all the characters aside from Zenigata seem to know they should be stopped.
  • Maken-ki!: Kamigari exists within the shadows of modern society and are known only to a select few, such as the faculty at Tenbi Academy and Venus Academy. While it's known that Ouken Yamato intends to break the seal atop Amanohara and uses his connections within the government toward that end, his motivation remains unclear.
  • Tanpopo from Mission: Yozakura Family. Their soldiers, technology, and resources can rival entire countries and it's clear they're up to no good. But no explanation is given as to why Tanpopo is the way it is. According to Kawashita, Tanpopo is working to answer people's will to live, including "saving" the terminally ill like Shirai. It's later revealed that he's been trying to fufill the wishes of the Yozakura founder, who wanted to elimiante the relevance of the Yozakuras by spreading the power of her blood across the globe.
  • Secret Society Agastia in Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department with the twist being that they're the ones employing the protagonist, whose job is to create a Monster of the Week each week for them to send out against their arch-nemesis, Divine Blader (and almost inevitably get destroyed by him). Despite being a Shocker expy, they're a remarkably pleasant place to work, with their chief of staff being a Benevolent Boss who routinely advises his employees to take time off.
  • Naruto:
    • Akatsuki from Naruto, first introduced in the last quarter of Part I and later becoming the main antagonists in Part II/Shippuuden. Their actions focus on capturing all the Tailed Beasts for an unknown purpose. Eventually, it's revealed that their main objective is the resurrection of the Physical God Kaguya Otsutsuki.
    • The "Kara" organization from Boruto, whose motives and connection to the Otsutsuki clan are still wrapped in mystery.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi: Cosmo Entelechia, originally led by the Lifemaker and now controlled by his boy protege, Fate Averruncus, are the enemies of Nagi's group in the past. It wouldn't be quite so nebulous if it weren't Jack Rakan doing all of the explaining. Whenever he goes into the backstory of anything roughly half of it consists of "and then other stuff happened."
  • Release the Spyce has Moryo. Details of their objectives aren't given, but they definitely have put their fingers on a lot of crimes, and the dialogue of their mysterious leaders whom Sparrow Woman serves imply they do have a bigger goal in mind.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: Galactor is an international terrorist organization with highly advanced technology. Lead by the mysterious Leader X and his majordomo Berg Katse, they seek to conquer the world by controlling its resources. In the opening episode, no one at the International Science Organization even knew about them, except for Dr. Nambu. The exact history of the group is unknown, though we do get to learn a bit about Katse. Older English dubs of the series, such as Battle of the Planets, turn them into more traditional alien invaders.
  • In Shy, this role is taken by the mysterious Amalareiks who oppose the heroes of the world and serve the series' Big Bad, Stigma. They share his goal to destroy the current world and create a new one without adults, but how they want to reach that goal remains unknown.
  • Tenrou Sirius the Jaeger: In Episode 4, it's revealed that the Alma Company hires vampires to do their own bidding and sell illegal weapons to other people, including the military. The independent terrorist organization Hyakko Party also counts as this, as they kill innocent scientists because they're employed by the vampires.
  • Tentai Senshi Sunred features a Harmless Villain example in Florsheim, an organization of monsters bent on world domination. Step 1 of their plan is to take out their Arch-Enemy, Sunred; dozens, if not hundreds, of fights later, Florsheim remains winless and are probably in the negative column where 'evil acts' are concerned, spending most of their time volunteering in the neighborhood. Sunred, on his side, retired from heroics years ago and now has to contend with Florsheim being the only friends he has left.
  • Variable Geo: The Jahana Group led by Miranda Jahananote  pulls strings and steers events at the VG tournament from behind the scenes. They lure unsuspecting entrants to become unwitting test subjects, and manipulate Satomi by having Damian offer to cover her brother's medical expenses in exchange for her participation at the tournament. They then use her for the "Black Goddess" project and field test her abilities in unsanctioned matches, all for the sake of creating the ideal host body for Miranda.

    Comic Books 
  • Astro City has Pyramid, a recurring worldwide organization with an Egyptian theme.
  • The DCU has the H.I.V.E, SKULL, Scorpio, Shadowspire, KOBRA, the 100 (later the 1000), and S.P.I.D.E.R.
    • The most recent version of the Society (formerly the Secret Society of Super Villains) qualifies; the original was a Legion of Doom.
    • Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson's "Manhunter" arc, which appeared in Detective Comics during 1973-1974, has the Council, whose goals are "take over the world" and "develop immortality so that we're around to enjoy it for a long, long time".
    • Leviathan starts out in Batman (Grant Morrison) as Talia al Ghul's organisation, the main motivation of which seems to be "show Bruce and my father that I don't need either of them". In Event Leviathan, a tie-in to Superman (Brian Michael Bendis), it's co-opted by Mark Shaw, the Manhunter, who then engineers hostile takeovers of most of the groups mentioned above, as well as most of the heroic spy organisations.
    • Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! has A.C.R.O.S.T.I.C., led by Brother Hood. In a parody of the usual Fun with Acronyms names of these organisations, A.C.R.O.S.T.I.C stands for something different each time it's mentioned, but always something that lets you know they're Card Carrying Villains.
  • Disney Mouse and Duck Comics has a large number of them:
  • Cobra from G.I. Joe is one of the classic examples. In most versions, it's actually a conglomerate of various evil factions, like the arms manufacturer MARS, under the control of Cobra Commander.
  • Hybrid Force: The organization in this comic is Nebulous, which is lead by the Evilutionary Biologist Dr. Insomnia. His goal is to Take Over the World so he can end all war, violence, and famine.
  • Jet Dream has CIPHER, whose symbol is a zero, making it perhaps the most generic organization of its kind.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Hydra, A.I.M., U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M., S.I.L.E.N.T., R.A.I.D., the Secret Empire, Black Spectre, Agence Byzantine, and the Hand are only a few. Many of these began as branches of Hydra: Advanced Idea Mechanics, for example, was their original research and development team before they decided to become independent. Apparently, Hydra's motto ("cut off one head and two will take its place") applies to their branches as well. It gets so bad that one issue of Secret Warriors reveals that even S.H.I.E.L.D. was a Hydra splinter organ, something not even Nick Fury himself found out until it was too late (to wit, this was early in Dark Reign, when they had been shut down). For a supernatural flavor, the Occult Detective comic series Nightstalkers has Hydra's Department of Occult Armaments (DOA).
    • Daredevil (Mark Waid) depicts Hydra, A.I.M., the Roxxon Oil Company, the Secret Empire, Black Spectre, and Agence Byzantine as the five cartels which essentially control the global criminal underworld, constantly fighting each other for dominance.
    • There's also Weapon Plus, the organization that was responsible for the creation of many heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe. They created Wolverine via their "Weapon X" branch, they created Captain America via "Project Rebirth" (retroactively named "Weapon I"), and it's implied in some comics that Weapon Plus was involved in the Red Room Black Widow Ops program that created the Black Widows (Including Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova) and the prison experiments that gave Luke Cage his powers. They may not be seen as much as other evil organizations like Hydra or A.I.M., but they have been known to work together with them on a few occasions. Weapon Plus is also a secret governmental organization that is hellbent on eradicating mutantkind, meaning that it has ties to S.H.I.E.L.D. as well.
    • Orchis is an anti-mutant N.G.O. Superpower founded in reaction to the creation of the new mutant nation on Krakoa. Formed of operatives from numerous worldwide organizations (including several of the ones mentioned above), they believe that mutants being granted the security of being united in a single nation will give them the edge needed to eventually outbreed and replace humanity. As such, they're determined to wipe mutants out for good.
  • Sin City has the Colonel's Guild which mostly trains/supplies assassins but is also revealed to have Black Market offerings and be in league with mob-boss Herr Walenquist.
  • Parodied with S.O.N.I.C.X. in, er, Sonic X. They try to come off as a scheming, evil organization, but they're really just some guys who don't like Sonic. As things go on, they come off as complete idiots.
  • Ninjak of Valiant Comics has both the high-tech terror cell Webnet lead by a mad scientist and Weaponeer, a organization devoted to putting WMDs in the hands of dangerous people to "level the playing field".

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm:
    • HYDRA, as per usual, and though we get an insight into their operations, they're actually considerably more frightening and effective than usual — particularly once Lucius Malfoy decides that Baron Von Strucker is now part of the problem. It doesn't hurt that they've got the Winter Soldier on a leash and are allied with a Loki level necromancer called Gravemoss. That said, they aren't invincible and are liable to make mistakes — especially once the Winter Soldier slips his leash.
    • Then there's the rather more nebulous and disturbing Red Room, a formerly defunct Soviet organisation, which isn't even glimpsed until the sequel. Only occasional references that make it clear that pretty much everyone (even HYDRA) is afraid of it, a brief appearance by a few of its less competent operatives and the presence of the Winter Soldier and Natasha, both of whom are products of the Red Room, and in chapter 70, mentions of HYDRA assaulting what Word of God confirmed was a Red Room facility and disappearing, confirm that it actually exists. However, again, it's not invincible, with Ivan Petrovitch noting how it once tried to attack Simon Pietrovitch's Archangel base. Since Pietrovitch was a member of the Senior Council of the White Council and Asskicking Leads to Leadership very much applies, this was an idea so bad it was awful. Then, in the sequel, they kidnap Harry, with ambitions to turn him into 'the Red Son', the successor to the Winter Soldier. This idea works... for a short while. Then it backfires, spectacularly.
    • Weapons Plus (specifically, Weapon X) is also mentioned, with Alexander Pierce suggesting that Charles Xavier dealt with them when they came after Logan.
    • The Hellfire Club, specifically the Inner Circle, has a habit of using their influence to manipulate world events in their favour — in between Magneto's spirited attempts to wipe them out, that is.
    • The Death Eaters carried some touches of this, with Lucius Malfoy being noted as having an expansive spy network and fingers in every pie.
  • In Equestria: A History Revealed, according to the Lemony Narrator, there is a secret organization known as the Echelon, which controls all of Equestria behind the scenes, and was created by Celestia herself. Of course, at this point, it's been established that most of her theories were made through Insane Troll Logic and blatant disregards for common sense, so this claim is questionable. According to her, the organization is responsible for creating a parade out of nowhere to distract a young Rainbow Dash from anti-Celestia public speeches and deliberately setting up the friendship problems of the show's episodes through their socioeconomic power to build the mane six's friendship, which doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the organization's existence.
  • In Fallen Kingdom, the Seven Stars lead the criminal underworld and have designs on taking over the Koopa Empire.
  • Pokémon: The Lost Child: The Brotherhood is set up like this. An organization that is responsible for a lot of bad stuff that has some sort of secret agenda.
  • There Was Once an Avenger From Krypton: In MCU canon, Project Centipede is a subset of HYDRA. Here, it's a coalition of various factions pooling resources in a competition to see who can Take Over the World first.
  • Three Months a Fox: The Purpose is a shadowy prey supremacist organisation with origins dating back hundreds of years and a far-reaching, powerful influence, with cells of members spread across the country and possibly the entire world. They are the true force responsible for orchestrating the Savage Crisis, as Dawn Bellwether is a member, along with her fellow co-conspirators Kyle Hayworth and Jayson Talon III. Their desired end goal is nothing less than the total subjugation of all the world's predators and any prey mammals sympathetic to them, and are willing to use any tactics necessary to achieve that goal.


Examples by author:
  • The Sombra Corporation in Stephen King's fiction weaves a twisting web of influence throughout many of his works. They're finally described in more depth in The Dark Tower, in which it is revealed that they serve The Crimson King, and are therefore pawns of the ultimate evil force in the multiverse.
Examples by title:
  • In R. A. Lafferty's "About a Secret Crocodile", the Secret Crocodile and its many subordinate organizations control, well, just about everything, in a conspiratorial hierarchy which takes all the allegations of Secret Masters up a notch. The only likely threat to it is another secret society which has no name except "Good Guys and Good Gals", which comprises all the good guys and good gals of the world.
  • Scorpia in the Alex Rider series (standing for Sabotage, Corruption, Intelligence and Assassination) has secret bases and employees from all over the world, allowing them to operate almost everywhere, from anywhere.
  • Alterien:
    • Theseus's company, Spencer Industries, exists as this.
    • Oberon's company, NGT (New Genesis Technologies), starts looking like this after it becomes a global corporation.
    • Sol 3 United later fills this role. It is the corporation of the Alteriens Oberon and Helena created.
  • In A Coffin for Dimitrios, a writer follows the career of a dead criminal. The man rises from murderous thug, to spy, assassin and smuggler. All the time, behind him, supporting him is "The Eurasian Credit Trust", a shadowy bank based in Monaco, which means they don't have to reveal any information to anyone. The novel has more details as the fact that police all over Europe are sure they are behind the heroin trade and even arranging provocations for war. Dimitrios isn't dead, and it nearly costs the writer his life.
  • The Doctor Dire novels by Andrew Sieple have WEB (the World Evolutionary Brigade), a worldwide network of science terrorists.
  • The Black Council in The Dresden Files. So far very little is known about it, but it's certainly organised, evil, and particularly nebulous since there's little direct evidence of its existence yet. "The Black Council" is the name assigned to it by the heroes after deducing its existence from various anomalies, such as small-time villains being given big-time magical weapons by unknown sources and members of other organizations pursuing secret objectives behind their leaders' backs.
  • The Shop in Firestarter seems to fall under this category. One of their goals is to create a drug that will turn humans into weapons, and when two of their test subjects have a child together, they are willing to chase them to the ends of the earth to capture her and use her for their own ends. They are so widespread that they have spies in every single town the protagonists flee to. It seems that they have infiltrated every branch of government, and they are completely above the law.
  • De Griezelbus: Throughout the books, oblique references are made to the organization G.G.G., a.k.a. Geesten, Geraamten, en ander Gespuis (Ghosts, Skeletons, and other Ghoulies).
  • In the 1990s, The Hardy Boys introduced "The Assassins", a group of Terrorists Without a Cause with hundreds of Mooks and elaborate bases and cloning technology, whose activities tend to enter James Bond territory — for instance, the plot to use nuclear bombs to blow up the Ring of Fire volcanoes, reshaping the layout of the Earth's crust.
  • The H.I.V.E. Series has "G.L.O.V.E."', or the Global League of Villainous Enterprises, a council of the leading supervillains controlled by the sinister 'Number One'.
  • James Bond: Starting with the eighth Bond novel, Thunderball, Ian Fleming introduced a Nebulous Evil Organisation to replace the Soviet counterintelligence unit SMERSH as Bond's primary enemy. The new organization was S.P.E.C.T.R.E., the SPecial Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion. Like the film version, the literary S.P.E.C.T.R.E. is a nationless group organized and run by Ernst Stavro Blofeld. However, unlike the film version, the literary S.P.E.C.T.R.E. is a mercenary group that's in it strictly for the money. S.P.E.C.T.R.E. serves as the Big Bad for three novels: Thunderball, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and You Only Live Twice. It returns in the "new" Bond novels, starting with For Special Services by John Gardner.
  • "The Organisation Which I Represent" is... probably this is the Mediochre Q Seth Series. They're so nebulous that it's hard to tell.
  • R.A.T.S., the international crime syndicate from The Mouse Watch. All we know about them so far is that they want to Take Over the World, and their leader thinks that rats (the species) "deserve more" than just ordinary lives.
  • The Nemesis Saga has the Genetic Offensive Directive, a black-ops genetic weapons program within DARPA originally founded to continue the horrific research started by the Japanese on Island 731 during WWII. Over time, however, it has grown into a N.G.O. Superpower, which seems to be experimenting with creating monsters purely for its own sake. Then it turns out that they're actually a front created by the Ferox as a means of insuring that Earth is properly prepared to defend itself when it is inevitably drawn into their Forever War with the Aeros.
  • In the Replica (Marilyn Kaye) series, the evil organization known as "The Organization" is constantly trying to capture Amy so they can breed a master race.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: Though nothing is explicitly stated, it's heavily implied that the mysterious letters "VFD" refer to the name of an organization that split down the middle into a Hero Secret Service of firefighters and one of these, dedicated in particular to arson. Count Olaf appears to be the group's enforcer, and later on, we meet the leaders...
  • Dark Matter in Space Academy Washouts is compared to Cobra and SPECTRE. It is involved in virtually every war humanity has fought in since its arrival in space. Taking it down has been the goal of Director G for decades. It has access to its own private space navy, megacorporation holdings, as well as Elder Race technology.
  • The Stormlight Archive is fairly thick with conspiracies, with the result that several High Fantasy versions of this exist therein, including the Diagram, the Sons of Honor, the Skybreakers, and the Ghostbloods. The first three all have a fairly Knight Templar-ish slant, to various degrees (the Diagram's leader Taravangian follows a convoluted plot to become ruler of the world because he believes it's the only way to save humanity; the Sons of Honor want to bring about the apocalypse so that the Heralds of the Almighty will come back, and the Skybreakers seek to brutally enforce their own idiosyncratic ideas of justice, including executing all Surgebinders), and it's still uncertain what the Ghostbloods want, except that they have agents all over the world and are more than willing to lie, cheat, steal, extort, and kill in service to their goals.
  • Theriomorph Chronicles: Megiddo is a criminal terrorist organization with sinister goals of world domination and genocide, creating Theriomorphs and controlling governments to further their secret and true goal.
  • They Came to Baghdad: The shadowy group that is attempting to disrupt the Baghdad peace conference. It's not completely clear what they're up to—they're planning to disrupt the conference by entering some fake documents, they seem to have gotten ahold of some uranium deposits, and there's even a suggestion that they may be plotting an assassination of the President of the United States in Baghdad. What is established is that they are attempting to foment a war between the democracies and the communist bloc, so that, after those two factions destroy each other, Edward and his gang will rule the world.
  • Cauldron from Worm, which has some vague, grand scheme to prevent the end of the world. Regardless, said scheme involves manipulating politicians and government bureaus, kidnapping, assassinations, alternate universes, and supporting criminals whether they know it or not. They're later revealed to be not preventing, but riding out the end of the world, such that humanity and/or parahumanity can survive it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has "Project Centipede", the main villains of the first season. Not much is known about them except that they're widespread, have access to technology beyond even S.H.I.E.L.D.'s reach, and are attempting to create Super Soldiers for their own benefit. They're eventually revealed to be a branch of HYDRA.
  • This trope appears several times in Alias, sometimes to the point of stretching credulity: there's the Alliance of Twelve (which includes SD-6), the Covenant, Prophet Five, K-Directorate, the Triad, The Man, and probably several others.
  • American Horror Story: Apocalypse has the Cooperative, the mysterious organization that built the fallout Outposts. And while their interest in the survival of the human race should make them the good guys, there's a very ominous feel to them, not helped at all by the fact that Michael Langdon — a.k.a. The Antichrist — is a prominent member. The penultimate episode, "Fire and Reign", finally reveals that the Cooperative is quite literally The Illuminati under a rebranded name, and that its members received their extreme wealth and influence by selling their souls to Satan, thus enabling Michael to use them to bring about the titular apocalypse.
  • Wolfram and Hart from Angel. While at first they just appear to be a particularly evil-aligned Occult Law Firm, it's soon revealed that the company is the personification of evil on Earth. Oh, and possibly every other dimension (in slightly different forms) as well. In a twist, Wolfram and Hart doesn't just cause evil — they actually get their power from it, specifically "man's inhumanity to man".
  • The Cabal from The Blacklist are an alliance of intelligence agents, bureaucrats, and Corrupt Corporate Executives who seek to manipulate world events, including trying to start a new Cold War, in order to profit from it.
  • Blindspot has the shadowy organization behind covering Jane in tattoos, wiping her memory, and dumping her in Times Square for the FBI to find. It's so secretive that we don't even know its name (in Season 2, it's dubbed "Sandstorm", but that's just what the NSA calls them), and all we know about their goals is that they view America as hopelessly corrupt and seek to destroy it and start over.
  • Chuck has several of increasing threat, serving as the Big Bad of each season.
    • Chuck first semi-regularly faces off against the mysterious Renegade Splinter Faction of the CIA known as FULCRUM. They emerge as a threat towards the end of the first season, and remain in this role until the end of the second.
    • In season 3, it turns out that FULCRUM is only part of The Ring — Morgan once refers them outright as a "nefarious criminal organization hell-bent on world domination". The Ring's threat is even bigger than FULCRUM's, as they have global operations and plan to create their own Intersect, in addition to gaining control of both the CIA and NSA. Just what their plans really called for besides those goals were never clarified.
    • Season 4's main threat is Volkoff Industries, a Russian multi-national with serious criminal connections and, as it turns out, major connections to Chuck's family.
  • The Silence in Doctor Who. All we know for about three seasons is that they want to kill the Doctor, and exactly why that is isn't revealed until the Eleventh Doctor's finale.
  • Played for Laughs in The Drew Carey Show with "Drug Co.," the mysterious corporation where Lewis works as a janitor after losing his credentials as a scientist. They're involved in everything from genetic engineering to animal testing to radiation experiments to breeding gigantic sentient insects that speak English. They also fit every employee with a "pain chip" that electrocutes them if they say anything bad about the company and use retinal scanners that cause excruciating anguish as a security system. Their true purpose is never explained, nor exactly why they want to perform all manner of horrific experiments — which is the whole point of the joke.
  • Fringe: The Pattern (or rather, ZFT (Zerstörung durch Fortschritte der Technologie, which translates to Destruction through Technological Progress), massing civilian collateral damage in an effort to wage war with a parallel universe).
  • Get Smart had KAOS, which is more of a Laughably Evil organization of Punch-Clock Villains, but they're still treated as a credible threat since they operate globally. Some of their plans, while silly, quite nearly succeed, especially whenever Sigfried is involved. This trope also came in handy for the writers as the Villain of the Week was often a parody of genre bad guys, so the nebulous nature of KAOS meant they could justify the inclusion of a Fu Manchu-expy, a Mad Scientist or an anachronistic Nazi like Siegfried regardless of logic.
  • How I Met Your Mother: Barney Stinson works for the AltruCell Corporation, and later, Goliath National Bank. Throughout the series, he makes references to the shady activities his employers are engaged in.
  • Chrysalis from The Invisible Man. They're so nebulous that one of the Agency's main goals regarding them is figuring out exactly what their goal is.
  • Every Showa Era Kamen Rider series had a massive organization with worldwide influence and little evidence of what they really wanted to accomplish (other than the fact that it required a lot of death and destruction.) Namely:
    • The most iconic evil organization in the series by far is Shocker from Kamen Rider, a secret society formed by surviving members of Those Wacky Nazis bent on world domination. They have secret bases in every major country, legions of fanatical Mooks and Evil Minions, and their plan involves building an army of kaijins to take over the world and turn into a totalitarian dictatorship. The only thing standing in their way are their escaped lab experiments, the Double Kamen Riders. They would eventually merge with another Nebulous Evil Organisation called Geldam to become Gel-Shocker.
    • Destron in the sequel series Kamen Rider V3 is a restructured remnant/Suspiciously Similar Substitute of the original Shocker that swaps their Nazi vibes out for more creepy Cult vibes. Besides them, other organizations that take after Shocker include Government of Darkness (often shortened to simply GOD), Geddon, the Garanda Empire, Black Satan, Delza Army, Neo-Shocker, Dogma Kingdom, Jin Dogma and the Badan Empire.
    • Gorgom in Kamen Rider BLACK are an evil Cult whose membership includes numerous prominent figures. They're main goal is to reawaken their Dark Messiah Shadow Moon and have him duel his brother, the titular Black, to decide who the next ruler of their cult will be. Interestingly, their threat comes less from their hordes of monsters and more their network of political connections, with one episode even seeing them forming their own political party to try to run for office.
    • From Kamen Rider Decade onward, Shocker becomes the franchise's go-to for crossover movie villains. They sometimes rebrand in the process, such as calling themselves Dai-Shocker or Super Shocker, but nearly any movie that features all of the Riders in a crossover and doesn't initially present Shocker as the antagonist is almost certainly going to be Hijacked by Ganon by the end of the movie.
    • Museum from Kamen Rider Double is a mafia-like criminal group operating in Futo City looking to further research into the Gaia Memories by distributing them to criminals. It's eventually revealed they're being propped up by an even bigger Nebulous Evil Organisation (see below).
    • Foundation X acts as a Greater-Scope Villain for shows beginning with Kamen Rider Double. While they don't appear in every show, when they do appear it's usually suggested that they have their fingers in every pie as financial backers or researchers for other villainous groups, giving them access to all of the tools those prior villains had. Their own plans usually revolve around an individual agent of the Foundation combining the powers from multiple shows to turn himself into a Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot of evil.
    • Faust of Kamen Rider Build pulls a Decon-Recon Switch on the trope. At the beginning of the show, Faust and its Monster of the Week schemes are the show's central focus, only for this premise to fall apart by the end of the first quarter and Faust to go away in favor of more realistic villains like enemy nations with their own Riders or a greedy war profiteer and his MegaCorp. By the end of the show, though, all of those villains have destroyed themselves through their own greed, and the last villain standing (a much less realistically grounded supervillain with cosmic powers) takes their resources for himself to effectively resurrect Faust.
  • K.C. Undercover has the Other Side, Arch-Enemy to the Organisation. They're a widespread organization whose industry includes terrorist plots to release super-viruses and agents spread out around the globe.
  • DARK in Kikaider are ostensibly a black-market organization whose goals are either to make money selling Killer Robots or just Take Over the World. In most episodes, though, their plan seems to be to just have their robots wantonly kill people.
  • MacGyver (2016) has Codex, an international terrorist organization with deep pockets and moles in almost every level of governments and private businesses.
  • Metal Heroes:
    • The Neros Empire in Chōjinki Metalder are a secret society looking to take over the world. For most of the series though they're caught up on just trying to kill Metalder.
    • Kidou Keiji Jiban has Criminal Syndicate Bioron. They seek to take over Japan, and they've got hordes of Faceless Goons, an army of Bioweapon Beasts and multiple hidden missiles bases to help make that a reality.
  • In Mr. Robot, Elliot and Fsociety view Evil Corp (actually E Corp) as this; however, it seems to be a run-of-the-mill MegaCorp. The "top one percent of the top one percent" that Elliot warns us about in the pilot episode turns out to be more than just a deranged conspiracy theory. Episode "402 Payment Required" elaborates on this, and Price reveals to Elliot that Whiterose founded the group, named the Deus Group, after collapse of the Soviet Union. Its members were under the impression that it was a cooperative effort to shape the world for profit. This is a ruse, and the group was created to facilitate Whiterose's "project" and the annexation of the Congo. The members of the group are subservient to Whiterose, or are replaced by someone who will be.
  • In The New Adventures of Beans Baxter, beyond spreading terror, it is not clear what goals (if any) UGLI (Underground Government Liberation Intergroup) possesses. Its head, Mr. Sue, is described as being a professional terrorist.
  • Nikita: Although Division, the rogue private intelligence agency at the center of the series, has shades of this, the show's writing is ultimately too transparent about it and its leaders' aims — they're in it for the money and the power that comes from unaccountability — for it to count. However, a second group, one that has no real name, but does have sci-fi gadgetry like Nanomachines and Latex Perfection masks, does. Unlike Division, this more stereotypically Tuxedo and Martini group's structure and plans are much less defined: we only get to really know one of its leaders, and the one plan that we see them execute involves replacing the president of the United States with a brainwashed double, having their fake POTUS be assassinated, and ultimately placing the blame for the assassination on Pakistan. Even then, it's not clear how much we see of the plan was part of their original design and how much was a response to things growing beyond their control.
  • Odisea Burbujas has CYDA, Spanish for Contaminadores y Destructores Anónimos (Polluters and Destroyers Anonymous). Interestingly, 'CYDA' in Spanish sounds exactly like 'SIDA' (AIDS); the series was made in the late 1970s and early '80s, so this could be a coincidence.
  • Person of Interest has HR (a ring of Dirty Cops), Northern Lights (Well-Intentioned Extremist group who use the Machine to stop terrorist attacks), The Brotherhood (a street gang with the usual goals, but tech-savvy and novel in its methods) and Decima Technologies (the human face of Well-Intentioned Extremist AI Samaritan).
  • Pro-Wres no Hoshi Azteckaiser has Black Mist, a "dark" wrestling federation that was banned from the sport because of the brutal tactics their wrestlers used. They seek the MacGuffin that serves as the source of Azteckaiser's power so they can use it to take over the sport of wrestling.
  • Revenge (2011): The Americon Initiative, the domestic terrorist group who the Graysons laundered money for (which they then framed David Clarke for). It seems to be trying to become the new Big Bad of the series.
  • A Running Gag in Seinfeld is that the entire United States Postal Service is a shadowy, evil cabal that controls people's lives from behind the scenes. We largely find out about their mysterious ways through Newman, a postal worker himself. Among the secrets we discover are that ZIP codes are meaningless, no carrier has ever successfully completed more than fifty percent of their route, and — worst of all — no one actually needs mail. One episode even has Wilford Brimley in a brilliant One-Scene Wonder as the Postmaster General of the United States — and it's clear from his contained rage that he's a Soft-Spoken Sadist and General Ripper who's able to cow the famously independent Kramer into submission.
  • Seven Star Fighting God Guyferd has Crown, a criminal organization that poses as an independent scientific research center and seeks to create the ultimate Super-Soldier using an Applied Phlebotinum called "Fallah". That's just one layer; the schemes of Crown get more nebulous and more grandiose the higher you go up in their hierarchy.
  • Stargate SG-1: The rogue NID, and their bosses the Committee, both of whom eventually morph into the Trust. They want control of the Stargate program, but what they want to do with it is somewhat less clear; goals range from "protecting the Earth" to "exploiting alien technology for financial gain".
  • These were a common choice for villain factions in the early days of Super Sentai, before switching over to more inhumane groups like alien invaders.
    • The aptly named CRIME from J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai are a Nebulous Criminal Conspiracy operating in Japan looking to purvey crime all throughout the city in order to turn Japan into a nation dominated by CRIME. At least initially as later on most of their schemes just became about trying to destroy JAKQ.
    • The Deathdark in Dai Sentai Goggle Five are an Ancient Conspiracy that has manipulated scientific progress for centuries towards warfare and destruction, with the goal of eventually using it to conquer the world.
    • Jakanja in Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger are a group of evil space ninjas with very nebulous goals. So nebulous that their exact objective is only referred to as “it” up until the finale.
    • Parodied in Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger with the Blatantly Evil Marketing Farm B, an evil organization that concocts various schemes to turn Akihabara into a boring business district.
    • Season 2 of Akibaranger introduces Baros lol, a group founded by a Sentai villain fanboy looking to imitate the various evil organizations of the Sentai series. He and Malshina turn out to actually be the only members besides the monsters he creates, and he wasn't even aware that his actions were changing reality for the first few episodes.
  • Timeless has Rittenhouse, a secret organization that funded Connor Mason's time machine project in an effort to gain control over all of time, so that they could shape it to be more favorable towards themselves. They have plants in Mason Industries and Flynn's Cabal, and even in Federal agencies. At the end of season 1, they actually gain control of a time machine, and it's revealed that both of Lucy's parents were Rittenhouse.
  • Tokusou Saizensen's three-part Grand Finale features the powerful and corrupt Nissho-ren, or the "National Council for the Salvation of Japan" (the former name being an abbreviation of its Japanese name). Not only are they involved with a massively corrupt East Shinjuku Police Department and the five most powerful yakuza syndicates; they also have ties to politicians, biker gangs, and even The Klan.
  • Tomica Hero Rescue Force has Neo Terror, a mysterious terrorist organization that causes the man-made disasters the Rescue Force works to stop.
  • The Syndicate in The X-Files meets in various rooms in New York City (and London in Fight the Future) instead of a central base (though they have a lot of secret sinister research labs).

  • Arch.rr in Roll to Breathe, a fictional equivalent to Apple, is secretly evil. They have connections to AIGIS, supervillains, and the criminal underworld, although the nature of CEO Archer Fletcher's plan isn't revealed until late in the first season. It turns out Archer was simply acting under orders of an even more evil and nebulous organisation called The Suits, which the protagonists know next-to-nothing about.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Claim the Sky: The Dagger is a secretive criminal organization that engages in all sorts of criminal activities and occasionally attempts to Take Over the World. It was founded by three supervillains, one of whom remains as its leader, and is the primary foe of BASTION.
  • One of the characteristic themes of Eberron:
  • S.H.A.D.O.W. (Secret Heirarchy of Agents for Domination Over the World) in Freedom City. Like Hydra, they started out as an offshoot of the Nazis, but these days have abandoned most of the trappings and beliefs of Nazism (learning he was the reincarnation of an Egyptian sorcerer cured Kantor of any racism he'd possessed — after all, he must have been superior to everyone else then as well). Mostly their goals are that Overshadow should rule the world, and that his hangers-on in the Penumbra will be rewarded when he does. The question of what the rank-and-file think they're getting out of it doesn't really arise, because they're largely near-mindless clones of Overshadow.
  • The James Bond 007 game provides TAROT (Technological Accession, Revenge, and Organized Terrorism), a Captain Ersatz version of SPECTRE due to rights issues. TAROT has divisions named after tarot cards, and is led by Karl Ferenc Skorpios, a Blofeld Expy. Many of the canon James Bond foes listed in the core rulebook give information on how they connect to TAROT — Alexei Kronsteen from From Russia with Love, for example, is TAROT's Planning Director of Special Operations, while Karl Stromberg from The Spy Who Loved Me has no knowledge of its existence. Classified, the modern remake of the game system without the James Bond license, provides OSIRIS, whose goal is elimination of nation-states and their replacement by nobility. It is led by a self-styled Emperor, and the leaders of each division is referred to as a King or Queen. For example, the leader of the Influence department is the King of Whispers, while the leader of Assassination is the Queen of Death.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Lampshaded with the Agents of S.N.E.A.K. from Bablovia. It's mentioned that the primary activity of most of its members is trying to covertly find out what their faction's actual long-term goal is. There is a persistent theory that the faction doesn't actually have a purpose, and is just a prank that got way out of hand.
  • The Red Scorpion of Rocket Age appears to have started out as The Syndicate, but the addition of its current Evil Genius leader, increasing military capabilities and views towards domination of the solar system seem to have changed that.
  • Top Secret/S.I. by TSR uses The Web as the primary foe of the Orion Foundation. Starting as war profiteers during World War I, The Web turned into an underground organization aimed at taking over the world through a combination of political, economic, and military means. They run criminal and legitimate organizations worldwide, and have at some point infiltrated pretty much every significant intelligence organization in the world. They even have an Elaborate Underground Base, "The Nexus", hidden under Lake Geneva.
  • The Alpha Legion of Warhammer 40,000 operate in multiple worlds, answer to an invisible leadership, have countless members in all parts of society, all for some nefarious and unknown end. It's suggested that they're nebulous because they're no longer a single organization, with multiple cells all calling themselves "the Alpha Legion" working towards wholly different goals.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • The Old World of Darkness has quite a few of these:
      • Pentex, from Werewolf: The Apocalypse, is a faceless multinational holding company whose goals are to perpetuate chaos, spread pollution and devastation, and ultimately prepare the charred remains of the earth for their Eldritch Abomination overlords.
      • The Technocracy, from Mage: The Ascension, is a conglomerate of Mad Scientists, The Men in Black, and Corrupt Corporate Executives who actually are the secret world government in charge of everything. A bit of a variation in that they already feel they control everything; their main goals are to finally crush all remaining pockets of resistance to their control and to completely quash any lingering belief in the supernatural. Slightly subverted in their own sourcebook, which has rules for Technocratic Player Characters; it's implied that most of the conflict comes from their own superiors instead of their "Traditional" enemies. It also breaks the trend by laying out goals, motivations, and concrete plans that are reasonable if you accept their world view as valid.
      • Also from Mage: The Ascension: the Nephandi, a group of corrupt and evil mages united mainly in their servitude to demonic beings. If it involves corruption, seduction or destruction, the Nephandi want a piece of it.
    • A few of these exist in the Chronicles of Darkness as well:
      • Vampire: The Requiem has both Belial's Brood and VII. The Brood are demon-worshippers and anarchists who believe the Beast is a fragment of divine consciousness imprisoned by Humanity. The best way to get close to the Beast is to do awful, awful things — which often makes them a pain in the ass for other Kindred, as those awful things will draw attention to them. VII is even more nebulous — all anyone knows about them is they kill other vampires for some reason. Even attempts to crack into their heads via telepathy only turn up "VII" branded into their minds. There's even a whole book devoted to VII that offers up three different solutions for their origins, and several others are peppered throughout the line.
      • Mage: The Awakening has the Seers of the Throne, mages who follow/worship the Exarchs, all-powerful mages who ascended to the Supernal Realms and screwed things up for everyone else in the Fallen World in the process. They believe that magic should only belong in the hands of the worthy ("worthy" meaning "those whose goals align with the Exarchs"), and work to encourage a generally crappy atmosphere in order to discourage uncontrolled Awakenings, mainly through anti-intellectualism, dogmatism, and paranoia.

    Video Games 
  • Coupled with a large touch of Ancient Conspiracy, the Templar Order in the Assassin's Creed series. In the modern age, they are behind World War II and the Cold War in an effort to prevent global cooperation, and the owners of several Fortune 500 companies (including Abstergo Industries, which the games revolve around). In the past, they've had at least one Pope operating under their banner, and they've hidden in plain sight from everyone but the Assassins for thousands of years. The same goes for their predecessors The Order of the Ancients and The Cult of Kosmos.
  • The imaginatively-named Himitsu Kessha (lit. "secret society") from the Battle Arena Toshinden series.
  • Bloody Roar: The Tylon Corporation is the main source of antagonism throughout the series, though they're never actually seen at any point. All that's known about them is that they're responsible for conducting inhumane experiments on zoanthropes for the purpose of creating the ultimate man-beast. They've also created clones with stolen zoanthrope DNA, with the successful ones becoming part of their private army, the ZLF (Zoanthrope Liberation Front).
  • V.I.L.E. of the Carmen Sandiego series. As explained in many a game manual, the letters stand for Villains' International League of Evil. There's subtlety for ya.
  • City of Heroes:
    • Arachnos, which is also the government and standing army of a Caribbean island nation, and has every kind of mook and villain you can imagine (and it employs all player-created villains).
    • The Malta group and the Council. The Malta group has defined goals (draconian restrictions on superpowered individuals, or just eliminating them entirely); the Council, on the other hand, is a pretty generic neo-fascist group with no particular goals beyond "be evil" (and has a rivalry with Arachnos).
  • Command & Conquer:
    • The Global Liberation Army in Command & Conquer: Generals is some kind of bland Al Qaeda expy with violent and criminal methods and largely undefined goals and objectives. Although being a playable faction, the only sure things about them are that they are violent, extremist, vaguely middle eastern, or occasionally Central Asian, and they don't like the current world powers.
    • Their predecessor, the Brotherhood of Nod from the mainline Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series continuity, is little better, especially given how the organization evolves from an Illuminati-esque Ancient Conspiracy to a more overt N.G.O. Superpower as the world breaks down around them. The only thing's for sure is that, splinter factions aside, they follow their Kane, and whatever his goals are, the Brotherhood are his principle tools in achieving them.
  • The Red Falcon Organization from Contra initially appears to be an evil force out to conquer the world. We do eventually learn their true goals in Shattered Soldier.
  • The Evil Genius series is about you managing your own, training an army of minions, launching missions to cause international turmoil, battle spies, and eventually Take Over the World.
  • Fallout has the Talon Company from 3 and the Gunners from 4. They're ostensibly mercenaries, but we never see anybody hire them (for instance, to take out the raider camps outside of every single town), nor do they appear to have the infrastructure to support the hundreds of well-equipped troops they deploy. They have no role in the plot and only exist to trouble the player character and occasionally his/her allies. Talon Company is a particularly egregious example, as the reason they come after the player character is explicitly because their unnamed employer thought that the player was being too nice. Really.
  • Half-Life 2: The Combine Overwatch was established as the military and civil policing force used by the Combine on Earth. They are the ever-present threat to Gordon Freeman and free humans everywhere.
  • The King of Fighters has NESTS, as well as Addes (and its sub-syndicates/branch organizations the Children of Kokaviel, Kusiel, Mephistopheles, and Belphegor) in the MI series. Those from the Past started as this, but quickly became a Standard Evil Organization Squad as time progressed.
  • Cerberus from the Mass Effect games. Their stated goal is to protect humanity "at all costs", which is so vague as to allow for anything. Ironically a lot of their failed projects tend to result in more human deaths than anything. It all backfires on them when their boss goes Jumping Off the Slippery Slope in Mass Effect 3 and gets some pretty horrific ideas about what exactly is best for humanity.
  • Namco × Capcom and Project × Zone have Ouma, the Evil Counterpart to Shinra. Sheath comes from the North American branch, and she also notes that Ouma has not only a Japanese and North American branch, but a German branch as well. Oros Phlox from the latter game is more of an Oddly Small Organization.
  • H.A.R.M. from No One Lives Forever. There's also Danger Danger. There are a few more organizations named in the various intel items that can be gathered. It's hinted they have a friendly rivalry and take part in various contests against each other.
  • General Viper's organization in Operation Wolf Returns: First Mission. Very little is known about the organization, other than the fact that they deal in drugs, weapons, and terrorism, and they have also built a power superweapon and taken hostages.
  • Overwatch: No one in-universe is sure of what exactly international terrorist group Talon's goals are, but their deeds, ranging from kidnapping to mass murder, are all geared towards inciting chaos and strife. It's later revealed that Talon is a deliberately invoked example; while several of its members are in it primarily for personal profit, its primary goal is to make humanity stronger by plunging the entire world into eternal conflict.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has the Secret Society of X-Nauts, an evil organization seeking to Take Over the World and led by a Diabolical Mastermind who's an obvious homage to James Bond villains. That's about all we know about them.
  • Pokémon:
    • Team Rocket. Though some of its individual members in the anime do have concrete goals in mind (usually some sort of money-making scheme), the organization as a whole, particularly its management, falls under this.
    • Teams Magma, Aqua, and Galactic can also be classified as this, but those organizations have shifted from the more Syndicate-like criminal organization that Team Rocket was to outright Well Intentioned Extremism.
    • The views of Team Galactic might fit more as Utopia Justifies the Means with the leadership sometimes bordering on Omnicidal Maniac.
    • Team Plasma are a band of Well Intentioned Extremists whose leader, N, seeks to separate Pokémon from humans; but the true mastermind, Ghetsis plans on using the organization so that he can take control of the region.
  • Resident Evil has the infamous Umbrella Corporation. It took fifteen games, some comics, and a complete novelization before we finally learned the goal of their leader was not to be as evil as possible but rather to become a God and rule over all of humanity in a new world order. NEO Umbrella from Resident Evil 6 are even worse. They gleefully (and intentionally) do all the evil stuff Umbrella pulled, with only the objective of turning the world into one where anarchy and chaos reign supreme.
  • In the Splinter Cell series, Megiddo is a secretive, sinister organization that plays a central role in the plot of Conviction. According to Tom Reed, Megiddo has great influence in Washington, Moscow, and Beijing. President Caldwell will not cooperate with Megiddo, so they plot to assassinate her and replace her with the VP, who happens to be controlled by the organization. Although Sam foils their plot, the organization remains at large. Megiddo does not play a role in Blacklist, aside from being briefly mentioned in a "Gone Dark" mission.
  • The SPY Fox adventure games has the Society for Meaningless Evil Larceny Lying and Yelling. Or, S.M.E.L.L.Y. This causes a bit of confusion when an important item of theirs is found in a trash can.
    Mata Hari: I got something very important out of a S.M.E.L.L.Y. trash can.
    Spy Fox: Well, of course it's smelly if you got it out of a trash can.
  • Street Fighter: Shadaloo has a hand in every major form of crime and has its agents scattered across the globe. M. Bison sits at the head of the organization and is the main villain from the Alpha series, to Street Fighter II. Chun Li and Guile lead a joint investigation between Interpol and the US Air Force to shut Shadowloo down and bring Bison to justice.
  • Strike Force Heroes gives us Globex. Its nebulous global-ness is lampshaded in both games, and is apparently its defining trait.
    Bull: Globex? I don't like the sound of that. It sounds... global.
    Dex: You don't get it do you? GlobeX isn't just out for us, they're GLOBAL.
  • The Trails Series has Ouroboros, who serve as the overarching antagonists of the various games in the series and are usually pulling the strings behind the scenes.
  • Wario: Master of Disguise alludes to this kind of organisation with the company mentioned as owned by Count Cannoli, International Evil Concerns Inc., although the only thing it's shown to do is build robots to try and kill Wario.
  • Yooka-Laylee alludes to a group named V.I.L.E. (no relation), of which the game's Big Bad Capital B is a major representative. His failure in the game is reported to the shareholders by Quack, and he's to answer to them for his screw-up.
  • Zone of the Enders has BAHRAM, an illegitimate anti-terrestrial military organization that is seen as the primary antagonistic force throughout the series. The organization ideology claims to give those independence from Mars, but ultimately, they want command dominance over Mars rather through dictatorship and destruction than liberation. This veers off to the deep end with destruction on a galactic scale after a Metatron-ridden Nohman is in charge.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa:
    • The Ultimate Despair are the ones responsible for the Mutual Killing Games. Initially a small Apocalypse Cult founded by popular high school fashionista and Big Bad Junko Enoshima, they are a group that seeks to spread despair across the world. To this end, they infiltrated Hope's Peak Academy, killed multiple students and faculty, and recruited the experiment Izuru Kamukura to their cause — with him on their side, they became unstoppable and caused mass rioting, leading to The Tragedy. As of the main story, they have become The Empire ruling over the post-Tragedy world, and employ tactics like brainwashing, robot invasions, and the titular televised killing game to control the population.
    • In Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, Kokichi Oma claims to be the leader of an evil organization with over 10,000 members, control over the mafia, and infiltrating agents everywhere. However, given that Kokichi is a self-admitted Consummate Liar and that not even the Ultimate Detective has heard of such an organization, nobody believes him for a second. While his organization, D.I.C.E., does exist, everything else about it was a lie. There are only 10 members, they certainly don't control anything, and the full extent of their "evil" is committing petty crimes and pulling harmless pranks on people for fun.

    Web Animation 
  • Madness Combat: The AAHW are an organization that exists primarily to oppose the protagonists and produce Cannon Fodder for them to fight, with their name being an acronym for "Agency Against Hank Wimbleton".

  • FINIS in Bandette. All we really know so far is that its leader is called Absinthe, because he once killed a bunch of people just to get a case of a really good one.
  • Hexenringe has B.E.N.T., a mysterious organization supposedly created for good but being used for nefarious purposes.
  • This organization from MegaTokyo. It's actually Sony, hence the PS2 thing.
  • The Dave Conspiracy from Narbonic is played up as this, but they don't seem to be all that evil in practice, even if they did put Helen's mother on the payroll at one point.
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • Hereti Corp lives and breathes this trope. They've been around for most of the strip's run, and we still have very little idea how they plan to take over the world, other than that it involves Oasis, a Dimensional Flux Agitator, and a chain of fast food restaurants.
    • The Minion Master arc introduced an international collection of these organizations, the most significantly featured are NoFun Corporation and Crushtro. The Minion Master is as yet still too nebulous (and perhaps too incompetent) to be identified as evil.

  • Cracked: Winston Rowntree details the typical organisation's structure here, including such positions as "evil publicist" and "evil laundry service".
  • The SCP Foundation has the Chaos Insurgency, a group that has vaguely defined goals of taking over the world, but their main purpose seems to be as antagonistic to the Foundation as possible. And, let's face it, they called themselves the Chaos Insurgency; being evil is practically a guarantee. Some materials claim that the organization is a long-running, deniable False Flag Operation for the Foundation itself, thereby deliberately invoking this trope, up until the point where it went rogue and became this for real.

    Western Animation 
  • M.A.V.O. (Monsters and Villains Organization) from The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin. They're run by a guy who calls himself the "Supreme Oppressor" and are responsible for most of the strife that occurs in the land of Grundo.
  • The Boondocks portrays Black Entertainment Television (or Black EVIL Television, as its board of directors calls it) as an evil organisation dedicated to destroying all African American people through their crappy programming, with a chief executive who maniacally demands that all shows be EVIL, and brutally executes any executives and producers who offer less.
  • VILE from Carmen Sandiego are an excellent example of this, led by five members of their organization in total.
  • DuckTales: F.O.W.L., which stands for "Fiendish Organization for World Larceny", which is about as subtle as the Carmen Sandiego entry. They originally appeared in an episode of DuckTales (1987), and had a larger role in Darkwing Duck and DuckTales (2017). The latter series eventually reveals that the motive of their leader is to stop adventurers, especially the McDuck-Duck family, supposedly because they're bad for business, but ultimately due to a personal distaste for adventures. The fact that a sinisterly-named shadowy organisation is likely to encourage adventurers has not occurred to him.
  • COBRA from the G.I. Joe cartoons is the icon of this trope. The terrorist organization is dedicated to nothing less than complete world domination, in certain continuities to take over so the lost civilization of Cobra-La can be reborn, but most of the time simply because Cobra Commander wants to rule on high. And the way they intend to conquer the world can range from holding nations hostage with super weapons to kidnapping and experimenting on innocent people or just directly attacking nations.
  • MAD (Mean and Dirty/Malevolent Agency of Destruction), from Inspector Gadget. Led by Dr. Claw, MAD goes around the world causing chaos for... some reason.
  • S.C.U.M from James Bond Jr. are a S.P.E.C.T.R.E stand-in behind all of the villains in the series.
  • Kim Possible: The Worldwide Evil Empire from one episode, implied to be involved in all sorts of evil from supervillainy to stealing candy from babies.
  • The Legend of Korra has the Red Lotus, which has been around for 70 years, advocates complete anarchy, and seeks to eliminate governments, the Order of The White Lotus, and finally the Avatar herself. Their evil ranges from criminal acts, terrorist acts, and plots to assassinate political leaders, all to accomplish their goals.
  • M.A.S.K. has the Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem (VENOM). Unusually for cartoons at the time, VENOM's goals are less about world domination and more about profiting from illegal activities and stealing legendary cultural relics to sell. Interestingly, later iterations of the G.I. Joe toy line would establish VENOM as being a branch of Cobra.
  • Phineas and Ferb has the League of Villainous Evildoers Maniacally United for Frightening Investments in Naughtiness, a.k.a. L.O.V.E.M.U.F.F.I.N.
  • Parodied in SpongeBob SquarePants with E.V.I.L., a.k.a. "Every Villain is Lemons".
  • From Teen Titans (2003), both the HIVE (which includes a supervillain training center, HIVE Academy) and the Brotherhood of Evil (which the HIVE itself becomes part of).
  • The Order of Janus from Trollhunters, a secret society of changelings who have infiltrated human civilization in order to pave the way for Gunmar's escape from the Darklands and conquest of the world.
  • The Venture Bros.: The Guild of Calamitous Intent, in addition to being a Weird Trade Union. Also the original incarnation of S.P.H.I.N.X before they were destroyed by the OSI during the Pyramid Wars of 1987.

  • Hell is often depicted as one of these. Anything that causes human suffering, The Devil is more than happy to throw his weight behind.
  • The ODESSA, organization of ex-SS members.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Nebulous Evil Organization



All that we know about them is that they want world-domination and to spread anarchy to achieve those ends.

Oh, and Grigori Rasputin is a prominent high-ranking member of the organization.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / NebulousEvilOrganisation

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