Since archaic times, the visible rulers we know have only ever been a subset of the real rulers. Most of their brethren & cousins chose to remain secret, as “hidden rulers”. However, they were always fully known and never hidden to the visible rulers, of course. So even those visible rulers never revealed their true form, or the full power of the global aristocracy. I call this system “cryptocracy” or “spookery”. Most ruled subjects will vehemently deny such a system exists. But the cryptocrats themselves love to give us clues, through hidden jokes & puns. Many of their traditional names mean “hidden”, or “ruler”, or “hidden ruler”. This proves that spookery is incredibly ancient.