Both types of influence are strong. The physical influences are the ones that drive materialism, consumerism and capitalism.
Agree with that too, and the physical aspect is where the secret societies side would come in, pulling the strings of human society.
Just seeing how hard materialism, consumerism, lust etc. are pushed from the power centers of society, all of which seem to converge to the top of the pyramid the more you look into it, is reason enough reason to suspect that. This is without even getting into the RIDICULOUS amount of their symbols that pop up everywhere in such things.