H.G. Wells, in his abridged version of his Outline of World History wrote:
Among the tens of thousands of names of monarchs accumulated in the files of history, the name of Asoka shines almost alone, like a star.
It is said that the Emperor Asoka, 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.