The people of Akish were a group within the Jaredite civilization, deeply influenced by their leader Akish, who gained the throne through egregious acts of violence and treachery. Initially, Akish secured his power by forming a secret combination, an oath-bound society seeking to protect and advance the interests of its members using any means, including murder. With their support, he conspired and successfully assassinated his father-in-law, Jared, who was the reigning monarch, to claim the throne for himself (Ether 9:5).
These secret combinations and their practices spread throughout the society, pervading the hearts of the people with their corruption. Under the influence and rule of Akish, the people grew desirous of gain, mirroring their leader’s rampant ambition and willingness to indulge in dark and secretive means to achieve their ends (Ether 9:11). This avarice led to further internal strife, as many individuals accepted bribes to join the sons of Akish in a rebellion against him, perpetuating a cycle of violence and conflict.
The reign of Akish and the associated societal decay eventually culminated in a devastating civil war, which wrought almost complete destruction upon the Jaredite people. The resultant conflict was so severe that it left only thirty survivors from the entire kingdom, showcasing a stark example of how leadership rooted in secret combinations and personal ambition can lead to the near-total collapse of a civilization (Ether 9:12).