Mark Vernon comments here:http://www.markvernon.com/friendshiponline/dotclear/index.php?post/2010/06/30/Plato-code
What Mark says here really brings it home for me, and says something profound about the climate of the times we live in:"There're also many nods to esotericism in the write-ups, the secrets that Plato apparently concealed. I think the significance of the esoteric is wildly exaggerated these days, and it's broadly because we've lost the sense that knowledge of the world is as much subjective as objective. We major on the objective, because of science. But the subjective - concerned with the meaning and purpose of things - can only be appreciated by the individual who is in the right moral frame to see it. So, Plato has Socrates say in the dialogues, quite explicitly, that he won't share certain insights with interlocutors, simply because they aren't capable of appreciating what would be said, and would misunderstand it. Similarly, when the pilgrim returns to the cave, in the Republic, and divulges what he's learnt, he is mocked by those who remain prisoners, 'in the dark', to the extent that they'd kill him. This isn't the stuff of secret societies, but transparent observations about people's capacity for wisdom."