Cabal

A cabal is a group of people who are united in some close design, usually to promote their private views or interests in an ideology, a state, or another community, often by intrigue and usually unbeknownst to those who are outside their group. The use of this term usually carries negative connotations of political purpose, conspiracy and secrecy.[1][2]

It can also refer to a secret plot or a clique, or it may be used as a verb (to form a cabal or secretly conspire).[1][3]