Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies For Dummies Paperback
Entering the world of conspiracy theories and secret societies is like stepping into a distant, parallel universe where the laws of physics have completely changed: black means white, up is down, and if you want to understand what's really going on, you need a good reference book.
That's where Conspiracy Theories & Secret Societies For Dummies comes in.
Whether you're a skeptic or a true believer, this fascinating guide, packed with the latest information, walks you through some of the most infamous conspiracy theories - such as Area 51 and the assassination of JFK - and introduces you to such mysterious organizations as the Freemasons, the Ninjas, the Mafia, and Rosicrucians.
This behind-the-curtain guide helps you separate fact from fiction and helps you the global impact of these mysterious events and groups on our modern world. Discover how to:* Test a conspiracy theory* Spot a sinister secret society* Assess the Internet's role in fueling conspiracy theories* Explore world domination schemes* Evaluate 9/11 conspiracy theories* Figure out who "they" are* Grasp the model on which conspiracy theories are built* Figure out whether what "everybody knows" is true* Distinguish on assassination brotherhood from another* Understand why there's no such thing as a "lone assassin" Why do hot dogs come in packages of ten, while buns come in eight-packs?
Everybody knows its a conspiracy, right? Find out in Conspiracy Theories & Secret Societies For Dummies.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 362 pages, black & white illustrations
- Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
- Publication Date: 01/04/2008
- Category: Conspiracy theories
- ISBN: 9780470184080
Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.
Review by minfo
Having read all three of Chris' prior books and being a pretty active conspiracy scoffer, I'd girded my loins for a disappointment this time around. Just more Freemason conspiracy (Solomon's Builders) and more Templars conspiracy (Templar Code for Dummies) with a little lettuce thrown around on the edges to make it look fancy and different…. HARDLY!Whether it's organized crime, the Illuminati, or world domination, Chris and Alice take you down the dark alleys of mystery and fear but always keep a flashlight focused carefully so you won't get grabbed by the hobgoblins. Trying to put a coherent order to the 'weird things of the world' would be a daunting task for anyone but the authors start with a very plausible premise: it all began with the French Revolution. They frequently reach back to that touchstone as the net grows wider in explaining the bizarre and while you might not accept it at face value, you soon realize that the premise has LOTS of merit.In the basic areas of foolishness (such as the Hoaglund 'Face on Mars'), the authors are wryly dismissive but in the more controversial or confusing things there's a calm and deliberate presentation of facts and a laying out 'common knowledge' interspersed with 'the rest of the story' (i.e., the FACTS!). In few cases they do pull out the 'tin-foil hat' award but otherwise it's basic exposition with an admission that there's no answer when, in fact, there is none. There's no doe-like innocence to be found but neither is there overt criticism. It's reminiscent of Sergeant Friday: "Just the facts, ma'am." - but this time with some humor added.It's clear that Chris and Alice have read from the major skeptics before beginning and they regularly refer to specific (and qualified) debunkers. Apropos of the subject, the book cries out for an annotated bibliography. Sadly, such is not the style of the 'Dummies' series. I'd happily pay extra for that because it would save me wearing out the binding looking back for things all the time. Sadly too, there aren't NEARLY enough Rich Tarrant cartoons here to satisfy: when you're knee deep in alien space monsters or gangland retribution, a little graphic levity can help! Because the author's three prior works were so steeped in Masonic 'stuff', I was expecting to simply skip over the Masonic section as 'old hat'. What a mistake that would have been. Somehow this book has managed to circumvent the 'old wine - new bottle' conundrum and has included a fresh and relevant approach coinciding with the book's title. They've got what essentially could be called the 'elevator pitch' on Freemasonry with explanations that are simple and understandable - and something any Mason could use when asked that question "What is Freemasonry?" that brings even long-term members to the point of stuttering.I did have a couple of small quibbles. One was the mention of a meeting between two 18th century conspiracists, John Robison and Abbe Barruel. My prior reading indicated that this had never occurred but they simply acknowledged (belatedly) the work done by the other (and, in fact, Barruel was quite dismissive of Robison's work. Vernon Stauffer's seminal work on this topic provides a quote in support of this. It's a bit of minutiae we can arm wrestle over elsewhere and it does not in any way lessen the assumptions, conclusions or assessments which cover FAR more ground more accurately and intelligently than any other work on this topic. The other quibble involved the loss by the town of Roswell, New Mexico of some 5,000 souls between the start of a paragraph and the end. Then again, who knows: maybe it was a conspiracy!Like the Hodapp family predecessors, this is a book with an easy to read style and it's one you can consume in small pieces at your leisure. I'll bet, though, that like me you'll devour it within a few pleasant hours and set it down having learned a bunch of things about events and organizations you thought you had thoroughly understood prior to that. If you're looking to debunk things like the origins of the Rosicrucians or your friend who's convinced he has all the facts about 9/11, then this is the book for you. Of course, if you think that David Icke is the true messiah or that Coast to Coast is more factual than National Public Radio, you won't enjoy it AT ALL! Move along: there's nothing to see here….