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Conspiracy Theories & Secret Societies For Dummies® [Kindle Edition]

Christopher Hodapp , Alice Von Kannon
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.



Editorial Reviews

Review

"Whether it's organized crime,  Illuminati, or world domination, Chris and Alice take you down dark alleys of mystery and fear but keep a flashlight focused carefully so you won't get grabbed by hobgoblins." --Ed King, Maine Masonic College

From the Back Cover

What do Skull & Bones, the Kennedys, and UFOs all have in common?

Your guide to an undiscovered world of arcane rites and rituals

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. Sorting out fact from fiction, you'll be able to explore their global impact on society today.

Discover how to:

  • Test a conspiracy theory

  • Spot a sinister secret society

  • Assess the Internet's role in fueling conspiracy rumors

  • Explore world domination schemes

  • Evaluate 9/11 conspiracy theories


Product Details

  • File Size: 1959 KB
  • Print Length: 388 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0470184086
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (October 3, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0015DWMTS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #504,514 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
(22)
3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of its kind August 4, 2009
Format:Paperback
I've read loads of conspiracy books over the years, some for fun, some out of a serious desire to understand where and why conspiracy theories are so popular and persuasive to a broad cross section of the public.

I am dismayed at the negative reviews of this book. The authors in an overwhelming majority of cases are absolutely fair and balanced in their reporting of what the conspiracy or secret society being discussed is (or might be), where it came from, who was involved, etc.

I have a small shelf in the dark recesses of my bookshelf, out of the eyes of visitors to my home, with a row of "_______" For Dummies books. I usually buy them for a simple reason: they are an introduction to the subject, not the be-all-and-end-all of available knowledge on the topic. This book does just that. The negative reviews on Amazon seem to be from people whose personal favorite boogeyman got dissed. That's an unfair representation of the reality behind this book.

Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies For Dummies has an incredible range of topics. UFOs, Mafia, Ku Klux Klan, Illuminati, Freemasons, Rosicrucians, Nazi treasure hunters, Jewish Bankers, Irish revolutionaries, the Lincoln and JFK assassinations, apocalyptic doomsayers, 9/11 Truthers, occult groups, religious groups, business and creepy geopolitical committees--the sheer scope is broad, and yet, this is not like so many others in this genre. It's not just a running list of entries that get a few sentences. I also like the conversational and humorous tone.

An interesting personal side note. When I first read this book, I wasn't a Freemason, but my father and grandfather were. After I read this book cover to cover, I went back and re-read the Freemason chapter.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good treatment of a massive topic March 18, 2009
Format:Paperback
I wanted to hate this book. It was one of those moments in the bookstore, like when I came across 'The Complete Idiot's Guide To The Kennedys,' when I said, 'You've got to be kidding' right out loud. Judging from the cover (yes, yes, I know better than that), I figured this book swallowed the whole New World Order / FEMA camps / 9-11 inside job / Zionists / Freemason / World Domination / Denver Airport line of Alex Jones style balderdash. Instead, what I got was a popcorn-like experience of standing in the bookstore for almost an hour reading, unable to put it down. (Yes I bought it.)

'Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies For Dummies' is a truly rare find in a shelf full of drivel. I was already a fan of Christopher Hodapp and Alice VonKannon's book 'The Templar Code For Dummies', and they bring the same evenhanded approach to this material. Face it - it's easy 'or I assume it's easy' to write a book that does nothing but heap contempt on what are fringy beliefs, like shooting fish in a barrel. But this book is frankly densely packed with a huge range of subjects, crammed into a small, easy to like package. They manage to cover most topics with humor, without venturing into scorn or snarkiness (with the possible exception of the 9/11 truthers movement, which IMHO deserves all of the scorn it can get).

This book avoids being a laundry list of subjects, and the chapters have a quirky logic that seems to work. I have probably 30 Dummies books on a vast assortment of subjects at home, and I always marvel at the way one author will totally get how to organize and write these books, while others seem clueless. Hodapp/Von Kannon are fast becoming favorite authors in this series of books. It makes me curious about how these books are created, but that's another topic.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truly Gullible Need Not Apply.... April 5, 2008
By E. King
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful - thank you
Published 1 month ago by zane
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably was good:)
I don't know, I gave it as a gift and we broke up! But he wanted it so it must be good.
Published 5 months ago by cinderella
1.0 out of 5 stars Paranoid about the paranoid.
This book seems like it could've been written by a 32 degree Freemason. Oh wait! It was. Maybe they used the preface/summary of the Condon report as a debunking template. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Laurie
2.0 out of 5 stars Very trustworthy
I certainly don't have a problem with a 33rd degree Freemason debunking conspiracy theories involving Freemasons. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Five Points Higher
4.0 out of 5 stars Why do otherwise sane people fall for conspiracy theories?
Conspiracy theories gives people a sense of control. "People hate randomness, they dread the sort of random occurrences that can destroy their lives, so as a mechanism against... Read more
Published 10 months ago by TL
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, goes intot he history of how the crazies connect the dots
Great book, explains a lot of the urban legends about the conspiracy theories and how they developed. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Kevin Mason
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
Couldn't ask for anything better it came in perfect condition like brand new. Well worth the price and wait. Thank you
Published 15 months ago by Arlenis Baez
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I found this book a little condescending. I felt that it was erring on the side of the non conspiracy theorists whilst simultaneously explaining in great detail that there are... Read more
Published on November 23, 2012 by Lesley Lancaster
3.0 out of 5 stars ~Very Informative But One Sided~
I did enjoy reading this book and I learned a great deal from it but like the reviewers that gave it only 1 star, it was extremely one sided, every time the author told you about a... Read more
Published on August 27, 2012 by King Chandler
5.0 out of 5 stars COMPREHENSIVE YET BRIEF SUMMARIES AND CRITIQUES OF VARIOUS PROPOSED...
Christopher L. Hodapp is a 32° Freemason and a Knight Templar, as well as author or co-author of books such as Solomon's Builders: Freemasons, Founding Fathers and the Secrets of... Read more
Published on February 3, 2012 by Steven H Propp
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More About the Author

Christopher L. Hodapp is the editor of the "Journal of The Masonic Society." He is the author of the best-selling "Freemasons For Dummies," and "Solomon's Builders: Freemasons, Founding Fathers and the Secrets of Washington D.C." His newest book, "Deciphering the Lost Symbol," about the symbols, rituals and locations in Dan Brown's newest novel, was released in December 2009.

He is also the co-author with Alice VonKannon of "The Templar Code For Dummies" and "Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies For Dummies."

He is a 33° Freemason and a Knight Templar. He has appeared on the History Channel on the subject of Freemasonry and its role in the founding of the United States and the building of Washington D.C., the Discovery Channel, and most recently in 2012 in the History Channel program, "America's Book of Secrets: The Freemasons." In 2010, he and Von Kannon developed episodes for the HIstory Channel program, "Brad Meltzer's Decoded," and web content for TruTV.

Hodapp has spent more than twenty-five years editing, writing and directing as a commercial filmmaker. He has written for corporate and non-profit programs, and his voice has appeared in many television and radio commercials. He is a popular speaker and appears on radio and TV, and at Masonic lodges and schools across North America.

Chris lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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