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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2007
I've read a lot of Sylvia Browne's works, and a number of them resonate with me very powerfully. So I will admit I am prejudiced in her favor to begin with.

Having said that, what you make of this book depends on what you come to it with. If you have NO background in conspiracies and secret societies, then this is a GREAT book to start you out. It is eminently readable, it gives a clear description of the various societies, and Sylvia tells what Francine, her spirit guide, has to say about each of them. Some of the comments I agree with, some I don't, but that's the nice thing: Sylvia doesn't say "Believe this, because I SAID SO," but rather, "If this resonates with you, take it and run; if it doesn't, and you're interested, then search further and figure out what you DO think." Another thing I really enjoyed about this book was the mention of further readings on most of the subjects covered. There is so much CRAP out there on a lot of these issues that I appreciate someone who says, "Check this one out, it seems to be well-reasoned."

On the other hand, if you've already got a good basic knowledge of this sort of thing, this book really doesn't add much to it. So if you're looking for an in-depth look at the Trilateral Commission, or the Council on Foreign Relations, look elsewhere. (And like one of the other writers -- why nothin on the Bohemian Grove group??)

So having said all that, I'm giving it 4 stars. It needs more depth in some places. Then again, if she covered everything extensively, she would have needed to put out an individual book twice this size for each of the secret societies covered!

Also, radical/fundamentalist Christians beware: What she has to say in here about Jesus is probably going to offend you. But then again, you're probably not going to read her stuff anyways.....
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41 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2007
I found this book to be very basic for the information on secret societies. There are better books with more indepth information. Not saying that Ms Browne doesn't have some interesting information but a lot of it is really personal opinions. I would recommend holding off buying it new and wait till a good used book is available. Save some money,and don't feel quilty about it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2007
Unfortunately, a very disappointing and superficial survey of secret societies. Don't expect any real secrets to be revealed here.

Poorly researched, with the source being a combination of other books, and suppositions from "her spirit guide Francine" ... which means you can't believe a word of it. I don't care what Francine thinks; I want someone who goes out there and does some proper research. Gee, if I could just quote my "spirit guide" I could crank out "non-fiction" books by the bushel.

Start with the beginning ... the chapter about "Skull and Bones" basically mentions it exists, and that it has had some powerful members. Other than the "tapping" there is nothing about the rituals or the secrets. Not even Francine was able to imagine some of these rituals, I suppose.

I've seen better writing and research from 10th graders. This is a fascinating subject, and deserves to be treated more seriously with more in-depth research.

The title is a misnomer; there are few secrets revealed, and in terms of how these societies affect our lives today, nothing.

Give this book a pass.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
I found this book to be informational in terms of identifying secret societies and their history. I did not find it fascinating or intriging. I was hoping to find out more about the inner workings and teachings of these societies, but that was not the case with this book.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2008
I had never read a Sylvia Brown book before so I had no particular expectations as to what I would find. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The entire book read like a bad Wikipedia article. There was little to no documentation, the sources she does cite are secondary and of questionable merit. Stunningly her publisher/editor had the nerve to refer to"Sylvia's research," This research could be compared with a high school or college freshman English paper. Her ability to churn out bestselling books assembly line style appears to reflect her skill in writing in a style that consistently attracts a specific audience and fan base. Despite her writing style it is still beguiling as to why she has such large following and even her own church. (despite her criticism of organized religion) The most ridiculous part of her book is where she claims to uncover a secret meta-society that controls all the other groups. In her "extensive" research she has found no one who has documented or even mentioned this group called the "Secret Coalition for American Nationalism" or SCAN. All her "research" and all the "web sites" she visited talked about every society but this one. Her only source of information about this organization is her imaginary friend Francine or as her editor puts it "her amazing communication with her spirit guide Francine." Conveniently this source cannot be confirmed or verified by anyone else. I wonder if I were to write a research paper on SCAN how I would cite Francine as a source. I mean if I was using the Chicago Manual of Style would it be a personal conversation with a ghost or some type of correspondence. Perhaps it would be a conversation with yourself or talking to yourself:

---Francine (imaginary friend or delusional discussion) with the author November 2005.

Anyway, this book is a waste of trees.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2007
This book was one of the most fascinating and thrilling books I have read in a long time. Sylvia outdoes herself, from the introduction she grabs you and doesn't let go! :) Seriously, if you're interested in secret societies and Da Vinci code stuff, or Masons, this is a must read. You won't be able to put it down, I read it in two days.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2007
Another interesting book that makes you want to know more. She gives you information on other books to research and delve deeper in the secret societies. I highly recommend this book if you want to know how these secret organizations affected (and still affect) our lives then and now.
Great book to read on an airplane or while waiting for a flight!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2008
I was very disappointed in this book. Its not new information that Sylvia gets directly from her source (entity named francine) but rather a compilation of research that Sylvia does from many other books. She describes her research and does give credit to the other books and sometimes indicates that francine had said the same thing years ago... Having read most of the other books already, I didnt need sylvia to do the same again for me. However, if the reader has NO other information on the subject, and would like to hear sylvias research and opinions then perhaps it would be a more helpful work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2010
This is my second Sylvia Browne book loaned to me by a friend. Although I do recognize that Sylvia is an excellent writer, I find some of her theories far fetched. I am particularly skeptical of her theories about Christ and her statement that John the Baptist is the true Messiah. However, much of what she has written about some of the other groups - the Free Masons, Skull and Bones, etc. - are well researched and follow accepted beliefs about these organizations. I agree with her on some ideas such as the light at the end of the tunnel when one passes to the other side, and I found the book interesting though tedious at times. How much you believe or don't will probably depend upon your opinion of Francine, the spirit guide, who is the supporting research behind some of the theories presented and what your own personal beliefs and psychic powers might be. I found her to be especially hard on the Catholic church although I, myself, am not Catholic. The New World Order section is particularly frightening.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2007
I could not put this book down until i read it in it's entirety the day it was released-last week.Very eye opening!
Everything I have ever studied regarding these particular societies is in this book and more,SHOCKINGLY TRUE!.Sylvia,we need more materials comparable to this book to open society's eyes to the control that world leaders and these societies really do have over us,better to be informed and prepared then to go through life blindly.
This is a factual book as only Sylvia could have the courage to bring to light and life.An absolute must read!God Bless you Sylvia.
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