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3.5 out of 5 stars
Master Game: Unmasking the Secret Rulers of the World
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122 of 130 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
Just to be clear, this book is essentially a new edition of "Talisman," which has been out of print in the US for several years and was something of an underground gem as it was not much publicized by its now defunct publisher, Element Books. Hancock and Bauval have taken the bones of "Talisman" and added on new material that bookends that work into a new theory that addresses the massive global issue of our time: the struggle between Islam and the West.

They are not afraid to be controversial. Some of the material regarding 9/11 in particular is likely to rile establishment parrots and truthers alike. It's a massive book - 636 pages with 81 photos - and it's hard to get through some of it. The payoff comes eventually, though, for those who stay the course - and their controversial conclusions will not seem nearly as far fetched once you've sucked in the couple of millennia's worth of global history leading up to them.

Definitely recommended for those who missed "Talisman," and even for those familiar with that work there is enough new material here to make it a worthwhile purchase, IMHO.
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78 of 83 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon September 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is essentially a revised "Talisman", an earlier book by the same authors; it is misleading and cynical to give it a completely new name without even a reference to "Talisman" on the front (or even back) cover to warn potential readers.

Worth getting by those who did not read "Talisman" because of its historic detail and good use of original sources. A big book (600 pages), the authors do excellent work in tracing ancient gnostic "heresy" from Egypt to the contemporary West. They offer a coherent thread for an underground movement spanning millennia; illuminating, for instance, the spiritual and esoteric aspects of the French Revolution that many others overlook. Their coverage of the influence of ancient Egypt on the designs of major cities like London, Paris and Washington D.C. was amazing when "Talisman" was published.

However a number of more recent books explore in more depth the similarities of the Hindu, Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions (really different sects of the same religion) with the earlier Egyptian solar cult. (Just two examples: church congregations face east (the direction of sunrise and solar rebirth) to pray while Muslims pray towards a black stone that was the center of moon cult worship. "Observant Jews" wear two small black boxes - like miniature versions of the Islamic Kaaba. In the Comments section I suggest just a few books explaining much more about the relationships between many religions.)

The Egyptian roots of today's religions have since been far better addressed by many others, including Acharya S, Ralph Ellis and Michael Tsarion. Over the last decade the uncovering of what had been kept secret from us for thousands of years has been moving so rapidly that this book already exhibits a disappointing lack of penetration into the hidden/esoteric secrets underlying religion when compared to the works of Pierre Sabak as well as Tsarion, Ellis & Acharya, all of whom use etymology (tracing the origin and development of words). These, and other excellent books, like Icke's "Human Race" [2014 note - Icke's latest and best, so far, is "Perception Deception"], Farrell's "Babylon's Banksters", Swerdlow's "True World History" and Shannon Dorey's books on the Dogon religion all reveal a truer version of humankind's history than we have previously been allowed to know.

Later notes:
- Santos Bonacci is fascinating in his many youtube presentations - finally, everything (absolutely everything!) linked together in a (comparatively) simple manner.
- Mauro Biglino spent a decade translating the original Bible for the Vatican until he found out what they were doing with it. In the comments section I have added the link to Biglino's presentation on youtube (English subtitles).
- Frank O'Collins of Ucadia.com offers massive amounts of information on the "secret rulers" (whom he points out repeatedly are mentally ill) spread over a dozen websites and hundreds of hours of radio presentations on talkshoe - don't miss.
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47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book provides extensive research and detail on, as far as I can tell, two topics:

1. The brutalities of the Catholic Church in suppressing dissent, truth, heresy, and knowledge. It covers this story from the beginnings of the Catholic Church in the fourth century AD until the ascent of England as the dominant world power.

2. The Masons and a litany of architectural anomalies and coincidences. It covers this story from the time of the Knights Templar (presumably, the forerunners of the Masons) to such modern architecture as I.M. Pei's pyramid at the Louvre.

If you have an interest in this kind of history, this book will be a page turner for you. You'll turn about 600 pages. Unfortunately, this book obviously was not proofread. So as you turn those pages, you can't help but notice that typos and misspellings abound. To me, that's a serious defect.

Another defect is the book doesn't seem to be written with a point in mind. While I enjoyed reading the history, I finished the book not understanding why the authors wrote it or what point they were trying to make. Yes, they did state a concluding point but it didn't seem to derive from the rest of the book.

This is really several books in one, or at least several themes that appear to stand separately. For example, there's a book that gives you some history of the Cathars, another book that gives you some history of the Knights Templar, and another book that discusses writings of Hermes Trismegistus. The authors don't explain how these tie together. That said, it is some seriously interesting material to read.

The Master Game ends with a 20-page chapter that talks about Masonry and jihads, concluding that the secular leaders need to get the Muslims and Christians to set aside their animosity toward each other. That's a good sentiment as far as it goes. But it ignores the fact that most of the Western world isn't Christian (non-Muslim Europeans tend to be agnostic), even if we lump Catholics into that category.

Only at the end of the book did it dawn on me that the authors were positing that the folks running the world are the Masons. But they don't make a case for that theory. Yes, many prominent people have been Masons. But they also probably ate peas. So what?

With so much detail in the history of Catholic suppression, the Cathars, etc., we suddenly leap into "these people were Masons, so Masons must be running the world." But the evidence the authors provide of Mason influence is in architecture, not politics or banking. As the Masons came out of the building trades, their influence in architecture is a given.

So I don't see that this book answers the question posed by its title and subtitle. There is a conclusion, but I don't see its relevance to the rest of the book.

Except for loosely arguing that the Masons rule the world, this book doesn't reveal who the "secret rulers" are. I had expected to read something about Goldman Sachs or another of today's powerful criminal enterprises, but this book spends most of its time hundreds of years in the past and then rapidly moves through the American and French Revolutionary times and on to today. But it spends very little time on anything that's happened in this century or even the previous one.

Consider what would happen if a researcher decided to answer the following two questions:

1. How did Obama, who had the worst federal spending record in the US Senate, manage to get put on the Presidential ballot in the middle of an economic crisis made worse by federal spending?

2. Why are so many of Obama's top folks, and nearly all with any financial oversight, from Goldman Sachs?

Or consider how research into those two questions would lead us into looking at how the massive stealing (they call it "spending") of the Obama, Bush, and Clinton Presidencies has produced a national debt greater now than $200 trillion (far above the official figures) or why the USA now spends more on the military than the rest of the world combined.

Yet, none of this was even hinted at in the book. And I don't see how today's gangsta government has anything to do with Catholic popes who died fifteen or sixteen centuries ago on another continent.

This book provides an interesting ride through history. But to see who the secret rulers of the world are, you just need to follow the money. The master game is one of stealing, and those who run the game are accumulating the money. The alignments of buildings in London and Paris aren't explained by the greed and destruction we see from today's elite.
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107 of 129 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I just received the book today, and although I suspected this might be the case (due to the identical "Book Description" for both "Talisman" and "The Master Game"), I wasn't quite sure until I actually received my long-awaited copy of "The Master Game" this afternoon. Alas, my suspicions were confirmed. The pictures/illustrations are virtually identical; the chapter titles are the same; even the endnotes are largely the same. I suspect this may be a slightly updated version of the ponderous 2004 "Talisman", but buyer beware. If you've already read/have "Talisman" in your library, you're about to add an inferiorly printed rerun of the same book to your repertoire. This is really a shame - or might I say, "sham" - as the listing leaves the impression that this is a brand new title. Where's the "formerly entitled 'Talisman'" disclaimer? Or, even the admission this is an updated version of that earlier work? In short, it's non-existent. I just paid $15.08 for a title that wasn't a very good read to begin with. To be fair, perhaps there's more than just a modest measure of updating inside; maybe Bauval & Hancock just kept the same photos and chapter titles and focused their efforts on refining the content. I can only hope that's the case, but I'm less than optimistic that it will be so. Sigh! And after waiting for nearly five (5) months and multiple delayed release dates. I feel like i just bought a stale dessert purveyed as fresh from the oven. Buyer beware!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Luckily I hadn't read TALISMAN, so I was spared the unpleasant surprise of discovering that THE MASTER GAME is a new version or edition (maybe revised a bit? maybe not??) of that book. Unhappily, though, I found TMG to be, overall, the least interesting and least well organized or argued of Hancock's and Bauval's books.

The authors say -- although they wait until midway through to say it -- "In this book we are tracing the course through history of two interrelated underground religions, Gnosticism and Hermeticism." In the Prologue, Hancock and Bauval make a case for extensive Masonic influences and involvement in the American and French revolutions. Then for around 130 pages, they switch to the Cathars of Occitania, connecting the Cathar/Bogomil/Paulician/Messalian religious ideas back to the earliest Christian gnostics and Manicheism, and detailing the Catholic church's genocidal ferocity in wiping out the Cathars through the Albigensian crusades and the Inquisition. Then, for the balance of the book, they focus on the writings attributed to "Hermes Trismegistus" and follow the Hermetic school of thought and belief from its apparent origins up through -- for example -- Cosimo Medici, John Dee, Giordano Bruno, the Templars, the Rosicrucians, and finally Freemasonry.

The Cathar section is interesting, but it -- like the Cathars -- comes to a dead end. In the longer Hermetic portion of the book, Bauval and Hancock launch the reader into a wearying slog through a seemingly endless swamp of historical detail. After pages and pages about Alexander the Great, the founding of Alexandria, the Apis bull cult and a lot else, I yearned to be able to grab the authors by their collars and demand "What's your point here?" And I still do. And when the story arrives again at the French Revolution, everything that was already said in the 22-page Prologue gets repeated in much greater detail.

So after several hundred pages of "The Duke's grandfather, also named Philippe d'Orleans, was the second son of Louis XIII and thus younger brother to the Sun King Louis XIV. In 1661 he married Henrietta of England, daughter of Charles I, and in 1671 he married again..." and so on and so on and on, where do we end up? The book seems to conclude that Freemasons have maybe misunderstood their own doctrines in relation to the creation of Israel; regardless of that, paranoid Muslims have misunderstood Freemasonry; and Hancock and Bauval want to debunk "harebrained conspiracy theories" without actually getting into the specifics of them -- which is kind of comically ironic, because they've just spent a good portion of their book documenting an ongoing centuries-long international conspiracy. I say the book "seems to" conclude these things, because there isn't really any summing up, clarifying, and drawing of conclusions -- the narrative just grinds to a halt on an ambiguous note. The closest things to conclusions are stated in the Introduction; and when, after finishing TMG, I went back and reread the Introduction, it seemed to be for a different book than the one I just read.

Despite my griping about excessive detail, there are a few places where I wish the authors had gone into *more* detail: for example, at one point they assert that the ancient Egyptians -- despite their pantheon of gods and goddesses, obsession with the afterlife, mythology, temples, priests etc. -- did not have or practice a "religion" in the sense we use the word today. This intriguing statement is not really explained or elaborated -- and it seems like it should have been, since repeatedly in this book 'everything comes back to Egypt' and that 'religion that's not a religion' sounds like a particularly significant key to understanding ancient Egypt.

As a last note -- it's becoming a litany in my reviews, but I see that TMG's publisher is another who evidently runs a spellcheck on their manuscripts but doesn't employ proofreaders -- and if you think feel that's just grate and knot a problem you the they won't mined this kind of garbled text ... and I have to conclude that schools no longer teach future typesetters the difference between "its" and "it's"...
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Since I did not read Talisman, I found this book to be highly enlightening, informational and brought understanding of many occurrences in history. For the first time, outside the book, THE SECRETS OF THE EXODUS, I find Egyptians saying that , "The Jews say that they built the pyramids". I have a better understanding of the beginnings of the Jewish religion and the origin of the Jewish nation, of the Bible, of 9/11...twin pillars, Pentagon and Capitol dome. An incredible amount of research went into this work. These two writers never conclude...they propose theories and then give tons of evidence; evidence that is difficult to ignore or refute. Everyone with any thought to what is going on around us should read it. Aside from any conclusions that we might make it is utterly useful in its description and history of the heretical sects for more than 1500 years.

I did find way too many typos and minor errors that should have been edited out before publication and for that I blame the editors, not the authors. However, those minor errors did not detract one bit from my enjoyment at the reading of it. History of religion has been my passion for more than a half century and this work was quite welcome.
I simply loved the book.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
If you read Talisman, skip this one as it is a waste of money. Both Hancock nd Bauval do excellent research and this seems to be a way to use some of the material they had skimmed for Talisman. Not worth the money unless you are totally unread in Mason lore and the inquisition.
Ho-hum.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a huge book. In the end I was disappointed. I found the first half very interesting (although mostly historical rather than philosophical) concerning Gnosticism, Hermeticism, ancient Egyptian magic, and the evil perpetrated by the Catholic Church against the Cathars and other "heresies". Also interesting is the historical information about the Crusades, the Templars and Freemasons including how they tie in with these religions and wisdom traditions.

But it became increasingly tedious and, in the end, it all amounts to little more than an explanation of who is behind the troubles in the Middle East and why the U.S. supports Israel. Suddenly it's not just the Masons, but they are in league with the "Zionist Federation". So little is said about the Zionists that it isn't even in the index. And then in the Appendix the Jews are dropped into the mix without explanation.

The WTC attack of 9/11 is only mentioned and is stated as masterminded by Al Qaeda and that Arab terrorists flew commercial airliners into the Twin Towers and Pentagon (i.e., the official explanation which, to me, is irrefutably physically impossible).

Most of all, the "secret rulers of the world" are not unmasked. There is much more to ruling the world than trying to have exclusive possession of Palestine. What about the virtual enslavement of all the people of the world? What about corporate control of all water sources, patenting of DNA, drugging of the population, the undermining of democracies worldwide by trade agreements and "statutes" that supersede constitutions, the dumbing-down of education, privatisation of state assets, and massive wars and war budgets bigger than the GDPs of the same countries. Most of these seem to contradict the ideals of Freemasonry and the teachings of the founding prophets and messiahs of religions as described in this book.

I thought it was being billed as finally naming names and getting to the bottom of things. I could have read a radical Islamic website. Apparently the Muslims already "know" all this, so if millions know it, it's not secret is it?

Which U.S. President was it who said (not mentioned in this book) there is a government behind the government whom the voters do not know about and whom are not voted into power, and that was why that president couldn't publicly admit the U.S. had had communications with extraterrestrials, because no president can defy that government-behind-the-government who actually decide everything. Who are they? That is what I had hoped to learn.

If it were an attempt to misdirect or "disnfo" by means of information overload, it is still not very effective.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
Talisman, Chapter 1, Behind the Veils: "On 14 July 1789 a furious crowd ran riot on the streets of Paris..."

The Master Game, Chapter 1, Behind the Veils: "On 14 July 1789 a furious crowd ran riot on the streets of Paris..."

Nowhere is it mentioned that this "new" book, The Master Game, is Talisman with a different title. The publishing company is the Disinformation Company Ltd. so I guess there's some truth there at least. You heard it here first. Buyer beware.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Most of the customer reviews here are accurate and fair. I was not aware of the previous volume, of which, some reviewers claim, this is an updating. And it is the last section which seems to contain the most typos, and, for me, inconclusiveness. What is the Master Game? And who are the "secret rulers of the world?" I believe both authors aren't telling us as much as they really know, which is rather odd, for both men have taken traditional academia severely to task over a couple of decades now.

The one glaring example is their acceptance of the "official conspiracy theory" concerning 9/11 -- at least, they seem to accept it, for all other theories are branded as "harebrained."

And there is no mention, in such a voluminous book, of the corruption of the Masonic Order over the past few hundred years, and the strong probability that its core today is managed by sinister Bushes and Skull and Bones types, call them Illuminati or what you will. David Wilcock goes into much detail here in his latest online book, Financial Tyranny. I wish these eminent scholars had backed up his work.

Yet I admire them for bucking the establishment as much as they do, for their tireless labors, attention to detail (maybe that's it, too many trees, not enough forest), for their unflinching gaze into the horror pits of history. This book can definitely lead the reader into many deep contemplations.

If it is a "mystery school" that is desired for more information I would recommend the Lemurian School in San Diego, and the book which came from an offshoot of that school, The Ultimate Frontier. I don't believe everything in the school or the book, but they do provide an overview. For more reporting in the "secret rulers" area I recommend Jim Marrs' books and David Wilcock's work.
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