Customer Review

32 of 47 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shopping Bag book of "cults", September 16, 2009
This review is from: Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies: The Straight Scoop on Freemasons, The Illuminati, Skull and Bones, Black Helicopters, The New World Order, and many, many more (Paperback)
People who criticize this book are not "conspiracy nuts." That kind of blanket prejudice reflects one of the problems with Goldwag's book: it encloses such a wide range of groups within its narrow binding and slaps a provocative label on them. Given this pattern, why not include the Catholic church? Obviously, the book caters to the reader who sees any kind of secretive society as weird or "fringe" and loves having a new gossip partner in Goldwag. The book has no index, and it's definition of cults is simplistic and overly brief. At least, Goldwag acknowledges--or hints at--the legitimacy of the skepticism MANY have felt about 9/11 and the government's failure to prevent these attacks (after so many warnings). Instead of just listing all these societies and giving such brief, thumbnail descriptions of their, in some cases, long histories, why not include a sociological study of why people, being social creatures, form groups that in some cases devolve into "cults" or "secret societies"? Why group conspiracy thinkers, who may not even be "groups" in any formal sense of the term, with cults and secret societies? Are those who think Oswald may have been, as he himself said, a "patsy" or pawn conspiracy nuts? The gov't committee that reviewed the case in the 70's left open that possibility while supporting the Warren Commission's findings. The founding fathers were skeptical of big government AND of corporations. Were they a cult as well?

Part of my gripe with this book is its quick-read, throwaway packaging. A provocative title is slapped on an orange cover, all the indexing is in the table of contents for fast and thoughtless perusal, and the whole shopping bag of groups totals 384 pages. It's an airport purchase, designed to seduce us with its catchy, seemingly investigative title and subtitle. Notice how quickly they are being recycled into the "used" category. Is it possible that readers have found it lacking in substance? This book preaches to its choir of pragmatist readers, and the author gleaned his "information" from, of all sources, the internet, making this another quick-buck deal for the author and publisher.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 16, 2009 6:53:24 PM PDT
George Smith says:
Bravo! Wonderful review! This book ought to have been outlawed by the Green Society because it was made out of paper to be deliberately wasted and thrown away! Just like our paper dollars -- worthless throw-aways. The landfills are totally clogged!
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