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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impeccable scholarship, engagingly written, October 27, 2009
This review is from: The Masonic Myth: Unlocking the Truth About the Symbols, the Secret Rites, and the History of Freemasonry (Paperback)
The Masonic Myth succeeds equally on several different levels, addressing readers new to Freemasonry as well as those who have studied it for years. Kinney combines an insider's mastery of the subject with an outsider's skeptical irreverence, making him a very trustworthy guide through this hall of mirrors. He addresses the concerns of readers with little knowledge of Masonry, Masons with much insider knowledge but little grasp of its historical meaning, and those who think they know a fair amount about Masonry but are confused by unreliable sources where misinformation is rife. Kinney devotes considerable attention to some of the most widely diffused misconceptions that have flourished for centuries. "Things you thought you knew about Masonry that are wrong" are scattered throughout the book and debunked persuasively. As Dan Brown's latest novel brings a new round of speculation about Freemasons' role in American history, the time is ripe for a serious explanation of Masonic myth and reality.

The first four chapters are an engagingly written, solidly researched account of the origins of the Craft. This makes the book the best place to start for anyone seeking a reliable and accessible guide to Freemasonry. The middle four chapters provide an informed account of Masonic rites, symbols, and hierarchies. As Kinney leads readers through a labyrinth of degrees and orders, his personal involvement with Masonry brings meaning to what is otherwise a bewildering landscape. Without proselytizing, Kinney conveys an appreciation for the value contemporary Masons find in the brotherhood and its not-so-secret-after-all practices. In the final three chapters Kinney explores the vast realm of misinformation about Masonry conveyed in a variety of conspiracy theories, and considers the likely future of the Craft. He confronts paranoid notions about Illuminati and Masonic occultists that have appeared in a fascinating variety of sources. We learn that the Craft's influence on the Founding Fathers has been greatly exaggerated, and that international Masonry is far too fragmented and diverse to be the basis of any global domination schemes as envisioned by conspiracy theorists.

Based on scholarly research that will be cited for decades to come, written in an engaging first person narrative by an author long recognized as a reliable guide to the entire realm of Western esoteric traditions, The Masonic Myth is the first book to read for anyone intrigued by the mysteries of the Craft.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 21, 2012 6:04:03 AM PDT
Do you have any first hand knowledge of the Craft yourself Ken? Just wondering if you have any light to shed on the subject yourself.
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