Winter Driving Best Books of the Month Men's Leather Watches Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums All-New Amazon Fire TV Grocery Valentine's Day Cards Bring a little greenery into your home Amazon Gift Card Offer jstfd6 jstfd6 jstfd6  Amazon Echo All-New Fire Kindle Paperwhite Lisa Loeb AMO Shop Now Sale
Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Free your mind?, October 24, 2012
This review is from: Conspiracy Geek (Perfect Paperback)
Talking to an inmate my wife and I visit regularly, we mused about why so many prisoners gravitate towards conspiracy theories and esoteric reading. My wife mused that perhaps they need an explanation that goes beyond themselves and where they've wound up, to explain that more sinister or powerful forces have manipulated or impelled them and those who lack clout in society. I thought about this as I read "Conspiracy Geek" by Joan D'Arc.

Her interviews and articles roam into panspermia; "truther" 9/11 counterclaims; alien probes and a woman who presents herself as a survivor of such; government plots (Pearl Harbor, spies, Freemasons, mafia); hoaxes about the moon landing, UFOs--tying in Giordano Bruno in a typically wide-ranging stretch--; alternatives to Darwin; anomalous radio signals (fascinating); JFK; and her father's WWII experience on a minesweeper in the Italian landings. While I remain a skeptic by nature and thus one for many of the arguments elaborated herein, I found her explorations entertaining and thought-provoking. She interviews calmly her colorful array of characters, interjecting her own familiarity with the topics, and possessing what seems to me admirable patience and a steady direction, given the material that might provoke those less skilled to either total incredulity or utter acceptance. Her journalistic skill, in my perusal of her work gathered here, remains her forte. (P.S. Great cover art.)

The publisher's information gives you a sample of the panoramic, and microscopic, scope. My favorite piece was her interview with Barbara G. Walker, a feminist scholar of early religion and myth. As a college instructor in Comparative Religions, I found that the aversion to blood among many faith traditions, as opposed to its elevation by some pagan and Wiccan groups, provides a case study that interests some braver students. Walker and Joan discuss "womb envy"--and how the patriarchy's emphasis on logos, seizing control of the means of reproduction, the inversion of the ancient "primacy of blood," the obsession and worship of "seed" all complicated the transition from female to male dominance in this field, when the "secret of conception" had not yet been fully comprehended by the sky-god priests and the powers who wanted to be.

This plays off the other entries on panspermia, by the way--such cross-references are exactly why I wanted more of a framework to match up these inclusions. The reader may make such connections, but if the editor herself had lent a hand, the structure would be easier to comprehend. Those in the know, I suspect, will need less assistance, but for even those versed in such a diversity of topics, I predict some will be totally new.

One aspect that would have strengthened this anthology is her own story. A first-page blurb on her background only whets one's appetite to want to know more. (I note she is my "friend" in the Facebook realm and I requested a review copy.) If there had been an introduction placing these varied entries in context, and if each had been prefaced with her own editorial perspective, this would have enhanced the value of the collection. Interviews follow up with a biographical paragraph on the interviewee and his or her whereabouts, unknown or known. However, if a preface or afterword had been given for each, and the reason they are placed in the order they are, the book would serve as an easier guide. It's challenging to simply open this and plunge in, given the mind-spinning contents and the giant leaps from one obscurity to the next demanded. Maybe that's the point, the fun of the encounter, akin to what you'd find if you opened up what she's co-edited, Paranoia Magazine?

At my technical-business college, I teach humanities. So, I often encounter happily "geeky" students with similarly disparate interests, who listen to Alex Jones or visit Prison Planet types of sites. This book will be a recommended purchase for our library and them, so I can refer inquiring minds of a doubting and skeptical (or believing?) bent hither. And, some behind bars may find liberating thoughts in these pages, too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in

Review Details


4.8 out of 5 stars (6 customer reviews)

3 star

2 star

1 star

Add to cart Add to wishlist

John L Murphy

Location: Los Angeles

Top Reviewer Ranking: 451