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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 – August 11, 2009
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“The kind of reference manual that the Internet cannot supplant . . . Goldwag keeps the facts straight and gives the rumors -- no matter how lurid and entertaining -- about as much respect as they deserve.”—The Washington Post
“Arthur Goldwag is a shrewd, fair minded, learned and entertaining tour guide through a world that’s simultaneously funny and frightening. Not a page goes by without some “I-didn’t-know-that!” nugget. Given what’s going on this ever-more-paranoid society, a book like this becomes not only titillating but crucially important.”—Steven Waldman, Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Beliefnet.com
“The answer to your burning questions about subjects from Area 51 to the Yakuza.”—Details
“Delightful.” –The Weekly Standard
“Goldwag is a colorful writer who makes good use of his material as he aims to explain, rather than debunk or expose, a fascinating diversity of beliefs.”—Boston Globe
“The author’s delivery is engaging and entertaining. The amount of research done in this book is astounding. . . . An incredibly insightful, thoroughly enjoyable look at society’s shadow.”—Armchair Interviews
“Goldwag navigates his way through the wilder reaches of human belief with great urbanity.”
—Mark Booth, author of The Secret History of the World: As Laid Down by the Secret Societies
“As entertainingly written as it is enlightening.”
About the Author
Arthur Goldwag is the author of Isms and Ologies and The New Hate. A freelance writer and editor for more than twenty years, he has worked at Book-of-the-Month Club (where he created Traditions, a club devoted to Jewish interests), as well as at Random House and The New York Review of Books.
Top customer reviews
This little book covers most, if not all of them. I would have preferred a bit more depth on a few of the "conspiracies," but by and large Mr. Goldwag does a creditable job. I found a few organizations of which I had never heard, but I couldn't recall one secret society or cult that didn't at least rate a short blurb.
As he searches for a common thread or antecedent for these wildly disparate societies and cults, he points out that sometimes the very secretiveness of groups of people leads us to believe that they're up to no good. This perpetuates the impression that they are conspiracies. Thus off we go into that great resivoir of fact and fiction known as "the public consciousness" ( or unconsciousness, as you will ). Reading about these mysterious organizations makes for fascinating reading and would have been vastly amusing but for the fact that some ( such as the Aum Shinrikyo cult in Japan ) try to bring about the "end times" they so inaccurately predict.
A very interesting and informative book, and one well worth buying.