An indispensable guide, Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies connects the dots and sets the record straight on a host of greedy gurus and murderous messiahs, crepuscular cabals, and suspicious coincidences. Divided into three sections, its hundreds of entries separate facts from myths.
Some topics are familiar: the Kennedy assassinations, the Bilderberg Group, the Illuminati, Area 51, the People's Temple, and Heaven's Gate - and some surprising, like Oulipo, a select group of intellectuals (Italo Calvino was a member) who created wild formulas for creating literary masterpieces, and the Chauffeurs, an 18th-century society of French home invaders, who set fire to their victims' feet.
Easy to spend hours with and fun to dip into, and seasoned with just the right amount of common sense skepticism, Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies is a refreshing look at some of the most fascinating people, moments, and places in history.
©2009 Arthur Goldwag; (P)2009 Random House
The author obviously does not believe in conspiracies. As much as he tried to convince the listener of his bias, he is thoroughly biased. He really should have prefaced the book with something like :
Sounds exotic, but it's not very insightful, or even well-researched. A very superficial look at some cultic groups. No secrets exposed here.
If your into conspiracy this is not the book for you. Conspiratorial minded people to quote the author are paranoid children. What a waste of money!
Nicely written with just the right amount of depth across a variety of CCSSs... Goldwag doesn't "go deep" but does provide pop-culture worthy details on many of the topics he covers, for example I now know where the phrase "drinking the kool-aid" comes from.
Sanders maintains a pleasant tone and cadence but the presentation is marred by the jarring inclusion of birth and death dates for every.single.person.mentioned!
The bottom line:
A good casual read.
Defined an amazing number of organizations and how many of them interconnect. Not very in-depth on most. The author's bias was often evident especially on "conspiracy theories". It was still interesting and worth listening to.
Like reading the encyclopedia, the book lacks focus or thesis and is somewhat tedious. But for those looking for a compendium of
nut cases this provides a good entry point. Future editions should consider omitting the birth and death dates of every person mentioned in the book.
"a great listen"
if this had been a handheld reading book, then i would not have been able to put it down. the content is exactly what i was looking for. one main point is that i can go back again and again whenever i need to, to remind myself of details in this book. thanx AUDIBLE for a great listen.
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