If you find this kind of madness to be fun and interesting then you should get this book. If you don't then this won't change your mind. This is effectively an encyclopaedia of madness with so many 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. Arthur Goldwag.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Did you know? An indispensable guide, Cults, Conspiracies, and Secr Did you know?
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. Some topics are familiar—the Kennedy assassinations, the Bilderberg Group, the Illuminati, the People's Temple and Heaven's Gate—and some surprising, like Oulipo, a select group of intellectuals who created wild formulas for creating literary masterpieces, and the Chauffeurs, an eighteenth-century society of French home invaders, who set fire to their victims' feet.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published August 11th by Vintage first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions 5. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies , please sign up.
The author sounds like a debunker! Do you think so and why? See 1 question about Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jul 06, Peter Pete Mcloughlin rated it really liked it Shelves: bad-things , toce , bce-toce , to , to , to , american-history , asian-history , intellectual-history , education. Goes back to things like the Knight's Templar, Illuminati, and Freemasons and other classics.
Mostly chronicles the garbage beliefs a huge swath of the public. Nov 05, Jen rated it liked it Shelves: random-non-fiction. I almost hated giving this three stars--because it really was interesting. The discussion of how cults arise and how many are out there was fascinating. Some of them were so nutso that the idea that people would believe it is even crazier. You'd be really amazed how many cult leaders were one or both of the two witnesses to the Revelation--and even more have been the Messiah.
Conspiracies were just as engrossing. My guy jokes that I hate conspiracy theories so much that I think they are a cons I almost hated giving this three stars--because it really was interesting. My guy jokes that I hate conspiracy theories so much that I think they are a conspiracy. Conspiracies assume you have a lot people that are in power, evil, and can keep a secret. I can see where you'd have a lot of people with two of those attribute, but I seriously doubt all three.
And some of the explanations and rewriting of the world to make the theory work seemed just really exhausting. However the author discusses this as well. He points out that the true believers of conspiracy theories come from a very one-track thought process. They start from their belief and work outward, discounting anything that doesn't fit, and searching maniacally at times for the barest shreds of information and calculation and numerology to support it.
It is a case of "none being as blind as those who will not see. The discussion of secret societies was the weakest link in the book. Yes, I realize that some attribute nefarious motives to Kiwanis and Rotary members, but really?
If your badge is on the town sign, how secret are you? This seemed more a discussion of fringe groups mixed with old men groups.
The real problem with the book is the dangerous lack of any sources and citations. I would just really like to know where all this information came from--and that makes this book frustrating. It also lacks an index, which made it infuriating at times.
This is a good fun read, but not scholarly and while you may get cocktail party chatter with it, you certainly won't get enough fodder to really disprove any conspiracy theorist out there. Dec 04, mark rated it liked it Shelves: nonfiction , mental-health. This is a general reference book, and gives the author's opinion as to why people engage and join these groups and ideas. My interest in the subject has mostly to do with the Conspiracists. Goldwag's conclusion supports my own--that Conspiracists are akin to Religious Fundamentalists.
In other words, they both seek external causal explanation for events; and justify their actions accordingly. In psychological jargon, an external locus of control. Better understood as "It's not my fault. The difference between the two groups is: The religious tend to attribute events to a supernatural struggle between good and evil [ God and the Devil which is accepted as 'normal':].
Whereas: Conspiracists blame secret societies of power hungry individuals [which is considered by society as abnormal and subversive:]. Unfortunately, there is a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy to all of this--and as both extremist views gain popular support--we might just get Armageddon or another Holocaust. This is scary stuff.
The behavior and action of the two groups are different. The religious want to convert others, pray, and rejoice in their salvation, i.
The Conspiracists want to disengage, isolate, and then do battle. Both want to "save the world. View 2 comments. Aug 17, Heatherfeather rated it really liked it.
Good introduction to some of the more famous cults, conspiracies, and secret societies of the world. The book doesn't go into incredible detail, but enough to satisfy a mildly curious reader. If you don't want to pick up a tome devoted to one specific cult, etc.
This book is made up of 3 parts. The first part Cults was the best and most interesting part of this book. Next came the conspiracy theories which I believe were written with TOO much bias. The author discredits some theories comparing them to the idea of Intelligent design, as a result the author automatically loses all authority on the matter in my eyes since I, without a doubt, believe in creation.
The last part of this book Secret Societies was unbearably repetitive since all of these ha This book is made up of 3 parts. The last part of this book Secret Societies was unbearably repetitive since all of these had been discussed in the previous 2 parts.
If this author was a little more object I think this book would be more interesting. Feb 14, David Schwan rated it really liked it. A rather comprehensive overview of Cults, Conspiracies and Secret Societies. Well before word processing there has been a great deal of cut and paste of ideas. There are no shortage of groups that incorporate any number of conspiratorial ideas into their thoughts.
The book does a good job of showing how the often many amazing co-incidents presented to prove a conspiracy are just facts pulled out of pure air and made to look like they are par A rather comprehensive overview of Cults, Conspiracies and Secret Societies.
The book does a good job of showing how the often many amazing co-incidents presented to prove a conspiracy are just facts pulled out of pure air and made to look like they are part of something bigger.
My one beef is the lack of an index. Nov 03, Conor rated it it was ok. Apr 15, Katie Bell rated it really liked it. It's a lot of information about a looooooot of different groups. Kinda don't like how the author has the Church of Satan under cults Jul 03, Anna rated it liked it Shelves: , non-fiction , mmc , aty
Cults, Conspiracies, And Secret Societies