×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Secret Societies: Inside the World's Most Notorious Organizations
     

Secret Societies: Inside the World's Most Notorious Organizations

4.0 1
by John Lawrence Reynolds
 

See All Formats & Editions

A comprehensive, behind-the-scenes look at the world's most notorious secret societies, including their origins and histories, initiations and rituals, secret signs and members.

They generate fear, suspicion, and-above all-fascination. Secret societies live among us, yet they remain a mystery. Their secrecy can suggest sacrilege or crime, and their loyalties are

Overview

A comprehensive, behind-the-scenes look at the world's most notorious secret societies, including their origins and histories, initiations and rituals, secret signs and members.

They generate fear, suspicion, and-above all-fascination. Secret societies live among us, yet they remain a mystery. Their secrecy can suggest sacrilege or crime, and their loyalties are often accused of undermining governments and tipping the scales of justice. The Freemasons, for example, hold more seats of power in the U.S. government than any other organization. No fewer than sixteen presidents have declared their Masonic affiliation, and there may have been more. Secret societies have infiltrated pop culture, too. Celebrity members of Kabbalah include Madonna, Demi Moore, and Elizabeth Taylor, among others. From the Mafia and the Yakuza to the Priory of Sion and Skull & Bones, Reynolds offers an illuminating and entertaining exploration of the stories-confirmed and fabricated-that surround these societies. Dispelling myths and providing gripping revelations-such as a direct historical link between the Assassins of the Middle Ages and today's Al Qaeda-Secret Societies gives us a smart, surprising look at the best known and often least understood covert organizations.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Canadian mystery writer Reynolds's irreverent guide lacks an overarching thesis or philosophical dimension yet is packed with playfully presented information. The author begins by describing the 11th-century Iranian-based cult known as the Assassins, noting its obvious parallels with al-Qaeda. Next, he traces the history of the Freemasons and the Illuminati, observing that "[a]ny review of U.S. history encounters Freemasons lurking behind every treaty, battle and statute." He then proceeds to sketch the complex history of the French cabal the Priory of Sion; details the belief systems of the Druids and Gnostics and their differing attitudes to secrecy; and explores how followers of the Kabbalah, "neither a religion nor an organization," came to be considered "secretive and sinister" (Reynolds comments lightheartedly on how "the Kabbalah was transformed into a supermarket of pious accoutrements" by the Kabbalah Center in L.A.). Chapters on Triads, the Mafia and Yakuza are adept in their focus on immigration and minority cultural traditions in American society. Reynolds is most provocative when drawing links between Skull and Bones and the CIA. He closes with a brief history of conspiracy theory, anti-Semitism and the risks of paranoid allegations. B&w photos. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781559708463
Publisher:
Arcade Publishing
Publication date:
10/08/2007
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

John Lawrence Reynolds has written sixteen books of fiction and nonfiction and has won awards in both categories. He lives with his wife, Judy, in a small North American town, the location of which is secret.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Secret Societies 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
ML100 More than 1 year ago
Reynolds exposes the fabricated connections and inner workings. In one case even a group that probably never existed.