Shadow People : Inside History's Most Notorious Secret Societies [Audiobook] free ebook download
John Lawrence Reynolds
9/9/2011 2:53:52 PM
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John Lawrence Reynolds has done the world a service. In 300 or so pages, he gallops through the main secret societies, from the religious (Shia Assassins who slaughtered people obediently in the 13th century and the Gnostics who advocated an alternative Christianity), through the mysterious (Templars, Illuminati, Freemasons), up to the ruthless (Triads, Mafia and Yakuza), demonstrating a sure touch in description and analysis. Uncluttered by footnotes, yet demonstrating considerable reading, Reynolds's book describes each group in society before concluding by presenting the scholarly consensus. He is good at debunking and does so ruthlessly -- so the Priory of Sion, made famous by Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, is not an ancient society founded to protect the blood line of Jesus, but an invention of Pierre Plantard in the mid-1950s. And the Rosicrucians were not an occult movement founded by Christian Rosenkreuz (born in 1378), but a hoax created by a Lutheran pastor, Johann Valentin Andreae, in 1614. Naturally, there are plenty of organizations that are real: The Mafia really did dominate Sicily; George W. Bush and John Kerry really are members of the Skull and Bones; and the Japanese Yakuza, a secret crime society, really did require a finger for a violation of its code. Reynolds navigates all this material with some skill. . .
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