Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies For Dummies

Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies For Dummies

In London’s Hyde Park, there’s a place called Speaker’s Corner, where anyone can preach or shriek anything they like. There have been famous and brilliant people who’ve made speeches there, and there have been an awful lot of cranks, wackos, and madmen in the park, too. So, how do you tell the difference between a cautionary reporter of impending calamity from a madman off his meds? Too little skepticism risks falling down the rabbit hole into a twisted wonderland of circular logic, but too much skepticism risks overlooking something critical that may become tomorrow’s tragic headline.

Conspiracy Theories & Secret Societies For Dummies covers the most famous–and infamous–conspiracy theories throughout history, including the assassination of JFK, the death of Princess Diana, Area 51, Moon landing hoaxes, Elvis sightings, and the 9/11 “truth movement,” along with secret societies like Freemasons, Skull and Bones, Rosicrucians, the Mafia, and Ninjas.  Authors Christopher Hodapp (Solomon’s Builders, Freemasons For Dummies) and Alice Von Kannon (The Templar Code For Dummies) take you on a lively, balanced trip through the world of conspiracism and secrecy.

“A conspiracy theory is the idea that someone, or a group of someones, acts secretly, with the goal of achieving power, wealth, influence, or other benefit. It can be as small as two petty thugs conspiring to stickup a liquor store, or as big as a group of revolutionaries plotting to take over their country’s government. Individuals, corporations, churches, politicians, military leaders, and entire governments can all be conspirators, in plots as evil as secretly developing nuclear weapons, as creepy as smuggling stolen human transplant organs, or as annoying as cornering the world market on neighborhood $4-coffee joints.


 “Secret societies are the repositories of the hidden knowledge that spins the conspiracy theory. But the term secret society covers a lot of ground — everything from college frats and the lodge your grandpa belonged to, to the lesser known, powerful groups that stay out of the eyes of the press, like the Bilderbergers, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the legendary Illuminati (if they really exist at all).”

Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies For Dummies was required reading in a 2010 course on conspiracy at Harvard University.

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