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Extended Audio Sample Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies: The Straight Scoop on Freemasons, The Illuminati, Skull and Bones, Black Helicopters, The New World Order, and many, many more Audiobook, by Arthur Goldwag Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (193 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Arthur Goldwag Narrator: Fred Sanders Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2009 ISBN: 9780307577986
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Did you know Freemasonry’s first American lodge included a young Benjamin Franklin among its members? Or that the Knights Templar began as impoverished warrior monks then evolved into bankers? Also, Groom Lake, Dreamland, Homey Airport, Paradise Ranch, The Farm, Watertown Strip, Red Square, and “The Box” are all names for Area 51. Did you know that?

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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The kind of reference manual that the Internet cannot supplant . . . Goldwag keeps the facts straight and gives the rumors -- no matter how lurid and entertaining -- about as much respect as they deserve. The Washington Post

     
    “Marvelous.
  • Arthur Goldwag is a shrewd, fair minded, learned and entertaining tour guide through a world that’s simultaneously funny and frightening. Not a page goes by without some “I-didn’t-know-that!” nugget. Given what’s going on this ever-more-paranoid society, a book like this becomes not only titillating but crucially important. Steven Waldman, Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Beliefnet.com
  • The answer to your burning questions about subjects from Area 51 to the Yakuza. Details
  • Delightful. The Weekly Standard
  • Goldwag is a colorful writer who makes good use of his material as he aims to explain, rather than debunk or expose, a fascinating diversity of beliefs. Boston Globe
  • The author’s delivery is engaging and entertaining. The amount of research done in this book is astounding. . . . An incredibly insightful, thoroughly enjoyable look at society’s shadow. Armchair Interviews
  • Goldwag navigates his way through the wilder reaches of human belief with great urbanity. Mark Booth, author of The Secret History of the World: As Laid Down by the Secret Societies
  • “As entertainingly written as it is enlightening. Phillip Lopate

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevin | 12/19/2013

    " An interesting subject made very dry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff Furgerson | 12/8/2013

    " I read this bool as a change of pace, I was kind of expecting it to be off the wall, but the author was quite serious and obviously did some research. His views were actually well balanced and fair. Not a bad read if you are into this sort of thing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tone | 12/6/2013

    " The middle section on conspiracies was old news because just about any conspiracy theory eventually works it's way up to the Masons, Illuminati, the Jews or all three. But the sections on cults and secret societies were fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 11/18/2013

    " A fun and incredibly well researched look at the wacky world of conspiracies, cults, and secret societies. Highly recommended for when you need to make sense of the Freemasons, the Illuminati, religious cults, and anything having to do with militias or the New World Order! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josh | 7/31/2013

    " A comprehensive list of weirdness but not much more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendy | 5/28/2013

    " A good quick reference book. Covers alot of different ones but due to the number covered they are quite brief. A good overview of just how many cults and secret societies and theories are floating around and their roots. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Regina Hunter | 5/15/2013

    " Never can find one with the Orders that I want. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Trisha Hale | 2/27/2013

    " Boooooorrrrrring! This author took a subject that should have been a page turner and made it as smoothly written as an outdated Encyclopedia. What a disappointing snooze-fest. By the way, I don't think that bigger words=better, more-informed writing. Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chuck | 8/13/2012

    " While it was relatively interesting, I was ultimately disappointed. There was so much covered, but it all just left me wanting to read more. Which might be a good thing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anita Dalton | 2/11/2012

    " Read in anticipation of a discussion on Houdini's Revenge. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 4/15/2011

    " Good stuff. Pretty honest and thorough. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Regina (OwlM) | 2/7/2011

    " Never can find one with the Orders that I want. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 9/12/2010

    " Good stuff. Pretty honest and thorough. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tone | 4/22/2010

    " The middle section on conspiracies was old news because just about any conspiracy theory eventually works it's way up to the Masons, Illuminati, the Jews or all three. But the sections on cults and secret societies were fascinating. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chuck | 10/25/2009

    " While it was relatively interesting, I was ultimately disappointed. There was so much covered, but it all just left me wanting to read more. Which might be a good thing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 10/3/2009

    " A fun and incredibly well researched look at the wacky world of conspiracies, cults, and secret societies. Highly recommended for when you need to make sense of the Freemasons, the Illuminati, religious cults, and anything having to do with militias or the New World Order! "

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About the Author
Author Arthur Goldwag

Arthur Goldwag is the author of Isms and Ologies. 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.

About the Narrator

Fred Sanders, winner of three Earphones Awards, has received critics’ praise for his audio narrations that range from nonfiction, memoir, and fiction to mystery and suspense. He been seen on Broadway in The Buddy Holly Story, in national tours for Driving Miss Daisy and Big River, and on such television shows as Seinfeld, The West Wing, Will and Grace, Numb3rs,Titus, and Malcolm in the Middle. His films include Sea of Love, The Shadow, and the Oscar-nominated short Culture. He is a native New Yorker and Yale graduate.