Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies For Dummies

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9780470184080: Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies For Dummies
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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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From the Back Cover:

What do Skull & Bones, the Kennedys, and UFOs all have in common?

Your guide to an undiscovered world of arcane rites and rituals

Whether you're a skeptic or a true believer, this fascinating guide, packed with the latest information, walks you through some of the most infamous conspiracy theories — such as Area 51 and the assassination of JFK — and introduces you to such mysterious organizations as the Freemasons, the Ninjas, the Mafia, and Rosicrucians. Sorting out fact from fiction, you'll be able to explore their global impact on society today.

THE DUMMIES WAY®
Explanations in plain English
"Get in, get out " information
Icons and other navigational aids
Online cheat sheet
Top ten lists
A dash of humor and fun

Discover how to:
Test a conspiracy theory
Spot a sinister secret society
Assess the Internet's role in fueling conspiracy rumors
Explore world domination schemes
Evaluate 9/11 conspiracy theories

Get Smart!
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About the Author:

Christopher Hodapp is the Editor Emeritus of the Journal of the Masonic Society. He is a 33° Freemason and a Past Master of two Masonic lodges. His first book, Freemasons for Dummies, has quickly become the world's most popular modern guide to the ancient and accepted fraternity of Freemasonry. Hodapp spent more than twenty years in advertising as a commercial filmmaker and he has written for the Indiana Freemason, Masonic Magazine and Templar History Magazine
Alice Von Kannon has been an advertising executive, a teacher, and an author. She's studied film production at Los Angeles Valley College and history at California State University Northridge, and worked for many years in advertising as a writer and broadcast producer. Alice has traveled widely throughout Europe and the Middle East and written on the subjects as diverse as the Barbary Wars and the birth of the U.S. Navy, conspiracism, medieval and biblical history, and ancient languages. She's a member of Romance Writers of America and the Order of the Grail, the fraternal body of the International College of Esoteric Studies.Both authors have written for and frequently appear on Discovery, History, and the American Heroes Channel on the subjects of Freemasonry, fraternalism, secret societies, and conspiracy theories. They live in Indianapolis.

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