Ritual America: Secret Brotherhoods and Their Influence on American Society: A Visual Guide

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9781936239146: Ritual America: Secret Brotherhoods and Their Influence on American Society: A Visual Guide
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"Adam Parfrey is one of the nation's most provocative publishers."—Seattle Weekly

"Secret society historian Craig Heimbichner follows the Middle Path to wisdom. He works the graveyard shift in the secret lodge."—Joan d'Arc, Paranoia magazine

Secret societies—now a staple of bestseller novels—are pictured as sinister cults that use hooded albinos to menace truth-seekers. Some conspiracy books claim that fraternal orders are the work of serpentine aliens and interbred humans who wish to supplant earth of its energy, and later, its very existence.

On the other side of the aisle, books by high-ranked Freemasons—skeptical in tone but no less partisan in approach—protect their organization's public image by denying the existence of its most contentious ideas.

Ritual America reveals the biggest secret of them all: that the influence of fraternal brotherhoods on this country is vast, fundamental, and hidden in plain view. In the early twentieth century, as many as one-third of America belonged to a secret society. And though fezzes and tiny car parades are almost a thing of the past, the Gnostic beliefs of Masonic orders are now so much a part of the American mind that the surrounding pomp and circumstance has become faintly unnecessary.

The authors of Ritual America contextualize hundreds of rare and many never-before printed images with entertaining and far-reaching commentary, making an esoteric subject provocative, exciting, and approachable.

Adam Parfrey is the author of Cult Rapture: Revelations of the Apocalyptic Mind and It's a Man's World: Men's Adventure Magazines, the Postwar Pulps. He is editor of the influential Apocalypse Culture series Love, Sex, Fear Death: The Inside Story of the Process Church of the Final Judgment.

Craig Heimbichner has recently appeared on a National Geographic documentary about the Bohemian Grove, contributed to the Feral House compilation Secret and Suppressed II, and wrote about the famous occult order the O.T.O. in Blood and Altar.

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About the Author:

Craig Heimbichner: Craig Heimbichner has contributed to Secret and Suppressed II (Feral House), and The Paranoia Conspiracy Reader. He recently appeared on "Decoded" (History Channel) analyzing The Bohemian Grove.
Secret society historian Craig Heimbichner follows the Middle Path to wisdom. He stays awake when we are all asleep. He works the graveyard shift in the secret lodge. He break-dances with the skeletons in the closet. He does the hokey-pokey with his whole body in. He shakes it all about. He turns himself around. And he tells us what IT” is all about.” Joan d’Arc, Paranoia The Conspiracy Reader
Adam Parfrey: Adam Parfrey wrote and edited Apocalypse Culture, Cult Rapture, Apocalypse Culture II, It's a Man's World, and The Secret Source. Steven Heller lionized Parfrey and Feral House in the Winter 2010 issue of Print Magazine, and The Seattle Weekly featured Parfrey and his publishing in a November 2010 cover story in Seattle Weekly magazine.

In Apocalypse Culture, Parfrey introduced readers to freemasonic inquiry, leading to such pop culture manifestations as Marilyn Manson's song, "Kiing/Kill 33"...

Review:

"Ritual America is an impeccably designed and wide-ranging survey of the topic that indulges in neither sensationalism nor extreme skepticism. Parfrey and Heimbichner cover Freemasons and Oddfellows, Jesters and Rosicrucians. They mine the possible Masonic roots of Mormons and magic. ― Brian Doherty, Reason.com


"Ritual America is an impeccably designed and wide-ranging survey of the topic that indulges in neither sensationalism nor extreme skepticism. Parfrey and Heimbichner cover Freemasons and Oddfellows, Jesters and Rosicrucians. They mine the possible Masonic roots of Mormons and magic. Brian Doherty, Reason.com

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