on December 5, 2003
That he isn't a historian is clear to me. He is also anti-science. Here's one example that should be sufficient to show what a weak mind for science he has. On page 381 he continued to refer to a Sumerian Creation Epic as if it is based on a real possibility. "a most plausible explanation for the present composition of our solar system." --he writes. He mixes present geological and astronomical facts with these supposed Sumerian stories and tries to weave this stuff together so as to make the Sumerian stories more credible (kind of like what he does with his other history stories). He writes:
"Life on Earth evolved based on its one-year orbit around the sun, the solar year. Life on Nibiru developed based on its one-year orbit around the sun--3,600 years to Earthlings. It then stands to reason that life on Nibiru would have evolved somewhat sooner than on Earth. ...."
Well what's wrong with this picture? Poor Jim Marrs can't figure this one out because he is either a dimwit or maybe a crafty (?) operative for some ruling-elite think-tank given the task to write about some real conspiracies and mix it up with nut-case ideas so as to discredit through association anyone who talks about these real conspiracies. (His accusations that the communist movement was supported by the secret ruling elites for their own evil ends also lends me to think that he is either an operative or a useful tool of some capitalist think-tank out to discredit the socialist movement.)
Any planet that orbits the Sun in 3,600 years is not going to be a planet that can evolve life. Such an orbit, elliptical or otherwise, would mean that most of the time (or all of the time if not elliptical) the planet would be in the frozen outer reaches of the solar system. Life as science knows it requires liquid water. That should have been the end of the "Sumerian" myth story for most people, but not Jim Marrs, he goes on weaving further impossibilities and implausibilities.
I won't waste anymore time with more examples, because a waste it truly is.
on February 13, 2002
Tips for readers:
1. There is not one original thought in this book. He draws on other's work and stitches it together into a bizarre patchwork. This book is a passable overview and introduction into the bizarre side of conspiracy theory.
2. If you want entertaining conspiracy theory try Robert Anton Wilson's "Everything is Under Control". If you really want vaugely plausible conspiracies try Noam Chomsky's political writings.
3. The subtitle leads one to believe there is a connection between the Trilateral Commission and the Great Pyramids. If there is, the author never states what it is. Most of the conspiracies aren't connected by the author.
Tips for the author:
1. Just because somebody printed their idea in a book doesn't mean it's true. Research involves a bit more than simply finding authors who agree with you and quoting them.
2. Adults do not use encyclopedias as reference materials. You should have outgrown that in Junior High School.
3. Bibliography: try using one.
-1 star for research. 2 stars for entertainment value.
on July 15, 2001
If there's one thing that can be said about Jim Marrs it's that he doesn't let the facts get in the way of a good theory. Don't let the back cover blurb fool you into thinking that Marrs is a respected journalist, or that "Rule by Secrecy" is a serious investigation of secret societies: it is nothing more than a rehash of the maddest babblings of the most notorious of conspiracy theorists.
Marrs quotes extensively such seminal scholars as:
- David Icke, professional soccer player turned television snooker commentator who announced "I am the son of God" on British national television - to the presumed surprise of the interviewer - and went on to predict that Cuba would sink into the ocean before the end of the last century;
- Laurence Gardner, self-proclaimed "internationally known sovereign and chivalric genealogist" and ardent supporter of "Prince" Michael of Albany (aka Belgian Michel Lafosse) whose claim to the British throne was described by a proper genealogist as "wholly fictional" and "filled with falsehoods." Biblical scholar J. P. Holding called Gardner "uncritically insane" and described his book "Bloodline of the Holy Grail" as "sensationalistic trash;"
- Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln, supremely gullible amateur historians who took it upon themselves to write three giant tomes on Biblical history without first suffering through the inconvenience of obtaining qualifications in, say, Biblical or Ancient Near Eastern studies, or publishing a single peer-reviewed paper between them;
- Nesta H. Webster, who became interested in conspiracy theories after a visit to Paris where a mystical experience led her to believe she was the reincarnation of a French countess executed during the Revolution. She later became an apologist for Hitler and influenced Fascist groups such as the National Front, a fact that Marrs neglects to mention;
- Erich von Daniken, who claims extraterrestrial creatures are responsible for the most ancient civilizations on Earth and backed his claims with "ancient" pottery depicting flying saucers. Unfortunately for Daniken, PBS's "Nova" and the BBC's "Horizon" programmes tracked down and interviewed the potter who made the pots. Daniken responded that his deception was justified because some people would only believe if they saw "proof"; and
- Lawyer, politician and fantasist Ignatius Donnelly (or "scholar Ignatus [sic] Donnelly," as Marrs puts it), whose "Atlantis: The Antediluvian World" was so preposterous as to be essentially a work of fiction, and yet is exhaustively quoted as fact by Atlantis believers to this day.
Drawing from the writings of such learned academics, it is hardly surprising that Marrs reaches a fantastic conclusion: that the "ancient mysteries" being guarded by secret societies are revealed in the theories of Zecharia Sitchin. Sitchin's "translations" of Sumerian clay tablets (characterized by one linguist as "riddled with fundamental errors") reveal that human civilization was created by an alien race in need of slaves to mine gold. This gold was to be shot into the atmosphere of their home planet to plug holes in their ozone layer, and they communicated with humankind through the Ark of the Covenant, which was (surprise!) a radio transmitter and receiver. Exactly why an alien race advanced enough to travel across the universe and modify human genes would need humans to help them mine for gold is never explained, nor why they would have to get their gold from Earth in the first place.
Marrs accepts without criticism any theory, no matter how absurd - theories that would cause L. Ron Hubbard to fidget uncomfortably - and embraces all manner of junk science as fact. Marrs is, in other words, kookiness personified. He is a pseudo-journalist of the worst kind. A box has not yet been constructed that could contain all the chutzpah necessary to publish this book, and it does not reflect well on Perennial, a HarperCollins imprint.
Any secret society believing this piffle poses to humaity absolutely no threat whatsoever.
on July 7, 2001
I enjoyed reading this book...But this book actually tries to frame this scholarship and the conclusions jumped to therefrom as being REAL....Let me tell you a little secret: any aliens with the technology for interstellar travel who would, first off detect us, and second off, care about our presence and bother to come here, wouldn't need to assimilate themselves or infiltrate our government. A single ship of such an advanced race, were they not altruistic, would probably be sufficient to conquer us. And as for the psychic spies, how come they didn't detect Marrs' insights and forestall the publishing of his book? Could it be for the same reasons that the mass media (of whom Marrs considers himself a member, calling himself a journalist and confounding the trade by doing so) hasn't smothered _Rule By Secrecy_?
Still, this piece of work, so fundamentally lacking in legitimate documentation, so dependent upon specious scholarship, so fond of promoting unsubstantiated rumor, makes for a fun read. The repetition of legend as fact, and the creativity involved in linking the secret societies of years past with events past and present makes for an interesting story (and let me reimphasize "story.")
It's interesting to note that Marrs, a UFO enthusiast, refrains from mentioning our astral neighbors, presumably in an attempt to make his book seem more legitimate to the SANE members of society who stumble across it.
I was drawn to this book by an interest in secret societies.
It is not the purpose of this review to downplay the importance of such societies' place in the world. ...There are missing almost entirely from Marrs "research," except for one mention of an "Infamous Chinese Triad Society" which stemmed from a Chinese Masonic Lodge. First of all, triad is a term which describes many secret societies, it isn't one group. Secondly, triads predate Masonry. ... Read this book if you must, but don't believe a word of it. Like I said, I found it amusing, but came away wondering if this ... was part of a conspiracy to distract us from what is REALLY going on.
on June 19, 2001
The author warns us in his introduction what to expect. He writes: "There is no guarantee that all of the information presented here is the absolute ground truth" and "But to get a grasp on truth requires as much data as possible. Nothing should be dismissed out of hand. All information, no matter how seemingly outlandish or inconsequential, should be considered and evaluated." He is telling us right up front that what he has produced is no so much a book as a do-it-yourself kit, some of whose parts may be defective. Many are.
The author seems to have looked for sources that support his conspiratorial view of the world, and used them without either evaluating their quality or checking their facts. For example, Marrs erroneously names Bruce (not Wallace) as King Edward I's enemy at the Battle of Stirling Bridge, and attributes the rout of the King's army to the appearance of a few dozen Templars. Perhaps he was thinking of Bannockburn, where Bruce defeated King Edward II with the aid of some French soldiers who might(?) have been Templars. The error isn't important to his line of argument; the significance is that it's such an easy fact to check. Factual accuracy is fundamental - you can't trust inferences based on untrustworthy factual claims. Worse, the inferences - in this example (supported only the claim of unnamed "mason writers") that the mere presence of a few dozen knights could cause an army of thousands to drop its weapons and run - anchor conclusions which would have serious implications if they were true.
Marrs writes that George Washington lost Fort Necessity on instruction from the Freemasons, because they wanted grist for the issue that taxes ostensibly collected for the defense of the colonies were not being used for the purpose. His evidence for this claim is only that Washington was a Freemason, that he suffered the defeat, and that the defeat was later used in that way. Far-fetched does not begin to describe it.
The book is littered with similar examples of the author claiming to infer intent from result. It is also replete with cases where the author invokes conspiracies to account for phenomena which can be explained and understood without resort to them. It recites, for example, an impressive set of facts to show that the media cover junk news extensively but give scanty coverage to really important news, especially news that could adversely affect the conglomerates that won them. The facts accord with experience and common sense, and one can agree there is a problem. But the conspiracy connection isn't even argued. Marrs just assumes that if you agree with his characterization of the problem, you must agree with his explanation. One might equally argue that junk food is harmful, therefore the manufacturers of junk food have conspired to poison us.
It doesn't stop with non sequitur. Dishonorable rhetorical devices also abound, most frequently the forestalling of possible disagreement with outlandish claims by introducing them with "No one denies that ..." and similar phrases.
At best, the author has provided us with an ore of unknown grade, and left it to his readers to sort the metal (if any) from the slag. Perhaps he is hoping someone will write to tell him which is which. If this book has any value at all, it is as a window into the astonishingly low standards for factual accuracy and reasoning that some of the people who are receptive to conspiratorial explanations seem willing to tolerate.
on June 5, 2001
You know, if you quote anyone who agrees with your own outlook and don't provide detailed proofs of the claims, you could probably even proove that the earth really is flat and we're all living on Mars! So, Marrs takes every paranoid idea and mixes them all up as if they are established truth, and comes up with a book not quite as funny as "Illuminatus" (though I couldn't help laughing out loud at times only because of how poorly Marrs attempts to make his case), nor at all as intelligent as "Foucault's Pendulum" (a true send-up of secrets within secrets). The problem is poor Marrs wants us to take this all seriously, but it reads like a poorly researched high-school thesis. Look, just because someone claims the moon is made of swiss-cheese does not mean it's true. Now, if you really want to know the truth behind everything...there's a super secret civilization buried in the Amazon that controls everything you read, think or believe..and the Atlantis legend was planted to mislead you all...and how do I know this...hell, I just made it up!! I would have given this book NO stars, but I was prevented by the Council on Foreign Relations....
on May 27, 2001
Yes, there are aliens abducting people like me. But they aren't involved with the Masons. Sure there are lots of Mormon Masons in the intelligence community, and a very small minority of Mormons in Utah actually believe lizard men have a colony under Salt Lake City, but that doesn't make it true. The real aliens, who aren't lizards, are just involved in an artificial evolution project that is unethically put above the individual liberties of people like me.
Yes, a conspiracy killed JFK, but it wasn't the CIA and some world conspiracy that did it. The people (Cuban exiles and militia nuts) the CIA was training to kill Castro got mad when JFK put an end to their programs, so they blew his brains out. This kind of whiplash effect is called "blowback" in intelligence circles. Besides, what did you expect when Kennedy called for detente with the Soviets so soon after the McCarthy hearings? FBI and CIA were just covering up their negligence, as any bureaucracy could be expected to do -- especially when they knew people like Marrs have a tendency to exaggerate things.
Yes, Freemasonry is partly responsible for the cohesion that existed amongst the military officers during the American Revolution, and for the resulting U.S. Constitution. However, after a series of murder trials in the 1800's exposed their problems, the secret society largely turned into a benign men's club.
Lastly, though many international organizations are quite uncompassionate, that's not the result of any of the above occurrences. People, whether it be the old CIA, the IMF, or the real alien visitors, tend to take advantage of the weak for their own high-minded priorities. This is only evidence of the universal lack of compassion and honesty amongst most intelligent beings, not of some single, absolute conspiracy. Just because there's some truth in Marrs' books doesn't mean the other claims and conclusions in them are correct. It's as good a reason as any to keep these secrets from the public. Even "acclaimed reporters" can't seem to keep their heads about these things.
on May 22, 2001
Marrs, a veteran conspiracy writer has dumped more baseless conspiracy tripe into the laps of the ignorant and toothless out there providing "proof" of a conspiracy. Virtually all of the tripe in this book was believed by Tim McVeigh--but then, according to some in the conspiracy camp, the feds themselves blew up that building in Oklahoma City. Page upon page of tripe, historically disproven theories, and scarely hidden anti-Semitism. Like virtually all conspiracy theory writers, Marrs simply quotes other conspiracy authors--you know, incestuous research any first year M.A. student in history would be called on. Nonetheless, this does not stop Marrs, who continues to pump ou the (stuff) disguished as history. And, as it is, it will probably sell millions to the slow, witless, anti-semitic, and historically ignorant--the latter of which describes Marrs himself. Like his namesake, Texe Marrs, Jim Marrs doesn't have a clue. Avoid this book: unless you are short of toilet paper; but then, since many of his readers stocked up on that commodity for Y2K, that is unlikely. Sickening...
on February 28, 2001
Earthlings! Attention! Mr Jim Marrs asserts that "most of what has been presented in this book is true" (p.408), and since what he says is, with a single exception, undeniably true, I will waste no time in attempting to deny it. But think!
Surely you don't want to learn that you are a genetically modified primate created for the single purpose of serving us! Surely you don't want to know that planet earth is, and always has been, a mere slave colony in an obscure region of space? Surely you don't want to be confronted by the indisputable truth that it has been controlled by us and our progeny since remotest times, and has always pursued a non-human agenda?
It is true that, from your own limited earthling point-of-view, given earth's history of kingship, wars, massacres, famines, poverty, starvation, disease, and vast inequalities of wealth, we may not seem to have been doing such a good job. But think what a burden it would be to be in control of your own destiny! Think how dull your life would be without the excitement of an occasional war! Think how inferior you would feel if you didn't have the poor to look down on! Think how much more tasty your food becomes when you remember the many who have none! Think of the pleasure it gives you when your illnesses allow you to draw on the sympathy and concern of others! Think of how boring it must be to be rich!
There are many nice books at Amazon, books which are tissues of lies (as are most books), and which will serve to confirm you in your current illusions, illusions which our agents have taken great pains to plant in you. Forget about 'Rule by Secrecy' and choose a nicer book.
How can someone created as a slave be happy as other than a slave? Why wish to rise above the common stupidity? Earthlings! Believe me when I tell you that we really do have your best interests at heart. Remember that the truth has never been popular. Surely you don't want to become ... unpopular? 'Rule by Secrecy' is far too disturbing a book for the average run of folks. It is a book destined for oblivion. Forget it. Choose something less disturbing...
And by the way, would someone please inform Mr Marrs that Akkadian is not, as he claims, "a later form of Sumerian" (p.379). Akkadian is a different and wholly unrelated Semitic language spoken by the later inhabitants of Sumer. Sumerian is unique and has, of course, no known earthly antecedents or descendants.
on July 1, 2000
Luckily my library got this book, so I'm not paying a dime for it. It's only value is as a compendium of all the-usual-suspects theorizing that's been around for years. It is basically a resource for all of the Internet inanities in one place; in that respect it is useful. In an unwitting parody of the secret societies the author constructs, it is a superficially authoritative and scholarly work that barely obscures its own fatuousness.
The author lazilly cites random authors which presents a sentence or two as legitimizing pseudo-reasoning. Saying, "So-and-So says..." with no explanation of who So-and-So is or their work is a shoddy technique to create an illusion of support for self-serving reasoning. There are no direct footnotes, so you have to waste five minutes in the useless bibliography in order to find out what work is being cited. This creates the appearance of knowledgability but really demonstrates a poor foundation for arguments. The nice thing about his topic is that there are so many blank/gray areas that anything can be filled into them; that does not, however, make them any more or less true. It was almost painful reading the self-righteous confirmation of the reality of "Report From Iron Mountain," when everyone knows Leonard Lewin wrote it.
Read, "Trading With the Enemy" if you want solid authorship, instead of embarrassing straw-grasping.