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Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews(1 star)show all reviews
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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....
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on January 15, 2003
In case you haven't grasped it yet, books like this one (which are in mainstream distribution) are not revealing anything. If they did, they'd never get into print by a mainstream publisher OR into mainstream distribution. Now, if you want genuine information about this subject, get "Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare" , "Judaism's Strange Gods", and "Carnivals or Life and Death". Two of these are available from amazon.com - all are self published. They are carefully kept out of book reviews, mainstream distribution, and major publishers ALL are careful to aviod printing them....the author had to self publish, but the information is something that will make the stuff in this book look like child's play!
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on January 27, 2015
Conspiracy, occult, aliens, corruption, secret societies, etc. It's all doled out in a massive detail, though with little organization. It's the "theory of everything", that explains where we came from, why the world is controlled by secret powers (and SO many of them), and where we are going unless we collectively wake up and do something.
I can only wonder after all that Mr. Marrs explains here, how there can be room SO many other books explaining the same topics.
I suggest if this is your genre, you read a classic like Chariot of the Gods instead.
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on December 30, 2003
Poorly written, amazingly contrite and if you like to leap, this book will be great for you because you are required to make so many leaps you'll need to give your legs a rest. I can't believe I wasted time reading this garbage.
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