The Master Game: Unmasking the Secret Rulers of the World Paperback – Sep 13 2011
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About the Author
Graham Hancock is a bestselling author of non-fiction in the alternative history genre. Graham Hancock's books have been translated into 27 languages and have sold more than five million copies worldwide.
Rogue Egyptologist Robert Bauval was born in Egypt in 1948. A construction engineer, his interest in Egyptology is long standing, having lived in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East for much of his life.
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Top Customer Reviews
That said, for someone that has not read the Talisman, here's your chance to learn more about the conspiracy theory of secret Masonic plans for a new world order. I gave this book 3 stars because I'm not big on conspiracy theories, but these sorts of books do the great service of giving people practice at making their own decisions based on the information presented and are certainly excellent for sparking conversation.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
They are not afraid to be controversial. Some of the material regarding 9/11 in particular is likely to rile establishment parrots and truthers alike. It's a massive book - 636 pages with 81 photos - and it's hard to get through some of it. The payoff comes eventually, though, for those who stay the course - and their controversial conclusions will not seem nearly as far fetched once you've sucked in the couple of millennia's worth of global history leading up to them.
Definitely recommended for those who missed "Talisman," and even for those familiar with that work there is enough new material here to make it a worthwhile purchase, IMHO.
1. The brutalities of the Catholic Church in suppressing dissent, truth, heresy, and knowledge. It covers this story from the beginnings of the Catholic Church in the fourth century AD until the ascent of England as the dominant world power.
2. The Masons and a litany of architectural anomalies and coincidences. It covers this story from the time of the Knights Templar (presumably, the forerunners of the Masons) to such modern architecture as I.M. Pei's pyramid at the Louvre.
If you have an interest in this kind of history, this book will be a page turner for you. You'll turn about 600 pages. Unfortunately, this book obviously was not proofread. So as you turn those pages, you can't help but notice that typos and misspellings abound. To me, that's a serious defect.
Another defect is the book doesn't seem to be written with a point in mind. While I enjoyed reading the history, I finished the book not understanding why the authors wrote it or what point they were trying to make. Yes, they did state a concluding point but it didn't seem to derive from the rest of the book.
This is really several books in one, or at least several themes that appear to stand separately. For example, there's a book that gives you some history of the Cathars, another book that gives you some history of the Knights Templar, and another book that discusses writings of Hermes Trismegistus. The authors don't explain how these tie together. That said, it is some seriously interesting material to read.
The Master Game ends with a 20-page chapter that talks about Masonry and jihads, concluding that the secular leaders need to get the Muslims and Christians to set aside their animosity toward each other. That's a good sentiment as far as it goes. But it ignores the fact that most of the Western world isn't Christian (non-Muslim Europeans tend to be agnostic), even if we lump Catholics into that category.
Only at the end of the book did it dawn on me that the authors were positing that the folks running the world are the Masons. But they don't make a case for that theory. Yes, many prominent people have been Masons. But they also probably ate peas. So what?
With so much detail in the history of Catholic suppression, the Cathars, etc., we suddenly leap into "these people were Masons, so Masons must be running the world." But the evidence the authors provide of Mason influence is in architecture, not politics or banking. As the Masons came out of the building trades, their influence in architecture is a given.
So I don't see that this book answers the question posed by its title and subtitle. There is a conclusion, but I don't see its relevance to the rest of the book.
Except for loosely arguing that the Masons rule the world, this book doesn't reveal who the "secret rulers" are. I had expected to read something about Goldman Sachs or another of today's powerful criminal enterprises, but this book spends most of its time hundreds of years in the past and then rapidly moves through the American and French Revolutionary times and on to today. But it spends very little time on anything that's happened in this century or even the previous one.
Consider what would happen if a researcher decided to answer the following two questions:
1. How did Obama, who had the worst federal spending record in the US Senate, manage to get put on the Presidential ballot in the middle of an economic crisis made worse by federal spending?
2. Why are so many of Obama's top folks, and nearly all with any financial oversight, from Goldman Sachs?
Or consider how research into those two questions would lead us into looking at how the massive stealing (they call it "spending") of the Obama, Bush, and Clinton Presidencies has produced a national debt greater now than $200 trillion (far above the official figures) or why the USA now spends more on the military than the rest of the world combined.
Yet, none of this was even hinted at in the book. And I don't see how today's gangsta government has anything to do with Catholic popes who died fifteen or sixteen centuries ago on another continent.
This book provides an interesting ride through history. But to see who the secret rulers of the world are, you just need to follow the money. The master game is one of stealing, and those who run the game are accumulating the money. The alignments of buildings in London and Paris aren't explained by the greed and destruction we see from today's elite.
But it became increasingly tedious and, in the end, it all amounts to little more than an explanation of who is behind the troubles in the Middle East and why the U.S. supports Israel. Suddenly it's not just the Masons, but they are in league with the "Zionist Federation". So little is said about the Zionists that it isn't even in the index. And then in the Appendix the Jews are dropped into the mix without explanation.
The WTC attack of 9/11 is only mentioned and is stated as masterminded by Al Qaeda and that Arab terrorists flew commercial airliners into the Twin Towers and Pentagon (i.e., the official explanation which, to me, is irrefutably physically impossible).
Most of all, the "secret rulers of the world" are not unmasked. There is much more to ruling the world than trying to have exclusive possession of Palestine. What about the virtual enslavement of all the people of the world? What about corporate control of all water sources, patenting of DNA, drugging of the population, the undermining of democracies worldwide by trade agreements and "statutes" that supersede constitutions, the dumbing-down of education, privatisation of state assets, and massive wars and war budgets bigger than the GDPs of the same countries. Most of these seem to contradict the ideals of Freemasonry and the teachings of the founding prophets and messiahs of religions as described in this book.
I thought it was being billed as finally naming names and getting to the bottom of things. I could have read a radical Islamic website. Apparently the Muslims already "know" all this, so if millions know it, it's not secret is it?
Which U.S. President was it who said (not mentioned in this book) there is a government behind the government whom the voters do not know about and whom are not voted into power, and that was why that president couldn't publicly admit the U.S. had had communications with extraterrestrials, because no president can defy that government-behind-the-government who actually decide everything. Who are they? That is what I had hoped to learn.
If it were an attempt to misdirect or "disnfo" by means of information overload, it is still not very effective.
The authors say -- although they wait until midway through to say it -- "In this book we are tracing the course through history of two interrelated underground religions, Gnosticism and Hermeticism." In the Prologue, Hancock and Bauval make a case for extensive Masonic influences and involvement in the American and French revolutions. Then for around 130 pages, they switch to the Cathars of Occitania, connecting the Cathar/Bogomil/Paulician/Messalian religious ideas back to the earliest Christian gnostics and Manicheism, and detailing the Catholic church's genocidal ferocity in wiping out the Cathars through the Albigensian crusades and the Inquisition. Then, for the balance of the book, they focus on the writings attributed to "Hermes Trismegistus" and follow the Hermetic school of thought and belief from its apparent origins up through -- for example -- Cosimo Medici, John Dee, Giordano Bruno, the Templars, the Rosicrucians, and finally Freemasonry.
The Cathar section is interesting, but it -- like the Cathars -- comes to a dead end. In the longer Hermetic portion of the book, Bauval and Hancock launch the reader into a wearying slog through a seemingly endless swamp of historical detail. After pages and pages about Alexander the Great, the founding of Alexandria, the Apis bull cult and a lot else, I yearned to be able to grab the authors by their collars and demand "What's your point here?" And I still do. And when the story arrives again at the French Revolution, everything that was already said in the 22-page Prologue gets repeated in much greater detail.
So after several hundred pages of "The Duke's grandfather, also named Philippe d'Orleans, was the second son of Louis XIII and thus younger brother to the Sun King Louis XIV. In 1661 he married Henrietta of England, daughter of Charles I, and in 1671 he married again..." and so on and so on and on, where do we end up? The book seems to conclude that Freemasons have maybe misunderstood their own doctrines in relation to the creation of Israel; regardless of that, paranoid Muslims have misunderstood Freemasonry; and Hancock and Bauval want to debunk "harebrained conspiracy theories" without actually getting into the specifics of them -- which is kind of comically ironic, because they've just spent a good portion of their book documenting an ongoing centuries-long international conspiracy. I say the book "seems to" conclude these things, because there isn't really any summing up, clarifying, and drawing of conclusions -- the narrative just grinds to a halt on an ambiguous note. The closest things to conclusions are stated in the Introduction; and when, after finishing TMG, I went back and reread the Introduction, it seemed to be for a different book than the one I just read.
Despite my griping about excessive detail, there are a few places where I wish the authors had gone into *more* detail: for example, at one point they assert that the ancient Egyptians -- despite their pantheon of gods and goddesses, obsession with the afterlife, mythology, temples, priests etc. -- did not have or practice a "religion" in the sense we use the word today. This intriguing statement is not really explained or elaborated -- and it seems like it should have been, since repeatedly in this book 'everything comes back to Egypt' and that 'religion that's not a religion' sounds like a particularly significant key to understanding ancient Egypt.
As a last note -- it's becoming a litany in my reviews, but I see that TMG's publisher is another who evidently runs a spellcheck on their manuscripts but doesn't employ proofreaders -- and if you think feel that's just grate and knot a problem you the they won't mined this kind of garbled text ... and I have to conclude that schools no longer teach future typesetters the difference between "its" and "it's"...