Reader reviews for The Secret History of the World by Mark Booth

For anyone interested in esoteric matters, mysteries, legends and many of the "is it true?" questions that haunt the world's myths and legends, this book is a must. From the world's beginnings, back in the mists of time, right through to present day, the author unfolds an ideology that many will find riveting, but equally as many will find either incomprehensible or down right unacceptable. True, some of the ideas tease the imagination and here the author warns sceptical readers to skip certain portions. For my part, I would advise them to press on. The cover copy suggests that Dan Brown may have used this as his reference guide to The Lost Symbol. I would agree, and also say that The Secret History of the World is far more intriguing and exciting than The Lost Symbol. The author delves into Freemason matters, and offers a balanced view of their not-secret secret society. But that's not the main thrust of this work. He also links many of the ideas of the world's superheroes of legend, science, the arts and literature in an incredible way. His ideas on why certain individuals have emerged in world history as charismatic forces either for good or evil are thought provoking. To say more would be to spoil the book for potential readers. My only complaint was that the book could have been double in size. The author tends to skim over areas that really begged for more explanation and I can only think this is because the author assumes the readers already have a knowledge of such matters. Fascinating topic and equally fascinating book!
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This book was like reviewing for the occult GRE. I wasn't really learning anything new, but maybe I'll finish someday to see where Booth was going.
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I thought the central conceit of a history made up of the teachings and beliefs of esoteric societies was interesting but for me the book was just poorly written and unengaging. It didn't seem to have any kind of structure and felt like a succession of anecdotes and suppositions that felt like circular logic.
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This book has me very divided. On one hand it did make me think again about my spirituality and about the occult history that is lurking but more in terms of arguing with the author mentally. I now understand the people on wikipedia who go around randomly scattering "citation please" comments. This book made me want to do that.Basically Mr Black or Mr Booth (he openly admits to the pseudonym on the cover) looks at the world and divides the progress of the world into semi-digestible chunks. He argues that our view of the world has become more rigid curtesy of science and that we are missing out on a lot of stuff that could give more meaning to life by sticking with this rigidity. However, and it's a big however, this reads like that friend you have who has read way too much in a subject and you mention a historic figure and they're off. And you can't interrupt them because they've found a person to discuss this topic with and they will, at length. This almost comes across as the transcript of their side of the conversation.Interesting? Yes, often in ways where it makes you want to look up other stories and tales about the people mentioned. Sparks off an urge to look deeper.Flawed? Yes, almost completely ignores the female principle of things. The bibliography is written in very small font and nothing is cited, ever. He lurches from topic to topic without any real pathway.But overall a springboard for someone who has stagnated in their research. Something to make you want to hunt up some of his bibliography and read further, stretch your mental muscles and learn more.
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I read this book straight through 3 times when I bought it. Booth based the book on the world histories of the theosophists and other occult/hermetic/mystery groups. These "histories" are highly symbolic allegories about the evolution of human consciousness. The author took these myths (in the true sense of the word) and wove them into one trenchant myth that provides us with very effective tools to help us discover the history of the evolution of man's consciousness within ourselves. Some friends have asked me if I "believe" in this version of history or if I think the author "believes" in it. My answer is a question, "Do you believe in Timaeus or do you think that Plato believed in Timaeus?"
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A completely new way of looking at world history and how esoteric knowledge affected the course of history through the ages via secret societies.
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Bad writing and terrible research
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This book is fantastic when you take it with Cremo's Human Devolution and Icke's The Biggest Secret. Quite clearly humanity has been manipulated from day one, we still are being manipulated and the manipulators call it Social Engineering.We have seen in recent times how they blatantly manipulate wars, using the precept of Divide and Rule. We know, or should know that History repeats itself hence the false flag operation of 9/11 was just like Nero burning down Rome.Humanity needs to wake up and wake up fast if not then those in control and I do believe they are malevolent towards the human race have stated their desire to depopulate the world. Only by reading Black's book can you really appreciate what is really happening in the world today.
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This was a fascinating read. It had a kind of charming rambling quality, and definitely covered a great deal of what I imagine is solid academic knowledge as well as a good deal anecdotal picked up over many years of working in and around this field of esoterica and secret societies. The author is a publisher of these kinds of books in London. I am fascinated by the ideas presented about how consciousness has evolved over the millennia. In his novel 'Buddha', Deepok Chopra's even seems to evoke some of the same ideas about how the ancients perceived the world and interacted with all of the formats for god and goddess that have existed since then. So, that makes me think there is a lot of accepted knowledge in this book. It is clearly a Western perspective, and one that speaks to me of the triumphalism, or exceptionalism that we inherited from the Western religious traditions, and that has been used to serve us so well in materialism and exploitation of the planet and its people (and everybody else who lives here too), as well as silence any voices male and especially female who challenge the hegemony of these guys. I am a bit uncomfortable believing anything in a book like this that implies through the views of adherents to secret societies like the Knights of the Templar, or Freemasons that the Western traditions changed consciousness in a pre-destined, pre-ordained and definitively positive kind of way in our quest to conquer the whole world and all its people and win them over to our way of thinking (literally thinking as in 'practices of consciousness'). If anything, it seems to me the Knights stayed out East for so long precisely because the knowledge and practices of consciousness they picked up in Baghdad and Persepolis were so utterly exciting for them. I would be happier to read a book by someone who attempts to integrate Hindu, Buddhist, Persian, or Chinese point of view perhaps to balance this Western, Oxford and Eton educated type who wrote this book. I would also welcome anything about the Druids, Aztecs, Incas, and many others too who were all obliterated by our forebears. The Hopi and Navajo have some great texts I've read. Also, the whole perspective of the Sacred Feminine increasingly obviously missing from this so called superior Western consciousness and its overly Yang destroyed world of Wall Street and Washington DC und so weiter. I would love to find books by other scholars from those cultures to balance this one out as a reader myself, if no one has yet written that book. Given what has happened to the planet under the tutelage of the West, and to the condition of human beings in Western cultures, I cannot believe for a minute that we have a rap on consciousness. But, it is a good try and has loads of good stuff about our own Western culture from Greece that was buried by the powers that be, way back at the sacking of the libraries at Alexandria. My favorite is Pythagoras. It also paints an interesting hypothesis of the types and sources of inspiration for individuals throughout history who really have 'been the change' they wanted to see. One can wonder a little bit about this given the extreme pressures for conformity in society, and the poverty of mind, scarcity consciousness and ultimately the repetitive destruction that brings time and time again. Can't help but wonder where we'd be today if we had always had all that stuff present with us and available to inform our consciousness all along the way instead of burned up in smoke by a bunch of control freaks from Constantinople! I do look forward to the day when we can leave our mind control traditions behind that continue to cause so much trouble on the planet . This book does tell a kind of tale about the journey to re-integrate to more holistic practices and habits of mind that reach back to our real roots pre-Rome, pre-Abraham, or pre-Aten which were ultimately taken away from us by Constantine because he found something better to serve his materialistic empire reviving aims we still live with to this very day! Well, maybe not for long if everything made for and by these guys and their spiritual descendants keep falling apart and failing us! More and more of us are breaking out of these mind prisons, and we are also the change we want to see!
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Interesting subject. Lots of intriguing anecdotes and rumors, though thrown up in a random way. Sadly, pretty poorly written, and with No citations. In fact, a lot of "a frined of mine told me that one time..." and "Someone that I know who knew Rasputin's cousin told me..." At time the author sounds like a whacky internet conspiracy theoristUgh.
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