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Where to go after Robert Anton Wilson?

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posted on Jun, 4 2004 @ 05:58 PM
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dr_strangecraft~~
your verifiable list...verified how? if I may be so bold.
I've not read any of these books, and might be interested in reading some of them. Could you elaborate, please? Why are they the real deal?




posted on Jun, 4 2004 @ 09:19 PM
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Originally posted by Oswald

Off topic just a bit, finished the Area 51 series by Robert Doherty which I enjoyed. Talk about connecting places, events and people together....whoa.
Ya whoa is right. The author is an ex-green beret who has written some several other series that you might find interesting as well... You can find a link to the authors homepage on my blog by clicking the Atlantis book on the links area.



posted on Jun, 6 2004 @ 03:34 PM
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Great Conspiracy/Secret Society books:
* The Spear of Destiny - Trevor Ravenscroft
* The Gods of Eden - William Bramley
* The Cosmic Trigger - R.A.W.
* The Morning of the Magicians -- Louis Pauwels
* The 12th Planet -- Zecharia Sitchin
* The Templar Revelation -- Lynn Picknett
* Unholy Alliance -- Peter Lavenda
* The Invisible College -- Jacques Vallee
* The David Icke books (tho some of his info is a little far-out)
* The Book Of Lies -- Disinformation Publishing
* Manly P. Hall books on Masonry

Books I haven't read yet but are on my list:
* Holy Blood Holy Grail
* DaVinci Code
* Illuminatus Trilogy
* Stargate Conspiracy -- Lynn Picknett

Books that are classics in the field but didn't click with me:
* Behold A Pale Horse -- William Cooper
* Nothing In This Book Is True... -- Bob Frissell
* Apocalypse Culture I & II -- Feral Press (way too nihilistic & gory for me)
* The Gemstone File -- required reading for the serious conspiriologist, but very questionable material (author believes that Aristotle Onassis is the key to all evil in the universe)

Conspiracy Books for Beginners
* Jonathan Vankin's book
* The Big Book of Conspiracies -- Paradox Press
* R.A.W. put out a "conspiracy encyclopedia" some years back

And Image Comics put out a graphic novel called "Heaven's War" that is all about the Holy Grail & DaVinci Code territory: it's about Tolkien & C.S. Lewis teaming up to stop Aleister Crowley from stealling the Grail at Rennes Le Chateau & is a hoot.

One thing you'll notice as you read all these books: the information constantly overlaps, creating this really big Metatheory.



posted on Jun, 6 2004 @ 04:03 PM
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Awesome list, Cassie. I'll definately see if I can check some of those out.



posted on Jun, 7 2004 @ 08:19 AM
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Don't tread, I called them "verifiable" in the sense that you can research the documents referred to in those works and draw your own conclusions.

Verification w/out appeal to authority is one of the underpinnings of the scientific method, which is why I differentiate the texts that could be proven or disproved.

That's in contrast to the speculative books, which tell a story that you really have no way of checking independently.



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 12:54 PM
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Yeah Dan Brown's books are fiction. And the Jesus bloodline theory is not very reliable. But neither is the official version propounded by the church. I mean come on. There isn't even any evidence of Jesus ever existing let alone him dying on a cross. We need to remember that there is not one eye-witness account of Jesus dying yet we have plenty of other eye witness accounts of other people during that time. The fact that Jesus shares so many characteristics with other pagan gods also needs to be taken into consideration. (Virgin birth? JC wasn't the first or even the second for that matter. Apollo, Mithra) The fact is we have no idea what went on back in those times. Although I do find it a little wierd that there's no writing dating back to that time referring to JC but there is writing that refers to other people who caused less of a ruckus. That alone seems to weigh in favor of him never existing as a historical person.



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 03:03 PM
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The consensus of most historians is that Jesus was a real historical person who was actually put to death. I know that folks on this site are pretty sceptical of the 'official histories;' even so.

You might check out the work of "THE JESUS SEMINAR" which is a group of scholars from a range of fields who are 'in search of the historical Jesus.' Robert Funk, the chairman of the group is an agnostic, so you might find him a more balanced source.

Josephus, in Book XX of his "Antiquities of the Jews," mentions Jesus as a great healer and teacher. Josephus wrote in the middle 90's A.D. Various scholars have debated whether the text has been altered through the centuries by Christian copyists, but the vast majority of them agree that the description of Jesus (which includes a physical description) is original to the work that Josephus wrote for the roman Govt. Josephus also mentions James the brother of Jesus.

Pliny the younger, I think, held the post of magistrate in Asia minor wrote a letter from that time period to the government in Rome, asking what to do with people who were followers of the man Jesus, of the tribe of Christians, something like that . . .

There is also a collection of letters, purportedly between Thomas, one of the 12 disciples, and one of the kings of a principality bordering Judea. (Antioch? Abilene?). Where the king was ill and look for information about healing. Most scholars have decided the letters aren't genuine; although if memory serves, Josephus mentions those letters as well. . . .


In the name of equal time for the opposition, here's just one of the many polemical "Jesus never existed" sites on the web, this one from a Jewish perspective:

mama.indstate.edu...

Here is a good source of the various 'gospels' from the early years of Christianity.

www.earlychristianwritings.com...

Despite what the "Da Vinci Code" claims, these works were not always suppressed by the church; some of the only extant copies are property of the Vatican Library. Depends on your definition of "narrow minded," I guess.



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 03:44 PM
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"Pliny the younger, I think, held the post of magistrate in Asia minor wrote a letter from that time period to the government in Rome, asking what to do with people who were followers of the man Jesus, of the tribe of Christians, something like that . . . "

Like Josephus' writing this one has also been criticized by Christians and non-christians alike as a being a forgery.

I still think the strongest evidence as to the Christ story being fiction is the many similarities to prior "gods" This is told in great detail in a book written Timothy Freke.



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 03:47 PM
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"but the vast majority of them agree that the description of Jesus (which includes a physical description) is original to the work that Josephus wrote for the roman Govt. Josephus also mentions James the brother of Jesus"

Where are you getting this from?

From what I understand it depends if you ask an archaeologist or a theologian. Theologians have been arguing that it is original and archaeologists come out the other way. And that is still 60 years after his death.



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 06:22 PM
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"The Spear of Destiny - Trevor Ravenscroft "
I've heard that this book was pretty much fiction. It was pretty well debunked in a book called "The Roots of Occult Nazism" By Nicholas Goodrich Clarke. Levenda's book on the Nazis is supposed to be more reliable.



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 07:27 PM
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Whiston's translation of Josephus' "Antiquities of the Jews" you can find at Amazon.com or your local library.

Archeologists work with physical evidence. I don't recall a manuscript of Josephus that date before about the 5th century. So you'd be dealing with historians of various stripes when it comes to the authenticity of various texts. The question of when material is composed and edited is a question more of literary genre and style that it is of the change is culture.

Much of the argument that Jesus never lived is based on the works of 19th century German philosophers, men like Bruno Bauer. Many adherents of that school were actually doctors of philosophy rather than archaeology.

As far as Freke's work is concerned, the Grandaddy of that argument was a pastor named Alexander Hislop. The trouble with the whole pagan Christs argument is the question of which version of Christ to compare with which figures from other religions.

For instance, much of the story of Isis & Osiris, turns out to have been written down by a 3rd century Christian historian. Certainly, Osiris' resurrection figured large in the Cult that was centered on Thebes, but other parts of Egypt worshipped other Gods entirely. The argument has been made recently that what we think of as classical Egyptian mythology was actually rewritten to show that Alexander the Great was the 'foretold king' of a United Egypt!

Some of Freke's work and others does violence to other religions in order to make them correlate with Christianity. The phrase "lamb of God" has parallels in the cult of Shiva, but in a sense that is so alien to the Christian concept that it is hard to claim anything more than a passing resemblance.

Ultimately, the question of Jesus' existence is separate from whether Christian religion has borrowed from others. Jesus' could still be an actual person, and his followers still heaped pagan archetypes on his memory.

Where am I getting all this? From a B.A. in archaeology and a Masters in classical literature.



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 08:38 PM
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What about the the fact that Jesus' virgin birth was not by any means a new concept? Dionysius, Aion, Attis etc.

Really, all we have left then is Joesphus and that really is up in the air. Especially when you consider the fact that when you remove the references to Christ his work flows in proper sequence.

Also, I believe Origen wrote that there is no mention of Jesus in Josephus.

Doesn't this all support the theory that he never did in fact exist and if he did exist he was somebody totally different from what the church tells us?



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 08:42 PM
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It doesn't have to be. Did they borrow pagan archetypes or did they just pick and choose which ones they liked and formed a "Jesus". As Aleister Crowley put it,it is possible that they created a "humbug". To me it appears as if they borrowed from the pagans. The question is whether they borrowed from the pagans. That's correct. But if the answer to that is in the affirmative, the next question is how much did they borrow and that could lead us to the conclusion that he did not in fact exist.



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 08:44 PM
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"Where am I getting all this? From a B.A. in archaeology and a Masters in classical literature."

BTW, if my question came across as snotty i apologize. I didn't mean it to be. I was just wondering what sources you were using.

I'm 50/50 on this issue. I waiver back and forth constantly on whether he ever existed. I'm just trying to figure out whatever i can with whatever is out there.



posted on Jun, 15 2004 @ 09:32 AM
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Milties' not snotty; I was getting a bit defensive. Bad day. Not working in my degree field, so I have an attitude about the whole thing.

You can always argue that someone named Jesus lived a life, and that the portrait is more or less accurate, maybe so innaccurate that it's functionally a myth. But it's kind of a sliding scale.

As far as the paucity of sources goes, I'm not sure that alone disproves Jesus' existence.

Compare Socrates. Practically our only source is Plato. There are one or two historical references to a person with the name Socrates; but they are all later than Plato's fame, and may have been influenced by him.

Another example is the people in Julius Caesar's War Commentaries. Someone like Vercingetorix, who led an uprising across the whole of France---again, there's hardly any reference outside of the commentaries.

Aristobulus is another example. He brought practically the whole province of Gaul under German sway, and Julius concluded a peace treaty with him. But we have only Caesar's word for it. And he was KNOWN for embellishing his own history, i.e. his bargain with the pirates who'd kidnapped him . . .

Also, the fact that Jesus' biography is told in terms of myth is hardly unusual. There are coins of Alexander wearing the lion-head's hat of hercules in Greece; coins from Egypt show him wearing the crocodile head of the divine nile, while coins from India show him with an elephant's head, like the god Ganesh. Does this mean that Alexander is a myth, or that He never visited any of those places? Hardly.

In a lot of ways, the gospels are an inkblot test. What I see in them tells you more about me than it does about Jesus.

When we look at them we also bring our baggage of what we think of the idea of religion, of particular churches, of the ancient world, of pacifism, etc.
Is there a guy in there somewhere? Personally I think so. Is God in there too somewhere, peeking out at us? I'd say yes, and probably also in some of the pagan archetypes too.

Why does practically every culture have a story of a world deluge, survived by a man and his farm animals on a boat/canoe/raft/kayak? Was there a flood, or does the human mind have a certain way of thinking about danger that is somehow universal?

If Jesus is dressed in pagan garb it is hardly surprising. The basic human emotional and spiritual needs are universal. I'm thinking here of Sigmund Freud's work "Civilization and its Discontents." Freud was an atheist, but I think he came pretty close to describing universal needs.

Jung has a lot of interesting material on the pagan symbolism in the Christ story. His works might be more helpful than a lot of history books would.



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 08:28 PM
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Originally posted by Estrella
I disagree. I used to teach English to Opus Dei nuns. They were nothing at all like the characters in that book. Dan Brown would have you believe that Opus Dei wants to keep women in the 13th century. Why, then, are Opus Dei nuns allowed (and encouraged) to work? Most of the nuns I taught had "day jobs," which is part of Opus Dei's philosophy that the religious should be part of regular life, not separate from it. Many of the nuns had advanced degrees.

He also makes it sound like they are a crazy cult that will brainwash anyone they can. I taught those nuns for several months, and the most they ever did was invite me to mass, which was not significantly different from any other Catholic mass. If they were a cult, why didn't they try to brainwash me into joining their group?

Also, I thought it was very strange that he portrayed the Opus Dei monk as wearing a monk's robe. The nuns never wore habits, because Opus Dei teaches that the religious should not boast that they are thus. For that reason, I doubt Opus Dei monks wear robes, either.

Although I never became more than casually acquainted with the organization, nothing that I saw fit with what he wrote about them. Although Opus Dei may be more fundamentalist than I would like, I thought his portrayal of them was mean-spirited.

[Edited on 4-6-2004 by Estrella]


Celibate Opus Dei members are called "numeraries" rather than "nuns." Their married members are called "supernumeraries." It's quite interesting to simply look up those terms in the dictionary - I think they reflect Escriva's belief that celibate members were more important. (However, supernumeraries provide financial support to Opus Dei, as do some cooperators.) There's quite a bit of emphasis on proselytizing and winning new "vocations" and I'd suspect that some members get more extreme about this than others. The numeraries do practice corporal mortification (e.g., wearing a cilice and self-flagellation), though not to the extent that the Silas character did. I'd agree with you that Dan Brown's portrayal of them was unfair.



posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 09:13 PM
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Originally posted by Cassie Clay
Great Conspiracy/Secret Society books:
* The Spear of Destiny - Trevor Ravenscroft
* The Gods of Eden - William Bramley
* The Cosmic Trigger - R.A.W.
* The Morning of the Magicians -- Louis Pauwels
* The 12th Planet -- Zecharia Sitchin
* The Templar Revelation -- Lynn Picknett
* Unholy Alliance -- Peter Lavenda
* The Invisible College -- Jacques Vallee
* The David Icke books (tho some of his info is a little far-out)
* The Book Of Lies -- Disinformation Publishing
* Manly P. Hall books on Masonry

Books I haven't read yet but are on my list:
* Holy Blood Holy Grail
* DaVinci Code
* Illuminatus Trilogy
* Stargate Conspiracy -- Lynn Picknett

Books that are classics in the field but didn't click with me:
* Behold A Pale Horse -- William Cooper
* Nothing In This Book Is True... -- Bob Frissell
* Apocalypse Culture I & II -- Feral Press (way too nihilistic & gory for me)
* The Gemstone File -- required reading for the serious conspiriologist, but very questionable material (author believes that Aristotle Onassis is the key to all evil in the universe)

Conspiracy Books for Beginners
* Jonathan Vankin's book
* The Big Book of Conspiracies -- Paradox Press
* R.A.W. put out a "conspiracy encyclopedia" some years back

And Image Comics put out a graphic novel called "Heaven's War" that is all about the Holy Grail & DaVinci Code territory: it's about Tolkien & C.S. Lewis teaming up to stop Aleister Crowley from stealling the Grail at Rennes Le Chateau & is a hoot.

One thing you'll notice as you read all these books: the information constantly overlaps, creating this really big Metatheory.


Great list. Most of those are sitting on my bookshelves right now.

Wilson's encyclopedia of conspiracy theories is called Everything Is Under Control, by the way, and he also published a kind of followup to Illuminatus called Masks of the Illuminati. The Stargate Conspiracy turned out to be much different then I thought it would, but I still enjoyed it.

I'd also add

Alien Agenda by Jim Marrs
Rule By Secrecy by Jim Marrs
Extraterristrial Friends and Foes by George C. Andrews (maybe the most paranoid book I've ever read)
The Conspiracy Reader and The New Conspiracy Reader edited by Al Hildell and Joan D'arc.
Conspiracies, Coverups and Crimes by Jonathan Vankin
The Occult by Colin Wilson
Turn Off Your Mind by Gary Lachman

As for others....

-Jim Keith's books are interestng but full of shoddy research, but he's still an interesting read.

-I consider Jacques Vallee's books on UFOlogy to be the best writing in that field

- Usually anything published by Adventures Unlimited Press is going to be related to conspiracy or other esoteric phenomena. It varies greatly in quality from "must have" to "completely unreadable" so beware.

- Kooks by Donna Kossy is probably not considered a "conspiracy book", but it does contain an overview of the beliefs of some certifiable nutcases which in some case sound very much "accepted" conspiracy theories. Overall it's an interesting look at some of the weirder beliefs that people hold.

- There is a book called Conspiracy Nation edited by Peter Knight (who is English) that contains numerous essays that relate not to conspiracy theories per se, but instead to why belief in conspiracy theories has skyrocketed recently in America. Unfortunately there's quite a bit postmodern claptrap iu it but I think it'd probably be worthwhile to look into.



posted on Jul, 30 2004 @ 04:23 AM
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Originally posted by AlexKennedy
Well, first of all, though, you are aware that the "Illuminatus" trilogy is fiction, right? Not only is it fiction, but if we created a graded scale of "fictionality," with 1 being the least fictional, and 10 being the most fictional, this trilogy would probably score at least a 9. I sincerely hope you're not proceeding on the information found in these books as if they have any basis in reality.


But if you pick out the odd name and google it you do come up with hits. R.A.Wilson has taken cirtain elements fo truth and woven a great story around them. Come on the stuff about Dillinger and Kennedy are BASED on facts, these guys really existed he does however take it out of context and put it into a gret big fanasy plot.



posted on Jul, 30 2004 @ 06:23 AM
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Originally posted by el_topo
If you're interest in that type of fiction with some factual basis, try Umberto Eco's "Foucault's Pendulum." One of the best books I've ever read. Its more on the occult side of things though.


Yup i'll second that, Eco is a great read anyway no matter what book of his you read , wish i could understand Italian so I didn't have to rely on translations.



posted on Aug, 3 2004 @ 11:24 PM
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If you can find it, I HIGHLY recommend Masks of the Illuminati, by R.A.W. It about a guy who tries to join the Golden Dawn and....well....its about him sorting out the past couple years with James Joyce and Albert Einstein trying to help out. I just got done with it and I thought it was marevelous.
It's much easier to swallow than The Illuminatus, and much more serious, but still as eye opening as ever.
But yeah, it's still fiction. He's got a lot of facts in there, but he still weaves it in with his fantastic story. And the commentary by Einstein and Joyce are brilliant.



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