This tongue-in-cheek look at the Illuminati leaves more questions than answers. Of course, that’s the way they like it.
Secret codes and cryptography are always fascinating, but Keenan’s examination of the supposedly current secret society is a jumble of information told in a sarcastic tone that falls flat. The book starts out well enough, with a brief discussion of the brain and a look at how humans are hard-wired to make connections between seemingly unrelated things, which leads to conspiracy theories. It also summarizes the creation of the original Order of the Illuminati and its Bavarian founder, Adam Weishaupt. From there, readers learn a little about the Templars, a little about the Freemasons, and a little about other secret societies. The book, like most good conspiracy theories, is quick to jump from interesting point to interesting point, but it’s light on evidence along the way. Statements are presented to the reader as facts, but there’s no way to know how Keenan came to these conclusions. For example, while discussing the New World Order, the book states that nearly 1/3 of American voters believe that the Order is “the global takeover by a secret government formed by the Illuminati and maybe aliens”; the part about the aliens is rescinded in the next paragraph, but there is no source for the part that is presented as fact. Keenan frequently alludes to “countless” websites, books, and videos but provides no backmatter for further reading or reference.
Skip. (Nonfiction. 9-12)