Founding Fathers, Secret Societies by Robert Hieronimus © 2006

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    Founding Fathers, Secret Societies (formerly America’s Secret Destiny)  by  Robert Hieronimus  © 2006  Destiny Books  ISBN  1-59477-087-5    224 pages Paperback  $14.95 (U.S.) $20.95 (Canada)

    One of the things which unite conspiracy theorists and fundamentalism Christians is their distrust of secret societies such as Rosicrucians, Freemasons, and the Illuminati.  The conspiracy theorists bemoan the “fact” that these groups have been involved in American politics from the very beginning.  The fundies bemoan the “fact” that such groups undermine the worship of the “one, true God,” whatever their conception of that deity happens to be.  And both groups fear the perceived instability that such groups encourage.

    This is a revision of a work which was originally published in a989.  The intervening seventeen years have seen many other authors tackle the subject of the Great Seal of the United States (currently the only one in the world with two sides), but most of them have relied on the same half-truths and vagaries which have circulated for years,

    Dr. Hieronimus has done a large amount of research for this work, which grew out of his doctoral thesis.  For thi8s edition he has thoroughly revised his basic work, as well as adding sections on the connection between the Knights Templar and Native Americans (there’s a concept to wrap your mind around!); John Dee and Francis Bacon and their connection with America; the Order of Skull and Bones (a secret society at Yale University); as well as a variety of other topics which range from cryptography to feminism.

    The bibliography along (twenty pages and nearly 500 entries) is practically worth the price of the book considering the breadth of knowledge contained within it.  Approaches range from official government reports to current New Age approaches.  This variety provides so many stimuli that it is impossible to overstate its value.

    Many conjectures, both by the current author and many of his sources, may appear outlandish to readers unfamiliar with speculations regarding pyramidology and secret societies but I hasten to assure that they are firmly in the mainstream of such thought.  Even more than these conjectures, however, is the value of the author’s contribution to the history of the Great Seal of the United States.  For far too long the documentable history has taken all too lamentable second place to wild-eyed conspiracy theories.  Dr. Hieronimus’ book will, undoubtedly, contribute a bit to that genre, but it will also serve as a valuable resource and repository of solid historical facts.  To have such facts assembled in one convenient location is a service which should not be overlooked.

    The chapter “The Great Seal and the Paradigm Shift” (Chapter 8) covers realms as seemingly unrelated as “The Monomyth or Hero’s Journey” and synchronicity.  This chapter will stretch your mental muscles.  It is worth working your way through.  But, and this is important, do not rely on a single reading of it to gather all the information contained within it.

    There are images and ideas contained in this book which may well challenge your “knowledge” of American history, the evolution of society, and the place of America in the world-at-large.  Read it with an open mind and you may be surprised at what you find.  Read it with a less than open mind and you can dismiss it as ramblings and imaginings.  Personally, I prefer the former approach and reject the latter one.


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