4 out of 5 stars
A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.
I have always had an interest in conspiracy theories, not because I believe any of them are true, just a curiosity about where they have originated from and if there were any grains of truth in the stories. A read a number of books in my teenage years, including the thoroughly debunked, Chariots of The Gods by Erich von Däniken, and whilst they tell a convincing story, it is just that, a story.
Is there a New World Order and a secret and corrupt Illuminati controlling the world? Probably not, but I do believe that 21st-century billionaires have too much power to ensure their income streams…
Where populations are stressed and unsettled they look for reasons behind the disruption, mostly to try and make sense of what is happening. In this book, Ronald H. Fritze takes us through several of the most well-known conspiracy theories in four fairly substantial chapters on The Templars, Roswell The Lost Tribes of Israel and another on the Nazis.
I thought elements of this book looking into why conspiracy theories gain so much traction in modern society were fascinating. I thought that the writing was well researched and clearly and concisely presented. I did feel that occasionally it does venture into a lot of detail, in particular the chapter on the Nazis.
I especially liked the chapter on the Roswell incident and the way that the Air Force had kept changing its story, which fired the imagination of the people who believed they were covering up more than surveillance balloons. It does now seem to have become an industry in its own right in the town. Sadly, there is very little on the rise on QAnon, the most recent set of unhinged conspiracy theories to race their way around the world, just a few pages in the final chapter. It would have been good to have a little more about that and the speculation on the origins of Covid. A good introduction to the way that people can become all-consumed by these theories and suspend all rational thought.