Site for Esoteric History 

Book Reviews

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Ascended Masters
Esoteric History


Isis Unveiled: A Master Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology
By H. P. Blavatsky. Book review by John P. Van Mater for Sunrise. Another review by Alvin Boyd Kuhn.

The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy By H.P. Blavatsky. Review by Alvin Boyd Kuhn.

Among the Adepts: Madame Blavatsky on The "Secret Doctrine". Historical article-length book review by Annie Besant of HPB's The Secret Doctrine. First published in The Pall Mall Gazette (London), April 25, 1889.

The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett
Compiled by A.T. Barker. Review by Alvin Boyd Kuhn.

Access to Great Ideas: The Secret Doctrine Reference Series Several authors. Review by Richard I. Rob for Sunrise.

The Universal Brotherhood: HPB to the American Conventions Written by H. P. Blavatsky. Review by W. T. S. Thackara for Sunrise.

In Search Of The Masters ; The Masters Revealed; and Initiates Of Theosophical Masters
Written by K. Paul Johnson. A review and critique of K. Paul Johnson's thesis by Daniel Caldwell.

HPB: The Extraordinary Life and Influence of Helena Blavatsky, Founder of the Modern Theosophical Movement
By Sylvia Cranston. Book review by Connie Hargrave for Share International.

Madame Blavatsky’s Baboon: A History of the Mystics, Mediums, and Misfits Who Brought Spiritualism to America
Written by Peter Washington. Book review by  W.T.S. Thackara for Theosophical History. Also review by Joseph P. Szimhart for Cultic Studies Journal, and a review (part 1 & part 2) by Frederick C. Crews for the New York Review of Books.

The Initiate in the Dark Cycle
Written by His Pupil (Cyril Scott). Review by C.W. Leadbeater for The Theosophist. A critique of Scott and Anrias with implied endorsements.

"Inspector Clouseau and the Case of 'Religious Kitsch'"
Dr. Massimo Introvigne's review of Dr. Olav Hammer's study Claiming Knowledge: Strategies of Epistemology from Theosophy to the New Age.


Review of Krishnamurti--Love and Freedom: Approaching a Mystery. A study by Peter Michel highlighting some esoteric aspects of K's life and putting them in a Theosophical perspective. Review focuses on his use of the Scott and Anrias material.

Introduction to The Initiations of Krishnamurti: An Astrological Biography. Study by Phillip Lindsay using the Scott and Anrias material extensively. Introduction by Dr. Michael D. Robbins.

Star in the East: Krishnamurti, the Invention of a Messiah by Roland Vernon. Review by Anne Ruth Frank-Strauss.

Krishnamurti, Leben und Werk
By Vanamali Gunturu. Anonymous book review. Book should soon be published in English.

The Inner Life of Krishnamurti: Private Passion and Perennial Wisdom by Aryel Sanat. Review for The Link (No. 19 Autumn/Winter 2000) by Hans van der Kroft.

Review of E.L. Gardner's booklet No religion higher than truth, in which the controversial case was made that C.W. Leadbeater was not really clairvoyant, but victim to Kriyashakti, or the power of imaginary projection.

Ascended Masters

Kuthumi on Selfhood
Review by M.R. Jaqua of volume 12 of the 'Pearls of Wisdom,' containing most of the 1969 dictations given through Elizabeth Clare Prophet.

Response to Jacqua Review
Based on an e-mail discussion with M.R. Jacqua, reviewer of Kuthumi on Selfhood.

Prophet's Daughter
Review of Prophet's Daughter: My Life with Elizabeth Clare Prophet inside the Church Universal and Triumphant by Erin Prophet. Review by Govert Schuller at Alpheus. Another review by Joseph P. Szimhart for Cultic Studies Review.

Lambs to Slaughter: My Fourteen Years with Elizabeth Clare Prophet and Church Universal Triumphant by John Joseph Pietrangelo, Jr. Reviewed by Joseph P. Szimhart for Cultic Studies Journal.

400 Years of Imaginary Friends: A Journey into the World of Adepts, Masters, Ascended Masters, and Their Messengers by Kenneth & Talita Paolini. Reviewed by Joseph P. Szimhart for Cultic Studies Journal.

The Church Universal and Triumphant: Elizabeth Clare Prophet's Apocalyptic Movement by Bradley C.Whitsel. Reviewed by Joseph P. Szimhart for Cultic Studies Journal.

Esoteric History

A film by Bruce Burgess (director) and René Barnett (producer) adding some more fabricated twists and turns to the Priory of Sion / Rennes-le-Chateau / Jesus' bloodline issue.

The Da Vinci Code
Review by Alain Jourdan, who tracked the "old swindle" of the Priory of Sion from early on and was one of the first to interview Pierre Plantard.

Book Report: Occult Underground & Establishment
By Earl Wajenberg. This is a book report on The Occult Underground and The Occult Establishment by James Webb.

Holy Blood, Holy Grail
Written by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln. Review by Branislav L. Slantchev for götterdämmerung.org

Holy Blood, Holy Grail
Written by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln. Chapter from an e-book by Laura Knight-Jadczyk presenting the main points from this bestseller together with an analysis of this sophisticated hoax.

Web of Gold: the Secret Power of a Sacred Treasure
By Guy Patton and Robin Mackness. Review by Alan Scott and comments by Guy Patton. Another flawed study on Rennes-le-Chateau and the Priory of Sion.

The Goddess in the Gospels
By Margaret Starbird. Book review by Ros Calverly.

Magdalene.org Booklist
List of studies about Mary Magdalene with short reviews.

Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History that Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, and the Great Pyramids By Jim Marrs. Review by Uri Dowbenko for the Conspiracy Digest.

The Da Vinci Crock
Review article by Laura Miller for salon.com (12/29/04). Author points out the many ideas Brown lifted from the 1982 bestseller Holy Blood, Holy Grail, the authors of which are suing Brown for "breach of copyright." (worth wading through the ads) For an earlier review of The Da Vinci Code for the New York Times by Laura Miller see her The Da Vinci Con.

Bloodline of the Holy Grail: The Hidden Lineage of Jesus Revealed. By Laurence Gardner. Reviews from Publishers Weekly and Charles W. Evans-Günther. "... an amazing patchwork of scholarly trappings and dizzy tomfoolery stitched together with myth and fable ..." See also a critical look at Gardner's Grail King pretender "Prince Michael of Albany."

Theosophy and Culture: Nicholas Roerich by Anita Stasulane. Reviewed by Joseph P. Szimhart for Cultic Studies Journal.

Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity. Book by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, "... about the proliferation of fascist ideology in post-war culture, especially since 1990. ... weaves in and out of occult beliefs and myths without falling prey to exaggeration or fascination. Reviewed by Joseph P. Szimhart for Cultic Studies Journal.

The Judge Case. A Conspiracy Which Ruined the Theosophical Cause. Book by Ernest E. Pelletier. Reviewed by Brett Forray for Theosophical History. Forray addresses the weaknesses and biases of this massive study. (Pelletier's response; editor's remarks)


Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in our Time
By Carroll Quigely. Eminent historian reveals evidence of the existence of a secret cabal within the Anglo-American establishment. Review by Stephen Zerlenga of the American Monetary Institute.

The Naked Capitalist
By Cleon Skousen. Review by several historians, including remarks by Quigley, in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought Skousen's book is a review and commentary of Quigley's massive Tragedy & Hope.

Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture By Mark Fenster. Highlights cultural and psychological aspects of the "conspiracy community" without dismissing completely conspiricist claims of secrecy and iniquity in politics and economics. Find here Fenster's remarks on the 2nd edition.

Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From
By Daniel Pipes. Reviewed for the Independent Review. Pipes tries to debunk conspiracy theory, but quickly trips over its own inconsistencies, shoddy research and exagerations.

America's Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull & Bones
By Antony C. Sutton. This one book contains the four previous Antony Sutton titles which all expose The Order: a secret, senior-year society at Yale University, many members of which have attained positions of power far beyond most people’s imaginations.

The Truth About Terrorism. Review article by Jonathan Raban for The New York Review of Books (52/1, January 2005). Author reviews books like America the Vulnerable; Fortress America; Imperial Hubris;The 9/11 Commission Report; Against All Enemies; Al-Qaeda, and the BBC series "The Power of Nightmares."

Entertaining, Type-II Error-prone, Axiomatic Skepticists:
A Pleasant but Naive Mutation of Skepticism
. Review of: "The Perks of Paranoia" (Video; 2013) by Christopher Griffin.
Small contribution to the debate between conspiracy theorists and skeptics based on evolutionary psychology.


Logical Investigations by Edmund Husserl. Reviewed by Daniel Dahlstrom.

Gesamtausgabe. Collected Edition of Martin Heidegger's works. Review article by Thomas Sheehan for the New York Review of Books.

Husserl, Heidegger, and the Space of Meaning by Steven Galt Crowell. Review by Eric Sean Nelson. "Crowell ... argues that Heidegger’s approach transforms rather than destroys Husserl’s basic insights about meaning and intentionality."

Heidegger and Nazism by Victor Farias. Review article by Thomas Sheehan for the New York Review of Books. [pdf]

Heidegger and Asian Thought edited by Graham Parkes. Review by Taylor Carman.

Heidegger's Way of Thought by Theodore Kisiel. Review by Richard Polt. "If a deep engagement with Heidegger's work is sought, however, then this collection and [Kisiel's] The Genesis of Heidegger's Being and Time are essential reading." Iain MacKenzie



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