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#Bookreview The Illuminati: The Counter Culture Revolution-From Secret Societies to Wikileaks and Anonymous by Robert Howells. Secrets, lies and conspiracies. #amreading

Hi all:

As you can imagine from the title, this is not your standard genre book. It is not fiction but it is not a strict historical book either. Well, read the review and see what you make of it.

The Illuminati by Robert Howells
The Illuminati by Robert Howells

The Illuminati: The Counter Culture Revolution-From Secret Societies to Wikileaks and Anonymous by Robert Howells

This book demonstrates that the old secret societies were driven by the same impulse as Anonymous and WikiLeaks are today. These marginalized groups have always rebelled against the establishments; some subversively by spreading progressive ideas through art and literature, while others are far more proactive, driving revolution and exposing government secrets. The Illuminati, founded in 1776, aimed to rid Europe of the ruling aristocracy and religious control of education, politics and science. They supported the Age of Enlightenment and were accused of fueling the dissent that culminated in the French Revolution. Since that time the term Illuminati has become a meme, giving a name to a secret network believed by conspiracy theorists to control the world. These were depicted as pranksters, working in the shadows to manipulate society. It was in this climate of pranks, memes and conspiracy theories that the hacktivist collective Anonymous were born. Their ideals of freedom from censorship and the empowering of societies against their rulers make them the spiritual successors of the Illuminati. The kindling of the French Revolution by the Illuminati has found a modern counterpart in how Anonymous and WikiLeaks played a key role in the Arab Spring uprisings using the internet as a new weapon against dictatorships. It is the same battle fought by secret societies for a millennium but the new inquisition has shifted its focus from secret societies to wage a war on the connected communities of the internet age. This is the story of that war and how you need to be a part of it.


Author Robert Howells
Author Robert Howells


About the author:

I was born in London in 1968 and spent over twenty years investigating secret societies, counter culture and conspiracy theories. During this time I built up an extensive knowledge and experience of secret societies, symbolism and esoteric thought.

As a manager for five years of Watkins Books in London, one of the oldest esoteric bookshops in Europe, I extended my research into transpersonal psychology, sacred geometry, Gnosticism and alchemy. I also came into contact with a number of secret societies during this time including the Priory of Sion, Freemasons, the Order of Lazarus, various neo-Templar orders plus the Sufis and other religious groups.

My first book, Inside the Priory of Sion was released in 2011 and explored the heresies and mysteries surrounding Rennes-le-Chateau and the bloodline of Jesus. My second book, The Last Pope, was released in June 2013 and examines the idea of prophecy through the predictions of St Malachy.

My latest book: The Illuminati – The Counter-Culture Revolution from Secret Societies to WikiLeaks and Anonymous, explores the history of counter culture beginning with the heretics whose teachings informed secret societies including the Illuminati through to the actions of the WikiLeaks and Anonymous in their fight against state control and corruption.

You can find me on Facebook as Rob Howells.

You can also find the author’s blog here.

My review:

I obtained an ARC copy of this book through NetGalley and Watkins Publishing and I freely chose to review it.

I haven’t read any works of fiction related to the Illuminati but I came across them in my profession. I’m a psychiatrist and I’ve had several patients suffering from paranoid ideas that involved conspiracy theories and in more than one occasion they believed the Illuminati to be behind them. Although I read about them at the time, when I saw this book I felt curious and thought it would be a good chance to learn more.

The book isn’t exactly what I’d imagined. It does look at the history of the Illuminati movement — talking about its roots in the past and history, its relationship to religious and political movements and to big historical events (like the French Revolution) — and the latter part of the book links it to counter-revolution and counterculture up to the present time (with such phenomena as Anonymous, Wikileaks, digital piracy and hacking). This is not a critical account of the movement, as it is written by somebody with deep insider knowledge who appears to be a big believer and personally invested in the cause. I found the historical part interesting but also interspersed with plenty of detail about the process of indoctrination and their teachings, rather than individual facts. For me, it was more of a history of their ideas and philosophies rather than a detailed account of the movement and its people.

The modern part I found fascinating. Comparing many of the counter-cultural movements (beats, hippies, punk…) to the Illuminati, be it in their anti-institutionalised or anti-authority stances, or in their secret and anti-establishment nature (like hackers and Wikileaks) the author builds a strong argument for the continuity of the Illuminati’s philosophies in many of these groups and he makes a call for everybody to join in with their ideals of exposing corruption and removing the power from those who use it for personal benefit and don’t morally deserve it. Some of the arguments are very personal and down to the author’s interpretation, and as mentioned before, this is not a book that tries to expose both sides of the argument. I enjoyed the modern part and some of the comments and parallelisms it draws, although people who are strong believers in institutionalised religions might find it offensive, and some of its ideas can be too personal for others (his view of hackers and piracy might not be shared by many).

If readers are looking for an enthusiastic and eager discussion on the subject from somebody sympathetic to its tenets who expresses his opinion without hesitation, you will find it interesting, but it is not the book to read if one seeks a neutral or rigorously critical evaluation of the subject.

Thanks to NetGalley and to the publishers, thanks to all of you for reading and remember to like, share, comment and CLICK!

By OlgaNunez

I was born in Barcelona and after living in the UK for many years have now returned home. I teach English, volunteer at Sants 3 Ràdio, a local radio station, I'm a writer, translator (English-Spanish and vice-versa) and I'm a medical doctor and worked in Forensic Psychiatry many years. I also have a BA and a PhD in American Literature and Film, and a Masters in Criminology. I've always loved books and apart from writing them I review them often.
I write a bit of everything, check my books for more information and my about page for links.
My blog is bilingual, English and Spanish.

17 replies on “#Bookreview The Illuminati: The Counter Culture Revolution-From Secret Societies to Wikileaks and Anonymous by Robert Howells. Secrets, lies and conspiracies. #amreading”

I want to read this and will download it now. How creative to link the Illuminati to Anonymous. I am fascinated by both organizations. Thank you for the review.

Thanks, Cindy. That was the part I found fascinating myself. It’s an interesting point of view, for sure. Have a great weekend.

I spent some time in supposedly ‘subversive’ organisations many years ago, and also held strong views against organisations like the Freemasons, Templars, and such. I am less sure that the modern ‘crusaders’ on the Internet are really the way to fight against institutions, as so many people now regard almost everything as ‘fake news’, or hysteria. Nonetheless, whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden have done well, and paid a high price, to expose corruption and subterfuge. Sadly, little changed as a result.
I hope that Robert does well with his book, and hopefully inspires a new generation of protesters.
Best wishes, Pete.

Thanks, Pete. You’re absolutely right. Nonetheless, it is an interesting topic and yes, hopefully it might inspire some people who might be able to bring some change. Have a great weekend.

Hmmm… and hmmm again. I always have to check out anything about a secret society. I don’t know why I find them fascinating, but I do.
I hope the festival is going well. Mega hugs.

Thanks, Teagan. Yes, I know exactly what you mean. It’s been quite crazy, fire alert and all, today! I’ll report back once everything is over and I have recovered. Have a great weekend.

Well, thanks for fattening me up some more Olga. This book sounds right up my alley. I’m fascinated by conspiracy theories. Sold! 🙂

Well, don’t blame me for having a suspicious mind, Debby! Have a great weekend. Not so many reviews next week (I’m trying to sell books directly to people. Let’s see how that works out!)

I’ve always been fascinated by the Illuminati. They say their goal is to further the prosperity of the human species as a whole, yet they are an organization of elitists, doing only god knows what behind closed doors. Many of their symbols appear on U.S. currency. And we know the references made to them in Dan Brown’s books are less than favorable. Any secret ~ especially international ~ organization is ready prey for conspiracy theorists, and understandably so. I’m sure most of our current day power elite inherited their status, as well as their wealth. This book sounds fascinating, albeit a bit biased. But that never stopped me! I like the counter-culture thread Howells weaves through the centuries, and I’m curious about his take on Wikileaks and Anonymous. Guess I’ll just have to read the book… Great review, Olga! You’ve snagged another reader 🙂 ♥

Thanks, Tina. Yes, I am with you too. I think as long as one keeps an objective mind, one can learn a lot from people who are true believers in a cause. Although some of the books on offer from NetGalley are from big publishing companies and names, not all are, and this is one of those that I don’t think will get big attention, so I’m sure the author will be keen to have people take an interest.

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