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Racing Toward Armageddon Hardcover – Sep 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061363189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061363184
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 757,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The writer, Michael Baigent, was one of the greatest writers and authorities of our time on all matters esoteric, religious, theological and historical. Indeed, his earlier books have educated and influenced a great many people - including, or so it would seem apparent to me at least (if not the High Court judge who dismissed the notion) the novelist Dan Brown.

Baigent, who was also formerly the editor of Freemasonry Today magazine, and who it might be added, knew a dammed sight more about Freemasonry than the majority of members of that (now largely) 'Flat Earth Society', was a major influence on me personally, going back to his superbly researched Holy Blood and Holy Grail. His recent untimely passing at a young age, has left a large gap in the literary profession. RIP Michael Baigent.

That aside, the book is essential reading for anyone on the verge of, or to some degree, on the journey to enlightenment. Whilst I do not find myself in absolute agreement with all that Baigent writes, overall, the book is truly enlightening. Despite my own researches and knowledge of the agenda(s) I found a plethora of new information which was previously unknown to me. Better still, Baigent does not seek to favour any one religion over others. Basically, he is giving all decent and ordinary people of their chosen religion, the opportunity to understand what is being perpetrated behind the scenes in all of the mainstream religions.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Simone Valmont on 30 April 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book should be read by all adherents of the three religions! Not western religions though, all three including christianity are middle eastern religions - Europe before christianity which is nothing but an offshoot of judaism, had multiple gods and goddesses and nature worship. Read the Golden Bough by Sir James G Frazer if you are interested in your European/Western roots. If you are from the Middle East, continue your worship of a God that is Jealous, and enjoys tormenting his worshippers - But then you may be a masochist, only then can one understand the worship of a sadist.
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9 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Alistair on 8 Dec 2010
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Baigent's work properly belong within the `conspiracy theories' genre. They all have agendas formed by his preconceptions, and his technique is to use selectivity of data and a procrustean approach in an attempt to `prove' his agenda.

The author says that one objective is to make people think. No doubt he wants to shock people out of their fixed mind sets. However, Plato/Socrates informed us that thinking properly requires desire, volition and passion to sustain it and Aristotle added another requirement, that of logic in order to achieve clarity of thought. Moreover, Bertrand Russell said that humans would do anything, including going to war, rather than think! That is undoubtedly the case, and Mr. Baigent is hardly likely to achieve his endeavour. Rather, conspiracy theories are more likely to attract the naive and credulous. Certainly orthodox and mainstream scholars shun this approach to their subjects.

He regards the three `great' religions as Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and his thesis is that the fundamentalist beliefs of these three religions will relentlessly drive them into conflict in an attempt to dominate the world. He ignores Buddhism and Hinduism, no doubt because they would militate against his contention. In support of his view he points to history as evidence of the aggressiveness of the three religions, ignoring the fact that so often, because of fundamental changes, history has proven to have little or no relevance to the future. Moreover, Judaism and Christianity with their philosophy of `loving your neighbour as yourself', together with Christianity's Sermon on the Mount, clearly run counter to his thesis. Secularisation has weakened both Judaism and Christianity's influence on the West.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 27 reviews
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Exposes a truly deadly mind-set 30 Nov 2009
By Derek Grimmell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Baigent has written neither a history book nor a religion book. Rather, he has sounded a warning cry about the manner in which extremists of three faiths have very specific plans to attempt the destruction of the world. Baigent's information is relatively easy to corroborate, but he has "connected the dots" in an attempt to warn everyone else that these people genuinely believe in their lunacy and genuinely intend to carry it out.

The three groups of extremists begin with the Jewish extremists who are determined to expand the state of Israel to its Biblical dimensions, which some (basing their thinking on the book of Joshua) regard as extending into modern-day Iraq. They are also determined to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, and as a first step they want to demolish the Dome of the Rock, which is merely the third holiest shrine in all of Islam. Baigent records how a rabbi present in 1967, when the Israelis reclaimed Jerusalem, insisted that Moshe Dayan take the opportunity to blow up the Dome of the Rock then and there, and how Dayan courageously refused. But the extremists are determined to destroy it. The only problem: They can't attack the Dome without risking a sinful intrusion on sacred ground, and they lack the means of cleansing themselves of this sin.

Enter the red heifer. A pure red heifer with no more than one black hair is required for the ritual to purify those who would assault the Dome. An evangelical Christian cattle rancher in the American South has been working with Jewish ultra-orthodox rabbis to breed such a red heifer. They have almost succeeded on two occasions. The Christian extremist is helping because Christian extremists believe that the Temple must be rebuilt in Jerusalem in order for the Apocalypse to come and Jesus to return. They expect that this will bring on a global catastrophe, a war that will surpass all past wars, but they don't care; they believe they will be magically raptured up to Heaven before the shooting starts, where they can sip tea with Jesus and watch us sinners getting slaughtered.

The key message of this book is not the details of the thinking of the lunatic fringe. Baigent wrote this book in an effort to shake everyone else out of their slumber. He is trying to warn everyone else that these people are determined to take actions that could easily lead to a global nuclear war. He warns us that they genuinely believe that they will somehow prosper in a global catastrophe, and are determined to bring it on. They are really, truly, as deluded and as dangerous as Charles Manson ever was with his Helter-Skelter plot, but with vastly greater resources in their hands.

Measured against his intent, Baigent has done a good job of making the true situation clear and compelling. He has sounded the warning and done it well.
42 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Reaping the Whirlwind 2 Sep 2009
By Paul Hosse - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The one thing these religious extremists have in common is the belief that they and they alone are the keepers of the "True Faith" and it is their God given duty to bring about their version of the end times (of course, the rest of us are generously given the option of converting or facing God's wrath by their blood soaked hands). All this brings me to a highly engaging and eye opening book by Michael Baigent entitled, "Racing Toward Armageddon: The Three Great Religions And The Plot To End The World" (you may remember Mr. Baigent as the co-author of the hugely popular "Holy Blood Holy Grail" and "The Messianic Legacy"). Mr. Baigent gives us an excellent historical overview the three main religions and their claim on Jerusalem. He then leads us through their Byzantine world to induce the coming of the Messiah, but which Messiah? Is it the Messiah Ben David or the Twelfth Iman? Or is it the Second Coming of Jesus? Finally, Mr. Baigent details the objectives of each and finally, what we can do.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Beware the Three Headed Monster 12 Feb 2011
By william delaney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Some may find Michael Baigent's treatise, Racing Toward Armageddon a bit alarmist, however it may also be a warning that must be heeded. The religious zealots who believe in biblical fairytales seem to be gaining momentum around the world. Having previously read Matthew Alper's book, The God Part of the Brain, I couldn't help but wonder if these religious extremists simply aren't wired differently than some of us. But,that doesn't make them any less dangerous. And this is where Baigent's premise shines. He names the three Abrahamic religions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as all marching merrily along toward Armageddon and doing all they can to hasten its arrival. It's up to us, who have not been brainwashed with religious myths to prevent any of these three from making Armageddon a reality.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Beware of the red heifer! 26 July 2010
By Dave Schwinghammer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If the name Michael Baigent sounds familiar, it's because he wrote HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL in collaboration with Henry Lincoln and Richard Leigh. Dan Brown's blockbuster novel, THE DAVINCI CODE was based on that work. Baigent and Leigh unsuccessfully sued.

RACING TOWARD ARMAGEDDON maintains that some of the more radical members of the three Abrahamic religions are doing their best to make Armageddon happen sooner rather than later.

Baigent starts with an anecdote about the Red Heifer. In Old Testament times, anyone who touched a dead person (just about everybody) was considered unclean. He had to be cleansed with the ashes of a perfect red heifer (no white or black hairs) in order to be allowed into the temple. Christian fundamentalists predict that when the third temple is built, Jesus will return. Some Jewish rabbis want to blow up the Islamic mosques presently occupying the temple mount. But they can't walk across the mount unless they are cleansed. Problem: there are no perfect red heifers. Not that Christian fundamentalists aren't trying. An Alabama breeder is currently trying to breed the perfect red heifer.

After the red heifer story, Baigent turns to an analysis of Revelation. He maintains that author John of Patmos was talking about Rome, that it was symbolic, that even John says it was symbolic, that John expected Christ's return in his lifetime, and that many church fathers were reluctant to include Revelation in the New Testament and didn't until well into the fifth century.

There's also a chapter on Jerry Falwell, which gives Baigent a chance to introduce other worthies such as Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association; Rousas Rushdoony of the Chalcedon Foundation, a group dedicated to the promotion of Christian Reconstruction and a US theocracy; and "Scary Gary" North, who endorses stoning for such offenses as adultery. Throw in Tim LaHaye, Holland Coors, Oliver North, and Major-General John K. Singlaub and you've got yourself a grand conspiracy working toward a Christian theocratic government in the United States.
Baigent asks the reasonable question: "How is such a program of a theocratic empire under biblical law different from the Islamic fundamentalist's demand for a worldwide caliphate and the introduction of sharia law?"

Radical moslems also believe in a final battle between the Christians and the Jews on one side and Islam on the other, only they foresee a nuclear confrontation and a victory for their side. They also believe in a messiah whom they call the Mahdi, a caliph who disappeared in the ninth century.

Baigent solution for all of this is to turn to spirituality: the Sufi Moslems disdain political involvement; the Jewish Kabala and Hermetic Philosophy also meet Baigent's specifications.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Armageddon - History or Destiny? 19 Sep 2009
By Miriam Knight - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Michael Baigent examines the apocalyptic perspectives of the three Abrahamic religions, and the disturbing agendas of their respective fundamentalists - in effect a "plot to end the world" in order to bring about the coming of the messiah. He links these agendas to the politics of today, and if he doesn't succeed in scaring you, you probably weren't paying attention.

Baigent traces the traditions of Armageddon and the end times using the same investigative approach we saw in his other books, like Holy Blood, Holy Grail, The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception and The Jesus Papers. In a fascinating tour through history, he explores the earliest apocalyptic visions found the Bible, Isaiah and Revelations. He shows how they have evolved within different religions and sects, and how they have been used by those in power through the centuries and down to the present day.

The agendas Baigent describes call for world domination centered on the city of Jerusalem - either physical, as in the Caliphate of the Mahdi of Islam or the second coming of the Christian messiah, or spiritual, as in the rebuilding of Solomon's Temple. Although each religion's view anticipates a messiah being sent by God, none of these monotheistic religions seems open to the possibility that they are talking about one and the same God or messiah.

Even more alarming is their attitude, documented by Baigent, that killing non-believers to herald in this era of peace is perfectly acceptable - even admirable! These ideas are seeded in the minds of children in Madrassahs, parochial schools and through home schooling. US politics has been increasingly manipulated by the views of the religious right, using the principles of freedom of speech and religion in the Bill of Rights to deny both to those not agreeing with them.

Baigent is concerned that it may already be too late to stop the slide of civilization over the brink of global conflict. Baigent is saying that the only way to de-fuse the power of militant religions is through the direct and unmediated experience of the individual with God. That is why, he believes, only those awake to the mystical traditions within these religions - Christian mysticism, Sufism, and the Kabbalah - have a chance of reversing this race to Armageddon... in essence "fighting fire with fire."

Baigent believes that the influence of fundamentalism on our American political system is potentially devastating to our freedoms. Whatever one's own views on religion, I think the questions he raises about what we really value as a society are important. There are no easy answers, but at the very least we must think hard about the questions.
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