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Secret Societies and Subversive Movements [Paperback]

Nesta H. Webster , Paul Tice
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Jan 2000
Webster lays out, in historical perspective, how secret societies and subversive movements have operated and controlled revolutions from behind the scenes. Webster writes that while many groups have been started to promote high values and seek knowledge, some become perverted by power-hungry individuals who see ways to exploit the world for their own benefit.

Product details

  • Paperback: 436 pages
  • Publisher: Book Tree; 9 edition (1 Jan 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585090921
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585090921
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,328,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Nesta Helen Webster (24 August 1876 - 16 May 1960) was a controversial historian, occultist, and author who revived conspiracy theories about the Illuminati. She argued that the secret society’s members were occultists, plotting communist world domination, using the idea of a Jewish cabal, the Masons and Jesuits as a smokescreen. According to her, their international subversion included the French Revolution, 1848 Revolution, the First World War, the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. In 1920, Webster was one of the contributing authors who wrote the The Jewish Peril, a series of articles in the London Morning Post, centered on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. These articles were subsequently compiled and published in the same year, in book form under the title of the The Cause of World Unrest. She was cited respectfully by Winston Churchill, "This movement among the Jews ... as Mrs. Webster, has so ably shown, [played] a definitely recognizable part in the tragedy of the French Revolution" Webster claimed that the authenticity of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was an open question. Her position on that, in 1924, "Contrary to the assertions of certain writers, I never affirmed my belief in the authenticity of the Protocols, but have always treated it as an entirely open question." She also believed she was a countess in a previous life, who was guillotined by French revolutionaries. At one time she was a member of the British Union of Fascists. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Skilled research clearly presented 19 Dec 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Webster presents a persuasive case that secret societies have existed in a largely unbroken lineage for centuries. She shows with exhaustive research that these groups may have evolved and morphed one into the other, often spawning subsidiary organisations, but that they, nevertheless, remain very tightly connected in one form or another. She demonstrates how many, if not most, of their members are well meaning and have consistently been manipulated by leaderships that are usually self-serving or outright malevolent. She skillfully, and I believe persuasively, teases out from the murk of history strong evidence that all the great European revolutions, Cromwell's English, France 1789, the 1848 revolutions, Russia's Bolshevik, and many lesser ones, were spawned by the same closely linked secret societies.

Her conclusions drawn from her research and coloured by her own prejudices may be questioned, although I think that she was largely correct. This book was written in the early 1920s and is actually more valuable for that fact. It is possible to project the implications of her research forward to our day. Doing so provides very powerful insights. That her research stands up under scrutiny of the 80 subsequent years demonstrates value.

That the same secret societies that Nesta Webster identifies still exist today is quite easy to establish, that they plot and conspire is self-evident - for what other rational purpose do secret societies exist, after all you do not need secrecy if the intention is just to meet in goodfellowship. Nor do you have to set up numerous 'Front' organisations, unless your agenda is suspect.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Conspiracy Theory Primer 16 May 2003
Format:Paperback
First published in 1924 this is the bible for conspiracy theorists.Its all here:Freemasons,Bolsheviks,Jewish Cabalists,
Illuminati and Templars all plotting to do down Christian values.
Paranoid? Undoubtedly but well researched text book stuff
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3.0 out of 5 stars good if you are starting out 1 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good book for those starting on the road to all things that are not what they seem. Like governments, place's of worship, handshakes, charity's ect:
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4.0 out of 5 stars great 28 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent read. Glad I bought it and will be buying more similar books in the future.
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Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Profound History of the Conspiracy. 11 Sep 2005
By New Age of Barbarism - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes. -Disraeli.

_Secret Societies and Subversive Movements_ by the British patriot Nesta H. Webster is a fascinating account of the various secret and subversive movements which have plotted against both throne and altar from the most ancient times to the modern day. The book relies on Webster's previous research regarding the French revolution and the "World revolution" as well as various documents by individuals such as the Abbe Barruel and Professor Robison outlining the growth and development of secret societies. The book is cleanly divided into two halves, the first focusing on the past and the second focusing on the present day (the book was written in 1924 following the horrors of the First World War). Webster's book makes for fascinating reading, explaining fully the rise of secret societies and subversive movements from their most ancient origins in various mystery cults until her time.

The first section of this book focuses upon what Webster regards as "the past". The book begins by noting the role of the ancient secret tradition in various mystery cults which existed in ancient times. The book focuses particularly on the Jewish cabala (which Webster argues has been distorted by the Talmud, the Sephir Yetzirah, the Zohar, and other ancient texts). Webster quotes from individuals such as Eliphas Levi and Gougenot de Mousseaux regarding the role of this ancient system. Webster then turns her attention to the coming of the redeemer, foreshadowed perhaps in the ancient world traditions, though brought to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. Webster notes the various modern day distortions which have been claimed about Jesus including those which argue for a "Christian" socialism and those which claim that Jesus was influenced by the Essenes. Webster thoroughly refutes both of these claims by reference to Holy Scripture. Webster also shows how Christianity became distorted by both the Gnostics and the Manicheans as well as other heretics after Christ's death and resurrection. Following this discussion, Webster turns her attention to the revolt against Islam. Here she notes particularly disturbing instances within Islam of various subversive movements which advocated outright materialism and atheism. She shows how these movements claimed to be part of the Islamic tradition; however, upon reaching the higher grades the initiate was informed that he had been duped by religion which was regarded to be a sham. Webster also notes such notorious Islamic societies as the Assassins, who played an important role in the ancient and medieval world. Webster next turns her attention to the Templars, noting the blasphemies of which they have been accused as well as their relationship with various Islamic societies. Webster claims that the beliefs of the Templars bear a striking similarity to those of the false Cabala; in particular, she notes the various distortions of Christianity present in both the Talmud and the lies about Christ present in the Toledot Yeshu. Webster next turns her attention to occultism, noting the presence of Satanism and Rosicrucianism, particularly as these relate to freemasonry. Webster also shows how freemasonry has actively conspired against throne and altar, particularly Continental masonry (though she denies the influence of malevolent elements to such a great extent within Anglo-American masonry). Webster also explains the rise of the Grand Lodge within masonry as well as German templarism and French illuminism. The influence of Swedenborgianism as well as the influence of various mysterious recurring individuals such as the Comte de Saint-Germain keep recurring within the masonic literature. Webster also shows the rise of the Jewish cabalists distinguishing between the false cabala (of the Talmud and the Toledot Yeshu) and the true cabala which may have been a precursor of Christianity (in particular the Trinity). She also shows how Jewish beliefs in a coming Messiah play an important role in their tradition. Webster also examines the role of the Bavarian Illuminati, a secret society started by Adam Weishaupt, a professor of canon law, in Ingolstadt, Bavaria and modeled after the Jesuit order in many respects. The Bavarian Illuminati actively plotted against the monarchy, and they became adherents to a rationalist/materialist philosophy upon reaching the higher grades. Another important figure in the society of the Illuminati was that of Baron von Knigge, referred to as "Philo" by his Illuminati compatriots. Webster suggests that the roots of the Illuminati philosophy are to be found in the Jewish cabala, along with the tight linkage between cabalists and various other freemasonic groups. Webster also notes how Jesuitism and British masonry may provide suitable sources for reaction against subversive elements.

Webster next turns her attention to the modern day. Here, she explains the role of freemasonry in bringing about revolution. In particular, Webster shows the errors of socialism, a system which claims to be for the working class but which in fact operates against the interests of workers. Indeed, socialism may be a viable alternative for the finance capitalist. Webster links several groups which may play a role in the coming revolution. These include pan-Germanism, Illuminism, Bolshevism, International Finance, British Socialism, and the Jewish peril. The real initiates may be members of any of these various groups. Webster also shows the subversive elements within such movements as those surrounding Aleister Crowley and the Theosophical Society. Finally, Webster traces the role of the Jewish cabala through the many secret societies up until the modern day.

This book provides an excellent historical perspective on the inner workings of various secret societies and subversive movements which operate behind the scenes seeking to obtain power over the lives of billions.
56 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent explanation of the Conspiracy Theory of History 25 Feb 2003
By zonaras - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
SECRET SOCIETIES by historian Nesta Webster is an excellent book if the topics of conspiracy theories, mind control, occult doctrines being imposed throughout the world and the notorious Jewish question happen to interest the reader. Webster remains very scholarly and does not jump to conclusions too hastily without examining the evidence first. She occupies an unusal position. She is Christian, but is opposed to the "neoconservatives" of her day as lacking the spirit to get her nation, Britain, back on track. Today she would probably occupy the position of Pat Buchannan. She also does not condemn Eastern religions and Islam the way most fundamentalist Christians today do. She recognizes the validity of their religious spokesment through time, but still believes that Jesus is God speaking most clearly to man.
The history of secret societies is traced from ancient Egypt, Persia, to the life of Christ, and on down to the point after the Russian Revoloution. The list of groups is endless: Gnostics, Manicheans, Assassins, Knights Templar, Rosicrucians, Freemasons, Illuminati, Grand Orient Freemasonry to the Marx inspired socialists, anarchists, and communists. The Illuminati and the pseudo-Muslim Assassins are considered the best models of how secret societies operate. Some secret groups however, have not tried to combat revealed truth or well-ordered society, such as the Essenes, Jesuits and the British Masons (the Grand Orient ones from Europe are the bad ones).
As to the massive force behind the societies, Webster first takes and anti-German stance and investigates if the Germans are responsible, since the societies have damaged France and Britain and helped spread German nationalism. Although the Germans have used Freemasons, Illuminati, international bankers and Jews in order to further their national agenda, Webster points out the Jewish element as overriding the German one. Underlying many of these forces is the influence of the Jewish Cabalists. Webster documents the inordinate amount of influence that Jews have had over secret societies and of their doctrines in the Cabala and Jewish belief in their status of the "chosen people." She wrestles with the question of wether or not the Jews have been consciously involved in a millenia-old-conspiracy to destroy Christianity and its followers and whether or not the PROTOCOLS OF ZION is a forgery. She leans toward accepting the PROTOCOLS as legitemate and in this regard. Zionism was emerging as a potent political movement at the time this book was written and it is commented upon.
If you are trying to figure out how the world and the groups that work to change the world (for the worse, usually) then I can't reccomend this book enough. It is objective and even-keeled the whole way through. Learn why socialist policy is a sham.
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive 30 Sep 2002
By Solzhenitsyn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If your are interested in getting started on the road to conspiracy then there is no finer book. This is the definitive reference book on pre-1920s conspiracy theory. Is there a vast conspiracy by the elite to defraud and enslave all the peoples of the world primarily through the international banking cartel. Webster, who clearly knows her stuff, says yes. Fact is a lot stranger than fiction and here she unmasks the true conspirators.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dares to say the "J" word! 22 Mar 2007
By Cwn_Annwn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Originally published in the 1930s this book covers several known secret societies that made a mark in history. The Islamic assassins, the Knights Templar, the Freemasons, the Bavarian Illuminati among others are all explored. The big thing that this book does that other more recent books on secret socieites don't do is it explores the role of Jews, the Cabala and International Jewry in this age old conspiracy. This is something that is completely neglected in most recent conspiracy related books due to political correctness. While only a fool thinks that all Jews are somehow involved in this it takes an equally foolish person not to see that while the majority of them are not Jews, Jews are still disproportionately involved and the roots of most, if not all, of the ideologies and tools that move the globalist conspiracy forward spring forth from ideologies and ideas that have roots in the Jewish culture.
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Important and Insightful 23 July 2005
By Michael Tozer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although even the most patient reader will sometimes become weary while weaving their way through Nesta Webster's painstaking prose, there is, nonetheless, much here that is worthwhile and important. Writing in the period between the World Wars, the author undertakes a task no less than describing the history of secret societies and subversive movements from the very beginnings of the Christian era up to her present early twentieth century times. Having accomplished this is an amazing manner, she then proposes to describe the factors and forces at the helm of the world revolutionary conspiracy. To Nesta Webster, writing in the aforementioned time and context, these were as follows:

Grand Orient Freemasonry
Theosophism
Pan-Germanism
International Finance
World Jewry

This list is fascinating and does provide an interesting insight into the mind of this author. Nesta Webster always distinguishes between Grand Lodge and Grand Orient Freemasonry, the former, which she deems admirable, and the latter, insidious. Writing between the wars, as a patriotic Britisher, she did not foresee the later alliance of Theosophy and pan-Germanism against Grand Orient Freemasonry and World Jewry, with International Finance conveniently "playing both ends against the middle", that was the essential conflict of the second great war. Her blind spot for the intrigues of British Freemasonry and Zionism tarnishes her work, but are, at least, understandable in context.

In summary, this is an excellent and important work that must be taken in context. For any who would understand the conspiratorial aspect of history, this book is highly recommended.
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