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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enlightenment is hard work, but worth it if you are interest
Worth reading if you're interested in freemasonry, and how it effects us all.
First, it is a large book and quite heavy reading. Many different people, times, places, from 3000BC to present. It's a massive subject, and Bauval & Hancock have tried to tie together events right through, so its probably not surprising its so huge. I was pretty up on the subject already...
Published on 29 Jun 2004 by D. LIGHTBODY

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting at times, but fanciful!
Contrary to what another reviewer has stated, I should make it clear that nowhere in this book is there any mention whatsoever of the infamous work of fiction, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion". This other reviewer clearly has not read "Talisman", and it would appear that they gained their erroneous opinion from a misunderstanding of another previous review. The...
Published on 26 April 2007 by James McGovern

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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A level headed review, 24 Jun 2004
MR A P DAWSON (Ash Vale, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Talisman : Sacred Cities, Secret Faith (Hardcover)
Fascinating subject, well researched and concisely written. This should appeal to those with OPEN MINDS ONLY who are not afraid to consider different interpretations of historical events. Hancock and Bauval are always going to be controversial,and long may they remain so!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars talisman, 7 July 2012
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This review is from: Talisman : Sacred Cities, Secret Faith (Hardcover)
Talisman : Sacred Cities, Secret Faith only part way through but, very readable. covers a part of history not taught at any school i went to. a stepping stone to further research on gnostics, bogomils, cathars etc. thumbs up from me.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book with no ending- or conclusions..., 4 Aug 2011
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This review is from: Talisman : Sacred Cities, Secret Faith (Hardcover)
There's a lot to argue about in this book according to what the reader knows or thinks he knows. The book is long and ponderous, but has some interesting passages, but at the end comes to no conclusions apart from asking the question regarding the possibility of a Jewish/Masonic conspiracy, or the idea that some people may think there's one (where maybe there isn't).
Putting aside all the minor nitpicked arguments I read the book as a history of the preservation of Hermetic Teaching/Ancient Wisdom as preserved and promoted by various cultures upto and including the Rosicrucians/Masons. Where most people are going to get lost is being able to believe that there can be any significance in the layout of certain cities and that in any case this is all superstitious nonsence not to be entertained in this so called modern age. NASA obviously believes in astrology- read Richard Hoagland's 'Dark Mission' (The secret history of NASA) It appears that many people in NASA are Masons.

The idea of a talisman is to attract certain forces/conditions/protection to the bearer and in this case we are talking about cities and the denizens of. In spite of the apparent 'rituals' we see certain prominent politians enacting we don't know how 'seriously' they take the various ideas and architectural construction of the past, including those in Paris and Washington.
I can't somehow see George H Bush subscribing to or understanding Rosicrucianism (an organisation teaching true occult knowledge/ancient wisdom) which I'm saying is totally different to Masonry. Aleister Crowley observed that Masonry was psuedo-occultism. Its pretty clear to me that some Masons have absolutely no clue of what it is they belong to...

As I see it the various Masonic inspired layout of certain cities are talismanic in effect that they attempt to harmonise and precurse the inevitable coming of an enlightened age where old erroneous and frankly diabolical religious ideas are done away with.
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7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hancock and Bauval's Latest Bombshell, 28 Jun 2004
This review is from: Talisman : Sacred Cities, Secret Faith (Hardcover)
Talisman, by Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval
Penguin/Michael Joseph,
Review by Colin Wilson
Three years ago I attended a conference in Cagliari, in Sardinia, where writers like Erich von Daniken and Alan Alford explained their latest researches into the origins of civilisation. But the most remarkable event of that weekend was a talk by Robert Bauval about the discoveries that were the basis of his work-in-progress, Talisman.
Bauval is a speaker of amazing vitality and enthusiasm, and even though he was the final speaker of a long day, and we were all thinking longingly about dinner and Sardinian wine, we forgot that as Bauval produced an amazing fireworks display of ideas. And when dusk began to fall in the courtyard the of the conference centre and the chairman suggested bringing the talk to a close, there was a groan from the audience. At which point, the conference organiser, Sylvano Salvatici, suggested that those who wanted to hear more should go to a hall upstairs, while those who wished to leave could do so. Virtually whole whole audience of three hundred or so trooped upstairs, where Bauval spent another ninety minutes completing his exposition.
Ever since then I have been waiting to read the book. And when it arrived a month ago, a vast tome of 562 pages, I settled down to it immediately.
It is certainly one of the most remarkable works published in the 21st century, and throws a totally new light on the history of the past 2,000 years.
What Bauval told us that day in Cagliari was this.
When a French mob overthrew the Bastille and inaugurated the French Revolution on July 14, 1789, someone suggested the extraordinary idea that the stones of the ruined fortress should be used to build a pyramid dedicated to the Egypian goddess Isis. This was never carried out, but an Egyptian obelisk was placed there instead.
Why Isis? The answer is that the goddess is closely associated with Freemasonry, and Freemasonry has played a central role down the ages, to such an extent that it has influenced the design of cities like Florence, Paris and Washington. The most impressive part of Bauval's lecture described how, standing at the Arc de Triomphe, gazing down the Champs Elyseé , he realised that the design of the avenues of Paris is basically the same as that of Luxor and Karnak in Egypt, with the Louvre in the place of the great temple of Karnak. And to underline that point, the French premier Mitterand commissioned the glass pyramid in the courtyard of the Louvre.
George Washington was also a Freemason, as was Roosevelt. The Masonic symbol of the eye in the pyramid is incorporated in the seal of the United States, as well as on the dollar bill.
But what has Isis got to do with the idea of liberty, equality and fraternity?
This is what Bauval and his fellow-author Graham Hancock set out to tell us, in an amazing quest that takes us down some fascinating byways of history.
The story begins with the legendary founder of magic, Hermes Trismegistos, whose most famous saying, inscribed on an emerald tablet, is 'As above, so below'. This is usually taken to mean that man, the 'microcosm', is created in the image of the Universe, the macrocosm. But, as Bauval showed in his bestselling first book The Orion Mystery, it has another meaning. The Egyptians believed that the kingdom of the sky, the realm of the god Osiris, is literally reflected on earth, where the Nile is the image of the band of the Milky Way. The pyramids, Bauval argues, were built to reflect on earth the stars of Orion's Belt, Orion being Osiris. That mysterious shaft that runs from the Kings Chamber of the Great Pyramid was built as a kind of telescope focused on the dog star Sirius, the star of Isis, and when the pharaoh's body was placed in the King's Chamber, the shaft also served as a kind of gun to fire his soul at Sirius, his true home.
The works of Hermes were the basis of a philosophy called Gnosticism. Gnosticism and the mystical religion of Isis continued to exist alongside Christianity, and when Cosimo de Medici had the sacred books of Hermes translated in Florence, it appeared once more, now as a secret rival to the Christianity of the Catholic Church (which here, as in Dan Brown's bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code, emerges as the villain of the piece). Talisman devotes some of its grimmest pages to the Church's suppression of Gnostic heretical sects like the Bogomils and Cathars.
The Knight Templars also play a central part in the story, and emerge as the founders of what we know as Freemasonry.
Oddly, Hancock and Bauval have decided to omit the story of the mystery of Rennes le Chateau and the Priory of Sion, no doubt because it has now been told so many times. Thus the Templars have to take on that central role of connecting ancient Egypt and Solomon's Temple to Freemasonry.
In Washington, the Pentagon and Washington monument are the proofs of the connection between Ancient Egypt and modern Freemasonry. And this, the authors suggest, explains Al Quaeda's attack of September 1lth, 2002.
It can be seen that this is a highly controversial book. It also shares with Hancock's Fingerprints of the Gods and Bauval's Orion Mystery their breathtaking sweep and bird's eye view of history. Talisman is the third step of the argument beyond these two books.
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18 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars New 'Protocls of The Elders of Zion' agenda., 2 July 2004
This review is from: Talisman : Sacred Cities, Secret Faith (Hardcover)
Talisman : Sacred Cities, Secret Faith, wants to convince the reader of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion's claim that Freemasonry supported the establishment of Israel. Originally published as the "Minutes of the Universal World-wide Meeting of Masons and the Elders of Zion" the introduction tells these documents (Protocols) of the Zionist Congress in Switzerland, were stolen from one of the highest and most influential leaders of the Freemasons.
Talisman's particular version of Freemasons as heirs of the Knights Templar promoting an agenda, was first promoted by the Jesuit Priest Agustin Barruel. Next,in 1806, Abbe Barruel circulated a letter calling attention to the alleged part of the Jews in the conspiracy.
That Freemasons plotted the French Revolution (where able to even 'encode' most major City layouts in Europe!)and were instrumental in the foundation of Israel as Talisman claims, is utter nonsense. It was mostly French nobility at the time that were Masonic, and the Masonic lodge suffered greatly in the excesses of the revolution,most of the population in France whas thus also most participants of the Revolution. And not even a single founding fathers of Israel was ever a Freemason, that is fact.
There is no goal in mainstream Masonry that calls for a Masonic state in Israel, thus the factual content of Talisman is just as fraudulent as the Protocols of The Elders of Zion( for well researched assesment of all these subjects see:[...]
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A broken talisman, 3 Oct 2012
This review is from: Talisman (Paperback)
I only skimmed this book, thank God. Hancock's and Bauval's "Talisman" must be one of the most meaningless books ever written. It promises to uncover a vast, 2000-year long conspiracy somehow connected to 9/11. It does not. Or rather, it uncovers the conspiracy in such a manner, that the reader is left with the distinct impression that the authors *support* the conspiracy. Perhaps they do. But if so, why not simply say so? Another conspiracy, perhaps...?

All the usual suspects are there: Gnostics, Manicheans, Cathars, Templars, Freemasons and Jacobins. Many U.S. presidents were Masons, both Paris and Washington are practically teeming with occult architecture, and it seems both revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries in France were deeply involved in Masonic activities. The ultimate roots of the conspiracy goes back to the Hermetica and beyond, into ancient Egypt. And Atlantis? The whole thing is a secret counter-religion to official Christianity, hell-bent (pun intended) on destroying the latter. However, since the authors depict the Cathars in particular as really good guys, one wonders what the fuzz is all about, really?

In the appendix, Hancock and Bauval claims that al-Qaeda might have attacked the United States in the belief that America is a secret Masonic-Zionist state. Israel's declaration of independence in 1948, and Truman's swift recognition of the same, is cast as suspicious. Here, the authors suddenly imply that the millennia-old Gnostic conspiracy really is evil. Note also the anti-Semitic undertone. However, since they spent a large bulk of their book attacking official Christianity and extolling the virtues of Catharism and the Hermetica, one wonders once again what their *real* agenda is...

Not that I care much. I don't believe in *this* kind of conspiracy theory, anyway. My guess is that Hancock and Bauval probably couldn't care less either way, and wrote this voluminous, expensive book simply to cash in on the new wave of conspiracy thinking following in the wake of 9/11. That would explain their strangely non-committal angle.

"Talisman" is...a broken talisman. Or, if you're paranoid, a plot by the Illuminati. :P
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12 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars History as bunk, 6 Aug 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Talisman : Sacred Cities, Secret Faith (Hardcover)
This is not without merit as a work of fiction, but it's being marketed as fact and, as such, is as fine an example of the well known journalistic school of proof by repeated assertion as it has ever been my misfortune to encounter. That one of the sources is the thoroughly objectionable and utterly discredited Protocols of the Elders of Zion is at best regrettable.
To quote the late, great Dorothy Parker 'This is not a book to be cast aside lightly, it should be hurled with great force'.
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12 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars TALISMAN: A poor excuse for a thesis., 20 Jun 2004
William J. Meegan "Never let another do for y... (Syracuse, New York United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Talisman : Sacred Cities, Secret Faith (Hardcover)
One star too many for this review.
TALISMAN does not live up to its hype. It has very disappointing beginnings. For the first third of the book, then it tries to catch up from there, a very protracted theory of Masonic beginnings is laid out. The most minimal and cursory examination, by anyone with knowledge of the subject matter, can see that Bauval & Hancock have wove themselves a humdinger of a castle built on the sands of the receding tides of thought. With this one disastrous work they may well have jeopardized a lifetime of excellent work. It is not that they, in previous works, have not gone off half-cocked with brainless schemes but at least the bulk of their works separately and jointly amounted to something other than pure fiction.
TALISMAN begins with an extraordinary attack on Catholicism, which apparently is based upon a secular read concerning the abyss of history. It amazes me that both Bauval & Hancock would collaborate on 'Catholic bashing' with the vile and venom that is usually equated with coming out of the mouths of pious Protestant Ministers. They have used this particular work to once again Crucify Christ. The same old arguments and rhetoric heard from the days of the Protestant Reformation are spewed across the landscape of this thesis as if the reader knows nothing of these so-called histories, which, by the way, are presently being release by the Vatican for public consumption. The authors are in for a rude awakening. These histories only exist because Catholicism wrote them for posterity.
The authors in their tirade of Catholic bashing tell us that the Eucharist would form a mountain infinitely greater than the actually body of Christ, may have gotten a few laughs; demonstrate their vast ignorance of the subject matter they speak of. For one thing the tomb of Christ is the sacred scripture as John Scotus Eriugena (not a heretic) tells us in his 10th century homily on the prologue of the Gospel of John: "Voice of the Eagle: the Heart of Celtic Christianity". That should tell the authors of TALISMAN a great deal about the true nature of Christ. The true interpretation of the sacred scripture allows the priest (any Catholic) to raise Christ from the dead. The Eucharistic Mass has three readings from the sacred scriptures from the laity: then comes the priest's homily on those readings and then the congregation is invited forward to partake of the Eucharistic wafer, which symbolizes the homily, which in turned symbolized the three readings from the sacred scriptures. So when three lay people read from the sacred scriptures the congregation is already partaking of the Eucharist. The homily only reinforces that and the Eucharistic wafer reinforces the fact that in hearing the homily the Eucharist is again being received.
The authors equate Catharism, Bogomilism, Gnosticism, or whatever with ancient esoteric teaching, which is far the truth. Heresy has little to do with the teachings of these groups - rather heresy is having and preaching the answers without ever knowing the questions and this is what Bauval and Hancock failed miserably to understand. Heresy would be likening to the modern calculator where the user does not know how to do the math but can get answer by pushing a few buttons. Spouting religious and philosophical rhetoric is highly dangerous when it perverts the true cause of religion and this is precisely what Catharism, Bogomilism, Gnosticism, or whatever does. They do not explain themselves. But neither does Catholicism explain itself outright outside of an overt manner. But at least Catholicism explains the esoteric science overtly so those that really want to know God have a venue opened to them. Catharism, Bogomilism, Gnosticism, or whatever do not have an overt esotericism that explain themselves: hence the charge of heresy.
It is incredible that Bauval and Hancock failed to mention the mystery schools of the Middle Ages (in their tirade of Catholic bashing) that wrought the cathedral schools of Europe, that incorporated the religious teachings of all ages and climes into their edifices. Anyone that has seen the recent studies of Chartres Cathedral sees the Hindu Charkra System and the implications of the Kundalini in the façade of the structure. Were not these cathedrals, all over Europe, being built during the height of the so-called crusades when Catharism belief system was being questioned? Yet, there is no mention of the Cathedral Builders whatsoever in TALISMAN.
In their desperation for some kind of history linking ancient Egypt with modern esoteric city building the authors apparently wove this thesis from the abyss of their own minds. If anything the Masonic Order is a covert Catholic Institution because Freemasonry's teachings are extraordinarily similar to the esoteric teachings of Catholicism.
To end the first part of their work with some obscure monk riding into Florence to bring Cosimo de' Medici the works of Hermes Trismegistus is a prime example of the author's ignorance concerning knowledge of the esoteric science. Cosimo de' Medici already had the works of Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) who's works were legend in Florence seeing he was born and raised there. The esoteric science is coded esoterically into the compositional structure of Dante's masterpiece: La Divina Commedia. Seeing that the cathedrals of Europe were already inlaid with the mystical teaching of all religions including the Kabbalah and the Seven Liberal Arts one is left wondering why Hermes Trismegistus is mentioned at all in Catholic lore other than to demonstrate that the teachings of Hermes (mystical teachings) and Moses (secular history) were combined to write the Torah: Five books of Moses. Dante Alighieri uses a 10 x 10 mathematical matrix that the author of the first chapter of Genesis used. Inlaid in this matrix are both the graphical diagrams of the Mogen David and the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. These very same diagrams are found graphically in the swarm of 32-Elohyms that permeate the text of the first chapter of Genesis. Both Bauval & Hancock should have linked ancient Egypt to modern city building by first linking the writings of Genesis to the teachings of Moses and Hermes Trismegistus: two princes of Egypt. Then the entire protracted history of Catharism, Bogomilism, Gnosticism, or whatever would never have entered into their equation of linking ancient Egypt to modern Freemasonry.
The authors fail to see that the trials and tribulations of life are what force an individual to introversion: seeking true knowledge of God. As desperately as a person wants his next breathe of air is how desperate he needs to be when he seeks knowledge of God. Until that moment ceases him he is better off with a millstone around his neck cast into the sea of humanity. Can you imagine a person ceased with such a desire to know God and there is nobody out there in the world to teach him? How else does he learn then by allowing God to be his only confidant?
It would appear that Bauval & Hancock's arrogance is born of previous successes, which sent them headlong into writing this disastrous work: TALISMAN. It is not that they were not warned, indirectly. After November 2003 I personally sent Graham Hancock an email concerning my recently published work decoding the esoteric science in the first chapters of Genesis (I may have sent one to Bauval also). I had no idea other then that Bauval's & Hancock's next collaborative work would be about modern cities built based upon mystical teachings. If Hancock had just perused the following URL he may have gleamed he was heading into a disastrous undertaking.
I am not saying that Bauval & Hancock's work is not without some merit but linking heresy into the mix of ideas associated with the esoteric science is the height of folly.
Bauval & Hancock failed to demonstrate how the answers that Catharism, Bogomilism, Gnosticism, or whatever have are of any value when the work of understanding the mathematical and grammatical nature of the sacred scriptures: the esoteric science, is what exudes the answers. Without the initiate doing the work the answers are meaningless. They tell the individual nothing of any value. It is the quest: journey towards achievement, which enables the transmogrification of the soul to take place. If as an individual you have the answers without having taken the journey, what have you achieve? NOTHING.
The sacred scriptures were written via the understanding of the SEVEN LIBERAL ARTS: Arithmetic, Music/Harmony, Geometry, Astronomy/Astrology, Grammar, Rhetoric, & Logic/Dialectics, into one unified esoteric science. The fact that Bauval & Hancock does not know this demonstrates their vast ignorance of the subject matter at hand. By pointing out the Earth-Sky interface as if pointing out here is a temple and there is a temple in no way points to where the Christ is. The Kingdom of God is forever within the individual and it is a crying shame: AN AWLFUL PITY, that Bauval & Hancock do not quite understand why that is.
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9 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The perfect conspiracy theory., 4 July 2004
This review is from: Talisman : Sacred Cities, Secret Faith (Hardcover)
Talisman states: "It is well known that many presidents of the United States have been sworn Freemasons, including George Washington. These include the two presidents who had an involvement in the creation of the modern state of Israel: Franklin D. Roosevelt and, more directly, Harry S. Truman." (From the Talisman chapter "The Semblance of a "Zionist-Masonic Conspiracy") not meaning the exact (long) title of the Protocols published 1903, it is nevertheless the underlying theory of Talisman, that in die end wants to convince the reader of a Zionist-Masonic plot.
Two pages before the end of the book, they ask the reader to "recall" the intense "Judaic" characteristics of the "Scottish Rite" proceeding in one and the same sentence with; " -the oppression of the Palestinian people and the political and military support that the superpower extends to the State of Israel. Could there have been more to Roosevelt's-and Truman's -involvement in the affair of the US Pentagon and the date of 11 September than at first meets the eye?" (Talisman p. 478)
Freemasons however are not given any respite in Talisman, hereby possible also discounting protests by grandchildren or/and surviving relatives of the "intense Judaic Scottish Rite members "Roosevelt's-and Truman's" or/and testimonies by Masons in such case. In fact Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval make it very clear that: "Naturally most modern Freemasons vehemently deny all this"(Talisman p.357)
After having been confronted with hundreds of 'coincidences ' ALL pointing to the SAME , "Could there have been more to Roosevelt's-and Truman's -involvement in the affair of the US Pentagon and the date of 11 September than at first meets the eye?", might indeed more echo like an answer then a question to the average reader expecting a nice informative book, the way it is indeed marketed to a mass public.
Graham Hancock/Bauval getting the attention from the reader for the 'adventurer' 'Cagliostro' in the shortest of time then end up with bin-Laden. Fitting in with the suggestion Judaic-Masonry/ suppression of Palestinians in this way can move on to suggest bin-Laden in fact was trying to target Washington D.C., because' he knows'(!), of the occult Cabbalistic Tree of Life, in the layout of Washington D.C., with strong resemblances to Court de Gebelins' (friend of Thomas Paine) Tarot cards !
How do they do it, on p. 460, Court de Gebelin author of a major encyclopedic work , adept of the proto-Scottish Rite and Templarism in Freemasonry, stating that Cagliostro is "so much his Superior in every branch of learning".
The goddess "reason" , as it turned out, so Hancock/Bauval in their chapter about Cagliostro titled "Prophet of Revolution"; would "much resemble Isis whom Gagliostro "extolled". So can it hardly surprise the similarity of the Statue of Liberty and Isis, or "Court de Gebelin" (with "Benjamin Franklin") escorting "Voltaire" and that "Cabalistic ideologies" in this circle included also "Thomas Paine" at "the precise" time that he was preparing to publish his celebrated "Rights of Man" !(Talisman p. 460)
Could it be that Cagliostro's occultism, is via Gebelin connected with Rights of Man , the Statue of Liberty as an convenient excuse to claim bin-Laden was in fact targeting the occult, cabalist (Judaic) design of Washington DC ? therefore drawing in bin Laden (concerned about the Masonic/Judaic oppressed Palestinians)
It can also surprise also when they next proceed to freely borrow from "the distinguished historian Nesta Webster" author of "World Revolution."
And as an almost verbatim quote from Nest Webster's World Revolution ; "It is surely also significant that Cagliostro, during his trial in Rome, admitted having been a member of the Illuminati."
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