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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 3 September 2011
This is essentially a revised version of the authors' 2004 book "Talisman". It is misleading and cynical to give it a completely new name without even a reference to "Talisman" on the front (or even back) cover to warn potential readers.

The pictures/illustrations are virtually identical; the chapter titles are the same; even the endnotes are largely the same. The authors have added new material that they have reworked into a new theory addressing the apparent global issue of our time: the struggle between Islam and the West.

Worth getting by those who did not read "Talisman" because of its historic detail and good use of original sources. A big book (600 pages), the authors do excellent work in tracing ancient gnostic "heresy" from Egypt to the contemporary West. They offer a coherent thread for an underground movement spanning millennia; illuminating, for instance, the spiritual and esoteric aspects of the French Revolution that many others overlook. Their coverage of the influence of ancient Egypt on the designs of major cities like London, Paris and Washington D.C. was amazing when "Talisman" was published.

However a number of more recent books explore in more depth the similarities of the Hindu, Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions (really different sects of the same religion) with the earlier Egyptian solar cult. (Just two examples: church congregations face east (the direction of sunrise and solar rebirth) to pray while Muslims pray towards a black stone that was the center of moon cult worship. "Observant Jews" wear two small black boxes - like miniature versions of the Islamic Kaaba. In the Comments section I suggest just a few books explaining much more about the relationships between many religions.)

The Egyptian roots of today's religions have since been far better addressed by many others, including Acharya S, Ralph Ellis and Michael Tsarion. Over the last decade the uncovering of what had been kept secret from us for thousands of years has been moving so rapidly that this book already exhibits a disappointing lack of penetration into the hidden/esoteric secrets underlying religion when compared to the works of Pierre Sabak as well as Tsarion and Ellis, all of whom use etymology (tracing the origin and development of words). These, and other excellent books, like Icke's "Human Race" [2014 note - Icke's latest and best, so far, is "Perception Deception"] and Farrell's "Babylon's Banksters", Swerdlow's "True World History", and Shannon Dorey's books on the Dogon religion all reveal a truer version of humankind's history than we have previously been allowed to know.

Later notes:
- Santos Bonacci is fascinating in his many youtube presentations - finally, everything (absolutely everything!) linked together in a (comparatively) simple manner.
- Mauro Biglino spent a decade translating the original Bible for the Vatican until he found out what they were doing with it. In the comments section I have added the link to Biglino's presentation on youtube (English subtitles).
- Frank O'Collins of Ucadia.com offers massive amounts of information on the "secret rulers" (whom he points out repeatedly are mentally ill) spread over a dozen websites and hundreds of hours of radio presentations on talkshoe - don't miss.
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on 29 March 2014
This book is a balanced and well researched history of how secret societies have held on to ancient knowledge through thousands of years of suppression. With the understanding that truth is stranger than fiction, the authors have successfully avoided the worst of conspiracy theory rants and unveiled the hidden struggle to preserve ancient insights entwined in the rich tapestry of major historical events. Journeying from ancient Egypt, through the Renaissance, the revolutions in American and France, into the 20th century, they demonstrate that the forefathers of groups like the Freemasons performed an important function of preserving this ancient knowledge during the dark times of Catholic suppression. They show that through covert affiliations what amounts to a secret religion pervaded the corridors of power and even the church itself, informing policies for centuries and colouring the fabric of the wider society through esoteric symbolism in art and architecture. At over 600 pages the book is packed with fascinating information and many surprising but revealing historical connections. My only criticisms would be that the narrative is thrown off course too often by tangential historical detail which, while showing exemplary research, would be better placed in notes at the end of the book. I would also have liked far more detail about the machinations of secret societies in the modern era. In spite of this Hancock and Bauval are not apologists for the "secret rulers" and they do a fine job of tracing the line of hidden history in as impartial a manner as they can, given that, as the story unfolds, the Roman Catholic church do emerge as the most despotic and contemptible player in the whole affair. A separate bibliography would have been nice, rather than the (thorough) index but, that said, I feel much better informed and enabled to continue searching for myself with this book acting as a light to stop me getting lost down the rabbit hole. Excellent!
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on 13 December 2011
I am researching many things at present,the hidden history and origins of the human race and also trying to uncover the truth behind a seemingly global conspiracy to entrap the common man in a web of deceit that was first spun millenia ago. This is one of many books revealing in detail the esoteric origins of freemasonry and the undeniable connection to ancient egypt.

Hancock and Bauval are very thorough in their methodology and you will not find a book of author's opinions here but a lesson in alternative history and religion and how this has influenced the creation of the major cities in the U.S. and Paris, London and Vatican City.

This isn't necessarily a book dealing with the 'global conspiracy' as the title would suggest but it is full of fascinating insights into the origins of Christianity and Catholicism in their modern guises. The events that occurred in Occitania in Southern France between 1209 and 1244 with the 'blood-drenched horror of the Albigensian Crusades' is so shocking that you wonder why we were not taught about such atrocities at school. And also of interest is the revelatory differences and similarities between the Gnostic Christians whom pre-date the New Testament which was written at the Council of Nicea in 325AD and the Cathars and later Bogomils.

To be honest, after reading the history of these religious sects and their belief systems, it really exposes the Catholic Church as an evil and barbaric organisation lacking in human emotions and ethics. Disgusting really.

Overall,a very interesting read full of new information and ties it all up nicely with modern freemasonry and the control system in place today.
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on 12 January 2012
I am and have always been, a great fan of Bauval's & Hancock's work. However, I was very disappointed to find that The Master Game is, to a large extent, a re-vamp of their 2004 book entitled, Talisman. The headings and Chapters are identical, yet there is no reference, on the front or the back of The Master Game, to the 2004 book. This is mis-leading and somewhat cynical, especially to readers who have already read and own Talisman.
That said, Talisman was an excellent book and for those readers who have not read it, they will find The Master Game, with its additional material, informative, interesting and a bold challenge to the "status quo".
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on 19 October 2014
I love Graham Hancocks work and I was looking forward to this but found it well researched, wordy but very disappointing. He could have saved a lot of dead trees by printing a leaflet with the words "It's the freemasons" and saved everyones time and money.
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on 10 November 2013
A good book that has been well researched however it lacks conlusion. Left me thinking I should have read some of the books quoted instead!
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on 29 May 2015
Arrived as expected without problems
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on 8 October 2015
Interesting volume that gives an alternative reading of some very important historical events. There will be howls of outrage, but all that matters is this - if the basic premise here is correct (and it seems highly likely) then what you believe does not matter - it is what those in positions of power believe that matters.
It may interest you to learn that none of the revelations in this book are actually new - they just get swept under the carpet.
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on 12 April 2013
For me it's like a sum up of everything they've done so far and more. It's always very interesting to read them. Excellent.
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on 10 June 2014
Follow the conspiracies, follow the confidence tricks, follow the secrets.

I have been following the whispers that have come to me in books, stories and people, for decades this is just the next one.

Will be interesting to see if there s anything new and how it fits into the stuff I have already collected along the way.
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