My first impression of this book was that it was going to be interesting and informative, but as the references to esoteric philosophy, secret societies, and Freemasonic doctrine came thicker and faster, I became increasingly impatient -- until finally I realised that this book adds up to an enormous "so what?" This is emphatically not a secret history: It is an attempt to have us believe that there exists a mysterious cartel of Freemasons, Rosicrucians and the like who are in some way in charge of the world. Whether it is an invitation to join the Freemasons I am not quite sure, but I have a feeling it is. But the author, whatever his name is (he uses different names for different editions of this book) seems to shoot himself in the foot rather when he mentions that Napoleon, Karl Marx , Lenin and Trotsky were what he calls "initiates". What particularly amazed me was that the author actually seemed to believe the pseudo-history he was preaching. He mentions esoteric philosophy on many occasions and I was inclined to wonder what he meant by it. His attack on existentialism and his apparent misconception of Descartes' Cogito argument indicated to me that he has only a very slight grasp of the real problems of Philosophy. More than that, the book does nothing to help us improve the human condition, nor will it further world peace or human happiness.