(Author, Cults, Conspiracies, & Secret Societies)
3.12 – Aliens & Deadly Cults (10.12.11)
After attending Kenyon College and Brown University, I worked in book publishing for more than twenty years, including stints at Random House, The New York Review of Books, and Book-of-the-Month Club. I have also been a contributing editor at Scholastic’s STORYWORKS magazine, where I wrote stories, plays, and essays for children.
My books include The Beliefnet Guide to Kabbalah (Doubleday, 2005), Isms & Ologies (Vintage, 2007), Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies (Vintage, 2009) and The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right, which was published by Pantheon in February, 2012.
I live in Brooklyn, New York, with my wife and two sons. 
Did you know?
• Freemasonry’s first American lodge included a young Benjamin Franklin among its members.
• The Knights Templar began as impoverished warrior monks then evolved into bankers.
• Groom Lake, Dreamland, Homey Airport, Paradise Ranch, The Farm, Watertown Strip, Red Square, “The Box,” are all names for Area 51.
An indispensable guide, Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies connects the dots and sets the record straight on a host of greedy gurus and murderous messiahs, crepuscular cabals and suspicious coincidences. Some topics are familiar—the Kennedy assassinations, the Bilderberg Group, the Illuminati, the People’s Temple and Heaven’s Gate—and some surprising, like Oulipo, a select group of intellectuals who created wild formulas for creating literary masterpieces, and the Chauffeurs, an eighteenth-century society of French home invaders, who set fire to their victims’ feet.
Have you ever wondered about the difference between Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism and which influenced the other? Do you know where Post-modernism stops and Post-structuralism begins? Would you like to? From Platonism to New Historicism, humankind is constantly coming up with fresh schools of thought to help explain (or at least describe) the mysterious world around us. Here is the ultimate guide to over 450 of the most significant intellectual terms, movements, and religions that help shape the society we live in. Simply, concisely, and with personality, ‘Isms and ‘Ologies clarifies buzz terms like jihad, often defined as “holy war” but which literally means “striving” ;and illustrates the differences between Conservatism, Paleoconservatism, and Neoconservatism. It explains String Theory (which attempts to unify Quantum Mechanics and Einsteinian Relativity); describes Fauvism (an artistic movement that paved the way for Expressionism and Cubism); defines Locofocoism (an American political ideology named after a “self-lighting cigar)”; and identifies and explores so much more. Helpfully divided into categories–including politics, history, philosophy and the arts, economics, religion, science, and medicine–cross referenced, and thoroughly indexed, ‘Isms and ‘Ologies is a must have for the budding intellectual in everyone.
This lively, easy-to-follow guide to Kabbalah introduces the ancient Jewish mystical tradition that has captured the interest of Hollywood stars and the general public alike.
With celebrities like Madonna, Paris Hilton, Demi Moore, and Britney Spears announcing their fascination with Kabbalah, curiosity about this ancient Jewish mystical tradition continues to grow. The Beliefnet® Guide to Kabbalah is a highly informative, reader-friendly overview of Kabbalah, whose messages Moses is said to have received from God on Mount Sinai. A collection of speculations on the nature of divinity, the creation, the origins and fate of the soul, and the role of human beings in the world, Kabbalah’s meaning and messages have influenced Jews, Christians, and others alike—and intrigued scholars for generations.
The Beliefnet® Guide to Kabbalah covers the essentials of Kabbalah’s history, sheds light on what Kabbalists believe (including their views on angels and demons and on the afterlife), and provides instructions on both traditional and contemporary meditative, devotional, mystical, and magical practices. Sidebars featuring key facts, anecdotes, and frequently asked questions add to the book’s scope and appeal.
From the premier source of information on religion and spirituality, the Beliefnet® Guides introduce you to the major traditions, leaders, and issues of faith in the world today.
From the author of -Isms and -Ologies and Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies, here is a deeply researched, fascinating history of the role that organized hatred has played in American politics. The New Hate takes readers on a surprising, often shocking, sometimes bizarrely amusing tour through the swamps of nativism, racism, and paranoia that have long thrived on the American fringe. Arthur Goldwag shows us the parallels between the hysteria about the Illuminati that wracked the new American Republic in the 1790s and the McCarthyism that roiled the 1950s, and he discusses the similarities between the anti–New Deal forces of the 1930s and the Tea Party movement today. He traces Henry Ford’s anti-Semitism and the John Birch Society’s “Insiders” back to the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and he relates white supremacist nightmares about racial pollution to nineteenth-century fears of papal plots.
Written with verve and wit, this lively history is indispensable reading for anyone who wants to understand the recent re-ascendance of extremism in American politics.