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23 March, 2010

PARANOIA: The Conspiracy Reader, Volume 1

PARANOIA: The Conspiracy Reader, Volume 1

REVIEW by Victor Thorn

(please send all reviews of the book to

Although readers far and wide gasped with apprehension when news broke that Paranoia magazine’s nearly two-decades-long run was drawing to a close, their spirits brightened with the release of Paranoia: The Conspiracy Reader, Volume 1.

Personally, this book appeals to me in the same way as does a visit to a buffet restaurant. A long line of food and all its variety is much more appealing than one simple entrĂ©e. Considering the complexities of our world, a smorgasbord of material has always been Joan d’Arc and Al Hidell’s strong point. Their ‘labor of love’ is also apparent in the book’s formatting, graphics, and expanded-size layout.

Which leads to another point: on the cover of a past issue of their magazine came this question: “Are we conspiracy geeks?” Well, the selection process used in editing this collection proves why the paranormal, conspiracies, and other arcane & strange subjects are some of the coolest endeavors anyone can pursue. In fact, think of how boring life would be if all we had to rely on were the government and mainstream media sources for our news and information.

Fortunately, this latest offering carries on a tradition pioneered by such figures as Charles Fort, numerous 1960s counter-culture publications, and all the great underground zinesters who flourished in the 80s and 90s. Now, readers can feast on David Ray Griffin’s latest revelations regarding 9-11, Dave McGowan’s spectacular analysis of serial killers and their political connections, or why NASA’s “Moon Hoax” merits further investigation.

Similarly, author William Bramley gives new meaning to “As above, so below” via his Gods of Eden interview. In this same vein, Michael Cremo explores the possibility of humans occupying our planet for millions of years (not simply thousands). Since this forbidden knowledge has been suppressed, is it any wonder (as Joan d’Arc points out) that long-standing messages from space are also being denied?

Other areas of interest include an intriguing article on the enigmatic Freemason Albert Pike, confessions of a long-lost JFK assassination insider, an overview of the groundbreaking Federal Reserve investigator Eustace Mullins, the stealthy Tavistock Institute, and Acharya S.’s always controversial revelations.

I will close with a gauge I use to determine how interesting a book is. Specifically, I’m a chronic ‘underliner’. So, with pen in hand, I ink-up page after page during my perusals. Naturally, the more a book is marked by the final page, the better I enjoyed it. With this process in mind, let me tell readers that my copy of Paranoia: Volume I is dripping with ink, and there isn’t any higher compliment than that.

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