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Book Review: The Master Game: Unmasking the Secret Rulers of the World by Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval

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The Master Game: Unmasking the Secret Rulers of the World by Hancock and Bauval is a sweeping literary creation. A major theme of the presentation is to set up a contest between protagonists who see the world in vastly different ways. Ideological opposites set up “intellectual time bombs” in the camps of perceived oppressors.

Medieval theologians subscribed to the resurrection of a dead body. Ancient Egyptians saw Egypt as an image of heaven. Manicheans, Bogomils and Cathars looked forward to liberating the soul.The text brings up a huge controversy; wherein, an unearthed Gospel of Thomas has words spoken by Jesus to a “twin” named Judas Thomas.

Seila and Arnold, the first two inquisitors were a prototype of a new ruthless breed. From 1233-1235, a “reign of terror” in Toulouse and Occitania raged with mass burnings of 210 Cathar prefects condemned as “contumacious heretics“. Throughout the centuries, there were power brokers; such as, the Medici family who were custodians of the city banner. The Confession of 1615 condemns both East and West blasphemers against Jesus Christ.

In 1627, New Atlantis by Bacon presents utopian visions of scientific yet spiritually grounded societies. Hancock and Bauval show how the American Revolution was influenced by Freemasons and Masons. Definitive records exist of Masonic Lodges in the 1730s.

Robespierre considered the de-Christianization of France as an inevitable course of history. He named “The Cult of the Supreme Being” in order to set forth the foundations of deism at the time of the French Revolution. Deism is knowledge of God based on the application of pure logic on the designs/laws which can be observed throughout Nature. The deists admit to a Designer. Deism is first and foremost a natural religion. In addition, deism has some elements of the scientific method of inquiry.

Antidisestablishmentarianism is a political/religious position that originated in 19th-century Britain opposing the disestablishment of the status of the Anglican Church as the sole religious authority of England, Ireland and Wales. In theory, this political position is the exact opposite of what Robespierre sought to accomplish in France.

Hancock and Bauval have peppered the work with scores of color pictures depicting Egyptian artifacts and images of Christianity. The presentation has a wealth of historical information with many details contested. i.e. Judas Thomas
The idea that a guiding invisible hand influences world events is difficult to prove. Yet, there are known controversies in the implementation of religious beliefs; such as, the Sunni and Shia. These controversies are on a collision course in world history. In the most extreme camps, only one religious interpretation of Islam can and should prevail.

Sunni Muslims are found generally in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and throughout the Middle East. Shia Muslims live throughout Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Shia Muslims believe that only G-d has the discretion to appoint a successor to Muhammad. They believe that G-d chose Ali who was Muhammad’s first cousin and the fourth Muslim caliph. Sunnis assert that Muhammad never appointed a successor. Abu Bakr was elected to be the first caliph by the Muslims. The Sunnis recognize the first four caliphs as Muhammad’s rightful heirs. Herein are differences that cannot be reconciled. The march of history will prove whether or not these vastly different interpretations of religion can coexist peacefully without zero sum conflicts flaring up periodically or cataclysmically.

Overall, the presentation is difficult to navigate. There are many historical facts interwoven into an overall theme which admits to a collective influence of world events by groups of influential people. They act individually, collectively and sometimes coercively. The real world doesn’t work as depicted in this book. People have varying levels of goal congruency, incongruities, accommodation, attention span and tolerance for conflict.

Yet, Hancock and Bauval have created a panorama of color and historical facts which will whet the intellectual appetite enough to secure a copy of The Master Game.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.
  • Response: Overall,the presentation is difficult to navigate. Yet, Hancock and Bauval have created a panorama of color and historical facts which will whet the intellectual appetite enough to secure a copy of The Master Game.

    This book has plenty of factual information which is relatively unknown to the general public. For this reason alone, the presentation will whet the appetite of readers.

    The reviewer disagrees with the theme which involves a Master Game on a grand scale. In the real world, people simply don’t act in the manner described by the author. Groups of people may try to
    influence major events; however, the pervasive global influence eludes me.

    There is an historical contention between the Sunni and Shia over the ultimate interpretation of the inheritors of Muhammad. Outside of Islam, many people don’t know or care that a contention even exists.

  • Sungoddess

    Dude, I cannot fathom this review. It’s quite murky with no cohesive middle… Kinda like the shadowy group of people and their ‘plan’ it purports to write about. The most you gives by way of opinion comes at the very end and smacks of deflection… Wish this had been written a liitle more as a critique and not an all over the place press release.