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.