Author: James Wasserman
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Destiny Books
Publication date: 2004
List: US$16.95, C$26.95
Price & More Info: Click Here
This is a book for the individual who is interested in Occult History in its
best sense. Occult here refers to "hidden" as opposed to the commonly
misunderstood meaning of "mystic." This is a serious work of historical
compilation and research. The author is a long-time member of the O.T.O.,
and thus has access to many sources of information.
If you are looking for accounts of idolatry, heathenism, and apostasy, you
will be disappointed with this work. There are few, if any, unsubstantiated
claims in this book, which is devoted to a rendering of the history of two
of them most misunderstood groups before, during, and after the Crusades in
the Holy Land.
The author shows, in some detail, how the charges against each of the groups
(Assassins and Knights Templar) came to be accepted. He shows the reality
of life in the Near East during medieval times; the varying alliances, the
expectations of behavior, and the cross-fertilization of cultures which
occurred. This is all done based on scholarly research and not, as is often
the case, on wishful thinking and rose-colored glasses.
Thirty one pages are devoted to an examination of the occult/mystical nature
of the Order. There is neither dismissal of these beliefs nor is there
wholesale acceptance. The author presents reasonable views and allows the
reader to decide individually.
The appendices provide a look at the underpinnings of both the Assassins and
the Knights Templar. While these appendices cannot reveal what twists and
turns developed during the centuries each of these groups existed, they do
show their starting points.
If you are interested in the factual stories of these extremely influential
organizations, you will find this book fascinating.
Reviewed by Mike Gleason