From Nick Pell at Red Star Times.
When I first got a package from Disinfo in the mail I was excited. What would be inside? I had spoken to someone over there about reviewing a book. Excitement then turned to dismay. Oh great, a book about the occult.
However, I am glad to say that my prejudice against the book was totally unfounded. Hidden Wisdom: Secrets of the Western Esoteric Tradition was not only a good read, but it was an informative, balanced account of European spirituality, going far beyond the bounds of “occultism.” The book is, however, marred by a number of limitations stemming from the author’s failure to fully embrace a materialist view of reality.
Tim Wallace-Murphy begins at the furthest reaches of human civilization, back in a time that few even know about. Early on in the book, he establishes that he is no New Age quack. He understands that all human social organization bears some relation to that which came before it. Further, he demonstrates an understanding of human civilization over and above your average mystic, anarchist or liberal politician. In speaking of early human civilization, Wallace-Murphy notes that “war is neither a part of human nature nor necessarily of urban life” but “a highly planned and co-operative form of theft.” Any doubts that I had about the book were washed away at this refreshingly accurate and insightful view of that which underpins human civilization…