Tag Archives | Books

A Children’s Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination

Longtime disinformation collaborator Bryan Young (producer of the classic obesity film Killer At Large) has a new book in the works and he’s looking for funding via Kickstarter. He has our backing and we endorse the project should you care to lend yours.

Here’s their project description:

A Children’s Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination is a beautifully illustrated book born of a child’s desire to learn and a father’s belief that gaining knowledge should be fun and uplifting. It is designed to educate, entertain, and enlighten children from ages 1 to 100.

A couple of years ago, while visiting Washington D.C. for a writer’s workshop, author Bryan Young visited Ford’s Theatre, the site of John Wilkes Booth’s assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. When he returned home, he showed his children the many pictures he had taken from his trip. To his delight and surprise, his daughter Scout was incredibly interested in the subject of Lincoln’s assassination, and Presidential assassinations in general.

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How The U.S. Air Force Nearly Nuked North Carolina

Long-serving disinfonauts may remember Disinfo Dave recounting the tale of the USAF B-52 that dropped two nuclear bombs on North Carolina for Canadian TV host Strombo (for those who never saw it, here’s Dave…).

Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser picks up the thread in his new book on nuclear weapons, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, reviewed here by Mother Jones:

On January 23, 1961, a B-52 packing a pair of Mark 39 hydrogen bombs suffered a refueling snafu and went into an uncontrolled spin over North Carolina. In the cockpit of the rapidly disintegrating bomber (only one crew member bailed out safely) was a lanyard attached to the bomb-release mechanism. Intense G-forces tugged hard at it and unleashed the nukes, which, at four megatons, were 250 times more powerful than the weapon that leveled Hiroshima. One of them “failed safe” and plummeted to the ground unarmed.

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Robert Anton Wilson & Operation Mindfuck

Picture: Richard Adams (CC)

Picture: Richard Adams (CC)

[Disinfo ed.'s note: The following is an excerpt from Jesse Walker's new book, The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory. The excerpt is part of the chapter "Operation Mindfuck" and focuses on the role of the Discordian Pope, Robert Anton Wilson.]

[Robert Anton] Wilson laid out the basic instructions for Operation Mindfuck in a memo sent to several friends (including [Paul] Krassner). Participants were “to circulate all rumors contributed by other members,” and they were “to attribute all national calamities, assassinations or conspiracies to the other member-groups.” The one great risk, he cautioned, was that “the Establishment might be paranoid enough to believe some wild legend started by one of us and thereupon round up all of us for killing Abraham Lincoln.”

So they sent a letter on Bavarian Illuminati stationery to the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade, just to confirm that “we’ve taken over the Rock Music business.… Read the rest

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The Most Popular Book At Guantanamo Bay

Fifty-Shades-of-GreyIf you guessed it was the Koran, you’re way off; it is in fact, wait for it, “Fifty Shades Of Grey“! From Reuters:

The “Fifty Shades of Grey” series of erotic novels are the favorite reading material among former CIA captives held at the Guantanamo detention camp, the Huffington Post quoted a U.S. congressman as saying.

Democratic Representative Jim Moran of Virginia was among congressional delegates who last week toured Camp 7, the top-security facility that holds more than a dozen “high-value” prisoners, including five men charged with plotting the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.

“Rather than the Koran, the book that is requested most by the (detainees) is ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’ They’ve read the entire series in English, but we were willing to translate it,” the Huffington Post quoted Moran as saying on Monday.

“I guess there’s not much going on, these guys are going nowhere, so what the hell.”

Moran, who favors shutting down the detention camp on the Guantanamo Bay U.S.

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Are We Living In A Secular Age?

Sacred and secularAn interesting piece by David Brooks in the New York Times highlights the 2007 book by Charles Taylor, A Secular Age:

I might as well tell you upfront that this column is a book report. Since 2007, when it was published, academics have been raving to me about Charles Taylor’s “A Secular Age.” Courses, conferences and symposia have been organized around it, but it is almost invisible outside the academic world because the text is nearly 800 pages of dense, jargon-filled prose.

As someone who tries to report on the world of ideas, I’m going to try to summarize Taylor’s description of what it feels like to live in an age like ours, without, I hope, totally butchering it.

Taylor’s investigation begins with this question: “Why was it virtually impossible not to believe in God in, say 1500, in our Western society, while in 2000 many of us find this not only easy but even inescapable?” That is, how did we move from the all encompassing sacred cosmos, to our current world in which faith is a choice, in which some people believe, others don’t and a lot are in the middle?

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Did Dan Brown Kill Michael Baigent?

Da Vinci The last supper detail Da Vinci codeNo one’s suggesting that Dan Brown literally murdered Michael Baigent, but the author of The Da Vinci Code and his publisher, Random House, pushed back so hard against the co-author of Holy Blood, Holy Grail‘s copyright infringement lawsuit that it killed him, says Baigent’s friend Graham Hancock, in The Independent:

Dan Brown and his publisher Random House have been sensationally accused of sending a rival author to an early grave.

Michael Baigent was left destitute after losing the case he brought against Random House for copyright infringement in 2006. Writer Graham Hancock says the protracted legal battle “cost Michael Baigent his life” – the 65-year-old author died earlier this month of a brain haemorrhage. Baigent was the co-author of a 1982 non-fiction book, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, which investigated the same conspiracy theories upon which Brown’s later novel, The Da Vinci Code, is based. With Richard Leigh, Baigent’s book explored the theory that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had had a child together.

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Second Century Science Fiction Describes Trip to the Moon

science fiction

Also, it was illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley!

Continuing Disinfo’s love affair with The Public Domain Review, this piece by Aaron Parrett on a 2nd century work of science fiction describing a surreal voyage to the moon:

With his Vera Historia, the 2nd century satirist Lucian of Samosata wrote the first detailed account of a trip to the moon in the Western tradition and, some argue, also one of the earliest science fiction narratives. Aaron Parrett explores how Lucian used this lunar vantage point to take a satirical look back at the philosophers of Earth and their ideas of “truth”.

The Greek-speaking rhetorician and writer Lucian of Samosata, born around 125 CE in what is now known as Syria, has had a somewhat mixed reception through the ages. Scholars agree that his contemporaries and successors viewed him with a great deal of respect. Early Christians were less admiring of Lucian and his pagan and vitriolic pen, though by the time of the renaissance, he had regained favor among learned people.… Read the rest

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Graham Hancock and Lorna Byrne Video Conversation

In this fascinating dialogue, two bestselling authors and leading aficionados of life’s spiritual dimension discuss the major questions at the heart of their latest respective books and personal journeys – from the nature of reality and the spirit world, to the limits of science and the infiniteness of consciousness

  • Is there a battle between Good and Evil?
  • Do we only see a fraction of reality?
  • Do Angels walk amongst us all the time and what would it take to see them?
  • Why are some people drawn to the Dark side?
  • How much do the daily choices we make affect the positive future of the universe?

Graham Hancock – investigator of ancient mysteries and author of Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind, Entangled: The Eater of Souls and several No.1 non-fiction bestsellers – is renowned worldwide for his unorthodox examination of ancient cultures, sacred traditions and contemporary shamanism. Increasingly iconic following US media giant TED’s recent vetoing of his TEDx talk The War on Consciousness, Graham’s latest bestselling supernatural adventure novel War God tells the story of the Spanish conquest of Mexico and explores the powerful demonic forces behind this gargantuan clash of civilisations which was to wreak terror and destruction in the land of the Aztecs.… Read the rest

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The Oldest Known Guide To Dreaming

book of dreamsThe 3,300-year-old Dream Book, via the British Museum:

The meaning of dreams is a subject that fascinated the ancient Egyptians. This hieratic papyrus, probably dates to the early reign of Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC).

On each page of the papyrus a vertical column of hieratic signs begins: ‘if a man sees himself in a dream'; each horizontal line describes a dream, followed by the diagnosis ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and then the interpretation. For example, ‘if a man sees himself in a dream looking out of a window, good; it means the hearing of his cry’. Or, ‘if a man sees himself in a dream with his bed catching fire, bad; it means driving away his wife’.

It is uncertain who the original owner was, but it passed into the hands of the scribe Qeniherkhepshef. The Dream Book was part of an archive, including a wide variety of literary, magical and documentary material, which passed down through [his] family.

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