Occult America

Occult America

The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation

Book - 2009
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Random House, Inc.
It touched lives as disparate as those of Frederick Douglass, Franklin Roosevelt, and Mary Todd Lincoln—who once convinced her husband, Abe, to host a séance in the White House. Americans all, they were among the famous figures whose paths intertwined with the mystical and esoteric movement broadly known as the occult. Brought over from the Old World and spread throughout the New by some of the most obscure but gifted men and women of early U.S. history, this “hidden wisdom” transformed the spiritual life of the still-young nation and, through it, much of the Western world.

Yet the story of the American occult has remained largely untold. Now a leading writer on the subject of alternative spirituality brings it out of the shadows. Here is a rich, fascinating, and colorful history of a religious revolution and an epic of offbeat history.

From the meaning of the symbols on the one-dollar bill to the origins of the Ouija board, Occult America briskly sweeps from the nation’s earliest days to the birth of the New Age era and traces many people and episodes, including:

•The spirit medium who became America’s first female religious leader in 1776
•The supernatural passions that marked the career of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith
•The rural Sunday-school teacher whose clairvoyant visions instigated the dawn of the New Age
•The prominence of mind-power mysticism in the black-nationalist politics of Marcus Garvey
•The Idaho druggist whose mail-order mystical religion ranked as the eighth-largest faith in the world during the Great Depression

Here, too, are America’s homegrown religious movements, from transcendentalism to spiritualism to Christian Science to the positive-thinking philosophy that continues to exert such a powerful pull on the public today. A feast for believers in alternative spirituality, an eye-opener for anyone curious about the unknown byroads of American history, Occult America is an engaging, long-overdue portrait of one nation, under many gods, whose revolutionary influence is still being felt in every corner of the globe.

Baker & Taylor
From the meaning of the symbols on the one-dollar bill to the origins of the Ouija board,"Occult America" briskly sweeps from the nation's earliest days of mystical and esoteric movements to the birth of the New Age era, tracing the many people and episodes that continue to exert such a powerful pull on the public today.

Book News
Horowitz is the editor in chief of Tarcher/Penguin and a voice for occult and esoteric ideas based in New York City. He describes how mystical and occult ideas and practices have been present in North America since nearly the beginning of European settlement, and have often and constantly been crucial in the development of the US into what it is today. He recounts the history in a series of stories, generally chronological, that include the ouija and the selling of spiritualism the mail-order prophet, the rise of magic in Afro-America, the return of the Secret Teachings, politics and the occult during the New Deal, secrets for sale, and Aquarius rising at the dawn of the New Age. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Baker
& Taylor

Traces America's relationship with occult movements and thinkers, covering such topics as Freemasonry, Spiritualism, and transcendentalism movements; the origins of the Ouija board; and the practices of famous historical figures.
Traces America's unique relationship with occult movements and thinkers, providing meticulously researched coverage of such topics as the Freemasonry, Spiritualism, and transcendentalism movements; the origins of the Ouija board; and the practices of famous historical figures.

Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780553806755
0553806750
Branch Call Number: 130 HOR
Characteristics: 290 p. ; 22 cm

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c
CoolgamerEwa
Mar 24, 2018

this is total rubbish the illumanti is rubbish the book is trash

d
donkeyhote
Dec 22, 2017

Well, if this book is "less than comprehensive," I would suggest you read the following books. Manley P. Hall - "The Secret Destiny Of America," Ted Flynn - "Hope Of The Wicked," and mainly, Christopher Knight - "Solomon's Power Brokers." Then make a comprehensive assessment yourself, using your brain. A commentator mentioned the Book of Revelations: it was written NOT by John the Apostle, but by the "Mystery Religion" (Babylonian occult) - they are that "Harlot"; they write it about themselves as if they had hated it - this all is to dupe us. And the Jesus figure (Sirius, the Morning Star, the Rebel Angel) of the Bible is Lucifer in the OT, and the good Jesus is in the NT - a flip-flop Jesus. This is why in the Harry Potter story Harry is both. In Revelations the Jesus figure is bloodthirsty, totally different from the NT's Jesus. And in Revelations that Jesus says: "I am that bright and Morning Star," which is Sirius, representing Lucifer, the rebel against God. There the old world is destroyed with plagues, the people are chipped with body implant in their heads or hands, and a new world "comes down to earth," and that's the plan (of not God, but the occult sect) for a new order of things on earth. In Revelation the Templars, who called themselves "Kings of God" identify themselves as such, and in 5.10 they say: "...we shall rule over the earth." Once the Jehova's Witnesses visited me in my home, and I asked them: "it is said in Revelations that "These are the words said by the Amen" - who is that Amen?" And the missionaries said: "it's Jesus." Wow, that "Amen" is Amon-Ra, Sun-God of Ancient Egypt, and here you have Jesus as a Sun God. Even the Bible is occult. Jacob's Ladder is a symbol in the Bible for the occult secret societies, where you can ascend to Heaven by taking the degrees in the Order, and so you can become an Angel or a God. Helter-Skelter is the same. By the way, the NT star of Bethlehem is also Sirius, the Morning Star, the star of Lucifer (and of Communism, which was created too by the occultists) according to the OT (but this is kept a secret before the public, and we are told different "guesses," like it was maybe the Halley Comet or some star in the Alpha Draconis constellation, etc.). The Magi or Kings of the East who went to Bethlehem were occultists too. OK, so, read the book "Solomon's Power Brokers" available in Burnaby PL, if you want to see comprehensively and in a not occult but realistic way, what our world is about. By the way, it's not a secret that the founding fathers of America were into the occult strongly. Read rather the book "Solomon's Power Brokers" than expect me to tell you touchy things about that. Read also Texe Marrs' book: "Codex Magica." Looks to me like the author of this book here focuses on the fringe occult groups to direct attention away from the main one. One of the fringe groups is Scientology - I wonder if this book talks about them. A guy talked about them on talk radio, said it was mind control too, and he said: "I don't tell you more here because I would like to live 20 yrs more." And he said: "the Scientologists keep 19 lawyers ready to sue you out of existence if you disturb their business." Read the Solomon's Power Brokers book if you want to know more about the mainstay of occultism, its history and goals.

a
abcDena
Apr 22, 2016

This book reads more like a collection of trivia on the subject rather than a linear story on the development of America and occult attitudes. Still, for history lovers, it's an interesting read and a springing board to more complex or detailed material.

I'd recommend this for people with a passing interest in US history and/or the occult itself.

j
Janice21383
Feb 12, 2014

Uncritical anecdotes regarding woo woo. The author's treatment of the Millerites, a 19th century millennial sect, is an example. He defends them against charges of giving away their possessions and winding up their affairs as "exaggerated" -- based on, so far as I can tell, nothing -- and praises them for their industry and thrift. But he fails to note: a) they thought the fricking world was coming to an end, and b) the world did not, in fact, come to an end.

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