EPISODE 38 – Cults, Conspiracies & Secret Societies with Arthur Goldwag

Scroll this

This week I talk to one of my new favourite authors (and guests), Arthur Goldwag. Arthur is the author of the recently published ‘Cults, Conspiracies, & Secret Societies: The Straight Scoop on Freemasons, The Illuminati, Skull & Bones, Black Helicopters, The New World Order‘, a fantastic book that I recommend to anyone that wants to be introduced to these fascinating topics in a more logical, and non-bias fashion.

In this episode we discuss: The mindset of conspiracy theorists, why the Freemasons are blamed for everything evil in the world, how L. Ron Hubbard’s rise to power baffles us, some of the weirdest cults out there, and the age old question: is Lady Gaga a puppet of the Illuminati?

It’s no conspiracy that an episode of SittingNow cannot function without Daddytank evoking some of the best oddball and experimental music for your listening pleasure. This weeks puppets of the Illuminati are:

Island In The Sky – The Jekyll You Hyde
Super Adventure Club – 17th Century AOSS
Hangin’ Freud– Swamp

If you have any queries, suggestions, insults etc. Please feel free to email ken@sittingnow.co.uk.


Arthur Goldwag Biography:

After attending Kenyon College and Brown University, Arthur Goldwag worked in book publishing for more than twenty years, including stints at Random House, The New York Review of Books, and Book-of-the-Month Club. He now freelances full time.

The author of THE BELIEFNET GUIDE TO KABBALAH (Doubleday, 2005), ISMS & OLOGIES (Vintage, 2007), and CULTS, CONSPIRACIES & SECRET SOCIETIES (Vintage, 2009), Arthur is also a contributing editor at Scholastic’s STORYWORKS magazine, where he writes stories, plays, and essays for children. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and two sons.


  1. Ken, this was one of my favorite episodes yet — you did a hell of a job going solo, and Goldwag was impressive. I’ve taught a college course on conspiracy theories and argument, and we got into Roberson. When I teach that course again, I’ll be using Goldwag’s work.

  2. Hey thanks man. Some other good academic texts on conspiracy theory are Barkun’s ‘A Culture of Conspiracy’, and Peter Knight’s ‘Conspiracy Culture – from Kennedy to “The X-Files” ‘ and ‘
    Conspiracy Nation: The Politics of Paranoia in Postwar America’.


  3. Great episode, but what’s happened to the video podcasts you announced over a month ago?

    I keep looking for it in the RSS feed. I mean, I love the Behind CLosed Doors music programs, but you’ve gotta keep the informational podcasts coming, too, please.

  4. Hi.

    Ken’s finishing off one of his many degrees reight now. In a week or so we’ll be back with a tidal wave of content, possibly including video episodes.

    Thanks for your patience.

  5. Another slam dunk. You’re straining my book budget, Ken — every time you have a new author on, I’m compelled to go buy his book! Now I’ve got a reading queue six feet high just to catch up with you.

    DT – I think this was my favorite MySpace Heroes so far … I really liked the variety this week.

  6. I wish I could guarantee the quality but mining MySpace is an inherently risky business. Many thanks for your kind words. More.

  7. Yeah, I can imagine there’s a lot to dig through… that’s part of what I enjoy about it, actually. Not everything you play is exactly “my kind of music,” but hearing new stuff from across the spectrum gives me an idea of what’s going on outside my own personal tastes. Which is why I dig the variety… you’ve played stuff from pretty by-the-numbers thrash metal to Bible-verse hip hop to some pretty experimental noise. I haven’t started into Behind Closed Doors yet, but I’m hoping it will do the same thing for me — expose me to new sounds that I wouldn’t have sought out on my own.

  8. Commendable attitude. If you haven’t heard stuff from beyond the barriers of personal taste how can you know whether you like it ?
    I think you’ll enjoy BCD…maybe not all of it but I defy anyone to hate every single thing that gets played, if only because it takes in such a diaspora of musical genres. Plus I’m all over it.

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *