If you’re unfamiliar with the work of Joseph P. Farrell, then shame on you! I’ve had the good fortune of hearing him speak on George Noory’s Coast-to-Coast program on a few occasions, and, despite the fact that I may not be able to keep up with everything he discusses, I’ve always been captivated by the man’s ability to grasp a huge command of facts while synthesizing it down to the fine points. He’s explored such controversial subjects from history as the pyramids, high finance, fringe science, and the Nazi Party. While most readers might be quick to dismiss these topics as already vastly understood and question what might be gained from continued exploration, it takes a truly wise mind to see through the various half-truths, misconceptions, and obvious canards that have been presented and accepted as fact throughout the ages. I’d encourage you to pick up any single one of Farrell’s book and not find the conventional suitable challenged. Who knows? He might even convince you all on his own to look further.
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary for the discussion of plot and character. If you’re the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last paragraph for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
Now, I’m going to admit right up front that there are far better schooled minds than mine capable of providing Farrell’s book, THE PHILSOPHERS’ STONE, with a solid review. The truth is I’m no science junkie. Granted, I’ve kinda/sorta tinkered off-and-on over the years with some fascination with physics and the like, so much so that I’ve picked up a basic understanding of the greater world-at-large. But the more I read the more I realize I don’t know – and, much worse, how much more genuinely escapes mankind’s collective understanding. Farrell’s books (this is my third) have a way of demonstrating this repeatedly as he peels back the layers of what we’ve been told to (hopefully) bring us closer and closer to what may’ve been misplaced or forgotten from history.
A topic as innocuous as alchemy – one often dismissed as a flight of fancy – is, perhaps, the perfect example. By recounting what we know about legitimate scientific investigation into alchemy, Farrell encounters freakishly frightening similarities hidden in other realms of exploration … so much so that it becomes statistically impossible to dismiss them as mere coincidences. (And who of us hasn’t been told that there’s no such thing as coincidences?) What I found increasingly surprising in the book’s first section was just how much research – much of it dated – had been done into matter transformation; and I’m not talking about recently. Farrell cites references to show that kings and priests of old were fascinated with what appears to have been lost to the ages … or maybe not so much lost as it has been misdirected.
STONE is, essentially, divided into thirds (though the author crafts it as four parts): the first part explores the distant past and some of the heavier concepts relating to alchemy’s association to physics; the second part (and the most fascinating to me) detailed the experiences of a contemporary Arizona ‘farmer’ who stumbles across modern day scientific anomalies that look an awful lot like what we all thought was ‘fantasy’ might be authentic; and the last part ventures into some German and Soviet experiments that most likely had much more to do with securing exotic matter than anything else. (For the record, I’ve just started one of the works heavily referenced by Farrell – Hitler’s Uranium Club – and, while that author and Farrell’s interpretation of the facts might be different, they certainly both demonstrate that the Nazis were ‘up to something’ that indeed could’ve changed the outcome of World War II had they gone far enough in application.)
As I said, this is my third Farrell book, and, to his detriment, I’ll say that the man doesn’t always relate his subject matter in terms for the lay mind (thinking of my own here). That’s not a huge fault, though it is one that does present certain obstacles in my enjoying his work more personally. One of the great unrecognized talents of some writers is their innate ability to take a very complicated topic but display it in terms all of us can understand; that’s an area I’d encourage Mr. Farrell to continue getting better at. I’m not asking that he ‘dumb anything down’; rather, I’m encouraging him to help pull the rest of us up so that we can appreciate what he brings to the table with even more earnestness.
It’s a fascinating read. Yes, much of it was over my head (such is life when it comes to science), but there’s a fair amount in here that I fully grasped. What I did understand certainly challenged me to think about my world a bit differently, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you found it much the same.
THE PHILOSOPHERS’ STONE: ALCHEMY AND THE SECRET RESEARCH FOR EXOTIC MATTER is written by Joseph P. Farrell. The book is published by Feral House. It’s a relatively meaty 300+ pages complete with the author’s research citations and bibliography. The book bears the cover price of $17.95, a bargain for all of the insight in contains.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. So long as the reader can wade through the science-heavy first section, the remaining two-thirds of THE PHILOSOPHERS’ STONE delivers on the premise of examining some secret and some not-so-secret searches for ‘exotic matter’ or, much simpler, the practical ability to transform one substance (say, lead) into another (say, gold). I live with no doubts regarding author Farrell’s sheer genius to comprehend all of this data, though I’ll be the first to admit that his delivery isn’t necessarily targeted toward the commoner (a mind like my own). Still, it’s a great read – at times riveting – and I’d encourage others to explore the subject.
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About the reviewer
What? You don't know enough about me from the picture? Get a clue! I'm a graduate from the School of Hard Knocks! You can find me around the web as "Trekscribbler" or "Manchops". … more