BOOK REVIEW/OVERVIEW

Author: Hales, Robert E.

Title: Secret Combinations Today

Length: 192 pp.

Publisher: Horizon

Publication Date: 1996

Notes:

includes notes, index

Comments:

Secret Combinations Today ends an approximately-20-year gap in Latter-Day Sainy conspiracy literature. The introduction includes a quotation from Ezra Taft Benson: "The Devil knows that if the Elders of Israel should ever wake up, they could step forth and help preserve freedom and extend the gospel. Therefore, the Devil has concentrated, and to a large extent successfully, in neutralizing much of the priesthood. He has reduced them to sleeping giants."

Hales begins with "Secret Combinations of Old," from Cain to the Gadianton Robbers written of in the Book of Mormon; proceeds to "The Methods and Practices of Secret Combinations;" and from there to many of the social changes which he attributes to the pressure of secret combinations. Hales mentions the Federal Reserve, the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations, and others. He also quotes James Mills, whose book The Underground Empire shows the astonishing immensity of the illicit drug economy and its power to subvert and co-opt national and local governments. Hales may qualify at the time of publication of his book as the LDS writer having come closest to showing secret combinations at work and up close rather than making generalized warnings.

The book is written in a sober rather than a fanatical style, and appeals to the responsible citizen. Rather than demonizing abortion doctors, for instance, Hales points out the conspiratorial and excessive tactics of some right-to-life groups.

Those who are looking for the names of the culprits in the secret combinations of today will be disappointed. Despite the vast amount of specific information on high-level conspiracies available in congressional reports and investigative journalism, "Secret Combinations Today" focuses instead on social trends.