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Crimes of Perception: An Encyclopedia of Heresies and Heretics

Crimes of Perception: An Encyclopedia of Heresies and Heretics
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At most times during the history of Western civilization, mere possession of this book would have earned the reader a visit from the town magistrate or the local Inquisitor; the publisher’s hands would have been cut off; and the book itself, along with its author, would have been righteously consigned to the flames! Crimes of Perception is an encyclopedic collection of the ideas, persons, and practices that, over the centuries, have been judged by the arbiters of religious orthodoxy to be too dangerous for lay people to know about.

Contained herein are fascinating accounts of the history of heresy and the lives of heretics. Meet Abraham Abulafia, the twelfth century Spanish messiah who marched on Rome in order to convert the Pope to Judaism; get acquainted with the Abbe Guibourg, ringleader of a Satanic group that conducted magic rituals (including human sacrifices) in an attempt to control King Louis XIV’s love life; and be enthralled by Brother Twelve, a charismatic mystic who established an Aquarian community (complete with personal harem and heavily armed fortress) on the West Coast during the 1920s. Discover unorthodox views of Christ, who has been variously depicted as an angel, a tattooed Egyptian magician, a reincarnation of the serpent from the garden of Eden, a strict vegetarian, a voracious cannibal, and a hologram. And marvel at the transformation of some well-known heretics–such as Joan of Arc, Joseph Smith, and Matthew Fox–from vilified outsiders to revered leaders, teachers, even saints. With more than 600 detailed entries and several expansive bibliographies, Crimes of Perception is a delight to the general reader and a boon to the serious student or scholar. Seldom does one come across a book at once so practical and so provocative.

LEONARD GEORGE is a psychologist and lecturer living in Vancouver, Canada. He has published articles in both popular and scholarly journals and is the author of Alternative Realities: The Paranormal, the Mystic and the Transcendent in Human Experience.