Robert Anton Wilson is the co-author of the legendary Illuminatus! trilogy, an open-ended post-modern paranoia epic which postulates that all conspiracy theories may be at least partially true. It is up to the reader to determine what is real, which conspiracies to believe in, and, in a sense, how the trilogy actually ends. Wilson also brought this open-minded spirit into the compiling of Everything Is Under Control, a thorough alphabetical catalog of every conspiracy theory, paranormal sighting, alternate belief system, or unclassifiable weirdness he could find. If the theory or belief is racist or hateful, such as the various worldwide Jewish conspiracies, or potentially harmful, such as UFO-abductee therapy, Wilson doesn't bother to hide his scorn. Everything else, from Area 51 to the Illuminati to the Campus Crusade for Cthulhu, is covered with equal gravity and apparent credulity, always leaving the viability of the idea to be determined by the reader. Wilson states, in an introduction worth the price of the entire book, that we now exist in a state of "cultic twilight," an atmosphere of mutual mistrust between government and governed where both conspiracies and conspiracy theories flourish. Therefore, he claims, we must decide for ourselves what is and is not possible in the realm of shadowy behind-the-scenes machinations. It's thought-provoking, entertaining stuff, and perhaps the best conspiracy-theory book since the original Illuminatus! books themselves.
More from The A.V. Club