Review: Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know

Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know is a 2022 book from the creators and hosts (Ben Bowlin, Matt Frederick, and Noel Brown) of the popular, long running podcast of the same name. As well, like the podcast, the book does deep dives into major conspiracy theories like the Illuminati, UFOs, the War on Drugs, and various other beliefs and ideologies that have popped up throughout history.

However, the book, and by obvious connection the hosts, does not simply dismiss or outright condemn the conspiracy theories, or their believers. Instead, there is legitimate inquiry into the history of the actual events that inspired the conspiracy from its inception. They never really absolve the believers so much as explain why certain groups would be more inclined to believe specific ideas because of the history and events that they went through, are connected to, or have witnessed. Unsurprisingly, a lot of conspiracies revolve around governments doing really horrible shit for their own benefit because a lot of government throughout time have done truly terrible things for their own benefit and profit.

Now, the book does focus primarily on nine major, overarching conspiracy themes or concepts and does have a very Western, if not specifically American, viewpoint. Of course, this is mostly due to the authors’ backgrounds and knowledge as they are American. It could also be argued that this focus could be due to the West’s influence through colonialist powers in vast parts of the world, but that is not something this book fully looks into though does acknowledge at various point. Even so, it was surprising how there were no attempts at lessening or diminishing the evils or crimes the American government, and other Western powers, have done. After all, there is a reason why so many people across the board are critical and untrusting of the government.

If nothing else, the book makes me want to check out the podcast which I suppose was the point. If it’s anything like the book, think I, and a lot of other people, will enjoy the podcast.

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