A couple of relevant books: Daniel Pipes, Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From (New York: The Free Press, 1997) and Michael Barkun, A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003).


Just try Googling “conspiracy theories.” Typical is PrisonPlanet.com.


For example, the two-day International Education and Strategy Conference for 9/11 Truth held in Chicago, June 4–5, 2006 described by Alan Feuer in The New York Times June 5, 2006.


Only over the last two centuries or so have some of the lost documents come to light, most notably at Nag Hammadi in Egypt. The book I would recommend on this subject is Bart Ehrman’s Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2005).


My source for the Gospel of Philip is Bart D. Ehrman’s After the New Testament: a Reader in Early Christianity (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1999). The Gnostic Society Library’s Web site includes the published Nag Hammadi texts including the Gospel of Philip: http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/gop.html.


I recommend Karen L. King’s edition, The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle (Santa Rosa, CA: Polebridge Press, 2003). Accessible on line at the Gnostic Society Library Web site: http://www.gnosis.org/library/marygosp.htm.