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Shadow Masters, By Daniel Estulin (Trine Day, LLC, Walterville, Oregon, 2010, 357 pages.)

Book Review by Dennis Moore


August 26, 2010 (San Diego) -- Award-winning investigative journalist and best-selling author of The True Story of the Bilderberg Group, Daniel Estulin, has followed up with another powerful expose in a similar vein, Shadow Masters. To carry the Bilderberg theme further, the author demonstrates how governments and their intelligence agencies are working with international drug dealers and terrorists for mutual benefit and profit.

As he explains in his book, this extraordinary investigation examines how behind-the-scenes collaboration between governments, intelligence agencies, big business, drug traffickers and “terrorists” has lined the pockets of the elite on one hand, while on the other profoundly contributing to the destruction of sovereign nation-states in favor of more efficient units, but without such messy things as the US Constitution and its Bill of Rights. Estulin indicates that “Dealing their cards from the darkness, the Shadow Masters create ‘reality,’ inventing the good guys and the bad buys, playing a rigged game for power, profit and … our future.” In his book, we find out the identities of these “good and bad guys.”

As in The True Story of the Bilderberg Group, the author takes us inside the secret meetings and sheds light on why a group of politicians, businessmen, bankers and other mighty individuals formed the world’s most powerful society. Shadow Masters, from the author’s viewpoint, is that natural extension of what those in the Bilderberg Group had in mind. In my initial communication(s) with the author, I inquired of him as to what was behind his thinking in naming of his book, Shadow Masters. He stated that he kept thinking of these people as “psychotic little gray men working from the shadows, running and in some cases controlling the events around the world from behind the curtain. The word “Master’ somehow logically fell into place as in someone in control, the head person. And I already had the word ‘Shadow.’ Thus, Shadow Masters.”

Benjamin Disraeli, one of England’s greatest Prime Ministers, puts Shadow Masters in perspective by noting: “The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.” Estulin follows up by recalling in his book the words of a former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Seychelles, David Fischer: “The whole game of intelligence is called a wilderness of mirrors. You look at it, but what you see isn’t reality, it’s always changing. I had a feeling that none of what I was seeing was real.” Thus, the crux of Estulin’s book.

Drugs, diamonds and dirty money are integral parts of the Shadow Masters, emphasized throughout the book. The illegality of the plants – coca, cannabis and the opium poppy – creates the world’s largest “black” marketplace: over one trillion untaxed, cash dollars annually, supplying the Shadow Masters with funds to corrupt our financial institutions, according to the author.

“What looked like a clean and simple narrative, a morality tale pitting a heroic ‘human rights’ crusader and former KGB against a tyrannical leader of Russia – a rough nation of lawlessness and corruption doomed to imprisonment by its bloody past – has, on closer examination, turned into something quite different, and far more complex,” the author wrote. “ Again, why would the President of Russia, at the peak of his popularity and awash in oil revenues, risk a breach with every Western nation by ordering the protracted public murder of a man, at worst, was a nuisance to the regime?” All this, and more, is answered in the Shadow Masters.

Estulin asks in Shadow Masters such probing questions as “who killed Litvinenko, the former KGB agent, and what did his death have to do with the overall scheme of things? He speaks candidly throughout the book about a Victor Bout, named the “Merchant of Death,” who has been designated second only to Osama bin Laden as the world’s most evil person. The author’s explosive investigation of Bout rips the lid off one of the most sinister and mind-boggling deceptions of recent times.

Estulin spent over six months in Thailand, attending court hearings and visiting Bout in prison, obtaining exclusive interviews. With unprecedented access to Bout’s business files and personal materials, the author shows the accusations against Bout to be less than the truth – a fable serving the needs of the Shadow Masters, according to Estulin. He indicates in his book that one way to delve into the innermost secrets of the Shadow Masters and the world’s interlocked terrorist networks is to look at clandestine arms trafficking, and that according to the mainstream press, the most infamous gunrunner of them all is Victor Bout. He further states that corporate media defines Victor Bout as a savvy, ambitious, modern-day, multinational entrepreneur.

Estulin states in his book: “Victor Bout is the poster boy for a new generation of post Cold War international arms dealers who play a critical role in areas where the weapons trade has been embargoed by the United Nations. The story spans several continents and involves a large network of shady individuals, front companies and government officials; corrupt African bureaucrats and thieving East European military officials.” Thus, the Shadow Masters!

On one hand, the mainstream press has tried to portray the author’s investigative journalism as conspiracy fiction, but there is no denying that his discussions of the Shadow Masters have been drawing full houses across North America, Europe and Southeast Asia. The undeniable facts that he has presented in his book, supported by government documentation, lends credence to the theme of his book.

Estulin’s hypotheses and/or the “connecting of the dots” in his book, can be summed up in his statement: “So, you have an international terrorist (Osama bin Laden) trained and funded by the CIA, an international terrorist organization (the KLA, excuse me, the Kosovo Protection Corps) trained and funded by the British, American and German Secret Services and Special Forces, and an American establishment (Clinton, Gore, Clark, Albright, Holbrooke, Lieberman – all BiIlderberg and CFR members, who represent the interests of the New World Order) fighting to re-establish ‘democracy’ and bring justice to a long suffering and oppressed people. Truth when unraveled, in many instances is indeed stranger than fiction.”

With a cast of characters that would challenge a Hollywood script writer, in the mold of a John Grisham novel, Shadow Masters is a must read that I highly recommend.

Dennis Moore is a member of the San Diego Writers/Editors Guild. He has written for LifeAfter 50 Magazine in Pasadena, California, and the Baja Times Newspaper in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. Mr. Moore can be contacted at or you can follow him on Twitter at: @DennisMoore8.


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Russia accuses U.S. of human rights abuses

Sergei L. Loiko, a writer for the Los Angeles Times, references the Viktor Bout in Estulin's book in his article about alleged human rights abuses by the U.S. in his story in the LA Times on October 23, 2012. Specifically, Loiko states in his article: "Another lawmaker, Alexander Romanovich of the opposition Just Russia faction, joined in the anti-America chorus and used Soviet-era language to call the arrest and prosecution of Viktor Bout, a Russian who in April was sentenced to 25 years in prison on arms trading, 'a beastly grin of American imperialism.'

WNBA Star Brittney Griner released from Russian prison for Bout

In a long awaited prisoner swap, orchestrated by President Biden, WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner was released today from a Russian penal colony for arms dealer Viktor Bout. Athough earlier indicated that another detained American, Paul Whelan, would be included in the prisoner swap he was left behind.


Bout, "Merchant of Death," was competing with the US foreign military sales operations, as merchants of death. So they locked him up. That's not counting all the deaths the US has otherwise caused in its endless wars.


Notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, referenced in Daniel Estulin's book "Shadow Masters," was sentenced in New York to 25 years in prison on Thursday following his conviction on terrorism charges that grew from a U.S. sting operation. The judge also ordered the ex-Soviet officer to forfeit $15 million. Estulin indicates in his book that Victor Bout, named the "Merchant Of Death," has been designated second only to Osama bin Laden as the world's most evil person. The author's explosive investigation of Bout rips the lid off one of the most sinister and mind-boggling deceptions of recent times. Estulin spent over six months in Thailand, attending court hearings and visiting Bout in prison, obtaining exclusive interviews. And, with inprecedented access to Bout's business files and personal materials, the author shows the accusations to be less than the truth - a fable serving the needs of the "Shadow Masters."

Klaus Barbie and the United States Government

Just as Daniel Estulin indicates in "Shadow Masters," former US government prosecutor, John Loftus, indicates in his book, "America's Nazi Secret," United States government complicity in nefarious acts. In his book, John Loftus states: "The Justice Department had directly threatened me with disbarment if I disclosed what I knew about any living Nazi working for US or British intelligence. If I told Congress anything about the still-classified Nazi files in open session, I would go directly to jail. It was not a threat, it was a promise. Allan Ryan, America's top Nazi hunter, was already leaking stories to the press that I was under criminal investigation for copying files." It is interesting to note, that this same Allan Ryan, in a letter to the Honorable William French Smith, Attorney General of the United States, United States Department of Justice, dated August 2, 1983, stated: "Dear Mr. Attorney General: On March 14, 1983 you directed that I conduct an investigation of the relationship between Klaus Barbie and the United States government from the end of World War II to the present." In a Memorandum to the Attorney General, on that same date, then Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General, Allan A. Ryan, Jr., stated: "As the investigation of Klaus Barbie has shown, officers of the United States government were directly responsible for protecting a person wanted by the government of France on criminal charges and in arranging his escape from the law. As a direct result of that action, Klaus Barbie did not stand trial in France in 1950; he spent 33 years as a free man and a fugitive from justice, and the fact that he is awaiting trial today in France is due entirely to the persistence of the government of France and the cooperation of the present government of Bolivia."

Shadow Masters' author to attend Frankfurt Book Fair

Daniel Estulin, Shadow Masters' author, informed me that he would be attending the Frankfurt Book Festival, the world's largest book fair, where his book should receive a lot of attention. He also indicated that he would be visiting Chavez in at the end of October.

Shadow Masters' author meets with Fidel Castro in Cuba

Daniel Estulin is the first western journalist to speak with Castro in the last 5 years. Since Fidel Castro publicly praised Daniel Estulin's first book "The True Story of the Bilderbergers" last week, Daniel's sales have predictably reached stratospheric levels. After Fidel, Estulin has been invited to visit Hugo Chavez. And on college campuses, Estulin is currently the most requested author.

Book Review: Shadow Masters

Dennis Moore has a way with words when it comes to his book reviews. This awesome review peeked my interest of "Shadow Masters." I love books with suspense and author Daniel Estulin writing seems to be full of it. Great job Dennis Moore on another exciting review. For those that like CSI and Law In Order will love this great read.

Sheila L. Jackson, author of "Through The Eyes of God" and "The Enemy Within",

Webinar with Daniel Estulin on April 29th

Daniel Estulin, the author of "The Bilderberg Group", and a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, will participate in a webinar on April 29th to discuss "Insights Into Post COVID-19 GLOBAL TRANSFORMATION".


Daniel Estulin introduces Greg Palast at award ceremony.

Daniel Estulin introduces Greg Palast at the Association of Mexican Journalists ceremony in Mexico City on June 7, 2019, as Palast was awarded the prize for International Journalist. See attached photo of Palast

Dennis Moore - Book Review - Shadow Masters

Dennis Moore offers us another thorough, well-written review to whet our appetites. Dennis knows his craft and continues to amaze us with the depth of his reviews. Linda Loegel Author of Bumps Along the Way

Bumps Along The Way

Those comments of Linda Loegel in regard to my review of Shadow Masters are very kind and generous. I hope to do as good of a job on her book, "Bumps Along The Way." From what I have read of her book thus far, it has a warm and earthy feel.

Thanks Linda,


stranger than fiction indeed!

Once again, Mr. Moore has displayed his prowess in finding intriguing books and elucidating their salient points. i can envision a good amount of ideas for my thrillers finding their inspiration from this book.

My only problem with all these fine reviews is that I need more time to read all the books he's reviewed!

Joshua Graham


Brittney Griner, Viktor Bout and Paul Whelan, tied together

While WNBA  basketball star Brittney Griner has been released from a Russian penol colony in a prisoner swap with notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is the subject is this book review, it remains to be seen when Paul Whelan will be released. There has been a lot of speculation about when Whelan will be released, including from his brother David. The three of the subjects are pictured here. 

Daniel Estulin and ShadowMasters

Estulin is a persistent and aggressively independent investigative journalist. He has been quoted in the last two weeks by the BBC, Time Magazine, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez and in far more international publications than this space can accommodate. Daniel Estulin is the only one ever allowed to interview Victor Bout, alleged "Merchant of Death", wanted by the US for extradition from Thailand. Both ShadowMasters and his True Story of The Bilderberg Group are essential to the informed world citizen.

Dennis Moore, book review - Shadow Masters

Dennis Moore is a "master" book reviewer. This is the best review I've ever read. After reading Moore's review, I can hardly wait to buy the book. It sounds fascinating, and educational. Congratulations to Trine Day publishing and Daniel Estulin for bringing this book to light.

Cheri Seymour

"Merchant of Death" in Prisoner Swap to bring Griner Home!

I am extremely flattered that Cheri Seymour registered a comment stating that this is the "best review" that she has ever read, even though I have also written a review of her book in the East County Magazine also! What is most important about this review to me, and somewhat ironic, is the fact that the subject matter of this book known as the "Merchant of Death" was the impetus for WNBA basketball star Brittany Griner to come home from Russia in a prisoner swap. She is pictured here after having her dreadlocks cut off upon coming back to America. 

"Brittany Griner sentenced to 9 years in Russian prison today!"

WNBA basketball star Brittany Griner was sentenced today to 9 years in a Russian prison for allegedly attempting to smuggle a very small amount of drugs, with her only hope of escaping such a penalty being that of a prison swap with Victor Bout who has been referenced in subject book review as the "Merchant of Death". Victor Bout, currently serving a 25 year prison sentence for arms smuggling, has been described in subject book review as "second only to Osama bin Laden as the world's most evil person." Cheri Seymour, the author of another book that I have written a book review for, describes subject book review as "the best book review that she has ever read!" Perhaps that is because of the element of Victor Bout. There have been ongoing discussions between the United States and Russian of a prisoner swap to bring Brittany Griner home. 

Russia is throwing the book at her for political leverage.

This is a much harsher sentence that Russians found guilty of the same thing would have received, NPR reported today.  She had only a very small amount of hash oil reportedly prescribed by a doctor for pain, and this is legal in the U.S. Most would get a short sentence or even probation over there.

She clearly wasn't intending to sell but only had enough for personal use.  But Russia is using this incident to up the ante in its negotiations for a prisoner swap and who knows what else they may demand.

This is a cautionary tale though for anyone traveling to countries where marijuana is illegal - leave it home, so you don't become a pawn in an international scene. Not only might you wind up in jail, you could cost our country dearly.  Now to free this athlete we may see a horrible arms dealer go free to sell weapons to terrorists. 

I do feel terribly sorry for here - pain is a serious issue especially for an athlete, and I'm sure she had no clue what the consequences of taking a wee bit of hash oil into Russia would be. 



Victor Bout for Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner, WNBA Star, after pleading guilty in Russia, is said to being considered in a prisoner swap with the referenced Viktor Bout.

Brittney Griner’s Russia detention extended again!

WNBA star Britney Griner will remain in Russian custody through at least July 2, Russian state-run news agency Tass reported Tuesday. Ironically, Viktor Bout, who is referenced in this riveting book by Daniel Estulin, comes to play in the saga of Brittney Griner. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, according to Tass, was responding to US media reports that the Biden administration had offered to exchange convicted arms trader Viktor Bout for Griner.

Shadow Masters

Thank you for this endorsement Cheri, my review of your book is just as thrilling!