Were the first scientists hermetic philosophers? What do these occult origins of modern science tell us about the universe today? The Forbidden Universe reveals the secret brotherhood that defined the world, and perhaps discovered the mind of God. All the pioneers of science, from Copernicus to Newton via Galileo, were inspired by Hermeticism. Men such as Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Leibniz, Bacon, Kepler, Tycho Brahe -- even Shakespeare -- owed much of their achievements to basically occult beliefs -- the hermetica. In this fascinating study, Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince go in search of the Hermetic origins of modern science and prove that not everything is as it seems and that over the past 400 years there has been a secret agenda behind our search for truth. From the age of Leonardo da Vinci, the influence of hermetic thinking upon the greatest minds in history has been hidden, a secret held by a forbidden brotherhood in search of the mind of God. Yet this search does not end in history but can be found in the present day -- in the contemporary debates of leading evolutionists and thinkers. The significance of this hidden school can hardly be over-emphasised. Not only did it provide a spiritual and philosophical background to the rise of modern science, but its worldview is also relevant to those hungry for all sorts of knowledge even in the twenty-first century. And it may even show the way to reconciling the apparently irreconcilable divide between the scientific and the spiritual. Picknett and Prince go in search of this true foundation of modern rational thought and reveal a story that overturns 400 years of received wisdom.