We have used mid-infrared selection of AGN and quasars to compile the
first large survey of these objects independent of dust obscuration.
We find more than twice as many objects as optical and soft X-ray
surveys, and many more than in hard X-ray surveys, incidentally
showing than most black holes must be spinning at near their maximal
rate. We compare our results from both the survey and from ALMA/CARMA
observations of the nearby AGN NGC1266 with the popular “orientation”
and “evolution” models for the obscured population. We also describe
how medium-depth, wide area surveys in the near-infrared can be used
to find the host galaxies of high redshift quasars in an inactive
phase. Placing these results together, we build a picture in which
quasars form at early times in a highly obscured phase.