Tuesday 15 September 2020

David Icke and Me: An Expanded Review of The Biggest Secret

PLEASE NOTE: The following text is an expanded book review boasting bonus paragraphs about my recent journey through this conspiracy world along with my views on these general theories from a broader scope. It's a more complete work and justifies its length, but it is still rather long. If you do not feel you have the stomach, feel free to take a load off and read the abridged version on Goodreads instead. It's missing the juicy bits but gets the job done all the same.

The chewy centre of this story breaks through like every classic apocalyptic tale: in New York City. It was March 2020, and despite a month of encouraging words from the QAnon messiah Donald Trump, the COVID virus went ahead and snapped a sharp and aggressive bite out of the Big Apple. The streets were wiped clean of their usual human bustle as the lifeblood of the city retreated into hiding. And there was little me, Jared Woods, kicked to the streets from a hostel that shut down and just managing to find an apartment in the Bronx, isolating and alone on the other side of the world from home. I'll admit, I was terrified, but I held a brave face on social media. I told my mom I was okay. And I focused on the one light of optimism I had: a Chicago flight to London, leaving in a month. Surely this silly outbreak would blow away by then? It was airborne after all.

During this bout of secretive writhing, I received a voice message from an equally tortured close friend. The world was unsettled, but this guy (as an incurable conspiracy theorist) seemed to be performing mental backflips more frantic than most (as terminal conspiracy theorists tend to do). Aware of my education on religion, his fearful questions babbled about the biblical "mark of the beast", stressing that this "outbreak" was a ploy to plant microchips into us via vaccines. This rant was the first time I'd considered such a possibility, but I offered him the same advice then that I would now. There are no vaccines yet, and there are no mandatory vaccine laws in the UK. You're living in terror of a future that doesn't necessarily exist. Once they find the vaccine and force it upon us, then we can chat about implants. My words seemed to calm his buzzing teeth, but based on his recent Facebook posts, nothing I said made any long term difference.

The cancellation of my flight from Chicago shortly followed this exchange, and I felt like I'd swallowed a brick. I panic purchased another flight which accidentally turned out to be many weeks in advance, oops. I bit my lip and bought another one, losing a lot of money as I rushed onto a plane from New York to London within days.

Have you ever taken a packed flight during peak-pandemic from the capital of the outbreak? It's an intense experience. I sat stiffly in my seat for seven hours, and I was too scared to breathe. Everyone was a suspect, and I sank away from the aisle whenever a crew member passed. It's easy to become self-centred when a disease smothers a planet—everyone has their corona nightmare stories. But even considering the greater scheme of people's issues, my POV was challenging. I was so nervous I wanted to cry.

We landed in London. I scanned my passport. I walked through the security and customs without exchanging glances with another human being. No one took my temperature; no one asked me how I was feeling; nobody cared that a fully-booked plane from the most plagued city on the Earth had just skipped through their borders. Such negligence shook my solar plexus, and when I finally reached a safe place to commence my UK isolation, I was exhausted and traumatised. Looking for comfort, I texted another very close but different friend, detailing my ordeal, and his response was arguably the most infuriating message I've received in my entire life.

"You'd understand why this happened if you knew the teachings of David Icke".

I can't recall if there was winky emoji in there but every word stank of it. The arrogance oozed down from a podium of "higher knowledge"; a position where Icke and his followers comprehended everything that was happening as they scoffed down at the sheep snagged in a system of lizard design. Admittedly, the anxiety of my trip had beaten the patience out of my nerves, and I lost it. I was well-versed in the crux of Icke's theories, and I considered them to be the pinnacle of absurdity. I was happy to humour the notion at the worst of times, but not here, not now. My turmoil was not Icke's narrative, and to shove some unprovable waffle down my throat after what I had just endured felt like an absolute betrayal of compassion. I took it personally.

The proceeding argument was extensive, and I went to bed in pain that night. When I woke, there was one persistent thought that this person had spat into my face. How did I know Icke was full of shit? I could only recite the headlines and Wikipedia summaries. Is that enough to turn my back on the author? The undeniable truth is that Icke has managed to convince millions of oft-intelligent minds to digest his theory. There must be something to it! Perhaps my previous reactions had been harsh and unfair. I decided to give my two friends the benefit of the doubt and explore this world for myself. That same day, I ordered David Icke's most famous book The Biggest Secret, which arrived surprisingly quickly, and I eventually read it despite the 500+ pages of attention it demanded. And here we are.

Janthopoyism: Your New Religion

For those of you who don't know what Icke's theory is, I'll summarise it for you. For thousands of years, a reptilian alien race has been meddling with our society. They've developed a Satanic Brotherhood organisation where they love nothing more than to rape and eat our children. If that isn't terrifying enough, these aliens dwell inside of the Earth (which is hollow) and operate from a 5th dimension, navigating the minds of literally everyone of any importance. These aliens often live among us through certain bloodlines (which are always caucasian and often Jewish; hence the frequent founded accusations of Icke's racism) such as the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, and the royals. They're all lizards!

From this position of power, our alien overlords have manipulated every corner of the world throughout history. You name it; it was them. Their command rules almost all world leaders, the media, the banks, the stock market, the scientific community, every religion, every war, every major event, and, of course, COVID-19. Everyone with power is some way involved (some more surprising than others, including exciting names such as Nelson Mandela, Madonna, Leonardo da Vinci, Adolf Hitler, and Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein). What's more, any newsworthy incident you've ever read about was related to their mission to control the masses (including every high profile assassination—and every death is assassination, don't know?). This command is achieved by creating problems then offering solutions which cost civilians a slice of their freedom. Thankfully for us, the reptilians have never got it right, and despite what Icke will tell you, this is a story of failed global domination which we can follow by using the ample symbolic clues they've left for us along the way. David knows how to get there, let's go!

It's fair to mention that David's theories have developed further since the 1999 publication of this book. Highlights include when he had an epiphany that the moon is an artificial creation which emits frequencies to trap our five senses deeper within this dimension of fear. He has also become a leading voice in the 5G and COVID conspiracies which I believe most people are aware of at this point.

If you think this sounds like the far-fetched ramblings of a mad man, you wouldn't be alone. However, you may be surprised that the majority of these beliefs are not the author's original work. Icke is a professional cherrypicker. He has harvested assorted bits from a vast array of rich counter-theories that were developed by other minds for decades, now rewritten through his voice (whilst regularly citing the sources, which is respectable). The only unique perspective of Icke's teachings is the connection between these ideas, selling them as one giant narrative; a conglomerate of well-known conspiracy theories ground together to create one epic singular timeline.

What's more, he hasn't done the best job of it. I'm no scholar, but I could quickly pinpoint where the already-established research met his views as he stretched the materials like a thin gum to combine whatever serves his story. But Icke knew that the soft putty between didn't have to make much sense. The more substantial wads had decades of previously written books to support them, holding convincing backstories which helped his research to appear foolproof because so many overlook how flimsy the overall picture holds up as a unit.

Now, I pride myself in my refusal to swallow or reject anything, and I don't necessarily write-off Icke's theory. But if someone is going to state claims of this magnitude, they better have some substantial evidence to back it up. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Icke does not. I was disappointed as I was hoping to at least come away with some extraordinarily eerie questions, but this did not happen. Instead, a nervewracking concern grew within me for those friends who have accepted these fragile messages. Make no mistake, Icke's statements are tremendously epic; they simultaneously blew my mind and made me sick to my stomach. But within 10 minutes of independent research, they effortlessly disintegrated into a dust of debunked funk. I am not exaggerating when I say 90% of this book leads to empty space. The lizard fundamentals, in particular, were so rickety that they broke my heart. C'mon, I was anticipating something meaty there! That's his claim to fame! But I can explain all of it (bar one Mesopotamian figurine carving, granted).

Furthermore, his information on religion was incorrect at every turn. I carry a keen interest in this topic which makes me Icke's greatest enemy because he has no shame in presenting information that lacks backing from any acceptable study. Such disregard to decades of research prompts me to believe that, say, an economist or a historian would have issues with their relevant sections too. Needless to say, my eroded trust quickly unravelled David Icke's wicked methods of persuasion after very few pages.

Thus my compulsion to write this piece. Icke is a liar, and I have all the evidence in writing. He's a conman who is intentionally manipulating the masses and, over the next series of paragraphs, I shall expose how he's managed to do so. Because if I can help one person to get out of the web that Icke has spun around them, then the half-year it took to read and write this will be warranted.

Icke is a heavy enthusiast of the Gish gallop technique. He blasts such an overwhelming amount of statements per page that the quantity of information becomes dizzying, and this type of onslaught is crucial to his strategy. It means that any given line will require lengthy research to question and is then quickly followed by another one, and another one, preventing the reader from fact-checking everything the man claims. I gave it my best shot. I got up to page 228 of debunking until I realised mere slivers of it had any reputable basis. After that, I resigned to sit back and go with the ride, which David always knew I would.

I did manage to put together a rough but in-depth analysis of the first 92 pages which you can read here. If at any point you require examples of what this review accuses, you will find them there. It's an enjoyable skim regardless, especially as you watch my patience progressively disintegrate into surrender.

An awareness of this bombardment of unchallenged information immediately uncovers the risks of reading this book. Icke freely rambles about how everything that has ever happened is part of this reptilian story, and he does so with confidence because he knows nobody will have the hours or energy to pick everything apart. I consider this to be a form of brainwashing, a technique Icke has studied and utilised for his gain, which I shall detail shortly.

For now, imagine a softer mind racing with Icke's hyperspeed blabberings. A 500-page journey void of researchable facts, but with an abundant supply of sensationalist endorphins. The impressionable mouths are hooked! They open eagerly at his fingertips where he can feed them any varying degrees of mistruths. And he does so with an impressive variety.

One subtle move Icke executes is a type of inside-knowledge effect. He will claim the alien theory is responsible for a specific historical event (the stones of Baalbek or Rh blood types are the first to come to mind), but the powers above have buried the information away from the textbooks. Scandal! However, within minutes I could find numerous sources offering an alien theory in their reports. The only difference is that dedicated authorities also provide the alternative views available, of which there were always plenty. It's frustrating because you know Icke is familiar with these other hypotheses but has intentionally omitted them to ensure his case is airtight. If he'd included other explanations, he would have built trust. Instead, the man commits exclusively to the reptilians and is immoveable on that stance. It's selective research, separating the bits that suit his campaign then stretching everything else whichever way he desires. In this regard, The Biggest Secret is the most biased text I've ever read, which is a trivial complaint in comparison to what is coming.

Less subtle yet more sneaky is his swift manner of twisting hypotheticals into "factual" cornerstone. He will casually introduce speculation from another source, fully citing the original author (sometimes as simple as "somebody told me") then referring to it as just that: a theory. That's a practice I can support and appreciate. However, several pages later, he would suddenly refer to this previous theory as fact and use it to build onto his next point, the entire timeline now dependent on an unfounded hypothesis made only moments ago. It's unforgivably misleading because most people won't pick up on it.

And then there are those times he straight-up lies. He yanks data from thin air, and if you can catch it, you will uncover a profound danger in his work. Icke boasts such a dedicated following that his mistruths often harden into self-fulfilling resources. Your research may find articles reporting similar data until you note these same articles are citing Icke himself! The best example of this is when Icke uses a Hindu god named Virishna to discredit Jesus by connecting identical details between their stories. The internet holds many texts supporting the comparison, but they vanish before the publication date of this book. Why? Because Icke made him up! There is no Hindu god named Virishna! Icke invented a deity just to fool his readers! Everything that follows a betrayal like this is weighed heavy by dishonesty. And, what's worse, he knows what he's doing. For all his faults, David Icke is an impressive researcher. No one can deny that. But this does mean his misleading techniques are entirely intentional because he can lie to us but not himself... right?

"[I had] the overwhelming feeling out of 'nowhere' that the moon was not 'real'. By 'real' I mean not a 'heavenly body', but an artificial construct (or hollowed-out planetoid) that has been put there to control life on Earth — which it does. I have pondered this possibility a few times over the years, but this time I just 'knew'. It was like an enormous penny had suddenly dropped." - David Icke; Human Race Get Off Your Knees (2010)

Or maybe not.

Regardless, are you ready for his more advanced tricks?

One of Icke's fanciest manoeuvres is to claim ownership of every side of an idea even if they directly contradict one another. It's nervewracking that he gets away with it, but he does. I initially noted this during his infamous COVID-19 interview with London Real where David simultaneously used China's early lockdown release and UK's extended lockdown as evidence of societal control. I clicked that no matter what a government did, release or lockdown, he could apply it to his "insight". It's genius, really. And this publication is rife with so many of these multiple bookings examples that I was in hysterics.

Allow me to illustrate. The following paragraph is a list of items that Icke slowly drips through as indications of the Brotherhood. Please note how he manages to include just about everything. Anywhere in history where you see these symbols or words, know that the lizards were there:

Those that come from above; the sky in general; those that come from below; the Earth in general; those that come from water; water in general; those that come from light/energy/another dimension; any demon/deity who loves us; any demon/deity who hates us; the Devil; gods who walked among us; the Sun; the moon; space; stars; Mars; Jupiter; any planet really; the penis and all male energy; the vagina and all female energy; snakes; dinosaurs; dragons; serpents; any reptile really; birds; any creature with wings really; any creature with feathers really; fish; any creature with scales really; lions; lambs; trees; mountains; roses; lilies; goats; pyramids; blood; vampires; gargoyles; giants; placing a hand over your heart; the devil-horns gesture; eyes; skulls; bones; chess boards; squares in general; circles; hexagrams; pentagrams; swastikas; crosses; the colour blue; the colour red; the colour green; the colour white; and the colour black.

Each of the above examples are explicitly stated in the book, and yet this listing is by no means complete. I just stopped taking notes at a point for my sanity.

If you're grasping the bigger picture, you can see where David Icke has excelled, and that is in building an impenetrable fantasy protected from every side. In this vein, another extraordinary trick is how he's managed to convince his readers to discredit all research-based studies and media reports. The Brotherhood controls this information, remember? You must not believe anything you read except what David Icke writes even if he has no resources to support his hypothesis. And tah-dah, he is now invincible; impervious to attacks of facts or logic. You could dedicate your whole life to studying a topic, David Icke could say it was work of the Brotherhood, and his followers would immediately reject you. It's an unimaginable feat that worked for reasons that are beyond my comprehension.

Because the strangest ingredient to this story is that David was a football player. He was not a physicist, nor a historian, nor a holy leader. And yet so-called "intelligent" and "spiritual" people trust him above every scientist and doctrine on the planet, independent or otherwise. A large portion of his teachings dismisses religion as fabricated material to control us. Yet David has proclaimed himself to be the "Son of the Godhead", claiming that some higher knowledge has blessed his mind. Do not let anyone fool you; this movement has all the components of a cult. People follow Icke like a prophet and feverously defend him based on faith, trusting his texts more than any other medium of information. They laugh at the unrealistic story of Jesus, oblivious to the irony that they've just accepted a story about lizard aliens directing the world. How his readers can be so blind to this is what I struggle with the most.

David ends his sermon with the audacity of some faux hope by regurgitating a confused pseudo-spiritual variation of a Pantheistic Law of Attraction notion. He states that we must not live in fear because what we think about will manifest in our reality, ignoring that he just spent hundreds upon hundreds of pages flooding fear into the Universe about shapeshifting lizards who rape preteen children. What a severe lack of understanding this man has. How could one possibly encourage awareness of such an absurd unprovable concept while also acknowledging that this will invite further pain into your experience? I'm not sure about you, but every Icke-follower I've met are not vibrating on any positive level of harmony. They are anxious, angry, patronising, defensive, and distrustful. David then claims that the end-all solution is love, which is rich coming from a man who openly insults everyone who doesn't believe the Queen is a reptile to have "half a brain cell". If you gaze towards David Icke as some beacon of spiritual success, then we have contradictory opinions on what it means to be in sync with the Universe. That man harbours so much resistance in his chi that it's visible.

The final (and most important) trick I will be cracking open is David's moving of goalposts. None of Icke's predictions has ever come true. On the contrary, many of his statements have unequivocally not come true. My favourite example is the New World Order which is gradually taking place through unions between countries led by the Brotherhood. According to Icke, their headquarters are based in London. Then what's up with Brexit? That's the opposite of what he prophesied. So how does he get away with these perpetual inaccuracies? Easy. He swings the outcome into his narrative. Whatever takes place will never be what he's foretold, but he will have an explanation for it, followed by further predictions which will not come true. Please understand this more than anything I say: no matter what the event, Icke will spin it into his story despite the complete lack of forecasts to back it up. Such deceit has occurred for decades after this book. It will happen again with corona, and it will happen for everything for as long as he lives.

The difficulty lies in his followers. Nobody is holding Icke to any accountability. There are no definitive lines on what it would take for him to be decidedly wrong. Every incident, his groupies turn to him, awaiting his guidance, and he fires it to them, a new answer each time as if he knew the current events were inevitable even though he never said so. As long as there are problems in the world, Icke can use it to claim the Brotherhood are gaining control. In Icke's boogie man story, every incident has an ulterior motive. He will exploit any adverse event that takes place with the question "Who benefits from this problem?", and this will muster fearful unrest in his audience, generating cash flow into his pocket. He's covered all bases, and his people eat it up like chicken feed unaware that they are locked in the coop.

Perhaps I'm too optimistic, but I assume that even the strongest soldiers of the Ickian church can smell the glaring holes they choose to ignore. For starters, if this thousands-of-years-old Brotherhood exists, they suck at their job. Our freedom of travel and communication has improved immeasurably per generation, just look at me! I write cartoons online for a living while I skip from country to country. I’m freer than anyone could have possibly been mere decades ago. I’d struggle to be more free, to be honest. Furthermore, this so-called "secret organisation" is so terrible at staying "secret" that a footballer exposed them, but I guess it's their fault for leaving so many clues for us, right? Silly Brotherhood! And so here we have him, the glorious David Icke, writing about the most powerful Satanic paedophiles in the world. He openly details their crimes in books and all over the internet, never shut down beyond a few platforms that have had enough, yet all the information is still widely available whenever you want it. And herein lies the most complicated puzzle. If anything Icke said were remotely true, why is he not dead? If you want to know what happens to people with real knowledge, look at Snowden, look at Assange, look at Epstein.

I'll give you a clue on how this works: Icke's theory is ludicrous to the point of applesauce. I know from my knowledge on religion that almost everything consequential he wrote on that topic was utter nonsense. I destroyed his statements using the references her provided so often that it was laughable. That's why nobody of any qualified authority even bothers to discuss Icke. Because when you lift the veil, there's nothing there. I repeat: if David were even remotely correct, he'd be gone. But (until recently) he wasn't on anyone's radar because his information was so wholly fabricated and it wasn't worth anyone's time.

Now, it would be unfair for me to shred this book to ribbons and leave it like that. Because, as is everything, it wasn't all bad, and does deserve some respect. One undeniable strength of Icke's is his immense research abilities. The amount of effort that has gone into this book is daunting, and when coupled with the man's imagination, it's a thorough piece of work (even if he built it upon matchsticks). His pedantically detailed timeline of events led me down some fascinating rabbit holes, and I came away with newfound and appreciated education on specific topics (such as migration and ancient cultures). Those who accept Icke's messy inaccuracies are easily manipulated individuals, sure, but I understand the appeal, owed in part to Icke's delivery. He has taken in-depth and far-out ideas, then presented them in a simplistic easy-to-understand format without losing a certain sense of humour. If you face this book as the fantastical theory that it is, then it's an exhilarating read as well as potentially the most hilarious joke you've ever heard.

But, once again, we must be open enough to query whether maybe, just maybe, the story might be true. In this case, then Icke is not the one to tell it. His contribution is detrimental as he leaps to conclusions and pushes too far with base-less ideas, wrecking his credibility as the expert on subjects that have zero foundations. Theories are acceptable when recognised as just that: theories. But this was presented as a one-sided fact without merit, and that is its ultimate downfall.

That said, when you make a million statements, some are going to land, and certain speculations that predate his work are worth the contemplation time. Was there alien interference with our DNA? The proposal is not too far-fetched (the Rh incompatibility blood types are a decent indicator of this). Are the people in power hiding secret agendas, perhaps to reach a New World Order? Plausible. Does paedophilia run rife throughout the elite of our society? Paedophilia exists in all classes, and many high profile figures have been caught over the years, so these accusations are nothing new. But where Icke falls short is his obsession with linking everything together, fluffing far-removed concepts towards one another until his conclusions are so wild and groundless that it does not work on any rational plane. I don't doubt there's some crazy stuff going on, and whether you think there's not, or whether you think you know what's going on, or whether you think David Icke knows what's going on, then you are very closed off either which way.

But if we ever do somehow prove Icke was telling the truth, then fuck me. That's terrifying.

If I had the time, I'd write a conspiracy book of my own. Icke has shown me that you can build a mass following using assumptions alone, and I feel confident I could do so using more substantial evidence than he ever did. For starters, Icke discusses how he studied the manipulation tricks of the government and religion and media, and I believe he has exploited this knowledge for his gain. Don't believe anyone but me! Be very selective with your research! And why? Because Icke is a puppet of the New World Order himself. I'm not the first to make this connection. How do you distract the masses from looking into a plot of global control? Send in a lunatic, blabbering about lizard baby-eaters from the 5th dimension! It will repel the rational and consume the paranoid. Look at those social media platforms deleting Icke's profiles. Did that censor Icke? Or did it light a fire under his name, skyrocketing him into a much larger stratosphere of conversation? Did the banning of that London Reel video encourage more or fewer people to watch it? Do you think Facebook and YouTube with all their unlimited data on how users operate did not know this would happen? Think about it.

Furthermore, Icke's barrage of mind-warping information is a conditioning technique which has worked on many. His target is those who were already vulnerable, susceptible to irrationality due to obsessive personalities as well as (let's be honest) some history with marijuana usage. The plan is to appeal to shaken brains who seek meaning, yearning to feel special like they're part of a counter-movement of intellectual whispers. Icke talks about conditioning techniques extensively while using them himself, and it's very smart. He's telling you he's doing it to you while he does so, hidden in plain sight. I could go on for a long time about this, but I'd recommend you look up Ivan Fraser (who helped edit this book and was one of the eight names mentioned on the "dedicated to" page) and his dodgy experience with David Icke, as well as how Arizona Wilder (one of his key-witnesses to the lizards) was groomed to repeat his words. It's a sickening account indicating a willingness to manipulate others for his financial gain, which I believe Icke is doing to his readers too.

Let's take a more in-depth look at the common denominators between his followers that may indicate some form of manipulation has taken place. Readers of Icke claim that mainstream media have brainwashed the average person, yet they exclusively consume conspiracy theory material all day (mostly written by other conspiracy theorists without any professional basis to back their statements up). These people also claim we must question everything, but when you question their stance, they label us sheeple. These people also believe anything a book like Icke's will tell them, rejecting the scientific publications, because that same book told them to do so, the most blatant cycle of misdirection I've ever witnessed. It's a wall of irrationality and, in my experience, locked securely; utterly inscrutable. No fact is acceptable except for the ones presented by sources that agree with their narrative. Proof is a minor criterion.

For a group of people who pride themselves on open-mindedness, general conspiracy theorists are suspiciously close-minded. I find it funny, because I when I initially picked holes this book, I was told that my mind wasn't open enough. It's a false sense of tolerance which flairs into arrogance or defensiveness at the first whiff of opposition. If you believe the media, they scoff down at you with smugness. If you've researched their theories and can challenge them on their level, they turn rigid. They've adapted a victimised mentality, any criticism you offer is taken as a personal attack and promptly disregarded because you are too blind to see what they see. The resistant reactions I've experienced were borderline delusional. I've had one specific individual fighting my research by screaming at my face in public, his only words of evidence that "It's it obvious! Can't you see?! It's obvious!". This behaviour is more worrying than any religious nutter I have ever had to deal with in my life.

I am reminded of a quote by Tim Kreider, which goes:

"Outrage is like a lot of other things that feel good but, over time, devour us from the inside out. Except it's even more insidious than most vices because we don't even consciously acknowledge that it's a pleasure."

This stance rings accurate for conspiracy theorists too. They don't recognise that they are addicted to this way of thinking. It's granting them that elusive spirituality we all seek. It becomes a drug that serves the ego; a position of superiority where they believe they've found truth above general society just like all religions. In that motion, they post about their obsessions non-stop whilst swiftly rejecting any contradictory information under the guise that they do not swallow what they are told. They don't realise that they are swallowing what they are told. They fail to recognise it simply because it's not from a mainstream source. It's from books which make money off of their target market exactly. It's from articles that you can back-research to complete fabrication fueled by the mistrust of any standard data. It is incomprehensible, but here it is.

COVID-19 is an archetype of this formula. Despite scientists predicting an outbreak for decades, this is an unlikely scenario for Icke's children. Instead, the reptilian overlords are using a pandemic to control us. That makes more sense to them somehow.

Deep breath and realigning to my personal timeline, I was elated when I cracked all the clues throughout the conspiracy universe and resolved this madness. I could help people see the light! Let me share the good news! My friends, you do not have to be afraid! I did more research than anyone, I did more research than you, and I can get you out of this neurotic swamp! I started by writing two unrelated-to-Icke conspiracy articles named Is 5G an Evil Weapon Against Our Health? and Does Bill Gates Have Evil Vaccination Intentions?. I utilised a non-bias, resource-only based approach, and I was proud of them. I had a third one in the works too, but I ultimately shelved it after it came to my attention that these friends were not interested in citable investigations because their "open minds" were shut cases. I was dismissed by those who called me dismissive. I was labelled condescending by people who spend all day telling their Facebook friends how stupid they are. I recall politely listening to one lady explain why corona was a hoax for half an hour, but when I expressed my disagreement, my Messanger was annihilated by rows of laughing emojis. My weeks of research lost the battle; my hundreds of sources were no match for preconvictions. I was drowned out by a newsfeed of anti-vaxxer speeches, pizza-paedophile accusations, and Bill Gates YouTube videos, even if I could debunk all of them within 10 minutes using the same sources they provided. It took far too long to realise that facts meant nothing in this battle. So I surrendered. I stopped correcting these posts. I stopped posting about COVID completely. Because my happiness was being affected.

The depressing reality is that no matter which side you vocalise support for, you create a circle jerk of exclusion. Posting conspiracy theories or anti-conspiracy theories only reaffirm the bonds with those who agree with you at the same time as driving a stronger wedge between those who don't. I wanted to assist the people I cared for, but there came the point when I had to turn the spotlight on myself. My exploration into these concepts hit brick walls with such consistency that I grew exhausted by a repetition which held me back for so long. I could have done something meaningful with my time! I could have pursued my spirituality, and I could have helped people in more reliable ways. Instead, I tortured my wellbeing with nonsensical garbage that has zero foundations in reality, and the frustration was sickening. There is unshakable darkness within this type of study—I experienced it firsthand. Texts like Icke's and the likes train your brain to think in suspicious ways, every report suddenly stinks of ulterior motives that vomited from my delusions, and it’s going to take a while for me to unpick this crap from my immediate psyche. I regret everything but I'm happy that my recovery has begun. Meanwhile, those who are dedicated to these theories will gradually spiral into unrest until their presence conjures nothing but social gloom. Many will die harnessing that energy, and perhaps in those final moments, they will realise how they traded the miracle of their life for a suffering they could never justify with any rational proof. We can only hope they reach this conclusion at all.

Speaking of conclusion, here is mine: this book is a significant waste of time. It is a contender for the worst book I have ever read. I confess that I skimmed the final hundred pages or so because I could no longer stomach the poison. This does not mean to say that Icke and his followers are wrong, but it does mean to say that the theories stated in this book have no basis in researchable information and were entirely made up by Icke as he went along.

I know it may not seem like it, but I wholeheartedly support conspiracy theorists. I believe that society benefits from their sharp, sceptical eyes that fixate on those in power; they will be the first to notice when certain figures overstep the boundaries. However, I do have an issue when people forget the definition of the word "theories", and if Icke's farts are your predominate perception of the wider picture, then that a disturbing place to be.

The world has changed immeasurably in recent months. Stories of factless paranoia used to be cute and harmless, but right now, these attitudes have real-world repercussions. People are refusing vaccinations and masks based on sources which are paper-thin. I take these agitations personally because our strange current environment is ripe for spiritual growth yet we are being robbed by those arrogant contrarians who swear they've cracked the code. The globe is working in a unity like never before. We are making communal progress that could benefit us for the rest of human existence. But these views from negative spaces of fairy tales are hijacking the efforts. To label the majority of the population as sleepy because we don't see through the lizard king's eyes is disrespectful. And I believe this stance to be the single biggest threat to a global spiritual revolution right now.

Books like The Biggest Secret sell themselves as "eye-openers" and, yes, it did open my eyes. I see now how easy it is to manipulate the masses. People are too lazy to research what you're saying and instead are so desperate for meaning that they'll latch onto anything that heightens their emotions. Can anyone do what Icke has done? I'm starting to comprehend how this is possible.

In the end, some unfortunate cards fell upon my table. Very close friends to me who I respected the opinions of were members of this movement, and it polluted my radar. Most people I've met rightfully laugh off this nonsense and go on with their lives, whereas I took it on board. With a heavy heart, I wonder how much permanent damage has been inflicted on these once-close relationships because they are bad right now. If you've managed to experience these strange times without such an additional burden of filth, I am envious of you because I lost a lot of reflective time and invited a ton of resistance into my days. Hopefully, with this catharsis piece out of the way, I can finally accept the error of focus and move forward, ceasing my contribution to this neurosis pool forever. But let this be a lesson to anyone so inclined: never push your shit into my face. Because, if you get my attention, I will research it and I will write about it. And you probably won't like what I have to say.

Anyway, don't read this book, it's fucking garbage.