The China Study by T. Colin Campbell & Thomas M. Campbell

campbelltc-chinastudyThis book is a detailed study of nutrition containing some shocking assertions about what the common Western diet is doing to our health. What separates it from the mass of “fad diet” books is that it is attempting to identify the natural diet of the human species, and it makes a compelling case that this is plants, not animals.

The unusual title of the volume comes from a medical study in China that sought to account for the the high incidence of cancer among affluent people, compared to a low incidence among the poor. After extensive study, differences in diet were the prime suspect. Affluent people had a far greater intake of meat.

You’ve probably heard the argument against vegetarianism that goes “Where are you going to get your protein?” The book blasts this misconception, asserting that we get all the protein we need from plants. It goes as far as saying that the cause of our health problems is an overabundance of protein from animal food sources. The arguments are detailed and appear sound, but since I’m not a scientist, I have to be a little cautious. Sometimes what we don’t know from the opposing corner can change what we think we know about an issue.

That said, I did personally make the move to a diet that is 95% vegan, from a diet where I was eating red meat five days per week. I did this less because of the technical arguments in this book, and more because of a simple observation: no animal is fundamentally confused about its own nature (including its diet). Humans do not have the elogated fangs of a predator, nor the short intestine that digests animal protein quickly, and we have a natural aversion to gore. What comes naturally to the lion does not come naturally to the human. We have to go through an elaborate cooking ritual just to make the meat safe, and we take no pleasure in even handling uncooked meat. This is telling us something about our natural dietary inclinations. We’re plant eaters.

The reason I am 95% vegan and not 100% is because of a lack of interesting vegan options in supermarkets and restaurants. So occasionally I will indulge in meat, usually fish or chicken. I’m just not hardcore enough to go the full 100%. But I can tell you that having a high plant low meat intake has been very beneficial to my health. Food passes through my system much more cleanly and easily than ever. I used to have the impression that vegans were scrawny people who lacked physical strength and stamina, but that’s not the case at all. That’s what happens if you don’t eat enough food. But on a vegan diet, you can satisfy your appetite wholeheartedly with big meals, and not run the same risks of weight gain because there’s far less fat in the diet.

Whatever an expert may think of a book like The China Study, what is undeniable is that rates of obesity, heart disease, and cancer are far higher today than they were several decades ago. And food is the main factor in this. The bottom line is that something’s got to change. The first step is to educate ourselves about what our eating habits are doing to us.

I highly recommend this book for anyone considering a change in diet.

Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World Revisited was written thirty years after Brave New World. It is a non-fiction work, essentially a comparison between the predictions of the original science fiction novel and developments in the real world. In the novel, the world population is kept at an ideal number by means of eugenics. In the real world we see an ever encroaching trend towards over-population. Huxley discusses how we have become ever more skilled at “death control” (living longer and healthier lives), but we have no corresponding birth control. The forces of predation, sickness and natural disaster, which keep the rest of the animal kingdom in balance, are having less and less effective against humans, due to our own ingenuity. Related to overpopulation is the problem of over-organisation, where a human being becomes nothing more than as a cog in the wheel of society; the human exists only to serve a greater social organism, whereas the social organism is really no more than a social organisation. Integral to the book is the tension between anarchism and totalitarianism; too much freedom versus too little.

A major theme of the book is mind-manipulation in its various subtle forms. Hitler comes under the spotlight, in particular how he made his propaganda successful using fervent emotion, reinforced through repetition. This is contrasted with propaganda that addresses the intellect. In our advertising-saturated lives, the chapter “The Arts of Selling” is more relevant today than ever. Huxley brings to light how we are exploited by those who sell products by tapping into our fears and wishes. An excerpt from the chapter “Brainwashing”:

The fact that strong negative emotions tend to heighten suggestibility and so facilitate a change of heart had been observed and exploited long before the days of Pavlov. As Dr. William Sargant has pointed out in his enlightening book, Battle for the Mind, John Wesley’s enormous success as a preacher was based upon an intuitive understanding of the central nervous system. He would open his sermon with a long and detailed description of the torments to which, un­less they underwent conversion, his hearers would un­doubtedly be condemned for all eternity. Then, when terror and an agonizing sense of guilt had brought his audience to the verge, or in some cases over the verge, of a complete cerebral breakdown, he would change his tone and promise salvation to those who believed and repented. By this kind of preaching, Wesley converted thousands of men, women and children. Intense, pro­longed fear broke them down and produced a state of greatly intensified suggestibility. In this state they were able to accept the preacher’s theological pro­nouncements without question. After which they were reintegrated by words of comfort, and emerged from their ordeal with new and generally better behavior patterns ineradicably implanted in their minds and nervous systems.

Later chapters are entitled “Chemical Persuasion” (the use of drugs to control a population), “Subconscious Persuasion” (the subliminal technique of persuasion by association), “Hypnopaedia” (hypnotic suggestibility). The book closes with a forward-looking discussion on education.

This small book is a treasure-trove of rational information to chew over, for anyone who wants to have a more conscious existence – that is, to be more aware of the forces controlling our lives, and thus more able to make our own choices. In today’s world, we have the unfortunate phenomenon of the paranoid conspiracist, who learns the very real nature of the information presented here, through “researchers” like David Icke and Alex Jones, but then he ends up believing that there’s a secret “Illuminati” who are trying to bring about a New World Order – an ancient elistist brotherhood who are actually the Biblical Nephilim in disguise, or reptilian shapeshifters from another dimension. If you wonder how people can get so carried away, that’s because it begins with a genuine grasping of truth leading to an awakening out of a hypnotic trance of sorts. Unfortunately, not all are up to the task of maintaining a sharp critical perspective on information, and they fall prey to the more outlandish claims of fear-mongers and sensation-seekers.

Brave New World Revisited represents the best of the modern “truth movement” without the bullshit. A book to treasure and to read again and again.

Lifting the Veil by David Icke & Jon Rappoport

Lifting the Veil is a transcript of a series of interviews that researcher Jon Rappoport held with David Icke in 1998. Rappoport is the author of several books including The Secret Behind Secret Societies; Oklahoma City Bombing: The Suppressed Truth; AIDS Inc.: Scandal of the Century. Icke needs no introduction on these pages, as this is the eleventh book of his that I have reviewed.

This is a slim volume of only 135 pages, but it covers, however briefly, a vast array of subject matter, including Princess Diana’s death/murder, secret government, religion, the formation of the USA, signs and symbols, pyramid power structures, money, the suppression of knowledge, mind control, ritual child abuse, consciousness and other dimensions, the New Age movement, the education system. Towards the close of the book there are also some interesting pages of reflection on the early days of ridicule that Icke endured.

Lifting the Veil was published not long before Icke’s most popular book The Biggest Secret, and can be viewed as a summary of much of the information found in that larger volume (albeit without the reptilians). I’ve read so much material by Icke that I didn’t really learn anything new from Lifting the Veil, but it’s a great opener into important information that rarely gets a hearing in the mainstream. It doesn’t demand too much of your time, and it might make you think, “Maybe, just maybe, the picture of the world that we’re being fed on the TV news isn’t quite the way things really are.”

The Biggest Secret by David Icke

I think this is the tenth David Icke book I have read. It is, I believe, his most popular and biggest selling volume. You may wonder why I didn’t make this one a priority. Well, it’s because this is the book where Icke introduces the lizards for the first time, and I just wasn’t ready to tackle that. I couldn’t fathom that I could end up believing that our world leaders are actually shape-shifting reptilian entities from another dimension. I also didn’t want to have my opinion of Icke dashed to pieces, since I have benefitted so much from other parts of his research. But … I reckoned it was time to bite the bullet and dive in.

Firstly, the title of the book led me to believe that the entire five-hundred-page volume was going to revolve around the theme of reptilian entites. It doesn’t. The reptilian theme is something that Icke weaves throughout the pages, but a lot of the material in the book is concerned with hidden agendas in human society. In essence, the theory that the world is ruled by reptilian entities is based largely upon the view that the gods of antiquity were actual beings of an extra-terrestrial or inter-dimensional nature. Mankind was ruled by these so-called “gods,” and many cultures do speak of reptilian gods. In Icke’s view, the gods never left. Overt rule was exchanged for covert rule. Today, the British Empire is nothing more than the ancient Babylonian Empire relocated and repackaged. Rather than dismiss this whole thing with a knee-jerk reaction, there are certain elements of this research that I personally find fascinating. One is the importance that ruling monarchy place on bloodline, and especially how the bloodline of many key figures in politics, both here and in the USA, can be traced back to Charlemagne (assuming the research is accurate). I find it interesting, and a little suspicious, that we have Egyptian obelisks placed outside powerful buildings around the world. We even have a pyramid with an “all-seeing eye” on the dollar bill, and the same on the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States. This is very much tied into the secret society known as Freemasonry. A look at the key figures involved in the formation of the United States reveals a massive prevalence of Freemasons. Furthermore, Freemasonry has definite links with the occult.

Icke, by his own admission, has never seen an actual reptilian. Evidence for their existence relies on the testimony of witnesses that Icke has been in contact with, including Arizona Wilder (allegedly a “mother goddess” involved in occult ritual), Christine Fitzgerald (allegedly a close confidante of Princess Diana), and Cathy O’Brien (allegedly a Project Monarch MKULTRA mind control slave). Much is said about the British Royal Family in regard to reptilians and occult ritual. Icke places massive amounts of confidence in the testimonies of the people he quotes, and it’s hard to see why he should expect the reader to be carried along with it all. This reminds me of his early books, which are full of “channelled” messages from so-called psychics that Icke placed his trust in. I have to wonder if he’s making essentially the same mistake here again, merely in another context.

The closing chapter of the book, and one of the most fascinating, is about Princess Diana’s death. Icke goes into a lot of detail in an attempt to show that it was an assassination, and not only that but a pre-planned occult ritual sacrifice.

Much of the research in the book was sloppy, disordered and inconclusive, and in the end, I felt frustrated that I couldn’t hold something resembling proof in my hand and say, “Here it is!” So, do reptilian shapeshifters rule the world? Only in the imaginations of those who read uncritically.

The New World Order by H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells is best known for his fiction. This little book is non-fiction. It’s essentially a very long essay on the subject of globalisation, something that is highly relevant in today’s world, where we see so much centralisation of power underway, as corporations merge into bigger corporations, and governments become collectivised into unions. When reading this book, which was published in 1940, it’s important to remember that the term “New World Order” didn’t carry the same sinister significance that it has in the minds of many conspiracy believers today. What I’m saying is, let’s not call Wells a bad guy on the grounds of the title alone. There’s much in the book to commend it.

Here are three quotes that I find particularly impressive. I don’t know how much these will strike you, but I personally went through an awakening about eight or nine months ago, where I became aware of how much my mind was being manipulated by the dogma of religion and the false assumptions of science. In my eyes, these quotes are as fresh and relevant today as they ever were.

On religion and its resistance to criticism:

Most of our belief systems rest upon rotten foundations, and generally these foundations are made sacred to preserve them from attack. They become dogmas in a sort of holy of holies. It is shockingly uncivil to say “But that is nonsense.” The defenders of all the dogmatic religions fly into rage and indignation when one touches on the absurdity of their foundations. Especially if one laughs. That is blasphemy. This avoidance of fundamental criticism is one of the greatest dangers to any general human understanding.

On our planet-wrecking consumer mentality:

Natural resources are being exhausted at a great rate, and the increased output goes into war munitions whose purpose is destruction, and into sterile indulgences no better than waste. Man, “heir of the ages,” is a demoralised spendthrift, in a state of galloping consumption, living on stimulants.

On the false assumptions of science that turn us into know-it-alls:

“Science” comes to us from those academic Dark Ages when men had to console themselves for their ignorance by pretending that there was a limited amount of knowledge in the world, and little chaps in caps and gowns strutted about, bachelors who knew all that there was to be known. Now it is manifest that none of us know very much, and the more we look into what we think we know, the more hitherto undetected things we shall find lurking in our assumptions.

The thrust of the book is this: Wells believes the world must become collectivised under a single leadership, or else the world is doomed to destruction by inevitable war. He bases this conviction on something he calls “the abolition of distance.” War, in olden times, was fought by travelling on foot or horseback to your destination, but in the modern world of technology, it is now possible to attack any part of the world very quickly. Everyone is neighbour to everyone else, in that sense. It begs the question, how do you defend your border? You can’t. The abolition of distance, Wells argues, creates too many possibilities for devastating war scenarios, and makes the end of the world inevitable.

Much of the book theorises about what sort of world government could function to be fair to all people. This was tough stuff to understand for me personally, because my political knowledge is not good. The overarching question I kept asking myself was, “If there’s one force at the top of the tree to which all others are subservient, how do you stop it turning into a global tyranny somewhere down the line?” It seems naive to suppose that a single centralised world government would simply stay good and fair over time. And if there are no powerful independent countries (which is the idea) to call upon for help to release you from such tyranny, what can you do? Nothing. In my mind, centralisation of world power is one way to world peace and a very short step from permanent tyranny. The book didn’t give me answers to that objection. Wells was firmly locked into the mentality that the world as it stands is doomed unless we centralise power. I’m not sure if the present world system really does need to collectivise, and I certainly don’t think a single world government is the answer. We’re almost seventy years past the writing of this book, we’re in possession of far more destructive technology, and we’re still here.

In any case, this book is an illuminating, thought-provoking read.

Tales from the Time Loop by David Icke

The book begins with a short autobiography, which I read with great interest, particularly to hear David Icke’s own reflections on his experiences in the early 1990s, when he had his brief “son of God” phase that caused so much public ridicule. The rest of the book is divided into four parts, or layers, as they are called.

First, “The five-sense conspiracy.” This is the largest section of the book and comprises some two hundred pages. Icke begins by filling us in briefly on the overall picture of the conspiracy, involving secret societies, hidden-hand leadership, pryamid power structures, and the various scams that are played on humanity. The bulk of this section of the book is taken up by an examination of the wars in Afganistan and Iraq in the wake of 9/11 – a tearing down of the propagana given to us by the mass media and a look at the US government’s real motivations, as well as the consequences of their actions for innocent Middle Eastern civilians. Icke’s previous book was Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Centre Disaster. Although I haven’t read that book, my guess is that the material in Tales from the Time Loop forms a sequel of sorts. The information quickly gets complicated to sift through, and I confess that at times I’m left not quite knowing what to believe. The chapter on civilian casualties is particularly moving, and at the very least the reader is left with a sense that he needs to question an awful lot more than when he hears on the TV news.

Layer 2 is “The extra-terrestrial/inter-dimensional conspiracy.” To call the information in this section startling is an understatement. Essentially, Icke’s claim is that many of the key people in positions of power (and throughout what is called the Illuminati) are possessed by entities from another dimension – entites that have a reptilian form. Icke was first introduced to this side of the conspiracy through receiving numerous reports in the late 1990s of people who witnessed another person “shape-shift” into a reptilian. When enough of these reports came to light, this indicated that there was something worth researching. 100 pages of Tales from the Time Loop is dedicated to this topic, merely a fraction of what went into his earlier book on the reptilians, The Biggest Secret, which I haven’t read. In summary, the secret rulers of the world can be traced back to antiquity, via secret societies and religions, right back to ancient Babylon and Sumer. The worship of the serpent, in various forms, can be seen far and wide in ancient religion. Human sacrifice is one of the primary ways these entities obtain energy. Such practices never ended, but go on in secret today, among the rich and famous. Reptilian shapeshifting is commonly reported in Satanic ritual abuse.

That’s just a fraction of the story. It reads like a science fiction extravaganza, and I can’t get on board with all of it. Icke’s big problem is that he never pauses long enough to let the reader catch his breath. The revelations come thick and fast, building one of top of the other, and the reader (me, anyway) is left behind somewhere along the way amidst a fog of information that he can’t hang on to as provable. Icke relies heavily on quotes from other written souces, particularly authors Zechariah Sitchin and Stewart Swerdlow. The former has written books which take an alternative view of human history and the latter claims to have had access to an underground base where reptilians were operating from. I simply don’t have enough information to make a decision. I wish Icke had simply tackled a few aspects of the reptilian theory thoroughly instead of trying to cram everything into a small space. For instance, I find it very interesting that the ancestry of the vast majority of American presidents can be traced back to Charlemagne. If that’s true, then there has been something very big and very fishy going on for hundreds of years outside the public eye. I also find it very interesting that so many Freemasons were involved in the formation of America, and that government people participate in a secret dark religious ceremony at Bohemiam Grove every year. It is unquestionable that there is something shadowy going on in the world that the public is not privy to. I just wish these themes were developed fully, but all too often Icke says, “You can read more about this in my book, X.” To be fair, though, Icke’s summaries do raise important questions and open up many avenues waiting to be explored. Every chapter has thorough footnotes about where you can go to find out more.

Layer 3 is called “It’s all an illusion”. This is where the book goes in the direction that I really appreciate, where we delve into the philosophical and the intuitive. Physical reality, as we know it, isn’t solid. Three-dimensional solidity is just a perception of the human body and brain. Underneath all of this, the universe is really an energy field. Now, you can believe that, or you can believe that physical solidity is the basis from which all else stems. Either way, it’s a belief, and none of us can get outside of our perceptions to find out. You might ask, what does it matter? Well, if the physical universe is just a perception, perhaps consciousness is a far greater thing we have imagined. Perhaps all that exists is one gigantic consciousness, and every human life is that consciousness undergoing an experience of separation from the full magnitude of what it is. The cornerstone of this part of the book is an experience that Icke had in Brazil, where he was invited to take a psychoactive drink called ayahuasca as a means of opening the door to a higher perception of reality (a similar account is told by Aldous Huxley, regarding mescaline, in his book The Doors of Perception).

Layer 4 is “Transforming the illusion.” The focus is on waking up from all the nonsense we’ve been conditioned to believe is normal life and all the traps that keep us hypnotised. The ultimate conclusion to all this is that we learn to laugh about life – to realise that this tiny life is just a game, full of endless possibilities, on the great canvas of infinite awareness. Really insightful stuff.

There were moments, in the earlier parts of the the book (especially the reptilian section), that I thought I was going to be giving this a bad review. But overall, when I’ve digested all 450 pages (and they’re pretty big pages), I find myself yet again impressed with David Icke’s insight. Once more, my mind has been stimulated to learn more and more from the wealth of information that lies ignored just outside the mainstream.

Trance-formation of America by Mark Phillips & Cathy O’Brien

We all know that the world of politics is a manipulative and sometimes seedy realm. Politicians and distrust are two words that go hand in hand in the minds of many people, and the reality of this is borne out by the broken promises and sexual scandals that often hit the news media. I got the first hint that this was merely the tip of the iceberg when I read a chapter called “The Depths of Evil” in David Icke’s book I Am Me, I Am Free. This offered a brief condensation of Trance-formation of America, and the reading of it left me thinking, “Surely this is simply too outrageous to be true – that the world I’m living in is nothing like the way everyone thinks it is?”

The trouble is, I’ve been discovering that, in general, the world really isn’t the way most people think it is. Most people are blind to the fact that the food instrustry is destroying health. Most people are blind to the fact that the pharmaceutical industry is not about health, but wealth. Most people are happy to continue raping the planet of all resources and poisoning it with pollution, and will think of this situation as normal life. This book challenges the reader to get to grips with information claiming the governments of the USA (and other countries) are rotten to the core – so rotten that the word diabolical is maybe the only one that fits.

Co-author Cathy O’Brien suffered sexual abuse by her father Earl as a young child. When it was found out by the authorities, the US government offered her father immunity from prosecution if he would agree to have Cathy introduced into the MK-Ultra mind-control program. Child abuse victims are specifically targeted because because of the effect on the mind caused by trauma. The mind becomes compartmentalised, learns to close off memories as a coping mechanism, and develops Disassociative Identity Disorder (what used to be termed Multiple Personality Disorder). After much painful training, Cathy developed numerous personalities which could be switched by various programmed methods. Each personality was hidden from the others and she lost all awareness of the passage of time. This compartmentalisation allowed her to be used in various criminal activities: prostitution to high-ranking government people, government sanctioned drug-running, “carrier pigeon” secret messaging.

In adulthood Cathy lived with her handler Alex Houston in a sham marriage. Houston was not her first handler; there was also Wayne Cox, with whom she had a child, Kelly. Like Cathy herself, Kelly was introduced to MK-Ultra at an early age and was soon taking part in child pornography and prostitution to members of the government. Cathy eventually became what is termed a “Presidental Model,” and was in close contact with the likes of Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr., Bill & Hillary Clinton. Some of the sexual stuff that Cathy claims went on between her and these people almost beggars belief. One of the worst was when Bush took Kelly into another room and violently raped her while Cathy had to listen to her daughter’s cries on the other side of the wall. This book took so long for me to read because at times I just couldn’t take it. I had to put it aside for a while and read other things. It was too terrible.

Co-author Mark Phillips first met Cathy by going into business with her “husband” Alex Houston. When Houston eventually put some trust in Phillips, this paved the way for Phillips to find out what was being done to Cathy and Kelly, and to make a plan to rescue both of them. After a lot of running, and much learning about mind-control, he was able to de-program Cathy and eventually bring about her complete recovery – and uncover all the memories that the government thought it had so effectively hidden. Kelly was not quite so fortunate and remains in psychiatric care.

So, what should we make of a book like this? Are Cathy O’Brien and Mark Phillips a couple of sensationalist attention-seekers wanting their fifteen minutes of fame? After having read the book and also seen Cathy talk about her life on video (look her up on YouTube), I just don’t get that impression. She does not seem the slightest bit unhinged. And it strikes me that you would have to be more than just a little unhinged to write the sort of things she writes and risk prosecution from countless famous names.

For me, the thing that helps pull this book out of the realms of fantasy is the picture section. We have photographs of Cathy and Kelly, pictured with some of the people mentioned in the book. Business cards, with addresses and phone numbers, are supplied for many, many people involved in the events of Cathy’s life, any one of whom can be easily contacted to verify information. There are several letters from the government, demonstrating Cathy and Mark’s ongoing quest for justice. There are medical reports on Kelly, showing evidence of her sexual abuse and her ongoing psychological trauma.

Cathy describes a mutilation inflicted on her by one of her handlers, where the inside of her vagina was made to resemble a grinning witch’s face. It was hard to believe until I stumbled upon an actual video of it being examined by a doctor.

It’s no surprise that this book is self-published. What publisher would dare to take it on and risk prosecution? For me, therein lies the most convincing aspect of the story. There are countless high-profile people named and shamed in this book, and yet here it is in publication with not a single charge laid against Cathy and Mark. Why? Is it perhaps because it’s a true account and to draw attention to it through a legal battle would only bring the awful truth out into the public eye? Or should I perhaps give the government the benefit of the doubt and simply say they are innocent until proven guilty?

People who read conspiracy books are often accused of wanting the world to be a more exciting place than it really is, trading the mundane for the sensational, swapping rational investigation for wish-fulfillment. Well, here’s a book that will really put you to the test. Because there is nothing to like here, nothing pretty, nothing that makes me feel good. It only makes the world seem like a much darker and more foreboding place than I thought it was … if it’s true. Is it?

Let me be absolutely frank and rational, because this book left me feeling disturbed and frustrated. I need more than a testimony. And that’s all this is, when you get right down to it. I need something resembling proof, or else I’m trafficking in rumour.