Diary of a Parallel Man by David Elham

elhamd-diaryparallelmanImagine a world parallel to ours, occupying the same position in space, but existing in another dimension. It’s a familiar theme in science fiction, and it has provided scope for a wide variety of stories – the 1990s television series Sliders being a prime example. But Diary of a Parallel Man puts an interesting spin on the idea. For a start, the protagonist is not from our Earth; his home is the other one, and he longs desperately to return there. But he’s stuck in a world that is demonstrably alien to him. And it’s not that he has two heads or green skin. He looks exactly like us. The only difference between his world and ours is that in his history, way back in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve didn’t eat the apple. His world is a world without sin and death.

As a reader who is essentially atheistic in his thinking, you might think that this fictional scenario would be unappealing to me. But one doesn’t have to subscribe to Biblical literalism to appreciate the story. Of course, it is absurd that a world could exist where there is human immortality, an unending ability to reproduce, and a finite landmass. The math just doesn’t work. Nevertheless, one can regard the story as myth and still obtain a sense of what the author is attempting to communicate. And yes, this is one of those heavy stories that is all about the subtext.

David Elham is a Christian – one who is “in the world, not of it,” as the Bible says. And this tale is essentially an alien’s observations on the world. My copy of the book is personally inscribed to me with the words “For Darryl – My ‘Reality Check'”. Reality Check is a book I wrote a few years ago, where I questioned all of the conditioning of Western society. Although my worldview differs massively from Elham’s, I have to say that it was a stroke of genius for him to put his views across in the form of a novel.

The protagonist, Mahershalalhashbaz (named after one of the sons of Isaiah, if I remember my Bible studies), manages to transport himself to our Earth, where he quickly finds himself alone, alienated, penniless and homeless. Eventually, he befriends a young woman called Kirsty, who takes pity on him – and gives him the nickname Baz. Baz (and the author by extension) is shocked by the cruelty of the world. By reading the Bible, he learns what happened here, how mankind fell from a state of grace and inherited sin and death.

This explanation for why the world is full of suffering satisfies many, but not me. My metaphysical outlook is vastly different from the author’s, but is deeply rational. Sickness, disaster, predation, and the plain old competitive spirit – these are not manifestations of something that went wrong in the distant past; one thing versus another, on any fractal level of the universe, is merely the natural outworking of energy conversion. This is obviously a huge topic, so I’ll not go into depth on it right here.

The author critiques evolution at one point, in an unfortunately scoffing manner that really only shows Elham’s lack of research on the matter – a common failing among Christians. Some of Baz’s observations about people’s irrational behaviour are on point, but Baz occasionally comes out with a line that is really far-out – and I found myself wondering whether the author realises how unusual his character (and himself, by proxy) sounds. For instance, in a scene where an unbeliever cracks a joke about Jesus, making everyone laugh, Baz is so enraged that he shouts, “Is there any reason why any of you should be permitted to live?!”

At many points in the book, I wanted to pause and have a discussion with the author, because I felt I had legitimate counter-arguments to offer. Here’s one that sticks in mind. I happen to know that the author’s particular sect of Christianity forbids believers from joining the police or armed forces. Consider this exchange between Baz and co-worker Ralph:

‘… If everyone was like me, everyone in the world, there wouldn’t be any war at all. It’s only because we have these ridiculous borders drawn up that people fight over them. In my philosophy there are no such borders.’

He put his face very close to mine. ‘We don’t live in your philosophy; we live in the real world. Your paradise Earth, and,’ he indicated Clint without looking at him, ‘and his brotherhood of man do not exist. Greed and jealousy exist. War exists.’

‘But if everyone was like me, it wouldn’t.’

He gave up.

The author appears to paint his protagonist as the winner of this argument, but it doesn’t look that way to me at all. Any philosophy that refuses deal with the world as it is fails. In the real world, if there were no police, no one would have any protection from criminals. If we had no army, we would quickly be invaded by another country. It is totally hypocritical to benefit from the existence of the police and the army, while secretly condemning them for bearing arms. Pacifism only works in the author’s imagination of a perfect world which isn’t the world we have.

Diary of a Parallel Man could be called “Christian fiction,” but it is unique in that it contains very realistic swearing, blaspheming, and some very unguarded talk about life – including the topics of sex and pornography. For this I congratulate Elham. In my experience, it’s rare for a Christian to be this honest; Christian fiction tends to sugarcoat life somewhat.

Given my atheistic worldview, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It’s an interesting twist on the alternate Earth theme, one that makes you assess the world you live in, and it has an ending that confounded my expectations in the best possible way.

The Blueprint by Will Hadcroft

Liam Creedy is knocked out in a nasty accident at school. When he comes to, he finds that everything has changed. For a start, he is seeing in black and white. Oddly, though, his own body remains in colour. Flashes of colour also manifest occasionally in other people, but for the most part they are uniformly back and white. Patrick Freeman High has changed even more radically. The school crest now features a fingerprint enclosed by a “no entry” sign, as if to say “No individual identity.” Prefects have become a kind of school police force. Corridors are more like streets, classrooms more like workplaces, and there is no exit to the outside world. In this strange self-enclosed microcosm of society, Liam has one friend, the strange Mr Samson, who tells him enigmatically: “Find the blueprint and change it. Only then will you find the way out.”

It’s clear that the author is using a lot of symbolism. The story is a vehicle for exploring the faults of the education system, its misuse as a means of indoctrination, ensuring that the population thinks a certain way. And the end result of this way of thinking, symbolised by a millstone inscribed with the words “Cause and Effect” rolling down a distant mountain towards the school, is the destruction of us all.

I can get on board with Hadcroft’s thinking to some extent. Like the author, I’m a fierce individualist, which makes me perceptive to the problems caused by mass herd-conformity. People work like crazy to buy like crazy, and this sort of attitude is gradually assassinating the planet. Religious hypocrisy and the pointlessness of war are touched upon in the book. I did find Hadcroft’s stance a little confusing at times, but while reading I was constantly analysing where we both differed.

I think my views would have been more in line with the author’s a few years ago, when I was reading a lot of conspiracy material. But these days, I see the competitive nature of life as something natural – a sort of stratification process, with winners and losers, a process that is mirrored in the animal kingdom. Although we fight against injustice, I don’t see a world without power struggles and exploitation as something that’s even possible. Hence, I don’t see the world we have in quite so dark terms as the author maintains. Even though we are undoubtedly indoctrinated in early life, it’s also true that the world today is so full of exciting education resources, if we would only reach out and take them – rather than spending our evenings wallowing in front of a television set watching soap operas. The real root of the problem is that many people simply don’t wish to learn. In fact, I would say that the TV is a far bigger source of indoctrination than the education system. I see television as the modern replacement for religion. It’s what people use to fill a hole in their lives; meanwhile it subliminally shapes their views and opinions.

I happen to know of the author’s personal religious convictions, so it tickled me when the protagonist had an argument with his teacher about evolution. The author takes the view that evolution is a lie, but the anecdote supplied in the story simply fails to deal properly with the issue. Today, for evolution to be false, there would either have to be a massive worldwide scientific conspiracy, or mass stupidity among scientists. While there is certainly a religious agenda against evolution, motivated entirely by a need to defend an inflexible dogma (which the author himself admits), the same accusation cannot be levelled at the scientific community, whose aim is simply to formulate the best theory from the available evidence.

Fans of the television series The Prisoner will notice a deliberate nod to the show in the design of the book’s cover. Elements of the story are also reminiscent of Life on Mars and Quantum Leap. The Blueprint is an enjoyable story, extremely well written, with an intelligent and thought-provoking subtext.

Postmodern Satanism by Jason King

This is the third piece of Satanic literature I have read, and I’m now starting to get sick of having to begin each review with a disclaimer of sorts, to cover my ass. But that’s life in a society where Christianity permeates the minds of ninety-nine percent of the population – even agnostics, if only subconsciously. Let it be said that unless you have dared to read a volume such as Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Bible, it’s probably a safe bet that you’re misinformed as to what Satanism is. Satanism is not devil worship, for there is no actual being called Satan. Satanism is a philosophy of opposition to all the spiritual religions which promote the denial of a vital earthly existence in favour of a hypothetical reward hereafter. To be Satanic is to be adversarial. The original Hebrew word “Satan” means “adversary,” and so the philosophy adopts the term “Satan” for its symbol. Satanism is all about life in the here and now, with the recognition that there is no higher authority than yourself. Far from being a license for amorality, this is true responsibility for one’s actions and their consequences. The only downside is that to declare yourself a Satanist means that you will be misunderstood (and possibly feared) by ninety-nine percent of the population. Of course, this isn’t really a downside, as the Satanist, by virtue of his adversarial nature, relishes conflict and is inclined to see the funny side of others’ unenlightened disapproval.

That’s my ultra-fast introduction to modern Satanism, as codified by Anton LaVey in 1969. For more detailed info, consult my review of The Satanic Bible. Now we come to Postmodern Satanism by Jason King. Postmodern Satanism essentially takes the foundation laid by LaVey and asks the question “What next?” A quote from an early part of the book:

Just as Anton LaVey’s philosophy has been superceded, so too will my own, for such is the nature of the world. No book has the power to codify reality for all times and places, whether it be called a Bible or not. Satanism must be an energized philosophy instead of a dogmatic one – I’d rather see people who agree with me formulate their own systematic analyses, instead of quoting me like some authoritative prophet or guru.

I could not have been more delighted reading the above. Finally, someone else who truly gets it. For the past two thousand years people have been claiming that Jesus is the answer. He is your truth package that will never be superceded. Many who have seen the lie for what it is have then fallen prey to countless mini-Christs. Take Eckhart Tolle as an example. Another guru with an enlightenment package that is supposed to be The Answer. Few seem to understand the simple undeniable observation that knowledge has always been progressive. That which we now understand merely paves the way to what we will one day understand, with many corrections en route. Jason King gets this right at the starting gate, and it makes a thoroughly refreshing change to all the self-styled gurus with their craftily packaged brands of salvation.

The central theme and defining characteristic of postmodern Satanism, that makes it distinguishable from modern Satanism, is the observation that nature itself is adversarial – or nature is Satanic, if you will. From cellular life right up to planets and suns, one thing sustains itself by taking energy from another. This is the Satanic principle of all nature. From the human perspective, the most obvious expression of this principle is seen in predator versus prey, survival of the fittest, in both the human and animal arena. Religions have put this state of affairs down to a fall from grace in the long distant past. Postmodern Satanism instead asserts that the world is as it’s meant to be; your human nature is meant to be what it is; there is nothing wrong with you. Man therefore should not spend his days seeking to expunge all that is adversarial about himself as though it were sinful. Instead, he should embrace it as the very feature that is carrying his own evolution (as well as that of the universe) forward towards betterment.

Some Christians, eager to scrape the barrel, will interpret what I’m saying as license to become a psychopath. But don’t you see that it is the very adversarial nature of man that allows the truly responsible human to restrain (or gun down, if required) the psychopath, for the protection of those he loves and the betterment of mankind as a whole. Or shall we all turn the other cheek and let the “demons” run amuck?

Postmodern Satanism differs from LaVeyan Satanism in that it makes an effort to conceptualise a spiritual reality, drawing somewhat from Eastern sources. Whereas LaVeyan philosophy was largely concerned with pragmatic matters of morality, postmodern Satanism delves into the larger philosophic arena of the nature of reality and the more fundamental reality beyond space and time. The book does not hold the reader’s hand, but presupposes an existing understanding in the reader’s head of the concept of a universal mind. This happens to be my personal philosophy, but it is not one without problems. I have been aware for some time of a seeming incongruency with the idea of everything being one while observing this oneness kicking the crap out of itself in the arena of duality. Jason King took my understanding of this to where it had been struggling to go. This material was pure gold to me.

Postmodern Satanism’s recognition of a unified consciousness is also what forces a radical reassessment of Anton LaVey’s original assertions, for LaVey was vehemently anti-spiritual and he based his entire philosophy on the triumph of the individual ego over all else.

A quick word on magic (or magick, as the author prefers). LaVeyan Satanism defined magic purely in ritualistic terms – the use of psychodrama to effect change. Postmodern Satanism sees magic as an expansion of consciousness. Ritual may be a means to a magical end, but it’s not the basis of magic. Real magic is rooted in your mind’s connection to the deeper reality beyond the purely physical.

God help me, but I really get this stuff (if you’ll excuse the theistic faux pas). As a person who spent two decades as an Evangelical Christian and who has spent the past two years publicly denouncing Christianity, it is perfectly true to call me an antichrist (according to the definition given by St. John in his epistles). I would be a hypocrite to deny it. Should I also now wear the label of Satanist? Well, it’s prudent to let the dust settle first. Let’s just say for now that I’m somewhat Satanically inclined.

Some of the material in Postmodern Satanism was confusing – which really just means beyond my current understanding. That’s no criticism, because I realise that I’m reading an author who is at my level and beyond – which makes a change from various occult books that have merely insulted my intelligence by making outlandish claims with no rational or empirical backup.

It’s worth keeping a dictionary handy when reading. The author expects familiarity with terms like “epistemological” (the nature of truth), “teleological” (the nature of being). Felt like being back in Bible class for a moment! It’s clear that the book is not aimed solely at the lay reader. Anyone should read it; just don’t expect to understand every single thing.

The only parts of Postmodern Satanism that I felt were irrelevant to me were a few lengthy commentaries on writings by Aleister Crowley, the Yezidis, and other occult texts.

The book is self-published. Unlike most self-published books, it’s extremely well written and edited. My only gripe is that some unusual typesetting choices by the author have caused the book to be about 200 pages when it could easily have fitted 150 and benefitted from the resulting price decrease. There’s no shame in releasing a small book. H.G. Wells, Aldous Huxley and many others have released important works that were even shorter than Postmodern Satanism.

I first heard of Jason King through his YouTube channel, where he is a frequent video-blogger. Postmodern Satanism is available to purchase from Lulu. It’s a stellar book, one of the most important I’ve read in recent times.

The American Book of the Dead by Henry Baum

What is every father’s worst nightmare? There might be any number of specific answers to that question, but the one which Henry Baum delves into is this: imagine surfing the net and encountering a porn video of your teenage daughter. That’s what happens to Eugene Myers in The American Book of the Dead. You could run a whole novel on this idea alone, but as it turns out, this aspect of the story is merely a precursor to something much bigger in scale. After the inevitable confrontation between father, mother and daughter, Eugene goes on the hunt for whoever made the movie, starting at his daughter’s school. This ends in violence, with Eugene suffering a head injury. And here’s where the real story starts. He begins having vivid dreams about people, dreams which end in a voice telling him the names and addresses of the people he is dreaming about. He investigates these locations and discovers that these are real people. But he has no idea what he is supposed to do about it, or why he is dreaming about reality, or what significance these particular individuals have. Meanwhile, another story is going on in another part of the USA: President Charles Winchell is being tutored by his father, past President Herbert Winchell, on secrets involving religion, aliens and the approaching World War III. The trouble is, Charles is a fundamentalist Christian, despite his father’s claims of religion being merely a tool of manipulation. Charles begins to wonder if his own father is the Antichrist.

Okay, that’s all I’m going to say about the story, which might leave you wondering, “What the hell is this book actually about?” But the wackiness of it is part of its unpredictable charm. I’ve a feeling that some people are going to love it and some are going to hate it. I’m something of a conspiracy buff, and I have some strong spiritual views, so I found the whole dynamic of the Winchell story to be rivetting: the wise father, carrying the world on his shoulders, having no idea of the religious insanity that is brewing inside his son’s head, as he tries to instruct the younger President on secrets that are about to affect the future of the whole planet. The Eugene Myers side of the story was also very well done. The author has a real knack for brutal honesty when it comes to describing the innards of a person’s head. This honesty also comes with a dash of humour at times. Ultimately, you see parts of yourself in the character, and it really brings him to life.

I don’t want to say too much about where the novel heads. I’ve mentioned the Antichrist, World War III, and a man who dreams about real people. Suffice it to say, the Eugene Myers story and the Charless Winchell story eventually come together. I had no idea how the book was going to finish until the finish line, and the ending was very satisfying, casting fresh light on an intentionally confusing first chapter.

If you have an interest in government conspiracy, alternative spirituality, the paranormal, I think this is a novel you’ll really enjoy (and if you’re a fundamentalist Christian, you’ll probably be offended). The story packs a little something extra for the conspiracy theorist than for the mainstream reader, especially on the theme of culling the human population. The American Book of the Dead is too wacky to be taken entirely seriously, but it does have a serious undercurrent, in the same way that John Carpenter’s movie, They Live, is on the one hand a dumb action movie about some butt-ugly aliens who secretly rule the world, and on the other hand it’s an expose of how asleep and enslaved people are and why the world is this way.

The American Book of the Dead is a self-published novel, but please don’t let that put you off. The book is skilfully written and edited to pro standards. Baum is a credit to alternative publishing. The story is totally fresh. I haven’t read anything like it before and I give it an unhesitating recommendation.

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.

Reality Is Plastic! by Anthony Jacquin

Reality Is Plastic! is a book on hypnosis. It’s extremely short, just shy of 100 pages, but those pages are packed with information. There’s less of an emphasis on understanding what hypnosis actually is, more on practical routines that you can try on your friends. The book provides illustrated step-by-step instructions, such as how to invoke paralysis in limbs, how to invoke amnesia in your subject, how to make your subject think you are invisible. It all sounds far-fetched, and it’s not something that I have personally tested, but I have a friend who swears by this book and has used the routines to great effect.

The book places great importance on the confidence of the hypnotist being one of the prime factors in hypnotising someone. It’s the idea that hypnosis occurs when your confidence creates the expectation in the subject that they will be hypnotised.

It’s true that this kind of esoteric knowledge can be used for ill intent, but equally true that it can be used for good intent, such as the curing of phobias and the releasing of addictions. Ultimately, knowledge is neutral. It’s how we use knowledge that matters. Personally, I’m all for learning as much as I can about the workings of the mind, and research into hypnosis is proving for me to be a great avenue.

The book will be more useful to those who are interested in street hypnosis – the fun side of things. But the insights apply right across the board.

The only downside is the price. Anthony Jacquin sells the book for £22.50 plus £2.50 postage from his website, which is an insult for a paperback book of this size. For me, esoteric knowledge is a joy to share, not an opportunity for excessive greed. Worse still, the book is ring-bound, giving it an air of amateurism. And the text hasn’t seen a decent edit, judging by the many puncutation errors throughout. It you want to self-publish, do it right.

That said, the book was a fascinating and worthwhile read. A useful book for any budding hypnotist to have in his library.

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.