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Conspiracy Theory Book of the Month #2: The Biggest Secret

By Mike RothschildFebruary 19, 2024,

We'll tell you everything!

David Icke's Biggest Secret (illustration by CW ; source: Canva).

What’s bigger than a big secret? The Biggest Secret, according to the British conspiracy theorist author and speaker David Icke.

The cover of the prolific writer’s book of the same name promises to reveal long-hidden and deeply suppressed knowledge that will do nothing less than “change the world.” Does Icke deliver on his boast? What is this secret? And what makes this secret bigger than all other secrets?

To find the answers requires spelunking into the massive tome, released in 1999, and containing nearly 550 pages of conspiracy theories, fiendish plots, accusations, unevidenced assertions, rhetorical questions, and at times, blatantly racist and antisemitic statements. Icke’s “secret” is, after all, the biggest. It involves royal bloodlines, sunken continents, space wars, ancient gods, CIA mind control, international banking syndicates, ritual abuse, and a thousand other players all laid out in bricks of text that go in exhaustive detail.

But while this seems like an incomprehensible and “red strings on corkboard” approach to history that will be instantly repellent to anyone looking for answer, all these various strands have one thing in common. And this truly is “the biggest secret” that Icke is purporting will change the world: all of those people and world events are controlled by lizard aliens who have been interbreeding with humans for thousands of years, and who are bent on ruling the world, stripping it of its resources, and keeping us as their docile slaves.

It's a pretty big secret – but David Icke is letting you in on it.

The Reptoid Brotherhood

After a decade spent in the UK as a sports broadcaster and fringe political candidate, Icke burst onto the New Age scene in the early 1990s with announcements that he was being used as a vessel for apocalyptic warnings from a benevolent Godhead. By channeling these utterances from another dimension, Icke was offering humanity a way to prepare for mass extinction and overcome the chaos with love and togetherness. The British public reacted with derision, and a deeply wounded Icke pivoted to the conspiracy theorist beliefs that he is now famous (or infamous) for.

If there is one best-known aspect of Icke’s career as a mass-marketer of fringe ideas, it is that he is “the lizard people guy” – in other words, he popularized the belief that human-lizard alien hybrids rule the world. And the work that introduced Icke’s “reptile elite” into the wider paranoid culture was The Biggest Secret. It is a hugely popular book that was reprinted six times in its first six years – while also making use of ideas about reptilian aliens that have been in popular culture for a century, and part of religious doctrine for even longer than that.

Summarizing Icke’s thesis in a few sentences is essentially impossible, by design. But to be extremely succinct, much of Icke’s writing is based on the work of “ancient astronauts” and “12th planet” theorist Zecharia Sitchin. The short version of Icke’s “secret” is that a race of reptilian beings called the Anunnaki created humanity as a slave race to mine gold and subsist on negative emotions created by war and fear, then coded their history in foundational religious texts. This is an adaptation of ideas found in the work of both Sitchin and other pseudoscience luminaries like “Worlds in Collision” author Immanuel Velikovsky, but Icke takes it in a much darker direction.

To Icke, all of human history is an illusion created by the Anunnaki and other alien races who use various forms of manipulation, chiefly religion and national conflict, to keep humans docile and uninterested in the truth. And acting as the intermediaries between the aliens and their human slaves is what Icke labels a “Brotherhood” of interbred human/alien hybrids in leadership positions. Taking the form of everyone from Sumerian kings to US presidents, along with every other prominent cultural figure, the Brotherhood ruthlessly keeps humans from learning the truth, and will kill anyone who threatens their plan – including both JFK and Princess Diana.

Icke’s tale is a colossal conspiracy narrative, starting hundreds of thousands of years ago and stretching out across the galaxy. And he has expanded it in nearly a dozen subsequent books, many of which are even longer and more esoteric than The Biggest Secret.

But as if to prove he is not making all this up, Icke also strives to give his work a patina of scholarly legitimacy. Each chapter includes a list of citations, even if at least some are fairly dubious. He acknowledges many times that what he’s saying sounds unbelievable and that those who delve into the work will have their entire worldview shifted, writing that his job is to treat his readers as a “fully formed, fully connected, multidimensional, adult human being and communicate all the relevant information, including some which will stretch their sense of reality to breaking point.” And the book is peppered with charts, pictures, maps, and quotes all used to add depth to long, authoritative sounding paragraphs where Icke writes with deep confidence and authority about things that can’t possibly be proven.

Crucially, Icke’s “Brotherhood” is not just a faceless lizard race, but full of the names and cultures that we’ve come to know throughout history. And one “race” stands above them all, funding them, directing them, and monopolizing all of the planet’s resources. That race, unsurprisingly, is the Jewish people.

Old Secrets, Old Hatreds

Though he has denied being antisemitic, Icke’s work is shot through with classic and modern Jewish tropes and conspiracy theories. Much of this started with his 1994 book The Robots’ Rebellion. The last of his books that was not self-published, Icke wrote it by liberally borrowing from several conspiracist touchstone works, including Bill Cooper’s 1991 Behold a Pale Horse, a favorite of American militia groups. But more than that, he freely used the antisemitic Russian text The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and its accusation of a vast Jewish world domination conspiracy as a base for his work, interchanging the word “Jews” for the broader term “Illuminati.”

Later works would veer into Holocaust denial, accusations that the Second World War was funded by Jews, and that the Jewish families that have become well-known are not actually Jews. This vast Jewish/alien conspiracy would become a hallmark of his work, and it has become almost impossible to separate the “lizard alien” trope from antisemitism – even on social media platforms that only came about decades after Icke’s embrace of “the oldest hatred.”

The Biggest Secret makes no secret, then, of its belief that the reptilians use Judaism as a convenient front for their evil deeds. Icke openly refers to Jews as “sun cultists” who are required by Jewish religious text to “charge a Gentile as much interest as they possibly can”; claims that cultural Judaism doesn’t exist, and powerful Jewish banking families like the Warburgs and Rothschilds keep the vast majority of Jews in squalor and misery while funding antisemitic dictatorships like the Nazis.

While much of The Biggest Secret is incomprehensible, Icke’s feelings about Jews are unmistakable. And there have been consequences for him. In 2022 Icke was banned from entering much of Europe, and has also had problems getting into Australia for speaking engagements.

But they are also durable tropes, and lucrative for those who spread them. Using his 1990s work as a foundation, Icke has effortlessly pivoted to include each new conspiracy theory and “cabal plot” into the Annunaki plot. Most recently, Icke embraced COVID-19 denial. Videos that claimed the pandemic was linked to the rollout of 5G cell phone technology got him banned from Twitter until he was restored when Elon Musk bought the platform.

Ultimately, The Biggest Secret did not change the world. The vast majority of people encountering Icke’s work continued to laugh at him, and his calls to defeat the reptoid menace by embracing love and truth rang hollow. But the book would set a template for future work by both Icke and other conspiracy promoters to follow. It is punishingly long, full of seemingly profound detail that does not stick with the reader, and gives the illusion of authority through detail. And while it seems cutting edge and “dangerous,” it is in reality based on a mix of old pop culture tropes, debunked and discredited pseudoscience from decades past, and classic antisemitism.

Perhaps the real secret in The Biggest Secret is that the “secret” is just nonsense made up to sell books.

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Mike Rothschild
Mike Rothschild
Journalist and expert focused on the rise and spread of conspiracy theories, he is the author of the first complete book on the QAnon conspiracy movement, "The Storm is Upon Us: How QAnon Became a Movement, Cult, and Conspiracy Theory of Everything", and his newest book is "Jewish Space Lasers: The Rothschilds and 200 Years of Conspiracy Theories". In addition to his writing and interviews, Mike has worked as an expert witness in cases related to QAnon and the 2020 Election, testified to  U.S. Congress on the danger of election fraud disinformation, and submitted written testimony to the January 6th Select Committee on the role of QAnon in the Capitol attack.
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