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From the point of view of sheer, dogged and intelligently sifted research, Jordan Maxwell and Joseph P Farrell would be right at the top of my list; I would probably put Maxwell at #1 because he did more than any single other individual, I think, to put Icke where he is and, further, Icke uses a lot of his material; and his work was the basis of Zeitgeist.
reply to post by John_Rodger_Cornman
Manly Palmer Hall's most famous/celebrated work is titled The Secret Teachings of All Ages, which he wrote when he was only 27 (in 1928). He writes about the old Mystery Religions, Alchemy, Tarot, Masonry, Rosicrucianism, etc. Some of the "conspiracy" topics we wrote about included that William Shakespeare was a front for Francis Bacon, and that the illuminati/freemasons were behind the french and american revolutions. (Neither of those theories are exclusive to Hall, but he does offer unique insight).
The amount of information he almost a century ago, is still one of the best collections of research I've found in any single volume. Can't recommend his work enough.