Five years ago I spent eleven hours listening to David Icke, and wrote near nine thousand words on the topic. Here are the cliff notes, in preparation for his ten (I’m assuming ‘plus’) hour talk this coming Saturday.
Back in 2011 I spent eleven hours of my life listening to David Icke talk at the Manukau Events Centre . Not just that, but I was nursing a newly sprained ankle, had spent $80 getting to the venue, and stumped up $120 for the ticket. ‘The Lion Sleeps No More’ was a big investment no matter how you look at it.
Don’t let anyone tell you I don’t do my research before opining on a subject!
This summary of the 2011 talk largely follows the order in which Icke presented his views. If you only like reptiles, and don’t favour philosophy, it’s best you skip ahead to the third section.
I won’t be offended, honest.
##The Epistemic Icke
Let’s start with philosophy, since that is, after all, my primary interest. Icke’s general philosophical thesis resembles both the co-opted (or pseudo) Eastern mysticism which generated conspiracy and UFO theories in the 1960s and 70s (such as the Hidden Masters thesis), as well as the Phenomenalism that was popular at the end of the 19th, and beginning of the 20th Century. In essence (ha, Philosophy joke), Icke believes that the world in which we live is illusory, and there are multiple levels of existence. These are:
- The Vibrational,
- The Electrical,
- The Digital, and
- The Holographic/Hologrammatic.
Each level of existence sits on top of another, and have different vibrational frequencies and densities. The workings and relationships between these different, and nested, levels of reality allows Icke to tell a story about the existence of other entities, life on other planets, the non-existence of resource scarcity, and the like, whilst at the same time explaining how certain entities control how we perceive the world. In essence his view boils down to the claim that our limited perceptual access to just one of these levels (the holographic) means we cannot see how the world is really constituted.
Icke’s overall theory, that we live on a ‘prison planet’ is based, then, upon us just not being able to perceive the more fundamental layers of reality. No. It is also the claimed that the physical world which we perceive is illusory! That is to say, it is not a true representation of what really exists in the world around us. We are imprisoned in a holographic version of reality, controlled by outside forces operating at higher planes of existence.
Now, the problem everyone points out about this view is this: how can someone – anyone, not just Icke – piece together the information about the other layers if everything is mediated by the illusory? Isn’t our limited perceptual experience blocking our ability to discover the truth of how things really are? Icke has an answer to this, which is based in a physio-epistemological theory, one that concerns hearts and minds.
The heart, according to Icke, is the organ for knowing, or finding out, about the true nature of things. This is an intuitive process.
The brain/mind (which is not embodied consciousness, because consciousness is infinite and unlimited) merely believes things.
By ‘hearts’ and ‘minds’ Icke doesn’t necessarily claim we are talking about literal hearts and minds; I’m fairly sure that he would see a cardiologist if he had a heart attack. Rather, this is talk of feels and rationality, where feels have the ability to reach beyond our limited perceptual ability, whilst rationality is constrained by the level in which we exist.
Icke’s argument, then, for knowing about the other levels is that intuitive knowledge (heartfelt intuitions) gives us knowledge about the other realities, whilst the justified beliefs of the mind are limited to beliefs about the level we are stuck perceiving (thus placing us in a ‘prison’ planet).
This is an interesting model because Icke buys some version of the justified belief model with respect to knowledge, in that the mind can be justified in its beliefs, but it cannot know; that function belongs to the heart, which is an intuition-pump.1
Then there is the role of synchronicity. Aside from being a holistic/lateral thinker, Icke also believes that synchronicity is an important factor in working out how to break free of the prison we are in. Icke places a lot of importance on events being meaningfully connected: for example, he might read a book on psychics, and then have a vision about how that work connects to his overall theory. He might wonder whether the Moon is actually a spaceship, and a week later reads an article which says that it is: these events, he takes it, are not just coincidental but connected in a meaningful, synchronistic, way.
Under his view the synchronic connection between all things is evidence they are that way. Scientists, who think with their heads, and rarely with their hearts, are simply unable to connect the dots. Not just that, but science is a system of control, designed to manipulate and eliminate imagination.
##That’s no moon…
Here’s an example of Icke’s epistemic system in action, which just happened to be the second topic of the day.
The Moon is a spaceship, and it is transmitting and amplifying a signal from Saturn, a signal which is locking us into this holographic reality/prison planet. This signal affects our DNA, which has been modified through interbreeding, and this allows the reptilians to gain control over our genetic characteristics; thus the signal allows them to control us.
Icke’s theories on the Moon and Saturn were all rather new at the time, and it felt apparent that Icke was still formulating how to talk about this whilst he was on stage. Icke’s revelation started with a thought-form (an idea that was placed into his mind by another, higher entity). The thought-form contained the revelation that the Moon was an non-natural satellite. As a firm believer in synchronicity, this thought-form was shown to be true because within days he found that other people had had exactly the same thought(form) as well.
But, really, you are here for the lizards, right?
##On the reptilian rulers of our prison planet
Who controls the world? Well – at least back in 2011 – it was these four interests:
- The Freemasons,
- Child-abusers (and their support networks), and
I’m going to push that last one to the side for just a moment (and it really is just a moment). If we just focus on the first three, this is not an unsurprising set of ‘bad people who want to ruin the world for the rest of us’: for example, local conspiracy theorists like Ian Wishart and Greg Hallet (with his probably fictional mate, ‘the Spymaster’) have long argued that our political realm is dominated by non-Christian child abusers, who just happen to be homosexuals. Child abuse and Satanism is a well-worn link in many a conspiracy theory, and Satanism and Freemasonry has a similar association in the literature.
It’s the fourth group that is controversial in a ‘even controversial amongst conspiracy theorists’ sense, because Icke has often been accused of being an anti-Semite. Now, he denies that he is anti-Semitic. Rather, he is anti-Zionist (well, specifically, anti-Rothschild-Zionist).
So, what is this Rothschild-Zionism that Icke is so concerned with. It is part-and-parcel of the claim that the State of Israel is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Rothschild family, and their interests. For Icke, Israel is not a nation but, rather, part of a global conglomerate that is run for, and by, big business.
Icke does not like the Rothchilds. Amongst the list of things the Rothchilds are responsible for are the Simon Wiesenthal Center (a ‘worthless institution’, apparently), and Mossad (which he claims is the enforcement arm of the Rothschild family). Among the many things the Rothchilds’ are responsible was the Arab Spring. He is sceptical of the role of social media and Google in the fomenting of revolutions (because Google, et al, are all Rothschild organisations). So, as such, he is deadset against the revolutions in the Arab world because they are the product of a conspiracy designed to control us all.
Now, Icke argues that we need to distinguish between Zionism and Judaism. He, correctly, points out that you can be Jewish without being a Zionist, and that there are Zionists who are not Jewish. He singles out Zionists as being the problem, but his rhetoric all-to-often falls back on the usual canards of anti-Semitism. He talks about the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ as being a blueprint for a master plan to take over the world, whilst admitting that the work itself is fake. He talks about the purported practice of Jewish people drinking the blood of Gentiles (since it ties in the vampirism he says the hybrids practice), and the infiltration and control of the media industry by Jewish figures. These all come straight out of the anti-Semite playbook, and it’s not at all obvious how these stories figure into Rothschild-Zionism specifically. If Icke wants to avoid being labeled an anti-Semite, he really needs to do more work to ensure that he doesn’t echo anti-Semitic language and arguments.
This is to say that all of this talk of Rothschild-Zionism as one of the four great evils really just looks to be a way of preserving traditional European anti-Semitism, dressing it up with a new name. In the old days ‘they’ drank the blood of children: now they are the vassals of inter-dimensional, big business. Signalling out the Rothschild (a Jewish family) as being of similar kind to Satanists and child abusers seems suspiciously like traditional anti-Semitism: blaming a group of outsiders (the Jews) for the West’s self-made problems.
Ah, but Icke claims, this is a red herring. The real issue is that the Rothschilds are one of the many families of reptile-human hybrids. They are lizards. He’s not anti-Semite. Rather, he’s anti-reptile. It just happens that the Rothchilds masquerade as Jewish. You could say that if David Icke hates Jews, it’s only lizard Jews he has issue with.
That seems like cold comfort if you don’t believe in the existence of alien, shape-shifting reptiles.
The human hybrid thesis is possibly the thing Icke is most famous for, and it is difficult not to talk about it, because of its notoriety. That being said, whilst there was a lot of talk of hybrids in his talk, it’s not clear whether it is as central to his story now as it was in the Nineties. Yes, he does definitely believe that lizards control the world, but that’s not as interesting to him (so I gathered) as the system by which they control the world. Icke seems more interested in dismantling the matrix of control than trashing the alien. If the former goes, then the latter goes with it, whilst too much focus on the latter just enforces the system of control. As Icke himself regularly joked through the talk, who seriously listens to someone who talks about alien lizard rulers?
David Icke is not stupid. He has a dogged determination to get to the bottom of things, which is admirable. He has the charisma and presentation skills to keep an audience captivated for eleven hours.2 No matter what you might think of his views, he has a very systematic, fine-grained model of the world, and how he thinks it works. Icke is no vapid conspiracy theorist; his views may be controversial, and his beliefs may well be considered weird, but he advances non-trivial arguments for his views. Those of us interested in discussing and dissecting conspiracy theories would be wise to paid heed to what he says. After all, even if people disagree with his conclusions, the arguments he cites in support of them are by no means trivially unsound.
Which is why, when walking (or, in my case, hobbling) away from Icke marathon presentation, I was struck by the curious tenor of his overall message. Icke doesn’t really advocate people doing anything to change the world themselves; he doesn’t require that we do anything other than continue to believe that we can be free. Rather, everything will be okay as long as we are awake to the reality of the world in which we live.
That is his message: hope for the best, and it will be realised in your lifetime. Icke’s thinking is that if enough people know the truth, then the truth will set the world free. He wants us to embrace a spirituality that will bring us together in some earthly paradise, free from the sins of those who would have control over us. It is an oddly passive message, I find; think the right thing, free yourself of the shackles of the prison planet, and hope that everyone else is doing that too. That way lies freedom, or so he claims. I can’t help but think that it smacks a little too much of ‘think as I think’ sans ‘do as I do’. It’s an easy recipe for feeling good about your own little acts of transgression, but surely what is needed is a call to arms which is less a spiritual battlefield, and more an actual revolution?