Thursday, September 16, 2010

Yikes, It's David Icke!

Guess who has a new book out. Okay, I suppose the title of this post was a giveaway, but world-famous conspiracy crank David Icke has unleashed yet another broadside attack on reality1. As most of you probably know, Icke is a soccer-player-turned-paranoia-guru who attained an impressive level of international infamy in the late 1990s with the release of his book The Biggest Secret. The book was an absolute magnum opus in the field of groundless conspiracy-mongering, advancing the claim that the human race been manipulated for untold millenia by a cabal of interdimensional lizard-men. It changed the face of internet conspiracy message boards forever.
Lizard-men have 2d8+2 hit points and usually attack with clubs or large darts.
They also control the entire planet with the aid of the Bilderberg Group.

Icke's new book, Human Race Get Off Your Knees - The Lion Sleeps No More, is a 690-page tome in which he reveals, among other things, that the moon is actually a giant spacecraft filled with aliens. See, it turns out that the moon actually beams out a "fake reality" broadcast that serves to pacify us regular folks and turn us into more malleable slaves for our alien overlords. Of course, all of this is in addition to the alien/human hybrids who have already infiltrated the highest levels of society and control the entire banking industry and pretty much every government in the world. That's right, we all live in that Roddy Piper movie They Live and you can read all about it for a mere $35, plus shipping. I don't advise it.

It's hard to decide exactly what to make of David Icke. There's a part of me that almost wants to laud him for his creativity, since he continuously bangs out torturously long conspiracy tomes (16 since 1992, by my count2) that strive painfully hard to connect every conspiracy trope ever conceived into a sort of Grand Unified Theory of Crazy so complicated and implausible that it defies all attempts at concise summary. Everything from alien crossbreeding (with each other and humans), the New World Order, and the Hollow Earth to the Bilderberg Group, HAARP, and the 9/11 Truth Movement have found their way into his narrative. That's no mean feat, and I'm a little surprised that the Sci-Fi Channel isn't pounding on Icke's door to get the movie-of-the-week rights. I guess even that network that brought us Sharktopus has some standards.

On the other hand, there's a sense in which he's not much different from every other quasi-millenarian kook out there. He promises the imminent replacement of a society overrun by the forces of evil by a new, enlightened society brought about by people with access to special knowledge. Specifically, in David Icke's narrative humanity is being empowered by "truth vibrations" to throw off the yoke of a race of malevolent spacemen who control society and ruthlessly oppress the masses...but doesn't that story sound vaguely familiar?

The motif of "we, the righteous few vs. monolithic evil" has been used by nearly every apocalyptic group I can think of. Christianity's internal narrative revolves around a society dominated by supernatural evil that will eventually be redeemed through divine intervention from God and helped along by those on earth who've heard "the good news". The Gnostics (broadly speaking) were concerned with casting off an evil and corrupted world and reaching a truer, more righteous reality through the application of secret wisdom. Hell, even Al Qaeda organizes itself around the idea of holy war against a wicked society waged by virtuous adherents to a revealed "truth". The particulars may be different, but the broad outline is the same every time.

In other words, David is really just regurgitating a tried-and-true apocalyptic narrative that has been around for thousands of years. Furthermore, pretty much every conspiracy Icke evokes, from the sinister machinations of the New World Order to 9/11 being perpetrated by the U.S. government, either pre-dates him or emerged independently before he re-purposed it for his own claims. As far as I can tell, he's never met a conspiracy that he couldn't find a home for in his wacky world. In all seriousness, go to Google and type in "David Icke" plus any conspiracy you've ever heard of. Odds are you'll find a link to his website in which he endorses it as fact.

Hilariously, some of the "evidence" he cites, such as the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion, was debunked as utter hokum before he was even born.3 If that's not the very definition of "old hat", I don't know what is. Even his famed lizardmen (aka Reptilians, aka Reptoids, aka Annuaki) are derived from a subset of UFO abduction claims dating back to at least the 1950s. (And, it should be noted, are intriguingly similar to the villains in that old sci-fi show V.) His claims only sound original because of the veritable smorgasbord of absurd conspiracy theories he's stitched together in order to assemble a bizarre Frankenstein monster of paranoia.

Contrary to his own delusions, David Icke is certainly no visionary genius on a fast track to saving the universe. He's not even an especially creative weirdo. He is, I fear, just another oddball who's taken a heaping handful of pop-culture conspiracy cliches and arranged them into the generic millenarian outline like some kind of tinfoil hat Mad Lib. It would almost be funny if so many people didn't take him seriously.

1.) "Icke" is pronounced like "Ike", although "ick" is more intuitive...and fitting.

2.) He also wrote a book about professional soccer in 1983 that, so far as I can tell, includes no references to space lizards.

3.) Before he settled on lizard aliens from another dimension as the shadowy secret masters of the world, Icke pointed the finger at a rather more down to earth target: Jews.


DM said...
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DM said...
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Unknown said...

If anyone wants to hear a summary of Icke's crazy, download his recent interview on the 'Binnall of America' podcast. It is in equal parts excrutiating, hilarious and exasperating. At times your mouth drops open as each leap of illogic spews forth.

After listening to him, one can tell that he is genuinely convinced he is one of the few people in the world who sees the world for what it is. In the words of the psychiatrist in the famous Fawlty Towers episode; 'There is enough there for an entire conference'.

Deserving of special mention are the accents he puts on for his 'normal person' straw man (stupid cockney) and his 'scientist' straw man (stuttering nerd).

Skippy the Skeptic said...

I frankly find it hard to listen to David Icke talk for more than a few minutes at a time.

Icke is one of the few loons out there whose (dare I say) sincerity I don't doubt. I think he honestly -believes- in all of his own nonsense.

fleKKa said...

I opened the tv yesterday and there was him... is delusions feed from his own paranoia. I dont know if he really beleives in everything he is talking about or he is just building his empire on the insecurities of the people... cause, i mean who can take him seriously???